Highly Recommended Historical Romance Books

by Maryse on March 23, 2016 · 44 comments

in Book Recommendations

Talk of historical romance stories is plentiful here, and even though I am not well-versed in this genre, we have many fellow readers that absolutely LOVE and highly recommend ‘em. I couldn’t help myself! I just had to compile the most talked about ones into a list.

After all, I’ve loved a few of ‘em myself (haven’t we all, if we consider Outlander and The Bronze Horseman, just to name a few – I also read a few in Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series – SO good!), and sometimes fun to take a break from our usual genre, and explore something completely different (and yet still, 100% romance). In fact, many of the heroes in these books will remind us of our own alpha-favorites.

Maryse: I’m totally in the mood to create a Reader Recommended list of Historical Romance books. :D These sound too good to miss, and there’s plenty of us that don’t even know where to start, when it comes to Historical.

Cait: Maryse an historical list would be fab!! …I love a good regency/historical novel! Sometimes it’s hard to find a good one so I will be checking those out!

Robyn: Maryse….let me know when your doing the Historical Romance list! I’ve got a lot of great books for you!

Jeannie: I also am going back to reading more historical, so I’m going to try a few of the ones you recommended… I love historical, but many of them are too politically correct – they end up being less realistic for the time. Readers don’t seem to want to read what life might have really been like back then (medieval era, regency era or whatever historical time period), they want people to interact the way they do today set in a different historical setting. So I would like to see more historical romances that push boundaries.

Tessa: …my teenage years was filled with historical romances, especially kidnapped and sent to harem types.  :) … I’m realizing though, a lot of those historicals I read at 13,14,15 were dark. 1500s Ottoman Empire slave trade, forced marriage, pirates… yep. I’m thinking those were the original “dark romances”. …All those old historicals were so dark and angsty with strong heroines (the good ones were with strong heroines). *grins*

Fabi: I think my hobby was born from reading all those historical romance novels way back when. It seemed that every one of them had a scene with a library full of books.

bev: For me my early teens and started with historical. Heyer & Hodge. Then onto Garwood and so on… I do love a historical. I think one reason, like with UF, it’s because I get to step fully into another place.

DG: *shaking head in agreement* yep, I remember those historical romances fondly from my teenage years also.

MichelleS: Ah, a historical with words like “ruthless scoundrel” and “beautiful young widow”… right up my alley.

bev: I want to read more westerns and different historical times and places.

Michelle: I love good time travel historicals!

Diane M: Historical sounds like a great change of pace, I never read it either…

Fabi: I’ve been craving an old school historical romance. …I love the ship ones because of the close quarters, there is no getting away. And the logistics of command which puts the heroine at an even bigger disadvantage.  :-) I just love this group and all the great recommendations. Plus, you’re all so AWESOME.

Kim: I’m reading historical romance right now too :) I have been for the past 3 weeks. I feel like I’ve gone full circle since that was what I used to gobble up!! Sometimes I just need a naughty duke, a Scottish laird or a romp amongst the “ton” to whisk me away!

Jan130: A couple of comments about looking for good historicals had me checking out some more of my old favs to share. I’m pretty picky, and often find myself disappointed with some books by authors I’ve previously really enjoyed. Case in point – Mary Balogh. I absolutely love some of her books, but I’ve found others frankly tedious. (Sorry don’t mean to offend anyone). So it’s good to get recommendations from others of ‘best’ books by authors I’ve liked.


(we’ll start with Jan130′s recommendations “Here are a few more of my fav historicals. Love to hear your favs”)

IF the cover is making you hesitate… DO NOT be turned off by the cover. It appears this is MUCH LOVED!!

These Old Shades (Alastair-Audley Book 1) by Georgette Heyer <— Yeah, read her to death when I was a teenager. This one is still my fave. First published in 1926. Unbelievable. I re-read it recently out of curiosity, and it’s still got it. Super romantic story. Who needs explicit sex in a book, when one look can say it all? Ah, Justin Alastair. (Swoon). GH is a legend. AND SO MANY agree with this one (even if the cover TOTALLY doesn’t do it for me, at all… I think the story totally will!)

bev: I love this book. Have been wanting to do a re-read for a long while. I used to read it all the time but been over a decade, maybe. This is a Georgian HR and I loved the MCs. There is a big age difference. Heyer is credited with helping establish the modern HR and hero types. Id LOVE for a br. Though not for everyone. … super old school. …Love love love Avon and his Leonie. She maybe the only one not scared of him.

Heartless by Mary Balogh <— Gorgeous Georgian romance with emotionally damaged hero redeemed by the love of a good woman. (Sigh) Luke and Anna’s relationship is built beautifully and convincingly. These characters are real to me. A go-to comfort book. (Balogh’s Irresistible is also an old fave with many re-reads. I’m seriously in love with Nathaniel Gascoigne.)

