Sep 9 2015 4:30pm

Shades of Autumn: Not-Your-Usual Historical Best Bets for September 2015

The Forgotten Daughter by Lauri Robinson

Is summer over yet? As the kids go back to school and we once again settle into a routine, we start coveting falling temperatures and snug autumn days curled underneath the blankets reading a good book. The end of summer brought a wide variety of unusual historicals to choose from, while this start of autumn seems more in tune with familiar, English, settings with some interesting twists.

The Forgotten Daughter by Lauri Robinson

Often the quietest people…

Josie Nightingale has always been the odd girl out. While her sisters swoon over guys, she's busy trying to change the world! Which isn't easy with Eric “Scooter” Wilson watching her every move.

…have the biggest secrets!

She may be out of his league, but the day Scooter rescued Josie from jail and discovered her secret, he vowed he'd do anything to protect her. And if keeping Josie safe means not letting this stubborn dame out of his sight—then so be it!

The final installment in Robinson’s Daughters of the Roaring Twenties series features a good girl with a big secret (ooooh, what could it be!) and a hero who has been pining away for her. Robinson’s next project has her completely switching gears – a Salem Witch Trial story due out from Harlequin in early 2016.

Josette by Kathleen Bittner RothJosette by Kathleen Bittner Roth

“Monsieur Andrews, welcome to my home.”

At the smoky, velvet sound, Cameron swung around. Every function in his body—heart, breath, blood ceased to function.

She was lovely. More than lovely.

Tendrils of raven hair framed a face so exquisite, it disarmed him. Her mouth, a soft, dewy pink, parted. And those eyes, as dark as Creole coffee, intelligent and assessing, roamed over him and then back to take hold of his. He needed to step closer, to stroke her skin. To possess her. But would his wealth and worldly experience be a match for the free-spirited Cajun-born widow?

Across the oceans, between worlds old and new—two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads.

This third book in the author’s When Hearts Dare series features a heroine who wants to leave her bayou past behind and a hero who discovers the daughter he never knew he had. RT Book Reviews called the previous books in the series “homages to 1980s classics,” which sounds like these may be worth a gander for fans of Old School.

The Dark Ages!
Avelynn by Marissa Campbell

869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Ealdorman of Somerset, has lived in an environment of love, acceptance, and equality. Somerset has flourished under twenty years of peace. But with whispers of war threatening their security, Avelynn's father makes an uncompromising decision that changes her life forever.

Forced into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status, Avelynn's perception of independence is shattered. With marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik The Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed.

In a year of uncertainty that sees Avelynn discover hidden powers, stumble into a passionate love affair with Alrik, and lead men into battle, Avelynn must walk a fine line as her deceptions mount and Demas' tactics to possess her become more desperate and increasingly brutal.

Avelynn and Alrik are caught in the throes of fate as they struggle to find the way back to themselves and onwards to each other.

The Dark Ages isn’t exactly a time period we see every day in the romance genre and this debut has garnered an intriguing cover quote from Susanna Kearsley who says it, “brings a long-forgotten era splendidly to life...”

England, With a Twist!
Bold Seduction by Karyn GerrardBold Seduction by Karyn Gerrard

An Intriguing Proposition

Passion. Seduction. Pleasure. These are the qualities of any courtesan worth her salt. As owner of The Starling Club, London’s most notorious house of ill-repute, Madame Philomena McGrattan has seen it all, heard it all, done it all. There is little that surprises her anymore, and even less that excites her. So when she is presented a chance at an irresistible seduction, she can’t help but rise to the challenge.

A Dangerous Game

Studiousness. Practicality. Discipline. Such are the attributes of a good scholar, and such are the principles Lord Spencer Hornsby has built his life around. Alone in the Welsh countryside, with only his wolfhounds for company, Spencer has thrown himself into his work. There is little time for the pleasures of society, not even to think of the joys of the fairer sex. But when an unexpected guest arrives at his isolated hunting lodge, Spencer cannot help but be baffled by the presence of this dangerously beautiful woman. And when he discovers the reason for her arrival, and the pleasures she promises, he cannot help but find himself irresistibly intrigued . . .

A courtesan heroine set out to seduce a bookish hero. I cannot sign up fast enough for this one! It’s also the first in the author’s new Hornsby Brothers series for Lyrical Press, with book two slated for a March 2016 release.

The Soldier’s Rebel Lover by Marguerite Kaye

A hero…a rebel…a desire worth fighting for!

When Major Finlay Urquhart was last on the battlefield, he shared a sizzling moment with daring Isabella Romero. Two years later, Finlay has one final duty to perform for his country—one that reunites him with this rebellious señorita!

Except Isabella has her own mission, which means that no matter how much she craves Finlay's touch, she can never tell him the truth. But she's underestimated Finlay's determination to protect her, and soon she finds herself letting her guard down, one scorching kiss at a time!

The final book in Kaye’s Comrades in Arms series that featured heroes who were at the Battle of Waterloo. Sounds like our Major has his work cut out for him when he’s reunited with a Spanish beauty. Next up for Kaye? A Regency house-party duet she’s written with another Harlequin Historical author, Bronwyn Scott.

Forever Your Earl by Eva Leigh

Forever Your Earl by Eva Leigh

Eleanor Hawke loves a good scandal. And readers of her successful gossip rag live for the exploits of her favorite subject: Daniel Balfour, the notorious Earl of Ashford. So when the earl himself marches into her office and invites her to experience his illicit pursuits firsthand, Eleanor is stunned. Gambling hells, phaeton races, masquerades . . . What more could a scandal writer want than a secret look into the life of this devilishly handsome rake?

Daniel has secrets, and if The Hawk's Eye gets wind of them, a man's life could be at stake. And what better way to distract a gossip than by feeding her the scandal she desperately craves? But Daniel never expected the sharp mind and biting wit of the beautiful writer, and their desire for each other threatens even his best-laid plans.

But when Eleanor learns the truth of his deception, Daniel will do anything to prove a romance between a commoner and an earl could really last forever.

As Zoë Archer, she’s written everything from science fiction to steampunk to historicals with paranormal elements. Eva Leigh is her new pen for “just” historical romance. The first in the Wicked Quills of London series features disreputable earl and a tabloid writer heroine. Shenanigans, as they say, are afoot!

My Lady Faye by Sarah Hegger

The Lady

The fair Lady Faye has always played the role allotted her. Yet the marriage her family wanted only brought her years of abuse and heartache. Now, finally free of her tyrannical husband, she is able to live her own life for the first time. But someone from the past has returned. Someone she has never been able to forget.

The Warrior

After years of servitude as a warrior for King and Country, Gregory is now free to pursue his own path: to serve God by becoming a monk. The only thing stopping him is Faye. Gregory has loved Faye since the moment he saw her. But their love was not meant to be. How can he serve God when his heart longs for her? He can neither forsake God nor the woman he loves.

The Promise

When Faye’s son is kidnapped, Gregory answers her family’s call for help, only to find that even in the most dangerous of circumstances, neither can fight their forbidden attraction. An attraction that now burns brighter than ever before. And it is only a matter of time until it consumes them both.

The second book in the author’s Sir Arthur’s Legacy series features a forbidden attraction between a woman finally free of a horrible husband and a warrior hero determined to serve God. I can practically see the tension bleeding through the plot description!

Dreaming of a Western Christmas by Lynna Banning, Kelly Boyce & Carol Arens

Three festive stories to make your dreams come true


Nursemaid to a spoiled Southern belle isn't how loner Brand Wyler imagined spending Christmas. But beautiful Suzannah's intrepid spirit makes him feel less empty inside…


Ada had left her dreams of cowboy Levi MacAllistair behind. Until one Christmas he arrives injured on her doorstep! Maybe it's time for Ada to reveal the truth about their son…


Mary Blair's Christmas wishes come true when Joe Landon seeks shelter from the snow. The handsome cowboy wants to adopt the orphans in her care. The catch: he needs a wife!

We’re getting to that time of year when I tell Harlequin, “Oh shut up and just take my money already.” These historical western Christmas anthologies have quickly become a tradition and feature three regular contributors to the Harlequin Historical western universe.

The Drifter by Anna Schmidt

The Drifter by Anna Schmidt

Caught between a greedy corporation and a desperate love of the land, Maria Porterfield barely has time to mourn her father's death. If her family is to survive, it'll be up to her to take charge-but she can't do it alone. When a mysterious drifter rides into town, the handsome cowboy seems like an answer to her prayers. But Chet isn't interested in settling down, no matter how tempting the offer...

Chet made his way West looking for a fresh start-the last thing he wants is to get involved in someone else's fight. But something about Maria awakens a powerful need to protect the fierce beauty at all costs. He never thought he'd find love, but as danger presses in, he may find there's more beyond the next horizon than just another long and dusty trail.

Set in 1880s Arizona Territory, Schmidt’s latest is the first in a new series with Sourcebooks. Schmidt is best known for her inspirational romances, having tackled everything from contemporary to historical to Amish. This new series sends her towards the more secular end of the romance genre spectrum.


Learn more about the books mentioned in this post: 

The Forgotten Daughter by Lauri Robinson  
Josette by Kathleen Bittner Roth  
Avelynn by Marissa Campbell  
Bold Seduction by Karyn Gerrard  
The Soldier’s Rebel Lover by Marguerite Kaye  
Forever Your Earl by Eva Leigh  
My Lady Faye by Sarah Hegger  
Dreaming of a Western Christmas by Lynna Banning, Kelly Boyce & Carol Arens  
The Drifter by Anna Schmidt  











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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Wendy the Super Librarian
1. SuperWendy
I was remiss to not include A Rebel With A Rogue by Bliss Bennet in my post. First in a series, comes out September 15, and is post-Regency (1822) with the Irish Rebellion of 1798 playing a healthy role in the plot:


A woman striving for justice

Fianna Cameron has devoted her life to avenging the death of her father, hung as a traitor during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Now, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, only one last miscreant remains: Major Christopher Pennington, the English army officer who not only oversaw her father’s execution, but who falsely maligned his honor. Fianna risks everything to travel to London and confront the man who has haunted her every nightmare. Only after her pistol misfires does she realize her sickening mistake: the Pennington she wounded is far too young to be the man who killed her father.

A man who will protect his family at all costs

Rumors of being shot by a spurned mistress might burnish the reputation of a rake, but for Kit Pennington, determined to add to his family’s honor by winning at seat in Parliament, such salacious gossip is nothing but a nightmare. To regain his good name, Kit will have to track down his mysterious attacker and force her to reveal the true motivation behind her unprovoked assault. Accepting the mistress of a former schoolmate as an ally in his search is risky enough, but when Kit begins to developing feelings for the icy, ethereal Miss Cameron, more than his political career is in danger. For Kit’s beginning to suspect that Fianna Cameron knows far more about the shooting—and the reasons behind it—than she’s willing to reveal.

As their search begins to unearth long-held secrets, Kit and Fianna find themselves caught between duty to family and their belief in what’s right. How can you balance the competing demands of loyalty and justice—especially when you add love to the mix?
2. Kareni
Ooh, some interesting choices! Thanks for this post.
3. TanyaLK
Wendy, you truly are a super librarian. I love your recommendations :)
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