The House of Farrell - home of The Cream, an iconic face product that has seen women flocking to its bijoux flagship store in the Berkeley Arcade since 1953.
At Farrell, you can rely on the personal touch. The legendary Athina Farrell remains the company's figurehead and in her kingdom at the Berkeley Arcade, Florence Hamilton plies their cosmetics with the utmost discretion. She is sales advisor - and holder of secrets - extraordinaire.
But of course the world of cosmetics is changing and the once glorious House of Farrell is now in decline, its customers tempted away by more fashionable brands.
Enter Bianca Bailey, formidable business woman, mother of three, and someone who always gets her way. Athina and Bianca lock horns over the future of the House of Farrell but it is the past that tells its devastating tale of ambition and ego, passion and wonder.
Here is a tale of survival ... and a kind of promise. .
From her sweeping novels to her searing journalism, Penny Vincenzi has been writing all her life, and this is a collection of her work brought together in a single edition for the first time.
As well as ten stunning short stories, Penny also shares some of her thoughts on a huge range of subjects from love and relationships to work and families, and gives us a peek at the tantalising first chapter of her new novel - making LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON AND OTHER DELIGHTS a must-have for any Vincenzi fan.
In this ebook exclusive short story collection, four unforgettable stories of love, family, heartbreak and hope by Penny Vincenzi, the acclaimed Sunday Times bestselling author of The Decision and The Best of Times, are available together for the first time.
Told in Penny's unique voice, The Mermaid, Fair Exchange, Knowing Best and The Brooch are four unmissable stories in which a young woman battles to be accepted by her boyfriend's son, a divorced couple rediscover their passion for one another, a young couple's marriage comes perilously close to disaster, and a feud over a missing brooch separates two sisters for over a decade. With this collection, Penny Vincenzi explores the passions, jealousies, truths and lies that bring lovers and families together, and that can tear them apart.
Set against a vibrant sixties backdrop, this is the story of two bright young things: Eliza, an ex-deb making a splash in the world of fashion, and Matt, a
working-class boy carving out a serious name for himself in property. Their story begins with a love affair, closely followed by a marriage, followed by a baby.
But whilst their relationship is at first fuelled by passion, it's not of the enduring kind, and soon what started out with such promise descends into a harrowing divorce case and an epic custody battle. With everything at stake for both Eliza and Matt, and neither party willing to give up their little girl without a fight, it's high drama in the courts.
Let battle begin...
A hot summer's day, a crowded motorway, a split second that changed people's lives forever.
A novel filled with heartbreak, hope and love from one of Britain's most popular authors. The Express
A stonking good read ... unputdownable. Heat
What do you do when you lose everything? It was one of the biggest scandals of the 80s. Lloyds. It started with just a few requests for money from various Names. And then the demands got bigger. And bigger. Until thousands of people found their lives ruined and relationships wrecked. All because of money. AN ABSOLUTE SCANDAL is the ultimate story of the rise and fall in the fortunes of a group of people - and the scandal whose effects were felt across the board. With devastating results... Click here to read an exclusive sample chapter of 'an absolute scandal'
One night in 1986 an abandoned baby girl is found in a cupboard at Heathrow airport. A year earlier Martha, Clio and Jocasta had met by chance, at the start of a backpacking adventure: they travelled together briefly and then went their own ways, swearing to meet again when they return home. But it would be a long time until they met again: not until Kate, the foundling, is a teenager, and all three are leading successful lives. Martha is a single, highly paid lawyer, Clio a doctor, locked in an unhappy marriage, and Jocasta a reporter, in love with a charming commitment-phobe. Which of them is Kate's mother? Why was she desperate enough to do such a thing, and how did she survive it?
Celia Lytton, strong-willed, tough and courageous, moves through life making difficult and often dangerous decisions - with the most far-reaching consequences for everyone...
For her husband, Oliver, head of the great family publishing house of Lyttons; for Sylvia Miller, whose life of relentless poverty is transformed by Celia's intrusion; for Oliver's daunting elder sister, who is not all she appears to be; and for Sebastian Brooke, with whom Celia makes the most dangerous decision of all.
The dazzling Lytton twins, Adele and Venetia, are born into the great Lytton publishing empire. In 1928, on their eighteenth birthday, they are rich and admired,
with a confidence verging on arrogance. But the spectre of Nazi Germany is growing...
Gradually their privileged world darkens in unimaginable ways - but it is not just the twins whose lives have been irrevocably changed. Barty Miller, rescued from the London slums in babyhood by Celia Lytton, is clever, ambitious, and a complete contrast to the twins - and she faces temptation of the most unexpected kind...
The Lytton family past is full of secrets, and only Lady Celia knows them all. There's her daughter Adele's difficult, dark past; the dreadful cruelty of a truth her son Kit had to confront; even the shadows of Celia's own life, and that of Barty Miller, the child she rescued from the slums in babyhood who now owns more than half of the Lytton publishing house.
Some secrets are more dangerous than others, some shared with Celia's family, some entirely her own. And all absolutely safe in her keeping. Until something threatens to reveal them all...
All families have secrets. This family hid a secret which would tear it apart. Sexy, glamorous and fun, WICKED PLEASURES is the story of a brother and two sisters who find out that they all have different fathers: none of them Alexander, Earl of Catherham, who was married to their mother for almost twenty years. It is the story of the power and the greed of the mega-rich, as the great family banking business upon which fortunes are won and lost comes to the brink of ruin, and family ties are tested to the utmost.
Cassia Fallon has been married to her doctor husband for seven years when her godmother leaves her a fortune. She is determined to be sensible, to stay in control. Suddenly, for the first time in her life, she is able to do exactly as she likes.
She starts to question her marriage, her past, her present and future. The money gives her confidence, and her husband Edward can only look on resentfully as she resumes her medical career, sheds some of her domestic burdens, and re-forms old relationships - one of them of a most dangerous kind.
But where did her legacy really come from. and why? Too soon the windfall has become a corrupting force. One that Cassia cannot resist...
A mysterious, tragic accident in the 1950s; an inexplicable suicide twenty years later. What was the strange link between the two - and Caroline Hunterton's long-buried past? A secret which could not be kept for ever, especially from her two daughters, Chloe and Fleur. Fate had separated the sisters in time and distance - but bound them in mutual hatred - until journalist Magnus Phillips decided to tell the story that would tear their lives apart. Moving from wartime Suffolk to fifties Hollywood, from glitzy Madison Avenue to London's theatrical aristocracy and the machinations of cheque-book publishing, An Outrageous Affair explores the extraordinary, sometimes fatal, consequences of truth.
Forbidden Places is about love and marriage, families and secrets, and about wartime and what it does to every accepted social value. It is a story of three woman and one family.
One is married and widowed within five years. She is free to start again. Or is she? The second has a perfect husband she thinks she loves. He becomes a grotesque parody of what he once was. Is that love real? The third becomes trapped in a nightmare marriage. Can the war free her?
Tom and Octavia Fleming have the perfect power marriage: he is a spin-doctor and she runs a consultancy to the charity industry. They are attractive, rich, successful... Then Octavia discovers Tom is having an affair and not only the discovery but the affair itself have consequences that are potentially fatal - both to the marriage and its power. For this is no ordinary affair, but one that leads to terror and danger, threatening other people, damaging other lives.
A dream wedding becomes a nightmare - as the bride disappears...
The night before her lavish wedding to Oliver Bergin, Cressida Forrest went to bed serene and happy. By morning she had vanished - without apparent cause, and without trace. Shocked, anxious and uncomprehending, the two families face a long and painful day of revelations, as a complex, fragile web of sexual, marital and financial secrets is ripped apart by Cressida's disappearance. And the question they are all forced to ask is who really was the woman they thought they knew - perfect daughter, sister, lover and wife never to be?
All Francesca Channing had to do in order to keep her marriage alive, her children safe, her life intact, was to tell a lie. One simple, straightforward lie. But it wasn't that simple or straightforward at all.
Her life, as Bard Channing's third wife, was very far from easy. He was charismatic, powerful and rich - and he adored her. He was also manipulative and scheming, with a family as large and complex as his business.
But it was an emotional crisis of her own which finally put Francesca's dilemma into perspective. Made her wonder if she loved Bard enough to lie for him...