The Summer of Secrets

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Sydney journalist Chloe Brown is painfully aware that her biological clock isn't just ticking, it's booming. When her long term boyfriend finally admits he never wants children, Chloe is devastated. Impulsively, she moves as far from disappointment as she can – to a job on a small country newspaper in Queensland's far north.

The little town seems idyllic, a cosy nest, and Chloe plans to regroup and, possibly, to embark on single motherhood via IVF. But she soon realises that no place is free from trouble or heartache. The grouchy news editor, Finn Latimer, is a former foreign correspondent who has retreated after a family tragedy. Emily, the paper's elegant, sixty-something owner, is battling with her husband's desertion. Meanwhile, the whole town is worried when their popular young baker disappears.

As lives across generations become more deeply entwined, the lessons are clear. Secrets and silence harbour pain, while honesty and openness bring healing and hope. And love. All that's needed now is courage...

Praise for Barbara Hannay’s bestsellers:

‘It’s a pleasure to follow an author who gets better with every book’
Apple iBooks, ‘Best Books of the Month’

‘In beautiful, fluid prose, Hannay once again puts together all the ingredients for a real page-turner’ The Chronicle
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin Group Australia
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Published on
Jul 30, 2018
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780143783510
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Romance / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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YORK 1965

Sarah had heard it said that you dated your life from one significant event; a life changing happening that defined everything as either before or after its occurrence. For some that might be marriage, a birth or a death, but as she contemplated the many moments such as these in her life, Sarah knew her own personal time-line started the day she left Ireland and arrived in Liverpool.
Sitting here now at the end of the bed, her life seemed so clear, her memory complete and unclouded. She felt as if she could dip into it at any time and watch events unfold, like watching a re-run of a favourite film. Re-wind, watch again, the ending would always be the same, she knew that, but was that so bad? She had lived through the best and worst of times and hoped that ultimately she would be judged as a kind and loving woman.
She sighed; shed done her best, had it been enough to atone for her moment of madness? She looked at the old lady lying in the bed and wondered how much longer she could hold on. Shed been like this for days now and Sarah had lost track of time, night and day, day and night all merged into one. The relatives came and went, some sobbed quietly, some begged the old lady for just one more moment of recognition, but she was past that now.
Sarah sighed again, she knew these people, knew and loved them all; would have embraced them and kissed their tears away; but they never looked her way, always at the old lady. Her breathing was very shallow and Sarah knew that the end must come quite soon, should she leave now or wait a while longer? She knew she had no choice other than to wait, because there was still time for him to come and she wouldnt want to miss that. He would come eventually wouldnt he? She felt panic beginning to rise, he must keep his promise and come and take her out of this room and away from this endless waiting. The nurse came in, didnt give Sarah a second glance and went instead to her charge. She wiped her face with a warm flannel, dripped water into her mouth and wiped it round with a tiny sponge on a stick. She smeared Vaseline onto parched cracked lips and smoothed the thin white hair. It warmed Sarahs heart to see such tenderness, but the old lady breathed on, not knowing of the care she was receiving. The nurse turned her, and as she lay - almost lifeless now - a small moan escaped her lips.
Thanks girl, the old lady couldnt say it, so Sarah said it for her but it went unheeded by the nurse, who closed the curtains, turned the light down low and looked briefly around the room perhaps shed heard after all? The door closed behind her and Sarah was left alone once again to keep her silent vigil. She moved up the bed, closer to the old lady so she could look down into her face. It bore no resemblance now to the beauty it once had. Sarah shrugged, what did beauty matter anyway?
She went back to her spot at the end of the bed. There would be no more interruptions tonight for a little while. She was free to wander among her memories. Pick them up, examine them and put them down again, even skip through the painful ones if she so wished but that wasnt how to remember ones life. Without the pain the joy might be lessened and she didnt want that.

Dublin 1894

Seagulls circled overhead cawing loudly as huge flakes of snow whirled and chased each other before settling on the ground. Sarah held out her hand and caught one, marvelling at its intricate pattern before it melted away into her already numb fingers. She stuck out her tongue and tasted one as it fell there, turned to smile at Father Reilly, but her smile, like the snow, froze on her lips. His disapproving glare, the straight setline of his thin lips somehow turned her heart into lead and she felt the crush of it in her chest.
Sarah Ann Reid, he said her name as if tasted like vinegar, put on your gloves and behave like a properly brought up young lady
In June of 1934, newly-divorced Glynis Hampton and Woodhill Fire Department Captain Freddy Pratter find they share an interest in photography. They start going out on Sunday afternoons to snap pictures, and Freddy builds a darkroom in his apartment for developing film. Dalebridge Fire Chief Max Roper asks Freddy to investigate some field fires that Max believes were started by disgruntled farmers. Dalebridge firefighters Joe Lindbloom and Charlie Cooper, also are present. Shortly afterward, Glynis' brother, Mark Barneshill, who lives on his family's dairy farm, and is also a Dalebridge volunteer, warns Charlie to stay away from Glynis, making an enemy of Charlie. Another field fire is set in Dalebridge. Then, a suspicious fire in an abandoned barn in Woodhill is followed by a fire in an abandoned house where the body of a man is found in the basement. Joe Lindbloom, having helped Charlie set the first field fires, tells Charlie he will no longer help him. In turn, Charlie threatens Joe that if he doesn't continue to help, Charlie will make sure Joe is blamed for the death of the man in the basement. Mark and his father, Ben, argue and Mark takes off. That same night a farm fire in Woodhill results in the death of a child. Joe accuses Charlie of setting that fire and Charlie puts the blame on Mark. One afternoon when Glynis is alone in Freddy's apartment developing film, she sees an ad for an impotence cure. That same day, Freddy learns that Glynis' ex-husband is a homosexual. When Freddy and Glynis confront each other with their newly-found knowledge, each is mortified, and an argument ensues. While setting another fire, Charlie tells Joe that he can easily abduct Joe's wife or daughters if Joe implicates Charlie in the fires. After that fire is extinguished, Charlie further taunts Joe by suggesting that Joe's wife ran off with Mark. When Joe realizes that Charlie has been inside his house, he and Charlie fight. Charlie boasts that he is going to make sure Mark dies in a fire at the Barneshill farm. Joe tries to warn Ben, but is too badly injured to make himself understood. As Glynis drives Joe to the hospital, Joe admits his part in the fires. In the meantime, Charlie sets a fire in the Barneshill's dairy barn and lures Mark into the lower level of the barn thinking the upper-level floor will collapse, crushing Mark to death. The floor holds, Mark is rescued, and Charlie attempts to escape using Glynis as a hostage. Glynis manages to break free and Charlie is caught. Following Charlie's arrest, Freddy and Glynis make up and explain their reasons to each other for keeping their friendship platonic. As soon as they separate, though, they each regret their words. The next day, Freddy asks Glynis to marry him and she joyfully accepts.
I have debts to pay and secrets to keep. When someone threatens my life, I crash into him: Jackson Ludlow

The recluse billionaire of New York

Once, he had everything a man could want. Then, he lost the only thing that he ever loved.


So, he spent four years holed up in his mansion doing the only thing he knew how to do: make money. 


We are all wrong for each other. He’s cold, uninterested and demanding. 

I’m impatient and inexperienced. 


The only thing we have in common is that we both have secrets. 

And the closer we get, the more they threaten to destroy us.


Praise for Charlotte Byrd's Black Edge 

“Decadent, delicious, & dangerously addictive!” - Amazon Review ★★★★★

“Titillation so masterfully woven, no reader can resist its pull. A MUST-BUY!” - Bobbi Koe, Amazon Review ★★★★★

“Captivating!” - Crystal Jones, Amazon Review ★★★★★

"Exciting, intense, sensual” - Rock, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Sexy, secretive, pulsating chemistry…” - Mrs. K, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Charlotte Byrd is a brilliant writer. I've read loads and I've laughed and cried. She writes a balanced book with brilliant characters. Well done!” -Amazon Review ★★★★★

“Fast-paced, dark, addictive, and compelling” - Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Hot, steamy, and a great storyline.” - Christine Reese ★★★★★

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"The tension and chemistry is at five alarm level.” - Sharon, Amazon reviewer ★★★★★

“Hot, sexy, intriguing journey of Elli and Mr. Aiden Black. - Robin Langelier ★★★★★

“Wow. Just wow. Charlotte Byrd leaves me speechless and humble… It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. Once you pick it up, you won't put it down.” - Amazon Review ★★★★★

“Sexy, steamy and captivating!” - Charmaine, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

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“An awesome book. Extremely entertaining, captivating and interesting sexy read. I could not put it down.” - Kim F, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Just the absolute best story. Everything I like to read about and more. Such a great story I will read again and again. A keeper!!” - Wendy Ballard ★★★★★

“It had the perfect amount of twists and turns. I instantaneously bonded with the heroine and of course Mr. Black. YUM. It's sexy, it's sassy, it's steamy. It's everything.” - Khardine Gray, Bestselling Romance Author ★★★★★

Editorial Reviews

"Helen has weaved a delicately balanced story of intrigue, secrets and passion, which practically melts the pages." -Bare Naked Words

"The love story between Talon and Jade continues in Obsession. An apt title to be sure, because everyone is obsessed. Dear Ms. Helen Hardt, I toss many profanities your way for making me wait. Though I give you my deepest gratitude for building the anticipation of what I’m sure will be an epic culmination to an amazing series. " -Heroes and Heartbreakers

"Talon and Jade's chemistry sizzles and the love scenes will melt your heart and your Kindle." -The Book Sirens

"I am loving this series so freaking much… The story line is one that will have you completely engrossed…" -Wicked Babes Blog

"Helen left my head spinning and my mind racing a mile a minute. I need to know what the secrets are... " -The Book Fairy Reviews

Synopsis

Jade Roberts is in love with Talon Steel but no longer welcome in his home. While she resolves to move on, she still longs for the passion she and Talon shared…and when her boss asks her to dig up information on the Steels, she’s only too happy to comply. Talon and his brothers are hiding something, and Jade is determined to find out what it is.

The moment Talon saw Jade he wanted her, ached for her, craved her…and now his desire has become his obsession. He knows she deserves better than his broken soul, but he can’t stay away from her, and he finally confesses his love. If he and Jade are to have a future, he knows he must make peace with the dark shadows and horrors of his past.

But as Talon begins his journey of healing, Jade uncovers some startling secrets…

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