February the 14th. The day when us single folk spend the evening in our bedroom, with a takeaway and pyjamas on. The day which confirms to me that love definitely does not exist. I don’t know about you, but I spend the evening reading romance books. Actually, I tell a lie – I spend the year reading romance books, but I’m drawn to them more in February. There’s this warm feeling you get when you get immersed into a story about two people who are falling in love. For me, there are three contemporary romance novels that should be on everyone’s “must-read” this year: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary; The Paris Connection by Lorraine Brown; and, The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley. These texts epitomise the romance genre, giving everyone hope that love actually exists!
Offering readers that sort of advice is priceless, so if you want something to cheer you up, I recommend this book
Starting with The Flatshare: what a book! I started reading this book (for the first time – I’m now on my fifth re-read!) with a bit of trepidation. The premise is completely far-fetched, but persist and shut your brain off for a while. Following the story of Tiffy and Leon, who share an apartment, yet have never met, this joyful, quirky romantic comedy makes me feel good during this time of year. While everyone else is posting their pictures of fancy food, beautiful flowers and how much they love their partners, I’m too busy falling in love with Tiffy and Leon. Quintessentially British, it allows me to believe that opposites do attract, sparks can fly, and you have to stay true to yourself in a relationship. Offering readers that sort of advice is priceless, so if you want something to cheer you up, I recommend this book.
The Paris Connection is set in, well you guessed it, Paris. Hannah and her boyfriend, Simon, board their train with only a few seconds to spare. They’re confident that they’ll make it to Amsterdam in time for his sister’s wedding; however, as bad luck would have it, the train splits in half – one half continuing on the route to Amsterdam (which Simon is on) and the other half heads to Paris (which Hannah is on). Hannah grows to rely on Leo, the handsome yet infuriating French man, who helps her overcome her bad experiences in Paris and shows her the true meaning of falling in love. With the story being light and entertaining, it allows readers to fully enjoy the romantic comedy genre for what it is: light-hearted, funny and humorous.
It’s everything you need a romance book to do: make you laugh, make you cry, and make you fall in love
Trying to source a copy of The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window is tough in Britain. An American text by an American author, I’m surprised our favourite book stores do not stock hundreds of copies of this book, because it is worth every single page. Nonetheless, whether you love paperback books, hardback books, or e-books, reading this book as an e-book is worth it. Amber and her older brother, Jake, have an abusive father. One evening, her brother’s best friend Liam, sees her crying through the window and climbs through to comfort her. That one action sparks a love/hate relationship which spans over the next eight years. Neither one of them admit that they like each other, but Amber is battling demons from her childhood, and she can’t sleep without Liam by her side. Reading these two fall in love brings tears to my eyes. While Moseley has received an awful lot of backlash for this young-adult romance for being too unrealistic, I disagree. It’s everything you need a romance book to do: make you laugh, make you cry, and make you fall in love.
Looking at my recommendations above, seemingly I’m a sucker for “cheesy” romance that always has a happy ending. Tragic romances seem to dishearten the mood I’m already in during Valentine’s. The sad reality of reading these romance books though is that I don’t think anyone will live up to these characters for me. So, I’ll stick to falling in love with books I think. Happy Valentine’s Day, readers!