Articles · Historical Tidbits

Guest Post from Author Alexa Aston – Duels in Regency Romance

Duels can provide high drama in a romance novel!

By the Regency Era, Englishman switched from swords to pistols, with wealthy noblemen purchasing specially created dueling pistols. In addition, the second became common, where disgruntled parties (known as principals) would select a friend to deliver a challenge in writing, which stated the grievances and demand satisfaction. Once received, the challenged party could refuse the challenge—which would insult the challenger and stir rumors of cowardice)—or accept it.

If accepted, the seconds made the arrangements for the upcoming duel, which involved many rules. Duelers were to adhere to these rules and behave as gentlemen at all times.

Traditionally, duelers met at dawn and the field of honor would be isolated to prevent legal intervention. Seconds determined the dress code, how many shots would be fired, and the distance between duelers. A physician was on hand to attend the wounded. Seconds collected the names of witnesses to the duel—and even determined whether or not to serve refreshments!

Some of the more interesting rules from the Royal Code of Honor included:

  • Duels will not be fought on a Sunday or near a place of worship.
  • No spectacles could be worn unless a Principal usually wore them in public.
  • A Principal could not “wear light colored clothing, ruffles, or military decorations upon which the eye of his antagonist could rest,” as it could affect the outcome of the duel.

Seconds handed cocked pistols to the Principals and each fired a single shot. If no bullets struck either man and the challenger was satisfied, the duel concluded. If a challenger wished, Principals would aim and fire again. No more than three shots were permitted, however, since more than that would be deemed uncivilized behavior.

Occasionally, one (and sometimes both!) Principals would deliberately miss or fire into the air—known as deloping—and both men would retain their lives and honor.

The time leading up to a duel, the duel itself, and the aftermath can lend excitement and conflict in a Regency romance.

Alexa Aston

Where History & Romance Collide
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Historical Romance · Press This · Regency Romance

Why Are So Many Romances Set in the Regency Period? (Press This! JSTOR Daily)

Romance is one of the most lucrative fiction genres, a billion-dollar industry featuring stories full of banter, courtship, and smoldering chemistry.  So how did an entire subgenre of literature spring up around a few thousand rich people who lived during the 1810s?

Source: Why Are So Many Romances Set in the Regency Period? | JSTOR Daily

Articles · Historical Romance · Press This · Regency Romance

Georgette Heyer Quiz: Which Regency Romance Should You Read Next? (Press This! BookRiot)

Take this Georgette Heyer quiz to discover which of the author’s 32 historical romance novels you should pick up as your next comfort read. From the 1920s to the 1970s, she wrote 32 historical romances. The British Regency period is ubiquitous within historical romance because of her almost single-handed work.

Source: Georgette Heyer Quiz: Which Regency Romance Should You Read Next?


Blame Jane: Romance Novels 2019–2020 (Publisher’s Weekly)

What’s so great about Regency romances anyway? Even with a forthcoming romance novel whose characters could promenade the same ballrooms as Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley, Anna Harrington, author of An Inconvenient Duke, doesn’t lower her voice when she says it: “I hate Jane Austen.”

Source: Blame Jane: Romance Novels 2019–2020


Corsets and Carriages: 15 Must-Read Regency Romance Novels from BookRiot

Do you agree with their choice? Chime in on the comments and post your best Regency Romance Novels.

Get your TBR list ready. These are 15 of the best regency romance novels, which range in content from squeaky-clean to filthily explicit.

Source: Corsets and Carriages: 15 Must-Read Regency Romance Novels


The Regency Romance: How Jane Austen (Kinda) Created a New Subgenre

Interesting article worth the read about Regency romance novels and the earlier authors who blazed the trail for our modern-day romances based off of Jane Austen’s era.

Okay, I confess: I am not attending the Jane Austen Festival purely out of love for one of the greatest novelists in the history of the English language. I’m also driven by a deep and abiding love of the Regency romance.

Source: The Regency Romance: How Jane Austen (Kinda) Created a New Subgenre

Articles · Historical Romance

What Happened to the Historical Romance Novel?

This is a Press This! redirect to a fascinating article written in 2014 that deals with the overabundance of duke-centric historical romance novels flooding the market. Some of the blame is placed on Amazon and their algorithms.  You know how it works nowadays – you search for a couch on Google and then couches are everywhere on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  If you search for a Regency romance on Amazon, and you’ll get hundreds of suggestions on other Regency romances filling your pages.

The article explores the draw to dukes and the lessening of other genre eras losing popularity for a variety of reasons. In the end, though, it encourages both authors and readers there is much more out there to write about and read about when it comes to historical romance.

Read more at What Happened to the Historical Romance Novel?  on Huffington Post

Articles · Historical Romance Authors

Georgette Heyer – Regency Romance

The article link below to The Guardian was actually released back in September of 2016.  I’ve been thinking about focusing some posts on a few well-known authors of the past who have paved the way for the historical romance genre’s popularity.  Georgette Heyer is certainly one of those writers who come to mind.

The article states, “Heyer, known for her tales of romance and intrigue set during the early 19th century, died in 1974, the author of more than 50 books. She said of her work that ‘I ought to be shot for writing such nonsense, but it’s unquestionably good escapist literature.'”  Obviously, many have escaped over the years into the Regency era through her books.

Though she passed away in 1974, she still ranks #46 in the top 100 historical romance authors in ebooks and #28 in historical romance in print.  This prolific writer’s popularity has not waned in any fashion over the years.  Her author page on Amazon is filled with her works.

Read more about her life here:

Three short stories by the queen of Regency romance have been discovered by her biographer and are being reprinted in a new volume.  Source: Forgotten Georgette Heyer stories to be republished

New Releases

The Son of An Earl by Eleanor Meyers

Sir Warren Leverton has many secrets.
1- He’s a writer,

2- a spy in service to the crown,

3- a man in love with a woman who was only supposed to have been an assignment.
Wooing Sopherina into a marriage so he could get closer to her father had been easy but keeping his heart at a distance turned out to be more difficult. Knowing he couldn’t live without her, he plans to tell her the truth.But … before he could make his confessions, she died at the mission’s completion. 

Released November 27, 2017
ShermanBrooks Publishers
Book Review Blog · Gosford's Daughter · Mary Daheim

Book Review: “Gosford’s Daughter” by Mary Daheim

I must confess right up front that I never knew Mary Daheim wrote historical romance novels until now. I am a huge fan of her Alpine/Emma Lord series, so my curiosity was peaked when I realized this book was not a cozy mystery.
This novel is the sequel to, or continuation of, a novel published many years back featuring The Frasers, entitled “ The Royal Mile.” I wanted to find that first book and read it before embarking on this one, but I never got around to locating a copy. However, once I started reading this one, I quickly discovered I didn’t have to read the first book in order to enjoy this one. This book was originally published in 1988 under the title “ Passion’s Triumph.”
This book introduces us to Dallas and Iain’s daughter, Sorcha, who, when we first meet her, is a typical teenaged girl given to petulance, and is headstrong and maybe just a little boy crazy as she appears to fall in and out of love fairly quickly. But, when the man who it has been implied she would eventually marry, suddenly does an about-face, claiming he can’t marry a Catholic, Dallas feels they must begin searching for Sorcha a husband.
This development on top of another one in which Sorcha learns a deeply buried family secret, has her parents sending her off to stay with relatives for a time. It is here, Sorcha will meet the great love of her life, Gavin Napier…. a priest.
Set in the late 1500’s during the imprisonment of Mary Stuart, Sorcha will become friends with King James and become entrenched in schemes, epic dramas, religious conflict, and political intrigue. She and Gavin will suffer much in their quest to be together and the reader will have the pleasure of watching this young woman grow into quite a lady.
This is the kind of historical romance novel I cut my teeth on, so to speak. Epic love stories that enraged the reader at times by bringing a couple together, having them fall in love, separate them by circumstances, bring them back together again, but just as they become so close to finally realizing their passion, they are ripped apart once more. I love that stuff!! I also love mystery and intrigue and this book is chock of that as well, and to put the cherry on the cake the descriptive details of the Scottish Highlands creates an atmosphere second to none for romance.
While this book was published some years back, I have no way of knowing if it was touched up or edited in any way before its release into digital format, but I will say that while many historical romance novels written in the eighties and nineties often rub the modern reader the wrong way and are absolutely politically incorrect by today’s standards, this book, didn’t have a dated feel to it at all and I felt the author created a strong female lead who moved within the strictures of the time period with boldness and courage and was a character to be proud of.
I do still want to find the first book which featured Dallas and Iain since their story is alluded to in this book and it would be a poignant book to read at this stage.
Mary did not continue writing historical romances but found her niche writing mystery novels which I highly recommend if you have never read any of them. However, I hope this re-release will be successful enough to prompt her to take up historical writing once more.
(Review written by Julie)

