Related to: 'The Roots of Betrayal'

December Book of the Month

Nikki and Damien continue in Take Me

I awake to an empty bed and the smell of frying bacon. I roll over to find my phone on the bedside table, then glance at the time. Not yet six. I groan and fall back among the pillows, but I don't really want to go back to sleep. What I want is Damien. I slide out of bed, then grab the tank top and yoga pants I'd left draped across a nearby armchair. I head barefoot out of the bedroom and move the short distance down the hall to the third-floor kitchen. We're standing in Damien's Malibu house, and the wall of windows that faces the ocean is wide open, the glass panels having been thrust aside to let in the breeze. The smell of the ocean mingles with the scent of breakfast and I breathe deep, realizing that I am content. Whatever demons had poked at me during the night, Damien effectively banished them. I glance toward the windows and out at the darkened Pacific. Waves glow white in the fading moonlight as they break upon the shore. There is beauty there, and part of me wants to walk to the balcony and stare out at the roiling, frothing water. But the siren call of the ocean is nothing compared to my desire to see Damien, and so I turn away from the windows and head straight to the kitchen. It is larger than the one in the condo I used to share with my best friend, Jamie, and it is not even the primary kitchen for this house. That is on the first floor, and could easily service a one-hundred-table restaurant. But this - the "small" kitchen - was installed as an adjunct to the open area that serves as a venue for entertaining, and since it is just down the hall from our bedroom, Damien and I have gotten into the habit of cooking our meals and eating in this cozier, more informal area. Usually we're joined by Lady Meow-Meow, the fluffy white cat I took custody over when Jamie moved out. I know Lady M misses Jamie, but she's also enjoying having the run of this huge house, and Gregory - the valet, butler, and all around house-running guy - spoils her rotten. Now I lean against the half wall that marks the break from hallway to kitchen. Damien is standing at the stove cooking an omelette as if he were nothing more than an ordinary guy. Except there is nothing ordinary about Damien Stark. He is grace and power, beauty and heat. He is exceptional, and he has captured me completely. At the moment, he is shirtless, and I cannot help the way my breath stutters as my eyes skim over the defined muscles of his back and his taut, strong arms. Damien's first fortune came not form business, but from his original career as a champion tennis player. Even now, years later, he has both the look and the power of an elite athlete. I let my gaze drift down appreciatively. He is wearing simple gray sweatpants that sit low on his narrow hips and cling to the curves of his perfectly toned ass. Like me, he is barefoot. He looks young and sexy and completely delicious. Yet despite his casual appearance, I can still see the executive. The powerful businessman who harnessed the world, who shifted it to his own liking and made a fortune in the process. He is strength and control. And I am humbled by the knowledge that I am what he values most of all, and that I will spend the rest of my life at his side. "You're staring," he says, his eyes still on the stove. I grin happily, like a child. "I enjoy looking at pretty things." He turns now, and his eyes rake over me, starting at my toes. "So do I," he says when his gaze reaches my face, and there is so much heat in his voice that my legs go weak and my body quivers with want. His mouth curves into a slow, sexy smile, and I am absolutely certain in that moment that I am going to melt. "You spoiled my surprise," he says, then nods toward the breakfast table where a tray sits with a glass bud vase displaying a single, red rose. "Breakfast in bed."

Headline Review

The Final Sacrament

James Forrester
James Forrester
Business Plus

Demand (India Only)

Adrian Slywotzky With Karl Web, Er
Adrian Slywotzky With Karl Web, Er

Demand is one of the few economic terms almost everyone knows. Demand drives supply. When demand rises, growth happens - jobs are created, the economy flourishes and society thrives. So goes the theory.It sounds simple, yet almost no one really understands demand, including the business owners, company leaders and policy makers who try to stimulate and satisfy it. Aimed at a business and general non-fiction readership, DEMAND is a book which searches for clues as to where demand really comes from, and why, and how we might control it.

