7 of the Best Romantic Books with Great Love Stories
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When it comes to finding those perfect romantic books, it doesn’t need to happen only around Valentine’s Day.
I’m not sure who originally decided February would be the ideal time of year to celebrate love anyways.
For many people, February means freezing temperatures and more than usual isolation as you wait for spring to make you brave enough to venture outside again.
Whoever thought pairing this particular month with chocolates, roses, and candlelit dinners really must believe in the power of the human spirit to overcome anything. Even wearing heels in the snow.
In one respect though, February actually is the perfect romantic month… for the romantic novel, that is.
Hunkering down in your chosen cozy-making spot, with a glass of wine or hot chocolate, and a fantastically romantic book? I can’t think of many greater pleasures.
This Valentine’s Day, whether you are looking to gift a romantic book to the avid reader in your life, or you are looking for a romantic way to pass the time, here are 7 of the Best Romantic Books with Great Love Stories.
This was the book that really introduced me to the Regency romance novel, and in some ways, that’s a terrible thing. The Red Rose was so good, that I never found a romance novel to top it!
It stars your usual brooding, bad-tempered Earl who clashes with his new Ward, Rosalind. Think an Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy kind of relationship. The story is a little cliche (find me a romance novel that isn't a least a little), but Mary Balogh’s writing is so addictive I promise you won’t care at all.
The book, The Red Rose, itself is long out of print, but there is a kindle version and even free PDFs around. Or, bonus points if you choose to have this printed and made into a personal manuscript for your loved one as a Valentine’s Day gift! Now that's romantic.
Now The Kiss Quotient is anything but cliche. Our heroine, a math genius who falls somewhere on the spectrum, hires a male escort to teach her how to be better at the, ahem, more physical sides of romance.
It is a pretty racy book, but about on par with many romance novels. The characters are so well written that you find yourself rooting for both love interests even when they seem at odds with each other. It's an especially great book if you are looking for more neurodiverse characters.
There is a reason this book catapulted then debut novelist Helen Hoang to celebrity in the romance world practically overnight. On the spectrum herself, she wrote the book as a way to give others insight and understanding into what unique challenges there can be in dating. But also how exactly the same it is to dating anyone else. I recently learned about Helen Hoang’s next novel, The Heart Principle, and it's going on my must-read list immediately!
Overall, this is a very romantic book with a GREAT love story. I am jealous of those who get to read The Kiss Quotient for the first time.
Is there anything better, or more powerful, than first teenage love? There is just something about that particular combination of raging hormones with new experiences that just hits you incredibly hard and makes you think you are the first people to ever feel this strongly about each other. This is why as unlikely as the plot of The Sun is Also a Star may seem, I can completely believe two teenagers meeting and forming that deep a bond in one day.
It is a surprisingly topical book as well as it deals with immigration issues and disparities of experience for people in the United States. For me, Nicola Yoon hits that perfect balance of encouraging deeper thought on the topic without stuffing her feelings down your throat.
And if you are wondering if The Sun is Also a Star is a true story, I can understand why. It certainly feels very real. Alas, no, this book is definitely a work of fiction. It’s also a book I unexpectedly fell in love with, and plan to read again. How doesn’t love a great love story?
This book is one long love letter between our protagonists. In The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, two old magicians make a bet that they can train up a young student to be the better magician. They start with their chosen pupils very young and ultimately have them go head to head with each other on the battleground of a traveling circus. It all becomes complicated when instead of hating each other, our two magicians fall in love instead.
It’s a beautifully written story, with incredibly vivid imagery when it comes to describing the magic. It’s also a very unique book, which for someone who reads a lot is always exciting to come across. This doesn't feel like a story that's been told a million times, but yet it also has many universal themes to pull you in.
If you are looking for a romantic book that will pull at your heartstrings and have you really rooting for the heroes, look no further than The Night Circus.
Colleen Hoover is the queen of writing across genres and dominating them all. And when it comes to romance, it’s no different. Maybe Someday was the first book by Colleen Hoover I ever read, and I had no idea I would be entering into a long-term relationship with this author’s books.
Maybe Someday is such a simple story of love and yearning between two people who realize quickly they are each other’s soulmates. But with one of them in a relationship complicated by history and illness, being together is not a possibility. Colleen Hoover writes about love and longing in a way you feel in your bones, and it's such an exquisite kind of pain to live vicariously through the young lovers in this book.
Without spoilers, it's one of those books where the pain and frustration are ultimately satisfied in the end. You can safely enter the love story knowing any torment is temporary. This book is one of my favorite modern romance stories, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have the four times I’ve read it.
Looking for more books by Colleen Hoover? Check out my full review and breakdown of what happens in Layla.
OK, if you are reading this list and have also read this book, I am going to be very impressed! I have actually never met another person who read it. This is a shame because for fans of the magical it’s a really good one.
Thwonk is the story of a high school girl who comes across a magical doll that turns out to be Cupid. He can help her in many different aspects of her life, one of which of course, is helping her crush fall in love with her. Despite his advice, that's the choice she makes. As someone who also used to fall hard for crushes, I related completely. It's a lesson in how getting everything you ever wanted isn't always what you thought it would be. I was obsessed with this book for years as a teen, and it holds up pretty well as an adult. The story may sound simplistic, but it is saved by a writing style that is both endearingly vulnerable and entertaining. It has definitely made me feel the need to look up more books by Joan Bauer at the very least.
You might be wondering why Thwonk makes the "Great Love Story" list? Because not all love stories need to be your typical boy-girl ones. And in this case, the love story between our heroine and her savior and the love she discovers for herself feel just as real and important.
The third in the “His Dark Materials Trilogy”, The Amber Spyglass is the culmination of the love story that begins between Will and Lyra in book two, The Subtle Knife. W
hen I first read this book, their love story hit me at my core. Not only is it one that unfolds slowly and almost imperceptibly at first, but it’s written with such a light touch that you realize what’s happening almost the same time as the characters. It is a love story (and a book), that surprises you and makes you take notice of the love in your own life. It also makes you want to hold your own loved ones a little closer for the very privilege that you get to be with them.
I don’t want to spoil anything more than that, so for the love story and the incredible writing in these books in general, you really should read this series.
Looking to make reading a more regular thing? Why not start a book club! Check out my article on How to Form a Book Club for tips on creating the ideal club for your lifestyle.
One that I've never been able to shake is Remembrance by Jude Deveraux. It's one that follows two souls through reincarnation and various timelines and it is just absolutely wrecking. I've re-read it a few times, and I never re-read books. I just grabbed Red Rose for my kindle!
Friday 25th of February 2022
That's enough of a recommendation for me, I'm adding Remembrance to my reading list asap! I hope you love Red Rose as much as I did, would definitely be interested to hear your thoughts!