Category Archives: Historical Romance Books

13+ Of The Best Historical Romance Books Of All Time


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The Best Historical Romance Books Of All Time

Please note, this list is going to be updated. Often. There are so many awesome historical romances out there that we had to add a +.  Make sure to leave your favorites in the comments below (and bookmark this page) as we will be adding on more to the best historical romance books of all time list!

As of right now, we are sharing some of the more recently published books, but we will be adding some older “bodice rippers” soon.  There are so many awesome historical romances that were published in the 80’s and 90’s, and we can’t wait to share these with you from our own personal reading lists! In the meantime though, step back in time with these intriguing reads.


RecklessWager_300x450Set against the backdrop of London’s dangerous East End in 1888, Victorian propriety and passions collide when a beautiful widow makes a wager with a wounded police detective bent on solving the Ripper mystery.

Unlucky in love and estranged from his family, Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn is obsessed with solving the Ripper crimes. When he’s suspended from the Metropolitan Police, it’s another failure in a long line of disappointments. But a new mystery arises when a beautiful widow shows up at the most infamous pub in Whitechapel seeking his help. He’s determined to assist Kate Guthrie, and equally determined to quell his growing attraction to her.

Kate Guthrie hides painful secrets from her first marriage and has avoided matrimony for nearly ten years. Now she’s finally decided it’s time to remarry and move on with her life, even if it means giving up the charity clinic work in Whitechapel that makes her days worthwhile. But when a battered young woman turns up at the clinic claiming to have been attacked by Jack the Ripper, Kate seeks out Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn, a man who sparks feelings in her too potent to deny.

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MoonstoneConspiracy_ByElizabethEllenCarter-453x680Revolution in France, rebels in England, and one woman caught in the crossfire…

For her unwitting participation in a plot to embezzle the Exchequer, Lady Abigail Houghall has spent the last two years exiled to the city of Bath. A card sharp, sometime mistress, and target of scandalous gossip by the London Beau Monde, Lady Abigail plots to escape her gilded cage as well as the prudish society that condemns her. But the times are not easy. France is in chaos. The king has been executed, and whispers of a similar revolution are stirring in England. And because of her participation in the robbery plot, the Spymaster of England is blackmailing her into passing him information about the members of London’s upper crust.

When the dashing English spy Daniel Ridgeway takes a seat at her card table and threatens to expose her for cheating, she has no choice but to do as he demands: seduce the leader of the revolutionaries and learn what she can about their plot. As she’s drawn deeper into Daniel’s dangerous world, from the seedy backstreets of London to the claustrophobic catacombs of a war-torn Paris, she realizes an even more dangerous fact. She’s falling in love with her seductive partner. And the stakes of this game might just be too high, even for her.

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23591089In the new novel from the bestselling author of The Earl I Adore, May Bradford isn’t afraid to play devil’s advocate when it comes to a duke.…

After her mother’s death, May’s sea captain father sends her halfway around the world to live with his stodgy sister in England. The summer festival in Bath made for a lovely distraction, but now she can’t wait for her father’s return so she can leave this country, its suffocating rules, and one infuriatingly proper nobleman in particular behind.

Because he is the Duke of Radcliffe, William Spencer’s whole life revolves around his duties. He never steps foot outside the bounds of proper behavior, and he expects the same of those around him. With her devil-may-care ways, May vexes him nearly as much as she tempts him, but there’s something about her that he just can’t resist. He knows he’s falling hard for her, but with lives that are worlds apart, will they ever be able to find any common ground?

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91J974nORFL._SL1500_Violet was fascinated with the legends and lore of New Orleans. She was so fascinated that she left everything behind to run a B&B in the French Quarter. But she never imagined that vampires were really real… not until the night she found herself swept back in time to 1797.
Beaten and scared, Violet quickly realizes she’s trapped… and in the most exotic bordello of all. But its clients aren’t mortal, at least not anymore. Locked in an era that’s not her own, she must find a way to escape from the powerful lure of vampire seductiveness… before it’s too late.

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*This was the FIRST romance book I read, so The Spanish Rose holds a special place in my heart. If you can’t find this for a reasonable price in the bookstores, make sure to check your local library or Ebay.*

A historical romance from the author of MIDNIGHT MASQUERADE, telling the story of a beautiful Spanish girl who falls in love with her father’s sworn enemy, an English pirate.

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what_she_wants__ri_200Lynsay Sands knows what romance readers want: love stories that are thrilling, sexy, and fun—whether they concern the amorous affairs of English lords and ladies of the Regency ton, the lairds and lasses of the Scottish Highlands, or the more contemporary vampires of the Argeneau family. In the incomparable Lynsay’s historical romance classic, What She Wants, a Scottish knight finds himself at wit’s end trying to figure out how to win the heart of the fair, if equally hard-headed, lass he is determined to marry. Everyone who enjoys the novels of Julie Garwood and Jill Barnett will be delighted to discover What She Wants…and will be enchanted by Lynsay Sands’s humor, passion, and storytelling magic.

