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Best Historical Romance Books

Romance novels where the timeframe of the novel takes place sometime before the 1950s.

Recommendations from 21 articles, Barack Obama, J. K. Rowling, Maria Shriver and 16 others.
58 books on the list
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The Duke and I book cover
The Duke and I
Julia Quinn - 2006-06-27 (first published in 2000)
Goodreads Rating
An unmarried duke is the ultimate challenge for London's ambitious mamas. Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton propose a fake courtship to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. But as they waltz across ballroom after ballroom, Daphne finds herself falling for the dashing duke. Can she convince him that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration?
Outlander book cover
Diana Gabaldon - 2005-07-26 (first published in 1991)
Goodreads Rating
Transported from 1945 to 1743 Scotland, a former combat nurse named Claire Randall navigates a dangerous new world torn by war and raids. Amid lairds and spies, she finds a love so intense it tears at her loyalty and heart, forcing her to choose between two lives and two men.
An Extraordinary Union book cover
An Extraordinary Union
An Epic Love Story of the Civil War (The Loyal League)
Alyssa Cole - 2017-03-28
Goodreads Rating
This captivating novel takes place during the Civil War and follows two spies who will do whatever it takes to change the course of history. Elle Burns, a former slave with a remarkable memory, returns to the South to spy for the Union Army. Malcolm McCall, a Pinkerton detective, risks his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia. As they work together, they uncover a plot that could tip the scales in favor of the Confederates. But as they navigate the dangerous world of espionage and battle their own forbidden love, they must make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the Union.
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake book cover
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
Sarah MacLean - 2010-03-30
Goodreads Rating
A woman goes against societal norms in search of pleasure and love in this historical romance novel. Lady Calpurnia decides to break the rules that have kept her unmarried and unfulfilled, so she sets out to smoke, ride astride, fence, attend duels, and gamble at a gentlemen's club. To fully embrace this new life, she needs a partner in rule-breaking, which she finds in the charming and handsome Marquess of Ralston. But as their relationship develops, they risk breaking the ultimate rule of pleasure-seekers: falling in love.
The Devil in Winter book cover
The Devil in Winter
Lisa Kleypas - 2006-02-28
Goodreads Rating
In this historical romance novel, Evangeline Jenner, the shyest of the Wallflowers, needs to escape her unscrupulous relatives to inherit her wealth. She offers a devil's bargain to the dangerous rake, Viscount St. Vincent: marriage. But there's a condition - no lovemaking after their wedding night. Will Sebastian surrender his own heart in the name of true love?
The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics book cover
The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics
Feminine Pursuits
Olivia Waite - 2019-06-25
Goodreads Rating
This captivating novel follows Lucy Muchelney as she escapes the pain of her ex-lover's wedding and embarks on a new challenge - translating a groundbreaking French astronomy text for the Countess of Moth. But when she arrives, Lucy is taken aback by the irresistible Catherine St Day, who she can't help but fall for. As their love blossoms, they must navigate old wounds and potential sabotage to stay together. Will they overcome the odds or will they be doomed to star-crossed love?
The Duke Who Didn't book cover
The Duke Who Didn't
Courtney Milan - 2020-09-22
Goodreads Rating
A childhood sweetheart returns to a tiny village with hopes of wooing the practical and organized Miss Chloe Fong. However, he has failed to disclose his true identity and the fact that he owns her entire village. The Duke Who Didn't is a charming romantic tale that will keep readers hooked until the very end.
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Ella Dawson
The Duchess War book cover
The Duchess War
Courtney Milan - 2012-12-08
Goodreads Rating
A quiet wallflower named Miss Minerva Lane is wary of attention, but when the dashing Duke of Clermont arrives in town, he sees through her facade. As they engage in a battle of wits and secrets, they find themselves falling for each other in unexpected ways. This historical romance is a charming and witty tale of two unlikely lovers.
A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby book cover
A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby
A Multi-Cultural Historical Regency Romance (Rogues and Remarkable Women Book 1)
Vanessa Riley - 2020-06-30
Goodreads Rating
This historical romance follows Patience Jordan, a West Indian heiress who has lost everything after her English husband's suicide. Falsely imprisoned, she risks everything to be near her son until she gets hired as his nanny by his new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington. Though he appears to be a strict military hero, his true nature--including unexpected passion--is revealed as he investigates his dead cousin's dangerous financial dealings. Can Patience and Busick overcome their formidable enemies and obstacles to build a future together?
Romancing the Duke book cover
Romancing the Duke
Castles Ever After
Tessa Dare - 2014-01-28
Goodreads Rating
A woman who grew up on fairytales but stopped believing in them now just wants a roof over her head. However, fate has other plans and throws her into a mysterious fortress where an unlikely love story unfolds. Will she find her own fairytale ending after all?
Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas
To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters
What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton
My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh
Something Like Love by Beverly Jenkins
Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Lovely War by Julie Berry
The Bride by Julie Garwood
Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey
A Proper Scoundrel by Esther Hatch
Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins
Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens
Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas
The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux
The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite
An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn
The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard
Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian
The King's Man by Elizabeth Kingston
Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas
A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant
A Summer for Scandal by Lydia San Andres
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters
Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas
An Heiress's Guide to Deception and Desire by Manda Collins
An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler by Vanessa Riley
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys