Book Review

‘The Flame and the Flower’ by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

tfatf kewSTORY: Fearing for her innocence, doomed to a life of unending toil, Heather Simmons commits a shocking and desperate act. Now she must flee – and seek refuge in the arms of a virile and dangerous stranger.

Captain Brandon Birmingham is a lusty adventurer married to the sea. Though courting scorn and peril through his actions, he abducts the beautiful fugitive from the tumultuous London dockside. For it is destiny that has brought Heather to Brandon’s side, and no power on Earth will force him to relinquish his exquisite prize.

Only she can unlock the tenderness in his heart; and Brandon vows she will be his – to love, to cherish, to desire, and to carry off to uncharted realms of sensuous passion.

REVIEW: The writing style was beautiful. Some of the internal dialogue was like poetry. It fully drew me in, and my emotions were engaged. In fact, I cried when Heather was being raped and afterward when she was crying. If such a talented writer would write a story that didn’t repel me with its message, I know I would love it.

Is this really what women fantasized about in the 1970s? Has what women idealized changed so much in the past 40 years?

I understand that in 1799 in the American South, women were considered property just as slaves were. I am just so used to the modern books spinning it as though these particular characters are extraordinary and didn’t fall into that way of life.

Heather Simmons is a young lady. The book starts 1 months before her 18th birthday, but she is really a child. She is a twit, naive, and gullible. Really, the only quality I liked about her is the fact that she had some respect for herself. She fought off two men that tried to rape her in one night. Even though the second one succeeded, she would not agree to be his mistress. In fact, she had to escape holding the cabin boy at gunpoint.

Captain Brandon Birmingham is irredeemable for me. I understand at first he thought Heather was a prostitute and thought she was just play fighting him when he forced himself on her. I also understand that even after he realized that he forced a virgin he still thought she must have sold herself willingly. However, even after he realizes that she did not, he doesn’t care. Her opinion does not matter. What she wants is completely irrelevant. All that matters is himself and what he wants. Therefore, he decides whether she likes it or not he’s going to continue to rape her and keep her locked up for his own pleasure until he gets tired of her. Then he will throw her away when he sails back to America. That is irredeemable for me. There is absolutely nothing you can do to make him seem like a good guy.

Fortunately, Heather is not as difficult to please as I am. After she realizes she is pregnant and the man who was basically her Godfather forces Brandon to marry her (because he would rather just have her as a mistress bearing his bastard child), she does everything she can do to please him. She is very meek and subservient. She wants to do anything that would please him. In her mind, she thinks about how she belongs to him. He owns her. She is just his property, and he should have access to her body and anything that he wants from her. Since he chooses to “punish” her by not raping her, it allows time for her to fall in love with him. She reasons in her mind that he is kind and generous; and it doesn’t matter that he raped her the one night, that’s just the way of men.

The message in the book is very clear. It is okay for a handsome physically attractive man to not only have sex with many willing partners but to take it from the unwilling ones as well because, hey, he’s good-looking. You should want to sleep with him. However, the men who are ugly outside behave the same and will rape you but it’s unforgivable then because he’s ugly.

Women are only valued for beautiful physical appearance on the outside and virginal restraint, to only give sex to the husband. They should be very submissive, subservient, and selfless. They are there to be an accessory on the man’s arm and being bring him pleasure both in private and public. It is okay for a man to be very selfish, but it is not okay for a woman to be selfish. If a woman is beautiful and uses it to gain money and sex for herself and behaves as the men do, she deserves to die.

Mariana for b2b

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