My Bookish Month May 2022

A very good month on all bookish fronts. The purchasing rather went off the scale given that I’m supposed to be reducing my book pile, but c’est la vie. I managed to pick up some cracking titles that were on my wanted list so that made me happy.

On the reading front, I’m still wallowing in romances, with no sign of that changing looking at the titles I’m buying. My stand out read this month is a romance with a difference, namely Impossible by Sarah Lotz. My goodness what a read. It had me hooked from the beginning a simple story of a miss-sent email that led to a blossoming online friendship and then they decided to meet… No hints or spoilers, but what happened next had me totally engrossed and hoping for a positive outcome because it was Impossible!! That book certainly had me pedalling quicker. I’m currently 60% of the way around the North Coast 500 in Scotland which I’m hoping to complete before Harrogate – I’ve also got a couple of weeks off on holiday before then so I need to get ahead of myself.

I had an extra special bookish occasion this month, I actually attended a book launch! This was my first offline event since Jan 2020 so It’s been a long time coming. For a number of reasons it was also my first night out since lockdown. Venturing out on my own to catch the train had me feeling quite anxious but I soon settled down and started to appreciate that this was the start of things to come. This was an event I was determined to make, come hell or high water, as it was the launch of Gina Kirkham’s Murders at the Winterbottom Women’s Institute. Since I attended the launch of her first book back in May 2017, Gina has become a friend, so I was determined to see this, her fourth book, fly out into the world. This book is the first in a new series from Gina as she ventures into the cosier end of the crime spectrum with her new protagonist Prunella Pearce. It’s also a first for me, as I actually make an appearance as myself, Jill Doyle, ex-librarian turned blogger at Jill’s Book Cafe. I feel very honoured, so many thanks Gina. As I write this the Kindle edition is available for 99p if you want to grab a copy.

Next month I’m disappearing on holiday for a couple of weeks so I’m busy trying to get all my usual features prepped and scheduled so that everything appears as normal. I’m looking forward to some downtime with lots of reading and a visit to Hay on Wye, I’ll try and be good but we’ve seen how that’s worked out before!

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

Books I Bought this Month

The Little Library on Cherry Lane by Katie Ginger

Elsie Martin may lead a quiet life, but working in her beloved local library is enough to make her happy. After all, books have always been her armour against the world. So when the library is threatened with closure to make way for a new housing development, Elsie knows it has to be saved – and that, despite being painfully shy, she needs to lead the campaign to save it.

Jacob Yardley thinks he’s doing the right thing by building a new affordable housing development. Why shouldn’t local people be able to buy a house in the place they grew up? Having to leave his own small hometown broke his heart. Plus, people don’t really use libraries anymore, do they?

As Elsie and Jacob clash over the future of the library, sparks begin to fly. Jacob is falling back in love with books and libraries – could he possibly be falling for her too? And will Elsie be able to save the library that means so much to her?

Two Metres from You by Heidi Stephens

LOVE MIGHT BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK . . .

Gemma isn’t sure what upsets her more. The fact she just caught her boyfriend cheating, or that he did it on her brand-new Heal’s cushions.

All she knows is she needs to put as many miles between her and Fraser as humanly possible. So, when her best friend suggests a restorative few days in the West Country, it seems like the perfect solution.

That is, until the country enters a national lockdown that leaves her stranded. All she has for company is her dog, Mabel. And the mysterious (and handsome!) stranger living at the bottom of her garden . . .

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim by Jules Wake

Ettie is trying to figure out her future.

Dominic’s just trying to forget his past.

But with the help of some unlikely friends, young and old, a secret lake hidden in the grounds of a beautiful estate and a scruffy dog, a new community is formed – right when they all need each other the most.

Shadows Over the Spanish Sun by Caroline Montague

A country in the shadow of war. A love that burns through the decades…

Mia Ferris’s heart has always belonged in Spain. Every childhood summer was spent at her grandfather’s hacienda, riding together amongst the olive trees or listening to his stories of the past. So when she learns that he has fallen from his horse, she knows that she belongs by his bedside – even if it means leaving behind her life in London, and her new fiancé.

But as Leonardo fights for his life, and Mia to save the family home from financial ruin, secrets begin to emerge that tell a different story of the past – a terrible history that begins with a boy running for his life over the Andalusian hills, and ends with a forbidden love that only war can destroy…

As Mia untangles the passions and betrayals of the past, everything she thought she knew is turned upside down. Can she heal the wounds of the past, and face the truth of her own heart?

The Lovers and the Dustman by Lynn Bushell

“Why can’t I have two wives?”

The two women artist Stanley Spencer loved most were his wife and fellow artist Hilda Carline and his muse, gay vamp Patricia Preece. The problem was, he wanted both of them together. As an artist, wasn’t he entitled to have two wives?
The result was scandal, madness and some great art.

Phosphate Rocks : A Death in 10 Objects by Fiona Erskine

As the old chemical works in Leith are demolished a long deceased body encrusted in phosphate rock is discovered. Seated at a card table he has ten objects laid out in front of him. Whose body is it? How did he die and what is the significance of the objects?

The Love of my Life by Rosie Walsh

I have held you every night for ten years and I didn’t even know your name. We have a child together. A dog, a house.

Who are you?


Emma loves her husband Leo and their young daughter Ruby: she’d do anything for them. But almost everything she’s told them about herself is a lie.

And she might just have got away with it, if it weren’t for her husband’s job. Leo is an obituary writer and Emma is a well-known marine biologist, so, when she suffers a serious illness, Leo copes by doing what he knows best – reading and writing about her life. But as he starts to unravel her past, he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t really exist. Even her name is fictitious.

When the very darkest moments of Emma’s past life finally emerge, she must somehow prove to Leo that she really is the woman he always thought she was . . .

But first, she must tell him about the love of her other life.

All That Lives by James Oswald

Two victims. Nothing connects them, except that someone buried them in the exact same way.
Seven hundred years apart.

An archaeological dig at the old South Leith parish kirkyard has turned up a mysterious body dating from around seven hundred years ago. Some suspect that this gruesome discovery is a sacrifice, placed there for a specific purpose.

Then a second body is unearthed. This victim went missing only thirty years ago – but the similarities between her death and the ancient woman’s suggest something even more disturbing.

Drawn into the investigation, Inspector McLean finds himself torn between a worrying trend of violent drug-related deaths and uncovering what truly connects these bodies. When a third body is discovered, and too close for comfort, he begins to suspect dark purpose at play – and that whoever put them there is far from finished.

Evil Intent by Jane Isaac

When a series of women’s bodies is discovered in the heart of rural Hamptonshire with a pentagram carved on their chests, DCI Helen Lavery is forced into a cat-and-mouse chase with a murderer who ultimately turns the tables and targets her.

Meanwhile, she is shocked to discover that her younger son’s new best friend is the nephew of organised crime boss Chilli Franks – the man who has held a grudge against Helen’s family since her father first put him away in the 1990s.

As her personal and professional lives collide, Helen finds herself in mortal danger as she races to track down the serial killer and restore safety to the streets of Hampton.

Through a Glass Darkly by Donna Leon

It is a luminous spring day in Venice, as Commissario Brunetti and Inspettore Vianello come to the rescue of Vianello’s friend Marco Ribetti, who has been arrested while protesting against chemical pollution of the Venetian lagoon, only to be faced by the fury of Marco’s father-in-law, owner of a glass factory on the island of Murano.

But clearly there is another victim who has uncovered the guilty secret of the polluting glass foundries of the island of Murano, and whose body is found dead in front of the furnaces which burn at 1400 degrees, night and day. The victim has left clues in a copy of Dante and Brunetti must descend into an inferno to discover who is burning the land and fouling the waters of the lagoon. A man is dead – but will politics and expedience prevent the killer from striking again?

Impossible by Sarah Lotz

Nick: Failed writer. Failed husband. Dog owner.

Bee: Serial dater. Dress maker. Pringles enthusiast.

One day, their paths cross over a misdirected email. The connection is instant, electric. They feel like they’ve known each other all their lives.

Nick buys a new suit, gets on a train. Bee steps away from her desk, sets off to meet him under the clock at Euston station.

Think you know how the rest of the story goes? They did too . . .

But this is a story with more twists than most. This is Impossible.

Escape to Little Bluewater Bay

Start the new year in Little Bluewater Bay …
New year, new Willow Jenkins? All Willow knows is that she needs an escape. So, she takes an extended break from her PR job and retreats to her grandmother’s cosy cottage by the sea in Little Bluewater Bay, where a limitless supply of hot chocolate will soothe her broken heart and a limited wi-fi connection will prevent her workaholic tendencies.
Willow is soon made to feel welcome by the friendly locals – although grumpy artist Noah Atkinson doesn’t seem to like her very much. Just what is his problem?
But then Willow is asked by her grandmother to approach Noah with a very special commission, only to discover that he hasn’t painted people for a long time – and with good reason. Will he make an exception, and in doing so usher in a hopeful and healing new era for them both?

This is the Night They Come For You by Robert Goddard

On a stifling afternoon at Police HQ in Algiers, Superintendent Taleb, coasting towards retirement, with not even an air-conditioned office to show for his long years of service, is handed a ticking time bomb of a case which will take him deep into Algeria’s troubled past and its fraught relationship with France.

To his dismay, he is assigned to work with Agent Hidouchi, an intimidating representative of the country’s feared secret service, who makes it clear she intends to call the shots. They are instructed to pursue a former agent, now on the run after twenty years in prison for his part in a high-level corruption scandal. But their search will lead them inexorably towards a greater mystery, surrounding a murder that took place in Paris more than fifty years ago.

Uncovering the truth may be his responsibility, but Taleb is well aware that no-one in Algeria wants to be reminded of the dark deeds carried out in the struggle for independence – or in the violence that has racked the nation since. Before long, he will face a choice he has long sought to avoid, between self-preservation and doing the right thing.

And, ultimately, the choice may not even be his to make.

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Eleanor Bennett won’t let her own death get in the way of the truth. So when her estranged children – Byron and Benny – reunite for her funeral in California, they discover a puzzling inheritance.

First, a voice recording in which everything Byron and Benny ever knew about their family is upended. Their mother narrates a tumultuous story about a headstrong young woman who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder, a story which cuts right to the heart of the rift that’s separated Byron and Benny.

Second, a traditional Caribbean black cake made from a family recipe that Eleanor hopes will heal the wounds of the past.

Can Byron and Benny fulfil their mother’s final request to ‘share the black cake when the time is right’?

Or will Eleanor’s revelations leave them feeling more lost than ever?

The Moment I Met You by Debbie Johnson

It only takes a second
For life to change forever.

Elena Godwin could never have known that her dream holiday to Mexico would change her life forever. She thought that she was in charge of her own destiny. But on a gorgeous summer evening, her whole world is ripped from her feet in a single moment.

Ten years later, she still can’t forget the face of the stranger who held her whilst everything she knew was destroyed. Thrown back together again, Elena starts to uncover the truth around that fateful night – and questions whether she made the right decision all those years ago.

She only met him for a moment, but maybe it’s not too late…

Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens

Tell me the story of how you two met…

Laura has built a career out of interviewing people about their epic real life love stories.

When she picks up the wrong suitcase at the airport, Laura wonders if this could be the start of something that’s written in the stars.

From piano sheet-music to a battered copy of her favourite book, Laura finds in the bag evidence of everything she could hope for in a partner.

If Laura’s job has taught her anything it’s that when it comes to love, you can’t let opportunity pass you by. Now Laura is determined to track down the owner of the suitcase, and her own happy ending.

But what if fate has other ideas?

The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee

Calcutta, 1923. When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can officers of the Imperial Police Force, Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surendranath Banerjee track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath?

Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this ‘unmissable’ (The Times) series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

Just One Day by Susan Buchanan

Thirty-eight-year-old Louisa has a loving husband, three wonderful kids, a faithful dog, a supportive family and a gorgeous house near Glasgow. What more could she want?
TIME.
Louisa would like, just once, to get to the end of her never-ending to-do list. With her husband Ronnie working offshore, she is demented trying to cope with everything on her own: the after-school clubs, the homework, the appointments … the constant disasters. And if he dismisses her workload one more time, she may well throttle him.
Juggling running her own wedding stationery business with family life is taking its toll, and the only reason Louisa is still sane is because of her best friends and her sisters.
Fed up with only talking to Ronnie about household bills and incompetent tradesmen, when a handsome stranger pays her some attention on her birthday weekend away, she is flattered, but will she give in to temptation? And will she ever get to the end of her to-do list?

Mother’s Boy by Patrick Gale

Laura, an impoverished Cornish girl, meets her husband when they are both in service in Teignmouth in 1916. They have a baby, Charles, but Laura’s husband returns home from the trenches a damaged man, already ill with the tuberculosis that will soon leave her a widow. In a small, class-obsessed town she raises her boy alone, working as a laundress, and gradually becomes aware that he is some kind of genius.

As an intensely private young man, Charles signs up for the navy with the new rank of coder. His escape from the tight, gossipy confines of Launceston to the colour and violence of war sees him blossom as he experiences not only the possibility of death, but the constant danger of a love that is as clandestine as his work.

