“Old School” is one of those terms that can have a lot of meaning. After all, the romance genre has evolved quite a bit over the decades and different threads of the genre have gone in different directions. I’ll admit that my first thought when I see the term takes me to the 400-500 page books I used to find in used bookstores and library sales back in the 90s. Big, epic historicals definitely still have their appeal for me, though I’m pickier than I used to be. Some problematic features just can’t be glossed over for me anymore. This time around, Caz and I both ended up going in a similar direction, reading old Regency trads from the late 80s/early 90s. At their best, these stories, just like their contemporary category cousins, pack a focused romance into a […]
Lately, I’ve become more and more fond of traditional regency romances, because I like their focus on developing a complex, romantic tale with sparkling dialogue in a compact form while keeping sensual details to a minimum. Back in the day, Candice Hern wrote some wonderful trads, so I was excited to find out that she has not only republished those books in e-format, but has also written new ones. Desperate Measures and Lady Ann’s Excellent Adventure are short stories in the same vein, although the heat level here is a little higher than the usual trads.
Set in 1810, Desperate Measures is a romance that takes place during one evening at a ball. Young Lydia Bettridge is suffering from the pangs of unrequited love. She’s desperate to have her brother’s friend, the Golden God, Geoffrey Danforth, notice […]
Marrying Winterborne, the second book in Lisa Kleypas’s dearly anticipated Ravenels series, begins with Lady Helen Ravenel calling on Rhys Winterborne, a man to whom she was briefly engaged. As almost anyone who read the first book, A Cold Hearted Rake, will tell you, Rhys and Helen utterly upstaged that story’s lovers and left historical romance readers longing for more.
And more, wonderfully more, readers do indeed get. Marrying Winterborne is as engrossing a story as any of Ms. Kleypas’s earlier works–my favorite is It Happened One Autumn–and, in it, her writing is as good as it’s ever been. […]
Dabney: I’m determined to keep this interview spoiler free. So, no mentioning who it is who writes the 50 Ways to Sin stories! But can I ask, did you know who the author was from the beginning of the series?
Caroline: Thank you for that! At the very beginning of Love and Other Scandals, the first book, I had not decided for sure, but by the end of the book I knew.
My other consideration for Lady Constance, by the way, was a totally new character who would have emerged during the series, not one of the existing characters. […]
When one sets out to write a romance novel based on/inspired by Pride & Prejudice and Bridget Jones’s Diary, one must read such works for “research.” What I noticed upon the re-watches and re-reads and the writing of my own version (Lady Bridget’s Diary) is that the love story between Elizabeth/Bridget and Darcy is a stark contrast to cultural stereotypes about courtship.
There are no roses. No wining and dining. There are no invitations to prom, no playing by The Rules. Invitations to dance are issued awkwardly, grudgingly. Dramatic confessions of true love and secret feelings are mingled with major insults. In a traditional courtship, the man pursues, the woman waits, and they all proceed pending permission from her male guardian.
In fact, in the P&P plot, Darcy and Elizabeth are almost never together (which […]
Today’s post is by queer Regency romance authors KJ Charles and Ava March. Ms. Charles’s latest book, A Fashionable Indulgence, is a DIK at AAR (review here). Ms. March’s The Viscount’s Wager was released by Carina yesterday.
Thanks to both!
KJ Charles: Some readers seem to feel that queer historical romance is basically going to be either unrealistic (even more so than het romance) or depressing. Modern readers have a sense that homosexuality (to use a modern concept that didn’t exist in the Regency as such) was always disapproved of, and that gay men in particular were doomed to shame and the gallows. But this isn’t always the case.
Ava March: There was such a great divide between the upper classes and lower classes during the Regency, and […]