Do you love the movies based on Jane Austen’s books, but you’re not quite sure about taking on the actual novels? I have the authors for you. In Miss Austen’s defense, her presence in literature classes makes her work seem much more intimidating than it actually is. (Start with Pride and Prejudice. It really is better than the movie.) But if you want something lighter that still has romance, humor, and Regency atmosphere, you will be delighted by the books of Georgette Heyer and Mary Balogh.
Georgette Heyer is known for sparkling romances where the men are noble (and maybe just a little rakish) and the women are spirited. Her stories are always happy and very chaste.
I am most familiar with Mary Balogh’s Simply series, but she’s very prolific. Her Simply series contains stories about the adventures of teachers at a girls’ school. They thought they were all unmarriageable spinsters, but, of course, we discover they are not. These are a bit more spicy than Heyer, so be cautious if you prefer the innocence of Miss Austen.