Relationship Stories

All relationships have their ups and downs, whether it’s struggles with a partner or difficulties in the family. Our Relationship Stories section shows the unique features of relationships in gloriously written technicolour.

This Vicious Grace

This Vicious Grace

Author: Emily Thiede Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/06/2022

Riveting, passionate, and full of high stakes danger. --Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Thiede's exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more! Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa's gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner's magic, not kill every suitor she touches. Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island's only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her. Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante's dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty

You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty

Author: Akwaeke Emezi Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/05/2022

It's the opportunity of a lifetime: Feyi is about to be given the chance to escape the City's blistering heat for a dream island holiday: poolside cocktails, beach sunsets, and elaborate meals. And as the sun goes down on her old life our heroine also might just be ready to open her heart to someone new. The only problem is, she's falling for the one man she absolutely can't have.

The Dance Tree

The Dance Tree

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

In Strasbourg, in the boiling hot summer of 1518, a plague strikes the women of the city. First it is just one – a lone figure, dancing in the main square – but she is joined by more and more and the city authorities declare an emergency. Musicians will be brought in. The devil will be danced out of these women. Just beyond the city’s limits, pregnant Lisbet lives with her mother-in-law and husband, tending the bees that are their livelihood. Her best friend Ida visits regularly and Lisbet is so looking forward to sharing life and motherhood with her. And then, just as the first woman begins to dance in the city, Lisbet’s sister-in-law Nethe returns from six years’ penance in the mountains for an unknown crime. No one – not even Ida – will tell Lisbet what Nethe did all those years ago, and Nethe herself will not speak a word about it. It is the beginning of a few weeks that will change everything for Lisbet – her understanding of what it is to love and be loved, and her determination to survive at all costs for the baby she is carrying. Lisbet and Nethe and Ida soon find themselves pushing at the boundaries of their existence – but they’re dancing to a dangerous tune . . .

Storm Tide

Storm Tide

Author: Wilbur Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/04/2022

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.

Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?

Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?

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

The Nigerian accent Dictionary Huzband (pronounced auz-band) noun 1. A male partner in a marriage E.g. Yinka's younger sister, Kemi, is married to Uche 2. A non-existent man in a non-existent marriage whose whereabouts is often questioned, usually by Nigerian mums and aunties to single British Nigerian women E.g. So, Yinka. Tell me. Where is your huzband? Ah, ah. You're thirty-one now! Yinka wants to find love. Her mum wants to find it for her. She also has too many aunties who frequently pray for her delivery from singledom, a preference for chicken and chips over traditional Nigerian food, and a bum she's sure is far too small as a result. Oh, and the fact that she's a thirty-one-year-old South-Londoner who doesn't believe in sex before marriage is a bit of an obstacle too... When her cousin gets engaged, Yinka commences 'Operation Find A Date for Rachel's Wedding'. Armed with a totally flawless, incredibly specific plan, will Yinka find herself a huzband? What if the thing she really needs to find is herself?

Sundial

Sundial

Author: Catriona Ward Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2022

So exquisitely haunting it hurts, Sundial slithers into thoughts to carve out a spot and make itself at home. Fearing for the future of both her daughters, Rob takes troubled Callie to her own childhood home in the Mojave Desert and revisits the past. I have been of fan of Catriona Ward since her debut Rawblood, each of her subsequent novels has become my new favourite, and that is most certainly the case here. Just reading the synopsis sent a shiver through me, I had to have this book! As I started to read, goosebumps shivered and skittered their way down my skin to declare just how special this was going to be. A quiet menace slipped past my boundaries to create a heightened sense of fear for what was to come. The smallest yet most vital of moments are created to tip feelings already in the balance. Trust is a scare commodity, love though, love is more than evident as mother and daughter test their relationship. There is also a grace to be found, in the eloquence of words as they slice and then stitch to form the most vividly real and vibrant story. Sundial is an intensely dark and blazingly beautiful novel about the love that can hold us together, or shatter us into pieces. This stunning tale that hovers on a sharp edge of horror has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book, and Liz Pick of the Month, it will undoubtedly be one of my books of the year.

Star Books
Good Intentions

Good Intentions

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

A heart-wrenching and beautifully told debut novel about love, family obligation and finding your way. Nur and Yasmina are in love They've been together for four happy years But Nur's parents don't know that Yasmina exists As Nur's family counts down to midnight on New Year's Eve, Nur is watching the clock more closely than most: he has made a pact with himself, and with his girlfriend, Yasmina, that at midnight he will finally tell his Pakistani parents the truth. That he has spent years hiding his personal life from them to preserve his image as the golden child. That he has built a life with a woman he loves and she is Black. Nur wants to be the good son his parents ask him to be, and the good boyfriend Yasmina needs him to be. But as everything he holds dear is challenged, he is forced to ask, is love really a choice for a second-generation immigrant son like him? Deftly exploring family obligation and racial prejudice alongside the flush of first love, Good Intentions is a captivating and powerful modern love story that announces a thrilling new voice in British fiction.

One Night on the Island

One Night on the Island

Author: Josie Silver Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/02/2022

One cottage. Two strangers. Every great love story starts somewhere... Cleo writes about love stories every day. She just isn't living one of her own. When the editor of her dating column asks her to marry herself on a remote Irish island - a sensational piece to mark Cleo's thirtieth birthday - Cleo agrees. She's alone but not lonely, right? She can handle a solo adventure. Cleo arrives at her luxury cabin to find a tall, dark, stubborn American who insists it's actually his. Mack refuses to leave, and Cleo won't budge either. With a storm fast approaching, they reluctantly hunker down together. It's just one night, after all . . . But what if one night on the island is just the beginning? Following Cleo and Mack through heartbreak, self growth and friendship, One Night on the Island is an uplifting and immensely moving love story for fans of The Holiday, Lucy Diamond and Jojo Moyes.

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? 

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...

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
The Leviathan

The Leviathan

Author: Rosie Andrews Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/02/2022

A beguiling tale of superstition, myth and murder, perfect for fans of The Binding, The Essex Serpent and Once Upon a River. She is awake... Norfolk, 1643. With civil war tearing England apart, reluctant soldier Thomas Treadwater is summoned home by his sister, who accuses a new servant of improper conduct with their widowed father. By the time Thomas returns home, his father is insensible, felled by a stroke, and their new servant is in prison, facing charges of witchcraft. Thomas prides himself on being a rational, modern man, but as he unravels the mystery of what has happened, he uncovers not a tale of superstition but something dark and ancient, linked to a shipwreck years before. Something has awoken, and now it will not rest. Richly researched, incredibly atmospheric, and deliciously unsettling, The Leviathan is set in England during a time of political turbulence and religious zealotry. It is a tale of family and loyalty, superstition and sacrifice, but most of all it is a spellbinding mystery and a story of impossible things.