Love comes in all forms, from all places and it crosses all eras. This eclectic mix of romantic books has one unifying element… love.
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
No, not The Notebook. This marginally lesser-known novel by the incredible Mr. Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me, is a love story of no less emotion. The story follows Amanda and Dawson, two high school students who fall in love in early 1980s Louisiana despite their radically different backgrounds. One tragic evening, a scuffle results in an accidental shooting, thrusting young Dawson behind bars. Despite daily visits to the prison, Dawson shuns Amanda, sure that her life would be better without him in it. But fate has other ideas. A quarter of a century later, a mutual friend’s funeral draws them back to the small southern town where it all happened. In one fateful weekend, they are reunited and forced to confront the question – “What if…?”
Read if: You want to believe in true love
Best for: Doing the ugly cry
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
Fast becoming a modern classic, Me Before You is a gut-wrenching tale of unlikely love. Destiny takes charge when endearingly goofy Louisa Clark (Lou) accepts a job caring for wealthy Will Traynor, who is tragically confined to a wheelchair after a motorcycle accident. Stand-offish at first, wry Will soon warms to hapless Lou and the two fall in love. The tides turn when Lou discovers Will’s plan to travel to Switzerland to end his life, which had become unbearable before their paths crossed. Will their love cause a miracle…? Well, you’ll just have to read it and find out.
Read if: You want to feel all the feels
Best for: Doing the ugly cry some more
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
A series of eight books, historical romance Outlander – just like The Best of Me and Me Before You – has been brought to the screen to move readers and viewers alike. The story follows World War II nurse Claire Randall, who takes a second honeymoon with her husband in Scotland, only to find herself in a stone circle that unexpectedly catapults her back in time to the 1800’s (as you do). There, Claire falls for Jamie of Clan MacKenzie. With too many twists and turns to fully explain succinctly, what you need to know is this; the seamless fusion of historical fiction, sci-fi and romance shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does. This is a must-read if you want a beautiful, sweeping love story delivered in a completely fresh way.
Read if: You love a Scottish highland romance fused with time travel
Best for: Enjoying a none-traditional love story
I can’t allow this list to draw to a close without two honorary mentions.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, in which an unlikely romance taking place in India after an Australian bank robber flees his home country. And finally, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, an enchanting story set to the backdrop of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, told through the eyes of the women of medieval Camelot.
So pour yourself a hot cup of tea, snuggle in and get ready to read romance spanning the ages. Enjoy!