We Eloisa James fans got a nice slew of books from her recently (the Happily Ever After historicals based on fairy tales) so, really, we shouldn’t be greedy. And at the end of the month, we’ll get The Ugly Duchess.
But does that stop me from whining about wanting more? Nope.
I’m looking for suggestions to tide me over. Why I read James:
- Humor (sometimes sly, sometimes obvious)
- Fun dialogue
- Strong, quirky characters
With those three requirements in mind I have a few of my own ideas for my fellow Eloisa James fans. Let’s start with the obvious:
Jane Austen. I mean the Amazing Jane herself and not the current wave of Mr. Darcy takes a Vampire Lover (although I do recommend Shannon Hale’s Austenland, a fluffy, fun contemporary). For a change of pace, maybe let someone else read the Austens to you. Northanger Abbey, which was never one of my favorites, turns out to be a hysterically funny audiobook.
Georgette Heyer. That suggestion about audiobooks holds for her too. The dialogue of Cotillion comes alive when read by Phyllida Nash.
Loretta Chase. You’ve reading Chase already, aren’t you? If you haven’t, stop reading this and get started.
And yeah, Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn, just to get the other obvious names out there.
As I began to think more on possible recommendations, I came up with a names that don’t seem like obvious fits—because they aren’t. Except when I read these books, I was reminded of Eloisa James.
Gail Carriger’s Umbrella Protectorate series. She writes science fiction steampunk Victorians with werewolves and vampires. At first glance the magical setting and cast of characters doesn’t seem particularly Jamesian. But her grouchy hero and starched heroine have a James-like vibe, especially when they insult each other. The world, with all of its supernatural influences, is based on historical Britain. The other item on my must-have checklist, the humor, fits as well.
The real leap: Lois McMaster Bujold’s science fiction fantasy Miles Vorkosigan series, especially the later books, when Miles settles down, somewhat. Her book A Civil Contract is dedicated to “For Jane, Charlotte, Georgette, and Dorothy—long may they rule.” (And I’d bet my extensive Balogh collection she means Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Georgette Heyer, and Dorothy Dunnett) In that book especially, the dialogue and quirky characters remind me of the James’ style. Miles’s cousin, the lazy Ivan, would fit any funny historical novel to a tee.
I welcome any and all ideas of books that have the wry humor and dialogue of a good Eloisa James. I’m ready for a new glom.
Kate Rothwell writes romance using her own name and the pseudonym Summer Devon. She lives in Connecticut with four men (three of whom are her sons). You can out more about her at KateRothwell.com and SummerDevon.com.