Aug 26 2016 8:30am

Back to School: Not-Your-Usual Historical Best Bets for August 2016

Silk, Swords, and Surrender by Jeannie Lin

What historical romances will you be reading this month?

If they didn’t get a jump start in July, August is definitely the time of year when parents everywhere look at the calendar and think, “Why are these kids not back in school yet?!”  It also, traditionally, means back to school clothes shopping.  And while you’re buying Little Johnny a new pair of shoes, why not spend a little money on yourself by indulging in some Not-Your-Usual historicals?


Silk, Swords, and Surrender by Jeannie Lin

Be swept away to a land of silk and swords, passion and surrender 

From USA TODAY bestselling author Jeannie Lin comes a tantalizing new five-story volume. Take a journey to Tang Dynasty China and join five unique heroines as they fight, seduce and steal their way into their heroes' hearts. 

Rediscover four reader-favorite stories and immerse yourself in The Touch of Moonlight, the brand-new sexy novella from this highly-acclaimed author!

I loved the now-defunct Harlequin Historical Undone line but with a higher price point (between $2-$3 for a 50-70 pages story), it was hard for the line to remain competitive in a growing digital marketplace.  All of Lin’s previously published stories for Undone are included in this anthology, along with one brand new story–making this one a bargain for readers who skipped over the shorts the first go around.

When a Lady Deceives by Tara Kingston

Titles Are Totally Overrated!

When a Lady Deceives by Tara Kingston

In Victorian London, reporter Jennie Quinn employs deception as a weapon. Going undercover to seek justice for a murdered informant, she’s drawn into a powerful criminal’s seductive game of cat and mouse. Enigmatic former lawman Matthew Colton is as dangerous as he is clever, but the passion in his kiss is too tempting to resist. She aches to trust him, but she will not abandon her quest for the truth.

Colton is a man with secrets of his own. Thirsting for vengeance, the disgraced Scotland Yard detective has infiltrated the criminal world he’s vowed to destroy. Jennie intrigues him, even as she breaks down the barriers around his heart. He yearns to uncover her secrets—in and out of his bed. Driven to shield her, he’ll risk everything to protect the woman whose love heals his soul.

After self-publishing her Secrets & Lies series, Kingston takes this first in her brand new Her Majesty’s Most Secret Service series to Entangled.  She loves adventures stories, romantic intrigue and discloses on her blog that Raiders of the Lost Ark features one of her all-time favorite romances.  Sounds like readers should be prepared for some action and adventure!

The Scoundrel and I by Katharine Ashe

The Scoundrel and I by Katharine Ashe

Can a self-respecting shopgirl dare to trust a scoundrel?

Printer’s assistant Gabrielle Flood just made the worst mistake of her life.
Then handsome, dashing Captain Anthony Masinter came along…
And made it even worse.
And he’s the last man on earth who can help her fix it.

Sometimes a disaster is exactly what two people need to fall in love.

A novella that links the author’s Falcon Club and Prince Catcher series, All About Romance granted it Desert Island Keeper status and says, “The novella works as a stand alone…” and that it’s “A delightful twist on the Cinderella fairytale (with a nod to My Fair Lady)…”


A Stroke of Luck by Audra North

A Stroke of Luck by Audra North

When Bríd Gallagher’s coach breaks down in the middle of a muddy road in West Ireland, she hardly expects that the man of her dreams will be the one to come to her rescue. After all, she is engaged–affianced to a man twice her age in a desperate attempt to save her family from poverty. When Gavin O’Leary appears and awakens an impossible desire in her, Bríd can hardly afford–quite literally–to succumb to the temptation of a village blacksmith.

Gavin cannot wait to quit his village and make his way to Dublin. He is tired of the unpleasant rumors that have plagued him for far too long, and the suspicious looks from those he once considered friends. Pursuing a woman like Bríd Gallagher is hardly a complication he needs to introduce into his life. Besides, she’s already spoken for.

But even the best intentions can sometimes be forgotten in the wake of such powerful attraction. When Bríd and Gavin find themselves closer than either of them expected, a future together is suddenly within sight… but without a stroke of luck on their side, will their happily ever after end up still too far out of reach to take hold of?

Ireland has always been a criminally under-utilized setting in historical romance, and North goes one better by setting her story during the early part of the 20th century (1908).  Primarily working in contemporary romance, her first historical is a prequel novella to her Lucky in Love series.


Conquering William by Sarah Hegger

Conquering William by Sarah Hegger

A practical marriage…

He married for convenience, but William of Anglesea had hoped for more than piety from his new bride. Raised in a convent and thrice widowed, prim Lady Alice of Tarnwych seems like an innocent when it comes to the marriage bed—except for the tentative passion he senses in her touch, and sees in her eyes. It seems the bold knight has a new challenge in alluring Alice. But will seducing his intriguing wife lead to his downfall?

An inconvenient desire…

Everything about charming, free-spirited William defies the cloistered world Lady Alice comes from. Duty brings her to their bed—and a long-held hope for a child. Yet after three indifferent husbands, the desire William shows her awakens her own. Little did Alice expect the powerful feelings he would inspire, emotions that make her ready to abandon her rigid beliefs, and the only family she’s ever known—when William’s life is on the line….

Also publishing contemporary romance, Hegger is drawn to medieval settings because of the magical and fantasy elements of castles and knights.  Also her various travels have led to various wanderings around ruins that had her making up stories about the people who possibly could have lived there.  This is the third book in her Sir Arthur’s Legacy series for Kensington Lyrical.


Whispers on the Wind by Caroline Fyffe

Whispers on the Wind by Caroline Fyffe

Wyoming Territory, October 1883

Tabitha Canterbury came to Logan Meadows with one goal: to open the bookshop she’s always dreamed of having. In a town full of illiterate cowboys, though, making the Storybook Lodge a success is easier said than done. And things get more complicated when the saloon next door gets a new co-owner and Tabitha finds herself falling for the wrong sort of man…

After a lifetime guiding settlers across the prairie, Hunter Wade isn’t looking to stay put in Logan Meadows. But as a partner in the Bright Nugget saloon, he’s determined to turn a profit—and if that puts him in competition with Miss Hoity-Toity Canterbury, that’s fine. Even if she is beautiful, and clever, and always ready with a witty retort.

Can these two stubborn souls come together—or will pride keep them apart?

Fyffe’s debut novel, Where the Wind Blows, won RWA’s Golden Heart and was originally published by Dorchester. After Dorchester closed shop, Fyffe turned to self-publishing and her debut found new life with Amazon Montlake.  That first book gave birth to the Prairie Hearts series, of which her latest release is the fifth.

Learn more about or order a copy of the books mentioned in this post:

Silk, Swords, and Surrender by Jeannie Lin
When a Lady Deceives by Tara Kingston

The Scoundrel and I by Katharine Ashe

A Stroke of Luck by Audra North (available August 30, 2016)

Conquering William by Sarah Hegger
Whispers on the Wind by Caroline Fyffe

H&H Editor Picks:

Not Your Usual Historical Best Bets July 2016

Searching for Home in Lily Blackwood's The Beast of Clan Kincaid

August 2016 Romance New Releases






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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