Spring is here, baseball season is underway, I’m finally over the head cold from Hell - things are definitely looking up around the Bat Cave. What better way to celebrate than with new historical romance? Here are some catching my eye this month:
If the month of March had a definition it would be “tease.” Growing up in the Midwest, March meant warmer temperatures, the snow finally starting to melt, digging out my summer clothes when the temperature hit 60°F - only to have that cruel witch Mother Nature dump a March 31 blizzard to remind us who was boss. Oh, many an Easter it was where my pretty new dress was hidden under outerwear that made me look like I was going on an Antarctic expedition. You know what I’m talking about, amirite?! So why not plan for an impending final last-gasp snow day now by pursuing some new unusual historical offerings? Here’s what caught my eye for March.
February: the shortest month of the year that always feels like the longest because hot takes on the romance genre - AMIRITE Y’ALL?! I’ve been neck deep in contest judging which has meant less time online (and aggravated), but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been scouring around for unusual historicals. Wild horses couldn’t keep me away from that. Here’s what looks enticing for February:
New Year, new you? Well, if you’ve already broken your resolutions, maybe not. But at least we can all look forward to a new year of historical romance. January brings us a long-awaited follow-up to a beloved late-1990s trilogy, a Wendy recommended reprint, an angsty new K.J. Charles (woot!), Vikings and an enemy-to-lovers story set against the backdrop of the Jacobite rebellion.
I’ve been a collection development librarian long enough to tell you that publishing in December is traditionally a dead zone. You’d think that would have changed somewhat with the mainstreaming of self-publishing, but not really. Things still seem to bunch up around the fall and spring months of the calendar. But I can always count on my old friend Harlequin Historical and there’s two westerns this month that are prodding me to take a closer look.
I love the ease of digital reading and online shopping, but when it comes to browsing I still struggle with missing the experience that brick and mortar retailers provide. Case in point, looking for historical romances published in November 2018 on The ‘Zon netted me a bunch of books with half naked women on the covers with “Daddy” in the title. Um, not what I’m looking for - thanks for that Amazon. Anyway, in between the combination of averting and rolling my eyes, I did uncover some intriguing sounding historicals - none of which had “Daddy” in the title.
I can hardly believe it, but this month I surpassed my reading totals from 2017. Don’t ask me how, because I feel like I’m currently mired in a hopeless slump. If it weren’t for audiobooks keeping me engaged during my daily commute I’d be in an even sadder state. And that’s just, well, sad. But even with the slump that still hasn’t kept me from browsing for new off-the-beaten path historicals. Something other than Regency and Almack’s horrible lemonade.
Oh, so hey - the world is on fire. I know, it’s been on fire, but instead of singed around the edges I kind of feel like my hair has erupted into an inferno. It’s been a struggle for me to read for a while now but I’ve hobbled along in large part thanks to audio books and finding comfort reads where I can. Unfortunately this has not extended to historicals, my first love in the genre. I’m in a historical slump. But I’m nothing if not stubborn. I know this slump will break the minute I sink my teeth into an amazing book - which means it’s time to browse! Here’s what’s catching my eye for September.
Normally my “sweet spot” for these posts are to find four or five books, preferably published during the month of the blog post, that feature “unusual elements.” “Unusual” typically takes the form of non-UK settings, “nobody” main characters that aren’t titled, unique professions etc. But when I started looking for titles to feature for August? Yeah, pickings were slim. So I did what any good librarian does - I whined on Twitter, got some suggestions, did some more investigating and now we have an August Unusual Historicals list! Huzzah!
I have a love/hate relationship with July. I love fireworks (well except when my idiot neighbors are still shooting them off on July 14th…), it’s my birthday month, and I’m generally able to attend the Romance Writers of American annual conference (this year held in Denver). However, it is also my busiest, craziest month at my day job. This entails a lot of time doing math and looking at spreadsheets (yes, it’s just as glamorous as it sounds!). I come home from work mentally exhausted and looking for anyway to unwind. Which leads us to this latest batch of unusual historicals! Who doesn’t love to unwind reading and browsing for new books?