Summer is For Reading

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! As we celebrate the unofficial start of summer (pull out those white pants and white shoes!) our 18th and 19th century heroines are preparing to hie off to their country estates for the summer. No Duchess worth her salt would be seen in Town after Parliament went on summer recess and the London Season drew to a close.

What does a Duchess need for those long, languorous summer months? Reading material, of course. Hopefully something informative to tempt the brain and something scandalous to titillate the senses. I asked our 20th century Duchesses for some recommended reads.

Ta ta. I’m off to my cottage for the summer.

Books fit for a Duchess

Ashlyn Macnamara

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I’m working on Sarah MacLean’s NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED. I only say working on, because I made the mistake of starting it before RT and then I had NO TIME to read while I was there. I can’t wait to get a chance to finish Temple and Mara’s story.


Next on the TBR pile is Maire Claremont’s LADY WILD novella. Maire is donating a hefty sum of her royalties to Hospice.  (Maire will be here on the Duchesses thursday to talk about her new novella!)


Leigh LaValle

SecretsofaRunawayBride-cover-hi-resI just had a baby in April. Everyone is healthy and happy but I am holding on to my quiet R+R time with both hands! There is much cuddling and reading happening in the LaValle household. Some books I have enjoyed:

Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman. One word: Jordan. I agree with the heroine’s BFF-Lord Ashbourne is a swoon worthy hero! Pair him with a feisty heroine bent on trouble and much fun ensues.

It Happened One Wedding Julie James is always a favorite and this book did not disappoint.

Between the Devil and Ian Eversea by Julie Anne Long is next up!

Diana Quincy

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 8.40.11 PMI’m reading an ARC of Duchess Kathleen Bittner Roth’s THE SEDUCTION OF SARAH MARKS. Not only is the romance steamy but this book is one unpredictable ride with a wild twist in the middle that I did not anticipate!


I’m also reading TAP OUT by Michelle Mannon, who is one of my critique partners (although I had not read this manuscript before). The hero is a super-sexy MMA fighter/underwear model inspired by David Beckham. Need I say more?
And I’m listening to THE GREAT GATSBY on tape while I go on my daily walks. It’s been a long time since I’ve read this novel and often find myself rewinding so I can listen to a particularly perfectly written passage more than once.

Valerie Bowman

Darius by Grace Burrowes
A fantastic story about a heroine in need of a baby and a hero in need of funds. He agrees to allow her to live with him for three weeks and get her pregnant. Oh, and he just so happens to be super hot! Am loving it!
Jane Austen’s England by Lesley Adkins
A fascinating look into Regency England including interesting facts: one woman was reported to have given birth to 32 children. Yikes!
Once Upon a Wager by Julie LeMense
A beautifully written tale of a bet gone horribly wrong and a couple struggling to overcome their past mistakes. I j’adore a reunion story and this one is really captivating.

Kathleen Bittner Roth

I am reading an ARC of Diana Quincy’s June 9th release Engaging the Earl (most definitely an engaging read). Diana has a way of taking you into the heart of the characters with such graceful ease, you are lost in the story before you know it.

I am also reading an old school book called Pale Moon Rider by Marsha Canham. I love the author’s yummy prose!

Jennifer McQuinston

Right now, I have 3 books in partial stages of “read”-iness. Normally I finish each book before starting another, so this is a definite state of weirdness for me. 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Not really a romance, not a YA….it refuses to be categorized.) Imagine a circus that mysteriously shows up at night. No one knows when it is coming or when it will leave. Now imagine under those tents two young magicians locked in an epic battle to the death….only they might be falling in love.

Always on My Mind, by Jill Shalvis (This is the book we got free in our bags at the Romantic Times convention.) Contemporary Romance really isn’t my thing usually, but I forgot my e-reader on that trip and I had to read SOMETHING. This story follows Leah the baker and Jack the hot hot hot fireman, both of whom are running from their past in a charming little town called Lucky Harbor (wink wink). I must admit… I can’t wait to finish it. I even spilled soy sauce on it trying to cram a few more minutes of reading during lunch yesterday. It seems like Ms. Shalvis puts something addictive on her pages.

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Allegiant by Victoria Roth (a YA I am reading to be able to discuss with my daughter). I loved Divergent, and loved even more going to see the movie with my preteen daughter. This seemed requisite reading for me, but I am just not able to get into it like I enjoyed Divergent. Maybe that’s why I haven’t finished it?

It seems like for this audience I ought to toss a historical or two or four into the mix, and I will say that in the last two months I finished an AMAZING historical, Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran. Imagine a duke on a brink of madness, his new housekeeper-with-a-secret who plans to steal incriminating letters from him, some of the hottest intimacy scenes I’ve read in a historical, and some serious trust issues. Now throw in Meredith Duran’s spectacular prose and you have a truly amazing read.

Alyssa Alexander

I just finished FEARLESS by K.M. Fawcett. It kept moving to the top of my TBR pile, and I finally got a chance to sit down and read it. Loved it! Next up is HARD AS YOU CAN by Laura Kaye and LOVING LORD ASH by Sally MacKenzie. Can’t wait!

What about you, Dear Readers? What books do you recommend for some summer amusement?


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8 Comments on “Summer is For Reading
  1. Hi Duchesses, I would say Shana Galen’s The Pirate Bride its the last book in her Misadventures in Matrimony series whete you have an elopement with witneses and a drunk.priest who marries the couples to the wrong people. Nick and Ashley are now married and she hates him for breaking her heart and he has a secrect that he can’t let get out. I waited years for this book amd was not dissappointed.

  2. I have finished it but certainly one of my top 3 books I’ve read this year is Leigh LaValle’s The Rogue Returns. Absolute non-putdownable fun from start to finish. And it made me cry at the black moment which NEVER happens!

  3. I finished Grace Burrowes’ Darius a few weeks ago, and like Duchess Valerie, was swept away! I have so many on my TBR list…looking forward to post-deadline time in July to catch up!

  4. So many great recommendations here! Adding these to my TBR pile for when I’m off deadline. Thanks, Duchesses!

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