The best historical romance novels that will transport you in time and leave you with a happy sigh

Who am I?

My fascination for historical novels began long before I ever penned one of my own. As a child, I often sought out books that took me back in time. Before I was even a teenager I began gravitating toward historical novels with romantic threads (give me all the sweet romance). My love of all things historical has only grown through the years. My children have come to expect our vacations to include stops at museums and historical sites. I have four published novels (as of 2021), files of future ideas, and stacks of novels beside my bed ready to take me for a historical ride.

I wrote...

A Lady in Attendance

By Rachel Fordham,

Book cover of A Lady in Attendance

What is my book about?

Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all. As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can't help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?

Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose–and perhaps find love along the way.

The books I picked & why

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These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901: Arizona Territories

By Nancy Turner,

Book cover of These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901: Arizona Territories

Why this book?

These is My Words is one of those rare romances that lets its reader walk with the characters from the moment they meet long past the time they say, “I do.” This book is filled with the butterflies of early love and the steady, deep love that comes with time and experience. Rich in true to era struggles, character growth, and a romance that will leave you thinking about it long after you close the last page— you will feel all the feels! 

As a writer and busy mom, my time is limited, and yet I still find time to reread this beauty every couple of years. Each time I relate to Sarah in a different way and every time I end the book with a sigh and a tear! 

Lakeshire Park

By Megan Walker,

Book cover of Lakeshire Park

Why this book?

There is something alluring about the regency era that makes you want to curl your hair and go to a ball. The genre is full of beautiful, well-written books. Lakeshire Park stands out in the crowd thanks to its gentle honesty, delightful prose, and believable romance. Sprinkled with comedic scenes, regency-era details, and a couple you can’t help rooting for! I read this one in one sitting and didn’t want to come back to reality. 

A Town Like Alice

By Nevil Shute,

Book cover of A Town Like Alice

Why this book?

This is an oldie, but a goodie. I read this years ago and found myself completely engaged as the heroine is driven across the Malayan landscape and eventually finds herself in Australia. The struggle for survival, the determination, the sacrifice, it will linger in your heart and mind. 

If you enjoy rooting for characters who have all the odds against them, unique settings, and an ending that seems almost too good to be true then grab a copy of A Town Called Alice and go to Malaya with Jean Paget, you won’t be sorry. 

The Inheritance

By Tamera Alexander,

Book cover of The Inheritance

Why this book?

Tamara Alexander is a prolific writer, any of her novels could have made this list. They are all rich in history, full of character development, and feature sweet romances. The Inheritance stands out to me for a couple of reasons. One, the main theme of this book is tough love. An older sister who is forever rescuing her brother has to learn that love can look a lot of different ways and sometimes love requires letting consequences follow actions. This message is rarely featured in a book! It’s not an in-your-face moral, but a gentle thought-provoking takeaway. Another reason this book is exemplary in its well-crafted love story. Alexander expertly weaves her story threads together, giving you bits of history and romance like a weaver of a great tapestry.

Lady of Milkweed Manor

By Julie Klassen,

Book cover of Lady of Milkweed Manor

Why this book?

I’m a sucker for a book that pulls at my heartstrings. A woman finds herself pregnant during an unforgiving time. She’s sent to a home so it can all be kept a secret, here she meets other women in similar situations. This book made the plight of these women real as they struggle to make peace with what’s happened, as they give birth and say goodbye or get creative and find ways to stay in their children’s lives. 

As a mother to both biological children and foster children, I am often drawn to the stories of mothers and this one stuck with me for a long time. I ached for and cheered for the characters in this book and in the end tears were flowing and my heart was full.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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