The best unexpected love stories in historical romance

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written almost one hundred historical romances, so when it comes to making a marriage in a book swoonworthy, I know the hard work that an author has to put in. Whether it’s enemies to lovers, instalove, grumpy/sunshine, whatever it is: I have a huge amount of respect for authors who spend the time crafting a love story that makes me absolutely desperate for the wedding. 


I wrote...

A Governess of Great Talents

By Emily E K Murdoch,

Book cover of A Governess of Great Talents

What is my book about?

When a governess of great talents is required, there is only one place the nobility of England go: the Governess Bureau. Finishing with the Earl of Marnmouth's children, Miss Meredith Hubert is given her next assignment - a Duke called Alfred Carmichael with a reputation to maintain and a half-brother who needs controlling.

Archibald is eight years old, and already threatens to ruin the family's reputation as Alfred tries to maintain it. But Meredith has a secret to hide, and she's not the only one. Maids sent away in secret, items missing from the house, there is more than one mystery at Rochdale Abbey. When a Duke falls in love with a governess, there's only one way this can end - in scandal...

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of WolfeBorn

Emily E K Murdoch Why did I love this book?

I adore an arranged marriage trope, and no one does this better in the medieval period than Kathryn Le Veque.

If you adore your romance spiced with politics, intrigue, and passion. I adore how real and three-dimensional Kathryn's characters are, and I think you'll adore how this marriage turns out...

By Kathryn Le Veque,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Patrick de Wolfe's (Nighthawk) youngest son, Titus, is front and center in this rip-roaring Medieval Romance that will have you on the edge of your seat!


When a de Wolfe mates, he mates for life. And when he falls for a woman, he falls harder than most. But when a scorned woman is involved, anything can happen...


And usually does.


Titus de Wolfe is the youngest of four talented and accomplished sons of the Earl of Berwick. On a visit to London on behalf of his father, Titus meets the woman who will change the course of his future.


Katiana…


Book cover of Trade of a Lifetime

Emily E K Murdoch Why did I love this book?

There are plenty of dukes in historical romance (and I love them!), but I adore this book with a titled lady and a common-born man.

The ‘trade’ elements in this steamy and highly emotional romance from Rebecca Aubrey got me gasping every chapter, and I couldn't walk away until this unusual marriage came together.

By Rebecca Aubrey,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Highland Pursuits

Emily E K Murdoch Why did I love this book?

I have never found a modern-day author who encapsulates the roaring 1920s in such a resplendent as Emmanuelle de Maupassant: the humour, the wit, the descriptions of the Highlands which Emmanuelle knows so well, and of course, the mystery of eccentric relatives who are not what they seem.

I love this trilogy, with more than one unusual marriage...

By Emmanuelle de Maupassant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's 1928 and Bright Young Things are taking London by storm, but debutante Ophelia's life is all mapped out: marriage to a cod-faced aristocrat and a life of dull respectability.

Refusing to play along, Ophelia is banished to her ancestral home in the Highlands of Scotland.
There, she'll be so bored, she'll come to her senses... won't she?

Meeting her eccentric relatives, Ophelia isn't so sure, and there's utter mayhem as guests arrive for her grandmother's birthday celebrations.

Everyone is having a ball... until tragedy strikes on a moorland shoot.

... don't miss the other two volumes in this hilarious…


Book cover of The Duke's Deceitful Governess

Emily E K Murdoch Why did I love this book?

The queen of histromcoms (yup, that's historical romcoms) Caroline Lee has a hilarious series that makes me laugh literally out loud - and so far, I've actually cried with laughter twice.

This is another governess story but this time with a Scottish laird, outrageous twins, and assassin mystery to boot. You shouldn't say no to this book.

Book cover of Up All Night with a Good Duke

Emily E K Murdoch Why did I love this book?

Any historical romance that takes place in a library is good with me, but Amy Rose Bennett takes this to the next level in this gorgeous book.

With a heroine attempting to avoid marriage, and a widowed duke desperate for a wife, any wife, you can imagine the sizzle in this gorgeous book.

By Amy Rose Bennett,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Up All Night with a Good Duke as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I can think of the perfect way to keep you occupied and your mind diverted," she murmured. "Come to my room. If you're not too tired..."

Lust flashed in his gaze and then he caught her face between his hands and kissed her. "For you, my beautiful Artemis, I'd stay up all night."

Artemis Jones-"respectable" finishing-school teacher by day and Gothic romance writer by night-has never lost sight of her real dream: to open her own academic ladies' college. When Artemis is unexpectedly called upon by a dear friend, a fellow Byronic Book Club member, to navigate her first London…


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Snow on Magnolias

By Betty Bolte,

Book cover of Snow on Magnolias

Betty Bolte Author Of Notes of Love and War

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Author Editor Traveler Crocheter Reader

Betty's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Magnolia Merryweather, a horse breeder, is eager to celebrate Christmas for the first time after the Civil War ended even as she grows her business. She envisions a calm, prosperous life ahead after the terror of the past four years. Only, all of her plans are thrown into disarray when her secret lover returns and starts asking questions she can’t answer without disaster following.

Bryce Day comes home to Alabama after he’s discharged from the First Alabama Cavalry USA with guilt weighing on his heart. His neighbors won’t cotton to his Unionist bent, and the woman of his heart likely won’t give him a second chance after his silence during the war. Only, she’s hiding something from him.

How can they have any hope of a loving life together with lies and secrets between them?

Snow on Magnolias

By Betty Bolte,

What is this book about?

One terrible lie, a desperate measure to save her past, just might destroy her future…

Award-winning author of historical fiction presents a new novel of love and lies, secrets and sensuality, and the hands of fate weaving it all together.

The American Civil War is finally over and Christmas beckons. Magnolia Merryweather, backyard horse breeder, is eager to celebrate for the first time since the war began even as she continues to grow her business. She envisions a calm, prosperous life ahead after all the terror of the past four years. She’s preparing to follow in her mother’s matriarchal footsteps,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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