Historical Romance books

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The Body on the Beach

Under the Southern Cross

In 1920, a body is found on Brighton Beach, Adelaide. Billy Liang has been living a respectable life as the representative of Adelaide’s Chinese community—with his lover, lawyer Tom Williams, discreetly at his side. When evidence seems to implicate the people Billy represents, he steps up to help solve the murder. He and Tom deal with illegal opium dens, fantan games and gambling, racism, and being shot at. Though Billy’s family accepts the love he and Tom share, Australia’s laws against sodomy and homosexuality pose a constant danger. Now, the body on the beach brings a whole new threat to Billy and Tom’s life in Adelaide.

Part of the Under the Southern Cross anthology.

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Fall in love with Australia.

Fight zombies in colonial New South Wales, solve a mysterious murder in 1920s Adelaide, and journey to a bleak Australian future that may yet hold some promise. Overcome prejudices and take a pilgrimage to Uluru, Australia’s sacred heart. And along the way, explore the theme of unexpected love beneath the shining stars of the Southern Cross.

Stories included:

Coming Home by Robyn Walker
Jasper and the Dead by JR Astruc
The Body on the Beach by L.J. Labarthe
The Red Heart by Isabelle Rowan
Whitewater by Meredith Shayne

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Choices

Golden Collar | Book One
Timeless Dreams

Golden Collar: Book 1

Born and raised a gypsy in the late eleventh century, Teman values freedom over everything. He and his best friend, Jasim, are thieves for hire—until one night they're caught and their precious freedom is revoked. Given the choice between the dungeons or palace pleasure slavery, they become slaves, but Teman vows to escape someday.

Bathasar doesn’t want the throne. He supports his brother instead, which suits their sadistic father, Mukesh. When Teman, the handsome slave Bathasar has secretly been watching, saves his life, Bathasar requests a slave for the first time. Before long, Bathasar and Teman fall in love. But all is not well. One day Mukesh brutalizes Teman before the court, angering the empress of a neighboring nation. To appease her, he then offers her Jasim as a gift, and Teman decides to stay with Bathasar for now—despite the abuse he may suffer.

The peace doesn’t last. Mukesh plans to invade Jasim's new country, and Bathasar must find a way to stop the destruction. But if he succeeds, he'll ascend to the throne and have the power to grant Teman his liberty. Then Teman will surely leave him. What other choice could a gypsy make?

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

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A conqueror’s decree can’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish heritage. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid with pride, awaiting the day he becomes Laird, restores his family’s name, and fights to free Scotland from English tyranny. An Englishman in his home? Abomination! Yet the tutor his father engaged for Aillil’s younger brothers may have something to teach the Callaghan heir as well.

Violinist and scholar Malcolm Byerly fled Kent in fear, seeking nothing more than a quiet post, eager minds to teach, and for no one to learn his secrets. He didn’t count on his charges’ English-hating barbarian of an older brother, or on red-and-green tartan concealing a kindred soul. A shared love of music breaks down the barriers between two worlds.

Aillil’s father threatens their love, but a far more dangerous enemy tears them apart. They vanish into legend.

Two centuries later, concert violinist Billy Byerly arrives at Castle Callaghan—and feels strangely at home. Legends speak of a Lost Laird who haunts the fortress in wait of his lover’s return. Billy doesn’t believe in legends, ghosts, or love that outlasts life.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.

Second Edition
First edition published by Torquere Press (2010).

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It’s 1962, and Dale Parker has been on his own for two years, ever since his small-town family disowned him on the suspicion of homosexuality. He works as a waiter in a Southern California coastal restaurant, but his life is going nowhere fast: he has no real education and has never had a real relationship. So when he finds himself falling in love with Rey Durán, one of his customers, he knows he’s in over his head.

