February has stumbled onto my calendar far too quickly for my liking; but no matter, I have been making the most out of the new year so far. Seeing that Valentines Day is a few short days away, I thought I’d take part in the lovey dovey-ness that seems to put all the romantics in a tailspin this time of the year. This week I am going to be focusing all my attention on the genre of romance; which is weird because I mentioned in my last post that I will be avoiding those kind of books for a while. But after the books I read in January, I was left with a horrible taste in my mouth which got me scrolling through my Goodreads profile, and I started reminiscing about all the mushy, heart melting books that I’ve added to my list over time. Brace yourselves for a week of sweetness, as I bring you my very own bookish pre-valentines day edition…
To get things started, I made a list of books that I consider to be really intense romances that would be perfect to read some time during this month of hearts and flowers:
THE COINCIDENCE OF CALLIE & KAYDEN BY JESSICA SORENSEN: I read this book a few years ago and I can still remember what an intense story it was. The heart break and sorrow of Callie and Kayden’s story seeped through the pages of the book until the last word was read. But the way these characters dealt with their difficulties and faced them head on, is what made their story so special. They both displayed courage and strength during the most trying times which made them two of my favourite characters in the romance genre. This book was not only a love story, but it was also a story of friendship. Jessica Sorensen created perfectly flawed secondary characters with their own troubles, and when combined with a plot that made my heart fall out of my chest; it shouldn’t be difficult to see why I consider it to be one of the most intense romances that I have read.
THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY BY KATJA MILLAY: This is one of my favourite books in the romance genre for a whole list of different reasons. And it is also one of the most intense, “angsty” romances I have ever read. The Sea of Tranquillity is a book about loss – loss by death, loss of power, loss of freedom and control – and how people deal with the ripple effects caused by such losses. Katja Millay created fierce characters that I didn’t want to stop learning more about. Josh Bennet was a misunderstood, moody loner with an attitude that will make you want to crawl into the nearest hiding space. And then there was Nastya, who was desperately trying to avoid her own sky high pile of baggage. Because the book was written from both characters’ perspectives, it was easier to understand their situations and I felt connected to them emotionally; making it an even more intense reading experience. I enjoyed the plot immensely, but I have to say that what MADE this book for me was the ending. It was such a perfect, beautifully unexpected ending that tied the book together in the best possible way.
HOPELESS BY COLLEEN HOOVER: You know that out of body experience you get when you receive life changing news? It’s as if the world literally spins out of control and you need to grab hold of something to keep you grounded. That is exactly what I felt when I read this book. The rug was pulled out from under me and I felt so completely overwhelmed with emotion. Hopeless was a gut wrenching book for me to read because it dealt with such intense, and difficult, issues; which was carried out on point by two lovely characters. Colleen Hoover managed to pull everything together in this story flawlessly, and it makes for the perfect read this Valentines Day if you are looking for a book to take you on an emotional roller coaster ride.
EASY BY TAMMARA WEBBER: When I went through the list of romance novels I read up until now, there were quite a few that I couldn’t even remember reading. Easy, however was not one of those books. I remembered the beautiful story and the even better characters. Lucas was an enigma. He had my attention from the moment I read about him, because he was such a calm, cool and collected hero, with a good heart. Since the book was only written from Jacqueline’s perspective, we didn’t get much insight into Lucas’s character but I think the not knowing was part of the appeal for me. Jacqueline on the other hand was one of the few female characters that I didn’t find annoying. She was strong and smart and learned from her past experiences. But I think most of all, I enjoyed the tone of the book. It was a peaceful read for me even though, as one would come to expect from a book set in college, there was some serious drama. All of this makes Easy the perfect romance book to read this Valentines Day!
THE EDGE OF NEVER BY J.A. REDMERSKI: This book is perfect for those who are trying to find their place in this world. It tells the story of two people who boards a Greyhound bus with the sole purpose of finding themselves and what they inevitably want out of a life that has so far handed them nothing but shitty deals. The tone of this book is very similar to that of Easy, which is probably the reason I loved it so much, but it is definitely not the only reason. I enjoyed the way the characters meet, and I loved the intensity of their spiritual journey of road trips and music – it made me want to live in the moment. Andrew’s attitude towards life was such an inspiration, he found beauty in the simple things, and his witty character made me laugh out loud quite a few times.
THE LAW OF MOSES BY AMY HARMON: Oh, man, this book tore me to pieces. The Law of Moses is a story of a million emotions woven together so tightly that by the time you’ve reached the end, you will be a complete wreck. It is a story of life and death, living and dying and everything else in between. What drew me to this book was the blurb, it sounded so different to the list of romance novels that I’ve been reading during the time this one quietly crept onto my radar. What I loved most about this book was how perfectly it represented what a lot of misunderstood kids struggle with and how people blindly judge them because they are too sheltered to even try to walk in their shoes. But apart from all of this, The Law of Moses is still a love story; and it is a beautifully told one at that. It has a little something for everyone to enjoy; laughter, tears, happiness, sorrow and a touch of mystery to keep the reader guessing. To put it simply, it is an action packed read to keep you entertained for a few hours during this month of love.
What are some of the most intense love stories you’ve ever read?