Set against the sizzling backdrop of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s first royal tour to Australia, this is historical fiction simmering with the drama of banquets and betrayal, seduction and scandal! For identical twins Daisy and Violet Chettle, stepping aboard the royal ship marks the start of a new chapter in their lives. A chance to serve at the very highest level, and the opportunity to leave behind the tragedies of their own shared past. Daisy won’t stop at anything for a taste of the high life – much to her sister’s outrage. But when Violet’s own secrets catch up with her on the other side of the world, their fragile relationship grows ever more turbulent. Andrew Mackie has created a tantalising world inhabited by characters that are both desirable and despicable, often behaving badly behind the façade of regal splendor. The consequences are heartbreaking, unexpected and sometimes comical - but that’s all part of the book’s charm. You’re never quite sure how the drama will unfold from chapter to chapter! The Journey after the Crown is most definitely a piece of fiction. But isn’t it thrilling to imagine how life behind the scenes of the real tour of 1954 may have played out? Mackie has given the Queen’s landmark trip the Bridgerton treatment to brilliant effect; the writing sparkles like Queen Elizabeth’s sumptuous wardrobe and the secrets concealed below deck match the intensity of the adoring crowds and landscape above.
Hugely provocative, powerful, and suffused with a stinging, haunting beauty, The Clockwork Girl thoroughly deserves its inclusion as a LoveReading Star Book. Set in Paris during 1750, Madeleine is tasked with discovering the truth about a clockmaker who designs mechanical objects that appear to come to life. Three women sit centre stage, all from different backgrounds, yet struggling to survive in a male dominated world.Oh my word, from the very beginning this made me flinch, unapologetically raw and intense the words burrowed their way inside me. Anna Mazzola really is the most gifted storyteller, I was taken captive as I read, consumed by the fierce thrilling plot and the characters who invaded, and still remain in my mind. I loved the sharp edge of the unreal I found myself hovering over, the insinuations and suggestions that allowed my thoughts to run riot. While the spellbinding clockworks danced eerily featherlight in their own world, the reality of the time created a layer of foreboding that sat glowering, waiting, ready. As it soared into chilling evocative life in front of my eyes I fell in love with this tale. I just had to include The Clockwork Girl as a Liz Pick of the Month, it’s an entirely and gloriously captivating stunner of a read.
In Willow Close, everyone is a suspect . . . Nina and Conrad thought they'd discovered their dream home. But on the day they move in, a body is found - the victim attacked and killed in the woods. As police interview witnesses, they soon discover each resident hiding their own secrets. Because few in the Close are exactly who they seem . . . Nina and Conrad thought they'd found their dream home. Now, it might just be their worst nightmare . . .
If you love a bit of Bridgerton, you have got to read these books! Twenty years ago, Katy Moran found an old Georgette Heyer novel on a dusty bookshelf and fell headlong into a world of gloriously practical heroines and charismatic heroes and her love of regency romance was born. And aren't we glad she did! In this newly-published paperback trilogy featuring books Wicked by Design, Scandalous Alchemy and Game of Hearts she brings this alternative historical world to life, set in a time in which Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo. It's 1819 Cornwall and London, in the midst of high society, gossip and scandal are rife with the high-jinks of badly behaved aristocrats. In this first book in the trilogy, Crow, the Earl of Lamorna, is as self-destructive as he is charismatic and you cannot help but be enthralled by his philandering antics. He fiercely adores his wife Hester but his world is about to be blown apart by the skeletons in his closet. Hester & Crow, Crow & Hester. What a spark-filled relationship theirs is. Hester is incredibly feisty, a force to be reckoned with. Crow is a fierce anti-hero. We know you’ll love these books and the glamorous, dramatic and exciting playground that is their life, albeit a wild and dissolute existence. Moran is a brilliant storyteller who brings this fabulous world to life. It's one helluva ride, strap yourself in and be entertained and enthralled with regency romance, rebellion, rakes and rascals and romps galore.
In high society England, gossip and scandal are traded over afternoon tea and the country is awash with rumour. In Lady Hester's opinion, it's just typical that the wickedest gossip of all focuses on her beautiful, impossible husband Crow. Damaged aristocrat, soldier, spy, Crow loves Hester fiercely, but he has a wild past and rumours of a child with his black hair and grey eyes wound Hester more deeply than she is willing to admit. And yet London blazes with a far more lethal whispering campaign that threatens the safety of their own little daughter, Morwenna. Crow's enemies want him tried for treason and soon Morwenna herself is in mortal danger. Hester may love Crow as much as he loves her, but now their baby's life is at risk. There's nothing she won't do to protect their child. So when clever, worldly-wise Countess Lieven drops her guard and says, 'Run... take your baby, Hester, and run,' Hester does exactly that. Accused of high treason, Crow will do anything to save Hester and Morwenna, even if that means accepting a final mission that might just end in losing them both for good.
The third novel in the thrilling Bridgerton-style Regency world of Katy Moran's wild and dissolute Lamorna family. Welcome to Kit's story... 1825 FONTAINEBLEAU, FRANCE Clemency Arwenack never dreamed she would be appointed lady-in-waiting to the notorious Princess Royal. A soldier's daughter, Clemency has aristocratic connections that she could quite frankly do without, and catering to the whims of an impetuous heir to the throne is the last thing she wants. Even so, Clemency's ambitious godmother forces her to accept the position. Always a keeper of other people's confidences, Clemency has a secret of her own, and Georgiana, Lady Boscobel, is only too ready to use it against her. Worse still, the Honourable Lieutenant Colonel Kit Helford is now captain of the royal guard - and so Clemency can't avoid the one childhood friend who might just see through her dangerous web of deceit. Kit Helford is just as wild and handsome as he's always been. And Clemency knows only too well that he's just as much trouble.
