You’ve binge-watched Normal People, developed a mild case of repetitive strain injury from swiping left on boys who are ‘just looking for a quarantine buddy ;)’ and Love Island 2020 (much like my own love life) is cancelled.
If you’re a hopeless romantic like myself and need your fix of summer lovin‘ in the absence of skin-tight white jeans peacocking around a firepit (I mock, but I’ve never missed an episode), then pick up a love story.
Don’t get me wrong, I love delving into a thought-provoking, lengthy novel but every now and again, a light-hearted romance that requires absolutely zero brainpower just hits the spot. My favourite thing about reading is that not one single person will be playing out the story in their head in the same way as another. My hunky protagonist could resemble Tom Hardy, whilst yours is the spit of Harry Styles (Tom, Harry, if you’re reading this, I love you both equally).
So, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite and most mushy love stories for you to stick your teeth into this summer, below.
Our Stop, Laura Jane Williams
The perfect will-they-won’t-they romance, Our Stop is all about fate and near misses and had me gripped from start to finish. One of the top fiction bestsellers from 2019, it follows Nadia and Daniel’s modern-day romance, which begins with a post in the “Missed Connections” section of the newspaper. What follows is a series of almost meetings between the two, who are clearly meant to be together. Think Sliding Doors / You’ve Got Mail for a new generation.
The Flat Share, Beth O’Leary
Another will-they-wont-they storyline, the Sunday Times Top 5 Bestseller follows Tiffy and Leon, two residents of the same flat who happen to have never met. Tiffy needs a cheap flat, Leon needs cash and works nights – their friends think they’re crazy, but flat sharing is the perfect solution. They quickly form a firm friendship through the unlikely medium of Post-it Notes – you’ll soon be dying for the two to meet.
I’ve Got Your Number, Sophie Kinsella
Bestselling author Sophie Kinsella nails it yet again with this hilarious romantic comedy. Poppy’s life has gone into meltdown – not only has she lost her engagement ring, but in the panic that follows, she’s gone and lost her phone too. In a twist of fate, she finds an abandoned phone in a bin that is surely meant to be. The phone’s owner, Sam, does not agree. Elusive businessman Sam wants his phone back and does not appreciate Poppy’s interference with his messages and personal life. You won’t be able to put this one down.
The Man Who Didn’t Call, Rosie Walsh
The perfect read for anyone who’s ever been ghosted (AKA every gal on the planet), The Man Who Didn’t Call is a gorgeous love story with a twist. The tale begins with a picture-perfect romance between Sarah and Eddie – they spend seven glorious days together and fall head over heels in love, until Eddie has to leave for a holiday, promising to call. But he doesn’t. But please don’t let this trick you into thinking every boy who ghosts you has an elaborate secret – he’s probably just an idiot.
It Started With a Tweet, Anna Bell
Like all of us, Daisy Hobson lives her entire life online – constantly tweeting, Instagramming at every given opportunity and arranging disappointing Tinder dates. When her social media obsession causes a catastrophic mishap at work, she finds her life going into free-fall. That’s when her sister, Rosie, steps in, who thinks the answer to all her problems is a digital detox in the middle of nowhere. Of course, she meets one or two love interests along the way – a sexy French exchange-help and the rugged man next door. I particularly enjoy the lengths she goes to when trying to rescue her confiscated phone – can fully relate.