It is difficult for an author to choose a favorite from among her own books, especially when she has been lucky enough - as I have - to make a career out of doing what she loves. But some stories are memorable because they mark an important milestone in an author’s life, and for me, perhaps none is more special than Island Flame - my very first book. I was thrilled when it was published, and now, more than thirty years later, I am just as excited to share it again with you.
Island Flame is a classic tale of romance on the high seas, featuring two extraordinary characters: the headstrong Lady Catherine Aldley and the legendary pirate Jonathan Hale. I don’t have to tell you that their tumultuous escapade sizzles with passion (lots of passion!), but what I hope you will take away most from Cathy and Jonathan is that dreams do come true - in love and in life. Mine did, and I hope yours will too.
I look forward to sharing many more adventures together in the future.
©2012 Karen Robards (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
If you enjoy the old bodice rippers, this one is a great example of the genre without the multi-partner element that many of the more 'hardcore' BRs have. It's disturbing at times and I would advise treading very carefully if you are triggered by domestic abuse and consent issues. There were times when I was feeling quite upset myself. If this were a contemporary, I wouldn't have made it through. I'm able to tolerate things in a historical that I can't in a contemporary, because I try and put on the filter of the times/culture. This book is action packed and I never became bored. It also wasn't entirely predictable like some romances. Hence the rating.
Re: the audio - Justine Eyre did an excellent job with the narration. Her Charleston accent wasn't correct, but it wasn't jarring or annoying to me. I could overlook it.
John is a real pirate. He is a complete d-bag for the most part and can be quite frightening. If you want to know the level of violence toward the h, here's a spoiler.
He never slaps or punches her, but there's a lot of noncon/dubcon going on and at least one case of a rather brutal rape after she deliberately makes him jealous. He does give her a bruising bare-bottom spanking in the beginning. There are also many threats and lots of incidents of him using his "bruising grip" and calling her "bitch" and other sweet nothings. At times, he really could be the starring example in the 'How to tell if you're in an abusive relationship' pamphlet. (hide spoiler)] Anyway, I honestly only liked him for a brief period of time. Some may argue that the villain of the piece was Cathy's father, but it's John. John's insecurities, anyway. The actions of her father were clearly those of a man who loves his only child and thinks he's doing what's best for her. He went too far, but he had the social status and sense of entitlement to allow him to do things most fathers would only be able to dream about.
***** End Spoiler *****
I was surprised that I ended up loving Cathy. The first chapter sets her up to be self-centered, spoiled, willful, etc... all the things that make for your stereotypical foot stomping heroine. She was all those things, but she was also smart and able to learn from her mistakes and genuinely cared about people. She was not a malicious person even if she was always scheming and sometimes bratty. She did run off into danger once *eye roll*, but under the circumstances it didn't make me want to scream. She was a captive after all, she had to try to escape at least once. She was also 17 and extremely sheltered and privileged. Robards did a great job of taking a girl from her background with all the accompanying haughtiness of a beautiful woman of her station along with the basic self-centered ways of a teen and showing how she learns and grows. She really cracked me up at times and I found myself cheering her on. Cathy was a strong woman in the making and I loved that she didn't immediately fall in love with John. She also didn't buy the response = consent bull he was always spouting at her when she accused him of rape.
If you want an exciting bodice ripper with a pirate who's not from a Disney movie, then this is the place to go. However, as much as I enjoyed this book I'm not so sure about the sequel. It kind of depresses me to think that they may go through the same cycle of John's mistrust AGAIN. Not sure I could stomach it. I prefer to believe that he learned to trust Cathy after the 'big reveal' and stop all his ridiculous tomfoolery. At the very least, I'm going to let it sit for a while
Someone misogynistic or masochistic.
She performed all the character's fine, the story line was so repulsive I cannot imaging how she managed it.
Disgust and disappointment that a women would write about falling in love with your rapist / kidnapper and because he says, I'm sorry she loves him. He promises it will never happen again but of course, it does and she forgives him and they live happily ever after.
Rape, Abuse, Stockholm Syndrome and Romance don't go together for me!
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
As much as I love Karen Robards newer mystery/romance books, I am not a fan of the older ones. This is the 3rd or 4th older book that I have read and as I previous stated I'm not a fan of the older books. I had purchased this book 3 years ago because it was a Karen Robards book and it was on sale, but after reading the reviews I was leery about reading it. But since it is way past time to return it I figured I would go ahead and give it a try. Well that try only lasted about 2 hours before I realized all the bad reviews were correct there is kidnapping, abuse both verbally and physically . Not to mention rape and the author doesn't even sugar coat it and she calls it rape too. To me this is not romance and if the girl falls for him, then it can only be Stockholm Syndrome, but I will never know if she does since I stopped listening at that point. Also all this happened with in the first 2 hours. Narrator was okay, not to annoying for an English accent reading she just didn't have a lot to work with.
Time spent commuting passes by much easier listening to books. I prefer romance books but I do enjoy other books as well.
There is nothing that could have made this book better. There is NOTHING romantic about a 30 something year old man who physically and emotionally abuses a 17 yr old girl. I don't care whether it was written now or 30 yrs ago, abuse is NOT romantic. Viciously spanking a young girl until she is black and blue and forcing her to call him "master" after raping her is NOT romantic. It's also not entertaining. I've seen reviews which claimed "My Favorite" and "Best Book Ever". Seriously??? If anyone really thinks this kind of behavior is romantic, in my opinion, they clearly need therapy. There is a long long way between being a dominant male lead character and being a brute who repeatedly rapes and beats and belittles a young girl. The only explanation for the young girl "loving" him would be something like Stockholm Syndrome.
I am a big fan of Karen Robards. Fortunately, I have read most of her other books before reading this trash. If I hadn't, I probably would have never read her other books.
NOTHING. There is absolutely nothing that would make beating and raping a young girl enjoyable for me to read.
Honestly, this book was so bad that I really didn't even notice whether the narrator was any good or not. I was too busy wanting to throw up. I trashed it less than halfway through,
ALL of them.
Karen has written many many wonderful books. Don't hesitate to read those. Just don't waste your time with this one. I honestly wish I could erase it from memory.
This book was bad from start to finish.The story is aweful.and the narration is even worse
If you like overbearing men with a rape fedish and women who never find a backbone this might be for you.This book wasn't worth the money or my time
The story held my interest even though I find John to be nothing more than a rapist and a brute. Kathy's biggest fault was that she fell in love with the creep.
Totally addicted to Audible.
I love a good historical romance - does not have to be heavy on plot but this "hero" is not one. He is a violent, abusive man who calls the "heroine" horrible names and physically assaults her. Not a favorite at all.
Justine did a a wonderful job...too bad she had to read awful material.
I would have deleted the book.
I have never been so angry at a book until now... rape (a lot of rape) and mistrust and violence are not love. This is all you get in this book and when awful things are done to the main character she forgives way too easily. Why this book has been re-released I am not sure. If I was Karen Robards, I would be very embarrassed that I wrote an awful, offensive and disturbing book.
I love Karen Robards' books. But this one and it's sequel are horrible. The characters are not true to life. They are so exaggerated and one dimensional. It was too painful to listen to the entire book.
No. I've read enough of Karen Robards books to ignore these two.
The writing was so bad that no narrator could have improved it.
The whole book
This book was one of the best (top 10 books) I have every listened to on audible. Loved both characters, Cathy and John; however, cruel in the beginning John became the lovable adoring hero in the end; Cathy was determined, dedicated yet naïve at times......... but their love endured. I cannot understand where the Island flame title came from; they were only on the island for 1-2 chapter s. What is going on with the book’s cover page, Cathy is blonde not a red head.
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