Romantic Suspense: 20 Must-Read Authors Like Julie Garwood

Julie Garwood is a well-known fiction writer, having published more than 25 bestselling novels, the most popular of which are The Bride and its sequel The Wedding

Romantic Suspense: 20 Must-Read Authors Like Julie Garwood

Her works are best known for their deep historical lore, charming romances, and strong-headed heroines — the perfect mix of lighthearted fluff and detailed, imaginative prose. Although Julie Garwood most famously writes historical romances, she has also delved into the romantic suspense genre, which includes her most recent release Grace Under Fire

Judith McNaught 

Whitney, My Love

Judith McNaught is the beloved and bestselling author of more than a dozen popular romance novels, writing both historical and contemporary romances. 

She is often credited with popularizing the Regency Historical genre with her novel Whitney, My Love, the first in her spell-binding Westmoreland Dynasty Saga. Readers will also enjoy McNaught’s acclaimed novel Paradise, a love story of missed connections and second chances, set in the media spotlight of the 1980s. 

Lisa Kleypas

Secrets Of A Summer Night: Number 1 in series (Wallflower)

Texas-born Lisa Kleypas is widely considered to be one of America’s most cherished romance novelists, and she has been publishing novels since the ripe age of 21. 

Her five-book Wallflowers series begins with Secrets of a Summer Night, a sensual tale of ballroom romance and aristocracy. She also writes stand-alone historical romances that are perfect for a night-in, the most popular of which is Stranger in My Arms, the story of noble lady Lara Hawksworth who receives the shocking news that her long-lost husband has returned from sea. But is it really him? 

Jennifer Ashley

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

It is a rare feat to discover an author as diversely talented as Jennifer Ashley, who is known for writing in genres as varied as historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance, as well as urban fantasy and historical mystery. She also writes under the pen names Ashley Gardner and Allyson James. 

Lovers of Julie Garwood-esque historical romances will be drawn to Ashley’s The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, a highlander romance with mystery and intrigue to keep readers hooked. If you’re looking for a riveting series to get invested in, Jennifer Ashley authored the popular sixteen-book Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries series under her pen-name Ashley Gardner, the first of which is The Hanover Square Affair

Julia Quinn 

Bridgerton [TV Tie-in] (Bridgertons Book 1)

Julia Quinn quickly became a household name when her bestselling Bridgerton series was adapted into television through Netflix. Even before this rise to stardom, Julia Quinn was well-known for her engaging writing, and she is one of only sixteen members in the Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame. 

There is nowhere better to begin reading the works of Julia Quinn than with the first book in her infamous Bridgerton series, The Duke and I. Another must-read is Just Like Heaven, the first in a Bridgerton companion series that’s teeming with Regency-era hijinks and sweet, soulful romance. 

Eloisa James 

Kiss at Midnight

No one does historical accuracy paired with spicy duos quite like Eloisa James, whose expertise in writing extends from her career as an English professor to her wide range of bestselling novels. 

A Kiss at Midnight is one of Eloisa James’s most inventive regency romps, a Cinderella story with more than a few twists that kicks off a five-book Fairy Tales series. If you don’t have time for a series, check out My American Duchess, a stand-alone historical romance full of unmistakable chemistry and page-turning storytelling. 

June Kearns 

An Englishwoman's Guide to the Cowboy

If you’re looking for witty historical romances with catchy dialogue and easy-to-love characters, look no further than the up-and-coming UK-based author June Kearns. 

June Kearns dazzled readers when she emerged into the writing world with her debut Western romance, An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy. With her first novel hailed as laugh-out-loud funny, the same could be said for her next release, The 20’s Girl, the ghost, and all that jazz, a mystical flapper-era romance. Readers of these two will be clamoring to see what June Kearns has up her sleeve for next time! 

Betina Krahn 

The Enchantment (Dell Historical Romance) by Betina Krahn (2005-03-01)

Betina Krahn is the award-winning author of more than twenty historical romances, known for her sparkling stand-alone reads that take place across a variety of time periods. 

Strong heroines and Viking lore are at the heart of Krahn’s novel The Enchantment, a stand-alone medieval romance with sizzling tension between the two leads. Betina Krahn also wrote the popular Sin & Sensibility trilogy, the first of which is A Good Day to Marry a Duke, a lighthearted 19th-century love story you won’t want to miss. 

Sarah MacLean 


Beloved historical romance novelist Sarah MacLean is also a vocal advocate for romance writing across the internet, co-hosting a podcast and working as a columnist for the Washington Post and Bustle, among others. 

She has written four different historical romance series, the most recent of which is her dazzling Hell’s Belles trilogy. Kicking off with Bombshell, the trilogy is fiercely feminist and full of flirtatious one-liners, following the scandalous Lady Sesily Talbot and her love interest Caleb Calhoun. 

Sherry Thomas 

A Study In Scarlet Women (The Lady Sherlock Series)

Multi-genre author Sherry Thomas is best known for her award-winning historical romances, while also dabbling in young adult fantasies with her recent Elemental Trilogy. 

Readers looking for a Julie Garwood-esque blend of historical mystery and romance should check out Thomas’s seven-book Lady Sherlock series, beginning with A Study in Scarlet Women. For something equally page-turning with a little more spice, check out The Luckiest Lady in London, the first in a historical trilogy of mysterious secrets and unexpected passion. 

Diana Gabaldon


No list of historical romance authors is complete without including Diana Gabaldon, the worldwide bestselling author with a cult following and legions of dedicated fans. 

Diana Gabaldon is best known for Outlander, the first in a series of nine that has been adapted into a hit television series. With nine lengthy novels, as well as companion novels and novellas, readers who delve into Gabaldon’s series based in the Scottish Highlands will have a plethora of great literature to choose from. 

Teresa Medeiros 

Charming the Prince (Once Upon a Time Book 1)

Teresa Medeiros is a beloved romance fiction author, with a track record so impressive it will leave you wondering if there are any literary awards she hasn’t won! 

Set in Medieval England and full of fun banter is Medeiros’s Charming the Prince, an unputdownable whirlwind romance full of fairy tale allure. For even more feel-good reading pleasure, The Devil Wears Plaid is the first in a five-book series following a seductive enemies-to-lovers romance.

Jude Deveraux 

The Black Lyon

With forty-three New York Times bestsellers behind her and more novels on the way, Jude Devereaux is an author who has stood the test of time. She writes historical and contemporary romances that keep readers hooked from the first page to the last. 

If you’re looking to commit to a series, check out The Black Lyon, the first in a fifteen-book series of love, lords, and ladies. For more of a quick read, check out Sweetbriar, a stand-alone romance with all of Deveraux’s signature charm in one sweet western package. 

Jill Barnett


No author can transport their readers back in time quite like Jill Barnett, the critically acclaimed author of numerous scintillating romances that keep readers coming back for more. 

Speaking of being transported back in time, Barnett’s novel Bewitching is pure regency gold, following the love story between a wealthy duke and his sudden wife who has a secret that’s going to rock his world forever. You’ll also want to check out its sequel, Dreaming, which follows a new romantic duo in the same sparkling 19th-century setting. 

Catherine Coulter 

The Strange Visitation at Wolffe Hall (Kindle Single) (Grayson Sherbrooke's Otherworldly Adventures Book 1)

Catherine Coulter established herself as an impressive writer of numerous historical romances, before diving headfirst into the romantic suspense genre, which she unquestionably conquered. Coulter’s dedicated readers can speak to her fast-paced and funny storytelling, making her books ones you’ll want to put on the re-read shelf once you’ve finished them the first time! 

Although it’s hard to go wrong with anything by Catherine Coulter, a great place to start is The Strange Visitation at Wolffe Hall, a historical mystery with elements of the paranormal and a slow-burn romance on the side. Readers who are looking for something more contemporary should delve into her wildly popular FBI thriller series, which kicks off with The Cove. No matter what you choose, you won’t be disappointed! 

