Monday, April 04, 2016

Male on Monday: How Do You Like Your Carnality: Restrained or Unrestrained?

PHS Columnist and Harlequin Historical author Nicole Locke answers - I'm gonna have both.

How do you like your carnality: restrained or unrestrained? Or should I say, how do you like your historical romance: Regency or Medieval?

I love writing historical romance, not only because of gruesome facts and gorgeous clothes. I love it for the myriad of ways the hero and heroine can fall in love. Not just in matters of the heart, but in the carnal ways given the social boundaries of the period.
And oh, boy are there delicious boundaries to write about. 
I adore Regency for its restrained carnality. For the sheer tension between a man and a woman, which is heightened by  social constraints. So minutely tightened and forbidden are these restraints that a glimpse of a woman’s wrist could be deemed erotic.

But the forbidden doesn’t only restrain the attraction between the characters. When love is involved, what makes every reader turn the page just that bit faster is the uncurbed utter longing in that glimpse.

You see, the social boundaries of the time may contain the clothing and manners, but sheer want knows no such bonds.

So which Male on Monday gives the best restrained carnality? Without a doubt, Mathew Macfadyen in Pride and Prejudice.  

If I adore Regency, why do I write Medieval? One word: Ferocity.
We live in an age of ease. Where we can have food on the table with a tap of a finger. So why are modern women devouring books describing the roaring of battles won and lost or the savage flare of mortality? Why do our hearts skip at the fragility and yet, piercing strength of love when it's found in such wildness? I'll give a hint: it's the reason we shiver with delight at A Game of Thrones and Vikings. Unrestrained carnality.
Because as much as women love restraint and manners, we also crave urgency and intensity. After all, not so long ago we lived in the Medieval period.  
It’s when men fought and loved by the sword. When they purposely scarred and trained their bodies as weapons.

So what do you get when a man is nothing but muscle and training and sword? And this same man seethes with need for one woman? Ferocity.
What Male on Monday gives the best unrestrained carnality? Oh, this is a cruel question. Today, I'll say Ragnar from Vikings. Tomorrow, I may say Khal Drogo. I might even flipped forward to the Regency period.

Because in this modern age, readers and writers can revel in whatever historical romance they want. I certainly do.

So how do you like your Male on Monday: Restrained or Unrestrained? 
 --  Nicole (-:

Nicole's third book in the Lovers and Legends series, The Highland Laird's Bride, releases in May!

He wants to amend the past. She wants to kill him.
Lioslath of Clan Fergusson has defended her clan and her orphaned siblings against countless enemies. So when Laird Colquhoun, the man responsible for the death of her father, arrives at the gates of her crumbling keep, she'll fight him all the way!

It's soon clear Bram's famed tactics of seduction and negotiation won't work on this guarded, beautiful woman. But when the sparks between them turn to passion, and they're forced to wed, Bram must do whatever it takes to win over his new bride...

To find out more about Nicole Locke, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter.


  1. Great article. I veer from loving the rough and ready Medieval type who would get down and dirty in the longboat to the gentleman who would escort me round the orangery. Maybe it's a hormonal thing. I might track it for a couple of months to see what patterns emerge.

  2. There is within womanhood the basic desire that the male be in charge. She wants to be cherished for her innate femininity. She will fight to be in charge but wobetide the man who allows her to.