Yakkety Yak…Let’s Chat – What’s Your Take On It ~ The Historical Romance

Yakkety Yak...Let's Chat

We are delighted to turn over Yakkety Yak to Sophia Rose today! Take it away…

Today I want to get all up in your business when it comes to the Historical Romance.

For some, the thought of HR makes them break out in hives (You might wish to ditch this one for another post now ‘cause I don’t want to be responsible for you being miserable with hives).  For others, its uncharted territory yet or the mood hasn’t struck them lately.

But for the rest of us…let’s talk HR.

I just picked some discussion starters here and I’ll get the party started by answering the questions first.

  1. Historical period or geographic location?  No preference!  I mostly read Regency or Victorian these days, but I love Medieval, Ancient, and American Westerns too.  If the author wants to paint in some details about the setting or period, I’m all for that.  Make me feel like I stepped back in time and lost myself in someone else’s story, oh yes!
  2. Historical Details?  Personally, I like the details.  I like knowing how they talked, what they wore, what activities they were involved in, what were the social rules, etc.  I do understand the need for balance so it stays a story and doesn’t become a text book.  That being said, it distracts me when the dress, language, social/cultural behavior or objects in the story are off, but I can live with it if it’s not too glaring and it’s a really good story.
  3. Trope(s)?  Yes, I’m well aware there are some go-to scenarios for the HR novel.  I like them.  Medieval forced marriages, Regency Arranged Marriages?  Bring it!  Wow me with Virgins and Rakes,  Princesses, Soldiers, Prostitutes, Dukes, Serving Maids, Knights, Rancher’s daughters, Warriors, Geishas, Mountain Men, Indians, Gladiators, etc.   Reunions/Second Chance, Forbidden/Class Differences…yeah, all of those, but don’t stick me with a love triangle or a cheater.
  4. Characters?  I’m really open about this too though I have to be in the right mood for some personalities to work for me.  I like alpha or beta types- domineering dukes, ice princesses, humble vicars, gentle poor spinsters.  I don’t mind flawed characters or anti-hero(ines) so long as there is some growth and that the growth doesn’t start too late in the story.  I don’t get off on Neanderthal behavior disguised as alpha type in my heroes.   I’m touchy about heroines and I’ll be the first to admit that lots of them get on my nerves- whiny, angsty, damsels in distress (or to be blunt, the Too Stupid to Live types), rudeness that is disguised as sass, manipulative…absolutely kills a story’s enjoyment for me.
  5. Blending genres?  I love this trend.  I have always loved Historical Romantic Suspense, but recently Time Travel, Historical Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and Steampunk have become favorites too.
  6. Got some favorite HR authors?  Do I ever!  I’m a bit old school and many of these might be unknowns:  Jo Beverley,  Mary Balogh, Victoria Holt, Georgette Heyer, Shana Galen, Victoria Vane, Deanna Raybourn, Kristen Callihan, Bec McMaster, Patricia Ryan, Isolde Martyn, Ava March, Genevieve Graham, Jeannie Lin, Carla Kelly, Alex Beecroft…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Now it’s your turn.  Answer one, some or all of these questions and give me your take.  These are just personal tastes and opinions so please do be kind with your comments.

Delighted Reader Giveaway

One lucky commenter (US Only) will win a four-book variety pack of some of the latest in Historical Romance.  I’ll make it interesting and allow for multiple comments to count either as tackling a different question with each comment or a reply to an existing comment.

Book Prizes-Giveaways 001

Prize Pack includes: The Countess Confessions, Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait, The Smuggler Wore Silk and Lord of the Rakes

Giveaway ends March 22, 2014 11:59pm EDT.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • oki as international i’m not entering the giveaway but i wanted to participate so i do like when historical romance mix with fantasy or paranormal ^^, steampunk are also great

    • I wish I could do Int’l on this, Miki, but the shipping costs….groan.

      I’m new to blending genres, but I love that too. Do you have favorite authors with your historical paranormals or steampunks?

      • i’ve just started too so i don’t have a lot of recommendation yet but for steampunk ( really steamy one) jillian stone ( phaeton black series) is really well done

        • Oh yes! I’ve heard of her series and need to try it. Thanks for reminding me.

          • my pleasure but beware it’s really really hot^^;;

            • Hot is fine, but its good to know. I’ve noticed several steampunk series get hot. Must be the thing. Steam heat! Haha!

  • Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

    I’ve only really read paranormal historical. I think it’s a great baby step for someone like me that loves paranormal romance but has yet gotten in to historical. Couple of years ago I borrowed a historical or sorts from a friend. It was about a highlander. I enjoyed it and I have the 2nd book on my shelf from the same friend. Maybe I should move it up my TBR list. I also own all the highlander books by Karen Marie Moning. I really should get around to reading them.

    • Yes, the paranormal historical has revitalized my interest in historicals too, Jennifer. I used to read straight historical romances non-stop, but then got bored. I moved to historical romantic suspense and lately historical paranormal and steampunk. I have the KMM books and I need to get on the stick with those

  • I read maybe 6-10 straight historicals a year. Usually regency or medieval, and on the rarest of occasions a Western. I started my romance journey with Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsay and added some of the greats like Julie Garwood and Catherine Coulter. If a historical has a PNR element added I am overjoyed. If it has a PNR element and kilts, I am simply orgasmic. The newer authors have moved away from the love from rape trope which always ended up as a DNF for me. Thankfully the newer heroines have spines, opinions and a bit of the warrior added to their character profiles.

