Spring has sprung and as all manner of flowers begin to bloom so do a variety of unusual historicals this merry month of May. Heroines that are actresses, mail-order brides, brothel madams, and World War I nurses provide an interesting bouquet of romantic possibilities!
England, With a Twist!
No Place for an Angel by Gail Whitiker
“I am not an angel: only a fallen woman forced to turn to the stage.”
In the eyes of society, famous actress Catherine Jones is the virginal Angel of London. Her spotless reputation is essential if she's ever to get her son back from his overbearing grandparents. But her secret desire for the dashing Lord Valbourg could threaten to destroy everything she's worked so hard for….
The moment he hears Catherine sing, Valbourg is intoxicated. As guardian for his newly orphaned nephew, a dalliance with an actress is out of the question. With so much at risk, can these two burdened hearts find happiness in each other's arms?
Surrender to the Viking by Joanna Fulford
A hot-tempered redhead with a talent for sword craft, Lara Ottarsdotter has seen off many an unwanted suitor! Then the Viking warlord Finn Egilsson comes seeking vengeance on a mutual enemy, and Lara's despairing father offers him a bounty of ships and swords. The price? Finn must take Lara as his wife.
Finn has no wish to endure marriage again, yet his reluctant bride fires his blood with one passionate kiss. Her courage means she will never yield in battle, but soon all he wants is her ultimate, willing surrender—in the marriage bed!
Love’s Lasso by Kianna Alexander
When Deidra LaRue is called to town hall for a meeting, she knows the news can’t be good. She’s been madam at Miss LaRue’s Gentleman’s Club for a decade and the “good” folks of town have made no effort to hide their opinions about her line of work. When she finds out they have taken over her home and sold it without her knowledge, she has to find a way to begin again. But it’s 1850 and she has few options.
Carter Thibedeaux has spent the last several years in the Indian Territories as a trapper. After too many close calls from the elements and the beasts of the wild, he heads east to his aunt and uncle’s home town, seeking a new life and someone to share it with.
Deidra and Carter’s paths cross at town hall and nothing will ever be the same for either of them. His gallant attempts to comfort her touch her heart and her beauty and intelligence capture his. But they face deep prejudices in the small town. What lies ahead is danger, uncertainty and the beginnings of an unparalleled love.
Beautiful Bounty by Maggie Casper
Kitty fell in love with a preacher man, or so she’d thought. Finding out the man she had a scorching relationship with was really a bounty hunter hurts. When he hightailed it out of town, Kitty couldn’t really blame him. She’s a bought-and-paid-for whore, not exactly marriageable material in the wild West.
Conagher knows he has to work to win Kitty back. Hardheaded as they come, his woman wants nothing to do with him. If it comes down to tying her up in order to get her to listen, he’ll do just that—and a lot more. This bounty hunter will get his woman, in every erotic way imaginable.
In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman
Jane Middlebourne needs a way out. In 1891, life in New York is unforgiving for a young woman with no prospects, especially when her family wants nothing to do with her. So when Jane discovers an ad for a mail-order bride needed in Bitter Springs, Wyoming, she responds with a hopeful heart.
Rancher Morgan Longstreet is in want of a wife who will be his partner at Morning Star, someone who will work beside him and stand by him. His first impression of the fair and fragile Jane is that she is not that woman. But when she sets out to prove him wrong, the secrets he cannot share put into jeopardy every happiness they hope to find….
Bride by Mail by Katy Madison
“27-year-old fur trader seeks wife and helpmate."
Expecting a plain, dependable woman to reply to his advert, what Jack Trudeau actually gets is pampered fashion plate Olivia Hansson. There's no denying she's pretty, but patently ill-equipped for life in his simple log cabin—with its one bed—in the wild Rocky Mountains.
Olivia must make a success of her new life. But how to convince her skeptical husband that she is capable? She doesn't cook and only knows how to grow flowers, not practical vegetables! Undaunted, Olivia sets out to win his grudging admiration—and his closely protected heart.
Never Tempt a Lawman by Lauri Robinson
Western Kansas, 1866
Steady, wealthy and oh-so-safe—that's the kind of husband Bess Trundale wants. Someone like the local banker's son. Someone unlike Sheriff Kirk Landers. The lawman's confident swagger gets right under her skin…and into her fantasies. And though she's tried to ignore the chemistry surging between them, one night is about to change everything.
Kirk isn't planning on being anyone's husband ever again. But months of living under the same boardinghouse roof as quick-witted, feisty Bess have stirred desires he can't ignore. Together they could put their pasts to rest and claim a bold, passionate future—if he can tempt her to break all the rules with him….
World War I
Nurse Rosalind Fuller doesn't want to speak about her experiences in the Great War. She's repressing those feelings for all she's worth, and is grateful her new friend, George Kearney, doesn’t push.
When Kearney’s friend, Lieutenant Matthew Riekert, moves in as her aunts’ new tenant, Rosalind tries to distract herself from the past by a romance with Matthew. Her scheme backfires when he suffers a devastating combat flashback, and she finds her feelings are stronger than she'd intended. And the ability to feel and love strongly is not something Rosalind wants anymore.
At the same time Matthew fears his shell shock will make him dangerous to her. Both Rosalind and Matthew must face the scars the Great War has left on their souls before they can fully re-enter their lives and embrace their love.
What unusual historicals have you read lately? Are any of these May releases going to land in your shopping cart?
Wendy the Super Librarian also blogs at WendyTheSuperLibrarian.blogspot.com. So dig that library card out of your pocket and head for the stacks.