It’s the silly season and things are getting crazy, which means I am doing things REALLY differently.
As I type this I have not even finished finalising December book club lists but in 2 weeks I am hitting the road with my not so little family for a holiday. I will have 4 weeks of no guaranteed internet access and no personal computer. I decided that the best way to deal with that this trip was to get everything sorted before I go so that I don’t have a lot that I need to keep up with while I’m gone.
I will read, I will review when I can and I will enjoy my time with my family.
So, because I’m organised already with a massive January list of book clubs I thought I would get them all sorted before I go as well. Now, I know that you all have things happening so please don’t let that stop you from applying. We have some great books coming up in January and the list got a little longer than I had really planned for… another reason to get everything sorted early.
Anatomy of A Scandal – Sarah Vaughan
Simon and Schuster – Simon & Schuster UK – Suspense & Mystery
An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.
Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.
Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.
Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.
Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?
Cake At Midnight – Jessie L Star
Simon and Schuster – Simon & Schuster Australia – Romance
Giovanna, Zoë, and Declan have always been a trio – their fierce friendship has seen them through every heartbreak and hardship and helped pave the way to brighter futures. Gio is a passionate baker of cakes, pastries and all things delicious, Zoë a take-no-prisoners beauty, and Declan an ambitious businessman on the way up.
Best friends forever, Gio thinks – until Gio’s lifelong crush on Declan is exposed, leaving her humiliated, and Gio realises she needs to cut him loose to get over him once and for all.
Enter Theo, Gio’s neighbour … She’s never met anyone like him before. He doesn’t talk much, but he’s kind, he’s sexy, he’s generous and he’s often awake in the middle of the night, like Gio. Theo has a sweet tooth and a mysterious history and Gio can’t seem to stay away.
Thanks to the power of sleepless nights and chocolate cake, Gio thinks she’s finally over Declan, but then his whole world turns upside down. Gio knows she can’t desert Declan in his time of need, but how can she explain a lifetime of love to Theo?
Letting go of the past isn’t so easy when your heart is breaking.
It’s Always the Husband – Michele Campbell
Pan Macmillan – St Martin’s Press – Suspense & Mystery
Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge… and someone else is urging her to jump.
How did things come to this?
As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?
On A Beautiful Day – Lucy Diamond
Pan Macmillan – Macmillan – General Fiction
It’s a beautiful day in Manchester and four friends are meeting for a birthday lunch. But then they witness a shocking accident just metres away which acts as a catalyst for each of them.
For Laura, it’s a wake-up call to heed the ticking of her biological clock. Sensible Jo finds herself throwing caution to the wind in a new relationship. Eve, who has been trying to ignore the worrying lump in her breast, feels helpless and out of control. And happy-go-lucky India is drawn to one of the victims of the accident, causing long-buried secrets to rise to the surface.
This is a novel about the startling and unexpected turns life can take. It’s about luck – good and bad – and about finding bravery and resilience when your world is in turmoil. Above all, it’s about friendship, togetherness, and hope.
That Girl – Kate Kerrigan
Harper Collins – Head of Zeus – Historical Fiction
Three young Irish women arrive in London’s hip King’s Road; each of them is running away from something back home: abuse, heartache and cloying convention.
Plain, capable Noreen decides she doesn’t want to take over the family undertaking business, so she flees to London for fun and adventure, but soon finds herself in a whole lot of trouble.
Fashion student Lara’s heart is broken after her college soul-mate, Matthew, leaves her to join the priesthood. Devastated, she runs to the most ‘godless’ place she can find – King’s Road, London, to help her forget.
Beautiful Hanna moves to London to evade her wicked stepfather. She builds a new, anonymous life in London, calling herself Annie and meets a photographer who turns her into a supermodel.
But all three girls quickly learn that you can escape a place, but you cannot escape your past.
The Country Girl – Cathryn Hein
Harlequin – Mira – Romance
Bestselling Australian author Cathryn Hein returns with a moving and uplifting rural romance about facing hard truths and moving on in pursuit of life.
