Sometimes I want a robust meal with multiple courses, a bottle of wine, and why yes I would like dessert at the end. Then there are times when I want small plates. I want options, lots of them, experiencing a variety of different tastes. For new historical romance, June is literally small plates month.
The Lady Who Saw Too Much by Thomasine Rappold
Cursed with prophetic visions and desperate to atone for a death she could have prevented, Gianna York swears she will never again ignore the chance to save a life. When she is hired by Landen Elmsworth to serve as companion to his sister, Gia repeatedly sees the image of her employer's lifeless corpse floating in Misty Lake. As subsequent visions reveal more details, Gia soon realizes her best chance to save this difficult man is by becoming his wife.
At first, Landen Elmsworth believes the fetching Miss York might be right for a meaningless dalliance, but he grossly underestimates her capacity for cunning and soon finds himself bound until death to a woman he may never be able to trust. Yet in the dark of their bedroom they discover an undeniable passion—and a capacity to forge their own destiny . . .
Rappold is a three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist and this is the second book in her Sole Survivor series. Set in upstate New York, Publisher’s Weekly calls it a “…page-turning romance, which is enhanced by the angst between the protagonists and the undercurrent of mysticism.”
To Love a Libertine by Liana LaFey
When Miss Eden Lowther catches the eye of Lord Percival Falloure, Marquess of Tavistoke, she’s delighted, for his wicked lordship is anything but boring. The canny coquette who declined five suitors the season prior sets out to capture the infamous “Terror of the Ton” for keeps, but the man she finds behind the façade isn’t at all what she expects.
Having suffered heartbreak and humiliation two years ago, Lord Tavistoke is wary of love. But once on the market, always on the market until wed or dead. Desperate to throw London’s single ladies off the scent, Percy looks to reestablish his rotten reputation with a rousing scandal. His mark: Miss Eden Lowther, a tearing beauty reported to have left devastation in her wake last Season. If anyone has asked for ruination, it is the heartless “Hellion of Holker Hall”…
Eden and Percy soon find themselves falling dangerously in love, despite their fears and her family’s objections. But love alone save them when a ruthless rival forces her hand.
One of the appeals of the Georgian period is how deliciously wicked it could be. LeFey seems to have taken this to heart, giving us a hero, although on his way to reform, who once tried to steal his best friend’s bride! The author reports she’s already hard at work on a sequel.
Commanded by the French Duke by Meriel Fuller
One knight to capture her heart!
Alinor of Claverstock takes her life in her hands when she rescues Bianca d'Attalens from her stepmother's evil clutches. But when Alinor encounters Bianca's handsome brother, Guilhem, Duc d'Attalens, it's not just her life that's in danger.
Alinor finds herself powerless to resist Guilhem and is soon caught up in a perilous web of intrigue and forbidden attraction. An attraction that heightens when they are sent together into enemy territory…
Even though he meets her at the end of her sword, that doesn’t deter the hero in Fuller’s latest from getting close to our heroine. Turns out she is the only one who knows what happened to his sister. When her father’s political intrigues put her in danger, the heroine has no choice but to rely on the hero for protection.
The Innocent and the Outlaw by Harper St. George
This man is dangerous in more ways than one…
The stepdaughter of a bank robber, innocent barmaid Emmaline Drake knows Hunter Jameson is trouble the second he walks into her saloon. Though his gaze holds her captive, she vows to keep her distance.
When Hunter kidnaps Emmaline to retaliate against her stepfather, she escapes to the brothel where she was born. In desperation, she auctions off her virginity… But when she looks out into the gathered crowd of men, there's only one she sees. Hunter has tracked her down and is about to place his bid for her…!
After a couple of books giving readers hunky Viking heroes, St. George is back in the American West. A heroine determined to save her family ends up falling for the hero who is determined to see them destroyed. Imagine Thanksgiving dinner in that household.
The Sampler Platter!
Get revenge. Pay a debt. Save a soul. Lose your heart.
Spanning centuries and continents, five brand-new novellas from beloved historical romance authors tell the stories of men and women who find themselves wagered in a game of chance and are forced to play for the highest stakes of all: love.
“Gideon and the Den of Thieves” by Joanna Bourne
London, 1793 – Soldier of fortune Gideon Gage has come home from halfway around the world, fully prepared to face down a ruthless gang to save his sister. But there’s one member of the gang he could never have been prepared for: fascinating Aimée, driven from her own home by the French Revolution and desperately in need of his help.
“Raising The Stakes” by Isabel Cooper
California, 1938 — When the flute she won in last night’s poker game unexpectedly summons an elven warrior bound to her service, two-bit con artist Sam takes quick advantage. With Talathan’s fairy powers at her command, her shakedown of a crooked preacher is a sure thing…but would she rather take a gamble on love?
“All or Nothing” by Rose Lerner
England, 1819 – Architect Simon Radcliffe-Gould needs someone to pose as his mistress so he can actually get some work done at a scandalous house party. Irrepressible gambling den hostess Maggie da Silva would rather be his mistress, but she’ll take what she can get…
“The Liar’s Dice” by Jeannie Lin
Tang Dynasty China, 849 A.D. — Lady Bai’s first taste of freedom brings her face to face with murder. A dangerous and enigmatic stranger becomes her closest ally as she investigates the crime, but can she trust her heart or her instincts when everyone is playing a game of liar’s dice?
“Redeemed” by Molly O’Keefe
Denver, 1868 — After agonizing years in the Civil War’s surgical tents, Union doctor James Madison has nothing left to lose. But when beautiful, tortured Helen Winters is the prize in a high-stakes game of poker, he goes all in to save her—and maybe his own soul.
One great price, five novellas by five fan-favorite writers, delivering a variety of settings and tropes. With a gambling theme running through the entire anthology, there is literally something for every reader, and enormous potential to discover your next auto-buy author.
What Not-Your-Usual Historical are you looking forward to this month?
Learn more about or order a copy of 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.