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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.

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

From the Jacket Copy:


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

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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.

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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.

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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. Naomi
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 14:37:51

    Okay, I have to know. What was wrong with Tex? Sometimes I get very tempted to read books that I know I won’t enjoy and I need some sense talked back into me.

  2. Elaine
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 14:43:29

    haha I read Tex precisely because I was warned not to, and I wished I hadn’t. It’s my first (and to date, only) Dahlia West book, and I think your enjoyment (or lack of) will depend on how much you can tolerate. If you’re into extreme degradation and Total Power Exchange (ie: calling her bitch, making her crawl on the floor, eat from a dog bowl, pee in the yard…) it might be a good read. If you’re not…steer clear. I can stomach a lot, but this was too much.

  3. Naomi
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 14:49:13

    … Yup, I won’t be reading it. No issue with anyone into that, but I don’t think I could get into the right headspace to enjoy it as a romance. I have enjoyed other books that were about sexual preferences I don’t share, but I think that might be a bridge too far!

  4. Darlynne
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 14:55:30

    @Elaine: Ye gods.

  5. Alison
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 15:00:53

    Wow is me, when I click the Amazon links for Elle Kennedy and Dahlia West the prices are $1.67 and $2.98

  6. Elaine
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 15:19:52

    @Darlynne @Naomi Yeah, I try to keep an open mind, but some things just leave me cold, and all of those things are on my list!

  7. SonomaLass
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 15:32:10

    Thanks for the Pope Joan link! That story has fascinated me since Caryl Churchill’s play Top Girls. I didn’t know they were dramatizing the novel, either.

  8. mharvey816
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 17:30:56

    I read Tex on a dare and I liked it. But it’s pretty difficult to shock me. The hero is over the top during their “consensual non-consensual” weekend but his grovel was worthy of his offenses, imho. I’ll agree it’s Not For Everyone but there are way worse offenders out there, and they don’t have half the character development that Tex has.

  9. Janine
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 18:05:31

    The Elle Kennedy is described on Amazon as “a category length novella.” Am I right to think that a category length novella is a shorter work, comparable in length to a a Harlequin Undone or Spice Brief, rather than to a category length novel?

  10. cleo
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 18:15:18

    @Janine: I assumed it meant that it’s a novella, and at the same time, category length. So maybe a longer novella = shorter category? IDK

    On Entangled’s website, they say it’s 162 pages, but don’t give a word count.

  11. KatieF
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 18:52:04

    Wow, nothing about the blurb for Shooter made me think it would be fun or funny. But, I love LIsa Marie Rice and it’s free so I’m giving it a try.

    By the way, Tessa Dare’s wonderful Romancing the Duke is on sale for $3.99 at Amazon and B&N and possibly elsewhere.

  12. Janine
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 19:51:45


    On Entangled’s website, they say it’s 162 pages, but don’t give a word count.

    I think the standard is still 250 words per page, rounded to the nearest 1000 so if it’s 162 pages, I’d guess it’s around 40K words? That’s a decent length for a novella, in fact according to the Wikipedia page on wordcount, it’s right on the boundary between a long novella and a short novel.

  13. Sunita
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 20:36:07

    @Janine: There’s no consensus on the wordcount boundary between a novella and a novel (I’ve looked at a lot of sites trying to find one). Entangled’s word count range for the Brazen line in 20k-60k, so it’s probably in the bottom half.

    Jane is not a big novella fan, so if she says it reads like a category my guess is that it’s in the 30-40k range. The book’s Kindle page gives the page count as 128pp rather than 162pp, but Amazon page counts are notoriously unreliable.

    Anyway, I’d guess it’s longer than a Nocturne Bite or an Undone, but at the short end of a Harlequin category (most lines are at least 50K and several are more).

  14. Jane
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 20:42:16

    @Sunita: I loaded it in Calibre and used the word count feature. Its just shy of 35000 words. I don’t like novellas but this worked for me because it doesn’t try to do too much. I’ve a review for it that I hope to post this week but essentially the set up is Skylar meets grumpy Gage who doesn’t think he has a lot to offer. Skylar disagrees and basically says to take her love like a real man and he shuts up and does.

  15. Janine
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 21:01:08

    @Sunita & @Jane: Thanks, guys!

  16. Kate Hewitt
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 09:00:33

    I read Pope Joan a long time ago and loved it. Very compelling and a fascinating story.

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