If you are at all familiar with romance novels, then you might have already heard the name Nora Roberts.
She is a bestselling author with over 240 novels under her belt.
Her books have sold millions across the globe and she has topped the bestseller list numerous times.
But with an author this prolific, it is hard to know where to start.
Her books are known for their intrigue and betrayal, as well as the occasional dip into the magical and the fantastical.
Even though she deals in romance, her novels encompass far more than that.
So, what are the best Nora Roberts books? Where should a beginner to the Nora Roberts bibliography begin?
What series of books has she published?
Well, I’m going to give you 15 of her best books, covering all genres, as well as picking out the best places I think you should start.
15 Best Nora Roberts Books
A wedding day is the ideal setting for a turbulent romance novel and ‘Savor the Moment’ is one of Nora Roberts’ best.
This story follows Laurel McBane, a wedding planner who works with her best friends, and has a long-standing crush on one of their brothers.
After sharing a passionate kiss with him, her world is turned upside down as she tries to conquer her tempestuous mood.
This is a modern romance book and the third book in the Bride Quartet series, which focuses on each friend as they find love.
This novel has thousands of positive reviews on Amazon and hit the top of the New York Times Bestseller list as soon as it was released.
A lot of reviewers have commented that there were plenty of moments in this novel that made them laugh out loud as well as cry.
This is a great novel that you can get for someone who has just gotten married, as they will be able to identify with a lot of the themes in Savor The Moment.
You can also take it on vacation with you, as the sunny setting is the perfect backdrop for your beach reading.
- A great introduction to Nora Roberts.
- A gripping narrative with plenty of twists and turns.
- A number 1 bestseller.
- The perfect gift for anyone getting married.
- Some readers have said that the plot lacks any excitement.
Next up, we have a sprawling story that spans generations.
Dark Witch is set in County Mayo in Ireland and follows Iona Sheehan who goes back to her roots at the direction of her maternal grandmother who uses her natural gift with horses to work on a family farm.
This is where she finds love in the form of Boyle McGrath, who is a cowboy, wild horseman, and pirate, all of the things that Iona finds irresistible.
But can she overcome a family curse, settle down in Ireland and tame the reckless Boyle in her search for true love?
This novel is the first in the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy which includes the novels Shadow Spell and Blood Magick.
This is a great novel for those who like to mix their romance with a little touch of fantasy.
This is a great gift for anyone you know who prefers the supernatural.
If you like your narratives to be placed in a realistic setting, then this is a great novel.
It is steeped in Irish history, all of which has been painstakingly researched by Roberts, providing a brooding backdrop to the main story.
- For fans of romance and fantasy.
- A dark narrative with elements of hope and love.
- Good for those already familiar with Nora Roberts.
- An exciting novel with magical twists.
- Might not appeal to Nora Roberts newbies.
This is another one in the Bridal Quartet, featuring a bunch of friends that run their own wedding planning company that finds love one by one.
In this installment, the narrative focuses on Parker who is having an issue: she can organize the love lives of others, but when it comes to her own, she’s left without direction.
Then she meets the mechanic Malcolm, who is risky and manages to set Parker’s heart in a whirl.
But will she throw it all on the line in her personal life?
This is another bestseller and the final chapter in a series of amazing romance books.
However, make sure that you don’t read this one first.
The Quartet begins with Vision In White, Bed Of Roses, and Savor The Moment, so make sure to save this one until the end to get the most out of the story.
This could be a gift for someone who is a more senior reader or even a younger female who is looking to transition from young adult fiction into something a little more grown-up.
This will certainly appeal to anyone who likes a happy ending to their romance novels.
- Thousands of positive reviews on Amazon.
- A tale that is filled with love and romance.
- A New York Times number 1 bestseller.
- Great for those already acquainted with Nora Roberts.
- Might not be the best place to start with Nora Roberts.
Now, this is a novel for people who like to mingle the romantic with the supernatural.
This is the first in the key trilogy and involves plenty of mystery, murder, and intrigue.
This is a tale of two women who must uncover 2 keys so they can gain a huge payout.
When Malory Price loses her job, her life comes crashing down around her.
However, when she and two other women receive a mysterious invitation to a cocktail party at Warrior’s Creek, her life is going to change forever.
This book soared up the bestseller list when it was released and has gained thousands of great reviews.
However, it is something a little different from what a lot of readers of Nora Roberts are expecting.
Make sure that you are a fan of fantasy before reading this novel.
This book has elements of the mystery genre, which is great if you are looking for a little thrill in between love and friendship.
As this is a book about female empowerment, you might want to get this for a younger female reader.
- An easy read, great for casual readers.
- A good entry into Nora Robert’s more mystical side.
- Thousands of great ratings.
- First in the Key trilogy.
- If you do not like magical elements, steer clear of this one.
Now we have another one from the Bridal Quartet, this time the second installment, which many readers consider to be the most gripping.
This story focuses on Emma, one of the members of the Vow wedding planner business.
Although she is never short on offers from men, she has yet to find Mr. Right.
However, the last place she would expect to find it is in one of the closest friends of the wedding planning company.
Jack Cooke seals both their fates when they share a passionate kiss, which is where the story truly begins.
This is another riveting installment of the Bridal Quartet, with readers calling it everything from ‘riveting’ to ‘heartbreakingly good’.
I found it very easy to fall in love with both Emma and Jack and felt personally invested in their relationship.
This is a more conventional book that would make a great gift for a senior reader.
If you know someone who is a fan of romance novels, then you might want to get them this book as a Christmas stocking filler.
It covers all the classic tropes of romance novels.
- A heart-rending love story.
- Perfect gift for a recently married bride.
- Thousands of 5-star reviews.
- A great addition to the Bridal Quartet.
- Might not be for first-time Nora Roberts readers.
This next one is the first installment in another series, this time taking place on choppy waters.
This one follows the journey of Cameron Quinn, a trophy-winning boat racer who is called home by his terminally-ill father to look after his brother Seth.
Once at home, Cameron must learn to live with his brother again, which brings up old rivalries and inner traumas.
However, when a social worker arrives to decide what happens to Seth, then the family must come together or face being torn apart.
This is the first book in the Chesapeake Bay saga, with stories that focus more on male characters rather than the female-led novels that Roberts usually writes.
This is action-packed and comes with many dramatic and heart-wrenching moments of pain and loss.
This is a lot more dramatic than some of the other Nora Roberts novels, so make sure that you have a stomach for the high seas before picking this one up.
If you like a family saga that you can get stuck into over many books, you can’t go wrong with the Chesapeake Bay trilogy.
- Another best-selling novel by Nora Roberts.
- First in the Chesapeake Bay series.
- Might appeal more to male readers.
- Lots of positive Amazon reviews.
- Might not appeal to those who prefer female stories.
This next novel focuses on both male and female characters, set against the backdrop of an Irish family-owned pub.
Aiden Gallagher has a deep understanding of the spiritual roots of his ancestral home, yet he is searching for someone who can settle his own raging spirit.
He thinks he finds this in the American Jude Murray who has fled from America to find solace in the idyllic Irish countryside.
She loves studying the same myths and legends as Aiden and is hoping to find some sort of happiness for herself within them.
This is another Nora Roberts novel that mingles fantasy and fiction.
It is a distinctly modern tale with a supernatural twist, so if you are a fan of the spiritual, then this will certainly be the novel for you.
This is another incredibly popular part of a series called the Gallaghers Of Ardmore trilogy.
This is another novel that is rooted in Ireland, which is great for people who are fans of the Emerald Isle.
There is lots of real history woven into the fiction with this book, so if you like to learn about history while reading your fiction, this might be the ideal read for you.
- A mystical love story that is a blend of both past and present.
- Thousands of great reviews on Amazon.
- Great for fans of Irish history.
- A good introduction to Nora Roberts.
- Some readers have described the character of Jude as being too selfish to be relatable.
This is another Nora Roberts novel that merges the paranormal with the romantic, being the first book in the Three Sisters Island trilogy.
When Nell Channing is trying to escape from her husband, she arrives on the mysterious Three Sisters Island and gets a job as a cook.
However, as soon as she starts to develop an emotional connection with the Sheriff of the island, Zach Todd, she feels the pressure of her past weighing heavily on her.
Struggling with her past, she uncovers a curse that was bestowed upon the island by a trio of witches back in the 1600s.
She teams up with two other women with supernatural abilities and attempts to break the curse while also navigating her own tempestuous emotions.
This novel was a bestseller and has gained thousands of great reviews.
