The best clean and wholesome historical romances

Who am I?

Danielle Thorne has researched, traveled, read, and written sweet stories about historical gentlemen, pirates, ladies, and not-so-distressed damsels from her home south of Atlanta for over half her life. A graduate of BYU-Idaho with an English minor, she also writes clean and wholesome contemporary romance for Harlequin's tasteful Love Inspired line. She is the author of over twenty-five family-friendly books in a variety of genres.  

I wrote...

A Pirate at Pembroke

By Danielle Thorne,

Book cover of A Pirate at Pembroke

What is my book about?

When Sophie's sent to a matchmaking party, the pirate from Pembroke Hall arrives and distracts everyone from the summer festivities. Unguarded, her feelings about the mysterious Captain Murdock bloom into a trusted friendship Sophie fears may mean more than anyone suspects.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen,

Book cover of Pride and Prejudice

Why this book?

Pride and Prejudice is the gold standard for clean and wholesome romance with its colorful characters and tasteful handling of difficult and sometimes scandalous choices. While some readers may hesitate to tackle fiction written over two hundred years ago, it is easily read and the many film adaptations are enjoyable. This novel's wit and observation tie in beautifully to the romance and its main character, Lizzie, who must face herself before she can accept what's in her heart. 


By Julianne Donaldson,

Book cover of Edenbrooke

Why this book?

Lately becoming known as a modern and very recent classic, Edenbrooke is sweet romantic fiction at its best with authentic echoes of Jane Austen. The setting is well-established, the characters multi-dimensional, and the writing is elegant and beautiful. It is a romance novel that can be enjoyed again and again, and it's a shame that it hasn't been brought to film yet. 

Courting Miss Lancaster

By Sarah M. Eden,

Book cover of Courting Miss Lancaster

Why this book?

Courting Miss Lancaster is a perfect first novel for those new to Sarah Eden. She is the queen of beautiful and inspirational wholesome romance novels. This story is original, fun, witty, and so heartwarming you will be an instant fan. Well-researched, it brings the Regency era—and courtship—to life.

The Heiress of Winterwood

By Sarah E. Ladd,

Book cover of The Heiress of Winterwood

Why this book?

This novel brings England's moors to life with a Regency romance that is sometimes haunting. It features a courageous heroine who doesn't know her own strength until she must flip social norms upside down by proposing marriage to a man she doesn't know or love—but needs. A couple determined to sacrifice everything for the love of a child makes this story memorable, and the romance is beautiful. 

Engaging Sir Isaac: A Regency Romance

By Sally Britton,

Book cover of Engaging Sir Isaac: A Regency Romance

Why this book?

This is my favorite book of Sally Britton's many clean and wholesome Regency romances. I love how fully dimensional her characters are, and her research is always spot-on and entertaining. She creates wonderful stories set in England that pull at your heartstrings and bring the most satisfying happily-ever-afters in the end. Many of her books are part of a series, but they can be read in any order. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Regency, romantic love, and nobility?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Regency, romantic love, and nobility.

Regency Explore 48 books about Regency
Romantic Love Explore 417 books about romantic love
Nobility Explore 58 books about nobility

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Stumbling on Happiness, The King Must Die, and A Gentleman in Moscow if you like this list.