historical fiction books | historical romance books

Five Picks for New Hist Fics

By Linda Ulleseit
December 3, 2021

Personally I think December is a terrible time to release a new book. For me, it’s too close to Christmas! I’m done shopping and my presents are all wrapped. It’s true that not everyone is that organized (many years I’m not, either!) so if you’re still looking for gifts, or if you want one for yourself, here’s some new historical fiction coming out this month. Apparently it’s still romance season. At the end, there’s a link to even more new historical fiction.

It’s a great opportunity to see which covers stand out and which titles intrigue you. I love the covers for The Spanish Daughter and Daughter of the Sea. The romance covers sure announce they are romance, right? But you have to love titles like Girls Before Earls. Which are your favorite?


The Last Rose of Shanghai by Weina Dai Randel

“Weina Dai Randel’s poignant, sweeping love story paints a vibrant portrait of a little-known slice of World War II history. Not to be missed!” ―Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code and The Huntress

This one fascinates me because of its combination of interesting topics. It’s set in World War II, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A German Jewish refugee, Ernest Reismann, arrives at a jazz nightclub owned by a young heiress, Aiyi Shao. Romance and difficulties ensue. Jewish refugee? Jazz? Heiress? This book has amazing promise. (released December 1)


 Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim

“A spectacular debut filled with great characters and heart.” —Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

A novel must have great characters, and this one has promise. It is filled with courtesans, Japanese generals, and revolutionaries. Set in Korea in 1919, the backdrop to the novel is Korea’s struggle for independence from Japan. The characters’ lives twist together as they “forge their own destinies as they wager their nation’s. Immersive and elegant, Beasts of a Little Land unveils a world where friends become enemies, enemies become saviors, heroes are persecuted, and beasts take many shapes.” (from the book description) (release date December 7)


The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes

“An engrossing, suspenseful family saga filled with unpredictable twists and turns.” —Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of Next Year in Havana

New settings and new historical periods are what I love most about historical fiction. This one is set in early twentieth century Ecuador, in the coastal city where cacao comes from. The story features a woman in Spain who inherits a cocoa estate. She goes to Ecuador to claim it and faces opposition. There are affairs, family secrets, and murder that spice up the plot. Looking forward to this one. (release date December 28)


Dead Drop by Marilyn Todd

“Dead Drop is the fourth book in the Julia McAllister Victorian Mystery series: historical romance murder mysteries with a courageous woman sleuth embarking on a traditional British, private investigation in nineteenth-century London.” from the book description

I do like it when a series has covers similar enough to recognize they belong together. These four books do that. It’s 1896, in England, and Julia McAllister, the main character of the series, decides to take in boarders to pay off her debts. Three girls from a traveling show move in with Jula. One of the girls is later found dead, and another murder occurs that may be related. Julia is a crime scene photographer, and her assistance is clearly needed! (release date December 29)


The Spinster’s Second Chance by Audrey Harrison

“The Spinster’s Second Chance is a Victorian Romance, topped with a generous amount of humour, action and tears. If you like simmering chemistry, compelling but complex characters and fast-paced action, then this is the perfect book for you. For lovers of Regency or Victorian romance.” from the book description

Romance is my go-to choice for escapist reading. This book is the second in the Spinster Series by Audrey Harrison, with the third one coming next summer. Each of the books is about a member of the Dinwiddie family. In this one, Jane is happy with a family and betrothed she loves. Then she loses it all. This book promises fast paced action, complex characters, and simmering chemistry when Jane meets George, who of course has no intention of marrying. (released December 1)

Links to December Historical Fiction, pictured below, in order of release date:

The Last Rose of Shanghai by Weina Dai Randel (December 1)

The Spinster’s Second Chance by Audrey Harrison (December 1)

The Prodigal Sister by Darry Fraser (December 1)

Gaming Hell Christmas by Kathy Wheeler and Amanda McCabe (December 1)

A Dangerous Secret by Jillian Eaton (December 1)

Making Merry by Erica Ridley (December 3)

Magnus the First by Diana Knightley (December 3)

With a Little Help From My Lord by Cheryl Bolen (December 7) 

Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim (December 7)

John Brown’s Women by Susan Higginbotham (December 7)

Seduced in Secret by Heather Boyd (December 7)

Coco at the Ritz by Gioia Diliberto (December 7)

Tempted by the Runes by Christina Courtenay (December 9)

It Happened One Winter by Christi Caldwell (December 10)

The Debutante’s Santa by Sylvia McDaniel (December 10)

Stranger at the Cottage by Mary Kingswood (December 13)

Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie (December 14)

The Fox by Hildie McQueen (December 14)

Pride of a Warrior by Andrea K. Stein (December 14)

Not Just Any Earl by Anna Bradley (December 14)

Taming Her Highland Legend by Maeve Greyson (December 16)

And Be My Love by Rebecca Ruger (December 17)

The Debutante’s Gift by Peggy MacKenzie (December 17)

Daughter of the Sea by Elizabeth J. Hobbes (December 20)

A Lady’s Heart Deceived by Sasha Cottman (December 25)

A Curse of the Wicked Scoundrel by Sadie Bosque (December 26)

The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes (December 28)

A Scoundrel of Her Own by Stacy Reid (December 28)

The Untold Story by Genevieve Cogman (December 28)

Girls Before Earls by Anna Bennet (December 28)

The Redemption of Philip Thane by Lisa Berne (December 28)

Better Off Wed by Susanna Crane (December 28)

Fortune Favors the Duke by Kristin Vayden (December 28)

The Rebel and the Rake by Emily Sullivan (December 28)

A Most Unusual Duke by Susanna Allen (December 28)

The Widow Wore Plaid by Jenna Jackson (December 28)

A Man of Honor by Barbara Taylor Bradford (December 28)

Dead Drop by Marilyn Todd (December 29)

The Language of Love by Minerva Spencer (December 31)

Drawn to the Beast by Kate Melville (December 31)



Linda Ulleseit
Written by Linda Ulleseit

Linda Ulleseit writes award-winning heritage fiction set in the United States. She is a member of Historical Novel Society, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Women Writing the West as well as a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. Get in touch with her on Instagram (lulleseit) and Facebook (Linda Ulleseit or SHINE with Paper Lantern Writers).

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