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5 hidden *FREE* gems of vintage romance

5 hidden *FREE* gems of vintage romance

Thanks to the digitisation of old and out-of-print books, it’s possible to discover some absolute treasures on Gutenberg or The Internet Archive, sadly forgotten for half a century or more. Here are 5 of my favourites.

7544679A Houseful of Girls

This lovely novel by Mrs George De Horne Vaizey is rather like an Edwardian Pride & Prejudice. Six sisters are excited when new neighbours move in, with one of the least likely sisters scoring the Big Romance. There are some incredibly funny scenes in this book, as well as some heart-wrenching moments. Gutenberg link

 

2089443Bab, a Sub-Deb

Bab is a marvellous character, created by Mary Roberts Rinehart. The youngest daughter of a rich American family, and slightly too young to be a debutante, she invents romances for herself and ends up in endless scrapes, largely due to her own attractiveness to various men. Several films were made in the 1920s but were sadly lost.  Gutenberg link

 

Book CoverThe Career of Katherine Bush

Elinor Glyn wrote many near-scandalous, melodramatic novels in the early 20th century, some of which were made into films, including this one (though it’s sadly lost). Katherine Bush is a lower middle class English girl who manages to turn herself into a “lady” through hard work and study, and eventually marries a duke. Gutenberg link

 

Harum Scarum: The Story of a Wild Girl

This the first in a trilogy by Esmè Stuart, aka Amélie Claire Leroy, about a wild Australian girl who goes to live with aristocratic English relations. Incredibly funny in places, the romance element enters with the second novel, Harum Scarum’s Fortune, ending with Harum Scarum Married. The books sometimes have different titles. Archive.org link

 

17969305Take Me With You

Mary Burchell was a prolific writer, and has some lovely “Cinderella romances” with poor orphan girls being romanced by rich, wordly and wonderful men. This is a particularly fun one, partly because although the coincidences become increasingly absurd by the end, the characters are so engaging that you won’t care. OpenLibrary link

 

 

 

Tempting Her Teacher - Greek translation

Tempting Her Teacher – Greek translation

Αν θέλεις να διαβάσεις στα ελληνικά το "Μαγεύοντας τον καθηγητή", η @ath_stef κάνει μια πολύ καλή μετάφραση. Θα αρχίσουν να ανεβαίνουν κεφάλαια ξανά από τις 24-06. Να έχετε μια ωραία ...
Teaching His Ward - on Radish now

Teaching His Ward – on Radish now

My latest Regency Romance, Teaching His Ward, has begun serialisation on Radish. It tells the story of Marcus, Earl of Southwell, and his young ward Jemima, who meet at a ...
Sara Seale statistics

Sara Seale statistics

After reading a dozen or so Sara Seale novels, I've decided to do a little research project on her work, crunching the data on her novels. I haven't yet managed ...
Vintage romance, vintage clothes

Vintage romance, vintage clothes

The clothes in vintage romance novels are always a marvel of cringe and ghastliness. While it's fascinating researching Regency costumes, for which there are many informative articles, photographs and drawings, ...
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12 movies about student teacher relationships

Girls’ Dormitory (1936) Marie Claudel (Simone Simon) falls in love with her school principal, Dr Stephen Dominick (Herbert Marshall). Margie (1946) Margie (Jeanne Crain) falls in love with her high ...
6 reader reactions to raunchy lines

6 reader reactions to raunchy lines

It’s always fascinating what sentences readers respond to - and often it’s really surprising. I love getting any kind of reaction, and tracking what people find sexy or funny really ...
Vintage sexy: try Violet Winspear

Vintage sexy: try Violet Winspear

If anyone feels like some classic, sexy vintage romance, try Violet Winspear who wrote 70 romance novels in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. You'll find plenty of power play, age-gap, virginal heroines, coerced marriage and ...
So you want more Mr Darcy?

So you want more Mr Darcy?

The 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, is pretty much the definitive production of Jane Austen’s beloved novel. But if you’ve watched it ...
Student-teacher romance: the lure of forbidden fruit

Student-teacher romance: the lure of forbidden fruit

Relationships between students and teachers, whether at high school or with university professors, is a hugely popular genre. There are perhaps three main reasons why: It’s forbidden. There’s the secrecy, ...
Why sex scenes in romance stories need an edge

Why sex scenes in romance stories need an edge

Before I started writing romance I didn’t quite get the “rule” (for there are no finite rules) that every sex scene should advance the plot. But I have found that ...