Last week was the Romantic Novelists’ Association awards with the Romantic Novel of the Year won ‘by a nose’ by Jenny Colgan’s Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams. In recognition of her win we thought it would be lovely to look at books with a bit of romance. And who better to provide us with romance than the previous year’s winners.
1. Please Don’t Stop the Music by Jan Lovering – Jemima and Ben each have secrets from their respective pasts. When they meet they are curious about each other. Will their secrets remain hidden?
2. The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes – Ellie is a journalist and trawling the newspaper achives looking for something, anything, to grab her which would make a good story. It didn’t look promising, until she found a letter from 1960 written by a man asking his lover to leave her husband.
3. Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon – Rachel has been left a house, a dog and kennels. Zoe’s children have been given a puppy, but it is Zoe that ends up looking after it. And Natalie and Johnny are trying for a baby, but a basset hound is their child-substitute. Their paths cross with each other whilst walking their dogs...
4. East of the Sun by Julia Gregson – Rose, Victoria and Viva are travelling to India to start their new lives. It is1928 and each woman has their own reason for leaving her home country.
5. Pillow Talk by Freya North – A story about sleep walking, jewellery making and music. Petra is works in London as a jeweler. Arlo, her high school sweetheart, now works at a private school having left the music business behind. They haven’t seen each other for seventeen years. Then they’re in front of each other, in a sweet shop, in the middle of nowhere.
6. Iris & Ruby by Rosie Thomas – This story is set in the heat and bustle of Cairo. Teenager Ruby has fled England to join her grandmother, Iris. Together they document Iris’s memories from Cairo during World War Two and the romance she had.
7. Gardens of Delight by Erica James – Gardens of Delight is a holiday for gardening enthusiastists in the Lake Como area of Italy. They are there for a peaceful life. But with relationships and romance, peaceful is the last thing that’ll happen.
8. A Good Voyage by Katharine Davies – A modern day Twelfth Night. Twin Valentina cuts off her hair and become s gardener. She helps Leo with his overgrown and neglected garden but soon fall sin love with him. But Leo is infatuated with Melody, the local headmistress. But Melody, in mouring for her brother, has other admirers. Relationships come to her head when Leo holds a party in his beautiful new garden.
9. Foreign Fruit by Jojo Moyes – It is the 1950s and the setting is a very English seaside town. Lottie, an evacuee, has an unremarkable life which is transformed when she moves there. New mum Daisy, recently abandoned by her partner, has been given the task of renovating a house. Which until recently belonged to Lottie...
10. Playing James by Sarah Mason – Holly is a young journalist, moved from covering pet deaths to crime for the local newspaper. The police PR department think it’ll be a good story for Holly to shadow Detective James Sabine and the resulting column is increasingly popular with the readers. It appears everyone is waiting for a romance to kindle between the journalist and detective.