Escape the Present with These 24 Historical Romances

Posted by Sharon on October 21, 2020


You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't think of anything better than the happily ever afters guaranteed by historical romances to whisk you away.

Already read some of the year's biggest blockbuster romances set in bygone times? (Think Lisa Kleypas' Chasing Cassandra or Evie Dunmore's A Rogue of One's Own.) Don't worry, there are still plenty of other history love lessons to discover. For dedicated fans who'd like to dive deeper, we've rounded up some of 2020's best historical romances—according to your fellow readers—that you might have missed.

On this list, you'll find 24 highly rated (3.8 stars and above) tales, roughly organized into cheeky categories. After all, what's a sexy story without a bit of cheek?

Don't forget to add the titles that catch your fancy to your Want to Read shelf!


Dashing Dukes

A historical romance list without an overabundance of attractive dukes? Absurd!
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Not!Regency

So goodbye to 19th-century England and hello to Gilded Age New York City! The 1920s! The American West!
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Slightly Fantastical

True love is magical all on its own, but these historicals also blend sci-fi and fantasy into their romance.
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Tender Loving Care

These characters help each other heal after trauma and tragedy.
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Bookish Heroines

We love when wallflowers blossom.
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Luck Be a Lady

Gambling dens! Shady scoundrels! What happens in Covent Garden stays in Covent Garden!
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Secret Identities!

Masks are so comfortable, everyone in the past wore one.
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Hot Scots

Move aside, Jamie Fraser, for these hunky Highlanders!
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What are some of your favorite historical romances from 2020? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles:
C.L. Polk's ‘The Midnight Bargain’ Fuses Regency Romance with Magic
October's Hottest Romances
How the Debut Authors of 2020 Are Coping

Comments Showing 1-28 of 28 (28 new)

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message 1: by Ankit (last edited Oct 21, 2020 01:00AM) (new)

Ankit Saxena Make some better list on Historical Fiction War novels having Winter theme.


message 2: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Nobody can move aside Jamie Fraser. Just sayin' ;)


message 3: by Letterrausch (new)

Letterrausch D.G. wrote: "Nobody can move aside Jamie Fraser. Just sayin' ;)"

I second that!


message 4: by annob (new)

annob Pleasantly surprised to see MM romance novels included in the selection. I hope FF and non-binary representation will join soon.


message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Knapp annob wrote: "Pleasantly surprised to see MM romance novels included in the selection. I hope FF and non-binary representation will join soon."

The book by Olivia Waite under the Bookish Heroines section is F/F! I agree that I would love to see some non-binary recs, as I can't think of any off the top of my head for the historical romance genre.


kittykat (Jo Tortitude) I'm really happy to see a handful of indies included for a change, however, I would love to see a GR rec list of Historical Romance where none of the books were based on the MCs who are members of the aristocracy at all as Historical Romance is so much more than just that and covers a vast array of time periods, locations and character types. Not all romance characters have to be filthy rich (that goes for contemporaries too!).

Also, it would be good to see some gothic HR, and some more fantasy and steampunk HR included and more with characters that have various disabilities too. Again there are tons out there they just to get eaten up in the glory of all the books that the mainstream seems to focus on so intently.



annob wrote: "Pleasantly surprised to see MM romance novels included in the selection. I hope FF and non-binary representation will join soon."

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits, #2) by Olivia Waite I agree, but this one is FF, as is the previous book in that series.

Also, of the authors highlighted above, a few have FF books that I have on my TBR
Leather and Lace (Gold Sky, #5) by Rebel Carter and A Little Light Mischief (The Turner Series, #3.5) by Cat Sebastian
Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure (The Worth Saga, #2.75) by Courtney Milan this Courtney Milan offering is a double whammy because the couple are 60 and 70 somethings, and
Hamilton's Battalion A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner in this anthology, Courtney Milan's story is a MM and Alyssa Cole's is FF.

The Craft of Love by EE Ottoman Not too sure about NB, but I do know that this one includes a trans man MC and I think the author has others...


message 7: by Ana (new)

Ana Carolina Love it!


message 8: by Craig (new)

Craig The Magicians Redemption is a most unusual love story spanning centuries.


message 9: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones
"Masks are so comfortable, everyone in the past wore one."


Really made me laugh!!!


message 10: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Prince D.G. wrote: "Nobody can move aside Jamie Fraser. Just sayin' ;)"

Truth.


message 11: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Jacobs Craig wrote: "The Magicians Redemption is a most unusual love story spanning centuries."

This sounds like a good read! Who is the author?


message 12: by Romanza (last edited Oct 22, 2020 07:21AM) (new)

Romanza Lettore D.G. wrote: "Nobody can move aside Jamie Fraser. Just sayin' ;)"
Says you Sasanach!

Not quite Scottish tattoos but I'll let that slide.
https://www.pinterest.com/bbhall2002/...


message 13: by FRANK (new)

FRANK MARKER ... pleased to read some of the historical romance that is blooming here, which is simply bursting with flesh...
( this year I particularly liked, ' Lentune's Heart', ISBN 139781788767606, and its unique nautical flavour and tense family saga... )

Frank


kittykat (Jo Tortitude) FRANK wrote: "... pleased to read some of the historical romance that is blooming here, which is simply bursting with flesh...
( this year I particularly liked, ' Lentune's Heart', ISBN 139781788767606, and its unique nautical flavour and tense family saga... )"


It would be much more helpful to post the GR link considering that is where we are... and also less likely to seem like spam at a quick glance.


message 15: by Karina (new)

Karina Almeroth Leave Frank alone lolzzz


message 16: by Aanchal (new)

Aanchal Tyagi Georgette Heyer forever!


message 17: by FRANK (new)

FRANK MARKER ...apologies, still finding my way here Kitty...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...

?


kittykat (Jo Tortitude) FRANK wrote: "...apologies, still finding my way here Kitty...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...

?"


Thank you, no apologies necessary. I did wonder if you were a spammer 😕 so MY apologies! 😊


Virginja ↢ 99% imp These look so cheesy


message 20: by Abendstern (new)

Abendstern I feel like these were picked by the most horrible covers.

Only the Fantasy one are a bit better.

like there isn't a ton of historical romance with beautiful covers, like nearly all of Georgette Heyers ar better then this:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
Or even Rebeca Gable:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
Or Philippa Gregory:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 21: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Is it a good book to read


kittykat (Jo Tortitude) Ashley wrote: "Is it a good book to read"

Which one of the 24 are you asking about or are you spamming???


message 23: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Čulo If someone is interested in Croatian literature... Marija Jurić Zagorka has plenty of historical romance novels... all of her work is in that field


message 24: by Monica (new)

Monica D.G. wrote: "Nobody can move aside Jamie Fraser. Just sayin' ;)" Exactly!


message 25: by Pam (new)

Pam Nicole Knapp wrote: “I agree that I would love to see some non-binary recs, as I can't think of any off the top of my head for the historical romance genre.”

An Unsuitable Heir by KJ Charles. It’s fantastic, but the third in a trilogy, and you really need to read the whole series to get the most out of it


message 26: by Felicia (new)

Felicia I'm currently reading Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean for an author talk next month. I normally stick to "contemporary" romance, but I am really liking the historical aspect of the story. I will be adding some of these (including the ones in the comments) to my list. :)


message 27: by Elzebrook (new)

Elzebrook Nicole wrote: "annob wrote: "Pleasantly surprised to see MM romance novels included in the selection. I hope FF and non-binary representation will join soon."

The book by Olivia Waite under the Bookish Heroines ..."


Cat Sebastian's "Unmasked by the Marquess" has a non-binary lead. It's very good.


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