If you’re a historical romance fan, then this is a great month (plus a few days) for you!
Three of the best historical authors have books out between the end of November and the end of December. (And if you’re not a historical romance fan, well, this is a great time to give them a chance!)
Last week saw the release of Sweetest Scoundrel, the newest (and ninth) Maiden Lane title from Elizabeth Hoyt—Asa’s story, yay! I haven’t had the chance to read this one yet, but the reviews so far are great and I’ve been intrigued with Asa, the black sheep Makepeace, for a while. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. If you’ve never read a Maiden Lane title, you might want to start from the beginning with Wicked Intentions. All of the books stand alone, but there is lot of history built into the series through each title. The Maiden Lane books are terrific—sexy, smart, and so emotionally satisfying—and Hoyt easily earns a spot among the best historical authors writing today.
Also on that list would be Loretta Chase and Sarah MacLean, and they both have books coming out at the end of December.
Chase’s Dukes Prefer Blondes is the next title in her Dressmaker series, and might be the best one so far. The novel explores complicated early Victorian social strata in both hero Oliver Radford’s position as a barrister who fights his attraction to aristocrat Lady Clara Fairfax, as well as in Clara’s deeply felt obligation to help those in need. Chase offers a compelling romance—highlighting her special brand of sexy, intelligent banter and including a mock trial scenario in which Oliver has to argue his right to wed his lady—set against an intriguing backdrop that explores the notorious “ragged schools” and the struggles of London’s indigent women of the time. A first-rate read.
And oh, brava, Sarah MacLean is launching a new series with her late December release, The Rogue Not Taken. The series revolves around the scandalous Talbot sisters, whose father started out as a coal miner but has been elevated to the lofty status of Earl. However, his title and wealth can’t overcome the ton’s disdain for him or his daughters. Sophie is offended by the contempt from people she can’t respect and when an act of frustration leads to social ruin, she hides away in a carriage for what she expects will be a ride home from a ball, but ends up being a cross-country journey with a notorious rake. Life will never be the same. MacLean never disappoints, and this sparkling, intense novel is not to be missed.
Some other fantastic historical authors are out now, in fun, holiday splendor.
I love the Word Wenches (Mary Jo Putney, Joanna Bourne, Anne Gracie, Jo Beverley, Patricia Rice, Cara Elliott, Susan King, and Nicola Cornick) and they recently released a delightful Christmas anthology, The Last Chance Christmas Ball.
Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp, and Meredith Duran—and wow, how’s that for a great lineup?!—have What Happens Under the Mistletoe for your holiday reading pleasure.
Some of my favorite historical authors who are mixing up traditional and indie publishing have a sparkling anthology that spans all the seasons of the year, and includes a Christmas story for winter: A Gentleman For All Seasons by Vanessa Kelly, Shana Galen, Kate Noble, and Theresa Romain.
Finally, Shana Galen’s been busy, because she’s also in another anthology with Grace Burrowes, Miranda Neville, and Carolyn Jewel, another fab set of authors. You’ll find these ones in Christmas in Duke Street. Sweet!
(Grace Burrowes also has three of her beloved Windham Christmas novels bundled into a box set, titled Christmas Ladies.)
Whether you’re reading only holiday books or any good historical novel will do, these authors are among the best. And if you’re a romance fan who doesn’t read historicals, I’d recommend getting started!