Taboos & Sequels

I had an interesting email today from a reader in Brazil, asking for information on Charlotte Lamb's bestselling novel A VIOLATION, published by Fontana Paperbacks in 1983.

A VIOLATION is about Clare Forrester, a woman who is attacked and raped in her own home, and who is subsequently unable to feel comfortable being intimate with a man. When Larry is insistent in his pursuit of Clare, his proximity tests her ability to feel again and to let a man get close without flashing back to the rape.

Rape, of course, is a difficult subject for any writer to tackle, but for a romantic novelist to take on this controversial topic in the eighties and produce such a fascinating and successful book is an astonishing and laudable achievement.

The lady who emailed me wanted to know if there was a sequel to A VIOLATION and also complained about the general lack of helpful blurbs and other information on sites such as Amazon. There was no sequel to A VIOLATION; indeed, apart from specially commissioned sequences of books such as the Barbary Wharf novels, I can't think of any Charlotte Lamb romances that were sequels. Except once perhaps, when she wrote a novel called DARK DOMINION which featured a second male lead; later, she wrote another romance featuring the same character.

DARK DOMINION was one of her best romances, in my opinion, with sparky, realistic and memorable characters, and a strong vibrant plot that kept you guessing to the last few pages. It was first published by Mills & Boon in 1979, though it's been reprinted in various formats and by other publishers since, and involves Caroline Fox having to decide between James, the forbidding but darkly charismatic barrister she has married, and fun sexy Jake, a famous actor she's known since their days at drama school together, who comes back into her life at a time of crisis in her marriage - the crisis having been precipitated by a miscarriage.

The novel is written with humour and sensitivity, and a wry understanding of the temptations for married women when things start going wrong at home. Although written in a different idiom from A VIOLATION, this was quite a daring plot for its time, stepping away from the one-hero, one-heroine format more common in romances of the 70s and early 80s, and coming close to suggesting adultery. More taboos being explored and broken!

If you're interested in reading it, DARK DOMINION is available to buy at Abe Books.

I can't find the sequel among my collection of Charlotte Lambs, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was called SAVAGE SURRENDER. Unfortunately, I can't check that on the net, because although it's available in various places online, none of them describe the plot and I shall not be in a position to buy a copy until next month. So if anyone out there owns a copy of SAVAGE SURRENDER and can tell me whether or not the hero's name is Jake, that should clear it up!


  1. "So if anyone out there owns a copy of SAVAGE SURREN AlexDER and can tell me whether or not the hero's name is Jake, that should clear it up!"

    I pulled out my copy of SAVAGE SURRENDER and the hero's name is Alex. :-)

  2. Thanks Seton!

    I often re-read these older romances last thing at night after a long working day, as a sort of comfort food for the psyche, and the gaps in my library do need filling so I can revisit books like this, which I only remember from my childhood (I was an early reader of romances, for obvious reasons!) - time for a trip to Abebooks, I think!

    Jane x

  3. Hello,
    I just ran across this site today while I was trying to find the titles and descriptions of all of Charlotte Lamb books. She is one of my favorite authors, and I re-read her books quite often. I thought I would let you know, if you haven't found out already, that the sequel to Dark Dominion is A Secret Intimacy. Jake Redway and Sasha are the main characters. I just re-read the two books the other day. Hope this was helpful.

  4. Hello Anon!

    A very Happy New Year to you, and many thanks for the information, which is indeed useful.

    A Secret Intimacy, yes! And wasn't Jake wonderful as a hero? Funny and dark and sexy at the same time. I shall scour my shelves now, just in case I've overlooked it somewhere. Otherwise, I guess I shall have to wait to enjoy that marvellous book until I can buy it online somewhere.

    Thank you so much.


  5. No sign of this book yet. Sure it's the right title?

    Still looking ...


  6. The hero of Savage Surrender is Alex Lefkas - the heroine is Sophie who takes a position as Alex's mother's companion on a Greek Island. It is another of the strand of novels like The Long Surrender and Dark Dominion where Lamb is unflinching about portraying the dark side of love: the violence and jealousy.


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