Just finished re-reading some of Louis L'Amour's Sackett series. One thing I really admire about L'Amour: he can give you the flavor of down home speech without resorting to phonetic nightmare Hicksville. You'll find no character saying, "Wal, Ah figgered yew wuz out thar, cuz Ah smelt yer purty toilet water."
For those who aren't familiar with the Sacketts, they are a family of noble character, if not noble birth, in Tennessee. L'Amour has written about the first Sackett, in England in the 1700's (I think, don't have the book with me) coming to America, and most of the successive generations to the late 1800's. The main family traits are not backing away from any fight, following their honor code, and family loyalty. In the extreme. Any Sackett can call on another Sackett for help, even if the twice-removed cousins have never met. If you're family, you're taken care of.
I like family sagas; watching the generational ebb and flow. Romance is filled with them because families are guaranteed sequels. Any unattached siblings or cousins are automatic sequel fodder, especially if they proclaim they'll never marry. But they are also one area where romance tends to fall flat- when the couple who has been featured in a previous book appears, all is sunshine and light. I'm supposing no one wants to mess with the HEA, but I think an exploration of the happy couple after the wedding or the baby is interesting. I want to see how they're doing. I may want to be sure they'll make up after the fight, but I wouldn't mind witnessing the marital spat.
Lori Wick, a Christian inspirational writer, did a Western historical story where the heroine and hero married young and were separated. When they got back together, he was a Christian and she wasn't. But by the end of the book, the heroine hadn't changed her mind. I was sure we were going to get a salvation scene, but it never came and I was floored. The couple was referenced in another book, 20 years later. They were still happy together, but she was still unsaved. Very brave choice, and one I didn't see coming. I loved meeting the couple again; it certainly didn't ruin my enjoyment of the original tale.
What about you? Do you like reading about dynasties, royal or common?