Historical Romances – The Loves of My Life

posted in: Books, Michelle McLean | 25

totrustathief_500px (1)My earliest Christmas memory is of opening a huge box full of books and tapes. I remember how excited I was to see all those beautiful books (fairy tales mostly) and couldn’t wait to pop the tapes in and listen while I turned the pages. My mom tells me I was two years old at the time. And I’ve been reading anything I can get my hands on ever since.

My first romances were Victoria Holt’s gothic romances. Sweeping moors, mysterious and spooky old manors, handsome gentleman (always with dangerous secrets) and the intelligent but often overlooked heroines who loved them…I loved these stories with their intense, heart-gripping romances, all shrouded in mystery and danger. These stories got into my blood. I absolutely loved traveling back in time and experiencing new eras and places with each new book. StolenHeart_500

I read every historical I could – the era didn’t matter. Stories set in Regency England, Ancient Egypt, the Viking North, Imperial Russia, medieval Europe, Civil War America….I devoured them all. I even ended up majoring in History (with a minor in English), and later on got a masters degree in English. I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do more than combine my love of history with my love of writing.

ABBH 500x750I like my heroines feisty and intelligent and my heroes with a hint of bad-boy to them. And of course, my early experiences with the genre still make me crave a hearty helping of danger and mystery with my romance stories.

In To Trust a Thief, Min and Bryant must find a legendary necklace before a murderous, corrupt lord gets to it…or them. My Blood Blade Sisters series follows a trio of bandit sisters as they battle crooked sheriffs, smuggling rings, shady politicians, and the KKK. In Wish Upon a Star, Ceri and Jason try to rekindle their love…while being chased by zombies 😀 And in my upcoming Romancing the Rum Runner, Jessie and Tony are pitted against prohibition agents and rival bootleggers bent on murder and mayhem. BetrayedHeart_500

I tell ya…there’s nothing like a sensuous romance set against a rich, historical backdrop. Historical romances are truly the loves of my life 😉

wish upon a star 500 rgb (1)What is your favorite time period? Do you like your romances wrapped in danger and mystery?

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Michelle McLean is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who is addicted to chocolate and Goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and a knack for explaining complicated things to uncomplicated people. Michelle's non-fiction works include guides on how to write essays, term papers, literary analysis essays, and poetry. She also writes romance with a good dose of mystery and humor, historicals, and a paranormal here and there. When Michelle's not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. She resides in PA with her husband and two children, an insanely hyper dog, and three very spoiled cats.

25 Responses

  1. Harliqueen

    What a great post 🙂

    I love the regency period, but then I’m also partial to a bit of medieval 😀 It’s always rather exciting when some dangerous secret is lingering around the characters!

    • michellemclean

      Ahhh two of my favorite time periods! I love the balls and gorgeous dresses and fancy ladies and gentleman of the Regency era, but the medieval period….talk about your manly men! Knights rippling with muscles under their armor and damsels in flowing robes in some sort of distress…yes please! 😀 I always wanted to be able to walk around with a gold circlet and pearls braided into my hair like on The White Queen LOL

  2. jdh2690

    Historical, historical, historical—romance, romance, romance! The combo of the two has always lured me to my reading chair. I’ve read Regency, Western, Medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Early American. Early American is the newest for me because there hasn’t been much of that in the past except maybe some of the old “bodice ripper” stories of pirates and such. I’ve ventured out into the paranormal even, but can’t seem to get past the shifters into the more exotic stuff (shiver). Thanks for your post, Michelle. It’s always fun to meet kindred spirits. jdh2690@gmail.com

    • Michelle McLean

      LOL Yep, if it’s romance and historical, I’m totally sold 😀 Writing my Blood Blade Sisters series was a huge departure for me 🙂 I usually stick to European settings when I write (or read) historicals, but it was a lot of fun to delve into American settings 😀

  3. Sandra Owens

    Regency and contemporary for me, Michelle, and I like my romances wrapped however they come, danger, mystery, humorous….they’re all great.

  4. Victoria Vane

    I love many eras from the Restoration through the 1920’s although the naughty Georgian era is my favorite! I also love stories with elements of adventure and intrigue.

  5. ginaconkle2013

    Hi Michelle,
    I remember playing the Disney LP records and reading along with the books (plus a healthy dose of fairy tales :-D). That was my favorite thing to do over cartoons on Saturday morning. Probably dating myself since the cassettes weren’t available yet! And you know what’s funny, my boys still love to listen to audio stories in the car …only now we upgraded to CDs. Technology changes, but good stories stay the same. Thanks for sharing your book love with us. You have the heart of a romantic.

    • Michelle McLean

      I worked for the Post Office Remote Encoding center several years ago and it was one of my favorite jobs because I was able to listen to books on tape while I worked. Absolute heaven 😀

  6. Tracey Galbraith

    My favorite is Regency, followed by Georgian and Victorian. Truth be told, I won’t turn any HISTORICAL romances away BUT… I read, pretty much, only (it is weird I know) books with DARK haired heroes…but that’s just me!

    • Michelle McLean

      That’s interesting! 😀 You know, all my heroines have either dark hair or red hair (but even then it’s more auburn). So when I wrote Wish Upon a Star (which is not historical btw) I gave my heroine blonde hair, just to change things up 😀

  7. hollybushbooks

    I seem to go in phases – I devoured every Scottish set historical, then I went through an American/cowboy period, and then on to the Regencies (still a favorite). I’ve never actively sought out a Georgian but I’ve been tempted to go on a binge with some of our ER authors that write Georgian. Hmm . . . what to buy, what to buy?

    • Michelle McLean

      LOL I do the same thing. Then I’ll get burned out on one era and move to something else. Years ago, I was a member of a book club that would send me four historicals a month, and they were usually spread through different eras. But man, it was sooo fun opening that box and seeing what was waiting for me in there! 😀 I still have many of those books actually 🙂

  8. Maggi Andersen

    Regency, Georgian and Victorian mostly, but I’ll also read Edwardian and the 20s and 30s if the book appeals. I prefer eras where peoples’ lives weren’t so very different to our own.

    • Michelle McLean

      I’ve only read a few set after 1900 – I mostly hang out in the 1800s 🙂 Though I love medievals and anything involving a kilt! 😀

  9. ginaconkle2013

    I realized I caught onto the stories on cassette and didn’t answer your question. Basically I love any time period, except I’m done with Civil War romance. I think I overdosed on those years ago. And, you know, even though you keep hearing how “there’s too much Regency” I keep buying those stories! I love as far back as Roman era romance (Kate Quinn’s books are great), but late Victorian is as modern as I get. I like the stories with danger and mystery just as much as I like them light and fluffy. Ok, thanks for the great post and getting me to think about book love all over again. Take care! Gina

    • Michelle McLean

      Civil War was never my favorite era either, though I really love Celeste de Blasis’s Wild Swan series, part of which is set during the CW. I mostly stick to European settings, any time period, but almost always before 1900. Which made writing Romancing the Rum Runner interesting, being set in 1929 Chicago 😀

  10. B.J. Scott

    Loved your post 😉 While I find myself trapped in Medieval Scotland most of the time, which is a good thing in my opinion lol, I have to say, I love anything historical. This includes anything from mid 1930s back. Even enjoy WWII books from time to time. Diary of Ann Frank being one book I read as a Teen and found myself immersed and enthralled. My particular favorites periods are Medieval (of course), American Civil War, War of 1812, American Revolution, anything to do with settling the western frontier ( 1900 back) and anything to do with Native American culture from 1920s back. I do enjoy a good Regency, anything set in Scotland or Ireland, and lets not forget the Viking novels, but those I do tend to include in the Medieval books 😉
    I went through a period a few years back where I read a lot of contemporary books, so many that I have to say I am not a huge fan of contemporary books today. But must confess that I do dabble in Paranormal/time travel and romantic suspense from time to time in my own writing. But that is what makes us all unique and the need for authors in all genres so important.

    • Michelle McLean

      Yeah, I think if “historical” is attached to it, I’m game 😀 I also love paranormal and romantic suspense. I don’t read much contemporary unless it has other elements – loved the Sookie Stackhouse books for example, and the Black Dagger Brotherhood books. I have really enjoyed the Entangled Brazen and Indulgence lines 😀 though the Scandalous and Covet books are a little closer to my heart 😀

  11. Wendy Vella

    I’m a Regency girl mainly, having said that I enjoy a man in a kilt too! But I often read across eras and genres and at the moment I’m going through a contemporary phase.