Saturday, September 22, 2018

Christina Skye’s COME THE NIGHT – Compelling Tale of a Tortured Highwayman and the Innocent who Stole his Heart

Set sometime in the Regency (since mad King George is referred to), this is the story of Silver St. Clair, the daughter of a famous perfumer who died without giving Silver the formula. Now she struggles to keep the lavender farm in Norfolk running even as she discovers her father’s diary that tells her both her parents were murdered. Evil men want both her and the farm. But she finds an ally in the mysterious highwayman, Lord Blackwood, who is actually Lucien Delemere, the eldest son of the Duke of Devonham.

Luc is a tortured soul with horrible memories of being abducted from London and swept away to an English prison hulk only to be rescued into a life as a warrior slave in Algiers. His good memories are of wide lawns and his family’s estate in Norfolk, but he has long since given them up and now lives as a rogue highwayman. That is until he meets the young innocent Silver.

The author does a wonderful job of bringing us into the business of lavender growing and the mysterious art of perfume making, at which Silver’s father excelled. Silver’s young brother, a delightful character, has the same skills. We experience Luc’s tortured thoughts as well as his burning desire for the girl he must deny himself.

The hero and heroine are compelling, as are the secondary characters, Luc’s faithful caretaker Jonas Ferguson and Silver’s protective friend Tinker. There’s even a faithful sheepdog.

So well done and definitely recommended.

Come the Dawn is book 2 in the Dangerous Delemeres

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Georgette Heyer’s REGENCY BUCK – Clever, Witty Regency with a Mystery and a Twist

Set in the Regency (1811-1820) but no date given, this is the story of Miss Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine who, at their father’s death, travel to London to meet their guardian, Lord Worth. They expect Worth to be an elderly man. Instead, they find him to be a man near Judith’s age and one both she and Perry have already encountered leaving them with a very negative impression. (He stole a most inappropriate kiss from her when he met her on the road.)

Though neither Miss Taverner nor Peregrine like their guardian, finding him arrogant and dictatorial, they cannot help but admire his competence to handle their affairs. When someone appears to be trying to kill Perry (Judith will inherit his wealth as well as have her own), they begin to wonder whom of their new acquaintances and Judith’s many suitors might be involved.

Much of the story is taken up with Regency entertainments and the pastimes of the rich, both in London and Brighton, but there is a mystery that grown in importance. Cameos by the Prince Regent, Beau Brummel and other Regency era stars are delightful. The dialog is witty. The story gets exciting toward the end when Perry disappears.

Though it may not be my favorite by Heyer, I enjoyed it and the rich tapestry of characters and the ending was not unexpected but the telling of it was very good.

Monday, September 17, 2018

My Guest Today: Bestselling Regency author K.C. Bateman

My guest today is Kate Bateman, writing as K. C. Bateman, bestselling author of Regency and Renaissance historical romances. 

Her books feature feisty, intelligent heroines, (badasses in bodices!) wickedly inappropriate banter, and heroes you want to both strangle and kiss. When not writing, Kate leads a double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK. She currently lives in Illinois with a number-loving husband and three inexhaustible children, and regularly returns to her native England “for research”.

She’s answering some questions and telling us about book #1 in her Regency Spies and Secrets series.

She’s answering some questions and telling us about book #1 in her Regency Spies and Secrets series.

Be sure and leave a comment with your email as Kate is giving away to one lucky reader her choice of any one of her ebooks or a signed print copy of The Devil To Pay, her new Renaissance Historical. 
1.     What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do?

I’ve always loved the ability of historical romance to transport you to another time and place. It’s magical. As a history geek, I have a keen interest in getting the historical details right, but also to provide my readers with a romantic, witty, action-packed adventure story too. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the thrill of flirting in a Regency ballroom, or taking part in the intrigue of a Renaissance court—while tucked up safely in their own comfy armchair?

2.  If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?

I’d definitely go back to my ‘other’ job, that of antiques and fine art appraiser. When I lived in England, before I moved to the US, I ran my own auction house, and I absolutely loved my job. Every single day was different, and you never knew what interesting or beautiful item was going to walk through the door at any moment. I loved the variety of that. Every piece has a story attached to it, too, what we auctioneers call its ‘provenance’ and I love hearing those. Now I have to get my history fix by sneaking historical facts into my novels instead.

