While I would certainly not scoff at a pot of gold, at the end of the rainbow this month is an intriguing line-up of not-your-usual historicals to aid in your temporary escape from Regency era ballrooms. Whether you’re looking for a hunky sheikh or a man who knows his way around a Victorian era bakery (yum!), it’s a shopping list of interesting options ahead for all your one-clicking needs.
Hot Arabian Nights!
The Widow and the Sheikh by Marguerite Kaye
Rescued by the sheikh!
Abandoned in the desert, Julia Trevelyan finds herself at the mercy of Azhar, an imposing yet impossibly handsome Arabian merchant. Determined not to be intimidated by her rescuer—or their sizzling attraction!—she asks for his help…
But Prince Azhar is in fact the rightful heir to the Qaryma throne, returned from exile to take back his inheritance! He knows a dalliance with the enticing English adventuress is out of the question, yet he can't deny the temptation to claim both his throne…and Julia!
Kaye returns to desert locales and sheikh heroes for the first time since the start of her Armstrong Sisters series in 2011. This is the first book in her new Hot Arabian Nights series for Harlequin Historical.
Lord Rivers Fitzroy is as charming and sought-after as his rakish elder brothers, though he immerses himself more in dusty books and scholarly pursuits than in bawdy houses. Yet, Hell-bent on making the most of his remaining bachelorhood now that his father insists he marry, Rivers becomes the favorite of a troupe of Italian dancers. One night, after a performance, the handsome lord is challenged with a most provocative wager: Turn the players’ meek and mousy cousin into the first lady of the London stage.
But Lucia di Rossi is not what she seems. Scorned by the rest of her family, Lucia longs for the respect and stardom of a great actress. Rivers’s wager could be the answer to all her hopes—so long as he understands that she wants to be an actress, not his mistress. The two commence her metamorphosis in earnest—even as passion begins to take center stage. As Lucia’s dreams come true, she fears that it may be Rivers, not she, who is the master performer. Is he only making her believe he cares? Has she found the spotlight only to lose her heart—or will the final curtain reveal a love strong enough to last?
The final book in the author’s Breconridge Brothers trilogy features a spin on the My Fair Lady trope that H&H Blogger, TanyaLK calls “exquisite.” Check out her one-click worthy First Look.
New York, New York!
How to Please a Lady by Jane Goodger
Run though they might, love will find them…
Lady Rose Dunford is shocked—and titillated—by the number of female visitors coming and going from her mysterious new neighbor's Manhattan brownstone. Recently widowed by the death of her very sweet, but not very exciting husband, Rose finds it difficult to imagine just what the attraction could be.
And then she meets the bachelor in question. Not only is Charlie Avery dashing and outrageously good looking—she knows him! He is none other than the man who once helped her escape the dreary matchmaking plans of her father, the man she once dreamed she could love. Can Charlie's presence next door be an accident? Or has he come to show her everything he has learned about…
Goodger takes readers to Gilded Age era New York City with this second book in her Lost Heiresses series.
Trifling Favors by Heather Hiestand
"The sweetest treat is a kiss…
Greggory Redcake's plate is full. Widowed young and left with two small children, the manager of the Kensington location of the illustrious tea shop is besieged on all sides between the bakery and family matters. If only his remarkably efficient shop assistant, Betsy Popham, could manage his home life, too! But Greggory can't linger on thoughts of Betsy's fetching smile when a dead body is discovered in the bakery…
Betsy has no time for romance, not even with the delectable Mr. Redcake, whose kisses are all too unforgettable. Haunted by a specter from her family's past, Betsy is terrified that the man blackmailing her has turned to deadly violence. Yet the only way to save her position—and possibly her life—is to accept Greggory's help as their delicious attraction sweetens into the tantalizing promise of true love…
Just reading this description caused me to gain ten pounds. Hiestand takes readers back to late Victorian London with this seventh entry in The Redcakes series.
Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain
As a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Benedict Frost had the respect of every man on board—and the adoration of the women in every port. When injury ends his naval career, the silver-tongued libertine can hardly stomach the boredom. Not after everything—and everyone—he's experienced. Good thing a new adventure has just fallen into his lap…
When courtesan Charlotte Perry learns the Royal Mint is offering a reward for finding a cache of stolen gold coins, she seizes the chance to build a new life for herself. As the treasure hunt begins, she realizes her tenacity is matched only by Benedict's—and that sometimes adversaries can make the best allies. But when the search for treasure becomes a discovery of pleasure, they'll be forced to decide if they can sacrifice the lives they've always dreamed of for a love they've never known…
A military man and a courtesan on a treasure hunt for stolen gold coins. I one-clicked this so fast I broke a nail. This first book in the Royal Rewards series got a starred review from Booklist, who called it, “richly rewarding Regency tale…”
Under the Desert Sky by Sara Luck
Phoebe Sloan isn’t afraid of hard work—she couldn’t have survived on the Arizona frontier if she were. But ever since her husband was killed in a ranch accident, she’s struggled to make ends meet and preserve her young son’s birthright. Her last gamble was to start raising ostriches—the plumes are prized by fashionable city ladies—and it could work, but someone’s determined to sabotage her efforts.
Enter Christian de Wet, a South African importer who finds himself drawn to the fragile but determined Phoebe. He begins helping her around the ranch as a kindness, but the two quickly find that the heat rising between them has nothing to do with the Arizona desert! When the saboteur finds a way to endanger not just the ranch, but Phoebe’s family, will she have to forsake her happiness to save her son?
Ostrich farming in Arizona. Seriously, when was the last time you read that? Publisher’s Weekly calls this a “tender aw-shucks tale” and says that “Luck’s story comes alive with likable characters playing against a backdrop of colorful Arizona Territory panoramas and topical political references.”
SPRING WEDDING FEVER IN THE WILD WILD WEST!
THE CITY GIRL AND THE RANCHER by Lynna Banning
Penniless, Clarissa Seaforth leaps at gruff rancher Graydon Harris's offer to become his cook. She's never cared for a man before, but surely it can't be hard to learn…
HIS SPRINGTIME BRIDE by Kathryn Albright
Spring is in the air… Can rancher Gabe Coulter and Riley Rawlins, the boss's daughter, find forgiveness and renew the lovers' vows they made so long ago?
WHEN A COWBOY SAYS I DO by Lauri Robinson
Dal Roberts must make his sister's wedding a success, which means accompanying seamstress Ellie to Wichita. Could there be a double wedding on the horizon…?
A couple times a year Harlequin Historical pushes out western anthologies in a bid to separate me from more of my money. Banning, Albright and Robinson are well-known names among fans of the line and RT Book Reviews call this anthology, “charming, heartwarming and tender…”
What not-your-usual historicals are you interested in reading this month?
Learn more about the books mentioned in this post:
Wendy the Super Librarian also blogs at WendyTheSuperLibrarian.blogspot.com. So dig that library card out of your pocket and head for the stacks.