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51i1lUTWx7L._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_Victorian Romance

Scarred from a terrible accident, Lucas Stanby swore never to return to England. But his brother’s murder forces him home ten years later as the new Earl of Berkmond and guardian of his two young nieces.

As the local vicar’s daughter and a childhood friend, Moira Dorsey naturally set aside her hopes of a family of her own to care for the earl’s daughters. Lucas’s return makes it impossible for her to remain since he broke Moira’s heart years ago, but the girls have other ideas.

Lucas realizes he needs Moira to keep his personal demons at bay as well as deal with two rambunctious girls. He offers Moira a marriage of convenience, hoping to keep his dark secret, aware he’s too broken to be the husband she deserves.

Moira discovers Lucas’s cold demeanor hides deep scars but glimpses of the boy she loved give her hope. She counters his proposal, asking for a babe of her own, wanting Lucas to see he’s not the monster he believes.

Unable to deny his growing feelings, Lucas agrees, but his past disrupts their second chance at love, dragging Moira and the girls into danger. He soon realizes he must share his terrible secret with Moira and risk losing her forever in order to stop the villain who threatens them all.

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gone with the windSince its original publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and one of the bestselling novels of all time—has been heralded by readers everywhere as The Great American Novel.

Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.

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5152F086FTL._SX287_BO1,204,203,200_Kiss of the night wind. . .Whispered kisses. . .Follow the wind. . .

The novels of Janelle Taylor sparkle with her unique blend of adventure and passion. And her unforgettable tale of the warrior Gray Eagle and his beloved Alisha is perhaps the most special of all. For it begins one of the most romantic and memorable sagas ever written. . .

Savage Ecstasy

It was like lightning striking, the first time they looked into each other’s eyes: Gray Eagle, the captured Indian brave, and Alisha, the beautiful young settler. As the proud Oglala warrior was being tortured by his white captors, only Alisha seemed to notice that he was a human being–handsome and strong, and one who took her breath away. But if Alisha could have read Gray Eagle’s thoughts she would have been even more disturbed. Because from the moment he saw her, the Indian knew he had to possess the fair-skinned one–and his life would not be complete until he had made her his slave!

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513PH1J5MCL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Rosalind Rutherford knows full well the scandal she courts when she attempts to seduce the notorious Armond Wulf–in fact, she’s counting on it as a means to escape her sadistic stepbrother’s control. Unfortunately, Lord Wulf’s better instincts prevail…although not before he gives Rosalind a tantalizing taste of what she’s missing. And when the opportunity arises to rescue Armond from a grim fate while changing her own, Rosalind knows she must seize it…

Armond can no more ignore the Rutherford woman than his ancestor could resist the temptress who cursed the Wulf men with a terrifying transformation that occurs at the appearance of the full moon–and is set in motion by love. Now, to save her reputation and his freedom, Armond must marry Rosalind. But he vows that while they may share the pleasures of the marriage bed, she will never have his heart…

Yet as strange and mysterious events bring them closer in body and soul, Armond finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings for his new wife locked away. Especially when the reality of unquenchable desire–and certain danger–burn stronger than ever by the light of a full moon…

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51KP30t-OUL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_Eager to escape her past in Ireland, Shauna Farrow signs on to become an indentured servant to Joshua Stewart, a wealthy man in Pennsylvania Colony.

But a life of servitude quickly turns to drudgery, and her hopes for starting over and creating a better life for herself are waning—until she meets her master’s roguish son, Ashton.

Shauna fights her growing attraction to Ashton, torn between propriety and acting on her emotions. But amidst their flirting, something dark stirs. Shauna soon discovers why no other servants will work for the strange Stewart family.

Stewart House has an unsavory reputation: a previous servant died there under mysterious circumstances. When another servant goes missing in the middle of the night, Shauna is convinced that a member of the family is responsible.

When Shauna’s investigation leads her too close to the truth, it’s up to Ashton to save her before time runs out.

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350684“Whitney, My Love” stands as Judith McNaught’s timeless bestseller — a novel so rich with laughter, tears, and the power of dreams that millions of readers have returned to it again and again to savor its beauty and majesty. Under the dark, languorous eyes of Clayton Westmoreland, the Duke of Claymore, Whitney Stone grew from a saucy hoyden into a ravishingly sensual woman. Fresh from her triumphs in Paris society, she returned to England to win the heart of Paul, her childhood love . . . only to be bargained away by her bankrupt father to the handsome, arrogant duke. Outraged, she defies her new lord. But even as his smoldering passion seduces her into a gathering storm of desire, Whitney cannot — and will not — relinquish her dream of perfect love.

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691009*This isn’t on Kindle, but it’s so good I have to mention it!*

Beautiful, headstrong Nicole Ashford was yet untouched by passion, but destined for adventure – and pleasure – beyond anything a woman of her time had ever known.

Outwitting a ruthless plot against her, she fled her aristocratic England home on a privateer’s ship bound for the luxurious pirate havens of New Orleans – and exquisite abandon in Bermuda’s hidden coves. Yet the very daring of her escape plunged her into even graver peril as captive mistress to notorious high seas outlaw, Captain Saber, whose savage passion made her a woman, but whose tender kisses plundered her soul.

And nothing now could stop what was begun between them – nothing could still the urgent fires of the love they were born to share!

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Historical Romance Spotlight and Interview: Dissent by P. J. Dean @pjdeanwriter


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Historical Romance


dissent

Love Vanquishes All Book 2

Second in a standalone series!

1571. France is in stasis. The peace struck after the latest War of Religion between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots) is fragile and desperately needs more support to sustain it. The monarchy proposes a royal wedding joining a Catholic princess to a Huguenot prince as the needed bulwark. Negotiations are set in motion. All is good. Or so it appears.
On another front, France has fallen far behind other European nations in its quest to expand its empire overseas. Expenditures from civil wars have sapped her coffers, her energy and have stunted her economic dreams.

Could another marriage remedy the problem by mixing religious unity with the possibility of increased commerce?

Enter Awa, the daughter of a visiting, Roman Catholic, Wolof diplomat from the elite ranks of the Jolof Kingdom in West Africa. She embodies the best of her land in her manner and in her education. She is dutiful, proud, and respectful of her family, but after living a portion of her formative years at the French court, she has become outspoken and a tad willful.

Enter Blaise, the nephew of the most powerful leader of the Huguenot faction in the country. An aristocrat. Learned. Traveled. Haunted. Ladies’ man. Rarely sees a sunrise, unless he is retiring at that hour. He abhors responsibility of any kind. And Roman Catholics.

Two persons of noble lineage. Strangers. Foes. Pawns. Allies? Lovers?

If Awa and Blaise can cease fighting long enough, could their marriage quell domestic unrest, bring riches and stability to France, but most importantly deliver true love to them before the realm implodes over religious matters again?

Free on Kindle Unlimited

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Excerpt:

Blaise yanked her closer and spoke through a clenched jaw. “I am not finished with you. I have much I need to say. Your father came to this court as an envoy from another land. I would have thought that you’d have remained untainted by the goings-on around you simply because you were not of this place. But having been in this court these past five years, you might as well have been born into it. You’ve been tainted. Greatly. You are steeped in the stew of the dominant religion. Despite the blood of your country pulsing in your veins and written on your skin, you have soaked up the airs of those kissers of the Pope’s ring! Your actions and words are no different. You, therefore, are all I expected. Simply wrapped in a different package. Selfish. Spoiled. Self-centered. Enough of this nonsense. The matter is closed.” Blaise pushed her away. “You will be my bride in four months. Willingly or unwillingly. I did not choose you! It matters not to me.” Rushing for the door, he hurled it wide and bellowed, “Nurse! Nurse! Come now!”
Finding her balance before gracing the floor again, Awa ranted, “Be that as it may, men like you always find a way to overcome reservations about women they find troublesome. I shall perform my duty in what will be a dismal union. But know that I do not want you and I shall never love you.”
Blaise turned toward her, his tone suddenly sugar-coated and calm. “Have you not heard, wife-to-be, that neither friendship, or love, is required in a marriage contract. You will be mine in every way. I shall honor my uncle’s mad wish to save our brethren. One last thing. I have no reservations to overcome about women of any kind. I have found comfort in women who have wanted me. And they have most enthusiastically found it in me. If you believe nothing else about me, believe this, Awa. I come by my reputation honestly. A comely woman is a comely woman.”
“Swine! I should scratch your eyes out.” Awa jumped at him but Ngoné appeared in time to hold her back by the waist. “I’d sooner drink poison than succumb to you.”
“Awa. Vixen that you are,” he could barely get his jibe out past his smirk. “You really should not speak to me in that manner. It is like throwing down a gauntlet or waving a red flag. It excites me. And you wouldn’t want to do that. In any case, I have much to teach you. Take your mouth for example. In addition to making slanderous comments, it was created for pleasure too.” He winked.
“Base dog!” Awa cried, escaping Ngoné’s hold to snatch a perfume vial from the dressing table.
“Base dog? You wish me to be a base dog? The beautiful thing is, I can be whatever you want. Only you and I shall know,” Blaise said, strutting out the door, slamming it behind him in time just as his betrothed christened it with the vial, and him with another epithet.


About the Author:

P. J. Dean has always loved making up stories for as long as she can recall. Fiction book writing was a no-brainer. Scribbling stories since childhood, she put away the thought of becoming a published writer as she got older and as life’s responsibilities beckoned. Work, ill family members and other distractions of lesser urgency stayed her dream. But through it all she never stopped writing. Writing was her escape. It kept her dream alive. After a job loss and after the family illnesses ended, she concentrated on writing with an aim to be published. She finally did, at first on her own, then through an early e-pub and now with Extasy Books. She thanks Extasy for picking her up. The medium-sized publisher has given her the freedom to create what she wants without pigeon-holing her into writing in a certain way, as many traditional Big Five publishers would have expected her to do if they would have even considered what she had to offer at all.

She writes historical and paranormal romances with diverse characters. Her interest in history coupled with a B.A in French Civilization helped her write her first book, a historical romance set in late 16th century France with the court of Charles IX as the backdrop. The need to see people of color in more romance books, written by people of color, led her to create her own paranormal romance series with an interracial duo and lots of different people. In addition to the aliens.

Her “Felig Chronicles” series, in particular its 4th book, Paradox, has received a 2014 SFR Galaxy Award for the “Best Unpredictable Sci-fi Romance”series.

She hails from the mid-Atlantic USA and enjoys the change of seasons there. Sometimes. When heavy thunderstorms or 45-inch snowstorms or 100-degree summers with matching humidity hit, she dreams of Bermuda. Otherwise, the rest works for her.

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Interview:

Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey? My journey began with reading. My mom read to me when I was a little kid every night until I was about six years old. Her action turned me into an avid reader which in turn made me want to write. I’d write things and then read them to her. I’ve been writing ever since then. The question was, “Was it any good?” Mom thought so and that was all that mattered. Books were a drug. I was fascinated by the way a person could gather their thoughts and assemble them on a page. So, I tried it and I liked it. My pursuit got sidetracked a lot as I got older. Work, life, etc. would pop up. But I persevered and made time for my passion no matter what. I was writing for pleasure and not for a living. I still don’t. Many times, writing was the only thing that helped smooth over life’s rough spots.

How many books do you currently have published? I’ve written seven. Five in my on-going science fiction romance series, Two in my stand-alone historical romance series.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? I’m torn between the historical romance stand-alone series I write, and the science fiction romance series I write. You’ve put me on the spot. I can’t pick a favorite. I like writing them both for different reasons. My science fiction romance series allows me to create what I want. The frontiers in science fiction romance are truly limitless. Anything goes. I can combine elements of the present and spin them into a possible future. Plus, for my pleasure, my heroine in the series is African-American. She carries the series along with her hero. I pray no panel of experts pops up to set up official rules for science fiction romance like they’ve for other subgenres. Not that I’d follow them anyway.

I like writing my historical romance series because I enjoy giving agency to characters in time periods from lands mainstream authors don’t tackle. I only pen black heroines in this subgenre because there is a dearth of black heroines in historicals. Oh, there are some wonderful writers who pen moving portraits. However, there are some who…don’t. I do deep research. I don’t just whip up any old inaccurate plot line for the sake of sticking a non-White face in the story. The heroine must have a back story. And for me, that back story must be rooted in real, not alternate, history. So, I can’t narrow it down to one book. I like them all my books for varied reasons. .

Are you currently working on a book? I’m making notes for the book 6 in my science fiction series and promoting the object of this post, DISSENT, book 2 in my historical series, LOVE VANQUISHES ALL.

What do you enjoy most about writing? I enjoy the freedom of creating what I want, how I want. As a hybrid author, I’ve been blessed with a traditional mid-sized publisher who rolls with my style. eXtasy Books never told me “No one will read a main character who is black and carries the story.” In fact, eXtasy was the sole publisher who took my sci-fi series back in 2011 without questioning my choice in a black heroine. I got questioned about that choice more times than I care to remember when I was shopping it around. I’ll continue to publish my sci-fi through them but have branched out into self-publishing with my historical series.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? I do get it. When I’m stuck, I’ll step away for a bit. Watch some shopping channels. Read an actual newspaper. Meditate. Then I come back to the manuscript feeling less tense and with fresh insight.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you? Yes. The character of Rozina, Kindred’s grandmother, from book 1 in my historical romance series. Rozina from KINDRED: AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY was not supposed to survive beyond the prologue. But she wrote herself into a bigger, more expanded role and she is in the entire book.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? You’re killing me here. I love certain traits about certain characters. My heroines are not weepy pushovers but they are not harpies either. All my heroes are Betas. I do not write Alphas heroes. I do not like them. I find nothing attractive about the monosyllabic, misogynistic, grunting specimens who now rule a lot of romances. But, I do love to write Alpha villains, be they male or female. I must say, I write a damned good Alpha villain/villainess except mine happen to be witty and chatty in addition to being vile.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write? In all my books, there is a scene where the heroine/hero has a confrontation with the villain/villainess. These scenes are always both amusing and harrowing, and the villain regrets facing off with the heroine/hero no matter how the scene ends.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? I’ve learned to stop listening to, and giving credence to, the experts and to people who have made it their life’s work to be unprofessional, or to remain stuck in a time warp, or to just be plain bitchy. Some folks are a combination of all three. Right out the gate, I knew that not everyone was going to like what I write. Nor do they have to. I just want one thing from reviewers/bloggers/readers: if they ever review any of my books, please have the review make sense. Also, as far as the romance writing business is concerned (and it is a business), I’ve learned it does not lead. It follows. It is not an innovator. It has no method of divination on what the next big thing is going to be. So, that means by the time the traditional side of the business decides it’s going to explore such-and-such because it sees such-and-such is selling in the indie world, such-and-such has been around a loooong time in the indie world. That’s why I loathe when a trend develops. It’s the death knell for whatever that fresh hook was that had readers excited.

