April Book Haul

Kindle Purchases

I really need to get a grip on my acquisitions, as this month has been another bumper month. My problem is I can’t resist a bargain. I only spent £22.50 on Kindle purchases which are currently priced at £79.95! Perhaps this is the point I should urge you to join me over on Facebook if you also enjoy a bargain. As I usually post bargains daily,  by the time you read this monthly round-up many titles will be back at full price.

 

The Little Café in CopenhagenThe Little Cafe in Copenhagen by Julie Caplin

Publicist Kate Sinclair’s life in London is everything she thought she wanted: success, glamour and a charming boyfriend. Until that boyfriend goes behind her back and snatches a much sought-after promotion from her.Heartbroken and questioning everything, Kate needs to escape.

From candles and cosy nights in to romantic late-night walks through the beautiful cobbled streets of Copenhagen, Kate discovers how to live life ‘the Danish way’. Can the secrets of hygge and happiness lead her to her own happily-ever-after?

 

Sunshine at the Comfort Food CafeSunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

My name is Willow Longville. I live in a village called Budbury on the stunning Dorset coast with my mum Lynnie, who sometimes forgets who I am. I’m a waitress at the Comfort Food Café, which is really so much more than a café … it’s my home.

For Willow, the ramshackle café overlooking the beach, together with its warm-hearted community, offers friendship as a daily special and always has a hearty welcome on the
menu. But when a handsome stranger blows in on a warm spring breeze, Willow soon realises that her quiet country life will be changed forever.

 

Still Standing, The Savage YearsStill Standing by Paul O’Grady

Lilian Maeve Veronica Savage, international sex kitten, was born on the steps of The Legs of Man public house, Lime Street, Liverpool on a policeman’s overcoat. Her mother, the lady wrestler Hell Cat Savage, had no such luxuries as gas and air. She just bit down on the policeman’s torch and recovered afterwards at the bar with a large pale ale…

Paul O’Grady shot to fame via his brilliant comic creation, the blonde bombsite Lily Savage. In the first two parts of his bestselling and critically acclaimed autobiography, Paul took us through his childhood in Birkenhead to his first, teetering steps on stage. Now, in Still Standing, for the first time, he brings us the no-holds-barred true story of Lily and the rocky road to stardom…

Paul pulls no punches in this tale of bar room brawls, drunken escapades and liaisons dangereuses. And that’s just backstage at the Panto… Along the way, we stop off at some extremely dodgy pubs and clubs, and meet a collection of exotic characters who made the world a louder, brighter and more hilarious place. From the chaos of the Toxteth riots and the Vauxhall Tavern police raid, to the mystery of who shot Skippy and the great chip pan fire of Victoria Mansions, Paul emerges shaken but not stirred.

 

A Lucky DayA Lucky Day by Carlos J Server

The largest prize ever awarded by the EuroMillions lottery has been won by a lucky someone from a small village on the French Riviera. What starts out as the happiest day in history for the local inhabitants soon turns into a race against the clock to find the lucky winner and cash in the lottery ticket. A priest with verbal incontinence, a sweet little old lady with secret sexual fantasies about the local butcher, a village mayor who’s held power for thirty years, and a mailman in love with the wife of a villainous baker are just a few of the quirky characters who will make you laugh and occasionally bring a tear to your eye as you enjoy everyday situations taken to extremes. A Lucky Day is a heartwarming comedy peopled by a highly entertaining cast of characters.

 

A Rising ManA Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee

India, 1919. Desperate for a fresh start, Captain Sam Wyndham arrives to take up an important post in Calcutta’s police force.

He is soon called to the scene of a horrifying murder. The victim was a senior official, and a note in his mouth warns the British to leave India – or else.

With the stability of the Empire under threat, Wyndham and Sergeant ‘Surrender-not’ Banerjee must solve the case quickly. But there are some who will do anything to stop them…

 

Songs of Love and WarSongs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore 

Their lives were mapped out ahead of them. But love and war will change everything…

Castle Deverill, nestled in the rolling Irish hills, is home to three very different women: flame-haired Kitty Deverill, her best friend and daughter of the castle’s cook, Bridie Doyle, and her flamboyant English cousin, Celia Deverill.

When war breaks out, their lives will change forever.

