Romantic Fiction

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’. 

May 2022 Featured Books

Vladimir

Vladimir

Author: Julia May Jonas Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/05/2022

Charged with sexual and moral tensions, Julia May Jonas’ Vladimir debut is tantalisingly provocative from start to finish. Its complex, fallible characters are nigh unforgettable as they storm, teeter and flounder on multiple brinks of human experience. Shot-through with dark humour, with a cunning, unexpected sense of hubris rearing forth in the feverish finale, Vladimir is a tragi-comic gem of our times, and incredibly compelling as it lays bare extra-marital affairs with dubious imbalances of power, fulfilling desire through devious means, and middle class, middle-age crises. “When I was a child, I loved old men, and I could tell that they also loved me”. “I’ve always felt the origin of anger in my vagina and am surprised it is not mentioned more in literature”. These are the kinds of declarations made by the novel’s narrator, a middle-aged English professor at a liberal college in the US. Though long accepting of her husband’s affairs (they’ve always had an open agreement about extra-marital sex), he’s now facing accusations of sexual misconduct from former students. Since they teach at the same college, his actions are making her life pretty difficult. At the same time, “trapped in the prison of vanity”, she develops an obsession with a younger novelist. Through the extraordinary escalation of the narrator's infatuation, we see the extremities of manipulation, desire, and the desire to be desired. She becomes, in her words, an “evil puppeteer”. But this is no straightforward story of affairs and lust. The novel careers to a crazy, unexpected, and quite brilliant denouement, with a sense of tenderness and gallows humour through the darker subject matter. At once edgy, playful and serious, Vladimir is a compulsive triumph.

Debut Books of the Month
The Country of Others

The Country of Others

Author: Leïla Slimani Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/05/2022

Beginning as a young French woman moves to Morocco after WWII, Leila Slimani’s The Country of Others, the first in a trilogy, parallels a personal struggle to lead a free life with a nation’s fight for independence. It’s a beautiful, immersive story of conflicts between genders, cultures, classes and generations that sweeps you into its lyrical detail and honesty. After the Liberation, a free-spirited French woman leaves Alsace for a new life with Amine, her Moroccan husband, who’d served as a soldier in France. As Mathilde later explains (the novel is not strictly chronological — episodes from the past are related through perfectly-placed recollections), “She’d been walled up for four years with no new clothes to wear, no new books to read, and Amine was the answer to all her payers. She was nineteen and hungry for life and the war had taken it from her”. Mathilde’s initial optimism at being greeted by her husband, who looked “more handsome than ever, under a sky so profoundly blue that it looked as though it had been washed in the sea”, soon sours. As Amine struggles to make a success of his farm, Mathilde is scorned by the French community for marrying a Moroccan, with their daughter mocked at school for her hair and old clothes.  Amine is also tangled in conflicts. As Morocco’s fight for independence intensifies, he feels solidarity with his workers. But, as a landowner, he’s not one of them, and as a Moroccan he’s reviled by the French. And, while he adores his French wife, he’s prone to treating her badly and feels ashamed of her refusal to be subjugated: “What madness was this? How could he have thought he’d be able to live with a European woman as emancipated as Mathilde?” Despite these differences, husband and wife “shared the same aspirations for the progress of mankind: less hunger, less pain. They were both passionate about modernity”, but the political climate increasingly threatens to destabilise what firm ground they have. Brilliantly translated from French by Sam Taylor, this novel crackles with love and resilience.

The Queen's Resistance

The Queen's Resistance

Author: Rebecca Ross Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/05/2022

In this sequel to The Queen’s Rising, Brienna has chosen passion over blood, but can she put her country before her heart? Perfect for fans of SIX OF CROWS and Sarah J. Maas. Finally, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is settling into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’s just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces another difficult challenge. She must prove herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier Evariste, a wholly separate factor in her new life. Now known as Aodhan Morgane, Cartier is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During his castle’s restoration, he discovers a ten-year-old boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as fond of Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander – what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone? As the Lannon trial rapidly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their feelings aside to concentrate on forging alliances, executing justice, and ensuring that no one interferes with the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling among the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And nothing makes a person more vulnerable than deep-seated love.

The Dance Tree

The Dance Tree

Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/05/2022

Inspired by an extraordinary historic phenomena that saw the women of Strasbourg infected with a dancing plague in 1518, Kiran Millwood Hargraves’ The Dance Tree captivates and charms as it lays bare insights into “a mass religious trance instigated by the unique pressures and beliefs of the time”, as the author explains in her afterword. Taking in grief for unborn children, and prejudice against outsiders and same-sex love, it’s a beautifully-written story about individuals seeking safe spaces to be themselves in a hostile, limiting age. Pregnant for the thirteenth time, bee-keeper Lisbet lives outside Strasbourg with her husband and mother-in-law, and the support of her friend Ida. Still grieving for her twelve children who didn’t survive to full-term, Lisbet “loves each lost child though they are not here”, and honours them with the dance tree she’s made in the woods — the tree is adorned with ribbons for each of her losses. Then, against a viscerally-evoked backdrop of searing heat (“the certain descent of Strasbourg into another circle of hell”), Lisbet’s sister-in-law Nethe returns from being exiled to the mountains as punishment for an unknown crime. Under the patriarchal gaze of the Twenty-One who govern the city, a woman driven to a dancing frenzy is joined by dozens more dancers, “loose-haired and wide-eyed”, moaning, radiant and whirling with bloodied feet. The Twenty-One bring in musicians, hoping to “play out the devils”. Two of them board with Lisbet, with Eren the Turkish lute player stirring her in body and soul. As the dance plague intensifies, we learn of women who are punished for loving each other, for their “love as deep and natural as the roots we walk on”. At the same time, Lisbet, Ida and Nethe share secrets and become “bonded tight as roots in earth”, with the dance tree poignantly marking their safe space, anchoring them just as it seems the world is crumbling. By turns fascinating, exhilarating and moving, this beautiful novel dances and whirls to its own distinctive tune, and gives fine voice to characters who will capture readers’ hearts.

