Historical Romance Novels That Will Make You Fall in Love with the Genre

Historical Romance Novels

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Best Historical Romance Books to Watch on Screen

Historical romance novels have been popular for centuries and continue to captivate readers and viewers alike. The best historical romance novels are filled with adventure, passion, and intrigue, taking readers on a journey to different times and places. When these stories are adapted for the screen, they become even more captivating.

One of the most beloved historical romance novels of all time is Pride and Prejudice. Set in Regency-era England, this classic novel explores societal norms and expectations of the time, as well as the complexities of love and relationships. The book has been adapted for the screen numerous times, with the 1995 BBC miniseries and the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley being the most popular versions.

Another popular historical romance novel is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This book combines time travel, adventure, and passion, as it follows Claire Randall, a British Army nurse transported back to the year 1743 in Scotland. There, she meets Jamie Fraser, a Scottish Highlander, and the two begin a passionate romance that transcends time. The book has been adapted into a popular TV series that has captivated audiences worldwide.

While not strictly a historical romance novel, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks has all the elements of a classic love story set in the past. The book tells the story of Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson, two young lovers separated by war and social class. The book’s poignant love story has been adapted into a popular film that has become a favorite among romance fans.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is a sweeping saga set during the American Civil War and its aftermath. The book follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara, a headstrong Southern belle determined to win back the man she loves, even as war and societal change threaten her way of life. The book has been adapted into a classic film that has stood the test of time.

In conclusion, historical romance novels offer a glimpse into the past and a window into the human heart. These best historical romance books brought to life on screen are sure to capture your heart and transport you to a different time and place. So, whether you curl up with a good book or settle in for a movie night, let yourself be swept away by the magic of historical romance.

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Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels series)

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase is a classic among historical romance novels. Published in 1995, it has remained a favorite among readers and is widely regarded as one of the best historical romance books ever written.

The book tells the story of Jessica Trent, a strong-willed and independent woman who is determined to save her brother from the clutches of the notorious Sebastian Ballister, Marquess of Dain, who is known as the “Lord of Scoundrels”. Despite their initial animosity towards each other, Jessica and Dain find themselves drawn to each other in ways they never imagined possible.

Lord of Scoundrels is a masterful blend of adventure, passion, and humor, and features unforgettable characters and a compelling storyline that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. The book’s attention to historical detail also adds an extra layer of depth and authenticity to the story, making it a standout among historical romance books.

One of the things that makes Lord of Scoundrels so beloved among romance readers is its ability to balance both the romance and the historical aspects of the story. While the book is undeniably a romance novel at heart, it also explores the societal norms and expectations of the time, giving readers a glimpse into what life was like for women and men during the Regency era.

Overall, Lord of Scoundrels is a must-read for anyone who loves historical romance books. Its engaging storyline, memorable characters, and meticulous attention to detail make it one of the best historical romance novels ever written, and a true classic in the genre of romance novels.

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Historical Romances Set During War

Historical romances set during war offer a unique perspective on love and the human experience. These epic love tales set against the backdrop of war have captivated readers for centuries, and remain some of the best historical romance novels ever written.

One of the most beloved historical romance novels set during war is Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Set during the American Civil War, the book tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara and her tumultuous relationship with Rhett Butler, a dashing rogue who captures her heart. The book’s sweeping storyline and memorable characters make it a classic among historical romance novels.

Another popular historical romance set during war is The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Set during World War II in Russia, the book tells the story of Tatiana, a young woman who falls in love with Alexander, a soldier in the Red Army. The book’s vivid depiction of the war and its impact on ordinary people, as well as the intense love story at its heart, make it a standout among historical romance novels.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is another powerful historical romance set during war. Set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, the book tells the story of two sisters who find themselves caught up in the resistance movement. The book’s exploration of family, sacrifice, and love in the face of unimaginable horrors make it one of the best romance novels set during war.

Overall, historical romances set during war offer a unique perspective on love and the human experience. These epic love tales set against the backdrop of war have captured readers’ hearts for centuries, and remain some of the best historical romance novels ever written. If you’re a fan of historical romance or epic love tales, be sure to check out these must-reads.

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Steamy Historical Romance Novels Set in Scotland

Scotland is a popular setting for historical romance novels, and for good reason. The rugged landscapes, rich history, and passionate people of Scotland provide the perfect backdrop for a steamy whirlwind romance. If you’re a fan of the romance genre and epic love tales, you won’t want to miss these steamy historical romance novels set in Scotland.

One of the most beloved Scottish historical romance novels is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The book tells the story of Claire Randall, a World War II nurse who finds herself transported back in time to 18th century Scotland. There, she falls in love with Jamie Fraser, a dashing Highlander, and the two embark on a passionate and dangerous journey together. Outlander has become a cultural phenomenon and a must-read for romance readers.

Another popular Scottish historical romance is The Bride by Julie Garwood. Set in medieval Scotland, the book tells the story of Jamie, a rugged Highlander who finds himself forced to marry a feisty Englishwoman named Alec. The two clash at first, but soon find themselves drawn to each other in ways they never imagined possible. The Bride is a classic among historical romance novels and a steamy, satisfying read.

For a more recent Scottish historical romance, check out The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay Sands. The book tells the story of Aulay, a Highland laird who falls in love with a mysterious woman named Jetta who washes up on his shores. The two must navigate danger and intrigue to find their happy ending, making for a thrilling and romantic read.

Overall, Scottish historical romance novels offer a unique and passionate take on the romance genre. These epic love tales set against the rugged beauty of Scotland have captured the hearts of romance readers around the world. If you’re looking for a steamy, satisfying read, be sure to check out these must-read Scottish historical romance novels.

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Historical Romance Series

If you’re a romance reader looking for a lovely romance that will keep you engrossed for book after book, a historical romance series may be just what you’re looking for. These series offer epic love stories and sprawling tales that will keep you turning the pages.

One of the most beloved historical romance series is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The series follows the epic love tale of Claire and Jamie, who are torn apart by time and circumstance but always find their way back to each other. Set against the backdrop of Scottish history, the series is a sweeping epic tale that will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

Another popular historical romance series is the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. Set in Regency England, the series follows the romantic adventures of the Bridgerton siblings as they navigate the complexities of love and society. The series has captured the hearts of readers around the world, and has been adapted into a popular Netflix series.

For fans of historical romance set in the American West, the Lonesome Dove series by Larry McMurtry is a must-read. The series tells the tale of a group of Texas Rangers and their adventures on the frontier. Along the way, they fall in love and form lasting bonds with each other, making for a vast tale of love and friendship.

Overall, historical romance series offer an opportunity to dive deep into a world of love, passion, and adventure. These epic tales of love and loss will keep you hooked from book to book, and leave you feeling satisfied and fulfilled. Whether you’re looking for Scottish Highlands, Regency England or the Wild West, there’s a historical romance series out there for you.

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Historical Romance Novels with Feminist Heroines

For fans of historical romances who are looking for strong, feminist heroines, there are plenty of options out there. While the genre has traditionally focused on the male perspective, there are now many romance books that put women front and center.

One example is The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan, which tells the tale of Frederica “Free” Marshall, a fiercely independent woman who runs a newspaper and fights for women’s rights in Victorian England. When she meets Edward Clark, a notorious scoundrel, sparks fly and the two must navigate their way through scandal and societal expectations to find love.

Another great example is The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite. Set in Regency England, the book tells the tale of Lucy, a brilliant astronomer who is denied access to the scientific community because of her gender. When she meets Catherine, a widow who commissions her to translate a French astronomy text, the two women fall in love and embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

For fans of Regency romances, The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan is a must-read. The book tells the tale of Chloe Fong, a brilliant mathematician who poses as a pretty woman to avoid the scrutiny of society. When she meets Jeremy Wentworth, the Duke of Lansing, she must choose between her heart and her principles.

Overall, romance books with feminist heroines offer a refreshing take on the genre. These strong women challenge societal expectations and fight for their own agency and independence, making for empowering and satisfying reads. Whether you’re looking for Victorian England or Regency romances, there’s a historical romance book out there for you with a feminist heroine at its center.

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Historical Romance Book Covers

Historical romance book covers are often beautiful and alluring, designed to catch the reader’s eye and draw them in. They can give readers a sense of what to expect from the book, whether it’s a sweeping epic set in a far-off land, a steamy barred love tale, or a regency romance filled with intrigue and scandal.

One popular author known for her beautiful book covers is Lisa Kleypas. Her historical romances, including the Wallflowers and Hathaways series, often feature stunning covers that capture the mood and tone of the books. The covers of her books evoke a sense of romance, passion, and longing that perfectly complements the stories inside.

Regency romances, in particular, often feature beautiful and elaborate covers. They typically depict historical figures and settings, such as grand estates or elegant ballrooms, and often feature the fashions and hairstyles of the time. These covers can transport readers to a different era, giving them a glimpse of what life was like during the Regency period.

