Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Top 20 Historical Romances


I am frequently asked what are my favorite historical romances. That’s a long list, as you know from my “best lists.” There are currently 100 5-Star romances on my "Favorite Keepers" shelf on Goodreads. But since you asked, I'm giving you my current top 20. Some are from new authors; some from authors who lived decades ago. The list changes each year.

These stories are the ones that have stayed with me, the ones I want to re-read, the ones I can’t forget. They are all keepers and rated 5 stars. Their heroes and heroines grace my Favorite Heroes and Heroines list I’ll post later this month. It’s no coincidence that they are written by some of my favorite authors.

I'd love to know your all time favorite historical romance. One lucky commenter will have the choice of my own eBooks, so make sure I have your email.

1.     Bride of the MacHugh by Jan Cox Speas
2.     The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys
3.     Once in a Blue Moon by Penelope Williamson
4.     The Passions of Emma by Penelope Williamson
5.     The Windflower by Laura London (aka Sharon & Tom Curtis)
6.     The Dragon and the Jewel by Virginia Henley
7.     Lady of the Glen by Jennifer Roberson
8.     Heartstorm by Elizabeth Stuart
9.     Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss
10.  Whispers of Heaven by Candice Proctor
11.  The Wind Dancer by Iris Johansen
12.  The Pride of Lions by Marsha Canham
13.  Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain
14.  Kilgannon by Kathleen Givens
15.  The Captain of All Pleasures by Kresley Cole
16.  Dancing On Coals by Ellen O’Connell
17.  Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry by Amanda Hughes
18.  Nightwylde by Kimberleigh Caitlin (aka Kimberly Cates)
19.  Mountain Mistress by Nadine Crenshaw
20.  Princess of Fire by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)

21 comments:

  1. Oh, what a list of beloved, classic treasurers ~ 15 of these are on my favourite keeper list. As for my favourite ~ well I'm going to have to add two as I can't narrow it down to just one ~ there are too many ~ "The Wolf and the Dove" by Kathleen Woodiwiss and "A Knight in Shining Armor" by Jude Deveraux. Oh, and I do love "Bride of the MacHugh" ~ Merry Reading and Writing ~
    stitchingfaery9@gmail.com

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    1. I would agree with you about The Wolf and the Dove, Elizabeth, but I thought A Knight in Shining Armor was a mixed bag. Two-thirds of it takes place in 1985 as I recall. And the ending was disappointing.

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  2. I love this list. I've read most, but a few delights, like Bride of the MacHugh and Dancing on Coals, are still awaiting my discovery.

    My all time favorite historical romance novel is Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small. I love the sweep and the richness, the strong heroine, all the tumultuous ups and downs, and of course the delicious hero, Niall. Star crossed lovers who find a way to a happy ending after all are always my favorites, and the more obstacles for them to overcome, the better. In a romance, we know our couple will always win, so there's a lot of leeway in the in between.

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    1. I loved Skye O'Malley, too, Anna, and it's among my 100 keepers on Goodreads. You might be interested to know that Bertrice Small will be a guest on my blog in April for classics month.

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  3. Regan, to have Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry on that list is such an honor! I cannot thank you enough. To be among those greats is not only thrilling but humbling as well. Thank you! I have to get my two cents in about favorites also. I love the oldies and of course Gone with the Wind is my all time favorite and a close second is Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor.

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    1. Hi, Amanda. Well, I loved Kerry. Such a different romance but a love story nonetheless. I haven't read Forever Amber but I'm not sure Gone With the Wind qualifies as a romance with that ending she gave us. However, SCARLETT, the sequel is a 5-star romance and much of it takes place in Ireland. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

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  4. I know.of two but I haven't read them of Shannon and Keeley xo

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    1. Laura, do you have titles of the two you like? Kresley Cole--if that's the author you meant--has a Scottish trilogy I love--the MacCarrick brothers. They are also on my keeper list and my Best Scottish Historical Romances list.

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  6. Of those you listed, there's only Jennifer Roberson I know. :)
    Among my favorites is Skye O'Malley (Bertrice Small); Lady of the Forest/Lady of Sherwood (Jennifer Roberson); the Angélique series (by Anne and Serge Golon - read in French many many years ago); Taj (Colin de Silva); Far Pavillions (M.M. Kaye)... and so many others. :)

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    1. Wow, some great stories to check out, Liette! I loved Skye O'Malley. The Sherwood books by Roberson are on my to read shelf (the ones I haven't read) as is hers titled "The Irishman." Don't know about Angelique but will have to check it out. Taj I've heard of and Far Pavillions (like 3 inches thick) is on my to read shelf. Very intimidating for its size.

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  7. Liette, I'm with you about Angeligue. Loved that series!

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  8. I'm going to chime in here, Regan, although I have all of your eBooks. :-) I loved seeing someone mention the Angelique series by Golon...I stayed up every single night until 2-3 am for an entire week so I could read it all. My cooking, my cleaning, and attention to hubby and two toddlers went to hell in a hand basket while I did all that reading! I just couldn't put them down. I guess I'd have to say the entire series was my all time favorite historical romance. I am glad to hear you mention SCARLETT as a five star romance. I loved Gone With the Wind but didn't like the ending and have to agree with you that it wouldn't qualify as a romance only because of that dratted ending. But I'll be checking SCARLETT out for sure because of your recommendation. I also read M.M. Kaye's books (Far Pavillions, etc.) and considered them good, but turned to others after that because of personal preference. So anyway, just wanted to read all the comments...as they are very interesting. I noted you kept to 20 for your Top List, but I added the names of new ones that weren't on your list from last year. I now have 27 Faves of yours. :-) Continue to have fun, Regan! jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. Janice, I don't suppose you'd like to lend my your Angelique copy? I just looked on Amazon and the cheapest used one is nearly $40! Argh! I hate it when the good ones go out of print.

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  9. Some of these are my favorites and some I haven't had the pleasure of reading yet, but will definitely add to my list. I also love and reread Keeper of the Dream by Penelope Williamson and Judith McNaught's A Kingdom of Dreams.

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    1. Rhonda, both those books are on my keeper list but don't make my top 20 because the heroes were so abusive. And it's not like Penelope Williamson to do that but she sure did it with Keeper of the Dream. Same with A Kingdom of Dreams. Still, they are very good stories--both 5 stars.

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  10. One of my favorite historical romance is The Tiger's Woman by Celeste De Blasis

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    1. Tracey, I've added it to my to read list for June when I get to westerns (American novels set in the last half of the 19th century primarily). But it's a huge TBR pile for that month already!

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    2. Tracey, I want you to know I finally got around to buying and now reading The Tiger's Woman, based on your comment. The review will be up on my blog in the next week or so. I LOVE the story. Oh my, yes I do! It's a keeper and I'm so glad you recommended it. Thanks so much!

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  11. I've had several sets of the "Swan" series by Celeste DeBlasis, as well as The Tiger's Woman. Also several copies of Kathryn:In the Court of Six Queens by Anne Merton Abbey. Of course, almost anything by Bertrice Small.

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    1. Are those all romances, Kara, or some historical fiction?

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