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June 1&15, 2013 BOOKLIST
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It seems that lately the romance genre is all about vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters, oh my! Does this mean that historical romances are now, well, history? Hardly. From the publication of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and the Flower in 1972 to the present, historical romances have been and will be an important, even essential, facet of the romance genre.
In fact, not only is the number of new historical romances rising, and not only are fans reading them in quantity, the subgenre is also experiencing a renaissance. Just this year, the ever-popular Amanda Quick’s The Burning Lamp burned up the New York Times best-seller list. Much loved Mary Balogh’s A Secret Affair was a big hit with readers, and millions fell in love with Eloisa James’ most recent elegant historical romance, A Kiss at Midnight.
For a subgenre to truly thrive, though, it needs an infusion of new literary blood. Fortunately, the historical romance subgenre has seen the debut of a wealth of terrific new writers in the last few years. Here are our choices for the new stars of historical romance.
As Luck Would Have It. By Alissa Johnson. 2008. Leisure, paper, $6.99 (9780843961553).
To replenish her family’s depleted coffers, Sophie agrees to do a bit of spying, and her first assignment involves getting close to Alexander, the Duke of Rockefort.
Barely a Lady. By Eileen Dreyer. 2010. Hachette/Forever, paper, $6.99 (9780446542081).
In Dreyer’s first historical romance, Olivia Grace is searching for a friend’s father on the battlefield of Waterloo when she stumbles across her ex-husband, Jack Wyndham, dressed in a French army uniform.
The Duke of Shadows. By Meredith Duran. 2008. Pocket/Star, paper, $6.99 (9781416567035).
Despite his best efforts to rescue her, Julian Sinclair believes Emmaline died during the Sepoy Rebellion in India, so it’s quite a shock when he runs into her in London.
Goddess of the Hunt. By Tessa Dare. 2009. Ballantine, paper, $6.99 (9780345506863).
Lucy Waltham decides to use her considerable hunting skills to “bag” Toby Aldridge, but first she needs a romantic decoy, who turns out to be her friend Jeremy Trescott.
In for a Penny. By Rose Lerner. 2010. Leisure, paper, $6.99 (9780843963359).
Penelope Brown thinks she is marrying Lord Nevinstoke for his title. Nev thinks he’s marrying Penny for her money. Neither expects to fall in love.
Knight of Desire. By Margaret Mallory. 2009. Forever, paper, $6.99 (9780446553391).
William FitzAlan is awarded Catherine Rayburn and her forfeited lands for his service to Henry IV, but after meeting the lady, he isn’t sure what sort of prize Catherine is.
Mistress by Mistake. By Susan Gee Heino. 2009. Berkley Sensation, paper, $7.99 (9780425231517).
Too much Madeira and moonlight prompt Evelyn to spend one glorious night with a man of mystery, who turns out to be the very nobleman her aunt wants her to marry.
My Lord Scandal. By Emma Wildes. 2010. Signet Eclipse, paper, $7.99 (9780451231062).
Beautiful and bookish Amelia Patton has no idea who the mysterious thief is who stole into her home (and stole a kiss) until she meets the infamous rake Alexander St. James at a society ball.
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. By Sarah MacLean. 2010. Avon, paper, $7.99 (9780061852053).
Before permanently joining the spinster brigade, Lady Callie Hartwell comes up with a list of things she has always wanted to do, and number one on the list is notorious rake Gabriel St. John.
Passionate. By Anthea Lawson. 2008. Zebra, paper, $3.99 (9781420104561).
Lily Strathmore’s wish for a grand adventure unexpectedly comes true when she finds herself in Africa searching for a legendary flower with annoyingly sexy botanist James Huntington.
Private Arrangements. By Sherry Thomas. 2008. Bantam, paper, $6.99 (9780440244318).
Living on separate continents, Gigi and Camden have the perfect marriage, but before Cam will finally grant Gigi the divorce she desperately wants, she has to live with him for one year.
Proof by Seduction. By Courtney Milan. 2010. HQN, paper, $7.99 (9780373774395).
Gareth Carhart is convinced fortune-teller Madame Esmerelda, aka Jenny Keeble, is a fake, so Jenny decides to prove Gareth is wrong by predicting the woman he will marry.
Seducing the Duchess. By Ashley March. 2010. Signet Eclipse, paper, $6.99 (9780451232366).
Charlotte, the Duchess of Rutherford, wants a divorce. Philip Burgess, the Duke of Rutherford, wants his wife back. It’s a romantic battle of the wits neither is willing to lose.
Sex and the Single Earl. By Vanessa Kelly. 2010. Zebra, paper, $6.99 (9781420106558).
Simon St. James is looking for a marriage of convenience to Sophie Stanton, but Sophie isn’t about to settle for anything less than true love.
The Spymaster’s Lady. By Joanna Bourne. 2008. Berkley Sensation, paper, $7.99 (9780425219607).
When Annique Villiers and Robert Grey end up in the same French prison cell, their only hope of escape is to learn to work together.
Swept Away by a Kiss. By Katharine Ashe. 2010. Avon, paper, $7.99 (9780061965623).
Lady Valerie Monroe isn’t sure if she should be angry or relieved when she discovers that the Jesuit priest with whom she was imprisoned is really Viscount Stephen Ashford.