When you think of historical romance, chances are you envision women in off-the-shoulder poufy dresses posing with bare chested swains, and in many cases this is the norm. The romance genre is, however, much deeper than you may think.
Though Regencies (poufy, swains) are the most prevalent type of historical romance, this in no way diminishes their appeal. Classics by Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer are comedies of manners that typify this period. For a real treat, try Heyer’s Grand Sophy, the perfect antidote for a grumpy mood. Modern Regency romance writers, like Mary Balogh and Eloisa James, usually inject a bit more spice with their saucy heroines.
Closely allied to Regencies are Georgian romances, which can be a bit naughtier, reflecting the time period. Jo Beverley, Julia London and Jane Feather are well-known authors of these period romances. Victorian period love stories portray a surprising array of romantic circumventions around repressed social mores of the era. Janet Evanovich branches off from her mysteries into this period with the delightful diversion, Husband List. If the Victorian period interests you, also try Lorraine Heath and Sherry Thomas.
Other enticing romances to explore include those irresistable Highlanders (start with Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks); cunning spies (Julia Quinn’s What Happens in London); Christian romances (Lori Copeland, Lauraine Snelling and Tracie Peterson) and stories that will have you dreaming of the wild West, like Jo Goodman’s Last Renegade and Lori Austin’s Beauty and the Bounty Hunter.
Check out this new book list for more ideas: Seattle Picks: Historical Romance.