Hey, Lover! It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re in love or not, who doesn’t want to indulge in a few hours of pure pleasure by escaping to a world filled with happy endings (um, we mean the literary kind)? So grab a box of chocolates, a cup of tea (or bottle of wine) and sink into one of these love stories that just might turn you into a believer in happily-ever-afters.
— Holly Parmelee
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99 PERCENT MINE by Sally Thorne
Sally Thorne’s previous novel, The Hating Game, was a smash hit (if you haven’t read it ,do so NOW. It’s got a great Hepburn/Tracy vibe.) and her new one, 99 Percent Mine, is just as good. Smart, witty and steamy, this is a classic friends-to-lovers romance. Darcy has been in love with her twin brother’s best friend for years. Will they finally give in to their mutual attraction?
UNMARRIAGEABLE: A Novel by Soniah Kamal
This Pride and Prejudice update is set in Pakistan and features a Pakastani version of the beloved Bennett family: A wise but absent-minded father, a marriage-obsessed mother and five single daughters. School teacher Alys Barnett has sworn never to marry until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider. There is a reason Pride and Prejudice has been endlessly reimagined — it’s a GREAT love story — and this version is not to be missed.
DAISY JONES & THE SIX: A NOVEL by Taylor Jenkin Reid
Do me a favor and pre-order this NOW. The book will be published on March 6th, and it is ah-mazing! Written as an oral history about a fictional, iconic 70’s rock band, this sexy, addictive novel portrays love and passion in all its forms — from friends to mentors to spouses to lovers. This is the kind of book you’ll devour in a day.
ONE DAY IN DECEMBER: A Novel by Josie Silver
This charming (and very sweet) novel follows two young Brits who experience love at first sight from afar but never actually meet. When they reconnect a year later, he is introduced as her best friend’s new boyfriend. What’s a girl to do?
THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang
A socially awkward scientist who is more comfortable with statistics than sex, turns to a male escort for lessons in love. This atypical romance novel is a gender-reversed version of Pretty Woman with diverse characters (He’s Asian! She has Aspergers!) that is unique, sexy and fun.
ALL THERE IS: Love Stories from StoryCorps by Dave Isay
Real life love stories from NPR’s oral-history project, StoryCorps. Get lost in this collection of true tales about love found, lost and even found again later in life. One of the best parts is the section of photos where you can see what the participants actually looked like.
LOVE POEMS FOR MARRIED PEOPLE by John Kenney
Originally published in the New Yorker on Valentine’s Day in 2016, John Kenney’s collection of love poems on topics such as parental grumbles and dwindling sex lives, will make you laugh until you cry. This example will tell you all you need to know:
I was almost feeling fondness for you
As you gave me a shoulder massage at the sink--
What a small, lovely surprise.
And then you grabbed my boobs and made a "wha-wha" noise.
In an instant, I felt disgust and sadness and regret.