I recently came across a shelf I made on goodreads a couple of years ago, called: “Books-that-made-my-heart-do-the-jittery-thing”. I only added a few books onto it, but rediscovering that list reminded me of some of the books that made my heart beat a little faster because of the gorgeous romances depicted within them. Here’s some of what I found on the list…
Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…
AKA my favourite book. Maria V. Snyder builds up the tension so slowly and beautifully. The couple in the story is one of my favourite couples in fiction of all-time, and I love that in more recent books (this is a very long series!) both characters have such distinct backstories and are built up as separate people rather than just a pair. There is an age gap in the relationship, but the emotional connection of both characters is described and developed so well and carefully that it is so real and so lovely to read.
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
Anna and the French Kiss is the only contemporary book I have on this list. I usually find YA contemporary romances very cliche and a little annoying. But Anna and Etienne were just beautiful. I LOVED their story when I read this book. It helps, of course, that it is set against the backdrop of Paris. Paris probably makes my heart do the “jittery thing” more than the characters!
Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions.
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.
The romantic storyline in this trilogy is so exciting and lovely. I love that it had so much depth, and grew slowly, and across multiple dimensions. I am also a big fan of the hate-to-love trope, and this book covered that in a very enjoyable way! It is also one of those rare trilogies where the romantic storyline was growing and building up right until the end, and never grew annoying or frustrating.
Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.
Aria and Perry are a classic, typical YA dystopian couple, but I loved them. Under the Never Sky was one of the first dysopian novels that I read after the Hunger Games kick, and probably held my favourite romantic story of all the books within the genre that I read at that time. I love the outsider-meets-insider trope and it worked so well in this story by playing on both characters being both insider and outsider in both cultures portrayed. I love that they relied on each other’s strength throughout, and never overpowered each other.
Title: The Other Countess
Author: Eve Edwards
ELLIE – Lady Eleanor Rodriguez of San Jaime – is in possession of a gold-seeking father, a worthless title and a feisty spirit that captivates the elite of the Queen’s court, and none other than the handsome new Earl of Dorset . . .
WILLIAM LACEY has inherited his father’s title and his financial ruin. Now the Earl must seek a wealthy heiress and restore his family’s fortune.
But Will’s head has been turned by the gorgeous Ellie, yet their union can never be. Will is destined to marry a worthy Lady so the only question is – which one . . . ?
Finding this book on my goodreads shelf reminded me how much I LOVED historical romance. This book blended YA, romance, and history together so well, and the story of Ellie and Will was really beautiful. There are certain scenes in this book that have stuck with me so clearly, despite having read the book about six years ago. I still flick through it sometimes, and it still makes me fall in love every time I do so.
Those were some of the books that made me fall head over heels for the romantic storylines and pairings. Do you agree with any of these? Do you have any other fictional romances that made your heart to the “jittery thing”?