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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’.
June 2014 Guest Editor Freya North on Not That Sort of Girl... Mary Wesley, Rose Tremain, Barbara Trapido and Jane Gardam – I really do owe my career to them. But this book in particular really did change the course of my life. I read it during my finals at University after which I headed off to do an MA and was all set to start a PhD in Art History. But deep down I knew that all I really wanted to do was write fiction. I love the way that Mary Wesley marries gentle romance with quite surprising sexiness in all her novels – but here in particular. For over fifty years, Rose is loyal to her husband Ned while also maintaining a relationship Milo. I loved the way this novel puts our perception of morality in a centrifuge – there’s nothing dissolute or duplicitous about either of Rose’s relationships, rather it’s about enduring love. This book really proves how commercial fiction can be deceptively simply – a pleasure to read through the clever, beautifully written and thoughtfully woven layers.
A lovely author with a strong sense of time and place, a brave and resourceful heroine and a cracking good story of York during World War I.Similar this month: Alexandra Connor, Anne Baker.Comparison: Ruth Hamilton, Elizabeth Elgin, Annie Groves.
If youâ€™re look for an enchanting mix of romance, triumph over tragedy, bittersweet memories but most of all a cracking good read then look no further than Janet Woods. Her novels, set in Dorset are well researched and will not disappoint in any way.Similar this month: Anne Baker, Alexandra Connor.Comparison: Maureen Lee, Meg Hutchinson, Lyn Andrews.
Excellent fun, a Victorian romantic suspense tale laced with intrigue and passion, a real page-turner, curl up and devour stuff.Similar this month: Joan Jonker.Comparison: Judith McNaught, Caroline Harvey.
Longlisted for the 2007 Romantic Novel of the Year Award. The winner will be announced at the end of April 2007. This is the absorbing story of one family and three generations of women beginning over 50 years ago just after the war and set in the Victorian slums of Birmingham. Poverty, death and bullying are rife and by turns heartrending but always in the background there is joy and hope that life will make a turn for the better for some, and it does.Similar this month: Lyn Andrews.Comparison: Catherine Cookson, Josephine Cox, Joan Jonker.
Quiet, sweet, good natured Star Sullivan always has everyone else's best interests at heart. But when she falls for the boy next door and enlists his help to solve the many issues her family are facing is she really acting in their best interests? This title is also available as an Audiobook, in CD format.
I was privileged to be a judge of the first Catherine Cookson Award and this lovely authorâ€™s first novel was the winner so I have been following her career with interest. This one, as the title implies, has a girl with a beautiful voice as its heroine, and an incident-filled plot to totally absorb you.Comparison: Josephine Cox, Lyn Andrews, Lesley Pearse.Similar this month: Charlotte Bingham, Beryl Matthews.
A powerful and emotional novel that spans continents, decades and generations of one family.
This is a moving and well-crafted saga that will have you turning the pages non-stop to the end. Historical detail of the Dunkirk evacuation is excellent but even better it includes a lot of detail I didn't know before too. The sacrifice of both soldiers and civilians pulls at the heartstrings and it's important that we don't forget what others did for us in WWII to save our country. The author really does give us a glimpse of the trials and triumphs of life in England at that time. This title is also available as an Audio book, in either CD or cassette format.Comparison: Charlotte Bingham, Margaret Dickinson, Beryl Matthews.Similar this month: Mary Jane Staples, Lesley Pearse.
London gangland terror of the 60s opens the eyes of a middle-class miss who learns some hard lessons. It’s slow to start but once Dan and Fifi get to Kennington the story really heats up and becomes utterly gripping. Comparison: Martina Cole, Kevin Lewis, Hilary Norman. Similar this month: Sheila Quigley, Adele Geras.
This is an enthralling novel of love, betrayal and idealism as three very different young women go up to Oxford in the years immediately before World War Two.
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.