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

DAILY DEAL: Special forces meet psychic forces, a reformed manwhore, and...

The Time in Between Maria DuenasThe Time in Between by Maria Duenas. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The inspiring international bestseller of a seemingly ordinary woman who uses her talent and courage to transform herself first into a prestigious couturier and then into an undercover agent for the Allies during World War II.

Between Youth and Adulthood…

At age twelve, Sira Quiroga sweeps the atelier floors where her single mother works as a seamstress. At fourteen, she quietly begins her own apprenticeship. By her early twenties she has learned the ropes of the business and is engaged to a modest government clerk. But everything changes when two charismatic men burst unexpectedly into her neatly mapped-out life: an attractive salesman and the father she never knew.

Between War and Peace…

With the Spanish Civil War brewing in Madrid, Sira leaves her mother and her fiancé, impetuously following her handsome lover to Morocco. However, she soon finds herself abandoned, penniless, and heartbroken in an exotic land. Among the odd collection of European expatriates trapped there by the worsening political situation back on the Continent, Sira reinvents herself by turning to the one skill that can save her: her gift for creating beautiful clothes.

Between Love and Duty…

As England, Germany, and the other great powers launch into the dire conflict of World War II, Sira is persuaded to return to Madrid, where she takes on a new identity to embark upon the most dangerous undertaking of her career. As the preeminent couturier for an eager clientele of Nazi officers’ wives, Sira becomes embroiled in the half-lit world of espionage and political conspiracy rife with love, intrigue, and betrayal.

An outstanding success around the world, The Time in Between has sold more than two million copies and inspired the Spanish television series based on the book, dubbed by the media as the “Spanish Downton Abbey.” In the US it was a critical and commercial hit, and a New York Times bestseller in paperback. It is one of those rare, richly textured novels that enthrall down to the last page. María Dueñas reminds us how it feels to be swept away by a masterful storyteller.

Show Less

Per Kirkus this is a chick lit book.

“Sira, now hooked up with British intelligence–for by now we’ve gone from gothic romance to espionage thriller–is just the person for the gig. Will Beigbeder, Franco and Uncle Adolf prevail, or will the good triumph? Well, you’ll just have to read Dueñas’ well-crafted but decidedly chick-lit effort to find out. Middlebrow and breezy. A perfect beach read, if a touch off-season, unless you’re headed for Casablanca and its waters.”

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Risk of Love and Magic Patricia RiceRisk of Love and Magic by Patricia Rice. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:


Sparks fly when special forces meets psychic forces…

Brilliant psychic Nadine Malcolm is held prisoner in an asylum by her stepfather, a power-mad general. As the Librarian, she secretly hijacks computers to prevent his plans to turn paranormal children into weapons. When her younger sister ominously disappears, Nadine reaches through cyberspace for help.

Ex-Special Forces warrior Magnus Oswin has focused his formidable talents on stopping the rogue general who once held him prisoner. After picking up the Librarian’s frantic plea, he roars into the fray in his latest engineering marvel, a modified muscle car.

The last thing Nadine needs is another military control freak in her life. The last thing Magnus needs is an aluminum-foil-wearing nutcase. But fierce attraction forges an uneasy alliance as two desperate people fight to save the children who cannot save themselves.

This Is a pre order price (and it’s the last day of the special) so I don’t really know anything about this book. It is the third book in a series. There are no reviews on goodreads. I guess it’s just a “leave it up to chance” sort of thing.
AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google


From the Jacket Copy:

In TangledNew York Times bestselling author Emma Chase’s sizzling and hilarious debut novel, Drew Evans—gorgeous, arrogant, irreverent, and irresistibly charming—meets his match in new colleague Kate Brooks.

Drew Evans is handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed? He’ll tell you he has the flu. But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

This book features a reformed manwhore and it is told primarily from his POV. I found it irreverent, sexy and funny. But there is an awful Hilary Clinton joke in there and quite a bit of slut shaming.
AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Dirty Magic Jaye WellsDirty Magic by Jaye Wells. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The Magical Enforcement Agency keeps dirty magic off the streets, but there’s a new blend out there that’s as deadly as it is elusive. When patrol cop Kate Prospero shoots the lead snitch in this crucial case, she’s brought in to explain herself. But the more she learns about the investigation, the more she realizes she must secure a spot on the MEA task force.
Especially when she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier – on the same day she swore she’d given up dirty magic for good. Kate Prospero’s about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never.

There’s a slow start says the reviews.

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Isobel Carr
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 14:16:19

    Could we PLEASE stop with the “not your mother’s romance” bullshit? If ever anything made me not want to buy a book, it’s that line of advertising.

  2. Anne
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 14:25:44

    “But there is an awful Hilary Clinton joke in there and quite a bit of slut shaming.”

    I don’t understand why this was pointed out. It’s not the author’s point of view, it’s how the character thought and talked. It’s getting ridiculous, where characters are now being slapped on the wrist for saying things in a work of fiction. It was ONE comment that the character made about Clinton.

    As for the slut shaming. Really? Kristen Ashley books are all about slut shaming. The ex-wives are usually sluts in her books, along with the other female characters who aren’t perfect like the heroine, yet those books receive a lot of high praise here.

  3. Jane
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 14:30:10

    @Anne: No, it’s the author putting those words in the character’s mouth. She doesn’t have to write that joke. She can write something else. It bothers me when I read it and bothers me today. As I noted, I liked the book Tangled. I reviewed it favorably here.

    and hosted a giveaway for the book.

    Also, we’ve discussed slutshaming in KA’s books. I.e.

    Discussed the topic here:

    And frankly if I could slap a character’s wrist (although is that even possible), I would do so until slut shaming wasn’t part of the genre at all. I don’t feel bad or guilty pointing it out. I hope it goes away. Don’t you?

  4. Anne
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 14:40:00

    @Jane. Thank you for providing those links. I must have missed those.

    Yes, the author does put the joke into the character’s dialog, but I don’t for one second believe that what she writes is what she believes. It’s like that for any character. If they are writing a villain and the villain is spewing evil and hatred and even racist remarks, it’s part of that character’s make-up, is it not? When character A the villain calls character B a racist name, I know it’s the character and that the author doesn’t condone that behavior, but is doing so to show the character.

    That Hilary Clinton joke didn’t bother me, because to me it was in Drew’s character to say something so inappropriate. The guy was getting a blow job in a bathroom stall and not knowing the woman’s name, that sort of set us up to reading about a guy who has no filter, no matter who the woman was.

    Yes, I do wish that the slut shaming would stop, just as I wish alpah-holes and abusive relationships were not glorified as being romantic. Beautiful Disaster for example. That’s just one book among many that seem to be gaining momentum. Yes, there is room for slut shaming and abusive relationships, but not when it comes to the hero and heroine’s, those can be left for the villains.

    Thanks again for those links, I will check them out.

  5. Jane
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 14:47:45

    @Anne: I’m not vilifying the author. A character who slut shames or makes derogatory jokes about a powerful woman is a character who has a problem. Drew was never reformed in the book. He fell in love, but did he come around and say, yeah, I was wrong about women being bitches and hoes? Not really. Yes, it was part of Drew’s character. He was a complete alpha hole and didn’t become reformed. So I feel it is totally appropriate to call him out on that.

  6. Justine
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 15:24:11

    Twisted (#2 in Tangled series) is further evidence that Drew is not reformed. The entire book revolves a Big Misunderstanding with both Drew and Kate incorrectly jumping to conclusions. If Tied (#4) also consists entirely of poor communication, I just might disclaim the entire series despite how many times I’ve recommended Tangled (#1) for its distinctive voice.

  7. Anne
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 16:18:16

    @Jane: I never got the impression that Drew was reformed. He was basically the same guy at the end of the book that he was at the beginning. The only change I read that he was now in love, and determined to be monogamous, however, his immaturity and arrogance remained, which really was the appeal of the book and made it different and stand out. Most romance hero’s aren’t that honest and say what they really mean or what some men are really thinking. I would bet that a lot of men probably make Hilary Clinton jokes with other guys, or think it in their heads. Just like a lot of women make Bill Clinton jokes, and not just late night talk show hosts.

    I don’t agree with slut shaming, calling women bitches and whores at all. In real life, none of us would tolerate such language. However, in fiction, I think authors use these words to show what the character is all about, and like I said, I think some men do speak like this. That’s why I think Tangled did so well. The author went way outside the box with the romance hero, and had him say things (although way over the top at times) that guys in that age group probably say and think. Which includes ridiculing a powerful woman, just as I read women ridiculing powerful men in politics who are opposite of what they believe. I’m sure you’ve read some George W. Bush jokes in books, I have.

    @Justine I agree with you about Twisted. The twist was not really a twist, it was immature behavior on both the hero and heroine’s part. It made no sense, and could have been resolved with one sentence. However, I do like the author’s voice and she does write fun dialog to read. Doesn’t mean I agree with her characters or their behavior, but it was a quick beach read for me.

    I also think that it is hard to be entirely politically correct in any genre, Somewhere, someone is going to be insulted with something.

  8. cleo
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 16:33:48

    It’s funny. I love that Jane knows DA readers well enough to know to add sexist jokes to the list of content warnings / possible triggers. Personally, I’m still a bit traumatized by the Hillary Clinton nut crackers from the 08 election, so I appreciate the warning.

    I was going to comment on this even before I saw @Anne‘s comment. I personally didn’t read it as a slam against the book or author, just the desire to give readers enough info to match the right reader to the right book.

