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Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2120 comments Mod
Historical Romance = Where love is timeless.

My reading passion is Harlequin Historicals. No matter if I'm in the mood for a knight in shining armor, a well-tailored gentleman, a gorgeous stud in a kilt, or a no-fuss cowboy, Harlequin Historicals can satisfy me. I love the variety! I"m looking forward to discussing books and getting to know the authors with all of you. ~ Kim


Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2120 comments Mod
I saw a lot of Historicals fans introduce themselves in the past couple of days and no one has made a comment yet? I'll start things off then!

I remember reading my first Historical romance. I wasn't that excited about it but I was running out of choices at the library and figured I'd give it a try, even though I hated history in school. By the time I finished reading Betrayed (Northpoint) (Harlequin Historical #249) by Judith McWilliams Betrayed (Northpoint) by Judith McWilliams. I was hooked. History came to life for me and I loved the Regency period. After that, the library held a lot more choices for me. I've never lost my love of Historicals and I'm always trying to get more people hooked on them so I can talk about my favorite genre. I'm loving that new time periods are beginning to hit the book shelves. I've always thought there were some great stories out there for the 20th century or ancient History settings.

Do you remember your first Historical?


message 3: by Sonya (last edited Feb 05, 2015 10:32PM) (new)

Sonya Heaney | 60 comments I don't know my first historical romance, but the one that convinced me to become a hardcore HR fan is probably this one:

Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5) by Lisa Kleypas - weird, it has a new cover!

However, before that I loved The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose, #1) by Jennifer Donnelly but it's as much historical fiction as romance.

(Obviously neither of these come from Harlequin!)


message 4: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Heaney | 60 comments I read A LOT of historical romance, but I think I'm becoming pickier. Historical accuracy and correct (British) English - if it's set in Britain! - are very important to me.

Harlequin's historical line is consistently good. I know a lot of historical romance fans don't read the Harlequin books, but I'm finding better books here overall than I am with the big publishers people associate with the genre.


message 5: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (planetshannon) | 24 comments I haven't read a ton of historical romances yet, but I want to try ones of different time periods and settings. The first one I did read was To Sin with a Viking by Michelle Willingham and it blew me away! Now I always make a beeline to anything Viking-related, strong women, strong men, lots of drama and intensity. All sounds good to me!


message 6: by Annie (new)

Annie Burrows | 257 comments HI (waving madly) It's so lovely to see this Historical thread starting up, since that is what I love to write.
Like you, I didn't like history all that much at school - all those dates to remember and boring stuff about the repeal of the corn laws. But I did love reading romances set in the past. Norah Lofts is the first historical author I can remember discovering and loving so much I wanted to read everything she'd ever written.
Now I too look forward to a new Michelle Willingham Viking, or a Regency romance from Louise Allen.
Thanks for your lovely words about Harlequin historicals Sonya. xx


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann Lethbridge | 8 comments Hey Annie, great to see you here. One of these days we are going to sit down and have a nice cup of tea and talk about Vikings. Or perhaps we will get to do it this week, here. Have you been watching the tv series, I'm hooked, I have to say.


message 8: by Annie (new)

Annie Burrows | 257 comments Ann wrote: "Hey Annie, great to see you here. One of these days we are going to sit down and have a nice cup of tea and talk about Vikings. Or perhaps we will get to do it this week, here. Have you been watch..."

Hi Ann - yes, I did see the first series of Vikings. It was brilliant!


message 9: by Harper (new)

Harper St. George (harperstgeorge) | 14 comments The first romance novel that I ever read was Autumn Dove by Sylvie F. Somerfield. It's a western and I was immediately hooked. I love Westerns, Vikings, and medieval romance. So far I've only written Westerns and Vikings, but I'll probably try a medieval someday.

I'll read Regency and Victorian but tend to stick to favorite authors like Judith McNaught and Courtney Milan.


message 10: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (mchellewillingham) | 4 comments Shannon wrote: "I haven't read a ton of historical romances yet, but I want to try ones of different time periods and settings. The first one I did read was To Sin with a Viking by Michelle Willingham and it blew..."

Oh, Shannon and Annie, thank you! :) I think one of my favorite experiences writing for Harlequin was when they let me visit the photoshoot for To Tempt a Viking. Meeting Taylor David was so much fun! (details here, if anyone wants to see the blog posts and video: http://www.michellewillingham.com/boo... ).

Some of my favorite time periods to read are Scottish medievals (waves at Terri Brisbin), Regencies, and I have a soft spot for barbarians. I always loved Johanna Lindsey and Jude Deveraux when I was growing up. The Maiden was the first Deveraux book I read, and after that, I devoured all the medieval books I could find.

Anyone have a favorite medieval book?


message 11: by Harper (new)

Harper St. George (harperstgeorge) | 14 comments Michelle wrote: "Shannon wrote: "I haven't read a ton of historical romances yet, but I want to try ones of different time periods and settings. The first one I did read was To Sin with a Viking by Michelle Willin..."

I have a soft spot for The Wedding by Julie Garwood (that whole series actually). I've also read every medieval book by Johanna Lindsey and they remain some of my favorites.


message 12: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2120 comments Mod
Michelle wrote: "Anyone have a favorite medieval book?"

Well Michelle, when I first started reading Historicals, medievals were not my favorite. However, I couldn't get enough of Margaret Moore, Her flare for the time period gradually worked its magic on me and I started searching them out. Recently, I would say that Carol Townend's books have kept the love of medievals going for me. ~ Kim


message 13: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (mchellewillingham) | 4 comments Harper--I own most of Julie Garwood's books. They are wonderful. :)

I remember when Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey was such a groundbreaking book.

Kim--I'm glad you've enjoyed Margaret and Carol's books!


message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol | 8 comments Wow, Kim, Thanks so much :) You have cheered me up no end, and as I am wrestling rather with my WIP that is definitely a good thing!
My favourite historicals are medieval, needless to say. At the moment I am dying to get going on Michelle Styles's latest Viking! Saved By The Viking Warrior There was a Viking exhibition in the UK and it was fabulous!
Best wishes
Carol T


message 15: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth Hobbes (elisabethhobbes) | 23 comments I was wondering what periods other writers think they would never touch and why? I love the ancient world, especially Rome and one of my favourite series is Lindsey Davis' Falco books (not strictly romance but very romantic) and I know I'll never be able to write the period as well as she can so I steer clear of it.

I'm new to writing btw, my first Harlequin Historical came out in October and my next is due in July. They're both medievals as is my WIP. I may experiment with other time periods in the future but for now I'm enjoying the Middle Ages.


message 16: by Georgie (new)

Georgie Lee (georgielee) | 5 comments I have always been a history buff. It started in junior high and it still hasn't let go of me. It's why I love writing historicals. I'm one of those people who loves doing research, but I don't overwhelm my stories with it. I love losing myself in the fictional past and playing with history in order to come up with fun plots and characters.


message 17: by Georgie (new)

Georgie Lee (georgielee) | 5 comments Elisabeth wrote: "I was wondering what periods other writers think they would never touch and why? I love the ancient world, especially Rome and one of my favourite series is Lindsey Davis' Falco books (not strictl..."

I don't have a time period I woudln't touch and I love acneint Rome too. My Carina novella, Mask of the Gladiator takes place in the days surrounding Caligula's assassination. It was fun weaving my fictional characters into the historical narrative.


message 18: by Tessa (new)

Tessa Radley (TessaRadley) | 10 comments I love reading historicals...

Congratulations, Elisabeth on your first book! I love roman historicals--at school I read most of Caesar's Gallic Wars in latin. I'd hate to try it now. Cicero was a struggle but Caesar was really easy to read.

Helen Kirkman wrote some great medieval historicals - I think my favourite was FORBIDDEN.
Loved Judith McNaught's historicals :) And I wish Laurie McBain had written more books.

Now I'm off to work on my revisions for my Desire....


message 19: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2120 comments Mod
I have complete faith you'll work through your wip and deliver another great story for us to enjoy Carol.

I'm a firm believer in expanding into other time periods, be they ancient or 20th century. There are so many stories just waiting to be told. ~ Kim


message 20: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (planetshannon) | 24 comments Michelle wrote: " I think one of my favorite experiences writing for Harlequin was when they let me visit the photoshoot for To Tempt a Viking..."

Wow Michelle, it was so exciting to read about your exciting adventure of the cover shoot for To Tempt a Viking! How awesome to share the experience, it looked like it was so much fun! I loved the book so much, and adore the series. Thank you so much!


message 21: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (mchellewillingham) | 4 comments Thanks, Shannon! It was fun. :)

Oh, I really loved Helen Kirkman's barbarian heroes. They were wonderful.

I like writing in multiple time periods. You almost have to use different writing voices which helps keep it fresh. The first historical romance I ever attempted (and it will remain buried under the bead) was a western. :)


message 22: by Harper (new)

Harper St. George (harperstgeorge) | 14 comments Georgie wrote: "Elisabeth wrote: "I was wondering what periods other writers think they would never touch and why? I love the ancient world, especially Rome and one of my favourite series is Lindsey Davis' Falco ..."

