A favorite Historical Romance theme is a differnce in class between the leads. The culture clash makes for all sorts of wonderful conflict.
Here are some of my favorite Historical Romances with this theme. My lists are never in any particular order.
1. Fallen Angel by Charlotte Louise Dolan
Gabriel, Lord Sherington, was a man who understood women perfectly. He knew women waited only until the knot was tied to start changing their husbands. Having sworn never to let anyone change him, he recognized in Verity Jolliffe the perfect wife to provide him with an heir. Now all he had to do was make her fall in love with him. What could be easier?
2. Hester Waring's Marriage by Paula Marshall
Miss Hester Waring's father was a wastrel and a drunkard, who had alienated most of Sydney society.When he died, Hester found herself destitute and alone, with no one to rely on. Her rescue came from a most unlikely source—Mr.Tom Dilhorne, an ex-convict, now the richest man in Sydney. He engineered a teaching job for her, but knew that if he was to be accepted by society he needed a lady for a wife. And Hester was every inch a lady. Luckily the skinny schoolteacher wasn't at all his type, so he wouldn't be in danger of losing his heart…would he?
3. Sweetwood Bride by Pamela Morsi
It was without a doubt the most conniving, lowlife trick ever played on a man. But it was for a good cause...
Eulie Toby didn't like playing tricks, but the only way she could keep her younger orphaned siblings together was to get married--and Moss Collier was the perfect choice. Handsome and kind, he seemed so lonely living with his hermit uncle on that pretty sweep of Tennessee mountaintop. It didn't matter if their vows came at the end of a shotgun; Eulie promised Moss she'd make him the best wife in all of the Sweetwood.
But a young bride and a ready-made family were the last things on Moss's mind. He had big dreams of going West and nothing was going to stop him--not Eulie's sweet innocence...not her deliciously kissable lips...and especially not that growing warmth deep inside his heart every time she came near. Moss had plans all right--but he hadn't planned on falling in love.
4. Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare
Beautiful and elegant, Miss Diana Highwood is destined to marry a wealthy, well-placed nobleman. At least that's what her mother has loudly declared to everyone in Spindle Cove.
But Diana's not excited by dukes and lords. The only man who makes her heart pound is the village blacksmith, Aaron Dawes. By birth and fortune, they couldn't be more wrong for each other . . . but during stolen, steamy moments in the smithy, his strong hands feel so right.
Is their love forged strong enough to last, or are they just playing with fire?
5. The Proposition by Judith Ivory
No man, gentleman or otherwise, has ever looked at Lady Edwina Bollash the way the brash, handsome man standing before her is doing now. Edwina has accepted the challenge to transform incorrigible Mick Tremore into a gentleman in just six weeks. And although the linguist is sure she can rise to the task, she isn't at all certain she won't swoon under his frankly sensuous gaze before her job is done.
Mick has lived outside of London society long enough to know that appearances can be deceiving. Edwina might look all buttoned up-the perfect English lady-but there is unleashed passion existing just below her placid facade (not to mention a great pair of legs!). And as she prepares him to take his place in society, Mick prepares Edwina to take her place in his heart...and in his bed.
6. A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran
When Nell Whitby breaks into an earl’s house on a midnight quest for revenge, she finds her pistol pointed at the wrong man—one handsome as sin and naked as the day he was born. Pity he’s a lunatic. He thinks her a missing heiress, but more to the point, he’ll help her escape the slums and right a grave injustice. Not a bad bargain. All she has to do is marry him.
A NOTORIOUS LADIES’ MAN COULD TAKE HER FROM POVERTY TO OPULENCE . . . BUT AT WHAT PRICE?
A rake of the first order, Simon St. Maur spent his restless youth burning every bridge he crossed. When he inherits an earldom without a single penny attached to it, he sees a chance to start over—provided he can find an heiress to fund his efforts. But his wicked reputation means courtship will be difficult—until fate sends him the most notorious missing heiress in history. All he needs now is to make her into a lady and keep himself from making the only mistake that could ruin everything: falling in love. . . .
7. The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
THE ONE THING A LADY MUST NEVER DO...
Wealthy Lady Georgina Maitland doesn't want a husband, though she could use a good steward to run her estates. One look at Harry Pye, and Georgina knows she's not just dealing with a servant, but a man.
IS FALL IN LOVE...
Harry has known many aristocrats - including one particular nobleman who is his sworn enemy. But Harry has never met a beautiful lady so independent, uninhibited, and eager to be in his arms.
WITH HER SERVANT.
Still, it's impossible to conduct a discreet liaison when poisoned sheep, murdered villagers, and an enraged magistrate have the county in an uproar. The locals blame Harry for everything. Soon it's all Georgina can do to keep her head above water and Harry's out of the noose...without missing another night of love.
8. A Hearing Heart by Bonnie Dee
he heart conveys messages beyond what ears can hear.
After the death of her fiancé, Catherine Johnson, a New York schoolteacher in 1902, travels to Nebraska to teach in a one-room school. When violence erupts in the sleepy town, Catherine saves deaf stable hand, Jim Kinney from torture by drunken thugs.
As she begins teaching Jim to read and sign, attraction grows between them. The warmth and humor in this silent man transcends the need for speech and his eyes tell her all about his feelings for her. But the obstacles of class difference and the stigma of his handicap are almost insurmountable barriers to their growing affection.
Will Catherine flaunt society’s rules and allow herself to love again? Can Jim make his way out of poverty as a deaf man in a hearing world? And will the lovers overcome a corrupt robber baron who has a stranglehold on the town? Romance, sensuality and adventure abound in this heartfelt tale.
9. The Weaver Takes a Wife by Sheri Cobb South
Beautiful, haughty Lady Helen Radney is the daughter of a duke who has gambled away his fortune. The duke’s plan is to marry her off to recoup his losses, but the only one interested in this sharp-tongued lady is Mr. Ethan Brundy. Once a workhouse orphan, Brundy is now the owner of a Lancashire textile mill, a very rich man—and smitten with Helen.
10. Dreaming of You of Lisa Kleypas
When shy and secluded author Sara Fielding ventures from her country cottage to research a novel, she inadvertently witnesses a crime in progress—and manages to save the life of the most dangerous man in London.
Derek Craven is a powerful and near-legendary gambling club owner who was born a bastard and raised in the streets. His reputation is unsavory, his scruples nonexistent. But Sara senses that beneath Derek's cynical exterior, he is capable of a love more passionate than her deepest fantasies.
Aware that he is the last man that an innocent young woman should ever want, Derek is determined to protect Sara from himself, no matter what it takes. But in a world where secrets lurk behind every shadow, he is the only man who can keep her safe. And as Derek and Sara surrender to an attraction too powerful to deny, a peril surfaces from his dark past to threaten their happiness . . . and perhaps even their lives.
Together they will discover if love is enough to make dreams come true.
I am sure I have missed your favorite! Please let me know and vote on my Goodreads list!