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Well, I know why I like reading them, but I thought I’d ask other readers.
· Transported to unfamiliar surroundings.
· Men are mannerly, at least the heroes are
· There’s a romantic dance as opposed to modern novels where they jump in bed together.
· Rules govern society and romantic interludes. A woman could flirt with a fan. A gentleman who held a lady’s hand too long could be pledging his affection.
· Heroines can be unique, quirky, and gutsy when they don’t follow the rules.
· The stakes are higher. Women expected to marry, but love was an unexpected bonus. Marriage is for life as opposed to a couple years.
· The heroines can be tough, intelligent, but less jaded than contemporary heroines can.
· Stakes are also higher if a woman behaves in an inappropriate manner such as trying to catch her brother’s killer or winning back the family estate.
· The historical aspect. The reader learns about the period.
· It’s almost like a club. Regency fans can talk to each other about Regency novels using terms that only make sense to them.
· Surprisingly, historical novels can be hot in the traditional way, but also in a restrained manner. Consider Pride and Prejudice (British Version) Elizabeth and Darcy are reminiscing about their love and she’s sitting at his feet and runs her hand up his bare leg.
· The clothes are fun. Women don’t wear c-string bikinis, so even a kiss between the glove and dress cuff is racy.
· The hero woos the heroine. Her affections are the goal as opposed to hanging out or hooking up.
· The reader has the opportunity to live through the heroine. Who wouldn’t enjoy carriage rides, moonlight trysts, midnight suppers, and handwritten love letters?
· It feels like a simpler time. The hero actually converses with the woman, instead of checking his cell phone.
· It is pure escapism.
· Happy Ending is a requirement. Can’t say the same of real life.
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Her version of leaving didn’t include fleeing town dressed like a man, but circumstances dictate otherwise. Kitty becomes Kit to throw the law off her trail. As the pretend brother to her best friend Harriet, she accompanies her friend out west to her contracted bridegroom.
They encounter Nick Kennedy, flamboyant gambler, who takes an interest in the odd couple. Kitty enjoys the freedom her disguise allows, but she abandons any hope of attracting the handsome Nick Kennedy. Revealing her gender, might snag her a chance at the elusive gambler, but could also land her in prison. She keeps telling herself he isn’t worth it, but she’s not entirely convinced.