Confessions of a Bodice-Ripper Devotee

The first romance novel I read was around 12 or 13. Thanks to my older sister, I had access to a lovely collection of thick and juicy historical romances with covers that usually looked something like this:

Often they featured pirates (still a favourite to this day), or devilish earls, lords, viscounts (which I mispronounced terribly), barons or marquesses. Or sometimes our heroes were highland warriors who could tame the land — but could they tame our plucky heroine?

By reading my sister’s books I discovered that “oral sex” did not actually refer to French kissing. (I recall Virginia Henley’s books being particularly instructive in such matters.) In case you’re wondering what my parents thought of my reading material, I’d always read far beyond my years and my sister and I were such good kids that they never worried we’d become sex crazed or take to the high seas to find dashing-but-dastardly pirates of our own.

As an adult I’ve discovered the joys of reading and writing gay romance, and historicals remain a soft spot. If there’s a pirate or rake involved, it’s pretty much an autobuy. There needs to be a term for the gay equivalent of a bodice ripper. “Linen-shirt ripper” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, though, does it? πŸ˜€

How about you? Do you enjoy historical romances? Or do you prefer the here and now?

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