The House with the Golden Door

The House with the Golden Door

Author: Elodie Harper Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/05/2022

The second adrenaline-charged instalment of Elodie Harper's Pompeii-set trilogy (we adored The Wolf Den), The House with the Golden Door picks up Amara’s gripping story after she’s been freed from Pompeii’s most notorious brothel, though that comes at a perilously high price, and she’s far from a free woman. Richly evocative, and reeling with drama and the determined passion and conflicts of its unforgettable heroine, this is historical fiction at its most thrillingly entertaining. Though Amara’s shift in status from Wolf Den whore to courtesan brings some freedom and a better standard of living, her life now depends on her new patron, a wealthy, well-connected man who wants her to remain thin and has her at his whim — she’s his “little bird”, his “pretty little thing”. While adjusting to her new life, and taking enormous risks in the name of true love, Amara frees some friends from the Wolf Den, but at great financial and emotional cost, for this results in her becoming indebted to the man she was freed from, "the most violent pimp in Pompeii". Though owned and forced to lead grossly subservient lives, the women of The House with the Golden Door are guileful and ambitious. Fierce Britannica, for example, wants to be a gladiator. But betrayals, bribery, and a persistent “crushing sense of powerlessness” ensures readers are in for an irresistibly exhilarating ride. That said, Amara is a woman who refuses to be crushed. In her words, “there is always a price to pay for underestimating a woman”. With a heady climax leaving Amara on the brink of tremendous change, the final book can’t come quick enough.

Books of the Month
A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting

A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting

Author: Sophie Irwin Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/05/2022

A dashing and absolutely delicious tickle on your reading tastebuds, this historical debut novel comes with lively romance and sharp wit. With her family in danger of being made homeless, Kitty Talbot the eldest of four sisters, heads to London to bag herself a man with a fortune. While set in 1818’s high society, this is less vapours and vulnerability and more unwavering tenaciousness from the leading lady. Sophie Irwin creates a vivid setting and vivacious tone, I found myself in Georgian London, yet Kitty could be running round the streets today. Kitty is an absolute delight, she is essentially on war footing and determined to save her family and home, nothing less than the richest of rich men will do. I read this in one heady sitting, light, bright, and fun yet with bite, I’ve chosen this debut as a Liz Pick of the Month. With everything you’d expect from a Regency romance yet refreshingly different, A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting is a colourful, charming, and sparkling read.

Audiobooks of the Month
Ellie Pillai is Brown

Ellie Pillai is Brown

Author: Christine Pillainayagam Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2022

Navigating loss, love and family strains while standing out as a brown girl in a predominantly white school isn’t easy for Ellie, a budding songwriter and music aficionado. A beautiful, funny ode to finding the strength to sing up and stand out, Ellie Pillai is Brown is sure to chime with readers who also feel they don’t quite fit in, with QR codes peppered through the book bringing Ellie’s songs to life, and adding extra depth to the experience. Ellie Pillai is a girl who know what she loves — music. And, against her parents’ wishes, she’s set on making a go of her drama GCSE, determined to find a way to overcome feeling invisible. While her family are mourning the loss of her little brother, which has left Ellie and her mum terribly distant from each other, Ellie has the stable support of her best friend. But her life is well and truly shaken up when a new boy and his twin sister arrive at her school. While handsome Ash is the only person who gets all her music references and understands the power of a playlist and finding the right song for every situation, it looks like he’s hooked up with her best friend, so Ellie tries to put him out of her mind. At the same time, Ellie’s new drama teacher instils her with confidence: “I think you have presence, something special about you. Something different”. If only Ellie can stop putting herself in a box and making herself small. Exploring grief, consent, family expectations, self-confidence, first love, same sex love and mental health through its well-drawn cast of characters, Ellie Pillai is Brown strikes a smart balance between humour and emotion.

Debut Books of the Month
Things I Know

Things I Know

Author: Helena Close Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2022

Haunted by her mother’s death, and now uprooted from Limerick to a rural village, 18-year-old Saoirse is desperate to leave school and start her life afresh. Her tremendously tough journey through guilt and anxiety - quite brilliantly related with raw compassion by Helena Close - makes for an engaging, thought-provoking, moving read that sheds light on the realities of depression while offering honest glimmers of hope. Just ahead of sitting her sitting the Leaving Certificate, Saoirse’s ex-boyfriend commits suicide. It’s no secret that she cheated on him with his best friend, and she’s cast out by her peers. Devastated by guilt, grief and feeling isolated, her counselling sessions do little to help. Yet even as she descends into the darkest clutches of depression, Saoirse shines as a wise and witty young woman. She sees people for who they are, beyond her years, with her narrative casting a glaring light on the reality of attitudes to depression: “You are not allowed to be sad. People have no tolerance to sad. You can be Insta sad – sad because you saw pictures of dying refugees or abandoned puppies. You can’t be ongoing sad.. You can’t be scared or anxious or upset”. As everything becomes too much for Saoirse, she’s taken to a psychiatric hospital. Though painful, her journey to regaining herself is powerfully raw and touched by hope, with the wider cast of true-to-life characters (from Saoirse’s siblings and peers, to her straight-talking, gin-swilling grandmother) adding to the enlivening authenticity.

Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl

Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl

Author: Joya Goffney Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2022

Brimming with inspiring messages about shedding shame and feeling positive about sex, and driven by a magnificent heroine whose journey to selfhood enlightens as it entertains, Joya Goffney’s Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl is laden with heart, hilarity and a whole lot of helpful information. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also infused with feminist magic - what begins as a 17-year-old’s quest to “fix” herself to get her guy back becomes a joyous journey of self-discovery that sees a sister doing it for herself. “I love my daddy, but I hate church”. Given that Monique’s Daddy is a pastor at a Black Baptist church in the south, that’s quite some conflict, but church is where she gets to spend time with Dom, her “dream boy”, who also happens to be her “daddy’s protégé”. Despite having taken a pledge of chastity to keep her strict parents happy, Monique and Dom have been trying to have sex for some time, but she finds it physically impossible. Then, on their 2nd anniversary, Dom breaks things off after their 29th failed attempt to get down to business. So, Monique resolves to “come up with some solutions” to get him back, beginning with booking an appointment to see if her lady parts are normal. The author’s candour about the body, masturbation and conditions like vaginismus is brilliant - often funny and always informative. Monique initially receives help from two unlikely sources, goody-two-shoes Sasha from church, and bad boy Reggie - neither turn out to be what they seem. Sasha declares “I think Dom’s an asshole for breaking up with you over this. You are more than what your body can do for him”, while Monique’s relationship with Reggie will truly make your heart sing. With a powerful subplot about Monique’s estranged sister, and a host of fabulous female characters, including the gynaecologist who states, “No woman should have to go without care. Especially not because some power-hungry man thinks he knows what’s best, when he doesn’t know diddly-squat about women’s bodies”, this is a dazzlingly refreshing charmer.

Sorrow and Bliss

Sorrow and Bliss

Author: Meg Mason Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2022

It’s hard to believe it’s a debut as the challenging subject matter of depression is handled with such a deft touch. So dark, it’s pitch, pitch black. Yet so so sensitive. It’s a masterclass in ascerbic narration and perfectly pitches the dark and the light. When we first meet Martha, she talks about her husband Patrick with such disdain, such boredom and he comments that Martha can supply anyone with an inventory of his flaws. But then everyone thinks he’s perfection, so sweet, so kind, living his life in the middle setting with Martha swinging between the extremes. So where does it all go wrong? Narrated in the aftermath of their separation, Martha is forced to return to her childhood home to live with her dysfunctional, eccentric, bohemian parents this book is filled with laughs and tears. At the heart of the novel is long term mental illness, the crushing depression with which Martha has battled since childhood, a depression which comes in waves for weeks or months at a time. However, it’s never named in the book; what is more important is Martha’s quest to know herself, to work out who is she is and why she never seems able to find contentment. It’s hilarious. It’s brilliant. It’s a sharp observational and witty book of huge talent and I can’t wait to read more of what Meg Mason has to offer.

Books of the Month
What Eden Did Next

What Eden Did Next

Author: Sheila O'Flanagan Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2022

When loved ones from the past reappear in our lives unexpectedly, they have a habit of shaking things up. And not always for the bad. For Eden Hall, the return of an old childhood friend - five years after the death of her beloved Andy – forces her to re-evaluate emotional connections to the past and the relationships that will shape her future. Her late husband’s family have been nothing short of perfect. But when Eden and daughter Lila show signs of moving on, ties with her controlling in-laws become strained. Will Eden have the resilience to put her own happiness first? And will she ever let go of her one true love? Sheila O’Flanagan is a masterful storyteller who delves into female relationships, and the female experience, with authenticity and energy. The friendship between Eden and an elderly patient is particularly special, and for a Desperate Housewives measure of sex, gossip and flirtation, the women of Sycamore Grove, O’Flanagan’s fictional Dublin neighbourhood, are the perfect tonic! Their short, sassy WhatsApp messages offer light relief to the heart-breaking love letters Eden pens to her dead husband. What Eden Did Next is a captivating exploration of how friendship and love can help us overcome adversity. How lives really can be rebuilt after trauma. And why we should always, always listen to our heart. A gorgeously uplifting, romantic read for the new season.

Books of the Month
A Glass of Milk

A Glass of Milk

Author: Jo Eddy Format: Ebook Release Date: 26/04/2022

In ‘A Glass of Milk’ by Jo Eddy we meet Gemma, a vegan accountant, who knows exactly what she wants from life and why. However, her current boyfriend’s tastes don't fit into her plans, nor would he understand her desire to leave everything behind, go off-grid, and live in the middle of nowhere. Tim and Gemma couldn’t be more different and once Gemma decides to take the plunge and chase her dreams she finds that the course of true love never does run smooth. Especially not when families get involved without knowing the whole story. Will someone get the truth? And will Gemma finally get the happiness she hopes for? I found that ‘A Glass of Milk’ was an enjoyable story and a lot happens in a relatively short number of pages which will keep readers on their toes. I found the narrative around making judgements without knowing the whole truth to be thought-provoking. Cathy Small, A LoveReading Ambassador

Flo

Flo

Author: Rosie Brooks Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/02/2022

Flo has a slow start as the reader learns about the central character. A break-up after being cheated on, a search for somewhere to live, an invite to be a bridesmaid for a 'not' friend and many more situations that readers will identify with, including the 'pressure' of her own thoughts (and that of her mother) of being a female of a certain age to get married and have children. Flo is very self-absorbed and will make readers feel sympathetic, angry, empathetic and frustrated. Flo's mother, dying of cancer, is poignant and relatable. Intermingled with all that is going on in Flo's life, Flo just wants her mother to tell her for once that she is proud of her. But all her mother is interested in is Flo's friend's upcoming wedding and Flo's lack of a husband and children. Flo experiences continual self doubt and always feels second best after her brothers. By the end, Flo appears to be stronger and determined not to settle for a 'last chance' husband. The book is an 'anxious' read where you want to help her, give her a shoulder to cry on and shake her. Bridget Jones but with more angst and less comedy. Jill Barton, A LoveReading Ambassador

Violeta

Violeta

Author: Isabel Allende Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/01/2022

One extraordinary woman. One hundred years of history. One unforgettable story. Violeta comes into the world on a stormy day in 1920, the first daughter in a family of five boisterous sons. From the start, her life is marked by extraordinary events, for the ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth. Through her father's prescience, the family will come through that crisis unscathed, only to face a new one as the Great Depression transforms the genteel city life she has known. Her family loses all and is forced to retreat to a wild and beautiful but remote part of the country. There, she will come of age, and her first suitor will come calling. In a letter to someone she loves above all others, Violeta recounts devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, times of both poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy, and a life shaped by some of the most important events of history: the fight for women's rights, the rise and fall of tyrants and, ultimately, not one but two pandemics. Through the eyes of a woman whose unforgettable passion, determination, and sense of humour will carry her through a lifetime of upheaval, Isabel Allende once more brings us an epic that is both fiercely inspiring and deeply emotional.

It Happened One Summer

It Happened One Summer

Author: Tessa Bailey Format: Audiobook Release Date: 13/07/2021

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who’s cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town... where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong. Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar... in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face. Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

Audiobooks of the Month
The Night Circus

The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern Format: Audiobook Release Date: 15/09/2011

In 1886 a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Reves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. There are contortionists, performing cats, carousels and illusionists - all the trappings of an ordinary circus. But this is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the reveurs - the dreamers. And who is the sinister man in the grey suit who watches over it all? Behind the scenes a dangerous game is being played out by two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who, at the behest of their masters, are forced to test the very limits of the imagination - and of love.

Audiobooks of the Month

April 2022 Featured Books

Theatre of Marvels

Theatre of Marvels

Author: Lianne Dillsworth Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2022

This magical debut set in Victorian London is bold and profound yet somehow uncomplicated as it lays out a mosaic of vibrant themes and characters for your reading pleasure. Star theatre performer Zillah has climbed out of the slums, so while uncomfortable with the part she performs, she does what it takes to remain the headline act until one day she is faced with a life-altering and dangerous decision. Zillah tells her own story, I immediately heard her voice, so vibrant and alive. Lianne Dillsworth ensures all of the characters have an individual vital energy, they can be seen, felt, sensed. While the era throws itself around you and immerses you in all things Victorian, it feels as though the human responses are timeless. That feeling echoes through the plot as Zillah’s mixed heritage, and the fact that she was born free in London, marks her as different. All of humanities character traits are on offer from greed, selfishness, ignorance and indifference through to empathy, kindness, and courage. The mystery aspect of the plot was thrilling, yet it was Zillah’s personal journey that will stay with me and that is why I’ve chosen this novel as a Liz Pick of the Month. Vivacious, provocative, and compelling, Theatre of Marvels comes with a standing ovation stamp of approval from me.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
One Good Thing

One Good Thing

Author: Alexandra Potter Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2022

Discover a hugely squishy, compassionate, and affectionate hug in book form. After her divorce, Liv leaves London behind for the Yorkshire Dales and discovers new beginnings aren’t that easy to find. While main character Liv narrates her own story, we also enter the lives of other characters from across the generations, and in dog form. Their stories surround Liv and as friendships begin to blossom, I fell in love with all of them (particularly Harry who rather steals the show!). Life in all its impossible, heart-breaking, fabulous glory sweeps across the pages, and took me with it. I love how Alexandra Potter balances different themes, characters, and the plot. You’ll greet dementia, grief, aging, teenage angst, fear, courage, friendship, autism, and love. I laughed, cried, raised my eyebrows, kept my fingers crossed, and basically felt as though I was a part of this little gang. For the feel-good factor alone I would have chosen this novel as a Liz Pick of the Month, but there’s more than that to discover within the pages. With oodles of warmth and charm One Good Thing is a lovely, thoughtful, and rewarding read.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Heartstopper Volume Three

Heartstopper Volume Three

Author: Alice Oseman Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2022

*Now an acclaimed live-action Netflix series!* Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the third volume of the bestselling HEARTSTOPPER series. *Includes exclusive Tao/Elle mini-comic!* Charlie didn't think Nick could ever like him back, but now they're officially boyfriends. Nick's even found the courage to come out to his mum. But coming out isn't just something that happens once - there's Nick's older brother, and a school trip to Paris, not to mention all the other friends and family - and life can be hard, even with someone who loves you by your side. As their feelings get more serious, Charlie and Nick will need each other more than ever before. By Alice Oseman, winner of the YA Book Prize, Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie's lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

The Kiss

The Kiss

Author: Santa Montefiore Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

Sometimes your biggest mistake can also be a blessing . . . Madison has always known she had a different father to her siblings. But it wasn't until she turned eighteen that she learned his name. And now she wants to meet the man who shares her fair hair and blue eyes. Robert is a very lucky man. A big house, beautiful wife, three handsome sons. Eighteen years ago, he made a mistake. A brief fling that resulted in a daughter nobody else knows about. Robert must finally tell his family the truth. Will they ever be able to forgive him and accept Madison as one of their own?

Nobody But Us

Nobody But Us

Author: Laure Van Rensburg Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/04/2022

Steven Harding is a handsome, well-respected professor. Ellie Masterson is a wide-eyed young college student. Together, they are driving south from New York, for their first holiday: three days in an isolated cabin, far from the city. Ahead of them, the promise of long, dark nights - and the chance to explore one another's bodies, away from prying eyes. It should be a perfect, romantic trip for two. EXCEPT THAT HE'S NOT WHO HE SAYS HE IS. BUT THEN AGAIN, NEITHER IS SHE . . .

Storm Tide

Storm Tide

Author: Wilbur Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/04/2022

Two brothers divided over the future of a country on the brink of revolution. An epic story of nautical adventure and a battle for freedom by the master of adventure fiction. 1774 Rob Courtney is growing up in Fort Auspice, Nativity Bay, a trading outpost on the east coast of Africa and has always dreamed of going to sea. When his grandfather Jim Courtney dies, and the mysterious Captain Marston calls into the fort, Robert's passion is ignited and he stows away on Marston's ship as it sails to England. Arriving in London, Rob is seduced by its charms and makes friends with a group of fast-living men and ends up in terrible debt. Desperate and penniless, Rob can see no way out. That is until the navy comes calling. Rob enlists and is taken downriver to join a ship ready to cross the Atlantic and join the growing war against the rebellious American colonists. Meanwhile, in America, Theo Courtney's two sons are coming of age in a society ever more divided between those loyal to the crown, and those who seek independence for the American colonies. Even the family is divided, with Theo's oldest son Cal an ardent American patriot, while Theo himself feels a strong tie to his mother country, England. When he sees his younger brother, Aidan, killed in a fierce battle with the British troops, Cal vows he will not rest until he has avenged his brother's death by driving the British out of America - once and for all . . . A powerful new thriller by the master of adventure fiction, Wilbur Smith, of families divided and a country on the brink of revolution.

Red, White and Royal Blue

Red, White and Royal Blue

Author: Casey McQuiston Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales? When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius-his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There's only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston's Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn't always diplomatic.  

Six Days

Six Days

Author: Dani Atkins Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/04/2022

A gorgeous and thoughtful relationship tale with bite and intrigue as well as love and friendship. This novel takes you by the hand and expands through your thoughts as you live alongside Gemma when her fiancé fails to turn up at their wedding. She is determined to think the best of him, however she begins to realise that friends and family think the worst. Dani Atkins has the most thought-provoking pen, her words don’t just reach inside and touch my heart, they also shake emotions, hit thoughts, and leave the characters and story a part of me. I always look forward to her novels, she is such a consistent writer, though she certainly knows how to keep your feelings hovering on the edge of free-fall. While you live through six days with Gemma as she searches for Finn, memories and the past surface to allow Finn access into the story. A vivid and vibrant picture forms of their relationship alongside the suspense of his disappearance. As my knowledge of the couple grew, as I immersed myself in their story, I cared, really cared about the outcome. This is most definitely a story about a love, it also successfully balances tension, particularly as it weaves its way towards the end. Six Days is a page-turning, stimulating absolute beauty of a novel, that I can recommend heart and soul.

Books of the Month
The Distant Shores

The Distant Shores

Author: Santa Montefiore Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

THE BRAND NEW NOVEL FROM THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR Pure escapism on every page, The Distant Shores tells the story of a family torn apart, and the woman who will bring them back together. Margot Hart travels to Ireland to write a biography of the famous Deverill family. She knows she must speak to the current Lord Deverill - JP - if she is to uncover the secrets of the past. A notorious recluse, JP won't be an easy man to crack. But Margot is determined - and she is not a woman who is easily put off. What she never expected was to form a close bond with JP and be drawn into his family disputes. Shouldering the blame for running up debts that forced him to sell the family castle, JP is isolated and vulnerable. With help from his handsome son Colm, it seems as though Margot might be the only one who can restore JP's fortunes. Will the family ever succeed in healing rifts that have been centuries in the making?

Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry

Author: Bonnie Garmus Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2022

“Once a research chemist, Elizabeth Zott was a woman with flawless skin and an unmistakable demeanour of someone who was not average and never would be”. So we are introduced to gloriously unconventional Elizabeth near the opening of Bonnie Garmus’ Lessons in Chemistry, an enchanting, uproariously witty novel that I cannot recommend highly enough — think a funny, feminist Mad Men set in the world of science, in a “patriarchal society founded on the idea that women were less. Less capable. Less intelligent”.  With her doctoral career cut short after daring to defend herself against the groping hands of a tutor, in 1951 Elizabeth is working as a chemistry researcher, surrounded by men who overlook her work and treat her with sexist disdain. One of her colleagues is Calvin, an introverted, socially awkward Nobel-prize nominated scientist with a penchant for holding grudges, which is one of the things Elizabeth first admires in him, for “Elizabeth Zott held grudges too”, especially against a society that all but forbade women to do anything of importance. Elizabeth and Calvin strike up a sparring working relationship, start dating, and move in together — unmarried (the horror!). She suggests paying her share of the rent by cooking dinner, declaring that “Cooking is a serious science. In fact, it’s chemistry”. Meanwhile, while the unique chemistry between the couple is a delight to devour. Some years later, Elizabeth finds herself single again, and a single mother to boot. And it’s through her daughter (specifically, the delicious, nutritious lunches she cooks for her) that she’s offered a slot on a TV cookery show. True to form, Elizabeth refuses to play ball with the producer, declaring that “There’s nothing average about the average housewife”, and using the show to deliver cracking advice: “Courage is the root of change…Do not allow your talents to lie dormant, ladies. Design your own future”. Guaranteed to have you roaring with laughter, weeping in empathy, and fist-pumping the sheer joy of Elizabeth’s indomitable spirit, Lessons in Chemistry is a revitalising, stirring triumph.

Star Books
Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?

Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?

Author: Lizzie Damilola Blackburn Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Yinka, a 31 year old Nigerian is fed up of her family constantly asking “so, where is your huzband?” (pronounced auz-band). After her Aunty Debbie offers up a very public prayer for her and asks the Lord to intervene and save her from singledom, Yinka decides she needs a plan to find a man before her cousin Rachel’s wedding. Femi broke her heart when he moved to New York and decided he didn’t want to settle down. As we join Yinka on her mission fraught with twists and turns on her journey to self-love. A hug in a book, this is a joyous read. I chuckled and sped my way through, wishing and hoping for a happy ending for Yinka. She struggles and bumbles her way  through navigating dating, female relationships and the challenges of extended families, and I loved every page of it.

Debut Books of the Month
Wild and Wicked Things

Wild and Wicked Things

Author: Francesca May Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Darkly suggestive and consuming, this historical fantasy novel offers a nod to The Great Gatsby. Annie Mason finds herself in an unknown world of blood magic and murder when she investigates her inheritance. This is set just after the First World War, where witchcraft, which had a huge influence in the war, has been all but banned. At the beginning I wondered if I had entered a realm already formed as I found myself hesitating and searching for information that wasn’t immediately available. However, I soon settled in and immersed myself in the stormy and decadent atmosphere, where the urge to live as large a life as possible after the effects of the war hits hard. The plot bubbled along in the background as the characters took centre stage. While Annie and Emmeline throbbed with energy as they explored their feelings for each other, the secondly characters added real depth and flavour before pulling the story together. Author Francesca May successfully evokes the excess of the time, and also balances the abuse, dark magic, and violence that can be found in the story with the innocence of Annie, love and friendship. Chosen as a Liz Pick of the Month, Wild and Wicked Things successfully steals into thoughts and thoroughly provokes feelings.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Early Morning Riser

