Sizzling Book Club Pick: Mistress by Marriage by Maggie Robinson

Sizzling Book ClubAt the last book chat, I announced that the September selection was Jo Beverly’s An Unwilling Bride, and I was all set to rock and roll when I learned that Kensington doesn’t have the digital rights to the book, and can’t release an ebook version alongside the reprint. RUH ROH!

So, this month, we’re going to do two chats! WOO! First, since An Unwilling Bride is a much-loved and/or muchly-controversial historical romance, I still want to talk about it. Jo Beverly is also interested in chatting with readers so we will host a chat about that book this month – stay tuned for details.

Book CoverThat also means that I have a more different selection for the September Book Club, one that is still a historical romance with plenty of what I call “romangst:” Mistress by Marriage by Maggie Robinson.

Here’s the summary:

  Baron Edward Christie prided himself on his reputation for even temperament and reserve. That was before he met Caroline Parker. Wedding a scandalous beauty by special license days after they met did not inspire respect for his sangfroid. Moving her to a notorious lovebirds’ nest as punishment for her flighty nature was perhaps also a blow. And of course talk has gotten out of his irresistible clandestine visits. Christie must put his wife aside—if only he can get her out of his blood first.

Caroline Parker was prepared to hear the worst: that her husband had determined to divorce her, spare them both the torture of passion they can neither tame nor escape. But his plan is wickeder than any she’s ever heard. Life as his wife is suffocating. But she cannot resist becoming her own husband’s mistress. . .

As usual, if you use SBTBARE at checkout, you will get a 50% eBook Bucks Rebate at, the official sponsor of the Sizzling Book Club. The 50% rebate at AllRomance will be valid from September 9-23, 2011. You can also buy a paperback copy at Amazon, Book Depository, or wherever you like to go book shopping.

BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE. In addition to the digital book rebate, Kensington has offered four print copies to readers who are interested in the book club selection this month.

Just tell me in the comments which is your favorite angst romance, or “romangst” as I call it. Which book twists your heart into a throbbing pretzel each time you read it?
Standard disclaimers apply: Void where prohibited. I am not being compensated for this giveaway. No shirt, no shoes, no service, but you may get to be a cover model. This disclaimer does not cover misuse, accident, lightning, flood, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, earthquake, hurricanes and other acts of God, neglect, or damage from improper reading. Contest is open to international residents, and you must be 18 to win. As in, you must actually be the number eighteen. I expect proof in the form of your pants.

You have 24 hours to enter – ready, set, go!

I will be scheduling the Unwilling Bride chat and the September Book Club Chat as soon as I can, so stay tuned for those – it’ll be a very chatty month here at the hot pink palace. WOO!

ETA: Winners! The winners of a paper copy are:

- MarieC at 6:49 am
– Amber at 7:00 am
– Jane Schwarz at 3:20 pm
– LadyScandal at 4:16 am

Winners: please email me at sarahATsmartbitchestrashybooksDOTcom with your mailing address so we can get your books out to you!

Also: the random integer selector originally selected Maggie Robinson as the winner of her own book. HA! Thanks for entering everyone!


General Bitching...

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  1. 1

    Historical angst? – Robin Schone’s “Gabriel’s Woman.” Her style is so distinctive it’s not to everyone’s taste, but here she wrote a sex scene that made me cry – it’s the one at the end, when Victoria tells Gabriel a story. If you’ve read it, you’ll know the one I mean.

    Contemporary – when I thought about the various angsty contemps I’ve loved, one stands out. Linda Howard’s “Cry No More.” Tears me apart, that one.

    BTW, any historical romance that uses “Baron” as a title rather than “Lord,” or mentions divorce in a careless way tends to put my historical hackles on alert. Not to mention the dreaded “g” word.

  2. 2
    Sarah W says:

    I’m afraid my favorite angsty romance is pending in SBSarah’s HABO folder. . .

    But if we can talk movie for a minute, The Mirror has Two Faces is a lovely angstfest, with humor . . .

  3. 3

    Old skool Elizabeth Lowell is satisfyingly full of angst. (Or I found it satisfying years ago when I last had my hands on the books… My taste for angst might have changed in the meantime though, who knows?)

  4. 4
    Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe says:

    I’m pretty thrilled to be sharing this month with Jo Beverley, who is a writing inspiration for me.

    Lynne, I’m not responsible for the cover copy. :) But I can assure you the topic of divorce is anything but casually treated in the book. *smoothing hackles down*

  5. 5

    Then I owe you an apology. I should know better to think that cover copy, the art or the blurb, has anything to do with the inside of the book! (no, that’s not sarcastic, it’s the honest truth – thank heaven for Amazon samples!)

  6. 6

    @Lynne—yes to hating it when books use “Baron” as a title!  And “Baron Firstname Lastname” is even worse.  But I usually check inside the book and see if it’s the author making the mistake (in which case the book goes right back on the shelf) or just bad marketing copy, since the author often has little say in the cover blurb.

    My favorite romangst is Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.  I love how miserably uncertain and self-flagellating the heroine is, and how callously the hero, Maxim, treats her in his self-absorption. There are great passages in which the heroine (the poor thing doesn’t even get a proper name) creates complete dialogues in her head about how painfully embarrassed everyone else must be for her.  And then it turns out Maxim is screwed up, too.

  7. 7

    Argh, I wish I hadn’t taken so long to compose my post.  I promise Maggie/Margaret hadn’t responded yet when I wrote what I did about the cover blurb.  Now it sounds like I’m trying to school Lynne on a point she’s graciously acknowledged.

