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A historical by any other name: Recommendations welcome!

My Knights of Passion series!

Also in Knights of Passion!

Steampunk is the first novelty that comes to mind. Lately, I asked folks on one of the loops I belong to to define this for me. I learned it is set in the Victorian-Edwardian period, but with additional delights of fantasy. (Wow! Who knew?) I must give it a try.
Then, an avid fan of the new HBO series GAME OF THRONES (and weirded out, lemme just say, because Sean Bean is gone, baby, gone!), I am oh so tempted to give Martin's series a go! The rendering of a medieval time period with alternative universes is oh, so well done. 
Then, too, I tried lately a novel set in Imperial Rome. While I will not which one it was because, while a best-seller, I thought it absolutely dreadfully written and rather parochial in its approach, I did adore the subject matter.
All of which leads me to conclude:
1. I will tolerate an author's poor rendering if I am fascinated enough by the subject matter.
Amazing to me, intolerant as I am usually of bad craft.
2. I would adore recommendations from you on other works similar to the Thrones/Martin works.
3. And I would adore recommendations on great Steampunk novels you have enjoyed!  Erotica or not, I might add!

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