Monday, May 23, 2022

Make It Rain: Unusual Historicals Landing May 2022

Every month I buckle in to ride the wave of Amazon's terrible algorithm (so much Daddy Kink, so much public domain literature with half-assed covers), cross my fingers and hope for the best as I go on the Great Hunt for Unusual Historicals. And then I get months like May 2022 where they seem to rain from the sky.  Seriously, enjoy this now Bat Cave Followers, because I guarantee that if we manage to survive our slog to December you're going to get maybe 3 titles that month.  So grab yourself something to drink, crack your knuckles, and get ready for a dive into the deep end of the Historical Romancelandia swimming pool.
Rose and Wicked by Rebel Carter (Kindle Unlimited)

Rose Wickes-Barnes has a plan to establish herself as an independent woman of good standing. 

Move away from Gold Sky. 

Join one of New York City’s most prestigious theater companies. 

Establish herself in society as an up-and-coming costumer with said theater company. 

Thusly, she aims to enjoy the fruits of her labor just as any woman should. What she never anticipates is the scandal, paparazzi storm, and subsequent whirlwind marriage she finds herself in. 

Rose and her new husband, the gentle, soft spoken and earnest Samuel Walker, who selflessly put himself in harm's way to keep her safe one fateful, rainy, day, are forced to flee the city and marry to keep their reputations in tact. All the while Rose suspects there is far more to her new husband than the man she’s coming dangerously close to falling in love with. 

People on the streets of New York give him a wide berth, and they call him ‘Wicked Walker’. Rose has never known him to be anything but a gentleman and her protector, but she can’t help but admit she is curious to see just what’s so wicked about ‘Wicked Walker.’

An independent heroine determined to establish herself a theater costume designer finds herself married in order to avoid scandal - which, isn't that always the way?  But what's this? There's more to her new husband than meets the eye? Do tell! This appears to be the last book in Carter's Gold Sky series.

The Iron Warrior Returns by Michelle Willingham 

A fight to save his people 

A kiss to save his heart… 

To regain his stolen lands and save his people from suffering, Robert of Penrith has returned to marry his enemy’s daughter. To Robert’s surprise, his dearest friend, Morwenna, helps him win the heiress’s hand—despite the danger to them both. The fierce, beautiful miller’s daughter has stood by him throughout his exile. But a single kiss ignites a passion that threatens to upend all Robert’s plans…

To reclaim his land and save his people our hero decides a match with his enemy's daughter is the way to go, but he needs help, and for that he turns to his best friend, our heroine. What we have here is a fairly rare unicorn - a friends-to-lovers trope in a medieval!  Willingham is one of my autobuys in Harlequin Historical and this is the start of a new series.

A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera

Paris, 1889 

The Exposition Universelle is underway, drawing merchants from every corner of the globe…including Luz Alana Heith-Benzan, heiress to the CaƱa Brava rum empire. 

Luz Alana set sail from Santo Domingo armed with three hundred casks of rum, her two best friends and one simple rule: under no circumstances is she to fall in love. In the City of Lights, she intends to expand the rum business her family built over three generations, but buyers and shippers alike can’t imagine doing business with a woman…never mind a woman of color. This, paired with being denied access to her inheritance unless she marries, leaves the heiress in a very precarious position. 

Enter James Evanston Sinclair, Earl of Darnick, who has spent a decade looking for purpose outside of his father’s dirty money and dirtier dealings. Ignoring his title, he’s built a whisky brand that’s his biggest—and only—passion. That is, until he’s confronted with a Spanish-speaking force of nature who turns his life upside down. 

From their first tempestuous meeting, Luz Alana is conflicted. Why is this titled—and infuriatingly charming—Scottish man so determined to help her? 

For Evan, every day with Luz Alana makes him yearn for more than her ardent kisses or the marriage of convenience that might save them both. But Luz Alana sailed for Paris prepared to build her business and her future; what she wasn’t prepared for was love finding her.

A Caribbean rum heiress takes to Paris hoping to expand her family's business, only to get doors slammed in her face because she's a female (sigh). Enter our hero, with plenty of Daddy Issues, and his own whisky empire, smitten from the jump.  Another Unusual Historical this month from our friends at Harelquin, this time with the HQN line, and also the start of a new series.

Miss Peverett's Secret Scandal by Bronwyn Scott

Working in close quarters…With an employer she can’t resist! 

