If one would ask a devoted reader of romance novels what their favorite book of all time is, probably they won't get a straight response. Thousands of unique books in many subgenres are published every year, including well-known genres like historical fiction, the paranormal, erotica, and contemporary fiction. There are countless escapist love stories—and gratifying happily-ever-afters—to select from, and more reads are now easily accessible via e-readers and apps. It is clear why it would be impossible to pick just one. To focus on the genre's greats, here is a list of the top romance books everyone should read in their lifetime.
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10 Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan (2018)
Iris, a senior in college, meets August, an NBA star, at a crossroads and instantly clicks with him. She is prepared to start her job in sports marketing, but her basketball-playing college boyfriend and an unanticipated life event prevent her from doing so. Years later, the two lovers cross paths, but Iris is inaccessible since she is involved in a toxic, abusive relationship, making their future seem improbable. With an estimated 200,000 copies sold, it is hardly surprising that the book won a RITA Award in 2019 for the best lengthy contemporary romance.
9 Anna Karenina By Leo Tolstoy (1877)
With an estimated 300,000 copies sold, this best-selling straggling epic romantic tale transports you across continents for the sake of love. With more than 800 pages, Anna Karenina is one of the longer books, but those who persevere are richly rewarded. Leo Tolstoy takes us through a fascinating adulterous escapade and its consequences within Imperial Russian culture in what is generally regarded as the most fantastic romantic novel of all time. After Anna flees with Count Vronsky, the thrill of seeing their relationship fall apart is replaced with regret, loneliness, and paranoia. This love story paints a vivid picture of the joys and sufferings of romantic love.
8 Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1564)
With an estimated 500 thousand copies published, this is one of the most well-known archetypal love stories, inspiring endless retellings and many authors. According to Loyal Books, Romeo and Juliet is a story about the mismatched lovers from rival families who created the majority of the rules of catastrophic love. Any aspiring love fan should read this book since it has moving passages and a climax that invented the romantic catastrophe genre.
7 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)
Jane Eyre was a revolutionary book at the time, deftly tackling subjects like sexuality, religion, and classism. According to Britannica, Jane Eyre is an underprivileged young orphan seeking work and finding much more than she bargained for when visiting the mysterious Mr. Rochester's house. Jane, who is unsure and innocent, is drawn to her menacing employer like a magnet. The resolute, headstrong, yet utterly ordinary Jane is a rebellious breath of fresh air, especially considering that she was written when most romantic protagonists were mystically lovely. This book redefines what romance should be, with an estimated 2 million copies sold. Because of this, readers continue to like it now, more than a century later.
6 The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003) by Audrey Niffenegger
Niffenegger's debut book, widely praised for its original blending of science fiction and romance, chronicles the lives of Henry and Clare. Due to a sickness, Henry travels through time in his personal life and his relationship with Clare. The unpredictable nature of Henry DeTamble's time-traveling talents controls this dashing and daring librarian. Artist Clare Abshire has an energy that unfolds naturally in sequence. The passionate yet complicated relationship between Henry and Clare develops over time, survives, and traps them in an improbable romantic trap that tests the power of fate and luxuriates in the bonds of love. The book won the British Book Award, Exclusive Books Boeke Prize, and sold over 2.5 million copies.
5 Love Story (1970) by Erich Segal
Love Story, frequently referred to as the Romeo and Juliet of the 20th century, was the top-selling love novel when it was first published, was translated into more than 20 languages, and underwent numerous adaptations. In it, Segal narrates the tale of two lovers, Oliver and Jenifer, who come from different backgrounds but whose love grows until it forces them to deal with unexpected events. Worldwide, more than 20 million books were sold and Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw starred in the hit movie adaptation.
4 Outlander (1991) by Diana Gabaldon
Although Gabaldon did not favor romance as a motif in her books, Outlander, published in 1991, received the RITA Award for outstanding romance the same year it was released. The series, which incorporates aspects of historical fiction with a beautiful romance, adventure, and conventional fantasy, has sold over 25 million copies and is a blend of numerous genres. A nurse from the 20th century named Chair Randall unexplainably finds herself transferred to the 18th century. She is currently in love with two men from a completely different era. Recently, a television series based on Outlander was created.
3 Gone With the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell
The second most popular book in the country, this bildungsroman, is focused on the life of a rich plantation owner's spoiled daughter named Scarlett O'Hara and chronicles her journey through marriage, love, and the South during the Civil War. The only book Mitchell ever published, Gone With the Wind, sold over thirty million copies, earned Mitchell the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and was eventually turned into a movie.
2 The Notebook (1996) by Nicholas Sparks
A popular creator of love stories and romantic books is American novelist Nicholas Spark. The Notebook, which is based on a true story that sold over 105 million copies, is one of his best books and tackles modern and historical romance. According to the plot, a man reads from a worn-out notebook to a woman who has deteriorating memory every morning. The journal contains Allie Nelson and Noah Calhoun's love story. After being ripped apart by World War II, Noah and Allie spend a single summer together; fourteen years later, they meet, but circumstances have changed, and Allie is now engaged to be married to another man.You'll be intrigued by the details of Allie's choice between marrying her fiancé and sacrificing everything for Noah.
1 Pride and Prejudice(1813) by Jane Austen
It goes without saying that Pride and Prejudice, a classic novel by Jane Austen, has endured the test of time after selling over 120 million copies and receiving countless adaptations and imitative works. When Elizabeth Bennet reaches the appropriate age, she has standards for relationships, marriage, manners, and love that are at odds with those of late-18th-century England. She has several uncomfortable interactions due to her independent nature, including one with Mr. Darcy, a proud and class-conscious bachelor, with whom she eventually forms unusual chemistry.
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