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Daily Deals: Liz Carlyle historicals, Lois McMaster Bujold fantasy, and others

The Curse of Chalion      By: Lois McMaster BujoldThe Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.

But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge — an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous . . . and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.

From the Library Journal ” The author of the “Vorkosigan” series of dynastic sf turns her hand as competently and engagingly to the fantasy genre in a tale of quiet heroism and self-sacrifice. Compelling characters and richly detailed world building make this a strong addition to fantasy collections. “

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The Bride Wore Pearls      By: Liz CarlyleThe Bride Wore Pearls by Liz Carlyle. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Beneath the elegant façade of Victorian high society, the mysterious men of the St. James Society play only by rules of danger and desire.

Rance Welham, the Earl of Lazonby, has survived scandal and disgrace, even evading the Queen’s justice at the end of a hangman’s rope. Now he’s about to gamble everything on something far more dangerous—desire.

An exotic and elegant beauty, Lady Anisha Stafford fled her native India to seek refuge within London’s secretive St. James Society. But accepting protection from someone called a cold-hearted killer is a double-edged sword . . . especially when he’s the most intriguing man Anisha has ever laid eyes upon.

In a world where treachery abounds, no one can be trusted—and no true passion can be denied. Together, these two tempestuous souls will risk their lives for a love that could redeem them . . . or destroy everything they hold dear.

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The Bride Wore Scarlett by Liz CarlyleThe Bride Wore Scarlett by Liz Carlyle. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Passion and secrets simmer behind the elegant façade of Victorian London in another deliciously intriguing novel featuring the mysterious men of the St. James Society.

Anaïs de Rohan has faced danger in her past, but never anything so great as posing as the new bride to one of the St. James Society’s most magnetic—and ruthless—leaders. But Lord Bessett’s bold challenge to prove herself worthy of joining his secret all-male society is impossible to resist. So she daringly agrees to travel with the enigmatic nobleman on a dangerous mission to save one of their own—a little girl with a frightening gift.

Soon intrigue swirls about them, drawing them ever closer. And Anaïs quickly realizes that the intimacy of sharing Lord Bessett’s bedroom is proving a temptation impossible to resist. As for Bessett himself—well, he might be a soldier sworn to the Society, but he certainly isn’t anyone’s saint. . . .

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One Touch of Scandal      By: Liz Carlyle One Touch of Scandal by Liz Carlyle . $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Against the glamorous backdrop of Victorian high society, Liz Carlyle paints a dramatic tale of dangerous desire, the first in her sizzling new trilogy.

All Grace Gauthier ever wanted was the security of a good marriage, family, and home. Instead, despised by her aristocratic father’s family because of her mother’s foreign birth, she’s taken a “safe” position as a governess. Now, unprotected and alone in London, accused of the shocking murder of her employer, she has no one to turn to except the mysterious—and possibly dangerous—Lord Ruthveyn.

A dark-eyed Lucifer, Ruthveyn guards his secrets carefully. His shadowed past is a source of pain and rumors—only whispered. Grace’s plight—which echoes his own—moves him, as does her quiet beauty. Ruthveyn is determined to save Grace by unmasking a killer. But his growing passion places his own heart at risk and threatens to expose his dark gifts to the world.

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Blind Faith      By: C. J. LyonsBlind Faith by C.J. Lyons. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Sarah Durandt knows the killer is dead. She watched him die from a lethal injection in the execution chamber. But Sarah finds little comfort in knowing that the deranged psychopath who murdered her husband and son will never kill again. Since he never revealed the location of their bodies, she never found a sense of closure. So now, Sarah has decided to return to her home in the Adirondacks, to search for whatever remains of her loved ones. An unmarked grave. An article of clothing. Anything to make this terrible dream seem real. But what Sarah uncovers is far more unnerving—and much too horrifying—to even consider…

Maybe they executed the wrong man. Maybe the killer is still out there.

Maybe, for Sarah, the nightmare is just beginning.

I believe that this book was originally self published. The goodreads reviews are all over the place from one stars for the author telling instead of showing to five stars for a great balance of suspense and romance. Another review said the plot was very complicated.

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Throne of Glass      By: Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

You can find the discounted ePub at Sony. This was marketed to reviewers as a teenage version of Game of Thrones. It has a love triangle, of course. But reviews indicate that the protagonist is very appealing and the fantasy world is not an all white cast.

