The Best Literary Romance Novels of All Time

If you’re anything like us, we can’t think of a better way to spend an evening than curled up on the couch, under a cosy blanket, reading a literary great.

Add to that a bit of romance and you’ve got the perfect recipe! With that in mind, we’ve scoured the bookshelves of many bookworms to bring you the best literary romance novels of all time.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

First published in 1936, Gone with the Wind is romance novel written by American author Margaret Mitchell. Set in Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era, it tells the tale of Scarlett O’Hara who does everything in her power to escape poverty.

Broken up into 6 parts, Gone with the Wind is an archetypal Bildungsroman, or coming-of-age story, and is best described as a historical romance novel.

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Written as a standalone contemporary romance novel, It Ends with Us is an American novel written by Colleen Hoover and first published in 2016. Set in Boston, we learn the story of Lilly and how she’s worked hard to achieve everything she has.

When she meets stubborn and assertive neurosurgeon Ryle, the sparks fly instantly, but she can’t help but be haunted by a love long past. When the subject of her fascination, Atlas, suddenly turns up expectantly, Lilly realises that everything she’s built with Ryle may now be in jeopardy. Sounds almost as thrilling as playing at River Belle Casino!

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullogh

Set on Drogheda, a fictional sheep station in the Australian Outback, The Thorn Birds is a best-selling novel written by Australian author Colleen McCullogh and first published in 1977.

Spanning 1915-1969, this romantic saga follows the Cleary family across decades and focuses on only-daughter Meggie and the forbidden love she shares with a priest. As the bestselling book in Australian history, the novel has sold more than 33 million copies worldwide.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

First appearing on the New York Times Best Seller list as a self-published novel in 2012, Beautiful Disaster is an American contemporary romance novel written by Jamie McGuire. We meet Abby Abernathy who is trying desperately to keep up her newly acquired “good girl” image as she starts college, but her determination quickly crumbles upon meeting bad boy Travis Maddox.

Things take an even darker turn when they both agree to a bet which may push them both to breaking point. Translated into over 50 languages, Beautiful Disaster is a love story for modern times.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Narrated by main character Don Tillman, The Rosie Project is a bestselling contemporary romance novel authored by Graeme Simsion.

Don, an autistic genetics professor best described as a wallflower, is determined to find a wife and turns to the “Wife Project”, a 16-page scientific survey, in order to make this happen. He finds an unlikely match in Rosie and she ultimately wins his heart.

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