Do you have any tips for new writers? Yep. Stop listening to others. Stop copying others. Develop your own style. Write what is aching to come out of YOUR soul; not what is on some best seller’s list. But if you feel the need to produce what’s trending…Be my guest. Most importantly, never give up. Never. No matter how many times someone tells you your book is crap, or too weird, or too out there, or not what the reading public is accustomed to. Or worse, that there is no audience for it. You might not know it (and the naysayers surely don’t either), but your book could be the one to quench someone’s long-unfulfilled hunt for something different.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? I say start with one of my historical romances as each book is a complete story, and because I’d like the reader to see more black women in past eras who were educated, and who were not just chattel.

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character? Unfortunately, no.

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read? I do read romances but I LOVE reading history books and reference books. Yeah, I’m geek-ish. I was mesmerized by The Kushiel’s Dart series by Jacqueline Cary. Her imagination is riveting.

What about television shows? Movies? Lucifer. Empire. Power. Shades of Blue, Poldark (past and present). Comet TV and public television. Scifi movies and historical movies are my catnip.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why? There have been a few: Anything by Octavia E. Butler, A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux, that time-travel romance series by Suzanne Frank that starts with Reflections in the Nile. Her creation of Cheftu and Chloe. Sigh. They rival Claire and Jamie. In any case, that’s the next series Starz needs to do after Outlander. They all had the ability to take me elsewhere for a spell.

Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions? No. Conventions are costly and not in my present budget. I’d like to go someday to observe the scene. Book signings can be bad if no one shows. I avoid them like the plague.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? “Thank you, Mom, for making me read, question and dream.”

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers? I love cats, organic gummy bears, animal crackers, black currant tea. And of course, writing.


Historical Romance Spotlight: Mine, Forever and Always by Tammy L. Bailey @tammylbailey


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Historical Romance Novella


mine forever and always

Release Date: 3/15/17

Just shy of fifteen years old, and during a fake and impromptu wedding ceremony, Lily Scott married her best friend’s brother, Henry Dalton.

It seemed harmless enough until he leaned in and whispered to her his true feelings, amorous words she has been unable to forget: Now you’re mine, forever and always.

Unfortunately, growing up pulls them apart and transforms Henry into a pompous scoundrel. When they meet again at a house party hosted by Henry’s sister, will Henry remember his once faithful promise to Lily?

Free with Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

“Did you write the letter?”

Lily jumped and spread her gloved hand over her chest. Her heart thumped against her palm as she rotated around to face her friend. “Yes,” she answered, leaving out the fact that it no longer remained in her possession. “It’s…written.”

Jane clapped her hands like a child. “I’m sure it’s perfect, but I’ll read it later when Aunt Sophia has fallen asleep,” she whispered.

Lily glanced over at the gray-haired woman, her head bobbing one way and then the next, against a red and gold striped mahogany-framed couch. Aunt Sophia remained the preferred relative above everyone else because she always fell asleep during her sole occupation as a chaperone.

“For now, I’m trying to discover what possessed my brother to ask me to invite Miss Appleton,” Jane said, all the while smiling in their direction. “They are not together, but I do believe he chooses to associate with the most disagreeable women on purpose, just to vex me.”

Lily tried to avoid glancing in Henry’s direction by instead sending her friend a sympathetic smile. She’d always remembered Jane as being outspoken and determined. With a much larger dowry than Lily, she attracted her fair share of suitors, all of whom she tried to deflect with her infamous “parlor games.” That is until Jane had suddenly and surprisingly realized her unrecoverable love for Mr. Waverley.

“I cannot begin to speculate about Henry’s many cordial affairs,” Jane continued, fanning her face in disgust. “Do you know that Miss Appleton is rumored to have been engaged five months ago, but the wedding was called off because of something the groom discovered but did not disclose?”

Lily pressed her lips together. While her heart had remained steadfast and loyal to Jane’s brother, he’d veered off onto a path of open debauchery. Sometime between their quiet walks in the garden, a lovely pretend wedding day, and this moment, he’d become a man she hardly recognized. What had happened to the young boy who had reached for her hand when he thought her unhappy or hurt? Perhaps she might address him as Mr. Daltrey, next time.

“Oh, good. Look, Henry’s unlatched himself from Miss Appleton and is now speaking to Mr. Waverley. I shall introduce you to him.”

Lily shook her head. “But I had hoped to have some punch.” She needed something to steady her nerves, a place to think on how to retrieve the letter. Since seeing Henry again, her heart hadn’t slowed its pace, and her hands had yet to stop shaking. Of course, when she turned away, Jane grasped one of her trembling hands, hauling her toward where Mr. Waverley and Henry stood talking, a glass of brandy in their right hands.

