Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why Regency Men are the Best

I'm really excited today to have a guest post from fellow Carina Press author, Joanna Chambers. Joanna's book, The Lady's Secret, is now available. Hmmm, she thinks Regency men are the best. Let's just see...

Hi Ruth, thanks for having me over to your blog! 

My book, The Lady's Secret, which has recently been released by Carina Press (buy it here) is set in Regency England.  The heroine, Georgy, embarks on a quest to prove she and her twin brother Harry are legitimate and that Harry is the true Earl of Dunsmore.  To gain entrance to Dunsmore Manor to search for evidence, she dresses as a man and obtains a post as Nathan (the hero's) valet.  I had a lot of fun with that set up!  You can read an excerpt here.

I'm very fond indeed of Regency heroes, so much so that I thought I'd have a go at persuading you that the Regency male is The Uber Romance Hero.  Here's my top 3. reasons why:

1. The Look

Not to be shallow, but aesthetically, I just love the whole Regency 'look' – and male fashions in particular: breeches, shiny boots, tight coats, acres of snowy white linen – just, um, yum!  I spent far too long looking for 'muse' pictures of my hero Nathan on the internet when I ought to have been writing...

Now that we've got that out of the way, onto something more profound!

2. The Lords

Yes, I know we all moan about the unfeasibly large numbers of earls, marquesses and dukes that abound in the fictional Regency universe but there's something of real interest here.  In the early 19th century, the power of aristocrats was still huge but beginning to wane.  The power of commerce ultimately proved the stronger force but just at this point time, aristocrats still enjoyed enormous, indeed untouchable power and privilege. 

 Of course, there was a price to be paid.  The corollary of unearned privilege, conferred by accident of birth, is the pressure to abide by societal expectations.  And so we get heroes like Nathan who have everything material they could wish for and yet have little choice about who to marry.   And we have heroes who are able to exercise unlimited and terrifying power over women should they choose to do so.  As a reader of romantic fiction, I find that enormously appealing: the hero who is tempted to abuse his own power, the hero who has to face up to himself; the hero who has to reject the society who has treated him so well.  Delicious!

3. The Lifestyle

Many aristocratic males of the Regency period enjoyed a racy lifestyle.  Heavy drinking was rife and there was a gambling craze that led many into financial ruin, as did high spending on luxury items, homes and fashion.

Again, from a romance-reader point of view, this is delicious because it enables a nice contrast to be drawn between the empty pleasures offered by this seemingly pleasurable lifestyle, and the more enduring and worthwhile pleasures the heroine offers.  And again, it's a lesson Nathan learns in The Lady's Secret.

What do you think?  Do you adore Regency heroes like me?  Prefer others?  Do tell!

Please leave a comment. Look for my response, why I love the rogues of the renaissance, on Joanna's blog November 22. 

The Lady's Secret

London, 1810

Former actress Georgiana Knight always believed she and her brother were illegitimate—until they learn their parents were married, making them heirs to a great estate. To prove their claim, Georgy needs to find evidence of their union by infiltrating a ton house party as valet to Lord Nathaniel Harland. Though masquerading as a boy is a challenge, it pales in comparison to sharing such intimate quarters with the handsome, beguiling nobleman.

Nathan is also unsettled by Georgy's presence. First intrigued by his unusual valet, he's even more captivated when he discovers Georgy's charade. The desire the marriage-shy earl feels for his enigmatic employee has him hoping for much more than a master-servant relationship...

But will Nathan still want Georgy when he learns who she truly is? Or will their future be destroyed by someone who would do anything to prevent Georgy from uncovering the truth?

Joanna Chambers
Buy Site

Twitter - @ChambersJoanna
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  1. Hi Ruth. Thanks for hosting Joanna.

    Joanna, I love the post. I've only recently begun reading Regency. I'm a huge paranormal fan/writer so that's primarily what I read. But I have to admit a wonderful hero works for me no matter what the genre. The more internal conflict the better. :) Jordan

  2. Oh Ruth, I loved this post. These points are exactly why I adore Regency men. I love their transformation from creatures bound by societal codes, to men surrendering to love at all costs. And they make it work too! As you said, yum! :)

    ~Rose Anderson

  3. Great post. I agree 100% with your answers. In the movies and even in the books they describe the look, and it gives me the chills to think about it. I love the look, it is very sexy. I love historical and regency romances. I love the fashion, the parties, and the gorgeous men. This is a new author for me and would love to win and read this book.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Hi Joanna. I prefer my contemporary cowboys, but you paint a very yummy picture! I read regency sometimes and like the sound of this one. I really like your cover!

  5. I love the Regency period, and am an obsessive "Mr. Darcy" fan. The fashion draws me to period pieces first, then the lifestyles. Actually attended a fashion workshop that detailed what different looks mean in a character's behavior. Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Ruth - GAME ON!

    Jordan - I wish I was you; new to the Regency genre, with all those delicious reads in front of me. I love a good paranormal too though...

    Rose/Chrisbails - yes! We love those Regency men!

    Calisa - thanks - the lure of the cowboy is altogether different. Laconic. Self-reliant. Also yum!

    J Coleman - ooooh! I wish I could go to that workshop!

  7. Great post and I too fell in love with Mr. Darcy!!! Can't wait to start reading your book.

  8. Great blog, Joanna. I've never heard the contrast between duty/desire applied to the era before. I think you summed it up nicely.

    And what is there not to love about Mr. Darcy?


  9. The regency period was all of those wonderful things...if you happened to born into the aristocracy. As far as dress, etc. goes, I prefer a denim clad divo myself. Especially if he's wearing cowboy boots and a hat with those denims. YUM!

  10. Susan/Keena - thanks

    Barbara - you make a good plea but I'm sticking with my breeches-clad scoundrels.

  11. Sounds like a fabulous read! I do love Regency men....

  12. What's not to love about regency men? the clothing, the formality, the power and, in our heroes, the decency.

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