Avon

Two Gay Romance Firsts: The Happily Ever After Ending and Clinch Cover

Gordon Merrick created the legendary Peter & Charlie gay romance series. The trilogy portrayed the first mainstream love story between two men that concluded happily ever after. Another milestone in gay fiction occurred when they were reprinted in the 1980s. A young artist named Victor Gadino illustrated the iconic clinch covers. Never before had two men been pictured so intimately on romance novels.

gay romance

Historical Romance Review: Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

In 1977 Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ long-awaited third novel made romance history as Avon released Shanna in trade paperback edition. I’ve long had a tenuous relationship with Woodiwiss’ romances., but I am glad I read Shanna. 3.74 stars

shanna

Historical Romance Review: Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers

Where to begin with this review? Sweet Savage Love by the great Rosemary Rogers is–along with The Flame and the Flower–the blockbuster historical that launched a new genre: the modern romance novel. Published in 1974, this doorstopper epic was a monumental game-changer in an era of social transformation. 4.24 stars

Sweet Savage love

Historical Romance Review: The Wild One by Danelle Harmon

Danelle Harmon’s Georgian-era historical romance series of four brothers and one sister begins with The Wild One. Lord Gareth de Montforte is one of the younger sons of the de Montforte clan. His eldest brother is a Duke. Another of his older brothers, Charles, was a soldier who went to fight in the Americas and is presumed dead. The family will soon find that particular brother has left behind some unchecked baggage that they will have to deal with. 1.85 stars

the wild one

Historical Romance Review: Angel in Scarlet by Jennifer Wilde

Angel In Scarlet isn’t a bodice ripper. It’s a Georgian-Era chick-lit. This is a hard one to categorize. It’s not just a romance, but more of a heroine’s journey through life and her relationships with several men she meets along the way. 4 stars

Angel In Scarlet duillo

Historical Romance Review: Through the Storm by Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins’ Through the Storm is a romance about a former slave finding love during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era with a man from a proud and established Louisiana family of Haitian descent. Through the Storm has gained high marks and positive reviews. For my part, I found it engaging, although I couldn’t help but think it needed tightening up in some areas. 3 stars

Historical Romance Review: The Present by Johanna Lindsey

Over 22 years and under two different publishers, Johanna Lindsey wrote 12 romances about the Malory & Anderson clans. These books were massive hits with her many fans. Her novel, The Present, is moderately short at just over 300 pages. It tells two parallel love stories set in different eras in England, portraying the Malory clan in the past and the “present.” For no matter how time changes, the love lives of the family remain the same. 3 1/2 stars

the present

Historical Romance Review: Tender is the Storm by Johanna Lindsey

So… Johanna Lindsey’s Tender Is the Storm. If you’re familiar with your romance history, then you must know of this book, even if you haven’t read it. The cover is the infamous one designed by Robert McGinnis with the naked hero standing tall as the heroine kneels before him, her ample breasts pressed firmly against his–er…dongle. 3 stars

tender is the storm

Historical Romance Review: Rangoon by Christine Monson

Christine Monson was best known for her infamous, shocking bodice-ripper Stormfire, which is legendary for the protagonists’ extremely abusive revenge-based romance. Her second book Rangoon significantly turns down the crazy factor, but still retains the sensitive writing that made Stormfire so haunting and memorable. 3 1/2 stars

Rangoon

Historical Romance Review: Chance the Winds of Fortune by Laurie McBain

Chance the Winds of Fortune is the sequel to Laurie McBain’s Moonstruck Madness, a romance about a gender-bending highwayman (girl) who falls for an arrogant, scarred Duke, notorious for his dueling skills. I LOVED Moonstruck Madness… The follow-ups to that wonderful book about their daughter, Rhea Claire, Chance the Winds of Fortune & Dark Before the Rising Sun, though…ugh. 2 stars

chance winds of fortune

Historical Romance Review: So Speaks the Heart by Johanna Lindsey

It’s fair to compare So Speaks the Heart (which should be subtitled: Medieval Norman Psychopath Falls for French Co-Dependent and Fellow Anger Management Classmate) to another of Johanna Lindsey’s works, A Pirate’s Love, which had a similar captor/captive trope. 4 stars

Historical Romance Review: Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

The heroine of Lisa Kleypas’ Then Came You was, at the time of the book’s initial release, a unique female protagonist. Today, Romancelandia is replete with hoydenish, unmarried non-virgins who thumb their nose at society’s rules. Back in 1993, the wild Lily Lawson was, for the most part, unusual for a historical romance heroine. 5 stars

then came you lisa kleypas

Historical Romance Review: Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain

Moonstruck Madness was Laurie McBain’s second and, in my opinion, her best book. I adored this book. the first time I read it, I was in my twenties and loved it. The second time, I was in my thirties and enjoyed it a little bit less, but still found it a thrilling read. 4 1/2 stars

Moonstruck madness

Historical Romance Review: Once a Princess by Johanna Lindsey

Once a Princess was not one of my favorites by Johanna Lindsey. I’d put this in the unremarkable category with books like Glorious Angel and Tender is the Storm. Not her worst, by any means, but not her best either. 2 stars

once a princess duillo

Historical Romance Review: The Golden Sovereigns by Jocelyn Carew

The Golden Sovereigns is unlike any bodice ripper I’ve ever read. It’s very difficult to rate or categorize as it defies genre conventions. Jocelyn Carew is an absolutely skillful writer to make me enjoy a book where the heroine, Carmody, doesn’t meet her hero until page 270 of this 404-page epic. This is the kind of bodice ripper where the heroine’s journey is the real tale, however, the hero is not a mere prize she wins at the end; he’s a balm to heal her damaged soul. 4 1/2 stars

the golden sovereigns
Scroll to Top