Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Top Ten Favorite Historical Novels

Although today’s Top Ten Tuesday category isn’t exactly the same as mine, it is all about either history or the future, so I decided to make my own historical category. These are my top ten favorite historical novels of all time, coming straight from my absolute favorites list.

The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Happily ever after…or happily nevermore?
Gisela’s childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father’s death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke’s son, Valten—the boy she has daydreamed about for years—is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

Whispers from the Shadows by Roseanna M. White
Whispers from the Shadows is the second book in Rosanna’s Culper Ring series, coming after Ring of Secrets and before Circle of Spies. This is by far one of my favorite novels of all time; I HIGHLY recommend you read it.

Treachery causes Gwyneth Fairchild’s world to crumble. The daughter of a British general, she barely saves her life by fleeing London aboard a ship to America. Her goal is to find refuge with the Lane family in Maryland, having been told by her father she could implicitly trust Winter and Bennet Lane, even though their nations are once again at war. After meeting their son, Thad, she wonders how safe she truly is when she discovers that the Lanes trade in a dangerous commodity—espionage.
Not long after Gwyneth finds refuge in his city, Thad Lane experiences a tug of love, though he fears it may blur lines of loyalty. With family playing the part of enemies and enemies proving themselves friends, a future with Gwyn is uncertain. But at this moment, with the British advancing on Washington and Biltmore, they have only their shared faith in God as a shield about them.

Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray
Whispers in the Reading Room is the third book in Shelley Gray’s Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series, coming after Secrets of Sloane House and Deception on Sable Hill. This is by far my favorite novel in the series, and I would definitely recommend it, although they would be best if read in order.

Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye…and perhaps her heart.
Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.
Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.
Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.
Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks—the man so many people fear—is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride.
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a long-standing debt compels her to take the risk.
Years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer comes across a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can’t bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt prompt him to attempt to rescue her once again.
Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she vows to stand by his side. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her as merely a short-straw bride?

A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano
A Most Peculiar Circumstance is the second book in Jen Turano’s Ladies of Distinction series, coming after A Change of Fortune and before A Talent for Trouble. Although I haven’t read A Talent for Trouble yet, I did read the first two and absolutely loved them. This one was my favorite!

Miss Arabella Beckett, defender of the down-trodden women of America, is returning from her travels in support of the women’s suffrage movement when she makes a simple offer of assistance to a young woman in need. But things go sadly awry, and both ladies soon find themselves in dire need of rescue. Arabella, always loath to admit she needs help, is particularly reluctant to receive assistance from the arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor who shows up just in time.
Private investigator extraordinaire Mr. Theodore Wilder is on an assignment that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett, but swiftly evolved into a marry chase across the country. He is already in a less than pleasant mood, and when Hamilton’s sister turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he’s at his wit’s end.
Much to their chagrin, Theodore and Arabella’s paths continue to cross when they return home to New York, but the most unusual feelings beginning to grow between them certainly can’t be anything serious. When the trouble Arabella accidentally stirred up in her travels follows her home and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they might have landed in the most peculiar circumstance of all: love.

Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen

 One final cry… “God Almighty, help us!” and suddenly her world shifted violently, until a blinding collision scattered her mind and shook her bones. Then, the pain. The freezing water. And as all sensation drifted away, a hand reached for hers, before all faded into darkness…
Now she has awakened as though from some strange, suffocating dream in a warm and welcoming room she has never seen before, and tended to by kind, unfamiliar faces. But not all has been swept away. She recalls fragments of the accident. She remembers a baby. And a ring on her finger reminds her of a lie.
But most of all, there is a secret. And in this house of strangers she can trust no one but herself to keep it.
A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter 
A Noble Masquerade is the first book in Kristi Ann Hunter’s Hawthorne House series, and is also the first book I ever read by her. Let me tell you, it was fabulous, so it wasn’t difficult for me to decide to add it to this list. 

Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, the Duke of Marshington. Since she’s never actually met the man, she has no intention of ever sending the letters and is mortified when her brother’s mysterious new valet, Marlow, mistakenly mails one of the letters to the unsuspecting duke.
Shockingly, this breach of etiquette results in a reply from the duke that soon leads to a lively correspondence. Insecurity about her previous lack of suitors soon becomes confusion as Miranda finds herself equally intrigued by Marlow, a man she has come to depend upon but whose behavior grows more suspicious by the day. As the secret goings-on at her family’s estate come to light, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.
A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd
A Lady at Willowgrove Hall is the third book in Sarah E. Ladd’s Whispers on the Moors, coming after The Heiress of Winterwood and The Headmistress of Rosemere. Although I haven’t yet had the chance to read the first novel, I really loved the second two, this one being my favorite.

Her secret cloaks her in isolation and loneliness. His secret traps him in a life that is not his own.
Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could expose her disgrace. But soon after becoming a lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.
Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own—one that has haunted him for years and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove Hall. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breathe a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to fall in love.
When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past…or will they stand together and fight for a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long kept?
Petticoat Detective by Margaret Brownley
Petticoat Detective is the first book in Margaret Brownley’s Undercover Ladies series, and was also the first novel I ever read by her. Not only that, it made me a forever fan of her writing.

Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne has a past full of identities…
But posing as a lady companion named Amy at Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots in Goodman, Kansas, is a first for her. Amy’s current assignment has her on the trail of the notorious Gunnysack Bandit, when one of Miss Lillian’s girls—Amy’s best hope for a lead—meets an untimely demise.
Former Texas Ranger Tom Colton has every reason to distrust the green-eyed beauty at Miss Lillian’s who calls herself Amy. Determined to clear his brother’s name, he’s convinced she knows more than she lets on, and he means to find out what it is.
As Amy’s investigation continues, her biggest problem is Tom and his stolen kiss. The closer she gets to tracking down the outlaw, the harder it is to keep Tom from finding out the awful truth about his brother. The Gunnysack Bandit she can handle, but it will take a whole lot of faith and a little help from Miss Lillian and her girls to snag the man who stole her heart.
A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell

In 1918 Boston, three seamstresses dare to dream of a better life.
Fiery Julietta pursues love recklessly.
Shy Annamaria falls for the wrong man.
Secretive Luciana’s past endangers them all.

Drawn together amid the opulence of Madame Fortier’s dress shop, will each find the fairy-tale ending she seeks?

Well, those are my top ten favorite historical novels! What about you? What are some of your favorite historical novels?
Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

To see where I'm linking up, check out my Where I Party page.

All credit for the synopses goes to each author and their respective publishers.


  1. LOVE historical fiction! Have you tried any of Lynn Austin's books? She uses biblical settings and characters and her sanctified imagination to bring the stories to life.
    Thanks for sharing this great list!

    1. Me too! Lynn's books are on my TBR, but I haven't gotten a chance to read any of them yet! Thanks for visiting!

  2. Historical novels always have such pretty covers! I wish I could get into them more, just so I can have pretty eye candy for my shelves :p Great list!

    My TTT.

    Also, feel free to check out our giveaway.

    1. They do! Haha yes that is definitely one of the reasons why I love them! Thanks so much!

  3. Yay! My reading list just got bigger! I've read Julie Klassen and Melanie Dickerson's books before, but not those titles-I'll try to find them to read! I recently discovered Georgette Heyer's historical fiction, and I really, really like her books so far, especially "Beauvallet." (It was very swashbuckling and sweet)

    1. Yay, I'm so glad! That's one of my favorites by Julie, and definitely my favorite by Melanie! I haven't heard of her before, I'll definitely have to look her up! Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. ohhhh you have some of my very favorite books on this list! :) My TTT

    1. :) :) :) They're some of my favorites too!

  5. Whispers in the Reading Room looks really cool - I'm going to have to get my hands on it! :)

    Check out my TTT.

    1. You should; its absolutely wonderful! Thanks for visiting!