15 Best 80s Romance Novels To Add To Your Reading List

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I suppose there will be many reading this that never experienced the eighties, now that makes me feel old. But there were tons of fads that this exciting decade gave us. From parachute pants to neon everything, fingerless gloves to slap bracelets, it was filled with iconic and distinctive memories.

15 Best 80s Romance Novels To Add To Your Reading List

But one other great thing came from the 80s…some of the best romance novels of all time.

And if you’re looking for a new book to sink your teeth into, why not travel back in time and experience some of the best stories that were written all those years ago?

While acid-washed jeans, tie-dye tees, and grungy punk tops might not be seen as fashionable anymore, these amazing 80s romance novels never go out of style.

15 Best 80s Romance Novels

1. A Rose In Winter – Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

A Rose in Winter

All that lay eyes on the perfect Erienne Fleming falls for her, but she has eyes on one person only; Christopher Seton. But a love of marriage is not on the cards for this fairest flower as her bankrupt father intends to auction her off to the highest bidder.

And the highest bidder comes in the form of Lord Saxton, a mysterious and disfigured man who actually has a gentle and adoring soul. Erienne vows to be a good and loyal wife to her surprisingly kind new husband.

But when Senton reappears in her life she must make a decision – love or honor?

2. Mackenzie’s Mountain – Linda Howard

Mackenzie's Mountain (Mackenzie Family Saga Book 1)

Mary Elizabeth Potter has no illusions when it comes to love. It’s simply not worth the trouble. She happily lives out her days as a self-appointed spinster.

Or at least she did. Until she met Wolf Mackenzie.

Wolf Mackenzie has a permanent chip on his shoulder and is possibly the most angsty and angry male she’s ever met. Yet she is still sure that he is a man worthy of love. And so she sets out to prove this to the whole town.

But this lone Wolf is not sure he wants to be tamed.

3. A Kingdom Of Dreams – Judith McNaught

A Kingdom of Dreams (2) (The Westmoreland Dynasty Saga)

Jennifer Merrick is no typical girl as Royce Westmoreland, the Duke of Claymore is about to realize. When she is abducted by the Duke, she does not cower in terror like all else before her. In fact, her pride keeps her from having anything to do with the handsome captor.

However, after one night when the pair share a powerful embrace, something is awoken in Jennifer that she has never felt before. And so begins a seductive trap of pride, passion, and overwhelming love.

4. The Windflower – Laura London

The Windflower

Innocent and breathtakingly beautiful, Merry Wilding sets sail from New York with her sights set on an English holiday. However, when the tide takes a different turn she finds herself held captive by a wicked crew of an infamous pirate ship.

Devon Crandall views Merry as a great foe and is intent on forcing her to spill her deepest secrets but along the way, he learns much more about her unbreakable spirit and the fierce passion between them.

5. Here Be Dragons – Sharon Kay Penman

Here Be Dragons: A Novel (Welsh Princes Trilogy Book 1)

It’s the 13th century and Wales is currently a divided country, currently at the mercy of the power-hungry King John. It seems at first an uneasy truce is provided by the Prince of North Wales marrying the English King’s illegitimate daughter.

But when King John continues to try and subdue her husband and his country, Joanna must make a decision as to where her loyalties lie.

6. Sunshine And Shadow – Sharon Curtis


Alan Wilde is a powerful and successful Hollywood director who is currently filming in a rural area of Wisconsin. And it is here that he meets the lovely Susan Peachey, an intriguing Amish School teacher.

The couple quickly establishes a connection, but as soon as it arrives it becomes quite clear that their love may always be threatened by the dramatic differences in the worlds in which they live.

Can love conquer all? Or is that a notion of nothing more than fantasy?

7. Two Alone – Erin St. Claire

Two Alone

Stranded on in remote reaches of the North after a plane crash, two unlikely individuals must band together if they want to survive.

Rusty Carlson is hurt, scared, and alone with a man she does not trust. Cooper Landry hates everything about girls like Rusty Carlson since they’re nothing but takers, but he refuses to let her stop him from surviving.

And if they want to survive, they’ll have to beat all the odds. A tough time, though, they were prepared for, but developing desires other than the need for survival…well that’s a different story.

8. Night Magic – Karen Robards

Night Magic

Clara Winston is simply an author who constantly writes about strong heroes that she dreams of meeting in the real world. She wishes for days of excitement from her hum-drum life.

But sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. As soon, the KGB appears at her door, resolved to the fact that she knows more about CIA agent Jack McCain. And all because one of the characters in one of her novels shares the same nickname.

And thus begins a life of adventure as she finds herself on the run with none other than Jack himself.

9. The Ivy Tree – Mary Stewart

The Ivy Tree: The beloved love story from the Queen of Romantic Mystery

For its heirs, the stunning Whitescar old house and farm is set to make them quite the fortune once it is inherited. However, if they want to secure it, they’ll need to enlist the help of Mary, a young woman who is the spitting image of the missing heiress Annabel Winslow.

However, deception and lies always have a way of being found out. And these actions will spark a power keg of obsession, ambition, and long-dead love.

10. Lightning That Lingers – Sharon Curtis

Lightning that Lingers (Loveswept, No 25)

Philip Brooks has several passions; restoring his family home, biology, and wildlife. And all of these require money, and quite a bit of it. That’s why dancing at the Cougar Club is nothing more than a job for him – it pays the bills and that’s all there is to it.

Jennifer Hamilton has fancied the hottest dancer, Phillip, for a while now and when he is close enough to touch it all becomes a bit much for this shy and bookish lady. So much so that she faints. How embarrassing. But Philip finds her innocence heartwarming.

Could Jennifer’s wildest dream become her reality?

11. Sunset Embrace – Sandra Brown

Sunset Embrace

Apparently, those running from their past take the wagon train trek to Texas. At least, this is the case for Ross Coleman and Lydia Langston.

Lydia is a headstrong woman who is determined to never let a man take away her pride. Ross is a widower who has always stayed true to the love of his life who died during childbirth.

The pair soon finds themselves together, fighting the same enemy as well as the dark and deep emotions inside them. Try as they might, the pair are unable to stop the event that forces a man’s deadly vengeance against the strength of a woman’s love.

12. The Bride – Julie Garwood

The Bride (Lairds' Fiancees Book 1)

When the King decrees that the Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must marry an English woman, the feisty daughter of Baron Jamison, Jamie, is an easy pick. Or so he thinks. Alec aches to tame the fierce woman but this girl has other plans. Never will she surrender to a highland barbarian.

Although that may also be tougher than Jamie sets out to believe, especially after a kiss that sets her blood alight.

13. Come Love A Stranger – Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Come Love a Stranger

Only days after their wedding, fate stole away Mississippi plantation owner, Ashton Wingate’s, betrothed from him. And it is three years later when fate intervenes again. His carriage collides with a horseback rider who looks uncannily similar to his lost bride.

When she awakes, the rider wakes in a huge home with no memory of who she is. But the soft way in which Ashton speaks her name, has her heart burning with desire.

However, when the dangerous Malcolm Sinclair soon claims the woman to be his wife Lenore, things take a dark turn.

14. Sarah’s Child – Linda Howard

A tragic accident changes the world as he knows it when Rome Matthews loses both his wife and his two sons. Sarah has also lost her best friend and considers reaching out to her late best friend’s husband Rome, but is fearful because of a huge secret she’s kept all these years.

She’s in love with Rome Matthews

Guilt and shame are constant feelings for Sarah, and she knows she should never reveal her truth. But as the couple spends more time together the spark only burns brighter than ever.

15. Hummingbird – LaVyrle Spencer


After a train robbery leaves Abigail McKenzie nursing two wounded men, David and Jessie, she soon must make a choice between them. A choice that seems too hard to make.

On the one hand, one is the literal embodiment of her dream man. But the second is an alluring bandit that despite the odds has captured her heart.

But who will she pick?

Final Thoughts

The eighties gave us many memorable moments, but while many of them are now seen as fashion faux-pas or embarrassing and cringe-worthy, the romance novels written during this time transcend time.

Regardless of which novel you read first, I promise you, you will not be able to put it down!

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