Related to: 'Sacred Treason'

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
Authors:
James Forrester
Headline Review

The Roots of Betrayal

James Forrester
Authors:
James Forrester

From the author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England, now a major BBC 2 TV series, and SACRED TREASON comes the brilliant new Elizabethan thriller.1564: Catholic herald William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms, is the custodian of a highly dangerous document. When it is stolen, Clarenceux immediately suspects a group of Catholic sympathisers, the self-styled Knights of the Round Table. Francis Walsingham, the ruthless protégé of the queen's Principal Secretary, Sir William Cecil, intercepts a coded message from the Knights to a Countess known to have Catholic leanings. He is convinced that Clarenceux is trying to use the document to advance the cause of the Catholic Queen. And soon Clarenceux enters a nightmare of suspicion, deception and conspiracy. Conflict and fear, compounded by the religious doubts of the time, conceal a persistent mystery. Where has the document gone? Who has it and who really took it? And why? The roots of betrayal are deep and shocking: and Clarenceux's journey towards the truth entails not just the discovery of clues and signs, but also the discovery of himself.

Business Plus

Demand (India Only)

Adrian Slywotzky With Karl Web, Er
Authors:
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.

Adele Parks

Adele Parks worked in advertising until she published her first novel in 2000. Since then, her many Sunday Times bestsellers have been translated into twenty-six different languages. Adele spent her adult life in Italy, Botswana and London until 2005 when she moved to Guildford, where she now lives with her husband and son. Adele believes reading is a basic human right, so she works closely with The Reading Agency as an Ambassador for Reading Ahead, a programme designed to encourage adult literacy.Meet Adele! Visit her website for the latest news on her upcoming events: www.adeleparks.com, head to Facebook for exclusive extras: facebook.com/OfficialAdeleParks and chat with Adele on Twitter @adeleparks.

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 Salon.com; 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 novel.www.gutenbergsapprentice.com

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.

Bernie McGill

Bernie McGill was born and raised in Northern Ireland and attended Queen's University, Belfast. Her first novel, The Butterfly Cabinet, was published by Headline Review in 2011. Bernie is also the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of short fiction (shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize) and a contributor to three acclaimed anthologies of Irish women writers, The Long Gaze Back, The Glass Shore and Female Lines (New Island, 2015, 2016 & 2017). She has numerous theatre credits to her name. Bernie lives in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, with her family.

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.

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.

Lyn Andrews

Lyn Andrews was born in Liverpool in 1944; her father Joseph was killed on D-Day just nine months later. Lyn was brought up in Liverpool and became a secretary before she married and gave birth to triplets. Once the children had gone to school Lyn began writing, and her first novel was quickly accepted for publication. She has since written over thirty books, many of them Sunday Times bestsellers. Lyn lives on the Isle of Man, but spends many weeks of the year back on Merseyside, seeing her children and grandchildren.www.lynandrewsbooks.co.ukwww.facebook.com/LynAndrewsBooksTwitter: @LynSagaAuthor

M. K. Hume

M. K. Hume is a retired academic, who is married with two grown-up sons and lives in Queensland, Australia. Having completed an MA and PhD in Arthurian Literature many years ago, M. K. Hume has now written a series of magnificent novels about the legend of King Arthur. For more information visit: www.mkhume.com.

Martina Cole

Martina Cole is the acknowledged queen of crime drama with more than twenty novels to her name, of which over a dozen have been No.1 bestsellers.Several of Martina's novels have been adapted for the screen, including The Take and The Runaway which were shown on Sky 1 to remarkable reviews. In addition, Two Women and The Graft have been adapted for the stage; both were highly acclaimed when performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, which also staged Dangerous Lady in 2012, celebrating twenty years since Martina's debut novel was published.Martina Cole is a phenomenon. She continues to smash sales records with each of her books, which have sold thirteen million copies. In 2011 Martina surpassed the £50 million sales mark since records began and was the first British female novelist for adult audiences to achieve this - and she has spent more weeks in the No. 1 slot on the original fiction bestseller list than any other adult novelist. Her hard-hitting, uncompromising and haunting writing is in a genre all its own - no one writes like Martina.

Pamela Evans

Pam Evans was born and brought up in Ealing, London. She now lives in Surrey, near to her family and five beautiful grandchildren. For more information about Pam and her novels visit www.pamevansbooks.com.

Patrick Gale

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester before going to Oxford University. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. One of this country's best-loved novelists, his most recent works are A Perfectly Good Man, the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition, and the Costa-shortlisted A Place Called Winter. His original BBC television drama, Man In An Orange Shirt, was shown to great acclaim in 2017 as part of the BBC's Queer Britannia series, leading viewers around the world to discover his novels.

Paul Doherty

Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough. He studied History at Liverpool and Oxford Universities and obtained a doctorate for his thesis on Edward II and Queen Isabella. He is now headmaster of a school in north-east London and lives with his family in Essex.

Paul Fraser Collard

Paul's love of military history started at an early age. A childhood spent watching films like Waterloo and Zulu whilst reading Sharpe, Flashman and the occasional Commando comic, gave him a desire to know more of the men who fought in the great wars of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. At school, Paul was determined to become an officer in the British army and he succeeded in winning an Army Scholarship. However, Paul chose to give up his boyhood ambition and instead went into the finance industry. Paul stills works in the City, and lives with his wife and three children in Kent.

Penny Vincenzi

Penny Vincenzi, who died in 2018, was one of the UK's best-loved and most popular authors. Since her first book, Old Sins, was first published in 1989, she went on to write sixteen more bestselling novels and two collections of stories. She began her career as a junior secretary for Vogue magazine and went on to work at The Daily Mirror, Tatler, and later as a Fashion and Beauty Editor on magazines such as Woman's Own, Nova and Honey, before becoming a Deputy Editor of Options and Contributing Editor of Cosmopolitan. Over seven million copies of Penny's books have been sold worldwide and she is universally held to be the 'doyenne of the modern blockbuster' (Glamour).

Peter Tremayne

Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym of a well-known authority on the ancient Celts, who has utilised his knowledge of the Brehon law system and 7th-Century Irish society to create a new concept in detective fiction.

Quintin Jardine

Quintin Jardine was born once upon a time in the West - of Scotland rather than America, but still he grew to manhood as a massive Sergio Leone fan. On the way there he was educated, against his will, in Glasgow, where he ditched a token attempt to study law for more interesting careers in journalism, government propaganda, and political spin-doctoring. After a close call with the Brighton Bomb in 1984, he moved into the even riskier world of media relations consultancy, before realising that all along he had been training to become a crime writer. Now, forty novels later, he never looks back.Along the way he has created/acquired an extended family in Scotland and Spain. Everything he does is for them.He can be tracked down through his blog: http://quintinjardine.me