Courtney Milan: 9 Historical Romances "for Those Who Want Something More Than a Little Different"

9 Unique Historical Romances Picked by Courtney Milan - Amazon Book Review

When you say the words “historical romance,” most people think of balls, dukes, carriages, and a London Season. And don’t get me wrong—I love balls, dukes, carriages, and London Seasons. But I also love historical romances that don’t fit that description. So here are some exceptional mold-breaking historical romances for those who want something more than a little different.—Courtney Milan

 

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Star Dust by Emma Barry & Genevieve Turner - You know what’s more rare than a duke? An astronaut. Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner have written an entire series set around the US Space Race. In Star Dust, Anne-Marie is recovering from a divorce born of her husband’s infidelity. The last thing she wants is to get involved with the hotshot astronaut who lives next door. But a man who dreams of walking in the stars can’t help but awaken hope in her.…
 

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A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles - KJ Charles writes some of the most inventive historical romances around, and A Seditious Affair is one of my favorites. Here, straightlaced Dominic Frey, officer of the Crown, discovers that the unnamed man that he’s been falling in love with is actually Silas Mason, the dangerous radical that he’s been trying to capture in his official capacity. The stakes are high and deeply felt, and once you start, there’s no way to stop reading this one.
 

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An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole - Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union is an utterly compelling and original story, told beautifully. Elle Burns is a former slave with a photographic memory, and she’s using her skills to bring down the Confederacy. When she meets a fellow Union spy while under cover in the deep south, sparks fly, even though she knows they shouldn’t. This book is transcendently good.
 

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Under the Sugar Sun by Jennifer Hallock - If you’re looking for a meaty historical romance that will transport you somewhere you’ve never been, Jennifer Hallock’s books—set in the Philippines around the time when they transitioned from Spanish to American rule—are must-reads. These books have a strong sense of place, capturing the fear and romance of change, the pressures of colonialism, and a multicultural society trying to make sense of itself. Like nothing I’ve ever read before.
 

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Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins - Set in Nevada in the Reconstruction Era, this book is about Eddy Carmichael, a woman who is determined to make her own fate, and Rhine Fontaine, the white man she’s afraid to love. But while Rhine is eager to love Eddy, he’s loathe to reveal his past. He’s a former slave who escaped his childhood by passing as white. And as much as Eddy attracts him, he longs to use the position he’s obtained to do good work for the people he refuses to abandon. This book is one of my keepers.
 

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King's Warrior by Kris Kennedy - Kris Kennedy writes medieval romances that manage to capture, on the one hand, the hard, almost epic romanticism of an era filled with castles, brigands, and nobles, and on the other, romances that appeal to modern sensibilities with searingly hot romances with plots that start at adventure and never stop. I’ve been a fan of hers since her first book, but her latest, King’s Warrior, is about an ultimate bad boy who falls in love while executing a daring mission.
 

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The Kraken King by Meljean Brook - I’m not sure if it’s cheating to include a steampunk book in a list of historical romances—it’s definitely set in historical times, but the fantasy elements may make some put it in a different subgenre—but the attention to fine detail in The Kraken King, and the sheer adventure of a book that spans the globe, will appeal to everyone who adores historical adventures.
 

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True Pretenses by Rose Lerner - Ash is a con artist who has never had a home, except with his brother. Now he’s planning one last con—to marry his brother to a woman who will provide all the security he’s never had. The problem? He’s falling in love with the woman himself. I love Rose Lerner, who writes adorable, yet realistic, period romances, and this is one of my favorites of her books.
 

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My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin - It’s so hard to pick one Jeannie Lin book that I’ve picked two. My Fair Concubine is just what it sounds like—My Fair Lady set in the Tang Dynasty of China, where Yan Ling has been tasked with finding a princess for the emperor, and instead sets about making one…and falling in love with her himself. Since I’ve already cheated my way into steampunk with Meljean Brook, I also want to mention Jeannie’s incredibly inventive steampunk series. Gunpowder Alchemy is an explosive start, in which Jin Soling has been hiding from society after her father’s execution. When she’s caught, the man who would have married her is tasked with finding out all of her father’s secrets. Shockingly, this does not go easily for either of them.
 

 


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