A Woman Scorned (Lorimer Family & Clan Cameron series Book 2) by Liz Carlyle (Regency era) <— Loved this and all of her early books. (Sadly her recent efforts have gone off IMO.) This book is one of her best. Captain Cole Amherst. Decent, honourable, upstanding ex-soldier (and super hottie) falls for a femme fatale whose past is under a cloud. (But is she really as wicked as everyone thinks???)

Slightly Dangerous (Bedwyn Saga Book 6) by Mary Balogh <— I don’t love the other books in this series, but Wulfric’s story is pretty good. No-one thought Wulfric, the arrogant and sexy Duke, would ever lose his heart, but when he meets Christine … (REGENCY)

Devilish (Mallorens & Friends series Book 5) by Jo Beverley (Georgian) <— Again, I wasn’t rapt in the other books in this series, but this one, the tortured Rothgar and the wilful Diana’s story, was a goodie.

A Woman of Virtue (Lorimer Family & Clan Cameron series Book 3) by Liz Carlyle (Regency) <— One of her earlier, better books. It’s a companion or sequel to A Woman Scorned. Cecelia and Delacourt – instant combustion. And what is Delacourt’s dark secret???

The Country Gentleman by Fiona Hill <— OK it’s from the 80s and there’s no sex LOL. But it’s still a bright and humorous Regency, well written and witty.

A Season of Mists by Sarah Woodhouse <— Ann inherits a run-down farm but none of the locals think she can make a go of it, including her dashing neighbour Harry. Yeah, another one from the 80s and I don’t think available electronically but Woodhouse was a quality writer and I’ve enjoyed her books.

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase <— Considered a CLASSIC in this genre and Anne loved it! “I have read Lord of Scoundrels and love it! Its a classic! One of my favorite HR without a doubt!”

Love Only Once (Malory-Anderson Family Book 1) by <— Tessa recommends this one! “…just plain good historical? The Mallory- Anderson series by Johanna Lindsey. All seperate characters/ stand alones, I read them out of order and it didn’t spoil a thing. My absolute favorite was Gentle Rogue (Malory-Anderson Family Book 3). *sighs* James was one of my teenaged self’s BBF… GENTLE ROGUE! Seriously, if you love historicals, that one was awesome. *swoons over James Mallory all over again*”

Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale <— Pauline was enjoying this one! “I am reading Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale at the moment because I am in the mood for historical and at 71% I am thinking a 4.5- 5 star at this stage. It is REALLY good.”

Wolfsgate by Cat Porter <— Anna enjoyed this one! “I read Wolfsgate recently and liked it a lot! I’m picky about the historicals I read, but I had no problem at all engaging with this one and totally getting into the characters and story lines. Good stuff!”


Lord of The Isles (Zebra Historical Romance) by Debbie Mazzuca <— MichelleS recommends this one! “Lord of the Isles, D, Mazzuca (trust me, just read this time travel, highland historical!!!)”

The Highlander Series 3-Book Bundle: In Bed with a Highlander, Seduction of a Highland Lass, Never Love a Highlander (The Highlanders) by Maya Banks <— Kathy recommends these! “If you want to read historicals, Maya Banks’ Scottish Highland series, “The Montgomeries and the Armstrongs is one of the best that I have read! It is candy!”

The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning <— MichelleS is spanking me over still not having read this one! “Maryse – you just know I’m going to razz you about the whole “I KNOW Adam Black’s book I need to read ASAP in this series” comment…. say what???? His was the BEST of the bunch. Oh Adam… sweet sweet wicked Adam… (I loved Daegus MacKeltar, but Adam rocked my world).”

MacCoinnich Time Travels Series by Catherine Bybee <— MichelleS also recommends this one! “…did you ever read MacCoinnich Time Travel series (3 books) by C. Bybee? It’s kind of all that wrapped up in one (PNR, historical, fantasy). Oldie, but goody.”

The Wicked Ways of Alexander Kidd (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs Book 2) by Paula Quinn <— MichelleS loves this! “Loved it. Exactly what I needed to clean my palate. Total formula book for historical romance, but, you know sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered. I had too many that were dark or complicated or angsty on my TBR. So my favorite little part? Remeber how “V” always says “true?” at the end of everything in BDB? Well, Alexander says “savvy?” at the end of a bunch of his alpha talk…. and swoony ole’ me just ate it up! …this heroine is not a wishy-washy girl – the total opposite. Maybe that’s why I loved it – after reading Confess, which you have to admit has a wishy washy heroine, I needed a stubborn wench who slaps pirates when they get too handsy!! HA!… And it really is a bargain for a full length Paula Quinn novel. Love her Highland Historicals (Children of the Mist, The MacGregors). A wonderful escape for romance lovers that need a break from angst or dark or complicated. …really really good. Her others are re-reads for me at least twice a year. They are just that good.”

An English Bride in Scotland (Highlander Book 1) by Lynsay Sands <— Kathy recommends! “I would add Lynsay Sand’s Highlander and Historical Highlander Series.

The Highlander Series 3-Book Bundle: In Bed with a Highlander, Seduction of a Highland Lass, Never Love a Highlander (The Highlanders) by Maya Banks <— Kathy also recommends these! “I love Maya Banks Highlander Series and have been hoping a new book will come out as it has been a couple of years since the last in that series.”


The Captive Prince Trilogy by C. S. Pacat <— M/M historical romance much loved by MANY here in our group. Like Katia! “I highly recommend Captive prince trilogy by C.S.Pacat. This is historical romance with very intriguing plot and so captivating caracters! It is slow burn but very very worth it! Chek it out!!!”

Measure of Devotion Trilogy Box Set by Caethes Faron <— FM/M historical romance and Fabi recommends this one! “*squeeeeeeeeeeee* The ENTIRE Measure of Devotion Trilogy Box Set… If you like mm, if you like historical, if you like heartbreaking angst, if you like reading about a love for the ages, read this trilogy. … It is AMAZINGLY good.”

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin Trilogy Book 1) by Robin LaFevers <— Young loved this one! “I just finished Grave mercy (His fair assassin) by Robin LaFevers and wanted share with you all that it was FANTASTIC!! It took me solid two days (it is a long book – a little over 500 pages) but if you are looking for something unique and historical fantasy with a great H/h with slow slow burn, give this a try. Robin LaFevers’ writing is beautiful. Now I need to find something as good as this one.”

The Kracken King by Meljean Brook <— another bev recommendation and she says: “Oh…wait… just read The Kraken King by Meljean Brook and it was great. Steam punk so maybe fantasy or miscellaneous?


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah <— I wholeheartedly agree! This one is a favorite of mine! And Anna recommends it, too! “Nightingale Kristin Hannah – Historical fiction WWII. This was an ugly cry book.” (Maryse’s 5-star review)

Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer <— Michelle LOVED this one! Morning Glory! One of my favorite historical romances as well :D It’s a very ‘real’ story that doesn’t shy from the hard edges and of course a 1940s wartime America sets a daunting backdrop. I remember reading it when I was into the more swoony historicals with the dominant heroes and it just was a breathe of fresh air. It was all about the characters – Will and Elly with their shared vulnerability, loneliness, and simple, humbling passion.

Tapestry (Werner Family Saga Book 3) by Belva Plain <— MichelleS is excited about this one! “Tapestry??? More happy dancing from me!!! Another one of my faves. I used to read so many historicals, and a few stand out. This was one. Maybe I just hadn’t experienced that kind of angst in a historical before – who knows? I wonder how it would read now, for me!”

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher <— Jan130 recommends this one! “An oldie but still a goodie. Still makes me cry when Olivia finds the poetry book and the letters.” and Suanne Laqueur agrees! ““Shell Seekers” is one of my all-time favorites. I just reread it this fall and it was like visiting an old friend. “Coming Home” is my absolute fave by Pilcher.”


Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O’Connell <— Meliss suggests these! “Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold is wonderful! I have loved all of her books.” and bev agrees! “Eyes is a western historical romance that revolves around a marriage of convenience. Much more to it, and really good read.”

Soul Catcher (P.S.) by Michael C. White <— Lisa recommends these! “If you want a western/ historical book to rock your world you have to read Soul Catcher by Michael White and

The Tenderness of Wolves: A Novel by Stef Penney <— Lisa also recommends “The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney. Both books I couldn’t put down. (Wolves is not The Others style wolves either).”

Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson <— Anne suggests this one! “…have you read Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson? Its a great native american historical romance. Its one of my favorites :)

Tempest by Catherine Hart <— Tessa LOVED this one! “…have you read Tempest by Catherine Hart? It’s an oldie, from my high school days, when I read western historicals. The blurb is pure uninformative, but it’s the best western romance I’ve ever read. It’s so old, it’s not even in publication any more. The beginning is pure devastation. A gang stops her and her husband, tie her husband to watch as they rape her, then kill him. The rest is a revenge story, but with sweet added as she extremely slowly heals and falls for the gunslinger whom she hired to kill the men. Major, heartfelt HEA.”

Hell’s Eight Series by Sarah McCarty <— Fabi recommends this one! “…have you tried the He’ll’s Eight Series? It’s a historical romance set in the wild west. Bad boy Texas rangers. I’m reading the newest one, Ace’s Wild (Hell’s Eight Book 7), which just came out. *eyes nearby fire extinguisher* … This is a 5+ star series for me. …So steamy hot that you have to read them with a fire extinguisher in one hand.”

Heart of the West by Penelope Williamson <— bev says: “Hearts of the West & The Outsider by Penelope Williamson are great Western style.”

Without Words by Ellen O’Connell <— Another recommendation from bev “Without Words and Beautiful Bad Man by Ellen O’Connell. Take a peek.”

Beautiful Bad Man (Sutton Family Book 1) by Ellen O’Connell


Imagine by Jill Barnett <— Jeannie enjoyed this one! “Imagine by Jill Barnett is a historical that I recently read with two very different people ending up shipwrecked with three orphaned children. I loved it! Jill Barnett’s books are always fun and heartwarming.”

Sutherland Series by Kresley Cole <— Speaking of shipwrecked, MichelleS loved these!! “One of my favorite “ship wrecked” books (set of two books) was by Kresley Cole. The Sutherland series. Brothers who captain ships and the girls they rescue, that kind of thing. She’s one of my favorite authors and she does not disappoint with these historicals: sexy, fun, saucy girls, alpha males, adventure and tons of love / hate. FUN FUN FUN.”

Swan Song by Tracey Ward <— Allison LOVED this one! “Dude! Have you ever read Swan Song by Tracey Ward? If you love historicals, DO IT. It’s about a singer at the Cotton Club in Chicago back when it was run by Al Capone’s brother. She keeps everyone there at an arms length, because you know . . . gangsters. Until Birdy comes along. Drew, known as Birdy, the mysterious, dark, and deadly sniper. And OMG. It’s so good and I am typically NOT. A fan of historicals. Highly recommend! He’s the first guy I ever considered replacing Ignazio Vitale as my book husband. But I can’t. Naz is mine forever.”

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel; Clockwork Prince; Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare <— Michelle recommends this series! “The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare – I think it’s better than Mortal Instruments and has the historical feel too…”

The Awakening of Ivy Leavold (Markham Hall Book 1) by Sierra Simone <— Angie loved this one! “I just finished The Awakening of Ivy leavold by Sierra Simone. It read like a contemporary novel but it is set in the 1800s. It was dirty, erotic, smart, sexy, and really well written. Did I mention the sex was smoking hot? You guys have to read this one too!”

Keeper of the Dream by Penelope Williamson <— Julia also Also, “Keeper of the Dream” by Penelope Williamson is an awesome medieval romance novel. You have to read these! They are fabulous!!!!”


Beatrice Small ➜ Fabi suggests this author! “Oh my God, Beatrice Small. Her historicals were the best. So steamy …Beatrice Small was one of my favorite authors when I was reading historical exclusively. Her books were always so hawt. Lol. Sky O’Malley *sigh*!’ and Tessa agrees! “*SQUEELS LOUDLY* Okay, so I love Bertrice Small and her historicals especially. I”

Georgette Heyer ➜ Jan130′s recommendation! “And, (do I even need to say it?), don’t forget the legendary Georgette Heyer.”

Elaine Levine ➜ Meliss suggests this author! “Elaine Levine writes historicals about the West that are great, so are her contemporary romances.”

Sarah Mccarty ➜ Meliss loved her too! “ Sarah Mccarty historicals are excellent, too!

Julie Garwood ➜ bev loves her! “Oh, Julie Garwood. Her historical romances were so wonderful.” and Georgia agrees! “I’ve been on a Julie Garwood kick. Having re-read all her Historical romances once again. Scottish Highlanders anyone. I forgot how great of a writer she is. Who can forget The Bride. One of her best.”

Lisa Kleypas ➜ bev (and SO MANY of my friends) absolutely love THIS author!! “A. Lisa. Freaking. Kleypas. Historical!!!!! …To be honest almost all her historical books have been multiple re reads.” and Michelle agrees! “Love Lisa Kelypas! Can’t say enough good about her and historical romances in general! The first book of Lisa’s I’ve read was Married by Morning (Hathaways Book 4). If you haven’t read it do so!..Like right now! I’ve been reading your blog for about a month now and I love it! I’ve gotten so many ideas for new books to read! Keep up the great work girls!”

bev recommends this from this author: Have to mention Lisa Kleypas as she writes some of the best heroes. Seduce Me at Sunrise (Hathaways Book 2) is about Win and Kev. Win comes from a very tight knit happy family and they take Kev in. Kev is Romany and is looked down on by most. This and because of other reasons he is always trying to keep her at a distance.

Same can be said for Derek Craven in Dreaming of You (Gamblers Book 2). I mentioned this book in a previous post but he deserves to be mentioned twice. Derek was given up as a baby and grew up in the worst parts of London. He did questionable things to become the owner of his very ssuccessful gambling hall. Because of his past actions he doesn’t feel worthy of happiness with Sara. Both Sara and Win make it very clear how they feel about their heroes. So if I beg pretty please would you consider reading a Kleypas historical?

I adored Lisa Kleypas The Wallflowers series especially #3 but you have to read in order to fully appreciate that book.

Paula Quinn ➜ MichelleS considers this author a “comfort read” … “I love my comfort reads. For me, Outlander book one, one of Paula Quinn’s historicals (MaGregors of Skye)”

Tessa gives us a list of ‘em! “For a really good regency, I’d recommend (that Bev hasn’t) Mary Jo Putney, Mary Balough, Wind Dancer Series by Iris Johansen, Stephanie Laurens, Lynsay Sands, or Laura Kinsale. lol”

Virginia Henley <— Tessa also suggests this one! “…have you read Virginia Henley? Her historicals were always full of royal intrigue. *grins*”

Judith McNaught <— Julia recommends this author! “I’m a huge lover of historical romance novels and no one does it better than Judith McNaught. You have to check out her titles like “Whitney, My Love” and “Something Wonderful.” They are two of her best. and Shana agrees! “I agree with the Judith McNaught book recommendations. Judith McNaught is what started my love for romance books over 20 years ago. I have read Whitney, My love numerous times and enjoy it every time.”

