Book Hauls · Books · Isabelle Broom · Julie Wassmer · L.S.Hilton · Liz Fenwick · Mary-Rose Maccoll · Rowan Coleman · Tessa Boase

#BookHaul: April 2017 – Part 1 #bookbloggers

I have never bought so many books in one month, as I did in April 2017 – 23!! Everywhere I turned, there seemed to be books on sale for bargain prices.

As 23 books are far too many to include in one post, I have split April’s book haul into two posts.

Part 1 includes books by: Isabelle Broom, Rowan Coleman, Liz Fenwick, Julie Wassmer, Mary-Rose Maccoll, L.S. Hilton, Tessa Boase.

Part 2 includes books by:  Vanessa Greene, Charles Belfoure, Fanny Blake, Rowan Coleman, Melissa Hill, Amanda Prowse, Clare Jay, Jennifer Potter, Katherine Webb, Trisha Ashley, Carol Drinkwater, Markus Zusak (click here to read Part 2).

~ Part 1 ~

2017-04-14 13.29.39One Saturday in mid-April, I walked into The Works and saw these beauties in the 3 for £5 offer. I don’t usually pay much attention to the fiction on offer as, in my opinion, it has never been that great. However, ever since I saw these, I have popped in to browse whenever I am near a store.

A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom

I’ve not read any books by Isabelle Broom, though I have heard good things. I’m looking forward to reading this one. 

2017-05-01 11.58.55

~ Book Blurb ~

A heartwarming and heartbreaking story about love and life in one of Europe’s most romantic cities, Prague.


Welcome to a city where wishes are everywhere.

For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she’s determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything – and she won’t let that happen again . . .

For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she’s struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it’s all her fault . . .

For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can’t stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past . . .

Three different women.

Three intertwining love stories.

One unforgettable, timeless city.

 

Rowan Coleman is another new author to me and I am looking forward to discovering her writing.

We are all made of Stars by Rowan Coleman2017-05-01-11-59-23.jpg

~ Book Blurb ~

Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to an ex-soldier, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the scars and the secrets he carries.

During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones – some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post these messages after their deaths.

Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…

2017-05-01-11-59-36.jpgA Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman

~ Book Blurb ~

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Dorothy Koomson and Liane Moriarty, this is an uplifting and heartfelt novel from the author of The Memory Book, which was featured in the Richard & Judy book club 2014

‘I immediately read The Memory Book and it’s WONDERFUL … I’m so happy because she’s written other books and its so lovely to find a writer you love who has a backlist’ Marian Keyes

Is there a cure for a broken heart?

Once upon a time, Ellen Woods had her ‘happily ever after’ moment when she married her beloved Nick. But fifteen years later her husband’s tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son and a mountain of debt.

On the verge of losing the family home Ellen decides to rent out some rooms, and all too soon a whole host of characters enter her ordered but fragile existence – each with their own messy life in tow. But will this be enough to pull her out of her grief so she can learn to live – and love – again?

 

I first fell in love with Liz Fenwick’s writing when I read her fourth novel, Under a Cornish Sky. I absolutely adored her fifth, and latest novel, The Returning Tide (click here to read my review).

A Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick2017-05-01 12.01.44

~ Book Blurb ~

For fans of Rosamunde Pilcher, a heart-warming romantic novel set in Cornwall from the bestselling author of THE CORNISH HOUSE and A CORNISH AFFAIR.

There’s an old Cornish saying: ‘Save a stranger from the sea, he’ll turn your enemy . . .’

When her reclusive grandmother becomes too frail to live alone, Gabriella Blythe moves into the remote waterside cabin on Frenchman’s Creek which has been her grandmother’s home for decades. Once a celebrated artist, Jaunty’s days are coming to a close but she is still haunted by events in her past, particularly the sinking of Lancasteria during the war.

Everything is fine until a handsome stranger arrives in a storm, seeking help. Fin has been left a family legacy: a delicate watercolour of a cabin above the creek which leads him to this beautiful stretch of Cornish water. As Fin begins to pick at the clues of the painting, he is drawn into the lives of Gabe and Jaunty, unraveling a remarkable story of identity and betrayal . . .

In this delightful novel, Liz Fenwick weaves a spell-binding tale of romance and intrigue, set against the gorgeous Cornish coast.

2017-05-01 12.01.19A Cornish Affair by Liz Fenwick

~ Book Blurb ~

In the bestselling tradition of Rosamund Pilcher, a gloriously romantic novel of secrets and history, from the author of the highly popular THE CORNISH HOUSE.

Running out on your wedding day never goes down well. When the pressure of her forthcoming marriage becomes too much, Jude bolts from the church, leaving a good man at the altar, her mother in a fury, and the guests with enough gossip to last a year.

Guilty and ashamed, Jude flees to Pengarrock, a crumbling cliff-top mansion in Cornwall, where she takes a job cataloguing the Trevillion family’s extensive library. The house is a welcome escape for Jude, full of history and secrets, but when its new owner arrives, it’s clear that Pengarrock is not beloved by everyone.

As Jude falls under the spell of the house, she learns of a family riddle stemming from a terrible tragedy centuries before, hinting at a lost treasure. And when Pengarrock is put up for sale, it seems that time is running out for the house and for Jude.

 

I love the vibrant covers for The Whitstable Pearl Mysteries series. Julie Wassmer is also another new author to me. 

The Whitstable Pearl Mystery (Book 1) by Julie Wassmer2017-05-01 12.18.50

~ Book Blurb ~

Pearl Nolan always wanted to be a detective but life, and a teenage pregnancy, got in the way of a police career and instead she built up a successful seafood restaurant in her coastal home town of Whitstable – famous for its native oysters.

Now, at 39, and with son Charlie away at university, Pearl finds herself suffering from empty nest syndrome . . . until she discovers the drowned body of local oyster fisherman Vinnie Rowe, weighted down with an anchor chain, on the eve of Whitstable’s annual oyster festival.

Is it a tragic accident, suicide – or murder?

Pearl seizes the opportunity to prove her detection skills and discover the truth but she soon finds herself in conflict with Canterbury city police detective, Chief Inspector Mike McGuire. Then another body is discovered – and Pearl finds herself trawling the past for clues, triggering memories of another emotional summer more than twenty years ago . . .

2017-05-01 12.19.21

Murder-on-Sea (Book 2) by Julie Wassmer

~ Book Blurb ~

It’s not the season of good will to all men…

The festive month is kicking off in style and Pearl is rushed off her feet with her restaurant, The Whitstable Pearl. She’s also busy planning her own family Christmas and providing mulled wine for a charity church fundraiser when Christmas cards begin arriving all over town – filled with spiteful messages from an anonymous writer.

Pearl’s curiosity is piqued but having pledged not to take on a case at her detective agency before Christmas, she reluctantly agrees that Canterbury’s DCI Mike McGuire should take over; poisoned pen cards are after all a matter for the police. And with only the church fundraiser now between Pearl and Christmas, she invites McGuire along as her guest. The event appears to be a great success; St Alfred’s church hall is packed and Pearl happily finds herself standing close to McGuire beneath some mistletoe . . . but then a guest suddenly collapses. Too much of Pearl’s delicious mulled wine – or could it be something more sinister?

The last thing Pearl expects for Christmas is murder but soon the bodies are piling up. Can Pearl possibly solve the mystery in time to make 25th December an unforgettable day – or will the murderer contrive to ensure her goose is well and truly cooked before then?

May Day Murder (Book 3) by Julie Wassmer

2017-05-01 12.19.26

~ Book Blurb ~

It’s springtime and Whitstable is emerging from hibernation.

While neither the restaurant nor detective agency is too busy, Pearl resolves to spend some time at the family allotment. But her best friend, Nathan, has persuaded one of his favourite actresses to open the May Day festivities at Whitstable Castle and involves Pearl in his plans.

Like Pearl, Faye Marlowe is a Whitstable native, but having left the town more than two decades ago, the star has been living in the South of France since her agent’s phone stopped ringing. Charming but ‘sensitive’, she arrives with a small entourage and though her presence in the town causes a stir Pearl’s mother Dolly remains unimpressed, choosing to remember Faye Marlow when she was plain old Frankie Murray, the daughter of a local whelk merchant.

Nathan soon realises he has made a mistake with this invitation and his doubts are confirmed when Faye is nowhere to be found on the morning of May Day. And as ‘Jack in the Green’ puts on his impressive costume to lead the parade, the actress’s dead body is discovered – tethered to the maypole on the Castle grounds . . . and so it’s left to Pearl and DCI Mike McGuire to unravel the mystery of the May Day murder.

 

2017-05-01 12.02.04Swimming Home by Mary-Rose Maccoll

Mary-Rose Maccoll is an unknown author to me. They say you should never judge a book by its cover but I love the 1920s feel to this one. The story sounds great too!

~ Book Blurb ~

1925. Fifteen-year-old Catherine Quick longs to strike out into the warm waters of her Australian home just as she’s done since she was a tiny child. But now living in London with her aunt Louisa, Catherine feels that everything she values has been stripped away. Louisa, a busy surgeon who fought boldly for women’s equality, wants Catherine to pursue an education to ensure her future freedom. Since Catherine arrived, however, Louisa can’t put a foot right and she is finding it harder to block painful memories from her past. A chance encounter leads both women to New York where Catherine can test her mettle against the first women in the world to swim the English Channel, and where Louisa can come to an understanding with her niece and with herself.

 

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Maestra by L.S. Hilton

I heard about this book when it was first released and was really pleased when I found a second-hand copy, in decent condition, for sale in the second-hand bookshop at my local National Trust property. 

MAESTRA is the first book in a trilogy, and, incidentally, the second book, DOMINA, is released on 6 April 2017.

~ Book Blurb ~

By day Judith Rashleigh is a put-upon assistant at a London auction house. By night she’s a hostess in one of the capital’s unsavoury bars. Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows she has to play the game. She’s learned to dress, speak and act in the interests of men. She’s learned to be a good girl. But after uncovering a dark secret at the heart of the art world, Judith is fired and her dreams of a better life are torn apart. So she turns to a long-neglected friend. A friend that kept her chin up and back straight through every past slight. A friend that a good girl like her shouldn’t have: Rage. Fatal attraction meets The Talented Mr Ripley in this darkly decadent thriller, soon to be a major Hollywood film, that asks: Where do you go when you’ve gone too far?

 

2017-04-08 18.48.12The Housekeeper’s Tale: The Women Who Really Ran the English Country House by Tessa Boase

I bought this book after visiting Uppark House and Garden in West Sussex, as it includes the story of Sarah Wells, former Housekeeper at Uppark House and mother to HG Wells. 

~ Book Blurb ~

Working as a housekeeper was one of the most prestigious jobs a nineteenth and early twentieth century woman could want – and also one of the toughest. A far cry from the Downton Abbey fiction, the real life Mrs Hughes was up against capricious mistresses, low pay, no job security and gruelling physical labour. Until now, her story has never been told. The Housekeeper’s Tale reveals the personal sacrifices, bitter disputes and driving ambition that shaped these women’s careers. Delving into secret diaries, unpublished letters and the neglected service archives of our stately homes, Tessa Boase tells the extraordinary stories of five working women who ran some of Britain’s most prominent households.

There is Dorothy Doar, Regency housekeeper for the obscenely wealthy 1st Duke and Duchess of Sutherland at Trentham Hall, Staffordshire. There is Sarah Wells, a deaf and elderly Victorian in charge of Uppark, West Sussex. Ellen Penketh is Edwardian cook-housekeeper at the sociable but impecunious Erddig Hall in the Welsh borders. Hannah Mackenzie runs Wrest Park in Bedfordshire – Britain’s first country-house war hospital, bankrolled by playwright J. M. Barrie. And there is Grace Higgens, cook-housekeeper to the Bloomsbury set at Charleston farmhouse in East Sussex for half a century – an era defined by the Second World War.

Revelatory, gripping and unexpectedly poignant, The Housekeeper’s Tale champions the invisible women who ran the English country house.

Click here to read Part 2 of April’s Book Haul.

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