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If You Like Medieval Romances

In continuance of the If You Like series of reader recommendations, I bring you the Medieval.   I love medievals but I wonder if that is because some of the first romances I had ever read were medievals. In my list of favorite medieval authors are Julie Garwood, Madeline Hunter, and Claudia Dain.   The Holding by Claudia Dain is the first romance I got Ned to read (and he enjoyed it). More recently, I enjoyed Kris Kennedy’s The Conqueror.

What are your favorite authors and titles in the medieval time period.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Tiffany Clare
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 10:32:14

    I think that’s why I still love a good medieval’s today. I started reading them when I first discovered romance. So every now and again I go back to them. I have Kennedy’s book on my TBR pile.

    Favourites were Shannon Drake, Lisa Jackson, Hannah Howell. I know there were more, but I can’t remember who.

  2. Moth
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 10:41:09

    Was this a mistake post? Because DA did this “If You Like” before…

  3. Keira Soleore
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 10:45:09

    This is a post after my own heart. My return to reading romances in 2005 was heralded by the Garwood medievals. And medievals continue to be my favorite historicals. Take me anywhere from early middle ages to high to late middle ages.

    Laura Kinsale has the most marvelous medieval voice, including one that has Middle English in it.

    Veronica Wolff, Josie Little, Lynn Kurland (early non-magical ones), Monica McCarty, Michelle Willingham, Jo Beverley (always, always fabulous), Samantha James, Lynsay Sands… I know I’m forgetting a few. Will be back commenting later as I remember.

  4. Keira Soleore
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 10:49:44

    A few more… Christina Dodd's “A Candle In The Window”, Sharon Kay Penman, Michael Jecks, Bernard Cornwell, Elizabeth Chadwick, Amanda Elyot (sp?)..

  5. Tiffany Clare
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 10:54:37

    Kiera, do you mean Josie Litton? I did like the first three (medievals) and all the Regency/early Victorian’s she did after.

  6. LauraB
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 11:02:50

    What about Jude Devereaux’s Velvet series? One of the first I read was Highland Velvet (Stephen Montgomery = Yum)

  7. Lindsay Townsend
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 11:10:39

    I’d like to put in another plug for my own medievals. Alongside the ancient world books kindly reviewed at this site (‘Flavia’s Secret’, ‘Blue Gold’), I’m writing ‘Knight’ books for Kensington Zebra, too – so far ‘A Knight’s Vow’ (2008) and ‘A Knight’s Captive’ (2009), with two more to come.

  8. Donna Kowalczyk
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 11:54:33

    I loved The Conqueror! Kris Kennedy is amazing; I’m definitely looking forward to reading her next book. But my all-time fave medieval author is Julie Garwood. :-)

  9. joanne
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 11:59:01

    My first ‘adult’ Historical Romance was The Wolf and The Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss.

    All the chirping birdies and pretty rainbows that were always a part of the previous romances I had read were missing from this book. But the payoff for sticking with the story and reading about the dark and incredibly brutal side of the Norman invasion was well worth the investment of time and emotion.

    Like so many others I found Julie Garwood and loved her stories but Medieval Romances lend themselves to a darkness that must be hard to write with a HEA ending because really good ones seem to be so few and far between.

  10. Karenmc
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 12:05:23

    Madeline Hunter did it for me, especially the By trilogy and the related Stealing Heaven. I have The Conqueror in my TBR pile, as well as Jo Beverley’s medievals.

  11. Elizabeth Chadwick
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 12:12:11

    Patricia Ryan’s Silken Threads is up there for me. Characters who are actually of their time, and thus I can believe in them, and a great story.

  12. Kathleen MacIver
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 12:49:45

    Lynn Kurland’s If I Had You is my favorite…maybe because Robin is so much like my own hubby (who’s also a Rob).

  13. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 12:50:53

    Veronica Wolff, Josie Little, Lynn Kurland (early non-magical ones), Monica McCarty, Michelle Willingham, Jo Beverley (always, always fabulous), Samantha James, Lynsay Sands… I know I'm forgetting a few. Will be back commenting later as I remember.

    Veronica Wolff and Monica McCarty’s books are both set in the 1600s. Good books, but not Medieval. And Wolff’s books are also time-travel, which IMO makes them paranormals, not historicals.

    I love Roberta Gellis's Medieval books, and I've been enjoying Karin Tabke's “Master of” series (even if whoo-damn do those people take a lot of baths).

  14. MaryK
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 12:59:21

    The Linnet by Elizabeth English. It’s part of a trilogy but stood out for me because of the unusual characters, a minstrel/healer and a tormented heroine.

  15. BethanyA
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 13:00:38

    A former Sonnet editor gave me Jayel Wylie’s medieval witch/wizard trilogy and I loved it! Quite…spralling and indulgent in the very best way. Don’t expect a tightly-written plot in any of them.

    Titles: A Falcon’s Heart, This Dangerous Magic and Wicked Charms.

    The writer is now Pocket author Lucy Blue…she may be something else mow, too.

  16. Jackie Barbosa
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 13:09:44

    I really enjoyed and highly recommend Margaret Mallory’s recently released KNIGHT OF DESIRE.

  17. Lenore
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 14:11:14

    I’ve read and re-read Roberts Gellis’ Roselynde series; no others come close for me.

  18. Diana Holquist
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 14:13:00

    Margaret Mallory is a debut medieval author. I got ahold of her first book, Knight of Desire, and it’s EXCELLENT. I think it’s just been released…

  19. Christine
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 14:18:41

    Anything by Elizabeth Chadwick and Sharon Kay Penman is the…best of the best, in my opinion. Laura Kinsale’s two medievals, as well, were divine.

  20. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 14:34:57

    and Sharon Kay Penman is the…best of the best,

    Granted, but not if you’re looking for a romance. Since she writes about real people, in very turbulent times, almost everyone has a depressing end (her author’s note always seems to say something about how the only people who got a happy ending in the book were the ones she made up *sigh*).

  21. Lorelie Brown
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 14:53:00

    I second the Deveraux Velvet series. And the Garwoods.

    For currently pubbed: Carrie Lofty’s What a Scoundrel Wants. Come on, y’all, Will Scarlet. Full disclosure – she’s my CP, but I don’t think that prejudices me too much.

  22. joykenn
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 15:09:09

    Roberta Gellis is GREAT! I loved her Roselynde series. The first one was kind of slow but they picked up with the second marriage, went through a fantastic historical period. I liked that she mentioned the heroes needing baths after being on campaign and wanting to get out of itchy clothes. I liked that they talked about the problems of food storage in medieval castles. People were dirty. Things were smelly. Really made the medieval much more realistic to me without detracting from the romance.

    Put them on your must read list. Wish they’d bring them all out in print or electronic format again. My print copies are getting worn out since I re-read them about every year.

  23. Jane
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 15:17:33

    whoops. Apparently I posted this before. I’m going to close the comments and be better organized next time.

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