<i>Back to Before</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Back to Before: Exclusive Excerpt Tracy Solheim "He was grinning now, sexy laugh lines fanning out from his eyes..." <i>Foster Justice</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Foster Justice: Exclusive Excerpt Colleen Shannon "His mind might find her repulsive but his body sure as heck didn’t." Now Win This!: <i>Fifty Shades</i> Poster Now Win This!: Fifty Shades Poster Team H & H You've seen the poster, now here's a chance to have your own! <i>Marked</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Marked: Exclusive Excerpt Rebecca Zanetti "Heat pooled at the apex of her legs, stunning her with need..."
From The Blog
December 20, 2014
3 Harlequin Presents Authors Who Get it Right
John Jacobson
December 19, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Silver Bells Foxes
Team H & H
December 18, 2014
I Dream of Genies in Romance Novels
Sahara Hoshi
December 18, 2014
Happy Parental Pairs in Historical Romance
Janga
December 18, 2014
Saying Goodbye to The Hobbit
Christopher Morgan
Showing posts by: Rose Lerner click to see Rose Lerner's profile
Wed
Mar 19 2014 1:00pm

Dead First Husbands in Historical Romance

Sweet Disorder by Rose LernerToday we're joined by Rose Lerner, whose Sweet Disorder (out now!) is the story of a widow who has no intention of ever marrying again, because her first marriage was not what she had hoped. But certain things in her life force her to reconsider that decision. Rose is here to talk about the 'specter of the Dead First Husband' in historicals. Thanks, Rose!

Trigger warning: mentions of rape and abuse

Phoebe, the heroine of Sweet Disorder, is a widow. As I wrote the story, I was conscious of a long line of widow heroines who had gone before her, and particularly of the specter of the Dead First Husband. When I started reading historicals back in the ‘90s, pretty much every dead first husband was awful, if not outright evil. Sometimes he was impotent, sometimes a rapist, often old, and sometimes even, for added villainy, gay or bisexual. Blargh.

I love me a good evil ex story (God knows there are plenty of them out there), but variety is the spice of life, so it's nice to see a fuller spectrum of previous relationships being presented these days. I interviewed the authors of some of my favorite historical romances featuring dead first husbands, and got back some delicious food for thought.

[Gone but not forgotten...]