As a new blogger, its inevitable that I have missed some great titles in recent times. Certainly, for the past couple of years, my head has been elsewhere rather than keeping up the latest releases. I’ve found a list of titles that I wished I’d read, and fully intend to read now that I know about them. You may have come across them already, and even read a few, however they cover several genres and sub-genres, I’m going to list them anyway. I hope you find it useful, and I hope that, like me, you have an ‘OMG I want to read that’ moment (or two).
Should the Grim Reaper come calling, point him to my reading pile and tell him I’m rather busy at the moment, and he’ll have to come back later. Much later. When I’ve read all my books…
Light We Lost – Jill Santopolo
Two lives. Two loves. One choice.
Every love story has a beginning…Lucy and Gabe meet in New York on a day that will change their lives – and the world – forever. As the city burns behind them, they kiss for the very first time.Over the next thirteen years they are torn apart, then brought back together, time and time again. It’s a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of forgiveness – and above all, love. And as Lucy is faced with a devastating choice, she wonders whether their love is a matter of destiny or chance.
A Room on Rue Amelie – Kristin Harmel
Ruby Henderson Benoit, a newlywed arriving in Paris in 1939 with her French husband Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. War is looming on the horizon however, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too.
Charlotte Dacher is eleven when the Germans roll into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can’t imagine things getting much worse. But then the mass deportations begin, and her life is ripped forever apart.
Thomas Clarke joins the British Royal Air Force to protect his country, but when his beloved mother dies in a German bombing during the waning days of the Blitz, he wonders if he’s really making a difference. Then he finds himself in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and he discovers a new reason to keep fighting–and an unexpected road home.
When fate brings them together, Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas must summon the courage to defy the Nazis–and to open their own broken hearts–as they fight to survive. Rich with historical drama and emotional depth, this is an unforgettable story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.
To Die but Once – Jacqueline Winspear
Spring 1940. With Britons facing what has become known as the Bore War – nothing much seems to have happened yet – Maisie Dobbs is asked to investigate the disappearance of a local lad, a young apprentice craftsman working on a “hush-hush” government contract. As Maisie’s inquiry reveals a possible link to the London underworld, so the country is bracing for a possible enemy invasion amid news of the British expeditionary force stranded along the French coast. And another mother is worried about a missing son – but this time the boy in question is one beloved by Maisie.
Hoarder– Jess Kidd
Maud Drennan – underpaid carer and unintentional psychic – is the latest in a long line of dogs-bodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her.
With only her agoraphobic landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?
Hurts To Love You – Alisha Rai
Well-behaved women don’t lust after men who love to mis-behave. Heiress Evangeline Chandler knows how to keep a secret . . . like her life-long crush on the tattooed hottie who just happens to be her big brother’s friend. She’s a Chandler, after all, and Chandlers don’t hook up with the help. Then again, they also don’t disobey their fathers and quit their respectable jobs, so good-girl rules may no-longer apply.
Gabriel Hunter hides the pain of his past behind a smile, but he can’t hide his sudden attraction to his friend’s sheltered little sister. Eve is far too sweet to accept anything less than forever and there’s no chance of a future between the son of a housekeeper and the town’s resident princess. When a wedding party forces Eve and Gabe into tight quarters, keeping their hands off each other will be as hard as keeping their clothes on. The need that draws them together is stronger than the forces that should shove them apart . . . but their sparks may not survive the explosion when long-buried secrets are finally unearthed.
Alice Network – Kate Quinn
Two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947: In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915: A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth, no matter where it leads.
Rules of Magic – Alice Hoffman
The prequel to Practical Magic with aunts Frances and Jet, and Vincent their brother. From the beginning their mother Susanna knew they were unique: Franny with her skin as pale as milk and blood-red hair, who could commune with birds; Jet as shy as she is beautiful, who knows what others are thinking, and Vincent so charismatic that he was built for trouble. Susanna needed to set some rules of magic: no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles and certainly, absolutely, no books about magic…
But the Owens siblings are desperate to uncover who they really are. Each heads down a life-altering course, filled with secrets and truths, devastation and joy, and magic and love. Despite the warning handed down through the family for centuries – Know that for our family, love is a curse – they will all strive to break the rules and find true love.
How to Fall in Love with a Man who lives in a Bush – Emmy Abrahamson
Julia is looking for Mr Right, but Ben is more Mr Right-Now-He-Could-Do-With-a-Bath… based on a true story, this is the perfect antidote to all those Prince Charming books.
You may think you know what kind of novel this is, but you’d be wrong. Yes, Julia is a single-girl cliché, living alone with her cat in Vienna and working in a language school. And yes, a series of disastrous dates has left her despairing of ever finding The One – until Ben sits next to her on a bench. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and also incredibly hairy, barefoot, a bit ripe-smelling and of no fixed abode. You guessed it – they fall in love, as couples in novels do. But can Julia overlook the differences between them, abandon logic and choose with her heart?
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows – Balli Kaur Jaswal
Every woman has a secret life…
When Nikki takes a creative writing job at her local temple, with visions of emancipating the women of the community she left behind as a self-important teenager, she’s shocked to discover a group of barely literate women who have no interest in her ideals. Yet to her surprise, the white dupatta of the widow hides more than just their modesty – these are women who have spent their lives in the shadows of fathers, brothers and husbands; being dutiful, raising children and going to temple, but whose inner lives are as rich and fruitful as their untold stories. But as they begin to open up to each other about womanhood, sexuality, and the dark secrets within the community, Nikki realises that the illicit nature of the class may place them all in danger.ast meets west and tradition clashes with modernity in a thought-provoking cross-cultural novel that might make you look again at the women in your life…
The Awkward Age – Francesca Segal
In a Victorian terraced house, in north-west London, two families unite in imperfect harmony. After five years of widowhood, Julia is deeply, unexpectedly in love. If only her beloved daughter, Gwen, didn’t hate James so much. At the very least, she could be civil to his son, Nathan. Bringing together two households was never going to be easy, but Gwen’s struggle for independence, and the teenagers’ unexpected actions, will threaten Julia’s new happiness. The Awkward Age is about the blended family; about starting over and the attempt to build something beautiful amid the mess and complexity of what came before. It is a story about standing by the ones we love, even while they hurt us. We would do anything to make our children happy, wouldn’t we?
The Baby Plan – Kate Rorick
Meet the mothers…
Nathalie Kneller: Nathalie’s plan: to announce her pregnancy now that she’s finally made it past twelve weeks! But just as she’s about to deliver (so to speak) the big news to her family, her scene-stealing sister barfs all over the Thanksgiving centerpiece. Yup, Lyndi’s pregnant too, swiping the spotlight once more…
Lyndi Kneller: Lyndi’s plan: finally get her life together! She’s got a new apartment, new promotion, new boyfriend. What she didn’t count on—a new baby! She can barely afford her rent, much less a state-of-the-art stroller…
Sophia Nunez: Sophia’s plan: Once she gets her daughter Maisey off to college, she’ll finally be able to enjoy life as make-up artist to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and girlfriend to one of rock’s hottest musicians. But after 18 years she discovers the stork is once again on its way…
Now these women are about to jump headlong into the world of modern-day pregnancy; over the top gender reveal parties (with tacky cakes and fireworks); where every morsel you eat is scrutinized and discussed; where baby names are crowd-sourced; sonograms are Facebook-shared – and where nothing goes as planned…
All the Beautiful Girls – Elizabeth J Church
In the summer of 1968, Ruby Wilde is the toast of Las Vegas. Showgirl of the Year, in her feather and rhinestone, five-inch heels and sky-high headdresses, she mesmerises audiences from the Tropicana to the Stardust. Ratpackers and movie stars, gamblers and astronauts vie for her attention and shower her with gifts.
But not so long ago Ruby Wilde was Lily Decker from Kansas: an orphaned girl determined to dance her way out of her troubled past. When she was eight years old, Lily survived the car crash that killed her parents and sister. Raised by an aunt who took too little interest in her and an uncle who took too much, dancing was her solace, and her escape. When a mysterious benefactor pays for her to attend a local dance academy, Lily’s talent becomes her ticket to a new life.
Now, as Ruby Wilde, the ultimate Sin City success story, she discovers that the glare of the spotlight cannot banish the shadows that haunt her. As the years pass and Ruby continues to search for freedom, for love and, most importantly, herself, she must learn the difference between what glitters and what is truly gold.