Mother's Day Reading

Best Historical Fiction Books for Mother’s Day Reading

Looking for a last minute Mother’s Day gift? A good book is always a hit! Check out this round up of great historical fiction picks for Mother’s Day Reading!

Mother's Day Reading

Mother’s Day Reading Picks

Mother’s Day is here! And I know there are probably some out there who are still scrambling to find gifts to honor Mom. But if she’s like me, all she wants is a good book and a glass of wine to enjoy. So for the HF Bookworm Moms out there- here is a round up of the best historical fiction books for Mother’s Day Reading! Enjoy!

Caroline Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller

In this novel authorized by the Little House Heritage Trust, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction. It’s a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before–Caroline Ingalls, “Ma” in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books.

In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory.

Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.

The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.

For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier’s most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past.

Mother's Day Reading

Mother's Day Reading

The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim



A profoundly moving and unconventional mother-daughter saga, The Last Story of Mina Lee illustrates the devastating realities of being an immigrant in America.

Margot Lee’s mother, Mina, isn’t returning her calls. It’s a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, LA, and finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous invisible strings that held together her single mother’s life as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.

Interwoven with Margot’s present-day search is Mina’s story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises and perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she’s barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a series of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death.

Told through the intimate lens of a mother and daughter who have struggled all their lives to understand each other, The Last Story of Mina Lee is a powerful and exquisitely woven debut novel that explores identity, family, secrets, and what it truly means to belong.

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY • Two estranged siblings delve into their mother’s hidden past—and how it all connects to her traditional Caribbean black cake—in this immersive family saga, “a character-driven, multi-generational story that’s meant to be savored” (Time).
“Wilkerson transports you across the decades and around the globe accompanied by complex, wonderfully drawn characters.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones & The Six, and Malibu Rising

In development as a Hulu original series produced by Marissa Jo Cerar, Oprah Winfrey (Harpo Films), and Kapital Entertainment

We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?

In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves.

Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?

Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.

Mother's Day Reading

Mother's Day Reading

The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson


“A triumph of historical fiction” (The Washington Post) set in 1950s Philadelphia and Washington, DC, that explores what it means to be a woman and a mother, and how much one is willing to sacrifice to achieve her greatest goal.

1950s Philadelphia: fifteen-year-old Ruby Pearsall is on track to becoming the first in her family to attend college, in spite of having a mother more interested in keeping a man than raising a daughter. But a taboo love affair threatens to pull her back down into the poverty and desperation that has been passed on to her like a birthright.

Eleanor Quarles arrives in Washington, DC, with ambition and secrets. When she meets the handsome William Pride at Howard University, they fall madly in love. But William hails from one of DC’s elite wealthy Black families, and his par­ents don’t let just anyone into their fold. Eleanor hopes that a baby will make her finally feel at home in William’s family and grant her the life she’s been searching for. But having a baby—and fitting in—is easier said than done.

With their stories colliding in the most unexpected of ways, Ruby and Eleanor will both make decisions that shape the trajectory of their lives.

Looking for Jane by Heather Marshall

“Clever and satisfying…has the potential to remain pertinent for generations.” —Associated Press

This “powerful debut” (Hello! Canada) for fans of Kristin Hannah and Jennifer Chiaverini about three women whose lives are bound together by a long-lost letter, a mother’s love, and a secret network of women fighting for the right to choose—inspired by true stories.

2017: When Angela Creighton discovers a mysterious letter containing a life-shattering confession, she is determined to find the intended recipient. Her search takes her back to the 1970s when a group of daring women operated an illegal underground abortion network in Toronto known only by its whispered code name: Jane.

1971: As a teenager, Dr. Evelyn Taylor was sent to a home for “fallen” women where she was forced to give up her baby for adoption—a trauma she has never recovered from. Despite harrowing police raids and the constant threat of arrest, she joins the Jane Network as an abortion provider, determined to give other women the choice she never had.

1980: After discovering a shocking secret about her family, twenty-year-old Nancy Mitchell begins to question everything she has ever known. When she unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she feels like she has no one to turn to for help. Grappling with her decision, she locates “Jane” and finds a place of her own alongside Dr. Taylor within the network’s ranks, but she can never escape the lies that haunt her.

Looking for Jane is “a searing, important, beautifully written novel about the choices we all make and where they lead us—as well as a wise and timely reminder of the difficult road women had to walk not so long ago” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).

