After the final gasps of wintery weather from Mother Nature, spring has finally sprung here at Heroes & Heartbreakers. Along with tulips and daffodils, there is a whole new crop of not-your-usual historical best bets that you’ll want to check out while avoiding that spring cleaning you promised yourself you’d do…eventually.
Dilemma in Yellow Silk by Lynne Connolly
Despite her cover as the daughter of the land steward for Lord Malton, Marcus Aurelius, spirited Viola Gates is tied by birth to the treacherous Jacobite legacy. Not that this keeps her from falling for the dashing Lord from afar. Despite his staid demeanor, Marcus is devastatingly handsome—and hopelessly beyond her reach. Then Viola’s father is mortally wounded and her secret identity revealed, sending her straight into danger’s path—and Marcus’s arms…
For years, he’d only known her as a wild child, the tempting—and forbidden—daughter of his trusted steward. But when Viola’s life is threatened, Marcus must act as duty—and his barely contained passion—dictates. Ferrying the bold beauty on an eventful journey to safer quarters, he offers her the protection of his name. Their tempestuous union might succeed in vanquishing their enemies, but will the chivalrous lord and his unsuitable wife surrender to the power of love?
The premise behind Connolly’s Emperors of London series is that the Old Pretender had legitimate children, now carefully living in secret, from a hidden first marriage. This is the fifth book in the series, which has proven to be steeped in wonderful Georgian flavor and political intrigues.
The Blacksmith’s Wife by Elisabeth Hobbes
A passion forged from fire
Rejected by her favored knight, Joanna Sollers knows she will never love again. Especially when the man she's now forced to marry is none other than her beloved's half brother!
For blacksmith Hal Danby, marrying Joanna makes his lifelong dream of entering the Smiths' Guild possible, even if the secrets in his past mean he'll forever keep his distance. But everything changes with one stolen night, and in the arms of his new bride, Hal wonders if this loveless arrangement could transform into something real…
Since her debut novel, Falling for Her Captor, placed in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write Contest in 2014, Hobbes has been busy. The Blacksmith’s Wife is her third published novel for the company’s Historical line.
Luck Is No Lady by Amy Sandas
Gently bred Emma Chadwick always assumed she'd live and die the daughter of a gentleman. But when her father's death reveals a world of staggering debt and dangerous moneylenders, she must risk her good name and put her talent for mathematics to use, taking a position as bookkeeper at London's most notorious gambling hell. Surrounded by vice and corruption on all sides, it is imperative no one discovers Emma's shameful secret or her reputation-and her life-will be ruined.
But Roderick Bentley, the hell's sinfully wealthy owner, awakens a hunger Emma cannot deny. Drawn deep into an underworld of high stakes gambling and reckless overindulgence, she soon discovers that in order to win the love of a ruthless scoundrel, she will have to play the game...and give in to the pleasure of falling from grace.
A heroine who needs a job and a non-Duke hero who owns a gambling hell. Where do I sign-up? Having previously published four historical romances with Samhain, this is the author’s first book with Sourcebooks and the first in her new Fallen Ladies series.
Magnate by Joanna Shupe
Born in the slums of Five Points, Emmett Cavanaugh climbed his way to the top of a booming steel empire and now holds court in an opulent Fifth Avenue mansion. His rise in stations, however, has done little to elevate his taste in women. He loathes the city's “high society” types, but a rebellious and beautiful blue-blood just might change all that.
Elizabeth Sloane's mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York's most accomplished brokers—but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they'll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor...
A self-made man born in Five Points and a Gilded Age era New York City setting? Someone catch me, I’m swooning. After the prequel novella, Tycoon, this is the first full-length book in the author’s Knickerbocker Club series.
Printer in Petticoats by Lynna Banning
This town's not big enough for both of us…
Self-proclaimed spinster Jessamine Lassiter is striving to keep Smoke River's newspaper afloat when Cole Sanders rides into town to start up a rival paper. Emotions run high as Cole's constant, infuriating presence causes sparks to fly both in and out of the office!
