32 Historical Romance Series to Binge-Read after 'Bridgerton'

Posted by Sharon on February 8, 2021


Marriages of convenience, high-society scandal sheets, and fully clothed flirtation...yes, we must be talking about historical romances!  

Whether you're just dipping a toe into this subset of love stories after bingeing the entire Netflix Bridgerton adaptation or you're a longtime reader of old-timey tales, there's never an end to series that will seduce you. And don't let their covers fool you; today's historicals tend to come with a wallop of modern sexiness.

Below, we've gathered up the first book of 32 highly rated romance series for your perusing pleasure. Be sure to add the titles that catch your eye to your Want to Read shelf!
 
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Do you have a favorite historical romance series? Let's talk books in the comments below!
 

Comments Showing 1-50 of 53 (53 new)


message 1: by Ceece (new)

Ceece I love that this list contains diversity! Especially the MM recs! Thank you!!


message 2: by Jan (new)

Jan Lisa Kleypas' Ravenels series is a fav for me. At the moment I'm enjoying Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzies and McBrides. Men in kilts!

Ceece, I agree. The diversity in the list is good.


message 3: by MG (new)

MG *Bury Me with My Kindle.. & a REALLY Long Charger* Stacy Reid's books are great - I absolutely second the Wedded by Scandal series recommendation. Also, you can't go wrong with almost anything by Lisa Klepyas or Tessa Dare. I would also recommend Grace Callaway and KJ Jackson!


message 4: by Mihret (new)

Mihret Yirgeta Oh, I absolutely love all of these. I also recommend the Scandals and Spies series by Leighann Dobbs!


message 5: by Janet (new)

Janet I fell in love with historical romance decades ago after reading The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Currently a keen reader of anything by Stephanie Laurens or Mary Balogh.


message 6: by Monique (new)

Monique Takens My first Historical romance was a book by Johanna Lindsey , can't remember which one , I've read and reread all of them in the years since . The Malory family would make for a fantastic tv series . And of course Stephanie Laurens with the Cynster family and yes Janet you're absolutely right The Bedwyn family from Mary Balogh would also be a bingewatch series . And not to forget any series by Eloisa James and Elizabeth Hoyt and Julie Garwood and Lorraine Heath and Loretta Chase and ... well I could go on and on :)


message 7: by Mamamathe5 (new)

Mamamathe5 Sorry to not see Samantha Kane's Brothers in Arms series here. Regency stories with a MMF twist.


message 8: by Elodie (last edited Feb 09, 2021 05:47AM) (new)

Elodie As it is not an exhaustive list, I would love to add Emma V Leech’s Girls who dare series, Elisa Braden’s Rescued From Ruin series, Annabelle Anders’s Cocky Gents and others, Kerrigan Byrne many series ...


message 9: by A.S. (last edited Feb 09, 2021 06:34AM) (new)

A.S. Where is Outlander????

Seriously. I know it can be characterized in any number of ways, but surely Historical Romance is one of them.


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Duggan I also love Stephanie Laurens and Sabrina Jeffries.


message 11: by Christine (new)

Christine B Surprised not to see Mary Balogh represented on this list by the Bedwyn series, or the Simply series, or the Survivor series, or the . . . etc. Thoroughly enjoyed all of these and highly recommend them. Agree the list has great diversity.


message 12: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Romance covers such broad interests. I would love to see historical romances broken into a separate category for those of us who read them and vote for them in year-end awards. (Historical Mysteries should be split into a separate category also.) Many of us who read those genres feel left out. I'm glad to see that Bridgerton has increased readership for Historical Romance. Perhaps we will see more respect for the genres we love!


message 13: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Davies Mary Balogh and Grace Burrowes should definitely be included!


message 14: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Glad to see Rose Lerner on your list! A few other authors whose historicals are also intended for the more historically and feminist-minded reader:

Erin Satie (No Better Angels series)
Joanna Chambers (Capital Wolves duet; Enlightenment series)
Cecilia Grant (Blackshear Family series)
Elizabeth Kingston (Welsh Blades series)
Elizabeth Essex (Reckless Brides series)


message 15: by Siobhan (new)

Siobhan I would've picked a completely different Lisa Kleypas series. Either the Wallflowers or the Hathaways. Also missing is the Effington series by Victoria Alexander, the Bar Cynster series from Stephanie Laurens, and the series from Elizabeth Boyle that had titles that play on nursery rhymes.


message 16: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin What about Georgette Heyer?!
I know, her books are older but they are more or less the mastercopy of all those historical romance books out there.
My favorite is the Alastair-Audley Tetralogy Series.


message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary List What about Mry Balogh ? The Westcotts are a wonderfullll series.


message 18: by Pamg (new)

Pamg Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series, Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane, Loretta Chase's Carsington Series. All old favorites.


message 19: by Bill (new)

Bill Chamberlain So glad to see Cat Sebastian on here--a master of the MM historical!


message 20: by Jan (new)

Jan Pamela wrote: "Romance covers such broad interests. I would love to see historical romances broken into a separate category for those of us who read them and vote for them in year-end awards. (Historical Mysterie..."

I second that. I'd like to be able to vote for HR as a separate category too.


message 21: by Jan (new)

Jan Monique wrote: "The Bedwyn family from Mary Balogh would also be a bingewatch series ."

Absolutely. Wouldn't it make a great series???


message 22: by fiamma (new)

fiamma love that courtney milan is included here. she's one of the best historical romance writers nowadays, her brothers sinister series introduced me to the genre and it remains one of my favorites. the countess conspiracy in particular is my go to comfort read 🥺 i can't recommend it enough


message 23: by Christine (new)

Christine A.S. wrote: "Where is Outlander????

Seriously. I know it can be characterized in any number of ways, but surely Historical Romance is one of them."


I completely agree with you!!!


message 24: by Honestly (new)

Honestly  Austen I agree with everyone saying Mary Balogh's Bedwyn series would be fantastic on-screen and her Westcott series would be wonderful!


message 25: by Bronwen (new)

Bronwen fiamma wrote: "love that courtney milan is included here. she's one of the best historical romance writers nowadays, her brothers sinister series introduced me to the genre and it remains one of my favorites. the..."

Absolutely. She is a super intelligent historically accurate writer. Very refreshing for those of us (all of us!!) who love historical romance but have brains.


message 26: by Iza (new)

Iza Soares Am I reading it right or there's no Lorraine Heath is this list??


message 27: by Sharon, Goodreads employee (new)

Sharon Iza wrote: "Am I reading it right or there's no Lorraine Heath is this list??"

She's included! (Take another look at the seventh row of books ;))


message 28: by Suz (new)

Suz I'm astounded at how many of these I haven't read (all but one). Also, no Mary Balogh, no Diana Gabaldon, no Grace Burrowes, no Jess Michaels, no Georgette Heyer, no Deborah Harkness...

Not sure GRs and I have the same ideas about historical romance.


message 29: by TMR (new)

TMR They all sound delightful.


message 30: by Elm (new)

Elm A.S. wrote: "Where is Outlander????

Seriously. I know it can be characterized in any number of ways, but surely Historical Romance is one of them."


nope, the author of Outlander considers her books historical fiction. 🤷‍♀️


message 31: by Anita (new)

Anita Bringing down the duke is the best one of the list. By far!


message 32: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I know it's been said in other comments but it needs saying again - why no Mary Balogh on this list?


message 33: by Suz (last edited Feb 11, 2021 05:36AM) (new)

Suz Elm wrote: "nope, the author of Outlander considers her books historical fiction. ..."

Yeah, and Anne McCaffrey insisted her Pern series was scifi, but that didn't stop folks from thinking of it as fantasy, too. :D


message 34: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Siobhan wrote: "I would've picked a completely different Lisa Kleypas series. Either the Wallflowers or the Hathaways. Also missing is the Effington series by Victoria Alexander, the Bar Cynster series from Stepha..."

Agree on Lisa Kleypas 100%. Also the series to showcase by Loretta Chase is The Carsingtons!! Some of her best work.


message 35: by Parsley (new)

Parsley This is a good start, but any historical romance list definitely should include Anne Gracie, Mary Balogh and Nicola Cornick, plus Stephanie Laurens and Amanda Quick, as well as Eloisa James, Loretta Chase, Tessa Dare and Lisa Kleypas, who are already present. Plus, as others have mentioned, Georgette Heyer to really show how sparkling dialogue can bring historical romance alive.


message 36: by Priyanka (new)

Priyanka Georgette Heyer has to be here as she is the queen (Jane Austen being the King;)) The heroines she writes about are smart and strong and not sure the above list is qualitative well curated...


message 37: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Elodie wrote: "As it is not an exhaustive list, I would love to add Emma V Leech’s Girls who dare series, Elisa Braden’s Rescued From Ruin series, Annabelle Anders’s Cocky Gents and others, Kerrigan Byrne many se..."

Elodie wrote: "As it is not an exhaustive list, I would love to add Emma V Leech’s Girls who dare series, Elisa Braden’s Rescued From Ruin series, Annabelle Anders’s Cocky Gents and others, Kerrigan Byrne many se..."

Outlander outshines all!


message 38: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Conde Fondeur One shouldn't judge a book from its cover, but why do they all seem to be bodice rippers?!


message 39: by Mel (new)

Mel Stone Carla Kelly is my favorite. Her historical fiction is amazing and I always feel smarter when I finish one of her books. I think that only half of her books are actually about Lords and Ladies, and the other are about normal people navigating the same time period with similar but different problems.


kittykat (Jo Tortitude) I spy at least 10 indies which is great, but could be better. However, I really like the range of suggestions made overall.

I'd love to see more of the 'non traditional' HR being recommended regularly, give us more that is not Regency/Victorian/Gilded/Post Civil War/Dukes/Earls/Ladies/Marriage Marts/Rich people/Socialites etc. Give us more 'common' folks, more pre Regency, more outside of the US and the UK, more early to mid 20th century pretty please. There is a ton of it out there that I've added to my TBR now that after long years of reading romance, I have finally been converted to historicals.


message 41: by Denise (new)

Denise How about Barbara Cartland? She is from another century but still!
Has anyone heard of her?


message 42: by Sensa (new)

Sensa Hat What about O'Connell, Ellen ? I mean Dancing on coals ... wow


message 43: by Sam (new)

Sam no jennifer ashley? both her regency pirates and mackenzies and mcbrides series are major historical romance staples to me. and i feel like loretta would've been much better represented as the hr GIANT that she is by recommending one of the carsington books, or something from her scoundrels series.


message 44: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay C-T Yes yes yes!! Everyone read "To Have and To Hoax" by Martha Waters!!


message 45: by Christine L. (new)

Christine L. Definitely check out Eloisa James and her Wilde series!


message 46: by Webcowgirl (new)

Webcowgirl This just looks like absolute trash.


message 47: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth I love Beverly Jenkins books! I'm excited to try Alyssa Cole, too, thanks for including them!


 ♥ Rebecca ♥ I love all of Cat Sebastian and KJ Charles books, not just the series listed!


message 49: by Yvonne (last edited Feb 14, 2021 05:47PM) (new)

Yvonne Christine wrote: "Surprised not to see Mary Balogh represented on this list by the Bedwyn series, or the Simply series, or the Survivor series, or the . . . etc. Thoroughly enjoyed all of these and highly recommend ..."
Amen to that. The Bedwyns has a lot of the humor--the antics of a large, crazy yet loving family & the repartee between the hero/heroine--of the Julia Quinn Bridgerton series (the actual books NOT the Netflix series). So if you like a hr series that has humor & a lot of crazy family dynamics along with the main love story then the this series by Mary Balogh would be a good series. This family is insane but they all love each other :-)
The Survior series by her is also great but it is a more serious series. It focuses on the love stories of survivors of the Napoleonic Wars (thus the name The Survivors :-) ). So there are lot of issues dealing with war and the aftermath & issues of PTSD.
The Simply series by her is great also but it focuses on a group of friends that are associated with a girl's school. It's not as ROFLOL like the Bedwyns. It primarily focuses on the dynamic between friends.


message 50: by Sovereign (new)

Sovereign Noir Definitely added a few new historic romance books to our TBR list and can't wait to read them next month! 📚


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