Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Daily Deals: Mystical things and a box set

Mystic Guardian by Patricia RiceMystic Guardian by Patricia Rice. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Aelynn, a tropical island veiled from human sight, magically protects a sacred chalice. When a beautiful maiden washes ashore from the outside world and steals the chalice, she sets in motion dangerous and far-reaching consequences…

Trystan l’Enforcer is Aelynn’s powerful guardian. To guarantee the isle’s safety, he plans to marry into a magically powerful family. His ambition is thwarted when his ship carries a sultry beauty onto the island’s hidden shores. She stirs a carnal hunger that risks everything he is and must be…and now he must work with her to recover Aelynn’s most sacred object before chaotic forces can destroy paradise.

PW writes “A fine, fresh series kickoff, Rice’s latest is passionate, rich in historical detail and peopled with enough captivating secondary characters to pique readers’ curiosity for many volumes to come.”

AmazonBNSony KoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Masques of Gold by Roberta GellisMasques of Gold by Roberta Gellis. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

With more than 8 million books in print RT Book Reviews Lifetime Achievement Award-winning author Roberta Gellis is the master of the medieval romance.

Lissa never much liked her elderly husband, but she certainly hadn’t suspected he was plotting treason. When she’s suddenly left a widow, the sharp gaze of the king’s head investigator turns straight to her. Sir Justin is honor-bound to treat Lissa as a suspect, but keeping his distance from the beautiful temptress requires every ounce of his legendary self-control.

As King John’s court swirls with intrigue, tempers are high, passions are hot, and one wrong move could change the course of history.

There was a time in our genre when the meaty historical was the queen. Long, epic historical romances were the norm rather than the exception and readers panted for them, me included. Those days have past. Some speculation for their demise includes that we’ve become more impatient and have a shorter attention span. Others are that digital reading isn’t conducive to really long form.

Back in the day, though, Gellis was on the top of the epic medieval romance. Her history was as detailed as her character profiles but make no mistake, these were romances at their heart. If you want to take a leisurely step back, this is one worth buying.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREAppleGoogle

Crown of Crystal Flame by C. L. Wilson. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A Song of Love won her heart.
A Song of Darkness haunted her soul.
A Song in the Dance would seal her fate.

Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already she had won the heart of the Fey King—the magnificent Rain, ever her ally, eternally her love. She had saved the offspring of the magical tairen and fought beside her legendary mate against the armies of Eld. But the most powerful—and dangerous—Verse of her Song had yet to be sung. As the final battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul—will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity? As she and Rain fight for each other, side by side, will they find a way to complete their truemate bond and defeat the evil High Mage of Eld before it’s too late, or must they make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world?

I really enjoyed this series despite the twee nature of the world building (winged cats FTW) and the storylines that Wilson weaved from book 1 that didn’t come to fruition until book 5 had me breathless with anticipation. Having said that starting with book 5 is crazypants in this saga. I don’t feel like a reader could pick up book 5 and understand half of the story.

Start with book 1. It’s got soul mates, winged cats, and fierce enemies. Is the ending a bit twee? Yeah, but I waited so long for it, I didn’t give a damn. Book 1 is Lord of the Fading Lands.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Silk by Heidi McLaughlinSilk by Heidi McLaughlin. $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Eleven of your favorite authors – New York Times, USA Today, bestselling and more.

Eleven men who will be put to the test when it comes to love.

One epic anthology.

Meet the men:

• Ryland Dare (The Edge of Darkness): A privileged boy living a life of lies.

• Reid Connely (Let Love In): A gorgeous and darkly mysterious college senior who understands pain all too well.

• Deacon Chastain (A Blue Tale): A guitar player saved from a path of destruction by his rock idol and the music he creates.

• Connor Simpson (Next to Forever): A fiancé who seems to have it all until he’s faced with one of the toughest decisions of his life.

• Brett Walker (Trusting You): A one-night stand who wants more finds himself put to the test when his past threatens his future.

• Adam Hill (Remembering Joy): A brooding and strangely charming film student set on revenge finds love where he least expects it.

• Ryan Campbell (Falling): An abuse survivor living in a world of his own creation so he doesn’t have to feel.

• Harrison James (My Unexpected Forever): A single dad with few expectations other than raising his son and making some music along the way until the unexpected happens.

• Adam Burke (Better): An adventurer who works just enough to fund his next circle around the globe gets an opportunity he can’t refuse. The only catch? He won’t be traveling alone this time.

• Luke Matthews (Love In Between): A guitar player grieving the loss of his fiancée after a tragic car accident no longer believes in love.

• Jonathan Statham (Mid Life Love): A self-made billionaire and CEO of Statham Industries used to getting whatever he wants—whenever he wants.

Find out their stories in these eleven, previously released, full-length novels about regret, revenge, forgiveness, and ultimately, love:

The Edge of Darkness by Melissa Andrea?
Let Love In by Melissa Collins?
A Blue Tale by Sarah Dosher?
Next to Forever by S. Moose?
Trusting You by L.P. Dover?
Remembering Joy by Jenni Moen?
Falling by E.K. Blair?
My Unexpected Forever by Heidi McLaughlin?
Better by Carey Heywood
?Love in Between by Sandi Lynn?
Mid Life Love by Whitney G.

