The Novelist



In 2011 Nicola Thorne started to re-publish some of her early
out-of-print titles as e-books on Amazon Kindle.  Where necessary
 she was able to revise and bring them up to date and occasionally design new covers.



Return to Wuthering Heights

A great love reborn. 

When Emily Bronte’s Classic Wuthering Heights ended Heathcliff had just died still grieving over the death of his love Catherine Linton, nee Earnshaw.  In this imaginative sequel Hareton (Catherine’s nephew) and Cathy (Catherine’s daughter) share their predecessors’ passion for each other.  However, is it possible for Catherine’s daughter to have remained untouched by her mother’s wild and tempestuous nature?




My Name is Martha Brown

Based on a true story, a captivating tale of passionate love and violent death in 1850s Dorset.

Although born in obscurity and dying publicly on the scaffold for the brutal murder of her husband in 1856, Martha Brown as a historical character remains tantalizingly elusive, and has long been an object of fascination to many people.  Not least of these was Thomas Hardy.  A fictional reconstruction of the story of a woman whose sad life and shocking death have many of the overtones of a Hardy heroine.




                                A Woman Like Us

Four women drawn together by having children at the same school...

Alex whose comfortable life is suddenly and brutally disrupted by the mysterious disappearance of her husband.  Fay, divorced and bitter, but condemned to live in a high rise council flat, painfully and resentfully facing the world.  Lorna who might as well not have a husband for all she sees of him, but sublimates with good works and campaigns for women’s rights, always busy and with a liking for unconsciously interfering in and controlling the lives of others.
And Carla, single parent but merry widow, vital, fey, liking luxury but poor. When the opportunity arises to earn some easy money she finds it hard to refuse. ... all facing, in different ways, the dilemma of being alone and the challenges of social and sexual independence in an age of maximum stress and limitless liberty.



The Perfect Wife and Mother

A loving husband, three lively intelligent children ... Ruth Harrow looks after them all with love and pride. She is the perfect wife and mother until a stranger moves in next door and awakes in her a smouldering passion which threatens her home, her family, her life.





In this chilling tale of psychic suspense explicable and inexplicable events are explored that threaten to tear a family apart.

Following a job change, the Tempest family move to a remote village in Dorset, which, despite its beauty, seems somehow desolate. Even the odd behaviour of
the family cat is disconcerting, so that their new home soon begins to fill them
with dread…




The Little Flowers

Pretty, feisty fifteen-year-old Andrea Mackintosh is used to a sophisticated lifestyle and visiting the cultural capitals of pre war Europe with her diplomat father. Then in 1942, although not a Catholic, she is suddenly plunged into the austere world of a convent boarding school to which she has been sent in order to escape the London blitz.

Gradually Andrea is absorbed into the life of the convent which, with its diverse personalities, petty feuds, hilarious misadventures, and many undercurrents reflects the uncertainty and turbulence of the world outside.



Rose, Rose, Where are You?

The awesome Burgundian curse uttered by Joan of Arc echoes down the ages to strike a French noble family, the de Frigecourts, and a British historian in thrall to the Saint's legend. To Clare Trafford, busy working on a biography of Joan of Arc, the charming coastal town of Port St Pierre seems like the perfect place to continue her research - and a welcome escape from her own crumbling marriage. 

Enchanted by the three de Frigecourts’ children and attracted by their father -
the handsome, brooding Laurent - Clare discovers that her own destiny has become inextricably entangled with the curse of the martyred saint and the family she has befriended.



The Pride of the School
and Other Tales of Convent Life

(short stories published for the first time)

Companion to The Little Flowers. The stories, set in a convent school, have a similar theme.



Coppitts Green

When Jocasta Oaks arrives in the small Yorkshire village of Coppitts Green she is full of excitement at taking up her new job as assistant schoolteacher - and at being reunited with her fiancé, Peter Ryder. But Peter has disappeared, without explanation, and Jocasta is forced to stay with his cousins at their family home, Croft House.

From the moment she arrives, Jocasta is disturbed by the effect Croft House and its inhabitants have on her. As she learns something about the history of the place, she becomes more and more convinced that Croft House, and the entire Ryder family, are harbouring dark secrets from their past …





Karen a young woman who, after the tragic death of her pilot husband in a flying accident, feels a strong and irrational compulsion to return to the Yorkshire village where she was born.   There she encounters an old love whose recent history is as unhappy as hers, and also rediscovers her talent as a painter. With powerful but misleading memories of childhood to guide her finds that she is haunted not only by her past but by those of people long dead.



The Broken  Bough Series

The Broken Bough

The first volume in The Broken Bough saga

In the early 1900s pretty Cathy Read is widowed when her husband, Bill, is killed in an accident.  She has three young children to feed and clothe. Despite a new marriage to an old friend of Bill’s, Cathy’s hardships only increase with the addition of two more children and, eventually, the outbreak of war in 1914. By the time of the Armistice, each member of the family finds his or her life radically changed in a world in turmoil, with strange new values.



The Blackbird’s Song

The second volume in The Broken Bough saga

It is 1924 and twenty-one year old Peg Hallam has come to London from rural Dorset to carve a career for herself in the busy world of Fleet Street journalism. She is sharing a flat with her eldest sister, Verity, a hospital nursing sister, who is determined to protect her young charge from the temptations offered from the big city. But Peg is pretty, spirited and adventurous, divided by her loyalty to her family and their strict, conventional morality, and a yearning to experience all that the vast and exciting metropolis has to offer.



The Water’s Edge

The third volume in The Broken Bough saga

In May 1926, Peg Hallam, a successful young reporter working in London, is an enthusiastic supporter of the General Strike which is crippling the country. She is engaged to Alan, a fellow journalist and socialist who has long admired her, but whom she is not quite sure she loves. On the picket line outside her employer's newspaper offices Peg unexpectedly bumps into Hubert Ryland, heir to Lord Ryland, on whose Dorset estate Peg's family lives. Under such dramatic circumstances the long-suppressed attraction between the two young people is reawakened, and Peg finds she can no longer deny her feelings.



Oh, Happy Day!

The final volume in The Broken Bough saga

This opens in the summer of 1932 with Ed Hallam and the beautiful Maisie celebrating their marriage in great style at Ryland Castle. Peg Hallam, once the gardener's daughter, is now apparently secure in her new role as Lady Ryland, mother of the future heir. The bewitching Maisie, formerly a night-club dancer, also seems about to cross that class barrier and finally achieve respectability.

But will she? Or will her glamorous but dissolute past return to threaten not only her and Ed's new-found happiness, but also send shockwaves through the entire family?


The Daughters of the House

It is May 1851 and the opening day of the Great Exhibition at Paxton’s magnificent Crystal Palace in London’s Hyde Park. Rich and poor have flocked there – to see the Palace, to see the Duke of Wellington, to see the Queen ...

George Vestrey, Tory Member of Parliament, wealthy doyen of the Victorian ruling class, is there with his family. But secure and safe though the titled Vestreys may seem, the family is about to be torn apart.

The Daughters of the House is a story of love and change – of a family whose conflicts in peace and war mirror the conflicts of Victorian society and of England itself. In its portrayal of a family and the aspirations of the three eldest daughters, spirited young women yearning to free themselves from social conventions, this powerful novel illuminates our past, and the way in which the past has shaped our present.



Where the Rivers Meet

The Scottish border town of Branswick is where the rivers meet. Here since the middle of the Nineteenth Century the Dunbar Mill and the family running it have dominated the community. But when the family’s heir loses his life in France in 1918, confusion and failure loom for the proud Dunbar family and its celebrated knitwear firm. But though it has lost an heir it gained an heiress: only young Margaret Dunbar proves herself brave in the face of despair, and passionate in the face of coldness and betrayal.

The novel traces her fight to drag the conservative business struggling into the twentieth century from modest beginnings to the seemingly glamorous world of haute couture, mainly through the development and exploitation of the luxurious fabric cashmere, with offices and showrooms throughout Europe.

It is also a panorama of one of the most turbulent periods in European history, 1918 to 1951, covering the recklessness and failed hopes of the twenties, the recession of the thirties, the emergence of Hitler and Fascism and the Second World War in which further members of the Dunbar family are called upon to make great sacrifices.



Affairs of Love

The years 1880-1900, fin de siècle, the end of the century. Things will never be the same again but no one knows it. In Britain Queen Victoria’s long reign is coming to an end, but the country, at ease with itself, is basking in an era of unparalleled wealth, prosperity and expansion but also of grinding poverty and inequality largely ignored except by a caring few. France too is luxuriating in the Belle Époque an age of excess dominated not only by the pursuit of pleasure but of artistic and cultural supremacy.

In London sisters Lindsey and Estella Abercrombie could not, superficially, be more different: the eldest, Lindsey, austerely handsome, intellectual, socially aware, is destined to break into the male-dominated world of medicine. She is one of the caring few trying to ease the lot of women, victim also of male prejudice and ignorance and condemned to lives of poverty and endless childbearing.

This is the story of two unconventional women struggling to escape the conventions of middle-class English morality sexually, professionally and emotionally. It is a story both gloriously romantic and stunningly realistic.



The Enchantress

Where she came from no one knew. Few cared. The men saw the pride, the grace, and the fierce defiance in her eyes. The women pitied her fatigue, the ragged clothes, and her loneliness. None guessed the tragic past from which she was fleeing, or foresaw the strange future that was her destiny. Analee however was no ordinary gypsy, her past as mysterious as the effect she had on all who came into contact with her be they men or woman. Was she a witch, a sorceress, perhaps an enchantress, a weaver of spells?

During that violent summer, among the mountains and lakes of Cumbria, three men would be enslaved by her presence and awesome beauty: The first was rebel aristocrat Brent Delamain. The second, the dark gypsy Randal Buckland. The third, the man all men knew and feared as ‘The Falcon ...’ a colonel in the Hanoverian Army which would eliminate forever the claims of the Stuarts to the throne of England.

This is the first novel in a dazzling family saga, a full blooded tale of passion and adventure set during Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rebellion of 1745.



Falcon Gold

After a stormy and adventurous life Analee, the gypsy with magical powers, contemplates at last a life of peace, happiness and security. She is madly in love with and married to one of the premier noblemen in England, a renowned and feared soldier, the Marquess of Falconer, known as the Falcon.

From the vast Falconer mansion in London she also enters a world as remote as it could possibly be from her former life, gracing the Courts of England and France where her beauty and charm mesmerises everyone she meets including the exiled Bonnie Prince Charlie still plotting to recapture the throne of England and anxious for Analee to help him. But Analee is reluctant to anger her husband who is not only a staunch supporter of the new Hanoverian King but, through jealousy of his fascinating wife, has revealed himself as a violent and also unfaithful man.

Waiting in the wings however is Brent Delamain, her former lover, still as much in love with her as ever, unable to forget the woman they all called the Enchantress.

Full of action and intrigue, rich in description of life at the Royal Courts Falcon Gold continues the sweeping saga of an age and of a woman as exotic and bewitching in spirit as in body.



Lady of the Lakes

The third and final part of The Enchantress Saga

In her idyllic Lakeland home Analee, once a wandering gypsy but now Marchioness of Falconer, has at last found peace and contentment as the wife of the legendary Falcon one of England’s premier noblemen, a General in the Hanoverian Army. While across the sea, with the ill fated Bonnie Prince Charlie, her former lover the exiled Brent Delamain still dreams of the passionate gypsy girl who is forever in his heart.

However Analee, a renowned beauty who bewitches both men and women, and now welcomed because of her high station in the Royal Courts of England and France, has still to face danger and a tormented passion. As the Falcon’s ardour cools and he turns to the arms of his scheming mistress, she is at the mercy of deception, treason and betrayal that threatens to put her on trial for her life.

And this time, in her desperate fight for love and survival, as the plots against her thicken, is it possible that even the old magic cannot help the Enchantress?


The People of This Parish

The parish of Wenham is dominated by the grand manor of Pelham’s Oak and its owners, the aristocratic Woodville family.  However, the young master of Pelham’s Oak, Sir Guy Woodville, is penniless.  In a rare moment of responsibility, he agrees to a marriage of convenience in order to bolster the family fortunes.

The Rector’s Daughter

She was every inch the parson’s daughter, with the clear light of Christian courage showing through. But there was something else: she was a woman of the world too, a woman, clearly, who had lived.  Sophie Woodville's return to Wenham, the thriving Dorset market town of her birth, is not a happy one. Her secret marriage to George, heir to the Woodville baronetcy, incurred the wrath not only of her husband's family but also of her own.


In This Quiet Earth

Carson, having inherited the title from his late father Sir Guy, returns at the end of hostilities in 1919 to find the Woodville estate once more in financial difficulties. It is deeply in debt and urgently in need of extensive repairs thanks, largely, to the excesses of his extravagant and wilful stepmother Agnes who continues to live there.


Past Love

It is the year 1928 and as Bart Sadler and Sophie Turner gaze at each other across a crowded room, memories come flooding back. Sixteen years is a long time. Pleasant memories for one; terrifying for the other. Sophie tries to avert her eyes but, as he walks towards her, she realises there is no means of escape.

Bart Sadler has earned himself an unsavoury reputation.  There can be little joy now at his unwelcome return. So, when he attempts to manoeuvre his way into Wenham society, the people of the town unite in dismissive contempt.


A Time of Hope

It is the year 1932 – wealthy, young Alexander Martyn is instantly drawn to pretty, but unsuitable Mary Sprogett so that their rapidly forming attachment incurs his adoptive mother’s displeasure.

When Alexander and Mary elope together, a Pandora’s Box is opened and the secret of Alexander’s birth, long concealed from him, alienates him and threatens to split the family apart.

This continuation of this engrossing saga follows the lives of the characters in the years leading up to the Second World War, and charts the impact that the devastating events of that time had on the Woodville and Yetman families as well as the world at large.

A Time of War

Individual acts of heroism and endurance mingle with the mystery of Irene’s disappearance and the fate of the Woodvilles’ old adversary, Bart Sadler, who risks everything to find her.

It is July 1939 and Alexander Martyn has married Irene, a beautiful German girl. After a blissful honeymoon in Italy, Irene returns to Berlin to warn a friend of the impending danger and immediately disappears without trace. Alexander joins the RAF, but his thoughts are always on his bride’s unknown fate. But this is not the only catastrophe to engulf the family as the whole world bursts into the flames of conflict.