Fast Flows The Stream
By Connie Monk
In the halcyon days of the 1930s Sebastian Kilbride, a screen idol, and Nick Kennedy, his accountant and financial adviser are close friends, enjoying an almost idyllic lifestyle. The lives of their wives and families are intertwined. Tessa Kilbride, in contrast to her glamorous husband, is scatterbrained, warm-hearted and a homebody; Sally, Nick's efficient, well-groomed wife, is conversely a woman frustrated by domesticity. But, despite their differences, the two women have formed a strong bond. As have their teenage children, Jethro Kennedy and Zena Kilbride, who just lately have seen their childhood friendship tentatively blossom into something deeper. But the threat of war on the horizon will mean changes for them all...
From This Day Forward
By Connie Monk
When Jane Bradley elopes with one of her father's employees, she soon realizes that she had a romantisized view of married life. When Ian is disappointed with her in more ways than one, Jane finds comfort with the local doctor, who is drawn to her, but has to conquer his own troubles first.
Fields Of Bright Clover
By Elizabeth Jeffrey
Rachel Gardner's family life is far from a happy one. Her father, Stanhope, is cold and remote and her mother Nellie seems to care for nothing but housework. Then, one day, Stanhope collapses in the street and dies - and the façade he had built up carefully for so many years is revealed as a sham. Sad and confused, Rachel leaves home and flees to the one place she has known parental kindness: the home of the rector's daughter Angela, her school friend. As her feelings for Angela's elder brother David deepen into romance, Rachel believes she has everything she ever desired. But after the outbreak of the Second World War, David joins the RAF and returns horribly injured, refusing to see her.Fate, however, gives Rachel another chance at love. And just as the pieces of her once-shattered life are falling into place, a new disaster threatens everything she holds dear.
Far Above Rubies
By Elizabeth Jeffrey
When lovely Laura Chapman wakes up to find herself destitute in a London workhouse with all her belongings stolen, she cannot imagine how she will ever get over the shame. An orphan newly arrived from India, Laura is at the mercy of Jack Plant, the workhouse overseer, whose intentions are far from honourable. Distraught and penniless, Laura is taken in by the poor by kindly Taylor family and, determined to pay her way, becomes a factory girl at Beresford's Silk Mill where she comes to the attention of Alex Beresford, the talented engineer son of the factory owner. It begins to seem as if love and happiness are still possible for a girl whose life has been blighted by sorrow. Until the day Jack Plant appears to threaten her new-found security by revealing the secret she has tried so hard to keep.
By Emma Blair
Following her husband's death, Minna runs a small boarding house in Torquay and brings up her son, Tim. Tim becomes a journalist for the local paper, struggling to get by-lines and hoping to make it to a national some day. However, the outbreak of the Great War disrupts his life. Tim resists volunteering for the sake of his mother who can't bear to see her only son go to war, but eventually his guilt at not helping his country makes him sign up for the Royal Flying Corps. For two years he escapes death and injury but finally has a breakdown and is sent home. Elyse Davenport, an actress just past her prime, introduces him to the joys of lovemaking, but his true love is Katherine whose mother pressurises her to marry the wealthy and eminently suitable Miles. Following his death in action, Katherine becomes a VAD in France, but Tim and Katherine don't meet up again until peace is declared.
By Emma Blair
Sandy McLean is training to be a doctor to follow in his father's footsteps - indeed, to surpass his father who is just a general practitioner: Sandy is to become a top surgeon. Or so his father insists. Sandy feels he has no choice, though knows he is not a natural and life is becoming miserable as he struggles through the exams. What he really wants to be is an artist. Every spare moment he paints and is especially good at people. He even gets a commission when a loyal pub bartender is retiring. And then a French girl, Sophie, offers to pose for him - which leads to his first love affair and the beginning of his rebellion against his father...He has a row with his father and runs off to Montmartre. Meanwhile, left behind is his sister Laura. Her father believes she should wait about idly for a potential husband to turn up. But she wants to earn a living. She tells her parents she's working voluntarily for an orphan centre, but really she has a job working at the Marie Stopes Clinic - and learns a lot about life! When she gets raped on the way home one night, she is understandably seriously traumatised. And decides to follow her brother to Montmartre...