writers The Best Romance Novelists of All Time  

Book Keeper
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45.4k votes 7.9k voters 473.8k views 136 items

List Rules Vote up and add all of your favorite romance writers and authors of romantic literature.

The best romance novelists are writers who draw readers in with a beautiful love story and keep them interested with compelling details. Romance novels have come a long way in recent years. No longer are romance fans limited to mere "bodice-rippers": Now best selling romance authors are churning out elaborate tales that incorporate elements of historical fiction and even science fiction. Whether it's contemporary romance, paranormal romance or historical romance novels, I've tried to compile a comprehensive list of the top romance novelists around. That's a tough task, and I'm pretty certain I've missed more than a few. Romance novel fans, if you don't see your personal favorite author on this list, please add them! Also, be sure to vote for your favorite romantic novel writers.

I've included several popular contemporary romance novelists on this list, but I also tried to list some of the classic romance writers as well. Good example? Jane Austen. No list of the best romance novelists would be complete without adding Jane Austen! Another example? Margaret Mitchell, author of the epic romance novel Gone With the Wind. Some of the authors I've included on this list are winners of the RITA Award, given by the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Among them: Nora Roberts, LaVyrle Spencer, and Diana Gabaldon. Roberts is one of the best-selling romance writers of all-time. Gabaldon's epic Outlander series is without question my favorite historical romance series ever.

If you're a huge reader, you might also be interested in these lists of famous historical novelists, fantasy authors, crime authors and young adult authors
list ordered by

1
1,921 499
Judith McNaught is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Judith McNaught Paradise/Tender Triumph, A Kingdom of Dreams, Double Standards

2
1,466 317
Julie Garwood is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Julie Garwood Mercy, The Clayborne brides, Come the spring

3
1,248 317
Johanna Lindsey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
JenniferMarieWhite added Johanna Lindsey Captive Bride, The Devil Who Tamed Her, Gentle Rogue

4
1,685 425
Nora Roberts is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Nora Roberts Irish Thoroughbred, Sweet revenge, Spellbound

5
1,122 291
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility

6
1,239 357
Jude Deveraux is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Jude Deveraux Counterfeit Lady, The Velvet Promise, Legend

7
923 285
Lisa Kleypas is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
harsh93austin added Lisa Kleypas Sugar Daddy, Avon Books Presents, Scandal in Spring

8
860 331
Julia Quinn is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
JenniferMarieWhite added Julia Quinn It's in His Kiss, The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, On the Way to the Wedding

9
693 304
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Milton Houten added Kathleen E. Woodiwiss So Worthy My Love, The Wolf and the Dove, Petals on the river

10
747 316
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
RuchiGoel added Susan Elizabeth P What I Did for Love, Nobody's Baby But Mine, Glitter Baby - Romance author list can never miss Susan Elizabeth Philips name!!!

11
526 248
Linda Howard is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
DhariniIyer added Linda Howard To die for, I can Read About Dinosaurs, Strangers in the night

12
554 228
Jayne Ann Krentz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Jayne Ann Krentz Take 5, Volume 2, Falling awake

13
384 159
Christine Feehan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
aimee-ng added Christine Feehan Shadow Game, Dark Celebration, Dark Demon

14
622 266
Diana Gabaldon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Diana Gabaldon Outlander, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Voyager

The Smartest Celebrities

15
484 224
Kristen Ashley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
phelicia-dyett added Kristen Ashley Deacon, Fire Inside, Rock Chick Revolution

16
406 155
Amanda Quick is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
aimee-ng added Amanda Quick

17
324 146
Stephanie Laurens is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
aimee-ng added Stephanie Laurens Secrets of a Perfect Night, The reasons for marriage, A lady of expectations

18
391 205
Mary Balogh is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Linus added Mary Balogh Silent Melody, Dancing with Clara, Counterfeit Betrothal

19
455 268
Debbie Macomber is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Debbie Macomber 74 Seaside Avenue, Navy husband, Navy baby

20
334 152
Kresley Cole is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
BrendySantanaBrust added Kresley Cole A Hunger Like No Other, If you dare, Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night

