There’s something about getting your hands on a novel that transports you to another time and place with just a turn of the page that warms the soul. Whether it’s St. Thomas in the early 1800s or 17th century Italy, diving into these historical time pieces is like entering an unknown world — one we happily venture into and later emerge from a changed person. Here, the Heat Index presents five of the hottest new books that will leave you wishing you lived in a different era.

Enchantress of Paris, Marci Jefferson (Thomas Dunne Books, August 4)

enchantress of parisThermometers“Told with vivid historical detail and packed with court intrigue, this is sure to please fans of royal fiction.” — Library Journal

Heat Index: It’s written in the stars that Marie Mancini will disgrace her family, but despite astrologers’ warnings, Marie’s uncle, Cardinal Mazarin, brings her to Sun King’s Court. Though her sister is in place to distract Sun King Louis XIV, Mazarin decides Marie may be better suited for King Louis. Sacrifices, secrets and the power of divination make this 17th century historical fiction an exciting read.

Temperature: 83°


Mrs. Sinclair’s Suitcase, Louise Walters (Putnam Books, August 4)

mrs. sinclairThermometers“Musty books, unrequited love, and old family secrets combine to create a crackling multigenerational saga infused with passion, pathos, and evocative WWII-era historical detail.” — Booklist

Heat Index: Two POVs in two different eras frame this historical fiction that details the lives of Dorothy and her granddaughter, Roberta. Spanning 80 years, the two parallel stories will take you on a journey of love, sacrifice and a family history that kept us on the edge of our seats until the very last page.

Temperature: 89°


The Marriage of Opposites, Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster, August 4)

marriage-of-opposites-9781451693591_hrThermometers“Lilting prose, beautifully meted out folklore and historical references, and Hoffman’s deep conviction in her characters (especially those “willing to do anything for love”) make reading this “contes du temps passé” a total pleasure.”Kirkus, starred review

Heat Index: Meet Rachel Pissarro, the future mother of Camille Pissarro, famed Father of Impressionism. How did this St. Thomas native leave the only family she ever had and risk everything for the man she loved? The answers live in Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites, and the story that unfolds is one that delivered us to the early 1800s and quickly took our breath away.

Temperature: 92°

The Glass Sentence, S.E. Grove (Penguin Books, June 16)

glass sentence

Thermometers“It’s a cracking adventure, and Grove bolsters the action with commentary on xenophobia and government for hire, as well as a fascinating system of map magic.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Heat Index: In The Glass Sentence, the continents of the world each exist in their own time thanks to a temporal disruption, making mapping a magical art. When Sophia Tims’ map-maker uncle goes missing, it’s a race against both time and space to track him down. The secrets she discovers along the way are ones that could forever change the world as humankind knows it. Strap in for an amazing ride in the 1st installment of The Mapmakers Trilogy.

Temperature: 95°

The Wild Girl
, Kate Forsyth (Thomas Dunne Books, July 7)

wildgirl_forsythThermometers“Like a fairytale, The Wild Girl gives us an explosive and evocative set of truths set within a deceptively simple and delicately written story.” — The Newtown Review of Books

Heat Index: A Brothers Grimm novel like you’ve never read before. Set in the 1800s, The Wild Girl is the story of Dortchen Wild, the girl next door to Wilhelm Grimm, and the inspiration behind a number of the famous Grimm fairy tales. As her father is determined to keep the two apart, Grimm and Wild know they are meant to be. We fell in love over and over again with this beautifully detailed novel that pulled at our heartstrings.

Temperature: 98°