Recently, I took a stroll down memory lane and revisited one of my favorite authors, Kathleen Woodiwiss. Her classic novel, The Flame and The Flower was first published in 1972 when I was six years old. The novel was the first book to have detailed sex scene between the hero and heroine which completely revolutionized the historical romance genre.
Her novel was one of the first book I had read where the hero was clearly an alpha male. Captain Brandon Birmingham was tall, ruggedly handsome, wealthy and use to getting his way. As a master of his world, he commanded men and women fawned over him. That is until a certain waif disrupts his orderly life.
At that time, I didn’t realize I liked the ‘take charge’ man. A man who is decisive and bold, he knows what he wants and is not afraid of going after it. A man who makes a promise and keeps it.
Through the years, I’ve met a few more alpha male character that I’ve fell in love with. All of the men in JR Wards’ Black Dagger Brotherhood and Jericho Barrons in Karen Maria Moning’s Fever Series comes to mind.
I first read the novel in the early eighties. I had my own preconceived teenage notions about love and romance which I can no longer recall.
Though written all those years ago, The Flame and The Flower is still a fresh read. The author’s writing style has stood the test of time. What I loved about this novel and are the strong characters and rich plot. That is what turns a reader into a lifelong fan. After reading Mrs. Woodiwiss’ first novel, a lifelong fan is exactly what I became.
Mrs. Woodiwiss has since passed on, but her words and by extension, part of her, will always be alive. I will be eternally grateful to her for introducing me to her wonderful, romantic world.