Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Historical Romance Is My Favorite

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.

Questions For My Readers

Have you read this genre before? What do you love or hate about it?

What are some books in historical romance that have inspired you?

14 thoughts on “Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Historical Romance Is My Favorite

  1. I used love reading historical’s. I admit that I don’t read as many as I use to. I love readying Garwood, Lindsey, Garlock, Sands & Hill to name a few. Every year I read Ransom by Garwood. I love it that much. My problem is I love so many authors I never have time to just read one genre over the other. Nice post!

    1. Yeah I don’t read as many as I used to, but then I used to read JUST HR, but that was when that was pretty much all there was in the romance genre. I LOVE Ransom, have you listened to the audio? its pretty fantastic.

  2. Historical Romance is an unchartered territory for me. I remember reading the Bragg Saga by Brenda Joyce. Whooo boy. That was plenty hot, and so frustrating. Lol. My main problem with Historical Romance is my inability to keep cool while reading about women who flutter and ditter in the presence of a man. I think that’s one of the things that’s stopping me from actually venturing out into that genre.

    1. I can see that, some of them most especially the regency’s era ones, can be like that quite a bit. I don’t see that happening in reality in those era’s because back then especially women I feel like had real backbone, they had to with all the restrictions against them. I can definitely recommend some books that I think you would really like and no fluttery women in them hehe

  3. You probably already know I’m a huge fan of HR. πŸ˜‰ I love it because it’s pure escapism. It’s a totally different time and place and it takes me out of the daily doldrums of real life. I’ve read and enjoyed all the authors you’ve listed and also like Lisa Kleypas, Mary Balogh, Jo Goodman and Mary Jo Puttney. (Plus tons of others!) And I’m okay with *some* fluffy & light HRs as long as I know going into the book to expect it.

  4. This is a great topic. Because of a feeling of historical authenticity being needed, this is mainly why I struggle to try new to me authors and read HR reviews closely to see how it struck the reader before I venture in. I did better at new to me authors starting the year before and did find a few that I’ll stick with, but at the same time there is also a great bunch that I won’t.
    I don’t like to see modern social mores and customs in a historical setting. I don’t like the hero/heroine to always be ‘ahead of their time’. I want to see them face the story’s conflict within the realm of reality for back then. This is why when an author like Rosanne Bittner or Mary Balogh has months and years involved before the romance resolves and the people can’t just snap their fingers to change a situation or give into attraction, I’m more than fine with it.
    I slid sideways into historical romance from historical fiction and old-style westerns so maybe that is why my taste is toward the weightier, too. I’ve come to appreciate a few historical romance comedy writers so I can diversify in that direction.

    Ha, sorry to prose on there. πŸ˜‰

  5. Historical romances is where I got my start in reading, period. I love it but for a while, I was overwhelmed with historicals so I took a break from them and discovered contemporary romances, which is where my heart is. As much as I love historical romances, it’s contemporary romances that I keep coming back to over and over again but I can appreciate why you love historicals so much. I see the same reasons my sisters prefer to read historicals. In the more modern romances, the romance itself can get lost in all of the sleeping around and angst and laid back-ness of everything.

    Anything by Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught, Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas inspire me. They’re the best!

    Wonderful post!

  6. I have to admit I am still pretty much a newbie to historical romance and only dipped my toes in this genre, but I do get what you’re saying. And like you say you want author to research the historical times,Ii think that’s true for so many books and genres. Research the hobby or job of your main character you write about, think the fantasy elements through or research and think about the world building in a science fiction story. And while it can still be an enjoyable story without thorough research and thinking behind it, it becomes even better when it is obvious the author has done their research and thought things through.

    With my experience with historical romances so far I’ve had some struggles finding books that totally fit what i wanted to. Or maybe I am not fully sure yet what I like to see in a historical romance. one thing I do know is that I like to see that time come alive. And there are some settings or times I want to read more about. I had a few good reads so far though, I just haven’t quite found my way in this genre. Sadly last year I wasn’t in a historical romance mood at all and didn’t read nay of them, so I hope maybe I’ll get hit with a historical romance mood this year.

    Great post! I enjoyed reading it and your love for this genre really is obvious!

  7. You know I love historical romance. Although I do struggle with the more heavy stuff, but that actually applies to any romance genre I’m reading. That’s based more on personal reading preferences. And you also know how much I LOVE Julie Garwood. If I had to name my favorite HR author, it would be her.

    I understand completely why you love this genre so much. I think, knowing that times weren’t great, especially for women, and seeing them find ways to be happy, it’s just wonderful!

  8. i love historical romance, it is def one of my fav genre’s. I wish I read it more, but my mood gets so eclectic sometimes. I def wish some era’s got my love. I do need to check out so backlist titles. I have not read many of those

  9. It is an amazing genre. Ah Bittner. She’s one I’m new to but have really enjoyed. Such a great characters. I have to try Hill, still. One of my local book club friends just adores her. I do differ on the fluffy romances but to each their own πŸ˜€ I love both the heavier/ darker historicals and the light hearted ones. πŸ˜€

  10. The first time I picked up a historical romance novel (it was Harlequin, I believe) I FELL IN LOVE! I gobbled up everything I could get my hands on. Sadly, I didn’t read a whole lot of bodice rippers. I also didn’t read the classic romances like The Flame and the Flower, etc. I’m not sure I will enjoy those though. I also read a few Barbara Cartland books but those were just not for me. I also remember reading tons of Zebra titles with those CRAZY covers. Those, I tried to hide from everyone because I was still in high school. *wink I also read a few Johanna Lindsey titles, but I’m not sure if I can read her now. hehe

    What I like with my HRs is the ones that can mix modern but still be a historical romance. Like Lisa Kleypas, Sabrina Jeffries, Tessa Dare, etc. But I do want it to be a teeny bit spicy than usual. hahaha Also the darker/heavier historicals are also one of my faves.

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