Great Gothic Romance Novels

Great Gothic Romance Novels

Does the genre Gothic Romance bring up images of haunted castles? Supernatural horror stories? Dark Mysteries?  Damsels in distress?

Then read on as this short review book list will cover all these and more.  Most of these books were published several decades ago and may be out of print. They are well worth hunting down a second hand copy so you can curl up for Halloween and feed your inner Frankenstein.

Great Gothic Romance Novels

1. Nine Coaches Waiting – Mary Stewart

Gothic Romance by Mary Stewart
It can be said that Nine Coaches Waiting is a Gothic romance classic. It was first published in 1958 and is still a popular novel. This is a story about Linda Martin, a young woman whose father was English and mother French. She is poor. In the beginning she is hired as a governess to teach a French boy, Count Philippe, English. During the hiring process she decides to hide her knowledge of French. Linda and Philippe have much in common so they become close. But suddenly strange and almost fatal accidents start to happened to Philippe. The question is who wants to see little boy dead? His uncle, his uncle’s wife or his uncle’s son Raoul? To make things even more complicated Linda is swept off her feet by Raoul.

Nine Coaches Waiting has it all, suspense, humor and romance thrown together into perfect mix. This is highly enjoyable read.

2. The Mistress of Mellyn – Victoria Holt

Classic Romantic Gothic Novel
The Mistress of Mellyn was first published in 1960. This is a typical across-the-tracks gothic style Victorian romance novel where the poor governess falls in love with her employer.

Martha Leigh is employed by Connan TreMellyn as a governess for his daughter. The young lady is quite spoilt and very difficult to handle. The father is broody and arrogant. Despite this Martha likes him. Since this is a gothic story, The Mistress of Mellyn is full of mystery and tragedy that occurred in the past. As Martha falls deeper and deeper in love with her master she is drawn deeper into these family secrets and tragic history.

This is Victory Holt at her best. The plot is full of twists and turns, mystery and murder. And also romance between two very different characters. A highly recommend read for all who like classic romantic gothic novels.

3. Tregaron’s Daughter – Madeleine Brent

Gothic Romance Novel
Published in 1971 this exciting novel is set in England and Italy in 1910. Tregaron’s Daughter is the story of Cadi Tregaron, a fisherman’s daughter. Cadi moves from Cornwall to Kent. One day without knowing it, she starts to unravel her grandmother secret past. Soon she finds herself in Venice, Italy and there she finally understands the meaning of her two strange dreams. Cadi is amazing character who is independent and smart.
This is very typical gothic romance novel, mostly set in Venice, Italy. It is beautifully written and full of mystery. It is a pure reading pleasure.

4. Smugglers Moon – Sylvia Thorpe

Gothic Style Romance Novel
Alson known as “Strangers on the Moor” This is another typical gothic style romance novel. The story features a dark and mysterious mansion, a young girl, a hero and a lot of mystery and adventure. Deborah Chanterey is the young girl who is one day summoned by her uncle. Her uncle happens to be an owner of this dark and mysterious mansion that is mentioned only in dread whispers. When Deborah is forced to live in it, she slowly starts to unravel the mysteries of this dark mansion.
This story was first published in 1955 and then again in 1974. No longer in print, this book can be hard to get. If you stumble upon it, read it! because it is magnificent in so many ways. The story itself, the mystery and very interesting and well portrayed characters make this gothic romance very special.

5. A Bride for Hampton House – Hillary Waugh

Gothic romance and mystery Novel
Published in 1975, A Bride for Hampton House is about Corrie Haynes. Corrie is a reporter who sets out to investigate the death of famous explorer Jefferson Wainwright. The famous explorer returned from the Amazon and was then almost killed in car accident. After an unsuccessful murder attempt Wainwright was then poisoned by his uncle. Corrie starts an investigation posing as the explorer’s widow and very soon discovers some dark family secrets.

A Bride for Hampton House was written by Hillary Waugh who wrote many mystery novels. He also wrote under different pseudonyms: Elissa Grandower, Harry Walker and H. Baldwin Taylor. This is very suspenseful and interesting novel that mixes the gothic romance and mystery genre.

6. The Dark Shore – Susan Howatch

Good romantic gothic novel
If you love Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca you will definitely enjoy Susan Howatch’s The Dark Shore. There are many similarities between the two stories. In both novels the main character is a young woman, newly married to very successful man, who finds herself on his estate. An estate that is full of secrets, especially those connected with his first wife’s death. But Susan Howatch gives her story a twist, and brings in other characters who had a motive to kill the first wife.
Although some readers might find it a bit outdated, this story is worth reading. Especially if you are fond of good gothic romance novels.

7. The Governess – Elsie Cromwell

historical gothic novel
Also an older book, this story was published in 1971. Unlike many other gothic novels which are typically set in Victorian England, in some old mansion, this gothic story is set in Lebanon, in the Middle East. Although the setting is exotic and a bit unusual for gothic novel the plot is not. The main character is Sari who, like many other heroines in gothic romance novels, takes a job as a governess. During her employment she stumbles onto an international intrigue in the capital of Lebanon.

The story is gothic and suspenseful at the same time and it is very interesting read. The author Elsie Lee wrote this story under her pen name Elise Cromwell. Elise Lee is a popular author of modern and historical gothic novels as well as romances. The main feature of her other novels is kick-ass heroines who resolves issues without a hero’s help. Enjoy an independent heroine with some suspense in the gothic style.

6 Historical Romances for Autumn 2017

6 Historical Romances for Autumn 2017

Historical Romances are always a popular, comfortable, cosy read. This Autumn snuggle down with these romance novels set in times gone by. Let your imagination run wild – its actually good for you.

6 Historical Romances – short reviews

1. The Viscount Needs a Wife – Jo Beverley

Historical Romances - The Viscount Needs A Wife
A historical romance novel in the Rogue Series.  Jo Beverley writes an amazing historical romance which focuses on the relationship between the lovely Kitty and the stubborn Braydon. When he inherits the title of Viscount Dauntry, Beau Braydon finds himself looking for a woman with an iron fist who can manage his real-estate. Kitty is a widow who is trying to get away from her husband’s possessive family. The two protagonists demonstrate that opposites attract and reading their love story develop is like watching a firework show. But  The Viscount Needs a Wife is not a plain love story. It is spiced with the mystery.  A threat is made to the royal family in London and someone is trying to prevent Braydon finding the truth.

The setting of this book makes you feel like you are a part of the noble families. And the language, while modern has a tone of class and elegance that artfully places the characters in the 17th century.

2. Falling for the Highlander – Lynsay Sands

Historical Romances - Falling For The Highlander
Lady Murine Carmichael has had a rough life, living in a house where her half-brother would drown in dept. So when she decides to escape, going alone through the countryside seems the best idea. On the road she is joined by the Dougall Buchanan, a brave Highlander. The chemistry between the two of them is powerful.

This love story is for all those who love heroic men and powerful women. The characters are well developed and the story is beautifully put together. Dougall’s need to protect Murine is emphasized but remarkable is that the heroine wants to save herself. Falling for the Highlander is a sensitive, steamy and full of witty dialogue, that is Lynsay Sands’ trademark, historical romance suitable for all readers who like independent heroines and tormented heroes.

Have you read Outlander, another highlander historical romance, yet? Click here for our short review.

3. The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons

Historical Romances - The Bronze Horseman
Tatiana and Dasha are sisters and best friends who share everything. When WW2 starts, Tatiana meets a brave and handsome solider in the Red Army named Alexander. As her family suffers because of the advancing war, Tatiana finds herself more smitten with the young solider. But life has other plans with their relationship, because her sister is also in love with Alexander.

This book is more than a love story. The historical setting, full of dramatic details, illustrates with accuracy how difficult it was for normal people to live in a crumbling Leningrad. The scenery is a beautiful frame for the love story that might leave you in tears.

4. The White Queen – Philippa Gregory

Romance Novel - The White Queen
Philippa Gregory gives the tumultuous Wars of the Roses a feminine voice through her intelligent and ambitious heroine, Elizabeth Woodville, known as The White Queen. She ascends to royalty by marrying a new crowned king and gives birth to two sons.  These become the missing princes of the Tower of London, and are a great mystery to historians nowadays.

The author fills the gap in history with savvy and intimate stories of the royal court and gives life to one of England’s biggest mysteries. The historical placement isn’t sacrificed by romance.  They are intertwined, artfully giving the reader a taste of pre-Tudors Era and also a page turning love story.

5. The Japanese Lover – Isabel Allende

Historical Romance Novel - The Japanese Lover
The Japanese Lover is a love story that transcends time. A young Alma Belasco is sent away to San Francesco from her native Poland when the Nazis invaded.  There she meets a Japanese boy, Ichimei Fukada and they rapidly fall in love. But after the Pearl Harbor attack, when all Japanese people are relocated to internment camps, they are forced apart. They reunite over and over again, but faith doesn’t want them to end up together.

The story told by an 80 year old Alma may break your heart.  It is not only about the love from far away, about about friendship, loss, fear and in the end, fulfillment as she lived a full life. Allende shows in this book how life is affected by war, even after the last bullet is shot. This is an amazing book that teaches the reader that proximity isn’t the most important thing when you love someone and that you should cherish the moments you are given with loved ones.

6. Princess of Fire – Heather Graham

Historical Romances - Princess of Fire
When the mighty Norman warrior, Alaric saves King Harold’s daughter Fallon, she knows that they are destined to end up together. But they didn’t meet at the battle of Hastings. They have a long history of explosive interactions. Alaric is Fallon’s enemy but the feeling he stirs in her is not of hate. With an alfa-male as a protagonist and a stubborn intelligent woman as the female lead, this novel is steamy and explosive.

Heather Graham stays true to the era and illustrates in detail bloody battle scenes. She knits the social reality of those times with this amazing love story of opposites being attracted to each other, even if their minds and status dictates otherwise.


Exciting Hot Romance Books for Spring

Exciting Hot Romance Books for Spring

Spring is in the air. Love is in the Air. Hot romance is definitely in the air.

Enjoy some exciting hot romance books this spring.

1. Mount! – Jilly Cooper

Hot Romances Book - Mount!
Rupert puts aside his obsession for Love Rat, his prized stallion, when Gala, a Zimbabwean widow who is taking care of his father, enters the picture. Mount! has many themes that keep you glued to the pages. There is the horse racing aspect that opens the door to a world that not many are familiar with. There is the family saga dynamic that is interesting and full of drama. But the most enthralling aspect is the love story between Rupert and Gala, sprinkled with steamy sex scenes.

2. Bared to You – Sylvia Day

Hot Romances Book - Bared to you
Eva is a gorgeous, wealthy, independent woman who is trying to discover herself in New York. Gideon Cross is a sexy, controlling and interesting man who catches Eva’s eye. Even though they have their own demons to fight, they start an electric relationship.

Sylvia Day writes a sexy romance with BDSM elements that keeps you glued to the pages. The characters are well developed and, in some way, you can relate to them. They both have backstories and their actions are consistent with their stories. The sex scenes are steamy, hot and really well written. Bared to You is a must read for all who enjoy reading about complicated relationships full of hot sex.

3. Destined to Play – Indigo Bloome

Hot Romances Book - Destined to Play
Would you give up yourself to someone for 48 hours? This is the premise of this book. Dr. Alexandra Blake is a respected and successful doctor. She is happy with her life as it is. But when Jeremy Quinn, an ex-lover of hers, reenters her life with a provocative challenge: to give up her control to him for 48 hours.

Destined to Play is about broadening your horizon and accepting alternative lifestyles. If you want to read a hot romance with true BDSM element, this is the book for you. It explores the submission part of this alternative lifestyle with realism while being kinky, sexy and steamy. And safe.

4. Hardwired – Meredith Wild

Hot Romances Book - Hard Love
Erika Hathaway has worked hard to accomplish everything. Blake London is a rumored hacker and an investor in Erika’s company. There is an undeniable attraction between the two and Erika has to figure out how to balance the responsibility and love. Blake is determined to earn her confidence, but everything blows in the wind when he discovers a secret form Erika’s past.
Hardwired is love story like a roller-coaster, with ups and downs, turn and twists that keep you glued to the pages. The sex scenes are hot, sexy and beautifully described.

5. The Juliette Society – Sasha Grey

Hot Romances Book - Juliette Society
The Juliette Society is a private sex society where everything is permitted. Catherine is a film student who is exploring her sexuality. When she discovers The Juliette Society she has an opportunity to explore her darkest fantasies and begins an adventure full of pleasure that threatens the life she knew.

The Juliette Society is an uncommon coming of age novel, as it follows Catherine discovering herself through her sexuality, with the help of Jack, the male protagonist. The narrative is amazing and the characters are well structured. The sex scenes, that are pivotal to the Catherine’s, development are raw, steamy and racy.

6. Fire After Dark – Sadie Matthews

Hot Romances Book - Fire After Dark
Fire After Dark will take you on an intense adventure along with Beth and Dominic. Beth is an innocent country girl who stalks Dominic to a private sex club. They go to dates to get to know each other, and as the story progresses they fall in love. But Dominic is a dom and Beth is not so well versed in bed.
The intense love story and the passionate sex scenes make this novel a page turner. Dominic is like a dream man come true. He is patient and loving to the young Beth. He cares for her needs and introduces her to his world with gentleness and tries to accommodate her into his life. This hot romance novel continues past where 50 Shades of Grey left off.

7. Gabriel’s Inferno – Sylvain Reynard

Hot Romances Book - Gabriel's Inferno
Gabriel Emerson is a tortured Dante specialist and professor who is looking for his Beatrice. Julia Mitchell, innocent and chaste, is a student who enrolls for his course. She is drowned by his mysterious demeanor, but Gabriel tries to keep her at arm’s length because the walls he has put up might crumble.

Gabriel’s Inferno is a steamy and dangerous romance between two opposites. If you like teacher – student hot romances or you were in love with one of your teachers this is the book for you. This is a captivating love story with a sinful side and characters that you will like from the first words.

7.Fury on Fire – Sophie Jordan

Hot Romances Book - Fury On Fire
This romance book is an unusual boy next door story. North Callagham is an ex-con and tries to run from his problems by working day and night. Faith, his neighbor, is the type of woman who needs a man on whom she can count on. But she finds the grumpy and impolite man that lives next door sexy.

This is a slow romance and the book doesn’t put you in the middle of it. There isn’t instant lust between the characters and this gives you time to savor what is happening between them. The steamy scenes are passionate and hot. Follow as good girl Faith falls in love with her dangerous man next door, North.

8. Complete Me – J. Kenner

Hot Romances Book - Complete Me
What do you do when the man that fills your void is an arrogant, impossible, domineering man? Nikki Fairchild, a southern belle, tries to answer this question, while slowly falling in love with Damien Stark, a man who doesn’t take no for an answer. They both have been wounded in the past and now they try to accommodate each other while protecting themselves from the other, so they won’t get hurt again.

A smoldering hot romance with BDSM elements and raw characters that are perfect for each other. This is a fast paced novel that may have you looking at your other half with new eyes.

9. On Dublin Street – Samantha Young

Hot Romances Book - On Dublin Street
Jocelyn Butler runs from her tumultuous past in Scotland, to an apartment on Dublin Street, where she starts a new life without attachments. Her life is peaceful and calm until she meets Braden Carmichael, her flat mate’s brother. Braden is determined to bring the beautiful Jocelyn into his bed, so he proposes something she can’t refuse. But a night of steamy sex is not enough for Braden and discovers that he wants more.
This is a slow burning but hot romance with passionate, lustful sex and independent well written characters you can fall in love with. The pacing is fast and the Scottish surroundings bring a plus of beauty to this already amazing narrative.

Contemporary Romance for Modern Readers

Contemporary Romance for Modern Readers

Contemporary Romance are typically funny, humorous romances set in the “current” day.   Current issues like social media, dates, big cities, divorce, rock stars feature as the characters cope with romance.   See the funny side of romance and gain insight into different outlooks and problems in today’s culture.   You will laugh with most of these romance stories – and laughter is good for your health.

Contemporary Romance Books

1. My not So perfect Life – Sophia Kinsella

Contemporary Romance - My Not So Perfect Life
Katie Brenner is living her dream life. Actually that is not true. She wants to live a perfect life and she publishes photos on Instagram that present her perfect life. This works until she gets fired is forced to leave London and return home to the English country side. Once home she will have to face again the person who fired her. What she will do now? Will she try to get revenge or try to get her job back?
This is a perfect feel-good story, about life, love and how we present ourselves. It is a funny and charming story that combines humor, romance and few life lessons. It also has very good moral –  Do not believe everything that is posted on line.

2. How to Get a (Love) Life – Rosie Blake

Contemporary Romance - How To Get a Love Life
Nicola Brow is very organized person. So organized that she is 29 and single. She does not live a “full life”, so her coworker Caroline decides to help out. Caroline dares Nicole to find a date for a forthcoming Valentine’s Day. Nicole has three months to find someone, so with a little help from Caroline and her brother Mark she starts to go on a dates.
This story is great.  It has humor – which we love in contemporary romance.  It has romance  – of course.  And it has a main character that is just lovable as she dares to come out of her comfort zone.  This story is also empowering – especially when one learns that the reason for Nicola’s strict and organized life lies in the fact that she has OCD. Read this story and see how Nicola got her (love) life.

3. Who’s That Girl – Mhairi McFarlane

Contemporary Romance - Who's That Girl
Edie Thompson did something very stupid and now she is forced to leave town.   She moves from the big city back home to live with her widowed father and judgmental sister. This is not what Edie hoped for, and now she has to find out who she really is.
This is typical laugh-out-loud chick-lit romance  in which the main character have to figure out what she really wants in her life and who she really is. It is a charming, funny and witty story that presents you with Edie’s love life and her relationships with her friends and family. This is a great story for all chick-lit and women’s fiction lovers.

4. Me before You – Jojo Moyes

Contemporary Romance - Me Before You
#1 New York Times bestseller, and major motion picture
In this beautiful and poignant novel Jojo Moyes tells the tragic but fairy-tale like story of two totally opposite people. On one side there is a Louisa Clark, an ordinary girl, living an ordinary happy life. On the other side is Will Traynor.  A rich man who used to live a big life, but now is wheelchair-bound. Louisa becomes Will’s caretaker. Will does not treat Louisa nicely so she takes a stand. Then Louisa finds out that Will has some dark plans for his life and she decide to show him that life is still worth living.
This is a heartbreaking story, but definitely worth reading.  Not just because its contemporary romance novel that fits the ‘classic’ mold.  It shows how the depth of love change lives. And after reading it you should watch the movie.  Highly recommended.

