|Ellen O’Casey, an Irish Catholic immigrant, is struggling to support her ailing mother, her teenage daughter and herself. Washing other people’s laundry in the day, and singing in bawdy pubs at night, Ellen is determined to make a better life for her family by saving enough for the passage to New York where the rest of her extended family have already emigrated. But Danny Donovan, a local gangster and the landlord of the pubs where Ellen sings, intends to make her his mistress. A widow in her late 20s, Ellen has refused to let another man in her life, least of all the brutish Danny, whose advances she doggedly resists.
But when Ellen catches the eye of the new doctor in town, Robert Munroe, an intense rivalry is formed between the doctor and Danny. For not only are Robert’s feelings for Ellen reciprocated, but the ambitious doctor also intends to investigate the appalling living conditions of the local community and Danny’s own hand in it. But as Ellen and Robert become closer and aim to bring an end to Danny’s reign of terror, their own chance at happiness seems suddenly to be at stake…
|1844: when Josie returns to London after twelve years in America, she is overjoyed to discover her childhood sweetheart, Patrick, who she believed to be dead, is alive and well. But her happiness is short-lived – Patrick now belongs to another.
Heartbroken, Josie tries to settle back into the East End. But life as she knew it has changed: her family’s social standing has improved and resentment brews over her new-found status as a lady. Torn between two worlds, Josie is still drawn back to her old haunts – and to Patrick.
When the couple are finally offered a glimmer of hope, their happiness is threatened by Ma Tugman and her criminal empire. But will Josie forsake everything for the man she loves…?
|Mattie Maguire is a twenty-six-year-old widow with an infant son. Since her husband, Brian, died three years before, she has struggled to keep the family’s East End coal business solvent, as well as taking care of her troubled mother-in-law. But unbeknown to Mattie, life is about to get even tougher. Maguire’s is in the path of the proposed Wapping to Mile End Railway extension that Amos Stebbins is trying to raise capital for, and he has his sights set on the deeds of the coal yard. Outwardly, Amos is a respectably married local benefactor. But he has a darker side and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
|Kate Ellis learnt the hard way that falling in love with the wrong man could be your undoing. It was nine years ago that she fell for the charms of Freddie Ellis, only to discover his criminal ways. With her husband in prison, Kate has fought hard to give her two children everything they could need. But now Freddie is back and threatens to destroy everything she has worked for.
Captain Jonathan Quinn has resigned from the army after the needless death of too many of his men. But when his father disowns him and his fiancée breaks their engagement, Jonathan finds himself in desperate need of work. Accepting a friend’s proposal of acting as headmaster at a local school, Jonathan is determined to leave the army behind and turn his life around.
When Kate and Jonathan’s paths cross, the attraction is instant. But with Kate still a married woman, they know it can never be. As Kate grows more distant, Jonathan finds solace in the arms of another woman, and Kate is left to wonder if she will ever find true love again…
|Charlotte, daughter of Reverend Percival Hatton, has been content to follow the path laid out for her. Charlotte has an understanding with Captain Nicolas Paget – every inch the gentleman – who she expects someday to marry. But then she meets Josiah Martyn, and everything changes…
A driven and ambitious Cornish mining engineer, and the complete opposite to Captain Nicholas, Josiah has come to London to help build the first tunnel under the river Thames. When unpredictable events occur at the inauguration of the project, Josiah and Charlotte are suddenly thrown into an unexpected intimacy.
But not everyone is happy with Charlotte and Josiah growing closer. As friends turn to foes, will they be able to rewrite the stars and find their happy ever after, although all odds seem to be stacked against them..?