Sometimes, we want a little strange in our romance reading, and sometimes, we want something more familiar. One type of book, for example, or a certain kind of setting, that we’ve loved for a long time, but, maybe, forgotten exactly how much. It may have been months, or even years, since that fire burned bright, but once it’s back, how do you proceed?
Personal confession time. I’ve been on a medieval kick for a couple of weeks now. Maybe three. It started with an out of the blue idea to dive back into the standalone books of Bertrice Small, a favorite historical romance author. A bunch of those, as it so happened, were medieval. I didn’t plan to go on a medieval tear, but after I finished my third, I got the itch.
Knights. Ladies. Castles. Kings and queens and lines of succession, and political intrigue, and jousting and bards and great halls and oh those clothes and….yeah. I may or may not be humming songs from Camelot in my head right now. (I totally am.) With all my books by this author currently in storage, I have to turn my attentions elsewhere, aka the library system, and my Kindle.
Not that I am only on the hunt for books by one particular author, but that’s how it starts, isn’t it? Go looking for one story, one dip into small town sweet romance, for example, or erotic vampires, or second chance at love, or what-have-you, and then, boom, there it is, The Hunger. That feeling of GIVE ME ALL THE BOOKS.
Yes, I know all caps is shouting, and trust me, there is no other way to accurately describe the urgency that fills a reader’s entire being when The Hunger hits. Reading one book is not enough. Sure, you think it is (maybe you think it is; maybe you’re not that naïve.) or it can be, and you have this space in the back of your mind where you think you’re going to be able to reach into the top of your TBR pile and pick out whatever’s there, but NOPE. Let me say that again:
Doesn’t matter what else is patiently (or not so patiently) waiting its turn. The Hunger is here now, and it’s driving this car. Or carriage. Wagon, probably, because, right now, I am all about all things medieval. My Kindle is two books deep into Denise Domning’s Graistan Chronicles, and, after that, the Fire series, by Anita Mills. I have even been doing mental calculations on whether it would be more expedient to purchase new (okay, not new, these books are seriously out of print, and have not been digitized) copes of the only two books ever credited to Annelise Kamada, A Love So Bold, and sequel/companion, A Banner Red and Gold or travel to our out of state storage unit, and rifle through the box where I know my medieval keepers are held. The first, I have read multiple times, and I want it again. The second, I haven’t, because I have been saving it, and, now, I need it.
Either way, it’s going to be a while before I can get my hands on those preciouses, and I am well aware that all of the books on this list are of a certain vintage. Classics of the genre, if you will, and I am all about getting a good foundation in the classics of romance. Since it’s been quite some time since those books were the new kids in town, that means there’s been a good chance for other writers to build on that foundation, and, especially with the rise of e-books and indie publishing, that means there are a whole bunch more medieval romances out there, for me to discover and devour. That’s pretty exciting, and a little daunting, as well, but I am up for the challenge. I want it all; the sweep, the spectacle, the pageantry, and the harsh reality of life in the long, long ago. Heroines with gumption and agency are a plus, and if there are arranged marriages and/or disguises involved, hey, I am not going to complain. The Hunger is not particular, and it is going strong.
So, dear readers, I turn it now over to you. Help a fellow reader out. Have you experienced The Hunger, when only one particular type of book will do, and you will do whatever it takes to get your fix? What flavor did your hunger take, and were you able to fill it? Do you have any medieval recommendations to share? Pull up a chair in the comment section and tell us all about it. There’s room for everybody at this table.