In honor of our Old School reading this month, we decided to look at our reading archives and see what turned up. Unfortunately, we read these books so long ago, we don’t remember much. Maybe we can interest you in these books based on what we do remember?
Erin: …they meet when, on her first night as a (virgin) prostitute, he hires her and they have extremely uncomfortable sex in the alleyway outside a theater. Then she unexpectedly (but very luckily) gets hired as his governess. Awkwardness and angst ensues. I’m not sure if it was just the beginning, but I recall the overall mood of this one as morose.
Erin: …this exiled Russian aristocrat who is somehow related to the heroine of the first book in this duology gets the stink eye from the hero of the first book in this duology because he just knows that he’s somehow fated to be a part of that hero’s daughter’s life. Because what dad doesn’t want to hear that a grown man is fated to be with his not-yet-grown daughter? Anyway, then there’s this book where she is grown and all of that prediction of the future pulls together with, I believe I recall correctly, maximum angst. And Russian stuff.
Erin: …they’re not really equals because she’s a country gentlewoman and he’s a duke, but he’s taken by her when they meet and marries her out of hand. Then on their way from the wedding to his estate, he is kidnapped and shipped off to parts unknown while she is left a naive widow at the mercy of people she doesn’t really know, unaware that they may not be acting in the best interests of either her or the lost duke. Needless to say, when the duke gets home, he’s really mad.
Heat Factor: It slipped in. Consent optional. Do you need consent if you’re married?
Character Chemistry: He is large, grumpy and swarthy, and she is fair, smol and pure. How can they not fall in love?
Plot: One damn thing after the next, caused by miscommunication and stupidity.
Overall: They’re mad at each other, but they don’t know why they’re mad at each other, and they won’t stop doing dumb things to each other.
The Bride by Julie Garwood (1989)
Heat Factor: It’s the sexiest one we’ve read so far in the Old School read-a-thon
Character Chemistry: It’s The Taming of the Shrew, but who’s taming who?
Plot: Jamie’s like, “You told me to handle it! So I handled it.”
Overall: This book is absolutely delightful.
Content Note: These books contain rape, ablism, and racism and we discuss this content in our review. Also, sorry, Ranulf of The Black Lyon is not actually a Hottie McScottie, but he’s got highlander energy.
Heat Factor: It’s definitely not unusual for an old school trad published historical romance, but also they have sex in a cave before the 50% mark…so maybe it also is?
Character Chemistry: If you like that “I’ve been wronged and misunderstood, so I’m going to live down to everyone’s expectations” plus “I see through your mask and am the only one to call you on your b.s.” dynamic, this is that
Plot: Bluestocking spinster with no time for social niceties calls beastly and scandalous landowner to town because criminals are getting in the way of her archaeology; compromise and marriage ensues