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Daily Deals: Usual and unusual heroes and a chick-lit mystery

Irresistible Karen RobardsIrresistible by Karen Robards. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

With this sensual and entrancing tale, bestselling author Karen Robards continues her wonderful trilogy of three sisters taking their rightful place as the belles of Regency England’s ton.

Claire Banning fulfilled every debutante’s dream when she married a rich nobleman. Soon, however, the celebrated beauty realizes she wed a dissolute wastrel. Bitterly hurt and desperately lonely, Claire vows nonetheless to take her expected place in society. Then, on a journey home to her husband’s estate on the coast of Sussex, she is abducted, and her life—and her heart—are changed forever.

Hugh Battancourt—a dark and dangerous nobleman who long ago turned his back on the ton and now leads a life secretly dedicated to his country’s service—is determined not to be swayed by his prisoner’s beauty as they share a cabin on a ship bound for France. Lives depend on his retrieving from her a letter full of secrets she intends to turn over to the enemy. But even as Claire and Hugh engage in a battle of wits and wills, captor and captive find themselves drawn irresistibly to each other. Is it possible, Claire wonders, that she could discover the true meaning of love that has eluded her with this handsome stranger? One who will lay his life on the line in order to protect her from someone who is intent on placing Claire in the path of danger?

This sounds like a retro romance: An unhappily married heroine, a Dark and Dangerous Hero, and Insta-lust in the Regency. Robards wrote a lot of well-received historical romances back in the day, and reviewers say that even when the story drags the writing is very good. AAR gave this a B- in 2002 when it came out. There is adultery, but the heroine feels awful about it and the husband is a jerk, so there you go. It’s the second in a trilogy but can be read out of order. The sale at Kobo is good in both the US and Canada, and looks to be today only.

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Highlander Terri BrisbinThe Highlander’s Dangerous Temptation by Terri Brisbin. $ 0.99

From the Jacket Copy:

SHE IS SIN PERSONIFIED…

Cursed by past tragedies, notorious Highlander Laird Athdar MacCallum has devoted himself to leading his people—and has vowed never to marry again. Until he is utterly disarmed by the innocent beauty in the eyes of Isobel Ruriksdottir…

Isobel is drawn to the vulnerability she senses behind the fearsome facade of the clan chief. But with his formidable reputation, he is strictly forbidden. Being together can only lead them into danger, yet the temptation to risk all for their perilous passion is impossible to ignore.

Highlanders! This is part of a series, so apparently there CAN be more than one. The hero is twice-widowed, apparently from a curse, so he really shouldn’t be marrying the heroine if they want her to survive. But this is romance, so we know they get their HEA; in the meantime, there are villains to be vanquished. It’s a medieval and not too concerned with historical accuracy, but if you’re a fan of what one GR reviewer fondly calls “kilty ladyporn,” you probably know that already.

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Painted Faces by L.H. CoswayPainted Faces by L.H. Cosway. $ Free [ETA: The ebook is only available at Amazon. My apologies, I should have checked more carefully.]

From the Jacket Copy:

Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love..

Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn’t have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbour Nicholas takes a shine to her.

Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she’s around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn’t know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night.

She is gob-smacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her incredibly beautiful employer.

In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime.

This deal was brought to my attention by DA commenter Justine. Jayne reviewed this book when it came out: “The book has a serious source of conflict with the lizard brain trumping the thinking brain. Fred and Nicholas each have deep seated issues that won’t go away with a quick authorial wave of the hand. I appreciate that things aren’t quickly smoothed over once they fall in love. In fact, that triggers Nicholas’s insecurities and self hate even more. Time is needed for him to come to grips with his feelings and for Freda to forgive him for what he lashes out and does. But by the end of the book, I’m convinced that each sees in the other The One for a lifetime.”

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handbags and homicide howellHandbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Haley Randolph is always ready to go to any lengths to get the latest Louis Vuitton. Unfortunately for Haley, her life goes from glam to grim when her passion for fashion outlasts her credit cards, and she’s forced to work at Holt’s–a mid-market department store. Looking for a bit of shopping inspiration, Haley sneaks into the stock room to get a first glimpse of Holt’s one-of-a-kind selection of handbag styles. But instead of the newest Vuitton, Haley discovers her boss is the ultimate fashion victim.

According to the security tapes, Haley was the only person in the stockroom before, during, and after the murder. With everyone in the store eyeing her like last season’s Marc Jacobs, Haley turns to the hunky Ty Cameron, who heads up the store’s loss prevention unit, to help her investigate the murder. Now her knowledge of hot trends will take her from the sales floor to the boardroom to the gritty streets of L.A.’s Garment District as she searches for a killer with impeccable fashion taste. . .

Cozy mystery meets chick-lit. Some of the Amazon reviews describe the heroine as shallow and annoying, but as someone with a Handbag Issue (don’t judge me), I think she sounds both plausible and sympathetic. OK, I admit it, the blurb had me at Handbags, although I find the idea of a mid-market department store having one-of-a-kind merchandise hard to believe. I guess I’ll have to read it and find out, although it apparently ends on a cliffhanger (how do you end a murder mystery on a cliffhanger?). The book received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, who called it “a winning debut.”

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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.

7 Comments

  1. CelineB
    May 25, 2014 @ 14:29:09

    Wild Child by Molly O’Keefe is .99 at Amazon at least. I really liked this one. The relationship between the main characters was great.

    ReplyReply

  2. Elaine
    May 25, 2014 @ 14:50:10

    I can’t find Painted Faces at Kobo, on sale or otherwise?

    ReplyReply

  3. Justine
    May 25, 2014 @ 16:31:41

    @Elaine: Painted Faces is only available in ebook at Amazon. It’s available in paperback at B&N and Book Depository. It’s seemingly unavailable anywhere else.

    Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz has dropped to $0.99 on Amazon US, Amazon Canada, B&N, and the Harlequin website. It’s a Harlequin Cosmo Red-Hot Read usually priced at $3.03 (Amazon) / $3.19 (direct from Harlequin) / $3.99 (MSRP).

    LOL at Sunita’s commentary for the Highlander book!

    ReplyReply

  4. MrsJoseph
    May 25, 2014 @ 17:18:03

    @Elaine: I bought my ebook copy when it was released from Smashwords.

    ReplyReply

  5. Sunita
    May 25, 2014 @ 17:26:16

    @Elaine: I’m sorry, it was totally my fault for not checking more carefully. I thought I saw it at another site but I must have mixed it up with one of the other books I was writing up. We don’t usually run Amazon-only deals and when we do, we make it very clear in the description. I’ll keep an eye on it and see when it goes off exclusive and give people a heads-up, but it will probably be a little while.

    ReplyReply

  6. nasanta
    May 26, 2014 @ 08:54:53

    @Justine: LOL at Sunita’s commentary for the Highlander book!

    Ditto! :D

    My first thought at seeing (blank) + 1 = 4 —> huh?

    Yes, I did graduate from kindergarten. >____< Am I going crazy?

    ReplyReply

  7. Michele Mills
    May 26, 2014 @ 09:59:49

    I want some kilty ladyporn! 1 clicked! :)

    ReplyReply

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