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60 Best Romance Novels of All Time

Here are the absolute best bodice-rippers and page-turners to get your heart racing. Warning: You won't be able to put them down.

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Get ready to swoon

There's nothing quite like a good book, and great romance novels make reading even better. They're comforting and captivating, and great plots, twisty mysteries, and gorgeous details keep you enthralled. You don't even have to cozy up by the fireplace in your favorite chair. A great romance novel is perfect for an airplane ride or to ease you into your daily commute on the train. You can also "read" over headphones or through your car stereo. But wherever you choose to dip into these best romance novels of all time, make sure it's a setting where you can swoon!

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Vision in White


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Book 1 in Nora Roberts' Bride Quartet overflows with wedding wonder. The series follows four friends with a wedding-planning business who take their own trips down the aisle. In the first novel, a wedding photographer meets a handsome BOB (brother of the bride) who captures her eye. Roberts is one of the most popular writers of romance novels with more than 200 published books, each immersing fans in detailed, dramatic worlds filled with romance. Are you in love with love? Check out 15 of the most romantic quotes from books.

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Pride and Prejudice


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Jane Austen arguably started it all with her classic romance novels set in the early 1800s. And her books are timeless, still attracting contemporary readers in love with details of British courtship, dancing, and ballgowns. Pride and Prejudice follows the five Bennet sisters and their romantic entanglements as they try to make a good match. The chemistry between bold Elizabeth and the egotistical Mr. Darcy makes epic love-hate sparks fly. If you like your female characters fierce and fearless, here are 10 fantastic books that'll fit your girl-power mood.

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The Wedding Date


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Jasmine Guillory's debut contemporary romance novel sizzles with flirty, funny pizzazz as it explores interracial love. The story begins in a stalled elevator when successful and stylish Alexa gets stuck with a handsome pediatric surgeon. Fireworks ensue when a wedding date becomes way more. When it comes to real life, here are the surprising secrets of the most happily married couples.

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Until the End of Time


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Danielle Steel has written, so far, 161 books, many of them best-selling romances that are known for their meticulous research, historical plot lines, and epic emotions. It's a challenge to single out the best one of all, but Until the End of Time features two love stories in two different time periods. One couple leaves the city for a life of rural ministry, and the other timeline pairs an Amish novelist with a big-city publisher. Both relationships intertwine through the mysteries of fate and destiny. Read the story of this veteran who found his long-lost love after 75 years. 

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A Knight in Shining Armor


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This quintessential romance novel by Jude Deveraux features time travel across centuries and plenty of passion. Readers should prepare for heart-swelling romance, tear-jerking turns, and a dashing 16th-century knight who rescues a contemporary damsel in distress. Romance is great every day, but here are 8 perfect books to prepare for Valentine's Day.

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Virgin River


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A widowed nurse leaves Los Angeles to start over in a charming mountain cottage in a town with a population of 600. Once there, she finds a desolate hovel where nothing goes as expected. She's about to leave when handsome hero Jack catches her eye. He's a rugged, muscular bartender with a nice smile, so you can see where this is going. This is the first entry in Robyn Carr's Virgin River series about the characters in this small mountain town. These 15 real stories prove it's never too late to change your life.

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Sweet Little Lies


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This first book in Jill Shalvis' addicting Heartbreaker Bay series starts in an Irish pub owned by Finn. Pru is the newcomer to his life, and she's harboring a tragic secret from long ago that will either pull them apart or keep them together. Is it ever OK to lie to your partner? Maybe in these few instances.

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Gentle Rogue


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Johanna Lindsey's addictive romance novels are known for their irrepressible enticements. This one takes place on a ship bound for America, when a young castaway, disguised as a boy, captures the heart of the roguish captain. Get ready for love-drenched romance on the high seas. Are you wanderlusting? Here are 10 books that will inspire you to travel the world.

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Open Season


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Readers can't put down Linda Howard's steamy thriller about a staid librarian who gets a makeover as well as a new lease on life that sends her spinning into a dangerous world when she unwittingly witnesses a murder. Good thing a handsome city cop made his way to small-town Alabama just in time to intervene! If you love a great thriller, here are the best of the best to keep you on edge.

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