Thanks to Valentine's Day, February is the month when all our fancies turn to romance. In reality, a lot of us are tired of being buried under snow drifts and thinking about murdering a certain groundhog in Pennsylvania. While many of us may have the winter blues, why take a trip to a more inspiring locale, courtesy of some historical romances that take you off the beaten path?
City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn
Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke never expected to see her husband, adventurer Gabriel Starke, ever again. They had been a golden couple, enjoying a whirlwind courtship amid the backdrop of a glittering social set in prewar London until his sudden death with the sinking of the Lusitania. Five years later, beginning to embrace life again, Evie embarks upon a flight around the world, collecting fame and admirers along the way. In the midst of her triumphant tour, she is shocked to receive a mysterious—and recent—photograph of Gabriel, which brings her ambitious stunt to a screeching halt.
With her eccentric aunt Dove in tow, Evie tracks the source of the photo to the ancient City of Jasmine, Damascus. There she discovers that nothing is as it seems. Danger lurks at every turn, and at stake is a priceless relic, an artifact once lost to time and so valuable that criminals will stop at nothing to acquire it—even murder. Leaving the jeweled city behind, Evie sets off across the punishing sands of the desert to unearth the truth of Gabriel's disappearance and retrieve a relic straight from the pages of history.
Along the way, Evie must come to terms with the deception that parted her from Gabriel and the passion that will change her destiny forever...
Barbarian Bride by Eva Scott
On the bloody ground of the Colosseum, she fights to save her life. In the treacherous boxes above, he fights to save their love.
Though Klara didn't love the man who was to be her husband, she didn't want him murdered, and she vows to track down the man who committed the crime. Sickened that she'd been attracted to the mysterious Roman, Klara tracks Lucius Aurelius to the fringes of the Roman Empire, only to find that they've both been trapped in a clever plot to overthrow Klara's father, the Chief of the Huns.
Klara is separated from Lucius, captured by slavers and sold to a gladiator school. She is the only one who can save herself, by fighting for her freedom. Lucius can ensure her battle is easier, but only by sacrificing himself. How much is he willing to give up for the fiery woman he's come to love?
Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford
Anne of Stamford has long been the keeper of her mistress's secrets, but when Lady Joan marries the king's son, court life becomes ever more perilous. Sir Nicholas Lovayne has arrived to uncover the truth about Lady Joan's past, and Anne must do something—anything—to throw him off….
Longing to escape the intrigues at court, Nicholas hasn't counted on the way Anne distracts him—her refusal to accept pity for her clubfoot touches something deep inside him. Will he be able to follow his duty when every fiber of his being tells him to protect Anne?
Walking on Air by Catherine Anderson
Random, Colorado, is just another stop on the road for solitary gunslinger Gabriel Valance. Known for his drinking, gambling, and womanizing, he prefers to remain a stranger to anyone who crosses his path. But when an upstart gunslinger catches Gabe off guard and shoots him down, he regrets his empty, lonely life with his dying breath....
Golden-haired beauty Nancy Hoffman settled in Random after fleeing an abusive past. Caring for her younger sister and working in a hat shop help her to forge ahead, though she remains fearful and mistrustful of men—and marriage....
Their paths will cross when Gabe gets a second chance at life and a divine mission: to sweep Nancy off her feet, gain her trust, and convince her to believe in his love. And in doing so, the once-hardened cowboy may save himself....
The Cowboy’s Reluctant Bride by Debra Cowan
If there's one thing Ivy Powell hates it's accepting help! But after receiving menacing threats she's left with no choice but to make a proposition to a ruggedly handsome cowboy. The only problem is Ivy's first marriage destroyed her trust in men, and walking down the aisle again isn't something she'll undertake lightly….
When Gideon Black is asked to protect Ivy, he knows he can't refuse his friend's request. And yet she makes him desire things he never even knew he wanted! But Gideon has hidden his dark past from Ivy. When the truth comes to light, will their hasty marriage vows be enough to keep them together?
England, With a Twist!
Gentleman Farmer Meets Actress!
At the Highwayman’s Pleasure by Sarah Mallory
Embittered by injustice, Ross Durden leads a double life: gentleman farmer by day, roguish highwayman by night. He has sworn to right the wrongs of the past, but danger lurks around every corner—not least when he sets eyes on the beautiful daughter of his sworn enemy.
Celebrated actress Charity Weston is no stranger to disguises herself. But when a darkly daring masked man steals a kiss, she is drawn into a web of intrigue even she could never have imagined.
What unusual historical romances are you looking forward to this month?
Wendy the Super Librarian also blogs at WendyTheSuperLibrarian.blogspot.com. So dig that library card out of your pocket and head for the stacks.