Related to: 'Sworn To Secrecy'

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Best Laid Plans

Mary Larkin

Belfast, the 1960s. When Tess Maguire and her best friend Agnes Quinn get free tickets to see the Rolling Stones, there is nothing that will stop them from going to the Ulster Hall, not even the disapproval of Tess's mother Alice. And though Alice's concerns about trouble are to prove right, for Tess and Agnes they have a silver lining. As the concert ends in panic and confusion, the girls are helped out by their very own pair of Jumping Jack Flashes - Jack Thompson and Tony Burke. To begin with, Tess is far keener on Jack than Agnes is on Tony. But after six, short, wonderful weeks, Jack suddenly stops contacting her. And when Tess pays his home a visit to find out the reason why, she soon discovers the shocking truth: Colette Burns, with her thick black hair and sultry looks, has captured his heart instead. Then Tess meets Dominic Sullivan, a Belfast boy who left Ireland for America many years earlier. Returning to his home city for a wedding, his good looks and sharp humour could be what Tess has been waiting for. But with Agnes interested in Dominic as well, their best laid plans might just become their worst-case scenario instead...

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Playing With Fire

Mary Larkin

Susan's boyfriend of six months, Jim, is a Catholic and her parents haven't yet found out. Jim has said all along that their romance is doomed and she must understand this - but, in fact, neither can bear not to see each other. Finally, Jim realises Susan is angling for a marriage proposal and he knows he must end their relationship. Susan is distraught and ends up being comforted (too much so!) by her sister Alison's current boyfriend, Graham, resulting in a pregnancy. Susan flees to her aunt in Darlington in shame, but has to return to Belfast when her mother has a stroke and Graham is in a car accident. Susan gives birth to a beautiful son but still refuses to tell anyone who the father is. And there are now three men in her life - Jim, who doesn't want to be the stepfather of someone else's son; Graham, who believes he is the father and who loves Susan and believes she loves him; and Donald, a man she met in Darlington...

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Painful Decisions

Mary Larkin

Life in 1920s Belfast is hard for the working class people, but the McGuigans are more fortunate than most. But when eldest son Johnnie shatters the family's peaceful existence with a shocking and unwelcome revelation, opinions become divided. And there are secrets in other quarters, too, when sister Louise discovers her boyfriend is hiding something - a secret so terrible it threatens their engagement. The once close-knit family are forced to make a series of painful decisions that will change all their lives for ever.

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Suspicious Minds

Mary Larkin
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Shades of Deceit

Mary Larkin

When her mother leaves the family home in Belfast for her lover, Louise McGuigan is left feeling betrayed. It is up to Louise to look after her brother and sister while her father loses himself to alcohol. Returning to work at the local linen factory, she has to endure the cruel gossip about her so-called righteous mother and when Conor O'Rourke, the man of her dreams, continues to drag his heels about their future together, Louise doesn't know how much more she can take. Louise's luck appears to change when she finds alternative employment in a local bookshop, but her family troubles still weigh heavy on her mind. And when she seeks solace in the arms of a man who isn't Conor, things become even more complicated. Can Louise find happiness with the right man or will she be tied to her troubled family for ever? Set in Belfast in the 1920s, Shades of Deceit is a gripping story of heartbreak, loyalty and hope from much-loved bestselling author Mary Larkin.

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The Dressmaker

Kate Alcott

Torn between her dreams and the truth, she was faced with an impossible choice . . . Tess, an aspiring seamstress, is stunned at her luck when the famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon hires her to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. When disaster strikes, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat - her employer also survives. On dry land, savage rumours begin to circulate: did Lady Duff Gordon save herself at the expense of others? Tess's dream of becoming a skilled dressmaker is within her grasp but now she is faced with a terrible choice. Suddenly she finds herself torn between loyalty to the fiery woman who could help her realise her ambitions and the devastating truth that her mentor may not be all she seems. Authentic and honest, The Dressmaker is a compelling and vivid story that will have you holding your breath until the last page. *Shortlisted for the Goodreads Historical Novel Award*

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The Wasted Years

Mary Larkin

Rosaleen Magee is the catch of the pride of Belfast in pre-war years - and the envy of her friends. For her future is already assured as the fiancee of Joe Smith, a steady young man with a thriving business of his own. Whey then does Sean Devlin move her so, with his flashing blue eyes and dark good looks? The war throws everyone's lives into turmoil, as the men of Northern Ireland rally to the British cause. But for Rosaleen it heralds the return of Sean and the anguish of forbidden love...

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Ties Of Love And Hate

Mary Larkin
ATOM

The Dream Thief: An Extraordinary Hotario Lyle Mystery

Catherine Webb
How My Dreams Came True

Inspiration for The Dressmaker

Read about Kate Alcott's inspiration for her novel, The Dressmaker

Piatkus

Sister

Rosamund Lupton

Nothing can break the bond between sisters ... When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister's life - and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face. The police, Beatrice's fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

Grand Central Publishing

The Witness Wore Red

Rebecca Musser, M. Bridget Cook
Import Aus

At the Altar of the Road Gods

Boris Mihailovic

His mother may not know it but Boris Mihailovic has lived a fast, furious, often politicially incorrect life chasing the epiphanies of speed (the sensation not the drug). For Boris, motorbike riding was the rite of passage into manhood he'd been searching for. Now, nearly 40 years since he first rode a bike, the wisdom of age has provided the perspective for Boris to look back and realise some pretty wild shit went down. At the Altar of the Road Gods is about popping your motorcycle-buying cherry with an XJ650 Yamaha. It's about fines, feuds and fractures, high-sides, tank-slappers, angry police, even angrier young men, crashing, getting up, cranky girlfriends, riding faster, outlaws, and partaking in copious amounts of alcohol and drugs. It is about mateship and motorcycles. Ultimately, is is about four decades of two-wheel-related mayhem. Just don't tell Boris's mum! Be warned: may cause laughter, sleeplessness and the desire to buy a Lucifer-black Katana.

