For some bizarre yet wonderful reason, I’ve actually been able to carve out some reading time the last few weeks. Historical romance has really been on my radar and I’ve been reading some darn good ones.
The first is Meredith Duran’s latest release, At Your Pleasure. One word – phenomenal. Duran’s books are always beautifully crafted, with gorgeous prose, fascinating characters, and cool settings. And her men are to die for. The hero of At Your Pleasure, Lord Rivenham, is dark, dangerous, and sexy. Smart, too – way smart. It’s a killer combination. And two thumbs up for the setting, which is the early Georgian period. It was a dramatic, intriguing, and dangerous time, and I wish we’d see more historical romances set in this era.
Shifting now to the American West and the books of Jo Goodman. I used to read cowboy romances quite a bit when I was younger, but I’d drifted away from them to the Regency period. Well, Goodman could pull anyone back to cowboy country in no time flat. The Last Renegade is a character driven romance with a particularly engaging hero and heroine. Goodman has a way of taking old tropes and making them fresh, and writing strong, fairly silent heroes who are very masculine but always smart and thoughtful (again with the smart heroes!).
The beauty of Goodman’s writing is often best realized in the quiet moments between the hero and heroine, and The Last Renegade dishes up plenty of those moments. A very romantic, lovely book with great dialogue and even a bit of a mystery plot.
My third pick this week is The Dragon and the Pearl, by Jeannie Lin. Set during the Tang Dynasty in China, this book sucked me in from page one. I was riveted by the setting and the history, and how Lin made it such an integral part of the story. The Dragon and the Pearl was the opposite of a wallpaper historical and, as a writer, I was blown away by Lin’s skill and level of craft. The Dragon and the Pearl is a beautifully written story with deep, heart-wrenching emotion and a spectacular hero and heroine. One of the best books I’ve read in 2012.
Obviously the last few weeks have provided me with some great reading, but how about you? I’d like to continue my streak – any books that you’d particularly recommend? And if you’d like more of my book recommendations, please join me on goodreads!