Historical fiction is all about the romance of the past – these are also about the romance of romance.
We all love a great romance novel. But what makes a great romance even better? Historical fiction! These historical fiction romance novels take place throughout history. Some in Victorian England, others in Revolutionary America, one actually takes place in both modern day America and 16th century Venice.
Whether you enjoy the seduction of a Duke or Romeo, historical fiction has much to offer. Here are just a few of our favorite reads in this genre- and no, you won’t find any Bridgerton novels here.
A Rogue of One’s Own, by Evie Dunmore
Lady Lucie and the Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough money to buy control of one of London’s biggest publishing houses. They have one goal – work a coup against Parliament. However, there is one person standing in her way, and it’s going to take more than a full coin purse to make him go away.
Lord Tristan Ballentine is London’s undisputed lord of sin, a rake by reputation, and Lucie’s nemesis. He isn’t willing to give Lucie what she wants without, at the very least, trying to finally bed her. However, Lucie isn’t willing to pay that price. So, she turns on her womanly charms and tries to out-wit Ballentine to get what she wants. As they say, all is fair in love and war.
Royal, by Danielle Steel
In a tragic turn of events, an infant girl is orphaned and alone. Taken in by a stable manager and his wife, she grows up not knowing the circumstances of her birth or her abandonment. Two decades later a series of letters unveils a secret. A long lost princess is revealed and an extraordinary woman returns home.
How can love change the course of a person’s life? In 1943, Princess Charlotte is sent away from war-torn London. Finding refuge in Yorkshire, she settles into a more comfortable, and much less royal, lifestyle. Only her two guardians know her true identity. This allows Charlotte to make friends, train horses, and, eventually and unexpectedly, fall in love.
Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances, by Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole, and Rose Lerner
This collection of three historical romance short stories tell the tales of love during the fight for American independence. Decades after the assault on Yorktown, Eliza Hamilton collected stories from Alexander Hamilton’s soldiers. She soon realized that the battle of love was fought throughout the war.
Promised Land, by Rose Lerner – After faking her death, Rachel dons mens clothing and becomes Corporal Ezra Jacobs. Her intention is to fight the British, but her past gets in the way. Enter Nathan Mendelson, a former love and current loyalist spy. Will he reveal her secret, or is there more to him than meets the eye?
The Pursuit of, By Courtney Milan – A Black American soldier dismissed from the army at Yorktown and a British officer who deserted his post find themselves walking the same path. At first they try to kill each other and are likely to continue throughout their journey. They are certainly not going to fall in love with each other. It would take more than a five-hundred mile journey to make them fall in love, right?
That Could Be Enough, by Alyssa Cole – Serving as a maid to Eliza Hamilton, Mercy Stiel doesn’t have time for love or hope. She is too busy helping Eliza preserve her late husband’s legacy to have time for such frivolity. However, Mercy starts questioning everything when she meets the beautiful and incredible Andromeda Broadnax. Are either women prepared for love? Is love enough?
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem, by Manda Collins
Part mystery, part historical fiction romance, this book follows the intrepid Lady Katherine Bascomb. A newspaper columnist, her most recent articles lead to the arrest in a series of murders in London. However, instead of praise for her great work, Katherine finds herself with a bit of notoriety. Turns out that the English don’t’ think women should be writing about such vulgar things. OF course it doesn’t help that Decetive Inspector Andrew Eversham claims Katherine interfiered in his investigation, rather than helped it.
So, Katherine leaves London for the country. But just as she is settled in, away from the drama, she witnesses a murder. Enter Detective Anderew. Reluctant to let Katherine in on another of his investigations, he soon realizes that the best way to solve this case is to work together. But with their attention focused on the case, the two don’t notice that this relationship is about more than just solving a murder.
The Transformation of Philip Jettan, by Georgette Heyer – Intro by Sarah McLean
Philip Jettan is in love with Cleone Charteris. However, she wants him to change. But what happens when a man changes for the worse?
Since their childhood, Cleone and Philip were thought to get married. Philip never hid his intentions to marry Cleone. But, as the two grew up, Clone found that she enjoys art, fashion, and etiquette. Philip doesn’t. But he is willing to do anything to win Cleone’s heart.
Under the tutelage of Marquie de Chateau-Banvau, Philip learns to duel, write poetry, and dress in the highest fashion. He goes from simple country gentleman to stylish dandy. But when he returns home to Cleone, he finds that a dandy isn’t quite what she was expecting. So now he has to figure out how to blend these two sides of himself together and show Cleone that he is still the same boy who fell in love with her all those years ago.
The Lost Diary of Venice, by Margaux DeRoux
Part modern-day romance, part historical fiction, this romance has it’s foot in two different times. Rose Newlin just received an interesting new project. As a book restorer, she finds herself with a sixteenth century palimpsest. The owner, William Lomazzo believed it to be a treatise on art, but hidden underneath is a diary. As rose uncovers the original text, the two find themsleves engrossed in a love story from Renaissance Venice.
Giovanni Lomazzo is an artist who is losing his sight. in response to this, he begins documenting all parts of his life in his diary. As each day gets darker and darker, he begins what might be his final portrait – the beautiful courtesan of Venice’s most powerful military commander. However, as he paints, Giovanni finds himself falling into a deep love. A pairing that can never be.
As Giovanni’s story is uncovered, Rose and William find themselves with a mystifying connection. A connection that rings too true to Gio’s own forbidden love.
The Widow of Rose House
New York City, 1875, Alva Webster is finally able to move back to her beloved city. Three years ago Alva fled the city in scandal after leaving her abusive husband, and his sudden death. Now she has returned and hopes to restore her reputation, as well as an old Hyde Park mansion. There is only one problem – her house is a bit haunted and the only person to help is far too handsome.
The eccentric and brilliant Professor Samuel Moore would never be described as conventional. Some may describe him as “scandal-raising” to say the least. This is exactly what Alva doesn’t need right now. But, she doesn’t have a choice as the two dive into the secrets haunting Alva’s new home. The further they dig, however, the more Sam uncovers about Alva’s own secrets.
What is your favorite time period to read about? When and where do you like to escape to? Did you know that regency romance is technically it’s own separate genre of romance? Perhaps, they deserve their own list. Let us know what you think on social media!