24 Unusual Historical Romances You Absolutely Need to Read
I thought I had read pretty much her entire backlist, or at least all the Rogues Regency-era and Malloren Georgian-set novels, but a funny thing happened last October right after I read Seduction in Silk, which is the newest book set in the glittering Georgian world of the Mallorens.
A romance writer at the top of her game grappling with a troubling aspect of her own work and profession. It turns out I was confusing it with the first in the series, An Arranged Marriage I read Unwilling Bride last week, and it compelled me to revisit Seduction in Silk.
Which of course this man, whose presence has been thrust upon her, can and will meet. In each case the emotional journey of the couple involves actual conversations with each other and each of them with various friends and relations about the meaning of matrimony and the effort involved in the crafting of domestic harmony. She is masterful at weaving such conversations not just in these two books into the narrative and giving voice to feminist concerns about the marital state, property rights, masterful husbands, and the appeal of the badass alpha, without breaking the character of her Georgian and Regency period settings.
This is partly accomplished through the liberal use of bluestocking heroines who read Wollstonecraft, but is also due to careful research and excellent dialogue. However, before the law you would still be her master. Love is the very devil. Yet my satisfaction with the two HEAs was decidedly dissimilar. Seduction in Silk left me pleased and content, but was more memorable for its strange subplots than for the actual relationship, which ended up being rather bland in spite of a rather explosive beginning.
Yet in a way I love this book more for its edginess and willingness to more deeply interrogate the historical romance enterprise itself — what does it mean both for the heroine and for the reader when the HEA involves submitting to marriage with no legal protections?
How to balance the pleasures of a period setting with the tolerances and interests of contemporary romance readers in the post-feminist era? Why should I try to impose it on anyone else? Force vs. Persuasion The most obvious reason for the different tenor of the two relationships is the contrast between heroes Lucien de Vaux, daredevil rakehell with violent tendencies who treats his unwilling bride with a mixture of hostility and detachment for much of the book until he suddenly falls in love with her and becomes overprotective and jealous , and Peregrine Perriam, amiable charmer and beta hero who eventually wins his bride over with a combination of practicality, directness, and silken luxuries.
Both couples are forced to the altar by external circumstances involving adultery by parents or other relatives and inheritance, and much of the eventual romance takes place after each couple has tied the knot. At their best they are swapping erudite quotations and bantering about books, while engaged in a very public show of courtship and endless social events at the very highest level of London society. I loved that they discovered shared enthusiasm for competitive quoting that offers them a safe space for exchanging ideas and genuine opinions.
This time, however, the gender dynamic is reversed and it is a pistol-wielding woman who expresses deep rage and frustration by shooting her would-be suitor at point-blank range.
Fortunately, trusty maidservant Ellie had loaded the weapon with powder but no shot. Perry is unharmed, but Claris is undone by the realization that she has almost killed a man. Where Beth appears clever but helpless, and even makes her own situation worse with several strategic errors that plant the seeds of mistrust, Claris comes off as wacky but not without resources. Not all feminist brides are created equal Although they share the same views about the disadvantages inherent in submitting to marriage, Claris and Beth respond differently because their circumstances are so different.
Beth, with only a spinster aunt and the school where they teach to call home, capitulates early in the novel and internalizes her anger at being manipulated into marriage, becoming ever more isolated and fragile in her sudden ascendance to the rigors of public life in a ducal household.
She does assert her autonomy by choosing to help a downtrodden former student seeking refuge which secondary plot leads to all manner of mayhem and more violence, including the bloody death of a villain who did terrible things to Nicholas Delaney in the previous book in the series. But overall, she just seems entirely overshadowed by Lucien and his confidence, physical presence, powerful allies, and warm circle of friends.
With my other Beverley couple of the week, it is Claris who overshadows Perry. The two of them also have a convoluted curse plot to unravel, and a manor house to save. As a younger son, Perry has made his way in the role of diplomat and courtier; he puts others at ease and blends into the background, leaving center stage to pistol-packing Claris and her starchy, self-interested grandmother, Athena.
Violence in Romance With Lucien and Beth, Beverley forces the reader to look right into the heart of a marriage, which has now become a love match, where the husband has legal authority over his wife, and listen in when he struggles to rationalize his belief system in the context of his abhorrent behavior.
They walked a little way in silence before he responded. Does that make you more equal, or less? That must be why you can justify violence to me. There is more violence, and even worse the implied violence and misery of the life Clarissa would have been sentenced to — virtual enslavement to an evil husband who is known to be a sexual sadist and rapist.
Is Beth so determined to help Clarissa because she wishes someone had done the same for her when she was facing the blackmail threats which resulted in her own unwanted marriage?
She had no way of knowing what kind of man Lucien would turn out to be. Still, on what basis does she trust that his blow was a one-time mistake? I kept wishing that Nicholas and Eleanor had got wind of it, with perhaps some severely man-to-man, and mano a mano, consequences being meted out. In the end I almost always prefer a romance novel that makes me think, or even pushes against the limits of my comfort zone.
An Unwilling Bride does both these things, and boldly raises many more questions about the appeal of the romance genre, and historical romance in particular, than it answers. Does the HEA justify the means, even if vows are forced? Where do we draw the line when it comes to an unwilling woman? Is she merely reluctant and skittish and ripe for falling in love? Or is the forced marriage trope a common theme because it provides narrative space to explore various ways in which a woman may be taken against her will, from the emotional shock of falling in love, to the social requirement of marriage, to the surrender to desire?
