Cathy Kelly - It Started With Paris
When Michael proposes to Katy on the Eiffel Tower, it causes a cascade of events that affect family, friends and acquaintances. At first the different characters seem to have little in common, but gradually their connections are revealed. We see sisters Leila and Susie being shaken up by their mother's car accident, discovering truths about themselves and their mother. Then there is Michael's mother, Grace, preparing for the wedding and working round the situation of her divorced husband Stephen and his new partner. Katy's timid mother Birdie feels overwhelmed by the prospect of the wedding, and as usual is pushed around by her domineering husband Howard. Also we meet young widow Vonnie who is hoping to make a new life with Ryan, but whose estranged wife makes his life a misery by using their young daughters as pawns. The varied mix of characters and situations keeps the reader guessing, as they all search for answers while preparing for Katy and Michael's big day. A typically engrossing read by this popular author.
Georgia Hill - Spring Beginnings: Millie Vanilla's Cupcake Cafe book one
The cafe of the title is situated in a seaside town on the south coast of England. Millie has been running it since she was eighteen, when her parents died, and during the ten years since then she has never had time for romance. All her affections are focused on her dog, Trevor. Her friends fear that she hasn't had a chance to live. But this changes when the gorgeous Jed turns up in the cafe, and soon Millie's heart is captured. The regulars of the cafe and their dogs rally round her when she faces competition from a new chain-backed cafe which opens nearby. But Jed remains a mystery - he seems smitten with her, but is he just too good to be true? A charming, light-hearted read with endearing characters. Part one of a trilogy.
Emily R. King - The Hundredth Queen
A fantasy novel with a background of rajahs, ranis, elephants, monks and turbaned soldiers, an unusual setting.. Kalinda is removed from the safety of the temple to prepare to wed the evil rajah, Tarik, as his hundredth queen. Torn from her dear friend Jaya, she enters a world of bitter rivalry from the other queens and courtesans at the rajah's court. A web of intrigue and scandal surrounds the court, where they fear the supernatural powers of the mysterious bhutas. Kalinda finds a champion in the handsome soldier, Deven, who accompanies her on the journey to her wedding. Together they discover the sinister reasons behind Tarik's choice of Kalinda for his queen. Secrets and discoveries abound, while Kalinda must battle for her life, her identity, and the man she loves. An enjoyable read, escapism at its best. Part one of a trilogy.