>Kate Quinn writes about a time period I adore! Ancient Rome. When I was researching authors to blog in this event, I saw Kate’s cover and KNEW I had to have her come blog about her work. Please give a warm welcome to Kate for today’s Pleasure Me With Romance guest post.
REMEMBER to include your email along with either US or State you reside in in your comment. Entries for Grand Prize/Second Prize (open to US Only) do not count without this information in the comment.
Buy The Book
Free Shipping at
There are all kinds of sober and reflective articles out there teaching us how to deal with romance in the real world. Generally these articles are about having realistic expectations, learning to give and take, not being disappointed when your man’s bedroom technique needs a little adjustment. Well, it’s no wonder that even the current recession hasn’t dented sales for romance novels. We may live in the real world, and even like it, but we all find it fun to visit a different world where romantic expectations are always surpassed, “give and take” refers not to who will take out the garbage but to being abducted by a dashing villain and then rescued by an even more dashing hero, and your man’s bedroom technique is always flawless. I write historical fiction, and I may spend most of my writing time making sure I’ve got the chronological events of the Dacian Wars lined up, or researching whether the ancient Romans had velvet – but there must always be love. Without a pair of lovers, the Dacian Wars are just history on a page. I’ve always been a sucker for a good romance in a historical setting, and I’ve certainly read everything I could get my hands on that fell into that setting (did I read anything else during seventh grade but Anya Seton’s Katherine?)
Realism, give-and-take, and modern-day romance be damned. Here are a few of the lessons I have learned from historical romance:
- In order to kick off a life of grand romance, make sure you are born somewhere interesting. Scotland is good (see Diana Gabaldon). Tudor England is good (see Philippa Gregory). Renaissance Italy near any member of the Borgia family is good (see Sara Poole). Also pick your parents carefully: it is not necessary to be a duke’s daughter, but you will have a long road to walk if you get born as a potato picking peasant. (Though Peter the Great’s wife Catherine managed it; a real life Cinderella who went from Lithuanian servant girl to Empress of Russia.)
- Make sure to be born with the right looks. You don’t have to be a raving beauty – it does get a little boring when all these historical romance heroines are Anne Hathaway in a hoopskirt – but you should have something to make people look twice. Red hair is always popular (see Lydia in Kate Furnivall’s The Russian Concubine) or some unique yet appealing birthmark.
- Acquire at least one unsympathetic relative. You’ll need someone who can be counted on to throw up roadblocks in your romantic road to bliss. Unsympathetic fathers are a classic; grasping uncles also good; meddling aunts or cousins who are after your inheritance can also work in a pinch. (For a lethally interfering godmother, see Lady Russell in Persuasion)
- Take careful note of anyone you dislike on sight, especially if he’s handsome. Chances are he’s your soul mate. (Look absolutely no further than Pride and Prejudice.)
- Abductions, pirate attacks, and outbreaks of war should be viewed not as life-threatening dangers, but as dating opportunities. The robber chief/pirate captain/enemy knight is bound to fall in love with you. (See Maid Marian and Robin Hood.)Critical Praise for Kate Quinn“What a great book!”— Diana Gabaldon“A novel that is both literary and a page-turner.”— Margaret George“A riveting tale . . . glamorous and brutal, a heady mix of intrigue and combat . . . an exhilarating read.”— Marie Claire, UK
- Don’t make a fuss about your arranged marriage. Either your proposed groom will turn out to be the love of your life (Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander), or he will be an ogre and the love of your life will arrive soon to save you from marrying him (Bernard Cornwell’s A Crowning Mercy). Either way, you come out on top.
- Be wary of masked balls. Do not trade kisses, love tokens, secrets, or proposals of marriage with anyone until all masks are off. Trust me on this.
- Rank is no barrier to marriage. So what if he’s a King’s son and you’re just a poor little herald’s daughter? He will still fall in love with you, because you are the heroine. (Anya Seton’s Katherine)
- Don’t be downcast if your suitor is poor. He will undoubtedly turn out to be an earl in disguise. (Rossini’s opera Barber of Seville, where poor student Lindoro reveals himself to his bride as Count Almaviva. Operas have this historical romance thing down pat.)
- And finally, enjoy your happily ever after! But keep an eye on your children. If they’re just babies at The End, you should be safe. But if they grow up in the course of the book, then you may be in a historical romantic dynasty – which means, lucky you, that your kids are going to grow up in record time and then start having romantic adventures of their own (see Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’s Morland Dynasty). In which case, you may want to think about Tip #3 above, and turn into the unsympathetic mother. Your kids will need roadblocks too, en route to their own HEA.
I hope you enjoyed today’s life lessons. Monica, thanks for having me!
Contest open until Thursday 01/23/11 07:00am EST
To qualify for Grand Prize/Second Prize drawing (open to US ONLY)
your comment must include a valid email and the state you reside in.
See complete rules for all drawings here.