If you asked me about historical romance novels, my first thought would probably be, “that’s not really my genre of choice.”
But then as I started thinking about this list, I realized that while I might not have 100 historical romance suggestions, I do have some beloved books that exactly fit that bill.
Some of these have been favorite for the past decade, while others are ones I’ve read as recently as a few weeks ago – it’s been so fun to dig more into a genre I’ve historically not spent a lot of reading.
Even better, I asked on Instagram for recommendations and WHOA, did the recommendations come flying in!
Here are my seven favorites and then below that, you’ll see all the recommendations I got – you better believe my library holds are maxed out!
7 Favorite Historical Romance Novels (+ 50 more suggestions)
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
This was one of the first historical romances I read, years and years ago, and when I asked for recommendations for historical romance novels, it was absolutely the most shared title. Marianne is invited to visit Edenbrooke by her twin sister who intends to marry into the family that owns the country estate and Marianne, mourning the loss of her mother and lonely in Bath with her grandmother, quickly agrees. She has no interest in romance herself, but is very anxious for a change of scenery. Lucky for her, she’s going to get both. I especially loved the snappy dialogue in this one. (Blackmore is another historical romance by the same author and it’s good but not AS good as Edenbrooke). (Full review here).
Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker
I just listened to this one a few weeks ago and it was an absolute delight. Amelia and her sister face abject poverty as soon as their stepfather dies and Amelia is hopeful that before that happens, she can secure a marriage between her sister and a wealthy gentleman – Sir Ronald – her sister has shown some interest in. Fortunately, they’re invited to a house party at Sir Ronald’s house and it looks like things for the sisters. Until Amelia discovers that one of the other guests, Peter Wood, is hoping to help HIS sister make a match with Sir Ronald. And when Amelia finds attraction blooming for Peter, things are going to get even more tricky.
These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner
I read this book YEARS ago after my mom raved about it and sent me a copy. She wasn’t wrong – this historical romance is written in diary form (a format I generally don’t care for but works wonderfully here) and follows Sarah Prine and her family in the Arizona Territories where pretty much every bad thing you can imagine happens until they join up with a wagon train. The leader of the wagon train is Captain Elliot and Sarah by turns admires him and despises him. Of course she does. I LOVED this book. (Full review here)
Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden
This was my most recent historical romance title and I loved it (the audiobook as read by Kristen Potter, whom I have long loved – she is the reader for Hattie Big Sky which is also a terrific book). In this one Miriam arrives in the tiny town of Savage Wells for a nursing job, only to discover that the doctor in question had actually sent in for a mail-order bride who could act as both wife and nurse. After the wedding does NOT take place, she accepts the nursing job anyway because she can’t go back to where she’s come from. As the mystery of her past starts to unravel, a romance between the two starts to slowly develop (surprise!). This is the second book in the Savage Wells series but can be read alone (although I plan to go back and read the first one – it’s included in Audible Plus!).
What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
This was an Everyday Reading Book Club book back in February 2022 and it’s definitely one of the most popular books I’ve ever done in book club – I got a FLOOD of messages from people who were absolutely obsessed with this time travel book about a woman from America raised by her Irish grandfather who, after his death, returns to Ireland to spread his ashes and finds herself back nearly a hundred years earlier, meeting her grandfather who is a little boy. This one is full of history and romance and read by two terrific narrators, who really bring it to life. The first couple of chapters are a bit slow, so be willing to be a little patient – it’s worth it! (Full Review Here)
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Romance, intrigue, and class warfare – what’s there not to like? Set at the turn of the twentieth century in New York City, The Luxe begins with Elizabeth Holland’s funeral. She’s the daughter of a high society family and this is supposed to be her wedding day to one New York’s most eligible bachelors. The book introduces the main characters present at the funeral and then rewinds two weeks to show the events leading up to the funeral. It’s full of twists and turns, both big and small, and I loved every second of this story told from the point of view of five characters. The Luxe is the first in the series of four and I devoured all of them. They’re basically the perfect historical romance series.
