What You Need To Know: Publication date June 28, 2011, digital only
A fallen woman must decide to stay down, or rise and fight…What Makes It Unusual: American-set! An Irish hero! A "fallen" heroine! ::swoon::
Elijah McKinnon has been found innocent of a heinous murder, but it doesn’t erase the hellish years in prison he endured. He boards the train to Pittsburgh a changed man, certain he will never feel free until he’s wreaked revenge on the brother who ruined his life.
The passenger who catches his eye is intriguing, but he’s seen her kind before. The kind who puts on airs—and looks down on Irishmen. Still, he can’t seem to stop himself from stepping between her and a pack of ruthless cads.
Mary Jane Lawson is grateful for the handsome stranger’s help, but her journey has a higher purpose: to rise above her shattered reputation and declare her independence, come flood or famine. Propriety says she should refuse Elijah’s suggestion they pose as husband and wife—for her own protection, of course. Her practical side says it won’t hurt to pretend, just this once.
Come nightfall, though, their little charade must be carried all the way to shared sleeping quarters, where their vulnerabilities become painfully clear. And when danger past and present threatens, trusting each other becomes a matter of life and death.
To Touch the Knight by Lindsay Townsend
What You Need To Know: Publication date July 1, 2011
As a pestilence sweeps medieval England, a low-born woman has only the sharpness of her wits—and the courage of her heart…
Edith of Warren Hemlet plays a dangerous game. At the knights’ tourneys across the land, among the lords and ladies, she is a strange foreign princess. But in the privacy of her tent with the other survivors of her village, she is but a smith’s widow with a silver tongue. They are well-fed, but if discovered, the punishment is death. And one knight—fierce, arrogant, and perilously appealing—is becoming far too attentive…
Sir Ranulf of Fredenwyke cares little for tourneys: playing for ladies’ favors, when his own lady is dead; feasting, while commoners starve; “friendly” combat, when he has seen real war. Still, one lady captivates him—mysterious in her veils and silks, intoxicating with her exotic scents and bold glances. Yet something in her eyes reminds him of home…and draws him irresistibly to learn her secrets…
What Makes It Unusual: Medieval England, and OMG - The Black Death!
Silence in the Mist by Leah Marie Brown
What You Need To Know: Publication date July 7, 2011, mostly digital, but it looks like print-on-demand paperback is an option.
After bloodthirsty revolutionaries murder her family, Françoise Despres vows to avenge their deaths and fight the violent mob destroying her beloved France by becoming a spy for the counter-revolutionary cause. She knows great success, silently slipping between the shadows to carry secret messages that thwart her foes. But she never expected to come up against Sebastien de Bréze, a daring, clever cavalry officer in the revolutionary army and master spy hunter. Who will win this dangerous game of cat and mouse?
When Sebastien discovers the spy he has captured is actually a wily, elusive young woman cloaked in men’s garb and shrouded in secrets, he finds himself intrigued and titillated. But the crafty woman slips through his grasp and soon he finds himself chasing her through France. Undaunted, he makes it his mission to recapture Françoise Despres, body and soul.What Makes It Unusual: The French Revolution.
The King's Mistress by Sandy Blair
What You Need To Know: Publication date July 26, 2011, digital only
The long way home could be the shortest road to ruin.What Makes It Unusual: 13th century Scotland.
The king of Scotland is in a snit. Which means Britt MacKinnon, proud captain of the king’s guard, has an onerous task: fetch Alexander’s favorite paramour back to the royal bed—now. Never mind that the crown should be about the business of getting a legitimate heir. Especially since England’s Edward I would love nothing more than to seize an empty Scottish throne.
When the handsome soldier appears on her doorstep, Geneen Armstrong has to think quickly. Her twin lies abed in her cottage, pregnant with the king’s bastard. If the barren queen learns the truth, the foolish girl’s life won’t be worth a farthing.
She must somehow transform her graceless, plain-spoken self into her vivacious, talented sister. Then, after the court is convinced she carries no child, use her herbal knowledge to sour the king’s taste for her sister’s company—for good.
By the time Britt realizes this unusually articulate, ungodly stubborn woman is the wrong woman, tendrils of attraction have already tightened into a bond. A bond that will be tested when the king’s unexpected death puts Scotland’s very destiny at stake—and unleashes an ever-tangling web of court intrigues, secrets...and lies.
The King's Courtesan by Judith James
What You Need To Know: Publication date August 23, 2011,
Her body is the battleground
Sensuous, beautiful and determined, Hope Matthews is a favored mistress of the king. Her many charms have helped her rise from the gutter to the king's bed. But with the new queen's impending arrival, her nights in the royal chamber— and her hopes for security—will swiftly come to an end.What Makes It Unusual: Restoration England.
His honor a distant memory
Haunted by his past, hardened by the recent civil war, Captain Robert Nichols lives only for revenge. When told he must marry the king's courtesan to provide a cover for their affair, he's faced with a new low. Both are pawns of a great man, but married to their dreams of independence, their clash is inevitable. Can these two wounded souls realize the answer to all their dreams might lie in each other's arms?
The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin
What You Need To Know: Publication date September 20, 2011, book two in series
The Most Beautiful Courtesan of Them All…
Former Emperor’s consort Ling Suyin is renowned for her beauty; the ultimate seductress. Now she lives quietly alone–until the most ruthless warlord in the region comes and steals her away…What Makes It Unusual: 8th century China
Li Tao lives life by the sword, and is trapped in the treacherous, lethal world of politics. The alluring Ling Suyin is at the center of the web. He must uncover her mystery without falling under her spell–yet her innocence calls out to him. How cruel if she, of all women, can entrance the man behind the legend…
- This is just a small sampling of upcoming and recently released titles. Have you read any promising unusual historicals of late?