Sunday, June 15, 2008

Review – Sweet Savage Love



Title: Sweet Savage Love
Author: Rosemary Rogers
Publishing Date: 1974
Genre: Historical (Western)
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot

Wow, the drama! Where should I begin with this book? I have to say, this was quite the read. On the one hand, I loved it. On the other hand, I hated it. It is a difficult book to rate because the writing of the story was so compelling and griping and yet, at the same time, the main character, the hero Steve, was not at all likeable. So in the end, I will do the best I can to summarize my thoughts of this sweeping saga.

At the beginning of the book, America is in the middle of its Civil War. Steve Morgan is an officer of the North sent to Louisiana for duty. While there he fights in a duel with a higher ranking officer and shoots and kills him. His punishment is execution. He is offered another alternative and that is to work as an off-the-record agent of the United States. He will basically be known as an outlaw and deserter while secretly working on extremely covert and dangerous missions. His own safety will be in his own hands.

Four years down the road, he is given a mission to intercept a wagon load of gold being transported to Mexico. On this mission he meets Ginny Brandon, the senator’s twenty year old, head-strong daughter. She catches his eye and try as he might he can’t seem to stay away from her. When the mission takes a turn for the worst, Steve kidnaps Ginny to save his own hide. What ensues is an epic love story of high drama and intrigue.

Sweet Savage Love is a long, emotional rollercoaster of a book. Ginny was an amazing character. Her personality leapt off the pages of this book. I loved her. In the beginning of the story, she was a young girl with silly spoiled ideals who grew into a strong compelling woman by the end. The journey she traveled to go from one to the other was a dark, brutal one. It was hard to read at times, but I admired her will and drive to survive and get what she wanted.

Steve on the other hand was not so great a character. He made some bad choices that I found hard to forgive in a hero. Steve was not even hero material, in my humble opinion. He was cruel and mean to Ginny and always ready to think the worst of her. You name it, he did it to her. Personally, Steve was not my cup of tea, but to Ginny he was a God. One thing that I did like about the book was how true each of them stayed to character. Neither one ever made any excuse for their behavior. They just accepted each other for who they were, warts and all.

*Warning* There is rape in this book, not once, but multiple times, by multiple people.

15 comments:

Ana said...

argh. Thanks for the warning! *shudders*

nath said...

I've never read Rosemary Rogers... and I was thinking that there was probably a rape... but then, mutiple times by multiple ppl?? *shudders too*

Thanks for the review :D

Katie(babs) said...

Rape? Ick.
Ah the good old bodice rippers of the 70's!

Kristie (J) said...

LOL I love how you always link to other people who've read the book too. But in this one no link. I think you're the only person I know who's reviewed it!!
Yes, I read this one many, many years ago. I think there is actually 3 or 4 in the series of Steve and Ginny. I read 2 or 3. By the third one, I quit reading romance for years.
That's how they were written back them. All I can say is I'm glad they don't write them like that anymore to quote a favourite song.

Jill D. said...

Yeah, this story was so hard to read at times. What Ginny went through was horrible. Even Steve at one point in the book is as much a victim as Ginny is. I shuddered too as I was reading it.

Kristie, LOL, to my knowledge nobody else has reviewed it. I searched and didn't find a review. I didn't look over at AAR. I will have to see if they have a review.

I have to take these old bodice rippers in small doses. I do enjoy a good epic romance every once in a while.

I had no idea that there are more to the Steve and Ginny saga. My goodness, I don't know if I can take anymore. (I might have to look into it though).

nath said...

I wonder if how Ms Rogers style has changed over the years! I think she's having a book coming out this summer... (her name caught my attention, because of this review lol)... Don't you ever wonder how the authors who've been writing for so long have changed their style?

Jill D. said...

Nath, I did a little research on Rogers and indeed she does have a book coming out in August. I didn't realize she was still currently writing. I would be intrigued to see how her writing style is today. I think I may have to read a few more of her books. She has published over 15 books through the years. I don't really know where to start though.

P.A.Brown said...

I read this series maybe 30 years ago. At the time I enjoyed them, though I did get tired of the constant violent sex towards the end. Rogers wrote another book after this series that was even more horrific. I stopped reading her after that. Then I stopped reading romance all together.

Jill D. said...

Hi PA Brown, Thanks for commenting! Oh my goodness, I can't believe anything could be more horrific than Sweet Savage Love.

Over at The Book Smugglers they are having a debate about romance 30 years ago vs today. You might want to check it out. I can say that todays romance is a lot different from the bodice rippers of the 70s and 80s. If you ever decide to read romance again you may want to check out Lisa Kleypas or Julia Quinn. Both are great authors in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, that this is actually one of my favorite books of all time. I agree with everybody that at times it is to violent, but to story got to me, like no book ever did. I read it non stop in one night, with tears running down my cheek. Especially the part where Ginny confronts Steve about what she went through.
You may love it, you may hate it. But it will get to you..

Jill D. said...

You may love it, you may hate it. But it will get to you.. So true!

Chris Dee said...

Hi, this comment is coming a little late (lol) but I was just going down memory lane and realised that Sweet Savage Love was the book that got to me the most when I read it like 32 years ago. On googling it I saw your blog and had to add my note (late or no).
The book was awesome and I can safely say that no book can ever make that kind of impression in me. I suspect I am a bit of a perv but I actually think those rape scenes were realistic given the timing and setting of the book. Cheers if you are still here!

vanessarad said...

I really enjoyed this book actually. I think people shouldn't be so naive to think 19th century men were all like Mr Darcy! Its 19th century wild west! Unfortunately this is quite a realistic portrayal of how women were treated and often fell in love with men like this. People shouldn't get so offended and accept the reality of the time.

vanessarad said...

I really enjoyed this book actually. I think people shouldn't be so naive to think 19th century men were all like Mr Darcy! Its 19th century wild west! Unfortunately this is quite a realistic portrayal of how women were treated and often fell in love with men like this. People shouldn't get so offended and accept the reality of the time.

vanessarad said...

I really enjoyed this book actually. I think people shouldn't be so naive to think 19th century men were all like Mr Darcy! Its 19th century wild west! Unfortunately this is quite a realistic portrayal of how women were treated and often fell in love with men like this. People shouldn't get so offended and accept the reality of the time.