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If You Like Medievals

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a call for your favorite vampire romance recommendations.   The post generated 106 comments and even more recommendations.   This post is directed toward medievals.   Kris Kennedy recently released her first book, The Conqueror, set in England, 1152.   The first romance Ned, my DH, read was Claudia Dain’s, The Holding.   Madeline Hunter started out writing name writing lush, gorgeous medievals in the 2000 and 2001 with her “BY” series: By Arrangement, By Possession, By Design.

Some of my favorite medievals are by Julie Garwood (no comments from the peanut gallery, Jayne).   Who can have read Honor’s Splendour and not sighed aloud when Madelyne warms Duncan’s feet? (If you read it and didn’t sigh, you have a cold, cold heart.   Also, refuse to link to Garwood’s website as I find it almost unuseable and certainly unfriendly to readers).

What are your favorites?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Hope
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 17:54:06

    All of Judith Mcnaught’s medieval! They were classics!

  2. Janine
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 17:56:33

    I am very picky when it comes to medievals. My absolute favorites are For My Lady’s Heart by Laura Kinsale and Uncommon Vows by Mary Jo Putney.

    It’s been a long time since I read them but I also remember enjoying Patricia Ryan’s medievals (my favorites were Heaven’s Fire and Silken Threads) and Elizabeth Chadwick’s (The Wild Hunt and The Falcons of Montabard). Iris Johansen also had one I remember liking, Lion’s Bride. It’s been ages since I last read them though, so I don’t know how I would feel about them today. For My Lady’s Heart and Uncommon Vows I reread every year or two. They are fab.

  3. Janine
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 17:57:59

    @Hope: I think McNaught only had one medieval, A Kingdom of Dreams. Her other historicals were regencies, I believe.

  4. Shayera
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:05:12

    I love Honor’s Splendor as well.
    And Warlord, by Elizabeth Elliott.

  5. Kimber Chin
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:07:09

    Hands down, the best Medieval romance writer I’ve read is Margaret Moore.
    Her medievals are delicious!

    I enjoyed The Conqueror.

    I have a weakness for great medieval romances.

  6. Edie
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:09:10

    Some of Jude Deverauxs’ early work..
    Not a major historical fan, but I do remember enjoying the hell out of some of hers.. and then glomming everything else she had ever written in a very short period of time..

  7. roslynholcomb
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:13:07

    Roberta Gellis, The Roselynde Chronicles. I would give my eyeteeth to have them re-released. I think Harlequin did the first two, but not the remaining four. So frustrating.

  8. Moriah Jovan
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:13:37

    IMO, Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Wolf and the Dove set the bar for medieval romance and has not, also IMO, been surpassed.

  9. katiebabs
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:28:21

    Christina Dodd has some great medievals back in the day.

  10. Cindy
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:40:59

    Karin Tabke’s Blood Sword series

    Master of Surrender
    Master of Torment
    Master of Craving

    I devoured them all in like a week and a half.

    Catherine Kean- A Knight’s Temptation…the villainess makes the evil Queens from Grimm’s fairy tales look like angels.

  11. Leslie Kelly-Parrish
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:49:48

    Honor’s Splendor is one of my favorites for that scene in particular. (And what a wonderful opening line!)

    My favorite medievals are Jude Devereux’s original 4 “Velvet” books. Velvet Promise, Highland Velvet, Velvet Song, Velvet Angel. I wanted to hit the hero of book 1 with a brick a vew times, and would happily have wrapped my hands around the throat of the heroine in Velvet Song, but otherwise, loved them!

  12. Julie L.
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:51:50

    My favorite is Julie Garwood’s The Bride – it’s funny and sexy – my favorite combination!

  13. Georgina
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 19:10:00

    Though its not a romance, I loved Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death, about a female doctor in King Henry II’s England. It was beautifully written and just a joy to read.

  14. Jane A
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 19:15:45

    Love the ones already mentioned! There are a couple of other older ones that are DIK’s for me, also. Maura Seger’s “Tapestry”, Elizabeth Stuart’s “Bride of the Lion”, and Karen Ranney’s “My Beloved” come to mind.

    I would love to see more being written and was delighted that Kris Kennedy recently came out with hers. Harlequin Historicals occasionally releases a pretty good, too.

    And yes, I do re-read Honors Splendour just for the foot warming scene. :)

    ETA I forgot Christina Dodd’s “A Candle In The Window”, which is an all time favorite of mine.

  15. KeriM
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 19:30:40

    I agree with the Woodwiss, Garwood, McNaught and Devereux pics. My pics are Laura Parker’s Trilogy: Rose of the Mists, A Rose in Splendor, The Secret Rose. Betina Krahn’s The Princess and the Barbarian and The Wife Test. Johanna Lindsey’s Prisoner of My Desire, Hearts Aflame and Fires of Winter.

  16. Meljean
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 19:55:40

    In addition to many already mentioned, I also loved Elizabeth Lowell’s trilogy, UNTAMED, FORBIDDEN, and ENCHANTED. They were completely over-the-top and included some light paranormal elements, and I ate them up like crazy.

  17. Kaetrin
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 20:01:13

    I definitely agree with the suggestions of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Wolf and the Dove, all the books by Roberta Gellis – especially the Roselynde Chronicles (please re-release them Ms./Mr. Publisher person!) and the Madeleine Hunter ones – she also wrote Lord of a Thousand Nights, Stealing Heaven and The Protector which are medievals (at least, I’m pretty sure that Stealing Heaven is…). Plus of course, the Laura Kinsales are awesome too.

    I’d add Sharon Penman’s Here Be Dragons. It is the story of Joanna (or Joan) and Llewellyn of Wales (the very first to unite Wales). Joanna is the natural daughter of King John (of Robin Hood fame) and she is married off to Llewellyn. For most of the book, England and Wales are at war -or at least, very grumpy with each other. The story is an epic love story and it weaves the facts with fiction (the unknown bits – ie, ‘here be dragons’, hence the title). I don’t know if they really and truly loved each other the way the book portrays, but I for damn sure loved the book. Because it is based on real people the book goes right to the end of their lives so I’m not sure it qualifies as having a “HEA” but there is a lot of romance in the book. Also some headbanging moments when the characters do things I’m not happy about.

    It does have though, one of my very favourite and romantic scenes evah – it is a scene where Llewellyn has just been roundly defeated in a battle against King John and the king is all about humiliating him and making him feel bad. Joanna runs on to the field where her wonderful man has been so soundly whipped (figuratively) and with great pomp and circumstances, kneels before him as if in fealty. It was such a wonderful scene – it really stuck it to her father (who was being an ass) and gave some pride back to Llewellyn and it made me cry.

    I read it over 15 years ago and I still remember that scene clearly. Sadly, I don’t own the book as I had borrowed it from the library. Otherwise, it would be on my keeper shelf for sure.

  18. Zoe Archer
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 20:12:33

    I would recommend Carrie Lofty’s WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS. It’s Will Scarlet’s tale, from the Robin Hood legends, but the medieval world depicted has both historical texture (the heroine is an alchemist, people get hurt and healing wounds doesn’t come quickly) and is also romantic as hell.

  19. Anthea Lawson
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 20:29:52

    Another vote here for Madeline Hunter! And Laura Kinsale… swoon~

    Also, Kris Kennedy and Carrie Lofty as noted above, plus Kimberly Killion’s HER ONE DESIRE (up for a RITA!) And releasing *now* look for Margaret Mallory’s KNIGHT OF DESIRE, the first in a trio that will be releasing every 6 months.

  20. Bev Stephans
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 20:36:39

    Robyn Carr’s “By Right Of Arms” and “The Blue Falcon”. I am a big English History buff and she does these 2 medieval’s very well. She wrote these long before her
    Virgin River Series.

    If you’re interested in her earlier works, most of them can be found at Abe’s Books. That’s where I found the above.

  21. Gennita Low
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 20:38:26

    My #1 favorite romance book ever–Christina Dodd’s Candle In The Window. I’ve reread this book at least 200 times. It’s all battered and creased. I just love this story.

  22. Janet W
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 21:05:56

    I concur with many, many of the above, especially Hunter (I wish she still occasionally wrote medievals), Garwood and Deveraux. But how about Beverley, Jo? I’ve re-read Lord of My Heart more times that I can count — and there are others and I think I might have read she’s writing a medieval now. Anne Stuart wrote a memorable medieval: A Rose at Midnight and lastly, Laura Kinsale’s For My Lady’s Heart.

    And I have a Bertrice Small tucked away, The Innocent … bit of an Old Skool medieval.

  23. Lusty Reader
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 21:17:09

    90% of the romances I read are historicals, and my favorite time period is split pretty evenly between medievals (such a HARD word to spell!!!) and regencies.

    My favorite medieval set ones are:

    Uncommon Vows by MJP: I’m with Jayne on this one, LOVE it, although I’ve heard the exact opposite from others…attempted suicide resulting in amnesia isn’t a heroine for everyone but I still heart it.

    The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux: one of the first romances I ever read and remains a favorite.

    Son of the Morning by Linda Howard: so the primary sub genre for this would be time travel and the majority of the book is in present times (well the 1990s) but I had to include it as it is one of my top 10 favorite romances of all time and the heroine ends up staying in medieval times.

  24. msaggie
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 21:22:33

    My favourite medieval is Laura Kinsale’s For My Lady’s Heart. Next come Judith Merkel Riley’s Margaret of Ashbury books – which are probably better classified as historical novels with some romance sub-plot to them. Same goes for Elizabeth Chadwick’s books. Sadly, I have not read a more recently published medieval from other authors which rings true for years. And most readers who have posted on this thread have cited favourite medievals which were published some time ago. Are we too exacting? Or are there less medievals to choose from? Or are more recent medievals too wall-papery? All of the above?

  25. KristieJ
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 21:25:38

    Besides Madeline Hunter and Patricia Ryan’s medievals which have already been mentioned, here are a few more I’ve really enjoyed:

    Keeper of the Dream by Penelope Williamson
    Firehawk by Justine Davis
    The Templar’s Seduction by Mary Reed McCall (this is part of a series. I haven’t read the rest – yet – so I can’t comment on them but I really loved this one)
    My Forever Love by Marsha Canham
    The Last Knight by Candice Proctor
    The Witch and the Warrior by Karyn Monk
    Bed of Spices by Barbara Samuel
    Anita Mills (Lady Of Fire, Fire And Steel, The Fire And The Fury, Winter Roses)

  26. Janine
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 23:17:47

    Bed of Spices by Barbara Samuel

    I haven’t read many of the books on your list Kristie, but I really enjoyed this one too.

  27. Ana T
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 00:50:08

    I loved many of the books already mentioned and would like to add Denise Domning’s 5 medieval books (Winter’s Heat, Summer Storm, Spring’s Fury, Autumn’s Flame and A Love For All Seasons) and also Denee Cody’s The Conquered Heart.

  28. ShellBell
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 01:26:10

    These are my favourite Medieval rereads:

    The Wolf and The Dove by Kathleen E Woodiwiss

    The Black Lyon, The Velvet Promise, Highland Velvet, Velvet Song and Velvet Angel by Jude Deveraux

    The Warlord and Betrothed by Elizabeth Elliott (can’t wait for The Assassin to be released!)

    The Secret, The Bride and The Wedding, Honor’s Splendour and The Prize by Julie Garwood

    Defy Not The Heart, Prisoner of My Desire and So Speaks The Heart by Johanna Lindsey

    A Kingdom Of Dreams by Judith McNaught

  29. GrowlyCub
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 02:10:35

    I’m curious for those who mentioned Deveraux’ Velvet books, have you re-read them lately? The reason I’m asking is that I would have put them on the list too, but I haven’t read them in at least a decade and on a recent thread somebody pointed out that the ‘hero’ in one of them left a lot to be desired (aka unredeemable villain), which I had zero recollection of!

    I also haven’t re-read either Garwood or McNaught.

    However, Gellis’ Roselynde series gets re-read frequently (except Desiree; I couldn’t even finish it, it was so disappointing). I also really enjoyed the trilogy (Winter Song, Siren Song, Fire Song). Hmm, Roberta’s site said there’s a fourth book (A Silver Mirror), I guess it’s time to re-read. I didn’t remember that, even though I own it and have read it quite a few times!

    Which brings me to a side issue: when checking Gellis’ website I noticed that a lot of her early Medievals (The Sword and the Swan, Knight’s Honor, Tapestry of Dreams, Rope Dancer, Masques of Gold, Fires of Winter, Dragon and the Rose, and Bond of Blood) aren’t listed. Why do authors do that? Only list half their published books? It drives me nuts. Where else but at the author’s website are we supposed to find complete information on all their published books?

    ETA: I found the rest of the books under another heading. Mea culpa. I guess I shouldn’t post after waking up in the middle of the night due to cats partying in the kitchen and major breakage resulting from said partying. I’m back to sleep now.

    I definitely think the reason there are relatively few current recommendations is that a) most of us have been around since the Dark Ages and remember those books of yore, grin and b) Medievals haven’t been bought much by publishers over the last decade or so/aren’t being written due to that.

    Maybe once the paranormal fad plays itself out… The fact that several Medievals have recently been released makes me hopeful.

  30. Ayesha
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 02:20:15

    I seem to remember Rexanne Becnel writing some good medievals.

    She has disappeared into the mists of time, though, which is a pity.

  31. Edie
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 02:42:54

    I read Jude Deveraux’s books years and years ago.. and would have been quite young at the time, so should probably not have thrown my two cents in..

    Please do not let the paranormal fad run out! :O
    It is what drew me back to romance and is pretty much what is keeping me here..

  32. SarahT
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 03:10:41

    I loved Isolde Martyn’s books and wish she would write more!

    The Knight & the Rose (2002) is set in 1322. The Maiden & the Unicorn (1999) and Moonlight & Shadow (2002) are both set during the Wars of the Roses.

    Also, Jennifer Landsbert’s Knight’s Move is one of my favourite re-reads.

  33. Jayne
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 03:40:27

    Jo Beverley – The Shattered Rose and Dark Champion

    Mallory Burgess – Beloved Knight and Beloved Lord

    I second (or is it third) Elizabeth Chadwick – Falcons of Montabard

    Grace Ingram – Red Adam’s Lady

    Judith Merkle Riley – Vision of Light

    Diana Norman – The Morning Gift and King of the Last Days as well as her Ariana Franklin “Mistress of the Art of Death” series

    Patricia Ryan – Secret Thunder

    Anya Seton – Katherine

    Anne Stuart – Lady Fortune and Lord of Danger

  34. BlueRose
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 03:41:21

    Does Elizabeth Chadwick count?

    She has written a whole series of books some of which have interrelating characters/times/places

    Her first three are a trilogy but the one that I keep coming back to again and again is the very first one – The Wild Hunt

  35. Elaine Willis
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 04:00:38

    As soon as I saw the word medieval, I immediately thought of Julie Garwood. Also, I thought I was the only one who hated her website. When I go to an author site, I want content, not pretty pictures!

    Having said that, she is one of my top two authors. I buy and read her books the day they come out. My dh knows not to expect anything out of me on release date.

    (BTW, my other favorite is JAK. I have been reading her since the late 70s.)

  36. Jayne
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 04:06:47

    Anne Avery – The Bartered Bride

    Gwen Rowley – Knights of the Round Table – Gawain

    Brian Wainwright – The Adventures of Alianore Audley

    Grrr, knew I’d forget some….

  37. ms bookjunkie
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 04:31:22

    JAK has two medievals out as Amanda Quick, as I recall. Desire and Mystique. I reread them periodically, and enjoy them every time.

    I also totally third (fifth? seventh?) Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Elizabeth Lowell and Julie Garwood medievals.

  38. KristieJ
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 05:10:30

    I wonder how many of those mentioned would stand the test of time or how many are named from memory? Many of those listed I loved in their time, but upon trying to read them now, come away with a totally different ‘taste’? I’m thinking specifically of Devereax and Woodiwiss and Garwood. Back in the day, I loved the Velvet series, but even then had issues with the behaviour of the heroes. Heroes have changed and gentled in their behaviour towards the heroines since the release of many of these older historicals and I’m not sure anymore. And I still remember combing the city looking for Garwood books but nowadays I can’t even read them. And Woodiwiss – I read The Wolf and the Dove back in the 80’s but I don’t even want to attempt to read it these days.

  39. roslynholcomb
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 05:59:00

    I’ve recently re-read the first two Roselynde books and they still stand up for me. I don’t have the rest of the series, but the only incident I remember in the first book is that her first husband hit her. Considering that Roselynde was published in 1964 and that behavior was pretty common for the time period, I wasn’t bothered by it. Other than that, none of the heroes were jerks or assholes.

  40. Tabitha
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 06:16:08

    GrowlyCub, I read the Velvet series when I was in H.S. (over a decade ago) and loved them. Several months ago, I took the books out of the boxes and re-read them and the heroes / heroines annoyed me on more than one level. I skipped around much throughout each book. I found Gavin Montgomery, especially, to be annoying. The books are passable reads but nowhere near the greatness I considered them to be when I first read them.

  41. Moriah Jovan
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 06:16:58


    The Wolf and the Dove is one of only five romances on my keeper shelf and I regularly re-read it (I very rarely re-read anything). Structurally and stylistically, it still holds.

  42. Keishon
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 06:49:22

    Must mention Robert Gellis medieval mysteries starting with A MORTAL BANE. There is a nice romance in them as well but of course it is not the focus. Also, Elizabeth Chadwick’s books are suppose to good. I’ve only read one, THE RUNNING VIXEN.

  43. Mireya
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 07:31:58

    Disclaimer: I don’t have any extensive historical knowledge, so I recommend these as someone who is not nitpicky about historical accuracy.