3.  What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

Finishing a manuscript, or handing back final edits, is a wonderful feeling. I usually have a celebratory drink—either a cup of tea or a nice glass of wine—depending on the time of day! And I sometimes treat myself to a massage, as a reward, too!

4.  If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?

I’d love to interview the historical romance author Laura Kinsale. I love her writing, and her use of unusual time periods, and I’d be interested to know how she comes up with her plots and what her writing process is.

5.  If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and why?

Wow, there are so many places I’d want to visit. I think it would be pretty amazing to spend an evening at Versailles during the reign of Louis XVI, flirting and dancing. Just think of the amazing dresses, jewels and gossip!

6.  Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?

Being English, I really am a walking cliché and drink a LOT of tea. It’s really almost all I drink, (except maybe alcoholic beverages like gin and tonic!) I’m a big fan of strong black tea, and my favorite is Yorkshire Gold, with a bit of milk and half a teaspoon of sugar. There’s literally no situation that can’t be improved by a nice cup of tea!

7.  What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?

Videos of otters! I know some people go mad over cats and dogs, but a video of an otter doing something silly will always make me smile. They seem to have a real ‘joie de vivre’.

8.  What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?

My TBR pile is enormous. It’s in danger of toppling and squashing me flat, because I prefer real physical books to reading on a Kindle or Nook. I have a whole room of shelves filled to bursting. The next five books on there, in no particular order, are: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne, Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing A Lord by Sarah MacLean, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, Crooked Hearts by Patricia Gaffney, and The Proposition by Judith Ivory.

9.  How did you come up with the idea for your latest book?

Almost all of my books have real-life events as plot points. I love researching and regularly get sidetracked and sucked into a rabbit hole of fascinating information. I’m amazed at the true facts – really often stranger than fiction—that I discover. The first book in my new Bow Street Bachelor’s series, This Earl of Mine, for example, (which will be out next year with St Martin’s Press), features a true historical plot to rescue Napoleon from exile on the island of St Helena via submarine! I had no idea that submarines had been invented and used in warfare in 1816, but I found a fascinating report of an American inventor named Robert Fulton who did just that. I incorporated ideas from that true event into the story – with a little artistic license of course!

The book I’m currently writing (the second book in the Bow Street series) has at its heart the true story of the theft of the French Crown Jewels from Paris in 1792. It was rumored to have been an inside job. Although some of the jewels were eventually recovered, others are still unaccounted for, and some—such as the huge Bleu du Roi blue diamond—were cut down to disguise their background. The larger half of the Bleu du Roi is now known as the Hope Diamond. The smaller “half” is still out there somewhere.

I love playing the author game of “what if...” and wondering what happened to all those jewels, who stole them, and how they ended up where they did. In my version, some of them were stolen back and hidden for the glory of France by a mysterious thief known only as the Nightjar.

A Counterfeit Heart...

As Sabine de la Tour tosses piles of forged banknotes onto a bonfire in a Paris park, she bids a reluctant farewell to her double life as a notorious criminal. Over the course of Napoleon’s reign, her counterfeits destabilized the continent and turned scoundrels into rich men, but now she and her business partner must escape France—or face the guillotine. Her only hope of surviving in England is to strike a deal with the very spy she’s spent her career outrunning. Now after meeting the arrogant operative in the flesh, Sabine longs to throw herself upon his mercy—and into his arms.

Richard Hampden, Viscount Lovell, is prepared to take any risk to safeguard England from the horrors of the French Revolution. To lure the insurgents out from the shadows, he’s even willing to make a pact with his archenemy: Philippe Lacorte, the greatest counterfeiter in Europe. But when a cheeky, gamine-faced beauty proves herself to be Lacorte, Richard is shocked—and more than a little aroused. Unlike the debutantes who so often hurl themselves at him, this cunning minx offers a unique and irresistible challenge. Richard will help her. But in return, he wants something that even Sabine cannot fake.

See the book on Amazon. And see the Historical Romance Review.  Kate loves to hear from readers. Contact her via her Website and sign up for her newsletter to receive regular updates on new releases, giveaways and exclusive excerpts. And find her on Twitter @katebateman, Facebook, Pinterest and on her Amazon Author page.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

K.C. Bateman’s A COUNTERFEIT HEART – A Spy and a Forger Find Love in Regency England

Set in 1816, beginning in Paris, this is the story of master forger Sabine de la Tour who worked for Napoleon under the name Philippe Lacorte. Her counterfeits destabilized the continent and made many men rich. Now that the war with Napoleon is over she want’s to go straight but she needs funds to do so. She decides to strike a bargain with the English spy she’s tangled, Richard Hampden, Viscount Lovell.

When a young woman shows up on his doorstep late at night claiming to be the notorious forger, Richard is skeptical. But she quickly proves her claim to be true. Then he is intrigued. He’s between mistresses and Sabine is unlike the women who typically throw themselves at him. So, they make a deal: she will work for him for a month, helping to trap some dissidents and he will pay her 10,000 pounds. Unfortunately, he insists that she remain in his home for that month.

Sizzling chemistry, hot sex, a strong heroine and a self-important noble combine for a fast-paced, well written romance. While it’s obviously a part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. Bateman has done much research and she’s an expert in antiques so her tidbits about art ring true. Lots of historical detail makes it a rich tapestry. You won’t be bored!

Secrets and Spies series:

To Steal a Heart
A Raven’s Heart
A Counterfeit Heart

Note: Kate will be on the blog on the 17th so don't forget to check in as she will be offering a Giveaway!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY MARRIED – Regency Marriage of Convenience Leads to a Love

This is the story of Aidan Bedwyn, a colonel in the British Calvary, and the brother of the Duke of Bewcastle, who makes a promise to a dying soldier who saved his life to look after the soldier’s sister. Upon his return to England, he travels to Ringwood Manor in Oxfordshire only to discover a strange provision in the will of the dead soldier’s father that the sister must marry—within days—to save her home.

Eve, a coal miner’s daughter, has been waiting for her brother, Percy, and her beau, John, the son of an earl, to return. John promised to marry her but he is nowhere in sight and she has heard nothing from him. So when Aidan offers her a marriage of convenience, she accepts to keep the family estate from falling into the hands of her sniveling cousin (who reminded me of Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice) and to save a bevy of women and children (and others) she cares for from the streets.

The arrangement that brought about the need for Eve to marry was cleverly done. Eve plays host to a wonderful cast of secondary characters. I liked Eve well enough; she was practically a saint. But Aiden came off a bit of a crusty old guy (even though he was young). It was difficult to imagine the two together. Only at the end did they seem to find a genuine affection for each other. The book is a great set up for the series as it introduces you to the Bedwyn siblings.

The Bedwyn Saga series:

Slightly Married
Slightly Wicked
Slightly Scandalous
Slightly Tempted
Slightly Sinful
Slightly Dangerous

Monday, September 10, 2018

Victoria Cornwall’s THE THIEF’S DAUGHTER – Smuggling on the Cornwall Coast

Set in Cornwall in Georgian England, beginning in 1779 (with a prologue set in 1765),  this is the story of Jenna Cartwright Kestle, the virtuous daughter of thieving parents and a sister to brothers who were always in trouble with the authorities.

When Jenna is only four, the thief-takers carry off her older brothers and her parents, leaving only Silas, her last brother. She lives in fear of thief-takers ever after.

As the story begins, Silas is in debtor’s prison and asks for Jenna’s help to pay his creditors. He lies to her about his wife and children being in prison with him to gain her sympathy. Silas is an altogether bad actor but Jenna doesn’t yet realize it so she decides to get a job to pay her brother’s debts.

Jack Penhale, a thief-taker, hunts down the smuggling gangs thriving on Cornwall’s coast. The author vividly portrays the mood of the time as to the smugglers and men in prison for debt. Jack is particularly interested in the smuggling gang led by Ames and Job Blake because they took his father’s life.

When Jenna comes to the job market, he hires her for his housekeeper to tend the Captain’s Cabin he’s rented for its proximity to the coast. Jack is a noble character who only means good to Jenna. She is a bit clueless when it comes to her brother, allowing Silas to lure her into a smuggling scheme.

The author developed well the characters and their conflicting emotions. Though life for them was hard and bad things happened, the ending is sweetly romantic.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Lisa Kleypas’ SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME – Bow Street Runner Mistakes the Heroine for a Courtesan

This is the first of Kleypas’ Bow Street Runners trilogy. Though a date for the stories is not given, since the Bow Street Runners operated from 1749 to 1839, I’m guessing these are late Regency era since the hero in book 1 had been a Runner for many years, but no monarch is mentioned.

