Monday, August 31, 2015

MONTHLY RECAP: August 2015

BOOKS I READ... (in ratings order)

1. The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels #1) by Kerrigan Byrne (historical romance)
2. Lonely Hearts (Love Lessons #3) by Heidi Cullinan (M/M contemporary)
3. You're the Earl That I Want (Lords of Worth #3) by Kelly Bowen (historical romance)
4. Captive Prince (Captive Prince #1) by C.S. Pacat (M/M fantasy)
5. Uprooted by Naomi Novik (fantasy)
6. The Mistake (The Deal #1) by Elle Kennedy (NA contemporary)
7. Lois Lane: Fallout (Lois Lane #1) by Gwenda Bond (YA science fiction)
8. Level Hands (Off Campus #4) by Amy Jo Cousins (M/M contemporary)
9. Bitter Spirits (Roaring Twenties #1) by Jenn Bennett (historical/paranormal romance)
10. The Girl Next Door (Off Campus #3) by Amy Jo Cousins (M/M contemporary)
11. When to Hold Them (Bluewater Bay #9) by G.B. Gordon (M/M contemporary)
12. The Brigadier's Runaway Bride (Dukes of War #5) by Erica Ridley (historical romance)


Top Ten Tuesday
Stacking the Shelves
Lusting For Covers 

Saturday, August 29, 2015


A list of new releases that grabbed my attention for the coming month. As always, release dates are subject to change.  All titles link back to Goodreads.

The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels #1)
The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels #1) by Kerrigan Byrne (historical romance)

  • I already read an eARC of this and will be publishing my review on September 2nd.

Only a Kiss (The Survivors' Club, #6)
Only a Kiss (The Survivors' Club #6) by Mary Balogh (historical romance)

  • Love this series and am excited to read Imogen's story.

The Brigadier's Runaway Bride (The Dukes of War, #5)
The Brigadier's Runaway Bride (Dukes of War #5) by Erica Ridley (historical romance)

  • I already read an eARC of this and will be publishing my review on September 4th.

The Rogue You Know (Covent Garden Cubs, #2)
The Rogue You Know (Covent Garden Cubs #2) by Shana Galen (historical romance)

  • I haven't read this series yet, but I do like Galen's writing style.

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell Mystery, #1)
A Curious Beginning (Victoria Speedwell Mystery #1) by Deanna Raybourn (historical fiction)

  • I've heard so much praise for Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey's series and I'm happy to see she is starting another series.

Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8)
Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter #8) by Nalini Singh (urban fantasy)

  • I have only read the first Guild Hunter book, but it was fabulous and I can't wait to catch up.

Everything, Everything
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (YA contemporary)

  • I'm anticipating this based on this review over at Quinn's Book Nook.

Devoted in Death (In Death, #41)
Devoted in Death (In Death #41) by JD Robb (romantic suspense)

  • You can't go wrong with Eve, Roarke, and the gang.

Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy, #4)
Sweet Temptation (Sweet #4) by Wendy Higgins (YA paranormal)

  • I'm not sure if I'm going to try this.  I liked the first book and thought the rest of the series was okay.  Kai could be a jerk so I don't know about reading things from his perspective.

One Scandalous Kiss (Accidental Heirs, #1)
One Scandalous Kiss (Accidental Heirs #1) by Christy Carlyle (historical romance)

  • The only thing I know about this book is that the heroine owns a bookstore.  Good enough for me!

Taking a Chance (Restoration, #3)
Taking a Chance (Restoration #3) by A.M. Arthur (M/M contemporary)

  • This will be a very emotional read as I have come to expect from this author.

Base Instincts (Demonica, #11.7) (Lords of Deliverance, #6.7)
Base Instincts (Demonica #11.7) by Larissa Ione (M/M paranormal)

  • Super pumped to see Ione taking on M/M romance especially with a gay Seminus demon whose life depends on his ability to have sex with females.

Highlander Undone
Highlander Undone by Connie Brockway (historical romance)

  • I love that Brockway is still writing historicals.  I have an eARC, but haven't read it yet.

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori, #1)
Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) by Heather Petty (YA mystery)

  • I'm intrigued by this modern-day Sherlock Holmes/Moriarty series.  I am expecting lots of heartache though.

Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)
Walk on Earth a Stranger (Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson (YA fantasy)

  • I've heard a ton of fabulous things about Carson's last series so I will be adding this to my wishlist.

