It’s an interesting week for the books on the best selling Historical Romance charts, while there is a lot of variation in tropes and trends, they aren’t having much impact in changing what are the most popular major niches. Essentially, everything can be divided into four piles, Regency, Highlander, Cowboy, or Viking. But within these piles there are a host of interesting nuances for people to pick out and look over.
The Cowboy and Western novels on the chart this week run the gamut from grim stories about sheriffs going after murderers, and accidentally falling in love along the way, to books that are more recognisably romances. One thing that stays true across the majority of these books is the idea that the individual fighting back against the unjust society/bandits, what have you, is more effective than the group. It is actually quite interesting how much the idea of a sole person (with their romantic significant other, of course) seems to be preferred by the authors and readers this week.
Viking novels are also doing well, though again there seems to be some sneaking in from other genres, since these books are often also Fantasy novels, or Highlander Romances. These books are a bit tricky to analyse, because they really don’t sit within the ordinary framework. It’s actually quite odd to see so many books that seem to be in the Viking Romance category failing at either part of that, Viking or Romance. But they are generally part of this niche, so they can’t be completely set aside either.
Highlander romances on the other hand are incredibly popular with very little to be said about them. There is a startling number that follow similar formulas this week, even down to the blue toned clothing on the covers. There are several books featuring abduction and kidnapping narratives, plus young women known for being wild or mad and falling in love with newcomers to the area. Time travel is a surprisingly common subject, with at least three books on the chart featuring it.
And finally you couldn’t do a post on Historical Romance without talking about books set in the Regency period. It’s the majority of the chart this week, and there are a lot of things to focus on;
- First, there is some LGBT representation with KJ Charles’ The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter, which is a story about a music hall singer who owes money to a criminal gang. It is also one the first Trans F/M Asexual romance books we have seen on the chart, hopefully the first of many!
- Next up, a book retelling the story of Pride and Prejudice, in Beth Wood’s, Fitzwilliam Darcy Elopes. Austen is always a popular author to borrow from, and this is not the first time we’ve had a book doing so show up on the chart.
- Christmas themed anthologies are already doing the rounds, How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Christmas Romance Anthology, is one such example with numerous authors tied to it.
- There are also murder mysteries up for grabs, with Murder at Kensington Palace, by Andrea Penrose, one such example.
- As well as these there are also a host of books along the lines of more traditional fare. Rogues and scandalous young women are mostly being paired up with people on the more staid side of things. There are also spies and soldiers showing some popularity. Not many arranged marriages on the chart this week, not even Marriage of Convenience. Most of the books seem to be happier ending with a wedding or a betrothal than having one start the book or sitting earlier on in the plot and showing the characters evolve from that point.
- Blue and red dresses seem very popular, while yellow toned backgrounds are also being used a lot.
But whatever else there is to say, it is clear that Regency Romances are proving very popular with readers this week and are puling ahead of the other genres in the category.
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