Last year, I read a lot of romance novels. Which I haven’t done since I was a teenager (I read a lot of Meg Cabot back then). But one thing I have always, consistently loved reading are books that fit into other genres and have romantic subplots. I love a good romance in any book, so, in honor of Valentine’s Day (which I am not a fan of – for reasons I explain in this post), I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.
Celia and Marco in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I love these two SO MUCH! This is such a beautiful story. I recently read it for the third time and fell in love all over again. I really love so much about this book and this couple. This is one of the best examples of slow burn romance I’ve ever read in a book. I also like how it ties into the story so well, but isn’t the main plot of this book.
Monty and Percy in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Monty + Percy 4Ever! Okay, I don’t know where that came from, but seriously, they are the cutest couple. I genuinely love this book. And the fact that one of my favorite (if not my actual favorite) YA couples are in such a fun, historical mystery. I could not put this book down. Still gives me warm and fuzzy feelings when I think about it.
Kya and Tate in Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This romance does not have a particularly happy ending, but it brings so much to this book. It honestly made me love these characters even more than I already did, and just makes this story something really special. I think this is probably the least obtrusive romances on this list, but I still think about it when I think about this book.
Aliena and Jack in The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I think Aliena and Jack will forever be burned on my heart, just like Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. These two characters live in a thousand-page historical novel about a twelfth-century cathedral, which isn’t what I was expecting, but they’re probably the best part of this book. And they go through so much that I was literally having trouble sleeping (and had to stop reading a few times) because I was so anxious. And I still think it’s worth it.
Cora and Flint in The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang. She’s a ressurrectionist, he’s a medical student (could I make it any more obvious…. no one else grew up with Avril Lavigne? Fine, I’ll stop). Disguised as a man, she digs up bodies, especially those with abnormalities, and sells them to medical schools. Flint is a medical student who not only discovers that not only is Jacob Lee is actually Cora, but that she’s the legendary girl with two hearts that a lot of people are literally willing to kill for.
Achilles and Patroclus in The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I distinctly remember listening to the audiobook and SOBBING on my drive home one day. This book will break your heart, but in the best way. I won’t spoil it, but if you’re familiar with The Trojan War, you probably already know why.
I could probably come up with even more, but I’m going to end this list here. Let me know in the comments: what are your favorite romances that are NOT in romance books?