Headline Review

Sacred Treason

James Forrester
James Forrester

A brilliant and enthralling debut historical thriller in the vein of C.J. Sansom. London, 1563. England is a troubled nation. Catholic plots against the young Queen Elizabeth spring up all over the country. The herald William Harley - known to everyone as Clarenceux - receives a book from his friend and fellow Catholic, Henry Machyn. But Machyn is in fear of his life... What secret can the book hold? And then Clarenceux is visited by the State in the form of Francis Walsingham and his ruthless enforcers, who will stop at nothing to gain possession of it. If Clarenceux and his family are to survive the terror of the state, he must solve the clues contained in the book to unlock its dangerous secrets before it's too late. And when he does, he realises that it's not only his life and the lives of those most dear to him that are at stake...

Alex Rutherford

Alex Rutherford lives in London.

Alix Christie

Alix Christie is a journalist and writer who has lived in the USA, Paris and Berlin and is now settled in London with her husband and two children. She has been a reporter and foreign correspondent for many years, and has published widely in major international media, from the Washington Post and the Guardian to the San Francisco Chronicle and; she regularly reviews books and arts for The Economist. In the late 1990s she began writing fiction, publishing short stories in the Southwest Review and Other Voices. Gutenberg's Apprentice is her first novel. Alix spent five years researching the background to Gutenberg's Apprentice. A passionate printer herself, she brought her personal experience to her vivid descriptions of the travails of the early printers in the

Andrea Levy

Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents who came to Britain in 1948. After attending writing workshops when she was in her mid-thirties, Levy began to write the novels that she, as a young woman, had always wanted to read - entertaining novels that reflect the experiences of black Britons, which look at Britain and its changing population and at the intimacies that bind British history with that of the Caribbean. She has written six books, including SMALL ISLAND, which was the unique winner of both the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Whitbread book of the Year, in addition to the Commonwealth Writer's Prize and the Orange Prize 'Best of the Best'. Her most recent novel, THE LONG SONG, won the Walter Scott Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Anita Amirrezvani

Anita Amirrezvani was born in Iran but has lived in the USA since she was a young child. She has visited Iran many times and has been steeped in tales of Iranian life and history from an early age. The Blood of Flowers was her first novel, and was followed by Equal of the Sun. USA Today described The Blood of Flowers as 'filled with intricate designs, vivid colours, and sparkling gems'; it has appeared in more than 25 languages and was long-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. Anita is an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and at Sonoma State University.

Anna Mazzola

Anna Mazzola's first novel, THE UNSEEING, was published to critical acclaim in 2016. She is a criminal justice solicitor and lives in London with her husband and two children.

Barbara Lazar

Barbara Lazar studied English Literature at Syracuse University; she received her masters from the University of South Florida in Tampa and was selected to be that university's representative to the Florida Poetry Festival and received her doctorate from the University of Virginia in reading education. She taught for many years, worked as a mainframe programmer for NASA, and wrote and taught as an Instructional Systems Designer for major corporations. Obsessed with Japanese culture and its rich history of storytelling, she has spent the last twelve years meticulously researching what has become THE PILLOW BOOK OF THE FLOWER SAMURAI. She currently writes and teaches in San Antonio, Texas.

Charlie Owen

Charlie Owen enjoyed a thirty-year career in the police service, serving with two forces in the Home Counties and London, reaching the rank of Inspector.

Clio Gray

Clio Gray was born in Yorkshire, brought up in Devon and now lives in Scotland where she works in her local library, as she has done for many years. She has won prizes for many of her short stories, including the prestigious 2006 Scotsman & Orange Short Story Award for 'I Should Have Listened Harder', which can be downloaded from the Scotsman website. Her first novel, GUARDIANS OF THE KEY, was the winning recipient of the Harry Bowling Prize. More information about Clio can be found on her website

Daisy Goodwin

Daisy Goodwin's work as a TV producer and presenter includes Reader I Married Him, Bookworm and The Nation's Favourite Poems; she is also the creator of Grand Designs and wrote the script for ITVs Victoria . She has edited numerous poetry anthologies, including the bestselling 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life, and is the author of Silver River, a memoir as well as two novels, My Last Duchess and The Fortune Hunter. Goodwin reviews regularly for the Times and Sunday Times and writes a bibliotherapy column for the Daily Mail.

Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness is a historian of science and a professor of history at the University of Southern California. She spent several years in Oxford doing research (and really did once find a missing manuscript in the Bodleian Library!). She has written THE JEWEL HOUSE: ELIZABETHAN LONDON AND THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION as well as the three novels in the internationally bestselling ALL SOULS trilogy, A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, SHADOW OF NIGHT and THE BOOK OF LIFE.

Duncan Campbell

Duncan Campbell is a senior correspondent with the Guardian, where he has worked as the paper's crime correspondent and Los Angeles correspondent. He has written five non-fiction books including The Underworld, That Was Business, This Is Personal and Billy Connolly: The Authorised Version. He previously worked for Time Out and contributed to OZ, IT and The Rising Nepal. He is married to Oscar-winning actress Julie Christie.

Frank Barnard

Frank Barnard trained as a journalist before moving into public relations. He worked as managing director for major international consultancies before quitting at fifty to write full time and race cars. He is married with two children and four grandchildren with whom he enjoys sailing and sea-fishing near his home in Rye, Sussex.

Harry Thompson

Harry Thompson was a highly successful television producer for the hit shows Have I Got News for You, They Think It's All Over and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and was also the author of a number of non-fiction bestsellers including Peter Cook, The Biography. He wrote for most of the national newspapers, especially on travel, and was nominated for Travel Journalist of the Year. He died in November 2005.Harry Thompson invented many TV comedy hits such as Have I Got News For You and Da Ali G Show. He was the author of several acclaimed bestsellers, including PETER COOK: A BIOGRAPHY and PENGUINS STOPPED PLAY, as well as a historical novel, THIS THING OF DARKNESS which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He worked as a producer at Talkback TV and in his spare time he ran the infamous cricket team, the Captain Scott XI. Harry Thompson died in 2005.

Imogen Robertson

Imogen Robertson grew up in Darlington, studied Russian and German at Cambridge, and now lives in London. She directed for TV, film and radio before becoming a full-time author, and also writes and reviews poetry. Imogen won the Telegraph's 'First thousand words of a novel competition' in 2007 with the opening of Instruments of Darkness, her first novel.Want to know more? Visit

James Forrester

James Forrester is a pen name for historian Dr Ian Mortimer. Dr Mortimer is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Honorary Research Fellow at Exeter University and the author of four medieval biographies for Jonathan Cape: The Greatest Traitor: the Life of Sir Roger Mortimer; The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III; The Fears of Henry IV and 1415: Henry V's Year of Glory. He is also the author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England. Ian Mortimer was awarded the Alexander Prize by the Royal Historical Society for his work on the social history of medicine. He lives with his wife and three children on the edge of Dartmoor.

Jed Rubenfeld

Currently the Robert R. Slaughter Professor of Law at Yale University, Jed Rubenfeld has been described as `one of the most elegant legal writers of his generation`. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his wife and two daughters. His first novel, THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER, published in thirty-six territories, was the bestselling UK adult paperback title of 2007, and winner of the Richard and Judy Bookclub. THE DEATH INSTINCT is his second novel.

John Galsworthy

John Galsworthy was born on August 14, 1867, in Surrey and came from an established, wealthy family. Called to the Bar in 1890, he soon decided to abandon law and turn to writing. THE FORSYTE SAGA is his most celebrated work, but he was also a successful dramatist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1932.In 1891 Galsworthy met his cousin's wife Ada Nemesis Pearson and they embarked on a scandalous affair, eventually marrying after Ada's divorce in 1905. John Galsworthy died on January 31, 1933.