Early Morning Riser

Author: Katherine Heiny Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Tender and comic, with a devilishly addictive wry tone and incredibly drawn characters, reading Katherine Heiny's Early Morning Riser is akin to being transported to the beating heart of an eccentric, entirely relatable small-town community. It really does make for a headily blissful reading experience, as befits a story that delves deep into the heart of all forms of love and human connections. Despite having had a whole lot of girlfriends who are everywhere around town (and beyond), Jane can’t help but fall for charismatic woodworker Duncan, though she’s less happy about the constant presence of his ex-wife, and it look like their love might be lost when he says he has no intention of getting married a second time. Then, a tragic accident sees them reunite in a way that will transform their lives forever, when they’re brought together with Jimmy, Duncan’s developmentally-challenged employee, in a truly unexpected, wondrous way. Witty, with exquisitely fitting, perfectly-placed imagery, such as this evocation of Jane snatching a moment of peace on the fraught eve of her ill-fated wedding day, “The sky was lavender-colored now. The sun had set, but the light lingered, like a child reluctant to go to bed”, Early Morning Riser is a magical, absorbing feat of fiction, and incredibly funny with it.

Star Books
The Stealing

The Stealing

Author: S.A. Sutila Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/03/2022

She chose to die. Now she chooses to live. And love. BUT HER SPIRIT HAS BEEN CLAIMED BY A DARK PRESENCE. Sarah Vise's life is a literal dead-end street. Abandoned by her mother as a child, she lives on a coastal road to nowhere, working endless hours on her domineering father's fishing boat in the shadow of a run-down lighthouse. As her high school graduation approaches, the end of the relentless monotony seems to be on the horizon. She is accepted into college and has an intriguing encounter with Grant Eriksen, the tall, blue-eyed neighbor who appears intent on making amends for past mistakes. But when Sarah's father forbids her from going away to college, she is forced to face a future without hope. Sarah decides to surrender her life to the sea. Grant saves her from drowning, but that night her weakened spirit is carried to a dreamy afterlife world, where a handsome hunter-sage takes her under his wing. Sarah is happy to remain with him until she learns he is even more possessive and dangerous than the men in her "real" life. To escape his clutches, she makes a terrible bargain. He will return her to the life she now so desperately desires. She will be free to follow her heart, but only for a while. The clock is ticking. Once she fulfills her end of the bargain, he will steal her spirit again. Forever.

The One

The One

Author: Claire Frost Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2022

When Lottie Brown bumped into Leo she was convinced he was “The One”. Their three months together were pretty much perfect. She was the happiest she’d ever been. Until she lost him. As she mourns the man snatched from her too soon, she crumbles, her heart breaks and Lottie struggles to get her life back on track. They hadn’t had time to meet their family and friends, to fully know each other. Leo had never met Lottie’s two sisters, the remainder of their trio. She’d met his cousin Ross briefly but that hadn’t gone too well. Having already been unlucky in love this is a step too far for Lots. A heartwarming read with a little heartbreak, just don’t forget the tissues.

eBooks of the Month
Sofia Khan and the Baby Blues

Sofia Khan and the Baby Blues

Author: Ayisha Malik Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/02/2022

Sofia Khan is going about everything the wrong way. At least, that's what her mother, Mehnaz, thinks. Sofia is twice-divorced, homeless and - worst of all - refusing to give up on a fostered baby girl. Sofia's just not behaving like a normal woman should. Sofia doesn't see it like that. She's planning to adopt Millie, and she's sure it'll be worth it. (Even if it means she and Millie have to stay at Mehnaz's place for a while.) And as Sofia finally begins to live the life she's chosen, she finds both romance and happiness start to blossom. But then someone comes back from the past - and not even Sofia's own past. Suddenly, she's faced with a choice. To do what's best for those she loves, Sofia might have to break her own heart. And she might find herself needing the last person she expected...

Live Me

Live Me

Author: Celeste Grande Format: Audiobook Release Date: 16/04/2019

Evangelina Ricci is trapped in a world that's a never-ending nightmare. Unable to bear the torture any longer, she does the one thing she can to take back control: run. With her best friend Jace in tow, Evangelina attempts to escape her darkened past by leaving for college and diving head first into an aggressive schedule, determined she will make a name for herself. There's only one problem-she can't run away from the demons she struggles with. The demons that'll forever be there, locked inside, battering her soul. Hiding behind a flawless façade, Evangelina faces her ghosts until her world is turned upside down, invaded by . . . him. Blake Turner. Sweet, witty, flirtatious, and drop-dead gorgeous, he finds Evangelina at every turn. Scared he'll uncover the truth she keeps so well guarded, Evangelina tries her best to put on her act, deterring him like she has so many times before-only this guy's different. He's relentless. He sees her and he wants her and won't stop until she's his. Will Evangelina succeed in pushing Blake away? Or will he break down her walls and be the person to make her realize life is worth living? Contains mature themes.

Audiobooks of the Month
The Cornish Hideaway

The Cornish Hideaway

Author: Jennifer Bibby Format: Ebook Release Date: 22/03/0222

Like the rhythm of the sea itself, this life-affirming novel pulls you in and sweeps you along with captivating ease. Emotions rise and fall from chapter to chapter - heartbreak, joy, love, regret - and guaranteed you will be yearning for your own summer escape before the final page has closed! Poor Freya. Her dream of being an artist is in shatters and her love life isn’t looking much better. Just on cue, fairy godmother Lola invites her to spend the summer working in her small village café on the Cornish coast. It’s the perfect chance for Freya to leave behind her broken life in London – and take a much-needed break from men. But when the mysterious Angelo storms into town with his motorbike and unavoidable Italian beauty, issues of the heart are about to loom large. There’s so much to fall in love with in Jennifer Bibby’s romantic debut: intuitive Lola, the friend and champion we all need in a crisis; postcard-perfect Pulcarrow, the small fishing village that reignites Freya’s passion for art; and the heartwarming community of people, (and a dog!) who scoop Freya up in a gentle embrace and provide a safe place for her to grow again. Every page oozes with their warmth! If you ever needed a reminder of the healing power of friends, the landscape and a slice of freshly baked cake, then The Cornish Hideaway is the perfect novel. A charming read for the summer season.

eBooks of the Month

March 2022 Featured Books

The Last Library

The Last Library

Author: Freya Sampson Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

You can tell a lot about a person from the library books they borrow Library assistant June knows a lot about the regulars at Chalcot Library, yet they know very little about her. When her mum - the beloved local librarian - passed away eight years ago, June stepped into her shoes. But despite their shared love of books, shy June has never felt she can live up to the village's memory of her mum. Instead, she's retreated into herself and her memories, surviving on Chinese takeaways-for-one and rereading their favourite books at home. When the library is threatened with closure, a ragtag band of eccentric locals establish the Friends of Chalcot Library campaign. There's gentlemanly pensioner Stanley, who visits the library for the computers and the crosswords, cantankerous Mrs B, who is yet to find a book she approves of, and teenager Chantal, who just wants a quiet place to study away from home. But can they compel reclusive June to join their cause? If June wants to save the library, she finally has to make some changes to her life: opening up her heart to friendship, opportunities and maybe even more . . .

Cunning Women

Cunning Women

Author: Elizabeth Lee Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/03/2022

Abundant in atmosphere, well-rounded characters, and dreadful dilemmas, Cunning Women is a smoothly readable, 1620-set treat for fans of The Essex Serpent, The Leviathan, The Binding and The Familiars.  Though ten years have passed since the infamous Pendle Witch Trials that saw ten women hanged as witches, an atmosphere of paranoia still permeates the region. This is especially so in the Lancashire fishing village where the “cunning women" of the desperately poor Haworth family live as outcasts, offering herbal remedies that are in high demand, but considered the lowest of the low, for the women’s salves and balms are believed to be the work of witches. Sarah Haworth lives a tormented existence. While part of her aches for a normal life, especially when it comes to her younger sister, “the girl with the stormy eyes and sharp tongue” also longs to know the extent of her powers. Amidst this vividly evoked internal maelstrom, Sarah meets Daniel, a farmer’s son who finds himself captivated by her, as she is by him. They see each other for who they really are, not tainted by the prejudice of others. But when a magistrate arrives to investigate a furry of odd deaths, Sarah is in the firing line, and their love is threatened, along with her very life. Part evocative family drama, part historic thriller, Cunning Women tells an emotionally engaging tale of prejudice, superstition, revenge and love. 

The Viscount Who Loved Me

The Viscount Who Loved Me

Author: Julia Quinn Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/03/2022

The second of Julia Quinn's bestselling and beloved Bridgerton novels, now a series created by Shondaland for Netflix. This is Anthony Bridgerton's story . . . This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London’s most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams... Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself...

Audiobooks of the Month
Lucky

Lucky

Author: Rachel Edwards Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

A tense, twisty novel about love, betrayal, survival - and an addiction so compelling it threatens to destroy everything in its path   Etta is in her mid thirties and keen to nudge her loving but commitment-phobic partner, Ola, towards marriage and children. Ola is reluctant to get engaged before they have enough saved for a house deposit, so Etta takes matters into her own hands and finds a way to start secretly making money: online gambling. What a delightful discovery! And what a stroke of luck that Etta just happens to be so brilliant at it.   Soon she's playing quite a lot. She doesn't like lying to Ola, but it's all for the good of their relationship. She's even made a friend on the site, StChristopher75, and she's invited to a special VIP party. And even if she is losing a little money here and there - or even quite a lot of money - she'll win it back eventually. Or maybe even StChristopher75 can help her out with a little loan, once she's met him in real life. He's just won big, and he's been so friendly and helpful on the site.   Why wouldn't he want to help her?

eBooks of the Month
The Rose Queen

The Rose Queen

Author: Katie Flynn Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

With over a dozen heartfelt historic novels to her name, Katie Flynn here turns her compassionate touch to the life and loves of Cadi Williams, a young Welsh beauty born into a coal-mining family. Though delighted to be crowned the 1938 Rose Queen of her village, the special day only exacerbates the fact that Rhos is usually so “drab and dowdy”. As Cadi muses, “the mines ruined everything. You couldn’t escape the coal dust”. As a result, when war breaks out, Cadi and her dear friend Poppy seize the chance to leave for what they see as the bigger, brighter lights of Liverpool. In leaving Rhos, Cadi also leaves her family and the local lad she seemed set to marry. With the stage set for high-stakes drama, the young women have a tough of time of it in Liverpool before they find work in a pub. At the same time, Cadi finds love with a gorgeous dock worker. Cue an almighty emotional conundrum when a blast from Cadi’s past turns up in a RAF uniform… Fragrant with love and hope, and prickling with dilemmas, fans of immersive, historic romance will be in seventh heaven reading The Rose Queen.

Sunrise by the Sea

Sunrise by the Sea

Author: Jenny Colgan Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

In a quaint seaside resort, a charming bakery holds the key to another world... Curl up and escape with Jenny Colgan  When she is given the opportunity to move to a remote tidal island off the Cornish Coast, Marisa Rossi decides some peace and quiet might be just what she needs. Since the death of her beloved grandfather back in Italy, she's been struggling to find a way out of her grief. Perhaps this will be the perfect place for her to recuperate. But Mount Polbearne is a far cry from the sleepy little place she was imagining. Between her noisy piano-teaching Russian neighbour and the hustle and bustle of a busy community, Marisa finds solitude is not so easy to come by. Especially when she finds herself somehow involved with a tiny local bakery desperately in need of some new zest to save it . . . 

