User 326 Batch, Started. Tracking: 27 / 100. Books: Array
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[title] => The Secrets of Midwives
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[length] => 494
[published] => 2015-02-10
[description] =>

Three generations of women. Secrets in the present and from the past. A captivating tale of life, loss, and love…

Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy – including the identity of the baby’s father – hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother Grace finds it impossible to let this secret rest. The more Grace prods, the tighter Neva holds to her story, and the more the lifelong differences between private, quiet Neva and open, gregarious Grace strain their relationship.

For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s – one which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. As Neva’s pregnancy progresses and speculation makes it harder and harder to conceal the truth, Floss wonders if hiding her own truth is ultimately more harmful than telling it.

Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

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[title] => The Kraken King
[subtitle] => Iron Seas, Book 4
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[length] => 1223
[published] => 2015-02-03
[description] =>

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq–better known as the Kraken King–doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out.

After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to guard her identity vigilantly. While her brother ,Archimedes, is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own–besides the stories she writes. But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper.

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[release_date] => 2015-02-03
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[title] => The Highland Countess
[subtitle] => Royal, Book 19
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[length] => 314
[published] => 2015-01-13
[description] =>

An innocent beauty takes society by storm – and a worldly lord by surprise.

Morag Fleming, the Countess of Murr, had been bride to the most lecherous lord in Scotland – yet this ravishingly lovely girl had never been touched. Needless to say, she had never borne a child; yet as a young widow she came to London with a fine son in tow.

Her background had left her ignorant of the follies and fopperies of fashion, but soon all of society was at her feet. Most incredible of all, she knew so little about the ways and wiles of love yet set her heart upon none other than the devastatingly handsome, charming, and wealthy Lord Toby Freemantle, who could have any woman he chose and clearly chose not to have her.

[series] => Changing Fortunes
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[title] => Black Sheep
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[length] => 154
[published] => 2014-11-25
[description] =>

A searing family story from one of our most beloved writers

The village is called Mount of Zeal. It’s built in a bowl-like an amphitheater, with the winding gear where the stage would be. The pit lies below. Ted Howker’s school is on the edge of Lower Terrace next to the chapel. Upper Terrace – in a thunderous echo of the Bible so loved by Ted’s grandfather – is Paradise. Ted, his father, and his brothers live in Middle. In the beginning: a household of men, all of whom work in the pit.

Susan Hill is an exceptional writer at the height of her powers. Every word is precisely right: the descriptions of the village and the pit, the people and the farm are exact and true; the heartbreak is inevitable yet new; and the imagery and imagination take your breath away.

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[title] => The Accidental Countess
[subtitle] => Playful Brides, Book 2
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[length] => 521
[published] => 2014-10-28
[description] =>

For seven long years, Lady Cassandra Monroe has waited for the man of her dreams to return from the war. Unfortunately, he happens to be engaged to her flighty cousin. When he mistakes Cass for Patience Bunbury, a fictitious friend her cousin has invented to escape social obligations – even with her future husband – Cass thinks this is her chance.

After defeating Napoleon at Waterloo, Captain Julian Swift is not quite ready to settle down and enter into his unwanted arranged marriage. Patience Bunbury is witty, independent, passionate, and, unbeknownst to him, the cousin of his current fiancée. When the truth about Cass comes out, will he surrender his heart to a woman who really is too good to be true?

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[title] => Black Vodka
[subtitle] => And Other Stories
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[length] => 119
[published] => 2014-10-27
[description] =>

‘Kissing you is like new paint and old pain. It is like coffee and car alarms and a dim stairway and a stain and it’s like smoke.’ (‘Placing a Call’)

How does love change us? And how do we change ourselves for love – or for lack of it? Ten stories by acclaimed author Deborah Levy explore these delicate, impossible questions. In Vienna, an icy woman seduces a broken man; in London gardens, birds sing in computer start-up sounds; in ad-land, a sleek copywriter becomes a kind of shaman.

These are 21st century lives dissected with razor-sharp humour and curiosity, stories about what it means to live and love, together and alone.

Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of highly praised books including Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography and Billy and Girl.

Her most recent novel, Swimming Home (2011, And Other Stories) was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. Black Vodka, the title story in this collection, was shortlisted for the 2012 BBC International Short Story Competition.

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[title] => My Real Children
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[length] => 570
[published] => 2014-09-16
[description] =>

It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know – what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War – those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?

Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. Jo Walton’s My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan’s lives… and of how every life means the entire world.​

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[title] => The Blood of an Englishman
[subtitle] => The Agatha Raisin Mysteries, Book 25
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[length] => 410
[published] => 2014-09-16
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In this irresistible new mystery from New York Times best seller M. C. Beaton, the adorably cranky Agatha Raisin investigates when a local baker is murdered while performing in a seemingly harmless pantomime.

“Fee, fie, fo, fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman…”

Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of Babes in the Woods, Agatha watches as the baker, playing an ogre, struts and threatens on the stage. Then a trapdoor opens…followed by a scream and then silence.

Surely, this isn’t the way the scene was rehearsed? When it turns out the popular baker has been murdered, Agatha puts her team of private detectives on the case. They soon discover more feuds and temperamental behavior in amateur theatrics than in a professional stage show – and face more and more danger as the team gets too close to the killer.

The Blood of an Englishman is Agatha’s 25th adventure, and you’d think she would have learned by now not to keep making the same mistakes. Alas, no – yet Agatha’s flaws only make her more endearing. In this sparkling new entry in Beaton’s New York Times best-selling series of modern cozies, Agatha Raisin once again “manages to infuriate, amuse, and solicit our deepest sympathies as we watch her blunder her way boldly through another murder mystery”. (Bookreporter.com)

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[title] => Let It Be Me
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[length] => 735
[published] => 2014-08-12
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London weather is chilly – and the social scene even more so. Luckily, Bridget Forrester is just getting warmed up.

Bridget longs to meet a gentleman who doesn’t mention her beautiful sister upon shaking her hand. But since being branded a shrew after a disastrous social season, Bridget knows she’s lucky to even have a man come near her. It’s enough to make a lady flee the country. So Bridget heads to Venice for music lessons with the renowned Italian composer Vincenzo Carpenini, with whom she’s been corresponding. But not only is Carpenini not expecting her, he doesn’t even remember her! His friend, theater owner Oliver Merrick, does, though. And one look into her tantalizing green eyes has him cursing his impulsive letter-writing, which brought her across the continent. Yet before Merrick can apologize, Carpenini has ordered her away. Little does either man know that they will soon be embroiled in a wager that will require the beautiful Miss Forrester’s help – or that there’ll be far more at stake in this gamble than money.

[series] => Blue Raven
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[title] => Follow My Lead
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[length] => 807
[published] => 2014-08-12
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Being the most sought-after bachelor in London can be trying. Jason Cummings, Duke of Rayne, should know. But when he winds up an unwilling escort to the headstrong Winnifred Crane on a trip across Europe, he realizes he’ll do anything to keep this independent beauty safe-even if it means marrying her.

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[title] => Revealed
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[length] => 846
[published] => 2014-08-12
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From the acclaimed author of Compromised comes a tale of love and war among the ton.

Phillippa Benning is the unrivaled beauty of the Season. But when another lady challenges her for a marquis’s attentions, Phillippa entices him to a secret rendezvous only to stumble upon The Blue Raven, England’s most famous spy, lurking at the site of her planned tryst.

The Blue Raven has uncovered an enemy plot directed at upcoming society functions, but he’s unable to infiltrate London society. Phillippa makes an offer: In exchange for entrée among the ton, he agrees to have his true identity revealed at the Benning Ball, guaranteeing her unrivaled notoriety. As the danger draws closer, the mysterious spy and Phillippa give in to mutual desire. But when the game turns deadly, betrayal waits around the corner, and Phillippa must decide once and for all, is it the myth that captured her heart, or the man?

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[title] => Black Vodka
[subtitle] => Ten Stories
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[published] => 2014-08-12
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The stories in Black Vodka, by acclaimed author Deborah Levy, are perfectly formed worlds unto themselves, written in elegant yet economical prose. She is a master of the short story, exploring loneliness and belonging; violence and tenderness; the ephemeral and the solid; the grotesque and the beautiful; love and infidelity; and fluid identities national, cultural, and personal.

In “Shining a Light,” a woman’s lost luggage is juxtaposed with far more serious losses. An icy woman seduces a broken man in “Vienna,” and a man’s empathy threatens to destroy him in “Stardust Nation.” “Cave Girl” features a girl who wants to be a different kind of woman – she succeeds in a shocking way. A deformed man seeks beauty amid his angst in the title story.

These are twenty-first century lives dissected with razor-sharp humor and curiosity. Published simultaneously with Things I Don’t Want to Know: On Writing, Levy’s stories will send you tumbling into a rabbit hole, and you won’t be able to scramble out until long after you’ve finished listening.

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[title] => If I Fall
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[length] => 760
[published] => 2014-08-12
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Every great romance comes with a risk…

After a duke’s betrayal, the resilient Sarah Forrester reinvents herself as the Golden Lady: Society’s leading light, the beautiful and witty life of the party. It’s all a facade of course – one that protects her from another intimate disloyalty. When her old friend, Lieutenant Jackson Fletcher, returns to London, he is determined to rediscover the true and trusting Sarah he once knew. It’ll take more than a kiss and a promise. It might even call for an innocent and necessary deception.

