My Bookish Month – November 2022

Well November proved to be pretty much like October in that I bought books like there was no tomorrow (again) and I attended a real live book event!

My book event, was attending the launch of Gina Kirkham’s latest baby, Murders at the Montgomery Hall Hotel. It was a lovely evening which you can read about here. For anybody tempted, the book is currently available on Kindle for 99p – what are you waiting for?

As for the off the scale purchasing, what can I say that hasn’t been said before? I can blame the numerous Christmas titles for some of my sins, but other than that, it’s just me adding to my bookish security blanket. The Christmas title list was added to this month with the publication of my annual Fabulous Festive reading list. I also extended my Kindle Unlimited subscription which finished at the end of the October. Amazon, being Amazon, offered me another deal which was too good to pass up on, so that’s me fixed in until January which means I’m happily reading KU titles instead of books from my own book mountain so the notion of reducing that anytime soon has fallen by the wayside.

In addition to my KU subscription, Amazon threw me an Audible bone which I had been considering – a tasty offering of 4 months for £2.99 a month. My previous foray into the world of audiobooks has been hit and miss, I find them very easy to zone out of if I’m listening via a speaker, and via wired earphones, uncomfortable and impractical in having to carry around my phone/tablet. However, this month I bought myself some earbuds and they have been a life changer, I hardly zone out and, when I listen in bed, I don’t fall asleep which was my usual default when listening. I do have another issue though and that is finding a narrator I can listen too. I’ll be honest, part of the pleasure of reading a book is to imagine the characters inside my head. I sometimes disregard their physical attributes (eg my male hero’s are invariably tall and dark – even when their blonde) I just happily imagine the characters as I ‘see’ them within a story. If my characters have a regional accent I can ‘hear’ that but I don’t attribute a class. I just hear what to me is a normal accent. Maybe, I’ve had a bad experience but with many of the books I’ve tried to listen too, the accent has been too ‘proper’ for me and that creates a character I can’t identify with so it spoils the book. In that instance, I’ll just opt to to read the books instead. This seems to be an issue I’ve found more with female narrators than male, it’s just something that grates with me. As my Kindle Unlimited subscription also includes audiobooks, that has given me the chance to listen too more. Plus, having fallen down the KU rabbit hole of American romance, I don’t have the same accent issues and I’ve taken to audiobooks like a duck to water.

My normal go to option for audiobooks was via my library service but the waiting list for popular titles is often ridiculous. One title I looked at was unavailable until November, 2023 and many of my ‘Christmas’ reads were reserved until February and March. Plus, with my library service the limit on audiobook loans is 3. That sounds OK except a reservation counts as a loan, which means if I want to reserve several books that might not be available for months, I can only currently read from the books that might be available. With this in mind, Audible was looking like a far more interesting proposition, as it extended my reading options. My decision was made when Amazon made the already tempting offer more appealing with £20 credit to spend. So I now listen to an audiobook while I work and take one to bed with me. This month’s listening saw me gain several book boyfriends from the Seattle NHL ( I was definitely not a ‘puck bunny’ – yes, they are a thing, imagine groupies for hockey teams – see, I’m learning new things all the time), venture off into the wilderness on a cowboy ranch, get heavily involved with the Dalton family and friends, and fall for several tattooed ‘bad’ boys (again).

Hope your month was as good as mine!

My listening this month

Books I Bought this Month

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

Katherine Parr : the Sixth Wife by Alison Weir

Henry VIII’s final queen.
Her story.

A woman torn between love and duty.

Two husbands dead, a boy and a sick man. Now Katharine is free to make her own choice.

The ageing King’s eye falls upon her. She cannot refuse him… or betray that she wanted another.

She becomes Henry’s sixth wife – a queen and trusted friend. But Katharine is hiding another secret in her heart, a deeply held faith that could see her burn…

Katharine Parr.
History tells us she survived. This enthralling novel reveals the life she lived.

Jane Seymour : the Haunted Queen by Alison Weir

The third of Henry VIII’s queens.

Her story.


The woman haunted by the fate of her predecessor.

Eleven days after the death of Anne Boleyn, Jane is dressing for her wedding to the King.

She has witnessed at first hand how courtly play can quickly turn to danger and knows she must bear a son . . . or face ruin.

This new Queen must therefore step out from the shadows cast by Katherine and Anne. In doing so, can she expose a gentler side to the brutal King?

Jane Seymour.

History tells us how she died. This spellbinding novel explores the life she lived.

Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir

The second of Henry VIII’s queens.

Her story.


A young woman who changed the course of history.

Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love.

But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.

Anne has a spirit worthy of a crown – and the crown is what she seeks. At any price.

Anne Boleyn.

History tells us why she died. This powerful novel shows her as she lived.

Anna of Kleve : Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir

The fourth of Henry VIII’s queens.

Her story.


A German princess with a guilty secret.

The King is in love with a portrait, but the real Anna does not enchant him.

She must win him over. Everyone knows that Henry won’t stand for a problem queen.

But rumours of Anna’s past are rife at court – dangerous talk that could mark her downfall. Can this clever, spirited young woman reach out in friendship to the King, and gain his love forever?

Anna of Kleve.

History tells us she was never crowned queen. But her story does not end there.

Never Forget You by Fiona Lucas

Some love stories end before they even begin…

When Lili meets Ben by chance one hot summer’s day, it feels like fate. But life is about to take them in different directions, and so they agree to meet next July, in the beautiful hidden garden where they first laid eyes on each other. But one of them never shows up…

Five years later, Ben still wonders how he got things so wrong – he let the love of his life slip between his fingers. And then a stranger, Alice, arrives in his tiny Scottish hometown. Alice has no memory of how she got there: she can’t remember anything before that morning. The only clue to her past is the silver bee necklace she wears – the very same one Ben bought for Lili that magical summer’s day…

As Ben, Lili and Alice’s stories converge, so begins a beautiful and deeply emotional story of love, forgiveness and second chances. 

A White Christmas on Winter St. by Sue Moorcroft

When Sky Terran returns to the village of Middledip after losing the job she loves, she anticipates a quiet Christmas getting used to her new life. However, the annual street decoration competition is coming up and this year, the residents of Winter Street are determined to win.

As she is pulled into the preparations, Sky quickly grows to love the quirky, tight-knit community she is now part of. Including the extremely handsome Daz, who soon becomes more than just a friendly neighbour.

But when Daz’s ex turns up determined to win him back and it seems he might not be the man Sky thought he was, she remembers how much allowing people into her life – and heart – can hurt. As the snow falls, will she and Daz find a way through – and help win a Christmas victory for Winter Street?

Dead End Street by Trevor Wood

Wherever you turn there’s no escape . . .

A group of vigilantes are carrying out a campaign of harassment against the homeless, hounding them both verbally and physically to get them off the streets.

Jimmy Mullen is approached by his friend Gadge, who wants to confront the people behind it but Jimmy has finally got his life back on track. He’s working at a hostel for 18 to 25-year-olds and he’s reluctant to get involved in anything dodgy.

Gadge decides to go it alone but is attacked by two of the vigilantes. The police find him unconscious in an alley, covered in blood. Problem is, there’s a dead body in the alley too and it’s his blood that Gadge is covered in. He’s also got the murder weapon in his hand.

Convinced that Gadge has been set up, and feeling guilty that he didn’t back him up in the first place, Jimmy returns to the streets to try and find out who’s behind his friend’s difficulties.

Unfortunately, he’s about to discover that Gadge has a lot of enemies to choose from.

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

Nora’s life is about to get a rewrite . . .

Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns the collapse of her marriage into the best script of her life. When it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her picturesque Hudson Valley home, Nora’s life will never be the same – especially after world-famous Hollywood actor and former ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ Leo Vance is cast as her ex-husband.

The morning after the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He’ll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for an extra week. Seven days: it’s the blink of an eye or an eternity, depending on how you look at it. It’s enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart . . .

Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Script is the best kind of love story – the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life.

For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.

The Cottage in the Highlands by Julie Shackman

When Leonie Baxter finds herself out of a job and out of a relationship, she’s at her wits end. Her life has just been turned upside down and she needs a plan, fast.

By chance, on a walk with her rescue puppy, Leonie stumbles across a striking house in the woods; fully furnished but unoccupied. As a journalist, she is determined to find out more, after all, reporting is in her nature.

But her attempts are thwarted by Lily Cruickshank who lives in the cottage next door. Why won’t Lily help Leonie? And who is the mysterious Flynn Talbot, whose letter Leonie finds inside the house?

And in uncovering the secrets of the abandoned house, will Leonie open her own heart and let love back into her life?

Kiss the Girl by Melanie Jacobson

He might be the hottest teacher in town but not even Noah Redmond can convince me to date a small-town guy.

The last thing I want is to put my awesome aerospace career on pause while I run my dad’s hardware store, but duty calls, so what am I supposed to do? I can’t wait to get out of Creekville again, and I’m doing great keeping everyone at arm’s length until my best friend tries to set me up with the hot new high school coach. He’s got me literally tripping over my own feet, but I’m not giving in to those dimples.

I’m burnt out on love, but Grace Winters is the funniest—and most attractive—woman I’ve ever met.

Too bad Creekville is just a detour for her. I get it. But when I recruit her to help me build a booth for the town’s biggest event of the year, I learn just how irresistible she is. And if that’s not bad enough, when I talk her into fake dating to convince my boss I’m ready for a promotion, we share an unplanned kiss that blurs every line we’ve drawn.

Is Grace and Noah’s undeniable chemistry worth risking their friendship when their future is anything but certain? Get ready for small town charm and toe-curling kisses!

Meet me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss

A winter wedding of school friends should be the highlight of Nory Noel’s festive calendar. But that group has long since drifted apart, and Nory is dreading the lavish, week-long affair. Still, she supposes, being the only single person means she gets a king-size bed in the idyllic castle venue all to herself.

As the champagne flows, the years roll back and soon the air is alive with old sparks and old tensions. Desperate for a moment of peace, Nory escapes and crashes into Isaac, the castle’s gardener – and her former school rival.

Nory and Isaac have more in common these days than they could ever have imagined. But as she steals more time away to spend with him, Isaac reveals an astonishing secret about his past. Nory is in a unique position to help right this wrong – but uncovering the truth might mean pushing Isaac away once more . . .

Probably the Best Kiss in the World by Pernille Hughes

Jen Attison likes her life Just So. But being fished out of a canal in Copenhagen by her knickers is definitely NOT on her to do list.

From cinnamon swirls to a spontaneous night of laughter and fireworks, Jen’s city break with the girls takes a turn for the unexpected because of her gorgeous, mystery rescuer.

Back home, Jen faces a choice. A surprise proposal from her boyfriend, ‘boring’ Robert has offered Jen the safety net she always thought she wanted. But with the memories of her Danish adventure proving hard to forget, maybe it’s time for Jen to stop listening to her head and start following her heart…

You, Me, Forever by Jo Watson

It all started with faulty elevator – and a love letter…

Writer Becca Thorne needs an idea – fast! She might have a huge bestseller to her name but, with the deadline for book two approaching, Becca knows she’s in danger of losing the career she cares so much about. But Fate has other plans for her when she almost plummets to her death with two strangers in a faulty elevator.

Although Becca emerges in one piece, her precious vintage handbag doesn’t, and that’s when she realises that inspiration has been with her all along. Hidden inside the bag’s now-torn lining is a set of beautiful love letters.

It might not be her story, yet Becca can’t seem to get the romantic words out of her head and feels compelled to discover who wrote the letters. But there’s more waiting for Becca than the tale of a romance from long ago – it might be the chance to live her own love story and follow the path Fate has always intended her to…

The Lost Man of Bombay by Vaseem Khan

Bombay, 1950
When the body of a white man is found frozen in the Himalayan foothills near Dehra Dun, he is christened the Ice Man by the national media. Who is he? How long has he been there? Why was he killed?

As Inspector Persis Wadia and Metropolitan Police criminalist Archie Blackfinch investigate the case in Bombay, they uncover a trail left behind by the enigmatic Ice Man – a trail leading directly into the dark heart of conspiracy.

Meanwhile, two new murders grip the city. Is there a serial killer on the loose, targeting Europeans?

The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre

One hen weekend, seven secrets… but only one worth killing for

Jen’s hen party is going to be out of control…

She’s rented a luxury getaway on its own private island. The helicopter won’t be back for seventy-two hours. They are alone. They think.

As well as Jen, there’s the pop diva and the estranged ex-bandmate, the tennis pro and the fashion guru, the embittered ex-sister-in-law and the mouthy future sister-in-law.

It’s a combustible cocktail, one that takes little time to ignite, and in the midst of the drunken chaos, one of them disappears. Then a message tells them that unless someone confesses her terrible secret to the others, their missing friend will be killed.

Problem is, everybody has a secret. And nobody wants to tell.