Rey is nearly twice Dale’s age and a descendant of one of the original Spanish land grant families in California. He’s had plenty of disappointments in love, and that’s what he’s come to expect. He loves Dale, but Dale is a young, poor, uneducated Anglo—how can their differences be anything but insurmountable?

Determined to overcome the obstacles and prove himself to Rey, Dale sets out to finish his education and settle down. He wins over Rey’s family, starts learning Spanish, and adopts a culture vastly different from his own. But as Dale matures, Rey becomes less sure of his own commitment—which could lead to the heartbreak he’s been expecting all along.

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Beloved Enemy

Timeless Dreams

At the edge of the Roman Empire, Cheruscans Kjeld and Dafried forged the bonds of childhood friendship, playing and hunting together along the mighty Rhine—until Romans ripped Kjeld away from his idyllic life and best friend to live as a Roman soldier.

That was ten years ago. Kjeld, now a Roman general, returns to his foster parents to prepare for a glorious celebration: a battle in the Coliseum. What he doesn’t know is that Dafried, after being captured during an assault on Roman military post, now trains as a gladiator in preparation for the upcoming competition. When the childhood friends reunite in the sands, it could spell death for one of them.

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

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Keeper's Pledge

Midwinter Manor | Book One

Sequel to Poacher's Fall
Midwinter Manor: Book Two

Landowner Philip Luccombe has been enjoying a passionate relationship with young poacher turned gamekeeper Danny Costessey for four years now. Danny’s love has brought him out of the shell he retreated into when his first lover died after the Great War. But this Christmas, visitors to the manor threaten their happiness. Philip’s young cousin Matthew is artistic, vivacious, and flirtatious: just the sort to remind him of his long-dead first love—and to emphasise the social gulf between Philip and Danny.

But the worst danger comes from much nearer home. An old flame of Danny’s is discovered in incriminating circumstances, forcing the lovers to keep their distance for fear of being tarred with the same brush. Meanwhile, Danny’s younger brother, Toby, has grown to resent the connection between his brother and the lord of the manor. Danny wants to do the right thing—but that could divide the lovers forever.

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Poacher's Fall

Midwinter Manor | Book Two

Midwinter Manor: Book One

One snowy night just before Christmas, 1922, poacher Danny Costessey rounds off a night trapping rabbits by climbing a tree to fetch some mistletoe for his mother—only to fall and break his leg. Taken to the manor house to recover from his injuries, Danny meets the reclusive owner, Philip Luccombe. Village gossip has it Luccombe went mad during the war, but Danny soon realizes he’s simply still mourning his late lover. As friendship grows between them, Danny starts to fall for handsome, shy Philip.

Danny’s lively nature, roguish good looks, and ready laughter enchant Philip, and he finds himself being drawn out of his shell whether he will it or not. But when Danny tries to move beyond friendship, Philip panics—and his rejection threatens not only their happiness, but Danny’s health.

Previously published as the short story Pleasures With Rough Strife in December 2009 by Dreamspinner Press.

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El encantador granuja Tristan Northwood parece tenerlo todo: un nombre con solera, una herencia noble, una encantadora mujer y un hijo al que adora. Las mujeres le aman y parece que no hay nada que no pueda hacer, tanto si es seducir a una mujer de la alta sociedad como si se trata de ganar una carrera de carruajes. Poco se imaginan los que le conocen que el nombre no significa nada para él, que la fortuna está en las firmes manos de su padre y que no siente pasión por su esposa, a la que sólo le une una cordial amistad. La sociedad le aburre y acepta desafíos porque sólo se siente vivo cuando vive al límite... Hasta que el hermano de su mujer vuelve a casa desde el campo de batalla.

El comandante Charles Mountjoy, héroe condecorado de la guerra, saca a Tristan de su desesperación inspirando en él sentimientos de pasión que nunca sospechó que fuera capaz de tener. Casi tan terroríficos como esos sentimientos por Charles, son los indicios de que su cuñado puede que corresponda a su afecto... O incluso peor, que Charles ve al hombre que Tristan ha intentado tan valientemente esconder del mundo.

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The Measure of a Man

The Mark of a Man and The Measure of a Man

Sequel to The Mark of a Man

After narrowly escaping the sinister plotting of Anthony Arlen’s City Guard and the wrath of the outlawed Sun League, Kit Porter and his friends, Alec Weston and Robert Warren, must flee or risk capture—or worse. With enemies dogging their every move, the friends risk a brief, heartbreaking meeting with Kit’s mother before pushing on to the town of Ludlow. There, they enlist the aid of Jamie McEwen, a rich merchant and old friend of Alec’s, who offers them a way out. But in order to make good their escape, they must first reach Boston, a port city on the other side of the country.

The tense journey across England tests Alec and Kit’s growing feelings for each other, while forcing Robert to confront unresolved guilt over past loyalties and actions. Just when escape seems within reach, the Sun League closes in, and the three friends face a desperate battle to evade the awful fate in store for them.

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A Gentleman's Agreement

By
2012 Advent Calendar | Evergreen

Thomas Derrik is about to have the worst Christmas of his life. Three days before the holiday, he finds out the father he doesn’t get along with is arriving on Christmas Eve, his ex-lover and new brother-in-law will be staying at his estate until the New Year, and his beloved brother, Edmund, has died.

Luckily, Edmund’s last holiday scheme may well save Thomas’s Christmas: Henry Appleby, a young lord fresh from the Continent, has arranged to court Thomas. But the family tragedy and jealous exes may put an end to the romance before it begins.

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L’affascinante mascalzone Tristan Northwood sembra avere tutto: un nome antico, un titolo ereditario, un’amabile moglie, e un figlio che adora. Le donne lo amano, gli uomini lo ammirano, e sembra che non ci sia niente che non possa fare, che sia sedurre una moglie dell’alta società, o vincere una corsa con i carri. La Società non sospetta affatto che il nome non significhi niente per lui, la sua fortuna sia sotto il controllo di suo padre, e che lui non abbia interesse nella moglie tranne per un’amicizia davvero distante. La Società lo annoia, e accetta le sfide perché si sente vivo solo quando si trova sul limite… fino a quando il fratello di sua moglie torna a casa dalla guerra.

Charles Mountjoy, decorato eroe di guerra, tira fuori Tris dalla sua disperazione, inspirandogli sentimenti di passione che non aveva mai sospettato di essere in grado di provare.

Quasi terrificanti quanto questi sentimenti per Charles sono i segni che Charles potrebbe ricambiare il suo affetto – o anche peggio, che Charles vede l’uomo che Tristan ha cercato così tanto di nascondere al mondo.

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For Men Like Us

2013 Award Winners
Timeless Dreams

After Preston Meacham’s lover dies trying to lend him aid at Salamanca, hopelessness becomes his only way of life. Despite his best efforts at starting again, he has no pride left, which leads him to sell himself for a pittance at a molly house. The mindless sex affords him his only respite from the horrors he witnessed.

The Napoleonic War left Benedict Wilmot haunted by the acts he was forced to commit and the torture he endured at the hands of a superior, a man who used the threat of a gruesome death to force Ben to do his bidding. Even sleep gives Ben no reprieve, for he can’t escape the destruction he caused.

When their paths cross, Ben feels an overwhelming need to protect Preston from his dangerous profession. As he explains, “The streets are dangerous for men like us.”

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

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Growing up is hard. Growing up in a society that silences anyone different is next to impossible. In 1925, the quiet, artistic Paul Blakely is turning seventeen and still hasn’t figured out what he wants to do with his life. His childhood at the prestigious Holbrook Academy is drawing to an end. Together with his friends Freddie and Emmett, he struggles to fly under the radar of schoolyard bullies who target them because they don’t fit in. Paul coasts through life a constant observer, never taking part—until he meets William Coleridge II.

