Welcome to Historically Yours where I share some of my top Historical Romance picks for the second half of July.
The Obsessions of Lord Godfrey Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens (7/16)
[The Cavanaughs series #4]
Lord Godfrey Cavanaugh has no thoughts of marrying as he drives into North Yorkshire on a plum commission for the National Gallery to authenticate a Renaissance painting the gallery wishes to purchase. Then a snowstorm sweeps in, and Godfrey barely manages to haul himself, his groom, and his horses to their destination.
Elinor Hinckley, eldest daughter of Hinckley Hall, stalwart defender of the family, right arm to her invalid father, and established spinster knows full well how much her family has riding on the sale of the painting and throws herself into nursing the initially delirious gentleman who holds her family’s future in his hands.
But Godfrey proves to be a far from easy patient. Through Ellie’s and her siblings’ efforts to keep him entertained and abed, Godfrey grows to know the family, appreciating and, ultimately, being drawn into family life of a sort he’s never known.
Eventually, to everyone’s relief, he recovers sufficiently to assess the painting — only to discover that nothing is as it seems. Someone has plans, someone other than the Hinckleys, but who is pulling the strings is a mystery that Godfrey and Ellie find near-impossible to solve.
A Saint at the Highland Court by Celeste Barclay (7/17)
[The Highland Ladies series #6]
Over the past two years, Blair Sutherland has watched her sister and friends marry and leave King Robert the Bruce’s royal court. Her parents have promised her a love match, but none of the courtiers who hang on the king’s coattails interest her. Just when Blair wonders if she’ll ever find the love the other ladies have found, her childhood friend, Hardwin Cameron, arrives at court in need of guidance. With more purpose to her days, Blair’s loneliness no longer weighs so heavily upon her. But while Blair offers her assistance, she finds it hard to pay attention when the boy she used to race with is now a man who’s a constant distraction.
Hardwin Cameron was the last person likely to inherit the Cameron lairdship, but he’s watched one man after another in his family die until the title is thrust upon him. Amidst his grief, Hardwin struggles with the duties expected of a laird when he was never trained for such responsibilities. Thrust into a role that was never meant to be his, Hardwin is forced to make an appearance before the king. When he arrives, Hardwin can’t believe his good fortune when he runs into Blair, a friend among wolves. The girl he used to tease is now a woman, and Hardwin can’t deny his attraction as they work side-by-side to prepare him for his new role.
The Enticing of Miss Standish by Julia Justiss (7/21)
[The Cinderella Spinsters series #3]
When lady’s companion Sara Standish meets Cameron Fitzallen, he has his jacket off and he’s mending mill machinery. He is manly, capable—though it’s most improper for him to set her heart aflutter! He is a mill owner—trade—after all. They share the same aim to help impoverished children, but in the eyes of the ton, she must not mix with him. That doesn’t stop her craving his company, or his touch…
The Highlander and the Wallflower by Michelle Willingham (7/21)
[Untamed Highlanders series #2]
Since a traumatic incident, Lady Regina has consigned herself to the shadows. Fearful of marriage and intimacy, she reluctantly accepts the engagement her father insists upon. But when her husband-to-be deserts her, her old friend Dalton, Lord Camford, takes up the role. Dalton gradually starts to reach the woman within and draw out her desires. Just as it seems Regina’s life is coming together…will her secret cause it all to fall apart?
How to Start a Scandal by Madeline Martin (7/21)
[The London School for Ladies series]
Days after returning from the battlefields, Seth Sinclair finds himself in a glittering ballroom with one tedious task: finding a wife. He must put aside the military and prove his worth as the new Earl of Dalton. The only problem? Lady Violet Lavell, the one woman he can’t keep his eyes off, who knew him before he went to war. How can he be worthy of her now that he’s become so changed by the horrors of battle?
The Warrior’s Princess Prize by Carol Townend (7/21)
[Princesses of the Alhambra series #3]
Held captive by her tyrannical sultan father, Princess Zorahaida lives an isolated life. When a tournament is held, Jasim ibn Ismail, a handsome knight in arms, claims his prize: Zorahaida’s hand in marriage! Political reasons must be driving his offer — he’s certainly not offering love. But should Zorahaida grasp the tantalizing taste of freedom the impulsive knight is gifting her?
