Related to: 'Egg and Soldiers'

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."

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A Brush with Death (Bob Skinner series, Book 29)

Quintin Jardine
Authors:
Quintin Jardine

When millionaire Leo Speight is found poisoned, Scotland's toughest cop is called in to solve the high-profile case... Skinner joins his old team in a complex murder investigation in A BRUSH WITH DEATH, the twenty-ninth gripping mystery in Quintin Jardine's bestselling crime series. Praise for Quintin Jardine's compelling novels: 'If Ian Rankin is the Robert Carlyle of Scottish crime writers, then Jardine is surely its Sean Connery' Glasgow HeraldWhen millionaire Leo Speight is found poisoned at his Ayrshire mansion, Police Scotland has a tough case on its hands. The charismatic young Speight was a champion boxer with national hero status. A long list of lovers and friends stand to benefit from his estate. Did one of them decide to speed things up? Or was jealousy or rivalry the motive?Suspecting links to organized crime, the Security Service wants to stay close to the investigation. They have just the man to send in: ex-Chief Constable Bob Skinner. Skinner might have retired from the police force, but solving crimes is in his blood. Combining forces with DI Lottie Mann and DS Dan Provan of Serious Crimes, he's determined to see Speight's murderer put away for a long, long time. But there's a twist even Bob Skinner couldn't see coming...

Headline Review

The Hideaway

Sheila O'Flanagan
Authors:
Sheila O'Flanagan

The unputdownable new novel from Sunday Times bestselling Sheila O'Flanagan, author of THE MISSING WIFE and WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT. Perfect for readers of Catherine Alliott and Marian Keyes.What would you do if you discovered you were living a lie?When a shocking news report shatters Juno Ryan's world, she suddenly finds herself without the man she loves - and with no way of getting the answers she so desperately needs.A distraught Juno flees to the enchanting Villa Naranja in Spain. The blue skies and bountiful orange groves - along with Pep, the winemaker's handsome son - begin to soothe her broken heart, but only Juno herself can mend it.Just when she begins to feel whole again another bombshell falls. Can Juno put the past behind her? And will she ever learn to trust herself again?(P)2018 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

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Another Woman's Husband: From the #1 bestselling author of The Secret Wife a sweeping story of love and betrayal behind the Crown

Gill Paul
Authors:
Gill Paul
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Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke

Anne Blankman
Authors:
Anne Blankman

The gripping sequel to Prisoner of Night and Fog. The epic tale of one young woman racing to save the man she loves during one of history's darkest hours. For fans of The Book Thief and Beneath a Scarlet Sky.' 'It's terrifying and incredible to think how much of this story is true' Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity on Prisoner of Night and Fog Gretchen Muller has three rules for her new life:1. Blend into the surroundings2. Don't tell anyone who you really are3. Never, ever go back to GermanyGretchen Whitestone has a secret: she used to be part of Adolf Hitler's inner circle. When she made an enemy of her former friends, she fled Munich for Oxford with her love, Daniel Cohen. But then a telegram calls Daniel back to Germany, and Gretchen's world turns upside down when he is accused of murder. To save Daniel, Gretchen must return to her homeland and somehow avoid capture by the Nazi elite. As they work to clear Daniel's name, they discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and escape in time - or will Hitler find them first?

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Tenacity

J. S. Law
Authors:
J. S. Law
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Prisoner of Night and Fog

Anne Blankman
Authors:
Anne Blankman

An ordinary girl faces an extraordinary choice in this gripping, coming-of-age tale of secrets and courage set in Nazi Germany, perfect for readers who enjoyed The Book Thief and Beneath a Scarlet Sky.' 'It's terrifying and incredible to think how much of this story is true' Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity Munich, 1931. Gretchen Muller has been cherished and protected by Adolf Hitler ever since her father, a senior Nazi officer, sacrificed himself to save the life of the Führer. And now Germany has the chance to be great once more, under the command of her 'Uncle Dolf'. But secrets cannot be silenced forever. When Gretchen meets a young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen, who claims that her father was actually murdered, she becomes swept up in a desperate and dangerous search for the truth. With the full might of the ever-powerful Nazi party on her tail, and the motives of her dearest friends now in question, Gretchen must risk everything to determine her own allegiances - even if her choices could get her and Daniel killed.

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Kindred

Octavia E. Butler
Authors:
Octavia E. Butler
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Deadline (Inspector Ikmen Mystery 15)

Barbara Nadel
Authors:
Barbara Nadel
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A Lucky Break

Lynda Page
Authors:
Lynda Page

An ambitious young receptionist faces more than just friendly competition, as danger threatens the Connaught Hotel... Lynda Page writes an engrossing saga in A Lucky Break, as a young woman navigates the tricky terrains of ambition and rivalry. Perfect for fans of Daisy Styles and Kate Thompson.All Connie Monroe has ever wanted is to be a hotel receptionist. She is overjoyed, therefore, when Captain Fosedyke, the manager of the Connaught where she works as a chambermaid, gives her a lucky break and invites her to prove her worth on the reception desk.Then the inexperienced owner of the hotel, Miss Griffin, arrives to regain control of the neglected business and Connie grabs the opportunity to show how resourceful she can really be. For, despite their different backgrounds, Connie Monroe and Edelina Griffin are about to discover they have a lot in common as they fight for the survival of the hotel. But someone doesn't want them to succeed...What readers are saying about A Lucky Break:'As the best saga and nostalgic fiction writer out there, you would expect this book to be good, and it doesn't disappoint... a strong, intrigue filled plot, this book is Lynda Page's best book yet!''Yet another fantastic story from Lynda Page which had me hooked from page one. Another addictive tale. Absolutely fantastic'

