By Matthew Sturgis
'Some said my life was a lie but I always knew it to be the truth; for like the truth it was rarely pure and never simple' Oscar Wilde, 3 days before his deathOscar Wilde was one of the great personalities of his age. As paradox was the motive force of his wit, so it was the defining motif of his life. He was an Irish Protestant fascinated by the Catholic church, an English writer who claimed to be better understood in France, a homosexual man married with two small children, an artist who achieved fame before he produced art, a dandy who made artificiality a natural mode of expression.Wilde stood in symbolic relations to his times. His prose and his actions confronted both the materialism and the hypocrisy of the Victorian Age. It was a dazzling display, of wit, intellect, daring, and - eventually - recklessness. And he paid the price for it. In this rich, humane and colourful new biography, the critically acclaimed biographer Matthew Sturgis considers the paradoxes and dramatic ironies of Wilde's life. It is a life that seems to take on the force and colour of fiction. The arc of his career, from early promise and initial disappointment, via huge triumph and spectacular self-indulged disgrace to an ultimate pathos-touched resolution, might follow the trajectory of one of Wilde's own fairy stories, but it is in its detail, its awkwardness, and its humanity that the real truth and drama lie.
Once in a Lifetime
By Chrissie Manby
The new hilariously funny summer romance from the bestselling author of SEVEN SUNNY DAYS.'A warm-hearted romance which will keep a smile on your face long after you finish reading.' S Magazine, Sunday Express*****Do you really only have one shot at love?Twenty two years ago Dani Parker had grand plans for her life. Now, she's a single mother in quaint Newbay working at the hotel where she got her first ever job. When she bumps into ex-boyfriend Nat, she wonders if this might be the start of something not-quite-new. Until his fiancée walks through the door . . .Dani's daughter Flossie is sixteen - so of course she knows best, about everything. And her new boyfriend Jed is all she could ever want in a man . . . right?Flossie's widowed grandma Jane firmly believes that lightning never strikes twice. So when she finds herself frequenting Bill's pet shop, she refuses to believe that the L-word has anything to do with it.In a confusion of cakes, elopements and naughty puppies, will the three women discover that 'once in a lifetime' isn't quite as rare as they thought?*****Readers can't stop praising Once in a Lifetime:'This is a feel good summer read that is a lot of fun, and definitely had me smiling. I also found the pages were turning faster than I wanted, and ran out of book to read far too soon!' Amazon Reviewer'A must read' Amazon Reviewer'What a great book' Amazon Reviewer'Very heartwarming and didn't want to put it down. All about once in a lifetime happening twice in your life and just brilliant from the first page' Amazon Reviewer'Right from the beginning she set her standard high and has never failed to maintain this. 5 stars from me!' Amazon Reviewer'A simply brilliant read and highly recommend - you will be laughing for sure.' Amazon Reviewer'Another lovely Chrissie Manby novel! Always fun to read' Amazon Reviewer
Our Mutual Friend
By Charles Dickens, Alex Jennings
Charles Dickens' classic novel of mystery, read by Alex Jennings and featuring an immersive musical soundtrack to enhance your audiobook listening experience!A body is found in the River Thames and is identified as John Harmon. He was due to inherit a great fortune on the condition that he marry a young woman called Bella Wilfer. And so the story begins and unravels and we are introduced to the mysterious John Rokesmith, Our Mutual Friend.Booktrack is an immersive format that pairs traditional audiobook narration and complementary music. The tempo and rhythm of the score are in perfect harmony with the action and characters throughout the audiobook. Gently playing in the background, the music never overpowers or distracts from the narration so that listeners can enjoy every minute. When you purchase this Booktrack edition, you receive the exact narration as the traditional audiobook available, with the addition of music throughout. (P)1998 Hodder Headline Audiobooks and (P)2018 Booktrack Holding Ltd (background soundtrack only)
By Charles Dickens, John Wells
Charles Dickens' much loved novel, read by John Wells and featuring an immersive musical soundtrack to enhance your audiobook listening experience!Through the immortal characters of Oliver, Nancy, Bill Sikes, Fagin, the Artful Dodger and Mr Bumble, Dickens mercilessly sends up the hypocrisy of nineteenth-century life - the high-minded reformism of the intellectuals and the snobbery of those in power.Booktrack is an immersive format that pairs traditional audiobook narration and complementary music. The tempo and rhythm of the score are in perfect harmony with the action and characters throughout the audiobook. Gently playing in the background, the music never overpowers or distracts from the narration so that listeners can enjoy every minute. When you purchase this Booktrack edition, you receive the exact narration as the traditional audiobook available, with the addition of music throughout. (P)1995 Hodder & Stoughton Audiobooks and (P)2018 Booktrack Holding Ltd (background soundtrack only)
Over Bethnal Green
By Sally Worboyes
In the East End, war brings gas masks and the terrifying prospect of air raids . . .Jessie Warner has married Tom Smith and their baby is almost due. Settling down into their new home in Bethnal Green, Jessie looks forward to her new life - even though Tom is continually getting into mischief that borders on the downright criminal. But then the grim outside world intrudes. When war begins and Tom is called up almost at once, Jessie is left to cope with the baby alone. Jessie's twin, Hannah, has been recruited to help at Bletchley Park and, immersed in her work decoding German messages, has no idea of Jessie's desperation.But things are about to get worse. When Tom does a runner and goes AWOL, Jessie will be left in a dire situation . . .
