Please note, this list is going to be updated. Often. There are so many awesome historical romances out there that we had to add a +. Make sure to leave your favorites in the comments below (and bookmark this page) as we will be adding on more to the best historical romance books of all time list!
As of right now, we are sharing some of the more recently published books, but we will be adding some older “bodice rippers” soon. There are so many awesome historical romances that were published in the 80’s and 90’s, and we can’t wait to share these with you from our own personal reading lists! In the meantime though, step back in time with these intriguing reads.
Set against the backdrop of London’s dangerous East End in 1888, Victorian propriety and passions collide when a beautiful widow makes a wager with a wounded police detective bent on solving the Ripper mystery.
Unlucky in love and estranged from his family, Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn is obsessed with solving the Ripper crimes. When he’s suspended from the Metropolitan Police, it’s another failure in a long line of disappointments. But a new mystery arises when a beautiful widow shows up at the most infamous pub in Whitechapel seeking his help. He’s determined to assist Kate Guthrie, and equally determined to quell his growing attraction to her.
Kate Guthrie hides painful secrets from her first marriage and has avoided matrimony for nearly ten years. Now she’s finally decided it’s time to remarry and move on with her life, even if it means giving up the charity clinic work in Whitechapel that makes her days worthwhile. But when a battered young woman turns up at the clinic claiming to have been attacked by Jack the Ripper, Kate seeks out Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn, a man who sparks feelings in her too potent to deny.
For her unwitting participation in a plot to embezzle the Exchequer, Lady Abigail Houghall has spent the last two years exiled to the city of Bath. A card sharp, sometime mistress, and target of scandalous gossip by the London Beau Monde, Lady Abigail plots to escape her gilded cage as well as the prudish society that condemns her. But the times are not easy. France is in chaos. The king has been executed, and whispers of a similar revolution are stirring in England. And because of her participation in the robbery plot, the Spymaster of England is blackmailing her into passing him information about the members of London’s upper crust.
When the dashing English spy Daniel Ridgeway takes a seat at her card table and threatens to expose her for cheating, she has no choice but to do as he demands: seduce the leader of the revolutionaries and learn what she can about their plot. As she’s drawn deeper into Daniel’s dangerous world, from the seedy backstreets of London to the claustrophobic catacombs of a war-torn Paris, she realizes an even more dangerous fact. She’s falling in love with her seductive partner. And the stakes of this game might just be too high, even for her.
After her mother’s death, May’s sea captain father sends her halfway around the world to live with his stodgy sister in England. The summer festival in Bath made for a lovely distraction, but now she can’t wait for her father’s return so she can leave this country, its suffocating rules, and one infuriatingly proper nobleman in particular behind.
Because he is the Duke of Radcliffe, William Spencer’s whole life revolves around his duties. He never steps foot outside the bounds of proper behavior, and he expects the same of those around him. With her devil-may-care ways, May vexes him nearly as much as she tempts him, but there’s something about her that he just can’t resist. He knows he’s falling hard for her, but with lives that are worlds apart, will they ever be able to find any common ground?
Violet was fascinated with the legends and lore of New Orleans. She was so fascinated that she left everything behind to run a B&B in the French Quarter. But she never imagined that vampires were really real… not until the night she found herself swept back in time to 1797.
Beaten and scared, Violet quickly realizes she’s trapped… and in the most exotic bordello of all. But its clients aren’t mortal, at least not anymore. Locked in an era that’s not her own, she must find a way to escape from the powerful lure of vampire seductiveness… before it’s too late.
*This was the FIRST romance book I read, so The Spanish Rose holds a special place in my heart. If you can’t find this for a reasonable price in the bookstores, make sure to check your local library or Ebay.*
A historical romance from the author of MIDNIGHT MASQUERADE, telling the story of a beautiful Spanish girl who falls in love with her father’s sworn enemy, an English pirate.
Lynsay Sands knows what romance readers want: love stories that are thrilling, sexy, and fun—whether they concern the amorous affairs of English lords and ladies of the Regency ton, the lairds and lasses of the Scottish Highlands, or the more contemporary vampires of the Argeneau family. In the incomparable Lynsay’s historical romance classic, What She Wants, a Scottish knight finds himself at wit’s end trying to figure out how to win the heart of the fair, if equally hard-headed, lass he is determined to marry. Everyone who enjoys the novels of Julie Garwood and Jill Barnett will be delighted to discover What She Wants…and will be enchanted by Lynsay Sands’s humor, passion, and storytelling magic.
Scarred from a terrible accident, Lucas Stanby swore never to return to England. But his brother’s murder forces him home ten years later as the new Earl of Berkmond and guardian of his two young nieces.
As the local vicar’s daughter and a childhood friend, Moira Dorsey naturally set aside her hopes of a family of her own to care for the earl’s daughters. Lucas’s return makes it impossible for her to remain since he broke Moira’s heart years ago, but the girls have other ideas.
Lucas realizes he needs Moira to keep his personal demons at bay as well as deal with two rambunctious girls. He offers Moira a marriage of convenience, hoping to keep his dark secret, aware he’s too broken to be the husband she deserves.
Moira discovers Lucas’s cold demeanor hides deep scars but glimpses of the boy she loved give her hope. She counters his proposal, asking for a babe of her own, wanting Lucas to see he’s not the monster he believes.
Unable to deny his growing feelings, Lucas agrees, but his past disrupts their second chance at love, dragging Moira and the girls into danger. He soon realizes he must share his terrible secret with Moira and risk losing her forever in order to stop the villain who threatens them all.
Since its original publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and one of the bestselling novels of all time—has been heralded by readers everywhere as The Great American Novel.
Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.
The novels of Janelle Taylor sparkle with her unique blend of adventure and passion. And her unforgettable tale of the warrior Gray Eagle and his beloved Alisha is perhaps the most special of all. For it begins one of the most romantic and memorable sagas ever written. . .
It was like lightning striking, the first time they looked into each other’s eyes: Gray Eagle, the captured Indian brave, and Alisha, the beautiful young settler. As the proud Oglala warrior was being tortured by his white captors, only Alisha seemed to notice that he was a human being–handsome and strong, and one who took her breath away. But if Alisha could have read Gray Eagle’s thoughts she would have been even more disturbed. Because from the moment he saw her, the Indian knew he had to possess the fair-skinned one–and his life would not be complete until he had made her his slave!
Rosalind Rutherford knows full well the scandal she courts when she attempts to seduce the notorious Armond Wulf–in fact, she’s counting on it as a means to escape her sadistic stepbrother’s control. Unfortunately, Lord Wulf’s better instincts prevail…although not before he gives Rosalind a tantalizing taste of what she’s missing. And when the opportunity arises to rescue Armond from a grim fate while changing her own, Rosalind knows she must seize it…
Armond can no more ignore the Rutherford woman than his ancestor could resist the temptress who cursed the Wulf men with a terrifying transformation that occurs at the appearance of the full moon–and is set in motion by love. Now, to save her reputation and his freedom, Armond must marry Rosalind. But he vows that while they may share the pleasures of the marriage bed, she will never have his heart…
Yet as strange and mysterious events bring them closer in body and soul, Armond finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings for his new wife locked away. Especially when the reality of unquenchable desire–and certain danger–burn stronger than ever by the light of a full moon…
But a life of servitude quickly turns to drudgery, and her hopes for starting over and creating a better life for herself are waning—until she meets her master’s roguish son, Ashton.
Shauna fights her growing attraction to Ashton, torn between propriety and acting on her emotions. But amidst their flirting, something dark stirs. Shauna soon discovers why no other servants will work for the strange Stewart family.
Stewart House has an unsavory reputation: a previous servant died there under mysterious circumstances. When another servant goes missing in the middle of the night, Shauna is convinced that a member of the family is responsible.
When Shauna’s investigation leads her too close to the truth, it’s up to Ashton to save her before time runs out.
“Whitney, My Love” stands as Judith McNaught’s timeless bestseller — a novel so rich with laughter, tears, and the power of dreams that millions of readers have returned to it again and again to savor its beauty and majesty. Under the dark, languorous eyes of Clayton Westmoreland, the Duke of Claymore, Whitney Stone grew from a saucy hoyden into a ravishingly sensual woman. Fresh from her triumphs in Paris society, she returned to England to win the heart of Paul, her childhood love . . . only to be bargained away by her bankrupt father to the handsome, arrogant duke. Outraged, she defies her new lord. But even as his smoldering passion seduces her into a gathering storm of desire, Whitney cannot — and will not — relinquish her dream of perfect love.
Beautiful, headstrong Nicole Ashford was yet untouched by passion, but destined for adventure – and pleasure – beyond anything a woman of her time had ever known.
Outwitting a ruthless plot against her, she fled her aristocratic England home on a privateer’s ship bound for the luxurious pirate havens of New Orleans – and exquisite abandon in Bermuda’s hidden coves. Yet the very daring of her escape plunged her into even graver peril as captive mistress to notorious high seas outlaw, Captain Saber, whose savage passion made her a woman, but whose tender kisses plundered her soul.
And nothing now could stop what was begun between them – nothing could still the urgent fires of the love they were born to share!