There are a lot of Regency plots out there. Some I love, some not so much. What do YOU think? I’ve listed a few. Let me know how much you like the plot!
For the purposes of answering, assume the book is well written and you find the blurb interesting. I totally get that a great author can rock any of these plots. What other plots do you love, love to hate, or hate like poison? Tell me in the comments.
I’m OK with most plots. As you said, a great author can make any of them work.
I like desert island/snowed-in cottage types of stories where circumstances force a hero and heroine to work together and learn to appreciate each other.
Plots that need to be handled carefully (for me): revenge plots, where the hero or heroine is using the other to get revenge against some third party, plots in which hero or heroine suspects the other is trying to kill him/her.
I’m ok with most plots if the author is a good enough writer to pull them off. I am NOT ok with virgin widows though. I loathe that one.
Oh, yeah! Desert Island/snowed in. I like that plot lots.
I agree that revenge plots are among the trickiest. I have trust issues; I believe that trust is a huge part of real love, and I need to believe that the main characters learn to trust each other. Ongoing deception makes that difficult for me to believe, especially if one character is using the other for revenge. It’s okay as a starting premise, but if it goes on too long, I may not be able to believe the couple can be happy.
Virgin widows rarely work for me. I think there’s too much emphasis on virginity in the genre anyway. The virgin widow device in historical romance makes me feel like the author wants to eat her cake and have it too — she wants the increased social freedom for her heroine that being a widow can give, but she also wants to have the hero be the “one and only.” Usually I feel that you can’t have both without some pretty flimsy back story, and I roll my eyes a lot.
I can’t think of a single romance plot that I have NEVER enjoyed, however; there always seems to be at least one skillful author who can make a hated/overused device work anyway.
Agreed. There’s always someone who can pull off what is otherwise a tired plot…
Hmmm, I really don’t like the plots with a degenerative sicknes, or madness. I study Medicine, and reading about how they tried (and failed) to treat patients at that time really annoys me. Also, I find amnesia plots hardly believable.
Apart form those, I really like all kinds of romances, but the love-hate realtionships are my favourites. (Pride and Prejudice, yay!)
Yeah, the amnesia plot is one that is often more convenient than medically accurate. I say that as someone who once used amnesia in a book – at least the heroine couldn’t remember a traumatic event, which is common, rather than not knowing who she was.
I’ve just realised that not only am I out of step with your other readers but that I don’t really care for any of these plots – so if they are representative, how is it I love Regencies??
I’m not sure I’d say they’re representative plots. Lots of Regency authors don’t go anywhere near them. Plus, I only chose plots I’ve seen a lot over the years, not necessarily plots that are common now.
But! As several have noted, every time we say “Marriage of Convenience” is dead, someone will come along with a take on that plot that makes it fresh.
I think you love Regencies because you’re reading wonderful authors who work past common plots. In that, you are in very good company!