June Book Haul

Another month full of good intentions, but yet again the temptation was too great. On the plus side my hauling only cost me £22.96 which is pretty impressive for the 40 books I actually purchased.   Maybe in July …

Kindle Purchases

 

Beneath these StarsBeneath these Stars by Hannah Ellis

One senseless tragedy; one family torn apart…

Perfect couple Lucy and Adam have it all: a home in the picturesque village of Havendon, budding careers and a sparkling future. Life is exactly as it should be.

But when tragedy strikes and Adam becomes the guardian to his two young nieces, their idyllic life is turned upside down.

Adam and Lucy’s relationship is about to be pushed to the limit. And this devastated family must find a way to pull together in the most testing of times…

 

Finding VerityFinding Verity by Jenny Loudon

Verity Westwood, successful businesswoman, living in London, mother of two grown daughters, dreams of a more exciting life. Her husband is handsome but selfish, her career leaves her cold, and her Fulham home is comfortable but has no heart, now that her daughters have left.

Edward Farrell, a nomadic American journalist from her past, returns unexpectedly, and she is swept by the irresistible desire to fulfil her dreams of working as an artist, like her famous father before her. After being caught in a storm on the Cote d’Azur, she vows to change her life.

What she does not foresee is the struggle involved, the ultimate price she will pay, and the powerful force of enduring love that changes everything.

 

The Girl on the BusThe Girl on the Bus by NM Brown

A retired detective and a young woman are about to face their worst fears.

Vicki Reiner is emotionally isolated and craves the fleeting happiness she experienced in the years prior to her college graduation. In an attempt to recapture this, she invites her  old friend, Laurie,  for a break at her deserted beachside home. However, despite booking an online bus ticket, her friend never shows up.

Unable to accept the bizarre circumstances of the disappearance, Vicki approaches the police who dismiss her concerns before enlisting the reluctant help of Leighton Jones – a newly retired detective who is haunted by the death of his teenage daughter.

Despite trying to remain detached from the case, Leighton is drawn to Vicki and her search for justice.

The unlikely pair face numerous obstacles but using a combination of methods they track down the answers across the dusty freeways of North America.  Soon Vicki and Leighton will find themselves in grave danger.

Will they ever discover what happened to Laurie?

And can they both escape with their lives?

 

DisposalDisposal by David Evans

August 1976 and it seems as though the long hot summer will never end. Early morning at Clacton on the north Essex coast, a light aircraft takes off from the airstrip but struggles for height and crashes into the sea. First on the scene, Sgt Cyril Claydon pulls the pilot’s body from the wreckage. But something else catches his eye. A bulky package wrapped in black plastic is on the passenger seat. Returning to investigate, he makes a grim discovery – another body. And so begins a series of events that puts him and others in danger as he is drawn into the investigation, having to work alongside DI ‘Dick’ Barton, a man with totally alien attitudes.
Can they work together?

 

The Continuity GirThe Continuity Girl by Patrick Kincaid

1969. Hollywood descends on a tiny Scottish village for the making of Billy Wilder’s most ambitious picture yet: a sprawling epic detailing The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. But the formidable director and his crew soon come into conflict with Jim Outhwaite, a young scientist seeking evidence for monsters.

2014. Stuck just a short walk from the East London street where she grew up, ambitious Film Studies lecturer Gemma MacDonald is restless and hungry for change. A job offer in the Highlands seems to offer escape – but only at a cost to her relationships with family and an equally ambitious American boyfriend.

Then a lost print of Gemma’s favourite film turns up, and with it, an idea…
Two stories, separated by 45 years, are set on collision course – on the surface of Loch Ness, under the shadow of a castle – by the reappearance of the continuity girl herself: April Bloom.

 

Now You See HerNow You See Her by Heidi Parks

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

 

The Map of UsThe Map of Us by Jules Preston

A story of love and lost directions

Violet North is wonderfully inconvenient. Abandoned by her family and lost in an imagined world of moors and adventure, her life changes in the space of just 37 words exchanged with a stranger at her front door.

Decades later, Daniel Bearing has inherited his father’s multi-million pound business, and is utterly lost. He has no idea who he is or where his life is headed.

