The Best Queer Historical Romances

Avon Books

Marian Hayes, Duchess of Clare, has just shot her husband. Of course, the evil man deserved what was happening to him, but now she had to flee to the countryside. Unfortunately, the only person she can ask for help is Rob, the charismatic criminal who blackmails her. As they flee across the country – stopping to pickpocket, drink to excess and rescue injured cats – they discover more true joy than either has felt in decades. chandeliers. But when the truth about Rob’s past catches up with him, they must decide if they’re ready to reshape their lives to forge a future together.

There has been a boom in LGBTQ romance in recent years, and there should be, and queer historical romance is no exception. Jane Austen was among my favorite early authors, so you know I appreciate a good period romance, and it’s amazing to see the growing diversity in the historical romance genre. Although, as everyone knows, it could always take a little more work. (Insert the latest migraine-inducing romance book industry drama here.) But these books are the perfect escape from it all, full of diverse characters and all the portrayal you crave. These stories feature Sapphic love affairs, polyamorous triads, trans and non-binary characters, and gay and bisexual men. Does it get any better than that?

Regency romance that would make any Bridgerton fans swooning over star-crossed war lovers falling in love with the enemy, these eight eerie historical romances have a little something for everyone. You really can’t go wrong. Whether you’re looking for M/F, F/F, M/M, MFM, or another variation, chances are you’ll find it here. So take a break from the worries of today with these uplifting stories of yesteryear. Go ahead, let a dashing duke or a scintillating nightclub singer carry you away, why not you? You deserve it.

Queer historical romance novels

book cover of A Lady for a Duke

A lady for a duke by Alexis Hall

The author of something fabulous returns with another queer historical romance in A lady for a duke. Viola Caroll didn’t die at Waterloo, but everyone thinks so. Her presumed death provided her with the perfect opportunity to finally live as herself. But it also meant losing his wealth, his title and his closest friend, Justin de Vere, Duke of Gracewood. Reunited years later, Viola finds Justin completely changed by grief over the friend he thought he had lost forever. But now that Viola is back in her life, old feelings resurface and new passions arise.

book cover of The Benefits of Loving a Wallflower

Benefits of loving a wallflower by Erica Ridley

This Regency romance is perfect for fans of Bridgerton. Tommy is a master of disguise, who can pull off the look of a high-society lady as easily as an old man. When she is recruited by a certain Miss Philippa York to find and decode a missing manuscript, she can only do so as not to let her crush show through. And when Philippa, who has never believed in love, sees her heart beating a little faster for this clever con artist, she realizes she might just be waiting for the right person to win.

That Might Be Enough book cover

That might be enough by Alyssa Cole

This short story, originally published as part of a trio of historical romance novels in Hamilton Battalion, follows a maid named Mercy Alston working for Eliza Hamilton, whose past heartaches have hardened her heart to love. But when a vivacious and fiercely independent seamstress shows up for an interview in place of her grandfather, Mercy finds the resolve not to open her Andromeda-tested heart and her flirtatious advances. Described as “scary but mellow”, this historical novel will give you all the feelings.

The pursuit of... book cover

The pursuit of… by Courtney Milan

Despite attempting to kill each other the first time they met and fighting on opposite sides of a war, John and Henry find themselves on the same journey of 500 miles. And they certainly don’t fall in love. After all, what would a black American soldier, disabled at Yorktown, and a British deserter have in common? It soon becomes clear that they share more than either initially realizes.

Heart and hand book cover

heart and hand by Rebel Carter

A mail-order bride finds her happily ever after with two husbands in this historic polyamorous romance. When Julie responds to a newspaper ad looking for a teacher and a wife for not one, but of them husbands, she decides to leave the boredom of New York society and embark on a new adventure. Former Union soldiers Forrest Wickes and William Barnes have shared everything since the war, including their desire to find a wife. In order to get their happy ending, they’ll have to figure out how to negotiate threesome life and help this debutante survive on the frontier.

In the Shadow of the Past book cover

In the shadow of the past by JE Leak

Falling in love with the wrong person can be deadly when you’re a spy, which Kathryn Hammond knows all too well. As a nightclub singer working for the OSS in secret, she resents having to work dead-end missions in the United States while war rages in Europe. But when a reporter investigating her father’s death comes to dig in, probing Kathryn’s connection to the mob, their lives – and their loves – become far more complicated and dangerous than they could have imagined.

book cover of Two Wings to Fly Away

Two wings to soar by Penny Mickelbury

Genie Oliver’s clothing store may look like a regular business, but it’s actually a front for the Underground Railroad. She has been helping slaves escape since she herself escaped slavery. Reluctant heiress Abby Read runs a boarding house just down the street, partly to escape high society life and partly because she never plans to marry a man. But when Abby’s free black servant daughter is kidnapped by rogue slave hunters, she finds help in the most unlikely place: the seamstress just down the street. First brought together out of necessity, the two soon find themselves drawn to so much more as they work to save a girl from a horrific fate.

Cover of the book La Valse d'Hellion

Hellion’s Waltz by Olivia Waite

After losing the family piano shop to a crook in London, Sophie Roseingrave moves in with her father to start over in a new town. But she’s not about to let anyone cross her path again, and she suspects silk weaver Maddie Crewe is up to something. And she’s not wrong. Maddie only needs one more big score to permanently bankroll the Weavers Syndicate, and she’s aiming for an easy target. The last thing she needs is a suspicious piano teacher getting in her way. But if Maddie can’t convince her to mind her own business, maybe she can seduce her to the cause.

Need even more queer historical novels and LGBTQ historical fiction? Try a few:

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