It's a poorly kept secret that I love me some Harlequin, and my absolute favorite line from them is Harlequin Historical. One of the big reasons for this love and devotion is that they consistently publish westerns and have some very, very fine authors writing them. So today I thought I would highlight some of my favorite Harlequin Historical western titles. Here it goes:
Prairie Wife by Cheryl St. John (out of print, easy to find used) - Cheryl St. John is a marvelously consistent writer. I still have some of her backlist unread in the TBR (mostly the "early years") but so far I haven't encountered a single "dud" from her. I'm picking this one because it happens to be my favorite. It's a marriage in trouble story, which I'm normally not a huge fan of, but this one ripped my heart out. After their toddler son dies in an accident, the heroine closes herself off emotionally and the hero falls into a whiskey bottle. St. John writes with heartbreaking subtlety and you believe this happily-ever-after. Full Super Librarian Review Here.
Outlaw Bride by Jenna Kernan (out of print, easy to find used, available as ebook) - Kernan writes fantastic "frontier-style" westerns, where often times the setting provides some of the conflict. Heroine is desperate to rescue her family, who are trapped in the mountains thanks to a winter storm. The hero is the only guy capable and crazy enough to help her. Unfortunately he's currently in jail for stealing the mayor's horse and is set to hang. Oh well. She'll just have to break him out of jail won't she? Full Super Librarian Review Here.
The Rebel And The Lady by Kathryn Albright (in print, available as ebook) - I'll be blunt. I'm featuring this book because I want my army of minions to grow. I loved this book. I think Sybil liked it. Kristie? Yeah, not so much. This story takes place at The Alamo. Yeah, makes you wonder if the author can pull off the happily ever after doesn't it? This is a bit of an odd duck for me. It's a very hero-centric story, and I am normally All About The Heroine. Hero is only in Texas looking for his wayward brother, when he suddenly finds himself at The Alamo just as Santa Anna's troops are rolling in. It's there that he meets the heroine, a blue-blood who is bound by loyalty and honor. Full Super Librarian Review Here.
The Horseman by Jillian Hart (out of print, easy to find used, available as ebook) - Again, I know I'm usually All About The Heroine, but I seriously want to lick this hero from head to toe. Yummers! Heroine is married to an asshole who likes to beat her in his spare time. When she miscarries their daughter, he throws her out on her ass because 1) she was pregnant with a useless girl and 2) the miscarriage has left her barren. She literally crawls home to her unfeeling bitch of a mother and a stepfather whose only concern is that his stepdaugther has ruined the family reputation. No, I'm not making any of this up. The hero is a horse trainer working for the Asshole Step-Daddy. He's shy, and feels he's not worthy of the heroine, but circumstances soon throw them together. Full Super Librarian Review Here.
I know most of these are out of print, but look how many of them are available as ebooks! And if you don't have a good used bookstore in your area, and you don't do ebooks? There's always your local library. If they don't have any of these titles, be sure to ask the librarian about ILL.
What's on tap for tomorrow? Yep, more recommendations.