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The Loveday Conspiracy (Loveday series, Book 10)

Kate Tremayne
Authors:
Kate Tremayne

Conspiracy and deadly secrets are at the heart of this powerful historical drama in the tradition of Poldark and Daphne du Maurier Proud, imposing and savagely beautiful, Trevowan Manor has been home to the Lovedays of Cornwall for generations. But a foolish mistake means the house has been lost at the throw of a dice. And headstrong Adam Loveday vows to punish the man responsible. Forced from her beloved home, Adam's stepmother Amelia tries to look to the future. But her wayward son Richard remains a shadow over her heart. When he deceives her yet again, she is forced to make a devastating choice. Convicted highwayman Japhet Loveday has his own demons. He cannot rest until he finds the man whose false charges destroyed his life. Even if the hunt takes him to the dark corners of Royalist France - and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy...

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Private Eyes (Alex Delaware series, Book 6)

Jonathan Kellerman
Authors:
Jonathan Kellerman

Complex and compelling, PRIVATE EYES is a formidable thriller from the internationally bestselling Jonathan Kellerman, author of KILLER and BREAKDOWN, and perfect for fans of Harland Coben and Patricia Cornwell. 'A thriller which gives your wits a work-out. Endlessly intriguing; as good as they come' (Literary Review)Psychologist Alex Delaware regards Melissa Dickinson as one of his greatest achievements. A tormented seven year old when she first appeared in his LA surgery, two years on she was fully recovered. Years later, Melissa contacts Alex, desperate for him to help her mother, Gina. Gina was a budding Hollywood starlet until a vicious acid attack left her disfigured. Crippled with fear, Gina has hidden from the world for two decades. But before Alex can help, she disappears. Now Alex is locked in a search leading him into a grotesque labyrinth of hidden histories and desires . . .

Headline Review

Kiss Me Quick

Julie Highmore
Authors:
Julie Highmore

Tim's own life is in chaos, but he's paid for his qualification as a life coach, and he's going to use it. When his new, and only, client tells him she's had a windfall, he believes he really could turn his - and of course her - life around. But he doesn't know that there's more to Debbie than the scruffy, overweight drudge she appears to be. After all, journalists have to find a story somewhere - and Debbie's found hers in the little seaside town of Shelcombe, and its eccentric inhabitants.

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Anansi Boys

Neil Gaiman
Authors:
Neil Gaiman
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Sleeping Around

Julie Highmore
Authors:
Julie Highmore

Robin is shocked but thrilled when Hannah arrives on his Oxford doorstep with a two year old and a suitcase, and announces that Freddie is his son. Her husband Marcus was less happy to learn about Hannah's fling with Robin, but several months on he's longing to spend some time with the little boy he thought was his. So he takes on a house-sit a few streets away. Jo, over the road, is intrigued by the newcomer, and quickly finds an excuse to learn more, but Hannah is also wondering if Marcus is the one, after all...

Headline Review

Play it Again?

Julie Highmore
Authors:
Julie Highmore
Headline Review

Pure Fiction

Julie Highmore
Authors:
Julie Highmore

Looking for a good book? Try Pure Fiction. When the local library starts up a reading group, Ed is the first to sign up. Left home alone with baby Georgia once too often, he's looking for something more stimulating than the latest draft of his tiresome thesis. His fellow readers all have their own reasons for the weekly escape. Kate's social life is at a standstill and her quirky furniture shop barely breaks even. Zoe's self-esteem is regularly battered by her married lover. Semi-retired Bob, strongly encouraged by his wife, needs to get out of the house more. Donna, aged twenty-one and a mother of two, is desperate to feed her mind and catch up on her education. When English lecturer Gideon arrives, his literary certainties spark rivalries and emotions that no one expected. As the reading circle draws its members into an unlikely community, the plots become increasingly dramatic, and their lives grow ever more entwined...

Headline Review

Country Loving

Julie Highmore
Authors:
Julie Highmore
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Now or Never

Lynda Page
Authors:
Lynda Page

Hugh Dennis

Hugh Dennis is an award-winning writer, actor and comedian best known for weekly satirical panel showMock The Week, Radio 4's The Now Show and BBC sit-com Outnumbered. He lives in Sussex with his real wife and his real children. To their annoyance he is interested in almost everything. He reads, runs, cycles, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is the author of over thirty acclaimed books and graphic novels for adults and children, including AMERICAN GODS, STARDUST, CORALINE and THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. His most recent novel for adults, THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE was highly acclaimed, appeared on the hardback and paperback Sunday Times bestseller lists and won several awards, including being voted Book of the Year in the National Book Awards 2013: 'Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul' Joanne Harris. The recipient of numerous literary honours, Neil Gaiman's work has been adapted for film, television and radio. He has written scripts for Doctor Who, collaborated with authors and illustrators including Terry Pratchett, Dave McKean and Chris Riddell, and THE SANDMAN is established as one of the classic graphic novels. As George R R Martin says: 'There's no one quite like Neil Gaiman.'Originally from England, Neil Gaiman now lives in America.