Oh, that sounds interesting. I haven't read very many set in ancient Rome at all. I'd love to read about gladiators.


message 23: by Marguerite (new)

Marguerite Kaye (margueritekaye) | 11 comments Hi, I'm a bit late joining in, but really enjoying this thread. I have to confess that my first Historical Romance was a Barbara Cartland. My mum had a stack of them, and when I was about 13 I thought they were really sexy. Then I discovered Georgette Heyer, and I was lost for life. Incidentally, my mum totally denies owning the Barbara Cartlands, and says they were her mum's!


message 24: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Heaney | 60 comments Marguerite wrote: "Incidentally, my mum totally denies owning the Barbara Cartlands, and says they were her mum's!"


Eh, my mother had a collection of Mills and Boon (Harlequin) books under her bed. Now she claims she's never read one!

I'm not sure why healthy relationships are considered bad when violence and crime are fine in other books...


message 25: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Heaney | 60 comments Elisabeth wrote: "I was wondering what periods other writers think they would never touch and why?"

I was part of a discussion in another group, where people wondered why Irish romances aren't more popular. We decided it was the same as why romances set in countries in Eastern Europe (other than all-conquering Russia) aren't popular.

The characters might not know, but the people are in for an awful time of death and destruction, so it's hard to believe in their HEAs...


message 26: by Annie (new)

Annie Burrows | 257 comments Elisabeth wrote: "I was wondering what periods other writers think they would never touch and why? I love the ancient world, especially Rome and one of my favourite series is Lindsey Davis' Falco books (not strictl..."

I love the Falco series too Elisabeth. I went to see Lindsay Davies speak once and she was as brilliantly entertaining in real life as she is in print.


message 27: by Marguerite (new)

Marguerite Kaye (margueritekaye) | 11 comments Sonya Heaney wrote: "Marguerite wrote: "Incidentally, my mum totally denies owning the Barbara Cartlands, and says they were her mum's!"


Eh, my mother had a collection of Mills and Boon (Harlequin) books under her be..."


I must confess that when I first started reading Mills&Boon I used to hide them under the bed too. Shame on me.


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan Carlisle | 4 comments I wouldn't call it hiding but storing them. They were keepers. I think we all have books under our beds.


message 29: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2120 comments Mod
Out of my close circle of friends, I was the only one who read romance so I always felt the need to hide them. Now, I'm much older and wiser and couldn't care less if they agree with my reading tastes. I've even managed to convert some of them to the genre. Yay me! ~ Kim


message 30: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (mchellewillingham) | 4 comments My grandmother had a grocery sack of Signet Regencies and I plowed through them when I was fourteen. I LOVED, loved, loved them. And when I went to college, I brought my romance novels with me because I couldn't bear to be parted from them. I had a box under my bed filled with books--and that was mainly because I had so little storage space, not because I was ashamed. My college friends used to borrow books from me, too. :)


message 31: by Blythe (new)

Blythe Gifford | 6 comments Catching up late, here! I write for Harlequin Historical, mostly in the medieval period. Typically my books feature real historical events and people as part of the story.

And I will surely date myself when I tell you my first historical romance read was SWEET SAVAGE LOVE by Rosemary Rogers. Picked it up again a few years ago. Yikes! 712 pages! Not sure I have that attention span these days.


message 32: by Carol (new)

Carol | 8 comments Hi
I may have mentioned this elsewhere but I went to a convent school in the wilds of Yorkshire. In the library there was a second row of books behind the first, and they were all romances! So you would find Angelique books hidden behind the City of God. And Rogue Herries etc. (Apparently, the mother of one of the nuns adored romances and the nun thought we girls might like them.) I fell in love with romance when I found them...


message 33: by Julia (new)

Julia Justiss | 6 comments A convent school in Yorkshire, Carol--wow! I bet you dreamed about a knight coming to rescue you! I, too, have been an historical junkie since I started working as a junior guide for Historic Annapolis in junior high. WWII submarine warfare (my cousin was a submarine captain) and Egyptology were my high school interests. Then in college, a floor mate introduced me to Georgette Heyer and that was it--Regency all the way after that. Devoured every Signet Regency I could find. And then Jo Beverley and some others pioneered a new genre--the historical romance. Loved her medievals and of course, everything Regency. Still do. Maybe that's why I write it, too.An Infamous Army


message 34: by Blythe (new)

Blythe Gifford | 6 comments Carol - I loved the Angelique books myself! Still own quite a few.


message 35: by Carol (new)

Carol | 8 comments Julia, Georgette Heyer is a long-standing favourite! :) The Black Moth was the first one I read, when recovering from tonsillitis.
Blythe, it might be interesting to take a look at an Angelique book now and see how our perceptions of it have changed...!?


message 36: by Marguerite (new)

Marguerite Kaye (margueritekaye) | 11 comments Marguerite wrote: "Sonya Heaney wrote: "Marguerite wrote: "Incidentally, my mum totally denies owning the Barbara Cartlands, and says they were her mum's!"


Eh, my mother had a collection of Mills and Boon (Harlequi..."

