Thu
Nov 19 2015 2:30pm

A Bountiful Cornucopia: Not-Your-Usual Historicals Best Bets for November 2015

A Treasure of Gold by Piper Huguley

November means Thanksgiving, spending time reflecting on our many blessings and trying not to throttle Aunt Gertrude over the turkey when she makes yet another snide comment that you can’t seem to hang on to a man.  In the name of family harmony, why not ignore ol’ Aunt Gertie by diving into a historical romance?  The options this month are plentiful!

20th Century!

A Treasure of Gold by Piper Huguley

When you follow your heart, never count the cost.

Migrations of the Heart, Book 3

Trusting in the One who orders her steps, Nettie Bledsoe is determined not to deviate from her route to the charity kitchen. Don’t stop for anything, her sisters say. Pittsburgh isn’t like Georgia, they warn.

Yet when low moans of unholy suffering drift from an alley, she can’t help but investigate. It’s a man. The most beautiful man she’s ever seen. Despite his scandalous reputation, something within her responds to his sinfully rich voice. 

Jay Evans is trying hard to stay on the straight and narrow, and doesn’t want help from any church do-gooder. But until his wound heals, he needs help caring for his young daughter, Goldie. Especially since Nettie saw fit to fire Goldie’s barely competent nanny. 

Despite their mismatched backgrounds, Nettie and Jay fight a losing battle against their growing attraction. But it’s only when Nettie is kidnapped that Jay realizes that if he doesn’t get her back safe and sound, his heart will shatter into uncountable pieces.

This third book in Huguley’s Migrations of the Heart series follows middle sister Nettie as she learns to navigate the urban streets of Pittsburgh after leaving rural Georgia behind.  The beautiful cover is also a finalist for RT Book Reviews Best Cover of the Month poll.

Artist!

Enticing Benedict Cole by Eliza Redgold

Enticing Benedict Cole by Eliza Redgold

An artist, a lady, a secret passion… 

When Benedict Cole shuns her request for painting lessons, Lady “Cameo” Catherine Mary St. Clair takes matters into her own hands. She arrives at Benedict's studio, only to be mistaken for a model! It's an opportunity she just can't turn down… 

Benedict knows better than to let intimacy interfere with his work, yet he can't quell his fascination for the mysterious Cameo. And after one daring night together, everything changes. Will Cameo still be his muse when Benedict discovers who she really is?

Redgold may be a new name to Harlequin Historical, but she’s already got several contemporary romances from Harlequin Australia’s Escape line, as a well as a historical fiction novel from St. Martin’s about Lady Godiva under her belt.

Australia!

The Horse Thief  by Tea Cooper

The Horse Thief  by Tea Cooper

Can she save her family’s horse stud and reputation?

When India Kilhampton is caught up in the heart-stopping excitement of the first Melbourne Cup her mind is made up. She will breed a horse to win the coveted trophy and reunite her fractured family. Determined to make her dream a reality she advertises for a horse breeder.

Jim Mawgan arrives at Helligen Stud in the Hunter Valley to take up the position. Jim however, has a mission: he must fulfil his father’s dying wish to right past wrongs and prove his ownership of the prized stallion Jefferson.

Jim and India discover they share a common goal but as the secrets of the past unravel old enmities surface. Although betrayed, will India save Jim before he is branded a horse thief and sentenced to death?

Tea Cooper is arguably the most prolific author to come out of Harlequin Australia’s Escape line.  Writing both historicals and contemporaries, Cooper draws inspiration from the nearby rural surroundings where she lives.

Georgian!

