I won! #lovebooks

On Valentine’s Day I spotted Curtis Brown Books was running a competition to win a bundle of love-themed books. Obviously I had to enter and, drumroll please, I was lucky enough to win! Needless to say I was very happy when the books turned up at my house a couple of days later.

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Out of the bundle I’ve read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, but apart from that the others are all new to me. I can’t wait to read Letters to the Lost and Rembrandt’s Mirror.

I’ve included the blurb for each of the books below, so you can find out a little more info:

Love from Pooh – A.A. Milne

Wear your heart on your sleeve with this lovely gift book featuring words of love from Winnie-the-Pooh. When you are Pooh, honey is your first love, and your best friend loves you despite you being a Silly Old Bear.  This book features original quotations from A.A. Milne’s charming stories and poems, accompanied by E.H.Shepard’s charming line illustrations.

Paris for One – Jojo Moyes

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She’s never even been on a romantic weekend away – to anywhere – before. Travelling abroad isn’t really her thing. But when Nell’s boyfriend fails to show up, she has the chance to prove to everyone – including herself – that she can be independent and intrepid. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed . . . In the ten other stories, Jojo Moyes introduces us to a cast of strong, relatable women in the midst of their everyday lives.

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

After You – Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark has lots of questions. Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places. Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home. Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago. And will she ever get over the love of her life. What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change. Then, one night, it does.

Us – David Nicholls

Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home. He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together. So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again. The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed. What could possibly go wrong?

The Gift of a Lifetime – Melissa Hill

Hollywood movies are Beth’s passion. She hopes her life will always be filled with classic movie moments, where magical things happen every day. Her boyfriend Danny has always been the embodiment of her perfect Hollywood hero—though after seven years together the initial silver-screen romance has settled into something more predictable. Then one morning at work just before Christmas, Beth receives an anonymous gift of a take-out coffee cup with a cryptic message. From there, she is given a series of other gifts and riddles directing her to some of NYC’s most popular landmarks—a treasure trail using unique rom-com-related prompts perfect for a movie-lover like Beth to decipher.

The Girl in the Castle – Santa Montefiore

International sensation Santa Montefiore presents the first book in a trilogy that follows three Irish women through the decades of the twentieth century–perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Hazel Gaynor.

Rembrandt’s Mirror – Kim Devereux

Hendrickje, a girl from a strict Calvinist family leaves her provincial home to find work as a housemaid. She enters Rembrandt’s flourishing workshop five years after the death of the great artist’s wife, an event that continues to haunt him. It is a house full of secrets and desires, and Hendrickje soon witnesses a sexual encounter between Rembrandt and Geertje, his implacable housekeeper. She is shocked to the core by their intense carnality and yet, slowly, she is drawn to Rembrandt by the freshness with which he perceives the world and the special freedom he seems to possess. Rembrandt is a man of dark corners, strange passions and a ruthlessness born from his need to put his art first. An involvement with him could be her ruin or her liberty. Rembrandt’s Mirror explores the three women of Rembrandt’s life, and the towering passions of the artist, seen through the eyes of his last, great love, Hendrickje.

Letters to the Lost – Iona Grey 

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…
Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five.

… He promised to love her forever. Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan’s words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late? Now forever is finally running out.

The Invitation – Lucy Foley 

An evocative love story set along the Italian Riviera about a group of charismatic stars who all have secrets and pasts they try desperately -and dangerously-to hide.

The Gracekeepers – Kirsty Logan

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, sending the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.

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Have you read any of the books above? If so, which ones do you recommend? I’d also love to hear what your favourite love-themed novel is.

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