Traditionally, romance novels tend to be set in contemporary times or, if authors prefer something a little more historic, Regency England. However, there is a whole world of free eBooks available that feature other time periods for love to bloom. War is a time of great tragedy and sacrifice, but amidst all the chaos and violence there are still opportunities for love. The six free romance novels below are all set during times of war, placing more obstacles than usual in the paths of the star-crossed lovers.
Conflict: The Boer War
Author Bertram Mitford wrote forty-four books over the span of his career and chose South Africa as the setting for most of them. This is also the case with Aletta, which was published in 1900. The romantic couple in this book is a Dutch woman and an English man, which obviously causes some complications as the story takes place before and during the Boer War.
Conflict: The Battle of Jersey
The backdrop of The Battle of The Strong is the Battle of Jersey, where French forces attempted to invade the island of Jersey, which was used by British privateers as a base during the time. The great war that took place between England and France afterwards is also covered, but the main focus of the story is the romance between the two protagonists. Guida Landresse is a young woman from the Island of Jersey, who falls for a man named Phillip d’Avranche. However, the story is not as predictable as one might think, and it was a bestseller when it was first published in 1898.
Conflict: Shay’s Rebellion
Shay’s Rebellion, which was a 1786 armed uprising led by a revolutionary war veteran named Daniel Shay, is an interesting backdrop for the romance in this novel. The author, Edward Bellamy, shot to fame thanks to his novel Looking Backward, but this book was written at the request of a newspaper editor in Massachusetts. Although written in 1879, Bellamy actually decided to not publish the story until after he had finished writing Looking Back. In fact, it only was only shortly before his death in 1898 that he agreed to have published.
Conflict: Napoleonic Wars
Although a brisk read at only 89 pages, The French Prisoners of Norman cross tells the tale of a French officer who falls in love with an English girl. The only problem with this romance is the fact that the officer is held prisoner at Norman Cross, while the girl is from a neighboring village. The situation is not quite as grim as it sounds, though and this romance is a good read for anyone who enjoys happy endings.
Conflict: World War I
Burton Egbert Stevenson wrote The Girl From Alsace; a Romance of the Great War shortly after the end of World War I, which explains his startlingly vivid descriptions of the conflict. The author was also well known for his war efforts, so he clearly had a lot of knowledge of the setting. However, the conflict only serves as a backdrop for the romance between an American surgeon and a French spy. The two meet under interesting circumstances and end up pretending to be husband and wife as they make their escape from Germany to Belgium.
Conflict: American Revolutionary War
Paul Leicester Ford died tragically at the hands of his brother in 1902, at the age of 37, but before then he made a name for himself as a novelist and biographer. His work covered notable figures, such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin and while Janice Meredith is a romance novel, this book is no exception. Janice Meredith is the daughter of a wealthy New Jersey landowner who is sent to live with her aunt when her father disapproves of the man she falls in love with. She ends up helping Paul Revere and George Washington while the man she left behind reveals his true identity.