The story begins as Grant Morgan, a famous London Bow Street Runner, is called to the Thames where a half dead woman is fetched out of the water. Grant recognizes the redhead as the infamous courtesan, Vivien Rose Duvall. Grant takes her home where his staff cares for her. When she wakes, he discovers Vivien has amnesia.

Vivien accepts Grant’s claim she is a prostitute and that they were lovers, despite her misgivings. He tells her a lie about them being together as revenge for her snubbing him once at a ball. He believes she is the courtesan and tells her she sells her body for money. While Vivian is appalled by the thought, she knows her near drowning in the Thames was no accident. Someone wants her dead.

Meanwhile, Grant hunts for the criminal all the while very attracted to Vivian who he believes is playing the innocent.

I have to say that I did not want to put this one down. Kleypas does a great job with the sexual tension between the hero and there is just enough of a mystery as to who the heroine is and who wants to kill her to keep you reading. Though I figured out her identity before I was half way through, I still wanted to know how it ended.

The Bow Street Runners trilogy:

Someone to Watch Over Me
Lady Sophia’s Lover
Worth Any Price

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Nina Mason’s THE CAPTAIN OF HER FATE – A Very Forward Regency Woman Gets Her Man

Set in England in 1815, this is the story of Louisa Bennet (yes, same name as the heroine in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen), who, along with the hero’s sister reads Jane Austen’s stories. There are many references to Austen’s books. Some lines even seemed to mirror those in her stories.

Louisa is desperate to find a husband so she can avoid marrying her cousin, the man her father has picked out for her. Her father is a wicked man who beats his wife and Louisa and her sister. Louisa’s cousin is also an abuser.

When she hears Captain Theobald Raynalds has moved into her Shropshire neighborhood, Louisa decides he would make a good husband, even though she has yet to meet him.

One of Theo’s neighbors tells him about Louisa and promotes her as a most eligible young woman. Theo is fascinated, despite the fact he has no intention of seeking a wife having lost his leg at the Battle of Trafalgar and has been rejected by one woman already. He thinks often of Louisa despite the fact he’s never seen her.

The two meet at a local ball and engage in a conversation where Louisa, in a very forward manner, lets him know of her interest. He indicates he’s not interested but she is undaunted and proceeds to get him.

A well written story that follows Theo’s and Louisa’s attempt to be together as her father and fiancé repeatedly interfere. The love scenes are graphic and there are other scenes that add to the spicy nature of the book. Sprinkled throughout are historical references to people and places that add authenticity to the tale.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Vonnie Hughes’ MR. MONTFORT’S MARRIAGE – A Marriage of Convenience Turns to Love

Set in England in 1819, this is the story of Matthew Montfort from a wealthy merchant shipping family and Lady Verity, the daughter of the impoverished Earl of Alun whose looking for a man of wealth to marry the daughter he cares little about.

When Matt learns that his father and hers have contrived to make a match (his family wants to join the nobility), he resists. That is until he sees Verity’s father physically abusing her. Feeling chivalrous and sorry for her, he changes his mind and agrees to wed her. It is, after all, time for him to wed. And so begins their somewhat arranged “marriage of convenience”.

Hughes writes very well and this tale of a girl masquerading as a boy (at her father’s insistence) all the while wanting to help her and her mother escape her father’s clutches will keep you entertained for many hours. Matt is an honorable guy and soon finds his new bride brings him more than he realized. Regency lovers will enjoy this one.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Shirlee Busbee’s LOVERS FOREVER – Smugglers, Mystery and Amnesia!

September is Georgian and Regency Romances month on Historical Romance Review and I’m starting with one by an author whose stories I love!

Set in 1811, mostly in Kent, this is the story of Lady Tess Mandeville. Tess looks like her ill-fated great grandmother, who also had red hair and violet eyes and who was abducted, raped and impregnated by Baron Mandeville, and forced to marry the evil man instead of the Earl of Sherbourne whom she loved. Now there is another Baron Mandeville, Avery, a distant cousin of the one who recently died. Thinking to have her fortune, Avery imprisons Tess in his house and demands she wed him.

With the aid of her aunts, Tess escapes, only to fall into the hands of smugglers looking for a horse. They take her horse and her jewels and hit her on the head, whereupon she loses her memory. In a nearby traveler’s inn, she meets the handsome Nicolas Talmage, Earl of Sherbourne, who assumes she is a tavern wench available for his use. He plies her with liquor and takes her innocence. When he tells Tess she will become his mistress, she refuses, but Nicolas ignores her. He takes her to an old cottage on the outskirts of his estate where he basically holds her prisoner as his mistress and “no thought of resisting him crossed her mind.” Apparently neither was concerned she might birth a bastard.

I love Busbee’s storytelling, which captured me immediately with Tess’ strange family history, and the inclusion of smugglers operating on the coast of Kent. The mystery of what happened to Tess’ great grandmother persists till the end. The plot thickens when the smugglers return and threaten Tess. Meanwhile, her uncles, who guard her fortune, are on the hunt for her. I loved Busbee’s portrayal of the uncles and their dry speech. And all her Regency expressions add richness to the story.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Muriel, the Countess of Claremont wishes you a very happy National Matchmaker Day!

Since this is National Matchmaker Day, I thought to introduce you to Muriel, Countess of Claremont, a matchmaker supreme, who appears in many of my stories and will be a character in the next one, Rogue’s Holiday.

The countess is a wealthy dowager (in her late 60s) with an estate in greater London. She has silver hair and soft gray eyes; she wears tasteful silk brocades, pearls and sometimes, feathers. Usually, she wears a bejeweled quizzing glass. She has the voice of authority but a tender heart. When giving advice to her young friends that she has taken under her wing, she can be stern. Men like Lord Alvanley, a Regency buck and friend of the Prince Regent, adore her and she them.

Muriel loved her husband dearly (as you’ll see in A Secret Scottish Christmas when she tells of how he proposed to her and we learn the secret behind her pearls). Muriel refers to him as “the earl” and often remembers him fondly. Since his death, Muriel has given her life to her friends and to assuring each finds love.

She likes honorable rakes and matchmaking is her favorite hobby. In The Twelfth Night Wager, she managed the redheaded rake, Lord Eustace, quite nicely. And she enjoys the card game Loo.

In Against the Wind (book 2 in the Agents of the Crown series), she is much taken with the spy Sir Martin Powell, as you can see from their meeting:

“Good evening, my lord, my lady.” The dowager countess smiled graciously at the Ormonds, and Martin thought her voice quite deep for a woman. The voice of authority. But those soft gray eyes suggested a kind heart beneath the finery and formal greeting. “So good of you to attend.”
“Countess,” Ormond said, bowing. “My wife and I were most pleased to accept your invitation.”
The woman paused for Ormond to finish then quickly turned her attention to Martin. Raising a bejeweled quizzing glass, she slowly perused him, as if inspecting a new horse for her stable, while directing her words to the marquess. “Who is this dashingly handsome man you’ve seen fit to bring with you tonight, Ormond? And where”—she paused with dramatic emphasis, allowing her quizzing glass to drop on its chain—“have you been keeping him?”
Martin chuckled. “Sir Martin Powell at your service, Countess. And, to answer your question, I have been living on the Continent. However, I am most grateful to be included in your lovely soirée this evening.”
“We can always use another knight to attend our many damsels, Sir Martin. I’m delighted you’ve come.” The countess raised a silver eyebrow. “Do I detect a hint of the French in your voice?”
“Very perceptive, my lady.” He gave her a mischievous grin. “Yes, you might.”
He said no more, and when it was clear he would not, the countess offered her hand. Without a word Martin took it and bowed low. When he glanced up, it was to see her eyes shining with apparent delight. He really did love older women of great character, and he suspected that the countess was one of these, formidable in all things with a well-hidden soft heart. The smile he gave her was sincere.
Straightening, he gave her a wink, to which she returned a “Humph.” At least, that’s what it sounded like. But the older woman seemed to enjoy his impudence, just as he’d thought she might.
“I must be off, children. See that you dance with the young maidens, Sir Martin. I expect they will all be gawking at you. Perhaps having been in France you can manage that new dance the Prince Regent introduced at Court last year, that outrageous waltz. I’ve avoided it as long as possible, but with all the fuss I’ve had to include it in tonight’s repertoire.” Then the countess dipped her head at the threesome and turned to leave. Glancing over her shoulder at Martin, she glided away just as he thought he heard another “Humph.”
“It appears you’ve made a conquest, Martin,” Lady Ormond said with a small laugh, “one that will serve you well in London society. If my eyes did not deceive me, our intimidating hostess was quite taken. It’s rare to see her so enamored with a man. Few impress her.”
“She reminds me of my mother, another grand lady,” Martin noted as he watched the countess sail smoothly away.

