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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten Reasons That I Love Elizabeth Hoyt's Historical Romances


Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.


I have been reading Elizabeth Hoyt ever since I saw a recommendation for her debut, The Raven Prince, from Julia Quinn herself.  Since then, I have read every historical romance she's published and given high ratings to most of them.  The release of her latest Maiden Lane novel, Duke of Sin, has caused a lot of gushing from me and other readers so I decided to focus on why I enjoy her writing so much.

1. Unique Settings
I love a good Regency/Victorian romance as much as the next reader, but I do like it when an author does something different.  Elizabeth Hoyt tends to focus on Georgian-era England and I think that makes her stories stand out.  The Prince trilogy and the Legends of the Four Soldiers series take place in the 1760s while Maiden Lane focuses on the 1730s.

2. World Building
Building on the unique settings point, I also enjoy how Elizabeth Hoyt builds her historical worlds.  I think her talents are really shown in the way she develops and explores the neighborhood of St. Giles in her Maiden Lane series.  As a reader, I can feel the parallel between that poverty-stricken area and the glamorous world of the aristocracy that the characters move around in.

3. Character Development
For me, characters are the most important part of a romance.  I don't have to like the protagonists, but I have to understand them.  Hoyt really excels at providing characters who have to go on journeys in her books and isn't afraid of having them make difficult choices.

4. Love Scenes
Elizabeth Hoyt's love scenes really stand out to me for their earthiness and their placement in the story.  She is not afraid of spiciness and clearly makes sure that each love scene has a purpose and works for the specific characters being portrayed.

5. Unorthodox Pairings
Hoyt clearly loves to play with class and the roles that it has in romance.  While she does have some aristocratic pairings, she has just as many unusual ones such as a widow and a St. Giles schoolteacher (Thief of Shadows), a duke and his housekeeper (Duke of Sin), and a naturalist and a runaway mistress (To Beguile a Beast).

6. Not Afraid of Going Dark
Hoyt's books are not for the faint of heart.  There is always a happy ending, but the world that her characters inhabit is not light and frothy.  Her books feature poverty, violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.  While that is usually not my cup of tea, I find her ability to take such dark situations and provide some happiness to be enthralling.

7. Epigraphs
Every single one of her romance is told simultaneously with a fairy tale which shows up as epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter.  I find these mini-stories to be almost as fascinating as the main story plus I am impressed with how she is able to perfectly time each fairy tale scene with the appropriate chapter.

8. Animals
Clearly Elizabeth Hoyt loves animals and they are often prominent characters in her books.  I enjoy seeing animals in romances as long as they are handled with care and don't take away from the greater storyline.  She actually has a features page on her website about the dogs in her books.  My particular favorites are Jock (The Raven Prince), Lady Grey (To Beguile a Beast), Soot (Maiden Lane series), and Percy (Duke of Midnight).

9. Character Names 
This is just a goofy little point, but Hoyt's character names are so amusing to me.  Some of my particular favorites are Lazarus Huntington (Wicked Intentions), Melisande Fleming (To Seduce a Sinner), and Silence Hollingbrook (Scandalous Desires).

10. Her Website
I am always excited when I discover an author who has a vibrant website especially when it enhances the reading experience.  Hoyt's web presence is obvious and I love all the little extras she provides such as bonus scenes, character lists, family trees, etc.  You can check out all the awesomeness here.

2 comments:

  1. I've recently discovered Elizabeth Hoyt and I understand the love! I've read two of her books so far. The Serpent Prince and Dearest Rogue. I loved them both, but I REALLY love Dearest Rogue. That book just hit all my spots. I absolutely want to read more!

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  2. oh I adore this author too and I like that she does something different with the era she writes in. She really makes it comes to life. This is a fantastic list here!! And I agree, she has a beautiful website. I do like her darker characters, she does a great job with them. It can be refreshing since many regency romances are so light and fluffy nowadays. Thanks for sharing.

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