One Summer in Italy – Sue Moorcroft

One Summer in Italy - Sue MoorcroftSynopsis: When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We loved One Summer in Italy, set in a gorgeous location, brilliant storyline, great pace, absolutely wonderful feel good summer read.

Anyone for Seconds – Laurie Graham

Synopsis:  Life has been going downhill for ex-TV chef Lizzie Partridge ever since she spectacularly ended her television career by throwing a chocolate mousse at the host of Midlands This Morning. Her partner Tom has left her, Nigella and Jamie have got the cookery world sewn up, and now her cookery column – her last bit of work – has been axed. Surely the only way is up from here?

In a desperate bid for sympathy and attention she runs away, from the gas bill and the mouse under the sink, and in wet and wintry Aberystwyth she experiences a brush with her past and a glimmer of new prospects. And when her nephew’s girlfriend – a TV producer – has the bright idea to reunite her with her former nemesis and target of the mousse attack in a new show, it seems like things could be going Lizzie’s way again after all!

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Anyone for Seconds, Laurie Graham’s characters are well drawn and set in a very current environment. Her book is funny, full of one liners, but yet there are also very poignant moments. A perfect summer read.

The Adults – Caroline Hulse

Synopsis: Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what’s best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a ‘normal’ family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did – and it’s too late to pull the plug.

Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a rabbit.

Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends – where this story starts – with a tearful, frightened, call to the police…

But what happened? They said they’d all be adults about this..

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Like a ship with a motley crew The Adults is set for disaster with icebergs all the way. However with a mixture of moments of excruciating awfulness, humour and goodwill it finally reaches a safe harbour. A very funny debut novel.

Sunset over the Cherry Orchard – Jo Thomas

Sunset over the Cherry Orchard - Jo ThomasSynopsis: Jo Thomas’s new novel invites you to a special cherry orchard in Spain, where sunshine, romance and family secrets are the order of the day.

It’s time for Beti Winter to dance to her own beat.

After three failed engagements Beti is in desperate need of a fresh start. What better place than the sun-drenched hills of southern Spain?

But it’s not all sangria and siestas. Beti finds work on an old Andalucian cherry farm where there are cherries to be picked, trees to be watered and her fiery boss, Antonio, to win over.

As the sun toasts her skin, Beti finds herself warming to the Spanish way of life. Embracing the art of flamenco, she discovers there is much to learn from the dance of passion. She just has to let loose and listen to the rhythm of her heart.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We love this book! Full of energy, atmosphere and passion. Like the flamenco dance the pace scorches through the book, making you want to get up and go there! it would make a wonderful movie. It’s such a great read you don’t want it to end!

Secret Legacy – Sara Alexander

Secret Legacy - Sara AlexanderSynopsis: Santina is spending her final days at her home, Villa San Vito, in the beautiful Italian town of Positano. As she decides the fate of the magnificent eighteenth century palazzo she must confront the choices that led her here.

In 1949, hoping to escape poverty, young Santina becomes housekeeper to a distinguished British major and his creative, impulsive wife, Adeline.

When they move to Positano, Santina joins them, raising their daughter as Adeline’s mental health declines. With each passing year, Santina becomes more deeply entwined with the family, trying to navigate her complicated feelings for a man who is much more than an employer while hiding secrets that could shatter the only home she knows . . .

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Secret Legacy is one of those books that you want to read and almost want to read again, certainly the beginning as it links so seamlessly to the end. Poignant and full of hidden depths this is an absolutely stunning book, one of our must read books of the summer!

Wilde About The Girl – Louise Pentland

Wilde About The Girl - Louise PentlandSynopsis: After the year from hell, she’s pulled herself up and out of The Emptiness, her love life is ticking along nicely, single motherhood is actually quite fun and she is ready for whatever life throws at her. When a thrilling opportunity at work arises, Robin is more than excited to step up and show everyone, including herself, what she’s made of.

But her best friend Lacey is increasingly broken-hearted about struggling to conceive, and her daughter Lyla is starting to come out with some horrible attitudes she’s learning from someone at school. Is Auntie Kath hiding loneliness under her bubbly, loving veneer? And can Robin definitely trust the people she must depend on in her fab new role?

But Robin has her girls. And her girls have got her. Together they can handle any crisis. Can’t they?

Life is about to throw quite the curve ball at Robin Wilde, and she’ll need to make some pretty brave choices if she’s going to stop everything she cares about falling apart . . .

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In Wilde About The Girl, Louise Pentland has written a great story with humour, poignancy, warmth and honesty. This book has great pace, once started you just want to keep reading. A fabulous summer read!

Stitched Memories – Telling a Story Through Cloth and Thread – Tilly Rose

Stitched Memories - Telling a Story Through Cloth and Thread - Tilly RoseSynopsis
Creating unique textile art using vintage cloth and embroidery to tell a story and preserve memories

Our homes are full of treasured items from the past. Hidden away from view but never thrown away, they are our links to the special people and events that tell our story. In this beautiful and inspiring book, Tilly Rose encourages you to seek out your precious stash of pre-loved items and transform them into beautiful and practical textile artworks that celebrate the lives of your loved ones and preserve your memories for generations to come.

