Category Archives: Favorites

Historical Romance Novels; a little history and some info

Historical Romance Novels; a little history and some Info originally posted back in March, 2013.  But still interesting information. (comments are 2 from the original posting.)

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The modern day romance novel can be attributed to Georgette Heyer who wrote Austen-like novels in the 1930’s.  The Grand Sophie being one of her most famous. From that time until the  early 1970’s there were novels with romantic elements like Forever Amber and  Gone With The Wind to name just a few.  All of these were published in hardcover editions, paperback books being somewhat confined to pulp fiction offerings.

In 1972 all that was about to change when Avon published Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and The Flower in paperback. It sold over 2 million copies and Woodiwiss followed up in 1974 with The Wolf and The Dove.   Also in 1974 Rosemary Rodgers came on the scene with Sweet Savage Love.  These early  paperback original novels usually had Alpha Males and helpless females with sex often of a violent (rape) nature.  Since the covers often pictured scantily clad women with dominating men leaning over them they were often referred to as “bodice rippers”. This term is not appreciated by current Historical Romance fans and writers.

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Through the 1980’s and 1990’s the genre continued to evolve featuring heroines of a more independent nature and although the heros were still Alpha types they often redeemed themselves and the sex became consensual.  Humor was often added as well as suspense and mystery.  Considered a required feature is a happy-ever-after for the protagonists. The New York Times reports that romance novels,  are the fastest growing segment in ebooks, out-pacing general fiction, mystery and science fiction.

Romance Categories:

Ancient: Egypt; Greece; Rome; etc. – the ancient world.
Dark Ages: from the fall of Rome (410 AD) to 1065.
Medieval: from 1066, up to and including the 17th century.
Georgian: from 1702 to 1811 (the age of reason and freedom).
Regency: from 1811 to 1830 (includes the regency and the kingship).
Western: the wild, wild West! Contemporary or historical.
Colonial: early settlements, exploration, and Southern romances (including Americana).
Victorian: from 1830 to 1901 (including William IV’s reign).
Civil War: America – from 1861 to 1865 (the civil war era).
Vintage: from 1901 to 1945 (Edward VII, World War I, World War II, etc.)
 Celtic: historicals / paranormals / fantasies that take place primarily in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Brittany, etc.
Time Travel: modern-day heroes and heroines thrown back in time to meet their true loves.
Fantasy: dragons, fairies, wizards, and witches – oh my!
Paranormal: vampires, ghosts, werewolves, shape-shifters, goth, etc. Contemporary or historical.
Anthology: must contain at least one genre from above.

(this blog post was referenced from Wikipedia and Historical Romance Club.com)

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Deet’s Favorite Reads of 2016

Once again I cannot stop at the magic “Ten”.  I always have more favorites than ten.  In fact there are even more favoites than what I have listed here.  But if you are stuck for an absolutely fabulous read then look no further.  If you want to read my review of any of these gems, just go to the search box and plug in either the title or the author and it will direct you to that review (and possibly others by that author). Many are part of a series but most are also standalone novels. In the case of a series you will find the others in that series just as good.

Favorite Reads of 2016

Paper and E-Books:

1.       How I Married A Marquess by Anna Harrington (The Secret Life of Scoundrels #3)

2.       The Redemption of Julian Price by Victoria Vane

3.       Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane Series #10)

4.       Mad About The Marquess by Elizabeth Essex

5.       Once Upon A Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt

6.       The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

7.       The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman

8.       Lucifer (Vampires In America #12) by D.B. Reynolds

9.       The Dare and The Doctor by Kate Noble

10.   Campbell’s Redemption by Sharon Cullen

11.   Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane #11) by Elizabeth Hoyt

12.   Twas The Night Before Scandal by Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon (Two Novellas)

13.   A Match Made in Mistletoe by Anna Campbell

14.   The Cyn and Raphael Novellas (Vampires In America) by D.B. Reynolds(this series is a must read)

15.       The Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt (I might have read this last year, but I’m crazy for all of Hoyt’s books.)

16. The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne (Terrific new author, dark historical romance)

 

Audiobooks:

1.       The Parfit Knight (Rockliffe #1) by Stella Riley, audiobook, Alex Wyndham narrator

2.       The Mesalliance (Rockliffe #2) by Stella Riley, audiobook, Alex Wyndham narrator

3.       The Player By Stella Riley, audiobook, Alex Wyndham narrator

4.       The Rogue’s Wager(Sinful Brides #1) by Christi Caldwell, Tim Campbell narrator

5.       Flowers From The storm by Laura Kinsale, Nicholas Boulton

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Playing With Fire-Deet’s Keeper Shelves

These are some of my favorite books that will always be on my Keeper Shelves.  There are books and series by Kleypas, Quinn, Long, McLean, Reynolds, Adrian, Harris, Balogh, Wildes, Duran ,  Sands, etc. Every year I discover fabulous new to me authors. Now many are on my Kindle and they are not up on a shelf.  Do you have favorites that you won’t part with?(I took these photos playing with my Kindle Fire)

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Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day

to all my Canadian friends and followers

Happy-Canada-Day-Canadian-Flag-Picture

Happy Canada Day

 

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Audiobook Review- The Player by Stella Riley

Title: The Player ( Rockliffe, book #3) (Audiobook)

The Player

Also available as E-Book and Paperback

Genre: Historical Romance/Georgian

Author: Stella Riley

Narrator: Alex Wyndham

Publisher: Stella Palmer, April 2016

Pages/ Listening Time: 323/10 hours 13 minutes

Source: Free from the Author

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 5 not explicit

Description from Audible.com:

Tragedy drove him into unwilling exile. Death demands his reluctant return. In the decade between, he has answered to many names and amassed a variety of secrets. Now the actor known to Paris as L’Inconnu must resume his real identity and become Francis Adrian Sinclair Devereux, Earl of Sarre…a man he no longer knows how to be and whose name, thanks to the malice of a friend turned enemy, remains tarnished by an old scandal. Revenge, so long avoided, slithers temptingly from the shadows.

Granddaughter of a wealthy wool-merchant, Caroline Maitland is not finding her society debut either easy of enjoyable…but, to Marcus Sheringham, she is the perfect solution to his crushing mountain of debt. Knowing she will be married for her money, Caroline never believed she would find love; but neither did she bargain for a certain charming French highwayman…and a surprising turn of events. The stage is set, the cast assembled, and the Duke of Rockliffe waits for the curtain to rise. In the wings, Lord Sarre prepares to make his entrance. He doesn’t expect to be greeted with applause.

**

I’m such a fangirl of Stella Riley’s Rockliffe series that it is difficult for me not to jump up and down at my computer and beg you all to read/listen to this series.  I wasn’t even sure I liked the Georgian period (being totally enamored with the Regency Era) but Ms. Riley has not only made me a fan but keeps me hoping for more of this series. You know a book or series is good when you never want it to end. She has the ability to give us description of the era so that we can actually visualize the time period.  Her characters are fleshed out so that we can picture there features and personality. The book is well plotted and the pace is never too slow or too rushed.

In The Player we get to know Adrian Devereux, The recent Earl of Sarre.  Because of a tragedy he was exiled by his father to France for ten years. In an earlier book he was mentioned by the Duke of Rockliffe who thought he recognized Adrian acting on the stage in Paris. Now Adrian has returned to England to take charge of his title and estates and is hell-bent on seeking revenge on the man who caused his father to exile him so many years before.

Caroline Maitland is young, not aristocratic but holds a huge dowry that is making her the target of fortune hunter Marcus Sheringham, Adrian’s nemesis. Adrian uses his acting skills to woo Caroline and tricks her into an elopement.  But his well prepared plan starts to unravel when Caroline discovers the hoax.

I hope that much information is not a spoiler because there is so much more to this story and like me I’m sure you will hang on to every word out of the mouth of the sexy voiced narrator, Alex Wyndham.  He is my audiobook boyfriend, he can speak English with a French accent in several different character voices in a conversation.  He not only brings the characters and the book to life he infuses it with drama and heartfelt emotion. He can speak female voices as well as the male characters.

Well by now you know that I’m not just encouraging you to get this audiobook, I’m practically insisting that you do because I know you will love it.  There is nothing on TV anyway so sit back and listen to this wonderful story told by a superb narrator.

(FYI: I listen on my Kindle Fire HDX. Amazon also has Whispersync where you can get the print book and audio and read along as you are listening. I personally get so caught up in Wyndham’s narration that I don’t read along.)

The Rockliffe Series:

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Free on Kindle and Nook

Mistress of Pleasure

Deet highly recommends this series!! Search my blog in the box in left column for Delilah Marvelle to see my reviews of books 4-7.

*FREE ONLY UNTIL JULY 1, 2016! Reg. $3.99*
DOWNLOAD THE FIRST IN THIS SUPER SEXY SERIES TODAY! 

Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother’s school in London where gentlemen receive instruction–in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent and free from men and their overbearing expectations. But when Maybelle lays eyes on the Duke of Rutherford, who is well-known for his gentlemanly ways, she can’t resist. Neither she or the duke are prepared for what their attraction is about to do not only to their sanity but their hearts.

WARNING: This book contains strong language and sexual content.

LOOK FOR THE SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY BOXED SET ONE & TWO FOR A SAVINGS OF $14 ON THE ENTIRE SERIES!!! Available Now!

This quirky, sexy and scandalous Regency/Victorian Historical Romance is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone.
SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY SERIES:

Book 1, Mistress of Pleasure
Book 2, Lord of Pleasure
Book 3, Lady of Pleasure
Book 4, Night of Pleasure
Book 5, Master of Pleasure
Book 6, Romancing Lady Stone
Book 7, The Duke of Andelot

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2016 Romance Writers of America RITA Award Nominees

RITA Award Nominees in Historical Romance

( I have indicated my rating for the ones I have reviewed.  You can find the review by using the search function in the left column of this blog.)

Historical Romance: Long

Bella and the Beast by Olivia Drake St. Martin’s Press Jennifer Enderlin, editor

Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen (Deet’s score 4.5 stars) Sourcebook Casablanca Deb Werksman, editor

Earls Just Want to Have Fun

If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books Micki Nuding, editor

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist Simon & Schuster, Howard Books Beth Adams, editor

Tremaine’s True Love by Grace Burrowes (Deet’s score 5-stars) Sourcebooks, Casablanca Deb Werksman, editor (This is the one I would choose to win in this category.)

Tremaine's True Love

 

 

 

Historical Romance: Short

Falling into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath HarperCollins, Avon Books May Chen, editor

It Started with a Scandal by Julie Anne Long (Deet’s score 5+ stars) HarperCollins, Avon Books May Chen, editor (This is the one I would choose to win the RITA in this category.)

It Started With a Scandal

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare (Deet’s score 2-stars) HarperCollins, Avon Books Tessa Woodward, editor

Say Yes To the Marquess

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress by Theresa Romain (Deet’s score 4.5-stars) Sourcebooks, Casablanca Deb Werksman, editor

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn HarperCollins, Avon Books Lyssa Keusch, editor

Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt (Deet’s score 5-stars) Grand Central Publishing Amy Pierpont, editor (I would also be very happy if this one won the RITA.)

Sweetest Scoundrel

For all the nominees in all categories go to the RWA website.

https://www.rwa.org/p/bl/et/blogid=20&blogaid=1465

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NPR (National Public Radio) List of top 100 Romance Novels and Series

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National Public Radio has published a monumental list of 100 Romance books. Undeniably they are the best of the best. Go to their sight and you can have a printable list to take to the bookstore or the library. I’ve been busy checking off the ones I’ve read and staring the ones I want to read.

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/427477293/100-swoon-worthy-romances-the-printable-list

After you swoon over the list then go to this page where they tell you how and why.

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/427126789/heartbreakers-why-some-books-didnt-make-the-final-romance-list

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Recent Release Review- A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Title: A Desperate Fortune

A Desperate Fortune

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, April 7, 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

For nearly three hundred years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has kept its secrets. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas travels to Paris to crack the cipher.

Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing-for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.

As Mary’s gripping tale of rebellion and betrayal is revealed to her, Sara faces events in her own life that require letting go of everything she thought she knew-about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women are united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the unlikely coincidences of fate.

