Top Ten Historical Romance Authors

My Recommendations

Of course there are a host of other great authors I feel sorry I could not add here but these ten are the most read and most critically acclaimed. There is also a wide variety of authors with different styles to suit any reader.

1) Mary Balogh

Regency Romance

Mary Balogh

The person most commonly associated with historical romance mainly due to her more traditional style Regency romances and her witty, subdued style reminiscent of Jane Austen.

She’s been around since the 1980’s and continues to go strong wow-ing her large fanbase with her emotionally stirring, character-driven romances. She has several series to her name including the famous Slightly series and more recently the Huxtable series.

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

Less sexual romances, Jane Austen style conservative romances, and don’t mind romances with little action

Read her reviews on this site

***

2) Sarah MacLean

Regency Romance

Sarah MacLean

New on the scene just 2 years ago, MacLean has already become one of  the genre’s leading stars-who can forget her phenomenal debut Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake?

MacLean has a unique fast paced style that draws the reader in and her romances take traditional plots and turn them on their heads; her romances always feel fresh.

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

Sensual, spicy, tension filled romances that are fast-paced and slightly nontraditional.

Read her reviews on this site

***

3) Loretta Chase

Regency and Victorian Romance

Loretta Chase

Another historical romance veteran, Loretta has been entertaining readers with her quick witted heroes and heroines and her fast paced, sensual, slightly nontraditional plots. Her books are also brilliant because of all the historical facts and situations she bases her plots on.

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

Witty characters, lots of yummy sexual tension, and some proper history thrown in!

Read her reviews on this site

***

4) Celeste Bradley

Regency Romance

Celeste Bradley

Celeste first burst on the scene with her debut novel Fallen which she wrote without having any previous writing practice! She had since then gone on to write 4 more series and is still going strong.

She offers something unusual in her writing style and has a way of drawing you in until you almost become the characters. I love her ability to create romances that are brimming with great sexual tension but realistically you can see how perfect they are for each other. She’s also wickedly funny and her humor hinges alot on the naughty.

Her Runaway Brides series is highly recommended.

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

Naughty and witty humor, emotionally charged romances, fast-paced reads, very nontraditional romances.

Read her reviews on this site

***

5) Julia Quinn

Regency Romance

Julia Quinn

Another very well known name in historical romance-she is considered by many to be the modern day queen of Regency romances and a modern day Jane Austen, thanks to her clever and witty writing style. Not as traditional as Mary Balogh but not too risque either.

Best well known for her Bridgerton series which launched her into fame.

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

Jane Austen’s wit, funny, light frothy reads

Read her reviews on this site

***

6) Eloisa James

Georgian and Regency Romance

Eloisa James

Another historical romance favourite, Eloisa James writes romance that are witty and funny just like Julia Quinn but slightly darker and more poignant. Her Georgian series Desperate Duchesses has won alot of awards and offers a great glimpse into this surprisingly naughty time. Her Fairy Tale adaptations are also highly recommended.

She also writes a great column monthly for Barnes and Noble reviewing new romances. Check that out here.

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

Witty, funny romances that touch you deeply emotionally

Read her reviews on this site

***

7) Anna Campbell

Late Regency Romance

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If dark, tortured heroes are your thing, than Anna Campbell is for you. Known as the queen of ‘Regency Noir’ Anna writes dark, gloomy romances where the road to true love is never easy but it often ends up being the salvation of the romantic leads. Anna writes with such exquisite detail you can almost taste the air the characters are breathing!

Sensuality wise, her books are very steamy and erotic and are definitely not for the timid readers. Untouched and Captive of Sin are recommended.

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

More erotic romances, darker romances, lots of angst

Read her reviews on this site

***

8) Anne Gracie

Regency Romance

Anne Gracie

Those who love romances where there is slow but tension filled development of romance between characters will love Anne Gracie’s deeply emotional books. She has the remarkable ability to take a classic romantic trope and give it a fresh twist with her lovable characters and her well developed romances. You can’t help but fall in love with their love story and there’s no better achievement for a romance writer.

Try the Devil Riders series-you won’t resist these dashing heroes!

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

Great emotional connection development between hero and heroine, subtly witty plots, well rounded realistic characters

Read her reviews on this site

***

9) Delilah Marvelle

Late Regency Romance

Delilah Marvelle

I loved Delilah since her very first book was published years ago and she just keeps getting better! Delilah loves finding obscure interesting historical details and adding them into into her novels to make for fresh and sexy reads! Be warned, her books are very steamy and her characters are quite advanced in terms of sexual thinking ;) She also has a wickedly funny sense of humor! But they are also wonderfully romantic and just have a way of drawing you into her world.

She also has a brilliant blog (A Bit O’ Muslin) on little known facts about sex throughout history, posted on the first day of every month. Learn the origins of the dildo, how the vibrator was invented, and how the clitoris was discovered. Lots of fun to read! Click here to view!

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

Discovering new historical facts, steamy reads

Read her reviews on this site

***

10) Tessa Dare

Regency Romance

Tessa Dare

Similar in style to Julia Quinn, Tessa is another writer who writes funny, witty novels which are sure to put the reader in a great,warm mood and to liven up a gloomy afternoon. Her characters are so well rounded and her plots always sure to bring a chuckle or two. Don’t start one her books at night! They are so addictive you may read till morning!

And her three series are all highly recommended! Her funny, witty writing style is simply a joy to read!

TRY IF YOU LIKE:

Witty humor, funny plots, great tension

Read her reviews on this site

***

Hope you enjoyed this list! Bear in mind there are load of other great authors out there to explore and I’ve just given a teaser of what you can expect to read in this brilliant genre! ;)

Other great names to research:

Courtney Milan

Julie Anne Long

Gaelen Foley

Katharine Ashe

Lorraine Heath

Elizabeth Hoyt

Stephanie Laurens

Sophia Nash

Maya Rodale

Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM  Comments (83)  
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83 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great list and all are on my “favorite author” list!

  2. Amazing list–all these writers are tremendous and there are very few of their books I didn’t like. In fact, I’m in a re-reading phase right now; just finished the Essex Sisters quartet by Eloisa James and am on to Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea by Sophia Nashto refresh my memory for when The Duke Diaries comes out next week!

  3. Very nice list. I particularly liked your brief analysis of each author. Maybe I would have put some of the others in the top 10, but hey, we all have opinions. My only favorite that is missing is Sherry Thomas.

    • Love love love Tessa and Delilah. and you’re right–Sherry Thomas is flat out amazing.

  4. There are so many wonderful authors out there and all of these in your list are many of my favorites. One missing is Karen Ranney. She has written so many fabulous novels over the years and they simply keep getting better and better. If you’ve never read her work, do yourself a favor and check her out. Her novels are wonderful!

    • You’re right, Connie. She’s great.

    • Which one of Karen Ranney books would you recommend? I think i have a few floating around here but then i have a lots of book lol.

  5. Wonderful list. I tweeted.

  6. […] Top Ten Historical Romance Authors (romanceaddict91.wordpress.com) […]

  7. Lots of new authors to keep me entertained through the dark, wet, winter nights to come.Thank you for the intriguing and inspiring introduction to so many titles and writers. I have tweeted your site. Myfanwy (www.historicalnovelsociety.org and http://www.myfanwycook.com)

  8. Wondering why Johanna Lindsey or Karen Robards were not mentioned. I find their books good reading and very entertaining but I also have read many of the authors you mentioned are your favorites. Love your website it gives me many excellent suggestions for new authors to begin reading. I think most authors have their own unique style that makes them stand out from the others. Karen Robards I would call her books a train wreck but I love them. The Heroine gets into a lot of trouble and scrapes and when you think everything will be okay, it gets worse, and it gets worse sometimes until the very end. HaHa Thank you!

    • I love those authors as well.

  9. All of them are my favorites. Only Lisa Kleypas is not mentioned.

    • Can’t believe you left out LISA KLEYPAS!!!!!

  10. this list is almost perfect the one author it is missing is jennifer ashley,she is the best historical author out there.you should check her out.

    • Yes my fav in The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie….thats what got me first hooked on her.

      • Amazing story, one of my favorites ever.

  11. Where is Lisa Kleypas?

    • ikr..I was thinking the same thing! Cause there’s no way I’m gonna talk historical novels without Lisa kleypas

      • Yep..my thoughts exactly. Jill Barnett…she’s awesome, though she hasn’t written historical romance lately.

  12. Wonderful list. However I am looking for a specific book, which I lost. It was published in the 1990s, it had to do with a Duke who was a widower with, believe or not, had four sets of identical twins. I also remember that the Duke was working for the English Crown as a spy. Can you help? I would really like to obtain it again. It really does not matter which format. Thank you

    • This may be it..
      The Bedeviled Duke
      by Judith A. Lansdowne

  13. hi , i agree a great list add lorriane heath and it would be perfect. I would appreciate help in tracing a historical/regency . Hi read this historical a few months back where girl already engaged to an earl. But a duke becomes attracted to her and tried convincing her to break off. She keeps resisting. Duke invites her to a party where he arranges for his mother to discover them in a compromising position. Just before the set up scene the h walks in on the earl abusing a maid sexually and the earl tries to attack girl too so she is compromised and forced to marry earl for money i think. but duke comes to rescue and marries girl next day. i have searched the net and gone through hundreds of blurbs but still cant find please help. tia

    • all i know about that plot is that its a book by Jude deverauv

  14. Where is Jess Michael and Lisa Kleypas some of my all time favorites..

  15. When you put Mary Balogh at the top, I knew you might have a list worth reviewing! She’s the best! Lisa Kleypas would NOT make my list – too raunchy. I look forward to researching your other listed authors.

