The best historical romance books with heroines disguised as boys

Who am I?

Kathleen Woodiwiss introduced me to the world of historical romance long ago. I also love action and adventure, so why not combine the two? I’ve done extensive historical research on both pirates and the regency period, most specifically the War of 1812, as well as actual historical accounts of brave women who dressed as men. Some were raised that way for various reasons, others did so to go to war with their husbands, still others because as women, they had little value in those days. I love writing thrilling stories about smart, independent women, and charming rogues. My books are full of adventure, humor, fun, and frolic.

I wrote...

If You Give a Smuggler a Secret

By Chloe Flowers,

Book cover of If You Give a Smuggler a Secret

What is my book about?

If you give a smuggler a secret hell demand a kiss to keep it...A lady plots her way out of an arranged marriage. A rakish smuggler discovers her disguised as a boy. A band of pirates seeks revenge. When his secrets collide with hers, it’s the perfect storm.

If you love charming rakes, strong heroines, and adventure, you’ll love this action-packed historical romance!

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The books I picked & why

Ashes in the Wind

By Kathleen E. Woodiwiss,

Book cover of Ashes in the Wind

Why did I love 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!

By Kathleen E. Woodiwiss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ashes in the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A woman burdened by war ...A doctor torn between passion and duty ...A sweeping tale of love in the face of dishonor from the incomparable storyteller - Kathleen Woodiwiss. Alaina MacGaren is forced to flee the devastation of her homeland in the guise of a young boy, only to find sanctuary in the arms of an enemy. Cole Latimer is a dashing Yankee surgeon who has served the Union faithfully, and his tender heart compels him to help a ragged, innocent 'lad' in need - never suspecting the rags conceal a bewitching belle suspected of being a rebel spy. But…

Book cover of Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover

Why did I love 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!

By Sarah MacLean,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Fabulous' Eloisa James
'Smart, sexy, and always romantic' Julia Quinn
'For a smart, witty and passionate historical romance, I recommend anything by Sarah MacLean' Lisa Kleypas

RITA Award winning author, Sarah MacLean, reveals the identity of The Fallen Angel's final scoundrel in the spectacular conclusion to her Rules of Scoundrels series . . .

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking-in London's darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city's most legendary gaming hell. For…

The Masqueraders

By Georgette Heyer,

Book cover of The Masqueraders

Why did I love 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.

By Georgette Heyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Masqueraders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you love Bridgerton, you'll love Georgette Heyer!

'The greatest writer who ever lived' Antonia Fraser
'One of the wittiest, most insightful and rewarding prose writers imaginable' Stephen Fry
'All hail Georgette Heyer ... devilish good fun' Guardian

1745: Robin and Prudence Merriot have been adventurers and dissemblers since they were children.

And as escaped Jacobites, they need to be.

Forced to go on the run, they disguise themselves and make their way to London where they witness the abduction of a beautiful heiress.

They rescue her, but in so doing Robin's real identity is revealed, and both he…

Unmasked by the Marquess

By Cat Sebastian,

Book cover of Unmasked by the Marquess

Why did I love 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.

By Cat Sebastian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unmasked by the Marquess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Library Journal's Best Romances of 2018

The one you love…

Robert Selby is determined to see his sister make an advantageous match. But he has two problems: the Selbys have no connections or money and Robert is really a housemaid named Charity Church. She’s enjoyed every minute of her masquerade over the past six years, but she knows her pretense is nearing an end. Charity needs to see her beloved friend married well and then Robert Selby will disappear…forever.

May not be who you think…

Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, has spent years repairing the estate ruined by his…

Gentle Rogue

By Johanna Lindsey,

Book cover of Gentle Rogue

Why did I love 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.

By Johanna Lindsey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gentle Rogue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's romance on the high seas in this brand new edition of the third book in the beloved Malory series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey, now featuring an introduction from bestselling author Sarah Maclean.

Heartsick and desperate to return home to America, Georgina Anderson boards the Maiden Anne disguised as a cabin boy, never dreaming she'll be forced into intimate servitude at the whim of the ship's irrepressible captain, James Mallory.

The black sheep of a proud and tempestuous family, the handsome ex-pirate once swore no woman alive could entice him into matrimony. But on the…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, Pirates, and Regency?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about romantic love, Pirates, and Regency.

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