I love historical romance. It might be my favourite subgenre. Consequently, I’ve read a lot of them and a few thoughts tend to cross my mind while I read.
The following list is mostly tongue-in-cheek, and I’m certain at least a couple of the points below have crossed other readers’ minds. I hope you enjoy this (potentially) #relatable content!
1. Wait, how long has it been since your last bath?
The scent of lilac or honeysuckle on the heroine’s skin will not last a three weeks journey across The Great Plains. And the hero might smell like oak, barley, and pines in a forest, but without a good scrub, he probably also smells like the poor animal that died in the forest.
2. The Pull Out Method isn’t totally reliable
When an unmarried noblewoman decides to have trysts with a notorious, unbelievably handsome rake (YAS), I get nervous that she’ll be “ruined.” Will the couple get caught making out in the garden at a party by a nosey dowager?
Or will they be the 1 in 5 who use the Pull Out Method and become pregnant? And will this spur the heroine to marry a man she does not love to preserve her family’s good name!?! Find out next time on–
3. OMG, put out the candle before going to bed
I understand and appreciate that characters want to see the specific ways their partner’s eyes change colour during lovemaking. Or maybe, like me, they enjoy reading before bed. But it wouldn’t kill them (literally) to blow out the candle before rolling over and falling asleep.
4. How is everyone so attractive?
There are some readers who assert that including people of colour and queer people in historical romance is “unrealistic.” 1) read some more history 2) there are actual improbabilities in historical romance that are readily accepted:
Seven dukes who are heroes in consecutive books, you say? Each more attractive than the previous one? No rotting teeth or hair loss? What about chickenpox scars?!
5. That’s going to cause an infection
Whether it’s the dubious treatments prescribed by 16th century doctors, the questionable handling of food, or the frightening risks of childbirth, I’m thankful that romance guarantees HEAs, otherwise I’d just be waiting for every one to unceremoniously drop dead.