Book Promo Blog

Love at Pemberly Series – Book Blast

Please join Reina M. Williams on her Love at Pemberley Series Book Blast from May 12 – June 13, 2014.

About Most Truly

01_Most TrulyPublication Date: December 15, 2013 Amazon Digital Services, Inc. eBook; 88 pages Heat level: Sweet Colonel James Fitzwilliam is home. The war has left him weary, battle-scarred—and a free man of fortune ready to find a wife. He travels to Pemberley, his second home. There he meets Kitty Bennet. Her unexpected charms soon have him questioning his familial duty and his expectations. A fight looms on the horizon when his aunt—Lady Catherine de Bourgh—and his parents arrive with their own plans for his future. Kitty Bennet has found happiness. At Pemberley, she has improved herself and formed true friendships with her sister Lizzy and Georgiana Darcy. Kitty is captivated by the gentlemanly Colonel Fitzwilliam. But she will not be silly over a redcoat again, and she will not risk her happiness—or his family’s displeasure—for his attentions. Colonel Fitzwilliam, Darcy, Lizzy, and Georgiana have their say, and Kitty learns a new lesson—love will find you at Pemberley.

About Miss Darcy Decides

Miss Darcy DecidesPublication Date: January 21, 2014 Amazon Digital Services, Inc. eBook; 77 pages Heat level: Sweet Miss Darcy Decides is a light, sweet Pride and Prejudice novella, book two in the Love at Pemberley series. While visiting a young woman—who was not so fortunate as Miss Georgiana Darcy in escaping the persuasions of a rogue—Georgiana meets Sir Camden Sutton, whose reputation causes Georgiana to wonder as to his motives. Her wondering soon turns to a different feeling when Sir Camden comes to stay at Pemberley, showing himself to be a very different man than was rumored. While Sir Camden struggles with his past and his commitment to his future, as well as the ill intentions of haughty Caroline Bingley, Miss Darcy must decide whether to listen to others, or the words written on her heart.

About Miss Bennet Blooms

Publication Date: 4/25/14 Amazon Digital Services, Inc. eBook; 70 pages Heat level: Sweet Miss Mary Bennet is the last unmarried Bennet sister. She believes she will live out her days as a maiden aunt, seeking quiet in the libraries and parlors of her father’s and brother-in-laws’ homes. On a visit to Pemberley, the estate of Fitzwilliam Darcy, her sister Lizzy’s husband, Mary begins to feel more is possible than her planned life of solitude. Among new friends and with new confidence, Mary opens to new feelings when she meets Mr. Nathaniel Bingley. Nathaniel Bingley, at the insistence of his cousin Charles Bingley, finds himself at Pemberley. After Nathaniel’s years in the West Indies studying its intense flora, he is ready to seclude himself to compile his work into a book. But Nathaniel could not say no to Charles, who was one of Nathaniel’s few kind relatives after the deaths of his beloved parents. Soon, Nathaniel also finds it difficult to say no to his own feelings about the lovely Miss Mary Bennet. Can Mary and Nathaniel look beyond their plans and accept the grace of love at Pemberley?

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About the Author

Reina M. WilliamsReina M. Williams loves period dramas, sweet reads, fairy tales, cooking and baking. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her two boys, who hope to someday take a research trip to England with their mom. For more information please visit Reina M. Williams’s website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.