Emma Asks… What are the Best Romantic Reads this Valentine’s Day?

The Beatles were quick to point out that love is all you need and we can’t help but agree with their sentiments. We all need love in our life, someone to care for us, to stand by us when times are bad and to rejoice with us when times are good.

Love can come from many quarters, and if you’re not married or in a relationship you are not out of the loop. Look around you, you can get your quota of the heartfelt stuff from your nearest and dearest. Your friends and family are called ‘loved ones’ for a reason! Even Fido your adorable Labrador has plenty of affection to give you (although you’re not so sure about Mr Fluffkins you cat – you suspect he sees you as more of a faithful servant than a beloved companion).

The point is that love is everywhere and, like it or not, February brings with it the largest love-fest of the year – Valentines Day. A big shout out to red hearts, roses, chocolates, and champagne (and I’m definitely up for diamonds). So, in the spirit of romance let’s travel down the tunnel of love and check out some of the most loved-up reads.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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A much-loved New York Times best-seller, Eleanor & Park charts the story of touching first-love. Join Eleanor and Park, two odd-ball sixteen-year olds, as they travel together on the school bus. Witness their love story unfold in front of your eyes. Will they stand the test of time and grow together or drift apart with the sands of time?

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

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A 70’s favourite, The Thorn Birds is set in Australia, and introduces us to the Cleary family who live in the outback. The tale involves an illicit love affair between a priest, torn between his obligations and his passion for the wilful young lady who adores him -Meggie Cleary. This is a must read for those who appreciate that love never runs smoothly!

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

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You might have seen the movie, but have you read the book? If not grab a copy and delve in. Witness the enduring love of Noah and Allie as they overcome years of separation – a tale of true love that bridges the years and reunite two souls.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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There’s always time for a classic and this is one of the best.  A story of the passionate and unbridled love between Heathcliffe and Catherine Earnshaw. Follow Heathcliffe as he abandons Wuthering Heights, fearing Catherine does not feel the same way about their unity. Then witness his commanding return, Heathcliffe comes back a rich and powerful man, and he has a few scores to settle.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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If you prefer your love stories with an element of gloom and doom then you will love this tale! Poor Anna is stuck in a loveless marriage and finds herself seeking an escape, which comes in the form of an affair with the dashing Vronsky.

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

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Fancy laughing out loud? Then pick up this comedy romance that follows Min, as she gets drawn into a bet between her ex-boyfriend and a rather racy guy called Cal. Can the gregarious Cal win his bet and bed the cautious Min? There are insane friends and eccentric enemies at every turn, this is a book that will cheer you up after a bad day at the office!

Fifty Shades Darker by EL James

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Sticking my neck out here as I know EL James isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (or glass of fizz -let’s opt for a more romantic tipple). But if you like your love story verging on the dark and complicated then get tangled up with Anna and Christian. Join them as they negotiate the complications of love, marriage, a crazed ex-boss, and an even crazier ex-mistress. Spanking good fun (sorry I just couldn’t resist).

What is your favourite romantic read?

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