Posted in: historical fantasy, love stories, Renaissance, time travel romance novel, Time-travel novel

Time-Travel Romance, Italy & Love — How to Find the Best Novels

If you’re picky about history, but love a time-traveling heroine going back in time, if you love love stories and romance, but don’t like the formulaic romances the major publishers put out, you might find it hard to locate books you like. I do. My must-haves for a time-travel love story include: good historical research, a well-defined sense of place, believable characters, and love that goes deeper than just a steamy attraction. 

That’s a lot to ask! The gatekeepers of publishing use very narrow formulas, So I delved into backwaters of Amazon categories: time-travel romance, historical fantasy, science fiction romance, historical time-travel, and other secret pockets, where I’ve even found the likes of Alice Hofmann and Mark Twain. Because sometimes a good story is just unclassifiable. I’ve made a list of my finds, which I hope to keep adding to. I’d welcome your suggestions!


We can’t change the past, but the past can change us. (That’s one of my favorite statements in a time-travel novel!) Fern’s vacation in Italy turns into a nightmare when she’s snatched back in time and lives the life of Cecilia, lady in waiting to Queen Caterina Cornaro. Luca, a local architect, comes to Fern’s aid when Cecilia embarks on a passionate affair with the artist Zorzo. Echoes of the past manifest themselves increasingly in the present until past and present collide.

The Rose Garden, Susanna Kearsley

When Eva’s film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina’s ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own.

Echo In Time, Lindsey Fairleigh
Kind of a conventional romance formula, but such an unusual setting, and a twist for the heroine. Alexandra Larson isn’t quite human, but she doesn’t know that. Lex simply considers herself an ambitious archaeology grad student with a knack for deciphering ancient languages. When she’s recruited to work on her dream excavation, Lex’s translating skills uncover the location of the secret entrance to an undiscovered underground temple in Egypt. She is beyond thrilled with what she’s found…as is the enigmatic and alluring excavation director, Marcus Bahur.

Doomsday Book, Connie Wills

I have to include this one, though not technically a love story because I just love this one. A history student in 2048 is transported to an English village in the 14th century. The student arrives mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of “contemps” in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion.
For a preview chapter of my “time-travel historical romance love story novel” The Renaissance Club, visit here
Tick-tick-tick! (Falling through time can tatter your clothes, according to many novels.)
Visit for more information and writing by Rachel Dacus.