A woman in desperate straits ... A fearless 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 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.
Romance novelist Woodiwiss's sequel to her perennial bestseller The Flame and the Flower (1972) continues the story of Heather and Brandon Birmingham's son, Beauregard. Set in 1825 England and the Carolinas, it's a bit more politically correct than the earlier book. Notorious for beginning her stories with the rape of the heroine by the hero, Woodiwiss nods to current sensibilities by having the heroine almost raped by the hero, but here Beau is excused because he's feverish and delirious, and also because plucky Cerynise Edlyn Kendall doesn't seem to mind the experience. Beau's a dashing sea captain (as was his sire, Brandon), and Cerynise is an orphan thrown out on the mean London streets by the villain who usurped her guardian's wealth. (Readers will remember that Beau's mother, Heather, was also an orphan thrown out on the London streets.) In standard Woodiwiss form, the hero and heroine, though burning with lust for each other, are separated by willfulness and misunderstanding. Cerynise's pregnancy brings hot hunk Beau to heel, and they wed--an almost mirror image of Brandon and Heather's relationship. A vicious pair of London villains and an equally vicious trio of villains in Charleston add a new twist to the story and allow Woodiwiss to invent a melodramatic climax in a storm-buffeted house. The prose is stilted, the plot hackneyed and both dialogue and settings pay little attention to historical accuracy.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I have read this book several times and I never tire of the Birmingham characters. I love how Kathleen E. Woodiwiss brought her characters from The Flame and the Flower to this one. She makes you feel everything they are experiencing. Great book!!
This is the best of the three Birmingham book. The first may have introduced sex (oh, the horror!) to the genre, but it was laughably tame. And the dialogue, in the first two books, was so horribly stilted and unrealistic, I practically gagged reading it. I only slogged on through the trilogy because of its historical significance and its glowing reviews. I’m so glad that I found books by Eloisa James, first, or I would have never picked up another historical romance.
She did it again.
She kept me interested all the way through. I love her work.