12 Must-Read Historical Romance Novels That Will Tide You Over Until 'Bridgerton' Season 3!

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The beautiful gowns, the high-society balls, the lovably complex characters, the steamy romantic storylines...we could go on and on listing all the reasons we adore Netflix's fan-favorite series Bridgerton. So it's no surprise we're patiently awaiting season three — which airs on Netflix May 16th!

The 19th-century romantic TV drama is based on Julia Quinn‘s bestselling book series and has won the hearts of millions since its season one debut. The upcoming season focuses on the fourth installment of the beloved book series — and it’s Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington’s story. To hold ourselves over until the new episodes, we rounded up 12 of our favorite historical romance books!

Keep scrolling to discover 12 historical romance books like Bridgerton — from steamy second-chance romps to sweeping “marriage of convenience” sagas — and more. Bonus: We even included a few non-Regency historical romances in the mix set against the backdrop of WWII and other eras. Happy reading!

Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (books like Bridgerton)
Julia Quinn

Want to read the book before the season premiere? The fourth book in the Bridgerton series follows Colin and Penelope. When Colin Bridgerton returns to London from his travels, he realizes nothing is the same — especially Penelope Featherington. The girl who was always simply there is suddenly the girl he can’t stop thinking about. But she’s his sister’s best friend…and she’s harboring a secret that could ruin everything. Now, Colin must decide if Penelope is worth the happily ever after.

What readers are saying:  “It made me laugh. It made me smile. It made me cry. It touched my heart and it touched my soul. And it also made me desire a certain Mr. Colin Bridgerton. He loves intensely!”

Related: ‘Bridgerton’ Cast: Catch Up With the Stars of the Delightful Regency Era Series

The Secret Service of Tea and Treason by India Holton

The Secret Service of Tea and Treason by India Holton (best historical romance novels)

Bestselling author India Holton is known for her romantic, heart-racing capers — and her latest follows suit. Alice, known as Agent A for the Agency of Undercover Note Takers, is assigned to a case as the agency hears rumors of an assassination plot. She’ll be working with her rival Daniel Bixby, Agent B. But when they go undercover as a couple, they must ignore their chemistry and crack the case!

What readers are saying: "I've never read anyone who writes like India Holton. Her words dance and twirl, take off in unexpected directions, then swoop you back around and bring such absolute joy. It's like surfing the wind or riding a dancing wave and it feels like happiness. I love this series so much."

Related: ‘Bridgerton’ Costume Designer John Glaser Shares Secrets About Gorgeous Season 3 Dresses and More

Sincerely, The Duke by Amelia Grey

Sincerely, The Duke by Amelia Grey (best historical romance novels)
St. Martin's Paperbacks

Readers are taken back in time in this swoon-worthy novel featuring Miss Edwina Fine — who is hiding a secret and must find a husband. So when a proposal from the Duke of Stonerick “Rick” arrives by mail, she jumps at the chance. But Rick also has a secret — and he never expected that the lady he sent his proposal to would take his breath away. As steamy chemistry soars and secrets unravel, will true love follow?

What readers are saying: "I really enjoyed Edwina and Rick's story! Pick a name off a list and marry her...I can't imagine what could go wrong. Such fun watching these two find their HEA!"

The Love Remedy by Elizabeth Everett

The Love Remedy by Elizabeth Everett (best historical romance novels)

Memorable characters and steamy moments combine in this charming love story. Lucinda “Lucy” Peterson owns a Victorian apothecary. But when her perfected formula to treat croup goes missing, she blames a rival apothecary and hires a grumpy private investigator, Jonathan Thorne. As the two work side by side, their mutual attraction is undeniable. Soon, the case unravels secrets and their possible future together.

What readers are saying: "Lucy and Thorne are perfect for one another. Besides the fact that they are both as smart as a whip, they are impossibly drawn to one another, with the tension between them nearly jumping off of the pages. I definitely look forward to continuing with the second book in this series."

The Davenports by Krystal Marquis

The Davenports by Krystal Marquis (best historical romance novels)
Dial Books

Drama, secrets and romance abound in this novel —which is the first in Krystal Marquis’ new series called The Davenports. In 1910, the Davenports are one of the few Black families of great wealth in a changing United States. The story is told from four points of view: Olivia and Helen, who are two of the Davenport children; Amy-Rose, a family friend and servant; and Olivia’s best friend, Ruby. A tale about high-society and love.

What readers are saying: "The author weaves a story of love lost, found and lost again in a backdrop worthy of The Gilded Age. The characters traverse the ins and outs of romance — it is a rich story that is beautifully told."

To Catch a Raven by Beverly Jenkins

To Catch a Raven by Beverly Jenkins (best historical romance novels)

Bestselling author Beverly Jenkins’ Women Who Dare series returns with an exciting, action-packed love story. Lying and cheating is a way of life for Raven Moreaux, who comes from a line of grifters. But when a former Confederate official is suspected of stealing the Declaration of Independence, the government hires Raven to steal it back. Her partner in the investigation is Braxton Steel, and soon romantic sparks ignite.

