If February's gray skies are leaving you feeling dreary, pick up one of these romance books. From classic love stories to the best romance novels from contemporary authors, these six books about love will have you feeling warm and romantic by Valentine's Day.
Corsets and classic romance books
In 18th century England, Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters don't have to worry about cryptic social media updates in their quest for love, but maneuvering their social landscape was just as tricky. Jane Austen shows her mastery of the marriage plot as the sisters practice the steps of the delicate dance of practicality, respect, love and, of course, marriage.
Lady Chatterley's staid world of aristocracy — and her impotent husband — is contrasted with her long-standing erotic relationship with the family's gamekeeper. Banned in England and the U.S. when it was published in 1928, Lady Chatterley's Lover celebrates passion, sensuality and the deep connection created from an intense sexual relationship.
Contemporary romance queens
In this stand-alone romantic suspense novel, Elizabeth Fitch must lower her defenses to bring justice to criminals from her past. Brooks Gleason, the chief of police in a town where Liz is only known as Abigail Lowery, patiently unravels the mystery surrounding the lovely newcomer to his small town — a mystery she guards as closely as she does her heart.
Claire Randall is on her second honeymoon with her husband in 1945 when she finds herself in the midst of war-torn Scotland, in 1743. In this other time, James Fraser, a young Scot, loves her with loyalty and a fiery passion that pulls her between her own desire and loyalty to the husband — and life — she's left behind.
Steaming up your sheets
Long before Fifty Shades of Gray made women blush — and ask their husbands to hurry home from work — Anaïs Nin wove tales of imaginative lovers with exceptional talents. The short stories in Delta of Venus were originally written for a private collector and are explicit, feminine and intensely erotic.
This novella comfortably sits in pop-culture lore as an infamous gift from Monica Lewinsky to President Bill Clinton. Written almost entirely in scorching dialogue, Vox lets readers voyeuristically peek in on a sultry, darkly humorous phone-sex call.