Sometime in the 90s I discovered THE VAMPIRE VISCOUNT, by Karen Harbaugh. It was the first Regency I’d ever read with true paranormal elements, and at first I was afraid it was going to be gimmicky. But the good writing, the very real, memorable characters won me over. Perhaps it should’ve been no surprise that a smooth, elegant vampire–dressed to the nines, appearing only at night–fit in quite well with Regency society. And the story was so refreshingly different.
For the time, it must’ve been a risky thing to do a vampire Regency. As it turns out, I heard later from an editor at Zebra that they’d gotten complaints from book club members when they did a vampire Regency anthology. But THE VAMPIRE VISCOUNT ended up with a number of impressive credits, including America Online’s Romance Reader’s Board, Best Regency, 1995.
When I picked up THE PERFECT BRIDE, by Eileen Putnam, I didn’t even realize there was anything paranormal about it. The title I thought rather bland, and the cover didn’t have much hint of paranormal elements, except for the rather odd expression in the heroine’s eyes. Maybe it was an attempt to hint at the delightful and witty ghosts that helped the romance along, though neither hero nor heroine were every really aware of them.
Anyone else have some favorite paranormal Regencies to share?
LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, an RT Top Pick
Oh, I love the Vampire Viscount too!!! So well done, and so ground-breaking.
Barbara Metzger’s “An Angel for the Earl” is another great paranormal Regency.
once again I have to plead my entire ignorance of the subgenre, but I do recommend Cathy Love’s Fangs for the Memories. The hero is an amnesiac vampire who, when a spell is cast on him, believes he’s living his former life as a regency lord, and that modern NY is regency London. I’ts very well done, funny and sexy, and, this is really impressive, he sounds like a regency character.
I keep hearing about the Campire Viscount…I have to go find it! I haven’t read too many Regency paranormal, not for lack of trying, so there must not be a lot of them. You would think the two would mesh perfectly: nightlife, social caste systems, needing rare materials to rise in status. But maybe that would be redundant, given the popularity of the rake? Anyway, thanks for the ideas.
Duh, that last comment was me.
I really enjoyed the Vampire Viscount as well–and I’m not a huge fan of vampires! This seemed like an “elegant” vampire book, though, and the characters were so well-done. I also enjoyed Karen Harbaugh’s series about Cupid, too (sorry, the titles are escaping me!)
Gosh, I never knew about this subgenre. I’ll have to check it out…thanks for posting about this-you have a great blog.
Hi, Laine, thanks for the compliment on the blog!
Amanda, I read one of Karen Harbaugh’s Cupid books. It was called CUPID’S DARTS. I think the others have similar names and wish I had the time to read them all!