Mr. Malcolm’s List by Suzanne Allain (7/28)
The Honourable Mr. Jeremy Malcolm is searching for a wife, but not just any wife. As the target of matchmaking mothers and desperate debutantes, he’s determined to avoid the fortune hunters and find a near-perfect woman, one who will meet the qualifications on his well-crafted list. But after years of searching, he’s beginning to despair of ever finding this paragon. Until Selina Dalton arrives in town.
Selina, a vicar’s daughter of limited means and a stranger to high society, is thrilled when her friend Julia Thistlewaite invites her to London, until she learns it’s all part of a plot to exact revenge on Mr. Malcolm. Selina is reluctant to participate in Julia’s scheme, especially after meeting the irresistible Mr. Malcolm, who appears to be very different from the arrogant scoundrel of Julia’s description.
But when Mr. Malcolm begins judging Selina against his unattainable standards, Selina decides that she has some qualifications of her own. And if he is to meet them he must reveal the real man behind…Mr. Malcolm’s List.
*This was an excellent book. Watch the “Overture” film to the story on the author’s website at http://suzanneallain.com/. –Keira
The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite (7/28)
[Feminine Pursuits series #2]
When Agatha Griffin finds a colony of bees in her warehouse, it’s the not-so-perfect ending to a not-so-perfect week. Busy trying to keep her printing business afloat amidst rising taxes and the suppression of radical printers like her son, the last thing the widow wants is to be the victim of a thousand bees. But when a beautiful beekeeper arrives to take care of the pests, Agatha may be in danger of being stung by something far more dangerous.
Penelope Flood exists between two worlds in her small seaside town, the society of rich landowners and the tradesfolk. Soon, tensions boil over when the formerly exiled Queen arrives on England’s shores — and Penelope’s long-absent husband returns to Melliton. She finds herself torn between her burgeoning love for Agatha and her loyalty to the man who once gave her refuge.
As Penelope finally discovers her true place, Agatha must learn to accept the changing world in front of her. But will these longing hearts settle for a safe but stale existence or will they learn to fight for the future they most desire?
* This is a much-anticipated book for me given that Waite’s first book of the series was on my Best Books of 2019 list. –Keira
Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh (7/28)
[Union of the Rakes series #2]
Jessica McGale’s family business desperately needs investors, and she’s determined to succeed at any cost. But she knows London’s elite will never look twice at a humble farm girl like herself. Posing as “Lady Whitfield,” however, places her in the orbit of wealthy, powerful people — most notably the Duke of Rotherby. His influence and support could save her company, but Jess never expected the effect he’d have on her.
Society thinks Noel is a notorious, carefree duke who dabbles in investments, but there’s a side to him that only his closest friends see. When he crosses paths with Lady Whitfield at a business bazaar, his world tilts on its axis. She’s brilliant and compelling and brings him to his knees like no woman has before. Trust is difficult for Noel, but Jess makes him believe anything is possible.
As time ticks down on her Cinderella scheme, the thought of achieving her goal at Noel’s expense breaks Jess’s heart. He doesn’t just want her for now, he wants her forever. But will her secret end their future before it has begun?
My Highland Rogue by Karen Ranney (7/28)
[Highland Fling series]
Since she was a little girl, Jennifer Adaire, daughter of the Earl of Burfield, has loved Gordon McDonnell even though his station as the gardener’s son made him strictly forbidden to her. After Gordon was forced from Adaire Hall, taking Jennifer’s heart with him, he headed for London, intent on making a better life for himself. Though they’ve kept in touch through letters and Jennifer has waited patiently for him, it’s taken Gordon five years to return to Scotland. Now Jennifer doesn’t know if she can manage again seeing the man she loves — but can never have.
In the time since his departure, Gordon has achieved the success he’s always sought. When he learns that his father is dying, he returns home and discovers much to his surprise that the feelings he’s always had for Jennifer burn ever stronger. But when a family secret surfaces, Jennifer and Gordon’s chance at a future together could be threatened.