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The Elusive Flame by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
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The Elusive Flame (edition 1999)

by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

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481721,406 (3.59)4
Member:LoreleiOrion
Title:The Elusive Flame
Authors:Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Info:Avon (1999), Edition: 1ST, Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Elusive Flame by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I suppose this review isn't necessarily for this book - but there were some things in this book that made me wonder and now I'm kind of curious.I admit to not having read many traditional romances at all. Paranormal romances, yes, I think I can speak with some kind of authority on those but the regency, chic lit and...well, what other type of romances there are? Well, I don't really have a clue. Sorry!But there are some devices used in Romances that kind of make me wonder what those particular authors were thinking at the time - and I kind of noticed that this book does a lot of them.The one that really bugs me, of course, is running away.It's a dark and stormy night - clearly reflecting the emotions and minds of our busty and brazen female protagonist, and our manly, big-breacher's-fabric-stretched-taunt-over-bulging-super-massive-manhood male protagonist. They fight. Emotions are overwrought. Eventually, the female protagonist, in a desperate bid to seek haven from the emotional turmoil/frightened of the male protagonist/trying to keep her deep dark secret and unable to take his scrutiny any more suddenly dashes out of the house (the night is still dark and stormy/freezing cold with a blizzard/beset by raping murderers). The hero calls out to her desperately, realizes his remorse for whatever he did/should have done/would have done if he were a mindreader and follows her to rescue her from the elements which will magically manage to claim her so quickly that within twenty minutes she will be a blubbering mess on the forest floor/desert sand/mountain top. The hero will find her and spend many days nursing her back to health before trying to win her love.I just don't get it. Never once have I had an argument with my husband and decided that subjecting myself to a crazy storm was preferable to sticking around and torturing him with mean glares and silent treatment. Clearly none of these women have any imagination! Why dash out and nearly kill yourself when you can use up all the hotwater, turn off his side of the electric blanket and wet down all the towels - only to have your efforts pay off twenty minutes later on a freezing winter night.Think I'm a cold-hearted bitch now, dearest husband? I'll show you cold! Mwhwahahahaha! (Disclaimer: I have only done this once but his agonized groans of frustration and pain fill me with delight to this very day when I think about it. Mr. Kat would also like to add a disclaimer that he has never ONCE called me a cold-hearted bitch or intimated anything of the sort. He's right. He doesn't need to say it, I already know the truth.)And I honestly don't see how they succumb to the elements so very quickly! I kind of lose respect for them when they're out and about for only a couple of hours before they collapse and die. Um...survival 101 people! If you can't build a fire then stuff your clothes with leaves/bury yourself in the sand/find a cave. Let me give you a real life situation to compare it to:Juliane Koepcke who was the sole survivor of a plain crash awoke from the crash with a broken clavicle and was blind in one eye and had various other injuries. She used her wonderful sense of logic (Water travels down, dudes! Where there's water, there's bound to be people) and trekked for nine days until she finally found a cabin where she rested, cleaned her wounds and waited for the occupants to come home.Yeah, I know. It makes these romance chics sound even sadder that they couldn't even last a few hours on a night that they voluntarily ran off into.It's like Bella when Edward left - she wandered around in the forest for a few hours before collapsing. Really? I've been emotionally distraught a few times and never ONCE have I been lucky enough to collapse under the turmoil. Sorry folks, usually life sucks a little harder than getting to have your dramatic fainting fit when you feel like it. So I don't get this seemingly innocuous mainstay of the romantic genre. I feel like telling those pussies to get on their feet and get home. Or better yet, don't leave in the first place. And I don't see why they ever thought this was such a good idea. I have never wanted to put my husband in the position of having to call his friends out on a freezing cold evening to track my pansy-ass through a forest because I felt like being dramatic and making a statement. I could just see the result of that telephone call:Friend: Hey Jason, what's up?Jason: Hey friend! I need you to come out and look for my wife with me.Friend: *Looks out at the blizzard doubtfully* Damn, Jason, what happened? What's she doing out on a night like this?Jason: She was overwrought with emotions and ran out into the storm which is a metaphorical symbol for her life and feelings in general. She can't bring herself to trust me but she can't stay away from my manly ways and passionate embrace so she felt that her only recourse left was to leave the house. Now I'm afraid that because she's a woman and inherently pathetic, she will have only made it a couple of miles away from home before tragically collapsing and waiting for me to come retrieve her and nurse her back to health while being understanding and accepting of her actions. Clearly I should take all the blame and responsibility for this so we need to find her as soon as possible so that I can grovel at her feet and beg her forgiveness.Friend: Dude...No, I'll see you for that game's night on saturday. Tell Kat to stop being such a little bitch and give you your balls back.This also goes for a lot of the other crazy shit that women in romance novels do in the name of not trusting the hero. Like blow up their hospital, have them taken captive by pirates, have them forced into bondage as a slave...There never seems to be any accountability. The men in romance novels are either the most forgiving sonuvabitches who've ever existed, or you kind of have to think they deserve what they get for being so easily led astray by a pair of tits. Tits which they could quite easily get elsewhere and for a helluva lot less trouble. Mostly, the worst thing about this plot device is when you think about how it REALLY turns out. You're hysterically emotional, angry and wanting to get back at a man - though your situation probably isn't his fault he's probably not helping by being all sexy and domineering - so you run out the door into the stormy night and for whatever reason, he can't catch you in time.Romance version: you collapse fitfully after a couple of hours where the beautiful male protagonist agonizes over your health, self-flagellates himself for goading you into this position and cares for you himself for the many days it takes you to recover.Real life: You run off into the storm. The cold, frigid air and wet rain/snow/whatever quickly reigns in your temper as you realize that running off will not help in anyway shape or form. You trudge through the woods for a while because you really don't know what else to do. You've already made your point that you are unhappy but your threat and actions are pretty pointless because you have no where to go, no method to get there and it would only embarrass both yourself and your partner if you turned up at a random person's house seeking shelter and help.Eventually, because it's highly unlikely that anyone has yet tracked down your exact location, you turn around and head home. Embarrassed and ashamed for acting like a two-year old, things only get worse when everyone realizes you've returned. Nobody lets you arrive gracefully. You've worried them unnecessarily and caused them to heave their butts out on a dark, cold, stormy night when they'd rather be in bed. Your name is mud and you've lost any credibility and respect you had.See? It sucks. It's a terrible plot device! What makes it worse is what it says about women and how it reflects society's view of women.There's a perception that women are overly emotional and lack rationality and the ability to behave logically. In fact, the word "hysterical" derives from the greek word for women's genitalia (think: hysterectomy. Hysteria was a medical diagnosis made and was related only for women. Men don't get hysterical, you see. Only us flighty women. And we become hysterical because there's something wrong with our women parts. There can't be something wrong with our brains because they're too small and pathetically unused. In fact, we have hysteria to thank for the invention of the dildo. Doctors decided that the cure for hysteria was the didle or a special kind of "pelvic message" that would bring about "hysterical paroxysms" (read: orgasms). Ever heard a man talk about an uptight or emotional woman and remark that she just needed to get laid? Or seen something similar in a movie? Yeah, that concept has been around for a while (by a while - I mean like the 5th century BCE). Takes the modern minds of the Victorian men, however, to figure that instead of telling her husband to give her some TLC - they'd just grab a rubber cock instead - because that's totally going to fix all her problems.Well, I have a problem, and it's that the behaviour of these female protagonists almost back these Victorian Douchebags up by behaving like irresponsible lunatics while the male protagonist, remaining clear-headed and logical, has to get her out of her "hysteria" and then patch her up when her flight-of-fancy has left her bedridden for three days. The most absolutely disgusting part? He doesn't even respect her enough to hold her accountable for her actions or ask her to apologize for hurting him and causing him to worry. Ya know why? She's just a woman. He expects her to act like a complete lunatic or a child. She doesn't know better. She doesn't have a ginormous man-brain like his. And now, since I have nothing more to say, I'll leave you with this image:Clearly from a Victorian Era manual. This is the exact process a Victorian man needs to go through after providing his hysterical wife with a vibrator and telling her what to do with it.See, why don't they make men like these anymore! My husband insists on fixing all my hysterical episodes himself with his own equipment! ( )
1 vote KatKennedy | Mar 28, 2012 |
I love this author!!
  Ozedasgirl | Feb 25, 2010 |
This story of a woman thrown out of the house she was living in and finding salvation in the arms of a sea-captain is entertaining but pretty sluggish. Could have done with some serious editing to make it flow better and without some of the repeated explination of plot points. The only thing that really saves it are the main characters, Cerynis Kendall and Beauregard Birmingham are great fun and very much in love.