Lily believed she could not imagine Mr. Waverley any more handsome. He was tall with soft blond hair and gentle blue eyes. He was not, however, her husband. Stirred by Henry’s presence, Lily shifted her gaze to him. Her progress forward faltered when his hand reached into the pocket he’d secured Mr. Waverly’s letter. In slow motion, her legs tangled, her ankles twisted, and she landed on the hard floor with a graceless thud.


About the Author:

tammy bailey

I’m a LEO wife, mother, and third-generation veteran.

I have been writing for thirteen years. My debut novel, LORD BACHELOR, earned second place in The Heart of Excellence, Reader’s Choice Award in 2016. This novel was also featured in InD’tale Magazine for receiving a Crowned Heart Review (4.5 stars). Although I enjoy the contemporary romance genre, my first love is historical romance. There’s just something about a man in a pair of Hessian boots.

When I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my husband and two boys, ages 13 and 11. Without their sacrifice and understanding, I would have never been able to pursue my passion of writing or my accomplishment of becoming a published author.

No matter what I write and read, there ALWAYS has to be a happy ending.

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Historical Romance: Madame’s Double Life by Keegan Lace @KeeganLace


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

madames double life

Genre: Historical Romance

Lady Victoria was born into high society and high standards in the the English country side. The dictates of Victorian society do not provide a good fit for a 17 year old free spirit. Lady Victoria is as wild as the lavender growing on the white cliffs of Dover. She is a dreamer when her life is thrown into turmoil with the arranged marriage to the much older Lord Hawthorne.

He is the Duke of Wellington, a womanizer looking for his next conquest. Lady Victoria is just the type of woman the Duke can love and leave.

Will Lady Victoria give in to the dashing Duke of Wellington and risk causing a scandal to her husband’s name? Or will the Duke of Wellington discover love for the first time.

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Excerpt:

Chapter One:

It was late morning and Victoria was deep in slumber beneath piles of linen sheets and goose down puffs. Heavy emerald velvet covered enormous windows to shield out the early spring sunshine. The sun was a tease at this time of year. Boots were beginning to dry from the winter rains and the lawn was ready to explode with fresh sprouts. The staff at the Markham Estate was busy preparing the equipment for spring sports. The moment before the bloom, the deluge reared its head again. This Saturday was a bonus day. A peak at the summer that all of Dover would welcome.

“Good morning my Lady. There you are love. Come. It is time to reveal yourself. Tea, before we prepare for repast with the man and your brother and sisters? Your Mother is half-way to London by now. She will be with her sister at Persimmon house. She is already preparing for June social season. Your father is about and out on horse. You will want to be ready upon his return.”

Lady Victoria was in her seventeenth year. She was hopeful. Her world was getting larger as time passed and she had dreams of finding love like all girls of her age. She was sandwiched between an older brother and two younger sisters. Peter was 19, his military plans delayed due to sickness. Elaine was the baby at 15 and Mary was 16 years of age. Her mother was quick to have her children but for unknown reasons she stopped producing after Elaine. It left The Countess with time on her hands at an early age.

Countess Tompkins travelled to London in the springtime to assist her sister. Lady Sterling was preparing Persimmon House for the social season beginning in June. Peter met an appropriate girl in London the year prior and the marriage between the two was to be officially finalized. They had shared a lengthy courtship. The Honorable Jane Marley was a worthy match for Peter. She was 18 years old and guaranteed a healthy virgin. Peter would eventually inherit the entire Markham Estate and Jane was well suited to fill it with children. Victoria noticed a change come over her cherished brother with the mention of Jane. A delicate love born of mutual respect had blossomed between them. It gave Victoria hope that a similar love would fill her world someday.

“Lady Victoria. I sense the daydream in which you are lost. Time does not allow for it at this moment. Rush, you father will be waiting.”

The Earl was a brutish sort to most who only briefly made his acquaintance. Victoria knew her father was a solitary man who loved his wife and children very much. He was actually a humorous gentleman, especially among his girls who were a constant source of amusement. He was like a cat in ways. Lady Victoria’s father retained a sense of mystery and aloofness, but when treated in distinct manner by those close to him he was embraceable.

“I will be ready Esther. I want to roam the grounds in comfort today. Presentable yes, but something which allows for free movement.”

Esther pulled out a light pink cotton dress with sky blue flowers and a velvet sash. It was high in the neck. She would go uncorseted. Her coltish figure did not require such impediments when not necessitated by custom. Victoria ran wild when allowed. With the Countess away in London and Father reading in his study, she would be free to do so. Esther had been with Lady Victoria since infancy. She was her maid, but so much more. Esther was a mother figure to Victoria, as her mother was busy with the younger girls. She shared and kept all of Victoria’s privacies as she bolted through adolescence into young womanhood. Esther knew that matters between Peter and Jane were to be finalized but she was also aware that Victoria’s betrothment was keen on her mother’s mind. There was certainly something at hand. Powerless, she hoped for the best.

