'In 1845 Annie Gibson can finally leave Salem Street. Her dreams of being able to open an elegant dressmaking salon in the High Street of Bilsden, a Lancashire mill town, have come true. And she is going to take her father and his second family with her, away from poverty, away from the Rows.
But Annie has not left trouble behind. Someone is trying to undermine her business. Her family have their own ideas about what they want to do with their lives. And several men are persistently trying to win favour with the beautiful young widow - including Frederick Hallam, the mill owner, and Daniel O'Connor, her childhood friend.
'As Annie gets better acquainted with both, she becomes increasingly confused about her feelings. Can she really be in love And can she risk trusting any man again?' (Publication summary)
'Ridge Hill starts in 1848, when preparations are under way for Annie Gibson's wedding to Bilsden's wealthy millowner, Frederick Hallam. But not everyone is as pleased as Annie and Frederick about the match.
Frederick's daughter, Beatrice, is horrified at the prospect of an attractive young stepmother arriving at the house on Ridge Hill. Even Annie's own family feels threatened by Frederick's wealth and position. The only person who seems pleased by the match is Tom, Annie's brother, who's afraid of no one.
Soon, however, real troubles begin to pile up for the Gibsons. Tom's happiness is jeopardised by the news that he is father to a child he never knew about. Annie's son William, is devastated to find out that his real father is not the man who brought him up. And even Annie's joy is not untarnished, because someone has uncovered the secrets she has fought so hard to keep hidden.' (Publisher's blurb)
'Hallam Square starts in 1858 when Annie Hallam has at last found complete happiness. She has three healthy children and adores her husband Frederick. After years of struggling to make a living in the small Lancashire town of Bilsden, Annie knows she deserves to sit back and enjoy her life - after all, she's not yet forty, still in her prime.
'But worries - at first faint clouds on the horizon - are imminent. Frederick has been looking pale and ill lately. Her brother Tom hasn't moved on after the death of his young wife. Rebecca, her half-sister, is longing for something more than her work at the salon. And William, her son, isn't happy at university. In spite of Frederick's gentle urging not to take the burdens of the entire Gibson family on her shoulders, Annie can't help feeling concerned.
'And something much more dangerous is looming - a threat not only to Annie's peace of mind, but to her life as well... ' (Publisher's blurb)
'Spinners Lake starts in 1860 in Bilsden, the Lancashire mill town, where Frederick Hallam is dying. But as he weakens, he makes secret plans to smooth the future path for his beloved wife Annie. Her sister, Joanie, is fed up with life until a dashing new admirer crosses her path. But a spurned suitor is determined that Joanie will be his, whatever the cost. And he is not the only one who wants to harm the Gibson family.
Meanwhile the Civil War in America cuts off cotton supplies, so that times are hard in Lancashire and unemployment is rife in the small town of Bilsden. Annie has to rebuild her life after her husband's death and plans to build Spinners Lake, an extraordinary project that will keep her workers from destitution.
Tian Gilchrist, who fell in love with Annie in the previous book, Hallam Square, goes to visit America and gets caught up in the war there, nearly losing his life. Injured, he fights his way back to Bilsden, to Annie, whom he has never forgotten.
And the plans that Frederick made for Annie gradually change her life in unforeseen ways, bringing her hope and happiness once again...(Publisher's blurb)