As we get into the hottest, most languorous months of the year, it's the perfect moment for a hot read — and just in time, our big summer book list is here.
Back in June we asked you to tell us about your favorite romantic readsand you responded in droves. We had to shut the poll down early after more than 18, nominations flooded in!
Once the votes were tallied, we turned to our expert panel, reviewers Bobbi Dumas and Sarah Wendell, and authors Sherry Thomas and Michelle Monkouto help us break down the categories and shape the final list into a love story for the ages.
We hope new readers and longtime fans alike will find a happily ever after here — but if we've left out one of your favorites, please tell us about it in the comments! Here's a printable list to take to your local library, and here are some quick links to make it easier for you to navigate: Your purchase helps support NPR programming.
We recommend the entire Scoundrels series in any order, but Lord of Scoundrels stands out for the matchless banter between gruff, unruly Sebastian Ballister, Marquess of
Read club penguin books online star reporter dating, and his lovely nemesis Jessica Trent — an unrepentant bluestocking who's determined to wrest Read club penguin books online star reporter dating dimwitted brother Bertie away from Ballister's crowd of rowdies. Like so many of the authors whose names came up in this poll, it was hard to pick just one Beverly Jenkins book, but both our readers and our panelists agree, this story of love on the Underground Railroad is a standout favorite.
Coming in a close second was another historical romance, Topaz, about a feisty newspaperwoman who ends up married, only slightly against her will, to a handsome deputy marshal.
One of the most popular picks in our poll, Diana Gabaldon's swashbuckling, century-spanning tale of a World War II nurse who tumbles backward in time to the Scottish Highlands in — and falls in love with a roguish young soldier — is now a hit television series. Houston Leigh survived the Civil War, though badly scarred both inside and out. But will he survive a dangerous journey along the wild trails of Texas with Miss Amelia Carson, his handsome brother's mail-order bride?
Left in debt when her philandering artist husband is murdered by his mistress's own jealous husband, Susanna Dallet must rely on her skills as a painter of miniatures to survive her new position at the court of the devious Cardinal Wolsey. Luckily, there's a wayward angel and a handsome but easily ruffled court secretary looking out for her.
As with so many entries in this list, you really should read the whole series. But if we had to pick just one, it'd be this one. Brilliant and yes, troubled, Ian MacKenzie has been banished to an asylum by his cruel, powerful father. Freed upon his father's death, Ian makes an impulsive marriage proposal to Beth Ackerly, a wealthy widow who decidedly wants no more drama in her life.
Mary Balogh is a prolific historical romance author, and readers gave the most votes to her books about the spectacular, seductive Bedwyn brothers and sisters.
But we'd be remiss if we didn't also mention her excellent Survivor's Club series, about seven survivors of the Napoleonic wars who find themselves convalescing at a stately home in England. Fossil-hunting rector's daughter Harriet Pomeroy summons the notorious Viscount St. Justin to sleepy Upper Biddleton to hunt the thieves who've been hiding Read club penguin books online star reporter dating in the caves where she works.
Love, intrigue and a lot of old bones can't be far behind. Amanda Quick is a pseudonym for the prolific contemporary romance author Jayne Ann Krentz who also writes futuristic romance under the name Jayne Castle.
Lisa Kleypas writes solid contemporary romances too, but this series about a quartet of 19th-century young women who band together to conquer the London marriage market was a favorite with our voters and our panelists. You can start pretty much anywhere in this beloved series about an alphabetically named family Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne The Read club penguin books online star reporter dating are some of the most famous siblings in romance — and the books are also a lovely example of familial love surrounding the individual love stories.
There's nothing actually sinister in this interconnected series of stories about very smart women a chess prodigy, a newspaper publisher, a scientist and an astronomer, among others and the left-handed men they fall for. Courtney Milan is a master of the intelligent relationship discussion — which, trust us, is incredibly romantic. Four notorious aristocrats — Bourne, Cross, Temple and the mysterious Chase — have built their lives around London's most notorious gambling hell, The Fallen Angel.
But love has a way of Read club penguin books online star reporter dating absolution without making you give up the baccarat table.
The dissolute Duke of Jervaulx is brilliant at both seduction and writing scientific papers — which he does with a blind Quaker mathematician.
But when he's left speechless and straitjacketed by a stroke, it's up to the mathematician's daughter, Maddy Timms, to see that there's still a man inside the restraints — and to reconcile her Quaker faith with her growing love. The seaside town of Spindle Cove is often known as "Spinster Cove" because of its lively population of unmarried women. But even in this haven for disaffected or delicate ladies, love finds a way in.
Regency England is one of the most popular settings for historical romance, but Elizabeth Hoyt steps back a century for the Maiden Lane books, set in a bustling, grimy s London that teems with gin sellers and foundlings, noblemen and small, irritating dogs.
And in the background is the mysterious Ghost of St. Giles, a sword-wielding vigilante who may be a guardian of the city's poor — or something more sinister. The Everseas and the Redmonds rule the lovely Sussex, England, town of Pennyroyal Green — and the two powerful families can't stand each other.
Naturally, that leads to secrets, grudges and all kinds of attraction, for the Everseas and the Redmonds, and anyone else who comes to town. When the king orders Scottish laird Alec Kincaid to take an English bride, he sets his sights on Jamie, the youngest daughter of Baron Jamison.
But Jamie has sworn she'll never love such an arrogant, brooding Highland barbarian — and that's even before murderous rumors begin to circulate about Alec. Lauren Willig takes the plot of The Scarlet Pimpernel and runs wild with it in this swoon-worthy series about florally named Read club penguin books online star reporter dating battling it out against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Bracketing the historical romance is modern-day historian Eloise Kelly, who unmasks the titular Pink Carnation and finds a love of her own while researching her dissertation.
We couldn't quite decide where to file this time-traveling romance, but eventually we went with the setting for the start of Nicholas Stafford's story.
He's a 16th-century knight reincarnated in the 20th to clear his unjustly tarnished name, with the help — and soon the love "Read club penguin books online star reporter dating" of Dougless Montgomery, an American abandoned in England by her faithless fiance. Our expert panelist Sherry Thomas landed on the list with this emotionally intense story of a young Victorian nobleman who travels the world to find his estranged wife — a rare-for-her-time surgeon who has made a new life for herself in a far corner of India.
Eloisa James is a professor of Shakespeare when she's not writing romance, and it shows in these sparkling stories, laced not just with Shakespeare, but also with Marlowe and Christopher Smart. It's almost as fun to play spot-the-literary-reference as it is to follow the adventures of James' exquisite duchesses. One of Judith McNaught's most beloved books, Something Wonderful is the story of innocent country girl Alexandra, who saves cynical nobleman Jordan from a highway robbery — and winds up married to him after a misunderstanding.
But Jordan doesn't quite know what to do with his young and very unexpected bride. At over pages, The Windflower may be a little dense for some readers, but this tale of a gently reared young American miss swept away by a dashing English pirate captain is a classic of old-school romance — and it's finally been Read club penguin books online star reporter dating after years out of print.
The lure of the Napoleonic Wars proves strong again in Joanna Bourne's Spymasters books, featuring a cast of dashing French and British spies finding love amid the danger.
Bourne's ability to write convincingly French dialogue — in English — "Read club penguin books online star reporter dating" this series a standout. Emmaline Martin, betrayed by her caddish fiance, meets soon-to-be-duke Julian Sinclair in India just before the sepoy uprising of They fall hard for each other, but a deception keeps them apart until a cold London spring, years later.
Louise Vandermeer is 18, beautiful, rich, bored and very aware that her life is limited by those factors.
To escape, she agrees to marry aristocratic rake Charles d'Harcourt sight unseen, unaware that a scar and a limp mar his looks. For a lark, Charles decides to travel on his fiancee's ocean liner and seduce her secretly in her darkened stateroom — but the prank backfires when he falls madly in love with his own wife to be.
