Reading Claudia Dain

I love to read.  Oh, I love to read, and I’ve been so very happy reading for hours every night Claudia Dane’s incredible series, The Courtesan Chronicles.  Megan Crane introduced me to Claudia Dane.  Insisted I read her.  I said yeah, yeah, I’ll make a note of it but never picked up a book.  I visited Megan’s home six months ago,  inspected her library even as I complained that I needed something really good to read and Megan pointed to her shelf where Claudia’s books were, and said, “Read her.”

I will, I said half-heartedly, because really, the courtesan?  I’m not such a courtesan fan.  Courtesans are, well….courtesans.  Not nice girls.  Not necessarily the kind that one would call heroic.

A couple months ago, still complaining that I needed something to really grab my attention, Megan mailed me a brand new copy of The Courtesan’s Daughter, the first book of Dain’s series.

I looked at it.  Started it.  Put it down two pages later.  Then lamenting I had nothing else to read, picked it up again and then bam, about twenty pages into it, I fell in love.  Was hooked.  Completely.  Claudia Dain is brilliant!   She’s not like any other author writing today.  She doesn’t write familiar books, or books with perfect heroines.  No, her heroines are all flawed and at times a little self-absorbed, perhaps narrow minded, or a tad shallow, but the charm of these books is that each of these heroines grows and comes into her own and falls in love in the most marvelously unique, surprising, and well, delightful ways.  Dain’s prose is sharp and witty and, delightful. Yes, I know I used the word twice.  I can’t help it.  I’m seriously delighted by stories with unconventional characters, intriguing plots, fantastic dialogue and wit.  I love a smart book.  I love a smart author.  I love a smart woman.

I’m so enthralled with the series that I recently wrote Claudia a fan mail and posted a review over at Amazon of The Courtesan’s Daughter.  Claudia has the talent of Georgette Heyer and best of all, has a NEW book coming out early July.  Hurrah!  I can not wait and I’m looking forward to meeting her in Orlando at RWA’s national conference this July.

To celebrate Dain’s incredible talent and wit, I’m going to be giving away 5 copies of The Courtesan’s Daughter along with some other fun goodies like a Starbucks drink cards, chocolate and more.  If you want to win, tell me if you’ve ever read or heard of Claudia Dain, and if you like Regency romance, and what kind of heroines most appeal to you.  The contest will run through Saturday midnight and I’ll announce the five winners Sunday morning.


  1. I haven’t heard of her, but the book sounds fascinating. I’m a big fan of the strong, capable heroine–no damsels in distress, please!

  2. I have heard of her, but haven’t read any of her books yet. I like the heroines to be smart, strong and fearless women. I’m not much into the swooning regency females, give me one with backbone. I do enjoy regency romance. I read my first one too many years ago to count, I believe it was Barbara Cartland. I was a teenager at the time so hers were pretty tame.

  3. Claudia Dain is wonderful. I read her frist novel and enjoyed it greatly. A heroine who has strength of character and principles is important. I read a Regency novel when I am in different mood and need a change of pace.

  4. Hi, Jane! How are you and yours? : )

    I am very aware of Claudia Dain and her popular series “The Courtesan Chronicles”, but I have yet to read any of her books. I very much enjoy Regency Romance. My earliest romance reads were by Georgette Heyer, Barbara Cartland and Jane Aiken Hodge. Risky and risque are some of the more enjoyable elements of Regency Romance. A sharper air of mischief, perhaps due to a spoiled social set seeking to relieve boredom, is part of the fun. Mystery, murder, and mayhem all add to the mix. How malevolent a turn should the story take? As far as the author will take us, as long as there is still a point of return, a chance for redemption and rescue. Some characters and story lines lend themselves more gracefully to darker shadings. However, it is the contrast between “the upstairs and downstairs” which gives a deeper, meatier flavor to certain Regencies. The Ton would not have their drawing rooms and other comforts without the working class, whose labor allows for the luxury of others. Some of the most interesting and satisfying Regency relationships are those between “Societal and Servant”. When there is affection and codependency, whether obvious or subtle, the relationship becomes even more enjoyable.

    I like heroines who are intelligent and refuse to be otherwise. Men who don’t appreciate smart women don’t deserve them! Most of the time, women are the nurturers and caregivers, which is their most natural role. However, it’s also fun to see women as warriors, entrepreneurs, mechanics, engineers, surgeons, architects, scientists and athletes. Strong women deserve strong men who are confident enough not to be threatened by a “Steel Magnolia” : )

  5. I hope you know that books 2-4 are part of my personal collection, Jane. MY KEEPER SHELF. You have to give them back!

    I also hope everyone runs out and grabs a copy of this book, whether they win or not, because Claudia Dane truly is a bright, shining jewel among writers and I promise you will love every perfect word!

    1. Megan dear, just so you know, over at Brenda Novak’s auction I’m bidding on a complete set of Claudia’s Courtesan Chronicles that have been autographed. So. Yes, you can have your books back. I’m getting my own. Signed. 🙂

  6. Interesting. i have heard of Claudia Dain but have never read her. Here’s the interesting part. I’m almost positive i read about her and this book on recently. I’m thinking that’s where. I was the same as you on the courtesan thing. Plus i have only read a few Regency books too. Then i believe there was a excerpt or something and it sounded really good so i was intrigued there but like you i never went and found the book. Now it seems i simply must lol. Your friend was so sure you would like it but have to force it on you to make you believe. To funny. Bet you take her word next time. It’s so refreshing to find a author who writes different but brilliantly at the same time. I’ll be checking Claudia Dain out thanks to you Jane.


  7. I’d never heard of Claudia Dane. I am always looking for new authors though. I like heroines who you can relate to. I guess I prefer heroines who are flawed or imperfect. I like it when they are strong willed and capable of overcoming obstacles.

  8. Thanks for the recommend, Jane. I’m always very keen to pick up a book by a new (recommended) author, especially in Regency romance. Have you ever read Anna Campbell’s books? She’s another great Regency author. Her books are described more as Regency Noir. Oh, and Anne Gracie! Brilliant, clever and sparkling, are the words that come to mind when I think of her books.

    Hugs from NZ!

    1. Yvonne, I LOVE Anna Campbell’s books. Have read every single one. Crazy about her. And Anne Gracie is fabulous beyond words as well. Thanks for mentioning two of my favs!!!

  9. I haven’t read anything by her. I have heard of her and would love to read these books.

    My favorite heroines are ones that are strong, feminine…take care of themselves and others but aren’t afraid to have someone do for them as well.

  10. I do enjoy Regency Romance and read Anne Gracie as well as Eloisa James, Stephanie Laurens, Loretta Chase and Elizabeth Hoyt. I have not ever heard of Claudia Dane, but will look for her books. Strong women characters no matter the time period are important to me.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. A quick FYI: Just went to Amazon to read your comment on Claudia Dane’s book and looked at other things you have commented on and if you like News At Eleven you would probably like Michael Card. I give his CD Sleep Sound In Jesus (it has his own original lullabies) as a baby gift and have a friend with three children who scratched her CD and had to send her husband out to look for a copy to get their kids to go to sleep that night. Another good CD that kids and weary parents like is Baby Yourself by Stephen Marq. It is a great “destressor” for everyone! Smile!

  11. hi jane. i have heard of claudia dain, but i haven’t picked up any of her books to read yet. if you recommend her writing, i will be sure to check it out and see what i think. i love to read all the time. i like a heroine who is strong on her own, but that will let herself love and be loved; one with values of her choosing and a backbone to stand her ground when others may judge her.
    hope you have a wonderful memorial day weekend!

  12. I have read Claudia’s books before, the last one was “The Courtesan’s Secret.” I love brainy and resourceful heroines.

  13. Hi Jane,

    I’m sorry to say that I have not heard of Claudia Dain but will definetly have to read one of her books. I love to read new romance novels by the poolside.

    I love books with heroines that are stong, smart, courageous and beautiful.

    P.S. When you come to Orlando in July for the conference will you be doing a book signing anywhere? ((( crosses fingers)))


    1. Melissa, I will be doing a book signing in Orlando! Actually, there will be hundreds of us doing a book signing all together at the RWA Conference. Late Wed afternoon of the conference is the Literacy Signing, where publishers donate books and whatever readers come and buy go to a local literacy organization. I imagine I’ll have copies of Easy On The Eyes there, and probably my last Harlequin Presents. Details are on my events page, if there should be another signing while in Orlando, I promise to keep you posted!

  14. i have never heard of this author before, but sounds like something i would like to read. right now i am stuck in bed sick w.a head cold and i have a few pages left of my emily giffin book.

  15. I have come across Claudia Dain’s name a time or two but have yet to read her books.

    Haven’t read much Regency to date.

    I like heroines who stand up for themselves, have a back bone, are not perfect to say the least, and who can take care of themselves but let the right man love them.

  16. I’ve never heard of Claudia, but always like to try a new author that you recommend. I know I won’t be disappointed.
    I love a strong heroine who sticks to her beliefs.
    Have a great weekend.

  17. I have heard of her but haven’t read any of her books. I will have to check her out. This sounds like a wonderful giveaway and on a great weekend. I plan on spending sometime getting in a bit of well deserved reading. How are you and Mac feeling these days, hopefully better?
    Have a great, safe Memorial Day weekend.

  18. I’ve never heard of Claudia Dain, but you’ve never steered us wrong, so I’ll definitely check her out. You recommended Liza Palmer after she guest-blogged when you had baby Mac, and I’ve read all 3 of hers and loved them. I love an author that makes you laugh out loud while you read.

    I like heroines who are strong in character and will, who are smart but can also laugh at themselves, and most of all one that loves others and will let herself be loved in return.

    peace out

    ps – it’s been raining and snowing (yep, we got snow on May 24th!) almost every day in Salt Lake City for the past month or so. So I’m grateful for surfer Ty’s website that’s now bookmarked. When the funky weather gets me down I just pull up his site and get lost in the amazing photos. Please thank him for me. :o)

  19. I have never heard of Claudia Dain until now. I will have to pick up one of her books! I like heroines that stand up for themselves and are strong. I also love heroines who aren’t even close to perfect and have issues. Drama, who doesn’t love it?! 🙂
    Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone!

  20. I don’t know Claudia Dain and I agree the title would put me off. I do like historical novels and Regency is a good era.

  21. I had never heard of Claudia before. I am really excited to read some of her work now! It sounds like she doesn’t disapoint!
    My favorite heroins are those who are independent, strong and will fight for what they believe.
    Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, Jane!!

  22. I’ve never heard of her before. I’m reading a Georgette Heyer novel right now though and loving it. If Claudia Dain writes similarly, that’s definitely a good thing. 🙂

    Have a great weekend.

  23. I have heard of Claudia Dain and totally agree with you. Sadly, I was reading CD during busy work time and had to return it to the library before finishing it. I think that may have been a first for me. She is an incredibly smart writer, witty and clever writer and I do so love clever. I love how her heroines are strong and ambitious and unapologetic about it even as they wield that ambition towards their own successes in a male-oriented world. So glad you’re enjoying her!

    I’m very fond of Regency heroines because they tend to be clever and witty and are often strong women in unfortunate circumstances. Cue the drama! I think Julia Quinn nails that era so well and with such great humor and of course Eloisa James is brilliant.

  24. I have read books by her but not this latest series and they were good. I do enjoy all different settings for stories and Regency is a fun one with the gowns, jewels and parties.

  25. I went to Claudia’s page and saw that I had read dome of her older medieval books. I really like the Marriage Bed.
    I love Regency set stories. It seems like such an elegant time era. As for the heroine’s of the time period I like to see them start off sassy. Due to the rules of society they have to go along with the rules in public but it is a different matter in private.

  26. I love Regency romance but have not read any of Claudia’s books but have heard a lot about them! I would love to read this book! It sounds like my kind of read, although I read a little of everything!

  27. I had not heard of Claudia Dain before. I do like Regency romance and it sounds like I need to check out some of her books! Thanks for mentioning this, I am always willing to try an author you recommend! As far as heroines go, I like those that are smart, strong, hard-working and independent.

  28. I haven’t heard of Claudia Dane or her books, but I’m intrigued now and will absolutely add her works to my reading list. I haven’t read any books from the Regency eraeither, but from everyone’s comments, I guess it’s time to give it a try! My favorite heroine is confident and strong with a wee bit of vulnerability.

  29. Nope, can’t say that I’ve ever heard of Claudia Dain, but your glowing review will make me look for her!

    I like to read Regency romance every once in a while. I am a big fan of Julia Quinn and way back when (like late 70’s early 80’s) I also read Georgette Heyer and enjoyed her very much.

    I like a heroine with some flaws… flaws that make her more human, flaws that are believable. I like to see strength and growth in my heroines, I like warmth and humour.

    Have a great weekend Jane!

  30. Yes, I’ve heard of Claudia Dain, but never read anything from her. Sounds interesting and more so with your recommendation. Also have not read the Regency but do like historical romance.
    Hope you’re feeling good now and the rest of the family as well, have a super weekend!

  31. I have never read any of Claudia Dain books, but I love regency romances. My best friend hooked me into them. I love the period, clothes, manners, architecture, social mores and manner of living. Follows from the Jane Austen I am so fond of. My favourite author of that genre are probably Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, and Julia Quinn.I have started to read Georgette Heyer since she practically invented the genre. I like my heroines to be smart, capable, adventurous, and independent with the heros appreciating these traits.Sort of what I want to be and have for myself.

  32. I remember when you suggested Liza Palmer. Maybe a page on your site should include a “Recommended by Jane” list.

    Who wouldn’t love a courtesan? Someone who thumbs her nose at convention, lives by her uh, wits, and is usually successful.

  33. Hey Jane! Hope you are having a great Memorial Day weekend! Mine kicked off today, so I’m ecstatic. :0)

    I have not read any Regency romance books. So I definitely had not heard of Claudia Dain until your post.

    I guess to summarize what I like in a heroine – she’s usually challenged and overcomes whatever odds are working against her; uses her intelligence to overcome her odds. Her possession of quick wit is also great!

  34. I’m not familiar with the author or Regency but am always excited to read a new genre. Often I surprise myself and fall in love with a new author or book type so please, please, please pick me!

  35. I’ve never read Claudia Dane but I do love discovering new writers…my favorite type of heroine is probably one who is strong and independent and I’ve never read a Regency romance but maybe I will pick one up and see how I like it. Happy Friday and have a great weekend. 🙂

  36. Thanks for the recommendation of Claudia Dane – I’ve never read any of her books – but I’ll check them out this weekend – since I’m looking for a good book for the long weekend!

    I love smart, confident heroines!

  37. Hi Jane! I haven’t heard of Claudia until now. I have never read a Regency romance book, but I would love to! 🙂 I love heroines to be strong, independent and kind hearted.

    Have a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend everyone!!

  38. Hi Jane,
    I have never heard of Claudia but I will definitely check her out. I love the books you have recommended in the past. I’ll be heading to the library today to see if I can find it. I can’t wait for a new, exciting read!

  39. Glad to see I’m not alone in having never heard of Claudia Dane. I am always looking for new authors so will look for her today at the library. We’re in for a foggy, rainy weekend so a couple of good books to get lost in would be wonderful!

  40. Hi Jane,

    I’ve heard of Claudia Dain, but have never read any of her books. They are on my list of books I’d like to read, but that list is miles long.

    I like Regency romance & I also like flawed heroines. The flaws make the story more realistic.

    Hope all is well with you & your family. Enjoy the holiday weekend!


  41. Save your free copy for another reader because I own EVERY book in Claudia’s Courtesan line AND they are all autographed. She is in my local RWA chapter and is as sweet and witty and delightful as her characters.

  42. Hi Jane –

    Glad you’ve discovered Claudia Dain. Her books are always intriguing and fun. I could recommend any and all, so appriciate your reinforcing my opinion.


  43. hi Jane,
    I’ve been wanting to read oone of Claudia Dain books, i’ve heard so many good reviews about her books. but still no luck for me to own one 🙂

    i like smart, strong, and kind heroines.

  44. I have not heard of her. I do love lerning about new authors or great books. Thank you for the information.

  45. Jane,

    Dain who? Writes what? I have a tbr shelf and I may be able to squeeze in several more books, only if your sure this one is good. You know, I’m trying to drop a few (okay MANY) pounds. Every trip I make to Barnes & Noble requires a drink from Starbucks, they just seem to go hand in hand. I will force (lol) myself to stop in at SB on my way to purchase one of Claudia’s books.
    The heroines I most enjoy reading about are funny, smart, and not perfect. They must seem real, like they could be one of my three sisters, or my best friend. If she’s a whiner, weeper, wailer, wimpy, dingy Barbie type I will want to ring her neck.
    Hope to see you in Texas in October. Umm I’m not going to bring my husband. He thinks your “one hot author.” Better yet, I think I will ring his neck.. lol

  46. I haven’t heard of Claudia Dain. I’ll have to pop over to Amazon and check out the books and reviews.

    I like a heroine who is strong, funny, and somewhat down to earth. Humour is important to me.

    Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!!!

  47. Hi all! It’s Sunday….night. I forgot to come post the winners earlier because…well, because I forgot. I’m chasing Mac everywhere these days and today seemed to be the day of tumbles, scrapes, falls and tears. Lots of owies and lots of tears.

    However, he’s in bed and I have drawn the names of the 5 winners! Please, please send me your address ASAP if you are one of the winners so you can get started reading your wonderful Claudia Dain novel soon! 🙂

    The 5 winners are:

    #4 Virginia C

    #14 Melissa M

    #25 Kiersten

    #33 Shelley

    #47 Becky

    Now you know what to do, my lovelies, so do it!!!

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