[fusion_builder_container background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”” padding_right=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_title size=”1″ content_align=”center” style_type=”none” sep_color=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” class=”” id=””]A Reader on Regencies[/fusion_title][fusion_text]

by Karen Wheless (1997/1998)

Readers respond

There are many sub-genres of romance, but one that is both confusing and not easily understood is the Regency Romance. By Regency Romance I refer not to historical romances set in the regency period, but to those shorter, easily-identified-by-their-covers Regency Romances, as published by Signet, Fawcett, and Zebra, although other publishers occasionally publish them as well. The covers nearly always include a man and woman in Regency dress in a proper pose – no clinch covers here! Either on the spine or on the cover itself is generally some notification that this is a “Regency Romance”.

Regency Romances are also identifiable by their titles, which often include titles. Here are some examples I’ve literally pulled out of thin air – if there are Regency Romances with these names, my apologies to their authors:

  • The Devil’s Duke
  • The Spinster & the Earl
  • The Viscount’s Victory

have not read many Regency Romances thus far, although I have made it a habit to pick up those by Mary Balogh and Carla Kelly because of what I have heard about them from other readers. In Kate Moore’s Write Byte on switching from writing Regency Romances to writing historicals set in the regency period, she talks about Regencies being about talk and about historicals being about passion. While I’m a lover of wonderful dialogue, I personally need the extra passion that comes in an historical. As a result, the few Regencies I’ve read have left me feeling as though I would have enjoyed them more as straight historicals.

So I asked reader Karen Lynn Wheless, who reads both Regency Romance and historical romance, to write to me and try to explain to me, and other readers out there like me, what the allure of the Regency Romance is for her, and that it could appeal to non-Regency readers as well. I think Karen’s article is terrific, but having more simple tastes in romance reading, I want to hear from more of you about this sub-genre before I can make any conclusions. Whether you love ’em, hate ’em, are indifferent about ’em, or have never read ’em, I’d like to hear from you after you’ve read Karen’s discussion. So would Karen.

(Some years after this page went online, I fell in love with the trad Regency. Beginning in 2001 I went on an extended Regency Romance glom, which I’ve detailed in various ATBF columns at AAR. But a special ATBF from August 2005 went online to celebrate the trad Regency, and what is most likely the death of a sub-genre. The column lists my favorite trads, as well as those for all ATBF co-columnists.)

So, read on, and after you finish Karen’s article, drop me a line so we can expand the discussion.

I’ve read every kind of romance, from gritty medievals to glitzy contemporaries, but my first “love” will always be Regencies. From the afternoon I picked up Mary Jo Putney’sThe Rake & the Reformer, finished it by dinnertime and went back for more, I was hooked.

Regencies are different from historicals set during the same period, although there are no hard-and-fast rules separating the two other than length. It’s more of a subtle difference in emphasis. A Regency has a distinct tone that sets it apart from other romances. Because Regencies are shorter, they often concentrate more fully on the relationship between the hero and heroine. There isn’t the time or space to include a more detailed secondary plot. A Regency author usually doesn’t have to come up with a reason for the hero and heroine to be thrown together, since the busy social life of the ton provided plenty of opportunities for potential husbands and wives to meet each other. The “action” in a Regency will usually come from the interaction between the main characters, instead of from an outside force.

Anyone who loves watching Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell bantering in His Girl Friday, or never misses Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy on the late movie, will feel right at home with a Regency novel. A Regency hero may be a rake or a rogue, or even be considered “mad, bad and dangerous to know” as Lord Byron was described, but his weapon is his brain, not his brawn. He probably won’t carry the heroine off kicking and screaming on a charging steed, but instead try to charm her into running off with him to Gretna Green (and probably succeed). Even when he takes action, he’s more likely to solve his problems with finesse instead of brute force. The Regency hero isn’t a wimp; he’s often experienced in duels, hard work and even in battle. But when it comes to love, he knows the power of subtlety. And who hasn’t dreamed of being captivated by a handsome rogue?

Although she’s been stereotyped as a simpering miss who doesn’t have anything on her mind but husbands and shopping, the Regency heroine isn’t as ineffectual or flighty as you might expect. She can match her hero point for point (and word for word), and she isn’t going to let a charming rake sweet-talk her out of her virtue (unless, of course, she wants him to). The Regency period was a relatively liberated time for women. Although unmarried aristocratic girls were hemmed in by various rules to keep them protected from unscrupulous men (and keep them virginal until marriage), those restrictions were loosened for married, widowed or older women. There were well-known female writers (such as Jane Austen, although her works were published anonymously until her death in 1818) and social activists (most notably Mary Wollstonecraft, whose Vindication of the Rights of Women was first published in England in 1792). Even though most Regency heroines weren’t out to change the world, they did consider themselves the equals of their heroes, and acted accordingly.

Traditionally, Regencies were less sensual than historicals, with no explicit bedroom scenes. Fortunately, that rule has loosened up somewhat! But even traditional Regencies have plenty of sexual tension, even if the hero and heroine never reach the bedroom. The same intensity is conveyed in more subtle ways – a glance that is held a few moments too long, an innocent touch that promises more in the future, a compliment that has a double meaning. The best Regency authors can convey smoldering sexuality even if their characters have barely touched. However, for those of us who prefer our heroes and heroines to get a little more physical, authors like Mary Balogh, Carla Kelly and Elisabeth Fairchild have expanded the form to include more detailed love scenes, as well as unconventional characters and situations that might make Jane Austen blush.

The best way to find out about Regencies is just to pick one up and try it. Don’t worry, we Regency readers are friendly, and we always welcome newcomers. Before you know it, you’ll be immersed in the charming, witty world of Regency England.

Some of my favorite Regencies:

Lord Carew’s Bride by Mary Balogh
An Unwilling Bride by Jo Beverley
The Bishop’s Daughter by Susan Carroll
The Devil’s Delilah by Loretta Chase
Miss Dorton’s Hero by Elisabeth Fairchild
Cupid’s Mistake by Karen Harbaugh
A Change of Heart by Candice Hern
Mrs. Drew Plays her Hand by Carla Kelly Scandal’s Lady by Mary Kingsley
The Abandoned Bride by Edith Layton
An Angel for the Earl by Barbara Metzger
Sweet Bargain by Kate Moore
An Immodest Proposal by Patricia Oliver
A Proper Taming by Joan Overfield
The Rake & the Reformer by Mary Jo Putney
The Spinster & the Rake by Anne Stuart

Karen sent this addendum in August 1998: One reason I love Regencies is that they have different kinds of plotlines than I can find in historicals. It seems like most historicals these days are full of fast-paced adventure stories and suspense plots. Several authors on the [what is now AARList] have said that publishers are looking for more excitement, more adventure, fewer quiet character studies. That’s not my favorite kind of read, although some of them are enjoyable. I like more introspection, a slower pace, characters talking to each other instead of chasing around the countryside. There are a few historical authors who still write these kinds of books, but in between, I turn to Regencies. If I could find books with Regency-type stories and historical-style love scenes, I would be a very happy reader, but they are rare.

— Karen Wheless
Read Karen’s guest segment on The Big Secret in Issue #72 of Laurie’s News & Views (now ATBF)


Reader Responses:

Anne Klein (david.t.klein@worldnet.att.net):
I, too, love Regencies and have since I was 13. I started with Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades and have never stopped reading them. I thought Karen’s comments about Regencies having plenty of sexual tension was right on the money. My favorite regency ever – Loretta Chase’s The English Witch – is a perfect example of this. The tension between Basil and Alexandra practically sends sparks off the page, but they never share much more than kisses during the story. Some readers may use this as a reason not to read Regencies, but a good regency beats a mediocre historical any day in my book. Besides, you can always read both, as I do.

I have difficulty understanding the argument that (like category romance) Regency books are too short. If a book is well written I don’t see what story length has to do with it. I’ve read many historicals that I felt went on way too long. As an example of how short can still be great – Carla Kelly’s contribution (Make a Joyful Noise) to this year’s A Regency Christmas Carol was terrific. I thought it was the second-best thing I’ve read of hers (the best was, without question, Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand). Some of the passing thoughts of the hero, Peter, had me struggling not to LOL on the train to work.

If a reader enjoys historicals set in the regency period, why not try a Regency? I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Just make sure to start out with one that comes highly reccommended, because like any other sub-group of the romance genre, the bad books can be deadly dull. If you really can’t bear the thought of romance with little or not sexual scenes, start with some of Mary Balogh’s Regencies, or Jo Beverley’s Company of Rogues books, and ease into it. If you like those, you can try Jo Beverly’s earlier Regencies – I’ve always thought Randal Ashby was her best hero ever (yes, even better than Lucien de Vaux).

Kristin Smagula (ksmagula@flinthills.com):
As a reader of Regencies for almost thirty years, I can unabashedly claim to love them wholeheartedly. I have a rather large collection (numbering in the thousands), and read them anytime I need a lift. Although I do read mysteries, historicals, and other books, Regencies remain my first love. Although the standard is Dame Georgette, others fill the gap quite well.

To me the appeal of the Regency lies in what distinguishes it from the Historical: the emphasis on talk rather than action. Removing explicit love scenes, detailed secondary plots, etc., leaves the relationship open to more depth. The books can have just as much “passion” as an historical, but without the descriptions. Try Jo Beverley’s Emily & the Dark Angel, or one of Loretta Chases books, Kate Moore’s Sweet Bargain, or Georgette Heyer’s Bath Tangle. All contain passion, longing, and sexual tension, but with a minimum of physical contact or explicit scenes.

I love the banter, the playing out of scenes on a detailed backdrop. To me Regencies are the like watching a Moliere or Sheridan play. Fun, witty, bright. They are like Karen said, print copies of the best 30’s comedies. The world they are set in is detailed, but “set”. The standards and mores never vary, and so become a comfort in our modern world. Austin Dobson said it best in his poem Epilogue to a Series of Eighteenth Century Vignettes:

What is it then, – some Reader asks, –
‘What is it that attaches
Your fancy so to fans and masks, –
To periwigs and patches?

‘Is Human Life to-day so poor, –
So Bloodless, – you disdain it,
To “galvanize” the Past once more?’
– Permit me. I’ll explain it.

This Age, I grant (and grant with pride),
Is varied, rich, eventful;
But, if you touch its weaker side,
Deplorably resentful:

Belaud it, and it takes your praise
With air of calm conviction;
Condemn it and at once you raise
A storm of contradiction.

Whereas with these old Shades of mine,
Their ways and dress delight me;
And should I trip by word or line,
They cannot well indict me.

Favorite Regency authors include Jo Beverley, Loretta Chase, Mary Jo Putney, Kate Moore, Elizabeth Mansfield, Clare Darcy, and Barbara Metzger.

Jennifer (JennWic1@aol.com):
I’ve only recently begun reading Regencies, and what struck me right off was the variation within the subgenre, particularly in regards to the sexual aspect. I always imagined that Regencies would be ‘sweet’ stories…the H/H might kiss at the very end, at their wedding. After reading a few of this fabulous books, though, I realized how erroneous my assumption was. Certainly, some Regencies are very sweet; others are remarkably spicy. A Christmas Bride by Mary Balogh springs to mind as containing some of the most erotic love scenes I’ve read in romances in a while. Definitely spicy! Other Regencies are much more conservative, though no less enjoyable, and I find myself greatly admiring these talented authors who can tell a story – and tell it well – in a remarkably shorter format. I am truly sad that Ms. Balogh will no longer be writing Regencies, but I’m looking forward to catching up on her extensive backlist and discovering other talented Regency authors along the way.

Deanna (cayons@worldpath.net):
One of the sweeter romances I have ever read was a regency. It was over 10 years ago, when I had just started raiding my Mom’s bookshelves (which she was a little nervous about) and she directed me toward regencies. The one I can remember really enjoying was called A Hasty Marriage and it involved a rich eligible titled lord getting caught in the poor relatives bedchamber, therefore prompting a shotgun wedding. I’m still unsure as to whether or not they had sex, not sizzlers in this one! But they found love and made the both of it yada yada yada. But I really enjoyed the story, and remember it with fondness. The sweetness, almost sachrine, but every once in a while too much sweet is good.

