Tue
Aug 1 2017 12:00pm

Amanda Quick’s 4 Best Old School Historical Moments

Ravished by Amanda Quick

Readers of historical romance know that Amanda Quick (the nom de plume of Jayne Ann Krentz) writes a beautifully hilarious sort of historical romance. Her “formula” involves a jaded hero who needs humor in his life and a quirky heroine who often challenges gender expectations, and makes him giggle a little bit. This “formula” is what makes her books so lovable, and somehow each one exhibits a unique magic all its own.

Because Quick is one of my favorite historical romance authors, and because her books comfort me whenever my life is becoming too much, I figured I’d compile some of my favorite moments from her historical romances.

The Tooth Fossil & The Cave from Ravished

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Ravished is arguably my favorite book by Amanda Quick. Intrepid heroine who is obsessed with dinosaur fossils? Usual sulky hero? Many a joke and situation surrounding said fossil obsession? I’m here for it, and it’s so good.

This particular scene occurs early in the book. Harriet is on a quest to find fossils in a cave that’s located on her home, on an island quite separated from most civilization. There’s an issue with smugglers (dun dun dun), so she writes for the owner of the land to come and help out. Turns out he’s sexy, and they end up exploring the cave together. Hijinks ensue, and they end up trapped in the cave.

Yes, we have forced proximity, and the piece de resistance?

Harriet discovers an ancient, crusty dinosaur tooth fossil in the rocks of the cave and will not shut up about it. They even have – wanton, reckless sex – but she’s more focused on the tooth, and notably doesn’t orgasm until their second sexual encounter (when the hero is trying much harder, knowing he has to compete with a tooth.)

Because this scene establishes Harriet’s ridiculous love for the fallen tooth of an ancient animal corpse, and includes some forced proximity in the name of defending a local cave from smugglers, it’s on the list.

Desire by Amanda Quick

The Dreaded Chicken Blood Scene from Desire

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This book steps up the kooky Amanda Quick plot a nudge. Lady Clare’s father has passed away, leaving her with the need to marry to retain her land holdings (a space called the Isle of Desire, because logic.) Her choices are two men, one of whom is boring and abducted her, and another that is a hot-headed masculine knight. Guess which one she picks?

Anyway, the crux of this Isle is that Lady Clare (1) makes perfume, which is such a badass profession and (2) every resident on the island loves Lady Clare but BELIEVES SHE IS NO LONGER A VIRGIN. Yup, you guessed that right, none of them think she’s a virgin due to her questionable past and her general lack for normal propriety.

When she decides to get married, all of the residents proceed to give her vials of chicken blood to douse on her bedsheets after sex. Y’know, so her hubby doesn’t know that she banged another dude before. Even though she hasn’t, and even though none of them realize that you don’t have to bleed the first time you have sex.

So, our girl has vials of chicken blood, and when she and her hubby go to have sex she accidentally knocks over the box and gets chicken blood everywhere. We’re talking everywhere (she’s very well loved by the island’s residents—what can I say?)

This scene deserves to be here because nothing is funnier than a flood of chicken blood to protect the virginity you actually still have, thank you very much.

Dangerous by Amanda Quick

Ghost Hunting Gone Amok from Dangerous

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Y’all. Dangerous has a heroine that is a ghost hunter. You know that this book is rife with ridiculously funny scenes.

Just one of my favorite scenes in this book involves Prudence, our heroine, taking the place of a woman named Lydia who’s reported a haunting by a ghost complete with blood, rattling chains, the works. She lies in wait with the hero in Lydia’s home and threatens the ghost point-blank with a gun before he realizes that dear Prudence is not dear old Aunt Lydia.

A rough-and-tumble ensues and the hero eventually saves the day, causing the ghost to knock himself out on a bedpost. We are reassured that the ghost will likely not remember much of the incident—and, most importantly, Prudence takes it in stride and is not here for the hero’s anti-ghost-hunter shenanigans. Girl is nothing if not dedicated.

Reckless by Amanda Quick

That Time with the Priceless Manuscript from Reckless

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Reckless is an Amanda Quick book that appeals immediately to any fanatic reader like myself. I mean, the heroine and the hero both LOVE books—like, to the point where they both competitively purchase rare manuscripts they hear about throughout England. The best part is that they have capital-H History with each other and that, when the romance starts out, the hero doesn’t know the heroine’s true identity.

Yes, the plot is just as twisty and so-ridiculous-it’s-funny as it sounds, and I loved every minute of it.

One of my favorite scenes is the earliest one in the book. The heroine has been buying up priceless manuscripts under a pseudonym that’s ~mysterious~ and shit. She and the hero meet up in the middle of the woods and she’s like, wow, this dude is still hot and brooding, and he meanwhile has no idea that she is who she says she is. He just knows that she’s feisty and attractive.

Then, a highwayman eventually comes by and steals the manuscript the heroine purchases, and the hero gets it back in a feat of masculinity. It’s less inherently zany (read: no dinosaur teeth or false ghosties) than some of her other scenes, but the plot of this book in general is enough to put it in amongst some of her best scenes.

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

Honorable Mention:
Creepy Victorian Death Baubles from ‘Til Death Do Us Part

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I also want to give an honorable mention to one of Quick’s newest books, ‘Til Death Do Us Part, which I reviewed here at H&H when it came out. Her later books tone down on the quirkiness of the heroine in favor of a more mature hero-heroine relationship, but ‘Til Death Do Us Part gets a mention because THE MYSTERY IS FREAKIN’ CREEPY.

Quick’s older historicals had suspense subplots as well, but ‘Til Death Do Us Part involves a killer that uses Victorian death symbolism to threaten the heroine. It’s hella creepy, because who wants to get a funeral wreath or a blackened mirror with their initials inscribed on them? Who wants to be threatened by that? No, thank you, not for me.

These are just some of my favorite moments and books from Amanda Quick’s oeuvre—if anyone has others, I’d love to hear about them! 


H&H Editor Picks:

Rediscovering Romance: Thank You, Amanda Quick!

9 Romances H&H Reviewers Loved in July 2017

August 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List

 

 

 

 

 


John is a student, reviewer, and editor with a taste for social justice.  He's queer/LGBTQ and has always loved a good romance novel.  A current student at Ithaca College, he is majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications and trying to pick up a creative writing minor on the side. If you observe him in the wild, you may see him reading—or find him watching reruns of The Golden Girls while sipping his first/second/third cup of coffee for the day.  You can find his reviews on his blog, Dreaming in Books, and listen to his random musings on Twitter @DreamingReviews.

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9 comments
Scarlettleigh
1. Scarlettleigh
Hey John,

Thanks for a great look at past favorite books. Everytime I pick up one of Quick's first releases it send me on a re-read of many of the books you have listed.

In fact, I need to check and see if these are on my Kindle. It might be time for a re-read again.

Fun blog!
Carmen Pinzon
2. bungluna
How could you not mention "Scandal" and the pirate/footman and the scene when the heroine tries to kill the villain to protect the hero?!

Or the scene in the library in "Deception"?

There are so many delightful scenes in Amanda Quick's historicals, how can you choose?!
JohnJacobson
3. JohnJacobson
@bungluna I haven't reread Scandal in ages - I just purchased a new copy of it (yay) so I'll have to revisit it, but you saying that gives me SUCH good memories of that scene. (I'm sure the martial arts stuff doesn't hold up culturally to a re-read, but my nostalgia will allow me to forgive it.)
Squiggles
4. Squiggles
"Deception" That is the all time fav. It was the first one of hers I read.

I stopped reading her stuff years ago, but every once in a while, I go back and re-read the four mentioned above and Deception.
Jessica Avery
5. RomancingtheBookworm
So it is offically to my eternal shame that I have not read any of Quick's (Krentz) books. And CLEARLLY I am going to ahve to rectify that situation becuase I'm not sure I can live without a hero who has to compete sexually with a dinosaur tooth.
Carmen Pinzon
6. bungluna
@Squiggles - Her latest was very good, though it's set in the 1930's. "The Girl Who Knew Too Much".
flmom1957
7. flmom1957
@romancingthebookworm You must go read all the books by Ms. quick. Her standalones are fantastic (well all but one) and the Arcane Society were gateway drugs for steampunk for me! In fact, I a, feeling the urge to go and re-read the four mentioned above.
Brianna
8. carmenlire
I LOVE Amanda Quick/Krentz! She was one of the first authors I binge read when I got into romance, and Dangerous is one of my fave historicals! This list was so great and I'm looking forward to reading Desire--one of the few originals that I never read
Squiggles
9. txsweetheart99
@flmom1957 I'm curious, which standalone didn't you like? (My least fave of her 1990s books was Seduction.) And thanks JohnJacobson, I still enjoy the "formula" of AQ's first thirteen. Your, "Harriet discovers an ancient, crusty dinasaur tooth fossil in the rocks of the cave and will not shut up about it.", really made me laugh!
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