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Ruined for most historicals by a mass re-read of Georgette Heyer, Carla Kelly, and Dinah Dean: Is there any author who remotely compares?

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Showing 1-25 of 38 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 3, 2013 8:56:33 PM PST
Magelet says:
I've spent the holiday period re-reading all of my Georgette Heyer, Carla Kelly, and Dinah Dean books, and have pretty much ruined every other historical for myself. I especially like traditional historicals, but the depth of characterisation and the sheer quality of the writing in Carla Kelly and Dinah Dean's books makes every other romance seem fluffy and insubstantial in comparison. When reading Kelly's "Marrying the Royal Marine" or "The Wedding Journey", or Dean's "The Ice King", for instance, I end up so engrossed and caring *so* much what happens to the characters because both authors know how to make them seem like real people with real faults and quirks. Is there another author who is in any way similar? Maybe a lesser known, hidden gem from the Signet or Zebra lines? Thanks very much! x

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 9:49:05 PM PST
You set a high bar. I've read a number of books that I've enjoyed, but very few of the quality of Georgette Heyer or Carla Kelly. Maybe try Julia Quinn? I loved The Viscount Who Loved Me, To Catch an Heiress, Everything and the Moon ,etc.

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 9:53:30 PM PST
Iola says:
Mary Balough? Start with A Summer to Remember (Get Connected Romances).

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 4:25:03 AM PST
Susan says:
When I think of more substantial historicals, I think of Mary Jo Putney or Jo Goodman.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 9:00:32 AM PST
SAB says:
I think of Julie Garwood and Lisa Kleypas. Both authors have written amazing historicals.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 10:03:37 AM PST
neon moon says:
i haven't read these authors, but readers often suggest joan wolf, barbara metzger, elisabeth fairchild and sheila walsh. elsie lee is another one, as is debra dier.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 10:24:39 AM PST
I second Mary Balogh she is one of my favorites and I do love the authors you mention.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 10:35:04 AM PST
dinkyd says:
Elizabeth Chadwick is a very good English author she has written many books and in my opinion she hasn't written a bad one.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 10:48:30 AM PST
BarbaraJean says:
Mary Balogh's early books but not her latest so much. Try Jo Beverly's series about the Malloren's starting with "My Lady Notorious", Mary Jo Putney and Liz Carlyle write great books. Then there is Elizabeth Hoyt--start with her "Raven Prince". If that doesn't burn your socks you aren't normal. There is a newer author, Ellen O'Connell, who is writing great stories set in the west. Her books give historical perspective of women's lives in the 1880's. They are NOT westerns, the stories just take place there. Try "Eyes of Silver Eyes of Gold" a wonderful story of two people learning to care for each other and overcoming formidable obstacles, you will love it. I, too, am a great fan of Carla Kelly and buy every book of hers I can get my hands on so I feel the above listed authors will appeal to you, Margelet. If you really want historical books based on fact try Elizabeth Chadwick's novels. She is a wonderful writer and her books are well-researched and give readers a vivid picture of life in the middle ages. Ms. Chadwick is a productive writers and has a large number of books out there. I especially liked her books about William Marshall.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2013 11:25:23 AM PST
Mary Balogh: especially her trads from the 80s and 90s for those that enjoy Heyer, Kelly & Dean. For darker more sweeping and dramatic reads her longer historicals from the 90s.

Patricia Veryan: start with her Georgian series Golden Chronicles (usually available at libraries), go on to the Jewelled Men series, The Wagered Widow etc

More Trads: Loretta Chase (early trads are marvelous - especially Knaves Wager), Barbara Metzger, Joan Smith, Sheila Simonson (Lady Elizabeth's Comet), Sherri Cobb South (Of Paupers and Peers). Diane Farr (The Fortune Hunter!), Jo Beverly (Emily & The Dark Angel), Emma Jensen, Joan Wolf (London Season, American Duchess), Mary Jo Putney (early trads like The Bargain), Joan Smith (An Imprudent Lady, Perdita)

Longer historicals: Laura Kinsale, Judith Ivory, LaVyrle Spencer, Pamela Morsi, Joanna Bourne, Judith James, Meredith Duran, Jo Goodman, Jo Beverley (Medievals, earlier Georgians and Regencies), Mary Jo Putney (Fallen Angels series, Silk series), Madeline Hunter (Medievals), Lorraine Heath (Westerns), Barbara Samuel (Medievals and Georgians)

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 11:39:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 4, 2013 2:11:10 PM PST
LaurieM04 says:
I fourth (fifth?) Mary Balogh, especially her Bedwyn series (A Summer to Remember (Get Connected Romances) and One Night for Love (Dell Historical Romance) are the prequels; the series itself starts with Slightly Married (Get Connected Romances)). You may also like Gaelen Foley (start with The Duke (The Knight Miscellany), which is the first in the Knight Miscellany series) and Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. I haven't read any of Chase's other books (yet), though a lot of my romance-reader friends love her as well.

I like a lot of Mary Jo Putney's older books, but haven't been so impressed by her most recent series (Lost Lords). I really enjoyed some of the ones she's reissued lately, though, especially The Bargain (Regency), The Rake, and One Perfect Rose (Fallen Angels).

ETA: I should caution that the Gaelen Foley book is not so much a traditional regency but it really did draw me in and make me care about the characters, faults and all. It was a very emotional read IMO.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 1:23:33 PM PST
Magelet says:
Thanks so much! :) I can hear my credit card protesting from here, hee. Thank goodness for I can at least pretend that I'm being virtuous if I buy secondhand (and apparently in my mind, if international shipping is free the books are practically free also)!

Posted on Jan 5, 2013 8:48:48 AM PST
Robin Wilson says:
Have you ready Edith Layton's writings?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2013 1:25:42 PM PST
Magelet says:
I have read one Edith Layton and didn't think it was very good, to be honest, but I've heard good things about one of her older ones, where the heroine is caught between rakes and you aren't initially sure who the "hero" is?

Posted on Jan 5, 2013 1:40:57 PM PST
virky says:
I'm not Robin, but that's "The Duke's Wager" by Edith Layton. I also liked "Lord of Dishonor" by the same author.

Posted on Jan 5, 2013 2:46:45 PM PST
Magelet - Have you read any of Anne Gracie's older titles? Gallant Waif (Harlequin Historical) and Tallie's Knight (Readers Choice) (Harlequin Regency Romance) are two that I love. I know exactly what you mean about the old Signet and Zebra regencies - there are some true treasures in those lines. The early Mary Baloghs are great and as the Poster with No Name posted, the early Joan Wolf books are not to be missed. Did you read the Cockermouth Mail (Regency Romance)? I love that book!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2013 3:04:17 PM PST
No offense to Julie Garwood, because I've enjoyed some of her historical romances, but she can't hold a candle to Georgette Heyer. Heyer's characters and her attention to detail are second to none.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2013 3:35:13 PM PST
Magelet says:
Mary E. Borden: Yes to all of those! :) Gallant Waif has been one of my favourite romances for about ten years! And I just re-read the Cockermouth Mail for the third time last time. I love the hero in it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2013 5:24:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2013 5:27:08 PM PST
As said, that Layton book is the excellent The Duke's Wager. I've read several of Layton's (B & C grade reads) - but this one was head and shoulders above the rest - one of my favorite trads.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2013 7:01:15 PM PST
Robin Wilson says:
The Duke's Wager is fantastic and keeps you guessing on which one she'll a good way! I also really enjoyed Lord of Dishonor. In fact, I ordered both of those in a two-for-one book.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 12:55:54 PM PST

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 6:03:24 PM PST
I second Mary Balogh--I like mostly everything she's written and also Edith Layton's The Duke's Wager and Lord of Dishonor. I noticed several people mentioned Joan Wolf. She is excellent as well. I highly recommend another author, Courtney Milan, but she is a newer author and doesn't write traditional regencies/historicals.

Posted on Jan 21, 2013 5:23:51 PM PST
Bill Bee says:
I also second Mary Balogh, especially her novels after One Night For Love (1999), More Than A Mistress (2000) and A Summer to Remember (2002). Also Dancing With Clara (1994) and Secret Pearl (1991). And all of the rest of her books written between 1985 and 1999 for that matter. I have all of her 70 plus novels and have read all but about 15 of them. She is my favorite modern romance author by far. - Bill

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2013 5:41:47 PM PST
Me too Bill :)

Posted on Jan 21, 2013 8:59:49 PM PST
me too bill. All time favorite : Mary Balogh
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Discussion in:  Romance forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  38
Initial post:  Jan 3, 2013
Latest post:  Jan 22, 2013

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