Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but the love for a good book never fades away. Whether you spent the holiday curled up with a good romance novel or treated yourself to a classic love story, there’s always room for more love in our reading lives. With that in mind, here are some romance novel recommendations from the Millersville University Department of English and World Languages faculty members that will keep the love alive all year long. So grab your favorite mug of tea or coffee, cozy up in your comfiest spot, and get ready to fall in love with these heartwarming reads.
A special thank you to Dr. Pfannenstiel, Dr. Mando, and Dr. McCollum-Clark for their recommendations.
Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas
Recommended by Dr. Amber Nicole Pfannenstiel
If you enjoy typical romance novels, Marrying Winterborne may have what you like plus a “frank discussion on social differences, class differences, and the plight of women of the Regency era.” This novel features a plot in which an “aristocratic, impoverished, neglected heroine falls in love with wealthy businessman.” What follows is an exploration of “social miscues, class differences, and what women do/do not have access to.”
When asked her personal reasons for recommending this book, Dr. Pfannenstiel writes “it is enjoyable and informative. As an avid reader of romance, I have thoughts and opinions on TDTL [Too Dumb To Live] heroines – Helen is one of my favorites. Reading as her story unfolds and she navigates society, reading the tangential characters and their version of the plight of women is phenomenal.”
This book is part of the Lancaster Public Library System collection in physical, eBook, and audio formats and can be accessed for free with a public library card.
Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
Recommended by Dr. Justin Mando
Looking for something more daring and fanciful? Still Life with Woodpecker might fit that vibe. “This is the wild love story of Princess Leigh-Cheri and Bernard Mickey Wrangle (A.K.A. Woodpecker) full of explosive activism and an earnest crack at answering the question, ‘How do you make love stay?’”
Dr. Mando relates “I read this book back in high school and just read it again recently, along with a handful of other Tom Robbins favorites. His books are always a fun ride.”
This Tom Robbins book and others are available in physical form through the Lancaster Public Library System.
Possession: a romance by A.S. Byatt
Recommended by Dr. Kim McCollum-Clark
If you are looking for something framed in a relatable context, Possession: a romance might hit close to your heart as it “features ENGLISH GRAD STUDENTS who find love letters from a (made-up) 19th century famous author and an early feminist author.” Mixing narratives and poetry, “their 20th Century love story is juxtaposed with the earlier one beautifully!”
When asked “why read it?” Dr. McCollum-Clark enthusiastically replied “Are you kidding? English majors in love? And poets in love–and poetry to boot? The writing is gorgeous! It’s definitely a re-read!”
Possession: a romance is available through the Millersville McNairy Library in physical form and the Lancaster Public Library System in physical and audiobook form.