When I first started reading romance, many years ago, the majority of what was available was the traditional historical romance. What many referred to as the bodice ripper because of the sexy clinch covers. I fell in love with these books from the likes of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey and Catherine Coulter. And then I found Amanda Quick and her historicals were a little different. I suspect that she is probably my strongest influence, as a writer, because none of my historicals are what you’d call ballroom romps or even the lush historical dramas that Woodiwiss for known for.

With Amanda Quick, there were suspense subplots and her heroes were often scholars – something I have always been drawn to – is it any wonder that I married a college professor? ☺ Her heroines were smart too and unique. I never set out to immolate her, but when RT Bookclub compared my books to hers in a review – well, that was just about the coolest thing ever. So without further ado, I give you the 5 hallmarks of a Robyn DeHart novel…

1. A Robyn DeHart heroine is unconventional, whether she be bucking society by going to medical school to become a physician, as with Anna from The Temptations of Anna Jacobs or whether she be a blind sculptress, as with Mia from The Secrets of Mia Danvers.

2. My heroes are smart and almost always the pursuer in the relationship. Once they meet the heroine, no other woman will do. They fall hard and they’re loyal to a fault. Not to mention smoking hot! They also usually have jobs, even if they’re aristocrats, as with Drew in The Temptations of Anna Jacobs, is working undercover for Scotland Yard, or an antiquity hunter for hire as with Fielding in Seduce Me.

3. Don’t be surprised if there’s a murder at some point. Quite obviously the Dangerous Liaisons books have killings in them, even scenes in the Rippers point of view. But even in my other books, I sometimes leave a trail of bodies, not always gruesome though (for those of you who have an issue with violence). The Raven, the villain in two of my Legend Hunters books (Seduce Me and Treasure Me) is rather wicked and does away with more than one person. Even in my novella that’s currently out, a Regency spy story, No Ordinary Mistress, chapter one opens up with a murder.

4. Amidst the carnage you’ll often find humor. Some books are funnier than others, but even if you don’t laugh out loud, there are plenty of happy, smiling moments. There’s one scene in A Study in Scandal where the heroine knocks a door into the hero’s head and every time I read it, it made me chuckle. That’s saying a lot because as an author we have to read our own books a lot and by the end, they get really old. ☺

5. My books are full of snappy dialogue. Almost every review and reader email I receive comments on both my characters and the witty dialogue. It’s where the books come alive to me when I’m writing, where the characters live, in the words that they speak. Dialogue is super important to me and an integral part of all of my work.

Well, I hope this has given you a little taste of what reading a Robyn DeHart book is like. If you’ve read me before, what are your favorite parts of my books If not, what do you usually look for when picking out a new author?

7 thoughts on “A Robyn DeHart book is…

  1. Martha Eddy says:

    Immolate? Don’t you mean imitate?

    1. Robyn DeHart Robyn DeHart says:

      No, I actually meant emulate – I just can’t spell. 🙂

  2. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    I usually look for an author with a voice that grabs me from the first page. To me, that’s the most important thing. I like all sorts of stories and genres, but the voice has to keep my attention.

    1. Robyn DeHart Robyn DeHart says:

      I totally agree, Shana. A few years ago there was a very popular historical author on the rise and I loved all the premises of her books and tried several, but just couldn’t connect with her. I think it was all about her voice. She’s obviously a talented writer, but her voice doesn’t work for me.

  3. Robyn, I was never a huge fan of the old school historical romances (except for Georgette Heyer), but once I “found” Amanda Quick I fell in love. She is such a wonderful role model!

  4. Glenda says:

    I’ve got your books on my wish list, but haven’t read any yet. It’s hard to define exactly when an author’s work will ‘click’ with me and when it won’t. To be honest, I am not super critical of novels so the ones that don’t click are relatively rare. I have to be drawn into the story to really enjoy it — no matter what genre I’m reading. If I can’t connect with the main characters, I can’t enjoy the book.

  5. Joanna M says:

    It’s hard for me to answer this question but I have to agree with Glenda. For me to thoroughly enjoy a book it has to start with the characters. If I cannot relate to them, the book won’t do for me. Then, there has to be a plausible plot. If I cannot believe it, no matter how beautifully put or how great the “voice” is, I don’t think I will grab a book by that author again because I’d feel she’d be lying to me 🙁 … But I have to say you described my perfect book! I so love a good dialogue and a witty banter <3 😀

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