As much as I enjoy great worldbuilding and fast pacing, one facet of a book is more important to me than any other—the love story. I can definitely enjoy a wonderful display of friendship like those you’ll find in Stephen King’s classic novellas The Body and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. But I’m always itching to find a romantic connection between two characters, and eagerly follow that connection through any book I read.
Lucky for all of us romance fans, there are tons of ways to read novels on the internet. So many, in fact, that the process of finding a good book online can become a bit overwhelming. Well, never fear! Here are a few great novels you can read online—and a bonus is that you can read part or all of each book for free.
1) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
When rich and eligible bachelor Mr. Bingley arrives in Meryton, Mrs. Bennet is hopeful that he will marry one of her five daughters. He does take an immediate liking to her eldest, Jane, while Elizabeth, the next-oldest, clashes with Mr. Bingley’s wealthy friend, Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth is immediately put off by rude and arrogant Mr. Darcy, but eventually begins to wonder if her first impressions were correct.
This 1813 novel is the most popular of Jane Austen’s works, largely due to the chemistry between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. The slow burn of their romance throughout the book is thrilling, and it is moving to watch Elizabeth grow as a character and realize how wrong she was about him. You can read the book for free on Project Gutenberg.
2) Hope(less): Judgement of the Six, Book 1 by Melissa Haag
Gabby never expected a quiet, ruggedly handsome werewolf to show any interest in a human (other than maybe eating one). But when she meets Clay, he shows a single-minded determination to make her his mate. She rejects him, but when she finds that a truly dangerous evil is after her, she must turn to Clay for help in protecting precious secrets she’s kept her whole life.
Mega-successful novels like the Twilight series show that readers can’t get enough of supernatural romances, and this is a fun one where the tension between Gabby and Clay really smolders. The first 14 chapters are available for free on Fictionate.Me.
3) Knowing Xavier by Daisy H. Black
Haley Rosamond never realized how good she has it until she gets to know Xavier Hunt, a black-clad boy at school with bruises and scars who rarely attends class. She realizes everything she assumed about him was wrong and becomes eager to help him with free food, tutoring sessions, and random acts of kindness. Their relationship blooms but when Haley gets into her dream college and another tragedy occurs in Xavier’s life, she worries she’ll be forced to become just another person who leaves him behind.
The abuse Xavier suffers is handled very sensitively here, and the friendship and love that grow between him and Haley is truly touching to watch. You can read this popular romance on Wattpad.
4) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Newland Archer, a young lawyer, is engaged to beautiful May Welland. But when May’s cousin Ellen arrives from Europe after fleeing her failed marriage, Archer can’t help but admire her independence and worldliness. Social conventions won’t allow Archer to leave his passionless relationship with May for disgraced Ellen, and he is torn between love and responsibility.
This love triangle manages to both portray the electric chemistry between Archer and Ellen, and provide commentary on the rigid confinement and judgment of the upper class during the Gilded Age. You can read it for free on Project Gutenberg.
5) The Crimson Throne by LittleFoodie
Elaine Lawrence is just about to graduate from college when a freak accident causes her soul to transfer into Estella Marie de La Croix, a villainous side character from a novel she just finished reading. Though Estella’s family and the male protagonist’s family are sworn enemies, he was always her favorite character in the book and her heart flutters whenever their paths cross.
This fantasy romance includes an engaging female lead and is highly imaginative. You can read the entire book for free on Fictionate.Me.
6) The Unveiling: Book 1 by Tamara Leigh
In 12th century England, Lady Annyn Bretanne has been training at arms for the past four years so that she can avenge her brother’s murder. She disguises herself as a squire and sets off to exact revenge against a man she knows only by his surname, Wulfrith. Baron Wulfrith is a renowned trainer of knights and does not allow any women within his walls. He never expected the young man sent to train under him to turn out to be a woman. Annyn wavers in her conviction that Wulfrith is a villain after all, while his feelings for her threaten to distract the warrior from his purpose.
This medieval romance reminds one a bit of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and you can’t help but root for the relationship at its core. You can read it on Manybooks.
7) Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Taking place between 1792 and 1797, this novel follows the lives and loves of the eldest Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. When their father dies, the sisters are forced to live with their widowed mother in a tiny cottage on a distant relative’s property. Here they experience love and heartbreak.
Another novel by master romance-weaver Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility is chock full of love stories. Marianne is caught between two different suitors, while Elinor falls in love with her half-sister-in-law’s brother. There is also a wonderful film adaptation starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, and Alan Rickman. You can read the novel on Project Gutenberg.
Author’s Bio: Jillian Karger was born in Ohio but has lived in and around New York City for over a decade. Since graduating from NYU in 2009, Jill has had a long string of jobs doing things like scouting books to be adapted for film and researching trivia questions for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.
She has done freelance writing as well for sites like Cracked.com, and had her Twitter jokes featured on BuzzFeed and funnyordie.com. Jill has also self-published two novels on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Jillian-Karger/e/B07B894DNW).
Follow her blog posts about books and writing advice, read books and publish them for free at: https://www.fictionate.me.