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Daily Deals: Some Romantic Fiction, Indo-Canadian Chick Lit, and a Nun

Paso Doble JovanPaso Doble by Moriah Jovan. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Emilio Bautista is bored with his job as a matador and has a PhD in chemistry he’s not using. Cube-farm chemistry is out of the question, but the universities in Andalusia are well staffed—except Covarrubias University. They’re desperate, but he still can’t get hired. Further, for the last six years, he’s been obsessed with a woman he can’t manage to meet, much less seduce.

Victoria LaMontagne is worried about her job as an English professor at Covarrubias University. After six years of being on tenure track, her new department chair is pressuring her to change her teaching style—or else. Further, she learns that one of Spain’s star matadors has a crush on her and threatens her hobby job for a chance to chat with her over tapas and flamenco.

Though they have never met, when Dr. LaMontagne and Dr. Bautista crash into each other in the administration offices, they fall into conversation as if they were long-time friends who’d had a spat. He finds her charming in spite of her tactlessness, vanity, and demanding personality. She finds him intriguing in spite of his obsession with her, his legendary promiscuity, and his boring bullfighting.

She makes him laugh. He solves her problems. They’re just friends—

—right up to the first kiss …

Moriah Jovan is a DA regular who writes romantic fiction, as this Amazon review states better than I can: “Jovan doesn’t write Romance (with a capital R). She writes epic stories that are romantic. The central theme is love: finding it, recognizing it, realizing it, and keeping it. And not just love with a member of the opposite sex, but love for ourselves, family, and friends.” I used to read a lot of contemporary romance that felt sweeping and saga-like and I’m always looking for books like that today. I love a big fat book and when it’s set in Spain, that’s a bonus.

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Deeper Robin YorkDeeper by Robin York. $ 0.99

From the Jacket Copy:

In Robin York’s sizzling debut, a college student is attacked online and must restore her name—and stay clear of a guy who’s wrong for her, but feels so right.

When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.

West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.

They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.

When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.

Robin York is the penname Ruthie Knox uses when she writes New Adult, and Knox is a favorite author of many DA reviewers and commenters. This is York’s debut novel, the first of a series (of course) but it does not end in a cliffhanger (thank you Ms. York). The 3-star reviews say that Deeper avoids some of the cliches and pitfalls of the NA genre but falls into others (the hero sounds kind of stock NA), but the writing is very good. A number of reviewers think the last part of the book is stronger than the first part, but another reader disliked the ending. Ah, reviewers, we’re never satisfied!

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Year of the Chick moondiYear of the Chick by Romi Moondi. $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

An awkward family homecoming at Christmas.

A humiliating public weigh-in, with two judging parents as the audience.

The announcement of a deadline for arranged marriage doom.

And that’s just the first two chapters.

In “Year of the Chick,” Romi Narindra must find love before her parents find her a husband (a seemingly absurd concept that’s the norm in many cultures).

To escape her fate, Romi wades through the waters of secret-dating, where self-consciousness is at an all-time high, and experience at an all-time low. It’s the sort of thing that would turn almost anyone into a man-crazy freak with romance tunnel-vision, and that’s exactly what happens to her. All the while, a lack of inspiration in her corporate job leads Romi to her love of writing, in what quickly becomes a man-quest play-by-play.

From whiskey-breath scum bags to uni-brow creeps and everything in between, Romi and her wingmen come up empty time after time.

And that’s when she meets a fellow writer. On the Internet.

So will it be arranged marriage doom, or an Internet affair that’s not as creepy as “To Catch a Predator”? Time will tell in the “year of the chick,” a twelve-month quest to find love.

Tick-tock.

I’m always on the lookout for romances featuring Indian characters and for unusual romances and this one ticks both boxes. The sample is engaging. It’s definitely a chick-lit voice and it’s in 1st person POV, and the narrator is treading the line between cute and annoying. The avoiding-the-arranged-marriage plot isn’t new, but these are overbearing Canadian-Indian parents for a change. The book ends in something of a cliffhanger, but the second book is available and resolves it. It’s not free, though.

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galileos daughter sobelGalileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of Galileo’s daughter, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has written a biography unlike any other of the man Albert Einstein called “the father of modern physics- indeed of modern science altogether.” Galileo’s Daughter also presents a stunning portrait of a person hitherto lost to history, described by her father as “a woman of exquisite mind, singular goodness, and most tenderly attached to me.” Galileo’s Daughter dramatically recolors the personality and accomplishment of a mythic figure whose seventeenth-century clash with Catholic doctrine continues to define the schism between science and religion. Moving between Galileo’s grand public life and Maria Celeste’s sequestered world, Sobel illuminates the Florence of the Medicis and the papal court in Rome during the pivotal era when humanity’s perception of its place in the cosmos was about to be overturned. In that same time, while the bubonic plague wreaked its terrible devastation and the Thirty Years’ War tipped fortunes across Europe, one man sought to reconcile the Heaven he revered as a good Catholic with the heavens he revealed through his telescope. With all the human drama and scientific adventure that distinguished Dava Sobel’s previous book Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter is an unforgettable story,

Dava Sobel, the author of the acclaimed Longitude (which is also on sale right now), turns her attention to one of the many women whose history has been mostly neglected in favor of her more famous male relatives. Although in this case, it’s somewhat understandable, since we’re talking about Galileo. While one of the reviews says that the book is as much about Galileo as his daughter, others say the book paints a compelling picture of daily life in the 17th Century and of the harsh life of cloistered nuns.

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Sunita has been reading romances since she ran out of Cherry Ames, Student Nurse and Chalet School books and graduated to Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer. Other old favorites include Mary Burchell, Betty Neels, Elsie Lee, and Edith Layton. Among current writers, she reads and rereads Anne Stuart, Tamara Allen, Sarah Morgan, Marion Lennox, Josh Lanyon, and Susanna Kearsley. She blogs as VacuousMinx and tweets as @sunita_p.

23 Comments

  1. Emma Barry
    May 23, 2014 @ 14:09:26

    I haven’t read Galileo’s Daughter since college, but I remember it being terrific. I’m excited to pick up a digital copy and see if it holds up!

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  2. Fallen Professor
    May 23, 2014 @ 14:25:02

    I enjoyed Galileo’s Daughter, and at that price definitely recommend it.

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  3. Heather Greye
    May 23, 2014 @ 14:39:19

    I loved Longitude and kept meaning to pick up Gallileo’s Daughter. At that price, how can I resist?

    I

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  4. Christine
    May 23, 2014 @ 15:14:35

    Paso Doble looks great! (Especially since I am a chemist). The whole plot line is very intriguing, couldn’t pass this one up so it’ll go on my ereader tonight!

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  5. Readsalot81
    May 23, 2014 @ 15:18:01

    I reviewed Deeper and I’ll be damned if I can barely recall one single detail except that part of the plot hinges around revenge porn. I do remember it being a little too introspective for my taste – and I *think* that it switches viewpoints between Caroline & West instead of using chapters. For that price, it’s definitely worth a look – but I don’t think it separates itself from the plethora of New Adult out there.

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  6. MaryK
    May 23, 2014 @ 15:31:26

    Deeper isn’t the start of a series exactly. A second book comes out in July and is supposed to have an HEA for the couple. I like Ruthie Knox so I bought Deeper but I’m holding on to it until Harder comes out so I can read them back to back.

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  7. Jo
    May 23, 2014 @ 16:46:30

    I’m tempted by paso doble but I’m a little wary of the bull fighting aspect. Any one who’s read the book, are the bull fighting scenes graphic? TIA

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  8. library addict
    May 23, 2014 @ 16:55:17

    Julie James A Lot Like Love is on sale for 99¢ at Google and Amazon

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  9. Sunita
    May 23, 2014 @ 17:13:51

    @MaryK: Thank you for that correction, it’s totally my fault for misreading the title at Amazon. I knew York had another book coming out and I misunderstood the way they were related.

    @Jo: I’m not sure; I doubt it but I’ve emailed the author to find out.

    @library addict: Thanks for the heads-up!

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  10. Michelle
    May 23, 2014 @ 17:16:05

    All I can think of is the pain and cruelty involved in bullfighting. I listened to Galileo’s Daughter, it was fascinating. Definitely recommend it.

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  11. Christine
    May 23, 2014 @ 17:23:14

    @MaryK: I’m doing the same, I have Deeper but I’m waiting for Harder.

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  12. Jolanda
    May 23, 2014 @ 17:30:03

    A Lot Like Love by Julie James is 0.99 USD at Amazon at this moment.

    ReplyReply

  13. Sunita
    May 23, 2014 @ 18:22:11

    @Jo: I emailed Moriah Jovan but before she answered I skimmed the book myself, looking for scenes. There are a couple of scenes in the bullring and one goes through the fight itself, but it’s integral to the plot and a turning point for the character. The sense I get is that the author wants you to understand that this is his job, not just something he does because he likes to kill or because he doesn’t care about his opponent in the ring. For both characters, their work is important to them (whether they’re happy with it or not) and so this is part of that. It felt very integrated into the story.

    In terms of the actual explicitness, I’ve read more explicit accounts of violence in popular Western and Historical romances.

    I hope that helps. I don’t like bullfighting either and would never choose to watch it, but as an integral part of (some) Spanish culture I find it worth trying to understand.

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  14. Jo
    May 23, 2014 @ 19:09:04

    Thank You Sunita. That does help a lot. I’m going to buy it. I think you are right, I may not agree but at least I can try to understand. :-)

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  15. Jo
    May 23, 2014 @ 19:13:24

    Apparently I’m a spammer so I’ll try again :-)
    Thank You Sunita, that does help a lot. I did buy it. I think you are right, I may not agree but at least I can try to understand. :-)

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  16. Sunita
    May 23, 2014 @ 19:31:03

    @Jo: Our spam filter is a neverending mystery to me. Thanks for persevering, and I hope you enjoy it!

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  17. Fallen Professor
    May 23, 2014 @ 19:35:08

    @Sunita Not such an integral part of the culture anymore; things have changed in the past decade or so, with several cities putting a halt to bullfighting. From what I’ve noticed recently, It’s now mostly propped up by tourists who will pay to see it “just one time” and the older generation that can’t let go of what they feel is tradition.

    And yes, I am from Spain :-) But I tend to avoid foreign-written novels about my country like the plague, since all they seem to obsess about is bullfighting, flamenco, and the supposedly hot-headed character of the people. Oh yes, and we all have shiny dark hair and flashing black eyes. No wonder everyone who looks at my green-eyed, blond self says “But you don’t look Spanish at all!”

    Gah. Sorry. Rant over, haha! The plot sounds interesting, but I’m over the cultural tropes.

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  18. Sunita
    May 23, 2014 @ 19:56:28

    @Fallen Professor: Rant away! As anyone who has read even half of one of my reviews of India-set books here at DA knows, I have analogous issues. But many readers like the India books that I have problems with, and I’m always on a quest for unusual romances/romantic fiction.

    I know that bullfighting has been the target of considerable pushback in recent years, and it makes sense that it would not hold the same cultural meaning today that it has in the past, so I qualified my observation (also because I assume it didn’t have the same cultural meaning everywhere in Spain even when it was popular).

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  19. Fallen Professor
    May 23, 2014 @ 20:11:09

    @Sunita I haven’t read any India-set romances, but I can imagine they have their own misrepresentations.

    One of the things that jumped out at me in the book description is that bullfighting was a “job.” Given the training, financial investment, and sheer dedication and courage (even if it’s to such a cruel end) involved in becoming a bullfighter, it’s hard to see it as a job like flipping burgers. Bullfighters, no matter what one thinks of them, are in it out of a sense of vocation; I’ve never heard one of them say that it’s just a job, especially since very few become rich and famous. So that seemed like an odd point in the blurb. But again, I haven’t read the book so I can’t judge. As I think I mentioned in the discussion when I reviewed Savage Thunder, cultural and racial stereotypes in romance novels are complicated, because it’s hard to separate homage/genuine admiration from exploitation or easy generalizations.

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  20. Justine
    May 24, 2014 @ 13:11:43

    Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway has dropped to FREE from $3.99 on Amazon. Jayne gave it a B on Dec. 26, 2012, and then DA (unclear who) reviewed it again on May 24, 2013. The previous time DA featured it as a Daily Deal was on Jan. 29, 2013, when it was priced at $0.99.

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  21. MaryK
    May 24, 2014 @ 13:19:13

    There is a Judith Arnold book, Found Father, free at Amazon.

    ReplyReply

  22. Christine
    May 24, 2014 @ 18:09:23

    @Justine: Thanks Justine, what a totally original plot!

    ReplyReply

  23. Janine
    May 25, 2014 @ 12:58:06

    @Jo: Thanks for raising the bullfighting topic. I was wondering the same thing since I find it hard to read about violence toward animals. Otherwise the book sounds good, so I’m conflicted.

    ReplyReply

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