Whether you take them along to read on the beach during vacation, or you’re an avid lover of reading or just of anything to do with love, romance novels are some of the most entertaining books out there. And they don’t just provide us with enjoyment—they provide us with hope!
Romance novels have been proving the existence of love and inspiring people everywhere to believe in romance for so long. Here are eight of the best fictional romances that will genuinely make you believe in love.
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This list would simply be incomplete without this timeless classic. Pride and Prejudice essentially invented the enemies-to-lovers trope, and it’s still just as good today as it was over a century ago!
This story follows the witty Elizabeth Bennet, who has grown up in household of solely sisters. With no sons to pass their estate on to, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet must secure stable matches for all of the girls, and with Elizabeth and her older sister Jane being the eldest of the bunch, they’re first in line which a rich suitor comes into town. But what of his brooding, stand-offish friend, Mr. Darcy? Will he and Elizabeth overcome the animosity that grows between them?
Pride and Prejudice is an absolute must-read, and there are dozens upon dozens of scenes in this romance that will surely restore your faith in love!
2. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
This contemporary romance has been one of the most popular novels of the past couple years, and you will absolutely fall in love with the characters and with Hazelwood’s writing!
The Love Hypothesis centers around Ph.D. candidate Olive Smith. Her best friend is a hopeless romantic, and after promising her that she would start dating, Olive finds herself in a fake-relationship through a series of unfortunate events. However, her fake-boyfriend is Adam Carlsen, a young, attractive professor at her university who’s widely regarded as a huge jerk. But after an important science conference goes awry, Olive is surprised by Adam’s support… and perhaps even more by his hard-to-ignore good looks.
This instant hit should definitely be on your reading list, and it’s an adorable romance that will leave you with a huge smile on your face!
3. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
While not as much of a feel-good book as the previous one, The Song of Achilles is one of the most beautifully written love stories of all time. I simply couldn’t put this book down, and it left me in tears for days afterwards.
This retelling of the Greek myth of Achilles—adapted from The Iliad—is from the perspective of his best friend and lover, Patroclus. It is a heartbreaking tale of devotion, sacrifice, and what loves means in every sense of the word.
This New York Times Bestseller has won several major awards, and this an absolute must-read for anyone who enjoys a heartbreakingly beautiful romance.
4. People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
Another contemporary romance, People We Meet On Vacation has been a big best-seller ever since it came out. Emily Henry is one the most popular romance novelists of the past few years, and every book she writes has a fun and incredible love story within the pages.
The book’s two main characters, Alex and Poppy, were best friends in college and traveled together for years… until two years ago when a summer vacation ruined their friendship. Now, desperate to make things right, Poppy reaches out to ask Alex to take one more summer trip with her so that they can figure out how to fix things.
This friends-to-lovers tale is hilarious, sweet, and very raw; it’ll make you flip through the pages at lightning speed and leave you feeling hopeful about true love!
5. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
This popular novel is now a major motion-picture, but it’s definitely still worth reading first! The Hating Game is a classic, enemies-to-lovers story between two colleagues, and it’s such an addicting book!
Joshua and Lucy are complete opposites; he’s uptight and meticulous while she’s full of spunk and life. And they absolutely hate each other. When they’re up for the same promotion at the publishing company they both work for, will the tension between them grow? Or will it come to a breaking point and make them realize that maybe they feel something else besides hate for one another?
This romance is an entertaining read that will leave you rooting for love in the most unlikely of circumstances!
6. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Maybe you know of this book from the popular Netflix series of the same name, but the whole Outlander series is totally worth the read. It’s a historical, time-travelling romance that tells a beautiful and utterly sexy love story.
Initially beginning during World War II, protagonist Claire Beauchamp finds herself transported back in time to 1800’s Scotland, where she begins a passionate relationship with a man named Jamie Fraser. This book is filled with adventure and romance, and it’s an incredible novel that should definitely go on your TBR.
7. Well Met by Jen DeLuca
This is such a fun and easy read, and the romance in this book is fresh, adorable, and steamy. Taking place around a small-town Renaissance Faire, there is so much to love about this contemporary novel with a historical twist.
After her sister is in an accident, Emily moves to Willow Creek in order to help care for her teenage niece. The town’s big draw is their annual Renaissance Faire, and in order to appease her niece’s wishes, Emily volunteers to help out. However, the serious Simon throws a wrench in Emily’s carefree approach to the faire, and they instantly find themselves at odds. But when they’re in character, the hate between them doesn’t seem so palpable anymore…
The ultimate beach read, Well Met is a feel-good page-turner that will make you smile the whole way through.
8. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
This popular motion-picture came out several years ago, but the book is still a classic. This is another heartbreaking romance, but it’s more than worth every tear.
When Louisa Clark takes a job attending to Will Traynor, their completely different worlds and personalities collide. Though she lives an ordinary life, Louisa is a happy-go-lucky and Will… used to be. After an accident that left him paralyzed, he has given up on life and struggles to find joy in anything. Louisa finds that his happiness has come to mean a great deal to her, and perhaps hers means something to him, too?
While it is a tear-jerker, this is a beautiful story of love, life, and loss, and what it means to make the most of every day.