Love me Like a Love Song by Annmarie Boyle

What would you do if the only way to save your career was to partner with a sexy, surly musician who wants nothing to do with you?

Unable to compose since the death of her rock star husband, Grammy-award winning songwriter Grace O’Connor is terrified the tabloids are right: she’s nothing without her famous husband. But when a powerful music executive issues an ultimatum—cowrite a new album or be blacklisted—Grace must push past her writer’s block to save the only career she’s ever known.

Andrew Hayes is crumbling under the weight of his ambition. Determined to prove himself to his family and the industry, his attempts to write the songs for his band’s new LP are rapidly unraveling. When his record label sticks him with a washed-up celebrity his future seems clear: he’s going to let the band down and finally prove his father right.

Forced into an unwilling partnership, Grace and Andrew can’t be in the same room without the gloves coming off. With a looming deadline, they agree to a temporary truce, only to uncover a far more dangerous threat to their budding partnership—a crazy-hot attraction that can’t be denied.

Before the album wraps, can Andrew convince Grace that a duet of the heart is the sweetest melody? Or will Grace write the final note, believing that love with another musician hits all the wrong chords?

Written in the Stars : Festive Charity Anthology

Written in the Stars is a festive charity anthology with short stories from a variety of authors, including international bestsellers and award-winning writers. There’s something for everyone, with tales that will make you laugh, make you cry, or make you sleep with the light on. It’s the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter’s night.

All net profits from this anthology are in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity and The Butterfly AVM Charity, who both work tirelessly to offer help to children and their families with life-threatening illnesses.

Authors include: A.A. Abbott, Angela Marsons, Beverley Harvey, Caron McKinlay, Diane Saxon, D.S. Butler, Emma Tallon, Eva Jordan, Gina Kirkham, Helen Walters, Jen Faulkner, John Harkin, Joy Ellis, Keri Beevis, Laura Stewart, Louise Beech Marrisse Whittaker, Mike Walters, Natasha Boydell, Patricia Dixon, Rob Sinclair (writing as CJ Stone), Stephen Edger and Valerie Keogh.

Sorry I Missed You by Lorraine Brown

Rebecca isn’t looking for love. She’s perfectly happy with her high-flying city job, gorgeous flat overlooking Hampstead Heath and fortnightly fling with the hot CEO. She’s certainly not interested in the hot actor neighbour who’s just moved in opposite…

Jack is still looking for his big break. It turns out being the star talent at drama school doesn’t give you a golden ticket to Hollywood, after all. The last thing he needs is any distractions right now – especially not the uptight, power-suit wearing girl next door.

They might live only a few metres away from each other but their worlds couldn’t be further apart, plus opposites don’t really attract… do they?

No Ordinary Christmas by Talia Hunter

Three things even worse than Christmas:

1. Returning to my hated home town.

2. Getting arrested.

3. Realizing the arresting officer is the boy I ran out on in high school.

Luke Penn may look spectacular in a cop’s uniform, but I never wanted to see him again. He witnessed The Incident, otherwise known as the most embarrassing thing to happen to anyone ever. So as soon as I make it through my sister’s Christmas wedding, I’ll pack up my elf costume and catch the first sleigh out of town.

But when sparks fly between me and Luke, I’m forced to make an impossible choice.
Should I escape my cringe-worthy past?
Or take a chance on a Luke-alicious future?

The Sweet Shop of Second Chances by Hannah Lynn

Starting over never tasted so good

Holly Berry has it all; a good corporate career, a steady boyfriend, and enough savings that they will soon be able to buy a nice little house. But when she finds out her boyfriend has been cheating on her, she decides to retreat to the Cotswolds and a place full of far sweeter memories.

Quite literally.

However when Holly discovers the quaint village sweet shop that she worked in as a teenager is starting to crumble she decides that maybe the sensible life isn’t what she wants after all. Putting all her chocolate eggs in one basket, she says goodbye to the city, and sets her sights on Just One More.

After all, how hard can running a sweet shop be?

With charismatic Giles, ready to rescue her at every turn and the local bureaucrats breathing down her neck, it certainly isn’t the quiet life she expected. Can Holly really save the place from the the wicked developers, or will she be the reason Just One More closes its doors for good?

The Beach Bar by Kate McCabe

Pedro’s bar in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol is a hotspot for holidaymakers enjoying sun, sea, sand and fun. For years it has been run by local woman Maria who rarely sees the Irish owner from one summer to the next. But things are about to change.

Now Maria has an assistant, Kevin Joyce from Galway. He is escaping the ‘trap’ of his family’s business in favour of working in the sun, and he’s not the only one. Maria had better get ready because more Irish are about to touch down in this seaside paradise.

Emma Dunne, a successful businesswoman from Dublin, spent her twenties running her father’s printing company with plenty of hard work but little fun. Now she has a reason to celebrate as she takes over the ownership of Pedro’s Bar, but has she been given a poisoned chalice? Mark Chambers, a successful advertising executive, has come to Spain to overcome a personal tragedy and find a reason to enjoy life again. And Claire Greene who, much to the chagrin of her mother, passed over a legal career to sell Spanish property, has some unfinished business to deal with.

Each hopes Fuengirola will give them a new lease of life, but they soon get more than they bargained for.

The Christmas Castle in Scotland by Julie Caplin

Izzy McBride had never in a million years expected to inherit an actual castle from her great uncle Bill but here she was, in the run up to Christmas, Monarch of her own Glen – a very rundown glen in need of a lot of TLC if her dream of turning it into a boutique bed and breakfast was to come true.

But when Izzy’s eccentric mother rents a room to enigmatic thriller author Ross Adair and the Scottish snow starts to settle like the frosting on a Christmas cake, it’s a race to get the castle ready before they’re all snowed in for the holidays.

Smooch by Susan Renee

One night. No names. No rules. Just fun.

I considered it revenge against my ex-boyfriend and it was hands down
the most physical and best night of my life.
But when my one-night-stand shows up where I work, I panic.
I mean seriously, of all the people in Seattle, what are the odds? I’m not looking for love.
Our one-night of fun was my attempt to escape it, but Chett Hayes has other plans.
He makes me a deal my friends won’t let me refuse.


Four blind-dates – each one followed by a date with him.
Choose Chett in the end and win my happily ever after,
or don’t and continue my happy single life, never seeing Chett again.

Rules are set. Lines are drawn, but when those lines are crossed,
the playing field becomes blurry.
Chett is adamant this is a deal he can’t lose.
And I’m terrified he might win.

The Chemical Cocktail by Fiona Erskine

Jaq Silver is back with a bang in this high-octane third novel in the series

When Jaq’s mother dies, she is handed a poisoned chalice. Amid conspiracies and corruption, Jaq travels from Portugal to Brazil to get to the bottom of her family mystery. But she is not the only one with an interest in her unusual inheritance. Racing against the clock as threats to her life increase on all sides, Jaq must use her scientific know-how to save what matters most.

A Scandinavian Summer by Helga Jensen

It’s the right time for love, but is it the right place?

After the tragic, premature death of her husband Anthony, Martha has spent all her time focused on her teenage daughter Rosie in their small Welsh village.

But with Rosie leaving the nest, and Martha’s own job on the line, it feels that life is passing her by.

Inspired by her love for Scandi-noir dramas, Martha impulsively books a trip to Denmark, determined to push herself out of her comfort zone – even if the thought terrifies her…

Her trip to the tiny island of Fano becomes something much more: in the form of handsome stranger, Lars. Can Martha find love under the Scandinavian skies… but more importantly, can she find herself?

The Angels of Venice by Philip Gwynne Jones

It’s the night of 12 November 2019. The worst flooding in 50 years hits the city of Venice. 85% of La Serenissima is underwater. Gale force winds roar across the lagoon and along the narrow streets. And the body of Dr Jennifer Whiteread- a young British art historian, specialising in the depiction of angels in Venetian painting – is found floating in a flooded antique bookshop on the Street of the Assassins.


As the local police struggle to restore order to a city on its knees, Nathan Sutherland – under pressure from the British Ambassador and distraught relatives – sets out into the dark and rain-swept streets in an attempt to discover the truth behind Whiteread’s death.

The trail leads to the “Markham Foundation”, a recent and welcome addition to the list of charities working to preserve the ancient city. Charming, handsome and very, very rich, Giles Markham is a well-known and popular figure in the highest Venetian social circles, and has the ear of both the Mayor and the Patriarch.

But a man with powerful friends may also have powerful enemies. And Nathan is about to learn that, in Venice at least, angels come in many forms – merciful, fallen and vengeful…

Love Like Water by DE Malone

Two Hearts, One Tour Bus. Is There Room Enough for Love?

