Amortentia Review: The Flame & The Flower

THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Series: Birmingham, #1
Publication Date: April 28th 1972 by HarperCollins Publishers

Summary: The Flower

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.

The Flame

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 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.

Heroine: I guess the heroine would have to take the blame for the squick-y rapey scene at the beginning. It’s just…. how stupid can you get? Okay, maybe I shouldn’t blame the victim, but Heather was a bit too naive in the beginning of the book. But I grew to like her. She’s not the most memorable heroine though.

Hero: I have really no complaints about Brandon except that he picks an ugly name for their child.

Supporting Cast: As much as I loved Hatti, I didn’t like the “racial profiling” of TF&TF. I understand that slavery existed during the time of the novel and racial stereotypes were dominant, but I just couldn’t get myself to accept the colloquial way that Hatti spoke. She was a great character, but I didn’t like how her speech was characterized “overly black”.

Plot: This one isn’t intense on the action or the mystery. It really focuses on the progression of the relationship between the heroine and the hero. There was a lot of tension in the romance department up until the last 100 pages so I was hooked. After that, I felt like the side / secondary plots were stretched out a little too much.

Romance: Lots of unresolved sexual tension. I knew immediately from the beginning that I was hooked. Woodiwiss just has this fantastic talent. She can reel you in. You need  to learn what will happen to the characters. In terms of actual steamy scenes, they are lacking in this book. They happen, but nothing is ever described explicitly. No complaints from me, however.

Love Potion Strength:

Exceeds Expectations

Woodiwiss is swiftly becoming one of my favorite romance authors. Her novels are quite lengthy but I think they are worth the page count.


  1. It make me so uncomfortable to read about you blaming the victim for rape because it’s such a serious matter and the victim should NEVER be blamed. It is ALWAYS the perpetuator’s fault. Victim blaming is one of the reasons why people are so hesitant to come forward with their sexual assaults along with way society is structured to believe the victim “deserved” it or “asked for it.” I haven’t read this book and I do get how a heroine can be a bit dim, no one should ever be raped. No matter how “naive” they are. Anyway, I really do enjoy your blog but it made me really disappointed to read that first line of your post. :|

    1. Thanks for your comment! Reading back my review, I definitely understand where you’re coming from. Poor choice of words on my part. This is the second book I’ve read from the author, and I guess I was just a little frustrated that they both started out with a rape scene and I blamed the wrong person.

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