If You’re Missing Downton Abbey….
Here’s 20+ Historical Romance Reads from Australian Authors You Must Read!
Whether it’s the extravagant dresses and glittering jewels or the deceit, deception, and scandal they cover, there’s no denying period romances have long been a favourite of romance readers worldwide.
And if you’re missing the grandeur of towering castles and shimmering silverware, the magnificence of ballgowns and tops and tails, or just the juicy underbelly of scandal and seduction (no judgement here!) we’ve got you covered. Here’s our top 20+ historical romance reads from Australian authors that you simply must read!
Two of a Kind
James Radley cannot put his finger on why he does not want Leah Shepherd to marry his best friend. She is kind, sweet and a true beauty. Any man should want to marry her. And therein lies the problem.
Like a bolt out of the blue, James finds himself headlong in love with his best friend’s fiancée. He promises himself that if he can just get through the wedding service, everything will fine. But as his carriage draws up outside St Georges, Hanover Square on the morning of the wedding, he is greeted by the sight of the bride racing down the front steps of the church.
Leah begs him to help her escape both the wedding and London, and in an instant of madness, he readily agrees. Leah Shepherd is certain that James does not like her, but as he is the only man willing to help, she has no choice but to trust him. Taking refuge with him at her grandfather’s far flung estate in Cornwall, Leah eventually comes to see James in a new light. When love blossoms between them, Leah and James begin to question everything in their lives. Decisions are made and acted upon. But actions have consequences, as they soon discover when they return to London.
For James there are the harsh repercussions of not only abandoning his life’s calling, but also stealing his best friend’s bride, while Leah finds herself scorned by her family and friends. James and Leah are left to wonder whether that by choosing their love over duty, they have both made a terrible mistake.
In a moment of crisis when their marriage seems forever lost, James will have to reach beyond the passion of love and find the strength to forgive his wife and give their marriage a second chance. But will it be enough to save their marriage and their future?
A runaway bride romance. Two of a Kind. A standalone book in the ongoing Duke of Strathmore Series.
The Clothier’s Daughter
Two-times RITA™ finalist and international award winning author Bronwyn Parry turns her pen to England’s turbulent summer of 2016 and weaves a Regency romance of intrigue, drama and passion.
In the unusually wet summer of 1816, Emma Braithwaite struggles to keep her family’s traditional wool cloth manufacturing company afloat. Her father has died, her brother is missing, and the new cotton factories are spreading, rendering the fine worsted fabrics the Braithwaites have made for generations, expensive and unfashionable. Being a woman in a man’s world of trade is challenging enough, but when her warehouse catches fire it brings her only a step away from financial ruin and debtor’s prison.
After eight years of war, Major Adam Caldwell is returning for the first time to his family home, Rengarth Castle, when he stops to assist at a warehouse fire … and comes face-to-face with the woman he once loved and lost. Despite all his efforts to forget her, in truth she’s never been far from his thoughts. He was unworthy of her then, and even more so now.
But as the threats against Emma escalate, they discover that someone wants control of Emma’s family company and is prepared to murder anyone in the way of getting it – including Emma.
Gather The Bones
England 1923 and the Great War still casts a dark shadow over the lives of ordinary people.
Grieving widow, Helen Morrow and her husband’s cousin, the wounded and reclusive Paul, are haunted not only by the horrors of the trenches but ghosts from another time and another conflict.
The desperate voice of a young woman reaches out to them from the pages of a coded diary and Paul and Helen are bound together in their search for answers, not only to the old mystery but also the circumstances surrounding the death of Helen’s husband at Passchandaele in 1917.
As the two stories become entwined, Paul and Helen will not find peace or happiness until the mysteries are solved.
Governess to the Duke’s Heir
Andrew, the Duke of Harrow, has returned to his Oxfordshire estate after years away in Vienna on a diplomatic engagement. He left England after losing his beloved wife in childbirth. But his children consider him a stranger, and the new governess disapproves of him.
In hope of restoring his family, he has invited a German baroness who may become the new Duchess of Harrow, and her brother, as his guests. Andrew’s plans do not go to order. Were there three attempts made on his young son William’s life, or are they a string of amazing coincidences? Why would anyone want to harm William? Andrew finds himself working with the governess to discover the truth while keeping his son safe, and disconcertingly, comes to depend on Miss Harrismith, as his respect for her deepens. When the truth finally becomes clear, Andrew faces his feelings, but then finds his chance of happiness snatched away.
Miss Jenny Harrismith, the daughter of an impoverished baron from Yorkshire with six children, leaves home after a disagreement with her father, taking a position as governess to the Duke of Harrow’s two children. After a year at Castlebridge, when the duke barely makes an appearance, she has found a certain peace, and become very fond of her charges. But the duke has arrived home to stay, and suddenly, there is no peace to be found. Frightening things begin to happen. As she fights to keep the duke’s son safe, she finds herself falling in love with his father.
Thrust into danger, and coming close to death, she realizes she must face the truth of what she left behind in York.
Books in the Dangerous Lords series:
The Baron’s Betrothal
Seducing the Earl
The Viscount’s Widowed Lady
Governess for the Duke’s Heir
The Great War is over, and Millie is ready to leave her loving family home and be a wife to Jeremy who is everything she had hoped for.
Not long after their wedding, Millie discovers Jeremy is affected by shell shock and moving into his late father’s cold dark estate escalates the problem. Millie tries to help, but Jeremy grows more distant and befriends a homeless, wounded ex-soldier, Monty, who has secrets…
As Millie’s distrust of Monty grows, a rift is created between her and Jeremy and when he leaves to receive hospital treatment, she is left feeling abandoned. When her family is dealt a terrible loss, it is Millie who must be the strongest. However, just when she feels things couldn’t become worse, she suffers her own heartbreaking tragedy.
Grieving and alone, Millie wonders if her marriage can ever be mended, but she can’t give up without a fight.
Will a new home for her and Jeremy in a foreign country be the answer, or will the events of the past destroy everything she wished for?
To Charm A Bluestocking
She wants to be one of the world’s first female doctors; romance is not in her plans.
1887: Too tall, too shy and too bookish for England, Lady Josephine moves to Holland to become one of the world’s first female doctors. With only one semester left, she has all but completed her studies when a power–hungry professor, intent on marrying her for her political connections, threatens to prevent her graduation. Together with the other Bluestockings, female comrades–in–study, she comes up with a daring, if somewhat unorthodox plan: acquire a fake fiancé to provide the protection and serenity she needs to pass her final exams.
But when her father sends her Lord Nicholas St. George, he is too much of everything: too handsome, too charming, too tall and too broad and too distracting for Josephine’s peace of mind. She needed someone to keep her professor at bay, not keep her from her work with temptations of long walks, laughing, and languorous kisses.
Just as it seems that Josephine might be able to have it all: a career as a pioneering female doctor and a true love match, everything falls apart and Josephine will find herself in danger of becoming a casualty in the battle between ambition and love.
The Girl In The Painting
Miss Elizabeth Quinn is something of an institution in Maitland Town. For longer than anyone could remember she and her brother, businessman Michael, have lived in the impressive two-storey stone house next to the church. When she is discovered cowering in the corner of the exhibition gallery at the Technical College the entire town knows something strange has come to pass.
Was it the prehistoric remains or perhaps the taxidermy exhibition that had reduced the whale-boned encased pillar of society to a quivering mess? Or is there something odd about a striking painting on loan from the National Gallery?
Mathematical savant Jane Piper is determined to find out. Deposited on the doorstep of the local orphanage as a baby, she owes her life and education to the Quinns’ philanthropic ventures and Elizabeth has no one else to turn to.
As the past and the present converge, Elizabeth’s grip on reality loosens. Can Jane, with her logical brain and penchant for puzzles, unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late?
Ranging from the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, the bucolic English countryside to the charm of Maitland Town, this compelling historical mystery in the company of an eccentric and original heroine is rich with atmosphere and detail.
The Good Woman of Renmark
1895, Renmark, South Australia
Maggie O’Rourke has always had a hard head. No man was going to tie her down to a life of babies and domestic slavery, even if that man was as good (and as annoyingly attractive) as Sam Taylor. Maggie is happily earning her own way as a maid in a house on the Murray River when disaster strikes.
Forced to defend herself and a friend from assault by an evil man, she flees downriver on a paddle steamer. With death at her heels, Maggie begins to realise that a man like Sam might be just who she wants in her hour of need. As for Sam, well, Maggie has always been what he wants.
The further Maggie runs, the more she discovers there are some things she cannot escape…
Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies
A tale of espionage, love and passionate heroism. Inspired by true events, this is the story of how society’s ‘lovely ladies’ won a war.
Each year at secluded Shillings Hall, in the snow-crisped English countryside, the mysterious Miss Lily draws around her young women selected from Europe’s royal and most influential families. Her girls are taught how to captivate a man – and find a potential husband – at a dinner, in a salon, or at a grouse shoot, and in ways that would surprise outsiders. For in 1914, persuading and charming men is the only true power a woman has.
Sophie Higgs is the daughter of Australia’s king of corned beef and the only ‘colonial’ brought to Shillings Hall. Of all Miss Lily’s lovely ladies, however, she is also the only one who suspects Miss Lily’s true purpose.
As the chaos of war spreads, women across Europe shrug off etiquette. The lovely ladies and their less privileged sisters become the unacknowledged backbone of the war, creating hospitals, canteens and transport systems where bungling officials fail to cope. And when tens of thousands can die in a single day’s battle, Sophie must use the skills Miss Lily taught her to prevent war’s most devastating weapon yet.
But is Miss Lily heroine or traitor?
And who, exactly, is she?
The Quarantine Station
The rules were crystal clear. She broke them all…
1918 … When Rose Porter arrives on the shores of Sydney with little money, she must take a job as a parlourmaid at the mysterious North Head Quarantine Station. It’s a place of turmoil, segregated classes and strict rules concerning employee relationships.
But as Rose learns, some rules were made to be broken.
2019 … Over a century later, Emma Wilcott lives a secluded life in Sydney where her one-hundred-year-old grandmother, Gwendoline, is all she has. Gwendoline is suffering dementia and her long-term memories take her wandering at night. Emma realises she is searching for someone from her past.
Emma’s investigation leads her to the Quarantine Station where she meets Matt, the station carpenter, and together they unravel a mystery so compelling it has the power to change lives, the power to change everything Emma ever knew about herself.
How To Catch A Wicked Viscount
Amy Rose Bennett
Shy, bookish Sophie Brightwell is expected to make an advantageous match to improve her family’s fortunes. However, Sophie’s plans to make a spectacular debut go horribly awry when she and her three closest friends are expelled from a young ladies’ academy for unbecoming conduct. Since the ton will be sure to close their doors on these disgraced debutantes, they determine that unconventional means need to be employed in the husband-hunting market. Rakehells-the beau monde’s wickedest members-might be the only men willing to overlook a young lady’s besmirched reputation.
But how does one catch a rake?