You're about to turn thirty, all your friends are getting engaged and pregnant - and your body-clock is ticking. Then you get an offer to move to New York. So you take a chance and break up with your boyfriend - only to land yourself in the singles capital of the world.
When Bridget Harrison arrived in Manhattan to work for America's most famous tabloid, the New York Post, she was in at the deep end from day one. Dispatched by day to cover murders and muggings in the roughest corners of New York, by night she began to write a column about her search for love in a dating shark tank. So far so Sex and the City - until she realised the one man she was falling for also happened to be her boss (and unfortunately this wasn't fiction).
Being sent out to cover your first breaking news story Having the chance to go on a new blind date every week Realizing you love your editor THE LOWS:
Finding no-one you interview can understand your accent Going on a new blind date every week Realizing you love your editor
Three women came to the remote Cornish cottage that summer: Jenna, only 26 and grieving for the loss of the love of her life; her mother Caro, whose husband Steve had also died; and Laura, who had been married to Caro's beloved brother Geoff. The Widow's Cottage, the house where there were staying was called, and it was poignantly suitable.
In that tiny Cornish community they discover strange memories of their forebears, and especially of Tilly, Cora's mother, whose family history seemed to mirror so much of their own.They become swept up in the dramatic story of Tilly and her family, a story which takes them on an epic journey across the West Country and to the solution of an amazing family mystery.
Art, fashion, fame and sex - artist Esther Glass has it all. That is, until a ghost from her past threatens to destroy her perfect life. Trying to cover her tracks, Esther goes for ultimate sensation, selling herself as a living work of art. She takes the international art scene by storm, performing as the female sitters inside seven great paintings. But underneath the surface the cracks start to show as Esther is forced to reconcile a very private history with a very public life.
Fast-paced, smart and scintillating, Masterpiece gives the reader a rare glimpse into a closed world.
'Something strange occurs to guests as soon as they check in. Even if in real life they are perfectly well-mannered, decent people with proper balanced relationships, as soon as they spin through the revolving hotel doors the normal rules of behaviour no longer seem to apply.' All of the following is true.Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. All the anecdotes, the stories, the characters, the situations, the highs, the lows, the scams, the drugs, the misery, the love, the death and the insanity are exactly as was told by Anonymous - someone who has spent his whole career working in hotels at the heart of London's luxury hotel industry. However, for legal reasons, the stories now take place in a fictitious hotel known as Hotel Babylon. More than a decade is compressed into a day. Everything else is as it should be. The rich spend money, the hotel makes money and the chambermaids still fight the bellboys over a two-pound coin.It's just another twenty-four hours in an expensive London hotel.
When twins Amanda and Marian Laton lose their father unexpectedly, they are stunned to discover that in his will he has put them in the charge of their Aunt, who lives on a sprawling Texas farm. Horrified to be leaving the town where they have spent their lives so far, the twins arrive at their Aunt Red's ranchhouse, only too aware that she now has to approve any suitor of theirs who may appear - or they lose their inheritance. Amanda, with her glorious golden ringlets, had always been her father's favourite, and her scheming ways ensure that Marian never has the attention of any of the boys who call at their house. But they soon both meet Chad Kincaid, handsome cowboy son of the next-door ranch owner - and both girls want him. After an intoxicating series of twists and turns the course of true love ends in one of the Laton twins winning the heart of Chad...the heart of a man she can call her own.
Vicky Harper is still hopelessly single and having to face up to the unpalatable fact that the last time she had a relationship with that highly elusive species, the decent single man, was well before Phantom of the Opera hit Broadway.
So, having discovered an ancient book which says you can have anything you want from the Universe... and that all you need do is ask, she decides to give it a whirl. Turns out all she has to do is focus on thinking her wildest fantasies into reality. Kind of like Pollyanna, except with a Magic 8 Ball, a mortgage and a lot of vodka.
So, along with her two beyond-fabulous best friends, Vicky decides to put 'The Law of Attraction' into action. Trouble is, 'The Law of Attraction' doesn't come with an instruction manual and Vicky soon realizes that you have to be very, very careful what you wish for..
Gridlock is when a city dies.
Killed in the name of freedom. Killed in the name of oil and steel. Choked on carbon monoxide and strangled with a pair of fluffy dice.
How did it come to this? How did the ultimate freedom machine end up paralysing us all? How did we end up driving to our own funeral, in somebody else's gravy train?
Deborah and Geoffrey know, but they have transport problems of their own, and anyway, whoever it was that murdered the city can just as easily murder them.
Twistleton is a village untouched by time, taking its rhythms from the countryside around. Daisy, Jean, Freddie and their friends Aurelia and Laura are devoted to the place, so that when war breaks out Twistleton becomes the embodiment of everything for which they are fighting. For the previous generation the new conflict causes private despair, increased when Twistleton is requisitioned by the Army. Turfed out of their houses, the villagers take refuge at the Hall.