MOTHER’S BOY is the story of a man who is among, yet apart from his fellows, in thrall to, yet at a distance from his own mother; a man being shaped for a long, remarkable and revered life spent hiding in plain sight. But it is equally the story of the dauntless mother who will continue to shield him long after the dangers of war are past.

Sunrise by the Sea by Jenny Colgan

When she is given the opportunity to move to a remote tidal island off the Cornish Coast, Marisa Rossi decides some peace and quiet might be just what she needs.

Since the death of her beloved grandfather back in Italy, she’s been struggling to find a way out of her grief. Perhaps this will be the perfect place for her to recuperate.

But Mount Polbearne is a far cry from the sleepy little place she was imagining. Between her noisy piano-teaching Russian neighbour and the hustle and bustle of a busy community, Marisa finds solitude is not so easy to come by. Especially when she finds herself somehow involved with a tiny local bakery desperately in need of some new zest to save it . . .

The Dangerous Kingdom of Love by Neil Blackmore

The kingdom of love is a frightening place. A dangerous place. What kind of fool wants to live there?

How have I, Francis Bacon, well-known as the cleverest man in England, been caught in this trap? For years I survived the brutal games of the English court, driven by the whims of the idiot King James I – and finally, I was winning. Forget what my friends Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare say about love. I had that which men truly crave above all else: power.

But now, at the moment of my greatest success, a deadly alliance of my enemies has begun closing in on me. Led by the King’s beautiful and poisonous lover Carr, this new alliance threatens to turn our foolish King against me, so that I may rot in the Tower.

I refuse to go down without a fight. I have concocted a brilliant new plan: I will find my own beguiling young man and supplant Carr in the King’s bed, and take power for myself. All I need to do is find him, my beautiful and mysterious creature, my perfect chess move.

In the dangerous kingdom of love, those who understand desire win. And I intend to win, at all costs.

Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson

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…

The Other Times of Caroline Tangent by Ivan D Wainewright

If you could travel back in time to see any concert, who would you go to see?

Caroline Tangent’s husband, Jon has invented a time machine so they can visit iconic gigs in history: Woodstock ’69, David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, Edith Piaf in 1930’s Paris – an inexhaustible bucket-list. But they can’t tell anyone they’re doing so.

As their trips to the past continue, they begin to realise how it could change a devastating moment from their own past. But for Caroline, it’s clear they don’t want the same outcome.

The Spanish Garden by Cherry Radford

Andie finds herself in the midst of a media scandal that threatens to end her career as a TV landscape designer and her relationship with fellow presenter Johnny.

On impulse, she decides to rent her grandmother’s old home in southern Spain where she stayed as a child, but is shocked to discover that the beautiful Mediterranean garden she loved is now neglected and overgrown. Worse, her booking has fallen through and ex-flamenco dancer Vicente and his little son Rafi are staying at Casa Higuera – where Vicente’s wife died in an unexplained accident.

After a rocky first meeting, Andie offers to restore the garden, and gradually she and Vicente form a tentative bond.

As the garden heals and reveals its secrets, can anything grow between two people who have lost so much?

Subscription Books

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox (Capital Crime Sub)

‘What happens to those girls who go missing? What happens to the Zoe Nolans of the world?’

In the early hours of Saturday 17 December 2011, Zoe Nolan, a nineteen-year-old Manchester University student, walked out of a party taking place in the shared accommodation where she had been living for three months.

She was never seen again.

Seven years after her disappearance, struggling writer Evelyn Mitchell finds herself drawn into the mystery. Through interviews with Zoe’s closest friends and family, she begins piecing together what really happened in 2011. But where some versions of events overlap, aligning perfectly with one another, others stand in stark contrast, giving rise to troubling inconsistencies.

Shaken by revelations of Zoe’s secret life, and stalked by a figure from the shadows, Evelyn turns to crime writer Joseph Knox to help make sense of a case where everyone has something to hide.

Zoe Nolan may be missing presumed dead, but her story is only just beginning

How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina (Capital Crime Sub)

If you’re fat and Indian, you’re rich; if you’re fat and poor, you’re lying. It’s only the West where the rich are thin and vegan and moral…

Ramesh Kumar grew up deprived and unloved, working on his father’s tea stall in the Old City of Delhi. Now, brilliant but poor, he makes a lucrative living taking tests for the sons of India’s elite. When one of his clients, the sweet but hapless eighteen-year-old Rudi Saxena, places first in the All Indias, the national university entrance exams, Ramesh sees an unmissable opportunity.

Cashing in on Rudi’s newfound celebrity, all goes well for both boys for a while. But Rudi’s role on a game show leads to unexpected love, blackmail and, finally, a dangerous kidnapping.

As Ramesh leads Rudi through a maze of crimes both large and small, their dizzying journey reveals an India in all its complexity, beauty, and squalor, moving from the bottom rungs to the circles inhabited by the ultra-rich and everywhere in between.

Books I Read

Her Name is Rose by Christine Breen

When Iris Bowen makes a promise to her dying husband, it’s a promise she never expected to keep. But when she’s forced to confront her own mortality she understands it’s time to honour that promise and go in search for the woman who gave birth to her daughter.

Her Name Is Rose is a powerful and moving story of people connected not by the circumstance of their birth but by the ties that bind us all.

In Ireland, Iris is a free-spirited, impulsive and indomitable mother who gardens to exhaustion when she’s not writing for the local newspaper. When she makes the decision to find her daughter’s birth mother she pitches herself against the unknowable, armed with nothing more than a 20-year-old envelope.

In London, Rose is a first year violin student who, against the challenges of London life and a burgeoning career as a virtuoso, confronts a critical and brilliant mentor with disasterous consequences, which results in her abandoning her violin, on the Tube.

And in New York City, Rowan, a landscape architect and a bachelor with a progressive alcohol problem, discovers a secret kept from him for 20 years when he meets a woman at his grandfather’s funeral.

It Must be Love by Caroline Khoury

Fourteen days together. Fifteen years apart.
Their love story isn’t over yet…

When Abbie met Oz they were young, idealistic students from different backgrounds, but their connection was unmistakable. Then Oz went home to Istanbul and life moved on.

Years later, Abbie and Oz meet again – a chance encounter that could change everything.

Despite leading very different lives, they find themselves drawn to eachother once more. But they have commitments, jobs and families that take priority – and too much time has passed… Hasn’t it?

Just the Way You Are by Lynsey James

Dear Ava,
How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart? 

Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can’t remember the last time she had a second date. It’s a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces.Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two – she’s in love with someone else. Someone she’s never even met.
It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer… but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken.Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she’s determined to unmask Mr Writer… and find out once and for all if he’s Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!

The Jigsaw Maker by Adrienne Dines

Every event in our lives that touches us, changes us but we don’t always appreciate the significance of that event until something forces us to acknowledge the alteration. Lizzie Flynn is a woman who hasn’t changed in years. she doesn’t need to. Life is settled and all her memories are safely packed away.
And then the Jigsaw Maker takes her life apart.

“Well?” Lizzie said. ‘Aren’t you going to finish it? Aren’t you going to put the last piece in?” On the table between them the little figure had started to shift. Shimmering at the edge of her vision he was trying to get up, to walk over and tell her himself. Without thinking about it, Lizzie’s hand slid off the table to the bag hanging at the back of her chair. She felt around until she found what she was looking for. Clasping the penknife tightly in her hand, she brought it back to the table.
‘Lizzie, don’t look!’ Anne’s voice came from somewhere above her, high up in the loft. ‘Go back…stay there.’
But it was too late…

When stranger Jim Nealon walks into Lizzie Flynn’s shop and proposes that she help him make his beautiful jigsaws, Lizzie agrees. It’s a project that she can fit into her humdrum life without making too many changes. She’s about to turn fifty – she can do with the distraction. Then Jim shows her the photographs that he intends to use.
Now the settled picture that was Lizzie’s life is in the air, shattered into a thousand different pieces. As she scrambles to piece her life back together, Lizzie is startled to realize that it can’t be done. It was never a whole picture anyway.
And one piece is missing.

The Jigsaw Maker is the story of a woman forced to confront the events that molded her, a woman who has to piece together the events of her childhood and acknowledge the effect they had on her and those she loves. Set in Ireland, it’s a mystery to be resolved, a love story to be unearthed – a jigsaw to be reconstructed.

Impossible by Sarah Lotz

Nick: Failed writer. Failed husband. Dog owner.

Bee: Serial dater. Dress maker. Pringles enthusiast.

One day, their paths cross over a misdirected email. The connection is instant, electric. They feel like they’ve known each other all their lives.

Nick buys a new suit, gets on a train. Bee steps away from her desk, sets off to meet him under the clock at Euston station.

Think you know how the rest of the story goes? They did too . . .

But this is a story with more twists than most. This is Impossible.

Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Cate Woods

Percy James thinks she’s found The One. But when she’s approached by a dating agency – one that promises to find your soulmate using science and phone data – she finds herself tentatively saying yes.

Partly out of curiosity, partly out of the fact that her life has been feeling flat, she finds herself far outside her comfort zone, and surprisingly, she loves it. But is this new Percy just a character? Can she live this new and exciting life forever?

Just a Family Affair by Veronica Henry

Behind every good man, there’s meant to be a good woman. But what happens when there’s not just one woman…?

In the Gloucestershire village of Honeycote, country life is anything but quiet. Maybe it’s something to do with all that fresh air, but it’s the kind of place where passions run high…

The Liddiard family are well known in Honeycote – and now there is to be a big wedding. But will everything go according to plan? Lucy Liddiard knows her husband is no saint, but isn’t prepared for his latest confession. Bride-to-be Mandy has no idea what joining the Liddiards really means. And local girl Mayday, wild child, rebel and free spirit, is thinking the unthinkable – with unimaginable consequences . . .

The Island Home by Libby Page

Lorna’s world is small but safe.

She loves her daughter and the two of them are all that matter. But after nearly twenty years, she and Ella are suddenly leaving London for the Isle of Kip, the tiny remote Scottish island where Lorna grew up.

Alice’s world is tiny but full.

She loves the community on Kip and how her yoga classes draw women across the tiny island together. Now Lorna’s arrival might help their family finally mend itself – even if forgiveness means returning to the past…

And as the two women find friendship, Lorna also starts to find her place in the world.

Can coming home mean starting again?

The Italian Wedding by Nicky Pellegrino

Two feuding families, two love stories – and a lot of delicious Italian food.

Pieta Martinelli’s sister is getting married. Since she is a bridal designer it falls to her to make the wedding gown. But Pieta is distracted by a series of unanswered questions. Why is her father feuding with another Italian in the neighbourhood? Why is her mother so faded and sad? And could the man she’s always held a torch for really be getting married to someone else?

As Pieta stitches and beads her sister’s wedding gown she uncovers the secrets that have made her family what it is and that stand between her and happiness.

Instructions for Falling in Love Again by Lucy Mitchell

Lonely widow, Pippa, discovers a collection of notebooks full of her late husband, Dan’s humorous advice on how to live without him. Pippa’s notebook is red and contains his detailed instructions on how to fall in love again.

After fifteen years of marriage and three children, Dan believed he knew Pippa better than anyone else and was perfectly placed to give her his guidance when it came to matters of the heart.

From fashion advice to how she should act on a first date, Dan had all romantic bases covered.  He had even given her suggestions on who to avoid and who to date. 

Reluctant to follow Dan’s advice, Pippa enters the world of dating. She embarks on a comedy journey of self-discovery, with the help of her children and two best friends.

However, it isn’t long before Pippa is struggling to ignore Dan’s advice.

It’s Not Me It’s You by Mhairi McFarlane

Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.

When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.

When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.

And when he wanted her back like nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…

From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.

I’ll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson

Have you ever given up on love?

When her boyfriend lets her down for the last time, Brooklyn bookshop owner Bea James makes a decision – no more. No more men, no more heartbreak, and no more pain.

Psychiatrist Jake Steinmann is making a new start too, leaving his broken marriage behind in San Francisco. From now on there’ll just be one love in his life: New York.

At a party where they seem to be the only two singletons, Bea and Jake meet, and decide there’s just one thing for it. They will make a pact: no more relationships.

But the city has other plans . . .

The Island Villa by Lily Graham

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

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

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

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

So how did I do with my reading intentions?

A-Z Reading Challenge, This Month I & J

TitleFormatAdded to Goodreads
It Must be LoveKindleFeb 2022
Just the Way You AreKindleNov 2015
Jigsaw Maker, The BookMay 2013
ImpossibleKindleMay 2022
Just Haven’t Met You YetKindleAug 2017
Just a Family AffairBookMay 2016
The Island HomeKindleApl 2022
The Italian WeddingBookApl 2016
Instructions For Falling in Love AgainKindleSep 2019
It’s Not me, It’s YouKindleMay 2016
I’ll Take New York BookSep 2015
Island Villa, The KindleJul 2018

Wading Through Treacle or Weeding the Shelves (real and virtual)

Unread ebooksUnread Tree Books
Start of Month3834746
Items Added233
Items Removed-9
-3
Items Read-8-5
End of Month3840741

That’s me for this month so all that’s left to say is : Happy Reading!

 

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