Public transportation is a great way to save money and save the environment. But it’s also boring as hell and takes forever compared to cars. In my town, taking the bus is equal to driving a car two miles an hour.
It’s really tempting to pass the hours mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed, but should you really spend more time in front of an electronic screen when your work day probably already forces you to spend hours on a computer? Not to mention it drains your phone battery, eats up data, and isn’t so much fun so much a way to numb the discomfort of sitting next to someone who smells like an ashtray.
Instead of stalking your middle school bully online, take some time for yourself with one of these 5 romance novels perfect for commuting. Not only will they leave you thoroughly entertained, but you will be supporting your local community when you buy them at your local bookstore.
1) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander“–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
Even if you watch the TV show, you should still read the books. Outlander is full of plot twists, action, and steamy sex scenes that will keep you entertained no matter where you are. The book is also really long so it will last you for several commutes before you have to choose another book. However, the paperback copies are still small enough to fit in your backpack, briefcase, or an oversized purse. The Outlander books are my go-to for traveling.
2) The Princess Bride by William Goldman
William Goldman’s modern fantasy classic is a simple, exceptional story about quests — for riches, revenge, power, and, of course, true love — that’s thrilling and timeless.
Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible — inconceivable, even — to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you’ll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that’s home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.”
The book that inspired one of the most quotable movies ever made has a slightly more serious tone but roughly the same plot, with lots of sword fights and true love. Its paperback version is travel size and the entertaining story will transport you off the loud commuter train and into the exciting kingdom of Florin.
3) The Bride by Julie Garwood
By edict of the king, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie, youngest daughter of Baron Jamison…a feisty, violet-eyed beauty. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her…forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this highland barbarian.
He was everything her heart warned against–an arrogant scoundrel whose rough good looks spoke of savage pleasures. And thought Kincaid’s scorching kisses fired her blood, she brazenly resisted him…until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills, and something far more dangerous than desire threatened to conquer her senses…
Not only is this a romance, but it is also a murder mystery that will keep you guessing about who the killer is. The Bride is also one of my favorite romance novels. Garwood’s writing has a way of pulling you in no matter what your environment is. There are sex scenes, but none so hot they will leave you blushing and squirming on the bus. It is long enough to last a commute but small enough to fit easily inside bags or to just carry in your hand.
What are your favorite books to read on the commute? Let us know in the comments. Also, stay tuned for an exciting Lover’s Quarrel giveaway that will be announced on November 1st. Like Lover’s Quarrel’s Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss it.