Historical romances - what works, what doesn't

I never really seemed to have a problem with historically inaccurate historical romances. Call me shallow, silly, whatever, but I usually didn't. I just went along with the story and enjoyed. Now, however, I'm finding that a little hard and I blame it on one book: Desiree by Roberta Gellis. I received it for review for CataRomance. It's the February release for Silhouette's Signature Select Spotlight and once I got into it, I couldn't stop reading it. I just felt immersed in the story. Our heroine may be a virgin and a bit naive, but by God she's got a fairly good reason behind it. (well, most of the time). Now, I wouldn't say that the romance between the main characters dominates the storyline, but I think it worked quite well, enough for me to give it 4.5 stars. Our characters fall in love rather gradually, which worked quite well. It's that the setting was so incredibly well-done for a medieval. In the book that I'm reading afterwards, it's also a medieval, but I find myself pulled sharply out of the story when she mentions things about the setting. It's jarring, especially when I felt so good before reading Desiree. In Desiree, there was a real sense that religion *gasp* existed and meant something to the characters, there were fights *yay*, a castle was taken by stealth (in a manner that actually made sense), and the villains actually had real motivation other than pure evilness (though they'd still fall in the evilness category).

So, if you want a really good medieval historical, I really recommend Desiree by Roberta Gellis. It's out this month and even though it's a single title, Walmart and Target seem to be shelving it with the categories.

So maybe this feeling of their inadequacy towards my historical romances will go away soon. I hope so, I need to read the ton that are on my shelf and I really want to enjoy them. Guess it'll be contemps and suspense for awhile after the current one.

1 comment:

Jill said...

I always go in spurts back and forth between contemp and historicals. Sounds like it's time for a contemp spurt for you, LOL.

I love Roberta Gellis, I just bought her book at Target. Can't wait to dig in.