We’re all about love and Valentine’s Day – but we’re also mindful of the fact that not everyone celebrates it, or has a significant other or a date secured for the evening.
That said, it’s okay to stay home and treat yourself. And what better way than with a good old romance novel?
Just because Cupid’s arrow hasn’t yet found its way to your heart, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still remain hopeful.
So, whether you want to get one as a love gift for your V-Day crush, or be transported on Cupid’s wings by the penning of some of the best romance novels yet written, we have compiled a list of books for you to add to your list.
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central
Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling novel became a 2004 motion picture box office hit and is set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast.
The book centres on Noah Calhoun’s regular visits to a nursing home where he reads to one of the elderly residents from an old, faded notebook containing the sweeping account of a young couple whose love affair was tragically halted after their separation in the midst of World War II.
Almost a decade later, they are reunited and are unable to resist the call of a second chance. Sparks’ offering is a hauntingly beautiful portrait of love and miracles.
Author: F Scott Fitzgerald
Publisher: Independent Publisher’s Group
F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic about ambition, love and tragedy, in addition to garnering some of the biggest literary awards, was turned into an epic motion picture, thanks to the creative foresight of director Baz Luhrmann.
Fitzgerald’s novel has captivated readers for over half a century, and continues to strike the sentimental and emotional heart strings of anyone who picks up this book.
The story revolves around Nick Carraway, who spends a summer in the 1920s, at the height of jazz and flapper girls era, living in a cheap rental, surrounded by lavish mansions on Long Island.
Considered essential reading for high school kids, this one is also essential reading for anyone who loves a literary masterpiece.
Author: Helen Fielding
Publisher: Penguin Books
A true modern-day classic, Bridget Jones’s Diary is undoubtedly one of those perfect books that is hilarious, sweet, tender and real. For once, the heroine is messy, a little convoluted, worn down, confident and completely human.
Since being released in the 1990s, this tale has hardly aged and the first introduction to the chain-smoking hard-drinking Londoner remains profound, especially for new generations picking up the story.
What originally started as an acerbic column in Britain turned into a book that gives insight into love, family and ultimately accepting yourself (without dieting).
Written much in the style of Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole series, it’s British at its best.
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: Penguin Classics
One of the best original love stories about a 19th-century young woman from the fictional British town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, Elizabeth Bennet.
Elizabeth comes from a family that is going through hard times due to Mr Bennet’s failure to budget for his many daughters’ dowries. He is determined to have all five of his daughters married off as soon as possible.
Based in an era when good breeding, societal standing, wealth and class mean everything, the novel explores the theme of falling in love with a person who’s considered above second-born Elizabeth’s station.
She falls for the prejudiced and ‘classist’ Mr Darcy, who at first comes across as the ultimate unpleasant snob.
Darcy struggles to adapt to small-town life and the general demeanour of its inhabitants and, most of all, his growing feelings for Elizabeth.
The novel was published in 1813 and is a timeless classic.
Author: John Green
Yes, it’s teen literature, but it’s also a novel meant to remind readers of how special life is, and how their lives matter in the grand scheme of things.
Perhaps you will impact just one person, maybe a million. But, most of all, The Fault in Our Stars is a reminder that it’s okay to fall in love, head-over-heels, and that love can cause pain.
This funny, tear-jerking and ultimately inspiring novel is about how people meet, interact, and need to step outside their comfort zones. It’s also a reminder about the highs and lows of life. It is romance in its highest literary form.
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Readers are first introduced to the character of 21-year-old Emma Woodhouse as young, strong-willed, wealthy and intelligent. She lives with her father and is slightly overconfident, perhaps a little bit spoiled, with too much time on her hands.
Lack of things to do leads her to believe she’s a brilliant matchmaker and she decides to play town Cupid. Her family is against her meddling, but that doesn’t deter her.
After a few disasters, from failed love matches to mishaps, Emma starts to fall for Mr John Knightley – her sister’s brother-in-law. The story unfolds in a humorous and entertaining manner.
Emma is rebellious and stubborn, and her character constantly gets her into uncomfortable situations. Her budding and awkward relationship with Knightly will melt the heart and tickle the mind.
Austen loves to explore the characteristics of complicated women and while Emma appears to be simple, she is multifaceted. Emma is in the process of personal growth and this self-discovery could be the reason the novel has resonated with audiences down the years.
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