The Lost English Girl by Julia Kelly

The acclaimed author of the “sweeping and beautifully written novel” (Woman’s World) The Light Over London weaves an epic saga of love, motherhood, and betrayal set against World War II.

Liverpool, 1935: Raised in a strict Catholic family, Viv Byrne knows what’s expected of her: marry a Catholic man from her working-class neighborhood and have his children. However, when she finds herself pregnant after a fling with Joshua Levinson, a Jewish man with dreams of becoming a famous Jazz musician, Viv knows that a swift wedding is the only answer. Her only solace is that marrying Joshua will mean escaping her strict mother’s scrutiny. But when Joshua makes a life-changing choice on their wedding day, Viv is forced once again into the arms of her disapproving family.

Five years later and on the eve of World War II, Viv is faced with the impossible choice to evacuate her young daughter, Maggie, to the countryside estate of the affluent Thompson family. In New York City, Joshua gives up his failing musical career to serve in the Royal Air Force, fight for his country, and try to piece together his feelings about the family, wife, and daughter he left behind at nineteen. However, tragedy strikes when Viv learns that the countryside safe haven she sent her daughter to wasn’t immune from the horrors of war. It is only years later, with Joshua’s help, that Viv learns the secrets of their shared past and what it will take to put a family back together again.

Telling the harrowing story of England’s many evacuated children, bestselling author Julia Kelly’s The Lost English Girl explores how one simple choice can change the course of a life, and what we are willing to forgive to find a way back to the ones we love and thought lost.

The Night Travelers by Armando Lucas Correa

Four generations of women experience love, loss, war, and hope from the rise of Nazism to the Cuban Revolution and finally, the fall of the Berlin Wall in this sweeping novel from the bestselling author of the “timely must-read” (People) The German Girl.

Berlin, 1931: Ally Keller, a talented young poet, is alone and scared when she gives birth to a mixed-race daughter she names Lilith. As the Nazis rise to power, Ally knows she must keep her baby in the shadows to protect her against Hitler’s deadly ideology of Aryan purity. But as she grows, it becomes more and more difficult to keep Lilith hidden so Ally sets in motion a dangerous and desperate plan to send her daughter across the ocean to safety.

Havana, 1958: Now an adult, Lilith has few memories of her mother or her childhood in Germany. Besides, she’s too excited for her future with her beloved Martin, a Cuban pilot with strong ties to the Batista government. But as the flames of revolution ignite, Lilith and her newborn daughter, Nadine, find themselves at a terrifying crossroads.

Berlin, 1988: As a scientist in Berlin, Nadine is dedicated to ensuring the dignity of the remains of all those who were murdered by the Nazis. Yet she has spent her entire lifetime avoiding the truth about her own family’s history. It takes her daughter, Luna, to encourage Nadine to uncover the truth about the choices her mother and grandmother made to ensure the survival of their children. And it will fall to Luna to come to terms with a shocking betrayal that changes everything she thought she knew about her family’s past.

Separated by time but united by sacrifice, four women embark on journeys of self-discovery and find themselves to be living testaments to the power of motherly love.

Mother's Day Reading

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GIVEAWAY: Help Grow a Library!

Spring has arrived! While I may not have the gift of growing plants, I would LOVE to be part of growing your local library’s book selection. Want to enter? All you have to do is fill out a request at your favorite library for them to carry my book. Once submitted, send me a screenshot of your request and you will be entered to win a book from your wishlist and a specialty bookmark!

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Spring Books to Read

Check Out These Spring Books to Read!

Looking for the best new historical fiction releases? Check out my first quarterly book round up of the year!

Spring Books to Read

Spring Books to Read!

April is here which means we are somehow already a quarter of the way through the year! I swore I’d make it a goal this year to offer quarterly book round ups. And so far, 2023 brings a bunch of new great offerings to the market. I’m super excited by a few of the books I’ve seen so far. So, what are some of the best new historical fiction spring books to read?

Let’s check it out- my first historical fiction book round-up of the year! Spring Books to Read!

The Mitford Affair by Marie Benedict

I love Marie Benedict. If you follow me on social media you’d see that I was just loving on one of her other recent books, Her Hidden Genius, as well. I also loved The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. In general, I just find her rendering of off-beat female characters to be superb! 
And once again in The Mitford Affair, Benedict is taking on a formidable set of female protagonists.

Between the World Wars, the six Mitford sisters―each more beautiful, brilliant, and eccentric than the next―dominate the English political, literary, and social scenes. Though they’ve weathered scandals before, the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her wealthy husband to marry a fascist leader and Unity follows her sister’s lead all the way to Munich, inciting rumors that she’s become Hitler’s mistress.

As the Nazis rise in power, novelist Nancy Mitford grows suspicious of her sisters’ constant visits to Germany and the high-ranking fascist company they keep. When she overhears alarming conversations and uncovers disquieting documents, Nancy must make excruciating choices as Great Britain goes to war with Germany.

Best New Historical Fiction

Probing the torrid political climate in the lead-up to World War II and the ways that seemingly sensible people can be sucked into radical action, The Mitford Affair follows Nancy’s valiant efforts to stop the Nazis from taking over Great Britain, and the complicated choices she must make between the personal and the political.

Best New Historical Fiction

The London Seance Society by Sarah Penner

Ah, Sarah Penner. I have been reeling from the ending of The Lost Apothecary since 2021! That book just stuck in my craw! And now Penner is back with another bewitching read. This one even more fantastical!

1873. At an abandoned château on the outskirts of Paris, a dark séance is about to take place, led by acclaimed spiritualist Vaudeline D’Allaire. Known worldwide for her talent in conjuring the spirits of murder victims to ascertain the identities of the people who killed them, she is highly sought after by widows and investigators alike.

Lenna Wickes has come to Paris to find answers about her sister’s death, but to do so, she must embrace the unknown and overcome her own logic-driven bias against the occult. When Vaudeline is beckoned to England to solve a high-profile murder, Lenna accompanies her as an understudy. With shared determination, the women find companionship that perhaps borders on something more. And as they team up with the powerful men of London’s exclusive Séance Society to solve the mystery, they begin to suspect that they are not merely out to solve a crime, but are perhaps entangled in one themselves…

Written with intoxicating suspense and sultry prose, The London Séance Society is an entrancing tale that blurs the lines between truth and illusion, and reveals the grave risks women will take to avenge the ones they love.

Good Night From Paris by Jane Healey

I found Jane Healey in 2021 for her other WWII spy thriller, The Secret Stealers. I enjoyed that one immensely and am excited to see she’s back with another thrilling adventure.

In Nazi-occupied France, an American film star takes on the most dangerous role of her life in a gripping novel about loyalty and resistance, inspired by a true story, from the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Secret Stealers.

Paris, 1939. Hollywood actress Drue Leyton, married to Frenchman Jacques Tartière, lives as an expatriate in love. But when her husband is dispatched to Brittany to work as a liaison for the British military, Drue finds herself alone with her housekeeper, adrift and heartsick in her adopted city. With her career and fame forty-five hundred miles away, Drue accepts an opportunity that will change her life forever.

Befriended by seasoned wartime journalist Dorothy Thompson and urged on by political operative Jean Fraysse, Drue broadcasts radio programs to the United States. Her duty: shake America from its apathy and, as Nazis encroach and France is occupied, push for resistance and help from the US. As Drue and Jean fall under suspicion, Hitler sends his own message: when Drue’s adopted country is conquered, she will be executed.

In a Paris that is no longer safe, Drue’s political passion is ignited. She’s prepared to risk anything to fight the enemy no matter how dangerous it gets—for her, for everyone she loves, and for everything she’s fighting for.

This book is currently in Kindle Unlimited so grab it there while you can!

Best New Historical Fiction

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Irish Historical Fiction Books

Have you read any of these Irish Historical Fiction Books?

Here are a few of my favorite Irish Historical Fiction Authors and their fabulous stories about the Emerald Isle!

Irish Historical Fiction Books

My Favorite Irish Historical Fiction Books

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Irish historical fiction books are particularly near and dear to my heart since it was actually an Irish historical fiction author who sparked my love for the genre.

So, I feel on this day celebrating all things Irish, I must share my personal favorite Irish Historical Fiction Authors and their books. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Morgan Llewelyn

1916 by Morgan Llewelyn is the first book in a YA series about the Irish fight for independence. The series begins in 1916 and continues all the way through 1999 giving you an amazing span of Irish history. I’ve devoured them all and I attribute this series as the trigger for my obsession with the historical fiction genre.

1916 starts off with the sinking of the Titanic. The main character, Ned Halloran, loses both his parents and nearly his own life that day. Unsure what to do next, he returns to Ireland and enrolls at St. Edna’s School in Dublin. There he develops a close relationship with St. Edna’s headmaster, Patrick Pearse, who is soon to gain great fame as a rebel and activist. Ned gets swept up in the fight as well and through his eyes we witness the Irish fight for freedom.

Morgan Llewelyn is an incredible writer and has written about many aspects of Irish history ranging from stories about the early kings of Ireland in the 10th century to the life story of the Irish Saint Brendan. If you want a master Irish historical fiction author, you need to read Morgan Llewelyn.

Irish Historical Fiction Books

Irish Historical Fiction Authors

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue was born in Dublin and is a writer of both historical fiction and contemporary fiction. Many of her novels have been made into movies including her most famous film adaptation, The Room, which was nominated for four Oscars.

Emma Donoghue is an amazingly talented writer and also writes about a variety of time periods in Irish history. Like in Haven, she follows a seventh century priest and two monks on a journey to row down the river Shannon to find the perfect spot to build a monastery.And in The Pull of the Stars, she brings us to a maternity home in Dublin during the 1918 flu epidemic.

Donoghue demonstrates her literary range and is masterful at both educating us about some extremely tough subjects while also weaving a tapestry of beautiful stories!

Jean Grainger

Jean Grainger is a legend in the historical fiction world. Not only is she a many times over USA Bestselling Author, she also holds tight in Bookbub reader polls, landing consistently in the Top 20 Historical Fiction Authors.

Grainger is a “character” author. Her characters jump off the page like old friends. Her writing style is described as warm, wise and comforting, much like the Irish country life she writes about. I would describe it as similar to Maeve Binchy.

She is a prolific writer, with over fifty historical fiction titles to her name. Her writing also spans a range of Irish history, but she tends to lean towards 1900s and later.

Her beautiful stories showcase the Irish viewpoint of pivotal points in history like experiencing WWII with the Irish countryside offering refuge to Jewish children escaping imprisonment to experiencing the devastating loss of the Titanic after it set off from its final stop at Queenstown, County Cork. She is also an expert at showcasing the societal changes and political unrest affecting the Irish people during these times.If you want to learn more about Irish history, Jean Grainger really is a must read.

I hope you all enjoy these Irish Historical Fiction Authors and enjoy these Irish Historical Fiction Books this St. Patrick’s Day!

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Best Books ABout First Ladies

Best Books about First Ladies

We’ve all heard that behind every great man is a great lady. But it’s still the men that get celebrated. I think it’s time we give these incredible First Ladies their due!

Best Books about First Ladies

Lady Bird Johnson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Mary Todd Lincoln– we’ve all heard these legendary ladies’ names. But, how much do we actually know about them? Who were these incredible women who stood behind our nation’s leaders? How much did they help steer the country? And more importantly, what did they give up and sacrifice to take on this role? I hope I capture some of these questions and stories here in these best books about first ladies. But I know there still are more.

To be honest, I grew very overwhelmed in the options while writing this post. There are so many incredible books out there. I obviously could only share a few, but I’d love for you to share more of your own recommendations as well! So please, feel free to add your own favorite First Lady Reads in the comments!

Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert

Eleanor Roosevelt was known for being one of the most influential, ahead of her time first ladies in history. Her quotes alone are legendary. But was there one area of her life where she couldn’t be true to herself?

Albert offers a beautiful story of the complicated relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and A.P. reporter, Lorena Hickok- Hick- as she was called.

When AP political reporter Lorena Hickok—Hick—is assigned to cover Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the wife of the 1932 Democratic presidential candidate, the two women become deeply, intimately involved. Their relationship begins with mutual romantic passion, matures through stormy periods of enforced separation and competing interests, and warms into an enduring, encompassing friendship that ends only with both women’s deaths in the 1960s—all of it documented by 3300 letters exchanged over thirty years.

Now, New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert recreates the fascinating story of Hick and Eleanor, set during the chaotic years of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Second World War. Loving Eleanor is Hick’s personal story, revealing Eleanor as a complex, contradictory, and entirely human woman who is pulled in many directions by her obligations to her husband and family and her role as the nation’s First Lady, as well as by a compelling need to care and be cared for. For her part, Hick is revealed as an accomplished journalist, who, at the pinnacle of her career, gives it all up for the woman she loves. Then, as Eleanor is transformed into Eleanor Everywhere, First Lady of the World, Hick must create her own independent, productive life.

Drawing on extensive research in the letters that were sealed for a decade following Hick’s death, Albert creates a compelling narrative: a dramatic love story, vividly portraying two strikingly unconventional women, neither of whom is satisfied to live according to the script society has written for her. Loving Eleanor is a profoundly moving novel that illuminates a relationship we are seldom privileged to see and celebrates the depth and durability of women’s love.

Best Books about First Ladies

And They Called It Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton

The famous Jackie O. Many would call her the most legendary first lady of all time. Her famous style. The highly romanticized fairytale of the Kennedy’s courtship and marriage. But what was Jackie’s life really like? Thornton takes us behind the scenes to see an intimate portrait of her life.

Few of us can claim to be the authors of our fate. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy knows no other choice. With the eyes of the world watching, Jackie uses her effortless charm and keen intelligence to carve a place for herself among the men of history and weave a fairy tale for the American people, embodying a senator’s wife, a devoted mother, a First Lady—a queen in her own right.
But all reigns must come to an end. Once JFK travels to Dallas and the clock ticks down those thousand days of magic in Camelot, Jackie is forced to pick up the ruined fragments of her life and forge herself into a new identity that is all her own, that of an American legend.

Mary- Mrs. A. Lincoln by Janis Cooke Newman

Mary Todd Lincoln was one of the most controversial first ladies in history. She was the first President’s wife to earn the title First Lady. And yet, she was also committed into an insane asylum. Newman does an amazing job portraying a sympathetic and well-researched view of Mary Todd Lincoln’s life.

A fascinating and intimate novel of the life of Mary Todd Lincoln, narrated by the First Lady herself.

Mary Todd Lincoln is one of history’s most misunderstood and enigmatic women. She was a political strategist, a supporter of emancipation, and a mother who survived the loss of three children and the assassination of her beloved husband. She also ran her family into debt, held seances in the White House, and was committed to an insane asylum—which is where Janis Cooke Newman’s debut novel begins. From her room in Bellevue Place, Mary chronicles her tempestuous childhood in a slaveholding Southern family and takes readers through the years after her husband’s death, revealing the ebbs and flows of her passion and depression, her poverty and ridicule, and her ultimate redemption.

Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight by Julia Sweig

It’s recently been alluded to that Lady Bird Johnson was instrumental to LBJ’s administration and presidency. But this book really pulls back the curtain and reveals just how much she contributed.

In the spring of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson had a decision to make. Just months after moving into the White House under the worst of circumstances—following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy— he had to decide whether to run to win the presidency in his own right. He turned to his most reliable, trusted political strategist: his wife, Lady Bird Johnson. The strategy memo she produced for him, emblematic of her own political acumen and largely overlooked by biographers, is just one revealing example of how their marriage was truly a decades-long political partnership.

Perhaps the most underestimated First Lady of the twentieth century, Lady Bird Johnson was also one of the most accomplished and often her husband’s secret weapon. Managing the White House in years of national upheaval, through the civil rights movement and the escalation of the Vietnam War, Lady Bird projected a sense of calm and, following the glamorous and modern Jackie Kennedy, an old-fashioned image of a First Lady. In truth, she was anything but. As the first First Lady to run the East Wing like a professional office, she took on her own policy initiatives, including the most ambitious national environmental effort since Teddy Roosevelt. Occupying the White House during the beginning of the women’s liberation movement, she hosted professional women from all walks of life in the White House, including urban planning and environmental pioneers like Jane Jacobs and Barbara Ward, encouraging women everywhere to pursue their own careers, even if her own style of leadership and official role was to lead by supporting others.

Where no presidential biographer has understood the full impact of Lady Bird Johnson’s work in the White House, Julia Sweig is the first to draw substantially on Lady Bird’s own voice in her White House diaries to place Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson center stage and to reveal a woman ahead of her time—and an accomplished politician in her own right.

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Historical Fiction Romance Books

Best Historical Fiction Romance Books for Valentine’s Day

Time travel and enjoy a swoon-worthy rogue with these great historical fiction romance books for Valentine’s Day!

Historical Fiction Romance Books

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!

Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

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.

Historical Fiction Romance books

Books for Valentine's Day

Years by LaVyrle Spencer

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.

Something Like Love by Beverly Jenkins

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?

historical fiction romance

Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

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….

Come From Away by Genevieve Graham

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.


An Unseen Attraction by K. J. Charles

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.

Enjoy these historical fiction romance books! I hope you find something to snuggle up with this Valentine’s Day!

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