The best steamy historical romance novels
Nov 7th, 2014
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 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.
When her father returns, threatening her with a terrible future, their courtship swiftly becomes all too real... more
#2 The Devil's Submission - Nicola Davidson
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
#3 Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean
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
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
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. As a series of rapturous rendezvous follows, he and his mystery lover find something rare and wonderful blossoming between them. But a blackmail scheme against the Earl threatens to destroy everything... more
#6 Slightly Dangerous - Mary Balogh
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
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. Cam has no interest in Ainsley's subterfuge, but he vows to finish what they started those many years ago. One game, one kiss at a time, he plans to seduce her... more
#8 Seven Years to Sin - Sylvia Day
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
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. She wants science without emotion—the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination... more
#10 A Duke of Her Own - Eloisa James
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
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. But despite the lust he feels for his new duchess, Edmond is resolved to never allow them intimacy, refusing to ever again suffer the tormenting loss of a loved one... more
#12 The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) - Julia Quinn
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. Maybe it's his devilish smile, certainly it's the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her..... more
#13 Darkest Highlander (Dark Sword #6) - Donna Grant
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. With Sonya’s own magic fading, she must summon the greatest power of all to save the man she loves... more
#14 Seduction of a Highland Lass (McCabe Trilogy #2) - Maya Banks
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. Miraculously, his life is saved by the soft touch of a Highland angel, a courageous beauty who will put to the test his fealty to his clan, his honor, and his deepest desires..... more
#15 The Duke's Match Girl - A Fiery Tale Novella (Fiery Tales #4.5) - Lila DiPasqua
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. Worse, the now celebrated libertine is even more devastating to a woman's senses than ever before..... more
#16 Silver Lining - Maggie Osborne
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
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. Derek opposes the marriage despite Ian's determination, but how long will he be able to resist love's command? Sophie's vulnerability hides a core of strength and the combination enthralls and seduces both men... more
#18 Sinful Treasure (Venice Vampyr #3) - Tina Folsom
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.
But when Lorenzo discovers her, she has to think fast and find a way to remain at the house to continue her search... more
#19 A Lady's Pleasure - Robin Schone
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
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. Propriety and good sense be damned, she would not die without experiencing the pleasure a real man could offer! As soon as the young maiden entered the Hall, Victor knew he would have her... more
#21 The Taming of the Wolf (Westfield Wolves #4) - Lydia Dare
He could never lose control...
Dashiel Thorpe, Earl of Brimsworth, has spent his life fighting the wolf within him. But when the full moon rises, Dash is helpless. A chance encounter with Caitrin Macleod on a moonlit night inadvertently binds the two together irrevocably, and Dash's impulsiveness plunges them both into a nightmare.
She never saw him coming...
Caitrin Macleod is no quiet country lass, but a witch with remarkable abilities. But when it comes to Dashiel, she's as helpless to fight his true nature as he is. Her senses overwhelmed, she runs back to the safety and security of her native Scotland.
But Dashiel is determined to follow her—she's the only woman who can free him from a fate worse than death... more
#22 Seeking Truth - Francesca Hawley
Baron Eaduin Kempe, a man of intense passions, seeks a healer at a nearby abbey. When the abbess introduces convent-raised Lady Vérité de Sauigni, he knows he’s hellbound for desiring her. He wants to tie her to his bed until she sobs with the pleasure of his touch.
Eaduin offers Vérité marriage in exchange for easing the pain of his dying foster mother. Years ago, Vérité secretly watched Baron Eaduin arouse a lover and has dreamed of his touch ever since. She desires him enough to risk exchanging the imprisonment of convent life for that of marriage. On their wedding night, Eaduin craves dominance and Vérité submits with enthusiasm. Each heated encounter thereafter binds them closer together... more
#23 Face of the Maiden - Emma Wildes
Her arrival stirs something deep and dark. Perhaps even deadly …
Celia Fairmont’s new home on the wild coast of Cornwall is a sprawling ancient mansion steeped in history and deep, dark secrets. From the first night her dreams are plagued by images of clandestine meetings with a handsome, reckless lover. The man in her visions looks disturbingly like the oldest son of her new guardian, the Earl of Ashbourne, but there the resemblance stops. Phillip Leighton is practical to a fault and too preoccupied with estate business to even notice her presence.
Phillip Leighton does not have time for illogical romantic fantasies about his father’s young ward. The very lovely Miss Fairmont is unsophisticated and innocent—not at all suited to be the next Countess of Ashbourne... more
#24 The Merry Widow - Koko Brown
Victorian England is a man's world. And no one knows this better than Phillipa Jones who must fight society's conventions along with chauvinistic ship captains and a greedy yet undeniably handsome Viscount to keep her late husband's shipping business afloat. Unfortunately, one moment of weakness and a case of mistaken identities will place her in a compromising position, which will see everything she's worked for come to ruins including her reputation... more
#25 Love Slave - Bertrice Small
It is no act of love that Regan experiences the night she takes her sister's place in the marriage bed, a counterfeit bride to sate the lust of her twin's new husband. Come morning, her sister, carrying another man's child, resumes her place and Regan is spirited away to a nunnery.
