Dec 10 2014 4:45pm

Listening to History: Historical Romance Audiobooks to Try

The holiday season is upon us and I don’t know about you, but for me that means a lot of travelling, shopping, present wrapping and cooking. Initially this would not seem the ideal time for reading, but the secret weapon for romance reading during the Christmas period is audiobooks. I have loved audiobooks since I was a child and first listened to The Secret Garden on tape. Throughout the years I have listened to a fair few books, both romance and non-romance. To help you feed your romance reading addiction through the holiday season I invite you on a trip through the ages.

Late Medieval:

By Right of Arms by Robyn Carr

This is by far my favourite medieval romance on audiobook, partly due to Nicola Barber’s fantastic narration. Set during Prince Edward’s reign of England, it focuses on a French castle that has just been taken over by the English knight Hyatt. All that stands his is way is the young and newly widowed Aurelie who pledges to honor her late husband, although she is now being forced to marry the conquering knight. One of the reasons I loved this audiobook is the strength of Auriele’s character despite being born in a time when women were often seen as second-class citizens, regardless of rank.

I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys the marriage of convenience trop and relishes watching a strong alpha fall to an equally strong heroine.


The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

To quote the blurb, “One thing a lady must never do is fall in love with her servant,” and with this story Hoyt gives us exactly that. Listening to Harry and Lady Georgina fall in love was heavenly, the narration by Moira Quick was superb and as usual Hoyt’s writing was fantastic. A story of forbidden love due to the class difference between the hero and heroine, this is an audiobook full of emotion that had me both laughing and crying, which led to some strange looks from the people around me.

As with most of Hoyt’s stories this has a slighter dark element. She is great at using the injustices of history to heighten the romance between the hero and heroine and The Leopard Prince is no exception.


Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

This story is one of the legends within the romance genre, and rightly so. The story of the ‘mad’ duke and the Quaker girl who saved him narrated by Nicholas Boulton is a truly winning combination. I couldn’t stop listening; I had it on in the car, while walking to the shops, while in the bath or the shower, while brushing my teeth. If I had a spare five minutes I was listening to this book. Flowers from the Storm is an epic romance between two people who can never be together, yet can’t be apart.

This love story is a slow build, happening gradually over time, with Christian tackling his mental illness and Archimedea sticking firmly to her religious beliefs, yet the journey is truly unforgettable.


The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

If you can’t tell by the other recommendations I love unconventional heroes and heroines, characters who challenge conventions and defy societal norms, particularly when placed in an historical setting. The character of Lord Ian Mackenzie is one of the most unconventional, feared by society for being a supposed murderer. He knows the value of treasure and instantly recognises Beth's worth. Angela Dawes does a fantastic job of translating the distinctiveness of Ian and Beth’s characters and the connection they have into the audiobook.

Post WWI:

The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson

This is almost my wild card choice. It is an audiobook that I personally loved, but the tone and pace of the story is slightly unusual for a historical romance, perhaps more likened to a saga. It follows the life of Anna after she flees to England during the Russian revolution, becoming a maid in the Earl of Westerholme’s ancestral home. Told from the viewpoint of Anna, I loved the insights into the Russian culture and the way she viewed the traditions of Britain. Rupert is an equally dashing hero, extremely noble and kind to all those he encounters.

Their love for each other develops in the quite, hidden moments of life rather than large declarations, however, I could understand why people wouldn’t enjoy this audiobook as despite the beautiful accents and the flawless writing style both Anna and Rupert are slightly too perfect. So perhaps avoid if overly perfect heroes or heroines grate on your nerves.

These are some of my favorite historical romance audiobooks, with each one being re-listened to many, many times, however, I’m always on the look out for more so feel free to recommend some in the comments!

Also if anyone has listened to a good historical romance from the Roman or Viking period I would to know as I’m always on the look out for slightly unusual time periods!


To learn more about the audiobooks mentioned in this post:

By Right of Arms by Robyn Carr  
The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt  
Flowers from the Storm by Lauren Kinsale  
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley  
The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson  







Lucy Hargrave is a romance reader, blog writer, animal lover, and travel enthusiast who can be found at, among other places.

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Michelle Guthrie
1. Michelle99
Thanks for the suggestions - I'm listening to Flowers from the Storm right now and loving it. Something about historical audiobooks that I particularly enjoy.
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2. LOVExtra Romance News
I consider this post a community service! Thank you!
3. willaful
I have a lot of trouble listening to historical romance, because the very rich, upper-crust British accents just don't work for me. I was happy to find that the narrator of Eloisa James's books has a very appealing voice.
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4. LucyLovesRomance
@Michelle99 such a good book! I'm about to start my second Laura Kinsale audibook so fingers crossed

@LOVExtra Romance News glad you liked it!

@willaful I'll have to check out Eloisa James's audiobooks if the narrator is good, although personally I love a British accent!

P.S sorry I didn't reply earlier, I would blame the madness that is Christmas but I feel that would just be an excuse and a bad one at that...
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