When was the last time you read something that truly warmed your heart? We’re talking suck-you-in can’t-put-it-down GOOD?
Modern romance novels contain much more than "happily ever after" these days. No longer just your average girl-meets-boy story, the billion-dollar romance fiction industry has enough sub-genres to keep a diverse, loyal fan base happy. There is literally something for everyone.
Most romance readers start early and grow up addicted to the genre. They either grabbed a paperback off of mom’s shelf, or squirreled one away to a quiet corner of a library, forming their lifelong habit. For me it was a book found discarded on a bookshelf in our living room. The book was Menfreya in the Morning by Victoria Holt and it had it all - mystery, history, suspense, and most importantly, the promise of the headstrong heroine finding her one true love. My teenage self was instantly hooked and gobbled up every Victoria Holt novel the public library had in circulation.
From contemporary to fantasy, there’s an abundance of options for every type of romantic. If you like to laugh, cry, swoon or sweat, there’s a romance novel out there for you.
In the spirit of the month of love, I offer this taste of some romantic reads that await your beck and call.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander blends rich historical fiction with riveting adventure and a truly epic love story between Clair Randall, a former combat nurse in 1945 and Jamie Fraser, a gallant Scots warrior from 1743. Claire, recently back from war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon, walks through a standing stone in the Scottish Highlands. Suddenly she finds herself an “outlander” in a war-torn Scotland in 1743. Marooned amid danger, passion and violence Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie. She soon finds herself torn between two very different men and two irreconcilable lives.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Hands-down my favorite romance novel of all time! Published in 1847, Jane Eyre is a love story between the courageous orphan Jane Eyre and the brilliant, brooding, and domineering Edward Rochester. The loneliness and cruelty of Jane’s upbringing strengthens her natural independence and spirit, which prove to be important when she takes a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But after she falls in love with her employer, her discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a difficult choice.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
A fantastically written and emotional book. Technically considered a young adult novel, The Fault in Our Stars appeals to all age groups. 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster was diagnosed at age thirteen with a terminal form of thyroid cancer that has since spread to her lungs. She keeps most people in her life at a distance, knowing her death will ultimately hurt them. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
This young adult novel is so wildly popular that it sparked two sequels and a Netflix movie. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a sweet, funny, and heart-warming story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but rather wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. One day she discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of the letters after all.
About the writer
Blogger. Marketer. Native Fredericktonian. Jen’s passions include community service, running marathons and waxing poetic about the tortured soul of Professor Snape. Rarely found without her nose in a book (or her iPhone), you can find her musing about life on the East Coast at PursuitOfItAll.com