10 Classic Romance Books to Read This Valentine’s Day

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Ditch the dozen red roses (they’ll wilt anyway)! This Valentine’s Day, skip the crowded restaurants and overpriced chocolates and instead curl up with a classic romance book that will steal your heart. We’re talking about the kind of love stories that have stood the test of time, filled with characters so real they’ll leap off the page and into your dreams. Imagine witty banter that sparks like fireworks, forbidden love that defies all odds, and happily ever afters that leave you sighing with contentment. From tear-jerking tragedies to swoon-worthy adventures, these 10 literary gems offer an escape into worlds where love truly conquers all. So grab your comfiest PJs, brew a pot of your favourite tea, and get ready to fall head over heels for heroes and heroines who’ll redefine your understanding of romance. Trust us, these timeless tales are way more exciting than a heart-shaped pizza (and probably cheaper too). Let’s turn the page on Valentine’s Day clichés and celebrate love in the most literary way possible!

As Cupid strikes, one cannot help but be smitten and taken with the romantic, rose-filtered winds of the season. Getting into the spirit of the season, a few brooded upon yet well-chosen words for you all on the occasion of the “Love Day” of the year:

And people say sound and light have the maximum pace in the cosmos.
“Nah, what a lie. What crawlers they are,
For the alacrity of love is such that.
Even the blinking of an eye
Is but greater than an eternity.
Even the flutter of a single blade of grass
Is but an exponentiation of infinity.
For love, all it takes is just a beat.
A beat so swift, that it surpasses the promptitude of all celerity…

@Love #BeyondGodspeed \ Rekha Bhagtani

Well, so much for the essence of love. Now, coming to our usual great bookish recommendations is what I thought of getting for you all today. Yeah, you guessed it right, peeps. I’m presenting 10 classic romance books to read this Valentine’s Day:

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The beautiful, scintillating love story of Noah and Allie—this one true to the word—is a deeply moving portrait of pure love itself. What changes transpire in one’s life, how they affect us, the miracles, and the emotions—this is one book that is sure to stay with us forever. Aching and enduring, the backdrop of the story flits between the pre- and post-war periods. This one is such a heartwarming read, advocating how true love does return to a person in the course of their lives.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

A Gothic novel, this one follows Heathcliff, the anti-hero who tries to avenge people who keep him away from his love, Cathy Earnshaw. As the tale proceeds and culminates, we see him finally succeeding in his revenge as well as gaining Thrushcross Grange, which is the family home of Cathy’s husband. Considered one of the greatest novels of all time, this one nevertheless garnered a lot of controversial acclaim as well, owing to its depictions of mental and physical cruelty as well as the caste system. However, one cannot deny the intensity of love—wild and passionate to the point of being destructive in this one. Seductively romantic, if you ask me.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

A classic early version of romantic comedy, this one revolves around affection, loyalty, and having a great conscience rather than social advancement, wealth, and class. Centering around the life of Pip, an orphan who, thanks to a generous patron, was given “great expectations” of becoming a gentleman. The story follows Pip’s development and his reactions to the world around him. Ambition and self-improvement garbed in the nuances of romance—now this is one enticing combo, isn’t it?

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Treating themes of ageing, love, and death, this tale takes place between the late 1870s and the early 1930s in a South American community that is troubled by wars as well as outbreaks of cholera. Originally published in Spanish, this is surely one book that beautifully captures the essence of the human heart as well as the mind. Encapsulating the conflicts between the traditions linked to religious values and the desires of people, this one revolves around Latin American characters. There is a brilliant juxtaposition between creed and passion here.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Essentially labelled a “tragedy,” this one is nevertheless technically the “mother” of all love stories. Written by Shakespeare early in his career, this tale revolves around two Italian youths from feuding families. These two characters, Romeo and Juliet, have made such an iconic presence throughout history that they are now deemed the archetypal young lovers of the century. Stretching back to antiquity, did you guys know that this one is based on an Italian tale written by Matteo Bandello and translated initially by Arthur Brooke? While Shakespeare technically borrowed heavily from both of these, he nevertheless expanded the plot by adding several supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. A phenomenal read!

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Set during the era of the American Civil War, this is primarily a tale of starvation, the nuances of civil war, murder, heartbreak, and slavery, along with love. Often placed in the subgenre of the historical romance novel, though many argue that primarily there was a love story at the heart of the narrative since the work mainly carried forth feminism, this could well be placed upon the record as an intense read laced with romance.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Following the main protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with mannerism issues, upbringing, education, morality, and marriage issues in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency, there are multiple themes in this one, ranging from family, wealth, and social class, as well as pride and prejudice. Setting the pattern for a modern-day love tale, the tale revolves around Elizabeth, an independent-minded, fascinating woman who is loved by a powerful man. Starting from hostility, this is your classic enemies-to-lovers read of the classic times.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

A Gothic novel, this is the story of a young woman who impetuously marries a wealthy widower before discovering that he and his household are haunted by the memory of his late first wife, Rebecca. One might say that this one has some great atmospheric and psychological horror infused in a melodrama, yet the jealousy portrayed in the tale and the romance that ensues between the pair add such seductive and dark lines to it that, um, you have to read this side of love too, guys, to know its complete paradigms, right?

Middlemarch by George Eliot

A book that explores the dynamics of marriage and social class in 19th-century England, this one has a huge interplay of characters, including the main tale revolving around Dorothea and Dr. Lydgate. Revolving around the search for marriage and also highlighting its imperfections, this one depicts how people act and the consequences of their actions, as well as the judgement of society on their actions. Finding the correct balance in one’s life is the central theme in this one. Oh yeah, this one is not your strictly romantic story, but it explores multiple themes alongside it too.

Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

As Whitney Stone returns from a triumphant time in Paris to England, where she plans to marry her childhood sweetheart, she discovers she has been “promised” away by her bankrupt father to the alluring Clayton Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Although outraged, she does her best to defy her new “lord,” and whether she remains successful in doing so, you’ve got to read it to find out. Prepare to laugh and cry with this one, as this is one love story that you can surely read and dream about “forever.” A truly delightful and captivating read.

So there you have it, bookworms and hopeless romantics alike! These 10 classic novels are your literary bouquet for Valentine’s Day, guaranteed to set your heart aflutter without requiring an internet connection or reservations. Whether you crave witty repartee, breathtaking settings, or forbidden love that burns hotter than a dragon’s breath, there’s a story here waiting to sweep you off your feet (and maybe make you shed a tear or two—but hey, happy tears are allowed!). So grab your favourite reading nook, pour yourself a glass of something bubbly (or your beverage of choice), and get ready to fall in love with the written word all over again. Because, let’s face it, sometimes the best love stories are found between the pages of a book, waiting to be discovered by curious hearts like yours. Happy reading, and don’t forget to share your favourite classic romance books in the comments below! Remember, Valentine’s Day may be just one day, but the power of a great love story lasts a lifetime. Until next time, may your literary journeys be filled with passion, adventure, and happily ever afters!

Do drop in the comments, peeps, and tell us which classic romance books you have read and which ones you are planning to read this Valentine’s Day or during the entire season of love. Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul for the best in the fields of entertainment, food, fun, finance, fashion, travel, tech, gadgets, and all things bookish. Till then, may the grace of Cupid surely strike you “hard” this Valentine’s Day.

Adios Amigos!

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Bohemian Bibliophile

Keyword: Classic Romance Books | Romance books to read | Classic Romance | Classic Books

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22 Comments

  1. Ambica Gulati February 16, 2024 at 7:16 am

    I just re-read Gone With The Wind. I have Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Judith McNaught on my list. I just dusted out Rebecca from my collection, some day when I have completed my bucket list, I will go back to it.

    Reply
  2. Cindy DSilva February 16, 2024 at 10:51 am

    Nice ones. I’m looking for Gone with the Wind, and I’m currently reading Wuthering Heights though it’s a bit tough.

    Reply
  3. Pamela Mukherjee February 16, 2024 at 4:53 pm

    Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez This is on my bucket list. I’m going to read it soon. I loved the detailed commentary on the romantic novels. This is a great list for romantic readers like me.

    Reply
    1. Swati Mathur February 20, 2024 at 10:59 am

      I was thinking what’s next and here I get to choose from so many books that too from one of my favorite genre. Read three of them from your list , will pick few and add in my TBR list. thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  4. Priya Singh February 18, 2024 at 10:39 pm

    I’ve read like 5 books out of your list and they all have been amazing. I might take your suggestion on reading the rest. Thank you 😊

    Reply
  5. Sivaranjini Anandan February 18, 2024 at 10:59 pm

    classic recommendations but I think the best to make anyone feel the love. Timeless love experiences are so well written that they make anyone feel the love.

    Reply
  6. Anjali Tripathi February 19, 2024 at 1:07 am

    I really like your idea of skipping the usual Valentine’s Day stuff and diving into a good romance book instead. “The Notebook” sounds like a sweet story with characters I’d love to get to know. Thanks for the recommendations. This is Indeed a great list for romantic readers like me.

    Reply
  7. Varsh February 19, 2024 at 9:44 am

    Have read quite a few from this list. The old world charm in these classics is something else. Will check out Rebecca and Whitney, my Love.

    Reply
  8. Kaveri Chhetri February 19, 2024 at 1:43 pm

    Lovely list Rekha, and it is a nice idea to ditch the regular stuff n sit at home reading a book on V day.

    Except the last 3, I’ve read the rest and thank God you featured The Notebook on your list… I’ve cried n cried n cried reading that🙈.
    I want to read Gone with the Wind again as I’d read it when I was really young… but the size of the book is what’s holding me back😀

    Reply
  9. Docdivatraveller February 19, 2024 at 3:08 pm

    Pride and Prejudice, wuthering heights, these are few of my favourite classics. rest I have watched the movie versions. that’s a really great compilation.

    Reply
  10. Shifali February 19, 2024 at 4:23 pm

    Nice collection of books. I have read few of them and it is really worth the read.

    Reply
  11. Madhu Bindra February 19, 2024 at 4:32 pm

    These ebooks are the ones that have always been popular. I have read all of them so many times.

    Reply
  12. Madhu Bindra February 19, 2024 at 4:32 pm

    These classic books are the ones that have always been popular. I have read all of them so many times.

    Reply
  13. Ishieta February 19, 2024 at 6:12 pm

    What a lovely idea, curling up with a book – self-love at its best 🙂
    A classic selection indeed, i believe everyone who reads has heard of these books, and this is a good reminder to go read them if you havent yet.

    Reply
  14. Aditya Sathe February 19, 2024 at 7:27 pm

    I tried my chance with the English classics but couldn’t get along with them. After reading this, I feel like giving it another try…

    Reply
  15. Kanchan Singh February 19, 2024 at 8:28 pm

    I absolutely love the refreshing take on Valentine’s Day in this blog! It’s such a delightful departure from the usual clichés, offering readers a chance to celebrate love in a more meaningful and literary way. The suggestion to cozy up with a classic romance novel instead of opting for the typical roses and chocolates is brilliant. It’s like giving the gift of timeless love stories that transport you to different worlds and eras.

    Reply
  16. Neha Sharma February 19, 2024 at 10:04 pm

    Wow, what a fantastic list of classic romance novels! I’ve read a few, but there are definitely some gems here that I’ll be adding to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendations! Can’t wait to dive into these timeless love stories.

    Reply
  17. Raghav February 19, 2024 at 10:22 pm

    I’m more of a movie person when it comes to fiction. but I’ll definitely share the list with my spouse.

    Reply
  18. Leha February 20, 2024 at 10:29 am

    Timeless classics, all of them! Good choices. I really want to read Love in the Time of Cholera

    Reply
  19. sadvik kylash February 20, 2024 at 1:02 pm

    I have read The Notebook! Such such a lovely book it was. And much thanks for the recommendations. I wouldlove to get my hand son them

    Reply
  20. Janaki February 20, 2024 at 5:34 pm

    Have read some, haven’t read some. This is a lovely curation. I had never looked up Great Expectations as one connected to V day, so that surprised me. Added some to my TBR. Thanks for the list.

    Reply
  21. Prasanna Raghavan February 22, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    I have read a few on your list: Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind (I forgot it all being such a story with many characters in the middle of a war), and Romeo and Juliet as a textbook. An excellent option out of the expensive Valentine’s gifts, why not? Fly high in the fictional world of love!

    Reply

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