The best swoony historical romance novels that don’t need bedrooms scenes

Who am I?

Historical novels, movies, and TV shows have captured my interest even as a child since the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My love of history has sent me into historic schoolhouses, churches, castles, pirate ships, ancient Roman spas and aqueducts, and other historical sites at home and in England, Spain, and Portugal, as well as pouring over journals, biographies, and non-fiction research books. My first love is Regency England, but I have a fascination for history of all eras and countries. My passion and fascination for detail have been the driving force behind my twenty-four published Regency romances and hundreds of articles and blog posts.


I wrote...

The Stranger She Married

By Donna Hatch,

Book cover of The Stranger She Married

What is my book about?

Desperate to protect her remaining family from debtor's prison and starvation, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. Her prospects? A scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.

Though Cole believes he is beyond redemption, he cannot deny his attraction to the young lady whose genuine goodness touches his heart. When a series of mishaps threaten her life, he realizes a killer is exterminating her family one at a time, and Alicia is his newest target.

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The books I picked & why

Moonlight and Mischief

By Rhonda Woodward,

Book cover of Moonlight and Mischief

Why did I love this book?

This was my first introduction to the Regency Era. The author wove in the Regency world in a way that made it easy for a reader new to the genre to understand. The characters were well-rounded and likeable, and the romance unfolded gently and believably. I fell in love with the hero as well as with Traditional Regency Romance. It was also the first romance book I read with a publication date of later than the 1950s that had a sweet, clean, and wholesome story (other than inspirational or religious stories). This book gave me hope that some publishers recognize that “sex sells” isn’t a hard and fast rule.

By Rhonda Woodward,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

AVAILABLE DIGITALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME

A gamble worth taking.

When Lord Haverstone loses a fortune playing cards, Steven Thorncroft chivalrously offers his sister—and her large dowry—to save him from ruin. Thoroughly amused by the young pup, “Stone” invites him and his sister to a house party at his country estate, then promptly forgets all about it until they show up at his door…

Mariah Thorncroft can’t believe her brother’s impertinence and her mother’s determination to buy her a title. Even worse, she can’t believe she’s at the estate of a renowned rake like Stone—among people who undoubtedly look down…


Friends and Foes

By Sarah M. Eden,

Book cover of Friends and Foes

Why did I love this book?

This book has fun, quirky characters and witty dialogue that made me laugh out loud. The heroine has a disability—unusual in historical romance—which makes her even more endearing. The hero has a secret identity which made for some fun scenes. I love the enemies-to-friends trope and this book deals with it masterfully with plenty of heartwarming moments. The characters taught me to look deeper into people and not make snap judgments about who they appear to be on the outside. Best of all, this is a swoony book that made my heart flutter, all without going into bedroom scenes.

By Sarah M. Eden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After five years of tracking and capturing spies on English soil, Philip Jonquil, Earl of Lampton, is in pursuit of his last quarry. But at a traveler’s inn, he encounters an unexpected and far more maddening foe: Sorrel Kendrick, a young lady who is strikingly pretty, shockingly outspoken, and entirely unimpressed with him. Indeed, Sorrel cannot believe the nerve of this gentleman, who rudely accuses her of theft and insults her feminine dignity. Doubly annoyed when they both end up at a party hosted by mutual friends, Philip and Sorrel privately declare war on one another. But Philip’s tactics, which…


Loyalty's Web

By Joyce DiPastena,

Book cover of Loyalty's Web

Why did I love this book?

Set in medieval Poitou (a region of France once ruled by the Kings of England), this romance has a likable, courageous heroine willing to sacrifice her reputation and her safety to protect her family from scandal and possible execution. With a balance of action, intrigue, and romance, it painted a vivid picture of the history of this region and the intricacies of the hazardous court of England. The tender, sweet romance unfolded beautifully and the prose was masterfully crafted. The author’s meticulous research inspired me to include historical and regional details in all of my writing.

By Joyce DiPastena,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Loyalty's Web as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The blood of the barons of Poitou runs hot against the English crown. Can any of them be trusted?

Heléne de Laurant has not forgotten how the English Earl of Gunthar destroyed her father’s castle during King Henry II’s war with his sons. Apparently neither have her family and friends, for when someone tries to murder Gunthar, every sign points in their direction. Heléne realizes the only way to prove her loved ones’ innocence is by exposing the true assassin. But what if one of them is guilty? Can she forsake her bonds of love and loyalty to face the…


Scarlet

By Jen Geigle Johnson,

Book cover of Scarlet

Why did I love this book?

A fun twist on one of my favorite historical tales, The Scarlet Pimpernel, this novel portrays the elusive hero as a brilliant, determined woman. The cast of characters is full and well-developed, including a dashing hero worthy of our heroine’s love. This story is beautifully written, has plenty of twists and turns, heart-melting romance, and a delightful happily ever after. 

By Jen Geigle Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The roads in and out of Paris are heavily guarded, but the dead have easy passage out of the city. A ragged old woman transports the coffins of the most recent victims of the guillotine and is waved on unimpeded. Later, the same crone watches five French aristocrats step out of their coffins unscathed. Not beheaded, but spirited away to safety by that most elusive of spies: the Pimpernel. Or, as she’s known in polite society, Lady Scarlet Cavendish.

When not assuming her secret identity as a hero of the French Revolution, Scarlet presents herself as a fashionable, featherbrained young…


A Dance Through Time

By Lynn Kurland,

Book cover of A Dance Through Time

Why did I love this book?

With the backdrop of medieval Scotland, this sweeping tale of lairds, kilts, and castles is no ordinary time-travel romance. This carefully-researched tale brings a courageous heroine and a fierce hero together to face enemies neither dreamed existed. My first in a long line of Kurland romances, this story has all the elements of how characters can evolve and love conquers all. 

By Lynn Kurland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Dance Through Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Lynn Kurland, the New York Times bestselling author of the Nine Kingdom series.

Scotland, 1311. James MacLeod was the most respected-and feared-laird in all of Scotland. He loved his men like brothers and his land with a passion. And he allowed no women to cross the threshold of his keep...

New York City, 1996. With an indifferent fiance and a stalled writing career, Elizabeth Smith found passion and adventure only in the unpublished romance novels that she wrote. Until a Scottish hero began calling to her...

Elizabeth longed for the man of her dreams. But she knew she was…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Regency, nobility, and time travel?

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