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:
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