93 books like The Proposition

By Judith Ivory,

Here are 93 books that The Proposition fans have personally recommended if you like The Proposition. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of To Have and To Hold

Minerva Spencer Author Of The Footman

From my list on historical romance novels off the beaten path.

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore romance in all its forms. I’ll read Viking romance, contemporary rom-coms, alien adventure, and fantastical, magical shifter tales to romances that take place in prison or an equipment rental store. But my first love will always be Regency romance, which is probably why I’ve also chosen to write it. The stories that are always closest to my heart, no matter the subgenre, are the ones that succeed in breaking the mold. The five books on this list are only the beginning of the wonderful, unusual historical romances that are waiting for intrepid readers. Happy reading!

Minerva's book list on historical romance novels off the beaten path

Minerva Spencer Why did Minerva love this book?

I personally love this book because I can identify with the characters, who are both flawed and genuine. All too often I’ve started reading a romance only to discover that both characters are gorgeous, billionaires, and have IQs over 180. I find such perfection uninteresting.

The two leads in To Have And To Hold, Sebastian and Rachel, are both train wrecks, although it is initially easier to see Rachel’s problems as she is currently a convict who is being released from prison. Sebastian’s behavior steps over the line. Way over the line. And the tension in most of the book will give you white knuckles. I have never forgotten these characters and their journey toward love was all the more rewarding for how hard-won it was.

By Patricia Gaffney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After spending years in prison for a crime she did not commit, Rachel Wade accepts the proposal of cynical Sebastian Verlaine, Viscount D'Aubrey, who offers her parole in exchange for becoming his mistress. Original.


Book cover of Delicious

Leslie Morris Noyes Author Of Willing: A Contemporary Romance

From my list on for smart woman over forty.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a creative director in Vermont with a few favorite things: laughter, standard poodles, and happy endings—in life and in fiction. Romance fiction abounds with young heroines and happy endings. But I prefer reading about mature women like myself, women who have experienced their share of disappointments yet face life’s challenges with courage and humor. I like the elements of both genres in one juicy book. After much-frustrated searching, I gave up and wrote the story I wanted to read. My wise, middle-aged heroine still has lots to learn about grief and joy, and learns many of those lessons with men—in bed.

Leslie's book list on for smart woman over forty

Leslie Morris Noyes Why did Leslie love this book?

Set in Victorian England, this novel begins where romances often start—with a beleaguered heroine. She is a brilliant cook with a questionable past. Her patron dies. His brother takes over the estate where—let’s say—she’s been multi-tasking. The brother has perversely cut all pleasure from his life. But oh, that food. Complications develop, including his desire to not desire the food or the cook. There are dark secrets and dark hungers including a hunger for revenge on both the hero’s and heroine’s parts. I love a sexy, twisty story that I can’t put down. This one meets all of my marks. 

By Sherry Thomas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Delicious as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Famous in Paris, infamous in London, Verity Durant is as well-known for her mouthwatering cuisine as for her scandalous love life. But that’s the least of the surprises awaiting her new employer when he arrives at the estate of Fairleigh Park following the unexpected death of his brother.

To rising political star Stuart Somerset, Verity Durant is just a name and food is just food, until her first dish touches his lips. Only one other time had he felt such pure arousal–a dangerous night of passion with a stranger, who disappeared at dawn. Ten years is a long time to…


Book cover of Dancing with Clara

Minerva Spencer Author Of The Footman

From my list on historical romance novels off the beaten path.

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore romance in all its forms. I’ll read Viking romance, contemporary rom-coms, alien adventure, and fantastical, magical shifter tales to romances that take place in prison or an equipment rental store. But my first love will always be Regency romance, which is probably why I’ve also chosen to write it. The stories that are always closest to my heart, no matter the subgenre, are the ones that succeed in breaking the mold. The five books on this list are only the beginning of the wonderful, unusual historical romances that are waiting for intrepid readers. Happy reading!

Minerva's book list on historical romance novels off the beaten path

Minerva Spencer Why did Minerva love this book?

Mary Balogh is truly the grand dame of modern historical romance. Not only is she a reader favorite, but she has done her share of pushing the envelope when it comes to writing new and unusual romances. Dancing With Clara tackles a couple of taboos in romance—addiction and infidelity. The hero in the story is riddled with faults, and you will rip out your hair as you watch him undermine himself—and his marriage to Clara—over and over again. 

