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What are the characteristics of the Gothic Romance?
Wow, your Byronic hero sounds yummy!
Shades of Mr. Rochester!

The new recent adaptation was good, but pretty much shunned any of the key supernatural elements.

Did anyone watch the Jane Austen adaptations on Masterpiece Theatre this spring? The Northanger Abbey one wasn't bad, but the original BBC one from 1997 was very creepy indeed.

So yes, mystery, suspense, people not being what they seem, or you think one thing is going on, but there is really more to the situation than meets the eye.

Good historical settings--I like Alice Borchardt's novels set in the Dark Ages, very sexy, and I think she did a Viking one too?

And the romance-it does not have to be the erotica that they are passing off as Gothic these days, but a bit of passion and danger involved in falling in love with seemingly the wrong man, or the right man once the heroine gets past the surface, makes for tension and suspense as well.

The only author I've seen who does that consistently is Sorcha MacMurrough. She writes in several different time periods, medieval to Victorian, but The Rakehell Regency series is definitely Gothic, with tiny hints of the supernatural. She is an Irish author, but you can get hold of PDF downloads of her books at

If we wanted a lot of supernatural elements, we would read paranormal romances. I just find them dull. The so called suspense romance genre is too much suspense, not enough romance!

Barbara Michaels keeps us guessing as well, woman in peril, is the hero a good guy or isn't he. I got her whole back list from and really enjoyed the one set in old Williamsburg.

Christine Feehan, the non-carpathian ones, very good-there was one set in Italy where the hero thought he was cursed, and it turned out to be, er, ... won't give too much away there.
she can't really write love scenes, though, which is a problem when they appear so often and for so many pages.

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RE: What are the characteristics of the Gothic Romance? - by gurugoddess - 08-29-2008, 07:52 PM

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