Thursday, February 3, 2011

Och, Lassie!

"In Scotland I'm just like a lot of other guys, but in America I'm seen as a very strong, masculine guy." - Gerard Butler

Ciara here, admitting my guilty pleasure in romancelandia, no matter how many "Och Lassies" I have to plow through. Scottish heroes are my weakness. Blame it on too many viewings of Rob Roy. (Braveheart? Pah-leeeze. Liam Neeson is so much hotter than Mel Gibson.) Blame it on an unhealthy love of bagpipes and melancholy tin whistles. Blame it on an appreciation for Scotch, kilts, and Scotch and kilts together....which leads to a whole new topic. I love the idea of the rugged Highlands, even though you can easily walk (not hike, walk) to the top of Ben Nevis. The idea of the brawny, honorable, and brave men who inhabit those misty mountains. Did I say I was looking for historical accuracy in my romance novels? Phbbbbbtt!

Fortunately, romancelandia is awash with historical Scottish romances. Not as many contemporary ones, but when I first discovered the genre I picked up "Men in Kilts" by Katie MacAlister and had my wicked way with it. Come to think of it, most of my early romance reads were set in the Highlands...which includes all of Karen Marie Moning's overly broad, strapping, sex-crazed druids. To this day, "The Immortal Highlander" is my favorite paranormal romance novel. I've read it three or four times, trying to analyze what makes it sing, but every time I get sucked into the magic. I can't keep myself removed enough to annotate and outline.

I have yet to write a rugged Scotsman into my books. We had planned to visit the sacred isle last summer, climb Ben Nevis, tour Macallen, see castles, buy my hubby a Stewart kilt. The timing wasn't right, but hopefully soon. I want to see if Gerard was telling the truth. But maybe, just maybe, it's one of those things I should leave safely between the pages. Can real life live up to the promise and premise of a beautifully crafted romance novel? In fiction anything is possible.

And now for the book lust:
CIARA'S FAVORITE SCOTTISH ROMANCES (off the top of my head, which means I'll be forgetting a lot of them. Please remind me.)

1. The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
3. The other Highlander books by Karen Marie Moning
4. Some Like it Wild by Teresa Medeiros
5. The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, which is set in Ireland, not Scotland, but who cares? Read it.

Note, all those be-Fabio-covered historicals were before my time, and I can't say that I've

What is your favorite subgenre of romance? Do you find dialect, "Och Lassie," to be an insurmountable hurdle to enjoying historical Scottish romances? Was that a leading question? What is your favorite Scottish romance?


Tracy said...

I have to admit to having a love of all things Scottish in a historical romance. I can't say I've read that many contemps set in Scotland - except a time-travel novel.

I do think that I got burned out on the whole Scottish historical though - give me a few months though and I'll be back in the swing of things. lol

Ciara said...

Time travel is a staple of the genre. I don't know why. My very first manuscript (which will forever remain hidden under the bed) was a Regency time travel. I don't understand why there are so many Scottish time travels and so few Regency time travels. Gwyn Cready is the only author I know writing them.

Both KMM and Gabaldon's books are time travels.

There should be more contemporaries. I'd read 'em!

Jessica said...

I so agree with you on anything Scotish...there is something so romantic about a man in a kilt. Maybe it's the knees, they have very cute 'knees'! lol

Dr J said...

Love Scotland, Scotsmen, all thing Scottish. Hubby's family is from the Burns Clan, and subsept of the Campbells of Argyll, while my family are Irish/Welsh. So lots of Celts running around in our family tree and that just means that the Scottish flavor in romance literature makes the story even better. Thanks for sharing . . . loved the post.

Rory G said...

Scotsmen are my absolute favorite and I like the accent in the book. I think you forgot Bowen from Kresley Cole's IAD series.

Ciara said...

Jessica - Kilts! Happy sigh. I love those muscled calves.

Dr J - My hubby is a Stewart, and I'm Irish. Burns as in Robert Burns? We just celebrated Robert Burns night with a five course tasting menu of Scottish food paired with 5 different Scotches, plus a Scottish band. It was great.

Rory - Good call! I knew there were more fabulous Scottish heroes that I was forgetting. Bowen is a great one.

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