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Book Club

Best Books For Women 2014


2014 is coming to a close and our shoulders are well and truly tired out. But it’s all been worth it, because this year we’ve been carrying some incredible books wherever we go.

In My Handbag have put together their picks for the most memorable books for women published this year – so good, you won’t be able to put them down either. Consider Christmas sorted!

A Perfect Heritage – Penny Vincenzi

We had to find a bigger handbag for this one, but we couldn’t wait to show off another stunning novel from the unstoppable Penny Vincenzi. With book sales of over 7 million, she is a true legend of women’s fiction.

The House of Farrell has seen women flock through its doors in search of its iconic products and impeccable service. But the changing face of the cosmetics industry is beginning to leave Farrell in the shade. The company figurehead Athina Farrell, finds herself in a battle of wills with Bianca Bailey, a business woman with a whole new vision for Farrell, which unearths a whole wealth of buried secrets behind the store’s perfected image.

Penny Vincenzi's A Perfect Heritage

Penny Vincenzi’s A Perfect Heritage

Spare Brides– Adele Parks

If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you’ll love Adele Parks’ latest novel, which explores the stories of the women who were left behind in the scarred, yet often glamorous aftermath of the First World War.

Four war-damaged women struggle to find their place in this new decade of promise, especially when it seems that only wealth and beauty will secure a husband from the few men who have returned home. Beatrice has neither of these attributes, while Ava feels strangely reminiscent of the freedom that war afforded to her. Sarah has paid the war’s ultimate price, while Lydia can only view her husband as a coward. This damaged group must grasp any happiness they can find – whatever the cost.

Spare Brides book cover

Spare Brides, Adele’s latest novel, is out now in paperback

If You Were Me– Sheila O’Flanagan

If you’re like us and summer seems like a distant dream, Sunday Times bestselling Sheila O’Flanagan’s tale of old flames and life-altering decisions in sultry Seville will transport you back.

Carlotta O’Keefe is happily engaged. Chris might not make her heart race every time she sees him, but she’s realistic about that kind of thing.

Then, on a trip to Seville, Carlotta runs into the boy that broke her heart so long ago. Now an intriguing man, with an explanation for leaving her, Carlotta is not so sure she knows what she wants.

If You Were Me by Sheila O'Flanagan

If You Were Me by Sheila O’Flanagan

The Unpredictable Consequences of Love– Jill Mansell

Just how many secrets can one seaside town keep? Idyllic St Carys is rife with unrequited love. From hotelier Josh to man-evading Sophie, feckless surfer Riley to superstar author Marguerite Marshall – it seems everyone is after someone they can’t have. Think Twelfth Night in 21st Century Cornwall – we love it.

Jill Mansell New Novel

Jill Mansell New Novel

The Proposal– Tasmina Perry

Sunday Times bestseller Tasmina Perry got daydreaming about a cocktails in the big Apple when she took us on a spellbinding journey from the dazzling days of the debutantes in 1950s London to glamorous modern Manhattan.

Broken-hearted Amy, spontaneously responds to an advertisement requesting a companion for a mysterious ‘Manhattan adventure’ and soon finds herself experiencing a world of old-school elegance in New York with eccentric British aristocrat Georgia Hamilton. But her mentor has a painful secret that Amy has the power to put right.

Tasmina Perry's The Proposal

Tasmina Perry’s The Proposal

The Summer Guest– Emma Hannigan

Emma Hannigan has long been a bestseller in Ireland and now her warm humour and loveable characters are enchanting readers in the UK too.

Lexi and her husband Sam have put their heart and soul into renovating No. 3 Cashel Square. Lexi soon has her hands full with a thriving career and her headstrong niece Amelie, who seems to have practically moved in. Just as summer arrives, a mysterious stranger knocks on the door longing to see the house in Cashel Square where she was born. Soon the three women are sharing their hearts, tears and secrets, little knowing their unexpected friendship will touch them all in more ways than they can imagine… Fans of Maeve Binchy and Cathy Kelly will not be able to put this down.

The Summer Guest book cover

The Summer Guest book cover

If you haven’t read any these books already, they may be a great treat for your next villa holiday. For more inspiration for your next holiday read look out for our 2015 recommendations from ‘In my Hand Bag’ and be inspired by a year of new authors over at

Merry Christmas!


Vicky is a Team Bookends, Headline Publishing at James Villa Holidays.

My job means I’m surrounded by one of my favourite things: books! At Bookends we love...

See all articles by Vicky

See all articles by Vicky

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