Apr 20 2017 12:00pm

Springtime Fancy: Unusual Historical Best Bets for April 2017

What sort of “not-your-usual historical” are you looking for this month? 

April is the month where we’re all desperate for sunshine and flowers…then we make the mistake of looking out the window and realize Mother Nature is dumping one last snowfall to remind of us of who is really in charge.  So while there are sunny days ahead, and beach reading to look forward to, there’s still a chance to curl up by a fire and crack open a delicious new historical romance.


Once a Courtesan by Liana LeFey

Once a Courtesan by Liana LeFey
(Amazon | Kobo | B&N)

Constable Will Danbury has infiltrated a school to investigate an alleged crime. What he finds is a deeper, darker mystery—and a potent attraction to the alluring headmistress, Jacqueline Trouvère. But a constable can't get romantically involved with a suspect; even one he thinks is innocent, without committing career suicide.

As headmistress of a school devoted to saving the innocent daughters of London's soiled doves, Jacqueline’s life is complicated. Will tempts her in ways she never thought to experience, but she believes no respectable gentleman could love a former courtesan.

Despite their best efforts to fight it, a romance blossoms. When danger jeopardizes the school, however, his deceptions and her omissions come to light, threatening to destroy their love. They must look beyond the past to save both their future together and the lives of those they’ve sworn to protect.

LeFey mixes romance, mystery and plenty of secrets in this second book in her Once Wicked series.  The heroine is the head mistress of a girl’s school who must resort to hiring the hero as her new math professor.  Turns out she’s a former courtesan and he’s a constable conducting an undercover investigation and the school’s pupils?  Daughters of prostitutes.  Secrets abound!


Within a Captain’s Power by Lisa Olech

Within a Captain’s Power by Lisa Olech
(Amazon | Kobo | B&N)

Never underestimate the power of a pirate . . .

Captain James Steele is duty bound to capture the privateer Scarlet Night and bring her rebellious crew to England to hang. Then he will leave his majesty’s service, make an upstanding marriage, and join the landed gentry. But the winds of fate are blowing the straitlaced commander utterly off course.

Once aboard, James comes face to face with a pirate boy who is in reality fierce, desperate—and gorgeous—Samantha Christian, on the run from a sadistic Virginia plantation owner. With her identity unbound, the good captain dutifully takes her under his personal command, whereupon decorum goes out the porthole. But while his heart is lost to Samantha by the time they reach England, her noose still awaits. Now James’s sense of duty will be severely tested. As for Samantha, she has a plan, and a duty, of her own . . .

A general historical interest in pirates led to the author researching and writing her Captains of the Scarlet Night series, of which this is the fourth book.  She also stumbled across stories of amazing women pirates, which undoubtedly provided inspiration for heroine-on-the-run, Samantha Christian.


A Sheriff’s Passion by Michelle Beattie

A Sheriff’s Passion by Michelle Beattie
(Amazon | Kobo | B&N)

Shane McCall has dedicated his life to rising above the smear his father put on his last name. As sheriff of Marietta, Montana, his reputation is finally above reproach and he aims to keep it that way. A difficult task made impossible since he made the mistake of kissing Silver Adams. Courting a saloon owner is not Shane's idea of respectability, but when his brother comes to town and turns her head, Shane realizes the only arms Silver belongs in are his.

Silver Adams has stared down many challenges, but when she moves to Montana, she finally has independence and a sense of pride. With her close circle of friends and a successful saloon, the only thing missing from her life is love. When Silver finds everything she has been looking for in the arms of an upstanding lawman, she feels her dreams have come true until her disreputable past threatens all Silver holds dear, and now Silver must make the hardest decision of her life—telling Shane the truth.

Once upon a time Beattie self-published a western titled Another Chance.  Eventually that book was pulled from retailers after she sold the book to Tule Publishing and it was released under the title A Rancher’s Surrender in 2016.  But even dating back to the original, readers were e-mailing the author asking about Shane and Silver.  Now, with her 10th published book, Beattie gives readers Shane’s and Silver’s romance.

The Cowboy’s Orphan Bride by Lauri Robinson

The Cowboy’s Orphan Bride by Lauri Robinson
(Amazon | Kobo | B&N)

Reunited with the cowboy!

Long ago, orphans Bridgette Banks and Garth McCain made a promise to stay together. But it's been years since they were parted, and Bridgette's almost given up hope! So when Garth's cattle trail passes her town, she won't let him leave her behind again…

Sparks fly as they're reunited—especially when the cowboy catches Bridgette telling everyone she's his bride! Faced with a past he thought he'd lost forever, Garth realizes this impulsive beauty might be the future he never thought he deserved.

Puppy love blossoms when the couple first meets on an Orphan Train when they’re 9-years-old, but inevitably they go their separate ways.  However, the heroine never forgets the hero and when he rides into town as part of a cattle drive she’s anxious to reconnect—only to discover the man is different from the boy she once knew.

The New World

The Spaniard’s Innocent Maiden by Greta Gilbert

The Spaniard’s Innocent Maiden by Greta Gilbert
(Amazon | Kobo | B&N)

The conquistador's true treasure… 

Benicio Villafuerte sailed to the New World to seek his fortune. But his treasure map is impossible to decipher. He needs a guide, and discovering an innocent native woman in trouble is the perfect opportunity. He'll buy her freedom if she'll help him on his hunt… 

Tula never imagined the adventure Benicio would take her on—for when their dangerous days explode into sensuous nights, she is brought to life. And soon she embarks on her own quest…to capture the conquistador's heart!

Gilbert’s second book for Harlequin Historical got a strong positive review from All About Romance with the reviewer making note of the well-researched history and a compelling, sympathetic heroine working to help her family pay off their tribute to the ruling Aztecs.  Plus, when was the last time you read a conquistador/indigenous Totonec romance novel?  I’m guessing….never.  


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

Once a Courtesan by Liana LeFey
Within a Captain’s Power by Lisa Olech
A Sheriff’s Passion by Michelle Beattie (available April 24, 2017)
The Cowboy’s Orphan Bride by Lauri Robinson
The Spaniard’s Innocent Maiden by Greta Gilbert

H&H Editor Picks:

Unusual Historical Best Bets for March 2017

The Top 6 Unusual Historical Romances of 2016

April 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. 

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1 comment
1. Sultanah
Ahhhh Tyne all look so FAB ! I'm soooo checking them out ASAP
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