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.

The books I picked & why

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Moonlight and Mischief

By Rhonda Woodward,

Book cover of Moonlight and Mischief

Why 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.


Friends and Foes

By Sarah M. Eden,

Book cover of Friends and Foes

Why 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.


Loyalty's Web

By Joyce DiPastena,

Book cover of Loyalty's Web

Why 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.


Scarlet

By Jen Geigle Johnson,

Book cover of Scarlet

Why 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. 


A Dance Through Time

By Lynn Kurland,

Book cover of A Dance Through Time

Why 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. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in England, nobility, and time travel?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about England, nobility, and time travel.

England Explore 637 books about England
Nobility Explore 52 books about nobility
Time Travel Explore 133 books about time travel

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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