  16. Julie Klassen is superb.

  17. Brenda Joyce, Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsey are also great authors.

    • I forgot to mention Julie Garwood. She’s also one of my favorites.

  18. Judith Mcnaught, Julie Garwood, Brenda Joyce, Johanna Lindsey. I was surprised to not see their names.

    • I agree with this list.

    • I was just thinking those same exact authors. (Well Garwood & McNaught). I think maybe because they haven’t put out new historical’s in years? Much to my dismay…to me they are THE BEST.

      • I agree, but especially Judith McNaught. Does anyone know what happened to her?

  19. You needed to include Lisa Kleypas as she is amazing and really talented as a writer, a lot of writers start writing similar stories where only tje characters names change, Lisa Kleypas never dissapoints in her stories.

  20. What about Stephanie Laurens? Her Cynster series is well worth a read.

  21. Mary Jo Putney! While she does not write only regency romances she began writing Signet regencies about the time Mary Balogh began. She currently has the “Lost Lord’ series. She is always entertaining and seldom disappoints. I, also, vote for Lisa Kleypas! I never feel as if I’ve read it before.

  22. What about Judith Mcnaught and Julie Garwood???

  23. Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Suzanne Enoch and Stephanie Laurens should be on the list too.

    • Those are four of the five names I was going to suggest (although to be fair Stephanie Laurens is in the list at the end of the top ten.

  24. Stephanie Laurens and Grace Burrowes should be on the list

    • Yes, yes, yes!

  25. Reblogged this on The Authoress…Who's Black! and commented:
    Lovely list.

  26. Oops see Stephanie there at the end. Still needs the other three.

  27. Reblogged this on My Book Addiction and More! and commented:
    Is your favorite author on this list?? Who would you add ?
    Me I would add: Sue-Ellen Welfonder ( Scottish) Victoria Roberts (Scottish), Jess Michaels, Bronwen Evans, Christa English, Cara Elliott, Victoria Vane, Madeline Hunter, Katharine Ash, Vanessa Kelly, Jade Lee, Marylu Tyndale, and Jennifer Hudson Taylor…

  28. Love Jade Lee!

  29. Wonderful list, I have read books from them all even the ones you mentioned at the bottom. However my very favorite historical romance author is not mentioned Rose Gordon!

  30. I still love Kathleen E. Wodiwiss!

    • My absolute favorite!

  31. Every name on the list even the additional names are on my must read author’s list

  32. I am still a big fan of Constance O’Day Flannery. She writes a terrific, and timeless, time travel romance.

  33. Jude Deveraux is my all time favorite and the Straton family saga from Johanna Lyndsey hands down must reads can’t put down.

  34. and don’t forget Amanda Quick!!

  35. Whoops — agree with all your choices but where is the fabulous Joanna Bourne, Jo Beverley, Eileen Dreyer and the aforementioned Grace Burrowes and Julie Anne Long. Need a bigger list!! (And Diana Gabaldon is a category unto herself.)

  36. CARLA KELLY. Absolutely! She and Mary are my favorites.

  37. What about Carla Kelly?

  38. First off…why has no one mentioned CARLA KELLY? She is out-of-this-world amazing. Also, it seems that the only historical time period represented is Regency (with a smattering of Georgian and Victorian). My list would include (in no special order):

    Because they are all about developing the characters:
    Mary Balogh
    Carla Kelly
    Courtney Milan
    Diane Farr
    Elisabeth Fairchild

    Because they are funny/Regency version of chick lit:
    Julia Quinn
    Sarah Maclean
    Celeste Bradley

    Because she writes well enough to make me not mind the time travel part (I hate time travel, so that’s a big accomplishment)
    Lynn Kurland

    Because I enjoy her writing, period. She’s a Christian author, but I don’t find her books preachy.
    Julie Klassen

  39. Where is the superlative Sherry Thomas, Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Hoyt?!

  40. I think you should re-title the list “Regency Authors”. You’ve missed some greats but they don’t write Regencies.

    • My sentiments exactly. Historical is so much more than Regency.

