Welcome to Under the Covers historical week! It’s a week where we catch the historical romance fever and try and show you why we love this genre. I know when I first contemplated reading some historical I was a little embarrassed, I mean it’s a genre only old ladies read right? Oh how wrong I was! Historical romance is a rich and diverse genre that can be light and fun or dark and thought provoking with every shade in between. Which, is why we like to take one week a year to really appreciate it.
This year, I got to thinking about all the time periods that the banner “Historical Romance” covers, from medieval times to the 20’s, it covers a vast amount of time, and each time period is almost a sub genre all by itself. So, this week I am going to take you through some of my favourite time periods and settings and give you a little bit of historical detail as well as my experiences and recommendations. I plan to cover: Westerns, Victorian & Steampunk, Scottish and Regency. To close out that trip into history we are going to take a trip to Scotland, land of the Highlander.
For the last in this series, I thought I would take a trip north to Scotland. Scottish historical romances are very popular at UTC, there’s nothing we love more than being called lass and kidnapped by a ruggedly handsome highlander. The time period this spans is vast, from books which feel almost medieval, to books that are set during Queen Victoria’s reign. So lets looks at history of Scotland and some important events in Scottish history. Bear in mind that summarising a country’s history in a few paragraphs means that I won’t cover everything…also bear in mind my knowledge of Scottish history is mainly fuelled by fiction, Wikipedia and the good folks of google.
What I have discovered in my research into Scotland…it’s impossible to describe a country’s history in a few paragraphs, even a country as small as Scotland. It’s a rich, interesting and varied history, which was entirely fascinating to read about. But, I have attempted to write it down, but without making this post the longest UTC has ever put out or in fact any blog has put out, I couldn’t do it justice. So instead, I am going to talk a little about the battle of Culloden, a historical event that is at the centre or a central event in many Scottish romances.
The Battle of Culloden is the final battle in a religious war between the Jacobites led by Charles Stewart “Bonnie Prince Charlie” and the Duke of Cumberland’s forces. The battle took place on 16 April 1746 and lasted only about an hour and between 1500-2000 Jacobites were killed compared to only 50 deaths in the Duke’s army. The Jacobite army was made up mostly of volunteer and had highlanders and were Catholic and Episcopalian, but by all accounts the army was undisciplined and this contributed towards their defeat. In comparison the British army had many more officers and was made up of infantry, cavalry and artillery. In the ensuing years the Duke of Cumberland became known as the Butcher, but at the time he was heralded as a hero.
There is something about a Scottish hero calling you his “lass” in the sexy burr alongside their gruff and tough persona that makes a highlander eminently appealing to a romance reader. With their long bloody history, and fight for independence, the courageous spirit of the Scots gets your heart all a flutter. Plus, I have never met a Scottish hero who doesn’t have alpha stamped all over him. Who knew men in skirts would be such a turn on?
by Jennifer Ashley
This series started out fantastic with the first book in the series. Ian’s character still remains as one of my faves. And I think once you fall in love with Ian and his family, the rest of the series becomes a treat as well. The series has a good amount of conflict and intensity without being too over the top, and each of the heroes are fantastic as well. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably want to keep them all to yourself after reading them!
by Karen Marie Moning
This one is my all-time favorite Highlander series. While the first couple of books are a little wishy-washy, the others are pure magic. Blending together everything that we love in Scottish Romance, KMM also incorporates some history and magical elements that make this series so delicious. Just so you know, I’ve claimed all the heroes in the series already but I do have a particular fondness for Dageus MacKelter and THE DARK HIGHLANDER. This book is definitely in one of my top five books of all-time. Read it and you’ll find out why I’m such a sucker when it comes to KMM’s highlanders.
by Maya Banks
Maya Banks is one of those authors who can do it all. That’s one of the things I love about her writing. When I learned she wrote a Highlander series, I was so excited. The most notable thing about this series are its heroines. Instead of making the heroes the magic feature, Banks gives readers a dose of something different with these stories. I don’t want to give too much away, but I think you’ll be impressed by the defining characters that some of her heroines have, making this a series you don’t want to miss!
What are your favourite Scottish romances?
Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?