This past Tuesday, I was invited to guest blog on Risky Regencies for my friend, Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee. Since I am the resident Historical Romance Reviewer for BookEndBabes, I felt inclined to share. I hope you enjoy…
I am flattered beyond words to be invited as a guest blogger for Risky Regencies followers by my very VERY good friend, Amanda McCabe. While I do not write Regency, I am an avid reader and fan of the period. I also have written my own small series of historical, dated just prior to Regency, late 18th century.
I am actually the resident historical romance reviewer for Book End Babes, and have been since 2007. I love Regency romance. Some of the stories make me want to dive into a Delorean Time Machine to be whisked back in time as a heroine in one of Suzanne Enoch or Teresa Medieros outrageous plots. Take Charming the Prince for example. This little Cinderella story was so cute, I actually bought several copies to loan out, making sure I kept one available for myself to read when the notion struck. (I’ve read it six times).
The same goes for Ms. Enoch’s London’s Perfect Scoundrel. That hero was so messed up you could not help but fall in love with him when he turned the corner, determined to make the heroine his own. The same could be said for Lady Rogue.
I’m sure you are probably thinking that those are the only two authors I read. NOT! Other favorites include, but are not limited to, Amanda Quick, Julia Quinn, Victoria Alexander, Madeline…well, I’m sure you get the picture. (Including my good friend, Amanda).
My question is, what constitutes the allure to this particular time period that is so enthralling for a reader? I have a theory (it’s my own, of course). Europe—UK, France, Spain, etc. holds such a rich history. Not that, we in the US don’t as well, but theirs is just so jam packed with Royalty, diverse culture, tradition—long long looooong standing tradition. Hundreds of years worth tradition. I mean, think about it—200 years versus 1000 years!
I think Jayne Ann Krentz must touch on this very thing in her futuristic “Jayne Castle” line where the world as we know it has been closed off to the characters. So that in a sense she’s given the US that same allure to the characters in her books as we do with the Regency period, if that makes any sense. Regardless, there are other fun things about the Regency period that draw my interest. The clothes, of course. The dialogue has to be quite clever. But I think my favorite enticement is the way the characters have to gage the attention of their men, somehow avoiding risk to their reputations. Because, if their reputations are compromised, it is extremely dire. So how the author has hero step up becomes important. And if he’s the one who did the sullying—better yet, if someone else sullied, how does the hero move past that hurdle for his true love—and convince the reader it’s ‘till death do us part’.
Not an easy task. (This is why I have my staples that I read over and over. The Wicked Widow—Amanda Quick; To Love a Thief—Julie Anne Long).
In addition, I love the moving pictures in my head when I read and write period romance. I love the twist on a fun fairy tale. You know—like when Cinderella’s shoe fits one of her evil stepsisters. The Wronged Princess – Book I. Or when one of the stepsisters takes out a horde of villains and has to deal with Prince Charming’s irresistible cousin, Sir Arnald. The Unlikely Heroine – Book II. And what if the batting-eyed sister overhears the man she’s had a deep-seated crush on for years tell his father “I would ne’er marry a woman who could cause an avalanche in the Pyrenees Mountains.” (Well, she was devastated, I can tell you.) The Surprising Enchantress – Book III.
La! I have a feeling that I am “preaching to the choir,” so I shall wrap up by saying, thank you for having me. Au revoir!