Historical Romance Cliches 101

Usually, I prefer fantasy or sci-fi novels, but for the last couple of months I’ve been on a historical romance kick.  Georgette Heyer is by far the reigning queen of the genre, and also the foundation for most of the writers that come later, so her stuff might seem cliche when it was kind of like the grandmother.

Anyway, I’ve decided to list some of the cliches I use to screen what I’m in the mood to read:

1) Married by force — The hero and heroine are forced to get married because of extenuating circumstances (betrothals, monetary situations, alliances, revenge, social faux pas).  Usually, this is really common but if the author does it right, it’s a pretty fun read.

2) Kids the hero doesn’t know about — While highly realistic that most heroes who sleep around will have kids, how they’re handled in story can make or break it.  One cliche I really really hate is when the heroine shows up with his baby and acts like its hers, when it’s not.  a) What kind of jackass is he that he doesn’t remember who he slept with? b) How pathetic is she to try something that ridiculous?  I’m not a fan of hearing that they conceive kids after only one encounter.  Really?

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