Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Unusual Historical Spotlight: Retro Rippin', Cowboys, Egypt, Gladiators, Ottoman Empire, and Vikings

Love and War by Patricia Hagan

What You Need To Know: Publication date December 13, 2011; Digital Release; originally published in 1978 by Avon; first book in series

A tale of sizzling passion in a world consumed by the Civil War.

Beautiful and spirited Southerner Kitty Wright is torn between Rebel Nathan Collins and Yankee Travis Coltrane, the dashing Cavalry officer who can melt her heart with desire while sending fury coursing through her veins.

As war erupts, Kitty is abducted and ravished by a war-crazed Rebel. Rescued by Yankees, she is held captive and thrust into the battlefields to help tend the wounded. But from the first moment Travis Coltrane ignites—and satiates—the wild, raw desire in her that she never knew existed, she realizes her heart is imprisoned as well as her body.

Hating Travis for his Yankee loyalty, while loving him despite their different worlds, Kitty struggles with her guilt over Nathan, the Rebel to whom she is promised…all while struggling to survive as the world explodes around them all.

This title was originally published by Avon Books in 1978.

Product Warnings
This sweeping Civil War saga features accurate and graphic descriptions of battlefield wounds, nursing, and the brutality of war.
What Makes It Unusual: Dude, a Civil War saga!  Plus it sounds like just the ticket for those of you who are yearning for some Old School Bodice-Rippin' Action (see review at Get Yer Bodices Ripped Here)

Susanna's Choice by Sara Luck

What You Need To Know: Publication date December 27, 2011; debut

A Chance Encounter
Soon after stepping off the train, Rab rescues a beautiful woman from an oncoming wagon, and they are consumed by the strength and seduction of their embrace. Susanna is an aspiring writer and agrees to interview a stranger, who she is shocked to discover is none other than Rab Trudeau, the man that everyone is talking about and the man that saved her life.

A Life Changing Choice
Promised in marriage to another, Susanna fights her overwhelming desire for Rab, but as the scandal surrounding his company heats up, Susanna must make an impossible choice—one that could bind her to Rab forever or destroy any hope of their future happiness.
What Makes It Unusual: Dude, a debut western!

Priestess of the Nile by Veronica Scott

What You Need To Know: Publication date January 23, 2012; Digital Release, short story

Egypt, 1500 BC

Drawn to his abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting song, Sobek the Crocodile God is even more captivated by the sight of the singer herself. Appearing to her as a man, he learns she is Merys, a descendant of his last priestess. Though filled with lust, Sobek believes Merys deserves to be more than just his mistress. But the rules that govern the Egyptian pantheon forbid anything beyond a physical joining of a Great One and a human.

Merys is attracted to the handsome stranger, who arouses passions in her that no man ever has. But with no dowry and no hope of ever leaving her village, she dares not dream of the future—or love.
Sobek takes every opportunity to visit Merys, taxing his resolve to leave her pure. When he saves her life, their mutual desire must be sated. But can a love between a human and an immortal survive the ultimate test of the gods?
21,000 words
What Makes It Unusual: Dude, ancient Egypt!

 Mask of the Gladiator by Georgie Lee

What You Need To Know: Publication date January 30, 2012; Digital Release, short story

Rome, 41 AD
Livia Duronius is driven to seek out a gladiator after watching him triumph in the Colosseum. His touch arouses a sense of hope she hasn't felt since Rome fell under the tyrannical rule of Caligula—and her late husband betrayed her. Though in danger of losing more than her heart, she vows to see him again, even after she learns her uncle has arranged her marriage to a senator.

Senator Titus Marius cannot resist indulging in a passionate encounter with the veiled woman who waits for him after the games, though he faces execution if his true identity is discovered. Bound by honor to wed another, and embroiled in a plot to free Rome from madness, he never expects to see the mystery woman again.

When the fates reunite them in the marriage bed, Titus vows to protect Livia at all costs—even from the lecherous eyes of the emperor...
17,000 words
 What Makes It Unusual:  Dude, ancient Rome!

A Secret in Her Kiss by Anna Randol

What You Need To Know: Publication date January 31, 2012; debut

She would gladly relinquish her life of intrigue…

A rare beauty, raised in the exotic heart of the Ottoman Empire, Mari Sinclair knows it’s time to end her career as a British spy when she narrowly avoids a brush with death. Unfortunately her employers think otherwise—and they are not above using blackmail to keep Mari in the Game.

