Published this week – my fiction picks to 7th February, 2021

Another bumper week this week, so sit down, buckle up and make sure you’ve got a large cuppa!

The index is a guide as to what format the title is being released in. In some cases the title might already have been published in a different format. For those readers interested in audio editions I’ve indicated availability with the addition of a red button after the purchasing links – this makes it a bit easier to scan through and pick them up. The categories are intended to give you an indication of price and/or suitablity depending on your preferred reading format. I have not complicated matters further by attempting to throw genres into the mix.

Index

(NB As an Amazon Associate, Bookshop and Hive Affiliate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)

(NB As an Amazon Associate, Bookshop and Hive Affiliate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)

Hardback releases

Before I Saw You: The delightful and emotional love-story of 2021 by [Emily Houghton]

Before I Saw You by Emily Houghton

CAN YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN?

Alice and Alfie are strangers. But they sleep next to each other every night.

Alfie Mack has been in hospital for months recovering from an accident. A new face on the ward is about as exciting as life gets for him right now, so when someone moves into the bed next to him he’s eager to make friends. But it quickly becomes clear that seeing his neighbour’s face won’t happen any time soon.

Alice Gunnersley has been badly burned and can’t even look at herself yet, let alone allow anyone else to see her. She keeps the curtain around her bed firmly closed, but it doesn’t stop Alfie trying to get to know her. And gradually, as he slowly brings Alice out of her shell, might there even be potential for more?


Send for Me by Lauren Fox

Annelise is a dreamer: imagining her future while working at her parents’ popular bakery in Feldenheim, Germany, anticipating all the delicious possibilities yet to come. There are rumors that anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise, but Annelise and her parents can’t quite believe that it will affect them; they’re hardly religious at all. But as Annelise falls in love, marries, and gives birth to her daughter, the dangers grow closer: a brick thrown through her window; a childhood friend who cuts ties with her; customers refusing to patronize the bakery. Luckily Annelise and her husband are given the chance to leave for America, but they must go without her parents, whose future and safety are uncertain.

Two generations later, in a small Midwestern city, Annelise’s granddaughter, Clare, is a young woman newly in love. But when she stumbles upon a trove of her grandmother’s letters from Germany, she sees the history of her family’s sacrifices in a new light, and suddenly she’s faced with an impossible choice: the past, or her future. A novel of dazzling emotional richness that is based on letters from Lauren Fox’s own family, Send for Me is a major departure for this acclaimed author, an epic and intimate exploration of mothers and daughters, duty and obligation, hope and forgiveness.


The Candlelit Menagerie by Caraline Brown

Set in late eighteenth-century London, this haunting debut novel features Lillian, a freakishly tall woman who struggles to fit into society because of her size and desire to wear trousers. Each morning, she wakes in her tiny maid’s room in a too-small bed to the sound of a lion roaring nearby, on the Strand. One day, she investigates the sound and discovers a candlelit exotic animal emporium. When she meets the lion, there is an instant bond. At first, Lillian is repulsed by the stench and squalor, but there, in the menagerie, Lillian finds her natural home taking care of and befriending wild animals brought from around the world, stolen from their habitats, misfits like her. The British empire had become the dominate colonial power, plundering resources across the ocean, including humans and animals, and bringing them to England’s shores for the first time to the amusement of the public. The menagerie, under Lillian’s management, becomes a successful attraction. It is her life’s mission. She even marries the veterinarian’s single-minded apprentice. But when her unborn baby dies in an accident, she is given a chimpanzee to raise as her own child, upending the order of even Lillian’s unusual existence.

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Hardback & eBook releases

The Shadow Box by [Luanne Rice]

The Shadow Box by Luanne Rice

After artist Claire Beaudry Chase is attacked and left for dead in her home on the Connecticut coast, she doesn’t know who she can trust. But her well-connected husband, Griffin—who is running for governor—is her prime suspect.

Just before the attack, Claire was preparing for an exhibit of her shadow boxes, one of which clearly accuses Griffin of a violent crime committed twenty-five years ago. If the public were to find out who her husband is, his political career would be over. Claire’s certain her husband and his powerful supporters would kill her to stop the truth from getting out.

When one of Claire’s acquaintances is murdered, the authorities suspect the homicide is linked to the attack on Claire. As the dual investigations unfold, Claire must decide how much she’s willing to lose to take down her husband and the corrupt group of elites who will do anything to protect Griffin’s interests and their own.


The Last Snow by Stina Jackson

What secrets are hidden within the walls of a desolate farmhouse in a forgotten corner of Lapland?

Early spring has its icy grip on Ödesmark, a small village in northernmost Sweden, abandoned by many of its inhabitants. But Liv Björnlund never left. She lives in a derelict house together with her teenage son, Simon, and her ageing father, Vidar. They make for a peculiar family, and Liv knows that they are cause for gossip among their few remaining neighbours.

