Ah, February, the month of love. What with red and pink heart decals plastered up on most windows, a collection of stuffed bears greeting us at nearly every shop entrance, and endless boxes of chocolates beckoning to us, it’s understandable to get swept up in the lovey-dovey feeling of February and find ourselves in the mood for a good love story.
If you’ve found yourself in such a mood, look no further. Here are 5 romantic novels you can read this February:
1. Emma by Jane Austen
Published at the tail end of 1815, and taking place in a fictional English country village, Emma is a spoiled, stubborn, rich girl who, after attending the wedding of two people she introduced, decides she should go into the matchmaking business, against the advice of Mr. Knightley, her brother-in-law. Her first venture in matchmaking doesn’t go so well when her meddling ends up messing with her friend’s feelings and relationship. When the dashing Frank Churchill arrives in town, things get even messier—Mr. Knightley becomes jealous of the attention Frank receives from Emma, and every new development seems to involve new romantic feelings emerging. Eventually, Emma herself realizes who it is she actually loves, finally offering the reader some rest after a whirlwind of a love story. Find it here on Amazon or at your local library.
2. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Set in the 1850s Gold Rush in California, this story centers on an impossibly beautiful, yet lost and hardened, young woman working in a brothel, who goes by Angel. She catches the eye of Michael Hosea, a man passing through town, who hears a voice tell him Angel is the woman he’s supposed to marry (he’s very surprised once he finds out her line of work). Still, he attempts to court Angel, assuring her of her value, refraining even from kissing her. Though she denies it time and time again, Angel finds herself actually falling for a man, something she swore she’d never do, painting one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read. I promise, this is the type of book you’ll race through. Find it here on Amazon.
3. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
Taking place at the fictional Oxford women’s college of Shrewsbury, this tale at first disguises itself as a mystery (so it’s perfect for all you ladies who love a little crime!). Harriet Vane is a successful author facing a dilemma: whether or not to attend her school’s annual celebration for alumnae—she was accused of murdering her lover after all. After deciding to attend, Harriet finds herself in the midst of mysterious and worrisome happenings that lead her to temporarily move back to the college to find the culprit. But this story wouldn’t be a true romance if she didn’t also come face to face with her feelings for a certain someone in her life. Thrilling and delightful, this book is sure to add a little fun to your life. Find it here on Amazon.
4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Set in 1801 in the English countryside, this novel has long been a classic among lovers of romance and tragedy. The story focuses on Heathcliff, an orphan taken in by Mr. Earnshaw to live with his family, which includes his daughter Catherine. The two become close friends, spending many an afternoon playing in the fields together. But when Catherine is injured, she’s sent away to recuperate with the wealthy Linton family, during which time she begins to fall for Edgar Linton, who’s a total snob. Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship takes a turn as they being to drift apart, though their deep feelings for each other still linger. Find it here on Amazon or at your local library.
5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
At the start of this story, it’s 1986 in Omaha, Nebraska. Eleanor is a chubby tenth grader whose wildly unhealthy home life has taken a toll on her self-image. Park is an Asian-American student at Eleanor’s school, who’s insecure about his small stature and constantly feels invisible. When the two wind up sitting together on the bus, they slowly but surely bond over listening to music and reading comic books together. They eventually develop deep romantic feelings for one another as Park defends Eleanor against her bullies at school, Eleanor meets Park’s parents, and they become a safe place for each other. This bittersweet coming-of-age story is sure to give you a healthy dose of nostalgia and maybe even bring a few tears to your eyes. Find it here on Amazon.
There’s no more perfect time to fall in love (with literature, that is!) than Valentine’s Day. Satisfy your longing for a touching tale of romance with any of these books!