Love is in the air – a Valentine’s day special feature – #RespectRomFic #romanticfiction #lovestories | @TeamBATC @RNAtweets @SimonSchusterUK

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It’ll come as no surprise to regular readers of the blog that I am a big fan of romantic fiction and love a happy-ever-after. However, romantic fiction doesn’t always get the respect it deserves and is rarely included in lists of ‘books of the year’ or ‘books to take on holiday’ and so on. This is despite the fact that in 2022 7.4 million ‘Romance & Saga’ books were sold and that’s just the numbers for physical copies. There were another 3.1 million books sold in the ‘General & Literary’ fiction genre where the novel featured a love story at its core, including for example books by Kate Fforde, Jojo Moyes, Beth O’Leary, Cathy Bramley, Jenny Colgan and Jill Mansell to name just a few. That’s a huge amount of love stories being bought, read and enjoyed – all these people can’t be wrong about what makes a good read!

I’m proud to support the #RespectRomFic movement, in collaboration with Romantic Novelists Association, which aims to change the dismissive attitude the romance genre often receives. As a lover of love stories, I’m demanding more respect for the writers of the novels that bring me so much joy!

Today I’m featuring books published by Simon & Schuster and promoted as Books and the City, the home of female fiction. Although of course, there’s no reason why men wouldn’t enjoy a good love story too! These are the books published this year or coming later this month. I’ve already read and reviewed most of these books (and the other two I’ll be reading soon), so if you click on the title it will take you to my review.

My (extra) Ordinary Life by Rebecca Ryan
Available now

Have you ever wondered how normal you are? 
What if you were perfectly average? 
More than anyone else. 

For Emily – it’s true. When she watches a documentary on the average human she sees her life. Her job, her hair, her favourite food. All of her – plainly, horrifically average. Even her blood group. Right there and then, she decides she wants more

She’ll travel the world (i.e. venture out of her hometown)

She’ll become a vegan (it’s interesting to hate cheese, right?) 

She’ll do something daring (As long as it’s safety tested) 

Nothing will stand in the way of Emily living her best life. Not even Josh and his dimples. Because she absolutely can’t fall in love… that would be too ordinary. 

And from now on, Emily is going to be extraordinary. 

Escape to Darling Cove by Holly Hepburn
Available now

Eve has always lived on Ennisfarne, an idyllic island just off the coast of Northumberland and only accessible when tides are low. There she runs a bar overlooking Darling Cove, a heavenly horseshoe-shaped beach named after her seafaring ancestors, whose links to the Farne Islands stretch back centuries.

Logan is a famous photographer desperate to evade the limelight after a difficult break-up. Renting a cottage from Eve, he chooses Ennisfarne in the hope of anonymity but is immediately spellbound by its natural beauty.

The pair don’t get off to the best start, butting heads over Eve’s adorable but boisterous Chocolate Labrador. But when Logan’s true identity is revealed, Eve realises her new tenant isn’t quite the man she thought he was. Is it too late to start again or will Logan’s island escape be over almost before it’s begun?

The House That Made Us by Alice Cavanagh
Available now

One Day meets UpThe House That Made Us is a love story – and a life story – told through a series of photographs and based on a true story
When Mac and Marie marry and find a home of their own, Mac takes a snap of themselves outside their newbuild bungalow, the garden bare and the paint on the front door still wet. It becomes a tradition, this snap, and slowly the photographs build into an album of a fifty-year partnership.
Every year they take a photo and though things change around them – the garden matures, the fashions change, they grow older – the one constant is their love. Every year, come rain, come shine, from the Seventies through the decades, every photo tells the story of their love.
Until the last photo, where the couple becomes one, and their story comes to an end…

The Daughter in Law by Fanny Blake
Available from 16th February

When Hope’s only son Paul met and married Edie, Hope was delighted that he had found love and was settling down to make his own family. Hope has loved bringing up her own child, and is happy to step in and help out now and again – but is always worried about overstepping the line between grandmother and mother.
Edie was hoping that having children with Paul would fulfil her as much as her busy job as a barrister has. But the reality is far from her dream. And with her mother-in-law Hope constantly poking her nose in where it’s not wanted, she finds herself frustrated and alone.
Both women could be each other’s greatest ally, but both have secrets that could ruin their relationship. Secrets neither wants Paul to uncover…

The Cornish Hideaway by Jennifer Bibby
Available as ebook, coming soon in paperback

All Freya has ever wanted to do is paint. So when she fails her Master’s Degree in Art, on the same day that her boyfriend decides he needs a ‘more serious’ partner, to Freya it feels like the end of the world.
Luckily, she has a saviour in the shape of best friend Lola, who invites her to the sleepy Cornish village of Polcarrow, to work in her café. With nothing keeping her in London, Freya jumps at the chance of a summer by the sea.
Freya needs time to focus on herself. But then dark and mysterious biker Angelo blows into town on a stormy afternoon, with his own artistic dreams and a secretive past, and Freya’s plans of a romance-free summer fly straight out of the window…

This Could be Everything by Eva Rice
Available from 16th February

It’s 1990. The Happy Mondays are in the charts, a 15-year-old called Kate Moss is on the cover of the Face magazine, and Julia Roberts wears thigh-boots for the poster for a new movie called Pretty Woman
February Kingdom is nineteen years old when she is knocked sideways by family tragedy. Then one evening in May she finds an escaped canary in her kitchen and it sparks a glimmer of hope in her. With the help of the bird called Yellow, Feb starts to feel her way out of her own private darkness, just as her aunt embarks on a passionate and all-consuming affair with a married American drama teacher.   
THIS COULD BE EVERYTHING is a coming-of-age story with its roots under the pavements of a pre-Richard Curtis-era Notting Hill that has all but vanished. It’s about what happens when you start looking after something more important than you, and the hope a yellow bird can bring… 

Together, Again by Milly Johnson
Available now in hardback, publishing 2nd March in paperback

Sisters Jolene, Marsha and Annis have convened at their beautiful family home, Fox House, following the death of their mother, the tricky Eleanor Vamplew. Born seven years apart, the women are more strangers than sisters.

Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes about beautiful relationships even though her own marriage to the handsome and charming Warren is complicated.
Marsha, the neglected middle child, has put all of her energy into her work, hoping money will plug the gap in her life left by the man who broke her young heart.

Annis is the renegade, who left home aged sixteen and never returned, not even for the death of their beloved father Julian. Until now.

So when the sisters discover that their mother has left everything to Annis in her will, it undermines everything they thought they knew. Can saying their final goodbyes to Eleanor bring them together again?

Together, Again is the story of truths uncovered and lies exposed, of secrets told – and kept. It is a novel about sister helping sister to heal from childhood scars and finding in each other support, forgiveness, courage and love.

So that’s seven fabulous books from just one publisher. Have you read any of these? I really recommend them if you, like me, are a fan of a good love story. What’s your favourite romantic read from recent months? Look out for my blogpost tomorrow when I’ll be continuing the love theme and featuring six of my favourite romantic fiction authors.

5 thoughts on “Love is in the air – a Valentine’s day special feature – #RespectRomFic #romanticfiction #lovestories | @TeamBATC @RNAtweets @SimonSchusterUK

      1. I think I’ve become addicted to them and can’t bear to think about reading anything else. It’s a good job all my bargain buying over the years has given me plenty to choose from. Although I find I’m also being seduced (literally) by the Kindle Unlimited titles!

        Liked by 1 person

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