From Romance to Suspense: All of Nora Roberts Books In Order

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all of nora roberts books in order

From Magic Moments to Montana Sky and 1989 to the present, Nora Roberts’ stories have graced the screens of many theaters and homes. Her body of work is so expansive that it is unlikely for a romance lover not to have come across her works.

Whether you have watched movies based on the works of Nora Roberts or have read one of her books and gotten hooked, you will be delighted to know that the author’s work spans 225 books.

In this article, you will find Nora Roberts’ books listed in chronological order. You will also learn about the author’s inspirations and life experiences, which add depth to her writing. 

Before we discuss Nora Roberts’ bibliography, let’s look at her best books.

Table Of Contents show

our best Nora Roberts Books at a glance:

Who is Nora Roberts?

Nora Roberts is the prolific author of over 220 novels in genres including romance, fantasy, and suspense. She was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame, and her titles have collectively spent over 1000 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, with over 170 weeks in the #1 spot.

It is evident from Roberts’ commercial and critical acclaim that she is good at what she does. But most of her readers do not know how she got started. Her background is worth exploring because her life does inform some of her literary decisions.

Nora Roberts was born Eleanor Marie Robertson in 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her father, Bernard E. Robertson, was a fan of literature. Roberts’ entire family, including her four elder brothers, were avid readers. Roberts credits the stories she consumed and made up as a child with her success as a “grown-up” author.

Her parents had Irish ancestry and were stereotypically strict in some aspects. As a result, Nora had to be creative with her stories, justifications, and excuses to avoid getting in trouble. She asserts that her mother still believes some of the lies she has told her. A creative childhood with exposure to reading and storytelling set Roberts up for success, but only to an extent.

To be truly successful in the traditional publishing world, one doesn’t just need good stories but also the discipline to pen them and the life experience to inject more substance into the narratives. Roberts’ discipline comes from her Catholic school experience, where the nuns were strict and disciplined living was the norm.

The experience that became a major part of her storytelling came in the second year of high school when she transferred to Montgomery Blair High School and met her future husband. Ronald Aufdem-Brinke liked her, and she liked him back. But neither of their parents liked that they liked each other. The tension between family disapproval and desire for each other has become a recurring theme in the Nora Roberts bibliography.

She married Aufdem-Brinke even though her parents disapproved of the timing (they had just graduated high school) and the would-be husband. He made a similar choice on his end.

After marriage, they moved to Boonsboro, Maryland, closer to Aufdem-Brinke’s parents, who were slightly more open to their son’s decision. Roberts’ husband started working for his father before he left that job to join Roberts’ family business. Roberts’ remained a homemaker and focused on crafts and other non-literary interests until 1982 when she got divorced and started her life as a single mother of two sons.

These experiences would eventually deepen her literary work, but at that point in her life, Roberts didn’t even know that she was going to be a writer. Almost three years after her divorce, Roberts hired a carpenter, Bruce Wilder, to build a few bookshelves for her. Little did she know that he would end up becoming her husband.

Not having to support her kids with her sole income eased the financial stress that pushed Roberts away from writing. Her husband has literary interests as well and owns a niche bookstore in Boonsboro.

For a brief period, she owned an inn with rooms named after couples in popular happily-ever-after fiction. Her romantic and literary interests were fueled by her husband, but her writing discipline comes from her Catholic school days. Roberts writes for eight hours a day, even when she is traveling. She writes a story outline and expands it into a novel with multiple revisions.

nora roberts gallaghers of ardmore irish trilogy books
Nora Roberts Books

To stay with the same characters, she finishes sagas and trilogies in chronological order before starting a different story. These quirks and specifics help her write stories. But what got her into publishing were her incessant submissions. She had penned her first six manuscripts in her single motherhood phase when a blizzard had pretty much locked her in her home.

When she sent her manuscripts to publishers, they rejected her work but gave positive feedback. Eventually, their slots freed up, and Roberts was brought on as the flagship American writer for Silhouette, a small publishing house. Once Roberts got her start, she continued to put out great work, which led to more publishing deals. Her relationships with publishers allowed her to take risks and try her hand at other genres.

But to protect her brand, she had to use pseudonyms for different genres that she explored. Her most popular pseudonym is J.D. Robb, which combines the first initials of her children (Jason and Dan) with a contraction of her surname (Roberts).

Nora Roberts Books In Order of Publication

In Death Books In Order of Publication

nora roberts chronicles of the one books
Chronicles of The One Books

In Death Short Stories/Novellas In Order of Publication

Order of Bride Quartet Books In Order of Publication

The Calhoun Women Books In Order of Publication

Celebrity Magazine Books In Order of Publication

Chesapeake Bay Saga Books In Order of Publication

Chronicles of The One Books In Order of Publication

Circle Trilogy Books In Order of Publication

Concannon Sisters / Irish Born Trilogy Books In Order of Publication

nora roberts boxed set
Circle Trilogy Books

Cordina’s Royal Family Books In Order of Publication

The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy Books In Order of Publication

The Donovan Legacy Books In Order of Publication

The Dragon Heart Legacy Books In Order of Publication

Dream Trilogy Books In Order of Publication

Gallaghers of Ardmore / Irish Trilogy Books In Order of Publication

Great Chefs Books In Order of Publication

The Guardians Trilogy Books In Order of Publication

Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy Books In Order of Publication

nora roberts book collection
The Donovan Legacy Books

In the Garden Books In Order of Publication

Irish Hearts Books In Order of Publication

Key Trilogy Books In Order of Publication

Loving Jack Books In Order of Publication

The MacGregors Books In Order of Publication

The MacKade Brothers Books In Order of Publication

nora roberts stars of mithra book collection
Stars of Mithra Books

Night Tales Books In Order of Publication

The O’Hurleys Books In Order of Publication

Reflections and Dreams: The Banning Books In Order of Publication

Sacred Sins Books In Order of Publication

Sign of Seven Books In Order of Publication

The Stanislaskis: Those Wild Ukrainians Books In Order of Publication

Stars of Mithra Books In Order of Publication

Three Sisters Island Books In Order of Publication

Time and Again: Hornblower-Stone Books In Order of Publication

nora roberts trilogy books
Three Sisters Island Books

Standalone Novels In Order of Publication

nora roberts concannon sisters irish born trilogy books
Concannon Sisters / Irish Born Trilogy Books

Short Stories/Novellas In Order of Publication

Anthologies In Order of Publication

Best Nora Roberts Books To Read

Black Hills

Black Hills

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Childhood sweethearts (Lil and Coop) reconnecting after losing touch. That’s not the entire premise of the book, but it does create a heartwarming ambiance for the actual plot. In the Black Hills, Lil and Coop eventually reunite, with Lil having become a wildlife biologist while Coop is struggling with his father’s pressure to join the family law firm.

It primarily follows Lil’s intention to start a reserve to protect wildlife and endangered animals. While it might seem like a simple enough goal in any other area, it is a life-threatening journey in the Black Hills.

Vision in White

Vision in White

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Wedding planners become unexpected cheerleaders in a girl-approaches-guy romance. In Vision in the White, Nora Roberts tells the titillating story of a wedding photographer (Mac) who ends up coming across someone she finds interesting enough for a fling.

There’s tension, first, because he is a potential client’s brother. But when she gets past the fact that the man she is into is the brother of a bride-to-be, she has another problem. The man she found good enough for a fling is turning into the one she wants to spend forever with.

Throughout her emotional journey, her childhood friends Parker, Emma, and Laurel are there as advisors and cheerleaders. Mac, along with her three friends, forms the Bride Quartet, which is also the title of the series in which Vision in White is the first entry.

Dance Upon The Air

Dance Upon The Air

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Nora Roberts has mastered the strong opening. Many of her best books are the first entries in different trilogies. Dance Upon The Air is no different, as it launches the Three Sisters Island trilogy. In this entry, Nell Channing is starting a new life away from her abusive ex. She takes up work as a cook at a bookstore-cum-café, and things seem to be going well for her until the island sheriff gets suspicious.

The sheriff, Zack Todd, wants to know why she is really on the island and is open about making her spill the beans. Channing’s new start is threatened by a new character’s interest in what she has left behind. But the way the story unfolds is unexpected and subversive.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

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Northern Lights by Nora Roberts is a book that stands out in her bibliography for its suspense elements. While known generally for her romantic writing, Roberts surprises her readers with a murder mystery that depicts a cop in conflict pretty aptly. Nate Burke takes a job as the Chief of Police in an Alaskan town to get away from the bad memories of police work in the big city.

But it is that big city survival instinct that allows him to follow a hidden killer in an apparently unassuming town. The romantic element is still present despite the book mostly being a detective mystery. Meg Galloway provides the “fling of convenience” to the “lover” arc in this story.



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Legacy is a great standalone romantic story that balances suspense and romance very well and features Adrian Rizzo as its protagonist. Along with a history of almost getting killed by her own father the day she met him for the first time, she has a string of death threats that follow her wherever she goes. The letters shock her initially but soon become ignorable as she gets used to the celebrity life.

But ultimately, the threats in the letters start to materialize, leaving Rizzo scared for her life. Bodies start dropping, and the killer has to be found before she reaches her. The protagonist receives help from her romantic interest, Raylan, a childhood crush who has grown up to be even more crushworthy.

Jewels of the Sun

Jewels of the Sun

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This story is a pure romance novel with some fantastical elements. In Jewels of the Sun, Aiden Gallagher returns home after years of traveling and finds Jude Murray, who has left the States to settle in a town in Ireland. Gallagher tells her stories from legends and myths that he believes have real aspects. The two begin to fall in love, and their relationship deepens.

This book is the first entry in The Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy. The Gallaghers’ story includes magical forces, reinterpreted fairy tales, and a bit of magic. And this book is, yet again, a strong series debut for Nora Roberts.

Blue Dahlia

Blue Dahlia

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The Blue Dahlia is set in a Tennessee village where Stella Rothschild, a new widow, finds new love in Logan Kitridge. Kitridge is perfect for Stella, and she is happy. But not everyone is happy for her. The Harper Bride is a woman who died so full of grief and rage that her spirit couldn’t pass on to the next world.

She is unhappy about Stella’s interest and wants to undo the progress she’s made with Logan. How does one fight someone with no physical presence, though? That’s the question that will keep you turning pages.

The Awakening

The Awakening

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The Awakening is the coming-of-age story for the quarter-life crowd. Its protagonist has a childhood that she remembers fondly and a present that she cannot wait to get out of. The story follows Breen Kelly, who discovers a hidden account in her name, opened by her mother and funded by her long-lost father.

Where this would become a launchpad for a traveling adventure romance in popular fiction, Nora Roberts takes The Awakening in a different direction.

Kelly travels to Ireland and finds a portal that transports her to the world of fairies and mermaids. In her adventure, she meets Keegan, the story’s main romantic interest, and has to ultimately navigate a path paved by her destiny.

Dark Witch

Dark Witch

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Dark Witch kicks off the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy and follows Iona Sheehan. The protagonist had dreams about dating cowboys, pirates, and tribal horsemen when she was growing up. In the present, she comes across one man who checks all the boxes: Boyle McGrath. Dark Witch is a fantasy romance story with a hero’s journey narrative for young female readers.

Sacred Sins

Sacred Sins

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While Roberts is most comfortable writing trilogies and one-one novels, there are occasional duologies in her bibliography. Sacred Sins is book one in the two-part series following psychiatrist Dr. Tess Court as she helps the police catch a criminal known as “The Priest.” Initially, like most of Roberts’ characters, she is reluctant. But when she is convinced by the police to help out, the person she is meant to help is uninterested.

Ben Paris is not interested in therapy until he comes in contact with Tess Court. The mutual attraction softens their barriers, but if anything is to become of their potential romance, the criminal on the loose has to be caught.



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Captivated is a story about a male protagonist falling for a witch. But it isn’t as sinister as it may sound, though Nash Kirkland cannot be too sure. He was interested in Morgana Donovan for his screenplay. 

But the self-proclaimed witch got the skeptical Kirkland to rethink his assumptions. As he begins to believe in magic, he also starts falling for Donovan. The problem is that he cannot trust his feelings because they could very well be false.

Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers

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In Blood Brothers, Nora Roberts delivers her take on the cyclical-world legend of Hawkins Hollow being rumored to have a curse that comes around every seven years. The crime and horrible accidents spike every seven years, and things get so intense that word has spread to neighboring towns and villages.

Curious because of the village’s reputation, reporter Quinn Black visits Hawkins Hollow, where Caleb Hawkins decides to help her learn more about the modern-day legend. Just Black arrives in town, and the 7-year mark creeps up on her, putting both her and Caleb in danger.

The book has fantasy horror elements and can be categorized as an urban fantasy too. And like most Nora Roberts stories, it has a consistent injection of romance.



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This novel is peak chick-lit for those who love Nora Roberts’ take on the irresistible yet annoying love interest. In Untamed, the lion-tamer Jovilette Wilder has a conflict with her new boss, who inherits the circus she works at. And while she is locking horns with him, she starts to develop feelings for him. You should read Untamed to find out whether her new boss, Keane Prescott, can get her to drop her defenses and embrace happiness.

Nora Roberts FAQs

Is Nora Roberts JD Robb?

Nora Roberts is JD Robb. The latter is a pen name she uses for some of her titles but is not the only pen name used by the author. Roberts writes some series as J.D. Robb and some of her works as Nora Roberts.

Unlike most writers, Roberts doesn’t hide behind her pen name. She is public about being J.D. Robb as well as about her other pen names, Jill March and Sarah Hardesty.

Why Does Nora Roberts Write As JD Robb?

Nora Roberts was advised by her agent to use a pen name for different genres. The agent, Amy Berkover, also convinced the publishers to let Roberts write in a new genre under a new pen name. Roberts chose J.D. Robb because it is a combination of her and her children’s names.

J in JD Robb stands for Jason, and D stands for Dan, both her sons. Robb is short for Roberts, which is her name. Roberts doesn’t have a similar rationale behind her other two pen names.

Does Nora Roberts Use Ghostwriters?

Nora Roberts does not use ghostwriters. She has never used ghostwriters in her career. Roberts is so particular about her characters having a consistent story that she doesn’t even trust her future self to pen a story with her current characters. That’s why she writes her trilogies chronologically without being interrupted by other writing.

What Was The Nora Roberts Plagiarism Controversy?

Nora Roberts was a victim of plagiarism. Roberts did not plagiarize anyone but became embroiled in the scandal as a victim. Janet Dailey plagiarized Roberts’ work and was ultimately sued for it.

Upon admitting to plagiarism and settling with the author, Dailey was off the hook, at least legally. Nora Roberts proceeded to donate the settlement money to literary causes.

What Is The Best Nora Roberts Book To Start With?

Vision in White is the best Nora Roberts book, as it kicks off her most successful book series. It also includes all the elements that Roberts is known for, like romance, intensity, and suspense.

Despite not being a J.D. Robb book, this title features plenty of Robb-style suspense along with the classic Nora Roberts romance. It is one of the most popular and recognizable works of Roberts and remains fresh despite having been published over ten years ago.

nora roberts signing autoghraphs
Nora Roberts signing autoghraphs

How Many Hours A Day Does Nora Roberts Write?

Nora Roberts writes for eight hours a day. She asserts that she keeps up the routine even during her vacations. Roberts writes regardless of inspiration and lets her work, instead of idleness, invite inspiration.

This writing philosophy is similar to that of Walter Mosley, although it varies in writing duration. Another author who has a “write no matter what” philosophy is Neil Gaiman. While the writing method is not entirely exclusive to Nora Roberts, it is something she has altered and improvised for herself.

What Is Nora Roberts’ Best-Selling Novel?

Nora Roberts has not officially declared her all-time bestselling novel, though she has over 25 New York Times bestsellers that have claimed the number one spot. Among these, the one that has received significant critical acclaim is Dance Upon The Air.

Dance Upon the Air and Black Hills are two of Nora Roberts’s most successful books. Both books have charted on multiple bestseller lists, including the prestigious New York Times bestseller list.

What Is Nora Roberts’ Best Trilogy?

The Bride Quartet trilogy is the best Nora Roberts trilogy, kicking off with Vision in White, one of Roberts’ highest-grossing books, and finishing with Savor the Moment. It is admired by Roberts’ fans from all age groups and backgrounds as it contains elements that are broadly relatable.

Wrapping It Up

Nora Roberts is a writer with great range. While operating primarily in the romance genre, her stories feature plenty of drama, suspense, fantasy, and adventure.

Her books include standalone stories as well as trilogies and duologies. You don’t have to read all 225 of her novels, and you don’t need to read her books in order except within individual series. Her stories in different sub-genres and co-genres are neatly divided with different pen names, making her a very accessible and easy-to-follow author.

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Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.