Time travel and enjoy a swoon-worthy rogue with these great historical fiction romance books for Valentine’s Day!
Best Historical Fiction Romance Books
Are you a fan of Claire and Jamie Fraser? Do you enjoy roguish dukes or dangerous outlaws? Whether you’re a fan of the steamy or like it clean– I have something for everyone to capture the romance of the day. Enjoy this list of historical fiction romance books to keep you company this Valentine’s Day!
Judith McNaught is one of the original queens of the historical romance genre! And don’t let the stigma of weak damsels in distress get you down for this author– because she epitomizes the fact that strong women can enjoy this genre as well. She was the first female executive producer at a CBS radio station after all! She also worked as a controller for a major trucking company and as an assistant director for a film crew! Talk about being a strong woman with a thick skin in male dominated fields! And yet, she loves romance books- both writing them and reading them!
Almost Heaven takes you from the drawing rooms of London to the wilds of the Scottish Highlands.
Elizabeth Cameron, the Countess of Havenhurst, possesses a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.
A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, Ian’s interest in Elizabeth may not be all that it seems. His voyage to her heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and passion, forcing Elizabeth to wonder: is Ian truly just a ruthless fortune hunter? Or could the love in his heart perhaps be true?
“Well-developed main characters with a compelling mutual attraction give strength and charm to this romance” (Publishers Weekly) You won’t be able to put down.
LaVyrle Spencer is another legend in the historical romance genre. She was even inducted into the Romance Writers Hall of Fame in 1988. Twelve of her books were New York Times bestsellers and several of them were made into movies.She also won five (RITA) Romance Writers in America Awards, the highest award offered to romance writers, four of which were in the historical romance category.
She is known for crafting stories around realistic characters and stories that focus on families rather than just the relationship between the couple.
In Years, Spencer tells a World War I story about a school teacher who grows to womanhood in the arms of a man who’d given up on love.
Beverly Jenkins is a historical romance writer who writes in a particular niche about early 19th century African-American life. (You may have seen me write about her in my Black Historical Fiction Authors article.) She chose this purposefully because she feels it is a period of African-American history that is overlooked.
She was voted on of the Top 50 Favorite African-American writers of the 20th century by the African American Literature Book Club. She also won the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award as well as many others.
In Something Like Love, Jenkins tells a story about the potential for change. Can someone change, or are they predestined to remain as they are?
Desperate to escape an arranged marriage, Olivia Sterling flees Chicago and heads west. She dreams of setting up her own seamstress shop in Henry Adams, a small all Black town in Kansas. But her plans are derailed when her train is robbed by Neil July and his notorious band of outlaws.
Neil is enchanted by the headstrong and lovely Olivia. No woman has ever set his blood on fire before, and he suspects no other woman ever will. When they meet again, Olivia is the town’s newly elected mayor and Neil is still the wanted outlaw. With bounty hunters on his trail, he would be wise not to linger, yet he can’t seem to leave her. Will Neil be able to convince Olivia to ride off into the sunset with him? Or will he finally lay down his guns for love?
Jeannie Lin is a newer voice on the scene. However, that in no way diminishes her power! Butterfly Swords was her debut novel, and right out of the gate it won her a Golden Heart Award! Since then, she’s been featured in USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and was listed in Library Journal as one of the best Romance novelists of 2011.
In Butterfly Swords, Lin weaves a story set in the Tang Dynasty, a time awash with luxury yet littered with deadly intrigues and fallen royalty. Princess Ai Li flees before her wedding.
Miles from home, with only her delicate butterfly swords for defense, she enlists the reluctant protection of a blue-eyed warrior….
Battle-scarred, embittered Ryam has always held his own life at cheap value. Ai Li’s innocent trust in him and honorable, stubborn nature make him desperate to protect her—which means not seducing the first woman he has ever truly wanted….
Genevieve Graham is a newer historical fiction author on the block– publishing her first novel in 2017. Since then, this Canadian has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with, writing five historical fiction books in just five years! I can’t even imagine doing all that research that quickly!
Graham focuses on Canadian history. She began by highlighting the little known area of Nova Scotia and has since expanded to write about Canada as a whole. Since publishing, her books have become bestsellers and one is even already optioned to become a movie!
In Come From Away, Graham highlights a little known period of Nazi infiltration in North America.
In the fall of 1939, Grace Baker’s three brothers, sharp and proud in their uniforms, board Canadian ships headed for a faraway war. Grace stays behind, tending to the homefront and the general store that helps keep her small Nova Scotian community running. The war, everyone says, will be over before it starts.
Three years later, the fighting rages on and the harsh realities of war come closer to home when rumours swirl about “wolf packs” of German U-Boats lurking in the deep waters along the shores of East Jeddore, a stone’s throw from Grace’s window.
Then, one day, a handsome stranger ventures into the store. He claims to be a trapper come from away, and, as Grace gets to know him, she becomes enamoured by his gentle smile and thoughtful ways. But after several weeks, she discovers that Rudi, her mysterious visitor, is not the lonely outsider he appears to be. He is someone else entirely—someone not to be trusted.
When a shocking truth about her family forces Grace to question everything she has so strongly believed, she realizes that she and Rudi have more in common than she had thought. And if Grace is to have a chance at love, she must not only choose a side, but take a stand.
Set against the tumultuous years of World War II, Come from Away is a mesmerizing story about strangers, enemies, and friends—and the power of love to transcend the barriers that keep us apart.
K.J. Charles lives in London and is a queer historical romance novelist. She is a prolific writer with over thirty books in her repoirtoire. She has won a number of awards including both a RITA and Rainbow award.
In An Unseen Attraction, Charles depicts a slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery that binds two men together.
Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship. . . .
Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding . . . it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.
Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.