Gyspies in the Regency: New Romance from Collette Cameron


Note from Adrienne: Welcome to best-selling Regency Romance author, Collette Cameron, who has graciously written a post that shares her fascinating research into Gypsy customs. Collette’s new Romance, the Viscount’s Vow, is currently on tour. She’s raffling off a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook copy of Highlander’s Hope (the first book in her series) to one lucky commenter. So be sure to follow Collette and say "howdy" at each stop on her tour -- including this one! The more times you comment, the better your chance of winning. 


 A Gypsy Noblewoman

in Regency England

By Collette Cameron

The heroine in The Viscount’s Vow, Evangeline (Vangie) Caruthers, is a bit unusual for a Regency romance. Though she’s the daughter of a baronet, she’s also part Romani -- a gypsy princess, in fact.

The Viscounts Vow by Collette Cameron, Regency Romance, Gypsy Customs, Roma Customs I thought I’d share some of the interesting Romani culture tidbits I came across while doing my research. These were true in 1814, the year The Viscount’s Vow is set in. 

First, all Roma—that’s how they refer to themselves—have a Gadžo name, their Christian name, and a Roma name. Vangie’s Roma name is Zora. Gypsies vistas, or clans are ruled by a bandolier, who deals with the day-to-day issues that might come up. This person is chosen because of their maturity and wisdom. He is not the gypsy king.

Destiny and hearts collide

when scandal forces a nobleman

and a gypsy into a

marriage of convenience in

The Viscount’s Vow

I found contrasting information about divorce. Some sources claimed it was complex because of the bride price paid before the marriage. Others said that within the gypsy culture, if a woman leaves her husband, she’s divorced him and is free to marry another. I used this aspect in The Viscount’s Vow because no bride price was paid for Vangie, so the point was mute. Purity before marriage was strictly adhered to, which is in direct contrast to how the travelers, especially the women have been portrayed historically.

I was astounded to learn the rigorous customs the Roma adhere to regarding ceremonial cleanliness or pollution. For instance, they wouldn’t use a handkerchief because it’s unclean, and they were supposed to only wash in running water. Vangie has been raised as an English noblewoman who spends time with her Romani clan, so she does take baths. Part of her internal conflict is a result of the clash between her English and Roma heritage.

Collette Cameron, author of The Viscount's Vow, a Regency Romance, marriage of convenience, gypsy customsIan is accepted as a gaje, a Gypsy Friend, which essentially makes him an honorary Gypsy, and he is entitled to the hospitality and protection of the clan. It’s a good thing too, because he has an extended visit with the Roma after Vangie leaves him.

Gypsies are a blood family, and the only way for a gawdji (a non-gypsy) to become part of the family is to either be sponsored by a member of the clan, or travel with the gypsies for a time. Then the vista votes whether to accept the gawdji into the tribe. If a vote of consent is passed, an initiation ceremony must be undergone. Ian doesn’t ever go to this extent, because his time with the Roma is temporary.

One custom I found extremely fascinating is that when a gypsy woman is pregnant, she is cared for by the other women of the clan, and dear hubby takes over all her duties. There’s so much more I could share about these fascinating people, who were continually shunned and persecuted, but the final bit that honestly surprised me the most, was how many of the Roma tribes were devout Christians.

So there you are; a brief introduction to Romani culture and customs. You’ll find many more references to gypsy foods, dress, language, and laws in The Viscount’s Vow.  

The Viscount’s Vow

by Collette Cameron

Goddess Fish Partner

Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a nobleman and a gypsy to marry in this Regency Romance. Half Romani, half English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.

When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.

At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.

About Collette Cameron

Collette Cameron, author of The Viscount's Vow, a Regency Romance, marriage of convenience, gypsy customsA life-long Oregonian, Collette Cameron was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.

A voracious reader of romance since her teens, she even named her daughter after a heroine in her favorite romance novel. An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.

Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and went on to obtain her Master's Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc., and a whole slew of other author/writer groups.

Some of Collette's favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely! When she's not teaching or writing, she enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading of course.

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About Adrienne deWolfe

Adrienne deWolfe is the #1 bestselling author of action-packed Historical Romance, where feisty Heroines buck the conventions and true Heroes must be wickedly funny. Her greatest inspiration is nature, and the scene-stealers in her novels are often furry pranksters. Among her 48 writing awards, Adrienne has earned the Best Historical Romance of the Year. When she’s not writing, she’s mentoring aspiring authors, several of whom have become #1 bestsellers on Amazon. Adrienne also writes a fantasy and paranormal romance blog at Looking for sneak peeks from her novels? Visit

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35 Responses to “Gyspies in the Regency: New Romance from Collette Cameron”

  1. Natasha October 22, 2013 10:53 PM

    Sounds like a really good read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 10:55 PM

      LOL! Didn’t I just “chat” with you on my Magic and Mayhem Blog? Hugs!

