Monday, November 29, 2021

Best Victorian Romances!

 

This list features romances set in the Victorian era, generally from 1837 (the year Victoria became Queen) to 1901 (the year of her death). The common perception of the period is that the Victorians were “prudish, hypocritical, stuffy and narrow-minded”.  But these perceptions are not always accurate, particularly when the British characters were traveling and learning much about other cultures, as you will see in these romances. All of those listed here have been rated 4 or 5 stars by me:

 

A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran

Beauty and the Spymaster by Moriah Densley (novella)

Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran

Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt

From Fields of Gold by Alexandra Ripley

Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran

Gentle From the Night by Meagan McKinney

Gypsy Jewel by Patricia McAllister

Harcourt’s Mountain by Elaine Dodge

If You Dare, If You Desire and If You Deceive, MacCarrick Brothers trilogy by Kresley Cole

Lady Sophia’s Lover and Worth Any Price, the Bow Street Runners by Lisa Kleypas

Lord Edward’s Mysterious Treasure by Lillian Marek

Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt

Lord of Wicked Intentions by Lorraine Heath

Mine Till Midnight, Seduce Me at Sunrise, Tempt Me at Twilight, Married by Morning and Love in the Afternoon, Hathaway Series, by Lisa Kleypas

Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt

On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt

Proof of Virtue by Leila Snow

Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley

September Moon by Candice Proctor

Silk and Shadows, Silk and Secrets and Veils of Silk, the Silk Trilogy by Mary Jo Putney

Sleep in the Woods by Dorothy Eden

Song for Sophia and The King of Threadneedle Street by Moriah Densley

Surrender the Night by Christine Monson

The Book of the Seven Delights and The Book of True Desires by Betina Krahn

The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran

The Last Bachelor by Betina Krahn

The Pride of the Peacock by Victoria Holt

The Road to Paradise Island by Victoria Holt

The Scarlet Thread by Beck Lee Weyrich

The Secret Woman by Victoria Holt

The Silk Vendetta by Victoria Holt

The Time of the Hunter’s Moon by Victoria Holt

This Fiery Splendor by Christine Monson

To Wed The Widow by Megan Bryce

When We Touch by Heather Graham

When the Earl was Wicked by Stacy Reid

Where the Horses Run by Kaki Warner

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Lisa Kleypas’ WORTH ANY PRICE – Last of the Runners Gives into Love

Book 3 of the Bow Street Runners trilogy begins in 1839 and tells the story of Nick Gentry, the handsome rogue from book 2 who turned out to be John, Lord Stanley, Lady Sophia’s brother who did not die on the prison ship as she had thought. To save him from the hangman’s noose, Sophia persuaded Sir Ross, head of the runners, to let her brother have another chance. Now, three years later, he is a runner and doing quite well, still as Nick Gentry.

 

In book 2, Nick was portrayed as a handsome, dangerous hero of the streets. In this story he seemed different, less dangerous (unfortunately) and very vulnerable to one young woman. One might have titled this book the taming of Nick Gentry for that is pretty much what it is.

 

Nick wants nothing to do with his title that Sir Ross seems intent on having him claim. The runners will soon be disbanded and Sir Ross tells Nick he must take his place in the House of Lords and assume his real identity. Early in the story, Nick takes a wife, one Miss Charlotte Howard, who he was hired to find and return to her betrothed, an old and controlling peer. Having no scruples and knowing Charlotte is on the run from her betrothed, Nick offers her his protection in the form of marriage. She accepts.

 

Mostly this is about the relationship (both emotional and physical) between Nick and Lottie but there is this villain lurking somewhere in the background. Like the others in the trilogy, it reflects Kleypas’ research into the Bow Street runners and that is interesting. In this book, they are fading out as the “New Police” are coming in.

 

Lottie is an innocent and Nick is a madam-trained (as in bordello madam) man of sexual sophistication so you know where the love scenes are going. And like the other two books, there are many (some might say too many). Still an entertaining read.

 

 

The Bow Street Runners:

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

 

 

 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Victoria Holt’s THE SHIVERING SANDS – A love story wrapped in a mystery!

Set in the late Victorian era, this is the story of Caroline Verlaine, a young widow, who has lost her archeologist parents and her brilliant pianist husband to untimely deaths, and now her sister Roma has disappeared. Determined to find Roma, who went missing while on a dig in Dover, England, Caroline, who is a pianist herself, takes a job in the area—as a resident piano teacher to Sir William Stacy’s three young charges. One of the girls is the illegitimate daughter of the heir, Napier Sands, and another of the young women is his wife.

