Monday, February 26, 2007

European Historicals V American Historicals... What's Your Preference?

As a Brit, I’m not too keen on reading romance novels based in England, Scotland, or God forbid, Wales, but I do have a few authors who I make an exception for.

I only really started reading hystericals a couple of years ago, but I knew right off that anything based in England would usually end up with me gagging in disgust. Most of time anyway.

I love Lisa Kleypas’ books, but she writes hot, and I’m all about those hot books. One of my guilty pleasures, are the seriously one-dimensional Cheryl Holt books, but that’s because she uses rude words in her stories, and I like her slutty slappers heroines.

I like Julie Garwood because she’s a damn fine writer, period, Kinsale isn’t too bad either, although I have to say, her books usually take more concentration than I like to expend, whilst reading.

Judith Ivory’s
Beast, was an amazing book, but let’s face it, any story where the hero is as imperfect as Charles Harcourt was, is bound to be an attention grabber. I like romance books that dare to be different, Skeeving me out with dragon sex doesn’t count, and Beast was certainly different.

I’ve got another of Ivory’s books on my TBR, fuck knows when I’ll get round to reading it, but Sleeping Beauty, seemed like a good read, so I’m sure I’ll read it at some point this year.

I can take or leave Gaelen Foley’s books, but I have to say, I do love her heroines. It’s a shame she’s such a hit and miss author for me.

I hear that Eloisa James is a pretty good writer, but I’ve never read any of her blurbs that inspired me to buy yet. The same goes with Teresa Medeiros.

I’m told that I’m missing out on loads of other good authors who write European historicals, but I’m not convinced about that. I don’t mind reading books about virgins, but I certainly don’t want a steady diet of them, and I know that historicals by their very nature will have a virgin heroine, more often than not.

I just can’t bear the weak-assed, lily-livered heroines that authors such as Catherine Coulter insist on writing about. Blech.

On the other hand, I find that I’m quite partial to western historicals. I realise that in recent years, they seem to have been going the way of regencies, but quite honestly, I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve read.

Authors like Catherine Anderson have made westerns a joy for me to read, and of course I can’t mention westerns without pimping my main biatch
Sarah McCarty.

I enjoyed Maureen Mckade’s A Reason To Live, although I must admit, it took me longer than usual to read it.

I think the reason I prefer American historicals over European historicals is because as a ‘European’ I’m not interested in reading the English language of old, get horribly mangled by authors who haven’t done their research properly, and litter their books with stereotypical Anglo Saxon or Gaelic phrases, which a lot of the time, bare no resemblance to the original language.

The other reason that I prefer American historicals, is because, it’s so far removed to anything I’ve ever experienced. Quite frankly, I find the civil war period a lot more interesting than anything that happened during the Tudor era. This is probably a black thing, but I’m not very interested in the taming of the duke, or the runaway duchess. I tolerate The Ton in Kleypas’ books, because she’s a good writer.

I’ve always wondered why European historicals seem to be more popular than American historicals. Are the reasons similar to mine, in that you guys want settings that you’re not familiar with?