30 Days 30 Knights: Can You Do That In a Harlequin Historical?Monday, June 16, 2008 11:00
I got the idea for this posting from Deb Marlowe’s about breaking the rules in Regency romances. In reading that and thinking about my own books, I realized that most of my books have broken rules that lots of readers and writers think apply to Harlequin Historicals. What do you think?? Have you heard these before?
No one told me about this one, so the heroine of my first HH book (The Dumont Bride – 2002) is pregnant with another man’s child when she marries the hero. Of course, he doesn’t know it and is none too pleased when he finds out and, of course, it’s at the worst possible time. As I think about it, the first three heroines I wrote for HH were all non-virgins, only to be followed by one who was the village harlot and another who was the king’s mistress!
Does that mean that they can’t be bent on revenge, reformed rapists or out to teach the heroine a lesson or two? Can they not take a castle away from the fair maiden or hold her siblings hostage? Can he not be a man who’s already killed his first wife or one who meant to marry another woman? I’ve written award-winning stories that have had all of the above and are some of my most emotional books and my readers’ favorites.
My Rule: An author can break any and all of the supposed rules if they make it work in their story.
Being true to the characters, to their time period, to their journeys is the key to creating emotionally-satisfying romances where even heroes can begin the story as less than heroic. Christian, Royce, Geoffrey, Sebastian and Connor all begin their journeys as less-than-perfect people, but learn and grow through the power of love and through the strength of the woman they each love.
I should be candid though — I have fallen prey to the some of the rumored and reader-loved characters that seem to be related to Harlequin romances. . . yes, I have had amnesiac brides and secret babies! Oh my! And do you know why? Because they work! They challenge me to write an intense, believable characters and a plot that makes sense while ratcheting up the sexual tension and the moving the romance along, too!
So, I think it’s all in the delivery. What do you think?