Monday, August 17, 2009

Coming Attractions: Part 1--Historical Romances

I spent some time last week updating my book calendar, reflecting on my summer reading and anticipating books scheduled for September releases. I have nineteen romances on my TBB list for next month, so fall promises to be another glorious reading binge. I seem to be reading more and more historicals, and September will be no exception. Eight single-title historicals head my list.

Liz Carlyle’s Wicked All Day (September 29) continues her Neville series, connecting most directly with Tempted All Night. Zoe Armstrong, a secondary character in TAN, becomes the heroine of Wicked All Day. I depend upon Carlyle to provide richly developed characters and love scenes that are exactly that rather than just more sex scenes. I’ve read the excerpt, and the new book sounds like vintage Carlyle.

I find the premise behind Kathryn Caskie’s Seven Deadly Sins series fascinating: “The Sinclairs of Scotland are known throughout society as The Seven Deadly Sins. Cast out by their father and denied their inheritance unless they mend their wild ways, they travel to London to seek respectability.” The Most Wicked of Sins (September 22), the second book in the series, is Ivy’s story. Her sin? Envy. You can read the prologue and Chapter One here. I’m hooked.

A Lady of Persuasion (September 29), the final book in Tessa Dare’s first trilogy, is my favorite. First, Toby, the object of Lucy’s infatuation in Goddess of the Hunt, is the hero, and watching his revenge plot turn his world upside down is delicious. Then, the heroine Isabel is a rare character in romance, a politically ambitious woman who manages to be both idealistic and pragmatic. A bonus is getting all the interconnected characters from the series together in a single book in a manner that feels natural rather than staged. Even though I read this one in mss form, I’m eager to have a copy of the book. Not least because the covers are all so gorgeous, and the three are so obviously a set. You can find a very brief excerpt here, and Tessa will post a longer excerpt later this month.

Jo Goodman offers her readers a change of setting with Never Love a Lawman, a marriage of convenience tale set in 1882 in a Colorado mining town. I haven’t been able to find an excerpt, but since Goodman is known for her intelligent protagonists, I’m willing to take a chance on her. This is what she had to say about her characters in a Library Journal interview: “I give my heroines more freedom to speak their minds and step outside the strictures of their society than would have been tolerated. In some ways, it's the heroes who are anachronistic. They accept the heroines for their strength and tend to be more amused/aroused than emasculated by a clever woman. That's what makes my heroes exceedingly intelligent.” You can read the full interview here.

It has been a year since His Captive Lady, Book #2 in Anne Gracie's Devil Riders series was published, and a year is a long time without an Anne Gracie book. The first book in the series, The Stolen Princess, won the RWAustralia Romantic Book of the Year R*BY ("The Ruby") in the Long Romance category just a few days ago, and IMO His Captive Lady is even better. I do love Harry. To Catch a Bride (September 1), Book #3, is the story of Rafe Ramsey, son of the Earl of Axebridge. It is set in Cairo as well as in Regency England, and the heroine is first introduced as a cross-dressing street urchin. It sounds intriguing. I know I can depend on a Gracie book to make me laugh and cry, so I’m expecting another keeper. You can read an excerpt here.

Lisa Kleypas’s Hathaways are one of my addictions. I salivate just thinking about the third book in the series, Tempt Me at Twilight (September 22). Kleypas, who has created some of the most memorable heroes in romance fiction, matches Poppy Hathaway with a mysterious Alpha hero, the kind of self-made man Kleypas is especially skilled at crafting. Harry Rutledge sounds like another candidate for the Kleypas pantheon of heroes. John Charles in Booklist described TMAT as “brimming with superbly nuanced characters, simmering sexual chemistry, and wicked wit.” Sigh! You can read an excerpt here. I wonder how long we have to wait for Leo’s book.

Paranormals rarely found on my TBR lists, so I haven’t read Kathryn Smith in a while. But I love her character-driven historicals such as For the First Time and Still in My Heart. Predictably then I was delighted when I first heard that she was writing another historical, and I’m excited that the release day of a new historical is only weeks away now. When Seducing a Duke, the first book in a new series, sounds worth the wait. You can read an excerpt here.

Kasey Michaels books have been finding a home in my TBR stack since the mid-80s when she was writing engaging traditional Regencies like The Savage Miss Saxon and The Tenacious Miss Tamerlane. I read her European historicals (including all the Romney Marsh books), her contemporaries, and her Maggie mysteries. No way would I miss How to Tempt a Duke (September1), the first in a four-book (or more) Regency series featuring the Daughtrys. How to Tempt a Duke is a Romantic Times Top Pick. You can read an excerpt here. You can also purchase a special ebook prequel, How to Woo a Spinster, from Amazon and Harlequin, and Book #2, How To Tame a Lady will be released October 1.

While I’m waiting for September, I still have some August treasures to delight my romance-loving heart. Tessa Dare’s Surrender of a Siren, Laura Lee Guhrke’s With Seduction in Mind, Karen Hawkins’s The Laird Who Loved Me, and Tracy Anne Warren’s Seduced by His Touch all continue series that are must-reads for me, and all will be released on August 25.

Are you reading more historical in recent months? Are you anticipating one that I left off my list? Would you be as pleased as I would if all romance publishers would declare a moratorium on titles using “Duke”?

Note: I’ll post Part 2 with September books from other subgenres later in the week.


Tris said...

Oh wow Janga. I had no idea so many books were due to be released next month. Here I was thinking that there was only Nora Roberts' Bed Of Roses to look forward to - and even so, in November (I think). I'm so looking forward to September! You're truly a treasure of information =D

Now I'm wondering how I'm going to get my hands on them...

irisheyes said...

That's a pretty impressive list, Janga. I don't think I could squeek out one more historical set to release in September if I tried. LOL

I do know that Elizabeth Hoyt and Lorraine Heath each have another installment in each of their series that I'm really looking forward to but I believe they are not set to release until October and November, respectively.

PJ said...

Great list, Janga! Most of those are on my tbb list as well. I'm looking forward to the 25th when I can buy a copy of Surrender to a Siren. I'm so anxious to read it! I received a copy of To Catch a Bride in the mail today and can hardly wait to get started. I have to finish writing three reviews before I can dive in and it's about to drive me right up the wall. I have you to thank for that, you know, as you're the one who first introduced me to Anne Gracie's wonderful books. :)

I've been a Kasey Michaels fan for years and am always glad to see her release a new historical. Ditto with Jo Goodman. I've enjoyed every book I've ever read by her. And, of course, Lisa Kleypas never hits a wrong note with me.

I've been reviewing a lot of contemps and paranormals lately so my historicals waiting to be read are piling up. One that I had to take time out to read though was Reynold deBurgh: The Dark Knight by Deborah Simmons. I adore the deBurgh brothers and it had been much too long since Simmons had gifted us with a new story. And, of course, nothing stood between me and Goddess of the Hunt, Since the Surrender and A Duke of Her Own. Good thing I'm a fast reader! lol

Janga said...

I'm glad you liked the list, Tris. I'm looking forward to Bed of Roses too. I'm so=o happy that NR is writing straight contemporaries again.

Irish, I'm already planning to read all of Hoyt's Legend of the Four Soldiers books together when To Desire a Devil is released on October 27. It has become one of my favorite historical series.

PJ, you returned the favor when you introduced me to Merdith Duran's books. I do love Anne Gracie's books. And I think her name is so appropriate because she is one of the most gracious authors I've met in the online community.

J Perry Stone said...

You should have a "printer friendly" option on your blog, Janga.

I'm madly cutting and pasting!