Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sweet Savage Love” as Want to Read:
Sweet Savage Love
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sweet Savage Love

(Legend of Morgan-Challenger #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  3,764 ratings  ·  215 reviews
Ginny Brandon is swept from the ballrooms of Paris to the desert sands of Mexico and into the arms of charismatic mercenary Steve Morgan. But this fearless heroine and "hero of all heroes" must first endure countless unforeseen dangers before they can enjoy sensual, exhilarating passion that burns between them.
Mass Market Paperback, 636 pages
Published 1974 by Avon
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,764 ratings  ·  215 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sweet Savage Love
Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants a lush, gutsy read

Because 5 measly stars is so woefully inadequate.

You should see my copy of this book. It came without covers, front AND back. Truly a rarity in my collection, but it was a freebie on Paperbackswap, so I couldn't complain. It now sports a hot pink cover (courtesy of card stock from the office supply closet - thievery for a good cause) with a B&W xerox of the cover image (courtesy of the internet), and it's all laminated in packing tape from the local Dollar Store.

I am nothing if not resourceful.

Nenia ⭐️ Queen of Awkward ⭐️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

💙 I read this for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2018 Reading Challenge, for the category of: Antebellum/Civil War/Reconstruction Romance. For more info on this challenge, click here. 💙

Every time someone says romances are too light, and that they don't have enough action, I want to throw a bodice ripper at them. SWEET SAVAGE LOVE is one of the early bodice rippers, when the authors were still working out the formula, and wa
mark monday
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to mark by: Karla
from the Earth Journal of Scientific Analyst SLJLK92349UO,
Earth Invasion Exploratory Unit

My studies of the human kind as they eke out their muddy existence on this muddy ball of earth, third from its star, has of course included a comparative survey of these creatures' various art forms, including their literature. My predilection has naturally been towards their so-called "Science Fiction" genre; as I am a member of Robot Planet's advance team stationed on this planet to prepare for our eminen
Sep 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried, I really did. I wanted to see what the fuss was about. WTF is romantic about this story? The part where he rapes her? Or the part where he slaps her? How about the part where he washes her mouth out with soap? Oh I KNOW! It's where he keeps calling her a whore.

OMFG no thank you. I love bodice rippers but I kind of like the hero to not be a masochistic ass-wipe.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book that started it all.

Everyone's first modern romance novel they read in the 70s at age 14-20 or thereabouts. Who can forget Ginny and Steve.

Love to see everyone giving it either 1-star or 5! The granddaddy of all romance novels deserves nothing less than an extreme, high-drama reaction. Yes, it said the "F-word" and the hero rapes the heroine and she loves it (what the hell is he supposed to do after he's ripped her bodice? Apologize?).

Hell, yes, rape and sex are about power and exactly
Sammy Loves Books
Wow! I feel as if I've been run over by a steamroller! I found this book to be very emotionally intense. There was even a point in the book when I asked myself " Can I continue to read this? " The book revolves around Virginia "Ginny" and Steve Morgan.


Their relationship can only be described as a love/ hate relationship on steroids, laced with crack, while funneling tequila! Mix in a little smuggling, war, espionage, adultery, torture and a lot of rape. All of this takes place in Paris, the US,
The dysfunctional relationship between two batshit protagonists was initially a hoot to read but in the end, the story was overlong. I had to drag myself through the horrors of the last quarter and I was glad to leave both of them on the last page.
Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
I'm starting the New Year off right with some fabulous buddy-reads. BR in January with Korey and Queen Snowflake Nenia!


I heard about this book when I was a teenager, before I even really knew what a bodice ripper was. A friend of my parents had this book, and when we saw it at their house my mom knowingly said "Steve and Ginny." I sneaked a glance at the title, and thought "sweet savage love" was something I REALLY wanted to read about.

A few years later I tracked the book down and devoured
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cheating
This book is a very hard read. There are harsh scenes that you rarely see. It's difficult to shock me, but I found my jaw dropped numerous times. The author was fantastic. It was very well written and put together. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because there was so little positive to offset all the horrible things that happened and because it's LONG. Definitely worth the read, though, if you have the stomach.

