We have discussed different aspects of historical romances: our favourite eras, what we like the most about this genre, why we read HR novels, we have even discussed gladiators, HR pet peeves and erotic historical romances but there is something we haven’t talked about yet, and that is foreign or exotic historical romances.
About 99% of historical romance novels are set in England, in smaller part France or Scotland, a couple are even set in North America (and one or two in Ancient Egypt), but historical romances set outside of these usual locations are few and far and between. Can you think of any which take place in South America? Africa? Asia? Australia? Oceania? Or we don’t even have to go that far, any historical romances set in other European countries such as Spain, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Denmark or Austria? All had (and some of them even have today) monarchies so aristocracy was/is a given, location could be considered interesting and exciting since fewer people might have any knowledge (least personal) of these countries so they might enjoy getting to discover an unknown country and its customs thanks to a novel. But no. Never came across any historical romance novels set in other parts of Europe than the most popular triumvirate of England, Scotland and France (and to be technical the first 2 could be simply called UK and then we’d only have 2 locations…).
So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I came across and glimpsed the cover of Jeannie Lin’s My Fair Concubine. A historical romance set in Ancient China! Wow, that was something unheard of for me. So while I had some trepidation (due to never having read any HR set oustide of Europe/Northern America I was worried I would feel lost among the local traditions and exotic settings) I was also very curious and excited. So I jumped in and couldn’t be more grateful for that moment of bravery and my adventurous spirit because not only have I discovered an exciting new world I also acquired a new favourite HR author.
So if you are a bit bored with the usual dukes and countesses (because though we can never get enough of them sometimes one just craves a bit of variety) try an exotic historical romance set in foreign, far away lands, beside the romance you’ll also get a wonderful virtual travel!
So now I’m on the lookout for more foreign HR novels, do tell me,
Do you like to read historical romance novels set in rather unusual places?
Any great exotic/foreign HR books you could recommend?
I would love to read stories set in India, Arab countries (because though sheikhs seem to be a popular choice for heroes in contemporary romances somehow HRs don’t abound with stories set there), China, really, anywhere around the globe!
ps. I found this lists on Goodreads when I searched for Historical Romances set in exotic locations, but I would be grateful for more recommendations!