Some think this subgenre is comprised of just the classics. That is not so. While many of the classics were bodice rippers, certainly not all were. And, lest you think it’s a subgenre of the past, there are new bodice rippers being written today (some of which are on this list).
At least one of my Goodreads pals defines this subgenre as stories “containing an element of sexual peril.” Possibly that is so, as the ones on my list all have this. But for me, there is usually more. Typically there is a forced seduction by the hero involved or an actual ripping of the heroine’s bodice. Let’s just say I know it when I see it.
If you like stories that feature an alpha male hero who begins demanding his way, but falls at the heroine’s feet at the end to beg forgiveness and confess his love, you’ll find them on THIS LIST.