Witty Heroines, Steamy Romance Novels

Today’s leading authors of historical romance know that readers crave witty repartee as much as they once craved rakes and scoundrels. In an era when ladies of genteel breeding had little authority, they found their wit was one power they could leverage—and leverage it they did. To follow are some of our favorite witty heroines. [WARNING: verbal sparring and double entendres abound.]

heiress effectThe Heiress Effect, by Courtney Milan

Miss Jane Fairfield is 100% unsuited for the life of the Ton. She wears the most awful gowns and says the most inappropriate things, but she has a dowry that might just gain her a husband, in spite of her best efforts to avoid one. Mr. Oliver Marshall, a duke’s bastard trying to find his place in society, can by no means afford to fall in love with the wrong woman—and make no mistake, Lady Jane is the wrong woman. Too bad she feels so right. 


The Perks of Loving a ScoundrelThe Perks of Loving a Scoundrel, by Jennifer McQuiston.

While hiding in the library from an unwanted suitor, Mary Channing nearly ruins herself: Geoffrey Westmore, noted rake and scoundrel, is hiding there, too, and the pair overhears a plot to assassinate the Queen. Reluctantly, Mary teams up with Geoffrey to uncover the plot, then marries him to save her reputation. Mary’s journal entries and the sparring between her and Geoffery make this a witty, sexy read.

Scandal Takes the StageScandal Takes the Stage, by Eva Leigh

Maggie Delamere has a bad case of writer’s block at the worst possible time, with two weeks to deliver a burletta. Although Lord Marwood has never been called generous, he offers Maggie his country home as a writer’s retreat for her—an arrangement which sparks more than her creativity. Between her scandalous plays and his rakish ways, there’s never a dull moment, and if they could only stop arguing for a moment, they’d see that they’re perfect for one another. Witty repartee and steamy sex scenes highlight this addition to the Wicked Quills of London series.


Still yearning for more wit? Try one of these:

And Then She Fell, by Stephanie Laurens

The Art of Taming a Rake, by Nicole Jordan

Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea, by Sophia Nash

The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress, by Victoria Alexander

Duke of Sin, by Elizabeth Hoyt

Dukes Prefer Blondes, by Loretta Chase

Falling into Bed with a Duke, by Lorraine Heath

How the Duke Was Won, by Lenora Bell

How to Woo a Reluctant Lady, by Sabrina Jeffries

I Thee Wed, by Celeste Bradley

In the Heat of the Bite, by Lydia Dare.  

Just Like Heaven, by Julia Quinn

My American Duchess, by Eliosa James.

The Rogue Not Taken, by Sarah MacLean

Romancing the Duke, by Tessa Dare.

A Scoundrel by Moonlight, by Anna Campbell

Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, by Vanessa Kelly

The Songbird’s Seduction, by Connie Brockway

Why Earls Fall in Love, by Manda Collins

You’re the Earl that I Want, by Kelly Bowen



About the Author:

Ilene Lefkowitz is a supervising librarian at the Denville Public Library in Denville, New Jersey. Along with C. L., co-author of Read On . . . Romance (2014). When she is not reading romances she can be found cooking up a storm or attempting to be crafty. Follow her on Twitter @ilefkowitz.C. L. Quillen is the director of the Spotswood Public Library. In her spare time, she likes to get creative in the kitchen, travel, and spoil her already very spoiled Siamese-mix cat. She is the co-author of Read On . . . Romance (2014). Follow her on Twitter at @cielle.

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