I have compiled some of my favourite classic romance books, from a scandalous affair in Russian high society to a messy reunion of 2 former lovers in the heart of New York's jazz age.
Book 1: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolsoy
The heroine of Tolstoy's epic tale of love and self-destruction, Anna Karenina, has accumulated beauty, wealth, popularity and has an adored son with her husband.
However, she feels that her life doesn't have a purpose until she encounters the Officer Count Vronsky, who happened to be engaged too Kitty. Their affair scandalises the high society and family alike, nevertheless bringing jealousy and bitterness in its wake.
This is quite a long book with 864 pages but not a difficult read; it's beautifully packed with detail making it easy to know where you are at and what is going on, unlike other older books.
Charlotte Bronte tells the story of the orphaned Jane Eyre, who grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, enduring loneliness and cruelty. Her troubled childhood fuelled her independence, which proved necessary when she later works as a governess to the brooding, Mr Rochester.
As her feelings for Rochester develop, Jane gradually uncovers Thornfield Hall's terrible secret, forcing her to make a choice. Should she stay with Rochester and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions - even if it means leaving the man she loves?
What really stood out to me was Jane's struggle for self-realisation, her strong personality and wisdom helped her to persevere in the face of adversity. Making her one of the few examples of strong women in Victorian literature that I have read so far. The book had surprising twists and I had many mixed emotions throughout reading it.
It begins in a snowstorm, when Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter at Wuthering Heights, where he discovers the history of the tumultuous events that took place years before: the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, her betrayal of him and the bitter vengeance he now wreaks on the innocent heirs of the past.
Honestly one of my all-time favourite novels. Emily Brontë describes the feelings of other characters so deeply, yet so realistically. And she managed to make such a perfect chemistry between Heathcliff and Catherine that made me feel it myself, yet it was toxic and obsessive enough to make you see how badly it would affect the character development of Heathcliff through out the story.
Leaving the secluded home of her guardian for the first time, beautiful Evelina Anville is captivated by her new surroundings in London's beaumonde - and in particular by the handsome, chivalrous Lord Orville.
But her enjoyment soon turns to mortification at the hands of her vulgar and capricious grandmother, and the rakish Sir Clement Willoughby, who torments the naive young woman with his unwanted advances. And while her aristocratic father refuses to acknowledge her legitimacy, Evelina can hold no hope of happiness with the man she loves.
The book was full of romance and humour, honestly another favourite.
As Jay Gatsby is still madly in love with Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby seeks nothing less than to recapture the moment five years earlier when his best and brightest dreams - his `unutterable visions' - seemed to be incarnated in her kiss.
The end - which was a form of dramatic irony - had surprised me fully, making this a memorable book. It can be quite difficult to grasp who's perspective you're in, but by the description you should be able to grasp what's going on.