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Historical Romance Novels; a little history and some info

Historical Romance Novels; a little history and some Info originally posted back in March, 2013.  But still interesting information. (comments are 2 from the original posting.)

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The modern day romance novel can be attributed to Georgette Heyer who wrote Austen-like novels in the 1930’s.  The Grand Sophie being one of her most famous. From that time until the  early 1970’s there were novels with romantic elements like Forever Amber and  Gone With The Wind to name just a few.  All of these were published in hardcover editions, paperback books being somewhat confined to pulp fiction offerings.

In 1972 all that was about to change when Avon published Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and The Flower in paperback. It sold over 2 million copies and Woodiwiss followed up in 1974 with The Wolf and The Dove.   Also in 1974 Rosemary Rodgers came on the scene with Sweet Savage Love.  These early  paperback original novels usually had Alpha Males and helpless females with sex often of a violent (rape) nature.  Since the covers often pictured scantily clad women with dominating men leaning over them they were often referred to as “bodice rippers”. This term is not appreciated by current Historical Romance fans and writers.

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Through the 1980’s and 1990’s the genre continued to evolve featuring heroines of a more independent nature and although the heros were still Alpha types they often redeemed themselves and the sex became consensual.  Humor was often added as well as suspense and mystery.  Considered a required feature is a happy-ever-after for the protagonists. The New York Times reports that romance novels,  are the fastest growing segment in ebooks, out-pacing general fiction, mystery and science fiction.

Romance Categories:

Ancient: Egypt; Greece; Rome; etc. – the ancient world.
Dark Ages: from the fall of Rome (410 AD) to 1065.
Medieval: from 1066, up to and including the 17th century.
Georgian: from 1702 to 1811 (the age of reason and freedom).
Regency: from 1811 to 1830 (includes the regency and the kingship).
Western: the wild, wild West! Contemporary or historical.
Colonial: early settlements, exploration, and Southern romances (including Americana).
Victorian: from 1830 to 1901 (including William IV’s reign).
Civil War: America – from 1861 to 1865 (the civil war era).
Vintage: from 1901 to 1945 (Edward VII, World War I, World War II, etc.)
 Celtic: historicals / paranormals / fantasies that take place primarily in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Brittany, etc.
Time Travel: modern-day heroes and heroines thrown back in time to meet their true loves.
Fantasy: dragons, fairies, wizards, and witches – oh my!
Paranormal: vampires, ghosts, werewolves, shape-shifters, goth, etc. Contemporary or historical.
Anthology: must contain at least one genre from above.

(this blog post was referenced from Wikipedia and Historical Romance Club.com)

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Review-Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

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Title: Dreaming of You (Gamblers Book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: Harper Collins, 1994 (available on Kindle for $2.99)

Source: Purchase

Pages: 373

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

When shy and secluded author Sara Fielding ventures from her country cottage to research a novel, she inadvertently witnesses a crime in progress—and manages to save the life of the most dangerous man in London.

Derek Craven is a powerful and near-legendary gambling club owner who was born a bastard and raised in the streets. His reputation is unsavory, his scruples nonexistent. But Sara senses that beneath Derek’s cynical exterior, he is capable of a love more passionate than her deepest fantasies.

Aware that he is the last man that an innocent young woman should ever want, Derek is determined to protect Sara from himself, no matter what it takes. But in a world where secrets lurk behind every shadow, he is the only man who can keep her safe. And as Derek and Sara surrender to an attraction too powerful to deny, a peril surfaces from his dark past to threaten their happiness . . . and perhaps even their lives.

Together they will discover if love is enough to make dreams come true.

**

This book is classic Lisa Kleypas.  It is filled with emotion both of the horrific kind and the passionate type. We are treated to the quintessential bad boy in Derick Craven.  He is handsome, scarred, wealthy and both despised and lauded by the Ton.  He has led an immoral life of thievery, prostitution and murder.  Sara Fielding is a naïve young woman from the country who manages to innocently get herself in dire situations.  She is often lucky in her ability to escape but perhaps her luck will run out.

Of course there is the suspense of will these two opposites manage to evoke a happily ever after. There are outside forces keeping them apart as well as a crazed villain.

There is absolutely nothing like a Kleypas book to keep you turning pages all night long.  This is one of her best.  Although the second in the Gamblers duo, this is certainly a standalone novel. For a real treat read this one to see how she redeems an irredeemable man.

(Deet’s note: I read and reviewed this book once before and only gave it 4-stars.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  Or, perhaps I’ve learned in the intervening years to appreciate a good book. Any way here is a link to my first review if you are interested and it also has a cover of the actual book in my keeper library. https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/review-dreaming-of-you-by-lisa-kleypas/

 

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Deet’s Glorious Adventure (the Finale)

No events were planned until 1pm so I got to sleep-in. Yeah, right. I was on east coast time the entire week so on this final day I awoke at 5am just like the other days. I was being really lazy in the morning, uploading photos to my computer, reading a bit on my Kindle. At 1pm I made my way to the Grand Pennington Ballroom where the Book Fair and signing was held. Here we have the two Sabrinas, York and Jeffries. At the last table is Karen Hawkens and Lorraine Heath. The bottom photo is fuzzy but I wanted you to see the entire signing room.

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There was about 3hours between the book signing and the Grand Ball.  I was invited to go to dinner with the fab Victoria Vane and Julie Johnstone and Collette Cameron.

We were so caught up in conversation and laughter that time got away from us and we hurried back to the hotel to get ready for the Grand Ball. The food was Hor D’Oeuvres and Dessert.

But the gowns were the big attraction as well as the beautiful women wearing them. Yes there were a few men attending and dancing. It was a fairytale setting. first u[ our hostess Delilah Marvelle, then our other hostess Renee Bernard, next a view of the back of the gowns. Next (can I ever take a decent photo? Guess not, but wanted to show you.) Victoria Vane and the ladies wearing the gowns she sewed for them. Victoria also made her gown. Then comes Erin Knightly just beautiful! Next we have Elizabeth Essex, Tessa Dare and Victoria Vane (this one taken at an earlier event). Next is terrific blogger Ki Pha. Last and certainly not least Lovely Wendy Loverage,book reviewer, all the way from England.

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The next morning there was a continental breakfast gathering before we all bid our farewells.  Oh, and here is the Dowager Duchess of La Deetda Reads:

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$1.99 on Kindle- The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

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Deet’s Note: I gave this book 5-stars and would have given it more if I could. This is a truly lovely book.  You can get it for $1.99 today on Kindle which is a bargain since it is usually $9.99.

Eva returns to the only place that has ever felt like home, but she quickly discovers she is not alone in the old house on the Cornwall coast. The past reaches out to touch the present in this beautiful love story and haunting mystery.

“Whatever time we have,” he said, “it will be time enough.”

Eva Ward returns to the only place she truly belongs, the old house on the coast of Cornwall, England, seeking happiness in memories of childhood summers.

There she finds mysterious voices and hidden pathways that sweep her not only into the past, but also into the arms of a man who is not of her time.

But Eva must confront her own ghosts, as well as those of long ago. As she begins to question her place in the present, she comes to realize that she too must decide where she really belongs. A modern gothic historical fiction with elements of time travel, reincarnation, and romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley.

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Deet’s Glorious Adventure (Part 1)

I’m home from the Historical Romance Retreat that was held in Spokane, Washington at the Historic Davenport Hotel.  I Had a fabulous good time!!! The hotel was so beautiful ( I had photos on here last week and if you scroll down the blog you can see some of the ornate public rooms.) I thought for this look at the retreat I would start with my room that was fit for a queen. The bed so high I had to take a running leap to get into it.

