How to determine if you are reading a historical romance novel

If you couldn’t tell due to the probably horrendous or vapid cover, some of the following may be clues:

  • Is the Hero injured?  In a war?  Facial scars?  Leg injury?  Eye patch?
  • Is his name Alastair?
  • Is he a recluse (he shuns society because of his horrible disfigurement!)?

There is almost a 99% certainty that you are reading a historical romance.

Okay, I’ve read three.  In a row.  And the first two both the hero was named Alastair.  Honestly?  Alastair?  All three heroes were injured (yet handsome despite their complete disfigurement!  go figure). Two of three were recluses.  Two of the heroines were virgins, and had golden hair blah blah blah.

Hero 1:  Named Alastair.  Facial scars.  Missing an eye and 2 fingers.  Recluse.  In a Castle. (Book – To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt)

Hero 2:  Named Alastair.  Leg wound.  Limps.  No castle, but is a Waterloo war hero.  His father has said he must marry and heiress in the next 6 mo to alleviate past transgressions.  (Book – Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase)

Hero 3:  Named Thornton.  Facial scars.  Wears an eyepatch because one eye is tired.  Needs a cane (leg injury?).  Castle.   Recluse.  Former Spy.  (Book – Masquerading Mistress by Sophia James)

Yep.  I’m already tired of these Victorian England historical regency romances.  Apparently Loretta Chase is supposed to be a really good author (see smart bitches, trashy novels.  They just love her over there).  I mean, it was okay.  Slightly more substantial plot than the other two (it’s amazing how certain parts of the plot are just sort of glossed over or well, not really detailed at all) but still.  These books just don’t take the time to build up a decent, memorable story.  And did I mention they’re all set in England?

So my newest book is Into the Wilderness by Sara DonatiI can tell this one is going to be much better – for a start it’s something like 800 pages.  So there must be some plot in there somewhere!  Also, it uses characters from the book/movie Last of the Mohicans.   I find this a bit weird but I’m just going to go with it.  It’s not the same story either, at least, I don’t think it is.  Different version of the story using the same characters??  Something like that.  So far, the writing is a zillion times better than those other three AND it’s set in America!  Woo Hoo for pioneer/colonial themed historical romances (where the men are not dandies and the women are, well, strong and pioneering!).  Hells yeah!  Hey, we’ve gotta celebrate our strong American heritage someway, right?

Anyways, I kind of wished I had waited 1 week to start this one because it’s so big I think it might last me on our trip to Melbourne (and save me bringing a library – not having a kindle and all).  But alas, I’ll have to try to finish and bring the sequel instead – although it doesn’t look as good (at least the library has it – I am rather restricted by the library’s offerings).

You can be assured I’ll let you know how it turns out.


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