Ethan Frome - though forced to read this in high school, I later learned to appreciate it. I like the juxtaposition of the frozen winter and his frozen heart, and how Mattie later turns his life around. Sad ending, of course.
Jane Eyre - all time fave of a nanny turned bride. In the real world, many rich men didn't marry their kids' governesses and nannies back then, but Jane changes Mr. Rochester's life around. Always wanted to read Far Sargosa Sea, about his first wife (the loony locked in the tower) but never got it. One day.
Pride & Prejudice - the classic. Skip the P&P and Zombies version, though! I'll take Mr. Darcy without the kickass zombie moves, thank you. Lizzy is the perfect heroine - realistic, practical, and a romantic at heart.
Emma - favorite story of growing up with your future husband. Mr. Knightley is my fave Austen hero - he's forgiving, loyal, and devastatingly adorable (at least in the movie version!).
Wuthering Heights - is there any better love story than Heathcliff's and Cathy's? Even though she tortures him and makes his life a living hell by marrying the rich boy down the road, their love survives the grave. The Yorkshire moors are made only more intriguing when one ponders their ghosts, forever united, running around the heather.
All timer - Gone With the Wind! Scarlett is the quintessential heroine, though she is really not likable if one really studies the book. But Melanie is the other extreme, so we all like Scarlett. She's brave and daring, and loves with her whole heart.
Sense and Sensibility - Austen's other lovely story of sisters is a classic women's read. Marianne is embarrassingly like how I used to be as a lovestruck teen, but Elinor gives us hope that we may all blossom into refined women, though with a touch of romance in our lives.
What are your favorite love stories? Please share!