21
807 501
Nicholas Sparks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Nicholas Sparks The Last Song, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember

The Very Best of the Disappointing Childhood Friend Meme

22
300 157
Colleen Hoover is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
phelicia-dyett added Colleen Hoover Ugly Love, Slammed, Losing Hope

23
223 58
J R. Ward is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
cheri added J R. Ward

24
299 165
Sylvia Day is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
phelicia-dyett added Sylvia Day Bared to You, Pleasures of the Night, A Passion for Him

25
223 113
Eloisa James is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
EucalyptusEyes added Eloisa James Paris in Love: A Memoir, Besame, Annabel/ Kiss Me Annabel

26
230 117
Sarah MacLean is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
CarolS.Roberts added Sarah MacLean A Rogue by Any Other Name, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

27
379 217
LaVyrle Spencer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
LaVyrle Spencer The Fulfillment, Hummingbird, That Camden summer

28
341 188
Jennifer Crusie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Jennifer Crusie Charlie All Night, Getting Rid of Bradley, Liebe auf den zweiten Kuss.

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

29
297 211
Georgette Heyer is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Georgette Heyer Frederica, The Foundling, Regency Buck

30
197 116
Tessa Dare is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
CarolS.Roberts added Tessa Dare A Lady at Midnight, A Week to Be Wicked

31
171 106
Loretta Chase is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Glinda H. Vegliacich added Loretta Chase El encanto de un Bribon/ The Lion's Daughter, The Devil's Delilah, Mr. Impossible

32
247 150
Gena Showalter is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
beckychastain added Gena Showalter Playing With Fire, Mysteria, The Darkest Pleasure

33
455 395
Danielle Steel is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Danielle Steel Mirror Image, Jewels, Message from Nam

34
190 101
Christina Dodd is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
EucalyptusEyes added Christina Dodd One Night With a Rogue, Touch of Darkness, Scent of Darkness

35
207 145
Jo Beverley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Shelley Reese added Jo Beverley Something wicked, Winter fire, Tempting fortune

The Scariest Novels of All Time

36
172 113
Elizabeth Hoyt is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
hygirl7one added Elizabeth Hoyt The Serpent Prince, To Taste Temptation, The Leopard Prince

37
140 97
Emma Chase is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
JamiLuggen added Emma Chase Tamed, Tangled, Twisted

38
137 85
Teresa Medeiros is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
EucalyptusEyes added Teresa Medeiros Touch of Enchantment, Breath of Magic, The Vampire Who Loved Me

39
158 127
Christina Lauren is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
phelicia-dyett added Christina Lauren Beautiful Bombshell, Beautiful Stranger, Beautiful Bitch

40
207 157
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Daphne du Maurier Rebecca, Mary Anne, The Birds II: Land's End

41
213 170
Margaret Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind, Lost Laysen, Talking Business - French

42
123 81
Jennifer Ashley is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
LILBUG2 added Jennifer Ashley Sword and Sorceress XIX, Immortals: The Gathering (The Immortals), Mate Claimed

All the Rizzoli & Isles Books, Ranked Best to Worst

43
137 106
Kristin Hannah is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
BettiannWhiteLloyd added Kristin Hannah Firefly Lane, Distant shores, True Colors

44
214 190
Janet Dailey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Janet Dailey Calder pride, Lone Calder star, The Proud and the Free

45
122 109
Jennifer Probst is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
phelicia-dyett added Jennifer Probst A Sweet Life, The Marriage Bargain, The Marriage Mistake

46
131 52
Nalini Singh is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Esté Le Roux added Nalini Singh An Enchanted Season, Must Love Hellhounds, Angels' Flight

47
166 146
Heather Graham Pozzessere is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Heather Graham Pozzessere Fear, Forever My Love, Vollmond- Fieber. Vier Romane in einem Band

48
86 76
Kat Martin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
EucalyptusEyes added Kat Martin The Summit, Fanning the flame, Secret ways

49
124 50
Karen Marie Moning is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Esté Le Roux added Karen Marie Moning Beyond the highland mist, The immortal highlander, Darkfever

50
387 411
Stephenie Meyer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
crissbau added Stephenie Meyer Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse