Romance novels, as we know, can be written on a variety of topics, with a diverse collection of themes, and such. Romance stories that focus on different time periods are ones that always strike interest and pull the reader into them.
Whether it is a regency novel, a WWII romance story, a futuristic romance book, it doesn’t matter; what matters is that the reader is taking out of his own time and place and into a time and place that seems, for the nonce, quite intriguing, special, and unique. As such, we will now be taking a look at our picks for the best medieval romance books.
Best Medieval Romance Books
The Bride by Julie Garwood
Kansas City native writer Julie Garwood has a distinct and trademark way of writing her novels and it is the prime reason why they are so memorable. The 1989 novel The Bride, the first of the Lairds’ Fiancées series, is one of our favorites of Garwood’s in our best medieval romance books review.
Medieval Scotland was a thing to see, truly. Jamie, Baron Jamison’s daughter, is an Englishwoman. She is living quite a reserved, calm life, at her own pace, when someone comes knocking at her father’s door. Baron Jamison had not been attentive to his tax-paying affairs and he is now to pay with giving away one of his daughters for marriage.
Alec Kincaid, one of the Scottish lords, picks Jamie because she is just ineffably beautiful. Having no other choice, Jamie joins Alec and they journey to the castle of Kincaid. It doesn’t take long for them to get married, though Jamie is all the more apprehensive and wary of Alec.
Jamie has heard word that Alec’s first wife was befallen by Alec, himself, so she is always on the lookout. While the days spent together see Jamie falling in love with him, she fears that he will slay her if he doesn’t want her anymore.
When confronted, Alec reveals that he wasn’t the one that killed her, but her own blade did the job. They had been together for a short time when she committed suicide. As the two begin to remove the cloaks that mask their pains and they open up their hearts to each other. Garwood’s tale here is truly remarkable.
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
Judith McNaught comes from San Luis Obispo, California, USA, and she is nothing short of an amazing writer whose works mesmerize, astonish, and breathe life into the reader each time we pick them up. The 1989 novel A Kingdom of Dreams is one of her best, in our opinion, and it deserves to be on our list of the best medieval romance books.
Royce Westmoreland, nicknamed the Black Wolf, and Jennifer Merrick are the protagonists of A Kingdom of Dreams. Royce is recognizable also by the name Duke of Claymore. Jennifer, on the other hand, is a normal girl going about her day at the convent school, when in storms none other than The Black Wolf and takes her.
The marked beauty and attraction of Jennifer is what drove Royce to take her and take her he does. Jennifer knows what names Royce goes by and she is frequently in fear of the man knowing his ways. Nonetheless, her character isn’t one that just passively or complacently goes about the abduction. She can be quite intense and impulsive and Royce is drawn to her even more.
As they start to tease each other and spar verbally more and more often, they begin to notice how passionate their banter and quips have gotten. It’s no longer just an exchange of insults like it was initially, but something they have in common.
This passion soon translates to the bedroom as they can barely contain themselves in spite of the stubborn ways of Royce and the whimsical manners of Jennifer. While the story is a medieval one, the characters are very realistic, with emotions that define them. We very much recommend this superb tale.
The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Erin Woodiwiss
Kathleen Erin Woodiwiss, who was born and raised in Alexandria, Louisiana, U. S. The writer has been publishing her powerful stories for more than a half-century and we cannot say anything save words of praise and admiration for her work. The 1974 tale named The Wolf and the Dove will be the one we focus on.
The tale occurs in the year of 1066 when the English Saxons were being invaded by the attacking Normans. The protagonist is Aislin of Darkenwald and she is aged 18. The young Aislin is taken by the so-called Iron Wolf of Normandy, otherwise known as Wulfgar.
Wulfgar’s reasoning is based on him being the one to whom Aislin belongs. Herself, Aislin is the daughter of the Lord of Darkenwald. She is very good-looking, attractive, bright, and quite proud, though seeing her mother be hurt by the invaders surely put a dent into her pride. It might be a spiteful thought of hers, but she will not kneel to a Norman.
Wulfgar, on the other hand, is hailed as a ruthless, vicious man. When in battle, he surely is and is prepared to go to any lengths to take out his foe, but in his personal life, he is really a sweetheart. His kindness and pleasantries are worth noting, though Aislinn initially interprets them as undermining and demeaning acts.
Soon, she sees that Wulfgar really is special, not just as a warrior. There is far more than what is expressed by the paint job of Wulfgar’s attitude and when Aislinn begins prodding deeper into him and opening herself up to Wulfgar’s beautiful eyes, it is only a matter of time before they both fall in love.
The Prize by Julie Garwood
Julie Garwood finds herself on our list of the best medieval romance books once again and a little birdie told us that this won’t be the last time one of her tales is looked at here. For more information about the book, check out our The Prize book review.
1066 is the period during which the story is set. The Norman man Baron Royce and the Saxon woman Lady Nicholaa are the protagonist of this story. We begin by seeing Lady Nicholaa guarding her home from the invaders that have come for her.
She’s bested three already, but the mighty Royce is too much for her. She resorts to subterfuge and by making him think that she is the twin sister of the real Lady Nicholaa, she exits the stage. When Royce does find out, he isn’t irked by the event, but admires the cunning of the woman.
Lady Nicholaa had left to a convent nearby and for the nonce is safe. It isn’t long, however, that Royce locates her and takes her as he intended to. As they get underway to London, the Lady tries to find ways to escape once more, but Royce doesn’t leave his guard down at all.
With time, however, we see both of them coalesce. The admiration that Royce has for the mighty Lady is met with the respect she has for him and for his protective ways. The picture is slowly being painted that love is in the air and the way that they leave each other breathless is only indicative of their falling for each other.
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
The protagonist of Saving Grace is none other than Lady Johanna. We learn that Johanna had been married off when she was fairly young. This was nothing odd during the time when Johanna lived and she couldn’t do anything against her parents’ will.
The man she married mistreated and hurt her. The abuse went on until he passed away. King John, however, isn’t going to let Johanna enjoy her respite for long as she is to marry another. The King’s words are not to be undermined or questioned, so she has to go through with this marriage, as well.
Johanna’s brother, a man named Nicholas, asks of his comrades whether he would marry Johanna just so that she could be free and not be abused once more by what arbitrary man is chosen for her. The Scottish lands are bid to Gabriel if he marries Johanna.
Gabriel doesn’t waste time accepting and soon Johanna and Gabriel meet. Gabriel is told that she is sterile in the manner that she can’t bear children, but Gabriel has no gripe with this seeing as he already has a child. While he was interested only in the land, when he does meet Johanna, he is mesmerized immediately.
Johanna’s own thoughts of Gabriel are that he is a man of honor, with poise, and deserving of her respect. She accepts being the stepmother of Gabriel’s child and does the deeds daily without issue.
Unlike the deceased, Gabriel is not hurtful or abusive, but always there to help and take care of her. While she had given up on the idea of finding love, when she begins seeing Gabriel in this light, she knows that fate is smiling on her.