Kevin Boyle won a National Book Award in 2004 for "Arc of Justice."
A.S. Byatt's "Possession" is not one but two love stories, intertwined with literature, poetry, and research amid musty stacks of 19th-century documents. What more could a professor of history ask for in a novel? My wife and I read it to each other, luxuriating in Byatt's beautiful prose and brilliant play of ideas. Now that's romantic.
Kent Meyers 's most recent novel is "The Work of Wolves."
If "A Midsummer Night's Dream" doesn't count as a book, I'll nominate David James Duncan's "The River Why." It will make you fall in love, either again or for the first time. It's about a river, romantic in itself, and a fisherman who falls in love with a fisherwoman, and they both get to keep fishing even after they fall in love. The woman's name is Eddy, like the motion of a stream around a rock, and the book contains this unforgettable line, when the narrator comes back to his cabin and discovers the girl of his dreams there: "It was Eddy, it was Eddy, it was Eddy, alone in my house, waiting for me."
Steve Almond celebrated the world of sweets in "Candyfreak," published last year.
"Stoner," by John Williams, contains what is no doubt my favorite literary romance of all time. William Stoner is well into his 40s, and mired in an unhappy marriage, when he meets Katherine, another shy professor of literature. The affair that ensues is described with a beauty so fierce that it takes my breath away each time I read it. The chapters devoted to this romance are both terribly sexy and profoundly wise.
John Griesemer 's debut novel, "Signal & Noise" was among the Monitor's top five recommendations for 2003.