Five Hysterical Historical Romances
By Edie Cay
July 18, 2023

Even the most serious reader needs a levity once in a while. Or maybe you are someone who is always looking for the lolz. Let me push my favorites on you, and help you grow that TBR list. Every single one of these is a book that either is a standalone or can be read as a standalone. Reader, I want to assure you that A) I call them hysterical in the modern sense, not the misogynistic sense and B) these are all tested by me personally. And I’m a tough customer. Read on public transit at your peril.

Without further preamble, let me present in no particular order:

Five historical romances that made me laugh out loud.

1. My Lady Governess by Elise Clark

She is wearing padding and a wig, hiding both her youth and her beauty. Why? Because someone wants to lock her away in an insane asylum and throw away the key. But an overbearing nobleman is convinced he knows best for her, regardless of the situation and refuses all explanations. The charade goes as neither of them planned.

This includes a suit of armor, an unexpected library, and carriage hijinks.


2. The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

She is a spinster who loves animals. A LOT of animals. The weirder, the better. He bought the house next door, hoping the old spinster will give his nouveau-riche jerkface some respectability.

She saved a two-legged dog, so she can definitely save him.

Includes a foul-mouthed parrot, and a revelation of vulgarity to hilarious effect.


3. The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

Ever wanted to be the person who defies convention? Not just wearing white after Labor Day, but eating off of strangers’ plates, telling powerful, disgusting people exactly what you think? I’ve suggested this book many times, as it was the book that made me want to write historical romance. It’s full of deep themes, unshakeable sister-bonds, two love stories, and some extremely bold manners.


4. The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian

It starts with an epistolary account between Rob (which is not just a name but a verb for him), and the Duchess of Clare. He is blackmailing her, she is convinced he’s probably right. She kidnaps him, he blackmails her…like you do. All is not what it seems. And neither Rob nor Marian Hayes know A) what to do now or B) what a reasonable human being might have done instead.


5. The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by KJ Charles

Set in the Romney Marsh with plenty of smuggling, London-clerk-turned-surprised-country-gentleman, has no idea how this world works. There’s a bit of getting stuck in the mud, a buried treasure, and two rival smuggling families with a history no one from the outside could possibly puzzle out. Both heartbreaking and hilarious, this gay M/M romance is worth every word.


Edie Cay

Written by Edie Cay

Edie Cay writes award-winning feminist Regency Romance about women’s boxing and relatable misfits. She is a member of the Regency Fiction Writers, the Historical Novel Society, ALLi, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can drop her a line on Facebook and Instagram @authorediecay.

View Edie’s PLW Profile

Share This Post

1 Comment

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *