What with it being Valentine's Day tomorrow, I thought I'd select my favourite romantic novels. To my surprise, I don't actually have that many that I'd class as romance. I read quite a lot of contemporary dramas, and although love is often a theme, it's never the core of the story.
However, I have selected a top five (yes, there is only four in the photograph, well spotted!) that will woo you!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This old classic. I haaaaaaated this book when I first read it. In my defense, I was a moody teenager working towards my English literature A-level. The films didn't enchant me either. I couldn't stand Mr Darcy. He was so rude and I refused to believe shyness was an excuse!
But, as time went on, I softened. I spotted this gorgeous version in a charity shop, and despite all of my struggles with it in the past, I bought it. It was on my third reread (twice in college, once since) that I realised just how amazingly it was written. I wouldn't say it's on of my all time favourites, but I finally understand why it's such a celebrated romance.
One Day by David Nicholls
This book! This book. One Day will always be close to me, as it was what I was reading when my boyfriend and I first started dating. I remember stealing in pages while he was at the bar ordering drinks. Naturally, being the awkward person that I am, I told him all about the plot in great detail and giggled insanely rather than saying anything of worth. Why he stuck around, I'll never know. (But I'm glad he did!)
Each chapter in One Day outlines the lives of the main characters, Dexter and Emma, on one specific day over twenty years. It's a constant "will they - won't they" type of plot. They first meet in university and after a brief fling, they become best friends. It's bittersweet, hilariously funny and beautifully written.
How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan
I read this book last Valentine's Day. It's a collection of short love stories, from all different types of people and perspectives. I learnt that David used to write these stories for his friends as Valentine's Day gifts and some of them were written when he was a teenager.
Not all the stories are brilliant, but there's definitely a lot of heartwarming and touching stories. Nothing gets too mushy either, it's just a very cute book.
Yes Man by Danny Wallace
Okay, this might not seem like a typical romance book, but I find it very romantic. Just trust me. Yes Man is the real story of what would happen if someone said yes to absolutely everything. And the man bold (or stupid) enough to do so was Danny Wallace.
Confession time: I used to be obsessed with this man. I discovered him through an old friend and completely fell in love. Also, he has glasses. I like a man with glasses (as my boyfriend will confirm). So this might be only slightly bias.
This is one of the few books that had me laughing out loud. However, it's not all about the comedy, while completing the "yes challenge", Danny met his wife. The woman who he is still married to and madly in love with today. Reading about that relationship unfold was beautiful to me, and knowing that it was real was even better.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
...And then there's The Fault in our Stars. "The sweet torture" that is the Fault in our Stars. One of my favourite romance stories. Hazel is terminally ill and meets Augustus in a cancer support group. This book is funny, heartwarming, heartbreaking and so beautiful.
I actually read this book on a kindle, which means I don't have a physical copy of it (note to self: buy a physical copy!) but I have reread certain passages so many times. I also don't think I've ever cried so much at both a book and its film adaptation. This is by far my favourite John Green book too. It's hard for me to even form coherent sentences when talking about The Fault in Our Stars. That's how much I love it.