Lovely War by Julie Berry
The story takes place during World War I and follows four main characters, so you get two love stories for the price of one. Even more interesting? The story is framed by several Greek gods who are in a tiff of their own during World War II (I lied – THREE love stories!). I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it works. It’s in the top 10 books I’ve ever read. And while I read a paper copy, I’ve heard the audio version is STUNNING.
Historical Romance Suggestions from Instagram
Marigold is determined to win, especially if that means beating her rival, Tristan. Tristan can’t stand Marigold. But with family ties and a love for archery, they always seem to end up together. This is a true enemies to lovers historical romance novel.
This historical romance novel bounces back and forth between a current day author, Carrie, trying to write a historical novel about the Jacobite Uprising in 1708 and the pages of her written novel.
On an adventure from London to Africa, Anna is running away from her life and boards a ship, not knowing where she will end up. Despite the warnings, she is determined to make a new life for herself, on her own terms.
Grace is an orphan and had been living with the vicar and his wife after the death of her parents. When Grace finds herself in London, living with her aunt, she discovers she will have to be quick on her feet as well as secure a marriage quickly if she wants to remain safe. This one has a sequel too if you end up loving it.
19-year-old Belle is an heiress being pressured into marriage by her mother and uncle. Given the laws of 1816, the moment she marries, she loses any independence. When she takes matters into her own hands and proposes to a man of her choosing, will she go through with the marriage, or will she embrace her independence?
It’s the French Revolution and Marseille returns home to her aristocratic Royalist family. Gilles, a supporter of equality and liberty, is a clerk at Caroline’s father’s soap factory. As their paths cross, Gilles begins to question the methods his group is taking to remove themselves from the monarchy. Will a romance spark between these two, even with their opposing viewpoints?
This series follows the many heartfelt romances of the Jonquil brothers. If this one is a winner in your book, Sarah Eden has plenty more regency romance series to keep you busy, including the Lancaster Family series that also came highly recommended.
To save her family from destitution, Kitty Talbot needs a fortune and quick. She heads to London to take on the challenge of finding a suitably rich husband. When Lord Radcliffe sees Kitty for the cunning fortune-hunter that she is, he is determined to stop her.
Cecilia, is both a proper lady and a pirate. She is part of a ladies’ society where they discuss things like embroidery and guns. Ned, is an assassin and a spy, who was hired by different people to kill, kidnap, and protect Cecilia. This is a wildly romantic book with whimsical adventure and the craziest storyline you’ve ever heard.
The name Blackstone is marked with scandal and heartbreak, but everyone knows this infamous wealthy family name. These three books follow members of the Blackstone Dynasty as they try to protect their families, take a chances on love, and risk their fortune in the process.
Cora Cash has it all, youth, beauty, and money, but there is one thing her money cannot buy- a title. Ivo is a handsome poor bachelor, but happens to have the title Duke in front of his name. They seemed to be a match made in heaven, but when Cora suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, will her life be fairytale she always envisioned?
When Hannah goes to Summerhaven, she has high hopes of marrying her childhood friend Oliver. As fate would have it, nothing goes to plan and Hannah ends up in a pretend courtship with his older brother Damon. What could go wrong?
Diana Barton is the successful owner of multiple railroad lines. Growing tired of constantly fending off suitors who want to claim her wealth, Diana decides to begin a relationship with Baron Lord Bryant, which would surely ruin her reputation. The last thing Lord Bryant wants is a wife, but decides to enter into a counterfeit relationship with Diana on certain conditions. As they grow closer, the lines between romance and their fake relationship become blurred.
Margaret has been hurt by love before and has sworn that a marriage of convenience is the only way to protect her heart. During a matchmaking party, she meets Mr. Northam and deems him the perfect gentleman for her marriage plan. But she soon discovers that his cousin, Lord Gregory Williams, is against the match, and wants to protect Margaret from making a horrible decision. The more time she spends with Gregory, the more she starts second guessing what she truly wants in a marriage. Should she follow her heart and marry for love, or could she be happy in a loveless lonely marriage?
Marion Watt vows to never play piano in public again, after she was humiliated by Lord William during her first public performance. A year later, Marion runs into Lord Everton at a ball and he insults her again. She can’t stand his his arrogance and does everything in her power to avoid him. But when Lord Everton suddenly begins courting her, will she be able see the good in him?
During the 1893 Chicago World Fair, an up-and-coming young inventor calls upon a beautiful young teacher to help him during a time of loss. What he wasn’t expecting, is that she would end up changing his life.
Miles and Elise were constant companions in their youth. When Elise disappears for four years, he is left to grapple with life’s challenges without her. After her reappearance, as a new widow, and mother of a young daughter, Miles wants to bring them both home to his estate. But behind Elise’s quiet demeanor is rage from things Miles said that ultimately pushed her away. Can Miles rewrite the past and convince her to stay?
Diana is headstrong, impulsive, and well-versed in Sun Tzu’s Art of War strategies. When attempting to win over her friend Lucy’s uncle, to gain his approval to Lucy’s desired match, she finds herself confronted with a man who is more than equal to her scheming. She begins using her war strategies against this man, who in turn, enjoys the battle and admits his admiration of her. Does he really like her, or is this just part of his strategy?
You may have heard this author’s name before, and if not, I am sure you have heard of Downton Abbey. The Duchess of Richmond holds a ball in Brussels on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo to which Anne Trenchard, her husband, and daughter Sophia are invited. The Trenchards are of the merchant class, and Sophia secured the family’s invitation through the attentions of The Duchess’ nephew, Viscount Bellasis. But on this night, everything will change.
Imagine nobility being waited on by other members of nobility…that is what happens at London’s most popular hotel. Full of disasters, matchmaking, financial complications, and eccentric guests, this series looks nothing short of fun.
Amy and Effie Tribble are spinsters of a certain age headed straight for destitution. In true desperation they begin to market themselves as matchmakers, promising to refine, present, and wed unruly daughters.
This historical romance novel follows the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Through marriage, children, and a constant passion for writing, Kilpack brings Harriet’s story to life. This one includes author’s notes regarding actual vs. fictional accounts.
In this time travel book, Libby is given the gift to go to sleep in one time period, and wake up in another time period without any time having passed. She splits her time between 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. She lives a very different life in each, but there comes a time when she must make a very important decision about which time period she will stay in forever.
When Emma M. Lion returns home to her London neighborhood, she only has one thing on her mind – take back possession of her rightful home from her cousin Archibald. You better believe Archibald isn’t going anywhere without a fight. In true Emma M. Lion fashion, she chronicles the ins and outs of her increasingly hilarious and frustrating life.
Set in 1814 Scotland this second chance story follows Callum after leaving his bride, Kate, on their wedding night. Returning after four and a half years, he tries to get Kate to forgive him, but how could she?
Lady Blythe Hedley is the only child of the Duke of Northumbria and is called back to England by her exiled father. After a short reunion, Blythe and her companion, Elodie must take refuge in Scotland with the Hume Family. Sparks fly between Blythe and the new laird, Everard Hume. But can the daughter of a Catholic Jacobite sympathizer truly expect to be the wife of a Scottish Protestant?
The book is set in Victorian London where Amelie Hampton is employed as a ‘matchmaker’ for the Marriage Gazette. Amelie is keen to see how two people she’s setup might hit it off. Imagine her surprise when the man turns out to be Mr. Radcliffe, the handsome widower who attended her book club, and a man that Detective Baker believes may have killed Mrs. Radcliffe. With a wife-killer on the loose, Amelie and Detective Baker join forces. Full of murder, near misses, and a developing romance, this one sounds great!
This series features 6 historical romance novels, featuring a stranger arriving, a mystery to uncover and a lovely romance in each book. What more could you ask for?
Alverstroke is wealthy, greedy, and bored of everything. Frederica, his cousin, is smart, straight to the point, and charged with taking care of all her younger siblings. Frederica’s youngest sister has the potential to make an amazing match during the London season, and Frederica just needs the help of Alverstroke to ensure that she will make the perfect debut.
This book jumps back and forth between WWII France and present day. When her grandmother shows up at her house insisting they take a trip to France, Liv finds out there are many secrets in her grandmother’s past, secrets that needed to be shared…secrets that winemakers were keeping during the war.
