Interview with beloved historical romance blog host/reviewer Carol Cork…

What better way to start the new year? I’m thrilled to present Ms. Carol Cork, the iconic historical romance reviewer/blog host that so many of us love and enjoy. She’s provided dozens of wonderful posts introducing us to books, reviews, culture, and history. This year on my blog I’m reaching out to authors, blog hosts, and readers to find out what we love about historical fiction. Have a great weekend!


Photo of me


Tell us a little about your background—where you grew up—and your career.

I grew up in Walsall, a large industrial town in the West Midlands of England. It’s about 8 miles northwest of the City of Birmingham. I had always wanted to be a teacher and so, when I left grammar school, I started a three year training course at the local Teachers’ Training College. After a year and a half, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t working for me. I had no idea what I wanted to do and, in the meantime, I took a temporary job at the local Inland Revenue office but ended up staying there for 21 years! I later worked in the Tax Departments of various accountants’ offices until I retired.


How old were you when you read your first romance? Which one?

In my teens, I read lots of Barbara Cartland books but, gradually, over the years, I started to read crime novels. I think it was in the early 2000s that I was looking for something a little lighter to read for a complete change. Wandering around a bookshop in Birmingham one day, I picked up a book called Whitney, My Love by Judith MacNaught…thus started my love of Historical Romance.


Who are your favorite romance authors?

Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Hoyt, Tessa Dare, Loretta Chase, Julia Quinn, Jennifer Ashley, Victoria Vane, Anna Campbell, Courtney Milan, Lila DiPasqua, Teresa Medeiros, Lorraine Heath and J. R. Ward (I don’t normally read Paranormal Romances but I’m hooked on the Black Dagger Brotherhood series). I’m adding to the list all the time as I discover new authors.


What are your top five romance books of all time?

It’s difficult to restrict the list to five but here goes.

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Again The Magic by Lisa Kleypas
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith MacNaught
The Duke by Gaelen Foley
The Lady’s Tutor by Robin Schone


Do you have a favorite quote? What is it?

I love this one from Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. Colin Bridgerton is one of my favourite heroes.

“I love you with everything I am, everything I’ve been, and everything I hope to be. I love you with my past, and I love you for my future. I love you for the children we’ll have and for the years we’ll have together. I love you for every one of my smiles and even more, for every one of your smiles.” 


What’s your favorite romantic movie?

An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. The final scene always makes me cry.




What’s the most romantic place you’ve ever visited?

Definitely Paris.


What’s the most romantic era/setting for romance books?

It has to be the Regency era.


How long does it take for you to read a great book?

On average, it takes me about 2 days to read a book.




How many books do you read a year?

I keep a reading log on Goodreads and I read 54 books in 2013, 47 in 2012 and 40 in 2011.


Tell us a bit about your blog. What inspired you to start it? What are your future plans for your blog?

Every time I read a great historical romance, I was excited to share all my thoughts and feelings with someone. Unfortunately, the only someone around was my husband, who would just sit there with this glazed look in his eyes. So I knew I had to find some way of reaching people who shared my love of historical romance. I toyed with the idea of creating my own blog but knew absolutely nothing about how to set one up or even running one. But with my husband and son’s support and assistance, Rakes and Rascals went live in September 2012. I can’t believe how successful it has been and I have made so many wonderful friends and discovered some great new authors. 2014 is going to be an exciting year because I have some fabulous author interviews and guest posts lined up.


If you could interview any author, who would it be?

I’d love to interview Elizabeth Hoyt because I’m a huge fan of her Maiden Lane series.


What questions would you ask?

I would ask her…

What inspired her to write a series set against the backdrop of the seamier side of London?
Were all the main characters formulated in her mind before she started writing?
Does she have a favourite hero in the series?


As a reader/reviewer, what advice would you offer aspiring writers seeking that 5 Star review?

This quote from one of my stellar 5* reviews sums up perfectly what I look for…

You made me laugh; you made me cry; you made me blush; you made me sigh.


What’s your biggest pet peeve in books?

An arrogant, overbearing Alpha hero with no redemptive qualities at all.


Any general words of wisdom you’d like to share?

I remember my dad saying that you should ‘owe a bit, spend a bit and save a bit’ and I think these are very wise words to live by.


You can visit Carol’s blog at…

Thank you so much for visiting us today, Carol. We look forward to another wonderful year on your blog.





23 thoughts on “Interview with beloved historical romance blog host/reviewer Carol Cork…

  1. carolcork says:

    Violetta, thank you so much for having me on your blog today,

  2. ki pha says:

    Fabulous interview Ladies! I’m so glad that I now know a little bit more about you Carol. I’m also happy you created your blog because you were one of my very first blogger friends. 🙂

    Keep up the great work and I’m looking forward to all those author interviews and more in 2014.

    • carolcork says:

      Thank you so much, Ki. I’m hoping through Violetta’s interviews to learn more about my fellow bloggers and readers too.

      I’m excited that some fabulous authors have agreed to do interviews or guest posts, this year!

  3. This is a fantastic interview! I have loved Carol’s blog from the first time I came across it. When I need a book recommendation Carol is one of the people I can always count on to help me find a great read. I look forward to reading more reviews in 2014.

  4. That was a wonderful interview. Good job, ladies!! I tweeted and shared on FB.

  5. carolcork says:

    Thank you for sharing, Ella!

  6. I loved your chat, Carol !
    Lord of Scoundrels and The Lady’s Tutor are two of my favorite romances as well! I also began with Barbara Cartland in my early teens and then moved on to Georgtette Heyer. After that I got more into gothic novels- Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. Then I didn’t read much of anything for about 20 years. Around 2005 I picked up Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros and then I was hooked once more!
    I’m so happy to know people like you who are so passionate about the romance genre. It’s a wonderful feeling to read (or to write) a great love story. 🙂

    • carolcork says:

      Thank you, Victoria. Yours Until Dawn is in my list of all time favourite books as well. I’ve met so many people who are passionate about romance since I started blogging.

  7. Terrific interview, Carol. I find I only read two of your “top 5” so I’ve written them down and will put them on the TBR list. You read 54 books in 2013, I think that averages to about one a week and I envy that number. My new year resolution is to cut back on my reading, yes, I said cut back, when I read 3 books a week they start to run together and I’m not enjoying each as well as I could. You are an inspiration in many ways.

    • carolcork says:

      Thank you, Dot. I hope you enjoy the other books. I’m a fairly slow reader and that’s probably not a bad thing. I can take the time to really engross myself in a book and really enjoy it. I don’t think I’ve ever been anyone’s inspiration before…what a lovely thing to say. 🙂

  8. C.D. Hersh says:

    Very interesting interview. Agree that we all want the 5* comment of that type. As a writing team Donald reads and reviews the majority of the books in a year, 31 since July. We’re in a slow period waiting on edits on our second book and ploting the third in our series. Trying to keep up with social media is our most dificult task.

  9. Sandra Owens says:

    Enjoyed the interview Carol and Violetta. Carol, I’ve read four of the five books on your list and agree that they should be on a favorites list. Now I’m off to check out The Lady’s Tutor. Somehow I missed that one.

  10. What a fun interiew! I started out ready Barbara Cartland too and I totaly agree about Paris. Except when I went, we had a student get lost.

    • carolcork says:

      Thank you, Collette. I remember on my first visit to Paris taking an evening boat trip on the Seine including a wonderful three course meal. It was so romantic with beautiful views of places like Notre Dame. Regrettably, it was before I met my husband and I was with a female friend from work. I did go again some years later with my husband.

  11. Sharlene Wegner says:

    Great interview! I am a follower of Carol’s blog & count on her for historical romance recommendations! Hi, Carol!

  12. Glenda says:

    Hi Carol! Great interview! I follow your blog and you have helped me decide to add quite a few books to my wish list. 🙂 Thanks for all your great posts!

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