**

Mary Dundas starts out on this 1732, adventurous journey an innocent, sheltered, naive young woman.  She is not a stranger to heartbreak having her father and brothers leave her with family when she was young. When she accepts the challenge to help the Jacobite King she does so with a touch of anxiety but feeling also she will be of service.  Her brother Nicholas does not really give her a choice. On this assignment she meets Thomson who is on the run from the English Parliament for fraud, MacPherson who is a body guard and Effie who is to be her chaperone. Some characters that Ms. Kearsley explains in an afterward are historically accurate. Adventure and danger are around every corner but MacPherson manages to protect the small group through the journey.

Sara Thomas, who is decoding Mary’s diary in the present day, has Asperger’s Syndrome and is fully aware that she does not have the ability to read others’ feelings accurately. So she has difficulty understanding her own feelings toward a new friend. But Sara’s budding romance also confounds her since she has become very friendly with “his” ex-wife.  Sara cannot understand how they can remain good friends.

I could say so much more about the story but truly it is all exquisite! There is no other way to describe this book.  Oh, yes, I could say that the narrative is well paced, the romance slow building, the plot riveting, the characterization well developed but that all evolves into “exquisite”.  This book contains the most romantic declaration of love I’ve yet to read in any novel. I’ll say no more about that so I don’t spoil it for you. Because I do expect that you will move mountains if necessary to read this one.

Susanna Kearsley has written other novels centering on the Jacobites or this late 17th and early 18th century time period.  They are all well written page turners, as are her Time Travel novels. I highly recommend them.

  1. The Winter Sea
  2. The Rose Garden
  3. The Shadowy Horses
  4. Mariana
  5. The Firebird

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Deet’s Eats- Deet’s Stuffed Peppers YUM!

This post should probably be titled “Deet’s Everything-but-the-kitchen sink Peppers”. That’s because I save up bits of leftover veggies (corn, green beans, peas, lima beans, etc.) and rice and when I have enough (about 1 ½ cups of Veggies and about the same amount of rice) I make stuffed green peppers. Now I’ve also gone to the trouble of making this by using frozen mixed veggies and some rice that I cooked up just for this, but let’s face it that is more trouble than just keeping 2 plastic containers in the freezer and tossing veggies in one and rice in the other. Here is the actual recipe.

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Deet’s Stuffed Green Peppers

1 ½ cups mixed veggies cooked or frozen defrosted

1 ½ cups cooked rice

¾-1# ground beef

1 large diced onion (divided, half for the filling and half for the sauce)

1 15oz. can diced tomatoes

1 tsp dried Basil

1 Tblsp. sugar

1 Tblsp flour combined with ¼ cup water

3 large green peppers cut in half lengthwise, seeded and ribs cut out

Shredded sharp cheddar or slices of American cheese to melt on top (whatever you have on hand)

Oven: 350 F     Serves: 2 with leftovers, maybe, or 3 not so hungry people

  1. Spray oil a shallow casserole that will hold the 6 pepper halves comfortably but not crowded. I think the one in the photo is a 2 ½ qt. dish. Place pepper halves in the dish.
  2. In a 1 quart saucepan, combine tomatoes, half of the diced onion, the sugar, and Basil. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add flour/water mix and cook just until thick.
  3. While the sauce is cooking, brown the ground beef and onions. Add S & P, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce to taste. (I’m usually pretty generous with the spices since I like a lot of flavor) Then add the veggies and rice. Mix well and fill the green pepper shells with the mixture.
  4. Spoon the sauce onto each filled pepper half. Cover the casserole with foil that you gave a light spray of oil (so it doesn’t stick to the peppers).
  5. Bake for 45 min., uncover the casserole, top each pepper half with cheese and put back in the oven, uncovered, until cheese is melted.
  6. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving so you don’t burn your mouth.

Note: this recipe doubles, or even triples, easily for a crowd or buffet. Make ahead to #4 and refrigerate up to 24 hours before baking.

Round out the menu with salad and lots of crusty bread, a bottle of Pinot Grigio goes nice too.

 

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