Stephanie Laurens 

Devil's Bride: A Cynster Novel (Cynster Novels, 1)

Scientist-turned-author Stephanie Laurens writes must-read romances set during the British Regency, and teeming with characters you’ll fall head over heels for along the way! 

She is best known for her fifteen-book Cynster series, the first of which is Devil’s Bride, a sensual tale of unexpected pairings and the pressures of royalty. Laurens also wrote many lovable solo novels, including charming historical fiction The Lady Risks All which follows prim and proper Miranda Clifford and her notorious suitor Neville Roscoe. 

Mary Balogh 

Remember Love

Raised in Wales and now living in Canada, Mary Balogh has authored over thirty-five New York Times bestsellers, most of which are enchanting historical romances. 

Balogh’s most recent work, Remember Love, is a must-read Regency romance of long-lost love, war heroes, and a lavish estate you’ll be dying to visit. Its sequel, Remember Me, is still awaiting a release date of June 20, 2023, so readers will have something to look forward to once they finish the first! 

Johanna Lindsey 

[Fires of Winter] [by: Johanna Lindsey]

Popular writer of numerous well-loved romance books, Johanna Lindsey is a writing force to be reckoned with, from wild historical romps to charming homey romances. 

For the perfect combination of historic adventure and intense romance, check out Fires of Winter, a Viking-inspired romance that’s equal parts sweetness and spice. Readers will also enjoy The Heir, a passionate highland romance that kicks off an exciting four-book series. 

Shana Galen 

Third Son's a Charm (The Survivors Book 1)

Flirtatious and adventurous, Shana Galen’s writing is a true gem in the historical romance genre, full of beloved heroines and dashing heroes. 

Her fan-favorite Survivors series debuts with Third Son’s a Charm, a bright and romantic regency romp with twists, turns, and titillating romance. In the vein of Julie Garwood’s latest romantic suspense writing, Shana Galen also delves into the suspense genre with When Dashing Met Danger, a romance between a proper young lady and a spy with a no-good reputation. 

Laura Lee Guhrke

Conor's Way

Idaho native Laura Lee Guhrke dabbled in many careers before landing on writing, and now the literary community has an array of thrilling historical romances to show for it. Guhrke is still releasing her writing to this day, so readers will have new works to anticipate as they dive into her expanding bibliography. 

Her stand-alone historical romance Conor’s Way won the RITA award in 1997 for the best romantic fiction, and it’s easy to see why: from tempestuous pasts to well-written characters, and a love story everyone is bound to be rooting for. For a more light-hearted read, check out And Then He Kissed Her, the first in the four-book Girl Bachelors series that’s full of sizzling chemistry and Victorian charm.

Christina Dodd 

That Scandalous Evening: Governess Brides #1 (The Governess Brides)

Starting her writing career with historical romance, and now topping the charts with her thrilling suspense novels, Christina Todd is a multi-faceted author who can write just about anything and make you fall in love with it. 

If you’re looking for historical romance, Dodd’s bestselling Governess Brides series kicks off with That Scandalous Evening, a steamy story that begins with an untimely nude sculpture and spans decades of longing. Readers who prefer action-packed suspense to slow-burn romances will enjoy Point Last Seen, a thriller steeped in mysterious pasts, dark secrets, and memories that are better left forgotten. 


Is there a sequel to The Bride by Julie Garwood?

Yes, there is a sequel to Julie Garwood’s The Bride, entitled The Wedding.

Is author Julie Garwood still alive?

Yes, the author Julie Garwood is alive and remains active on many of her social media pages. She loves interacting with her fans!

Who writes like Julie Garwood?

If you’re looking for authors who write like Julie Garwood, the above list has twenty great options, all of which write great stories of charm, wit, and romance.

What kind of author is Julie Garwood?

Julie Garwood is primarily a romance novelist, writing both historical romances and suspense romances.

What is the new release by Julie Garwood?

Julie Garwood’s most recent release is Grace Under Fire, a fast-paced contemporary suspense novel with a heavy dash of romance.

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Layla Hughes