Sarah's Surrender (Bound and Determined, #2.5)
Sarah's Surrender (Bound & Determined #2.5) by Lavinia Kent (historical erotica)

  • Kent's writing is just so addictive to me!  I have an eARC of this book.

The Bollywood Bride
The Bollywood Bride (Bollywood #2) by Sonali Dev (contemporary romance)

  • Ahhh!  So excited!!  I have an eARC of this book.

Forever Your Earl (The Wicked Quills of London, #1)
Forever Your Earl (Wicked Quills of London #1) by Eva Leigh (historical romance)

  • Eva Leigh is a pseudonym of Zoe Archer so I'm sold right there.  I have an eARC of this book.

The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (MacKenzies & McBrides, #8)
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (Highland Pleasures #8) by Jennifer Ashley (historical romance)

  • I'm hopelessly behind on this series, but planning on catching up someday.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo (YA fantasy)

  • Another new series by an author I've heard amazing things about.

Down the Rabbit Hole (includes In Death, #41.5)
Wonderment in Death (In Death #41.5) by JD Robb (romantic suspense)

  • More Eve and Roarke!!

The Shepherd and the Solicitor
The Shepherd and the Solicitor by Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee (M/M historical)

  • I love the sexy, romantic historicals this duo does.

Friday, August 28, 2015

REVIEW: "Uprooted" by Naomi Novik

For Ages 18+ (Violence, Language, Sensuality)

Del Rey -- Published on May 19, 2015
Hardcover, 438 pages
Read in August 2015
Borrowed from the library


Alternate Universe, Fairy Tales, Captivity/Imprisonment, Magic

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

"Our Dragon doesn't eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley."

I decided to request Uprooted from my library after hearing about it on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.  That recommendation was quickly backed by hearing about it around the blogosphere.  I knew who Naomi Novik was, but had never tried one of her books though I do own the first Temeraire Dragons book.  I adore fairy tales so I was ready to be swept away.  And I did have a good time reading this book.  It was not my favorite fantasy ever, but I enjoyed it and can see many others liking it as well.

Uprooted is a fairy tale that is heavily inspired by Polish myth/stories, in particular Baba Jaga/Baba Yaga.  It takes place in a country that is constantly on alert for invasions from their neighbors while also dealing with the Wood, a menacing forest that is full of deadly creatures and seems to be growing.  Our heroine is Agnieszka who lives in a village near the Wood that is protected by a powerful wizard known as the Dragon.  The only thing the Dragon asks for in return for keeping the village safe is that every ten years a girl is selected to accompany him back to his castle.  No one knows what happens in the castle, but, after ten years, the Dragon releases them and they go off to live away from the village.

Agnieszka is truly the star of this book.  She starts off the story as this clumsy, messy village girl who is saddened by the fact that everyone believes her best friend will be selected by the Dragon.  Of course, readers aren't surprised when it is Agnieszka who is chosen and she begins a journey that shows her how powerful she really is.  I loved the development of Agnieszka as she discovers the heartbreaking truth about the Wood and how her dormant magical abilities can help save her country.  I also adored the fact that, after an initial freakout, she didn't let the Dragon get away with anything and pretty much forced her way into his life.

Besides Agnieszka, the two characters that the book focuses on is the Dragon and her best friend, Kasia.  I was fascinated by the Dragon and how he reacted to Agnieszka's personality  There is a slow-burning love story here, but it is definitely not the focus.  I did find myself wanting more about him especially towards the end.  There was character development, but I don't think it ever reached its potential.  But, Kasia was just amazing!  I thought the portrayal of the friendship between Agnieszka and her was well-done and realistic.  They are devoted to one another, but also disagree at various points in the story.

The world building in Uprooted was overwhelming for me at the beginning.  Novik provides a lot of information in a seamless manner, but there just is a lot to learn.  Thankfully, things smoothed out, for me, a third of the way into the book.  I liked how the plot was divided into three main sections: Agnieszka interacting with the Dragon at the castle, Agnieszka at the royal court, and her return to the castle.  It helped me compartmentalize the different aspects of the country and its reaction to the Wood.  I do want to provide future readers with a warning that there is quite a bit of violence and death in this book.  This is a dark time for this country and the author does not candy-coat that.

All in all, I found this book to be a nice break from the normal romance novels that I read.  The writing is beautiful and the setting really came alive for me.  I am even more intrigued to check out the Temeraire Dragons series now after enjoying Uprooted so much.