Books of the Month
The Woman Who Took a Chance

The Woman Who Took a Chance

Author: Fiona Gibson Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

Light and bright yet tackling difficult subjects with compassion, this is a ray of reading sunshine. 50 years old and single, flight attendant Jen dips her toe in on-line dating waters in an attempt to find a partner after she wins an exclusive romantic holiday. It’s always rather fabulous when menopausal women star in the leading role, the sense of affinity, the smirk of recognition! Fiona Gibson creates layers of fun, warmth, empathy, tenderness, and affection as she builds the tale around the rather wonderful Jen. Anyone who has ever tried on-line dating will smile and even wince in sympathy as she learns to navigate that very peculiar world! Friendship is the major theme on offer here, proper loving, supportive, heartfelt friendship, and it’s rather lovely to feel as though you are being welcomed in to that special group as your read. I particularly enjoyed the fact that this story didn’t have a foregone conclusion, I was kept guessing until I settled into the ending with a feeling of satisfaction. Amusing, thoughtful, and uplifting, The Woman Who Took a Chance is heart-warming delight and Liz Pick of the Month.  

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Space Hopper

Space Hopper

Author: Helen Fisher Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

This is a story about taking a leap of faith And believing the unbelievable They say those we love never truly leave us, and I've found that to be true. But not in the way you might expect. In fact, none of this is what you'd expect. I've been visiting my mother who died when I was eight. And I'm talking about flesh and blood, tea-and-biscuits-on-the-table visiting here. Right now, you probably think I'm going mad. Let me explain... Although Faye is happy with her life, the loss of her mother as a child weighs on her mind even more now that she is a mother herself. So she is amazed when, in an extraordinary turn of events, she finds herself back in her childhood home in the 1970s. Faced with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions - but away from her own family - how much is she willing to give up for another moment with her mother? For fans of The Time Traveler's Wife comes an original and heartwarming story about bittersweet memories, how the past shapes the future, and a love so strong it makes you do things that are slightly bonkers.

Star Books
The Missing Sister

The Missing Sister

Author: Lucinda Riley Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

They'll search the world to find her. The six D'Apliese sisters have each been on their own incredible journey to discover their heritage, but they still have one question left unanswered: who and where is the seventh sister? They only have one clue - an image of a star-shaped emerald ring. The search to find the missing sister will take them across the globe - from New Zealand to Canada, England, France and Ireland - uniting them all in their mission to complete their family at last. In doing so, they will slowly unearth a story of love, strength and sacrifice that began almost one hundred years ago, as other brave young women risk everything to change the world around them.

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.

Run Rose Run

Run Rose Run

Author: Dolly Parton, James Patterson Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/03/2022

From America's most beloved superstar and its greatest storyteller - a thriller about a young singer-songwriter on the rise and on the run, and determined to do whatever it takes to survive. Every song tells a story. She's a star on the rise, singing about the hard life behind her. She's also on the run. Find a future, lose a past. Nashville is where she's come to claim her destiny. It's also where the darkness she's fled might find her. And destroy her. Run, Rose, Run is a novel glittering with danger and desire - a story that only America's #1 beloved entertainer and its #1 bestselling author could have created. Also available: an album of 12 original Dolly Parton songs made for the novel!

Audiobooks of the Month
Good Intentions

Good Intentions

Author: Kasim Ali Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

Hugest of huge recommendations from me for this bold, provocative, compassionate and thoughtful, yet real as heck debut novel. I adored the characters, plot, and writing, Kasim Ali is an author to watch. After falling in love Nur is welcomed into Yasmina's family, but after four years he can’t bring himself to tell his own that he’s even got a girlfriend let alone living with Yasmina. Love, it should be simple, but with outside influences so often isn’t. Kasim Ali zigzags through the years of the relationship, allowing you to see ahead of time, to feel the weight of the decisions taken. As the little pops of understanding were released Nur, Yasmina, and their friends and family slipped into my heart. The characters are finely drawn, the flaws, the imperfections all add credibility. This is just so easy to read, yet the bittersweet plot ensures a level of tension remains throughout. I cared so much for these characters I was genuinely fearful of what was to come. I thought the ending was perfect in every way, standing ovation time for Kasim Ali. Wonderfully stimulating yet subtly thought-provoking Good Intentions emotionally connects with heart and mind. I’ve chosen this absorbing and rewarding read as a LoveReading Star Book, and Liz Pick of the Month. 

Star Books
Suspects

Suspects

Author: Lesley Pearse Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2022

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 . . .

The Summer That Changed Us

The Summer That Changed Us

Author: Cathy Bramley Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2022

The new feel good read about three women searching for friendship in a sparkling seaside town, from your favourite storyteller Cathy Bramley The sparkling seaside village of Merle Bay, with its beautiful beach scattered with seaglass, is a place where anyone can have a fresh start. For Katie, it is the perfect hideout after a childhood trauma left her feeling exposed. For Robyn, the fresh sea air is helping to heal her scars, but maybe not her marriage. For Grace, a new start could help her move on from a heartbreaking loss. When they meet on Seaglass Beach one day, they form an instant bond and soon they're sharing prosecco, laughter - and even their biggest secrets... Together, the women feel stronger than ever before. So can their friendship help them face old fears and find happy endings - as well as new beginnings?

The Unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners

Author: Christina Lauren Format: Audiobook Release Date: 14/05/2019

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies. Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion...she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas. Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo. Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is...Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be. With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.

Audiobooks of the Month
Daisy Jones and The Six

Daisy Jones and The Six

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid Format: Audiobook Release Date: 01/05/2019

Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six. From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation. Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They sold out arenas from coast to coast. This is the story of their incredible rise: the desire, the rivalry - and the music. Then, on 12 July 1979, Daisy Jones and the Six split up. Nobody knew why. Until now...

Audiobooks of the Month

Love’s Labours Found

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Some people say it’s not their cup of tea. But have they tried every blend? From handsome aristocrats to family feuds, holiday flings, to forbidden fruits; local community taboos to young love’s dream there’s something here to ignite passion in the hardest of hearts.

 

Whether you’re looking for something for the beach, a happy place on the way to work, or the next instalment of a much-loved character’s car-crash love-life, we’ve hand-picked the very best in romantic fiction for all tastes. Why not sign up for our email to keep up to date with new love, check out the Book of the Month recommendations for inspiration, or simply judge a book by its cover? Love at first sight!

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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: