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Guide to Historical Romance - The Best Authors and Series

Updated on June 23, 2018

Your Guide to Historical Romance - Finding the Best Authors and Series and Avoiding the Dreck

Find out about the best romance series and authors, and avoid the dreck. Yes romances are often light and fluffy, but they can also be enjoyable reads if you pick the right authors. Romance tends to get a bad reputation because there is an excess of genuinely bad romance novels, and many authors just crank them out without regard to quality. There are, however, quite a few solid writers in the romance genre, and many readers are surprised to find themselves picking up a romance because they've discovered a favorite author who also writes in another genre that they consider more legitimate. While it is true that many readers look down their noses at Romance because they think they're too literate for the genre, many times I've gotten friends hooked on romances despite their misgivings. It all comes down to picking a solid author who can tell a good story.

Historical romances can include various subgenres, such as Regency, Medieval, Victorian, American Colonial, and more. There is quite a bit of crossover into general fiction and literature, depending on the author. Diana Gabaldon, for instance, was originally only found in romance, but now she is just as often found in the literature section because she has received some "legitimacy" as an author, while many romance authors are overlooked.

As You Wish is the latest Stephanie Laurens novel.

Top 10 Best Historical Romance Series

Best historical romance series with the first book in the series listed. Most of these series can be read individually, as most have a new hero and heroine for each novel. They are usually connected, however, so it is ideal if you can read them in order. Vote for your favorites!

Lisa Kleypas writes primarily in the Historical Romance genre, although she has recently begun to write contemporaries as well. Lisa's books are well-written romances that are a good mix of passion and plot, and filled with non-traditional heroines who fall in love in spite of themselves.

Lisa Kleypas has three great historical romance series:

The Bow Street Runners - The Bow Street Runner series is a little different than the average Regency romance, because the heroes are regular men - commoners - instead of the usual aristocrats. They work as "runners," or police officers of the day. The first book in the series is Someone to Watch Over Me.

The Wallflowers - The Wallflowers are a group of four friends who meet at a society function, are deemed to be unmarriable by society, and decide to help each other to find a match. The series begins with Secrets of a Summer Night.

The Hathaways - The series revolves around the Hathaway family, an offbeat group of siblings who inherit a title and land and must find a way of fitting in without changing who they are. The Hathaways series begins with Mine Till Midnight.

Lisa Kleypas' Official Website >>

Photo from Amazon.com and LisaKleypas.com

What Type of Romance Is Your Favorite?

See results

Top 10 Best Time-Travel Romances

Time-Travel romance is a related genre to historicals. Usually set in the past, the plot often involves a modern day heroine being transported to the past by some type of magical means, during which time she meets and falls in love with a hero from that time period. The conflict generally revolves around whether or not she can stay in the past or whether time will ultimately separate the couple.

For a good introduction into time travel romances, the Outlander series, is an outstanding epic saga filled with a rich storyline set in 18th century Scotland.

Download Outlander on Kindle >>

Top 10 Great Classic Romances - Not to be missed...

Vote for your favorites!

Romance Favorite: Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn is a historical romance author best known for her Bridgertons series, a series set in Regency England about a large family. The Bridgerton family consists of eight siblings named in alphabetical order. Reminiscent of The Bridgertons Series - The first title in the eight-book Bridgertons series is The Duke and I. The Bridgertons also make an appearance in the Lady Whistledown books.


Julia Quinn's other series include the Bevelstoke series, the Two Dukes of Wyndham, Agents of the Crown, the Lyndon Sisters and the Splendid series.

The Splendid Trilogy - This series is set in the world of the Bridgertons and is just as enjoyable. Splendid is the first title in the trilogy.

The Smythe-Smith Quartet - Julia Quinn started a new series in May 2011 about the Smythe-Smith family, known for their infamous musicales, some of whom crop up as minor characters in her other series. The first in the planned four-book series is Just Like Heaven.

What romance books do you recommend?

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    • NikkiLindsey LM profile image

      NikkiLindsey LM 

      5 years ago

      Celeste Bradley, Madeline Hunter, Eloisa James, and Elizabeth Boyle are all really good.

    • profile image

      Wir55 

      5 years ago

      Laura Willig Pink Carnation series

    • writergrey profile image

      writergrey 

      6 years ago

      Glad to see Outlander - a great favorite. I also love any regency romance by Georgette Heyer.

    • profile image

      shaboo 

      6 years ago

      Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Lisa Kleypas and Fern Michaels older Captive series are all Excellent!

    • profile image

      shaboo 

      6 years ago

      Please read anything by Kathleen Woodiwiss , Lisa Kleypas, Rosemary Rogers and older Fern Michaels captive series. You won't be disappointed.

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 

      6 years ago

      I would recommend Julie Garwood and Christine Feehan books

    • MichelleLacroix profile image

      Michelle Lacroix Toro 

      6 years ago from United States

      Oh, I have to admit to picking up "anything" that has the name Jayne Krentz, Julie Garwood, and Diana Palmer - they are truly incredible writers and I am never disappointed in any of their books. Nice lens!

    • profile image

      Laughngypsy 

      6 years ago

      I have A Knight In Shinning Armor that I got when it was first published and I still count that as one of my all time favorites! Thanks for writing such a great lens on Romance books! I really have to read some of these soon.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 

      6 years ago

      I like the old romance books, like Jane Austen and the Bronte books. Have featured this lens on my review of World Without End by Ken Follett.

    • planetocean79 profile image

      planetocean79 

      6 years ago

      I love Someone To Watch Over Me, love that book.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Cool lens! I love Dee Julia books!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      informative lens thanks for the guides

    • profile image

      eWriteNow 

      6 years ago

      This is a wonderful list. Finding a good romance novel can be difficult at times.

    • TwistedWiseman profile image

      TwistedWiseman 

      6 years ago

      Nothing I recommend will be as appealing to you as I wish it to be.

      I read Raymond E. Feist and Coehlo so go figure.

    • profile image

      AmberDa2 

      7 years ago

      Good list. I love mostly medieval. Have a few Kleypas earlier novels

    • profile image

      gradientcat 

      7 years ago

      I haven't read historical romances for a while, I think I'm about ready for one. Bring on the summer reading!

    • profile image

      BlueBonnetBlossom 

      7 years ago

      Love the Outlander series and also Quinn. Can't believe I haven't read Lisa Kleypas yet...I'm on it!

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 

      7 years ago

      Very extensive presentation of authors and their series ... nicely done. ~~Blessed~~

    • profile image

      MissSweety 

      7 years ago

      Very interesting lense! I'm fan of Amanda Quick romance books :)

    • profile image

      sharonlwrites 

      7 years ago

      Great lens! I'm a fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series - and I can see you are too!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 

      7 years ago

      My favorite are the ones written in the Victorian era, because I love the castles, horses and fairytales of that time period.

    • PopcornThomas profile image

      PopcornThomas 

      7 years ago

      You hit the nail on the head with Kleypas and Quinn. Both are fantastic, although I think I enjoy Kleypas more! Quinn's humor can be a bit flat at times, like she's trying to be funny but not quite succeeding.

      Anyway, great lens!

    • profile image

      Edutopia 

      7 years ago

      my mom is quite the fan of this genre and I'm sure she'll absolutely love this lens. Great job!

    • profile image

      seosmm 

      7 years ago

      Good info. Very nice lens!

    • creativeinc lm profile image

      creativeinc lm 

      7 years ago

      The Great Gatsby is highly recommended!

    • profile image

      chicklitnation 

      7 years ago

      I love, love, love the Outlander series so hoorah to you for putting that at the top! I also like the Skye O'malley series by Bertrice Small, and of course anything by Ms. Jane Austen.

    • JeanJohnson LM profile image

      JeanJohnson LM 

      8 years ago

      Emma is a really good book, also enjoyed little women :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      Great lens! I love Georgette Heyer books!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      8 years ago

      Well as you asked, what about the Poldark series? Loved those.

    • profile image

      careermom 

      8 years ago

      Some really great authors here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      I like sophie kinsella's modern romance books and if you like the old regency english books look up barbara cartlands, not sure if she's in print but you will learn a lot of historical facts from the 1800s for london england. she mixes fact with fiction which is a delightful read.

    • Eklectik1 profile image

      Eklectik1 

      8 years ago

      The entire Outlander Series is incredible

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Lots to enjoy here. Blessed by a squid angel.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 

      8 years ago

      Completely impressed by Gabaldon.

    • momto4 lm profile image

      momto4 lm 

      8 years ago

      I love historical romances!! Right now my favorite author is Lisa Kleypas. Great lens!!

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 

      8 years ago

      Haha, bet I was the only one to vote for science fiction. I loves me some space opera romances. If anyone wants to give them a try, check out Linnea Sinclair!

    • amkatee profile image

      amkatee 

      8 years ago

      I'm a big Diana Gabaldon fan!

    • profile image

      Online_Travel 

      9 years ago

      This is a great site! I love using Squidoo to find travel advice and ideas. I recently planned a trip to India alone and found a great number of useful travel websites on squidoo.com which has info on flights, hotels, travel blogs, travel networks and online travel guides. Keep it up!

    • profile image

      bolide 

      9 years ago

      Have you tried our software for library to keep your book collection organized?

    • profile image

      runninglepord 

      9 years ago

      I have a lot of Johanna Lindsey and Lesley Pearse books, so far so good. I have yet to read the rest of the list. Also heard that Amanda Quick and Julia Quinn books are great too.

    • papawu profile image

      papawu 

      10 years ago

      I don't know about romance, but a few of the best works of historical fiction are both by James Clavell. They are SHOGUN, TAIPAN, and NOBLE HOUSE. They do all have a bit of romance in them and I think you might really enjoy Clavell's Asian sagas.

    • profile image

      sudever 

      12 years ago

      Great lens, I just discovered three books I have not read yet. Thanks! If you're in to audio books, then you might want to check out this Historical Romance Audio Books site.

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