Just why has Liv stayed by her domineering father’s side all these years? And is it true that Vidar is sitting on a small fortune? His questionable business decisions have made him many enemies over the years, and in Ödesmark everyone knows everyone, and no one ever forgets.

Now someone wants back what is rightfully theirs. And they will stop at nothing to get it, no matter who stands in their way…


The Long Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper

Yesterday, I kissed my husband for the last time . . .

It’s the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes, California, wilt under the sun. At some point during the long, long afternoon, Joyce Haney, wife, mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind two terrified children and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor.

While the Haney’s neighbours get busy organising search parties, it is Ruby Wright, the family’s ‘help’, who may hold the key to this unsettling mystery. Ruby knows more about the secrets behind Sunnylakes’ starched curtains than anyone, and it isn’t long before the detective in charge of the case wants her help. But what might it cost her to get involved? In these long hot summer afternoons, simmering with lies, mistrust and prejudice, it could only take one spark for this whole ‘perfect’ world to set alight . . .


The Four Winds by [Kristin Hannah]

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

She will discover the best of herself in the worst of times . . .

Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds.

Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess?

From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again – against all odds, Elsa’s incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.


Light Perpetual: from the author of Costa Award-winning Golden Hill by [Francis Spufford]

Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford

November 1944. A German rocket strikes London, and five young lives are atomised in an instant.

November 1944. That rocket never lands. A single second in time is altered, and five young lives go on – to experience all the unimaginable changes of the twentieth century.

Because maybe there are always other futures. Other chances.

From the best-selling, prize-winning author of Golden HillLight Perpetual is a story of the everyday, the miraculous and the everlasting. Ingenious and profound, full of warmth and beauty, it is a sweeping and intimate celebration of the gift of life.


The Nature of Fragile Things by [Susan Meissner]

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner

April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right.

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.


Space Hopper: the most recommended debut of 2021 by [Helen Fisher]

Space Hopper by Helen Fisher

This is a story about taking a leap of faith
And believing the unbelievable
 
They say those we love never truly leave us, and I’ve found that to be true. But not in the way you might expect. In fact, none of this is what you’d expect.
 
I’ve been visiting my mother who died when I was eight.
And I’m talking about flesh and blood, tea-and-biscuits-on-the-table visiting here.
 
Right now, you probably think I’m going mad. 
Let me explain…
 
Although Faye is happy with her life, the loss of her mother as a child weighs on her mind even more now that she is a mother herself. So she is amazed when, in an extraordinary turn of events, she finds herself back in her childhood home in the 1970s. Faced with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions – but away from her own family – how much is she willing to give up for another moment with her mother?


Circus Games: An addictive political thriller (Inspector Carlyle) by [James Craig]

Circus Games by James Craig

Who is the man with no head?

Commander John Carlyle has enough on his plate with a dead film producer and a runaway actor, not to mention the alcoholic boss who’s accused him of harassment. The last thing he needs is a headless corpse in the cells of a recently closed police station. Does the killing have something to do with the station’s dark past? It seems more than coincidence but Carlyle has to identify the victim before he can solve the murder…


Pippo and Clara by [Diana Rosie]

Pippo & Clara by Diana Rosie

A country torn apart by war. Two siblings divided by fate.

Italy, 1938. Mussolini is in power and war is not far away . . .

Clara and Pippo are just children: quiet, thoughtful Clara is the older sister; Pippo, the younger brother, is forever chatting. The family has only recently arrived in the city carrying their few possessions.

When Mamma goes missing early one morning, both Clara and Pippo go in search of her. Clara turns right; Pippo left.

As a result of the choices they make that morning, their lives will be changed forever.


The Art of Losing by [Alice Zeniter, Frank Wynne]

The Art of Losing by Alice Zeniter

Naïma has always known that her family came from Algeria – but up until now, that meant very little to her. Born and raised in France, her knowledge of that foreign country is limited to what she’s learned from her grandparents’ tiny flat in a crumbling French sink estate: the food cooked for her, the few precious things they brought with them when they fled.

On the past, her family is silent. Why was her grandfather Ali forced to leave? Was he a harki – an Algerian who worked for and supported the French during the Algerian War of Independence? Once a wealthy landowner, how did he become an immigrant scratching a living in France?

Naïma’s father, Hamid, says he remembers nothing. A child when the family left, in France he re-made himself: education was his ticket out of the family home, the key to acceptance into French society.

But now, for the first time since they left, one of Ali’s family is going back. Naïma will see Algeria for herself, will ask the questions about her family’s history that, till now, have had no answers.

Spanning three generations across seventy years, Alice Zeniter’s The Art of Losing tells the story of how people carry on in the face of loss: the loss of a country, an identity, a way to speak to your children. It’s a story of colonization and immigration, and how in some ways, we are a product of the things we’ve left behind.


Lullaby Beach by [Stella Duffy]

Lullaby Beach by Stella Duffy

When Lucy discovers the body of her great aunt Kitty, with a puzzling note and empty pill bottles by her bed, she can’t believe that the formidable woman who held her family together is gone – or understand why she has taken her own life.

