Take your coziness to the next level with three new historical romances that’ll leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, inside and out.
Anyone but a Duke
In Anyone but a Duke by Betina Krahn, the quiet of a country estate is shattered when its mysterious owner returns to find a troublesome American woman managing its grounds.
Sarah Bumgarten has had it with the London aristocracy after being publicly rejected and has sworn off arrogant, titled men. Her only recourse is to lick her wounds in private at the Betancourt estate. The owner, the sibling of her brother-in-law, is presumed dead, and Sarah is grateful for the distraction of rehabbing the grounds.
But things quickly go awry when Arthur “Art” Michael Randolph Graham, the definitely not-dead owner of Betancourt, arrives injured on Sarah’s doorstep. It takes a village in despair and a greedy band of thieves for Sarah and Art to realize that the only way they can solve their problems and restore Betancourt to its former glory is to do it together.
Krahn’s subtle, insightful writing creates wonderfully tender scenes between the main characters. But don’t be fooled by the mischievous coterie of animals or the bucolic setting—Sarah and Art are survivors. The romance unfolds slowly and sweetly, with both Art and Sarah healing their emotional and physical wounds through love and understanding.
Forever and a Duke
Grace Burrowes puts a gender-swapped, historical spin on a “beauty and the geek” premise in Forever and a Duke.
Eleanora Hatfield hides behind numbers. Math makes sense, and she’s good at it. Of course, her workaholic behavior and all-business, no-nonsense attitude have absolutely nothing to do with the past she’d prefer to keep hidden. But when her abilities are recommended to the Duke of Elsmore, Wrexham “Rex” Dorset, she frets at leaving the safety and comfort of her bank job, though she’s not in a position to refuse.
Rex dearly loves his family, especially his sisters, and with so many accounts to run and lands to oversee, no one can blame him for being a little scatterbrained. With his sisters approaching the age to be wed, he realizes he needs to get his affairs in order, and Eleanora comes highly recommended.
And then Rex falls head over heels in love. He admires Eleanora’s knack with numbers, and while Eleanora may also be developing a crush, she knows a future together is nonexistent. Forever and a Duke is a lovely romance with a hero unabashedly embracing the feelings he has for the heroine (it is the sweetest thing) and the heroine doing everything she can to not fall madly in love with him. File this one under fun, flirty and just a little nerdy.
The Princess Plan
A Cinderella story between a privileged prince and a snarky spinster gets the royal treatment in Julia London’s The Princess Plan.
Sebastian is the crown prince of the fictional kingdom of Alucia, and he has a lot on his shoulders. He needs to broker a trade agreement with England, find an English wife to bolster the countries’ alliance and catch the person responsible for murdering his best friend. It’s, well . . . a lot. What he doesn’t need is a women’s gossip magazine spreading rumors and false accusations.
Enter Eliza Tricklebank: a judge’s daughter, co-publisher of Honeycutt’s Gazette of Fashion and Domesticity for Ladies, a repairer of fine clocks and the largest thorn in Sebastian’s side.
Eliza and Sebastian’s quippy banter is just a means of foreplay. They’re well-matched in terms of intelligence and personality, despite the glaring disparity in their titles. Eliza is a wonderfully feminist heroine whose actions are always punctuated with a scathing one-liner or wry observation. And Sebastian . . . sweet Sebastian! He is a true romantic hero, who loves Eliza wholly and completely as she is.
Steeped in fairy-tale elements—a prince, a ball, a crown—The Princess Plan is a sparkling introduction to a new series by London.