Discover our guide featuring the best books by Barbara Cartland with epic contemporary and historical romance novels you’ll love.
The Queen of Romance knows how to write a swoon-worthy romance novel with captivating storylines that keep readers yearning for more. Barbara Cartland, also known as Dame Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland, was an immensely successful 20th-century author who wrote an astounding 723 books throughout her career. A much-loved societal figure in London, Cartland was known for her signature style: a pink chiffon gown, blonde wig and dramatic make-up.
As one of the top British romance authors best sellers, she has had a tremendous impact on multiple generations of writers, and many of her works were published posthumously. With an impressive repertoire of romantic novels, Cartland sold over 750 million copies of her books.
- 1. A Hazard of Hearts
- 2. Love Became Theirs
- 3. The Bored Bridegroom
- 4. A Kiss From The Heart
- 5. Again This Rapture
- 6. The Pretty Horse-Breakers
- 7. The Elusive Earl
- 8. Love in the Highlands
- 9. Love in the Dark
- 10. The Earl’s Revenge
- 11. The King Without a Heart
- 12. The Proud Princess
- FAQs About The Best Books by Barbara Cartland
1. A Hazard of Hearts
Serena Staverley enjoys strolling through the gardens, exploring the family manor, and is focused on developing her love interests. Then, when her father is killed in a duel, she is suddenly at risk of losing her inheritance and home.
Enter Lord Justin, a man with a terrible reputation. It would be unthinkable to be seen accompanying him. Serena is concerned that she may be forced to marry him, and she has heard many rumors and secrets about his unsavory lifestyle.
With her freedom lost in a game of chance, marriage may be inevitable. Summoning all of her wiles, Serena focuses on everything she can do to protect her happiness, despite what tradition and societal rules dictate she has to do.
“Serena felt her heart reach out towards such loveliness. It was part of her, an indivisible part of herself, and it seemed to her at times that her love of Staverley quickened and throbbed within her as if it was a living thing.”Barbara Cartland, A Hazard of Hearts
Check out A Hazard of Hearts on Amazon; click here.
2. Love Became Theirs
While attending a local ball, Rona Trafford dances with a mysterious man. Though their encounter may seem like an innocent dance, there is much more to it. It transpires that the man has been unfaithful to someone else, and suddenly, Rona finds herself caught in the middle.
She decides to flee to Paris and finds a job as a governess. When her employer’s brother arrives on the scene, the plot thickens. It appears he is hiding an important secret that threatens them all.
“I don’t see that it matters. I wouldn’t marry a man just because he had a title, but only if we loved each other more than anything else in the world.”Barbara Cartland, Love Became Theirs
Check out Love Became Theirs on Amazon; click here.
3. The Bored Bridegroom
The Bored Bridegroom follows heroine Lucretia Hadley, who is in love with the young Marquis of the Merlyncourt estate. He is widely considered the most eligible British bachelor in all of England, and many women are pursuing him.
Even though Lucretia feels like she had an “in” with the Marquis, he does not have patience for young, innocent girls like herself. Therefore, she has to find a way to make herself more interesting to get his attention. This book focuses on the lengths Lucretia goes to get the Marquis to choose her over the other women. Love this article? Check out our list of the best Danielle Steel books.
“But Lucretia knew the Marquis. She knew he had no patience for innocent, sweet girls. He would soon be bored with her, and she would lose him.”Barbara Cartland, The Bored Bridegroom
Check out The Bored Bridegroom hardcover on Amazon; click here.
4. A Kiss From The Heart
Lord Robert Templeton insists he should not be responsible for the new Earldom he inherited. Departed from the family home called Ledberry Hall, he’s on a quest to improve his life. As a result, the family home passes to his younger brother, and Robert is free to focus on hedonism, drinking, and gambling.
Unfortunately, Robert is forced to return home due to circumstances beyond his control. Society pressures him to acknowledge his responsibilities, but he refuses to marry. He does not want to spend his life in the country. When he runs into a childhood friend who saves his life, she inspires him to take his rightful place in society, but will he acquiesce?
“You saved my life. I will never forget what you did for me. One day I will marry you!”Barbara Cartland, A Kiss From The Heart
Check out A Kiss from the Heart on Amazon; click here.
5. Again This Rapture
Even though Cynthia has much to be grateful for, tragedy has befallen her. She has lost the two things that mattered to her most. Cynthia was supposed to marry Peter, but now he is gone. Then suddenly, the estate that has been in her family for generations, Birch Vale, is also lost. Even though she had no control over losing Peter, she may still be able to keep the estate if she can pay off her father’s debt.
Enter Robert, who has designs on Birch Vale and is intent on drawing Cynthia closer to him, no matter how much she might resist. This story is about passion, mystery, and scandal, as Cynthia has to balance multiple competing interests to protect her family’s legacy.
Check out Again This Rapture on Amazon; click here.
6. The Pretty Horse-Breakers
The Pretty Horse-Breakers tells the story of Candida Walcott, one of the most beautiful women in all the land. When misfortune befalls her, she has to sell Pegasus, her famous black stallion. Major Hooper, a London stable owner, purchases Pegasus. On sight of Candida, Hooper is immediately enthralled with her and offers her free riding lessons at his school to spend more time in her company.
However, Hooper’s motives might not be what they seem. Now, Candida finds herself facing a sea of mistresses and heartbreakers. The story focuses on a young woman trying to protect herself in an unfamiliar world.
“She tried to help him, but he was like a man suddenly blinded, who could see nothing but his own darkness.”Barbara Cartland, The Pretty Horse-Breakers
Check out The Pretty Horse-Breakers on Amazon; click here.
7. The Elusive Earl
The Elusive Earl is a story about a young girl, Calista Chevington, known for her beautiful red hair. Even though she is an accomplished rider, she tumbles from her mount on a fateful day. Osric, the Earl of Helstone, witnesses the event. He is immediately struck by her beauty, and she by his good looks and captivating stare.
Osric is one of the richest men in England. Calista, the headstrong daughter of Lady Chevington. On accepting an invitation to Chevington Court, the Earl discovers a plot to trap him into marriage, but before he can decide on a course of action, Carlista disappears. The Earl sets off to find her but finds more than he bargained for.
“There are times when I miss the man you were in your youth when we were wild and irreverent, and everything seemed to be so amusing and an adventure.”Barbara Cartland, The Elusive Earl
Check out The Elusive Earl hardcover on Amazon; click here.
8. Love in the Highlands
Love in the Highlands tells the story of Stanislaus, a Balkan Prince. It’s time for him to marry, and he has a total say over who becomes his bride. He decides to reach out to Queen Victoria of England, demanding she send him an English bride. The Queen picks Lady Lavina, whose family is not technically royalty but is not too far removed.
Unfortunately, Lady Lavina has no desire to marry this man. She is forced to throw herself at the mercy of someone who is less than desirable but might be able to save her from a loveless marriage to the Prince.
“I love you more than I can ever say, except in this music which seems to come down from heaven and not belong to the world.”Barbara Cartland, Love in the Highlands
Check out Love in the Highlands audiobook on Amazon; click here.
9. Love in the Dark
Love in the Dark is the story of Susanna Laven. While she comes from a very wealthy family, her life is far from perfect. Before taking control of the family estate, her mother is determined for her to get married, even though Susanna does not want to marry the man her mother has chosen.
She is due to marry the Duke of Southampton, who does not have a penny to his name. She does not even understand why her mother wants her to marry him, but she has no say.
“Still holding her captive with his mouth, he reached up and pulled away the hairpins so that her hair fell over her shoulders. “You are mine.” Fyfe cried, and his voice was deep with passion. “Mine now and forever, and I will never let you go.”Barbara Cartland, Love in the Dark
Check out Love in the Dark on Amazon; click here.
10. The Earl’s Revenge
The Earl’s Revenge is a thrilling story that focuses on Robert Lyndon, who is due to inherit his family’s vast fortune and property. But, sadly, he has been spurned by his lover and is struggling to save face in high society.
Even though he is handsome, wealthy, and well-decorated for his military service, he is concerned that people will look down on him because of his unrequited love. After all, he is supposed to be one of the most eligible bachelors in the country.
“What reason could there be? Except that I want, as I have never wanted anything before in my life, for you to be my wife!”Barbara Cartland, The Earl’s Revenge
Check out The Earl’s Revenge audiobook on Amazon; click here.
11. The King Without a Heart
Lord Rupert Brooke and his wife are killed in a terrible accident, and their only child is forced to live with an uncle. The uncle disapproved of the child’s parents’ marriage in the first place and, as such, is not happy with his new parental role. So now, the child is forced to serve her cousin as her maid.
The story focuses on the trials and tribulations the child has to go through after the death of her parents. Now, her new family doesn’t appear to want anything to do with her, and she has been turned into a servant that draws the ire of everyone. She will have to fight to save herself and those closest to her. If you liked this round-up of romance books, you might also like our guide on the best Catherine Cookson books.
“Everyone, but everyone can enjoy the rapture and joys of love, from the King himself to the lowest in the land.”Barbara Cartland, The King Without a Heart
Check out The King Without a Heart audiobook on Amazon; click here.
12. The Proud Princess
After surviving the 1871 siege of Paris with her mother, the Queen of Dabrozka, Princess Ilona, must marry the Prince of Sáros; it’s the only way to save her people and bring peace and unity to her country.
With themes of war, tragedy and love, this heroine story is one that all fans of romance will love. Although the story begins with an unhappy Princess and a strained marriage, there are plenty of twists and turns that result in a dramatic change of heart. Cartland has created a thrilling and captivating romance through incredible characterization and story-building.
“‘You are mine!’ he said. ‘Mine, completely and absolutely! To-night I am going to undress you as I have wanted to do ever since we were married!’”Barbara Cartland, The Proud Princess
Check out The Proud Princess on Amazon; click here.
FAQs About The Best Books by Barbara Cartland
How many books did Barbara Cartland write in one year?
Barbara Cartland is considered one of the historical fiction authors, and she also holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most books written in a year. She completed more than 191 books in one year, positioning her as one of the most prolific authors of all time.
What is Barbara Cartland’s most famous work?
Barbara Cartland is one of the most famous English authors of all time, and she wrote hundreds of books that have been made into a pink collection. So it is difficult to say which one is her most famous work, but A Hazard of Hearts could be at the top of the list. This is a thrilling historical romance that appeals to a broad audience.
How many have Barbara Cartland’s books have been made into films?
Several Barbara Cartland books have been made into films. One of the most famous examples is The Flame is Love, which hit the big screen in 1979. In addition, A Hazard of Hearts was made into a movie released in 1987. Shortly after, The Lady and the Highwayman was made into a movie in 1988.