Love is in the air – Epic Romance novels

Its not for everybody but February seems to me to be the best possible time to get stuck into one of these epic romances. These are love stories that stood the test of time, or adversity and lets be honest are probably much better for your soul than those red roses from the corner shop!

ali-outlanderOutlander by Diana Gabaldon

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century – and a lover in another. In 1945, Claire Randall is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon in Scotland. Innocently she walks through a stone circle in the Highlands, and finds herself in a violent skirmish taking place in 1743. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an outlander, in a country torn by war and by clan feuds. A wartime nurse, Claire can deal with the bloody wounds that face her. But it is harder to deal with the knowledge that she is in Jacobite Scotland and the carnage of Culloden is looming.

ali-bronze-horsemanThe Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

During the summer of 1941 the Metanov family are living a hard life in Leningrad. As the German armies advance their future looks bleak. For Tatiana, love arrives in the guise of Alexander, who harbours a deadly and extraordinary secret.

ali-time-traverllers-wifeThe Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This is the story of Clare, a beautiful, strong-minded art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: his genetic clock randomly resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous and unpredictable, and lend a spectacular urgency to Clare and Henry’s unconventional love story. That their attempt to live normal lives together is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control makes their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

ali-gone-with-teh-windGone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Set against the historical backdrop of the American Civil War, this historical epic is a tale of a nation mortally divided. It is the love story of beautiful, ruthless Scarlet O’Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

ali-wuthering-heightsWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

At the centre of this novel is the passionate love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff – recounted with such emotional intensity that a plain tale of the Yorkshire moors acquires the depth and simplicity of ancient tragedy.

ali-a-walk-to-rememberA Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Landon Carter would never have dreamed of asking Jamie Sullivan out, but a twist of fate throws them together. In the months that follow, Landon breaks down Jamie’s natural reserve and begins to get to know her, and to fall in love. Then he discovers that Jamie has a reason for not letting people close.

ali-the-thorn-birdsThe Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Powered by the dreams and struggles of three generations, this is the epic saga of a family rooted in the Australian sheep country. At the story’s heart is the love of Meggie Cleary, who can never possess the man she desperately adores, and Ralph de Bricassart, who rises from parish priest to the inner circles of the Vatican…but whose passion for Meggie will follow him all the days of his life.

 

ali-love-storyLove Story by Erich Segal

Oliver Barrett IV is a rich jock from a stuffy Wasp family on his way to a Harvard degree and a career in law. Jenny Cavilleri is a wisecracking working-class beauty studying music at Radcliffe. They are opposites in nearly every way – but they fell in love. This is their story.

ali-war-and-peaceWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy’s beguiling masterpiece entwines love, death and determinism with Russia’s war with Napoleon and its effects on those swept up by the terror it brings. The lives of Pierre, Prince Andrei and Natasha are changed forever as conflict rages throughout the early 19th century.

ali-bridges-of-madison-countyThe Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

The story of Robert Kincaid, the photographer and free spirit searching for the covered bridges of Madison County, and Francesca Johnson, the farm wife waiting for the fulfillment of a girlhood dream, this story gives voice to the longings of men and women everywhere-and shows us what it is to love and be loved so intensely that life is never the same again.

ali-atonementAtonement by Ian McEwan

On a hot summer day in 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives—together with her precocious literary gifts—brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.

ali-love-in-the-time-of-choleraLove in the time of cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Florentino Ariza has never forgotten his first love. He has waited nearly a lifetime in silence since his beloved Fermina married another man. Following the death of her husband, Florentino has another chance to declare his eternal passion and win her back. Will love that has survived half a century remain unrequited?