Andrea (AndreaLS@prodigy.net):
One of the best things my mother ever did for me when I was a teenager was to introduce me to Georgette Heyer. After reading everything by her I tried other regency writers but did not feel that anyone else could come close. I pretty much stayed away from them for thirty years. I did try Mary Jo Putney’s only because I loved her bigger books. I enjoyed them very much. About a year ago I discovered Joan Wolfe’s older regencies and thought they were really terrific. They capture the spirit of the genre and they also go a bit further. The female characters are intrepid and ‘out of the common way’ and the hero’s are usually quite perfect. Another plus is that there is a bit of sex. The bedroom door is ajar. Some of them are written in first person and Wolf handles that very well. She is the first writer whose work I glommed in quite some time. She is an exceptionally talented writer and has also done an excellent prehistorical trilogy. Also not my favourite genre but hers are excellent reads. Check her out!!!

I will always have a special place on my shelf for regencies because they were the first romance novels I read. My aunt was and is an addict and I picked one up at her house. I still like to read them, especially if I’ve just read a really heavy, dark romance. Regencies embody all of the fun, sweet aspects of romance without all the padding.

Karen Gill (kgill@hotmail.com):
I used to agree with Laurie’s old view that Regencies were for little old ladies. I would walk right by them in libraries and book stores. Without ever having read one, I thought they were slight. But then I read one of Mary Balogh’s historicals and became a fan of her writing. One day in the library, I noticed some of her Regencies and decided to check them out simply because I liked the author. I was hooked. I tend to like the Signet Regencies best, and I also tend to stick to certain authors. But I have found that a good Regency can be very fulfulling. Some of my favorite Regency authors have gone on to write some good historicals (i.e., Mary Jo Putney and Amanda Scott). If you are looking for some Regency authors to try, I recommend Emma Lange, Dorothy Mack, Gayle Buck, Edith Layton, Carla Kelly, Julia Jeffries, Joy Freeman, Elizabeth Fairchild, Kate Moore, Charlotte Louise Dolan, Anthea Malcolm, Patricia Oliver, Patricia Rice, Joan Wolf, and of course, Mary Balogh.

Please read Georgette Heyer if you want to experience regency in it’s true form. Granted,these can be read by your 13 year old daughter and grandma in the home and will offend none. A Civil Contract and A Convenient Marriage are great if you like marriage of convenience stories. There is a Heyer web page also, which is a great resource. Her books take awhile to read because they were very descriptive and you’ll learn some history along the way. The good thing about Heyer is they are mainly found in used book stores or the library.

LLB: Melanie –
I’m well aware of the esteem in which Georgette Heyer is held. Indeed, three reviews in AAR’s Desert Isle Keeper Review section are of Heyer books. One review was written by author Jo Beverley; another by our own Nora Armstrong; and a third by author Leigh Greenwood. Indeed, it was his reading These Old Shades that prompted him to begin writing romance.
I’ve visited the web site you mentioned and have a couple of her books somewhere in my study. I promise to get to them someday soon.

Shelley (shelley58@hotmail.com):
I love regency romances. I have been reading them since I was 12 and found a copy of Georgette Heyer’s The Devil’s Cub in my school library. I think my favorite thing about a good regency is the dialogue – give me smart dialogue and I will generally like the book. Regencies are about manners, courtship and society and have a lot of grist for witty conversation. They also are a good setting for intelligent people who are facing a dilemma because they want something that may be contrary to their society’s rules – again a wonderful catalyst for riviting conversation.

Darlene (alookbooks@aol.com):
I was about 12 (early ’70s)when I first discovered romances — at that time, about all that was available was Georgette Heyer, Barbara Cartland, Harlequins.

The first GH I read was Friday’s Child – it’s still on my keeper shelf because it was the first marriage of convenience I’d read and sex was alluded to because she got pregnant! No other GH really stuck with me.

I read tons of Barbara Cartland’s earlier books – this was before she took pride in the fact she could write a book in 2 weeks and performed the trick of having each sentence be its own paragraph.

Both of these authors are Regency writers. They sufficed for me when little else was available or known to me, but neither would appeal to me now. As I’ve evolved in my preferences over the years, I realize that why Regencies aren’t a strong favorite is because of the emphasis on ‘comedy of manners’ and a bountiful cast of characters.

I posted something similar elsewhere a while back & had a regency author write back that I shouldn’t ‘stereotype’ like that. I hadn’t realized that I had stereotyped, but rather gained that impression from the variety of reviews and plotline summaries I had read over the years.

Frankly, I’m one of those readers that prefers a strong internal conflict between my tormented h/h, and prefer as few secondary characters as possible to distract me from my h/h. In fact, I tend to skim scenes involving too many ‘superfluous’ characters.

The only reason I picked up my first Mary Balogh was because the heroine was in a wheelchair and making a marriage of convenience to wasted rake. (Dancing with Clara) I loved it!! There was heavy duty internal conflict and sex. (Didn’t believe that was allowed in regencies.) I read others of hers and discovered rape, prostitution, handicaps, etc. I like these heavy-duty subjects because I’m interested in how the characters cope with their problems and rise above them.

That being said, I have skimmed some scenes in Balogh’s books where there was too much emphasis on light and frothy chatter between secondary characters or a dance too many involving the Ton…

Karen Wheless responds: If you like that internal conflict, you should definitely check out Carla Kelly, Elisabeth Fairchild and Allison Lane. And Candice Hern’s A Change of Heart, and Mary Kingsley. They are all experts at the ‘unfluffy’ Regency.

Carol (carol4yak@mindspring.com):
Basically I find Regencies too light and frothy. I’ve read Mary Balogh’s historicals and enjoy those but even her regencies don’t do it for me. is Pride & Prejudice considered a Regency? If it is, then I love that but I have loved it for decades! The wit and social commentary in this book certainly raise it beyond the light and frothy standard, however. Is the demand for Regencies low? Since there are also historicals set in the regency, which I enjoy, I cannot figure out why anyone would want to read a Regency instead. I suppose if you need a really light reading expereince, that could be for you but why not go instead to Jill Barnett or Rebecca Paisley, get a real historical and howl at the same time?!


Having so many books on your TBR pile (er mountain), the reading habit, and the time to read, and so many great books recently highly recommended, you feel you must pick up a book, but which one? Here are a few suggestions to help you get over those just got done with a really good book blues:

If you just read a contemporary – chose an historical (or vice versa)

Read another book by the same author; the style should be similar

If you only read historicals – pick up a book with an entirely different setting

If you’ve just finished a fairly intense book – pick up a book with a light, humorous style

If you’ve read a romance which was fairly “spicy” – try something a little “sweeter”

If you read a book with a lot of humor – chose a book that is more dramatic

Read a book that’s been highly recommended through a review, a friend, or on the Internet

Pick up one of those “old friends”; a book from your keeper shelf and read it again

If you have just finished a longer book – pick up a category romance or another short read

Switch genres – if you’ve just read a romance, read a mystery or a non- fiction book

If you must, read that “really good book” again right away, allowing yourself even more time to savor the words and emotions

Simply taking a day or so break from reading also works. Work in the garden, work on a craft project, listen to music, watch a video, go shopping, or do something else you particularly enjoy

Let’s see. I just finished re-reading a book which I picked up having read a really good book which I added to my keeper shelf. What shall it be next? Perhaps a highly recommended category romance, a nonfiction book, or maybe one of those Christmas anthologies I recently purchased???

Reader Responses

Mary Dunn (mdunn@alltel.net):
Maudeen’s article – it is to the “T” how I feel when I’ve just finished a good book – or should I say a great book. When I have just read a book that has touched my every emotion, I usually pick up a book by the same author. Not every story that an author writes will be the same, but when you read a book by a great author such as Lindsey, Garwood, McNaught, Deveraux. . . , how can you go wrong?

