Austenprose’s Best Austenesque & Historical Books of 2020

Pop Art Jane Austen

Happy New Year dear readers!

While I am not shy about kicking 2020 to the curb, it was not a total bust for those of us who enjoy reading. Publishers and indie authors continued to supply us with a fabulous selection of choices in the Austenesque, historical fiction, romance, and mystery genres.

Of the 75 books that were reviewed here last year by our dedicated staff, several were outstanding and will remain favorites. Here is a list of our highest-rated and most cherished of 2020. Follow each link to read the full review.

 BEST AUSTENESQUE HISTORICAL NOVEL

  1. Miss Austen, by Gill Hornsby (5 Stars)
  2. Murder at Northanger Abbey, by Shannon Winslow (5 Stars)
  3. Fortune & Felicity, by Monica Fairview (5 Stars)
  4. The Other Bennet Sister: A Novel, by Janice Hadlow (5 Stars)
  5. Tempted, by Nicole Clarkston (5 Stars)
  6. Rebellion at Longbourn, by Victoria Kincaid (5 Stars)
  7. Being Mrs. Darcy, by Lucy Marin (5 Stars)
  8. The Rogue’s Widow, by Nicole Clarkston (5 Stars)
  9. A Timely Elopement, by Joana Starnes (4 Stars)
  10. Two More Days at Netherfield, by Heather Moll (4 Stars)

 BEST AUSTENESQUE CONTEMPORARY NOVEL

  1. All Stirred Up, by Brianne Moore (5 Stars)
  2. The Jane Austen Dating Agency, by Fiona Woodfield (4 Stars)
  3. Jane in Love: A Novel, by Rachel Givney (4 Stars)

BEST HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOVEL                  

  1. The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon Book 4), by Mimi Matthews (5 Stars)
  2. Gentleman Jim, by Mimi Matthews (5 Stars)
  3. A Rogue of One’s Own (A League of Extraordinary Women Book 2), by Evie Dunmore (5 Stars)
  4. Who Wants to Marry a Duke, by Sabrina Jeffries (5 Stars)
  5. To Have and to Hoax, by Martha Waters (5 Stars)
  6. Frenchman’s Creek, by Daphne du Maurier (5 Stars)

BEST HISTORICAL FICTION NOVEL

  1. The Jane Austen Society, by Natalie Jenner (5 Stars)
  2. Bronte’s Mistress, by Finola Austin (5 Stars)
  3. All the Ways We Said Goodbye: A Novel of the Ritz Paris, by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, & Karen White (4 Stars)

BEST HISTORICAL MYSTERY NOVEL

  1. Who Speaks for the Damned (Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery Book 15), by C. S. Harris, (5 Stars)
  2. A Stroke of Malice, by Anna Lee Huber (4 Stars)
  3. A Murderous Relation (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery Book 5), by Deanna Raybourn (4 Stars

BEST HISTORICAL FANTASY, PARANORMAL, OR GOTHIC NOVEL

  1. The Jane Austen Project, by Kathleen Flynn (5 Stars)
  2. In the Shadow of Croft Towers, by Abigail Wilson (5 Stars)  
  3. A Haunting at Havenwood (Seasons of Change Book 6), by Sally Britton (5 Stars)

BEST TRADITIONAL REGENCY NOVEL

  1. A Castaway in Cornwall, by Julie Klassen (5 Stars)
  2. Promised (Proper Romance Regency), by Leah Garriott (5 Stars)
  3. Lakeshire Park (Proper Romance Regency), by Megan Walker (5 Stars)
  4. Forget Me Not: The Gents (Book 1), by Sarah M. Eden (5 Stars)
  5. School for Love, by Christina Dudley (5 Stars) 
  6. Rescuing Lord Inglewood: A Regency Romance, by Sally Britton (5 Stars)         

 BEST HISTORICAL NOVELLA

  1. An Ivy Hill Christmas, by Julie Klassen (5 Stars)
  2. Schemes of Felicity: A Pride and Prejudice Variation (Skirmish & Scandal Series), by Suzan Lauder (4 Stars)
  3. The Christmas Bride: A Chance Sisters Novella, by Anne Gracie (4 Stars)  

BEST SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY

  1. Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, edited by Christina Boyd (5 Stars)
  2. Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection, by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch (5 Stars)
  3. A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies (Book 3), by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Chautona Having, & Mandy H. Cook (4 Stars)

Pride and Prejudice The Complete Novel, with Nineteen Letters 2020 cover

BEST NEW EDITION OF A JANE AUSTEN NOVEL

  1. Pride and Prejudice: The Complete Novel, with Nineteen Letters from the Characters’ Correspondence, by Jane Austen & Barbara Heller (5 Stars)

Promised by Leah Garriott 2020

BEST DEBUT NOVEL

  1. Promised (Proper Romance Regency), by Leah Garriott (5 Stars)

The Jane Austen Society, by Natalie Jenner (2020)

BEST NOVEL OF 2020

  1. The Jane Austen Society, by Natalie Jenner (5 Stars)

Congratulations and thank you to all of the talented authors who keep us supplied with great books.  We are looking forward to another banner reading year in 2021.

Cheers, Laurel Ann

Disclosure of Material Connection: We only review or recommend products we have read or used and believe will be a good match for our readers. Austenprose.com is an Amazon.com affiliate. We receive a modest remuneration when readers use our links and make a purchase. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cover images courtesy of the respective publishers © 2020; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2021, Austenprose.com

27 thoughts on “Austenprose’s Best Austenesque & Historical Books of 2020

  1. Thank you for honoring “Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl” in your Best of List for 2020, Short Story Anthology. The project was a labor of love. Proud to be amongst such good company. The best! What validation for the efforts and the whisper in my head that says, “Keep on.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So many incredible books are on this list, which makes my own book’s inclusion even more gratifying & humbling. I am so grateful for all the support Austenprose has shown my debut, from the earliest MS read and cover reveal, to a blog tour that was one of the highlights of my pub month. At such a trying time, getting the word out about books that Austenites will enjoy and derive comfort from remains such an important & appreciated task. Thank you, so much, and Happy New Year to us all xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for all the work you put into these lists. I have recommended your blog to several newbies on GRs who were looking for variations of certain JA books. There are quite a few here I have not read as I mostly limit my reading to JAFF. But I always know I can come here for a good recommendation. Again – thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our pleasure. You are such a dedicated JAFF reader, Shelia, that it is a pleasure to read that you are sharing this blog with fellow readers. I hope that you are tempted to try a few on the list. Best, LA

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  4. I’m so thrilled that “Murder at Northanger Abbey” made this prestigious list, and right at the top too! Thanks so much, Laurel! I really do appreciate it and also your steadfast and generous support of authors like me over the years. It’s lovely to have you as a partner in celebrating Jane Austen’s work and legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are great choices! I haven’t read them all, but what I have read, I completely agree with your selections. Thank you for taking the time to share your favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey, Laurel Ann, thank you for the great to-read list for those of us who consider ourselves readers first. But my main thanks are for considering my little novella worthy of standing up with all these fantastic books. Really fine choices fill this list, so no wonder I’m in awe. I retain many of these authors on my go-to list, and being among them is an honour. Once again, thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

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