Portfolio: Historical Romance Book Covers

What Is Historical Romance?

Broadly speaking, historical romance is a subgenre of romance including all romance novels set in the past. However, there are certain tropes and time periods that predominate. Common settings for historical romance include, Regency England, the American West, Victorian England, and Tudor England. You’ll see other time periods more rarely, such as the 1920s romance series I’ve included in my portfolio above.

As you can likely tell from my portfolio, my work focuses on historical romance with a diverse array of protagonists. In particular, I work a lot with LGBTQ historical romance.

What Do Historical Romance Covers Look Like?

The primary job of a book cover is to attract readers. To do that, it’s essential for the book to look like it’s genre. So how do we signal that something is historical romance?

Costumes! Historical romances are all about period costumes and beautiful, elaborate historical dresses. Historical romances is the primary subgenre of romance where you are more likely to see a solo woman than a solo man on the cover of a f/m romance, because it’s all about those dresses and flowing cloth! The choice of a solo figure versus a couple often has to do with heat level. A couple ripping each other’s clothes off signals a steamy story while a solo woman in modest dress suggests something sweeter. So once again, costuming is important!

Another major hallmark of historical romance is the setting. Common settings for historical romance include:

  • Historical homes, especially the exterior of manor houses.
  • Painterly, backgrounds of draped cloth and flowing skirts.
  • Historical rooms, often involving drapes, old fashioned furniture, and windows. Higher heat stories might include a bed!
  • Garden scenes with flowers and greenery.
  • Scottish highlands, for highlander romances.
  • Prairies, mountains, and covered wagons for romances set in the American West.

For fonts, historical romance emphasizes the “romance” with scripts and serifs. For more on historical romance, I suggest checking out my blog post on LGBTQ historical romance book covers and the title generator I created for historical romance book titles!

If you’re interested in commissioning me to create a cover for you, visit my custom covers page to find out more and contact me! I also have some epic and high fantasy premade book covers available. These are covers where I’ve already created the art but have used a place holdder title and author name, which can be replaced with the name and title of the author who purchases it. You can find my premades here.