Related to: 'Notes from an Exhibition'

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."

Tinder Press

The Cat Sanctuary

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale
Tinder Press

Little Bits of Baby

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

Eight years ago, Robin fled from his family, friends, and entire life, to suffer a complete breakdown in an island monastery. Now he's reconnecting with those he left behind: his mother and father, with their own small secrets, and Jake and Candida, both of whom were impossibly close to Robin when he disappeared. But while the people he abandoned have missed him, Robin finds that everything has changed. He alone can decide what he will do in this new world of resentment, possibility and triumphant love.

Tinder Press

Take Nothing With You

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER comes a new novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality. For all readers of Ian McEwan's ATONEMENT or L P Hartley's THE GO-BETWEEN.1970s Weston-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother's quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother.When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice.Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale's new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.

Tinder Press

Gentleman's Relish

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

Tinder Press

Dangerous Pleasures

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

'Nattily subversive, sexually ambiguous, intelligent and disturbing. The prose sizzles with acidic observation' Sunday TimesA funeral party ends in an unexpected manner; parents are faced with difficult decisions about their daughter; a housewife transforms her personality with a simple touch-up; a father's trip to his former school brings back memories of love he thought buried forever. From gothic thrills and twisted comedy to moving family vignettes, Dangerous Pleasures offers a memorable collection of Patrick Gale's brilliant short stories of marriage, sex and mortality.

Tinder Press

Rough Music

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER, 'a gripping portrait of a marriage and quiet, devastating fall-out of family life' IndependentJulian is a contented if naïve only child, and a holiday on the coast of North Cornwall should be perfect, especially when distant American cousins join the party. But their arrival brings upheaval and unexpected turmoil.It is only as a seemingly well-adjusted adult that Julian is able to reflect on the realities of his parents' marriage, and to recognise that the happy, cheerful boyhood he thought was his is infused with secrets, loss and the memory of betrayals that have shaped his life.

Tinder Press

A Perfectly Good Man

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER, 'a convincing, moving account of man's struggle with faith, marriage and morality' Sunday TimesOn a clear, crisp summer's day in Cornwall, a young man carefully prepares to take his own life, and asks family friend, John Barnaby, to pray with him. Barnaby - priest, husband and father - has always tried to do good, though life hasn't always been rosy. Lenny's request poses problems, not just for Barnaby, but for his wife and family, and the wider community, as the secrets of the past push themselves forcefully into the present for all to see.

Tinder Press

The Whole Day Through

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale
Tinder Press

A Sweet Obscurity

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

'Intriguing and impressive. A memorable study of a child forced cruelly, even tragically, to grow up too soon' Sunday TimesSince her mother's death, nine year old Dido has been living with her eccentric aunt, acting as peacekeeper between Eliza, her estranged husband Giles and his girlfriend. They are each cruelly burdened in different ways. Chance draws them down to Cornwall, where a country idyll offers to lighten their urban cares. Eliza falls in love with local farmer, Pearce, an event that causes the four adults to re-assess their lives, with some painful and unforeseen consequences for adults and child alike.

Tinder Press

Friendly Fire

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

'An intense tale of love, life, intellectualism and passion. Inspirational' Daily ExpressSophie, an orphan in love with learning, is sure she will thrive in Tatham's, an esteemed boarding school, having survived years of institutional living. But she soon finds herself lost among its cliques and rituals. Befriending two teenage boys, she experiences the first ache of futile love, then a brilliant teacher's inappropriate attention to one of the trio threatens to destroy them all. Sophie swiftly realizes that there are tougher lessons to absorb outside the schoolroom - of class, sex, families and the emotional disaster they can bring to even the most privileged lives.

Tinder Press

Tree Surgery for Beginners

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

'A very funny, often sad, erudite eclectic novel writ with style. Terrific' Time OutWhen Lawrence Frost wakes up one morning to discover his wife and child have gone missing, there is gruesome evidence to suggest he may be the main suspect in a murder investigation. Confused, threatened with the loss of everything he loves, Lawrence is sent to the Caribbean on a kill-or-cure cruise. On board and ashore he will discover love, deceit, the truth about his missing family, and the blessings that come with surrendering to destiny.

Tinder Press

The Facts of Life

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale
Tinder Press

Facing the Tank

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale
Tinder Press

Kansas in August

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

'Modern, excellent and sympathetic' Stephen FryMusical-obsessed Hilary Metcalfe, abandoned by his lover Rufus on his birthday, gets drunk, discovers a baby and brings it home to his flat above a corner shop to provide comfort and company. Rufus, meanwhile, allows himself to be seduced by a frivolous young woman, who is actually Hilary's professional, high-powered sister, romancing under a pseudonym to escape the reality of her own loneliness. In this witty, bawdy slice of sex and lies, the trio will find themselves drawn together ever more tightly by the lures of hedonism, self-delusion and the inescapable desire to be needed.

Tinder Press

Ease

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

'Patrick Gale is among the great, unsung English novelists. Think Austen, Hardy, Murdoch. Remarkable' IndependentDomina Tey is a playwright, celebrated by friends, her husband, and the public alike, yet she fears losing her vital edge. Her solution: to leave her beautiful home in Bristol and seek adventure in a squalid West London bedsit, where she will live under an assumed name with only her typewriter for companionship. Once installed, however, she can't resist meddling in the business of others, forgetting that blurring fact with fiction can be a dangerous game.

Tinder Press

The Aerodynamics of Pork

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

'Gale's concoction is irresistible: modern relationships with period charm' Armistead MaupinSeth, a musical prodigy on the eve of his sixteenth birthday, is obsessed with sex and with the men he might meet, as well as with his strange family - his arch mother, his beautiful sister, and his damaged, distant father. Mo, a policewoman struggling with moral dilemmas and her sexuality in the violent, bigoted police force of the 1980s, wants only to find romance. In this haunting tale of self discovery and hidden identities, Mo and Seth will connect to face unexpected truths about themselves, and those they have chosen to love.

Tinder Press

A Place Called Winter: Costa Shortlisted 2015

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

** Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2015 **From the writer of BBC TV's MAN IN AN ORANGE SHIRT comes Sunday Times Top Ten hardback and paperback bestseller, A PLACE CALLED WINTER - picked for the BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo Book Club and the Waterstones Book Club.'A mesmerising storyteller; this novel is written with intelligence and warmth' The TimesTo find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything.A shy but privileged elder son, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest force him to abandon his wife and child and sign up for emigration to Canada.Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war and madness that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.

Tinder Press

A Place Called Winter

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

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.

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.