Author Topic: Historical romance novels - suggestions  (Read 565 times)

Offline Poesie

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Historical romance novels - suggestions
« on: September 05, 2018, 11:14:40 am »
Iím binge reading historical romance novels. Mostly set in Regency England (Georgette Heyer set me off). Donít think Iíve read this many in decades but itís been soothing.

Some of the authors Iíve liked so far (to varying degrees) include Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas and Eloisa James (there are more - itís been an epic binge).

Anyone have any historical romance authors to recommend? Would really appreciate some ideas.

Can be different setting than Regency England. Trying to stick with stuff that is availalble in ebook form. Do not need any more real books until I move house.

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Offline Panin

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2018, 12:57:47 pm »
M/F
Sherry Thomas
Elizabeth Rolls
Courtney Milan
Sarah Maclean
Jeanie Lin
Beverly Jenkins
Elizabeth Hoyt
Meredith Duran
Tessa Dare
Nicola Cornick
Loretta Chase
Liz Carlyle
Joanna Bourne

M/M
KJ Charles
Cat Sebastian.

Also, if you are on Facebook, there is a fine group for discovering new authors, OSRBC: Read More Romance. 
A good website for recommendations is Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php

Panin.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 02:16:08 pm by Panin »

Offline Poesie

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2018, 01:30:50 pm »
Thanks, Panin. Recognised a couple off the list but most are totally new to me which is great. Canít wait to explore. & check out the FB page. Definitely like the sound of that website too!

Offline Kiwi Cupcake

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2018, 02:36:39 pm »
For historical with a dash of magic:

Jill Barnett's Bewitching and it's spinoff Dreaming.
Heather Cullman's Stronger than Magic.

Those are my comfort reads. I'll think of more later.

Offline STiG

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 09:04:32 am »
There is also Diana Gabaldan's Outlander series, if you like a bit of magic/science fiction with your romance.  The premise is that a woman from circa post WWII finds a passage back in time to England in the time of the Jacobites.  Eventually, several books in, they end up in America, about the time America becomes it's own country.  I don't know how accurate they are but they were enjoyable.
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Offline Poesie

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 09:10:54 am »
There is also Diana Gabaldan's Outlander series, if you like a bit of magic/science fiction with your romance.  The premise is that a woman from circa post WWII finds a passage back in time to England in the time of the Jacobites.  Eventually, several books in, they end up in America, about the time America becomes it's own country.  I don't know how accurate they are but they were enjoyable.

I enjoyed the Outlander series too. Not sure how accurate either but theyíre really hard to put down.

Offline Poesie

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 09:13:56 am »
For historical with a dash of magic:

Jill Barnett's Bewitching and it's spinoff Dreaming.
Heather Cullman's Stronger than Magic.

Those are my comfort reads. I'll think of more later.

Those look really interesting.

Offline Poesie

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2018, 08:17:33 am »
Thanks, Panin. Recognised a couple off the list but most are totally new to me which is great. Canít wait to explore. & check out the FB page. Definitely like the sound of that website too!

Started with Sherry Thomas. Very engaging stories. Thanks.
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Offline hardia

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2018, 11:33:54 am »
My favourite is Julia Quinn.

Offline Kiwi Cupcake

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2018, 02:47:41 pm »
I just remembered Teresa Romain. I only read a few of her books but so far so good.

Offline Foxglove

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2018, 07:54:58 pm »
There's an author that was popular in the '70s and '80s -- Madeleine Brent -- most of her books were set in the very late 1800s or early 1900s and followed a fairly formulaic pattern:  Plucky, admirable and lone heroine in a difficult position -- orphaned in China, or from a genteel but bankrupt family, or a circus orphan -- who manages by dint of hard work, ingenuity and integrity to triumph over her circumstances AND win the love of a sexy hero.

I like the books and re-read them every couple of years; a few were really quite the best-sellers back in their day.  The only thing I would warn is that in a few of the books, the heroines are or have been unwilling sex workers and the difficulty of that sort of life is glossed over.  Those for whom that would be a trigger might want to skip.  But otherwise the plots, characterizations and behind-the-scenes quotidian details of Victorian life are entertaining. 

You have to seek out used copies on Amazon or library versions at this point; i doubt they are in print any more.

Some titles are
"Moonraker's Bride"
"The Capricorn Stone"
(above two my favorite)
"Golden Urchin"
"Merlin's Keep"
"Strranger at Wildings"
"Stormswift"

There are more, can't recall at the moment.  Easy to locate.




Offline Foxglove

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2018, 08:07:27 pm »
I would also put in a plug for the works of M.M. Kaye

She was a woman who was among the last to live the lifestyle of the colonial Englishperson in India -- being born in about 1910, she was sent back to England as a child for education, etc. etc., then returned to India as a very young woman.  She LOVED the country and respected its people and it shows in her very detailed, very authentic work.

her three-volume autobiography,  though disappointing as it stops at the juicy point she finally in late youth/early middle age meets the love of her life, is well worth a read -- Sun in the Morning, Golden Afternoon and Enchanted Evening.

Those who are my age will recall that in the late 1970s she published basically THE blockbuster fictional historical romance of that decade, The Far Pavillions.  I remember sneaking to read it during  high school classes because it was un-put-downable; it's a thick tome.   Very edge-of-the-seat romantic and exciting.  Have re-read a time or two over the years.

She published a few other thick fictional sagas that like the Far Pavilions incorporate real events into the lives of her characteres  -- I like Trade Winds the best.  Excruciatingly detailed -- you just immerse yourself in the cultures -- admittedly from the English POV but she does make an effort to portray others.

She also published a  handful of light mysteries -- I love them and re-read them every year -- in the US they were titled as "Death in...." whatever exotic locale -- again as a well-traveled young woman and later English military wife in the early/mid century she knew locations like Cyprus and Kashmir and Zanzibar firsthand, and she writes interesting forewords to the books about when she was there and how she got the ideas for the plots. 

The mysteries are fairly formulaic -- genteel (often orphaned) young woman visiting friends or relatives in exotic locale gets mixed up in mystery and wins the heart of the alpha male.  what makes them stand out to me is her ability to create atmosphere and in each novel is at least one suspenseful/scary scene that with no gore or violence whatsoever manages to make hair stand up on the back of my neck -- even upon multiple re-reading!  She was very talented.  A couple of the mysteries are genuinely surprising in the whodunnit and I say that as one who started devouring Agatha Christie at age 9 and can guess any "surprise twist" plot, usually.

My favorite is "Death in Kashmir" though "Death in the Andammans" and "Death in Berlin" are close runners up. They all are enjoyable. 

Hope this helps!   
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Offline Poesie

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2018, 10:05:31 pm »
My favourite is Julia Quinn.

Iíd forgotten her. Just lined up one of hers to read.

So happy with all these great ideas. The binge will be epic.

Offline Poesie

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2018, 10:16:23 pm »
Definitely read M M Kaye, though the only title i recall for sure is The Far Pavilions.

Madeline Brent is ringing some vague bells. Maybe because the types of stories seem very similar to one of the first romance novels I read (in secret so mum wouldnít confiscate it). Wish I could recall the name of it. Victorian England, aristocratic explorer on expedition to China rescues orphan girl and has to marry her (in name only because heís so noble) to protect her reputation. Sheís of mixed Chinese/English parentage so faces added prejudice when they arrive back in England.

Offline Winterlight

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Re: Historical romance novels - suggestions
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2018, 09:44:56 am »
Judith Ivory gets good reviews.
If wisdomís ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls