I am delighted to have author Libby Waterford as a guest today. Libby’s debut novel, Love Unlocked, is being released by Decadent Publishing (more on that below). Like me, Libby loves both contemporary and historical romance, and she’s here today to discuss her favorite reads in the historical romance genre. Take it away, Libby!
Though my just-released debut novel, Love Unlocked, is a contemporary romance, I’m a huge historical fan. Here are five that are worth a read.
1. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn: Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series is universally beloved, and this is my favorite. Seeing Penelope bloom and having the mystery of Lady Whistledown solved is so satisfying after following the characters through several books.
2. Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James: The final book in her Essex Sisters quartet, this is quintessential Eloisa James: witty dialogue, sparkling description, passionate romance. I absolutely love the secondary plot line about Griselda and Darlington.
3. A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh: I always read Mary Balogh with a smile on my face, and this book is no exception, as she weaves a tight and tantalizing tale about two reluctant marriage partners with a bit of a mystery thrown in.
4. A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare: Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series is highly entertaining. She combines rambunctious action and humor with heartfelt romance. Minerva is a classic heroine, smart, curious, and sensual, and she has a perfect match in Colin, the damaged, gorgeous hero who can’t help but fall in love with her.
5. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean. Discovering Sarah MacLean has been one of the highlights of my reading year. She earned a well-deserved RITA for the first novel in her Rules of Scoundrels series, but the second is even better. The sexual tension between Pippa and Cross fairly drips on every page of this page-turner.
And now as promised, Love Unlocked:
Love Unlocked tells the story of retired art thief Eve Caplin, who has come all the way from Paris to start over in a small Central California town. When she locks herself out of her new house she gets much more than she bargained for in Hudson Cleary, part-time locksmith and world famous artist. Eve tries to resist Hudson’s seductive pull, but can’t refuse his help when a man from her past blackmails her into stealing a ten million dollar painting from under the owner’s nose. Hudson not only has the key to stealing the painting, Eve fears he may hold the key to her damaged heart as well.
Hudson hasn’t picked up a paintbrush in two years when he unlocks Eve Caplin’s door and the mysterious beauty arouses much more than just his creative impulses. He needs Eve in his studio and wants her in his bed. When he discovers that danger follows the woman he’s quickly falling for, he must decide how far over the line he’s willing to go to protect her. Will he lose his heart, his muse, and his freedom all in one unforgettable night?
Available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Decadent
About the Author:
Libby Waterford writes California-set steamy contemporary romances. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and works off her weekly pilgrimage to In-N-Out by swimming and climbing the city’s hidden staircases.
Find her at: http://libbywaterford.com
And enjoy the following excerpt for Love Unlocked:
“So what’s the plan?”
“What do you mean?”
“The plan, you know, how are you going to steal the painting?” He spoke more calmly than he felt.
“I hardly think you need to know about that.”
“John mentioned involving me. Let me help.” He needed her to let him help her. He couldn’t stand by and let her face the threat of prison, bodily harm, or death all alone. Somewhere between her locked front door and the Rembrandt, Eve had become his to protect, and he wouldn’t let her down.
She pushed back from the bar, hands on her hips. “John was out of his mind to suggest such a thing, and you have no business being anywhere near this situation.”
God, she could be stubborn. “Then why did you tell me about it?”
She goggled at him for a moment, then ignored his question. “John and I can handle it. We have to get access to a museum fundraiser where the painting is going to be displayed and take it from there. It’s simple really. You’re not needed.”
Hudson saw his window and he went for it. “A fundraiser? Not for the Santa Barbara Art Museum?”
She was slow to respond. “Yes, actually.”
His chest surged with relief that he could offer her something that might help her stay out of harm’s way. “I donated a print to their charity auction. It’s a joint fundraiser for the museum and for art education scholarships for low income high schoolers.”
“Of course it is,” she grumbled.
“Which means I have an invitation,” he said. “Want to be my plus one?”
She bit her lip and crossed her arms. She wouldn’t be able to turn down his perfect way in, and he’d be at her side, keeping the wolves at bay.
“It’s dangerous, you’d get us all caught.”
He smiled. He knew rationalizations when he heard them. She was going to cave any minute.
“You need my help,” he said, moving closer. “I don’t like the thought of you out there up to no good on your own.” They were so close they were practically breathing the same air.
“I won’t be alone,” she said halfheartedly. “I’ll have John.”
He wasn’t above playing dirty. He slid a hand around the back of her neck, stroking the soft hair that covered it like a waterfall. It took physical effort to keep from shuddering at the intense pleasure the sensation brought him. “I really don’t like the thought of you out with John at some swanky party. You’ll probably be dressed to the nines. High heels and everything,” he murmured.
“Jealous?” she breathed.
“Very.” And he kissed her.