I now offer you, based on my years and years experience reading historical romance novels, suggestions on how to write one.* I'll mostly be focusing on so-called "regency romances." Many of these suggestions, though, play over nicely into modern/paranormal/etc etc etc. I make these points not to insult the authors, whose books I read, suggest, buy, pass to friends, etc.; nay, friends, I come only to amuse.
Let us begin.
We'll start with something easy--the Top Five Things You Should Mention in your Regency Romance (RR). This way you can plan to build your story around them.
- Tea : Everyone drinks it, everyone offers it, there's always a fresh pot around somewhere.
- Almacks: The ton revolved around it, who was invited, who was going, who wasn't going, which rake showed up there, who was banned, and the Patronesses.
- Ankles: Apparently they were the height of sexy, since bosoms were exposed by evening wear. Make sure there are nicely turned ones. (Turned, not sprained)
- Napoleon and the war: Half pay officers, wounded soldiers returning, soldiers dying, someone leaving to war, getting a commission, the escape from Elba, heros. TONS of possibilities here.
- Cravats: No nice man is without them. They're used to promote the hero, bind wounds, point out the silliness of brothers, and so on and so forth.
*Please note, these suggestions are not intended as practical advice. I have neither written nor published a regency romance, though the Incredibly-Patient-Mother has suggested that perhaps I should.