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Well-written historical romance with memorable characters?

(50 Posts)
AKAmyself Sun 09-Jul-17 19:48:06

I'm pretty sure i've been on here before begging for recommendations after I emerged from my Outlander binge last year, but I find myself a bit lost and in need of more memorable romance! I thought I would be bored of the genre by now, but apparently not...

So, romance readers, what are your favourites? Needs to be well-written, well-researched, with credible dialogue and characters...

I have read a lot of Regency, enjoyed Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Grace Burrowes, Julia Ann Long, Lisa Kleypas etc. Have loved Laura Kinsale (the closest to Outlander in both themes and quality), and have even strayed into the fantasy world with the Kushiel trilogy.

I am sure there must be more great romance novels out there... any recs gratefully received smile

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DameDeDoubtance Sun 09-Jul-17 21:11:09

Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles are fantastic, as are her Niccolo books.

Some of the most memorable characters ever written.

ScrambledSmegs Sun 09-Jul-17 21:14:02

Second Dorothy Dunnett. Wonderful stuff.

Was the Regency stuff you read Georgette Heyer? Do read her books, they're great fun.

suchasoftersin Sun 09-Jul-17 21:22:44

I really enjoyed Julia Quinn's Series about the Bridgerton's. Definitely memorable characters.

MarciaBlaine Sun 09-Jul-17 21:32:46

Not a romance as such, but with plenty of it- I loved the Sunne in Splendour.

Synecdoche Sun 09-Jul-17 21:47:01

Philippa Gregory! I love both the Cousins War and War of the Roses series. They are great, easy reading page turners. Each book is centred in a female historical figure.

Synecdoche Sun 09-Jul-17 21:49:53

PS I think her Wideacre trilogy is set in the regency period if you're a particular fan of that, but I haven't read those.

MrsQuim Sun 09-Jul-17 21:50:32

Jean plaidy

LoniceraJaponica Sun 09-Jul-17 21:51:38

The Wideacre Trilogy is brilliant.

LouiseBrooks Sun 09-Jul-17 21:57:59

Not really romance, but there are romantic elements at times - anything by Sharon Penman.

sakura06 Sun 09-Jul-17 22:15:55

'Katherine' by Anya Seton is a wonderful book.

bookbook Sun 09-Jul-17 22:21:14

Linda Holeman has written some good stuff - The Linnet Bird and The Moonlight cage, plus others
definitely Sharon Penman
if you like earlier history with a bit of crime Arianna Franklin is good too.
On the Regency side - have you tried Mary Jo Putney

BroomstickOfLove Sun 09-Jul-17 22:30:10

I was going to suggest the Lymond books and Katherine, too, with Mary Balogh as a cheesier option, but they've already gone.

There are the Alexander books by Mary Renault which are breathtakingly good if you don't mind the romance being pretty much exclusively between men.

Not really strictly historical or romance, but you might enjoy the Chronicles of St Mary's by Jodi Taylor.

bookworm14 Sun 09-Jul-17 22:37:25

Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor.

Synecdoche Sun 09-Jul-17 22:58:36

Oh and The Song of Achilles is incredible too. Really took my breath away.

DameDeDoubtance Mon 10-Jul-17 06:46:48

Ooo yes Sharon Penman is goon, particularly The Sunne in Splendour.

AKAmyself Mon 10-Jul-17 07:36:48

Thanks for th great suggestions! I've read some of the books/authors mentioned on here, but there's enough new stuff to get me really excited (and maybe stop re-reading Laura Kinsale...)

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TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Mon 10-Jul-17 07:48:43

Definitely The Song of Achilles, definitely Sharon Penman. Here Be Dragons is fantastic.

bemusedbewildered Mon 10-Jul-17 12:31:29

was contemplating posting a thread like this! Fan of Loretta Chase here, try the maiden lane/Elizabeth Hoyt series - something like 12 books, only a few duds. YY to Song of Achilles - must dust down my copy.

Hallie Rubenhold's 'The French Lesson' is quite good too.

AKAmyself Mon 10-Jul-17 12:48:46

Thanks, have read Loretta chase and maiden lane. If you're into that genre, I adored Grace Burrowes "the captive" and "the traitor" (though I hated the third in the series with a passion!)

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TheHiphopopotamus Mon 10-Jul-17 12:58:47

Good god, don't subject yourself to Philippa Gregory. Her books are awful, worse than the Outlander lot (if that's possible).

Another recommendation for Sharon Penman though. They're based on historical events, with the main characters being kings and queens, but usually have a romance at their centre. Developed a massive crush on Richard III and Edward IV after reading The Sunne in Splendour.

AKAmyself Mon 10-Jul-17 13:06:42

Ahem. But I love Outlander blush

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Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Mon 10-Jul-17 13:07:18

Not really exactly the genre you were after but as I remember the Tenant of Wildfell Hall is well worth reading.
In fact think I am going to download it now and give it another read.

Persemillion Mon 10-Jul-17 13:11:21

Try Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian.

Very well written and researched, one of my favourite books.

Please, stay away from Outlander.

AKAmyself Mon 10-Jul-17 13:12:27

That is exactly the genre, though I read it ages ago! literary romance, if that's a thing? I think I'm bored of regency (never thought I'd say that!) so these suggestions are Great.

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