Although dinner and a movie appears to remain the preferred Valentine’s Day date, there is still the equally sentimental option of curling up with a cup of tea or glass of wine and a gushy, romantic book.

pridea_nd_prejudiceFor those of this persuasion, the options are endless, and there is a romantic novel that will appeal to readers of all literary levels and tastes. Here is a sampling of past and present Valentines Day books to consider.

For those who revere the literary classics, there is always Jane Austen’s PRIDE & PREJUDICE. This prim and proper novel covers the love story between the independent Elizabeth Bennet and the elusive Mr. Darcy. Those who prefer strong minded heroines will be satisfied with how this romance evolves.

Fans of historical fiction with a lot of reading time and a large box of tissues may prefer Margaret Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE WIND. There are a lot of minor characters and subplots in this Civil War saga, but they serve as a backdrop for the coquettish Scarlett O’Hara and her love for two very different men: the dreamy but weak Ashley Wilkes and the dashing and determined Rhett Butler.

Unrequited love is always an engaging theme for a romantic book, and you can find a compelling example of this in THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN by John Fowles. Victorian gentleman Charles Smithson disregards both his betrothal to a suitable woman and his reputation as a proper 19th century paleontologist to pursue the dark and mysterious outcast, Sara Woodruff.
girl_with_pearl_earringLove that is both young and innocent is explored in THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING by Tracy Chevalier. This romantic book is a rendition of how a young girl is awakened to womanhood after she is seduced by an older man, a famous painter for whom she serves as house maid and artist’s model.

For those with more modern tastes looking for a good Valentines Day book, there is always Stephenie Meyer’s series that traces the love story between a teenage girl and a “vegetarian” vampire. The films have gotten lots of press, but most fans would agree that the books contribute more to the story line. The first in the series, TWILIGHT sets the stage for all that follows between Bella and Edward, the two star-crossed lovers who meet in high school and find they cannot live with or without each other in a world where such a relationship is both unheard of and potentially dangerous.