Victoria emerged from the washroom ready to be dressed for the day. Her alabaster skin showed a natural peach glow. Her sapphire eyes showed a good night’s rest and a lack of years. She sat at the vanity to have her gossamer hair pulled back sensibly.

“My Lady, your golden locks look as though you have just emerged from a gale. I dare not imagine your dreams as you toss and turn so much. Your night cap is always discarded next to your bed by morning.” Esther tamed her hair with a pearl handled hairbrush.

“Esther. Please, gentle. My tender scalp.” Victoria fussed until Esther laid down the paddle. She stepped into her dress and fussed a bit more. A quick glance in the head to toe mirror tilted to welcome her presence and led to a nod. “Perfect as always Esther. I love you.”

Victoria ran down the long corridor, which led to the imposing mahogany staircase. Portraits of people who Victoria had never known frowned upon her through ornate frames. She vowed never to sit for such a depiction. What could cause such ominous scowls? She thought for a moment about slithering down the black bannister. It was something she did often as a young girl, but her 5’5” delicate frame was not suited for such folly.

“Good morning father.” Victoria gently bussed her father before taking her seat at the dining table. She sunk into the ivory upholstered chair, which had become accustomed to her form. Her place was designated between her two sisters who were first to arrive. Peter sat alone across the table and father took the head. Mother’s chair remained vacant due to her travels.

“Good Morning Victoria. You are late to arrive which has become the custom. Peter is about to lead prayer. You are just in time.”

Victoria smiled at young Elaine who was rarely at a loss for words. Elaine was at times a plaything to her older siblings but even Elaine herself knew it was heartfelt affection. She enjoyed the ribbing, as it gave her relevance among the Tompkins children.

“God bless all present and Dear Mother, may she be safe in her travels. Please make the food sustaining and palatable. Amen.”

“Clever Peter. You always have a way of getting to the significant part. Your brevity is appreciated, although the words are hardly prosaic.”

“Thank you Victoria.” Peter waited until Father and his sisters were served before he devoured his oysters and bacon.

“I am happy to see you all this morning. We have no callers today. With your Mother at Persimmon House, I thought it best we not receive today. I am certain you can all busy yourselves on a sunny day. I gave notice at the stables should any of you wish to ride the grounds. I may take a jaunt myself. I would like to have tea with you Victoria, in my study at half past three”

“Yes father. I plan to stroll the hop gardens but I will plan tea. I promise to be timely. I will alert Esther of my engagements.”

****

Victoria spent the day on the many acres gardens of the Markham Estate. It was her favorite spot, encircled with stonewalls covered in early spring hops. Azalea beds showed no bloom as of yet but they would burst in bright hues come summer. As Victoria walked, she dreamed of life beyond the Estate grounds. She welcomed what London would bring. The adventures ahead seemed endless. Victoria was unaware that the machinations of the Earl and Countess. As her parents they had already forged a path towards her future.

At 17 and the eldest of 3 girls it was dictated by society that a suitable mate be found for carefree Victoria. Peter was the male heir. He would inherit the title of Earl and everything that would entail including land and other assets. A man of means and title would care for Victoria. She would provide him with an ample flock of descendants. Dreams of ambling down the Champs Ellysees with a man whom she loved were to be just that – dreams. It was not an urgent reality. She remained blissful.

“Come along now Victoria. Your Father will look for you at half past. We must begin our journey back to the house. You have a time for a quick refresher before tea.”

“Always prompt Esther. We must arrange for a change of fragrance. I am tired of Lavender. It has become too youthful and common. I prefer something mature. Fetch me some samples as the week passes. More sophisticated and dare I say – alluring.”

Esther laughed, amused by the request.

****

“Hello Father. I am weary from the afternoon and ravenous.” Victoria fell onto the cushioned sofa.

“My dear Victoria, I need not ask you to make yourself comfortable.”

“If you expect formality you u have chosen the wrong Tompkins to join you to tea.” Victoria filled her mouth with smoked salmon on toast. It was rare to have tea alone with her Father in his study. It was a dark and comfortable room. To be invited to his inner sanctum was an honor. Books lined the shelves, which reached the ceiling. She imagined he had read them all, as he was not one for show in his private space.

“Victoria, we anticipate your mother’s arrival home by next week end. Any longer and I worry she will never find her way back to Dover. She gets lost in the excitement of London as the season approaches.”

“I shall welcome her of course. She will need time to recover before we should receive visitors. The staff will be alerted. Everything will be in place for her return to Markham. Is there anything specific I should arrange upon her return?” Victoria shifted as she expected to receive instructions.

“We will receive a caller the day following the Countesses return. He is a gentleman. He is Lord Hawthorne from the upper region of Kent. He has joined us for a hunt in years past here at the estate. He travels with his brother, Lord Damian. He is a widow and a pal from years ago. Victoria, he is a dear friend similar in years to me and a man of superior manners.”

