The ‘Kindle Monthly Sale’ is now a variety of different ‘offers’ bundled together and they may in some cases last longer than the current month (particularly those priced at £1). As a result I’ve decided not to include the £1 books in my selection, anyone wanting to look quickly at those can look here.
Continuing my policy of trying to be more selective (famous last words) I’ve been quite ruthless in predominantly restricting the titles to those published largely since 2018. This is based on the assumption that the longer a book has been around it’s more likely to have hit your radar already. I’m also only including my top picks rather than including ALL the books I’ve bought, read or would read. This will hopefully help to focus my mind! That said I might still throw in a few golden oldies that I’ve read and loved. As ever, it’s a list that’s skewed towards my prevailing reading tastes so feel free to look at the complete list on Amazon here.
Genres have been allocated by me and have been generously applied especially as some books are a mix of genres. I don’t like to pigeon hole but it helps to give the post a bit more structure.
(NB As an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)
Historical (I tend to take this as pre 1960’s ie not in my lifetime!)
Crime, Thriller & Mystery
It is an ordinary Yorkshire morning, cold and miserable.
The streets are not yet busy. Police cars hurriedly pull up in the centre of town, but none of their lights are flashing and the sirens are silent.
A body has been found, elaborately and painstakingly positioned to send a message. But what message? And to who?
It’s DCI Harry Virdee’s job to find out. But Harry doesn’t know that the killer is watching him, that the killer is coming for him.
Because this is personal.
Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway.
She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Ivor March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried – but only if Ruth will do the digging.
Curious, but wary, Ruth agrees. March tells Ruth that he killed four more women and that their bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths.
Is Ivor March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over?
Edinburgh has Rebus.The Highlands have Logan.Now Yorkshire has Grimm …Welcome to Wensleydale, where the cheese is famous, the scenery beautiful, and the locals have murder on their minds …Detective Chief Inspector Harry Grimm is forced to take leave from Bristol’s Major Investigations Team when his boss, tired of Harry chasing the ghost of his murderous father, sends him north on secondment.Used to city life and high stress, Harry fears his life will now be spent handing out speeding tickets, finding lost sheep, and directing tourists. But when a local teenager runs away, Harry finds himself pulled into an investigation much worse than anyone could have ever expected. The nicer the place, the darker the secrets. Wensleydale is beautiful, everyone is friendly and welcoming, and people just don’t get murdered … do they?A classic fish-out-of-water crime mystery set in the stunning and evocative scenery of Wensleydale in North Yorkshire
Forensic Psychologist Jo McCready is assisting DCI Callum Ferguson on a murder inquiry, when one of her patients is found brutally murdered.
Jo was the last person to see Martha Scott alive. She was helping Martha unlock a repressed memory – but during the session, Jo unlocked more than she bargained for. An alternate personality introduced himself as the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper – and thanked Jo for setting him free to kill again.
As Ferguson’s team race to find Martha’s killer, a series of copycat killings begin, replicating ‘The Autumn of Terror’ in 1888. But if Jack is just a figment of Martha’s damaged mind, who killed her?
As the body count rises, Jo must construct a profile to stop the murderer recreating the terror of the most infamous serial killer of all time.
But not everyone is on Jo’s side. The Police Intelligence Unit have their own profiler, Liz Taylor-Caine, who resents Jo’s involvement as a contributing expert in the case. Suspicion about Jo’s involvement in the killings increases when someone close to the team becomes one of Jack’s victims.
And as the anniversary of the final and most gruesome of all the killings looms, Jo discovers that the killer has one murder on his mind that is far closer to home . . .
In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.
In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.
They’ve been dead for several days.
Who has been looking after the baby?
And where did they go?
Two entangled families.
A house with the darkest of secrets.
A compulsive thriller from Lisa Jewell.
YOUR CHILD IS MISSING.
She was only six years old when she disappeared. Posters went up, the police investigated.
But no one could find her.
Now, twelve years later, she’s home.
And knocking at your door.
You’re so happy to see her. But soon you start to wonder why she can’t answer your questions.
Where has she been? How did she find her way home?
And who is she?
Jenny has just given birth to the baby she’s always wanted. She’s never been this happy.
Her husband, Leo, knows this baby girl can’t be his. He’s never felt so betrayed.
The same night, a vulnerable young woman, Hannah, wakes to find her newborn lifeless beside her. She’s crazed with grief.
When chance throws Hannah into Leo’s path, they make a plan that will have shattering consequences for all of them.
Years later, a sixteen-year-old girl reads an article in a newspaper, and embarks on a journey to uncover the truth about herself. But what she learns will put everything she has ever known – and her own life – in grave danger. Because some people will go to desperate lengths to protect the secrets their lives are built on . . .
The lead up to Christmas sees the Connection private investigation team planning their festive season. Until a new case arrives…
Catapulted into their biggest mystery yet, they are tasked with finding a killer who has been released on parole, and subsequently disappeared. Has he returned to finish the murder he tried to commit before his capture nineteen years earlier?
As he targets his intended victim, his attention is also focused on the private investigators and their police colleagues with devastating effect.
With families torn apart, Doris must seek assistance from a colleague from her past to give Connection the best chance of bringing a psychopath to justice.
How will it end? Is this the last we will see of Kat, Mouse, Doris and Luke? And can Connection continue?
A young couple on the run. A trail of death and destruction. Can DI Ruth Hunter stop Snowdonia’s answer to Bonnie and Clyde before another innocent victim is murdered?
It started with a splash. Jimmy, a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, did his best to pretend he hadn’t heard it – the sound of something heavy falling into the Tyne at the height of an argument between two men on the riverbank. Not his fight.
Then he sees the headline: GIRL IN MISSING DAD PLEA. The girl, Carrie, reminds him of someone he lost, and this makes his mind up: it’s time to stop hiding from his past. But telling Carrie, what he heard – or thought he heard – turns out to be just the beginning of the story.
The police don’t believe him, but Carrie is adamant that something awful has happened to her dad and Jimmy agrees to help her, putting himself at risk from enemies old and new.
But Jimmy has one big advantage: when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.
The news of her mother’s death hits Nell as if she’s been shot. The letter must be some kind of prank, but who could be so cruel? Because Nell’s mother died nearly thirty years ago.
When Nell was just a tiny baby, her parents died in a car crash, leaving her to be raised by her devoted grandmother, Lilian. So when the lawyer’s letter arrives, informing her of her mother Sarah’s very recent death, it destroys everything Nell thought she knew. Her grandmother loved her, so why did she lie? And why did her mother abandon her?
Nell knows she can never recapture the years with her mother that were taken from her, and fears this will haunt her forever. Now she won’t rest until she finds out why she was so cruelly deceived. But her family’s past has been kept secret for a reason, and someone is desperate for it to stay that way. How much danger will Nell risk for the truth?
It’s a Sunday morning, and the outspoken Speaker of the House of Commons has just been crushed under a mountain of citrus fruit . . .
Bizarre accident or something more sinister? The government needs to know because here’s a man who knows a thing or two that could compromise its future.
Bryant and May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit should be on the case, however it seems the PCU is no more with one detective is in hospital, the other gone AWOL with the rest of the team having been dismissed.
But events escalate, and soon a series of brutal yet undeniably clever killings linked to an old English nursery rhyme threaten society’s very foundations and out-of-the-blue the PCU is (temporarily) back in business.
And if the two detectives – ‘old men in a woke world’ – can set aside their differences and discover why some of London’s most influential figures are being threatened, they might not only save the unit but also prevent the city from descending into chaos . . .
Every family has it’s secrets…
Joe McKee – pillar of the Derry community – is dead. As arrangements are made for the traditional Irish wake, friends and family are left reeling at how cancer could have taken this much-loved man so soon.
But grief is the last thing that Joe’s daughter Ciara and step-daughter Heidi feel. For they knew the real Joe – the man who was supposed to protect them and did anything but.
As the mourners gather, the police do too, with doubt being cast over whether Joe’s death was due to natural causes. Because the lies that Joe told won’t be taken to the grave after all – and the truth gives his daughters the best possible motive for killing him…
The girl’s chestnut hair sways gently in the shallow water, her skin is cold. Grains of sand decorate her beautiful white cheeks like freckles. First, she was taken from her family, and now it won’t be long before she’s taken by the tide…
Kara Dawkins is missing. One minute she was sitting on a park bench, her coat wrapped around her against the biting cold. The next minute, she was gone.
Her mother is beside herself with worry. Kara’s messy, poster-covered bedroom feels so empty without her lying across her bed with her headphones on, her feet tapping to the beat. Did she run away, or was she snatched? Does anyone know she’s been sneaking out at night, or about the secret hidden inside her jewellery box?
But then another girl’s body washes up on the beach a few days later, in the exact spot where the last trace of Detective Charlie Winters’ missing sister was found years ago. It can’t be a coincidence, not in a town as small as this. By taking Kara, someone is re-opening the wounds of the past and setting a deadly trap. And unless Charlie steps forward to take the bait, many more innocent victims will follow…
Come on. You’ll be fine. It’s only a game.
‘This time it’s different. She’s gone too far now.
She really has.’
Lizzie has no memory of the accident in which her best friend Alice died as a teenager. And it was an accident. Wasn’t it?
Alice’s friends and relatives suspect Lizzie was to blame, but Lizzie knows that can’t be true. She would never have hurt Alice.
Twelve years on, unpacking boxes in the new home she shares with her fiancé, Lizzie is finally beginning to feel like she can move on with her life.
But someone has other ideas . . .
When seventeen-year-old Emma leaves her best friend Abi at a party in the woods, she believes, like most girls her age, that their lives are just beginning. Many things will happen that night, but Emma will never see her friend again.
Abi’s disappearance cracks open the façade of the small town of Whistling Ridge, its intimate history of long-held grudges and resentment. Even within Abi’s family, there are questions to be asked – of Noah, the older brother whom Abi betrayed, of Jude, the shining younger sibling who hides his battle scars, of Dolly, her mother and Samuel, her father – both in thrall to the fire and brimstone preacher who holds the entire town in his grasp. Then there is Rat, the outsider, whose presence in the town both unsettles and excites those around him.
Anything could happen in Whistling Ridge, this tinder box of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark – the truth of what really happened that night out at the Tall Bones….
Feel Good Fiction & Romance
Sometimes we need our friends to help us find our feet…
When Keira first receives her breast cancer diagnosis, she doesn’t want to have to tell her family, or step back from work. She doesn’t want to sit in a hospital, or be part of a group of fellow cancer patients. Cancer is not her club.
But as she accepts that her health is no longer something she can rely on, Keira finds herself embracing running. And running in the company of a group of brilliant, funny women each going through treatment unexpectedly gives Keira the hope she needs.
Because the C-word is not going to define Keira’s identity. And with the Cancer Ladies’ Running Club cheering her on, she’s going to reclaim her life.
One step at a time.
Life isn’t always the race we expected to run but this moving and uplifting novel is full of hope and about love, family, friendship and the power of finding your tribe.
Kathleen is eighty years old. After a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. She’s not having any of it. What she craves – needs – is adventure.
Liza is drowning under the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza dream of a solo break of her own.
Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.
When Martha sees Kathleen’s advert for a driver and companion to take an epic road trip across America, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. Travelling with a stranger? No problem. She’s not the world’s best driver, but it couldn’t be worse than living with her parents again. And anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?
As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it’s never too late for adventure…
Frustrated that she spends all her time as either a mum to a football-obsessed teenager or a wife to a workaholic husband, Hannah wants something for herself. When the chance comes to take over the Post Office in Little Maudley, a charming Cotswold village, Hannah grabs it with both hands.
But village life is not so picture-perfect after all: Hannah finds herself an outsider in this tight-knit community where the height of your hedge is a gossip-worthy subject. Even her idea to introduce a small bookshop to the Post Office causes a stir. At least Ben seems to have found his place as he joins the local football team, coached by ex-professional Jake Lovatt. But a shocking secret from their past threatens to uproot the new life they’ve made for themselves, and has drastic consequences . . .
Set in the same village as The Telephone Box Library and featuring some of the same much-loved characters, this is a charming, big-hearted novel from bestselling author Rachael Lucas.
When her daughter, Ellie, brings home a new boyfriend, Clare can’t put her finger on why she feels troubled by it. Is it because he’s attractive and closer to her in age? Or maybe she’s just jealous because all of her own husband’s passion seems to go into maintaining his wine cellar.
Ellie’s colleague, Anna, is feeling restless too. She’s much younger than her husband and definitely isn’t ready for crosswords and comfy slippers. When a new colleague starts to show an interest in her, it ignites a spark of attraction that feels impossible to ignore.
They say age isn’t everything – can the women focus on what really matters and live life, and love, to the full?
When supermarket delivery driver Charlie is assigned the Hope Row street, he realises there are a lot of lonely people out there – and for some, he’s their only interaction.
The supermarket boss tells Charlie he’s a driver, not a social worker – but Charlie’s tough exterior begins to soften, and he can’t help show a little kindness to the Hope Row residents, helping them find their place in the world once more.
But will his helping hand make everything worse?
In late 1983, a letter arrives, containing secrets so unthinkable that it is hidden away, apparently forever.
More than three decades later, it is found . . . by the last person who was ever supposed to see it.
When Allie opens an envelope in her grandmother’s house, it changes everything she knows about her family – and herself.
With the truth liable to hurt those she loves most, she hires a private detective to find out what happened to her late mother in the summer before Allie was born. Taking leave from her job as a research scientist, she is led far from home, accompanied by her best friend Ed.
But the secrets that emerge go far beyond anything they were expecting. Now, Allie must find the courage to confront her family’s tangled past and reshape her own future.
You never forget the one that got away.
Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape.
But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘the one that got away’; after all, she’d been the one to run.
Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past.
For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her skin-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind.
And so begins a new mix tape.
Ali and Dan exchange songs – some new, some old – across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything…
Becky Rose has just landed her dream job house-sitting at a top-end villa on the island of Corfu. What could be better than two weeks laying by an infinity pool overlooking the gorgeous Ionian waters while mending her broken heart.
Elias Mardas is travelling back to Corfu on business whilst dealing with his own personal demons. Late arriving in Athens, Becky and Elias have to spend a night in the Greek capital. When they have to emergency land in Kefalonia, Becky’s got to decide whether to suck up the adventure and this gorgeous companion she seems to have been thrown together with or panic about when she’s going to arrive at Corfu…
Finally reaching the beautiful island, Becky is happy to put Elias behind her and get on with her adventure. Until he turns up at the villa…
Here Henry was, once again in a bustling train station, ready to resume where he had left off all those years ago…
Eighty-five-year-old Henry Arthur Applebee has had a pretty good life. But one regret has haunted him for the last sixty-five years.
And so, on an ordinary December morning, he boards a train from London to Edinburgh. His goal is simple: to find the woman who disappeared from his life decades earlier.
But Henry isn’t the only person on a mission. Also bound for Edinburgh is troubled teen, Ariel. And when the two strangers collide, what began as one humble journey will catapult them both into a whole new world…
Down a winding lane lined with honeysuckle and wild flowers, there’s a beautiful orchard beside the rushing River Wye. There, in a little farmhouse in the furthest corner, a young woman has a difficult and life-changing decision to make…
Life on Appleyard Farm is all Freya Sherbourne has ever known. Having spent her childhood playing between the blossom-heavy apple trees, Freya can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. But times have been hard since her father’s sudden death, and now that she’s being forced to put the farm up for sale, her world is about to come crashing down.
Holding back the tears, she starts packing boxes while waiting for a buyer. Now the river no longer sparkles and the apples taste a little less sweet. She hasn’t felt this lost since she ran from the altar fifteen years ago to escape a loveless marriage.
But when her childhood friend Sam re-appears in town, more handsome and attentive than she ever remembered, Freya’s eyes begin to twinkle once again. She loves the sound of his laugh and the way he makes her feel, but she is still hesitant. Can she trust Sam when he is so similar to the man she nearly married? How does she know she won’t make the same mistakes again?
Falling in love is scary, especially when you don’t know what the future holds. And when Freya discovers that Sam has been keeping a secret, one that threatens the future of farm and their rekindled relationship, she finds herself at an impossible crossroads.
Will Freya turn her back on love for the second time and choose to save the farm? Or will she be brave enough to finally follow her heart?
NOAH AND KATE WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER.
Married with two gorgeous sons, it looked like they’d got their happy ever after.
But marriage isn’t easy. And one day, Kate left, taking their two boys with her.
These days, Noah is a weekend dad – and it breaks his heart. He misses the chaotic mealtimes, the bedtime stories, the early mornings and the late homework.
Suddenly, he decides enough is enough – he has to win his family back. Starting with Kate.
The only problem?
IN SIX WEEKS’ TIME, KATE IS GETTING MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE . . .
Fifteen years ago, Felicity Kerr threw caution to the wind and kissed her colleague Ryan Sullivan under the ancient wishing tree along the coast.
When Ryan failed to respond to her kiss, Felicity was mortified that she’d read his signals so horrendously wrong and left Lemmon Cove for good.
But now Felicity’s job brings her back to her hometown, and face to face with Ryan, who is leading a band of octogenarians rallying to save their beloved 300-year-old sycamore from being bulldozed by property developers.
The spark with Ryan is still there, but Felicity is guarding a secret and as much as she wants to join the protest by his side, she can’t help but hold back.
Will Felicity be able to mend her broken heart and find happiness with Ryan beside the sea?
Could these crystal clear waters hide the secrets of her past?
For years Shelly Summer has buried herself in her work, trying to forget her past. The only time she feels truly herself is when she’s diving in the Mediterranean – the calm and stillness of the clear waters help her forget.
Back home, Shelly stumbles across the belongings of her great-grandmother, Gertie Smith including a recording of Gertie’s memoirs. As Shelly listens to it, she starts to uncover the secrets of Gertie’s past, which might just hold the key to letting go of her own.
When trainee nurse Gertie Smith signs up for the war effort, she is thrilled to learn that her destination will be Greece. With a head full of blue skies and handsome men, she boards the Titanic‘s sister ship, the ill-fated hospital ship Britannic. Unprepared for the horrors of war, she heads for the Greek island of Lemnos on a mission to rescue three thousand wounded British soldiers.
But tragically, the Britannic never reaches its destination.
When rescued, Gertie is taken to the Greek island of Kea, where she meets and falls in love with a Greek fisherman, Manno – but she finds herself torn between him and her duty to an English soldier. Gertie cannot shake the guilt she feels from that tragic night the ship sank and is afraid her past will eventually catch up with her.
In Second World War Bath, young, naïve wireless engineer Will meets Austrian refugee Elsa Klein: she is sophisticated, witty and worldly, and at last his life seems to make sense . . . until, soon after, the newly married couple’s home is bombed, and Will awakes from the wreckage to find himself alone.
No one has heard of Elsa Klein. They say he was never married.
Seventy years later, social worker Laura is battling her way out of depression and off medication. Her new case is a strange, isolated old man whose house hasn’t changed since the war. A man who insists his wife vanished many, many years before. Everyone thinks he’s suffering dementia. But Laura begins to suspect otherwise . . .
George is angry at the world. His wife has died and now all he wants to do is sit in his underpants and shout at the cricket. The last thing he needs is his cake-baking neighbour Betty trying to rescue him. And then there’s the dog, a dachshund puppy called Poppy. George doesn’t want a dog – he wants a fight.
Dan is a counsellor with OCD who is great at helping other people – if only he were better at helping himself. His most meaningful relationship so far is with his labrador Fitz. But then comes a therapy session that will change his life.
Lizzie is living in a women’s refuge with her son Lenny. Her body is covered in scars and she has shut herself off from everyone around her. But when she is forced to walk the refuge’s fat terrier, Maud, a new life beckons – if she can keep her secret just a while longer…
Dog Days is a novel about those small but life-changing moments that only come when we pause to let the light in. It is about three people learning to make connections and find joy and comfort in living life off the leash.
When I stumbled across the listing for Pevensey House I knew I had found a wayfor my family to be free and I didn’t hesitate. I should have, I know that now…
When Thea sees her old family home is up for sale – a beautiful old rectory in the small town where she and her childhood sweetheart, now husband, Drew, grew up – she knows she has to have it. Her parents moved her away suddenly when she was eleven, but her childhood there was filled with happy memories. Drew seems less sure, but Thea is certain it’s the perfect place to raise their two children.
But as the last boxes are unpacked, Thea can’t seem to settle. She thought the move would bring her family closer together, but Drew is growing more distant. Andwhy do old friends cross to the other side of the road when they see her coming?
Alone in the house, exploring the creaky corridors she used to cartwheel down as a young girl, Thea smiles as she slides open the loose panel she once used as a hiding place. But it only takes one look at the faded local newspaper clipping hidden inside for the bonds holding her perfect family together to break.
It’s not long before news of the scandal spreads further and the whole town turns against her. Thea’s life is in freefall as her head and her heart wrestle between taking the blame, and fighting for her innocence. In a small town where no one ever forgets the past, can Thea find a way to save her family’s future?
The only gift Charlie wants for his 80th birthday is his family all together again.
Ever since his wife Daphne passed away, and the children grew up into their own busy lives, it’s felt like they’ve drifted apart.
So he’s invited them all on a family holiday – their first in years.
And by some miracle, everyone has said yes.
Ten days all together in the Cotswolds . . . how hard can it be?
One minute Jen and her sister Kerry were crossing the road to go to the shops and the next minute life was changed forever. Jen lost her sister in the accident that day, as well as a part of herself.
Jen is married to her wonderful (if slightly awkward), Ed, is mother of two perfect children and living in a house like something out of a Next catalogue. She has everything she has ever wanted. But who is she without her sister?
As her memories of Kerry become her reality, the further away she gets from her family.
Can she learn to say goodbye to her sister before it’s too late?
A daughter pushing the limits. A marriage ready to crack. A secret that can break them.
For Emily Rossi, life may not be perfect, but it’s pretty close. She has a great career, a house in the country, a solid marriage to Eric and two wonderful children—tennis superstar Daniel and quiet, sensitive Zara. But when her fourteen-year-old daughter brings home a toxic new best friend, Emily’s seemingly perfect family starts to spiral out of control.
Suddenly Zara is staying out late, taking drugs and keeping bad company. And just when Emily needs Eric to be an involved father, he seems too wrapped up with his job in London to care. What’s more, he’s started drinking again.
When a dark secret from the past emerges, Emily’s life is turned upside down. Struggling to protect the people she loves, can she save her damaged family? Doing so may mean keeping a secret of her own…
For all those who imagine escaping to a château and living the dream . . . to find that even dreams can have their complications.
Steph, Jo and Meredith have been friends since school. Their lives have all taken very different paths across the years, but when Meredith buys a romantic château in an idyllic village in the Dordogne she finds she can’t do it alone – so who better to enlist for help than her two old friends? Together they hope to bring the château back to life and create the most romantic wedding venue in France.
And it seems that the nearby village of Bratenac has much more to offer than sun, wine and delicious French food when a handsome chef and his equally charming son, a vigneron from New Zealand, not to mention the local ladies’ luncheon club and a British bulldog named Nelly all join the party.
Friends and lovers, old and new, come together and fall apart in deepest France, culminating in a very special château wedding.
Heartbroken Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming, cash-strapped bookshop and finds herself the carer for her ailing grandfather Andrew. She thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted-living home to ensure his care, but to pay for it, Natalie will have to sell up the bookshop. However, Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to budge.