This features a lot of themes of domestic abuse, which is important to know if you are buying this novel as a gift.
This is great for anyone who is looking for a magical element to a primarily romantic plot, although it is weighted more towards the latter than the former.
- A great supernatural romance novel.
- If you like this, there are two other novels in the trilogy.
- A good introduction to Nora Robert’s spiritual oeuvre.
- A quick read, great for casual readers.
- Some readers think the pace of this novel is too slow.
This next novel is a standalone thriller, which is great for anyone who considers themselves more of a casual reader.
The story follows Naomi Bowes, who has a dark past involving the crimes of her father.
No matter how much she tries to move on, she is obsessively drawn back to his sins.
When he grows up and is living as a photographer with a new name, she tries to put her past behind her.
But as she settles into a new community around a dilapidated old house, she is forced to open up about her past, especially when she meets the handsome Xander Keaton.
This is a great book if you like a character that remains mysterious for the duration of the novel.
The fact that it is a standalone novel means that you aren’t committed to numerous works after reading this one.
This is perfect for anyone who likes to read one book every few months. It would also make a great vacation book.
At over 450 pages, this is a long Nora Roberts novel, which is great if you are on board with the story and characters (and not so great if you are not).
This one blends a sensual romance with edge-of-your-seat thrills. You won’t be able to put this one down!
- Thrilling as well as romantic.
- A dark tone.
- Thousands of great reviews.
- A standalone novel for casual readers.
- Might be too long for some.
This is the first book in another series called In The Garden, which is another story that mingles a contemporary setting with elements of the strange and supernatural.
This book follows the story of Stella Rothchild, who moves back to the South with her two boys.
She tries to settle into the centuries-old Harper House, making friends with the mistress Roz Harper, with whom she develops a deep connection, and the landscaper Logan Kitridge, with whom she develops a more romantic connection.
This is a distinctly modern novel, even if it does have moments of magic in the narrative.
If you are looking for a novel for a young female reader who has grown up on a diet of magical fiction but wants to transition into something more grounded, this is a great novel to bridge that gap.
We would certainly recommend this novel to fans of other romance authors like Tracey Livesay and Rebekah Weatherspoon.
The pace of this novel is a lot more languid than some of her other works, although that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have moments of excitement.
- A classic Nora Roberts story.
- Blends a contemporary tale with fantasy elements.
- The first in a trilogy of novels.
- Thousands of great reviews online.
- Might not be suitable for those who want outright romance.
This is another novel in a series, this time dealing with Margaret Mary, who is a fiery and opinionated artist who harnesses her energies to create works out of delicate glass.
This novel is about trauma from the past being healed by love.
The first in the Born In Trilogy (also known as the Concannon Sisters Trilogy and the Irish Born Trilogy), this series traces the lives of the three Concannon sisters, Maggie being the eldest.
This novel has received nearly 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon.
This is another great novel to introduce to a young female reader.
The female characters are very believable and very empowered, which is a great example to set.
This is great for anyone who likes their fiction to be rooted firmly in a sense of place. It is great for anyone who likes Nora Roberts’ Irish-centric novels.
The detailing in this novel is fantastic, transporting you to its setting as if you really were there.
- A fiery, female-led narrative.
- Thousands of great reviews.
- Great for fans of romantic fiction.
- A great entry point into Nora Roberts’ canon.
- Not for people who don’t like the supernatural.
This novel marks Nora Robert’s 200th and it shows no signs of her talents for crafting great romantic novels are dimming.
This novel received plenty of praise on its release, with over 10,000 glowing reviews on Amazon.
This story follows Abigail Lowery, who fiercely guards her privacy at any cost, which unfortunately provokes the attention of the local town.
This is where police chief Brooks Gleason comes in, intrigued by Abigail both personally and professionally.
This is almost as much of a detective story as it is a romance, which is perfect for anyone who likes a touch of excitement and high-stakes jeopardy to their novels.
This could be a novel for both women and men who might indulge in a little bit of romance in their reading.
- Another fantastic romance novel by Roberts.
- Quick and easy to digest, great for casual readers.
- Great for die-hard fans and newcomers to Nora Roberts.
- Female-centric storyline.
- At nearly 500 pages, this might be too long for some.
This is another book in a series that has been dubbed The Chronicle Of One Trilogy.
This one is very different from some of the other Nora Roberts books that I have mentioned on this list.
This story starts with the end… of the world, that is.
This one blends the magical with the post-apocalyptic to create a world that is startlingly vivid.
This novel focuses on Lana and Max who are trying to escape a New York that has been ravaged by a sickness.
There are other escapees that they meet along the way: Chuck the tech whizz, Arlys the journalist, and Fred, a young man with unique abilities.
This story is very sprawling, with an ensemble cast of characters that are trying to survive.
This one topped the New York Times bestseller list, and it is as much of a suspense thriller as it is a tale of humanity and togetherness.
- Could be read by any audience.
- A radical departure from Nora Roberts’ other work.
- Well-written and dark.
- A New York Times Bestseller.
- Might be too different in tone for Nora Roberts’ die-hard fans.
This is another book in a brand new series called the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy.
This follows the story of an old inn that has seen as much devastation as it has good times.
However, this is all set to change when the inn is acquired by the Montgomery brothers, who want to renovate it.
One of the brothers, Beckett, is way too caught up in the project of trying to renovate the inn to dedicate his time to finding love.
However, when Clare Brewster returns to her hometown, she is drawn toward the inn, its restoration, and the man behind the whole project.
This is Nora Roberts returning to form with the genre that she is so deft at – romance.
This is the start of a trilogy that continues with ‘The Last Boyfriend’ and ‘The Perfect Hope’.
This has been chosen as the Editor’s Pick on the Amazon list, where it has gained thousands of reviews singing its praises.
- A strong romance novel in a modern setting.
- The first in a trilogy.
- Great for anyone who wants to experience classic Nora Roberts fiction.
- A good starting point for any romance fan.
- A few readers have described this book as being too slow.
Finally, we end with what has been regarded as Nora Roberts’ number 1 book (certainly on GoodReads anyway).
I’ve covered all of the other installments in the Bridal Quartet, but going back to the beginning, this is a great place to start, not just for this series, but for the whole of Nora Roberts’ output.
This follows the story of wedding photographer Mackenzie Elliot who is very successful, yet the happiness that she didn’t have as a child still eludes her.
Her mother and father separated, her father moved on to another family, and all her mother does now is try to gain money and attention from her daughter.
However, that is all set to change when a man enters Mac’s life.
At first, her fling with Carter Maguire is just then, but as she keeps seeing him, it soon starts to develop into something more.
Can Mac juggle her stressful professional life with this new sense of happiness creeping in?
This is the beginning of the bridal adventure that also features her three best friends that form the basis for the other Bridal Quarter novels.
If you are only ever going to read 4 Nora Roberts books, then I would recommend that you read the Bridal Quartet, starting with Vision In White.
- The perfect place to start reading Nora Roberts.
- A great narrative with believable characters.
- Great for any romantic novel fans.
- The first stunning novel in the Bridal Quartet.
- Not for those who are fans of Roberts’ more spiritual side.
Nora Roberts is an idiosyncratic novelist, which means that her works aren’t like anyone else’s.
Here are some of the themes that you can expect her to touch on in many of her books:
This is the main theme of most of Nora Roberts’ work.
It usually involves women moving to a new place and finding love with the right man or vice versa.
Her love stories are usually tempestuous and sensual.
There are plenty of spooky and strange elements in Nora Roberts’ novels, whether it is people with supernatural gifts, curses that spread through families or whole islands, or ghosts that haunt a mansion (did you know: Nora Roberts also writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb? Find out more here).
Often these novels are a mix of romantic and paranormal.
There are plenty of stories involving loving sisters and feuding brothers, daughters protecting fathers, or sons shaking off the influence of their mothers.
If you like family narratives, you can go wrong with Nora Roberts.
I hope that my list of the 15 best Nora Roberts novels has helped to get you started on the path of delving into her back catalog.
I have tried to give you only the very best novels that I find personally enjoyable and that are also popular with mainstream readers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Most Popular Nora Roberts Novels?
The most popular Nora Roberts novels are: Vision In White, The Next Always, Blue Dahlia, The Witness, and Dance Upon The Air. All of these are included in my list above.
What Authors Are Similar To Nora Roberts?
Here is a short list of some of the novelists that are like Nora Roberts: Tessa Bailey, Tracey Livesay, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Alyssa Cole, Christina Lauren, Jasmine Guillory and Jackie Lau