My Dear Valentine
The romance novel is by far the most popular genre in modern literature, which is a fact that nobody can deny. Nowadays there are rows and rows of them on the shelves of every bookstore, but contrary to what some might think, this is nothing new. Romance novels have been beloved since at least the nineteenth century, and the older examples in our list, which includes both young and old, are a testament to the timelessness of this exciting genre.
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Probably the most famous romantic book ever written, Jane Austen’s classic tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her difficult relationship with the aloof and intelligent Mr. Darcy.
Despite the feelings that they have for one another, both of them must overcome certain aspects of their own personalities before they can truly be together.
2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina is not only a story of love and passion, but belongs on lists of the greatest novels of any genre. The title character is a woman whose romantic feelings for her lover are undercut by societal pressures and her own insecurities, and the book is a long account of the emotional turmoil that she endures.
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
A female protagonist that women from all walks of life have found profoundly moving for over a century, Jane Eyre is a heroine that must ultimately choose between her desire to be with the man she loves and the morals that form the core of her character. Readers can hardly put down this book, as the dramatic story found within is enchanting from the first page.
4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
This influential romance novel is one of the primary examples of several plot devices that are now considered staples of the genre: a modern heroine gets thrown back in time to nineteenth-century Scotland, falls in love with a rugged highlander, and the two of them must endure trial after trial in order to stay together. Outlander is the first in a series that has been extremely well-received by fans.
5. Love Story by Erich Segal
The title of this 1970 novel says it all. Now considered a classic, it details the timeless story of a young couple in love, who marry against the wishes of their families. Together, they must endure struggle, hardship, and tragedy. A movie adaptation, written by the same author, came out shortly after the book itself.
6. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
A bestseller that launched the career of the now much-celebrated Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook is based on the true story of his wife’s grandparents. A nostalgic tale that takes place mostly during the years of World War II, it sends the message that true love never fades and always takes as much time as it needs.
7. PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
This story takes a unique approach to romance by having it take place through the eyes of an Irish woman who is mourning her dead lover. Through a series of letters he wrote while still alive, he guides her through her feelings and helps her to move forward and to reinvent her life.
8. The Moon-Spinners by Mary Stewart
An exotic adventure set in Greece, The Moon-Spinners blends the elements of romance and suspense to create a gripping story. Mary Stewart is famous for making readers feel as though they themselves are traveling to the locations she describes. Walt Disney himself was a fan of the book, and made it into a live-action movie in 1964.
9. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Twilight is a controversial book, with a legion of adoring fans worshipping its author even as critics snub the series. The story of Bella Swan and her enigmatic vampire lover, Edward Cullen, has grown even more popular since a series of successful movie adaptations. Love it or hate it, Twilight has certainly had a profound influence on modern popular culture.
10. Naked in Death by J. D. Robb
Not only a love story, but also a science-fiction murder mystery, this book is the first in a series of novels credited to J. D. Robb, a pen name of well-known romance author Nora Roberts. The heroine is a police investigator in the 2050s, trying to get to the bottom of a murder while clues keep pointing to the man she’s falling in love with.
I don't know if I agree with all of these that are on this list but I guess I can't judge since I haven't read all of these books listed!
Until next time, keep curling up with a good book...