Are you celebrating Valentines or Galentines Day next week? Are you looking for a light-hearted romantic read to get into the spirit? We’ve got a perfect collection of laugh-out-loud and feel-good romances for you to discover this season!
It may even be love at first sight as we’ve given you an exclusive look at the first line of each of these reads!
Here’s the rundown of our must-listen small town romances!
A New Life for Ariana Byrne by Liz Hurley
Narrated by Martha Mackintosh
“Ari watched in horror as the beaker of juice sailed towards her in a perfect arc. The poorly fitted lid came off and the purple liquid poured out in an elongated streak of colour”
Ariana Byrne knows how to survive. After becoming a guardian to her four little sisters after their parents died when she was only eighteen, she had to grow up quickly. Now she’s in her twenties, stuck in a loveless marriage to Greg, trying to make ends meet for her young twins, William and Leo.
So when Ari is told that she’s actually the Right Honourable Lady de Foix, Countess of Hiverton, owner of a sprawling estate in the village of Saxburgh, Norfolk, her first instinct is laughter. Surely the girl who has to choose between food and keeping the lights on isn’t rich beyond her wildest dreams?
She knows how to take care of her sisters and her children, but how on earth can Ari take care of an entire village? How will she fight off the circling land developers from Saxburgh, and stop her in-laws from grabbing all the money for themselves?
And while she’s struggling to settle in and settle down, she’s making new friends and new mistakes. Yet, trusting her gorgeous, new neighbour, Sebastian Flint-Hyssop may be the biggest one of all…
Shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s “Debut Romantic Novel” Award. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Trisha Ashley and Carole Matthews will love this romantic, feel-good read.
“Anticipation and nervous energy are making me feel sick to the stomach right now.”
Maddy Young had it all – great job, great boyfriend, and great flat. Until one day when she’s suddenly fired. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single.
Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.
But when her old life – and her old boyfriend – comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?
An uplifting romantic comedy, for fans of Cathy Bramley, Milly Johnson and Katie Fforde.
The Garden of Little Rose by Suzanne Snow
Narrated by Grace Andrews
“When all three of them were last together, they had talked of sunlit Tuscan villas beneath glittering blue skies and evenings spent lingering over moonlit dinners, catching up with one another as they contemplated the future and celebrated their past”
At a hen party on the remote Scottish island of Alana, Flora is dared to ask a handsome stranger to be her plus-one for the wedding. When the gorgeous Mac accepts her invite, she assumes he’s joking and thinks nothing more of it… Until he turns up at the church on the wedding day.
But Mac has an agenda. He wants to hire her skills as a garden historian to restore the gardens at Róisín House, his home back on Alana. Flora knows she should refuse – Mac has heartbreaker written all over him, but she can’t resist uncovering the tragic truth behind the garden at Róisín.
Transported by the beauty of the island, Flora finds herself falling in love with Alana… and the man who brought her there. A heartwarming romance for fans of Victoria Walters, Trisha Ashley and Julie Houston.
Summer at the Highland Coral Beach by Kiley Dunbar
Narrated by Susie Riddell
“Two pink lines. Beatrice was sure of it”
Beatrice Halliday needs a break from life. Booking a trip to the Highlands on a whim, she hopes learning Gaelic in a beautiful Scottish village might help heal her grief after losing her baby, her husband and her much-loved job in the space of months.
But Port Willow Bay isn’t exactly as the website promised. Instead of learning a new language, she’s booked in to learn the ancient skill of willow weaving, her hotel room is Princess and the Pea themed (with a stack of mattresses for her bed!) and worse still, her tutor is Atholl Fergusson, the grumpy landlord of the hotel where Beatrice is staying.
But as Beatrice finds herself falling in love with Port Willow Bay and its people, and as she discovers the kind heart beneath Atholl’s stony exterior, can she really leave?
An utterly romantic book; one visit to Port Willow Bay and you’ll want to come back! Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Carole Matthews and Holly Martin, this is the first book in the Port Willow Bay series.
Coming Home to Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters
Narrated by Eilidh Beaton
“’Izzy, we’re not in London any more,’ I murmured under my breath so I wouldn’t wake my sleeping daughter beside me as I drove our ancient car along country lanes.”
Beth Williams is finally coming home for Christmas. After getting pregnant at sixteen, she ran away from her family and the imposing Scottish estate where she grew up. She’s been working hard to build a life for herself and daughter Isabelle – but now she’s returning to Glendale Hall.
As Beth tries to mend her broken family ties and fights to bring the community of Glendale back together, she realises that the story she has told herself for a decade might well be a very different one from the truth. Even though she ran from Glendale, it has never left her heart. And, she soon realises, neither has Drew – Beth’s first love.
Will Beth be able to forgive her family and herself for what happened ten years ago? What will Drew say when he discovers the secret she’s been keeping from him for so long? Can a festive trail bring the village back together?
A charming and uplifting novel that will warm your heart – perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley.
Annie Beaton’s Year of Positive Thinking by Mink Elliott
Narrated by Debra Michaels
“I suppose I should’ve known it was going to be a bad daywhen I hobbled into the office kitchen and discovered we’d completely run out of Canderel. And skimmed milk.”
It’s Annie Beaton’s 50th birthday!
But instead of getting roses and perfume, she gets sacked; her son, Ben, tells her that she’s growing a beard and her husband Joe tells her he wants a divorce.
Moving to the countryside to stay in her eccentric aunt’s house, Annie must find her magic again – and fast. So when she discovers a stack of self-help books – from Chicken Soup for the Soul to The Secret – Annie vows to use their advice to get her life back on track.
Armed with a bookshelf of positive vibes, Annie’s determined to kick her Crappy Old Year to the curb and have a brilliantly happy New Year. Just as soon as she’s had her chin waxed…
A laugh-out-loud, feelgood read for fans of Gill Sims, Sophie Ranald and Tracy Bloom by the author of The Pissed-off Parents Club and Just Another Manic Mum Day.
Under a Siena Sun by T.A. Williams
Narrated by Colleen Prendergast
“The sun was remarkably hot for early May and even the locals were complaining, but to Lucy it felt wonderful.”
Doctors Without Borders has been Lucy Young’s life for the past four years. After an emergency extraction from a conflict zone, she’s making a change from saving lives under gunfire to practising medicine in safe, serene Siena. Now treating obscenely wealthy patients at a private clinic, she’s never felt less comfortable. She’s used to helping those in dire need – not those in need of a nip and tuck.
Her turmoil grows when she encounters injured tennis star David Lorenzo, whose potent smile makes Lucy forget her aversion to the rich. She’s soon falling for the sportsman but feels like she’s losing herself in this world of excess. All she’s ever wanted was to help the underprivileged and be a positive change in the world, so can her future lie in Siena at the clinic – with David?
This sunny romance is the perfect escape for fans of Lucy Coleman, Lori Nelson Spielman, and Rosanna Ley.
The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan
Narrated by Lizzie Wofford
“Weird. Definitely weird. There are lots of ‘weird’ things about my brother that are actually pretty normal for him – he likes to put Marmite on Pop-Tarts, he’s never seen Game of Thrones and, the thing that baffles people most, he is a knitting obsessive with his own yarn shop.”
When Dee Blackthorn’s brother, JP, breaks both wrists not only is he in need of a helping hand – or two – but the knitting shop he owns can’t function. Sisterly duties take Dee away from her demanding job and she is unceremoniously fired amidst scandalous office rumours. Dee is certain that her hot-shot nemesis, Ben, is behind it all.
Back in the village of Fenwild in JP’s shop, Dee bumps into Becky, an old friend who is a new mum to a premature baby. Desperate to help Becky, Dee convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make tiny woolly hats to keep the little one warm. Seeing how grateful her friend is, Dee makes it her mission to help lots of other premature babies.
When Ben turns up denying involvement in Dee’s sacking she is initially furious but hears him out before roping him into helping the knitting cause. But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and Ben, who’s turned out to be not so bad after all…
A feel-good romantic comedy about life, love and knitting, The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Tilly Tennant and Carole Matthews.
Home for Christmas by Annika Devert and Jessika Devert
Narrated by Natalie Pela
“The heavy wooden doors of Enskilda gymnasium upper secondary school were pushed open and 25 joyful, new graduates dressed in white came running out.”
Mother-of-three Emelie is in a tough spot in life. Since the father of her children moved out, she’s been struggling to make ends meet. Budgets are tight, work is boring and she’s reluctant to start dating again. She’s just not ready. When things seem at their darkest, she receives an unexpected letter – which will change her life forever.
Emelie has inherited a house on the island of Sardinön. And the house is chock-a-block full of Christmas decorations! Her children thrive in their new life on the island and want to stay so it’s not long before the move to the Island is a done-deal. All that’s left is to figure out the answers to two important questions: first and foremost, what’s the deal with Andreas, the good-looking guy who inherited the guest house on the plot? And second, what on earth is she going to do with all the Christmas stuff?
The School of Starting Over by Lisa Swift
Narrated by Helen Keeley
“Plip. Another chunky droplet landed in the metal pot by Nell’s knee”
Reception class teacher Nell Shackleton has a plan. At least, she did until she arrived at her new home of Humblebee Farm, a dilapidated farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors. The roof’s full of holes, the back door’s hanging off and there’s a sheep in the front room… but sometimes a new beginning means starting at the bottom, right?
Xander Scott is one of the youngest headteachers Leyholme Primary School has ever seen. But managing over-zealous parents and their semi-feral kids proves a tricky task for shy Xander – as does keeping his mind on the job when his feelings for the new Reception teacher become more than strictly professional…
At 43, Nell’s new friend Stevie Madeleine has given up on love. After losing her wife, Stevie’s decided that her four-year-old daughter Milly and cocker spaniel Red are the only girls she needs in her life. That is until larger-than-life dog-walker Deb arrives on the scene. But will Stevie’s past stop her new romance dead in its tracks?
Meeting Xander and Stevie brings joy back into Nell’s life – but when old secrets start to surface, there may be some hard lessons to learn for them all…
An uplifting and hilarious romantic comedy that will delight fans of Milly Johnson, Holly Martin and Heidi Swain