When Violet’s granddaughter’s marriage falls apart, Tilly, always adept with numbers, compiles a detailed statistical report to pinpoint why. But the Compatibility Index Tilly creates has unforeseen consequences for everyone in her world.

Tilly and Daniel share a secret too. 10.37am, April 22nd.
Soon, a complex web of secrets and lies is exposed and an adventure begins with a blue typewriter…

 

Some Particular EvilSome Particular Evil by Vera Morris

Who killed Susan Nicholson?

Laurel Bowman has started a new life as a teacher on the isolated Suffolk coast while she tries to get over the murder of her sister. But it seems she cannot escape from death. Laurel is shocked to find that the headmaster’s wife has been killed, and all the school staff are suspects. The detective in charge, idiosyncratic DI Frank Diamond, was involved in her sister’s case. Together they start to unravel the truth. Soon the murderer strikes again and Laurel must fight, not just for justice, but for her life.

 

The Lost LettersThe Lost Letters by Sarah Mitchell (published 2 August 2018)

What if keeping your loved ones safe meant never seeing them again?

Canada, present day

When Martha’s beloved father dies, he leaves her two things: a mysterious stash of letters to an English woman called ‘Catkins’ and directions to a beach hut in the English seaside town of Wells-Next-The-Sea. Martha is at a painful crossroads in her own life, and seizes this chance for a trip to England – to discover more about her family’s past, and the identity of her father’s secret correspondent.

Norfolk, 1940

Sylvia’s husband Howard has gone off to war, and she is struggling to raise her two children alone. Her only solace is her beach hut in Wells, and her friendship with Connie, a woman she meets on the beach. The two women form a bond that will last a lifetime, and Sylvia tells Connie something that no-one else knows: about a secret lover… and a child.

But the tragedy of war brings heartbreaking choices. And a promise made between the two women will echo down the years, and could change everything for Martha…

 

Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee'Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee’s by Jane Lacey-Crane

Welcome to Rosie Lee’s cafe in the heart of the East End – where there’s not an avocado, slice of sourdough or double-shot no-foam soy milk caramel latte on the menu!

Rosie-Lee’s owner Abby is a woman without a plan… and her beloved little cafe is a business with a serious lack of customers. The Rosie Lee’s fry-up is legendary, but cooked breakfasts alone – however perfectly sizzled the bacon – aren’t going to pay the bills.

Fast approaching forty and fighting a serious case of empty nest syndrome, Abby realises it’s not just her menu that needs a makeover. And when Jack Chance, her The One That Got Away, saunters through the cafe doors and back into her life things definitely look set to change…

Abby has always believed a cup of strong builders tea makes everything better, but Jack’s reappearance is a complication even the trusty sausage sarnie can’t resolve…

 

Small Town DreamsSmall Town Dreams by J F Cumming

A humorous tale following a football fanatic and his long-suffering girlfriend as they travel around the world, spending an unexpected redundancy payment in Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Australia, Easter Island, Chile and America.

Growing up in the small English town of High Wycombe wasn’t overly glamorous. James spent his youth dreaming of two things – travelling the world and, more ambitiously, seeing his lowly local football team, Wycombe Wanderers, experience a glorious FA Cup run.

As the reality of adulthood took hold, neither dream looked any closer to reality… then came a redundancy for James and a First Round draw at home against Harrow Borough for the Wanderers.

SMALL TOWN DREAMS follows the events of the next six months. Six extraordinary months in a very ordinary life.

 

The WishThe Wish by Alex Brown

The touching and emotional new novel from the No.1 bestselling author of The Great Christmas Knit-Off and The Secret of Orchard Cottage

Sam Morgan knows he messed up with his wife Chrissie and daughter Holly – he wasn’t there when they needed him most, but now he’ll do anything to put his family back together again. Until then, he’s back living in the picture-postcard village of Tindledale.

Jude Darling is coming home for good this time. She’s taking over the antique shop in Tindledale, the place where she grew up and she’s going to make sure she’s there for her friend, Chrissie, and Goddaughter, Holly. They certainly need her right now.

As for Holly, there’s only one thing she wants and it’s not the sort of thing you can buy in a shop. She might be thirteen years old, but Holly still believes in wishes, and perhaps if she wishes hard enough, this one might come true…

 

Single to EdinburghSingle to Edinburgh by Diane M Dickson

After losing her baby, Katherine has struggled with life, and her increasingly estranged husband. She decides to take off to Edinburgh, where she meets a man who showers her with kindness. Despite his tenderness, however, Katherine resolves to rescue her marriage. But when this is met by her partner Bill’s indifference…

An intelligent and sensitive woman breaks out of her grief by taking a journey into the unknown 

Stephanie, Katherine’s sister-in-law is forthright and bossy. Will she be a help or a hindrance to Katherine, when news about Bill’s extra martial affairs becomes too obvious to hide? Will the bond between women prove stronger than family ties?

 

Dance of the JacarandaDance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani

1963. Kenya is on the verge of independence from British colonial rule. In the Great Rift Valley, Kenyans of all backgrounds come together in the previously white-only establishment of the Jakaranda Hotel. The resident musician is Rajan Salim, who charms visitors with songs inspired by his grandfather’s noble stories of the railway construction that spawned the Kenya they now know.

One evening, Rajan is kissed by a mysterious woman in a shadowy corridor. Unable to forget the taste of her lavender-flavoured lips, Rajan sets out to find her. On his journey he stumbles upon the murky, shared history of three men – his grandfather, the owner of the Jakaranda and a British preacher – who were implicated in the controversial birth of a child. What Rajan unearths will open his eyes about the birth not just of a child, but of an entire nation.

 

Chosen ChildChosen Child by Linda Huber

A disappearance. A sudden death. A betrayal of the worst kind.

Ella longs for a child of her own, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. Her husband Rick has a secret, but Ella doesn’t want to know…

Across town, Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. The search begins, but nothing prepares Amanda for the shocking conclusion to the police investigation.

And in the middle of it all, a little girl is looking for a home of her own with a ‘forever’ mummy and daddy…

How well do you know your own family? And who can you trust?

 

Shape of WaterThe Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri

The goats of Vigàta once grazed on the trash-strewn site still known as the Pasture. Now local enterprise of a different sort flourishes: drug dealers and prostitutes of every flavour. But their discreet trade is upset when two employees of the Splendour Refuse Collection Company discover the body of engineer Silvio Luparello, one of the local movers and shakers, apparently deceased in flagrante at the Pasture. The coroner’s verdict is death from natural causes – refreshingly unusual for Sicily.

But Inspector Salvo Montalbano, as honest as he is streetwise and as scathing to fools and villains as he is compassionate to their victims, is not ready to close the case – even though he’s being pressured by Vigàta’s police chief, judge, and bishop.

Picking his way through a labyrinth of high-comedy corruption, delicious meals, vendetta firepower, and carefully planted false clues, Montalbano can be relied on, whatever the cost, to get to the heart of the matter.

 

The Things We Learn When We're DeadThe Things We Learn When We’re dead by Charlie Laidlaw

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions.
It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN, because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… or does God have a higher purpose after all?
Despite that, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is neither sci-fi nor fantasy. It is a book about memory and how, if we could remember things slightly differently, would we also be changed?

In HVN, Lorna can at first remember nothing. But as her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that, maybe, she can find a way back home.

 

The Madonna of BoltonMadonna of Bolton by Matt Cain (published July 12th)

Charlie Matthews’ love story begins in a pebble-dashed house in suburban Bolton, at a time when most little boys want to grow up to be Michael Jackson, and girls want to be Princess Di. Remembering the Green Cross Code and getting out of football are the most important things in his life, until Auntie Jan gives him a gift that will last a lifetime: a seven-inch single called ‘Lucky Star’…

On his ninth birthday, Charlie discovers Madonna, and falls in love. His obsession sees him through some tough times in life: being persecuted at school, fitting in at a posh university, a glamorous career in London, finding boyfriends, getting rid of boyfriends, and family heartbreak. Madonna’s music and videos inspire him, and her fierce determination to succeed gives him the confidence to do the same. Ultimately, though, he must learn to let go of his idol and find his own voice.

