Genre: Historical Romance
I rarely read historical fiction. I’m more into the fantastical or sci-fi worlds, and am not a good student of history anyway. I like my modern world and don’t really enjoy reading about wars or struggles without electricity. But when I do read historical fiction, it is one of those epic books that everyone loves. Examples: Gone with the Wind and Outlander. These epic giant monster books are definitely worth making an exception to my usual genre reads. I also enjoy the movies or TV shows made from such books, because the clothing of those past times does interest me, and I enjoy reading the descriptions and seeing them depicted on the screen.
Some of my all time favorite reads fall into this category. I do not know what it is about historical romance that I like so well, but it is one of my favorite genres. I like a SMART historical romance. One that seems well researched, not one that uses the time period as a mere prop. Perhaps it is the frame of reference that a historical read provides that I enjoy so much. I am one of those nerds that likes to imagine when visiting a historical site or walking along an abandoned railroad line (had these all over the place when I lived in Pennsylvania) what were these people thinking; what were their lives like? I lived in a house built in 1909 and although that is not terribly old, I still liked to imagine what the lives of the people were like who slept within the security of the very same walls where I also slept. What can I say? History fascinates me. Some of my favorite historical romances are Jane Eyre, Outlander, and The Bronze Horseman. In fact, every year around this time, I want to reread The Bronze Horseman. I think it is the cold weather outside that makes me think of Leningrad’s brutal winter and also, the very first time I read this book, it was Christmas day and I was so moved by this book, I was never the same. It was also that book that lead to me to discover Goodreads.com
I’d like to blame Jane Austen for my adoration of historical romance, but really, I think it might be a genetic predisposition. I’ve always loved learning about history. The castles, the highlands, the wide vistas of the western United States. I really don’t have any desire to live without modern conveniences like antibiotics, electricity, and running water. And garderobes are not sexy. But the romantic fantasy in these books is very much alive.
I enjoy both time travel stories (Outlander, of course) and stories set in different eras. If you are looking for some authors to check out, I’d recommend books by any of these authors:
- Elizabeth Lowell. Her Only Series are some of my all-time favorites. Spirited women and dangerous gunslingers trying to eek out a living in the Old West.
- Sophie Jordan. I really enjoyed the Penwich Series. It was great to read historical stories with women who aren’t just damsels in distress.
- Gwen Cready. I learned all about painter Peter Lely from Flirting With Forever
For me, if you like romance, and manly men, there is no better place to look than historical romance.