The best steamy historical romance novels

Last updated: Jun 8th, 2021

Here come the bodice rippers: truly steamy novels set in the past. Not so demure and virtuous... These romance books might be set in the past, but that doesn't mean that their protagonists espouse antiquated morals. This is our compilation of some of the best, and certainly steamiest romance novels out there.

  • #1 The Daring Duke - Jess Michaels

    The Daring Duke - Jess Michaels

    regency historical

    The wild and charismatic Duke of Abernathe is the kind of friend anyone would wish to have. He even formed the 1797 Club, consisting of ten men who would all be dukes. But he has full-throatedly declared he will never marry and no one understands why.

    But Miss Emma Liston doesn’t care why. A longtime wallflower with an absentee father who is a scandal waiting to happen, she needs to marry. Now. She decides to take a wild chance and ask the help of her friend Meg’s brother James. She asks him to pretend he’s interested in her just long enough to gain the attention of others. He agrees but is quickly taken aback by how easy everything is with Emma. more

  • #2 The Devil's Submission - Nicola Davidson

    The Devil's Submission - Nicola Davidson

    regency historical erotic romance bdsm

    Disinherited by his parents and estranged from his wife, Fallen pleasure club co-owner Lord Grayson ‘Devil’ Deveraux long ago learned to place his trust in ledgers rather than people. But his ice-cold reserve hides the scandalous truth: he’s a man who craves pain with his pleasure, and a loving lady to instruct him.

    Banished to the country when her whirlwind marriage collapsed, Lady Eliza Deveraux never knew why Grayson fell out of love with her: she’d tried so damned hard to quell her fiery self and be a proper, obedient wife. But when Eliza is forced to return to London and back into Grayson’s intoxicating world, banked passions reignite. more

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  • #3 Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean

    Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean

    regency historical curvy heroine bad boys alpha male

    A lady does not smoke cheroot. She does not ride astride. She does not fence or attend duels. She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen's club... Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she's vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she's been missing.

    But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile... more

  • #4 A Week to Be Wicked - Tessa Dare

    A Week to Be Wicked - Tessa Dare

    historical bad boys alpha male enemies to lovers tortured hero

    When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin...time is not on their side. Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove's confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland. Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be...anywhere but Spindle Cove.

    What they don't have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls. Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe...just maybe...love. more

  • #5 Passion - Lisa Valdez

    Passion - Lisa Valdez

    erotic romance historical tortured hero pregnancy alpha male

    In her second year of mourning, lovely, young widow Passion Elizabeth Dare never dreamed she would be with a man again—and certainly not a complete stranger. But amidst the crowds of London's Crystal Palace, Passion finds herself discreetly, yet insistently, pursued by a sensual gentleman who awakens her long-supressed desires. After a loveless marriage of restrained propriety, Passion abandons herself to true bliss for the first time.

    Intoxicated by his encounter with the beautiful stranger, Mark Randolph Hawkmore, Earl of Langley, cannot wait to see her again. more

  • #6 Slightly Dangerous - Mary Balogh

    Slightly Dangerous - Mary Balogh

    regency historical sassy heroine second chances tortured hero

    All of London is abuzz over the imminent arrival of Wulfric Bedwyn, the reclusive, cold-as-ice Duke of Bewcastle, at the most glittering social event of the season. Some whisper of a tragic love affair. Others say he is so aloof and passionless that not even the greatest beauty could capture his attention. But on this dazzling afternoon, one woman did catch the duke’s eye—and she was the only female in the room who wasn’t even trying. Christine Derrick is intrigued by the handsome duke…all the more so when he invites her to become his mistress.

    What red-blooded woman wouldn’t enjoy a tumble in the bedsheets with a consummate lover—with no strings and no questions asked. more

  • #7 The Many Sins Of Lord Cameron - Jennifer Ashley

    The Many Sins Of Lord Cameron - Jennifer Ashley

    suspense historical mystery alpha male abuse

    He is a man of simple tastes—and complex pleasures... Cameron Mackenzie is a man who loves only horses and women—in that order—or so his mistresses say.

