Welcome to Historically Yours where I share some of my top Historical Romance picks for the second half of August.
Everything a Lady is Not by Sawyer North (8/17)
Lucy Locket, the long-lost granddaughter of a duchess, has never been part of Society. One day, she was living a secluded life as the prisoner of a criminal, and the next day, she was an heiress in a world she did not even remotely understand. She does not embody the typical qualities of a well-born lady…at all. She can’t curtsy, she doesn’t hide her emotions, she’s too clever by far. But in three months, she must marry a suitor with a royally bestowed title, or she forfeits a fortune — leaving her and the duchess in dire straits.
All Henry Beaumont wants is to prove himself to Society and step outside of his half-brother’s shadow. So when the duchess asks him for a personal favor involving her newly found granddaughter — with a hefty thank you reward at the end — he leaps at the opportunity.
It seems as if Lucy is trading one prison for another. Henry has now become a permanent fixture as her charming yet iron-fisted taskmaster and tutor in the ways of High Society. Like oil and water, Lucy and Henry spar in an epic battle of wills — and rapiers. But Lucy’s past and her surprising, undeniable feelings for Henry may doom their undertaking if he declares his love for her…because without a title, he can never be hers.
The Revolutionary and the Rogue by Blake Ferre (8/24)
Perrin deVesey knows pain. As a member of Crimson Rose, a secret club for men who love men, he’s taken the vow “to stand and shield.” Standing together during these perilous times is the only thing keeping their necks from the guillotine. Now their leader is using the club to rescue wrongly accused traitors. After losing a past lover to an unjust execution, the decision to support this treasonous cause is easy…until a devastatingly handsome Committee Officer complicates Perrin’s whole world.
Officer Henri Chevalier hates aristocrats. But the man he finds while investigating Crimson Rose is more than just wealthy and fancily clothed. He’s a rogue who could take him to the heart of the uprising and stop it before it starts. His plan to get close to Perrin and steal his secrets backfires, though, when Henri finds himself falling for the damned aristo and his dangerous smile. His heart is even more conflicted as he learns the truth behind their cause…and the truth his own people have been hiding.
Someone to Romance by Mary Balogh (8/25)[Westcott series #7]
Lady Jessica Archer lost interest in the glittering excitement of romance after her cousin and dearest friend, Abigail, was rejected by the ton when her father was revealed to be a bigamist. Now that she is twenty-five, however, Jessica has decided it is time to wed. Though she no longer believes she will find true love, she is still very eligible. She is, after all, the sister of Avery Archer, the Duke of Netherby.
Jessica considers the many qualified gentlemen who court her. But then she meets the mysterious Gabriel Thorne, who has returned to England from the New World to claim an equally mysterious inheritance. Jessica considers him completely unsuitable, especially when he announces his intention to wed her while they are still barely acquainted..
The Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple (8/25)[The Return of the Rogues series #1]
Rafe has spent years running from his true identity. He’s a lone wolf, living far from aristocratic England and his violent father. Then unconventional Cleopatra Osbourne requests his protection as she crosses the Egyptian desert. In Cleo he discovers a fellow outcast — and a fierce desire. Cleo must return to London, and here lies Rafe’s dilemma — because following his heart means claiming the title he’s avoided for so long.
[Review is forthcoming. –Keira]
A Forbidden Liaison with Miss Grant by Marguerite Kaye (8/25)
Self-made gentleman and widower Grayson Maddox has devoted himself to his children and business leaving no time for pleasure. Until he has an impulsive, thrillingly sensual encounter with Miss Constance Grant, a lady’s companion. Their passion gives Grayson hope of a happiness he never thought he’d feel again. But there’s still much in both their pasts to confront before they can turn their forbidden liaison into a new beginning.
The Silk Merchant’s Convenient Wife by Elisabeth Hobbes (8/25)
His parents’ loveless relationship has left silk merchant Jonathan Harcourt suspicious of marriage. But in order to expand his mill and have an heir, he must marry his neighbor Aurelia Upford. Even more surprising than finding himself with a clever, beautiful society wife is the unexpected passion that flares between them and the unsettling emotions it leads to. Sharing a bed was part of their arrangement, but can Jonathan risk sharing his heart, too?
