HaBO: Shifter Knots
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Articles / March 31, 2020

This HaBO request is from Deb, who is looking for a paranormal romance. Content warning for the description below: I read this book a long time ago and I can’t find it anywhere! The world knows about shifters and they are in power more than the humans I believe. A human lady who I think works for a newspaper was at a political rally of sort when she unknowingly put out a “mating” scent that makes all the male shifters go feral. She ran away but she was seen so she was fired from her job. She later went for a walk in a park and was trapped by a few male shifters who were going to rape her but a stranger came who wore a mask and rescued her. He was a shifter but she felt a pull to him and they ended up having sex in the park. Although when the shifter mates in this book they knot the female and makes it painful for the human but also marks them I think as claimed. She later tried to get on with her life thinking she would never see the stranger again but the male shifter finds her…

Hoyt, Friends to Lovers, & More
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Articles / March 31, 2020

The Chai Factor RECOMMENDED: The Chai Factor by Farah Heron is $1.99! Aarya really loved this one and gave it an A-: The Chai Factor is very much a swoonworthy rom-com: it’s funny and sobering, it has witty dialogue and disquieting situations, and it’s sigh-worthy and rage-inducing. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered for Amira and Duncan. The Chai Factor is an essential book for your list of summer reads. Amira Khan has no plans to break her no-dating rule. Thirty-year-old engineer Amira Khan has set one rule for herself: no dating until her grad-school thesis is done. Nothing can distract her from completing a paper that is so good her boss will give her the promotion she deserves when she returns to work in the city. Amira leaves campus early, planning to work in the quiet basement apartment of her family’s house. But she arrives home to find that her grandmother has rented the basement to . . . a barbershop quartet. Seriously? The living situation is awkward: Amira needs silence; the quartet needs to rehearse for a competition; and Duncan, the small-town baritone with the flannel shirts, is driving her up the wall. As Amira and Duncan clash,…

HaBO: Hero to Marry the Queen of Hearts
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Articles / March 31, 2020

This HaBO is from Sam. The original request got lost in our inboxes, so Sam came back with a cocktail recipe as a bribe. It totally worked: I am trying to find a historical novel, might’ve been part of a series. I definitely read it between 2012 & 2016; I *think* it was published between 2007 & 2016. It seems to me the author was one of the major, more established, names in the game–someone like Eloisa James or Mary Balogh, but I don’t think as recent as Tessa Dare or Sarah MacLean. Set in London ~1800s, maybe as early as 1780s. Extended family, incl a charmingly conniving grandmother or great-aunt, is trying to make heroine popular. Heroine was not raised in society, either rusticating in country or foreign lands, or from a merchant class. That season, someone is anonymously publishing/commissioning a deck of cards with the beauties of the ton serving as models, releasing only a few, maybe one, card each each week. Everyone knows who the artist is, because the women sit for sketches, but not who’s behind it. The hero is considered roguish, still a great catch but resistant to marrying for love (natch). He might be…

The Rich Boy by Kylie Scott
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Articles / March 31, 2020

B+ The Rich Boy by Kylie Scott March 9, 2020 · Kylie Scott Contemporary Romance Unsurprisingly my anxiety is trending moderate to high right now, so I’ve been turning more and more to romance novels to quiet my mind. At any other time, I think I would have been a little more critical or at least skeptical of the depiction of wealth and class in Kylie Scott’s The Rich Boy, but today the idea of a Cinderella story is immensely appealing to me. Being with a super rich dude who can pay for everything is essentially one less thing to worry about (and a big thing at that). There is also a tremendously satisfying amount of grovel in this book, plus-sized fashion pr0n, and a hero who is willing to go to therapy. Alice Lawrence is waitressing at a bar trying to figure out what to do with her English degree when she meets hot busboy Beck. Beck quotes Jane Austen, flirts with Alice, and defends her from a lecherous customer. Each night after closing they spend quiet moments together, and it’s apparent that they are working from some serious insta-lust to something more. Then one day a man in…

Women’s Fiction, Lauren Layne, & More
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Articles / March 30, 2020

Torn Torn by Rowenna Miller is $2.99 and a Kindle Daily Deal! This is a fantasy novel with a seamstress main character. Not sure if this is YA though. Carrie read this one and gave it a C+. The pacing was too slow for her, but it’s possible future books may pick up in momentum: This book is the first in a new series. It has a lot of potential – good technical writing, multiple female characters, discussion of class and class mobility, clothes porn, and more. If other books pick up the pace, it could be great, but this first book was too slow to keep me invested. TORN is the first book in an enchanting debut fantasy series featuring a seamstress who stitches magic into clothing, and the mounting political uprising that forces her to choose between her family and her ambitions, for fans of The Queen of the Tearling. Sophie is a dressmaker who has managed to open her own shop and lift herself and her brother, Kristos, out of poverty. Her reputation for beautiful ball gowns and discreetly-embroidered charms for luck, love, and protection secures her a commission from the royal family itself — and the commission…

