The hard truth: Love is complicated. But throw in the added layer of time travel, and the story can become both more romantic and heart-wrenching at the same time. It’s why The Time Traveler’s Wife was a huge hit. Here are eight titles for fans of Henry and Clare’s unconventional love story who feel nostalgic for classic romance with a time-bending twist.
Chance of a Lifetime by Jude Deveraux
In Chance of a Lifetime, Liam O’ Connor is in a real predicament. He has to get Cora McLeod, the love of his life back in 1844 Ireland, to fall in love with someone else. He may love her, but a higher power sees a different future for Cora. In present-day North Carolina, Cora is a very different woman — a little more headstrong. Liam may want her all for himself, but eternal damnation is on the line.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
When Claire Randall finds herself dragged back in time into the 1700s, the last thing she expects is to become attached to Scottish warrior James Fraser with her husband left to grieve her mysterious disappearance. At first eager for the chance to get home, she’s later torn between the past and future, her husband and lover. Yet, both worlds may be more intertwined than she realizes.
An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim
Polly is about to travel to the future to gain access to life-saving medicine for her husband, Frank. The plan is to meet him in Galveston, Texas, 12 years from the present. But when things don’t go according to plan, she travels an additional five years into the future — no Frank. Heartbroken, she’s determined to find her way back to him.
The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz
Faye can’t escape the grief of losing her husband, Will. Hoping it will help, she takes a photography job capturing South Carolina’s coast. She becomes drawn to a beautiful lighthouse, not sure why she’s so captivated by it. When she visits it, some unexplainable force drags her into the past where she finds herself entangled in a love story she’s not sure her heart is ready to embrace.
The Heavens by Sandra Newman
Ben and Kate meet at a swanky Manhattan party and start to fall in love. Then Kate reveals she has a reoccurring dream where she’s living another life as Emilia, a mistress of a nobleman in the past. But is it a dream? Strange pictures change in her apartment, and the physical world around her seems to be changing. As Kate tries to sort it out, Ben fears losing the woman he loves for good.
Time and Again by Jack Finney
Initially published in 1970, Time and Again follows Si Morley as he leaps at the chance to join a government operation that’s exploring time travel. He leaves the 20th century for the 1800s, determined to investigate a letter that may be warning him a fire will destroy the world. But when he falls in love with a woman in the past, he has to choose between two lives.
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
It’s 1970s California, and Dana is just living in it, until she’s dragged away from her 26th birthday celebration with her husband to another decade in Antebellum, Maryland. Her purpose? Save the drowning son of a plantation owner. The future calls her back just as she finds herself with a gun to her head. But it’s not the last time she’ll be pulled into the dangers of the past.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
While technically not about time travel, you’ll undoubtedly feel transported back in time as Jacob recalls his time with the enchanting Benzini Brothers circus. Down on his luck, he fell into their crowd and in love with Marlena in the process, the beautiful star of the equestrian act who’s also the ring leader’s wife.
The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
Soldier and aristocrat Nick Falcott is about to die on Napoleon’s battlefield when he wakes up in modern London, alive and (mostly) well. He’s showered with conveniences by The Guild, a time travel agency of sorts that brought him there. However, he misses someone back home — Julia Percy. So when The Guild needs him to travel back to gain intelligence, he does. What he finds is a combination of love and secrets that could change everything.
*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. This does not impact your purchase price. We are a participant in the Bookshop Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Bookshop.org while simultaneously supporting local bookstores. We suggest supporting your local bookstore or one of these black-owned bookstores.