Here are the books that I've enjoyed reading most during December.
Jane Bailey – What was Rescued
Four children, Arthur and his young brother Philip, young Welsh girl Dora, and Pippa who is from a privileged background, meet on board a ship carrying British children across the Atlantic to America during World War II. But they fall foul of enemy submarines, and the ship is torpedoed. Some of the passengers survive, and stay in touch during the following years. As the children grow up, they meet and form new relationships, but much of their lives bears the burden of the shipwreck. Love, loss, painful secrets and betrayal are all part of their future experiences. An intriguing exploration of ‘survivor guilt’, with very different characters sharing a tumultuous experience and how it changes everything in their developing lives.
Rachel Burton - A Bookshop Christmas
I like reading a seasonal romance at Christmas, and this one hit the spot nicely. Young widow Megan has returned to help her mother run the family bookshop in the historic city of York. In an attempt to boost the profits of the struggling business, she's come up with several ideas - she's rearranged the furniture, refreshed the stock, and formed a book club. Maybe the most audacious idea is to host a book launch for popular literary author, Xander Stone. Unfortunately the handsome author seems to be a most unpleasant man, unwilling to engage with his devoted fans and derogatory about provincial bookshops and romance novels. Megan and her friends in the book club vow to alter his views. As Christmas approaches there are surprises unfolding in Megan's life, not the least that Xander Stone seems to be reluctant to return to London, and she's going to find out more than she bargained for about what lies beneath his crusty exterior. Full of festive atmosphere, Christmas lights and all things about novels, this romance hits all the right buttons for a festive read..
T. M. Logan - The Catch
Abbie's new boyfriend, Ryan, looks to be perfect - handsome, polite, successful, charity volunteer and caring of his girlfriend. In fact, she's glowing. But her father, Ed, can't take to him. When Ryan and Abbie become engaged, he feels as if his worst nightmare is coming true. But because he loves his daughter, and his wife and mother-in-law both think he's imagining things, he keeps his suspicions to himself. However, the relationship begins to escalate at a rate much faster than he expected, motivating Ed to begin investigating Ryan secretly. It's not all above board, but he's desperate to find out some proof to convince his family that he's right. A novel that keeps us guessing throughout - is Ed imagining it, or are his suspicions true? This psychological thriller is well-written and compelling, with unforseen twists and turns.