In Search of a Love Story author Rachel Schurig shares her favourite romantic cultural moments.

rachel schurigUnlike Emily, the main character from In Search of a Love Story, I’ve always been a big sucker for anything romantic. Movies, books, music, you name it. Writing this book was so much fun because I got to examine those romance staples from an outsider’s perspective. Emily Donovan was totally born without the romance gene, a fact her best friends, Ashley and Ryan, like to point out to her. In fact, Ashley and Ryan determine that her lack of interest in gooey love stuff is what keeps Emily from finding a boyfriend. They decide to “help” her by giving her a crash course in all things romance. As you can imagine, I very much enjoyed writing about all of the books, movies, and love songs that Ashley and Ryan felt were essential to Emily’s education. What would you consider essential when it comes to romance? Here’s my list:

Favorite Love Songs
The Luckiest – Ben Folds
Oh my gosh, have you heard this song? It is so, so beautiful. It makes me teary every time I hear it. Go listen to it, seriously, you wont regret it.
I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
This is a great love song, very pretty and sentimental. Also, I love Jason Mraz.
Only You – Joshua Radin
This is a cover of an 80s song by the British band Yazoo. I love this acoustic version.
Make You Feel My Love – Adele
This is a Bob Dylan song but Adele does it very beautifully. I love the version from her iTunes concert.
Dreamgirl – Hanson
Okay, I have a confession to make. I’m a huge fan of the band Hanson. You can go ahead and make fun of me now, I’m used to it. What’s funny is that I didn’t even like Hanson back when I was a teenager and they first came out and were mega popular and on the radio and stuff. I didn’t start liking them until I had graduated from college and a friend played me some of their recent stuff. Apparently they’ve started their own record label and are still touring. Who knew? Anyhow, this song is really beautiful and is one of my favorite love songs.

Some KInd of WonderfulFavorite Romantic Movies
I love romantic movies. This list could go on and on but I’ve narrowed it down to six.
An Affair to Remember
Classic love story staring the gorgeous Cary Grant — need I say more? Incidentally, this movie features my all-time favorite movie kiss, which actually takes place out of the shot. If you haven’t seen this, you really need to! AND it inspires another great love story, Sleepless in Seattle. How could you go wrong??
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Mmm, Collin Firth. So lovely. This movie is hilarious and romantic AND is loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, which will make an appearance in the books section.
Notting Hill
You can’t beat Hugh Grant back in his flopsy and adorable phase. This only just beat out Four Weddings and a Funeral for my list.
Some Kind of Wonderful
Awesome John Hughes 80s movie. Love it!
Love Actually
I watch this movie about twenty times a year around Christmas time. It is one of my all-time favorites.
Sense and Sensibility
The Emma Thompson/Kate Winslet version. Probably one of my favorite movies ever. I love the book and I think they do a great job with the adaptation. Wonderful supporting cast. The guy from House is in this! And more cute Hugh Grant PLUS Alan Rickman being surprisingly handsome.

Favorite Romance Books
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Probably my favorite book in life. I could put a lot of Jane Austen books on this list, but I’ll restrain myself to just one. Mr. Darcy is one of my favorite romantic leads, and Lizzie Bennet is one of the coolest girls anyone ever wrote about.
Anne of the Island – Lucy Maud Montgomery
Okay, this one is not strictly romance. But Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe are one of my favorite fictional couples. And this is the book where they finally get together. Gilbert’s proposal and the last scene in the book literally take my breath away. I love him!
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
Great book. Even better than the movie. And the sequel is fab as well.
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Jane is such a strong female lead. The love story in this book is lovely and very passionate.
Fair Game – Elizabeth Young
Young is a British author that never seemed to catch on in the US. I wish more people knew about her, because she really is fantastic. This is probably my favorite of her books, very funny, great love story, great main character. Definitely worth checking out.

Man, it was hard narrowing those lists down! I seriously could add another dozen choices to each category. I’d love to hear what you’d pick!

insearchofalovestory Emily Donovan doesn’t have a romantic bone in her body. At least, that’s what her friends Ryan and Ashley keep telling her. They’re convinced her bad luck with men is directly related to her life-long lack of interest in all things romantic. When Emily’s latest relationship crashes and burns, she decides to go along with her friends’ plans for a romance research project. Sure, the idea that she’ll have better luck if she learns about the great romances of literature and film seems a little silly, but Emily figures it can’t hurt. In no time at all, Emily finds herself buried under a mountain of romance novels, chick flicks, and sappy love songs, hopeful that her hard work will pay off with true love. When she meets Greg, Ashley and Ryan are convinced she’s found prince charming — after all, he’s rich, handsome, and totally into Emily. What more could she want? And why does it seem that her friend Elliot isn’t exactly happy for her? Faced with misunderstandings, miscommunications, and a seemingly endless string of missteps, she is nevertheless determined to give true love a try. In doing so, Emily will eventually find that true romance, the kind that lasts, has little to do with stereotypes or clichés, and everything to do with finding out what’s in her own heart.

Rachel Schurig is also the author of the Three Girls series. She lives in the metro Detroit area with her dog, Lucy. She loves to watch reality TV and reads as many books as she can get her hands on. In her spare time, Rachel decorates cakes.

4 comments on “All About the Romance”

  1. Wonderful post, Rachel! And there are some awesome romance pieces here. I’d have to say that love songs by Celine Dion always get me and Whitney Houston’s Bodyguard classic may be cliched but it’s a top one of mine. A forever-favorite classic rom com would be Doris Day’s Pillow Talk. And Three Men and a Little Lady has always hit my love story soft spot. Romance Books…wherever to begin! Austen and Brontë are definite classics, and the not-always-traditional-romantic works of Emily Giffin inspire and put a smile on my face. 🙂 Looking forward to following your tour! XO-Savannah

  2. Thanks for this great post Rachel. I have to tell you your list of favorite love songs is pretty much identical to mine. And I have already made note of a few books and movies I have not had the pleasure of reading/seeing yet. I love recommendations! I just read a fantastic series of three books by author Mary Metcalfe ( The books are “Winds of Change,” “New Beginnings” and “Road to Tomorrow.” I would compare her to authors Nora Roberts or Jodi Picoult. All the books feature a strong woman who is given a second chance at love (MY FAVORITE ROMANCE THEME!). I also think all the characters in her books are relatable and flawed and you really end up caring about each and every one of them. Thank you so much for your recommendations! I really hope you give Mary M. a read! 🙂

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