Tomboy Grace Tooley meets Rupert Bradley when her eldest brother's sudden death forces her to take on burdens beyond her years. From then on, Grace gives her heart to her brother's wealthy friend, but he sees her as a mere girl and marries a woman from his own station in life. They meet again when the Great War has changed them both. Grace has suffered loss and pain and emerged as a strong, passionate woman.
When Lily Elliott's father dies she loses everything - not just a beloved protector and his wonderful ship the Lily-Jane, but also the way of life she has always known. As her mother sinks into a dream-world and the money which had always seemed sufficient turns out to have been mostly debts, Lily watches, bewildered, as destitution comes ever closer for the Elliott women and their loyal housekeeper. Then two rescuers appear.
Briony Marsden has led a hard life, forced to do the work of a grown man while enduring her drunkard father's taunts and blows. But when he goes too far, her fate becomes even worse as she makes her way alone in a heartless world. But Chad Cameron, the richest man in the district, has always admired Briony's spirit. When her fortunes are at their lowest, he falls in love with her and decides to make her his wife. Unfortunately, the only way he can do it is by trickery.
Lally Fraser, widowed at 20, seeks comfort with dashing young mill owner Roly Sinclair. But when she finds she is expecting his baby, she turns to his dour brother Harry for help. Secretly in love with her, Harry offers her marriage. Roly, though, is anything but pleased. Threatening scandal or worse, he sets out to destroy them both. And when Harry is injured in a vicious attack, Lally must take charge of the mills to protect her children and the man she is growing to love from his worst enemy - his own brother.
Amy Pearson's family is desperately poor - even by the standards of Edwardian Liverpool - but they have each other. Until Amy is torn from her home by her rich aunt, a woman obsessed by religion and snobbery who wants a girl she can mould as she wishes. Clever and pretty, ten-year-old Amy is perfect for her purposes.
"Deep & Emotionally Charged"
Vibrant and headstrong, Ally Pearce loves working on the Edith, her family's narrow boat, proving she's the equal of any man on the Leeds to Liverpool canal. Betsy, delicate, calculating and sensuously beautiful, wants only to become a 'lady' - and will use the most unladylike means to become one. When Dr. Tom Hartley enters the sisters' lives after a tragic accident both are attracted to him - but for very different reasons.
Tempestuous Briar Macauley's single-minded stubbornness to prove to the world that she is the equal to any man leads her into so many disastrous circumstances that her parents despair of ever making a lady of her. Encouraged by her equally disreputable friends, the only man who can stand up to her untamed spirit is Will Lucas of Browhead Farm whose temper matches her own.
When beautiful Tessa Harrison and her twin cousins take over their parents' Lancashire cotton mill, their luxurious upbringing has left them unprepared for their new responsibilities. For Tessa, there is an added but forbidden attraction at the mill. Foreman Will Broadbent, with his genuine understanding of the business and its workers, could not be more different from the dashing cousins. Yet, like the twins, he is hopelessly in love with this untameable girl.
Charlotte Drummond knows she has a duty to obey her father. Girls, especially well-bred upper-class ones, are expected to be submissive to the men in their lives. But Charlotte's father is a cruel man, viciously beating her and her brothers for the slightest reason. He even wants to marry her off, at just sixteen years old; to a man she does not love. Lion-hearted Charlotte wants to defy him but to protect her brothers from his fury she agrees to become the wife of Brooke Armstrong.
"Always give me an audiobook read by Carole Boyd"
Clare Hanrahan has nothing left to lose the day she stumbles into Lew Earnshaw’s arms. Her family is gone and her own life hangs by a thread after a desperate season seeking work. By the time Lew and his kindly neighbours have nursed Clare back to health, he is hopelessly in love with the frail Irish girl. But though she will always care for Lew, another man comes between them. Martin Heywood could not be more different from the gentle, idealistic weaver.
Rose Beechworth is mistress of a charming country house - her own, left to her by her wealthy father. In the summer of 1914, Alice Weatherly turns Rose's world upside down. The young heiress longs to kiss Captain Charlie Summers goodbye and so she takes Rose to Liverpool's Lime Street station and into the heart of Charlie's brother Harry.