Classic romance author Jane Austen holds a special place in our hearts. A pioneer of her time, her wit and comic outlook on romance still resonate today. And though she only completed seven novels in her lifetime, they’ve all remained with us years after we’ve turned the final page.
Though men, and marriage, play integral roles in Austen’s books, her heroines can hold their own—often times portrayed as independent and headstrong like Lizzie Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, or against the idea of marrying altogether as Emma Woodhouse is in Emma. Austen had a no-frills attitude about love that shines through in her writing—just one reason why we’re still obsessed with it 200 years later.
If you’re a fan of Austen, but you’ve already read through her works more times than you wish to admit, here are nine romance novels you’re sure to love.
The Bawdy Bride
In this novel, Lady Anne Davies marries merely out of convenience—she doesn’t expect her relationship to actually become a passionate one. But when disturbing secrets surface and Anne is in danger, she realizes that everything may lead back to the man she has grown to love.
Wives and Daughters
Gaskell’s novel reads like an enchanting fairy tale, drawing you in with every word. It’s a classic coming of age story with wicked stepmothers, scandals, and reputations at risk. Will the protagonist risk her own reputation and that of the man she’s secretly in love with to set things right?
Lady Audley's Secret
Part of the “sensation novel” craze that captivated England in the nineteenth century, which was characterized by an interest in books that blurred the lines between romance and realism or had a mystery component, Lady Audley’s Secret is a story of love and crime. When barrister Robert Audley’s friend mysteriously vanishes during a fishing trip at an English manor, Robert becomes suspicious of his uncle’s new wife and begins a desperate search into her past.
Midsummer Moon provides the perfect combination of comedic conflict and characters that you’ll become attached to. When the Duke of Damerell falls for an eccentric female inventor, someone completely his opposite, his high-brow life is turned upside down.
The Frost Fair
This sweet Regency romance has Austen-like wit. The clock is ticking for a 25-year-old noblewoman, as she has only five months months to either find herself a husband or lose her considerable fortune.
Dangerous to Love
Becnel’s novel is a story that has all the right ingredients: dynamic lead characters, brilliant dialogue, and fiery chemistry between the hero and heroine. It revolves around an illegitimate nobleman who wants to punish society for turning its back on him; but instead he gives his heart to an ordinary woman who makes him rethink marriage and love.
For All Eternity
For All Eternity is a beguiling, emotional romance. When a Regency heiress finds herself in desperate circumstances, she’s forced to become a servant at an estate in the countryside. There, she finds herself working for the man she once despised–a man who also finds himself irresistibly drawn to her although the two are from completely different worlds.
Dancing with a Rogue
Patricia Potter’s sparkling romance follows a vengeful privateer and a beautiful actress as they fall deeply in love. Little do they know, though, they’re both seeking revenge against the aristocrats that wronged them in the past.
The Drop of the Dice
This book centers around Clarissa Field, a woman who never knew her mother, yet ends up following in her footsteps unknowingly. When Clarissa’s heart is divided and stolen by two men, she must navigate through scandal and treachery–facing an impossible choice.
A Note in Music
When an alluring new stranger moves into town, his charm makes him the subject of two married women’s adoration. A Note in Music is both intelligent and moving, and exposes the pains of women in love, much like the works of Austen do.
Fans of Kleypas’ novels will be thrilled to hear that she’s back to writing historical romance. This first book in the Ravenels Series follows the powerful Devon Ravenel as he meets the widowed Kathleen, whom he falls for ... hard. But can she stop herself from falling in love with a man that is too dangerous for her?
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Featured photo: Wikimedia Commons
This article was originally published on July 6th, 2017.