It is here that evacuees from the East End, butler and countryman weld together to fight common enemies, whether drunken troops in the village, the bombs from the air, or rationing and the bitter weather. They all know only victory will do. With death haunting their every moment, love is their one all-too-fleeting consolation - and also their final triumph.
At the age of thirty-four, Polly Evans finally fulfilled a childhood dream - to learn how to ride a horse. But rather than do so conveniently close to home, she decided to travel to Argentina and saddle up among the gauchos.
Overcoming battered limbs, a steed hell-bent on bolting, and an encounter with the teeth of one very savage dog, Polly cantered through Andean vineyards and galloped beneath snow-capped Patagonian peaks. She survived a hair-raising game of polo and a back-breaking day herding cattle.
Taking a break from riding, she delved into Argentina's tumultuous history: the Europeans' first terrifying acquaintances with the native 'giants'; the sanguinary demise of the early missionaries; and the gruesome drama of Evita's wandering corpse.
On a Hoof and Prayer is the stampeding story of Polly's journey from timorous equestrian novice to wildly whooping cowgirl. It's a tale of ponies, painkillers and peregrinations - not just around present-day Argentina, but also into the country's glorious and turbulent past.
Geoffrey Staddon turned his back on the best things in his life. He turned his back on the beautiful house Clouds Frome, his finest achievement as an architect. He turned his back on the woman he loved, Consuela Caswell, and who loved him in return. Twelve years later, amidst the tatters of his career and marriage, he is forced to contemplate the remorse and shame of his betrayal.
But when he reads that Consuela has been charged with murder, he knows instinctively that she cannot be guilty. And when she sends her own daughter to him, pleading for help, Geoffrey cannot ignore the dangerous lure of the past any longer. He must return to Clouds Frome, and face the dark secret it holds.
For fourteen years, Steve and Meredith Whitman have sustained a marriage of passion and friendship, despite the demands of two all-consuming careers. Meredith is a top investment banker, Steve a gifted physician - the only thing missing in their life is children. Steve longs for them. But Meredith keeps putting off motherhood, and now she has been offered an extraordinary job opportunity in San Francisco, three thousand miles away. Steve urges her to accept, saying that he's more than happy to uproot himself and will join her as soon as he can find a new job himself. Perhaps in California, he hopes, they can begin a family at last.
Neither Steve nor Meredith had reckoned on a prolonged separation, but Steve's job keeps him in New York for months longer than planned. Weekends together fall prey to their hectic schedules. Alone in San Francisco, Meredith is spending long hours at the office with her boss, charismatic entrepreneur Callan Dow. Steve is working late shifts at the hospital, grabbing an occasional dinner with a new female colleague. Almost unnoticed, Steve and Meredith have begun living separate lives, and irresistible forces start to tear their lives and hearts apart.
Look into the eyes of a jinn and you stare into the depths of your own soul...
Writer and film-maker Tahir Shah - in his 30s, married, with two small children - was beginning to wilt under brash, cramped, ennervating British city life. Flying in the face of friends' advice, he longed to fulfil his dream of finding a place bursting with life, colour, history and romance - somewhere far removed from London - in which to raise a family. Childhood memories of holidaying with his parents, and of a grandfather he barely knew, led him to Morocco and to 'Dar Khalifa', a sprawling and, with the exception of its jinns, long-abandoned residence on the edge of Casablanca's shanty town that, rumour had it, once belonged to the city's Caliph.
And so begins Tahir Shah's gloriously vivid, funny, affectionate and compelling account of how he and his family - aided, abetted and so often hindered by a wonderful cast of larger-than-life local characters: guardians, gardeners, builders, artisans, bureacrats and police (not forgetting the jinns, the spirits that haunt the house) - returned the Caliph's House to its former glory and learned to make this most exotic and alluring of countries their home.
The Caliph's House is a story of home-ownership abroad - full of the attendant dramas, anxieties and frustrations - but it is also much more. Woven into the narrative is the author's own journey of self-discovery, of learning about a granfather he hardly knew, and of coming to love the magical, multi-faceted, contradictory country that is Morocco.
Mary, Tanya and Zoe had been inseparable in college. But in the twenty years or more that followed, the three had moved on with their lives, settled in different cities, and found successful careers and new roles as mothers and wives. At a sprawling ranch in Wyoming the three women, each by chance finding themselves alone for a few weeks one summer, come together and find courage, healing and truth, and reach out to each other again.
Once they shared everything, but now pretence between them runs high. Mary, married for twenty-two years to a Manhattan lawyer, masks the guilt and fear that her husband will never forgive her for their son's death. Tanya, a singer and rock star, enjoys all the trappings of fame and success - a mansion in Bel Air, legions of fans, and a broken heart - for the children she wanted but never had, and the men who have takehn advantage of her. Zoe has her hands full as single mother to an adopted two-year-old, and as a doctor at an AIDS clinic in San Francisco, until unexpected news forces her to re-evaluate both her future, and her current life.
But their friendship is still a bond they all treasure and share. For each of the women, a few weeks at the ranch bring healing and release. In The Ranch, bestselling author Danielle Steel brings reality to the meaning of friendship, with dramas whose truths we all share.
The summer of 1915 was a time of prosperity and unease for the Wittgenstein family, and for their eldest daughter Beata it was also a time of awakening. By the glimmering waters of Lake Geneva, the quiet Jewish beauty met a young French officer and fell in love. Knowing that her parents would never accept her marriage to a Catholic, Beata followed her heart - and as the two built a new life together, Beata's past would stay with her in ways she could never have predicted.
As the years pass, Beata must watch in horror as Europe is once again engulfed in war, threatening her life and family - even her daughter Amadea, who has taken the vows of a Carmelite nun. But Amadea is forced into hiding and as family and friends are swept away without a trace, she begins a harrowing journey of survival. Taking on daring missions behind enemy lines, she finds a man who will help her discover her place in an unbreakable chain between generations... between her lost family and her future.
An intricate tapestry of a mother's love, a daughter's courage, and the unwavering faith that sustained them - even in history's darkest hour.
On the eve of Sarah Whitfield's 75th birthday, she stands at the window of her chateau in France, waiting for her family to join her. Her memories take her back to the 1930s in New York, to her early marriage and subsequent shameful divorce. She is persuaded by her parents to join them on a trip abroad in the growing turmoil of pre-war Europe.
There she meets Wiliam, Duke of Whitfield. Older than Sarah, and fourteenth in line to the British throne, he sparks her intellectual curiosity and makes her laugh. They make their home in a beautiful crumbling French chateau until they are parted by the war. Afterwards they are able to return to the chateau and establish the jewel collection which leads to the House of Whitfield, jewellers to the crowned heads of all Europe. Together they produce a family of four, each of whom is drawn into the family business.
JEWELS is the story of a great house of gems, a rare family, and an extraordinary marriage. Once again, Danielle Steel explores the lives of people facing challenges we recognise as our own, against the backdrop of war, passion and international intrigue.
Assistant D.A. Alexa Hamilton has just been handed the kind of case that makes careers: the trial of accused serial killer Luke Quentin. Sifting through mountains of forensic evidence, Alexa relentlessly builds her case and prepares for a high-stakes trial . . . until threatening letters throw her private life into turmoil.
The letters are addressed to Alexa's beautiful 17-year-old daughter, Savannah, who Alexa has raised alone since her painful divorce years before. Alexa is certain that Quentin is behind the letters - and that they are too dangerous to ignore. Suddenly Alexa must make the toughest choice of all - and send her daughter back to the very place that Alexa swore she would never return: to her ex-husband's world of southern tradition, long memories, and the antebellum charm of Charleston.
While Alexa's trial builds to a climax in New York, her daughter is settling into southern life, discovering a part of her family history she's never known. As a family's wounds are exposed and the healing begins, Alexa and Savannah, after a season in different worlds, will come together again - strengthened by the trials they have faced, changed by the mysteries they have unraveled, armed with miracles that are uniquely their own.
Sometimes life is like a bad waiter - it serves you exactly what you don't want. The women of Freesia Court have come together at life's table, fully convinced that there is nothing that good coffee, delectable desserts and a strong shoulder can't fix. Laughter is the glue that holds them together - the foundation of a book group they call AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons) - an unofficial club that becomes a lifeline.
The five women each have a story to tell. There's Faith, the newcomer, a housewife and mother who harbours a terrible secret; big, beautiful Audrey, the resident sex queen who knows that with good posture and attitude you can get away with anything; Merit, the shy doctor's wife with the face of an angel and the private hell of an abusive husband; Kari, a wise woman with a wonderful laugh who knows that the greatest gifts appear after life's fiercest storms; and finally, Slip, activist and adventurer, a tiny spitfire who looks trouble straight in the eye and challenges it to arm wrestle.
Holding on through forty eventful years - through the swinging Sixties, the turbulent Seventies, the anything-goes Eighties, the nothing's-impossible Nineties, to the present day - they take the plunge into the chaos that inevitably comes to those with the temerity to stay alive and kicking.
It is 1941, and England is at its lowest ebb, under-nourished, under-informed and terrified of imminent invasion. Even at Eden Park, the beautiful country estate where Poppy, Lily, Kate, Marjorie and her adopted brother Billy are working in espionage, confidence is at an all-time low, and that is before the authorities discover there is a double agent operating from its MI5 unit.
Lily volunteers to be dropped into France, only to find herself linked to Poppy's husband Scott. Meanwhile, Kate's lover Eugene is in Sicily to sabotage the bombers besieging Malta while her mother is recruited to work for Jack Ward, known affectionately as 'the Colonel'.
As further agents are wiped out by the informant at Eden Park, Poppy leaves to train as a pilot. But as she closes the wooden shutters at the House of Flowers, the old folly where she and Scott began their married life, she realises that they were made over a century before to keep out another invader. England survived then, and will again.
DAUGHTERS OF EDEN focuses on the lives and fortunes of four very different young women at the outbreak of the Second World War. Marjorie, left at a boarding school by her emigrating mother; plain Poppy, pushed into marriage with a mean-spirited aristocrat; Kate, despised by her father, but determined to prove herself; and man-mad Lily, who turns out to be the bravest of them all.
That all of them are chosen to work undercover for the espionage unit at a beautiful stately home is a surprise, not least to them. At Eden Park they not only meet each other, but become involved with three unusual young men - Eugene, the seemingly feckless Irishman; Robert, Kate's brother; and dashing Scott, a master of disguise, and the undisputed favourite of the unit. While there is hardly time for romance before each is sent out into the field, there is just enough for passionate new relationships to form. Only Jack Ward, the mysterious spymaster, manages to remain aloof as he guides their destinies. The fact that they will look back on this time as having made them feel more exquisitely alive than ever before is not something they will know until much later.
As Walter Berrisford paints beautiful Katherine Garland, she asks him to put a ladybird on her finger without his knowing why. He is appalled when he discovers that Katherine is a Nazi. The outbreak of war means that her sister Caro and her friend Robyn join the FANYs, while former maids, Betty and Trixie, work in a factory. War brings frantic romance to all, including their flatmate Edwina O'Brien, but it is Betty, transferred to decode at the Park that alone discovers the truth about the Ladybird.
Sometimes the only way forward is to go back.
Ten years have passed since David Mortimer last saw Anna Russell. Their love affair abruptly ended when Anna disappeared.
Drifting through life ever since, David has never married, and is devoted only to his scientific work and to the book he has always meant to write, the story of the extraordinary plant explorer in China, Ernest Wilson.
But David's isolation is about to change. He receives news that Anna has been seriously injured in an accident. More devastating still is the revelation that he has a daughter, Rachel, whom he has never seen. Both mother and daughter now urgently need his help - and more than one danger is threatening them.
This is a story of two journeys, separated by time and place, but with the same goal. To find a way through the mountains, and to bring back something of infinite beauty that might otherwise have been lost forever.
Christmas is looming. Will your mother-in-law present you with yet another hideous jersey this year? How are you going to cope with Granny's peke or the undesirable in-laws? Has the row about where to spend the holiday already started, and it's only August?
Jilly Cooper has the answer to everything. Whether you should seek refuge in the cooking sherry or suggest a wholesome family walk, Jilly offers, in her own irrepressible style, sound but often hilarious advice about how to get through the roller-coaster ride we call Christmas.
With the help of the perfect Christmas family - Scarlett O'Aga, the Xmasochistic housewife, her wayward husband Noel, his seductive mistress Ms Stress, their four delightful children Holly, Robin, Carol and Nicholas, and their dog Difficult Patch, we learn how to survive this most demanding of occasions.
For Alice Pettiford, living near Gloucester in the late 1940s, leaving school for a job as a railway secretary makes perfect sense. Most of her family have worked for the railway over the years, and her best friend Hester's father would be in the same office. What Alice does not expect is that she would fall in love with Joe Adair, a colleague, almost as soon as she meets him. But Joe has to go overseas on National Service, and in the meanwhile Hester's brother, the enigmatic Valentine, finds that his fondness for Alice is deepening into something much stronger. When he and Alice discover an old railway coach, long abandoned, hidden in a clearing in the Forest of Dean, Alice realises that it has been a very special, magical place. What she doesn't know is that the coach has played a secret part in the history of Joe's family, and that Joe's mother named it 'the pumpkin coach'. Now her own destiny will also be shaped by this enchanted refuge.
The Pumpkin Coach, the new novel by bestselling author Susan Sallis, is full of the passion and drama that have won her a huge and devoted readership.
'That night he did something so controversial that he'd rather be suspected of murder than tell anyone what he was really doing. What could possibly be worse than that?' Trainee journalist Annika Bengtzon has secured a summer placement at Sweden's biggest tabloid newspaper. She's desperate for this to be her big break, although manning the tipoff phoneline isn't quite what she had in mind...
Until a caller tells her that the naked body of a young woman has been found in a nearby cemetery.
As she pieces together details of the young woman's life, Annika stumbles across video footage that places the main suspect hundreds of miles from the crime scene, right at the time of the murder.
Are the police looking for the wrong man? There is suddenly far more at stake here than Annika's career, and the more questions she asks, the more she leaves herself dangerously exposed.