Corsair

Dilly's Lass

Rosie Goodwin

Years ago Dilly made the devastating decision to give her baby daughter to wealthy local family, the Farthings. She is still living with the consequences of her choice when the daughter she gave away all those years ago turns up on Dilly's doorstep, with a baby girl in tow, begging for help. Olivia has a secret she only feels safe telling Dilly. Sworn to secrecy, Dilly agrees to help, delighted to be spending time with her new granddaughter and daughter. She can't tell Max Farthing, the man who took in Olivia all those years ago and who Dilly has feelings for. For Max has problems of his own: he's married to Camilla, who has lost leave of her senses. Could Dilly and Max ever come together? Dilly's Lass is a wonderfully heartfelt portrayal of families beginning to rebuild after WW1, from much-loved author Rosie Goodwin.

Virago

A Glass Of Blessings

Barbara Pym
Little, Brown US

The Secret Rescue

Cate Lineberry

The compelling untold story of a group of stranded U.S. Army nurses and medics fighting to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. When 26 Army nurses and medics - part of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron-boarded a cargo plane for transport in November 1943, they never anticipated the crash landing in Nazi-occupied Albania that would lead to their months-long struggle for survival. A drama that captured the attention of the American public, the group and its flight crew dodged bullets and battled blinding winter storms as they climbed mountains and fought to survive, aided by courageous villagers who risked death at Nazi hands to help them. A mesmerizing tale of the courage and heroism of ordinary people, THE SECRET RESCUE tells not only a new story of struggle and endurance, but also one of the daring rescue attempts by clandestine American and British organizations amid the tumultuous landscape of the war.

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Camberwell Beauty

Jenny Eclair

Welcome to South London, to one of the nicest streets in one of London's vilest boroughs, a determined middle-class oasis of skips and bay trees, where Volvos sniff each others' bumpers and men called Giles live with women called Samantha. This is a satellite-dish-free zone of tall houses, standing shoulder to shoulder with big front doors, five floors apiece. Come inside, shut the door and smell the coffee: you could almost be in Kensington. This is where the actors, writers and media types live, where small children wearing smart uniforms and shoes in the shape of lightbulbs get ferried every day to schools that are not local. Some people are luckier than others; fortune smiles on some and gobs on the rest. Jo Metcalf (no. 95) smokes and spies on the smug Cunninghams down the street as they play their bile-inducing game of happy families. Why is the grass greener on the other side of the fence? But happiness is a fragile thing and hairline cracks in a perfect world can become craters of misery. Each story is full of comic insight and realistic observation of contemporary British life and focuses on the very different lives of a set of characters living in the same street.

Orbit

The Oversight

Charlie Fletcher

Only five still guard the borders between the worlds. Only five hold back what waits on the other side. Once the Oversight, the secret society that polices the lines between the mundane and the magic, counted hundreds of brave souls among its members. Now their number can be tallied on a single hand. When a drunkard brings a screaming girl to the Oversight's London headquarters, it seems their hopes for a new recruit will be fulfilled - but the girl is a trap, her appearance a puzzle the five remaining guardians must solve or lose each other, and their society, for good. As the borders between the natural and the supernatural begin to break down, brutal murders erupt across the city, the Oversight are torn viciously apart, and their enemies close in for the final blow. This dark Dickensian fantasy spins a tale of witch-hunters, magicians, mirror-walkers and the unlikeliest of heroes drawn from the depths of British folklore. Meet the Oversight, and remember: when they fall, so do we all. 'Exciting, exhilarating, scary and moving in equal measure, The Oversight is a teeming world of dark deeds and dark magics, brilliantly realised. This feels like the start of something amazing' M. R. Carey, author of THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS 'Told in a kind of compelling and hypnotic poesie that I just lapped up . . . I'll certainly be reading the next one' Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net 'The Oversight is - and let's be clear here - something very special . . . It's oh so moreish a morsel. I'd read a prequel this evening, a sequel as soon as.' Niall Alexander, Tor.com 'A highly entertaining fantasy that promises a trilogy worth sinking your teeth into' SciFiNow 'Fletcher's Victorian London is juicily vivid, and laced with macabre Dickensian wit. There's a real sense of grim danger, both natural and unnatural, hungrily awaiting the slightest mis-step' Frances Hardinge 'Richly atmospheric (the evil lurks in the background of every paragraph), the book should be a big hit with supernatural-fantasy readers ... the second book can't come soon enough' Booklist (starred review) 'A richly atmospheric and intensely readable slice of Victoriana, with a splendidly eerie sense of the way the unearthly lies cheek-by-jowl with the mundane' Adam Roberts 'Utterly enthralling: Charles Dickens meets Susanna Clarke' Lou Morgan 'A remarkable combination of British folklore, brisk pacing and wide-ranging imagination' Kirkus Reviews

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Meet Me At The Cupcake Café

Jenny Colgan

Come and meet Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Café. Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that - Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. When she's made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment. Armed with recipes from Grampa, and with her best friends and local bank manager fighting her corner, The Cupcake Café opens its doors. But Issy has absolutely no idea what she's let herself in for. It will take all her courage - and confectionery - to avert disaster . . .

Little, Brown US

Takeover

Charlie Savage