    • Hey! I recognize those author names, Sebella! I read a few of those. You are so right about many of the oldies having the rape trope. I hated that too and made me really selective about authors. Oh yes, paranormal highlanders. I read my first highlander with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander two years ago and I’m hooked..

  • Oh fun! I love historicals so no hives here. lol Alright questions…

    Historical period or geographic location? No difference to me either! I love them all though I read mostly Regency or American Westerns. But I enjoy all the detours from those as well.

    Historical Details? I like the details too 🙂 It’s part of the fun of them. Getting lost in a completely different world. I’d have loved to have spent time then just for a bit. All the gowns and such. I’m flexible on mine so I can get into the ones that are loose historicals and a little more modern though it needs to fit the story.

    Trope(s)? Fake mates and arranged marriages are my favorites. I LOVE those. And the forbidden romances. A Lady who goes for the groom or the Duke for a seamstress. *swoon*

    Characters? I have more trouble with heroines across the board. I need them to be..smart. Or at least not intentionally stupid. Ya know? The ones that REFUSE any mans help because gah! she can do it on her own! Drive me batty. The manipulative ones as well. I don’t mind a little bit of mind games but when you’re wishy washy and do stuff like no you have to leave! If you loved me you’d leave! And the hero leave then the heroine throws herself down because how could he leave?! Nope. Not gonna do it for me. I like alpha males the most. And kinda like the ones that border on too much alpha. Broody and grumbly. So work for me. I can deal with betas but they need to have some backbone too.

    Blending genres? Works for me! I love historical erotic romances and have read a few paranormal historicals I loved!

    Got some favorite HR authors? My go to’s…Sabrina Jeffries (she’s one of my local authors woot!), Jennifer Haymore (she adds some mystery into hers), Anne Barton (the images she paints are incredible like you could reach out and touch them.

    Fab post Sophia! I think we see eye to eye on a lot of these bits and pieces 🙂

    • Oh yes! We do see eye to eye. And hey, I missed the fake mate thing. I like that one too. I’ve read just a few historical erotic romances and enjoyed them. I think I got lucky and came across authors who blended the historical with the heat. I haven’t read Sabrina Jeffries yet, but she’s on the list.

      • I’ve not read a ton of them yet but the ones I have I really enjoyed. Actually reading one now! Natasha Blackthorne. Light BDSM and historical. Ahh Sabrina Jeffries was my gateway historical romance author. lol A friend LOVES her and kept hounding me to give her a try and finally I gave in. And well…hooked. Heh.

        • I’ve heard that Natasha Blackthorne is good. I think I put one on my wishlist after reading Sharonda’s review. My only regular his. eroticas have been Jess Michels, Victoria Vane and M/M one, Ava March. I’ll get to Natasha eventually though.

          My gateway HR writers were Dana Fuller Ross (American Frontier/westerns) and Donald Clayton Porter (American Frontier/Native American). That ought to date me. But my first English Historicals were Jo Beverley with Mary Balogh running her a close second.

  • Jennifer Lane

    I haven’t read many historical romances but The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paullina Simons (Russia in WWII and America after that) is one of my favorite romance series ever. I also enjoyed the MacKinnon Rangers series by Pamela Clare and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Haven’t read any regency romances.

    • Well I have to say, Jennifer! You may not have read many, but you’ve read some quality ones. I have The Bronze Horseman Trio on my wish list b/c of how awesome its readers make it sound. I have read the others and they’re fab. You’d probably like Genevieve Graham or Sara Donati based on those choices. I love Mary Balogh for the more romancy Regency stuff, but there are tons of good ones out there that range from light and fun to quite passionate.

  • kat_nautilus

    This was a great post Sophia! It’s always fun to think about what makes a particular genre so enjoyable.

    I had only ever read Historical Fiction, Speculative fiction, and Classics up until two years ago when a friend nudged a Historical Romance into my hands. I was really skeptical going in, having never read a Romance novel before, and I ended up being so pleasantly surprised by it!

    There is nothing quite as sweet as having a whole new genre opened up for enjoying. Some of my favourites so far have been: The Corinthian, Then Came You, Kiss of the Highlander, Mr. Impossible, and A Kingdom of Dreams. I always enjoy an alpha whose world gets turned upside down by a strong minded and free spirited lady. A touch of humour is also great.

    Genre blending is really fun, I’ve read a few with a paranormal or steampunk twist which I really enjoyed, and I also think time travel is such a good ingredient to mix in now and then…. it is always really fun to see a modern day woman get treated to a good dose of chivalry from some overbearing fella from times past who really has no idea what he is in for!

    I am going to check out some of the books and authors mentioned in the comments now, starting with the Bronze Horseman Trilogy!

    • Yes, it is so fun blending the genres. I’m glad your friend talked you into the romance. I’ll have to check out Mr. Impossible and A Kingdom of Dreams b/c those are new to me. Good choice to see what The Bronze Horsemen trio has to offer. I love Russian history. Thanks for stopping by Kat!