 

Caroline tells no one she is the sister of the missing woman. Soon, she finds there are other mysteries at the Stacy home, including Napier’s past in which he killed his older brother, in what may or may not have been an accident, and the “shivering” sands off shore that swallow ships. Caring little for his young wife, who is afraid of him, Napier makes a project out of Caroline, telling her, “You and I are like those ships. We are caught in the shivering sands of the past. We shall never escape because we are held fast, held by our memories and other people’s opinions of us.”

 

When a new curate shows up at the village, he joins Caroline in solving the mystery of what happened to her sister, and what is now Napier’s missing wife. And danger draws close as Caroline’s life is threatened.

 

Holt did an excellent job of creating a mystery with no clear villain but many who had motives. And despite that it takes place in virtually one location, there is much happening with some great secondary characters, including Sybil, the batty old sister of Sir William, Napier’s father, and of course, the three young women. At one point I thought the mystery itself dragged a bit, but as with all novels by Holt, the finish is excellent.

 

It’s a mystery, a love story and a story of new beginnings, choices and redemption. Told from the first person, you are only in Caroline’s head but the hearts of others are revealed through dialog. A worthy read, I recommend it.



Monday, November 22, 2021

Megan Bryce’s TO WED THE WIDOW – Early Victorian with a Seductive Widow and an Earl’s heir, both want a child and marriage but not with each other

 

George Sinclair loved India but when his brother’s wife gave birth to a fourth daughter, Sebastian, the earl, demanded his brother return to England as his heir. And he wanted George to marry. Any respectable woman would do, but not “The Widow”, Elinor, Lady Haywood. She’s been widowed five times and with no children to show for it. She is a distraction George very much wants in his bed, but what he needs is a wife from a good family. What Lady Haywood wants is a child and her next husband.

 

The story is well told with rich emotion and some great characters, even a villain in Elinor’s brother. No real history here except the references to India and trade, which George was once engaged in. But it’s a delightful story of the tug of war between George and his staid brother, the earl, that will draw you in. And there is a side story of the earl and his wife, who befriends Elinor. I recommend it.

 


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Stacy Reid’s WHEN THE EARL WAS WICKED – Bare-fisted fighter teaches a lady of quality to fight

Set in the Victorian era, this is the story of Lady Verity Ayles who, having been assaulted by a nobleman, decides to learn the art of self-defense. For her tutor, she chooses James Radcliffe, the Earl of Maschelly, who has a reputation for bare-fisted fighting, among other rakish pursuits.


James, who has come from poverty and not quite ton material notwithstanding his title, decides to take her up on the offer.  He will teach her how to fight and, in exchange, she will instruct him on all the refined manners needed to win a lady of quality.

 

Much of the book is taken up with her brother’s attempts to marry her to a villain and her clandestine meetings with James to learn to defend herself. She comes to see James as a worthy, kindhearted man and he sees her as a potential mate. A clever idea, well-told and a light, enjoyable read.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Meredith Duran’s A LADY’S LESSON IN SCANDAL, Captivating Victorian…My Fair Lady with a Twist!

Meredith Duran’s writing is unique, detailed, word intensive, impeccably researched, and so captivating I couldn’t put this story down.

 

A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal is a Victorian romance, a sort of My Fair Lady with an inheritance twist. It introduces us to Cornelia (“Nell”), who was born a twin, the daughters of the Earl of Rushden. As a young child, Nell was stolen by a nanny who was half crazy, and hidden away in the East End of London. Raised in poverty, she became a factory girl, though she loved books, and in that, was well educated. She survived by her wits and her determination, but suffered terribly from too little food and too little care.

 

Just before the woman Nell called “Mum” died, she told Nell her father was Lord Rushden, and encouraged her to find him. Nell goes in search of the man she thought did her Mum wrong, intending to shoot him. But she finds instead a new, young Lord Rushden (the earl’s heir), Simon St. Maur, who is her 3rd cousin. Simon, a handsome rake who has inherited the title and lands but no wealth to support them (all the money was left to the earl’s two daughters), recognizes Nell for who she is immediately. He offers to wed her, thereby helping her to become a lady and regain her rightful place and wealth, enriching both their coffers. Nell agrees, realizing only too late she has given Simon her heart.

 

Simon is fascinated by Nell who is so different from the superficial ladies of society he is used to, but if he cannot persuade the court to accept her as the lost twin, he intends to annul the marriage.

 

Duran weaves a suspenseful, believable romance, a story of two people caught between a life of wealth and a life of poverty, neither one comfortable in the other’s world, yet perfect together.


 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Victoria Holt’s ON THE NIGHT OF THE SEVENTH MOON – Love and Mystery in the Black Forest!

Set in Germany and England from 1859 to 1870 (with an end note in 1901), this tells the story of Helena Trant whose parents were so much in love they had little time for her. Still, hers was a happy childhood among books in Oxford where her father had a bookstore. When she was old enough, her parents sent her to Germany near the Black Forest to a convent school where her mother had been educated.

 

Helena loves the forest and the fairy tales surrounding it. She hears of the legend of the night of the seventh moon “when mischief is abroad and is routed with the coming of dawn.” On one night, she gets lost in the mist of the forest and is rescued by a man who takes her to his hunting lodge. She taken with him that she might have allowed him to have his way with her but for the intervention of a housekeeper who took measures to preserve Helena’s virtue. But Helena never forgot the man even though she did not know his name.

 

Years later, she returns to Germany and on another night of the seventh moon Helena meets and marries her German at his hunting lodge, but then she wakes from her idyllic honeymoon to discover she has been drugged by a physician who tells her she has escaped a horror that befell her in the forest. Helena lives in a fog of dreams and wonders where truth is.

 

I have to say that I love Holt’s writing, and this story sucked me in immediately. It is labeled as a romantic suspense, but I didn’t see it containing any more suspense than many historical romances. But it does have a Gothic feel and there is a mystery. Holt had me wondering what had really happened. She did an excellent job of that. The book is a bit slow in the middle, and the hero and heroine are separated for years. In that interim, I found passages that seemed repetitive, but the ending is a great one. As always, Holt is a master storyteller and creates wonderfully vivid characters. I recommend it.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Leila Snow’s PROOF OF VIRTUE – Victorian Heroine Goes from Pit to Pinnacle

Set in Manchester, England in 1848, this is the story of Emma Belden, an orphan with two young siblings to care for as a result of a cholera epidemic that took their parents. Forced to enter a workhouse, they endure mistreatment and meager food. Emma’s beauty draws the unwanted attention of the master of the workhouse and, worse, Edward Wells, the owner of the local textile mill. Thus the story begins on a bleak note with the horrors of the workhouse and sniveling evil men grasping at goodhearted Emma.

 

Emma is forced to choose between the safety of her brother and sister and her own virtue. She makes the hard choice and endures the abuse that comes with it. But hope is at hand. Gideon, Lord de Monthaut, is smitten the moment he sees Emma, and thinks perhaps he might have Wells’ mistress for a night. But he is in for a surprise.

 

Snow’s good storytelling draws the reader into the hard life faced by those impoverished in the Victorian era. No doubt other young women were swept into the same terrible life as she was. But since this is romance, so Emma endures and finds love. A splendid, if sometimes troubling, story for the Victorian era aficionado.


 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Victoria Holt’s THE TIME OF THE HUNTER'S MOON – Engaging Victorian Romance with a Mystery

This is the story of Cordelia Grant, raised by her beloved Aunt Patty when her missionary parents died in Africa. Aunt Patty was a joy to live with. She ran a school for girls that Cordelia was educated to one day take over. But events led to another route and Cordelia ends up teaching at a different school.

According to legend, a girl will see her future husband at the time of the hunter's moon. When she was still in Germany where she had gone to a school to be “finished”, Cordelia meets a handsome stranger who told her he was Edward Compton. She later learns that the young man of that name died 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, while teaching at the new school, she meets the landlord, Sir Jason Verringer, a wealthy, compelling man about whom swirl rumors of his having murdered his wife. And he wants Cordelia for his next wife.

Holt does a wonderful job of bringing Cordelia’s world to life. Told in the first person, we are only ever in Cordelia’s head so we feel her emotions. She is a wise young woman, discerning others’ intent. She deals well with her students and the determined Sir Jason though she finds him intriguing. As always with Holt’s stories, there is mystery. Whatever happened to Edward, the man to whom she was drawn like no other?

If you like Victoria Holt, you’ll enjoy this one.


