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Archive for 'Historical'

Venetia

Venetia (1958) Georgette Heyer Set in England in 1818 (guessed from death of the queen) The first meeting of the two is problematic–Damerel grabs Venetia and kisses her. He does stop when he resists, and it’s not like such things were uncommon, but… it’s distressing to modern sensibilities. Aside from that, I quite liked it. […]

The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh

The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh (2015) K. J. Charles Set in London in 1818. This is the prequel to the previous three books, a short story about two somewhat minor characters who appear in the other books: Gabriel Ashleigh, brother to Lord Maltravers, who is, at best, a knave. Gabriel has lost everything–literally everything–to Francis […]

A Fashionable Indulgence

A Fashionable Indulgence (2016) K. J. Charles Set in London in 1819 As I continue to read backwards through this series, we come to the story of Justin and Harry. Harry’s father was disowned by his family, and took his wife’s name, Gordon. The family ended up on the continent when they were charged with […]

The Reluctant Widow

The Reluctant Widow (1946) Georgette Heyer Set in Regency England Elinor has set out to take a position as a governess–her father’s ruin and death left her to make her own way in the world–at this point hiring out as a governess. Unfortunately, Lord Carlyon believes her to have answered her advertisement, which is not […]

A Seditious Affair

A Seditious Affair (2016) K. J. Charles Set in London in 1819 This is the second book, in the series I am reading backwards. I read the first chapter a couple months ago, and put it down, because I wasn’t comfortable reading about BDSM. I mean, reading boinking passages in romance embarrasses me. BDSM? (turns […]

A Gentleman’s Position

A Gentleman’s Position (2016) K. J. Charles Set in London in 1820 I am, apparently, reading this series backwards. I’d picked up the previous two books and read a few pages but wasn’t in the mood for them at the time. Richard is a younger son, an honorable man, and the one who has arranged […]

A Treacherous Curse

A Treacherous Curse (2018) Deanna Raybourn Set in London in 1888. The third Veronica Speedwell mystery finds Veronica and Stoker investigating the disappearance of an archeologist and a valuable Egyptian diadem. They get involved because the missing man is the husband of Stoker’s ex-wife–a woman who left him for dead and then completely destroyed his […]

Cotillion

Cotillion (1953) Georgette Heyer Kitty was adopted by Mr Penicuik, and now he is elderly, he wants to make sure she is provided for, but doesn’t want to cut his great-nephews out of his will entirely. However, he is a crotchety, cranky old man, and his method of deciding who to leave his fortune to […]

Silent Revenge

Silent Revenge (2012) Laura Landon Set in an indeterminate past in London. Simon Westland, Earl of Northcote has returned from India, his past still vivid in the minds of the ton. Even worse, he is about to lose everything, due to his father throwing away everything on gambling. Lady Jessica Stanton is about to become […]

Lord of Secrets

Lord of Secrets (2013) Alyssa Everett Set in England in 1820. I almost quit reading this when I realized that it didn’t have a mystery sub-plot. But I was curious enough that I kept reading. David Linney, Marquess of Deal is haunted by his past. He believes he will never be worthy of love, but […]

The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter

The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter (2018) Mimi Matthews Set in England in 1861. Tristan Sinclair, Viscount St. Ashton is a rake bored with his life. Valentine March is a vicar’s daughter, left on her own after the death of her father. When Tristan finds Valentine weeping in the Folly at a house party, he […]

Six Impossible Things: DNF

Six Impossible Things (2017) Elizabeth Boyle I get a LOT of sale books for the kindle, so in self-preservation I’m learning to give up on books I’m not enjoying. This was one of those books I should have loved, since it’s a mystery AND romance. “Girls cannot join the Foreign Office.” “No, Roselie, girls are […]

The Devil’s Novice

The Devil’s Novice (1983) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1140. One of the most interesting things about this story was the issue of oblates. The other two, infant oblates given to God by their parents, are already twelve and ten years old, and are settled and happy among us, it would be ill-done to […]

The Sanctuary Sparrow

The Sanctuary Sparrow (1983) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1140 A young man is chased to the church by a mob howling for his blood, claiming he murdered the goldsmith at his son’s wedding. “If the law itself were here, there is no power can now take away this man from the sanctuary he […]

The Virgin in the Ice

The Virgin in the Ice (1982) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1139 Civil war still burns across the country. When the town of Worcester is razed by the supporters of Maud, people spread out through the county, seeking refuge from the both the soldiers and the winter. In this chaos are lost two siblings […]

Dreaming of You

Dreaming of You (1994) Lisa Kleypas Set in historical London some time after pistols but before trains There was so much I liked about this story, yet so much that I found problematic about it. Sara Fielding is the author of a famous novel about a fallen woman, and is in London researching a gambling […]

The Leper of Saint Giles

The Leper of Saint Giles (1981) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1139. Brother Cadfael is taking medicines to the leper hospice when the trains of the soon to be married older man and young woman come by. The man leaves much to be desired. He had drawn close enough now to observe what manner […]

The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke

The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke (2017) Tessa Dare Set in England in the early 1800s The Duke of Ashford is in need of an heir. “If I died tomorrow, everything would go to my cousin. He is an irredeemable prat. I didn’t go to the Continent, fight to preserve England from tyranny, and survive […]

Practically Wicked

Practically Wicked (2016) Alissa Johnson Set in England in the 1800s. Anna Rees is the illegitimate daughter of an infamous woman of the demi-monde. Everyone knows of her, but no one has spent more than a few minutes in her company. And Anna mostly likes that, since she does NOT like being paraded around by […]

An Unexpected Gentleman

An Unexpected Gentleman (2011) Alissa Johnson Set in Scotland in the 1800s. Connor Brice wants nothing more from the world than revenge against his half brother, Robert Maxwell. Breaking up Robert’s probable engagement to Adelaide would give him the best of both worlds. Sir Robert had held his ground in the garden longer than expected […]

Nearly a Lady

Nearly a Lady (2011) Alissa Johnson Set in Scotland Trying to figure out what I wanted to read next, I remembered I had a new Alissa Johnson, but couldn’t remember which book in the series came first, so I picked one, started reading, and realized this is the one I’d read. Perhaps I’ll just read […]

Widdershins

Widdershins (2012) Jordan L. Hawk Set in Boston in the late 1800s. This is an historical supernatural M/M romance. One of the characters is neuroatypical, and the other is suffering from PTSD, so they both have issues to deal with, but I very much like the spin that puts on the story. (Damaged or atypical […]

Saint Peter’s Fair

Saint Peter’s Fair (1981) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1139 The Abbey is having it’s annual horse fail–Saint Peter’s Fair–and the merchants of the town of Shrewsbury are unhappy, for unlike the abbey, the town took damage the previous year when King Stephen took the town, and the Abbey takes the revenue and taxes […]

Monk’s Hood

Monk’s Hood (1980) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1138. A blind eye is the easiest thing in the world to turn on whatever is troublesome. Too much trust is folly, in an imperfect world. He felt in his heart that that was sin, the sin of despair; not despair for himself, but despair of […]

One Corpse Too Many

One Corpse Too Many (1979) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1138. There is war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, over who is the rightful ruler of England, and Stephen has come to Shrewsbury to flush out some of Maud’s strongest supporters. After the battle, and the hanging of those seen as traitors […]

Voyage of the Basilisk

Voyage of the Basilisk (2015) Marie Brennan The third installment of the Memoirs of Lady Trent finds Isabella on a ship with her son, his governess, and her friend Tom Wilker touring the world while continuing her research on dragons. I found my quarters at first shockingly small, then acceptable, then unbearable, and finally as […]

A Morbid Taste for Bones

A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977) Ellis Peters Cadfael is a brother at Shrewsbury abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Unlike most of his brethren he came to his calling late, having spent his younger years as a Crusader–and perhaps also an adventurer. Nothing troubled his peace but the necessity to take himself indoors […]

The Alienist

The Alienist (1994) Caleb Carr Set in New York City in 1896 I read The Alienist soon after it came out, and then read the Angel of Darkness when that came out. And then there it ended, so I forgot about the books. Apparently a TV show based on the book recently came out, and […]

The Ruin of a Rake

The Ruin of a Rake (2017) Cat Sebastian Set in London in 1817 Lord Courtenay’s reputation is a rake and a libertine is well-deserved. He drank and gambled and whored and ended up spending his fortune. But the death of his sister–after her complete ruin–and his love for his nephew have complicated things for him. […]

The Lawrence Browne Affair

The Lawrence Browne Affair (2017) Cat Sebastian Set in Cornwall, England in 1816 Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor is mad. He’s driven away most of his staff, and the local vicar is worried about his stability. “Five servants quit,” Halliday said, tapping Lawrence’s desk in emphasis. Dust puffed up in tiny clouds around the […]

The Service of the Dead

The Service of the Dead (2016) Candace Robb Set in York, England in 1399 Kate Clifford is a widow struggling to recoup the financial losses of her husband while trying to maintain her independence and avoid a marriage pushed upon her by family. And also to stay out of politics. The truth was, if the […]

Lady Helena Investigates

Lady Helena Investigates (2018) Jane Steen Set in Sussex in 1881 Lady Helena Whitcombe survived the death of her first love, and now she must get past the accidental death of her husband. Except that her husband’s doctor doesn’t think the drowning was an accident, but a murder. Helena’s is the youngest of her siblings, […]

DNF: A Lady in the Smoke

A Lady in the Smoke (2016) Karen Odden Set in England in 1874. I actually got 80% through this book, but I was tired and wanted to go to sleep, so I skipped to the end, and then had no desire to go back and discover the details of what actually happened. Which was kinda […]

Rag and Bone

Rag and Bone (2016) KJ Charles This is set after Flight of Magpies and continues the story started in A Queer Trade. Crispin Tredarloe is trying to learn the right way to be a practitioner, instead of a warlock, like he was trained. But it’s difficult unlearning everything he has been doing for years, and […]

Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances

Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances (2017) Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole Set in the Americas in 1781 and 1820 This is three stories with some overlapping characters, including Alexander Hamilton, who appears at least in the background of each story. PROMISED LAND by Rose Lerner Rachel ran away to join the army as […]