Contemporary lifestyle fiction

A Tidy Ending

A Tidy Ending

Author: Joanna Cannon Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2022

Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is - pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house's previous occupant. Terry isn't perfect - he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard - until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood. If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn't always greener: you can't change who you really are, and there's something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue...

Faceless

Faceless

Author: Vanda Symon Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

A stressed, middle-aged man picks up a teenage escort and commits an unspeakable crime, unaware that a homeless man - her only real friend - will do anything to find her. A shocking, unputdownable standalone thriller from New Zealand's Queen of Crime. Worn down by a job he hates, and a stressful family life, middle-aged, middle-class Bradley picks up a teenage escort and commits an unspeakable crime. Now she's tied up in his warehouse, and he doesn't know what to do. Max is homeless, eating from rubbish bins, sleeping rough and barely existing - known for cadging a cigarette from anyone passing, and occasionally even the footpath. Nobody really sees Max, but he has one friend, and she's gone missing. In order to find her, Max is going to have to call on some people from his past, and reopen wounds that have remained unhealed for a very long time, and the clock is ticking... Hard-hitting, fast-paced and immensely thought-provoking, Faceless - the startling new standalone thriller from New Zealand's 'Queen of Crime' - will leave you breathless.

Careering

Careering

Author: Daisy Buchanan Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2022

careering (verb) 1. working endlessly for a job you used to love and now resent entirely 2. moving in a way that feels out of control There's a fine line between on the right track and coming off the rails. Imogen has always dreamed of writing for a magazine. Infinite internships later, Imogen dreams of any job. Writing her blog around double shifts at the pub is neither fulfilling her creatively nor paying the bills. Harri might just be Imogen's fairy godmother. She's moving from the glossy pages of Panache magazine to launch a fierce feminist site, The Know. And she thinks Imogen's most outrageous sexual content will help generate the clicks she needs. But neither woman is aware of the crucial thing they have in common. Harri, at the other end of her career, has also been bitten and betrayed by the industry she has given herself to. Will she wake up to the way she's being exploited before her protege realises that not everything is copy? Can either woman reconcile their love for work with the fact that work will never love them back? Or is a chaotic rebellion calling... Hilarious and unflinchingly honest, Careering takes a hard look at the often toxic relationship working women have with their dream jobs.

Again, Rachel

Again, Rachel

Author: Marian Keyes Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/02/2022

Twenty-five years after the iconic, 1.5 million-copy bestseller Rachel's Holiday burst into our lives, Rachel's BACK! Pre-order Marian Keyes' hilarious, heart-warming sequel, Again, Rachel, NOW. Back in the long ago nineties, Rachel Walsh was a mess. But a spell in rehab transformed everything. Life became very good, very quickly. These days, Rachel has love, family, a great job as an addiction counsellor, she even gardens. Her only bad habit is a fondness for expensive trainers. But with the sudden reappearance of a man she'd once loved, her life wobbles. She'd thought she was settled. Fixed forever. Is she about to discover that no matter what our age, everything can change? Is it time to think again, Rachel? 

Em & Me

Em & Me

Author: Beth Morrey Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/02/2022

Beautifully glorious, this book danced into my heart and soul and I want to dangle from the rooftops to shout about it. Since Em was born Delphine has spent her time as a single mum protecting her daughter and a secret, as she begins to taste the joy of life, her past starts to unravel. This compassionate, generous, and heart-warming novel about being brave and second chances deserves to be a huge hit. I adored Beth Morrey’s debut, the LoveReading Star Book, Saving Missy, and Beth’s unique touch is just as evident in Em & Me. She has the ability to take your thoughts into unexplored places yet plant the story in vibrantly authentic circumstances. She also develops the most charmingly relatable characters, they become known, cared for, a part of you. The plot weaves and flows through good and dark times with eloquence and empathy. I stepped into this book with trust, and came out with my heart full of warmth and emotion. Yes, I know I’m being rather gushy, but I seriously love this book! A LoveReading Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month, the wonderful Em & Me is delightfully rewarding novel I’ll be recommending far and wide.

Star Books
Brown Girls

Brown Girls

Author: Daphne Palasi Andreades Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/02/2022

Daphne Palasi Andreades’s Brown Girls is a triumph. Ambitious in scope, and realised with radiance, heart and bone-deep power, it lays bare the lives of a group of brown girls from Queens through blending detail with a chorus of voices (the narrative uses a collective “we”). It’s an all-consuming, all-encompassing musical ode; a beautiful book that takes in the complex, often conflicted ways women’s lives and communities come together, diverge, return and shift, while also taking in themes around immigration, diaspora, class, and colonialism. The writing is electric from the off: “We live in the dregs of Queens, New York, where airplanes fly so low that we are certain they will crush us. On our block, a lonely tree grows. Its branches tangle in power lines. Its roots upend side-walks where we ride our bikes before they are stolen. Roots that render the concrete slabs uneven.” These opening lines, this opening image, serves as a smart foreshadowing of the girls’ lives. As we follow them through childhood, girlhood, adolescence, college, careers, motherhood, and beyond, many move beyond their Queens’ roots, some return to their ancestors’ roots for a time, and there are tangles at every turn. The uneven footings and upended paths are perhaps most sharply seen when some of the young women experience alienating visits to their mother and fatherlands, and return to the US to realise all the more sharply that “existing in these bodies means holding many worlds within us”, with white people deeming “us and our families the good immigrants, the hard-working ones,” and the girls expected to be “grateful brown people” in the US. Then there’s the paradox that those among the girls who become big shots (“paragons of the American dream”) wind up being rendered faceless, leading to existential “Who the fuck are we?” questions. What an extraordinary debut - it’s ablaze with wisdom and love.