 

Monday, November 8, 2021

Victoria Holt’s MISTRESS OF MELLYN – Gothic Mystery with a Wonderful Love Story

Set in Victorian England in Devon, Cornwall, this is the story of Martha Leigh (“Miss Leigh”) who, at 24, comes to Mount Mellyn to become the governess to widower Connan TreMellyn’s young daughter, Alvean.

 

After all, what’s an educated woman with no parents and no prospects to do?

 

Miss Leigh soon discovers that Alvean is spoiled, hard to manage and suffering from too little of her father's attention, which might explain the departure of the last three governesses. In addition to Alvean, there’s a mysterious young child, Gillyflowers, who sings to herself and whose mother committed suicide. Martha determines to win both children and show Connan he is wrong about them all.

 

So she teaches Alvean, who supposedly can’t ride a horse, to ride well. And she begins to teach Gilly, who all think a bit daft, to read.

 

But there’s a mystery surrounding Connan’s wife’s death and the goings on around the large house on the edge of the sea that soon capture Martha’s attention. And, despite her better judgment, she is beginning to fall in love with the master of the house.

 

Holt does a masterful job of drawing us into the mystery—into the secrets of the family’s past—and there are many in this mystery. Oh, yes, there is a surprise at the end.

 

I love Victoria Holt's Gothic mysteries, usually centered around an old house with secrets and some evil lurking in the shadows. This one is set in Cornwall and Holt captures the people wonderfully. I couldn’t put it down and found myself looking forward to diving into “Miss Leigh’s” puzzle solving for my bedtime reading.

 

I recommend it!


Friday, November 5, 2021

An Early Christmas gift! The Holly & The Thistle is free!

 

London, December 1818

Lady Emily Picton’s only thought upon entering Berry’s wine shop was to purchase a bottle of Madeira for her good friend Muriel, Countess of Claremont. She had no time for an impudent clerk—or so she thought.
 
Scotsman William Stephen, who’d sent the clerk at Berry’s to the cellar to hunt for a special French cognac, took the rain-battered female to be a charwoman who hadn’t bathed in weeks. But when he saw her pale purple eyes, the color of heather, he decided to help her.
 
An English lady, a handsome Scot and Christmastide all come together for a wonderful tale of unlikely love. 

The story will put you in the mood for the season, I promise. 

Get it FREE on Amazon for three days.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Lorraine Heath’s LORD OF WICKED INTENTIONS – A Victorian Story of Redemption and Second Chances

Set in the mid-1800s, this is the third in the Lost Lords of Pembrook trilogy. Had I known that, I might have started with book 1. By the time we get to Rafe’s story, it is clear that much has taken place in the lives of the three brothers who were imprisoned by an uncle. But they escaped awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.

Lord Rafe Easton was the one who escaped to survive on his own in the streets of St. Giles. Now the owner of a successful gambling hall, he is wealthy and has shunned his two brothers who left him in a workhouse as a child. He is bitter and determined to need or love no one…until Eve comes into his life.

 

After her father's death, Miss Evelyn Chambers, an earl's illegitimate daughter, thinks her half brother intends to find her a husband as he promised her father he would see to her needs. However, he has in mind something quite different and offers her to the highest bidder among the lords who want a new mistress. And Rafe Easton, invited to the bidding because Evelyn’s brother owes him much, decides to have her.


When Evelyn is taken to Rafe Easton’s home, she assumes it’s to be his housekeeper. She is shocked to learn he expects her to be his mistress.

 

A great story of redemption and the power of love to change a heart. I enjoyed this story and will read more of the trilogy. Lorraine Heath’s stories are always emotion-packed and powerful. A wonderful Victorian romance.


Monday, November 1, 2021

Lillian Marek’s LORD EDWARD’S MYSTERIOUS TREASURE – Romance and Treasure Hunt in Victorian France

November is Victorian month on Historical Romance Review. I’m starting with one set in France.

 

Set in Brittany in 1871, this is the story of Lord Edward Tremaine, an Englishman summoned to the Chateau Morvan on the coast of Brittany by his friend Antoine (Tony”) who claims there’s a treasure to find.

 

Ned travels to France where he discovers a strange collection of people. The old vicomte, who appears to be dying, insists Tony and his two cousins search for the treasure. One young cousin, Delphine, beautiful and captures Ned’s attention but, as time goes on, he notices there is something wrong with her. The other cousin, Marguerite, an accomplished pianist, appears stern and withdrawn. In truth, she worries about Delphine and providing for little family. Ned’s friend, Tony is worried about funding his steel factory and only seeks the treasure for what it can give him.

