Best historical romance novels

“Historical romance novels are just fairytales for grownups…”


Even the best historical romance novels have had a rough ride at my hands. In my early days on film sets they were a covert addiction between takes…to be caught reading anything lighter than The Death of Ivan Illych was akin to seeing a colleague outside a screening of Legally Blonde III. To lessen the chance of humiliation I would ruthlessly tear the covers from their spines. These days however, I proudly live and breathe historical romance novels; they make our pulses races when they’re good, but the best stay with us for weeks, sometimes years after we’ve finished them.

Some may classify the following books as classics rather than historical romance novels, as they were written in the time periods they were set, but to me the distinction is ultimately superfluous. If you love history and passion, these are the books for you.


# 15 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

The Shadow and the Star, Laura Kinsale

She hadn’t ascribed to this modern notion of equality between the sexes. Woman were patently superior.

shadow and star historical romance novelI always lament Kinsale’s book covers. Looking at this one, you would never guess the story’s about a Hawaiian ninja in Victorian London. Of course, that cover probably wouldn’t sell many books, which is precisely why Kinsale is so bloody clever. She takes bizarre, unbelievable premises and creates historical magic with them. When we meet our hero Samuel, he is a tormented survivor of child prostitution and utterly devoted to a woman who is everything our mousy lead is not. From those ashes Kinsale brings to life a love so unstoppable it will explode in hell or high water. Order it here.




# 14 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Dreaming of You (Gamblers), Lisa Kleypas

“You aristocratic ladies and your gold-plated twats. You always think it’s such a honor for me to touch you.” He surveyed her with mocking green eyes. “You think you’re the first high-kick wench I’ve ever had? I used to have blue-blooded bitches like you pay me to do this. You’ve gotten it for free.”

dreaming of you - historical romance novelContinuing in the male prostitution theme (why not?) I introduce this little gem. It’s about Sara, a writer who creates fantastic stories from the safety of her sheltered cottage. One day, in the name of research, she’s drawn into the world of high stakes gambling. There she meets Mr Craven, a man who has risen from the gutters to become a club owner servicing wealthy old lords (and their bored young wives). Order it here.





# 13 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon

Don’t be afraid. There’s the two of us now.”

outlander-bookClaire Randall is a nurse just back from WWII and enjoying a honeymoon in Scotland with her husband, after years of war and separation. When she walks through a ring of standing stones she finds herself transported to another time, and right into the arms of Jamie Fraser, a young, rugged Scots warrior. Torn between different times, cultures and a passion unlike any she’s experienced before, it’s no wonder Outlander has gone on to capture the hearts and minds of millions. Outlander comes in as #1 in my Top Five Romance Series list. Order it here.




# 12 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Once for all; I love her none the less because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me, than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection.

Great Expectations historical romance novelI have a few general rules in life: to never trust those who prefer cats over dogs, to ignore book reviews with more than three exclamation marks!!!, and to avoid people who hate Dickens. His work had been degraded by some of the TV series and disney-fied films, but in its original form it’s oh, so good!!! (sorry) Pip is in love with Estella, who looks down her pretty little nose at him and his poor expectations. When that all changes, he endeavours to win her heart at any cost. Order it here.





# 11 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier

Men are simpler than you imagine my sweet child. But what goes on in the twisted, tortuous minds of women would baffle anyone.

Rebecca Historical Romance Novel

I first read this book when I was 13 and still love the name Maximilian to this day. Our heroine, on a trip to the South of France, meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by pleasant surprise. She accepts, but upon moving to his gloomy, oppressive estate of Manderley the young bride finds her husband a different man. It appears his late wife Rebecca, while no longer alive and breathing, continues to exist in the minds of the staff and most worryingly, the heart of her new protector. Order it here.




# 10 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence

Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.

Lady Chatterleys Lover - historical romance novelThis novel was a complete scandal in its time, covertly published in Italy in 1928 only to be banned in England and the US soon after. The unexpurgated edition did not appear in the States until 1959, after one of the most publicized legal battles in publishing history. The book follows the story of Constance, a lady of the British aristocracy in a loveless marriage. Via her amorous relations with Oliver, the groundskeeper, Lawrence explores issues with the class system, social conflict, the purpose of the body and the mind and our place in this strange and often mad universe. Order it here.




# 9 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier

He saw things in a way that others did not, so that a city I had lived in all my life seemed a different place, so that a woman became beautiful with the light on her face.

Girl with a Pearl Earring - Historical Romance Novel

This is probably the most controversial inclusion in my top fifteen, however I found the tension between artist and muse, master and servant, utterly enchanting. Set in Vermeer’s Delft household during the 1660s, Griet, the novel’s quietly intuitive heroine leaves her childhood home to work as a family servant. The sixteen year old is quickly drawn to her artistic master, and when Vermeer employs her as his assistant – ultimately sitting for him as a model, her world starts  to crumble just as it’s begun to bloom. Order it here.




# 8 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

“Sir,” she said, “you are no gentleman!”

“An apt observation,” he answered airily. “And, you, Miss, are no lady.” 

gone with the wind historical romance novel

Oh Scarlett, we love you, we hate you and we love to hate you. It takes guts to create an entirely self absorbed, ruthless, unlikable character and then place an epic historical romance novel upon her pretty little shoulders (one that took out the 1937 Pulitzer prize, mind you), but how we thank Margaret Mitchell for taking that risk! I adore this book; yes it’s dated, some of the more racist themes will leave your cringing, and it can drag on at times, but with a backdrop of the American Civil War and Scarlett at the helm, I guess that’s only to be expected. Order it here.




# 7 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough

 The thorn bird… singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price… For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.

thorn birds historical romance novel

I’m very pleased that an Australian book is in the top ten in this list, I usually can’t stand bear long, slow novels set in our bleak landscapes. This however, truly is one of the best historical romance novels, in a classical sense. At the story’s heart is Meggie Cleary, who can never possess the man she desperately adores, and Ralph de Bricassart, who rises from parish priest to the inner circles of the Vatican…but whose passion for Meggie will follow him all the days of his life. The greatest tale of unrequited, treacherous love, Ralph and Meggie make such terrible mistakes, but at every turn in the road you can’t help but feel endeared to them more as the story progresses. Order it here.




# 6 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.

historical romance novels - pride and prejudiceSome find Jane Austen conservative and elitist, her painfully polite characters and rigid proprietary stifling for more modern tastes. Today’s readers seek instant gratification; demanding a steamy scene within the first thirty pages. In my opinion, that pressure has ruined many a good book. Austen’s 345 will deliver little more than a chaste kiss, but true lovers of romance will appreciate that it’s all about the foreplay. This is one of the world’s most loved books and you’d be hard pressed to find a better Cinderella story, or a knight in shining armour more awkwardly seductive than Mr Darcy. Order it here.




# 5 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…

tale two citiesLike all works by Dickens Tale of Two Cities will introduce you to a range of landscapes and colourful characters, in this case set against the blood red streets and the ruthless rule of La Guillotine. This is the ultimate story of unrequited love and divine sacrifice, with an ending that reaches the very heights of the human spirit. Modern readers might find some of the description excessive, but in my mind it is well worth the added effort to descend truly into this world of Dickens’ creating. Order it here.




# 4 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Not Quite a Husband, by Sherry Thomas

The Castle. He’d seen this expression far too many times during their marriage. The Castle was Byrony drawing up the gates and retreating deep into the inner keep. And he’d always hated it. Marriage meant that you shared your goddamn castle. You didn’t leave your poor knight of a husband circling the walls trying to find a way in. 


Don’t let the cheesy cover fool you, this book is achingly good. Set in 1890s India (current day Pakistan) Briony has left her husband Leo to travel the world, but he has tracked her down to inform her that her father is seriously ill. Leo has loved Briony (four years his senior) since boyhood, but for all his infantile love the marriage has fallen to pieces. This is a rich, layered story with a great dose of irony, revealing the couple’s tragic past and against the glow of their redemption. Order it here.




# 3 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

I don’t want to prove anything; I merely want to live, to do no one harm but myself. I have the right to do that, haven’t I?

Anna Karenina Historical Romance Novel

This classic has all my favourite elements of historical romance: nihilism, anguish and desire that creeps up and overwhelms the characters, until they’re drowning in disaster. In some ways the title under sells and over delivers, as we are also treated to the truly lovely story of Kitty and Levin, an entirely different romance that only highlights the savage chemistry that is Anna and Vronsky’s. This cast of beautifully doomed and wonderfully fated characters explore some of the hardest questions we can face in our brief time on this planet, most importantly, the secret to true happiness and fulfillment. Order it here.




