A number of Karen Hawkins' backlist novels are discounted to $2.99. An Affair to Remember is book 1 in her Talisman Ring series. Lest you fear plot moppetry, Penny Watson on Goodreads wrote:
Usually, families of naughty children can become rather irritating in a romance novel. The scene of this book in which Anna, a governess, meets the five unruly children Anthony has recently “inherited” makes you wonder how the hell she is going to win them over. Well, Hawkins does an extraordinarily good job showing us how the bonds gradually build between these distrustful children and Anna and Anthony. It is funny, sweet, touching.
Saddled with five unruly orphans, the Earl of Greyley, Anthony Elliot, is at his wits' end. Unfortunately, the only person willing to deal with the adorable little terrors is Anna Thraxton, governess “extraordinaire” — and the one woman Anthony can't abide. She's too outspoken, too opinionated, and far too beautiful for his peace of mind.
A woman should be meek and mild — words that perfectly describe his prospective bride, not the flame-haired temptress who haunts his dreams. Anna knew this job would be trouble the moment she set foot in the door — but it's Anthony who's the problem, not the children! He's too arrogant, too sure of himself, and far, far too wonderfully big and masculine.
The young girl he's courting will never be able to handle him, so someone clearly needs to teach Anthony a few things about women. But when lectures turn to kisses, igniting a passion they can't ignore, how will they resolve the battle between honour and their hearts.
(Quick question: which cover do you like better? Not Quite a Historical Gown, on the left, or Liberace Mullets for him AND her, on the right?)
What can a respectable Regency miss do when kidnapped by a nobleman intent on marriage? Why, marry him, of course. Julia Frant has secretly loved Alec MacLean, the wild Viscount Hunterston from afar. So when he accidentally snatches her instead of her lovely, scheming cousin for an elopement to Gretna Green, Julia leaps at the chance to make her passionate dreams come true.
Alec's in no position to quibble: if he doesn't marry by midnight and live scandal-free for a year, he loses his inheritance. At least marriage with do-gooder Julia will guarantee his fortune.
But as his plain brown wren transforms herself into an elegant swan, Alec suddenly can't stay away from his last-minute wife–and when he kisses her, the inheritance is the last thing on his mind. Unfortunately, scandal can occur from the best of intentions…and Julia is never short of good intentions!
A Belated Bride is book 2 in the Rogues series, and is $2.99. The reviews for Hawkins' books on GoodReads are really fun. Sally Kilpatrick wrote:
This is what historical romance should be. Arabella Hadley and Lucien Devereaux fell in love ten years ago, but Lucien stole her virtue and left her without explanation. Now she's turned to the smuggling business to keep her family afloat. Pirates, treasure, smugglers, and meddling aunts–what more do you need?
The last man Arabella Hadley ever wishes to see again is Lucien Deveraux, the handsome, dissolute Duke of Wexford — who broke her innocent heart years ago and disappeared to London. So when she finds an unconscious man on her deserted country road and sees that it's Lucien, she's tempted to leave him there.
But even more appalling than his presence is the brazen kiss he plants on her shocked lips and her response! So it would be totally insane to take him home to recover — wouldn't it?
Lucien dares not reveal why he's returned to his country estate — or why he abandoned the strong-willed beauty years ago. Especially since Arabella clearly has secrets of her own. But when her scheming, marriage-minded aunts successfully compromise them, the two are forced to become man and wife.
Which makes it ever harder for both to battle the passion that never disappeared.
The Seduction of Sara is the last book in the Rogues trilogy. It's $2.99. Most of the reviews indicate some level of disappointment in the series finale, though some loved every bit of Sara. These books were published in 2000-2001, so adjust your expectations accordingly.
Saraphina Lawrence is a willful young woman, as magnificent as the Lawrence sapphires she proudly wears. She wed once for passion and was widowed scandalously when her bridegroom fell from a carriage while coupling with his mistress. Now, faced with an ultimatum from her brothers — remarry and live quietly and respectably, or lose the income that supports the independent life she loves — Sara is quick to plan her strategy.
Exiled to the dull town of Bath for the Season, she must find a gentleman who is socially acceptable, tolerable in looks and manners and, most important, willing to let Sara have her way in all matters. Her search is going poorly when she hits upon a splendid plan involving Nicholas Montrose, the notorious Earl of Bridgeton (the irresistible villain in need of redemption who was introduced in Hawkins's first book, The Abduction of Julia).
Nick wants Sara for his mistress, and she thinks it would be splendid to have such a masterful lover teach her the art of seduction, hoping to use those new skills to lure a suitably compliant man to the altar.
It would be hard to say whether Nick or Sara is more surprised when Sara practices the wiles Nick taught her on Nick himself — and the man who swore he'd never marry is tempted to propose to the one woman who has promised she will never be his bride.