Monday, April 16, 2007

Och, take me, my strong, hot Scot warlord

“Scotland, above all, is a land of romance and of poetry.”
- Sir David Wilkie, painter


Aradia asked us a few weeks ago what the deal was with Scots. “Are they supposed to be these hot species of manhood?” I have to say, I think they are. LOL

I love Scots romance novels; blame it on Julie Garwood, really. McNaught introduced me to romance novels but Garwood made me appreciate the beauty of Scots romance. Well, how could my harloty heart resist? Brusque, self-centered, arrogant laird (with the body of a yummilicious god) asked by his King to marry a spirited, independent-minded English lassie. Aye. Oh-so-fuckable laird falls in love but she’s cocooned herself against him because, let’s face it, this is a forced union and he is *whispers* a “barbarian” and rumored to had *gasp* killed his first wife!—who turns out to be a total slut! Och, bitch! Scots brogue here, naked Scots warriors there (ooh la la...), clan wars everywhere—but in the end, oh-so-strong laird conquers all, *sigh* including our bonny heroine’s heart. The wonders of romance... *double sigh*

If you think about it, the stories are usually all the same LOL. Still, one cannot deny that Scots romances have this, well, verra distinct magical appeal... *g*

Mayhap, it’s the Highland landscapes.

According to many young lovers, artists, travelers, writers, wankers, Scots landscapes can be summed up in one word: “romantic.” Hmm, is it Gretna Green? Oh oh oh—it’s the castles, isn’t it? :D Ohhh, I do love castles...


It’s a very beautiful part of the world,” explains Laurie Gold, publisher of the allaboutromance.com. “But it’s beautiful in a stark way.” The harsh climate and rugged mountains make an ideal backdrop for adventure, she says.

“There’s just something inherently romantic about Scotland,” adds Maggie Crawford, editorial director for Pocket Books. “It’s the untamed land of the Highlands, and that sets it apart from the rest of the world.”


Fine. I know Scotland is breathtakingly beautiful blah blah, but I’m sticking to my castle theory. *hmph* At least Madonna agrees with me; she chose Skibo Castle, Dornoch in the Scots Highlands to be the setting for her marriage to Guy Ritchie. :P

Och, it’s the history and ancient folklore.

Scotland isn’t only natural beauty; it has a verra rich history, aye, both in the political and cultural domain. The Scots brogue alone is enough to attract any Sassenach. Why, in some cases, it can even make a slippery time travelling idiot commit *gasp* adultery! :/ Politically, Scotland had several clan wars over the centuries and we can see its colors, flavors and—lucky for you, pervs—the OMG-hot-hot-hot warriors reflected in Scots romances.

Scotland is also blessed with many myths and legends. Loch Ness Monster? Forget that! We’re talking over 2,000 years of superstitions here where unusual events are “explained” by invented stories LOL. They involve spirits, goblins, fortune telling and mythical objects, like wooden dildos with magical powers (erotica, baby ;)).

Nay, it’s the brawny heroes.

It’s a well-known theory that in romance novels, it’s always about the man. What can I say? Romance is all about women’s fascination and longing for a white knight and his humble steed. Huh? Of course not to do both, euw! (You have dirty minds, I tell ya!) Er, anyway, as Charis Calhoon of RWA says, “The Scottish laird is a fine personification of the white knight of old.”

But, ummm, I thought “knights” from England (especially from the Regency Period) were the “bestest” knights?


“When you think about the stereotype of the English man and the stereotype of the Scottish man, it’s not the same,” Ms. Gold says. “Although I love romances set in England, I can’t totally remove that cold fish with a Victorian viewpoint from my mind. But when you think about Scotland, you think about warriors. That’s very sexy.”

Ms. Calhoon takes a similar view. “In many cases, the Scottish hero is a more perfect romance hero—one that has struggled more, one who has a better working knowledge of how to do ‘man things,’ like handle a horse (noble steed) with expertise, change a broken carriage wheel, and fight off villains. (...) This is not a soft man... until he meets that perfect woman.”

But Ms. Calhoon does have one more theory worth considering. She calls it the “Braveheart factor.” “Mel Gibson in a kilt, looking wounded but determined,” she muses. “Women can’t resist it.”


So, what about you? What do you think makes Scots romances so appealing? And what are your favorite novels set in the lore-filled Scotland of yore? (Please, Fraser Nutters, DO NOT EVEN THINK OF “let’s bombard Harlot with fucking Outlander till her teeth hurt”!!! *grrr*)

P.S. Stay tuned for the second part of this post. Aye, lassies, with eye candy. ;)

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17 comment(s):

Blogger Ladybug said...

I love Scottish Romance too. There's something about Scottish men that is just irresistible. It's the accent and the way they do things, very manly *sigh*.

Regarding my favorite Scottish Romances: Julie Garwood - The Bride, The Wedding, The Secret.
Marsha Canham - Midnight Honor, Blood of Roses, Pride of Lions. And... the Outlander series. :P

4/16/2007 11:04:00 AM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

I love that picture with the guy in kilt and boots - very sexy!

4/16/2007 11:05:00 AM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

I have to agree about the English heroes. Don't get me wrong, I love historical romances set in England but you have to admit, unlike Scottish lairds, they don't have all that aristocratic stuffiness you can expect on a titled hero.

As for Scottish books:
All of JG's
Kinley MacGregor - Born in Sin
KMcG - Charming the Highlander

4/16/2007 11:27:00 AM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

The only Scottish romance novels I've read are JG's. Yes, they are all the same LOL but they are so good it doesn't matter :D I luurve them. My fave is Saving Grace.

As for Outlander: Well, what can I say? I get as slick as a waterweed every time I think of the hunkalicious Jamie Fraser *LOL*

4/16/2007 01:03:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

As for why I like them? The men in JG's books are all smart and protective and they never agree with their wives and growl and protest to no end, but in the end, they do whatever is in their powers to make them happy.

Plus they are very good in bed LOL

What's not to like?

4/16/2007 01:06:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Except for THE WEDDING (hate the stupid heroine!) I love all of JG's Scots. *sigh* My fave's got to be SAVING GRACE. Oh Gabriel.. *sigh* just his name makes me shudder LOL. THE BRIDE too i love. I want to say HONOR'S SPLENDOR but i think neither the hero nor the heroine is a Scot..

I have to mention A KINGDOM OF DREAMS by McNaught. Royce isn't a Scot but Jennifer is so it's still a Scottish romance. Anyway, i love love love AKOD. I've read that book as many as i did SW and every time, wow, it's still THAT good.

4/16/2007 01:25:00 PM  

Blogger raspberry swyrl said...

Just going to say that while I agree about the landscape, I certainly did not find any lustful,hot scottish warriors when I lived there.

4/16/2007 02:01:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

Dragonfly in Amber- better than Outlander

The Bride- my favorite Garwood and what hooked me on Scotland

The Immortal Highlander by KM Moning- I love Adam Black!

The Legend MacKinnon by Donna Kauffman- one of the best romance I've ever read

4/16/2007 04:44:00 PM  

Blogger Marg said...

Karen Marie Moning, Kinley MacGregor and yes, Outlander are some of the reasons why I love Scottish heroes! Yumm!

4/16/2007 05:01:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Julie Garwood, Kinley MacGregor, Connie Brockway's MacClairen's trilogy, and Outlander!

Personally, I think JG's Scottish romances are the best.

4/16/2007 07:36:00 PM  

Anonymous Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

Believe it or not, have only read one Scottish romance and the was just recently. Due to a CRUEL April's Fools joke, I read OUTLANDER.

D.Gabaldon sure does know how to go into detail that puts a person to sleep. She writes about stuff that is unimportant to the storyline. Did she get paid by the word? Also, the hero is a woman beater who got a sever case of karma after he put the hurtin' on the heroine's (adultress) arse the villain put a hurtin' on his ;)

If someone could recommend a good Scot book I would be more than happy to read it.

4/16/2007 10:56:00 PM  

Blogger Aradia said...

I just saw this post! Thanks for the enlightment Harlot! :)
When I think of Scotland I think of beautiful landscape and all the legends. I also love the history of the Celts and those supposed Fay people hidden in the hills.
Unfortunately I haven’t read any of the books you girls named. (I’m more into paranormal romances) but I definitely see the attraction of a ragged knight who owns a castle (lake view please! :D). As for kilts, nope, sorry, doesn’t rock my boat!
Scottish romances I recommend:
“Men in kilts” and “Hard day knights” by Katie MacAlister
“The Scot, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by Annette Blair
“The Silver Bough” by Lisa Tuttle

4/17/2007 02:49:00 AM  

Anonymous Gabrielle said...

I cant believe this post got posted when it did. I just started reading The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning. I like the Scottish romances. They're good. Im not ready to decide on what I think of this one though. Im only a few chapters in so Im going to reserve judgement

4/17/2007 04:43:00 AM  

Blogger Menchie said...

It's the roughness, the brogue, the way they are almost always portrayed as devilish.

My fave are the Mackeltars of karen marie moning -- those twins! And Adam Black, of course! Yummmmmmmy!!!!

4/17/2007 09:04:00 AM  

Anonymous luci said...

I don't think I ever read any romances with scottish heros, but this blog certainly got me a hankering to do so asap.

4/17/2007 02:42:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Scottish heroes are the best. Unlike their English counterpart, they're not afraid to show affection. Unlike an English gentleman, a Scot don't think of his wife only for the production of his heirs.

I wish Julie Garwood is still writing Scottish historicals. The Bride is my favorite ;)

4/17/2007 02:48:00 PM  

Anonymous Desiree said...

It's everything: Scotland itself, the lairds and warriors, the kilt, the brogue, the magic. My favorite is the Outlander series... ;)

4/19/2007 06:16:00 PM