Related to: 'The Honey Farm on the Hill'

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

Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

Jo Thomas's new novel invites you to a special cherry orchard in Spain, where sunshine, romance and family secrets are the order of the day. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews, SUNSET OVER THE CHERRY ORCHARD is a heartwarming, hilarious tale.It's time for Beti Winter to dance to her own beat. After three failed engagements Beti is in desperate need of a fresh start. What better place than the sun-drenched hills of southern Spain?But it's not all sangria and siestas. Beti finds work on an old Andalucian cherry farm where there are cherries to be picked, trees to be watered and her fiery boss, Antonio, to win over. As the sun toasts her skin, Beti finds herself warming to the Spanish way of life. Embracing the art of flamenco, she discovers there is much to learn from the dance of passion. She just has to let loose and listen to the rhythm of her heart. Jo Thomas takes you there.

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The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy 2)

Jen Williams
Authors:
Jen Williams
Headline Review

The Songbirds of Colliers Row: A cosy wartime family saga perfect for a winter's day

Jennifer Hart
Authors:
Jennifer Hart
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American Gods: Shadows

Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton
Contributors:
Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton
Headline Review

The Wildflowers

Harriet Evans
Authors:
Harriet Evans
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It's Not Me, It's Them

Joel Dommett
Authors:
Joel Dommett

As a 17-year-old virgin working . . . for Virgin, Joel Dommett has grand ambitions. Firstly, he is going to swap suburbia for the bright lights of Showbiz. Secondly, he is going to find 'the one' in the first forty people he's going to sleep with. What follows is a series of disastrous romantic encounters, including carpets mistaken for toilets, futile grand gestures and the catfishing to end all catfishing. Featuring genuine teenage diary entries and told in Joel's trademark self-deprecating style, this is the brilliant first book from the UK's most exciting comedian.

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Keep Me Safe: From the bestselling author of Watch Over Me (Seal Island)

Daniela Sacerdoti
Authors:
Daniela Sacerdoti
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Notes from the Northern Lights (A Short Story)

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas
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Late Summer in the Vineyard

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

'Love this book ... makes me want to live on a vineyard in the South of France!' Lisa Zupan, Producer of P.S. I Love You Escape to France with LATE SUMMER IN THE VINEYARD - Jo Thomas's irresistible follow-up to THE OYSTER CATCHER and THE OLIVE BRANCH. 'A fabulous French feast of fun' Milly JohnsonEmmy Bridges has always looked out for others. Now it's time to put down roots of her own.Working for a wine-maker in France is the opportunity of a lifetime for Emmy. Even if she doesn't know a thing about wine - beyond what's on offer at the local supermarket.There's plenty to get to grips with in the rustic town of Petit Frère. Emmy's new work friends need more than a little winning over. Then there's her infuriatingly brash tutor, Isaac, and the enigmatic Madame Beaumont, tucked away in her vineyard of secrets.But Emmy will soon realise that in life - just as in wine-making - the best things happen when you let go and trust your instincts. Particularly when there's romance in the air... 'Sheer romcom brilliance!' Heat'A heart-warming tale... Perfect escapism' Marie Claire'This book is scrumptious! I couldn't stop reading' Katie Fforde'A full-bodied tale with hints of humour and romance which can be enjoyed at any time of year' Sun'What a gorgeous book! Reading it felt like the best kind of holiday' Lucy Diamond'A warm-hearted, sparkling gem... I loved it!' Miranda Dickinson'Sunny and funny...as warm as a south-facing vineyard. It made me want to rush to France tout suite!' Veronica Henry'Captures the essence of France from the vineyards and chateaux to the glorious sunshine and of course, the wine' Cathy Bramley

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The Red Sky At Night (Short Story)

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas
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The Olive Branch

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

Escape to Italy with The Olive Branch - the irresistible new novel from Jo Thomas, author of ebook bestseller The Oyster Catcher. 'I loved it!' Katie FfordeYou can buy almost anything online these days. For Ruthie Collins, it was an Italian farmhouse.Yet as she battles with a territorial goat and torrential rain just to get through the door of her new Italian home, the words of Ed, her ex, are ringing in her ears. She is daft, impetuous and irresponsible. But Ruthie is determined to turn things around and live the dream.First, though, she must win over her fiery neighbour, Marco Bellanouvo, and his family... Then there's the small matter of running an olive farm. As the seasons change and new roots are put down, olives and romance might just flourish in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.

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The Oyster Catcher

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas
Headline Review

The Chestnut Tree (A Short Story)

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

Treat yourself to this wonderfully funny and romantic short story by Jo Thomas, kindle bestselling author of The Oyster Catcher, available exclusively in ebook.When Ellie Russet leaves home and her restaurant in the wake of disaster to housesit in the Kent countryside, the last thing she wants to do is cook for a living - ever again.Ellie's new neighbour, Daniel Fender, is struggling to make ends meet as a furniture maker. Could the answer to his problems lie in the chestnut orchard at the bottom of the garden?Only Ellie can help Daniel unlock the delicious secret that will bring them the fresh starts they need. And as autumn approaches, romance will blossom amid the glowing embers of the chestnut fire...*Contains an exclusive extract from Jo's brand-new novel, THE OLIVE BRANCH, out February 2015*

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The Zookeeper's Wife

Diane Ackerman
Authors:
Diane Ackerman

Now a major motion picture, starring Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brühl, based on a remarkable true story of bravery and sanctuary during World War II - out in Spring 2017.When Germany invades Poland, Luftwaffe bombers devastate Warsaw and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals killed, or stolen away to Berlin, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski begin smuggling Jews into the empty cages.As the war escalates Jan becomes increasingly involved in the anti-Nazi resistance. Ammunition is buried in the elephant enclosure and explosives stored in the animal hospital. Plans are prepared for what will become the Warsaw uprising. Through the ever-present fear of discovery, Antonina must keep her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and animal inhabitants - otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes - as Europe crumbles around them.Written with the narrative drive and emotional punch of a novel, The Zookeeper's Wife is a remarkable true story. It shows us the human and personal impact of war - of life in the Warsaw Ghetto, of fighting in the anti-Nazi resistance. But more than anything it is a story of decency and sacrifice triumphing over terror and oppression. Jan and Antonina saved over 300 people from the death camps of the Holocaust. It has already been acclaimed by Jonathan Safran Foer: 'I can't imagine a better story or storyteller. The Zookeeper's Wife will touch every nerve you have.'

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Whatever It Takes

Adele Parks
Authors:
Adele Parks
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About Last Night

Adele Parks
Authors:
Adele Parks
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Pop Goes the Weasel

James Patterson
Authors:
James Patterson
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Cat and Mouse

James Patterson
Authors:
James Patterson

Just as Alex Cross is beginning to feel that life is good and he is finally coming out of the depression he's been in since the death of his wife, he is called to Union Station train terminal - a man is on the loose, firing at random into the swarming crowds of travellers. Psychopath Gary Soneji seems determined to go down in a blaze of glory, and he wants Alex Cross to be there. Will this be the final showdown. (P)1997 Headline Digital

Headline Review

The Interpretation of Murder

Jed Rubenfeld
Authors:
Jed Rubenfeld

The 10 year anniversary edition of a dazzling literary thriller including brand new material, THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER is the story of Sigmund Freud assisting a Manhattan murder investigation. Think SHADOW OF THE WIND meets THE HISTORIAN.THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER is an inventive tour de force inspired by Sigmund Freud's 1909 visit to America, accompanied by protégé and rival Carl Jung. When a wealthy young debutante is discovered bound, whipped and strangled in a luxurious apartment overlooking the city, and another society beauty narrowly escapes the same fate, the mayor of New York calls upon Freud to use his revolutionary new ideas to help the surviving victim recover her memory of the attack, and solve the crime. But nothing about the attacks - or about the surviving victim, Nora - is quite as it seems. And there are those in very high places determined to stop the truth coming out, and Freud's startling theories taking root on American soil.

Jo Thomas

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 2's The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.