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

Daily Deals: Richard II intrigue, A couple of scoundrels, and a...

A Burnable Book: A Novel by Bruce HolsingerA Burnable Book: A Novel by Bruce Holsinger. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

London, 1385. Surrounded by ruthless courtiers—including his powerful uncle, John of Gaunt, and Gaunt’s artful mistress, Katherine Swynford—England’s young king, Richard II, is in mortal peril. Songs are heard across London, said to originate from an ancient book that prophesies the ends of England’s kings—including Richard’s assassination. Only a few powerful men know that the cryptic lines derive from a “burnable book,” a seditious work that threatens the stability of the realm. To find the manuscript, wily bureaucrat Geoffrey Chaucer turns to fellow poet John Gower, a professional trader in information with connections high and low.

Gower discovers a conspiracy that reaches from the king’s court to London’s slums—and potentially implicates Gower’s own son. As the intrigue deepens, it becomes clear that John Gower, a man with secrets of his own, may hold the key to saving the king, and England itself.

PW gave it starred review “Though the period’s unfamiliar terms and figures can be confusing, the intricate plot, sharp characterizations, and sweeping depiction of medieval England make this a memorable fiction debut.”

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLeanNo Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A rogue ruined . . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.

A lady returned . . .

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed . . .

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.

Winner of the 2014 RITA Award for Historical Romance

I feel like Sarah Maclean is the Julia Quinn of this time period, whatever this time period may be. I haven’t read her in a while but I know she’s a favorite for many historical romance readers. I found in a couple of books the heroes were just too mean for me.

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREAppleGoogle

Dangerous Passion by Lisa Marie RiceDangerous Passion by Lisa Marie Rice. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Feelings kill faster than bullets.

That is Drake’s creed. A legend, a renegade, a ruthless, powerful enigma understood by no one and feared by all, Viktor “Drake” Drakovich heads up a billion-dollar empire—and shows no mercy to the many enemies who would stop at nothing to destroy him. He is a man with no love and no weakness, until…

Grace Larsen takes Drake’s breath away the first time he sees her—and quickly becomes his obsession. Never before has he burned for someone the way he desires this hauntingly beautiful artist who is plagued by troubling dreams. He aches to possess her, to protect her, to carry her to new heights of sensuous arousal and rapturous release.

But entering Drake’s world means becoming a target—for relentless, bloodthirsty foes have been eagerly waiting for him to expose his weak spot. And the price of their passion may be their lives.

I remember first reading this book back in the day (2009 is the pub date) and thinking an arms dealer for a hero? That’s not really heroic. But now I’ve read so so much worse that this book seems tame in comparison. It’s a classic LMR and if you like her obsessed heroes (which I do) then you’ll enjoy this one.

AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

As You Are by Sarah EdenAs You Are by Sarah Eden. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

A horse breeder by trade, Corbin Jonquil is more at home in the stables than in the ballroom of his sprawling estate. Corbin is the quietest of the Jonquil brothers and has always faded into the background, contentedly unnoticed. When a mysterious young widow, Mrs. Clara Bentford, moves into the neighborhood, however, Corbin quickly comes to realize that being noticed has its advantages. But how to catch the eye of the lady?

According to his brothers, Corbin need only make a few simple changes to transform himself into the object of any woman’s desire—dubious advice, indeed. Following a series of misadventures, Corbin and Clara slowly lower the facades behind which they’ve been hiding, leaving Corbin shocked by the horrors that haunt the woman he’s coming to care for so ardently. When the menace of Clara’s past threatens to tear them apart and tensions mount, will the couple have the courage to fight for the promise of forever?

I’m guessing that this is an inspirational historical although I can’t tell from the reviews. Reviewers raved about Corbin who was neither the tortured hero or the suave courtier, but a shy and sweet guy. I’m intrigued but I don’t want something really preachy. Anyone read Eden?

AmazonBNKoboBook 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. MrsJoseph
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 14:29:25

    Gaaah! I can’t get any coupons codes to work for this at Kobo.

  2. erinf1
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 14:56:55

    Sourcebook has two free books on Amazon today: The Highlander’s Prize by Mary Wine and A Wedding in Springtime by Amanda Forester. Dunno if they are price matched anywhere else

  3. erinf1
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 14:59:50

    oh and The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding (Entangled Scandalous) by Stacy Reid is also free on Amazon.

  4. Cassandra B.
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 15:17:46

    I really like Dangerous Passion. The hero does leave the gun business during the course of the book, if that is holding anyone back. There is no “I do horrible things for the right reasons” rationalizing. There is also a neat novella (can’t remember the name) that serves as an epilogue.

  5. Darlynne
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 15:42:13

    Based on the blurb for A BURNABLE BOOK, one gets the impression John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford (sister-in-law to Chaucer) are two of the ruthless courtiers surrounding Richard II. It’s been a long time, but I remember Anya Seton’s KATHERINE fondly; theirs seemed to be a real (however dramatized) love match.

  6. Joanna
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 16:32:42

    @Darlynne: I was thinking the same thing – “Katherine” is on my keeper shelf (I even snagged a hardcover copy years ago). That alone makes me interested in “A Burnable Book”!

  7. Amanda
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 16:47:49

    I am been meaning to pick up that Sarah MacLean title for a while and I enjoyed Lisa Marie Rice’s Woman on the Run (my first LMR) so I am getting Dangerous Passion as well.

  8. Cheryl
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 18:42:39

    @erinf1: Thanks for the info. BTW, both titles are also free at BN.

  9. Jessie
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 19:23:25

    Shannon McKenna’s Behind Closed Doors is a Kindle Daily Deal at $1.99 today.
    A number of related titles in this series are $2.99. I just picked one up.

  10. Willaful
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 21:04:29

    “I feel like Sarah Maclean is the Julia Quinn of this time period, whatever this time period may be. ”

    That really sums it up!

    I’m not a huge Rice fan, but thought Dangerous Passion very entertaining.

  11. Mary Beth
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 21:18:12

    @Jane – If you go to the book’s page on amazon and then scroll down to the bottom of the page, they list categories. Yes, the Eden book is an inspirational book.

    I immediately thought of Katherine too. A total keeper for me. I also bought a hardback after loaning my old copy and never having it return home.

  12. Kaetrin
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 21:38:01

    I decided to take the plunge and buy As You Are – I have a soft spot for a shy hero.

  13. Jane
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 21:38:46

    @Kaetrin: You are doing the Lord’s work. (I’m going to buy it too. Let me know if I should pull it out of the TBR pile).

  14. Kaetrin
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 21:39:57

    @Jane: LOL – who knows when I’ll get to it. About 10 books landed on my reader in the past few days which I want to read NOW.

  15. Alicia
    Aug 06, 2014 @ 16:44:31

    Books 1 and 2 of MacLean’s Scoundrel series are on sale at Amazon for the same price.

%d bloggers like this: