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Elusive Flame (Birmingham Book 3) by [Woodiwiss, Kathleen E.]
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Elusive Flame (Birmingham Book 3) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 222 customer reviews

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

Amazon.com 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: 790 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: #34,802 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kathleen Woodiwiss wrote the first historical romance I ever read. I read "Shanna" when I was 15, and it was the standard by which I judged further novels I read. 18 years later I can still remember the names of all of the 'bit players' in that book, because Ms. Woodiwiss used to spend time developing her minor characters. I have found her work since "Come Love A Stranger" to be shallow and unworthy of the steep price commanded by a new Woodiwiss novel.
I have heard that six or eight years ago Ms. Woodiwiss became a born-again Christian and turned away from sensuality in her novels. All deference to her religious conviction aside, it seems that she has also turned from character development, ingenuity, and plausibility.
I still have my dog-eared copies of "The Flame and the Flower", "The Wolf and the Dove", "Shanna", "A Rose in Winter", and "Ashes in the Wind", but I'll not be reading any more new Woodiwiss novels.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved Beau and Cerynise. Reading the first two in the series, was really invested in a story for Beau. Cerynise is beautiful, sweet and talented - loved a historical heroine who has a talent - and Beau is similar to his father. Cerynise ends up under Beau's protection just like Beau's mother did with his father. Suspenseful as well a romantic - not a greatly intellectual novel, but well written and enjoyable, an effort made to write in the language and thought- style of the time rather than characters who speak like they live in current times with a few words dropped in to give a pretense of being set in their time.
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