Suddenly jobless, Darcy Conti becomes a tour guide for Sturgeon Widows Tours, a quirky family-run business on the shores of Lake Superior. As she settles into her new role narrating local history excursions, she fights an undeniable attraction to the one man she definitely can’t fall for—the owner’s son.

Fresh from a relationship gone sour, Sean Stetman plans to avoid dating—and his job at his parents’ tour company—for the foreseeable future. He wants nothing more than time to fish, hike, and work on his cabin. But when the tour driver quits, he is suddenly back on board, reluctantly shuttling Darcy and the tour guests along the North Shore.

Together, Darcy and Sean survive unruly tourists, meddling mothers, and even an unscrupulous developer looking to give the Stetmans’ tour company some fierce competition. Will their time on the tour bus drive them both crazy, or are they on the road to forever?

Hungry Hearts at Lilac Bay by Marie Taylor-Ford

On the shores of Lilac Bay, Lyra runs a food truck while dreaming of a successful music career. But her life is about to take a surprising turn – and it all starts when Alex parks his rival business next to hers.

In Little Stars by Linda Green

Two families divided by hate. A love that will not die.

Sylvie and Donna travel on the same train to work each day but have never spoken. Their families are on different sides of the bitter Brexit divide, although the tensions and arguments at home give them much in common.

What they don’t know is that their eldest children, Rachid and Jodie, are about to meet for the first time and fall in love. Aware that neither family will approve, the teenagers vow to keep their romance a secret.

But as Sylvie’s family feel increasingly unwelcome in England, a desire for a better life threatens Rachid and Jodie’s relationship. Can their love unite their families – or will it end in tragedy?

The Good News Gazette by Jessie Wells

She may be down but don’t count this determined single mum out just yet…

Nine years ago, Zoe Taylor returned from London to the quiet hamlet of Westholme with her tail between her legs and a bun in the oven. Where once her job as a journalist saw her tearing off to Paris at a moment’s notice after a lead, now the single mum covers the local news desk. At least, she did…until she’s unceremoniously let go.

When Zoe invites her friends over to commiserate, wine and whining soon turns into something more… and before the night is out she’s plotted her next step: The Good News Gazette.

Now, as a developer threatens to force Westholme into the twenty-first century, Zoe’s good news movement finds her leading a covert campaign as a community crusader. She may have started The Good News Gazette as a way to save herself, but she might just be able to save Westholme in the process…

Night Shadows by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

The small community of Akranes is devastated when a young man dies in a mysterious house fire, and when Detective Elma and her colleagues from West Iceland CID discover the fire was arson, they become embroiled in an increasingly perplexing case involving multiple suspects. What’s more, the dead man’s final online search raises fears that they could be investigating not one murder, but two.

A few months before the fire, a young Dutch woman takes a job as an au pair in Iceland, desperate to make a new life for herself after the death of her father. But the seemingly perfect family who employs her turns out to have problems of its own and she soon discovers she is running out of people to turn to.

As the police begin to home in on the truth, Elma, already struggling to come to terms with a life-changing event, finds herself in mortal danger as it becomes clear that someone has secrets they’ll do anything to hide…

Dreams Come True at Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters

Lorna is following her dreams. But can she follow her heart?

Lorna Ferguson has dreamt of opening her own bed and breakfast in the village of Glendale for as long as she’d pictured falling in love. While her love life remains frankly hopeless, Lorna is determined to secure Dove House – the home she imagined living in as a child – to start this new venture with her family.

Along with brother Adam, Lorna starts restoring the house to its Art Deco glory, but faced with a whole host of renovation problems and their money fast running out, they worry that Dove House will never be ready to open in the New Year.

When a mystery man turns up, needing to fulfil a promise he made to his dying father and find the object he left at Dove House many years ago, Lorna’s heart goes out to him. But what they find there is going to change both of their lives forever.

Facing problems at every turn, and distracted by her heart, Lorna is going to need all the magic that her beloved Glendale can supply to make all her dreams come true…

An uplifting, inspirational and romantic read that will warm your heart. Fans of Jenny Colgan and Heidi Swain will love this.

My Fake Christmas Fiance by Julie Kriss

Dear Wesley Kane,
We are not getting married. I know we had to get engaged as part of our companies’ merger plans, but a fake engagement is all I’ll agree to. For business purposes. We are never, ever getting married.

We have nothing in common. I’m the nerdy do-gooder girl with glasses and you’re the playboy with a new woman on his arm every week. I’m not your type, and you’re not mine.

Okay, so you’re incredibly gorgeous. And funny. And you keep giving me That Look. And you’ve ditched all your other girlfriends for me. And I’ve seen you in nothing but your boxer shorts, and I’m still thinking about it. Because…wow.

We have to be married by midnight Christmas Eve, and the deadline is getting closer. It doesn’t matter if you might be my dream guy. It doesn’t matter if I’m falling for you—it’s just a business deal.
We are never, ever—
Oh God, I just kissed you again.

Merrily Ever After by Cathy Bramley

In a picturesque town in Derbyshire, Merry has always wanted a family to spend Christmas with, and this year her dream comes true as she says ‘I do’ to father-of-two Cole. But as she juggles worries about her business, last-minute wedding planning and the two new children in her life, Merry is stretched to breaking point.

Meanwhile, only a few miles away, Emily is desperately waiting for the New Year to begin. Her father Ray’s dementia is worsening, and she’s struggling to care for him alone while holding down a job. When Ray moves into a residential home, she discovers a photograph in his belongings that has the potential to change everything .

As shocking secrets from Ray’s past finally come to light, will this Christmas make or break Emily and Merry?

Rescue Me by Sarra Manning

Margot doesn’t have time for love.

Will is afraid to love.

And neither of them are expecting to fall in love with Blossom: a gentle Staffy with a tragic past, a belly made for rubbing and a head the size of a football.

After their first meeting at the rescue centre, both Margot and Will want to adopt Blossom so reluctantly agree to share custody. But Will’s obsession for micro-managing and clear-cut boundaries and Margot’s need to smother Blossom with affection, means that soon they have a very confused and badly behaved dog on their hands.

Can they put their differences aside to become successful “co-pawrents” and maybe even friends? And meanwhile, does Blossom have plans of her own?

Subscription Books

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (NB Book Sub)

It is 1985, in an Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces into his busiest season. As he does the rounds, he feels the past rising up to meet him – and encounters the complicit silences of a people controlled by the Church.

No Place to Run by Mark Edwards

Two years ago, on a trip to Seattle to visit her brother Aidan, fifteen-year-old Scarlett vanished into thin air. After years of false leads and dead ends, Aidan has almost given up hope. But then a woman sees a girl running for her life across a forest clearing in Northern California. She is convinced the girl is the missing Scarlett. But could it really be her?

Heading south, Aidan finds a fire-ravaged town covered in missing-teenager posters. The locals seem afraid, the police won’t answer any questions and it looks like another dead end—until a chance meeting with returned local Lana gives Aidan his first clue. But as they piece together what happened, Lana and Aidan make deadly enemies. Enemies willing to do anything to silence them.

Only one thing matters now: finding Scarlett—even if it kills him.

Lonely Hearts by Lisa Gray

She found love on Death Row with her prison pen pal. She’s been missing ever since. Can Jessica Shaw track her down?

A missing persons case should be pretty straightforward for private investigator Jessica Shaw. After all, it’s what she does best. But this latest case proves to be anything but straightforward.

Christine Ryan is desperate to find her childhood friend Veronica Lowe. Veronica disappeared more than fifteen years ago, not long after having a child with a Death Row inmate, notorious serial killer Travis Dean Ford. When Ford’s widow, Jordana, is murdered in the same way as his victims, Christine fears Veronica and her daughter will be next. If they’re even still alive…

Discovering that both Veronica and Jordana were members of the Lonely Hearts Club, a pen pal service for women who want to write to men in prison, Jessica realizes she needs to find Veronica before the killer does. But as Jessica follows the leads it begins to feel like someone is following her. Travis has been dead for years, so who is hunting the Lonely Hearts?

Books I Read and Recommend

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 Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

On the first day of Christmas, a dating app offered me
Twelve tailored chances for perfect harmony . . .


Kate Turner is happily single – a bit too happily, in fact. Since returning to her hometown, the sleepy village of Blexford, love hasn’t really had a look in.

But Kate does love Christmas. So when her best friend insists she signs up to the Twelve Dates of Christmas, a brand new dating app service, she doesn’t need too much persuading. Twelve perfect festive dates with the area’s most eligible men – who could say no?

Amongst the twinkling lights and falling snow, over hot chocolates and glasses of red wine, romance is easy to find. But with each date, Kate learns more about the men, and even more about herself.

