Yes, there were many things I thought I might do in lockdown – blitz my cupboards, Sort Out My Accounts, get back on the C25K horse of misery – and, no, I didn’t do any of them. The most useful thing I’ve accomplished since March is successfully threading my own chin.Read more
— Books —
Unexpected Lessons in Love
What happens when ‘I do’ turns into ‘I don’t know’?
Jeannie always wanted to fall in love, and now she’s finally got the whirlwind romance she dreamed of. Dan’s gorgeous, he’s a successful young vet, and he flew her to New York and proposed on Brooklyn Bridge. Jeannie has to remind herself this is actually her life. It seems too perfect, too magical, to be real. Yet it is.
But now she’s on her way to the wedding she can’t shake off the tight sensation crushing her chest. Is it just nerves . . . or is this all happening a bit too fast?
Jeannie has one last chance to shout, ‘Stop!’ But just as she grabs it, a twist of fate throws everything she knows into the air like confetti. What Jeannie learns about Dan, about her own heart, and about the power of love itself, will change her world for ever . . .
'Real, heart-breaking - I loved it' — Katie Fforde
Where The Light Gets In
Lorna’s come back to Longhampton to fulfill a dream she’s held all her life: she finally has the keys to an art gallery of her own. But it’s not exactly a fresh start. This is where her tight-knit family imploded in silent, resentful scandal. It’s where her secret, destructive fears about herself took root, and where she fell hopelessly in love for the first – and last – time. There are ghosts here, and some of them are still walking Longhampton’s streets.
But as Lorna – and Rudy, the fearful dachshund she’s inherited from the most courageous woman she’s ever met – tentatively open their cracked hearts to old flames and new allies, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery, something so inspirational even Lorna couldn’t have predicted the light it lets into her world. And it all starts with an unexpected friendship that will change everyone’s lives forever…
This book is full of love, truth, art and dogs. I absolutely loved it — Katie Fforde
All I Ever Wanted
Caitlin’s life is a mess. Her marriage to a man everyone else thinks is perfect has collapsed, along with her self-esteem, and breaking free seems the only option.
Nancy, her four-year-old daughter, used to talk all the time; in the car, at nursery, to her brother Joel. Then her parents split up. Her daddy moves out. And Nancy stops speaking.
Nancy’s Auntie Eva, recently widowed and feeling alone, apart from the companionship of two bewildered pugs, is facing a future without her husband or the dreams she gave up for him.
But when Eva agrees to host her niece and nephew once a fortnight, Caitlin and Eva are made to face the different truths about their marriages – and about what they both really want . . .
Full of warmth and heart, this is a brilliantly written book — The Sun on Sunday
One Small Act of Kindness
Hugely readable… this book is an absolute treat. Lucy Dillon’s books make the world a better place Heat Libby Corcoran and her husband Jason have moved back to Longhampton to turn the Corcoran family B&B into a boutique hotel. It’s a fresh start, albeit one they didn’t have much choice in, yet Libby is determined to turn their recent rocky patch into the best thing that could have happened to their marriage. If only Jason’s mother would let them get on 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, who she is – and, most disturbing of all, why no one seems to be looking for her. When Libby offers to take the bewildered Pippa in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change all their lives, forever…
This is grown up chicklit at its best. I loved it. — Daily Mail
A Hundred Pieces of Me
Winner of the 2015 Contemporary RoNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award ‘Bittersweet, lovely and ultimately redemptive; the kind of book that makes you want to live your own life better.’ Jojo Moyes Reeling from her recent divorce, Gina Bellamy suddenly finds herself in a new flat, surrounded by packing boxes full of her old life – and no idea what she wants her new life to be. Determined to make a fresh start, Gina knows drastic measures are in order. First up: throwing away all her possessions except for the one hundred things that mean the most to her. But what items are worth saving? Letters from the only man she’s ever loved? A keepsake of the father she never knew? Or a blue glass vase that perfectly captures the light? As she lets go of the past, Gina finally begins to come to terms with the obstacles she’s managed to overcome and discovers that seizing the day is sometimes the only thing to do. And for every old scrap of her old life that she manages to leave behind, a new piece of magic begins to work in her fragile heart…
Such a brilliant book. So satisfying and clever and deeply moving. I'll be passing it on to all my friends. — Sophie Kinsella
The Secret of Happy Ever After
Lucy Dillon’s voice is gentle and kind throughout…perceptive and well handled. A heart-warming piece of escapism for long winter nights.’ (Red) When story-lover Anna takes over Longhampton’s bookshop, it’s her dream come true. And not just because it gets her away from her three rowdy stepchildren and their hyperactive Dalmatian. Although she’d never admit it, despite the happy home she runs with her adoring husband Phil, Anna can’t shake the feeling that maybe her own fairytale ending isn’t all that she’d hoped for. But, as the stories of love, adventure, secret gardens, lost dogs, wicked witches and giant peaches breathe new life into the neglected shop, Anna and her customers get swept up in the magic too. Even Anna’s best friend Michelle – a smart business owner who categorically doesn’t believe in true love and handsome princes – isn’t immune; especially when she’s forced to . But when dark secrets from Michelle’s unhappy marriage come back to haunt her, and disaster threatens Anna’s home, will the wisdom and charm of the stories in the bookshop help the two friends – and those they love – find their own happy ever afters?
A modern fairy-tale for grown ups — The Sun
Walking Back to Happiness
‘…witty, heart-warming and a very real tale of loss and redemption’ (Stylist) Juliet’s been in hiding. From her family, from her life, but most of all from the fact that Ben’s not around anymore. Her mother Diane has run out of advice. But then she insists Juliet look after her elderly Labrador and it becomes apparent that Coco the dog might actually be the one who can rescue her daughter. Especially when it leads to her walking dogs for a few other locals too, including a spaniel, Damson, who belongs to a very attractive man… Before she knows it, Juliet realises she has somehow become the town’s unofficial pet-sitter. A job which makes her privy to the lives and secrets of everyone whose animals she’s caring for. But as her first winter alone approaches, she finally begins to wonder if it’s time to face up to her own secrets? To start rebuilding her own life? And maybe – just maybe – to fall in love again?
Heartwarming, romantic and funny, Lucy Dillon's latest offering is the perfect Christmas stocking filler... Shut out the world on a cold winter's night with this entertaining and easy-to-read tale. — News of the World
Lost Dogs & Lonely Hearts
Winner of the 2010 Romantic Novel of the Year Award When the abandoned strays from a local dogs’ home are matched with brand new owners, it turns out it might not just be the dogs who need rescuing. Rachel’s aunt has left her a house, a Border Collie and, despite knowing nothing about dogs, a crowded kennel. But since her life has collapsed she’s not sure she can deal with any more lost souls. Zoe’s ex-husband has given their children a puppy. The kids are in love, but she’s the one stuck training Toffee the impossible Labrador. She’s nearly at the end of her tether – until Toffee leads her to a handsome doctor . . . Meanwhile Natalie and Johnny’s marriage hasn’t been easy since they started trying for a baby. But is a fridge-raiding, sofa-stealing Basset hound like Bertie really the child substitute they’re looking for? As the new owners’ paths cross on the town’s dog-walking circuits, their lives become interwoven. And they – and their dogs – learn some important lessons about loyalty, companionship and unconditional love . . .
Heart-warming, fun and romantic. Marley and Me fans will love it — Closer
The Ballroom Class
When three couples join a new ballroom class, they’re all looking for some magic in their lives. Lauren and Chris are getting married, and Lauren’s dreaming of a fairytale wedding with a first dance to make Cinderella proud. Not wanting to be shown up on the dancefloor, her parents Bridget and Frank have come along too. They normally never put a foot wrong, but Bridget’s got a secret that could trip them up unexpectedly. Meanwhile Katie and Ross are looking for a quick-fix solution to their failing marriage even though neither is quite sure who’s leading who anymore. And Angelica, their perfectly poised teacher, has her own secret heartbreak to heal As friendships form over the foxtrot, the rumba rocks relationships, and the tango leads to true love, all the students in the Ballroom Class are about to face the music and dance…
A charming, heartwarming, entertaining read for all would-be dancefloor divas. — Glamour
— Hello from my study… —
When I was going through my late father’s things – the first, panicky, pre-funeral sweep of drawers and cupboards in search of documents – I found his fountain pen.Read more
Hello! Is this week 7 of lockdown or are we still in week 1 but in some kind of groundhog day loop? I’ve lost track. I’ve basically chucked my diary and am now telling the time through the length of my roots.Read more
Never let it be said I am not Topical – May‘s Dog of the Month is called Jeanie! Red Labrador pupster Jeanie runs the show for Catherine, who reveals her likes are as follows: “dinner time (both the northern and the accepted version), recently dug-in bedding plants, beech nut shells from the garden, and sleeping behind curtains. She also quite likes partying at night, something her mum and dad have grown out of.” Oh, Jeanie. She is also attempting to befriend the mole in the garden by digging holes to drop in on him. Social!
Jeanie’s Desert Island Disc? Redhead Walking by REM.