HaBO: Someone Named Tarquin
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Articles / August 31, 2019

This HaBO comes from Ariana, and they’re looking for a historical romance: I’m looking for a book I read years ago. It’s set in Georgian England (maybe later). I think the hero or his cousin/brother is named Tarquin. He’s looking for a girl to wed his cousin/brother and comes upon a fresh from the country girl through some contact of his (might be a madam). There is a scene where he is spying on her in her room and another very steamy scene of them having sex. I think she had left her country home because she is falsely accused of murdering someone. Any help would be appreciated! I feel like I just read a book with a Tarquin, but I’m also having trouble keeping track of my days. So who knows!

HaBO: Pickpocket Called Diamond
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Articles / August 31, 2019

This HaBO is from Barbara, who is looking for a book with romantic elements: Over the years I’ve identified almost all my long-lost or vaguely-remembered books, but not this one. Not so much a romance, more of a historical thriller. Smaller octavo, cheap printing, possibly a book club or uniform edition, believe it was British. Definitely printed before 1974, possibly early 1960s. It was on the library shelf near A Finger to Her Lips, by Evelyn Berckman, so the author’s name probably began with B. Set in the 1700s, plot concerns a young woman with some sort of mysterious inheritance, who enlists the aid of a rather tough young barrister/solicitor to help her prove her case, which involved (McGuffin alert!) legal papers in a (metal?) box. They obviously fall in love, there’s a rival suitor and assorted bad guys. There’s a scene where the suitor gets into a fight with the lawyer and they are described as rolling on the floor like children but striking like men. The really memorable character is a pickpocket called Diamond (NOTHING like the boy in Behind the North Wind) who tries to steal from the young lawyer and is caught but not turned over…

The Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley
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Articles / August 31, 2019

C+ The Bewildered Bride by Vanessa Riley August 12, 2019 · Entangled: Amara Historical: EuropeanRomance CW/TW warnings inside CW/TW: violence against MCs (injuries that almost cause death), discussion of past attempted lynching of hero, sexual assault, heroine suffers from PTSD (fits of panic) and diminished field of vision after traumatic event. I started weeping during the first chapter of The Bewildered Bride and never stopped. It’s a poignant, heart-wrenching, and important novel to read. The protagonists have undergone unimaginable suffering, and watching them find their happily-ever-after is both difficult and emotional. Even though I loved the heroine Ruth and her unwavering mission to seek justice for herself and her child, I never warmed up to the hero due to his inexplicable decision to deceive Ruth about his identity. While I could have forgiven the deception had it been shorter or if he had grovelled more, neither of those things happened. As a result, my feelings about the book are mixed: I’m torn between my love for the heroine and my frustration that the hero’s deception isn’t adequately punished. In 1818, Ruth Croome and Adam Wilky elope to Gretna Green without the knowledge or approval of their families. Ruth’s family doesn’t…

Podcast 366, Your Transcript Awaits!
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Articles / August 30, 2019

The transcript for Podcast 366. Amanda and The Blacksmith Queen has been posted! This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks. ❤ Click here to subscribe to The Podcast →

Covers & Cocktails: Storming the Castle
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Articles / August 30, 2019

Hi. My name’s Amanda and I can’t stop talking about The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken. If you missed it, I loved this damn book. It’s more fantasy than romance, but still has Aiken’s affinity for writing all types of strong, amazing women. Even the “bad” ones were admirable in their one ways and I wanted to raise a glass to these characters. The cover is gorgeous, with red tones and little sparks of fire. The main character, Keeley, is a blacksmith. She has such a sweetness and earnestness to her; she really cares about everyone she meets, but don’t mistake her kindness for weakness. If you do, you’ll be on the unfortunate end of her huge hammer. A | BN | K | AB For the base of this drink, I chose a rum and coke because it’s so customizable with different flavors. The use of spiced rum adds a slight kick to the sweetness of the soda. I went with cherry coke because it reminds me of being a kid and Keeley longs for the simplicity of childhood before her sister left the family. I loved their relationship in the book and I look forward to seeing it…

366. Amanda and The Blacksmith Queen
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Articles / August 30, 2019

If you like when we hang out and chat about books and everything else, this episode is for you. We talk about our cats waking us up, and Amanda GEEKS OUT about The Blacksmith Queen by GA Aiken. We talk about video games we want, what books we’re excited about in September, and how I organize my reading because I’m nerdy about workflow. At about 50 minutes in, heads up: we take a side detour into talking about death, mortuary practice, cemeteries, and funerals, too. But mostly: squee. HOLY COW squee. Special note: Use coupon code “TRASHYBOOKS” for $10 off your first box at www.fabfitfun.com! Listen to the podcast → Read the transcript → Here are the books we discuss in this podcast: In this episode, we mentioned: Stardew Valley Fire Emblem: Three Houses Forager Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles – and @GlitzandShadows’ tweet about it (with pics!) Green burials Caitlin Doughty’s Ask a Mortician on YouTube  Dominic the Donkey Hobbes and Shaw If you like the podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us on Stitcher, and Spotify, too. We also have a cool page for the podcast on iTunes….

Contemporary Romances on Sale
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Articles / August 29, 2019

Love and Other Words Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren is $2.99! Listen, Christina Lauren’s books rarely go on sale. This is a rare occurrence. Their standalones are a bit of a departure from their Beautiful and Wild Seasons series (less explicit sex). However, there is a content warning for the book. If you want to read the spoiler, you can find it here. The heart may hide, but it never forgets. The first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You). Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away. But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly teen friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her. Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot…

Bound for Sin by Tess LeSue
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Articles / August 29, 2019

A- Bound for Sin by Tess LeSue September 4, 2018 · Berkley Historical: AmericanWesternRomance CW/TW warnings Child endangerment, violence, misogyny, racism A respectable widow of means seeks resourceful frontiersman for the purpose of matrimony. The lady seeks passage west to land owned in Mokelumne Hill, California. The advertiser presumes her manner and appearance will recommend her and expects applications from responsible parties only. Interviews are scheduled for the 6th of next month, beginning at nine o’clock in the morning, in the front parlor of the Grand Hotel. Please be prompt. What a premise! Yes, please! Welcome to Independence, Missouri in 1849. I didn’t know I’d love it, but I do. A perfectly paced plot had me skipping words, trying to inhale this book in a single sitting. Dialogue that gives me that fist-pumping, warm-belly squee kept my eyes peeled long after my Official Bed Time had passed. We have an alpha hero, who is really more of a beta, and a woman being brave when really she is scared witless. Two people I can (mostly) admire and a plot that I did NOT see coming…YES PLEASE! While it drags a teeny tiny bit at the end, I still loved it….

The Rec League: Sad Historical Businessmen
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Articles / August 29, 2019

The SBTB Slack gives way to some great discussions that produce even greater Rec Leagues. This one was inspired by a chat on Marrying Winterborne and where it ranked in The Ravenels series: Ellen: I uh really love Sad Historical Businessmen as a trope Elyse: Lol that’s specific and awesome and I love it Ellen: and it’s like a Kleypas specialty :joy: Amanda: I, too, love a sad historical businessman. I wonder if it’d make a good Rec League? Sneezy: What’s the lure of a sad historical businessman? Amanda: He’s wealthy, BUT THE MONEY DOESN’T MAKE HIM HAPPY. A | BN | K | AB He’s often super lonely or grumpy, and has a rags to riches upbringing that he’s either hiding or using to stick it to those born into wealth. Ellen: EXACTLY Sneezy: Ooooh! Amanda: Eff it, I’m adding it to the Rec League calendar because I can do that. Sneezy: Hahahahaa Sarah: I LOVE THIS PLAN. And YES Sad Historical Businessmen is a Kleypas specialty. Claudia: Omg Joanna Shupe must have dozens of heroes who fit that bill. The one I’m reading now certainly does, The Rogue of Fifth Avenue ( A | BN | K | G |…

Links: Just Cute Stuff
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Articles / August 28, 2019

Hi there! Welcome to Wednesday Links! I don’t know about you but I’ve been needing to turn my brain off for a bit and I’d thought I’d collect some adorable and sweet things from around the internet, in case you all feel the same way. … This story of a man introducing is late-grandmother to Dungeons and Dragons made me cry in the best way. Be sure to read through the entire thread! My grandmother passed away. Her funerals were today, but here I'd like to talk about the most important thing I couldn't spend too much time on in her eulogy: her love for Dungeons & Dragons. #DnD — Antoine H. (@AntnHz) August 23, 2019 … Usually, I don’t get too invested in the love lives of celebrities and athletes, but I completely lost my mind at this engagement and the subsequent profile. Congratulations to Lindsey Vonn and P.K. Subban! … If you love management games, there’s a Kickstarter up for dog shelter simulator called To the Rescue and I’ve backed it. It looks incredibly fun and I can’t wait to give all these great doggos fantastic homes. … We discussed our love for the web comic, Lore Olympus, before and…