Tilly shows you how to make 15 gorgeous projects, including cloth journals, lavender hearts, framed collages, wall hangings and miniature quilts. All of the designs have a story to tell and are made using a plethora of vintage fabrics, threads, lace, ribbon, buttons, beads, photographs and other found items. If you dont have a collection of suitable materials at home, you can have fun sourcing them from online marketplaces, thrift/charity stores and flea markets, and try mixing them with modern fabrics and embellishments for a more contemporary look.

The projects incorporate a range of exciting techniques, all explained through clear instructions and step-by-step photographs, including layering and collage, hand embroidery, transferring your own designs to cloth, stamping, appliqué, embellishing, patchwork, free motion embroidery and photo transfer.

This book will take you on a truly inspirational journey, encouraging you to be creative, to source and re-use materials of special significance, and to incorporate them into textile artworks that become treasured keepsakes.

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We were really excited to receive this book, we have been waiting for its publication and we were not disappointed, the exquisite content really lives up to its title. This beautiful book will inspire anyone to venture into the world of creating your own pieces of textile artworks. With 15 different projects, there is something for everyone. The start of the book is one of the most comprehensive guides we have ever reviewed. It is full of really useful information about how to find inspiration, the tools and techniques you will need and this is followed by the gorgeous projects, again with step-by-step guidance and stunning photography.

We love this book so much we are delighted to have chosen it as our Highly Recommended Crafting Book of the Month!


Combermere Abbey Estate

Combermere Abbey Estate - Hot Brands Cool PlacesOverview
Combermere Abbey is a medieval and Gothic country home steeped in a thousand years of history on the Cheshire/Shropshire border, set in 1050 acres of woodland, farmland and lakes.

Following a major restoration project by the current owner, the run-down estate was saved from ruin and transformed into an idyllic country retreat and luxury wedding venue. With a range of accommodation on offer, Combermere Abbey allows guests to completely relax in the peace of the countryside with the estate available for exploring – including the famous Walled Gardens with the world’s only Fruit Tree Maze. Continue reading

The Secrets of Primrose Square – Claudia Carroll

The Secrets of Primrose Square - Claudia CarrollSynopsis: There are so many stories hidden behind closed doors . . .
It’s late at night and the rain is pouring down on the Dublin city streets. A mother is grieving for her dead child. She stands silently outside the home of the teenage boy she believes responsible. She watches . . .

In a kitchen on the same square, a girl waits anxiously for her mum to come home. She knows exactly where she is, but she knows she cannot reach her.

A few doors down, and a widow sits alone in her room. She has just delivered a bombshell to her family during dinner and her life is about to change forever.

And an aspiring theatre director has just moved in to a flat across the street. Her landlord is absent, but there are already things about him that don’t quite add up . . .

Welcome to Primrose Square

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In The Secrets of Primrose Square Claudia Carroll deals very sensitively with a number of issues for the four main characters. Claudia has written beautifully about the lives of the women and cleverly linked their lives together in a way that has created an uplifting story of warmth and friendship.

For more information about the inspiration behind The Secrets of Primrose Square head over to for an interview with Claudia Carroll

An Italian Summer – Fanny Blake

Synopsis: An Italian Summer is a novel about friendship, family secrets and second chances, set against the backdrop of southern Italy.
Sandy is in her fifties, and at a crossroads in her life: she’s a teacher and respected by her pupils, but she feels she is being sidelined in favour of younger colleagues. So when her mother dies, leaving her a sealed envelope addressed to an unknown woman living in Naples, Sandy decides to head to Italy to resolve the mystery by delivering the letter herself. She books herself on to a small sightseeing trip from Rome to Naples and the Amalfi Coast, hoping to meet some like-minded people along the way. Who is the mysterious woman she is searching for? And will Sandy find friendship, or even love, along the way…?

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is a deeply satisfying book, set against a beautiful Italian backdrop, this novel has real depth. Fanny Blake’s characters are really well drawn, and the mystery letter creates a very intriguing storyline. An Italian Summer is an absolutely perfect summer read, be prepared to become completely absorbed!

A Match Made in Devon – Cathy Bramley

A Match Made in Devon - Cathy BramleySynopsis: Sometimes you have to play a part to realise who you really are…
Nina has always dreamed of being a star. Unfortunately her agent thinks she’s more girl-next-door than leading lady and her acting career isn’t going quite as planned. Then, after a series of very public blunders and to escape a gathering storm of paparazzi, Nina is forced to flee from London.

Her plan is to lay low with a friend in Devon, in beautiful Brightside Cove. But soon Nina learns that more drama can be found in a small village than on a hectic television set.

And when a gorgeous man (and his adorable dog) catch her eye, it’s not long before London and showbiz start to lose their appeal. Will Nina choose to return to the bright lights or has she met her match in Brightside Cove?

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
A Match Made in Devon is full of humour and very current in its content. Originally in four parts and now complete in one edition Cathy has created a delightful village to escape to for a perfect summer read!

Homes & Antiques August 2018

Celebrate the arrival of summer with our August issue, on sale now! Pick up a copy and discover fresh ideas for styling your coffee table, glorious artisan ceramics, unique homes and more…

Top Tables
Give your coffee table a starring role, whether it’s antique, vintage, reclaimed or new.

Imaginative Interiors
From a renovated Victorian home to a colourful mid-century treasure chest, our houses are packed with seasonal decorating inspiration.

Celebrate Georg Jensen’s Pitcher 992
Discover how Jensen’s extraordinary silverware became an icon of modern design.

The Rise of Ceramics
From porcelain to stoneware, discover the studio ceramics commanding attention right now.

Meet the Maker
Ceramicist Catherine Lucktaylor uses ancient Japanese firing techniques to create her vibrant vessels inspired by the Cornish coastline

10 Ways to Create an Idyllic Garden Room
Taking cues from this month’s houses, enjoy indoor/outdoor living all year round.

How to get an Instagram-Ready Home
We ask three interiors Instagrammers for their advice on creating a good-looking home and a unique feed that are worth sharing.

My Style Story
Interior designer Kelly Hoppen shares her most treasured possessions, her interiors wishlist and her passion for collecting photographs.

All this and much much more!!
The August issue of Homes & Antiques is on sale now :


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My Mamma Mia Summer – Annie Robertson

My Mamma Mia Summer - Annie RobertsonSynopsis:
One summer… One dream…
One chance to make it happen.

Laurel hasn’t taken a risk her whole life. Now as summer dawns, she’s going to do something that nobody expects of her. Laurel turns to her ABBA albums and her favourite film, Mamma Mia! She grabs her passport, dons her dungarees, and jets off to Skopelos for her own Meryl-inspired adventure…

Laurel books into the faded but charming Villa Athena and befriends its eccentric owner. As she explores the island’s famous sights, Laurel finds herself feeling strangely at home. So should she return to her life in London, or could this be where she truly belongs?

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review

We loved this book! Gorgeous location, brilliant storyline, great pace, absolutely wonderful feel good summer read,

Head over to for an interview with Annie Robertson about her inspiration behind My Mamma Mia Summer and more.


When the Curtain Falls – Carrie Hope Fletcher

When the Curtain Falls - Carrie Hope FletcherSypnosis: In 1952 two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern Cross theatre in the very heart of London’s West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer ‘his’. But life in the theatre doesn’t always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players . . . 

Almost seventy years later, a new production of When the Curtain Falls arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. Very soon, though, strange things begin to happen and they learn about the ghost that’s haunted the theatre since 1952, a ghost who can only be seen on one night of the year. Except the ghost is appearing more often and seems hell bent on sabotaging Oscar and Olive. The young couple realise they need to right that wrong from years gone by, but can they save themselves before history repeats itself and tragedy strikes once more?

Theatres have a certain kind of magic. When the curtain rises, we are all enraptured by the glare of the lights and the smell of the greasepaint but it’s when the curtain falls that the real drama begins . . . 

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In When the Curtain Falls – Carrie Hope Fletcher takes us behind the scenes to create a truly spellbinding novel, beautifully written, it will make you hold your breath as the story unfolds. A perfect summer read! Highly Recommended!

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman – Milly Johnson

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman - Milly JohnsonSynopsis: Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is the heart-warming and hilarious new novel from the queen of feel-good fiction – a novel of family, secrets, love and redemption … and broken hearts mended and made all the stronger for it.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson is an intriguing book full of twists and turns and stories within stories within the plot, it’s impossible to predict where it may all end. An absolute delight, beautifully written, a perfect summer read! Highly Recommended!

Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay – Bella Osborne

Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay - Bella OsborneSynopsis: Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Buy now from Amazon

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is a delightful read, originally a four part serial now available in one book, we love the way Bella Osborne structures her books into a perfectly complete story. A heart-warming summer read! Highly Recommended!

A Table in Venice: Recipes from my Home – Skye McAlpine

A Table in Venice: Recipes from my Home - Skye McAlpineSynopsis: Hundreds of thousands of tourists pass through the city of Venice each year, eat at trattorie, and leave having dined in Venice, but not having eaten well. It is the food cooked in homes and made with local ingredients, the recipes passed down through generations that is real Venetian food. It is romantic and it is exotic. It dabbles in spices, and delightfully foreign flavours. It’s pine nuts and raisins, bay leaves and sweet vinegar, heady saffron and creamy mascarpone.

