One of my great loves in life has always been reading. I read just about everything from reality to fantasy to sci-fi to non-fiction to short stories to young adult literature. Of course, since I became a Mommy, reading time just for me has become a bit scarce. So, when I do steal some time to read just for fun, I usually go to staples that I know I’ll enjoy. One of these guilty pleasures happens to be regency romance.
Yes, I know, it’s a bit cliche. But, honestly, the genre is just fun and they are great escapist stress relievers for busy parents. You always know what you’re going to get—a strong, fiery heroine, a handsome, irreverent hero, a cast of amusing side characters, just enough plot to keep things moving, and always a happy ending! They generally take little time to read, and while you most likely won’t come away significantly enlightened about the world, you will at least have that warm, fuzzy feeling that always accompanies a fun, romantic read.
One of my favorite romance authors is Sally MacKenzie of the “Naked Nobility” series. These seven books and two short stories are some of the most amusing regency romance I’ve read. They combine all the usual aspects of the genre, while adding a wicked sense of humor, a fairly free sense of artistic license, and characters that are irresistible.
Starting with The Naked Duke, MacKenzie works her way through the British aristocracy pairing up wayward lords and ladies across London and the greater English countryside. Each book stands on it’s own, but characters from previous books show up throughout the series, giving readers a fun glimpse into the continued stories of their favorites. While MacKenzie claims that her latest installment, The Naked King, closes out the series, I sincerely hope that she will find a way to continue it. Either way, I look forward to her future works. If you’ve never tried the genre before, the Naked series is a great place to start.
Here’s a complete list of the series in the correct order:
- The Naked Duke
- The Naked Baron
- The Naked Laird: a short story featured in Lords of Desire
- The Naked Marquis
- The Naked Earl
- The Naked Viscount
- The Naked Gentleman
- The Naked Prince: a short story featured in An Invitation to Sin
- The Naked King