  2. Chelsea B. October 22, 2013 9:32 PM

    How intriguing! This novel sounds all sorts of interesting.


    • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 9:50 PM

      Howdy, Chelsea! So glad you found us! I always loved the name, Chelsea. I named the first heroine I EVER WROTE “Chelsea.” Unfortunately, the book never got bought. (No accounting for taste, I suppose. . . ) Hugs!

    • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 10:42 PM

      Thanks, Chelsea. It’s certainly a step away from the traditional Regency. I seem to always to that!

  3. Heather Hiestand October 22, 2013 9:24 PM

    Fascinating information. Thank you for the post!

    • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 9:51 PM

      Welcome, Heather! Pleasant “gypsy dreams” to you tonight . . .

    • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 10:44 PM

      You’re welcome! Actually, we should be thanking Adrienne because without her willingness to host me, I wouldn’t be here.

  4. Eva Millien October 22, 2013 3:58 PM

    Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

    • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 4:04 PM

      Howdy, Eva! Nice to find you here again! Enjoy your day!

    • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 8:01 PM

      Hi Eva. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Rita Wray October 22, 2013 10:06 AM

    Sounds like a great read.

    • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 11:15 AM

      Well, as with any book, Rita, it’s all a matter of personal taste. I do have a few readers that wanted an epilogue and a few more chapters before the end.

      I think they’re like me, that don’t like a book to end.

      • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 2:42 PM

        Wow! You KNOW you’ve hooked a reader if you’re getting requests to EXTEND the story! Congrats, Collette! 🙂

        • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 3:41 PM

          Adrienne, hopefully, though I think some were truly disappointed with the ending. Writing the ending is actually the hardest part for me. I don’t want to say goodbye to my characters.

          • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 4:34 PM

            I hear ya. When I finished writing TEXAS WILDCAT (3rd and final book in WILD TEXAS NIGHTS series) I sat in front of the computer, stunned. No more Wes! No more Cord! I wanted to cry. Not knowing what to do with myself, I wrote a letter to my readers about DROUGHT, for pity’s sake, (which, coincidentally, was happening in Book 3 and Austin at the same time). I just couldn’t let my Rawlins brothers go. (And yeah, that letter got published in the novel. 🙂 )

    • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 2:43 PM

      It is! It is! (Thanks for stopping by.) Hugs! 🙂

  6. Karen H in NC October 22, 2013 8:11 AM

    Enjoyed watching the new book trailer for The Viscount’s Vow. Loved that music.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 8:24 AM

      Awesome! I’m sure Collette will be THRILLED! Thanks for sharing, Karen!

    • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 11:13 AM

      It’s called “Gypsy Love” Karen. How perfect is that?

  7. Mary Preston October 22, 2013 7:16 AM

    Just so fascinating thank you. Apart from a wonderful story, I’m going to learn about a culture I know little of.


    • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 7:36 AM

      Gypsies ARE totally awesome! And Collette does such a great job with hers! Thanks for stopping by.

      • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 8:05 AM

        Thanks Adrienne!
        And thank you for hosting today. I love your site!

    • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 8:04 AM

      I fell in love with the Roma while researching them.

    • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 3:42 PM

      Mary, its pretty unusual to include gypsies in a Regency…or highlanders. I did that in my first book. Maybe I’m a rebel?

      • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 4:14 PM

        Now all you need is a COWBOY in the Regency . . . (says the Western Historical author.) ::snicker:: I know: What if you re-wrote History a little, and some “survivor” of the Alamo time-travels back to the Regency?! Oh yeah. #1 Best-seller right there — and you heard about it here first, folks! (Ha!) Collette: I expect this masterpiece to be dedicated to me, of course . . .

    • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 8:02 PM

      That’s one of the reasons I write historicals, Mary. I’m always learning something new.

  8. Andra October 22, 2013 6:49 AM

    A gypsy heroine? How cool! What do you think about the crazyness happening in greece with the gypsy kids? Not much to do with romance…but it’s definitely a cool, albeit tragic, real life story!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 7:38 AM

      Gypsies are so misunderstood. That’s probably one of the reasons they never settle in one place for long . . . giving us that more generic definition of gypsy: a person who roams. Thanks for your comments!

      • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 8:07 AM

        I had so many misconceptions myself. Now I find myself wanting to advocate for the gypsy.

    • Collette Cameron October 22, 2013 8:06 AM

      I did see that Greece business. Everytime I see something about the Roma or gyspsies, I’m drawn to read it now. I do think I’ll be having some more Roma characters.

  9. Goddess Fish Promotions October 22, 2013 5:04 AM

    Thank you for hosting

    • Adrienne deWolfe October 22, 2013 7:39 AM

      My pleasure! I’m so fascinated by GYPSIES!!