An era often overlooked especially in the historical romance genre, debut author Marissa Campbell weaves a fabulous tale of love, power and war. Avelynn – the headstrong daughter of a lord – is being forced into a marriage just as Vikings are invading and raiding. Secretly a pagan, Avelynn meets a mysterious Viking who promises to meet her again. Before reading Avelynn, I never realized that the historical genre was sadly lacking in good romances set in the Dark Ages. The author tells an often gruesome and very real story of love, war and the fight for power. I’m hoping for a sequel (or even better series).
Beatriz Williams has become my go-to girl for escapist romantic suspense. In Tiny Little Thing, she weaves her trademark two-perspective tale to devastating effect, with a fun Kennedy-era political spin. Christina Hardcastle (of the infamous Schuyler family first encountered in A Hundred Days of Summer and The Secret Life of Violet Grant) has long been groomed to be the perfect high society political wife. But she has a dirty little secret– and a photograph proving that somebody else knows. Tensions rise as a man from the past, her hot mess of a sister, and her husband’s illustrious family all gather to support his run for political office.
Agent Tara Rushing is coming off a stressful case and sent to a small Texas town where a high profile figure has just been murdered. As Tara looks into the murder and another occurs, Tara’s stuck working with local authorities and ex-Marine Liam Wolfe, who’s running a security business for high profile figures. The second book I’ve read from Laura Griffin has now solidified her onto my ‘must read’ list. Her Tracers Series (Shadow Fall is the ninth book) is so good – and lives by the 80/20 rule (80% mystery/adventure/thriller, 20% romance). A must read for her or him.
The Scent of Secrets centers around two story lines: the disappearance of one young woman from a Nazi pleasure cruise, and the efforts of another to collect information about the intentions of Hitler in Europe on the cusp of World War II. With appearances by Chanel, Eva Braun, and other infamous Nazi affiliates, Secrets is an engaging piece of historical mystery and a promising installment in a series sure to continue. While it is the first of the series to be released in the U.S., Secrets is third in a British trilogy from Jane Thynne about the actress-sleuth-spy. It is clear throughout the novel that Clara is negotiating emotions and events from previous novels, but the story is meant to stand alone.
When Susanna finally makes a break away from her mother’s eagle eye, she runs into a man who’s lived his life on the edge. As Susanna enjoys an adventure of a lifetime, she must make decisions for the rest of her life. In the tone and pace I’ve come to love from Shana Galen, The Rogue You Know is a fun adventure, with unique twists and charming characters. If you’ve loved previous Galen novels, you’ll love Books 2 of the Covent Garden Cubs.
In the Sisters of Versailles, five sisters trample each other for power and position at Court. If you ever wondered what life must have been like in the midst of the excesses of post-Sun King France, but before that nasty revolution, this is it: the strange-but- true story of five sisters, four of which became the mistress of the king. Christie deftly juggles multiple points of view and employs letter writing to effectively bring forward the individual voice of each character. I was swept away into a wonderfully painted world, but in the end, it turned out to be a world in which I hated all the characters. This novel had lush scenery, mood, and setting in spades– but completely lacked a heroine I could get behind.