If you’re an avid reader with a penchant for romance, we hope you’ll love Before I Saw You by Emily Houghton, which was sent out to the romance subscribers of our February book subscription box. A poignant and moving story that addresses a serious subject matter in a sensitive and compassionate way, Before I Saw You is a sparkling debut from UK-based Emily Houghton. Rich with poetic prose, Houghton combines trauma, recovery, love and mental health to deliver a touching tale that is as heartbreaking as it is uplifting. And if you loved Houghton’s moving first novel, and are looking for your next romance read, here are 6 books to add to your reading pile if you loved Before I Saw You by Emily Houghton.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
England, late 1930s, and Alice Wright - restless, stifled - makes an impulsive decision to marry wealthy American Bennett Van Cleve and leave her home and family behind. But stuffy, disapproving Baileyville, Kentucky, where her husband favours work over his wife and is dominated by his overbearing father, is not the adventure - or the escape - that she hoped for. That is, until she meets Margery O'Hare, a troublesome woman - and daughter of a notorious felon - the town wishes to forget. Margery's on a mission to spread the wonder of books and reading to the poor and lost - and she needs Alice's help. Trekking alone under big open skies, through wild mountain forests, Alice, Margery and their fellow sisters of the trail discover freedom, friendship - and a life to call their own. But when the town turns against them, will their belief in one another - and the power of the written word - be enough to save them?
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
32-year-old Nina Dean is a successful food writer with a loyal online following, but a life that is falling apart. When she uses dating apps for the first time, she becomes a victim of ghosting, and by the most beguiling of men. Meanwhile, her beloved dad is vanishing in slow motion into dementia, and she's starting to think about ageing and the gendered double-standard of the biological clock. On top of this she has to deal with her mother's desire for a mid-life makeover and the fact that all her friends seem to be slipping away from her . . .
Dolly Alderton's debut novel is funny, tender and painfully relatable, filled with whip-smart observations about relationships and the way we live today.
Grown Ups by Marian Keyes
Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together - birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they're a happy family. Johnny's wife, Jessie - who has the most money - insists on it. Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . . Everything stays under control until Ed's wife Cara, gets concussion and can't keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny's birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets. In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it's time - finally - to grow up?
Just Like You by Nick Hornby
From the million-copy bestselling author comes a brutally funny novel about finding love when you least expect it. The person you are with is just like you: same background, same age, same interests. The perfect match. And it is a disaster. Then, when and where you least expect it, you meet someone new. You seem to have nothing in common and yet, somehow, it feels totally right. Nick Hornby's brilliantly observed, tender but also brutally funny new novel gets to the heart of what it means to fall surprisingly and headlong in love with the best possible person - someone who is not just like you at all.
Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella
Ava is sick of online dating. She's always trusted her own instincts over an algorithm, anyway, and she wants a break from it all. So when she signs up to a semi-silent, anonymous writing retreat in glorious Italy, love is the last thing on her mind. Until she meets a handsome stranger. . . All she knows is that he's funny, he's kind and - she soon learns - he's great in bed. He's equally smitten, and after a whirlwind, intoxicating affair, they pledge their love without even knowing each other's real names. But when they return home, reality hits. They're both driven mad by each other's weird quirks and annoying habits, from his eccentric, naked-sauna-loving family to her terribly behaved, shirt-shredding dog. As disaster follows disaster, it seems that while they love each other, they just can't love each other's lives. Can they overcome their differences to find one life, together?
Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can't stand him. She can't stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can't stand that he knows more about Casa Malaparte than she does, and she really can't stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton, where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, she finds herself drawn to him again. Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures
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