Which Book Should I Read Next?

I wanted to post today. I have a lot of going on right now and reading and writing is helping me keep my mind occupied. The problem is though that I have a ton of books to read and as my taste tends to lean towards drama I decided I wanted a comfort read. So what better way than to return to my favorite genre of all genres? Historical romance! I picked books by authors I’m already familiar with because I am so not in the mind space to get used to a new writing style, a novel length at that. I want something that’s going to occupy my time for a while, but won’t demand a lot of me.

Here are the blurbs for the three books I’ve chosen.

Brighter Than the Sun by Julia Quinn

When Charles Wycombe, the dashing and incorrigible Earl of Billington, toppled out of a tree and landed at Ellie Lyndon‘s feet, neither suspected that such an inauspicious meeting would lead to marriage. But Charles must find a bride before his thirtieth birthday or he’ll lose his fortune. And Ellie needs a husband or her father’s odious fiancée will choose one for her. And so they agree to wed, even though their match appears to have been made somewhere hotter than heaven…

Ellie never dreamed she’d marry a stranger, especially one with such a devastating combination of rakish charm and debonair wit. She tries to keep him at arm’s length, at least until she discovers the man beneath the handsome surface. But Charles can be quite persusasive—even tender—when he puts his mind to it, and Ellie finds herself slipping under his seductive spell. And as one kiss leads to another, this unlikely pair discovers that their marriage is not so inconvenient after all… and just might lead to love.

My American Duchess by Eloisa James

The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford— an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.

The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear:

All is fair in love and war.

Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

A twist of fate…

Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl’s three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own.

A clash of wills…

Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains:

Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she’s ever known?

Mammy Doesn’t Live Here Anymore: On Writing Black Historical Romance Heroines

Image for Mammy Blog Post

Head of a Mulatto Woman by Joanna Mary Boyce

Credit: freeparking on Flickr

I’ve had quite a few existential crises in my short time here on Earth, least of which, is the handwringing over how to reconcile my love of  historical romance novels with the lack of representation for women like myself in them.

It wasn’t something I noticed at first until I gradually became as some would say ‘woke’, but once I awakened from my beauty sleep, I realized that none of the people in my favorite genre looked like me. The exception to this seemed to be Addy from the American Girl books that I read when I was a preteen and those weren’t exactly historical romances know what I mean?

Which brings me to my next point and another case of handwringing. How do I as an author write about women like myself (for the record African American) with our history? Now at the time,  I was thinking about writing lighthearted Regencies and I thought to myself: Destiny, you can’t write lighthearted books about slave women. There’s no way!

So that was another reason I put off writing historical romance.

  1. I couldn’t write about women like me
  2. And if I did they would be doomed to suffer!

Now in my defense, I wasn’t quite aware at the time of free people of color and authors like Beverly Jenkins. And it hadn’t crossed my mind that like other authors I could write about black women from different countries in different time periods.

No, I gave up the fight.

But something deep inside me still wanted to write a historical romance and it was important to me that the heroine be like me and, in this case, I meant a Southern-bred African American woman.

And wouldn’t you know some kind of epiphany came over me. If anyone needed love and affection in their life, it was the slave woman and suddenly it didn’t seem so hard to write about.

I’m currently working on a story, which while not taking place in the South (or on Earth for that matter) has most of the trappings of the historical romance genre and the heroine is a black woman. A book that I loved, Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan, showed me that there was a place for women like me in historicals. I was so enraptured when I first read that book. I literally read it within the hour while waiting in the student building for my bus to come. I liked it that much. It showed me that it was possible that a black woman could be the heroine too.

One of the beautiful things about being a black woman is that there is such a variety of us. We are not carbon copies. We cannot be fit into molds and neither can our ancestors. So the sky is the limit as far as what I can write about and goddess knows I’ll have fun researching!

Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt Review

Darling Beast (Maiden Lane, #7)Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I started reading this book this morning. Now I want to say that this is not the first book I’ve picked up over the past six weeks but it was the one that kept my attention. I think that says a lot about Ms. Hoyt’s work.

I’m not particularly attached to either the hero or the heroine. I read Duke of Midnight with Artemis. I enjoyed her story more what with the plain companion and the duke and the like.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this book. I really loved the bits with Daff and Indio. I think they were the best. I liked the reveal of his background.

With saying that I didn’t quite love this book. It was nice to read but I didn’t love it like I did with some of Ms. Hoyt’s other work. It’s a nice addition but it didn’t quite have that POP! I’m excited to read the next Maiden Lane series.

And I like the snippets of Asa. I am dying to read his story.

Three stars. Entertaining story but lacking in that POP.

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The Stranger I Married Review + Vlog Update

The Stranger I MarriedThe Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up this book based purely on the cover. I glanced at the title and blurb but lbr the cover got me. Not the original one but the reddish one.

I really enjoyed this book. I liked Gray and Pel as the main. But partway through I grew more intrigued with Trenton and Abby. I legit enjoyed their bits the most. I’m sad this is a single title.

4 Stars. I really liked it but I didn’t love it.

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I’m intending to change the layout around here. I also changed the name of the blog but I don’t know if that’s taken affect. I’ll update the url change on the blogger list.