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Elusive Flame (Birmingham Book 3) Kindle Edition

199 customer reviews

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Length: 496 pages Word Wise: Enabled Matchbook Price: $1.99 What's this?
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Complete Series

Editorial Reviews Review

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

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 695 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0380807866
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reissue edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Publication Date: October 13, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC11KG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,404 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

With more than thirty-six million copies of her bestselling novels already in print, Kathleen E. Woodiwiess remains one of America's most successful and beloved storytellers. She is the author of twelve enormously successful masterworks of romantic fiction, including The Flame and the Flower, Shanna, Ashes in the Wind, Petals on the River, and The Elusive Flame.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Condit on December 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really love Kathleen's books. I first read "The Flame and the Flower" twenty years ago and I have reread it so many times that I've had to buy four books! I've read all of her books and loved everyone of them. This book was great. I was so happy to find out what had happened to Brandon and Heather. The only thing I didn't like was that this book came out before "A Season Beyond a Kiss" which is Jeff's(Brandon's brother) story. The love scenes in this book are as hot and sensual as all of her other books. Beau is a wonderful hero just like his father. And Cerynise is just strong enough to handle him yet appear shy and fragile at the same time. Buy this book and reread it again and again.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Flame & the Flower is my favorite romance novel of all time, having read it at least 15 times, and I always hoped the author would write a sequel about this fascinating family. Twenty-five years later I got my wish with The Elusive Flame. I didn't care that it focused on Beau as an adult. I knew that Woodiwiss, with her great writing style, would do something with this character and create a great storyline. But, disappointingly, something fell short. After reading it through, all I could think of was that I wished she had done things differently. The beginning of the book starts out good, with the usual evil relative leaving Cerynise destitute. You have to feel sympathy for the heroine, and you do with her, but I just couldn't believe that she always loved Beau, and I couldn't believe that Beau would be so quick to marry her just to help her in a bind and then fall just as quickly in love with her. Perhaps if the author had written a prologue of when Cerynise and Beau were younger, writing in more detail about the times when she teased him in class, when he rescued her from bullies and others that picked on her, and the moments when she would ride with him on his horse, then we could believe that these two people were meant for each other. Once they admit their true feelings to each other, the story goes flat. How many times can you read about their tremendous devotion and their acts of lovemaking that reach incredible heights without getting bored? The best thing about a romance novel is the tension, the separation and the range of feelings leading up to the realization of love, and Woodiwiss gets them together too fast, leaving the reader nowhere to go. I wish that Beau had another woman in his life.Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J.J. Macken on November 21, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have nerver read Kathleen Woodiwiss before, so The Elusive Flame was my first and I'm sorry to say my last taste of a Woodiwiss romance.
I noticed that a lot of reviewers were judging it against other Woodiwiss novels they have read over the years. Being only 21 I havent had much access to the Historical romance novels of the 80's and 90's and can only judge it against the more recent offerings I have read.

The Elusive Flame was unbelievably hard for me to finish, I found it trite, annoying and repetitive.
The characters were completely unbelievably. Cerynise is NAUSEATINGLY perfect. She's completely gorgeous, is so gifted a painter she is often compared to the renaissance masters (Her paintings sell for thousands of dollars), she speaks french "As well as any native" and the author often referres to her as being blessed with, "A hilarious dry wit" and Beau, for reasons unknown to me, wants not only her body, but her lovely company. Everyone on the ship thinks Cerynise is a goddess and metaphorcally kiss her feet. In fact, apart from the two main villains, everyone who meets Cerynise thinks the sun rises and sets for her. WHY? The author telling us that Cerynise has a hilarious dry wit and a wonderful effusive nature does not mean she does. I never laughed at one think Cerynise said. She was the most one dimensional character I have ever read. Even romance heroines need some human flaws and failings to make them relatable or at least understandable to readers. Cerynise is so perfect that after one night of rushed sex she is pregnant and nine months later gives birth to the perfect little boy and then four weeks after that her body is back to the exact slender perfection she enjoyed before her pregnancy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mandy on June 28, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My mother has always been a fan of Kathleen Woodiwiss and has tried, unsuccessfully, my whole life to get me to read and enjoy her books. I've tried, "Shanna," "The Wolf and the Dove," and all the others, but never could get into them. However, when my mom bought her copy of "The Elusive Flame" I figured I'd try to again read "The Flame and The Flower" because I tend to like series. I wasn't dissapointed. "The Flame and The Flower" was excellent and by the time I finished "The Elusive Flame" I found myself digging all the other Woodiwiss novels out and planning to read them. I've read some of the other bland reviews of "The Elusive Flame" and wonder, did you all read the same book I did? The characters were *not* one demensional, they were very much like Brandon and Heather. You'd expect Beau to be like his father, which he is and you'd expect him to fall for someone like his mother -- which he did. Cerynise is a lot like Heather in so many ways, the only difference being that Cerynise is a little more outspoken. All in all, it was a great read and one I'll visit many times in the future. I anxiously await the next book in the sage that began with Heather and Bradon. Thank you, Ms. Woodiwiss for an excellent book and a great group of characters!
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