6 Great British Love Stories

Claire Handscombe

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If you like your love stories with a bit of a British accent, you'll enjoy these.

Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh

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Imagine you meet someone. You spend seven glorious days together, and you’re sure, you’re sure it’s love. You’re sure they feel it too. Then…nothing. You don’t hear from them. You feel yourself descending deeper and deeper into madness. There must be a reason why he didn’t call. And you’re right: there is. I loved this book, and loved talking to Rosie for my podcast.

If I Never Met You, by Mhairi McFarlane

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Mhairi McFarlane is one of the UK’s best-loved romcom writers, and this one for you to pick up if a good “fake relationship” romance story is your thing. After being unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, Laurie agrees to pretend to be Jamie Carter’s girlfriend – they’re colleagues as well as fake lovers, so what can possibly go wrong?

Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls

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Ellie and Nick met in London in 2008 as they awaited the results of the U.S. election. They had the perfect relationship – they were basically Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. So, four years later, why has Ellie gone? This novel traces film-obsessed Nick and his effort to figure out what went wrong for the two of them. If you liked the film Yesterday (much underrated, in my opinion, and not just because I grew up in the town it’s set in), I highly recommend you pick up this book.

The Only Story, by Julian Barnes

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For many of us, the story of our first love leaves a lasting footprint on our lives and becomes, in a sense, the only story that matters when we try to understand ourselves. That’s certainly true of Paul, who at nineteen is paired up in mixed doubles at tennis with a much older partner with whom he falls helplessly, desperately in love. This novel by the talented Julian Barnes is about this relationship, but it’s also about memory, what it does for us, and the tricks it plays on us.

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown, was a huge hit, and Talia Hibbert followed it up with a story of Chloe’s sister Danika. Dani isn’t into romance and doesn’t want a boyfriend. But when a video of her being rescued by a hot security guard named Zafir goes viral, the internet has its own ideas. If you like this one, there's more: Act Your Age, Eve Brown completes the trilogy in sexy, funny fashion.

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Claire Handscombe is a British writer who moved to Washington, DC, in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing, but really, let’s be honest, because of an obsession with The West Wing. She is the host of the Brit Lit Podcast, a monthly show about news and views from UK books and publishing; the author of Unscripted, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan; and the editor of Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives.

Washington, DC
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