In my previous posts on historical romance, I talked about Beverly Jenkins and Kianna Alexander. Now, it’s time to talk about the new kid on the block – Piper Huguley. I first learned of her at the Romance Slam Jam in New Orleans where she and Beverly Jenkins were panelists on a discussion about, what else? – African American Historical Romance.
Piper’s most recent releases – A Lawyers Luck and The Preacher’s Promise – are different from her contemporaries as they are Christian in nature. She does not shy away from quoting scripture or portraying the characters as firm believers in their faith. Piper’s writing style is also different in that she uses third person dialect to put the reader directly into the minds of the primary characters. Although these novels are classified as romance, the most heat you’ll get from the hero and heroine is a kiss, which makes them family friendly.
One last point, how beautiful are these covers? I don’t recall ever being this impressed as I am with the cover art of these two books. In an interview, Piper stated that she hosted a cover design contest and that the winning artist is from Sri Lanka. He designed these covers without a synopsis of either story nor a physical description of the characters. With that type of luck, I’m going to need Piper to select my next round of Powerball numbers.
A Lawyer’s Luck
This novella is the prequel to the Home to Milford College series. It tells the story of Lawrence Stewart, a lawyer and free man of color, and Realie, a runaway slave bound for Canada. This unconventional romance puts a spin on the marriage of convenience trope and shows the lengths to which one would go to secure their beloved.
The Preacher’s Promise
Orphaned and penniless, Amanda Stewart moves to Milford, Georgia with the intent on becoming the town’s new teacher of the formerly enslaved. Unfortunately, her unexpected presence is not entirely welcomed by the town’s mayor, blacksmith, and occasional preacher Virgil Smithson. Despite this adversity, Amanda forges on and gradually earns his respect, trust and love.
I enjoy novels historical novels because they take me to a place and time that is unlike my own. While the antebellum south may not provide the most romantic backdrop for persons of color, particularly those who were not free, it doesn’t preclude the fact that love existed for them. Otherwise, authors such as Beverly Jenkins, Kianna Alexander, and Piper Huguley wouldn’t be able to write about it, nor readers such as myself wouldn’t be able to read about it.