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Daily Deals: From arranged marriages to failed marriages

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie Arranged by Catherine McKenzie. $1.99.

From Jacket Copy:

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, close friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share her life with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right. When her latest relationship implodes, and her best friend announces she’s engaged, Anne impulsively calls what she thinks is a dating service—only to discover that it’s actually an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. Anne initially rejects the idea, but the more she learns about the service, the more she thinks: Why not? After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world; maybe it could work for her.

A few months later, Anne is traveling to a Mexican resort, where, over the course of a weekend, she meets and then marries Jack. And initially, everything seems to be working out. . . .

In some cases, negative reviews will sell me on a book and this book even has the “marking you down for bad language” review which I always find humorous. But even the positive reviews had me hesitating at the buy button. The heroine’s name is Anne Blythe and there are several Anne of Green Gables references. I don’t know that I could separate my own vision of Anne from the protag in this book. And maybe the author doesn’t want you to.


Twin Passions by Miriam Minger Twin Passions by Miriam Minger. $Free.

From Jacket Copy:

“Five stars! A fabulous debut!” — Romantic Times

***Winner of a Best Medieval Historical Romance Award from Romantic Times***

“Miriam Minger is a master storyteller who illustrates the full gamut of emotions felt by her characters. Emotions so strong that you are pulled into the pages and into their lives.” – Inside Romance

Beautiful, feminine Anora finds her wedding plans suddenly shattered. She and her identical twin, tomboyish Gwendolyn, are kidnapped and taken aboard a Viking ship. While the handsome captain mistakes Gwendolyn for a boy and appoints her his servant, Anora captures his heart and he vows to have her. To preserve her sister’s maidenhood, Gwendolyn initiates a dangerous game. Will the twins be rescued before Gwendolyn surrenders to her own passion?

I loved this line from one of the reviews: “Gwendolyn is definitely your typical headstrong, tomboy heroine – which definitely borders on the line between awesome and annoying.” That is so true for so many “feisty” heroines.


Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult. $2.99.

From Jacket Copy:

When the marriage of Mariah White and her cheating husband, Colin, turns ugly and disintegrates, their seven-year-old daughter, Faith, is there to witness it all. In the aftermath of a rapid divorce, Mariah falls into a deep depression — and suddenly Faith, a child with no religious background whatsoever, hears divine voices, starts reciting biblical passages, and develops stigmata. And when the miraculous healings begin, mother and daughter are thrust into the volatile center of controversy and into the heat of a custody battle — trapped in a mad media circus that threatens what little stability the family has left.

I have a rocky relationship with Picoult. She certainly doesn’t shy away from handling difficult subjects but she takes a lot of liberties with things like facts and accuracy in order to tell her stories. They are emotional reads but I often feel manipulated at the end.


Shield's Lady Jayne Ann Krentz Shield’s Lady by Jayne Ann Krentz. $1.99.

From Jacket Copy:

A Jayne Ann Krentz Classic. Now available in ebook.

Legends can be dangerous, just ask Sariana Dayne. She sets out to hire one and wakes up married to him. It’s a marriage of infuriating inconvenience as far as Sariana is concerned.

Gryph Chassyn stirs all her senses but he’s one of the mysterious mercenaries known as Shields. Sensible women do not marry such men. But for Gryph, marrying Sariana is a matter of honor, passion and survival. He needs her in ways she cannot even imagine.

Before Sariana can find a way to escape the bond that has been forged between them, she and Gryph are caught up in a desperate quest to save their world. The future looks a little different but some things, like love and passion, and murder never change.

I profiled this book back in June 2012 when the price was $2.74 and now it has dropped to $1.99. According to Carrie, a DA commenter, “Shield’s Lady is part of a futuristic “trilogy” written in the 80?s. The books all stand alone, and in fact are not really connected other than some similarities of world building. It’s far superior to her later futuristic works (even though I have enjoyed those as well). The trilogy starts with Sweet Starfire (the best of the series and perhaps one of the best sci-fi/futuristic romances I’ve read), continues with Crystal Flame (also good) and then Shield’s Lady. Shield’s Lady is a great book. Like I said, they all stand completely alone, so starting with Shield’s Lady is no problem.”


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. Ridley
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 14:21:59

    In the aftermath of a rapid divorce, Mariah falls into a deep depression — and suddenly Faith, a child with no religious background whatsoever, hears divine voices, starts reciting biblical passages, and develops stigmata.

    Is this a joke?

  2. DS
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 14:53:33

    I remember reading Shield’s Lady. I remember thinking of the books as business people in space. After reading these three I DNFed a lot of other “futuristic” romances before I decided that none of the other romance writers being published then GOT science fiction.

  3. LG
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 15:39:10

    @DS: Yeah, a lot of Jayne Ann Krentz’s futuristic romance read like contemporaries that happened to take place on another planet so she could slip in special powers or weird creatures. I glommed onto her stuff written under the name Jayne Castle like crazy at one point, but it was with the knowledge that it wasn’t really sci-fi in the way sci-fi readers would expect.

  4. Dabney
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 15:42:36

    I can’t read Picoult. I think My Sister’s Keeper is the only book I’ve ever hurled across the room in anger. She pulls out the dramatic turnabout with no consideration for reality. After MSK, I’ve never picked up another of her novels.

  5. cleo
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 16:28:10

    They are emotional reads but I often feel manipulated at the end.

    That’s my problem with Picoult too, but I couldn’t articulate it before. I also only read My Sister’s Keeper and I was so mad at the end of it.

    I read and enjoyed Shield’s Lady – of her early futuristics, I’d say Shield’s Lady is my second favorite after Sweet Starfire, which is really good. This one is enjoyable, but felt a little clunky. And, iirc, there are some battle-of-the-sexes type conflicts between the h/h that dated it for me.

  6. celestial
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 17:08:04

    Miriam Minger. Clearly a name intended for an american audience, as in the uk, minger is slang for an ugly woman. Whoops! Translation fail!

  7. Ros
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 17:25:27

    @celestial: That was my first thought, too. If I were her, I’d consider a new pen name.

  8. Alex/AnimeGirl
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 21:26:36

    I actually read Arranged a few months back and it was pretty good.
    Anne has a brother named Gilbert though, and that was a little weird.

    Book had a few parts that could have been trimmed down a little but it was quite engaging.

  9. sao
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 10:03:50

    I read a lot of Picoult at one point in time. She brings up dilemmas and can rarely resist telling you what the right answer is, which is often the opposite of what I’ve concluded. My Sister’s Keeper, being a prime example. She killed off the one decent character to tell us that yes, one more transplant would save the sister.

  10. Azure
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 12:14:57

    I actually loved My Sister’s Keeper. The book I nearly ruined a perfectly good Kindle over? Handle with Care. Now that had an ending that was just…there are no words to describe my rage. But I still read Picoult, even though I found the last two books to be rather lackluster efforts.

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