In contrast, romance books with a barred love theme may feature covers that are more sensual and evocative. These covers often feature couples in embrace, or even just a glimpse of a bare chest or a flash of skin. They can hint at the steamy passion that lies within the pages of the book.

Overall, historical romance book covers can be as varied as the books themselves. Whether you’re looking for a science fiction romance, a dominian romance, or a forbidden love story, the cover can offer a tantalizing glimpse of what’s in store.

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The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie (MacKenzies series)

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie is a captivating historical romance novel from the MacKenzies series by Jennifer Ashley. The book tells the tale of Lord Ian MacKenzie, a Scottish lord who is considered mad by London society. However, when he meets Beth Ackerley, an out of work ballerina, he is drawn to her in a way he has never felt before.

The book is beloved by fans of the genre for its unique and complex characters, as well as its beautifully written love story. Lord Ian is a fascinating hero, with a troubled past and a tendency to speak his mind. Beth is a strong and independent heroine, who has overcome great adversity to make a new life for herself in London.

Like many love romances, the book is filled with passion, longing, and tension. Lord Ian and Beth’s relationship is a slow burn, with both characters struggling to overcome their own personal demons before they can truly be together. Their love story is a testament to the power of connection and understanding, even in the face of societal pressure and prejudice.

Fans of Lisa Kleypas and other historical romance writers will find much to love in The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie. The book offers a compelling glimpse into the lives of the Scottish aristocracy in the 19th century, as well as a deeply emotional and satisfying love story.

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Sweet, Not Steamy Historical Romance Novels

For readers who prefer sweet, not steamy historical romance novels, Lisa Kleypas has several wonderful options. One such novel is “Suddenly You,” which tells the tale of Amanda Briars, a successful romance novelist who finds herself in an arranged marriage with a wealthy businessman.

The book is a delightful read, filled with Kleypas’s trademark wit and charm. Despite the marriage plot, the relationship between Amanda and her husband Jack is surprisingly tender and affectionate. Their love story is one of slow realization and mutual respect, as they learn to trust and care for one another over time.

What sets “Suddenly You” apart from other historical romances is its focus on the power of love and connection, rather than physical attraction. The book is a testament to the idea that true love can grow from the most unexpected of circumstances.

Readers who are looking for more sweet historical romances may want to check out “The Bride,” by Julie Garwood, or “The Duchess Deal,” by Tessa Dare. Both of these books feature arranged marriage plots and plenty of swoon-worthy romance, but without the explicit sex scenes that are common in some other romance novels.

Overall, for readers who want a romantic and heartwarming story without the steamy scenes, Lisa Kleypas’s “Suddenly You” is an excellent choice. It has received high praise from romance readers and is frequently included on “best of” romance lists. Those who have read it have absolutely loved the book’s sweet, yet compelling love story.

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Historical Romance Books Worth Reading

For fans of historical romance, there are countless books worth reading. One such novel is “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” by Sarah MacLean. The book tells the story of Lady Calpurnia Hartwell, the youngest daughter of a noble family who is tired of living a dull and predictable life.

What makes “Nine Rules” so enjoyable is the delightful and relatable character of Callie. She is smart, funny, and determined to live life on her own terms, even if that means breaking the rules of society. When she meets Gabriel St. John, a notorious rake, she sees an opportunity to break out of her shell and experience true passion and adventure.

The book has been praised for its witty dialogue, memorable characters, and steamy romance. The writer is known for her attention to historical detail, and “Nine Rules” is no exception. The book is set in Regency-era England and offers a fascinating glimpse into the customs and traditions of the time.

For those who are looking for more romance books worth reading, there are many excellent options. Readers may want to check out “The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn, “The Raven Prince” by Elizabeth Hoyt, or “A Kingdom of Dreams” by Judith McNaught. These books are all known for their compelling characters, epic love stories, and historically accurate settings.

In conclusion, for readers who love historical romance, there are countless books worth reading. “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” by Sarah MacLean is a great place to start, with its charming heroine, steamy romance, and historically accurate setting. And for those who want to explore further, there are plenty of other great romance novels waiting to be discovered.

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10 Best Historical Romance Novels

  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
  4. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  5. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
  6. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  8. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
  9. The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
  10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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Medieval Historical Romance Novel (5th-15th Century Europe)

For those looking for a historical romance novel set in medieval Europe, there are many options to choose from. One such book is “The Falcon and the Flower” by Virginia Henley.

The novel is set in 15th century England and tells the story of Brenna, a smart and strong-willed young woman who dreams of a better life. When she is kidnapped by the powerful and handsome Rauf de Broc, she sees an opportunity to escape her mundane existence and experience a world beyond her wildest dreams.

“The Falcon and the Flower” is a classic romance novel that has earned a place on many romance lists over the years. Henley’s writing is captivating, and her attention to historical detail is impressive. She transports readers to a time of knights and chivalry, where love and passion can overcome even the most difficult of obstacles.

For readers who enjoy medieval historical romance, there are many other excellent books to consider. “The Bride” by Julie Garwood, “The Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon, and “A Knight in Shining Armor” by Jude Deveraux are all popular choices. These books offer a glimpse into a gilded age where love and honor were the highest ideals, and smart women could hold their own in a world dominated by men.

In conclusion, for fans of medieval historical romance, “The Falcon and the Flower” is a must-read. Henley’s novel is a timeless classic that captures the essence of a bygone era and features a strong, intelligent heroine who fights for her dreams. And for those who want to explore further, there are many other great romance novels set in medieval Europe waiting to be discovered.

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The Rules of Scoundrels (series)

“The Rules of Scoundrels” series is a must-read for any romance list. The series follows four notorious and charming men as they navigate the scandalous underworld of London society.

One standout book in the series is “No Good Duke Goes Unpunished,” which tells the story of Temple, a man accused of murdering his best friend’s sister on their second honeymoon. As he tries to clear his name, he meets the fiery and determined Mara Lowe, who is seeking revenge against Temple for ruining her life.

But as they work together to uncover the truth, they find themselves drawn to each other in unexpected ways. With its thrilling plot, steamy romance, and butterfly swords, “No Good Duke Goes Unpunished” is a book that is sure to captivate readers.

Overall, “The Rules of Scoundrels” series is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a gripping and passionate romance series. With each book focusing on a different scoundrel and their epic love story, readers are sure to be swept away by the unforgettable characters and the world of Regency England that MacLean has created.

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Historical Romance Novel Recommendations by Time Period

Here are some historical romance novel recommendations by time period:

  1. Medieval period (5th-15th century Europe):
  • “The Flame and the Flower” by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
  • “A Kingdom of Dreams” by Judith McNaught
  • “The Bride” by Julie Garwood
  1. Regency period (early 19th century England):
  • “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
  • “The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn
  • “Romancing Mr. Bridgerton” by Julia Quinn
  1. Victorian period (mid to late 19th century England):
  • “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte
  • “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte
  • “The Luxe” by Anna Godbersen
  1. World War II era:
  • “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah
  • “The Bronze Horseman” by Paullina Simons
  • “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein
  1. 20th century America:
  • “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks
  • “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon

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Colonial America Historical Romance Novel (1607 to 1776)

Colonial America, spanning from the establishment of Jamestown in 1607 to the Declaration of Independence in 1776, is a fascinating time period for historical romance novels. Here are some recommendations for colonial America historical romance novels:

  1. “The Black Lyon” by Jude Deveraux: Set in Virginia in 1763, this novel tells the story of a strong-willed woman who falls in love with a powerful knight.
  2. “The Courtship of Hannah and the Horseman” by Laura Matthews: Set in Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, this novel follows the story of a young woman who falls in love with a mysterious horseman.
  3. “The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn” by Lori Benton: Set in the early 18th century in the Appalachian Mountains, this novel tells the story of a young woman who flees her abusive father and falls in love with a Cherokee man.
  4. “The Scarlet Coat” by Angela Elwell Hunt: Set in Boston in 1777, this novel tells the story of a woman who falls in love with a British officer during the American Revolution.
  5. “The Maid of Fairbourne Hall” by Julie Klassen: Set in Virginia in the early 19th century, this novel follows the story of a woman who poses as a maid to escape an arranged marriage and falls in love with her employer’s nephew.

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Civil War Historical Romance Novel (1607 to 1776)

It is difficult to find a more compelling historical period for a romance novel than the American Civil War. The high stakes of the war, combined with the intense emotions that accompany love and passion, make for a wild and captivating ride. Here are some recommendations for Civil War historical romance novels:

  1. “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell: This classic novel, set in Georgia during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, tells the epic love story of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler.
  2. “The Spymistress” by Jennifer Chiaverini: Set in Virginia during the Civil War, this novel tells the story of a woman who risks everything to work as a spy for the Union army.
  3. “The Summer Before the War” by Helen Simonson: Set in England during the summer of 1914, just before the start of World War I, this novel explores the blossoming romance between a young woman and a local schoolteacher.
  4. “Ashes in the Wind” by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss: Set in Georgia during the Civil War, this novel follows the story of a young woman who falls in love with a Union officer, and the high stakes of their forbidden romance.
  5. “Across Five Aprils” by Irene Hunt: This novel, set in Illinois during the Civil War, tells the story of a young boy who grows up quickly as he experiences the realities of war and falls in love on a summer night.

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Early 20th Century

The early 20th century was a period of significant change and transformation, making it a fascinating setting for historical romance novels. Here are some recommendations for early 20th century historical romance novels:

  1. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Set in New York in the 1920s, this classic novel explores the decadence and excess of the Jazz Age, as well as the forbidden love between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan.
  2. “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain: This novel tells the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage, to Hadley Richardson, and their life together in Paris during the 1920s.
  3. “The Aviator’s Wife” by Melanie Benjamin: This novel tells the story of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, and their life together during the early 20th century.
  4. “The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarty: Set in the 1920s, this novel explores the changing roles of women during the early 20th century, as seen through the eyes of a middle-aged woman who accompanies a young Louise Brooks to New York City.
  5. “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid: This novel follows the fictional Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo as she tells the story of her life and loves during the 20th century.

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Julie Garwood

Julie Garwood is a bestselling author of romantic suspense and historical romance novels. She has published over 30 novels, including “The Bride” and “For the Roses,” and has sold more than 35 million copies of her books worldwide.

Jane Austen

The writer was a prominent English novelist of the 19th century, known for her witty social commentary and portrayal of the lives of women in Georgian society. Her most famous works include “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Emma.” Her novels continue to be widely read and adapted for screen.

Julia Quinn

The writer is a bestselling author of historical romance novels, known for her witty and charming writing style. She is best known for her Bridgerton series, which has been adapted into a popular Netflix show. Quinn has published over 30 novels and has won numerous awards for her work in the romance genre.

Wild Seasons (series)

Wild Seasons is a series of contemporary romance novels by Christina Lauren, following the lives and loves of a group of friends who attend a Vegas wedding. The series includes “Sweet Filthy Boy,” “Dirty Rowdy Thing,” “Dark Wild Night,” and “Wicked Sexy Liar.” The books are known for their steamy scenes and engaging characters.

A Lady Awakened

“A Lady Awakened” is a historical romance novel by Cecilia Grant, set in Regency England. The story follows Martha Russell, a widow who hires a man to impregnate her in order to secure her inheritance. The book is praised for its unconventional plot and complex characters.

Anna and the French Kiss

“Anna and the French Kiss” is a young adult romance novel by Stephanie Perkins. The story follows Anna, a high school student who is sent to study abroad in Paris and falls in love with a charming French boy named √Čtienne. The book is known for its sweet romance and vivid descriptions of Paris.

Immortals After Dark (series)

“Immortals After Dark” is a paranormal romance series by Kresley Cole. The series follows various supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves, and witches as they navigate the globe of the Lore, a hidden society of mythical beings. The series is known for its steamy romance and action-packed plots.

The Magpie Lord

“The Magpie Lord” is a historical fantasy romance novel by K.J. Charles. Set in Victorian England, the story follows a disgraced lord and a magician who must work together to uncover a dark conspiracy. The book is known for its intricate plot, atmospheric setting, and steamy romance.

Black Knights Inc. (series)

Black Knights Inc. is a popular romantic suspense series by Julie Ann Walker that follows the lives and loves of a group of covert operatives. Each book is a thrilling mix of action, danger, and steamy romance, making it a must-read for fans of the genre.

Crazy Thing Called Love

“Crazy Thing Called Love” is a contemporary romance novel by Molly O’Keefe. It follows the story of a woman who returns to her hometown to take care of her family’s business, only to find herself falling for her high school sweetheart who is now a single father.

The Mackenzie Family (series)

The Mackenzie Family series by Jennifer Ashley is a historical romance series featuring the Scottish Mackenzie family. Each book follows a different Mackenzie brother as they find love and navigate the challenges of their time. The series includes themes of family, honor, and passion, set against the backdrop of 19th-century Scotland.

The Madaris Family (series)

The Madaris Family series by Brenda Jackson is a collection of African-American romance novels. It follows the stories of the Madaris family and their pursuit of love, family, and success. Each book features a different couple, with their own unique challenges and obstacles to overcome.

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