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Search tags: Mass-Market-Historical-Romance
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text 2019-10-27 22:43
Try to Keep Up . . .
A Night Like This - Julia Quinn
Married By Morning - Lisa Kleypas
Rules of Surrender - Christina Dodd
The Dream Hunter - Laura Kinsale

Okay, we all understand that genre fiction is so pleasurable because writers take a relatively set structure and group of accepted conventions and make new stories out of them again and again. Here's a chain of books that have some very specific details in common:



1. Julia Quinn's "A Night Like This" is a book that uses the "Lady hiding from her dangerous past by working as a governess" plot. The female hero's "governess name" is Anne Wynter. 


2. Lisa Kleypas' "Married by Morning" is also a "Lady hiding from her dangerous past by working as a governess" book.


3. Christina Dodd's "Rules of Surrender" is part of the author's "governess" series. Its plot is focused on "taming the wild male hero," rather than female hero in jeopardy, but the hero's name is . . . Lord Wynter.  This Lord Wynter ran off to the Middle East and lived among the people there for a long while then comes back to England to wreak havoc on everyone's ideas of "convention." 


4. Laura Kinsale's book "The Dream Hunter," (the best one on this list) also features a hero who lived in a Middle-eastern culture, specifically among the Bedouin, then comes back to England and faces his "adjustment." His name: Lord Winter. 


So there you go. Random details among the genre, lined up in a neat little row. 



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text 2016-11-25 02:09
Diamond Jubilee
Knight Triumphant - Shannon Drake

Logged my 75th book read for this year. Will I make it to 80? . . . Stay tuned. -cg

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review 2016-07-26 02:06
Automatic DQ
Vanity - Jane Feather

So a "romance" novel in which the male hero drugs the female hero in order to have sex with her in Chapter 3 does not earn a spoiler tag. 


The sad part is, it wasn't even necessary and spoiled an otherwise fine novel.



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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-04-03 17:15
Oh, the creepy age difference
Valentine - Jane Feather

I recently read five of Jane feather's "V" books, and I was disappointed that most of them featured male and female heroes with significant age differences - in some cases almost 20 years. 


Now, I know that in the old days it was very common for a man in his 30s to marry a teenager, but historical romance novels have the verisimilitude level of a Renaissance Faire. There's no reason Feather couldn't write like Stephanie Laurens, who contrives a way to make most of her male heroes and female heroes much closer in age. For romances, I appreciate an age difference of less than 10 years. 


"Valentine" was pretty good. I like the plot contrivance of a forced marriage with benefits to both parties, plus the backstory of the male hero's war experience and the female hero's work on her family estate.


But I couldn't help but think that although the male hero was in his late 30s, her was a better age for the female hero's widowed mother. The mother has daughters in their early 20s, and she was a young bride herself, so she could be no older than mid 40s. She is wise and kind and loving. Why not make her the female hero? It would be far less creepy for contemporary readers and a lovely take on this kind of story.



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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-04-03 17:05
Pushing my buttons
Vixen - Jane Feather

Jane Feather's "Vixen" pushed quite a few of my historical romance "buttons," and not in a good way. What a shame, for it was a waste of characters. The female hero is an animal advocate, and the male hero is an alcoholic who works very hard for his sobriety.


But readers of my blog will know that my historical romance deal-breakers is sexual humiliation. In this novel, the paternalistic male hero is so annoyed that the female hero went out an about in male attire that he makes her strip immediately and run through the house naked. Ridiculous. She is shamed, and she does feel it. But it's about punishment and breaking her spirit, not setting the female hero up for an equal partnership in a love match. Not fun for a female to read. 


And why is the male hero so paternalistic? Because he is in the range of 20 years older than the female hero. Indeed, he was in love with the female hero's mother many years before the novel took place. He saved the mother from a sex cult. And in gratitude, the mother "willed" guardianship of her daughter to him upon her death. Of course, in due time, the male hero must also save the female hero from the same sex cult. 


Really? I know there were sex cults in England in the old days. But historical romances are about as historical as a Renaissance Faire, so just because there were sex cults doesn't mean they are good fodder for love stories. It's just stupid. 



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