The men are the only interesting part of these stories. (I hope not) I started Mid Life Love by Whitney G after thoroughly enjoying part 1 of the Reasonable Doubt serial (I’ve not picked up the second because I understand it’s short and I’ll just wait for the rest of it to come out and read it all together). I didn’t finish Mid Life Love but of the two main characters, I definitely thought the heroine was the more interesting of the two. Nonetheless, I bought this because it’s 11 novels for 99c.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

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. Susan
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 15:06:22

    “Others are that digital reading isn’t conducive to really long form.”

    I would have thought just the opposite. Digital is a wonderful alternative to lugging doorstopper books around. I think there was just a glut of historical romances, many of which made no attempt at historical accuracy or realism, and readers got tired of wading thru the muck looking for the gems.

  2. Lostshadows
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 15:22:32

    @Susan: Mte. Epic fantasy was one of the things that pushed me into getting an ereader.

  3. Lynnd
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 15:32:21

    @Susan: I would agree with you that e-readers make reading big door-stopper historicals much easier. I don’t know what happened to the big historical romance because big door-stopper historical fiction with romantic elements still seem to be quite popular. Hopefully, the pendulum will swing again in romance and the big meaty historical romance sagas will become popular again.

    Roberta Gellis was one of my favourites and I would also highly recommend Masques of Gold.

  4. Ani Gonzalez
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 15:34:04

    Winged cats? For real? SOLD.

  5. MaryK
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 15:34:07

    I definitely have a shorter attention span but then my life is busier now. I never really cared for the epic romances though. I’ve always preferred a strong focus on the main couple.

    Digital reading actually helps me read longer books. When I’m looking at one page at a time, the length isn’t as intimidating.

  6. P. J. Dean
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 15:50:31

    @Susan: I completely agree. The historical romance genre by the late 90s, early 2000s had declined greatly in quality. Another big reason for poorly researched, terribly plotted historicals was, believe it or not, the increase in the price of the components for making paper not to long ago. I remember reading a trade publication, in the mid-90s, that pulp prices had skyrocketed and publishers, being the frugal, short-sighted lot that they are, TOLD writers to stop putting so much description and detail into books of that genre because it was costing them too much money to print the books. Hence, many a crappy, lackluster historical romance book was born. I recall DNFing an Old Skool Western because the only way the author let me know it was a western was by the heroine’s constant referencing of the saloon across the street from her hotel and of the hero’s spurs.

  7. Patricia Rice
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 16:34:28

    I am currently editing some of my old 80’s and 90’s historical romances, many written on a typewriter. I’m easily cutting out 20k words without cutting a single scene because these books were seriously unedited back then. Readers expected big books and we gave it to them, complete with every adverb known to mankind.
    Those books were written before the proliferation of the internet and cable TV. People needed to have verbal pictures drawn of sailing ships and tropical islands and Big Ben. These days, not so much.

    So there are quite a few reasons for the changes over the decades, but I do miss the meaty stories.

  8. Kate Y.
    Jun 11, 2014 @ 17:21:10

    Right now there are nine Roberta Gellis ebooks for sale at Barnes & Noble and Amazon for $1.49. Do you recommend any (or all) of them? I haven’t read Roberta Gellis before and I’d like to try some of her titles.

  9. Kaetrin
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 01:42:32

    I read the Tairen Souls series a couple years ago and loved loved loved them. I’ve had The Winter King on pre-order for the longest time but the wait is nearly over. A new CL Wilson book! Squeeeeeee!!

    @Kate Y.: I love Roberta Gellis. I reviewed Gilliane here: . I love her Roselynde series, particularly the first 4 books, but just about all of them are winners (including the Jernaeve books and the Royal Dynasty series and the Siren Song series) and for $1.49 I’d be jumping all over them if I didn’t have them already.

  10. Joanna
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 08:59:05

    @Kate Y. Yes to any and all Roberta Gellis! Great stories with romance, history and the politics of the time. I think I remember the Roselynde chronicles the best but never a bad book from her.

  11. GrowlyCub
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 09:54:50

    I love Roberta Gellis and reread almost all her Medievals several times a year. That said, some of them contain elements that modern readers may find objectionable. FYI, I do not reread Masques of Gold and I’d never recommend that as somebody’s first Gellis. My faves are Roselynde and Alinor. I totally agree with Kaetrin’s recs. :)

  12. Ros
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 09:57:13

    @Susan: Exactly! Reading Wolf Hall on my kindle was WONDERFUL. I’d started it in paperback and put it down, not least because I couldn’t lug it around in my handbag all the time. Reading the digital version meant that I always had a sense of making progress, because of the % bar, and it was no harder on my hands/wrists than a category romance. Perfect medium for long books, I think.

  13. GrowlyCub
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 09:58:49

    @Patricia Rice: I’m sorry to hear that you are editing your books before reissue. I guess I’m an old fogy but I don’t understand the adverb hate and the push to ‘lean’ writing. As far as I can see from 30+ years of reading, those exact new ‘rules’ have led to the decline of hist roms. Also, none of the re-edited e-versions I’ve read made me think the author was a better writer. The stories all suffered. Clearly your mileage varies.

  14. Isobel Carr
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 11:46:31

    @P. J. Dean:

    Another big reason for poorly researched, terribly plotted historicals was … publishers, being the frugal, short-sighted lot that they are, TOLD writers to stop putting so much description and detail into books of that genre because it was costing them too much money to print the books. Hence, many a crappy, lackluster historical romance book was born.

    I’m not seeing the correlation between length and research. Regency Trads were quite short, but IME, often MUCH better researched than many of the epics.

%d bloggers like this: