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The 27 Greatest Romance Novels to Read In Your Lifetime

5 Books | by The Oprah Magazine

Infinite happily-ever-afters await you.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Books

Austen’s most celebrated novel tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a bright, lively young woman with four sisters, and a mother determined to marry them to wealthy men. At a party near the Bennets’ home in the English countryside, Elizabeth meets the wealthy, proud Fitzwilliam Darcy. Elizabeth initially finds Darcy haughty and intolerable, but circumstances continue to unite the pair. Mr. Darcy finds himself captivated by Elizabeth’s wit and candor, while her reservations about his character slowly vanish. The story is as much a social critique as it is a love story, and the prose crackles with Austen’s wry wit.

Shanna

Shanna

Books

From New York Times bestselling author Kathleen E. Woodiwiss comes one of her most iconic and beloved romances of all time…A pact is sealed in secret behind the foreboding walls of Newgate Prison. In return for one night of unparalleled pleasure, a dashing condemned criminal consents to wed a beautiful heiress, thereby rescuing her from an impending and abhorred arranged union.But in the fading echoes of hollow wedding vows, a solemn promise is broken, as a sensuous free spirit takes flight to a lush Caribbean paradise, abandoning the stranger she married to face the gallows unfulfilled.Ruark Beauchamp’s destiny is now eternally intertwined with that of the tempestuous, intoxicating Shanna. He will be free . . . and he will find her. For no iron ever forged can imprison his resolute passion. And no hangman’s noose will keep Ruark from the bride— and ecstasy—that he craves.

Lord of Scoundrels

Lord of Scoundrels

Books

They call him many names, but Angelic isn't one of them . . . Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain, is big, bad, and dangerous to know. No respectable woman would have anything to do with the "Bane and Blight of the Ballisters"—and he wants nothing to do with respectable women. He's determined to continue doing what he does best—sin and sin again—and all that's going swimmingly, thank you . . . until the day a shop door opens and she walks in.She's too intelligent to fall for the worst man in the world . . . Jessica Trent is a determined young woman, and she's going to drag her imbecile brother off the road to ruin, no matter what it takes. If saving him—and with him, her family and future—means taking on the devil himself, she won't back down. The trouble is, the devil in question is so shockingly irresistible, and the person who needs the most saving is—herself!

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Books

Bronte’s novel about a shy, quiet governess who becomes a tutor in a great house and falls in love with its lonely and mysterious master is one of the great classics of English literature. Unique in its attention to the thoughts and feelings of a female protagonist, Jane Eyre was ahead of its time as a proto-feminist text. When it was published in 1847, however, Bronte was attacked by critics for what they felt was anti-Christian sentiment in her unflinching critique of the oppressions of Victorian society.

Morning Glory

Morning Glory

Books

Two lost souls find love in this heartfelt historical romance from New York Times bestselling author LaVyrle Spencer. In town, they called her "Crazy Widow Dinsmore." But Elly was no stranger to their ridicule--she had been an outsider all her life, growing up in a boarded-up old house under the strict eye of her eccentric grandparents. Now she was all alone, with two little boys to raise, and a third child on the way. Will Parker drifted into Whitney, Georgia, one lazy afternoon in the summer, hoping to put his lonely past behind him. He yearned for the tenderness he had never known, the home he'd never had. All he needed was for someone to give him a chance. Then he saw her classified ad: WANTED--A husband. When he stepped across Elly Dinsmore's cluttered yard, Will knew he had come home at last... "Spencer is a master storyteller, and this is one of her best."--Rendezvous

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