Whatever season you find yourself in, settling down with a romance book can take you places you never dreamed of.
There are an eclectic array of romance novels and they are loved in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer the westerns, the historical romance, present-day slow burns, or a mix of each, romance is a story trend that never goes out of style.
From the original folk tale of Cinderella to, the bestselling novels on the New York Times list, romance is in.
In this article, we cover nine of the best romance books, part of why they are loved, and what sets them apart. Spoilers ahead, so consider this fair warning!
#1 – The Longest Ride
There are many tremendous books on the craft of writing, but sometimes it helps to see the rules applied, and broken, through fiction. Nicholas Sparks’ novel, The Longest Ride, intertwines two love stories into one novel. What could be better?
Sparks’ novel includes the time period of WW II and present-day, North Carolina. A New York Times bestseller, The Longest Ride tells the story of two couples who must overcome difficulties.
A cowboy, a stranded elderly man, and a college senior lead this story from the first page to last. A great summer read or book to pick up when winter seems like it won’t end.
#2 – The Mountain Between Us
The captivating book, now a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet, begins in Salt Lake City, Utah. Focused on the story of a surgeon named Ben and a writer named Ashley, The Mountain Between Us shares their journey through the wilderness in winter.
With nothing but pain, secrets, and love to keep them going, the two form a bond. However, tragedy is known to bring people together—but will it last?
The story of Ben and Ashley will keep you on the edge of your seat as you join them from freezing altitudes in a charter plane to the icy cold of a frozen lake. Reading this one at the beach may be a good offset to the spine-chilling, heart warming story that is Charles Martin’s The Mountain Between Us.
#3 – The Nightingale
Written by Kristen Hannah, The Nightingale is a number one New York Times bestseller, Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, and praised by People as “Powerful…an unforgettable portrait of love and war.”
This historical fiction follows the romance and hardship of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle. Set in France in 1939 in the village of Carriveau, it may not seem like the setting for a romance. However, when the Nazis invade France trucks and tanks fill the streets and planes fill the once blue sky, both love and war invade Carriveau. Vianne and Isabelle could not be more different, and each perspective presents a different point of view that adds depth and beauty to the story.
#4 – Submerged
The first novel in Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series is set in the quiet town of Yancey. However, when two deep-sea divers turn up dead, a sabatoged plane enters the story, protagonist Bailey Craig realizes she didn’t return home for only one funeral.
With a murderer in her hometown, a place Bailey vowed never to return to, she discovers her past walking back into her life—Cole McKenna. With Cole helping the police on the murder case and her own past blurring her vision, Bailey has to choose what to see and decide if Cole could be part of her future.
#5 – The Four Winds
Also by Kristen Hannah, The Four Winds is a riveting romance set during the drought of the Great Plains and the Texas Gold Rush. Elsa Wolcott marries Rafe Martinelli—hardly more than a stranger.
Fighting against her own choices, struggling through her marriage, and desperate to beat nature in the battle for her children’s lives, Elsa faces a perilous future. Caught in a dilemma, she must choose between her farm and her future, decide what will define her family, and if she will ever be able to love herself.
#6 – Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s classic is a must-have on this list! The Bennett’s are a family with five daughters—one must bear the weight of marrying rich in order to support the family. But when wealth takes the form of a bad first impression, pride enters society and prejudice fights for control, Elizabeth Bennett is left with a difficult choice.
A beloved novel and a case study on character, Pride and Prejudice will take you on a journey through the English countryside, to elegant balls, and through the highs and lows that are so prevalent when marriage is tied to the safety of a family.
#7 – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Both a Netlfix film and a New York Times bestseller, this heartwarming novel whisks you off to the island of Guernsey. With scenes set during the German Occupation tied together with Juliet Ashton’s new book project, this touching story will make you forget you’re reading.
The characters are as close to human as language can make them, a book club stars as a type of protagonist in the novel, and heartbreak and new love both make an appearance. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a novel for all seasons.
#8 – Crazy Rich Asians
Now an acclaimed major motion picture, Crazy Rich Asians is the story of New Yorker Rachel Chu. Her boyfriend Nicholas invites her Singapore to meet his family, she does not realize what she’s getting into.
In fact, rather than a relaxing vacation with her boyfriend, Rachel’s summer turns into a holiday of roadblocks between old money, new money, Nicholas’s relatives, and the social climbers she engages with.
Why? Well with the invitation, Rachel’s boyfriend didn’t quite explain he’s the wanted boyfriend of the country and his childhood home is more of a childhood castle. Forced to evaluate her priorities and her love, Rachel’s story is warm, hilarious, and will keep you turning pages.
#9 – Truly, Madly, Deeply
In love for the first time, a son’s decisions about the future divide his family in this fearless and This New York Times bestseller is the story of Tommy Baxter falling in love for the very first time. Set on becoming a police officer and in love with his girlfriend, everything should be going well for Tommy…but it’s not.
His girlfriend enters a life and death fight, and secrets turn Tommy’s world upside down. Now more than ever determined to fight injustice, Tommy’s story is one of romance, drama, and intrigue.
Your Turn: Did we miss one of the best romance books?
These nine stories barely dent the pile of loved romance stories. What are your favorite romances and why do they hold such a special place in your heart? Articulating the answers to these questions can help you not only enjoy your reading more but bump your writing to the next level.
Add these nine to your reading list, or make your own. Whatever you do, don’t forget to read like a writer and learn from authors a little further down the road!