France

A
Ruthless

I don’t think it’s too much to state that Anne Stuart’s House of Rohan trilogy comes with high, high hopes. This author has given readers some of the darkest, cruellest, and most successfully redeemed heroes ever, and her historical novels seem to have an especially devoted following, possibly ...

B-
Watermark

If you're on the hunt for something different, a mute albino papermaker in Medieval France is a heroine who doesn't come along too often. Though Watermark, like many debut novels, seems a bit unpolished, the story is still an engaging one and gives readers an indelible picture of a tumultuous era.  ...

A
Madam, Will You Talk?

Madam, Will You Talk? may very well be the very first grown-up romance I ever read. I had crept into the grown-up department of the public library in secret, because I was supposed to look after my younger siblings over in the children’s department, and had to grab books quickly. No idea how I cam ...

B+
The Dangerous Mr. Ryder

After writing a number of very enjoyable stand-alone titles, Louise Allen has embarked on telling the stories of the members of a large family. In her case, it’s not a set of siblings, but of cousins. A family tree is printed right at the front of the book, which is a shame, because it contains a ...

A
Nine Coaches Waiting

I have a confession to make: I used to think Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart a prime example of a Guilty Pleasure. Very well written, but verging on melodrama, and thus only to be enjoyed with a touch of embarrassment. Rereading it for the purpose of this review, I realized I couldn’t have be ...

B-
The Adventurous Bride

Miranda Jarrett is an author I’d forgotten about. Years ago, I read a few of her books and then glommed a bunch more, but they got lost in the bottomless tbr pile. Then I came across The Adventurous Bride and thought I’d give it a go. It’s a road romance full of unusual settings (like Calais a ...

A-
The Silver Rose

The Silver Rose is the last book in Susan Carroll's Sisters of Faire Isle trilogy. It beautifully weaves all the threads left dangling from the first two books into a rich tapestry of magic, history, passion, intrigue, and impossible love. Faire Isle has undergone a drastic change from when we fi ...

B+
Personal Assets

If you’re not familiar with Emma Holly’s name, you should be aware that her books are a bit different from other romance novels. Before moving into the historical romance arena, she wrote straight erotica for Black Lace, among other publishers. Classifying this book is difficult as it is more se ...

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 ...

A
Beast

Beast by Judith Ivory is one of my two all-time favorite romance books and also simply one of the best books I have ever read. When I read books or watch movies, afterwards I have a certain feel for them, a textural sensation. Beast has left me with one of the richest, most voluptuous "feels" ever. ...