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June Francis: Sunshine and Showers [Allison and Busby PB]
Liverpool 1926. Patsy Doyle is settling into her role as live-in maid in the
Tanner household, but her new job is not going smoothly. Caught between the
warring Tanner spouses, Patsy becomes an unwilling confidante and a keeper of
more secrets than she'd care to acknowledge. Joy Kirk is busy planning her
wedding. When her first love was killed in the war, she vowed she'd never fall
in love again. Now a little older and wiser, Joy realises that there could be
some benefits to being a wife and, having spent many years working as Robbie
Bennett's cook and housekeeper, she finally accepts his proposal of marriage.
But is she letting herself in for more than she bargained for?
This is, of course, a paperback version of last year's hardback bestseller, and very welcome it is too. June Francis captures the essence of the 1920s perfectly, and Patsy is a terrific character. Heartwarming story of the period between the two world wars, charming, full of great characters and a story that just sucks you in.
TYLER HATCH: DEAD-END TRAIL [Black Horse Western HB]
When does a decent, law-abiding man turn into a bounty hunter? When a forest
fire wipes out his horse ranch and he's left with nothing but small change in
his pockets and an empty belly. That's how it happened with Chet Rand, and when
he came across the outlaw Feeney with a $1,100 reward on his head, it seemed
like a gift sent from heaven. Unfortunately, others wanted a piece of the action
as well - outlaws from the Cherokee strip, tough men from the local saloon and a
greedy sheriff. Rand was all that stood between them and the $12,000 Feeney had
stolen - a more pressing matter than the bounty itself. So it was inevitable
that when guns were drawn, blood would flow and men would die...
LANCE HOWARD: THE KILLING KIND [Black Horse Western HB]
Jim Bartlett thought he could put his former life behind him and forge a new
one as small Texas ranch owner but he was wrong...dead wrong. Someone from his
past has followed him and is systematically and permanently trying to destroy
his new life, piece by piece. With his friends and the woman he loves being
threatened by a man who knows no remorse and no boundaries, Jim finds himself in
a desperate struggle - not only to escape his past, but also to hold onto his
CARL WILLIAMS: FOOL'S PLAY [Black Horse Western HB]
Royce rides into Jawbone looking for a doctor and finds nothing but trouble.
But then how can he expect anything else when he lives by the gun? Royce signs
on with land baron Yale Jamerson, hoping for a job that will give his conscience
a rest, but Jamerson's plans to dam the river and charge tolls on the road lead
the townspeople revolt. Now Royce is forced to choose between his livelihood and
his conscience. Will he choose the right path, especially if it means a showdown
with his closest friend?
E V Thompson: Beyond the Storm
Allison and Busby HB
When the fiercest storm in living memory pounds the shores of 19th century
Cornwall, wrecking ships and bringing death and destruction to seafarers and
coastal communities, a young girl is found, barely alive, washed up among the
rocks of a remote North Cornish cove. Her arrival and the mystery surrounding
her background will affect the lives of those who come to know her and, for
Alice Kilpeck in particular, nothing will ever be the same again.
Thompson fans will relish this - conjures up images that stay with you, and characters that you can identify with. Reminded me of Daphne du Maurier. Terrific read.
Rebecca West: The Return of the Soldier
Virago Modern Classic PB
A soldier returns from the front to the women who love him. Shell-shocked, he
can only remember Margaret, his first love, of 15 years before. His cousin he
remembers as a childhood playmate; his wife he remembers not at all. They have a
choice: to leave him where he wishes to be, or to 'cure' him.
This is almost like Edna O'Brien - just a pity it's not terribly long, more of a novella than a novel, but West is on top form in a book first published in the twenties, evoking the harrowing experiences of tommies returning from the Great War. The triangle of characters carry it along nicely. Poignant, thought-provoking.