Bold, good-looking, reckless Will is the only son of a hero from the Great War. In other words, he’s everything Paul is not, so when he tries to make friends, Paul is suspicious… but Paul can’t hold out against Will’s charm forever. As they grow closer, Paul finds himself discovering who he is, what he stands for, the meaning of friendship, and the true power of love. Knowing Will helps Paul answer questions about himself he didn’t know how to ask, but can he trust his heart to someone so impulsive?

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The Last Concubine

Timeless Dreams

When Princess Lan’xiu’s brother delivers her under duress into General Hüi Wei’s harem as a political offering, her only question is how soon her secret will be discovered. She is under no illusions: when the general discovers she is actually a he, death is his only future—though he doesn’t plan to make it easy. Lan’xiu has dressed as a woman all his life, but he is no damsel in distress. He can swing a sword with the best of them.

General Hüi Wei has everything a man could want: power, wealth, success on the battlefield, and a harem of concubines. At first, he regards Lan’xiu with suspicion, but he finds himself strangely drawn to her. When he discovers the beautiful young woman is actually a man, his first reaction is to draw his sword. Rather than waste such beauty, he decides to enjoy the spirited Lan’xiu’s submission—and ignites a passion and desire deeper than anything he’s felt with other wives. But court intrigue, political ambitions, and the general's doubts may be too much for their love to overcome.

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

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The King's Heart

The King's Tale
Timeless Dreams

Sequel to The King's Tale

In thirteenth century Cornwall, a fierce king must have a strong partner, and that is what King Christopher of Lysnowydh has in his handfasted mate. Or had before rival King Warin kidnapped and tortured Dafydd to the point that, months later, he is still afraid to leave the castle. Christopher longs for Dafydd to accompany him to the other strongholds in his kingdom and to London to pay tribute to Henry III, but Dafydd is not ready. Christopher begins to wonder if Dafydd will ever recover.

Dafydd hates to disappoint his lover, but he is not sure what to do. Since he will not leave the keep, he renounces his position as king’s marshal, vowing to focus on the healing arts instead. Though Christopher continues to pressure him to travel, Dafydd staunchly stays at home—until his second sight shows him he could lose Christopher if he cannot face his fears. Determinedly, Dafydd sets out to prove he can master them.

When Christopher returns home to find Dafydd gone, he knows exactly what Dafydd must have seen. As he once promised he would, he follows his heart across his kingdom—but even if he finds Dafydd, he may not be able to heal the rift between them.

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

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The King's Tale

The King's Tale
Timeless Dreams

Though Dafydd is the fourth son of Welsh nobility, when he leaves his home he becomes a humble woodsman in small kingdom of Lysnowydh on the sea. During a fierce storm, a stranger seeks shelter in Dafydd's remote cottage. He is no ordinary traveler—he is Christopher, King of Lysnowydh. The wild passion that flares between them rivals the storm, and love moves King Christopher's heart to name Dafydd Marshal of his troops to keep him close.

However, love is never simple or safe when it must endure the pressures of political life. Though Dafydd proves himself in battle, Lysnowydh's nobles protest his rise in position and power. Forces will conspire against Dafydd and Christopher, and they must endure treason, treachery, and the demands of a kingdom requiring an heir to secure their happiness together.

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

Second Edition
First Edition published July 27, 2009 by Dreamspinner Press

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The Darkest Midnight in December

Soldiers of the Sun | Book One

Soldiers of the Sun: Book One

The year is 1930, and something is hunting infants and young couples in Economy Village, PA. When a local priest begins to suspect a demon may be the culprit, the sheriff calls in a team of Soldiers from the Sun.

Caleb, Agni, Temple, and Li specialize in demon hunting, but they can’t rule out an old religious sect as the true culprit. Prejudice, distraught parents, and angry townspeople don’t make the team’s job any easier. And if something goes wrong, they’re on their own, because by the time their backup arrives, it will be too late.

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