December 9th, 2020 | Updated on February 17th, 2023
In ‘Gone with the Wind’ the two main characters, conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances.
The book created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet. Have a look at the 20 best romance novels of the twentieth century with deep, emotional characters.
In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.
2. Gone with the Wind
In the two main characters, the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Margaret Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet.
3. Redeeming Love
California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.
4. Whitney, My Love
Judith McNaught launched her stellar career with this dazzling bestseller. Hailed as “the ultimate love story, one you can dream about forever” (Romantic Times), Whitney, My Love lives on in the hearts of millions of McNaught’s devoted fans. This very special hardcover collector’s edition, available for the first time, features a brand new ending and endows familiar characters with new depth. Now, savor the beauty and majesty of this timeless classic all over again. Under the dark, languorous eyes of Clayton Westmoreland, the Duke of Claymore, Whitney Stone grew from a saucy hoyden into a ravishingly sensual woman.
5. The Notebook
At thirty-one, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At twenty-nine, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle…
To set the stage for Remember When, Judith McNaught’s exciting new December 1996 hardcover, her publisher asked her to select a favorite work to appear the month prior–and then they gave it a classic price. This book features a chapter teasing to Remember When, along with a $2 coupon toward its purchase.
7. Dragonfly In Amber
With her classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters—Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser—delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful sequel to Outlander.
With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants.
9. A Knight in Shining Armor
Once upon a time as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: Tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress.
10 Once and Always
Across the vast ocean sailed Victoria Seaton, a free-spirited American beauty left suddenly orphaned and alone. Eager to claim her long-lost heritage, she was amazed at the formal elegance of Wakefield, the sumptuous English estate of her distant cousin…the notorious Lord Jason Fielding. Sought after at plays, operas, and balls by London’s most fashionable ladies, Jason remained a mystery to Victoria. Bewildered by his arrogant demeanor, yet drawn to his panther-like grace, she came to sense the searingly painful memories that smoldered in the depths of his jade-green eyes.
11. Dreaming of You
Derek Craven is a powerful and near-legendary gambling club owner who was born a bastard and raised in the streets. His reputation is unsavory, his scruples nonexistent. But Sara senses that beneath Derek’s cynical exterior, he is capable of a love more passionate than her deepest fantasies.
12. A Kingdom of Dreams
Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beauty Jennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as “The Wolf,” his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, this handsome rogue who taunts her with his blazing arrogance.
13. The Bronze Horseman
A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the international bestselling author of TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg. Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia.
14. The Thorn Birds
Sometimes when he didn’t know he was being watched, Meggie would look at him and try desperately to imprint his face upon her brain’s core. And he would turn to find her watching him, a look in his eyes of haunted grief, a doomed look. She understood the implicit message, or thought she did; he must go, back to the Church and his duties. Never again with the same spirit, perhaps, but more able to serve. For only those who have slipped and fallen know the vicissitudes of the way.
15. It Had to Be You
The Windy City isn’t quite ready for Phoebe Somerville—the outrageous, curvaceous New York knockout who has just inherited the Chicago Stars football team. And Phoebe is definitely not ready for the Stars’ head coach, former gridiron legend Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. Calebow is everything Phoebe abhors. And the sexy new boss is everything Dan despises—a meddling bimbo who doesn’t know a pigskin from a pitcher’s mound.
The bestselling author of Paradise comes a new spellbinding tale of passion and adventure. Having lived through a turbulent childhood, Hillary knows that life is not always fair and most people deserve a second chance. What she doesn’t know is that she will find the man of her dreams in a most unlikely place, and that they will kindle a passion and find a love that will go beyond any measure.
17. Ella Enchanted
At her birth, Ella of Frell receives a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order, whether it’s to hop on one foot for a day and a half, or to chop off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not accept her fate.
18. Lord of Scoundrels
HarperCollins US Turns out that The Bitch In the House was only half the story Daniel Jones. husband of Cathi Hanauer. has rallied the men for the literary equivalent of The. . Full Monty. in which a group of thoughtful. passionate and often hilarious men lay it bare when it comes to their wives and girlfriends. their hopes and fears Many of these husbands and fathers contemplate aspects of their personal lives theyve never before revealed – kicking open the door on their marriages and sex lives.
19. The Secret
A beautiful English lady falls for a Scottish highlander in this delightful historical romance. Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud and loyal. Her dear Scottish friend from childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another, private reason for the journey from her bleak English home to the Highlands: to meet the father she had never known, the Laird Maclean. Nothing prepared her, however, for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land…Iain Maitland, Laird of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.
20. Something Wonderful
Bestselling author Judith McNaught masterfully portrays a remarkable heroine, and an unforgettable passion, in this powerfully moving love story — one of her most beloved novels of all time! The tempestuous marriage of Alexandra Lawrence, an innocent country girl, and Jordan Townsende, the rich and powerful Duke of Hawthorne, is about to face its ultimate test of tender loyalty.
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