Boston Public Library
Journey to Romance
Period Romance Fiction
Booklists for Adults 

In period romance, the story has a historical setting, but the primary focus is on the relationship between the main protagonists; events from the period do not usually have a major impact on the story line. The following list of selected titles is representative of sensual period romance, a subgenre of period romance.

Blake, Jennifer. Louisiana Dawn. 1987.
(Locale: Louisiana. Period: 18th century)
Young Cyrene NoltÈ daringly decides that the only way to escape from the over-protectiveness of her guardians is to take a lover.

Brandewyne, Rebecca. Swan Road. 1994.
(Locales: Wales, Scandinavia, England. Period: 9th century)
A Welsh princess falls in love with her Viking captor.

Brown, Sandra. Sunset Embrace. 1985.
(Locale: American West. Period: 1840s)
Two people, both trying to escape their unhappy pasts, find love and danger on a wagon train going west.

Busbee, Shirlee. Love a Dark Rider. 1994.
(Locale: Texas. Period: 1860s)
By marrying Sara Rawlings, Yancy Cantrell can reclaim Casa Paloma, a Texas ranch that he feels rightfully belongs to him. But is the ranch the only reason he is so determined to wed the beautiful young widow?

Coulter, Catherine. The Nightingale Legacy. [1995], c1994.
(Locale: England. Period: 1810s)
When Lord Chilton, Frederic North Nightin- gale, rescues lady-in-distress Caroline Derwent-Jones, things take a romantic turn.

Deveraux, Jude. Counterfeit Lady. 1984.
(Locales: England, America. Period: 1790s)
A case of mistaken identity and marriage by proxy leaves a Virginia planter married, not to his fianceÈ, but to a woman he never met.

Garwood, Julie. The Wedding. 1996.
(Locales: England, Scotland. Period: 12th century)
A Scottish chieftain kidnaps and weds a young English noblewoman for political reasons and, to his surprise, finds that he has acquired quite a captivating bride.

Johansen, Iris. Lion’s Bride. 1996.
(Locales: Byzantium, Scotland. Period: 12th century)
An escaping slave girl finds unexpected refuge with Lord Ware of Dundragon, but his troubled past places them both in danger.

Lindsey, Johanna. Silver Angel. 1988
(Locales: Turkey, England. Period: 1790s)
Taken captive by pirates and purchased for the dey of Barikah’s harem, Chantelle Burke finds her determination to resist her fate somewhat undermined when she falls in love with her new master.

Lowell, Elizabeth. Autumn Lover. 1996.
(Locales: Ruby Mountains, Nevada. Period: 1860s)
Elyssa Sutton just needs a ramrod handy with a gun to defend her ranch from the Culpepper gang. When she hires Hunter to do the job, she faces the additional complication of finding herself inexplicably attracted to the handsome loner.

McNaught, Judith. Almost Heaven. 1990.
(Locales: England, Scotland. Period: 19th century)
After a disastrous London season, Lady Elizabeth Cameron’s uncle decides to marry her off to the first available suitor no matter how unattractive she finds the alliance.

Potter, Patricia. Diablo. 1996.
(Locale: Texas. Period: 1860s)
When Kane O’Brien goes undercover in an outlaw haven, his mission is to gather sufficient information to destroy the retreat, not fall in love with the lonely young niece of the man who runs it.

Quick, Amanda. Desire. [1994], c.1993.
(Locale: Fictional British island. Period: 12th century)
Sir Gareth, the Hellhound of Wyckmere, forsakes the battlefield for an arranged marriage with Lady Clare, maker of perfumes and mistress of the Isle of  Desire. Can this unlikely match work?

Robards, Karen. Nobody’s Angel. 1992.
(Locales: Carolina Colony; England. Period: 18th century)
The preacher’s eldest daughter falls in love with the indentured prisoner she has hired to do the farm work, but this man’s unexpected past raises seemingly insurmountable barriers to their chance for happiness together.

Rogers, Rosemary. The Tea Planter’s Bride. 1995.
(Locales: England, Ceylon. Period: 1890s)
Caught up in the whirl of her first and very successful London season, Celia Penmaris finds that her distant fiancÈ is less and less on her mind and the notorious Grant Hamilton is increasingly so.

Taylor, Janelle. Destiny Mine. 1995.
(Locale: Wyoming. Period: 1800s)
Kionee feels torn between her duty to both her family and tribe and her love for the Cheyenne
warrior Stalking Wolf.

Williamson, Penelope. The Outsider. 1996.
(Locale: Montana. Period: 1880s)
When a young widow from a conservative religious community takes care of a wounded
gunslinger, she must confront not only censure from her community but also the dilemma created by her own increasing attraction to a man she believes must be evil.

Woodiwiss, Kathleen E.  Forever in Your Embrace. 1992
(Locales: Russia, England. Period: 17th century)
On temporary duty with the tsar’s army, a British colonel becomes unwittingly entangled in the amorous intrigues of a beautiful Russian countess.



History and Analysis


Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance. Edited by Jayne Ann Krentz. University of Pennsylvania, 1992. 
The essence of the romance novel is defined and its success explored by some of the genre’s top writers.

Ramsdell, Kristin. Happily Ever After: A Guide to Reading Interests in Romance Fiction. Libraries Unlimited, 1987.
Designed as a readers’ advisory tool for librarians, this book is a useful introduction to romance fiction. It covers the history of the romance novel, describes the different subgenres within the field, lists the most prominent authors within each subgenre, and discusses the research and reference sources available to those wishing to explore further.


Ramsdell, Kristin. What Romance Do I Read Next? A Reader’s Guide to Recent Romance Fiction. Gale, 1997.
An annotated bibliography of contemporary authors in the field of romance fiction with indexes by series, time period, location, story type, character name, character description, author, and title.



Romance Writers of America (RWA)
RWA is a national nonprofit corporation established to promote the romance writing genre. Through RWA’s Website you can get up-to-date industry information, look at the latest RITA winners (the RITA is RWA’s top honor for romance fiction writers), check out other award sites, find out what autograph signings are in your area, and connect to romance authors’ home pages.


Romantic Times
The Website of the monthly review magazine Romantic Times contains book reviews, a readers’ forum, industry information, and an awards section.


Selected and Annotated by Eileen Sherman, General Library, Adult Readers and Information Services, Boston Public Library, 1997.