Favourite Regency Reads
I write Regency romance, and I also love to read it. These titles are my very personal choices for top Regencies. I have not included the books of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer for they are unquestionably the finest works of their sort. But the following books I return to again and again just to visit with the characters and delight in their wonderful stories. In no particular order:
1. Deirdre and Don Juan by Jo Beverley 1993 Avon Books
2. A Gypsy at Almack's by Chloe Cheshire 1993 Harper Paperbacks
3. Love's Duet by Patricia Veryan 1979 Fawcett Crest
4. Miss Whittier Makes a List by Carla Kelly 1994 Signet Books
5. Lydia by Clare Darcy 1973 Signet
6. Lady in Green by Barbara Metzger 1993 Fawcett
7. The Rogue's Lady by Marian Devon 1982 Fawcett
8. Miss Dower's Paragon by Gayle Buck 1993 Signet
9. The Runaways by Barbara Hazard 1997 Signet
10. Lady Elizabeth's Comet by Sheila Simonson 1985 Walker
As you can see, most of my favourites are older books--sadly out of print now. The charming romances that I love have been replaced by wicked dukes and their mistresses so I search secondhand bookstores, and internet stores for my favourite authors.
There is another world of the Regency that is burgeoning these days--the Regency mystery. Stephanie Barron has a charming series of mysteries with Jane Austen recast as an amateur sleuth. And have you heard of Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin? He is a creation of author C. S. Harris, the damaged, enigmatic hero of a series of very dark Regency-set mysteries. The Regency world that Sebastian inhabits is very different from the Regency world my characters live in. But it did exist, and Ms. Harris has given it an authentic feel. If you like a dark mystery (warning: lots of violence and dirt), you will find this series intriguing. I don't usually read anything like these books, but I found this bleak underbelly of the Regency fascinating. I think it is important for me, to give my work credence and authenticity, to be very aware that this other side of London and its society existed.
I constantly look for new authors of Regency fiction, and I find a wide variety. Those I most enjoy however write as I do, about the follies and foibles of high society with some humour and a reliance on the idiosyncrasies of human nature.