Today’s guest post is from my friend Elira Barnes and it is just in time for Valentine’s Day! If you want to learn more about Elira and read a snippet of her current writing project, keep reading! Plus, if you are interested in becoming a guest blogger on my site, fill out this form and I’ll get back to you ASAP!
Looking for some romantic reads for February, the month of love?
The best thing about romance is that it’s not only found in romance novels but in fantasy, mystery, dystopian and even sci-fi novels. Maybe it’s true that all we need is love.
It’s difficult to come across a story that doesn’t have a subplot revolving around love.
If you’re looking for your next romantic read, here are ten of my favourites.
Tell it to the Skies by Erica James
This is the story of Lydia. When she was just a child, her mother died in a terrible accident; Lydia and her little sister had to move and live with their grandparents.
Their grandparents turn out to be strict and abusive, and Lydia’s only comfort is her new friend Noah from school.
Their friendship turns into a strong romantic relationship as they become teenagers and then young adults.
But when Lydia’s uncle is found dead, a big misunderstanding occurs and Lydia is forced to escape and leave the country, leaving Noah behind with a lot of questions.
28 years later, Lydia and Noah’s paths cross, and together they venture to find out what really happened all those years ago…
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
Madeline is a teenager who suffers from a rare disease that makes her vulnerable or allergic to germs so she’s forced to live her life indoors, with her mother and nurse Carla.
When Olly moves next door, he and Madeline become online friends, and the more they get to know each other, the more Madeline wishes to go outside.
And as the title suggests, she is willing to risk everything, everything to go outside and be with him.
What’s surprising and shocking about this novel is the unexpected twist at the end…
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
A romance set in a dystopian setting, this story takes place in a future where love has been declared a disease; everyone who reaches the age of 18 has to be “vaccinated” against it with the procedure known as “The Cure”.
Lena grew up looking forward to her Cure, looking forward to being immune to love.
But a few months before her scheduled procedure she meets Alex, a teenager from the “wilds” who grew up quite differently from Lena.
As their relationship develops and Alex shows her the prospect of a different life than what society had prepared for her, Lena begins to question whether love is as dangerous as they made her believe to be…
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley
Maia and her sisters were all adopted by their loving father when they were babies. When he dies, he leaves each one of them the coordinates to the places where they were born. Maia’s coordinates lead her to Brazil.
There she teams up with a local author as they dig into history to find her roots.
This leads to learning the story of her grandmother, Izabela, who in the 1920s was a young lady who wished to travel the world before she got married.
When the opportunity arises, Izabela travels with her friend to Europe, and in Paris, she meets Laurent, a young artist working with Paul Landowski on the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
The two wish nothing but to be together, but Izabela’s fiance is waiting for her back in Brazil…
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
If you’re not a fan of the enemies to lovers trope, you’re about to become one.
Set in the land Orisha, this YA fantasy novel follows the story of Zelie, as she ventures with her brother Tzain and princess Amari to bring magic back into their world.
Magic has been removed and is forbidden in Orisha. When princess Amari joins Zelie and Tzain’s journey, the king sends his son Inan to find them and kill them.
But on his quest to find the fugitives, Inan discovers he is able to communicate with Zelie through dreams, and he just can’t stop thinking about her… and she can’t stop thinking about him either.
The Stolen Kingdom by Bethany Atazadeh
This a loose retelling of the story of Aladdin.
Princess Arie has a forbidden Jinni gift – she can read people’s minds.
The neighbouring king – who is trying to get his hands on her kingdom by marrying her – is very close to finding out her secret. Arie has no choice but to find a Jinni to sever (i.e. take away) her gift.
Disguised as a commoner, she leaves her palace in search of a Jinni, when she meets Kadin – a thief, also in search of a Jinni to avenge the death of his brother.
Arie teams up with Kadin and the two slowly begin to develop feelings for each other.. You’ll find yourself rooting for their relationship.
The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bomann
When a stranger hands Lilly a gorgeous violin saying it belongs to her family, she wants to find out about its history.
Her research leads to the learning of Rose Gallway, a half English half Sumatran violinist who lived a century earlier.
When Rose gets involved in a romantic relationship with one of her many admirers, she doesn’t know she is being stalked and that her career might soon come to an end…
This novel goes back and forth between the past and the present as Lilly learns about her heritage, while she also falls for her handsome assistant researcher.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Based on a true story, this is the story of Lale and Gita, two Jews emprisoned in the Auschwitz camp who fall in love and promise each other that one day they will get out of there alive.
