June 25th, 2017
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This hard-bodied football star is used to scoring.


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Take the shot…or take a chance?


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A young widow dares to love again in the heartwarming conclusion of the Ardent Springs series.


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“Unforgettable characters and a high-octane plot …” —Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW


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In Summer Dance, bestselling author Nan Rossiter brings together characters from her acclaimed novel Nantucket in a powerful, heartwarming love story that bridges past and present.



Weddings and Homicides, June Top Reads


Barnes & Noble

History ReFreshed

Exploring what's "new" on the historical shelves

Enterprising Women

For many historical fiction fans, one of the draws of the genre is watching woman of past confront challenges and restrictions to open up new opportunities for themselves.  In honor of the recent birthdays of some extraordinary women—my mother-in-law, my stepmother and my daughter—this month I showcase a group of enterprising women who dare to dream of doing something more than filling a woman’s conventional place in society. We begin Read More...



Lives Of The Rich And Famous

Spring always brings a sense of anticipation. The cold and gloom of winter brighten into the season of warmth and rebirth, where new life seems full of limitless possibilities, encouraging the idea that hard work can lead to success, maybe even to fame and fortune. Inspired by the return of spring, the heroines of the novels we’ll look at this month all reinvent themselves to become, or be associated with, the rich, famous and Read More...



The Imperial View

Inspired by the lush PBS mini-series “Victoria,” this month we’ll look at fiction that explores the world of imperial rulers—and check out the life of one who had more influence on the next generation of royals than the hand that held the scepter. Read More...



IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER—Alienor of Aquitaine

As frost immobilizes the ground and chill winds blow, I think of cold castles and harsh rulers—which brings to mind the medieval period, and one of my favorite historical characters. In an era where women were chattels disposed of by fathers and husbands, to use wits and beauty and sheer drive to carve out a place of power and prominence is truly amazing, and Alienor (Eleanor) of Aquitaine did just that. Heiress to the Read More...



A Christmas Pride And Prejudice

What could be a lovelier Christmas gift than more Elizabeth and Darcy? Given the plethora of P&P adaptations, remakes and variations, the answer must be “nothing!” For your holiday pleasure, then, I offer two other interpretations of this beloved story. The Darcy Novels by Monica Fairview Read More...



The Mystery Of The East

We’ll continue our exploration of the exotic this month with a group of novels set in the Far East, in lands full of beauty, rich in history and culture. Beginning farthest back in time and at the highest social level, we have two views of the only female Chinese emperor, Wu Tse-tien. Weina Dai Randel’s more favorable picture of the Iron Empress, THE Read More...



Sheiks And Harems

With the PBS series “Indian Summers” now running, this month we’ll stay with the exotic and look at a genre of books that has proven perennially popular, both with romance readers (there seem to be new Sheik books out every month, contemporary or historical) and historical fiction fans—novels set in the mysterious and titillating world of the Read More...



A Return To “Indian Summers”

With the lush PBS Masterpiece series “Indian Summers” soon to begin Season Two, it’s time to look at another round of novels that explore the exotic, complex world of the British Raj in India and the struggles for Indian independence. Read More...



Blockbuster Summer Of World War II Hits

With children out of school and folks going on vacation, summer is traditionally the time for blockbuster movies, usually action-adventure or comic-book-hero sagas designed to snag the interest of kids and families. Then there are “blockbuster books”—novels that strike the popular imagination and become runaway bestsellers. Though I tend not to like those extremely popular books, since several are set in one of my favorite time periods—World War II—for Read More...



From Grit To Glamour: Between The Wars

Who doesn’t love to peek into the lives of the rich, famous and influential? To spark your summer reading, this month we will take a look at protagonists (some real historical figures, some fictional) who strive for fame, fortune, and glory in the chaotic decades after the devastation of World War I. We begin with Hazel Gaynor’s Read More...



Merrie Olde England

In May, thoughts turn to the May Pole dances and Spring celebrations in Merrie Olde England. This month’s selections illumine the worlds of court and entertainment, revealing the sometimes stark reality of life for women in England in the 18th century—both high-born and commoner. Beginning with the political, we have MISTRESS OF THE COURT by Read More...



Paris In The Spring—Love And Power

When spring is in the air, thoughts turn to romance…and what is more romantic than springtime in Paris? Or to be more exact, springtime in Versailles, as all the choices we’ll explore this month take place around the small hunting lodge at the edge of a royal forest which became a palace whose very name conjures images of luxury, excess, drama and tragedy. The kings who inhabited that palace dominated the known world Read More...



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