5. Burning Moon – Jo Watson

Contemporary Romance - Burning Moon
The first book in Destination Love series, Burning Moon tells the story of Lilly Swanson. Lilly has always dreamed about a perfect family life with perfect husband and perfect children. But instead of the perfect life she got the perfect nightmare! Left at the altar!  Instead of crying she decides to go to Thailand anyway and spend her honeymoon all by herself. In Thailand she meets Damian, a hot and sexy man and she decides to have a time of her life. But what will she do once the honeymoon is over.
This is a great story about turning something bad into good.  It explores all trials and tribulations of life. The story focus on Lilly and her vulnerable side at the lowest point in her life.  A heartwarming story of how one can pick up the pieces of  life and end up much stronger in the end. This contemporary romance is definitely worth reading.

6. Looking for Alaska – John Green

Contemporary Romance - Looking For Alaska
★ Michael L. Printz Award Winner
★ Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
★ NPR’s 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels
★ TIME Magazine‘s 100 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time
 New York Times bestseller
 USA Today bestseller

Looking for Alaska was John Green’s debut novel. Miles Halter’s life has been pretty uneventful so far. He is obsessed by famous last words and  lives pretty sheltered life. Suddenly he is sick of it and he does something crazy.  He leaves home and goes to the  not-at-all-boring Culver Creek Boarding School. There he meets a lot of different, interesting and amazing people. There he also meets Alaska. Alaska is totally opposite to Miles. Miles falls in love with her.
This is great young adult novel, about growing up and coming out of your comfort zone. It is full of life and, as it is already mentioned, interesting characters. It is remarkably written and pure reading pleasure.

7. Some Kind of Magic – Mary Ann Marlowe

Contemporary Romance - Some Kind of Magic
Some Kind of Magic is Mary Ann Marlowe debut novel. It is an “opposite attracts” story of love (or maybe chemistry) between biochemist Eden Sinclair and international rock star Adam Coperland. It all starts with a few accidents. First, without knowing, Eden spritzed on herself something that enhanced her pheromones.  (A flimsey premise for a biochemist but hey go with it). Second she spent the night withan amazing guy only to find out that he is a world famous rock star. After that night she is swept off her feet by him. Still the question remains – is this true love or just chemically enhanced magic.
This is amazingly funny, witty novel that fans of good contemporary romance novels will definitely enjoy. The characters are cleverly written and the chemistry between them palpable. This story provides great insight into a modern love and relationships. It shows that in order to embrace love, sometimes one has to be very brave.

8. Always the Bridesmaid – Lindsey Kelk

Contemporary Romance - Always the Bridesmaid
This story is about Maddie and her two best friends Sarah and Lauren. Maddie is an ordinary girl that lives in the shadow of others. She finds herself in a mess when she agrees to be a bridesmaid at her best friend’s wedding.  Because at the same time her other friend is a getting a divorce. For Maddie also, things are not going well with her job. Suddenly there is too much going on in her life at once and Maddie has to find a way to get her life back to normal.
Fans of Lindsey Kelk will love this story. It is funny and amazing, and Maddie is a lovable character that you will cheer for. This is an awesome contemporary romantic comedy that should be read by all who love this genre.

Be My Valentine Romance Book List

Be My Valentine Romance Book List

Celebrate Valentines Day with a romance book for two.  WhyToRead brings you lists of romantic novels from the historic, the fantasy and through to the (a little bit) naughty.  And dont miss our list of the Greatest Love Stories of All Time too.  Perfect reading for Valentines Day.

Originating in Ancient Roman days, with the Feast of Lupercalia, Valentines day has come a long way. It originally involved sacrificing  goats and dogs and whipping women with these hides to make them fertile.  Yes, the women apparently volunteered.

But actual the name came later – when Emperor Claudius II executed (Mr) Valentine on February the 14th. Twice.  That’s two different (Mr) Valentines, two executions and two Feb 14th’s.   Now we honor their martyrdom courtesy of the Catholic Church with St Valentines Day.

Some time later, another Emperor merged the two for the ‘best’ of both worlds.

So historically Valentines Day, aka Feast of Lupercalia, is a day of fertility, love and sacrifice.

For you and your sweet valentine  – herewith a list of our Best Romance Book Lists so you can pick and choose something to read together.  Just dont sacrifice the book or beat any women with it. Please.

Valentine’s Day Romance Book Lists

Valentine Romance Book List
Best Selling  Romance books

Hot Romance Books to share

Vampire Romance with a bit of fang.

Naughty Sci Fi Romance books

Historical Romance books

Funny Historical Romance Books Xmas 2016

Funny Historical Romance Books Xmas 2016

The only thing better than historical romance at WhyToRead is funny historical romance novels. Who didn’t laugh and enjoy the witty repartee of Elizabeth and Darcy (Pride and Prejudice). Georgette Heyer is another historical romance writer well known for her humorous situations and dialog.  Today this list introduces you to more funny historical romance writers.

Some of these books are a bit hotter than Pride and Prejudice, but with the humor still prevalent worth a read by the most conservative.

1. Compromised – Kate Nobel

Funny Historical Romance - Compromised
What does a lady do when her sister is found in a compromising position with a gentleman? Gail is an intelligent, witty, funny and independent woman, but doesn’t really fit in a conservative, early 19th century English patriarchal society. Maximillian is some sort of messed up version of a knight in shining armor.

Compromised is an exciting historical novel fueled with intrigue, heat break, very funny dialogue and strong characters. Kate Nobel does an amazing job of placing strong willed women in a historical society, without making the reader feel like they are out of place. She also crowns this love story with steamy sex scenes that are the jewels of an illicit romance.

Enjoy reading as Gail and Max’s love story unfolds in this fast paced, beautifully written and funny historical romance novel.

2. Dreaming of You – Lisa Kleypas

Funny Historical Romance - Dreaming of You
Sara Fielding likes to find adventure in life with her pen and paper. Derek Craven, the lord of an exclusive gambling house, is a dark, mysterious and dangerous man. When Derek has to work with Sara after she accidentally saves his life, both their lives change, as unexpectedly as you can imagine.