I’ve read criticisms of Clara—that she is a doormat—but I think Ms. Balogh accurately represented a Regency woman when she wrote Clara’s character. Especially a woman who was confined to a wheelchair and without even the meager options wealthy women had during the era. Don’t worry! There’s a happily ever after, but Clara and Freddie will bleed on the pages before they get it.

By Mary Balogh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Miss Clara Danford had no illusions about Frederick Sullivan. She knew that this handsome man was a rake whose women were legion and whose gambling debts were staggering. When he proposed marriage to her, she knew that he was in love with her fortune, and not with her.


Book cover of The Only Gold

Minerva Spencer Author Of The Footman

From my list on historical romance novels off the beaten path.

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore romance in all its forms. I’ll read Viking romance, contemporary rom-coms, alien adventure, and fantastical, magical shifter tales to romances that take place in prison or an equipment rental store. But my first love will always be Regency romance, which is probably why I’ve also chosen to write it. The stories that are always closest to my heart, no matter the subgenre, are the ones that succeed in breaking the mold. The five books on this list are only the beginning of the wonderful, unusual historical romances that are waiting for intrepid readers. Happy reading!

Minerva's book list on historical romance novels off the beaten path

Minerva Spencer Why did Minerva love this book?

I’ve read this m/m romance multiple times for many reasons. First, it takes place in NYC. Second, both characters are working men (no dukes or millionaires!!) and Third, it is a hot, hot, hot enemies to lovers romance that gives the reader a vibrant picture of both the banking business at the end of the nineteenth century, but also tons of fascinating details about daily life and work culture. 

My favorite part of this story is the development of the relationship between the two leads. Both Jonah and Reid practically leap off the page. I love having an anal-retentive control freak paired with a charming, easy-going rogue.

By Tamara Allen, Cory Clubb (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jonah Woolner's life is as prudently regulated as the bank where he works. It's a satisfying life until he's passed over for promotion in favor of newcomer Reid Hylliard. Brash and enterprising, Reid beguiles everyone except Jonah, who's convinced Reid's progressive ideas will be the bank's ruin. When Jonah begins to discover there's more to Reid than meets the eye, he risks succumbing to Reid's charms - but unlocking the vault to all of Reid's secrets could lead him down a dangerous path.Losing his promotion - and perhaps his heart - is the least of Jonah's difficulties. When the vengeful…


Book cover of Faro's Daughter

Anna Campbell Author Of One Wicked Wish

From my list on classic historical romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved historical romance, ever since my mother gave me my first Georgette Heyer when I was eight, and my grandmother gave me my first Barbara Cartland shortly after. The fascination has never waned, which is a good thing because I grew up to become a historical romance author myself. Since publishing my first romance in 2006, I’ve written nearly 50 books, mainly set during the Regency period (first quarter of the 19th century). I’ve always adored how a good historical romance whisks me away to a larger-than-life world replete with dashing rakes, smart-mouthed ladies, and glittering high society, not to mention witty banter, glamour, and heart-stopping romance.

Anna's book list on classic historical romance

Anna Campbell Why did Anna love this book?

Georgette Heyer is the queen of Regency romance. My mother gave me my first Heyer when I was about eight and I’ve loved her work ever since. Witty, beautifully written, romantic, glamorous, her books were the perfect introduction to historical romance. I’m currently in the middle of my fifth re-read of all her books and this time 'round, I think my favorite is Faro’s Daughter. This pairs the very rude and unromantic (but irresistible!) Max Ravenscar with clever, independent Deborah Grantham, a well-bred lady brought low by financial trouble who now runs her aunt’s gambling house. When Max sets out to rescue his beef-witted cousin from Deb’s clutches, the stage is set for a clash of titanic proportions. This book sparkles like good champagne, and it always makes me laugh.  

By Georgette Heyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Faro's Daughter 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 my perennial comfort authors' Joanne Harris
'I could mainline Heyer's Regency romances until the end of time and still not get bored' India Knight
____________

Max Ravenscar is a renowned gamester.

The first to admit he is entirely void of a romantic disposition, he regards all eligible females with indifference and unconcern.

But then he meets the woman his young cousin is bent on marrying - the beautiful Deborah Grantham who also happens to be the mistress of her aunt's gaming establishment.…


Book cover of Lord of Scoundrels

Jeri Black Author Of The Dangers of Loving a Rogue

From my list on lively characters and witty banter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to laugh. I don’t think there’s anything better than the sound of laughter. I’m originally from the Midwest and we tend to have a self-deprecating sense of humor—we like to laugh at ourselves. I’ve been in love with romance novels since I read my first Kathleen Woodiwiss book in my twenties. Although there are many sub-genres within romance, I prefer historical and contemporary (which I also write). My favorite stories have entertaining characters, witty banter, and lots of humor. For me, reading is like taking a vacation to the world within the pages of a book, and I want my vacation to be fun!

Jeri's book list on lively characters and witty banter

Jeri Black Why did Jeri love this book?

Loretta Chase presents a thoroughly entertaining Beauty and the Beast story in Lord of Scoundrels, book three of her Scoundrels series. Miss Jessica Trent attempts to negotiate with the Marquess of Dain in order to extract her idiot brother from Dain’s unhealthy influence. But Dain dislikes the species known as “ladies” and trusts them even less. He offers Jessica his own self-serving terms, which she roundly rejects. They’re horribly attracted to one another, which Dain refuses to acknowledge, and Jessica knows is the road to ruin. Experiencing this big, powerful, beastly man’s taming at the hands of a small, beautiful, fiercely intelligent woman is delightful. Their dialogue and banter are stellar and their constant battles a thing of beauty. Truly, one of the best Regency’s out there.  

By Loretta Chase,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lord of Scoundrels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Loretta Chase is one of romance's most beloved authors, and now that she's returned to the Avon Family, we're repackaging one of her most popular books with an updated and fresh cover that will attract old and new readers alike. Determined Lady tough-minded Jessica Trent's sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquis of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad.And when Dain's reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction. "Lord of Scounderls"…


Book cover of A Countess Below Stairs

Anna Campbell Author Of One Wicked Wish

From my list on classic historical romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved historical romance, ever since my mother gave me my first Georgette Heyer when I was eight, and my grandmother gave me my first Barbara Cartland shortly after. The fascination has never waned, which is a good thing because I grew up to become a historical romance author myself. Since publishing my first romance in 2006, I’ve written nearly 50 books, mainly set during the Regency period (first quarter of the 19th century). I’ve always adored how a good historical romance whisks me away to a larger-than-life world replete with dashing rakes, smart-mouthed ladies, and glittering high society, not to mention witty banter, glamour, and heart-stopping romance.

Anna's book list on classic historical romance

Anna Campbell Why did Anna love this book?

This is my favorite comfort read, the perfect book for days when life has too many sharp corners. I must have read this one at least twenty times. It has all the virtues of a classic fairytale: a pure-hearted, brave heroine; an honorable, steadfast hero; and a happy ending earned through suffering and effort and against all the odds. It tells the story of Countess Anna Grazinsky, a young refugee from the Russian Revolution, who finds work as a maid at a stately home in the English countryside, where she falls in love with the gallant war hero who owns the house. But the Earl of Westholme is promised to another woman. Heartwarming, triumphantly romantic, wise, and funny, A Countess Below Stairs is one of those rare books that makes the world seem a better place.  

By Eva Ibbotson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Countess Below Stairs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Eva Ibbotson's charming and warm-hearted tale, A Secret Countess was originally published as A Countess Below Stairs.

Anna, a young countess, has lived in the glittering city of St Petersburg all her life in an ice-blue palace overlooking the River Neva. But when revolution tears Russia apart, her now-penniless family is forced to flee to England. Armed with an out-of-date book on housekeeping, Anna determines to become a housemaid and she finds work at the Earl of Westerholme's crumbling but magnificent mansion. The staff and the family are sure there is something not quite right about their new maid -…


Book cover of Flowers from the Storm

Larissa Lyons Author Of A Snowlit Christmas Kiss: A Warm and Witty Winter Regency

From my list on utterly smashing historical romance with scarred or damaged heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading romance since my grandmother would sneak me “approved” books when I was twelve. I’ve always felt like I was born in the wrong century, so it makes sense that historicals would be my favorites. After experiencing some autoimmune issues, I relate to characters dealing with physical or mental challenges, and those are the books that tend to draw me in. I believe many people read to escape “real life” and its accompanying stress (I know I do!). As a writer, my goal is to bring a bit of laughter and light into someone’s life for the few hours they spend with my characters.

Larissa's book list on utterly smashing historical romance with scarred or damaged heroes

Larissa Lyons Why did Larissa love this book?

This is a book I both adore and abhor. Why would I say such a thing? Because my heart physically hurt in the reading of it.

On the surface, the confident, scientifically minded hero has everything, including a disdain for anyone “lower” than him. But when he’s felled in an instant, everything changes. He cannot communicate—at all—until the lowly daughter of a fellow numerist finds a way to break through the strange walls that now inhabit his brain…

Experiencing these two falling in love was both poignant and yet destructive to my peace of mind. This is one of those books I set down, yes for several months, because I could not bear for it to end, and I needed to fortify myself before reading through to its conclusion.

By Laura Kinsale,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Flowers from the Storm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the ′D of J′ in scandal sheets, where he and his various exploits featured with frequency. But sometimes the most womanising rake can be irresistible, and even his most casual attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms, quiet daughter of a simple mathematician.


Book cover of Inspector Hobbes and the Blood

Kim M. Watt Author Of Gobbelino London & a Scourge of Pleasantries

From my list on UK urban fantasy that aren’t set in London.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I’m from New Zealand, Europe has been home for a lot of my adult life, and that has included a lot of time in North Yorkshire. It always seems to me that there’s potential for magic around every corner, in the deep sinkholes and high fells of the Dales, or the cobbled charm of the York Shambles and the loom of the Abbey over Whitby harbour. So I do feel that the fact so many stories are set in London is a waste of so many delightfully different settings, and I make a point of hunting out as many alternatives as I can. I hope you enjoy this selection!

Kim's book list on UK urban fantasy that aren’t set in London

Kim M. Watt Why did Kim love this book?

In the depths of the Cotswolds, Andy Caplet is a small-town journalist with a disastrous career (and life). Until, that is, the mysterious Inspector Hobbes offers him a spare room and the chance to follow along on some investigations. The only problem being, none of the cases are exactly the usual sort of crime, and Inspector Hobbes is not a usual inspector. Or a usual human. These stories are just fun, goofy escapism, caught somewhere between cosy mystery and urban fantasy, and they’re pure entertainment. Andy can be a bit annoying, but Inspector Hobbes is delightful.

By Wilkie Martin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inspector Hobbes and the Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A reporter with nothing to lose. An inspector with something to hide. The Cotswolds’ newest odd couple is on the case…

Of all the journalists at his small-town paper, Andy Caplet is far and away the worst. At least he has a job. But when his latest expose on the strange and scandalous Inspector Hobbes backfires, Andy is left broke and homeless. The inspector’s offer of a spare room for a few days (or months) seems like the only option…

Andy agrees to accompany the inspector to investigate a sudden surge in crime and soon finds himself immersed in a…


Book cover of The Lodger

Miranda Rijks Author Of What She Knew

From my list on twisty British psychological thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of 17 twisty psychological thrillers, many of which are Amazon bestsellers. Most of them are set in southern England where I live. My life was tipped upside down in 2015 when I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Although I have a masters in writing and was traditionally published for non-fiction, I hadn’t been brave enough to put my fiction out in the world. Cancer changed that. I’m now a full-time author, writing about scary things that happen to ordinary people. I’m also an avid reader of thrillers and enjoy nothing more than reading a book with an ending that makes me gasp!

Miranda's book list on twisty British psychological thrillers

Miranda Rijks Why did Miranda love this book?

Set predominantly in London, this is a cracking psychological thriller about a woman who offers a room in her flat to a waitress she sees in her local coffee shop every morning. Valerie brings a realism to her books and this was a fabulous page-turner. It touches upon relationships, explores how well do we really know the people we’re closest to, and how one innocent deed can lead to a catastrophic chain of events. Valerie is another automatic buy author for me.

By Valerie Keogh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The brilliant new psychological thriller from bestseller Valerie Keogh.

'A wonderful book, I can't rate this one highly enough. If only there were ten stars, it's that good. Valerie Keogh is a master story-teller, and this is a masterful performance.' Bestselling author Anita Waller.

She's in your home...

Leigh Simon can't say for sure what made her do it. A moment of madness, perhaps, but when the young, loud and gorgeous waitress at her favorite coffee shop reveals she is homeless, Leigh offers her the empty room in her house.

In your head...

Gina is the perfect lodger; Leigh, lonely…


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