Historical Romance 101: Tearjerker or Lighthearted

Welcome to another segment of Historical Romance 101. Today we will be discussing what we love more: Tearjerkers or Lighthearted in Romances and what we love about them and share some personal favorites. Please join in and visit the other fabulous ladies: Jennifer @Feminist Fairy Tales, Amanda @ On A Book Bender, and Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook


Now I like both themes in a romance, but when it comes to a historical: I have to be honest I prefer a tearjerker. There are some lighthearted romances out there that still give out some great emotional depth but they are so rare to find now a days. I am probably in the minority here, but I have a hard time with the lighthearted ones, at least from the more modern historical authors. I love a story with great humor but I need historical authenticity, and some great emotional intimacy between a pair. Some of my all time favorite books would fit into both categories so that is what makes this most difficult to choose. So lets look at both and the pros and cons of each type of romance.

Light Hearted Romance 

So what is the draw of a light hearted romance? Well in my opinion, I feel that many just don’t want a story that is stressful or with much conflict, and just to relax into a comfortable read. The downside to this style of romance—is depth and is that realistic in a historical romance? In some ways yes it can be, but only if the author writes it well enough. There is also another issue that you need to watch out for: is it too modern for a historical romance? This is an issue that has been cropping up especially over the past couple years. Its a problem I seriously have issues with and can destroy my enjoyment of a story. Because when I am reading an historical romance, it can be easy going, fun, witty without having modern characters or set ups. If I want a modern characters—I will read a contemporary romance. But when I sit down for a historical, I want something different and having characters that fit the era and culture. Some of my favorite authors that do this the right way would be Julia Quinn, Julie Garwood, Karen Hawkins, Lisa Kleypas, Jennifer Ashley, and Sandra Hill and even some Tessa Dare. However there are some books out there, that I honestly struggle with. But what is most fun about the lighter reads—is the charm and sense of fun they evoke.

Tear Jerker Romance

This is a style of romance that gets to me on a personal level and I react to it in a very different way than the lighter ones. What I love about these, is finding those talented authors that can connect to a reader on a emotional depth and its not as common as one would think. I love seeing how much emotional depth these books can convey, and a story that can bring me to tears is PURE TALENT!!!! It is way easier to make a reader laugh than to cry or feel raw and deep emotion. Some of my all time favorite authors who can do this fabulously are Kathleen Woodiwiss, Heather Graham, Rosanne Bittner, Sabrina Jeffries and Kerrigan Byrne. These authors are utterly brilliant, although my top pick for a tear jerker is Do Not Forsake Me!!! Those who have read this boook KNOW exactly what I am talking about. Because there are certain moments in this story—I COULDNT stop crying, it was so intense and got to the deepest part of my emotions while reading. Rosanne Bittner is one of my favorite authors to read, and I can’t recommend her high enough.