Contemporary romance

The Return

The Return

Author: Nicholas Sparks Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2021

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with a moving new novel about an injured army doctor and the two women whose secrets will change the course of his life. Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, he comes to regroup in the dilapidated cabin inherited from his grandfather. Trevor isn't prepared to fall in love, yet from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a deep connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson. Though she seems to reciprocate his feelings, Natalie remains frustratingly distant. Further complicating his stay is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie. Claiming to be 17, she works at the local store and keeps to herself. Discovering that she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather's death, but she offers few clues - until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie's past. In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie's secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that often, to move forward we must return to the place where it all began.

Books of the Month
Meet Me in Tahiti

Meet Me in Tahiti

Author: Georgia Toffolo Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2021

The third romance novel from TV personality Georgia Toffolo (better known as Toff), following Meet Me in London, and Meet Me in Hawaii, sees travel writer Zoe having to deal with life-changing decisions, something she’s more than familiar with. After a car accident left her unable to walk, and having had her heart broken by bad boy Finn (with her wealthy, protective parents a constant presence), she’s now based in a luxury Tahitian resort for work. And then Finn reappears in unexpected circumstances, and Zoe has a whole lot of soul-searching on her hands. Of course, the glamourous setting is a boon - what’s not to enjoy about a fictional escape to the French Polynesian islands? That said, I’m not sure Zoe’s experience is truly representative of the life of a typical travel writer, but that’s not the point - this is pure escapism, a book for the beach; a book to be transported by on a cold, rainy day; a warm and well-intentioned, universal tale about weighing up second chances.

The Last Library

The Last Library

Author: Freya Sampson Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/09/2021

June Jones is a library assistant who has not moved much further than her fiction section. It’s where she grew up and it feels like home. She picks up the role after her mum passes away, and what tough shoes they are to fill. Incredibly shy and socially awkward June is forced to come out of her comfort zone and fight for what she believes in when the library is forced with closure. It’s such a warm and uplifting story of community, of kindness, of love and libraries. And along the way you really come to care for the characters who frequent the library: from Stanley Phelps, the Wodehouse-like gentleman who enjoys WWII historical fiction to the irascible Mrs B who complains about every book, to romance lover Linda.  This heart-warming tale takes you on a journey through books and characters, reminding you of everything you’ve ever read since you were a child. It’s a story of personal growth, of finding strength, the importance of friendships and love. I devoured it.

The Heart Principle

The Heart Principle

Author: Helen Hoang Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2021

It takes a certain skill to make a novel that’s part of a series feel like a standalone, while also pleasing loyal fans. It’s what Helen Hoang, with her latest release, has managed to pull off – and in style. At the start of The Heart Principle, we are thrown into the life of Anna. She’s a young violinist who’s found fame online. It quickly transpires, though, that she has a few problems on her talented hands. First there’s the professional one about anxiety around performing. And another: her boyfriend wants to sleep with other women. (To, you know, make sure she’s really the one, of course.) Understandably, this throws Anna into a state of chaos – and eventually into the arms of Quan.  Pearl clutchers, best not to read much further. This book has all the hallmarks of a contemporary romance, plus the deleted bedroom scenes. It’s steamy, very steamy. Yet it’s incredibly tender, emotive and revealing too. Hoang doesn’t hold back on subjects other writers may shy away from, and she explores sensitive issues with a boldness that’s hard not to admire. The Heart Principle introduces newbies to her work (like me) to her confident and gutsy storytelling, and to characters you’ll want to revisit again. 

eBooks of the Month
Would I Lie to You?

Would I Lie to You?

Author: Aliya Ali-Afzal Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/07/2021

Amusing yet poignant, uplifting yet sharply pointed, this is a very contemporary look at a woman spiralling out of control in an effort to keep up appearances. When Tom is made redundant and says the family will have to live off of their savings until he gets a new job, Faiza panics, she has secretly spent all of their money and is determined that Tom won’t find out. Faiza is warm and engaging, I felt as though I was sitting by her side and she was telling me her story. While there were times I winced and was frustrated by her actions, I also cheered her on and if I could, would have given her the hugest of huge hugs. A truly exquisite balance is maintained throughout this novel, Aliya Alif-Afzal writes with wit, perception, and emotional integrity. While sitting as a wonderfully readable and entertaining novel, this is a smart take on some of the problems faced in our society. Would I Lie To You is an engaging and moving debut, it’s also a little bit feisty, I loved it!  The LoveReading LitFest invited Aliya to the festival to talk about this fabulous debut. You can view the event by subscribing to the LitFest programme for as little as £6 per month - or you can pay per view. For just £2, go, see Aliya in conversation with Deborah Maclaren and find out why everyone should read this book. Check out a preview of the event here

Debut Books of the Month
Woman of a Certain Rage

Woman of a Certain Rage

Author: Georgie Hall Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/07/2021

The most wonderful, funny, and engaging novel, Woman of a Certain Rage simply danced into my hands and I read with true glee. Eliza has hit middle age and the menopause, as she navigates all that her hormones throw at her, can she rediscover the joys of her youth? I wanted to wriggle with excitement when I heard that this was Fiona Walker taking a writing step in a new direction as Georgie Hall. I completely understand why she is using a different name, as she says on her site: “I don’t want to mislead readers into expecting a big-cast Walker romp”. I genuinely feel as though I have been waiting for this novel, she takes the menopause years and runs with it, with laughter, warmth, and most of all empathy. She explores family life with teens and parents while maintaining a career, a relationship and home-life while the menopause is on the rampage. She made me snort with laughter on a number of occasions, and I frequently exclaimed as I recognised and related with different scenarios. While the midlife years and all the trials and tribulations that come with it sit centre stage, this is a book that can be read right through the age groups. All hail Georgie Hall as she uncovers the menopause with wit and honesty, excuse me while I find a few rooftops to camp out and shout from. Beautifully readable and laugh-out-loud funny, Woman of a Certain Rage is a LoveReading Star Book with attitude.

