Writing historical romance during #BlackLivesMatter

I don’t want this blog to be long. I’m a definite benefactor of white privilege, and I want to encourage you read more authors of colour. So instead of me talking about how #BlackLivesMatter, let’s all do something. Let’s support historical romance authors of colour, who write INCREDIBLE historical romance!

THE COST OF LOVE BOXED SET: by G. S. Carr

Carr’s attention to emotional detail, be it the caustic dialogue of the antagonists or the tender interactions between the lovers, is certain to resonate with readers. ~BookLife Prize Judge

This well-told historical romance is intense and powerful. ~Publishers Weekly Reviewer

This is an outstanding historical novel. Don’t miss out. Ms Carr, thank you for sharing your story with us. This is a must read to the end. ~ 5 star Amazon review, The Cost of Hope

I read the 3 books in the series and they were fantastic. ~ 5 star Amazon review

This boxed set contains the first 3 books in the Cost of Love series!

BEAUTY AND THE HIGHLANDER: by Hildie McQueen

Laird’s son Carrick Gordon is scarred for life and expects his betroth’s rejection, so he prepares for it by putting up a solid wall. When Analise Macgregor sees her husband to be, she is enthralled by the quiet man who wants nothing to do with her. How will they ever come together and find happiness?

Will Carrick and Analise get past preconceived perceptions to finally admit their mutual attraction?

Carrick Gordon gave his word and now he will marry a lass he’s never met. After lying with her long enough to procure an heir, he will release her from the marriage bed. She won’t fight it. Carrick is certain one look at his marred face and she’ll recoil in horror.

It had to be a cruel joke. Analise Macgregor cannot believe the handsome man is to be her husband. That he rejects her after a wonderful night is hurtful, but not surprising once she sees how Carrick keeps everyone at a distance.

AN EXTRAORDINARY UNION: by Alyssa Cole

Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.

Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton’s Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.

Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy’s favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . . .

THE BITTERSWEET BRIDE: by Vanessa Riley

Widow Theodosia Cecil needs a husband to help protect her son. The former flower seller turned estate owner posts an ad in the newspaper, and no one is more surprised than she when her first love, the man she thought dead, reappears.

Ewan Fitzwilliam has been at war for six years. Now, the second son of a powerful earl is back but his beloved Theo needs a husband and will not consider him. She believes Ewan left her—in desperate straits—so she denies the feelings she still harbors for the handsome, scarred soldier. Theo and playwright Ewan must overcome bitter lies and vengeful actions that ruined their youthful affair. Theo must reveal her deepest secret in order to reclaim the love that has long been denied.

WHAT A COURTESAN WANTS: by Victoria Vale

Lady Lucinda Bowery has decided to cast off mourning attire and begin moving on from the loss of her husband. Hiring the gentleman courtesan known as an experienced dominant seems like just the thing to propel her out of bereavement and back to life. She intends for him to give her pleasure, and perhaps help her find a bit of the woman she was before being widowed.

Aubrey Drake became a courtesan to help bolster his expanding business, as well as provide a trousseau and dowry for his ward. Over time he has grown bored catering to women who only see him as an exotic offering to be enjoyed temporarily and then discarded. Thus, the thrill of mastering a submissive bedmate has lost its luster, leaving him cold. When Lady Bowery is suggested as his new keeper, he expects to be as apathetic toward her as all the others. But, when sparks fly at their first meeting, Aubrey becomes determined to master Lucinda in every way possible—even though she seems intent on keeping him at arm’s length.

REBEL: by Beverly Jenkins

Valinda Lacy’s mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.

As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal


The medieval romance novel I thought I’d never write

If you’re looking for a medieval romance novel you’re expecting knights in shining armour, jousting, and at least three feasts. Right?

Well, that’s what I always thought. I’d loved medieval history, literature, architecture, art, music – the works – since before I can remember. I studied it at university first as an undergraduate and then as a postgraduate, and when I starting writing my first ever novel, it was a medieval romance novel.