By Irina Ratushinskaya
An epic and engrossing novel set at the beginning of the twentieth century, THE ODESSANS is the story of three families from Odessa in the Ukraine: the Russian Petrovs, the Jewish Geibers, and the Teslenkos, who are of Ukrainian and Polish descent. Throughout years of war, famine, political struggle and incredible hardship, their deep friendships sustain each of the families. Their lives are rent by tragedy; some friends are hounded by anti-Semites, while others join opposite sides in the Civil War or are forced to flee to Odessa. But through it all, their characteristic good humour and faith in each other enable their close circle to survive.
The Other Hand
By Chris Cleave
Reissued to mark Sceptre's 30th anniversary, with an exclusive new afterword by the author.Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and Costa Novel of the Year, this international bestseller has become a reading group classic.We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.The story starts there, but the book doesn't.And it's what happens afterwards that is most important.Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
By Grace McCleen
It was the year when Madeline's family moved to an island her father believed God had guided him to.It was a place where she revelled in the natural beauty of their surroundings. It was a time of euphoria, but also of successive disasters. It was the night Madeline turned fourteen, when she did something she thought would save her beloved mother. Something so traumatic that she cannot now recall it, but her suave new psychiatrist thinks he knows how to unlock her memory. He is treading on very dangerous ground.
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
A thrilling standalone novel from New York Times bestselling novelist Jennifer L. Armentrout, author of the Covenant and Lux series.He's arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn't chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he's saddled with something he's never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.Serena Cross didn't believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something...unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend's murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.Hunter stirs Serena's temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he's doing the unthinkable - breaking the rules he's lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena's life... or is it Hunter?
One Small Act of Kindness
By Lucy Dillon
What can you do to make the world a better place?Libby and her husband Jason have moved back to his hometown to turn the family B&B into a boutique hotel. They have left London behind and all the memories - good and bad - that went with it.The injured woman Libby finds lying in the remote country road has lost her memory. She doesn't know why she came to be there, and no one seems to be looking for her. When Libby offers to take her in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change many people's lives . . .'A beautifully written story about friendship, trust and love. I adored it.' - Milly Johnson A perfect summer read for fans of Jojo Moyes and Katie Fforde.
By Claire Lorrimer
Ortolans, a magnificent stately home that holds a mysterious grip on all those who live in it, hides a secret that has lain undiscovered for four hundred years. Three passionate, remarkable women play a vital part in the long, violent history of the house. In the 18th Century there is Eleanor, forced into an unhappy marriage with a ruthless adventurer plotting to take over the property. In the 19th Century there is hot-headed Sophia, prepared to risk everything to save it. And in the 20th Century there is Emma, who loves Ortolans but refuses to sacrifice her career for its sake, even if it means letting it fall into ruins. But just when it seems all is lost, the house finally gives up its incredible secret...
The One & Only
By Emily Giffin
The Number One New York Times bestseller. Ask yourself: what would you do if the one for you was the only person you couldn't have?Shea Rigsby is content enough with her life in the small town of Walker, Texas. She has her dream fangirl job working for Walker's football team, a mostly satisfactory relationship with her boyfriend, and even if she's got the sneaking feeling life is passing her by, she doesn't quite have the confidence to do anything about it.But everything changes when the mother of Lucy, Shea's best friend, dies suddenly. Lucy's father, now a widower, is the town's charismatic football coach, and Shea's hero since she was a young girl. Coach Carr is now alone as he and Shea grow closer than ever, Shea realises she can't help how she feels . . . for the father of her best friend, who's grieving for his wife.THE ONE & ONLY is a thoughtful, luminous and brilliantly observed novel about believing in something amazing for yourself.
On the Third Day of Christmas
By Helen Chandler
Put your feet up, tuck into a mince pie and enjoy this treat-sized piece of festive fiction. For fans of Jenny Colgan and Lisa Jewell.It's 27th December, and Julia is thinking about Christmas, and the cosy, relaxed days she spent with her best friend, Toby. Maybe it was just the magic of Christmas, or maybe it was just her, but was there a frisson of something else between them? After ten years of friendship, and a couple of near-misses, is Julia coming to realise that true love might have been under her nose all along? Most importantly, does Toby feel the same?