SHARPE IS BACK. This September, global bestseller Bernard Cornwell returns with his iconic hero, Richard Sharpe. If any man can do the impossible it's Richard Sharpe . . . Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe is a man with a reputation. Born in the gutter, raised a foundling, he joined the army twenty-one years ago, and it's been his home ever since. He's a loose cannon, but his unconventional methods make him a valuable weapon. So when, the dust still settling after the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington needs a favour, he turns to Sharpe. For Wellington knows that the end of one war is only the beginning of another. Napoleon's army may be defeated, but another enemy lies waiting in the shadows - a secretive group of fanatical revolutionaries hell-bent on revenge. Sharpe is dispatched to a new battleground: the maze of Paris streets where lines blur between friend and foe. And in search of a spy, he will have to defeat a lethal assassin determined to kill his target or die trying . . . SHARPE'S ASSASSIN is the brand new novel in the bestselling historical series that has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
At once historically evocative and infused with the rapier-sharp universality of basic drives and emotions (love, lust, envy and revenge), Denise Mina’s Rizzio is an immensely engaging novella. Wise, inventive and un-put-down-able, it’s a riveting read-in-one-sitting road-trip through a shadowy episode in Scottish history. It’s 1566 and Mary, Queen of Scots, is six months pregnant, unaware that her Palace of Holyrood is surrounded by an army intent on murdering her private secretary and confidante, handsome, charismatic David Rizzio. And all this was arranged by Mary’s husband, Lord Darnley who, intoxicated, relishes “thinking about how sorry they’ll all be when he is king, they’ll all be sorry then. He’ll see they are". Recounting the events of a fateful, bloody night, Mina’s present tense narrative is delivered with verve, taut dexterity and atmosphere, with a powerfully palpable sense of mounting tension.
With its swashbuckling scenario and big themes of betrayal, revenge and sacrifice, J. Meade Falkner's Moonfleet is an undeniable classic of adventure fiction. And, with its embossed gold foil features and beautiful cover, this edition (part of Wordsworth’s Exclusive Collection) makes a great gift for readers young and old. Fifteen-year-old orphan John Trenchard lives in Moonfleet with his aunt. When she banishes him, John is looked after by grumpy innkeeper Elzevir Block, whose son was killer by customs officials. In the smuggler’s care, John falls under the spell of the local legend of ghostly Blackbeard, who’s said to rise each winter to search for a missing diamond. As John sets out on his own quest to find Blackbeard’s gem, he becomes embroiled in the village’s real secret - and Elzevir’s. Brimming with bravery, atmosphere and all-out action, this is a tale to be dazzled by, and lose yourself in.
I never expected to ever be given the opportunity to read a book by consulting detective Sherlock Holmes(!). Until very recently, I didn't even know that he wrote any books! Yet here one is - A Case of Royal Blackmail. Written in 1881 when he was in his late 20s, the book features Sherlock Holmes's personal musings on several entertaining cases of his, including blackmail of the Prince of Wales in 1879. His narrative is filled with his trademark astute observations, unconventional humour and remarkable reasoning skills. None of the characters evade his intense scrutiny or suspicion, and his sharp attention to detail eventually solves several mysteries and discovers the culprits. The historical and forensic content within the book is enlightening, along with the insight into his personal life and eccentric behaviour. I loved the 'Finder's Notes' at the end too (revealing how his book came to exist). A fascinating – and slightly off-the-wall – read for Holmes fans and for anyone who loves authentic historical crime fiction.
I WAS BORN TO BE A WANDERER From the night she is rescued as a baby out of the flames of a sinking ship; to the day she joins a pair of daredevil pilots looping and diving over the rugged forests of her childhood, to the thrill of flying Spitfires during the war, the life of Marian Graves has always been marked by a lust for freedom and danger. In 1950, she embarks on the great circle flight, circumnavigating the globe. It is Marian's life dream and her final journey, before she disappears without a trace. Half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a brilliant, troubled Hollywood starlet is irresistibly drawn to play Marian Graves, a role that will lead her to probe the deepest mysteries of the vanished pilot's life. An enthralling journey over oceans and continents and a drama of exhilarating power, GREAT CIRCLE is perfect for book clubs and fans of William Boyd and Donna Tartt.
From the author described by The Times as 'the most remarkable historian of our time', this is a stunningly high-concept historical novel that is both as daring as it is gripping, and perfect for fans of Conn Iggulden, SJ Parris and Kate Mosse. December 1348. With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries - living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last. John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them still further. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived. As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment and war. But their time is running out - can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up? What readers are saying: 'Wow, what a book! I absolutely adored this. This was ambitious but done to perfection' Sara Marsden 'The Outcasts of Time is a tour de force, rich in spellbinding detail. Haunting and atmospheric, there is warmth and humour alongside fear and torment; all human life is here. As perfect a novel as any I've ever read' Ophelia's Reads 'A fascinating trip through seven centuries of history ...The author has done well to traverse such a sweep of time ...it's a great read and I'd recommend it' Netgalley reviewer, 4 stars