What readers are saying: "Another fun, romantic, adventurous read from Beverly Jenkins! I'm not usually a super huge 'enemies to lovers' fan, but this was just perfect, as we quickly saw Braxton and Raven move past the 'enemies' stage and into the lovers stage as they were forced together to find a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Raven and Braxton's story also contains the fake marriage trope, and as always, Jenkins handled this trope stunningly."

The Duchess by Sophie Jordan

The Duchess by Sophie Jordan (best historical romance novels)

In the second installment of The Scandalous Ladies of London, it’s one year after Valencia, the Dowager Duchess of Dedham, lost her wretched husband, and she loves her new life of freedom. That all changes when the new Duke of Dedham, Rhain, and his six sisters move into Valencia’s home. They strike a deal: Valencia will introduce Rhain’s sisters to all the eligible bachelors, and Rhain will help Valencia financially, ensuring her independence.

What readers are saying: “While waiting on Bridgerton’s third season, I grabbed this historical romance book, and this Regency-era love story was a perfect fit. I enjoyed the strong female lead and the blushingly romantic love story.”

A Duke, The Lady and a Baby by Vanessa Riley

A Duke, The Lady and a Baby by Vanessa Riley (best historical romance novels)

Bestselling author Vanessa Riley is known for her romantic Regency-era tales, and her latest is bursting with wit and charm. When the headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her husband’s eerie death, she lost everything — including custody of her son. But a secret widow’s society gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. His guardian, a rakish Duke, soon strikes a fire in Patience’s heart.

What readers are saying: “I adored this book! This is filled with Vanessa Riley’s trademark lush historical and sensory details and poetic prose. An enchanting historical romance to be treasured on your keeper shelf.”

To Woo and to Wed by Martha Waters

To Woo and to Wed by Martha Waters (best historical romance novels)

Pitch-perfect banter and sizzling scenes abound in To Woo and to Wed, the fifth and final installment of The Regency Vows series by Martha Waters. This story follows West, the Marquess of Weston and soon-to-be Duke, and recently widowed Sophie, also known as Lady Fitzwilliam Bridewell. West and Sophie are not new friends. Years ago, they were almost engaged…until West’s accident and his meddling father derailed it all. Now, they have a chance to reunite, but it’s not what it seems. What follows is a series of schemes, secrets and fake engagements and a second chance at happily ever after. This novel is sure to delight fans of Bridgerton!

What readers are saying: "I have read all five Regency novels in this series. The writing is interesting and refreshing. I can’t wait to see another series from Martha Waters. So much fun and clever writing."

Knockout by Sarah MacLean

Knockout by Sarah MacLean (best historical romance novels)
Knockout by Sarah MacLean (best historical romance novels)

In this sweeping, steamy and achingly romantic tale, bestselling author Sarah Maclean dazzles. Lady Imogen Loveless has always been seen as peculiar due to her love of experiments and explosives. If only they knew about her involvement in the vigilante group Hell’s Belles. Soon though, Imogen's after-hours activities are discovered, and detective Thomas Peck is assigned to guard her, even if it is the last thing he wants to do. But as the two start to spend more time, together sparks fly. Will they be able to put their differences aside and live happily ever after?

What readers are saying: "I have read all of Sarah's books. Most of them multiple times. As always this book has left me unable to stop reading and begging for the next book. Amazing writing. It had suspense, romance and laughter all in one."

Embers in the London Sky by Sarah Sundin

Embers in the London Sky by Sarah Sundin (best historical romance novels)

In this epic WWII romance, Sarah Sundin transports readers to 1940 Netherlands. As the German army invades her town, Aleida van der Zee Martens escapes to London. But in the process, she is separated from her 3-year-old son, Theo. Then bombs set London ablaze and BBC radio correspondent Hugh Collingwood reports on the Blitz. Aleida connects with Hugh and asks for his help locating Theo. Before long, they grow closer to each other — and the answers they seek.

What readers are saying: "Another immaculately researched novel by Sarah Sundin, perfect for lovers of Christian romantic suspense and historical fiction!"

Just Once by Karen Kingsbury

Just Once by Karen Kingsbury (best historical romance novels)
Atria Books

In the latest novel by beloved author Karen Kingsbury, readers are taken back to 1941 during WWII. When Irvel Holland’s boyfriend, Sam, is drafted, he leaves for the war. While he’s gone, chemistry builds between Irvel and Sam’s younger brother, Hank. Then, Irvel is hired by the military as a spy. The rule: She can tell no one. With Irvel caught between two brothers thousands of miles apart, can true love find a way?

What readers are saying: "I admit that I don't read many books that are strictly romances, but when they are set during history, I do read them and like them. I have read Karen Kingsbury before and loved her writing so felt sure I would like the book, and it did not disappoint. With many twists and turns, the characters face many challenges that help them grow."

Related: Bestselling Author Karen Kingsbury Talks Faith, Hope and New Movie ‘Someone Like You’: “God Put This in My Heart!”

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