So I guess not like Outlander at all.
Anyway, I've spent the last couple of days reading Kilgannon and its sequel, The Wild Rose of Kilgannon by Kathleen Givens and I totally recommend it!
The genre is period romantic fiction (not enough romance and too much history to qualify as a romance novel, but more of a focus on relationships and domestic matters than in a typical 'pure' historical novel) and I adore it.
The books are set in 1714-1716 and follow its protagonist, Mary Lowell, an upper-class Englishwoman who marries Alexander McGannon, a Scottish nobleman who throws his lot with the Old Pretender in the Rebellion of 1715.
The first book ends with the start of the Rebellion and the second book deals with its aftermath. I loved the first book, in which Mary and Alexander meet, court (since it's a historical novel and not a romance one, they are married by less than a halfway point), and she adjusts to the life in Scotland while trying to solve who is wishing to murder her husband. But I was obsessed with the sequel, in which Mary has to face the fact that her husband has picked the losing side and conducts a fight for his life, pulling on all her social connections and less savory ones, while knowing he might be executed at any time.
So, why do I love the books? The protagonists. Maybe it's because I've been reading books with overwrought people lately, but both Mary and Alexander are so normal. They are both well-adjusted, good people with a strong marriage, who just happen to live in some screwed-up times. One of the examples? Alex is a widower with two children from the past marriage and his dead wife is neither some tragic love story (I hate when heroes have some past great loves) nor some evil harpy - she's just a woman he married in an arrangement, and they didn't care for each other, but they didn't hate each other or anything. Mary and Alex actually talk when misunderstandings occur, they apologize, and they don't play games. Common sense! How I love it!
Alex is awesome - he's smart and tough and used to getting his own way but he's no high-handed alpha hero bossing the heroine. And I adore Mary. The novels are in first person and normally I dislike that, but here I do not. Mary is neither a Mary Sue nor the high-strung, shallow wish-fulfillment for the reader. She is a common-sense (yes, I am using that word again), smart, competent woman with a spine of pure steel. She is largely prosaic (one of the things she loves about her marriage is keeping accounts for her husband's estate), she listens to dictates of society because it would not be good t be ostracised, but can overturn them when it's important. And she really really loves her husband. If there was one thing that these books convinced me of is that. But when she thinks he's dead, she doesn't pull a Bella - she pulls herself together because she needs to take care of the children. She is fearless and awesome. I am not sure I'd want her for a buddy (she is not whimsical enough), but I'd love her for a mother or a sister. She'd have my back no matter what.
My favorite scene is when she is in the courtroom when Alex is convicted of treason. Mmmmmmmm.
Oh, and no spoiler, the books have a happy ending. Hooray! I would have been PISSED if Alex was executed and she was left to raise three children (his and theirs) alone.
Anyway, if you are looking for a good bit of romantic historical fiction, check these out.