Modern Romance – the best

image-medium (82)#RomanticReads Celebrate Valentine’s Day! The shortlist for the The Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year includes some titles Leeds readers have loved.

Helen Chandler, Two for Joy – another 5 star rater

Julia and Toby have been friends for years, but apart from a couple of drunken snogs in their university days, there’s never been anything more than friendship between them. It’s only when Toby goes through a dramatic break up with his gorgeous ballerina girlfriend Ruby, that he and Julia realise they’re meant to be together. Then Ruby drops a bombshell – she’s pregnant – and though he feels torn in two, Toby feels he has to give their relationship another chance. Heartbroken Julia is left to lick her wounds in her little Walthamstow home, thinking she has lost Toby forever

Susan Elliot Wright, The Things We Never Said

In 1964 Maggie wakes to find she doesn’t know who she is. She slowly begins to have memories of a storm and of a man called Jack. In 2008 Jonathan is struggling to tell his parents that he and his wife are expecting a baby, when a detective arrives to question him about crimes committed long ago

Veronica Henry, A Night On The Orient Express – loads of 5 star ratings

The Orient Express. Luxury. Mystery. Romance. For one group of passengers settling into their seats and taking their first sips of champagne, the journey from London to Venice is more than the trip of a lifetime. A mysterious errand; a promise made to a dying friend; an unexpected proposal; a secret reaching back a lifetime. As the train sweeps on, revelations, confessions and assignations unfold against the most romantic and infamous setting in the world

Lisa Jewell, Before I Met You

London, 1920. Arlette works in Liberty by day, and by night is caughty up in a glamorous whirl of parties, clubs, cocktails and jazz. But when tragedy strikes she flees the city, never to return. Over half a century later, in the grungy mid-’90s, her graddaughter Betty arrives in London. She can’t wait to begin her new life. But before she can do so, she must find the mysterious woman named in her grandmother’s will. What she doesn’t know is that her search will uncover the heartbreaking secret that changed her grandmother’s life, and might also change hers for ever

Pippa Wright, The Foster Husband

Kate left her home for London when she was 18, and never looked back. She had it all: the glamorous career, the gorgeous husband. Until her marriage failed and she lost her job. Holed up in her granny’s bungalow, she’s forced to share her new home with Ben, the clueless fiance of her sister Prue