Historical Romance 101: Introduction and Why I Love Historical Romance

Historical Romance 101Welcome Everyone!! This is the start to Historical Romance 101, this is the first installment of a series of various thoughts that we have on our love of Historical Romance. I am on a join effort with three other fellow bloggers who also have a passion for historical romance. We have Jennifer @ Feminist Fairy Tale Review, Quinn @ Quinns Book Nook, and Anna @ On A Book Bender. 

Why I Love Historical Romance

There is a reason that I adore this genre above any other. For many years it was the only genre in romance novels I would Catherine and the Pirateever read. Of late however, I have delved a bit more in paranormal and contemporary. But it’s always a treat to read a historical. There are multiple ways that Historical romance has always spoken to me. When I first starting reading romance I was 16 (and yes I got into it young and am so glad that I did), the first one was a historical romance…and to this day I still love it. I got started with the Avon True Series…which is a series that Avon Publishing did a while back, it was written in mind for teens, but I feel like any romance lover would enjoy them. This series has a combination of authors you may recognize Lorraine Heath, Karen Hawkins, Meg Cabot, Kathryn Smith and Beverly Jenkins and a couple of others. The first book of that series that I read was Catherine and the Pirate by Karen Hawkins. This is a charming and witty story of a young woman who yearns for adventure and get away from society, and when her brother is kidnapped she goes for help from a certain pirate. It had wit, adventures on the seas, and some engaging scenes and this book got me hooked on romance novels…but most especially historical romance, and after ten years I am still just as addicted to the genre. I blame it on Karen Hawkins and all those starting authors that won me over. Such as Johanna Lindsey, Lisa Kleypas, Connie Mason, and Sabrina Jeffries.

1. What I enjoyed most was the variety.-Which is explained more below….but the one great thing about reading Historical Romance is the various adventures it takes you on.

2. I loved the humor–the wit and the almost subtle tones of humor that is one every page can be engaging and what is better than a love story that makes its reader burst out in laughter.

3. The Romance is classic–these love stories are some of the best I have ever read, they win your heart over and over again. Seeing the growth of a relationship, facing conflict together and overcoming certain challenges as a couple.

4. Happy Endings-I always know that going into a romance novel…that it will end in a positive way. I don’t have to worry about a sad ending or one of the characters dying at the end, or ending things all together. When I enter a world of fantasy and make-believe, I love a story that has that happy, dancing on clouds feel to it.

What is so fun about Historical Romance is the variety of tropes you can find. There is something in there for everyone. And I am not just talking about Regency romance. Yes, that is the most popular sub genre currently, and has been for the past few years, But there is plenty of other tropes you can dig a bit deeper with and I want to discuss what I love about the others. There are many authors that have stories that can go into any of these categories.

The Wolf and the Dove1. Medieval-This can contain a variety of setting and plots. This is set in a time period that goes back further than the 1700-1800’s. Medieval is a time period that I love reading about, because we get to see a time that not too many modern authors write about. You do see it somewhat with authors like Monica McCarty, Brenda Joyce, and Amanda Scott, Connie Mason and Johanna Lindsey. This trope can also take place in any country or group of people. One of my favorite tropes under this genre, is dealing with knights that have a code of honor, and where “chivalry” is high priority.

Example of Authors: Margaret Moore, Lynn Kurland, Johanna Lindsey, Connie Mason, Mary Reed MCCall, Bertrice Small, Virginia Henley

2. Regency-This is usually set in the 1800’s–this is the most well-known of historical romance. TThe Viscount Who Loved Mehis is packed with plenty of rakes, ladies, spinsters, balls and soirees. It pretty much takes place in England.

Example of Authors: Julia Quinn, Alexandra Hawkins, Sophie Jordan, Grace Burrowes, Lorraine Heath, Elizabeth Hoyt, Karen Hawkins, Sabrina Jeffries, Lisa Kleypas


Rafe3. Westerns-This is where we see plenty of cowboys, gunslinger, ranchers, outlaws and this takes place in the American West and some in Canada as well.

Example of Authors: Linda Lael Miller, Lorraine Heath, Joan Johnston, Genell Dellin, Cassie Edwards


Highlander Most Wanted

4. Scottish Highlands-These are one of my personal favorites. This is where we find those men in Kilts, sexy Scottish brogues, and we also see the formation of clans.

Example Of Authors: Julie Garwood, Paula Quinn, Sue Ellen Welfonder, Amanda Scott, Hannah Howell, Kinley MacGregor, Monica McCarty.

The Princess and the Pirate5. Piracy and Nautical–This involves stories that are based “on the sea”. We have pirate, and privateers or captains of ships. This can take place in any time line. From the dark ages to regency era.

Example of Authors: Johanna Lindsey, Sabrina Jeffries, Connie Mason, Janelle Taylor, Iris Johansen

6. Sheikhs–If this is well done, it can be sensual and Silver Angelplenty of fun plots. This can deal with sultans and sheikhs, and are usually around middle east or the orient.

Example of Authors: Nan Ryan, Bertrice Small, Doreen Owens Malek, Miriam Minger

The Vancant Chair7. Civil War-These are stories that take place in the early 1800’s, where it surrounds the events of the American Civil War, where we deal with soldiers in uniform, and southern belles, has plenty of conflict involved. In most cases the two main characters are members of either side of the war.

Example of Authors: Heather Petals On The Rive rGraham, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Lisa Gregory, Rosemary Rogers, Carolyn Rogers

8. Colonial–This is when America and Canada was first being colonized.

Example Of Authors-Jill Barnett, Elaine Fox, Tanya Anne Crosby, Lisa Gregory, Susan Wiggs

The Lover9. Native American-This is pretty self-explanatory, but I love these types. Mostly because the culture surrounding native americans is rich and full of culture and mystery.

Example of Authors: Elaine Barbieri, Cassie Edwards, Madeline Baker, Gen Bailey, Rosanne Bittner

10. Vikings–Whew…I love these sexy vikings, these are normally set in the era that Fires Of Winteris from 800-1066, and could have taken places in Scandinavia, England, and parts of Europe. These are also referred to as “Norseman” who were farmers, raiders, warriors and traveled all over.

Example of Authors: Kathryn Hockett, Johanna Lindsey, Penelope Neri, Ashland Price, Heather Graham, Betty Brooks

Lady of the Forest11. Crusades-These were about European Christian to recapture the holy lands from the muslims.

Example of Authors: Mary Reed McCall, Tina St. John, Anne Stuart, Claire Delacroix

12. Renaissance--This takes place in a time of “Rebirth” Silver Deceptionsfor Europe.

Example of Authors: Constance O Banyon, Valerie Sherwood, Maggie Osborne, Susan Wiggs
13. Roman EmpireA Noble Captive-Takes place in 31 B.C to 400 A.D)

Example of Authors: Michelle Kelly, Alyssa Morgan, Michelle Styles, Judith E French
14. Dark Ages-This is where we see a decline of culture and scientific Advances.

Example of Authors: Margo Maguire, Helen Kirkman, Morgan Llweylyn



Secret Fire 215. Russia (Various Time Periods). In this trope we see a variety of time periods, but the most popular is from the 1600-1900’s. This is so fun to read…I love reading this trope, mostly because it’s not done very much, so it’s always a treat to read from this region.

Examples of Authors: Johanna Lindsey, Iris Johansen, Patricia Grasso, Maggie Osbourne.

17 thoughts on “Historical Romance 101: Introduction and Why I Love Historical Romance

  1. I agree, historicals can take you anywhere and any time in the past and they generally give you a well developed romance plot. I started with mysteries, but historical romance was right there too. I was a teenager around fourteen, I think when my mom handed me my first frontier romance when I got bored with childrens books.


    • It is so true!! I love how there is so much unique settings for you to choose from. I do love frontier romances, they are quite fun. Have you read Prince Charming by Julie Garwood? That is a great one.


  2. I love the variety that the romance genre offers, too. Although I do tend to read Regency the most, I do love lots of other time periods too. I am such a sucker for those Highlanders, too. Have you read Julie Garwood? She’s an older writer, and doesn’t write historical romance anymore (such a shame!), but hers are some of my very favorites. I love The Secret, Ransom, The Wedding, The Bride, Saving Grace. They are just so good. They are all medieval time too, which I love. She also has Regency, a few out-west stories, and a few other medieval ones set in England.