Then Jackson is enlisted to help capture the lead suspect in a murder – a man who happens to be Sarah’s most ardent suitor. Jack must continue the deception, and weathering this newest and gravest betrayal will be Sarah’s ultimate test. But as Jack’s passion for her grows, he must also reveal his own secrets. And as the killer turns his attention to his pursuers, more than love and trust is put at risk.

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[title] => The Summer of You
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[length] => 775
[published] => 2014-08-12
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From the acclaimed author of Revealed comes a tale of first loves and second chances. Lady Jane Cummings is certain that her summer is ruined when she is forced to reside at isolated Merrymere Lake with her reckless brother and ailing father. Her fast-paced London society is replaced with a small town grapevine. But one bit of gossip catches Jane’s attention – rumors that the lake’s brooding new resident is also an elusive highwayman.

Jane must face the much discussed mysterioso after he saves her brother from a pub brawl. She immediately recognizes him from London: Byrne Worth, war hero and apparent hermit – whom she finds strangely charming. The two build a fast friendship, and soon nothing can keep this Lady away from Merrymere’s most wanted. Convinced of his innocence, Jane is determined to clear Byrne’s name – and maybe have a little fun this summer after all.

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[title] => A Curious Career
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[length] => 393
[published] => 2014-08-08
[description] =>

Lynn Barber, by her own admission, has always suffered from a compelling sense of nosiness. An exceptionally inquisitive child she constantly questioned everyone she knew about imitate details of their lives. This talent for nosiness, coupled with her unusual lack of the very English fear of social embarrassment, is the perfect blend for a celebrity interviewer. Barber takes us through her early career at Penthouse where she started out interviewing foot fetishists, voyeurs, dominatrices and men who liked wearing nappies, through her later more eminent career at the Telegraph, Sunday Express, Vanity Fair, Observer and Sunday Times. Barber has interviewed a huge cross-section of celebrities throughout her career; politicians, film stars, comedians, dancers and musicians, including Gore Vidal, Rudolph Nureyev, Lady Gaga, James Stewart and Dirk Bogarde to name but a few. Characterised by her witty and honest style, An Interviewing Life is full of glorious anecdotes such as the interview with Salvador Dali that was only supposed to last one day and ended up running into four at Dali’s invitation, culminating in him gifting her a conical hat made of wax that he had originally designed for his wife to wear to fancy dress ball in the 1930s. Filled with transcripts of interview highlights, such as her infamous interview with the hilarious and spectacularly rude ‘ratty old rock chick’ Marianne Faithfull, and the interview with Rafael Nadal which infuriated his fans so much Barber saw her Twitter followers double so that his fans were able to abuse her online. Not only is An Interviewing Life a fascinating window into the lives of those has she interviewed, but also into the world of journalism itself and into Lynn Barber’s own life.

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[title] => The Truth About Leo
[subtitle] => Noble, Book 4
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[length] => 600
[published] => 2014-08-05
[description] =>

Dagmar Marie Sophie is a poverty-stricken Danish princess whose annoying royal cousin is about to have her stuffed away in a convent. When she finds a wounded man unconscious in her garden, she sees a way out of her desperate situation. Leopold Ernst George Mortimer, seventh earl of March and a spy in the service of the king, finds himself on the wrong end of a saber and left for dead. He wakes up not remembering what happened – and in the care of a beautiful woman who says she is his wife. Back in London, Leo-with the help of his old friends the eccentric Britton family-sets out to unravel what he’s forgotten. Is Dagmar truly the wonderful, irrepressible woman who makes his heart sing, or is she a dangerous enigma bent on his destruction? Contains mature themes.

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[title] => The Birthday Dinosaur
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[length] => 9
[published] => 2014-07-14
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The night before his fifth birthday, a young boy who can’t wait to grow up receives a visit from the Birthday Dinosaur. Together they fly off on a magical adventure, high above the earth.

Written and read by Alison Larkin Cover illustration by Charles Wynd

With music by Maurice Ravel, Gabriel Faure, Arnold Schoenberg, Claude Debussy, and Richard Wagner, performed by Sara Edelstein and arranged by Jason Brown.

What the critics say about Alison Larkin:

“Hugely entertaining” (The Times) “Unparalleled…a narrator to seek out…” (AudioFile)

Alison Larkin is the best-selling author of the novel The English American. She is also an internationally acclaimed comedienne and the award-winning narrator of over 80 audiobooks, including Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the 200th anniversary audio edition.

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[published] => 2014-06-18
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Portia St. Claire’s brother has gambled and lost, throwing her into the power of ruthless men. Their price for his life is her virtue, to be auctioned off in London’s most notorious brothel. To retrieve an incriminating letter, Bryght Malloren once broke into a house where he was greeted at pistol point by a resolute woman – a woman he could swear stands before him, masked and trembling, on a madam’s auction block. Unable to leave Portia to such a cruel fate, Bryght turns the private wager into a very public game of seduction, one that confirms his reputation as a shameless rake and keeps all of London society breathless with anticipation. But on a night shimmering with destiny, truth, and passion, those who tempt fortune risk losing everything, including their hearts.

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[title] => The Unexpected Duchess
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[published] => 2014-04-29
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Lady Lucy Upton’s tongue may be too sharp to attract suitors, but her heart is good, and when her painfully shy friend Cassandra needs help, she devises a brilliant scheme to help her discourage an unwanted suitor, the Duke of Claringdon. Lucy will hide behind the hedgerow and tell Cass just what to say to discourage the Duke of Claringdon…but it turns out that he’s made of sterner stuff than either of them anticipated. And Lucy is shocked to discover that tangling with the tenacious man is the most fun she’s had in ages. Lord Derek Hunt made a promise to his dying friend to marry the demure Cassandra, and for a man who wants nothing more than peace and quiet after the horrors of war, she’ll make the perfect bride. If only the impudent Miss Upton will let him court the girl! Doing battle is the last thing on his mind, but bantering with Lucy behind the bushes is too tempting to resist. And the spoils of this war just may be true love.

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[title] => Must Love Dukes
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[published] => 2014-04-29
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Lillian Phillips could not imagine how her quiet, simple life had come to this. Blackmailed by the Mad Duke of Thornwood into accepting one wild dare after another…all because of a pocket watch. Desperate to recover her beloved father’s pawned timepiece, Lily did something reckless and dangerous and delicious – something that led to a night she’d never forget.

When Devon Grey, Duke of Thornwood, runs into a mesmerizing, intoxicating, thieving woman who literally stole from his bedchamber – with his new pocket watch – Devon plots his revenge. If the daring wench likes to play games, he’s happy to oblige. After all, what’s the ruse of being the Mad Duke if you can’t have some fun? But the last laugh might just be on him….

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[title] => The Winter Bride
[subtitle] => Chance Sisters Romance, Book 2
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[length] => 752
[published] => 2014-04-01
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Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway – and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun.

When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him – as long as it’s in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: To seduce his reluctant winter bride.

Will Damaris’ secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation?

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[title] => Fool Me Twice
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[published] => 2014-03-25
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Sensible and lonely, Olivia Mather survives by her wits – and her strict policy of avoiding trouble. But when she realizes that the Duke of Marwick might hold the secrets of her family’s past, she does the unthinkable, infiltrating his household as a maid. She’ll clean his study and rifle through his papers looking for information. Alastair de Grey has a single reason to live: vengeance. More beautiful than Lucifer, twice as feared, and thrice as cunning, he’ll use any weapon to punish those who fooled and betrayed him – even an impertinent maid who doesn’t know her place. But the more fascinated he becomes with the uppity redhead, the more dangerous his carefully designed plot becomes. For the one contingency he forgot to plan for was falling in love…and he cannot survive being fooled again.

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[published] => 2014-02-25
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Jessica Mayhew is a sharp, successful therapist with a thriving practice and loving family. But the arrival of a new client, actor Gwydion Morgan, coincides with a turbulent moment in her life: Her husband has just confessed to a one-night stand with a younger woman. The son of a famous stage director, Gwydion is good looking and talented but mentally fragile, tormented by an intriguing phobia. When Jessica receives a frantic call warning that he is suicidal, she decides to make a house call.

The Morgans live in a grand clifftop mansion overlooking the rocky Welsh coast. It seems to be a remote paradise, but there’s something sinister about it too: Jessica learns that the family’s former au pair drowned in the bay under mysterious circumstances. In her quest to help Gwydion, to whom she’s grown increasingly attached, Jessica becomes ensnared in the Morgan family mystery, which soon becomes an explosive public scandal – one that puts her directly in harm’s way. Meanwhile, Jessica is doing her best to keep her marriage and family together, but her growing attraction to Gwydion is impossible to ignore.

Smart, stylish, and suspenseful, The House on the Cliff announces the arrival of a winning female protagonist in Jessica Mayhew and an exciting new crime writer in Charlotte Williams.

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Desperate to help her widowed sister and baby escape a deadly pursuer, Lady Chastity Ware dresses as a highwayman and captures the first coach to travel down the road. Coming face-to-face with its occupant, the arrogant aristocrat Cyn Malloren, she orders him to drive her to a remote cottage.

Little does Chastity realize that after long months of recovering from his war wounds, the handsome Cyn is looking for adventure, and being abducted by a cocky highwayman – obviously a lovely woman in disguise – is even more than he had hoped for. Willingly he is drawn into her devilishly reckless plan…and helplessly he is seduced by her wonderfully wicked ways.

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