Today I’m teaming up with Ally from Ally’s Appraisal’s to bring you our top historical romance recommendations and what we are looking forward to reading most in 2021.
I’ve been loving historical romances this year once more thanks to Ally’s brilliant recommendations. So make sure you check out Ally’s blog Ally’s Appraisal’s and especially check out her 2021 Historical Romance Bingo Challenge; I for one can’t wait to start marking off books on this bingo board!
When I was planning out my Blogmas calendar, I knew I wanted to do a historical romance themed post, but having only recently re-discovered the genre once more, I’ve only read roughly six historical romances this year. While I’ll still be recommending my top three favourites below, I thought it only fair to bring in an expert, and get Ally to co-write today’s post.
Favourite Historical Romance Reads of 2020
- Never Kiss a Duke by Megan Frampton – I really enjoyed not only the chemistry between the romantic leads but the different story that the novel told. It’s not very often that you see main characters who are removed from the noble ranks and then forced to learn to fend for themselves, so this was quite different and was a really engaging read. Also major props to Frampton for Ivy – I loved her so very much. (The sequel, Tall, Duke, and Dangerous is on my TBR list for 2021)
- A Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian – If you haven’t heard of Cat Sebastian then you need to drop every thing and track down one of her books! A Delicate Deception is the third book in the Regency Imposters series and each book is an absolute delight. The characters identify within the LGBTQ+ rainbow and the space they inhabit within the books is just so refreshing – especially within a genre that can not only be quite whitewashed but blind to non-heterosexual relationships. Although I am so excited to see some major publishers releasing queer historical romances ❤
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – While not a traditional ‘bodice ripper’ historical romance, this book was none the less one of my stand outs for 2020. If you haven’t read Lee’s book I would wholeheartedly recommend this young adult, queer historical romance. I challenge you not to fall in love with muddled mess that is Monty!
- The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie – I actually own two copies of this book brought and signed by the author, from two separate events, and it still took me until 2020 it. This is probably my favourite historical romance novel of the year. The characters were so full of life and real, that they felt more like friends you haven’t seen in a while rather than characters written on a page. Gracie’s writing was exceptional, and I’ve lost count of the amount of times I laughed, cried and worried about these characters as I viscerally reacted to the book. It’s so good, that I instantly brought the rest of the series in paperback and can’t wait to read them in 2021.
- If I had an author of 2020, it would have to be Tessa Dare. I devoured multiple books by her this year and I’m still desperate to read more ASAP. Her characters are funny and heartwarming, and I never quite know where she is going to take her stories. Of the six historical (period) romances I read this year, Tessa Dare write four of them, and I’m hoping to fit at least one more in before the end of the year! of these four, my two absolute favourites were Romancing the Duke and The Duchess Deal.
Looking Forward to reading in 2021
Over on my blog, I am running a Historical Romance Book Bingo so I am looking forward to reading a whole lot of this genre next year. There are a few that stick out to me though, so here are some of the books I am eager to get my hands on in 2021.
- The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare – I have been eagerly waiting for the latest instalment of the Girl Meets Duke series since finishing the third book in 2019. I am quite interested to see how Nicola’s story is told, as across the series she’s been one of the more reserved and idiosyncratic of the ensemble cast.
- Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean – Shhh I know this one has been out for a while but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, so I am looking forward to finally picking it up in 2021. Just like how The Bride Bet is the last in the series, so too am I looking forward to seeing how the overarching storyline of the MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series is concluded.
- The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite – The second book in the Feminine Pursuits Series is out and it has been a big motivator for me to start the first book. I am really looking forward to reading this f/f STEM gem!
- How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah McLean, Sophie Jordan and Joanna Shupe – Technically I’m hoping to read at least one of these stories before the end of 2020, but I’d love to have finished all four novels by Christmas 2021!
- The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe – The Uptown Girls Series sounds like perfection to me, so I can’t wait to start the first book in this series. This is one of my five star predictions for 2021 and I’m really looking forward to discovering Shupe’s writing.
- The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley – I swear everyone but me read this book this year and I’ve heard nothing by high praise for it. This Scottish highlander romance looks amazing and I can’t wait to dive in.
- Lisa Kleypas is another author I would like to discover in 2021. Her books are raved about non-stop across the blogging and booktube world, and everyone holds almost all of them in such high regard that I really need to get a move on and read them for myself! I’m not really sure where I will start, but these two books picture look awesome (and I know they are in the middle of series).
- Lastly, I really want to read The Highway Man by Kerrigan Byrne – This cover is stunning and oh so sizzling, and with a story featuring historical ‘bad guy’s what’s not to love about this one.