Charlie’s story is Billy Elliot meets Beautiful Thing wearing a conical bra – a story for anyone who ever sang their heart out, looked for love and dreamed of more… The Madonna of Bolton will make you laugh, cry and Get Into the Groove. It’s a book to Cherish and a Ray of Light, and it even has a little Hanky Panky.

 

The Story CollectorThe Story Collector by Evie Gaughan

Thornwood Village, 1910. Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor, Harold Griffin-Krauss, translate ‘fairy stories’ from Irish to English.
But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the future of her community and her very way of life…
Captivated by the land of myth, folklore and superstition, Sarah Harper finds herself walking in the footsteps of Harold and Anna one hundred years later, unearthing dark secrets that both enchant and unnerve.

 

A Posy of PromisesA Posey of Promises by Sharon Dempsey

What happens when the relationship you have taken for granted suddenly ends?

Ava Connors is comfortable with her life just as it is, still living in the tiny terrace house where she was brought up by her grandmother, Maggie, seeing her long-term boyfriend, Finlay, and working in a florist.

But Maggie’s health is declining and Finlay is fed up waiting for Ava to make a commitment.

Ava has never really known her mother, Scarlett, and when she inherits an old and dilapidated house it ignites an interest in the mother who had abandoned her as a child.

Why did Scarlett leave her to be brought up by her grandmother?

Soon Ava begins to ask this question and in turn sets off a series of events that will change her life forever.

A Posy of Promises looks at the relationships we have and the questions we ask of those we love

 

In the Blink of an EyeIn the Blink of an Eye by Ali Bacon

In1843, Edinburgh artist, David Octavius Hill, is commissioned to paint the portraits of 400 ministers who have broken away from the Church of Scotland. Only when he meets Robert Adamson, an early master of the new and fickle art of photography, does this daunting task begin to look feasible.

Hill is soon bewitched by the art of light and shade. He and Adamson become the darlings of Edinburgh society, immortalising people and places with their subtle and artistic images. In the Blink of an Eye is a re-imagining of Hill’s life in the words of those who were beguiled by his artistry and charismatic charm. Tender, tragic and sometimes humorous, these voices come together in a story of art and science, love and loss, friendship and photography.

 

Grace After HenryGrace after Henry by Eithne Shortall

Grace sees her boyfriend Henry everywhere. In the supermarket, on the street, at the graveyard. 

Only Henry is dead. He died two months earlier, leaving a huge hole in Grace’s life and in her heart. But then Henry turns up to fix the boiler one evening, and Grace can’t decide if she’s hallucinating or has suddenly developed psychic powers. Grace isn’t going mad – the man in front of her is not Henry at all, but someone else who looks uncannily like him. The hole in Grace’s heart grows ever larger.

Grace becomes captivated by this stranger, Andy – to her, he is Henry, and yet he is not. Reminded of everything she once had, can Grace recreate that lost love with Andy, resurrecting Henry in the process, or does loving Andy mean letting go of Henry?

 

Silent VictimSilent Victim by Caroline Mitchell

Emma’s darkest secrets are buried in the past. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long.

Emma is a loving wife, a devoted mother…and an involuntary killer. For years she’s been hiding the dead body of the teacher who seduced her as a teen.

It’s a secret that might have stayed buried if only her life had been less perfect. A promotion for Emma’s husband, Alex, means they can finally move to a bigger home with their young son. But with a buyer lined up for their old house, Emma can’t leave without destroying every last trace of her final revenge…

Returning to the shallow grave in the garden, she finds it empty. The body is gone.

Panicked, Emma confesses to her husband. But this is only the beginning. Soon, Alex will discover things about her he’ll wish he’d learned sooner. And others he’ll long to forget.

 

I Found YouI Found You by Lisa Jewell

Lily has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night, she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one.

Alice finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement, she invites him into her home.

But who is he, and how can she trust a man who has lost his memory?

 

It's Never Too Late To SayIt’s Never too Late to Say … by Julia Roberts

Holly Wilson seems finally to have it all: a beautiful baby daughter, a son about to embark on an exciting career, a glamorous new job in television, and an adoring boyfriend in bestselling novelist, Philippe. But something isn’t quite right…
In another part of the country, Carol has liver cirrhosis and is suffering from alcohol induced dementia causing her to relive memories – dreadful memories – of sins committed against her and those she has inflicted on others. Her carer, Helen, hopes a meeting with someone from the past might help mend Carol’s broken soul, but time is running out and there is something Helen has been keeping secret.
What links Holly to Carol and Helen? And who is Nick, the handsome stranger who has just walked into her life?

 

Runaway SummerRunaway Summer by Ruth Saberton

Since leaving Polwenna Bay for the bright lights of London, Summer Penhalligan has tried to never look back. Her childhood sweetheart let her down terribly and the beautiful Cornish village holds only painful memories. But when a volatile relationship threatens to destroy her Summer has no choice but to return to the place she once called home.

Jake Tremaine has travelled the world but reluctantly finds himself drawn back to Polwenna Bay. While Jake knows his attention should be on the rescuing the family business, determined Ella, daughter of a wealthy hotelier, is set on working her way into his affections and beneath his sheets. The last thing Ella will tolerate is the reappearance of a rival…

As the holiday season approaches and seaside life gathers pace, Jake suspects Summer is keeping secrets from him. But Summer is not the only person in the village with something to hide. Is their romance history or are there more important matters at stake?

 

Dark of NightDark of Night by CS Duffy

Haunted by the fact that he never got the chance to tell best friend Lorna that he loved her before she was murdered, Ruari sets out to track down the man he saw her with the night before she was murdered – the man police are certain was her killer.

Forensic psychologist Amy Kerr has been watching prominent Glasgow lawyer Alec McAvoy for months, certain that he is the so-called Dancing Girls Killer who evaded capture in London five years previously.

Now Ruari and Amy are closing in on the same man – but every step they take draws them deeper into the killer’s web.

 

Medieval Woman, Village Life in the Middle AgesMedieval Woman : Life in the Middle Ages by Anne Baer

A history of peasants in the Middle Ages, the story takes the reader into the life of Marion, the carpenter’s wife, and her extended family as they struggle to survive through hardship, featuring a year in their lives at the mercy of the weather and the Lord of the Manor. Existing without soap, paper or glass and only with the most basic of tools, we learn how they survive starvation, sickness, fire and natural disaster in their home on the edge of the Weald.

Selected by Philippa Gregory as one of her top ten historical must-reads.

 

Beyond the Shadow of WarBeyond the Shadow of War by Diane Moody

When the war finally ended in May of 1945, Lieutenant Danny McClain made good on his promise to come back for Anya in Holland. He expected her to put up a fight, but instead found her exhausted and utterly broken. Maybe it was unfair, asking her to marry him when she was so vulnerable. But this much he knew: he would spend a lifetime helping to make her whole again.

The war had taken everything from Anya–her family, her friends, her home, her faith. She clung to the walls she’d fortressed around her heart, but what future did she have apart from Danny? At least she wouldn’t be alone anymore.

Or so she thought. When the American troops demobilize, Danny is sent home, forced to leave Anya behind in England. There she must wait with the other 70,000 war brides for passage to America. As England picks up the pieces of war’s debris in the months that follow, Anya shares a flat with three other war brides in London and rediscovers the healing bond of friendships.

Once again, Danny and Anya find themselves oceans apart, their marriage confined to little more than the handwritten pages of their letters while wondering if the shadow of war will ever diminish.

 

The Secret Life of Violet GrantThe Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams

Fresh from college, irrepressible Vivian Schuyler defies her wealthy Fifth Avenue family to work at cut-throat Metropolitan magazine. But this is 1964, and the editor dismisses her…until a parcel lands on Vivian’s Greenwich Village doorstep that starts a journey into the life of an aunt she never knew, who might give her just the story she’s been waiting for.

In 1912, Violet Schuyler Grant moved to Europe to study physics, and made a disastrous marriage to a philandering fellow scientist. As the continent edges closer to the brink of war, a charismatic British army captain enters her life, drawing her into an audacious gamble that could lead to happiness…or disaster.

Fifty years later, Violet’s ultimate fate remains shrouded in mystery. But the more obsessively Vivian investigates her disappearing aunt, the more she realizes all they have in common – and that Violet’s secret life is about to collide with hers.

 

Court of LionsCourt of Lions by Jane Johnson

Kate Fordham fled to Spain to start a new life. Amid the sunlit streets of Granada and the earthly paradise of the Alhambra’s gardens, towers and courtyards, she’s left her past far behind. But fate is about to bring her face-to-face with her greatest fear.

Five centuries ago, a message was hidden in the Alhambra’s walls. There it has lain, undisturbed by the tides of history – the fall of Granada, the expulsion of its last Sultan – until Kate discovers it.

Born of love in a time of desperation and danger, Kate’s discovery will be the catalyst that changes her life.

 

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry BayThe Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May

Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy. While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he – or she – has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed – and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?

There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.

With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.

 

The Afterlife of Walter AugustusThe Afterlife of Walter Augustus by Hannah Lynn (published 11 July)

Walter Augustus is dead. His current state of existence has become a monotony of sweet tea and lonely strolls and after decades stuck in the Interim — a posthumous waiting room for those still remembered on Earth — he is ready to move on. Only when he is forgotten by every living person will he be able to pass over and join his family in the next stage of the afterlife. At last the end is tantalizingly close, but bad luck and a few rash decisions may see him trapped in the Interim for all eternity.

Letty Ferguson is not dead. Letty Ferguson is a middle-aged shoe saleswoman who leads a pleasant and wholly unextraordinary life, barring the secret fortune she seems unable to tell her husband about. However, when she takes possession of an unassuming poetry anthology, life takes on a rather more extraordinary dimension.

 

The Traveller and the RoseThe Traveller and the Rose by Anita Belli

It is an idyllic summer in Spain, 1936 – but storm clouds of war are brewing.

Unsuspecting young Englishman, Kit Brown, is travelling the country before settling down to a respectable career as a teacher back home. At least that’s what his parents expect him to do. Kit makes friends easily, and Fernando is a kindred spirit. The young Spaniard wants to be a poet, not take over the family business.

Kit is soon seduced by Fernando’s vivacious twin sister Rosa. Being a girl in rural Andalucía, however, she is expected to comply with her parent’s wishes for her future, and it will be much worse for her if her honour is sullied – especially by a foreigner. Political tensions are already mounting in a country in the throes of massive social change, where strangers are not welcome.

Threats from Rosa’s aggressive older brother Juan, and her old-fashioned father do not deter Kit and Rosa, and their passion is to bear fruit. As German and Italian planes begin a merciless assault on civilians fleeing the fascist forces of General Franco, Fernando disappears after joining a militia. Kit is enlisted as a journalist to get the truth to the outside world. and becomes ‘the enemy’ as the fascists gain power.

After he is imprisoned, will he escape the firing squad? And can Rosa, survive her worst nightmare of being separated from all of her loved ones, when the convent in which she is giving birth to their child, is shelled from the sea?

 

Practice Makes PerfectPractice makes Perfect by Penny Parkes

The Practice at Larkford has suddenly been thrust under the spotlight – and its nomination as a ‘NHS Model Surgery’ is causing the team major headaches. Dr Holly Graham should be basking in the glow of her new romance with fellow doctor, Taffy – but she is worried that the team is prioritising plaudits over patients, and her favourite resident, the irreverent and entertaining Elsie, is facing a difficult diagnosis. Add to that the chaos of family life and the strain is starting to show.

Dr Dishy Dan Carter’s obsession with work is masking unhappiness elsewhere – he can’t persuade girlfriend Julia to settle down. It’s only as Julia’s mother comes to stay that he realizes what she has been hiding for so long. Alice Walker joins the team like a breath of fresh air and her assistance dog Coco quickly wins everyone round – which is just as well, because Coco and Alice will soon need some help of their own. Can they pull together and become the Dream Team that the NHS obviously thinks they are?

 

To Capture What We Cannot KeepTo Capture What we Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris – a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family’s business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.

Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Émile live – one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman’s place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions and the sacrifices love requires of us all.

 

Home FireHome Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London – or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew.

Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to – or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s salvation? Two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks: what sacrifices will we make in the name of love?

A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide – confirming Kamila Shamsie as a master storyteller of our times.

 

A Divided InheritanceA Divided Inheritance by Deborah Swift

A family divided by fortune, a country divided by faith
London 1609
Elspet Leviston has always managed her father’s lace business and expects to continue in his footsteps. So when her hot-headed cousin Zachary Deane appears from nowhere, his arrival in her life is like an earthquake.

Zachary is not who he seems, and has no love at all for Leviston’s Lace. When her father dies unexpectedly, Elspet is horrified to find her inheritance is tied to her cousin’s. But by now, her father has sent Zachary on a Grand Tour,and he is in Spain. Determined to regain her rightful inheritance, she goes to Seville in search of him.

Zachary is in training at the sword school of the charismatic Senor Alvarez, and here, in the searing heat and dust of Spain, Elspet’s real journey begins. A journey that throws her into one of the most turbulent moments of Spain’s history, and leads her to question everything she has ever known about her country, her faith and herself.

Epic historical fiction set in 17th Century London and Golden Age Spain.

 

Blame it on the BrontesBlame it on the Brontes by Becky Lower

Sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronson, each in their forties, are in Puffin Bay, ME for their mother’s funeral and to lay their claws into the fortune each expects to inherit. But their mother has other plans. Her substantial fortune won’t be divided until the trio return to their childhood home and live together for a year.

It’s a request that pits sister against sister but could unite them in a common goal to find the friendship they shared as children, to create a family jewelry business, and to win over the men of Puffin Bay. They have a year to figure it all out.

 

Kiss My NameKiss my Name by Calvin Wade

On the eve of Simon Strong’s wedding day, a young woman, Flo, armed with a double barrelled shotgun, arrives at his front door. She is there to avenge the mistreatment of her best friend, Zara. Simon begs for mercy, claiming he has no knowledge of anyone called Zara. What has happened to Zara to create such an extreme reaction from her best friend?
Kiss My Name follows the lives of several characters from childhood in the 1980s to adult life in the twenty first century. As several of them gather in Blackpool, for a Stag Do and a Hen Do, mayhem ensues. Has Simon cheated on his wife to be and will he make it to the church at all?

 

Advance Review Copies

 

Fatal InheritanceFatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys – published 26 July. (Courtesy of @alisonbarrow at Doubleday and Transworld)

1948: an English housewife trapped in a dull marriage escapes to the South of France to claim a mystery inheritance. But rivals to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge, and now they want her out of the way …

She didn’t have an enemy in the world… 
until she inherited a fortune

London 1948: Eve Forrester is trapped in a loveless marriage, in a gloomy house, in a grey suburb.

Out of the blue, she received a solicitor’s letter. A wealthy stranger has left her a mystery inheritance but in order to find out more, she must travel to the glittering French Riviera.

Eve discovers her legacy is an enchanting villa overlooking the Mediterranean sea and suddenly, life could not be more glamorous.

But while she rubs shoulders with film-stars and famous writers, under the heat of the golden sun, rivals to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge. Rivals who want her out of the way.

Alone in paradise, Eve must unlock the story behind her surprise bequest – before events turn deadly…

 

Ladies' Day

Ladies’ Day by Sarah Barton

 

Working in a fading Manchester department store, four women hide their dark secrets: abuse, an illicit affair, huge debts and an overwhelming desire to have a child at any cost. Will their secrets destroy them or can they together find a solution?

 

 

image2The Rumour by Lesley Kara (published 28 Dec)

 

Many thanks again to @alisonbarrow for a pre-proof copy.

 

When single mum Joanna shares a rumour she heard at the school gates – desperate to ingratiate herself with the clique of mothers at her son’s new school – there’s no going back …

 

 

 

 

I also received a pre-proof copy of The Rumour by Lesley Kara (thanks again to @alisonborrow) so I haven’t got a cover to post, so I’ll leave you with the following:- tempting blurb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 comments

  1. I loved I Found You by Lisa Jewell – so don’t wait to long to read that one. Ooo, you’ve reminded me I need to get a copy of Home Fire, since it won the Women’s Prize! And, of course, I’m tempted by the crime titles, particularly Now You See Her by Heidi Parks

    Liked by 1 person

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