Saddled with a handsome, duty-obsessed “minder” to ensure that she completes—and survives—one last mission, Mari is incensed…for her guardian, Major Bennett Prestwood, is simply too dedicated, too unbending, and too disarmingly attractive. But in the face of dark secrets and deadly treacheries, as the true peril to Mari is slowly revealed, loyal soldier Bennett realizes that, to save and win this extraordinary woman, he will have to do the unthinkable and break the rules—rules that passion and desire have suddenly, irrevocably changed.
What Makes It Unusual: Dude, a debut novel published by Avon (all England, all the bloody time) set in the Ottoman Empire.  

The Viking's Touch by Joanna Fulford

What You Need To Know: Publication date February 21, 2012; sequel to The Viking's Defiant Bride

Wulfgar and his band of warriors are on their way to join Rollo when their ship is damaged in a storm, and puts into a small bay off the Anglian coast.  They need to carry out urgent repairs and this looks like a perfect haven.  However, it turns out to be anything but.  For a start there is Lord Ingvar’s war band who make it clear that the newcomers are not welcome. Then there is Anwyn, the beautiful and wealthy widow, on whom Ingvar has designs.  Having escaped one forced marriage she is not about to embark on another.  Striving to maintain her independence and protect her young son, she feels increasing isolated and under threat. When she agrees to help Wulfgar he is grateful and, on learning of her predicament, even sympathetic. Unfortunately, he won’t be around long enough to become involved, and anyway it’s none of his business.  However, Anwyn, soon realises that he is the one person who could help her.
What Makes It Unusual:  Dude, Vikings!
  • This is just a small sampling of upcoming and recently released titles. Have you read any promising unusual historicals of late?   (Seriously, the last time I did a UH post was back in September!  In other words, let the recommendations fly!)


little alys said...

Woooo - Egypt! Awwww, digital. -_-;

Thanks for more recs, Wendy! You introduce such cool books . :D

nath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nath said...

Sorry, that was me above. Some problem with copy/pasting.

I was saying that I'm not one for exotic locations... although some of the books you've spotlighted sounds quite interesting. Problem though? the blurbs! Wonder if they could have done a better jobs with some of them ^_^;

"Soon after stepping off the train, Rab rescues a beautiful woman from an oncoming wagon, and they are consumed by the strength and seduction of their embrace." Makes me think the hero just carried her away to a barn and had his ways with her ^_^;

Julie said...

I read the Joanna Fulford and I loved it!

sula said...

Dude, thanks for the recs!

I love locations and time periods that are historical but not necessarily England circa Regency.

I'm currently reading and enjoying "The Devil's Temptress" by Laura Navarre set in the era of the Plantagenets (sp?) but a Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine's court in France. So far, so good. Yay my library that has digital Kindle lending!

Wendy said...

Alys: I try to include both digital and print in these posts for that very reason. But sometimes I'm at the mercy of what is being published and where....

Nath: You say that like it's a bad thing! LOL!

Julie: I know M&B and HH are trying to get on the same publishing schedule - but yeah, I think that one has already been released in the lucky you!

Sula: These are things I run across in my own browsing - so not necessarily personal recommendations as I haven't *read* them....yet. I do have the Randol and the Lee in my TBR though :)

KK said...

Hey Wendy! I read a great unusual historical last week, not sure if you've featured it yet. It's a Harlequin LoveInspired Historical called Her Rebel Heart by Shannon Farrington (pub date Nov 2011). It takes place right before the Civil War and I thought it was very sweet and well-done. The historical detail was great and the story was heartfelt. (Plus, the faith was well-integrated into the story.) Heroine was a little naive but overall a good read. Thought you might enjoy it!

Wendy said...

KK: Dagnabit! I did see that one when I was doing my monthly download at Harlequin, and skipped right over it. But I'm glad to hear it's a good'un! Adding it to my list....

Kate said...

Ottoman Empire? Seriously? I have to find me that. And the Civil War one too.

I wonder if anyone knows any historicals set in New Orleans? I'm not picky about the timeframe. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Wendy said...

Kate: These are some titles I came across doing a quick search. Haven't read them myself - although I know I have at least one of them in my TBR....

Midnight Confessions by Candice Proctor

Day Dreamer by Jill Marie Landis (looks out of print & not available in digital)

Texas Hold Him by Lisa Cooke (I've got this one buried in the TBR somewhere....)

Also, pretty sure Beverly Jenkins wrote a few historicals set in New Orleans.....

Kate said...

Thanks! Trotting off to my library right now (or, as is the case, logging into my account online and searching the catalog. Fingers crossed.)