"It wasn't that I wanted a husband and a baby; I didn't, or rather, I only wanted them the way I wanted to live to a hundred: someday, far off, never thinking about the particulars.”
Goodreads -- Author Website

Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play -- Audible

Thursday, August 27, 2015


This is part of a feature where I focus on a specific theme (or trope) that I have found in my years as a voracious reader/blogger.  I love finding commonalities between my favorite books and how that helps define me as a reader.

Please note this is not meant to be a comprehensive list.  I am just picking a few examples of this trope.  So, if you have a favorite example of this theme, let me know about it in the comments.  I'm always on the lookout for more books to be added to my wishlist.

These are all books that involve characters having some type of amnesia.  The amnesia is often the result of traumatic head injuries or PTSD.  There is usually a mystery involving how the character got amnesia and, of course, drama about whether their memories will ever return.

Forbidden (Medieval Series #2)
Forbidden by Elizabeth Lowell
Historical Romance (Medieval Scotland) -- I gave it 3.5 stars.
Throughout the Disputed Lands she is called Amber the Untouched --- a chaste, golden-haired beauty fleeing the remarkable love that was prophesied at her birth ... and the death that must inevitably follow.
He comes to her in darkness, as had been foretold --- a wounded warrior with no memory ... a promised lover seared by passion's fire, irresistibly drawn to the innocent enchantress who divines truth with a touch.
In a time of war, their romance is legend --- until a lost past returns to Duncan and labels Amber his enemy. But he cannot forsake the beautiful woman who has healed his body and his heart. He vows to defy to the death the dread forces that have proclaimed their love ... FORBIDDEN.

Highland Groom (Murray Family, #8 & MacEnroy, #2)
Highland Groom by Hannah Howell
Historical Romance (Medieval Scotland) -- I gave it 4.5 stars.
Sir Diarmot MacEnroy, deciding his illegitimate children need a mother and his keep needs a proper lady, now stands before the altar with a gentle bride he hopes is too shy to disrupt his life or break his heart. The nuptials, however, are interrupted by the appearance of a flame-haired beauty carrying two babies, boldly claiming that she is his wife and mother of his twin infant sons. Armed with her seven large brothers, she has come to demand her dues.
Having waited one year for the return of the handsome laird who wed her, bedded her, then disappeared, Ilsa Campbell MacEnroy takes matters into her own hands and sets out to reclaim the man she briefly and passionately loved. Stunned by his denial, her heart softens when she learns of the injury that has ravaged his memory. Now, she faces the nearly impossible task of conquering his past - and his fierce reluctance to share his heart. Though desire flares hot and wild between them, it will take more to win his trust. It will take the magic touch of a woman in love.

Slightly Sinful (Bedwyn Saga, #5)
Slightly Sinful by Mary Balogh
Historical Romance (Regency England) -- I gave it 4 stars.
When the four lady residents of a brothel in Brussels lose their life savings to a confidence man, their friend Rachel York, who introduced him to them, feels responsible even though all her money has been stolen too. She vows to help them recover their savings, but in order to do that she needs to get her hands on the jewels she will inherit at the age of twenty-five. And in order to do that, she needs to acquire a husband--fast.
Enter Lord Alleyne Bedwyn, who is recuperating at the brothel from wounds sustained at the Battle of Waterloo. Alleyne may have lost his memory, but he has not lost any of the dash and devilry that had always characterized him as the youngest Bedwyn brother. Although he needs to go off in search of his identity, he cannot resist embroiling himself in intrigue with Rachel first--especially when doing so seems ever so slightly sinful.

Someone to Watch Over Me (Bow Street Runners, #1)
Someone to Watch Over Me by Lisa Kleypas
Historical Romance (Victorian England) -- I gave it 3 stars.
Grant Morgan is one of London's most eligible and unattainable bachelors. He's also a powerful member of the Bow Street Runners, and when he's called to the waterfront late one night to investigate a drowning victim, Grant is stunned to recognize the face of Vivien Rose Duvall, a well-known woman of the night. He's even more startled when he realizes that she's alive. With no one to care for her, Grant carries Vivien to his home and revives her, only to learn that she is suffering from amnesia.
Vivien hesitantly accepts her handsome rescuer's claim that she is his mistress, despite her misgivings about her true identity. Nevertheless, she can't deny the marks on her throat that prove her near-drowning in the Thames was not an accident, and now she must trust the man who claims her as his paramour, for her life is in danger. As Grant searches for Vivien's attacker, the two find themselves falling in love, all the while struggling to stay one step ahead of the evil forces that will stop at nothing to see Vivien dead.