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The Secret Path

The Secret Path

Author: Karen Swan Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/07/2021

An old flame. A new spark. Love can find you in the most unlikely places. Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Swan returns with The Secret Path, taking us deep into the heart of the Costa Rican jungle - complete with her trademark romance, glamour, and jaw-dropping twists. At only twenty, Tara Tremain has everything: she's a trainee doctor, engaged to the man of her dreams - Alex, a passionate American biology student. But just when life seems perfect, Alex betrays her in the worst way possible. Ten years later, she's moved on - with a successful career, good friends and a man who loves her. But when she's pulled back into her wealthy family's orbit for a party in the heart of Costa Rica, she's flung into a crisis: a child is desperately ill and the only treatment is several days' trek away, deep in the jungle. There's only one person who can help - but can she trust the man who broke her heart? Your Costa Rican adventure awaits.

Love Your Life

Love Your Life

Author: Sophie Kinsella Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/06/2021

The irresistible new standalone novel from No. 1 bestselling author Sophie Kinsella. I love you . . . but what if I can't love your life? Ava is sick of online dating. She's always trusted her own instincts over an algorithm, anyway, and she wants a break from it all. So when she signs up to a semi-silent, anonymous writing retreat in glorious Italy, love is the last thing on her mind. Until she meets a handsome stranger. . . All she knows is that he's funny, he's kind and - she soon learns - he's great in bed. He's equally smitten, and after a whirlwind, intoxicating affair, they pledge their love without even knowing each other's real names. But when they return home, reality hits. They're both driven mad by each other's weird quirks and annoying habits, from his eccentric, naked-sauna-loving family to her terribly behaved, shirt-shredding dog. As disaster follows disaster, it seems that while they love each other, they just can't love each other's lives. Can they overcome their differences to find one life, together?

Ghosted

Ghosted

Author: Jenn Ashworth Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/06/2021

A deeply affecting and unconventional love story, shot through with anger, black humour and grief. One ordinary morning, Laurie's husband Mark vanishes, leaving behind his phone and wallet. For weeks, she tells no one, carrying on her job as a cleaner at the local university, visiting her tricky, dementia-suffering father and holing up in her tower-block flat with a bottle to hand. When she finally reports Mark as missing, the police are suspicious. Why did she take so long? Wasn't she worried? It turns out there are many more mysteries in Laurie's account of events, though not just because she glosses over the facts. At the time, she couldn't explain much of her behaviour herself. But as she looks back on the ensuing wreckage - the friendships broken, the wild accusations she made, the one-night stand - she can see more clearly what lay behind it. And if it's not too late, she can see how she might repair the damage and, most of all, forgive herself.

What Planet Can I Blame This On?

What Planet Can I Blame This On?

Author: Ellie Pilcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2021

Krystal is about to turn 29 and thought she had everything figured out. The perfect man, the perfect job and the perfect home. Until she didn't. And it all came tumbling down.  This book takes you on a journey of Kris' reawakening, and her journey to come to terms with her life. As she mourns her perfect life and she becomes aware of Saturn Return (when Saturn moves back to where it was on the day of your birth, and, according to legend everything falls apart), Kris takes on a new hobby, becomes obsessed with astrology and planning for the Saturn return. It's so candid, so real, so "of the moment" and I couldn't put it down. A read-in-one-sitting oh so readable tale about life, love, friendships and finding our right path.

Freed

Freed

Author: E. L. James Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2021

Relive the sensuality, the romance, and the drama of Fifty Shades Freed - the love story that enthralled millions of readers around the world - through the thoughts, reflections, and dreams of Christian Grey. E L James revisits the world of Fifty Shades with a deeper new take on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the globe. You are cordially invited to the wedding of the decade, when Christian Grey will make Anastasia Steele his wife. But is he really husband material? His dad is unsure, his brother wants to organise one helluva bachelor party, and his fiancee won't vow to obey . . . And marriage brings its own challenges. Their passion for each other burns hotter and deeper than ever, but Ana's defiant spirit continues to stir Christian's darkest fears and tests his need for control. As old rivalries and resentments endanger them both, one misjudgement threatens to tear them apart. Can Christian overcome the nightmares of his childhood and the torments of his youth, and save himself? And once he's discovered the truth of his origins, can he find forgiveness and accept Ana's unconditional love? Can Christian finally be freed?

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes

Author: Carole Matthews Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/05/2021

A wonderfully warm, bright book to escape into, to give yourself up to and just enjoy. Jodie Jackson leaves everything she knows for a houseboat in the Isle of Wight, she soon finds herself falling for the island and its inhabitants, but London is calling and won’t take no for an answer. I always look forward to reading the latest book by Carole Matthews, they wrap me up and give me a massive loving squeeze. Having said that, this isn’t syrupy sweet, oh no, some real life dilemmas and mistakes sneak in to ensure a feeling of connection, that this could be you, or someone you know. I loved Jodie’s voice and how she talks to the reader, it not only created a bond, I ended up feeling as though I had made a brand new friend. Pure, wonderful escapism, Sunny Days and Sea Breezes really is the most lovely relationship tale and I can thoroughly recommend picking up a copy and just allowing yourself to sink into the pages. We simply adored this book in the office and so it has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book as well as a Book of the Month.  Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

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