Muriel matched Rose Collinwood with an Irish barrister in The Shamrock & The Rose, and her close friend Lady Emily Picton with a wealthy Scottish shipbuilder in The Holly & The Thistle. In A Secret Scottish Christmas she is determined to see the Scottish lass, Aileen Stephen properly matched but which of the Powell twins will it be?

She speaks ill of the “scandalous waltz”, introduced to court by the Prince Regent in 1816, but includes it in her ball because everyone is clamoring for it. (Her balls are the highlight of the London Season and no politician or member of the nobility would dare miss one as she can be a formidable ally—or enemy.)

Her favorite drink is The Spy Madeira wine (Emily brings her a bottle in The Holly & The Thistle).

The stories featuring Muriel can be found on Amazon. Just click the covers in the sidebars on the blog, or see them on my Amazon Author Page.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Anita Mills’ FALLING STARS – Beware Handsome, Mysterious Russians Offering Jewels

Mills serves up an unusual story that sweeps the heroine from the ballrooms of London to the grand palaces of Russia. The story begins in London in 1814 where Katherine (“Kate”) Winstead, and her younger sister Carissa, are enjoying the London Season with their brother, Harry, Baron Winstead. [Usually the title and surname are not the same but here they are.] Harry’s best friend is Bellamy (“Bell”), Viscount Townsend, a rake of the first order with the face of an angel. He and Kate constantly exchange barbs and unpleasant truths about each other.

By all accounts, Kate is both short (5 feet tall) and plain, and at 22 “on the shelf”, yet when the Russians come to town with young Czar Alexander, all that changes. For some reason known only to his sister Galena and him, handsome Count Alexei Volsky takes a fancy to Katherine and quickly offers for her. Now why would a handsome Russian count do that? Why, indeed. To have such an offer as a plain girl is unheard of and Katherine does not fail to accept, particularly when the count’s sister, Galena, tells Kate the huge betrothal ruby on her finger proves Alexei loves her.

I thought Mills did this part especially well, preserving the mystery as the wool is pulled over Kate’s eyes. Ah, but no reader will fail to wonder just what’s going on.

Meanwhile, Viscount Townsend must escape a woman in London who has set a trap for him, so he decides to go to Russia when Kate and the Russian entourage leave town. And the plot thickens.

Russia is a very foreign place to Kate: the language, the people and the customs. She feels trapped inside Alexei’s huge estate as the snows pile up outside. There, she learns she is pregnant and is thrilled—until she discovers, to her horror, her marriage is a sham and underneath it all is a horrible truth. Kate decides (reasonably so) to flee Russia in winter. And who should come to her rescue but Bell, Viscount Townsend.

This is an unusual, well-told tale that kept me turning pages. Mills did very well with the Russian culture and scenes in and around Moscow in the winter. I felt the cold and lamented the loss of green England along with Kate. You must be patient to see the hero as an actual hero (though there are earlier hints) but he does come around in the end.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Best Historical Romances Set in Exotic Locales

Lausanne-Castle, Switzerland

It’s August and you’re home and you’re bored. Maybe the kids are going back to school. You want an adventure, an around the world trip, or perhaps an ocean voyage—without leaving your living room. And you want a good love story. But you’re tired of those set mostly in England, Scotland, Ireland and America. Well, I have just the list for you!

My mother taught me to read when I was four and told me I could travel the world through books. She was right. And were she still alive, she would love this list I’ve created just for you daydreamers out there who long to travel… historical romances by some great authors set in exotic locales. Though some might begin (or end) in England or America, they will quickly take you to another time and another place! And all have been rated 4 or 5 stars by me. In each case, I’ve given you the location.

Across a Moonlit Sea, The Iron Rose and The Following Sea, trilogy by Marsha Canham (the Caribbean and the Spanish Main)
Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer (France and Spain)
Beyond Innocence by Joanna Lloyd (Australia)
Beyond Sunrise by Candice Proctor (the South Pacific, Polynesian islands)
Bianca by Bertrice Small, 1st in the Silk Merchant’s Daughters series (Florence, Italy and the Black Sea)
Blue Moon by Parris Afton Bonds (Mexico)
Broken Wing by Judith James (France, North Africa and the Mediterranean)
Dark Torment by Karen Robards (Australia)
Devil’s Embrace and Devil’s Daughter by Catherine Coulter (Italy and the Mediterranean)
Falling Stars by Anita Mills (Russia)
Falsely Accused by Margaret Tanner (Australia)
Fields of the Sun by Nadine Crenshaw (Morocco, the Atlantic Ocean and Brazil)
Forever and a Lifetime by Jennifer Horsman (Switzerland)
Fortune’s Mistress, Fortune’s Flame and Fortune’s Bride by Judith E. French (Caribbean and Panama)
Green Eyes by Karen Robards (Ceylon)
Gypsy Jewel by Patricia McAllister (Black Sea, Russia)
Gypsy Lord by Kat Martin (France)
Harcourt’s Mountain by Elaine Dodge (British Columbia, Canada)
Hearts Beguiled by Penelope Williamson (France)
Heaven in His Arms by Lisa Ann Verge (Canadian wilderness)
Helena’s Choice by Patty Apostolides (Greece)
Island Flame by Karen Robards (various exotic ports between Lisbon and America)
Lady of Fire and Fire and Steel by Anita Mills (Normandy)
Lady of Fire by Valerie Vayle (the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Turkey and France)
Napoleon’s Rosebud by Humphry Knipe (Island of Saint Helena, England and Italy)
Night in Eden by Candice Proctor (Australia)
Night Shadow by Laura Renken (the Caribbean and the Spanish Main)
No Gentle Love by Rebecca Brandewyne (Ireland, France, Africa, India and China)
Notorious Angel by Jennifer Blake (Nicaragua)
On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt (Germany)
Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney (Spain and Portugal)
Oriana by Valerie Vayle (France, Caribbean)
Rangoon by Christine Monson (Burma)
Sense Of Touch by Rozsa Gaston (France)
September Moon by Candice Proctor (Australian outback)
Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss (Caribbean)
Silk and Secrets and Veils of Silk by Mary Jo Putney (Uzbekistan, Persia, India)
Sleep in the Woods by Dorothy Eden (New Zealand)
Splendor by Brenda Joyce (Russia)
Surrender the Night by Christine Monson (Italy, Switzerland and Hungary)
The Book of Seven Delights by Betina Krahn (Morocco)
The Book of True Desires by Betina Krahn (Cuba and Mexico)
The Captain of All Pleasures by Kresley Cole (the High Seas from England to Australia) and the sequel, The Price of Pleasure (Oceania and Cape Town, South Africa)
The Captive by Victoria Holt (the Middle East)
The Demon Lover by Victoria Holt (France)
The Devil on Horseback by Victoria Holt (France)
The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran (India)
The Flesh and The Devil by Teresa Denys (Spain)
The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne (France)
The Golden Barbarian by Iris Johansen (the Balkans and Sedikhan, a mythical country)
The Hidden Heart by Laura Kinsale (South America, Tahiti and the Pacific)
The India Fan by Victoria Holt (India)
The Jacaranda Tree by Rebecca Brandewyne (Australia)
The Judas Kiss by Victoria Holt (Germany/Bavaria)
The Kadin by Bertrice Small (Turkey)
The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk by Sally Malcolm (fictional island off Africa)
The Lily and the Falcon by Jannine Corte-Petska (Italy)
The Lion's Daughter by Loretta Chase (Albania)
The Lion’s Embrace by Marie Laval (Algeria)
The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien (Turkey)
The Pride of the Peacock by Victoria Holt (Australia)
The Secret Rose by Laura Parker (Australia)
The Secret Woman by Victoria Holt (South Seas)
The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys (Italy)
The Spanish Rose by Shirlee Busbee (Jamaica, the Caribbean)
The Storm and the Splendor by Jennifer Blake (Algiers)
The Warrior by Judith E. French (Egypt)
The Wind and the Sea by Marsha Canham (North Africa, the High Seas)
The Wind Dancer by Iris Johansen (Italy) and the sequel, Storm Winds (France)
This Fiery Splendor by Christine Monson (India)
Till Dawn Tames the Night by Meagan McKinney (the High Seas and the Caribbean)
Under Gypsy Skies by Kathryn Kramer (Spain)
Velvet is the Night by Elizabeth Thornton (France)
Whispers of Heaven by Candice Proctor (Tasmania)

As you choose your destination, consider my own novels set in exotic locales: Racing With The Wind (Paris), Wind Raven (the High Seas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean), To Tame the Wind, Echo in the Wind and A Fierce Wind (France and the High Seas).