Mousy Sara become a seductive, assertive and passionate woman that Derek wants to protect. Gradually Derek learns to let Sara into his life and of course slowly falls in love.

Dreaming of You is a steamy love story that reminds us of Jane Austin’s writing. The historical placement is beautiful, the romance is agonizingly slow to develop and the characters are flawed and well built with depth and realism. Top this off with steamy romance, strong characters and funny scenes that left us laughing out loud.

3. Romancing Mister Bridgerton – Julia Quinn

Funny Historical Romance - Romancing Mister Bridgerton
Romancing Mister Bridgerton is an historical romance with a twist on the “celebrity in the public eye” theme. Colin Bridgerton, a charming socialite of London wants to escape the gossip columns and prove that he is more than a pretty face. Penelope Featherington has known and liked Colin, her best friend’s brother, for most of her life.  When Colin returns to London and they meet again, and a spark is ignited. They both have secrets and they both try to keep them buried, but life has other plans for them.

We loved the forth installment of Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. Besides the steamy romance and the amazing love story, the mystery around the characters secrets kept us glued to the pages.  With strong characters so lively that we expected them to jump from the page into reality this series continues to amuse.

4. Trials of Artemis – Sue London

Funny Historical Romance - Trials of Artemis
Trials of Artemis is a historical romance novel with an unusually strong feminist perspective. The heroine of this novel grows up in a ‘club’ that replaces the woman’s name with their equivalent of man names and encourages them to to ‘boys’ activities. So Jacqueline plays being Jack; and grows up into an independent woman who is not that into the idea of marriage. Until she meets Gideon Wolfe, the Earl of Harrington. Gideon is also independent and smart but and with some typical preconceived ideas about women.

When the two of them are forced to get married, they struggle to make the relationship work. But it’s not that easy. They bump heads, fight about Jacqueline’s feminist views, and don’t take each other seriously. But in the end, after a steamy and emotional (and quite funny) rollercoaster, they figure out how to enjoy the relationship and each other.

Sue London stays true to the era, but the views Jacqueline has, makes Trials of Artemis a romance that surpasses time, and is quite relevant.

5. Forbidden – Tracy Cooper-Posey & Julia Templeton

Funny Historical Romance - Forbidden
Elisa is in a dark place in her life. Her cheating husband has died, she can’t find her son, she can’t support herself and vicious rumors are flying about her. The solutions to all these problems is to find a wealthy husband. Vaughn is attracted by Elisa’s innocence, and soon he will discover the raw sensuality she keeps hidden. A scorching seduction follows with a Forbidden romance.

The historical placement is accurate and gives the book an interesting edge. The characters are well defined and the writing is exquisite.

6. Desperate for a Duke – Ella J. Quince

Funny Historical Romance - Desparate for a Duke
Miss Heather Everly’s family is broke after the patriarch dies and leaves them in debt. After she writes the Duke of Ablehill offering her hand in marriage, he sends his stewart, Fallon Calder to be convinced that Heather is suitable to be his Duchess. There is an instant attraction between Heather and Fallon, and so their problems begin.

We loved Desperate for a Duke.  A well written historical romance with humorous dialogue, colorful characters,and steamy scenes. The love triangle kept the pages turning to unravel how the voice of reason or the desire of the heart would prevail.

If you might enjoy funny historical romance, or just need a break; then give these novels a try.

Visit some of our other Romance lists for more inspiration.

A Romance Novel or Two for the Weekend

A Romance Novel or Two for the Weekend

This list of romance novel to brighten your weekend includes viking romance, Scottish romance, regency romance and even good old New York Romance.  Broaden your history knowledge. Cosy up in the cooler autumn weather.  They’re as good excuses as any to read a romance novel.

Viking Romance Novels

1. Odin’s Shadow – Erin S Riley

romance novel - Odin's Shadow
Odin’s Shadow follows the story of headstrong Selia as she pines to join the Vikings in 19th century Ireland. When her father tries to marry her off to a nobleman, she knows that the sea is her only way out.  After meeting and later marrying the handsome Viking Arlik, she learns that people are not always what they seem.  Her husband is darker than she imagined.   As secrets come out, Selia starts to question her own intentions: did she marry Arlik to get away from her controlling father or for love? This story is the first in the Odin’s Son series, and you can follow Selia’s romantic journey in two more books.

2. Beautiful Wreck – Larissa Brown

romance novel - Beautiful Wreck
Ginn is a romantic at heart, but her Prince Charming may not be in this century. Set in futuristic Finland, Beautiful Wreck takes us on a time-traveling adventure to 920 A.D. Ginn is pulled back into time where she meets Heirik, a Viking leader who is feared and brutal. Will fate bring them together or will Ginn have to return to her time and forget about him? Larissa Brown gives us a well-researched novel that transports you to a different era. The romance scenes are not explicit; instead, Beautiful Wreck is about exploring love like you have never read before.

Scottish Romance Novel

3. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

romance novel - Outlander
This classic romance story takes you time travelling through Scotland from 1945 to 1742. Outlander is a best seller and the story of Claire Randall is tantalising and troublesome. Finding herself transported back in time, Claire meets Jamie Fraser: a rugged warrior with a will to fight. Outlander is full of adventure, romance and time travelling love. Claire must choose between Jamie and her husband back in her time. Readers can expect graphic romance with lots of details. Even though it’s a long read, you won’t be disappointed with the descriptions of the Scottish Highlands and the attraction between Claire and Jamie. Outlander has even been adapted into a highly successful TV series.

New York Romance Novel

4. The Gilded Hour – Sara Donati

romance novel - The Gilded Hour
The Gilded Hour is not your typical boy meets girl romance but rather a story about how love can be transformative. Set in 1883 New York City, the story follows two young female doctors as they step into their medical practice. Cousins Sophie and Anne are thrust into a world of the poor and the sick. When Anne meets four children who have lost everything, she must decide if she can let this desire for motherhood consume her heart. Or if she can and must remain detached and professional. Written with beautiful descriptions, this is a story about women’s rights, medicine and the power of love.

English and Regency Romance

5. The Debutante is Mine – Vivienne Lorret

romance novel - The Debutante is Mine
Lilah Appleton needs to find a wealthy husband or else she will be married to her cousin. Born into aristocracy, she should be looking for a Lord. The Debutante is Mine follows Lilah in her quest for a husband. Explores how she lands up with a man who is worlds apart. Jack hates the aristocracy and he should not like Lilah, but their past and their dark secrets push them together once again. The romance is tender and does not push any extreme boundaries as it explores the relationship between class and two lovable characters. Get ready to go to the ball with Lilah, Jack, and intrigue.

6. A Lady’s Guide to Kiss a Rake – Tanya Wilde

romance novel - A Lady's Guide to Kiss A Rake
A Lady’s Guide to a Kiss a Rake takes a strong woman and drops her into a world of over-protective males. When Lady Josephine is dared to kiss the debaucherous Damien Grenville, she thinks it will be easy. Her brothers try to stop her and she secretly knows that Grenville will ruin her family’s reputation and drag her down. Damien can’t help but fall for the headstrong girl, and when she gets in too deep, he must get her back. Tanya Wilde is a new author and this story is full of comedy, tragedy and just enough steaminess to keep it clean.

7. Portrait of a Forbidden Lady – Kathleen Bittner Roth

romance novel - Portrait of a Forbidden Lady
When newly widowed Lady Georgiana Cressington finds herself back in her hometown, she can’t help but bump into her past. Set in 1859 England, Portrait of a Forbidden Lady follows Georgiana as she learns to navigate the dangerous high-stakes gambling her father is embroiled in. She has a son to protect, a name to uphold, but when Sir Robert Garreck enters her life again, she is not sure where her allegiances lie. This is not a “bodice ripping” love story but rather a tender one that shows us how some loves never die, no matter the secrets and betrayals that get in the way. Kathleen Bittner Roth is a new author, but this story should not be missed out on.

9 More Historical Romance Books

9 More Historical Romance Books

It’s no surprise romance books are the biggest genre.  With so many settings, almost every book can be a romance (even Harry Potter. Well, maybe not).

Our fascination with other times and cultures is well suited to a romance story. The social interaction, manners and cultural constraints between characters key to the historical romance books success.

TMI? Just looking for good historical romance books? Then Read On.

1. Texas Destiny – Lorraine Heath

historical romance books - Texas Destinyhistorical romance books
Book 1 of 3. Being a mail order bride is no glamorous life. When Amelia Carson is bought by Dallas Leigh, a strange man in Fort Worth, she could have never imaged that she would find love. No less with her husband’s brother. Texas Destiny explores the devastation of the civil war, the blossoming of love and how people are what not what you expect. Amelia would never have thought she would fall in love with Houston; a man badly scared, and one-eyed. Texas Destiny is part of a trilogy that follows the Leigh brothers in their quest for love.

2. The Serpent Garden – Judith Merkle Riley

historical romance books - The Serpent Gardenhistorical romance books
When you mix the Court of Henry VIII with mystery, the supernatural and romance, there is no doubt that you are in for a thrill. The Serpent Garden follows the adventures of Susanna Dallet, an intelligent and resourceful woman who gets a job as a portrait painter in the infamous court. She gets caught up in the wonder, the scandals, the romance and a battle with bloodthirsty demons. Can a woman navigate all that and find real love? This is truly a crossing of genres and the historical details twisted with the supernatural will have you trying to separate fact from fiction.

3. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie – Jennifer Ashely

historical romance books - Madness of Lord Ian Mackenziehistorical romance books
Falling in love with a mysterious man is nothing new in romance novels. Falling in love with a mad man is. In The Madness of Lord Ian, Mackenzie Beth Ackerley can’t help but fall in love with the Scottish nobleman, who society has labelled as crazy. She is a window, a woman with a boring life who suddenly finds herself in a lustful relationship with a mad man. Could she be mad herself? This novel is one of dark love, of people taking what they want and of listening to your heart. This is another great novel by the award-winning Jennifer Ashley and forms part of her Mackenzie series. Book 1 of 8.

4. Slightly Married – Mary Balogh

historical romance books - Slightly Marriedhistorical romance books
Being marriage-shy is not a trait most noble men have. That is noblemen in the Bedwyn’s family. When Aiden Bedwyn promises to fulfill the dying wish of a soldier, he would have never imaged the problems of the heart and mind it would bring. Slightly Married not only follows Aiden in his quest to protect a woman but also treats us to the social affairs and naughty dalliances of the Bedwyn family. Will Aiden’s marriage proposal to the headstrong Eve be nothing more than a business transaction or will there something more for the two?

5. Ravished – Amanda Quick

historical romance books - Ravishedhistorical romance books
This Beauty and the Beast like story will have you enthralled from beginning to end. We meet Harriet Pomeroy, a lady with one quest in mind, to find herself a man. A man who can protect her and her property from thieves. Her plan may have backfired when she learns her ‘savior’ is a terrifying looking Gideon Westbrook, a viscount with a strange past and a scarred face. Will the man that is called ‘the devil’ be what she is looking for or will he ultimately be more? Ravished is about more than falling in love with the beast, it is about love’s triumph over all sorts of trials.

6. The Duke and I – Julia Quinn

historical romance books - The Duke and Ihistorical romance books
Not all marriages are based on love. Some are shams. The Duke and I follows Daphne Bridgerton and her fiancé Simon Basset as they try and outwit London society. She is nearly too old to marry, and he is afraid of being tied to some snobbish upper-class lady. So, they have decided to get married, because it just makes sense. What started out as a mutually beneficial agreement may be turning into love. Will the two finally realize that their marriage plans may be based on real love rather than necessity? Julia Quinn is the #1 Author on the Amazon list of Best Romance Novels sold for Kindles. And this is just Book 1 of 9 too.

7. The Duchess War – Courtney Milan

historical romance books - The Duchess Warhistorical romance books
Miss Minerva Lane is happy to be a wallflower. She hates being the center of attention and knows how badly it can end when all eyes are on you. Trying to escape her scandalous past is no easy task when a handsome duke tempts her. Can she remain in the background or will her cunning ways return to her? The Duchess Wars gives us a strong female character who quietly knows how to play a man to her advantage. Not all wallflowers are tame and timid, and Minerva is set to uncover Robert Blaisdell’s secrets. She has to, or he will expose hers. Tension and romance intertwine in this clever plot. Book 1 of 4.

8. A Rogue by Any Other Name – Sarah Maclean

historical romance books - A Rogue by Any Other Namehistorical romance books
It is not easy for a man of wealth to suddenly find himself as an underground gambling man. The Marquess of Bourne wants to be back on top and marrying the prim, and proper Lady Penelope Marbury may be the way to get there. However, it may not be that simple when Penelope’s lust and curiosity of the underworld seem to be tempting her deeper. Can he now protect the woman who was supposed to be his saviour? And can her sexual awakening be stopped? A Rogue by Any Other Name is the 1st in The Rules of Scoundrel Series.

9. Flowers from the Storm – Laura Kinsale

historical romance books - Flowers from the Stormhistorical romance books
When you pair up a handsome but debaucherous Duke with the timid daughter of a mathematician you know there is bound to be trouble. Called by many the ‘best historical romance novel ever, Flowers from the Storm is full of twists and turns. When the Duke ( Christian Langland) suffers an accident that leaves him without his speech, it is the once timid Maddy that comes to his aid. Can she fall in love with a man she once despised? Or are the two just too different?This is truly a touchy story about disability, love and how we can all turn a new leaf.

After romance books a little more racy? Try our hottest erotic romance list

Science Fiction Erotic Classics

Science Fiction Erotic Classics

Science fiction has long strained the boundaries of our imaginations. Throw in some erotica and literally anything is possible. These Classic Science Fiction Erotic novels might be older, but the stories still excite and amuse.

1. Slave Girl of Gor – John Norman

Science Fiction Erotic Classics - Slave Girl of Gor
Think of a world where men are kings and women are there for their pleasure. The Gor series is a staple read for many in the BDSM community and this tantalizing novel is no different. When Judy Thorton is abducted and wakes up on the planet Gor, her life is changed forever. Expect bondage, adventurous sex and master/ slave relationships. Judy learns to be a pleasure slave and her master learns to love HIS girl, though he will never admit it. Set in an alternate universe you can expect alternative philosophies and sex that test’s both Judy’s limits and your own.

2. Zara’s Bond – Scarlett J Rose

Science Fiction Erotic Classics - Zara's Bond
Aliens sometimes do more than fly around Roswell. Scarlett J Rose gives us a novel full of adventure, alien sex and possible love in a post-apocalyptic world. The D’Shraki aliens have annihilated the human race and what women are left are hot commodities. Zara, one of the few females left, is impregnated by the Overlord and is now on the run. She encounters danger around every turn and only with the other human survivors will she stand a chance. Jake, an old flame reappears and with his help she needs to evade the Overlord’s lust. This story is told over 3 books and all in all makes a thrilling series that twists aliens with motherhood and love.

3. Menage: All filled up – Kathleen Hope

Science Fiction Erotic Classics - Menage
When Gia leaves Chicago for the lights of L.A she has no idea what manly creatures lurk around the corner. After breaking down along the way she is forced to stop in a small town where strange things unfold. If you like a story with anamorphic themes, then Ménage: All Filled Up is the story for you. There are love triangles, brotherly fights, steamy sex scenes and a man who is something more than what he seems. Will Gia’s discovery push her closer to the man who may hurt her?

4. Pornucopia – Piers Anthony

Science Fiction Erotic Classics - Pornucopia
You know when a book has vampires, succubi, sex vending machines and strange sex transplants that it has to be good. Pornucopia is a set in a futurist landscape where seduction, erotica and everything mildly sexy is now the norm. The novel follows Prior Gross as he is seduced by sexy she-devils and is taken down some dirty paths. This novel is full of kinky adventures and there is no knowing what creature or character will pop up next in Prior’s bed. Anthony is an award-winning science fiction author and this kinky deviation of a story is much loved and well-reviewed.

5. Warrior: The Time Hunter – Angela Knight

Science Fiction Erotic Classics - Warrior
Time travel is nothing exciting in the 24th century. Everyone is doing it but is everyone finding love? In Warrior by award-winning Angela Knight, we meet Galar Arvid a modified human from the future who must protect a girl from the past. It’s not as complicated as it sounds but it sure is compelling. This time-hopping novel pitches Jessica (an artist who has no idea what she is in for) against warlords, adventure and possibly love. With all the action in this novel you will be taken on a fantastical ride through time but still focus on the explosive romance between timid Jessica and the strong Galar Arvid.

6. Interstellar Service & Discipline: Lost Star – Morgan Hawke

Science Fiction Erotic Classics - Lost Star
It is not easy being a strong female battleship piolet like Victoria Stark. She is kick ass and bows to no man, or so she thought she never would. Hawke is the queen of weaving erotica with science fiction and this is no different. Victoria is taken as a hostage upon a ship with a creature that sees humans as nothing more than pets. Pets to pleasure them and to be kept on a short leash. Interstellar Service & Discipline is like a better version of Star Trek dripping with BDSM, same-sex sex and enough pet play to keep those of you who like your leash happy.

7. The initiation of PB 500 – Kyle Stone

Science Fiction Erotic Classics - The Initiation of PB500
There is something fascinating about the way that Stone tell this gay sci-fi erotica. It’s just the perfect mixture of dirty sex with aliens. The initiation of PB 500 follows Micah Starion a once sub-captain who is now nothing more than a sex slave his other-world captors. He is trained to be a slave, stripped of his identity and humiliated around every page. There is heavy sex and this book is not for the faint hearted so process with caution. Blending gay BDSM with science fiction the story of Micah is one full of wonder , lust and all around intrigue.

8. Awaken Me Darkly – Gena Showalter

Science Fiction Erotic Classics - Awaken Me Darkly
Being a sexy police lady is hard enough. Throw in a possible serial killing alien and you have a receipt for a thrilling novel. Awaken Me Darkly follows Mia Snow a sexy alien huntress who is not afraid to play with the big boys. She has done her time and just when things seem ok she is pitted against an alien suspect who seems to be a king of seduction too. Will Mia fall for the charm of the alien she is supposed to hunt and is he the man they are after? Showalter makes this novel read like a detective story and there is enough sex to keep you engaged in the romance between Mia and the alien Kyrin en Arr.

