Related to: 'Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard'

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 Honey Farm on the Hill

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

'Jo Thomas has written another stunner of a book that many weeks later I still can't get out of my head' Goodreads reviewer 'Jo's book is as rich and sweet and moreish as baklava' Milly Johnson Jo Thomas's irresistible novel transports you straight to the mountains of Crete. A gorgeous, sun-filled new read from the author of THE OYSTER CATCHER, THE OLIVE BRANCH, and LATE SUMMER IN THE VINEYARD. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews.Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forwards...One magical summer Nell fell in love in the mountains of Crete and her life changed for ever. Eighteen years later, Nell is ready for a new beginning. When she sees a honey farm in the same hilltop town has lost its bees, the opportunity is impossible to resist. Welcomed back to Greece by the warm sun and aroma of wild thyme, Nell finds memories of her past at every turn. But much has changed since she's been away.As Nell throws herself into restoring the honey farm, she starts to unlock the truth of what happened all those years ago. She soon learns that the course of true love - just like Cretan honey - can be wild and sweet. And well worth the wait... Jo Thomas takes you there.Readers are raving about THE HONEY FARM ON THE HILL: 'Jo Thomas has the ability in her writing to take you right there' I Read Novels 'Incredibly enjoyable ... could practically smell the herbs in the air' Rachel's Random Reads'I absolutely loved this book ... a darned good story' Julie's World of Books'So richly imagined and so wonderfully written - highly recommended!' On My Bookshelf 'Superb escapism! ... the way the views, smells, sounds of the island are captured are spectacular' Be Reader Books'Jo Thomas is a purveyor of dreams. I defy anybody to read this book and at the end of it not to dream a little of the Cretan life' Short Books and Scribes 'Warm, sensual and heartwarming' Books, Life and Everything 'Perfect escapist magic' Good Housekeeping'A charming and delightful slice of escapist romantic fiction' Heat'The ultimate cheery tale' Sun

Headline Review

Notes from the Northern Lights (A Short Story)

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

Dive into this gorgeous winter warmer from Jo Thomas, bestselling author of The Oyster Catcher and Late Summer in the Vineyard. Notes from the Northern Lights is a sparkling short story available exclusively in ebook.Wardrobe mistress Ruby Knightly has been sent to Iceland on a very special mission that could save her opera company's opening night. And she's determined that her fear of the dark - and the incoming weather - won't stand in her way.But as Ruby follows her nose across Iceland's wild, volcanic landscape to the warmth of the smokehouses, she will soon discover that there is shelter to be found from even the most turbulent of storms. Particularly if there's romance around the corner...An irresistible winter tale that will melt the coldest of hearts.

Headline Review

The Plague Charmer

Karen Maitland
Authors:
Karen Maitland

'A dark read... fear and hysteria are portrayed with claustrophobic skill' The Times The Plague Charmer, by Karen Maitland, Queen of the Dark Ages and bestselling author of Company of Liars, will chill and delight fans of Ken Follett's A Column of Fire and The Witchfinder's Sister in equal measure.1361. An unlucky thirteen years after the Black Death, plague returns to England.When the sickness spreads from city to village, who stands to lose the most? And who will seize this moment for their own dark ends? The dwarf who talks in riddles? The mother who fears for her children? The wild woman from the sea? Or two lost boys, far away from home? Pestilence is in the air. But something much darker lurks in the depths.

Headline Review

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... Readers love Jo Thomas's feel-good fiction: '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** Jo Thomas's magical new novel THE HONEY FARM ON THE HILL is out now!**

Headline Review

The Red Sky At Night (A Short Story)

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas
Headline Review

The Olive Branch

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

Escape to Italy with THE OLIVE BRANCH - the irresistible new novel from Jo Thomas, award-winning author of ebook runaway bestseller THE OYSTER CATCHER.You 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 tempestuous family...and 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.'Warm, funny, romantic with a terrific sense of place. I loved it!' Katie Fforde(P)2015 Headline Digital

Headline Review

The Oyster Catcher

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

Kindle bestseller The Oyster Catcher is Jo Thomas's first irresistibly feel-good novel, set on the coast of Ireland. 'A world you long to live in with characters you love' Katie FfordeDooleybridge, County Galway: the last place Fiona Clutterbuck expects to end up, alone, on her wedding night.But after the words 'I do' have barely left her mouth, that's exactly where she is - with only her sequinned shoes and a crashed camper van for company.One thing is certain: Fi can't go back. So when the opportunity arises to work for brooding local oyster farmer, Sean Thornton, she jumps at the chance. Now Fi must navigate suspicious locals, jealous rivals and an unpredictable boss if she's to find a new life, and love, on the Irish coast. And nothing - not even a chronic fear of water - is going to hold her back.Join Fi as she learns the rules of the ocean - and picks up a few pearls of Irish wisdom along the way . . . Glowing praise for The Oyster Catcher:'A warm and witty debut' Carole Matthews'A perfect pearl of a story. I loved it' Milly Johnson'A heart-warming tale full of Celtic charm . . . What more could you wish for?' Ali McNamara

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, The Olive Branch and Honey Farm on the Hill, 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 extract from Jo's second novel, THE OLIVE BRANCH

Headline

Alone Beneath the Heaven

Rita Bradshaw
Authors:
Rita Bradshaw
Headline

Reach for Tomorrow

Rita Bradshaw
Authors:
Rita Bradshaw

When everyone's deserted her, can she find the strength to go on? Reach for Tomorrow is a heart-warming saga of a young woman's indomitable spirit and determination to survive no matter what, from much-loved author Rita Bradshaw. Perfect for fans of Annie Murray and Rosie Goodwin.'What an emotional rollercoaster ride of a book! It grabs your attention from page one and does not let go until the end' - Sunderland Echo Rosie Ferry is hardly more than a child when her father and brothers are lost in a pit disaster. She has to grow up fast when her mother falls apart, leaving Rosie in charge of her two sisters. It's Rosie who finds them lodgings, Rosie who tramps the streets looking for work. Without her friends Davey and Flora, Rosie doesn't know how she'd cope. Then Davey - the boy Rosie always thought she'd marry - abruptly leaves Sunderland, and to make matters worse her mother turns to drink. It's almost more than she can bear, but Rosie is tougher than she looks, and she's determined to keep the family together. What readers are saying about Reach for Tomorrow: 'I felt as though I was transported in time. I found the book very emotive in places and extremely easy to read''Another lovely story from this very talented writer. The characters are vivid and believable, the storyline keeps you guessing''Hard to put down and at times will make you cry and in the next minute heart-burstingly happy'

Headline

Ragamuffin Angel

Rita Bradshaw
Authors:
Rita Bradshaw

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.

Emma Hannigan

Emma Hannigan is the No. 1 bestselling author of eleven novels including The Wedding Promise, The Perfect Gift, and The Summer Guest. Her bestselling memoir, Talk to the Headscarf, has now been updated and revised as All To Live For. Emma lives in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, with her husband, two children, two cats and their Labradoodle Herbie.For more about Emma, visit her website www.emmahannigan.com or follow her on Twitter @MsEmmaHannigan.

Janet Evanovich

JANET EVANOVICH is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels including Turbo Twenty-Three and Tricky Twenty-Two; the Knight and Moon novels including Curious Minds, co-written with Phoef Sutton; five novels in the Fox & O'Hare series - The Heist, The Chase, The Job, The Scam and The Pursuit - co-written with Lee Goldberg; the Lizzy and Diesel novels including most recently Wicked Charms, co-written with Phoef Sutton; twelve romance novels; the Alexandra Barnaby novels; the Troublemaker graphic novels; and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author. She has won several major crime fiction awards including the CWA John Creasey Award, Dilys Award and Silver Dagger.Janet's website can be found at www.evanovich.com. She is on Twitter - @janetevanovich - and Facebook - /JanetEvanovich.

Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY, YOU AND ME, ALWAYS, THE ONE YOUR REALLY WANT and THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME won the Romantic Novelists' Association's Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.Jill keeps in touch with her readers on Twitter - @JillMansell - and Facebook - /OfficialJillMansell. She lives in Bristol with her family.

Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestseller Jill Shalvis is the author of many romance novels including her acclaimed Cedar Ridge, Lucky Harbor and Animal Magnetism series. The RITA winner and three-time National Readers Choice winner makes her home near Lake Tahoe. Visit her website at www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog, and www.facebook.com/jillshalvis for other news or follow her on Twitter @jillshalvis.

Marie Force

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty contemporary romances, including the Green Mountain series, the McCarthys of Gansett Island series, the Fatal series, the Treading Water series and numerous standalone books. While her husband was in the U.S. Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two teenagers and two feisty dogs, Brandy and Louie.Join Marie at www.marieforce.com to get news on her latest books, or keep up to date with her on Twitter: @marieforce and Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarieForceAuthor.

Penny Vincenzi

Penny Vincenzi is one of the UK's best-loved and most popular authors. Since her first novel, Old Sins, was published in 1989, she has written several bestselling novels, including The Decision and A Perfect Heritage.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). Penny Vincenzi has four daughters, and divides her time between London and Gower, South Wales.

Sheila O'Flanagan

Sheila O'Flanagan is the author of many bestselling novels including What Happened That Night, The Missing Wife, My Mother's Secret, If You Were Me, All For You (winner of the Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year Award) and Bad Behaviour. She worked in finance for several years, but always dreamed of writing fiction, and she is now a full-time writer, with over twenty bestselling titles published. She lives in Dublin with her husband. www.sheilaoflanagan.comTwitter @sheilaoflanagan Facebook.com/sheilabooks

Tasmina Perry

Tasmina Perry is the author of the huge Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers Daddy's Girls, Gold Diggers, Guilty Pleasures, Original Sin, Kiss Heaven Goodbye, Private Lives and Perfect Strangers. She left a career in law to enter the world of women's magazine publishing, going on to win the New Magazine Journalist of the Year award, edit numerous national publications and write on celebrity and style for titles such as Elle and Glamour. In 2004 she launched her own travel and fashion magazine, Jaunt, and was Deputy Editor of InStyle magazine when she left the industry to write books full time. Her novels have been published in seventeen countries.