Thank you for joining me on What to Read Wednesday. Today author K.J. Charles is visiting and talking about Regency Romance, the scope and changes, and her latest release A Fashionable Indulgence. I’m so glad she came on the blog today to share her latest 🙂
Afterward, please don’t forget to enter the giveaway. The link is at the end of the post 🙂
Take it away K.J…
I love a good Regency romance. I started out with Georgette Heyer as a teenager, and like so many others, I fell in love with the world she created, of balls and reputations, where women were preoccupied with making good matches and securing fortunes, and most gentlemen lived existences of sport and pleasure. Of course Heyer knew that this wasn’t the whole Regency story. One of my favourite books is Arabella, in which the heroine comes from a poor and strongly religious family and has a powerful social conscience; it also includes a rare-for-Heyer scene of the miseries that drinking and gambling brought to feckless young men, and the shattering poverty that surrounded the ton.
More recently authors have broadened the scope of the Regency romance. There are still more dukes than you can shake a stick at, of course. (As a matter of tedious fact, there were around 25 dukes alive in the entire Regency period and most of them were decrepit, which is one of the reasons romance is better than reality.) But now we’re getting other worlds too. We are seeing romances with middle-class and working-class characters, romances centring on queer MCs, books that acknowledge the terrible political upheavals of the time and remember the ton were only a tiny, privileged fraction of the population, and stories that remind us Georgian England was not exclusively white—an estimated 5-10,000 people of colour lived in London during the Regency period.
Some non-traditional Regencies for your delectation:
- Rose Lerner, Lively St Lemiston series. The first book, Sweet Disorder, features a middle-class widow who controls a vote in a rotten borough during an election year; the second, True Pretenses, has a Jewish conman hero. There’s a book with servants coming up. I’m so on that.
- Ava March, Gambling on Love series. Male/male romance including not just dukes and viscounts but the Duke’s driver, a card sharp, and plenty of sordid back streets.
- Megan Mulry, Regency Reimagined series concentrates on what we’d now call gay, lesbian and trans main characters.
- Susanna Fraser, A Dream Defiant. Hero is a black soldier fighting in Wellington’s army.
- Vanessa Riley, Unmasked Heart. Christian romance with a mulatto heroine facing prejudice.
My Society of Gentlemen series features three male/male couples, from a Marquess’s son to a gutter revolutionary. As the glittering world of the privileged few collides with radical politics and the harsh realities of the social divide, the men on both sides must find a way to negotiate their illicit affairs under the threat of the gallows.
the first novel of an explosive new series from K. J. Charles, a young
gentleman and his elegant mentor fight for love in a world of wealth, power,
he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane
rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about
wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most
beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the
manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands
conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of
witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge
behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself
exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his
protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of
genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst
excesses of society. But together they can withstand the high price of passion.
freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an
out-of-control garden, and an increasingly murderous cat.