I'm happy to Have Tracy Cooper-Posey here today. Her historical Romance Diana by the Moon was re-released this year (you can read my review here) and she is here today to tell us why she loves Historical Romance. Please give her a warm welcome and be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post.
Why I Will Never Give Up My Historical Romances.
This factor doesn’t always work, though. Lord knows, my heroine in Diana By The Moon seemed to go out of her way to look anything but enticing, but she certainly had her moments when Alaric was brought to an astonished halt, and those moments simply could not have happened in a contemporary novel. You don’t get long white gowns and crowns of flowers on a regular basis these days.
These days clothing is merely a form of personal expression, but what a woman wore had so much more meaning and implication back then. While I’m not a huge fan of Regencies, they’re a perfect example of how the wrong attire can utterly ruin a woman’s reputation in one disastorous outing.
The other point of historicals that I love that you can’t get in contemporary romances is the political/suspense storylines. Because the story is set in an historical time period, there will be historical events affecting the lives of your hero and heroine, and those events are usually dramatic and highly emotional. There are events and settings you can only get in the annals of history. Wars where the women were forced to stay and home and send their men to fight them, or where the war came to the women’s doorsteps while the men weren’t there to defend them. Periods in history when women were chattels and moved around political chessboards like strategic peices, to be married and sold off for political gain. Eras where superstition and religion ruled society or simply standing in the wrong place at the wrong time could cost you your personal freedom.
There’s so many delicious story possibilities throughout history when men can be really heroic and even women can be strong and brave, yet still melt into the arms of the men who come to love them (while wearing those gorgeous gowns, of course)...why would anyone want to give up stories woven around all those possibilities?
The historical romance market might be dying, but it’s not dead yet and I’m personally doing my best to keep it breathing, one book at a time.
Why do you love historical romances?
HISTORICAL ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
He is Arthur’s man. His duty is his life. She fears and mistrusts him. The only way they will survive is to work together.
Finalist, Emma Darcy Award.
“There was definitely a child standing on the wall, sir.”
Alaric nodded. “Yes.”
“And the fields have been tilled recently,” Griffin added.
“Badly,” added Rhys, ever the cynic. “Look at those rows! I could plow a straighter furrow blind drunk with a poxy bull in front of me.”
“You know that from experience, of course.” Griffin grinned.
Rhys swiped at him with his fist but Griffin had already moved his horse out of the older man’s reach.
Alaric smiled at their banter, then turned his concentration upon the villa ahead and the hill behind. The peak was a rocky plateau thrusting out of the tree line. It was perfect for his needs.
He looked back at the villa. He’d have to cajole the owner into cooperating.
Rhys pushed his horse level with Alaric’s and nodded toward the villa. “Looks Roman.”
“Course, round these parts you couldn’t throw a stone without hitting a Roman.”
“You want to explain to me what Arthur had in mind, sending you of all people in among the thickest congregation of Romans in Britain? Mithras!”
“Arthur knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t explain himself to me.” Alaric looked straight into Rhys’ eyes. “And that’s the last time I allow you the freedom to question Arthur’s orders. Clear?”
Rhys looked away. After a moment he nodded his grizzled head. “Clear,” he said roughly. “I apologize.”
Alaric clapped him on the back. “Good man.”
They reached the gateway. “They aren’t afraid of much. No gates!” Griffin commented.
“They had gates all right,” Rhys said dryly. “And they’ve had their share of trouble too.” He spat on a pile of discarded timber and iron as they passed by. “Those gates were breached by a battering ram or I’m the son of Lucifer.”
Their horses’ hooves echoed flatly in the deserted yard. As the rest of the company filed in Alaric looked around. The courtyard was about a hundred and fifty paces a side. An ancient gnarled oak skulked in the front corner. In summer it would spread welcome shade but now it hunched darkly against the iron-gray sky, dripping tears from an earlier shower.
“Sir!” Griffin whispered, drawing Alaric’s attention. The boy nodded toward the house proper, lining half of the yard. Ten paces from the graceful columns bordering the tile verandah stood a young girl. Her huge eyes were wide with shock.
“She looks ready to bolt at the slightest noise,” Rhys said quietly.
“Where is everyone else?” Griffin asked, puzzled.
“Scattered,” Alaric replied. “If they’ve had trouble before, they’ll be wary about armed men approaching them.” He looked behind him. “Stay here,” he told his men. “If we panic her we’ll never find the rest of the household. Griffin, Rhys, come with me.”
He slid down from his horse and threw the reins to one of the men. Griffin and Rhys followed him.
Alaric moved toward the girl. Closer, he saw that fear kept her pinned down—pure terror. There was no curiosity at all.
“We mean you no harm,” he called out as he reached her. He lowered his voice. “Where are your kin, child?”
She gave no answer. From between her legs urine trickled and puddled at her feet.
Rhys gave a snort of disgust. “For Mithras’ sake, we’re not going to eat you, girl!”
At the sound of Rhys’ gruff battle-roughened voice, the girl’s eyes rolled up and she fell to the ground in a tired, boneless heap.
“Dear god!” Griffin whispered, horrified. “You’ve killed her!”
Rhys cleared his throat. “I did no such thing!”
“It’s all right. She’s simply fainted or some such thing.” Alaric pushed his sword aside and crouched down to check the girl was still breathing. In repose her face was irresistibly beautiful. Flawless, as only a child’s could be before life stamped its lines and markers.
Before his reaching hand made contact there came a piercing, alarming cry from inside the house. It was a war cry.
Alaric leapt to his feet as Rhys and Griffin both drew their swords.
From the far corner of the verandah came a tiny man in trews and tunic, a knife in his upheld hand, his face contorted with rage. He raced along the verandah, leapt onto the dirt and ran toward them. Alaric knew he was protecting the child—he thought they meant the girl harm.
He was almost upon them before Alaric thought to draw a weapon, so astonishing was the idea that this little person would attempt to attack fully armed soldiers.
Griffin and Rhys stepped in front of him. When the man leapt, Griffin, the taller, caught his knife hand and Rhys, the heavier, buried his elbow in the man’s stomach, snapping him over and pushing the wind from him.
And a long tightly bound skein of hair swung over and brushed the dirt.
“Hell’s hounds…it’s a woman!” Rhys gaped at the woman hanging between Rhys’ and Griffin’s grip on her arms. She was trying to draw in air with temporarily stunned muscles, her head hanging down.
Rhys and Griffin looked accusingly at Alaric, their expressions both guilty and defiant at once. Alaric knew what they were thinking. How could you let us hurt a woman like this?
Alaric pondered on what to do. The woman had plainly meant him harm and she had been armed too. As he wavered, she breathed in noisy jerks and that decided him.
“Rhys, sit her on the ground. Griffin, move the little one out of the damp air.”
Rhys lowered the woman until she was seated while Griffin picked up the unconscious child and took her under the verandah roof.
Alaric crouched in front of the woman. She leaned on one hand, holding the other to her chest. Prudently, he kept his hand on his knife hilt.
“Don’t fight to breathe,” he told her. “Relax and it will come. If you fight, it will take longer.”
She understood, for her shoulders lowered as she followed his instructions. Her breath immediately eased. It shallowed but drew easily.
“Stay seated,” he advised her. “You’ll be dizzy for a moment or two.”
She nodded, keeping her head lowered.
“We’re friend, not foe…you understand?”
Again, the nod.
“Where is everyone else?”
“Hiding,” she said, her voice low.
“I need to speak to the head of the household. Who owns this estate? What is his name?”
“The owner’s name is Diana, daughter of the late Marcellus Aurelius.” She looked up then. She had eyes the same deep blue hue as the sky late in the evening, the blue rimmed with black. Eyes startling in their strange coloring. She looked straight into his. “You speak to me.”
Don’t forget to leave me a comment! I love to chat!
Tracy offers your choice of one of her backlist to one lucky commenter (you can take a look at those here).
I will draw the winner on Monday when I get back home from my classes.