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These Old Shades (Alastair Trilogy Series #1) by Georgette HeyerThese Old Shades by Georgette Heyer. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer’s career. It features two of Heyer’s most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry.

The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy’s clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys “Leon” and makes the child his page. “Leon” is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion. When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.

I love this Heyer book.

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Betrayal By Sandra SchwabBetrayal by Sandra Schwab. $ .99 AMZN | Kobo

From the Jacket Copy:

A love betrayed, a love regained?
For seventeen years Ash has been eaten up alive by bitterness and hatred, caught fast in the clutches of the past. For seventeen years he has not been able to look at the boy he raised as his heir and not remember the terrible betrayal he had to endure. And yet, for seventeen years he has closed his eyes against the even more terrible truth…
Seventeen years ago Georgina fled from England and all she ever held dear. But for the sake of her child, she must return to confront the man whom she once loved more than life itself until lies and deceit tore her life and marriage apart.
Will their love stand a second chance?

I believe you can even use the 30% off coupon on this book. The code is STOCKUP30.

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The Yard (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad)  by Alex GrecianThe Yard by Alex Grecian. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

1889, LONDON.
JACK THE RIPPER’S REIGN OF TERROR IN FINALLY OVER, BUT A NEW ONE IS JUST BEGINNING.

Victorian London—a violent cesspool of squalid depravity. Only twelve detectives—The Murder Squad—are expected to solve the thousands of crimes committed here each month. Formed after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure in capturing Jack the Ripper, the Murder Squad suffers the brunt of public contempt. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own…

A Scotland Yard Inspector has been found stuffed in a black steamer trunk at Euston Square Station, his eyes and mouth sewn shut. When Walter Day, the squad’s new hire, is assigned to the case, he finds a strange ally in Dr. Bernard Kingsley, the Yard’s first forensic pathologist. Their grim conclusion: this was not just a random, bizarre murder but in all probability, the first of twelve. Because the squad itself it being targeted and the devious killer shows no signs of stopping before completing his grim duty. But Inspector Day has one more surprise, something even more shocking than the crimes: the killer’s motive.

I wonder if mystery editors ever say “Not another Jack the Ripper manuscript!” The author has this to say “When writing fiction, I prefer to start with a foundation of fact. The Yard is fiction. A historical thriller. It’s a construct of my imagination, but it’s built on a solid slab of fact. The history of Scotland Yard and its famous Murder Squad is filled with real-life detectives and cases that might have been lifted whole from some suspense novel. My characters Walter Day, Dr. Bernard Kingsley, and Sir Edward Bradford? All based on real people. Remarkable people.”

PW writes ” Even great authors working in the genre, such as David Mitchell and Patrick O’Brian, have given their characters an unrealistically modern broadness of mind. After all, the past is a brutish place, and what a real Walter Day would have believed in his heart—about sex, class, race—would likely alienate us immediately. The solution most writers have found, alas, is perhaps the most serious deficiency historical fiction has: a palliating dishonesty about what went on in the heads of people in other times. To his credit, Grecian lends great realism to his secondary characters; he may just be too fond of his primary ones to permit them their true context.”

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The Girl Who Fell from the Sky  by Heidi W. DurrowThe Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Rachel, the daughter of a danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop.

Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It’s there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity.

This searing and heartwrenching portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society’s ideas of race and class is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.

Library Journal says “With similar themes to Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and a tone of desolation and dislocation like Graham Swift’s Waterland and Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, this is also recommended for readers intrigued by the psychology behind shocking headlines.”

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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

10 Comments

  1. Justine
    May 18, 2014 @ 12:15:19

    Third Degree by Julie Cross has dropped to $0.99 from $2.99 on Amazon. It’s a New Adult romance released March 25, 2014.

  2. Nancy
    May 18, 2014 @ 12:46:46

    These Old Shades is my all-time favorite romance novel. While it is somewhat problematic and isn’t for everyone, it’s the book I turn to over and over to cheer me up after a bad week. I have many scenes memorized. I find Leonie charming and Alistair endlessly intriguing. Heyer gracefully combines many amazing tropes in one book: cross-dressing, revenge, reformed rake, rags-to-riches, manic pixie, May/December pairing, guardian/ward and some more I’m probably forgetting. Somehow in Heyer’s skillful hands this mishmash of ridiculousness makes for a fun, coherent romp. And one of the last scenes where Alistair is enacting his revenge always captivates me, no matter how many times I read it. Highly recommend for anyone who likes some (or any) of these tropes.

    Side note – I started this book on my first day of high school, where I didn’t know anyone. I can still remember reading the first scene while I waited to get my schedule. I was so nervous, my stomach was in knots, and I got lost in the sly humor and enchanting atmosphere of Alistair’s midnight stroll. I was hooked from page one. These Old Shades comforted me throughout my first few days of school, before I made friends. It worked so well then, it’s the book I still turn to when my life is going through major changes and I need something comforting and familiar.

  3. leslie
    May 18, 2014 @ 12:51:20

    These Old Shades is the best Georgian romance I’ve ever read. It was first published in 1926 and is the start of Heyer’s wonderful world of wit and humor.

  4. Rose
    May 18, 2014 @ 12:53:14

    I’ve been meaning to read Betrayal since Janine reviewed it, so I’m glad to see that it’s finally available outside of Amazon and at such a great price.

  5. Janhavi
    May 18, 2014 @ 13:04:05

    It looks like several Heyers are at 3 dollars. These Old Shades is great but not in my top 5 or even top 10 Heyers, but that says more about how great all her books are :)

  6. Jolanda
    May 18, 2014 @ 15:07:36

    These Old Shades is USD 12,49 for Europeans. Lost sale. Again.

  7. JenM
    May 18, 2014 @ 16:28:45

    I know that the May-December romance is problematic for some readers, but I absolutely adore These Old Shades. It was one of the first romances I ever read and started me off on a happy Georgette Heyer glom.

    I read The Girl Who Fell From The Sky for book club and all I can say is that if you are looking for an endless overflow of misery – this is your book. One horrible thing after another keeps on happening to the main character(s) until it’s finally over and everyone has either died, or is living a sad, depressing life.

  8. carmen webster buxton
    May 19, 2014 @ 13:36:31

    The math in the captcha-thingie is getting harder!

    I liked THESE OLD SHADES a lot, but I do think it’s kind of a litmus test. In the time when this story is set, it was not at all unusual for very young women to marry men as old or even older than their fathers. If this makes you go “Ick!” then you may have a hard time with this book. But I loved the characters and the relationships, especially the three Alastair siblings of whom the Duke is the eldest. The cross dressing thing is a little improbable, but that never stopped me from liking a Heyer.

  9. hilly
    May 21, 2014 @ 20:43:02

    These Old Shades wasn’t my favorite … but as it’s the story about the parents of one of the protagonists in one of my all time favorite G.Heyer books, it’s on my shelf for “sequels to keeper-shelf books”.

    It’s also related to several other works:

    * It’s G.Heyer’s second go at a story that was her first publication The Black Moth (which is in public domain and therefore can be read online for free or downloaded as a digital file). Although a rather different story, it’s clear that she did recycle and reimagine some of her characters.

    * TOS is followed by Devil’s Cub — (as I mentioned above) which I cannot praise highly enough! (It’s a clean travel-adventure/bodice-ripper with humor, poignancy and flair!)

    * Next generation after that, we have the grandkids in An Infamous Army, which is more war documentary than anything else, and something of a tear-jerker at that, in the epic, family-drama style that many people relish, but that others might find dry or manipulative.

    * Furthermore, the hero in AIA previously appear as a character in Regency Buck, so you’ll likely want to be aware of your reading order for these books.

    So be warned: enjoying even one of any of these books will send you down a slippery slope to addiction, leaving you with the need to consume an entire family saga!

    Read at your own risk (and enjoyment)! LOL! ;-)

  10. hilly
    May 21, 2014 @ 20:51:20

    These Old Shades wasn’t my favorite … but as it’s the story about the parents of one of the protagonists in one of my all time favorite G.Heyer books, it’s on my shelf for “sequels to keeper-shelf books”. (@carmen webster buxton: I’m one of the readers who was squicked by the age difference; however, as to the cross-dressing… well, I just think “metro-sexual”, and get over it.)

    It’s notably related to several other of the author’s works:

    * It’s G.Heyer’s second go at a story that was her first publication The Black Moth (which is in public domain and therefore can be read online for free or downloaded as a digital file). Although a rather different story, it’s clear that she did recycle and reimagine some of her characters.

    * TOS is followed by Devil’s Cub — (as I mentioned above) which I cannot praise highly enough! (It’s a clean travel-adventure/bodice-ripper with humor, poignancy and flair!)

    * Next generation after that, we have the grandkids in An Infamous Army, which is more war documentary than anything else, and something of a tear-jerker at that, in the epic, family-drama style that many people relish, but that others might find dry or manipulative.

    * Furthermore, the hero in AIA previously appeared as a character in Regency Buck; as such, you’ll likely want to be aware of your reading order for these books.

    So be warned: enjoying even one of any of these books will send you down a slippery slope to addiction, leaving you with the need to consume an entire family saga!

    Read at your own risk (and enjoyment)! LOL! ;-)

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