 

The story is well written but moves along rather slowly with a fair amount of repetition in motives and introspection. The romance between Ned and Marguerite develops only after he precipitously asks her to marry him. Marguerite is happy to share Ned’s bed but resists marriage because she is a commoner and he’s an aristocrat. (Ned and his family think nothing of it.) All that seemed a bit strange for the Victorian era.

 

The story picks up when a few secrets are revealed, Ned has an idea of how to find the treasure and his parents show up to find out what’s behind their son’s letters. All the threads come together for a satisfying end.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

J. R. Tomlin’s NOBLE TRAITOR – Vivid story of some of the First War for Scottish Independence

There were so many things I liked about this book, the depth of research, the medieval feel, the vivid descriptions of battles (some excruciatingly so) and the characters brought to life. But there were issues for me, too.

 

First, Thomas, the lead character, seemed very naïve for a knight. He is appalled at what he considers treachery and tricks on the part of his uncle, Robert the Bruce, to whom he is forsworn, yet he has no problem with King Edward’s utter cruelty. Thomas seemed unaware of the massacre of Berwick’s people just to prove a point or the brutal slayings of Robert the Bruce’s brothers and horrible treatment of his women by the English. So, for much of the book, Thomas was to me a weak and utterly ignorant man, seemingly unaware of what was at stake for the Scots and why they fought as they did.

 

Then there was this: the book ends abruptly, as if the author forgot to finish it. Loose ends are not tied up and relationships are left hanging. The end of the story is just the end of a battle. If the story continues in a subsequent book, then to my mind, this is not a “stand alone” novel. I got to the end and just stared at the page. So, what would have been a 5-star novel is not quite to that level. Still, it’s a good read.


 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Best Medieval Romances!


 

Who among us ladies hasn’t dreamed of a knight in shining armor? A valiant hero living in a time when valor prevailed and a woman of character who loved him. (I did say we were dreaming, right?) These historical novels will take you there.

 

Since the medieval period in European history spanned the 5th century to the 15th century, all the stories on my list take place during that time; however, some Scottish, Irish, Viking and Pirate/Privateer historicals not listed here can be found on those specific “Best Lists” (links on the right side of my blog).

 

All of these listed below have garnered 4, 4 and ½ or 5 stars from me:

 

A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

Autumn’s Flame by Denise Domning

Baron of Godsmere and Baron of Emberly by Tamara Leigh

Betrothal by Jenna Jaxon (the first part of a 3-part story)

Bianca by Bertrice Small

Blackheart by Tamara Leigh

Blue Heaven, Black Night by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)

Bond of Blood by Roberta Gellis

Bride of the Lion by Elizabeth Stuart

By His Majesty’s Grace, By Grace Possessed and Seduced by Grace by Jennifer Blake

By Possession, By Design, Stealing Heaven, By Arrangement, The Protector and Lord of a Thousand Nights, 14th century London series by Madeline Hunter

Candle in the Window by Christina Dodd

Come the Morning, Conquer the Night, Seize the Dawn, Knight Triumphant, The Lion in Glory, and When We Touch from the Graham series by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)

Crimson Secret by Janet Lane

Damsel in Distress by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)

Desire Lines by Elizabeth Kingston

Desire of the Heart by Katherine Vickery (aka Kathryn Kramer)

Devoted by Alice Borchardt

Enchantress, Kiss of the Moon and Outlaw, Welsh trilogy by Lisa Jackson

Everlasting by Kathleen Woodiwiss

Fair, Bright and Terrible by Elizabeth Kingston

For the King’s Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick

Forever and a Lifetime by Jennifer Horsman

His Stolen Bride by Shelly Thacker

Honor & Roses by Elizabeth Cole

Impostress, Temptress and Sorceress, Welsh trilogy with fantasy elements by Lisa Jackson

Keeper of the Dream by Penelope Williamson

Knight’s Honor by Roberta Gellis

Lady of Fire, Fire and Steel and The Fire and the Fury from the Fire Series by Anita Mills

Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson

Lady of Valor from the Warrior trilogy by Tina St. John

Laird of the Wind by Susan King

Lespada by Kathryn Le Veque

Lie Down in Roses by Heather Graham

Lily Fair by Kimberly Cates

Lord of Desire, Lord of Temptation and Lord of Seduction, Risande Family trilogy by Paula Quinn

