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If You Like

Best of the Non Regency Historicals

Best of the Non Regency Historicals

In response to my article yesterday which I provocatively titled “We should let the historical genre die”, I received several emails saying how much they, too, loved the historical genre and still wanted to read it but they needed suggestions. We have a great body of readers here at Dear Author so let’s put our heads together and put forth a list of really great Non Regency Historicals.


  • A Kiss to Die For by Claudia Dain
  • Blaze by Susan Johnson
  • Forbidden by Susan Johnson (partly takes place in Montana, New York, and France)
  • Silver Flame by Susan Johnson
  • Brazen by Susan Johnson
  • Pure Sin by Susan Johnson (Absarokee hero)
  • Marry Me by Jo Goodman
  • Never Love a Lawman by Jo Goodman
  • Only in My Arms by Jo Goodman (former nun heroine)
  • Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath (Western)
  • Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne (Western, Frontier)
  • His Secondhand Wife by Cheryl St. John (Western)
  • Years by LaVyrle Spencer
  • Vows by LaVyrle Spencer
  • Marry Me by Susan Kay Law
  • One Lonely Night by Susan Kay Law
  • The Wives of Bowie Stone by Maggie Osborne (American West)
  • Nobody’s Darling by Teresa Medeiros
  • Fair Is The Rose by Meagan McKinney (1870s Montana, I believe. This is the sequel to Lions and Lace, and I think it’s much, much better. A tortured heroine and an equally tortured hero)

Late Victorian

  • Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas
  • Delicious by Sherry Thomas
  • Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
  • Black Silk by Judith Ivory
  • Beyond Sunrise by Candace Proctor (Polynesia/Oceania Victorian)
  • Lady Dangerous by Suzanne Robinson (late Victorian England. Slightly Western in that the hero ran away to America and comes back a gunslinger. Heroine is meddlesome and disguises herself as a frumpy housemaid in his home.)
  • As You Desire by Connie Brockway (late 19th century Egypt)
  • Jennifer Donnelly’s Rose trilogy (late Victorian up through WWI, diverse settings)

US Non Westerns

  • Lions and Lace by Megan McKinney (NY, turn of Century)
  • With One Look by Jennifer Horsman (New Orleans 1818), I vaguely remember the heroine being blind in this book
  • The Charm School – Susan Wiggs (Victorian Boston and South America)
  • The Horsemasters Daughter – Susan Wiggs (late 1800s, North Carolina)
  • The Sleeping Night – Barbara Samuel (WWII, American South)
  • Charade by Laura Lee Gurhke (prior to the American Revolution)
  • Breathless by Laura Lee Gurhke (Gilded Age Atlanta/Georgia)
  • Midnight Confessions by Candace Proctor (Civil War New Orleans w/ a female doctor AND older woman/younger man)
  • Hunter’s Hill by Mary Bishop (New England late 19th C)
  • Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney (Gilded Age Chicago)
  • November of the Heart by LaVyrle Spencer (Gilded Age Minnesota resort town)
  • Surrender by Pamela Clare (during the French and Indian wars)
  • Untamed by Pamela Clare (during the French and Indian wars)
  • Defiant by Pamela Clare (during the French and Indian wars)
  • Sweeter Than Wine by Michaela August, which is set in California just after WWI.
  • The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel. An interracial historical set in post WW II deep South
  • Morning Song by Karen Robards is set in pre-Civil War era Mississippi.
  • A Candle in the Dark by Megan Chance starts out in New York City in 1849, and travels to the jungles of Panama!
  • Halfway to Heaven by Susan Wiggs (Gilded Age, Washington DC)
  • Runabout by Pamela Morsi (turn of century Americana)
  • Defiant Impostor by Miriam Munger (pre-Revolutionary War American Colonies)
  • The Raider by Jude Deveraux (set in 1766 Colonial New England)
  • Twin of Ice/Twin of Fire by Jude Deveraux (set in 1892 Colorado)
  • Smuggler’s Bride by Darlene Marshall (set in 1840s Florida, just after the Second Seminole War)
  • Pirate’s Price by Darlene Marshall (set in 1820s Florida)
  • Princess of Thieves by Katherine O’Neal (ate 19th century America. One of those sprawling, WTFBBQ type of historicals that went all over the place, but works so well. About two con artists from feuding con artist families and the games they play as they fight and love. Plenty of real people (Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday, etc))
  • Passion’s Ransom by Betina Krahn (Colonial era America. Semi-pirate book in that the heroine is captured by sailors. Krahn writes humorous and hot.)
  • Wishing by Miranda Jarrett (early 18th century New England. Part of her Fairbourne series. Heroine is a fisher(wo)man.)
  • Jade Star by Catherine Coulter (19th century San Francisco. The last in a quartet of reoccurring characters. The hero is a doctor.)

Post Turn of the Century

  • His Very Own Girl by Carrie Lofty (WWII)
  • The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons (WWII)


  • The Holding by Claudia Dain
  • The Irish Warrior by Kris Kennedy
  • The Conqueror by Kris Kennedy
  • Defiant by Kris Kennedy
  • Deception by Kris Kennedy
  • By Possession by Madeline Hunter
  • By Design by Madeline Hunter
  • By Arrangement by Madeline Hunter
  • Stealing Heaven by Madeline Hunter
  • The Protector by Madeline Hunter
  • Lord of a Thousand Nights by Madeline Hunter
  • What a Scoundrel Wants by Carrie Lofty
  • A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
  • A Bed of Spices by Barbara Samuel (Medieval Germany)
  • For My Lady’s Heart by Laura Kinsale
  • The Pagan’s Prize by Miriam Munger (Medieval Russia)
  • Wild Angel by Miriam Munger (Medieval Ireland)
  • Wild Roses by Miriam Munger (Medieval Ireland)
  • Red Adam’s Lady by Grace Ingram
  • Roselynde by Roberta Gellis
  • Alinor by Roberta Gellis
  • ?Joanna by Roberta Gellis
  • Gilliane by Roberta Gellis
  • Rhiannon by Roberta Gellis
  • Sybelle by Roberta Gellis
  • Lord of My Heart by Jo Beverley
  • Dark Champion by Jo Beverley
  • The Shattered Rose by Jo Beverley
  • The Lord of Midnight by Jo Beverley
  • Shadows and Lace by Teresa Medeiros (Medieval England. Medeiros in the 90s wrote lots of gritty, emotional, and passionate historicals)

Non US/Non Europe Setting

  •  Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin (China)
  • The Dragon and The Pearl by Jeannie Lin (China)
  • My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin (China)
  • The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin (China)
  • Flawless by Carrie Lofty (South Africa)
  • Starlight by Carrie Lofty (Glasgow)
  • Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran (1/2 in India)
  • Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale (1/2 in Hawaii)
  • Uncertain Magic by Laura Kinsale (Ireland)
  • The Windflower by Laura London (War of 1812)
  • The Dream Hunter by Laura Kinsale (first half set in Syria)
  • The Falcons of Montabard by Elizabeth Chadwick (Holy Land)
  • Shadows of the Moon by MM Kaye (India?)
  • The Far Pavillions by MM Kaye (India, is written around the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857)
  • Trade Winds by MM Kaye (South Pacific?? May be rapey)
  • Rangoon by Christine Monson (Burma/Thailand)
  • Fires of Winter by Roberta Gellis  (1100s/1200s England. Told in alternating first person POV. Big Misunderstanding, but believable. Plenty of real history (naturally))


  • Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small (1555-1565, Ireland, London, Algiers) (Trigger: Rape)
  • The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne (French Revolution)
  • Wild Desire by Lori Brighton (British Colonial India)
  • The Reluctant Heiress (originally titled Magic Flutes) by Eva Ibbotson (Austria)
  • A Countess Below Stairs (also published in England as The Secret Countess) by Eva Ibbotson (World War I England)
  • Bliss by Judy Cuevas (aka Judith Ivory) by Turn of the Century France
  • Dance by Judy Cuevas (aka Judith Ivory) by Turn of the Century France
  • Beast by Judith Ivory by Turn of the Century ocean liner and then France
  • The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne (France during the Terror)
  • Simon the Coldheart by Georgette Heyer ( set during Henry V, varies between England and France)
  • Lion’s Bride by Iris Johansen (Crusades- era Europe)
  • The Magnificent Rogue by Iris Johansen (Elizabethan Scotland. Real history here too. Heroine is the illegitimate child of Mary, Queen of Scots (or so she is told) and the hero, difficult, brutish, and tortured, is forced to wed her to keep her safe from those who would use her as a political pawn.)
  • Banners of Silk by Rosalind Laker  (Second Empire France & Victorian England. More historical women’s fiction than romance, but it has a great HEA. Set against the rise of Charles Worth and Napoleon III’s reign and told through the eyes of a French grisette who longs to build her own fashion empire.)
  • To Dream Again by Laura Lee Guhrke (1880s England. A bitter, tortured heroine and a hero who wants to make toys!)
  • The Painted Lady by Lucia Grahame (1890s France and England. So so grateful when an AAR reviewer pulled this out of the ether. First person POV, meaty, and difficult.)
  • Murmur of Rain by Patricia Vaughn (1890s century Paris and Haiti. A gothic-tinged historical romance. The heroine and the setting are the best parts of the book, but it’s something unusual.)

I’m working backwards in the comments, but you could all help me if you did like Samantha and include the recommendation formatted like the post Title by Author (period, short pithy details to get someone to read it)

So I’m not adding Georgian or Edwardian because … I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel different enough for me.  You are free to try to convince me otherwise in the comments.  (Also, I have 50 more comments to add)

If You Like…Romances Set in South Asia or featuring South Asian characters

If You Like…Romances Set in South Asia or featuring South Asian...

Dear Author guest post by Kim T.

A few years ago, I watched a Hindi language, historical epic film called Jodhaa Akbar, starring Bollywood superstars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.  As a librarian with a graduate degree in European history, I was intrigued by the 16th century historical detail in the film.  And I completely swooned over the beauty and charisma of the lead actors.  Being a film geek, I began to explore the Bollywood film genre.  I was, admittedly, drawn first to the beautiful costumes and song picturizations, but I soon found myself just as interested in the cultures of India.  I began to read non-fiction on modern India and watch Indian films (in Hindi and other regional languages) that went beyond the typical Bollywood masala formula.  Still, my favorite Indian films (and the ones I watch over and over) will always be Bollywood romances.  As a lifelong romance reader, I think this makes perfect sense.  There’s nothing as wonderful or satisfying as a delightful, fluffy romantic comedy or an angst-ridden, passionate romantic drama whether in print or on the screen.

My reading interests have paralleled my interests in Indian films and I’ve read several non-fiction titles on India and literary fiction by South Asian authors.  However, I’ve had to be very creative in locating mainstream romances with South Asian settings and/or South Asian characters, especially contemporary titles.  I’ve also received many recommendations from members of the romance reading community.  The following are titles that I’ve enjoyed with a strong romantic element and they represent a variety of genres including chick-lit, historical fiction, literary fiction, and traditional romances (category, paranormal, historical, etc.).

The Zoya Factor by Anjua ChauhanThe Zoya Factor
by Anjua Chauhan

Published by Harper Collins in India, this is the sweet and hilarious story of an advertising executive who becomes the “lucky charm” for India’s cricket team during the ICC World Cup.  She finds romance with the captain of the team.  There are several untranslated Hindi phrases in this book and some very specific cultural references that will be lost to most Western readers, but I still highly recommend it, especially if you’re interested in how an Indian author takes on the chick-lit format.  I also enjoyed Advaita Kala’s Almost Single, another chick-lit title by an Indian author, reviewed here at DA.

AmazonBook Depository


Saris and the City by Rekha WaheedSaris and the City by Rekha Waheed

This Little Black Dress UK title written by a British author of Bangladeshi descent is a traditional chick lit story of a career-minded woman dealing with her conservative Bengali family’s demands and her attraction to the typical rich and gorgeous hero.

AmazonBook Depository

The Twentieth Wife by Indu SundaresanThe Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan

In this first in a historical trilogy about Mughal India, the love story of protagonist Mehrunnisa and Prince Salim is a blend of historical fact and romantic fiction.  This book piqued my interest in historical romance written by Indian authors and I recently stumbled upon a series of historical romances called Kama Kahani published by Random House India and written by Indian authors. The series, including titles like Kiran Kohl’s Passion in the Punjab, can be found through  They have beautiful covers and I particularly love the series’ taglines printed above the back cover blurb: “Are you a spirited beauty, your fire contained – buy only just – by the clinging brocade of your lehnga’s choli? A delicious Kama Kahani is sure to strike your fancy.”



The Stolen Bride by Abby GreenThe Stolen Bride by Abby Green

Several years ago, Mills & Boon began to increase their presence in India and to search for promising Indian authors for their lines.  To date, two Mills & Boon titles by Indian authors have been published but they’re hard to find outside of India.  So, in the meantime, we’ve had some other interesting developments in the M&B/Harlequin Presents line, such as the late Penny Jordan’s 2008 title featuring an Indian hero and several more titles by other authors featuring characters of South Asian descent.  As a sometimes reader of the Presents line, I have enjoyed Abby Green’s The Stolen Bride and its Bollywood actress heroine and cringed at other lazier titles that simply shift the overplayed “sheikh romance” formula to the Indian setting.  I’ve also been inspired to collect vintage Harlequins and other category titles that are set in India (I’ve only found a couple that actually feature heroes or heroines of South Asian descent).  A pleasant older Harlequin Presents title set in India is Jayne Bauling’s Sophisticated Seduction (#25), published in 1996.



The Mango Season by Amulya MalladiThe Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

In this literary fiction title, Indian born-Denmark based author Malladi writes a moving depiction of a young Indian woman’s struggles with her parents’ demand for an arranged marriage and her love of an American man.


Finally, the following titles, which have been recommended here and elsewhere numerous times, should also be mentioned:

The Duke of Shadows by Meredith DuranThe Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran

Historical romance partially set in India, with Anglo-Indian hero.


Not Quite a HusbandNot Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

The 1890s northern Indian setting of this much-praised historical is superbly drawn.


demon moon by meljean brookDemon Moon by Meljean Brook

A paranormal with a heroine of Indian descent, this is one of many examples of the culturally diverse heroes and heroines that have become happily commonplace in paranormals over the last several years.


Sexy as Hell by Susan Johnson  Sexy as Hell by Susan Johnson

The Bruxton Street Bookstore series has been a bit of a guilty pleasure for me.  This title features Osmond, Baron Lennox, a hero of Anglo-Indian descent who grew up in Hyderabad and now owns India’s largest bank.  Johnson excels at interesting and unusual historical detail, but it’s often overshadowed by her steamy content.



These are just a few titles that have stood out for one reason or another in my search for romance with a South Asian flair.  I hope that these recommendations will lead to even more recommendations from other Dear Author readers.  Happy reading!

If you would like to submit an “If You Like” of any book, author or topic, please don’t hesitate to email jane at You only need about 6-8 titles for the post.