The Best Romance Novels

The Following is a list compiled by the Manchester Library, and so offers an English opinion (and they are masters of the genre) of the best written written romance novels in genre of contemporary gothic suspense,  romantic suspense, modern romantic thriller, historical romance, modern romantic suspense.

I will soon be compiling a list with an American perspective of what consititutes the best romance novels of all time.

Not listed in order of preference:

1. Sailing to Capri  An English tycoon dies mysteriously and leaves a note naming six people he suspects might have wanted him dead, by Elizabeth Adler.

2. The Scarlet Thread A British nurse and an American soldier meet, fall in love, and secretly marry during the Second World War. Years after the events of war separate them, a chance meeting brings the couple together to consider their lost love, by Evelyn Anthony.

3. Tregaron's Daughter A young woman from a small English village finds romance and mystery when she embarks on a voyage to Venice, by Madeleine Brent.

4. Rebecca  Classic Gothic tale of love and deception, by Daphne du Maurier

5. Darkwater Gothic romance with deep mystery and danger by Dorothy Eden

6. The Property of a Gentleman  Set in England's Lake District, this novel revolves around the world of art and antiques, by Catherine Gaskin

7. Savannah Purchase  Savannah in the early 19th century is the setting for this novel of romance and intrigue, by Jane Aiken Hodge.

8. The Silk Vendetta Historical romantic suspense set in 19th century England, by Victoria Holt

9. The Shrouded Walls and the Dark Shore  Two spellbinding tales of romance, danger and death , by Susan Howatch

10.  I Came to the Highlands  During the 1700s, with a heavy heart, a young woman leaves America and her true love to accompany her ill and destitute father to his family's castle in the Scottish Highlands. Unwelcome at the castle after her father's death, she is certain her life is in danger, by Velda Johnston

11. The House on the Left Bank In this late 19th century historical novel set in Paris, a young American woman faces many dangers as she seeks to solve a horrifying crime...a classic combination of Gothic romance and suspense. 

12. Shattered Silk The world of vintage couture is the setting for this suspenseful tale of romance and intrigue, by Barbara Michaels

13. Airs Above the Ground. . .The Stormy Petrol Mystery, danger and love await the reader of novels written by this classic romantic suspense author Mary Stewart

14. The Turquoise Mask In this novel by a master of romantic suspense, a woman returns to New Mexico to uncover secrets surrounding her mother's death, by Phyllis Whitney

15. China Silk Despite warnings, a young girl accepts a marriage proposal from a British government official stationed in colonial Hong Kong in the 1920s, by Anne Worboys


16. Hello Darkness. . . White Hot. . .Chill Factor . . . RicochetPopular author Sandra Brown delights fans with her fast-paced romantic thrillers.

17. A Grave MistakeA novel of mystery, deceit and desire set in contemporary New Orleans, by Stella Cameron 

18. The Cove. . . The Maze. . . The Target Historical romance author Catherine Coulter delivers suspense and romance in her first three FBI thrillers.

19. Illusions The breathtaking mountains of Aspen, Colorado, form the backdrop for this romantic thriller by Janet Dailey

20. Slow Burn, Murder List, Killjoy
An author known for her historical romances pleases her fans with novels of contemporary romantic suspense - Julie Garwood.

21. Danger in the ShadowsIn this novel with Christian fiction overtones, a woman in an FBI witness protection program faces danger when she finds herself falling in love.

22. Prior Bad Acts Readers will find spine-chilling suspense and seductive romance in Tami Hoag's thrillers set in Minnesota. 

23. Haunting Rachel Gothic overtones mark this modern romantic thriller, by Kay Hooper

24. Open SeasonA small-town librarian, looking for a lover and trying to reinvent her boring life, faces danger when she becomes the target of a killer, by Linda Howard.

25. Lost and FoundThe world of art and antiques is the setting for Jayne Ann Krentz's novel of mystery and romance.

26. The Wrong Hostage. . . Always Time to Die Elizabeth Lowell is an award-winning master of contemporary romantic suspense, and this duo is sure to please her many fans.

27.  In The Dark A young woman is named sole beneficiary in her estranged aunt's will and then is suspected of murder when her aunt suddenly disappears. Can she trust the handsome investigator to whom she is is helplessly drawn?, by Meagan McKinney.

28. Night Train to Memphis More mystery than romance, this fifth installment in Elizabeth Peters' popular series features art professor, Vicky Bliss.

29. The Midnight Hour . . . To Trust a Stranger Fast-paced suspense with emphasis on romance, by Karen Robards

30. The House on Black Lake An obsession with a charismatic man leads an American woman on a seductive and harrowing journey through the Montreal underground.

31. Midnight Bayou  A winning combination of romance and mystery in New Orleans, by Nora Roberts

32. Hot Ice Exotic Madagascar setting...hot passion... highly-charged suspense, by Nora Roberts. 

33. Expose. . . The Last Lover TV journalist Sally Harrington is featured in this contemporary romantic suspense series
by Connecticut author, Laura Van Wormer.

Courtesy of Manchester Public Library