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss <— Aida says this author is a MUST to be added to this list! “I’ve been lurking for quite some time, but I couldn’t keep from commenting on this post. Why, oh why, didn’t Kathleen Woodiwiss not make it on this list? Shanna was the first romance novel I read many years and it is still one of my favorite historical romances. Woodiwiss wrote many more very good historicals. She definitely should be added!” and Rose agreed! “The historical author that got me started in that genre was Kathleen Woodiwiss. Three favorites that stood out for me were A Rose in Winter, Shanna and The Flame and the Flower.

Jude Deveraux <— Tessa reminds us of this author! “Also, love for Jude Devereaux. She’s the first who was told the public like men “coercing” women and said, “If he rapes her, he’s not a hero.” Thus, she changed romances for the better. Also, Also, her books are so everywhere as far as time periods, it expands ones repertoire.”


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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy P March 23, 2016 at 8:24 PM

I would add Lynsay Sand’s Highlander and Historical Highlander Series. I love Maya Banks Highlander Series and have been hoping a new book will come out as it has been a couple of years since the last in that series.

bev March 23, 2016 at 8:26 PM

Flowers from the Storm is wonderful. Seriously Maryse you got to try it, I find it very unique. But not Western. It’s Regency. C’mom take a peek.
Hearts of the West & The Outsider by Penelope Williamson are great Western style.
And Without Words and Beautiful Bad Man by Ellen O’Connell. Take a peek. Or at Eyes of Silver Eyes of Gold. You know you wanna. ☺
Try a couple samples and see if you like any.
I’d be curious to see what you and others from our group think of These Old Shades.
In my immediate tbr I have a few new to me authors. So fingers crossed I’ll have some new ones to add, lol.

Maryse March 23, 2016 at 8:29 PM

Ohhh thank you for that correction bev!!! I just moved it up to the proper category. :) These Old Shades is the one tempting me most from this list…

bev March 23, 2016 at 8:31 PM

Oh…wait… just read The Kraken King by Meljean Brook and it was great. Steam punk so maybe fantasy or miscellaneous?
McNaught NEEDS to go digital!

Aixa March 23, 2016 at 8:34 PM

I’ve been lurking for quite some time, but I couldn’t keep from commenting on this post. Why, oh why, didn’t Kathleen Woodiwiss not make it on this list? Shanna was the first romance novel I read many years and it is still one of my favorite historical romances. Woodiwiss wrote many more very good historicals. She definitely should be added!

Rose March 23, 2016 at 8:39 PM

The historical author that got me started in that genre was Kathleen Woodiwiss. Three favorites that stood out for me were A Rose in Winter, Shanna and The Flame and the Flower.

Tessa March 23, 2016 at 8:47 PM

Uh… historical highlands time-travel? Outlander.

Also, love for Jude Devereaux. She’s the first who was told the public like men “coercing” women and said, “If he rapes her, he’s not a hero.” Thus, she changed romances for the better. Also, Also, her books are so everywhere as far as time periods, it expands ones repertoire.

Tessa March 23, 2016 at 8:53 PM

Bev, yes, McNaught does. I want her books on my tablet. I will say I don’t like Whitney My Love because of one incident (Ironic considering what we were talking about in the other thread). That just crushed me.

Shana March 23, 2016 at 8:55 PM

I agree with the Judith McNaught book recommendations. Judith McNaught is what started my love for romance books over 20 years ago. I have read Whitney, My love numerous times and enjoy it every time.

bev March 23, 2016 at 9:03 PM

So, this is bad Tessa. I read it around 20 years ago. I’m assuming the original version, but I don’t know. Because I do not remember those two infamous scenes making a huge impression on me. The melodrama and angst though for sure. *shakes head*
Like how I remembered that one heroine chained to the dog but not the rape. Seriously that is messed up.

Robyn March 23, 2016 at 9:04 PM

Okay!! Here are some of my favorite titles and authors:
Catherine Coulters books are so good. The Sherbrooke Brides, Jade Star(h is sold in a slave auction). I have read al out all her HR books and best yet, most come in a series!

Julie Garwood is like the HR Godess! I’m in love with all her books. But, my favorite is The Bride. I even named my son after the H.

Virginia Henley wrote A Year and A Day which I adore! It is a Scottish hand fasting romance.

Susan Johnson was my first foray into smutty HR. Let me tell you, her books opened my eyes to new possibilities!

So then I tried Thea Devine! Oh Boy, her books are even smuttier! But I loved them all!

Robin Schone wrote The Lover and Gabriel Woman. It’s a take on Micheal and Gabriel the Archangels. Let tell you, those men are no angels…well maybe they are! Hehe. Another favorite is The Lady’s Tutor. We all could use this Tutors services!

Nicole Jordan writes great HR also. The Lover is my all time favorite, set in the Scottish Highlands. You will fall in love with her writing.

Jill Marie Landis….Wildflower, Sunflower, Blue Moon and Come Sring to name a few. I fell in love with these books and have reread them many times.

Johanna Lindsey. She has written so many books in every genre. Some of my favorites are The Pursuit, Silver Angel, Secret Fire, Captive Bride, A Pirates Love and Paradise Wild. Seriously, look through her books and you’ll probably find one you will love!

Amanda Scott writes Scottish HR. She’s a great place to start if you crave Scottish lore!

Katherine Stone. I don’t think she writes many HR but I’m throwing her in because she is on my shelf and I love the way she writes romance. The pages come alive and you feel like you are there. Her books make me tingly! Some favs are Roommates, Imagine Love, Pearl Moon, Rainbows and Twins.

Beatrice Small wrote a book call The Kadin that I adored when I was on my Sultan/Harem kick.

Jude Deveraux wrote some great HR. I’ve read tons of her books.

Amanda Quick is another great Author of HR.

I used to read HR in my teen years. My Dad used to bring them home from his work in a big bag and it was like Christmas for me! If I think of any more I’ll share with you!

bev March 23, 2016 at 9:05 PM

Oh…wait…Tessa Dare. I’ve read the first in her Castles Ever After series. Adorable.
Oh, and Amy wants you to sample These Old Shades or one of those others. She told me that. Promise.

Debbie March 23, 2016 at 9:29 PM
Tessa March 23, 2016 at 9:34 PM

Beg, that’s what I mean by dark. Some of the things that I read make some dark novels seem fluffy. Rosemary Rogers books were so extreme, well, she is the root if some of my issues.

Robyn, I forgot Catherine Coulter. She was an insta-buy. I loved her Fire series. I loved all her historical.

Sarah March 23, 2016 at 10:22 PM

I highly recommend anything by Marsha Canham. Pride of Lions, Blood of Roses and the Robin Hood trilogy (Through a Dark Mist, Shadow of Midnight, Last Arrow) are my favorites. I first read them in college and still love them all to this day and reread frequently. She also has a pirate/swashbuckling series that’s fun:)

Amy March 23, 2016 at 10:38 PM

Wow, I have not read one single book mentioned up there. Not. One. Single. Book. But I do have some of them in my Kindle library…Grave Mercy, Morning Glory, The Nightingale, The Awakening of Ivy Leavold. Hey, should the Bronze Horseman be up there? Or did I just miss it when I was scrolling through the list…

Oh, and I guess I *did* say that to Bev. Apparently thought there were shots and hubby tattoo licking going on so I don’t remember, but I believe her. ;) So, yeah…sample her recs, m’kay?

There ya go, Bev. I backed you up. :P

Jan130 March 23, 2016 at 11:34 PM

This is great!!! So many I haven’t read. Must download samples STAT!

I loved The Captive Prince books too. Really different from the usual read. MM (not what I usually read) but beautifully written. Prince Laurent would have to be one of the best drawn characters I have read in a long time. What an enigma. What a fabulous character. What a clever, clever plot across the 3 books. Really sucks you in (in a good way). You just can’t predict what will happen next. Prince Damen is also a great character. These books are incredibly exciting adventures set in a pseudo-Ancient Grecian style world. Very sensual. Fab.

Like the look of some of these Western historicals. Also Swan Song sounds intriguing. And Wolfsgate. And Hell’s Eight. And The Kadin. And The Awakening of Ivy Leavold. Hang on, hang on, didn’t I just download a whole pile of rockstar romance samples earlier today? Eeeek! Must restrain myself and save some to download another day LOL.

Jan130 March 24, 2016 at 12:22 AM

OK – long post. If you’re not interested in Georgette Heyer, no need to read on. If you’re a Georgette Heyer virgin (are there any still out there? lol) and want to try her out, here are a few of my suggestions. I’ve been gradually rereading the whole lot in between all my other book adventures, and I’m finding that some of her heroes are looking a tad dated these days. Just a wee bit too chauvinistic for moi. (Sacrilege, I know, but I call ’em like I see ’em)

Having said that, I’ve been a die-hard GH fan since I discovered her when I was about 14, and most of the books still hold up pretty well IMO, quite a feat considering most were written in the first half of the twentieth century, and there’s NO SEX in any of the books.

Yeah, These Old Shades still holds top billing, in spite of the crappy cover pictured above. (What were they thinking???) This is a truly beautiful story. Be warned, though, the H/h are much older man, much younger woman. I think I’d find this pretty creepy IRL, but for me this book works its magic every time. But if a big age gap is really not your thing, then try one of the other books.

Devil’s Cub is about the son of Avon and Leonie (From These Old Shades) and it’s great to visit our old friends again in this book. But apart from that, this book isn’t one of my favs. I don’t like the heroine much. Damn it!

The saga of this family continues in An Infamous Army, set in Europe during the Napoleonic wars. Barbara, a feisty descendant of Leonie and Avon, falls in love with Charles Audley (truly one of GH’s most wonderful heroes – swoon), against the backdrop of war. (Strangely, some scenes were reminiscent of Gone With The Wind). There is a lot of historical detail in this book (um, I found myself skipping pages lol) but the love story is beautiful and powerful, and the horror of war is convincingly depicted.

The other connected book is Regency Buck, the love story of Judith with Julian Audley, Earl of Worth (and Charles Audley’s brother, from Infamous Army). Julian is a bit arrogant/chauvinistic, but it’s still an enjoyable story.

So what do I recommend (apart from TOS)? Here’s some for starters. Venetia would have to be one of my absolute favs. What a wonderful character she is, and how beautifully drawn. She is underappreciated by her family and lives in difficult circumstances, but she still has a positive attitude to life. Then the cynical rake Damerel moves in next door, and how can she not fall for him?? This book is a joy.

Black Sheep is very enjoyable – an unlikely pairing who fall in love. Miles is a rake who has been everywhere, man, done everything. Spent years in India, now back in England where he meets the very proper Miss Abigail Wendover and finally loses his heart.

Arabella – another goodie. A slightly too arrogant hero, perhaps, but it’s a lovely story. The sweet, naïve vicar’s daughter who on her way to London accidentally gets tangled up with the arrogant, bored, rich Mr Beaumaris.

Sofia Grey March 24, 2016 at 2:53 AM

Ohhhhhh…. I LOVE THIS LIST!!!!

But wait… No Tessa Dare? Or Anna Campbell? They are both Must Buy Reads in the Regency genre :-(

Lisa Kleypas is a gem, though. I think I’d read her shopping list if she published it!

And M/M historicals can be soooooo good. Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt in particular: Broken Blades is WWII, and un-put-downable.

Thank you, Maryse :)

Ann March 24, 2016 at 3:14 AM

Hello everyone, I live in Belgium and with the awful things that have happened here I’m glad I can escape into the wonderful world of books. I really liked Knight in shining armour by Jude Deveraux and all books by Elizabeth Hoyt, especially the first one The Raven Prince. The heroine is feisty and he’s very arrogant. It’s very funny when he falls off his horse and she laughs at him and he gets very “I did not fall madam!”
Thank you Maryse and everyone here for all the great recommendations!

Cait March 24, 2016 at 3:39 AM

Thanks Maryse! If so been looking forward to this list and love that you have them separated! Going to start one once I’m finished collared! I need to see what has Ela so wound up!!

Dana March 24, 2016 at 7:09 AM

Maryse: You have to add all the Historical romances by Tracy Anne Warren! She is awesome- especially her Braeborne siblings books. I have read all her books many many times. I would also recommend the Cynster books by Stephanie Lauriens and Heather Graham’s Cameron Saga. Julia Quinn is also great.


StaceyU March 24, 2016 at 8:08 AM

Diana Palmer and Kinley MacGregor (aka Sherrilyn Kenyon) have some good historical romances as well……….

Amelia by Diana Palmer
Lacy by Diana Palmer
Trilby by Diana Palmer
Sea Wolves Series by Kinley MacGregor ****pirates**** ;)
The MacAllisters Series by Kinley MacGregor

bev March 24, 2016 at 9:09 AM

I like the cover, lol.
Jan, I’ve always liked Mary and how opposite her and Vidal are.
I like how all the heroes have like five different names in HR.

bev March 24, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Ann, horrible and heartbreaking and terrifying what happened.
Belgium looks like a beautiful country with very strong people.

Ann March 24, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Thank you Bev. But we have “balls of steel” (our national monument Atomium). This could also be a good booktitle. I just thought of 2 other favourites. Wat an Earl wants by Shirley Karr and Marry me by Susan Kay Law.

DG March 24, 2016 at 10:33 AM

One of the few HR’ s I have read recently was Forever His by Shelly Thacker. Time travel, so it was a good mix of CR to HR.

DG March 24, 2016 at 10:37 AM

Heartbroken for you all Ann. Senseless tragedy.

Teri March 24, 2016 at 10:44 AM

I am bouncing & clapping with joy! SO MANY great suggestions and so many authors & books I’ve never even heard of. My TBR list is out of control and about to get a little thicker yet. YA ME!

Ann… I’m so glad that you found this great outlet in light of what’s happened in Belgium. It’s so devastating and I do wish you ALL over there very heartfelt sympathies. I’m glad for the “Ball’s of Steel”!!!!

Jan – I’m taking SO many great suggestions from your lists. Thanks for posting :-) EEK!! Where to start…

Amy March 24, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Ann, sending thoughts and prayers for your country. Those f&%$ing cowards.

It’s wonderful to escape real life through our beloved books though, isn’t it? :)

Ela March 24, 2016 at 11:55 AM

I only read Outlander so far…

Ann March 24, 2016 at 12:06 PM

DG,Teri and Amy, who wants real life when you can sail the high seas with a rugged pirate or be swept off your feet by a hot alpha hero, sigh, a girl can dream, can’t she

Fabi March 24, 2016 at 12:34 PM

This is an AMAZING list. Thank you Maryse.

DG March 24, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Ann, my sentiments exactly! Bring on the hot sexy alpha!

Amy March 24, 2016 at 4:19 PM

YES, Ann!! :D

Or ride on the back of a MC guy’s bike. Or struggle through the angst of being a rock star’s girl. Or fall in love with a caveman. ;)

Just to be clear, you DO know I was calling those roaches (AKA terrorists) the cowards, not the people of Belgium…right? Gah, I hope so…

Ann March 24, 2016 at 4:31 PM

Yeah Amy, no worries I might be Flemish but I got you :-)
I don’t know about the time difference, but I’m getting ready for bed, gonna take my kindle and dive in a new story….

Amy March 24, 2016 at 4:35 PM

I’m on the West coast of the States, and it’s about 2:30 p.m. here.

I love this! We have chatty ladies from Ireland, Australia, Scotland (where IS Laura, by the way?!?) and now Belgium! Did I miss anyone in that country roll call?

Jan130 March 24, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Hi everyone from the eastern side of Australia. It’s about 10am here. Time to sit down with a coffee and my Kindle, I think!

What about Pam Rosenthal? (aka Molly Weatherfield, you know, Carrie’s Story? Very saucy BDSM!) As Pam Rosenthal, she has written 4 HRs, of which the best (IMO) is The Edge of Impropriety. (Regency) Jasper is an antiquarian who starts an affair with a female novelist. Jasper is one of those quiet, older heroes who flies under the radar (so to speak), and but under the covers, he’s hawt!

Last night I clicked on a bargain triple-header of Hell’s Eight books 1, 2, 3. Loving what I read of book 1 last night – about to get back into it. Thank you again for all this wonderful sharing. I’d never heard of Sarah McCarty before this list.

Hello Ann in Belgium from Australia. Like the rest of the world, we are thinking of you all with tears in our eyes and prayers in our hearts.

Fabi March 24, 2016 at 6:21 PM

Jan130 the Hell’s Eight series is hot hot hot!

Rosheen March 25, 2016 at 2:31 AM

Yes yes agree in western historical Ellen O’Connell all her books but most favourite of all time Eyes of Silver Eyes of Gold.

Maryse March 25, 2016 at 12:18 PM

My pleasure my friends!!! :D I’m actually adding to it every day. SO many more recommendations cam in so it will double in size easily.

Sally March 25, 2016 at 2:31 PM

Judith Mcnaught historical romances are definitely the best I’ve read. She writes the perfect heroes. Bump them up on your recommendations list. More people deserve to read these books. After all the books I’ve read hers are still some of my favourites

Jan130 March 25, 2016 at 6:58 PM

Hmmm. Maybe it’s time to dust off my old Judith McNaught paperbacks for a reread. I do remember really loving the funny feisty heroines and the hot rakish heroes. Wonder how I’ll find them now after not having read them for quite a while.

Ann, I’m liking the look of Elizabeth Hoyt. Never read her but after checking her out on amazon she sounds right up my alley. Looks promising. Thanks for the rec.

Bev, the cover of These Old Shades, well, if I’d never read Heyer, this cover wouldn’t really entice me to do so. And the picture I’ve had in my head for years of Leonie is nothing like the pic on that cover. So it doesn’t really work for me. I take your point about Vidal and Mary from Devil’s Cub, but somehow this book lacks the magical charm of These Old Shades, don’t you think? No-one can beat Leonie and Justin. Yes OK, Mary is a different kind of character, but she just lacks charisma for me. However I know I’m in the minority here as there are so many who agree with you that Mary is just right for Vidal. But isn’t the wonderful thing about books, and life, and the whole shebang that we’re all different and heck wouldn’t life be boring if we all liked exactly the same things? And isn’t it fun to agree and disagree and share great books and authors and be able to chat openly about them without people being judgy judgy? Sadly in everyday life there are so many who scoff at romance books as if they’re somehow inferior to other kinds of literature :-(

Maryse, I love this site …..

Now I’d better stop getting too philosophical on a sunny Saturday morning…. Maybe it’s just time to crank up my Kindle and get readin’.

Ann March 25, 2016 at 8:10 PM

Hey Jan, it’s best to start with The Raven Prince, the books can be read as stand alones, but sometimes characters come back.
I can’t sleep and I’m surprised nobody mentioned Brenda Joyce. The Masquerade was my first historical, really good. Shy, bookish heroine secretly worships our arrogant lord.
Other titles
Reforming a rake by Suzanne Enoch
Duke of Scandal by Adele Ashworth
Once in every life by Kristin Hannah
Passion by Lisa Valdez (this one’s really hot)
Ok I can sleep now ;-)

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