Thursday, June 21, 2018

Top 5 Unusual Historicals for June 2018

Summer time! Sum-sum-summertime! The weather is warming up (for some of you it’s positively boiling…), my favorite sporting pastime time is in full swing (baseball!), and what better way to unwind during the busiest months at my day job than with some new historical romances. Here is what is catching my eye in June:
Pride and Passion by Carla Buchanan
Behind the soft smile, perfect manners, and helpful air, Constance Ray is a woman struggling to make it through the day. After her husband is killed in the Korean war, his death leaves her lost, knowing she can never be the woman she was before. Although, when a handsome navy officer shows up with a final word from the grave, Constance can’t ignore the message. She also can’t continue to be indifferent to the man who brought it, or his involvement in the war – the one for everyone’s right to be treated equally.

Nathaniel Kelly never means for it to happen, especially not with Constance. He is supposed to fulfill the final wish of the man he owed his life to, but he can’t help it when he instantly falls for the soften-spoken, bereaved preacher’s daughter. But as much as he wishes to court her, to love her, his loyalty to his friend and his obligation to make up for sins of the father, stand in the way. Remaining true to his friendship, and his mission, is hard when pride for the movement unites Nathaniel with Constance and his passion for her finally sets her free.
I know I have been featuring the latest Decades of African American romance book nearly every month, but seriously, how can I not?! These are settings you just don’t see every day in Romancelandia. A Korean War veteran? Seriously, tell me the last time (if ever!) you saw that in a romance novel. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
A Touch of Flame by Jo Goodman
 Dr. E. Ridley Woodhouse is like no physician Ben Madison has ever met--she's a woman. As the newly elected sheriff of Frost Falls, Colorado, Ben is tasked with welcoming Ridley to the community. But while Ben might be tempted by the new doc's charms, getting the town to accept a big-city, female doctor is no easy feat. To earn their trust she'll have to prove herself and Ben determines to help her...even if she's the most stubborn woman he's ever met.

When the husband of one of Ridley's patients threatens her, forbidding Ridley from treating his wife or children, all of Ben's protective instincts kick in. Ridley has come to rely on Ben's steady presence and the delicious tension that simmers just below the surface of their easy friendship--but as much as she trusts that his warnings to steer clear of Jeremiah Salt are sincere, she's never been one to back down from a challenge and she refuses to abandon her patient.

But sticking to your guns can earn you trouble in the rough terrain of the Wild West and danger threatens Ridley from unexpected places, forcing Ben to confront his deepest fear in order to save the woman he loves.
Goodman is a standard bearer in historical western romance, crafting well-developed historical worlds and creating meaty stories you can sink your teeth into. You’re not going to get a fluffy bit of brain candy with a Goodman western. She’s not an ideal candidate for me when it comes to pool lounging or beach reading - more like I want to shut myself in my bedroom one Sunday afternoon and not come up for air until I finish the last page.
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The Gunslinger’s Vow by Amy Sandas
Three runaway brides
Determined to escape their fates
Flee West to find freedom that can only be had in a cowboy's arms...

Alexandra Brighton spent the last five years in Boston, erasing all evidence of the wild frontier girl she used to be. Before she settles, she's determined to visit her childhood home one final time. But when she finds herself stranded far from civilization, she has no choice but to trust her safety to the tall, dark and decidedly dangerous bounty hunter, Malcolm Kincaid.

Now that Malcolm finally has the location of his brother's killer, he has no intention of wasting time protecting a pampered Eastern lady. But something about Alexandra speaks to the heart he long thought frozen—and her slow transformation from proper miss to wild-eyed beauty leaves him shaken. By the time they reach Montana, Malcolm must decide if seeking justice for past wrongs is worth losing a future with the woman he never expected to need…
A debut, of sorts. Sandas’ first three books for Sourcebooks were Regency England and she’s making the switch to the American West with this first book in a new trilogy. I’m a western fan from way back. I saw the mass exodus of western writers fleeing for English-set historicals in the early 2000s. Trust me, to have it happen the other way around is still not terribly common. I’m intrigued by the road romance premise of this one.
Secrets of a Wallflower by Amanda McCabe
A secret shared… But can she trust him?

In this Debutantes in Paris story, Diana Martin is thrilled to be a writer covering the Parisian Exposition. But her new role must be kept quiet—her parents would never allow it! When enigmatic Sir William Blakely discovers her ruse, he knows it could lead her into danger. With the sparks igniting between them, William realizes the only way to protect Diana is by staying as close to her as possible! 

Ah, Paris. Who doesn’t love Paris in the springtime? McCabe has a varied historical backlist, having written everything from mysteries, to Regencies, to Elizabethan. I’m looking forward to this one, a start of a new series for Harlequin Historical.
Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes
He’s her enemy…
…and she must not fall for him!

When her mistress is claimed as an enemy knight’s betrothed, handmaiden Aelfhild knows it would be too dangerous for her lady; she must go in her place. But there’s more to the scarred knight than she first thought—she isn’t expecting to fall for him! As the line between friend and enemy blurs, Aelfhild realizes she might be protecting her mistress, but not her heart…
I’ve hopscotched around her backlist, but so far Hobbes’ has been a very consistent writer for me and I’ve enjoyed all the medievals I’ve read by her. I love the high stakes often found in this era (where a matter of loyalty could get one killed) and enemies-to-lovers works really well within that framework. I can’t wait to dive into this one.

What Unusual Historicals are you looking forward to this month?


Jill said...

I'm going to try to remember that Jo Goodman for my BFF's birthday. She used to love "Dr.Quinn, Medicine Woman" back in the day ;-)

kmc1952 said...

I’ve been plowing through older Goodman books (Dennehy Sisters, Thorne Brothers, Marshall Brothers) for the last month. Many, many of her books are on Scribd, so I’m getting my money’s worth out of that subscription, and keeping myself away from too much craziness in the real world.

Wendy said...

KMC: First, I'm sorry I unintentionally ignored your comment. Blogger is having a snit right now when it comes to notifications. I swear they WANT me to pay for hosting and go the WordPress route, but I've been too lazy to pull the trigger.

Anyway, I have a friend who LOVED Goodman's work, especially her older titles. I'm happy to see so many of them have been made available in digital.