Who doesn’t love a good romance novel to read on Valentine’s Day? To celebrate the occasion, we’ve compiled a list of twenty amazing but underrated love stories that bring a little bit of romance into our lives.
1. We Are All Made Of Stars by Rowan Coleman
Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to an ex-soldier, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the scars and the secrets he carries.
During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones – some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret – and promises to post these messages after their deaths.
Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…
2. How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern
She has just two weeks. Two weeks to teach him how to fall in love – with his own life.
Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night, when Christine is crossing the Halfpenny Bridge in Dublin. Adam is there, poised, threatening to jump. Adam is desperate – but Christine makes a crazy deal with him. His 35th birthday is looming and she bets him she can show him that life is worth living before then.
Despite her determination, Christine knows what a dangerous promise she’s made. Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life.
But has she done enough to change his mind for good? And is that all that’s starting to happen?
3. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.
The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.
Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.
What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?
4. Reader, I Married Him by Tracy Chevalier
The twenty-one stories in Reader, I Married Him – one of the most celebrated lines in fiction – are inspired by Jane Eyre and shaped by its perennially fascinating themes of love, compromise and self-determination.
A bohemian wedding party takes an unexpected turn for the bride and her daughter; a family trip to a Texan waterpark prompts a life-changing decision; Grace Poole defends Bertha Mason and calls the general opinion of Jane Eyre into question. Mr Rochester reveals a long-kept secret in “Reader, She Married Me”, and “The Mirror” boldly imagines Jane’s married life after the novel ends. A new mother encounters an old lover after her daily swim and inexplicably lies to him, and a fitness instructor teaches teenage boys how to handle a pit bull terrier by telling them Jane Eyre’s story.
5. Behind the Plate by J. Sterling
Chance Carter is the son of local baseball legend, Jack Carter. Now in his junior year at Fullton State, Chance is facing challenges he never saw coming. Failing a class will stop his draft season short, making him ineligible to play and pushing his goal of professional baseball even further away.
In steps Danika, a mouthy tutor from New York, who only wants to help him pass his class… NOT get in his pants. But try telling that to Chance. He doesn’t trust girls and he definitely doesn’t trust his new tutor. A lifetime growing up as a Carter taught him that.
But Danika has issues of her own. After an incident that happened last year, she doesn’t trust athletes and wants nothing to do with them. And Chance is no exception.
The fireworks explode as the two try to deny the chemistry between them and family secrets are revealed. Chance doesn’t know how to give up on something he wants and he’s decided he wants Danika. There’s just one problem… she has a boyfriend she has no intention of breaking up with.
How can he have her when she belongs to someone else?
6. A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray
The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.
Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.
So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.
In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.
7. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
A tale based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov.
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
8. Indivisible by Travis Thrasher
Inspired by true events, Indivisible is a story of love, service, and finding each other all over again.
Darren and Heather Turner share a passion for serving God, family, and country. When Darren is deployed to Iraq as an army chaplain, Heather vows to serve military families back home as she cares for the couple’s three young children.
Darren knows he’s overseas to support the troops in their suffering as their chaplain. What he doesn’t know is how he will get through his own dark moments. And as communication from Darren dwindles, Heather wonders what is happening in her husband’s heart. Meanwhile, she’s growing weary in the day-to-day life of a military base—each child’s milestone Darren will never see, each month waiting for orders, each late-night knock on the door.
When Darren returns, he is no longer the husband Heather once knew. She is no longer the woman Darren wed. And so it’s at home that the Turners face their biggest battle: to save their marriage.
9. Dare You To by Katie McGarry
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all….
10. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
Can you resist the depths of the human heart? It is 1958 and seventeen-year-old Landon is revelling in his youth: dating girls and even claiming to have been in love.
He is a world apart from shy, reclusive Jamie Sullivan, a Baptist’s daughter who carries a bible with her school books, cares for her widowed father and volunteers at the orphanage. But fate will intervene.
Forced to partner up at the school dance, Landon and Jamie embark on a journey of earth-shattering love and agonising loss far beyond their years. In the months that follow, Landon discovers the true depths of the human heart, and takes a decision that is so stunning it will lead him irrevocably down the road to manhood ..
11. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
Carlos Fuentes doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him in Boulder, Colorado. He wants to keep living on the edge, and carve his own path-just like Alex did. Unfortunately, his ties to a Mexican gang aren’t easy to break, and he soon finds himself being set up by a drug lord.
When Alex arranges for Carlos to live with his former professor and his family to keep him from being sent to jail, Carlos feels completely out of place. He’s even more thrown by his strong feelings for the professor’s daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the girls he’s usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.
As the danger grows for Carlos, he’s shocked to discover that it’s this seemingly All-American family who can save him. But is he willing to endanger their safety for a chance at the kind of life he’s never even dreamed possible?
12. Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler
High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.
Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.
13. I Was Here by Gayle Forman
This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend’s shocking suicide.
As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness.
A phenomenally moving story, I Was Here explores the sadly all-too-familiar issue of suicide and self-harm, addressing it in an authentic way with sensitivity and honesty.
14. Ransom by Rachel Schurig
Daisy Harris has no reason to suspect that her day will be any different than usual. She’ll go to class, alone. She won’t speak or make eye contact. She’ll spend her entire day doing her best to go completely unnoticed. That’s what life is like for Daisy now—an endless cycle of loneliness and fear. A life lived hiding behind the walls she so faithfully maintains.
Then she sees it. A magazine, left behind in class. A simple picture—just his face. And it changes everything.
It’s been a year since she’s seen Daltrey Ransome. A year since he and his brothers left town to pursue their dreams of rock and roll superstardom. A year since he left Daisy behind—left her to watch as everything she knew crumbled around her. She’s been running from Daltrey ever since, desperate to keep her secret.
But she can’t run anymore. And now that Daltrey has found her—the girl he’s loved his entire life, the girl he’d give up everything for—he’s determined never to let her go again.
15. Still Me by Jojo Moyes
Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.
As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you find the courage to follow your heart—wherever that may lead?
Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she navigates how to stay true to herself, while pushing to live boldly in her brave new world.
16. The Concealed by Sarah Kleck
After her parents died in a car accident when she was just a child, Evelyn Lakewood was left alone in the world. Now grown up, she enrolls at Oxford University, where she begins to create a new, stable life.
But when she encounters Jared Calmburry, who she later discovers is an orphan with his own tragic history, the equilibrium she was striving for is thrown off. Instantly drawn to this mysterious stranger with the incredible blue eyes, and confounded by the unusual events that occur whenever they meet, Evelyn resolves to investigate further. What she finds will startle her beyond measure: an ancient legacy of magic, a centuries-old secret society, and a foreboding legend with her and Jared at its center. As she follows a cryptic trail, Evelyn will discover clues to her own painful past, answers she hadn’t even been looking for—and a passionate love she cannot resist despite the dangers it brings.
17. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
Rosie and Alex are destined for one another, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, their relationship gets closer by the day, until Alex gets the news that his family is leaving Dublin and moving to Boston. At 17, Rosie and Alex have just started to see each other in a more romantic light. Devastated, the two make plans for Rosie to apply to colleges in the U.S.
She gets into Boston University, Alex gets into Harvard, and everything is falling into place, when on the eve of her departure, Rosie gets news that will change their lives forever: She’s pregnant by a boy she’d gone out with while on the rebound from Alex.
Her dreams for college, Alex, and a glamorous career dashed, Rosie stays in Dublin to become a single mother, while Alex pursues a medical career and a new love in Boston. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel, structured as a series of clever e-mails, letters, notes, and a trail of missed opportunities, Alex and Rosie find out that fate isn’t done with them yet.
18. The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass by Mandy Hale
Smart, strong, independent–single women can live a fabulous life. Husband not required.
Mandy Hale, also known by her many blog readers and Twitter fans as The Single WomanTM, shares her stories, advice, and enthusiasm for living life as an empowered, confident, God-centered woman who doesn’t just resign herself to being single–she enjoys it! Being single has had its stigmas, but Mandy proves it has its advantages too, and she uses wisdom and wit to inspire her fellow single ladies to celebrate and live fully in the life God has given them.
Mandy encourages her readers on subjects such as taking chances, building friendships, letting go, and finding a greater purpose. With her help, readers can stop worrying about happily ever after and discover a happy life instead.
19. She Writes Love by Sandi Lynn
The circle of life. It’s something we all know about but are never truly prepared for the unexpected. The unexpected that comes out of nowhere. No warning, no heads up, nothing. Just God giving us pure bliss and happiness and then taking it away in the blink of an eye. For me, losing my husband to a massive heart attack on our one-year wedding anniversary, and at the age of twenty-seven, was something I didn’t think I could ever heal from. The emptiness, the loneliness, the numbness, and the need just to get through the day was overwhelming. My name is Paisley Logan and this is my story.
I’d never lost anyone before. I’d never experienced death. I felt like God was playing a cruel joke on me. How could he bring her into my life and then take her away so young. Even the best laid plans in life get altered. Mine did. Everyone kept telling me that time would heal all wounds, but this was a wound that would never fully be healed. Trying to get back to the normalcy of life was exhausting, so I didn’t try anymore. My name is Ben Preston and this is my story.
20. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?