Jolabokaflod

Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Romance

Please visit our Book Bulletin 2018 crowdfunding project at CrowdPatch to buy recommendations for our Winter 2018 catalogue and to volunteer your skills, experience and contacts. All funds raised will support not-for-profit Jolabokaflod CIC’s forthcoming programme of events.

Just for Christmas
Scarlett Bailey
(UK: Ebury Press, @PenguinUKBooks, 2018)

When Alex Munro learns that the love of her life is getting married to another woman, all she wants to do is get as far away from her hometown as possible. So she moves to a cosy Cornish cottage, which seems to come complete with the world’s scruffiest dog. She also finds that the whole village is determined to get her involved in the holiday festivities despite her wanting to be alone. But when she meets handsome neighbour, Ruan, Alex realises she doesn’t want to spend Christmas by herself after all. Although, after being left heartbroken by his ex-fiancée, Ruan has no intention of letting anyone get close to him again …

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Adele Blair, blogging kraftireader.wordpress.com

The Templar’s Garden
(Chronicles of Divine Love: book 1)
Catherine Alette Clover
(UK: Holywell Press, @HolywellOxford, 2017)

This novel tells the story of young mystic Lady Isabelle d’Albret Courteault as her family is forced to flee the Duchy of English Gascony for a new and unforeseeable life in England. She discovers dark secrets about her family’s chaplain and tutor, secrets that continue to haunt her as her family becomes established as courtiers in King Henry VI’s court …

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Andrew Hayward, director, Court Publishing Services

Paradise
A L Kennedy
(UK: Vintage, @vintagebooks, 2015; USA: Vintage, @VintageAnchor, 2006)

Almost forty and with nothing to show for it, Hannah Luckraft is starting to realise that her lifestyle is not sustainable. Her soul is unwell, her family is wounded, her friends are odd, her body is unreliable and her drinking is out of control. Robert, a dissolute dentist, appears to offer a love she can understand, but he may only be one more symptom of her problem. From Scotland to Dublin, from London to Montreal, to Budapest and onwards, Hannah travels in search of the ultimate altered state – her paradise.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Jessica Norrie, teacher and author

Ten Years Later
Lisa Marie Latino
(USA: Long Shot Productions, @LongShotProd, 2016)

When New Jersey-based sports radio producer Carla D’Agostino receives a save-the-date for her ten-year high school reunion, she’s thrown into a tailspin. She’s miserably single, living at home with her old-school Italian-American family, and miles away from her dream job as a sports talk radio host.

She voices her discontent to her closest friends, the stunning Andrea, cheerful Katie, and playboy Dante, and they encourage Carla to stand up and fight for the life she wants.

Inspired by their words, Carla sets her plans in motion. She enlists the help of a personal trainer, tapes a sports commentary demo with Dante for her unconventional WSPS boss Dan, and gets back into the dating game for the first time since her heart was broken by her first love. But the universe has different ideas for Carla than she has for herself …

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Long Shot Productions at BookExpo America

Don’t You Forget About Me
Mhairi McFarlane
(UK: HarperCollins, @HarperCollinsUK, 2019; USA: William Morrow Paperbacks, @HarperCollins, 2019)

It began with four words – ‘I love your laugh. x’ – but that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from ‘The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield’ (© Tripadvisor) and found ‘The Worst Boyfriend in the World’ (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else.

So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something … The only problem? … He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all .…

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Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
HarperCollins at Book Marketing Society

Me Before You
(Me Before You: book 1)
Jojo Moyes
(UK: Penguin, @PenguinUKBooks, 2012; USA: Penguin, @penguinusa, 2013)

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose … Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life – steady boyfriend, close family – who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life – big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel – and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is … Will is acerbic, moody, bossy – but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living …

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Adele Blair, blogging kraftireader.wordpress.com

The Flatshare
Beth O’Leary
(UK: Quercus, @QuercusBooks, 2019; USA: Flatiron Books, @Flatironbooks, 2019)

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast …. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash … Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat whilst Tiffy’s at work in the day and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window ….

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
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Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Quercus at British Book Awards

Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers
Lynda Renham
(UK: Raucous Publishing, n/a, 2015)

Poppy Wellesley is rich. In fact Poppy Wellesley is very rich, so when her fortunes change from riches to rags Poppy has to start a whole new life. Put yourself in her Guccis as she swaps her penthouse apartment for a run-down houseboat on Regent’s Canal. Meet her dippy friend Chelsea, the infamous Jack Diamond and her hunky boat neighbour, Taylor. Will Poppy hold on to her millionaire fiancé or will Pug-face Pandora steal him from her? Can she avoid the advances from Balls (Lord Balthazar Wyndham-Price) or does she find true love on the canal?

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Adele Blair, blogging kraftireader.wordpress.com

Redeeming Love
Francine Rivers
(UK: Lion Fiction, @LionHudson, 2013; USA: Multnomah, @WaterBrookPress, 2005)

California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. What she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything …

Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. So Angel runs – back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny. Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does … the One who will never let her go

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South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Ruth Jackson, Premier

The Nothing Girl
(Frogmorton Farm: book 1)
Jodi Taylor
(UK: Accent Press, @AccentPress, 2014)

Getting a life isn’t always easy. And hanging on to it is even harder … Known as ‘The Nothing Girl’ because of her severe stutter and chronically low self-confidence, Jenny Dove is only just prevented from ending it all by the sudden appearance of Thomas, a mystical golden horse only she can see. Under his guidance, Jenny unexpectedly acquires a husband – the charming and chaotic Russell Checkland – and for her, nothing will ever be the same again. With over-protective relatives on one hand and the world’s most erratic spouse on the other, Jenny needs to become Someone. And fast!

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
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South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Fabiana Hercheui, Company Secretary, Flare Construction Ltd
Fabiana says: ‘Fantastic storytelling – loveable characters’

xxx

The Something Girl
(Frogmorton Farm: book 2)
Jodi Taylor
(UK: Accent Press, @AccentPress, 2017)

The Nothing Girl has grown up … It’s life as usual at Frogmorton Farm – which is to say that events have passed the merely eccentric and are now galloping headlong towards the completely bizarre. Once again Jenny struggles to stay afloat in the stormy seas of matrimony with her husband, Russell Checkland, together with an unlikely mix of Patagonian Attack Chickens, Jack the Sad Donkey, and Mrs Crisp’s mysterious boyfriend. The old favourites are still around, of course. There’s Marilyn the Omnivorous Donkey, Russell’s ex-girlfriend Don’t Call Me Franny, and the neurotic Boxer, currently failing to deal with butterfly trauma. So nothing much is new … except for the mysterious figure dogging Jenny’s steps and who, if she didn’t know better, she would swear was her sinister cousin, Christopher, last seen being hurled from the house by her wayward husband. He couldn’t possibly be stupid enough to come back and try again … Could he?

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Fabiana Hercheui, Company Secretary, Flare Construction Ltd
Fabiana says: ‘Fantastic storytelling – loveable characters’

xxx

Lucky in Love
Kasie West
(USA: Scholastic Inc., @Scholastic, 2018)

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket and – to her astonishment – she wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognisable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. Being in the spotlight at school is fun … until rumours start flying and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. For some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Scholastic at BookExpo America

The Passion
Jeanette Winterson
(UK: Vintage@vintagebooks, 2014; USA: Grove Press, @groveatlantic, 1997)

Henri had a passion for Napoleon – and Napoleon had a passion for chicken. From Boulogne to Moscow Henri butchered for his Emperor and never killed a single man.

Meanwhile, in Venice, the city of chance and disguises, Villanelle was born with the webbed feet of her boatman father – but in the casinos she gambled her heart and lost.

As the soldier-chef’s love for Napoleon turns to hate he finds the Venetian beauty, and together they flee to the canals of darkness.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Eleni Skarpari, musician

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