10 Unconventional Love Stories

With all the love being passed around today, we thought we’d switch things up a bit with our newest list of book recommendations. The theme to all these books is in fact love, but not in the most traditional sense. These aren’t your typical ‘boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy loses girl’ stories. Nope, there’s none of those here. These books explore love in the most unconventional ways. Intrigued yet? By the end, you definitely will be!


Three Sides of a Heart edited by Natalie C. Parker

We’re starting off this list with a collection of 16 short stories, and the shared theme between them all is love triangles. This YA-collection will take what you think you know about  the complicated love triangle, and turn it completely on its head. Hint: Zombies may be involved.


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The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

The two lovers in this book may just be the next Romeo and Juliet. Soulmates from the time they were orphans together, the harsh circumstances of the 1930s depression keeps their worlds moving further and further apart. However, no matter what life throws at them, they can’t help but long for their childhood sweetheart. Will their paths ever cross again?



The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This 2013-bestseller is the definition of an unconventional romance. Don Tillman is a socially-awkward genetics professor, looking for his perfect match (a search he calls The Wife Project). Rosie Jarman is not that perfect match, but she does have a project of her own that Don can help her with: The Father Project. They must work together to find Rosie’s dad and Don potential wife. This is a love story about a man, and the girl who is totally wrong for him.



The Secret Affair by Gill Paul

While this book follows multiple love stories, the most unconventional is that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The story follows Diana, a historical advisor on the set of Cleopatra, where the famous affair began. When Diana first arrives, she finds the film production already in jeopardy because of financial difficulties and the media affair surrounding Taylor and Burton. Little does she know, it’s not just the famous co-stars with secrets to hide. Gill Paul gives us a great, behind the scenes look at the glamour of Hollywood, all while exploring the love taboo of secret affairs.


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How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

This book features a love story complicated by time-travel, but not in the traditional sense. Tom is a member of the Albatross Society, a group of people who have the ability to live for centuries. So while Tom may appear like a middle-age man, his life is much more complicated than that. Tom has lived for centuries with no problems as he follows the rules of the Albatross Society in order to avoid detection. However, when he begins to fall for a coworker (who is not part of the Society), his life begins to unravel. Can he let go of his 400-year old past?



An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

How much can a marriage survive? Roy and Celestial seem to have the perfect marriage, him a young executive and her an artist, until Roy is arrested and sentenced to prison. Celestial believes his innocence but can’t help feeling lonely during her husband’s absence. It’s no wonder that she becomes more and more attached to longtime friend Andre. When Roy suddenly returns, having been released from prison early, will their marriage return to its former glory, or will this love triangle ruin everything?


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This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis

Sasha is what you would call a straight and narrow student. She studies hard and practices clarinet even harder, all to make sure she gets a spot at the prestige Oberlin Conservatory. But her path to perfection starts to derail when she meets bad-boy Isaac Harver. Her body, and her heart, seems drawn to him and she can’t figure out why. It’s then that we find out Sasha had a twin sister whom she absorbed in the womb (yes, you read that right!), and Sasha becomes convinced that it is actually her sister’s heart who is so drawn to Harver.


Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

This lively, sexy and thought-provoking story is about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages. It follows Nikki, the daughter of Indian immigrants, who impulsively takes a teaching job in creative writing. A miscommunication leads to a group of Sikh widows showing up for a basic English literacy class, and one of them coming across a book of sexy stories. Due to their interest in the stories, Nikki teaches the women how to express their untold stories, but they must keep quiet about their exciting and unexpected tales.



My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari

Simi’s husband is dying of cancer, but he is already preparing his wife up for life without him. His two last wishes include having a child, and setting his wife up with his best friend (who also happens to be her former flame). To do so, he sets up adventures for the three of them to embark upon together, so that Simi can simultaneously say goodbye to her husband and fall in love with another man at the same time.



How to Fall in Love with a Man who Lives in a Bush by Emmy Abrahamson

And finally, to end off our list we’re giving you a glimpse of a title that won’t hit stores until March. Set in Vienna, Julia is an aspiring writer who has yet to have her big break. In the meantime, she teaches English as a foreign language, but deep down she is lonely. That is until she meets Ben, a sexy, but filthy, homeless man. Ben is like no man she has ever met and she finds herself attracted to him. Could she really see herself dating someone who’s homeless? You’ll have to wait until March 20 to find out!

And there you have it, Savvy Readers! 10 books that will completely change the way you think about love stories. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @SavvyReader.

Happy Valentine’s!


Follow me on Twitter @michelleskelsey

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Canadian publishing professionals and bloggers. Looking for savvy readers to talk books with us!

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