Best Books: Romance

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Some days (okay, many days) I just enjoy listing. It’s enjoyable, for me, to list. Maybe I should make it into a visual artform. I noticed recently that I didn’t have a book set on my TBR for Valentine’s Day. Not that Valentine’s Day is the biggest deal, but the truth is I like to read about love and romance every now and again, just like I like to watch a great rom-com regularly. I usually avoid the romance genre because I associate it with bodice rippers and low-level-literature. But when I did a quick search of the best romance novels, I was surprised that the titles that rose to the top were classics, many of which are favorites of mine. This made me curious about all the other subgenres, like historical, paranormal, and YA. So I went ahead a made a bests-of list for you (and really, mostly for me. I can use this list for many Valentine’s Day weeks).

Note: I skipped the erotic romance category because I am not likely to read them (not that some of them didn’t sneak through. They probably did). As it is, there are probably a number of books on this list I won’t be interested in for various reasons of taste and time, and will skip reading. But it does give me a place to go to look for a romance when I’m in the mood for an epic love story. There are some really exciting titles on here.

  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte ***
  • Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy ***
  • Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez *(**)
  • North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • Emma, Jane Austen ***
  • Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen ***
  • Maurice, E. M. Forster
  • The Princess Bride, William Goldman *
  • Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy
  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte ***
  • Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare ***
  • Rebecca, Daphne de Maurier
  • Sonnets, Shakespeare ***
  • Love Poems, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning *
  • Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell *
  • The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
  • The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks
  • A Walk to Remember, Nicholas Sparks
  • Indigo, Beverly Jenkins
  • Ross Poldark, Winston Graham
  • Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
  • A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabel Allende
  • Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters
  • Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
  • Call Me Your Name, Andre Aciman
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang
  • When Katie Met Cassidy, Camille Perri
  • Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  • Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin
  • Red, White and Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston
  • The Hating Game, Sally Thorne
  • Normal People, Sally Rooney
  • Beach Read, Emily Henry
  • It Ends With Us, Colleen Hoover
  • The Proposal, Jasmine Guillory
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong
  • Kiss an Angel, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • Vision in White, Nora Roberts
  • Twilight, Stephanie Meyer *
  • Forever…, Judy Blume
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Jenny Han
  • The Selections, Keira Cass
  • Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
  • Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
  • Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Banjamin Alere Saenz
  • Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli
  • The Song of Achilles, Madeleine Miller *
  • More Happy Than Not, Adam Silvera
  • The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
  • The Grand Sophie, Georgette Heyer
  • Secrets of a Summer Night, Lisa Kleypas
  • Flowers from the Storm, Laura Kinsale
  • Lord of Scoundrels, Loretta Chase
  • Shanna, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
  • Morning Glory, Lavyrle Spencer
  • The Viscount Who Loved Me, Julia Quinn
  • Delaney’s Desert Sheikh, Brenda Jackson
  • Dark Lover, J. R. Ward
  • Bet Me, Jennifer Cruise
  • A Hunger Like No Other, Kresley Cole
  • Slave to Sensation, Nalini Singh
  • Devil in Winter, Lisa Kleypas
  • Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Sarah Maclean
  • The Dutchess Way, Courtney Milan
  • The Magpie Lord, KJ Charles
  • Tangled, Emma Chase
  • Glitterland, Alexis Hall
  • Ante Up, Christina C. Jones
  • Acting on Impulse, Mia Sosa
  • Hate to Want You, Alisha Rai
  • Long Shot, Kennedy Ryan
  • The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang
  • The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, Olivia Waite
  • Seven Days in June, Tia Williams
  • Love at First, Kate Clayborn
  • A Spot of Trouble, Teri Wilson
  • The Wedding Date, Jasmine Guillory
  • Meet Me in Paradise, Lilly Hubscher
  • Virgin River, Robyn Carr
  • Maggie Finds her Muse, Dee Ernst
  • The Lost and Found Necklace, Louisa Leaman
  • The Right Swipe, Alisha Rai
  • Heartbreaker, Julie Garwood
  • Twice Shy, Sarah Hogle
  • Once Ghosted, Twice Shy, Alyssa Cole
  • Mrs. Miracle, Debbie Macomber
  • Wolf Rain, Nalini Singh
  • The Passing Playbook, Isaac Fitzsimmons
  • A Bollywood Affair, Sonali Dev
  • Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
  • Book Lovers, Emily Henry (*)
  • Incense and Sensibility, Sonali Dev
  • The Roughest Draft, Emily Wibberly
  • Yinka, Where Is Your Husband?, Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
  • Arsenic and Adobo, Mia P. Manansala
  • A Special Place for Women, Laura Hankin
  • A Thorn in the Saddle, Rebekah Weatherspoon
  • Just Last Night, Mhairi McFarlane
  • An Extraordinary Union, Alyssa Cole
  • The Editor, Steven Rowley
  • The Siren, Katherine St. John
  • A Lot Like Adios, Alexis Daria
  • Verity, Colleen Hoover
  • Portrait of a Scotsman, Evie Dunmore
  • The Fastest Way to Fail, Denise Williams
  • So We Meet Again, Suzanne Park
  • By the Book, Jasmine Guillory
  • Payback’s a Witch, Lana Harper
  • A Week to Be Wicked, Tessa Dare

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