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All the Pretty Ones (Detective Jackie Cooke Book 1) (affiliate link)
The girl is sitting upright, her dark brown hair arranged over her shoulders and her blue, blue eyes staring into the distance. She looks almost peaceful. But her gaze is vacant, and her skin is cold…
Seventeen-year-old Chloe Smedley walks out of the school gates and waves to the person waiting for her across the road. She smiles and hurries towards them… and is never seen alive again.
Detective Jackie Cooke is first on the scene when Chloe’s body is found, posed upright at a garden table. In her gut, Jackie knows she’s searching for a monster and it’s only a matter of time before they strike again, but no one will listen.
Chloe’s distraught mother describes her as a happy, loving girl, and Jackie vows to find her killer, whatever the cost.
Drive Me Crazy: A Grumpy Boss Romantic Comedy (affiliate link)
A grumpy boss and a sunshiney mess of an employee forced on a cross-country road trip… what could possibly go wrong?
Elliot James is a mess. All she wants is to find her dream job… and actually keep it, but her crippling anxiety disorder always seems to get in the way.
Benjamin Williams is content. He’s got all he needs in his business, and he’s not looking for any complications — no matter how beautiful one like Elliot may be.
Fumbling her way into her first big break, Elliot lands a job at Benjamin’s company and will have to fight for her seat at the table… especially after almost killing someone on the first day. Her wild idea to expand their portfolio with Instagram Influencers and her accidental airplane freakout, lands Elliot and her grumpy boss, Benjamin, on the No Fly list. In a mad rush to seal the deal, they’ll have to take their business trip on the road… let’s just hope they can both make it home in one piece.
The Winter Duke (A Duke for All Seasons Book 1) (affiliate link)
As snow falls outside the manor…
After being rebuffed by her betrothed, Cadence flees to her brother-in-law’s remote estate in the English countryside to escape the humiliation of getting left at the altar. She intends to spend the winter locked away in her room with chocolate. Fortunately for her, the Duke of Colebrook has other ideas…
Things are heating up inside of it…
Renowned throughout London for his long string of lovers, Justin Dearborn, Duke of Colebrook, isn’t looking for a wife. Having been spurned once, he has no intention of putting his heart on the line a second time. Until one passionate kiss with Cadence leaves them both yearning for more…
The Mistake (Bad Bridesmaids Book 1) (affiliate link)
Amanda Griffin has made a mistake. Or maybe a long series of them.
First, she gets drunk at her sister’s wedding and shares all her guilty secrets with Robert Castleman, the worst possible man. Then, at her cousin’s wedding, she ends up in bed with him. At her best friend’s wedding, they have a big, embarrassing fight. And then she gets stuck with him on the world’s most annoying road trip. Her heart has always belonged to a man she can never have, so it’s not like she’ll ever fall for Robert. It’s just that she can’t get away from him, and now she’s not sure she wants to.
Robert has lived his life watching from a distance and never investing in relationships that will end up hurting him. So the last thing he should do is hook up with his niece’s best friend. She’s too young. Too beautiful. Too clever. And already in love with someone else. But since he can’t keep his hands off her, he’ll at least be smart with his heart. After all, it would be a huge mistake to let himself fall for her.
Half The Lies You Tell Are True (affiliate link)
An unsettling, dark psychological thriller from the author of Ice Cold Alice.
In a world where internet rumour becomes real-world fact, do we ever really know anyone?
High school teacher Dougie Black is brutally attacked in school. Stabbed in front of his class by a pupil with no apparent motive, Dougie fights for his life in ICU whilst DS Lewis Gilmour attempts to unravel the events leading up to the attack.
As the doctors struggle to save Dougie’s life, social media is rife with rumours about his private life. Mr Black’s friends and family begin to question everything they thought they knew about him.
Who is Dougie Black? Why did a child attempt to murder him? How did so many years of lies lead to an horrific moment of violence?
Fate’s Arrow: Robeaux (Infinity’s End Legacy Book 1) (affiliate link)
A cranky outcast, an egocentric robot and a cargo bay’s worth of problems.
In the three years since Caspian Robeaux refused a direct order from his captain to fire on a civilian population, he’s been court-martialed, jailed, sentenced to a work camp and almost killed. Only a genius or someone with incredible luck could have made it this far with all his parts intact, and Cas knows he’s not that smart.
Now he’s escaped, living on some backwater planet drinking the days away with a robot who won’t shut up. His refuge is short lived, however, when raiders invade the planet and steal what little he’s scavenged. His only choice now is to return and face his captors, or take his fate into his own hands, and do whatever is necessary to survive. Will he sacrifice all he believes if it means getting out alive?
The Things I Know (affiliate link)
Thomasina ‘Hitch’ Waycott loves living and working on the remote family farm and B&B. But she also wants more. To see the world. To own her own home. To fall madly in love.
But those are fairy tales, and if her life is a fairy tale, then she’s the ugly duckling. Her deformed lip, her crooked limbs and her weak heart have kept her from taking chances. But that’s about to change.
When Grayson Potts comes to stay, he’s unlike anyone Thomasina has ever met. He’s aloof, eccentric and exceptionally kind. He’s also totally unconcerned with the physical flaws that have always defined Thomasina.
The two form a bond that neither has had before. It’s possible that it could become something more, but Thomasina also wonders if it’s too good to be true. By putting her heart on the line, Thomasina may open herself to heartbreak. But she may also open herself to so much more.
Rose Cottage (affiliate link)
Summer, 1947. Kate Herrick, widowed in the war, returns to Rose Cottage, her childhood home, to retrieve a few family papers before the house is sold. But Rose Cottage is not the idyllic paradise she remembers from her childhood. The papers themselves are missing, and neighbours tell stories of night-time prowlers. Kate discovers that the long shadow of an old secret lies over the house, and in bringing Rose Cottage into the light she will finally be forced to confront the truth of her own past.
Beyond the weedy garden with its riot of rose bushes, nothing had changed. The beck, wide here and quiet, slid past below the bridge. Willows and wild roses, cuckoo pint and king cups, and a wood pigeon crooning in the elms. And someone crossing the bridge to approach the garden gate. Someone I knew well…
The Emerald Affair (The Raj Hotel Book 1) (affiliate link)
In Scotland in the aftermath of the First World War, nurse Esmie McBride meets handsome Captain Tom Lomax at her best friend Lydia’s home. Esmie is at first concerned for Tom’s shell shock, then captivated by his charm, but it’s effervescent Lydia he marries, and the pair begin a new adventure together in India.
When marriage to Tom’s doctor friend Harold offers Esmie the chance to work in India, the two sets of newlyweds find themselves living wildly different lives on the subcontinent. Esmie, heartbroken but resolved, is nursing at a mission hospital on the North West Frontier. Lydia, meanwhile, is the glamorous mistress of the Raj Hotel, where Tom hopes his sociable new wife will dazzle international guests.
As Esmie struggles with her true feelings for Tom and the daily dangers of her work, Lydia realises the Raj is not the centre of high society she had dreamed of. And when crisis strikes both couples, Esmie faces a shattering choice: should she stay the constant friend she’s always been, or risk everything and follow her heart?
The Book of M: A Novel (affiliate link)
Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.
One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.
Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.
The Missing Wife (affiliate link)
1933. Hannah Snow is fleeing her unhappy marriage when she finds herself in a small hotel on the banks of Loch Ness. But when a monster is spotted in the depths of the waters, the press descends – and Hannah finds her hiding place is discovered. Someone has been looking for Hannah, and when they find her events will take a devastating turn…
Present day. True crime podcaster Scarlett finds herself intrigued by the mystery of Hannah Snow, wife of a promising government minister who disappeared in 1933 – just months before her husband also went missing, presumed dead. As Scarlett works to uncover the truth, she discovers a tragic family secret, and a story as murky as the depths of the loch where Hannah and her husband were last seen…
Unfixable: A Buck Lawson Mystery (The Blood River Series Book 1) (affiliate link)
Former Hanover County Sheriff Buck Lawson leaves the mountains of North Carolina to take a job as the police chief of the small south Georgia town of Mercy, and soon finds himself in over his head. For one thing, his predecessor has been murdered…
Leaving behind two failed marriages and a job that almost cost him his life, all Buck wants for himself and his new family is a fresh start. But Mercy is a town with a past as dark as the Blood River that runs through it, and the crime that resulted in the death of the beloved former chief of police may have its roots in an evil that goes back generations.
Buck has inherited an unsolved homicide, a house that may well be haunted and a police department that is almost certainly corrupt. It falls to Buck to free an innocent man and bring the former police chief’s killer to justice while wading through the quagmire of incompetence and dishonesty that permeates his office.
… See the rest of today ‘s Book Picks here on page 2Page 2