Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

  1. The outfits. Oh, my gosh! The covers alone are stunning (if they’re less “shirtless man” and more “beautifully-dressed woman”. That being said, there are awesome M/M and F/F historical romances, too). I love fancy dress, and both the novel covers and descriptions within the books whet my appetite.
  2. The heightened romance. Courtship was more of a thing in 1820 than it was in 2020. I love how the characters go on chaperoned dates and woo one another with words or the language of flowers. Or, better yet, smoldering glances!
  3. The timelessness. Historical fiction feels timeless. Contemporary fiction can seem cheesy or dated in a few years, but you can always look at historical fiction through the lens of, well, history. (You can do the same with contemporary, but need to wait for it to seem historical rather than vintage, which takes about 40 years, IMO.)
  4. You wouldn’t expect it from me. I am the least romantic person ever. I hate grand gestures and romantic speeches IRL, but in romance novels, they set my heart racing!!
  5. I’m a history nerd. I love reading historical fiction and nonfiction in general. Add some sex scenes, and I’m yours.
  6. My favorite sub-genre pays homage to one of my favorite classical authors. My favorite time period in historical fiction is the Regency era, a short period of time that really wasn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. However, it’s popular in romance, because that’s when Jane Austen wrote her novels!
  7. The tropes. Spinsters. Rakes. Rich boys. Naughty widows. Forced marriages. SIGN. ME. UP!!
  8. Modern authors mirror modern issues in a spectacular way. I love seeing authors tackle modern issues in a different time period, especially because some problems are truly timeless!
  9. The subtle feminism. Modern historical romance features strong feminist characters, but even less recent books throw in things that society frowns upon now and make them empowering and sexy. Women are rocking full bushes in these sex scenes, which is scandalous in 2020!
  10. The added taboo. Sex in 2020 is, for many, not that big of a deal. Many have sex outside of marriage, and even if you wait until marriage, you likely have seen sex scenes in movies. Beyond that, we wear short shorts and crop tops! Fashionable underwear now is fairly modest, but thongs were in just 10 years ago. In historical romance, everything is taboo, and that makes the most normal, vanilla thing feel that much sexier!!

Do you like historical romance? What’s your favorite genre?