Historical Romances to Distract You

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Historical Romances to Distract You

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I've been increasingly reading only romance and speculative fiction recently, as general fiction ceases to distract me from the news of the day. I prefer to read books that allow me to escape into another time or place. I've written before about Regency-inspired romances I've enjoyed and also about some highlights of our e-book romance collection, so here are some more romances I've read recently that are set in another time and/or place. Most of these books feature characters looking to change their life circumstances, whether by traveling to a new place, changing their career, or building a more loving family, themes and situations that resonate even from unfamiliar settings.

Blame it on the Duke by Lenora Bell
Alice has always dreamed of going on adventures, specifically to India, but her family doesn’t approve and wants her to become a dutiful wife. Nick, Lord Hatherly, has always been the rake to end all rakes, and has never wanted marriage or children. They’re brought together when Nick’s mad father loses while gambling, and Nick becomes Alice’s future husband. They discover that their marriage may actually suit both of them; marriage will allow Alice the independence from her family necessary to pursue her dreams and Nick can continue living his life the way he always has. After all, it’s not like either of them will grow attached… This book is very silly and so so fun. It’s the third in a series, and really they’re all great.

The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James
The Duke of Ashbrook raised his best friend’s daughter, Theodora…and embezzled her dowry, then ordered his son James to marry her before anyone found out. When Theo finds out why James married her, she orders him to leave -- and he does. While James spends his time away in piracy, Theo spends hers transforming from an ugly girl into a beautiful, if severe, woman. Can James convince Theo, his Daisy, that he really does love her? This plot may sounds silly, but it’s captivating and exciting, and the characters are compelling.

Someone to Love by Mary Balogh
Anna grew up in an orphanage and always wanted a family. When she finds out that she’s the legitimate daughter of an Earl and his sole financial heir, she’s delighted to get to know her family, even though her siblings refuse to meet her and her family wants to remake everything about her so that she matches social expectations. The only person who seems to understand her is the Duke of Netherby. Although he comes off as indolent and effete, he’s also confident and somehow dangerous and willing to help Anna with whatever she truly needs. This is the first in a lovely series.

Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen
Ivory Moore is a fixer; she helps members of the aristocracy avoid scandal by making their problems go away. A dead man tied up in the bedroom of the Duke of Alderidge’s sister is certainly a problem, but one Ivory is sure that she can handle. What Ivory and the Duke, Max, might not be able to handle is the sparks between them. While not particularly realistic, this romance is fun and Ivory’s underworld connections lead to a fun setting. (This book is only in DC Public Library's e-book collection.)

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Beautiful spinster Jessica Trent’s idiot brother is caught by the spell of the Marquess of Dain. It’s fine for Dain to gamble and fritter away his fortune on ladies of the night -- he has a fortune to spare -- but her brother is not smart enough or rich enough to do the same. At Jessica and Dain’s initial meeting sparks fly, and both are determined to best the other. As bets are made about their future, will they be able to find the best in each other? (This book is only in DC Public Library's e-book collection.)