Romantic reads are popular all year but especially around Valentine's Day. Many of these books are predictable. We feel that we have read the same story over and over. There are countless take offs on fairy tales, classic plays like Romeo and Juliet or iconic novels such as Wuthering Heights. After a while even the most avid romance reader wants a change of pace. Occasionally, a romantic book comes along with an unusual twist. But despite the unusual subject matter, these books often hold their own with the most highly praised traditional chick lit. There is something imaginative, unconventional, provocative or just plain bizarre in the mix. From well-loved classics like The Phantom of the Opera to romantic sci-fi epics such as The Time Machine or the quirky love story/recipe book Like Water for Chocolate these are some of the best romantic novels with a twist.
Sydney Opera House
The Doctor and the Diva: A Novel by Adrienne McDonnell tells the early twentieth century story of a fertility specialist who falls in love with a patient who is married opera singer.
The Light in The Piazza
As offbeat as it is touching, Elizabeth Spencer's novella The Light in the Piazza, focuses on a mentally challenged young woman who finds love in Italy. In the fifty plus years since its publication the story has been adapted into film and theater productions.
The novel Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier is a romantic coming of age tale set in a working class section of London during the late18th century. The story is told from several perspectives but one sassy, streetwise con-artist's daughter, who carries a dark secret, manages to steal the show.
The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is a well-loved classic that has stood the test of time and has had even more success in film and on Broadway as an iconic musical.
The Time Machine
H.G. Wells' classic thriller appeals to more than sci-fi fans. The memorable romantic storyline is a powerful and important part of the plot. True love provides the motivation to travel back to the terrifying future and face the Morlocks.
Like Water for Chocolate
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel is a very imaginative story set in Mexico that blends the love of food with romance. Readers learn just how expressive and sometimes powerful food can be in this tale about a woman who is forbidden to marry the man she loves because she is expected to take care of her aging mother.