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top-ten-tuesday

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is Ten Books Every History Romance Lover Should Read.

The Chief

The Chief (The Highland Guard #1) by Monica McCarty

SynopsisAn elite fighting force unlike the world has ever seen…

Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Robert the Bruce handpicks ten warriors to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. And to lead his secret Highland Guard, Bruce chooses the greatest warrior of all.

The ultimate Highland warlord and a swordsman without equal, Tor MacLeod has no intention of being drawn into Scotland’s war against the English. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one—especially not to his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his command of the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. The treacherous chit who made her way to Tor’s bed may have won his hand, but she will never claim his heart.

Although her husband’s reputation is as fierce as his manner, Christina Fraser believes that something softer hides beneath his brutal shell. But the only warmth she feels is in their bed, in glorious moments of white-hot desire that disappear with the dawn. When Christina’s reckless bid to win her husband’s love goes awry and thrusts them into danger on the eve of war, Tor will face his ultimate battle: to save his wife and to open his heart—before it’s too late.

Why? Monica McCarty brings in actual historical events and people into her fictional stories.  She researches the time period and wraps her story around true events.  At the end of each book, she has a chapter that explains the real history where she deviated from and her reasons why, but she also sites sources and recounts the true events.

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The Truth About Lord Stoneville

The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall #1) by Sabrina Jeffries

SynopsisHellions of Halstead Hall

They’re the scandalous Sharpes, five hell-raising siblings tainted by a shocking family legacy. Now each faces a daunting ultimatum: marry by year’s end—or kiss their inheritance good-bye.

In the two decades since a tragic “accident” took the lives of his parents, Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, has survived the scandal surrounding that fateful night by living as an unrepentant rakehell. And with his grandmother vowing to disinherit him if he doesn’t settle down and wed, he plans to fulfill the bargain in true Sharpe style—by bringing home a fake fiancée from a brothel! But his scheme is derailed when he rescues an American beauty in a dire predicament instead.

Maria Butterfield came to London to track down her groom-to-be, who’s gone missing, but her engagement won’t stop Oliver from getting what he wants: her, in his bed. His rebellious masquerade may call his grandmother’s bluff, but it’s soon made all too real—by a love that tempts him to be a hellion no more.

Why? Sabrina Jeffries Regency romances incorporate actual ettiquet rules and the social in’s and out’s of that time period.  Her descriptions of outfits, behaviors, and settings draws you into that period and she makes it fun and exciting.

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A Rogue By Anyother Name

A Rogue By Any Other Name (Rules of Scoundrels #1) by Sarah MacLean

My Book Review Here.

Synopsis: What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets…

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them… even her heart.

Why? This series is just so much fun to read.

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dangeroushighlander_300x186Dangerous Highlander (Dark Sword #1) by Donna Grant

SynopsisThe bold and passionate Lucan MacLeod–one of three brothers cursed by dark magic for eternity—is driven by desire for the one woman he dare not let himself possess…

He is magnificently strong—and dangerously seductive. One of the fiercest of his clan, Lucan MacLeod is a legend among warriors, inspiring fear in man and woman alike. For three hundred years, he has locked himself away from the world, hiding the vengeful god imprisoned in his soul. But then, a young lass caught in a raging storm awakens his deepest impulses…and darkest desires.

Cara doesn’t believe the rumors about the MacLeod castle—until the majestic Highland warrior appears like a fiery vision in the storm, pulling her into his powerful arms, and into his world of magic and Druids. An epic war between good and evil is brewing. And Lucan must battle his all-consuming attraction for Cara–or surrender to the flames of a reckless, impossible love that threatens to destroy them both…

Why?  Ok, if you have not read any of Donna Grant’s books, you as SO missing a lot of wonderful reads.  This is book 1 in her Dark Sword series, this series spins off into Dark Warriors and the Dark Kings series.  So much fun, very passionate, and entertaining.

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Highlander UntamedHighlander Untamed (MacLeods of Skye Trilogy, book 1) by Monica McCarty

Synopsis: Rory MacLeod is a bold and powerful Highland Chief with only one allegiance—to his clan. He vows revenge against the rival MacDonald clan, though duty demands a handfast marriage to Isabel MacDonald—a bride he does not want and has no intention of keeping. But Rory couldn’t have anticipated the captivating woman who challenges his steely control, and unleashes the untamed passion simmering beneath his fierce exterior.

Blessed with incomparable beauty, Isabel MacDonald is prepared to use every means possible—including seduction—to uncover her husband’s most guarded secrets. Instead Rory awakens Isabel’s deepest desires and her sweetest fantasies. Now Isabel has found the happiness she’s always dreamed of with the very man she must betray, and discovers that passion can be far more dangerous than revenge.

Why? (Same as The Cheief) Monica McCarty brings in actual historical events and people into her fictional stories.  She researches the time period and wraps her story around true events.  At the end of each book, she has a chapter that explains the real history where she deviated from and her reasons why, but she also sites sources and recounts the true events.

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Beyond the Highland MistBeyond the Highland Mist (Highlander #1) by Karen Marie Moning

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Synopsis: He would sell his warrior soul to possess her. . . .

An alluring laird…

He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm’s length—but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.

A prisoner in time…

She had a perfect “no” on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite within her. Not even the barriers of time and space would keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne’s reservations were no match for Hawk’s determination to keep her by his side. . . .

Why? Karen Marie Moning blends time travel and historical Scotland together well.

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Lord of the DesireLord of Desire (The Risande Family, Book 1) By Paula Quinn

Synopsis:

Darkly handsome and sensual, Lord Brand Risande—known as “The
Passionate”—is temptation incarnate. But his prowess on the battlefield and in the bedchamber hides a bitter secret: the betrayal that has sealed his heart. Now as this most feared warrior rides out to possess the lands he has won in war, he engages his most formidable enemy ever.

Lady Brynnafar Dumont is prepared to do anything to protect her people—even seduce the savage Norman knight who defeated her father. Prepared to face down a cold-blooded beast, she instead confronts a wickedly attractive scoundrel who wants nothing to do with her. It’s enough to sting a lady’s pride—and strengthen her resolve. Innocent as she is, now she must use all her charms to defeat Sir Brand in the only battle worth fighting—the one for his love.

Why? Paula Quinn uses dialect wonderfully, her characters’ dialogue always has a clear accent written in so that when you read her dialogue, you can “hear” the Scottish brogue.

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Wicked IntentionsWicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

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Book Review Here.

Synopsis:

A man controlled by his desires…

Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London’s most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand— she’s spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk.

A woman haunted by her past…

Caire makes a simple offer—in return for Temperance’s help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London’s high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control—one that may well destroy them both.

A bargain neither could refuse.

Why? The Maiden Lane series brings together wonderful characters, entertaining plots, and lots of passion.  Once I read this book, I devoured the whole series quickly.  Loved it.

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Kiss of Steel by Bec McMasterKiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1) by Bec McMaster

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SynopsisWhen Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking.

Why?  If you like Steampunk, then this series is SO for you.  This was my introduction to Steampunk and I absolutely fell in love with the Victorian set storyline with futuristic technology and vampires thrown in.

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The Madness of Lord Ian MackenzieThe Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures #1) by Jennifer Ashley

Synopsis: The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family–rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn’t be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them–of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.

The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He’s also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.

Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama–an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.

And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.

Why? Jennifer Ashley has a way of telling a story and her characters are not always traditional, a great example is Ian Mackenzie.  Love this series.

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