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Give the gift of reading this holiday season with our bestselling paperback books

From exhilarating thrillers, thought-provoking memoirs, fantastical adventures and Victorian mysteries, these bestsellers offer something for every bibliophile on your gift list.

Spies, military secrets, and a personal crusade for freedom…

Rome, 1942. Cordelia Olivieri is a young, determined hotel owner desperate to escape Mussolini’s racial persecution. But as Fascist leaders gather in Rome, Cordelia is suddenly surrounded by the world’s most ruthless and powerful commanders.

In an effort to keep her Jewish heritage a secret and secure safe passage out of Italy, Cordelia forms a dangerous alliance with the British army who want to push the Axis out of North Africa once and for all.

Going undercover, Cordelia begins obtaining and leaking military intelligence to a British agent, hoping the intel will secure her freedom. But the more Cordelia uncovers, the greater the risks – especially for one handsome German Afrika Korps officer.

How far must Cordelia go to protect her identity and secure passage out of Rome?

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From the bestselling author of The Slum Angel.

After losing her father, Thea Goodson is alone in the world. She has a husband. But Ernie is a brutal man, who uses his fists to keep Thea in line. And besides, Ernie Goodson has secrets – secrets that even his wife cannot share.

And yet in Victorian Yorkshire, appearances are everything – and they must be maintained whatever the cost. Thea has no choice but to cover up her bruises with powder and keep a forced smile on her face, while she looks after Ernie’s home and tobacco shop. There seems to be no other option. That is, until a handsome and well-bred stranger arrives to set up shop next door…

Can Thea escape her miserable marriage and break from the conventions of society? Or will the clutches of her abusive husband confine her forever?

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Fans of Bernard Cornwall will relish this invigorating ride, the latest in the bestselling Lord Edward’s Archer series.

Captain Gerald has proven himself an unrivalled archer, but now he is married, he longs to enjoy life’s simpler pursuits, raising a family and tending his land.

But life on the borderlands brings complications, and King Edward has different ideas for Gerald. Prince Llywelyn of Wales will not toe the line, and once more, Gerald is chosen as royal envoy. He must cross the treacherous Welsh Marches to make strategic allegiances and request Llywelyn bend the knee to the English crown.

Can he help wrest power back into English hands before the Welsh mob descends on all he holds dear?

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The battleship reigned supreme at sea from the 1860s to the 1940s, the ultimate symbol of naval power and national pride, queen on the naval chessboard.

As a result, strategy and battle tactics changed in response to the mounting of ever larger guns with greater range and penetrative power, and the development of threatening new weapon systems, particularly torpedoes, torpedo boats, mines and submarines.

The author also explores the chilling reality of action with vivid descriptions of major naval battles including the Yalu in the First Sino-Japanese War, Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War, Jutland in the First World War and many lesser known engagements.

Battleship describes the evolution from the wooden man-of-war plated with iron armour to the great steel leviathan of the Second World War, and its ultimate displacement as the arbiter of naval power by the aircraft carrier.

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In 1994, a Peace Corps Volunteer named Christopher Davenport travels to Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands region to live with a group of subsistence farmers.

He settles into village life, begins learning the language and develops a strong sense of connection with his inherited family. One day, following the death of a venerated elder, the people of the village kidnap, torture, and ultimately kill a local woman accused of practising sorcery.

In this moving true story, Christopher Davenport gives a considerate but courageously honest depiction of his transformative experience. He asks difficult questions about the role of philanthropy in the intersection of cultures and the mutability of human virtue. He also looks internally to question the integrity of his own well-intended pilgrimage. The result is a sweeping account of grief, empathy, and the complex mechanisms of humanity.

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‘Nancy Bilyeau’s passion for history infuses her books’ – Alison Weir

In eighteenth century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.

For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.

When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…

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A must-read for every Darcy and Jane Austen fan.

For some, Colin Firth emerging from a lake in that clinging wet shirt is one of the most iconic moments in television. What is it about the two-hundred-year-old hero that we so ardently admire and love?

Dr Malcolm examines Jane Austen’s influences in creating Darcy’s potent mix of brooding Gothic hero, aristocratic elitist and romantic Regency man of action. She investigates how he paved the way for later characters like Heathcliff, Rochester and even Dracula, and what his impact has been on popular culture over the past two centuries. For twenty-first century readers, the world over have their idea of the ‘perfect’ Darcy in mind when they read the novel and will defend their choice passionately.

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‘Achingly believable’ – Publishers Weekly

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

The invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of. Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal, and deadly secrets.

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Perfect for readers of Gillian Flynn, Karin Slaughter, and Paula Hawkins.

Someone is hurting the most vulnerable person in your life, but they can’t tell you who it is. What would you do?

When shy publisher Kate Kinley finds mysterious bruises on her mother’s arms she assumes the worst. Suffering with early onset dementia, her mother insists that nothing is wrong; it was just a clumsy accident. But was it an accident, or has her mother’s illness made her forget what really happened?

In desperate need of someone she can trust, her isolation and paranoia grow as the closest people in her life become key suspects.

With each heart-stopping revelation, Kate begins to realise that the perpetrator is no longer interested in inflicting bruises; they want blood.

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Enter the Netherworlde… Become the Changeling.

Robin Fellows lives with his grandmother and lives what appears to be a rather ordinary life for a normal twelve year old boy. But when Robin’s Gran dies, quite suddenly and a bit mysteriously, his world is turned upside down. A long lost relative comes out of the woodwork and whisks him away to a mysterious new home, Erlking Hall, a quiet estate in the solitary countryside of Lancashire.

Suddenly Robin must adjust to his new reality. But reality is no longer what he thought it was…

There is more than meets the eye to this old, rambling mansion. Little does he know that there is more than meets the eye to himself. Robin is the world’s last Changeling. He is descended from a mystic race of Fae-people, whose homeland, the Netherworlde, is caught in the throes of a terrible civil war.

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An inspiring true story of bravery and heroism.

1945. The War is almost over. As the Red Army advance across Poland, thousands of freed Allied Prisoners of War were abandoned to wander the Eastern Front.

They had no shelter, food, or ammunition; they were an army of dead men walking. To the Soviets, POWs were cowards, or worse, enemy spies.

The Allies wanted their men back. The Americans, offering help, were refused. The men could only be rescued undercover. The OSS, the forerunner to the CIA, planned a secret mission to rescue the thousands of soldiers.

They chose veteran Eighth Air Force bomber pilot Captain Robert Trimble. With little covert training, Trimble survived by wit, courage, and determination. He faced up against the Soviet secret police alone, in a desperate bid to save the soldiers left behind.

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