Author Patricia Nicol reveals a selection of the best books on: Holiday Romances 

Author Patricia Nicol reveals a selection of the best books on: Holiday Romances

Over the summer half-term, my family got grounded at Gatwick after our early-morning easyJet flight to Italy was cancelled at short notice. I experienced many emotions in a short burst of time: fury, frustration, bafflement at just how badly something could be communicated then, unapologetically, administered.

I am still in Kafkaesque negotiations about expenses incurred. It was not an experience that reflected the romance of travel.

Currently, with further flight cancellations promised, strike actions and Covid still doing the rounds, holidays do seem as a proposition more risky than frisky. And yet there is something about this sultry weather to quicken the pulse. Love is in the air, along with the scent of sun cream, spilled beer and barbecues.

A holiday romance or, indeed, a romantic holiday, is a staple of feel-good fiction. Book Lovers by Emily Henry is one of my sunniest recent reads. Nora, a quick-witted New York literary agent with a disastrous romantic track record, is persuaded by her sister Libby to spend a month in cutesy, rural Sunshine Falls.

A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin

British author Patricia Nicol has rounded up a selection of the best books on holiday romances including Book Lovers by Emily Henry (left) and A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin (right)

Her sister has a holiday checklist that includes Nora dating a local. But the person Nora keeps on bumping into is Charlie, a work nemesis from New York who, it turns out, hails from Sunshine Falls.

Another jolly novel is the Regency-set A Lady’s Guide To Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin. Its heroine is the sparky, recently orphaned Kitty Talbot, facing financial and reputational ruin for herself and her younger, dependent sisters unless she can snare a wealthy match in a London season. War hero Lord Radcliffe, however, seems determined to frustrate her plan.

The Hummingbird by Sandro Veronesi is an Italian novel I read when I eventually got to my holiday destination. It recounts a life full of longing. Its protagonist, Marco Carrera, first falls for the love of his life, Luisa, over hot childhood summers at the Tuscan seaside, where both their families have holiday homes.

Even if you have no plans to travel, all these books are transporting.