Some of the recipes in A Table in Venice are translated and barely adapted from old Venetian cookbooks, while other dishes are more loosely inspired by the ingredients, the flavours and the everyday life of Venice. All of the recipes are typical of Skye’s cooking style: simple, fresh, colourful and always plentiful, whether it’s quick-to-assemble cicheti – the small plates accompanying an afternoon spritz – or a hearty serving of risotto topped with an extra grating of Parmesan. From Apricot and raisin sticky pastries with a morning espresso, to dinner of Roast duck with apples, pears and chestnuts, A Table in Venice offers a rare glimpse into the tastes and secrets of a true Venetian kitchen.

Skye McAlpine, author of the successful blog From My Dining Table, offers an insider’s perspective on Venetian home cooking, illustrated with her stunning photographs.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review

This stunning book tops the list as one of our all time favourite cookery books. From the front cover to the last page this book is packed with delicious recipes and the most beautiful and evocative photographs taken by Skye. This is a book that you want to read from cover to cover, each chapter is introduced with a delightful narrative from Skye explaining her daily life in Venice, and a little of the history and tradition behind the recipes.

If you have ever visited Venice this gorgeous book will have you sighing with the memories, and if you have never been it will inspire you to book your ticket!

We are delighted to have chosen A Table in Venice as our Cookery Book of the Month. Highly Recommended!

Somewhere Beyond the Sea – Miranda Dickinson

Somewhere Beyond the Sea - Miranda DickinsonCan you fall in love with someone before you’ve even met?

Seren MacArthur is living a life she never intended. Trying to save the Cornish seaside business her late father built – while grieving for his loss – she has put her own dreams on hold and is struggling. Until she discovers a half-finished seaglass star on her favourite beach during an early morning walk. When she completes the star, she sets into motion a chain of events that will steal her heart and challenge everything she believes.

Jack Dixon is trying to secure a better life for daughter Nessie and himself. Left a widower and homeless when his wife died, he’s just about keeping their heads above water. Finding seaglass stars completed on Gwithian beach is a bright spark that slowly rekindles his hope.

Seren and Jack are searching for their missing pieces. But when they meet in real life, it’s on the opposing sides of a battle. Jack is managing the redevelopment of a local landmark, and Seren is leading the community campaign to save it.

Both have reason to fight – Seren for the cause her father believed in, Jack for his livelihood. But only one can win. With so much at stake, will they ever find what they are really looking for?

Miranda Dickinson’s Somewhere Beyond the Sea is a sparkling tale of love, life and finding magic where you least expect it.
Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Somewhere Beyond the Sea is such a beautiful and special book, it captures your imagination from the very first moment when Seren finds the half-finished seaglass star. Set in the most amazing location, which Miranda describes with such evocative detail that you can see the stars, feel the sand, breathe the air. We love the way that Miranda has structured the story from the two perspectives, and the poignant and sensitive way she portrays their emotions. This is a magical summer read. We loved it! Highly Recommended!
You can read our interview with Miranda in our sister magazine

How To Keep A Secret – Sarah Morgan

How To Keep A Secret - Sarah MorganSynopsis: This summer one family will discover that together, they can do anything.

Three generations of Stewart women, all with secrets to keep

Matriarch Nancy knows she hasn’t been the best mother but how can she ever tell her daughters the reason why? Lauren and Jenna are as close as two sisters can be and they made a pact years ago to keep a devastating secret from their mother but is it time to come clean? Lauren’s teenage daughter Mackenzie masks her own pain by keeping her mother at a distance. Her mother, aunt and grandmother keep trying to reach her but will it take a stranger to show her the true meaning of family?

When life changes in an instant, the Stewart women are thrown together for a summer and suddenly they must relearn how to be a family. And whilst unravelling their secrets might be their biggest challenge, it could also be their finest moment . . .

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
You don’t just read a Sarah Morgan book you absolutely feel it; her descriptions in How to Keep a Secret of both the emotions of her characters and her locations, particularly Martha’s Vineyard are so realistic, that you feel the sand beneath your toes and you are utterly transported. We loved the multi-generational perspective, and this is such a rich novel, you won’t be able to put it down. A wonderful summer read! We loved it! Highly Recommended!

Ali McNamara –  Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van

Ali McNamara -  Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper VanSynopsis: Welcome to the gorgeous Cornish coastal town of St Felix – where a little bit of magical sparkle will bring a camper van back to life and ignite a romance.

When Ana inherits a broken-down camper van from her best friend, she takes the chance for a quick trip to Cornwall – some sea air and fish and chips on the beach is just the tonic she needs.

But St Felix has bigger plans for Ana. She discovers a series of unsent postcards, dating back to the 1950s, hidden in the upholstery of the van. Ana knows that it’s a sign: she’ll make sure that the messages reach the person that they were meant for. And as the broken-down van is restored to gleaming health, so Ana begins to find her way back to happiness.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We always look forward to the latest book from Ali McNamara. We were particularly pleased to return to St. Felix,  the setting of one of our other favourites, The Little Flower Shop by the Sea, Ali’s descriptions of her locations are always so evocative, you are immediately transported to another place. We loved the intrigue of the storyline of the postcards and the interplay between the various characters old and new. Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van is a delightful magical read. We loved it! Highly Recommended!

