A good romance story—where man and woman go through trials, fall in love, and spend eternity together—is all you want for your lazy Sunday afternoon read. With autumn here and winter coming, you’ll have plenty of time to snuggle into your bed for a nice, long read.
If you’re up for a round of historical heartbreak and happy-ever-afters, here are top picks from NPR:
- Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. Part of the Scoundrel Series, this third installment though finally tells the story of Marquess of Dain who finds his equal in clever Jessica Trent. Jessica will stop at nothing in order to get her brother away from Dain’s clutches. But attraction makes things harder for the pair. If you think this is just another rake and bluestocking story, you’ll be in for quite a funny surprise.
- Ravished by Amanda Quick. Amanda Quick is the pseudonym of New York Times Best Seller Jayne Ann Krentz for her historical romances. The plot involves Harriet Pomeroy whose passion in life happens to be going into caves to excavate fossils. She summons Viscount St. Justin to her home in Upper Biddleton to deal with the thieves who seem to be using her caves for illegal, nefarious activities. Great characters and an engaging story make this one hard to put down once you’ve started.
- The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan. If you’ve ever watched the X-Files and loved the intelligent quips, witty banter and seven years of will-they or won’t-they suspense between the show’s dynamic duo, you’ll understand why we love Violet Waterfield and Sebastian Malheur. For anyone who appreciates intelligent discussions of the romantic and love between best friends narrative, this book, along with all the others in the Brothers Sinister Series, is definitely worth a read.
- The Rake by Mary Jo Putney. Reggie Davenport is an alcoholic. And while the novel makes the romance between Reggie and Alys Weston at turns funny, believable, and heartwarming, the merit of the book is that it doesn’t shy away from going into dark places, when it shows Reggie’s increasing dependence on drink. Will he overcome the temptation? Read and find out.
Top Tens also offers contemporary titles. Want something closer to the 20th century? Download these modern romantic eBooks straight into your Samsung Galaxy 8.0 Tablet by Nook and pitch that into your bag so you can have your romantic fix anywhere:
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Have a taste for tearjerkers? This insightful and heartbreaking piece of literature is just what you ordered. Augustus and Hazel’s story will make you laugh and cry and appreciate love in all its wonderful, necessary and devastating forms.
- Double Standards by Judith McNaught. Judith McNaught, best known for her historical romances, pens a contemporary winner this time around. Meet Nick Sinclair, domineering and ruthless company president whose attraction to Lauren happens through a surprising turn of events. It’s classic McNaught all the way, with witty dialogues, endearing characters, and drama. USA Today is spot-on when they say McNaught is in a class of her own.
- It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. The first in the Chicago Stars Series, if you like your heroines feisty, your dialogues witty, sexy, and romantic, this is a fun read that will stay a favorite long after you put it down.
Bustle also shares its own picks. Here are some of the most voted for titles:
- Bared to You by Sylvia Day. Written in the same mold as Fifty Shades of Gray, expect the same billionaire and young woman employee dynamic. If you can’t get enough of plot lines that revolve around domineering, damaged, rich guys, you’ll find this one a keeper.
- Naked in Death by J.D. Robb. It’s the year 2058. Meet Eve Dallas, a homicide lieutenant for the New York City Police Department. One of her suspects turns out to be Irish billionaire Roarke. Nope, this isn’t the alpha billionaire dynamic you see in Fifty Shades and its ilk. If you love detective stories with romance, unforgettable, intelligent, and strong-willed characters, this one will set its hooks right into your heart. Also, Naked in Death is the first book of the now wildly popular, long-running series In Death by Queen of Romance, Nora Roberts.
- Trade Me by Courtney Milan. Tina works like a dog to get by while Blake Reynolds has everything. She issues a dare, saying he’ll never survive her life, never thinking he’ll take it. But he does. They trade places for a month and it’s not long before they start trading something more.
- Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Another sweet and irresistible tale from Phillips, this one starts out with the hero meeting the heroine by the side of the road—in a beaver costume. What follows is a hilarious, sweet, and incredibly satisfying read. Aside from than the main characters, you’ll find yourself rooting for the supporting leads as well.
This list will keep you busy for a good, long while. So get started on the fun!