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Friday, April 3, 2015

HR 101: Introduction and Why I Love Historical Romance

 

Historical Romance 101
is a celebration of the genre that will be occurring throughout the month of April.  My blog along with On a Book Bender, Addicted to Romance, and Quinn's Book Nook will be writing on a variety of topics every Monday and Friday in April.


My Introduction to Historical Romance
My very first historical romance was Just Imagine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips which I found on my mom's bookshelf when I was fourteen.  It is a post-Civil War romance about a Yankee war hero and his new Southern belle ward.  Looking back, there are some obvious problems with this book, but as a teenager I was swept away by the epic story line which reminded me of Gone With the Wind.  From there, I continued to hunt through my mom's collection and discovered the worlds of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Shannon Drake, Cassie Edwards, and Hannah Howell.

I got away from the genre during the later years of high school, but got introduced to the "modern-day historical romances" when I bought The Duke and I by Julia Quinn for my mom's birthday.  She lent it to me and I never looked back.  Review sites like All About Romance and The Romance Reader helped me discover new authors and the library became my gateway to what has become my favorite genre.

Why I Love Historical Romance
1. The unique settings (time/place) that I get to experience.  My favorites are medieval Scotland and Georgian England.  One of the main reasons I read is to escape the real world and the past is my favorite place to have my imagination visit.

2. Watching how the characters work within and around the rules of their particular story.  There are a lot of limitations especially women in these time periods.  But, somehow the authors figure out ways to show how they get through these situations while retaining their dignity and place in society...for the most part.

3. I feel like I'm always learning something from them.  For example, Don't Bargain with the Devil by Sabrina Jeffries focuses on the world of Regency-era magicians while The Countess Conspiracy centers around female scientists in Victorian England.

4. I get to fulfill my childhood princess fantasy vicariously through the heroines and their happy endings.  Mr. Darcy is not a realistic example of the type of guy I look for in my real life, but there's nothing wrong with a little fun in my free time.


9 comments:

  1. oh yay!! This event is finally here! Medieval Scotland is pretty fun and amazing. Especially since that time period you see the passion and zest for life those Scots had no matter how much they were oppressed. I love Drake and Woodiwiss and Edwards...they write great stories. Loved your introduction.

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  2. Aw how fun! Love historical romance. The settings are one of my favorite things too though I love the rules as well and how they deal with them. Can make for such interesting stories :)

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  3. Seriously, Jennifer, I'm just so excited that this event is finally starting. I love historical romances for all the reasons you do. Exactly! I wish my mother had read historical romance. Or just romance in general. But she's firmly a suspense/mystery reader. I love that you got back into the genre because of JQ. One of her books was what really turned me on to HR. It wasn't The Duke and I, though. I think it was An Offer from a Gentleman, which is truly not my favorite of her books. I read it while home for break from college, and I think I stayed up until 4am to finish it.

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    1. It is funny that my mom's bookshelf got me started on historical romance since now I am the one giving her recommendations. Julia Quinn is her favorite too!

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  4. Do you know Julia Ross's novels? She used to write the most luscious Georgian romances. THE SEDUCTION is a good place to start.

    I discovered the genre with Stephanie Laurens's A RAKE'S VOW and Kathleen Givens's KILGANNON, & I fell in love straight away. :-)

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    1. I have heard of Julia Ross and I need to make more of an effort looking for her books. Eloisa James and Elizabeth Hoyt are my favorite authors that write in the Georgian era. Yes, Stephanie Laurens! Love the Cynsters!

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  5. CHILDHOOD PRINCESS FANTASIES! Yes. YES. That's something so, so true about historical romances.

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  6. This has come at just the right time! Lately I've been really wanting to read historical romances but I don't even know where to start – there are so many out there. I'll check out some of the authors you mentioned. Great post!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

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    1. This event seems like it is coming at the right time for you! I hope you get more recs as the month goes along. Yeah for historicals!

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