There is just something about the style of that author that brings me back for more.

I usually find a book with the same story line, or setting to keep the feeling alive.

I never read a new author after finishing a great book.

Laurie Likes Books:
I recently read and loved Elizabeth Lowell’s Too Hot to Handle and found I could not pick up another romance for several days afterward. The book had been too intense for me, and I kept picking it up and re-reading certain scenes.

I tried several romances that were quite different from this short contemporary – Regency romance, historical – but I couldn’t get the book out of my mind and I was afraid any romance I tried next would pale in comparison. So, instead, I picked up Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a current bestseller. It did the trick by taking me out of the romance realm completely and let me cleanse my palate, so to speak. I was then able to return to romance.

Katsy (lynns@powerweb.net):
I have not read a lot of romances which I would consider to be 5 stars, but when I have been fortunate to have found such a treasure, I will take time off from reading romances, if only for a short while; I just know that I will probably be dissatisfied with any ensuing book for a short time frame.

Nora (n-schuette@nwu.edu):
I read it again!!!

Jere (medievel@hotmail.com):
I’ll grab a different genre anthology and sort of clean my palate. With these short stories I don’t get as involved and I can still enjoy the lingering effects from the great book I’ve just finished. By the time I’ve read all the stories in the anthology I am ready to grab a nice long book to immerse myself into again.

Ana Jones (msana@we.org):
I usually like to pick up another title by the same author.

Benita (bclar1@pop.uky.edu):
I usually think about it for a few days and savor the experience. Then after the glow has worn off a little, I go back into the trenches and read some more! Sometimes if the romance is really wonderful, I go back to some of the passages I like the best and reread them.

I usually read something other than a romance. Magazines, like Biography, In Style, and books about health food and supplements, etc.

(I’ll read) nothing, for about a week or two. This happened after reading Elizabeth Stuart’s Where Love Dwells and is happening right now after reading Claire Delacroix’s My Lady’s Desire. I find after I’ve read a great book that I need time just to absorb it and live with those characters before losing myself in another story. The only time this doesn’t apply is when I’m on vacation and taking advantage of the fact that I can read as much as I want to!

Dyanne (Dtap7@aol.com):
I definitely have to switch genres! After reading a romance that good, I am under it’s spell for quite some time and cannot bear to read another romance until it’s hold dissipates. Starting another romance while still ‘under the influence’ of such a fabulous story would not be fair to the author of that next book – my expectations would be too high and my judgment too critical. Oddly enough, after reading such a good story, I am often restless and impatient with other books, even outside the romance genre, because they simply aren’t as ‘good’ as the one that still holds me spellbound. So – fabulous stories are both a blessing and a curse! Suffering through that period where everything else pales in comparison can be pretty tough…

I usually read lots of children’s books to my kids. There’s something about Henry and Mudge that can get my head back and ready to pick up another romance again. Though sometimes I’ll go out to the bookstore and buy all the rest of the author’s books if I don’t have them already. For example, I finally read Outlander last winter, taking it out of the library. I could not put it down. I headed to the nearest store as soon as I finished it and bought a copy of all of Gabaldon’s books. I spent a very happy winter and early spring.

Christine (jplcfl@inreach.com):
I usually take a breather and not read anything for awhile.

Lainy (medio@gte.net):
I read the book again!!!! Then I usually slip into whatever genre I just read and try and find more of that authors books. For example, I just read Claire Delacroix’s The Princess, and promptly went out and bought a ton of her books.

AAR Reviewer Rebecca:
There is only one thing to do – reread the thing. Then pull out an old favorite. I do not pick up a newly bought book though, unless it is by the same author. My first Garwood was last year. I had a lot of glomming to do, and I glutted on Garwood for quite awhile. I don’t expect that I’ll have too many more of those experiences. Bummer.

Julie (conmeo@webtv.com):
I usually reread the book (maybe more than once). Then I’ll take a day or two off & kind of ease back in by rereading old favorites till something new turns up that looks like it will be better than average.