And yet after the first book was published (which is Conquests, by the way) I realised that I wanted to tell a different story. Because as much as the medieval era was beautiful, and full of mystery and joy, it was also really brutal.

No, really, brutal. People loved and lost more than they lived. Children died young, parents died young, and illness was suffered at every point of life.

So I decided that my next medieval romance novel was going to show a little more of a grittier side of the medieval period. There was going to be kidnapping and betrayal, sickness, and trust and confusion, and pillaging, and more.

And you know what? It was still full of love, and romance. Because that’s what life is. No matter what people and life throws at you, there’s always the opportunity to find warmth and love.

That’s what I wrote. And you can read it here. 

 

(ps. my latest Regency romance is on pre-order! You should totally grab it now.)

medieval romance novels

My favourite medieval romance novels

As well as being an author, I am of course a reader! There are so many incredible medieval romance novels out there and there is no better time than to start exploring this fascinating and romantic period of history than right now.

Whether you’ve read these before and want to relive them, or you’re about to dive into medieval romance novels for the first time, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! (And if you want to read them, just click on the cover image.)

 The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

This was one of the very first medieval romance novels that I ever read, and it’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to say that this book is one of the reasons that I became an author in the first place! I loved delving into one person’s life, covering not just years but decades, and it was made all the more incredible by the fact that this was a real person that actually lived. It is why I have always included real historical personalities in my medieval romance saga.

 The Thief’s Countess by Cecelia Mecca

There has to be a book from Cecelia Mecca on any list of best medieval romances – not just because she writes of a fascinating part of history, and her stories are well blended with historical accuracy and searing passion, but also because she’s one of my author friends! The border between England and Scotland was contested and fought over for centuries, and this series follows some of the families and characters who made it their battleground – and their bedroom!

Queen Hereafter by Susan Fraser King

One of my favourite historical characters is actually one that you rarely hear about, let alone read about: Margaret of Scotland. Born into the last Anglo-Saxon royal family, her brother Edgar was never able to successfully claim the throne from William the Conqueror, and that’s all most people know. But Margaret was determined to be someone, and you know what? As with all determined women, she made it. This glorious book follows her life in a thrilling way, and I highly recommend it.

So Speaks the Heart by Johanna Lindsey

If you discovered medieval romance novels in the 1980s and 1990s, then it’s likely that you’ve already read a fair bit of Johanna Lindsey! Her wide sweeping sagas were written in a very similar style, packed full of castles, forests, betrayal, and of course, rather sexy noblemen just waiting to carry off the heroines. In our post-#MeToo world some of these scenes may be a little triggering for some people, but if you like a little roughness with your hero, then this is the book for you.

The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart

Another favourite from my teenage years, the original trilogy follows the Arthurian legend from Merlin’s perspective, a completely unique approach that has made Mary Stewart an absolute legend. She eventually added two books to the series, making this boxset on that you can lose yourself in for weeks on end, as you will be forced to read and re-read it to spot the clues that she leaves in earlier books…

Falling for the Highlander by Emma Prince

Another one of my author friends! If you like a little time travel mixed with your medieval romance novels then this is the one for you. Emma joined up with two other medieval romance authors to create a trilogy based on a trio of modern day sisters who fall through time – and the highlanders that they meet, fight against, and of course, fall in love with in the fourteenth century. Each book can be read on its own, or you can read all three to get a wonderful insight into the Sutton sisters.

The Conquered Hearts Series by…me!

No list of great medieval romance novels could possibly be complete without my own! I know that sounds a little selfish, but I am genuinely proud of the first series that I wrote, and even though I’m now publishing my fourth series, this one has a very special place in my heart. It follows two women, a mother and a daughter, just after the Norman Conquest and includes kidnapping, marriage of convenience, and betrayal across two countries.

Read them all on an Amazon Fire Kindle!

I love paperbacks, but sometimes the convenience of a Kindle is just too much to ignore – and this one can be packed with loads of useful apps, and even has Alexa integrated inside it. We may not have servants today like medieval noblemen did, but wouldn’t want to have their own servant now? Click on the image to treat yourself to your own Fire (go on, you know you deserve it!).