In My Hands Today…

The Courtesan and the Samurai – Lesley Downer

1868. In Japan’s exotic pleasure quarters, sex is for sale and the only forbidden fruit is love…

Hana is just seventeen when her husband goes to war, leaving her alone and vulnerable. When enemy soldiers attack her house she flees across the shattered city of Tokyo and takes refuge in the Yoshiwara, its famous pleasure quarters. There she is forced to become a courtesan.

Yozo, brave, loyal and a brilliant swordsman, is pledged to the embattled shogun. He sails to the frozen north to join his rebel comrades for a desperate final stand. Defeated, he makes his way south to the only place where a man is beyond the reach of the law – the Yoshiwara.

There in the Nightless City where three thousand courtesans mingle with geishas and jesters, the battered fugitive meets the beautiful courtesan. But each has a secret so terrible that once revealed it will threaten their very lives…

In My Hands Today…

Fame – Tilly Bagshawe

The raw, sexual beauty of Sabrina Leon demands the attention of all. Plucked from obscurity, she’s the new darling of the film scene. But Sabrina has a problem. There’s a YouTube sensation rife on the web that looks set to destroy everything she’s fought for.

Hotshot movie producer Dorian Rasmirez has struggles of his own. A bitter feud with rival producer and playboy, Harry Greene, has resulted in the plug being pulled on every project he goes near. Casting Sabrina Leon in the remake of Wuthering Heights is a risk that might cost him.

Viorel Hudson was always destined for great things. Now he’s scored a role that every A-Lister in Hollywood auditioned for – the brooding Heathcliff. He may well be at the height of his career, but is he ready for his latest role… not to mention his latest co-star?

In My Hands Today…

The Secret Clan: Highland Bride – Amanda Scott

Ordered home to the Highlands by her brother, Barbara McRae bemoans the boredom of her isolated life after the pleasures of the Scottish court. Yet her journey brings excitement when she is kidnapped and a masked swordsman comes to her rescue. Known as the Black Fox, he leaves her with a silver coin and a kiss that haunts her dreams…especially when she learns she must marry the wealthy but unexciting Sir Alexander Chisholm.

Raised as a gentleman, the Fox rides the glens as an outlaw, defending fellow Highlanders against those who would destroy their traditional way of life. His success is legendary, but he will risk all to satisfy his passion for Barbara…just as she will dare all to discover the truth hidden beneath his mask.

In My Hands Today…

One Dance with a Duke – Tessa Dare

A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members — yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight”. Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke — until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?

In My Hands Today…

I’ve been very lax in doing this recently. The only reason is that the last lot of books I had borrowed were not worth posting about. In fact, I think I left most of the books half read. Hopefully the current lot is better. Also I’m reading a lot of books on my iphone using the Overdrive app. I love love this app and since I can borrow another 6 e-books at any point in time without leaving home, this is my new BFF! I’ve decided to download 24 books (that’s six for each one of the four of us) before we go on our trip to India next month. Hopefully I’ll have my iPad by then and with enough books for all of us, boredom should not be an issue during the flight…Going on to this week’s reading selection.

The Writing on My Forehead – Nafisa Haji

I close my eyes and imagine the touch of my mother’s hand on my forehead, smoothing away the residue of childhood nightmares…

Free-spirited and rebellious, Saira has grown up in California with her beautiful, obedient sister Ameena. From childhood, she has broken the boundaries between her desire for independence and her family’s traditions – in particular, her Bombay-bred mother’s idea of how girls should behave. Now hungry for experience and curious about the world, Saira travels to Karachi for a wedding, and stumbles upon family secrets that will shape the rest of her life.

It’s the begining of a journey of understanding and reconciliation that goes back three generations. As her background gradually reveals itself, Saira finds that the battles she faces – over love, belonging and fulfilment – have faced many others before her, and comes to realise that her many-layered inheritance is a thing to be treasured.