Sep 25 2017 11:30am

6 Unusual Historical Best Bets for September 2017

What unusual historicals are you looking forward to this month?

Wow, what a month for unusual historicals!  Whether you like rogue knights, bakers heating up the kitchen (in more ways than one!), pirates, or romances breaking through the 20th-century wall, this is a great month with a lot of variety to entice readers (and their wallets!)


Lady Be Good by Heather Hiestand

Lady Be Good by Heather Hiestand

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When exiled royalty and espionage combine, expect a romance as bold as the 1920s . . .

Olga Novikov is a princess without a throne. Her fiancé and her family slain in the revolution, she flees Russia and finds herself working as the head of housekeeping at London’s luxurious Grand Russe Hotel. It’s a far cry from the glamour of her former life, but she’s grateful for the job—until a guest forces her to question where her loyalty lies. The charming nobleman challenges her at every turn—and arouses dreams of romance she thought she’d abandoned forever . . .

Douglas “Glass” Childers is living a double life. On the surface, he’s the indolent Viscount Walling, but in truth he’s an intelligence agent searching for a Bolshevik weapons master. The coolly beautiful and headstrong housekeeper is a distraction he doesn’t need—unless she’s the key piece in the puzzle he must solve. Trusting her could be dangerous—but loving her is an undeniable temptation . . . 

With this third book in her Grand Russe Hotels series Heistand sprinkles in some Russian Revolution intrigue.  RT Book Reviews gave this four stars and calls it “A historical romantic suspense with incredible characters who carry more than guns – they carry secrets they will do anything to keep under wraps.”

Stars in Their Eyes by Pema Donyo

Stars in Their Eyes by Pema Donyo (novella)

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The bohemian salons and wild cabarets of 1920s Paris are just the place for Owen Matthews to pursue his writing and make the right connections in the literary scene. But six years after leaving Los Angeles and the love of his life, he still strives for success. Penning a new screenplay for his friend’s film might just help keep the lights on a bit longer in the City of Lights.

Iris Wong is used to sacrifice and rejection as an Asian-American actress. She’s determined to take full advantage of her new leading role in a Parisian silent film—and the director’s romantic interest in her. Playing the game almost guarantees she’ll be able to break through the industry’s racism and become the silver screen star she’s dreamed of being since she earned her first nickel as a Hollywood extra.

When these two star-crossed lovers unexpectedly reunite, they get a second chance to reconcile their hearts’ desires with their dreams of fame and fortune.

Early motion picture industry, a hero who left L.A. to nurse a broken, a heroine hitting the racist glass ceiling – how have I not heard of Donyo before this, her fourth book for Crimson?  Whet your appetite with this excerpt for a story that Library Journal calls a “…sweet, poignant love story featuring a refreshingly ambitious heroine and an introspective hero.”


Redeeming the Rogue Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes

Redeeming the Rogue Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes

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The spy who sought refuge… 

When injured spy Sir Roger Danby comes asking for shelter at her inn, Lucy Carew is wary. He may be strikingly handsome, but the disgraced single mother has learned the hard way with men like him. Against her better judgment, she gives him refuge. 

Sir Roger has never been at the mercy of a woman before, and he's never met one as mysterious and bewitching as Lucy. He hasn't come looking for redemption, but Lucy is a woman who could reach in and touch his closely guarded heart…

The Blacksmith’s Wife was one of my favorite romances of last year and the villain from that story gets his shot at redemption in this latest from Hobbes.  How much redeeming does Sir Roger need?  Well, he tossed aside the previous heroine because he wanted to make a more advantageous match, but when he saw how happy she and his half-brother were he comes creeping back into the picture.  I can’t wait to see how Hobbes turns this guy around!

Hot in the Kitchen!

A Taste of Honey by Rose Lerner

A Taste of Honey by Rose Lerner (novella)

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Fire and ice cream...

Robert Moon risked everything, including his father’s hardwon legacy, to open his beloved Honey Moon Confectionery on the busiest street in Lively St. Lemeston. Now he’s facing bankruptcy and debtor’s prison. 

When a huge catering order comes in, he agrees to close the sweet-shop for a week to fill it. There’s only one problem: his apprentice is out of town, so his beautiful shop-girl Betsy Piper must help Robert in the kitchen.

Betsy’s spent the last year trying to make her single-minded boss look up from his pastries and notice that she would be the perfect wife. Now the two of them are alone in a kitchen full of sweet things. With just one week to get him to fall in love with her, she’d better get this seduction started...

She soon discovers that Robert brings the same meticulous, eager-to-please attitude to lovemaking that he does to baking, but can kisses—no matter how sweet—compete with the Honey Moon in his heart?

Lerner takes a secondary character from the first book in her Lively St. Lemeston series, Sweet Disorder, and not only gives him his own romance but an erotic one at that.  All About Romance says, “The descriptions of the food and cooking processes of the period are evocative and the book is full of lovely turns of phrase which bring the scenes fully to life in the mind’s eye.” 


Heir to the Sea by Danelle Harmon

Heir to the Sea by Danelle Harmon

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His life devastated by tragedy, privateer Captain Kieran Merrick, youngest son of a famed New England seafaring family, sets sail for his childhood home to confront bittersweet memories. When he encounters a merchant ship adrift in the Caribbean, he discovers something he never expects ... a red-haired, pistol-wielding virago hiding in its cabin.


Rosalie McCormack can sail a ship, shoot a gun, and run a business. But she's fleeing scandal, and now savage pirates who seized her family's merchant ship have something both she and her handsome rescuer want. Through their unexpected attraction, can these two wounded souls overcome danger, deceit and the cold wrath of a brutal pirate to discover a love that could heal them both?

Back in the day, Harmon published several books with Avon, including the first several books in her Heroes of the Sea series. Now, with rights reverted back, she’s breathing life into the series with new books.  The hero in her latest is the son of the couple from book two, Captain of My Heart.  He meets his match in the heroine, who has run out of patience after the hero is the third pirate to commandeer her ship in as many days.

Bathhouse Proprietress!

The Scandalous Mrs. Wilson by Laine Ferndale

The Scandalous Mrs. Wilson by Laine Ferndale

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This sparkling western romance from a promising debut talent whisks readers away to the bustling Canadian frontier town of Fraser Springs in the early 1900s.

Jo Wilson has seen her share of tragedy, but she’s determined to keep her late husband’s bathhouse afloat, even if her all-female staff raises eyebrows. She’s holding her own against the Fraser Springs society ladies’ public scorn, but a handsome new customer poses a different threat.

Bored with writing adventure novels, author Owen Sterling arrives in the tiny Canadian town hoping to launch a serious journalism career with an exposé on the titillating rumors swirling around Wilson’s Bathhouse. But the beguiling Jo is honest and upright and her respectable business is not at all what he expected.

When the town’s small-mindedness lights a literal fire under their feet, Jo and Owen must choose what’s most important: tending to their careers or surrendering to their bubbling emotions.

This debut novel slipped under my radar when the digital edition was published back in May, but Crimson is following up with a print edition this month.  A widowed heroine who runs a bathhouse in early 20th century British Columbia?  Shut up and take my money! Library Journal says, “Ferndale’s debut introduces a character that has faced challenges and learned to overcome. Readers will want to continue reading more by this author and about Fraser Springs. A quick light read that historical romance fans will enjoy.”

H&H Editor Picks:

5 Unusual Historical Best Bets for August 2017

26 Romances You Won’t Want to Miss!

September 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List






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. Kareni
Some interesting choices ~ The Scandalous Mrs. Wilson sounds particularly appealing as does the Rose Lerner book.
Wendy the Super Librarian
2. SuperWendy
Kareni: I know, right? I can't believe I missed The Scandalous Mrs. Wilson when the book was released in digital back in May. I love westerns and I'm hard pressed to think of another one that centers around a bathhouse!
3. Kareni
SuperWendy, someone could do a romance series that centered around bathhouses. I think of public baths in ancient Rome and Turkey all the way to public baths today in South Korea (which I only know about because my daughter lives there).
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