Over the year my reading tastes have changed and grown and I have had some great opportunties to explore various genres of romance and boy has the romance genre grown a butt load since I first started reading romance in ’03. And in some ways it has been fantastic and in other ways I have noticed a decline in certain areas, but as a whole I have had a blast coming along for the ride. But even after all these years of reading romance, there is one genre that has always been my favorite and one that I will always consider to be my favorite. Historical Romance is my one true love, there is something so different about this genre that just gets to me every time I read it. Now in my mind, there is nothing more pleasurable than sitting down and relaxing with a good book, but I honestly can’t resist a solid historical romance because it gives us so much. Now I am not saying that other genres are bad at all…in fact each genre brings it’s own unique qualities to the table. But for myself, Historical Romance is what I couldn’t give up on EVER!! Now over the years I have had my set backs with the genre, the way certain publishers or authors decide what to do with this genre, which is why at times I have to go to those backlisted books to remind me why I love historical romance. There is so much to love and enjoy in this genre and I wish it was more popular but unfortunately it takes the back seat to more popular genres which I understand. Because historical romance isn’t written to appease certain standards of modern day living, its not written to satisfy the more modern like views. It is a genre that many I know have a hard time reading. I have no problem with modern views or ideas and I welcome the standards of equal rights but what I have come to learn about historical romance over the years is simply divine. I feel saddened that many won’t even be willing to consider historical romance because its not very “modern” or up to date. Well I would like to tell them (in the nicest way possible) that Historical Romance is NOT contemporary romance. Its not New Adult, or Paranormal and not Urban Fantasy. Its unique and rich and warm and holds true to the historical ideas of the time you are reading in. And quite frankly there is so much depth to this genre and so many cultures and periods of time and settings that you can explore. There are hardly no limits to this genre. Now there are some others that sugar coat this genre, and I understand the politics of it. Sometimes its pressure due from audience or the publishers try to push a author to write in a certain way. However I would like to point out that this genre is not for the meek minded, its for the tough and the gritty and is not supposed to be sugary or light and fluffy. Because the time periods here are NOT light and fluffy times. They were rough and ran people to the ground sometimes. But you also see hidden depths and a certain inner strength that is hard to find in our time. The men and women of these periods lived in a rough time, it was hard and was full of tough conflicts that many of us now couldn’t even imagine living under. But this is why I have come to respect this genre so much….is the way these times come to life and how these characters become real. What I do love is seeing an author take their time to research a historical romance. Now not many will research much or at all. And they shouldn’t even bother writing a HR if they aren’t willing to take the time and effort to make it a real historical romance. I want substance to a romance and this is one of the main reasons I fell in love with it. Which is why you will see me review on here not just the newest of titles, but I read back listed books too because some of them are outstanding. There are authors that I have come to respect very highly just for the fact that that want to write a story that is true to the time and they take the time to know the time frame, the culture, the setting to spin us a tale that is worth reading. Just to name a few Rosanne Bittner, Johanna Lindsey, Bertrice Small and Julie Garwood. Now all of these authors I know, have spent sometimes years just doing research book and to me that is AMAZING!! That just shows how much they care about their writing and wanting more than to make a few dollars in return. Betrice Small I know spent quite a few years on her first book because she wanted to make sure she got the details just right. Her first book is Kadin, now I will say its not for romance fans. It was her first book and what I noticed in this book was the historical details and how real she made everything seem even down to the stitching in the clothing. I like details, too much can be overwhelming at times, but when reading a HR especially, I want details so I can picture the setting, the style of clothing being worn, and the surroundings that the characters live in. I love seeing the diversity that many authors have brought to this genre. I admire those authors that write a novel that is historically accurate and not super fluffy. Because fluffy HR’s don’t belong in the genre. That is my personal opinion and many I know won’t agree with me on that score. There are some authors I have had to give up on because their books have become too modernized to please a certain type of audience. Now I like lighthearted reads but not really in historical romance. Because in this genre, light just doesn’t fit it at all. I like it for new adult or paranormal or contemporary. But in historical romance, I want something tough and full of conflict I want a story that will burn through every emotion I have to get to the truth and heart of the matter. Its not always easy but one of the best benefits I have gained from reading a historical romance is seeing what these tough challenges bring out in these characters. Such as fortitude, courage, passion to fight for life and family, the tough realities they are faced with day to day and never give up hope. I have had a blast discovering so many wonderful books and authors and its quite a few. I am so grateful that I have learned so much from this genre and gained quite a bit too. It has shown me how short life is, and how precious those good moments in life are and how vital it is we hold onto those and savor each moment we have in this life.
I hope I didn’t offend anyone on this topic, but I wanted to share my honest opinion.