5 romance reads to escape the back to work blues

By Olivia Blight

5 romance reads to escape the back to work blues
Book reviewer Olivia Blight (@sheread_what) shares her top picks for romance novels that will offer some escapism from the daily grind.

We’ve all been there. The summer holiday that is never long enough and just as you start to wind down it’s straight back into the office.

Want a way to escape? Here are five excellent romance reads to get your head out of your emails and into another world.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

The title says it all. Beach Read is the perfect book to read at the beach or will help transport you there at least. January Andrews is a successful romance writer but after the death of her father and the revelation of a life-altering secret, she finds herself in North Bear Shores, Michigan – alone, depressed and struggling to come up with her next bestseller. Enter Augustus Everett, her college nemesis and literary fiction writer who just so happens to be her next-door neighbour…I think you know what’s bound to happen next. Witty banter, sizzling stares and a hefty dose of trauma make Beach Read a story that you just won’t be able to put down.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston 

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if a woman had won the 2016 presidency, a British prince had fallen in love with a different American, and 2020 was never taken over by a global pandemic? (Raises hand). Alex Claremont-Diaz is the son of the US president and he has one problem – he can’t stand British royalty, Prince Henry, and his ridiculously pretty face.  When the two come to blows at a royal wedding causing relations between the two countries to come under threat, what else could you possibly do other than stage a fake friendship to clear things up? This is a hilarious yet heart-warming enemies-to-lovers story which will have you laughing and crying all in the same breath. An absolute must read!

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Most people will hear the name Achilles and imagine a sun-kissed Brad Pitt storming around a beach and romancing beautiful women. Well, this is the story most people don’t know about and it is so much better. Set against the backdrop of Ancient Greece, The Song of Achilles follows the love story of Achilles and Patroclus, who cross paths when young Prince Patroclus is exiled to the Court of King Peleus. The two form a deep and meaningful relationship which is put to the ultimate test when they travel to Troy to fight in the Trojan War. Heart-breaking, passionate and incredibly well written, The Song of Achilles is a book which will linger in your mind long after you have finished. 

Normal People by Sally Rooney

A book which has graced several reading lists and has even been made into a TV show, if you haven’t read Normal People, take this as your sign to pick it up. Connell and Mary-Anne seem like completely different people – he’s the high school favourite, she’s the awkward know-it-all, yet they are irrevocably drawn to one another. Their roles are reversed when they start college, causing their relationship to evolve into something much more intimate and challenging in more ways than one. We follow them and their lives through their many twists and turns, the normal situations they find themselves in somehow heightened due to an intense relationship that only comes around once in a lifetime. Beautiful, agonisingly familiar and unforgettable, make sure you read this one before Rooney’s new book ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ comes out this year.

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Handsome men with luminous eyes.

Evil, terrifying creatures trapped in mist.

A sassy, dagger-wielding heroine desperate to break free of the chains that shackle her.

If you said YES to all of the above, then From Blood and Ash is the GoodReads Best Romance Novel of 2020 that will have you forgetting all about that email from your boss. Poppy is the Maiden who was chosen at birth as a gift from the Gods. She spends her days alone behind a veil, not allowed to speak or interact with anyone, waiting for her upcoming Ascension. As a long-defeated nation starts to stir and a distractingly handsome Hawke Flynn becomes her new Royal Guard, all Poppy has ever known is called into question, forcing her down a path she never quite imagined was possible. If you’re a big fan of fantasy and handsome guards with golden eyes, From Blood and Ash is your next read and even better – it’s a series!

You can read more of Olivia’s book reviews on Instagram at @sheread_what


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