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

A Winter Beneath the Stars

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

Escape to Sweden in the fabulous new novel from the author of THE OYSTER CATCHER, THE OLIVE BRANCH, LATE SUMMER IN THE VINEYARD and HONEY FARM ON THE HILL. For fans of Lucy Diamond and Carole Matthews.Readers have been captivated by Jo Thomas's feel-good novels:'Warm, funny, romantic with a terrific sense of place. I loved it!' Katie Fforde'What a gorgeous book! Reading it felt like the best kind of holiday' Lucy Diamond'Sheer rom-com brilliance!' Heat'Perfect escapism' Marie Claire(P)2018 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Headline Review

The Honey Farm on the Hill

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas

JO THOMAS' HEART-WARMING NEW NOVEL SUNSET OVER THE CHERRY ORCHARD IS AVILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW '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
Headline Review

Late Summer in the Vineyard

Jo Thomas
Authors:
Jo Thomas
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

Can love bloom in the groves of Italy?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 Fforde 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 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.What readers are saying about The Olive Branch:'Characters that come to life and each chapter comes with a smile. An uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable read providing a little escapism, a little romance and a lot of determination''A heart-warming book you will find hard to put down''A feel-good book. Great for a holiday read'

Headline Review

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, The Olive Branch and Honey Farm on the Hill, available exclusively in ebook.Praise for Jo Thomas' The Olive Branch: 'Sun, good food and romance, what more could you want?' HeatWhen 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 BRANCHWhat readers are saying about The Chestnut Tree:'A gorgeously satisfying short tale that appeals to all the senses''This is a fab little story with delightful characters all played out in a beautiful rural setting''A lovely story. Strong characters, fast-paced plot. A joy to read'

Alan Bissett

Alan Bissett was born in Falkirk in 1975. His acclaimed first novel, BOYRACERS, published whilst he was still a student, was based on his adolescent experiences growing up there. His ambitious second novel, THE INCREDIBLE ADAM SPARK, was extraordinarily well received. A full-time writer and playwright, he has acted onstage in his own 'one-woman show', 'Times When I Bite', which was also adapted for film. His plays 'The Ching Room', 'Turbo Folk' and 'The Moira Monologues' have all been recent stage successes. The Shutdown won two Jim Poole awards for Best Scottish Short Film 2009. Alan has also been a support act for Malcolm Middleton, The Vaselines and Zoey Van Goey. He currently is much in demand as a live performer of his own work.

Anne Baker

Anne Baker trained as a nurse at Birkenhead General Hospital, but after her marriage went to live first in Libya and then in Nigeria. She eventually returned to her native Birkenhead where she worked as a Health Visitor for over ten years before taking up writing.

Anne Perry

Anne Perry is a New York Times bestselling author noted for her memorable characters, historical accuracy and exploration of social and ethical issues. Her two series, one featuring Thomas Pitt and one featuring William Monk, have been published in multiple languages. Anne Perry has also published a successful series based around World War One and the Reavley family, and the recent standalone novel The Sheen on the Silk. Anne Perry was selected by The Times as one of the twentieth century's '100 Masters of Crime'.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a doctor by trade; optician more specifically. It is rumoured that during his off periods of work he would think about and write his various stories. He is well known for several science fiction works, but of course his most recognizable works are the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. He died in 1930.He tried desperately to "kill off" Holmes so that he could pursue other genres of writing as well, and not just be known for the Holmes mysteries. However, after much public outcry, Holmes returned in "The Empty House" and in many other stories following, up to the "Case Book of Sherlock Holmes" collection.

Benita Brown

Benita Brown was born and brought up in Newcastle by her English mother, the youngest of thirteen children, and her Indian father, who came to Newcastle to study medicine and fell in love with the place and the people. After meeting her husband while she was at drama school in London, Benita returned to her home town and worked as a teacher and broadcaster before becoming a full-time writer, publishing many much-loved novels. Sadly, Counting the Days was Benita's last book, as she passed away in April 2014 following a sudden illness. She will be greatly missed.

Dee Williams

Dee Williams was born and brought up in Rotherhithe in East London where her father worked as a stevedore in Surrey Docks. She lives in Hampshire, where she is also an active fundraiser for breast cancer awareness.

Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans is the author of seven previous novels, Going Home, A Hopeless Romantic, The Love of Her Life, I Remember You, Love Always, Happily Ever After and Not Without You. She lives in London with her family.

Harry Bowling

Harry was born in 1931 in a back street off the Tower Bridge Road. Only when his own children began to ask questions about the war, did Harry realise how many stories he had to tell. He became known as 'the King of Cockney sagas', and he wrote eighteen bestselling novels of London life. After Harry died in 1999, the Harry Bowling Prize was set up in his memory.

Joan Jonker

Joan Jonker was born and bred in Liverpool. She led a rich and varied life and was devoted to her family. Before writing novels, she worked tirelessly for the charity-run organisation Victims of Violence which she founded in 1976. Sadly, Joan died in 2006, but she is remembered fondly by her family and friends and her multitude of fans.

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.

Josephine Cox

Josephine Cox was born in a cotton-mill house in Blackburn, one of ten children. At the age of sixteen, Josephine met and married her husband Ken, and had two sons. When the boys started school, she decided to go to college and eventually gained a place at Cambridge University. She was unable to take this up as it would have meant living away from home, but she went into teaching - and started to write her first full-length novel. Her strong, gritty stories are taken from the tapestry of life.

Jude Deveraux

Jude Deveraux is the author of forty-one New York Times bestsellers to date, including Moonlight in the Morning and A Knight in Shining Armor. There are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide.