Historical Reads for Every Time Period
Books have a way of taking you to another place…and another time. Let these books carry you off into the past…just use our guide below to find the time period that you’re looking for.
The Rancher Inherits a Family by Cheryl St. John
The pretty redhead Seth Halloway pulls from a derailed train has surprising news for him. The children she’s accompanied to Cowboy Creek aren’t hers—they’re his, thanks to the last wishes of a late friend. Busy rancher Seth must suddenly cope with three rambunctious boys…and try to ignore his growing feelings for independent Marigold Brewster.
Marigold hopes to start over as the town’s new schoolteacher. She’ll choose her own path, and stay aloof from the adorable Radner boys—and their guardian. But the man who rescued her from a wrecked railcar might just be the one to save her from loneliness…if she dares to let him in.
Montana Lawman Rescuer by Linda Ford
After a stagecoach robbery nearly kills her and the small boy she’s traveling with, Emily Smith can’t remember who she is or where she’s going. Lost and with only wisps of her memory, she must rely on the handsome, dark-eyed sheriff who saved her.
Jesse Hill protects his heart as fiercely as he protects the small Montana town of Bella Creek. How did Emily’s kindness and beauty get past his armor? But Jesse knows well his own tainted past—one that means he could never marry a woman like Emily…even if her love could prove his redemption.
Miss Murray on the Cattle Trail by Lynna Banning
Cowboy Zachariah Strickland should put Alexandra Murray on the first eastbound train home. But he has no choice except to take her on his cattle trail. She hasn’t ridden a horse to death, or shot anybody, but she does drive him furious with longing… Is it possible Alex belongs right here in the Wild West—with Zach?
The Man from Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller
When trouble strikes in Haven, Arizona, Ranger Sam O’Ballivan is determined to sort it out. Badge and gun hidden, he arrives posing as the new schoolteacher, and discovers his first task: bringing the ranchers’ children under control. So he starts with a call on Maddie Chancelor, the local postmistress and older sister of a boy in need of discipline.
But far from the spinster Sam expects, Maddie turns out to be a graceful woman whose prim and proper demeanor is belied by the fire in her eyes. Working undercover to capture rustlers and train robbers has always kept Sam isolated and his heart firmly in check—until now. But something about the spirited postmistress tempts him to start down a path he swore he’d never travel….
Tempest by Beverly Jenkins
What kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.
Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.
Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins
Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he’s always dreamed of—one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything . . . and the price seems worth paying.
Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won’t risk her heart for him. As soon as she’s saved enough money from her cooking, she’ll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. Giving in for just one night might quench this longing. Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden . . .
Ancient Heroes and Heroines
Devil in Tartan by Julia London
Lottie Livingstone bears the weight of an island on her shoulders. Under threat of losing their home, she and her clan take to the seas to sell a shipload of illegal whiskey. When an attack leaves them vulnerable, she transforms from a maiden daughter to a clever warrior. For survival, she orchestrates the siege of a rival’s ship and now holds the devilish Scottish captain Aulay Mackenzie under her command.
Tied, captive and forced to watch a stunning siren commandeer the Mackenzie ship, Aulay burns with the desire to seize control—of the ship andLottie. He has resigned himself to a life of solitude on the open seas, but her beauty tantalizes him like nothing has before. As authorities and enemies close in, he is torn between surrendering her to justice and defending her from assailants. He’ll lose her forever, unless he’s willing to sacrifice the unimaginable…
Highland Grooms Collection Volume 1 by Julia London
Wild Wicked Scot
Born into riches and groomed in English luxury, Margot Armstrong didn’t belong in a Scottish chieftain’s devil-may-care world. Three years ago she fled their marriage of convenience and hasn’t looked back—except to relive the moments spent in wild, rugged Arran McKenzie’s passionate embrace. But as political tensions rise, Margot must return to her husband to uncover his role in the treachery before her family can be accused of it…
Originally published in 2016
Sinful Scottish Laird
Widowed and forced to remarry in three years’ time or forfeit her son’s inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand…and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly—though unwillingly—bewitched. It isn’t long, however, before Cailean knows he cannot let her marry anyone but him…
Originally published in 2017
A forced engagement to an Englishwoman is a hard pill for any Scot to swallow. It’s even worse when the fiancée in question is a delicate, foolish young miss—unlike her spirited, quick-witted governess, who was ruined years ago by an ill-fated elopement with a man who left her. His clan’s future depends upon his match to another, but how can any Highlander forsake a love that stirs his heart and soul?
Originally published in 2017
The Viking Warrior’s Bide by Harper St. George
A skilled archer with the heart of a warrior, Gwendolyn of Alvey has proved herself capable of defending her homeland. But the threat of invasion and her father’s deathbed wish force her to do the unthinkable: wed Vidar, leader of the enemy.
Duty to form an alliance between two powerful clans binds Vidar to Gwendolyn, but desire tempts him to distraction. Her nature is to dominate, but he’s determined to seduce her into submission on the battlefield—and in the bedchamber…
Silk, Swords and Surrender by Jeannie Lin
From USA TODAY bestselling author Jeannie Lin comes a tantalizing new five-story volume. Take a journey to Tang Dynasty China and join five unique heroines as they fight, seduce and steal their way into their heroes’ hearts.
Rediscover four reader-favorite stories and immerse yourself in The Touch of Moonlight, the brand-new sexy novella from this highly-acclaimed author!
The Warrior’s Viking Bride by Michelle Styles
As a female warrior, Dagmar Kolbeinndottar knows she’s not meant for marriage and a family. Until she’s kidnapped by Celtic warlord Aedan mac Connall, who has been tasked with returning Dagmar to her estranged father. Fighting her father’s orders to marry, Dagmar declares she will take no one but her abductor, expecting Aedan to refuse…but he’s intent on making her his bride!
A Dance with Danger by Jeannie Lin
After a failed assassination attempt on a corrupt general, Bao Yang is a wanted man. Taking refuge with an ally, Yang accidentally compromises the man’s daughter when they’re discovered alone. To save her honor, he must marry the beautiful Jin-mei immediately!
In Yang’s arms, Jin-mei feels alive for the first time. She’s determined not to lose him, even if it means joining his perilous mission… But when she realizes just how destructive Yang’s path could be, can she convince him that their life together could be so much sweeter than revenge?
Lords and Ladies
From Courtesan to Convenient Wife by Marguerite Kaye
In this Matches Made in Scandal story, Jean-Luc Bauduin, Parisian society’s most eligible bachelor, is determined to take only a wife of his choosing. But until that day comes, he’ll ward off his admirers by hiring Lady Sophia Acton to wear his ring! The passion Jean-Luc shares with his convenient bride is enormously satisfying—until he discovers Sophia’s utterly scandalous past!
His Wicked Charm by Candace Camp
She’s too prim
Lilah Holcutt dislikes Constantine Moreland from the moment she meets him. He may be handsome, but he’s frivolous, rash, impulsive and, worst of all, a flirt. Now that Con’s twin brother has married Lilah’s best friend, she’s seeing way more of Con than she’d like. And when Con’s sisters are inexplicably kidnapped, Lilah’s own curiosity and stubbornness get the better of her, and she finds herself swept into Con’s investigation.
He’s indifferent to propriety
Con knows that Lilah hates him—he just wishes she weren’t so devastatingly beautiful, that he weren’t so attracted to her. Especially since they’re working closely together to solve the kidnapping, an adventure that leads them to Lilah’s peculiar childhood home, Barrow House, which sits atop an ancient fen and features an eerie maze on its grounds.
They’ll have to join together to conquer a sinister force
The Designs of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens
An independent nobleman
Lord Randolph Cavanaugh is loyal and devoted—but only to family. To the rest of the world, he’s aloof and untouchable, a respected and driven entrepreneur. But Rand yearns for more in life, and when he travels to Buckinghamshire to review a recent investment, he discovers a passionate woman who will challenge his rigid self-control…
A determined lady
Felicia Throgmorton intends to keep her family afloat. For decades, her father was consumed by his inventions and now, months after his death, with their finances in ruins, her brother insists on continuing their father’s tinkering. Felicia is desperate to hold together what’s left of the estate. Then she discovers she must help persuade their latest investor that her father’s follies are a risk worth taking…
Together—the perfect team
Rand arrives at Throgmorton Hall to discover the invention on which he’s staked his reputation has exploded, the inventor is not who he expected and a fiercely intelligent woman now holds the key to his future success. But unflinching courage in the face of dismaying hurdles is a trait they share, and Rand and Felicia are forced to act together against ruthless foes to protect everything they hold dear.
A Dutchess in Name by Amanda Weaver
Victoria Carson never expected love. An American heiress and graduate of Lady Grantham’s finishing school, she’s been groomed since birth to marry an English title—the grander the better. So when the man chosen for her, the forbidding Earl of Dunnley, seems to hate her on sight, she understands that it can’t matter. Love can have no place in this arrangement.
Andrew Hargrave has little use for his title and even less for his cold, disinterested parents. Determined to make his own way, he’s devoted to his life in Italy working as an archaeologist. Until the collapse of his family’s fortune drags him back to England to a marriage he never wanted and a woman he doesn’t care to know.
Wild attraction is an unwanted complication for them both, though it forms the most fragile of bonds. Their marriage of convenience isn’t so intolerable after all—but it may not be enough when the deception that bound them is finally revealed.
Beyond Compare by Candace Camp
Though Kyria Moreland is beautiful enough to earn the sobriquet “The Goddess” and rich enough to attract London’s most sought after gentlemen, she has yet to find love and refuses to marry without it. When she receives a strange package under mysterious circumstances, she is confronted with danger, murder and a handsome American whose destiny is entwined with hers….
Rafe McIntyre has enough charm to seduce any woman, but his smooth facade hides a bitter past. Still, he has seen enough of the world to know Kyria is in danger, and he refuses to let her solve the riddle of this package alone. But even he is mesmerized by the events that unfold as Kyria begins to sort out the mystery put to her by the arrival of a priceless antiquity. Who sent her this treasure steeped in legend? And who is willing to murder to claim its secrets and its glory for themselves?
Princess in a Strange New Land by Linda Skye
Playing host to King George III’s foreign guests holds little appeal for Sir John Frederick—until he meets one remarkable visitor. Because Akna, the Inuit princess, outshines every jeweled noblewoman at court and offers a sensual challenge the jaded navy captain craves.
The court may view Akna as a savage, yet there is more treachery within the ton than she has ever faced before. But there are pleasures to be discovered, too, and with John’s wicked skill tantalizing her every sense, soon Akna is keen to experience further English delights—and with this man in particular….
The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.
Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers by Sara Ackerman
Hawaii, 1944. The Pacific battles of World War II continue to threaten American soil, and on the home front, the bonds of friendship and the strength of love are tested.
Violet Iverson and her young daughter, Ella, are piecing their lives together one year after the disappearance of her husband. As rumors swirl and questions about his loyalties surface, Violet believes Ella knows something. But Ella is stubbornly silent. Something—or someone—has scared her. And with the island overrun by troops training for a secret mission, tension and suspicion between neighbors is rising.
Violet bands together with her close friends to get through the difficult days. To support themselves, they open a pie stand near the military base, offering the soldiers a little homemade comfort. Try as she might, Violet can’t ignore her attraction to the brash marine who comes to her aid when the women are accused of spying. Desperate to discover the truth behind what happened to her husband, while keeping her friends and daughter safe, Violet is torn by guilt, fear and longing as she faces losing everything. Again.
The Soul of a Thief by Steven Hartov
Shtefan Brandt, adjutant to a colonel of the Waffen SS, has made it through the war so far in spite of his commander’s habit of bringing his staff into combat, and a pair of secrets that are far more dangerous than the battlefield. Shtefan is a Mischling and one of the thousands of German citizens of Jewish descent who have avoided the death camps by concealing themselves in the ranks of the German army. And he is in love with Gabrielle Belmont, the colonel’s French mistress. Either of those facts could soon mean his end, were Colonel Erich Himmel to notice.
Colonel Himmel has other concerns, however. He can see the war’s end on the horizon and recognizes that he is not on the winning side, no matter what the reports from Hitler’s generals may say. So he has taken matters into his own hands, hatching a plot to escape Europe. To fund his new life, he plans to steal a fortune from the encroaching Allies. A fortune that Shtefan, in turn, plans to steal from him…
Atmospheric and intense, The Soul of a Thief captures the turbulent emotional rush of those caught behind the lines of occupied France, where one false step could spell death, and every day brings a new struggle to survive.
Handpicked Family by Shannon Farrington
After the Civil War, newspaper editor Peter Carpenter insists he’ll never marry or raise children in such a troubling world. His commitment to bachelorhood only intensifies as he and his lovely assistant, Trudy Martin, search the ravaged Shenandoah Valley for his missing widowed sister-in-law and her baby.
Ever the optimist, Trudy refuses to embrace Peter’s bleak outlook. Unfortunately, that doesn’t diminish her deep feelings for him—feelings she knows he’ll never reciprocate. But when Peter and Trudy become responsible for two war orphans, will Peter still keep his heart closed to his newfound family…or can he find hope in fatherhood?
Captain Amberton’s Inherited Bride by Jenni Fletcher
Her father’s will dictates Violet Harper must wed or be disinherited—yet she’d rather face the wilderness of the wintry Yorkshire moors than be bound to cynical, damaged soldier Captain Lance Amberton. Lance promises a marriage of convenience that will grant Violet her independence. In exchange, she must put her faith in Lance and see beyond his gruff exterior to the man beneath…
At the Warrior’s Mercy by Denise Lynn
Deceived and alone, Beatrice of Warehaven is forced to flee—straight into the powerful arms of feared warrior Gregor of Roul. He escorts her home, though not before a kiss ignites true passion between them.
If Gregor is to gain his freedom, he must obey one last royal order—overthrow Warehaven and marry Beatrice. His betrayal will earn Beatrice’s hatred, but Gregor is prepared to go into battle with this stubborn beauty—and finish what he started with his innocent bride!
Tomorrow by Damian Dibben
Tomorrow tells the story of a 217-year-old dog and his search for his lost master. His adventures take him through the London Frost Fair, the strange court of King Charles I, the wars of the Spanish succession, Versailles, the golden age of Amsterdam and to nineteenth-century Venice. As he journeys through Europe, he befriends both animals and humans, falls in love (only once), marvels at the human ability to make music, despairs at their capacity for war and gains insight into both the strength and frailties of the human spirit.
With the rich historical vision of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and the captivating canine perspective of A Dog’s Purpose, Tomorrow draws us into a unique century-spanning tale of the unbreakable connection between dog and human.
Arrowood by Mick Finlay
London is scared. A killer haunts the city’s streets; the poor are hungry; crime bosses are taking control; the police force is stretched to the breaking point.
The rich turn to Sherlock Holmes, but the celebrated private detective rarely visits the densely populated streets of South London, where the crimes are sleazier and the people are poorer.
In the dark corner of Southwark, victims turn to a man who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime: Arrowood—self-taught psychologist, occasional drunkard and private investigator.
When a man mysteriously disappears and Arrowood’s best lead is viciously stabbed before his eyes, he and his sidekick Barnett face their toughest quest yet: to capture the head of the most notorious gang in London…
The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox
Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanni Moretti—and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister and learns that her new husband’s past holds dark secrets…
Tuscany, Present day
Lucy Whittaker needs to disappear. But her new home, the crumbling Castillo Barbarossa, is far from the secluded paradise it seemed. Strange sounds come from the attic. The owner of the house will never meet her in person.
The fountain in the courtyard is silent—but has never run dry.
Flame Tree Road by Shona Patel
1870s India. In a tiny village where society is ruled by a caste system and women are defined solely by marriage, young Biren Roy dreams of forging a new destiny. When his mother suffers the fate of widowhood—shunned by her loved ones and forced to live in solitary penance—Biren devotes his life to effecting change.
Biren’s passionate spirit blossoms as wildly as the blazing flame trees of his homeland. With a law degree, he goes to work for the government to pioneer academic equality for girls. But in a place governed by age-old conventions, progress comes at a price, and soon Biren becomes a stranger among his own countrymen.
Just when his vision for the future begins to look hopeless, he meets Maya, the independent-minded daughter of a local educator, and his soul is reignited. It is in her love that Biren finally finds his home, and in her heart that he finds the hope for a new world.
All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages by various authors
Seventeen young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens.
From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten.
Teatime for the Firefly by Shona Patel
My name is Layla and I was born under an unlucky star. For a young girl growing up in India, this is bad news. But everything began to change for me one spring day in 1943, when three unconnected incidents, like tiny droplets on a lily leaf, tipped and rolled into one. It was that tiny shift in the cosmos, I believe, that tipped us together—me and Manik Deb.
Layla Roy has defied the fates. Despite being born under an inauspicious horoscope, she is raised to be educated and independent by her eccentric grandfather, Dadamoshai. And, by cleverly manipulating the hand fortune has dealt her, she has even found love with Manik Deb—a man betrothed to another. All were minor miracles in India that spring of 1943, when young women’s lives were predetermined—if not by the stars, then by centuries of family tradition and social order.
Layla’s life as a newly married woman takes her away from home and into the jungles of Assam, where the world’s finest tea thrives on plantations run by native labor and British efficiency. Fascinated by this culture of whiskey-soaked expats who seem fazed by neither earthquakes nor man-eating leopards, she struggles to find her place among the prickly English wives with whom she is expected to socialize, and the peculiar servants she now finds under her charge.
But navigating the tea-garden set will hardly be her biggest challenge. Layla’s remote home is not safe from the powerful changes sweeping India on the heels of the Second World War. Their colonial society is at a tipping point, and Layla and Manik find themselves caught in a perilous racial divide that threatens their very lives.
Want to win some amazing historical reads? Head on down into the comments and let us know what your favorite time period is. You could win a copy of Devil in Tartan by Julia London, The Designs of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens, and The Rancher Inherits a Family by Cheryl St. John.
Giveaway: Answer the above question to win. Open to residents of the US and Canada, excluding Quebec. Contest closes April 25, at 11:59 p.m. ET. One (1) winner will be selected from all on April 26. For full official rules, click here.