February is right around the corner which means… so is Valentine’s Day. I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day by any means…after all, my husband did propose to me on Valentine’s Day 🙂 But…we don’t make a big deal about Valentine’s Day around here, I don’t consider myself overly romantic, and I don’t particularly care for Romance novels for the most part. However, in the spirit of the season of love, I figured I could do a post on the books that I do really like that have a romantic theme to them. You know…romance books that aren’t really “romance books”.
Last year, I completed the Pop Sugar 2015 Reading Challenge and one of the prompts was to read a romance book. It took me quite a while to commit to a book for that prompt because I wanted a story that had something other than just the romance in it. I think my problem with traditional romance novels is that they can feel rather flat and boring to me….and they seem like they are all likely the same. Logically, I know this is probably not true and I’m sure you all have a ton of great romance suggestions that don’t fall into that description….so I’d love to hear them! What are your favorite books that have a romantic theme but aren’t necessarily traditional “romance books”??
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
This was the book I decided on to go toward my challenge last year. I absolutely loved it! It’s actually one of my all time favorite books. The characters were fabulous and I could not get enough. Part of the reason I loved this story so much is because it touches on another important issue that I won’t go into so as not to spoil it. This book had me laughing and crying….like UGLY – go through an entire box of tissues – crying. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
So, this is probably more along the lines of a typical romance novel. It’s the only Nicholas Sparks novel I’ve ever read and I remember only picking it up based on someone else’s recommendation. I fell in love with the young couples love story in this book. I’m sure most people have seen the movie, if not read the book…but I wanted to include it in my list anyway.
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
I almost didn’t include this one solely because it’s a sequel to another book called If I Stay. But, both can technically be considered romance books…however even though I liked If I Stay, I really loved Where She Went. It’s rare for me to like a sequel as much as, let alone more, than the first book. These are both worth the read, for sure, if you are looking for a romantically themed book that doesn’t have romance as the only story line. But…yes, you’ll need to start with the first book to understand this one.
Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
It’s been quite some time since I’ve read this book…but it’s one that’s stayed with me since. While the story mostly circles around female friend relationships…there is definitely a romantic relationship that is central to the story line. The scenery of Ireland and Irish culture were another big draw for me with this novel.
Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen
I adored this book…it’s one of my all time favorites. This is another example of a book that has a strong romance element to it without it being the only story line. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction…so I loved reading about the 1930’s and traveling circuses of that time. Water for Elephants is a definite recommendation from me.
Never Never Trilogy by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
Yes…I did just review this trilogy a week or so ago, but it deserves to be mentioned again on this list. While it technically is a trilogy (and yes…you’ll want to read all 3), they are novellas instead of full length novels. All three novellas together are under 400 pages…very manageable. This has a mystery aspect added to the romance, but the romantic element here is great.
Now for a few romantic themed books that I have on my To-Be-Read list (keep an eye out for reviews once I complete them):
After You by JoJo Moyes
This book is actually the sequel to Me Before You, so I’m looking forward to it.
One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
This is a book that I haven’t heard much about. But I know I enjoy the author and her writing style so I figured I would give it a try. This book is actually sitting on my kindle ready to read, so review will likely be coming sooner rather than later.
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
This book is getting quite a bit of buzz lately and most of the reviews are beyond glowing. People seem to be quickly adding it to their favorites list.
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Yes…same author as the book above, but it’s another book of hers that comes with fantastic reviews. I enjoyed her writing style very much in the Never Never trilogy, so I decided to also add this book of hers to my TBR.