    Ainsley Douglas is a woman with a strong sense of justice and the desire to help others—even if that means sneaking around a rakish man's bedchamber.

    Which is exactly where Cam finds her—six years after he caught her the first time. Only then, she convinced Cam she was seeking a liaison, but couldn't go through with it because of her husband. Now a widow, she's on a mission to retrieve letters that could prove embarrassing to the queen. more

  • #8 Seven Years to Sin - Sylvia Day

    Seven Years to Sin - Sylvia Day

    regency historical erotic romance alpha male bdsm

    Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she’d held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield’s image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams…

    Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes–all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. more

  • #9 One Good Earl Deserves a Lover - Sarah MacLean

    One Good Earl Deserves a Lover - Sarah MacLean

    regency historical bad boys tortured hero virgin heroine

    Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she's never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London's most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.

    Like any good scientist, Pippa's done her research and Cross's reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. more

  • #10 A Duke of Her Own - Eloisa James

    A Duke of Her Own - Eloisa James

    historical marriage of convenience love triangle georgian regency

    Leopold Dautry, the notorious Duke of Villiers, must wed quickly and nobly—and his choices, alas, are few. The Duke of Montague's daughter, Eleanor, is exquisitely beautiful and fiercely intelligent. Villiers betroths himself to her without further ado. After all, no other woman really qualifies. Lisette, the outspoken daughter of the Duke of Gilner, cares nothing for clothing or decorum. She's engaged to another man, and doesn't give a fig for status or title. Half the ton believes Lisette mad—and Villiers is inclined to agree.

    Torn between logic and passion, between intelligence and imagination, Villiers finds himself drawn to the very edge of impropriety. more

  • #11 Accidentally Compromising the Duke - Stacy Reid

    Accidentally Compromising the Duke - Stacy Reid

    regency historical pregnancy alpha male virgin heroine

    England, 1817. Miss Adeline Hays is out of options. Determined to escape marriage to a repugnant earl, Adeline plans to deliberately allow herself to be caught in a compromising position at a house party with the much kinder man she’d hoped to marry. Instead, Adeline accidentally enters the wrong chamber and tumbles into the bed of the mad duke.

    Edmond Rochester, the duke of Wolverton, is seeking a wife to care for his two daughters. A young lady of sensibilities, accomplishment, and most importantly, one who he is not attracted to—a complete opposite of the bewitching beauty who traps him into marriage. more

  • #12 The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) - Julia Quinn

    The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) - Julia Quinn

    regency historical victorian strong heroine pregnancy

    Can there be any greater challenge to London's Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke? — Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, April 1813

    By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it's all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

    But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it's hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. more

  • #13 Darkest Highlander (Dark Sword #6) - Donna Grant

    Darkest Highlander (Dark Sword #6) - Donna Grant

    historical paranormal erotic romance shapeshifters demons

    In the acclaimed Dark Sword series, the darkest, fiercest warriors of Scottish legend finally meet their match—in the brave, fiery hearts of the women they cherish…

    For years, Broc has watched over her, protected her—and hidden his love for her. But when his beautiful Sonya, finds herself in a hopeless situation, the Highlander flies to her side to save her. Unfortunately, before the Druidess can thank him, Broc is captured by his enemy and destined for eternal pain…

    Sonya vows to help her noble warrior, though he is imprisoned in a mountain of pure evil—bound in chains of the darkest magic. more

  • #14 Seduction of a Highland Lass (McCabe Trilogy #2) - Maya Banks

    Seduction of a Highland Lass (McCabe Trilogy #2) - Maya Banks

    medieval erotic romance historical forbidden love virgin heroine

    Maya Banks, the New York Times bestselling author of erotic romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary romance, has captivated readers with her steamy Scottish historical novels, perfect for fans of Julie Garwood. In Seduction of a Highland Lass, an indomitable Highland warrior is caught between loyalty and forbidden love.