A Kiss to Remember (Fairleigh Sisters, #1)
A Kiss to Remember by Teresa Medeiros
Historical Romance  -- I gave it 4 stars.
Laura Fairleigh needs a husband. If she is to keep a roof over her siblings heads, the prim rectors daughter must wed by her twenty-first birthday. When she finds a mysterious stranger with the face of an angel and the body of Adonis unconscious in the forest and with no memory of his name or his past, she decides to claim him for her own. Little does she know that her fallen angel is really the devil in disguise.

Sterling Harlow, the notorious rake known as the Devil of Devonbrooke, awakens to the enchanting kiss of a lovely young woman who informs him he is her long-lost betrothed. With her sun-kissed cheeks and smattering of freckles, she looks every inch the innocent, but her curves possess a womans allure. When she assures him he is the perfect gentleman, he wonders if hes lost his wits as well as his memory. He would have sworn he was not a man to be satisfied with mere kisses especially from lips as sweet and luscious as Lauras. As he attempts to uncover the truth before their wedding night, A Kiss To Remember ignites a passion neither of them will ever be able to forget....

The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton (The Burgundy Club, #3)
The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton by Miranda Neville
Historical Romance -- I gave it 4.5 stars.
Being kidnapped is teaching Miss Celia Seaton a few things about life:

Lesson One: Never disrobe in front of a gentleman...unless his request comes at gunpoint.

Lesson Two: If, when lost on the moors, you encounter Tarquin Compton, the leader of London society who ruined your marriage prospects, deny any previous acquaintance.

Lesson Three: If presented with an opportunity to get back at Mr. Compton, the bigger the lie, the better. A faux engagement should do nicely.

Lesson Four: Not all knowledge is found between the covers of a book. But an improper book may further your education in ways you never guessed.

And while an erotic novel may be entertaining, the real thing is even better.

Once More, My Darling Rogue (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #2)
Once More, My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath
Historical Romance -- I gave it 3.5 stars.
Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can’t escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he’s not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning he realizes she doesn’t remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she’s his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.
While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can’t be denied, regardless of consequences. So when her memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.

New Life (New Life, #1)
New Life by Bonnie Dee
Contemporary Romance -- I gave it 3.5 stars.
Since the car accident that caused traumatic brain injury, Jason has fought to regain his memories and the ability to organize thoughts and control emotions. His promising future shattered, he works as a night janitor in an office building and clings to routine to make it through his days.
New lawyer Anna breaks down one evening after fumbling her first court case. Self-doubt brings her to tears in a deserted stairwell where Jason finds her and offers comforting words. From this unexpected meeting an unlikely romance begins.
A casual coffee date soon leads to a deeper connection and eventually a steamy affair. But are Jason and Anna’s growing feelings for each other strong enough to overcome the social chasm that divides them and the very real issues of Jason’s disability?

Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changeling, #7)
Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh
Paranormal Romance -- I gave it 4.5 stars.
A woman without a past becomes the pawn of the man who controls her future...
Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she's dangerous. Charged with protecting his people's most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It's a task he's never hesitated to complete...until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might prove to be the enemy's most insidious weapon yet.
Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die...

Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #11)
Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole
Paranormal Romance -- I gave it 4.5 stars.
He Vowed He'd Come For Her...
Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.
She Awaits His Return...
When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals—unaware that he belongs to their world.
To Sate A Desire More Powerful Than Death...
Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Young Adult Contemporary -- I gave it 4.5 stars.
So wrong for each other …and yet so right.
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1)
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Young Adult Science Fiction -- I gave it 3 stars.
Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

In Love with a Wicked Man by Liz Carlyle
Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas
The Accidental Wedding by Anne Gracie
Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman by Lorraine Heath
What Happens in Scotland by Jennifer McQuiston
Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The River Leith by Leta Blake

  • Pirates -- September 3rd
  • Makeovers -- September 10th
  • Animals -- September 17th

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

REVIEW: "Lois Lane: Fallout" by Gwenda Bond

Lois Lane: Fallout (Lois Lane, #1)

Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond
(Lois Lane #1)

For Ages 14+ (Language)
Young Adult -- Science Fiction

Switch Press -- Published on May 1, 2015
Hardcover, 304 pages
Read in August 2015
Borrowed from library


Alternate Universe

Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all over—and seen all kinds of things. (Some of them defy explanation, like the near-disaster she witnessed in Kansas in the middle of one night.) But now her family is putting down roots in the big city, and Lois is determined to fit in. Stay quiet. Fly straight. 

As soon as she steps into her new high school, though, she can see it won’t be that easy. A group known as the Warheads is making life miserable for another girl at school. They’re messing with her mind, somehow, via the high-tech immersive videogame they all play. Not cool. Armed with her wit and her new snazzy job as a reporter, Lois has her sights set on solving this mystery. But sometimes it’s all a bit much. Thank goodness for her maybe-more-than-a friend, a guy she knows only by his screenname, SmallvilleGuy.

"Remember the plan," I muttered.

I discovered this book when I read a review of it over at Quinn's Book Nook.  I am not a huge Superman fan, but I have always been a devotee of Lois Lane ever since I saw Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.  So I ecstatic to see this YA novel that focused on a teenage Lois Lane as she maneuvers the treacherous waters of high school.  And I was pretty happy with the result after I finished Lois Lane: Fallout.

The entire book is narrated by Lois who is the daughter of a prominent Army general.  Because of General Lane's position, the family has been moving around most of Lois's life.  Now they have set up a permanent residence in Metropolis and Lois is determined to not cause chaos like she has in every other town they have lived in.  Unfortunately, this goal doesn't last long since she discovers a mysterious group of students who seem to be involved in a type of hive mind experiment all surrounding a popular video game.

I really liked Lois's character in this book which is a good thing since focuses entirely on her.  She is such a genuinely good person and can't stand to see things going wrong for those around her.  I thought her protective nature was well established and thoughtfully depicted.  I also enjoyed the way the author provided insight into what will make her a successful reporter in the future.  She is not afraid to take risks and can, at times, be a bit reckless, but learns throughout this book that she doesn't have to do everything by herself.

At the beginning of the book, Lois makes it clear to the reader that she doesn't really know how to make friends.  The only person (besides her family) that she can connect with is someone she's never met in real life.  She has an online friendship with a mystery teenager who she knows only as "SmallvilleGuy".  Their relationship is really subtle and works as a good foreshadowing for anyone who is familiar with the Superman mythology.  Besides "Smallville Guy", Lois learns to rely on some other students at the high school.  She especially becomes close to her fellow junior reporters at the Daily Scoop.  I have a feeling the series will delve even more into these friendships and I look forward to reading that.

Lois Lane: Fallout is just a fun, suspenseful look at a popular character before she becomes an icon.  All the characters are well-written and act appropriately for their age.  The mystery got a little convoluted towards the middle, but the action-packed conclusion was worth it.  I had a great time reading this book and am excited to see what happens to Lois next.

"My problem was that I had bad luck. And I spoke up when I saw something wrong. I did it because I could, without having to worry about the fallout lasting years. And yes, there was always fallout."
1. Lois Lane: Fallout
2. Lois Lane: Double Down

Goodreads -- Author Website

Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books on the Syllabus of Historical Romance 101

Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I couldn't narrow this list down so you all get 15 books that I would have on a syllabus for Historical Romance 101!

1. Frederica by Georgette Heyer [1965]
Austen-esque writing/setting more than a hundred years after Austen.

The Flame and the Flower
2. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss [1972]
Considered by most to be the first historical romance novel.

The Windflower
3. The Windflower by Laura London [1984]
Pirate romance for the win!

Libby's London Merchant (Nesbitt, #1)
4. Libby's London Merchant by Carla Kelly [1991]
Traditional Regency with an early love triangle.

A Christmas Promise
5. A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh [1992]
Christmas-themed books are still popular and Balogh is one of the best at them.

The Bride (Lairds' Fiancées, #1)
6. The Bride by Julie Garwood [1989]
Humor in romance!

Flowers from the Storm
7. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale [1992]
Tortured hero and a couple that should not work, but does so well.  Beautiful prose.

Devil's Bride (Cynster, #1)
8. Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens [1998]
One of the first family series I've seen.

Dreaming of You (Gamblers, #2)
9. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas [1994]
Self-made hero who runs a gambling hell...very unique at the time.

The Lady's Tutor
10. The Lady's Tutor by Robin Schone [1999]
Erotic historical romance.

Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3)
11. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase [1995]
Many polls have this at or near the top of lists of best historical romances ever.

12. Indigo by Beverly Jenkins [1996]
Diverse characters in romance...which we need more of.

What Happens in London (Bevelstoke, #2)
13. What Happens in London by Julia Quinn [2009]
Super-popular author and a great example of her work.

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie (MacKenzies & McBrides, #1)
14. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley [2009]
The depiction of the hero who is on the autism spectrum.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1)
15. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean [2010]
I've seen this mentioned as a historical romance that many people start with nowadays.