Readable but nothing I'd run out to collect. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Feb 19, 2009 |
When Cerynise Kendall's guardian dies, despicable Alistair Winthrop, the man who inherits the estate, decides that he has inherited Cerynise as well. Desperate to escape him and return to her uncle in Charleston, Cerynise flees to London's docks and happens upon an old childhood friend, sea captain Beau Birmingham. When Beau suggests a marriage of convenience to get her back to Charleston, Cerynise agrees. Terribly overwritten. Could not finish. ( )
  Elishibai | Sep 5, 2008 |
The kind of book you dont want to keep on your bookshelf - this is one you can sneak under your beach chair. ( )
  TracyatBN | Feb 28, 2007 |
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CERYNISE EDLYN KENDALL stood at the lofty windows of the front parlor and, through a wealth of tears, gloomily observed the people scurrying along the lane traversing Berkeley Square.
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The long-awaited sequel to one of the most cherished love stories of our time!A woman in desperate straits...A fearless seafaring man...A marriage of convenience on turbulent waters...Cerynise Kendall has been left destitute and in dire need following the death of her doting patron and protectress. A brilliant young artist tossed from her home with only the clothes on her back, Cerynise must now turn to a childhood companion for assistance--the dashing sea captain Beauregard Birmingham--and beg him to provide her with passage to the Carolinas. She seeks a new home and a new life across the waters, but all depends upon the kindness of a charming adventurer who was once the object of her youthful infatuation.Beneath Birmingham's rugged exterior beats a heart as large and wild as the Atlantic, and Beau readily agrees to aid Cerynise--even offering her his name in marriage, albeit temporarily, to protect his longtime friend from scandal. But perilous secrets, determined enemies and tempests of the sea and the soul threaten their future and safe passage--even as bonds of camaraderie are miraculously reforged as bonds of desire...and affection becomes passion and love--Back cover.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380807866, Mass Market Paperback)

Cerynise Kendall's beloved elderly sponsor dies unexpectedly, leaving Cerynise to deal with the woman's heir, Alistair Winthrop. As much as she dislikes Alistair--a difficult man to say the least--even Cerynise hadn't expected him to evict her from her home, which he does without a second thought. Cerynise makes her way to the London docks and finds that fortune has smiled upon her, for a ship captained by a childhood friend, Beau Birmingham, is in port. Beau remembers Cerynise very well and is determined to return her to her uncle's home in the Carolinas. But when Alistair appears and demands that Cerynise be turned over to him as his ward, Beau swiftly arranges a wedding and the two enter into an agreed marriage of convenience. Beau is well aware that he's committed himself to several months of torture, for he wants the lovely Cerynise with a driving passion that threatens to consume him. For Cerynise, the pretend marriage is both heaven and hell. Though she desperately loves Beau, she's sure that his love of the sea leaves no room for a real marriage. Upon reaching Charleston, both Beau and Cerynise believe that they've left trouble far behind, but Alistair is not yet finished with this unsuspecting young woman who stands between him and a fortune. Simmering with passion, The Elusive Flame is classic Woodiwiss. --Lois Faye Dyer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:21 -0400)

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A young woman, alone after her guardian dies, agrees to a marriage of convenience to a childhood friend.

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