City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

City of Girls: A Novel
by Elizabeth Gilbert

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City of GirlsAN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person. “A spellbinding novel about love, freedom, and finding your own happiness.” – PopSugar “Intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger.” -USA Today “Pairs well with a cocktail…or two.” -TheSkimm “Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are.” Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves – and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life – and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time,” she muses. “After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.” Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.

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Paper Girls By Alex Smith

Paper Girls By Alex Smith

Paper Girls: An Unputdownable British Crime Thriller (DCI Kett Crime Thrillers Book 1) by Alex Smith

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Book/Novel Author: Alex Smith

Book/Novel Title: Paper Girls

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The one case he couldn’t crack was the one that finally broke him. Haunted by his inability to track down and save his missing wife, DCI Robert Kett leaves the Metropolitan Police behind and moves to Norwich with his three young children, hoping to heal their broken family. But his newfound peace doesn’t last. Two newspaper delivery girls have gone missing in the city, and the clues point to a serial kidnapper. Kett is dragged into the centre of one of the darkest cases of his career — a case that pits him head to head against a horrifying evil. And a case that might uncover the terrible truth of what happened to his wife. Terrifying and unputdownable, the first crime novel from million-selling author Alex Smith is officially “a gripping debut” (J. D. Kirk). Alex Smith wrote his first book when he was six. It wasn’t particularly good, but it did have some supernatural monsters in it. His latest book, Paper Girls, the first DCI Robert Kett thriller, has monsters in it too, although these monsters are very human, and all the more terrifying for it. In between these two books he has published twelve other novels for children and teenagers under his full name, Alexander Gordon Smith—including the number one bestselling series Escape From Furnace, which is loved by millions of readers worldwide and which is soon to become a motion picture. He lives in Norwich with his wife and three young daughters.

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Home Swell Home By Cynthia Rowley

Home Swell Home By Cynthia Rowley

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Home Swell Home: Designing Your Dream Pad By Cynthia Rowley & Ilene Rosenzweig

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Book/Novel Author: Cynthia Rowley

Book/Novel Title: Home Swell Home




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Sex and the City meets Martha Stewart in this savvy and eclectic interior-design manifesto for high-flying chicks with nesting fantasies from the authors of the bestselling Swell: A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life. In their first breakthrough style manual, fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and former New York Times Sunday Styles editor Ilene Rosenzweig showed girls-on-the-go how to navigate the world with a little swagger and a lot of grace. Now they’re taking the Swell aesthetic home with this inspiring guide to creating the ultimate dream pad. With more of the friendly tone and wry wit that lit up their first book, they introduce the idea of haute décor: How to make dressing up your home as exciting and accessible as buying a new wardrobe: Making it sexy. Trying new looks. Breaking rules. Mixing retro with modern. Changing with the seasons and your moods. Offering a blueprint for the entire creative process, the two best friends and coauthors take you from inspiration to practical execution. Tour the swell playhouse room by room and see how design daydreams inspired by movies, a Palm Springs vacation, a painting, a favorite dress, or your own personal nostalgia (for the Brady Bunch living room) can become reality. Full of the authors’ own anecdotes and wisdom from a pantheon of swell style heroes, Home Swell Home has household hints, tips, and bits of history on everything you wish you’d known but never would have thought to ask. Some of the tour highlights ahead: The sixty-minute makeover for when romantic company’s coming A recipe for a four-star dining room (hint: logo-print slip covers) Furniture EMS to resuscitate doomed hand-me-downs Turning the underused kitchen into a day spa Wiring “moonlight” into your trees Create the ultimate sitcom screening room Three new uses for your coffee table “Paint” the walls with colored fluorescent lights Get real paint out of your hair! Swinging from uptown decadence to downtown chic, Home Swell Home demystifies design, sweeps away snobbery, and shows how any house or apartment can be a place for high-style adventures. So come on in!




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Filthy Rich by James Patterson

Filthy Rich by James Patterson

Filthy Rich: The Billionaire’s Sex Scandal–The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein
by James Patterson , John Connolly, et al.

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Filthy RichYou’ve read the Jeffrey Epstein headlines, now get the full story. The world’s bestselling author, James Patterson, has written the definitive book on the billionaire pedophile at the center of the newly unsealed federal sex crimes case. Jeffrey Epstein rose from humble origins into the New York City and Palm Beach elite. A college dropout with an instinct for numbers — and for people — Epstein amassed his wealth through a combination of access and skill. But even after he had it all, Epstein wanted more. That unceasing desire — and especially a taste for underage girls –resulted in sexual-abuse charges, to which he pleaded guilty and received a shockingly lenient sentence. Included here are police interviews with girls who have alleged sexual abuse by Epstein, as well as details of the investigation against him.

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The Hallowed Hunt By Yasmine Galenorn

The Hallowed Hunt By Yasmine Galenorn

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The Hallowed Hunt By Yasmine Galenorn

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Book/Novel Author: Yasmine Galenorn

Book/Novel Title: The Hallowed Hunt




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It’s October, and with Samhain approaching, Ember must enter the Cruharach to face the darkest night of her life. As she gives herself over to the Autumn Stalkers and the Leannan Sidhe, she is plunged deep into the shadows of Annwn to face Cernunnos and the test of the Hallowed Hunt.Meanwhile, the Wild Hunt is trying to contain collateral damage throughout the city. A Fae hate group is terrorizing Seattle, going after shifters and humans alike. In the middle of investigating the deadly cult, Herne takes on a new case.A frantic wolf-shifter mother begs them for help. Her three-year old daughter has been kidnapped. With three other young girls already dead at the hands of a serial killer dubbed the Angel of Mercy, Herne and Ember find themselves in a desperate race to find the girl before the Angel of Mercy claims another victim.Reading Order of the Wild Hunt Series:1. The Silver Stag2. Oak & Thorns3. Iron Bones4. A Shadow of Crows5. The Hallowed Hunt6. The Silver Mist (May 2019)




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What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us By Danielle Crittenden

What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us By Danielle Crittenden

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What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman By Danielle Crittenden

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Book/Novel Author: Danielle Crittenden

Book/Novel Title: What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us




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*What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us*. To put things simply: If women today were happy, “Ally McBeal” would not be such a huge TV hit — a television phenomenon that not only provokes endless discussion nationwide but also has the distinction of mention in a Time Magazine cover story addressing the state of feminism. The anxiety-riddled character “Ally McBeal” has tapped into something simmering beneath the surface of today’s professional, “successful” women. It’s called misery. Worse, it’s called misery without a comprehensible origin. It is this odd, pervasive unhappiness that Danielle Crittenden confronts in her fascinating, enlightening book *What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us*. The premise of *What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us* is that with all of the success of feminism — all of the doors that have been opened, all of the new freedoms women of this generation enjoy — “we may have inadvertently also smashed the foundations necessary for our happiness.” Crittenden does not in any way suggest women revert back to the pre- *Feminine Mystique* days of suburban housewife malaise, but she does confront the possibility that there might have been some crucial good in many of the old patterns of living that women today reject entirely. Crittenden explains that women in the ’90s have “heeded their mother’s advice: Do something with your life; don’t depend upon a man to take care of you; don’t make the same mistakes I did. So they have made different mistakes. They are the women who postponed marriage and childbirth to pursue their careers only tofindthemselves at 35 still single and baby-crazy, with no husband in sight. They are the unwed mothers who now depend on the state to provide what the fathers of their children won’t — a place to live and an income to raise their kids on. They are the eighteen-year-old girls who believed they could lead the unfettered sexual lives of men, only to have ended up in an abortion clinic or attending grade twelve English while eight months pregnant. They are the new brides who understand that when a couple promises to stay together ‘forever,’ they have little better than a 50-50 chance of sticking to it. They are the female partners at law firms who thought they’d made provisions for everything about their career — except for that sudden, unexpected moment when they find their insides shredding the first day they return from maternity leave, having placed their infants in a stranger’s arms.” *What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us* examines the new problems in today’s society and outlines the erroneous ways of thinking that created these problems. With a lighthearted tone and good humor throughout, Crittenden intelligently leads readers through an exploration of love, marriage, motherhood, and even aging. Her examination of dating among women in their 20s and 30s is fascinating, harsh — and yes, depressing. She paints a stark portrait of women in their 20s who brush aside sincere suitors because they believe they’re too young to consider marriage, only to discover in their mid-30s that the crowd beating down their door has thinned considerably — and perhaps irrevocably. There is perhaps no more salient truth in Crittenden’s book than her statement, “It is usually at precisely this moment — when a single woman looks up from her work and realizes she’s ready to take on family life — that men make themselves most absent.” Further, it is impossible to deny that in terms of sexual appeal, men have a longer shelf life. A successful man can attract women of any age well into his 50s, 60s…or beyond. They can father children well into old age. And according to Crittenden, “this disparity in sexual staying power is something feminists rather recklessly overlooked when they urged women to abandon marriage and domesticity in favor of autonomy and self-fulfillment outside the home.” According to Crittenden, even when a young woman today manages to get married, she is most likely not headed down the path to wedded bliss. In striving so furiously not to be taken for granted as wives were in previous generations, women today often err too far in the opposite direction. Crittenden makes ironic mention of Gloria Steinem’s remark that women have become “the husbands we wanted to marry”; Crittenden suggests that perhaps women today are more likely to resemble the husbands we left behind: “balky, self-absorbed, and supremely sure that our needs should come before anyone else’s.” Crittenden warns that a sense of entitlement devoid of compromise is not likely to lead women into enduring, happy unions. But the most significant arena of mixed messages is the realm of motherhood. Crittenden is unflinching in her look at the tug of war between work responsibility and the job of motherhood. She explores the myriad decisions and conflicts that arise upon the birth of a child. Some women are eager to return to work but feel guilty leaving their child. Some women are desperate to remain at home with their child but cannot afford to do so. Other women would prefer to remain home with their child, and can afford to do so, but are wary of leaving their jobs because if they ever need to return to the workforce they will have lost their foothold. Crittenden is critical of our culture’s pervasive attitude that suggests a woman is not “doing anything” once she steps out of the workforce — an attitude that could only hold weight in a society such as ours in which “the virtues of work have been so inflated that we can no longer appreciate anything that’s not accompanied by a paycheck.” And as for the idea that work is a liberating alternative to the drudgery of housework and childrearing, Crittenden suggests that the number of people who have interesting, fulfilling jobs are in the great minority. Crittenden calls for women to reevaluate what they have been socialized to believe — that work offers a more defining sense of self than raising children. So, what did our mothers never tell us? Maybe they did not tell us what Crittenden explains very carefully: Women can’t have it both ways. They probably can’t have “it all.” Life, relationships, careers…all are full of compromises that are natural and not necessarily a threat to who we are as individuals. Crittenden asserts that “If we wish to live for ourselves and think only about ourselves, we will manage to retain our independence but little else.” *What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us* offers a revised perspective on womanhood that is truly liberating.
— Isabel Rifkin