After landing a major cookbook deal, star food blogger Tash Ranger swaps city life for the family farm. But Tash’s homecoming is bittersweet, for now, she can no longer avoid seeing her best friend Maddie, who was severely injured in a riding accident and unable to communicate. No one knows that Maddie and Tash had a deep falling out and with every visit, Tash must pretend to be the friend everyone believes her to be.
Patrick Lawson, Maddie’s fiancé, battles despair and hope daily as Maddie lies imprisoned in her body, gradually losing his faith in her recovery. When Tash returns to Castlereagh Road with her joy and a boundless appetite for life, he realises finally what his loved ones have been trying to tell him for months – that Maddie wouldn’t want him to throw his life away. It’s time to move on. But letting go is no easy feat, especially if moving on means Tash. He’s a country boy and she is a star on the rise with ambitions that could propel her out of reach.
Can these two friends step out of the shadow of Maddie’s tragic life and accept love, or is the past forever destined to dictate their future?
The Last Days of Us – Beck Nicholas
Harlequin – HQ Young Adult – Young Adult
Five teens, one derelict Kombi, and an unforgettable road trip…
Six months ago, Zoey’s life went off the rails. After the tragic loss of her brother, she partied her way to oblivion, estranged her best friend, Cass, and pushed away her now ex, Finn. But when her destructive behaviour reaches dangerous heights, Zoey realises she needs to pull herself together and get her old life back, including her ex. There’s just one complication: Finn is now dating Cass.
Now, it’s the last week of summer and Zoey, Cass and Finn are setting out on the road trip of a lifetime to see their favourite musician, Gray, perform live, joined by Finn’s infuriatingly attractive bad-boy cousin Luc and his vibrant younger sister Jolie. Zoey thinks this is her chance to put things to rights and convince Finn they should get back together. But she wasn’t counting on her friends’ lingering resentment, Luc’s disarming sincerity, and Jolie’s infectious love for life to turn her plans upside down.
This emotional coming-of-age story will resonate with anyone who’s ever messed up, fallen in love, or taken off on an adventure.
The Naturalist’s Daughter – Tea Cooper
Harlequin – HQ Fiction – Historical Fiction
1808 Agnes Banks, NSW
Rose Winton wants nothing more than to work with her father, eminent naturalist Charles Winton, on his groundbreaking study of the platypus. Not only does she love him with all her heart, but the discoveries they have made could turn the scientific world on its head. When Charles is unable to make the long sea journey to present his findings to the prestigious Royal Society in England, Rosie must venture forth in his stead. What she discovers there will change the lives of future generations.
1908 Sydney, NSW
Tamsin Alleyn has been given a mission: travel to the Hunter Valley and retrieve an old sketchbook of debatable value, gifted to the Public Library by a recluse. But when she gets there, she finds there is more to the book than meets the eye, and more than one interested party. Shaw Everdene, a young antiquarian bookseller and lawyer seems to have his own agenda when it comes to the book – and Tamsin. In an attempt to discover the book’s true provenance Tamsin decides to work with him.
The deeper they delve, the more intricate the mystery becomes. As the lives of two women a century apart converge, discoveries rise up from the past and reach into the future, with irrevocable consequences…
The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Pan Macmillan – Macmillan – Thriller and Suspense
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.
A huge thanks goes out to the publishers without whom we could not offer such great reads. Harlequin, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan and Simon and Schuster we are so grateful for the support you show us, we couldn’t do it without you.
If you aren’t yet a member of the Beauty and Lace Club there is still time to join, head over to the signup page and take a look: yoursay.beautyandlace.net.
The reviews for these ones won’t start rolling in until January but keep your eyes out.
I have given a lot of thought to how best to work this so that I get a peaceful holiday, you get what you need and we still have the book clubs ticking along to work for the publishers. So what I have decided I’m going to do, just for now, is have a post for each book club read that you can leave your feedback on and then I will write my actual reviews separately when I can.
Happy Reading, Merry Christmas and happy holiday season. Here’s to long relaxing days with a book!