In a few days, the season of love and chocolate hearts will be upon us. If you’re a single pringle like me, Valentine’s Day is a mixed bag. Sure, it can be a bit of a bummer when you see couples being all lovey-dovey. But, there’s plenty of chocolate and cute gifts that you can get for yourself. Why not embrace the spirit of the day and celebrate self-love? I usually take myself out on a date to the bookstore and drink my favorite wine with takeout.
I’m also a fan of themes, so every year I read romantic books at the beginning of February. It’s a great way to get yourself into the spirit, and also an excuse to read a sappy rom-com. With countless romantic stories to choose from, you can read any trope of your choosing. I have three go-to stories that I reread when the heart-shaped Reeses appear at Target.
- A Little Something Different– Sandy Hall
A Little Something Different is a classic rom-com story with a twist. It tells the story of Gabe and Lea, two students who meet in writing class. Instead of hearing their sides of the tale, the story unfolds through the eyes of others. Everyone from the Starbucks baristas to delivery guy see their romance unfold. Their creative writing teacher ships them. The baristas watch them like they’re a real-life rom-com. The different points of view allow you to see how well these two work together despite their flaws. It’s charming, funny, and a lovely read. If you’re in the mood to relax with a glass of wine this Valentine’s day, this is the book for you.
- Pride and Prejudice– Jane Austen
Is it a list of romantic stories without this book? Like many, I’ve read the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy a few times. Add the miniseries and 2005 movie to the mix, and you have many ways to enjoy this classic. The mix of dynamic characters and a strong plot make this a must-read. Also, the dynamic between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is frustrating and exciting. At the beginning of the novel, you are as frustrated with Mr. Darcy as Elizabeth. As the story unfolds, both the reader and Elizabeth learn more about Mr. Darcy’s true character. It’s a great slow-burn romance that allows the characters to grow and learn more about each other. Each time I read it, I roll my eyes at Mr. Collins and shake my head at Elizabeth when she believes Wickham. The romance is still exciting to me, despite my knowledge of the end. If you’re in the mood for a classic enemies-to-lovers story, this novel is the one for you.
- Emma– Jane Austen
Another Austen novel? What can I say, the lady is good at her job. This is another classic that tells the story of Emma, the well-off matchmaker. She sees no reason for marriage but enjoys intruding on her friend’s love lives. Meddling has consequences, which Emma must learn from to prevent more disasters. Emma, like Elizabeth, is a well-rounded character who is both frustrating and lovely. She wants what’s best for her friends, but more often than not she has no idea what that is. Her relationship with Mr. Knightley is dynamic and full of respect. When she stumbles, he isn’t afraid to call her out while helping her back up. If you’re a fan of friends to lovers stories with great side characters, this story is for you!
What books do you like to read during this time of year? Let me know in the comments below! If you have any romance novel recommendations, you can send them to me by filling out the survey here. I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day! If you need me I’ll be counting down the hours until all the chocolate goes on sale between books. Happy reading!