What about the vulnerability of falling in love with someone who will have legal authority over you once you marry him? Which begs the further question — was Beverley seeking to make readers uncomfortable with the earlier book?
Can you believe in the HEA if there has been violence between the hero and heroine? Are there any other romances you have enjoyed where the hero strikes the heroine in anger to distinguish such acts from those in BDSM romance where the violence is consensual and ritualized?
Seduction in Silk and An Unwilling Bride are available in the usual formats and places. An Unwilling Bride was recently released as an e-book. I purchased both books at my local used paperback shop. Share this:.
Podeu revifar-lo enviant una resposta. A delightful paranormal historical romance where a spinster finds a spot of adventure in the way of secret societies, psychic abilities, and enigmatic alchemists. Second book in series about two brothers. Please email Sarah! The heroine is a rather special photographer and the hero belongs to the lineage that started Arcane House.
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. But totally angsty. Names of historical romance novels with harems or being sold? Read this book in the 80s. Over a decade passes and she is now a widow who was taught how to make jewelry from her deceased husband. There are a ton of books where heroine is kidnapped by hero. But I am looking for books where it's the Hero who is kidnapped by heroine, is the vulnerable one and at the mercy of the heroine.
Thank you.. And presumably, she then falls in love with him. View all 10 comments. Oh, and they must pose as husband and wife to track down a dangerous enemy. There was a bookstore where my mother used to exchange romance novels by the milkcrate!
Popular Physically Abused Heroine Books. There are these 2 historical romance novels that i cant remember the name of and its driving me crazy!! The purpose of this group is book discussion and recommendation. Don't miss a moment of Smart Bitches fun. This HaBO is from Rose. It was a regency or historical. We also may use affiliate links in our posts, as well.
Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. You know what I mean: they have the generic Regency setting, generic rake hero, generic wallflower heroine. There are so many great Black historical romance novels on this topic it is hard to choose just a few. She has the impoverished hero kidnapped from the streets and she forces him to stay with her until she is pregnant. Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.
There is also some handy information on our Advertise page. He is also a spy or trying to solve some plot. The cover, however, is blue. I was hoping I may have been able to find this book without having to make a specific request, but alas I have had no luck. The young heroine wed an infertile wealthy jeweler. Wish it still existed, desperate to find. Make sure to check out the podcast, too.
Heroine kidnaps Hero Hi! She'd be happy to help you! Fires of Winter book. No dildo. I believe this is a medieval romance published before It is meant for fans of romance novels where the heroine has been abused and the hero he.
Ask any romance reader about their favorite historical romances, and odds are a Lisa Kleypas title will come up her novel Devil in Winter is a classic, too. Historical romance: Hero is betrothed to sickly girl, who he genuinely likes, but runs into heroine. Check for Smart Bitch events on our Events Calendar, and as always stay tuned to the blog and the podcast to keep up to date! But Lady Kyra is not what he expects. Phoebe, a beautiful widow, hates West Ravenel before she meets him, since his dastardly reputation speaks for itself.
Honor's Splendour book. A romance novel or romantic novel is a type of novel and genre fiction which places its primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and usually has an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.
Historical Romance - Heroine witnesses Hero with mistress through her bedroom window where she is locked in by her father. Spread the love Post navigation.
historical romance novel kidnapped heroine
A baby might change their minds. Or, what if a bad boy royal is enjoying a red-hot affair with an unsuitable woman and she becomes pregnant?
Retro Post: Forced Seduction or Rape?
Does he place duty before desire? The accidental pregnancy alters the relationship between the hero and heroine. Any plans they had before the baby news no longer applies. A baby binds them together and ultimately develops a foundation for love.
Secret Baby In this trope, a hero discovers he has a child. What tore the hero and heroine apart? What prevented the heroine from informing the hero? And how will the hero and heroine reestablish trust? This trope makes the hero an instant father. The secret baby trope is more than just watching the hero embrace his role as a family man.
In a romance, he also will include the heroine in his family. Please email Sarah! The heroine is a rather special photographer and the hero belongs to the lineage that started Arcane House. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. But totally angsty. Names of historical romance novels with harems or being sold? Read this book in the 80s. Over a decade passes and she is now a widow who was taught how to make jewelry from her deceased husband.
There are a ton of books where heroine is kidnapped by hero. But I am looking for books where it's the Hero who is kidnapped by heroine, is the vulnerable one and at the mercy of the heroine. Thank you. And presumably, she then falls in love with him. View all 10 comments. Oh, and they must pose as husband and wife to track down a dangerous enemy. There was a bookstore where my mother used to exchange romance novels by the milkcrate!
Popular Physically Abused Heroine Books. There are these 2 historical romance novels that i cant remember the name of and its driving me crazy!! The purpose of this group is book discussion and recommendation.
It is the only way that Justin believes that he can dominate Verity and in his feverish mind, make her his again.
That is rape. No ifs, ands, but fors, or nors about it. One of the questions asked at the end of the blog post is What kind of learning curve did you have to experience before you understood the nuances of historical romance? Was it historically accurate for Justin to behave in such a manner? Rape is all about power. It was an act of physical dominance in the s just as it is today.