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These books have romance and more precisely couples at its centre but it would be very reductive to say that these books are only romances. Especially since many of these books deal with other topics. ❤️
Some are lighthearted and sweet while others are heavyhearted and even sour, riddled with grief, loss, and other hard hitting themes.
In this list I’ve combined 5 romance series as well as 10 standalone books to get you in the romantic mood for Valentine’s Day. 😘
1. “Romeo & Juliet” by William Shakespeare
And the main reason why a lot of us Shakespeare nerds love “Romeo & Juliet” is because of the poetry in it. The romantic language in the verses are moving and rhythmic and draws the story towards its epic, dramatic ending.
And let’s be honest, young love is brash.
Plus, you watch the “Romeo & Juliet” movie starring young Leonardo DiCaprio.
2. “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë
“Wuthering Heights” is another classic love story. And another story of forbidden love.
Actually, I am just reading it (I am late to the game and I know a lot of people still haven’t read this one either because I am living proof!)
Although there are controversial issues in this book, it is often referenced as one of the top romances of the 19th century.
The story follows Catherine and Heathcliff’s childhood friendship and the complication of their ties as they fall for each other. I won’t say anything more. I do not want to spoil anything.
But if you like classics and you love romance, give this one a chance!
3. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
Please tell me you have read “Pride and Prejudice”!? If you haven’t, please sign off and go read it. If you have, please sign off and go reread it. No seriously, this is so good.
Austen knew how to write believable characters and situations all while mocking British high society while doing so.
“Pride & Prejudice” as do many Austen novels, follows a courtship drama while presenting moments of hilarity and swoon worthy scenes.
You have Mr. Pride, aka Mr. Darcy and on the other hand you have our main character Elizabeth Bennet, aka Miss. Prejudice. These two chaotic energies but-heads a lot and gosh, does it make for a good story.
There are a few adaptations of “Pride & Prejudice” but my favourite is the one starring Keira Knightley.
4. “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne
“The Hating Game” is another fun romance and a quick read. We follow an office romance in which the love interests participate in a kind-of hating game as they are both competitive in their positions at work.
Lucy and Joshua are nemesis and the goal is to take the other person down. But soon enough Lucy has dreams about Joshua and suddenly, she is thrown off by this steamy attraction – especially when he kissed her in the elevator.
SEE ALSO: 21 Books I Want to Read in 2021
5. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
“The Fault in Our Stars” is another teen romance but it is much heavier emotionally than the other books on this list. It is a tear jerker.
It follows Hazel and Augustus as their story unravels when they meet at the Kid’s Cancer Support Group. Hazel’s life changes forever after falling for Augustus. He is full of memorable metaphors.
“The Fault in Our Stars” has also been adapted into a movie starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.
6. “The Truth About Forever” by Sarah Dessen
“The Truth About Forever” reads like a summery romance. But it is a bit heavier beyond the surface.
It follows a teenager called Macy as she deals with the grief of losing her father. Upon joining a catering job during the summertime, she meets a cute boy with a past and his name is Wes. He is very real and very different from her boyfriend Jason who’s at summer-camp.
Slowly, as summer unfolds, Macy starts to come out of her shell. And life begins again.
7. “All Your Perfects” by Colleen Hoover
“All Your Perfects” is a heart wrenching romance about a failing marriage. This book really really dealt well with miscommunication and the secrets that can ruin any most well-intentioned and loving couple.
The story follows Quinn and Graham that are struggling to uphold their marriage as they are constantly faced with hurdles that further separates them.
The flashbacks scenes juxtaposed with the current destruction of their relationship is what makes the romance so tender and heartbreaking.
8. “Ugly Love “ by Colleen Hoover
“Ugly Love” is another Colleen Hoover novel and maybe one of her most read novels. This book is s-t-e-a-m-y. It can easily be read in one sitting and cause you to stir here and there as the romance gets hotter and hotter as it follows the hate-to-love trope.
The story follows Tate, a nurse, who gets involved with Miles, who is a pilot with a troubled past. Together, they have an arrangement; no love, just mindless fun. That’s until the agreement doesn’t seem to stand anymore. And here comes the hard part; a potential romance.
9. “Normal People” by Sally Rooney
I would classify “Normal People” as a tender, complex, painfully realistic romance. It made it onto my Top 20 Books I Read in 2020 list.
“Normal People” follows the story of Marianne and Connell that are from different social classes. In high school, the pair engage in an intimate relationship secretly, until it goes South and they both go their separate ways. They’re both deeply perturbed emotionally and psychologically from this separation.
Then, we watch as they interact and get involved with each other’s lives on and off again in college. We follow their interpersonal, social, and psychological hardship growing up in Ireland and through their connection with each other and others around them.
Furthermore, “Normal People” has been adapted as a mini TV series.
SEE ALSO: Top 20 Books I Read in 2020
10. “Call Me by Your Name” by André Aciman
“Call Me by Your Name” is another painful romance that is also definitely worth the read. It’s not a romance just because its set in Italy – but it does help.
All joking aside, this book ruined me. (Does this make it convincing for you to read? I hope so.)
This was an amazing ride. It was full of yearning, projections, books, and sun. The focus of this novel is less on the romance but on the reception of romance; the anticipation, the wanting, the desire, the fear, etc.
The narrator, Elio, talks about the summer of 1987 in which he becomes enamoured by his father’s research assistant; Oliver, who is older than him.
I’ll definitely be reading the sequel, “Find Me.”
Additionally, “Call Me By Your Name” has been adapted into a beautiful cinematic movie.
SEE ALSO: Top 21 Books I Want to Read in 2021
11. “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” series is such a fun and quick romance read. It is much lighter than many of the other books on this list as it deals with first crushes and first loves. It is set in high school and following a Korean-American teen-girl named Lara Jean Song. She is quirky and yet complex.
Lara Jean is also very artsy and buries herself in writing letters to her crushes when they happen throughout the years. She also bakes sweets when she is stressed. And in that way, she feels very real and relatable.
Lara Jean’s life changes when all of her old crushes have her letter posted to them and soon – confrontation happens. Lara Jean is faced with tough choices and her first love story.
Luckily, the first two books “To All the Boys I’ve Love Before” and “P.S. I Still Love You” have been adapted by Netflix as movies and have gained great praise in the contemporary romance romcom genre.
12. “Bared to You” by Sylvia Day
The story follows Eva who gets involved with the very rich and very attractive Gideon. The great thing about this series is that both characters are super flawed and complex with a heavy past weighing both of them down. This causes a lot of conflict between the two.
Separate and together – amidst the romance and hot sexy scenes; both Eva and Gideon need to confront their wounds and heal from their traumas before carrying out a healthier version of their relationship.
13. “After” series by Anna Todd
The “After” series starts off as a college steamy romance. Good girl Tessa falls hard for bad boy Hardin, but things are more complicated than that. Hardin is untrustworthy and Tessa has a childhood boyfriend. Quickly, a dramatic story unfolds.
Although this series has some chunky books – they are so quick to read due to the drama and all of the back and forward scenes between the couple.
I remember being 14-15 and binge reading the first three books when they were online on the Wattpad platform under One Direction fan fiction – and I enjoyed every single moment of it.
They are such guilty pleasure reads!
14. “Anna and the French Kiss” series by Stephanie Perkins
“Anna and the French Kiss” is a young adult trilogy. The books are only related through its side characters.
The first book, “Anna and the French Kiss” follows Anna as she moves from Atlanta, US all the way to a boarding school in Paris, France.
There, she makes friends and falls hard for this beautiful, swoon worthy French boy named Étienne St. Clair. But things are complicated as Étienne has a girlfriend and the only other friend she has at the boarding is a girl that also has a crush on Étienne…
15. “Me Before You” series by Jojo Moyes
“Me Before You” is yet another trilogy, and a heartbreaking one at that.
The first book “Me Before You” follows Louisa Clark who is upbeat and quirky. She takes a much-needed job in her village that consists of taking care of a handsome young man named Will, who is paraplegic from a recent accident.
Slowly, they form a friendship that takes on a deeper turn. They both change each other’s lives in groundbreaking ways.
Once again, the first book “Me Before You” has been adapted into a movie.
I hope you enjoyed this of 15 romance books for Valentine’s Day! 💞
Let me know if you’ve read any of these books, and if not, what are some of your all-time favourite romance books!