  9. Jane
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 17:00:07

    @Anne: “Most romance hero’s aren’t that honest and say what they really mean or what some men are really thinking” I think it is sad that most men, whether they are fictional or real, believe that most women are just holes for their pleasure. This is a real problem. It’s not about PCness. It’s about what kind of attitudes I want to read about in a book. As I wrote in my very brief commentary above, I liked the book but it was problematic. I added that because this is a deal post. It’s not a review. I want to provide readers information that they think would be helpful in making purchasing decisions.

    As for Drew, his attitude is pervasive in fiction and in real life. You can find it readily in many books even Kristen Ashley, as you point out. Misogynistic assholism isn’t something I want to celebrate and when I come across it, I try to point it out because it’s important to me as a reader and to others. That you don’t mind it doesn’t mean that other readers have the same mindset.

    And I’m not sure why you completely ignore that I wrote “I found it irreverent, sexy and funny. ” before the parts where I inform the reader that there were drawbacks.

  10. Ducky
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 17:40:57

    Emma Chase “Tangled” is $7.59 when I click on the link.

  11. Ani Gonzalez
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 17:41:26

    Maria Dueñas is chick-lit? Really? And it’s a ‘perfect beach read’? Wow. That’s one of the strangest reviews I’ve read in a long time.

  12. leslie
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 18:19:58

    Hey Jane….thanks for the warning…..for I was tempted to buy.

  13. JL
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 19:31:37

    Frankly, I’m in the camp of appreciating being forewarned about the slut-shaming and offensive joke. It helps me decide whether I want to purchase the book. Even if it’s true to the character and not the author’s real-life perspective, I just don’t want to read about a ‘hero’ who holds so little respect for women and I don’t care whether he finds happiness and love. There are going to be people who feel differently, and that’s cool. But for some of us, slut-shaming is a huge deal-breaker.

    I will probably buy Patricia Rice’s book, though. Does anyone know if it’s PNR or UF? She wrote a great UF as Jamie Quaid called Boyfriend from Hell, but I think it got cancelled after the second book. For me, she hit the right UF notes of a fun, snarky heroine who can’t help herself from helping people, mysterious secondary characters and unique world building.

  14. hapax
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 20:01:30

    Most romance hero’s aren’t that honest and say what they really mean or what some men are really thinking.

    I don’t know what “most” men “really” think, but if they are really unreformed misogynistic douchehats, that would explain why “most men” aren’t romance heros.

    The men I love — in fiction and real life — say what they think, and I don’t recall slut-shaming or sexist jokes coming out of their mouths.

    I really like Hero POV, and I was willing to take a chance on this, until I read the warning (and, more important, the “Does Not Change”) in the comments. So I really appreciate the heads-up; but if it’s not important to you, why on earth can’t you just ignore it? Is the book so incredibly great that you think it’s worthwhile to waste the money (and time!) of those readers who would be upset or angry?

  15. Kate Hewitt
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 03:34:53

    I loved Tangled because it was so distinctive, but I don’t think I could stomach more than one book in Drew’s voice. And I agree that he didn’t change, which was a bit of a disappointment but I can see why he didn’t, too–the book was all about his voice and for him to reform, his voice would have to change. I wish every bestseller wouldn’t become a series. I know publishers want to milk the success, but some books/concepts are better as stand alone.

  16. MrsJoseph
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 12:39:58

    Count me as another person who dislikes slut shaming. I appreciate being warned about it so please don’t stop!

  17. Maite
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 12:42:11

    My two-cents on The time in between, since I don’t think PW’s review does it justice.
    It’s Sira’s story, through and through. Sira’s a flawed character, who makes mistakes and trusts the wrong people. But the story is how she builds herself a life. She shows ingenuity and is not afraid of hard work, and never forgets her beginnings.
    Yes, the amount of important people a poor assistant meets seems outlandish, but it’s flows naturally in the story.
    The setting is a time of change, pre-Civil War Spain, Morocco and then back to Spain and Portugal. Sira meets a bunch of people, all of them with their own hopes and dreams.
    Antena3 adapted it into a series, give it a chance if you ever run across it.

  18. Lindsay
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 14:13:34

    I always have a hard time with “don’t consider the character’s views the author’s” when the author writes all of the characters in a book to have the exact same views — it’s why I DNF’d several books, every single character was making gross sexist/slut-shaming jokes (or worse) and the author said “Yes but some people are just unlikeable! It’s realistic!” There’s a difference between a character written to be a sexist jerk, and every single character in your book being a sexist jerk — the latter is going to make me question if it’s intentional or not.

    More importantly, _it’s not enjoyable for me to read_. I’d rather be forewarned and be able to make my own decisions than pay money for a wallbanger.

%d bloggers like this: