Jude in July

I got my start in reading romance when I was at the age of 14.  I had always been an avid reader.  One night when I was having issues trying to find something to read, I snuck into my mother’s bedroom and stole a book from her stack by her bed.  This book will go on to change my reading habits and eventually lead to my current state of Romance obsession. 

That very first book was the Conquest by Jude Deveraux.  This would start my fixation with compulsively consuming her stories.

Jude Deveraux has been writing romance since the 70’s and is still currently putting out new stories every year.  Her first book Enchanted Land is one that has not aged well. It is a complete crazy town of stories.  While a very long an intense read a modern romance reader would find the story problematic and need to be cautious of content within the story. It is an extremely sexy and well worth the read.  Just please check content warnings before diving in.  

My first Jude Deveraux read was The Conquest. It is Book 2 of the Peregrine Family stories. It is a Middle Ages/ Medieval Romance.  At time of knights and grand tournaments.  A feuding England and land grabs between noble families leads to this enemies to lover’s romance.  A girl hidden away and trained to behave as a boy to protect her from the enemy.   Tearle Howard knows she is a girl and is determined to win her heart and truly be who she is destined to be. The Howards and Peregrines have been at war over land for years & both families have suffered tremendous losses.

 Some of my most cherished stories by Jude are the Taggert/Montgomery Family.  Through out her books we get to see the generations of the families.  We have small glimpses into past characters and get to meet their children.  We see the growth and past of the families through all different perspectives.   These interconnected standalones take through our British and American History.  From Privateers to Soldiers and Adventures. We met Opera Singers, the heartache of mining and even a princess.    All the while these stories give us romance and insight to the hardships of relationships.  All these stories have amazing strong female heroes who often don’t need to be saved but instead just need to be accepted for who they are and what they desire. 

Some of the stories do have an air of the paranormal in them.  We do some time traveling, ghost, and even some psychics.

While some of these romance would not necessary be written as they are by today’s standards. These are still classics to me and hold a very special place in my reading history.  There are problematic topics and representation in these books by today’s standards that should not automatically disqualify them as good books.  I think we have to look at them with a bit of a titled lens given their age.  These story lay the foundation for such authors like Julia Quinn and Sarah MacLean. 

In July I will be doing a random rereading of several of these books.  I will let you know tropes, if they hold up and if they are still some of my favorite historical romances.. Stay tuned and follow along!