Types of Regency Romances-Sweet to Sizzling & a FREE Book!

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Types of Regency Romance-Sweet to Sizzling & a FREE Book! 


When I started writing Regency Romances, I thought I knew what I was doing. Notice the emphasis on the word thought. Heck, I didn’t even realize that what defines the Regency Era is controversial.


The narrowest definition of the Regency Era is the period between 1811 and 1820 when the Prince of Wales ruled as Prince Regent because King George III’s madness made him unfit to rule. Some argue that true Regency Romances must take place within this time frame and be set in England while adhering to the social norms, mannerisms, and values of the period.


A broader definition, often call the Extended Regency Era, was the period from 1777 or 1779, depending on the resource, and ending either with the death of King George IV in 1830 or the British Reform Act in 1832. Some claim the era extended clear until Queen Victoria took the throne in 1837.  


You’ll note that one time frame is a mere nine years, while the other encompasses over four decades. Is one right and the other wrong? One more authentic or accurate?


A notice at the entrance to the Regency galleries in the National Portrait Gallery reads:

 “As a distinctive period in Britain’s social and cultural life, the Regency spanned the four decades from the start of the French Revolution in 1789 to the passing of Britain’s great Reform Act in 1832.”


Obviously, by this definition, the term encompasses a broader period than the near decade the regent ruled in proxy. However, the definition of Regency Romance extends beyond the feel of the Regency Era too.


In fact, there are five sub-genres that fall within the scope of Regencies.


Classical Regency Fiction: Novels actually written during the nine-year Regency period. Jane Austen’s works fall into this category.


Modern Regency Fiction:  Stories written at a later time about the Regency period.


Traditional Regency Romances: These novels are “sweet” with no explicit sex and are usually set between 1800 and 1820. (Yes, that’s outside the official Regency Era).


Regency Historicals: The setting is in Regency England (or provinces controlled by England) but the prose, characters, and plot extends beyond the usual genre formula. Characters may behave according to modern values rather than Regency values.


*And that’s why we frequently have highly-educated, strong-willed heroines, which was not the norm for the period. Also, these stories tend to span a greater number of years and the locations dare to venture outside London, or even England. *Gasp!*


Sensual Regency Historical: Often written as series, they contain explicit sex, some erotic in nature.


The difficulty Regency authors and readers encounter when writing novels or searching for stories to read, is that, often, there is no distinction between the latter four. Retailers’ categories are limited, and all Regency types tend to be lumped together. That can lead to mixed reviews.


UPDATEDWagersGoneAwry_600x900For instance, here are a couple of reviews for Wagers Gone Awry (Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper,  Book 1) set in the English countryside in 1822. The novel contains a single intimate scene in the last chapter after the H/h are married.  


5 stars “I have read literally thousands of Regencys [sic]. I LOVED this book!!”


Here’s a differing opinion:


2 stars “The book is lively enough, but this is not a Regency novel. Come on, did the author read Pride and Prejudice?”


The second reviewer has mistaken Classical Regency Fiction for Regency Historicals, but I’ll bet my Grandmother’s shortbread recipe, the reviewer doesn’t care.

A quick aside here: Jane Austen was not the Regency Romance pioneer. She wrote contemporaries. Georgette Heyer, however, is considered the original Regency Romance author. 

Most of my books push the bounds of the strict Regency Era. They are either set outside the nine-year time frame, or a portion of the book takes place in a setting other than England.


Virtue and Valor (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 2) only has one chapter set in England. The rest takes place in Scotland, though the year is 1818. The first book in the series, Triumph and Treasure, actually begins in America, as does the first book in my Castle Brides Series, Highlander’s Hope.


Two of my novellas, Bride of Falcon and A Kiss for Miss Kingsley are Traditional Regencies. The entire story takes place in London and other than kissing (and perhaps a naughty thought or two!) the stories are sweet.

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For a limited time, A Kiss for Miss Kingsley is available for FREE at all major eBook retailers.


All the required elements for a completely wonderful historical romance. .. truly sigh-worthy…” ~Janice Hougland


Olivia Kingsley didn’t expect to fall in love and receive a secret marriage proposal two weeks into her first Season. However, one dance with Allen Wimpleton, heir to a viscountcy, and her fate is sealed. Or so she thinks until her eccentric and ailing father, unaware of Allen’s proposal, announces he’s moving the family to the Caribbean for a year. … In two days.


Allen begs Olivia to elope to Scotland, knowing her father will refuse his offer of marriage after such a brief acquaintance with Olivia. Having recently lost her mother, and fearing for her father’s health, she refuses, pleading with Allen to wait for her until she returns to England. Angry at her hesitancy, and unaware of her father’s ill health, Allen demands she choose—him or her father.


Heartbroken at his callousness, but thankful he’s revealed his true nature before she married him, Olivia turns her back on their love. The year becomes three, enough time for her broken heart to heal, and after her father dies, Olivia returns to England. Coming face to face with Allen, she realizes she never purged him from her heart and once again the flames of love ignite, but is it too late? Does Olivia have any hope of winning Allen’s heart once more, or has he found






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I’m curious if you agree with the five types of Regency Romances. Do you think there should be other types? Fewer?  How does a reader know the difference?