Homes & Antiques July 2018

Homes & Antiques July 2018The trend for homes filled with leafy houseplants shows no sign of wilting as we move into summer. Find out how to create your own antiques-filled, lush planthouse scheme where we reveal ways to display everything from tropical palms to cute succulents in beautiful old planters.

Inside this issue, we also reveal a colourful and refreshed selection of sunny homes. From a carefully curated French home, filled with exquisite textiles, to a flamboyant 1930s home complete with unique retro touches.

Also, explore on-trend finds from the high-street in ‘Style Now’, plus our guide to chic bathrooms, celebrate ornate art nouveau style and discover practical advice for living with antiques at home. We also chat to the queen of crockery, Emma Bridgewater, about her ceramic collections and passion for William Morris.

Pots of Style
Succulents or palms? We’ve rounded up the perfect vintage containers for your plants.

Summer interiors
A French holiday house, a glamorous family pad, a London rental and a writer’s retreat.

10 Ways to create a chic bathroom
Turn your bathroom into a sanctuary with antique sanitaryware and modern touches.

The H&A Guide to Art Nouveau
An exploration of the rich and varied designs that defined this flamboyant era.

My Style Story
Emma Bridgewater shares her lifelong love of of antique and vintage ceramics.
There are also old-favourites, such as the best antiques and vintage fairs to visit in July, must-visit events and exhibitions, plus what’s hot and what’s not in the salesroom.

All this and much much more!!

The July issue of Homes & Antiques is on sale now :

The Hideaway – Sheila O’Flanagan

The Hideaway - Sheila O’FlanaganSynopsis: What would you do if you discovered you were living a lie?

When a shocking news report shatters Juno Ryan’s world, she suddenly finds herself without the man she loves – and with no way of getting the answers she so desperately needs.

A distraught Juno flees to the enchanting Villa Naranja in Spain. The blue skies and bountiful orange groves – along with Pep, the winemaker’s handsome son – begin to soothe her broken heart, but only Juno herself can mend it.

Just when she begins to feel whole again another bombshell falls. Can Juno put the past behind her? And will she ever learn to trust herself again?

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Sheila O’Flanagan always writes such satisfying novels. Every book is scripted with such care and authenticity that the reader is transported from their own world into the world created by her. The Hideaway is an absolute delight, beautifully written, a joy to read, you won’t want it to end. We absolutely loved it, a perfect summer read! Highly Recommended!

A Family Recipe – Veronica Henry

A Family Recipe - Veronica HenrySynopsis: What’s the secret ingredient to your happiness?

Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent – a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga – seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom.
But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother’s recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura’s jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles . . . Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose.

Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return . . .

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Veronica Henry is one of our favourite authors, and one of her many talents is the way that she creates the most satisfying conclusions to her books. In A Family Recipe this is particularly relevant as the story revolves around two periods of time and the lives of two women. Beautifully written, this exquisite book is totally absorbing and is a wonderful summer read. Highly Recommended!

Head over to for an interview with Veronica Henry about her inspiration behind A Family Recipe and more.

Britain’s Best Home Cook – Great Food Every Day – Jordan Bourke, Keo Films, Foreword Claudia Winkleman

Britain’s Best Home Cook - Great Food Every Day - Jordan Bourke, Keo Films, Foreword Claudia WinklemanWonderful, simple home cooking including the very best recipes from BBC One’s major new series

Synopsis: Britain’s Best Home Cook is the ultimate collection of delicious, achievable recipes from Britain’s most talented everyday home cooks – those who make great food for their family and friends day in, day out.

This fully photographed official companion to the hit series features all the very best dishes from the show’s contestants – the recipes that the judges Chris Bavin, Mary Berry and Dan Doherty consider wonderful home cooking – and step-by-step advice on achieving the same perfect results for classic dishes and the nation’s favourite meals.

Alongside the show’s brilliant recipes, award-winning food writer Jordan Bourke offers easy-to-follow and fuss-free good food that will bring new, tasty ideas to your kitchen table: quick suppers, great weekend lunches, healthy meals and flavoursome sides and veg dishes.

Here you’ll find recipes that define brilliant modern British home cooking, from the most sublime roast potatoes, an ingenious twist on roast chicken or irresistible yet utterly simple chocolate pudding.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This official book to accompany the BBC show brings together the most outstanding recipes from the series together with a collection of appetising and inspiring dishes with modern twists to go alongside. The content includes, Light Bites, Salads & Sides, Vegetable Mains, Pasta, Rice & Grains, Poultry & Game, Pork, Lamb & Beef, Fish, Baking, Puddings.There is a Best of Home Cook motif to indicate where recipes were selected to be featured from the show.
Beautifully illustrated and with clear step-by-step recipes this delicious book is the perfect companion to the new BBC One series. Highly Recommended!


RHS How To Garden When You’re New To Gardening – DK

RHS How To Garden When You're New To Gardening - DKSynopsis: Let the RHS guide you through the surprisingly simple steps to creating a garden you can enjoy with your friends, and even show off to them.
Are you surrounded by weeds? Is your lawn forlorn? Are the bushes deceased? Fear not! How To Garden When You’re New To Gardening shows you the basics to get your green space under control and keep it that way. With the expertise of the RHS, this book gives simple step by step instructions, with clear images to help you build your dream garden, no matter the size and scale. 

Take the pain out of planting, potting, and pruning and enjoy your precious patch of land.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We love this book! As the weather improves and there are more opportunities to go outside into the garden, this book is packed full of really helpful information. The content includes, Getting Started, Flowers & Foliage, Lawns, Climbers, Shrubs, Grasses, Small Trees, Vegetables, Herbs, Fruit and a really useful final chapter on the Practicalities of Gardening. Each chapter has step by step instructions, clear photographs and  guidance on what you will need to complete the task, a jargon buster and is cross-referenced to other useful information. If you are new to gardening, or just need a refresher on some of the basic tasks this is a brilliant book. We are delighted to select it as our Gardening Book of the Month!

Drive – Giles Chapman – Foreword Jodie Kidd

Drive - Giles Chapman - Foreword Jodie KiddSynopsis: A car book which takes you through motoring history, from classic cars to how we enjoy driving today, and beyond. As Jodie Kidd says in her introduction “Sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride”.

From the public’s amazement at the idea of a horseless carriage to today’s excitement for driverless vehicles, find out everything you need to know about motoring from 1895 to the present day. Begin your journey through the history of motoring with Drive, and weave your way through the twists and turns of the early days, through to how the motorcar has shaped the modern world over the last century.

It also reveals the exciting and impressive advances in technology and design that have made cars faster, safer, and better to drive, and transformed them from a means of transport into objects of status, excitement, and desire. 

Speed through personal accounts of motoring throughout the years, and discover exciting new facts about the world’s most famous racing events. From the first service stations to the latest fuel cell, this book tells the full motoring story.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This is a sumptuous book, it is described as “The Definitive History of Motoring” and it certainly has tried to achieve that aim. With over 300 pages from the first chapter on Inventing the Car until coming right up to date with Driving Into the Future it is packed with fascinating information and stunning illustrations. To complete the book it ends with suggestions for Great Drives across the world. A perfect gift for any lover of motoring, this is a book to savour and enjoy.

Nineteen Letters – Jodi Perry

Nineteen Letters - Jodi Perry - Hot Brands Cool PlacesSynopsis: What would you do if the love of your life had no memory of you?

The 19th of January, 1996 . . . I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, Jemma was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

That’s when I started writing her letters. The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we’d experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We loved Nineteen Letters, Jodi Perry has created an intriguing concept, beautifully written, will the letters work? Poignant and emotional, this beautiful book is something you need to keep reading until the very end. A perfect weekend read!


Homes & Antiques May 2018

Homes & Antiques May 2018Homes & Antiques has a new look this month!  

Inside, we reveal a colourful and refreshed selection of stylish homes. From a leafy and light Victorian villa (filled with beautiful houseplants), to a sleek and relaxed mid-century hideaway. 

Brilliant Blue & White
Revitalise your home with classic ceramics in a time-honoured colour combination.

Britain’s Favourite Antiques
Interiors experts select 25 of Britain’s top antiques from over a hundred years ago.

Individual Interiors
From a botanical villa to a mid-century retreat this month’s houses are an inspiring read.
Celebrating 60 Years of the Egg Chair
Discover how Arne Jacobsen’s timeless armchair became a masterpiece of modern design.
Meet the Maker
Glassblower Laura Smith draws inspiration from her childhood home in Bermuda to create beautiful vessels and lighting accessories.

Also, explore on-trend finds from the high-street in ‘Style Now’, plus our guide to statement wallpaper, the history of Georgian style and practical advice for living with antiques at home. We also chat to the doyenne of home-cooking, Mary Berry, about her go-to paint colours and antique collections. 

There are also old-favourites, such as the best antiques and vintage fairs to visit in May, must-visit events and exhibitions, plus what’s hot and what’s not in the saleroom. 

All this and much much more!!

