The 20 Best Steamy Historical Romance Novels Of All Time

After a long day, there is no more incredible feeling than sitting down and relaxing with a book that can take us to another realm. Readers like the chance to escape the mundane or stressful and take some time diving into visual images of beautiful fashion, dashing suitors, and the opportunity to experience true love through the characters. 

The 20 Best Steamy Historical Romance Novels Of All Time

Unfortunately, this genre is not without its stigma. Many say it’s a waste of time or that you should be reading something worthwhile. However, this genre has attracted people who have never been interested in reading and turned them into full-blown book nerds. That’s a good use of your time. 

Through this list, you’ll find that we’ve discovered books that anyone can enjoy regardless of what you usually read. So let’s dive in and see which book will become your new favorite!

A Passion Most Pure By Julie Lessman 

A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, Book 1)

A Passion Most Pure is the first book in the Boston Sisters series. It’s considered to be an edgy book set in the time of the first world war. 

Faith is secretly in love with Collin, but there’s a problem. He’s a bad man, and her father will never agree to let her marry him. Not to mention that Collin has his eyes set on another. Faith’s own sister Charity. Dealing with unrequited love is never easy, but Faith wonders if there is something she can do to thaw Collin’s heart and turn his attention to her instead. But can she honestly betray her own sister?

Mine Till Midnight By Lisa Kleypas

Mine Till Midnight

Mine Till Midnight explores inheritance, aristocracy, and the longing to return to who you truly are. 

Amelia has always tended to her younger siblings, and after their parents died and they got thrust into high society, things became far more complex. Her brother has turned to a life of partying, drugs, and worse since the death of his fiancee, and Amelia longs for nothing more than for her family to be alright. By taking charge, she keeps their family afloat. Cam Rohan owns the gambling club that her brother frequents, and she storms in demanding her brother; she ends up kissing him before leaving. Now their fates are intertwined for better or worse. 

The Lady Tempts An Heir By Harper St. George 

The Lady Tempts an Heir (The Gilded Age Heiresses Book 3)

Scandal, high teas, marital intrigue, and mystery await you inside The Lady Tempts An Heir. Follow the journey as Maxwell and Lady Helena learn to care about something more profound than themselves and attempt to save each other from ruin.

Lady Helena is a young widow and pours her time and energy into a home for young women. Society, however, doesn’t appreciate those who associate with the women and illegitimate children at the home, and Helena is distraught when her funding is ending. Enter Maxwell. He needs a wife to secure his legacy, and he needs one now. Will a fake engagement save them both? Or will fake feelings turn far too real for the pair to ignore?

Unveiled By Courtney Milan

Unveiled (Turner)

Unveiled is the first book in the Turner Series. The series takes you on a journey of opposition, legitimacy, and the characters’ societal place. 

Ash Turner has a list of accomplishments that range from bad to good. He’s stolen a dukedom from an old enemy, which is considered the most brazen offense. He’s recognized as the new heir to the Parford Manor and expects resistance when he desires to make it his. He finds lady Margaret. She lost everything including her dowry and legitimacy when Ash claimed the dukedom. With no other choice, she disguises herself as a nurse and vows to learn his weaknesses so that she can take him down. The problem is that she’s falling in love with the very man who stole everything from her. When she gets the chance to betray him, will she be able to go through with it?

Promises Linger By Sarah McCarty

Promises Linger

Elizabeth is desperate to save the ranch she loves, leaving her no choice but to marry Asa. A gunslinger with a ruthless reputation and known for being a sight for sore eyes, this isn’t the first solution she wanted to take. However, Asa dreams of having a wife, a place of his own, and the respect that goes along with those things. As such, marrying Elizabeth makes the best sense. However, he didn’t expect his new wife to be so different from what he was expecting. Can the two make this a marriage of love instead of convenience? 

Promises Linger is a story of love and hardship that you’ll read in a single sitting, unable to put it down. 

The Duke And I By Julia Quinn 

The Duke and I: Bridgerton (Bridgertons, 1)

The Duke And I is the first in a ten-book series. The Bridgerton series has become well-known and loved since its publication, and many have found it to be their favorite book. 

The first book tells the story of the fourth child Daphne. She has three older brothers and wants a husband who will love her and show her affection. However, she has yet to have much luck, and she turned down the few proposals she’s garnered. With her hopes fading and a unique opportunity presented, she agrees to pretend to be courting the Duke Of Basset, Simon. The only problem is that fake attraction seems to be melting away into natural attraction, and the lines are becoming more blurred, making Daphne wonder if this isn’t a game. 