Follow Collette Cameron:


USA Today Bestselling Author, COLLETTE CAMERON pens Scottish and Regency historicals featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them. Blessed with three spectacular children, fantastic fans, and a compulsive, over-active, and witty Muse who won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she still lives in Oregon with her husband and five mini-dachshunds, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time. Admitting to a quirky sense of humor, Collette enjoys inspiring quotes, adores castles and anything cobalt blue, and is a self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic. You'll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances.

29 Responses

  1. Barbara Monajem

    Yup, there’s something Regency for every reader and every mood. 🙂

  2. allybroadfield

    That is one of the wonderful things about Regency romances. It was such a short time period by any measure, and yet the stories are so rich and diverse.

  3. jessicajefferson

    I’m glad you pointed out the differences. I wish there was a sub genre on Amazon. Though I enjoy the occasional more traditional modern Regency novel, I’m a bigger fan of Regency era historicals.

    • Collette Cameron

      I wish there were sub-genres on Amazon too, Jessica. It would save authors a lot of grief from those who don’t understand that Regencies consists of several genres.

  4. lauramichaela

    I absolutely agree with your definitions. I recently mentioned something about Jane Austen not being an author of historical fiction on a discussion elsewhere. That always bugs me.

    I like the historical sites that move about the Regency Era British Empire, regardless of technical category. And the women with more modern sensibilities. I’ll take her over a missish miss any day. They were so boring.

    • Collette Cameron

      Laura, there are those who have a firm mindset about what “real” Regencies are and there’s not much we can do about that. Sigh.

  5. Renée Reynolds

    Really lovely post on the differences in interpretations and the variety of labels!

    I for one have a hard time categorizing the heat level in my books to make sure everyone knows what they’ll be reading – plenty of longing, smooching, heavy breathing, stolen moments, wandering hands, etc., etc. – but not the actual complete act.

    And having written my master’s thesis on the Long Regency, I’m a huge champion of the broader timeline, wider variety of characteristics in the social classes, and reexamination of so-called historical “truths.” After my defense, one of my professors commented, “Who knew that narrow time period would have such widely held interpretations.”

    Truly, there is something for everyone who enjoys reading a Regency!

    • Collette Cameron

      Oh, I know what you mean about having difficulties categorizing heat levels. I’ve had the same book called sweet and explicit.

  6. jdh2690

    Hey, I recognized a snippet of my review on this post! 🙂 I love your historical romances, Collette. And outside of being a beta reader for authors I enjoy, I do not critique the story lines. So what if they don’t follow strict guidelines for “true” regencies, etc.? I am into the reading for the story and the enjoyment if brings to me. If the characters are credible and/or humorous and the plots not too incredible, and the romance “swoon-worthy” (not necessarily explicitly sensual), I am not going to waste my reading time trying to decipher what category the story fits into. Your humor I like especially…it tickles me when reading your romances. Thank you for the chuckles and delightful stories! jdh2690@gmail.com

  7. spiritofnlmk

    I’m always surprised by how people will mark down books because a book was not their “taste” ! If that happens to me I always chalk it up to an oops on my part.

    • Collette Cameron

      I’ve occasionally started a book and realized it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. If I enjoy it, I keep reading. If not. I stop. That simple.

  8. ellaquinnauthor

    From one Regency author to another, I think your books are wonderful. As to sex, I truly believe authors such as Georgette Heyer would have included it, as it was a large part of the real Regency world, if they had been allowed to at the time. But, sadly, she died in 1976. Shared.

  9. Barbara Bettis

    I love the variety of Regency ‘types’ and the way each author can add her or his own touch to make the stories unique. Nice post!

    • Collette Cameron

      So true, Barbara. The feel of the era is present in all the different types, so readers of all heat levels get an authentic experience.

  10. hillenbrandfamily

    I heartily agree with jdh2690. I really enjoyed your post which was very informative. I don’t care either which kind of Regency I am reading. It is more important that the story is well written and I can lose myself in it. Some intimate scenes are okay, I don’t want them to overshadow the story. I love the romance! 🙂

  11. Diane Eberly

    Liked your article about Regencies but I enjoy all types, with or without sexual situations. I do love the romance and the stories. Love Georgette Heyer have just finished re-reading about 5 over July & Aug. So enjoyable. Your book sounds great can’t wait to read it. Have collected quite a lot of free books from Amazon and Ibooks. Have a lot to read but I do enjoy it. Thanks Collette for the free book. Diane

  12. lauraboon2014

    I think it is all about the story. When I was younger I preferred sweet romances. Now, I prefer sensual romances but regardless of my age, I have read across the period if I have enjoyed the story. The history is important to me too, so the period detail must have the ring of authenticity or I will doubt the author’s sincerity.

    • Collette Cameron

      I love period details, and I’m always learning something new. I hate it when I discover I’ve goofed in a previous book and want to snatch it off the shelves and fix it.