Curl up with our picks for the best romantic reads, with these love stories that last forever.
Best Page-Turner …
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (2006, HarperCollins)
This rags-to-riches romance set in 19th-century London is the first in a trilogy that includes The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose. A friend of mine compares these books to a box of jelly donuts that you just can’t put down.
Best Reason to Live in the Moment …
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (2003, Harcourt)
Clare first meets her future husband, Henry, when she is six. He is a time traveler who can’t control where he goes, so he’s often tossed into key moments in his own life and the lives of his loved ones. If you like stories where love overcomes even the weirdest obstacles, this book is for you.
Best Romance for English Majors …
Possession by A. S. Byatt
Two present-day literary scholars, Roland and Maud, discover a previously unknown romance between two Victorian
authors. It’s a toss up on what’s most interesting: the love stories or the literary detective work.
Best Young-Adult Romance …
Anything by Sarah Dessen
The teen readers I know love Dessen’s books because she just “gets it.” Her latest is What Happened to Goodbye.
Wackiest Narrative Structure …
One Day by David Nicholls (2009, Vintage Contemporaries)
Every July 15th for 20 years, we get one-day glimpses into the lives of Emma and Dexter, who first hook up in college during the 1980s and drift in and out of each other’s lives in the years that follow. A great story if you’ve ever wondered what would have happened if “the one who got away” ended up wandering back into your life.
Most-Reliable Romance Author …
Nora Roberts never disappoints, our readers insist. Check out The Next Always (2011).
For a Romance That Takes You to New Heights …
The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye (1978, St. Martin’s Griffin)
This epic romance begins in the Himalayas and takes you deep into life in 19th-century India.
For Reassurance That Love Lasts …
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (1996, Bantam)
Ever seen one of those sweet elderly couples and wondered about their back-story? Here’s a back-story you’ll never forget.
For Second Wives …
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
When Maxim de Winter’s second wife moves into his sprawling English estate she becomes convinced it’s haunted by his gorgeous first wife, Rebecca. If you’ve ever felt like your honey’s ex is a hard act to follow, thank your lucky stars she’s not Rebecca.
If You Think Geeks Are Adorable …
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (2011, Dutton Adult)
The romantic hero in this offbeat office romance is the IT guy. ’Nuff said.
If You Can’t Ever Forget That Flakey Guy Who Made You Mix Tapes …
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (1996, Riverhead Trade)
This romance is written from a guy’s point of view, and Rob is kind of a loser. Nevertheless, you’ll find yourself rooting for him as he attempts to pull it together and find true love.
If You Believe in Second Chances …
Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Persuasion (1817) by Jane Austen
Don’t listen to your gossipy friends and relatives when it comes to love; listen to your heart, these novels urge.
Romance You’ll Either Love … or Love to Hate
The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller (1992, Warner Books)
No one is neutral about this one–you either love it or hate it. But it’s so short, you might as well give it a try.
If Your Relationship With Your Sister Is … Complicated …
In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner (2002, Washington Square Press)
You’ll chuckle at this story about the lives and loves of two sisters who have little in common, except for their shoe size.
If You Love a Roguish Romantic Hero ….
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936)
Fiddle-dee-dee! If you’ve managed to miss this one, don’t put it off until tomorrow. Read it now.
If You Know in Your Heart That Love’s Always Strange …
Second Glance by Jodi Picoult (2003, Washington Square Press)
Readers who like their romances a little spooky will relish this tale of love in haunted Comtosook, Vermont.
By Erin Mascercola
Do you have a favorite romantic read that didn’t make the list? Let us know by visiting Romantic Homes on Facebook or through our website’s contact page. Happy reading!