In a world where being single is the norm and the desire to be in a relationship can be cured by a pill, what would you choose? Read Helly Acton’s The Couple, published in paperback today with Bonnier Books UK.

Perfectly timed for St Bridget’s Day, the popular alternative to Valentine’s Day, Helly Acton’s hilarious novel flips romcoms on their head and the results couldn’t be more entertaining. After the success of her debut novel,  The Shelf, which was a Radio 2 Book Club pick, Helly returned in 2021 with her latest funny, thought-provoking novel, The Couple, and the reviews were fantastic:

‘A completely genius concept that shines a light on the often archaic ways that society views relationships, or lack thereof. I adore Helly’s characters and the way she always manages to write funny and soulful feminist fiction, that has the ability to make us all stop and think. This book is not one to miss!’

Sara-Ella Ozbek

‘A love song to female friendships, making your own choices and not caring what everyone thinks. THE COUPLE turns everything we know about relationships on its head and delivers a sparkly, witty and warm story, packed full of heart’

Lynsey James

‘Another thought-provoking, clever-concept novel from Helly Acton. And be prepared for some real laugh-out-loud moments.’

Woman’s Own

So, if you didn’t get chance to read it in hardback we cannot recommend the paperback enough with its gorgeously enticing new cover! Here’s a cheeky taster…

If society’s views on relationships were different and the norm was to be single, would you risk everything for love?

Millie is a perfectionist. She’s happy, she’s successful and, with a great support network of friends and family (and a very grumpy cat), she’s never lonely. She loves working at a big tech firm and is on track be promoted to her dream role. The last thing she needs is romance messing up her perfectly organised world.

Besides, normal people just don’t have romantic relationships. Everyone knows that being in a couple is a bit…well, odd. You know, like having a pet snake or referring to yourself in the third person. Why rely on another person for your own happiness? Why risk the humiliation of unrequited love or the agony of a break-up? No, Millie is more than happy with her conventional single life.

So, when Millie lands a new project at work, launching a pill that prevents you falling in love, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. That is, until she starts working with Ben. He’s charming and funny, and Millie feels an instant connection to him.

Will Millie sacrifice everything she believes in for love?


Congratulations, Helly!