“Yes father. I shall make plans for his arrival. Are overnight accommodations required?”

“Juliet and Samuel are preparing quarters for them. I will expect you to be dressed in your finest attire for receiving a guest of his high honor. Preparations have already begun for Lord Hawthorne’s arrival.”

Victoria became confused by the grandeur behind Lord Hawthorne’s visit. She awaited her Father’s explanation.

“My dear daughter, you are to be married to Lord Hawthorne.”

“Oh.” Ann was speechless and astonished by her father’s announcement. She was not planning to be promised to another before laying eyes upon him. Her dreams only hours past were unattainable musings. A man her father’s age was a sour joke. “No father.” Her face grew wet in reaction to the horrible news.

“Your mother and I have considered the matter carefully. It is to be Victoria. Lord Hawthorne can provide you with substantial wealth and a proper place in society. You are betrothed to Lord James Hawthorne. Go to your quarters and rest up before dinner. Allow time for the shock of the announcement to settle in.”

“I ask to be excused from dinner father. The day has proved too much.”

“Good day Victoria. I will see you when the sun rises on a new day. You know what is expected.”

****

Victoria returned to her room and collapsed on a chaise. She was devastated with a hyperventilating fit. Drops fell from her eyes. Esther came to console the sweet girl she helped bring into the world. She cradled Victoria’s head in her fleshy arms.

“Esther, I must tell you what my parents have done. They….” Victoria was cut off.

“I knew this was coming me dear. I was powerless.”

“Oh, Esther. You knew and you held it a secret? You are like me mum. How could you keep secrets? The whole world is against me.”

“I let you dream. I could not devastate you with the impeding arrangement.”

“I will not be happy. I will wish for the day I die.”

 


About Keegan Lace:

Keegan Lace was born and raised in North Carolina, currently residing in the Charlotte area. She has always loved books, especially romance novels and wished that everyone would find love, romance and happiness.

When she is not writing, reading, or being a wonderful mother to her children; she can be found enjoying some of her favorite hobbies: yard sales, house hunting and traveling.

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Featured Western Historical Romance: Seize the Flame by Lynda J. Cox @lyndacox


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Western Historical Romance


SeizetheFlame_w9687_medJessica Depre’s life is in tatters. She’s on the run, thanks to her abusive husband Robert, who needs to silence her about his criminal escapades and the part he forced her to play in them. When bounty hunter Drake Adams walks into the boarding house where she works, Jessica slips away into the night. Her only hope of surviving and protecting those she loves from her husband’s rage is to vanish forever.

Unable to accept that the only woman he ever loved left him standing at the altar and married another, Drake Adams has given up a good law practice in the Wyoming Territory. If he’s not hunting down bounties, he’s pursuing the bottom of a bottle of bourbon. When Drake learns his former fiancée, Jessica Majors-Depre, has a price on her head, he decides he will collect the reward.

Can the bounty hunter and the bank robber ignite a future from the ashes of their past when they are trapped by a blizzard in a mountain shack or will playing with fire burn them both?

AmazonThe Wild Rose Press


Excerpt:

“Drake, please, let me go.” She wasn’t sure if she was asking him to actually release her or to stop emotionally holding onto her.

“I wish to hell I could.” He let go of her arms only to catch her face between his hands and she forced herself to look at him. The taut control over his expression and tone was gone. In its stead was a burning that ignited in the depths of his eyes. A desperate hunger etched the lines of his face. His voice rasped with that burning hunger. “I wish to hell I could convince myself to let you go.”

Her arms remained trapped between them. Almost of their own accord, her hands unclenched. The stubble darkening his jaw rasped against her fingertips as she traced the line of his jaw. She felt his chest hitch with his quick intake of breath. His response lent her enough bravado to search his features. The laugh lines at the corners of his eyes were deeper, and there were a few silver hairs at his temples, now, giving him a distinguished, polished air. His brows still arched and slanted upwards, as if he saw everything with a curious amusement.

His intense gaze raked over her face, lingering on her lips.

The kiss that hung between them, unfulfilled, was there if she just leaned into him. Heedless of the consequences, she licked her dry lips.

The heat in his eyes grew, and his breath hitched again as she worked her arms loose enough to encircle his neck, plying her fingers through the waving curls of his black hair.

“You’re playing with fire, Jessie.”


About the Author:

Certain she was born about 150 years too late and in the wrong part of the country, Lynda J. Cox can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to live in the Old West. Short of inventing a time machine, she’s settled for writing romances set in the wide open spaces of what was then the Wyoming Territory. With a love of writing and history, she combined both into a double major in English and history and continued on to a master’s degree in English.
When she isn’t writing, she can often be found on the road, traveling to the next dog show. Those long road trips allow her to plot out her novels.
You can contact Lynda on Facebook by searching for Lynda J. Cox. She loves to talk about writing, books, dogs, and horses.