Welcome to Historically Yours where I share some of my top Historical Romance picks for the first half of July.
An Unwilling Spy by Janis Linford (7/1)[Nest of Spies series #1]
Adeline Perran doesn’t want to be a traditional woman. Knitting or sewing? No thank you. She’d rather row her dinghy and have adventures. So when a ship flounders off the coast one night, she seizes her chance and goes smuggling … only to end up as a spy.
Richard Clendon, code-name Finch, is the most experienced agent at the network. Aloof yet frighteningly observant, he’s tasked with training Adeline. But when they’re given a dangerous mission across Napoleon’s war-torn France after only three weeks, she’s hardly ready. Frankly, he’s not sure she’ll survive.
They travel as husband and wife but they’re discovered, and as they flee merciless militia, Adeline must use her ingenuity to keep them alive. But being a pretend wife often leads to wanting the real thing and soon she faces the greatest danger of all — the love that flares between her and Finch — unbidden and totally impossible.
To Bargain with a Highland Buccaneer by Collette Cameron (7/2)[Heart of a Scot series #8]
Former privateer and agent for the crown Bryston McPherson only wants one thing: Oblivion. A respite from the crushing grief and guilt he’s felt since his wife’s murder. But peace remains elusive. Until he meets her. The fiery Highlander is everything he’d never thought he’d have again — light, happiness, joy. Too bad he doesn’t deserve her and can never claim her for his own.
Branwen Glanville craves excitement, but she gets way more than she bargained for with Bryston. When a case of mistaken identity puts her in grave danger, the surly Scot spirits her away to his ship…and steals her heart in the process. It’s just her unfortunate luck that he’ll never allow himself to return her affections.
Bryston’s resolve is put to the test as he races to outwit a vengeful pirate and protect Branwen. But it’s not long before he starts to think a happily ever after with the Scottish lass of his dreams just might be possible after all … if he can keep Branwen alive long enough to claim it.
Never If Not Now by Madeline Hunter (7/7)[Midsummer Knights series #7]
Summer, 1193. England is in turmoil, and a great tournament is scheduled near the border of Scotland and England. The greatest knights and lords from England, Scotland, Ireland and France have gathered to compete for a great prize. There will be celebrations and jousts and feasting. It will be an exhibition of chivalry and warrior skills, a breeding ground for treason…and for love.
It might be midsummer when Zander arrives at the tournament, but there is winter in his soul. Battle hardened and war weary, he intends to amass spoils, win the champion’s prize and find a wealthy wife. Then he discovers that Elinor of York has accompanied her father to the tourney. He had desired her as a youth, and soon learns that he still does. But whatever he will ever have of her will have to be seized in secret before the tournament ends.
Elinor was born a lady but the last years have impoverished her. She now sews for coin and takes care of her lame, aging father, a knight, who blames Zander for his diminished fortunes and health. She should ignore the handsome knight whom she had teased when they were young, but his magnetism now draws her closer. He is not for her — he is her father’s enemy, and she has no dowry. Yet he evokes sweet memories and deep emotions and a heart-wrenching dilemma. Can she keep her father from issuing the challenge that will leave one of the men she loves dead?
* This is an exciting tale by Hunter in the multi-author Midsummer Knights medieval series. –Keira
A Dangerous Kind of Lady by Mia Vincy (7/7)[Longhope Abbey series#2]
Proud heiress Arabella Larke has little respect for rules and no time for scruples, not when she faces marriage to a man she loathes and fears. Determined to save herself, Arabella comes up with a plan: a fake engagement with her childhood nemesis, Guy Roth, Marquess of Hardbury, recently returned home after years away. To Arabella’s surprise, Guy has become strong, honorable and unexpectedly attractive…but he refuses to even hear her plan.
After leaving England to escape his corrupt, controlling father, Guy has vowed never to do anyone’s bidding again — certainly not Arabella’s. To Guy’s surprise, Arabella has become intriguing, quick-witted and unexpectedly attractive, but he has enough drama trying to gain custody of his younger sisters, and he wants nothing to do with her dubious schemes. Until Arabella shows up at his house one night, and Guy finds himself entangled to a dangerous degree.
Josephine’s Truth by Joyce Alec (7/10)[London Temptations series #3]
Lord Farrington is returning from what had been a wonderful evening at White’s, when he is struck suddenly and knocked unconscious. Waking up to find himself in a locked room, he has no knowledge as to why he is there or who attacked him. With no means of escape, he struggles between fear and anger, only to be greeted by a veiled lady who promises to explain everything.
Lady Josephine Rutherford has spent five years searching for the truth about her husband’s death. Believing that Lord Farrington is responsible, she uses her wealth and influence to have him captured and brought to her house. Uncertain as to what she will do next, she leaves him locked but takes good care of him.
Unfortunately, the more time she spends with Lord Farrington, the more Josephine’s heart begins to soften towards him. Doubting herself, Josephine begins to worry that she has made a mistake. Is there a chance of reconciliation between them if she tells him everything? And perhaps, even a hope that he might help in finally uncovering the truth?
Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews (7/14)[Victorian Romantics series #1]
After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy — or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes.
As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago.
During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings — or betraying his brother?
* Watch out for an upcoming article on Worth fashions by the author. –Keira
Draped in Green by Sandra Sookoo (7/14)[Colors of Scandal series #2]
The Honorable Olivia Beaumont, eldest daughter of Viscount Hereford, wants revenge. Following an ill-advised game of faro with a powerful duke, her father lost everything and then suffered a fatal heart attack. Now she wants that man to pay and suffer as much as her father did. But the only way she can do so is to enlist the help of the most shunned man in the ton — the disgraced Duke of Skeffington. It matters not that he’s sinfully handsome, for she has a job to do.
Lewis Arthur Sexton is a duke beaten down. Stripped of everything following a manufactured scandal against the Regent, he now wishes to drown himself at the bottom of a bottle. But when Miss Beaumont pays him a visit with the insane idea of humiliating the man responsible for her pain and his, he might just return to society to honor the request. If he ignores her bewitching attitude and alluring looks, he’ll be fine.
Except the scheme is far from fully formed, and friendship grows between them as a distraction. While she fights for revenge, he secretly protects her while they both try to regain honor in the glittering world of the ton. Yet the moment their relationship transitions into romance, everything unravels. When lives are put into jeopardy, they’ll have to decide what they truly want, and if fortune is kind, it might prove to be a happily ever after.
Sage by Miriam Minger (7/14)[Walker Creek Brides series #5]
Seeking a respite from the hardship that has followed her to Walker Creek, Texas, Sage Larsen hikes to her favorite spot to try and forget her troubles. Yet she cannot seem to escape her thoughts or the cruel predicament she’s ensnared in, her life at risk if she utters a word to try and clear her name. Now she’s threatened with being run out of town by those who see her only as a scarlet woman. What is she to do? Where is she to go?
Finding himself the most eligible bachelor in Walker Creek, Andreas Hagen is besieged by mothers hoping he’ll escort one of their daughters to the St. Valentine’s Day ball. Yet he doesn’t want all that attention. Only one woman has caught his eye, and Sage would never be welcomed in church, let alone welcomed to step foot upon the dance floor. She may have a sullied reputation, but something inside him refuses to believe it’s true. Why not invite her to the ball and set the whole town in an uproar?