Guest Post: Top 5 Favorite Historical Romances by Charis Michaels + Giveaway

Posted March 2, 2016 by Zeee in Blog Tours, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Guest Post: Top 5 Favorite Historical Romances by Charis Michaels + Giveaway

Hi, everyone!  I am excited to have author Charis Michaels talk about her top 5 favorite historical romances!  Now, I know you love your lists, so here is Charis!

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Charis Michaels’ Top 5 Favorite Historical Romances

Oh, I do love a good Top Five. I could probably go all night naming top-five lists.  Top-five favorite films.  Top-five favorite television shows.  Top-five television episodes.  Favorite foods (don’t get me started).  Shops.  Websites.  The list of lists goes on and on.

But I especially love talking about my top-five favorite historical romances.  Few conversations better indicate what resonates with me as a writer and a reader.  This is a list that easily falls on my Top-Five Favorite…well, Top-Five lists.

I found it difficult to limit it to just five, but I forced myself to winnow it down.  It gives me great pleasure to share it, and I hope to hear some comments about these books or your own top five.

Ahem.  Here they are.  In reverse order.

5.)  The Hidden Heart by Laura Kinsale

Lady Tess Collier is the daughter of a world-traveling earl who raised her in far-flung jungles of the world while he studied tropical plants.  When her father dies in the Amazon, Lady Tess must be returned to the safekeeping of relatives in England.  Enter Captain Gryf Meridon, the mysterious sailor who is hired to convey her home.

Tess and Gryf’s journey across the Atlantic Ocean comprises the heart of their emotionally fraught love story. The prose in this (and, in fact, all of Laura Kinsale’s books) is positively literary.  I’d go so far as to say that there is no finer example

The prose in this (and, in fact, all of Laura Kinsale’s books) is positively literary.  I’d go so far as to say that there is no finer example within the romance genre of perfectly crafted sentences, paragraphs, mood, and tone.

I re-read this book every few years simply to marvel at the craft.  There is a swimming scene in this book—Gryf and Tess in the crystal-blue waters of the Caribbean—that I only had to read once to never forget.  Sigh.  If you love historical romance, this is a must-read.

4.)  Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

I must include this Judith McNaught title (although I love them all) because it was the first romance novel I ever read.  The term “thunderstruck” only begins to describe my regard for the classic Regency plot, the characters, and the fairy-tale setting created by Ms. McNaught.  These all of worked together to pierce my very (sixteen-year-old ) soul.  This is the book that won me to the genre forever.Here was a cheerful, innocent heroine, earnest and well-meaning; and dark and brooding bastard rogue, commanding but lonely. Their attraction is immediate, but they must work for their happily-ever-after for years.  It is the best sort of work.

Here was a cheerful, innocent heroine, earnest and well-meaning; and dark and brooding bastard rogue, commanding but lonely. Their attraction is immediate, but they must work for their happily-ever-after for years.  It is the best sort of work.This in an old-school romantic saga with 1980s sensibilities, but it is also a guiding, shaping force in the “modern” historical romances we read today.

This in an old-school romantic saga with 1980s sensibilities, but it is also a guiding, shaping force in the “modern” historical romances we read today.

3.)  The Mad Earl’s Bride by Loretta Chase from Three Weddings and A Kiss

This is a novella but it packs a lovely punch.  The heroine is an aspiring physician who is, as one would expect, regarded as something of an oddity in 1828.  The hero is a wealthy earl who believes he has inherited a degenerative brain disease that will eventually drive him mad and then put him in an early grave.  Understandably he is bitter, hopeless, and more than a little closed off. Relatives suggest these two strangers marry so that she may care for him as he descends into madness and also so she may further her education with the money he leaves behind.

Relatives suggest these two strangers marry so that she may care for him as he descends into madness and also so she may further her education with the money he leaves behind.Instead, they fall in love.

Instead, they fall in love. In the beginning, she is intrigued by the symptoms he believes indicate the ensuing madness.  After that, she becomes equally intrigued simply by him.  How could she not when he is intelligent, masculine, and (she soon determines), a perfectly healthy virile (ahem) man in the prime of his life.  The fun of the book is proving it, especially to the hero himself.

In the beginning, she is intrigued by the symptoms he believes indicate the ensuing madness.  After that, she becomes equally intrigued simply by him.  How could she not when he is intelligent, masculine, and (she soon determines), a perfectly healthy virile (ahem) man in the prime of his life.  The fun of the book is proving it, especially to the hero himself.

2.)  Kiss the Earl by Julie Anne Long

In case you haven’t discerned a theme, I love a wounded hero.  The more tortured, unlovable, detached, and/or damaged—the better.  The titular hero of this, my favorite book in Ms. Long’s unforgettable Pennyroyal Green series, is all of these things. Even better, he’s a total jerk to the heroine from page one.

Even better, he’s a total jerk to the heroine from page one.

Of course, no jerk in a romance novel stays a jerk for long.  And the Earl of Ardmay meets his match in fiery, courageous Violet Redmond, who stows away on his ship to search for her missing brother on the high seas.

The process by which Violet employs her cleverness, determination—and, yes, ravishing beauty—to inadvertently bring Ardmay to heel (and also to heal) is one of the most skillful arcs I have ever seen in a romance.

I re-read this one at least once a year.

1.)    The Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

And that brings me to my A-#1, most favorite historical romance novel of all time.  The best of the best.  I can still remember the Hasting’s bookstore in Bryan, Texas, wherein I first slid to the floor and began to read the famous prologue of Scoundrels.  I think I was well into ten chapters before the staff began to lock up, and I was forced to get up, buy the book, and read the rest at home.

And that brings me to my A-#1, most favorite historical romance novel of all time.  The best of the best.  I can still remember the Hasting’s bookstore in Bryan, Texas, wherein I first slid to the floor and began to read the famous prologue of Scoundrels.  I think I was well into ten chapters before the staff began to lock up, and I was forced to get up, buy the book, and read the rest at home.

I own four signed copies of this book, and I once read it aloud to my boyfriend (now husband) while he was fishing.The story pits a confident, capable heroine against a deeply wounded lord who has sworn off love for good.

The story pits a confident, capable heroine against a deeply wounded lord who has sworn off love for good.The winner is we, the readers.

The winner is we, the readers.

The writing is lyrical, the humor is laugh-out-loud funny, and the love scenes are full of heart.  And the suspense?  This hero wants the heroine so badly, but he’s afraid to love.  Will he or won’t he?  I can never turn the pages fast enough.

In fact, I feel like I need to read it again right now….


Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today, Charis!  I am really excited to read about your debut title, The Earl Next Door!

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Guest Post: Top 5 Favorite Historical Romances by Charis Michaels + Giveaway
Title: The Earl Next Door
Written by Charis Michaels
Series: The Bachelor Lords of London #1
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Pages: 416
Find on Goodreads


American heiress Piety Grey is on the run. Suddenly in London and facing the renovation of a crumbling townhouse, she’s determined to make a new life for herself—anything is better than returning to New York City where a cruel mother and horrid betrothal await her. The last thing she needs is a dark, tempting earl inciting her at every turn…

Trevor Rheese, the Earl of Falcondale, isn’t interested in being a good neighbor. After fifteen years of familial obligation, he’s finally free. But when the disarmingly beautiful Piety bursts through his wall—and into his life—his newfound freedom is threatened…even as his curiosity is piqued.

Once Piety’s family arrives in London, Falcondale suddenly finds himself in the midst of a mock courtship to protect the seductive woman who’s turned his world upside down. It’s all for show—or at least it should be. But if Falcondale isn’t careful, he may find a very real happily ever after with the woman of his dreams…


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2 responses to “Guest Post: Top 5 Favorite Historical Romances by Charis Michaels + Giveaway

  1. oh love the top five!! All of these are great authors. I agree about Lord of Scoundrels…its one of my favorite romances to read as well. I love Laura Kinsale and Judith McNaught.

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