1500s

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The Dark Queen

Readers in recent years have complained that the rich, interesting historicals of the past are vanishing. As a reader, I certainly have found myself buying fewer books overall as the meaty historicals I loved started to be replaced by and large with homogenized wallpaper comedies. Fortunately, there ...

C+
Beloved Impostor

I have long considered Patricia Potter to be a buried treasure. I've seldom seen her books discussed at any length, but she's been out there for years, dependably writing thoughtful, entertaining books. While none that I've read have been DIKs for me, nearly all have been B level reads. That said, h ...

A
The Queen's Fool

The Queen’s Fool shows the plotting, spying, and intrigue that lay at the heart of the court of Queen Mary of England, as seen through the eyes of a woman who was an outsider. If you like that sort of thing - as I do - you really should pick it up. It’s the kind of book that I don’t just want ...

A
Courtesan

In the France of olde, Diane de Poitiers returns to the court of Francois I after an informal exile of five years. The two were involved in a scandalous relationship then, and though he'd like to start it up again, she wants to begin anew. She is thirtyone, beautiful, and clever. She is also strong, ...

B
Lucrezia Borgia and the Mother of Poisons

How many authors could write a mystery series featuring a madam running a brothel and paying rent to the Catholic Church in 12th century London? And how many of those could turn around and begin a new series starring Lucrezia Borgia? And in both cases make those characters sympathetic and their stor ...

C+
My Secret Protector

My Secret Protector is a romance novel that entertains in spite of the romance, rather than because of it. This is a time-travel fantasy with some intriguing ideas and a story that gains momentum as it goes along. It also happens to work best when the love story is shoved into the background, which ...

B
Feathered Serpent

Feathered Serpent tells the story of the Mexican conquest and definitely has its romantic threads, particularly those concerning Hernan Cortés and his Mexica consort and interpreter, Malinali Tenepal. It's not a romance, however, and as history tells us, there is no Happily Ever After for this coup ...

C
Love Me Forever

When I hear the word "warrior" used to describe an historical hero, I expect certain things from him. I expect him to be arrogant, muscled, stubbornly sure of himself, intimidating, closed off from his emotions, willing/able to take on all comers in fights, able to accomplish the impossible, etc. Wh ...

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His Bride

After reading His Bride I tried to remember the last romance I'd read that focused almost entirely on the relationship between the hero and heroine, and you know, I couldn't think of one. So many current romances include a mystery, paranormal experiences, the dreaded evil villain - or all of the abo ...

A
The Lymond Chronicles

It is the 1540s. Suleiman the Magnificent is the sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The tsar of Russia is a man who will someday be known as Ivan the Terrible. England is ruled by the boy-king Edward VI. Mary Queen of Scots is four, and she will be used as a pawn in the high-stakes game of politics betwe ...