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Zoe Barnes' varied career included stints as a hearing-aid technician, shorthand teacher, French translator and the worst accounts clerk in the entire world. When not writing her own novels, she translated other people's and also worked as a semi-professional singer. She died in autumn 2009.
Not many novels tackle surrogacy and especially not in a romantic comedy setting but this works brilliantly. When Ally agrees to act as surrogate to her sister the pregnancy helps to highlight the fragile state that all the family relationships have reached. Tensions mount, tempers flare and hearts are being wrenched in all directions. Some decisions in life should not be taken too lightly but then in this case perhaps doing just that makes everything work out for the best. Another great read from Zoe Barnes.
A delightful romantic comedy from the bestselling author of Hitched and Be My Baby. Like a good old fashioned farce this novel romps along. Belle Craine is about to get married but things are just ever so slightly disrupted when the lovechild of her father, the respected vicar of the parish, turns up announces who she is and takes a shine to Belle’s fiancé, Kieran. A good piece of escapism.
At twenty-five, Gemma and Rory decide to marry. Having been best friends and lovers since university it is a logical move. Just a quiet registry office affair and that will be that. Then both sets of parents get involved, and the idea of a laid back occasion is blown out of the water. Will Gemma and Rory's relationship cope with the strain and can they find their happy ever after . . . ?Discover Piatkus Entice: temptation at your fingertips - www.piatkusentice.co.uk
Everybody's entitled to a bad day. But Cally Storm's bad day is worse than most. She loses her job, her home, her marriage and her self-respect, all in one fell swoop. At 30, she's back in her mum's spare room, contemplating a dismal future ... until fate takes a hand and forces her to take a job at the local wildlife park. It's a real shock to the system for someone who used to work for an insurance company, and at first Cally's driven to despair by the likes of Colin the skunk, S(a)tan the donkey, and Bob, the laziest zoo-keeper in the world. But there are compensations - notably in the form of Will, her unconventional colleague. If there's such a thing as animal magnetism, Will's sure as heck got it; but he's playing hard to get. And besides, Cally's a married woman ... The only thing is, she hasn't got round to telling Will yet.
Emma (ne Cox) and Joe Sheridan have just got married. Emma has been in love with Joe since school - marrying him was the happiest day of her life. But now the honeymoon is over and Emma's having to cope with the reality of married life. She's living in a new town, has a new job and a new husband, who hasn't quite left his bachelor days behind him.Then there's Emma's interfering mother-in-law who's expecting the patter of tiny feet before Joe's even carried her over the threshold! Still, at least she and Joe are together at last. But Joe and Emma have never lived with each other before - and apart from the odd holiday - have never spent more than two weeks in each other's company. Setting up home together for the first time might be romantic, but nobody told them that living happily ever after takes a lot of hard work . . .
Don't get bitten...If love is a bug then Laurel Page is immune. Been there. Done that. Got over it. All she wants now is a quiet life. And while running a dating agency may not seem like the logical career path for a woman who has so fervently sworn off romance, for Laurel it's perfect. There's something deliciously safe about other people's romantic problems. Laurel's had enough drama in her relationships to last two life times. And then Gabriel Jouet walks into her office. Tall, dark and oozing with Gallic charm, he's an unlikely client and almost enough to make even Laurel contemplate abandoning her vow of singledom. Almost... But Laurel's scars run deep: Cupid really would have to be stupid to pick on her again...
Gina had fallen for Matt Hooley when they were both teenage rebels. Together, they were going to save the world - until their mothers put a stop to it, and made sure they never saw each other again. Now, fourteen years later, Gina still regards Matt as 'The One'. No one else has ever come close to measuring up. All of her other boyfriends have eventually stumbled at some hurdle or other, cursing 'Saint Matt' as they fell. Gina's always had a daydream that one day Matt would come back and carry her off on his obligatory white charger. But never once in her fantasies did he ever arrive complete with an ex-wife and three kids! Worse, her teenage rebel has become thoroughly respectable. Well groomed, wealthy, middle class - he could even pass for an accountant! How can her Mr Right have gone so wrong...?
When Claire inherits a house out of the blue, she thinks she's struck it rich! But while the word 'cottage' conjures images of romantic idylls and roses round the door, there's nothing remotely heavenly about Paradise Cottage.It's a tumble-down wreck in the middle of nowhere - more in need of a demolition expert than a decorator. Still, Claire's not one to shirk a challenge.Much to the amusement of her hunky new neighbour, Aidan, she decides to renovate the cottage herself.After all, problem-solving, trouble-shooting - it's what Claire does best.She's used to planning events for thousands of people.She can sort out one little cottage . . . Can't she?
The double christening of her sisters' two kids gets Holly Bennett thinking. She would seriously love to have a baby one day, but for the first time in ages being adopted has become a stumbling block for her. Does she want to start a family of her own when she doesn't even know who she really is or where she's come from? With an on-off boyfriend who she's swiftly falling out of lust with, Holly decides to move back to her home town to be near her adoptive family. Who knows, it may be the change she needs to get her life back on track - and the place to be if she wants to begin tracing her roots. But these roots prove trickier to trace than Holly has expected. That is, until she hires her own oh-so-sexy private investigator to take charge...
Eight years ago, when Hannah was a struggling single mum, Nick Steadman seemed like Mr Right and Prince Charming rolled into one. Kind, strong, reliable - and the perfect step-dad to Lottie - what did it matter if his taste in trousers was more M&S than D&G? OK, so their relationship's never been based on passion, but it has plenty of respect, friendship and trust. Trouble is, after eight years together they're beginning to realise that friendship isn't enough. The solution? An amicable divorce. Which would be just fine if it wasn't so hard to explain to nine-year-old Lottie. And if Hannah didn't find herself a teeny bit annoyed at Nick's ability to move on so quickly. Not that she isn't happy for him and his new lover. Of course she is. After all, they agreed they'd be mature, grown-up and rational about their separation. They may be divorced but they can still be friends. Can't they?
Bump number one - Just when Taz Norton's life is on a smooth upward glide - youngest sales manager at a flagship department store, own flat, cat and vintage motorbike - her lover leaves her for her ex-best friend. Bump number two - is finding out she is pregnant the same day she is asked to handle the biggest store promotion in the company's history. Bump number three - is the one in front of her. Goodbye toes and glamour, hello heartburn, morning sickness and support tights. Typically, Taz decides to be Superwoman. No one is going to tell her she can't get to the top and be a single mum as well. But no one told her it was going to be so damned hard. . .