Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers discussion

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ROMANCE FOR THE THINKING WOMAN?

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Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (ThePirateWench) | 133 comments Why not? I think its always good to have a selection.
not just the same old plot..did you ever readCredoby Melvyn BraggI loved this book..unrequited love in this story..but it ended with me loving it & the characters more.


message 52: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Sandi wrote: "@Misfit..hey forgot about frenchmans creek that was so good! so are her other books..what other classic's can you think of?"

Lorna Doone
Jane Eyre

I'm drawing a blank, but how about Katherine by Anya Seton?


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (ThePirateWench) | 133 comments Misfit wrote: "Sandi wrote: "@Misfit..hey forgot about frenchmans creek that was so good! so are her other books..what other classic's can you think of?"

Lorna Doone
Jane Eyre

I'm drawing a blank, but how ..."


Katherine...oh ya my favorite!!!! Jane Eyre I liked..Lorna Doone??? III check her out..


message 54: by Gaile, co-librarian (new)

Gaile (Kittygladu) | 251 comments Mod
Bertrice Small's books do have explicit sex but they also have strong plots. Some, not all are set against the Ottoman Empire. I am past the age when I can read steamy sex scenes with avid interest. Besides when I was still unmarried, that kind of writing was not allowed. Even the movies did not show the stuff they show today.
By the time they did start publishing this stuff, (Portnoy's Complaint is one I remember)I was married with children and often I found myself turning over the pages until that was over and reading from there.
That said, Tom Jones was considered scandalous in his day.As for Lady Chatterly's Lover, all of us had to read that and we had to read it on the sly so our parents would not find out! I even remember being forbidden to read Peyton Place which I read anyway.
My attempt to buy Young Bess at a rummage sale back in 1954 was rebuffed as the crank behind the table said I was too young to read it. I had offered to pay for it and I was really annoyed when she had to get all uppity on me because I was fascinated with that period so I waited until her back was turned and took the book. I still have that stolen copy! I was so keen to learn all I could about the Tudor period that I remember getting behind on my seventh grade work.


message 55: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
LOL! Love your stories Gaile!

I actually did add one Bertrice Small title to our shelf The Kadin by Bertrice Small. Let me know which others we should consider.

Most of our current titles are Romantic historical fiction (over 80)
We have a good number of romantic biographical fiction (28) and I just today made a shelf for historical romance but will be very selective about these titles (MUST HAVE PLOT!!!)

We also have a few good historical YA novels as well as some time travel.
We are building an awesome library. Thank you all!


message 56: by Gaile, co-librarian (new)

Gaile (Kittygladu) | 251 comments Mod
I just found out there are TWO writers! One is Barbara Samuels. The other is Barbara Samuel. Barbara Samuels writes children's stories. The other one is the author of A Bed Of Spices. Just so your readers don't get confused!


message 57: by Gaile, co-librarian (new)

Gaile (Kittygladu) | 251 comments Mod
Just one more comment. I had to read Lorna Doone as an assignment in high school. I didn't think much of it at the time as I was young and this was about a mature woman experiencing the trials of life which I hadn't yet experienced.I thought at the time it was very sad. I haven't seen a copy of this book in ages! Can this still be found?


message 58: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Gaile wrote: "Just one more comment. I had to read Lorna Doone as an assignment in high school. I didn't think much of it at the time as I was young and this was about a mature woman experiencing the trials of l..."

Sure- it's considered a classic. I believe I saw it recently at Barnes and Noble.


message 59: by Rosie (last edited Jul 15, 2010 05:10PM) (new)

Rosie | 4 comments I am the same as a couple of members here. I'm a reader of historical romance, but I have gotten tired of the sex and the wallpaper characteristics of many of the romances being published today. The sex might have been been a little titillating to me at first (:P), but they are starting to bore me as they all blend together and don't add anything essential to the plot.

I've become very picky as to what historical romances to read, and I usually read the summaries and reviews before deciding I want to read the book. Some of the authors I've enjoyed so far are Carrie Lofty, Judith James, and Carolyn Jewel (who I know were mentioned here and are the reason why I decided to join this group seeking more books like theirs), Laura Kinsale, Mary Jo Putney's older romances, Meredith Duran, Sherry Thomas, Judith Ivory, and Julie Anne Long. I've also heard very good things about Marsha Canham's more epic adventure romances. Laura Lee Guhrke writes more standard historical romances, but I absolutely love her character development in Guilty Pleasures and And Then He Kissed Her.

I also really love the historical romantic suspense books by Madeleine Brent (pseudonym of Peter O'Donnell). They were written back in the 70's and are harder to find now that I'm looking for copies to keep, but most libraries have them. I've devoured almost all of them because they always start in some exotic land (the Caribbean, China during the Boxer rebellion, Tibet) and end in England and feature very competent, engaging heroines. O'Donnell really knows how to write a strong, capable, likable heroine. Has anyone read these books and know of others similar to them?


message 60: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (last edited Jul 15, 2010 05:45PM) (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Hi Rosie!
Thanks for chiming in. We have many of the same favorite HR authors. Have you read Madeline Hunter? I picked up the Sins of Lord Easterbrook last year and was hooked. Although she writes some pretty steamy stuff- it's with a pretty solid plot. That particular novel involved the opium trade. I won't go any futher than that, but you might wish to check her out. I am still debating if she is "historical" enough to add to our list.

I've recently made a book shelf for HR but will be pretty picky about the settings and plot lines. I would first like to hear what others in this group think.

I will definitely check out the Peter O'Donnell/Madeleine Brent titles.


message 61: by Rosie (new)

Rosie | 4 comments Thank you for the warm welcome, Emery. I have read Madeline Hunter, and my favorite is The Rules of Seduction. This book was one of my earliest keepers as well. She is sometimes a hit or miss for me because at times I find her writing and plot so engaging and at other times the writing seems a little stilted because it is so formal. I know a lot of the authors I mentioned are probably more romance with some history woven in. Their plots are centered around the relationship of a main couple.

As for the Madeleine Brent books, I think of them as more adventure historicals with romance thrown in because they are more about the journey and development of the female protagonist. You should definitely check them out. I usually am able to read one within a day because I can't put it down.


message 62: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Hey Rosie-
You ask and I deliver! I am already adding them to the shelf. I am also classifying them as YA as I have read there is no explicit sex.


message 63: by Julianna (new)

Julianna (AuthorJuliannaD) | 40 comments I consider myself to be a thinking woman, but I generally prefer historical romance to historical fiction. I just really like the focus to be on the romance and also need my fairy tale HEA fix.:-) That said, in order for me to truly enjoy any romance it has to have a strong plot with the love scenes usually being the icing on the cake, not the other way around. Of course, it's a big bonus to my intellectual side if there is also a good dose of real history to back it up. I've actually learned a great deal from HR.


message 64: by Colleen (NerdyWoman) (last edited Jul 15, 2010 07:23PM) (new)

Colleen (NerdyWoman) Kayter (NerdyWoman) | 1 comments Hi all! I'm new to this forum and it's all Julie's fault/credit.

I'd like to offer up a pair of books that Thinking Women might enjoy: Scandalous Lovers and the sequel, Cry For Passion by Robin Schone.

Schone writes in the later Victorian era and addresses the women's issues of the day: divorce, male guardians, spousal abuse, birth control, suffrage. I will warn that her books are romances (complete with sex) in that they are about M/F relationships that are developed in contradiction to the social mores of the time. You will learn something about history, but enjoy every minute of it.

If you find you like those, you might also like an earlier pair, The Lover and Gabriel's Woman. The Lover must be read first because Schone doesn't do a spectacular job on the back story in Gabriel's Woman. In this pair, two Victorian-era gentlemen try to heal from the abuse of child molestation and subsequently, eking out a living as male prostitutes. Again, the stories are about relationships (namely, heterosexual monogamy) despite the social taboos of their time.


message 65: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (last edited Jul 15, 2010 08:51PM) (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Hey Julie-
I am not "dissing" romance novels by any means. I've eaten them up for years, but the storylines are becoming anorexic; and while HF can be very enlightening, it can also (sometimes)be sleep inducing. We're looking for a combo here- let's call it lust with learning- do you like that one?


message 66: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Colleen (RomRdr) wrote: "Hi all! I'm new to this forum and it's all Julie's fault/credit.

