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Daily Deals: Sweet and Dangerous Heroes and a Box Set

these old shades heyerThese Old Shades by Georgette Heyer. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer’s career. It features two of Heyer’s most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry.

The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy’s clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys “Leon” and makes the child his page. “Leon” is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion. When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.

There was a great discussion about rakes in romance over at Liz McC’s blog and the hero of this book figured prominently, so obviously, DA readers, you are meant to go out and read These Old Shades. It’s a Georgian, it has a Real Rake, the heroine disguises herself as a boy, and the supporting characters all deserve their own full-length novels. It also has a May-December romance and features Heyer’s rather unpleasant ideas about innate aristocratic superiority, so if you’re allergic to those you might have a little trouble with it. But it’s one of my favorite Heyers, and countless romance heroes have their origins in the Duke of Avon. There are also two other excellent Heyers on sale right now: Cotillion and The Corinthian. Your credit card may not thank me but you will, I promise.

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what she wants robertsWhat She Wants by Sheila Roberts. $ 0.99

From the Jacket Copy:

What do women want?

Jonathan Templar and his poker buddies can’t figure it out. Take Jonathan, for instance. He’s been in love with Lissa Castle since they were kids but, geek that he is, she’s never seen him as her Mr. Perfect. He has one last shot—their high school reunion. Kyle Long is equally discouraged. The pretty receptionist at his office keeps passing him over for other guys who may be taller but are definitely not superior. And Adam Edwards might be the most successful of Jonathan’s friends, but he isn’t having any success on the home front. His wife’s kicked him out.

When Jonathan stumbles on a romance novel at the Icicle Falls library sale, he knows he’s found the love expert he’s been seeking—Vanessa Valentine, top-selling romance author. At first his buddies laugh at him for reading romance novels, but soon they, too, realize that these stories are the world’s best textbooks on love. Poker night becomes book club night…and when all is read and done, they’re going to be the kind of men women want!

When I saw this book title I assumed it was an erotic romance or an NA. Boy was I wrong. I’d never heard of this author, but apparently she writes heartwarming small-town romances (a quote from Debbie Macomber is on the cover), and one of her books was turned into a TV movie by the Lifetime network. This book is in a series called Life in Icicle Falls and it’s written from the perspective of the hero. So if you want to read a romance from the POV of a man, but written by a woman, here you go.

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western nights osbourneWestern Nights: Volume 1 by Kirsten Osbourne. $ 0.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Five top-selling authors share their favorite western romance heroes — all boxed up for you in one sexy, irresistible package! Open the pages and fall into the arms of a cowboy. Be prepared to hang on for the ride. Whether in the Wild West or in contemporary times, these men know how to handle their women.

WARNING: Stories appear in order of heat level, they range from Sweet to Erotic (Menage)

It’s a box set and the books are Westerns, so how could I resist? It’s a little unusual in that the books increase in heat level from sweet to hot as you work your way through the set, and the settings range from the 1800s to the present, from the ordinary world to the paranormal. I haven’t read anything by any of the authors and the positive reviews at Amazon are … suspiciously samey, but hey, for $ 0.99, why not? Westerns are hard to find.

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Not for sale martonNot For Sale by Sandra Marton. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Lucas Vieira needs a translator to seal a high-profile business deal, and also a woman to pose as his girlfriend to fend off a colleague’s overeager wife—so why not kill two birds with one stone?

Linguist Caroline Hamilton jumps at the chance to earn some decent money. But when she meets her client, she realizes she may be out of her league. The powerful Brazilian seems to be interested in more than just her brains….

Is the price of this passion too high?

Sandra Marton is a long-established author in the Presents line, and a handful of her books are currently discounted (for you Marton fans, a couple of the Orsini brothers books are also on sale). I chose this one because it features a cat. When was the last time you saw a cat as an important character in an HP? And we all know I love my cat romances. The Amazon board ladies give this book the thumbs-up (partly for the cat, I have a feeling), and the heroine is a professional with a career. Some of the reviews say there’s a lot of sex, but that the book is also full of humor.

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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.

26 Comments

  1. MaryK
    May 28, 2014 @ 15:30:58

    There’s a Virginia Kantra backlist title (I think) free at Amazon and Kobo – The Passion of Patrick MacNeill.

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  2. leftcoaster
    May 28, 2014 @ 15:40:12

    I couldn’t get through the “Cotillion” and I tried 3 times. I have re-read all of Jane Austen’s books multiple times. Do I just give up on Heyer or is it that maybe I need to try other books?

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  3. Sandra Schwab
    May 28, 2014 @ 15:57:50

    Just bought the Sandra Marton book. The cat did it as well as the fact that the book is even more heavily discounted for me! (That must be the first time ever!)

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  4. Ros
    May 28, 2014 @ 16:12:15

    @leftcoaster: Try others. I know Cotillion is many people’s favourite Heyer but it’s far from being mine. I think there is a Heyer for every age, every mood and every romance reader. If you didn’t like Cotillion, there’s a fair chance you might enjoy These Old Shades.

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  5. leslie
    May 28, 2014 @ 16:13:14

    @leftcoaster: I didn’t like Cotillion either……try Frederica or Venetia they are both wonderful books.

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  6. Sunita
    May 28, 2014 @ 16:19:22

    @leftcoaster: Unless you really don’t like Heyer’s style, Ros is right in that there is something for everyone in her oeuvre. We’ve reviewed a number of her books here at DA, here’s the author tag for her. See if one of them sounds good to you. A lot of people like Frederica and Venetia, which Leslie mentioned, but everyone is different. Venetia’s probably a safe place to start, though.

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  7. cleo
    May 28, 2014 @ 16:21:01

    @leftcoaster: The best advice I was given about trying Heyer was to start with the ones with a single name in the title. I second Leslie’s suggestion of Frederica or Venetia as a good place to start. Frederica is my favorite. I also think The Nonesuch works as a good entry level Heyer.

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  8. Melissa
    May 28, 2014 @ 16:25:42

    I picked up the other Heyer books rather than buy Shades. The blurb made the book seem boring to me for some reason. I have wanted to try Heyer’s work for a long time, but the prices scared me away.

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  9. Mzcue
    May 28, 2014 @ 17:47:15

    I stumbled into THESE OLD SHADES last week and found it delightful. Yes, the genetic determinism was a bit jarring, but I shrugged it off as a reflection of the times. I was actually about a third of the way into the book when I realized it was published in 1926. I might have shied away had I known, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Not stuffy, not staid, instead refreshing and piquant. And what an alpha-dog character the Duke of Avon proved to be. I thought I would miss the on-camera sex and passion, buy you know…I didn’t. The dialog was so snappy and the resolution so satisfying, that I came away with a feeling of full reader satisfaction. Plus, it was available in digital format, which for me is always a bonus.

    Now I’m trying to get into another Heyer, APRIL LADY, but I’m not finding the going as easy. Perhaps the feisty spirit of Leonie was part of the magic in THESE OLD SHADES? In any event, I’m tickled to know that the extensive bibliography Heyer left us is there to be discovered.

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  10. hapax
    May 28, 2014 @ 17:55:04

    Ack ack ack ACK!

    I’m sure that the Sheila Roberts book is a lovely sweet small-town cozy, but reading that description right after reading discussions of the Isla Vista shooter’s manifesto literally left me sick and shaking.

    I am NOT chiding y’all for posting it, or asking for trigger warnings or anything like that. But just like the Romancelandia use of “alpha male”, the very common “guys try to figure out Wut Wimmin Want” trope is probably going to get the side-eye from me for the foreseeable future.

    (And I used to *love* that plotline. Darn!)

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  11. Mzcue
    May 28, 2014 @ 18:19:39

    @Mzcue: Yikes! That’ll teach me to post without reading other current discussions on DA. I regret using the term “alpha dog” to describe the Duke of Avon in Georgette Heyer’s novel promoted above. As written, the Duke is indeed a dominant character, and one with a past of being careless about his conduct. However, I wish that I had chosen another set of adjectives.

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  12. hapax
    May 28, 2014 @ 18:30:54

    @Mzcue: Oh, please don’t apologize! That usage is everywhere in Romance, and it means something rather different than it does in the “sick, twisted world” of PUA.

    I’m just ultra-sensitive right now, and speaking only for myself.

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  13. CelineB
    May 28, 2014 @ 18:54:45

    @leftcoaster
    I recently read Cotillion and didn’t like it either. I’m also not a fan of These Old Shades, but I’m definitely in the minority there. My favorite was Arabella with Frederica and the Civil Contract as close runner-ups.

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  14. CelineB
    May 28, 2014 @ 18:57:07

    I just realize I was getting Cotillion mixed up with Corinthian. I remember having mixed feelings about Cotillion.

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  15. Elinor Aspen
    May 28, 2014 @ 19:01:32

    @hapax, I had a similar reaction today to the description of What She Wants, although it didn’t blindside me because I read a blurb about that book elsewhere in the past week. I found it disturbing the first time, not because of the Santa Barbara shooting, but because it made me think of Revenge of the Nerds. That movie’s misogyny is especially chilling because it is presented as essentially benevolent. It uses a plot device that is at least as old as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (clever student tricks a woman into having sex with him because she thinks he is her SO, but she finds that sex is much more pleasurable with her surprise lover). In medieval literature, it is not surprising that a woman is presented as sexual chattel. In a modern film that is supposed to be about underdogs triumphing over alpha males and brain beating brawn, it is especially disturbing. Given the much-discussed misogyny in male geek culture, however, I suppose it is not so surprising after all.

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  16. Elinor Aspen
    May 28, 2014 @ 19:02:24

    My comment just now was labeled as spam.

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  17. Susan
    May 28, 2014 @ 19:04:09

    I’m not typically an HP fan, but I had to pick up the Marton book because a cat! Thx.

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  18. Sunita
    May 28, 2014 @ 20:30:50

    @Elinor Aspen: Thanks for letting us know, there were a number of comments that were eaten! I was able to fish them out because you gave me the heads-up.

    @Elinor Aspen: @hapax: I’m very sorry that I posted something that disturbed and upset you, especially this week. I skimmed the sample and it seemed sweet rather than threatening, but I should have paid more attention. My apologies.

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  19. Moriah Jovan
    May 28, 2014 @ 21:19:39

    @Sunita: One woman’s threat is another woman’s catnip. I bought it because it sounded sweet. Thanks for posting it, Sunita.

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  20. Kaetrin
    May 29, 2014 @ 02:11:10

    @Sunita: Me too. I love romance written from the male POV. I’ve wishlisted because it’s not on sale for me.
    Sometimes geo restrictions are guardians of my wallet.

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  21. Lil
    May 29, 2014 @ 07:54:50

    What’s Liz McC’s blog? (I’m interested in a discussion of rakes.)

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  22. Sunita
    May 29, 2014 @ 08:29:05

    @Lil: Liz McC is a DA reader and commenter who has a blog called Something More, and the rake discussion is here.

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  23. Elinor Aspen
    May 29, 2014 @ 08:32:20

    @Sunita – reading the blurb here did not disturb me, but the premise of the book itself was somewhat disturbing, so I will not be reading it. There is no need to apologize. I also realize that others will see clear differences between the book’s characters and the more extreme examples of men who think they just need an owner’s manual to figure out women.

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  24. Moriah Jovan
    May 29, 2014 @ 11:47:28

    I read WHAT SHE WANTS last night (and have the book hangover to prove it). It was very sweet. A little touching. I shed a tear or two.

    That said, the men kinda read like women. There were all the usual arguments for reading romance novels and why they’re important, which came off a little clumsily. I actually was surprised about the ending because that’s not usually how it goes in romances.

    Yes, the men did get what they wanted (the women) and they worked for the women’s affections. But in romance novels, women get what they want, so I’m not sure why the premise is disturbing at all. Or, in the alternative, why such huge assumptions would be made about the book from copy that’s intended to be a flash of information about the story.

    Aside: My husband wanted me and he moved cross country to get me. It wasn’t threatening then and, after 12 years, 2 kids, 2 cats, and a POS house, it isn’t threatening now.

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  25. Lil
    May 29, 2014 @ 12:58:22

    @Sunita: Thanks

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  26. leftcoaster
    May 30, 2014 @ 17:13:04

    Thanks everyone…I’ll do some digging through the reviews and try again. I don’t think it’s her style, since I’m fairly sure I read (and enjoyed) one of her books on an airplane at some point, tho’ I didn’t end up keeping the book.

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