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Daily Deals: Maeve Binchy, a Tartine cookbook, and a historical with...

Minding Frankie  by Maeve BinchyMinding Frankie by Maeve Binchy. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Maeve Binchy is back with a tale of joy, heartbreak and hope, about a motherless girl collectively raised by a close-knit Dublin community.

When Noel learns that his terminally ill former flame is pregnant with his child, he agrees to take guardianship of the baby girl once she’s born. But as a single father battling demons of his own, Noel can’t do it alone.

Fortunately, he has a competent, caring network of friends, family and neighbors: Lisa, his unlucky-in-love classmate, who moves in with him to help him care for little Frankie around the clock; his American cousin, Emily, always there with a pep talk; the newly retired Dr. Hat, with more time on his hands than he knows what to do with; Dr. Declan and Fiona and their baby son, Frankie’s first friend; and many eager babysitters, including old friends Signora and Aidan and Frankie’s doting grandparents, Josie and Charles.

But not everyone is pleased with the unconventional arrangement, especially a nosy social worker, Moira, who is convinced that Frankie would be better off in a foster home. Now it’s up to Noel to persuade her that everyone in town has something special to offer when it comes to minding Frankie.

I went on a Maeve Binchy reading spree after watching the Circle of Friends movie with Minnie Driver until I realized her endings wouldn’t be satisfying for me. The books are full of heartbreak but the stories were still touching and evocative.

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A Lily on the Heath (Medieval Romance) (The Medieval Herb Garden Series)  by Colleen GleasonA Lily on the Heath (Medieval Romance) by Colleen Gleason. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

“Lush, romantic and unputdownable!” –bestselling author Cheryl Bolen

Passion and deception amid the shadowy court of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II….

An honorable man: Malcolm de Monde, Lord of Warwick needs a wife. He reluctantly journeys to the turbulent royal court where his plan is simple: find a dutiful woman, gain the king’s approval for his choice and return to Warwick with his chosen lady wedded, bedded, and carrying his heir—all before winter.

An independent woman: Judith of Kentworth, Royal Falconer and lady-in-waiting, is a woman from Malcolm’s past. Although she is a confidante of the queen, Judith’s beauty and vivacity attract the unwanted attentions of the king—and the woman who commands winged predators becomes prey herself.

A simple plan that goes awry when Malcolm encounters Judith, once betrothed to his friend—and a woman who is nothing like the meek wife he seeks…but who may be exactly the type of woman he needs.

An impossible choice: Malcolm offers Judith a chance to escape her predicament…But can she risk entangling her own personal white knight in a dangerous web of royal intrigue?

This is number four in the “Herb Garden” series by Gleason. I primarily associate the Gleason name with the Gardella Chronicles which was a Buffy in Victorian London series. I didn’t read it but Jia did. I got the sense she wasn’t thrilled with how the series came to a close.

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Tartine Elisabeth PrueittTartine by Elisabeth Prueitt. $ 3.03 Amzn | Google Play

From the Jacket Copy:

Every once in a while, a cookbook comes along that instantly says “classic.” This is one of them. Acclaimed pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt and master baker Chad Robertson share not only their fabulous recipes, but also the secrets and expertise that transform a delicious homemade treat into a great one. It’s no wonder there are lines out the door of Elisabeth and Chad’s acclaimed Tartine Bakery. It’s been written up in every magazine worth its sugar and spice. Here their bakers’ art is transformed into easy-to-follow recipes for the home kitchen.

The only thing hard about this cookbook is deciding which recipe to try first: moist Brioche Bread Pudding; luscious Banana Cream Pie; the sweet-tart perfection of Apple Crisp. And the cakes! Billowing chiffon cakes. Creamy Bavarians bursting with seasonal fruits. A luxe Devil’s Food Cake. Lemon Pound Cake, Pumpkin Tea Cake. Along with the sweets, cakes, and confections come savory treats, such as terrifically simple Wild Mushroom Tart and Cheddar Cheese Crackers.

There’s a little something here for breakfast, lunch, tea, supper, hors d’oeuvres—and, of course, a whole lot for dessert! Practical advice comes in the form of handy Kitchen Notes. These “hows” and “whys” convey the authors’ know-how, whether it’s the key to the creamiest quiche (you’ll be surprised), the most efficient way to core an apple, or tips for ensuring a flaky crust. Top it off with gorgeous photographs throughout and you have an utterly fresh, inspiring, and invaluable cookbook.

Sounds delicious. I’m going to buy the book but what I’d really like is for someone to make every recipe in it. Maybe I’ll do that someday. I guess I’d have to leave Dear Author and start a food blog.

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Devil's Mistress by Heather GrahamDevil’s Mistress by Heather Graham. $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

HE IS A MAN POSSESSED—BY A WOMAN WHOSE BEAUTY DRIVES MEN TO MADNESS.

If there was ever a devil who could lure and seduce the innocent, Lord Sloan Treveryan is that man. Captain of the Sea Hawk and bound to the king’s business, Treveryan may be a lord but he is no gentleman. Yet even he cannot ignore a lady in distress—or the temptation she provides.

Bewitched by Brianna MacCardle’s beauty, Scottish inquisitors have called her the devil’s own. Though Treveryan saves her from the witch-hunter’s clutches, how can she be grateful? He has carried Brianna off to America, claimed her, and taken her innocence. She vows that he will never capture her heart. But against her will she begins to fall in love—while swearing to reap revenge against the arrogant lord who has made her the devil’s mistress.

The blurb makes the heroine sound like a siren. Is the phrase “Taken her innocence” a euphemism for something rather darker? The reviews say that it is “does not follow the standard formula” and another review says it’s predictable but most do say that the heroine’s actions are a bit, um, frustrating.

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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

4 Comments

  1. Kaia
    Mar 07, 2014 @ 18:55:44

    Tartine!! That’s a great daily deal; that bakery is one of my favorite places on earth. And basically the only reason I’m sad I moved an hour away from SF. Bought! (and already told at least 5 friends)

  2. Lori
    Mar 07, 2014 @ 20:39:32

    I’ve discovered how awesome cookbooks are on my Kindle Fire and now here’s another I can’t wait to try.

    Thank you Jane. (And I’d so follow your food blog.)

  3. Kaetrin
    Mar 07, 2014 @ 23:49:01

    Tartine wasn’t available to me on kindle but the print version was $35! When I tried the Kobo link I was pleased to discover it was there for $3.49. Even better, the 30% off code Kobo2014 worked so I got it for $2.44. Take that Amazon!

  4. Victoria Paige
    Mar 10, 2014 @ 16:53:58

    I love the Tartine Cookbook. When I went to San Francisco I made it my mission to eat there. Some of the recipes are my go-to ones like the pastry cream and basic tart dough. The lemon bars on brown butter shortbread was excellent. Anyway, the book was memorable because 7 of my baking-minded friends and I decided to make the croissant recipe from this book. Three days work and 170+ email exchanges later, we had croissants. Never going to attempt it again, but it was fun. :)

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