I'd like to offer up a pair of books that Thinking Women might enjoy: Scandalous Lovers and the sequel, [book:Cry Fo..."


Colleen-
A very warm welcome to you.!We will definitely explore your suggestions!


message 67: by Julianna (last edited Jul 16, 2010 05:47PM) (new)

Julianna (AuthorJuliannaD) | 40 comments Emery wrote: "Hey Julie-
I am not "dissing" romance novels by any means. I've eaten them up for years, but the storylines are becoming anorexic; and while HF can be very enlightening, it can also (sometimes)be ..."


I completely understand where you're coming from, Emery. I didn't think you were dissing HR. It just seemed that nearly everyone who had responded to the thread thus far has either tired of HR or doesn't care for it at all, so I thought I'd offer up a different perspective for the purpose of discussion. I freely admit that romance in all genres can get cookie-cutter-ish and there's a lot of wallpaper HR out there these days as well as ones that push the envelope on sexual content. I just have wide-ranging tastes and like the fairy tale aspect enough that those things may not bother me as much as it does some readers. I do still love the intellectual stimulation of a good history lesson along with my romance though, and those are the ones I'll be keeping an eye out for to recommend here. I enjoy HF as long as it has a good romance too (love the Outlander series) which is where the recs in this group should come in handy. I just don't see HF replacing HR as my favorite genre anytime soon.:-)


message 68: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Julie (Mom2lnb) wrote: "Emery wrote: "Hey Julie-
I am not "dissing" romance novels by any means. I've eaten them up for years, but the storylines are becoming anorexic; and while HF can be very enlightening, it can also (..."


Hey Julie-
We're still working on some great titles to change your mind. (You still haven't read THE HIGHEST STAKES!)
What a shamless plug that was. Forgive me, I couldn't help myself !(:D).The Highest Stakes

We'll settle for RHF as your second favorite genre...for now


message 69: by Rosie (new)

Rosie | 4 comments I wanted to also add these 2 favorites. How could I forget them? They're more in the way of historical with a lovely dash of romance: Indiscretion by Jude Morgan and The Oracle Glass by Judith Merkle Riley. The other books by these authors are wonderful as well, but above are my absolute favorites from them.


message 70: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Rosie wrote: "I wanted to also add these 2 favorites. How could I forget them? They're more in the way of historical with a lovely dash of romance: Indiscretion by Jude Morgan and The Oracle Glass by Judith Merk..."

He Rosie!
I've added both of these under historical romance. Indescretion (by the description) looked a bit light on the "historical aspects" but I added it anyway with a note as it appeared to have such rave reviews. The Oracle Glass looked much stronger on the "historical side" so I filed under both HR and RHF. Thanks so much for sharing these!


message 71: by Karla (new)

Karla I liked The Fireflower by Edith Layton - very good Charles II era atmosphere, and points to her for making Rochester be a nasty little viper rather than the fractious and naughty little puppy that I've seen crop up over and over in HF.


message 72: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Hey Karla-
So glad to hear from you! I checked out your blog which gave me a chuckle. (:P)
Here's the link for the benefit of the group:(http://cadsandwhores.blogspot.com/)

Regarding The Fireflower, I was sitting on the fence a bit with this book, (These kind of covers always make me hesitate!)but your well written review discussing the plague,the great fire,the puritans, and the colorful restoration characters made a strong case to add it to our collection.

I've filed it on our HR shelf and look forward to hearing what others also have to say. Please "keep 'em coming!"


message 73: by Karla (new)

Karla Thanks for the blog shoutout. I'm crap at updating it, but it's fun!


message 74: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Karla wrote: "Thanks for the blog shoutout. I'm crap at updating it, but it's fun!"

Hehe, Karla's blog is fun :)

**gets on soap box**

I've said it before and I've said it again, never ever judge a book only by its cover. I've found very tame books (good or bad) with covers that scream bodice ripper and very bland covers that are nothing but page after page of sex. Both from the 80's and today. Can anyone show me a Garwood or McNaught cover that indicates what's inside the pages?

I have read a couple of Layton books (but not the one Karla mentioned) and she's definitely a step above your standard romance. The Crimson Crown is a bit of a different twist on the princes in the tower and Henry VII.


message 75: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (last edited Jul 20, 2010 10:36PM) (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Thanks Misfit! Based on your recommendation and review, I've added it to our shelf.


message 76: by Karla (new)

Karla I'd also recommend The Kadin by Bertrice Small. If anyone's acquainted with Small's stuff, you know there's an unbelievable amount of sex. Not so here. This was her first book and there's only one bodice-ripper scene near the end (where the book takes a downturn in the story, IMO). But the book as a whole is a great depiction of a 15th century harem and the relationships and power struggles between the women in it, and how they tried to influence events outside it. I learned a lot and it's obvious that Small did her research.

Her next book had buttloads of sex. LOL


message 77: by Jill (new)

Jill Actually I've been hesitant to read any Beatrice Small
because I've heard her books really have some weird stuff. But I'm willing to try.


message 78: by Karla (new)

Karla The Kadin is totally different from any other Bertrice Small book I've ever read (and I've read most of her early and mid-career stuff). I was actually shocked by how tame it was!


message 79: by Jill (new)

Jill Thanks, Karla. I'm not a big fan of the bodice-ripper.
But love the history of harems I might be able to read about in 'The Kadin.


message 80: by Karla (new)

Karla The one bodice ripper scene is after the heroine goes back to Scotland, a whole epilogue that I thought was unnecessary, but since the book is about one woman's life then I suppose it couldn't have been left off entirely. But if you just want to stick with the harem section, don't read beyond her departure from Turkey.


message 81: by Jill (new)

Jill Karla
Thanks for the advice.
And by the way, loved reading your blog.


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (ThePirateWench) | 133 comments Hey Karla..LOVE your blog!HEY other members check it out! :)


message 83: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Karla wrote: "I'd also recommend The Kadin by Bertrice Small. If anyone's acquainted with Small's stuff, you know there's an unbelievable amount of sex. Not so here. This was her first book and th..."

Thanks Karla!
This one (The Kadin) has now received several endorsements from our members. I am eager to read it.
[ Buttloads, oh my! (:o) ]


message 84: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Hey Y'all - yesterday in a "live" chat Judith James mentioned that one of her all time favorite authors/series was Dorothy Dunnett and her Lymond Chronicles. I had never heard of this author so I did a bit of digging and am positively giddy about adding her to our list - Here's the GOODREADS description of the first book in the 6 part series:

"Praised for her historical fiction by critics and devoted fans alike, author Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles took the romance world by storm some 30 years ago, firmly fixing Dunnett's reputation as a master of the historical romance. The Game of Kings, the first story in The Lymond Chronicles, sets the stage for what will be a sweeping saga filled with passion, courage, and the endless fight for freedom. The setting is 1547, in Edinborough, Scotland. Francis Crawford of Lymond returns to the country despite the charge of treason hanging over his head. Set on redeeming his reputation, He leads a company of outlaws against England as he fights for the country he loves so dearly. Dangerous, quick-witted, and utterly irresistible, Lymond is pure pleasure to watch as he traverses 16th-century Scotland in search of freedom. The Game of Kings is a must-have for the historical romance connoisseur.(less) Dorothy DunnettThe Game of Kings

Dunnett wrote a second series,The House of Niccolò that dovetails the first. Have any of you read these and what do you think?


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (ThePirateWench) | 133 comments Hi Emery...I bought all 6 Lymond books by Dorothy Dunnett on fri from the bookdepository! I cant get them here in canada..(well on amazon used books for $50.00 a book) I have wanted to read these for so long and they are now on their way!! and I got them on sale..(happy dance here):) oh..Misfit did a great review on amazon for the first book..


message 86: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
How awesome! I just did a blog post to shout to the world about Goodreads and the book depository. So glad they had the series! I'll check out Misfit's review and can't wait to hear yours as well!


message 87: by Misfit (new)

Misfit I loved the Lymond books (and not an easy read), but for some reason the Nicollo books don't grab my interest. She also wrote a big fat one on Macbeth King Hereafter. Don't know when I will tackle that one.

There is quite a swordfight at the end of the first book, and my oh my the steeplechase race in book #2. Or the chess game with real life chess pieces to the death.

Lymond has quite an interesting love interest in the latter of the books.


message 88: by Jill (new)

Jill Hi Emery
I have only read DD 'Niccolo Rising' and only gave it 2 stars. Have not read Lymond yet because of that.
For me, the writing seemed too wordy and convoluted.
After seeing what Misfit just said though, I will have to give Lymond a read.


message 89: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Jill wrote: "Hi Emery
I have only read DD 'Niccolo Rising' and only gave it 2 stars. Have not read Lymond yet because of that.
For me, the writing seemed too wordy and convoluted.
After seeing what Misfit just ..."


Jill, Dunnett was very similar in style as Dumas IMO. Since I am a Dumas fan I kind of fell right in.


message 90: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Misfit wrote: "I loved the Lymond books (and not an easy read), but for some reason the Nicollo books don't grab my interest. She also wrote a big fat one on Macbeth King Hereafter. Don't know when ..."

Judith also raved about this series. WIll have to buy them next week. Can't wait to be able to give up my day job so I can do nothing but write and read!


message 91: by Jill (new)

Jill Misfit wrote: "Jill wrote: "Hi Emery
I have only read DD 'Niccolo Rising' and only gave it 2 stars. Have not read Lymond yet because of that.
For me, the writing seemed too wordy and convoluted.
After seeing w..."


@Misfit
I loved AD as a kid, well teenager. I will have to give Lymond a go.

@Emery
Ahhh, we'd all love to give up our day jobs....


message 92: by Marg (new)

Marg (MargReads) | 14 comments I haven't read Dunnett yet. I have been meaning too, but I am conscious that she is not a writer whose books I can breeze through, so I have to allow a bit of time. I am determined that I will at some point though.


message 93: by Karla (new)

Karla I've had King Hereafter for over 15 years in the TBR. It's a shallow reason, but the print has been to blame. I'm going to need to buy a pair of those magnifiers before I crack that puppy open.


message 94: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Marg wrote: "I haven't read Dunnett yet. I have been meaning too, but I am conscious that she is not a writer whose books I can breeze through, so I have to allow a bit of time. I am determined that I will at s..."

I did the same, and when I finally decided the best way was to make them my treadmill books (45 mins a day and my mind would be on them), I found myself engrossed and transferred them to main reads.

Karla, nooooooooooooooooooooooo. Is there a LP edition?


message 95: by Emery, GROUP FOUNDER (new)

Emery Lee (AuthorEmeryLee) | 900 comments Mod
Karla wrote: "I've had King Hereafter for over 15 years in the TBR. It's a shallow reason, but the print has been to blame. I'm going to need to buy a pair of those magnifiers before I crack that puppy open."

Reading glasses were a godsend once I swallowed my vanity!


message 96: by Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (last edited Jul 24, 2010 06:59PM) (new)

Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (ThePirateWench) | 133 comments @Misfit..I always have a book beside the treadmill.its the best way to make that hour fly!
and I keep one in the car(no I dont read as I drive)
but when your stuck in traffic & going nowhere its great for the stress..oh ya..a book for the line-ups ..bank..shopping..oh and the dr's & dentist office..yup..got one pretty much everywhere..


message 97: by Marg (new)

Marg (MargReads) | 14 comments Misfit wrote: "Marg wrote: "I haven't read Dunnett yet. I have been meaning too, but I am conscious that she is not a writer whose books I can breeze through, so I have to allow a bit of time. I am determined tha..."

I understand the word book, but what is this word 'treadmill'

;-)


message 98: by Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (last edited Jul 25, 2010 03:34AM) (new)

Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (ThePirateWench) | 133 comments Marg wrote: "Misfit wrote: "Marg wrote: "I haven't read Dunnett yet. I have been meaning too, but I am conscious that she is not a writer whose books I can breeze through, so I have to allow a bit of time. I am..."

@Marg treadmill..what you exersize on...for walking/running & reading while you do it!


message 99: by Marg (new)

Marg (MargReads) | 14 comments I would be so afraid that I would get so engrossed in my book and fall off the treadmill.


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (ThePirateWench) | 133 comments You can get Audio books! I havent gotten to that point yet...sometimes I listen to my music & read..multi-task!


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