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Daily Deals: Dragons, Saxons, small towns, and stony tortured heroines

The Sweetest Dark by Shana AbeThe Sweetest Dark by Shana AbeThe Sweetest Dark by The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe. $ 1.99 AMZN | Google

From the Jacket Copy:

For fans of Lauren Kate and Libba Bray, The Sweetest Dark is filled with thrilling romance, exciting adventure, and ancient magic. Shana Abé brilliantly captures the drama of post-Victorian England, while unfolding a passionate love story that defies time.

“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.”

Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.

England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.

Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.

Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.

While I loved the Drakon series by Abe, this book ended up being one that I stayed away from because of how it affected previous stories. Janine gave it a C review “Though I would have appreciated more historical detail about the war, the setting of the school and the beach and grotto that surrounded it enhanced the reading experience with their atmosphere. I suspect that had this book served as my introduction to the world of the drakon, it would have rated around a B- for me.”

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If Love Dares Enough (The Montbryce Legacy Medieval Romance)  by Anna MarklandIf Love Dares Enough by Anna Markland. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

This is book three in a series.

Hugh de Montbryce, is haunted by a deep fear, rooted in his experiences at the Battle of Hastings, that violence arouses him. He avoids women, but is drawn into the life of Lady Devona Melton, a Saxon, victim of abuse at the hands of her Norman husband. Can Hugh overcome his demons and the political and religious implications of abducting the wife of a Norman?

The rake of the family, Anthoine is faced with the dilemma of what to do with Lady Sybilla Sancerre, the pregnant widow of an enemy he killed in battle. He is supposed to send her to execution as the wife of a traitor, but finds himself driven to protect her and the deformed child she bears.

One of the three star reviews said she hoped for more romance but saw mostly lust and hero-worship.

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One-Way Bridge: A Novel  by Cathie PelletierOne-Way Bridge by Cathie Pelletier. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

In her highly anticipated new novel, acclaimed literary master Cathie Pelletier returns to Mattagash, Maine, the beloved New England town where it all started.

Welcome to Mattagash, the last town in the middle of the northern Maine wilderness. The road dead-ends here, but Mattagash’s citizens are fiercely proud.

Yet this simple town connected by a single one-way bridge is anything but tranquil. While neighbors bicker publicly over trivialities such as offensive mailbox designs and gossip about suspicious newcomers, they privately struggle to navigate deeper issues—scandals, loss, failed ambitions, the scars of war…and a mysterious dead body in the woods.

With her trademark wit and keen eye for detail, Pelletier has assembled an unforgettable cast of endearing and eccentric characters, from scheming mailmen and peeping toms to lovesick waitresses and loggers whose underhandedness belies their ingenuity. The citizens of Mattagash will make you laugh and cheer for them as they stumble into one another’s lives and strive to define themselves in a changing world that threatens to leave them behind.

The One-Way Bridge is an extraordinary portrait of family, loneliness, and community—and the kinds of compromises we all make in the name of love.

You might be adverse to the structure of the story. It’s apparently a number of vignettes sewn together to show the foibles of the small town in Maine. However, the author’s voice and ability to turn a phrase might be appealing.

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Jellicoe Road  by Melina MarchettaJellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. $ 1.99 AMZN | Google Play.

From the Jacket Copy:

“What do you want from me?” he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn’t a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

Janine gave this book an “A”

“After its slow start, the book gathered more and more momentum, until I was completely swept away from thoughts of my own life. I became so invested in Taylor and the other characters in the book that some sections seemed heartbreaking to read, albeit in a cathartic and healing way. I laughed and cried — or, as my husband put it, “blubbered.” When I finished this book, my tear ducts felt completely empty.”

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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. Janine
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 14:17:39

    I highly recommend Jellicoe Road. It is probably best for older teens and adults. It has romantic elements and even some brief but on-page sex, so if you’re thinking of getting it for a kid, be aware of that.

    With regard to The Sweetest Dark, John commented on my review and though he is a teen and he had not read the adult drakon series, he wasn’t so keen on The Sweetest Dark. I’ve heard the second book in the YA series is stronger, but I’m torn about reading it. If a reader is new to Abe, I think that reader would be better off to put the $1.99 toward purchasing The Smoke Thief, even though it’s more expensive.

  2. Beth Bolden
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 18:56:53

    Ooooooh the new Shana Abe! I loved the Smoke Thief, but not all its subsequent books. But it did finish strong, I thought, so I will definitely be picking this one up!

  3. Janine
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 20:13:26

    I just noticed the price of Amazon’s basic kindle has dropped. I don’t know if it’s a temporary sale or a permanent price reduction, but the basic kindle with special offers is now only $49.

    ETA: Apparently it’s a limited time offer. The Kindle Paperwhite is also on sale, starting at $99.

  4. Maria
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 20:50:15

    The Sweetest Dark was an excellent book IMO. I would’ve given it a rating of B+ as it has Abe’s wonderful style but caters to a YA crowd. Loved it. I’d definitely recommend the read if you like Abe’s style, paranormal/fantasy, and YA. I haven’t read the second book because I’m waiting for a price drop.

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