Moving into the studio apartment above the shop, Natalie hires a contractor, Peach Gallagher, to do some repairs. His young daughter becomes a regular at the shop, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works. Slowly, Natalie’s sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new friendships. From unearthing hidden artifacts in the bookshop’s walls, to learning the truth about her family, the bookshop is full of surprises. Can Natalie reveal her own heart’s desire and turn a new page…?
ONLY THE TRUTH WILL SET HER FREE . . .
After her wedding in cancelled hours before she is due to walk down the aisle, Rachel is newly single and must move back in with her mother, Eleanor.
But their relationship is far from perfect, and their family home is filled with secrets.
It will take a devastating turn of events for Rachel to finally unravel a powerful truth. One that Eleanor has kept close to her heart for decades.
Will unlocking the past help Rachel find the key to her future?
A strange encounter. An unlikely friendship. But will it survive when they both know the truth?
As single mother Leah struggles to get her children ready one morning, the doorbell rings. Standing on the doorstep of their terraced house in Whitley Bay is a well-dressed stranger, Clio, who feels an emotional tie to the house that she can’t explain. The story should end there, but a long-buried secret is already on its way to the surface…
In some ways the two women couldn’t be more different: Leah’s a mother of two and the daughter of a barmaid; Clio’s a perennially single heiress to her baroness mother’s estate. But where Leah lacks grown-up company, Clio lacks any experience of the real world, and the unlikely friendship sparked by their curious first meeting offers both of them a welcome respite from the routine of their lives.
It is a friendship that will answer questions neither of them knew to ask, uncovering secret stories from the past that have stayed hidden for decades. But will it also be the catalyst for them to finally feel that they belong?
Lives in a remote Northumbrian valley are separated by centuries but woven together in the heart of the trees.
1725. After the final tragedy of an age-old feud, Sam’s mother disappears. His guilt-ridden search brings unexpected adventure and romance. As a fellow of the secret order of ‘The True’, Sam learns to enhance his affinity with nature, and enigmatic links across time are revealed to him in ancient woodlands.
2000. Isolated hill-farmer, Kate, is cautiously attracted to an intriguing stranger brought to her door by endearing runaway, Joe. The man is certainly odd but not disturbing, unlike her stalker. Further down the dale, Kate’s woodsman cousin, Nick, falls in love with a mysterious young woman who arrives with spring and disappears as summer ends.
Middle Wood links these seemingly disparate lives separated by centuries, but is that their only connection? Does the answer lie with The True?
A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her past—for herself and the sake of her family’s future—in a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second chances.
Everything seemed possible in the summer of 1951. Back then Betty Stern was an eighteen-year-old knockout working at her grandparents’ lakeside resort. The “Catskills of the Midwest” was the perfect place for Betty to prepare for bigger things. She’d head to college in New York City. Her career as a fashion editor would flourish. But first, she’d enjoy a wondrous last summer at the beach falling deeply in love with an irresistible college boy and competing in the annual Miss South Haven pageant. On the precipice of a well-planned life, Betty’s future was limitless.
Decades later, the choices of that long-ago season still reverberate for Betty, now known as Boop. Especially when her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes Boop’s memories of first love, broken hearts, and faraway dreams. It’s time to finally face the past—for the sake of her family and her own happiness. Maybe in reconciling the life she once imagined with the life she’s lived, Boop will discover it’s never too late for a second chance.
It’s late 1944. Hitler’s rockets are slamming down on London with vicious regularity and it’s the coldest winter in living memory. Allied victory is on its way, but it’s bloody well dragging its feet.
In a large house next to Hampstead Heath, Vee Sedge is just about scraping by, with a herd of lodgers to feed, and her young charge Noel ( almost fifteen ) to clothe and educate. When she witnesses a road accident and finds herself in court, the repercussions are both unexpectedly marvellous and potentially disastrous – disastrous because Vee is not actually the person she’s pretending to be, and neither is Noel.
The end of the war won’t just mean peace, but discovery…
Dublin, 1918. In a country doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city centre, where expectant mothers who have come down with an unfamiliar flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders: Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.
In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over the course of three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.
A decades old secret . . .
When Kat Jourdan discovers a priceless collection of Dior gowns hidden in her grandmother’s remote cottage, she delves into the mystery of their origin, determined to know more about her beloved grandmother’s secret past.
An unspeakable betrayal . . .
In England, 1939, talented pilot Skye Penrose is flying for the Royal Air Force. She soon meets a mysterious Frenchwoman named Margaux Jourdan, and with her is Catherine Dior, the sister of the renowned designer. Together, they have no idea of the danger that lies ahead . . .
Three women bound forever by war.
As Kat attempts to solve the mystery of the past, her grandmother’s hidden life comes to light. But could it be that some secrets are best left buried?
Can you ever escape your history?
During a road trip to France with her granddaughter, Dottie Tanner revisits the past and the dark days of WW2, when as a brave young woman she risked everything to fight for her country and freedom.
Parachuting into occupied territory to work with the Resistance, young Dottie lived each day with homesickness, the fear of capture and the threat of the Nazi regime. She had no idea her life, and that of her comrades, was in jeopardy because a traitor lurked in their midst, one who would wreak havoc on her life.
Sixty years later and with time running out, the traitor is exposed. As Dottie’s whole world is turned upside down, will her final mission be one of revenge or can she forgive and forget?
Weaving expertly between past and present, this moving tale of one woman’s incredible journey will stay with you for a long after you’ve turned the final page.
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. When an excise officer vows to bring them down and with the industrial age set to change the face of England forever, Hartley’s empire begins to crumble. Forensically assembled, The Gallows Pole is a true story of resistance and a rarely told alternative history of the North.
Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.
Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epic set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wetsuits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.
1953, Tehran. In a small shop in a country on the brink of unrest, two people meet for the very first time.
Roya loves nothing better than to while away the hours in the stationery shop run by Mr Fakhri. The store, stocked with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick wads of writing paper, also carries translations of literature from all over the world. Bahman, with his burning passion for justice, is like no one else she has ever met.
But all around them, as their relationship blossoms, life in Tehran is changing.
Suddenly, shockingly, violence erupts: a coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future, as well as their own.
Occupied Italy, 1944. In the mountain regions south of Bologna, Liliana Nicoletti’s family finds escaped POW James Foley behind German lines. Committed to the anti-Fascist cause, they deliver him to a powerful band of local partisans. But when the SS launches a brutal attack against the Resistance, Liliana’s peaceful community is destroyed. Alone and thrown together by tragedy, James and Liliana fight together as Monte Sole burns. Forging an unbreakable bond, they know their only hope of survival is to make it to the Allied lines.
Twelve years later, fate reunites Liliana, newly widowed, and James, now a journalist for a New York magazine. Liliana reveals to him the obsession that has haunted her since the massacre at Monte Sole: finding and bringing to justice the SS officer who ordered her family killed. James has a revelation too. He might know how to hunt the man down. Joining forces once more, and increasingly drawn to each other, Liliana and James discover new levels of conspiracy on a journey that leads them to Argentina—and to a choice that will change their lives forever.
On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol.
Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval.
Can a life without luxury be the richest of all?
Remembrance Day 1920: A wartime secret connects three women’s lives:
Hettie whose wounded brother won’t speak.
Evelyn who still grieves for her lost lover.
And Ada, who has never received an official letter about her son’s death, and is still waiting for him to come home.
As the mystery that binds them begins to unravel, far away, in the fields of France, the Unknown Soldier embarks on his journey home. The mood of the nation is turning towards the future – but can these three women ever let go of the past?
Two women, bound by a child, and a secret that will change everything . . .
London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst, that Clara has died in care, Bess is astonished to be told she has already claimed her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl – and why.
Less than a mile from Bess’s lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend – an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital – persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.
Reims, France, 1805. Looking back at the crumbling house hidden away in the vineyards, the sound of her daughter’s laughter carrying on the breeze, Nicole plucks a perfect red grape and is reminded her life will never be the same. With her husband gone, her troubles are hers alone…
For grieving Nicole Clicquot, saving the vineyards her husband left behind is her one chance to keep a roof over her head and provide a future for her little girl. She ignores the gossips who insist the fields are no place for a woman: but one day, buying fresh croissants at the boulangerie, Nicole is shocked to hear a rumour about her husband. They say he died with a terrible secret. One that brings disgrace on Nicole and turns the whole town against her.
Heartbroken, her reputation in tatters, and full of questions no one can answer, Nicole turns to her husband’s oldest friend, travelling merchant Louis. His warm smile and kind advice seem to melt her troubles away. And as they taste her first golden wine of the season and look out over the endless rolling hills, Nicole starts to believe she can turn her fortunes around, and be welcomed back into the local community.
But when Louis avoids her after a long trip abroad, Nicole sees he has secrets of his own… and just as she doubts if he’s on her side, she realises how her feelings for him had grown. Desperately torn between her head and her heart, Nicole works day and night on a plan for her future: but to save her home and her little daughter from ruin, she must risk everything…
I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.
Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges – how to get relative with the inevitable – you can enjoy a state of success I call ‘catching greenlights.’
So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.
Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.
It’s a love letter. To life.
It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights-and to realising that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too.
It’s often said that we’re a nation of nature lovers, but what does that really mean?
Lev Parikian sets out to explore the many ways that he, and we, experience the natural world – from pavement to garden and from wildlife reserve to far-flung island.
He visits the haunts of famous nature lovers to examine their insatiable curiosity; meets ramblers, birders and den-builders; and gets up close and personal with the nature he finds everywhere – including the kitchen sink.
Open a window, hear the birds calling and join this warm and generous journey into the tangled bank.
Orange Blossom & Honey is a culinary journey across Morocco, from the souks of Marrakesh, through the Sahara, and onto the blustery shores of the Atlantic coast. In researching this book, John travelled into the heart of the High Atlas Mountains to learn the secrets of traditional lamb barbecue, then journeyed north, through the city of Fes, where the rich dishes of the Imperial Courts are still prepared in many homes. From here he continued on to the Rif Mountains, where rustic recipes are made with the freshest seasonal produce. From Moroccan-style paella, cooked in the painted town of Chefchaouen, to stuffed Berber breads baked in the hot desert sands, John has discovered the real food of the country, learning from the locals to reveal little-known dishes, which he then gives his modern twist. The chapters include Streetfood, Salads & Vegetables, Meat & Poultry, Seafood, Tagines and Desserts, plus there is a section of spice mixes and marinades from chermoula to harissa. With mouthwatering recipes, breath-taking location photography and John’s infectious enthusiasm, this is an essential addition to every cook’s collection.
We’re not just losing the wild world. We’re forgetting it. We’re no longer noticing it. We’ve lost the habit of looking and seeing and listening and hearing.
But we can make hidden things visible, and this book features 23 spellbinding ways to bring the magic of nature much closer to home.
Mammals you never knew existed will enter your world. Birds hidden in treetops will shed their cloak of anonymity. With a single movement of your hand you can make reptiles appear before you. Butterflies you never saw before will bring joy to every sunny day. Creatures of the darkness will enter your consciousness. And as you take on new techniques and a little new equipment, you will discover new creatures and, with them, new areas of yourself that had gone dormant. Once put to use, they wake up and start working again. You become wilder in your mind and in your heart. Once you know the tricks, the wild world begins to appear before you.
For anyone who wants to get closer to the nature all around them and bring it back into focus, this is the perfect read.
School on the Kings Road, Chelsea in the Swinging 60s, the rock-and-roll years, the race riots; this boy has seen it all.
Alan Johnson’s childhood was not so much difficult as unusual – particularly for a man who was destined to become Home Secretary.
Not in respect of the poverty, which was shared with many of those living in Britain’s post-war slums, but in its transition from being part of a two-parent family to having a single mother and then to no parents at all…
This is essentially the story of two incredible women: Alan’s mother, Lily, who battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and loneliness to try to ensure a better life for her children; and his sister, Linda, who had to assume an enormous amount of responsibility at a very young age and who fought to keep the family together and out of care when she herself was still only a child.
This Boy is one man’s story, but it is also the story of England and the West London slums which are hard to imagine in the capital today. No matter how harsh the details, Alan Johnson writes with a spirit of generous acceptance, of humour and openness which makes his book anything but a grim catalogue of miseries.
Did you know:
· that drinking a glass of red wine after sunbathing can reduce lasting skin damage?
· that your choice of deodorant can affect your long-term health?
· that some houseplants are more effective in removing air toxins than others?
In How to Live, Professor Robert Thomas, one of Britain’s leading oncologists and an expert in integrating nutritional and lifestyle strategies into cancer treatment, gives us effective, scientifically proven advice about everything from diet and exercise to sleep and skincare.
As Thomas explains, through achievable changes to our daily routine we can improve the expression of our genes – helping us beat the odds of cancer and chronic disease. We discover, for example, why drinking a glass of red wine after sunbathing can reduce lasting skin damage; and why some houseplants are more effective than others in removing air toxins.
This is a health bible for life. Whether you are in your 20s or 70s, it will help you to empower your body against ageing and degenerative disease and live at maximum strength.
To accompany the major BBC Two series, Rick Stein’s Long Weekends is a mouthwatering collection of over 100 recipes from ten European cities. Rick’s recipes are designed to cater for all your weekend meals. For a quick Friday night supper Icelandic breaded lamb chops will do the trick, and Huevos a la Flamenca makes a tasty Saturday brunch. Viennese Tafelspitz is perfect for Sunday lunch, and of course no weekend would be complete without Portuguese custard tarts or Berliner Doughnuts for an afternoon treat.
Accompanied by beautiful photography of the food and locations, and complemented by his personal memories and travel tips for each city, Rick will inspire you to re-create the magic of a long weekend in your own home.
FATHOMLESS RICHES is the Reverend Richard Coles’s warm, witty and wise memoir in which he divulges with searing honesty and intimacy his pilgrimage from a rock-and-roll life of sex and drugs in the Communards to one devoted to God and Christianity. The result is one of the most unusual and readable life stories of recent times, and has the power to shock as well as to console.
So that’s it for this month, hopefully enough for you to discover a new, bargain read.