Wrenched apart by betrayal and swept to different parts of the globe, their friendship will be tested a thousand times over. But one bond will keep them together forever: their fierce and unwavering longing for Castle Deverill and all the memories contained within it.

 

Be Still the WaterBe Still the Water by Karen Emilson

“Be Still the Water” brings us into the fold of the Gudmundsson family—immigrants determined to begin life anew in the Icelandic farming and fishing community of Siglunes. At the heart of the novel is dutiful Asta, the middle daughter who loves the local mill owner’s son, but the devastating secret they share drives a wedge between them, complicating their love for decades.

When Asta’s younger sister goes missing, she embarks on a quest to find her and bring her home. She tells the heartbreaking tale some seventy years later, while on her deathbed, finally discovering the truth of what happened on those fateful days that set the course for her life and the lives of everyone she loved.

Loosely inspired by area events, this is an emotional, slow-burning story of family love and sacrifice, of secrets revealed and promises broken—told in the spirit of the Icelandic Sagas.

 

Warm WatersWarm Waters by George Hopewell

Zarya Waterfall is at the end of her tether. Married to unsexy, bookish Geoffrey, stifled by small-town Spaville and numbed by her conventional friends, she has nowhere to go, no one to turn to. All this is changed when she visits a local hairdresser, AIRTIME, in whose cellars, she discovers, are long-forgotten medieval baths and whose owner, Eddie, turns out to be a man of unfathomable mystery and allure.

Something is happening in the cellars of AIRTIME. Something fired by the warm waters, which is bigger than her marriage, her friends, her town.

Something that stirs, love, sex and fertility, as old as time itself.

But the ancient waters of AIRTIME and the mystery they embody are threatened by the building of a brash new Spa. Zarya is put to the test as she begins to understand that the existence of love and the very survival of life are in jeopardy.

 

The Hoarder's WidowThe Hoarder’s Widow by Allie Cresswell

Suddenly-widowed Maisie sets out to clear her late husband’s collection; wonky furniture and balding rugs, bolts of material for upholstery projects he never got round to, gloomy pictures and outmoded electronics, other people’s trash brought home from car boot sales and rescued from the tip. The hoard is endless, stacked into every room in the house, teetering in piles along the landing and forming a scree up the stairs. It is all part of Clifford’s waste-not way of thinking in which everything, no matter how broken or obscure, can be re-cycled or re-purposed into something useful or, if kept long enough, will one day be valuable. He had believed in his vision as ardently as any mystic in his holy revelation but now, without the clear projection of his vision to light it up for her as what it would be, it appears to Maisie more grimly than ever as what it is: junk.
As Maisie disassembles his stash she is forced to confront the issues which drove her husband to squirrel away other people’s rubbish; after all, she knows virtually nothing about his life before they met. Finally, in the last bastion of his accumulation, she discovers the key to his hoarding and understands – much too late – the man she married.
Then, with empty rooms in a house which is too big for her, she must ask herself: what next?

 

Don't Let GoDon’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

A SMALL TOWN IS HIDING BIG SECRETS …

Fifteen years ago in New Jersey, a teenage boy and girl were found dead.

Most people concluded it was a tragic suicide pact. The dead boy’s brother, Nap Dumas, did not. Now Nap is a cop – but he’s a cop who plays by his own rules, and who has never made peace with his past.

And when the past comes back to haunt him, Nap discovers secrets can kill…

 

The Lido GirlsThe Lido Girls by Allie Burns

It’s the summer of 1935 and holidaymakers are flocking to St Darlstone’s magnificent lido beside the sea!

With little hope of finding a husband, no-nonsense Natalie lives for teaching, until she finds herself out of a job courtesy of her best friend Delphi. But if she can team up with Delphi to bring her rigorous physical fitness programme to the people of St Darlstone, maybe there’s a chance she can start again and help her friend to follow her dreams too?

So Natalie takes on the Lido Girls. But, with Delphi’s handsome brother, Jack, on the scene, and Delphi’s desperate struggle to defy her overbearing parents, Natalie must find the courage to face up to her own fears, and realise what she truly wants in life…

Set against the backdrop of the pioneering keep fit movement; this is a feel-good celebration of friendship and what’s possible when you follow your heart.

