Welcome 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 ever 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.
1. 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. This 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
Example of Authors: Linda Lael Miller, Lorraine Heath, Joan Johnston, Genell Dellin, Cassie Edwards
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.
Example of Authors: Johanna Lindsey, Sabrina Jeffries, Connie Mason, Janelle Taylor, Iris Johansen
Example of Authors: Nan Ryan, Bertrice Small, Doreen Owens Malek, Miriam Minger
7. 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 Graham, 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
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 is 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
Example of Authors: Mary Reed McCall, Tina St. John, Anne Stuart, Claire Delacroix
Example of Authors: Constance O Banyon, Valerie Sherwood, Maggie Osborne, Susan Wiggs
13. Roman Empire-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
15. 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.