Rachel Wade is finally free after years in prison for the death of her husband, a crime she did not commit. But as a thoroughly fallen woman, the only work she can find is as housekeeper to the cynical, jaded Viscount D'Aubrey.
Gillian, the Read club penguin books online star reporter dating of Greendale, has survived a brutal first marriage. Christian, Duke of Mercia, has survived capture and torture by the French. When she takes over the management of his household upon his return to England, these two terribly damaged people begin to build a new life together. This, too, is part of a series that's worth checking out in any order you want Read club penguin books online star reporter dating read them.
Set in colorful Tang Dynasty China, these richly detailed romantic mysteries center on the celebrated courtesans of the Lotus Palace, who seem to attract as much trouble as admiration. Anne Wilder leads a double life: But Jack doesn't know that the seductive thief who charmed him, and the honorable widow he loves, are one and the same.
Portrayals of Native Americans in romance can be problematic, but our judges loved this story of a spoiled Boston heiress who heads west with her father to inspect some gold mines, and the Harvard-educated Absarokee leader who challenges their claims. Widowed Elly Dinsmore has been treated cruelly in her small Georgia town.
She's got two young boys and a third on the way, and she needs a man to help out. So she places a classified ad for a husband — and gets Will Parker, a lonely drifter condemned to live on the fringes of society after serving time for murder.
Morning Glory takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster of love, betrayal, war and trials, but Will and Elly finally get their happy ever after.
In the aptly named town of Marrying Stone, Ark. Find a husband by Christmas, "Read club penguin books online star reporter dating" they'll find one for her. The last thing she expects is to fall for farmhand Jess Best, a good man who's been written off by the town because he doesn't think quite as fast as they do. Ruth Berger, daughter of a Jewish professor, was meant to escape Vienna, but her plans went awry. As the Nazis march on the city, her father's colleague Quinton Somerville decides to rescue her with a quick marriage of convenience — he'll sweep her away to England, and they'll get a quick annulment.
But neither Quin nor Ruth counted on falling in love. Buttoned-up widow Martha Russell is desperate. If she doesn't produce evidence of an heir soon, her late husband's cruel family will seize the estate she loves.
There's only one solution, obviously: She offers to pay her rakish neighbor Theophilus Mirkwood for a month of assignations. And Mirkwood is determined that Martha will get her money's worth. Lady Jane Cummings is finally out of mourning for her mother, but her father is showing signs of dementia, and her brother has only just returned from the Continent, where he escaped the responsibilities Jane has had to shoulder.
Jane needs a distraction, and it arrives in the form of reclusive neighbor Byrne Worth — who has mysterious ties to a highwayman who's been plaguing the area. Notorious wastrel Reggie Davenport is only good for gambling and drinking — until a relative offers him a second chance in the form of a manor house, complete with secretive estate manager Alys Weston.
Romance ensues, but Alys' past and Reggie's alcoholism prove to be formidable obstacles to overcome. Rector's daughter Drusilla Delaney becomes a companion to the spoiled, arrogant Lavinia Framling. But which will prove more dangerous to her — a supposedly cursed peacock feather fan, or Lavinia's brooding brother Fabian? Blurbed by Charles Dickens himself, North and "Read club penguin books online star reporter dating" features one of the most memorable heroines in Victorian literature: Margaret Hale, who conducts a stormy romance with industrialist John Thornton while clashing with him over her quest to improve the lives of the workers in their gritty Northern mill town.
A resonant mix of romance and social concern. An epic tale of forbidden love during the British Raj. British botanist's son Ashton Pelham-Martyn is orphaned in India and raised to believe he's an Indian boy named Ashok. Anjuli is a neglected princess, condemned first to an unwanted marriage and then to suttee when her husband dies — but happiness beckons for Ash and Anjuli in the "far pavilions" of the Himalayas, away from the prejudices that have kept them apart.
Jane Austen's most famous work was one of your favorite picks second only to the Outlander series. So much has been said about Elizabeth and Read club penguin books online star reporter dating that now their place in "Read club penguin books online star reporter dating" romance canon goes without saying — we'll just leave you with the mental image of Colin Firth diving into that lake.
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