An Heiress to Remember by Maya Rodale
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Articles / March 30, 2020

B An Heiress to Remember by Maya Rodale March 31, 2020 · Avon Historical: American I’ll be honest, I probably wouldn’t have picked up An Heiress to Remember had I not liked the other books in the series (and Maya Rodale’s writing in general). It’s got that “dude seeks revenge on the woman who didn’t choose him” plotline, something I find tiresome and rarely resolved to my satisfaction. I’m so glad I gave it a chance though because this book, while not perfect, was absolutely a ton of fun to read. It also sent me down a research rabbit-hole that kept me up all night Googling the history of department stores. Beatrice Goodwin is a Manhattan heiress at the turn of the century. Her father owns Goodwins, Manhattan’s premiere department store. When the book opens, Beatrice’s family has arranged for her to marry a duke in desperate need of her inheritance. The issue is that Beatrice is in love with Wes Dalton, an Irish immigrant and a clerk in her father’s store. Her family has firmly deemed him Not Acceptable, and 20-year-old Beatrice does what she’s supposed to and marries the duke. Wes walks away broken-hearted, having been paid $3000…

Cover Snark: Mer-Bikers & Hot Dogs
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Articles / March 30, 2020

May we offer you some Cover Snark in this trying time? Amanda: Wow those are some proportions. CarrieS: I looked at this without my glasses and thought, “You know, we don’t see many Mercyclists these days.” I would read The Mer-Bikers of Texas. Catherine: I was more thinking bike-taur… so kind of the same. Sneezy: I like both your versions more. Charlotte B: I’m sorry I can’t get past how dirty his hair looks. Like you’d touch it and it would feel sort of crunchy and sticky at the same time. Sarah: I looked at this on my phone and also thought “merman on a cycle? How does that work? Does he ride side saddle?” Sneezy: And is the bike waterproof? How would it operate under water? Ellen: There’s a lot going on here and I hate all of it. Sarah: I’ve never seen a cannellini bean shifter romance before. Susan: I finally got Slack working on my laptop again and that was the first thing that popped up. Sneezy: An auspicious start!!!! Tara: It’s like an alien wearing a human suit and the dudebro who loves it. Maya: She’s giving me Gumby realness and mostly I just miss Gumby….

Fantasy, YA Romance, & More
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Articles / March 29, 2020

Written in Red RECOMMENDED BY MANY: Written in Red by Anne Bishop is $2.99! This is the first book in The Others series. I love this series and many readers of the site do too. However, there was a great discussion last time this was on sale about the erasure of indigenous peoples. A content warning for the book, as it does feature self-harm. I will also note that I found Meg, the heroine, to be a little Mary Sue-ish at first, but she really comes into her own. As a “cassandra sangue,” or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut–a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard–a business district operated by the Others. Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and…

Thornfruit by Felicia Davin
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Articles / March 29, 2020

B+ Thornfruit by Felicia Davin February 27, 2018 LGBTQIAScience Fiction/Fantasy All I needed to know about Thornfruit was that it was an F/F secondary-world fantasy novel with lots of mutual pining before I one-clicked the hell out it. I am happy to report that, having finished the book, I really enjoyed it! Thornfruit is the story of two young women living on a tidally locked planet in the perpetually-sunlit city of Arishdenan. One girl, Alizhan, is a neuroatypical, face-blind, powerful mind-reader who works as a spy for the beautiful and powerful Iriyat ha-Varensi. Her mind-reading magic makes it so she cannot touch other people without incapacitating them or herself. The other, Ev, is a biracial martial artist and “unfeminine” farm girl who longs for adventure. They meet as children and spark up a kind of nonverbal friendship in which Alizhan steals thornfruit from Ev’s family’s market stall every market day. This friendly non-speaking acquaintance lasts for a decade, until Alizhan approaches Ev for help escaping from Iriyat. Ev agrees because she is a) a good person and b) thinks Alizhan is cute. They are thereafter both embroiled in a magic-related conspiracy that involves the entire city. There’s also a B-plot…

Knights, Mythology, & More
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Articles / March 28, 2020

The Blacksmith Queen RECOMMENDED: The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken is $2.99! What a coincidence, as this was my one pick for hilarious reading in our latest Ready Set Go. I also gave this an A-. Seriously, it’s so much fun: The Blacksmith Queen is a bloody, feminist romp that exudes girl power in all forms, and I’m envious of its fantasy girl squad. When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken.  The Old King Is Dead   With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals. Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing…