Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Book Deals

Daily Deals: Richard II intrigue, A couple of scoundrels, and a sweet regency

Daily Deals: Richard II intrigue, A couple of scoundrels, and a...

A Burnable Book: A Novel by Bruce HolsingerA Burnable Book: A Novel by Bruce Holsinger. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

London, 1385. Surrounded by ruthless courtiers—including his powerful uncle, John of Gaunt, and Gaunt’s artful mistress, Katherine Swynford—England’s young king, Richard II, is in mortal peril. Songs are heard across London, said to originate from an ancient book that prophesies the ends of England’s kings—including Richard’s assassination. Only a few powerful men know that the cryptic lines derive from a “burnable book,” a seditious work that threatens the stability of the realm. To find the manuscript, wily bureaucrat Geoffrey Chaucer turns to fellow poet John Gower, a professional trader in information with connections high and low.

Gower discovers a conspiracy that reaches from the king’s court to London’s slums—and potentially implicates Gower’s own son. As the intrigue deepens, it becomes clear that John Gower, a man with secrets of his own, may hold the key to saving the king, and England itself.

PW gave it starred review “Though the period’s unfamiliar terms and figures can be confusing, the intricate plot, sharp characterizations, and sweeping depiction of medieval England make this a memorable fiction debut.”

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLeanNo Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A rogue ruined . . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.

A lady returned . . .

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed . . .

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.

Winner of the 2014 RITA Award for Historical Romance

I feel like Sarah Maclean is the Julia Quinn of this time period, whatever this time period may be. I haven’t read her in a while but I know she’s a favorite for many historical romance readers. I found in a couple of books the heroes were just too mean for me.

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREAppleGoogle

Dangerous Passion by Lisa Marie RiceDangerous Passion by Lisa Marie Rice. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Feelings kill faster than bullets.

That is Drake’s creed. A legend, a renegade, a ruthless, powerful enigma understood by no one and feared by all, Viktor “Drake” Drakovich heads up a billion-dollar empire—and shows no mercy to the many enemies who would stop at nothing to destroy him. He is a man with no love and no weakness, until…

Grace Larsen takes Drake’s breath away the first time he sees her—and quickly becomes his obsession. Never before has he burned for someone the way he desires this hauntingly beautiful artist who is plagued by troubling dreams. He aches to possess her, to protect her, to carry her to new heights of sensuous arousal and rapturous release.

But entering Drake’s world means becoming a target—for relentless, bloodthirsty foes have been eagerly waiting for him to expose his weak spot. And the price of their passion may be their lives.

I remember first reading this book back in the day (2009 is the pub date) and thinking an arms dealer for a hero? That’s not really heroic. But now I’ve read so so much worse that this book seems tame in comparison. It’s a classic LMR and if you like her obsessed heroes (which I do) then you’ll enjoy this one.

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

As You Are by Sarah EdenAs You Are by Sarah Eden. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

A horse breeder by trade, Corbin Jonquil is more at home in the stables than in the ballroom of his sprawling estate. Corbin is the quietest of the Jonquil brothers and has always faded into the background, contentedly unnoticed. When a mysterious young widow, Mrs. Clara Bentford, moves into the neighborhood, however, Corbin quickly comes to realize that being noticed has its advantages. But how to catch the eye of the lady?

According to his brothers, Corbin need only make a few simple changes to transform himself into the object of any woman’s desire—dubious advice, indeed. Following a series of misadventures, Corbin and Clara slowly lower the facades behind which they’ve been hiding, leaving Corbin shocked by the horrors that haunt the woman he’s coming to care for so ardently. When the menace of Clara’s past threatens to tear them apart and tensions mount, will the couple have the courage to fight for the promise of forever?

I’m guessing that this is an inspirational historical although I can’t tell from the reviews. Reviewers raved about Corbin who was neither the tortured hero or the suave courtier, but a shy and sweet guy. I’m intrigued but I don’t want something really preachy. Anyone read Eden?

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Daily Deals: Female Pope, a sexy novella, and a fun contemporary

Daily Deals: Female Pope, a sexy novella, and a fun contemporary

One Night of Sin (An After Hours Novella) by Elle KennedyOne Night of Sin by Elle Kennedy. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

A sexy category romance novella from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

When it comes to sex, good girl Skyler Thompson always plays it safe, choosing stable and sedate over wild and thrilling. She doesn’t do one-night-stands, but one look at sinfully sexy Gage Holt and she’s willing to reconsider. He makes her want to be bad for once in her life, and she’s prepared to take what she wants.

Danger follows former MMA fighter Gage Holt like a shadow. Despite his successes as part owner of Sin, an exclusive nightclub in Boston, Gage can’t risk getting involved with a woman, especially one as sweet as Skyler. Still, he can’t resist a taste—and it’s so damn good he has to see her again.

As addicted as he is to her, Gage knows there’s no future for him and Skyler—not with his past lurking in the dark corners of an MMA cage. But Skylar’s tougher than she looks, and she’s ready to fight for her man.

I read this one last week and enjoyed it. It’s a category length story featuring a grumpy hero but a really great heroine who is a) not afraid to pursue what she wants and b) not afraid to call the hero on his woe is me bullshit. Entangled calls this a category romance novella so I’m not exactly sure of the word count but it’s a steamy entertaining read that is a great way to pass the time.

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

The Night of the Comet by George BishopThe Night of the Comet by George Bishop. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

From the acclaimed author of Letter to My Daughter comes an engrossing coming-of-age tale that deftly conveys the hopes and heartaches of adolescence and the unfulfilled dreams that divide a family, played out against the backdrop of a small southern town in 1973.

For his fourteenth birthday, Alan Broussard, Jr., receives a telescope from his father, a science teacher at the local high school who’s eagerly awaiting what he promises will be the astronomical event of the century: the coming of Comet Kohoutek. For Alan Broussard, Sr.—frustrated in his job, remote from his family—the comet is a connection to his past and a bridge to his son, with whom he’s eager to share his love for the stars.

But the only heavenly body Junior has any interest in is his captivating new neighbor and classmate, Gabriella Martello, whose bedroom sits within eyeshot of his telescope’s lens. Meanwhile, his mother, Lydia, sees the comet—and her husband’s obsession with it—as one more thing that keeps her from the bigger, brighter life she once imagined for herself far from the swampy environs of Terrebonne, Louisiana. With Kohoutek drawing ever closer, the family begins to crumble under the weight of expectations, until a startling turn of events will leave both father and son much less certain about the laws that govern their universe.

Illuminating and unforgettable, The Night of the Comet is a novel about the perils of growing up, the longing for connection, and the idea that love and redemption can be found among the stars.

“A quiet, occasionally bittersweet novel about the differences between desire and disappointment, expectations and reality.”—Booklist

“Coming-of-age novels examine youthful revelations about the world—filled with cynicism and wonder and rearranged expectations—and the quality hinges on the honesty of the voice, the truth of the observations, the handling of innocence lost; Bishop succeeds on all these fronts.”—Kirkus Reviews

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREAppleGoogle

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk CrossPope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A world-wide bestseller, major motion picture and upcoming “Director’s Cut” TV mini-series exclusively for the U.S!

“Pope Joan has all the elements one wants in a historical drama–love, sex, violence, duplicity, and long-buried secrets. Cross has written an engaging book.”–Los Angeles Times Book Review

For a thousand years her existence has been denied. She is the legend that will not die–Pope Joan, the ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female ever to sit on the throne of St. Peter. Now in this riveting novel, Donna Woolfolk Cross paints a sweeping portrait of an unforgettable heroine who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot accept.

Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn. When her brother is brutally killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak–and his identity–and enters the monastery of Fulda. As Brother John Anglicus, Joan distinguishes herself as a great scholar and healer. Eventually, she is drawn to Rome, where she becomes enmeshed in a dangerous web of love, passion, and politics. Triumphing over appalling odds, she finally attains the highest office in Christendom–wielding a power greater than any woman before or since. But such power always comes at a price . . .

In this international bestseller, Cross brings the Dark Ages to life in all their brutal splendor and shares the dramatic story of a woman whose strength of vision led her to defy the social restrictions of her day.

“Cross makes an excellent, entertaining case in her work of historical fiction that, in the Dark Ages, a woman sat on the papal throne for two years.” says PW. “Ultimately, though she leads a man’s life, Joan dies a woman’s death, losing her life in childbirth. In this colorful, richly imagined novel, Cross ably inspires a suspension of disbelief, pulling off the improbable feat of writing a romance starring a pregnant pope. ”

Sounds pretty fascinating.

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Shooter (Burnout, #1) by Dahlia WestShooter (Burnout, #1) by Dahlia West. $ FREE.

From the Jacket Copy:

Chris “Shooter” Sullivan has returned to his home town of Rapid City, South Dakota to pick up the pieces of his life shattered by a roadside bomb in Iraq. He only wants to focus on holding what’s left of his old unit together, running his garage where he builds custom bikes and cars, and pretending that his murdered father’s motorcycle gang doesn’t exist.

Hayley Turner is a young woman with her own traumatic past. Fresh off the bus from Nowhere, USA, all she wants is a job and a place to live, until it’s time for her to leave again. She doesn’t want to make friends, or enemies, least of all the ex-Army Ranger who obviously doesn’t like her. She bristles under his watchful eye. He’s even got her convinced she’s bad news.

But circumstances force two people who don’t need anyone to need each other more and more. The more Chris gets to know Hayley, the harder it is to stay detached. And the more Hayley gets to know Chris, the more she realizes she’s been alone for so long she might never recover from it.

I thought this was fun and funny. I’d recommend it to readers who like Lisa Marie Rice stories. But, don’t read Tex. Just don’t. And maybe read a lot of reviews before buying the rest in the series. But definitely pick this up for free.

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google