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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. Amy Kathryn
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 14:11:25

    I really enjoyed Throne of Glass. It reminded me somewhat of Graceling with a girl assassin trying to find her way to controlling her own destiny. The triangle was definitely slanted in my opinion and may have been there for a little more conflict. I was okay with how it “ended” in as much as there is definitely going to be another book but you weren’t left without some resolution.

  2. AmyW
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 14:12:59

    …teenage version of Game of Thrones.

    Huh? It’s nothing like Game of Thrones!

  3. MaryK
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 14:15:38

    I really liked The Curse of Chalion. The audio version is the best audio performance I’ve every heard.

  4. cead
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 14:16:35

    I really loved Curse of Chalion, as did a number of my friends. The sequel, Paladin of Souls, was interesting, but less good.

  5. Sunita
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 14:23:58

    Love, love, love the Chalion series. If you haven’t read it and you like the genre, you’re really missing something exceptional.

  6. srs
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 14:31:38

    I also really love the Chalion series. I like all the books (even the third, which seems to be the least popular) but The Curse of Chalion is my favourite and one of my go-to comfort reads.

  7. SonomaLass
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 14:32:04

    I second, or third, or plus-one, the recommendation of The Curse of Chalion. I love the Chalion books! Really find, intricate fantasy. I am buying this for the Kindle NOW, even though I think we have the book around here somewhere.

    ETA: Looks like I bought it already, probably the last time it was on sale. D’oh!

  8. DS
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 14:33:51

    Love, love, love the audio version of Curse of Chalion. It’s a favorite.

  9. Carrie G
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 15:24:05

    @MaryK: Agreed! The audio version is amazing. I can’t imagine a narration matching a story any better than this one did.

    I’m so glad so many people enjoyed Curse of Chalion. it’s not a romance, but there are relationships of all types developed throughout the story, including romantic ones. Bujold is a master storyteller.

  10. Ridley
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 15:45:10

    Oh my god, fine. I’ll buy the Bujold you all love so much, even though I shouldn’t be buying any more books.

    You peer pressuring bullies. I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

  11. beccadi
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 16:04:12

    Curse of Chalion isn’t a romance, but the sequel, Paladin of Souls is (kinda) – and I think it’s just as good as CoC. What I like best about it is that the heroine, Ista, is post-motherhood – she’s a woman in her 40s, who goes on to save the day and also to win to love.

  12. Tina
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 17:11:51

    Do it ! Do it! Do it! LOL. No really, you won’t regret it. The first two Chalion books are stellar. And both protagonists are older, start out a little unsure but by the end become totally Gangsta!

  13. Sirius
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 17:28:09

    Joining in Curse of Shalion love – the characters, the world, the story – so good .

  14. jmc
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 19:06:55

    Chiming in to add to the Chalion recommendation. It is the first Bujold book I ever read — on the old AAR message boards, either Maili or Shinjinnee recommended it. I’ve now got multiple copies — mass market, trade paperback reissue, Kindle, and audiobook, plus several copies that I’ve bought and given away — and I don’t regret a penny spent.

  15. Kaetrin
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 00:20:52

    I listened to the Curse of Chalion and Lloyd James was such an excellent narrator. A wonderful story. I also recommend. Sorry Ridley, you are sunk!

  16. Patricia
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 07:42:25

    I think I’ve read everything Liz Carlyle has published. I really liked The Bride Wore Scarlet. The heroine is the daughter of Catherine and Max de Rohan from Carlyle’s earlier book No True Gentleman. She does entertain some rather modern thoughts about sex despite being a Victorian lady. One Touch of Scandal was okay, not great. I dont remember that much about it. I didn’t finish The Bride Wore Pearls even though I liked both of the main characters. The pacing seemed really slow. Also, the hero describes the half-Indian heroine as “exotic” something like seven or eight times in one chapter. It was really excessive.

  17. Laura Florand
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 08:36:05

    Paladin of Souls is my absolute favorite of her fantasies. I loved the heroine, really loved her, much more than most of her heroines, except, of course, the unbeatable Cordelia. I tend to find Bujold’s “older” (40-ish) heroines richer and more powerful than her younger ones. So it just goes to show… All Bujold’s books are worth reading, though.

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