Outlander By Diana Gabaldon

Outlander

Claire Beauchamp is a nurse in the British Army during the second world war. After being apart from her husband Frank, they decide to go on a second honeymoon to Scotland. However, fate intervenes when Claire falls back in time and encounters a clan of Scotsmen who take her captive. Upon meeting Jamie, she wonders if she’ll ever make her way home or wants to go back at all. 

A historical romance that has captured the hearts of millions worldwide, this book will have you devouring the entire series as fast as you can get your hands on them. Outlander is the first book in an ongoing ten-book series. Though some subject matter is highly intense and can be triggering, this series remains a fan favorite. 

Fool’s Paradise By Tori Phillips 

FOOL'S PARADISE (March Madness Book 9)

Lady Elizabeth is beloved by everyone, and her father only wants what’s best for her. Unfortunately for her, that means arranging a marriage to a monster. However, when Elizabeth realizes that her life might be in danger, she runs away to attempt to get to her godmother, who happens to be the queen. Upon learning that she can’t do it alone and running into a man named Tarleton, she pleads for his help and offers to pay him. Upon agreeing, he disguises her as a man and takes her on the arduous journey. Neither realizes that the danger hasn’t passed, that it might catch up to them far sooner than they think, and their budding feelings for each other might be killed before they have a chance to start. 

Fool’s Paradise is a book that will keep you reading all night because of the twists and turns. You’ll find yourself rooting for the love of two strangers that will face challenges neither expected. 

Butterfly Swords By Jeannie Lin 

Butterfly Swords (Mills & Boon Historical)

Butterfly Swords is a beautiful book about learning to trust and falling in love when you’re on the run for your life. 

In the Tang Dynasty, you’ll find luxury, elegance, deadly intrigue, betrayal, and royalty falling from grace in the worst way. One such princess was betrayed right before her wedding. Now Ai Li is trapped far from home and only has her butterfly swords for defense. Though she doesn’t wish to, she gains the protection of Ryam who has seen his fair share of war. What neither of them thought they would find was the chance to love. 

Years By LaVryle Spencer

Years

Years is a book that will take you on a journey of misunderstandings, family discontent, and a woman whose sweet disposition is too much for anyone to hate. 

Newly hired schoolteacher Linnea Bradenborg has stepped off the train in Alamo excited about the prospect of a new life. However, when she meets Teddy, who has been her pen pal for ages, he’s not happy that Linnea is a woman. Teddy is a widower with a sour disposition and a big chip on his shoulder. Because of him, everyone around Linnea is off-putting. That’s not enough to stop her heart. Will she finally get Teddy to realize that she’s not the enemy?

The Preacher’s Promise By Piper Huguley 

The Preacher's Promise: A Home to Milford College novel

The Preacher’s Promise is set in the years of the Reconstruction era and is part of the Back To Milford College series. She is a new author whose star is on the rise for the portrayal and passion of her characters. 

Amanda Stewart finds herself going head-to-head with the town mayor. The mayor, Virgil, also happens to be the town’s preacher. She ends up in Milford, Georgia, after discovering that her father had done indecent things to earn a living. Finding out that he had mysterious correspondence with a plantation in the town, she journeys there only for Virgil to tell her to leave immediately. After refusing to leave, their relationship gets contentious until Amanda discovers something that will change everything.

The Madness Of Viscount Atherbourne By Elisa Braden 

The Madness of Viscount Atherbourne (Rescued from Ruin)

Revenge is sweet, says The Madness Of Viscount Atherbourne, but is it so sweet when you could be hurting the only woman you’ve ever loved?

Life for Victoria should be perfect because that’s how it looks to everyone on the outside looking in. While her life has no drama or excitement, she feels like she’ll never do anything except be bored. Maybe that’s why she stepped out on the terrace and kissed a man she just met. A man that made her feel something for the first time. What she doesn’t know, though, is that the man is Lucien, and he has no intention of being her beloved. His only thought is to use her as revenge and leave her ruined. 

Season For Treason By Golden Angel

A Season for Treason (Deception and Discipline)

Season For Treason is a love story that races against time. Time isn’t always our friend, and when one person attempts to uncover treason, you may run out of time sooner than you think. 

Mary is on a mission to uncover a plot of treason, and many clues lead her to the Marquess, but is he truly guilty? Another issue is that she has to find a husband before the following season. While her aunt wants her to shine bright, the Marquess seems to have other ideas in mind. Would Mary make a suitable bride for someone who has the worst reputation?

To Marry And To Meddle: A Novel By Martha Waters 

To Marry and to Meddle: A Novel (3) (The Regency Vows)

To Marry And To Meddle is as humorous as it is steamy, and you’ll find that the marriage of convenience only adds to the story. 

Lady Emily’s father needs to play nicer. He’s got massive debts and the only person who wants to marry Emily is the owner of her father’s favorite gambling house. A debutante for six seasons, her prospects are looking grim. Meanwhile, a particular son of a Marquess Julian has scandalized society. He is an actor and theater owner. However, his business is not where you take the woman you love; instead, it’s the area you take the women you bed. With a marriage of convenience, Emily promotes the theater to better clientele, and Julian will help her escape from her father and those that want to hurt her. Everyone wins, right?

Romancing The Duke: Castles Ever After By Tessa Dare 

Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After (Castles Ever After, 1)

Isolde is the daughter of a famed author. Tales of brave knights saving the fair maidens were the stories she grew up with. She never doubted in her mind that romance wasn’t in the cards for her. After all, the stories had a love for every character. But as she grew older and more lonely, she began to realize that nothing that happened to the fair maidens happened to her. After all, she was twenty-six and had never been kissed. However, when she meets a rough and jaded hero, she thinks that maybe her story will change after all. 

Romancing The Duke: Castles Ever After has charming banter and a woman who wants people to take her seriously. There are sparks, sass, and a romance worth reading. 

An Extraordinary Union By Alyssa Cole 

An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League)

Ellen Burns is a free woman and has an eidetic memory. She poses as a mute and enslaved person so that she can gather intelligence for the Union. Malcolm is a Pinkerton detective posing as a soldier to spy on the family that Ellen is spying on. The two join forces when they learn that a plot could change the entire outcome of the war. But what they don’t realize is that in making one of the most significant risks they’ve ever made, they may lose each other forever. 

Alyssa Cole has written An Extraordinary Union with astonishing detail, and the story sucks you in right from the start. 

The Chief By Monica McCarty 

The Chief: A Highland Guard Novel (The Highland Guard Book 1)

Tor doesn’t want to go to war or get drawn into it. He’s dedicated to his clan and doesn’t care about anything else, including his new bride. Christina, however, is determined to believe that her husband is not as rough and mean as he seems. It’s this belief that puts them both in danger right as the war is reaching their door. Now Tor has to decide if he’ll save his wife before it’s too late and open his heart when he’s never done so. 

The Chief is an excellent option for cuddling under a blanket with a cup of cocoa and having a relaxing day. 

Night Song By Beverly Jenkins 

Night Song

Cara is a woman who believes that no soldier should be trusted or can be. So when Sergeant Chase shows up and he’s got a smile that makes her think about it long after, she knows she’s in trouble. Being near him could ruin her reputation and take away her job. So she ignores him, choosing to keep her reputation safe. But his kind words and sweet caresses make her want to believe in the chance that there could be something between them that would last forever. 

Night Song is a lovely book that encapsulates how difficult it is to trust someone but how worthwhile it can be if you choose to do so. 

Edenbrooke By Julianne Donaldson

Edenbrooke (Proper Romance)

Marianne is living with her aunt and craves wide open spaces and the country. She jumps on the chance when her sister sends her a letter to join her at her estate. Knowing her sister has a crush on a duke living there, she wants to help her gain his affection. When she makes her way home, though, she is attacked and saved by a man she doesn’t know. What makes matters worse? She’s falling in love at the estate with the last person she should.

Edenbrooke has the proper amount of humor, and sweetness and offers a compelling story that will remain on your shelves for years.

What I Did For A Duke By Julie Anne Long 

[ WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE BY LONG, JULIE ANNE](AUTHOR)PAPERBACK

Genevieve has been in love with Harry for years. He’s sweet, kind, funny, and everything she’s ever wanted. Her heart is shattered when he tells her he’s proposing to her best friend. Alex is a cold and cruel man who people have been afraid of for years, and for a good reason. When he finds Geneveive’s brother in bed with his fiancee, he vows revenge, and his sister is the target. 

What I Did For A Duke stands out in historical fiction because both characters have so much personality that makes the story so interesting. It’s worth the buy. 

Final Thoughts 

The list of books that we’ve provided will open your mind and heart to the world of historical romance and take you on adventures of true love across open seas and beautiful countries. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why Do People Like Historical Fiction So Much?

Readers like historical romances because we see people that can be like us in demeanor and thought process. In addition to this, well-written characters and a compelling story keep our attention as we learn things about periods from long ago. Not to mention meeting your soulmate while they are rescuing you or you dance under the stars is a beautiful occurrence that makes us long for the same.

Are There Benefits To Reading Books Like This?

Historical romance is considered a highly engaging genre, and when you have the right authors, you can learn a lot about the world around you. It’s based on real-time periods, and many are based on actual life events.

Who Are The Best Historical Romance Writers?

This question is subjective because everyone has their own opinion, but Diana Gabaldon and Julia Quinn are considered to be wildly popular.

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Jenifer Dale