Even though I’m not really a romantic person, I love reading romances. Call it cliché because every other twenty-something female seems to enjoy romance as well, but there’s something about delving into other characters’ romances that is so appealing to me. I love reading characters’ interactions and their first kisses and the stories of their love. It’s the perfect scenario for someone who, like me, has trouble in the relationship department.
Inspired by Valentine’s Day, I decided I’d talk about books in which the romances made my heart flutter. These books might not necessarily be my favorite books (though some of them are), the romance aspect of the book definitely touched me, and I figured it would be worth sharing.
Of course, I’d recommend any book on this list.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Obviously I’d choose this book. Obviously. Not only is it on my list of favorite books, but the sarcastic, yet sweet romance between Augustus and Hazel is absolutely perfect. Even though the main characters have cancer and deal with all the horrible things that revolve around having cancer, the playfulness and the overall relationship between these two characters (even when it was platonic) is everything that I dream of having in a relationship. It’s a perfect read and a perfect love story by my favorite, John Green.
After Series by Anna Todd
People will tell you that the main male character in this book is abusive, and to a certain extent, I can see where people would see that. However, I adore the love that is between main characters Hardin and Tessa. The way Hardin cares for Tessa and would literally do anything for her melts my heart. And Tessa’s loyalty to Hardin even when he’s in a rough patch in sweet and heartwarming. Even though this book has been compared to Fifty Shades and though people throw it under the bus daily, I enjoy the love between Hardin and Tessa. Parts of this series was so heart wrenching that I had to put the book down just to process what was happening. That is what defines a great book and a great romance.
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
I believe this was the first Sarah Dessen book that I ever read, and I’ve almost read all of them. This book…this book and this relationship. It’s amazing. The main characters Macy (which happens to be my sister’s name) and Wes are perfect. When I read this book, I was in high school, and I felt like Macy was written for me. I felt like Sarah Dessen knew me personally and wrote about me and created Wes to change my life. When I read this book, Wes was everything I wanted in a man. To this day, this is my favorite Sarah Dessen book and relationship. Though Sarah Dessen’s books are marketed toward teenage girls, this relationship would be suitable for anyone of any age to read. It’s just that amazing.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
I love Eleanor and Park in this novel. Their relationship is so out of the ordinary and complex, yet simple at the same time. I love how the book dealt with nontraditional characters with difficult lives and told their slow, eventual love story. When reading this book, I remember loving how different Eleanor was from most female protagonists, and how Park was the perfect blend of timid yet completely sweet. I love how things didn’t exactly end happily ever after, yet in a way, the sort of did. It’s one of the sweetest relationships I’ve ever read. It definitely conveys the experiences of first love in a way that I can only dream about writing.
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
I believe this book might’ve been my first introduction to the New Adult genre. I’d found it in a local Goodwill, and judging off the cover, I bought it. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. From the very first page, this book held my attention. The romance between Callie and Kayden is one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking, keep you on your toes romances I’ve ever read. Callie and Kayden come from two completely different lives, but their tragic pasts bring them together and make them such a strong team. Even though the sex in the novel would probably turn off most scholars, the writing and the relationship and the entire plot is wonderful. Everything about this book, especially the romance, is wonderful. So is the author Jessica Sorensen.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
When I first saw this book (either online or in Barnes and Noble) it looked exactly like the kind of book I’d enjoy. However, me being me, I waited until I found it in Goodwill before purchasing. Luckily, about a year and a half ago, I found it waiting for me. It didn’t disappoint in the slightest. The romance between Samantha and Jase is sweet and cute and everything I would expect in a YA book. However, I was interested the entire time. Something about forbidden romances, no matter how cliché, excite me. This was no exception. It was a quick read with a cute romance. I loved the way that Jase and Samantha cared for each other. I loved the way that despite their differences, their love for each other kept them together. I love that despite it being a YA book, it included the realities of sex and physical love. It was amazing from beginning to end.
Losing It by Cora Carmack
This is another New Adult book that is absolutely delicious. I can’t explain why, but for some reason, romances between teachers and their students (preferably at the college level) are interesting to me, and I adore reading books based around this scenario. As soon as I read on the back of the book that this was the plot of the book, I immediately bought it. As the title suggests, it’s about a girl seeking to lose her virginity, and the guy she almost loses it to turns out to be her college professor. The romance, the sneaking around, the coy flirtatiousness, and the overall suspense of the novel was a gem. I loved the chemistry between the two main characters, Bliss and Garrick. It met every expectation, and set the bar for all other professor/student relationship based books. If you’re into that type of scenario in a book, this is the one for you!
The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne
I first read this book in 8th or 9th grade, and back then, it made such an incredible impact on my life. Now that I’m graduating college and have read so many books that I cannot count, when I think of the ones that shaped my love, love, love for reading, it always comes down to Rachel Hawthorne books. This is the one, though, that has stuck with me through the years. At that time in my life, I loved baseball and baseball players and everything about a “sporty” romance. And this novel fulfilled every wish I had. The cute, quick, yet undeniably powerful romance between main characters Dani and Jason still makes me smile to this day. Jason is your typical broody, yet attractive main character, and Dani is the quirky, yet endearing girl that’ll capture your heart from the first page. This romance, then and now, is one of my favorites.
Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Let me just start off by saying that I love Travis Maddox. I love him. He’d be my boyfriend in real life, no doubt, if he were in fact real.
These two books are inherently the same, except Beautiful Disaster is told from the main female’s (Abby) point of view, and Walking Disaster is told from Travis’s point of view. Both are great, but being inside of Travis’s head really made me fall in love with the relationship between Abby and Travis. Much like the After series, people will say these books are abusive, too filled with sex, etc. However, I loved them. Travis is fiercely in love with Abby, so much so that it made my heart ache. Their love is unlike any other that I’ve ever read. I can’t even put it into words. Just trust me. Read these books. You’ll fall in love with Travis and his moodiness and his “bad boy” persona, too.
Clipped Wings and Inked Armor by Helena Hunting
Finally, I’ve saved one of my favorite romances for last. I first read this when it was one title and was a Twilight fanfiction. I was only a high school kid when I first read the fanfiction, but the actual published book is much different. Better, even.
Hayden, a tattoo artist extraordinaire and bad boy covered in tattoos, captured my heart from the first mention of him. Tenley, the shy, skittish girl with a terrible past, was so well written and so easy to fall in love with. The romance between the two, however, was superb. These two books are honestly two of the greatest books I’ve ever read. Yes, they contain sex. Yes, they contain foul language. No, they won’t be read in college classrooms around the world. Who cares? They deal with such intense issues and contain such a powerful romance that I crave to reread them every single time I look at them. If you’re into tattoo stories and stories with characters that have major, major flaws, read these books.
That’s all I have for now! If you have read any books with an incredible romance, be sure to let me know. They are indeed my favorites. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!