Frankenstein & Historical Romances
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Articles / September 30, 2019

London’s Best Kept Secret London’s Best Kept Secret by Anabelle Bryant is $1.99! This historical romance is the second book in the Midnight Secrets series and can we get a ruling on whether that’s a mullet on the cover? The hero and heroine are already married in this one, but some readers couldn’t get past the hero’s scheming. In Anabelle Bryant’s latest novel of ardor and ambition, a lord will stop at nothing to possess the woman of his dreams . . .   In monetary matters, Jeremy Lockhart, Viscount Dearing, is used to being in control, but from his first sight of Lady Charlotte, his carefully cultivated world is rocked to its foundations. Determined to best her other, more eligible suitors, he goes to great lengths to ensure his betrothal to Charlotte. A locked black leather box holds the dark secret that has assured his success. Innocent Lady Charlotte is baffled by her new husband’s behavior. Why does Lord Dearing seem so distant one day, and so attentive the next? Her family’s dire financial straits did not allow her the luxury of an extended courtship. If only she could entice him into the marriage bed! When at last Charlotte’s efforts are rewarded,…

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
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Articles / September 30, 2019

A Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory October 1, 2019 · Berkley The Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory had me smiling from page one and kept me delighted all the way through. My joy was so palpable that I had coworkers asking me during my lunch break what I was reading because I don’t usually spend my lunch so lovingly enraptured by my cell phone. An extremely charming romance centered around two Black adults in their 50s who are thrown together during Christmas, The Royal Holiday is an easy book to jump into, even without having read other books in the series. All I had known was that the book was loosely inspired by a news story about Queen Elizabeth inviting the mother of Duchess Meghan to spend Christmas with the royals (which obviously launched a thousand squee ships of joy), and I didn’t feel lost at all inside the narrative despite not knowing the back stories of the other characters. Me in love with just all of this book My knowledge of Duchess Meghan and her mom is fairly limited, so it was pretty easy to forget the fact that this book is inspired by a real person. And this…

The Write Escape by Charish Reid
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Articles / September 30, 2019

B+ The Write Escape by Charish Reid September 30, 2019 · Carina Press Romance The Write Escape is a delicious vacation romance with a heroine who runs away to Ireland as her life is falling apart. This had everything I need from a travel story: Evocatively described location? Check. Handsome local who charms you off your feet? Check. A heroine in need of a fresh start? Yep. Entertaining characters who subvert cultural stereotypes? Oh yeah. Flirting using literary references? Did not know I needed this, but YES Antonia is an editor at a Chicago publishing house that is too important to publish romances like the novel she secretly writes in her spare time. She has a boss who ignores her ideas and a wealthy fianceé, Derek, who thinks she should give up her writing “hobby” to be his housewife. Derek helpfully cheats on Antonia, allowing her to extract herself from a relationship that has trained her to be a doormat. She immediately cancels the wedding, and that same day her publisher dissolves, taking her job with it. Antonia is not having a good day, but these twin disasters inspire her to take a solo honeymoon to rural Ireland, and use…

Kindle Daily Deals, Eloisa James, & More
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Articles / September 29, 2019

The Raven Tower The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie is $3.99! This is part of today’s Kindle Daily Deals and is being price-matched at select vendors. Leckie’s Ancillary Justice is a favorite with Carrie and SBTB commenters. Readers loved the Hamlet-inspired plot, but warn that the book contains first and second POV, which takes some getting used to. Gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods, and a pretender must be cast down from the throne in this breathtaking first fantasy novel from Ann Leckie, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven’s Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven’s watch, the city flourishes. But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And…

Cranky Ladies of History edited by Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Croft Wessely
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Articles / September 29, 2019

Squee Cranky Ladies of History by Tehani Croft Wessely March 7, 2015 · Fablecroft Publishing Literary FictionPoetryScience Fiction/Fantasy Cranky Ladies of History is an anthology of short fiction about real historical women who were angry and did things with that anger. Some of these things were spectacular, and some were just spectacularly appalling (looking at you, Erszebet Báthory) (but not looking too closely, because I really don’t want to provoke you), but it makes for a fascinating anthology theme, tailor-made for fans of Carrie’s ‘Kickass Women in History’ series. In the introduction, Tansy Rayner Roberts talks about the importance of celebrating women’s anger – something she characterises as both ‘deliciously rebellious’ and ‘empowering’: The ability to express anger in a satisfying way has always been a privilege restricted to very few people in our society. Women’s anger is more socially acceptable than it used to be, but we still have a long way to go about accepting and listening to the rage and unhappiness of those who are not rich, white, able-bodied and male. So if you are wondering whether this anthology might just possibly have feminist tendencies, why yes, yes, it does. The editors were also intentionally intersectional, though…

Lightning Reviews: Seduction on a Snowy Night Anthology
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Articles / September 29, 2019

NB: Lightning Reviews is a little different this time as Aarya wrote a review for each of the three holiday historical romance novellas in Seduction on a Snowy Night by Mary Jo Putney, Madeline Hunter, and Sabrina Jeffries. We figured we’d group them all together in one post for easy reading. It’s only September, but holiday romances are already out for the season. First up is a historical romance anthology with stories by Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, and Mary Jo Putney. The common theme is some sort of kidnapping with forced proximity to boot. Unfortunately for me, this anthology is mediocre at its best and enraging/racist at its worst. I’m usually not the type of person who throws her reading device in rage, but I came very close to doing so here.   D+ A Christmas Abduction author: Madeline Hunter Madeline Hunter is a talented writer, but this novella did not work for me at all. Adam Prescott, the Baron of Thornhill, is kidnapped by a mysterious lady and gentleman after he briefly exits a mail coach on his way to his cousin’s home for Christmas. He’s held at gunpoint and carried off to a mysterious estate. Caroline’s animosity and…

Along for the Ride by Mimi Grace
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Articles / September 28, 2019

C+ Along for the Ride by Mimi Grace July 16, 2019 Contemporary RomanceRomance I love road trips (as long as I don’t have to drive or navigate or really do anything other than eat snacks and sing early 2000s pop music). But I really love road trip books: the forced and shared isolation, the constant of the interior space against the changing of the external, the stops along the way, and the road itself: what it means and what it makes possible. So with all my love of road trip books fluttering inside me, I picked up Mimi Grace’s debut novel Along for the Ride (which, may I say, has one of my favorite covers so far this year). Along for the Ride delivers on its premise of a fun and tumultuous road trip, but didn’t have quite enough plot to fill itself out. There’s been no hiding the ill-will between Jolene Baxter and Jason Akana ever since Jolene’s drunken behavior at her sister’s wedding five years earlier. As the best friend of the groom, Jason had no qualms letting Jolene know exactly what he thought of her, and they are still barely able to be in the same room…

Whatcha Reading? September 2019, Part Two
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Articles / September 28, 2019

Are you ready for September to be over? Or is it too soon? I love October, but I’m not sure how I feel for 2019 to end already. At least we have books, right?! Shana: I’m reading The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite. It’s been on my list since Carrie’s review. Women slowly falling in love over conversation is the perfect chaser to all the m/m novels with emotionally inarticulate men that I’ve been reading lately. Tara: That is waiting for me on my Kindle and I’m so glad to hear you’re loving it! I’m reading 200 Hours by Natasha West ( A ), which is about two young British women with a major class gap who fall for each other while doing community service. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but it’s totally sucked me in. In audio, I’m listening to Recipe for Love by Aurora Rey ( A | BN | K | AB ), which is about a new chef at a farm-to-table restaurant in upstate New York who falls for one of the farmers that supplies produce for the restaurant. I had no idea how much I needed this book in my…

Podcast 370, Your Transcript Awaits!
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Articles / September 27, 2019

The transcript for Podcast 370. RWA, The RITAs, and the Future: A Conversation with Dowager RWA President HelenKay Dimon has been posted! This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks. ❤ Click here to subscribe to The Podcast →

Marry in Secret by Anne Gracie
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Articles / September 27, 2019

B Marry in Secret by Anne Gracie July 30, 2019 · Berkley Historical: EuropeanRegencyRomance Marry in Secret is the third book in Anne Gracie’s Marriage of Convenience series. The series follows the Rutherford family, and this is the story of Rose, the eldest sister. This novel works as a standalone, but it’s definitely better read in context – Gracie writes lovely, complex webs of characters and families, and it’s a shame to miss out on that. In the prior books, Rose has been characterised as beautiful, very headstrong, and fiercely loyal to her younger sister, Lily. When the Rutherfords first arrived in London, both Lily and George (their niece, who is of a similar age to the sisters) faced challenges fitting in, but not so Rose. She is poised, fashionable, and immediately popular and inundated with offers of marriage. As the novel begins, she has finally accepted one of these offers – from a duke, no less: Lady Rose Rutherford was not a young lady who dithered and, having made up her mind, she generally stuck to it. It was, she had decided, high time she moved on. She was not generally superstitious either, but after receiving twelve offers of…