It is the dawn of the Eighteenth Century. At the farthest edges of the known world, the mighty East India Trading Company suffers catastrophic losses from pirates on the high seas. After four years away from service, master mariner Sir Hal Courtney prepares for his latest and most dangerous voyage – a death or glory mission in the name of Empire and the crown.
But Hal must also think about the fate of his four sons. All are very different from each other. But each will have a crucial part to play in shaping the Courtney’s destiny. Separated by the winds of hazard, adventure will rule their future – just as passion will forge their lives…
Wilbur Smith carries all the powerful drama and rich emotions of a bygone time into his action-packed tale of the sea. Monsoon is a masterpiece from the world’s greatest storyteller.
Wilbur Smith - The Quest
Wilbur Smith returns with the eagerly awaited sequel to his thrilling Egyptian series. Following on from "River God, The Seventh Scroll " and" Warlock, The Quest" continues the story of the Warlock, Taita, wise in the lore of the ancient Gods and a master of magic and the supernatural. Egypt is struck by a series of terrible plagues that cripple the Kingdom, and then the ultimate disaster follows. The Nile fails. The waters that nourish and sustain the land dry up. Something catastrophic is taking place in the distant and totally unexplored depths of Africa from where the mighty river springs. In desperation Pharoah sends for Taita, the only man who might be able to win through to the source of the Nile and discover the cause of all their woes. None of them can have any idea of what a terrible enemy lies in ambush for The Warlock in those mysterious lands at the end of their world
Patrick O'Brian - The Far Side of the World
Captain Jack Aubrey sets sail for Cape Horn, determined to intercept an American frigate before it can wreak havoc on the British whaling trade. As always, he is accompanied by intelligence operative Stephen Maturin, and as always, Aubrey has no idea of what his companion is up to. Another impeccably written adventure, by the end of which you should be able to identify a mizzen topsail in your sleep.
Edward S. Aarons - Assignment Budapest
A Hungarian scientist working in the U.S. on an important government project has disappeared and is feared to have been forcibly returned to Hungary. When Durell's boss decides to handle the case, he leaves Durell in charge.
Wilbur Smith - When the Lion Feeds
Sean and his twin brother Garrick couldn't be more different. And when fate, war and jealous schemes of a woman interfere with their lives, they are destined to be driven even further apart. But as time progresses and their history unfolds, a continent is awakening. A continent on whose horizons await the promises of fortune, adventure and love. Available in September.
Bill Bryson - The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
Few childhoods are interesting to anyone other than the individuals that lived them. Even a mundane childhood, though, can be made interesting through good writing, and Bill Bryson’s memoir fits this category. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is Bryson’s nostalgia-soaked story of his childhood in 1950s Iowa. Bryson describes his family, friends, and the city of Des Moines with reverence for the profound effect they had on his life. The title refers to Bryson’s childhood alter ego, a superhero who has the power to vaporize all adults who interfere or annoy. Bryson’s rich imagination clearly played a large role in his childhood, and it’s that imagination coupled with a gift for slick writing that makes Thunderbolt Kid so enjoyable. It’s hard to predict whether this book will appeal more to those who remember the 1950s, or those who weren’t born yet and will be charmed by Bryson’s descriptions. Bryson augments his own memories with slice-of-life tidbits from newspapers of the era along with deeper research into what was going on in the world outside Des Moines. The idyllic atmosphere seems at time to involve willful denial of other national problems, and Bryson is careful to temper the 1950s optimism with darker hints. He describes segregation and Jim Crow laws along with the nuclear arms race that led to schoolchildren being taught to hide under their desks. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is a fantastic book for any reader who remembers childhood.
Katie Fforde - Summer of Love
Sian Bishop has only ever experienced one moment of recklessness – a moment that resulted in her beloved son Rory. It’s not that she doesn’t love the outcome of that wild night, but since then she has always taken the safer route. So when dependable, devoted Richard suggests a move to the beautiful English countryside, she leaves the hustle and bustle of the city behind, and she throws herself into the picture-postcard cottage garden, her furniture restoration business, and a new life in the country. Her good intentions are torpedoed on a glorious summer’s evening with the arrival of Gus Berresford. One-time explorer and full-time heartbreaker, Gus is ridiculously exciting, wonderfully glamorous and a completely inappropriate love interest for a single mum. But Gus and Sian have met before… Sian has no use for a fling, she simply mustn’t fall in love with the most unlikely suitor ever to cross her path – even if he has now crossed her path twice. But who knows what can happen in a summer of love…
Katie Fforde - Wild Designs
Althea is the mother of three strong-minded children - one of whom is a Buddhist - and owner of a finicky dog named Bozo. Saddled with too large a house (albeit in a beautiful Cotswold village), worrisome mortgage payments, a bossy younger sister and irksome ex-husband, Althea still manages to muddle through life comfortably enough. Until she loses her job. Seeking solace in her borrowed greenhouse, Althea decides to develop her passion for gardening. And when she wins the opportunity to design a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show with the unexpected help of gorgeous architect Patrick Donahugh, it looks as though Althea may have unearthed a new man as well as a new career...
