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Daily Deals: Historicals and two prickly paranormal heroines

A Belated Bride Karen Hawkins A Belated Bride by Karen Hawkins. $1.99.

From Jacket Copy:

She’d Never Marry Him!
The last man Arabella Hadley ever wishes to see again is Lucien Deveraux, the handsome, dissolute Duke of Wexford — who broke her innocent heart years ago and disappeared to London. So when she finds an unconscious man on her deserted country road and sees that it’s Lucien, she’s tempted to leave him there. But even more appalling than his presence is the brazen kiss he plants on her shocked lips and her response! So it would be totally insane to take him home to recover — wouldn’t it?

Except For One Small Thing…
Lucien dares not reveal why he’s returned to his country estate — or why he abandoned the strong-willed beauty years ago. Especially since Arabella clearly has secrets of her own. But when her scheming, marriage-minded aunts successfully compromise them, the two are forced to become man and wife. Which makes it ever harder for both to battle the passion that never disappeared…

The Seduction of Sara by Karen Hawkins was on sale in late July for $1.99. I believe Hawkins has a new book coming out in October which may be why her publisher is discounting a variety of her titles. Hawkins has never worked for me – too frothy but Joan Johnston says “Karen Hawkins knows how to keep a reader entranced from first page to last.” What do I know?

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Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione. $ 3.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.

Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can’t-or won’t-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman’s safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara’s life.

I didn’t love this book but Ione does do challenging things in this series. She tries to reform and reshape your idea of who is heroic and who is not. In her world, there are heroes and villains on each side of the battle and sometimes those two attributes are embodied into one person. She has solid worldbuilding and very sexy scenes in her books.

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Dying Bites: The Bloodhound Files DD Barant Dying Bites by DD Barant. $2.99.

From Jacket Copy:

Her job description is the “tracking and apprehension of mentally-fractured killers.” What this really means in FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s brave new world—one in which only one percent of the population is human—is that a woman’s work is never done. And real is getting stranger every day…

Jace has been ripped from her reality by David Cassius, the vampire head of the NSA. He knows that she’s the best there in the business, and David needs her help in solving a series of gruesome murders of vampires and werewolves. David’s world—one that also includes lycanthropes and golems—is one with little knowledge of mental illness. An insane serial killer is a threat the NSA has no experience with. But Jace does. Stranded in a reality where Bela Lugosi is a bigger box office draw than Bruce Willis and every full moon is Mardi Gras, Jace must now hunt down a fellow human before he brings the entire planet to the brink of madness. Or she may never see her own world again…

This received a starred review from PW. It’s an urban fantasy debut novel written in the present tense. From the reviews, it appears that there is no romance but a sex scene or two. Some reviewers had problems with the likeability of the female protagonist who is a smart aleck who is attractive to nearly every man she comes into contact with.

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Working for the Devil Lilith Saintcrow Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow. $2.99.

From Jacket Copy:

When the Devil needs a rogue demon killed, who does he call?

The Player: Necromance-for-hire Dante Valentine is choosy about her jobs. Hot tempered and with nerves of steel, she can raise the dead like nobody’s business. But one rainy Monday morning, everything goes straight to hell.

The Score: The Devil hires Dante to eliminate a rogue demon: Vardimal Santino. In return, he will let her live. It’s an offer she can’t refuse.

The Catch: How do you kill something that can’t die?

Speaking of heroines that are hard to warm up to… Dante Valentine is described as “tough as nails” but I found her snarky, depressive attitude to be hard to read.

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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

6 Comments

  1. may
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 10:31:34

    Barant’s series is one that I’ve enjoyed more as it goes along and is now auto-buy. At that price I’d rec to someone looking for Urban Fantasy (def. not a romance) in alternate world…

  2. Darlynne
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 11:11:57

    I quite like Larissa Ione’s books, the two series I’ve read. The problem is that I can’t tell them apart. It’s not that they’re all alike, but as with Kresley Cole’s and Nalini Singh’s books, I can’t keep track of who’s with whom, who all the characters are or whether I’ve read the book yet. My short-term memory is really short, apparently.

    Having said that, however, I do recommend Eternal Rider, although I think starting with her other series first is a good idea.

  3. Dabney
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 11:49:15

    Karen Hawkins is hit or miss for me. I love An Affair to Remember but her Hurst amulet series left me yawning. I am planning on giving her September release a try–it’s on my Kindle wish list.

  4. MikiS
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 02:27:55

    Thanks so much for the comment about tense on the Barant book. I was all set to buy it until I got to that sentence. I’ve tried a few books that people recommend that are written in 1st person present tense, and I just can’t get past the first page or two. It sounds too much like empty headed teenagers talking about their weekend: “then I go to the mall and buy a dress, and she says…” Gak!

  5. Susan
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 19:52:19

    I just finished the Barant series (read all the current books back-to-back over the weekend) and pre-ordered the next one. Overall, I enjoyed the series, but it did have some drawbacks for me; namely, I continue to have problems with Jace working for individuals/organizations responsible for the near-extermination of humans (something they’re still well on track to achieving). And I did notice the number of “men” who seem to immediately fall in love with Jace, something that I’ve seen in other UF books. But Charlie (her golem partner) makes up for any other deficiencies. I’d read the series for him alone. There’s no real romance, but would recommend UF fans give the first book a shot, especially at the sale price.

    It’s been years since I’ve read A Belated Bride. I think I like The Abduction of Julia best, followed by ABB, then The Seduction of Sara. Not sure how they’d hold up today, frankly.

    I also enjoyed the Dante Valentine series, but agree that the main character was hard to warm up to. This was definitely a very dark series with main characters coming to bad endings, but sometimes I’m in the mood for dark. I believe Amazon has/had a bundle of the entire ebook series for around $20.

  6. HellyBelly
    Aug 29, 2012 @ 04:01:19

    I read Karen Hawkins’s Talisman Ring series a few years ago – it became almost like a drug. Albeit a bit frothy at times, agreed. One problem, for me, with reading books in a series back to back, is that an author’s way of describing how the protagonists look or the sex scenes are almost identical. For instance, almost all Hawkins’s heroes and heroines have “tangly” eyelashes.
    “He noted that her lashes were so long that they tangled at the corners. It was an unusual combination, those hazel eyes combined with dark, russet lashes.” (Lady in Red).
    I tried a book in Hawkins’s Just Ask Reeves series, but it was a DNF for me.

    Regarding the Barant-book, I definitely recommend it. It is true that Jace is a bit overbearing at times, but I got used to it. She has a quirky sense of humour, I find – evident from the following:
    “I’ve got the drop on Isamu, but of course that doesn’t mean anything to a target who isn’t afraid of guns. He leaps straight at me, probably intending to rip my arms off and beat me to death with them, and I shoot him many times. Many, many times. He refuses to explode in a disgusting display of gore and instead is merely propelled backward to his starting point. This produces a look of intense irritation on his face, which just doesn’t work for me. I was hoping for something a little more satisfying—fear, horror, maybe the dawning realization that he is well and truly hooped.
    Oh, well. You take what you can get.”
    My take on the book is here »http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/249220276 if anyone is interested.
    I used to have a problem with the present tense, but have found that it works really well in action packed urban fantasy/paranormals.

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