I read in multiple genres, but for me nothing is quite as satisfying as an epic romance. Recently, I decided to do an online search in hopes of finding some suggestions for a romance novel that would leave me with the ultimate *book hangover. While searching, it occurred to me that it would be fun to compile a list of my favorite romance novels of all time and share it in a blog post. The list below is of my absolute favorites. There are many more, but these are the ones that have stayed in my heart.
So here goes . . . my list of best romance novels (these are in no particular order)
- The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon: Jamie and Claire’s love story is like no other. The passion between them is palpable. It helps that the storylines in the series create so much tension between the two main characters. Never have two people loved each other as much as Jamie and Claire, but never have two people faced such incredible odds to being together. The plot is complex, but basically it’s about an Englishwoman who accidentally travels 200 years back in time and falls in love with a Scottish Highlander, even though she is already married in her present time. Despite the hardships of life in the 1700s, when Claire is given a chance to return to the future she chooses to remain with Jamie.
- The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer: People have strong opinions about Twilight – they seem to either love it or hate it. I fully admit to being a fan. Bella is a shy, awkward introvert who nobody notices until she captures Edward’s attention. Meanwhile, Edward is a lonely immortal, the only one in his “family” who hasn’t found his soulmate, until he meets Bella. The second book introduces a complication and a love triangle, but to me it was obvious who Bella was meant to be with. It was impossible not to get swept up in the deep and abiding love the main characters have for each other.
- The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole: Like Twilight, this series features a love triangle, but unlike Twilight I could never decide who I was rooting for. One moment I felt certain I was team Death, then the next I was all about Jack. I love the way the author was able to create such strong, but different, connections between the main character, Evie, and both love interests. I also loved the post-apocalyptic setting and the creativity of the storyline. When an apocalyptic event practically destroys the world, Evie and Jack struggle to survive. They come from completely opposite backgrounds but are drawn to each other from the moment they meet. Evie eventually learns that she has special powers, but she’s not the only one. She represents the Empress from the Tarot card deck, while other main characters represent different cards and their features. They are meant to battle it out until only one remains. As the game unfolds, Evie learns that she has a special connection, built over lifetimes in which the game is played, with the character represented by the Death card.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: When Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy meet, neither of them forms the best first impression of each other. She finds him pompous and snobby, and he considers her to be beneath him. Despite his poor opinion of Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy finds himself drawn to her and eventually falls in love. Elizabeth’s poor opinion persists, and she rejects Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal. As time passes, Elizabeth realizes she may have misjudged Mr. Darcy. It is easy to dislike Mr. Darcy at first because of how uptight he is, but in this story, he slowly wins over Elizabeth and readers by his dedication to Elizabeth. (The BBC film adaptation is the best!)
Let me know in the comments section what you think of my list. And if you have any suggestions for one of your favorite epic romances, feel free to share!
*Book hangover: the inability to stop thinking about the book you just read, leaving you with a lack of desire to start another book because you just know it won’t be as good.