10 Steamy, Fantastically Ridiculous Romance Novels Starring 'Savages'

September 06, 2013

In the grand history of literature written in English, Cassie Edwards is not even a footnote. But in the romance-novel genre, she would get her own chapter. And in the American-Indian-themed-romance-novel subgenre? Well, she wrote the whole damn book. Actually, she wrote at least 85 damn books in the American-Indian-themed-romance-novel subgenre. (Her total career output in all subgenres was at least 106 books, based on her page at Fantastic Fiction.)

Cassie Edwards, who has won the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award and the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, was born in 1936 and is, as far as we know, alive and well. Her career, though, hit the skids when she was exposed in a serious plagiarism scandal. (Writing tip: If you want to make your Indian hero sound wooden and humorless, steal his dialogue from published nature writing.)

Those who enjoy romance novels say they are a distraction, an escape from the real world. Mindless entertainment -- no better or worse, perhaps, than watching sports or playing video games. But mindless fun isn't the same thing as harmless fun -- particularly when you're mindlessly hammering away at the same stereotype. 

Of those at-least 85 books about ripped Indian men sweeping overwhelmed white women off their feet, at least 52 of them start with the word "Savage." That was kind of Edwards' thing: Books about Indian men and white ladies entitled Savage _____.

Does this strike anyone else as incredibly -- savagely -- wrong?

SAVAGE FIRES: Josephine Taylor Stanton gives up on love after a train wreck leaves her in a wheelchair. But when a handsome Indian chief named Wolf comes to help fight for the rights of his people, he loses his heart to this tender-hearted woman of courage and strength.

SAVAGE HERO: She thought her heart would break, until rescue came in the form she least expected; a powerful Crow warrior whose gentle eyes promised she would know nothing but tenderness at his hands. This beautiful man was both her savior and her enemy, her . . . Savage Hero.

SAVAGE DESTINY: Why would a wealthy Louisiana planter marry an Indian woman? townsfolk asked. Or raise two copper-skinned sons as though they were white? Only trouble would come of it. . . . Red Feather had grown up sensing a vital difference between his father's sons, and when his brother gambled away his mail-order bride, he knew that his younger sibling was obsessed with beating him.

SAVAGE HONOR: Shawndee Sibley longed for fancy dresses and a man who would take her away from her miserable life in Silver Creek. But the only men she even encountered were the drunks in her mother's tavern, where she had to dress as a boy for her own protection. Then warrior Shadow Hawk captured the Sibley's "son".

SAVAGE SKIES: Shirleen has always been self-reliant and adventurous, but after dealing with a husband who beat her, the disappearance of her four-year-old daughter and kidnapping at the hands of the notorious Comanche renegade Big Nose, she's almost given up hope. When the most handsome man she's ever seen sweeps in to rescue her, she sees a man in whom she can finally put her trust. Her troubles might seem an overwhelming burden, but Chief Blue Thunder's broad shoulders are equal to the task. And his hard body promises to lift her on wings of pleasure and send her soaring amid -- Savage Skies

SAVAGE HOPE: With help from the guiding beams of the local lighthouse, the Makah Indians of the Pacific Northwest made a successful living from the sea. Chief Bright Arrow was proud of the quiet, peaceful life he led with his people. But his idyllic world changed the day he passed by a frozen pond and saw a golden-haired angel dancing across the ice as if by magic - until, after a loud crack, the young woman fell into the frigid water.

SAVAGE DEVOTION: Sailing the deep, clear waters of the Puget Sound, beautiful red-haired Janice Edwards was bound for a new beginning. Leaving behind the wealth and luxury shed known in San Francisco, she hoped to find a simpler, sweeter life in the towering forests of Tacoma... and a man who would love her for who she was, not what she had. But when the steamer Hope was wrecked by a sudden storm, Janice was rescued by a man like none she'd ever known. Tall, with muscular limbs and a powerful chest revealed by his buckskin clothing, he was a Skokomish Indian--from all she'd heard, a savage to be feared. Yet in his gray eyes she saw tender caring, in his strong arms she discovered untold passion, and in his wild heart she would find... Savage Devotion.

SAVAGE HEART: Lured by fortune, Christa and her family leave the comforts of Boston for the rugged hills of the Pacific Northwest. But tragedy strikes when her parents are taken by cholera, leaving Christa and her brother David with nothing but an isolated cabin to their names. The only escape from poverty lies in Christa's untouched beauty being sold to the highest bidder - and David knows just the man to marry her...But Christa rebels against reason - and riches. Her fiery heart belongs to no man. Yet in the fateful instant her eyes touch upon a perfect stranger, she proves herself wrong. Lean, dark and utterly forbidden, Tall Cloud is the powerful chief of the Suquamish Indians - and Christa's destiny. Now nothing can come between a passion that knows no boundaries - neither an enraged brother, nor a savage enemy from a rival tribe...


SAVAGE TRUST: For beautiful, golden-haired Yvette, the train ride west to a new beginning had brought only death and disappointment. First her father had been killed by renegades, and then the man she'd promised to marry had been revealed as a reclusive cattle baron more than twice her age. When still another derailment landed her in the muscular arms of a very different suitor, Yvette didn't know what to think. Tall and lithe, Cloud Walker was sought after by all the women of his tribe, but his midnight dark gaze said the blue-eyed beauty was the only one for him. Though their love was forbidden, thought their passion might bring heartache, she knew her life was on track at last.

SAVAGE FLAMES: After her husband is murdered and her daughter disappears, Lavinia Price ventures alone into the Florida Everglades, where she is rescued by Seminole chieftain Wolf Dancer, a passionate and gentle warrior who has a special gift.



Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on

Nothing but a load of buffalo s#%t by some washichu female for bored females. Harloquin Romance themed books are nothing but written trash for lonely& bored females who wish they had a life. Nothing but shameful trash that is an insult to anyone with an ounce of decency & respect of the Creator & First Nations people.

If anyone wants to know the true stories about our many peoples across Turtle Island read the history as written by OUR peoples. Truth is many times more fascinating & interesting than some white woman's perceived notion of our men & women.

Please do NOT waste your time reading garbage that is shameful to the Great Spirit, our many tribal nations, clans & families. Fill your minds with good things that show respect & honor to all of our many people across Indian Country.

hammertime's picture
Submitted by hammertime on

it sounds like ths lady has some serious personal issues and needs to fabricate these desires in print....and she has found a way to make a living doing it .... this kind of trash only appeals to a bunch
of bored lonely old white house wives that have nothing better to do with their time......

its a shame to see anyone in any culture fill their heads with garbage like this when their is so many better things they could read or do with their time.......

chahta ohoyo
Submitted by chahta ohoyo on

halito!!! 'romance' novels are nothing but puerile drivel anyway...i wouldnt be caught dead reading one about persons of any racial persuasion...i say toss cassie's in the trash where they belong, or use them for fire starters...yeccccccch...

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on

Here's some info from Wiki:

Edwards began writing romances in 1982 and released her 100th novel, Savage Skies, on August 28, 2007.[2] Although her earlier books were classic historical romances, the vast majority of her novels involve Native American tribes.[2] Edwards's grandmother was Cheyenne. Her first 99 books sold a combined 10 million copies as of August 2007, with her more recent novels averaging sales of 250,000–350,000 copies.

I'm more angry that she was such a prolific author who was later accused of plagarism. It was why Signet Books dropped her. Still, having a grandmother who is Cheyenne doesn't give one the right to insinuate we're all "savages." Her first book was written in 1982 which is well into the period where she SHOULD have known how sensitive the term "savage" would be.