This book took me on some wild ride! I've had it on my to read shelf for a while now but was always intimidated to read it since I've heard far and wide about the abuse the heroine had to endure. I admit I was a wuss before, but I am a wuss no longer! The verbal sparring and fighting between Ginny and Steve was off the charts! They were a bunch of nut jobs and I loved it! Steve Morgan is a rake, and I don't mean the type of rake that everyone says is a rake
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Pre-Reading (5/9/15): I wasn't sure until I read the prologue but this was the first bodice ripper I ever read (I was 15, at that point) and I was not expecting the crazy in it. I'm excited to re-read this and see how I read it now.

ETA (3/16/16): I will sum up this book with one sentence. You can see where a lot of western romances get their inspiration, and they pale in significance to this book. It's very hard to top this book.

Also Roger's wrote parts of this book one-handed, I swear. ;)

Jul 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I could not believe that no one had made a movie out of this book when I read it years ago. This was my first historical romance novel and I could not put it down. The writing was so colorful and Rosemary Rogers made Mexico sound so romantic. I eventually tired of "bodice rippers" like these and the impossibly gorgeous heroes and heroines who hated each other through most of the story as they lusted after each other in spite of themselves. The title says it all. But I remember "Sweet Savage Love ...more

Rape rape rape. Name-calling, violence, rape. He rapes her repeatedly, kidnaps her, abandons her, and he's her true love? Ick. Maybe I'm too spoiled by respect and humor in contemporary romances to appreciate this, but it's a nice marker for how far the genre has advanced.
Feb 22, 2009 marked it as to-avoid  ·  review of another edition
From DoraLady @ Ami:
'It is a tough read. The heroine gets raped and abused not only by the hero but by others.'
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was 11 or 12. Oh, sure, with the internets today, by the time a kid is that age, they've seen donkey shows and worse, but back in nineteen-eighty-something, this was quite the eye-opener. Porn without pictures. It was freaking awesome. I read it, I think my friends read it, who knows how many fifth-grade girls learned about pretty much everything (except donkey shows) from that very copy before I got it back? Thank you, library sale!

After I had read and re-read and re-re
Susan (the other Susan)
There are 2 Goodreads listings for SSL as well there should be. Fabulous beyond words, the standard by which all Steves will forever be measured to their detriment. The five stars are mostly sentimental, you understand. This was the first explicit bodice ripper I ever read, read again, and read the good parts a third time. It was new and shocking and I rehashed it with my student coworkers to get us through full days at a summer job working an assembly line. Oh, how we adored the de-virginizatio ...more
*** 5++ Original Brilliant Sizzling Stars ***
Heat/ Romance (5 HOT Stars)/Plot(5 Stars)/Setting(5 Stars)/Characters (5 Stars)

My first and most beloved and reread Historical Romance - other than the Wolf and the Dove. I loved this story! I probably read it at least a half a dozen times (especially the romantic scenes) after I first read it - over 30 years ago. I recently went back and read it again - just for the nostalgia.

Readers and reviewers should keep in mind the book publication time frame,
D.L. Warner
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book that kicked Harlequin romances in the crotch and changed how romance novels were viewed by women and some men. Great action, great mystery, white shot sexuality. The total package.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I don't think this is a very realistic book, because honestly I think anyone who is supposed to be as strong as Ginny is purported to be would kill Steve the way she killed Bain. Her actions are incongruous with her personality.

Steve is a complete jerk all the way to the end, so he's consistent if nothing else. Unfortunately, he has nothing to reccomend him besides being a jerk. Women do like having sex with jerks, but eventually wise up and realize the man is a loser. So, for this stor
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! LOVED IT!!! Pure unadulterated entertainment from THE Rosemary Rogers. This is what I call a fulfilling read baby! This book has it all - great writing, brilliant plot, adventure+romance with the perfect amount of wtf factor, but let's get straight to the point. My favourite thing about this book is the current owner of my heart - Steve Morgan. Aaaah what do I say about my dearest Esteban...? What I really liked about his character is how he remained a jerk till the end of the book lol ...more
Susan (the other Susan)
The Mother of All Bodice Rippers. None are worthy. Note that there are TWO listings for this classic title on Goodreads. Two Steves, yay.
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Abandoned at page 125. I could not get interested in the plot. It just seemed to drag on, and I didn't care for any of the characters. It's just not for me.
Fabian Davy
Dec 23, 2010 rated it really liked it

