Historical Romance

C
The Earl's Christmas Pearl

Romance and the 1991 family film Home Alone are unlikely bedfellows, and Megan Frampton’s The Earl’s Christmas Pearl isn’t even the first romance to give us a historical version of the plot. Her take is an amusing and breezy Christmas novella. Pearl Howlett has accidentally been left behind ...

F
Elizabeth in the New World

Elizabeth in the New World starts out reading like over-the-top Pride and Prejudice fanfiction - until the parade of clichéd characters and racist stereotypes began, and my initial amusement turned to incredulity, then anger, then repulsion, then disgust.  By the end of the book, I was beyond done ...

C+
Reckless in Red

This might be the toughest time I’ve had grading a book to date! Reckless in Red is a well-written historical mystery with an intriguing plotline but it was hard to see the forest for all the trees thrown in the way. There is a good story here but it’s hidden by too many characters and a few too ...

F
Chills

I started reading Heather Boyd’s Chills because of its title, which seemed unusual for an historical romance. Well, the title turned out to be most apropos. I was chilled through by this long-drawn-out description of manipulation and abuse masquerading as romance, and I hope never to read anything ...

C+
This Earl of Mine

Kate Bateman – or K.C. Bateman as she was known then – made her début as an author of historical romance in 2016 and To Steal a Heart impressed me to such a degree that I counted her as one of the “finds” of the year.  To date, she’s published four historical romances and I’ve rated th ...

B
A Little Light Mischief

Cat Sebastian’s A Little Light Mischief is well-characterized, romantic and fun, but has a few bumps and flaws along the way. Banished from her family, estranged from her abusive vicar father, genteel but down-at-heel Alice Stapleton has her eye on Molly Wilkins, the maid of the woman to whom s ...

A-
Gilded Cage

Last night I finished Gilded Cage, and moments ago, I finished reading the latest batch of responses to the [email protected]:  Does Historical Romance have a quality problem?  Well, if you’re exclusively reading K.J. Charles, the answer is a resounding ‘no.’  This is an author absolutely getting his ...

C-
The Lord's Inconvenient Vow

If you’re going to use a descriptor like ‘sinful,’ in your series title, you better bring the sinfulness.  Hard.  And if you don’t?  Well, you better bring something else.  Based on the blurb for The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow, I hoped the ‘something else,’ meant a great opposites att ...

B+
Lord and Lady Spy

Want a fun, adventuresome romp through post-Napoleon English spy tropes?  Lord and Lady Spy has a lot of fun tweaking the genre’s conventions while creating two characters who remain true to themselves no matter what while giving us a lot of good character work.  It’s not quite perfect, but is ...

B+
Promise Me a Dream

Promise Me a Dream is a gentle, tender story about two people coming together at a turbulent time in American history.  Unsparing when discussing racial violence, it also tells a lovely story of community and first true love.  And while I had a couple of issues with the stiffness of its prose, ove ...