After  a very good night’s snooze, I made my way to the registration room to be greeted by Delilah Marvelle and Renee Bernard, I was handed a tote bag crammed with paperback books, a charm bracelet with 50 charms, and a hand made folding envelope with the Retreat’s schedule.  Then I was ushered into the next room and told to help myself to more goodies off the swag table. (Who doesn’t love being showered with free goodies???)

After check-in it was time to meet fellow readers, bloggers and authors.  And it was one superstar after another.  (clockwise from left:Tessa Dare, Erin Knightly & Elizabeth Essex, Collette Cameron & Victoria Vane, Deb Marlowe (RT.), Deet and Renee Bernard.)

Not only superstars but SUPERSTARS of Romance writing and blogging. I had lunch with blogger , Carol Cork, and author, Mary Balogh ( in case you are wondering how to pronounce her name it is like Kellogg but with a “B”.) Then there is Wendy Loverage who reviews for several blogs and Carol. Wendy also was at lunch with us. This last picture gives you a good idea of the ornate architecture of the Historic Davenport.

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That first night there was a gathering so that all could get to know each other, after which we walked a half block to the Bing Crosby Theater for an old movie complete with popcorn, candy and raffle prizes.  I won the DVD of the movie which was “The Lady and The Law” with Greer Garson and Fernando Lamas.

I will have more to show and tell soon…

Here is Deet lounging in the beautiful lobby:

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Advance Review- A Change Of Heart by Sonali Dev

Title: A Change of Heart

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Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Sonali Dev

Publisher: Kensington, Sept. 27, 2016, pre-order available

Source: Free for review from the Amazon vine Program

Pages: 352

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Dr. Nikhil ‘Nic’ Joshi had it all—marriage, career, purpose. Until, while working for Doctors Without Borders in a Mumbai slum, his wife, Jen, discovered a black market organ transplant ring. Before she could expose the truth, Jen was killed.

Two years after the tragedy, Nic is a cruise ship doctor who spends his days treating seasickness and sunburn and his nights in a boozy haze. On one of those blurry evenings on deck, Nic meets a woman who makes a startling claim: she received Jen’s heart in a transplant and has a message for him. Nic wants to discount Jess Koirala’s story as absurd, but there’s something about her reckless desperation that resonates despite his doubts.

Jess has spent years working her way out of a nightmarish life in Calcutta and into a respectable Bollywood dance troupe. Now she faces losing the one thing that matters—her young son, Joy.  She needs to uncover the secrets Jen risked everything for; but the unforeseen bond that results between her and Nic is both a lifeline and a perilous complication.

**

After loving Ms. Dev’s first two romances I was truly disappointed in this book. Yes, she can write a good story and this one has a huge mystery going on but I never liked Jess and thought Nik was taken in by her. If I can’t get behind a main character then the book is not one of my favorites. I expected more romance. In the past I have enjoyed learning about the culture of India in this author’s books and that continues in this offering, so that it garnered 3-stars instead of two from me.

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$0.99 on Kindle-The complete Works of Jane Austen

The Complete Works of Jane Austen

The Complete Works of Jane Austen includes all six novels, and Austen’s shorter works; Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sandition, and her complete Juvenilia. Jane Austen is famous for her six novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. Her works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary as well as her acclaimed plots have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

 

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Release Day Review- The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne

Title: The Highlander (Victorian Rebels, book #3)

The Highlander

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Aug. 2, 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 368

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5 (this is a new rating I will add when a book contains violence. Rating from mild to strong, 1-5)

Description from Amazon.com:

They call him the Demon Highlander. The fearsome Lieutenant Colonel Liam MacKenzie is known for his superhuman strength, towering presence, and fiery passion in the heat of battle. As Laird to the MacKenzie clan, the undefeated Marquess has vanquished his foes with all rage and wrath of his barbaric Highland ancestors. But when an English governess arrives to care for his children, the master of war finds himself up against his greatest opponent. . . in the game of love.

