Lisa Dickenson - 'The Twelve Dates of Christmas' (December 2013)
Claudia is a girl in a rut. At 30, her life is stale and the romance with long-term boyfriend, Seth, has disappeared. Determined to inject some festive spark back into their love life, Claudia and Seth go on their first date in a very long time to the Royal Opera House. But when the night ends in disaster, Claudia suddenly finds herself facing life - and Christmas - alone.
Life alone is exciting, scary and full of soon-forgotten exercise regimes and ill-advised attempts at crafting sexy underwear. It's also filling up with dates, surprisingly. With best friends Penny and Nick at her side, a surplus of festive markets, mulled wine and Christmas tunes, Claudia attempts to face all this change with gusto. One thing's for certain: this year, Christmas is going to be very different...
Stacey Ballis - 'Out to Lunch' (3rd of December 2013)
Jenna has lost her best friend.
With Aimee gone so tragically young, Jenna barely knows where to turn. Aimee was the one who always knew what to do—not to mention what to wear. The two built a catering company together and had so much in common—well, except their taste in men. Jenna never understood what the successful, sophisticated Aimee saw in Wayne, with his Star Wars obsession and harebrained business schemes.
And gained her best friend’s husband .
But Aimee has left a shocking last request: Jenna now has financial custody of the not-so-merry widower. True, Wayne needs someone sensible around to keep him under control, but what was her dear departed friend thinking?
The thing is, as she gets to know Wayne better, his latest moneymaking idea actually starts to intrigue her. Her attractive new lawyer boyfriend doesn’t approve of it—but then, Wayne doesn’t approve of her attractive new lawyer boyfriend. Now Jenna has to figure out what direction her life is going to take next. And she can’t help asking herself: What would Aimee do?
Erin Lawless - 'The Best Thing I Never Had' (5th of December 2013)
So much more than a love story, more of a life story.
Five years ago they’d been six friends at university that laughed hard and loved harder.
Nicky and Miles, the couple that were always meant to be… Leigha and Adam, maybe not.
So when Harriet and Adam grew close, during those long summer days in the library and too many seminars they (well, Adam) hadn’t prepared for, they did the one thing that changed everything. They kept a secret. And when it came out, the trust was broken.
When the day comes for bridesmaids to be chosen, and best men to fulfil drunken promises, Nicky and Miles’ wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion – loaded with past hurts, past regrets, past loves.
Can you ever relive those uni days – or would you ever want to?
Anna Bell - 'Don't Tell the Groom' (5th of December 2013)
Penny has big dreams for her wedding day. She wants an unforgettable celebration, perfect down to the last detail, and has been saving for ages to make her dream a reality. When Mark finally pops the question, it's the best moment of her life.
Until Penny checks her wedding fund and is horrified to discover that something has gone terribly wrong. There's far less money there than she'd thought... and it's all her fault. She can't tell Mark the truth about what she's done, he knows nothing about how much time she spends gambling online. Her only choice is to seek help for her addiction and get married on a drastically smaller budget.
Working under the pretense of surprising Mark with her plans on their big day, operation 'Don't Tell the Groom' rolls into action, with surprising, hilarious and often moving results.
Mhairi McFarlane - 'Here's Looking at You' (5th of December 2013)
Anna Alessi – history expert, possessor of a lot of hair and an occasionally filthy mouth – seeks nice man for intelligent conversation and Mills & Boon moments.
Despite the oddballs that keep turning up on her dates, Anna couldn’t be happier. As a 30-something with a job she loves, life has turned out better than she dared dream. However, things weren’t always this way, and her years spent as the ‘Italian Galleon’ of an East London comprehensive are ones she’d rather forget.
So when James Fraser – the architect of Anna’s final humiliation at school – walks back into her life, her world is turned upside down. But James seems a changed man. Polite. Mature. Funny, even. People can change, right? So why does Anna feel like she’s a fool to trust him?
Alexandra Brown - 'Christmas at Carrington's' (5th of December 2013)
Georgie Hart loves Christmas time at Carrington’s Department store. Running the luxury handbag department, Georgie adores helping customers in the hunt for the perfect gift for the perfect someone. And this year is no exception – now she has the hunky Tom, Mr Carrington himself, to spend the special day with.
But when Tom springs a surprise, Georgie’s plans are thrown into chaos. Carrington’s is getting a fresh lease of life in a hot new reality TV show, featuring formidable retail guru, Kelly Cooper.
As the first show airs, Georgie is shown in a far from flattering light. Worse is to come when Kelly’s vile daughter appears to get her claws into Tom. Georgie fears this will be the worst Christmas ever, but Santa still has a little surprise for her stocking this year – she’ll just have to wait until Christmas to find out…
Louise Candlish - 'The Island Hideaway' (5th of December 2013)
How far would you follow him before you accept it's over?
Eleanor Blake, distraught after breaking up with her fiance Will, decides to do what most would scarcely dare: secretly follow him to the island hideaway where he's on holiday with the woman who took her place. But on the shimmering, sun-drenched Sicilian island of Panarea, distractions come in many forms - including her fellow hotel guest Lewis, an enigmatic Englishman with secrets of his own to protect. And then there's Frannie, a young Italian actress on the island to prepare for her first film role, who is as charming as she is beautiful. Can she really be so perfect? And shouldn't Eleanor be the first to suspect that things might not be as they seem?
Liz Trenow - 'The Forgotten Seamstress' (5th of December 2013)
It is 1910 and Maria, a talented young girl from the East end of London, is employed to work as a seamstress for the royal family. As an attractive girl, she soon catches the eye of the Prince of Wales and she in turn is captivated by his glamour and intensity.
But careless talk causes trouble and soon Maria’s life takes a far darker turn. Disbelieved and dismissed she is thrown into a mental asylum, shut away from the real world with only her needlework for company.
Can a beautiful quilt, discovered many years later, reveal the truth behind what happened to Maria?
Charlotte Phillips - 'Kiss Me on This Cold December Night' (12th of December 2013)
Christmas in London – a time for late night shopping on Regent’s Street or ice skating at Somerset House under a blanket of twinkling fairy lights, the warming, welcoming aroma of mulled wine in the air…
Or, alternatively, a time for bumping into the ghosts of one night stands past in Ella Scott’s case!
Checking into her boutique hotel for a weekend of Christmas shopping, the last person Ella expects to bump into at reception is Tom bloody Henley – ambitious doctor, highly eligible bachelor and with whom she had the most unbelievable, mind-blowing brief encounter five Christmases ago.
But Ella slipped out quietly the morning after all those years ago for a reason and although Tom’s got a look on his face that suggests Christmas has come early, there’s no way she’s going to be repeating past mistakes… right?
Lynn Marie Hulsman - 'Christmas at Thornton Hall' (12th of December 2013)
So when she’s personally requested to cater for the family at Thornton Hall three days before Christmas, it’s not long before Juliet’s standing at the (back) door of the impossibly grand ancestral pile.
The halls are decked, the guests are titled, those below the stairs are delightfully catty, and all-American Juliet sets to work cooking up a glorious British Christmas with all the trimmings.
But other flames are burning besides those on the stove… Sparks fly with Edward, the gorgeous ex-soldier turned resident chef, and are those sidelong looks Juliet’s getting from her boss, the American tycoon Jasper Roth?
As the snow starts to fall on the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, so does the veneer of genteel high society and there are more than a few ancient skeletons rattling out of the Hall’s numerous dark cupboards!
Kim Gruenenfelder - 'Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink' (24th of December 2013)
It's been almost a year since Mel, Nic and Seema pulled their magical charms out of the cake at Nic's bridal shower and most of their happily-ever-afters seemingly came true. Seema is about to marry Scott in an elaborate three-day affair. Nic is glowingly pregnant. And Mel... well, Mel feels as if she accidentally veered off the rails of her life at some point and isn't sure how to get back on. She recently became single again, she's been threatened with a layoff from her teaching job, and she has to find her own place now that Scott is moving in with her roommate, Seema.
Nic thinks Mel just needs a new cake charm to bring her good luck. . . and decides to rig the cake pull at Seema's bridal shower. Desperate for travel, Mel asks for the passport charm. But, once again, the cake proves to have a mind of its own, and she pulls a charm she doesn't want, and can not use. Rather than be bound by the charm's prophecy, Mel realizes she, and she alone, is responsible for her destiny. A spur of the moment decision takes her to Paris and then Maui, where she finds herself on an adventure that she never could have imagined, experiencing the trials and tribulations of a life suddenly and perfectly unplanned. And, along the way, she begins to learn that, however nonsensical it may seem, the cake is never wrong...