Jun 11 2014 3:30pm

Colorful Bouquet: Not-Your-Usual Historicals for June 2014

The Right Wife by Beverly BartonI love compiling these lists of unusual historicals every month because I never know exactly what I’m going to find. Some months are slower, and others, like June, seem to offer a little bit of everything. This month covers a gamut, from late-19th-century Alabama to Henry VIII!


The Right Wife by Beverly Barton

1885. All of Margaret Campbell's hopes for the future lie in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Since the death of her sharecropper father, eighteen-year-old Maggie has no resources and few allies, aside from the relatives who've agreed to take her in. With luck, she might yet make an upright gentleman of her brother, and a real lady of her rebellious little sister. And perhaps, once her siblings are settled, she'll find a decent, hardworking man to marry. But those plans are jeopardized the moment she meets Aaron Stone.

Effortlessly charming, Aaron is building an empire in the South. Maggie knows he wants the right kind of wife to overcome the shadows surrounding his birth—someone like the well-connected widow he's been courting. Someone a million miles from a penniless, outspoken sharecropper's daughter. But neither jealousy, family secrets, nor long-held prejudices will keep Maggie from following her heart. . .

Thornbook Park by Sherri BrowningEdwardian!

Thornbrook Park by Sherri Browning

Disowned for marrying beneath her, Eve Kendal has returned to England destitute after her husband's death and the mysterious disappearance of their savings. She's looking for survival, not romance. But from London to the Yorkshire countryside to the elegant estate of Thornbrook Park, Eve's path seems destined to cross that of the dashing but violent Captain Marcus Thorne.

For Marcus, a return home means facing the demons that drove him to war in the first place. As he and Eve begin a steamy affair, tensions that had been simmering just beneath the surface threaten to explode and shake the very foundations of Thornbrook Park.

A Sword Upon the Rose by Brenda JoyceMedieval!

A Sword Upon the Rose by Brenda Joyce

A bastard daughter, Alana was cast away at birth and forgotten by her mighty Comyn family. Raised in solitude by her grandmother, she has remained at a safe distance from the war raging through Scotland. But when a battle comes close to home and she finds herself compelled to save an enemy warrior from death, her own life is thrown into danger.

Iain of Islay's allegiance is to the formidable Robert Bruce. His beautiful rescuer captures both his attention and his desire, but Alana must keep her identity a secret even as she is swept up into a wild and forbidden affair. But as Bruce's army begins the final destruction of the earldom, Alana must decide between the family whose acceptance she's always sought, or the man she so wrongly loves.

Castle of the Wolf by Margaret Moore

Facing marriage to a man she loathes, virtuous Thomasina is forced to choose family duty over her own happiness—until a high-stakes tournament ends in her abduction! Trapped with her fearless captor, the legendary Wolf of Wales, she soon finds herself irresistibly drawn to the man beneath the armor.

Though Rheged captured Tamsin in the name of revenge, he can't ignore his instinct to protect her. Although to love her could bring the wrath of his enemies down upon them….

Mutiny of the Heart by Jennifer Bray-WeberPirates!

Mutiny of the Heart by Jennifer Bray-Weber

Navigating the high seas as the female captain of a pirate ship means always being on your guard—especially when one takes a temptingly handsome slave on board.

Captain Joelle Quint believes the slave claiming to be a cartographer can help her decipher the map her father left her when she was a child. She's spent years trying to unlock its truths, hoping that it holds the answers to a dark family secret.

Sloan Ricker has no intention of remaining captive. When the fiery, red-headed captain offers him his freedom in exchange for solving her map, what begins as an opportunity to escape becomes a struggle to make the beautiful, intriguing Joelle his mistress in more ways than one.

Amidst a battle with the Royal Navy and a first mate's jealousy, Joelle also fights her growing lust. And as much as he'd like to deny it, Ricker's desire for Joelle has overcome his initial disdain. To get the answers, independence and love that they both long for, Joelle and Ricker must relinquish control to each other…or die trying.

Betrayed, Betrothed, and Bedded by Juliet LandonTudor!

Betrayed, Betrothed, and Bedded by Juliet Landon

Betrayed by an ambitious father, forcibly betrothed to the handsome yet enigmatic Sir Jon Raemon and soon to be bedded by the covetous King Henry, Virginia D'Arvall is the female pawn in a masculine game of desire, power and lust.

Ginny is determined to keep her honor, but in these dangerous courtly games, she will need to have her wits about her like never before. Will she realize that in Sir Jon she may just have all the love and protection she needs to survive?


Rebel Outlaw by Carol Arens

Colt Wesson Travers is headed for a life of tranquility in Texas. Here, he'll finally escape the obligations demanded by his notorious outlaw family.

But when he meets his stubborn lodger, Holly Jane Munroe, his illusions of peace are shattered. Colt is thrown right into the middle of two feuding families intent on winning Holly Jane's hand…and her grandfather's land! He quickly realizes that life with delicious Holly Jane is going to be anything but quiet….

Hope at Dawn by Stacy HenrieWorld War I!

Hope at Dawn by Stacie Henrie

With her brothers away fighting the Great War overseas, Livy Campbell desperately wants to help her family. Her chance comes when she meets a handsome stranger who lands her a job as a teacher in a place far from her parents' farm. But the war casts a long shadow over the German-American town that Livy now calls home-and the darkness will test everything she thought she knew about family and love . . .

More than anything, Friedrick Wagner wants to be part of his adopted country's struggle for peace. But when the bitter animosity between Germans and Americans soon turns citizens against newcomers, friend against friend, he will do whatever it takes to protect Livy from the hysteria that grips their town. As tragedy-and dark secrets from the past-threaten their future, Friedrick and Livy have one chance to stand up for what's right . . . and one chance to fight for their love.

Which of these not-your-usual historicals will find their way into your shopping basket this month?

Wendy the Super Librarian also blogs at So dig that library card out of your pocket and head for the stacks.

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Jennifer Proffitt
1. JenniferProffitt
I'm totally intrigued by Beverley Barton's The Right Wife...but the heroine is 18?! That's a little too young for me. I like my characters between the ages of 23 (maybe a LITTLE younger if New Adult) and 45 (and that's usually only when Jasmine Haynes does it). I was a very stupid 18 year old...but since this is a romance I will suspend belief and go for it! Thanks for the recommendations!
2. wsl0612
@Jennifer - I think that in 1885 an 18 year old would have been more mature than the average 18 year old of our times. Sure she's probably never been kissed (I'll assume) but she's probably had to deal with many more adult problems of a non-sexual nature.
Amy Jo Cousins
3. Amy Jo Cousins
Ooh, a WWI romance! I'm always on the lookout for WWI & WWII era stuff. Love seeing it crop up more often these days. Thanks!
Jennifer Proffitt
4. JenniferProffitt
@wsl0612, that is very true. For some reason I'm much more willing to go with the flow of a young heroine in historical if she says "It's my first season..." rather than calling out the precise age! I will definitely try and remember that 18885 18 is different than 2014 18. Thanks! ;)
Wendy the Super Librarian
5. SuperWendy
The Barton title intrigues me no end - I need to buy that one!

I'm fine with younger heroines in historicals, just so long as the author doesn't overly emphasize it. I read a western several years ago where the heorine was like 16. Total believable for the era, but the hero was much older (late 20s? I can't recall now....) and he kept calling the heroine by endearments that emphasized that she was way younger. So when I wanted to put it out of my mind, I couldn't - because there he would be calling her "girl" or "child" or whatever else he called her over the course of the story other than, you know, her actual name. Ick.
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