Books have always been our favorite way to travel, which is why we were eager to dive into Jacquelyn Middleton’s London Belongs to Me series. The latest installment, London, Can You Wait?, whisks readers away to England to follow the relationship of Alex Sinclair and her Irish actor boyfriend, Mark Keegan. To celebrate the book’s release, Middleton put together a list of must-read tales of love and longing set in London.
Ah, wanderlust! I can always relate to characters who feel the pull to escape and 20-something Kika has it bad. After a year-long backpacking adventure (hello, Spain, Rome, India!) and a flirty romance with a hot Irishman, she puts away her camera and passport to join the rat race in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Kika isn’t the corporate office, suit-wearing type of gal. Longing for the thrill of foreign accents and new people, she happily accepts a nanny position in London. But will London satisfy Kika’s desire for love, excitement, and new experiences? In Girls Who Travel, Nicole Trilivas lets us tag along with the strong, lovable Kika as she learns that sometimes what we really want is right in front of us.
Note to authors: If you put a red double decker bus on the book’s cover, I will buy it. I spotted Chasing Charlie at Heathrow airport when I was about to fly home. Ugh, leaving London is never a good idea, so I bought Linda McLaughlan’s novel and took a bit of London home with me. Chasing Charlie’s Sam has a problem—she is still smitten with her ex, the addictive but cheating Charlie. She’ll do just about anything to win him back. Cringe-worthy situations abound, friends question Sam’s sanity, and London… well, you’ll want to embark on your own race around the city to find your one true love after reading this book.
I Heart London is actually part of Lindsey Kelk’s I Heart series, but if you’re impatient like me, you can dive into this one without reading the others and have a laugh out loud jolly good time. London lovers will revel in all the references—Eastenders, the Gerkin, the Eye, Primrose Hill… ah, an author after my own Anglophile heart! This book is fun with a capital “f” and the romance will warm your heart and have you booking your own trip to London faster than you can say tea and crumpets.
My friend sent me all of Mhairi McFarlane’s books in one go, and I was instantly hooked. Don’t you love when that happens? You Had Me at Hello (which takes place in Manchester—another setting that shows up in my books) and Here’s Looking at You were my favorites out of the bunch. McFarlane’s writing is funny, engaging, and heartfelt, and Here’s Looking at You with its contemporary Pride and Prejudice feel and slow burn romance gripped me from the first chapter. The main character Anna is like you and me—flawed, real, and trying to make sense of her past so she can fully embrace her present. Snappy dialogue, characters you wish were your own friends, and lovely London make this one a must-buy for chick lit fans and romance addicts.
Karen Swan had me at Primrose Hill. And Christmas. Okay, full disclosure, this book had me at Karen Swan. I read everything Swan writes so grabbing Christmas on Primrose Hill was a no-brainer for me. What’s not to love? London, specially Primrose Hill with its small village in a big city feel at Christmas, and Nettie, a girl after my own heart. Loyal to friends and family, Nettie just wants to do her media job and stay out of the limelight, but Jamie, a famous rockstar and bachelor around town, might have other ideas. Lovers of will they/won’t they romances will adore this book. And did I mention London at Christmas? Grab yourself some Quality Street sweets and tuck in.
Jacquelyn Middleton is an award-winning freelance writer with articles published by several of the most popular magazines, newspapers, and websites in North America including Canadian Living, Best Health, National Geographic Travel, the Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, and Flare. She previously worked in television broadcasting, and lives in Toronto. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out in London, waiting in a comic con line with her husband, or chasing after her bossy Schipperke.