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When fashion insider and amateur sleuth Samantha Kidd lands a temporary assignment as a social media influencer two weeks before Christmas, she dives into the world of lifestyle goals. The job provides props and sample product to encourage drool-worthy posts, but when a colleague—the person who recommended her for the job—goes missing, the illusion of her perfect life fades like an out-of-date filter.
The only clues are found on the missing man’s Instagram timeline, which Samantha knows has been staged. Much of what she finds on his social media feeds cannot be trusted, and her normal sleuthing habits prove ineffective. Maintaining appearances takes a back seat to finding her colleague, but when the lines between authenticity and hype are blurred, she’ll either find the uncomfortable truth … or drown in a sea of hashtags.
The Christmas Inn: Historical Western Romance (affiliate link)
Molly Christmas longs to be a teacher to serve the children in her town. For years she’s lived a mundane life, resigned to help her brother run the family Inn with no hope of ever following her true calling. When a train is waylaid due to an unexpected winter storm in Noel, Kansas, the passengers seek shelter at The Chrismas Inn. One of the guests makes her realize that there’s more to life than what she thought. Will she disappoint her brother to make her own dreams come true?
Harrison Nelson is heading to Cooper’s Ridge, Texas, along with his reluctant sister. He plans to settle down and start over in a place where no one knows him as No Name Nelson, the bounty hunter famous for bringing in the worst of the worst. Getting stuck in a blizzard is nothing new to him, but when he develops feelings for the co-owner of The Christmas Inn, will he be able to convince her she belongs with him?
The Christmas Princess (The Wedding Series, Book 5) (affiliate link)
The Christmas season isn’t looking great for April Gareaux. Her job is uninspiring, her engagement is off, and she has nowhere to live. Certainly her family would take her in, especially Leslie and Grady Roberts and their circle of friends who have become her extended family. But it’s time she stops relying on them.
Then comes an extraordinary offer – spend the holidays in Washington, D.C., with King Jozef of Bariavak as his possible long-lost granddaughter. Even more extraordinary is the man behind the offer, who will be beside her through the coming weeks – diplomatic security agent Hunter Pierce.
This is the last assignment Hunter would pick. Determination and grit have moved him beyond his past in Bariavak. Yet, here it is standing in front of him again, refusing to be ignored. … Just like his reactions to April. How can he fight what he’s feeling when they’re together all the time?
The Heartbreak Cafe Collection (affiliate link)
The Daedalus Rift: A Time Travel Adventure (affiliate link)
The Duke’s Writer: Sweet Historical Regency Romance (affiliate link)
Maeve Felton, daughter of the Earl of Nightburn is moving to London, to live with her older brother, Leo, who is a lawyer, as her family suffers a financial crisis and hopes that Maeve will find her suitor there. Her passion is writing and her secret goal is to find a way to publish her work. When she finds out that there is a writer’s community, that accepts only men in its circles, Maeve won’t hesitate to dress like a man and attend those gatherings in secret.
Benjamin Strikley, Duke of Lestenmeer, is attending too. He is a book lover and when he hears the heroine -dressed as a man- reading a story she wrote, he wants to meet the new young writer. And he does, although he doesn’t suspect that behind this young talented man is his lawyer’s sister, the most charming lady he has ever met.
Maeve has to hide her true identity to fulfill her goal. But she also has to hide her secret to be courted by the handsome duke. Her brother wouldn’t approve, while her best friend, Chloe, is the most valuable ally. One lie leads to another until love gives the answers to all of her problems.
The Marriage Secret (affiliate link)
He married me despite my darkest secret. But am I safe now that I know his?
From the outside, my marriage to Zach was perfect: dream home, a perfect baby girl and passionate, all-consuming love. When we met, I confessed my darkest secret to him and he never judged me for it. Instead, he vowed to always protect me whatever the cost.
But as I cradle my gorgeous baby, I have to accept that the husband who used to be my everything, has changed. At first it was little things: expecting me to keep to a strict schedule, picking out my clothes for me. Now, he controls every aspect of my life: from how much money I have, to when I leave the house and who I can see.
One fateful night, a young woman is found murdered and Zach is a potential suspect. Turning towards me, a look of warmth returning to his eyes, he swears he’s innocent, and I realize there is only one solution. If I agree to be his alibi, he will keep my secret and our daughter can grow up in a loving home. In that moment, I do what any faithful wife would do: I stand by him.
The Cranberry Inn (affiliate link)
As twinkling lights go up and snowflakes begin to fall, Laurel Hanover and her eight-year-old son are going home to the Cranberry Inn in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Laurel can’t wait to leave New York behind to help her father run the family business, and make snow angels with her son, even if it’s just for Christmas. But when she walks through the door, she’s shocked to find the inn in disrepair, and a letter saying her father will be gone until Christmas Eve…
No one in town knows where Laurel’s father is, and she doesn’t know whether to be worried or angry – but she won’t let the inn go under, and nothing will get in the way of the perfect Christmas for her son. Seeing the worn-out wooden bannisters, bare of festive lights, she immediately recruits her childhood friend, brooding local carpenter Joel Hutcherson. They might disagree on whether any walls actually need to come down, but each rip in the carpet makes Laurel more concerned for her father, and Joel is a welcome distraction. And when he admits that Laurel was his first crush, she realises she’s falling for him.
The Ex-Husband (affiliate link)
You thought you were safe. Until he moved in next door…
I haven’t lived here long. The house is small and a little rundown, but each piece of faded floral wallpaper I peel away feels like unwrapping the second chance I never thought I’d get. I’m finally free to wear what I want, and I don’t flinch when I accidently burn dinner. My new home is warm, and the kids are safe inside. Anywhere would feel idyllic after the nightmare marriage I’ve just escaped.
But then I see my ex-husband Craig stroll past my window and let himself into the house next door. Fear chokes me. How did he find me? Does he want me back, or to destroy me for good?
As the removals van pulls away, Craig tells me it’s just a coincidence, that we can all get along and be good neighbours. But at night I lie awake listening to the sound of laughter and lovemaking through the thin wall that separates us, wondering if his new girlfriend is safe. And in the morning, I rifle through his trash, trying to guess his next move. I know how crazy I look, but I’d do anything to protect my children.
The Shell Collector: Stories (affiliate link)
Beyond the Crushing Waves (affiliate link)
Two generations face heartbreak and injustice in this poignant and emotional novel inspired by true events.
Mary Roberts is a poor gutter child living in a council flat in 1950’s London. When she and her sister are left at an orphanage by their mother, they don’t think their lives can get any worse.
Harry Evans is an orphan who finds himself, with Mary and her sister, on board a ship bound for Australia. They’re sent to a farm school for children, where abuse and neglect are rife. A journey that will change their lives forever, and from which they’ll never return.
Married to her dream man, and with a baby on the way, Dr Mia Sato’s life is in perfect order. When her beloved grandmother has a fall, the photograph clutched in her hand prompts Mia to ask questions her grandmother isn’t willing to answer. When she cries out a confession that rocks Mia to her core, it leads to a shocking discovery of a past filled with lies, broken families and forced child migration.
The Forgotten Bookshop in Paris (affiliate link)
Paris, 1940: War is closing in on the city of love. With his wife forced into hiding, Jacques must stand by and watch as the Nazis take away everything he holds dear. Everything except his last beacon of hope: his beloved bookshop, La Page Cachée.
But when a young woman and her child knock on his door one night and beg for refuge, he knows his only option is to risk it all once more to save a life…
Modern day: Juliette and her husband have finally made it to France on the romantic getaway of her dreams – but as the days pass, all she discovers is quite how far they’ve grown apart. She’s craving a new adventure, so when she happens across a tiny, abandoned shop with a for-sale sign in the window, it feels fated.
And she’s about to learn that the forgotten bookshop hides a lot more than meets the eye…
… See the rest of today ‘s Book Picks here on page 2Page 2