When Miss Catherine Kent's fiancé, Richard Montague, disappears, she is distraught. Catherine sends for her beloved spinster aunt, Miss Dido Kent. But on the very day of Dido's arrival, a sinister discovery casts unwelcome suspicion on Richard's sudden absence.
"Delightful, Thoughful, Intelligent, and Very Funny"
Paris, 1894. In a moment of impulse, Lisette Decourt flees her home and family on the eve of her marriage to a man who has betrayed her. She attaches herself to a travelling "Lanternist", Daniel Shaw, whose "Magic Lantern" show is a precursor of silent movies. Lisette is fascinated by Daniel's art and, though adamant that she will never fall in love again, is irresistibly attracted to the magnetic Englishman.
Megan thought she had it all - a good job, a caring family and a fiancé whom everyone agreed would make her a wonderful husband. But then her perfectly constructed world fell apart, and she found that her one hope was Professor Jake van Belfeld. He seemed determined to rebuild her life - but why was he taking such a personal interest in her? He couldn't think that her heart needed his attention, too, could he?
"Hope after heartache"
Lucy and her younger sister, Eva, are shocked by the events that follow their father's death. A woman arrives on their doorstep claiming to be Joseph's legitimate wife. It seems their father deserted Mary Chambers 20 years ago and entered a bigamous marriage with their mother Sylvia.
1939. The first London evacuees arrive in St David’s Well, homesick and disappointed by the quiet Welsh seaside town. “Wait till summer,” Eirlys Price tells brothers Stanley, Harold and Percival Love. Foreign travel is no longer feasible, so holidays at home enjoy a new lease of life. For the Castle family, this is good news. They have owned Piper’s Café on the beach for three generations and business is expected to boom.
Badger’s Brook becomes the refuge of Lowri Vaughan, escaping the rumours that abound when her father is sent to prison for fraud and suspected murder – crimes Lowri and her mother know he didn’t commit. As she begins to rebuild her life, Lowri is determined to prove her father’s innocence and begins to search for the truth. But along the way she encounters many false friends, who seem to let her down at every turn. Soon Lowri begins to believe that she’ll never be able to rely on anyone again.
When obscure crime writer Ethelred Tressider vanishes, his dogged literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle, is soon on his trail. Finding him (in a ramshackle hotel in the French Loire) proves surprisingly easy. Bringing him home proves more difficult than expected - but (as Elsie observes) who would have predicted that, in a hotel full of stamp collectors, the guests would suddenly start murdering each other? One guest is found fatally stabbed, apparently the victim of an intruder.
Eleanor and Beatrice dream of lovematches but the Dowager insists romantic love is for housemaids, not for the Graceover women. Beatrice, despatched to London to look over the current crop of bachelors, is unimpressed by the frivolities of the Season. Disturbed by the languid charm of Lord Serle and appalled by the mercenary attitudes to marriage displayed by Society, Beatrice’s country innocence and unconventional behaviour lead her into some alarming situations.
Was love out of the question? Charity thought she had it all - marriage to respected consultant Tyco van der Brons and being a mother to his two children. So why did her heart yearn for his love, too? She had known from the start that theirs was a marriage of convenience - so it would be foolish to wish for anything more...wouldn’t it?
Sarah Dunn had worked with Hugo van Elven for a long time, and she was astounded when he suddenly proposed to her. Both of them were still smarting from previous unhappy love affairs, which was why Sarah decided to accept; surely neither of them would wish to get emotionally involved again for a very long time. But she had not considered what would happen if her feelings for Hugo underwent a change while his remained the same....
The year is 1917, and Barbara Jones is shocked to be told that she is carrying a child. Her boyfriend is a soldier and there is no one to whom she can turn for support. Fortunately, the generous Carey family give Barbara a home in a derelict house on a beach near Gull Island and it is there that her daughter Rosita is born.
When Eustacia Hope is jilted at the altar, her parents decide to save her reputation by sending her to stay with her godmother, Lady Agatha Rayner, a clergyman's widow. Eustacia's mother warns her to have nothing to do with Lady Agatha's brother, the notorious Lord Ashbourne, nor with his son, Lord Ilam.
"A Pleasant way to pass the time"
Evangeline Granby is so tired of her aunt's lectures on morality that she allows a handsome young gallant to take her to an inn where they indulge in a desperate and very improper flirtation. Never expecting to see him again, Evangeline is horrified to discover that he is the Reverend Michael Buckleigh, the newly appointed curate for the village where she lives. The attraction between the pair flares at subsequent meetings but Michael knows that, however spoiled Evangeline may be, her father will never consent to their blossoming love.
The village school of Turnham Malpas is to get a new head teacher. At first sight, Kate Pascoe seems ideal. But when she introduces meditation classes and tree-hugging, the villagers begin to think again. A strange malaise afflicts the whole village and a sudden, shocking death plunges the village into a state of superstitious dread. And always at the eye of the storm is the head teacher: Kate Pascoe.
"NOTHING like a Joanna Trollope or Maeve Binchy nov"
Sister Maggy MacFergus was tall and she discovered most men found this offputting. When Dr Paul Doelsma offered Maggy a nursing job in Holland, she took it. There was something special about Dr Doelsma and it wasn’t just that he was taller than her. She was sensible enough to realise that he would never love her back, after all, Paul said he had already chosen himself a wonderful wife. But who was the lucky girl?
Sophie Daniels quits the WAAF at the end of World War II with nowhere to go. She wanders around the country searching for a place where she can settle, living in bedsits and small guest houses in the meantime. Eventually she finds Badgers Brook, where she meets and befriends nine-year-old Bertie, neglected and running wild. The neighbours warm to her, the place is welcoming and she knows she has found her home. She becomes friendly with Ryan Treweather who helps search for Sophie's remaining relatives.
It is Kate Howard's first day at the Barleybridge Veterinary Practice and she finds herself flung headlong into the hurly-burly of a busy clinic and loving it. The staff are friendly and welcoming, particularly Scott, the Australian vet. But Kate already has a boyfriend, Adam. Having initially resisted Scott's advances, Kate finds herself drawn to him more strongly than she intended.
The Patterson sisters have lived in the Earl of Longmore's house since they were orphaned as children. When the old Earl dies, the estate passes to Kynan Trent, a London merchant and descendant of the despised Welsh branch of the family. The title is a surprise to him and he's even more surprised to find himself responsible for five lively and independent young women. There are tales of hidden treasure belonging to the Patterson family, but in reality the girls are penniless and their futures look bleak.
"Light Georgian romance"
Rebecca Saunders isn't Baron Tiele Raukema van den Eck's type - she's already heard him describe her as a thin mouse! But he's been very kind, rescuing her from an intolerable home life and giving her a job nursing his mother. As Tiele's got a gorgeous girlfriend, Becky knows it's useless to love him - but it's already too late....
Esmeralda Jones was a very nice girl. It seemed to Esmeralda that she was also invisible to the opposite sex. Perhaps the real reason for this was the impaired foot she had struggled with since childhood. When the brilliant surgeon Thimo Bamstra offered to cure her, Esmeralda was over the moon. Thimo also managed to mend her broken heart. Esmeralda had never imagined marriage as part of her future, but now she could dream of little else.