"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 read...er...any.
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?