Writers The Best Romance Novelists of All Time  

Book Keeper
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46.9k votes 8.4k voters 486.1k views 144 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

1
2,030 532
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
1,532 333
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
1,301 334
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
1,752 447
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
1,170 299
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
967 293
Lisa Kleypas is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
harsh93austin added Lisa Kleypas Sugar Daddy, Avon Books Presents, Scandal in Spring

7
1,284 371
Jude Deveraux is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Jude Deveraux Counterfeit Lady, The Velvet Promise, Legend

8
896 339
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
719 310
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
770 318
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
549 253
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
581 233
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
644 271
Diana Gabaldon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Diana Gabaldon Outlander, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Voyager

14
396 164
Christine Feehan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
aimee-ng added Christine Feehan Shadow Game, Dark Celebration, Dark Demon

15
425 158
Amanda Quick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
aimee-ng added Amanda Quick

16
495 227
Kristen Ashley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
phelicia-dyett added Kristen Ashley Deacon, Fire Inside, Rock Chick Revolution

17
337 148
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
408 206
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
352 154
Kresley Cole is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
473 271
Debbie Macomber is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Debbie Macomber 74 Seaside Avenue, Navy husband, Navy baby

21
844 511
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

22
309 158
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
233 61
J R. Ward is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
cheri added J R. Ward

24
238 115
Eloisa James is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
EucalyptusEyes added Eloisa James Paris in Love: A Memoir, Besame, Annabel/ Kiss Me Annabel

25
307 168
Sylvia Day is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
242 120
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
395 218
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
348 190
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.

29
312 213
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
210 117
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
200 103
Christina Dodd is listed (or ranked) 31 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

32
180 108
Loretta Chase is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
479 402
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
254 153
Gena Showalter is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
beckychastain added Gena Showalter Playing With Fire, Mysteria, The Darkest Pleasure

35
213 146
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

36
181 115
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
146 98
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
144 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
214 158
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Daphne du Maurier Rebecca, Mary Anne, The Birds II: Land's End

40
223 172
Margaret Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind, Lost Laysen, Talking Business - French

41
161 130
Christina Lauren is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
phelicia-dyett added Christina Lauren Beautiful Bombshell, Beautiful Stranger, Beautiful Bitch

42
129 83
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

43
144 107
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
93 14
Sandra Brown is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Esté Le Roux added Sandra Brown Breakfast in Bed, Tiger prince, Two Alone

45
222 190
Janet Dailey is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Janet Dailey Calder pride, Lone Calder star, The Proud and the Free

46
134 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
132 50
Karen Marie Moning is listed (or ranked) 47 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

48
125 109
Jennifer Probst is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
phelicia-dyett added Jennifer Probst A Sweet Life, The Marriage Bargain, The Marriage Mistake

49
171 147
Heather Graham Pozzessere is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
Heather Graham Pozzessere Fear, Forever My Love, Vollmond- Fieber. Vier Romane in einem Band

50
90 76
Kat Martin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Romance Novelists of All Time
EucalyptusEyes added Kat Martin The Summit, Fanning the flame, Secret ways