Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog Hop + Giveaway: 5 Favorite HR Themes

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I'm excited to be participating in Terri Giuliano Long's blog hop and $50 giveaway (the blog hop and rafflecopter widgets are at the bottom of the post). It would be far too difficult to choose just one favorite romantic read, so - instead - I thought I would share some of my favorite themes to find in a historical romance novel. These are my top five.

1) Wallflower Heroines
Outward appearances were of the utmost importance in Regency England, where men and women had limited opportunities to converse. In that situation, it seems unlikely that a wallflower - a woman who did not stand out, either because of her lack of superficial or social charm - would have much of a chance of catching a suitor. So it tends to be rather sweet and fun when a gentleman not only notices such a woman, but falls head over heels in love with her inner beauty.
Examples: How to Romance a Rake, How to Ravish a Rake

2) Spinster Heroines
Along similar lines as wallflowers, spinsters were somewhat of outsiders in the Regency world. The chance of a woman finding a husband seemed to decline precipitously as she reached her mid-twenties. Modern readers find such a convention absurd, a feeling that is vindicated with the hero ends up finding true love with the "old maid."
Examples: The Last Rogue, This Wicked Man

3) Traveling/Adventure Romances
By nature of being a book, romance novels tend to have a limited time frame to convince the reader that a genuine romantic relationship is being formed. One of the best ways to do this - in my opinion - is to make it an adventure romance, where the hero and heroine spend a great deal of their time traveling together in a wide range of circumstances. You learn a great deal about a person in a short amount of time when you travel with them, so it's plausible that such circumstances could lead to an everlasting love. Plus, the awkward sleeping arrangements always add to the fun.
Examples: Emerald, A Week to be Wicked

4) Beta Heroes
In a genre dominated by female readers, I am well resigned to alpha heroes with their darkly good looks and rakish outlooks on life. But that's not really the kind of guy I am, so it shouldn't come as a great surprise that I find it hard to relate with those characters. Instead, I particularly enjoy reading about those rare heroes who are loosely defined as beta heroes - men who have less forceful personalities and tend to be worthy of admiration from the first chapter.
Examples: Ruined by Rumor, Loving Eliza, Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight

5) Marriage-of-Convenience Romances
The marriage-of-convenience theme is perhaps the most improbable of all romantic plotlines, telling of protagonists who fall deeply in love with each other only after they are married. But that's part of the joy of a well-written romance, taking an unlikely scenario and gradually developing a relationship the reader buys into wholeheartedly.
Examples: Devil in the Winter, To Wed a Stranger, His Secondhand Wife

So what are your favorite themes to find in romance books? Do you agree with any of the themes I mentioned? Let me know in the comment section below.

Also: a quick shout out to the Love Saves the World, the blog where I found out about this hop.

Other blogs participating in this hop:

Blog hop giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi, Christopher!

    When I saw you were participating in the hop, I was very excited to read your entry. Another very informative and enjoyable post!

    Love the same themes and *nod nod* to the recommendations. ^_^

    Curious about your thoughts on "merry widows" -- which was a theme du jour a few years ago.

    1. Haha, thanks Tin - your compliments about my posts always leave me smiling :). To tell you the truth, I'm not the biggest fan of either hero or heroine widows in my books. I am curious, though: what exactly is the "merry widow" theme? It is like widows who are happily single, but find love anyway?

    2. Merry widows miss the "physical side" of marriage and conduct discreet affairs. ^_^

      Candice Hern has a trilogy that featured merry widows. ^_^

  2. I'm an absolute sucker for the marriage-of-convenience theme! Like you say, so implausible. Sometimes I think that's a subtle line that allows us to enjoy the fantasy but accept that love in real life is a little less 'Hollywood' (but even more special).

    1. Hey Donna,

      Nicely said. It's somewhat along the same lines as the whole "happily-ever-after" aspect: not exactly realistic, but that's why I enjoy reading it :). And of course, real life love is more meaningful in other ways. Thanks for stopping by!

      - Chris

  3. Hey Chris,
    I love pretty much all romance. However, there are ones I prefer more than others. For one thingies tend to love Alpha heroes over Beta ones. However, I'd love a Walflower Heroine and the Spinster too. My most favorite one is marriage of convince. Yep that's right lets just throw to people together who don't really know each other and hope for the best.

    1. Hey Melody,

      that must be why your TBR list is so large! Haha, right? Because throwing two strangers together always works well... But that's what is great about reading a romance book, you know it will all work out in the end :).

      - Chris

    2. Oh Chris,

      My TBR list is ridiculously long. I really should not write my comment on my iPad. Anyways. I have so many kindle books it's not even funny. (Telling you I'm a sucker for sales). I think I have over 700 books on my kindle. Seriously, I have a problem. It's a good thing I have a kindle. I have enough books to have a small library. I even have real books. Then lets not forget the apps for more books: Nook, Bluefire, OverDrive and iBooks. I know it's bad. I'm serious, if there is a book you would like to read check with me to see if I have it and possibly loan it. Overall, I'm a sucker for romance novels.

    3. Haha, wow... so many books. That's crazy - and awesome - at the same time. Well getting them all on sale is better than paying full price, right? ;) Alright, thank you - I will let you let know if I ever wish to take a loan from from the Melody Library :).

      - Chris

  4. Thank you so much for taking part in the hop, Chris! I really enjoyed this and the examples you gave. Such a great approach!

    My best,

    1. Hey Terri,

      thank you for your kind comments. It was the first time I've participated in a blog hop, and it was certainly a fun experience :).

      Take care,


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