    (And this post makes me sound as insecure as the heroine in Rebecca.  Nevermind, nothing to see here…)

  8. 8

    I think we all need another cup of tea. :) It always works in historicals.

    One of my favorite romangst books is JoBev’s To Rescue a Rogue. Loved Dare.

  9. 9
    cecilia says:

    I have a few favourite “romangsty” books, but the first one that came to mind was Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm.

  10. 10
    lavinient says:

    A favorite of mine that is very angsty, I think – Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone

  11. 11
    MarieC says:

    Romangsty!  I love it!

    One book I can think of offhand is ‘The Missing’ by Shiloh Walker. I read this when I need a good, cathartic cry…

  12. 12
    Amber says:

    Romangsty: Broken Wing by Judith James. Sigh, love.

  13. 13
    Elyssa Papa says:

    I totally hope I don’t sound like a douchecanoe since Maggie is one of my critique partners and I love everything she’s written, but I’m so excited that Mistress by Mistake is chosen for book club. I loved this book SO MUCH.

    Obviously don’t enter me in the drawing. :)

  14. 14
    Karenmc says:

    Oh, I’m up for a good historical discussion! LIke Cecilia, “Romangsty” immediately made me think of Flowers from the Storm.

  15. 15

    Ooooo, I loved Robinson’s Mistress by Mistake! 

    I think my favorite angsty romance is “His Lady Mistress” whihc was a Kindle freebee.

  16. 16

    I think my favorite romangsty novel would have to be Teresa Medeiros’ Yours Until Dawn, even though it’s not as romangsty as some. I also like some of Nora Roberts’ books, because the “angst” usually ends up being both characters’ faults, instead of just one-sided.

  17. 17
    Donna says:

    This is easy since I just reread it: “Demon Moon” by Meljean Brook. That why don’t we just see what comes next line kills me every single time.

  18. 18
    Kate Pearce says:

    Definitely Robin Schone for historical angst and Laura Kinsale :)

    I shared a book with Maggie and Virginia Henley and can confirm that Maggie is a wonderful writer and a lovely person too. :)

  19. 19

    Wow, @Lynne:  I totally love those Robin Schone books…and Gabriel’s Woman is probably my fave.  I’ll have to go dig that one out and re-read it.  Angst and smut together—it’s like chocolate and peanut butter, or maybe Bugs Bunny and a hangover…

  20. 20
    Vita says:

    I guess I’ve been reading too much urban fantasy, because I can’t think of a “romangsty” title to nominate.

    But Mistress By Marriage sounds very intriguing.  I’d certainly love a copy!

  21. 21
    Julie says:

    I think a lot of old-school historicals were romangsty, but I think one of the more recent ones that I’ve read is Sinful, by Charlotte Featherstone.

  22. 22
    Lil' Deviant says:

    I totally hope I don’t sound like a douchecanoe

    OMG!  I love it.  I will have to use that today!

    Mistress By Mistake is in my TBR pile.  I guess I’ll have to move it up a little.  *grin*

    Looking forward to Mistress By Marriage!

  23. 23
    Cathy Phillips says:

    I don’t think I have a favorite angst book.  Two of them I can think of are Sinful Surrender by Beverley Kendall and To Desire A Wicked Duke by Nicole Jordan.

  24. 24
    Emily says:

    Well, Gee Sarah you never had print book option when you picked a Digital book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I think this is so unfair! If I can suffer through trying to figure out how to get a digital book without an e-reader the e-readers can swing by a book store and buy a print book for a change.
    God forbid Kindle not be able to turn a profit from SB Sarah’s book club. Of course I will never have a Kindle because their sexist advertising is a real turn-off.  (I hate the so called Kindle Friends, which feature ditzy stupid woman with book and smart superior man with Kindle. There are like three of these commercials at least)
    Also I can’t afford an e-reader at this time.
    Next time you pick a digital book how about picking a print book too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. 25
    Las says:

    Sherry Thomas’ Not Quite a Husband. Every time I read it I have a lump in my throat the whole time.

  26. 26
    CarrieS says:

    re Emily – I don’t know anything about Kindle advertising so can’t speak to that, but re the basic point re it being silly that we have to have a digital option after many picks that were digital only – WORD.

  27. 27
    Rae says:

    angst, how it does us in sometimes…. Honestly I think it’s a version of the P&P story – Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife. It’s all post-wedding and she’s just so….filled with angsty wrong steps. She’s got the guy, but now has to figure out what to do.

  28. 28
    Melanie Adkins says:

    Definitely old school here. The one that twists my heart and still can make me cry ,laugh and smile is ‘Gone With The Wind’. I’ve read it about 25 times. I’ve seen the movie once and even though I know what’s coming, the tears still flow, the laughter and smiles are still there.  I have tons of favorite authors of today’s books, but ‘Gone with the Wind’ is special cause my mother named me for Melanie in the book. Mellie as some friends call me. *grin*

  29. 29
    Kelly mann says:

    My favorite angst book is Prince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas

  30. 30
    John says:

    I’m conflicted.  I agree with Melanie on Gone with the Wind (which is indeed angsty as hell and also one of my favorite books/romance starters), but in terms of more “current” genre romance – Whitney, My Love.  Swoon swoon swoon SWOON.  That book was so angst-filled and crazy, and I think Judith McNaught was purposely making it to be the most addictive thing ever.  I read it months ago and I’m still thinking about how much I loved it.

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