Wow, when I asked about setting, I had no idea it would become such a hot topic. Once I'm back from vacation (and pull myself off the sofa and away from Turner Classic Movies), I'm going to "share with the group".

One last question from me about settings: what about the USA? When it comes to historical romance, I can't give 'em away! And I personally LIKE westerns. My theory is there's too much dust with the lust. I've seen a few authors manage to pull it off, but I haven't seen anyone break out with that setting lately.

In the meantime, we'll post some new releases, too, because there are some great books coming out this month!

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8 Comments:

Blogger Mary Castillo said:

Westerns are strange birds because even Hollywood can't seem to find success with them. Well, occasionally they do (Unforgiven, Tombstone, Young Guns ... those are the first that come to my mind). But they're rare and Western romances are really rare. I think that for many women, we can't get over the hardships (e.g. having a baby on the Oregon Trail) and brutality (rape, murder, disease, starvation) of the Old West.

5:18 PM  

Blogger Kelly said:

I absolutely love historical romances set in the old west. It's one of my favorite settings and there just aren't enough of them out there. I think the hardships that existed allow for the idea of romance stemming out of it to be so engaging.

And who doesn't love a cowboy?

8:58 AM  

Blogger AndreaW said:

Personally, I love a good western. Now that being said, my favorite setting is the Regency era, but I really love westerns too. Lorraine Heath is a fave of mine. I recently bought and read Nobody's Darling by Teresa Medeiros and absolutely loved it! I wish they had more westerns...

1:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

One of the major drawcards of historical romances seems to be the idealistic image of the past. In other words, the romantic idea of the past as a place of chivalry, grace, and beauty.

I think you can find this romantic aspect in any era and any country, depending on how you look at it. The dirt and dust and lawlessness of a makeshift Old West town tends to dim the lens, however. And cowboys come with a baggage of sweat, dust, dirt, and a hard, lonely life.

On the other hand, I have no doubt that the lives and loves of pioneers can be presented in a way that causes flutterings in the heart of the most die-hard Regency ballroom fan. A movie like The Last Of The Mohicans should prove that. The conflicts were of an epic scale, the forbidden air of the passions were poignant. One sort of overlooked the mud and the bruises amid the intensity and breath-taking gorgeousness of the story and its characters. So perhaps one of the problems with many historical romances today is that the page count is not high enough to accommodate epic stories. I suspect that settings like Old West may require an epic page count to do the grandeur justice. Romance confined to one homestead or a one-street town makes the the grimier, grimmer realities loom uncomfortably large.

Danielle C.

2:19 PM  

Anonymous ShanaGalen said:

But the USA is more than just Westerns. What about New York, Boston, Newport? And talk about high society. You've got the Vanderbilts, the Astors, and more. Maybe we're just not as interested in America because we live here. Or maybe it's the British titles that make its social scene so much more fascinating.

2:58 PM  

Blogger Santa said:

Shana, you beat me to it! One of my favorite authors is Edith Wharton and her books take place among Astor's 500 list. I think that many of the premises that are popular in Regency settings or, more accurately, in Victorian settings can be transferred over the pond. Money strapped British aristocracy would be the ones 'shopping' the marriage mart at balls given by the Vanderbuilts, Livinstons and Astors. Or what about the tortured second son banished to the Americas and how he comes to find true love among the magnolias.

Just writing out loud.

11:25 PM  

Blogger Camilla said:

I agree Santa! I think that popular plots/conflicts, with a little tweaking to bear in mind slight cultural differences, can be sucessfully transported into non-Regency/Victorian settings.

A marriage of convenience can take place just as well in New York as it can in London, as well as Berlin. It all depends on how well it's written.

(I also adore Edith Wharton)

2:58 AM  

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