Pub Rants

Titans Of Historical Romance

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STATUS: If I can have the rest of the week be as productive as today, then I might finally be caught up. Did I jinx myself by saying that?

What’s playing on the iPod right now? THINK I’M IN LOVE by Eddie Money

As much as I hate to say it, there is a lot of dreck that is published in the genre of romance.—and I’m a huge fan! But there has been many a time when I’ve started a novel just to get frustrated within the first 60 pages on the shallowness of the characterization, on the unoriginal plot structures, and just the sheer dumbness of some of them. I’ll put the novel down and not pick it up again. And I’m very suspect of that author’s next romance.

I’m not a fan to keep reading an author just because I might have really loved something they’ve done in the past. If disappointed one too many times, I’ll stop buying that writer. [A fact I wish more romance readers would do when already established writers aren’t living up to their past writing prowess]

So I have to say that it’s with delight when an established writer WOWs me with her tenth novel but that’s exactly what Eloisa James did for me in Desperate Duchess.

OMG! What a read. This writer broke every romance convention there is. The main character sees the handsome unattainable Duke in the opening chapter and decides she must have him.

But he’s not the hero that she really needs to fall for and marry.

Love it!

The main character doesn’t particularly care for children. Holy cow! Can she get away with it? And she does.

Love it because I’ve never, ever ever seen that before in a novel and she pulls it off. At least for me, I still really liked the heroine (and yes, she softens her stance as the novel progresses but still!)

A secondary story line that has nothing to do with romance but yet has everything to do with the plot unfolding.


So I could rave on and on about Eloisa James but what I’m trying to highlight here is that I’m really picky when it comes to reading historical romance. I want it to be complex, emotionally pulling, and hot! That’s why I represent Sherry Thomas who has been called one of the best historical romance authors writing today. That’s why I represent Courtney Milan who hasn’t debuted yet but I think is in the same category.

And that’s why I’m also so proud to be representing Carolyn Jewel’s fourth historical romance that hits the shelves today—SCANDAL.

I personally think this work is a tour de force. The best thing she has ever done. And don’t just take my word for it, hear what the Smart Bitches had to say about this novel.

Now Carolyn also writes paranormal romance and in this realm, she writes very gritty, lots of language, and hot bordering on erotica. If that’s not your thing, that’s okay. You can still pick up her historical romance which is a whole different ball game. In the HR realm, in my opinion, she’s writing up there with Eloisa and Sherry and if you like those authors, SCANDAL will not disappoint!

Happy Launch Day Carolyn!

10 Responses

  1. the epic rat said:

    Wow, the cover to Desperate Duchesses really attracts curiosity – just who is she entangled with behind that cover?

    I agree with you – I like romances that are more than silly fluff, witty dialogue, complex characters, tension and romance…all that good stuff 🙂

  2. Courtney Milan said:

    I just finished Scandal (a few minutes ago) and I agree–this is a truly awesome historical romance, very complex, and one that made me sit back and think. Probably will have me thinking for a few days.

  3. Sarah Jensen said:

    Well Carolyn’s writing tips have help me tremendously, and I will go look for her book asap. I also look forward to reading Sherry and Courtney’s as well.

  4. Beth said:

    Kristin, I feel the same as you do about romances. Give me depth of character, complexity of plot, fabulous writing. Laura Kinsale excels at this. So does the aforementioned Sherry Thomas.

    And I would highly, highly recommend to you new author Joanna Bourne, whose writing is among the best I’ve ever encountered, in or out of genre. Check to see what Smart Bitches had to say about her debut novel, The Spymaster’s Lady.

  5. Anonymous said:

    Kristin’s quote:

    “…As much as I hate to say it, there is a lot of dreck that is published in the genre of romance.—and I’m a huge fan!…”

    I’ve never quite heard an agent say this about a genre they represent. Wow. I like it that you did, but I don’t think many agents could get away with it — or say it about other genres. Would you say the same thing about YA, for instance? I write YA and I often feel if I have to read about one more damn popular person I’m going to vomit — though I’m posting as Anon, so no one will know my true feelings.

    Big Congrats to Carolyn on her release day! I wish her many sales.

  6. Dara said:

    There is a lot of dreck out there in all genres really. I’m not one for straight up romance novels (many are little too “hot” for me and I’m not a fan of that so much) but I do love a good historical novel, which can be hard to come by, mainly because of the reasons you said–lack of characterization and slow plot. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one out there that often stops a book by page 60 😛

  7. natalie said:

    One of my favorite things about this blog is that you seem to love so many different genres of lit. I do too – I love literary fiction with gorgeous prose. I love well written YA. I’m a huge fan of women’s fiction, particularly with a southern twist. I like romance (I’m not into erotica, but I do like lighter historical romance). It’s always funny to me when people snub one genre over another. As a reader, I love so many genres and so many kinds of writing. I’ve discovered some great new books through this blog 🙂 Thank you!

  8. Anonymous said:


    I love Eloisa James myself and I’m glad to know this is a good one. I’ll have to snag it.

    Also, I read your client Sherry Thomas (I also live in the same part of the world she does). She’s wonderful, and I found her because of YOU! 🙂

    I will have to check out your other client Carolyn Jewel.

    Whatever I read and like I recommend to my friends. You are workin’ it for your clients! 🙂


  9. Wes said:

    OMG! I can’t believe I did it! I ordered DESPERATE DUCHESS and SCANDAL. I want to see how the authors developed the main characters. I’ve never read a romance before. Hopefuly I’ll learn something.

  10. Arovell said:

    I want to check Desperate Duchess out now. I’ve always had a huge thing for unexpected heroes. I actually haven’t read much historical romance, but I’ve enjoyed the few select books I have read. I’m adding this to my reading list!