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Welcome to the World of Regency & Victorian Romance!
Netflix’s “Bridgerton” took the streaming world by storm last month, quickly becoming the service’s top original show with views by over 82 million subscribers. Whether it was the instrumental pop songs, the historical fashion, or the steamy romance, viewers can’t get enough of the series.
As a lover of historical romance novels, I am delighted to see that “Bridgerton” has piqued the interest of many. In the past decade, I have read nearly 100 books set in England in the 1800s. It’s a fascinating time in history and the perfect setting for many of my favorite romance tropes. This century is composed of two well-known periods, the “Regency” period, from 1790 to 1830, and the “Victorian” era, from 1837 to 1901. Though only two hundred years ago, society and culture looked entirely different during this period compared to modern times. Novels set in the era highlight the harsh expectations set on women, from purity to demure behavior to complete reliance on men.
If you are interested in experiencing this time in history, I highly suggest checking out the historical romance authors I have detailed below. While Julia Quinn, author of the “Bridgerton” books that inspired the series, is a talented author, these novelists are my go-to when I’m craving an exciting romance full of compelling conflict and beautiful settings.
With over 100 published books, Stephanie Laurens is a prolific author whose books are mostly set in the Regency period. Her books’ heroes are often soldiers returning from war with France matched with strong-willed heroines, such as those in the Bastion Club series. She has also created an entire world with her Cynster series, with 28 books so far and likely more to come. I enjoy long series like these since there is a sense of familiarity when reading, even though each book is unique.
Before her untimely passing in 2019, Johanna Lindsey wrote novels set in various periods, from the Middle Ages to the Wild West. Her most popular series centers around the Malory-Anderson family, set in the Regency period as it heads toward the Victorian era. This twelve book series also has some books set in America, which offers a look into the foundling country between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. My only gripe about the Malory-Anderson series is that some books featured heroines with mystical powers, which is not my taste.
A self-proclaimed lover of “rebels, scoundrels, and rogues”, Lorraine Heath’s novels are a steamy mix of stubborn heroes and bold heroines. I have read her London’s Greatest Lovers series at least four times now, and I’m gearing up for another re-read sometime this year. Most of Heath’s novels are set in the second half of the 19th century, with male characters returning from the brutal Crimean War or facing economic upheaval due to the Industrial Revolution. Heath will soon be introducing a new series, Once Upon a Dukedom, with the first book set to release on March 30, 2021. I received an advanced copy of this upcoming title and devoured it within two days!
If I had to pick a favorite historical romance author, it would be Lisa Kleypas. Her books are the ones I consistently re-read because of her ability to create complex and heart-wrenching stories. Another trend of hers I enjoy is that she doesn’t focus solely on characters from the wealthy noble class. Her Bow Street Runners and Gamblers of Craven’s series are two of my most read series. I am also currently in the process of reading her most recent series, which centers around the Ravenel family. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to start this set of books because I have found that sometimes authors start to phone it in a bit once they’ve written more than twenty books. But that’s not the case here at all! The Ravenels have drawn me in with their strong and stubborn personalities, and I can’t wait for the seventh book in the series to be released later this year.
Now that you’ve heard my favorites tell me… Who are your favorite historical romance authors?
From one Wordo to another, thanks for tuning in! See you next time!
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