Chat Between Chapters: Historical Romance

December 7, 2014 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 15


 Genre: Historical Romance

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

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.

Rose review avatar Rose:

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 EyreOutlander, 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


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.



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15 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Historical Romance”

  1. Leila @ LeilaReads

    I think it’s interesting that you (Rose and Lynn) consider Jane Eyre and Jane Austen’s novels as historical fiction. To me historical fiction is modern-day fiction written in a historical setting. Novels like Jane Eyre and Austen’s work are (to me), classics, which are a whole other category. Although I guess for me it doesn’t matter since I adore historical fiction. And while I usually prefer a certain level of historical accuracy, I also don’t have a problem with novels that only use history as a backdrop as long as the story stands well on its own (without the scaffolding of the proper historical context). Historical fiction and classics are always my go-tos when I’m burned out on the more fantastical stuff (like Julie enjoys). I think it may be that for a large part of my childhood I wasn’t allowed to read anything that wasn’t considered a classic. Awesome discussion, ladies!
    Leila @ LeilaReads recently posted…That’s What HE Said Thursday #13

    • Julie

      I agree with you that Jane Austen novels are a classic due to being written ages ago and not really historical fiction as we read it now.

    • Lynn

      Berls – I think that variety is the key. Whenever I read more than 2 books in the same genre in a row, I don’t really enjoy the books as much.

  2. Vikki

    I found historical romance as a teenager. My mother loved historical fiction and was a member of a book club. She received a couple of books a month and they were always historical. I discovered Frank Yerby’s novels (my mom had all of his) and from that point on I inhaled them one right after the other. Today, historical romance is always my first choice when deciding what to read next. I also have started writing in this genre and have several published works. Presently, I am reading the Outlander series again as I listen to the audio books. I highly recommend this, the narrator is excellent. LOL

    • Lynn

      Vikki – All three of us are huge fans of the Outlander audio books. Good call there! And I’m going to check out Frank Yerby’s books, too!

      • Vikki

        His books are quite sensual, way too much for a teenager. What can I say, I was a bit precocious. When my mother passed a few years back, I took all of them, plus quite a few other favorites!

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