I’m not usually a big contemporary romance reader, but I’m a sucker for period pieces. This is not much of a surprise, given that I was memorizing Pride & Prejudice at age 12. What can I say? I’d fall for Mr. Darcy in all of his iterations (with a particular soft spot for Matthew MacFadyen’s portrayal).
Since we’re rounding out our observance of Romance Awareness Month here at Bookstr, I thought it befitting to compile some more great romance reads inspired by my ongoing obsession: Bridgerton. I hope you find a new immersive read that captures your heart. Dare I say, one that you burn for!
The Letter From Briarton Park by Sarah E. Ladd
This Regency-era romance starts with one vital letter. The contents offer Cassandra Hale a clue about her parentage and summon her to Briarton Park. Upon arrival, she learns that the author of the two-year-old letter, Mr. Clark, is now deceased. The new master of Briarton Park she encounters is a widower named James Warrington, who soon becomes honor-bound to Cassandra in helping her uncover the answers she seeks. Interweaving mystery and romance, this is historical fiction at its best!
The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews
Evelyn Maltravers doesn’t expect much out of the marriage market. Her hope for securing independent success and saving her family from ruin resides in her talent as an equestrienne. However, everything changes when she meets local tailor Ahmad Malik, the prominent designer of London’s haute couture. The swoon-worthy bond that develops between this pair as they navigate the many leaps and hurdles of a prejudiced society together cements this 2022 release as a new historical romance classic.
A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera
Set in Paris, circa 1889, this novel follows Luz Alana Heith-Benzan, a Dominican business owner, in a well-crafted, fiercely feminist journey. Author Adriana Herrera brilliantly breaks away from the limitations of historical fiction romances, putting the spotlight on characters of color and upholding LGBTQ+ representation. It is a fantastic example of combining tried-and-true romance elements with historical nuance often left out of the genre.
The Art of Victory by Martha Keyes
This first installment of Martha Keyes’ The Donovans series features a charming, headstrong heroine (Diana), lots of witty banter, and a broody male lead. In other words, it contains all the essential ingredients for an engrossing enemies-to-lovers romance arc. This delightful recent release is a must-read to squeeze onto your TBR, especially since the second book in the series, A Confirmed Rake, debuts this week!
Pushin’ Up Daisies by Carolyn Brown
Set just after the 1918 epidemic, this introductory novel to the Historical Romance series A Black Swan follows Catherine O’Shea, the eldest of three sisters. With both of their parents newly deceased, the three siblings are now in charge of running the Black Swan hotel-the new home of Detective Quincey Massey. The detective has moved in to investigate a missing person’s case (Catherine’s brother-in-law), and his presence at the Black Swan leads to an undeniable connection forged between him and the eldest O’Shea.
Looking to discover more niche romance reads? Click here.