    -Kinley McGregor (ALL of hers)
    -Christina Dodd’s “Candle in the Window” and “Castles in the Air”
    -Lynn Kurland’s “From this Moment On”, “If I had you”, “Another Chance to Dream”, and “This is all I ask”
    -Sandra Hill’s Vikings I series (first 2 involve time travel but the rest does not)-warning: if you are nitpickish about your history and don’t like comedies, steer clear from this series
    -Julie Garwood’s “The Secret” and “The Ransom”
    -Donna Fletcher’s “Legendary Warrior” and “Dark Warrior”
    -Claire Delacroix “The Warrior”
    -Teresa Medeiros’ “Charming the Prince”, “Whisper of Roses”(my favorite highlander romance), and “The Bride and the Beast”
    -Hannah Howell’s (I’ve read most of her books but these are my favorites: “His Bonnie Bride”, “Highland Vow”, and “Highland Knight”

  44. Jayne
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 07:54:26

    The Wolf and the Dove is one of only five romances on my keeper shelf and I regularly re-read it (I very rarely re-read anything). Structurally and stylistically, it still holds.

    I first read TWaTD back in the day…waaay back in the day. As my reading tastes changed and I grew older, I wondered how it would hold up if I ever tried it again. I was almost afraid to but a few years ago I decided to take the plunge to see if it would as bad as I feared it would be. And, surprisingly, it was okay. I wouldn’t make a habit of reading it too often but it held up fairly well.

  45. Kathleen MacIver
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 07:55:49

    I’m seconding Lynn Kurland’s medieval historicals. I love them even more than her time-travels.

  46. Sherry Thomas
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 08:05:02

    In addition to Laura Kinsale’s FOR MY LADY’S HEART, which is a fantastic, fantastic book, I have a special place in my heart for its sequel SHADOW HEART, also a medieval. SHADOW HEART is one of those books that are highly imperfect in some ways–in this case, too long to get going, the heroine’s transformation is at times too abrupt and complete, the love scenes make me squirm badly because of how and what they are–but oh, so incredibly, incredibly emotionally powerful.

    And I’ve always said, it is the best inspirational romance ever, the way it dealt with Allegreto’s hopeless belief in God, Church, Heaven and Hell.

  47. Moth
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 08:10:54

    It’s a mystery series, but the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael are all really awesome books. Almost all have some kind of romantic subplot too. They’re set in and around a monastery during the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud.

    Really, really great books.

  48. Moth
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 08:13:33

    GrowlyCub, I read the Velvet series when I was in H.S. (over a decade ago) and loved them. Several months ago, I took the books out of the boxes and re-read them and the heroes / heroines annoyed me on more than one level. I skipped around much throughout each book. I found Gavin Montgomery, especially, to be annoying. The books are passable reads but nowhere near the greatness I considered them to be when I first read them.

    I concur. These were some of the first romances I ever read, but they just don’t hold up. The heroes are mostly a*holes, and if they’re not, then the heroines are. (in addition to being TSTL). And, as I’ve mentioned on the site before, I just can’t deal Roger Chatsworth getting his happy ending. That schmuck deserved to DIE!

  49. jenreads
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 08:52:23

    THE SECRET SWAN by Shana Abe

  50. Samantha
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 08:52:48

    I was going to recommend Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman but Kaetrin said it much better than I would have. All of her historical fiction books have a significant romantic element, but since their lives are based on real people there is not always a HEA. All her books are very well researched and well written.

  51. Misfit
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 09:13:51

    Penman and Chadwick’s historical novels have forever spoiled me, I’ve just about given up on reading any medieval romance. Can’t handle those well-bred lasses running about with their hair uncovered. As much as I loved Garwood’s medievals about five years ago I suspect they’d hit the wall now with the same thud Wolf and the Dove did. Gellis’ Roselynde books are good (except Desiree).

  52. Keishon
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 09:19:41

    Diana Norman…no matter the time period, she really is a MUST read.

  53. Alisha Rai
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 09:21:07

    I was never able to read the Velvet series, and couldn’t quite understand why it was so popular at the time…wasn’t one of the brothers madly in love with the villainness and kind of a jerk to his own wife? Until, like, the very last chapter. Argh, it makes me mad to think about it.

    I believe Teresa Medeiros has a couple of medievals which I enjoyed. I can never remember Medeiros titles but I always love the books :).

  54. Moth
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 09:37:45

    wasn't one of the brothers madly in love with the villainness and kind of a jerk to his own wife?

    @Alisha Rai
    Ah, yes, that would be the first book in the series Velvet Promise.

  55. Moth
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 09:40:37

    This is the other thread with discussion of Jude Deveraux’s Velvet books:

  56. GrowlyCub
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 09:47:04

    I feel really conflicted about E. Chadwick. I think my problem is that her books are just that tad ‘too realistic’. Even when they have happy endings, I was always left slightly depressed at the end. And with ‘too realistic’ I don’t mean the details of medieval life, but the feeling that the characters settled for less than what they had hoped for, were resigned that they couldn’t have all that they were dreaming of, which is what people have to do in real life all the time and which I really don’t want to have to encounter in my leisure reading, too.

    Not sure I’m explaining this right, but as much as I loved ‘The Wild Hunt’, ‘The Running Vixen’ and ‘The Leopard Unleashed’, I tend not to re-read them because they put me in a bad place emotionally.

  57. Elizabeth Chadwick
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 09:50:22

    Hi there,
    Speaking as a reader, not a writer, I read Roberta Gellis and thought her Roselynde Chronicles were stunning – specifically Alinor. It is no coincidence that my firstborn son is called Ian. What a man Ian de Vipont is!
    As far as Gellis’ men hitting their women go – It was medieval mindset she was using and it happened. It’s one of those dilemmas a writer faces. Stay true to the mores of the period, or use modern mindset and sensibilities – or avoid the issue and wriggle round it. I really enjoy well written historical romances, but the people have to be of their time and not modern people in Disney costumes. Finding the two needs together is tough. The last really good one I read was Silken Threads by Patricia Ryan. A terrific novel IMO. While Gellis has mostly stood the test of time for me, not so The Wolf and the Dove. I read and re-read that one in my teens and early twenties – one of my favourite novels. Then I was discussing it at work with someone. ‘Is that the one where he ties her to the bed and rapes her and rapes her again and again until she loves him?’
    ‘Ummmm…..yes.’ And it was the guy who didn’t actually rape her who was the baddy! That started me thinking. I was also researching the period at the time and suddenly found that all the things I hadn’t known about before – and therefore didn’t give a hoot about, were beginning to bug me because of historical awareness. It became increasingly difficult to suspend my disbelief. So there you have it. The Wolf and the Dove belongs in my historical hall of fame but as ‘once was’ rather than an ‘always be.’ Another huge favourite was Red Adam’s Lady by the wonderful Grace Ingram. If you can get that on the second hand market, give it a go. It’s long out of print but if I were a publisher, I’d be reprinting it. That one has stood the test of time too. I also love Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman. What a story – although it’s probably more straight historical fiction than romance as such.

  58. roslynholcomb
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 10:25:30

    @Elizabeth, I agree wholeheartedly. If I recall correctly Simon was the only one who hit Alinor. None of the men in the other books hit a woman, unless I’ve forgotten. It didn’t bother me then, and it doesn’t bother me now. I think in the historical context and given the personality of the two characters involved, it was accurate and reasonable. Simon certainly wasn’t an abusive brute, and tolerated behavior from Alinor that most men of that time would’ve killed their wives for. Ian de Vipont was a phenomenal man, but for some reason Joanna was my favorite of the books. I absolutely adored Geoffrey. I want to read it again so badly, just to see if it was because he and Joanna were so young and I could relate to them better as I was in my twenties at the time. Or if there was something else about those characters. I had planned to name my daughter Alinor, both for the book and as was the character, for “the old queen.” I named my son Luke, for a character in my fave Nora book, so it’s not unusual for me! :D

  59. Jennifer
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 10:30:42

    I LOVE medieval romances and wish they would come back in style with force. Most (all, probably) of my recommendations are echoes of recommendations above.

    Madeleine Hunter, Lynn Kurland (I really, really wish she would write more straight up medievals), Julie Garwood (The Prize, Honor’s Splendor, etc), Elizabeth Chadwick (so happy your books are being reprinted), Castles in the Air.

    I love me a knight in armor. Oh baby, baby!

  60. Elizabeth Chadwick
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 10:36:07

    Roslyn, I really enjoyed Joanna too. I thought the fire of London scene in that novel was edge of the seat. Geoffrey was strong, but he was very sweet and vulnerable too – not the great tourney champion and hulking great warrior guy. Perhaps the couple had increased vulnerability and each completed the missing part of the other? I don’t know. It’s a long time since I read it, but it is there on my keeper shelf with the other Roselynde Gellis’s. :-)

  61. GrowlyCub
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 10:43:15

    I love ‘Roselynde’ the best. There’s just that spark between her and Simon and considering that she walks all over him, I never had an issue with the scene where he slaps her. Ian is great, too, but Simon is just ‘it’ for me.

    While I like their love story I had a real issue with ‘Gilliane’ and the throwaway line about how she has no issue with Adam using whores while he’s away on campaign. That’s just a deal-breaker for me, regardless of how historically accurate it may be. Again, just that ‘tad’ too realistic for this romance reader.

  62. etirv
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 11:34:29

    I’m enjoying Monica McCarty’s Highland books now!

  63. Pat M
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 11:35:49

    Has anyone mentioned Roberta Gellis?

  64. Kris Kennedy
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 11:41:04

    Sharon K Penman (although not hist romances, can be quite romantic)

    I remember loving Rexanne Bechnal, Ayesha!

    I also second, or third, Marsha Canham

    And I agree on Son of the Morning, by Linda Howard , although it’s a time travel, so a lot of the story takes place in contemporary times (well, sorta contemp. 1990’s, & it was really interesting to read about the computer things. For instance, the heroine-on-the-run didn’t want to stand out, so she didn’t use her clunky laptop on a bus, I think it was. As if anyone would even notice her now.)

    KristieJ – I know what you mean, about hero (& heroine) behavior changing over time, so wondering if some of those old ‘classics’ would stand the test of time. Prose and pace expectations are different now too, and a new reader might not be as taken by these older books. I know for me, my 2nd book has less ‘flowery’ prose than even my first, and that’s only a year later, & only after seeing how it reads in book form. But then, I was schooled by falling in love with Marsha Canham, and her prose turns cartwheels. (And still engages me, totally! Esp. her Dark Mist/Shadow of Midnight/Last Arrow trilogy. So I guess it’s not all a matter of the times. :-) )

    I second Anthea’s suggestions above for Kimberly Killion and Carrie Lofty. Kensy seems to be main NY publisher doing medievals now, huh?

  65. Evangeline
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 11:44:10

    Marsha Canham & Roberta Gellis!! (for the sixth, seventh, eighth echo *g*). And Teresa Medeiros wrote some meaty medievals as well–Shadows and Lace is a constant re-read in my neck of the woods.

  66. Evangeline
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 11:47:11

    @Bev Stephans: I can’t believe I forgot about Robyn Carr’s medievals! Hers were very detailed and romantic, and full of the pageantry I adore in this era. And I second Betina Krahn’s The Princess and the Barbarian.

    One more book: Lion’s Bride by Iris Johansen. That book is the standard by which I measure any medieval romance I read.

  67. Jeanette
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 13:56:23

    the other sigh moment in Honor’s Spendour….” I have come for you Madelyn”

    Elizabeth Elliott is coming out with another in the series. I seriously loved The Warrior and The Betrothal.

    A Quick’s Mystique and Desire were great hits fom me too

  68. Janine
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 14:37:46


    Does Elizabeth Chadwick count?

    She has written a whole series of books some of which have interrelating characters/times/places

    Her first three are a trilogy but the one that I keep coming back to again and again is the very first one – The Wild Hunt

    IMO she counts. I recommended The Wild Hunt and The Falcons of Montabard up top, and others have mentioned her as well.

  69. Estara
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 14:40:03

    Lots of great memories and interesting recommendations. I don’t think anyone has mentioned Joan Wolf’s medievals yet? I especially liked the fact she picked very early medieval England: the 6th century problems between Celts and Saxons, no less, in Born of the Sun and in the Edge of Light 9th century life of King Alfred of Wessex and his fight against the invading Danes. Both have love stories at their center but also deal with the historic circumstances at the time.

  70. Meanne
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 14:44:09

    Laura Kinsales’s For My Lady’s Heart will always be the no. 1 medieval romance in my keeper shelf…

    But it was almost dislodged from its no. 1 position when I had the great fortune of discovering Roberta Gellis last month. Her ‘Roselynde’ blew me away and I still have Alinor and Joanna in my TBR. I was also able to get hold of the audiobooks of her medieval mysteries ‘A Mortal Bane ‘ and ‘A Personal Devil’ which features a prostitute as a protagonist. They were also quite good!

    I’m so happy I have Sharon Kay Penman’s Here Be Dragons in my TBR. So, based on the recommendations here, I guess I know what I’m going to be reading next…After I finish the Roselynde Chronicles of course :-)

  71. Elizabeth Chadwick
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 14:52:16

    Oh, and I nearly forgot Judith Merkle Riley’s trilogy, A Vision of Light, In Pursuit of the Green Lion and The Water Devil. Not out and out historical romance, but definitely strong romantic historicals!

  72. Janine
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 14:56:33

    Re. Deveraux, I was never a fan of the Velvet books even back in the day, but one of her medievals that I liked and think might hold up today is 1991’s The Conquest.

    The heroine, Zared, had been raised by her brothers to dress and act like a boy, so that everyone would think she was male. This was because most of their brothers had died and they were so set upon a bad feud with the hero’s family. The hero, Tearle, had been raised in France away from the feud, so he didn’t feel as invested in it as the heroine did. He takes one look at Zared and knows she is female. He is a very kind, beta kind of hero and refuses to fight the heroine’s brothers even when they do a lot of things to provoke him. It takes the heroine a lot of the book to finally trust him, but it’s a very moving book.

    Re. Gellis, I only ever tried one of her books, Masques of Gold, but it didn’t work so well for me. The writing style favored telling over showing, with long info-dumps about life in the medieval era. I felt somewhat distant from the characters and it took me over three weeks to finish the book.

  73. BlueRose
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 15:11:10

    @Elizabeth Chadwick

    OMG I ADORE the Judith Merkle Riley books – I have the Green Lion and have read Vision of Light but never ever been able to lay my hands on the third one, and our library has a standalone and none of these series.

    They are really quite quirky and funny.

  74. HaloKun
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 15:36:15

    Not a recommendation but a big THANK YOU to all the commenters and everyone at Dear Author for this! The Vampires first and now Medieval’s, ohmai. I am relatively new to romance so this helps me out a lot! THANK YOU!!!

  75. orannia
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 16:49:55

    I would like to echo what HaloKun said. I’m going to be perusing the comments intently and taking lots of notes!

    My absolute, all-time favourite medieval is Knight’s Move by Jennifer Landsbert. Unfortuantely, the author only wrote the one book, which is a shame. Coming a close second is The Husband Test by Bettina Krahn. Both books include some estate management, which for some reason I love :) And yes, both are constant re-reads :)

    Kaetrin – I completely agree with you about Sharon Penman’s books, although my favourites are Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning (mainly for the story of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd & Eleanor de Montfort).

  76. wendy
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 18:06:13

    Lots of great books mentioned above and I would like to add Deborah Simmons to the mix.

  77. DS
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 18:48:23

    Robert Gellis– yay! I read my first book by her, Bond of Blood, in the early 70’s. I don’t know how many times I have read and reread her books. I read a few of the Velvet books years ago but have never desired to reread them. Really disliked the Wolf and the Dove. The heroine chained to the bed stead was just too much. Gave up right there.

    Doris Sutcliffe Adams who is probably Grace Ingram wrote Power of Darkness which I like as well as Red Adam’s Lady.
    Expensive to buy but I found the copy I read in my local library.

    I also remember Gellis posting that Harlequin edited Desiree heavily.

  78. Kaetrin
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 19:19:35

    Apologies to Jo Beverley – her medievals are great too. I’ll have to note down some of the other suggestions for future reading.

    @ Orannia – I enjoyed those books too and I remember becoming very passionate about Richard III in the Sunne in Splendour and even now, when I see a documentary about him and how the most popular theory is still that he was responsible for the death of the two princes in the tower I STILL want to throw something at the TV! (Sharon Kay Penman is (was?) a member of the “Supporters of Richard III Society” (probably got that name wrong but you get the picture) and, IIRC, blamed Buckingham and I just glommed on to her view, rightly or wrongly) Oh, and the Simon De Montfort story – swoon!! I had better get hold of these books and re-read… I don’t know if she’s just really romanticised these guys or not but man, those guys were amazing heroes!! I remember “falling in love” with Llewellyn in Here Be Dragons and there’s a bit later in the book where Joanna does something REALLY STUPID and I hated her for hurting him and I LOVED him for his response – the writing was amazing – showing the torture that these two went through – I was twisted up about it for days – my housemate thought I was crazy!

    @ Janine – Masques of Gold was not Roberta Gellis’ best work IMHO. The Roselynde Chronicles are so much better! I’d certainly recommend you give this series a go. I haven’t read Desiree – that’s the one I haven’t been able to get hold of but it sounds like I didn’t miss much from the above posts. My favourites were Roselynde and Gilliane – I loved Simon (I totally bawled my eyes out when he died…. – that’s not a spoiler – Alinor is Ian and Alinor’s story so obviously Simon’s no longer around…) and I really enjoyed how Gilliane and Adam had such totally wrong understanding of the other’s motivations for most of the book (she was terrified and he thought she was manipulative…) – Gilliane was probably my favourite of the heroines.

    @ Growly Cub – I didn’t love the idea that Gilliane didn’t mind Adam using whores when he was away at war etc, but IIRC, I think that most (if not all) of the Roselynde men (eventually at least) decided that they would not “use whores” because they only wanted to be with their wives. However, I think that Gilliane’s attitude reflected a common view of the time – that sex was a basic bodily function/requirement like eating and pissing (the latter being the term used in the book) – I could have remembered wrong but I’m pretty sure that Adam had decided that whores weren’t for him and decided to be faithful to Gilliane – at least by the end of the book. (on the other hand, maybe I made that up to make me feel better – it’s been ages since I read them!!). Perhaps someone who’s read them more recently could clarify??

    I’m loving this thread! I haven’t read a medieval in ages – now I’m all hungry for one – I have Kris Kennedy’s The Conqueror in my Sony so….

  79. Ellie
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 19:52:43

    My absolute favorites (J. Garwood, E. Lowell, Deborah Simmons, Christina Dodd and Grace Ingram) are mentioned above. Some others I enjoyed were Gayle Feyrer’s The Thief’s Mistress (a takeoff on Robin Hood that is a hate it or love it type book), Lynsay Sands’ Devil of the Highlands and Lucy Monroe’s Moon Awakening. Warning for those who avoid paranormal, the hero of the last is a laird of a Scottish werewolf pack.

  80. orannia
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 20:17:56

    @ Kaetrin – if you’re passionate about Richard III then may I suggest (although it’s not a medieval) Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time. It’s a great book!

    And considering the numerous comments about The Roselynde Chronicles I’m obviously going to have to hunt them down :)

    Updated to add: my library has the first and second books in The Roselynde Chronicles! I *heart* my library!

  81. MaryK
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 22:27:40

    I've read Jo Beverley's medievals, and Lord of Midnight is my favorite. Other than those, I haven't read many, really.

    There is an obscure medieval called A Kiss in the Night by Jennifer Horsman that I really like. It’s based on an historical account. The heroine is in love with one brother, has to marry the evil second brother, and ends up with an HEA married to the first brother. Of course, then it was in-law incest so they had to be sneaky about it. I thought it was a good book, so to get to the end and find out she got the idea from real events was pretty cool.

  82. marcie
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 22:42:57

    Nodding at a lot of these and writing a few I’ve missed down to check out later. Thank you.

    Even though I read them ages ago and havent read book 3, I just adored Pamela Kaufmans Shield of Three Lions and Banners of Gold. I have never forgotten the heroine Lady Alix of Wanthwaite, she remains vivid and wonderful in my mind as she grew from a child to a woman caught up in the selfish concerns of others during the crusades. Probably why I havent tracked down book 3. Would be quietly devastated if it didnt live up to the first two. But one day I will.

    Another author mentioned is Isolde Martin, with The Knight and the Rose and the Silver Bride being personal favourites. Her heroine in the latter was unforgettable too. Years later and she remains so intense. Her struggle to be accepted and loved in a superstitious world was a treat. The Maiden and the Unicorn, is waiting in my huge tbr pile.

    Wish there were more medievals being written. I only seem to like paranormals and historicals. Contemporaries are more often than not a total disappointment.

    Have to agree with the Ellis Peters series Cadfael recs. Not romance per se, but written with such depth of feeling and romantic back stories. My heart stopped when Olivier De Britagne turned up in those……………..

    Happy sigh.

  83. GrowlyCub
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 23:13:08

    I just thought of another one I love, though I haven’t re-read it in a few years. Annette Motley’s ‘My Lady’s Crusade’. Has anybody else read it?

  84. Keishon
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 23:52:11

    Isolde Martin,

    I read her work eons ago, starting with THE MAIDEN AND THE UNICORN…she still publishes I think only not in the US? Didn’t care for the follow-up, THE KNIGHT AND THE ROSE.

    There’s also Elizabeth Stuart’s THE LION’S BRIDE (been ages since I read it) and also Tamora Leigh’s SAXON BRIDE, the latter was reviewed at AAR as a DIK I think.

  85. Meanne
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 00:46:25

    How could I forget the very first ebook that I bought from Fictionwise ( back in 2003 ) that absolutely made me a staunch supporter of ebooks? It just so happend to be Sue Wilson’s wonderful Greenwood which focused on the unusual romance of The Sheriff of Nottingham!

    The book description reads: An adventure of bold passion, treachery, and intrigue, where honor is found in the most unexpected of places. Oh my it was all this and more! It helped of course that I had the oh-so-sexy Alan Rickman in mind ( during his prime years ) when I read this story…It’s just such a pity that when you visit Ficitonwise, you’ll see that the book is no longer on sale…But it’s really worth hunting down..

    Keishon – I’m glad I”m not the only one who didn’t care for Isolde Martyn’s THE KNIGHT AND THE ROSE. This book had the dubious honor of being the first book I couldn’t finish and wanted to throw against the wall… I couldn’t understand how it could have won the 2001 Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romance Writers of Australia..Nonetheless, I’ve still kept it all these years with the hope that maybe my taste would change in the future and I could give it the appreciation it deserves..

  86. Elizabeth Chadwick
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 02:42:12

    Growlycub, I remember Annette Motley’s My Lady’s Crusade! I loved it and it’s somewhere deep at the back of my keeper cupboard. She wrote another historical – Sins of the Lion about an Italian Prince of the Medici kind who falls for a slave girl.

    I agree with Orannia about Masques of Gold. Gellis was at the top of her game when she wrote the first 4 Roselynde Chronicles and IMO they are her best work.
    I read Desiree and didn’t mind it, but I do know she was constrained by having to make it match the parameters required by her publisher including word count and therefore it couldn’t be as well rounded as her other Roselynde’s.

  87. Maili
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 03:39:38

    I admit I have somewhat an allergy to the medieval setting because during late 1980s and early 1990s, it was a very popular sub-genre. (So much that the choice was either that or the Wild West.) After reading so many, I completely went off the sub-genre. That said, I have enjoyed a few (or what I remembered best, anyway):

    The Thief’s Mistress – Gayle Feyrer
    (it features the love triangle of Sir Guy, Robin, and Lady Marian. I don’t like love triangles, but this partly worked because at the time, it was different. However, I rooted for her to go for the certain one, but the author later demonised him in order to push her to the other, which still annoys me. Either way, it was decidedly different enough for me to remember it all these years. It’s a dark tale and I don’t know any readers who liked it. I think some hated it, in fact. :D

    Well, perhaps it’s because I’m a self-confessed fangirl of Gayle Feyrer/Taylor Chase’s works, such as Heart of Deception and The Prince of Cups, as her heroines are strong – and often, cold-blooded and ruthless – women. Both are worth reading, too.)

    I’m so long-winded, sorry. Will stick to just titles and authors.

    Keeper of the Dream – Penelope Williamson
    For My Lady’s Heart – Laura Kinsale
    Bride of the Lion – Elizabeth Stuart
    Lord of Danger – Anne Stuart (I think? One of her medieval roms, anyway.)

    anything by Marsha Canham
    anything by Cecelia Holland (but I don’t know if these could stand the test of time (I doubt it), but I inhaled her books when I was a teen. Same with Reay Tannahill, Jean Plaidy, Sharon Kay Penman (Here Be the Dragons), Edith Pargeter, and Judith Tarr. Can’t remember if I read any by Anya Seton and Robert Gellis, though. I do like Diana Norman’s books, which I read much later in life. But none of these authors’ books are straight medieval romances, though.)

    I vaguely remember enjoying Patricia Ryan’s book. Can’t remember the title. Heaven of Fire?

  88. FD
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 12:43:09

    I love medievals – if only because the term covers such a huge and fantastic chunk of history, offers endless opportunities.

    Not mentioned so far, Dinah Dean and Paula Marshall, and how exactly has no-one mentioned Dorothy Dunnett? I suppose technically they’re Renaissance though.

    I second, third, whatever, enthusiastically the recs of Elizabeth Chadwick (omg fangirl moment!) Sharon Penman, Roberta Gellis, and Jean Plaidy.

    I just thought of another one I love, though I haven't re-read it in a few years. Annette Motley's ‘My Lady's Crusade'. Has anybody else read it?

    Growlycub, I remember Annette Motley's My Lady's Crusade! I loved it and it's somewhere deep at the back of my keeper cupboard. She wrote another historical – Sins of the Lion about an Italian Prince of the Medici kind who falls for a slave girl.

    OMG. Growlycub, I have been trying to remember that author’s name for years. Literally. IOU one internet. Ta so very much.

  89. Jayne
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 13:11:08

    Not mentioned so far, Dinah Dean

    The only medieval of hers I’ve read is “Daughter of the Sunset Isles.” I’ve got “Silk and Stone” along with many of her Russian set regencies that I need to get back to one of these days….

  90. FD
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 14:35:07

    I love Silk and Stone dearly, having read it numerous times since my teens, although I think that it suffers somewhat from a protracted subplot ending that wasn’t really required.
    I find that although the Russian novels are delightful, I enjoy the mediaeval & the civil war novels more – something to do with the depiction of the protagonists’ passion for their trades.

  91. an
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 18:52:42

    Even though I read them ages ago and havent read book 3, I just adored Pamela Kaufmans Shield of Three Lions and Banners of Gold. I have never forgotten the heroine Lady Alix of Wanthwaite, she remains vivid and wonderful in my mind as she grew from a child to a woman caught up in the selfish concerns of others during the crusades. Probably why I havent tracked down book 3. Would be quietly devastated if it didnt live up to the first two. But one day I will.

    OMG! I didn’t know this was a SERIES!!! I read the Shield of Three Lions over and over again as a teen, and LOVED it. Thanks so much!

    Also I totally recommend Elizabeth Lowell. Most of my other likes have already been listed. Although I totally found Garwood to be almost unreadable even though I did love her growing up.

  92. marcie
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 21:34:11

    @an My pleasure. I found book 2 was just as engrossing as book 1. Not another peep out of me though because the surprises are worth it. The ending is what makes me hesitate about finding book 3. But I will, one day. *shakes fist at sky*

    Pamela Kaufman has also written a book about Eleanor that I enjoyed as part of the 1st 2 books experience. It explained the character from book 2 in more detail. This series brought the history of Richard the Lionheart and that whole era alive for me to the point of hitting the library to work out the historical details versus Kaufmans tale.

    The Knight and the Rose by Isolde Martin? I have good memories of it, although I didnt read it. It was an audio book from the library. I wasnt reading any fiction of any kind at the time and it made a strong impression.

    Cant wait to tackle some of the suggestions on this list. :)

  93. Lindsay Townsend
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 07:57:37

    May I put a word in for my own Kensington medievals, ‘A Knight’s Vow’ (set in England in 1138) and ‘A Knight’s Captive’ (England, 1066)?

  94. GrowlyCub
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 13:10:26

    FD, glad I could help. :)

    Well, since I managed to find something for somebody without trying, I thought I’d try my own hard to find question on you all.

    Any and all details are subject to me misremembering:

    A good 20+ years ago my German library had a book which was very near the Motley on the shelves (so I’m fairly certain the author name started with M but it could be L or N). It’s definitely not a romance but more historical fiction with a tragic love story sub plot.

    The book may be about a man who actually lived and if I remember right it takes place during the late Middle Ages in England.

    The male is a nobleman who lives as an outlaw (not voluntarily, he might have gotten on the wrong side of the king or something similar) and the relationship subplot is with a lower class woman. He ‘marries’ her, but he’s actually married to an aristocratic lady which he never tells her.

    When he’s arrested and the young woman with him and they are both about to be hanged he breaks her neck so she doesn’t have to suffer.

    I’m not sure I’d ever want to read this again, it was so incredibly depressing, but it was a pretty compelling read and remembering the Motley made me remember this book. It’s been nagging at me over the years repeatedly that I couldn’t remember either author or title. I guess it’s possible that this was not a translation but actually a book written in German which would make it even harder to find, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

  95. MaryK
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 13:28:50


    I guess it's possible that this was not a translation but actually a book written in German which would make it even harder to find, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

    One of the AAR reviewers is German. Maybe she could help.

  96. Theresa Sand
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 14:49:28

    I’d like to throw in my hat for Deborah Simmons as well–specifically The Devil’s Lady.

    Also, even though it’s not all romance medieval per-say (and has been run over by Oprah’s Book Club), a general medieval book I will always love is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

  97. roslynholcomb
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 00:12:09

    Amazing discovery. Cerridwen has Gellis’s Heiress series. I had no idea, I love those books (Napoleonic Wars), almost as much as the Roselynde books. I wonder what’s the likelihood of the Roselynde series being released in e-books as well?

  98. Lauren
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 10:15:38

    @Ayesha: Rexanne Becnel has not disappeared she is writing more contemporary romance novels that are very good. She is my aunt so maybe i’m a little bias. I am glad to hear that people enjoy her “classic” novels.

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