After a fabulous read, I have to switch genres! Luckily, I enjoy many different genres, from mystery to fantasy and, of course, romance. The whole process is similar to satisfying a craving – once the desire is satisfied, I move on to something else. (Think chocolate as an appetizer to dinner!) Sometimes it will take a while before I am ready to return to the ‘forbidden’ genre, but I browse through my tbr pile until something appeals to me. If nothing appeals to me (and sometimes I make several false starts before giving up), I will watch tv or catch up on videos.

Mary Lynne (m.nielsen@ieee.org):
I tend to go and read the newspaper or magazines. And I tend to reread special sections of that novel for a while afterwards. That helps me to move on to something new.

Tanya (Tanya_Wade@pbpost.com):
Magazines. Definitely magazines. I have to keep the glow, and can’t go back to fiction for a few days.

Deanne (cayons@worlpath.net):
I have to say I savor it. I tell my co-worker about it the next day in detail. Try to tell hubbie about it. Mention it to the dog. And I do not pick up another book to really read for a day or two. Just to keep it with me. After all that, I put it in my pile of to be read again books and read it again. And again. And again.

Katherine Lazo (kdlazo@mnl.sequel.net):
I might spend a few hours sighing and mooning over the story, then I usually start another book. I sometimes change sub-categories to give myself a breather from the setting. If the book is a contemporary, I might read a futuristic next, or medieval, a historical of some other period, fantasy, suspense or a short category romance, just so that there’d be less of a comparison.

Barb (Diehlbj@aol.com):
I will normally read it once or twice more. I always pick up on things that I missed the first time through, which makes the book even better.

AAR Reviewer Lori-Anne Cohen:
I do the same thing when I’m in a slump as when I read a great book…I get away from romance for awhile. I either read general fiction or non-fiction or I will go on a magazine binge. SInce I read so voraciously and widely anyway, I usually have something I can pull off the shelves.

Monica Tiso (MLQR74A@prodigy.com):
I tend to go out and buy every book by that particular author. Sometimes I am sadly disappointed because the others don’t measure up. Very often I check out the If You Like. . . page in your This ‘N’ That feature.

Juliet (jjbeier@ix.netcom.com):
I often read all or part of it again, this time analyzing what made the book so successful for me. Then I read something very different, before going back to romance.

Alecia (alecial@computrac.com):
For me, this generally means the story packed a very emotional wallop. Another romance is out of the question for a while (2 weeks). I usually switch to Mystery, Fantasy, or Science Fiction. If I don’t have any of those in the house, I’ll read magazines or skim catalogs. I can’t go more than a day or so without reading something, even if it’s only the back of my shampoo bottle in the shower.

Carol (carol4yak@mindspring.com):
I’ll reread sections in the book for ahile. Then I’ll get on the ‘Net and read others’ comments. Then I might read the author’s backlist.

Z. Medina:
I stay some days in a cloud of daydreaming about the characters and story I just finished and then read another romance of the same genre hopping to find another wonderful story.

It is a very sad, sad day when you finish a book that was so wonderful, so enthralling, so believeable that you stayed up into the wee hours of the morning (knowing that the kids will be up at the crack of dawn) and now you are finished. I always get an almost panic attack sensation in my gut. I try to rationalize the feeling, identify and deal (as a therapist once told me), and do the next best thing that satisfies – I cook. I get out all my favorite cookbooks and I start a major feeding frenzy. My husband, neighbors,and friends all benefit from this time. I’m a baker too. I’ll try the hardest dessert I can find.

After numerous days in a cooking bliss, I’ll go to your web site and start looking for another book. Although, I have to say that I am my most critical after reading a “keeper” and it really isn’t fair to the authors whose books I might have enjoyed otherwise.

Well, for all the cooking I do, I have to work out and it’s time now. Great site.


Read Karen Wheless’ segment on The Big Secret

Diane Farr’s article about Regency Language

Author Kate Moore on writing Regencies and Historicals

Author Karen Harbaugh on the Regency Romance

Author Melinda McRae on the Regency Period

Author Mary Jo Putney on the Regency Period

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