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’.
I relished the first two books in this series (The Dark Days Club and The Dark Days Pact) and this final Bath-set instalment is a fittingly thrilling feast of fantastical foe-fighting and illicit liaisons. Spirited Lady Helen might be in the throes of finalising her wedding plans, but she has far greater matters to attend to, such as defeating the Grand Deceiver. Alongside the high-stakes, high-octane action, the delicious duplicity of Helen’s double-life existence further flavours this novel with edge and intrigue. While “her aunt and uncle, along with the rest of society, were under the impression that she had spent the last six months enjoying the delights of Brighton and Bath”, Helen had, in fact, been engaged in “killing murderers, and becoming one half of the Grand Reclaimer with Lord Carlston” as a member of the demon-fighting Dark Days Club. Talking of whom, Helen’s relationship with Carlston is a frisson-fuelled delight, thronging with “will they? Won’t they?” tension. Wildly inventive, and driven by the vitalities and conflicts of an engaging heroine, this trilogy is a magnificent melange of history, fantasy and heart-pounding passion.
Sarah is a disillusioned history teacher deserted by her husband and caught in her dull life. Enter John. John is a 'Time Needle' who is looking for a 'Stitch' - someone he can send back in time to help others. (Stitch in Time?) Sarah accepts the job, goes back to 1912 London, 1847 Kansas and 1928 London, all the while falling for John. This is highly entertaining, unfeasible, deliciously humorous, feel-good stuff laced with some fascinating slices of history. I am not sure it begins a series. It should for I would certainly enjoy more of Sarah's exploits. Choc Lit, the publisher of this novel, was the 2012 Publisher of the Year as voted for by the Festival of Romance.
When love begins with a lie, where will it end? Doctor Tristan Ainsworth has returned with his family to the idyllic Cornish village close to where he grew up. The past has taught him some hard lessons, but he'll do anything to make his wife happy - so what's making her so withdrawn? Karen Ainsworth daren't reveal her true feelings, but knows her husband has put up with her moods for too long. A chance to use her extraordinary singing voice may set her free, so why shouldn't she take it? Surely her past can't hurt her now? As a tide of blackmail and betrayal is unleashed to threaten the foundations of their marriage, Karen and Tristan face a difficult question. Is their love strong enough to face the truth when the truth might cost them everything?
The Christmas Cafe is a perfect Christmas treat, with some unexpected and surprising stops along the way. In the prologue, 52 year old Bea sits beside her husband’s hospital bed, saying her final goodbye, I will admit, as I had a little weep, that I wondered where Christmas was hiding. A year later, Bea continues to run her quirky cafe in Sydney and as Christmas approaches, she ponders lost loves and her distant relationship with her son, before making a decision that has the potential to add some spice to the festive period. Amanda Prowse has a gift of being able to explore difficult situations with beautiful sensitivity, you sense and feel her empathy and compassion. There is a realistic and natural tone to the storyline, yet there is a lightness of touch that keeps this tale feeling fresh and enjoyable. Full of charm, emotion and Christmas spirit, with hidden delights to savour, this is a lovely hug of a read. ~ Liz Robinson A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... I love the way that Amanda Prowse's stories explore difficult themes, but always leave you feeling warm and glowing at the end. The Christmas Cafe is no exception. In this story, our heroine Bea must come to terms with both the death of her husband, and the difficult relationship she has with her grown-up son. Her very moving personal journey takes place in two mouthwatering settings - an organic deli in Sydney (which serves the best lemon-frosted carrot cake in the city), and the Christmas Cafe in Edinburgh, where it is Christmas all year round. This book cannot fail to fill you with warmth, happiness and Christmas cheer – though you might shed a tear or two along the way. ~ Laura Palmer, Editorial Director, Head of Zeus
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.
One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. But Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after she is trapped in a carriage with a blade-wielding man in a black silk mask who whispers the most vile taunts and threats into her ear. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her . . . for now. But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom, who has left a trail of female victims in his wake, has survived the wounds she inflicts and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by her scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge—gossip about their hours alone in a ship’s stateroom seems to have crossed the Atlantic faster than any sailing vessel could. Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him—as tenuous as it may be. For a man and woman so skilled at disappearing, so at home in the exotic reaches of the globe, escape is always an option. But each intends to end the Bridegroom’s reign of terror in London, and will join forces to do so. And as they prepare to confront an unbalanced criminal in the heart of the city they love, they must also face feelings that neither of them can run away from. . .
One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. Yet Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after meeting a man in a black silk mask who whispers the most vile taunts and threats into her ear. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her - for now. But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom has left a trail of female victims in his wake, and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by Amity's scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge - and Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him-as tenuous as it may be. For a man and woman so skilled at disappearing, so at home in the exotic reaches of the globe, escape is always an option. But each intends to end the Bridegroom's reign of terror in the heart of the city they love, which means they must also face feelings neither of them can run away from...
Unashamedly romantic stuff. Becca is setting up men with the brides of their dreams, all in the most discreet and subtle manner of course, then suddenly finds herself with a female client, Sam, who wants Becca to find a groom for her. Fed up with the dating scene herself, Becca agrees but soon finds maybe she is not so fed up with men as she thought. Romantic and funny, treat yourself.Comparison: Chris Manby, Kate Harrison, Sophie Kinsella.
This is a delicious book! I loved every minute of its magical story-telling and found it difficult to put down. Andrew Nicoll succeeds in creating a vivid and atmospheric portrayal of the town of Dot, in an unspecified part of the Baltic, where the mayor, Tibo Krovic is in love with his secretary, Mrs. Agathe Stopak. The reader becomes totally involved in these two characters’ lives. Agathe has suffered the anguish of the death of her baby, and the subsequent rejection of her husband. Tibo Krovic nurses a secret passion for Agathe which in turn delights and torments him. Their developing relationship is full of complications, misunderstandings, humour, pain and pleasure. The story is deeply human and emotionally strikes a chord but it also has flights of fantasy and magic which create a fable-like atmosphere. A gem of a novel and a real pleasure to read. It is the author’s first, but I hope there will be more!
Lulu just needs more time – time to relax, time to have fun with her friends and, most importantly, time to find the perfect man who’s eluded her for far too long. So she packs in her job as a therapist, ditches the swanky apartment, waves goodbye to her soft-top car and embraces a simpler life. But then a terrible tragedy strikes and Lulu realizes that it isn’t that easy to escape the past after all. Can she deal with her unfinished business and make the perfect life she longs for?
An epic relationship tale, spanning one of the most interesting periods in our history. Aubrette grows up as her half-sister Rowena’s companion, her life changes dramatically when Rowena marries. Rowena’s new husband is an illegitimate son of Henry II, Aubrette remains with Rowena throughout her marriage, travelling with her into France and on to the crusades with Richard I. Ann Turner doesn't shy away from the difficulties faced by women during this time, with violence spilling over the pages. Used and abused, Aubrette has a truly difficult life, as Kings come and go, Aubrette finds herself a pawn for the men in power. ‘A Sister’s Crusade’ is a fascinating sometimes uncomfortable, behind the scenes look at history. ~ Liz Robinson
Things are looking up for Penny Robinson. She's kicked her gambling addiction and even started her own business: Princess on a Shoestring, an all-inclusive service for brides-to-be looking to pinch pennies on their big day. Between family rows and wardrobe calamities, wedding planning is no piece of cake...but Penny's got it all under control. That is, until a rival planner decides to take her down - one hard-won bride at a time. Now Penny must fight to save her reputation and her livelihood before its too late. But when a romantic weekend away has some unexpected consequences, Penny's expectations for her career are brought back down to earth with a bump.
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.