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Thu
Jan 10 2013 6:00pm

Putting the “Roman” in Romance Novels

Defy the Eagle by Lynn BartlettProud maidens flicking their stolas to the side. Brooding gladiators with sculpted cheekbones and strong sword arms. All Romans have spirits as tough as a legionnaire’s sword, but they can also melt with a lover’s glance. Surprisingly, Romans do not appear among the more common heroes and heroines in romance novels. A few notable exceptions, however, prove that Italian inamoratas are worthy of any love story.

Lynn Bartlett’s Defy the Eagle features a star-crossed romance between Caddaric, a fierce Celtic warrior, and Jilana, the daughter of a Roman merchant, who meet one another in war-torn Roman Britain. When Boudicca, queen of the Iceni tribe, rises up against the Roman Empire in the first century C.E., Caddaric fights for his people. He and Jilana face innumerable tribulations that come up against their fated love.

Despite some historical inaccuracies—for example, “Jilana” is not a Roman name, nor is “Caddaric” a Celtic one—Defy the Eagle allows Jilana and Caddaric’s angsty amour to leap off the page. Raised in two disparate worlds and thrust together by the tides of war, the pair positively oozes sexual tension, both on and off the battlefield and in the bathhouse. Add in a rogue Druid or two, Jilana’s embittered Roman fiancé, Lucius, and the compelling story of Boudicca’s quest for independence, and you’ve got a recipe for romance.

[A nice, ancient recipe!]

Sat
Dec 29 2012 3:00pm

Ring in with Romance!: Best of 2012, Day 3

Conor's Way by Laura Lee Guhrke

May old friends be forgot? We don't think so! We're celebrating our favorite reads with five days of the Best of 2012. We asked our bloggers for their favorite recommendations of 2012, with one stipulation, they had to be new to them and not necessarily new to 2012. We know we got a few recommendations to add to our to be read piles and it's a great way to feed those readers you hopefully got for Christmas!

Don't miss out on the shopping list for these great recommendations once you finish reading, and check out the recommendations from Day OneDay Two, Day Four, and Day Five too! Click here to view the Day Three shopping list.

 

 

Wendy the Super Librarian:

Conor's Way by Laura Lee Guhrke
Conor's Way by Laura Lee Guhrke won a RITA award back in 1997 for Best Long Historical and it's easy to see why.  A dynamite Irish hero still carrying the scars of his homeland who finds his redemption in a former Southern belle heroine determined to hang on to her family's farm in post-Civil War Louisiana. 

[A Southern belle in need of saving? Sign us up!]

Mon
Nov 19 2012 5:30pm

Hot for a Scot: Why Scottish Men are So Appealing as Romance Heroes

Secrets to Seducing a Scot by Michelle MarcosPicture a shirtless Fabio type standing on a heather-covered hill. His long hair streams out behind him, while his heavily muscled legs, visible under a short, plaid kilt, are mostly bare to the chilly northern wind. His name is reminiscent of a Highland laird or Edinburgh merchant-prince: He goes by a tartan-ed title like Ewen Abercrombie or Fergus MacDuff.

Romance novels featuring brooding Scottish male leads continue to be popular with readers. Donna Grant’s Dark Sword series features sexy Highland lords and sinister Druids. Michelle Marcos’s Secrets to Seducing a Scot kicks off her “Highland Knaves” series, which stars “an infamous clan of outcast Scots who live for justice [and] lust for freedom…”

What makes such lads so popular with wistful heroines and readers alike?

Ten years ago, a Cincinnati Enquirer article analyzed the appeal of Scottish heroes in romance novels. Charis Calhoon of the Romance Writers of America opined that Scottish lords, hailing from a turbulent political environment, are the ideal stoic male figures that courageous heroines can redeem with their love.

[Makes sense. Tell me more!...]