At various times in my reading life, I’ve been a fan of romance. I read Harlequins by the pile when I was still in high school, and then, about five years ago, I became thoroughly addicted to historical romances, and read dozens upon dozens of them over the course of about a year.
Having said that, I understand that there are a lot of people who don’t read romance, but who might still want to play along with the romance bingo game! In furtherance of that goal, I’ve put together a few non-romance reads that will qualify as romance for purposes of the game (i.e., they meet the terms of the category and love is a significant theme). So, without further ado:
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This is a thoroughly charming book narrated by Cassandra Mortmain, who lives with her eccentric family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Their lives are irrevocably changed when two young men show up in the neighborhood, attracting both Rose, Cassandra’s more conventional sister, as well as Cassandra herself.
This one would qualify for “New Adult,” “Historical Romance,” or “Guy/Girl Next Door” categories.
Katherine by Anya Seton. First published in 1954, this is a piece of historical romantic fiction that tells the story of the love affair between Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt. Epic in scope, their relationship spanned decades. If you are a fan of stories set in the high middle ages, this will be right up your alley.
This one would fit nicely into the “Historical Romance” category, along with “Blown Away,” “Second Chances,” (Katherine is married when she meets John of Gaunt) and “Wedding Bells”.
The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. This is a classic sweeping epic first published in 1978, and was one my favorite books growing up. Set in India during the Raj, it chronicles the forbidden love between Ash Pelham-Martyn, a young British boy brought up as a Hindu (this character is modeled on Kim, from the Rudyard Kipling book of the same name) and Anjuli, Indian princess. It is long, but is a heart stopping, heart pounding adventure.
This one would fit nicely into “Historical Romance,” and, possibly, “Interracial couple,” since the two lovers are forbidden from being together because of their cultural/racial differences.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Obviously, this is one of the most beloved romances of all time, so it fits right in with romance bingo. Lizzie and Darcy are two of the finest couples that any author ever put to paper, and this is one of my favorite books of all time.
I would strongly argue for placing this book in the “New Adult” category, as Lizzie is 20 and Darcy is 28. In addition to “New Adult,” it fits into “Wedding Bells” and “Second Chances” (Bingley gets a second chance with Jane), as well as “Blown Away,” since Darcy is bowled over by Lizzie and her fine eyes.
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. This is a lovely retelling of the Six Swans fairy tale, set in Celtic Britain of a distant, mythological past. Sorcha is a remarkable heroine, and her love interest is suitably swoony, if somewhat taciturn, hero.
This book can fill the “Fairy Tale Retelling” and “Young Adult” squares.
This is a few books that are not traditional “romance novels” than can fill some of the squares on the romance bingo card!