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Daily Deals: Marriage of convenience; love triangles; and male cooks

Yours for the Taking Robin KayeYours for the Taking by Robin Kaye. $ 2..99

From the Jacket Copy:

He might be too good to be true…

Ben Walsh shouldn’t be single. Handsome and wealthy, Ben is equally at home in Idaho where he grew up and in Manhattan where he’s now an art dealer. Suave and successful with impeccable taste, he normally has women beating down his door. But the one woman he wants can’t be convinced that he’s for real…

She isn’t sure if she has time for fairy tales…

Gina Reyez has fought for every bit of her success, and it’s about time for things to start going her way. So when Ben makes a proposal that will allow her to take care of her family the way she wants to, she agrees. Besides, a guy this perfect would never be interested in her…right? By the time Gina figures out that she’s read Ben all wrong, the arrangements are made, the papers are signed…but what exactly are they getting themselves into?

The blurb doesn’t reveal this, but the reviews do. This is a marriage of convenience story wherein the hero must take a wife in order to gain control over a piece of real estate that he has always wanted. Publishers weekly calls this a lackluster fourth novel. I’ve liked Kaye’s work in the past, however, even though I’ve never read this one.

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The Luxe (Luxe Series #1)      by     Anna GodbersenLuxe by Anna Godbersen. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899.

Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan’s social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City’s elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth’s and Diana’s golden future.

With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city’s gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan’s most celebrated daughter disappear…

In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

Pretty girls in pretty dresses? It’s hard to see how romance hasn’t completely co-opted this particular slice of history. As I was looking at the cover, it occurred to me that this series of books may have started the trend of historical romance covers that contain acres of fabric and big boobs. The book was originally published in 2009, around the time that we moved from backs to fabric stores.

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Everything Beautiful Began After By Simon Van Booy Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy . $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Rebecca is young, lost, and beautiful. A gifted artist, she seeks solace and inspiration in the Mediterranean heat of Athens—trying to understand who she is and how she can love without fear.

George has come to Athens to learn ancient languages after growing up in New England boarding schools and Ivy League colleges. He has no close relationships with anyone and spends his days hunched over books or wandering the city in a drunken stupor.

Henry is in Athens to dig. An accomplished young archaeologist, he devotedly uncovers the city’s past as a way to escape his own, which holds a secret that not even his doting parents can talk about.

…And then, with a series of chance meetings, Rebecca, George, and Henry are suddenly in flight, their lives brighter and clearer than ever, as they fall headlong into a summer that will forever define them in the decades to come.

There are varying ratings on Good reads for this book, but even the three-star reviews agree that the prose in this story is tremendous. One reviewer said that female protagonist is an artist and it was fitting because the language that the author uses in this book is so strong that it creates tremendous visuals.

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Man with a PanMan with a Pan by John Donohue. $ 2.51 | $2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Look who’s making dinner! Twenty-one of our favorite writers and chefs expound upon the joys—and perils—of feeding their families.

Mario Batali’s kids gobble up monkfish liver and foie gras. Peter Kaminsky’s youngest daughter won’t eat anything at all. Mark Bittman reveals the four stages of learning to cook. Stephen King offers tips about what to cook when you don’t feel like cooking. And Jim Harrison shows how good food and wine trump expensive cars and houses.

This book celebrates those who toil behind the stove, trying to nourish and please. Their tales are accompanied by more than sixty family-tested recipes, time-saving tips, and cookbook recommendations, as well as New Yorker cartoons. Plus there are interviews with homestyle heroes from all across America—a fireman in Brooklyn, a football coach in Atlanta, and a bond trader in Los Angeles, among others.

What emerges is a book not just about food but about our changing families. It offers a newfound community for any man who proudly dons an apron and inspiration for those who have yet to pick up the spatula.

This book seems great for Father’s day. Most retailers will allow you to purchase a book now and schedule the delivery for a later date. You can buy at a lower price and have it delivered right on Father’s Day.

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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. Laura
    May 16, 2013 @ 15:30:53

    Amazon reviews, both interesting and entertaining. Who knew Man With A Pan was actually a political manifesto by Godless liberals?

  2. Mary
    May 16, 2013 @ 16:22:30

    Oh my goodness Luxe!!! I was still in high school when that came out…I read it and the rest of the series. The covers are all gorgeous…and the writing is good. As I recall, I didn’t like the last one because of how it ends. And I grew a little tired of the series. It’s sort of like turn of the 20th century Gossip Girl-not really plotwise but more of how the characters act. I got tired of backstabbing characters.
    I don’t know, I might go back and read them now.

  3. Susan
    May 16, 2013 @ 16:56:37

    @Laura: OMG. That review–and the comment war–were hilarious. Scary, but funny. Initially, I thought that was a fake review, but no. The dude’s pretty consistent, too, with his other product reviews. (Yeah, I had to check ’em out.) They walk among us.

  4. Fran S.
    May 16, 2013 @ 17:14:59

    @Mary: I was a sophomore in HS when the last one came out, and I had the same feeling. The villain was really surprising and it got very gossipy/drama-ey as the books moved forward.

  5. Fran S.
    May 16, 2013 @ 17:21:50

    @Mary: I was a sophomore in HS when the last one came out, and I had the same feeling. The villain was really surprising (as in, I didn’t think there was foundation for this person to be evil) and it got very gossipy/drama-ey as the books moved forward. I remember crying several times in the first few books, but the ending didn’t feel satisfying at the time. Now I can see why the characters ended up with their respective destinies, but it’s probably because I’m no longer emotionally invested. Looking back, I think those books set me up for a penchant for Lisa Kleypas-type historical heroes.

    (whoops–screwed up and now I have two comments. Sorry!)

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