# 2 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

Flowers from the Storm, by Laura Kinsale

He didn’t reckon that God owed him anything. He reckoned that he’d had it all, and wasted it.

flowersThis is the kind of historical romance novel you recommend to people who have no time for the genre. There are scenes in this book that were so wonderful they left me breathless (I know it sounds bizarre, but look out for the kittens!) and Kinsale’s mastery in taking the generic conventions we love and twisting them into something entirely original is unsurpassed. Christian is the ultimate anti hero, Maddy the devout Quaker crying out for a good roll in the hay, but that is where the formula ceases to be recognisable. We’ve all seen tortured heroes, but the real charm in this story begins when the hero loses all the things we first found charming. Read it here.




# 1 – 15 Best Historical Romance Novels

The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons

When Tatiana looked up from her ice cream, she saw a soldier staring at her from across the street.

Bronzehorseman.jpgLet the trumpets blare for our wonderful number one! Some might challenge its inclusion; World War II is technically the “cut off” for historical romance, but this could have been set in the eighties and it would still be my pick. It captured me from the moment I started and released me three days, and two very sore eyes later. The first in a trilogy, it’s a coming of age story about Tatiana, a young resident of Leningrad, and a brave officer of the Red Army called Alexander, who together face the dramatic, and horrifying realities of Hitler’s war and Stalin’s rule.  The book is intense and exquisite, a journey of anguish and longing that sees two people debased to the sub human and lifted into the divine heights of love. Read it here.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on my best historical romance novels…

Hit the mark, or way off?

Thanks for reading, see you on Facebook!



  • Reply January 16, 2018


    I absolutely adore The Bronze Horseman trilogy! I feel like it often is overlooked. What a jewel of a series. Thank you for mentioning that one! My all-time favorite romance novel is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (Gold Rush era). Please give it a try if you haven’t yet.

    • Reply January 17, 2018

      Cate Hogan

      Oooh, I haven’t read that yet Morgan, and I’m looking for a new book. Thanks for the hot tip! (And yes, Tatiana and Alexander…be still my beating heart!)

  • Reply December 22, 2017

    Alice Berg

    Great list, Cate! I found that I have read a good half of the top – 7/15. Would definitely read your #1 and #2, never heard of them before. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply December 25, 2017

      Cate Hogan

      You are in for a treat, Alice. 🙂 Happy reading (and Merry Christmas!)

  • Reply February 8, 2016

    Carly Carson

    A Winter’s Child by Brenda Jagger – Set in England after WW1. Sifts through the turmoil in England after the war as the country cracked apart. Heartbreaking, but with a love story buried within it. She has many novels set in industrializing England that are also excellent.
    Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye. Set in India during the British Raj, with all-too-real historical trauma. (Or anything else by this author.)
    I’ve read most everything on your list except for the more modern authors. 2 by Laura Kinsale and I’ve never tried her so I’ll have to rectify that. Thanks for the list.

    • Reply February 8, 2016

      Carly Carson

      Okay it took me half the morning to remember my dark horse. lol
      Zemindar by Valerie Fitzgerald. This book also takes place in India during the Sepoy Rebellion, but that’s not why I loved it. In fact, I wish it didn’t because there is some grisly stuff. But it’s such a good love story.

  • Reply August 27, 2015

    Samantha DeCoteau

    I’m surprised there’s nothing from Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, or Teresa Mederios on here.

    • Reply August 27, 2015

      Cate Hogan

      Thanks Samantha! Lisa Kleypas is in the list (Dreaming of You). As for Quinn and Mederios – both fabulous writers, but probably in my top 20 (as opposed to 15). Which of their books would you have included?

  • Reply August 20, 2015


    Hello Cate,
    I love your list. I’ve read 12 of them already but I haven’t read The Bronze Horseman, Not Quite A husband and The Shadow and the Star. Will definitely be picking them up soon. I’m a big fan of Johanna Lindsey, especially her Malory series. Now, that’s a family we’d love to read about! Though only the first 7 novels of the series are good (my favorites are Tender Rebel, Gentle Rogue and A Loving Scoundrel). After the seventh one, her writing kinda suffers. Also, if you haven’t already and if you are interested, do check out Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaway series and Wallflower series. Some others that are worth noting are given below:

    Suddenly you-Lisa Kleypas

    Johanna Lindsey (Cardinia family)- Once a Princess, You Belong to Me (ohh, a definite must read!)

    Mary Balogh’s The Secret Pearl was the first novel of hers that I read. Different and worth the time.

    If you like the character of Dr. Gregory House from the tv series House M.D., then Eloisa James’ When Beauty Tamed the Beast is a good one to read.

    Theresa Medeiros is also a writer worth checking out. Love her novels- Yours Until Dawn, Nobody’s Darling, Charming the Prince
    I’m not a fan of vampire romances, but i happened to stumble on Medeiros’ two books – After Midnight , The Vampire who Loved Me. My sister told me that I would be pleasantly surprised and boy, I was. Quite refreshing too.

    Lady Pirate by Lynsay Sands
    Blue Eyed Viking by Sandra Hill

    Sorry I got so long winded. There are more favorites but I might not stop any time soon if I list them all. Hope you like a few from my suggestions.

    Happy reading! 🙂

    • Reply August 25, 2015

      Cate Hogan

      Thank you Renu! Each week I’m discovering new historical romances, (loved ‘Beautiful Wreck’ by Larissa Brown – have you read it? LaVyrle Spencer is great too). Some of the books above could now be updated. There are lots in your list I plan to read. I’ll let you know how I go. 🙂

  • Reply July 19, 2015

    Susan M

    Great list. My number 1 would be Flowers From the Storm.

    Surprised Mary Balogh didn’t get a mention.

    My favorite romance author is one who wrote non-steamy, sweet, old-fashioned romances called Patricia Veryan. I first read her as a teenager and still love her today. For some reason her characters seem very real to me. She wrote series and it’s really hard to choose a favorite. Give All To Love and the Dedicated Villian are up there. But then there’s The Wagered Widow, The Tyrant, Sanguinet’s Crown…so many great books. She even has one with a hero that is half Chinese (The Mandarin of Mayfair). I’d suggest starting with the Sanguinet Saga series.

    • Reply July 19, 2015

      Cate Hogan

      So pleased you like the list Susan; you clearly know your stuff! I’m really looking forward to reading Mary Balogh; who’s been on my ‘must read’ list for some time. Patricia Veryan was one I’d missed however–I’m so excited to find a great new author. The Mandarin of Mayfair sounds fantastic; I’m currently writing a novel set in Bali and I’d love to see how she forms Eastern characters. Thank you for so many great tips, I am in your debt!

      • July 22, 2015

        Susan M

        Two more I thought of–Joan Wolf and Carla Kelly.

        Joan Wolf has done regencies, contemporaries, dark ages (her book about King Arthur is really something special), pre-historic stories…She’s really great. My fave of her regencies are Lord Richard’s Daughter, A Kind of Honor, The Scottish Lord, and A London Season.

        Carla Kelly’s regencies are different from most–she often writes about doctors, ship captains, etc. She has a really great historical called Daughter of Fortune. One of those epic rip your heart out types.

      • July 27, 2015

        Cate Hogan

        Wow – thanks Susan; I love having a great reading list and these all sound fantastic. I’ve just started The Mandarin of Mayfair and loving it so far…Will be sure to let you know how I go with the others!

  • Reply July 6, 2015


    Cate I read this post when you first published it and thought when my life returns to some normalcy after house building I will revisit this list and start reading. I started with Lady Chatterley’s Lover, because let’s face it, the fact that it was banned got me just a tad curious. I am halfway through and struggling to attend to my 2.5 year old son, house work and business. My husband… well thanks to any good romance novel my attention to him is just fine. 1 almost down and 14 to go x

    • Reply July 6, 2015

      Cate Hogan

      That’s wonderful Jade! This is a very eclectic mix, as it covers classic literary romance right through to the really commercial genre stuff. Will be interesting to see which ones you enjoy most…

    • Reply July 27, 2015

      Susan M

      The Mandarin of Mayfair has my favorite marriage proposal ever. 🙂

  • Reply June 7, 2015

    Linda Parkinson

    Cate, Lucky for me I have just stumbled across your blog via today’s The Age, Sunday Life. On reading your top 15 historical romance novels, I found that I have already read eight of them. I loved each of the eight so this tells me that more magic awaits with the other seven. So I will definitely start reading. Re. Your classics inclusions, I did wonder if you had considered including Wuthering Heights and if so, which novel might have pipped it at the post?

    • Reply June 7, 2015

      Cate Hogan

      Hi Linda, it’s lovely to meet you. Yes, Wuthering Heights was in my original list – probably edged out by Girl With a Pearl Earring, which I felt offered a more unique perspective on love – given that it’s set in Holland and told from the perspective of a maid. Realistically, I think I need to do two new lists – one for classics and modern historicals. There are just too many to cover in 15, and I’m reading wonderful new books each week. Have you discovered any treasures recently?

  • Reply May 14, 2015

    Bukola Osewa

    I confess, I was skeptical about the list and some of the books on it. But I got curious about your number one and I got the bronze horseman and read it and… THANK YOU. I’ve never so desperately wanted a miracle for my heroine. I’ve read half the books on your list and I’m not disappointed.

    • Reply May 15, 2015

      Cate Hogan

      I love to hear that, thank you! Do you have any historical romances you feel deserve a place in the top 15?

      • May 15, 2015

        Bukola Osewa

        LaVyrle Spencer’s The Endearment I think may be worthy of a place on the list.

      • May 16, 2015

        Cate Hogan

        LaVyrle Spencer’s The Endearment – wonderful. I’ll read it this week. Thanks for the hot tip! 🙂

      • May 22, 2015

        Cate Hogan

        I read The Endearment, and LOVED it! What a great referral – thank you! I think I’m going to have to expand my list as I’ve found some great ones lately (Beautiful Wreck is one). I’m amazed The Endearment doesn’t feature more online. Do you have any others you’d care to recommend?

      • August 29, 2016


        I am late to the show on this one…but Years by LaVyrle Spencer rocks my world. I re-read it multiple times a year. Also- Something Wonderful and Once and Always by Judith McNaught are great. And the Bedwyn Series by Mary Balogh but especially Wulfric’s story. Take care and Enjoy!

      • September 8, 2016

        Cate Hogan

        Gah – everything by LaVyrle Spencer is amazing. I loved Years, though The Endearment would have to be my favourite. I hadn’t read her work when I wrote this list – an update might be in order! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • […] book comes in at #1 of my Top 15 Historical Romance Novels of All Time list. The series captured me from the moment I started and released me ten days, and two very sore […]

  • Reply February 26, 2015

    Gail Nichols

    Dear Ms. Hogan,
    My name is Gail. I have cerebral rom the waist down and the older I get the more painful it gets. The main reason I tell you this is that instead of pain meds I read books. I read a lot and could se your help. I love the romance genre and read a lot of them but the more epic the romance the better I like it. I love to get “lost” in a big book or series. I have already read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, Into the Wilderness Series by Sara Donati, The Black Dagger Brotherhood By J. R. Ward, Midnight Breed by Laura Adrian, Gone With The Wind, and the Thorn Birds. I have read everything by Grace Burrowes, Eliabeth Hoyt, Lisa Klepyes. I have also read the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning, and most o the popular books for adults and a bit of the YA books out there. Here’s where I need your help Is there anything else I have missed? Please help.

    • Reply February 27, 2015

      Cate Hogan

      Hi Gail,

      Thanks for your message. I’m happy to offer any help I can, and like you I’m a fan of ‘epic’ romances specifically. As per my list, I’d really encourage you to try the Bronze Horseman. I’d also say The Tea Rose series by Jennifer Donnelly. Both are epic in scale, and riveting reads. This week I hope to publish my list of top 5 epic romance series. I wasn’t in love with Into the Wilderness, or the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Are there any of the Thorn Bird variety you might suggest I include? I loved Outlander and that will be featuring as number #1 in my top 5. Thanks!

      • February 27, 2015

        Gail Nichols

        Dear Cate, I have read the Bronze Horseman and the tea rose and loved them both. As or the other books like The Thorn Birds Colleen McCollough wrote a book called “The Touch” that is very good.

      • March 3, 2015

        Cate Hogan

        Excellent – I haven’t read “The Touch” yet, thanks Gail! Always grateful for recommendations from fellow obsessives. One romance author I’ve quite enjoyed is Sherry Thomas. Have you read her work? She’s in my list above – “Not Quite a Husband” is a great book. A light read, but well written.

  • Reply February 18, 2015


    How about julie garwood, johanna lindsey, julia quinn, lorraine heath, catherine Anderson and judith mcnaught’s book?? They are so amazing!!! Hope u like them too

    • Reply February 18, 2015

      Cate Hogan

      You’ve listed some great names (I’m a particular fan of Julia Quinn and Judith McNaught). I’m currently putting together my top “Romance Series” of all time list – if you’ve got any suggestions I’d love to hear them 🙂

      • February 18, 2015


        Oohh can’t wait to see it. Hope my fav book will be one of ur list.

      • February 19, 2015


        Ransom, the secret, shadow music, the prize, the wedding, the bride, castle, honor’s splendour, bridgerton family series, keegan’s lady, summer breeze, all historical romance by judith mcnaught, and many moreeeee. Hihi.

      • February 27, 2015

        Cate Hogan

        Wow – so many fantastic titles. Some I’ve read, others I’m yet to discover. Thanks so much for the hot tips – love it!

      • February 19, 2015


        Oh, and if you like paranormal romance, nalini singh, jeaniene frost, gena showalter and sherrilyn kenyon will be amazing!!

      • February 27, 2015

        Cate Hogan

        I’m yet to really explore paranormal, but definitely open to a change! Thanks for the advice 🙂

  • Reply August 3, 2014


    I can’t believe we share the same #1 favourite !!(its pretty rare to find that)
    Which is why I have decided to read the rest of the books in your list 🙂

    • Reply August 4, 2014

      Cate Hogan

      Totally – can’t wait until they make the movie! And definitely let me know if you like the other books in my list Nidhi – a real mix of styles and genres, but all heart clenching in their own way 🙂

      • October 11, 2014


        Hii Cate ! Greetings of the day ! So far, I’ve read the books by Laura Kinsale & Lisa Kleypas. I absolutely loved Dreaming of you !

        Its a great list that you’ve put up 🙂

        Thank you 🙂

      • October 13, 2014

        Cate Hogan

        I’m so glad to hear that Nidhi. Have you read any great books lately you’d like to share? I’ve been wrapped up in the Outlander series, though I haven’t watched the new TV show yet. I’m almost afraid to!

  • Reply January 2, 2014


    It may be that I’ve misjudged some worthy books. After reading your reviews of what I thought were ‘trashy’ novels, I’m now going to revisit these books and will certainly be recommending them to my mother. Thanks Cate! Xxx

    • Reply January 5, 2014

      Cate Hogan

      You may still find them trashy, I make no guarantees – but they are the best of the very best trash, in my opinion 🙂

  • […] As a romance author I create perfectly imperfect heroes and relatable heroines, the realities of war, corsets and chauvinism cast in the delicious glow of fiction. […]

  • […] “So? How about, defending my honour?” Like a right Elizabethan maid. […]

  • Reply November 12, 2013


    Does “Memoirs of a Geisha” fall under the historical romance category ? ? It’s been a long time since I’ve read the book …. Maybe it was the cinematography of the movie that captured me … Can’t say for sure xx

    • Reply November 12, 2013


      Ps: You know you have my vote for # 1 xx

    • Reply November 12, 2013

      Cate Hogan

      I think it qualifies for historical, perhaps not a romance as you could say the story is more about one character, than their relationship. As for Bronze Horseman, I was wondering if you would agree with it as number one, or if you had another that you’d liked even more…

      • November 13, 2013


        Oops just goes to show my literary expertise , best I research what constitutes historical romance before I make posts.

        Mmmm …. Not too sure of what other one I could like more …. You may need to prompt my memory !

      • November 14, 2013

        Cate Hogan

        I think you’re right though, it’s a memoir more than a romance. As for better number ones – let the hunt continue! I’d be only too happy to find a new one.

  • Reply November 10, 2013


    What about “The Winds of War”…

    • Reply November 10, 2013

      Cate Hogan

      Well if the reviews on Goodreads are anything to go by, it sounds amazing. Thanks for the tip.

  • Reply November 10, 2013


    Definitely with you for number 1. I loved the whole trilogy and have read them more than once. They also helped me win a trivia game one night!

    • Reply November 10, 2013

      Cate Hogan

      I know, right! Ah – that book is what made me want to write, and English isn’t even the author’s first language! Looking forward to the movie.

  • Reply November 10, 2013


    Firstly- my children are going to appreciate the hot chips and nuggets they will be eating for the next 6 months while I devour this list.
    Secondly- you have missed one epic (in my opinion #1) the Lions of Al Rassen (my spelling is probably off, and I am not going to attempt to spell the author) look it up. Seriously.

    • Reply November 10, 2013

      Cate Hogan

      Wow thanks for the hot tip Chloe, just read reviews on Lions, I can’t believe I haven’t read it. If you like Moorish themes you might also like to try The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory. It’s about Katherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII. Almost made the top 15.

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