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The Whispers of War By Julia Kelly

The Whispers of War By Julia Kelly

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The Whispers of War By Julia Kelly

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Book/Novel Author: Julia Kelly

Book/Novel Title: The Whispers of War




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**The start of World War II looms over three friends who struggle to remain loyal as one of them is threatened with internment by the British government, from the author of the “sweeping, stirring” (Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of** * ** The Room on Rue Amélie ** ***)* T *** h *e Light Over London*. **
In August of 1939, as Britain watches the headlines in fear of another devastating war with Germany, three childhood friends must choose between friendship or country. Erstwhile socialite Nora is determined to find her place in the Home Office’s Air Raid Precautions Department, matchmaker Hazel tries to mask two closely guarded secrets with irrepressible optimism, and German expat Marie worries that she and her family might face imprisonment in an internment camp if war is declared. When Germany invades Poland and tensions on the home front rise, Marie is labeled an enemy alien, and the three friends find themselves fighting together to keep her free at any cost.
Featuring Julia Kelly’s signature “intricate, tender, and convincing” ( *Publishers Weekly* ) **** prose,* The ** Whispers of War* is a moving and unforgettable tale of the power of friendship and womanhood in the midst of conflict. **
### Review
**Praise for *The Whispers of War** *
“Julia Kelly’s story about the bonds of female friendship threatened by senseless government policies is timeless and moving, and her trio of heroines had my heart from the start. A gripping tale by a writer at the top of her game.”
(Fiona Davis, nationally bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls )
“A story of exquisite tenderness, *The Whispers of War* beautifully captures just how precious female friendship can be, and shines a light onto an important but less well-known aspect of war. Add to that rich historical detail and a cast of engaging characters and you have a must-read for all historical fiction fans.” (Natasha Lester, USA Today bestselling author of The Paris Seamstress )
” *The Whispers of War* is a beautifully told story, and a timely reminder that history works in chillingly familiar patterns. Julia Kelly writes gripping, moving historic fiction that’s not to be missed.” (Kelly Rimmer, USA Today bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say )
“This book was refreshing in a sea of much WWII fiction. At its heart, it is the story of friendship. In this case, three women who became each other’s family and whose devotion is tested in a world changing through war and new roles for women. Heartwarming and compelling, it lifts the reader to a place of beauty and joy even as the shadows of impending war threaten to shatter life as they know it. New love, family secrets, and national loyalties shape the friendships. Though WWII fiction is a regular genre of mine, I felt that *The Whispers of War* elevated the human story of it in ways that felt brand new. And – as I always love to learn through historical fiction – I was pleased (and horrified) to learn about the extensiveness of internments and the darkness that fear and propaganda can harbor. Kelly touched on themes that are found throughout history, giving it a human face.” (Camille Di Maio, bestselling author of The Beautiful Strangers )
“Kelly skillfully balances narratives from all three friends’ perspectives…Women’s friendship overcomes the villainy of war in this engaging historical fiction.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Kelly’s latest outing movingly depicts the importance of female friendship in wartime… Rich with historical detail and anchored by an utterly convincing friendship at its heart, this should find a wide audience among historical-fiction fans, book clubs, and readers who enjoy stories of the important roles women play in one another’s lives.” (Booklist)
**Praise for *The Light Over London** *
“Sweeping, stirring, and heartrending in all the best ways, this tale of one of WWII’s courageous, colorful, and enigmatic Gunner Girls will take your breath away.” (—Kristin Harmel, International bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amelie and The Sweetness of Forgetting )
“Deftly weaving together past and present, Kelly tells a fresh, heartfelt story of sisterhood and sacrifice, culminating in a gut-punch finish. Perfect for fans of *The Alice Network*.” (–Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment )
” *The Light over London* is a poignant reminder that there is no limit to what women can do. A nostalgic, engrossing read.” (–Julia London, New York Times bestselling author of Seduced by a Scot )
“Kelly weaves an intricate, tender, and convincing tale of war and romance with skill and suspense.” (–Publishers Weekly)
“Kelly deftly balances intrigue with mystery and historical detail in her latest novel… A charming imagining of the historical gunner girls.” (–Kirkus Reviews)
“Kelly has crafted two convincing, conflicted heroines in Cara and Louise, and the resolution of Louise’s romance is satisfyingly empowering. Hand this to fans of Jennifer Egan’s *Manhattan Beach* (2017) and other tales of the vital roles played by women in wartime.” (–Booklist)
“Readers who adore a richly detailed period piece will be immediately drawn in by the world of *The Light Over London*. Julia Kelly has delivered her most elegant effort yet: a deeply rewarding and moving novel.” (–Apple Best of the Month)
“A sweeping and beautifully written novel… an epic saga of love and friendship.” (–Women’s World)
“Historical fiction fans won’t be able to wait to get their hands on Julia Kelly’s *The Light Over London*….fans should bookmark [it.]” (–Popsugar)
“Kelly doesn’t disappoint us–and readers will be engrossed in Louise’s story of love and war juxtaposed with Cara’s present discoveries…We root for both Louise and Cara, understanding their fears, hopes and chances.” (–BookTrib)
“A heartbreaking romance that will grip you from the very beginning. Julia Kelly weaves a tender romantic story around a girl who fights war showing how strong even tender, romantic women can be. With a bit of mystery in the story, even mystery-readers will like it.” (–The Washington Book Review)
### About the Author
**Julia Kelly** is the award-winning author of books about ordinary women and their extraordinary stories. In addition to writing, she’s been a journalist, a marketing professional, an Emmy-nominated producer, and for one summer a tea waitress. She called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London.




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The Butterfly Girl By Rene Denfeld

The Butterfly Girl By Rene Denfeld

The Butterfly Girl: A Novel by Rene Denfeld

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Book/Novel Author: Rene Denfeld

Book/Novel Title: The Butterfly Girl

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“A heartbreaking, finger-gnawing, and yet ultimately hopeful novel by the amazing Rene Denfeld.” —Margaret Atwood, via Twitter After captivating readers in The Child Finder, Naomi—the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children—returns, trading snow-covered woods for dark, gritty streets on the search for her missing sister in a city where young, homeless girls have been going missing and turning up dead. From the highly praised author of The Child Finder and The Enchanted comes The Butterfly Girl, a riveting novel that ripples with truth, exploring the depths of love and sacrifice in the face of a past that cannot be left dead and buried. A year ago, Naomi, the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children, made a promise that she would not take another case until she finds the younger sister who has been missing for years. Naomi has no picture, not even a name. All she has is a vague memory of a strawberry field at night, black dirt under her bare feet as she ran for her life. The search takes her to Portland, Oregon, where scores of homeless children wander the streets like ghosts, searching for money, food, and companionship. The sharp-eyed investigator soon discovers that young girls have been going missing for months, many later found in the dirty waters of the river. Though she does not want to get involved, Naomi is unable to resist the pull of children in need—and the fear she sees in the eyes of a twelve-year old girl named Celia. Running from an abusive stepfather and an addict mother, Celia has nothing but hope in the butterflies—her guides and guardians on the dangerous streets. She sees them all around her, tiny iridescent wisps of hope that soften the edges of this hard world and illuminate a cherished memory from her childhood—the Butterfly Museum, a place where everything is safe and nothing can hurt her. As danger creeps closer, Naomi and Celia find echoes of themselves in one another, forcing them each to consider the question: Can you still be lost even when you’ve been found? But will they find the answer too late?

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Gabriel’s Promise By Sylvain Reynard

Gabriel's Promise By Sylvain Reynard

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Gabriel’s Promise By Sylvain Reynard

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Book/Novel Author: Sylvain Reynard

Book/Novel Title: Gabriel’s Promise




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***New York Times* bestselling author Sylvain Reynard returns with the fourth installment of the beloved Gabriel’s Inferno series.**

When Gabriel and Julia Emerson first lay eyes on their newborn daughter, Clare, they realize life as they know it will never be the same. Gabriel has vowed to be a good father when he suddenly receives an invitation to give a series of lectures in Edinburgh, Scotland–an opportunity of high prestige—but that would mean leaving his wife and child in Boston. Hesitant to bring it up, he keeps the opportunity from Julia as long as he can, not knowing she has a secret of her own.

When a frightening situation arises that threatens their new family, both parents must make sacrifices. With the family in danger, the looming question remains: Will Gabriel pursue his lectureship in Edinburgh, leaving Julia and Clare vulnerable in Boston, or will he abandon the chance of a lifetime in order to ensure his family’s safety? **
### About the Author
Sylvain Reynard is a Canadian writer with an interest in Renaissance art and culture and an inordinate attachment to the city of Florence. Sylvain Reynard is also the author of *Gabriel’s Inferno* , *Gabriel’s Rapture* , *Gabriel’s Redemption* , *The Raven* , **and* The Shadow.*
### Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Chapter One
September 2012
Mount Auburn Hospital
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Professor Gabriel O. Emerson cradled his newborn daughter to his chest. He was reclined in a chair next to his wife’s hospital bed, where she lay sleeping. Despite the protestations of the nursing staff, he’d refused to place the baby in the nearby bassinet. She was safer in his arms, resting over his heart.
Clare Grace Hope Emerson was a miracle. He’d prayed for her in the crypt of St. Francis in Assisi, after he’d married his beloved Julianne. At the time, he’d been unable to father a child, the result of his own self-loathing. But with Julianne at his side, as his Beatrice and his wife, he had prayed. And God had answered his prayer.
The baby stirred and moved her head.
Gabriel held her securely, his large hand covering her back so he could feel the rhythm of her breath.
“We loved you since before you were born,” he whispered. “We were so excited you were coming.”
In this moment-this quiet, tender moment-Gabriel had everything he had ever wanted. If he had been Dante, he was Dante no longer, for Dante never knew the pleasure of marrying Beatrice or of welcoming a child born of their love.
The poet in him reflected on the strange course of events that had taken him from the depths of despair to the heights of blessedness.
“Apparuit iam beatitudo vestra,” he quoted with sincerity, thanking God that he hadn’t lost his wife and daughter, despite the complications during delivery.
The specter of his father intruded on his happiness, prompting a spontaneous promise. “I will never leave. I will be here with you both, my darling girls, for as long as I live.”
In the darkness of the hospital room, Gabriel resolved to protect, love, and care for his wife and his daughter, no matter the cost.
Chapter Two
One week later
Mount Auburn Hospital
Cambridge, Massachusetts
It began with an email.
It was a small thing-the checking of email. Perhaps it was one of the smallest, most inconsequential of actions. One tapped the screen of one’s phone and email messages appeared.
A wise Canadian once wrote, The medium is the message. And in this case, the email and its contents were incredibly important.
There had been whispers.
The community of Dante specialists was not particularly large, and Professor Gabriel O. Emerson was well known. He’d been the top student to graduate from his program at Harvard, and in a very short time he made a name for himself at the University of Toronto.
Then he’d been besieged by scandal-a scandal involving his beloved Julianne, who also happened to be his graduate student. There had been an investigation. A tribunal. A ruling. A resignation.
The university kept the matter quiet. Julianne graduated and began doctoral studies at Harvard. Gabriel accepted a position as full professor at Boston University. They’d married on January 21, 2011.
But still, there were whispers. Whispers from a former graduate student named Christa Peterson, who claimed Emerson was a predator and Julianne was a whore.
Although Gabriel had done his best to silence Christa and to combat the rumors, the whispers continued. Now, a few months away from their second wedding anniversary, Gabriel kept his own counsel, not wishing to give voice to his worries. But in truth, he feared he’d tainted Julianne’s career. At this time, the academic community was far more forgiving of its male senior faculty than its young female graduate students.
Gabriel knew this. Which was why he stared for some time at the email message he’d received.
The message was from a group Gabriel had heard of but never met. He read the message and then once more, just to be sure he hadn’t misunderstood.
A strange feeling washed over him. His skin prickled. Something momentous was about to happen. . . .
“Gabriel?” Julianne’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “Do we have everything? Rachel took home the flowers and balloons.”
Gabriel opened his mouth to tell his wife about the email he’d just received, but was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Dr. Rubio, their obstetrician. She had a habit of popping up, like gray-eyed Athena in Homer’s Odyssey. Dr. Rubio appeared, made pronouncements, and vanished, sometimes leaving havoc in her wake.
“Good morning.” She greeted the Emersons with a smile. “I need to go over a few things before Julia and Clare are discharged.”
Gabriel returned his cell phone to his jacket pocket. He’d received the scare of his life a few days previous, when he mistakenly thought Julianne hadn’t survived the delivery. Anxiety still clung to him, like a hangover he could not shake.
Which was why, upon hearing Dr. Rubio’s lengthy list of admonitions and instructions, he promptly forgot about the very important email and the absolute necessity of revealing its contents to his wife.
Chapter Three
What is she doing?” The Professor peered into the rearview mirror at his wife, who was seated behind him, next to Clare.
His handsome face was boyish and his blue eyes danced. He was finally bringing his family home from the hospital. He had difficulty containing his excitement.
“She’s still sleeping.” Julia bent over the baby carrier and lightly stroked the infant’s cheek.
The baby’s rosebud mouth pouted while she slept. Wisps of dark hair peeked out from beneath the purple knitted hat she’d received as a gift from the hospital auxiliary. She was a beautiful baby, with a button nose and pudgy cheeks. Her eyes were large and indigo blue, when she deigned to open them.
Julia’s heart was full. Her baby was healthy and her husband was even more supportive than she’d imagined. It was almost too much happiness for one person.
“If she does something cute, let me know.” Gabriel’s tone was eager.
Julia laughed. “All right, Professor.”
“I like to watch her sleep,” Gabriel mused. He continued to drive the Volvo SUV at a snail’s pace through the streets of Cambridge. “She’s fascinating.”
“You need to keep your eyes on the road, Daddy.”
Gabriel flashed Julia a look.
“Since when do you drive so slowly?” she teased.
“Since everything I love is in this car.” Gabriel’s expression softened as he made eye contact with her through the mirror.
Julia’s heart skipped a beat.
His enthusiasm for fatherhood had outstripped her expectations. She remembered the first night they’d spent in the hospital, after Clare was born. Gabriel held Clare all through the night and would not be parted from her.
Gabriel had said once that when he was an old man, he’d remember what Julianne looked like on the night they made love for the first time. She would remember the sight of her husband holding their baby on his chest for the rest of her life.
Tears filled her eyes and threatened to overflow. She bent over the baby in order to hide her reaction.
Gabriel turned the SUV onto their street-slowly, ever so slowly.
“What the hell?” His buoyant mood came to an abrupt end, rather like a ship hitting an iceberg.
“Language,” Julia murmured. “Let’s not teach the baby naughty words.”
“If the baby were awake, she’d want to know what the hell was going on, too. Look at our lawn.” Gabriel piloted the car toward the driveway, his eyes trained on the front of their property.
Julia followed his gaze.
In front of their elegant two-story house was a flamboyance of plastic pink flamingos. Plastic, shocking pink flamingos. A giant wooden flamingo stood next to the front door, holding a sign:
Congratulations Gabriel and Julia! It’s a girl!
The smaller flamingos were so numerous Gabriel could barely see the blades of grass beneath them.
It was an infestation. An infestation of tacky, kitschy lawn ornaments, clearly chosen by a fiend with an extreme deficit of good taste.
“Holy shit!” exclaimed Julia.
“Language.” Gabriel smirked. “I take it you weren’t expecting this?”
“Of course not. I barely checked my email this week. Did you do it?”
“You think I did this?” The Professor was indignant. Surely Julianne knew his taste did not extend to plastic abominations of lawn ornaments.
But her comment reminded him of the email he’d received while they were still at the hospital. The contents of the message were urgent. He needed to speak to Julianne about them.
She distracted him by laughing. “Maybe the flamingos are from Leslie, next door? Or your colleagues at Boston University?”
“I doubt that. Surely they would have the good sense to send champagne. Or Scotch.”
Once again, he prepared to tell Julianne about the email. But as he pulled into the driveway, the side door opened and Rachel, his sister, raced out.
She was smiling ear-to-ear and dressed casually in a white T-shirt, jeans, and sandals. Her long, straight blond hair spilled over her shoulders, and her gray eyes were alight.
“I guess we found the culprit of kitsch.” Gabriel shook his head.
Julia touched his shoulder. “It was kind of her to do this. She’s been going back and forth between here and the hospital, helping out.”
Gabriel frowned. “I know.”
“Even though you think the flamingos are tacky, you need to be appreciative.”
He lifted his chin primly. “I can be appreciative.”
“I mean appreciative in a believable way,” Julia clarified.
When Gabriel’s frown deepened, she unbuckled her seat belt and moved forward, pressing her lips to his cheek. “I love you. You’re a wonderful husband and an incredible father.”
Gabriel lowered his gaze and tapped his fingers against the steering wheel.
Julia tousled his dark hair. “Maybe we should keep a few of the flamingos? For the garden?”
Gabriel speared her with a glare.
“I’m kidding.” She held up her hands in surrender. “Try to look happier than that, okay?”
“Fine.” Gabriel exhaled beleagueredly. He turned off the car and climbed out.
“What took you so long?” Rachel gave her brother a perfunctory hug and opened the SUV’s rear door. “We’ve been waiting all morning.”
Gabriel leaned over the open door, watching as Rachel climbed into the back seat. “They had to check Julianne and Clare before discharging them. And they inspected the baby’s carrier and car seat before we left.”
“Well, that’s good,” Rachel replied. “But it shouldn’t have taken three hours. How slowly did you drive?”
Gabriel brushed imaginary lint from his sport coat. Then he took a closer look at the back seat.
“Just a minute, Rachel,” he cautioned. “I need to unfasten the baby carrier from the base.”
“Hurry up. But go over to Julia’s side because I’m not moving.” Rachel leaned over her sleeping niece and her grin widened. “Hi, Clare.”
Julia reached across the baby to touch her friend’s arm. “I love the flamingos.”
“I knew you’d appreciate them.” Rachel beamed. “Dad was hesitant, but I thought they were hilarious. Even Scott chipped in.”
“We need to take a picture of Gabriel with the flamingos and send it to Scott.”
Rachel laughed. “Absolutely. He’ll blow it up into a poster and hang it on his wall.”
Julia removed the baby’s knitted cap to expose the shock of dark hair. She pointed to the pink barrette she’d carefully fastened. “Clare is wearing the gift you brought us yesterday.”
“It matches her pink sleepers.” Rachel gently touched the baby’s head. Her expression shifted minutely.
Julia studied her friend. A trace of sadness was present in Rachel’s eyes, but only for a moment.
Rachel smiled at her sleeping niece. “I bought a few more hair accessories last night. Since she has so much hair, we’ll have to style it.”
Julia nodded. “Gabriel will have to carry her. I’m not supposed to lift anything over nine pounds because of the stitches.”
Rachel glanced at Julia’s middle. “That bites.”
“No biting.” Gabriel winked at his sister before helping Julia out of the car. “I’m glad you’re here.”
“So am I.” Rachel watched as he carefully removed the baby carrier and turned toward the house.
“Not so fast.” She followed him. “I want to carry her.”
With eyes twinkling, Gabriel handed over the carrier, but not before instructing her to be careful. He greeted Richard, their father, and the two men stood next to the door, holding it open.
Julia accompanied Rachel into the house. “Thanks for staying. I know it was a bit longer than you’d planned.”
Rachel held the baby carrier with both hands as they approached the kitchen. “I wasn’t going to leave before you came home. Aaron had to work, otherwise he’d be here, too.”
“It means a lot. I know you’ve been fielding phone calls and deliveries and everything else.”
Rachel shrugged. “That’s what families do, Jules. They take care of each other. I’m just lucky I had some vacation days left. Rebecca has been spoiling us with her cooking. You should see what she made for lunch.”
“Good. I’m starving.” Julia’s stomach was already rumbling. She stepped into the kitchen.
The kitchen table was set with the Emersons’ best china, silverware, and crystal. Pink helium-filled balloons were tied to Julia’s chair at the foot of the table, and a huge arrangement of pink and white roses formed a centerpiece. Almost every surface of the kitchen was covered with food, flowers, or brightly wrapped presents.
“Surprise!” An older woman with short white hair and gray-blue eyes stepped forward.
“Katherine?” Julia fanned a hand over her mouth.
“I thought you were in Oxford.” Gabriel shook off his surprise and greeted his former colleague with a kiss on the cheek.
“I was. I came to Cambridge to meet my goddaughter.” Professor Picton embraced Julia and stepped back, her eyes sparkling. “Can I hold her?”
“Of course.” Gabriel removed Clare from her baby carrier, pressing a kiss to her head before transferring her to Katherine’s arms.
Clare opened her big blue eyes.
Katherine smiled. “Hello, Clare. I’m your aunt Katherine.”
The baby opened her tiny rosebud mouth and yawned.
“Clare is a beautiful name,” Katherine continued, undeterred by the infant’s sleepiness. “I thought your parents might have named you Beatrice. But I can see you look more like a Clare.”
“There’s only one Beatrice.” Gabriel placed his arm around Julia’s shoulders.
“Oh, what fun we’ll have,” Katherine whispered to the child. “I’ll teach you Italian and all about Dante and Beatrice. When you’re old enough, I’ll take you to Florence and show you where Dante lived.”
The baby seemed to stare at her aunt. Katherine bent closer and recited,
“‘Donne ch’avete intelletto d’amore,
i’ vo’ con voi de la mia donna dire,
non perch’io creda sua laude finire,
ma ragionar per isfogar la mente.'”
Gabriel recognized the lines from Dante’s La Vita Nuova, as Katherine quoted his praise for the lovely Beatrice.
Julia stood, frozen.
Then suddenly, like an unexpected cloudburst at a picnic, Julia began to cry.
Chapter Four
The room grew very still.
Everyone looked at Julia, who clapped a hand over her mouth as she tried to suppress her sobs.