The May issue of Homes & Antiques is on sale now :



Roots – Tommy Banks

Roots by Tommy Banks - Hot Brands Cool PlacesSynopsis: Roots is a glorious celebration of the key ingredients grown, foraged and preserved by Tommy close to his award-winning restaurant, The Black Swan in Oldstead, North Yorkshire. Influenced by the rhythms of the land he farms, he renames and redefines the seasons into three growing groups and shares creative recipes, preserving techniques and ideas on using these ‘root’ ingredients all year round. Beautifully shot throughout the shifting seasons the images showcase recipes, the ingredients and the landscape from which they hail.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Watching Tommy Banks on the BBC Great British Menu was an inspiring and refreshing experience, and Roots is equally uplifting. His enthusiasm for foraging, cooking and preserving his home grown ingredients shines throughout the book. His commentary, the recipes and the beautiful photography elevates this beyond a cookbook into a celebration of a way of life. Tommy Banks’ passion for good food shines through and because of his unique approach we have chosen Roots as our Cookery Book of the Month. Highly Recommended!


Pieces of Happiness – Anne Ostby

Pieces of Happiness - Anne Ostby - Hot Brands Cool PlacesA Novel of Friendship, Hope and Chocolate

Synopsis: I’ve planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset . Why don’t you join me? Leave behind everything that didn’t work out!
When recently-widowed Kat writes to her four old school friends, inviting them to live with her on a cocoa plantation in the South Pacific, they swap icy pavements and TV dinners for a tropical breeze and an azure-blue ocean. Leaving behind loneliness, dead-end jobs and marriages that have gone sour, they settle into the Women’s House, surrounded by palms and cocoa trees; and locals with the puzzling habit of exploding into laughter for no discernible reason.

Each of the women has her issues to resolve, and secrets to keep. But together the friends find a new purpose, starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness. As they embrace a new culture that views ageing so differently from their own, will they learn to accept and forgive: to discover the value of friendship, and a better way to live?

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
Pieces of Happiness is a beautiful book about five women in the later stages of their lives who end up living together in Fiji. The descriptions of the landscape is so evocative, it completely transports you to another place, where you feel the heat and the ocean breezes. This uplifting book is sensitively written and so totally absorbing about the five friends and the people that they meet in the local community that you feel part of their daily lives and challenges. A wonderful weekend read! Highly Recommended!

The Memory Shop – Ella Griffin

The Memory Shop - Ella GriffinSynopsis: Nora’s world has been turned upside-down. Escaping heart-break in London, she returns to her childhood home in Dublin where her grandmother’s beloved house is being sold. Nora has been left with an inheritance of treasured belongings, but no home of her own in which to keep them.

Unable to bear auctioning them off, Nora resolves to stay in Dublin and open The Memory Shop, a very special business which matches each gorgeous object with a perfect new owner. It’s not long before these objects begin to transform the lives of those they touch, creating new stories and new chances at happiness.

As Nora lets go of a lifetime of treasures, she unlocks tantalising clues to her grandmother’s mysterious past. But can she finally let go of her own…?

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
The Memory Shop is a delightful absorbing read. The descriptions of the shop window are particularly imaginative, and realistic and we love the way the individual stories of the key characters are interwoven. This is a perfect book for the long Bank Holiday weekend.

The Pets at Primrose Cottage – Sheila Norton

The Pets at Primrose Cottage - Sheila NortonSynopsis: Emma Nightingale needs a place to hide away.

Fresh from the heartbreak of a failed relationship, she takes refuge In quiet Crickleford. And not before long – and quite accidentally too – Emma finds herself the town’s favourite pet-sitter, a role she isn’t certain of at first, but soon her heart is warmed by the animals; they expect nothing more of her than she is able to give.

The last thing Emma wants is for people to discover the real reason she is lying low, but then the handsome reporter from the local paper takes an interest in her story. Can Emma keep her secret and follow her heart’s desire…?

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In The Pets at Primrose Cottage Sheila Norton has created a heart-warming tale of village life, written with humour, plenty of twists and turns and with a wonderful feel-good ending. Perfect for weekend reading.

Million Love Songs – Carole Matthews

Million Love Songs - Carole Matthews


Sunday Times best selling author  – another must read book!

Synopsis: After splitting up with her cheating ex, Ruby Brown is ready for a change. She’s single again for the first time in years and she’s going to dive into this brave new world with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. The last thing she’s looking for is a serious relationship.

Mason represents everything Ruby wants right now: he’s charming, smooth and perfect for some no-strings-attached fun, and yet Ruby can’t help feel that something is missing. Joe on the other hand is kind and attentive, but he comes with the sort of baggage Ruby wants to avoid: an annoyingly attractive ex-wife and two teenage children.

And though Ruby thinks she knows what she wants, is it what she needs to be truly happy? It’s about to get emotional in …Million Love Songs.

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
One of our favourite authors, Carole Matthews always delivers a delicious read, and Million Love Songs is another delightful read. Full of humour and emotional dilemmas, this latest book is perfect to curl up with on the sofa in this unpredictable weather. Highly Recommended!


Homes & Antiques April 2018

Homes & Antiques April 2018In the April issue of Homes & Antiques discover the beauty of colourful folk art, explore beautiful houses, dreamy springtime decorating and covetable antiques.

The art of folk
Filled with vibrant colour, riotous pattern and decorative furniture, this joyful look hails from Eastern Europe and celebrates naïve art and folk trends.

