July Book Haul

Kindle Purchases

 

Oh well, another month when good intentions fell by the wayside. In my defence I blame the Amazon Summer Sale for including lots of titles from my wishlist. Given that the sale is on until the end of August, maybe next month will be better, assuming I’ve scooped them all in this month. I have got some cracking titles though.

 

No Turning BackNo Turning Back by Sam Blake

Even perfect families have secrets . . .

Orla and Conor Quinn are the perfect power couple: smart, successful and glamorous. But then the unthinkable happens. Their only son, Tom, is the victim of a deliberate hit-and-run.

Detective Garda Cathy Connolly has just left Tom’s parents when she is called to the discovery of another body, this time in Dillon’s Park, not far from where Tom Quinn was found. What led shy student Lauren O’Reilly to apparently take her own life? She was a friend of Tom’s and they both died on the same night – are their deaths connected and if so, how?

As Cathy delves deeper, she uncovers links to the Dark Web and a catalogue of cold cases, realising that those involved each have their own reasons for hiding things from the police. But events are about to get a lot more frightening . . .

 

Her Mother's SecretHer Mother’s Secret by Rosanna Ley

For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland – the magical island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany – afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea’s failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?

Despite Colette’s wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother’s flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette’s mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?

The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret – one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.

 

The Anatomy of EscapeThe Anatomy of Escape by Michael Blue

Have you ever asked yourself if our ideas about success are all they’re made out to be? Do you ever wonder if work and pursuit of money and material possessions are ALL THERE IS to life? For twenty years, Michael Blue, an accountant trapped on the corporate treadmill, contemplated these questions.

Now he lives in a bus in the dense jungles of Northern Sumatra. This is his idea of freedom. He is a fugitive of an unusual kind, an escapee from the work-consume-die hamster wheel. He has a simple existence without much use for work or money.

This is the story of how he got there. Michael takes us along for the ride as he reflects on four previous failed escape attempts. It is amongst these stories, his meetings with Shamans in the Amazon, the lessons from a sex-crazed marsupial, and his revelations during lonely rides in frozen chicken trucks, that we discover the hard-learned secrets of a successful escape artist.

Amongst his adventures, he dismantles commonly held beliefs about success, work, money, and ownership. And then, from the remains, with an uncomplicated perspective on health, wealth, and happiness, he reconstructs what it means to live a good life.

The result is at once a travel story and a firsthand experiential blueprint, guide or perhaps anatomy of escape.

 

Women Behaving BadlyWomen Behaving Badly by Frances Garrood

Three women, three affairs, and a self-help group with a difference… 

Alice is a harried single mother dealing with a teenage son, an irresponsible ex, and a noncommittal lover.

Mavis is juggling caring for her elderly, confused mother alongside her long-standing affair with a hypochondriac father-of-two.

And Gabs is a high-class escort who’s fallen in love with someone completely unattainable.

All three women are behaving in ways very much frowned upon by the Catholic Church. But their priest, Father Cuthbert is determined to reform them.

As the three women strike up an unlikely friendship, each re-evaluates what is most important them. And it seems the not-so-holy trinity of Alice, Mavis, and Gabs can’t be ‘cured’ that easily…

 

The RiotThe Riot by Laura Wilson

1958: Notting Hill is sweltering in a heatwave. It’s DI Stratton’s new manor and a powder keg of racial tension. A rent collector is stabbed and a series of street fights between teddy boys and Caribbean immigrants sparks further unrest.

Young runaway Irene, on the verge of prostitution, finds her loyalties lie on both sides of the fight. A race riot breaks out – the worst Britain has ever seen.

Stratton must tread a path through the violence and prejudice to find the killer and save Irene before Notting Hill explodes.

 

The Island VillaThe Island Villa by Lily Graham

Marisal. A villa on a sleepy Spanish island. A place that time had forgotten. A place of long ago summers, sun-kissed memories and one terrible betrayal …

When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish island of Formentera.

As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba has been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.

Can the heart-breaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?

 

TheoTheo by Amanda Prowse

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

Theo Montgomery grew up in a rich family where he had all the toys and trinkets money could buy. But his childhood was full of neglect and he was bullied at school. Now he is an adult, he longs to find a soulmate. Someone who understands him. Someone who will love him unconditionally.

Then, one day, Theo meets Anna Cole in a lift. Anna grew up in a care home, and has always wanted to create the noisy family life she never had. She brings love and laughter into Theo’s life. But she wants a baby, and Theo can’t imagine bringing a child into this cruel world…

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?

 

A Family RecipeA Family recipe by Veronica Henry

What’s the secret ingredient to your happiness?

Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent – a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga – seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom.

But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother’s recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura’s jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles . . . Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose.

Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return . .

 

One Summer in ItalyOne Summer in Italy by Sue Moorcroft

When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

 

The Gallows PoleThe Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers

From his remote moorland home David Hartley assembles a gang of weavers and land workers to embark upon a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.They are the Cragg Vale Coiners and their business is clipping – the forging of coins, a treasonous offence punishable by death.

 

 

The Wisdom of Sally Red ShoesThe Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

Masha’s life has stopped. Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds solace in the silent company of the souls of her local Victorian cemetery and at the town’s lido, where she seeks refuge underwater – safe from the noise and the pain.

But a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl-turned-magician’s wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again. But just as Masha dares to imagine the future, the past comes roaring back …

 

The Things We Need to SayThe Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the way things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

 

Million Love SongsMillion Love Songs by Carole Matthews

Ruby Brown is ready for a change. 
She’s single for the first time in years and she’s going to dive into this brave new world with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. The last thing she’s looking for is a serious relationship.

Mason represents everything Ruby wants right now: he’s charming, smooth and perfect for some no-strings-attached fun. Joe on the other hand is kind and attractive, but comes with the sort of baggage Ruby wants to avoid: an annoyingly attractive ex-wife and two teenage children.

Ruby thinks she knows what she wants, but is it what she needs to be truly happy? It’s about to get emotional in Million Love Songs.

 

A Saint For The SummerA Saint for the Summer by Marjory McGinn

Journalist Bronte McKnight is summoned to a hillside village in the wild and beautiful Mani region of Greece by her estranged expat father Angus to help him with a medical problem. But she soon discovers that Angus, whom she has barely seen in 10 years, has lured her there with an even trickier challenge in mind … solving a mystery from the Second World War, when a family member disappeared in Greece during the disastrous Battle of Kalamata, known as ‘Greece’s Dunkirk’.

With the country gripped by economic crisis, and the clock ticking against them, their near-impossible quest takes them from Kalamata to a remote mountain village, where its few remaining inhabitants are bound by old traditions and secrecy. As the tensions of their own fractured relationship rise, the pair are helped in their search by a cast of intriguing Greek characters, especially charismatic doctor Leonidas Papachristou. He has a pivotal role, not least in challenging Bronte’s assumption that she hasn’t the time or the courage to fall in love in Greece.

The secrets unearthed by Angus and Bronte will be painful and astonishing. This is a compelling tale of heroism, faith and love … with a heart-warming conclusion you’ll never forget.

 

Never The BrideNever the Bride by Charlotte Fallowfield

Abbie Carter felt doomed as she clutched her bouquet and started walking up the aisle. Again. She felt like she was stuck in some kind of Groundhog Day wedding nightmare. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Eight dresses, most of them hideous, were already stuffed in her attic space. She had more bridesmaid dresses than relationships. Was she really that unlucky in love? She despaired of ever finding her soul mate and was convinced that if she packed away dress thirteen in her attic, she’d never get to wear the coveted white one and have her happy ever after.

That was until she locked eyes with one of the handsome ushers, whose wink turned her elegant and well-practiced glide up the aisle into a flailing Bambi-on-ice spectacle. Miller Davis was the first man in forever to make her heart skip a beat, as well as her legs turn to jelly. And, for once, her interest in a man didn’t seem to be one-sided. It was just a shame that the Atlantic Ocean separated them. Abbie couldn’t even make a relationship with her elderly fat pooch, Sumo, work, so what chance did she have with a permanent New Yorker? Her best friend, Georgie, told her to ignore the miles that separated her from Miller and to go for it, saying that true love knew no bounds.

Was Abbie fated to always be the bridesmaid, or would her wish for the perfect day with the man of her dreams ever come true?

 

The Harcombe YearThe Harcombe Year by Di Alexander

‘A new beginning and, whatever the weather, a time of hope …’ So begins Di Alexander’s cheerful account of the quirky characters who make Harcombe Farm so special. Good humour and misadventure run hand in hand with the people and animals, wild and tame, who call this little corner of the Cotswolds their home.

The Harcombe Year is a warm and life-affirming account of life with an eccentric octogenarian husband who can find calamity in the most ordinary of situations; a daughter with two young children who is preparing to move into the tiny house next door; and stray cats who pitch up at the door demanding shelter and care. Ready to discover real life in the Cotswolds? Join Di Alexander in a fresh new year at the farm.

