Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Daily Deals: Highly touted YA fantasy, a modern blockbuster, and more

Tatiana de Rosnay’s A SECRET KEPTA Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

This stunning new novel from Tatiana de Rosnay, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Sarah’s Key, plumbs the depths of complex family relationships and the power of a past secret to change everything in the present.

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island—over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash. Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.

Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way.

By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.

A film is now in production, to star Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds, Now You See Me), Laurent Lafitte (The Crimson Rivers, Little White Lies), and Audrey Dana (Roman de Gare, The Clink of Ice) and will begin shooting in April!

Per reviews the setting was great but the narrator, Antoine, was a big bore. Reviewers basically said he was a doormat.

AmazonBNSony KoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Sounds like it starts slow and then doesn’t let go, not even at the end. Even the reviews that were less than enthusiastic still talked about how surprising some scenes were and how entertaining. Steph Sinclair of Cuddlebuggery said “If it feels like you’re stuck on those first 100 pages, take heart, the second half will blow your socks off, sucker punch you in the kidneys and feed your innards to the dogs. But you’ll like it.” 

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREAppleGoogle

Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic Series #1) by Sophie KinsellaConfessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she’s never looked better….

Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is that she can’t actually afford it — not any of it.

Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank — letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read — and they’re getting ever harder to ignore.

She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky’s only consolation is to buy herself something … just a little something….

Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life — and the lives of those around her — forever.

Sophie Kinsella has brilliantly tapped into our collective consumer conscience to deliver a novel of our times — and a heroine who grows stronger every time she weakens. Becky Bloomwood’s hilarious schemes to pay back her debts are as endearing as they are desperate. Her “confessions” are the perfect pick-me-up when life is hanging in the (bank) balance.

I couldn’t stand this book. Rebecca’s irresponsible behavior was so grating. Yet this book is so beloved.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Jagged by Kristen AshleyJagged by Kristen Ashley. $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

The next novel in Kristen Ashley’s sizzling Colorado Mountain series introduces a new electrifying relationship that turns Carnal, Colorado into a hotbed of action, romance, and suspense.
An old flame rekindled . . .

Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn’t interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara’s lost her business, her marriage, and she’s barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara’s plight, he’s on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.

Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham’s faced his own demons, and he’s learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he’s meant to live. So when he hears that Zara’s having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he’s a changed man.

This was definitely not my favorite KA but if you’re a fan, it’s probably the time to pick it up so your little OCD heart can be stilled by owning the complete collection.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

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

16 Comments

  1. Angela
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 14:22:10

    Red Rising is AMAZING! I was drawn in by the wonderful writing in the beginning – and then things started getting interesting.

  2. Claire
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 14:28:36

    I like knowing I’m not the only person who didn’t love the shopaholic books. I could almost cope with the first one but a whole series I making the same irresponsible mistakes drove me nuts!

  3. JJPP
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 14:39:19

    @Angela: Angela, I got Red Rising the other day on your recommendation in the comments! Haven’t read it yet, currently just hoarding. :)

  4. Nicole
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 15:48:52

    I hated the Shopaholic books. The protagonist seemed completely unrepentant, and even her epiphany felt more like the result of running out of credit than out of any genuine soul searching. Ugh. I can’t believe they made a movie out of this foolishness.

  5. Cassandra B.
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 16:09:45

    I never read the Shopaholic book, but I did see the movie. Oh, I was so mad when I left the theater. The main character had a serious problem and it was treated like some cutesy “woman” issue. It was so annoying!

  6. Liz C.
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 16:47:28

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who hated the Shopaholic books. I really didn’t like the first one but stupidly thought she’d actually learn from her experiences in the first book and grow up. I wound up reading about a chapter or two of the second book and was so disgusted that she was back to her old ways that I threw the book across the room. In retrospect, I should have known she’d be back to her old ways, since “Shopaholic” was still right there in the title, not “Ex-shopaholic.” :-)

  7. pooks
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 17:27:05

    Add me to the shopholic-hate column. I can’t figure out why I had absolutely no patience with her, when I would have been sympathetic to other addiction issues.

  8. Maite
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 18:10:19

    I liked A Secret Kept, despite the fact that the narrator is a forgettable doormat. Tends to happen with male characters on Rosnay’s novels, now that I think on it. The female characters feel like real people, and the males seem like plot devices.
    And thanks everyone for letting me know that disliking Confessions of Shopaholic is okay. One of those books that friends that don’t read much keep pushing on me, and consider me a snob for never making it past page ten.

  9. Janine
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 22:48:15

    I was torn on Red Rising, Thea at The Book Smugglers liked a lot of things about it but not the way the female characters were treated. But for $1.99 I think I’ll take a chance.

  10. Angela
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 06:32:10

    @Janine: I’m definitely curious to see what you think. Though I can’t disagree with anything that Thea said about the treatment of women, I didn’t read it in the same way – in that I think it was being talked about and brought up for consideration and discussion. And I don’t think Darrow was the only character that had issues or tried to stop it (IIRC). The brutality extended to many more than just females, it definitely wasn’t one sided.

    JJPP – I hope you like it! It was so utterly engrossing when I read it. I’m already eagerly awaiting the sequel.

  11. Divya
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 06:46:23

    Count me on the list of people who don’t like the shopaholic books. As someone with a low budget, I couldn’t really accept a character who (again and again) squandered money when she was clearly in debt. However, I do enjoy the author’s writing style. I’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER is one of my favorite books. :)

  12. Laura Jardine
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 08:48:55

    I didn’t like Shopaholic either (how are there six of them??), but I’ve read and enjoyed several of Kinsella’s other books. Especially The Undomestic Goddess and I’ve Got Your Number.

  13. Jenns
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 12:06:19

    I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one who hated the Shopaholic books. After forcing myself through one and a half of them (I thought – mistakenly – that there might be character growth in the second), I totally gave up on Kinsella. After reading the comments here today, I’ll have to check out some of her other work.

  14. hapax
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 12:26:21

    Yeah, I’ll chime in to agree that I generally like Kinsella (her heroines are all a bit “adorably ditzy” for my taste, but that’s chick lit for you), but couldn’t even finish the first Shopaholic book.

    Can anybody who *liked* them speak up to let us know the appeal? Surely there’s something!

  15. pooks
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 12:33:07

    Reading your comments reminds me that yes, I loved her style of writing. I love the English voice, anyway. I was listening to these as audiobooks, and found myself enjoying the world and sometimes the secondary characters so much, that I tolerated the shopaholic aspects for a couple of books. But then I finally drew the line and knew I couldn’t take any more of it.

    I’ll look for Kinsella’s other books. I hadn’t followed up on any of them, but now I will.

  16. nasanta
    Apr 12, 2014 @ 03:22:34

    I had no idea so many others disliked the Shopaholic book. I myself DNFed it within a couple of chapters. I found the heroine too superficial for my taste. I’ve got The Undomestic Goddess audiobook in my wishlist. I would love to have Katherine Kellgren as the narrator but she only narrated the Abridged version which is why the audiobook is just sitting there unpurchased….

%d bloggers like this: