Choosing only five books was quite difficult, therefore, to narrow down the options I had, in this list the books mentioned included haven't been adapted into films. I mean… almost everyone knows about ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ - and rightly so, since it truly is an amazing read - however, I want to show some love to books that aren't as widely known.
Another note; in my mind, all of those books are number one, and I truly believe that whichever you pick out of the five, your heart will be both grateful and hurt. Really, this article should be titled, 'Top 5 Romantic Reads, or more accurately, 5 reasons I am permanently unavailable for real people'.
Maybe this is cheating in more ways than one, but I couldn't help but put this book on the list. A Court of Mist and Fury is the second book of the A Court Of Thornes and Roses series, and technically it falls under the category of fantasy. Those two are the only reasons this novel is on number five instead of number one. Essentially, it is my favorite romance of all time, but because it is the second book, I am not going to mention the plot, in case you don't like spoilers. You must know that the first book is brilliant and romantic enough itself, however, in the second book, you'll be destroyed for all future relationships. Rhys can and will break your heart into pieces.
Of course, putting a classic novel in this list is a must, and when talking about romance, Jane Austen is one of the first names that come to mind. To my mind, this is her most beautiful and nostalgic story. Pride and Prejudice is amazing, but Persuasion has this nuanced understanding of human nature, Austen's writing being simultaneously deep, witty, and funny all at the same time. While all of Austen's novels are generally comic, Persuasion has often been described as "autumnal" and that word suits it perfectly. There's a bittersweetness to the story that you just don't get in Austen's other works and you should definitely give it a chance.
This book... It has a special place in my heart. It is funny, sexy, engaging and heartbreaking. Christina Lauren has done it again with a book definitely worth reading on Valentine's Day. It is a light read, dealing mostly with themes like family, luck, faith and love, but that doesn't mean a mindless read. The Unhoneymooners will leave your heart feeling happy and content. Generally, I am a big fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope (and now that I look at my list, all of the books has that kind of element), and this book excels it!
Red, White & Royal Blue was a sure-fire choice for this list as it is the romance book that makes your whole body grin. Being a debut novel, I was a bit hesitant, but having read this, I must say I am truly excited about everything else Casey McQuiston comes out with. What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales? And if that question does not have you intrigued, I genuinely do not know what will.
It's physically painful writing about this book, because I adore it so much my heart contracts in ways I didn't know were possible. Rhys (pick number 5) is my book soulmate, but Ivan...he is a boyfriend, a partner, and a friend. I loved how this book represented love in various forms, like platonic love, romantic love (wink), but also the strong bonds families have. This is such a slow burning romance (another theme I love in this genre) and it builds so naturally and gradually that it truly feels like you're falling in love in real-time alongside them. I must say that if you enjoy this book, Kulti, another novel by Zapata, would also be a good option for you.
Please do visit Goodreads for more information in regards to the plots, and I hope those books keep you good company during this year's Valentine's day!