R is for Regency Romance. These romances are a subgenre of romance novels which are set during the English Regency or early 19th century. They are not simply contemporary romance stories transported to a historical setting, rather they have their own plot and conventions that derive from the works of Jane Austen and the novel of manners. More traditional Regencies feature a great deal of witty, fast-paced dialog between the protagonists and very little explicit sex or discussion of sex.
My favorite Regency Romance novelist is Georgette Heyer. While I am obviously fond of her mystery novels (and actually discovered them first), I also have a great fondness for her historical romances. Heyer was a detailed researcher and it shows in her novels. I not only love the play between her characters, but I thoroughly enjoy the way she gets her history right. So far, my favorite of her Regency novels is The Nonesuch, followed closely by Arabella.
In The Nonesuch: Sir Waldo Hawkridge, known in London society as 'the Nonesuch' for his sporting abilities and perfect manners, is obliged to go into Yorkshire to inspect a property that he has just inherited. Sir Waldo is a very wealthy and philanthropic man, and intends to renovate the house to turn it into yet another of his charity orphanages. While there, he meets Tiffany Wield, a positively dazzling young heiress who is entirely selfish and possessed of a frightful temper, as well as her far more elegant companion-governess, Ancilla Trent. While Waldo's young cousin, Lord Lindeth, falls in and out of love with the young ladies of the neighborhood, Waldo must convince the practical Miss Trent that it is not above her station as a governess to fall in love with him.