How to Catch a Sinful Marquess by Amy Rose Bennett (8/25)[Disreputable Debutantes series #3]
Orphaned heiress Olivia de Vere should have the world — or at least the men of the ton — at her feet. But when she’s thrown out of a young ladies’ academy, Olivia doubts she’ll ever find someone who will love her, rather than her bank account. To make matters worse, her dissolute cousin Felix is determined to marry her against her wishes. A virtual prisoner in her guardians’ London townhouse, Olivia can’t help but develop a tendre for her neighbor, a handsome Scottish marquess.
Battle-scarred in more ways than one, Hamish MacQueen, Lord Sleat, has braved many dangers in life. But nothing has quite prepared him for the shock of having a young child dumped on his doorstep, with a note claiming she’s his daughter. Just in the nick of time, his pretty neighbor appears, offering to act as a nursemaid for the young girl on their journey to his estate in Scotland. He suspects she has her own reasons for wanting to flee the country.
Highland Gladiator by Kathryn LeVeque (8/25)[Scots and Swords series #1]
When Lor Careston’s quiet Highland village was attacked and burned, he felt helpless against the raiders who destroyed his home. Seeking revenge, but lacking the fighting skills he needs to execute his mission, he sets out to find the Ludus Caledonia — a mysterious fight guild that turns men into warriors.
Lor trains hard, proves himself in the ring, and earns a place with the very clan that decimated his home, having decided to set his plan for revenge in motion from inside the clan. But his plan didn’t include Isabail Keith, a fiery lass who prefers broadswords to embroidery and isn’t afraid to stand with the warriors of her clan. Lor thought the Keiths were his enemies, but when Isabail is threatened, he’ll have to decide what he’s willing to risk for the woman who has captured his heart and the clan that has become his home.
Who Wants to Marry a Duke by Sabrina Jeffries (8/25)[Duke Dynasty series #3]
A past kiss with adorably bookish Miss Olivia Norley should be barely a memory for Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock. After all, there are countless debutantes for a handsome rakehell to charm beyond a young lady whose singular passion is chemistry — of the laboratory type. But Thorn has not forgotten — nor forgiven — the shocking blackmail scheme sparked by that single kiss or the damage caused to both their names. Now Thorn’s half-brother, Grey, has hired the brilliant Miss Norley for her scientific expertise in solving a troubling family mystery. And the once-burned Thorn, suspicious of her true motives, vows to follow her every move.
For Olivia, determining whether arsenic poisoning killed Grey’s father is the pioneering experiment that could make her career — and Thorn’s constant presence is merely a distraction. But someone has explosive plans to derail her search.
Best Laid Plaids by Ella Stainton (8/31)[Kilty Pleasures series #1]
Dr. Ainsley Graham is cultivating a reputation as an eccentric. Two years ago, he catastrophically ended his academic career by publicly claiming to talk to ghosts. When Joachim Cockburn, a WWI veteran studying the power of delusional thinking, arrives at his door, Ainsley quickly catalogues him as yet another tiresome Englishman determined to mock his life’s work.
But Joachim is tenacious and open-hearted, and Ainsley’s intrigued despite himself. He agrees to motor his handsome new friend around Scotland’s most unmistakable hauntings. If he can convince Joachim, Ainsley might be able to win back his good name and then some. He knows he’s not crazy — he just needs someone else to know it, too.
Joachim is one thesis away from realizing his dream of becoming a psychology professor, and he’s not going to let anyone stop him, not even an enchanting ginger with a penchant for tartan and lewd jokes. But as the two travel across Scotland’s lovely — and definitely haunted — landscape, Joachim’s resolve starts to melt. And he’s beginning to think that an empty teaching post without the charming Dr. Graham would make a very poor consolation prize indeed.