Do you read romance?
If the answer if yes, then do you openly admit to reading the genre?
Until recently I was a ‘closet’ romance reader. It was only after my debut novel, A Dead Man’s Debt, was published that I confessed to friends that I read and write historical romance. My voice caught in my throat as I did so; watching their response for the tell-tale flicker of derision, the raised eyebrow and suppressed smirk.
Two things surprised me about their reaction; firstly how many people then confessed to being closet romance readers and secondly, the predictable ignorance of those that hadn’t read the genre. The latter was typified a colleague, who, on learning I was the published author of a historical romance responded (in a derisory tone):
“Not Mills and Boon I hope?”
It is precisely this reaction that in the past has inhibited me from owning up to a passion for romance.
And the reason I love the romance genre?
I’m a professional working woman (a veterinarian), a wife, and mother to two teenage sons and so yes, I do need a daily dose of escapism … the Regency keeps me sane!
And not just that, but historical romance throws an intriguing light on the past. The heroine of A Dead Man’s Debt is Celeste Armitage. She has a 21st century desire to be her own woman, but lives within 18th Century social restrictions. Celeste does not want an arranged marriage and risks disgrace when she humiliates an eligible suitor…
When writing Celeste’s character I loved exploring the idea that women’s desires were no different two hundred years ago to now, and yet their lives were a lottery of circumstance and willingness to accept. Reading romance where the heroine overcomes not just her own emotions, but society’s expectations, is certainly not a matter for derision…as the uninformed think…and besides, what harm in a little escapism?
So how about you: Do you admit to reading romance, and if not, why not?
Celeste Armitage has a plan…and it doesn’t include marriage.
Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country, where she finds a sketch book of nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This cynical lord is the exactly sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the sight of him!
Lord Ranulf faces ruin as a blackmailer uses his late brother’s debts to destroy the Charing’s reputation. When Ranulf unexpectedly falls for the rebellious Celeste he must chose between true love and family duty…but Ranulf underestimates Celeste’s resolve to clear his name and unwittingly places his soul mate in mortal danger….
“Historical romance at its best.” OnceUponAChapter
“Totally engrossing…sensual and evocative writing.” FictionBooks.
“Breathtaking sensuality…page turning drama…a wonderful talent.” The Romance Reviews.
A Dead Man’s Debt is available from Amazon ($2.99), Books on Board, Smashwords and most eBook stores.
Here is the UK link:
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