I can tell it amuses some of my friends when they realize I have this HUGE crush on an author, and some of my biggest author crushes are historical authors. I mean who can resist dashing nobles, daring ladies, clashing social classes…all the ingredients sure to shine and lighten this reader’s day. So, it’s with great pleasure that I look forward to upcoming releases from a couple of my favorite authors. And later this summer, my waiting will pay off.
Ah, twins. My mother was an identical twin and, until her sister’s death, they did EVERYTHING together. Seriously! Everything from dressing alike to enjoying the same foods. It was a challenge buying a gift because you had to buy two and they had to be identical. And, while I was growing up, they loved playing around with us, pretending to be each other. It could be nerve-wracking as a child, but it at least prepared me for the antics in And Then Comes Marriage by Celeste Bradley (St. Martin’s Press, August 2013). It’s the tale of a dashing, recent widow of independent means—in other words, she can afford to pick her next husband. Mrs. Miranda Talbot takes the town by storm and is swept away by Mr. Castor Worthington, who has a very big secret—his competitive twin brother. So, it becomes a race to see who she will choose. As with all of Bradley’s historical ventures, the trip in And Then Comes Marriage is very worthwhile.
Although the Victorian era is not my personal favorite, I do adore Grace Burrowes, and so I was willing to give her new series a whirl. And Once Upon A Tartan (Sourcebooks Casablanca; August 6, 2013) more than fulfilled my expectations. Set in the Highlands, the English lord Tiberius Flynn sets forth to rescue his young niece from her Highland relations. An easy task—or is it? Not when Flynn runs against the feisty little girl and her fiercely protective step aunt, Hester Daniels, who has no use for a high-handed English lord. Seduction follows…and, to the satisfaction of this reader, the English gentleman falls for both the adorable child and her aunt.
And don’t miss the first four books released back-to-back, April through July, of Burrowes’ outstanding Lonely Lords series. Beginning with Darius, each one is simply a delicious read filled with strong, emotional male and female characters. This is a long series (9 books are planned), so pick up the first four while you wait for the next three releasing in the autumn.
Class inequality is usually taken for granted in a Regency romance, but Jade Lee has a reputation for shaking it up. Whether it’s her unusual settings or her extraordinary sensual descriptions, Lee writes characters that don’t give up and neither should her growing legion of readers. In What The Bride Wore (Sourcebooks Casablanca; August 6, 2013) combines the fad of wedding planners with a realistic Regency setting. And sensual it is indeed, as Lee skillfully delivers a great read. In What The Bride Wore, Grant Benton, Earl of Crowle finally has the funds he always pretended to have and what he wants now is a woman. Lady Irene Knopp, who spends her days helping debutantes plan their weddings, has captured his attention. Although a widow, she’s not sure she wants to tangle with a notorious rake. If you love weddings and their fixings or if you just love a great pursuit novel, put this on your list.
Many women dream of a prince to carry them away. But what of illegitimate princesses? Do they dream of a hero to carry them away? Find out in Sophie Jordan’s Forgotten Princesses series, the latest, How To Lose A Bride In One Night (Avon; July 30, 2013) available in August. This is the final book in the trilogy, plus a novella. And what a tale! Heiress Annalise Hadley believes all of her fairy tale dreams came true when a handsome duke proposed. Except on their wedding night, the once-perfect duke smothers her with a pillow and throws her over the side of their honeymoon barge. Oops—not true love. Annalise is rescued by an earl and nursed back to health. She dreams of revenge on the duke even though she’s distracted by her rescuer. Apparently he likes to take his shirt off in front of her, the nerve! But never fear, it all ends well.
And saving the best for last, well, really just because The Arrangement by Mary Balogh (Delacorte Press; August 27, 2013) isn’t available until the summer is almost over. Sigh. The Arrangement is the second in Balogh’s new series Survivors’ Club about a group of men and woman scarred by wars against Napoleon. Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh, was blinded in battle and flees to a remote country village to avoid society and his mother’s matchmaking attempts. Miss Sophia Fry is unceremoniously booted from her guardian’s home, and destitute. But Hunt has a solution for their mutual problems: a marriage of convenience. Although she first rejects the notion, her situation requires her to accept. In the words of Balogh, The Arrangement is a beautiful journey of “sweet seduction and erotic pleasure” or, in my words, a don’t miss! The first in the series, The Proposal, is now available in paperback, so be sure to catch up so you can wait impatiently with me for the next installment.
Now, if only I could get a Medieval romance, or one set in the roaring '20s, or in an ancient civilization…oh, well, I never said I wasn’t a greedy reader!
Sara Reyes is the founder and partner at FreshFiction.com a popular fiction web site for today's reader with new titles, contests, over 50,000 genre fiction author profiles with backlists, and permanently archived reviews, plus all the industry buzz. Fresh Fiction has a biweekly segment (Buy the Book) on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas to talk about new books not to miss. Believing face-to-face interaction is as important as virtual communities, Fresh Fiction sponsors an annual author reader tea in June, a readers conference in November, monthly literary events, and book clubs. Follow Sara at @FreshFiction on Twitter or Facebook.com/FreshFiction.