Debut Books of the Month
It Could Never Happen Here

It Could Never Happen Here

Author: Eithne Shortall Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/02/2022

Their school is about to be taught a lesson… Beverley Franklin will do whatever it takes to protect her local school’s reputation. So when a scandal involving her own daughter threatens to derail the annual school musical’s appearance on national television, Beverley goes into overdrive. But in her efforts to protect her daughter and keep the musical on track, she misses what’s really going, both in her own house and in the insular Glass Lake community – with dramatic consequences. Glass Lake primary school’s reputation is about to be shattered…

Little Wing

Little Wing

Author: Freya North Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/01/2022

Little Wing is the powerful story of two families over three generations. In the 1960s, a pregnant 16-year-old is banished to one of the remotest parts of the UK. Years later, Nell and Dougie are both at critical moments in their lives when their paths cross. Between Camden, Colchester and the Outer Hebrides, the three story lines collide when secrets are uncovered and answers sought. Little Wing is a novel about resilience, forgiveness and the true meaning of family, about finding one's place in the world and discovering how we all belong somewhere and to someone.

Breaking Point

Breaking Point

Author: Edel Coffey Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/01/2022

Edel Coffey’s Breaking Point delivers an absolute page-turner all with the compelling, “can’t-look-away-for-a-moment” power of a primetime TV thriller. Pointing a sharp finger at the heavy, unjust weight of expectations heaped on working mothers as the finger of the law is pointed at its successful female doctor protagonist, this page-turner is easy to get into, with functional, unflorid writing that serves the plot and protagonists to deliver a gripping story that’s likely to be read in very few sittings. Susannah is one of life’s success stories. A dedicated doctor with a lucrative publishing deal and a TV career that’s given her fame and fortune as Dr Sue. She also has two young daughters, and an also-successful husband - the full works, though it’s often tricky to balance having it all. One hot New York morning, when her usual routine is disrupted, Susannah makes a terrible mistake - she forgets to drop her baby daughter at nursery and the baby dies in the heat of the car. A tensely-evoked court case ensues, with the media and prosecution lawyer going into overdrive to present Dr Sue has a negligent mother who put career before kids. One of the reporters assigned to the case is CNN’s Adelaide, a woman who has connections to Sue, and understands a thing or two about loss herself. As the case and two women’s stories unfold, readers will be on the edge of their seats willing justice to be done, with the final twist in the tale coming as an entirely unexpected surprise.

Debut Books of the Month
Would I Lie to You?

Would I Lie to You?

Author: Aliya Ali-Afzal Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/01/2022

From fresh new voice Aliya Ali-Afzfal, Would I Lie to You? is a page-turning, warm and funny debut about what happens when you have your dream life - and are about to lose it. At the school gates, Faiza fits in. It took a few years, but now the snobbish mothers who mistook her for the nanny treat her as one of their own. She's learned to crack their subtle codes, speak their language of handbags and haircuts and discreet silver watches. You'd never guess, at the glamorous kids' parties and the leisurely coffee mornings, that Faiza's childhood was spent following her parents round the Tooting Cash'n'Carry. When her husband Tom loses his job in finance, he stays calm. Something will come along, and in the meantime, they can live off their savings. But Faiza starts to unravel. Raising the perfect family comes at a cost - and the money Tom put aside has gone. When Tom's redundancy package ends, Faiza will have to tell him she's spent it all. Unless she doesn't... It only takes a second to lie to Tom. Now Faiza has six weeks to find GBP75,000 before her lie spirals out of control. If anyone can do it, Faiza can: she's had to fight for what she has, and she'll fight to keep it. But as the clock ticks down, and Faiza desperately tries to put things right, she has to ask herself: how much more should she sacrifice to protect her family?

Debut Books of the Month
Both of You

Both of You

Author: Adele Parks Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/01/2022

In a marriage built on lies, the truth will destroy BOTH OF YOU. Happy. Married. Missing. Leigh Fletcher, devoted wife and stepmum, goes to work one day and never returns home. Same week, different world ... Kai Janssen leaves her sexy, wealthy husband and their luxurious penthouse, and vanishes into thin air. Both husbands seem distraught, claiming they have no idea where their wives have gone. DC Clements wants answers. Did these women run away or were they taken? Most importantly, where are they now? When the detective discovers a shocking link between the missing women, it's clear the truth can devastate. Now Clements must work against a ticking clock, before both wives disappear forever. The Sunday Times Number One bestseller Adele Parks returns with her most provocative book to date: Both Of You.

Psychopaths Anonymous

Psychopaths Anonymous

Author: Will Carver Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/11/2021

With sharp stinging humour and a bleakly dark plot this is a book to propel thoughts into a confrontational abyss. When Maeve considers changing her relationship with alcohol along with her need to murder men, and can't find the help she requires, she begins a support group for psychopaths. Every time you think Will Carver has pushed reading boundaries as far as he can go, along comes the next book. I’ve read a lot of thrillers and crime books over the years and I don’t think anything has made me flinch as much as this one. Here he took me to the edge of reasonable and with a great big shove sent me sprawling out into the unknown. It’s so deliberate, so combative, and yet it also feels desperately sad too. There were parts of this read that I absolutely flew through, others packed such a punch that I had to take a break before carrying on. The plot not only feels antagonistic, the characters also reach though your thoughts to what lies behind and beneath. Psychopaths Anonymous is so in-your-face it’s almost claustrophobic, it’s also a compulsive and unforgettable reading experience.

eBooks of the Month