8 British Romantic Novels You Might Have Missed

Because nobody does delicious awkwardness quite like us Brits

Claire Handscombe
5 min readMay 19, 2021


Photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash

There’s a certain kind of sensibility to British romantic fiction. Maybe it’s the accents; maybe it’s our innate awkwardness — which would also explain the popularity of 1990s Hugh Grant movies. Regardless, if you’re wanting some great romantic fiction by British authors, here are some suggestions from the last few years, many of which didn’t get the attention they deserved in the American publishing world.

The Flatshare, by Beth O’Leary (2019)

This book was one of the buzziest of the year in the UK in 2019 and sits firmly in the currently popular “up lit” genre — so if you need some feel good fiction in your life, you could do worse than picking up The Flatshare. Tiffy and Leon have never met, but the only way Tiffy can afford to live in London is by agreeing to an unusual arrangement: her apartment is shared by a guy who works nights and is only there when she isn’t. Complications ensue, along with some romantic shenanigans.

Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh (2018)

Imagine you meet someone. You spend seven glorious days together, and you’re sure, you’re sure it’s love. You’re sure they feel it too. Then…nothing. You don’t hear from them. You feel yourself descending deeper and deeper into madness. There must be a reason why he didn’t call. And you’re right: there is. I loved this book, and loved talking to Rosie for my podcast.

If I Never Met You, by Mhairi McFarlane (2020)

Mhairi McFarlane is one of the UK’s best-loved romcom writers, and this novel of hers is one for you to pick up if a good “fake relationship” romance…



Claire Handscombe

Editor of WALK WITH US: How the West Wing Changed Our Lives; author of the novel UNSCRIPTED and of CONQUERING BABEL: a Practical Guide to Learning a Language.