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Stories from the heart. This category combines Romantic Fiction with Sagas and Romance to create a collection of lovely tales. From rags to riches stories to tales of tight-knit communities, this carefully curated collection is bound to have the perfect match for you, and as the Beatles said, ‘love is all you need’.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2018 Sometimes it takes a stranger to really know who you are. When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn't expect a reply. When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he. They're both searching for something, they just don't know it yet. Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn't remember choosing. Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina's letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair. Can their unexpected friendship survive?
In a Nutshell: A feel-good feast of romance, writing and one glorious gran 13+ “When your whole family is obsessed with Love and Romance it sets some pretty high expectations, believe me”, explains 16-year-old Tilly, the witty narrator of this bright and breezy book. Tilly’s on tenterhooks as her grandmother’s highly anticipated romance novel is published. Nothing unusual there - aspiring writer Tilly has long been involved with Gran’s work, from filing, typing and researching, to suggesting improvements. But this book is different. It almost wasn’t completed, due to Gran being hospitalised while writing it, which meant Tilly took on the tasks of copy-editing, proof-reading and (wait for it...) secretly rewriting the ending to Gran’s successful series. From her myriad “Meet cute” date moments, to her ritual of choosing a hat before writing a new book, Gran’s quirks are a joy, and the portrayal of her illness is incredibly touching. Tilly’s massively relieved when Gran is delighted with her ending, so much so that she asks Tilly to write her next novel. Tilly accepts the challenge, but how can she follow the “write what you know” rule when she’s never been in love? What’s more, after boldly resolving to fall in love for real, she discovers that real-life romance can’t be plotted. Rather, it brings twists and turns that are way beyond the author’s control. Delightful on the everyday dramas of family life, first love and fiction’s edifying allures, this is perfect for aspiring writers and fans of funny contemporary YA.
War rages, but the women and children of Liverpool's Dr Barnado's Home cannot give up hope. An Orphan's War is a gripping saga about love and loss on the Home Front. A lovely, heartfelt, warming slice of saga fiction set during the Second World War. Maxine endures heartbreak at the beginning of the war, she then faces an impossible choice before finding herself a job at a Dr Barnardo’s orphanage in Liverpool. Maxine is a wonderfully thoughtful, loveable character, supported by the author, who with care and compassion covers some moving and poignant topics. I found myself visiting the effects of the war on the home front, and some previously unexplored and interesting areas. There is a gentleness to the writing as it walks some difficult paths, ensuring ‘An Orphan’s War’ is an engaging, generous read.
From the bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan, comes another irresistible novel of unexpected friendships, second chances ... and dark secrets. Gloriously gorgeous in every way. After tragedy crashed into her life, Masha often sits on the bottom of the pool at the local lido, unable to look forward, to join in. Sally Red Shoes and Kitty Muriel nudge Masha’s awareness, and life begins to look interesting again. I absolutely adored ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ which was one of my books of the year 2017, so looked forward with relish to Ruth Hogan’s next offering. ‘The Particular Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes’ is just as special, and cements this particular author as one of my firm favourites. Ruth Hogan has the very special ability to look beyond the veil of unremarkable to find a sometimes painful, yet beautifully quirky existence. Each character (and I include the dogs in this), is fully realised and absolutely essential to the storyline. Kitty and Sally are so stuffed full of life I found myself wanting them in my life too. Words such as enchanting, captivating, and charming are spilling out of my mind, yet this is not a sickly sweet tale, also added to the mix are poignant, emotional, heart-ache…and I both laughed and cried, sometimes at the same time. Quite simply, ‘The Particular Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes’ is a must-read, and I adored every single second of it.
In a Nutshell: Rollercoaster road trip, relationships and forging fresh paths Brimming with coming-of-age dilemmas, romance and tonnes of transformative on-the-road experiences, this is an ideal summer read for fans of friendship-driven contemporary YA. Introverted history fanatic Abby has had it with feeling abandoned, what with Mom having left the family home and best friend Riya leaving their Californian hometown for Berlin. Moreover, she and Riya parted on bad terms and life hasn’t been the same since. But now, thanks to Riya’s grandmother, they have an opportunity to fix their fractured friendship during a two-week trip around Europe. Being chaperoned by Riya’s cousin is initially annoying, but he and Abby find themselves bonding while things run less smoothly for her and Riya. Matters come to a head in Edinburgh when Riya’s secret is revealed, and the eruptions they experience in Iceland aren’t only of a volcanic nature… “Funny how life has a few of those visible moments, where you can actually see someone turn a corner,” Abby observes, which captures the heart of this novel. Growing up can suck - people evolve, they move, they move on, but that doesn’t mean a friendship has to end, and it doesn’t mean you’re left behind.
Henry dies on page 11 in a dreadful cycling accident. Grace is waiting for him to join her viewing another house. Their life together stretching out in front of them is cut dead. Grace is forced to cope and it is that coping and healing that this highly accomplished author leaves us through. There has to be a buried secret, it is that sort of book, but the secret, when revealed, is totally unexpected by all parties except Henry’s parents. They have long buried it and are loathe to face it. Now, of course, the twist unwinds and Grace has a dilemma. Then another complication arises. As the story progresses and you run with it, you are forced to turn the pages faster and faster to an unexpected conclusion with a neat little twist on the penultimate page. Nice one.
April 2018 Book of the Month 'A gloriously uplifting story about love in all its forms from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of The Reading Group and Things I Want My Daughters to Know.' This author has certainly not lost her touch despite it being six years since her last book. This is warm, affectionate, engaging and insightful. Well written with well portrayed characters who interconnect with each other in a tale that grabs your interest from the first chapters and holds it to the satisfying final page. The story revolves around two women, young pregnant Tess who has just left her boyfriend and gone home to mum, and middle-aged Gigi who has just left her husband and needs to sort her life out. Her three kids have grown up and her marriage is stale. The person Tess loves most in her family is her grandmother Iris who is slipping away in a home. The same home houses Gigi’s father-in-law. Here then is a wonderful multi-generational cast. Mix them together, plus Gigi’s family, and you get a tale of real depth and emotion. The letters of the title are from Iris’ brother during and just after World War II plus some from her grandfather from the same period. They are poignant and affect Tess greatly. A wonderful read, highly recommended.
It is 1939 and peace has flourished since the Great War ended. But much has changed for the Deverill family and now a new generation is waiting in the wings. Martha Wallace came to Dublin from her home in America to find her birth mother. But instead she has lost her heart to the impossibly charming JP Deverill. Then she discovers that her mother comes from the same place as JP, and her fate seems sealed. Bridie Doyle, now Countess di Marcantonio and mistress of Castle Deverill, is determined to make the castle she used to work in her home. But her flamboyant husband Cesare has other ideas. And as his eye strays away from his wife, those close to the couple start to wonder if he really is who he says he is. Kitty Deverill has come to terms with her life with her husband Robert, and their two children. But then Jack O'Leary, the love of her life, returns to Ballinakelly. And this time his heart belongs elsewhere... ***What readers are saying about Santa Montefiore*** 'Nobody does epic romance like Santa Montefiore. Everything she writes, she writes from the heart' Jojo Moyes `I have a tendresse for sweeping and epic romantic sagas set around huge houses and aristocratic families and Santa Montefiore hits the spot for me like few other writers... Lush, vivid storytelling' Sarra Manning `An ideal summer read. Laced with secrets and forbidden liaisons, it is sure to keep you turning the pages' The Lady on The Beekeeper's Daughter `One of our personal favourites and bestselling authors, sweeping stories of love and families spanning continents and decades' The Times
Sisters Margaret and Annie lost their mother years ago, they long for her every day. Their protective and devout father keeps the girls close. But he can't protect them all the time . . . When a scandal rocks this family unit to their core, the girls are forced to leave their home under a shadow of secrecy. The girls arrive in the Birmingham's famous jewellery quarter one stifling August evening to stay with their uncle, goldsmith Ebenezer Watts. Annie takes up work at a nearby factory, but it's not the work that interests her. Her kind and soft nature, means that her attention is drawn to the immediate need of her impoverished colleagues and the wretched lives they lead. Meanwhile, Ebenezer employs Margaret as a chain maker. When Margaret meets silversmith Philipp Tallis, she is drawn to him instantly. Margaret is forced closer to this mysterious man in the cramped workshop, as they create objects of beauty. But what is it the Sisters of Gold are hiding? Even though they've escaped their past once, it can't stay hidden forever . . .
Ruby Brown is ready for a change. She's single for the first time in years and she's going to dive into this brave new world with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. The last thing she's looking for is a serious relationship. Mason represents everything Ruby wants right now: he's charming, smooth and perfect for some no-strings-attached fun. Joe on the other hand is kind and attractive, but comes with the sort of baggage Ruby wants to avoid: an annoyingly attractive ex-wife and two teenage children. Ruby thinks she knows what she wants, but is it what she needs to be truly happy? It's about to get emotional in Million Love Songs. Praise for Million Love Songs 'Sparkling . . . light-hearted, laugh-packed fun' Sunday Mirror 'One of our favourite authors, Carole Matthews always delivers a delicious read, and Million Love Songs is another delightful read. Full of humour and emotional dilemmas, this latest book is perfect to curl up with on the sofa in this unpredictable weather. Highly Recommended!' Hot Brands Cool Places.
A captivating and convincing novel set during the Second World War, based on archived documents and letters, detailing the relationship between married US General Eisenhower and his driver Kay Summersby. In 1942 the two meet, and Eisenhower quickly places Kay at the heart of his team, as rumours spread, they become ever closer. The lines between fact and fiction blurred as I read, the relationship felt substantial, real, and before my eyes I witnessed Kay supporting Eisenhower as he made critical decisions about the war. James MacManus creates an intimate, penetrating story, yet the huge arena of war dominates, highlighting the connection between the two. Clear and precise, everyday life is set before you, and small in-depth details encourage a vivid picture to emerge. Ike and Kay focuses on an intriguing relationship, a relationship that was tolerated, even encouraged in order to get the job done, oh what a fascinating tale it is.
Orphaned. Betrayed. Determined. Angelique Latham grew up at the magnificent Belgrave Castle with her father, the Duke of Westerfield, after the death of her mother. But when he dies, her half-brothers brutally deny her very existence and send her out into the world alone. At eighteen, Angelique has a keen mind, remarkable beauty and an envelope of money her late father pressed upon her. Unable to secure employment, Angelique desperately makes her way to Paris. To survive, she will need all her resources - and one bold stroke of fortune. Angelique takes an unfamiliar and unimaginable path in setting up what becomes a highly successful business. But she lives on the edge of scandal; can she ever make a life for herself? From England to Paris and New York, Danielle Steel paints a captivating portrait of a woman of unquenchable spirit in The Duchess.
We all love a good saga. From Wuthering Heights and Jamaica Inn, to the modern works of authors like Katie Flynn, Katherine Webb and Nadine Dorries, there is something so captivating about the journey of a romantic heroine through an unfamiliar world, where the hearts and desires of all around her form the centre of everything. These stories can take place on grand settings: on the High Seas and foreign lands, or on a small cobbled street in a northern mining town. It doesn’t matter, as the journey of the heart is the most important of all. Get your tissues at the ready and find yourself happily shipwrecked on the ragged rocks of epic romance.