 

A Grand Old TimeA Grand Old Time by Judy Leigh

Evie Gallagher is regretting her hasty move into a care home. She may be seventy-five and recently widowed, but she’s absolutely not dead yet. And so, one morning, Evie walks out of Sheldon Lodge and sets off on a Great Adventure across Europe.

But not everyone thinks Great Adventures are appropriate for women of Evie’s age, least of all her son Brendan and his wife Maura, who follow a trail of puzzling text messages to bring her home.

When they finally catch up with her, there are shocks in store . . . because while Brendan may have given up on life and love, Evie certainly has not.

 

Chasing the TravellerChasing the Traveller by Alex Kane

‘I’ve fled from my husband and the only life I’ve ever known. I’m terrified that if he finds me, I’ll never find myself.’

Kat is trapped in a world where she has never belonged. As a traveller, she has always felt lost, especially since the death of her parents in a fire when she was fourteen years old. Having been taken on by the Denton family as their own, Kat falls in love with their son, tearaway Jimmy. His charm soon wears off and Kat finds herself married to a controlling and violent thug.

Sixteen years later, Kat decides enough is enough and begins plotting her escape from a lifetime of abuse.

Stripped of her personality, Kat has no idea how to start again but she finds an unlikely ally in her sister-in-law Ellie who shows Kat that she is not alone.

Kat and Ellie Denton begin their venture into a new world, where they meet new people and build new lives. But Kat still wants to know more about her parents’ past and when she seeks the location of an address on the back of a family photograph, Kat begins to uncover more than she expected including a revelation that will lead Kat back to the traveller site she had been so desperate to escape from.

Will she find the answers she is looking for, or will she fall prey to the violent Jimmy Denton once more?

 

Birth of VenusBirth of Venus by D J Meyers

A flower does not choose its colour; its beauty is the desire of others…

An ancient picture frame and a forgotten parchment lead two generations of one family into the world of Renaissance Florence. Both artefacts pose the same questions; were Sandro Botticelli and Simonetta Vespucci lovers? Do the women in his paintings, including The Birth of Venus, really depict the young Florentine beauty? Can any man love one woman so intensely and for so long?

 

Boob Jobs & Angel CakesBoob Jobs & Angel Cakes by Adrienne Williams

When Emma’s obsessive husband, Eddie, buys her a boob job for her birthday, her world gets turned upside down and she finds herself facing her worst possible fear.
Emma finds the courage to leave Eddie, and it is her family and friends that help her get through the difficult days ahead. Her best friend Bernie is a tower of strength but when Emma is at her lowest ebb, it is a dog called Ethel and an old man called Fred, who help her turn her life back around. Ethel’s antics bring laughter back into her life and Fred gives Emma the courage to follow her dream of opening a cake shop. But will Emma find the kind of love that she is searching for; the sort of love that is a far cry from erotic underwear, sex toys and Eddie’s spiteful fingers?

 

A Crack In The DoorA Crack in the Door by Helen Ryan

Colm Lowe is an artist, a watercolourist, specialising in birds. His life with his wife, Maggie, changes when he moves from London’s suburbs to a house in Devon overlooking the Exe estuary. It changes even more, and not for the better, when Maggie’s father, Jack, a widower, comes to live with them.

Struggling under the pressures of caring for Jack, Maggie and Colm begin to see each other differently. Cracks appear in their marriage.

When Jack asks Colm to help him die, Colm glimpses freedom and decides to oblige by leaving Jack to drown in the bath. But it’s not that simple. Mercy killing, practised without a manual, is not an exact science.

 

The TrustThe Trust by David Yates

This comedy/crime novel follows the fortune of Alan Alanson, a hapless thirty-something who is wonderfully competent as a competitor in the Merseyside Quiz League; he knows a little about almost everything -except, that is, life in general.

Soon he finds himself recruited by monstrous Scouse private eye, Maddo Maddox, and embroiled in a plot that might threaten the existence of an inspiring charity where he works as a volunteer helper- The Trust.

Then there’s the women who enter his life: how can he choose between fiery artist Carmen and posh social worker Penny? And who can he have faith in: philanthropist businessman Martin Talbot or Labour councillor Charley Redbridge?

How can he guess who to trust?

 

Summer at The Cosy Cottage CafeSummer at the Cosy Cottage Cafe by Rachel Griffiths

Allie Jones loves her cosy cottage café in the picturesque village of Heatherlea. She has her independence, two grown-up children and two cute cats. Life is settled and she thinks she’s happy.

Author Chris Monroe has it all. Critical success, a luxurious London apartment, and the kind of jet-set lifestyle most people dream of. But something’s missing.

When a family bereavement throws these two old friends together, they begin to question the true meaning of happiness.

Love is in the air, but do Allie and Chris have room in their hands-on lives for more than a summer fling?

 

AnnaAnna by Amanda Prowse

There are two sides to every love story. This is Anna’s.

Anna Cole grew up poor, but her mother’s love made her feel rich every day. Then her mother died, and Anna was sent to a care home. As a teenager, Anna vowed that one day, she would have children of her own, and create the happy, noisy family life she always craved.

Then, one day, Anna meets Theo Montgomery in a lift. Theo has kind eyes, but a sad past. His family were rich, but his childhood was full of neglect. Theo can’t imagine bringing a child into this cruel world, but he does want a soulmate. Someone to love him unconditionally; someone with whom he can share his family’s wealth.

Theo and Anna are two damaged souls, from two different worlds. Is their love for each other enough to let go of the pain of their pasts? Or will Anna and Theo break each others’ hearts?

 

The French AdventureThe French Adventure by Lucy Coleman

Suddenly unemployed and single, Anna escapes to her parents’ beautiful house in France for a much needed recharge – and to work out what she wants to do next with her life now her carefully mapped out plan has gone out the window.

Anna gives herself 6 months to recuperate, all the while helping renovate her parents’ adjoining gites into picturesque B&Bs. But working alongside the ruggedly handsome Sam on the renovation project, she didn’t expect for life to take an unexpected, if not unwelcome, twist…

 

The Hairy Bikers' Mediterranean AdventureThe Hairy Bikers Mediterranean Adventure by Si King & Dave Myers

The Hairy Bikers are on their bikes again, searching out the very best recipes from around the world.

This time, they’re discovering the most delicious food from our favourite Mediterranean countries.

Including recipes from their upcoming prime time BBC Two cookery show, THE HAIRY BIKERS’ MEDITERRANEAN celebrates the culinary delights of France, Spain and Italy.

With more of us understanding the health benefits of a Med diet, these hearty and healthy dishes are a taste of the very best holiday memories.

 

Mainly by BikeMainly by Bike by Ann Wilson

 

At the age of 59, Ann decided that there was no time like the present and gave up her job to cycle round the world. Her first bike was stolen in Bulgaria, she was knocked down by a buffalo cart in India and battled with a parasitic illness in Malaysia. These were some of the challenges she had to deal with, but above all, what stood out for Ann was the depth of human kindness she experienced throughout her travels.

 

THE ROAD TO EDEN IS OVERGROWNThe Road to Eden is Overgrown by Dan Wheatcroft

Nicks is a broken man. After losing his wife to cancer he tries to drink himself to death but a mysterious encounter sets his life on a completely unexpected path.
When DCI Baddeley takes over at the lively and resourceful murder squad all hell seems to break loose in and around the city of Liverpool. A local crime lord is gunned down in a quiet backstreet and a string of execution-style killings follow. However, the hidden clues found along the way by the investigators all point to something … bigger than organised crime.

 

These Dividing WallsThese Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper

What building doesn’t have secrets? 
How much does anyone know of what goes on behind their neighbour’s doors?

On a hot June day, grief-stricken Edward arrives in Paris hoping that a stay in a friend’s empty apartment will help him mend. But this is not the Paris he knows: there are no landmarks or grand boulevards, and the apartment he was promised is little more than an attic room.

In the apartments below him, his new neighbours fill their flats with secrets. A young mother is on the brink, a bookshop owner buries her past, and a banker takes up a dark and malicious new calling.

Before he knows it, Edward will find himself entangled in their web, and as the summer heat intensifies so do tensions within and without the building, leading to a city-wide wave of violence, and a reckoning within the walls of number 37.

With a sultry heat to rival A Year in Provence and all the sharp perception of Leila Slimani’s LullabyThese Dividing Walls is a beautifully written and eye-opening novel about the Paris we don’t see.

 

Ridley RoadRidley Road by Jo Bloom

SUMMER, 1962. Twenty-year-old Vivien Epstein, a Jewish hairdresser from Manchester, arrives in London following the death of her father. She has travelled to the city to make a new start, and quickly finds herself swept up in a city buzzing with life. Landing a job at Oscar’s salon, she thrives amid the vibrant café culture of Soho and the warm camaraderie of the other hairdressers.
But beneath the surface, Vivien is desperate to find Jack Fox, a man she had a brief but intense romance with some months before. Her search leads to confront the dark resurgence of fascism, countered by the Jewish community in street battles around Ridley Road in the East End of London. Amid the growing tensions, can her love survive?

 

Road TripThe Road Trip by Susanne O’Leary (pre-order due 12 June 2018)

Maddy and Leanne are in need of a miracle.

Maddy can’t bear to wash another pair of her husband’s Y-fronts and if he continues to drone on about golf she might just scream.

Leanne can’t stand living with her overbearing mother for a second longer and she’s one disapproving eye roll away from a nervous breakdown.

But their luck changes when they win the lottery.

Setting off from Dublin, Maddy and Leanne lease a red convertible, winding through Europe and heading for the sun-drenched French Riviera.

But the pair have their own reasons for their adventure. Maddy has never forgotten her summer romance of twenty years ago with a gorgeous Frenchman and Leanne plans to track down the father who abandoned her as a child.

Amongst glorious sunsets and buckets of bubbly, Leanne and Maddy are searching for answers after years of wondering ‘what if?’. But there might just be some surprises in store along the way…

 

Songs of InnocenceSongs of Innocence by Anne Coates (pre-order due 24 May 2018)

A woman’s body is found in a lake. Is it a sad case of suicide or something more sinister? Hannah Weybridge, still reeling from her friend’s horrific murder and the attempts on her own life, doesn’t want to get involved, but reluctantly agrees to look into the matter for the family.

The past however still stalks her steps, and a hidden danger accompanies her every move.

The third in the bestselling Hannah Weybridge thriller series, Songs of Innocence provides Hannah with her toughest and deadliest assignment yet…

 

Love among the TreetopsLove among the Treetops by Catherine Ferguson

Can love flourish amongst the tree tops?

When pastry chef Twilight Wilson was a young girl, she would hide from school bullies up in the treehouse at the bottom of her garden in her family home in Sussex. It was her special place, and even as an adult she still loves it.

So when her family tell her they can’t afford to live there any more, Twilight is devastated. Not only will they lose their home – but the treehouse too!

She comes up with a plan to save the family home – she’ll start up a cafe in the treehouse! It’s a brilliant idea, and excitement builds as she starts planning the menus, with the help of Theo – a rather attractive man from the gym. But when former school bully Lucy finds out the plan, she starts plotting – and opens her own rival cafe in the village!

Can Twilight save her family home? Will her friendship with Theo ever be anything more? And who will win the cafe wars?

 

Where the Missing GoWhere the Missing Go by Emma Rowley

MY NAME IS KATE.

I volunteer at a missing persons helpline – young people who have run away from home call me and I pass on messages to their loved ones, no questions asked.

I don’t get many phone calls, and those I do are usually short and vague, or pranks.

But today a girl named Sophie called.

I’m supposed to contact her parents to let them know their child is safe.

The problem is, Sophie isn’t safe.

AND SOPHIE IS MY DAUGHTER.

 

Lost in the LakeLost in the Lake by A J Waines

She came at first for answers…now she’s back for you

Amateur viola player Rosie Chandler is the sole survivor of a crash which sends members of a string quartet plunging into a lake. Convinced the ‘accident’ was deliberate, but unable to recall what happened, she is determined to recover her lost memories and seeks out clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby.

But Rosie is hiding something…

Sam is immediately drawn to the tragic Rosie and as she helps her piece the fragments together, the police find disturbing new evidence which raises further questions. Why is Rosie so desperate to recover her worthless viola? And what happened to the violin lost in the crash, worth over £2m?

When Rosie insists they return to the lake to relive the fatal incident, the truth about Rosie finally creeps up on Sam – but by now, she’s seriously out of her depth

 

Remember No MoreRemember No More by Jan Newton

Newly promoted DS Julie Kite is at a crossroads. Her husband’s new job takes her away from urban Manchester and its inner city problems to a new life in tranquil mid-Wales. It is to be a new start for them both. On her first day at Builth Wells police station, Julie is thrust unexpectedly into the centre of a murder investigation in a remote farming community. At the same time, Stephen Collins is set free from HMP Strangeways. He immediately makes his way back to mid-Wales, the scene of his heinous crime, in order to confront those who had a hand in his incarceration.

The twists and turns of the investigation into the death of solicitor Gareth Watkin force DS Kite to confront her own demons alongside those of her new community and the lengths to which we’ll go to protect our families.

 

The HeightsThe Heights by Juliet Bell

The searchers took several hours to find the body, even though they knew roughly where to look. The whole hillside had collapsed, and there was water running off the moors and over the slick black rubble. The boy, they knew, was beyond their help.
This was a recovery, not a rescue.

A grim discovery brings DCI Lockwood to Gimmerton’s Heights Estate – a bleak patch of Yorkshire he thought he’d left behind for good. There, he must do the unthinkable, and ask questions about the notorious Earnshaw family.

Decades may have passed since Maggie closed the pits and the Earnshaws ran riot – but old wounds remain raw. And, against his better judgement, DCI Lockwood is soon drawn into a story.

A story of an untameable boy, terrible rage, and two families ripped apart. A story of passion, obsession, and dark acts of revenge. And of beautiful Cathy Earnshaw – who now lies buried under cold white marble in the shadow of the moors.

Two hundred years since Emily Brontë’s birth comes The Heights: a modern re-telling of Wuthering Heights set in 1980s Yorkshire.

 

Her SecretHer Secret by Kelly Florentia (pre-order due 17 May)

When one door closes, another opens, or so the saying goes.

After being in a long-term relationship for eight years, Audrey Fox never thought she’d tie the knot. But at the age of forty-two, fate throws her a lifeline and she finally has it all – a loving husband, successful career, beautiful family and loyal friends. Life couldn’t be better for Audrey … until a family member entrusts her with a secret that threatens trouble in paradise.

Lying to her new husband definitely wasn’t on the cards when Audrey took her vows, but now she feels there’s no other choice. She either keeps the secret or risks hurting the people that she loves. And then just when the dust seems to settle, an old flame turns up and creates a storm that could bring her world crashing down …

Unable to discuss her dilemma with her significant friends Louise and Tina, or sister-in-law Vicky, the cracks begin to show. Torn between her husband and the people she’s known and loved for years, Audrey’s perfect life begins to spiral out of control. Where do her loyalties lie and whom can she trust? Because there’s no smoke without fire and everyone has secrets … don’t they?

 

Little Big ManLittle Big Man by Katy Regan

Meet 10-year-old Zac – a boy on a mission – in Katy Regan’s new novel Little Big Man . . .

You can’t see the truth from the outside, that’s what I’ve worked out.

Ten-year-old Zac has never met his dad, who allegedly did a runner before he was born. But when his mum lets slip that he’s the only man she’s ever loved, Zac turns detective and, roping in his best friend, hatches a plan to find his father and give his mum the happy-ever-after she deserves. What he doesn’t realize, though, is that sometimes people have good reasons for disappearing . . .

Little Big Man is a story about family secrets and fierce, familial love. It’s about growing up and being accepted; grief and lies, and the damage they can do. Most of all though, it’s about a little boy determined to hunt down the truth; a boy who wants to give the Dad he’s never met a second chance to be a father – and his mum a second chance at love.

 

Eating Up ItalyEating up Italy by Matthew Fort

Italy’s tumultuous history can be traced through its food. In an epic scooter trip from the Ionian Sea to the far north, distiguished food writer Matthew Fort explores the local gastronomy and culinary culture of a country where regional differences are vibrantly alive.

In no other country is food so much a part of everyday life as it is in Italy. Matthew Fort’s plan is a simple one: to travel by scooter from Melito di Porto Salvo – the southernmost town in Italy and where Garibaldi landed in 1860 to begin his conquest of Naples – to Turin in the north, eating drinking, talking and noting as he goes.

Passing through Calabria – rich in spices, Arabian-influences of almonds and dried fruits, as well as Spanish chocolate (Fichi al Ciocolatto, mostacciolo) – and on to Campania – from where the historic Nepalese pizza has become infamous – Fort discovers the rich connection between historical tradition and cuisine. The Italian genius for combining abundance and thrift is evident from the economy of the mountainous and sparse landscape of Molise, where much use is made of pastas and chillies, and adjoining lush Abruzzo, with its delicious cheeses and risottos.
Fort travels on to Emilia-Romagna, where much of what we have come to love in Italian food can be found: prosciutto di Parma, mortadella, ravioli, taggliatelle and zamponi…In Piedmont, the wine-and-truffle country stretching from the shadow of the Alps through arable flatlands, the cooking of France and Northern Europe fuses with that of Italy. This enticing sum of parts – the dishes, producers, ingredients, consumers and eating occasions – make up nothing less than a contemporary portrait of the country.

 

A Good LiarA Good Liar by Ruth Sutton

Jessie Whelan has always been a good liar, trying to protect her independence and her career as a teacher. But she risks everything when, after years of discreet loneliness, she embarks on a love affair. In the meantime, her secret past draws ever closer.

Ruth Sutton’s powerful novel is the first part of a trilogy set in the north-west corner of England, ‘Between the Mountains and the Sea’. She creates an intimate picture of interconnected lives in Cumbria in the early twentieth century.

 

Kiss Me at Willoughby CloseKiss Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.

Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.

But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes?

 

The Forgotten Guide to HappinessThe Forgotten Guide to Happiness by Sophie Jenkins (Pre-order due 28 May)

Sometimes, happiness can be found where you least expect it…

Twenty-eight-year-old Lana Green has never been good at making friends. She’s perfectly happy to be left alone with her books. Or at least, that’s what she tells herself.

Nancy Ellis Hall was once a celebrated writer. Now eighty, she lives alone in her North London house, and thinks she’s doing just fine. But dementia is loosening Nancy’s grip on the world.

When Lana and Nancy become unconventional house mates, their lives will change in ways they never expected. But can an unusual friendship rescue two women who don’t realise they need to be saved?

An irresistible story of love, memory and the power of friendship that readers of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Lido will adore.

 

The Soldier's HomeThe Soldier’s Home by George Costigan

The war is over and his home was re-built … but a home is just a set of empty rooms without people and love. After surviving the war under German occupation, can a community now rekindle their lives, and rediscover their reasons for surviving?

As the soldier waits for the return of his love, the world keeps moving, threatening to leave his hopes and dreams behind.

History, secrets and painful truths collide in his troubled soul until peace arrives finally from a very unexpected source …

 

Prize Wins

 

Come and Find MeCome and Find Me by Sarah Hilary

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

 

The Year that Changed EverythingThe Year that Changed Everything by Cathy Kelly

Three women celebrate their birthdays . . . 30. 40. 50. But their milestone birthdays mark the start of a year that will change everything . . .

Ginger isn’t spending her 30th the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.

Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her 40th birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother?

Callie is celebrating her 50th at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party turns her perfect life upside down . . .

 

Advanced Review Copies (with thanks to Simon and Schuster)

 

While I Was SleepingWhile I Was Sleeping by Dani Atkins (due 26 July 2018)

A brand new and brilliant emotional family drama for fans of Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson, from the bestselling author of Fractured.

I don’t remember what happened or what has changed.

I can still hear your voices but you can’t seem to hear me.

I was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.

Now I have to find a way back – to you, to our family, to us.

 

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace AthertonThe Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris (due 10 Jan 2019)

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

For fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost ThingsThe Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is the story of a woman who has her heart broken, but then puts it back together again in the most uplifting and exquisite way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 comments

  1. Wow, what a haul! I thought These Dividing Walls was terrific so I can recommend that one. I’m really trying to resist Kindle deals unless they’re already books on my Goodreads Want-To-Read shelf. It’s tough when you see something tempting but I’m trying my best to read books I already own before adding new ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You naughty lady!! I resisted temptation quite well until I got to – The Hoarder’s Widow by Allie Cresswell and from there on in lets just say my kindle is packed now lol

    I will reply to your DM lovely, just so exhausted at the moment. Much love & hugs, enjoy your reading xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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