I don’t know my feelings regarding Valentine’s Day … it kind of just is for me. Much like Halloween, I see it and I acknowledge it, but don’t go super crazy over it either. Maybe it is because I’ve used up all my holiday energy on Christmas and Valentine’s Day sneaks up on me.
I know I sound like an unromantic cynic but here’s the thing – I am actually a helpless, hopeless romantic and if a story doesn’t have a romance in it, I can appreciate it, but I’m likely not going to love it. I need to root for a couple. I just love, love. I love to swoon … in a world so chokingly full of hate, isn’t it just nice to read about the enduring, connecting stories of love?
So in honour of the day that celebrates love, here are my top favourite literary romances. (Note these don’t actual include two of my most favourite romances because to actual state them is a spoiler, so let’s just say one takes place in a certain Raven Cycle and another in the land of Courts & Roses …)
1. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: You can’t help but root for Simon in this adorable YA Contemporary. The voices of the characters are so honest and the love story so adorable – it is just the ultimate smile inducer. Which is why it is my Feb 2020 book pick this month.
2. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: If you’re wanting a toe-curling steamy romance with honest, intelligent, and heartfelt characters … this is for you. The fact that we get adult representation on the autism spectrum is a fantastic addition.
3. The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo: This romance may not be for everyone – but I loved it. One of my favourite reads of 2019, this absolutely unique story matches up two equally intelligent partners in one of my favourite love tropes — “I’ve actually been in love with you forever, even though you thought I hated you” — is this a trope? Well, it is now.
4. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: One of my favourite romances in a fantasy setting. Something so singularly unique about Lazlo and Sarai – a Romeo, Juliet style pairing that starts so simply and sweetly meeting only through dreams.
5. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Who can’t help but love tragic, hopeless Monty? A bit of cad, who is pining for his best friend Percy, I couldn’t help but laugh and cheer as Monty skirts from disaster to disaster through his Grand Tour of Europe.
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