Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you are married, coupled up or single, we can all have our fill of romance by escaping into the pages of romantic stories. I am not a very romantic person myself, but If you want to woo me, give me a book over flowers anytime.
The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite books (the movie is great, too!) It has everything you could want, adventure, romance, humor and let's not forget the R.O.U.S...
What makes Emma a wonderfully romantic story to me, is the fact that she and Mr. Knightley are closer to being equal than the couples in many of Austen's other books. She does not need to be rescued by him, but rather chooses him as he chooses her. The book is witty and fun, and though Emma makes her fair share of blunders, I find her to be a wonderfully flawed and sassy character.
I have enjoyed all of Roisin Meaney's books, and this one on an island off the Irish coast, is my favorite. Her books are not your typical chick-lit and sometimes bring in more serious topics, but you can still expect a happy ending. One Summer is just the kind of book you want to take on holiday or read on a rainy day, when you just want to stay inside with a cozy story.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society may be a mouthful, but it is also one of my favorite books, and the sort of love story I can enjoy without cringing. The romance is wrapped up in history and mystery, and the epistolary nature of the novel really aids the slowly developing relationships.
It may seem odd to put a children's book on this list, but I loved Ella Enchanted when I first read it many years ago. It's a retelling of Cinderella, but Ella is sassier and more independent. Just a wonderful, timeless story of love, friendship and identity.
Bridget Jones Diary is a romantic modern classic. A relatable, clever story of a singleton trying to find her Prince Charming. It's at times irreverent, at times, laugh-out-loud funny and yet never too silly or off-the -mark. Absolutely recommended!
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is probably one of the darker books on this list, but it has its fair share of romance. The love story handles a number of hurdles, yet heroine, Helen, is independent and learns to speak and know her mind, which makes her one of the earlier feminist characters. It feels modern in many ways, and though it may not initially seem romantic, a couple that overcomes obstacles and learns to love one another is, to me, much more aspirational than the insta-love present in so many more overtly romantic novels.