    Fiercely loyal to his elder brother, Alaric McCabe leads his clan in the fight for their birthright. Now he is prepared to wed for duty, as well. But on his way to claim the hand of Rionna McDonald, daughter of a neighboring chieftain, he is ambushed and left for dead. more

  • #15 The Duke's Match Girl - A Fiery Tale Novella (Fiery Tales #4.5) - Lila DiPasqua

    The Duke's Match Girl - A Fiery Tale Novella (Fiery Tales #4.5) - Lila DiPasqua

    historical second chances regency

    As childhood friends, Leopold d'Ermart and Suzanne Matchet were inseparable. One unforgettable Christmas Eve, their relationship changed from the best of friends...to lovers. But the heir of the Duke of Mont-Marly isn't supposed to fall in love with the daughter of his family's physician. Or vice versa.

    Years later, Suzanne is dreading her first Christmas without her father. The heartbreak Leo caused when he left seven years ago is a distant memory. And she prefers to keep it that way. The last thing Suzanne expects is for tall, dark, and sinfully seductive Leo d'Ermart to show up at her door and announce he wants her back in his life. And in his bed. more

  • #16 Silver Lining - Maggie Osborne

    Silver Lining - Maggie Osborne

    western historical erotic romance cheating strong heroine

    As scruffy and rootless as the other prospectors searching for gold in the Rockies, Low Down wanted nothing in return for nursing a raggedy bunch through the pox. But when pressed to reveal her heart's wish, she admits, "I want a baby." Not a husband, not a forced marriage to the proud man who drew the scratched marble and became honor bound to marry her. To be sure, Max McCord was easy on the eyes, but he loved another woman and dreamed of a different life. Yet they agreed to a temporary marriage that could end only in disaster. more

  • #17 At Love's Command (Brothers in Arms #4) - Samantha Kane

    At Love's Command (Brothers in Arms #4) - Samantha Kane

    contemporary friends to lovers abuse alpha male bdsm

    A child when they were betrothed, Sophia Middleton has been waiting twelve years for Ian Witherspoon to return and marry her. Preyed upon by her vicious father and older brother, Sophie longs for Ian to rescue her. Ian Witherspoon and Derek Knightly became best friends during the Peninsular War, and returned as lovers. Two more years pass before the desire for a wife and children prompts Ian to recall his little fiance. Ian is determined to make a marriage work between the three of them. more

  • #18 Sinful Treasure (Venice Vampyr #3) - Tina Folsom

    Sinful Treasure (Venice Vampyr #3) - Tina Folsom

    vampires regency historical paranormal fantasy

    Venice, Italy - early 1800s. When vampire rake Lorenzo Conti finds a beautiful woman sleeping in the bedchamber of his newly acquired home, he believes her to be a housewarming gift bestowed upon him by his thoughtful friends. There’s only one thing to do with such a delicious present: ravish her!

    The mysterious Bianca rushes to Venice upon her father’s death but arrives too late: the house that she believes to contain a priceless treasure has already been sold. Hoping the new owner won’t move in for another few days, she breaks in to search for her father’s elusive treasure. more

  • #19 A Lady's Pleasure - Robin Schone

    A Lady's Pleasure - Robin Schone

    contemporary victorian historical erotic romance virgin heroine

    Lady Abigail Wynfred escapes to a seaside cottage to bid her dreams farewell before marrying a staid English lord to please her family. Colonel Robert Coally convalesces in a nearby cottage to recuperate from a battle wound before returning to the Boer Wars. When a storm strikes, Robert takes refuge with Abigail. He has seen too much death. She has experienced too much loneliness. They vow to fulfill each others fantasies until the storm ends. But passion, they discover, is as unpredictable and life-altering as the elements... more

  • #20 The Virgin at Goodrich Hall (Rogues of Deception #2) - Danielle Lisle

    The Virgin at Goodrich Hall (Rogues of Deception #2) - Danielle Lisle

    historical virgin heroine fetish erotic romance exhibitionism

    Victor did not expect to sacrifice his night by offering limitless pleasure to an untried virgin, yet little did he realise the pleasure which awaited him in return. The rumour of a manor housing mindless pleasure is too much temptation for this young maiden to ignore. Lady Margaret knew her father would choose her a suitor soon, but how could she find passion with a man twice her age? With the fear she would never experience anything with her husband other than her duty of providing him an heir, she set out for Goodrich Hall, a whispered about mystery of the ton. more


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