Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue.
This novel is my all time favorite for many reasons. It’s got everything I look for in a novel! Sex, murder, intrigue… it’s not a happy story, then again I love to read and write unhappy things.
Our main character, Mary is not likable and that’s what I love about her. She’s constantly messing up even when she has a light at the end of the tunnel and a chance to redeem herself. Mary is so young when the events of the novel take place and one could attribute her troubles to her age but in truth, she is an arrogant, greedy girl.
The novel is set in London and on the outskirts of the city. It discusses prostitution and the struggles of the lower class.
The Wideacre Trilogy by Philippa Gregory.
Move over The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory’s debut novel is one to pick up and not miss!
As with Slammerkin, the wiseacre trilogy discusses sensitive subjects such as incest, murder, and the occult. It’s a fabulously told tale which keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is Beatrice Lacey and once again we have an unlovable protagonist. She’s greedy and vain yet you can’t stop reading. Beatrice, like Mary from slammerkin, had a chance to redeem herself but she does not and only continues her behavior.
This leads to a series of events crashing down around herself and others. It’s a great read and if you can stomach raunchy incest sex scenes then it’s definitely worth your time.
Leonardo’s Swans by Karen Essex
This novel was one I picked up on a whim and ended up loving. The two women featured, Isabella and Beatrice are as different as two sisters can be. Their rivalry is marked by marriage and although the sisters both make great marriages there is more to be had. Jealousy, adultery, love and more fill the pages of this historical fiction novel.
Cleopatra’s Daughter Series by Stephanie Dray
This series surprised me a lot. At first, I thought it a young adult book but by the time I got to the third novel I was definitely convinced it was not.
Octavian’s obsession with Selene is the center I would say of the novel. There is so much sexual tension between them and to some, this could be a trigger as she is so young.
I believe it is a great series and for those who love Cleopatra, this insight into her daughter is worth the read!
The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis
If you know anything about the Borgias you know that a novel about them will be raunchy as hell and fun to read. In this novel, our main character is Sancha of Aragon. Most books I have read are from Lucrezia’s perspective so this was a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed her loveless marriage to Joffre and affair with Cesare. Sancha has relations with all three brothers. In real life, this was said to be true.
This novel has a lot of sex. Rape and underage included. It contains boatloads of adultery and murder so definitely not for the faint of heart. I think I finished it in a day. It’s a pretty quick read which keeps you interested the whole time cause you feel like you need to continue to the end of this fascinating woman’s life.
The Wise Woman By Philippa Gregory
A riveting tale of witchcraft and lust…
Duchess of Milan By Michael Ennis
Cousin rivalry, sexual intrigue and more…
Empress of Rome Series By Kate Quinn
Ancient Rome at its finest with corrupt Emperors…
Diaries of the Family Dracula By Jeanne Kalogridis
The story behind the Dracula family descendants.
The Lost Queen By Norah Lofts
George III’s sister Caroline and her disastrous marriage to Christain of Denmark.
The Prince and the Quakeress By Jean Plaidy
George III and Hannah Lightfoot. A person favorite and basis for what I wrote my novel on.
The Russian Concubine series By Kate Furnivall
A Russian woman and Chinese man fall hopelessly in love despite the events going on around them.
Empress Orchid and The Last Empress by Anchee Min
Cixi from minor concubine to Empress…
Four Sisters All Queens by Sherry Jones
The four sisters of Provance have their voices heard in this gripping novel…
The Dark Queen Series by Susan Carroll
Catherine de Medici and her flying squad of witchcraft and poison center around this long series of sisters.
Roma by Steven Saylor
Short story collection of Roman families from the start to the fall…
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
The beautiful Egyptian queen comes to life…
Katherine by Anya Seton
Mistress and wife?
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
An exciting biblical refering novel about Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah.