The Blog Brew Collaboration: Romance Book Recommendations for Valentines!

Welcome to another instalment of The Blog Brew Collaboration! Stay tuned for updates with our collaboration, we are wanting to re-brand and redesign as a group so this may be my last post as The Blog Brew! Exciting times ahead!

So I’ve decided to write my post about good romance books for Valentines day. Valentines in lockdown means that not many of us are heading out anywhere or have any plans in the mix, but for some, just cuddling up with a good romance book or some reading downtime in the day before lockdown valentines evening plans commence is definitely a must, SO here are 10 Romance book recommendations!

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary.

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…

The Fault in our Stars by John Green.

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. 

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match

The Kiss Quotent by Helen Hoang.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic… 

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang.

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

One Day by David Nicholls.

15th July 1988: Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that?

And every year that follows?

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast begins the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

Winner of the 2007 BookBrowse Award for Most Popular Book.

An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of Riding Lessons. 

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. 

Beautifully written, Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern.

A novel about holding on, letting go, and learning to love again.

Now in paperback, the endearing novel that captured readers’ hearts and introduced a fresh new voice in women’s fiction Cecelia Ahern.

Holly couldn’t live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other’s sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.

The kind of enchanting novel with cross-generational appeal that comes along once in a great while, PS, I Love You is a captivating love letter to the world!

Day 1 – Rhiannon over at Mrssleejones
Day 2 – Karalee over at talesofbelle
Day 3 – N/A
Day 4 – Kim over at chimmyville
Day 5 – Jessie over at wandererandtraveller (Me!)
Day 6 – Haley over at introvertedcreativity
Day 7 – Luce over at perselem
Day 8 – Beth over at thoughtsofarealredhead

Book Review: One Day by David Nicholls

Blurb: “15th July 1988: Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that?

And every year that follows?”

Page Count: 435

Goodreads Rating: 3.80/5

Genre: Romance

My Rating: 4/5

THIS REVIEW DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS


I really enjoyed this book because I was always curious to see if Dexter and Emma ended up together, I really enjoyed how each chapter was the same day of each progressive year as well! But I definitely felt a certain way towards the characters, so let’s get into it.

The way the book is written for me, each chapter the same day of the following year, was really fantastic. I absolutely LOVED the catch up. Learning about what Dexter and Emma had managed to achieve and how their lives had changed year on year. They still lived, developed, moved on, moved out, moved jobs, had other partners, lived different lives but the same? They would still continuously meet each year (until the argument), and because of this I felt like even with their own lives and stories they still lived through each other. Still writing letters, trying to keep something alive that wasn’t exactly there. Thats where my next point comes into play.

One thing I got from this book was wrong time, right place. And then finally, right time, right place. For the two of them at the start, it wasn’t right and you could see that. And admittedly as they got older I firmly believed there would never be a right time (mainly because of my dislike for Dexter). BUT when the time did come and they got together I breathed a sigh of relief because I was like FINALLY. RIGHT TIME, ABOUT TIME. I knew I needed their relationship, I just didn’t realise how much.

One of the things that I really noticed was that I was really thinking about the characters Dexter and Emma. For starters, I didn’t like Dexter through pretty much the entire book. There wasn’t a single moment I sympathised or felt sorry for him, even when the ending happened. Even though he drank and partied himself into oblivion, I still couldn’t sympathise. I just honestly thought he was a knob, even when he and Emma ended up together I always thought she was too good for him. But with that said, I also really couldn’t warm to Emma either. I felt like she was really miserable all the time, as much I enjoyed seeing her progress and develop in her life without Dexter after their argument, she STILL didn’t seem to get any happier in the personal sense! It made me sad as it was almost like her happiness depended on Dexter, a man who wasn’t even bothered about her 85% of the time.

But the biggest twist for me, was the end.

I borrowed this book from a friend and at NO POINT, DID HE WARN ME. So when Emma DIED. I WAS LIKE WAIT. WHAT? It was finally the RIGHT TIME for them to be together. Finally they realised it was meant to be and then BANG. I was gutted, even though I wasn’t Emma’s biggest fan I still didn’t dislike her so much she needed to get hit off her bike and die. I just didn’t expect it and I guess thats what made it so good.

The ending really kind of put everything into perspective for me and I realised this book was actually really unfortunate. Two friends, two lovers, and never the right time. And when it finally is the right time, something this huge and drastic happens. It changes the dynamic completely. And even so, I still, couldn’t sympathise with Dexter. He lost so much, including his mother, throughout the book. And yet he was still unpleasant. Him and Emma could have had so much, so much sooner if he hadn’t been such a wanker. But then if Emma also hadn’t been so elitist and so critical about everything maybe Dexter would’ve felt more inclined sooner to make a move. Their whole relationship just baffled me and I actually felt they were really bad for each other.

The characters I did sympathise for were their partners, Ian who was with Emma, and all of Dexters girlfriends who I can’t possibly name. These partners I firmly believe, especially Ian, were caught in the middle of this whirlwind. I sympathised with Ian the most, he was so lovely and I’m so glad that him and Emma did get together, but It made me sad that she just wasn’t that into their relationship because of DEXTER.

But, none the less with this absolutely crazy rollercoaster of feelings, I really loved this book. I kept me hooked, I just didn’t know what was going to happen next with either characters and I feel like the chapters helped with that curiosity by setting the dates and time in-between. I expected so much and was never disappointed and always shook to the core. Hence why I gave this book 4/5.

I would recommend this book to all my friends and family, in fact I did recommend this to my mum!