Lord of Vengeance by Tina St. John

On a Highland Shore and Rivals for the Crown by Kathleen Givens

Princess of Fire and the sequel Knight of Fire by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)

Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey

Red Adam’s Lady by Grace Ingram

Rose of Rapture by Rebecca Brandewyne

Sense of Touch by Rozsa Gaston

Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale

Siege of the Heart by Elise Cyr

Silk and Steel and the sequel Desire and Deceive by Cordia Byers

Silverhawk by Barbara Bettis

Spellbound by Nadine Crenshaw

Sword of the Heart by Maureen Kurr

The Angel Knight by Susan King

The Bedeviled Heart by Carmen Caine

The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux

The Breaking Dawn by Jayne Castel

The Bride Gift by Sarah Hegger

The Christmas Knight by Michele Sinclair

The Conqueror, Promise of the Rose and The Prize, trilogy by Brenda Joyce

The Deepening Night by Jayne Castel (7th century Britain)

The Devil to Pay by K.C. Bateman

The Dragon Tree by Marsha Canham

The Falcon and the Flower, The Dragon and the Jewel and The Marriage Prize, the Plantagenet trilogy by Virginia Henley

The King’s Pleasure by Heather Graham

The King’s Rebel by Michelle Morrison

The Last Knight by Candice Proctor

The Lily and the Falcon by Jannine Corti-Petska

The Lion’s Bride by Connie Mason

The King’s Man by Elizabeth Kingston

The Knight’s Scarred Maiden by Nicole Locke

The Outlaw Knight (aka Lords of the White Castle) by Elizabeth Chadwick

The Raven and the Rose by Virginia Henley

The Rose of Blacksword by Rexanne Becnel

The Swan Maiden and The Stone Maiden from the Maiden trilogy by Susan King

The Unveiling by Tamara Leigh

The Warrior’s Game and Spring’s Fury by Denise Domning

The Wild Hunt by Elizabeth Chadwick

The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss

Through a Dark Mist, In the Shadow of Midnight and The Last Arrow, Robin Hood trilogy by Marsha Canham

Uncommon Vows by Mary Jo Putney

Untamed, Forbidden and Enchanted, trilogy by Elizabeth Lowell

Warrior Poet by Kathryn Lc Veque

Warrior’s Song, Fire Song, Earth Song and Secret Song, medieval series by Catherine Coulter

When Love Awaits by Johanna Lindsey

Where Love Dwells by Elizabeth Stuart

Wild Moonlight by Miriam Minger

Winter’s Heat by Denise Domning

Wonderful, Wild and Wicked, trilogy by Jill Barnett

 

I hope you will also consider my own award-winning medieval novels:

The Medieval Warriors series: The Red Wolf’s Prize, Rogue Knight, Rebel Warrior and King’s Knight on Amazon

 The Refuge, An Inspirational Novel of Scotland, on Amazon

 

  And my newest, Summer Warrior, 12th century Scotland, on Amazon

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Grace Ingram’s RED ADAM’S LADY – Medieval Romance with a Likeable Hero and a Strong Heroine

Set in the 12th century, during the reign of Henry II when “the young king” was aspiring to usurp his father’s throne, this is the story of Lady Julitta, a young lady without dower and seemingly without prospects until she encounters Red Adam, lord of Brentborough. Red Adam, so called for his red hair, in a drunken state, takes her for a tavern wench and decides to take her back to his bed chamber and show her a good time. He doesn’t seem to understand she is a virtuous lady who will not be trifled with. So she bangs him over the head with a wooden stool, keeping her virginity. But since he has “ruined” her in the eyes of all, he does the right thing and marries her.

 

Red Adam, a likeable guy, is loyal to the king and won’t hear of plots to take him down, thus drawing the ire and vengeance of his enemies. And once he weds the smart and savvy Julietta, he becomes the perfect gentleman.

 

The introduction by Elizabeth Chadwick might suggest this is historical fiction. It’s not, nor is it comparable to Chadwick’s work. This is romance, albeit good historical romance. It’s a story of civil war in England, of border raids by villainous Scots, scheming plans of aristocrats and daring escapes across the moors. There is lots of blood and guts; it’s not for the squeamish. And sometimes I had to read a sentence twice to get what she was trying to convey. Still, it’s a fast paced tale based on considerable research for historical details. I really enjoyed it.