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.
A Grazia, Stylist, Cosmo, i paper, Red and Independent book of the year for 2021 Stuck in a dead-end job, broken-hearted, broke and estranged from her best friend: Violet's life is nothing like she thought it would be. She wants more - better friends, better sex, a better job - and she wants it now. So, when Lottie - who looks like the woman Violet wants to be when she grows up - offers Violet the chance to join her exciting start-up, she bites. Only it soon becomes clear that Lottie and her husband Simon are not only inviting Violet into their company, they are also inviting her into their lives. Seduced by their townhouse, their expensive candles and their Friday-night sex parties, Violet cannot tear herself away from Lottie, Simon or their friends. But is this really the more Violet yearns for? Will it grant her the satisfaction she is so desperately seeking? Insatiable is about women and desire - lust, longing and the need to be loved. It is a story about being unable to tell whether you are running towards your future or simply running away from your past. The result is at once tender and sad, funny and hopeful.
Come back to me. That was the very last thing I said to him. Always. The very last thing he said to me. Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have. But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms. What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down. When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for. Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for. A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.