Here’s this week’s list of bookish temptation. As usual the titles will be a mix of eBooks, paperbacks and hardbacks, all available to pre-order. Publication dates were correct as at time of writing. (NB the links used are affiliate links details of which are here)
The Girls of Victory Street by Pam Howes
Liverpool, 1939. Bella Rogers thought her life was just starting; she can’t wait to get married to her childhood sweetheart, Bobby. But when war is declared and Bobby is called up, his letters stop, leaving Bella heartbroken and alone. Then her family is torn apart by tragedy when her angelic five-year-old sister dies from a terrible illness. They can barely afford a funeral, but the church is packed with the entire community, devastated for their loss.
Grieving for her sister and lost love, Bella finds a job at the Bryant and May factory, making matches. As bombs begin to fall, Bella gets the workers singing, keeping spirits high amidst the fear. When she meets a handsome American airman, Earl Franklin Jr, Bella’s heart finally starts to mend. Earl encourages her passion and soon she and her friends are offered the opportunity of a lifetime: to travel the country’s army bases, entertaining the troops and singing for victory. They name themselves The Bryant Sisters.
Just as her life is getting back on track, Bella finds herself pregnant – and Earl reveals a shattering secret that changes everything about their future. Devastated, she flees home to Liverpool, but as an unmarried mother, will her family reject her? And, as she faces a terrible sacrifice, will she ever sing with The Bryant Sisters again?
Loving and Losing by Marion Reynolds
Brought up in a loving and supportive environment, the Devereux children expect to achieve their dreams. But this is 1930s Ireland where they must fight against repressive laws and social attitudes.
Harry has married his childhood sweetheart but finds his wife’s life and his marriage jeopardised by the strict laws of Church and State.
As he struggles to become a writer, Joseph rejects the love of the girl next door. He goes to fight in the Spanish Civil War where he finds a different kind of love.
Kathleen, an actress, has romantic ideas about going to Hollywood but a love affair threatens to ruin her life and shatter the happiness of her family.
Mary becomes a teacher and forms some strong emotional bonds, but gossip and injustice may rob her of everything she holds dear.
Can they overcome prejudice or must they bow to convention?
The Kids are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony
A whip-smart, entertaining novel about twin siblings who become a national phenomenon after launching a podcast to find the biological father they never knew.
The death of Thomas and Savannah McClair’s mother turns their world upside down. Raised to be fiercely curious by their grandmother Maggie, the twins become determined to learn the identity of their biological father. And when their mission goes viral, an eccentric producer offers them a dream platform: a fully sponsored podcast called The Kids Are Gonna Ask. To discover the truth, Thomas and Savannah begin interviewing people from their mother’s past and are shocked when the podcast ignites in popularity. As the attention mounts, they get caught in a national debate they never asked for—but nothing compares to the mayhem that ensues when they find him.
Cleverly constructed, emotionally perceptive and sharply funny, The Kids Are Gonna Ask is a rollicking coming-of-age story and a moving exploration of all the ways we can go from lost to found.
The Silence of the White City by Eva Garcia Saenz
A madman is holding Vitoria hostage, killing its citizens in brutal ways and staging the bodies. The city’s only hope is a brilliant detective struggling to battle his own demons.
Inspector Unai López de Ayala, known as “Kraken,” is charged with investigating a series of ritualistic murders. The killings are eerily similar to ones that terrorized the citizens of Vitoria twenty years earlier. But back then, police were sure they had discovered the killer, a prestigious archaeologist who is currently in jail. Now Kraken must race to determine whether the killer had an accomplice or if the wrong man has been incarcerated for two decades. This fast-paced, unrelenting thriller weaves in and out of the mythology and legends of the Basque country as it hurtles to its shocking conclusion.
Miss Janie’s Girls by Carolyn Brown
Miss Janie is at the end of a long and full life, but she has no intention of crossing that finish line until she’s found her girls…
It’s been ten years since Teresa and Kayla shook off the dust of Birthright, Texas, went their separate ways, and never looked back. Apart from their foster mom, Miss Janie, they don’t have many fond memories of their hometown. Or of each other. Still, neither can forget the kind woman who opened her home and heart to two teenagers in need.
When a private investigator—who just happens to be Miss Janie’s handsome nephew—tracks them both down and tells them Miss Janie is dying, Teresa and Kayla know deep down that they’ve got to be there for her as she had been there for them.
With Teresa and Kayla together again under the same roof, old tensions may flare, but with Miss Janie’s help, they might rediscover that home is the perfect place for new beginnings.
The Two Mrs Carlyles by Suzanne Rindell
Which wife holds the darker secret?
San Francisco, 1906. Violet is one of three people grateful for the destruction of the big earthquake. It leaves her and her two best friends unexpectedly wealthy–if the secret that binds them together stays buried beneath the rubble. Fearing discovery, the women strike out on their own, and orphaned, wallflower Violet reinvents herself.
When a whirlwind romance with the city’s most eligible widower, Harry Carlyle, lands her in a luxurious mansion as the second Mrs. Carlyle, it seems like her dreams of happiness and love have come true. But all is not right in the Carlyle home, and Violet soon finds herself trapped by the lingering specter of the first Mrs. Carlyle, and by the inescapable secrets of her own violent history.
When She was Good by Michael Robotham
He thinks the truth will set her free. She knows it will kill them.
She has secrets
Six years ago, Evie Cormac was found hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a brutal murder. But nobody has ever discovered her real name or where she came from, because everybody who tries ends up dead.
He needs answers
Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven believes the truth will set Evie free. Ignoring her warnings, he begins to dig into her past, only to disturb a hornet’s nest of corrupt and powerful people, who have been waiting to find Evie – the final witness to their crimes. Unbeknownst to him, Cyrus is leading them straight to Evie. The truth will not set her free. It will get them killed.
The Last Piece by Imogen Clark
A sudden departure. A story decades in the making.
The chaotic but happy equilibrium of the Nightingale family is thrown into disarray when Cecily—whose children can’t remember her ever being remotely spontaneous—disappears to a Greek island with no warning or explanation.
Her reasons for doing something so out of character are a total mystery to her three daughters, high-powered executive Felicity, unfulfilled GP Julia and organised mother-of-five Lily. What connection could she possibly have with Kefalonia?
But Cecily has gone to continue a story she thought ended decades ago—one that could have a huge impact on her family. And when she returns, she’ll have to tell them the truth.
Will Cecily be able to hold her family together once she reveals her big secret? And might she discover that she’s not the only one with a story to tell?
Nothing but Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon
Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage?
David thought so. But when his wife Mary Rose dies suddenly he has to think again. In reliving their twenty years together David sees that the ground beneath them had shifted and he simply hadn’t noticed. Or had chosen not to.
Figuring out who Mary Rose really was and the secrets that she kept – some of these hidden in plain sight – makes David wonder if he really knew her. Did he even know himself?
Nothing But Blue Sky is a precise and tender story of love in marriage – a gripping examination of what binds couples together and of what keeps them apart.
Dignity & Grace by Alison Ragsdale
On her 21st birthday, gifted cellist Iona Muir receives a package from her estranged father containing a letter from her mother, Grace, a talented musician who tragically died ten years earlier. Reeling from what she reads, Iona soon discovers a mysterious, faded photograph of Grace, hidden inside her cello case.
Honoring her mother’s request, Iona visits Grace’s beloved music teacher, taking the first step on an emotional trail of discovery that has been left for her. As Grace’s story unfolds, Iona gains a deeper insight into the mother she lost and the heartbreaking truth about Grace’s last months. The more Iona learns, the more she is drawn back to her family home, on the remote Scottish island of Orkney, and to her father.
Endless Skies by Jane Cable
If you want to move forward, you have to deal with the past…
After yet another disastrous love affair – this time with her married boss – Rachel Ward has been forced to leave her long-term position in Southampton for a temporary role as an Archaeology Lecturer at Lincoln University.
Rachel has sworn off men and is determined to spend her time away clearing her head and sorting her life out.
But when one of her students begins flirting with her, it seems she could be about to make the same mistakes again…
She distracts herself by taking on some freelance work for local property developer, Jonathan Daubney.
He introduces her to an old Second World War RAF base. And from her very first visit something about it gives Rachel chills…
As Rachel makes new friends and delves into local history, she is also forced to confront her own troubled past.
Why is she unable to get into a healthy relationship? What’s stopping her from finding Mr Right?
And what are the echoes of the past trying to tell her…?
Miriam, Daniel and Me by Euron Griffith
When he smiled it really did feel as if the chilly Caernarfonshire wind had stopped for a few seconds and as if the place had suddenly got warmer.
When Miriam fell in love with Padraig life seemed simple. But soon she discovered that love is a treacherous business. Everything changed when she met Daniel. She was taken down an unexpected path which would dictate and dominate the rest of her life.
Spanning three generations of a North Wales family in a Welsh-speaking community, Miriam, Daniel and Me is an absorbing and compelling story of family discord, political turmoil, poetry, jealousy…and football.
Birthright by Fiona Lowe
Is an inheritance a privilege or a right?
Margaret, the matriarch of the wealthy Jamieson family, has always been as tightfisted with the family money as she is with her affections. Sarah is the eldest child and although successful in her own right, her achievements are overshadowed by her younger brother. Sarah feels compelled to meet Margaret’s every demand to earn her love.
After a poverty-stricken childhood, Anita has claimed the social status she’s worked so hard to achieve by marrying Cameron Jamieson. Although they have a comfortable life, she’s never able to fully relax, fearing everything could change in a heartbeat.
Ellie, the youngest, has lived a nomadic and—according to her siblings—a selfish life, leaving them to care for their aging mother. For her, freedom means staying far away from the strings attached to her inheritance, but she needs to consider her young son’s future as well.
As their mother’s health deteriorates, will long-held secrets and childhood rivalries smash this family into pieces? And who will get the money?
An addictive and page-turning story of the relationships between siblings and of deceit, betrayal and revenge.
My Mother’s Choice by Ali Mercer
Nobody talks about my mother. Absolutely nobody. I have no idea what she was like. I’d always thought they kept quiet about her because they were sad. But what if it was because they were guilty?
I watch them at the school gates, all the mothers with their daughters. I see the hugs and all those thoughtful little adjustments to scarves and ponytails. How their love seems to overflow, they have so much of it to give.
And then I walk home to my aunt’s cold house, where there are a hundred rules for me to follow and only a single photograph of my mother to look at.
She is never spoken about in this house. They tell me that it will be easier if I don’t think about her.
It is strange though, isn’t it? That I know nothing about my own mother?
But they don’t know about the diary I’ve found up in the loft. Maybe they even forgot it was there. It doesn’t matter anymore if they won’t tell me anything. Because within these pages is what I’ve waited fourteen years to find out. And maybe some things I wish I could forget.
All I wanted was to bring our family closer together, but could what I find tear us apart instead?
With or Without You by Drew Davies
Wendy’s life can be neatly divided into two: before and after.
Before her husband’s car accident, it was just the two of them. They never took the train at rush hour, and they avoided their noisy neighbour upstairs. Naveem devoted his spare time to vintage train models, and Wendy to re-reading the well-thumbed pages of her favourite books. It didn’t matter what others thought about their small, quiet life together – they were happy.
After the coma, Wendy barely recognises herself. When she’s not holding the love of her life’s hand, accompanied by the beep of the life-support machine, who is she? The nurse tells her to talk to Naveem – that he can still hear her – but she doesn’t have a single thing to say.
Suddenly Wendy can’t bear the silence. She needs something, anything, to talk to Naveem about. Suddenly she’s losing herself at fairgrounds packed with crowds and candyfloss, she’s at the airport, waiting for the whoosh of the planes as they take off, making friends with the neighbour she has spent over a decade avoiding.
Knowing that every breath her husband takes might be his last, Wendy has no choice but to try to carry on without him. Should she feel guilty about living while his life is on pause? And when – if – he wakes up, will he still love the woman she has become?