Wish List for Historical Romances

Avon Historical Romance Covers Julie Anne Long Anna Campbell Maya Rodale

Avon historical romance: including one of my Best Reads of 2014.

Avon, a major romance publisher, runs a Romance University blog, with lots of interesting articles about writing, publishing and all the things you’d expect from a blog about books.

However, I randomly came across a post titled: Avon Romance Editor Lucia Macro’s Wish List for Historical Romances and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Now, I do receive many, many Avon historical romances for review. And I’ve really liked a lot of them. However, in romance reader circles, Avon’s historical romance line has a reputation for being… flimsy and very much about tossing historical accuracy out the window.

I don’t find this to be the case all the time (I am very fond of some Avon historical romances, and some of my favourite authors write for this publisher), but sometimes, yep, it is.

To summarise the points made in the post (but PLEASE read the original post, because obviously this is my brief interpretation!):

  1. *Don’t* write serious books.
  2. *Do* make your heroes obsessive cavemen.
  3. *Do* stick to old tropes and don’t try to do anything new.
  4. *Don’t* let your characters follow social rules of the era.

Annnd… is this not a list of all the things we’re constantly complaining about in historical romance?! Are there not endless articles such as this one and this one and this one where readers, writers, reviewers and bloggers are lamenting the fact historical romance is doing these exact things? And that it is ruining the genre?

I suppose I came away from this piece disappointed, but unsurprised. Because publishers are constantly being criticised for churning out wallpaper romances and turning readers off the genre entirely. So it shouldn’t really be a surprise that’s precisely the type of book they’re asking for.