Adult Summer Reading Challenge: Historical Romance

Posted by Selby G.

Part 2 of our Adult Summer Reading Challenge focusing on subgenres of romance.

Historic romance novels run the gamut of time and place. Pick up one and you could be transported to the bedchamber of a Tang Dynasty courtesan or the castle of a noble lord. Either way, historical romances are filled with drama and delightful details about what it was like to live in the past. The following time periods and regions are particularly popular with romance readers:

The Escape in the Library catalogThe Perfect Wife in the Library catalogMiss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel in the Library catalog
Regency – Pomp and circumstance prevailed in this time period when Napoleon was trying to take over Europe but all of the women were apparently trying to bed Dukes. If you like to read about scandalous rogues and fashionable ladies then a regency romance might suit you. Try Mary Balogh, Victoria Alexander or Samantha Grace.


Shadow's Stand in the Library catalogIn Want of a Wife in the Library catalogThe Savage Heart in the Library catalog

1800s American West – Pull on your bonnet and head out on the wagon train to the wild west. Strapping young men on both sides of the law populate this romantic subgenre and the trials and tribulations of living in a lawless time and place figure heavily in the plots. Sarah McCarty, Jo Goodman and Diana Palmer are popular in the subgenre.


The Raider in the Library catalogHighland Hunger in the Library catalogThe Virgin of Clan Sinclair in the Library catalog

Highlanders – Men in kilts are popular in all time periods, even to the present day, although many are set in the 1300’s when Scotland was fighting for its freedom from England. Hunky highland warriors needing help to escape the evil English will always make a lady’s heart flutter. And then there is the age old question: what do they wear under those kilts? Monica McCarty, Hannah Howell and Karen Ranney all like their men in plaid.


The Dragon and the Pearl in the Library catalogMy Fair Concubine in the Library catalogThe Lotus Palace in the Library catalog

Asian Historical -A small but growing group of books are set further afield such as  Jeannie Lin’s books set in Asia. Tea girls, sword dancers and warlords populate these novels, but the search for love is universal.

Ready to take the challenge? Download or print this PDF and check off as you read: Romance Genres Checklist.

Check back on Part I: Adult Summer Reading Challenge: Contemporary Romances.

One thought on “Adult Summer Reading Challenge: Historical Romance”

  1. Great post! One historical romance I read was My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne. It was good. I like settings and this one was set during the Napoleonic Era in the underworld of England. I must admit I did keep waiting for the funny, self-deprecating librarian to swoop in and steal the girl. It didn’t happen…

    I’ll have to try Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady. Is that a sequel?

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