    I love knowing that there will be a happy ending, too, with romances. But even though I know there will be a happy ending, I still feel all the emotions. Well, with the best out there anyway. 🙂


    • The variety is pretty amazing. Regency is fun though, all the pretty gowns and parties and balls. I think my favorite is medieval highlander but I do love a good pirate or western romance too. But I love variety of themes, and sometimes I like reading about other circumstances. oh Julie Garwood…she is stunning. All of her historical’s I have loved. I love The Secret and I really liked Prince Charming–thats a great frontier romance. But all of her highlander and medieval romances are some of the best books I have ever read. I wouldn’t mind if she got back to writing historical’s.


  3. When I was younger I onyl read contemporary romances, then I had a time when I only read high fantasy and once I got back to romance I started with paranormal romance, then after a while I started reading contemporary romances as well and only now I am branching out in historical romances. So it’s fun to read a post about someone who has read historical romances for so long already! I am still new to the genre so your explanation of the different sub genres is really helpfull! I never realized there was so much variety in this genre. I would love to check out some renaissance books as we learned a lot about that time period in high school. Or the native american genre sounds like I would enjoy that as well. I also would love to read a book about that tiem in history when people just started colonizing the US. And the happy ending is one of the reasons I like romance books as wel. Great post and thanks for the recomendations!


    • I do love paranormal romance as well, and I am starting to read more contemporary. But when I was younger I just read mostly Nora Roberts, but the past few years contemporary has really grown. I love that you are branching out into historical romance. I am glad that you found this a bit helpful, when I started getting into historical romance, I had no idea about anything, but its been fun over the years discovering new cultures and historical events just by reading a good historical romance. Cassie Edwards does great for native american romances. Let me know when you want to try her out and I can give you a couple of her books that are my favorites. If you go on openlibrary.org, you can read some of her books for free. Kathleen Woodiwiss has some books that you would really love if you want to try out early colonization period in the U.S. I think its amazing to me what authors can do with historical romance, and it can take you back to any period of time or culture. I do hope you have fun with it.


  4. Oh my word. So many I’ve not read. I love historicals as well. They really are lovely. It’s funny how your first reading can have such an impact. Mine was paranormal. I branched out quickly though. It is a treat though, you’re right, getting to dig into a historical 🙂


    • haha…well this genre has quite a bit of books in it because of the large variety that it contains, but hope you get to try a few of these soon. I think those first few books you read can change how you view reading or determine what you love reading the most. Paranormal is super fun though all those sexy shifters and vampires and other creatures…just love it.


  5. Love this!! I am always fascinated by how people get into certain genres and yours makes so much sense. I read a few of those Avon True books and am getting the itch to try them again. I love the way you divided up the time periods and gave suggestions of authors to try. I haven’t read many of them and am going to be adding them to my wishlist. Can’t wait to read more as the month goes on!


    • Thank you! That series is so much fun right? I have been wanting to re read them for quite some time now, its been years and I just remember how great of stories they were. I do hope you try some of these authors out though, some of them are older, but a few of the older authors are some of the greatest ones out there, and its hard finding the variety in current authors unless your reading regency or highlander romances. But I have started to see some authors expand a bit more which is fun to see.


  6. Oh my word, you have so many good recommendations from different time periods!

    And I get starting young — I was 13 when I read my first romance novel, but I don’t think it was until I discovered Julie Garwood (and Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Amanda Quick) that I got into historical romance.


    • I love that you got started young as well. And you know how much I love romances from all time periods, its probably why I adore older authors just as much as current ones. And oh Julie Garwood…isn’t she amazing? I haven’t read Amanda Quick in quite a long while, I should get back to her books.


  7. Can I add a couple more authors to some of my more favoured genres of historical? Pamela Clare is the QUEEN of Colonial – seriously – her books are amazing. And to the Renaissance, Judith James is simply unmatchable.
    And while there are SO many Western authors, Cheryl St. John and Patricia Potter simply have to be mentioned.


  8. I find historicals fascinating because I love seeing how scenarios and emotions that are still relevant today are affected by the rules of society at the time and how the characters have to deal with that.


  9. Pingback: Weekly Recap| Mar 29 – Apr 4, 2015 | Oh, the Books!

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