10 Romantic Reads To Get Stuck Into This Summer

10 Romantic Reads To Get Stuck Into This Summer

Looking for something uplifting to read in the sunshine? These romantic novels from established authors and newcomers offer a little something for everyone.

Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski

Anxious, disillusioned Ludwik Glowacki, soon to graduate university, has been sent along with the rest of his class to an agricultural camp. Here he meets Janusz – and together, they spend a dreamlike summer swimming in secluded lakes, reading forbidden books and falling in love. But with summer over, the two are sent back to 1980s Warsaw, and to the harsh realities of life under the Party. Exiled from paradise, Ludwik and Janusz must decide how they will survive; and in their different choices, find themselves torn apart. Swimming in the Dark is an unforgettable debut about youth, love, and loss – and the sacrifices we make to live lives with meaning.
“Marvellous, precise, poignant writing; the reader is happy to be overwhelmed. The highest talent at work.” – Sebastian Barry, author of The Secret Scripture
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The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams 

We were huge fans of Laura Jane Williams’ debut novel Our Stop, and we can’t wait to get our hands on this new tale. Penny Bridge has always been unlucky in love. So she can’t believe it when she meets a remarkable new man. Followed by another. And then another. And all of them want to date her. Penny has to choose between three. But are any of them ‘The One’? Williams will have you laughing, crying and cheering Penny on in this funny and feel-good exploration of hope, romance and the trust it takes to finally fall in love.
“Full of delicious food, real kindness and sexy men… what’s not to like?” – Beth O’Leary, author of The Flatshare
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The Sight of You by Holly Miller

Joel has sworn off falling in love. But when he meets Callie, he can’t help being drawn to her. In Callie, he sees a second chance at life. And in Joel, Callie discovers the kind of love she’d always hoped was real. They challenge each other to take chances, to laugh and to trust that no matter what. But Joel has a secret. He dreams about the people he loves, and these dreams always come true. One night, Joel has the dream of Callie he’s feared the most, and each must decide: can Callie stay, knowing her fate? And if her days must be numbered, is there a life she is meant to live? Told in Joel and Callie’s voices, The Sight of You is a sweeping, romantic and unforgettable American debut, about the bravery it takes to love, especially when we think we know how the story will end.
“Unique and breath taking and painful and broken and perfect… just like love. I’m still crying, yet all I want to do is settle down and read it again.” – Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister’s Keeper
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Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson

Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape. But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘The one that got away’. After all, she’d been the one to run. Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past. For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is 16 in Sheffield, dancing in her skin-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind. And so begins a new mix tape. Ali and Dan exchange songs – some new, some old – across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything…
“A lovely novel, delicately drawn, with characters that really linger in the mind and memory. A clever and compelling blend of realism and idealism – I got really swept up in it.” – Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us
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If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane 

When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling – and not only because they work at the same law firm and she has to see him every day. Her once-perfect life is now a shambles and the thought of dating in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. So when news of her ex's pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility. Jamie Carter doesn't believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumour mill something else to talk about. It's the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media, with strategically staged photographs and a specific end date in mind. But there's a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling for your charming, handsome fake boyfriend.
“Beautiful and touching – I loved it so much!” – Marian Keyes, author of Grown Ups
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A Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson

It’s 1960 and the world is dancing on the edge of revolution. Nowhere more so than on the Greek island of Hydra, where a circle of poets, painters and musicians live tangled lives, ruled by the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled king and queen of bohemia. Forming within this circle is a triangle: the magnetic, destructive writer Axel Jensen, his dazzling wife Marianne Ihlen, and a young Canadian poet named Leonard Cohen. Into their midst arrives teenage Erica, with little more than a bundle of blank notebooks and her grief for her mother. Settling on the periphery of this circle, she watches, entranced and disquieted, as a paradise unravels. Burning with the heat and light of Greece, A Theatre for Dreamers is a spellbinding novel about utopian dreams and innocence lost.
“Sublime and immersive. If you wish you could disappear to a Greek island right now, I highly recommend.” – Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You
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Beach Read by Emily Henry 

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about ‘happily ever after’. Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance novels. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They’re polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighbouring beach houses, broke and bogged down with writer’s block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult. Both will finish a book and – no one will fall in love. A fun story, this book’s title more than lives up to its name.
“The hottest book of the summer.” – Josie Silver, author of One Day in December
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The Switch by Beth O’Leary 

Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn 80, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn't offer many eligible gentlemen. So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, while Leena will look after everything in Yorkshire. But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn't straightforward. And back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?
“I loved it! A total joy to read. Such a breath of fresh air.” – Libby Page, author of The Lido
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In Five Years by Rebecca Serle 

Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan has been in possession of her meticulously crafted answer since she understood the question. On the day that she nails the most important job interview of her career and gets engaged to the perfect man, she's well on her way to fulfilling her life goals. That night Dannie falls asleep only to wake up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and in the company of a very different man. The TV is on in the background, and she can just make out the date. It's the same night – 15th December – but 2025, five years in the future. Determined to dismiss the experience, as a dream, she files it away in the back of her mind. Until four-and-a-half years later, when Dannie turns down a street and there, standing on the corner, is the man from her dream. This is a love story, brimming with joy and heartbreak. But it’s definitely not the love story you're expecting.
“Smart, emotional, intriguing and compelling - I loved it!” – Jill Mansell, author of You & Me, Always
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The Magnificent Sons by Justin Myers 

At 29, Jake D’Arcy has finally got his life just right: a job with prospects, steady girlfriend, and firmly away from his family dramas. So why isn’t he happier? When his confident, much-adored younger brother Trick comes out as gay to a rapturous response, Jake realises he has questions about his own repressed bisexuality, and that he can’t wait any longer to find his answers. As Trick begins to struggle with navigating the murky waters of adult relationships, Jake must confront himself and those closest to him. As witty, funny and emotionally hard-hitting as Justin Myers’ debut novel The Last Romeo, this is a heartfelt read.
“Funny, beautifully observed and moving.” – Adam Kay, author of This Is Going To Hurt

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