Find your way into a love story or two.
If you’re in the mood to read a romance, check out some of the love stories set in the South. Some are new and some are on their way to becoming classics, but all incorporate characters who are navigating the joys and challenges of love. Some of these stories are focused on the affectionate relationships that live at the hearts of them, and others incorporate other romantic elements, the connections between people, families, and the things they love throughout their lives. Find a few of our picks for most romantic books based in the South below, and let us know which ones get your vote. Romance is in the air!
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
The Southern-set romance that needs no introduction, The Notebook is as famous for its storyline and characters as it is for the 2004 film based on it. The action of the book takes place in Seabrook, North Carolina.
Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton
Three generations grapple with different kinds of love and loss in this novel by Lauren K. Denton, which finds Jessie McBride living with her mother and daughter as she is drawn to a couple of surprise arrivals to town.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
With elements of mystery and historical fiction as well as romance, Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing has it all, including an evocative setting in a fictional community set in the marshes of North Carolina.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
A well-known epic set in the South, this National Book Award-winning novel by Charles Frazier is an adventure and a moving love story that takes place across the South during the Civil War.
An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
This story has both romance and mystery. It centers on Elle Burns, a formerly enslaved woman who returns to the South as a spy for the Union Army and finds love in the midst of a dangerous mission.
A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks
When it comes to romantic Southern books, Nicholas Sparks deserves another nod. A Walk To Remember tells the story of two teenagers falling in love against all odds.
Carolina Built by Kianna Alexander
While not strictly a romance, this book is a love letter to its subject, Josephine Napoleon Leary, and explores her journey through entrepreneurship, marriage, and motherhood in North Carolina, where she lives with her family while building a real estate empire.
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
At the risk of adding yet another Nicholas Sparks novel to the list, Nights in Rodanthe deserves a mention as much for its plot as for its setting, the now well-known coastal community on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
Leading Men by Christopher Castellani
Though not set in the South, this book is based on one of the South’s most famous playwrights and follows the relationship between Tennessee Williams and his partner Frank Merlo, fictionalizing their lives and coterie of artist friends in the 1950s and beyond.
Rebel by Beverly Jenkins
Set in New Orleans, this romance novel by prolific author Beverly Jenkins follows two star-crossed lovers thrown together after the Civil War. It’s a page-turning installment in Jenkins’ Women Who Dare series.
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