We're back with another fabulous historical romance author who is joining us to discuss one of my favorite things in the whole wide world (which my closet could attest to) - Boots! And the reasons why we love historical romances, along with her recent release of DAUGHTER OF THE GOD-KING. Enjoy!
It’s All About the Boots: Why We Love Historical Romance
When we were little girls we loved fairy tales—some of us still do—and I think our love affair with historical romance is grounded in that deep-seated affection. It’s not exactly politically correct, but what the heck—reading should be an escape from reality, anyway.
There’s no hero like a historical hero. Who can forget Jamie Fraser from Outlander, with his Scottish accent and his single-hearted devotion to Claire? Or the iconic Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice; wealthy, aloof, and unable to help himself as he falls madly in love with the unsuitable Lizzie.
The men in these stories are unabashedly men, doing manly things and wearing tall leather boots. They ride horses, go to war, gamble, and avoid matrimony like the plague until they meet the heroine, and then—while we all smile to ourselves—their wicked ways are suddenly tamed. For some reason this is immensely appealing to the female heart—the idea that she is the only one who can catch the attention of the rich and handsome prince—and every historical romance has this meme as its basic plot.
And note that these manly heroes are never ordinary fellows, but are instead nearly always brooding noblemen; brooding because they are about to lose the family fortune, or brooding about their experiences in the war, or brooding because they are living a dissolute and meaningless life. For some reason this is also immensely appealing—the hero has an exalted bloodline, but money and privilege can’t hold a candle to the love of a good woman.
Can a contemporary romance give you that fairy tale feeling? Not really; our modern sensibilities flinch at the idea of being a damsel in distress, and in America, at least, there are no exalted bloodlines. For pure escapism, there is nothing that can beat the ordinary girl who catches the attention of the elusive and titled bachelor with her wit and charm—no need for a fairy godmother—and each of us easily can see ourselves in the role of that ordinary-but-charming heroine.
In historical romance, the heroine’s only objective is to marry well—which she does, and usually in a spectacular fashion. The plot is thick, the stakes are high, and the obstacles are daunting, but the reader never doubts that the two lovers will achieve their happily ever after. Each book is another telling of the tried-and-true Cinderella story—a story that never seems to get old, no matter how modern our outlook. So settle in and enjoy the manly hero and the plucky heroine—they’ve been around for a thousand years, and no doubt will be around for at least a thousand more.
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