8 historical romance novels for Christmas gift giving

1- Forastera, Diana Gabaldón

Forastera, Diana Gabaldón

Forastera is the first of the books of one of the most recognized sagas to date. Published in 1991, the novel narrates the journey of a woman who accidentally travels back in time and only tries to return to her time after World War II.

It all begins at the end of the war, when a young couple decides to go on vacation to Scotland.

In the course of the trip, the protagonist, Claire, goes for a walk. She goes alone and heads for a stone circle.

Arriving at this stone structure, Claire falls into a trance and wakes up in a place she no longer recognizes as her home.

It is true that she is still in Scotland …. … but in the Scotland of 1734, with men and women who are rough and somewhat violent but undoubtedly filled with a love she had never experienced before.

The choice Claire faces will be between returning to her safe future or staying in that very different past.

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2- Flowers in the Storm, Laura Kinsale

Flowers in the Storm, Laura Kinsale

A classic of the historical romance genre, as well as one of the most beautiful and original romance novels ever written. 

Flowers in the Storm has two main characters. He was one of the most brilliant and seductive men in English high society until tragedy condemned him to a world of silence and madness; she, a simple and generous soul who believed in the power of redemption.

Since its publication in the United States, “Flowers in the Storm” has become one of the most praised romantic stories by critics and audiences alike.

With the passage of time, Flowers in the Storm has become one of those books that, because of the intensity and beauty with which it communicates with the reader’s feelings, manages to captivate. 

But, even more importantly, it is one of those novels that readers never tire of recommending.

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3- The Hawthorn Bird, Colleen McCullough

The Hawthorn Bird, Colleen McCullough

An essential novel of the genre. In its pages, McCullough narrates a story that begins in the year 1915.

The pages of The Hawthorn Bird are full of dreams, secrets, dark passions and forbidden loves that take place in the Australian outback.

While reading the novel, the reader attends the feat of three generations of the Cleary family… and the sentimental relationship that takes place between Meggie and the priest Ralph de Bricassart.

The priest is a parish priest whose ambition leads him to reach the influential circles of the Vatican.

It can be said that The Hawthorn Bird is mainly two things. On the one hand, a moving love story, a passionate struggle between desire and duty, vocation and passion. On the other, a celebration of individuality and spirit.

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4- The Duke and I, Julia Quinn

The Duke and I, Julia Quinn

Everyone seemed to be having a good time at that ball that brought together the most elite of London society. All except the two of them. Daphne, a beautiful young woman burdened by her mother, and Simon, the sullen new Duke of Hastings.

The two co-protagonists of the novel coincide in suffering from the same problem: the continuous pressure to find a partner.

When Daphne and Simon meet, they come up with the perfect plan: to fake an engagement that will free them from further stress.

The problem is that nothing is as simple as it seems. Daphne’s brother, Simon’s friend, is not easy to deceive, and neither are the ladies of high society.

However, what will really complicate things will be the appearance of an element that was not foreseen in this two-sided game: love.

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5- Secrets of a summer night, Lisa Kleypas

Secrets of a summer night, Lisa Kleypas

Annabelle Peyton represents the old-world aristocracy: impoverished and desperate, she struggles to maintain the appearance of wealth and aspires to marry a nobleman.

However, her most persistent admirer, the commoner but wealthy and powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that, although he is willing to initiate her into the pleasures of the bedchamber, he will not propose marriage.

In an attempt to help her, the Wallflowers – including two American women and a shy English heiress – conspire to find a more acceptable gentleman for Annabelle, because only then will she be safe from Simon… and her own desires.

However, one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon’s passionate embrace and tantalizing kisses… and discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all. 

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6- The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Jennifer Ashley

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Jennifer Ashley

The year is 1881. The four Mackenzie brothers are rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric and Scottish.

The scandals and rumors surrounding them, the gossip about their mistresses and their dark appetites, have the whole country in an uproar.

Any lady knows that if she is seen with one of them she will lose face immediately. The youngest, Lord Ian, is known as Mad Mackenzie because he has spent much of his life confined by his tyrannical father in a mental asylum.

However, that doesn’t stop him from being a strong, handsome man with a penchant for Ming Dynasty porcelain cups and beautiful women.

Then there is Beth Ackerley, a young widow who has just inherited a large fortune after an unfortunate childhood and a brief, but happy, marriage.

Beth has finally decided she doesn’t want any more upheavals; she just wants to live in peace, travel, help the disadvantaged and remember her late husband fondly. Everything seems to be going according to plan… until Lord Ian Mackenzie appears and bursts in like a gale.

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7- To Love Only Once, Johanna Lindsey 

To Love Only Once, Johanna Lindsey 

The Malories are a family of dashing rogues and debauched adventurers, and ladies with character. A romantic saga about 19th century British aristocracy, created by the incomparable talent of Johanna Lindsey, one of the genre’s most popular authors.

Loving Once is the first volume of the “Malory Saga” and tells the story of Regina Ashton, the exquisite niece of Edward and Charlotte Malory.

Charlotte’s life changes radically, and forever, the night she is abducted from a dark London street by Nicholas Eden, an arrogant seducer whose past conceals a painful secret. 

United by shame, scandal and an unexpected and scorching passion, Charlotte and Nicholas will take time to understand and accept what destiny has in store for them: to love only once in a lifetime.

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8- The Virgins of Paradise, Barbara Wood

The Virgins of Paradise, Barbara Wood

The Virgins of Paradise is a rigorous overview of Egypt’s recent history, a sober critique of the status of women in the Muslim world and, above all, the moving story of a woman who lives that status and knew how to escape it.

Many years have passed; Jasmine returns to her native home in the street of the Virgins of Paradise, in Cairo. She is now a doctor, and has been able to to break with the dependence to which women are condemned in her country.Jasmine is practically Western in her values, but when she finds herself in front of her grandmother Amira she cannot help it: the past bursts impetuously between the joints of her new life.

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