 

My Name Is Lucy BartonMy Names is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy is recovering from an operation in a New York hospital when she wakes to find her estranged mother sitting by her bed. They have not seen one another in years. As they talk Lucy finds herself recalling her troubled rural childhood and how it was she eventually arrived in the big city, got married and had children. But this unexpected visit leaves her doubting the life she’s made: wondering what is lost and what has yet to be found.

 

 

Dark FireDark Fire by C J Sansom

It is 1540 and the hottest summer of the sixteenth century. Matthew Shardlake, believing himself out of favour with Thomas Cromwell, is busy trying to maintain his legal practice and keep a low profile. But his involvement with a murder case, defending a girl accused of brutally murdering her young cousin, brings him once again into contact with the king’s chief minister – and a new assignment . . .

The secret of Greek Fire, the legendary substance with which the Byzantines destroyed the Arab navies, has been lost for centuries. Now an official of the Court of Augmentations has discovered the formula in the library of a dissolved London monastery. When Shardlake is sent to recover it, he finds the official and his alchemist brother horribly murdered – the formula has disappeared.

Now Shardlake must follow the trail of Greek Fire across Tudor London, while trying at the same time to prove his young client’s innocence. But very soon he discovers nothing is as it seems . . .

 

Little Fires EverywhereLittle Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town – and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost…

 

The Memory ShopThe Memory Shop by Ella Griffin

Will every treasured possession find its perfect home?

Nora’s world has been turned upside-down. Escaping heart-break in London, she returns to her childhood home in Dublin where her grandmother’s beloved house is being sold. Nora has been left with an inheritance of treasured belongings, but no home of her own in which to keep them.

Unable to bear auctioning them off, Nora resolves to stay in Dublin and open The Memory Shop, a very special business which matches each gorgeous object with a perfect new owner. It’s not long before these objects begin to transform the lives of those they touch, creating new stories and new chances at happiness.

As Nora lets go of a lifetime of treasures, she unlocks tantalising clues to her grandmother’s mysterious past. But can she finally let go of her own…?

 

The Body in the BrackenThe Body in the Bracken by Marsali Taylor

Cass Lynch has been persuaded to spend Christmas in the Highlands with her friend DI Gavin Macrae, but their romantic walk by the loch is cut short when they find a skeleton among the bracken. Back home in Shetland, Cass hears about Ivor Hughson, who left his wife and failed business months ago, and hasn’t been heard of since. A near-disaster aboard Cass’s yacht suggests someone wants to stop her asking questions about his disappearance. Meanwhile, there are eerie reports of sightings of a njuggle, a Shetland water-horse which drowns curious passers-by. Soon it’s taking Cass all her wits to stay alive …

 

How Not to Fall in Love, ActuallyHow Not to Fall in Love Actually by Catherine Bennetto

Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it…

Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless…

Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually…

 

Harm NoneHarm None by Will North

Penwith, the southwest tip of Cornwall, is a land of mystery and magic, of prehistoric monuments, witchcraft…and murder. When an American archaeological team stumbles upon the skeletal remains of a missing child beneath a Stone Age burial quoit, irascible CID Detective Sergeant Morgan Davies and her Scene of Crimes partner, Calum West, unearth a growing list of suspects.

Within days, another body is discovered. Is the killer the mind-reading village witch—who has long been a suspect in the child’s disappearance? Is it the drug-dealing partner of the child’s heroin-addicted mother? Or is it someone even closer to the investigation? Just as Davies and West close in on their prime suspect, another child disappears.

 

What Happened That NightWhat Happened that Night by Sheila O’Flanagan

Then

When Lola Fitzpatrick catches the eye of Philip Warren, she’s new to Dublin and loving it. He’s used to getting what he wants…and she can’t resist him. Until one night he forces her to make an impossible choice.

If she’d known then what she knows now, everything might have been different.

Now

Lola’s daughter Bey has inherited her mother’s impulsive streak and it takes her down dangerous paths.

Then one night she too finds herself in front of a man she loves, with impossible choices of her own to make.

For both women, what happened that night changes everything. For better. For worse. For ever.

 

The Bicycle WaltzThe Bicycle Waltz by Paul and Jean Zimmer

Haunted by a traumatic incident in his past, Alan Christiansen desperately wants to learn how to dance. After several failed attempts, he stumbles onto Choreographed Ballroom Dance (Round Dance), and begins to make progress. His instructors, Ray and Shelly Tenrio, are famous in the Round Dance world, popular choreographers and featured teachers on the festival circuit. Once married, they are now divorced, but Ray seeks a reconciliation. Shelly’s world is turned upside down when one of her nephews is diagnosed with a rare case of thyroid cancer. As his parents fly around the country searching for answers, it falls to Shelly to care for his twin brother. Uncomfortable with children in general and boys in particular, she turns to Alan for help. Thrown together with the sort of man she used to disparage, she discovers hitherto unsuspected talents and depth in Alan, and unsuspected and somewhat unwelcome feelings in herself. In the end, Shelly must choose between the sort of life she’s always known with Ray and a life she’s only glimpsed with Alan. Along the way, we learn about round dance, romance, thyroid cancer, Silicon Valley startups, the wit and wisdom of Bill Watterson, and what sort of vegetable goes best with tuna-chip casserole.

 

The FaithfulThe Faithful by Juliet West

As Britain is pulled towards war, the secrets within two families threaten to tear them apart, in the outstanding novel from Juliet West, The Faithful . . .

July 1935. In the village of Aldwick on the Sussex coast, sixteen-year-old Hazel faces a long, dull summer with just her self-centred mother Francine for company. But then Francine decamps to London with her lover Charles, Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts arrive in Aldwick, and Hazel’s summer suddenly becomes more interesting. She finds herself befriended by two very different people: Lucia, an upper-class blackshirt, passionate about the cause; and Tom, a young working-class boy, increasingly scornful of Mosley’s rhetoric. In the end, though, it is Tom who wins Hazel’s heart – and Hazel who breaks his.

Autumn 1936. Now living in London, Hazel has grown up fast over the past year. But an encounter with Tom sends her into freefall. He must never know why she cut off all contact last summer, betraying the promises they’d made. Yet Hazel isn’t the only one with secrets. Nor is she the only one with reason to keep the two of them apart . . .

 

The Circle of Our LivesThe Circle of Our Lives by Di Alexander

The rolling seasons are the pulse of life at Harcombe Farm – seedtime and harvest, winter frost and summer sun, the greening of the land, the blooming of wild flowers, the golden crops followed by the browning of the autumn landscape, the amazing views seen through skeletal winter trees …

Wife, grandmother and journalist, Di Alexander reflects upon the goings on in the hectic merry-go-round of her farmhouse kitchen. Life has changed since she penned her first account of life on the farm, ‘The Harcombe Year’. Beloved friends and neighbours have had good news and bad, and her role has grown in the village church that happens to belong to the smallest parish in England.

Her home is still the same unassuming corner of England that has welcomed all comers for generations. Amongst the warmth and good humour of everyday life are the touching and meaningful encounters with a star cast of artists, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Fred Sanger and a half-wild pony in need of a good friend and a steady hand.

Now Di considers how much of life, with its joys and sorrows, has come a full circle and realises that whatever the changes, it is reassuring clear that the old rural traditions live on in this quirky little corner of England. Nineteen unusual and delicious family recipes are shared for the first time.

 

Never To Be ToldNever to be Told by Jennifer Lynch

Single parent Angela is finished with relationships and decides to spend time focusing on her family. She then bumps into the fascinating Gareth and feels an instant attraction. But is Gareth the romantic man she imagines, or is his behaviour a repeat of the Head at Cherryfields, who thrives on using divorcees? Angela tries to stay true to herself but soon discovers that Gareth’s complex family life is more than she bargained for. After a disturbing incident at the school, she decides to take a holiday to Turkey to visit her old University friend. Jean’s life is good and she’s able to manifest anything she wants, as well as looking twenty years younger. Angela looks on with envy but her faith is restored when she’s introduced to Jean’s ex boyfriend, Jack. She then starts to wonder if the Magpies are trying to show her something, as they lead her to what is sitting at the bottom of the nest.

 

A Long GoodbyeA Long Goodbye by Anthony Le Moignan

Simon, a successful accountant, has a big problem. The biggest of them all. He checks himself into Orchard Care Home whilst still relatively healthy, the youngest resident by decades. He’s confident he cut all ties with the outside world and is untraceable.

Emma, married with no kids, lives, breathes and manages Orchard Care Home; a position her husband, Michael, used to hold in the good old days. But now he’s soared up the company hierarchy she sees so much less of him.

The attraction between carer and resident is instant, but ultimately destined for catastrophe. Alzheimer’s takes no prisoners and Early Onset, it’s most tragic form, is the cruellest of all.

How can Michael feel threatened by Simon? And what future could Emma have with him?

Simon understands less and less, but knows he has to try and run away from time – to somehow beat the ceaseless clock.

 

Not Forgetting The WhaleNot Forgetting the Whale by John Ironmonger

When a young man, Joe, washes up on the sands of St Piran in Cornwall, he is quickly rescued by the villagers. From the retired village doctor and the beachcomber, to the priest’s wife and the flamboyant romantic novelist, they take this lost soul into their midst. And they, in turn, come to find that he gives fresh perspectives on their lives and loves. But what the villagers don’t know is why Joe fled the city for St Piran, and what he left behind.

Intimate, funny and heart-warming, Not Forgetting the Whale is a story about community, the best and worst in our nature, and the search for a place to call home.

 

The Song CollectorThe Song Collector by Natasha Solomons

Fox, as the celebrated composer Harry Fox-Talbot is known, wants to be left in peace. His beloved wife has died, he’s unable to write a note of music, and no, he does not want to take up some blasted hobby.

Then one day he discovers that his troublesome four-year-old grandson is a piano prodigy. The music returns and Fox is compelled to re-engage with life – and, ultimately, to confront an old family rift.

Decades earlier, Fox and his brothers return to Hartgrove Hall after the war, determined to save their once grand home from ruin. But on the last night of 1946, the arrival of beautiful wartime singer Edie Rose tangles the threads of love and duty, which leads to a shattering betrayal.

With poignancy, lyricism and humour, Natasha Solomons tells a captivating tale of passion and music, of roots, ancient songs and nostalgia for the old ways, of the ties that bind us to family and home and the ones we are prepared to sever. Here is the story of a man who discovers joy and creative renewal in the aftermath of grief and learns that it is never too late to seek forgiveness.

 

The Things We Thought We KnewThe Things we Thought we Knew by Mahsuda Snaith

The first memory I have of you is all knickers and legs. You had flipped yourself into a handstand and couldn’t get back down. We became best friends, racing slugs, pretending to be spies – all the things that children do.

Ten years later, eighteen-year-old Ravine Roy spends every day in her room. Completing crosswords and scribbling in her journal, she keeps the outside world exactly where she wants it; outside.

But as the real world begins to invade her carefully controlled space, she is forced to finally confront the questions she’s been avoiding. Who is her mother meeting in secret? Who has moved in next door?

And why, all those years ago, when two girls pulled on their raincoats and wellies and headed out into the woods did only one of them return?

 

Ruth Robinson's Year of MiraclesRuth Robinson’s Year of Miracles by Frances Garrood

All Ruth Robinson ever wanted was the man of her dreams. But she lost the man, and got a baby instead… 

Six months ago, Ruth Robinson had a regular job, a monthly salary and a comfortable flat to go home to.

After quitting her job ready to go travelling, a momentary lapse of judgement put a major spanner in the works…

Now Ruth has a baby on the way and no place to call home…

With the father of her child AWOL and her parents less than impressed, Ruth decides to move in with her eccentric uncles.

And when the Virgin Mary appears in their hen house, it is clear Ruth’s unplanned pregnancy isn’t the only ‘miracle’ she’ll be encountering this year…

 

The Road to NewgateThe Road to Newgate by Kate Braithwaite

What price justice?

London 1678.

Titus Oates, an unknown preacher, creates panic with wild stories of a Catholic uprising against Charles II. The murder of a prominent Protestant magistrate appears to confirm that the Popish Plot is real.

Only Nathaniel Thompson, writer and Licenser of the Presses, instinctively doubts Oates’s revelations. Even his young wife, Anne, is not so sure. And neither know that their friend William Smith has personal history with Titus Oates.

When Nathaniel takes a public stand, questioning the plot and Oates’s integrity, the consequences threaten them all.

 

Foxtrot in FreshbyFoxtrot in Freshby by Awen Thornber

When dance teacher Gina Pendleton throws her cheating boyfriend out of her house, she must find a way of earning extra money to pay the bills. The obvious answer is to offer dance classes at her home, even though she knows this will incur the wrath of the owner of the local well-established dance school.

Her life becomes even more fraught when she is targeted by vandals and intruders.

After she meets Chris Jackson, it doesn’t take her long to realise that he is the man of her dreams, especially as he’s also a wonderful dancing partner.

But can she really trust him when it appears that he is hiding something from her?

 

The Hopkins ConundrumThe Hopkins Conundrum by Simon Edge

Tim Cleverley inherits a failing pub in Wales, which he plans to rescue by enlisting an American pulp novelist to concoct an entirely fabricated ‘mystery’ about the mysterious poet, Gerald Manley Hopkins, who composed ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’ nearby. Blending the real stories of Hopkins and the shipwrecked nuns he wrote about with a contemporary love story, while casting a wry eye on the Dan Brown industry, The Hopkins Conundrum is a highly original blend of historical fiction and contemporary satire.

 

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming ClubThe Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May

When Deb (ageing bikini, sunglasses) and Maisie (black wetsuit, swimming shoes, goggles) keep meeting on Reeves Beach, they strike up an unlikely friendship based on their love of swimming and their recent divorces. Soon, they are joined by other high tide swimmers, each with a crisis of their own to weather. Ann, a bossy organiser, is caring for her elderly mother at home; Julie has somehow (although she’s not quite sure how) managed to produce three children under school age; and Chloe, a bright, brittle girl of fifteen, finds calmness in the water, and Quiet, anxious Bill is soon welcomed into the heart of the club. When the swimmers discover plans for their beach to be paved over for a leisure complex, together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the beach is more than just a place to swim – it is the heart of the community.

 

The Single Girl's CalendarThe Single Girl’s Calendar by Erin Green

A task a day to cure a broken heart.

Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her ‘things to do by the time you’re 30’ list. She didn’t reckon on finding another woman’s earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl’s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day:

Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style.

Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!

Despite thinking it’s a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn’t got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.

 

Happy as a PartridgeHappy as a Partridge by Kate Boyle

Evie Fuller is quite simply fed up. Single, unemployed and rapidly approaching her thirtieth birthday, she finds London life is weighing heavy. When a month of free language lessons offers an escape route, she heads to Madrid for sun-soaked adventures and a crash course in Spanish culture. Will a change of scene restore her zest for life?

Follow Evie as she laughs, cries and adjusts to these foreign lands – a shy English girl blossoms under the Spanish sun and discovers the hardest thing about moving abroad is deciding when to come home.

 

Pieces of HappinessPieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby

I’ve planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset . Why don’t you join me? Leave behind everything that didn’t work out!

When recently-widowed Kat writes to her four old school friends, inviting them to live with her on a cocoa plantation in the South Pacific, they swap icy pavements and TV dinners for a tropical breeze and an azure-blue ocean. Leaving behind loneliness, dead-end jobs and marriages that have gone sour, they settle into the Women’s House, surrounded by palms and cocoa trees; and locals with the puzzling habit of exploding into laughter for no discernible reason.

Each of the women has her issues to resolve, and secrets to keep. But together the friends find a new purpose, starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness. As they embrace a new culture that views ageing so differently from their own, will they learn to accept and forgive: to discover the value of friendship, and a better way to live?

 

Summer House with Swimming PoolSummer House with Swimming Pool

A doctor to the rich and famous goes to extreme lengths to protect his daughter in this dark and addictive novel from the author of the million-copy bestseller The Dinner.

Marc Schlosser is a doctor to the rich and famous.

When his most famous patient, the actor Ralph Meier, invites him and his family on holiday, Marc finds that he can’t refuse. But by the time the suntans fade, Ralph Meier is dead.

The medical board accuses Marc of negligence.

Ralph’s wife, however, accuses him of murder…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 comments

  1. Bit of a coincidence you getting Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom- I’ve just finished Dominion which I’d highly recommend if you haven’t already read it. All the Shardlake series are now on my wish list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your house must have expanding walls to b able to accommodate everything you buy Jill. Ive read two you bought – Dark Fire is improbable but is still a great yarn and full of atmosphere. Lucy Barton is wonderful.

    Like

  3. Hi,
    Thanks so much for including my book A Saint For The Summer in your line-up. I’ve just noticed this and I know summer’s past but I hope you might find it inspiring for this summer.
    Thanks for support.
    Kind regards,
    Marjory

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Marjory, I have several of your Greek memoirs to read as well. My first ever adult holiday abroad was to Greece so I have a bit of a soft spot for the place. It’s been a while since I last went so maybe it’s time to think about going back, even if it’s only in book form. I shall endeavour to read at least one this summer. My tbr mountain is bigger than I have years left to live (that is being realistic, not morbid) and I buy so many that titles just get lost in the pile. So thanks for reminding me about these. x

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.