The Nightingale and the Rose

10 Valentine’s Day books to read online

What would be of literature if not for love stories? Love has produced the finest novels, poems and plays and we want to point out some very special romance books you can read online or download on 24symbols.

This is why our digital booksellers have created a selection of the best romance books you need to know if you want to impress your Valentine. Whether classic romance or your modern love story, we want to pay homage to heroes and romantics that get out of line. Whether comic, dramatic or tragic, these literary heroes will live in our hearts forever and we hope you enjoy our top 10 Valentine’s Day books to read this year:

1. The Nightingale and the Rose

Oscar Wilde’s nightingale is probably the most tragic romantic of all. We’d like to dedicate this list to the brave little bird that believed in eternal love and thought that “love is better than life.” If you’re planning on buying red roses for your Valentine, make sure to mention this tale and your roses will never be forgotten. The Nightingale and the Rose is one of several tales by Oscar Wilde in his collection The Happy Prince and Other Tales:

The Nightingale and the Rose
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2. The Last Email

The Indian writer Mridula Garg is one of the most popular Hindi writers and also writes in English. Her latest romance The Last Email is a novel about age, love and the limits of marriage. Almost forty years after their passionate affair, Maya and Kevin reconnect via email and revive their emotions. This is not an ordinary love story but an intense email conversation that portrays two former lovers and the way their memories process their passion.

Read The Last Email by Mridula Garg

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3. Born to Love Cursed to Feel

If this Valentine’s Day you need to lick your love wounds, we recommend King’s verses. Samantha King reminds us that life is not all fairy tales and shows the reader the dark side of love. Her raw but refreshing poetry goes straight to the heart and everyone will relate to the pain in her voice. Even if most poems are exploring broken relationships, King does offer some comfort to the reader:

May your heart never break
But if it should I’ll be here to pick up the pieces
– Devotion, Born to Love Cursed to Feel

Born to Love Cursed to Feel by Samantha King

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4. Wuthering Heights

Highly emotional and disturbing for the time it was published, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights still impresses with its dramatic plot and strong characters. Sensitivity, revenge and hate are deeply rooted in every single page of the novel and not even death can stop the protagonists’ passionate love. Interesting fact: this classic romance has also inspired Kate Bush to a song of the same title.

Read Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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5. Life Without You

If you’re feeling like reading a contemporary romance with ups and downs, this is the book you’re looking for. Have you ever been in love? The kind of love that leaves you breathless and makes you feel like you can fly? Once upon a time in a land not so far away, a man and a woman fell in love. They were very happy. Until one day they weren’t – their happily ever after disappeared. A story about true love that tells both sides of the story and makes us root for a happy ending.

Read Life Without You by SP West

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6. Anna Karenina 

Though a classic, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is not your typical romance novel. We think of love as something ultimately positive but in Anna Karenina it comes as a blessing as well as a curse. While Levin and Kitty experience a romantic love that everyone is longing for, Anna experiences a tragic love and it would have been better for her if she had never fallen for Vronsky. Whether romantic or tragic, we love this novel and think it’s always worth another read:

Read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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7. Our Young Man

Has everyone always been in love with you? Of course they have, who am I kidding?” New York City in the eighties: Our Young Man follows Guy who, just like Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, doesn’t seem to age and whose beauty brings him the adoration of many lovers. Edmund White explores the power of physical beauty -to fascinate, to enslave, and to deceive – with sparkling wit and pathos.

Read Our Young Man by Edmund White

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Read Our Young Man by Edmund WhiteRead the book (USA and Canada)

 8. Pride and Prejudice 

How could we not include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen in a list of romance books? Mr. Darcy has become a synonym for the Mr. Perfect that every woman is secretly looking for and this Valentine’s Day we hope to find him. With its wit, its social precision and, above all, its irresistible heroine, Pride and Prejudice has proved one of the most endearingly popular novels that deserves to be read over and over again, for “We are all fools in love.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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9. The Secret Lives of the Four Wives

Who says that love is limited to only two people? Lola Shoneyin’s fiction debut brings us a perceptive, entertaining, and eye-opening novel of polygamy in modern-day Nigeria. The struggles, rivalries and relationships within the complex private world of a polygamous union come to life in this novel and offer a different perspective on the Western concept of love.

Read The Secret Lives of Baba Segis Wives by Lola Shoneyin

(available for our readers in the USA and Canada)

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10. Happy People Read and Drink Coffee

The perfect book to enjoy a cozy Valentine’s Day with a coffee and a blanket: After losing her husband and daughter in a car accident, Diane’s life is overturned and the world as she knows it disappears. She moves from Paris to a small town on the Irish coast, determined to heal by rebuilding her life alone – until she meets Edward, a handsome and moody Irish photographer. Along windy shores and cobbled streets, Diane falls into a surprising and tumultuous romance…

Read Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnes Martin Lugand

(available for our readers in the UK and Ireland)

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Still not enough? Have a look at our romance category to discover the latest romance books or browse our classic novels if you feel we’ve missed a book. Remember that you can download ebooks on your app to read them whenever and wherever you like. Do you want to add a novel to our selection of Valentine’s Day books? Please do so in the comment section below.