Historical Romance is one the most well known sub-genres of romance. Take any article you’ve ever read or show you’ve ever watched that deals with the topic and inevitably someone will mention or allude to historical romance. Although they make up only 20% of traditionally published Romance novels they have, for whatever reason, become the face of romance since their rise to popularity in the early 1970s.
Personally, I love historical romance. I love the history, the different customs, and the stories of romance that are both the same and different from what is experienced today in North American culture. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered that many of the ladies in my book club, as a rule, avoid Historical Romance.
Here are 4 reasons you should give historical romance a try.
- You Can Choose Your Own Adventure
When I started reading Historical Romance I started with Petals on The River by Kathleen Woodwiess. This was not a good way for me to start.
I hated Petals in the River. It was super long, it took place in Colonial America, which doesn’t turn my crank, and there was a lot of dubiously incomplete or simply nonexistent consent when it came to the heroine and her sexual encounters.
Lucky for me, historical romance isn’t a one trick pony. There are over thirteen subcategories, ranging from Viking romance, specific periods in England’s history, Pirates, Native American Romance and Civil War Romance. This meant I was able to easily find other historical romance novels that I could enjoy (and had less rape!). From Kathleen Woodiwiss I moved on to Lorraine Heath’s Texas Trilogy, Stephanie Laurens’ Cynster Series and the historical romance of Lynsay Sands and now I read all sorts of authors.
I found the romances I preferred were set in England or Scotland, usually during the Stuart era (1603 to 1714) or the Regency period (1811-1820) and preferably featuring a kilted Scotsman or a dark brooding peer of the realm.
Historical romance is so broad a category that it’s easy for anyone to find something they like.