The April theme for the 2013 TBR Challenge was New-to-You Author. I had many choices on my Kindle, given that when I first got one, I went on sort of a mini-binge scooping up romance bargains that I never actually got around to reading. Given how indiscriminate this buying binge was, I had several false starts the first week of April. For the first three books, I made myself read a chapter or two to give the stories a fair chance, but ended up rejecting them for, in order, an overly florid writing style, a hero who struck me as not just needing reform but inherently shallow and misogynistic, and having every single character feel more like a stereotype than a person.
Next I tried a more recent acquisition, The Midwife, by Carolyn Davidson. It's a 1999 release, but newish as an ebook, part of the Harlequin Treasury collection.
Really, I do wish there was more variety in historical romance settings. Maybe I'm an unusually omnivorous reader--I certainly meet readers online who never read outside the romance genre, never tire of Regencies and Victorians, and can never have too many dukes. And, let me stress, everyone should read what they like without any guilt, and without me or anyone else telling them they should make different choices. Most of us are super-busy people who read to relax, and if what relaxes you is a steady diet of two 19th century dukes per week, that's absolutely what you should choose. Maybe one of these days I might even write a duke myself, and I do have a wealthy, handsome viscount you might enjoy. But one of the things that gives me pleasure as a reader is getting mental vacations to a variety of times and places. In romance, I like the balance of knowing I'm getting a love story with a happy ending while seeing that played out across a variety of times, places, and character types, and I wish that variety was easier to find.
Incidentally, I've also challenged myself to read at least one finalist from each category of the 2013 Ritas. If you're interested, I blogged about Best First Book here.