Romance Book Genres

The Allure of Gothic Romance Books: A Comparison of Modern vs. Regency Gothic

If you are a fan of romance books, you must have heard of Gothic Romance. These books have been captivating readers for centuries with their dark, brooding heroes, mysterious and evocative landscapes, and spine-tingling plots. However, not all Gothic Romance books are the same. In this blog, we will take a look at some of the key differences between modern Gothic and Regency Gothic, explore some of the common tropes in the stories, and recommend the top five current Gothic Romance books, including Forget Me Not by Michelle M. Pillow.

Modern Gothic vs. Regency Gothic

Gothic fiction is a genre of literature that emerged in the late 18th century and early 19th century. It is characterized by its dark, creepy settings, and its focus on the supernatural, macabre, and terrifying. In modern Gothic, the setting and themes are often contemporary, and the focus is on exploring the psychological turmoil of the characters. In Regency Gothic, the stories are steeped in the historical context of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, with elements of romance and horror. Modern Gothic books often feature a strong female protagonist, whereas Regency Gothic often features a damsel in distress.

Common Tropes in Gothic Romance

Gothic romance books feature several common tropes, such as:

  • A haunted or forbidding mansion or castle
  • An isolated or remote location, such as a moor or an island
  • A dark and mysterious hero who is often tormented by a tragic past
  • A young, innocent, and naive heroine who is often in peril
  • A supernatural or paranormal element, such as ghosts, werewolves, or vampires
  • A focus on emotions such as fear, horror, and romance
  • A tragic or bittersweet ending

Top Five Current Gothic Romance Books – Get to Reading!

Forget Me Not by Michelle M. Pillow

From NYT Bestselling Author Michelle M. Pillow comes a tragically beautiful love story that defies perception.

“Authors like Michelle Pillow are keeping the Gothic tradition alive and well by utilizing standard Gothic plot devices but making them their own as the Gothic evolves into something more spiritual and less terrifying than its originators may have first imagined.”

– Tyler Tichelaar, Ph.D, The Gothic Wanderer

Regency Paranormal Gothic Romance

For readers who enjoy good gothic mysteries, the Regency era, Haunted and Isolated English manors.

Gothikana by RuNyx

The eternal romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the gothic suspense of Dracula in this erotic dark academia story of epic love from bestselling author RuNyx.

An unusual girl. An enigmatic man. An ancient castle. What could go wrong?

An outcast her entire life, Corvina Clemm is left adrift after losing her mother. When she receives the admission letter from the mysterious University of Verenmore, she accepts it as a sign from the universe. The last thing she expects though is an old, secluded castle on top of a mountain riddled with secrets, deceit, and death.

An enigma his entire life, Vad Deverell likes being a closed book but knowing exactly everything that happens in the university. A part-time professor working on his thesis, Vad has been around long enough to know the dangers the castle possesses. And he knows the moment his path crosses with Corvina, she’s dangerous to everything that he is.

They shouldn’t have caught each other’s eye. They cannot be. But a chill-inducing century-old mystery forces them to collide. People have disappeared every five years over the past century, Corvina is getting clues to unraveling it all, and Vad needs to keep an eye on her.

And so begins a tale of the mysterious, the morbid, the macabre, and a deep love that blossoms in the unlikeliest of places.

Listed as a Best of BookTok

The Countess by Catherine Coulter

Catherine Coulter’s revamped first novel—a gothic regency romance.

The #1 New York Times bestselling author’s very first novel, rewritten as a Gothic. A woman who makes the wrong choice for a husband may not live to marry the man of her dreams…


Haunting Adeline by H. D. Carlton

The dark and sensual allure of becoming the target of one man’s dangerous obsession is on graphically raw display in this compelling read. – Zoe Blake, USAT Bestselling Author in Dark Romance.

The Manipulator
I can manipulate the emotions of anyone who lets me.
I will make you hurt, make you cry, make you laugh and sigh.
But my words don’t affect him. Especially not when I plead for him to leave.
He’s always there, watching and waiting.
And I can never look away.
Not when I want him to come closer.

The Shadow
I didn’t mean to fall in love.
But now that I have, I can’t stay away.
I’m mesmerized by her smile, by her eyes, and the way she moves.
The way she undresses…
I’ll keep watching and waiting. Until I can make her mine.
And once she is, I’ll never let her go.
Not even when she begs me to.

On the Amazon Charts


Thunder with a Chance of Lovestruck by Mandy M. Roth

When Detective Drest Bright meets his newest charge, sparks literally fly. There is no denying the instant attraction he feels for Rachael Frankenstein. But she’s off-limits, and he knows as much. Her family has been a thorn in the side of the Nightshade Fae Hunters for over a hundred years, and they aren’t about to let him run off into the sunset with her without a fight. But if it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they’ll get because this lovestruck Fae will do anything he can to be with his mate again.

The Grimm Cove series is full of gothic references and goodness.


Read Regency Gothic Novels

Some of the most popular Regency-era gothic novels include “The Castle of Otranto” by Horace Walpole, “The Mysteries of Udolpho” by Ann Radcliffe, “The Monk” by Matthew Lewis, and “Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen. These novels feature themes of mystery and horror set amid the aristocratic society of 18th and early 19th century England. Other notable Regency-era gothic novels include “Horrid Mysteries” by Carl Grosse (1) and “Orphan of the Rhine” by Eleanor Sleath (2).

And don’t forget the most inspiring gothic horrors like Bram Stoker’s “Dracula“, Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein“, Henry James’ “Turn of the Screw“, and Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House“. 

Gothic Romance is a genre that has stood the test of time and continues to captivate readers of all ages. Whether you prefer modern or Regency Gothic, there is something for everyone in this genre. So if you are in the mood for a dark and moody romance, pick up one of these top five Gothic Romance books today!

In this article: Gothic Romance, Modern vs. Regency, Forget Me Not. Views of the article writer do not necessarily reflect the views of the author, who may or may not have read the books mentioned.


  1. “Regency Literature: Gothic.” Regency Reader –, 14 Dec. 2010,
  2. Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey. Oxford World’s Classics, 2003.
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