Wicked Wager by Beverley Eikli

Wicked Wager by Beverley Eikli

Wealthy Jamaican plantation owner Harry Carstairs has disappeared — and everyone wants to know where he is…

Celeste Rosington knows her place in society, and while she may not be overjoyed at her upcoming wedding to her detached cousin Raphael, she nonetheless hopes the marriage will be successful. When Raphael asks her for her help to save Harry, she agrees. But her decision costs her more than she knows…

Celeste’s clandestine visit to Harry’s home is witnessed, and her connection to Harry misconstrued. Harry’s secrets put Celeste into more danger than even Raphael understands, and throws her into the path of the ruthless, cunning, beautiful Lady Busselton and the dissolute, dangerous Lord Peregrine.

Raphael is invested in keeping Harry alive. Lady Busselton is invested in keeping him quiet. Lord Peregrine is invested in anything that staves off boredom. And Celeste is becoming increasingly invested in Lord Peregrine. After all, what resistance does an innocent young woman have against something so deliciously wicked?

When Eikli was seventeen she sent her 500 page romance novel off to a publisher without realizing that having her heroine drown on the last page was not the strongest selling point.  Luckily she’s learned a few things since then. She’s currently shopping around a thriller set in 1960s Lesotho and writes hotter historicals under the name Beverley Oakley.

My Lady Gloriana by Sylvia Halliday

My Lady Gloriana by Sylvia Halliday

The year is 1725. Lady Gloriana Baniard is a beautiful fish out of water. Brought up on the mean streets of London, she is a brash, blunt, obscene force of nature. But thanks to a brief marriage to a disgraced aristocrat, she is forced to live with his noble family and endure the humiliating process of learning to be a lady. Rebelling, she runs away to Yorkshire, where she intends to be a blacksmith, a skill at which she excels. She knows she’ll need a manservant to front for her. When John Thorne appears, she hires him, stirred as much by his irresistible attraction as by his strength.

John Haviland, Duke of Thorneleigh, is an arrogant, indolent gambler and womanizer. Having seen Gloriana just once, he yearns to make her his own. When he learns she has run away from her family, he makes a wild bet with his wastrel companions?he will find the lady and bed her. Disguised as a humble servant, he becomes her assistant, learning the blacksmith trade. The clash of wills between these two proud people creates more sparks than a blacksmith’s anvil, as Gloriana learns to be a lady, Thorne learns humility?and desire deepens to love.

A Pygmalion theme where the heroine is a blacksmith.  That’s not something you see every day.  Halliday has numerous books to her credit and also writes historical romances under the name Louisa Rawlings.

Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt

Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt

SHE'S TAKING CHARGE

Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother's investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London's premier pleasure garden, Harte's Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can't be controlled.

HE'S RUNNING THE SHOW

Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn't have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden's larger-than-life owner, he's already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He's not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around . . . no matter how enticing she is.

BUT LOVE CONQUERS ALL

In spite of her lack of theatrical experience-and her fiery clashes with Asa-Eve is determined to turn Harte's Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There's no denying the smoldering fire between them-and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all . . .

This is the ninth book in Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, with book ten, Duke of Sin, slated for a May 2016 release.

The High Seas!

His Pirate Seductress by Tamara Hughes

His Pirate Seductress by Tamara Hughes

A woman of passion. A man of principle. And only one can win…

With her son’s life in the balance, Catherine Fry is forced to locate and steal the priceless Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar. She knows who has it–it’s just a matter of coercing Thomas Glanville, the handsome and incredibly stubborn captain of the ship she’s captured, into telling her the exact location. Fortunately, Catherine knows that there are many ways to get a man to talk…

Captain Thomas Glanville has the cross and he’ll be damned if he’s going to hand it over now that he finally has the means to buy a ship of his own. He’s at the mercy of a fiery woman who will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. But Catherine has no idea who she’s dealing with–and Thomas has his own means of charming a woman into his mercy and his bed…

Hughes is back on the boat with this third book in her Love on the High Seas series.  The heroine may not be a pirate, per se, but the hero should know better than to cross a mother protecting her child.  Silly heroes.  Will they never learn?

Law & Order!

A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson

A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson

Years ago, Owen Renderwell earned acclaim-and a title-for the dashing rescue of a kidnapped duchess. But only a select few knew that Scotland Yard's most famous detective was working alongside London's most infamous thief...and his criminally brilliant daughter, Charlotte Walker.

Lottie was like no other woman in Victorian England. She challenged him. She dazzled him. She questioned everything he believed and everything he was, and he has never wanted anyone more. And then he lost her.

Now a private detective on the trail of a murderer, Owen has stormed back into Lottie's life. She knows that no matter what they may pretend, he will always be a man of the law and she a criminal. Yet whenever he's near, Owen has a way of making things complicated...and long for a future that can never be theirs.

This first book in her new Thief-Taker series is also Johnson’s first book with publisher Sourcebooks.  BookPage declares “In a plot that twists, turns and surprises, Johnson has woven a compelling romance between two stubborn, endearing people. If you love smart heroines, intelligent heroes, witty dialogue and clever mystery plots, this gem of a historical romance might steal your heart.”

Medieval!

Pleasure’s Apprentice by Lisa Cach

Pleasure’s Apprentice by Lisa Cach

Fifty Shades of Grey meets Game of Thrones in this erotic, passionate novel—part 5 of the 1,001 Erotic Nights series from nationally bestselling author Lisa Cach—about a Roman Empire sex slave on a journey of betrayal, seduction, vengeance, and love.

Beautiful Nimia, who was tutored in sexual arts by her first master, a king, is very appealing to powerful men in more ways than one: she has a prophetic gift that’s triggered by sexual encounters.

In Pleasure’s Apprentice, Nimia is torn between her attraction to Briton battle leader Arthur and his half-brother, the druid Merlin. A journey to the druidic Isle of Mona teaches her that there is no escaping the intimate tie between her sexual nature and her powers. As tensions grow between Britons and Saxon invaders, Nimia is called on to use her powers to help forge a legendary sword for Arthur: a sword that in future generations will be called Excalibur.

This is the fifth installment in Cach’s 1001 Erotic Nights serial that’s been a blend of erotic elements, paranormal and historical romance.  I need to catch up with the last two, but as a long-time erotic romance reader I loved the “throwback” vibe of the first three installments.  Cach is an author who I’ve enjoyed reading for years, largely because she rarely ever seems to repeat herself.

The Chieftain’s Daughter by Frances Housden

The Chieftain’s Daughter by Frances Housden

Maggie McArthur never thought she would meet her fate in a clash of swords. She may wield a sword more skillfully than a needle, but it was more luck than proficiency that led to her piercing Dhugal Robertson through the shoulder. Frightened she has killed her opponent, Maggie stays to give him aid and ensure he returns to Sgian House safely. She may be the Chieftain’s daughter, but she is perfectly capable of playing the healer for a few days until she is sure Dhugal will survive. The tender feelings he seems to inspire is nothing more than concern. After all, no suitor has ever raised her interest, so why should a penniless warrior with no clan to call his own?

Dhugal’s pride should be as wounded as his shoulder from being bested by a woman at sword play, but the sight of beautiful black hair spilling from under his opponent’s bonnet has not only distracted him from his injury, but intrigued him, body and soul.

But his attraction is doomed from the beginning. Though he could fall heart-deep for Maggie, she is the daughter of one of Scotland’s most powerful Chieftains, and Dhugal is head of a penniless, homeless clan, a clan stripped of both pride and material possessions. What father would accept the troth of such a suitor? What woman could accept the hand of a man who has nothing to offer but love?

Housden continues her Chieftain series with this fifth book.  The heroine, Maggie, was born at the end of book one and her character began to take shape at the end of book four.  Which means book five is the time for her own romance.

The Striker by Monica McCarty

The Striker by Monica McCarty

When Eoin MacLean decides to fight with Robert the Bruce, he knows he will earn the enmity of his new bride’s father, but he doesn’t expect Margaret MacDowell, the spirited girl he’s fallen in love with, to betray him. Blaming her—and himself for trusting her—for the disaster that led to the death of Bruce’s two brothers, Eoin cuts her out of his heart and leaves her behind with no intention of ever coming back. But when Bruce puts him in charge of conquering the troublesome southwest province of Galloway—ruled by his wife’s father—Eoin reconsiders. Especially after he learns that his treacherous wife who thinks him dead plans to remarry. That’s one wedding he has no intention of missing.

McCarty continues her Highland Guard series and marks the end of 2015 with back-to-back releases.  The Striker is book ten, and book eleven, The Rock, is slated for a late December release.

Lady Rowena’s Ruin by Carol Townend

Lady Rowena’s Ruin by Carol Townend

Stolen from the convent! 

Kidnapped by a masked horseman, Lady Rowena despairs. Her cloistered convent life is in tatters, her reputation surely ruined. Until she discovers her abductor is her father's favored knight… 

Loyal, honorable Sir Eric of Monfort has done as Rowena's father commanded. And though his body might crave her, he will not bed an innocent maiden. But as danger circles, there is only one way for Eric to protect Rowena—by making her his lady in every sense!

Set in France and inspired by Arthurian myths and legends, this is the fourth book in Townend’s Knights of Champagne series for Harlequin Historical.

Warrior of Fire by Michelle Willingham

Warrior of Fire by Michelle Willingham

A warrior with fire in his soul! 

Fleeing an unwanted betrothal to the cruel king, Lady Carice knows her days are numbered. She has never felt desirable—until she meets Norman soldier Raine de Garenne. Soon she longs to experience passion, if only for one night… 

Aiding beautiful Carice's escape jeopardizes Raine's mission, for if he does not kill the king, his sisters will pay the price. And as each step toward his goal brings him closer to betraying Carice, he knows he'll have to make a choice. His duty…or his heart.

This is the second book in Willingham’s latest Irish medieval duet for Harlequin Historical.  Lady Carice spent the previous book in her sick bed, plotting a way to get out of her betrothal to an odious King.  Looks like she found a solution to her problems in the form of a hero bent on revenge.

Vicar!

Daniel’s True Desire by Grace Burrowes

Daniel’s True Desire by Grace Burrowes

An Honorable Life

Daniel Banks is a man of the cloth whose vocation is the last comfort he has left-and even his churchman's collar is beginning to feel like a noose. At the urging of family, Daniel attempts to start his life over as vicar in the sleepy Kentish town of Haddondale, family seat to the earls of Bellefonte.

Challenged by Passion

Resigned to spinsterhood, Lady Kirsten Haddonfield welcomes the new vicar to stay at her family's home while his is under renovation. Suddenly the handsome visitor has Kirsten rethinking her ideas about love and marriage, but a dreadful secret from Daniel's past may cast a shadow too long for either of them to overcome.

It was just five short years ago that Grace Burrowes burst on to the historical romance scene with The Heir and she’s now got a backlist longer than ten country miles.  This is the second book in her True Gentlemen series, and seriously – what girl wouldn’t be tempted by a vicar?  Book three in the series is currently slated for a February 2016 release.

Western!

Forever and Always by Leigh Greenwood

Forever and Always by Leigh Greenwood

HE KNOWS SHE CAN NEVER BE HIS...

Logan Holstock, oldest of three brothers orphaned on the Santa Fe Trail, has always been content knowing his brothers were alive and happy somewhere in the vast and brutal West-until he learns he may be dying. Certain he has little time left, Logan sets out to find them and end his days near a family he's never known...and stumbles across a strong yet vulnerable widow who makes him yearn for what can never be his.

Logan knows he shouldn't love Sibyl Spencer-he couldn't bear leaving her a widow all over again. But as he finds himself drawn deeper into the lives of this small Western town, he can't escape the longing to find peace in her arms. When he discovers that his death sentence is anything but, Logan swears he will do whatever it takes to prove himself to the woman he loves...and show he believes their love is worth fighting for.

