From medieval castles and handsome knights to the exciting adventures of Victorian and Regency era dukes and earls, there’s no denying the natural curiosity we have about the past. Stories of romance that take place in long-forgotten eras transport us into swoon-worthy old-fashioned courtships, traditions, and customs (who doesn’t want a hand-written letter from their beau?!).
10 Must-read historical romance authors
Historical romance is a popular genre that includes over a dozen sub-genres including Regency, Victorian, lords and ladies, World War II, American frontier, Highlander, Vikings, Pirates, Ancient times, medieval, time-travel and more. Readers might feel overwhelmed with their options when searching for their next romantic adventure. If you’re not sure where to begin, try out a title from one of these top 10 historical romance authors:
Mary Ellen Taylor has lived in a lovely Virginia town for most of her life, and the region inspired many of her romance novels. Alongside writing, she has a passion for baking and cooking, which led to her writing her first novel, The Union Street Bakery, back in 2013. Today, her most popular novel, Winter Cottage, weaves the stories of 3 generations of women together into a fascinating and suspenseful book that has plenty of action, mystery, and handsome strangers.
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author, Bree Wolf, specializes in Regency novels. Wolf expertly blends true historical facts into the lives of her fictional characters seamlessly; it definitely won’t feel like you’re reading a history textbook! Currently, her most popular book is the first installment of the Happy Ever Regency series, but this is just one of her collections. Wolf has also written the Love’s Second Chance series, which is currently comprised of 16 novels.
Author Eoin Dempsey was born and raised in Ireland and lived there until he moved to the US in 2008. His books are often set during times of war, including his two most popular books, Finding Rebecca and White Rose, Black Forest. Set during World War II, these novels are heart-pounding romantic thrillers that will leave you thinking about the past long after you finish reading.
Author Carolyn Brown is expected to publish her 100th romance novel in November 2020, but this doesn’t overshadow the other impressive accomplishments she has made. Her books have been on all kinds of best-seller lists, won dozens of awards, and have been translated into 19 different languages. Some of her best-known works involve cowboy romance novels (such as the Longhorn Canyon series) and contemporary women’s fiction.
Tanya Anne Crosby is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of 30 novels, and she has been featured in People magazine and Publisher’s Weekly. Her famous Highlander Romance series, Highland Brides, features fun, beautifully-written stories that take place in Medieval Scotland.
#1 best-selling Kindle author Fiona Valpy showcases her love for French culture and history in several of her wonderful historical romance novels. Valpy is committed to meticulous research when she writes her books, which is evident in her most popular WWII-era novel, The Dressmaker’s Gift.
USA Today best-selling author Christi Caldwell has a number of popular historical romance series, including the Wicked Wallflowers series, The Brethren, the Sinful Brides series, and The Heart of a Duke anthology. Currently, her most popular book is the third installment of the Wicked Wallflowers series, entitled The Governess.
Isabel Allende was born in Peru, raised in Chile, and then moved to California as an adult. Her travels and love of history inspired her to write historical romance books, as well as personal memoirs and a selection of children’s books. Allende’s novel, The Japanese Lover, is a wonderful example of her ability to accurately depict historical events while also building intimate relationships between characters.
Diana Gabaldon is the New York Times best-selling author of the incredibly popular Outlander novels; perhaps you’ve seen the television series based on her works! Gabaldon has earned a number of awards for her historical romance novels, including a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize. If you want to read something that has over 18,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, Outlander is a perfect place to start.
Author Scarlett Scott is a master at writing Victorian and Regency historical romance novels that are infused with her fun sense of humor and commitment to crafting bright, self-sufficient heroines. The USA Today best-selling author has written numerous series to enjoy, including The Wicked Winters series, the Heart’s Temptation series, and the Wicked Husbands books.
If you’d like to browse free historical romance titles, be sure to see our sister site’s link to free historical romance books here.