The Other Side of Love
By Denise Robins
Even after several years of marriage Nira is still very much in love with her husband Des. She has two lovely children, a husband who adores her and a beautiful home.But her happiness is shattered as she discovers that her husband is incapable of fidelity. Struggling through a terrible time that is like a living nightmare, Nira fights her way through the darkness. Will she be able to embrace the bright hope of a happy future that is the other side of love? A captivating love story from the 100-million-copy bestselling Queen of Romance, first published in 1973, and available now for the first time in eBook.
The Other Love
By Denise Robins
Briony Moore is jilted just days before her marriage when her fiance decides his new job abroad is more important than she is. Seeking solace and oblivion in work, she becomes secretary to Hew Vanner, the explorer and writer. In the idyllic surroundings of his home in the Lake District, Hew and Briony find a common bond. A captivating love story from the 100-million-copy bestselling Queen of Romance, first published in 1952, and available now for the first time in eBook.
By Emma Garcia
This ISN'T a book about babies. It's not about sleepless nights, nappies or nurseries. It IS about two people, one unexpected pregnancy and a question . . .Viv and Max were best friends for years, then they were lovers and then it all went wrong.Now finally they are to be reunited. Viv feels sick. Not just with nerves at seeing Max again, but because there's a small chance she might . . . quite possibly . . . most definitely . . . be pregnant.It's thrilling. But also terrifying. Most of the time they can hardly look after themselves, let alone a baby.And then Viv's estranged mother reappears on the scene and they all end up sharing a bedsit . . . and hell breaks loose.HOW ON EARTH ARE THEY GOING TO COPE?
O Love! O Fire!
By Denise Robins
Candy Kavell loves Rupert as she has never loved before - passionately and completely. But no matter how many times Rupert assures her of his love, Candy knows deep within her heart he doesn't feel as she does.Rupert is far from ready for the responsibilities of marriage. So how will he react when he discovers Candy is carrying their child?The uncertainty is transforming her ecstasy of love into a nightmare of despair!
The Orpheus Descent
By Tom Harper
I have never written down the answers to the deepest mysteries, nor will I ever...The philosopher Plato wrote these words more than two thousand years ago, following a perilous voyage to Italy -- an experience about which he never spoke again, but from which he emerged the greatest thinker in all of human history.Today, twelve golden tablets sit in museums around the world, each created by unknown hands and buried in ancient times, and each providing the dead with the route to the afterlife. Archaeologist Lily Barnes, working on a dig in southern Italy, has just found another.But the thirteenth tablet is different. This tablet names the location to the mouth of hell itself.And then Lily vanishes.Has she walked out on her job, her marriage, and her life -- or has something more sinister happened? Her husband, Jonah, is desperate to find her. But no one can help him: not the police; not the secretive foundation that sponsored her dig; not even a circle of university friends who seem to know more than they're saying. All Jonah has is belief, and a determination to do whatever it takes to get Lily back.But like Plato before him, Jonah will discover the journey ahead is mysterious and dark and fraught with danger.And not everyone who travels to the hidden place where Lily has gone can return.
By Keith Waterhouse
I knew, logically, that you were bad for me, that you demoralised me, destroyed my peace of mind, deflected me from the things I should have been doing, distorted my sense of perspective; yet at the same time you keyed me up, made me feel alive.'Roger Piper is married, middle-aged and middle-rung; he is a man who has elevated failure to an art form. His wife thinks he is up all night writing a novel. In fact, he's writing a suicide note, a long farewell letter to Angela Caxton, the girl with the marmalade-coloured hair, with whom he has shared a wild but hopeless affair. OUR SONG traces their entanglement from its carefree beginnings to its inevitable yet unexpected tragic end. Pouring out his heart, the former advertising executive - his career, as well as much else, sacrificed to the consuming trauma of his obsessive relationship - looks back upon the astonishing helter-skelter experience of falling unsuitably but violently in love.
By Erich Segal
1978. A group of idealistic young doctors join a mission of mercy to Africa. Two of them, Matthew and Silvia, fall in love. They have one year together before they are swept apart by bloodshed and violence. Matthew has been in mourning ever since.The present. A pioneer in genetic therapy at the very top of his field, Matthew is appealed to by a rich man whose wife's brain tumour has been declared inoperable by every other surgeon. When she walks through the door he sees that it is Silvia, as beautiful as ever - still his 'only love'. It's as if the years have never passed. He must save her life. And if he does . . . what then?