Friday, January 17, 2014

Best Bodice Ripper Romances--the Preview!

This is a preview of my new list that will, after this, be permanently slotted in September, beginning this year.

I belong to a group on Goodreads, Bodice Ripper Romance Anonymous that has sent me some of the greatest recommendations for historical romances. And so I could not resist this new list, however difficult this category may be to define. Some think this subgenre is comprised of just the classics. That is not so. While many of the classics were bodice rippers, certainly not all were. And, lest you think it’s a subgenre of the past, there are new bodice rippers being released today (some of which are on this list).

At least one of my Goodreads pals defines this subgenre as stories “containing an element of sexual peril.” Possibly that is so, as the ones on my list all have this. But for me, there is usually more. Typically there is a forced seduction involved, an actual ripping of the heroine’s bodice, or even rape, but not always. Let’s just say I know it when I see it.

These won’t appeal to all, but certainly they are all well done. All have been rated 4 or 5 stars by me. If you like an alpha male hero who begins demanding his way, but falls at the heroine’s feet at the end to confess his love, you’ll find them here.

If you think one on the list is not a bodice ripper, please tell me, as I read some of these quite a while ago and was tapping my memory for the list. And do let me know if you have read a good one I’ve missed. This is a new list; as with my others, I’ll be updating it. I have a large shelf of books “to read” for this subgenre, so September will definitely have some new books on the list.

A Dangerous Love and The Border Lord’s Bride from The Border Chronicles by Bertrice Small
A Gentle Feuding by Johanna Lindsey
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
A Pirate's Love by Johanna Lindsey
And Gold Was Ours by Rebecca Brandewyne
Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss
Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught
Bound by the Heart by Marsha Canham (particularly the original version)
Callista by Cordia Byers
Chance the Winds of Fortune by Laurie McBain
Crimson Rapture by Jennifer Horsman
Damsel in Distress by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)
Dark Before the Rising Sun by Laurie McBain
Dark Fires by Brenda Joyce
Dawnfire by Lynn Eirckson
Deceive Not My Heart by Shirlee Busbee
Desire in Disguise by Rebecca Brandewyne
Devil's Desire by Laurie McBain
Devil's Embrace by Catherine Coulter
Dream of Me by Josie Litton
Embrace and Conquer by Jennifer Blake
Edin’s Embrace by Nadine Crenshaw
Fair is the Rose by Meagan McKinney
Fires of Winter and Hearts Aflame from the Viking trilogy by Johanna Lindsey
Forbidden Love by Karen Robards
Forever and a Lifetime by Jennifer Horsman
Forever My Love by Rebecca Brandewyne
Golden Fancy by Jennifer Blake
Gypsy Lady by Shirley Busbee
Innocent Fire, Firestorm and Fires of Paradise (from the Bragg Saga) by Brenda Joyce
Island Flame, and the sequel, Sea Fire by Karen Robards
Keeper of the Dream by Penelope Williamson
Lady of Fire by Anita Mills
Lady Vixen by Shirley Busbee
Lespada by Kathryn Le Veque
Lie Down in Roses by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)
Lions and Lace by Meagan McKinney
Love, Cherish Me by Rebecca Brandewyne
Love Only Once and Gentle Rogue from the Mallory series by Johanna Lindsey
Love's Tender Fury by Jennifer Wilde
Love's Wild Desire by Jennifer Blake
Magic Embrace by Jennifer Horsman
Midnight Masquerade by Shirlee Busbee
My Lord Monleigh by Jan Cox Speas
My Wicked Enchantress By Meagan McKinney
No Gentle Love By Rebecca Brandewyne
Notorious Angel by Jennifer Blake
Once and Always by Judith McNaught
Ondine by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)
Pirate Royale by Cordia Byers
Princess of Fire by Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)
Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey
Rose of Rapture by Rebecca Brandewyne
Season of the Sun by Catherine Coulter
Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale
Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss
Silver Storm by Cynthia Wright
Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small
Surrender in Moonlight by Jennifer Blake
Swan Road by Rebecca Brandewyne
Sweet Savage Eden by Heather Graham
Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers
Tara’s Song by Barbara Ferry Johnson
Tender Betrayal by Jennifer Blake
The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux
The Black Swan By Day Taylor
The Conqueror by Brenda Joyce
The Darkest Heart by Brenda Joyce
The Demon Lover by Victoria Holt
The Falcon and the Flower by Virginia Henley
The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss
The Game by Brenda Joyce
The Ground She Walks Upon by Meagan McKinney
The Pagan’s Prize by Miriam Minger
The Prize by Brenda Joyce
The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys
The Spanish Rose by Shirlee Busbee
The Storm and the Splendor by Jennifer Blake
The Wind and the Sea by Marsha Canham
The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss
Till Dawn Tames the Night by Meagan McKinney
Until You by Judith McNaught
Virgin Star by Jennifer Horsman
When Angels Fall by Meagan McKinney
When the Splendour Falls by Laurie McBain
While Passion Sleeps by Shirlee Busbee
Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
Wild Bells to the Wild Sky by Laurie McBain
Winter's Heat by Denise Domning


  1. You forgot one of my all-time faves, A Rose In Winter, by Kathleen Woodiwiss. :) If you haven't read it, please give it a try.

  2. Cheryl, I did read it. I did not recall it as a bodice it? Here's my review on Goodreads:

  3. Which story would you recommend first? I just read a series by Kerrigan Byrne called Victorian Rebels that was fantastic.

    1. Gosh, barbid, that is so hard. I do have a new updated list, by the way (accessed from the right sidebar). It depends on how intense you like them. Most you will have to acquire used. You might try Devil's Desire by Laurie McBain and Devil's Embrace by Catherine Coulter. Stormfire by Christine Monson was one I'll never forget.