Valentine’s Day reads: Timeless love stories to celebrate romance

Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with our list of romantic reads – from ‘The Notebook’ to ‘Bridgerton’.

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Everyone enjoys a good love story and what better time to lose yourself in a romantic read than Valentine’s Day?

We have compiled a list of our favourite romance novels from over the years, some being old classics while others are more recent releases.

Whether you are a reader that loves young adult fiction, or someone who enjoys historical fiction, this list will have something for every bookworm to enjoy this Valentine’s Day.

‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook - Valentine’s Day reads: Timeless love stories to celebrate romance
Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling star in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ ‘The Notebook’.

What list of love stories would be complete without Nicholas Sparks’ modern classic The Notebook?

This, already widely loved historical fiction novel has been adapted into a critically acclaimed feature film starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.

Plot summary

Set within the beauty of the North Carolina coastline, begins the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner who has recently returned from the Second World War. He is restoring an old plantation home to its former glory, and is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier.

Unable to find her after all this time, yet unwilling to forget the one summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only his memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

‘Take a Hint, Dani Brown’ by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert returns with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral…

Comedy meets romance in this hilarious and heart-warming tale that teaches the lesson: Sometimes you just have to take a hint.

Plot summary

Danika Brown knows what she wants: a successful career, academic fame, and the occasional romantic encounter . But love? Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and at worst they are a drain. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who would be there for her but would not take over her life.

When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along because his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Dani’s plan is simple: show the world they are in a “real” relationship, while getting on with her own life. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to make Dani’s heart melt.

‘Bridgerton’ by Juila Quinn

The Netlix series that took the world by storm, Bridgerton, is actually based on a book series by Julia Quinn. Fans of the series will be happy to know that they don’t have to say goodbye to their favourite characters just yet, because there are eight books all about the extravagant escapades of one very unique family.

Plot Summary

The Duke and I is the first book in the series and is filled with not only dreamy romance and quirky characters, but also with beautiful writing, making it the perfect book to pick up this Valentine’s Day.

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Book one of the Bridgerton series features Daphne Bridgerton, the fourth-eldest sibling. Daphne is kind, witty, and nurturing, but no one considers her marriage material, mainly because she’s never been afraid to speak her mind and refuses to act like the perfect and submissive wife.

When Daphne agrees to take part in a fake courtship with the Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset, love is the last thing on both of their minds. But despite how much they try to pretend, the two end up developing very real feelings for each other, and Daphne’s life is forever changed.

‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Beforeby Jenny Han

Another book series that has been adapted into a very successful movie franchise is New York Times best-selling author Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series. This coming-of-age story is both sweet and relatable.

It will have you feeling all the emotions along with our heroine Lara Jean and will warm your heart.

Plot summary

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed.

But one day, Lara Jean 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 these letters after all.

‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen

Arguably one of the best-known love stories, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is the gift that keeps giving. Not only has this timeless romance been adapted onto the silver screen numerous times, the original book seems to get even more romantic with time.

So, snuggle up for a cosy evening in the wonderful world of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.

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Bookishly

Plot Summary

Set in a small English village during 1812, this classic novel will enchant you with witty characters and beautiful writing.

Elizabeth Bennet lives with her mother, father and sisters in the English countryside. As one of the eldest daughters, she faces mounting pressure from her parents to marry. When the outspoken Elizabeth is introduced to the handsome and upper-class Mr Darcy, sparks fly. Although there is obvious chemistry between the two, Darcy’s overly reserved nature threatens their delicate relationship.

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