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“I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this had always been enough.” The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks
Ah, love—the inspiration for many great stories! In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of our staff members’ favorite fictional romances. See how many you’ve read!
Fictional Romances We Love
1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
This classic and tragic book tells the tale of two passionate lovers separated by social class.
2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
An imaginative novel, this is the story of a man whose genetic disorder causes him to randomly travel in time—and his wife who is left to cope with his absences.
3. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
This witty young adult novel follows two teenage boys falling in and out of love against the background of an eclectic high school.
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Another classic, Pride and Prejudice follows a spunky and outspoken girl courted by a standoffish gentleman she finds odious. But could she have misjudged him?
5. Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
This winding tale unfolds against war and travesty as a Roman ruler takes up a passionate affair with an Egyptian queen.
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6. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (we couldn’t pick just one!)
Endlessly famous, this play devastatingly sees young lovers from warring families meet their tragic ends as they attempt to marry behind their parents’ backs.
7. The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise by Peter Abelard
A historical real-life romance between a renowned philosopher and his prize student, captured in a beautiful epistolary format.
8. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
This lyrical novel, set on the dramatic Italian Riviera, focuses on an impromptu summer romance between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ mansion.
9. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
A novel woven with family hardship, religious debate, and intense need to bear children, this innovative chronicle of what it means to be a modern lesbian is set to an original album by a friend of the author’s.
10. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
This moving story interweaves the narratives of young, intrepid Ada, forced to take over her father’s farm upon his sudden death—and her beloved, a Confederate soldier severely wounded and trying to get back home to her.
11. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Set in a dystopian world of human clones and questionable ethics, three best friends who love one another are forced to confront a convoluted past and hold onto the friendship it threatens.
12. Alex and Ada, a comic series by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
This innovative and beautifully illustrated comic book series centers upon the relationship between a lonely man and an intelligent Real Doll-esque robot that he falls in love with.
13. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Two misfits are engulfed by the powers and curiosities of first love—all the while constantly telling themselves and each other that first loves never last.
14. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
A striking view of the love between siblings, this story follows two twins who, though they were always incredibly close, fall out and go their separate ways—and then slowly, subtly, come back together.
15. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
This sentimental tearjerker follows an unlikely couple who just can’t stay away from each other—through decades of love and loss, dramatic right up to a heartbreaking end.
16. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
The meeting of two teenagers in an elevator that screeches to a halt during a blackout turns into an international romance—proving that love and home can coexist in a single person.
17. Dark Prince by Christine Feehan
This paranormal romance is the first of a long and addictive series that follows an unlikely couple with incredible powers through the throes of passion and war.
18. Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule
Written in 1964 and incredibly ahead of its time, this beautiful lesbian novel starts with a heartbroken and reserved divorcée meeting a younger, boisterous, free-spirited woman—and goes on to prove that opposites really do attract.
19. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
This time-honored Civil War-era saga is a portrait of a southern belle breaking all the rules of decorum to follow her heart.