Monday, 30 November 2020

SHELF LOVE: 5 of my favourite 'RomCom' novels

I’m not sure where you’re reading this from right now but if you’re in the UK, you’re probably just as fed up as I am. After another lockdown, we’ve been put into Tier 3 in Manchester, which doesn’t seem much different to a lockdown to me if I’m perfectly honest.

This year I’ve completely immersed myself in reading to keep busy/keep my brain working and for the most part, it has helped. Sometimes you just need cheering up and what better than a feel good book or film?! I've put together a list of my favourite romantic comedy fiction books - happy reading!

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Undercover Bromance - Lyssa Kay Adams, 

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Blurb:


Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he'll soon discover that real life is better than fiction.

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville's hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she'll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv's blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. This is a job for the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they're reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they're just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv's heart...even though she's determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.


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This is the second in the 'Bromance Book Club' series but I much preferred it to the first book. I loved that it wasn't just your stereotypical romance book as it had the added extra storyline of exposing Liv's ex-boss - more specifically, his true colours.

My favourite character definitely had to be 'the Russian' - there were several times where I literally laughed out loud at him. His character is really well written to the point that you can picture everything that happens when he is involved.

I would highly recommend this book - it's such an easy read and way more than just a romance book. It is hilariously funny but also a triumphant story about 'good' winning over 'evil'. Although it is a series, you could read this book on its own and understand it all as they are two stand alone stories based on the same theme.



The Flat Share - Beth O'Leary, 336 pages

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Blurb:


Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met...


Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they're crazy, but it's the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy's at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven't met yet, they're about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window...

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When this book was recommended by my book club, I wasn't really overly excited to read it. At the time I was reading thriller after thriller and not really branching out to any other genres. I've read a few 'RomComs' in my time and I didn't really enjoy the soppiness of them. However, this one really changed my mind!

Although an extremely unlikely situation, it was a really good storyline. I loved the variety of narrators, including the conversations that Leon and Tiffy have through Post It notes scattered around the flat. The characters are also really relatable and are portrayed in such a way that you become connected to them fairly quickly in the book- wanting the best for them and hoping that everything will work out.

It is genuinely one of the best books I've ever read. I read it in one sitting because I genuinely couldn't put it down and I found it hilarious. I would highly recommend reading this - it's the perfect feel good book!



The Unhoneymooners - Christina Lauren, 434 pages

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Blurb:


Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

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I wasn't too sure what to think of this when I first read it but I hate to not finish a book unless I really don't enjoy it. So I gave it a go and it did not disappoint! I loved the switch between the narrators - it really helped add to the plot and develop the storyline.

I laughed out loud at the awkwardness of this book and, although it was fairly predictable, I really enjoyed it. It was a heartwarming book about how life (and people) can really surprise you sometimes.



The Cactus - Sarah Haywood, 384 pages

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Blurb:


People aren't sure what to make of Susan Green. Family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand - but Susan makes perfect sense to herself. Age 45, she thinks her life is perfect. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a steady job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits.

Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan's greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control. And things can only get worse ... at least in Susan's eyes.

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I don't even know where to start with this book... Other than to say that it is by far one of my favourite books that I have ever read. I literally loved Susan's character from the get go (she really gave me Eleanor Oliphant vibes). She was grumpy and irritable and I just loved how she hated everyone, sometimes for doing more than simply breathing! 

I loved sharing this 'journey' with her and watching her character grow and open up towards the end. Haywood really portrayed Susan's character so well that it was difficult not to connect with her and try and understand her point of view in so many situations. There is also a really big twist towards the end which I did not see coming and made me really resonate with Susan. 

I can't wait to see whether the film lives up to the book!



Our Stop - Laura Jane Williams, 369 pages

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Blurb:


What if you almost missed the love of your life?

Nadia gets the 7:30am train every morning without fail. Well, except if she oversleeps or wakes up at her friend Emma’s after too much wine.

Daniel really does get the 7:30am train every morning, which is easy because he hasn’t been able to sleep properly since his dad died.

One morning, Nadia’s eye catches sight of a post in the daily paper:

To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I’m the guy who’s always standing near the doors… Drink sometime?

So begins a not-quite-romance of near-misses, true love, and the power of the written word.


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I thought this was really cleverly written and is a modern style of dating. I devoured this book as I really wanted to know what was going to happen! Will Nadia and Daniel meet? Will they get on? What will happen between them?

Such an easy read - I would definitely recommend! A true RomCom.


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The Bromance Book Club - Lyssa Kay Adams
Crazy Stupid Bromance - Lyssa Kay Adams
The Love Square - Laura Jane Wiliams
The Wedding Date - Zara Stoneley
The Never Have I Ever Club - Mary Jayne Baker
Don't You Forget About Me - Mhairi McFarlane

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