Penny's childhood was spent in the shadows of her mother's business schemes. It fell to Lorna, her mother's acquaintance, to take care of the lonely girl, but the rejection always cut deep. When Penny turns 16 and tragedy strikes, Lorna's cousin Maureen, a feisty ex-stripper from London, strides into her life. Penny determines to make her own way in the world and, with Maureen, throws herself into a new life on the grimy streets of Soho.
In 1670, in the turbulent time following the Great Fire, a series of chilling murders shakes Restoration London. All are linked to the new Dorset Gardens Theatre where feisty young Betsy Brand is playing First Witch in Macbeth. It seems that a shadowy figure call The Salamander, has returned to wreak cruel revenge on his enemies. With the authorities utterly baffled, Betsy takes on a new role as an investigator. She reasons that, perhaps, a clever, courageous actress can unravel the deepening mystery. But soon she faces a more terrible foe than ever stalked upon a stage - and finds her own life is at stake....
Moira and Jack Taylor find their contented life running a thriving rag-and-bone business in London's East End upset by the behavior of their children, the outbreak of World War I, and the Spanish flu epidemic of 1919.
The only boy Marcie has ever loved died before he could make good his promise to wed her. The offer of a job in a smart boutique on the Kings Road in London, arranged via her father’s dodgy connections, seems to offer an ideal escape. But it doesn't take Marcie long to discover that her new Sicilian bosses have other business interests besides fashion.
From the age of eight, Charity Crosse has been living with her grandfather and begging on the streets. When Charity's grandfather passes away, she is helped by a doctor who introduces her to Jethro Dawkins. Jethro takes Charity in to help in his bookshop and keep house. Charity is not well treated, but Jethro instils in her the love of books. And she dares to hope for a better future for herself. But Jethro dies unexpectedly, and Charity is faced with eviction. Must she give up her dream of running the bookshop herself, and worse, be forced to return to the streets?
It is 1962 and pretty 17-year-old Greta finds life at home hard. She has no father and loathes her mother's latest boyfriend. She's happiest at work with her friends in Birmingham's Cadbury factory. When her missing vixen of a sister, Marlene, turns up, Greta decides that she has to get away, and the only escape route is marriage. But she soon finds out that life with Trevor is not as she'd hoped, and freedom and happiness still elude her.
Survival. It's all down to who you trust. Aiden O'Hara has been head of the family since he was kid, and he's going to keep it that way. Jade Dixon is the one who watches his back. Mother of his son. The one who makes him invincible. But Jade's been in the game a lot longer than Aiden. She knows no one's indestructible. And when you're at the top, that's when you've got to watch the hardest. Especially the ones closest to you.
When Bonnie runs away from home she leaves her mother Grace and sister Rita heartbroken. Each of their lives are in turmoil but their love for each other will see them through the most troubled of times.
When a mysterious stranger asks Rose to sing at his sister's birthday party she accepts. To Rose's excitement, the party is more than she could ever have hoped for. But is Rosie making a terrible mistake in entangling herself with the Bennleys?
Sent to the workhouse as a child, all Ella Hathaway can remember is a voice whispering, 'Dearie, promise you will never forget what you saw. Your Ma was killed deliberate... and someone oughter pay for it.' When young, wealthy spinster Letitia Fairchild witnesses Ella being ill-treated, she takes her in as a scullery maid. But as Ella grows up, she is determined to find the truth about her mother's tragic death and appeals to Letitia for help, revealing her only personal possession, a black silk purse. Intrigued, Letitia agrees to begin a quest to solve the mystery of Ella's past. But there are astonishing and dramatic consequences.
1752. Agnes Trussel, carrying an unwanted child and stolen coins makes her way to London. She finds work with John Blacklock but as the months pass it becomes difficult for Agnes to conceal her secret. Soon she meets Cornelius Soul and hatches a plan which could save her. But why does Blacklock disapprove of Mr Soul? And what is he keeping from her?
1934. Talented 18-year-old dancer Bonny Burton joins the chorus at Southampton's Palace of Varieties and becomes fast friends with gifted choreographer Rob Andrews. When the pair are spotted by a talent scout, they are contracted to appear in the West End. Soon, Bonny becomes the darling of the theatrical world, but when she falls in love with Mickey O'Halleran, a handsome boxer who is trained by Foxy Gordon, a promoter with a shady past, her career is put in jeopardy.
War pulled them apart, but can it bring them back together? Molly lives with her repugnant father, who has betrayed her many times. From a young age, living on the streets of London's East End, she has seen the harsh realities of life. When she's kidnapped by a gang and forced into their underworld, her future seems bleak. Flo spent her early years in an orphanage and is about to turn her hand to teacher training. When a kindly teacher at her school approaches her about a job at Bletchley Park, it could turn out to be everything she never realized she wanted.Will the girls' friendship be enough to weather the hard times ahead?
Lily Larkin is the youngest of six and the least important member of her talented, argumentative, temperamental family. With their father dead and their mother a stranger to them, she must stay at home and keep house whilst her elder siblings go out to work.
Irene Angel lives with her parents in a tiny room. Her crippled mother ekes out a living selling pickles while her father Billy gambles away what little money they manage to earn. When Billy’s errant ways catch up with him, he is imprisoned and Irene must seek help from Inspector Edward Kent – her sworn enemy.
Susan Hooper is private secretary to bestselling author Vivian Proudfoot. Well-spoken, she soon learns how to hold her own with London's literary sophisticates. But the attentions of Mercer Hughes, a handsome agent with a notorious reputation, are more than she can cope with and she finds herself falling reluctantly in love.
After Clare Ellis gives birth, she discovers that motherhood isn’t as easy as she’d expected. Desperate to regain her independence running a chain of boutique flower shops, she hires a nanny. Before long, a rivalry emerges, and as events spiral out of control, Clare finds herself forced to make wrenching decisions about love, loyalty and motherhood.
When Elsie and Bert Jones move with their children, Ann and Arthur, to Candle Lane, a modest street in Battersea, they miss their comfortable house in Wimbledon. But the move is the right thing to do, as it will enable Bert to finance his new removal business. They are a warm-hearted family, and Elsie soon makes friends with her less fortunate neighbour, Ruth and her daughter Sally. But before long Elsie realises that all is not well in the house next door.
When Polly Pritchard learns that her husband has been killed in action, she brings up their young daughter Emmie alone. To make ends meet she gets a job at the Cherry Ballroom in West London and it is here that she meets James, a Canadian airman, and they fall in love. But then Polly's husband turns up, very much alive...Life is even harder for Polly after the war; James has gone; her husband is involved in a criminal gang; and their daughter suffers from an illness that leaves her deaf. But Polly's spirit remains strong and with courage and determination she finds the happiness she and her daughter deserve.
Have you ever ignored a sense of unease? Helena Standish knows that a good marriage would enhance her father's social status but she's wise enough not to accept any handsome fool. The wealthy and enigmatic Oliver Faraday is considered an ideal match, so why does Helena have faint misgivings?