Historical Romances

As a teen historical romances were my favorite escape reading and this probably continued through college.  As an English Education major I had to read lots of classics and the historicals were like a reading vacation.  Many people don’t read romances.  Think they are predictable, all about sex, or poorly written and some of them are, but not the good ones.  I’m a romantic and I like knowing that when I pick up a romance it is not going to depress me.  It is a comfort read.

As a teen I read a lot of LaVyrle Spencer, but for the life of me I cannot remember any of them specifically.  I’m going to have to try her again and see what I think.  Here are a few current favorites…

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is not your ordinary historical romance.  It has adventure, history and magic too.  And best of all, it’s smart.  I always recommend this one for those that claim they hate historical romance.  This one is an original.  I’ve read the first four in the series and need to get to the next two.  And if you ever have a chance to hear Diana Gabaldon speak, do it!  She’s a delight.

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati is another great one and it doesn’t get enough attention.  This one is set in 1792 when an Englishwoman settles in New York village.  She meets a Mohawk and finds herself drawn to him and his ways.  Not your typical romance.  It’s smarter and full of great beauty.  It also has several sequels, although this one can be read alone, there are no cliff hangers to make you continue.

I have two favorite authors of historical romance.  The first is Judith McNaught.  I have read Almost Heaven many times over the years, followed  closely by A Kingdom of Dreams.  I’ve read every book she’s written and her historicals are the best.  It seems that she has stopped writing historicals, but her contemporaries are good too.  Brenda Joyce is another favorite.  I’ve never been disappointed in her historicals.  I reread her Deadly series this year and a few other recent favorites are The Fires of Paradise and Splendor.  She’s written so many books that I haven’t read them all, but hope to read all of the historicals someday.

So, do you read historical romances?  Do you have a favorite that I should add to my wish list?