022 - The Greatest Gal Pals of Historical Romance!
Updated: Mar 19
Today we’re celebrating Galentines day with a list of series that feature fantastic female friendships. This list will hopefully inspire you to pick up something new, or reread something you’ve read before that will give you those feel-good-feminism & friendship feelings that romance is so great at.
Of course, by no means is this a comprehensive list! And of course, if you think we missed something that we would love - let us know! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For this blog post, we've added in a few "fun points" that we discussed about each series, but to hear all our thoughts, tune in to the episode!
Lisa Kleypas: The Wallflowers
Four young ladies enter London society with one necessary goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So they band together, and a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
Characters: Anabelle Peyton, Lillian Bowman, Daisy Bowman, and Evageline Jenner
Books: Secrets of a Summer Night, It Happened One Autumn, Devil In Winter, Scandal In Spring
There are two other novellas, but they aren’t about the main four friends.
All Ladies end up with gents who weren’t their first or obvious choice.
One of the top Sebastians in romance (Devil In Winter)
Lisa Kleypas: The Hathaways
When an unexpected inheritance elevates the Hathaway family to aristocracy, they find new challenges in navigating the intricacies of London society--and new desires. Lisa Kleypas' historical romance series is sensual and compelling, with lords and ladies, gypsies and governesses--all harboring dark secrets and secret passions.
Characters: Poppy, Beatrix, Winifred, Amelia Hathaway (Also brother Leo gets a book)
Books: Mine Till Midnight, Seduce Me At Sunrise, Tempt Me At Twilight, (Married by Morning), Love in the Afternoon
Family AND friendship
Get to revisit Cam Rohan!
Leo’s book is sooo good too, and his sisters are very supportive of his love story!
Beatrix has such a great animal book, reminiscent of Penelope in the Wallflower Wager
Vivienne Lorret: The Wallflower Wedding Series
This series centers around a group of girls who all enjoy embroidery!
Characters: Penelope Rutledge, Emma Danvers, Merribeth Wakefield, Delaney McFarland
Books: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, Daring Miss Danvers, Winning Miss Wakefield, Finding Miss McFarland
Vivienne Lorret created this series after she had written the novella Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, however there weren't any marriageable ladies or gents mentioned in that book! But she had said that the heroine from that book loved embroidery, so she created an embroidery circle to round out the rest of the series!
This series is the series on this list that we are least familiar with, and was recommended by one of our listeners.
Tessa Dare: Spindle Cove
Spindle Cove, nestled in a peaceful corner of Regency Era England, has long been known as "Spinster Cove," due to its preponderance of unwed ladies of "delicate constitutions."
Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are... nowhere to be found. Or are they?
Characters: Susanna Finch, Violet Winterbottom, Minerva Highwood, Kate Taylor, Diana Highwood, Pauline Simms, Charlotte Highwood
Books: A Night to Surrender, Once Upon a Winter's Eve, A Week to Be Wicked, A Lady by Midnight, Beauty and the Blacksmith, Any Duchess Will Do, Do You Want to Start a Scandal
In the first book, Susanna leads all the ladies in doing things like firearms practice so they don’t need a man!
Loved Any Duchess Will Do...total My Fair Lady situation. Plus Pauline just wants to open a book shop!
We did leave one novella out of the list, as the character is an author traveling to Spindle Cove, and not one of the friends.
Tessa Dare: Girl Meets Duke Series
This series features a group of unlikely friends who have an extraordinary bond. And while their friendship is wonderful, you can’t really mention them without really mentioning the relationship of their respective husbands….
Characters: Emma Gladstone, Alexandra Mountbatten, Lady Penelope Campion, Nicola [Whose Last Name We Forgot]
Books: The Duchess Deal, The Governess Game, The Wallflower Wager, The Bride Bet
The Duchess Deal is one of Zoë's best and favorite first Historical Romance rec’s
The last book in the series is coming out this year! We talked about it extensively in our 2020 Historical Romances We Just Can't Wait For! episode and post.
Maya Rodale: The Writing Girls
The Writing Girls romance novels feature four intrepid heroines who scandalously write for a newspaper in Regency England–and the dukes and rakes who love them.
Characters: Sophie Harlow, Eliza Fielding, Lady Julianna Somerset, Annabelle Swift
Books: A Groom of One’s Own, A Tale of Two Lovers, The Tattooed Duke, Seducing Mr. Knightly
Not only do these ladies have an awesome friendship, but they are career-holding regency ladies! They’re career girls!
The first book she’s reporting on the wedding of the year, and steals the groom!
The second features a fearless gossip columnist, the “Lady of Distinction,” ruins her reputation by slandering the notorious Lord Roxbury, leaving them both no recourse except marriage…to each other!
The third features an undercover reporter!
An advice columnist in need of her own love advice!
Loretta Chase: The Dressmakers
Sisters from a scandalous aristocratic family—and the purveyors of London’s most fashionable shop—find passion and love as sumptuous as the gowns they create.
Characters: Marcelline Noirot, Sophia Noirot, Leonie Noirot, Lady Clara Fairfax
Books: Silk Is for Seduction, Scandal Wears Satin, Vixen in Velvet, Dukes Prefer Blondes
Each sister is best at her own thing but all combine to have a good head for business...and they are not letting marriage stop them from being the best dressmakers in London.
Clara Fairfax is the ex-fiance of the duke Marceline marries and she is just the best of people. She was not in love with the duke (he was like a brother) and is so thrilled for him when he married Marcelline.
Eloisa James: Essex Sisters
These four Scottish beauties lose their father and fall under the guardianship of one of his friends. Only it’s not his friend - it’s his son who has inherited four wards. And he’s prepared the nursery perfectly for the arrival of four girls. Only problem is, what arrives aren’t four girls, but four women.
Characters: Anabelle, Tess, Imogen, Josephine Essex
Books: Much Ado About You, Kiss Me, Anabelle, The Taming of the Duke, Pleasure for Pleasure
This series starts with the best sort of understanding!
Each sister is so different, but they are so tight knit!
While some of the sisters (*cough* Imogen) can be frustrating, the series pays off in a big way.
Two series that you can read along with, as they only have one book so far:
Kerrigan Byrne: The Devil You Know Series
Three extraordinary women vow never to marry…
Until three relentless, devilishly tempting men leave them no choice but to surrender their hearts.
Characters: Lady Alexandra Lane, Cecelia Teague, Lady Francesca Cavendish.
Books: How to Love a Duke in Ten Days (published), All Scot and Bothered (9/2020), The Importance of Being an Earl (2021)
These girls have a B.O.N.D. as each of them has shared a life-altering secret with the group.
To hear more on How to Love a Duke in Ten Days, check out our interview with Kerrigan Byrne.
Evie Dunmore: The League of Extraordinary Women Series
The bluestockings of Oxford's inaugural class of women strive to carve out a place for themselves in the changing world of Victorian England...and follow their hearts along the way.
Characters: Lady Lucie Tedbury, Anabelle Archer, Hattie Greenfield, Lady Catriona Campbell
Books: Bringing Down the Duke (published), A Rogue of One's Own (9/2020), TBA, TBA
These suffragists navigate politics and love as they build their futures in Victorian England.
To hear more about this series, check out our interview with Evie Dunmore.
We would be remiss if we did not give a shout out to two lovely ladies who have quite the on-page friendship, Eloise Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington! Though they did not qualify for this list technically, they should be mentioned anyway :)
Also, Scarlet Peckham’s Society of Sirens upcoming series will definitely be on this list in the future! As I (Zoë) have been lucky enough to read an ARC of it, I just know that once everyone gets a chance to read these ladies, you're all gonna fall in love.
So, were your favorites in the list!? Did we egregiously leave something out! Let us know in the comments or through our email email@example.com. And have a very happy Galentines Day! <3
In this episode we also talked about the upcoming Love & Devotion Author event, which you can hear more about in the clip below!
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