If anyone knows a thing or two about romance novels, it’s Jojo Moyes.
The 48 year old is the author of much-loved novel Me Before You, which has sold over eight million copies worldwide and was turned into a hit movie in 2016.
Outside of the pages of her books, there’s plenty of romancer in the mum of three’s personal life, too. “Four years ago Charles [Jojo’s husband] surprised me with a second wedding on holiday in Mauritius,” she tells the March issue of woman&home.
“It was my birthday and he announced in the morning that I had to go to the spa where someone was going to do my make-up because we were renewing our vows on the beach. It goes to show that someone you’ve known for a long time can still surprise you.”
But when she’s not penning love stories of her own, which books does Jojo turn to for a dose of amour? These are her top five romance books…
Jojo says: This love story has wit, passion, and the most lengthily delayed gratification (vital when it comes to love stories). It manages to be an epic romance woven through a quite pragmatic tale of other loves along the way. It changed the way I thought about love stories.
Jojo says: If love stories are heightened by enforced separation then this novel is its apotheosis. For most of the book the couple in question do not even appear on the same page, and their fleeting romance has to bear a disproportionate weight. But their love lingers in the imagination long after the book is finished. Heartbreaking and beautifully written.
Opposites attract and worlds collide when Elizabeth Bennett falls for the rich bur proud Mr Darcy.
“I made a promise to myself ages ago to re-read the classics. That’s not going so well!” Jones says.
“I put Pride and Prejudice on my bedside table two weeks before I went on maternity leave and it’s still there! So that’s coming with me and I’m going to try again.”
Jojo says: Oh, come on. Who didn’t love this story during their formative years? Forbidden love is always compelling and there’s not much more illicit than the anguished, soapy romance between Meggie Cleary and Catholic priest Father Ralph de Bricassart, conducted over decades.
Jojo says: This novel is not a conventional romance, but I have rarely seen modern marriage reproduced so faithfully – and humorously – in print. It’s about love once the hot flush of early romance has subsided. I have a sneaking fear that I am Audra.
Jojo’s new novel Still Me (Michael Joseph) is out now