Katie Fforde - Paradise Fields
It's not as if Nel hadn't enough on her plate already: organising a farmers' market in the picturesque Paradise Fields and keeping track of her unnervingly beautiful teenage daughter - plus sorting out a houseful of animals - are quite enough to keep her busy. The last thing she needs is another complication in her life, but when her old friend Sir Gerald dies and his son, Pierce - accompanied by his glamorous American wife - takes possession of The Big House, it seems that preserving the Fields is not on his list of priorities. Nel takes up arms, determined to fight for the meadow and the market she loves. But whom can she trust? She's pretty sure her friends Sacha and Vivian are on her side, but her sensible boyfriend Simon, an estate agent, is less encouraging. And then there's Jake, the exaspering yet attractive stranger who kissed her under the mistletoe. Maybe she's been a not-so-merry widow for far too long.
Katie Fforde - Wedding Season
Sarah is a wedding planner hiding a rather inconvenient truth - she doesn't believe in love. Or not for herself, anyway. But as the confetti flutters away on the June breeze of yet another successful wedding she somehow finds herself agreeing to organise two more, on the same day and only two months away. And whilst her celebrity bride is all sweetness and light, her own sister soon starts driving her mad with her high expectations but very limited budget. Luckily Sara has two tried and tested friends on hand to help her. Elsa, an accomplished dress designer who likes to keep a very low profile, and Bron, a multi-talented hairdresser who lives with her unreconstructed boyfriend and who'd like to go solo in more ways than one. They may be very good at their work but romance doesn't feature very highly in any of their lives. As the big day draws near all three women find that patience is definitely a virtue in the marriage game. And as all their working hours are spent preparing for the wedding of the year plus one they certainly haven't got any time to even think about love . Or have they?
Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan of the Apes
Abandoned to his fate when his English parents die in the African jungle, a baby boy is rescued and reared by a loving ape foster mother. Conquering the savage laws of the wilderness, Tarzan grows into a mighty warrior and becomes leader of his tribe of apes until he encounters, for the first time, his own kind - humans. An expedition of white treasure hunters has entered his jungle kingdom, accompanied by the beautiful Jane Porter. Tarzan's primitive heart is struck and he determines to become civilized in order to win her. But will the charms of this cultured young woman overcome when the spirit of his wild nature beckons?
Katie Fforde - Restoring Grace
Ellie Summers' life is unravelling. Finding herself pregnant - and her sexy but idle boyfriend Rick less than enthusiastic about parenthood - she needs a plan. Fast. Grace Soudley's life is also coming apart at the seams - her only security is the beautiful yet crumbling old house she was left by her godmother. But unless she can find a fortune, Luckenham House will disintegrate around her. When Ellie and Grace meet, the two very different women find they can help each other out. Ellie needs a place to stay; Grace needs a lodger. Both of them need a friend. But then the disconcertingly engaging Flynn Cormack arrives on the scene, apparently determined to help. And when Grace discovers some beautiful painted panels hidden behind the tattered dining-room curtains, the whole business of restoration starts to get serious...
Carrie Vaughn - Steel
When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever? Drawing on piratical lore and historical fact, Carrie Vaughn creates a vivid world of swaying masts and swelling seas, where blood magic overrules the laws of nature, romance is in the air, and death can come at the single slip of a sword.
Mia March - The Meryl Streep Movie Club
In the bestselling tradition of The Friday Night Knitting Club and The Jane Austen Book Club, three women find unexpected answers, happiness, and one another, using Meryl Streep’s movies as their inspiration. Three estranged female relatives—two sisters and the cousin they grew up with after a tragedy—are summoned home to their aunt’s inn on the coast of Maine. Thirty-one-year-old Isabel Nash McNeal is reeling from her husband’s affair, but a secret pact she made years ago may keep her from the one thing she wants most. Twenty-eight-year-old single mother June Nash promised her young son she’ll finally track down his father, and her search will lead her where she least expects it. Their cousin, twenty-five-year old Kat Weller, rocked by her mother’s shocking announcement and the arrival of her cousins, accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal—then has her “yes” tested in ways she never imagined. Every Friday night, Isabel, June, and Kat reluctantly get together to watch the films of their family matriarch’s favorite actress—Meryl Streep—and find themselves sharing secrets, talking long into the night, and questioning everything they thought they knew about one another, life, and love. Through surprising and heartfelt discussions of movies such as Out of Africa, The Bridges of Madison County, and Mamma Mia, the three women unexpectedly discover who they really are and what they truly want
Steve Berry - The King's Deception
Cotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his former boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort a teenage fugitive back to England. But after he is greeted at gunpoint in London, both the fugitive and Gary disappear, and Malone learns that he’s stumbled into a high-stakes diplomatic showdown—an international incident fueled by geopolitical gamesmanship and shocking Tudor secrets. At its heart is the Libyan terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who is set to be released by Scottish authorities for “humanitarian reasons.” An outraged American government objects, but nothing can persuade the British to intervene. Except, perhaps, Operation King’s Deception. Run by the CIA, the operation aims to solve a centuries-old mystery, one that could rock Great Britain to its royal foundations. Blake Antrim, the CIA operative in charge of King’s Deception, is hunting for the spark that could rekindle a most dangerous fire, the one thing that every Irish national has sought for generations: a legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. The answer is a long-buried secret that calls into question the legitimacy of the entire forty-five-year reign of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, who completed the conquest of Ireland and seized much of its land. But Antrim also has a more personal agenda, a twisted game of revenge in which Gary is a pawn. With assassins, traitors, spies, and dangerous disciples of a secret society closing in, Malone is caught in a lethal bind. To save Gary he must play one treacherous player against another—and only by uncovering the incredible truth can he hope to prevent the shattering consequences of the King’s Deception.
Jean M. Auel - The Mammoth Hunters
Leaving the valley of horses with Jondalar, the handsome man she has nursed back to health and come to love, Ayla embarks on a journey that will lead her to the Mamutoi; the Mammoth Hunters. But as she settles into this new life among a people at first strange and disturbingly different, Ayla finds herself irresistibly drawn to Ranec, their master-carver. Ultimately, she is compelled to make a fateful choice between the two men. Jean Auel's imaginative reconstruction of pre-historic life, rich in detail of language, culture, myth and ritual, has become a set text in schools and colleges around the world.
David Lodge - Small World
The unbridled greed, pettiness, buffoonery and intellectual gobbledegook in the world of higher scholarship are the topics of this thorough and thoroughly funny "roman à English department". It's interesting for a couple of reasons, aside from its humour and lampoonery: it's an insider's view of things--always the best kind--and it takes its old- fashioned time telling a story, complete with reasonable digressions about the state of literary criticism and what may or may not be a realistic view of the academic life.
Patrick O'Brian - The Commodore
After several installments of gallivanting around the South Seas, Aubrey and Maturin return home to England, where the surgeon-cum-intelligence-agent discovers that his wife has disappeared. As if such a domestic crisis weren't enough, the intrepid pair are also dispatched to the Gulf of Guinea (to suppress the slave trade) and to Ireland (to rebuff an impending French invasion). O'Brian's stunning range, coupled with his mind-bending command of minutiae, explain why James Hamilton-Paterson has called him "the Homer of the Napoleonic Wars."
Robert E. Howard - The Right Hand of Doom & Other Tales of Solomon Kane
The sixteenth-century Puritan Solomon Kane has a thirst for justice which surpasses common reason. Sombre of mood, clad in black and grey, he 'never sought to analyse his motives and he never wavered once his mind was made up. Though he always acted on impulse, he firmly believed that all his actions were governed by cold and logical reasonings... A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things, and avenge all crimes against right and justice'. Immune to the attractions of the opposite sex, he seems drawn by some psychological distress beacon to places where he knows only that he will be called upon to defend the helpless or (more often) exact retribution on their behalf. Himself a Christian, possessed of enormous strength and skill in swordplay, he yet has little hesitation in calling upon the assistance of his Voodoo-practising friend N Longa when strength, skill and Christian belief are not enough.
Patrick O'Brian - The Wine-Dark Sea
In this installment of O'Brian's maritime epic, Captain Aubrey and the crew of the Surprise are pursuing an American privateer through the Great South Sea. As is his custom, O'Brian grabs your attention with the first, beautifully memorable sentence: "A purple ocean, vast under the sky and devoid of all visible life apart from two minute ships racing across its immensity." And he doesn't relinquish it until 260 pages later, by which point Jack Aubrey is delighted at the mere fact of being alive.