Thomasia Peverett is dreading her return to society, but when she’s offered a secretarial role by Member of Parliament Shaw Rawdon, he tempts her to leave the safety of her home. Shaw’s unlike anyone she’s ever met, and their attraction is undeniable. Even the revelation of her scandalous secret draws him closer! Thomasia knows it’s foolish to trust the wrong man, but will Shaw prove he’s worth it?

If loving the boss/secretary romance is wrong (OK, yes - it's problematic as hell...) then I don't wanna be right. And this is, OMG wait for it, a boss/secretary romance in Victoria England!  Oh, and of course our heroine is hiding a Big Secret, because why wouldn't she be?!  This is the third book in Scott's The Peveretts of Haberstock Hall series.

Sebastian Moncrieff is a villain, a traitor, and a pirate, who has recently inherited an Earldom he never wanted. As a man who’s committed every sin imaginable, he knows his only chance at redemption is the one woman who ever reached through to his soul of ice. He’s kidnapped Veronica Latimer once before, and was enchanted by everything about her... This time, when he takes her, he’ll have to admit that she’s kept his heart captive since the moment they met. But can he convince her to forgive his past in order to claim a future?

Villain, traitor, pirate and a kidnapper? Wow, this hero sounds like a prince! But he also sounds like just the kind of Alpha throwback that I sometimes can't say no to.  This novella from Byrne ties into her Victorian Rebels series.

Her tempting enemy...

Is a chink in her armor! 

Viking shield maiden Svea Ivarsson would far rather face Saxon warriors than be on the run with the fiercely captivating Lord Ashford Stanton, protector to the Saxon king. Reaching Ash’s family castle, Svea must swap her chain mail for life as a lady. She can wield a sword like an expert, but no training has prepared her for craving the touch of her greatest enemy…

A shield maiden heroine who finds herself having to play the part of a lady and falling under the spell of our hero.  This seems to tie into the author's previous release and a content warning that reading in between the lines of the teaser description on the author's website, the heroine may be a rape survivor.

William Hartley’s wealth and social standing often make up for his short temper, but they can’t cure his claustrophobia. He’d lost hope of finding help for it, until meeting Josiah Balfour. In a moment of panic, Josiah’s presence is a balm to his senses, leaving Hartley calm for the first time in months. 

Josiah Balfour knows his place—and it’s not in the bed of a gentleman. As the administrator for the Society of Beasts, he’s responsible for the club’s well-being. When a threat to the Society emerges from an unexpected quarter, it falls to Josiah to deal with it. But Hartley is willing to help, even if it involves posing as a couple to infiltrate a rival club. 

Josiah needs Hartley’s prestige to help him save the Society, while Hartley simply needs Josiah. Their relationship might be a sham, but the desire between them is all too real. Stuck in close quarters with everything they love on the line, they discover that everything might just include each other.

The third book in Greene's Society of Beasts series features Unusual Historical catnip - a cross-class romance and a claustrophobic gentleman. OK, so maybe not the claustrophobia, but it certainly ADDS to the unusual!

Carys Davies is doing everything in her power to avoid marriage. Staying single is the only way to hide the secret that could ruin her―and her family―if it was revealed. For the past two seasons she’s scandalized the ton with her outrageous outfits and brazen ways in a futile bid to deter potential suitors. Outwardly confident and carefree, inside she’s disillusioned with both men and love. There’s only one person who’s never bought her act―the only man who makes her heart race: Tristan Montgomery, one of her family’s greatest rivals. 

Wickedly proper architect Tristan needs a respectable woman to wed, but he’s never stopped wanting bold, red-headed Carys. When she mockingly challenges him to show her what she’s missing by not getting married, Tristan shocks them both by accepting her indecent proposal: one week of clandestine meetings, after which they’ll go their separate ways. But kissing each other is almost as much fun as arguing, and their affair burns hotter than either of them expects. When they find themselves embroiled in a treasonous plot, can they trust each other with their hearts, their secrets…and their lives?

Well, bless their hearts. A heroine determined to make herself as "unmarriageable" as possible and an architect hero who needs to "marry up." Oh, and their families have been feuding for generations. I mean, what could possibly go wrong here?! This is the second book in Bateman's Ruthless Rivals series.

I don't know about you all, but I just feel like I ran a marathon!  What unusual historicals are you looking forward to?

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