The best historical romance novels that will make you fall in love with the genre

Who am I?

I’ve always had a passion for history and the American West in particular. From a young age, my reading reflected my passion, with a few mysteries in the mix. I didn’t read many romance novels until one day I was flying to another city and I forgot to pack a book. My assistant drove me to the airport and she pulled a historical romance novel from her handbag. It was her favorite and she was an expert on romance novels. Before my plane landed, I was hooked—and I’m still hooked. That started my career as a historical romance novelist.

I wrote...

Whispering Pines

By Scarlett Dunn,

Book cover of Whispering Pines

What is my book about?

As a young girl, Rose Langtry feared her gruff, handsome rancher neighbor. Coming back to Colorado after five years, she's outraged to find Morgan LeMasters ready to hang her brother. But when Rose is injured, Morgan's tender care turns her unease into unexpected closeness and admiration.

Stopping Frankie Langtry has long been Morgan's priority, yet he can't resist Rose's pleas for mercy. As brave and spirited as she is soft-hearted, Rose needs to keep her family farm from going under, and a marriage of convenience will provide it. Morgan hardly dares admit his longing for a deeper, truer union. But Frankie is bringing danger back to Whispering Pines, and it'll take forgiveness, courage, and faith to create a future together.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Gone With the Wind

Scarlett Dunn Why did I love this book?

As an American history enthusiast, this choice was a no-brainer for me. This is my first choice because of the well-developed characters and the particular time in history. What I particularly appreciated was the masterful way Margaret Mitchell developed Scarlett from a spoiled young woman, living a life of privilege, to a determined woman compelled to find a way for her and her family to survive during challenging times. Both Rhett and Scarlett are fascinating characters, and we see them change personally as they navigate their love story throughout the novel.

This book has all of the elements of a great historical romance novel: intriguing characters, an interesting setting, desire, love, tension, conflict, and suspense. While the ending wasn’t one I would have written, I’ve found that a novel doesn’t have to have a HEA for me to love and remember the book.

By Margaret Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Gone With the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of the tempestuous romance between Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara is set amid the drama of the Civil War.

Book cover of Pride and Prejudice

Scarlett Dunn Why did I love this book?

How could any list not include a Jane Austen novel? I loved the era and of course, the independent thinking of Elizabeth Bennet. Again, the depth of the characters is always the one key factor that draws my attention. I prefer a heroine who can think for herself and not bend to the accepted norms. And equally appealing to me is a great hero who accepts the woman who dares to think differently and finds a way to win her love.

By Jane Austen,

Why should I read it?

28 authors picked Pride and Prejudice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Jane Austen's best-loved novel is an unforgettable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, the power of reason, and above all the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is illustrated by Hugh Thomson and features an afterword by author and critic, Henry Hitchings.

A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and…

Book cover of The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757

Scarlett Dunn Why did I love this book?

This one will probably surprise a few people, but it is a historical romance. For those who haven’t read the book, please know that the movie starring Daniel Daydream- Lewis does not accurately parallel the book. I chose this novel because it is an American story with American characters, published in 1826. Cora is another very strong character, certainly ahead of her time and admired by Hawkeye, who was also an unusual character for the period. I enjoyed the historical details intertwined with fiction. Definitely worth your time to read.

By James Fenimore Cooper,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Last of the Mohicans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…

Book cover of The Bride

Scarlett Dunn Why did I love this book?

I must have a Julie Garwood novel on my list—and this is one of my favorites in the Scottish medieval romance category. In my opinion, Garwood writes great romance novels, with strong, attractive, and likable characters. This novel offers a determined hero and an equally headstrong heroine, combined with murder and intrigue. You’ll also have a few smiles with this one. I always enjoy a little humor in romance novels.

By Julie Garwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Scottish Laird Alec Kincaid chooses Jamie, daughter of Baron Jamison, as his bride. But Jamie vows never to surrender to this barbarian. Although Kincaid fires her blood, she resists him, until one moment when their clash of wills is quelled and something more dangerous threatens to conquer her.

Book cover of Marry Me by Sundown

Scarlett Dunn Why did I love this book?

Of course, I must include a novel set in the American West. How could I not? And oh, so many to choose from—a difficult task. This is another recommendation based on strong, intriguing characters. The heroine is determined to save her family from financial ruin and she faces the hardships of the West. Lindsey has written two very passionate, headstrong individuals, and you will have some laughs and some tears reading this one.

By Johanna Lindsey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marry Me by Sundown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An enticing new historical romance from No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey. Marry Me By Sundown takes you on a captivating adventure in 1880s Montana where passions and gold fever run high as an American heiress turns to a rugged mountain man to help her locate her father's fortune. Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton.

Summoned back to Philadelphia from the social whirl in London, Violet Mitchell never expected to find her brothers living on the edge of financial ruin while their father seeks new wealth in Montana's gold fields. With the family's home and social…

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Book cover of The Saucer-Heads

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