Lucy is determined to decipher Kitty’s final message. What she finds will overturn everything she thought she knew about her family.

Lullaby Beach takes the reader on a journey through three generations of a complicated, close-knit family whose joys and misfortunes track many of the most pressing conflicts and concerns of post-war Britain, from the promise and hypocrisies of 1950s London to the political divides and risky freedoms of the present day.


Black Widows: Blake’s dead. His wife killed him. The question is . . . which one? by [Cate Quinn]

Black Widows by Cate Quinn

The only thing the three women had in common was their husband.
And, as of this morning, that they’re each accused of his murder.

Blake Nelson moved into a hidden stretch of land – a raw paradise in the wilds of Utah – where he lived with his three wives:

Rachel, the chief wife, obedient and doting to a fault.
Tina, the other wife, who is everything Rachel isn’t.
And Emily, the youngest wife, who knows little else.

When their husband is found dead under the desert sun, the questions pile up.
But none of the widows know who would want to kill a good man like Blake.

Or, at least, that’s what they’ll tell the police…


Passenger 23: a twisted and terrifying thriller by [Sebastian Fitzek, Jamie Bulloch]

Passenger 23 by Sebastian Fitzek

Every year, on average 23 people disappear without a trace from cruise ships, presumed suicides or tragic accidents.

No one has ever come back.

Until now.

Five years ago police psychologist Martin Schwartz lost his wife and son. They were holidaying on a cruise ship when they simply vanished. A lacklustre investigation was unable to shed any light on what happened – murder-suicide was the coroner’s verdict. It is a verdict that has haunted Martin ever since, blighting his life.

But now he has been contacted by an elderly woman, a writer, who claims to have information regarding their fate and wants him to come on board the Sultan of the Seas immediately.

She explains that his wife and son are not the only mother-and-child pair to have disappeared. Only a few months ago another mother and daughter also vanished. It appears there may be a serial killer on board.

But when the missing daughter reappears – carrying Martin’s son’s beloved teddy bear – it becomes apparent that the truth could be much, much worse…


The Oxford Brotherhood by [Guillermo Martinez, Alberto Manguel]

The Oxford Brotherhood by Guillermo Martinez

Mathematics student G is trying to resurrect his studies, which is proving difficult as he finds himself – and not for the first time – drawn into investigating a series of mysterious crimes.

When Kristen, a researcher hired by the Lewis Carroll Brotherhood, makes a startling new discovery concerning pages torn from Caroll’s diary, she hesitates to reveal to her employers a hitherto unknown chapter in his life. Oxford would be rocked to its core if the truth about Lewis Carroll’s relationship with Alice Liddell – the real Alice – were brought to light.

After Kristen is involved in a surreal accident and members of the Brotherhood are anonymously sent salacious photographs of Alice, G joins forces with Kristen as they begin to realise that dark powers are at work. More pictures are received, and it becomes clear that a murderer is stalking anyone who shows too much interest in Carroll’s life.

G must stretch his mathematical mind to its limits to solve the mystery and understand the cryptic workings of the Brotherhood. Until then, nobody, not even G, is safe. A thrilling novel from the author of The Oxford Murders, inspired by true, strange stories from Caroll’s life, The Oxford Brotherhood is sure to make you curiouser and curiouser.


A Sky Full of Stars: A beautiful story of love and loss from the winner of Romantic Novel of the Year by [Dani Atkins]

A Sky Full of Stars by Dani Atkins

He’d have done everything differently if he’d known she’d be gone so soon…

When Lisa married Alex, she gave his life meaning. She was a professional astronomer: a stargazer. And when she gazed at Alex, she saw that behind his tough exterior was a man she could love.

Alex, Lisa and their young son Connor made a happy little universe. But when Lisa dies suddenly, their universe is destroyed. Alex is shattered by loss, and overwhelmed by the difficulties of being a single father to a six-year-old boy.

Then Alex meets four strangers. Two men and two women, who never met Lisa, but whose lives changed profoundly because she died. As Alex hears their stories, he begins to realise the world may not be as cruel and senseless as it seems. Perhaps, after all, the future is written in the stars…


Find You First: From the international bestselling author of books like Elevator Pitch comes the most gripping crime thriller of 2021 by [Linwood Barclay]

Find You First by Linwood Barclay

It’s a deadly race against time…

Tech billionaire Miles has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of – except time. Now facing a terminal illness, Miles knows he must seize every minute to put his life in order. And that means taking a long hard look at his past.

Somewhere out there, Miles has children. And they might be about to inherit both the good and bad from him – possibly his fortune, or possibly something more sinister.

So Miles decides to track down his missing children. But a vicious killer is one step ahead of him. One by one, people are vanishing. Not just disappearing, every trace of them is wiped.


The Night Hawks: Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 13 (The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries) by [Elly Griffiths]

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths

The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. At first Nelson thinks that the dead man might be an asylum seeker but he turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison. Ruth is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson at first thinks that Taylor’s death is accidental drowning, but a second death suggests murder.

Nelson is called to an apparent murder-suicide of a couple at the isolated Black Dog Farm. Local legend talks of the Black Shuck, a spectral hound that appears to people before they die. Nelson ignores this, even when the owner’s suicide note includes the line, ‘He’s buried in the garden.’ Ruth excavates and finds the body of a giant dog.

All roads lead back to this farm in the middle of nowhere, but the place spells serious danger for anyone who goes near. Ruth doesn’t scare easily. Not until she finds herself at Black Dog Farm …


Landslide: A novel by [Susan Conley]

Landslide by Susan Conley

After a fishing accident leaves her husband hospitalized across the border in Canada, Jill is left to look after her teenage boys–“the wolves”–alone. Nothing comes easy in their remote corner of Maine: money is tight; her son Sam is getting into more trouble by the day; her eldest, Charlie, is preoccupied with a new girlfriend; and Jill begins to suspect her marriage isn’t as stable as she once believed. As one disaster gives way to the next, she begins to think that it’s not enough to be a caring wife and mother anymore–not enough to show up when needed, to nudge her boys in the right direction, to believe everything will be okay. But how to protect this life she loves, this household, this family?

The Art of Falling by [Danielle McLaughlin]

The Art of Falling by Danielle McLaughlin

Nessa McCormack’s marriage is coming back together again after her husband’s affair. She is excited to be in charge of a retrospective art exhibit for one of Ireland’s most beloved and enigmatic artists, the late sculptor Robert Locke. But the arrival of two outsiders imperils both her personal and professional worlds: a chance encounter with an old friend threatens to expose a betrayal Nessa thought she had long put behind her, and at work, an odd woman comes forward claiming to be the true creator of Robert Locke’s most famous work, The Chalk Sculpture.

As Nessa finds the past intruding on the present, she must decide whether she can continue to live a lie – or whether she’s ready to face the consequences once everything is out in the open. In this gripping debut, Danielle McLaughlin reveals profound truths about love, power, and the secrets that rule us.

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Paperback releases

The Girl from the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat

Summer 1940: Hedy Bercu fled Vienna two years ago. Now she watches the skies over Jersey for German planes, convinced that an invasion is imminent. When it finally comes, there is no counterattack from Allied forces–the Channel Islands are simply not worth defending. Most islanders and occupying forces settle into an uneasy coexistence, but for Hedy, the situation is perilously different. For Hedy is Jewish–a fact that could mean deportation, or worse.

With no means of escape, Hedy hides in plain sight, working as a translator for the Germans while silently working against them. She forges a tentative friendship with a sympathetic German officer who is likewise trapped by circumstance. But as the war intensifies, Hedy knows she is in greater danger each day. Soon, her survival will depend not just on her own courage but on the community she has come to cherish and a man who should be her enemy.


A Mother’s Promise by K D Alden

A debut historical novel based on the true story of a young woman in 1920s Virginia fighting to reclaim the daughter she was forced to give up, a case that culminated in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Virginia, 1924. Ruth Ann Riley is 17 years old when she gives birth to a baby girl. Unwed and under-educated, she’s deemed “feeble-minded” — just like her own mother — and sent to live in a state-run institution where the doctors decide she must be sterilized “for the greater good.” But Ruth Ann won’t give up her baby Annabel or the hope of future children without a fight, even though her hardscrabble life and sixth-grade education have in no way prepared her to take on the Supreme Court of the United States. As Ruth Ann comes of age in a daunting world and struggles with secrets and scandals in her past, she finds unexpected allies, friendship and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.


Can You See Me Know by Trisha Sakhlecha

Fifteen years ago, three sixteen-year-old girls meet at Wescott, an exclusive private school in India.
Two, Sabah and Noor, are the most popular girls in their year. One, Alia, is a new arrival from England, who feels her happiness depends on their acceptance.

Before she knows it, Sabah and Noor’s intoxicating world of privilege and intimacy opens up to Alia and, for the first time, after years of neglect from her parents, she feels she is exactly where, and with whom, she belongs.

But with intimacy comes jealousy, and with privilege, resentment, and Alia finds that it only takes one night for her bright new world to shatter around her.

Now Alia, a cabinet minister in the Indian government, is about to find her secrets have no intention of staying buried . . .

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Paperback & eBook releases

Hadley and Grace: A Novel by [Suzanne Redfearn]

Hadley & Grace by Suzanne Redfearn

Needing to escape her abusive marriage, Hadley flees with her two kids, knowing it might be her only chance. A woman who can’t even kill a spider, Hadley soon finds herself pushed to the limits as she fights to protect her family.

Grace, new mother of baby Miles, desperately wants to put her rough past behind her for good, but she finds it impossible when her path crosses with Hadley’s, and her quest for a new start quickly spirals out of control and turns into a terrifying flight for survival.

Stronger together than apart, the two find their fates inextricably entwined, and as the danger closes in, each must decide how much she is willing to risk for the other.


An Eye for an Eye (Detective Kate Young Book 1) by [Carol Wyer]

An Eye for an Eye by Carol Wyer

A killer running rings around the police. A detective spiralling out of control.

DI Kate Young is on leave. She’s the force’s best detective, but her bosses know she’s under pressure, on medication and overcoming trauma. So after her bad judgement call leads to a narrowly averted public disaster, they’re sure all she needs is a rest.

But when Staffordshire Police summon her back to work on a murder case, it’s a harder, more suspicious Kate Young who returns. With a new ruthlessness, she sets about tracking down a clinical, calculating serial killer who is torturing victims and leaving clues to taunt the police. Spurred on by her reporter husband, Young begins to suspect that the murderer might be closer than she ever imagined.

As she works to uncover the truth, Young unravels a network of secrets and lies, with even those closest to her having something to hide. But with her own competence—and her grip on reality—called into question, can she unmask the killer before they strike again?


The Girl from the Mountains: Absolutely heartbreaking and gripping World War 2 historical fiction by [Chrystyna  Lucyk-Berger]

The Girl from the Mountains by Chrystyna LucyK-Berger

1942, Czechoslovakia: The story of one young woman’s exceptional courage in the darkest days of World War Two, set against wild and beautiful forests and mountains.

Magda’s blood runs cold when she sees the German trucks coming up the road. Surrounded by dappled forests and tranquil lakes, she has felt far away from the war raging elsewhere. But despite having friends in high places, her Jewish employers have been living on borrowed time and now the Gestapo have come for them.

In a few hurried moments, Magda is asked to protect something more precious than the silver and jewels the family will leave behind. Their newborn son Samuel.

The local Resistance help Magda to hide Samuel nearby, and she agrees to remain in the house to serve the Nazi commander, while passing messages and supplies to their secret network. But when Magda is caught, she is forced to flee into the high mountains with a price on her head.

With the Nazis in pursuit, and nothing left to lose, Magda takes up arms with a band of partisan fighters in the hope of one day reuniting Samuel with his parents. Even if it might mean laying down her life to win the freedom of those she loves…


A Net for Small Fishes: ‘The Thelma and Louise of the seventeenth century’ Lawrence Norfolk by [Lucy Jago]

A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago

Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family – and is the most unhappy creature in the world.

Anne Turner has wit and talent – but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution.

When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked. Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign’s favourite may rise and rise – so long as he remains in favour.

With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.


The Communist's Daughter by [Aroa Moreno Durán]

The Communist’s Daughter by Aroa Moreno Duran

Winner of the Premio Ojo Crítico

Katia has spent her childhood in the eastern shadow of the Berlin Wall. For her father, refugee of the civil war in Spain, the communist side of Germany represents everything he fought and suffered for. Katia knows no other way of life, until a chance encounter with a young man from the West leaves her to wonder what the other side might offer. It’s only after she’s made the perilous journey that Katia understands all she has left behind, and years until she will finally know the devastating consequences it had on her family.


The Moroccan Daughter: from the internationally bestselling author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by [Deborah Rodriguez]

The Moroccan Daughter by Deborah Rodriguez

In Morocco, behind the ancient walls of the medina, secrets will be revealed . . .

Amina Bennis has come back to her childhood home in Morocco to attend her sister’s wedding. The time has come for her to confront her strict, traditionalist father with the secret she has kept for more than a year – her American husband Max.

Amina’s best friend Charlie, and Charlie’s feisty grandmother Bea, have come along for moral support, staying with Amina and her family in their palatial riad in Fès, and enjoying all that the city has to offer. But Charlie is also hiding someone from her past – a mystery man from Casablanca.

And then there’s Samira, the Bennis’s devoted housekeeper for many decades. Hers is the biggest secret of all – and the one that strikes at the very heart of the family . . .

From the twisted alleyways of the ancient medina of Fès to a marriage festival high in the Atlas Mountains, Deborah Rodriguez’s entrancing new bestseller is a modern story of forbidden love set in the sensual landscape of North Africa.


The Man I Didn’t Marry: the new emotional and hilarious romantic comedy you need to read in 2021! by [Anna Bell]

The Man I Didn’t Marry by Anna Bell

What happens when the man she married can’t remember her?

Ellie has the perfect life: a happy marriage, a gorgeous daughter and a baby on the way. But when her husband Max develops amnesia, he forgets everything about the last five years . . . including their relationship.

Now the man she said ‘I do’ to has become a stranger, and she has no idea why. Yet Ellie is determined to reconnect and find her Max again – he has to be in there somewhere, right?

As they get to know one another afresh, Ellie finds herself seeing Max clearly for the first time. But then she discovers that before his memory loss, Max was keeping a huge secret from her. Will their new beginning prove to be a false start, just as it seemed they might fall in love all over again?


Take a Chance on Me: The perfect uplifting read for 2021 by [Beth Moran]

Take a Chance on Me by Beth Moran

Meet Patrick Cooper– desperately down on his luck, and head-over-heels in unrequited love with his best friend Bridget.

Meet Bridget’s sister, Emma Donovan -eternally single maker-of-cakes for many a happy couple, whilst never making it down the aisle herself.

Emma has four younger sisters, all of whom are married or getting married, and an Italian mother who can’t understand what is ‘wrong’ with her eldest daughter, who seems to be stranded on the shelf. Despairing of her own ability to find a suitable husband, Emma agrees to be part of a compatibility project to get married at first sight.

Meanwhile Cooper is struggling to get over his crush on Bridget and seems destined to stay firmly on the shelf too. Perhaps it’s time his fate was taken out of his hands…

Is happily-ever-after just about daring to take a chance, or do you need some extra magic to make love last?

Join Beth Moran, Cooper and the Donovan sisters on this life-affirming and uplifting tale of love, family, friendship, and risking it all for happiness.


The Children's Train: A Novel by [Viola Ardone, Clarissa Botsford]

The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone

Based on true events, a heartbreaking story of love, family, hope, and survival set in post-World War II Italy—written with the heart of Orphan Train and Before We Were Yours—about poor children from the south sent to live with families in the north to survive deprivation and the harsh winters.

Though Mussolini and the fascists have been defeated, the war has devastated Italy, especially the south. Seven-year-old Amerigo lives with his mother Antonietta in Naples, surviving on odd jobs and his wits like the rest of the poor in his neighborhood. But one day, Amerigo learns that a train will take him away from the rubble-strewn streets of the city to spend the winter with a family in the north, where he will be safe and have warm clothes and food to eat. 

Together with thousands of other southern children, Amerigo will cross the entire peninsula to a new life. Through his curious, innocent eyes, we see a nation rising from the ashes of war, reborn. As he comes to enjoy his new surroundings and the possibilities for a better future, Amerigo will make the heartbreaking choice to leave his mother and become a member of his adoptive family.

Amerigo’s journey is a moving story of memory, indelible bonds, artistry, and self-exploration, and a soaring examination of what family can truly mean. Ultimately Amerigo comes to understand that sometimes we must give up everything, even a mother’s love, to find our destiny.


Honest Secrets: A thrilling tale of explosive family secrets, you won't want to put down! (Fortune's Daughters Trilogy Book 3) by [Muna Shehadi]

Honest Secrets by Muna Shehadi

Olivia Croft’s life is at a crossroads.

After yet another fruitless audition and the cancellation of her TV show, Crofty Cooks, she’s left with the hope that she and her husband Derek will finally conceive the child she craves – and that she’ll be able to forget the recent revelation that her late mother, the famous movie star Jillian Croft, did not give birth to her or her two sisters.

But her world only collapses further when she uncovers the cruel secret Derek has kept throughout their eight-year marriage. Unable to forgive his betrayal, Olivia flees LA for the coast of Maine, a place which holds happy memories of her childhood and her beloved mother.

Coping with the loss of her career, her husband and her dreams, Olivia finds herself drawn to Duncan, a kindred spirit whose life has been equally shattered. But before Olivia can embrace a brand-new future, she will have to come to terms with the past, and face a final truth about her mother, one she never could have imagined.


The Diplomat's Wife by [Michael Ridpath]

The Diplomat’s Wife by Michael Ridpath

1936: Devastated by the death of her beloved brother Hugh, Emma seeks to keep his memory alive by wholeheartedly embracing his dreams of a communist revolution. But when she marries an ambitious diplomat, she must leave her ideals behind and live within the confines of embassy life in Paris and Nazi Berlin. Then one of Hugh’s old comrades reappears, asking her to report on her philandering husband, and her loyalties are torn.

1979: Emma’s grandson, Phil, dreams of a gap-year tour of Cold War Europe, but is nowhere near being able to fund it. So when his beloved grandmother determines to make one last trip to the places she lived as a young diplomatic wife, and to try to solve a mystery that has haunted her since the war, he jumps at the chance to accompany her. But their journey takes them to darker, more dangerous places than either of them could ever have imagined…


David and Ameena by [Ami  Rao]

David and Ameena by Ami Rao

Modern-day New York, a subway train. David, an American-Jewish jazz musician, torn between his dreams and his parents’ expectations, sees a woman across the carriage. Ameena, a British-Pakistani artist who left Manchester to escape the pressure from her conservative family, sees David.

When a moment of sublime beauty occurs unexpectedly, the two connect, moved by their shared experience. From this flows a love that it appears will triumph above all. But as David and Ameena navigate their relationship, their ambitions and the city they love, they discover the external world is not so easy to keep at bay.

Ami Rao’s masterful debut novel picks apart the lives of two people, stripping them of their collective identities and, in doing so, facing up to the challenge of today: can love give us the freedom to accept our differences?


His Hidden Wife: A totally twisty, suspenseful psychological thriller by [Wendy Clarke]

His Hidden Wife by Wendy Clarke

The first time you see them, out for an evening walk on the cliffs, you’ll think they’re the perfect family. You’ll see a wife who looks so happy, strolling peacefully beside her husband in his dark winter coat, holding her daughter’s hand. But you have no idea what’s really happening in their house…

If you come a little closer you might hear the way the man speaks to his wife.

You might notice that the woman doesn’t have any close friends. That sometimes her husband doesn’t want her to leave the house. You might wonder if that’s a scar her beautiful daughter is hiding on her neck.

When you read the local newspaper and hear the news that the wife has fallen from the cliffs, you’ll question whether it was really an accident at all.

And when the husband starts dating someone new – a woman with the same long dark hair and big blue eyes as his wife – will you say something this time?

Because someone has to protect the little girl and stop history from repeating itself. And it may already be too late.


Silent Voices: A gripping crime thriller packed with mystery and suspense (Detective Lottie Parker Book 9) by [Patricia  Gibney]

Silent Voices by Patricia Gibney

The words blurred as she read the note. She could feel her blood turning to ice. ‘Before you make the biggest mistake of your life, meet me. If you don’t, her blood will be on your hands.

When Beth Mullen returns home, expecting to find her twin Rachel waiting for her, the silent house sends a shiver down her spine. She races upstairs to find her beautiful beloved sister cold in her childhood bed, her sparkling blue eyes closed forever, the morning after attending a glittering party…

Newly engaged Detective Lottie Parker knows that Rachel has been murdered the minute she enters the bedroom. Rachel’s neck is bruised and a shard of glass placed in her throat. Confronted with such a horrifying killing, Lottie wastes no time in pursuing every clue.

While interviewing the partygoers, Lottie discovers that Rachel’s handbag and keys are nowhere to be found. But as she is searching for them, a brilliant young doctor is found murdered with glass in her throat. The doctor was nowhere near the party and Lottie is forced to question everything. Two beautiful young women with the world at their feet have been brutally silenced. Why did the killer need them to die?

Desperate to find proof of what really happened to Rachel that night, Lottie gets close to the hostess of the party, whose two daughters were friends with Rachel. But Lottie’s hunt for the truth is getting under the killer’s skin, and when Lottie’s fiancé Boyd goes missing, will she be able to find him before it’s too late? Or will he too be silenced forever?


The Wherryman: A chilling Norfolk Broads crime thriller (British Detective Tanner Murder Mystery Series Book 6) by [David Blake]

The Wherryman by David Blake

Four missing children, three murdered men, and the helm of a boat with a blood-red sail, hiding a secret only he can tell.

Returning to the Broads after nearly two years at sea, John Tanner moors up next to a boat to find the body of a man whose five-year-old daughter is nowhere to be seen.

As a torrent of unwanted memories begins flooding through his mind, an attractive Broads Ranger arrives at the scene with a disturbing tale; one of children being taken by a ghostly figure, standing at the helm of an old wooden boat.

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eBook releases

Ten Days by [Austin Duffy]

Ten Days by Austin Duffy

When Wolf’s recently-estranged wife Miriam dies from cancer, his entire world is turned upside down. Wolf and his daughter, Ruth, travel to New York from London to scatter Miriam’s ashes in the Hudson River. During the ten High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur they connect up with Miriam’s conservative Jewish family, who are adamantly against Miriam’s choice of burial. Battling the antagonism of Miriam’s Orthodox family, Wolf is also coming to terms with his own hopes to put right wrongs before it’s too late.


The Favour by [Laura Vaughan]

The Favour by Laura Vaughan

Fortune favours the fraud…

When she was thirteen years old, Ada Howell lost not just her father, but the life she felt she was destined to lead. Now, at eighteen, Ada is given a second chance when her wealthy godmother gifts her with an extravagant art history trip to Italy.

In the palazzos of Venice, the cathedrals of Florence and the villas of Rome, she finally finds herself among the kind of people she aspires to be: sophisticated, cultured, privileged. Ada does everything in her power to prove she is one of them. And when a member of the group dies in suspicious circumstances, she seizes the opportunity to permanently bind herself to this gilded set.

But everything hidden must eventually surface, and when it does, Ada discovers she’s been keeping a far darker secret than she could ever have imagined…


You, Me & the Sea by [Elizabeth Haynes]

You, Me & the Sea by Elizabeth Haynes

Rachel is at crisis point. A series of disastrous decisions has left her with no job, no home, and no faith in herself. But an unexpected job offer takes her to a remote Scottish island, and it feels like a chance to recover and mend her battered self-esteem.

The island’s other inhabitants are less than welcoming. Fraser Sutherland is a taciturn loner who is not happy about sharing his lighthouse – or his precious coffee beans – and Lefty, his unofficial assistant, is a scrawny, scared lad who isn’t supposed to be there at all.

Homesick and out of her depth, Rachel is sure she’s made another huge mistake. But, as spring turns to summer, the wild beauty of the island begins to captivate her soul.


Mine by Kelly Florentina

When you’ve been betrayed, who can you trust?

When loner Lucy Harper, accepts a Facebook friend’s request from Jasmine, an old school friend, the last thing she expects is for Jasmine to run off with her husband, Andrew. 

Now, newly divorced, Lucy lives in the flat she still part-owns with Andrew. After a drunken night out, she wakes up with Teddy Fallon. But this is the least of her worries.

The night before a text came through claiming someone knows her secret.

But what is Lucy hiding?

Before Lucy has time to process everything, her ex drops a bombshell – fiancé Jasmine is pregnant, and he wants his share of the money from the flat.

Then the blackmail begins.

Who is after Lucy and why? 

Love isn’t always innocent, and Lucy is about to learn a lesson the hard way.


Make Yourself at Home: The new most emotional and uplifting book of 2021 from the Irish Times bestseller by [Ciara Geraghty]

Make Yourself at Home by Ciara Geraghty

When Marianne’s carefully constructed life and marriage fall apart, she is forced to return to Ancaire, the ramshackle seaside house perched high on a cliff by the Irish Sea. There she must rebuild her relationship with her mother, Rita, a flamboyant artist and recovering alcoholic who lives by her own rules.

Marianne left home when she was fifteen following a traumatic and tragic incident. She never planned to return, and now she has to face the fact that some plans don’t work out the way you wanted them to. But she might just discover that, sometimes, you have to come to terms with the story of your past before you can work out the shape of the future…


Women at War by [Jan Casey]

Women at War by Jan Casey

Two women. One war.

For Viola Baxter, 1939 was supposed to be a wonderful year. After meeting and falling in love with dashing Fred Scholz at Cambridge University, they planned to marry and start their new lives together. She never imagined her father would say no to the marriage. Fred is half-German and, with war fast approaching, he must travel to Germany to bring his sister home. But that journey is enough for others to suspect him… and Viola.

When Annie Scholz heard her beloved grandmother was seriously ill, she wasted no time rushing to Germany to be by her side. She didn’t realise it meant she would not be able to return home to the UK, or that her decision would endanger her brother, Fred, as well. Even reuniting with her childhood beau is bittersweet – how can she love someone who stands for everything she opposes? With everyone watching Annie and Fred so closely, there is no room for error… or dangerous resistance.

With war the only certainty, there’s just one thing in question: where do Viola and Annie’s loyalties lie? 


The Sanatorium by [Sarah Pearse]

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

EVERYONE’S IN DANGER. ANYONE COULD BE NEXT.

An imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But she’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when she receives an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother’s recent engagement, she has no choice but to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. Though it’s beautiful, something about the hotel, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, makes her nervous – as does her brother, Isaac.

And when they wake the following morning to discover his fiancée Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin’s unease grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

But no-one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they’re all in . . .


Finding Love at Mermaid Terrace: an utterly heartwarming, feel good spring romance by [Kate Forster]

Finding Love at Mermaid Terrace by Kate Forster

Love comes when you least expect it…

Tressa Buckland likes her quiet life in Port Lowdy, with its cobbled streets and colourful terraced houses overlooking the sea. Her job at the local paper allows her to pursue her art in her free time, with no one but her tabby cat Ginger Pickles to mind her in Mermaid Terrace. But then the owner of the paper is called away on an emergency, and it’s up to Tressa to run the paper for six months. Her first task: find a new part-time journalist.

Dan Byrne is the angriest man in Ireland – or so the readers of his very successful column, ‘Dan takes on the world’, think. But after a story goes south and he loses his job in Dublin, Dan has no choice but to start afresh. When an opportunity comes up in sleepy Cornwall, Dan and his Golden Retriever Ritchie set off for a new adventure.

For Tressa, Dan’s arrival to Port Lowdy changes everything. Tressa tries not to look too deeply at her own life, but Dan sees a story to uncover in absolutely everyone – even her. The two of them couldn’t be more different… yet, if they can find a way to work together, they may just breathe new life and joy into this sleepy seaside village.


Everything is Beautiful: the most uplifting, heartwarming read of 2021 by [Eleanor Ray]

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

When Amy Ashton’s world fell apart eleven years ago, she started a collection.

Just a few keepsakes of happier times: some honeysuckle to remind herself of the boy she loved, a chipped china bird, an old terracotta pot . . . Things that others might throw away, but to Amy, represent a life that could have been.

Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves – soon there’ll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery, and Amy’s carefully curated life begins to unravel. If she can find the courage to face her past, might the future she thought she’d lost still be hers for the taking?

That’s all for another week folks, hope you found something to tempt your taste buds.

Happy reading!!

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