A Love Letter To Sarah MacLean
By Silvana Reyes
Many things can make me read a historical romance: the trope (historical romances have really good tropes!), the author, the relationship/couple. But I think what catches my eye more is when I find out the heroine is a very lonely person. We often read them; the girl whose family don’t bother to listen, the girl that is filled with friends but somehow she doesn’t feel whole, the girl who has no one and ends up in a marriage of convenience and she feels more lonely when the hero doesn’t come down for breakfast. We can find this in so many scenarios, all of them I love.
This is such an “open book” kind of post for me. I sometimes talk about on social media that I’m searching for more lonely characters in books. But I don’t really say why I am looking for them. Mainly, I search for them because I can relate to those heroines and their journey throughout the story makes me happy and like something can happen, you know? Romance books, as a whole, make me so hopeful, and the joy when I read them fills me with so much love. Romance books really are the greatest thing in the world.
I talked about how the heroine sometimes has a good group of friends or she does have a great relationship with her family, but she feels lonely. She’s not alone but yet she feels lonely. Uhm same here? I’m an only child, my parents had one kid. Growing up is lonely; well, it was for me. You can play with friends, have all the friends in the world, your family might also be there, you can have cousins the same age as you, but at the end of the day, they go back to their houses and you… are just alone. As well, feelings are such complicated things and sometimes one feels like you don’t want to bother another person with all the things inside you and I relate so much to that. I love finding heroines who feel like me. It’s most probably that I haven’t had all the ups and downs from their life, but somehow I can still feel like I can do it all as well.
What I love about Sarah MacLean’s romances are her heroines. I also love the tropes she uses and the stories in between, but most of all I relate so hard with her heroines. Penelope, from A Rogue by Any Other Name, is a very lonely person. She writes letters to her love interest and there was a point in time when he stopped replying and that was the only connection she had at that time. She has been wronged by so many men and now comes this hero who she thinks she knows but has changed from the last time she met him. When she goes to live with him, he just keeps disappearing and she’s in that big house all alone. Cue my feelings going wild. Sarah MacLean does it so well too and I always fall for the character development that happens afterward.
Another example is from her newest release, Wicked and the Wallflower. Felicity feels extremely alone when all her friends, even society, turns their back on her. She wants to belong again so she decides to lie and say she is engaged to the new Duke in town. The hero hears everything said and climbs her balcony that night and promises her he is going to give her Duke. The hero will try his best to give her the light (but she doesn’t crave it anymore!) and keep her from his darkness. But what he doesn’t know is that she wants to be there, ruling beside him and embracing that darkness. Felicity’s journey is so beautiful and you get to see her grow (with her amazing lock-picking abilities!).
I hope Sarah MacLean continues to break my heart and put it back together with more and more books. Not only are her heroines such lovely characters to read about, the romances will take you by the hand and show you some of the cutest moments and tropes. This is me anticipating Brazen and the Beast! *sobs hard because it doesn’t come out until next year*
I’m always searching for more romance with lonely heroines or heroine who feel alone. If you have any recommendation (historical, contemporary or sff), totally send them to me at @thebookvoyagers on Twitter!
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About the Author
From Silvana Reyes: Hi, I'm Sil! 21. México. she/her pronouns. I am the owner of the book blog, The Book Voyagers, where I blog and review books. Mainly, I focus on recommending and reviewing diverse books written by marginalized authors. You might also know me for doing book aesthetics and just shouting in capital letters about new books releasing. I'm a big fan of Adult Romance, but I also love Young Adult especially contemporary fiction and fantasy.
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