Apart from the romantic story, this novel also describes the horrors and brutalities the two experienced in the camp, as recounted by Lale himself when interviewed by the author.
This book might make you cry…
To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Not a fan of mermaid stories?
You’re about to change your mind.
Lira is a siren, a princess siren, only daughter of the Sea Queen. When Lira goes on a forbidden adventure, the Sea Queen punishes her by transforming her into a human and giving her until the winter solstice to return with the heart of Prince Elian or remain human forever.
Lira has a collection of princes’ hearts, so she definitely has the experience required.
But this one will not be an easy conquest without her song, and it won’t get any easier if she falls for him…
Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
Loved “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green?
Then add this book to your TBR – if you haven’t already.
Stella and Will are both hospitalised as they suffer from a disease which restricts them to stay six feet apart.
They can’t touch each other without possibly harming each other. But as their teenage romance blooms each day, it’s hard to stay so distant. They wonder if being five feet apart could actually be harmful. So they give it a try.
P.S.: No one dies in this one, but the end is still heart-breaking so prepare your tissues.
I hope you found something that meets your romance novel requirements on this list.
Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!
More about today’s guest blogger: Elira Barnes
Elira Barnes is the author of an upcoming young adult dystopian sci-fi novel, so far known as “Project Decagon”.
Her blog elirabarnes.com is packed with writing advice, author platform tips and motivation.
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You can also follow her on:
Here’s a sneak peek into Elira’s work in progess, “Project Decagon”.
He bends down so that his eyes are at mine’s level.
“Were you, or were you not, trying to leave camp?”
I try to keep my composure, staying as calm as possible. “No, I wasn’t, Sir.”
“Oh, dear. Why do you do this to yourself?”
I don’t have time to ask what he’s talking about when he tells one of the Enforcers:
“Take them away”.
Two Enforcers, who had apparently been standing right outside the door awaiting any possible instructions, step in and drag Raimi and Ade out of their chairs and out away of the room.
“No! Wait!” I scream at the Enforcers, then to the Commander “where are they taking them?”
Amina is terrified now. “Please sir, let them go! Where are they taking them?” she pleas.
“Where are you taking them?!” I scream one more time.
The Commander stands impassible and as calm as ever, as this is just an ordinary night in the camp.
“You’ll see,” he says.
Another two Enforcers come to grab Amina and me and push us out of the Commander’s office. “Walk,” one of them says.
One of the Enforcers is in front of us, leading the way, and the other is at our back, ensuring – or at least trying to ensure – that we don’t attempt to run away.
We are led into a grey room, with metal walls and glass mirrors. The room is empty apart from two chairs, each one on an opposite wall facing each other.
The Enforcer leading the way grabs my arm and pushes me to sit on the chair on the left side. He uncuffs one of my hands and locks the cuff to a pole next to my chair.
I see that Amina is getting the same treatment from the other Enforcer.
When they’re done, they both leave the room and lock it behind them.
“Mina, are you okay?” I ask my friend.
“No, Kira! What do you think they’re gonna do to us? And skies! Where did they take Ade and Raimi?” the worry in her voice is so strong it’s killing me.
What have I gotten ourselves into?
“I don’t know, I just hope they’re okay”.
A sound interrupts our talk. The mirrors on the walls are suddenly showing something else – not our reflections. We are now looking at the camp’s centre. The mirrors were actually screens.
Amina and I watch silently, not sure what we should be seeing.
After what was most likely a minute but felt like a lifetime, the screens show two enforcers carrying two men and tying them up to a pole.
Amina gasps. The two men are Raimi and Ade. And they are about to get brutally beaten.
Each one of the Enforcers brings out a stick. An electric stick, like the one Enforcer Bill almost hit me with. And then I realise, that one of the Enforcers is actually him, Bill, and he is the one positioned to hit my brother.
Skies! This can’t be happening. Please, it can’t be happening…
“Kira -” Amina whispers.
Bill hits Ade, and whoever the other Enforcer is, hits Raimi almost at the same time. They both shout in pain as they are being electrocuted.
“You bastards! Let them go! Stop it! Take me! Take me!” I shout and get out of my chair. I want to run to the screens but I am chained to this damn pole!
Without wanting to, I realise that I’m not just screaming hysterically, but I’m also crying. How did I get my brother and my friends into this?