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Welcome, Eve. HR is a huge genre. Do you have any particular period or place interests? Explicit sex scenes or subtle? Are you interested in accurate historical settings, or does this not matter too much? I'm going to assume a M/F relationship, although there is also a gay sub-genre.
Let us know. We have quite a few knowledgeable folks here.
I like all time periods and all places (European, Russian, American, Western, Roman...) I don't mind there being sex in the storyline, I just don't want every other page
be a sex scene. Definitely m/f relationships. LOL I don't think that I helped much. I love family Saga's. I would like for there to be some depth to the story. I've never read
in this genre, so I have no idea where to start. I was hoping to find the most popular authors in this genre and then make some choices.
A little bit of everything coming up! OK, I can't promise popular because I like the more unusual stuff. But here's few good ones:
Here's a pretty good list at Goodreads. Happy reading!
As a long time historical romance fan who is new within the last year to the historical fiction genre-there is a difference. Can I define it? Probably others would do a better job than I could.
But here's my thoughts, romance...focus is on the romance; while there is a historical setting, historical figures(in some cases-not all) then main thing is the relationship between the h/h. Some writers are able to have a smashing good romance AND an accurate, true-to-the-period historical setting. Others, can write a good romance, but their historical accuracy leaves much to be desired. Some, again can write a decent romance but use the historical setting simply as window dressing-meaning-tell the reader that it's 1815, throw in a duke, and.,..where off-with little to no nod to historical accuracy, language, mores, etc. Gee, can ya' tell that the last is a particular pet peeve of mine....
historical fiction-at least in the ones I've read-and keep in mind that so far it's primarily been historical romance authors that I'm familiar with who have turned their pens(or their computers) to the historical fiction genre-historical figures play a much bigger part, the historical detail is more intense-and the romance is secondary. The sex scenes...at least so far have been less intense than some(though not all) historical romances that Iv'e read-most of those range on the "hot" scale at Romantic Times-which according to them is what "most" romances fall into.
Favorite historical fiction:
Christine Blevins The Tory Widow-Revolutionary War
Jeane Westin-The Virgin Queen's Daughters-her historical romances are very, very good as well
Ella March Chase-The Virgin Queen's Daughter-debut author; this one was exceeding well done.
Authors who have written historical fiction who I "knew" thru the historical romance genre: Susan Holloway Scott(Miranda Jarrett), Susan Frasier(Susan King, Sarah Gabriel), Sandra Worth. I know there's more but my computer that had the file blew up(literally) and I lost everything.
Favorite historical romance authors that also write really well in terms of period, accuracy, motivation....etc-I could go on at length with this one.....
Roberta Gellis, Carla Kelly, Joanna Bourne, Jeane Westin, Patricia Veryan, Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney-new one-Rose Lerner(IMO In for a Penny is fabulously well done)
Hope that jump starts some reading for you....
Last Edited on: 7/16/10 9:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
I have three old favorites that might interest you. Katherine by Anya Seton, which is about Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt; Hannah Fowler by Janice Holt Giles, which is about a pioneer woman; and The Infinite Woman by Edison Marshall, which is a fictionalized version of Lola Montez' life.
Eve, I third Roberta Gellis, she is the one responsible for my love of historical fiction and it's sub genres.
Just a few more
Elizabeth Chadwick, The British one, if the synopsis of the book is set in America it is the wrong Chadwick. Her books are rarely posted here but can be found easily on Amazon.
Sara Donati Into the Wilderness series
I'll second the Gellis rec's. For US take a look at Celeste de Blasis and Patricia Gallagher.
Romance is pretty hard to categorize, there are the wall-paper ones with nothing but sex in prettified settings, and although there's a mraket for it (and I'm not knocking them) it isn't for me. I like a bit more historical detail, but then I've seen romance readers complain about Gellis putting too much history in her books. There's another good list at Goodreads on this topic, http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/693.Books_that_are_too_good_to_be_classified_as_straight_romance
Edith Layton (The Fire-Flower - Charles II)
Diane Gaston (writes Regency Harlequins - she's very good)
I second the Carla Kelly rec. She also does Harley Regencies, and her stories and characters are always effective with a great sense of time and place. She and Gaston are great "light" reads without being idiotic or bland like so many Harleys. :-\
Day Taylor's books - all OP - thick, meaty historicals
Jan, that's also a pet peeve of mine! Too many recent HRs are like that and they get tossed real fast! And if you ever remember what Worth's romance penname is, I'd be interested to know! I'm not fond of her HF at all, so I'd be curious about her other stuff.
Last Edited on: 7/16/10 8:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Ok, haven't read Elzabeth Chadwick. What am I looking for? English settings only, right? So I get the write one...
Karla-oh-totally blanked on Diane Gaston-very well done. I remember reading the "Mysterious Miss M" and turning the book over to be SURE that it was a Harlequin!
Jan, that is correct all her books are set in the medieval period between the Norman Conquest say the 13th century.
ETA most are set in the Angevin Empire.
Last Edited on: 7/16/10 10:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
This is the Elizabeth Chadwick you want: http://www.elizabethchadwick.com/
She writes books with titles like "The Scarlet Lion", "To Defy A King" ... a little more ... historically oriented?
The "other" Elizabeth Chadwick has titles like "Elusive Lovers", "Wanton Angel", "Virgin Fire" and more ... romance oriented.
Essentially, if the title makes you think Fabio would look right on the cover, you've got the wrong one.
Apologies in advance to fans of the other EC -- I'm sure she writes nice stories too, but they definitely are not historical fiction.
Last Edited on: 7/16/10 5:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1