20 Best Steamy Historical Romance Novels

Erotic Historical Romance

Most of the popular romance books are historical because we love history. Romancing with historical elements or tropes make a book enhance and makes the characters legends. Goodreads announced that the most read romance books are steamy or erotical. So the steamy historical romance novels keep the top position.

20 Best Steamy Historical Romance Novels (Adult Fiction)

As a romance genre reader, you like to read romance. You are here because you want to read the best historical and sensual romance book. So I will review the 20 best steamy historical romance novels that are ranking on top. Let’s go!

1. Edenbrooke

This is, without a doubt, the tamest and sweetest rural romance that I have ever read. It follows our heroine, Marianne, living in Bath with her aunt. She is craving the countryside. She is craving fresh air and open spaces. So it’s perfect timing when her sister, Cecily, sends her a letter and asks to join her at a country estate. Cecily has her eyes set on a Duke who lives at this country estate. Moreover, she will stop at nothing to get him. She wants help with her sister in bagging this Duke.

So she asks Marianne to come to the country, and Marianne decides this is the perfect time she’s going to go, and she’s going to spend some time with her sister. But as Marianne makes her way to the country home, she encounters highwaymen and is saved by a man she does not know and does not recognize. From there, the story only gets further complicated when Marianne arrives at the country home and starts developing feelings for someone that she is forbidden from falling in love with.

Edenbrooke

Author: Julianne Donaldson
Average Customer Review: (4.7 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Regency Romances
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle

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2. The Governess Game: Girl Meets Duke

It is the second book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series. This got a lot of people into steamy historical romance, and that does not surprise me at all. It is because Tessa Dare does the perfect formula every time to get you to fall in love with both of her characters. This book is about a woman named Alexandra, and she is a very independent, strong-willed, intelligent woman. Also, she has been employed most of her life, which is surprising.

But after a series of events, she is forced to take new employment. When she goes into this notorious rake, a historical speak-for-player, she ends up being unknowingly roped into the governess. Here are these two young orphan girls that she takes care of. So she didn’t intend to be a governess, but she enters his home, and he mistakes her for the governess. Now she is the governess for these two children.

She decides to take the opportunity and run with it. In the process, she ends up getting close to the guy, the guardian of these two children. His name is Chase, and he is so much fun. The story follows Alexandra as she juggles between her new job, her desire for independence, and her desire for Chase. This book perfectly bridges the gap between Pride and Prejudice or Edenbrooke and brings you into the more passionate historical romance territory without being a little overwhelming.

The Governess Game

Author: Tessa Dare
Average Customer Review: (4.4 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: 20th Century Steamy Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

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3. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics: Feminine Pursuits

This book is about one of our heroines named Lucy. She is devastated because the woman she has had a relationship with has unexpectedly left her for a man. She will get married and live elsewhere, and Lucy is devastated. As a result, she’s looking for a distraction, and one day the perfect distraction comes along. A countess woman is looking for someone to translate a French astronomy text.

Her husband has recently passed away, and her husband was passionate about astronomy. While our countess Catherine wants nothing to do with his pursuits anymore, she wants someone to translate this text because she knows it meant a lot to her husband. In the meantime, she will pursue her interest for once because she didn’t get to do what she wanted when her husband was alive.

So this story is about the Countess, Catherine, and Lucy coming together to get this text translated and encourage each other. So if you want some passionate, steamy scenes and a female romance, this book will fit the bill.

The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics

Author: Olivia Waite
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Victorian Historical Romance, Lesbian Romance
Available: Audiobook | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

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4. Lord of Scoundrels

This story is about our heroine, Jessica Trent, who is going to France to track down her brother. Her brother is in France because he is in leagues with a notorious rake named Sebastian Bannister, and Sebastian is a marquis. He has a bad history of drinking, gambling, of womanizing. Jessica doesn’t want her brother with someone like this because the family fortune is dwindling. Also, Jessica has to live off of this fortune until she gets married. So she decides to go track him down in France.

But when she does so, she meets the notorious player Sebastian. She falls head over heels for him. But there’s an instant attraction there, and there is instant banter from this. Instant banter, though, comes to a very compromising situation that she finds herself in, and she has to convince Sebastian to marry her so that she is not ruined.

In addition, it becomes a marriage of inconvenience. The story is about this marriage of inconvenience and them trying to work together, not fall in love, and dealing with some secrets coming out about Sebastian’s past.

Lord of Scoundrels

Author: Loretta Chase
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Historical Erotica
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

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5. A Kingdom of Dreams (The Westmoreland Dynasty Saga)

The story is about Jennifer Merrick, the daughter of a Highland warrior. He is the clan leader, trying to keep the clan safe. He sends Jennifer and her younger sister to a convent to a hideout to do so. But unfortunately, that is not the safest place for them to be. The wolf voice Westmoreland, who is part of the English Army, captures the two girls and takes them captive for ransom.

