Woodiwiss is one of the best The Flame and the Flower was the first historical romance that I read as a teenager. I am now 42 and still love it. I read all the books about the Birminghams and loved them all. I read all of the bad and good reviews and all the things about the rapes.The only thing I can say is that this book is fiction. I read a book for enjoyment not to analyze it. Yes Brandon raped Heather but they fell in love and lived happily ever after. If we take everything as true then I feel sorry for the children reading Cinderella&other childrens clasics.This is a fictional story and for the time frame the 1800's that's the way things were. Right or wrong marriages were arranged and the young girls married older men, there were slaves and that was how it was. I think the book would have been very boring if Brandon had met Heather at a party and was a complete gentleman, courted her, married her and then got her pregnant. I think if you read this book you won't be disappointed. In fact I think I'll read it again after I finish The Reluctant Suitor.
The best romance novel ever written This is the first historical novel I ever read. I was in the fifth grade, and I used it in one of my bok reports. (My teacher was a little put out, but who cares? this book was incredible!) It was fascinating. Two people trying to deny their love for one another because of a gross misunderstanding and miscommunication---FANTASTIC!!! Who hasn't been there? The tension between Heather and Brandon was wonderfully written and believable. The love scenes were tasteful and still erotic. The adventure and suspense was wonderful. This novel had everything in it, romance, light comedy, suspense, adventure, deceit, and a happy ending. The perfect combination for any romantic at heart. I have bought three copies of The Flame and the Flower because it is my all-time favorite and I re-read it so much. It is unforgettable.Fantastic! I was never a reader of romance novels. That all changed when I read The Flame and the Flower! I was looking for historical fiction, and this book filled that desire while offering up a tantalizing love story, as well. I highly recommend this book!