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Trope Talk > Trope Talk -- Mulan a.k.a. Dude Looks Like A Lady

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message 1: by HeatherMarie (last edited Oct 22, 2017 08:54PM) (new)

HeatherMarie (heathermariereads) | 66 comments I am drawn to this trope in historicals. If it's done well it's really fun. I realize it can have some issues too.
In my formative years Disney's Mulan & Swiss Family Robinson (1960) I think influenced my preference for this trope.

Georgette Heyer in The Masqueraders did a double switch with a brother and sister (No! Not that kind of book). The brother impersonates a delicate heartbreaker in the most glorious Georgian fashion possible and the sister pretends to be a young swain and then meet their OTPs. This book to me is one of my favorites in this trope.

Also love a swashbuckling heroine like Leviathan Leviathan (Leviathan, #1) by Scott Westerfeld and Duke of Pleasure Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane, #11) by Elizabeth Hoyt

What do you guys call it? Crossdressing? Chicks in Pants? (I call it Mulan)
Do you guys have any recommendations with this trope?

message 2: by Holly (new)

Holly (flashbug) | 13 comments I absolutely do! A few years ago kindle kept recommending this book to me Ridiculous by D.L. Carter and after ignoring them for ages I caved and read it, and bloody loved it! It was a hilarious, comedy of manners but also surprisingly steamy. If you like your historical romance funny and sexy then this great. See also Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1) by Sarah MacLean which is one of my favourite historical romances ever.

I also absolutely loved the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfield, the illustrations are gorgeous.

I haven't read it yet (it's one of the books doing time on my TBR) but Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1) by Renee Ahdieh also features a cross dressing heroine who joins a group of bandits, so I imagine she will get to kick some bottoms.

Also not yet read but on my TBR is Scarlet (Scarlet, #1) by A.C. Gaughen which is a gender bent retelling of Robin Hood where Will Scarlet is a girl. Damn that sounds good, why have I waited so long to read it?

Anyway I hope that adds a few options to the list for you :)

message 3: by HeatherMarie (new)

HeatherMarie (heathermariereads) | 66 comments Holly wrote: "I absolutely do! A few years ago kindle kept recommending this book to me Ridiculous by D.L. Carter "

Thanks Holly! I really liked Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake too. All the other ones are new to me- so exciting, thanks!

message 4: by Coral (new)

Coral (kiwicoral) | 27 comments Oh, I would recommend Sea Change. The heroine is disguised as a ship's doctor and gets kidnapped by privateers during the War of 1812. I loved the development of the relationship as a friendship first (very Aubrey and Maturin from the Patrick O'Brian series), and the hero's confusion over his growing attraction. Perfect if you like nautical historical romance.

message 5: by HeatherMarie (last edited Oct 24, 2017 06:28AM) (new)

HeatherMarie (heathermariereads) | 66 comments Sea Change! So good, yes!

message 6: by Mclaudia (last edited Oct 25, 2017 08:24AM) (new)

Mclaudia | 58 comments I think this trope is so, so hard to pull off!! Like, really, you didn't notice?? :)

I've been hearing good things about this one, though:

Unmasking Miss Appleby

Plus it's free to download at Amazon. There's an element of magic in that the heroine really turns into a man (not just disguised as one) but hey, I like time travel romance, I think I'm ready for this leap! Anyway, this one is high on my TBR pile.

ps. added Sea Change to my want-to-read list, thanks, guys!

message 7: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 251 comments I love this trope! Have you read Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances ? It is not a regency, but it is a historical. There are three stories in the book, one each by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan and Alyssa Cole.

Promised Land by Rose Lerner features a woman disguised as a man in order to fight in the American Revolutionary War.

message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 1 comments I actually just recently finished Almost a Scandal, wherein the heroine dresses up as a man to join the navy in her brother's place. The setup was a little thin, imo, but she was a fun heroine to root for, super competent, and the book had plenty of action — definitely an entertaining read.

message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda D. (tinyminx) | 207 comments Mod
So at SBTB, we're building a trope database and one of the tropes is "heroine disguised as a man." Hope that gives you some good recs!

message 10: by Tuuli (new)

Tuuli | 79 comments Mclaudia wrote: "I think this trope is so, so hard to pull off!! Like, really, you didn't notice?? :) "

I agree with this - in fact, this trope usually works best for me when he did notice, and chose to play along... such as in The Masqueraders or the aforementioned Promised Land novella in Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances.

message 11: by Mclaudia (new)

Mclaudia | 58 comments Hi guys, just a quick note to say I did read Unmasking Miss Appleby and it was awesome!

She really becomes a man, which leads to all sorts of interesting questions, comparisons, and situations. It’s free to download so "no risk" in that regard.

I liked the author so I got the next full-length book in the series, which was Trusting Miss Wrotham, and I liked it very much as well.

message 12: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 6 comments Sooo KUDOS to whomever recommended "Sea Change". I loved it and am now working my way through all the Darlene Marshall things. How have I not read her before!?

message 13: by Mclaudia (new)

Mclaudia | 58 comments Stopping by briefly to recommend The Prince, by Katharine Ashe. Your library probably carries it. Heroine disguises herself as a man to attend med school in Edinburgh around the 1810s or so. Hero knows it and she ends up being his roomie. It's lovely.

message 14: by Anne (new)

Anne | 22 comments In Dawn's Early Light - the heroine, fakes her death, and disguises herself as her twin brother (who really died) to follow the school master, into the revolutionary war.

message 15: by Tuuli (new)

Tuuli | 79 comments What!? @Anne, that sounds spectacular! :D

message 16: by Jourdemayne (new)

Jourdemayne | 1 comments I LOVE that series!

message 17: by Anne (new)

Anne | 22 comments Tuuli wrote: "What!? @Anne, that sounds spectacular! :D"

And, in these Hamilton times, the founding fathers also play a part in it.

message 18: by Tuuli (new)

Tuuli | 79 comments Anne wrote:
And, in these Hamilton times, the founding fathers also play a part in it."

<3 Hamilton, of course! I need to look this up!

message 19: by Chels (new)

Chels | 1 comments Its not romance but how in the world has The Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce not come up?! This is the first time I saw this trope, and I've been a sucker for it since!

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