All relationships have their ups and downs, whether it’s struggles with a partner or difficulties in the family. Our Relationship Stories section shows the unique features of relationships in gloriously written technicolour.
May 2009 Book of the Month. A lovely book full of nostalgia and warmth. Jessie’s story is set in the 1970’s and finds her coping with a family life that is breaking down around her. In the letters she finds from Edith, a female explorer in the 1930’s we find another life, very different from Jessie’s, but still coping with the same worries and relationship problems. This will make you laugh and cry and laugh a bit more. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Disillusioned with her London Life, anthropologist Bethany Parker accepts an offer to work with an international team of environmentalists on an eco-tourism project in the Indonesian rainforest. Thrust into a lush and sometimes brutal world of tribal traditions and erotic tensions, she learns about herself in the most unexpected of places.
Shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2010. Fran Morrison left home to pursue a career in foreign cities as a classical musician. But now her difficult father Edward is dangerously ill and it’s time to return, into a search for the truth about her deceased mother, through mysteries of past times and the anguish of unrequited love, to reconciliation and renewal.
Shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year Award 2010. Sarah Sargeant has been single for three years and nine months, and has just suffered a humiliating rejection from a bald man with a paunch who works in her local pub. In an attempt to revive her love life, Sarah’s family and friends persuade her to start a blog, and a mission. A mission to explore 50 ways to find a lover.
Shortlisted for the RNA Love Story of the Year Award 2010. A multi-voiced novel with each chapter written from the point of view of the various main characters as the months before a wedding are fraught with personal problems. It’s a second marriage so there are grown-up children in the mix – one with a big surprise – which I found a delight! There is also a female vicar with some very serious problems. All in all it is a fascinating analysis of human nature under strain. Well paced, well structured and most enjoyable. Highly recommended. To view Sophie's other books click here. Comparison: Carole Matthews, Madeleine Wickham, Jane Green. Look out for Sophie King featuring as our first Guest Editor in April 2009 - she will be selecting 5 authors who have influenced her writing - and if you would like to get a taste of her work, The Supper Club is available to buy now.
This is such fun, full of incident, full of great characters and smattered with some wonderful one-liners. Ruby, our heroine, is a delightful character with hidden depths despite the fact that she doesn’t believe in herself. Unknowingly she married a trickster and when he gets carted off by the police her life takes a very different turn. A pacy read with lots of heart. Comparison: Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde, Harriet Evans.
When Peter phones his car insurance company to report an accident he gets put through to Mina and there starts a delightful, old fashioned love story. We follow their separate lives which, although have vast differences also, have great parallels and as fate keeps bringing them back together through the call centre romantic feelings start to develop between this unlikely couple. A charming romantic comedy you won’t want to put down.
February 2011 Guest Editor Carmen Reid on Candace Bushnell... I’m crazy about Candace. How does her writing compare to the SATC TV series? The TV series is M&Ms and Candace is like silky, sinful, 70% pure dark chocolate. My favourite of her books is One Fifth Avenue: so glitteringly sophisticated and hard-edged. This is New York in the Noughties and so prophetic of the downturn. It’s packed with bad girls, ambitious girls, larger-than-life girls. But for teen romance The Carrie Diaries is a wonderful whirl. It’s Carrie: the high school years and Candace absolutely captures the huge, emotional punch of first love. The agony and fantasy as Carrie longs for Sebastian. The ecstasy when she has him. The inevitable tragedy of losing him... and to her best friend. It’s wonderful! The Lovereading view... The new novel from Candace Bushnell comes filled with all the things we love about her novels – fashionable settings and characters and plenty of fabulousness. Set around the occupants in the Fifth Avenue apartment block of the title glamour, gossip and sexual politics all have their moments as the battle over real estate commences.
Jane Johnson's The Tenth Gift is an wonderfully escapist page-turner set in seventeenth century Cornwall and Morocco,based on spine-tinglingly shocking historical fact, with a romantic hidden love story at its heart. His parting gift to her was a new beginning...Julia Lovat walks away from her seven-year affair with Michael with a broken heart and a book of secrets. Her book tells the true story of Cat Treganna, kidnapped by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in Morocco four hundred years ago. When Julia travels to Morocco to discover Cat's fate, she is quickly lost in an exotic and vibrant land. Yet her guide is Idriss, a man so charismatic and beguiling that their meeting feels like destiny. And so, in the heat and dust, two love stories, separated by four centuries, entwine and blossom... The Tenth Gift is an enthralling story of secrets and discovering love where you least expect it. I really couldn't put it down. Exciting and romantic (oh so romantic!) and there is so much suspense. The descriptions are fabulous . (Barbara Erskine). Wildly yet convincingly romantic ...a sensitive portrayal of Muslim culture and a delectable adventure of the heart . ( USA Today ). An unashamedly escapist page-turner that will be enjoyed by fans of Kate Mosse and Philippa Gregory . ( Daily Mail ). An atmospheric and hugely romantic adventure story . ( Marie Claire ). Jane Johnson was raised in Cornwall but now lives for half the year in a remote mountain village in Morocco. She is the author of The Tenth Gift , The Salt Road and The Sultan's Wife . She has been involved in the book industry for many years and combines her work as a publisher with writing for both adults and children.
A host of characters in Cedar Cove to keep you occupied in this new novel from Debbie Macomber. Dramas, romance, gossip and secrets abound in this small American town, they do manage to pack it all in. A gentle and light-hearted read. Cedar Cove series:1. 16 Lighthouse Road2. 204 Rosewood Lane3. 311 Pelican Court4. 44 Cranberry Point5. 50 Harbor Street 6. 6 Rainier Drive
This is so early Jilly Cooper stuff, it’s delicious; Cotswold village life, an influential family and a clutch of over-the-top characters – you’ll love it. Sex, scandal, deceit and lots of surprises all add up to one great big romp. It’s part of a series set in Honeycote – I recommend them all. Comparison: Victoria Clayton, Plum Sykes, Julian Fellows.
Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 24 June 2009. A story of two couples and the relationships that build between them. Although the book may start off slowly it draws you in and gets you thoroughly hooked. A great read for a book club with plenty of strands to discuss.
Makes the World Go Around
More than just romance, Relationship Stories can really strike a chord with us, at every stage of life. Just like relationships themselves, these books and there authors come in all shapes, sizes, atmospheres and aspirations. So, if something was missing from your last relationship read … we’ll help you find it in your next one! Here you’ll find the warm and the wise (Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly, Rosamunde Pilcher), the deliciously sexy (Jilly Cooper, Veronica Henry), the humourous and honest (Nick Hornby), the insightful (Joanna Trollope) and the … Perhaps, though you’re looking for a new relationship? Why not try our’ Author Like for Like’ tool or make a date with our Book of the Month recommendations and find your perfect match … for now, at least!
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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: