Five-star love stories to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Here are some classic love stories to get you in the mood!

Book Club Mom

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Love stories are never simple and love is never a straight and clear path, is it? Take a look at these tales of love, longing and deception. Five classic love stories worthy of many re-reads!


A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
One of my favorite Hemingway books—love during wartime


Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Scarlett turns many heads, but she meets her match in Rhett!


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Will Jane and Mr. Rochester ever get together?


Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
This classic French novel caused quite a scandal!


The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
When you marry one, but long for another. Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize.


Can you add to this five-star list?

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26 thoughts on “Five-star love stories to celebrate Valentine’s Day

    1. Oh yes, that’s a good one. I hate to admit that I’m not a huge Shakespeare fan, mostly because I’ve never enjoyed reading plays. But I have read many for school and college and appreciate the characters and plots. Just not the format. But yes, Romeo and Juliet is a classic love story, for sure.

  1. Great list! It’s not a conventional love story, but I’d have to vote for How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. A man has a condition that makes him nearly immortal. The only catch is, he can’t fall in love because the society that protects people like him says it’s too much of a risk. Of course, the main character finds himself falling in love and has to challenge the society only to discover a darker secret.

  2. Hi, Barb. You just know I am going to have thoughts on these. 🥰 Before I ramble, I love your blog, this is just my opinion, and SPOILERS AHEAD.

    Here goes:

    Madame Bovary- Emma destroys most things in her wake in the name of boredom and then kills herself, with arsenic no less.

    Age of Innocence- Newland and Ellen carry on an affair while he is married to May and once May dies the book ends with them still not together.

    Farewell to Arms- Is predominantly a story of war. I would argue that the romance between Frederic and Catherine is only a device Hemingway uses to contrast the ugliness of war. And then to show how fragile love can be, he kills off Catherine.

    Jane Eyre is a sweeping and proper love story.

    Finally (brace yourself), again just my opinion… Gone with the Wind is toxic from start to finish and has nothing to do with love. 😬 I know, not popular but so true. Hahaha.

    No question, at least four of these are great novels. I have read them all. But, for love stories I would add: The Light Between Oceans (gut-wrenching but love) , Ellie and The Harpmaker, Room with a View, Persuasion, and so much of Olive Kitteridge is real-life love. 😊

    Romance is a whole other list and I will spare you.

    Oh, and I respectfully disagree that Romeo and Juliet is a love story. They fall in love in one day and three days later they kill themselves. That’s not love. That’s tragic.

    Great post. I am off to reread Jane Eyre. 😊

    1. Hi Tracy – these are great comments! I didn’t include Romeo and Juliet because I’m not a huge Shakespeare fan and I don’t enjoy reading plays (though I had to read many in college). As for GWTW – that book is so many things, and controversial for its portrayal of the south and even about romantic relationships. I think about that a lot, actually. But even if the author makes the O’Haras’ compassionate treatment of slaves seem like that’s what everyone did, I always hoped that it was even a little bit true. The third time I read it I saw it more as a story of Scarlet as a modern woman. I still love the dynamic between Scarlet and Rhett – their dialogue always gets me.

      Happy endings may be the test of a true romance – but some readers love tragedy, so I think that’s why we continue to like books like Madame Bovary and A Farewell to Arms.

      I agree that The Light Between Oceans is a terrific love story. Have you seen the movie? It is very good. I haven’t read Room with a View or Persuasion, but I loved Olive Kitteridge. Such a great story. Have you read Olive Again yet?

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂

      1. I have not seen the movie. I loved that books so much that I have held off maybe it’s time. 😊 I have not read Olive, Again yet but it is on my list. Happy Sunday. Hope you have a wonderful week.

  3. Great list of classic love story books … for a more modern angle I love Rachel Joyce’s ‘ The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ and Jojo Moyes ‘Me Before You’. Modern classics!

    Have a lovely Valentine’s Day, Barbara and a great weekend! 😀

    1. Oh, true. I haven’t read The Unlikely Pilgrammage of Harold Fry – I’ll have to look into that – but of course, Me Before You is a moving love story. I was so drained after I read that.

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