Monday, February 13, 2012

My love affair with romance

Hello! And welcome to Day 13 of Love month! Thank you for sticking with me :)

Today, I am thrilled to introduce Rosy from The Review Diaries to the blog. Rosy is a friendly blogger I've only recently gotten to know after meeting her at a blogger event last month! She's here today writing about something a little out of the YA-norm, but I hope you enjoy this fantastic guest post as much as I did! Over to you, Rosy...

To find out more about Rosy, please do visit the following websites:

You guys, I have a secret, and since this is the month of love and all that I figured who better to share it with? Here it is – I’m in love with Romance books. I can hear you judging me from here, but give me a moment to explain myself. For this is not just any romance, oh no, it’s Regency Romance, the crème de la crème. The cherry on top of the proverbial romance cake.

For you see, romance is my chicken soup of the soul. It reassures me that all is right with the world, that there is love out there, and there are boys that are devilishly handsome yet will stop all their terrible ways as soon as they meet their One True Love. And the balls, and the waltzing, and the pretty dresses! I think you get the idea…

It all started, as these things so often do, when my head was about to explode from stress, and a friend handed me a book and said ‘read this, for it will make everything ok again.’ So I did. And you know what? It totally rocked my socks off. I’ve never been a particularly romance kind of girl – I like my heroines kick ass, and able to handle a sword.
But I started to realise something as I followed Hyacinth (I know! The names!) in her journey for The Epic Love – that just because she was wearing a pretty dress and probably didn’t know her way around a sword, didn’t mean she wasn’t strong and epic in her own way. She was funny, and sarcastic, and cynical, and she wasn’t just going to fall at some man’s feet just because he fluttered his eyelashes at her. No, Hyacinth was most definitely epic just in a different way to what I was used to.

So I bought the rest of the series. Well actually my Mother bought them as a bribe to get me through the rest of my exams, and I devoured them. Because all of Julia Quinn’s heroines were epic in their own way. They were sassy and funny and determined, and downright shocking when they had to be – and I loved them.

There is something downright fabulous about Regency Romance – as I’ve said you get the balls and the dresses and the rakish gentlemen and the schemes, but you also get the rules, and the rules are what make it so delicious. The ones that say a lady must never be left un-chaperoned with a man, that he must come to call on her after a ball and bring her flowers, that the waltz is a
scandalous dance and to dance more than twice in one night with the same man is just asking for the Ton to gossip about you for the next week. It’s these things that make the romance so thrill worthy, because in a time when being alone with a man would ruin a girl, the slightest touch, the faintest whisper of a stolen kiss is infinitely more thrilling and seductive.
It also means that unlike most modern romances the sex isn’t overblown, graphic and happening on every available surface. Yes the hero and heroine do eventually get down to business, but it’s more about two people in love than gratuitous sex – although it’s enough to still set your pulse racing!

And Julia Quinn is officially the Queen of the Regency Romance in my book. With well over twenty books to her name (and reliably a new one out approximately every June) she has created a cast of characters large enough to populate the upper circles of London’s High Society. Every book is like popping back to see people you know, familiar names and faces are always cropping up in other books besides their own, and quite often you’ll find that a ball you
read in one of her books last week, will be featured in another book from a different perspective. I get a little thrill every time a character I love makes an appearance (if you read them keep an eye out for Lady Danbury, when I grow up I want to be just like her.) and all their stories are so fantastically interwoven to create one seamless whole.

But part of what makes Julia Quinn’s books so good is the tried and tested formula you’ll find in virtually every book – amazingly due to the variety of characters and stories told this formula never gets old. Seven easy steps to create a brilliant romance.

1. Our hero and heroine meet. They either harbour an instant attraction for each other, or declare that they hate the other person. It’s always more fun when instant dislike is involved.

2. Circumstance throws our intrepid characters together. Sparks inevitably fly. Usually some heated moments including mean words and near kisses. The tension is fabulous.

3. They start to fall in love. They won’t admit to this even under duress and/or torture

4. The first kiss.

5. The misunderstanding. Usually about three quarters of the way through the book, sometimes later, something happens which makes both parties go all wibbly (there’s usually some crying involved) and declare their undying hatred of the other. This can be anything from ‘hey I was only wooing you for a bet’ to ‘yeah I’ve already got a mad wife in the attic!’

6. The misunderstanding is resolved! They kiss! They make up! If they haven’t already then now is the moment for sex!

7. Happily Ever After.

See! A classic yet brilliantly simple formula, and it works every time. Mixed in with all of that we’ve got the balls, the fancy dresses, the witty dialogue of England in the 1800’s, the rakishly good looking men, and above all – the romance. Because let’s face it, the biggest reason why these books are my chicken soup? They restore my faith that there’s love in the world. That there are good, kind men out there just waiting to find their One True Love. And that most of all, there are happily ever afters out there just waiting to happen.

If you haven’t yet discovered the awesome Julia Quinn, whilst there is an order to some of the books for the most part you can dive in anywhere and it all still makes sense.

Personal favourites of mine are:‘What Happens in London’‘Romancing Mr Bridgerton’ ‘When he was Wicked’‘It’s in His Kiss’‘How to Marry a Marquis’‘The Lost Duke of Wyndham’


  1. Fab post! I'm not really a hugely romance-novel girl though! I've only read one The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, and as a matter of fact it's probably my favourite book of all time, so I should give other romantic novels a try!

  2. Great post! I'm a huge romance novel fan, though I tend to read more contemporary stories than historicals. I read my first Julia Quinn last year and loved it, I shall be checking out your list of favourites.

  3. Haha, such a good formula, can't really go wrong! Great post, Rosy!x

  4. I enjoy Julia Quinn's books a lot! There are lots of great romance authors out there to discover too, especially historical romance authors.

  5. This is such a wonderful guest post, thank you so much Rosy!

    It wasn't until I'd seen the American versions of the covers that I realised where I'd seen the name 'Julia Quinn' before. We used to import the American editions of her books for the bookstore I used to work in. They were hugely popular and have such fun ripply-chested covers :)

  6. Ah yes, the fabulous ripples... This is why I worked hard to get all the american covers for my bookshelf ;) And thank you for having me! :)


HI! Thank you for leaving a comment, you've just become my new best friend :)