Article published on March 1, 2012.
Romantic novels intended to be consistently humorous or amusing.
The Look of Love, by Judy Astley (Transworld)
Bella has given up on men.
Her latest boyfriend ‘forgot’ to tell her about his current wife, so she’s single again.
Now, her ex-husband has turned up, wanting to sell the family home in which she and their two teenage children are happily living their lives.
Then Bella sees a chance to stay in the house and earn some money. She rents it out for a reality TV makeover programme.
And it turns out that the house isn’t the only thing that will benefit from a change…
Please Don’t Stop the Music, by Jane Lovering (Choc Lit)
How much can you hide? Jemima Hutton is determined to build a successful new life and keep her past a dark secret. Trouble is, her jewellery business looks set to fail – until enigmatic Ben Davies offers to stock her handmade belt buckles in his guitar shop and things start looking up, on all fronts. But Ben has secrets too. When Jemima finds out he used to be the front man of hugely successful Indie rock band Willow Down, she wants to know more. Why did he desert the band on their US tour? Why is he now a semi-recluse? And the curiosity is mutual – which means that her own secret is no longer safe…
Wrapped up in You, by Carole Matthews (Sphere)
A Christmas fling, or has Janie found the real thing? Thirty-something hairdresser Janie Johnson’s single status is a constant source of gossip for her friends and clients. So after too many nights in with her cat, a blind date disaster and news that her ex is getting married, Janie realises it’s time to do something dramatic with her life. It’s time for an adventure! Leaving winter behind, Janie takes the plunge and books an exotic trip to Africa. Her friends think she’s mad and Janie thinks they may very well be right . . . but then she falls head over heels for her tour guide – and fully fledged Maasai Warrior – Dominic. But can Janie now face spending a snowy Christmas back home without him? Packed with unforgettable characters, romance and laughter, Wrapped Up In You is your very own perfect Christmas Carole!
Lizzy Harrison Loses Control, by Pippa Wright (Pan Macmillan)
‘Have you ever noticed that the modern romantic heroine can be, not to put too fine a point on it, a bit useless?’ Lizzy Harrison has everything under control Lizzy Harrison isn’t a romantic heroine. Not even close. She doesn’t have a cat, owns no more shoes than the average person, and is in no way hopelessly scatty and disorganised. In fact her life is in perfect order, and that’s just how she likes it. Okay, so she hasn’t met the right man yet, but she really doesn’t have the time what with her busy job in PR and her packed schedule of improving activities. Her diary is planned months in advance and she’s determined that nothing spontaneous will force its way into her life. …hasn’t she? But when her best friend Lulu questions her need for control, Lizzy starts to wonder if she needs to let go a little. So when she’s thrown into the arms of her boss’s number one client, notorious comedian (and love-rat) Randy Jones, she reluctantly relaxes her hold on routine. Lizzy Harrison is about to find out that losing control could win her more than she had ever imagined.
Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe, by Hazel Osmond (Quercus)
Ellie Somerset is a great advertising copywriter going nowhere fast – a boyfriend who is always at work, a tendency to dress like a short-sighted bag lady and a Creative Director who rejects her fresh ideas – they all conspire to keep her just treading water. Even her Great Aunt Edith, a demon at filthy scrabble, has a better social life than she does. All that changes when Jack Wolfe becomes her boss. Whilst everyone else at the agency thinks he’s Heathcliff in jeans, Ellie just sees a stalking, scowling Alpha male with a nasty redundancy plan up his sleeve. As Jack makes it his mission to smarten up Ellie’s attitude and her appearance, it’s time for her to prove herself. But that means getting closer to this very sexy, very wicked man, and as she does Ellie discovers that this particular Heathcliff has an awful lot to hide.
Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Awards 2012: Historical Romantic Novel
Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Awards 2012: Young Adult Romantic Novel
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