Greenwood delivers this third book in his Cactus Creek Cowboys series which centers around three brothers who were orphaned along the Santa Fe Trail and adopted by different families.  Will Logan fulfill his final wish and be reunited with his brothers?  Only time, and this book, will tell.

His Most Wanted by Sandra Jones

His Most Wanted by Sandra Jones

It’ll take more than a badge to get her to confess her secrets.

The River Rogues, Book 2

Kit Wainwright only meant to stop the thief making off with his beloved uncle’s ashes. He wants to hang up his gun, become a law-abiding citizen and leave his violent past behind. But the mayor takes notice of his sharpshooting skills, slaps a badge on his chest and puts him in charge of cleaning up this lawless town. Starting with tracking down the notorious Velvet Grace.

Bordello owner Cora Reilly never meant to become a crusader. But after shooting the last corrupt sheriff in self-defense, she’s spent the last few months turning her hastily donned disguise into a local legend to defend the girls in her town from riff-raff.

There’s no way Cora can trust the handsome new sheriff. Yet Kit’s kisses leave her wanting to open her arms—and her bedroom—to soothe his grief. Even if it brings him too close to the truth that could send her to the gallows.

After a brief layover in medieval territory, Jones returns to the world of her debut novel with Samhain, with this second book in her River Rogues series.  RT Book Reviews called this one a “fun, fast-paced read.”

Morrow Creek Marshal by Lisa Plumley

Morrow Creek Marshal by Lisa Plumley

Dylan Coyle was all man. Tall. Handsome. Not to be trusted… 

Dancing girl Marielle Miller makes sure no cowboy steps his spurred boots out of line. But then one night, she tumbles from the stage into the arms of Dylan Coyle… 

Marielle doesn't need a man in her life—especially a wandering gunslinger unwilling to put down roots. Except as Morrow Creek's new stand-in lawman, Dylan will be around to vex her for a while yet. And when she becomes embroiled in his latest case, Marielle starts to hope this particular drifter will stick around for good!

Plumley takes readers back to Morrow Creek with this twelfth entry in the series.  Readers who like their westerns on the fun, light-hearted end of the spectrum should find a lot like within this series universe.

What Not-Your-Usual Historicals are on your shopping list this month?

***

Learn more about the books mentioned in this post: 

A Treasure of Gold by Piper Huguley  
Enticing Benedict Cole by Eliza Redgold  
The Horse Thief by Tea Cooper  
Wicked Wager by Beverley Eikli  
My Lady Gloriana by Sylvia Halliday  
Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt  
His Pirate Seductress by Tamara Hughes  
A Talent for Trickery by Alissa Johnson  
Pleasure’s Apprentice by Lisa Cach  
The Chieftain’s Daughter by Frances Housden  
Lady Rowena’s Ruin by Carol Townend  
The Striker by Monica McCarty  
Warrior of Fire by Michelle Willingham  
Daniel’s True Desire by Grace Burrowes  
Forever and Always by Leigh Greenwood  
His Most Wanted by Sandra Jones  
Morrow Creek Marshal by Lisa Plumley  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

 

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3 comments
willaful
1. willaful
Oooo -- I didn't know Louisa Rawlings was writing under a different name!
Kareni
2. Kareni
Some intriguing choices here. I have to admit that the description of
A Talent for Trickery confused me. It took me a while to realize that three people were being described and that this wasn't a tale of incest! I interpreted it to mean that the thief was the detective's daughter.

"But only a select few knew that Scotland Yard's most famous detective
was working alongside London's most infamous thief...and his criminally
brilliant daughter, Charlotte Walker."
Wendy the Super Librarian
3. SuperWendy
Willaful: It was news to me too!

Kareni: LOL! Yeah, that's a different story entirely and most definitely not a romance...
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