Defying all expectations, Miss Philomena is no plain-faced spinster but a ravishing beauty with voluptuous curves and haughty full lips that rattle the Laird to his core. Unintimidated by her master’s raw masculinity and savage ways, the headstrong lass manages to tame not only his wild children but the beast in his soul. With each passing day, Liam grows fonder of Miss Mena—and more suspicious. What secret is she hiding behind those emerald eyes? What darkness brought her to his keep? And how can he conquer this magnificent woman’s heart . . . without surrendering his own?

**

This is the third book in Ms. Byrne’s Victorian Rebels Series. All books in this series are very dark romances and this one is very Gothic inspired.  There is intimation of demons or ghosts that may haunt Ravenscroft Keep. A specter with red veined eyes that springs from the shadows. Philomena is running away from London and needs a place to hide.  Her dear friends Millie and Faith (Heroines of the two previous books in this series) help her to find sanctuary in Laird Liam’s Scottish castle, Ravenscroft Keep.  Mena has secrets that must never be revealed for it could mean her death. Liam has his own dark secrets that he never wants to reveal.  The attraction between the two is instantaneous but Mena knows she must not give in to the allure because they are fated to never be together.  Liam is so besotted that he continually tries to seduce Mena, wanting a future that Mena knows is impossible.

I really enjoy Kerrigan Byrne’s novels in this series.  They are all very dark with heroes that are not easy to love or even like.  Yet, the heroines are so damaged that we cheer for these heroes to win them over and give them peace and happiness. That this author can redeem these criminals is amazing.  This book is filled with torture, murder and very scary scenes. That is a warning. It is also filled with longing, redemption and sizzling sexual chemistry. I was hoping for a future addition to the series featuring Gaven, Earl of Thorne but I’m not sure that is possible. Perhaps we can hope for more books featuring Liam’s children, Rhianna and Andrew. Characters from the first two books play important roles in this book but it is not necessary to have read those books to enjoy this one. Although they are wonderful reads.

I recommend this book and series to Historical Romance fans who don’t mind the darker side of Victorian drama.

Victorian Rebels Series:

  1. The Highwayman (Dorian and Faith)
  2. The Hunter(Christopher and Millie)
  3. The Highlander (Liam and Mena)

 

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Advance Review- A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Title: The Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, book #1)

A Promise of Fire

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Author: Amanda Bouchet

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Aug. 2, 2016 preorder available

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 448

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER… BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

Catalia “Cat” Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

Kingmaker Chronicles Trilogy: A Promise of Fire (Book 1) Breath of Fire (coming January 2017) Heart on Fire (coming Fall 2017)

**

This is a new book series by a new author.  If you like Fantasy like Game of Thrones then you will surely like this novel. It has magic, for Cat is of the Magoi and she has secrets that must be kept or she will die.  Griffin, not Magoi but Hoi Polloi, is able to discern some of her secrets and should have been able to figure out the rest but he doesn’t. For 90% of this book Cat is trying to get away from, avoid, or deny attraction to Griffin.  Together they encounter a dragon, a three headed dog, soldiers bent on killing them and more.  Cat is a kick-a&^ woman who saves not only Griffin but also his side kick guards Kato, Flynn and his brother Carver as well as Griffin’s royal family. There are Olympian Gods to deal with, especially Poseidon and Hades as well as Zeus.

I enjoyed this book, the action and adventure were first rate and Griffin made a sexy, steamy hero as well as Kato, Flynn and Carver who I’m sure we will see more of in future books in the series.  Cat was annoying in the extreme.  I understood her background made her cautious but it went on way too long with her denial of Griffin. That is the only negative I have about this book.

I recommend this book to Fantasy and Paranormal Romance fans. It’s a good read with plenty of adventure.

 

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Interview With-D.B. Reynolds, author

D.B. Reynolds picnew 2016 (1)

Welcome to La Deetda Reads, D.B., As my followers are well aware, I have been following your Vampires In America series since the first book and have been totally hooked and now I look forward to your Stone Warriors series and The SHIFTER PLANET series. I’m delighted you can join us today so we can get to know you even better. 

