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Guest blogger: Jennifer Kloester

7 June 2020

There’s something about romance

Who doesn’t love a romance? And now, more than ever, as the world struggles through these challenging times and so many of us are spending lots more time at home, we need the comfort of good books and great stories. I love stories that have a romance in them—either as the main focus of the novel, or as a delicious side dish to be savoured along the way. Romance fiction, crime fiction, mystery stories, science fiction, historical fiction, general fiction, literary novels—I’ll read them all so long as there is a satisfying romance somewhere between the covers. There is hope in a love story, as well as struggle, and usually laughter. There is the promise of happy days spent together getting to know that certain someone who might just be your soulmate.

My first romance was A Girl of the Limberlost, a book I still love to read and, while I adore LM Montgomery’s Anne books, my all-time favourite of her novels is The Blue Castle, which has a super-satisfying romance in it. Some of my favourite romances are set in the English Regency and include books by Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Anne Gracie and Eloisa James. There’s something so beguiling about the Regency setting. Maybe it’s the men and the way they dressed. I mean, is there anything more romantic than a devilishly handsome man in hessian boots, pantaloons, a tight-fitting coat and a snowy cravat? Unless of course it’s a man in top-boots, breeches, a well-cut coat and a carelessly knotted cravat! And then there are the women—those strong-minded, feisty individuals who hold out for love and yet are frequently surprised by the man who sweeps them off their feet and turns out not to be the hard-hearted rake or the world-weary cynic the world has thought them, but a man of passion and heart and honour.

While history may tell a different story, I love to escape into the fictional Regency world of carriages and fashion, ballrooms, Almacks, horse riding in Hyde Park, etiquette and elegant courtships. I adore the sexual tension of the era, when the touch of a man’s hand or a single kiss could signify so much. My love of Regency romances is what led me to write my first novel for adults, Jane Austen’s Ghost. Though it’s a modern story, with its own romance, it has a surprising Regency twist. Writing Jane’s story and bringing her into the modern world was definitely an act of wish-fulfilment. Though Jane Austen herself never married, there were several handsome men in her life and more than one suggestion of a love affair. I had great fun weaving those small facts into my story and having Jane remark on her experiences. Jane Austen was such an astute observer of human nature and she has plenty to say about love and relationships in Jane Austen’s Ghost. It’s a romp of a book, with a mystery and a quest, but it’s also a love story. Because, as the songwriter said, what the world needs now is love, sweet love, and where better to find it than in the pages of a romance?

You can find Jennifer here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Jane Austen’s Ghost

With her life a mess, Cassandra Austin seeks refuge in Winchester with her eccentric great-aunt – but Aunty B has problems of her own. Ghost problems.

Cassie doesn’t believe in ghosts but she’ll do anything to help the only person who’s ever loved her. Besides, a simple spell in the cathedral crypt couldn’t do any harm, could it? Well, except for the two-hundred-year-old curse on Jane Austen, that is.

Overnight, life is suddenly a whole lot weirder and it’s up to Cassie to save the day with the help of a dour Bishop, two literary geniuses, a couple of wise-cracking geriatrics and the mysterious Oliver Carling.

Magic and adventure abound in this genre-bending contemporary-historical paranormal romance with a Regency twist.

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