There can be a lot of pressure surrounding Valentine’s Day. Roses, frantic restaurant reservations, The Notebook on every channel. Let’s take out the drama, and simply do the things we love with the people that matter most. Whether that’s tucking into a home-cooked meal with a partner, calling a relative, or spending a delightful evening of self-care curled up with a decent story.

And if your plans do involve some candlelit reading (box of chocolates within easy reach), we have a few recommendations for the day. From the giddy rush of teenage romance to the rich bond between parent and child, from the affection we hold towards our friends to the love and acceptance we must remember to try and feel towards ourselves – here’s our round-up of books that celebrate love in all its forms.

My Week With Him – Joya Goffney (Hot Key Books)

From Joya Goffney, author of the hit YA romcom Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry, comes this stirring coming-of-age best friends to lovers romance. Nikki is ready to rage quit Texas and flee to California and the music career of her dreams, but her pal and lonnnnnng-time crush Malachai is determined to give her a reason to stay. Told with Goffney’s trademark blend of heartfelt humour, and with a pair of leads boasting red-hot chemistry to burn, you’ll want to spend a week or two with this YA romance.

Prince and Knight – Daniel Haack (illustrated by Stevie Lewis) (Studio Press)

Once upon a time there lived a charming prince. When a fearsome dragon threatens the kingdom, a brave knight steps forward to protect its people. Could this be the prince’s one true love? A modern fairy-tale and a joyfully-depicted queer romance for younger readers, brought to life by Stevie Lewis’ timeless illustration. Author Daniel Haack grew up wanting to “save the day and get the boy”. In the brilliant Prince and Knight, our hero does just that.

Last Chance in Paris – Lynda Marron (Eriu)

When her husband suggests a romantic break, Claire feels obliged to say yes but immediately regrets it. After the tragedy they’ve been through, how can one weekend in Paris save their marriage? Claire and Ronan aren’t the only people on a make-or-break visit to the City of Love. There is a big-shot movie producer from Hollywood, full of regret for a life ill-lived; a student from Boston, torn between love and duty; a Ukrainian refugee struggling to protect her little sister; and an old woman from Dijon, hoping to be braver than she has ever had to be before. When their lives briefly intertwine, something extraordinary happens…

The Phone Box at the Edge of the World – Laura Imai Messina (translated by Lucy Rand) (Manilla Press)

An unforgettable tale about the dark depths of grief and the eternal, uplifting nature of love. On a remote hill in Japan stands a disused phone-box, sought out by those who want to speak their secrets to the wind, and pass messages to loved ones no longer with us. It is here that Yui meets Takeshi – two bereaved souls at the start of a long journey out of despair. Don’t miss Messina’s startling book about the love we hold for those we’ve lost and for those we’re yet to meet.

You Had Me at Halloumi – Ginger Jones (Zaffre)

When it comes to love, its feta late than never. Waving goodbye to both job and useless partner; chef Freya Butterly packs her bags for Cyprus to compete in the prestigious Golden Spoon culinary competition. Sparks soon fly in the kitchen as Freya finds herself head-to-head with Xanthos (sun-kissed God and all-round dish), who promises her a true taste of the Mediterranean. Ginger Jones’ debut is a mouth-watering, pun-tastic holiday romance that delivers some serious spice. Trust us: you’ll never look at a cheesecake in the same way again… Like the sound of this? Check out our scorching hot list of Spicy Fit reads.

I Loved You In Another Life – David Arnold (Hot Key Books)

Evan and Shosh’s lives are laced with pain – both struggling to process grief and battling for a way forward. And then they hear the song… With lyrical prose and breathtaking storytelling, Arnold’s book tells the tale of these two strangers, and the celestial bird that transcends time and space to bring people together. A sweeping romance that shows that some souls are simply meant for one another – yesterday, today, and forever.

The Couple – Helly Acton (Zaffre)

“A romcom with a difference…” Helly Acton turns the genre on its head with a thought-provoking twist on the old format. In Millie’s society, being single is the norm. No awkward questions about her love-life, no lost evenings scrolling through apps. But when she is partnered with Ben and tasked with launching a revolutionary new pill that prevents you from falling in love, tricky new feelings rise to the surface.

Love is… – Lily Murray (illustrated by Sarah Maycock) (Big Picture Press)

You’ll want to frame every page of this stunning title. A collection of animal similes that salutes love in its many different forms, including the strong bond between parents and their children and the oft-neglected importance of self-love. Packed full of nuzzling tigers, cuddling pandas and peacocks proudly flouting their plumage; Sarah Maycock’s illustrations are so expressive they’ll leap from the page and into your heart.

The Little Things – Emma Dodd (Templar Publishing)

One more for nature lovers! A giant panda and its adorable cub discover the importance of helping others. A colourful new book from the international bestseller Emma Dodd, The Little Things celebrates the bond between parent and child, and the power in smiling at a stranger or giving a friend a hug. This isn’t a romance, but rather a celebration of love in its simplest forms, and how those unsung acts of everyday kindness can make the biggest difference.

Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions – Laura Starkey (Embla Books)

Rachel Ryan is sure this will be her year. But come February, her career is in chaos and her life is falling apart around her. Boasting a fiery, frequently hilarious protagonist, Starkey’s sparkling debut is a romcom that deftly navigates through the hangovers, nightmare jobs and awkward romantic entanglements of late-twenties/early-thirties life and delivers a relatable romance that is unafraid to tug at the heartstrings too.

Rhubarb Lemonade – Oskar Kroon (Hot Key Books)

Oskar Kroon’s poetic novel finds Vinga wiling away the holidays on her grandad’s remote Swedish island. Here she meets Ruth, and a bond swiftly forms between these two very different young women. Over the seemingly endless days, as the sea crashes against the cliffs, and the heat hangs heavy in the skies, their friendship evolves into something deeper. As wistful and evocative as a hazy summer memory.

Better Left Unsent – Lia Louis (Zaffre)

Millie Chandler is known at work as the nice receptionist who got dumped by the company hotshot, and ever since then, she has vowed to keep everything to herself – her feelings, her hopes, and especially her fears. But Millie does have an outlet: her emails. From sarcastic replies to her rude boss to a five-hundred-word love declaration to her ex, Millie’s reality lives in her drafts, until the morning she discovers that they are somehow in her sent folder… The truth is out. A laugh-out-loud rom-com from a master of the genre.

Honeymoon for One – Rachel Bowdler (Embla)

Christmas might be in the rear-view mirror, but we always have time for a sparkling, heartwarming festive romance perfect for these long winter nights! A broken engagement. A non-refundable honeymoon. And a standoffish ski instructor who captures Robin’s heart. This is a Christmas Robin and Neve will never forget… Rachel Bowdler’s debut is a gorgeous sapphic romance under the starry Canadian skies.

The Last Library – Freya Sampson (Zaffre)

Freya Sampson’s tender novel pays tribute to our one true love here at BBUK: books. What we read can reveal plenty about us. Reclusive library assistant June has learnt lots about the regulars at Chalcot Library, yet remains a mystery to many. But when the library is threatened with closure, she must reach out to this ragtag bunch of readers and fight for its future. The Last Library is a big-hearted tribute to the importance of community, with strong intergenerational friendships at its centre. And for more bookshop-adoration: don’t miss Satoshi Yagisawa’s international bestselling sensations Days at the Morisaki Bookshop!