Canadian Romance

Robert Runte asked about a Canadian romance genre. No, there isn’t one, though we do have a website:
Canadian Romance Authors. You can check out the wide-ranging talents and locations.

There are myths and truths about Canadian settings for romances. By force of population alone, most of our readers are from the US and it’s believed in some quarters that US readers don’t want to read Canadian set books. One reason put forward is that we’re seen as too nice and our country as too pleasant. Not a bad thing, all in all.

There is some truth when it comes to historicals. Our west was settled with more order and administration than the American west thanks to the Mounties. We didn’t have a revolution or a civil war. Though we’ve come close, depending on how you define it. Most of the strife has come from spill-over from European wars or from a few attempts by the US to “persuade” Canadians that they really wanted to throw off the shackles of British rule. I mention one in The Rogue’s Return. If I hadn’t been tied to an 1816 date by the continuing story line of the Rogues books, I’d have set the story during the invasion of 1812-1813 when York, where the book opens, was captured and largely burned. Simon was there, but alas I couldn’t do much with it.

So most romance novels are not set in Canada. After all, there aren’t any Canadian publishers keen to buy love stories set in Canada as far as I can tell. Harlequin doesn’t seem to be considered a true Canadian publisher — perhaps because it publishes love stories. Not in Canada, eh?

We Canadian Authors have a page on Canadian-set romances, however, and some of them are not by Canadian authors.

I write books set in England because I’m English, born and educated, with a degree in English History from Keele University, Staffordshire, and that’s what interests me most. Since coming to Canada 30 years ago, I’ve wanted to write a book at least partially set in Canada. I expected it to be Halifax, which was a very interesting place in Georgian and Regency times, but it ended up being York/Toronto simply because it was. You can’t argue with the muse.

BTW, you do all know that Superman is Canadian, don’t you? And that Gotham is Toronto?
Read all about it here.

Jo 🙂

39 thoughts on “Canadian Romance”

  1. Hi Jo,
    Thanks for the Superman story! And for The Rogue’s Return — I love the Canadian setting in that book. Hope you’re enjoying this gorgeous Canada Day!
    Lee

    Reply
  2. Hi Jo,
    Thanks for the Superman story! And for The Rogue’s Return — I love the Canadian setting in that book. Hope you’re enjoying this gorgeous Canada Day!
    Lee

    Reply
  3. Hi Jo,
    Thanks for the Superman story! And for The Rogue’s Return — I love the Canadian setting in that book. Hope you’re enjoying this gorgeous Canada Day!
    Lee

    Reply
  4. I certainly would enjoy books with a Canadian setting, but perhaps that’s because I don’t live all that far away here in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. While I can’t recall having read any romances other than Jo’s wonderful Rogue’s Return with a Canadian setting, I have read a number of mysteries that take place there, either entirely or in part.
    Just last night I began reading The Orkney Scroll, the latest in Lara McClintoch archaeological mystery series by Lyn Hamilton, which begins in Toronto where Lara owns an antique store. Also, several of Sue Henry’s Jessie Arnold mysteries are set at least partly in Canada.
    Happy Canada Day to all Canadians!

    Reply
  5. I certainly would enjoy books with a Canadian setting, but perhaps that’s because I don’t live all that far away here in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. While I can’t recall having read any romances other than Jo’s wonderful Rogue’s Return with a Canadian setting, I have read a number of mysteries that take place there, either entirely or in part.
    Just last night I began reading The Orkney Scroll, the latest in Lara McClintoch archaeological mystery series by Lyn Hamilton, which begins in Toronto where Lara owns an antique store. Also, several of Sue Henry’s Jessie Arnold mysteries are set at least partly in Canada.
    Happy Canada Day to all Canadians!

    Reply
  6. I certainly would enjoy books with a Canadian setting, but perhaps that’s because I don’t live all that far away here in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. While I can’t recall having read any romances other than Jo’s wonderful Rogue’s Return with a Canadian setting, I have read a number of mysteries that take place there, either entirely or in part.
    Just last night I began reading The Orkney Scroll, the latest in Lara McClintoch archaeological mystery series by Lyn Hamilton, which begins in Toronto where Lara owns an antique store. Also, several of Sue Henry’s Jessie Arnold mysteries are set at least partly in Canada.
    Happy Canada Day to all Canadians!

    Reply
  7. Hi Jo
    It’s always fun to read Canadian settings. Vanessa Grant’s books always make me homesick for good ol’ BC again. 🙂 Happy Canada Day from the Northwest Territories!
    Laura

    Reply
  8. Hi Jo
    It’s always fun to read Canadian settings. Vanessa Grant’s books always make me homesick for good ol’ BC again. 🙂 Happy Canada Day from the Northwest Territories!
    Laura

    Reply
  9. Hi Jo
    It’s always fun to read Canadian settings. Vanessa Grant’s books always make me homesick for good ol’ BC again. 🙂 Happy Canada Day from the Northwest Territories!
    Laura

    Reply
  10. Happy Canada Day!
    – from a former professor at Keele University, now living in London, Ontario.
    Yes, Canadian settings are so unusual, aren’t they? I really did enjoy the Canadian history in TRR, especially as I know that stretch of territory between York (Toronto) and the St Laurence Seaway.

    Reply
  11. Happy Canada Day!
    – from a former professor at Keele University, now living in London, Ontario.
    Yes, Canadian settings are so unusual, aren’t they? I really did enjoy the Canadian history in TRR, especially as I know that stretch of territory between York (Toronto) and the St Laurence Seaway.

    Reply
  12. Happy Canada Day!
    – from a former professor at Keele University, now living in London, Ontario.
    Yes, Canadian settings are so unusual, aren’t they? I really did enjoy the Canadian history in TRR, especially as I know that stretch of territory between York (Toronto) and the St Laurence Seaway.

    Reply
  13. Jo, one of the things I liked best about The Return of the Rogue was the Canadian setting of the first part. It was one of the things that made the book memorable and marked Simon’s story as distinctly his own.
    Didn’t Jane Aiken Hodge have a book set in Canada or with a Canadian character? I haven’t read Hodge in decades, but I seem to connect one of her books with the War of 1812.

    Reply
  14. Jo, one of the things I liked best about The Return of the Rogue was the Canadian setting of the first part. It was one of the things that made the book memorable and marked Simon’s story as distinctly his own.
    Didn’t Jane Aiken Hodge have a book set in Canada or with a Canadian character? I haven’t read Hodge in decades, but I seem to connect one of her books with the War of 1812.

    Reply
  15. Jo, one of the things I liked best about The Return of the Rogue was the Canadian setting of the first part. It was one of the things that made the book memorable and marked Simon’s story as distinctly his own.
    Didn’t Jane Aiken Hodge have a book set in Canada or with a Canadian character? I haven’t read Hodge in decades, but I seem to connect one of her books with the War of 1812.

    Reply
  16. Good points, Jo. However I’d love to see more set locally. I truly do love books with Canadian flavour — and that’s why I set my first two Silhouette Intimate Moments in Canada … the first in a town modeled on Whistler, and the second on Vancouver Island. I do think it helps, however, if there is a global or U.S. relevance to them — makes for an easier sell in the majority market, perhaps?
    And yep, I too was inspired by local authors like Vanessa Grant. It was when a review copy of TO LANEY WITH LOVE by Joyce Sullivan — set in Whistler and Ottawa, if I recall correctly — showed up in our Whistler newsroom, that I was truly inspired (hey — it was a WHISTLER setting!!) and finally sat myself down to try a romance of my own … set in a town like my own 🙂
    And seeing as it’s Canada Day and all … I want to say a big thank you to those Canuck authors who have inspired the likes of myself *VBG*

    Reply
  17. Good points, Jo. However I’d love to see more set locally. I truly do love books with Canadian flavour — and that’s why I set my first two Silhouette Intimate Moments in Canada … the first in a town modeled on Whistler, and the second on Vancouver Island. I do think it helps, however, if there is a global or U.S. relevance to them — makes for an easier sell in the majority market, perhaps?
    And yep, I too was inspired by local authors like Vanessa Grant. It was when a review copy of TO LANEY WITH LOVE by Joyce Sullivan — set in Whistler and Ottawa, if I recall correctly — showed up in our Whistler newsroom, that I was truly inspired (hey — it was a WHISTLER setting!!) and finally sat myself down to try a romance of my own … set in a town like my own 🙂
    And seeing as it’s Canada Day and all … I want to say a big thank you to those Canuck authors who have inspired the likes of myself *VBG*

    Reply
  18. Good points, Jo. However I’d love to see more set locally. I truly do love books with Canadian flavour — and that’s why I set my first two Silhouette Intimate Moments in Canada … the first in a town modeled on Whistler, and the second on Vancouver Island. I do think it helps, however, if there is a global or U.S. relevance to them — makes for an easier sell in the majority market, perhaps?
    And yep, I too was inspired by local authors like Vanessa Grant. It was when a review copy of TO LANEY WITH LOVE by Joyce Sullivan — set in Whistler and Ottawa, if I recall correctly — showed up in our Whistler newsroom, that I was truly inspired (hey — it was a WHISTLER setting!!) and finally sat myself down to try a romance of my own … set in a town like my own 🙂
    And seeing as it’s Canada Day and all … I want to say a big thank you to those Canuck authors who have inspired the likes of myself *VBG*

    Reply
  19. Jane Aiken Hodge’s HERE COMES A CANDLE started in Canada, with an Englishwoman rescued by an American from an attack on a Loyalist home; but it continued in the USA, I think.
    I suspect Harlequin isn’t considered a Canadian publisher because it’s mostly reprinted Mills & Boon originals.
    Doesn’t L. M. Montgomery count? There are romances in a number of her books. Aside from the series, my favorite is THE BLUE CASTLE.
    And of course, there is the ultimate Canadian romance (not a book, though):
    http://www.movieposter.com/posters/archive/main/31/b70-15807

    Reply
  20. Jane Aiken Hodge’s HERE COMES A CANDLE started in Canada, with an Englishwoman rescued by an American from an attack on a Loyalist home; but it continued in the USA, I think.
    I suspect Harlequin isn’t considered a Canadian publisher because it’s mostly reprinted Mills & Boon originals.
    Doesn’t L. M. Montgomery count? There are romances in a number of her books. Aside from the series, my favorite is THE BLUE CASTLE.
    And of course, there is the ultimate Canadian romance (not a book, though):
    http://www.movieposter.com/posters/archive/main/31/b70-15807

    Reply
  21. Jane Aiken Hodge’s HERE COMES A CANDLE started in Canada, with an Englishwoman rescued by an American from an attack on a Loyalist home; but it continued in the USA, I think.
    I suspect Harlequin isn’t considered a Canadian publisher because it’s mostly reprinted Mills & Boon originals.
    Doesn’t L. M. Montgomery count? There are romances in a number of her books. Aside from the series, my favorite is THE BLUE CASTLE.
    And of course, there is the ultimate Canadian romance (not a book, though):
    http://www.movieposter.com/posters/archive/main/31/b70-15807

    Reply
  22. Hi Jo,
    We are such a large country that it is amazing that more writers haven’t used Canadain settings.
    However, over the past few months, I have noted that more books set in Canada seem to be breaking through.
    Jodie

    Reply
  23. Hi Jo,
    We are such a large country that it is amazing that more writers haven’t used Canadain settings.
    However, over the past few months, I have noted that more books set in Canada seem to be breaking through.
    Jodie

    Reply
  24. Hi Jo,
    We are such a large country that it is amazing that more writers haven’t used Canadain settings.
    However, over the past few months, I have noted that more books set in Canada seem to be breaking through.
    Jodie

    Reply
  25. Thanks for all the comments. There certainly are plenty of great Canadian-set romances.
    I’ve included in the draw any here that send Canada Day wishes, because that part of the contest rules wasn’t completely clear.
    The winner will appear as a new main message.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  26. Thanks for all the comments. There certainly are plenty of great Canadian-set romances.
    I’ve included in the draw any here that send Canada Day wishes, because that part of the contest rules wasn’t completely clear.
    The winner will appear as a new main message.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  27. Thanks for all the comments. There certainly are plenty of great Canadian-set romances.
    I’ve included in the draw any here that send Canada Day wishes, because that part of the contest rules wasn’t completely clear.
    The winner will appear as a new main message.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  28. Great minds with but a single thought! I was on the road yesterday and didn’t get a chance to read your blog until I had posted mine – but what a commonality of concepts.
    But you’re right. Think Canadian romance and you come up with Nelson Eddy or Dudley Doright.
    (big ol’ grin)

    Reply
  29. Great minds with but a single thought! I was on the road yesterday and didn’t get a chance to read your blog until I had posted mine – but what a commonality of concepts.
    But you’re right. Think Canadian romance and you come up with Nelson Eddy or Dudley Doright.
    (big ol’ grin)

    Reply
  30. Great minds with but a single thought! I was on the road yesterday and didn’t get a chance to read your blog until I had posted mine – but what a commonality of concepts.
    But you’re right. Think Canadian romance and you come up with Nelson Eddy or Dudley Doright.
    (big ol’ grin)

    Reply
  31. Kate Bridges has a great Canadian Mountie series in harlequin historicals right now, and Harlequin Superromance has published some great books set in Canada.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  32. Kate Bridges has a great Canadian Mountie series in harlequin historicals right now, and Harlequin Superromance has published some great books set in Canada.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  33. Kate Bridges has a great Canadian Mountie series in harlequin historicals right now, and Harlequin Superromance has published some great books set in Canada.
    -Michelle

    Reply

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