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

Daily Deals: Historical mysteries, romance, and an international thriller

To Pleasure a Duke (The Husband Hunters Club #3) by Sara Bennett To Pleasure a Duke by Sara Bennett. $1.99.

From Jacket Copy:

It has taken Eugenie Belmont but a moment to decide whom to marry . . .

Unfortunately the gentleman in question, the Duke of Somerton, hasn’t yet offered—a mere formality for a confirmed member of the Husband Hunters Club of Miss Debenham’s Finishing School. Like her friends, Eugenie is unwilling to wait demurely until the perfect mate happens by. And, despite the handsome duke’s imposing reputation, she can feel his heated glances in her direction are charged with desire . . . and possibilities.

Saddled with a dukedom, a haughty dowager, and an irresponsible younger sister, Sinclair St. John is far too occupied with important matters to indulge in romantic whims. But for the first time in his life, a brazen temptress has him utterly distracted. He could—and he should—dismiss her and court someone more befitting his station. But he is irresistibly drawn to this bewitching woman . . . and must match her game of seduction, move for passionate move.

I’ve never read Sara Bennett before but I do like the idea of the heroine pursuing the hero. It’s not a trope we read a lot about these days. That said, the two negative reviews of the book point out that the hero is fairly offensive to the heroine. Shh I’m reading on goodreads says “It was really hard to enjoy a hero who thought himself so far above the heroine that the only option he could see for the majority of the book was to make her his mistress. Even harder to enjoy a hero who insisted on seducing the heroine into becoming his mistress after she says no. And no. And no. “


Tainted Innocence Joss Alexander Tainted Innocence by Joss Alexander. $1.99.

From Jacket Copy:

England, 1524.

In Cambridge, the College of the Young Princes brings together all manner of people—with all manner of secrets. Among them is Bryony, an illiterate laundress and a stranger to the town, who lives in constant fear that her unusual upbringing and lack of friends will leave her vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft.

When Matthew Hobson, a scholar at the college, is found murdered and wrapped in linen that Bryony lost, she immediately becomes a suspect. But she is not the only one. Luke Hobson, a taciturn local tradesman who has sacrificed much for his charismatic but selfish brother, also has a motive for the murder.

With the university authorities eager to solve the crime, outsiders Bryony and Luke are forced into a wary alliance, knowing they have to track down the killer if they are to escape hanging. But can they trust in each other’s innocence in order to uncover the truth?

Published by Carina Press, Ruth says in her Amazon review “It’s not really a romance, more like historical fiction/mystery with strong romantic undertones, but this doesn’t do the complexity and range justice.”


Already Gone  John Rector Already Gone by John Rector. $1.99.

From Jacket Copy:

2012 International Thriller Award Nominee

Jake Reese is a writing teacher at an American university. He lives in a small brick Tudor close to campus with his art buyer wife, Diane. His life is quiet-Ordinary even. And he likes it that way. But it wasn’t always quiet. Jake’s distant past was a life on the streets, inflicting damage and suffering on more people than he can count. And now someone from his past, it seems, has come looking for him.

A raw, gripping thriller about the price paid for past sins, John Rector’s third novel is a live wire that crackles with the intensity of a man who has nothing left to lose. When two men attack Jake in a parking lot and cut off his ring finger, he tries to dismiss it as an unlucky case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But when events take a more sinister turn and Diane goes missing, Jake knows he can no longer hide from the truth.

As he embarks on a mission to find his wife, he realizes his dark past is refusing to stay buried, and that his future is about to unfold in ways he could never have imagined.

With taut and brooding prose, Rector paints a formidable portrait of a reformed man’s slow descent into a life he thought he had walked away from forever. As the intensity becomes almost unbearable, the pace quickens and the suspense applies an unrelenting, vice-like grip, as ALREADY GONE hurtles toward its ultimate, explosive climax.

This doesn’t sound like a romance novel. In one of the editorial reviews, it says that Jake’s wife dies. Most of the readers enjoy this book but agree it is fairly dark and the male protag is oftentimes naive.


Lords of the North (The Saxon Chronicles) Bernard Cornwell Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell. $1.99.

From Jacket Copy:

The year is 878. Uhtred, the dispossessed son of a Northumbrian lord, has helped the Saxons of Wessex defeat the invading Danes. Now, finally free of his allegiance to the victorious, ungrateful King Alfred, he is heading home to rescue his stepsister, a prisoner of Kjartan the Cruel in the formidable Danish stronghold of Dunholm. Uhtred’s best hope is his sword, Serpent-Breath, for his only allies are Hild, a West Saxon nun fleeing her calling, and Guthred, a slave who believes himself king. Rebellion, chaos, fear, and betrayal await them in the north, forcing Uhtred to turn once more, reluctantly, to the liege he formerly served in battle and blood: Alfred the Great.

This series sounds intriguing. The protagonist is a 21 year old slave turned warrior who “fights not only for the king, but also for the woman he wants. The knowledge that his fate is set by the gods is a constant reminder that, although he is a mighty warrior, he is, in the end, only a man subject to their whims. A blood feud has charted his course, and his outlook on life is only to make a good accounting of himself before he takes up his rightful place in the corpse-hall. Although it may be difficult for newcomers to the series to grasp the characters’ tangled relationships, historical fiction lovers and those who want a good old-fashioned action tale should enjoy this book.”


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. brandy
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 17:20:10

    I’ve read a couple of Sarah Bennett’s “Aphrodite” books and liked them enough that I’ll get this one while it’s on sale! Thanks, Jane!

  2. SAO
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 23:57:42

    I get so tired of the “club” trope. Yeah, friends in the same boat get together and talk about stuff — I started a matchmaking service in college with a friend as we were shy and looking for a way to figure out what guys were looking for girlfriends like us, but we never called it a club.

    The only purpose of a club is to create a series, which is nothing more than a promise to interrupt the book you’re reading with boring vignettes of the married bliss of past characters.

  3. Brian
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 08:12:33

    Be aware that “Lords of the North” is the third book in The Saxon Chronicles and IMO these aren’t books you really want to read out of order.

    Bought the Joss Alexander when the sale first started and I’m hoping for something in the vein of Deanna Raybourn.

%d bloggers like this: