The Flame and the Flower

The Flame and the Flower

4.4 273
by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

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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

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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.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times
“A phenemenon.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“The queen of historical romance.”
Library Journal

A fugitive heroine and an adventurous sea captain make a new life for themselves in the American Colonies in this passionate romance that started a revolution. Original: 1972.

—Kristin Ramsdell

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.02(d)

Read an Excerpt

With her first book, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss forever changed the nature of romance novels. Feisty heroine Heather Simmons—young and captivating, thrust into the care of a spiteful aunt first meets Captain Brandon Birmingham after an occurrence that leaves her believing she has killed a man. The chemistry between them is instantaneous, and readers everywhere gasped at this explosive introduction to the special world of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.

As they entered the captain' s cabin, a man rose from the desk where he had been sitting and, had it not been for her bruised state of mind, Heather would have noticed his tall, muscular build and piercing green eyes. Fawn-colored breeches were fitted snug about his narrow hips and a white ruffled shirt, opened to the waist, revealed a chest wide and firmly muscled beneath a mat of crisp black hair. He had the look of a pirate about him, or even Satan himself, with his dark, curly hair and long sideburns that accentuated the lean, handsome features of his face. His nose was thin and straight except for a slight hook in its profile just below the bridge. His hair was raven black and his skin darkly tanned. White teeth flashed in contrast as he smiled and came forward, sweeping her with a bold gaze from top to toe.

"Aye, you've done a handsome night's work with this one, George. You must have searched hard and wide for her."

"Nay, cap'n," the old man returned. "We found her walking the streets of the waterfront. She came most willingly, cap'n."

The man nodded and walked slowly, deliberately, completely around Heather as she stood rooted to the floor, not touching her with anything but those emerald eyes and they were enough. He pausedbefore her for a moment, smiling, but her eyes would not meet his. She kept them cast downward and stood humbly awaiting some indication of her fate. Behind her the two men grinned, extremely pleased with themselves.

The tall man moved aside with them and the fellow, George, spoke in a low voice. Heather' s eyes moved about the cabin but saw nothing. Outwardly she appeared calm, but the emotional strains raging within her further sapped her strength. She was exhausted, bone tired, confused. She found it difficult to reconcile a magistrate of the law on board a ship, but knowing little of the processes of justice, reasoned that she was probably to be sent to some penal colony, for in her own mind she was guilty of murder.

"Oh God," she thought, "that I should be raised from a sty by the temptation of a life of ease and for my sin plunged into a prison. I killed a man and I've been caught and I must now accept whatever fate decrees for me."

Her mind stopped and held and was trapped by these final facts. She was guilty. She was caught. Justice had done with her and she had no further word. She did not hear the door close behind her as the seamen left, but words from the man who stood before her roused her from her thoughts. He laughed gently and made a sweeping bow.

''Welcome back, m'lady, and I repeat, what is your name."

"Heather," she murmured softly. "Heather Simmons, sir."

"Ah," he sighed. "A small, tempting flower from the moors. It's a most lovely and fitting name, m'lady. Brandon Birmingham is my name. Most of my friends call me Bran. Have you dined this evening?"

She made a small nod.

"Then perhaps some wine, a very fine Madeira," he asked.

She shook her head slowly, dropping her gaze to the floor. He laughed softly and came forward to stand close before her. He took the bundle she clutched and tossed it in a nearby chair as he stared down at her, dazzled by her youthful beauty and the gown that seemed only a sparkling veil over her body. Her ivory skin glowed softly in the candlelight, and by the golden flames he saw before him a small woman, gracefully slender with breasts full and round, generously and temptingly swelling above her gown. They rose and fell slowly.

He moved closer and in a rapid movement slipped his arm about her narrow waist, nearly lifting her from the floor, and then covered her mouth with his, engulfing Heather in a heady scent, not unlike that of a brandy her father had been fond of. She was too surprised to resist and hung limp in his embrace. She saw herself as if from outside her body and felt with mild amusement his tongue parting her lips and thrusting within. From a low level of consciousness there grew a vague feeling of pleasure and, had the circumstances been different, she might have enjoyed the hard, masculine feel of his body against hers.

()1972 by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss)

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The Flame and the Flower 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 270 reviews.
Heather Hagert More than 1 year ago
I read this book several years ago and was excited to finally be able to find it and read it again. Yes it is erotic; however, there is an extra element of surprise as it marries patient endurance and chastity with passionate love. I'm not really into romance that includes the betrayal of one lover for another one, which is another reason this novel stands out for me, since it is entirely absent of this. Even what may appear to be a betrayal is more of a severing of old and rather loose habits; this in trade for the stability of true devotion is benefitial to all. Apparently, Woodwiss created a whole new type of the historical romance genre with this, her first novel! It holds a quality that is often absent in other romance novels. I would highly recommend this tender morsel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book around the time it was published. Now, years later, I still think about this story. As I read it I felt as though I was there with the characters, watching everything unfold before my eyes. This story has remained so vivid to me unlike any other book I have ever read. Honestly, I have read plenty of books in my lifetime, but none have ever moved me like 'The Flame and the Flower'. If you haven't read this book yet please don't pass it by.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is seriously the first book I ever read and I love it! I am always rereading it! I will keep that book forever! It is just so good! I love Brandon and Heather! I also love Jeff in this book and in his own book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't call this the best romance novel I've ever read, but I still couldn't put it down at the end of the day. I didn't want to read this book at first because of some previous reviews about rape. I'm not into that and I find it very unromantic. I thought reading it would ruin all other woodiwiss novels for me. I say give it a try anyway. This 'rape' is not what you think. I thought I would be outraged, but the way the story unfolds I wasn't that upset. It brings some reality to the story. Real life is not always full of boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy and girl live happily ever after. This twist makes it real because life isn't always a fairytalle. Give this book a try and I'm sure you could forgive Brandon as Heather does.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with this book on the first page. I can, and have read this book over and over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was utterly flawless. When I finished it, it felt like I had been holding my breath it was that exciting and good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book 3-4 times over the last 20 years. Woodiwiss is a great story teller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not well written, has unbelievable plot lines, has multiple characters who think womwn are simpletons, excuses rape, etc. In spite of all that it is oddly fascinating. According to wikipedia, this book, published 1972, changed the romance genre forever by introducing fairly steamy sex scenes, a full length format, and a complicated plot including murder, betrayal, travel over oceans, mistaken identities, blackmail, and virtually every other romance novel plot device you have come to know and love. The story starts off Cinderella fashion with the beautiful young girl being worked like a slave. Every time a woman is alone in this book...and I mean every time...someone tries to rape her, even in the middle of the day with other people near at hand. The first time she stabs the culprit. The next time it is the hero who is the culprit. After that our hero just rips the would be rapists off our heroine and pummels them. Well true love takes awhile because all plot devices have to be explored, plus there are all these would be rapists and murderers to dispatch. The author obviously has watched Gone with the Wind a million times. I swear a lot of the dialog is lifted directly from it...especially for Hatti and Heather. It is full of historical inaccuracies...but could be worse. My favorite character is the brother Jeff. He is the only one who seemed real. Overall I'm not going to read anymore in this series, but I might try more recent books by this author as this is her first and very rough. Of course I have a weakness for the preposterously dominant hero.....but's not real, thank God!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some reviews stated they didn't like the beginning of the story. If you stick with it and keep reading, it's well worth it! I love stories about bearded sea captains that meet a woman that "gets" to them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best romance novel ever. It is the novel that got me stuck on reading romances. It may not be for the faint of heart due to the beginning, but it really is a story that gives the message that love really does overcome all obstacles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This IS the best book I have ever read, I could not put it down, read the whole book in 1 day. I liked it so much I have read this book 4 times over the past several years!!!! and i'm planning on reading it again!!! Kathleen Woodiwess is a wonderful wrighter. This is a book not to be missed, I also love Petals on the River and have read it twice!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am now reading this book for the second time and love it just as much as the first time! I couldn't put it down. I love the teasing sexiness of Brandon and Heather's relationship. Very sexy indeed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nomisway56 More than 1 year ago
Kathleen Woodiwiss is my favorite author. Have read all her books and read most of them multiple times. Her vivid description of clothing and such gives a wonderful picture in your mind as to what things looked like. We lost a great author when she past.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't care if this did start it new genre, the whole idea behind the plot is warped. Even in 1972, rape was still rape. Granted, it is horrifically true that rape at that time was considered almost justified if a woman was considered to be "asking for it" if she dressed provocatively. Maybe in that sense, a novel from 1972 read nowadays gives us a glimpse into the warped mindset of the 1970s that could justify rape in some circumstances as a reasonable response of a man in certain situations. This doesn't excuse the plot element of rape in this case, though, as the novel was supposed to take place in the 1790s. Mistaken identity? I might buy that, except the expensive gown Heather is wearing is clearly not within the budget of a dockside whore. Then there's the fact that even after the "hero" (and I don't find him heroic) discovers in the act that she is a virgin, he keeps going. Even after that, when he knows she's not a whore but was a virgin until he raped her, he goes at her again against her will (yet another rape) and then compounds his sins by locking this girl he now knows for sure was innocent in his cabin, so he can use her and rape her however he pleases and whenever. How is this romantic? As for Heather, the heroine, I wanted repeatedly to slap her. I've read historical letters from the time period, and not even Heather's history of abuse by her aunt explains her personality of a doormat for everyone to trod on. She finally gets a bit of back bone later in the novel, but not as much as she should. The only character I really liked was the hero's brothrr, Jeff. Too bad I understand his story is weakly done and is the third in the series, as I won't be reading the second. The second book apparently repeats the plot with rape as the start of a relationship. I liked another book by this author a lot, but hated this one. I shudder to think what a warped view of love any teen that gets ahold of this book would get. Only for mature readers. Be warned to avoid this unless you think rape is a great start to a romantic relationship.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sammy63 More than 1 year ago
I began reading Romance novels with this book many years ago. I loved it then, and it remains my favorite to this day. I have since purchased it for by Nook and reread it a few times every year. It's a great love story with a happy ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This I've been looking or for such a long time. This book I read when I was just married n I found it. I liberties story . N no there's not smut in it . But romance .yesss
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I had a hard time putting this book down. I will look for more from this author. I thought this book was a great love story, with mystery and suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks baby.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was well written, but offset by the H/h. Brandon was sophisticated, selfish, dominating. Heather was well, simply too weak in every way. Difficult to accept their love as genuine. They simply did not complement. Their relationship was Nonetheless, the plot was entertaining. The supporting cast was more intriguing than the H/h--yes, even Louisa was far more interesting. Did not entirely regret reading it however. After all, it was deemed a contemporary classic like GONE WITH THE WIND by many fans. But oh please! Brandon may have been modeled somewhat like the great Rhett Butler. But Heather was not--nor ever be--Scarlett O'Hara. Not a keeper, so cannot rank above average.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been reading romance since i was 16 years old ... Im 49 and this was the worst I have ever endured... horrible