  1. What (or who) inspired you to write the first VIA book RAPHAEL?RAPHAEL

I was working on another story, when a totally unrelated scene popped into my head. It was the scene that would become the opening scene of Raphael, and it was fully fleshed out, complete with the woman’s elaborate dress—the woman who would become Alexandra—the mood of the room, the piano, everything. But the key to the scene was when the petite woman says to her much larger captor, “He’ll kill you for this.” It was her complete certainty in whoever “he” was that made me want to write the book. I wanted to create a character who lived up to the woman’s confidence. And that character was Raphael.

2. Do you write from a plot outline (Plotter) or does your story unfold as you write (Pantzer)?

I write a fairly detailed outline, complete with really comprehensive character profiles. My books stay fairly true to the general outline, but I’m not wedded to it. I’m willing to take the characters in a different direction or introduce a new subplot if it fits as the story progresses.

3.Where do you write?

I do almost all of my writing in my home office, in the middle of the night, on my big comfortable chair, with Buffy on the TV, and the sound muted.

4.Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Honestly, as long as my pleasures don’t hurt anyone else, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. There are certain movies that I’ve watched over and over again, and they’re all action-adventure, and fairly violent. I love ice cream, and I always have some as a midnight snack when I’m writing. And then I climb on my elliptical to burn it off. Is the elliptical my favorite activity? Hell, no. Not even close! My favorite activity is reading. Some people can read and elliptical at the same time, but not me. I watch one of my movies or TV shows!

5. What is your favorite place to visit?

Oh, that’s a tough one. My darling husband and I have traveled all over the world, and seen some amazing cities and places. I love Paris, but then who doesn’t? It’s a beautiful city, with so much to offer. And I’d love to go back to Wales, maybe rent a cottage for six months and write a book. But probably my favorite place to visit is a beautiful hotel on the Pacific Ocean, with a room right on the sand so I can hear the waves and open the windows to the wonderful balmy air. And have nothing to do but sip tropical drinks, read a good book (or three) and sleep as long as I want.

6. What is your essential piece of kitchen equipment or gadget?

This is subject to change, and has been very different in the not so distant past, but right now, at this point in my life, my essential piece of kitchen equipment is the microwave!

7. What is your favorite way to relax?

Reading. Preferably curled up somewhere comfortable, with nothing on the schedule, and no place to be.

8. Your new series, The Stone Warriors, is debuting with the first book DAMIAN.  How many books are there to be in this series?  Will we have more of that hunky wizard, Nick, who has made an appearance in your novella, COMPELLED?

The series will be five books, one for each of the four warriors—beginning with DAMIAN—and then the final book for Nick. And, yes, Nick will appear in every book, because he’s the tie that binds all of the warriors together.

9.After DAMIAN, What comes next in the series and when can we expect it to release?

The second book in the series is teased at the end of DAMIAN (naturally!) It will be THE STONE WARRIORS: KATO, and features the second, and youngest, of Nick warriors, Kato Amadi. As for the release date, it looks like Summer 2017.

10. We are all excited about DAMIAN but those of us die-hard fans of the vampires want to know about the next book in the Vampires In America Series.

 The next Vampires in America book will be LUCIFER, and will release in November 2016. Lucifer is a very powerful vampire, who possesses a unique ability that makes him a superb hunter. Put him a trail and he never misses his prey. But this time his prey isn’t a renegade vampire, it’s Colin Murphy, and it’s not a hunt, it’s a rescue.

Thanks for being with us today D.B.!

You can get your copy of DAMIAN here:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UtgLRr

Google: http://bit.ly/24ujsVQ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1SXzVzL

B&N: http://bit.ly/1OnX9h2

Apple: http://apple.co/1Xo4waW

 For more about D.B. Reynolds and her books go to http://dbreynolds.com

Coming tomorrow Deet’s review of The Stone Warriors:Damian

 

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