So about half of the story is about Jennifer trying to escape the clutches of Royce. The other half of the story is her trying to fight her attraction and reconcile her obligation to her family and the love.

Royce is such a fantastic hero. At the beginning of the book, there are some questionable elements because he punishes Jennifer and her sister for trying to leave, which makes sense given that she is a captive. Beyond that, he is a lot softer than you would expect from his characterization at the beginning of the book. You expect him to be this big, scary guy, but pretty early on, you realize that he has this deep attraction to Jennifer, and he wants to treat her softly.

A Kingdom of Dreams

Author: Judith McNaught
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Scottish Historical Romance
Available: Pocket Book | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Pocket Book

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6. The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels)

This story opens up with our heroine, Farah. She works for Scotland Yard, which is rare in historical romance for a woman to have a job, let alone a job helping law enforcement, especially. She’s working there because she is trying to uncover some of the pasts of her childhood. She remembers her rough upbringing, and she wants to track down some people who both hurt her and helped her.

Farah thinks that working with Scotland Yard is the best way to do this, and one day a mysterious criminal named Dorian Blackwell arrives in jail. It is her job to interrogate Dorian, and she finds herself inextricably attracted to him in the process. She thinks she might know him from her past. She’s getting hints that this might be someone she knew, and the story goes from there. They’re in love, and they love each other and end up going to a work camp.

The Highwayman

Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Scottish Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle | MP3 CD

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7. In Bed with a Highlander

This one gives you a lot of Outlander vibes because our heroine is rich, and she recently came into money. So people are trying to marry her and force her into marriage to take her money or her land. One day she is kidnapped by a very brave little boy. His uncle is the leader of a clan, and he ends up saving him and saving her because she’s been so nice to the boy.

To protect her and save her, they enter into a marriage of convenience. But they hate each other, and she will not listen to him. She does a lot of things that she thinks are right.

In Bed with a Highlander

Author: Maya Banks
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Historical Erotica
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

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8. The Sum of All Kisses

It is the third book of the Smythe-Smith Quartet series. Our hero (Hugh) is injured in a duel. He has a limp and has to walk with a cane, and he feels defeated because of it. He can’t protect his woman, even like Harry. So Hugh ends up having a romance with our heroine, Smythe-Smith’s child. Sarah hates him and blames him for something. When they meet, she tells him why.

They end up spending a lot of time together at a wedding. Sarah is pushed to keep him company, and they fall for each other, and they have to go on a long heritage ride together. She genuinely wants to know about his injury and about how to help him. So it was adorable, and it was hate to love. There’s a lot of force proximity.

The Sum of All Kisses

Author: Julia Quinn
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: 20th Century Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle

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9. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love by Numbers)

This is Sarah McLean’s first adult historical romance novel. Callie has a list of things she wants to do because she is a spinster. Her sister is madly in love with a guy. She wants to drink, go shooting, see a duel, and decides to do that. Gabriel (Rake) ends up helping her without meaning to achieve all these tasks.

Callie wants to fence, runs into him, and they keep on falling into each other’s path. She also has promised to help his sister, his half-sister from Italy, come out into society. So they’re around each other a lot, and it is such a good romance.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

Author: Sarah MacLean
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Single Women Fiction, Historical Passionate Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

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10. Her Night with the Duke: A Novel (Clandestine Affairs)

Our heroine is a widow, and she is at the inn, and there’s no room for her. But Duke proposes for her to share a room. They spend a steamy night together. Then she realizes that the Duke is intended to marry her stepdaughter, who is her best friend because they’re close in age. She loves to travel and writes about her travel. She doesn’t want to get tied down.

Her stepdaughter needs to marry a Duke. So she’s trying to displace her feelings and let them continue to court. But she is still in love with the Duke, and there’s a lot of groveling in here.

Her Night with the Duke

Author: Diana Quincy
Average Customer Review: (4.2 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Regency Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

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11. If the Duke Demands (Capturing the Carlisles)

Our hero needs to get married, and he’s looking for a respectable lady to get married to. The heroine grew up with her family, but she is with the farmers next door, so she’s not high class. She’s in love with the hero’s brother and decides to seduce him. But she ends up going into the wrong bedroom and attempting to seduce the wrong brother and doesn’t realize it until after they share a passionate kiss. It is because they’re wearing masks.

So he promises to help her court his brother if she helps him find a respectable wife, and then his mother decides to sponsor her. Then she has a season, and they dance around each other, and it’s adorable. Moreover, it will remind you of a few of the different Bridgerton books.

If the Duke Demands

Author: Anna Harrington
Average Customer Review: (4.3 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Regency Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

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12. The Secret: Highlands’ Lairds

This one is another Highlander romance. Our heroine is British, and she has a best friend she met on the border. She is Scottish, and her best friend is scared of having a baby because her mother and grandmother passed away from childbirth.

So she promised to be there for that birth. Her best friend is pregnant. The clan leader ends up coming to find her and take her back. They hate each other at first, and they fall for each other. She likes to study to be a midwife, which is cool. So she helps other women in the clan while waiting for her friend to give birth.

The Secret

Author: Julie Garwood
Average Customer Review: (4.7 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Medieval Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

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13. Destiny’s Surrender

It is book two in the Destiny series, which is about Billie. She is a sex worker, and she and Andrew like each other. But they can never be together, and she becomes pregnant. So she shows up, and the romance goes from there. It is one of the best historical erotic romance books. If you love the surprise pregnancy trope, this book is for you.

Destiny's Surrender

Author: Beverly Jenkins
Average Customer Review: (4.7 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Historical Sensual Romance
Available: Audiobook | Mass Market Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

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14. Sea of Ruin

This is a dark historical romance, a pirate romance with a love triangle. Our heroine is a pirate captain. She is married to another pirate, but they are on the rocks because he cheated on her. Then she gets kidnapped by a Commodore who is a pirate hunter and has a romance with him. It’s very dark. She does get a lot of assault, and sexual assault happened to her, so know that going in that this is a dark romance.

Sea of Ruin

Author: Pam Godwin
Average Customer Review: (4.4 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Sea Adventure Fiction, Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

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15. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie: Mackenzies Series

This historical romance novel revolves around a widow named Beth Ackerley. Beth is engaged to a man who turns out to be fairly deceptive in his life. He has a bunch of mistresses. Lord Ian McKenzie finds out about this. Upon meeting her, he finds her very attractive. So he tells her about what a jerk the guy she’s engaged to be and also proposes to her as well. There’s a murder mystery.

The two main characters’ interest in each other is entirely lust. They look at each other, and they’re having a hard time keeping their hands off of each other. Some questions arise: Why Beth didn’t go for Ian in the beginning, and why did she refuse his proposal? She was very attracted to him. Yet she ran off and said, I didn’t get that entirely. Beth was an understanding person, but she was also a strong female character.

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

Author: Jennifer Ashley
Average Customer Review: (4.4 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Regency Romance, Scottish Historical
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

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16. Outlander

Outlander is an adult historical fiction romance, and this is the first book in an ongoing epic historical fantasy romance series. It follows our main character, Claire Beauchamp, living in the 1940s. The war has ended, and she is in Scotland with her husband during the war. Claire and her husband, Frank, were apart because she worked as a combat nurse, a second honeymoon. Claire ends up going somewhere and accidentally falls through time back to the 1740s in Scotland.

So this book follows the main character, Claire Beauchamp. She is trying to get by in these 1740s and get back home to Frank in the 1940s. Claire Beauchamp is one of the best parts of this book. The protagonist is wonderfully imagined, and the character development throughout the book is well done. Jamie Fraser is one of the main protagonists in this story and is my love interest.

Outlander

Author: Diana Gabaldon
Average Customer Review: (4.7 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Scottish Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

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17. A Week to Be Wicked: Spindle Cove

This is the second book in the Spindle Cove series, and this deals with Colin Payne. He’s the cousin to Victor Bramwell, the hero in the first book of the series, and dealt with Minerva Highwood. In the first book, you’re introduced to this mother and her three daughters, and they’re the Highwoods. Minerva is the second daughter. She’s the very bookish scientific one, and her mother keeps wanting to get her eldest daughter, Diana, to marry everyone, even like Colin Payne or any of the other lords.

But Minerva doesn’t care. She wants to be able to get to Scotland to go to this. It’s the Royal Geological Society. It’s a summit or big presentation, and she’s made this cool discovery. She found a footprint of this lizard, and she has a casting of it, and she wants to take it up there. But she has no way to get there herself. So she proposes to Colin, Hey, let’s fake an elopement.

His cousin controls Colin’s fortune until he turns twenty-seven or marries. He’s still got a few months until his birthday. But he goes along with the idea. He thinks it’s very risky and silly, but he goes along, and they have interesting conversations and whatnot. They have good chemistry.

A Week to Be Wicked

Author: Tessa Dare
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Historical Fiction Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

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18. Girl with a Pearl Earring

The book is Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. She writes incredible historical fiction. The front cover painting of the book is very famous. It was done by a famous painter called Johannes Vermeer, but no one knows the model. Who is this woman? So Tracy Chevalier decided to write a novel about the girl with the Pearl Earring and who this mysterious woman is. How did she sit for him in this painting? So who is this mysterious woman?

This wholly fictional account of this woman in the painting could have been in this true-life historical painting. So Chevalier’s main character is a 16-year-old girl called Griet. Her father is very ill, and she has to work as a maid for the famous painter Johannes Vermeer. She meets him, and she’s living in this horrible little cupboard, and he lives in the house with servants, his wife, children. There are always essential people coming in and out of this house because he’s a famous painter. One day, he says to her, I want you to model for me, I want to draw you, and you get this idea that she is his muse. She’s inspired him in some way.

It’s such a book about people using power to abuse others, but people in vulnerable situations know something bad will happen to them. There’s nothing they can do to stop it because this is set in the 16th century, and great needs to keep her job as a maid because she’s sending money back to her mum and dad, and her dad’s incredibly sick. Also, she knows by agreeing to sit for this painting. She could be fired because people think she’s having an affair with her master. If his wife finds out, she’ll fire her anyway.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Author: Tracy Chevalier
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Literary Fiction, Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

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19. Mine Till Midnight

Mine Till Midnight is the first book of The Hathaways series. It directly follows the series that Lisa Kleypas wrote called The Wallflower series. Our heroine’s name is Daisy. You meet the hero from this book, In a Devil in Winter. So it’s fun if you have been introduced to him before. His name is Cam, and he’s a gypsy who has no idea who he is, has no memories of his family or his past. He knows he was pretty much abandoned, and he was brought into this casino to work by the heroine’s father from a devil in winter. Then everyone’s father died.

The hero took over the casino, and he kept on Cam as the casino manager, which was considered unusual since he was a gypsy and most people didn’t trust him. That hero also gave Cam shares in the casino, which he hates because he doesn’t want to make money as a gypsy. He thinks it’s very disgraceful in his culture to make money, but everything he does ends upbringing money back. So that’s the hero to set you up. Then there’s the heroine in the first. This is the beginning of the Hathaway series because the heroine is called Amelia Hathaway.

She is the oldest sister of a family of five, and her family can’t make money to save their lives. They’re on the brink of destruction. She has a brother who is drinking himself into the ground a sister who’s very sick. Another sister who’s a kleptomaniac. Then there’s Poppy, who’s hard to explain. She’s an interesting character. She has her book, too. They all have their books, but Amelia is the mother hen. Their parents have died, and she’s doing everything she can to hold their family together. Meanwhile, she meets Cam when she goes to the casino searching for her drunkard brother, who’s gone missing.

Cam thinks that she’s an exciting, very beautiful woman. He’s also intrigued by the fact that her servant, who isn’t a servant, he’s more part of the family. His name is Kev McCracken. That Kev is a gypsy. By coincidence, he runs into her again, kicking off their romance. He had been in the process of deciding to hitch everything, leave everything behind and go off and find his tribe. Instead, he meets the Hathaway’s and ends up deciding to stay. So it’s a perfect romance, very steamy, great love scenes.

Mine Till Midnight

Author: Lisa Kleypas
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Victorian Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

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20. Tempt Me at Twilight

This is part of the Hathaway series, The Story of Poppy Hathaway, one of the younger sisters in the Hathaway series, and Harry Rutledge. Harry is a hotel owner who most people don’t like. They look down on him, and he doesn’t care because he makes loads of money. Poppy is a flybridge obit in her family. She’s a Florida Jebet, and she has a very bizarre and exciting family. There’s an Amelia, her oldest sister, who’s a mother hen, there’s Winn, the sickly one. Then there’s her brother, who’s the drunkard, and he’s also the lord of their family.

Poppy and her family move into a hotel when Amelia marries Cam from the first book, and Cam is wealthy. They had a problem with their home. So their house had burned down, and they had moved into this hotel, and they had gotten a reputation of being a bizarre family. She happens to find a secret passage in the hotel and follows it into Harry. Rutledge is a privileged private area, and she meets him, and she has no idea who he is. She thinks that the hotel owner is very old and eccentric, and she talks to Harry about the owner as if he is old and eccentric. Harry finds himself enchanted by her and quite charmed.

Then he becomes very determined that this woman will be his wife. So he pulls out all the stops, all the evil, nefarious stops because he is a villain, and he does everything. Poppy doesn’t realize he’s doing it until it’s too late. So their story is somewhere along the lines of love at first sight rush into marriage.

Since it’s a historical romance, they can make it work. It isn’t one of her steam as far as the Hathaway series goes. I like the first two books in the series a little better, and this is the third one. It’s great to see the characters again in this series because they are fun characters, and there is a lot of funny stuff in this book.

Tempt Me at Twilight

Author: Lisa Kleypas
Average Customer Review: (4.6 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Victorian Historical Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

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More Historical Romance Books: 5 Books Like Edenbrooke

Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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