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Ready Set Go: Historical Women in Trousers!

Time again for one of the most challenging recommendation features we have: READY, SET, GO!

Here are the rules:

We pick a specific sub-genre, trope, or type of romance, and we have to make ONE recommendation for that type.

And no more than two sentences as to why.

Just One.

And our theme this month?

This month: Historical Women in Trousers!

Once spotted regularly in old skool romances where the back cover copy used words like “hoyden” or “hellion,” or perhaps lurking in stories featuring Sad Historical Businessmen, the Historical Women in Trousers wear, well, trousers.

Maybe they’ve eschewed tradition, maybe it’s wardrobe shorthand for an assortment of traits (see above, re: hoydenish hellions) or maybe they’re challenging gender limitations or assignments. They’ve got a pair of trousers and they wear them.

Your challenge: Name one book that you recommend that fits this type.

What Romance Featuring Historical Women in Trousers Would you Recommend?

Any genre, but just one rec!

Ready, set, GO!

Sarah: I won’t even go first so you have ample titles to choose from.

Tara: Can they be passing as a man?

Sarah: For sure, yes. Only requirement is historical, trousers.

Tara:  Well then, mine is The Covert Captain by Jeannelle M. Ferreira.

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It has a woman who’s been passing by a man for a damn long time and was a Captain who fought for England against France. She falls for the sister of her former commanding officer and there’s a very big, “Oh, whoa, how is this going to go when the sister finds out?”

Turns out, it goes very well in the end.

Claudia: Definitely plenty to choose from although this theme is hit-or-miss for me; I waffle between buying it and not and almost prefer when the disguise is obvious to begin with.

I’ll go with Sea Change by Darlene Marshall, with bonus points for being set on a tall ship and the caveat that I read it a while back and I’m unsure if it stands the test of time.

Sarah: That book was a Smart Bitches Book Club selection back in 2011 (OH MY GOSH TEN YEARS AGO WHAT IS TIME)! Good choice, there.

Shana: I feel like if we’re doing women in pants, we should do men in skirts next. This has nothing to do with my feelings about kilts.

Sarah: Agreed.

Shana: I have a soft spot for Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean.

Part of the pleasure is reading the first few books in the series, and discovering that the mysterious owner of a famous gaming club is secretly a woman.

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Shana: I also feel like there’s a LOT of Beverly Jenkins books with heroines in pants.

Sarah: Definitely – that was going to be one of my picks.

Lara: The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell features an art student who wears pants. She’s a secondary character, but I loved her so much!

Sarah: Ok, so my pick has Historical Woman in Trousers on the cover! It’s almost like cheating.

Beverly Jenkins’ latest book, Wild Rain, features Spring, a woman who “runs her own ranch, wears denim pants instead of dresses, and is the most fascinating woman [Colton’s] ever met.”

*fans self* I do love a story where the heroine has to be convinced that changing her plans and adding a romantic partnership to her life isn’t a terrible idea (though it is often a pain in the ass).

I’m also a total jerkbundle because this book isn’t out until 9 February 2021, but it’s lovely and full of *sigh* competence.

What about you? What historical romance featuring a heroine in trousers would you recommend? Remember: ONE REC. JUST ONE.

Ready, set, go!  

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