Historical romantic fiction has been a total mainstay in the world of modern literature for some time, and this is partly thanks to its incredible world-building, and the ability of the genre’s best authors to create full-realized characters living in complex kingdoms and create complex political intrigue that interweaves with passionate and heart-rending romance.
Karen Robards’ immensely popular Banning Sisters trilogy has totally revolutionized the world of historical romantic fiction.
The trilogy follows the exploits of the titular Banning sisters, as they navigate romance and politics with a deft balance in Regency England.
The series sees its conclusion in the form of Shameless, the final novel in the popular series, which depicts Elizabeth, the youngest of the siblings, and easily the most headstrong.
When she thwarts the plans of an assassin sent to harm someone close to her, she soon finds her life quickly intertwined with his.
What starts as complete ambivalence towards one another slowly blossoms into a romance that neither of them expected…
No doubt, you found yourself totally in love with this story of unlikely lovers, and now you are on the hunt for similar novels that can satisfy your craving for historical romance. Books like The Marquess Is Mine, and A Deal With The Earl. Luckily, you have come to the right place, and we have put together this list of the very best!
Themes In Shameless
One of the central themes that creates the beating heart behind Shameless is romance.
The novel is not just satisfied to create a simple romance between its central figures but instead takes its time developing its characters.
Throughout the novel, we see the two central characters bounce off of one another, first starting off as polar opposites, but over time beginning to see some of their shared similarities.
As the novel moves further and further onward, we begin to see them open up and develop a love for one another.
This novel will have you believing in true love, and how it can blossom from the most unexpected of places between the most unexpected of people.
Another theme explored in the novel is, of course, that of sisterhood and family.
Being that this is the third part in a trilogy about a group of sisters, this third part explores how Elizabeth relates to her other sisters and the kind of bond that they share.
Despite clearly being the more headstrong of the sisters, Elizabeth has a clear and tangible love for her siblings, and this is made clear throughout the course of the novel.
As the novel goes on, the bond that Elizabeth shares with her siblings becomes more and more clear, as she contends with her feelings for Neil Severin, and how those feelings may clash with the bond she has with her sisters.
Finally, the novel also contends with ideas of duty and responsibility.
Being that the Banning sisters are important figures within their family, part of the novel sees the sisters grappling with their identities and the responsibilities they are beholden to as nobility.
Books Like Shameless By Karen Robards
The Marquess Is Mine (By Tamara Gill)
This immensely popular and acclaimed novel, from author Tamara Gill, follows Lady Sarah Farley, as she explores her feelings towards the handsome stranger that has walked into her life.
But this isn’t just any stranger, this is a man she shares a deep and complex relationship with!
Sarah Farley has lived a very complex life, as a lady of nobility, and in her time she has learned a number of valuable lessons that have allowed her to keep her heart intact and her emotions in check.
But when Lord Giles Longe walks back into her life, after previously breaking her heart years before, and promises to love her as she once wished to be loved, she must contend with the emotions that threaten to flood back and overcome her.
How will Lady Sarah deal with these complex emotions, maintain her composure, and see herself through?
It’s incredibly exciting to read, and the pacing is so perfect, as it allows you to fully absorb the dynamics of their relationship, to allow every moment and every revelation to hit with its full power.
We absolutely loved reading through it, and we couldn’t help but read through it in next to no time at all!
- Features incredibly realized characters.
- Part of a larger series, making for great long-form reading.
- As the final part of its series, some side characters and dynamics may seem confusing to anyone starting with this novel. However, it is a self-contained story regardless of this.
Themes: Nobility, Family, Love, Romance, Past, Present, Future, Atonement, Forgiveness.
A Duke Of A Time (By Tamara Gill)
Since Tamara Gill is such a master of prose in the realm of historical romance, we simply could not resist the opportunity to recommend her masterful novel A Duke Of A Time on this list.
The story of this novel follows Greyson Everett, soon to be the Duke of Derby, who suddenly finds himself cast out of the family, and sent to work in the country by his Father, as repentance for his actions and his rebellious ways.
While working in the country, living as a common person, he soon encounters Hailey Woodville, one of the many hands that carry out the chores on her father’s estate.
However, she is quickly displeased by the Duke’s terrible work ethic and finds herself needing to whip him into shape. However, Hailey finds herself drawn to the Duke’s charm and unable to resist her attraction to him.
But how will the blossoming romance between the two affect the estate and their own families?
- The first part of an ongoing series of books.
- The central romance has a level of humor to it.
- Incredibly short at under 200 pages.
Themes: Family, Nobility, Repentance, Forgiveness, Labor, Work.
A Deal With The Earl (By Sadie Bosque)
Historical romance very often touches on the topic of arranged marriages, and this is fertile ground for creating truly fascinating and engaging romantic stories with a dramatic and personal element with real stakes.
This story explores Lady Julie, a woman forced by her father to marry an earl, to further the power of the family. However, Lady Julie has her sights set on marrying her childhood sweetheart. But things are not so simple.
Julie feels a sense of duty to her family and understands the impact that marrying the earl could have, so the story follows her dramatic choice between following her heart, or following her mind.
It is very fascinating to read as Julie grapples with these questions, and the book is able to really dive into her character to provide some fascinating insight you may not get anywhere else.
We strongly recommend giving it a try for yourself, as it is incredibly fascinating and gripping.
- Part 1 of a larger series of historical romance novels. If you enjoy this novel, you will easily enjoy all of the subsequent ones!
- One of the longer entries on this list.
Themes: Family, Responsibility, Nobility, Honor, Morality, Love, Romance.
To Wrap Up
Have you been scouring the internet for hours in hopes of finding the perfect novel to satisfy your craving for more action similar to Shameless by Karen Robards?
Of course, you have! It’s an incredible novel that is almost totally beyond comparison. However, we truly believe that these three fantastic novels can easily satisfy fans of historical romance fiction (If you like books with historical fiction and romance aspects, check out Books Like The Sworn Virgin).
They have masterfully crafted works that will have your heart aflutter from their sheer mastery of romance.
Each of these novels explores similar themes and ideas as Shameless, such as nobility, true love, and romance.
They explore how love can blossom from even the most unexpected of places, and how even in more repressive time periods true love will always prevail and come out on top.
Despite sharing so much of their DNA with Shameless, these novels all have their own unique identities, which makes them each worth trying out in their own right.
You won’t ever find yourself bored while reading through these novels, and you will quickly find your craving for romance quelled in no time at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Karen Robards Still Writing Books?
Absolutely! Karen Robards, born in 1954, continues to sell best-selling novels that sell incredibly well, cover a diverse number of topics, and fit into a diverse range of genres, like romance, historical fiction, and even thrillers.
Who Writes Like Linda Howard?
If you are a fan of the works of Linda Howard, then you should definitely check out works from authors such as Julie Garwood, Diana Palmer, and Lori Foster. Each of these authors creates works that are very similar to work by Linda Howard!
Will There Be Another Claire DeWitt book?
Though Claire DeWitt’s novels take a considerably long time to write, the author has confirmed that more novels are in the pipeline, but it may be a while before they are ready.
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