Dukes and assembly balls are great, but did you know Harlequin publishes all kinds of historical romances from medievals to Westerns to the Roaring 20s? If you’re looking for a historical romance that goes to a unique setting or era, here are five books that go beyond the ballroom! And a giveaway for historical romance fans, too
The Book: The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin
The Setting: Tang Dynasty China, 847 AD
The Story: It is a time of celebration in the Pingkang li, where imperial scholars and bureaucrats mingle with beautiful courtesans. At the center is the Lotus Palace, home of the most exquisite courtesans in China…
Maidservant Yue-ying is not one of those beauties. Street-smart and practical, she’s content to live in the shadow of her infamous mistress—until she meets the aristocratic playboy Bai Huang.
Bai Huang lives in a privileged world Yue-ying can barely imagine, let alone share, but as they are thrown together in an attempt to solve a deadly mystery, they both start to dream of a different life. Yet Bai Huang’s position means that all she could ever be to him is his concubine—will she sacrifice her pride to follow her heart?
The Book: Forbidden Jewel of India by Louise Allen
The Setting: Rajasthan, India 1788
The Story: Anusha Laurens is in danger. The daughter of an Indian princess and an English peer, she’s the perfect pawn in the opulent courts of Rajasthan. Even so, she will not return to the father who rejected her.
Arrogant angrezi Major Nicholas Herriard is charged with bringing the alluring princess safely to her new life in Calcutta. Nick’s mission is to protect, to serve—but under the searing Indian sun an initial attraction unfurls into a forbidden temptation.
This beautiful, impossible princess tests the very limits of his honor—especially when Nick is left with only one option to keep Anusha safe: marriage. But the fast-flowing waters of the Ganges determine a different fate, and duty may separate them forever….
The Book: The Charm School by Susan Wiggs
The Setting: Boston and the high seas, 1851
The Story: An awkward misfit in an accomplished Boston family, Isadora Peabody yearns to escape her social isolation and sneaks aboard the Silver Swan, bound for Rio, leaving it all behind.
Ryan Calhoun, too, had a good family name. But he’d purposely walked away from everything it afforded him. Driven by his quest to right an old wrong, the fiery, temperamental sea captain barely registers the meek young woman who comes aboard his ship.
To the Swan’s motley crew, the tides of attraction clearly flow between the two. Teaching her the charms of a lady, they hope to build the confidence she needs to attract not only their lonely captain’s attention, but his heart, as well. For everyone knows the greatest charms are not those of the formal lady, but rather the possibilities of a new world built on love.
The Book: A Dance with Indecency by Linda Skye
The Setting: New York City, 1920s
The Story: Bootleggers are breathing down hotelier Harry McMahon’s neck. So when a beautiful, young, and very wealthy widow from Paris turns up at the Cotton Club, Henry sees it as the perfect opportunity to combine business and pleasure. First he will take her body, then her heart, and finally, her money…
Elise Rousseau may not be the mousey innocent she once was, but she can’t believe Harry doesn’t recognize her—and she intends to punish him in the most wicked way. She will make him want her body, make him give her his heart. And then she will break it, just as he broke hers four years ago…
The Book: Priestess of the Nile by Veronica Scott
The Setting: Egypt, 1500 BC
The Story: Drawn to his abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting song, Sobek the Crocodile God is even more captivated by the sight of the singer herself. Appearing to her as a man, he learns she is Merys, a descendant of his last priestess. Though filled with lust, Sobek believes Merys deserves to be more than just his mistress. But the rules that govern the Egyptian pantheon forbid anything beyond a physical joining of a Great One and a human.
Merys is attracted to the handsome stranger, who arouses passions in her that no man ever has. But with no dowry and no hope of ever leaving her village, she dares not dream of the future–or love.
Sobek takes every opportunity to visit Merys, taxing his resolve to leave her pure. When he saves her life, their mutual desire must be sated. But can a love between a human and an immortal survive the ultimate test of the gods?
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Giveaway! We’ve got a set of historical romances from all kinds of settings and eras for one lucky reader. To enter to win it, tell us your favorite time period or setting for historical romance in a comment below.
Contest closes Dec. 29 at 11:59 pm. One winner will be drawn from all eligible comments and announced here Dec. 30. Open to residents of USA and Canada. For full rules, click here. Good luck!
Update: The giveaway is now closed. Please check the comments for the winner announcement.