I was just on twitter, doing my thing on there and came across a tweet from Stephanie Draven (author of Posioned Kisses). Here is the original tweet from her:
So, let me kick a hornet's nest. Will you accept behavior from the hero in historicals that you wouldn't tolerate from a contemporary hero?
At first I sat and pondered about this subject and how are the two different. A lot of the historical romances I have read lately, deal with a man who loves the woman and is a perfect gentlemen. Then I think back to older historical romance books. A lot of those books, the men have a difficult time controlling their anger. A sample is, from one of my favorite historical romance books, Judith McNaught's, Whitney My Love; the main male has slapped the woman he loves and he even steals her virginity from her in a rape. Yet while reading this book, I didn't get angry and think of him as evil. I read the book and hoped they got past this misunderstanding and found love between the two. Often times in the older historical romances, the male is controlling and angry most of the time. Yet, when reading one, I do find it acceptable.
Now thinking of the men in contemporary romance; if one of them were to act the same way in one of these books, I would probably shut it and write a letter to the author asking how she could write something like that. Thinking of now a days and reading a rape scene would be over the top. Reading about a man slapping the woman for arguing with him, is just unacceptable. I definitely think as a reader we accept a lot more from historical men.
So to Stephanie Draven, I do think you kicked a hornet's nest, but hopefully you didn't get stung. This was an excellent topic to think about. Thank you for the inspiration! So fellow readers, tell me what you think.