7 Ultimate Proper Romance Books

True/Proper Love Stories

Greetings, cherished readers! Step into a world where love stories are as sweet as they are respectful, where every glance has meaning, and every letter holds the weight of a burgeoning affection. Today, we’re celebrating the elegance and allure of proper romance books. This genre captivates the heart with its gentle approach to love and emphasis on emotional connection over physical attraction.

In these pages, you’ll find tales of love that bloom in the most unexpected places, from the grand ballrooms of Regency England to the rugged landscapes of the American frontier. These stories remind us that true romance lies in the subtleties of interaction, the thrill of the chase, and the beauty of profound and proper love. So, dust off your finest tea set and settle in for a journey through love stories that prove chivalry is far from dead. Let the swooning begin!

7 Proper Romance Books (Clean/Wholesome Love Story)

Proper romance is often set in historical periods such as the Regency, Victorian, or Gilded Age. These richly detailed settings provide an immersive experience, allowing us to explore different periods, cultures, and social conventions.

I always suggest proper romance for the beginner who wants to understand the meaning of real love. I also started my romance reading journey with a proper/clean love story. While I read, I can feel the character’s excitement, and the authors have enough time to make their romance slow burn and show their inner feelings and tension.

So, I have a list for you if you are looking for proper romance recommendations that don’t have those super steamy, explicitly described scenes. Let’s talk!

NameKey FocusRating (Goodreads)
A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie WrightA girl is coming home for marriage and meets with the ship’s captain.3.9/5
Isabelle and Alexander by Rebecca AndersonA friendship turns into romance and marriage.3.7/5
Lakeshire Park by Megan WalkerA woman tries to fix marriage for her sister, and she falls in love in this situation.4.1/5
Rakes and Roses by Josi S. KilpackA widow and gambler slowly develop a relationship.3.9/5
A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa RileyA woman tries to help another woman, and she builds a strong relationship with a disabled man.3.1/5
The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester FoxA gothic love story with a murder mystery.3.7/5
The Amish Teacher’s Dilemma by Patricia DavidsAn Amish teacher and a caring woman fall for each other.4.3/5
Proper Romance Books List

1. A Captain for Caroline Gray

A Captain for Caroline Gray is a Regency proper love story. So, it has no explicitly described scenes. The book’s heroine is Caroline Gray, who would rather be daring and intelligent than demure and insipid. As a side note, one thing I’ve appreciated about the book I’ve read so far from Shadow Mountain Publishing is that while they are these proper romances, they’re not religious.

I read when I was growing up that there were more issues with gender roles, and the heroines would tend to be pushovers for stuff. Caroline Gray would rather be daring and intelligent than demure and insipid. After her third season in London, her family’s threadbare finances leave Caroline with only one choice to secure her future. Sail with the fishing fleet to India, where the son of a family friend is willing to consider an engagement with her.

So Caroline boards the ship to travel to India, hoping to meet the man for an arranged marriage. But while traveling, she gets to know the ship’s captain, and there is some chemistry there. Is Caroline going to see what there might be with this captain? Is she going to marry this man she’s never met? Read the book if you want to know the answers.

A Captain for Caroline Gray

Author: Julie Wright
Narrator: Heather Wilds
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Tropes: Regency, Suspense, Arc, Arranged-marriage
Number Of Pages: 336
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library-binding | Kindle | Audio CD

2. Isabelle and Alexander

Isabelle and Alexander are set in Manchester, and it follows a couple in an arranged marriage who end up falling for each other. One of my favorite tropes is a marriage of convenience. I love it when people are already together, slowly get to know each other, and fall for each other, which is part of proper or clean romance.

Our heroine here is Isabelle, who has an arranged marriage. She knows she’s not going to marry for love. She is engaged to Alexander, handsome, wealthy, distant, and aloof, spending much of his time at his textile mills. So, when they first get married, things are awkward.

Isabelle feels lonely, but eventually, they build at least a friendship until a tragic accident occurs. She must care for Alexander in his recovery, and a romance develops. Their relationship is a sign of a positive message of encouragement. Take advantage of the book!

Isabelle and Alexander

Author: Rebecca Anderson
Narrator: Antonia Bath
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Tropes: Victorian, Second-chance
Number Of Pages: 324
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

3. Lakeshire Park

Lakeshire Park is British literature and pure historical romance. The story follows a woman determined to get her younger sister settled and married before their stepfather dies and leaves them penniless. So she and her sister are at the house party where they’re hoping her younger sister will secure the attention of their host. But they compete.

A man has also brought his younger sister along to the House Party and hopes to get her engaged to the same man. Then, sparks fly between him and the older sister. The book was very charming and romantic. If you like enemies-to-lovers with happy endings, this one is for you. You can read it on Kindle.

Lakeshire Park

Author: Megan Walker
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Tropes: British Literature, Smut, Historical
Number Of Pages: 320
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

4. Rakes and Roses (Mayfield Family)

Rakes and Roses is a second chance proper romance with a strong heroine who inspires the story. I loved how it set up the power dynamics, especially for a historical romance. This one does deal with some heavier topics. We follow a woman who had been in an abusive marriage and is now a young, wealthy widow and a hero who is a gambler and an alcoholic.

An injury changes the trajectory of his life, and the widow ends up caring for him, and they slowly develop a relationship. The plot, storyline, characters, dialogues, and narration are excellent, but there needs to be more chemistry. As a clean romance, I wanted more romance with slow-burn moments. Overall, you can enjoy the story and get some motivation from the heroine.

Rakes and Roses

Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Tropes: Matchmaking, Friendship, Christianity
Number Of Pages: 320
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

5. A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby (Rogues and Remarkable Women)

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby is a wholesome romance with mystery and disability representation. Author Vanessa Riley brings diverse representations into historical romance and shows that London in the 1800s was a melting pot, partly because of colonization. But ships were going back and forth from different countries to London. Also, many people of color lived during that time and place. Vanessa is doing some essential groundbreaking work in the romances she’s writing.

This book is the first book in the Rogues and Remarkable Women series. The story is about women trying to help other women who lacked power or who would be thrown into the bedlam asylum for no good reason. It deals with many interesting issues of the day, and I enjoyed it. The hero is a disabled war veteran. He’s gruff but sweet on the inside.

Our heroine is a black woman from the West Indies. They form a slow burn and proper romance. These characters have so much passion and chemistry with each other. The only thing that happens on the page is kissing. There is a lack of romance and a confusing plot, but you can feel the love and know more about history. So I recommend reading the book anytime, especially if you miss someone.

A Duke the Lady and a Baby

Author: Vanessa Riley
Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Tropes: Mystery, Disability, Single-parent, Secret-identity
Number Of Pages: 320
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle

6. The Witch of Willow Hall

The Witch of Willow Hall is a pure gothic romance with witches and mystery. This one does get into some heavier topics, and there are some steamy kisses on the page, but that’s about as far as it goes. It’s got a ghost story element to it and star-crossed lovers.

Hester Fox’s books are set in the 1800s in the eastern United States, which is an interesting take on it. So she’s dealing with local folklore. I also loved her second book, which had a serial killer murder mystery element. Not all of her books are pure romance, but they have romantic elements. There are a couple of different directions that you could go. Avoid hardcover because of negative issues, but the paperback is awesome for font size, color, cover, binding, and paper quality.

The Witch of Willow Hall

Author: Hester Fox
Narrator: Lauren Ezzo
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Tropes: Gothic Horror, Witches, Family, Drama, Thriller
Number Of Pages: 364
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

7. The Amish Teacher’s Dilemma (North Country Amish)

The Amish Teacher’s Dilemma is Christian and Amish fiction with proper, inspiring love. It follows a young Amish woman considered a spinster at her age and wants more than be at the beck and call of her family. So she decides to move to another Amish community and take over a school teaching job where some of her students are the younger siblings of the local blacksmith. A young man took over caring for his younger siblings when their parents passed away.

They have a sweet, lovely, slow-burn romance. If you want excellent character development with strong female characters and sweet romances, Patricia Davids is an excellent way to go. In general, the inspirational romance line from Harlequin will give you that sweet or proper romance that will not have explicit scenes. Some of them are more overtly religious, while others are not.

So make sure you look at the descriptions depending on what you’re looking for. Some people don’t want religious romances, while others may. But this is an excellent place to look if you want to try adding in.

The Amish Teachers Dilemma

Author: Patricia Davids
Publisher: Love Inspired (Original edition)
Tropes: Inspirational, Contemporary, Family, Fun
Number Of Pages: 225
Available: Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

5 Proper Romance Books For Adults

“Edenbrooke” by Julianne Donaldson – A favorite among Regency romance fans, “Edenbrooke” tells the story of Marianne Daventry, a young woman who finds herself caught in a whirlwind of adventure, intrigue, and romance at the grand estate of Edenbrooke. Donaldson’s novel is renowned for its charming characters, witty dialogue, and sweet love story that captures the essence of the Regency era.

“The Lady and the Highwayman” by Sarah M. Eden – Set in Victorian London- offers a unique blend of romance, mystery, and adventure. It follows Elizabeth Black, an author of “silver fork” novels, and Fletcher Walker, a former street urchin turned author of penny dreadfuls. As they face the complex social circles of London, they find themselves drawn to each other despite their different worlds.

“Proper Scoundrels” by Allie Therin – This historical fantasy romance set in the 1920s combines magic, mystery, and a sweet romance between Sebastian de Leon, a powerful psychometric, and Lord Fine, a charming scoundrel with a secret. Therin weaves a captivating tale of love, danger, and sacrifice with a proper romance.

“Blackmoore” by Julianne Donaldson – Another Regency romance by Donaldson, “Blackmoore” is the story of Kate Worthington, who knows she can never marry and wishes to travel to India. To escape her stifling environment, she makes a deal that involves securing and rejecting three marriage proposals at the Blackmoore estate. The novel is a journey of self-discovery, freedom, and a deep, unspoken love.

“A Song for the Stars” by Ilima Todd – Inspired by the author’s ancestors, this novel is set in the Hawaiian Islands during the late 18th century. It tells the story of Maile, a Hawaiian chief’s daughter, and John Harbottle, an English navigator. As cultural differences and political tensions rise, so does their unexpected and forbidden love. Todd delivers a beautiful story of resilience, understanding, and the power of love to bridge worlds.

5 Regency Proper Romance Books

“Edenbrooke” by Julianne Donaldson – This novel is a breath of fresh air for fans of Regency romance. It features Marianne Daventry, who escapes the boredom of Bath to visit the beautiful estate of Edenbrooke. What starts as a quest for relaxation becomes an adventure of romance and discovery as Marianne faces the complexities of love and society with the charming Sir Philip.

“The Convenient Marriage” by Georgette Heyer – Heyer is known for her witty and historically accurate Regency romances, and this novel is no exception. It tells the story of Horatia Winwood and the Earl of Rule, who enter into a marriage of convenience only to find themselves involved in a web of intrigue, misunderstanding, and unexpected love.

“Blackmoore” by Julianne Donaldson – Kate Worthington wishes to escape her controlling mother and the marriage market and journey to India. To achieve her dream, she makes a deal that she will receive her mother’s consent if she can receive—and reject—three marriage proposals at Blackmoore, her childhood haven. But her heart is tested in ways she never expected, especially by Henry Delafield, the man she’s always loved.

“The Secret of Pembrooke Park” by Julie Klassen – Abigail Foster fears losing her chance at love until an unexpected inheritance offers her family a new beginning in the country. Pembrooke Park, however, is a mansion full of secrets and treasures. As Abigail seeks to uncover the past, she draws herself to the mysterious steward, leading to a sweet tale of mystery and romance.

“A Noble Masquerade” by Kristi Ann Hunter – Part of the Hawthorne House series, this novel mixes romance with a bit of espionage. Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside, she longs for freedom and adventure. When her brother’s new valet, Marlow, turns out to be the Duke of Marshington, a spy, Miranda finds herself caught up in a world of intrigue and unexpected love.

With each turn of the page, we’ve been reminded of the timeless beauty of love that respects boundaries, cherishes emotional depth, and finds joy in simple acts of kindness and understanding. These stories have not only entertained us but have also enriched our hearts with their tales of dignified affection and courtly love. As we part ways with the characters we’ve grown to adore and the worlds we’ve been privileged to visit, let’s carry with us the elegance, respect, and pure romance that have defined our journey.

May your next reading adventure be filled with as much decency and devotion, and may the spirit of proper romance continue to inspire your belief in beautiful and honorable love. Until we meet again, dear readers, keep your hearts open to the wonders of love in all its forms. Happy reading, and may your days be as lovely as the pages of a proper romance novel!

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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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