But does he truly desire Jess, or is he just waiting to put her out of business? Whatever it is he wants, she's prepared to fight him all the way…
I’m half in love with any heroine who describes herself as a “self-proclaimed spinster.” Banning is back with this third full-length novel in her Smoke River series.
Dancing With Billy the Kid by Terri Meeker
The good, the bad, and the morally ambiguous.
In Time, Book 2
Bonnie Borle finally has the missing piece for her history dissertation in her hot little hands. What she must do for it is chilling—go back to 1881 to fix a hitch in Billy the Kid’s timeline.
Sneaking her 2016 purse through the portal is easy. Resisting the temptation to tweak a few events surrounding the Kid’s famous jailbreak is impossible. So is resisting Billy’s dancing eyes and devil-may-care charm.
Though Billy’s spooked by Bonnie’s seeming ability to read his mind, he falls a little more in love every time she cuts loose with her blue-streak vocabulary. But it’s what’s in that fancy mochila of hers that fascinates him the most. Things that light up, play music—and foretell a future that doesn’t end as pretty as his Jules Verne novels.
As they run from the posse, Bonnie loses the battle to keep her hands off Billy. But at all costs she has to keep her hands off his future. Because Billy’s got a grim date with destiny. And erasing it could erase Bonnie—permanently.
Ever read a book description that grabs ahold of you and won’t let go? This new time travel story from Meeker has done that for me. Billy the Kid died at 21, so do we have ourselves a New Adult western? (I’m kidding, I’m kidding). And before we speculate that this book couldn’t possibly end happily – rumors that Billy the Kid actually survived getting shot persist to this day.
Good Dukes Wear Black by Manda Collins
LOVE IS ALWAYS A WILD RIDE.
A writer for the Ladies Gazette, Miss Ophelia Dauntry’s passion is her pen. So when she sees a fellow writer kidnapped before her eyes―and the trail of evidence leads to the Lords of Anarchy―Ophelia vows to find her friend and take down the notorious London driving club in her column. But before she can argue her case, she needs the inside scoop from its newest leader: Piers Hamilton, the Duke of Trent.
Headstrong, handsome Trent joined the Lords of Anarchy after a decade in the British Army. He’s made it his business to tame the misbehavior within the driving club―and the infuriatingly attractive Ophelia is only getting in his way. The deeper she digs into the case, the more she puts her own life at risk. Can Trent convince Ophelia to trust him to seek justice…and find protection, and passion, in his arms?
The final book in Collins’ Lords of Anarchy trilogy features a writer heroine determined to wield her pen against the most notorious rake in London. A positive Booklist review declared, “Sterling character development, graceful writing, and an impeccably detailed historical setting power the third installment in Collins’ Regency Lords of Anarchy series to its cleverly conceived conclusion.”
Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh
In society circles she’s known as the Watching Wallflower—shy, quiet, and certainly never scandalous. Yet beneath Lady Sarah Frampton’s demure façade hides the mind of The Lady of Dubious Quality, author of the most titillating erotic fiction the ton has ever seen. Sarah knows discovery would lead to her ruin, but marriage—to a vicar, no less—could help protect her from slander. An especially tempting option when the clergyman in question is the handsome, intriguing Jeremy Cleland.
Tasked with unmasking London’s most scandalous author by his powerful family, Jeremy has no idea that his beautiful, innocent bride is the very woman he seeks to destroy. His mission must remain a secret, even from the new wife who stirs his deepest longings. Yet when the truth comes to light, Sarah and Jeremy’s newfound love will be tested. Will Sarah’s secret identity tear them apart or will the temptations of his wallflower wife prove too wicked to resist?
Leigh’s third book in her Wicked Quills of London series features another writer heroine (hence, the series title!) and a vicar hero who, while under the thumb of his morally upright father, harbors his fair share of scandalous desires. What happens when hero and heroine decide to marry? Shenanigans dear reader. Shenanigans.
What not-your-usual historicals are you looking forward to reading?
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.