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Favorite Authors

 

Jane Austen


Jane Austen may be called the original Regency romance novelist. She perfectly captures the way of life in Regency England, with wonderful insight into human relationships and a light touch humor and wit. All her novels are excellent, but naturally one must consider Pride and Prejudice to be the prime example. I have a special affection for her early novel, Northanger Abbey, a delightful satire on the Gothic novels that were so popular in Regency times.
 

Mary Balogh


This popular and prolific author has established herself as a master of the genre. She is able to write light-hearted and amusing romps like The Unlikely Duchess and The Famous Heroine, but she is also capable of wonderfully indepth characterizations that explore human weaknesses and betrayals and the triumph of love. Some prime examples are Lord Carew's Bride, Dancing with Clara, and "The Anniversary" in From the Heart.
 

Susan Carroll


This author has a wonderful sense of humor, perfect for the Regency genre. Her best is The Bishop's Daughter, in which Hellfire Harry returns from the war to find that the villagers have erected an immodest statue of him, followed closely by The Wooing of Miss Masters and Brighton Road.
 

Loretta Chase


Loretta Chase's Regencies are peopled with complex, believable characters whom one comes to care about and remember long after the book is finished. Of her traditional Regencies, Knaves' Wager is my personal favorite.  Her Regency historical Lord of Scoundrels is widely considered one of the top romance novels of all time.
 

Dinah Dean


Aspiring writers should read Dinah Dean's The Cockermouth Mail for the perfect example of how to gradually develop a believable and touching romance between a hero and heroine. The Country Gentleman is also gem, blending romance, intrigue, humor and English village life. She has also written a series of novels set in Russia during the Napoleonic wars that combine romance and adventure in a unique and masterfully depicted milieu.
 

Carola Dunn


Carola Dunn is at her best writing tales of adventure and intrigue. Among her best Regencies are The Miser's Sister, The Tudor Secret, and Scandal's Daughter, a ripping yarn in which the hero and heroine must flee across Europe from an amorous Turkish pasha intent on making the lady his mistress. Another tale of flight is Miss Jacobsen's Journey, unique in the Regency realm for its Jewish hero and heroine. Dunn has now carried over her talent for writing mysteries into her charming Daisy Dalrymple series set in England of the 1920s.
 

Georgette Heyer


The undisputed Queen of the Regency Romance. Her wonderful tales have formed the basis for the genre that we know today. You can't really go wrong with Georgette Heyer, but among my personal favorites are April Lady, Devil's Cub, Faro's Daughter, Friday's Child, and of course, ahem, The Nonesuch.
 

Carla Kelly


Carla Kelly has quickly established herself as one of the genre's best. Characterization and the development of the romance between the hero and heroine are her strong points. Reforming Lord Ragsdale is perhaps the finest example of the "reformed rake" storyline, with two vivid and realistic characters coming to terms with their problems. She also has an excellent grasp of the period and its problems: Mrs. McVinnie's London Season and With This Ring both deal with the fate of wounded sailors and soldiers during the Napoleonic conflict. On the lighter side, Miss Billings Treads the Boards features a sweet, portly, balding hero who's a refreshing change from the usual strapping rake.
 

Lynn Kerstan


Another relative newcomer who has proven her mastery of the genre, Lynn Kerstan's stories are both amusing and emotionally compelling. The superb Celia's Grand Passion is a masterful portrait of two people who overcome the pain and betrayal of their pasts through love. Lucy in Disguise is a much more light-hearted caper complete with a scene-stealing owl, but it is the completely opposite yet perfectly matched hero and heroine who really steal the show.
 

Elizabeth Mansfield


Elizabeth Mansfield writes consistently entertaining and romantic tales, with the perfect balance of keen wit and heartfelt emotion. My Lord Murderer stands out as one of the best Regencies of all time, while in Passing Fancies she created a lovable and memorable scholarly hero who lurks unnoticed in the background until he is needed. A Regency Charade deals masterfully with the reconciliation of a married couple separated by a misunderstanding. Other wonderful books include A Brilliant Mismatch and The Reluctant Flirt.
 

Dawn Aldridge Poore


The Miss Sydney Regency Mysteries are a charming and original series of four books:  The Brighton Burglar, The Secret Scroll, The Cairo Cats, and The Mummy's Mirror. Miss Roxanne Sydney, the daughter of a classical scholar, reluctantly takes in a mysterious border named Lymond after her father's death and soon becomes embroiled in investigating the thefts of art and artifacts. Though she is quick to suspect Lymond, he soon becomes her partner in detection. The romance between the independent Roxanne and the delicious Lymond is wonderfully developed and drawn out over the course of the four books. The first person narration is artfully done, allowing the reader to see Lymond's growing feelings for Roxanne while she remains in the dark. The series culminates with an archeological dig in Egypt that fans of Elizabeth Peters will enjoy.
 

Joan Smith


This amazingly prolific author of over 80 Regencies is my personal favorite. Her stories are a perfect blend of romance, adventure, intrigue and humor. Her plots frequently involve mystery or espionage elements that serve to bring the hero and heroine together in entertaining situations rather than detracting from the romance as is often the case with less skilled authors. Her heroes are particularly appealing because they are human and uncertain rather than arrogant and demanding. She often uses first person narration from the heroine's point of view in a highly effective way. Among her best titles are Love's Way, Memoirs of a Hoyden, and A Tall, Dark Stranger.
 

Patricia Veryan


Patricia Veryan has written three sweeping sagas set in Regency and Georgian England. The Golden Chronicles deal with the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion, The Tales of the Jewelled Men involve a secret cadre of traitors, and The Sanguinet Saga centers around the villainous Claude Sanguinet and his brothers. Each series features a widely varied cast of friends, a pair of whom take center stage for each novel and, naturally, fall in love. Her books feature everything one could want in the way of romantic entertainment. It's best to read them in order, as they are listed here. My personal favorites are The Dedicated Villain, in which the villain of The Golden Chronicles becomes a hero with the help of his lady love, and The Mandarin of Mayfair, in which the part-Chinese August Falcon overcomes his sense of isolation, helps his friends defeat the villains, and finds love.
 

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See a list of Award Winners
 
 
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