Jo Mackenzie needs a kickstart to her dull life. Despite having two energetic young sons to cope with, everyday existence has become boring and stale, and relations with her husband are not good. When given the opportunity, Jo absolutely jumps at the chance to take over her Gran’s wool shop in a small, seaside town.
Of course, things are not going to be easy — strife and conflict are the source of good comedy (and there are some wonderful and memorable moments here)! Unlikely though it might be, an A-list actress moves into the local mansion — and that is always going to cause a fuss in such a small place. Add to that the fact that the local knitting group seem to like cake more than making stuff and you’ve got more than enough elements to make for a lovely, warm, uplifiting read.
Philippa Gregory - The Other Boleyn Girl
Mary Boleyn catches the eye of Henry VIII when she is a girl of just fourteen. But her joy is cut short when she discovers that she is a pawn in her family's plots. When the capricious king's interest warnes, Mary is ordered to pass on her knowledge of how to please him to her friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Anne soon becomes irresistible to Henry, and Mary must resign herself to being the other Boleyn girl. But beyond the court is a man who dares to challenge the power of her family to offer Mary a life of freedom and passion. If only she has the courage to break away - before the Boleyn enemies turn on the Boleyn girls... (Harper, 2011)
M. C. Beaton - Penelope Goes to Portsmouth
Kind-hearted Miss Hannah Pym is off to Portsmouth in the company of the beautiful but practical Miss Penelope Wilkins. Miss Pym quickly realises that Penelope needs someone to enliven her sheltered life, someone perhaps like their handsome travelling companion, Lord Augustus Railton. Penelope, however, thinks Lord Augustus is a ne'er-do-well...Hannah's hopes for adventure, on the other hand, are fulfilled when the coach happens upon a footman who faces hanging for a crime he didn't commit.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
The Collector's Library in Colour takes the favourite illustrated titles of The Collector's Library and presents them in full colour. Jane Austen's best-loved novel is a memorable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, about the power of reason, and above all about the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions. Here, where Hugh Thomson's delightful period illustrations were originally black-and-white, they have been sensitively coloured by Barbara Frith, one of Britain 's most accomplished colourists. A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and Prejudice shows how the headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and the aristocratic Mr Darcy must have their pride humbled and their prejudices dissolved before they can acknowledge their love for each other." With an Afterword by Henry Hitchings.
M. C. Beaton - Emily Goes to Exeter
A dead employer's legacy of five thousand pounds allows spinster Hannah Pym to resign from housekeeping and find adventure travelling the English countryside by stagecoach. But adventure soon finds Miss Pym in the form of Miss Emily Freemantle, a spoilt violet-eyed beauty fleeing an arranged marriage to a rake she has never met. What the girl's darkly handsome betrothed boards their stage, Miss Pym is certain Emily was rash to bolt from this aristocratic catch! And so as soon as the travellers repair to an inn, Miss Pym begins her matchmaking...and although Lord Ranger Harley complains he'll not marry an ungrateful minx, Miss Pym suspects once she's marshalled the couple into sharing intimate household chores, all romantic knots will be untangled!
Nicholas Sparks - The Notebook
A man with a faded, well-worn notebook open in his lap. A woman experiencing a morning ritual she doesn't understand. Until he begins to read to her. The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever. Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from World War II. Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories...until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the future, a future that only she can shape. Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. Shining with a beauty that is rarely found in current literature, The Notebook establishes Nicholas Sparks as a classic storyteller with a unique insight into the only emotion that really matters. "I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough." And so begins one of the most poignant and compelling love stories you will ever read...The Notebook
Joanne Harris - Five Quarters of the Orange
Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake - but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow named after a raspberry liqueur, plies her culinary trade at the creperie - and lets memory play strange games. Into this world comes the threat of revelation as Framboise's nephew - a profiteering Parisian - attempts to exploit the growing success of the country recipes she has inherited from her mother, a woman remembered with contempt by the villagers of Les Laveuses. As the split blood of a tragic wartime childhood flows again, exposure beckons for Framboise, the widow with an invented past. Joanne Harris has looked behind the drawn shutters of occupied France to illuminate the pain, delight and loss of a life changed for ever by the uncertainties and betrayals of war.
Sophie Kinsella - Remember me?
Lexi wakes up in a hospital bed after a car accident, thinking it's 2004 and she's a twenty-five-year-old with crooked teeth and a disastrous love life. But, to her disbelief, she learns it's actually 2007 - she's twenty-eight, her teeth are straight, she's the boss of her department -and she's married! To a good-looking millionaire! How on earth did she land the dream life?! She can't believe her luck - especially when she sees her stunning new home. She's sure she'll have a fantastic marriage once she gets to know her husband again. He's drawn up a 'marriage manual', which should help. But as she learns more about her new self, chinks start to appear in the perfect life. All her old friends hate her. A rival is after her job. Then a dishevelled, sexy guy turns up ... and lands a new bombshell.
Gil McNeil - The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club
When her husband dies in a car crash–not long after announcing he wants a divorce–Jo Mackenzie packs up her two rowdy boys and moves from London to a dilapidated villa in her seaside hometown. There, she takes over her beloved Gran's knitting shop–a quaint but out-of-date store in desperate need of a facelift. After a rough beginning, Jo soon finds comfort in a „Stitch and Bitch” group; a collection of quirky, lively women who share their stories, and their addiction to cake, with warmth and humor. As Jo starts to get the hang of single-parent life in a small town, she relies on her knitting group for support. The women meet every week at the shop on Beach Street and trade gossip and advice as freely as they do a new stitch. But when a new man enters Jo's life, and an A-list actress moves into the local mansion, the knitting club has even more trouble confining the conversation to knit one, purl two. The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club is an uplifting, winning tale about the healing power of friendship and new beginnings. It's a charming novel that will delight all passionate knitters–and win over befuddled, would-be knitters, too.
Sarah Addison Allen - The Peach Keeper
The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be. It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots. But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it. For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town. Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living. Resonant with insight into the deep and lasting power of friendship, love, and tradition, The Peach Keeper is a portrait of the unshakable bonds that—in good times and bad, from one generation to the next—endure forever.
Jane Austen - Persuasion
At twenty-seven, Anne Elliot is no longer young and has few romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she had been persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortune nor rank. What happens when they encounter each other again is movingly told in Jane Austen's last completed novel. Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, "Persuasion" is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, but, above all, it is a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.
Jane Austen - Northanger Abbey
Harper Collins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Northanger Abbey! These were thrilling words, and wound up Catherine's feelings to the highest point of ecstasy.' Considered the most light-hearted and satirical of Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey tells the story of an unlikely young heroine Catherine Morland. While staying in Bath, Catherine meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor who invite her to their family estate, Northanger Abbey. A fan of Gothic Romance novels, naive Catherine is soon letting her imagination run wild in the atmospheric abbey, fuelled by her friendship with the vivacious Isabella Thorpe. It is only when the realities of life set in around her that Catherine's fantastical world is shattered. A coming-of-age novel, Austen expertly parodies the Gothic romance novels of her time and reveals much about her unsentimental view of love and marriage in the eighteenth century.
Alexandra Potter - Be Careful What You Wish For!
A sassy romantic comedy to delight fans of Sophie Kinsella, Freya North and Helen Fielding. You couldn't wish for a better book! 'I wish I could get a seat on the tube...I hadn't eaten that entire bag of Maltesers...I could meet a man whose hobbies include washing up and monogamy...' Heather Hamilton is always wishing for things. Not just big stuff - like world peace or for a date with Brad Pitt - but little, everyday wishes, made without thinking. With her luck, she knows they'll never come true...Until one day she buys some heather from a gypsy. Suddenly the bad hair days stop; a handsome American answers her ad for a housemate; and she starts seeing James - The Perfect Man who sends her flowers, excels in the bedroom, and isn't afraid to say 'I love you'...But are these wishes-come-true a blessing or a curse? And is there such a thing as too much foreplay?
Tony Parsons - Starting Over
This is the story of how we grow old - how we give up the dreams of youth for something better - and how many chances we have to get it right. George Bailey has been given the gift we all dream of - the chance to live his life again. After suffering a heart attack at the age of 42, George is given the heart of a 19-year-old - and suddenly everything changes... He is a friend to his teenage son and daughter - and not a stern Home Secretary, monitoring their every move. He makes love to his wife all night long - instead of from midnight until about five past. And suddenly he wants to change the world, just as soon as he shakes off his hangover. But George Bailey discovers that being young again is not all it is cracked up to be - and what he actually wants more than anything in the universe is to have his old life back.
Cecelia Ahern - Thanks for the Memories
Cecelia Ahern: making the everyday magical. How can you know someone you've never met? When Joyce leaves hospital after a terrible accident, with her life and her marriage in pieces, she moves back in with her elderly father. All the while, a strong sense of déja vu is overwhelming her and she can't figure out why ...
E. L. James - Fifty Shades Darker
Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades. While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.
Milly Johnson - The Yorkshire Pudding Club
Three South Yorkshire friends, all on the cusp of 40, fall pregnant at the same time following a visit to an ancient fertility symbol. For Helen, it's a dream come true, although her husband is not as thrilled about it as she had hoped. Not only wrestling with painful ghosts of the past, Helen has to deal with the fact that her outwardly perfect marriage is crumbling before her eyes. For Janey, it is an unmitigated disaster as she has just been offered the career break of a life-time. And she has no idea either how it could possibly have happened, seeing as she and her ecstatic husband George were always so careful over contraception. For Elizabeth, it is mind-numbing, because she knows people like her shouldn't have children. Damaged by her dysfunctional childhood and emotionally lost, she not only has to contend with carrying a child she doubts she can ever love, but she also has to deal with the return to her life of a man whose love she must deny herself. Heart-warming, up-lifting, tear-jerking and lovely, THE YORKSHIRE PUDDING CLUB is the story of how three women find themselves empowered by unexpected pregnancy. How it revitalises one woman's tired marriage, strengthens another's belief in herself and brings love and warmth to a cold and empty life.
Mary Ann Shaffer - Annie Barrows - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet's name in a used book and invites articulate—and not-so-articulate—neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book's epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident—including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation—and person to person in a manner that feels disjointed. But Juliet's quips are so clever, the Guernsey inhabitants so enchanting and the small acts of heroism so vivid and moving that one forgives the authors (Shaffer died earlier this year) for not being able to settle on a single person or plot. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life—as will readers.
Joanne Harris - Gentlemen and Players
The place is St Oswald's, an old and long-established boys' grammar school in the north of England. A new year has just begun, and for the staff and boys of the school, a wind of unwelcome change is blowing. Suits, paperwork and Information Technology rule the world and Roy Straitley, Latin master, eccentric, and veteran of St Oswald's, is finally - reluctantly - contemplating retirement. But beneath the little rivalries, petty disputes and everyday crises of the school, a darker undercurrent stirs. And a bitter grudge, hidden and carefully nurtured for thirteen years, is about to erupt. Who is Mole, the mysterious insider, whose cruel practical jokes are gradually escalating towards violence - and perhaps, murder? And how can an old and half-forgotten scandal become the stone that brings down a giant?
Stephenie Meyer - New Moon
For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of an evil vampire but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realise their troubles may just be beginning ...
Daniel Glattauer - Love Virtually
While trying to cancel her subscription to a magazine, Emmi emails Leo by mistake. In no time at all they form a cyber relationship, sharing their innermost secrets, desires and passions. It seems only a matter of time before they will meet in person. But they keep putting off the moment – and after all, Emmi is happily married...