Amazon discontinued the ability to create images using their SiteStripe feature and in their infinite wisdom broke all previously created images on 12/31/23. Many blogs used this feature, including this one. Expect my archives to be a hot mess of broken book cover images until I can slowly comb through 20 years of archives to make corrections.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Giving Thanks: Unusual Historical Picks for November 2022

We're somehow nearing the finish line on 2022 and right on cue I seem to be hitting a malaise with reading. The books aren't bad I'm just tired. I'm at that point where my energy levels consist of lying in bed and starring at the TV watching a Law & Order episode I've seen 50 times. But I'm so close to my reading goal for the year, so I'm trying to suck it up - and browsing for unusual historical romances is a good place to start.  November is fairly light but there's two intriguing entries from Harlequin Historical and a reprint for a good book I reviewed back when it debuted in 2008!

Her Warrior Captive by Michelle Willingham (Reprint
Warrior and woodcarver Kieran O’Brannon sold himself into captivity to save his brother’s life…but to win his freedom, he must carve the image of his master’s betrothed, spending hours each day with a woman he cannot have. 

Beautiful and haunted by loss, Iseult MacFergus is searching for her lost child. As she spends time with the powerful, brooding captive, she realizes that Kieran’s pain mirrors her own. Their loneliness turns to fierce desire, though honor holds them apart. 

When they are attacked by Viking invaders, Kieran must make the hardest choice of all—but to save the woman he loves, he must sacrifice everything…
This was originally published under the title Her Warrior Slave by Harlequin Historical in 2008, and oh look I reviewed it back in 2008! How handy is that? It's technically the start of Willingham's MacEgan Brothers series but when it was published back in 2008 it was, I think?, the fourth book to appear and was marketed as a prequel.  Willingham excels at wringing out emotion and putting her characters through their paces (glorious angst!) and these are Irish medievals. I mean, what's not to love?

Victorian Christmas Reunions 

Two passionate romances! 

In The Lady's Yuletide Wish by Marguerite Kaye, war nurse Isabella has never forgotten the night she spent in reporter Eugene’s arms. Years later, she’s surprised when Eugene, now an earl, asks for her help uncovering a family mystery—and that the attraction is still there… In Dr. Peverett's Christmas Miracle by Bronwyn Scott, war doctor William is reunited with nurse Honoria, and he invites her to spend the festivities at Haberstock Hall. Is it reckless folly…or the miracle he didn’t know he needed?
It's becoming a holiday tradition for Harlequin to give readers a duet by Kaye and Scott (I think this is the third one?) and both authors have previously displayed their writing chops in handling the Victorian period (not Regency masquerading as Victorian, but actual Victorian!).  Both stories lean into the Crimean War and Scott's story wraps up her Peveretts of Haberstock Hall series.

Can real life compare… 

To the love in their letters? 

When Emma first used a pseudonym to write to Captain George Weston on the front line, it was because she felt responsible for his broken engagement. Yet his letters became a light in the darkest hours, and she shared more of her desires than she ever dared before, never imagining they’d actually meet. Now that he’s home for Christmas, she longs to see him, but that means revealing who she really is…

So,  here's the thing - when you enjoy romance novels that aren't the current trend du jour (see: my entire romance reading life and historical western romances...) you can't just one-and-done authors. Yes, that first book you tried might have been meh or maybe you DNF'ed it - but there are only so many authors writing what you want so you give them second and third chances because options aren't falling like raindrops in a monsoon.  The last Robinson book I tried was a DNF but sigh - this blurb y'all. A heroine with a big secret and guilty conscience? A returning soldier hero? AND LETTERS!  OMG THEY WROTE LETTERS TO EACH OTHER?!  Bare minimum I'm crossing my fingers and reading a sample.

What Unusual Historicals are you looking forward to cracking open this month?


azteclady said...


Yes, absolutely a sucker, done.

Also, I am almost certain I have the Willingham in print somewhere. Will that stop me from one-clicking? No, it won't--because I am not sure, and it would probably take days of digging to find it. Plus, this looks like it's self-published after she got her rights back, and that alone is good enough reason.

Wendy said...

AL: Yes, the Willingham is a self-published reprint. She's reprinting the second book in the series next month, I believe?

I needed to reread this one. I liked it back in 2008 but dang, it's been 14 years and I recall very little. Like, rereading my review from back then was a bit of a revelation 😂

Jill said...

You had me at epistolary! 😍 I'll give it a go.

Cheryl St.John said...

Yes! I have all these in my TBR pile too.