by Joyce Lamb)
Here are some newer historical romances, compiled for you and HEA by some of our favorite authors (info provided by publishers and/or their websites):
A Wicked Pursuit by Isabella Bradford (Ballantine Books). As the eldest son of the Duke of Breconridge, Harry Fitzroy is duty-bound to marry—and marry well. Giving up his rakish ways for the pleasures of a bride's bed becomes a delightful prospect when Harry chooses beautiful Lady Julia Barclay, the catch of the season. But a fall from his horse puts a serious crimp in his plans. Abandoned by Julia before he can propose, the unlucky bachelor finds himself trapped in the country in the care of Julia's younger sister. Harry has never met a woman like Lady Augusta. Utterly without artifice, Gus is clever and capable, and seems to care not a fig for society. After a taboo kiss awakens passion that takes them both by surprise, Harry realizes he'd almost given his heart to the wrong sister. While London tongues wag, he'll use his most seductive powers of persuasion to convince the reluctant Gus that she belongs with him—as his equal, his love, his wife.
The Raider by Monica McCarty (Ballantine Books). After consolidating his gains against the enemy English, King Robert the Bruce of Scotland sends his best soldiers to fortify the lawless borders. These legendary warriors of the Highland Guard let nothing come before king and country—except the calling of their heart. Of all Bruce's elite warriors, Robert "Raider" Boyd is the most formidable. A true patriot whose bare hands are a deadly weapon, Robbie is the fierce enforcer of the Guard, and his hatred of the English has been honed to a razor-sharp edge. But vengeance proves bittersweet when his enemy's beautiful sister falls into his hands and he finds himself fighting temptation—a battle he badly wants to lose. Lady Rosalin Clifford barely recognizes the rebel prisoner she saved from execution six years ago. Though her girlish ideals for fairness have matured into a passion for justice, Rosalin believes she betrayed her brother when she helped this dangerous man escape. Now her traitorous act has come back to haunt her. But she can't deny the longing this tormented warrior ignites in her, or deny the passion that turns sworn enemies into lovers. Is the gentle love of a true English Rose enough to free Scotland's most brutal warrior from a path of vengeance—before it's too late?
Reluctant Berseker by Alex Beecroft (Samhain Publishing). Wulfstan, a noble and fearsome Saxon warrior, has spent most of his life hiding the fact that he would love to be cherished by someone stronger than himself. Not some slight, beautiful nobody of a harper who pushes him up against a wall and kisses him. In the aftermath, Wulfstan isn't sure what he regrets most—that he only punched the churl in the face, or that he really wanted to give in. Leofgar is determined to prove he's as much of a man as any Saxon. But now he's got a bigger problem than a bloody nose. The lord who's given him shelter from the killing cold is eyeing him like a wolf eyes a wounded hare. When Wulfstan accidentally kills a friend who is about to blurt his secret, he flees in panic and meets Leofgar, who is on the run from his lord's lust. Together, pursued by a mother's curse, they battle guilt, outlaws, and the powers of the underworld, armed only with music…and love that must overcome murderous shame to survive.
The Temptation of Laura by Rachel Brimble (eKensington). Rising star and playwright Adam Lacey finally finds his ideal leading lady in Laura Robinson, who has always dreamed of the spotlight. Hiding from a cruel and abusive past, Laura resists Adam's advances and encouragement. But Laura has no idea that Adam harbors shameful secrets of his own. Will the truth free them to love—or destroy all their dreams…?
The Boleyn Bride by Brandy Purdy (Kensington). A Tudor-set historical fiction novel which uniquely focuses on an oft overlooked, yet integral figure to the Tudor era: Elizabeth Boleyn, who was the mother to Anne Boleyn and grandmother to Queen Elizabeth I. Told from the Elizabeth's fresh perspective, the story follows her life from unhappy bride to scheming mother as she positions her daughters in front of King Henry VIII desperate to create a new dynasty, one where her family controls the pinnacle of power.
The Warrior's Bride by Amanda Scott (Forever). Robert MacAulay vowed never to wed, even turning down the king's request to marry his youngest daughter, Lady Muriella. Muriella intends to seduce Rob into changing his mind, but she's captured by her father's sworn enemy. As Rob plans a rescue, Muriella makes an escape attempt that lands them both in more trouble. Finding themselves suddenly bound to one another, they begin to finally give in to the passion they've been denying. But will their new love be destroyed before it's even begun?
The Cowboy's Reluctant Bride by Debra Cowan (Harlequin Historical). If there's one thing Ivy Powell hates it's accepting help! But after receiving menacing threats she's left with no choice but to make a proposition to a ruggedly handsome cowboy. The only problem is Ivy's first marriage destroyed her trust in men, and walking down the aisle again isn't something she'll undertake lightly…. When Gideon Black is asked to protect Ivy, he knows he can't refuse his friend's request. And yet she makes him desire things he never even knew he wanted! But Gideon has hidden his dark past from Ivy. When the truth comes to light, will their hasty marriage vows be enough to keep them together?
The Fall of a Saint by Christine Merrill (Harlequin Historical). Honorable—and handsome to boot!—Michael Poole, Duke of St. Aldric, has earned his nickname "The Saint." But the ton would shudder if they knew the truth. Because, thrust into a world of debauchery, this saint has turned sinner! With the appearance of fallen governess Madeline Cranston—carrying his heir—St. Aldric looks for redemption through a marriage of convenience. But the intriguing Madeline is far from a dutiful duchess, and soon this saint is indulging in the most sinful of thoughts…while his new wife vows to make him pay for his past.
Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford (Harlequin Historical). Anne of Stamford has long been the keeper of her mistress's secrets, but when Lady Joan marries the king's son, court life becomes ever more perilous. Sir Nicholas Lovayne has arrived to uncover the truth about Lady Joan's past, and Anne must do something—anything—to throw him off…. Longing to escape the intrigues at court, Nicholas hasn't counted on the way Anne distracts him—her refusal to accept pity for her clubfoot touches something deep inside him. Will he be able to follow his duty when every fiber of his being tells him to protect Anne?
At the Highwayman's Pleasure by Sarah Mallory (Harlequin Historical). Embittered by injustice, Ross Durden leads a double life: gentleman farmer by day, roguish highwayman by night. He has sworn to right the wrongs of the past, but danger lurks around every corner—not least when he sets eyes on the beautiful daughter of his sworn enemy. Celebrated actress Charity Weston is no stranger to disguises herself. But when a darkly daring masked man steals a kiss, she is drawn into a web of intrigue even she could never have imagined.
The Rebel Captain's Royalist Bride by Anne Herries (Harlequin Historical). Orphaned and without protection, Babette Harvey must suffer in silence when her uncle gives shelter to a band of Rebels—though her Royalist blood boils! But other dangerous passions must also be quieted—including those aroused by the handsome and commanding Rebel leader Captain James Colby. When Babette's talent for herbal medicine attracts suspicions of witchcraft, she has nowhere to turn save to Colby—her honorable enemy. And with the captain determined to claim her as his bride, Babette must choose which to betray—her principles or her heart.
Mishap Marriage by Helen Dickson (Harlequin Historical). When Captain Zack Fitzgerald sails into Santamaria with his rugged, dangerous appeal, for Shona McKenzie he's a ticket to freedom. And then her sister-in-law's scheming places them in a highly compromising situation. Although Zack is mesmerized by Shona, marriage would destroy his plans to obtain guardianship over his child, so he devises a plan to make sure the forced wedding stays a sham. But weeks later Shona shows up on his London doorstep, and Zack must learn to deal with a very unexpected, very defiant wife….
Miss Redmond's Deception by Sandra Cox (Ellora's Cave Blush). When Captain Richard Greyston encounters three figures in a graveyard, he takes them for a spectral visitation until he realizes it is two young ladies—in their nightgowns, no less—and their spinsterish companion. A spinster with slender limbs and an enchantingly velvety voice. Pembra doesn't care a whit for the captain's opinion of her, even after circumstances force them into a sham betrothal. But when a gypsy warns her that his life hangs in the balance, she begins to realize that her heart is not so uninvolved as she might like to pretend.
The following new releases were compiled for HEA by Becky Lower, author of The Tempestuous Debutante. Her website is www.beckylowerauthor.com.
Pleasing the Pirate by Sharon Cullen (Loveswept). With her clan's crops burned and their property confiscated, Mairi McFadden is desperate to free her brother from imprisonment so that he can take his rightful place as chief. Her only hope is the fierce English pirate Phin Lockwood, but the buccaneer laughs at her meager funds. His roving eyes, however, tell Mairi there's something else he'll take in exchange for her brother's rescue. Though she burns with hatred for the English, she'll do anything to save her clan. The crown has made it clear that Phin has two choices: bring in a certain Scottish traitor or hang. And he's not about to let a tiny, whiskey-eyed woman get in his way, even if she is pointing a gun at him. When Phin learns that Mairi's brother is the very man he seeks, he's more than willing to use the lass as bait. But as the moment of capture draws near, Phin is surprised by his feelings for the courageous beauty who has him considering risking his life—for someone besides himself.
The following new releases were compiled for HEA by Willa Blair, author of Highland Seer. Her website is willablair.com.
Upon a Highland Moon by Gwyn Brodie (Gwyn Brodie). Book 2 in The Highland Moon Series. Lady Sorcha MacPherson is betrothed to Archibald Campbell, the Laird of Clifftower Castle, where she is staying until her wedding day. Once she finds out what a cruel and vicious man the laird truly is, Sorcha's plans change. She refuses to marry him and live the abusive existence she knows she would if she were to become his wife. One night, with the help of Campbell's own guards, Sorcha, her two guards and maid leave to return home to Blackstone, where her brother, Alexander, is laird. The following day they are attacked by highwaymen before being rescued by the handsome, Galen MacKinnon, heir apparent to Moorloch Castle. Galen is quite taken with the beautiful Sorcha. And she is most appreciative of his help—until he learns her identity and abducts her to exchange for his brother's freedom, because her brother is holding him prisoner! Campbell chases after them because he wants Sorcha, and especially her dowry. Galen vows the cruel laird—nor any other man but himself—will have her.
The following new releases were compiled for HEA by R.T. Wolfe, author of the Black Creek and Nickie Savage series. Her website is www.RTWolfe.com.
Pistols at Dawn by Andrea Pickens (ePublishing Works). Eliza Kirtland will do anything to see the man who cruelly assaulted her sister brought to justice—even point a pistol at the notorious Lord Killingworth. But her mistaken accusations result in grave injury to the earl's nephew. Now Eliza's sister—a noted healer—feels obliged to nurse the young man back to health, and Eliza has no choice but to help. Killingworth is not pleased with the arrangement. Tensions swirl between the four of them, until new bonds are discovered when evil strikes again and they must work together to fight a relentless enemy, who will stop at nothing to drive Killingworth away from his estate.