I think it's a great sign of progress that so many people are proud to put them up there on the bookshelves now. Mind you, if I still had the Barbara Cartlands, I'm not sure I'd be too keen to boast about them


message 37: by Annie (new)

Annie Burrows | 257 comments Carol wrote: "Julia, Georgette Heyer is a long-standing favourite! :) The Black Moth was the first one I read, when recovering from tonsillitis.
Blythe, it might be interesting to take a look at an Angelique boo..."


Carol - love hearing that the nuns hid romance books behind "improving" books for you girls! As for Angelique - I did read one recently, and really enjoyed it. I got the feeling that there was a lot of historical research behind it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am keeping my eyes open for more.


message 38: by Blythe (new)

Blythe Gifford | 6 comments Annie wrote: "Carol wrote: "Julia, Georgette Heyer is a long-standing favourite! :) The Black Moth was the first one I read, when recovering from tonsillitis.
Blythe, it might be interesting to take a look at an..."


Annie - they are very hard to find, at least in the U.S. You and Carol have tempted me. I'll pull one off the shelf...


message 39: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2120 comments Mod
Annie wrote: "Carol - love hearing that the nuns hid romance books behind "improving" books for you girls! As for Angelique - I did read one recently, and really enjoyed it. I got the feeling that there was a lot of historical research behind it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am keeping my eyes open for more.
"


Speaking of research, I know there are things that you find that you would love to use but know your readers would think you were crazy and nothing like that would have really happened or it is something way to gross that you know readers would rather not know their hero or heroine would do such a thing. Well, this isn't a book so go ahead and share the crazy stuff you've discovered while researching for all of us to get a good laugh or get to say ewwww, I would never do that!


message 40: by Blythe (new)

Blythe Gifford | 6 comments Well one thing a writer of romance set in the medieval time period cheerfully ignores is the fact that even married couples were supposed to abstain from sex on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays, during Lent, Advent, Pentecost, and on the feast days of numerous saints. In effect, about half the year, sex was supposed to be off-limits. I'm certain that prohibition was ignored widely!


message 41: by Annie (new)

Annie Burrows | 257 comments I've always wanted to get this snippet into a book but never managed it(well, it's not very romantic, and, as you say, nobody would believe it anyway): In Paris during the exile of Napoleon, an officer of the guards was out walking in the Tuileries gardens and shouted out "Vive L'empereur!" (presumably as a kind of protest) He was promptly beaten to death by a group of women wielding umbrellas.


message 42: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2120 comments Mod
Oh but Blythe, just think of the scenes that could be written about the new husband trying to convince his very religious wife that it was fine to ignore the prohibition. :D

Annie, if that was in a book I would truly laugh out loud and then I would have to explain to my husband why I was laughing. You may not be able to fit the actual attack in but possibly make it a topic of conversation at the breakfast table after the character reads about it in the paper or they could be gossiping about it at that night's ball. lol


message 43: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth Hobbes (elisabethhobbes) | 23 comments Annie wrote: I love the Falco series too Elisabeth. I went to see Lindsay Davies speak once and she was as brilliantly entertaining in real life as she is in print.
I always imagined she would be just from the humour in the series. I loved the companion book as well for that reason. It's probably the one series I'm completely evangelical about and force onto people at every opportunity.


message 44: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth Hobbes (elisabethhobbes) | 23 comments Blythe wrote: "Well one thing a writer of romance set in the medieval time period cheerfully ignores is the fact that even married couples were supposed to abstain from sex on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays, during ..."

I'm cheerfully ignoring that too, though as a concession in my current WIP I have the characters marry in a rush to avoid having to wait until after Lent.


message 45: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Styles | 11 comments Dropping by to say that if anyone is on twitter a group of Harlequin Historical authors (including me) will be discussing medieval and other things. Debut authors Nicole Locke and Harper St George have promised to be there as well. It is on 24 Feb 2015 2 -2:30 pm gmt.


message 46: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2120 comments Mod
Thanks for the heads up!


message 47: by Marguerite (new)

Marguerite Kaye (margueritekaye) | 11 comments I'll be dropping by too. Looking forward to it


message 48: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth Hobbes (elisabethhobbes) | 23 comments A quick reminder that the Harlequin Historical authors will be on Twitter again from 2pm GMT today. We'll be discussing this month's new releases among other things.


message 49: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2120 comments Mod
Anon1001, I've ordered Julia Justiss' book just a couple days ago. You definitely made up my mind to put it at the top of my reading list when the order arrives.


message 50: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Styles | 11 comments My blog for the WH Smith ( a huge book retailer in the UK) Celebration of Romance season is up. It is about the Enduring Power of Historical Romance. You can read it here:
http://blog.whsmith.co.uk/michelle-st...


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