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Romancing the Twenties – Books set in the 1920s

Saint Valentine! Are you up for a cosy, heart-warming read? Maybe books set in the 1920s?
Now, I’ll be honest with you. I’m not a romance reader. I mean, I don’t mind the romance in a story, but I seldom read stories that only focus on the romance.
Yet, I can’t deny that many books set in the 1920s are indeed romances. From what I observe, the first genre by far is actually cosy mystery, where, anyway, romance tends to feature in a predominant position – but I will look at it in a different post.
I can see why stories set in the 1920s flow fantastically with romance. After all, the relationship between the sexes was evolving very fast at the time, getting away from what it used to be. It was a time of exploration and women’s empowerment, which is always exciting in a story.
Are you a romance reader? Do you love reading romances set in the 1920s?
I have compiled a collection of such stories that sound good for this season. I’ll have to tell you that I haven’t read most of them, but I chose them based on how compelling I find the blurb (and I’ll tell you why).
But if you know or have read others you want to share, please do so in the comments. After all, what are a few more titles in our giant TBR piles, right?


Series of books set in the 1920s

The Surplus Girls by Polly Heron

THE SURPLUS GIRLS Polly Heron
THE SURPLUS GIRLS ORPHANS Polly Heron
CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS Polly Heron
NEW BEGINNING FOR THE SURPLUS GIRLS Polly Heron

What intrigues me about this story is the focus on the position of women after WWI. It was a very peculiar time to be a woman. WWI opened up so many doors for women. After the war, they were expected to renounce everything, and yet, some of them couldn’t (even when they wanted to) because their family no longer had a man. Whether they wanted it or not, many women had to cope with a totally new situation. Yes, this is a romance, but I’m very intrigued by the topic.

Henrietta and Inspector Howard by Michelle Cox

A GIRL LIKE YOU Michelle Cox
A RING OF TRUTH MIchelle
A PROMICE GIVEN Michelle
A VAIL REMOVED Michelle
A CHILD LOST Michelle
A SPAYING EYE Michelle
A HAUNTING AT LINLEY Michelle

I read most of this series and I definitely feel like recommending this because it’s so good! Michelle Cox has a way with characters, let me tell you. She has a gift for creating interesting characters and then throwing them into relationships and challenges that bring out the best in them. And what about the dialogue? It sounds so lifelike. There is also a very strong sense of place. The settings come to life to a point where I often felt I was there. I would say that this is only in part a romance series because there is also mystery and a sense of genuine historical fiction. Definitely worth a read.

Books by Rosie Harris

THE COBBLERS KIDS Rosie Harries
A LOVE LIKE OURS Rosie Harris
PINS AND NEEDLES Rosie Harris
AT SIXES AND SEVENS Rosie Harris
SUNSHINES AND SHOWERS Rosie Harris

Now, I understand that Rosie Harris doesn’t really have any series, but she has written many stories set in 1920s Great Britain, and I’m quite intrigued by her topics. All her stories are dramas set in very harsh and difficult situations, and many deal with the aftermath of WWI (which is always a plus for me). All her main characters are young women who must overcome not just external difficult situations but also internal insecurities. It is my cup of tea. What about you?

Magic in Manhattan by Allie Therin

SPELLBOUND Allie Therin
STARCROSSED Allie Therin
WONDERSTRUCK Allie Therin

I did read this series of historical fantasy set in 1920s Manhattan (though I missed the central book), and I really loved it. That’s mostly because of the characters. Therin’s main characters are all fundamentally golden-hearted, which is sorely missing in today’s editorial landscape, where the shady character seems to be the only one capable of attracting readers’ sympathy. I don’t agree at all, so I love it when an author dares to propose utterly positive characters. What do you think? It’s shady or good for you?

Roaring Twenties Box Set by Romy Sommer

DEAR JULIA Romy Sommer
AN INNOCENT ABROAD Romy Sommer
PROHIBITED PASSION Romy sommer
LETS MISBEHAVE Romy Sommer 1

So, this is probably the most straightforward romance among all these series, and I suspect also a spicy one, but I was intrigued by the kind of protagonists Sommers proposes: young women that so perfectly express the essence of flapperism and the innovation this ‘movement’ brought about. Worth having a try, in my opinion. What do you think? Did you read it?

Romancing the Twenties – Books set in the 1920s – Explore this collection of books set in the 1920s!1️⃣ Strong female leads2️⃣ Fantastically rendered historical setting3️⃣ Sometimes a bit of magic#HistoricalFiction #RomanceFiction… Click To Tweet

Standalone books set in the 1920s

JAZZ BABY Beem Week

Jazz Baby by Beem Week

While all Mississippi bakes in the scorching summer of 1925, a sudden orphanhood casts its icy shadow across Emily Ann Teegarten, a pretty young teen. Taken in by an aunt bent on ridding herself of this unexpected burden, “Baby” Teegarten plots her escape using the only means at her disposal: a voice that makes church ladies cry and angels take notice. “I’m gonna sing jazz up to New York City,” she brags to anybody who’ll listen. ‘Cept that Big Apple–well, it’s an awful long way from that dry patch of earth she used to call home. So when the smoky stages of New Orleans speakeasies give a whistle, offering all kinda shortcuts, Emily soon learns it’s the whorehouses and drug joints promising to tickle more than just a young girl’s fancy that can dim a spotlight . . . and knowing the wrong people can snuff it out. Jazz Baby just wants to sing–not fight to stay alive.

What intrigues me about this novel is the setting: not your average 1920s story set in a big city (where the age roared the most). This one is about the South and the ascension of jazz as a phenomenon. I’m always intrigued with unusual settings, so… you know…

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IN THREE QARTER TIME Pam Lecky

In Three-Quarter Time: A Short Story di Pam Lecky

A WW1 Era Love Story

Dublin 1914 and war is declared. Each of the Cusack family must face the consequences in their own way. Josie and her young man, Anthony Lanigan, have plans for the future. But her sister Lily is also secretly in love with Anthony and has no idea if her feelings are returned.

Anthony is about to emigrate to America to make his fortune. Will he ever return, and if he does, who will eventually win his heart?

Set against a pivotal time in Irish history, from the Dublin Lockout in 1913 through the First World War to the brink of the birth of the Irish Nation, this story will take you through a family’s experience of war and tragedy, loss and love.

So listen: early 20th century Ireland, one of the most chaotic but also exciting times in Irish history. WWI and its aftermath. There’s no way I can resist this!

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NOTHING VENTURED Anne Douglas

Nothing Ventured: A Romance Set In 1920s Scotland by Anne Douglas

Against a backdrop of national unrest and suffering, can Ida Scott and her brother, Boyd, find the courage to face betrayal and heartbreak?

1925. Attractive and strong-willed twenty-three-year-old Isla Scott leaves her job as a nurse in Edinburgh to return to her hometown of Edgemuir and take up a vacancy at Dr Lorne’s fashionable spa, where she is reunited with her handsome brother, Boyd.

Revelling in her new role and being close to Boyd, all seems well for Isla and the Scott family. But the siblings soon find that romance threatens to cloud their future. Boyd is bowled over by pretty new waitress Trina Morris, but is she playing games with his affections? Meanwhile, the rest of the spa is falling under the spell of a new doctor, Grant Revie . . . but will Isla?

Again, I’m intrigued with the setting. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story set in 1920s Scottland. I’ve read a few set in 1920s Ireland, but not in Scotland. This sounds very much like a straightforward romance, but the Scottish setting – and the spa! It’s so unusual and intriguing.

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KISS BY KISS Vicky Milliken

Kiss By Kiss by Vicki Milliken

Melbourne 1925Bec Cross is a progressive 1920s woman who believes women are capable of far more than men give them credit for. Like her mother and grandmother, she is determined never to be bridled by marriage.

Bachelor Daniel Sinclair is well acquainted with Bec’s feminist views. Brother of her best friend, they are regular sparring partners. He’s an advocate for a married woman confining herself to the role of wife and mother.

When Bec unwittingly emerges as Daniel’s answer to securing a promotion and a stepping stone to a much-prized political career, he is determined to change her mind – kiss by kiss.Their attraction is undeniable. But Bec’s head has always ruled her heart, and Daniel’s kisses – however beguiling – will never persuade her to settle for anything less than equality in life and love.

How infuriating to find her heart waging its own battle in support of Daniel’s desires. But she’ll be damned before she surrenders to a man peddling nineteenth-century notions.

This also sounds like a very straightforward romance, I mean, not really my cup of tea. And I can’t really say that 1920s Australia is such a usual setting (what with Miss Fisher’s Mysteries and all). But that reference to the protagonist’s head always coming before her heart’s reasons piqued my interest. What do you think?

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DOMINIQUES CONFESSION Christopher of Detrait

Dominique’s Confession: A Roaring Twenties Dark Romance by Christopher of Detroit

How far will Dominique go to keep her secrets? The Roaring Twenties. Prohibition. The Motor City. Dominique, an alluring taxi dancer at a speakeasy, has something she’s never told a soul. Her only chance at redemption rests in Jonathan “Gamble” Blackburn, a rich occultist whose interest in ceremonial magic piques her curiosity. What begins as a wager becomes an obsession as Dominique finds herself torn between the real world and Gamble’s realm of disturbing seances, tarot readings, and prophetic nightmares. A historical tale of passion in a world of spiritualism, underground absinthe, and tempting mysteries that may shatter Dominique’s heart forever. If you’re a spiritual seeker who prefers a dash of mystery and magic in your romance, this book is for you.

So, yes: occultism, seances and spiritualism. I don’t even care this is a romance! These are all topics that fascinate me, so I’m willing to give it a go. And let’s face it, the 1920s are not often a setting for a ‘dark romance’. The era most often inspires bright, spanky heroines and stories. This may be quite interesting.

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GATHER THE BONES Alison Stuart

Gather the Bones by Alison Stuart

England 1923 and the Great War still casts a dark shadow over the lives of ordinary people.

Grieving widow, Helen Morrow and her husband’s cousin, the wounded and reclusive Paul, are haunted not only by the horrors of the trenches but ghosts from another time and another conflict.

The desperate voice of a young woman reaches out to them from the pages of a coded diary and Paul and Helen are bound together in their search for answers, not only to the old mystery but also the circumstances surrounding the death of Helen’s husband at Passchandaele in 1917.

As the two stories become entwined, Paul and Helen will not find peace or happiness until the mysteries are solved.

So, I mean, that title! And then ghosts, past mysteries, facing the past. These are all elements I love in a story. There’s a romance involved? Well, let it be!

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And so, this is my collection of Saint Valentine’s stories set in the 1920s. Any of those caught your attention? Did you read some of them already? Are you going to?
Let me know in the comments!

See more collections of books set in the 1920s here and here.


Pinteret pin. The text reads, "Books set in the 1920s - Discover your next favourite romance novel". The picture shows a young flapper languidly reclined on a sofa, reading a book.
Pinteret pin. The text reads, "Books set in the 1920s - What to read next". The picture shows a collage of covers from novels set in the 1920s.

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