There is a dark side in the historical romance genre. It’s Gothic romance, which doesn’t always give the reader a happily-ever-after ending. Born centuries ago, the genre flourished in the late 18th and 19th century England. They were dark tales, often with a supernatural backdrop, set in creepy houses, castles, or ruins. Somewhere lurking in the fearful locations were mysterious men with secrets or questionable pasts who wooed unsuspecting female heroines. Of course, in the mix, there could be ghosts, monsters, vampires, and other evils lurking beneath the bed.
The romance, however, is still a focal point of these dark tales of love intermixed with the not-so-pleasant surroundings. A few years ago a Gothic romance by the name of Crimson Peak hit the theatres starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska. Below is a fairly short but great description of the Victorian sexuality that became part of Gothic romance.
If you have not seen the movie, you can also read the book.
After doing a bit of Google searching, I came across another good article about the genre that is worth the read – Romance Unlaced: Authors Discuss Today’s Gothic Romances by Madeline Hunter of USA Today (July 13, 2016).
Years ago, before big, fat historical romances broke onto the scene, I would look at the mass-market racks in the drugstore and see rows of covers that had much in common. A woman in a filmy gown running down a hill in the night. In the background, cast in eerie moonlight, was a big house. Read More Here
If you haven’t read a good Gothic lately, here are a few to try out mentioned in the article above. Caution. Not all may have HEA.