Stella Krakus is having a bad week. Her almost-ex-husband is basically stalking her, her glamorous-yet-overbearing mother wants to meet for lunch, and her boss/lover is breaking up their romance as gently as his narcissism will let him. On top of it all, her colleague Paul has gone missing. But he’s left behind a map that piques Stella’s interest. As she researches into its origins, a mystery opens itself that promises to reveal secrets Stella never dreamed of
Jack and Sydney have just bought their first house. They were shocked when they’re offer was accepted, especially considering how many people were at the viewing. But they don’t question it. The only catch is that they get all of the junk that the previous owner left in the house as well, but cleaning it all away is a small price to pay for their dream home.
But when Jack finds a strange box in the attic and hears noises during the night, he starts to wonder if there’s something more sinister going on in the house. And when a body turns up in the alley beside their house, the police start to wonder the same thing.
Melanie Black has woken up in a strange man’s bed. It’s not necessarily an unusual occurrence, but when he completely ignores her she starts to get worried. Her concern is made even worse when the man’s wife comes into the room, and also completely ignores her. She soon comes to realise what’s going on. She’s dead. And she has woken up in the house of her murderer.
Milly is starting a new life with her foster family. She desperately wants to fit in with them and have a permanent home somewhere she can feel safe. You see, Milly is really Annie. And Annie’s mother is a serial killer.
As her mother’s trial approaches, Milly has to try to come to terms with all of the horrors she saw in her house, and with the fact that it was she who turned her mother into the police.
But her mother is always in her head, permeating even her dreams, validating Milly’s fears that she can never be rid of her, and raising the question of whether she is destined to be her mother’s daughter in more than just birth.
Lib, an English nurse who trained under Florence Nightingale, has been sent to rural Ireland to carry out a strange assignment. She has been asked to watch over an eleven-year-old girl, Anna, who claims to have been living without food for months, yet is still healthy.
The ‘miracle child’ has drawn people from all over the country, but not all believe her tales. So Lib and a local nun must take it in turns to watch over her, and see if she is indeed living without food as she claims to be.
Judge Scott Sampson thinks nothing of the text he gets from his wife saying she will be picking up their two children from school that afternoon. He’s disappointed that he’ll miss their weekly swimming time, but he goes on with his day.
Until his wife comes home alone that evening, saying she knows nothing about the text, assuming he was picking up the children as normal.
When a severed finger turns up on Helen Taylor’s doorstep, the police must try to find out if she saw what happened to her recently deceased (and dismembered) neighbour. But Helen has trouble remembering things, and her dead husband, Bobby, talking over her shoulder isn’t helping. So the police call in her sister, Pat, to see if she can make any sense of what Helen says.
I’m going to admit to you now that I hate love stories. Romance novels where the girl meets a handsome millionaire who’s just messed up enough for her to save. Or the strong-willed business woman from the city meets a wild country-man who teaches her about life. Soppy, emotional, sentimental crap, in my opinion, but maybe I’ve just been single for too long. So, romance novels have never made it onto my reading list.
But occasionally a story comes along that, despite its lovey-dovey themes, doesn’t make me want to vomit. Love stories that are a bit less cringe-worthy and a bit more rational.
So, with Valentine’s Day on everyone’s mind I thought I’d share some of these books for those of us that want to partake in the festivities, but not to the point of spewing.