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Little Women By Louisa May Alcott

Little Women By Louisa May Alcott

Little Women By Louisa May Alcott

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Book/Novel Author: Louisa May Alcott

Book/Novel Title: Little Women

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Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, and readers demanded to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume (entitled Good Wives in the United Kingdom, although this name derived from the publisher and not from Alcott). It was also successful. The two volumes were issued in 1880 in a single work entitled Little Women. Alcott also wrote two sequels to her popular work, both of which also featured the March sisters: Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886). Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: “domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine’s individual identity.”

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12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
by Jordan B. Peterson

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12 Rules for Life#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street. What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world’s wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers.

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Shy Girl vs Popular Boy By Jordan Ford

Shy Girl vs Popular Boy By Jordan Ford

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Shy Girl vs Popular Boy By Jordan Ford

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Book/Novel Author: Jordan Ford

Book/Novel Title: Shy Girl vs Popular Boy




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A second-place sister. A first-rate jock. Can the light of love shine through the darkest pain?

“I am absolutely devouring this series… Jordan Ford definitely is one very talented lady, her words are all heart and emotion.”— Amazon reviewer

BIANCA: Cam likes me. He’s asked me on a date.
It’s kind of unbelievable. He could have any girl he wants, yet his eyes landed on me.
Can this be real?
Do I go for it?
He’s so out of my league. I’m terrified.

I don’t think the other girls like it. Their heated glares are warning me away, and now my twin sister’s in trouble too. Stacey won’t tell me what’s wrong, but she’s acting weird and I’m worried that her boyfriend has hurt her. I need to get to the bottom of it. I’m all she has left.

Can I really make this thing with Cam a reality?
I want him so badly, but I promised Stacey I’d stick with her no matter what.
How do I protect both sides of my heart?
How do I choose between love and loyalty?

Shy Girl vs Popular Boy is the third story in the touching Forever Love YA contemporary romance series. If you like sweet high-school settings, sisterhood bonds, and sensitive takes on real-world trauma, then you’ll adore Jordan Ford’s rollercoaster journey.

Buy Shy Girl vs Popular Boy to find love where the other half lives today!

Other books in the series
City Girl vs Country Boy
Shy Girl vs Popular Boy
Outcast Girl vs Pretty Boy
Lost Girl vs Wounded Boy (releasing in February 2020)

*Share the love: A portion of the proceeds of this book will go to www.Love146.org *

Review

????  “This book is so sweet. It touched every part of my heart… I love this thrown-together family dealing with their pain and loss and trying to rebuild their lives. Jordan Ford has created magic with this series.” – Jennifer G

?????  “It’s hard not to recommend this book. It’s fantastic, so well written with amazing characters and at the end you have this wonderful warm feeling and you are already anxious for the next.” – Karla Vértiz

?????  “This is the third in the series that I’ve read so far and it gets better and better every with every installment.” – Kitlina

????? “I am absolutely devouring this series, I can’t wait for it to continue. Jordan Ford definitely is one very talented lady, her words are all heart and emotion.” – Bel

????? “I truly could not love this series more… This is a perfect third instalment to a series that is quickly becoming one of my absolute favourites. The emotions are genuine, the relationships so honest, and the traumas so raw…” – Bella

?????  “I absolutely love everything this author writes and this series is quickly becoming one of my favourite all round ya romance contemporary series…” – Sophie Koufes

From the Author

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