As the big day approaches, Kate’s left wondering – is it really the season for true love, or will this Christmas be the coldest yet?

Ten Years by Pernille Hughes

Becca and Charlie have known each other since university.
Becca and Charlies have also hated each other since university.

Until now. Until Ally’s bucket list. The death of their loved one should mean they can go their separate ways and not look back. But completing the list is something neither of them can walk away from.

And sometimes, those who bring out the worst in you, also bring out the very best…

Over the course of ten years, Becca and Charlie’s paths collide as they deal with grief, love and life after Ally.

Twenty-One Nights in Paris by Leonie Mack

Irena and Sacha come from two very different worlds.

An heiress to a fortune, Ren’s home-from-home is the Ritz, while the handsome and brooding Sacha has grown up in Paris’s less salubrious suburbs.  So when an accident brings them together, romance seems an unlikely outcome.

When Ren’s society engagement reaches a very public end, Irena’s over-protective grandmother wants her home in London.  Ren needs an excuse to stay in Paris, and so after some persuasion, Sacha agrees to pose as her new boyfriend. But only for the twenty-one days Ren’s grandmother has allowed her to nurse her broken heart before heading home to face the music.

Over the course of three weeks, Ren realises the world outside her exclusive bubble is more beautiful than she could have imagined.  While Sacha reluctantly begins to see the goodness of the woman behind the wealth. When their time is up, will Ren want to return to her gilded cage, and will Sacha be able to let go of the woman he’s been ‘pretending’ to fall in love with…

A Manny for Christmas by Sara Madderson

MOLLY
Single parenting is not what Nancy Meyers made it out to be. There isn’t a hydrangea or hot younger doctor in sight. Not even a charming widower with an improbably festive home.
Instead, my life is all flaky ex-husband, messy kitchen, grimy (if gorgeous) kids, and an alarm call at the arse-crack of dawn each day.
To top it off, I have no nanny.
I’m desperate.
But not desperate enough to let my sexy, I-never-want-kids ex-boyfriend step up as my new live-in manny.
Right?

MAX
Irony is not rain on your wedding day.
No, it’s finding yourself shacking up with your ex to be the manny to her children.
That’s the ex who walked twelve years ago when I told her I didn’t want to be a father.
The ex whose beauty is more breathtaking than ever.
Maybe that’s not ironic.
Maybe that’s just karma being a complete and utter bitch.
Or maybe, just maybe, it’s a second chance at first love… if I can only ‘manny up’.

Together Under a Snowy Skye by Lisa Hobman

After the heartbreak of a secret unrequited love, Millie Treadaway has finally found someone to spend her life with.

Harry Rose is handsome, successful and treats her like a princess. That is until Millie presents her fiancé with a surprise birthday gift, and their future is suddenly doomed.

Eight months later Millie returns to Glentorrin on the Isle of Skye for her best friend Jules’ Christmas wedding. Heartbroken, single and heavily pregnant.

Staying in Lifeboat Cottage with Jules’ brother, kindhearted Dexter, she’s given up on love and resigned herself to be the best single Mum ever.

But a shock phone call from Harry leaves her reeling and doubting herself and her decisions.

Do second chances work? Or is Dexter, right? That she deserves much more?

Can the festive spirit in Glentorrin, and a little stray Jack Russell terrier, heal her heart?

Or is she fated to remain a member of the lonely-hearts club forever?

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

Unread ebooksUnread Tree Books
Start of Month 3854 740
Items Added 35 05
Items Removed
Items Read 02 00
End of Month 3887 !!! 745

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

 

6 comments

  1. I would be in panic mode if i bought the same number of books as you do – though to be fair you do read a lot more than I do! Offers are so tempting though.

    I’m just about to cancel by Audible subscription and try to use the library service instead to save some money. Hope I don’t encounter those horrendous waiting times that you’ve seen

    Liked by 1 person

    • At this stage I don’t know whether I’ll keep Audible, I’ve got until end of March to see if it’s worth it. The library waiting times combined with the ridiculous policy of treating a reservation as a loan means if I decide to reserve the audiobooks I really want I then haven’t got a free space to make a loan from what is left! First World problems really though so shouldn’t complain.

      Like

  2. I also accepted a trial offer from Audible Canada, so am enjoying listening to several books that I had the ebook, but now I can do a read/listen. Enjoy all those new additions, Jill.

    Liked by 1 person

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