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All relationships have their ups and downs, whether it’s struggles with a partner or difficulties in the family. Our Relationship Stories section shows the unique features of relationships in gloriously written technicolour.
A beautifully engaging novel that both broke and truly captured my heart. We travel with Laure through three time frames, from Prague of 1986, through to Paris of today. She finds love, and founds a museum based on promises broken, discarded, forgotten. Elizabeth Buchan writes with such eloquence, compassion and meaning. I felt, really felt the history and heartache. The past and the present somehow balance, as they move backwards and forwards slowly cutting snippets of information free. I fully existed in each moment, almost forgetting another point existed until I found myself there and became immersed once more. I really cared about the characters, including the museum, the idea is captivating, and so completely believable I feel as though I should be able to walk through its doors. The Museum of Broken Promises is for a me a must-read, I’ve chosen it as one of our star books, it is quite simply, glorious.
A sparky, touching, thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable relationship tale that is both accessible and engaging. When Zara flies to the UK to be with the man she loves, she really doesn’t expect to bump into Jim. As Jim spends time with Zara, he begins to look at his humdrum life, and what he can do about it. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Zara and Jim, Hayley Doyle really does bring these two characters and their friends to life. I felt as though I was becoming friends with them myself. Imperfections and flaws allow depth and emotion to emerge. This most certainly isn’t pink and fluffy, it has a tangy edge, and isn’t afraid to delve into feelings and look beyond romance. Wonderfully buzzy and full of light, Never Saw You Coming celebrates taking a chance in life with friendships, love, and new beginnings.
How well do you know your girlfriend? How well do you know your lover? How well do you know yourself? Daniel and Victoria are together. They're trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner. But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral - but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires. And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose - and who to trust.
The Dark Side is a powerful and unsettling novel of loss, motherhood and the innocence of childhood from the world's favourite storyteller, Danielle Steel. Zoe Morgan was just ten years old when her life changed forever. Her sister, Rose, died of a rare illness, her parents turned into people she didn't know, and Zoe's lonely childhood drove her to excel in her studies. As a graduate of Yale, Zoe takes a leave of absence from medical school to work in a shelter for abused children in New York, where she meets well-known child advocacy attorney, Austin Roberts. Austin is bowled over by her beauty, brains and talent. He is her first love and the man she marries. Austin and Zoe have a perfect life and, after the birth of their longed-for daughter Jaime, Zoe knows that the aching void she had lived through for twenty-four years is finally complete. But it is only then that the true impact of Rose's death all those years ago affects their lives in a way that nobody could ever have imagined.
In the Scottish Highlands, a tiny bookshop perches on the edge of a loch... Zoe is a single mother, sinking beneath the waves trying to cope by herself in London. Hari, her gorgeous little boy is perfect in every way - except for the fact that he just doesn't speak, at all. When her landlord raises the rent on her flat, Zoe doesn't know where to turn. Then Hari's aunt suggests Zoe could move to Scotland to help run a bookshop. Going from the lonely city to a small village in the Highlands could be the change Zoe and Hari desperately need. Faced with an unwelcoming boss, a moody, distant bookseller named Ramsay Urquart, and a band of unruly children, Zoe wonders if she's made the right decision. But Hari has found his very first real friend, and no one could resist the beauty of the loch glinting in the summer sun. If only Ramsay would just be a little more approachable... Dreams start here...
A blistering, gripping, and absolutely fascinating novel. Set aside plenty of quality time as I was consumed, and read it all in one heady, breathtaking go. It’s based on the true story of Nancy Wake, named by the Gestapo as The White Mouse, as she evaded their capture by slipping through check points in France during The Second World War. It is almost impossible to comprehend the wartime life of Nancy, it feels as though all of it is brilliant but astonishing fiction. Darby Kealey and Imogen Robertson have created a living, breathing, headstrong woman and I shook my head in wonder and shock at some of her escapades. She’s not perfect, she makes mistakes and at times appears somewhat gung-ho, with no apparent regard for the safety of herself or her team, yet this woman was quite simply incredible. The authors have made changes to timelines and invented some episodes which they fully explain in the Historical Notes. A major film production is underway, and I recommend reading the book just as soon as you can (before the film) as it is fabulous. Nancy Wake has entered my heart, and we just had to choose Liberation as a LoveReading Star Book.
A Thousand Years takes on the whole idea of soul mates and finding your other half to a whole new level with an interesting sci-fi twist. He-Soul and She-Soul are sent to be Level Fours souls. Their job is to spend a thousand years on earth hopefully finding each other through multiple lifetimes and helping to spread love and benefit the human race. But in their final life, a glitch in the system means She soul can communicate with Kate. Will the souls reunite in their final life? And will Kate, a romance writer that isn’t looking for love herself, find someone who will change her mind. This is an innovative twist on a relationship story and I happily flicked through the pages. The relationship central to the book is sweet if a little fast-moving to be wholly “believable”, although you are left satisfied with the ending. I enjoyed this book, I thought it was written well and it was easy to read. The main and side characters were well developed and amusing. I enjoyed that you had a glimpse into Kate’s friends’ paths as Kate traverses her own. I would have liked to have found out what the different levels mean for the souls but I think A Thousand Years is a light read that can be enjoyed easily.
A thought-provoking relationship tale with an edge. The relationships on offer here explore the nature of family, friends and colleagues, as well as love. While revenge headlines, this is a novel that focuses on empathy and compassion. Surgeon Rachel finds her world is turned upside down when she is targeted by a vengeful mother. This is very much a novel of two halves with author S. L. Russell ensuring tension kept intrigue company before leaving speculation and hope to take their place. The story grew on me, as did Rachel, and I felt this was a very deliberate decision taken by the author. There is an element of faith in this novel, I am not at all religious and was quite content and interested by the direction it took. The Healing Knife really is the most perfectly chosen title for a stimulating and thoughtful novel.
With its finely-evoked Haiti setting and interlacing of one woman’s search for her grandchild with another’s search for her absent mother, Island on the Edge of the World by Deborah Rodriguez, author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul and The Kabul Beauty School, comes heartily recommended for fans of thought-provoking family dramas. Estranged from her mum, Alice, and her poisonously controlling stepdad Jim, who’ve established a mission on Haiti - Charlie has been living with grandmother Bea for the past year. When psychic Bea dreams that something isn’t right with Alice, Charlie reluctantly agrees to travel to the island to check she’s OK. At the airport they meet Lizbeth, a widow who’s learned that she might have a grandchild on Haiti, where her son - also deceased - worked for an NGO. The novel really finds its flow when the three women set foot on the island and search for Lizbeth’s grandchild together, with Charlie additionally trying to find her mother, and perhaps also the strength to forgive her. Alongside the women’s personal quests, truths about Haitian history, culture and post-earthquake poverty are revealed through Mackenson, their driver, translator and all-round fountain of knowledge and help. His calm voice cuts through misconceptions about the island, exposing the debilitating effects of negligent international aid practices and ignorant “white saviours”. As a pacy race against time plays out in Port-au-Prince, Bea’s encounters with a flirtatious Frenchman and the bond she forms with Mambo Michèle, a Voudou priestess, deliver delightful moments of energy and light.
She married for her future. But then she fell in love . . . Escape into the world of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet one more time with this charming, poignant story for fans of Miss Austen by Gill Hornby and Longbourn by Jo Baker. Charlotte Collins is the dutiful wife of Hunsford's vicar. Although it may not be perfect, her marriage allows her security, and so she patiently tolerates Mr Collins' awkward lectures and cares for their young daughter. But there's more to Charlotte than she'd have you think. Fiercely intelligent and pragmatic, Charlotte yearns for something more. When she meets Mr Travis, a local farmer, Charlotte starts to feel a spark of something she has never felt before. Could it be desire? Could it even be love? And will she listen to what her head is telling her or should she follow her heart?
This bundle of sweetness is a gorgeous love story, an emotional treat, beautifully written by Josie Silver. Lydia and Freddie are tight, they're strong, they've been together forever. Nothing can separate them, right? But it does. This is an incredibly romantic story, and unashamedly so. A real feel-good read and much-needed escape from reality.
The second book in the dramatic new Village Secrets trilogy from the Sunday Times bestselling author. It was her wedding day... the roses and bluebells were blooming and their sweet-scent was filling the air, so why did Daisy feel the cold fingers of fear run down her spine? Spring in the village, April 1869 It's spring in Little Creek and wedding bells are ringing. After their hasty marriage the Christmas before, Daisy is overjoyed to be finally marrying dashing Jay properly, in front of the whole village. But then, on the evening of their wedding, amid the festivities, Jay disappears. Daisy doesn't know if Jay is dead or alive, if she's his wife or his widow. And what's more, without her husband, she has no means of supporting herself or her household. Refusing to give up hope, Daisy must draw on all her strength and courage - after all, she has people who depend on her. But the secret of Jay's disappearance is more scandalous that she could have ever imagined... Don't miss the latest spellbinding story from Dilly Court - the sequel to The Christmas Wedding!
More than just romance, Relationship Stories can really strike a chord with us, at every stage of life. Just like relationships themselves, these books and there authors come in all shapes, sizes, atmospheres and aspirations. So, if something was missing from your last relationship read … we’ll help you find it in your next one! Here you’ll find the warm and the wise (Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly, Rosamunde Pilcher), the deliciously sexy (Jilly Cooper, Veronica Henry), the humourous and honest (Nick Hornby), the insightful (Joanna Trollope) and the … Perhaps, though you’re looking for a new relationship? Why not try our’ Author Like for Like’ tool or make a date with our Book of the Month recommendations and find your perfect match … for now, at least!