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Daily Deals: It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips,...

So my new dilemma is that with the crazy variation in discounting, the prices will not be the same from store to store. I’m likely to profile the best deals I can find or the most interesting books. The latter have blurbs that appeal to me and are generally $3.99 and under (like the last deal in this grouping) but I’m open to suggestions on what the readers would like. Let me know.

It Had to Be You Susan Elizabeth Phillips It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. $.99.

From Jacket Copy:

The Windy City isn’t quite ready for Phoebe Somerville—the outrageous, curvaceous New York knockout who has just inherited the Chicago Stars football team. And Phoebe is definitely not ready for the Stars’ head coach, former gridiron legend Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. Calebow is everything Phoebe abhors. And the sexy new boss is everything Dan despises—a meddling bimbo who doesn’t know a pigskin from a pitcher’s mound.

So why is Dan drawn to the shameless sexpot like a heat-seeking missile? And why does the coach’s good ol’ boy charm leave cosmopolitan Phoebe feeling awkward, tongue-tied…and ready to fight?

The sexy, heartwarming, and hilarious “prequel” to This Heart of Mine—Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s New York Times bestselling blockbuster—It Had To Be You is an enchanting story of two stubborn people who believe in playing for keeps.

There is quite a bit wrong in this book, looking back. The slut shaming. The rape trope. But I still enjoy the hell out of it and it’s one of my favorite Phillips books. Plus, you know, football??


Hard Lovin' Man Lorraine Heath Hard Lovin’ Man by Lorraine Heath. $2.99.

From Jacket Copy:

USA Today bestselling author Lorraine Heath spins a passionate tale of love lost and found in a small Texas town.
When Kelley Spencer moves back to her hometown of Hopeful with her sister, she hopes desperately to protect sixteen-year-old Madison from the trouble that seemed to find her in Dallas. Almost immediately, a brush with the law reveals that the police chief is none other than Jack Morgan — the man who broke Kelley’s heart many years before. He’s the last man she thought she’d find still living in Hopeful…and the only man she’s ever loved.

Jack Morgan wants nothing more than a second chance with Kelley Spencer — and he’s not shy about showing it. Their love might have been doomed all those years ago, but nothing’s stopping him now. That is, nothing but Kelley’s dark secret that might drive Jack to leave her again…this time forever.

Apple is highlighting a few westerns and this was price matched by Amazon. This was Lorraine Heath’s contemporary debut in 2003. One of the reviewers felt that the relationship was inappropriate because the two had feelings for each other while he was a student which reminded me of one of my favorite contemporary romances by Karen Robards One Summer.  That was my favorite teacher/student romance. He quotes Robert Burns to her!!!


What I Did For A Duke by Julie Anne LongWhat I Did for a Duke
by Julie Anne Long. $.99.

From Jacket Copy:

For years, he’s been an object of fear, fascination . . . and fantasy. But of all the wicked rumors that shadow the formidable Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge, the ton knows one thing for certain: only fools dare cross him. And when Ian Eversea does just that, Moncrieffe knows the perfect revenge: he’ll seduce Ian’s innocent sister, Genevieve—the only Eversea as yet untouched by scandal. First he’ll capture her heart . . . and then he’ll break it.

But everything about Genevieve is unexpected: the passion simmering beneath her cool control, the sharp wit tempered by gentleness . . . And though Genevieve has heard the whispers about the duke’s dark past, and knows she trifles with him at her peril, one incendiary kiss tempts her deeper into a world of extraordinary sensuality. Until Genevieve is faced with a fateful choice . . . is there anything she won’t do for a duke?

99c is a cheap price to fall in love with an author’s writing, but this is the book that captured and drug me into the Pennyroyal Green series. Robin aka Janet wrote a fabulous review of the book:  “Yes, this is an old Romance trope: the big, bad, dark duke who introduces and instructs the young, innocent heroine in passion and love. And the book is a celebration of that grand passion and the “luminous” wonder of its surprise and its bloom. But Long plays with the trope just enough to make the reader see it differently, too (since so much in this novel is about double meanings and seeing familiar things in a new way). Alex has the requisite bad reputation, with the obligatory rumor that he murdered his first wife and kills men for fun, but the truth is more interesting. He is a a jaded gambler who claims he never loses and a man who enjoys getting revenge and who has learned that trading on his reputation can give him the kind of solitude and power he enjoys. But he is not shut down emotionally or irrationally and recklessly cruel, as so many of these hero-types are.”


A Beautiful Place to Die Malla Nunn A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn. $2.99.

From Jacket Copy:

Award-winning screenwriter Malla Nunn delivers a stunning and darkly romantic crime novel set in 1950s apartheid South Africa, featuring Detective Emmanuel Cooper — a man caught up in a time and place where racial tensions and the raw hunger for power make life very dangerous indeed.

In a morally complex tale rich with authenticity, Nunn takes readers to Jacob’s Rest, a tiny town on the border between South Africa and Mozambique. It is 1952, and new apartheid laws have recently gone into effect, dividing a nation into black and white while supposedly healing the political rifts between the Afrikaners and the English. Tensions simmer as the fault line between the oppressed and the oppressors cuts deeper, but it’s not until an Afrikaner police officer is found dead that emotions more dangerous than anyone thought possible boil to the surface.

When Detective Emmanuel Cooper, an Englishman, begins investigating the murder, his mission is preempted by the powerful police Security Branch, who are dedicated to their campaign to flush out black communist radicals. But Detective Cooper isn’t interested in political expediency and has never been one for making friends. He may be modest, but he radiates intelligence and certainly won’t be getting on his knees before those in power. Instead, he strikes out on his own, following a trail of clues that lead him to uncover a shocking forbidden love and the imperfect life of Captain Pretorius, a man whose relationships with the black and coloured residents of the town he ruled were more complicated and more human than anyone could have imagined.

The first in her Detective Emmanuel Cooper series, A Beautiful Place to Die marks the debut of a talented writer who reads like a brilliant combination of Raymond Chandler and Graham Greene. It is a tale of murder, passion, corruption, and the corrosive double standard that defined an apartheid nation.

This book received a starred review from Publishers’ Weekly and for mystery and detective readers, the setting alone has to provide a welcome respite. The book is very well reviewed by readers (many of the “most helpful” appear to be real readers and not paid promoters). From one of the reviewers “I’m glad that Malla Nunn, an award-winning filmmaker born in Swaziland, decided to try her hand at a novel. She paints an amazing picture of South Africa in the darkest days of its history. And her detective displays an appealing mix of humanity and low-key heroism.”


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. MrsJoseph
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 14:27:30

    What I did for a Duke sounds good!

  2. Brunette LIbrarian
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 14:33:55

    Jane! I love the way you do these deals, I always find a book I like! EVERY DAY! Even if they aren’t on sale at each retailer its still handy to know. I think the way you are doing it is fantastic :) and VERY appreciated!

  3. Sunita
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 14:46:02

    Re: Heath’s Hard Lovin’ Man. I’ve been waiting for this to come down to a reasonable price for what feels like forever. Yay! And thanks for letting us know!

    This is connected to and precedes Smooth Talkin’ Stranger, which is one of my favorite romances ever. I still have the original e-version, from back in the Palm & eReader Store days.

  4. kathybaug
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 16:08:08

    Is the price on A Beautiful Place to Die correct? All 4 stores show it at $2.99, not $1.99.
    Or do I just need to wait?

  5. Jane Litte
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 16:11:56

    @kathybaug: I probably got the price wrong. I think it is 2.99.

  6. kathybaug
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 16:20:52

    @jane litte: Rats…..ok, thanks :)

  7. Stephanie Scott
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 16:47:19

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips was one of the first romance authors I got into–she wrecked my view of romance fiction by writing characters with depth and staying away from romance tropes. All for the good :) I think that book has a more updated cover, or if it doesn’t, it should. Some of those covers intially turned me off b/c they are so old looking to me. But the Chicago Stars series feels fresh to read it, the original covers really do not do them justice.

  8. rachel
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 16:51:10

    What I Did for a Duke is so good and the book that sucked me into the Pennyroyal Green series as well. The early scenes between Alex and Genevieve are great and so full of life, I really love how Alex keeps getting caught off guard by Genevieve’s insight and dry sense of humor.
    The cover though is odd…it looks like they are making out in space.

  9. Mary Anne Graham
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 16:52:07

    Appreciate the heads up – SEP’s “It Had To Be You” is one of my all time fave’s. Picking it up for my Fire gave me an excuse to buy my #1 fave from that series – “Heaven, Texas” for $7.59, w/is still a good price for SEP –

    While I was there, I picked up Ms. Long’s book too. I don’t think I’ve read her before but I’ve heard good things.

    Dear Author – my wallet thanks you —

  10. LG
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 17:22:24

    @rachel: “The cover though is odd…it looks like they are making out in space. ”

    Until I read the title and description, I thought it was an old futuristic romance.

  11. Teresa
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 17:58:16

    I cannot recommend What I Did for a Duke enough. The best part of the story…the heroine is in love with another man (I don’t consider this a spoiler because you find out in Chapter 2). So the big bad duke needs to woo the heroine.

  12. Tabs
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 19:33:15

    @Stephanie Scott:

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips has some remarkably fugly covers. I have the paperback version of “It Had To Be You” with the infamous “Boobs. All Boobs.” cover art that made it impossible for me to read in public comfortably. I’m definitely snagging a digital copy.

  13. Susan
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 20:27:46

    Thanks for the tip on the Heath book. I would never have bought it otherwise. I, too, must confess my love for Robards’s One Summer. One of my favorite Robards books. (Speaking of which, what the heck has happened to Robards?!? I can barely tolerate any of her recent releases. It’s what I think of as The Linda Howard Syndrome.)

  14. Gwen Hayes
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 22:51:36

    This post is a great lesson in the subjectivity of readers. If IT HAD TO BE YOU had been my first SEP book, I NEVER would have picked up another. Luckily, she’s one of my faves and I can overlook this one. But it just goes to show that we are all so very different.

  15. Jamie Wesley
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 10:54:30

    I agree with Gwen about the subjectivity of readers, because IT HAD TO BE YOU was my first SEP book, and I fell in love on the spot. She’s been my favorite author ever since. It was the first romance I’d ever seen that had sports in it and I had to have it.

    And Jane, you mentioned one of my other faves – One Summer. I adore that book.

  16. LJD
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 17:04:20

    I bought What I Did for a Duke. The first book I’ve ever bought from your deals listings. (I’ve clicked on a few others only to find that the deal didn’t apply in Canada.)

    Someday, maybe, I’ll try SEP again. Nobody’s Baby but Mine was the 3rd romance book I ever read, and….uggh. I don’t know. Was not impressed at all. I’m not sure I should bother. The very first romance book I read? Bet Me (Crusie), and it was nothing special. I didn’t read another romance for 4 months. (I have since read another of her books, which I liked about the same. It was OK, but that’s about it.)

  17. Moriah Jovan
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 18:10:35


    Someday, maybe, I’ll try SEP again.

    Try HOT SHOT. Not sure if that’ll totally kill her for you or not, but I loved it.

    That said, KISS AN ANGEL (aka “The Circus Book”) takes the TSTL heroine to a whole ‘nother level–the self-aware TSTL heroine who figures out she may not be all that stupid after all.

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