  41. Mary Jo Putney and Lisa Kleypas would make my top-10 list.

  42. Glad I found this list! Looking forward to checking out some of these authors, most of which are new to me.

  43. I have some or all of their books even the others

  44. Sorry but you missed one of the very best, who should have been number 1 on this list. KATHLEEN WOODIWISS I miss her books everyday, we lost a great author way too early! Oh just saw above about Regency’s have no idea what that means, and whether or not she did, so there you go! Congrats to all there are so many amazing authors, and I’m just glad there are because it just gives us more and more great books to read. xoxo

  45. I GUESS MY AGE IS SHOWING BUT ROBERTA GELLIS WOULD BE ON THE TOP OF MY LIST. ALL THE OTHERS MENTIONED WOULD BE GRACIOUSLY WELCOMED.

  46. I would add Grace Burrowes, Shana Galen, Julianne MacLean….But I love this list.

  47. Great list! For me personally I would add Lisa Kleypas and Elizabeth Boyle. So hard to narrow it down to 10 though. Fantastic post! Love all the authors you listed.

  48. I give you a ton of credit for compiling such a spot on list. With so many stellar authors out there it is daunting, at best, to come up with 25 and not miss someone here or there but TEN! As I said, spot on. Wonderful honorable mentions and, yes, Lisa Kleypas and any number of the others mentioned here would be awesome to see listed, as well. Thanks.

  49. This will be very useful for anyone just getting into Regencies. The big omission for me is Joanna Bourne, who I think is one of the very best writers of historical fiction. Maybe you don’t consider her books to be romances? There is a great deal in her books, but they are also romances.

  50. Have you read MAY 1812 or OF HONEST FAME by M.M. BENNETTS? They are heavy on the historical but the romance is wonderful too!

  51. […] what to read next in historical (especially Regency) romance? I stumbled across this fabulous Top Ten list from the Historical Romance Addicts blog, full of my favorites (Mary Balogh, Julia Quinn, Eloisa […]

  52. How is Lisa Kleypas not on the list??? She and Quinn are definitely my top two!!

  53. Can someone tell me the difference between historical and regency? I know regency is a time period but would it not still fall under the category “historical”?

  54. FANTASTIC LIST!!!

  55. Wow, it’s a fantastic list; I’ve read and loved all their books, but I would definitely add Lisa Kleypas, Karen Hawkins, Grace Burrowes, and many more mentioned by the ladies above,

  56. I would add Samantha Kane as an erotic-historical author, as well.

  57. what about Madeline Hunter, Lisa kleypas and Sherry Thomas?

  58. The late Kathleen E. Woodiwiss – the Queen of Historical Romances. I am now re-re-reading all of her books!!

  59. I also love Teresa Medeiros, Elizabeth Hoyt, and Suzanne Enoch. So many terrific Authors…so little time…

  60. awesome post!!! thank you so so much!! now I can jump into more historical romance <3

  61. Mary Balogh is rightly #1 on this list. I have collected and read every one of her books–so enough said. There is one author not on the list that, to me, could be the equal of Mary Balogh, although she is not as prolific writer as Mary Balogh, and that author’s name is Laura Kinsale. I have read hundreds of historical romances–the only genre I read–and her novel “Flowers from the Storm” is the very best well-written historical romance novel that I have EVER read. Her writing style is superb, very literary, and she creates characters who are unforgettable, long after finishing the book. Laura Kinsale draws us into her story line and carries us along one of the most unusual plots I’ve ever read. I did something with this novel that I’ve never done before. As soon as I finished reading it and contemplating it for a few minutes, while allowing my tears to dry, I then turned to the first page and began reading it all over again. Then I had to buy all of her other books and read them. WOW. If you have never read one of her books, I suggest you start with the amazing “Flowers from the Storm.”

    • I totally agree regarding Laura Kinsale. Miss Kinsale is tops in the historical romance field. Flowers from the Storm is the best historical romance I have ever read. I have read everything she has written. Most of her books can be read over and over. I love Mary Balogh too and I have read most of her books. You must check out M.M.Bennetts the author of May 1812 and Of Honest Fame. I am patiently waiting for the sequel to Of Honest Fame!

  62. A few more that I did not see on the list and maybe they don’t fit the criteria that your readers like but I started reading these authors in the late 1970’s and still love them: Bertrice Small, Rosemary Rogers, Laurie McBain, Catherine Coulter, Shana Carrol , Valerie Vayle and Shirlee Bushbee. Awesome, awesome authors as well.

  63. I enjoy Kasey Michaels, especially “Romney Marsh” series. Thanks for the suggestions.


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