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Topic: Historical romances/fiction about the theater

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Subject: Historical romances/fiction about the theater
Date Posted: 11/26/2008 4:41 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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I've been haunting book sales and UBS for historical romances or fiction that have an actor hero or actress heroine. I've found a few, but I'm wondering if anyone out there knows of others? My main interest is 19th century America or England, but anything pre-film is ok. I've been surprised that it hasn't been a more common setup, considering the ample opportunities for conflict and villains and whatnot.


So far:

Tears of Gold (Laurie McBain - TBR)

Wicked Company (Ciji Ware - loved it)

Passion Star (Julia Grice - ugh, slogging through it)

A Society Star (from the 1880s - actually pretty fun!)

can't remember the title, but something by Jennifer Wilde (I think). It used the story of Lola Montez, but just slapped another name on her. The affairs with Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt were still intact. (ETA: Dare to Love - I knew I'd remember it eventually.)


Any suggestions will be more than appreciated!!!

Last Edited on: 11/26/08 8:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/26/2008 7:02 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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Have you read Somewhere I'll Find You and Because You're Mine by Lisa Kleypas


Somewhere I'll Find You:

All London is at Julia Wentworth's feet. The beautiful, enchanting actress is the toast of the theater world—and anything she desires is hers for the asking. But the incomparable leading lady guards a devastating secret: a mystery husband whom she does not know, dares not mention. . .and cannot love.

For years Damon Savage has been searching for the stranger his unscrupulous parents wed him to without his consent. Wanting no more than to be legally rid of the foolish chit, Damon is shocked to discover his "bride" is the exquisite stage performer whom he intended to make his mistress! But though his wife by law, Julia will never truly be Damon's—until he conquers her fears, his formidable rivals. . .and the stellar lady's proud, independent heart.

Because You're Mine:

Because the Dream. . .

Young, high-spirited Lady Madeline Matthews is expected to wed an aging, lecherous lord. But she would rather shame herself in the eyes of society than sacrifice her freedom, and resolves to render herself unmarriageable by indulging in a torrid affair with Britain's most acclaimed actor and notorious womanizer, Logan Scott.

Because the Heart. . .

He is a legend in the footlights and in the bedchamber. But when the curtain falls, Logan is an intensely private, guarded man still tormented by past betrayals that cut deep into his pride and his heart. Now a forward little minx who seems completely out of place in the bright, sophisticated world of the London stage is disrupting his orderly existence with her constant presence, her unspoiled beauty and vibrant charm. And what begins with an onstage kiss threatens to blossom into something more rapturous and real. But first Logan and Madeline both must be brave enough to drop the masks they hide behind. . . and reveal their true selves in the golden glorious light of love.

Also, The Saint by Madeline Hunter:

Vergil Duclairc was a man used to getting his way. And as the newly appointed guardian of Miss Bianca Kenwood, he was determined to find her and bring her back to live with his family. The last thing he expected was to find his new ward scandalously costumed and employed as a theatrical singer. Bianca had no interest in giving up her independence, but there was something compelling about this handsome and brooding viscount who seemed to think he owned her and her inheritance. As she allows herself to be swept back to his country estate, she discovers that Vergil is a man of secrets and sensuality, and that she is not immune to his inscrutable charm….nor is he to hers. Suddenly, in a moment that would change everything, they are thrust into a world of dangerous intrigue, where enemies abound and only the passion that ignites between them can save them—or prove their glorious undoing.

My additional note about The Saint: She's the American, intent on studying opera, supporting herself with the inheritance she received from her British grandfather (he was a shipping magnate and friend of the hero). Her opera career is one point of conflict in the story.



Date Posted: 11/26/2008 8:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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Thank you SO much! :-)

Date Posted: 11/26/2008 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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One of Mary Jo Putney's books has the hero running away (he thinks he's dying) and he winds up joining an acting troupe. Now if I can just remember the title of it for you! 

Got it--One Perfect Rose

Last Edited on: 11/26/08 9:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/26/2008 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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I really like this setting as well.  In addition to the Lisa Kleypas and Mary Jo Putney books listed, here I can think of one other one off the top of my head:

"Venus" by Jane Feather - The setting is in the world of the Restoration Theatre.  The heroine wants to be an actress in a time when women are just being allowed to appear on stage and the hero wants to use her as a spy on a political rival.


There are lots of books that mention actresses/ former actresses but few that are set in this world.





Date Posted: 11/27/2008 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2005
Posts: 1,012
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The heroine in Barbara Pierce's Naughty by Nature (book three of the Carlisle series) is part of a traveling troupe of actors.  I think she gives it up to become a lady's companion though.

Date Posted: 11/27/2008 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Well, here's a regency by Carla Kelly: Miss Billings Treads the Boards (Signet Regency Romance).  I don't know too much about it except it's on my WL, and I have decided after Beau Crusoe that Carla Kelly is a genius:P  I was also going to mention One Perfect Rose by Putney - which is really good, IMO, and there's also Ways to Be Wicked (Holt Sisters, Bk 2) by Julie Anne Long.  Neither the H&H are connected to the theater in the sense I think you mean, but he runs a bawdy theater - sort of a regency era Burlesque hall - and the heroine, a french ballerina, comes to work for him because she's in London trying to find her long lost sister, and hiding out from her former protector.  It's pretty good too - part of the Holt Sisters trilogy with Beauty and the Spy and The Secret to Seduction.

Date Posted: 11/28/2008 2:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Two connected books, The Gilded Cage and The Silvery Moon by Edith Layton.  Two Little Lies by Liz Carlyle - though the theatre setting is only in flashback, I think.  The Prince of Pleasure by Nicole Jordan -- not sure I have the title right, but it's an awful book, anyway.  Everything I ever Wanted by Jo Goodman.

Date Posted: 12/2/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Moonfire by Linda Lael Miller.  Heroine is an actress and travels to Australia to meet up with actor fiance. Hero is the owner of the local theater.  He bought it for his mistress to run to keep her busy.  I forget the time frame-I think late 1800's Australia.