Reading lists

New romance books to read in 2020

From Anne Tyler's offbeat love story about embracing differences to Josie Silver's uplifting tale offering second chances, these are the romance books to read in 2020.

Miranda Freeman

Slack-Tide by Elanor Dymott (16 Jan)

It's been four years since the loss of a child broke her marriage, and since the traumatic event, Elizabeth is fiercely protective of her independence. Until she meets Robert, who she falls breathtakingly in love with amidst a passionate affair. When you've lost lasting love, what price will you pay to find it again?

Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson (23 Jan)

You know what they say – you never forget the one that got away. But what if 'what could have been' is still to come? When an old flame pops up on Alison's phone out of the blue, sharing a song from their past, she is transported back to being a 16-year-old in Sheffield in the midst of their thrilling romance. They begin to exchange a mix tape, and their forgotten love begins to blossom once more. 

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes (6 Feb)

Queen of romantic comedies, Marian Keyes, returns with a telling tale about a glamorous family, The Caseys. Hosting lavish parties with their beautiful wives, they seem to live perfect lives – but of course, all is not as it seems. When Ed's wife, Cara, suffers a concussion, everything changes. She can't keep her thoughts to herself and their secrets start to unfold, in full view of friends and family.

Saturdays at Noon by Rachel Marks (6 Feb) 

Two troubled individuals – Emily and Jake – find their worlds change when they cross paths at their weekly anger management session. Initially treating each other with suspicion, everything they initially think about each other is about to change – but can they change how they feel about themselves? A thought-provoking romance novel with a difference.

A Springtime Affair by Katie Fforde (20 Feb) 

Love is in the air in the latest book from cult romance novelist Katie Fforde. Gilly proudly runs her own B&B, until she meets a handsome estate agent called Leo who makes her wonder if the time has come to sell up. Meanwhile, her daughter Helena has a budding romance of her own… with spring approaching and the season of new beginnings, could their new loves lead to their happily ever after?

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver (5 Mar)

A tale of two love stories, and one impossible choice. Lydia and Freddie have been together 10 years and are inseparable until Freddie tragically dies in an accident. But then the impossible happens and Lydia gets another chance at her old life with Freddie – but there's someone in her new life to complicate things. An uplifting story that makes you value the gift of love.

More Than A Mum by Charlene Allcott (5 Mar)

From a fresh new voice in fiction comes a story about a working mother of two, Alison, who feels like she has lost herself. Restless for some excitement in her life amidst refereeing arguments between her two daughters, she finally finds it in the form of charismatic Frank – but is he all he makes out to be? 

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler (9 Apr)

When measured and methodical Micah, a self-proclaimed ‘tech hermit’, is confronted with a teenager on his doorstep claiming to be his son, he is shocked at the surprise he is poorly equipped to handle. This offbeat love story looks into the mind of a man who finds everyone just out of reach and contains an underlying lesson that celebrates those little differences that make us all unique.

The Perfect Dress by Louisa Leaman (14 May) 

Fran's wedding dress shop is a treasure trove of history, filled with ivory gowns from every decade for every type of bride. But when Fran finds a dress that seems to be perfect for her, she is desperate to know its history. And where better to start than with the son of the previous owner…

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan (14 Jul)

The author of Crazy Rich Asians is back with new novel Sex and Vanity. When Lucie Tang Churchill meets the wildly unsuitable George Zao at a lavish wedding, she knows the Hong Kong surfer boy is completely unsuitable. Returning to New York she meets suave billionaire Cecil, the perfect man to forget her moonlit night with George. This decadent novel is a satire on class and wealth, wrapped in a wildly romantic story.

Belladonna by Anbara Salam (16 Jul)

Belladonna begins in the summer of 1956, when 15-year-old Bridget meets Isabella; the latter is a breath of fresh air in the conservative town the girls live in. When the pair are offered the chance to study at the Academy in Italy, Bridget is thrilled to be able to spend nine months with her glamorous and unpredictable best friend. In Italy, the two girls move towards a passionate but fragile intimacy. But Bridget soon begins to fear she's losing Isabella's affections, and goes to increasingly great lengths to keep her.

A Lover’s Discourse by Xiaolu Guo (13 Aug)

A Chinese woman travels to London to do a PhD in film anthropology and start a new life. While there, she strikes up a relationship with a landscape architect. Despite navigating their differences they fall in love and she desperately hopes this relationship will give her a place to call home. This is a tender novel that explores cultural anxiety amidst a backdrop of the Brexit vote,’ told through fragments of conversation. 

The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually by Helen Cullen (20 Aug)

In the present day of The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually, the Moone family are shattered by tragedy, and Murtagh Moone – devoted husband to Maeve – is left to hold his family together. In the past, we return to the day Maeve and Murtargh met, outside Trinity College in Dublin. As the Moone children learn who their parents truly are, we journey with them towards a future no one could have predicted, apart from maybe Maeve herself...

Just Like You by Nick Hornby (17 Sep)

Nick Hornby's new novel is a tender and funny look at love. What happens if the person you're with is just like you, your perfect match, but it's a disaster? And then what happens if you meet someone new, someone you have nothing in common with, and it feels totally right?

Darling by India Knight (5 Nov)

After escaping rural life in Norfolk, teenage Linda finds herself in London pursuing a career in modelling, eventually marrying the handsome son of a UKIP peer. But as her new life starts to fall apart at the seams, a spontaneous Eurostar trip to Paris and the meeting of a mysterious stranger upends her life completely. 

The Flip Side by James Bailey (26 Nov)

It's New Year's Eve and Josh has planned the perfect proposal on the London Eye. Perfect, except for that she says no. By the time Josh is back on the ground, he's lost his girlfriend, his job and his flat. Doubting his judgement, Josh decides to put his trust in fate and make every choice by flipping a coin. It's reckless, but what is Josh's dream girl is just one flip of a coin away? 

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