Have you ever heard the word “anemoia”?
I came across it on Twitter the other day, and the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows defines it as “nostalgia for a time you’ve never known” – I feel this on an almost daily basis.
You guys, I heard this word and it felt like a particular part of my brain had been unlocked and once again, I marveled at the fact that there really isn’t a thing like a singular experience.
My father once told me that regardless of whatever I have thought about or gone through, someone else has also shared those thoughts and if this isn’t the most beautiful thing about being human, I don’t know what is.
I’ve read a good bit of historical fiction and I tell you, the best authors have a way with words that completely immerses you, so much so that you pretty much long to be in the room where all the drama happens.
I’ve often wished to have an adventure of my own, and if I’m given the choice to pick, I’d like to fall in love in a different country, in a different language, and in a different time period.
For the leads in the time travel romance stories I’m about to list, they get thrust into the past (accidentally or intentionally) and for some of them, this is an opportunity to correct their mistakes.
1. Out of Time, Into You by Jay Bell
Reggie Valentine wakes up in the 1950s after a freak accident and now he’s torn between returning to his time and staying with the new special guy, Daniel Parker.
I loved a sweet M/M novel as much as the next girl, and I’ll recommend this one forever if you want a book chockful of heartwarming moments that just feel right.
2. Before Time Runs Out by Amy Matayo
Bree Sanders time-travels to 1870 after creating a Ghost Club for her failing dissertation.
Teaming up with time-traveller Theodore Keyes, they find themselves slowly falling in love with themselves while looking for the lost book.
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Claire Randall, a combat nurse, time-travels from 1945 to 1743 Scotland, and now she must face love, intrigue, and the challenges of fidelity between two men and eras.
This list literally wouldn’t be complete without Outlander, and if you’ve read this epic series starter, you probably know what I’m talking about.
While this book isn’t the first time-traveling romance book ever, it’s by far one of the most popular and unlike what you’d expect from books that are seriously hyped, it’s just as good as it sounds.
4. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
Jack discovers time travel after Kate’s death, and the time loop repeatedly returns him to their first meeting, so he tries to prevent her death and learns that every decision has consequences.
A YA romance novel is always very much appreciated, and without dropping spoilers, this book will make you cry ugly tears so keep a hanky handy.
5. A Highlander For Hannah by Mary Warren
Hannah performs a love spell that brings Graham from 1745 to the future, and now they must find a new normal and survive until the spell can be reversed.
There’s a lot you’ll love in this romantic time travel book, but you’re going to be absolutely magnetized by the chemistry between the leads.
6. The Two Lives Of Lydia Bird By Josie Silver
In this heartrending book, Lydia is grappling with grief and a chance to rewrite their history after her boyfriend’s death.
The Two Lives Of Lydia Bird shows her emotional journey and the complexities of love when she’s given the chance to oscillate between two realities.
This isn’t strictly a time travel romance book, but I couldn’t resist adding it because the element of having a chance to change one’s fate or live a different one is the same here.
7. A Knight In Shining Armor By Jude Deveraux
Dougless time-travels to 16th-century England where he meets Nicholas Stafford and soon they start a powerful love story that transcends time.
This is yet another fantastic M/M time travel romance novel that feels like a warm, warm hug.
8. Transcendence By Shay Savage
Ehd, a caveman, and Elizabeth, a modern woman brought together by peculiar circumstances must navigate love without a common language.
9. The Time Traveler’s Wife By Audrey Niffenegger
Clare and Henry’s love story is very unique because Henry involuntarily time-travels between their past and future and they must try to get a new sense of normalcy.
This book has been adapted into a 2009 movie and a drama series that premiered in 2022, so if you need another proof that this one is amazing, this is it.
10. One Last Stop By Casey McQuiston
August discovers Jane, displaced from the 1970s, on the subway, and while dealing with her time displacement, they soon find love with each other.
I’ve already listed two M/M queer time travel romance books on this list, and this F/F book is just as good – make sure you check them out.
11. The Seven-Year Slip by Ashley Poston
Right after she makes a plan to permanently avoid men, Clementine meets a man from the past (seven-year time difference) and they soon start falling in love.
12. In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
Maelyn experiences a time loop during Christmas, and she soon finds herself reliving the holiday in an effort to find true love and discover the power of wishes and holiday magic.
We don’t get a lot of Christmas-time travel romance books, but this lovely exception is simply the most fantastic thing and I totally loved it.
Let me know which of these romantic time travel books you’re going to read and drop a rec if you know some more amazing ones.