I read this many years ago, and it's a favorite. You have to read this book as a lover of the genre, because Rebecca Brandewyne is here at her bodice-...moreI read this many years ago, and it's a favorite. You have to read this book as a lover of the genre, because Rebecca Brandewyne is here at her bodice-rippiest. What I loved about Rebecca Brandewyne's old romances was that she would always pose dressed as the heroine in her picture on the back of the book. There would be a poem at the beginning, and the book would be broken up into several books or parts. The story began with a prologue with the couple together and ended with their epilogue. And let's not forget the Elaine Duillo cover art, which was practically de rigeur for a romance diva. What can I say, I've always preferred intricate, elaborate heavy metal or progressive rock as opposed to streamlined, gritty punk, and my taste in romances is no different.
The heroine is southern belle Storm Aimee Lesconflair and the hero is the dark stranger call "Lobo" or Wolf. The tale is epic, set in the epic state of Texas. Storm is abducted and almost raped by villains, saved by Wolf multiple times, separated from her beloved, accused of murder and experiences the worst pain a mother feel, and finally reuinited with her soul mate. This is a companion piece to And Gold Was Ours, which was good but not as great as this. The only Brandewyne book I like more is Upon a Moon-Dark Moor.(less)
**spoiler alert** So, after a couple of decades of reading romance, I finally got around to Stormfire. Whew! They do not write them like this anymore....more**spoiler alert** So, after a couple of decades of reading romance, I finally got around to Stormfire. Whew! They do not write them like this anymore. The ultimate in bodice ripping, Stormfire is a tale of two mentally unstable people and their violent, intense love. And it's great!
The main attraction about Stormfire is its writing. If it was a poorly written book no one would still be talking about it 20-plus years after it was published. The chapters each have their own titles such as "Silken Irons," "Into Eden," or "The Nadir." When the heroine meets the hero her first thoughts are of Milton's poetry: "His form had not yet lost/All his original brightness, nor appeared/Less than Archangel ruined..." The prose is evocative and compelling, but not purple. We agonize with Catherine's enslavement, we feel the angry passion between the lovers, we grieve with Catherine's loss, and suffer with Sean's torture...how much misery can two people take? Then there is that intense love/hate. I wish writers of historical romances today wrote like this, deeply and intensely, if not necessarily the same plot.
But then, maybe I'm a sicko, but I like the plot. Yes, it's epic and melodramatic: everything but the kitchen sink is in the plot including SPOILERS***: kidnapping, rape, starvation, forced slavery, multiple marriages, miscarriage, insanity, beatings, brothers fighting for the same woman, incest, castration, forcible sodomy, murder.... To be honest, I wasn't comfortable with a lot of things in the book. Even so, Stormfire is enthralling. Even those who hate this book can't say it's boring.
There are a lot of detractors of Stormfire, so in its defense, I'll say this: this isn't a sweet romance; it's a historical romance novel, a bodice ripper, and I use the term with great affection. It's a fantasy. A dark one, definitely, but then some might say so are the vampire, werewolf, bestiality, BDSM, menage fantasies of today. This is a different kind of fantasy, where the greatest hate in the world can be turned into love. Would this relationship work in real life? Probably not. That's why it's a fantasy. Stormfire is very entertaining, emotional and unforgettable. It falters a bit towards the end, so it's not perfect. It's not the best romance novel ever written, but for me, it's up there. I'd give it 5 stars or an A- rating. (less)