Powerful, hard-hearted Leonard Mears ruthlessly presides over his wife and children, exiling them from the outside world and brutally punishing any disobedience. But he is also a man with a dark secret; an illegitimate daughter that he forced his sister to bring up. The girl is now a young woman who, unbeknown to him, is determined to find the father that abandoned her.James Peterson, a gifted young man, runs Mear’s factory with more success than Leonard’s own sons. He lives for the day he can have his own business and make his fortune. Only then will he be able to declare his love for beautiful Isabel Mears who he means to release from the gilded cage her father has created. But then the lonely, lovely Sally comes in to his life, turning his heart and dreams upside down.
From the moment she learns of the stranger’s visit, Molly Tattersall is filled with a sense of fear.Then her mother disappears, leaving behind a letter asking Molly to take care of her five brothers and sisters. Molly’s wayward father rejects his responsibilities, leaving Molly to choose between the young man she has given her heart to, and the family she adores. It is the cruellest decision of her life, with long-reaching and heartbreaking consequences. Only one thing is certain: Molly’s life will never be the same again.
One winter’s night, in the coal-hole in her yard, Rosie finds that a woman sheltering there has been severely beaten by thugs. At a glance, Kathleen looks like an unkempt, aged vagabond who tramps the roads carrying all her worldly possessions in a grubby tapestry bag. Her only friend is the mangy old dog who accompanies her; the sum of her life is in the diaries she so zealously guards. Yet close up, Rosie can see that Kathleen has a gracious beauty — the ‘look’ of a respectable lady of means.In hospital, fighting for her life, yet moved by Rosie’s care and compassion, Kathleen entrusts the diaries to her, urging her to look at them. There, in the soft glow of the lamp, Rosie reads a heartrending tale of stolen dreams, true love, heartache and loss. A tale that, somehow, must have a happy ending . . .
On a moonlit night in 1898, Kathleen Wyman lies in labour at Bessington Hall, her husband Edward sure that she has been unfaithful to him. In his blind jealous rage he later gives away the baby to gypsy Rona Parrish, summoned to help with the delivery. Kathleen, frenzied with grief, is soon after locked away in an asylum.Rejected by her father, the little girl begins her new life with only a valuable brooch pinned to her shawl as a clue to her true origins. Named after Rona’s own mother, the lovely raven-haired Starlena grows up in ignorance of her true parentage and vast inheritance, believing her birthplace to be the beautiful Whistledown Valley. And Rona, always afraid, stays watchful over the years for any sign that someone might track Starlena down — someone who wishes her harm…
Kelly knew that, although Barney would always love her, his restless soul would never allow him to stay, but she could never have envisaged how his leaving would alter her life. Alone once more, Kelly finds herself remembering the past: in particular, what happened in the autumn of 1877 and how it destroyed her family. Filled with regrets and wishes that life may have been different, Kelly begins to see that she must confront her past — and only then will she finally be free.
On a fateful night in 1860, Thadius Grady realises, too late, that he has made a grave mistake. In blind faith he has put himself and his daughter Emma at the mercy of his sister and her conniving husband, Caleb Crowther — for he has entrusted to them his entire fortune and the daughter he adores. With his dying breath he pleads to see his daughter one last time — but Caleb’s heart is made of stone. A feared Lancashire Justice, Caleb Crowther is a womaniser and a gambler, and now the inheritance due to Emma is as much in his hands as is the beautiful Emma Grady herself. But Caleb lives in fear of the past, for how did Emma’s mother mysteriously die? And what made Thadius and Caleb hate the river people so intensely? History seems likely to repeat itself when Emma falls helplessly in love with Marlow Tanner, a young bargee. For Marlow and Emma, it is an impossible love — a love made in Heaven, but which could carry them both to Hell . . .
When Rosie’s parents were involved in a train accident, her mother was killed and her father left crippled, unable to earn a living and relying on Rosie to keep the wolf from the door.With her mother gone and her sweetheart Adam away in the army, Rosie is lonely. She eagerly awaits the letters from him, but they never come. As she grows more disillusioned, Adam’s best friend Doug goes out of his way to be charming and attentive. Alone and confused, Rosie blossoms under his evil influence. Soon she is carrying Doug’s baby and her father has thrown her out of the house. Realising she has no choice, she agrees to marry Doug.As if she isn’t in enough trouble, Rosie’s whole world falls apart when a warm and wonderful letter arrives from Adam . . . telling her he’s on his way home.
Bridget Mulligan loves her husband. He is caring, loyal and dependable — everything a woman could ask for. But she can’t quite forget Harry — the one that got away — and when a snow storm drives her into his arms, the inevitable happens. Nine months later a child is born. Overcome with remorse, Bridget is determined that her husband should know the truth, but her confession can lead only to heartbreak. Although he allows his wife and her child to continue living in his home, Tom Mulligan makes it clear that their marriage is over. Lonely and afraid, Bridget finds comfort in the friendship of Fanny, a feisty young mother who knows what it is to be alone. But Bridget’s life can never be complete until she has the love of the only man she ever really wanted…
Sonny Fareham’s lover — and also her boss — is the charismatic Tony Bridgeman, a successful and ruthless man who usually gets what he wants. But for Sonny, the affair that has promised a future of hope and happiness must end in desperate fear. Late one evening, Sonny overhears a private conversation between Tony Bridgeman and his wife. Only then does she realise she is in great danger. Pregnant and afraid, Sonny flees her home to make a new life in the north of England, where she meets a gregarious and motherly new friend, Ellie Kenny. When the mysterious and handsome David Langham seems drawn to her, Sonny almost dares to believe that she could be happy again. But never far away is the one person who wants to destroy everything that she now holds dear…
Beautiful Eva Bereton has just three close friends: Patsy, whom she looks upon as a sister; Bill, once her childhood sweetheart, now married and living in Canada; and her mother, to whom she is devoted. When a tragic accident turns Eva’s world upside down, Patsy is the only one she can turn to.A hated figure from the past comes to reclaim the farm and business that Eva had always believed were her parents’. Not even Bill, still in love with Eva, can stop Eva being thrown out on the streets. Together with Patsy, Eva starts a new life far away.Luckily, they find work and lodgings wherever they settle. But when Eva arrives in Blackburn her past mistakes rise up to haunt her. Yet even when threatened from all sides Eva will never accept that her chances of happiness have been destroyed. Determined and optimistic, she fights on to change her life for the better.