Historical Romance by Kenya Carlton
Hello my faithful romance readers! Before I start my ramblings about love, how many of you would answer the ad below?
Male seeking: Young and naïve virgin who welcomes chauvinistic behavior, occasional sexual assault, forced marriage, and rampant infidelity. Serious inquiries only!
Sounds yummy, right? This ad should have been placed in front of every historical romance novel I read in high school. At that time things were starting down the politically correct path, when I was forced to go to catholic child jail (my interpretation of high school). Date rape was a term everyone was becoming familiar with and sexual harassment in the work place had wiggled its way into society’s consciousness. So out of sheer boredom I would go to our schools sad, sad library to find something to read. Strangely enough, there were quite a few freaky historical romances lined up on the shelf hidden in the back (hmmm, my eighty year old librarian was a sexy little minx wasn’t she?). I wasn’t really into historicals, but they won out over the prospect of actually doing homework.
Once I got past the introduction of the silly heroine, who needed to be married off to a wealthy but disgraced Viscount due to family obligation, things usually took a weird turn. The soon to be bride would stay at the Viscount’s manor, where she would have a chaperone and be homesick. Most of the stories would start off the same way with different variations of naïve women; fiery red heads, sweet blondes, and mysterious raven beauties. The men were Counts, Dukes, or rich scoundrels who needed a title. Well, after it had been established that everyone hated each other, then weird sexy times were set to begin (cue the porn music please!).
Generally this would be the moment the reader learns of the mistress that the Viscount has been boning for some time now. She loves him, but he just sees her as a whore, so he calls it off and she’s angry enough to plot against him. Fast forward a few chapters, and our hero is all pent up and randy from being around this young, naïve thing for too long and decides to stick his wick in her without permission. Yep, and that’s when he finds out she’s a virgin. Something the era and social etiquette should have clued him in on before this moment; but hey, I’m thinking he may have fallen off a horse or two in his day.
Maybe ten pages after our naughty Count attacks her, she realizes she loves him but then runs away when she finds out about his city stashed whore. How does this happen? Because the whore tells her, that’s how. Once the virginal pretty figures out the Viscount will never change his dirty dog ways she beats feet; which is about the time the hero figures out he was in love with her as well. He proceeds to chase her down, where he saves her from somebody else raping her, and then the happily ever after moment may commence.
This weird take on a fairy tale is strangely amusing for the first few books, but a half a dozen novels later they ceased to be so cute. I don’t know why, it may have been the predictably of the books, but really I think it was the lack of choices. Often I would think the author picked this era because there were only so many things a woman could do without society frowning down on her; I.E. teacher, nanny, nurse.
Don’t you just love when the heroes fall for the working gal? Then the kids, ala’ Sound of Music style, can tell dear ole dad he’s an idiot for letting the heroine get away. Anywho, what I’m trying to say is that now historicals seem to be making woman scientists, writers, and doctors. The choices, income wise, are better but is the chauvinism? Not really, which is probably why they pick that era (Except for Fifty Shades of Grey bringing you chauvinism 21st century style).
Genre: African American Romance
Ex-ballerina turned rehab designer Cece Newman competes in a reality show that could give her fledgling company the boost that it needs. Assigned a relic of a house in a renovation challenge, Cece soon becomes suspicious of the producer’s intentions. When she finds the house is one of many properties her ex-fiancé and baby daddy Brock Thorn owns, Cece is convinced that she is being set up for failure. Ready to drop the project and what’s left of her career, Cece has to find a way to ignore the handsome athlete while she navigates around his kooky family. Cece must also convince their daughter that mommy and daddy won’t be getting back together again, a job easier said than done—especially when the attraction between the two is hotter than ever.
The biggest hit Brock Thorn took on or off the field occurred when Cece Newman left him at the altar. Five years later, Brock is more determined than ever to get answers from his baby’s momma. Even in regards to joint custody of their daughter, Brock’s only form of contact with Cece is through her loving, protective sister Lily. Brock packs up his high profile life and digs his heels in at the crappy house he’s inherited—the very one Cece is set to renovate. As he dodges cameras and uninvited family members, Brock must get to the bottom of his failed romance with Cece—especially if he has any chance of getting back the life that was lost when Cece left.
About the Author:
Native of Chicago Illinois, Kenya worked in the Network operation Center for PBS and TLN television stations. Executive producer of her own production company Black R.O.K Productions Kenya produced a pilot for travel series Destination Everywhere, Independent short film Dawn shown at the Chicago Latino film Festival, and wrote and directed the documentary Our Africa. Writing titles available; Jaded, Sweet as Sin, Brazil re-issue, Devil’s Play, and Remember This.
Kenya can be reached at:
Kcbookcafe.com Twitter: @kcbookcafe