Books that meet high moral standards and contain limited foul language, sexual content, and descriptions of violence.
- Before using this list, please read my disclaimer.
- Every book on this list meets “My Clean Reading Criteria” and is one that I finished, liked, and felt was worth my time to read. To learn more about the purpose of this list please see “About Novaun Novels.”
- For information on how I classify religious fiction, please see “Is Fiction Marketed to Latter-day Saints ‘Christian Fiction’?” For how I evaluate religious content in the books I read, please see “What About Doctrinal Differences?“
- All descriptions in quotation marks come from the book jackets or other descriptions from the publishers. Follow the author links to the corresponding Project Gutenberg pages. Follow the title links to the page, post, or Goodreads review that contains my commentary on the book.
Bessey, Sian Ann
The Call of the Sea (medieval romance)
“A vicious raid leads to the death of her beloved father and leaves Rhiannon’s life in tatters. . . . Suddenly thrust into the midst of the Cymry’s political turmoil, Leif is reunited with the dead man’s daughter―Rhiannon. Forced to work side by side to uncover the truth behind the turmoil, they come to discover that love can grow from even the most tragic of beginnings.”
The Heart of the Rebellion (medieval romance)
“After three years in His Majesty’s service, Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilym are finally free to return to their ancestral home in North Wales. Their long-anticipated homecoming is overshadowed, however, by the harsh changes they encounter in their once peaceful land. . . . As the daughter of an English father and a Welsh mother, [Lady Catrin Buckley] knows too well the trouble her lineage poses. . . . Then an unexpected encounter with the enigmatic Rhys ap Tudor changes everything. Soon, Catrin finds herself swept into a rebellion that could not only change history but also rewrite her own future.”
Emily Fox-Seton (American classic)
“The story follows thirty-something Emily who lives alone, humbly and happily, in a tiny apartment and on a meager income. . . . Her fortune changes, however, and the second half chronicles her adaptation to her new life and the dangers that arise from those who stand to lose most from her new circumstances.”
Beauty Among Ruins (historical romance)
“American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.”
The Socialite (historical romance)
“As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.”
The Hope of Azure Springs (Christian historical romance, Evangelical)
“Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.”
Politano, Joanna Davidson
1. A Midnight Dance (Christian historical romance, Evangelical)
“All theater romances are tragedies. Ella Blythe knows this. Still, she cannot help but hope her own story may turn out different than most—and certainly different than the tragic story of the Ghost of Craven Street Theater. Yet as she struggles to maintain her tenuous place in the ever-shrinking ballet company, win the attentions of principal dancer Philippe, and avoid company flirt Jack, Ella cannot deny the uncanny feeling that her life is mirroring that of the dead ballerina.”
2. A Lost Melody (Christian historical romance, Evangelical)
“When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant’s father dies, he leaves to her the care of an adult ward she knew nothing about. The woman is supposedly a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. The woman’s portrait is shockingly familiar to Vivienne, so when the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.”
A Rumored Fortune (Christian historical romance, Evangelical)
“Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. [Tressa will] have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune—before someone else finds it first.”
The Moon-Spinners (romantic suspense)
On a vacation in the countryside of Crete, Nicola Ferris happens onto a wounded man and is drawn into a dangerous adventure.
A Song for the Stars (historical romance)
“John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with [Maile’s] homeland and her people—and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.”
Whitney, Phyllis A.
Note: True to the Gothic genre, many of Whitney’s novels contain paranormal elements.
Dream of Orchids (Gothic)
“Twenty-five years ago, Long Island bookstore owner Laurel York was abandoned by her father, author Clifton York. Ever since, she’s followed his life and career with morbid resentment. . . . Laurel arrives at her father’s estate in [Key West] expecting past wounds to show their scars. But what she doesn’t anticipate are her father’s cool reception, two strange stepsisters, rumors of a buried treasure, and the whispers about Clifton’s second wife—and her bizarre death in a greenhouse full of orchids.
The Ebony Swan (Gothic)
“Susan Prentice has come home to Virgina’s eastern shores, to the very spot where her mother fell to her death twenty-five years before, also the home of Alex Montoro, her proud, intense grandmother. But Susan’s arrival has alarmed people who fear what may lie dormant in Susan’s memory.”
Hunter’s Green (Gothic)
“When Eve North returns to Athmore after three years’ estrangement from her husband, Justin, she finds the great and sprawling English estate—and Justin himself—considerably changed. . . . She knows the mistakes she made in her marriage, is prepared to admit culpability in their separation, and now dares to win back his love. But for all Eve knows, for all she remembers, and for all she’s ready to face, she still enters Athmore dangerously unaware of what awaits her.”
The Quicksilver Pool (Gothic)
“She fled the heartbreak of a war-torn South only to become caught up in a startling web of intrigue and mystery. When Lora marries Union soldier Wade Tyler she learns of his past, and as she moves closer to the heart of the mystery she finds herself on the edge of a shattering truth that someone will do anything to keep hidden forever.”
The Red Carnelian, a.k.a. Red is for Murder (Gothic)
Linell Wynn, copywriter for Chicago department store Cunningham’s, knows how to put a clever spin on everything. But she’s at a loss for words when, after closing time, she finds a corpse in a window display. . . . When a second murder throws the store detective off track, Linell is plunged into the investigation. Now, she’s working after hours to find a killer, and she has more to lose than her job.
Sea Jade (Gothic)
“When lovely Miranda Heath, suddenly penniless, turns for help to her father’s old partner, Captain Bascomb, she finds herself plunged into a whirlpool of danger. From the moment of her arrival at the gloomy Bascomb mansion in the New England port Scots Harbor, Miranda becomes the target of a strange, hostile conspiracy.”
Seven Tears for Apollo (Gothic)
“Ever since Dorcas Brandt’s husband, Gino Nikkaris, died in a plane crash, she’s been beset by troubling suspicions that his shady intrigues in the art world may have been the cause of his death. . . . Now, as her husband’s mysterious past casts a shadow over Dorcas’s every move, the young mother must confront not only a terrible truth but also the terrifying fate that awaits her on the white cliffs of the Aegean.”
“Eager to clear her step-brother of a murder charge, Linda Earle comes to a snow-covered ski resort in the Northeast, where she finds herself in a unique world of icy weather and fiery passions. . . . A severe blizzard, a dangerous encounter in a stone tower, and a death on the slopes lead Linda to a discovery she has never expected.”
The Trembling Hills (Gothic)
“When lovely young Sara Jerome moves to San Francisco, she is filled with anticipation. . . . She feels certain that now she will finally fulfill her dreams of marrying Ritchie Temple and finding out what happened to her father. But Sara has another dream as well, a terrifying nightmare that has haunted her all of her life. . . . What does it mean? And what does it have to do with the stormy night her father disappeared?”
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