Bradford, Barbara Taylor. Cavendon Hall. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781250032355. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250032331. CD: Macmillan Audio. POP FICTION/HISTORICAL
Perk up, Downton fans: the mega-best-selling Bradford, OBE, sets her next work in Edwardian England, at the home of the aristocratic Inghams. The family of Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mowbray, includes two sons studying at Cambridge and Eton and four daughters named Diedre, Daphne, DeLacy, and Dulcie—all served by the Swanns, who have been loyal to the Inghams for centuries. But World War I is thundering on the horizon, and it will change everything.
Dickey, Eric Jerome. A Wanted Woman. Dutton. Apr. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780525954279. $26.95. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Classified as romance but described as a steamy thriller (hence my compromising descriptor), this 21st novel from the popular Dickey features a hit woman named Reaper. Directed by the Barbarians, she goes in for the kill, then changes identity and whisks away as fast as most of us change clothes. But after botching a job, she’s stuck in Barbados without a passport or credit cards and needs a little help from outside sources to set herself free.
Griffin, Laura. Far Gone. Gallery. Apr. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781451689341. $18. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
In this latest from Griffin, a New York Times best-selling author and winner of RITA, Daphne du Maurier, and Booksellers Best awards, police detective Andrea Finch is on leave after one bad decision when she gets a desperate call from her younger brother. Down Texas way to rescue him, she encounters FBI agent Jon North, who’s working undercover and needs her help just as much. Sparks and bullets fly.
Gulland, Sandra. The Shadow Queen. Doubleday. Apr. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780385537520. $25.95. HISTORICAL
Gulland’s “Josephine B.” trilogy has sold more than a million copies worldwide, so expect lots of interest in this historical about Athénaïs de Montespan, mistress to Louis XIV and the so-called Shadow Queen. The narrative gets a boost from Athénaïs’s attendant, Claudette, the daughter of itinerant actors, who comes to see the court as just another stage, with plots and dissembling everywhere.
Lewis, Susan. Never Say Goodbye. Ballantine. Apr. 2014. 544p. ISBN 9780345549495. pap. $15. POP FICTION/CONTEMPORARY WOMEN
In a fictional seaside English village, cash-strapped Josie hides more bad news from her troubled family, while Bel mourns a twin sister dead from breast cancer and the possibility that her brother-in-law will be taking the children far away for a new job and a new marriage. Fortunately, Josie and Bel find each other for some much-needed support. London Sunday Times best seller Lewis has now published four books with Ballantine, which has made a big commitment to four more titles it’s recently signed up. Watch what happens.
Ross, Ann B. Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover. Viking. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780670026111. $26.95. POP FICTION/CONTEMPORARY WOMEN
Bad news for Miss Julia: long-lost cousin Elsie is sending her granddaughter Miss Julia’s way for some much-needed lessons in manners, which the obnoxious, messy Trixie surely needs. Meanwhile, Sam’s plans to run for state senate are waylaid by a fainting spell that lands him in the hospital for tests. Fan demand and a targeted Mother’s Day release.
Van Dyken, Rachel. The Bet. Forever: Grand Central. Apr. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9781455554140. pap. $12; ebk. ISBN 9781455554263; lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455554157. ROMANCE
Kacey agrees to a request from now-wealthy childhood friend Jake to pose as his fiancée for the sake of his ailing grandmother. Alas, Kacey has forgotten how devilishly seductive Jake’s older brother can be. This indie book, which recently hit the top spot on the New York Times ebook and ebook/print best sellers lists, having sold over 100,000 copies, is getting a 75,000-copy first printing in its big-press reincarnation.