The best historical romance books with heroines disguised as boys

The Books I Picked & Why

Ashes in the Wind

By Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Book cover of Ashes in the Wind

Why this book?

Kathleen Woodiwiss was the queen of epic historical romance, an expert at writing long, adventurous epics. I always impatiently waited for her next book to be released. Written in 1979, it is an old bodice ripper, but it was re-released in 2009. The brave, independent Alaina has always stayed with me. She’s a feisty, smart, and stubborn rebel. Cole is an honorable, brave, and kind Yankee surgeon. I am a huge fan of books that make the main characters work hard to find true love, and this one is a great example of an enemies to lovers tale.

It’s set during the Civil War. I loved the humor, action, and thrills!


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Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover

By Sarah MacLean

Book cover of Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover

Why this book?

This book is #4 in the Rules of Scoundrels series and while they are all good, this one was my favorite. I particularly enjoy the wit and wisdom of the heroine and how she manages three different personas and three different lifestyles. The series satisfies my interest in fallen or bad boy heroes that manage to redeem themselves enough to earn the love of a good, independent woman.

It’s delightful! It’s a fun series filled with the types of characters that I love to read (and write) about!


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The Masqueraders

By Georgette Heyer

Book cover of The Masqueraders

Why this book?

For those Regency romance purists and Georgette Heyer fans out there, it would be criminal to leave this tale off the list. Known as the Queen of Regency, Heyer weaves an interesting tale about two masters of disguise. Both brother and sister dress and conduct themselves as the opposite sex in this adventure! Do you enjoy witty banter? Me too! I love lighthearted, humorous moments, and I was not disappointed.

This book is very true to regency form in terms of language, vocabulary, and sentence structure. That being said, you’ll enjoy this book more if you already have a solid understanding of Regency societal rules and peerage, codes of conduct, etc.


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Unmasked by the Marquess: The Regency Impostors

By Cat Sebastian

Book cover of Unmasked by the Marquess: The Regency Impostors

Why this book?

This is book 1 in the Regency Imposters series. The heroine has masqueraded as a male for 6 years, assuming her late husband’s identity. She’s actually a nonbinary character, which makes this a unique aspect of this book. The hero, while the perfect example of high society, is also open-minded in terms of sexuality, which gave this book a refreshing perspective. I’m glad to see today’s authors include more diverse characters. I think they make the stories more realistic.


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Gentle Rogue

By Johanna Lindsey

Book cover of Gentle Rogue

Why this book?

This is the 3rd book in the Mallory Anderson series, and one of my all-time favorites. I adore heroes who are charismatic, intelligent, and slightly dangerous, as well as spunky, smart, and stubborn heroines.

I also really enjoy reading a good pirate romance, with plenty of shipboard shenanigans. This tale delivers it all. The captain, an ex-pirate, notices something vaguely familiar about his new “cabin boy." It’s not long before he’s on to her charade. I loved the way he tormented her.


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