The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
I wanted to read something I’d read before – wasn’t in the mood for something new. Decided to pick something off my own bookshelf.
OMG (as the kids would say). No, this isn’t a YA book; however, I did first read this when I was a teen. In fact, this very copy. It was my grandmothers, and re-reading it I can’t believe she let me read it at that age!
Summary from Amazon:
New York Times bestselling author Kathleen E. Woodiwiss debut romance…
Doomed to a life of unending toil, Heather Simmons fears for her innocence—until a shocking, desperate act forces her to flee. . . and to seek refuge in the arms of a virile and dangerous stranger.
A lusty adventurer married to the sea, Captain Brandon Birmingham courts scorn and peril when he abducts the beautiful fugitive from the tumultuous London dockside. But no power on Earth can compel him to relinquish his exquisite prize. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed lovely his woman. . .and to carry her off to far, uncharted realms of sensuous, passionate love.
So, this is old school romance at it’s best/worst. The main character escapes being raped by one man, only to be raped by the ‘hero’ of the story. Escapes again, becomes pregnant and forced to marry her rapist. But, of course, being the romance that it is, they fall madly in love — after many trials and tribulations — and live happily ever after.
I would NEVER give this to a teen today and, as I said above, cannot believe my granny allowed me to read it! There were so many instances where the heroine – I cannot really even call her that – accepts that what the hero does to her is okay, because he’s a man and her husband or because he loves her. WTF. I don’t care that this is a historical romance and yes, women had little to no rights. This was just plain wrong.
Re-reading this as an adult, I don’t know why I liked it and kept it…maybe because the main character’s name was Heather? I know I kept it because it was one of the few things from my granny I had left when she passed away. She and I shared a love of reading. Many a day at her house was spent in matching swivel chairs, each reading our own book while my granddad was in the living room watching TV. While I probably won’t re-read this one again, I will be keeping it, as it is a physical reminder of my granny.
I do know that I won’t be recommending it to my teens! Instead I’ll be recommending books like: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson or Some Boys by Patty Blount.