10 Top Historical Romance Novels

10 Top Historical Romance Novels

Lazy summer days and hot historical romance novels.  What more could we want at WhyToRead?

You might think these books are cheap entertainment with the occasional bit of history thrown in.  But historical romance novels have more to offer than you might think.

From interesting relationship situations to a peek into history and manners from another time and place.  Many authors research their historical period thoroughly, making their stories accurate in background and details.

And of course, using our imagination is healthy and good for us.  Many romance novels are also quite humorous.  A good funny book that makes us laugh is priceless.

So whether its hot historical romance escapism, or a peek into history, you’ll enjoy this list.

1. Lord of Scoundrels – Loretta chase

Historical Romance - Lord of Scoundrels
Sometimes, it takes a beautiful strong woman to bring a man to his knees. When Jessica Trent sets out to protect her brother from the menacing habits of the Marquess of Diain (Sebastian Ballister), she had not planned to fall for the arrogant man. She can’t help but want him and he can’t help himself after she kisses him. Lord of Scoundrels is full of high society love, scandalous affairs and just enough romance to keep it hot. Jessica has ruined the reputation of Sebastian and he is on her trail, hot and wanting. He will have her at any cost; even forced marriage.

2. Any Duchess Will Do – Tessa Dare.

Historical Romance - Any Duchess Will Do
Griffin York (the Duke of Halford) will not be forced to marry. He hates the idea of being tied down but his mother will hear nothing of it. Any Duchess Will Do gives us a culture clash between the world of dukes and that that of barmaids and servants. Halford has found love but not with a lady with a fancy title but with Pauline: a barmaid with a dream. She is smart, witty and driven, everything that Halford does not see in the other duchess. Will he risk his fall from society for the ‘simple girl? Or can he make his mother see that she is his duchess in her own right?

3. The Preachers Promise – Piper G Huguley

Historical Romance - The Preachers Promise
After the American Civil War, a lot has to change. Amanda Stewart, a school teacher from the North, decides that she wants to start a school for the formerly enslaved. She wants to teach reading and writing, help her people achieve. The Preacher’s Promise takes us on a journey to the South where people do not welcome Amanda’s enthusiasm; not even the handsome mayor and part-time preacher; Virgil. The tension is hot and secrets are a plenty. Will Virgil fulfill his ex-wife’s dying wish and let his daughter learn to read? And will Amanda melt the heart of the stone cold mayor?  Perhaps not your typical historical romance but worth reading.

4. Something Like Love – Beverley Jenkins

Historical Romance - Something Like Love
When Olivia decided to move to Chicago and become a seamstress she never imagined that she would be voted a mayor of a small town or fall in love with an outlaw. Something Like Love is more than just an interracial love story. It is about justice, about falling in love and about doing the right thing, even when it feels so wrong. Olivia and Neil know their love is wrong but he can’t help but love the strong willed woman and something about this bad boy nature sets her aflame. Beverly Jenkins is an award winning historical romance author and this book is the quintessential good girl – bad boy romance.

5. Brazen – Susan Johnson

Historical Romance - Brazen
American playboys are known for wanting beautiful women they can’t have. Brazen tells the story of Kit Braddock, an American adventurer who falls in love with a lady that has it all. Not only is she rich and extremely beautiful but she is Countess Angela de Grae. She is everything he should not want. Will love be able to blossom between a woman of noble birth and the American with little but his heart? There is treachery, desperation but above all courage and the triumph of true love Can Kit’s love for the beguiling Countess show her that true love does exist?

6. Devil in Winter – Lisa Kleypas

Historical Romance - Devil in Winter
Marrying a shy, pretty lady to a lustful Viscount may not seem like the best idea. When Evie is conveniently married off to a womanizing count she could never have foreseen the dark plot that would unravel. Devil in Winter is a book about mismatched lovers who ultimately realize the triumph of love; even if that means ultimatums must be set and Evie must prove her strength. There is love, deception, enemies of the past all set against the complexities of Victorian England. A truly enthralling read which forms part of Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series. Even shy girls get a shot at love.

7. A passion Most Pure – Julie Lessman

Historical Romance - A Passion Most Pure
How can a girl, who promised to put God first, fall passionately in love? Faith O’ Connor finds herself falling in love with her sister’s suitor? It does not help that the handsome Colin McGuire has fallen for her too. How can she retain her faith while falling for a man who tests her devotion to her sister and to God? This is the first book in Lessman’s series entitled Daughter of Boston which intertwines faith with the trials of love. Faith needs to figure out what her hearts want and face the consequences. This is a real page-turner that will appeal to both Christians and lovers of all historical romance novels.

8. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake – Sarah MacLean

Historical Romance - Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake
Callie is a plump, plain 28-year-old who knows that in high society her chances at finding a husband are over, or so she and her family thought. With her spinster title looming she decides to make a bucket lust of nine scandalous things she wants to do before she dies. There is passion, debauchery, and enough scandal to topple Victorian high society. Nine Rules to Break is a witty story that brings all sorts of saucy scenarios together. There are passionate kisses, good looking counts and masked rendezvous. Will Callie have a shot a true love after all?

9. Almost Heaven – Judith McNaught

Historical Romance - Almost Heaven
There is nothing worse for a ladies’ reputation than being found in the arms of a mysterious man. Elizabeth Cameron, a Countess, can’t help but lust after the devilish handsome Ian Thornton; a man who is secretly wealthy and too suave for his own good. Almost Heaven is a saucy novel that takes us from London High society to the Scottish Highlands in search of the truth. Is there more to Ian Thornton than Elizabeth would like to think? Love may be on the cards for this countess but the price may be higher than she expected. Judith McNaught is a New York Times bestselling author and her historical romance stories are not to be missed.

10. Years – LaVyrle Spencer

Historical Romance - Years
Being a teacher in 1917 is no easy task. When Linnea Brandonberg takes her first teaching job she had no idea that she would have to grow up so fast. With World War 1 on the brink and her life in the air, she seems to have nowhere to turn. That is until Teddy Westgaard , a man who thought he would never fall in love again comes onto the scene. Years is a story that is about much more about love. It is about womanhood and fighting for what you believe in, even when war is at your doorstep.