Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Tuesday Three: Contemporary Romance

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I very much enjoy a romantic comedy read. Especially if it has a bit of substance, a pop culture reference or ten, and a swoonworthy love interest. For me books like this are like a big cosy cardigan - something I know I can rely on to bring me comfort. 

I've read some really good ones lately, so I thought I'd put the spotlight on three of them in case you were also looking for a funny, warm read with great characters. 

The One Who's Not the One by Keris Stainton

Cat’s life has hit a brick wall. Since her ex ditched her without ceremony five years ago she’s quit stand-up comedy, landed in a steady but dull job, and lives in a tiny flat with roommates she knows only as The One Who Eats All My Food and The One Who Has Really Loud Sex.

So when she bumps into old friend Harvey and sparks fly, Cat is surprised – and horrified, because Harvey is her ex’s brother, and so absolutely, 100% off-limits romantically. Even if his dimples do make her insides fizz…

When she’s offered a new job abroad, Cat is tempted to accept – and leave her depressing flat and mess of a love life behind her. But will running away from her problems really solve them?

I loved this. It was sweet, funny, and Harvey was hot as all hell. I really loved the female friendship, and I very much enjoyed the pop culture references. It was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. I've read a couple of Keris' books and have several more on my TBR pile - I love her writing style.

Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

It began with four words.
‘I love your laugh. x’
But that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield (© Tripadvisor) and found The Worst Boyfriend in the World (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else.
So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something.
The only problem? He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all…

I loved this book so much - Georgina was a great main character, and I loved her immediately. She has been carrying something around with her for years, something that completely ruined what she had with Lucas, and I was aching for her to let it go - I bawled my eyes out thinking about it. This was so lovely, and the romance was perfect, but it was also a book about being yourself and finding your own definition of happiness. There were genuinely helpful tips in here about dealing with grief and moving on, plus there were important discussions about relationships, feminism and sexism. I loved it. 

All those now hopelessly in love with Lucas McCarthy, form an orderly queue behind me.

The Time of Our Lives by Portia McIntosh

Kindle | Book Depository (Released April 12th)

Luca is used to being the ‘single one’ at weddings – it happens, when all your other friends are engaged, married or taken. But when she bumps into Tom, her friend from university who broke her heart into a million pieces, she finds herself wondering what could have been.

It’s ten years later, surely she should be over that Tom by now? So why is he looking even more gorgeous than ever – and why doesn’t he seem to be able to keep his eyes off her either?

And as the champagne flows and old secrets resurface, Luca realises that perhaps the time to take a chance on love and life is…now?

I appear to be a sucker for those "let's meet again in 10 years" books, as this is yet another one that involves meeting someone you once loved from your past (my worst nightmare) - this is a really sweet, funny romantic comedy about a group of University friends all meeting again at a wedding. Secrets are spilled, things are discovered, and there's a spark still there between two of the gang - but will it lead to anything? I laughed a lot and really enjoyed the writing. I'd also recommend The Accidental Honeymoon by the same author, her books are genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. 

I think that books like this can be subject to a little bit of snobbery, but they do so well for a reason - they're clever, they're funny, they're sweet, and they're perfect for a holiday/plane/evening on the couch. I know I'll be working my way through the back catalogue of all three of these authors to start with, but if you have any recommendations of a similar genre (especially if there's a reunion) then let me know below. 

I've included direct links to buy these books, but don't forget your independent bookshops and you local library!

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