And that was partly because it was so sensual, raw and explicit to a then 17 years old boy. 12 years on, and I can still remember vividly the exact title of the book, word by word. I remember well the white cover with the 70's style font rendition and... who could have forgotten about the red tint that surrounded the edge of the pages. Yes, this book was released in 1974 - I read it in 1998. Despite the already ancient look and feel of the physical appearance of the book - the
Circa Girl
Rosemary Rogers rarely disappoints to entertain or shock with a good bit of wtf-ness, and judging by the claims of many reviews, I expected her debut work to be an explosion of forced seduction, hate sex, non-pc abusive heroes and drama galore. What I got was surprisingly run of the mill for a bodice ripper and certainly run of the mill for a Rogers romance.

The opening letter from the publisher on the battered copy I managed from the local book store was even more of tease, eagerly promoting th
Mar 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-romance
This was literaly the first romance I ever read was when I was young. Of course, now I'm 45 and the love scenes have been surpassed by a few other writers but they're still good. I was first married and my mother-in-law gave it to me when she saw how bored I was since I was allowed to work. I remember being shocked by the romance scenes. I was fascinated by the incredibly strong-willed leading lady. Not to mention the very forceful hero. I have read this book many times and it never fails me. I ...more
As good as I remembered. ;)
Feb 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I dislike this book for so many reasons, won't even bother naming them.
Regan Walker
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Worthy Classic That Influenced the Genre of Historical Romance, But More Savage than Love.

This was Rogers’ first novel and it became a best seller and an all time classic in modern historical romance. Her writing is superb and her storytelling truly excellent. Published in 1974, it was also one of the first to throw open the bedroom door and include subjects like rape and violence against the heroine, all woven into an intricate plot. Set in the late 1800s in the American West and Mexico (duri
Jun 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet Savage Love is the story of the beautiful daughter of a U.S. Senator who was raised by her in-laws in France named Ginny Brandon. She journeys to America to be with her father and his new wife. Used to a fine style of living, Ginny soon finds herself on a wagon train west with her stepmother guarded by the ruggedly handsome Steve Morgan. Much adventure ensues.

Sweet Savage Love is a romance in the old school. In that there are scenes of violence towards women and the type of romance that re
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Classic Trash: Sweet Savage Love: In Progress (No Spoilers Please) 9 8 Dec 12, 2016 10:27AM  
Classic Trash: Sweet Savage Love: Finished (Spoilers) 4 18 Dec 05, 2016 09:33PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Flame and the Flower (Birmingham, #1)
  • Ashes in the Wind
  • Captive Bride
  • The Wolf and the Dove
  • Shanna
  • Lions and Lace (Van Alen Sisters #1)
  • A Rose in Winter
  • Moonstruck Madness (Dominick, #1)
  • This Other Eden (Eden, #1)
  • The Silver Devil
  • Fires of Winter (Haardrad Viking Family, #1)
  • The Elusive Flame (Birmingham, #3)
  • The Conqueror (deWarenne Dynasty, #1)
  • Prisoner of My Desire
  • Secret Fire
  • Royal Seduction (Royal, #1)
  • The Velvet Promise (Velvet Montgomery Annuals Tetralogy #1)
  • A Season Beyond a Kiss
See similar books…
There is more than one author with this name

Rosemary Jansz Navaratnam Rogers Kadison

Rosemary Jansz was born on 7 December 1932 in Panadura, Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka), she was the oldest child of Dutch-Portuguese settlers, Barbara "Allan" and Cyril Jansz. Her father was a wealthy educator who owned three posh private schools. She was raised in colonial splendor: dozens of servants, no work, s

Other books in the series

Legend of Morgan-Challenger (6 books)
  • Dark Fires (Brandon-Morgan #2)
  • Lost Love, Last Love (Brandon-Morgan #3)
  • Savage Desire (Brandon-Morgan #4)
  • Bound by Desire (Brandon-Morgan #5)
  • Wicked Loving Lies (Brandon-Morgan #6)

Related Articles

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team...
54 likes · 11 comments