 

 

 

 

 

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New this week – Love stories and chick lit

 image-medium (88)Beaton, M C The banishment Beautiful, proud Isabella Beverley had only one passion in life – her magnificent family home, Mannerling. Isabella has difficulty finding a husband, and when she finally finds the right man, she is forced to choose between happiness and Mannerling

Beaton, M CThe deception The Beverley girls are determined to regain Mannerling, and their hopes lie with the son of the owner, Harry Devers. When he has an accident, he’s forced to recuperate in the girls new house. He and Rachel become engaged, but she soon has second thoughts

Beaton, M CThe intrigue Isabella, the eldest Beverley daughter, is married and living in Ireland. The family’s expectations now fall on 19-year-old Jessica. She must marry well enough to retrieve the family fortune and regain the home gambled away by their father

Carlino, ReneeSweet thing – League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love. When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father’s cafe, a treasured neighbourhood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She’s denied herself the thrilling and unpredictable life of a musician, but a chance encounter with Will, a sweet, gorgeous, and charming guitarist, offers her a glimpse of what could be

Duffy, MariaThe letter chicklit – Ellie seems to have it all – a loving and secure home, wonderful friends and a great job as a chef in a Dublin hotel. She’s also about to marry Matt, the most gorgeous man on the planet. But despite her outward appearance of a glowing bride-to-be, Ellie is battling with some demons. Then four weeks before her wedding, just before Ellie leaves for her hen party in New York, she finds a letter that changes everything

Ellmann, LucyMimi l – Christmas Eve in Manhattan. Harrison Hanafan, noted plastic surgeon, falls down. ‘Ya can’t sit there all day, buddy, looking up people’s skirts!’ chides a weird girl. She then conjures the miracle of a taxi. Later he collides once more with the woman, Mimi, who bursts into his life with all her curves and chaos

Helprin, Mark  A New York’s winter’s tale – One night in New York, a city under siege by snow, Peter Lake attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks it is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the affair between this Irish burglar and Beverly Penn, a young girl dying of consumption. It is a love so powerful that Peter will be driven to stop time and bring back the dead

Lynn, J  – Be with me love storySelf published sensation now with Harper Collins:  love, lust and longing

McCabe, Kate Spanish letter Sandy Devine knows exactly who she is – owner of a successful business and one half of Dublin’s most talked-about couple. But all is not perfect – her mother has late-stage Alzheimer’s, and a newspaper has just published photos of her boyfriend, Sam, with another woman. While sorting through her mother’s belongings, Sandy finds an old letter stamped ‘Returned: address unknown.’ The letter was sent by her mother to Alessandro Rodriguez, who Sandy is shocked to discover is her biological father. Then, Sam comes back into her life, and joins her as she travels to Spain to try to trace Alessandro

Reus, KatieTargeted paranormal romance – Former Marine sniper and current NSA agent Jack Stone has a new face to go with his new identity. But he still has the same tortured memories – which include the woman he let get away years ago, when they were teenagers. Now his new assignment in Miami will put him so close to the woman he’s never been able to forget. He could reach out and touch her – if only she weren’t under suspicion

Ryan, PatriciaWindswept romance/thriller Emily Harrington sets off on a romantic trip to the Caribbean without her delayed fiance, but soon meets an array of fascinating characters and finds friendship and tranquillity – until one of them is murdered

Ziepe, LauraMade in Essex chick lit She’s happily settled with her gorgeous boyfriend Sam and the bikini business she’s set up with her best friend Kelly is going from strength to strength. You could say that Jade’s life is almost too good to be true – at least that’s what her old acquaintance Adele thinks and Adele is sick of Jade getting all the attention. But Adele’s not too worried – she has a secret – a powerful secret – one that could pull Sam and Jade apart and destroy everything that Jade has worked so hard for. With friendships and relationships falling apart, just how far will Adele go to get what she wants?

Your favourite love story could win you a prize

The Book Depository, the online bookseller, is running a competition to find the public’s favourite love stories. All you have to do is post your details and your favourite love story — doesn’t matter whether it’s classic, traditional, sinister or even paranormal, any that have wowed you.

Three winners will receive a set of 10 timeless love stories from the Penguin Clothbound Classics series! Competition ends on Thursday 6 February. Good luck!

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