Jan 20 2017 1:00pm

New Year, New Historicals!: Unusual Historical Best Bets for January 2017

I figure that by now it’s safe to say that many of us have broken our well-intentioned New Year’s Resolutions. However, instead of beating ourselves up over that leftover Christmas candy we binged on last Friday night or the hangover we woke up with on Sunday morning, why not vow to adopt a new resolution?  One that’s fun and easy to keep—read more historical romance! 

What unusual historicals are you looking forward to this month?

Breathless by Beverly Jenkins


Breathless by Beverly Jenkins

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

As manager of one of the finest hotels in Arizona Territory, Portia Carmichael has respect and stability—qualities sorely missing from her harsh childhood. She refuses to jeopardize that by hitching herself to the wrong man. Suitors are plentiful, but none of them has ever looked quite as tempting as the family friend who just rode into town…and none has looked at her with such intensity and heat.

Duchess. That’s the nickname Kent Randolph gave Portia when she was a young girl. Now she’s a stunning, intelligent woman—and Kent has learned his share of hard lessons. After drifting through the West, he’s learned the value of a place to settle down, and in Portia’s arms he’s found that and more. But convincing her to trust him with her heart, not just her passion, will be the greatest challenge he’s known—and one he intends to win…

Honestly now, do you really need me to do a hard sell for a new Beverly Jenkins western?  Of course not!  But just in case you’re still hungover from the holidays, Kirkus calls this “sexy and smart,” Publisher’s Weekly says it’s “exquisitely written,” and Booklist declares it a “captivating love story.” This second book in a series, the heroine, Portia, is the niece of Eddy Carmichael, heroine in last year’s Forbidden.


Schooling the Viscount by Maggie Robinson

Schooling the Viscount by Maggie Robinson

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

After a harrowing tour of duty abroad, Captain Lord Henry Challoner fought to keep his memories at bay with two of his preferred vices: liquor and ladies. But the gin did more harm than good—as did Henry's romantic entanglements, since he was supposed to be finding a suitable bride. Next stop: The tiny village in Gloucestershire, where Henry can finally sober up without distraction or temptation. Or so he thinks...

A simple country schoolteacher, Rachel Everett was never meant to cross paths with a gentleman such as Henry. What could such a worldly man ever see in her?As it turns out, everything. Beautiful, fiercely intelligent Rachel is Henry's dream woman—and wife. Such a match would be scandalous for his family of course, and Rachel has no business meddling with a resident at the famed, rather draconian, Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation. All the better, for two lost souls with nothing to lose—and oh so very much to gain.

After being wounded in the First Boer War, the hero decides to debauch his life away until his disapproving father sends him to Victorian-era rehab.  Which basically means being stuck in the country with a “draconian housekeeper and earnest local vicar.”  Luckily he stumbles across the heroine, a schoolteacher, who proves a proper distraction.  This is the first book in the author’s Cotswold Confidential series and was named one of the best romances of the month by Amazon.

Gilded Age

Mogul by Joanna Shupe

Mogul by Joanna Shupe

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

As owner of a well-respected national newspaper, Calvin Cabot has the means to indulge his capricious taste for excess—and the power to bring the upper crust of society to its knees. So when a desperate heiress from his past begs for his help, Calvin agrees . . . as long as she promises to stay out of his way. Except, like the newsman, this willful beauty always gets what she wants...

Lillian Davies lives a life brimming with boundless parties, impressive yachts, and exotic getaways. But when her brother disappears, Lily knows that blood runs thicker than champagne and she'll spare nothing to bring him back alive. Unfortunately, the only man who can help her is the one she never wanted to see again. Can Lily keep Calvin at arm's length long enough to save her brother and protect her name...even when the tenacious powerbroker turns out to be absolutely irresistible?

Shupe concludes her well-received, well-reviewed Knickerbocker Club series with publishing magnate, Calvin Cabot’s romance. The heroine, Lillian Davies, is desperate to find her missing brother and just knows Calvin is the man for the job. The fly in the ointment? Calvin is her ex-husband. Awkward!

Lady’s Maid

Wenna by Virginia Taylor

Wenna by Virginia Taylor

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

The lady’s maid meets her match…
Wenna Chenoweth’s future is secure, until dashing Devon Courtney’s illicit flirtation gets her dismissed from her job as a lady’s maid. With nowhere to turn, Wenna is forced to accept Devon’s bold proposal: To be his bride. To enter society on the handsome aristocrat’s arm. To give him the heir he requires. It’s a foolproof plan. Except Wenna finds herself falling hard for a man who can never love her for who she is….
Wenna is passionate, mysterious, and ill-suited to the idle life of a society wife. She’s also exactly the kind of woman who could endanger Devon’s hopes to build his own future far from his family’s influence. For the spirited beauty has embarked on an unthinkable plan of her own—one that could lead him to surrender his resolve, and sacrifice everything he believes he holds dear….
Yet amid the wondrous landscape of colonial South Australia, anything is possible. Perhaps even love between two people the boundaries of society would keep apart….

Taylor’s fourth book in her Australian South Landers series sounds like just the ticket for readers who love a hero with dubious motives and ache for the hope that he’ll grovel mightily to right his various wrongs.  Naturally when he proposes to the lady’s maid heroine that he got fired (oopsie!), there is more to the story than he’s willing to share with his newly betrothed. Oh, I can taste the potential grovel from here!


Sold to the Viking Warrior by Michelle Styles

Sold to the Viking Warrior by Michelle Styles

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

In her captor's bed! 

Women are not part of Sigurd Sigmundson's existence, and Eilidith should purely be a means to an end to gain access to a well-guarded Viking stronghold. He would have to be made of iron, though, not to be stirred by the warmly sensual woman beneath her ice-cold shield. 

Liddy has been made to feel ugly and insignificant because of her facial birthmark. Surely her captor couldn't physically desire her? But, oh, how the stifled, passionate Liddy yearns to experience unrestrained love in his arms…

She’s written books set in early Victorian, Regency and ancient Rome, but after some time off from publishing in 2016, Styles is back with a new Viking. A heroine who thinks she’s undesirable and a warrior hero who had only planned to use her as a means to an end. Resistance is, of course, futile. Will these romantic couples never learn?

H&H Editor Picks:

Beverly Jenkins Excerpt: Breathless

The Top 6 Unusual Historical Romances of 2016

January 2017 Romance New Releases






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

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kahintenn
Thanks so much for this roundup! I love Regencies and I like to read other historicals too. You always broaden my horizons.
2. Maggie Robinson
Thrilled to be included! Thank you!
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