Building on the past
Rory Young’s handsome Cirencester townhouse is a beautiful example of meticulous period restoration using traditional design techniques.

California dreaming
With concrete floors, mid-century furniture and seriously covetable tiles, Phil and Kelly’s bungalow has been given a thoroughly unexpected and divine makeover.

Georgian grace
Janet Gleeson visits Milton Manor for an education in elegant 18th-century living and Strawberry Hill Gothic.

The essential guide to living rooms
Maggie Stevenson invites you to rethink your living room and create an attractive space for family and friends.

Notes on an icon: Finn Juhl
The danish architect Finn Juhl was an innovator of sleek furniture design. Sophie Hannam learns about his rise to greatness and takes a look around the house he designed and built in Copenhagen.

Plus, we take a look at the upcoming Christie’s sale of David and Pegg Rockefeller’s estate, including legendary impressionist and modern art, alongside classic English furniture and a sublime natural history collection.

You’ll also get a list of the best antiques and vintage fairs to visit in April, must-visit events and exhibitions, plus covetable new finds from the high street.

All this and much much more!!

The April issue of Homes & Antiques is on sale now :

One Cornish Summer – Liz Fenwick

One Cornish Summer - Liz FenwickSynopsis: Against the beauty of Cornwall, a story of two women struggling with their past: one cannot remember hers, the other cannot forget…
When Hebe receives a life-changing diagnosis at only 53, she struggles to make sense of what it will mean for her, her job and the man she loves. With memories slipping away by the day, she flees to the one place she has always felt safe and peaceful – Cornwall, and the house her family spent so many summers in. 
Lucy is having her own crisis, and seizes the chance to follow her aunt to Cornwall. Curious about what has driven Hebe there after so many years, she also has to battle with the secret she has kept since her family’s last summer there more than ten years ago. 

Both women will learn that memories live in our hearts and that sharing secrets can set you free… But can they find their way back to the things that are truly important to them?

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
We love all Liz Fenwick’s previous books, and One Cornish Summer is one of her best.  The descriptions of Cornwall are atmospheric and beautiful, and the story written so sensitively against this backdrop is compelling and poignant.

One Cornish Summer is a wonderful book that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. We absolutely loved it! Highly Recommended!


The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness – Laura Kemp

Surprising Acts of Kindness - Hot Brands Cool PlacesSynopsis: When Ceri Price arrives in the small seaside village in West Wales, she only means to stay for a couple of nights – long enough to scatter her mother’s ashes, and then go back to her life as a successful make-up entrepreneur.
But when a case of mistaken identities means she lands a job as the barmaid in the local pub, she unexpectedly finds friendship, and perhaps a chance at love.But when the plans for a new housing estate put the local woodland under threat, she fears the way of life here could disappear.Then mysterious acts of kindness start springing up around the village – a string of bunting adorns the streets, a new village signpost appears out of nowhere and someone provides paint to spruce up the houses on the seafront. Who is behind these acts of kindness and can they help in the race to save the village from the faceless developers…?

Welcome to the Village of Love. Where friendship flourishes and love blossoms…

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
This book is an absolute delight, funny, uplifting and brilliantly written, a wonderful feel-good read which will warm your heart even on the coldest day. We loved it! Highly Recommended!

A Country Escape – Katie Fforde

A Country Escape – Katie FfordeSynopsis: Fran has always wanted to be a farmer. And now it looks as if her childhood dream is about to come true.

She has just moved in to a beautiful but very run-down farm in the Cotswolds, currently owned by an old aunt who has told Fran that if she manages to turn the place around in a year, the farm will be hers.

But Fran knows nothing about farming. She might even be afraid of cows.

She’s going to need a lot of help from her best friend Issi, and also from her wealthy and very eligible neighbour – who might just have his own reasons for being so supportive.

Is it the farm he is interested in? Or Fran herself?

Hot Brands Cool Places Review

Katie Fforde is one of our favourite authors and we love the way Katie always invites the reader into the location and the lives of the characters. A Country Escape is another delightful opportunity to settle back and enjoy a wonderful escapist read. Highly Recommended!

Head over to for an interview with Katie Fforde about her inspiration behind A Country Escape and the first steps when you create a novel.

The Year That Changed Everything – Cathy Kelly

The Year That Changed Everything - Cathy KellySynopsis: Three women celebrate their birthdays… 30. 40. 50. But this milestone birthday marks the start of a year that will change everything…

Ginger isn’t spending her thirtieth the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.

Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her fortieth birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother?

Callie is celebrating her fiftieth at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party changes everything…

Three women, three birthdays, one year that will change everything…

Hot Brands Cool Places Review
In this clever book Cathy Kelly has skillfully taken the major life events of three women and woven them into an utterly compelling read. Emotional, but ultimately heart-warming, this is a perfect weekend escape! Highly Recommended!