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The top five romance novels of 2023.

The Burnout

The Burnout
Sophie Kinsella (Bantam)
As funny and perfectly plotted as all Kinsella’s books, but with an out-of-season coastal town setting that adds a bittersweet quality to this tale of young people’s anxiety and, eventually, huge love. Kinsella is justly lauded for her comedy – if she was a man, she’d have won the Wodehouse prize by now – but she also brings a wistfulness to her characters, and a sharp awareness of contemporary concerns, from consumerism to workplace etiquette to social media. Sasha in The Burnout is suffering from terrible anxiety, overwork and an always-on culture, and the book is true, sweet, sad, romantic and genuinely uplifting.

Iron Flame -

Iron Flame
Rebecca Yarros (Piatkus)

A highly anticipated romantic fantasy, Iron Flame is the second installment of the Empyrean Series which takes place in the historic Basgiath War College. Released in November, it has garnered much excitement from readers. Yarros has been compared to Harry Potter and has a devoted following similar to that of Hunger Games, with the added elements of dragons and romance. This book is one of the few in recent years to warrant midnight bookshop openings, so it is recommended to catch up on the series.

Everything’s Fine

Everything’s Fine
Cecilia Rabess (Picador)

This contentious yet captivating and hilariously entertaining love story from America delves into the intersection of race and politics, causing readers to cheer for the gen Z protagonists despite initial reservations. As is often seen, especially with debut works by female writers, there has been a social media backlash surrounding the use of racial issues as a plot device in the romance. While many support the creative freedom of a young Black woman, the novel’s cleverness should dispel any doubts. The unearthing of a hidden Maga hat has rarely felt as impactful.


Jilly Cooper (Bantam)

Jilly Cooper is known for her signature style of humor and authenticity, making her a beloved figure in British culture. Her novel Tackle! takes place in the world of professional football, but it’s not recommended as a source of information on the sport. With the release of the TV adaptation of her acclaimed work Rivals, 2024 is shaping up to be a significant year for Jilly. So get ready to celebrate with some hair-washing and Fracas spraying as Rupert takes care of the stubble in the lower field!

Red, White & Royal Blue Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue
Casey McQuiston (Macmillan)

Reissued to align with the movie, this incredibly complex love story – where the daughter of the US leader (who happens to be a female) falls for the Prince of Wales – is entertaining and entirely endearing. It is charmingly executed with a sophisticated Heartstopper atmosphere.

Please visit guardianbookshop.com to see all the romance books featured in the 2023 best books list by the Guardian and Observer. Additional fees may be required for delivery.

Source: theguardian.com