Monday, 11 November 2019

Romance Across Time - Regency Romance

By Sharon Bryant

The Regency Period in the United Kingdom occurred during the early 19th century. Architecture, technology and the arts flourished under the patronage of the wealthy, including the Prince Regent himself. The upper classes enjoyed power and privilege whilst the poorest people lived in squalor. The Napoleonic Wars took place during this period. The mini-renaissance enjoyed by the upper classes together with the strong stratification of society provide endless inspiration to romance novelists and readers alike. Not surprisingly, Regency romance is the most popular historical sub-genre. I hope you enjoy reading these novels as much as I have.

The Paid Companion by Amanda Quick

The Earl of St. Merryn needs a woman to pose as his fiancĂ©e for a few weeks while he is in London on business. A practical man who doesn’t wish to be bothered by the fortune-seeking mothers of the ton, he knows a paid companion will provide the perfect solution to his problems. A simple business arrangement with a woman who can act convincingly. Unfortunately, such a lady is proving impossible to find. Eleanora Lodge needs a job quickly if she is to avoid becoming destitute. Independent and feisty, she has trouble finding work, until the earl offers her the role and convinces her to accept. Eleanora quickly suspects her fake fiancĂ© of hiding secrets. Her new job is fast becoming far more dangerous than she first thought.

A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare

Minerva Highwood doesn’t expect to marry. Plain and bookish, she is easily flustered in the company of handsome men. Minerva knows she has made a momentous archaeological discovery. She must travel to Edinburgh immediately to present her findings to her peers. If she can persuade Lord Payne to take her, she will also be removing this dissolute rake from the company of her beloved sister. She doesn’t mind being ruined. No man wants her in any case. If Lord Payne won’t take her, she’ll go alone. Lord Payne admires her courage and resourcefulness, but has no desire to ruin an innocent. Nor can he allow her to travel unaccompanied. The journey this unlikely couple take is a real page-turner filled with dry humour, plot twists and romance.

Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie

Shy Lily Rutherford has a secret. Bullied for it as a child, she doesn’t recognise her considerable character strengths. Lily becomes the victim of an opportunistic crime resulting in great societal pressure on her to marry Edward Galbraith, a well-known rake. Edward also has a secret – a terrible event in his past has ripped most of the hope and happiness from his life. He will offer Lily his name, but can never offer her his heart. Lily’s joy de vivre and caring nature make her a woman the reader would love to have as a friend. Readers also ache for Edward who tries to look after her, and would offer Lily more than simple caring, if only he could.

Do you read regency romance novels? Which one is your favourite?

 Love to love: Nights out with my husband.

Love to laugh: With my new grandson.

Love to learn: More about the craft of writing.

Monday, 4 November 2019

5 Characteristics of a Romance Villain

By Cassandra Samuels

Villain: A  character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot.

Don't we just love to hate a good villain?  This week I'll be exploring the world of the bad guy/gal and what's needed to make a good one. Villain in this post also refers to villainess.

In romance the villain is someone who could stop our love birds from getting together. Someone who could be the cause of past, present or future trauma. Or who might endanger either hero or heroine.

1. Villains have to have a backstory, something that made them into this person they have become. They can often be charming and quite likable until you learn their true motives. What are their motives and what brought them to this point?
courtesy of Cat Planet
2. Villains have a lot of the same characteristics as the hero, it's just that they are misdirected. They are often convinced that they have been hard done by or wronged in some way and therefore their anger and revenge is justified.
3. Villains will not stop until they get what they want, to the point of obsession.  Often their revenge will be the only thing that is keeping them going. They have committed their life to the pursuit of their justice.

4. Villains have to be a worthy opponent to your hero. It's important that your villain's actions prompt the hero to act, even if it is out of character for him. Otherwise why would the hero bother to act at all?
screen shot from the movie The Scarlet Pimpernel
5.Villains are smart and calculating and can't be fools, although they may play the fool to disguise their true motives. Ultimately, though, you want your villain to be as well fleshed out as your protagonists.

What do you look for in a great romance villain? What is your favourite romance villain from a book?

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Love to Love  attending the Historical Novel Society conference

Love to Laugh at my husband and his dry sense of humour.

Love to Learn about writing and being an INFJ personality type