This weekend it felt like summer in Orange County, so I was able to catch up on some reading poolside! While I’ll occasionally pick up a psychological thriller like The Woman Inside, or a self-help book like The Untethered Soul, you can almost always find me reading a love story.
Since I was little and read my first Nicholas Sparks’ book, love stories have been all I’ve been drawn to. I’m constantly fascinated by the choices people make when it comes to matters of the heart. And while writing Waiting at Hayden’s, I was able to explore the choices three different characters make about love on the same night.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I rounded up my favorite love stories to get you in the spirit. I’d love to hear if you check them out or any other love stories that you’re reading!
And if you’re having unusually warm weather for January too, or are heading to a warm destination for Valentine’s Day, this L *Space Parker bikini is the perfect pop of pink and is worn by my main character, Gianna, in one of the video scenes found in Waiting at Hayden’s. Anyone recognize it from her character lookbook?! It just came out in several more colors this week and I’ve linked them all along these Elizabeth and James sunglasses that are perfect for sunny days ahead!
Nights in Rodanthe, Safe Haven, and Every Breath: Out of all of Nicholas Sparks’ books these were my three favorite to read. In Nights and Rodanthe, I love the idea of how one weekend spend with a stranger can change the course of your life. Safe Haven had an element of mystery and suspense that I enjoyed. And I liked how Every Breath was loosely based on a true story.
Love and Other Words: I read this book in one day and absolutely adored it! If you loved Waiting at Hayden’s, the main characters in Love and Other Words are best friends who become lovers too, just like in my story. I was rooting for this couple the entire book and cried several times—the hallmark of a good love story for me.
The Light Between Two Oceans: This story explores several interesting moral dilemmas when it comes to love. Like is it okay to lie to protect someone you love?
The One And Only: Emily Giffin is my favorite women’s fiction author and out of all her books, The One and Only is my favorite love story. It explores unconventional love and makes you question what you would do if you fell in love with someone you shouldn’t? (Haven’t we all been there?!)
One Day in December: Another topic related to love that has always interested me is love at first sight. Does it exist? Should you trust that feeling? This story, which was a recent Reese Witherspoon Book club pick, explores those questions and more.
Ghosted: One of the main characters in Waiting at Hayden’s is ghosted by her fiancé the day before her wedding, so I’m obviously interested in this strange and bizarre dating trend that I talked about in this blog post here and think we should make dissapear. It’s a story that had me flipping the pages with a twist I enjoyed at the end.
One Plus One: This road trip love story by Jojo Moyes has all the humor found in Little Miss Sunshine and a cast of equally likable characters. It’s an enjoyable read with just the right amount of tender moments mixed in with the humor.
What Alice Forgot—While Liane Moriarty is best known for Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret, my favorite of her books was What Alice Forget. Alice falls off a stationary bike and ends up forgetting the last ten years of her life. She thinks she’s still happily married to her husband, Nick, when in reality she’s about to get a divorce from him. I find it interesting the way our romantic relationships can change so much over time and enjoyed finding out what happened–how they got there. My next novel, Map of Us, takes a look at what it takes for love to last a lifetime so the subject really resonates with me.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A love story set during World War II that I read years ago but has stuck with me ever since.
For even more love story recommendations check out my blog post from last year: A New Perspective on Valentine’s Day and Ten Love Stories to Help You Celebrate.