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Significant Others Sandra KittSignificant Others by Sandra Kitt. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

In bestselling author Sandra Kitt’s provocative urban romance, light-skinned Patricia Gilbert has spent much of her life passing as white, but her identity becomes much more complicated when she falls in love

With her youthful appearance and light skin, African-American high school counselor Patricia knows how it feels to be an outsider in her own world. And when a biracial fifteen-year-old boy becomes the target of neighborhood bullies, she’s determined to help him.

One of New York’s most successful men, Morgan Baxter feels totally at home in a corporate boardroom. But being a single father to a troubled teenager is a far more daunting challenge. Patricia Gilbert seems to understand his son—and him. As Morgan and Patricia start seeing each other, he has no idea where the three of them are headed.

With insight and sensitivity, Sandra Kitt gives us a passionate and thought-provoking novel about family, race, identity, and romantic love.

We talk about canonical books from time to time and I can’t help but wonder if Kitt belongs in those conversations.

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Carniepunk  by Rachel Caine(Gallery Books) Carniepunk by Rachel Caine. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in “The Cold Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly wholesome sounding Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in “Painted Love.”

Jia reviewed this collection (God bless her) and my guess is she would say it’s worth picking up at this price. “Carniepunk is a mixed bag of stories. That said, I don’t think there were any stories that were standout terrible — not the case in other anthologies I’ve read — and a couple that were excellent. Overall, I think the anthology warrants a B-. Definitely worth checking out if a few of these authors interest you.”

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Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine ReayDear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

Library Journal gave it a starred review. “This delightful debut novel about how one young woman learns to become the person she was meant to be will resonate with fans of New Adult fiction and with readers who enjoy Jane Austen spin-offs.”

This is published by Thomas Nelson so I assume that there is some inspirational aspect to the story. The plot kind of reminds me of Daddy Long Legs.

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9780143123309_p0_v1_s260x420Broken Harbor by Tana French. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

An addictive thriller from New York Times bestseller and the acclaimed author of In the Woods and Faithful Place

Tana French’s rise can only be called meteoric. Starting with her award-winning debut, French has scored four consecutive New York Times bestsellers and established herself as one of the top names in the genre. Broken Harbor is quintessential French—a damaged hero, an unspeakable crime, and an intricately plotted mystery—nestled in a timely examination of lives shattered by the global economic downturn.
Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy always brings in the killer. Always. That’s why he’s landed this high-profile triple homicide. At first, he thinks it’s going to be simple, but the murder scene holds terrifying memories for Scorcher. Memories of something that happened there back when he was a boy.
Tana French’s newest novel, The Secret Place, will be published by Viking on September 2nd, 2014.

Winner of the 2012 L.A. Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller

Keishon, the avid mystery reader, had this to say at her blog: ” I thought the plot was weak, the characterizations incomplete and the storyline not very engaging. I’m surprised that I didn’t enjoy this story more. As I said this is one of my anticipated reads for the year. Truth is this wasn’t her best work to me and whatever elements there were in In the Woods or Faithful Place that made me enjoy those novels enough to recommend them just wasn’t present in Broken Harbor. I’m hopeful that the next book will be better. Every writer isn’t going to always satisfy every reader. In no way do I think my opinion will sway her fans. Bottom line is that Faithful Place is still her best book to me. My grade is a C-.”

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

6 Comments

  1. Janine
    Aug 09, 2014 @ 11:35:28

    The plot kind of reminds me of Daddy Long Legs.

    The most helpful review on Amazon says:

    Dear Mr. Knightley is Daddy Long Legs, set in 2014 with a little Jane Austen fanaticism thrown in. Nothing original about it. While Katherine Reay’s version was well written, I was deeply disappointed that she couldn’t produce something that wasn’t blatantly lifted from an American classic. Skip this version and read the original — it’s eons better.

  2. Darlynne
    Aug 09, 2014 @ 12:17:06

    While BROKEN HARBOR may not be French’s best work, the quality of her writing can’t be denied and the psychological creepy factor of this one was off the charts, for me. I still enthusiastically recommend her books and that readers start with IN THE WOODS because of the influence one unrelated story has on the next.

  3. Marianne McA
    Aug 09, 2014 @ 14:56:25

    I liked Broken Harbour too. (The only Tana French book I haven’t enjoyed was ‘The Likeness’ and that’s because it requires you to believe that two people can look so similar that the people they live with can mistake one for the other.)
    Broken Harbour is not my favourite in the series, but it’s really readable and I loved the Ireland-post-property-developers setting.
    I agree with Darlynne that while they pretty much stand alone, they’re worth reading in order because French is doing interesting things with the pov characters. You get to see them from other characters pov in different books before you meet them as themselves. (I’ve a theory – more like a hope, perhaps – that eventually the books will circle round back to the story of In the Woods.)

  4. Leslie
    Aug 09, 2014 @ 17:55:52

    If you like French, try Sharon Bolton for the same kind of twisty, dark stories. Bolton’s Lacey Flint series is gripping throughout – as a bookseller, I have recommended the first one “Now you see me” to tons of people and the vast majority pick the series up. I am pretty good at figuring mysteries out before the half-way point, and I was CERTAIN three times that I had “Now…” figured out but I was wrong each time and I was up until 4 am finishing it. Also, Elizabeth Haynes puts out some killer dark, twisty stories – I really enjoyed “Human Remains”.

  5. CelineB
    Aug 09, 2014 @ 19:51:44

    I listened to Into the Woods on audiobook in my dreary, depressing, windowless workplace. All of my friends were on vacation that week so I had no one to talk to on breaks and I must say that the book made me so depressed that I haven’t yet gotten around to reading anything else by French. Into the Woods was a great book, it was just a mistake to listen to it at work instead of reading. I stuck mainly with romance audiobooks after that so I knew I’d get my HEA. I think I’m finally ready to give French another try (to read not listen to) but maybe I should get Faithful Places instead of Broken Harbor.

  6. KarenF
    Aug 10, 2014 @ 11:13:06

    I read “Dear Mr. Knightley,” a few months back because I loved “Daddy Long Legs,” (which you can find for free in ebook – at least you could a couple years ago, when I found that and the sequel “Dear Enemy”).

    Anyway, “Dear Mr. Knightley,” did hold my attention, but it doesn’t hold up to the original, although if you want to read a Christian Fiction take on it, you might like it better. The theme of “narrator-angry-at/disbelief-in-God-slowly-seeing-the-religious-light” took over too much.

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