Let’s face it, ladies. We are drowning in dukes! This morning when I visited the historical romance best sellers on Amazon Kindle, that’s pretty much dominated the scene in the 100 top-selling books. Even those books that don’t have the title “duke” on the cover, doesn’t mean there isn’t one lurking between the pages. Most of these dukes are bad boys with a few charming ones thrown into the mix.
Here’s a quick sampling if you don’t think I’ve gone historical romance raving mad.
Blame it on the Duke
Kind Ella and the Charming Duke
A Beauty for the Scarred Duke
The Duke of Nothing
A Duke in Shining Armor
The Duke of Ruin
A Governess for the Brooding Duke
The Silent Duke
From Duke Till Dawn
The Desires of a Duke
My Wild Duke
The Lady, the Duke, and the Gentleman
Kissing the Duke
The Broken Duke…and on, and on, and on.
Once in a while, a lord, baron, marquis, and earl sneak in the bunch, not to be confused with the many rogues of the historical romance genre. There are even duke series like Difficult Dukes, The Disgraceful Dukes, Girl Meets Duke and many more. I guess I’m scratching my head on why we always have to fall in love with a duke. Is there a hidden code that only best-selling romances must be duke focused? Is this the only peerage that can sweep us away into the fantasy land of romance?
After doing some research, I’ve found a Goodreads Listopia entitled, “Dukes – Bring ’em on!” If you Google the term “dukes in historical romance novels,” you’ll be smacked to learn the results. There’s an interesting article on NPR entitled, “Put Up Your Dukes: Romance’s Favorite Rank.”
Perhaps authors and readers alike have determined that dukes are the sexiest and most desired of the English peerage. We prefer dreaming about becoming a duchess regardless if we understand why we should address him as His Grace or where he stands in the scheme of English peerage. Whatever the reason, I’d frankly like to see more historical romances that go beyond this narrow breed of titled men and even dare to focus on a man without an aristocratic title.
What are your thoughts? Don’t be shy! Start chiming in and enjoy the discussion.
If you want to learn about British peerage, there is a good article on Anglotopia, “The peerage: A primer on Understanding Lords, Ladies, Dukes, Earls, and More.”