Happy birthday and may we live long and prosper.

Megan and I started this blog in August of 2005 because we both had books coming out that fall, from the now defunct Signet Regency line. Between us we managed to kill it off. Megan, splutter, had a hero with dirty boots and a sex scene that was a sex scene without gallons of virginal blood, a misplaced hymen, or life-threatening trauma for the heroine. Mine was Dedication, my first attempt to crack the romance code, and between us we thought we’d better storm the internet.

So in six years, what has changed in romance?

1. It’s no longer absolutely necessary to bend over backward (so to speak) to preserve your heroine’s virginity even if she has been married several times and/or captaining a pirate ship since adolescence.

2. The hero no longer has to get the cherry.

3. The heroine is allowed to enjoy sex with partners other than the hero.

4. The heroine no longer has to think herself plain or undergo a miraculous makeover.

5. There are at least three 30-something hot single Dukes now available for every female with heroine pretensions in Regency London and 80% of those women are expensive courtesans.

And what hasn’t changed much?

1. Sadly there are still marriages made with one, other, or both insisting that it’s “in name only.” (p.s. it never works).

2. Characters still spend a lot of time leaning on mantelpieces*, drinking tea*, wearing riding hats with jaunty feathers (female), wearing underwear (female), eating historically incorrect scones, drinking historically incorrect whiskey, and using Edwardian slang because it sounds English.
* I own the copyright to these two activities, particularly if they are done concurrently. Please contact me for terms if you wish to use them in your book.

3. Sex for recreational purposes only is still tricky. Here is a quick checklist to make sure your characters are having sex for the right reason:

  • Traumatized by Waterloo (male)
  • Traumatized by Waterloo (female)
  • I am a hot 30-something Duke and I can do whatever I want to, so there
  • Traumatized by previous consummated marriages
  • Traumatized by previous unconsummated marriages
  • To improve morale on the pirate ship

And now, the big news. At least I think it’s the big news because I have a feeling I’ve announced it somewhere already. LooseId will be bringing out a new edition of Dedication sometime in 2012–I don’t have a release date yet. It will have all the sex I really wanted to put in the first time around but which was just inferred–and may even include flashback sex!

So to celebrate I am giving away one of my precious copies of the Signet Regency Dedication and we also have two $20 Amazon gift certificates to spread around. I’ll give one away today and the other to anyone who comments during our birthday week. So please check out our other birthday posts if you haven’t already.

What do you think has changed in romance over the last six years?