When Amelia and Edward first meet, it was surely awkward. Then scandalous (since Amelia was not accompanied by a chaperone). In hopes to keep her reputation intact, her father has them married immediately. Amelia would rather be shipped off to their country house than marry a man she doesn’t even know. Edward makes a plan to win her over, but the poor man is clueless when it comes to women. It will be a wonder if these two ever fall in love.
After the loss of her mother, Lady Aribella, takes her mother’s place as one of Queen Charlotte’s ladies-in-waiting. This new position requires her to conceal secrets and pledge her allegiance to the crown. When Prince Layton Christian Wilhelm, the youngest son of the King of Oldenburg, sails to England to convince King George to aid his nation, he wasn’t expecting the lovely Lady Aribella.
Napoleonic Wars are raging and the Navy Captain’s daughter Georgana Woodall has been disguised as a cabin boy named “George”, but one day hopes to live a life as her true self. Lieutenant Dominic Peyton takes “George” under his wing and through the dangerous French attacks on the vessel, they become close. Dominic starts to suspect something is up with the little cabin boy and his family background.
John is the epitome of a dreamy baron: sensible and humorous, but also strapped for cash. Sally is a determined business woman who won’t stop at anything to get what she wants, and what she wants, is to buy John’s manor. John would never sell his beloved mother’s manor, but Sally’s financials are very appealing. All he needs to do is get her to the altar, and all of his problems will be solved! He will have wealth and keep his manor.
Rebecca Rowley has a rebellious nature and she is keeping a secret…a very big secret. She is secretly engaged to a man her family would never approve of. When Rebecca attracts the attention of a Naval Lieutenant and grows to really like him, she must make a decision of the heart.
Twenty years after Leah’s heart was broken by Captain Fox, he shows up on her doorstep proposing a marriage of convenience. With a difficult daughter, secrets from his time away, and a body covered in scars, after all these years will Leah rekindle her love for Fox?
While trying to keep to herself at a party in Shaldorn Castle, Juliet loses her temper, and ends up insulting the Duke. As a complete surprise to her, after this encounter, the Duke takes interest in her. The more time they spend together their connection grows deeper. But when her controlling aunt issues an ultimatum, she must choose to break a lifelong promise, or lose the man she is falling in love with.
In this loose Beauty and the Beast retelling, Andalin’s world is uprooted after her and her father journey through the Black Forest. What will become of her fate when she finds herself living at the neglected estate of a reclusive masked baron?
This parallel storyline goes back and forth between Adèle in Paris, 1941 and her granddaughter Chloé. Adèle lived the high life in Paris as Coco Chanel’s assistant living alongside German officers. But Adèle was harboring a dangerous secret…she was working for the resistance. Chloé travels to Paris to find out more about her grandmother’s life during WWII and what it was like working for such a world-renowned designer. But will she be able to handle the secrets her grandmother was keeping?
Betrothed to her repulsive cousin, Penelope will do anything to avoid marrying him, even if that means running away dressed in boy’s clothing. When Sir Richard runs into the lovely young fugitive, he offers himself to protect her as she prepares to travel the countryside alone. As it turns out Sir Richard could use a little escape while dealing with his own momentous decision.
Amelia Beckett was forced into marriage with Lord Lockwood, a man she never had a chance to meet before he died. Captain Drake, Lockwood’s brother, shows up at Amelia’s sugar plantation in Jamaica to take her to London to prove their marriage was a sham. As they grow closer on a ship full of fierce storms and ocean battles, could there be hope for the two of them?
This witty wholesome romance series is full of duels, intrigue, castles, mistaken identity, and maybe a few happily-ever-afters. Although this is a series, these can be read as stand-alone books.
It is London Season and Madeline is fit for marriage. The only problem…Madeline is painfully shy, so she tells her family that she’s become engaged to the perfect man, Captain Logan MacKenzie. This white lie requires her to write fake love letters to a made-up regiment for years. When Madeline finally decides to kill off her imaginary beloved, she goes into mourning and retires to a quiet life in Scotland. Until…the real Captain Logan MacKenzie shows up.
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