There are far too many people in this world who’ve never read a “traditional Regency.” (Ooh, hate the name. Do you think it’s the name? I think it might be. “Traditional” — who wants to read a “traditional” anything?)

Actually, once upon a time our genre was just called “Regency” — and that’s the name it had for decades. But then the historicals came along, and eventually the Regency historicals were part of it….and one day some readers of Regency historicals (were they mischievous? ignorant? or possibly the forefront of an alien invasion?) started calling the books they read “Regencies” — and ever since, we’ve been stuck with the awkward designation of “traditional Regency.” Not a great name for a genre.

So I’m just going to call them “Regencies,” because that’s the better name, the name they went by for decades, the name that doesn’t scream “old-fashioned” without meaning to.

As I was saying…far too few people read Regencies anymore. In fact, some of the Risky Regency authors themselves, from what I can tell, rarely read Regencies! Now that’s just sad. Really sad. Little-kid-whose-ice-cream-dropped-on-the-ground sad.

So I challenge you: read a Regency! In fact, read more than one. Go read five highly-recommended Regencies, and see if you don’t fall in love with the genre! Oh, Regency historicals are all very well, but they can’t do everything. They can’t be everything. (When’s the last time a Regency historical washed your car for you??? Huh???)

Who will take the challenge? Is there anyone brave enough? Tough enough? After all, I’m asking you to read five Regencies. Wow. That’s a lot of books. And who likes books? Oh, you do? Great! Then take the challenge! Read five highly-recommended Regencies, and see if you aren’t won over to be a dedicated Regency reader! When you’re done, come back here, and tell us if you liked them, and why! (And yes, I’m extending this challenge both to readers of this blog, and to the authors on it too! You know who you are…)

So, what makes a Regency highly recommended, you ask??? Good question. Winning the Rita counts. (If people want, I could post a list of all the Regency Rita winners.) Having friends tell you “you have to read this book!” counts. And I also have a list here of books that I heartily recommend. (There are of course far far more great Regencies, including many books by my fellow bloggers….) I went mostly with older books, now out of print (but available in any good used book store), some of which are recognized classics of the genre, and some of which are hidden gems…in chronological order.

Clare Darcy: LADY PAMELA (1975)
Joan Smith: ESCAPADE (1977)
Joan Smith: IMPRUDENT LADY (1978)
Joan Smith: TALK OF THE TOWN (1979)
Joan Smith: SWEET AND TWENTY (1979)
Patricia Veryan: NANETTE (1981)
Joan Smith: PERDITA (1981)
Patricia Veryan: MARRIED PAST REDEMPTION (1983)
Sheila Simonson: LADY ELIZABETH’S COMET (1985)
Kasey Michaels: THE PLAYFUL LADY PENELOPE (1988)
Barbara Metzger: AN EARLY ENGAGEMENT (1990)
Barbara Metzger: MINOR INDISCRETIONS (1991)
Alicia Rasley: POETIC JUSTICE (1994)
Karen Harbaugh: THE VAMPIRE VISCOUNT (1995)
Gail Eastwood: THE LADY FROM SPAIN (1997)
Nonnie St. George: THE IDEAL BRIDE (2003)

And if any of you are enthusiastic Regency readers, please comment here and suggest your own recommended reads!!!

Cara King,
MY LADY GAMESTER — out now from Signet Regency!!!