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I know that historicals seem to be a popular genre within romance, (especially with Americans) but apart from a very few select authors, whose books I would always read anyway, I must admit, I mostly try to avoid them, especially the historicals set in England.

The reasons I avoid historicals set in my country are because, A, the heroes are always bastards who make me want to shove an arrow up their arse, and B, the heroines are always so damn flaky, and virginal, and stupid.

In an effort to combat this predjudice, I would like some recommendations of good historical writers. Apparently Johanna Lindsey is a good writer of historical romances, but I can honestly say I’ve never bought any of her books. I think this is mostly because her covers are somewhat cheesy, so being somebody who generally does judge a book by it’s cover, it’s not surprising that I haven’t picked up any of hers yet.

When I was in Borders last week, I did actually pick up a historical, with the intention of buying it, for the life in me, I can’t remember who the author was, but then I spotted some Jeffrey Archer books that I hadn’t read yet, so back on the shelf it went.

So what are your recommendations then?

13 Comments »


  • Angela James
    July 21
    12:08 pm

    I’m not a huge historical reader myself, although it’s the genre I mostly read when I started reading romances- although I think that has to do a lot with the fact that there were mainly only two genres- contemp and historical 😉

    But a series you could try that people either love or hate is the Deadly series by Brenda Joyce. Now, if I was mentioning it on AAR, I’d be run out of town, but I do like this series. And the reason I recommend it to you is because it’s not set in England but rather turn-of-the-century America/New York City so it might appeal to you more. It’s a mystery/romance series and sometimes you want to slap the characters but I still like it. I think the first in the series is called Deadly Love (I think).

    I know a lot of people recommend Laura Kinsale but I’ve only read two by her, which I liked. Ummm…I also like Elizabeth Lowell’s older historicals (her Only series are actually westerns but I really enjoyed Enchanted, Untamed, Forbidden which *are* set in Great Britain)

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  • Sarah McCarty
    July 21
    1:22 pm

    I absolutely love Catherine Anderson’s Historicals. They often make me cry. I also enjoy Elizabeth Lowell’s original historicals and anything by Julie Garwood in Historicals in on my keeper shelf. Her’s make me chuckle and cry. They are usually set in Scotland and have a tongue in cheek humor that has me coming back to reread them over and over. For western epic syle romances, I also enjoyed Rosanne Bittners original series. I still have that series and I even drove through Michigan traffic to get the entire series autographed. They are the only autographed books I own.

    My all time favorite Historical is THE OUTSIDER by Peneolpe Williamson. To the last sentence of the last page I was so damned glad I didnt’ have to make the choice because I couldn’t.

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  • McVane
    July 21
    3:17 pm

    Heh. I generally avoid British-setting historicals [especially Scotland-setting] as well. Hm. I’ll need to flip through the book journal to dig up some recs. Ah’ll be back.

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  • Angela James
    July 21
    3:38 pm

    yeah, all of Julie Garwood’s are on my keeper shelf as well but people either love or hate them so I always hesitate to recommend them. Although I re-read them often and one or two is probably on my top ten list. Same with Johannna Lindsay. some people would rather have their fingernails pulled out than read her books LOL.

    I was just reminded today of some historical ebooks that I love. Lynne Connolly has a series called the Richard and Rose series which is fabulous – it actually has a homosexual character in it. They’re mostly set in England.

    This is where you hate me: she pulled them from their original publisher last year and they haven’t been released with a new publisher yet.

    They’re strictly romance, not erotic romance, but I think they are truly fabulous. The characterization and plot are both well done. I’ve sent her an email asking when they’ll be re-released.

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  • LaShaunda
    July 21
    4:14 pm

    Karen,

    Have you read Beverly Jenkins? I love her historicals and they are set in America.

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  • Selah March
    July 21
    5:46 pm

    Karen-

    I love Patricia Gaffney’s Wyckerly trilogy-

    TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, and FOREVER AND EVER.

    But I must warn you–the hero in the second book, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, is very much a bastard. Actually, I think you could reasonably skip the second book if you wanted to, and just read the first and third, which were the two I enjoyed the most. Not much for bastardly heroes, myself. 🙂

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  • Eve Vaughn
    July 21
    7:10 pm

    We’re the exact opposite because I don’t like reading that many American Historicals, because I don’t like the Native American Books and not crazy about reading about the heyday of the south. I love Regency, Vikings, and Pirate romances so I guess I’m the wrong person to ask, but here are some my suggestions of authors I enjoy.
    Catherine Anderson-her stuff is set in the US
    Tamara Leigh-Scottish and England
    Marlene Suson-US and England
    Mary Balogh-England
    Linda Howard-Mainly US
    Connie Mason-all over the world

    Those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. There are more.

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  • Anne
    July 21
    10:38 pm

    I don’t read many historicals.. only Sarah McCarty historicals though I’ve heard Catherine Anderson’s and Joanna Lindsay’s are very good.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 22
    11:48 am

    Thanks for the rec guys, I went to the library yesterday, and forgot to take the list of books with me, so I ended up buying lots of Catherine Coulter books.

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  • Kate R
    July 23
    10:50 pm

    Patricia Gaffney is great.

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  • Leslie
    July 28
    4:44 am

    Hi, Karen. Guess I’m a little late (2008) posting on this issue. If you’re still looking for historical romance, I recommend Loretta Chase because: for witty repartee in this genre she has no equal that I have found (she’s funny even when writing notes to her fans), her characters are developed well and you get both points of view, and her women are all strong and very smart. I overlooked her books for years, mostly because of the covers, (but I have this trouble with most romance and modern “pop” literature) so don’t let that guide you. Since you’re sensitive about England, try her books set in the expat world: Lord of Scoundrels (Paris), The Lion’s Daughter (Albania). She’s not a perfect writer: books can be a bit character-heavy and plot-thin, but the writing is refreshing, highly amusing and sizzlingly sensual. Enjoy!

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  • Leslie
    July 28
    5:14 am

    Hi, forgot to add Mr. Impossible to the Chase list (set in Egypt). Cheers!

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  • Hi Leslie, I love Loretta Chase, and I’ve read LOS, Miss Wonderful, and Mr Impossible. I liked them all.

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