Monday, January 15, 2018

Top 5 Unusual Historicals for January 2018

So here we are.  It's the first month of a new year which would typically inspire hope and wonder that we haven't already kicked our well-meaning resolutions to the curb.  I started out my 2018 reading like a house on fire thanks to finding the right books at the right time.  However in the past week I've DNF'ed three books in a row and now I'm browsing around grasping at straws (as you do).  The perfect time to go browsing for new historicals! Here's what is catching my eye this month:

Forbidden Night with the Highlander by Michelle Willingham (medieval)
The handsome Highlander who seduced her…

…is the very man she must marry!  
 In this Warriors of the Night story, Lianna MacKinnon seeks to avoid her betrothal to a Norman lord by giving herself to an intriguing stranger. But afterward, she discovers her sensual lover is none other than Rhys de Laurent—her betrothed—in disguise! They’ve already had their wedding night… Now there’s no escaping their marriage vows!

This is the second book in a series and yes, of course I still have book one waiting for me in my digital TBR.  Willingham is basically an autobuy for me, so yes, this will get added to the pile and of these days.

A Delicate Affair by Lindsay Evans (1920s)
Golden Worth is a proud southerner. But when some “good” Georgia boys threaten to lynch him, he runs north to Washington DC to make music and a new life for himself. He doesn’t count on falling for the untouchable Leonie Harper, an aristocratic beauty with a mind for sin. He knows better than to want her, but the Radcliffe-bound girl who’s supposed to be a blushing debutante is anything but. She captivates him, tempting him to want things he once thought were out of reach.  
All too easily, Golden falls into Leonie’s scented embrace, even though he suspects she’s only playing with him until something richer comes along. 
Can this country boy convince a big city girl to take a chance on real love, or will she leave him swinging in the wind?
This is the first novella in a multi-author series with a new story set in a new decade releasing every month during 2018 (a 2010-set romance ends the series in December 2018).  From what I can tell this appears to be Evans' first historical (she's got a number of contemporary category romances under her belt).

Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins (Regency)
A dedicated painter, Miss Sophia Hastings is far more concerned with finding the right slant of light than in finding Mr. Right. But when an overheard conversation hints at danger for another local artist, Sophia is determined to get involved. Even if it means accepting help from an impossibly good-looking vicar who insists on joining her investigation—and threatens to capture her heart…  
 Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle knows that Sophia is no damsel in distress. But he won’t allow her to venture into peril alone, either. . .especially since he finds Sophia’s curious, free-spirited nature so alluring. But protecting her from harm is becoming more difficult than the vicar could have expected as he and Sophia confront their fiery mutual passion. Who could have known that the art of love would prove so irresistible?
I know.  Typically this column steers clear of Regency-set historicals but VICAR HERO!!!!!  Ahem.  We need more vicar heroes.  Says Wendy.  Also, Collins is a librarian. 

Tempest by Beverly Jenkins (western)
What kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.  
Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.
This is the third book in Jenkins' current series for Avon.  I love that Colton is surprised that Regan is "far from the docile bride" he was expecting.  Darlin', you're the hero in a Beverly Jenkins romance novel.  You should have been prepared that the heroine wasn't going to be some simpering miss.

 Sunrise Over Texas by M.J. Fredrick (western) reprint
Texas Frontier, 1826  
Kit Barclay followed her husband into the wilds of Texas only to be widowed. Stranded with her mother- and sister-in-law to care for, with no hope of rescue before winter sets in, Kit has only one goal: survival. So when a lone horseman appears on the horizon, and then falls from his mount in fever, Kit must weigh the safety of her family against offering aid and shelter to the handsome stranger.  
Trace Watson has lost everything that ever mattered to him. Trying to forget, he heads to the frontier colony of San Felipe, not caring if he lives or dies. But when he wakes to discover he's being nursed back to health by a brave young widow, he vows to repay her kindness by guiding the three women back to civilization, no matter what the cost.  
Soon, Kit and Trace are fighting the elements, Indian attacks and outlaws—as well as feelings they both thought were long buried...
When I saw this title pop on Amazon I thought, "I'll feature this because it was originally a Samhain title."  Um, yeah.  No, it wasn't.  Imagine my surprise - this was actually originally published by Carina back in 2010.  Anywho - Fredrick obviously got her rights back and I'm more than half in love with this cover.  It's also a western set pre-Civil War which is nearly unheard of (take it from the historical western reader - these are hard to come by!).  A couple of my reading buds really liked this one back in the day and I could of sworn I owned it but a cursory glance in my digital TBR is telling me I don't.  Well, I'm buying it now.

What Historicals are you looking forward to this month?


Nikki said...

Honestly, I've been off historical romance for the past few years, and I know there are so many great ones that I haven't read yet. While I have read a few, I've been firmly stuck in the contemporary aisle, with a few RS, PN and cozy mysteries thrown in. Until! Until last week when I finally picked up the Lisa Kleypas series, the Ravenals. So I am eagerly looking forward to Hello Stranger, the last of this series. I know there are several books that I need to read just to catch up on other series that I've read (Goodman and Bourne, to start).
PS I am so glad you liked the O'Keefe books--I have her historicals on my kindle and I need to read them, too.

Mrs Giggles said...

Is Harlequin Historical fully digital-only in the US from 2018? The UK versions are still available in paperback, and they actually launched a new look for that line.

Dorine said...

I've had a hard time finding "new" historicals that grab me, but like you, I gravitate toward westerns. I found in my "to review" pile, released in January: Jefferson's Daughters by Catherine Kerrison - it's next to read. Released last month, I have in my review pile: The War Bride's Scrapbook by Caroline Preston (told in illustrations, pictures, etc... from the era) and The Nobleman's Governess Bride (The Glass Slipper Chronicles Book 1) by Deborah Hale. In my excitement to share with my granddaughters, I bought two favorites from my childhood: Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder -- these are glossy pages with some color illustrations. Then I bought Glorious by Jeff Guinn from 2014 - a Berkley western novel, but not sure if it's romance. I guess I'll be getting Sunrise Over Texas too - love that cover. Gosh - I wrote a book of a comment! LOL

Wendy said...

Nikki: The O'Keefe's are good and, frankly, a nice change of pace. I'm always happy to see more historical westerns, but uptick in them has firmly landed on the "quaint small town" side of the fence. I DO like those, but the grittier ones have always been my favorite and that's what O'Keefe has been writing.

Mrs. Giggles: I can't get any clear consensus on that. Old news suggested HH was going all digital in mid-2017 and that hasn't happened. What I think is happening is that print is only available through online retailers now. A development I haven't noticed quite as much because here in the States I'm having a devil of a time finding the full compliment of Harlequin lines in ANY brick and mortar store.

Also, laydown dates are different between print and digital - which is just weird IMHO. I can buy that Willingham book today in print but if I want the ebook I have to wait until February 1. Which, I see I linked to the Kindle version in this blog post. Oops. But print is out now.

Dorine: YOU ARE MY FAVORITE PERSON RIGHT NOW! I had no idea about The War Bride's Scrapbook by Caroline Preston! She published a book years ago (The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt) that I really adored. Very similar format. Like a picture book for grown-ups, she told the story through photos, illustrations etc. of the time period. Like going into the attic and finding your grandmother's scrapbook. Looks like work was late in ordering it (so our copies aren't in yet) but I've already put my name on the wait list.

Dorine said...

Awesome, Wendy. I'm glad I can feed your TBR! LOL I just got the book in the mail for review yesterday and it's exactly like you describe it. It even has all these old advertisements from back in the day. Very fun.