But a more exotic fate awaits the fiery Celtic beauty: Regan is sold to a slave trader. It will be her destiny to come under the tutelage of Karim al Malina, master of the erotic arts, who will mold Regan -- now renamed Zaynab, the beautiful one -- into a Love Slave fit for a Moorish king, though the pair break the first rule of teacher and pupil . . . they fall in love.
But Zaynab is not Karim's to keep. She is given to the Caliph of Cordoba, who vows to love her . . ... more
#26 Emily's Seduction (Carte Blanche #4) - Natasha Blackthorne
Before he can share his deepest, darkest secrets with her, he has to show her what seduction truly means.
For the first time in a long time, Alex is genuinely happy. He’s found a woman he can love. Now he wants only to enjoy his life. But the past won’t let him go. His dark secrets threaten to engulf him. Yet how can he tell his innocent fiancée about the horrific things he’s experienced?
Emily finds herself locked in a battle with the darkness that appears to hold Alex captive. As he reveals more of his inner torment, as he seduces her into carnal decadence, she wonders who is this man she’s so desperately in love with... more
#27 Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) - Lisa Kleypas
When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton . Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.
Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both... more
#28 The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels #1) - Kerrigan Byrne
Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of Victorian London's wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who've wronged him...and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception-and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands...
But Farah is no one's puppet. She possesses a powerful secret-one that threatens her very life... more
#29 Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels #3) - Loretta Chase
Tough-minded Jessica Trent's sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain's reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction ...
Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him ... and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can't wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place --- and in some amorous position, And if that means marriage, so be it! --- though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof ... and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady's considerable charms... more
#30 Night Song - Beverly Jenkins
A Traitorous Heart . . .
Cara Lee Henson knows no soldiercan be trusted to stay in one place—and thatincludes handsome Sergeant Chase Jeffersonof the Tenth Cavalry. Dallying withthe dashing man in blue could cost the pretty, independent Kansas schoolteacher herjob and her reputation. So Cara is determinedto repel Chase’s advances—even thoughher aloof facade barely masks hersmoldering desire.
A Blazing Passion . . .
Never before has Chase longed for a woman the way he ached for lovely Cara Lee.The strong-willed ebony beauty, however,will not surrender easily. But with tenderwords and soulful caresses, Chase intendsto conquer the reluctant schoolmarm’smisgivings—and teach her how to love fully,sensuously . . . and forever... more
#31 The Kadin (Kadin #1) - Bertrice Small
Abducted from a life of privilege, she was sold into slavery in a distant land. For Lady Janet Leslie there would be no escaping the harem of the wealthy and powerful Sultan Selim. But from the moment the handsome ruler spied his breathtaking "Cyra," was captivated -- by the fiery desire that coursed through his veins. She belonged to him, body and soul -yet it was he who was enslaved.
Praised for her keen sense of history and remarkable storytelling powers, the bestselling author of The Spitfire displays the passionate magic that has made her a national favorite -sweeping the reader into the romantic past, from the magnificence of Renaissance Europe to the perfumed splendor of a Sultan's court... more
#32 Shackles of Honor - Marcia Lynn McClure
Cassidy Shea's life was nothing if not serene. Loving parents and a doting brother provided happiness and innocent hope as life's experience. Yes-life was blissful at Cassidy's beloved home, Terrill. Still, for all Terrill's beauty and tranquility, ever there was something intangible and evasive lurking in the shadows. And though Cassidy wasted little worry on it, still she sensed its existence-looming as a menacing fate bent on ruin. And when a dark stranger appeared, Cassidy could no longer ignore the ominous whispers of the secrets surrounding her. Mason Carlisle, an angry, unpredictable man, materialized-with Cassidy's black fate at his heels. Thus, thrust into a world completely unknown to her, Cassidy found herself trapped, wandering in a labyrinth of mystery and concealments... more
#33 Petticoat Ranch (Lassoed in Texas #1) - Mary Connealy
Sophie Edwards is doing just fine alone, until a strange-yet oddly familiar-man rides into her life, insisting on rescuing her and her four daughters. Can she find a way to love a headstrong mountain man? When Clay McClellan discovers his brother has been murdered, he's bent on finding the killers and seeing them properly hung. But first his Christian duty demands that he marry his sister-in-law. After all, Sophie needs someone to protect her - right? Faith and love help unruly wed newlyweds find common ground and a chance at love on the Texas frontier... more
Choose from over 100 tropes and themes
Romance novel favorites. Choose from over 100 tropes and themes