Books On Sale

Books on Sale: Historical Romances from MacLean, Kinsale, and Brown

 Book Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a RakeRECOMMENDED – Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean is $1.99 right now, and if you like historical romance that's smart and funny, buy this right now. This book was nominated for the RITA in 2011, and our RITA Reader Challenge reviewer Diana was effusive – and justifiably so:

 Quite possibly one of the hottest, most delicious story of love I have ever read. (And trust me, I have not stopped devouring romance novels since I discovered it at the beginning of this year, and this is definitely listed in my top five.) There is this Something Special about this book that had me laughing and gasping and fanning myself and sighing and crying and everything in between. Sure, the wallflower spinster heroine has been featured many times before, and so has the rakish hero that is sure to win her heart, but in the hands of Sarah Maclean, their personalities and their stories transcends the archetypes and they simply become …. real.

 A lady does not smoke cheroot. She does not ride astride. She does not fence or attend duels. She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen's club.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she's vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she's been missing.

But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.

If she's not careful, she'll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love.

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 Book Lessons in FrenchLessons in French by Laura Kinsale is $2.99. Kinsale is best known for writing emotionally wrenching historicals, and while this book is lyrically written, it's not going to rip your heart and hand it to your sobbing self. It's lighter and more comedic than her darker novels (which are also extraordinary).

 Trevelyan and Callie are childhood sweethearts with a taste for adventure, until the fateful day her father discovers them embracing in the carriage house and, in a furious frenzy, drives Trevelyan away in disgrace.

Nine long, lonely years later, Trevelyan returns. Callie discovers that he can still make her blood race and fill her life with excitement, but he can't give her the one thing she wants more than anything–himself.

For Trevelyan, Callie is a spark of light in a world of darkness and deceit.

Before he can bear to say his last goodbyes, he's determined to sweep her into one last, fateful adventure, just for the two of them.

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 Book Midsummer Moon



The other “lighter historical romance” from Kinsale is Midsummer Moon, which is $2.99, but I believe that may be the regular price. This book was originally published in 1987. Carrie S reviewed this book earlier this year and gave it a B+: I believe that the best word to describe Midsummer Moon is “adorable”, and I mean that as a compliment. It dances right on the edge of being hopelessly twee, but there's a grounding element of emotional truth that makes the stakes real and powerful.

 All the king's men could not surpass the intellect, nor all the king's ladies the beauty of Merlin Lambourne. As the infamous Napoleon's deadly army grows ever closer, Lord Ransom Falconer frantically searches for an inventor who can create a new way to defeat the advancing forces.

He unexpectedly finds that only the lovely Merlin is adequate for the challenge. Drunk from her intoxicating beauty, Falconer whisks Merlin backto his home on a trail of tender kisses, oblivious to mounting whispers ofscandal. His quickly falls under the spell of her magical touch. But as Napoleon draws nearer, Falconer must use Merlin's own inventions to protect her from danger.

The magic of love surrounds them as they fall under the spell of undeniable passion.

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 Book A Bloom in WinterA Bloom in Winter is $1.99 digitally. This is book 2 in the Summerset Abbey series. The note at the GoodReads series page reads, “This is a series where a continual storyline is present through the books in the series and later books are dependent on earlier books.”

Book 1, Summerset Abbey ( A | BN | K | S | ARe | iB ), is currently $9-10 digitally, so if you're curious, the first two books would total about $12-14US. This series is set in Edwardian England, and is targeted towards fans of Downton Abbey.

After Prudence’s desperate marriage and move to Devonshire, sisters Rowena and Victoria fear they have lost their beloved friend forever.

Guilt-ridden and remorseful, Rowena seeks comfort from a daring flyboy and embraces the most dangerous activity the world has ever seen, and Victoria defies her family and her illness to make her own dream occupation as a botanist come true.

As England and the world step closer to conflict, the two young women flout their family, their upbringing, and their heritage to seize a modern future of their own making.

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General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Karenmc says:

    I’m reading Midsummer Moon right now, and “right on the edge of being hopelessly twee” is a very apt description. Doesn’t matter, tho’, because Kinsale is keeping the supporting characters distinct and interesting, Merlin logical in her own way, and Ransom (or as, Merlin calls him, “Mr. Duke”) not too overbearing.

    around95: not even close to the total of my TBR pile

  2. 2
    Antoinette says:

    I’m intrigued by the description of Laurie Kinsale’s “darker” historical romances. I’ve never read/heard of her before. Where do you recommend starting?

  3. 3
    Vasha says:

    I have to disagree with the chorus of praise for Nine Rules to Break. Seriously, every bad sex writing cliche that you’ve lampooned on this blog, it’s got them.

  4. 4
    AKD_23 says:

    Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm is widely praised, and having read it, I quite agree that it is a lovely romance with a very moving story.  I don’t know if it’s considered dark, but it doesn’t have the light comedy of Midsummer Moon.

    hot37:  very appropriate for the weather right now.  Though it’s much higher than 37C.

  5. 5
    Carly says:

    I LOVE that Sarah MacLean book.  That just reminds me that I need to go read the rest of the books in the series!

  6. 6
    EC Spurlock says:

    I just finished the sequel to “Nine Rules to Break”, “Ten Ways to be Adored while Landing a Lord”. The writing is snappy and fun and all the characters are very likeable but I did have issues with the heroine; to me it was stretching credibility that she would allow the hero to take so many liberties with her considering her background and the bad experiences she and everyone she knows has had with men. But it was thoroughly enjoyable in a suspend-disbelief-from-the-ceiling-and-enjoy-the-ride kind of way. I’d consider getting “Nine Rules to Break” just to get the background for the sequel.

  7. 7
    Celine says:

    Dare You To by Katie McGarry is $2.99 at amazon right now down from over $9.

  8. 8
    Lauren says:

    @Antoinette: I’d agree with the Flowers from the Storm recommendation that AKD_23 made.  It’s fairly dark—the barrier between the h/h is real and at times seems impossible to resolve—and gritty, with a lot of intense “you are there” details of the hero’s post-stroke condition.  It’s painful, but I highly recommend it.

    And I also loved Nine Rules to Break!  It was so funny that it could have been just fluff, but it also had a really strong emotional core.

  9. 9
    Rose says:

    @Antoinette: I enjoy Laura Kinsale a lot. I would say that For My Lady’s Heart and Shadowheart are the darkest books that I’ve read from her. I loved both of them, but there are quite a few things in them that are dealbreakers for a lot of people. I know that Shadowheart, in particular, can be polarizing.

    My Sweet Folly is also pretty dark since the hero is actually crazy for a lot of the book and the heroine is being held against her will in his house for a while. When I first read it I felt like I got whiplash, since the beginning is a bunch of sweet letters that the hero and heroine send to each other, then bam, the hero is now insane. (This is spoiled in the book blurb but I hadn’t read it first for some reason). It’s a good book to wallow in. I’d third Lauren and AKD_23 in recommending that you start with Flowers from the Storm and go from there with these three books if you like that kind of thing.

  10. 10
    marylou mawson says:

    Just thought I’d put my two cents in for Laura Kinsale.  She is my favorite author, hands down.  Absolutely NO ONE touches her!  I am now reading “For My Lady’s Heart” for the umpteenth time, because I cannot find another author who has her magic with words, story and characters.  Check out her website, where you can read excerpts and reviews of all of her books.  My particular favorite could be considered one of her “darker” books, “Seize the Fire.”  The hero’s cynicism and sarcasm is absolutely hilarious.  Ms. Kinsale is able to imbue her characters with such incredible personality, that the reader feels she knows them.  They are like all of us.  They can be selfish, obtuse, paranoid, manipulative etc., but she always provides the context that makes us love them anyway.  I do agree that “Flower from the Storm” is a great example of Ms. Kinsale’s ability, but wanted to stress that ANY of her books are above most of what is offered by a wide margin.  All are desert island keepers!

  11. 11
    nabpaw says:

    I’ve read Nine Rules and didn’t finish it.  I thought it was too precious.  Considering how much SB Sarah liked it, maybe I should give it another shot.

    I’ve also read Midsummer’s Moon and thought that it wasn’t borderline twee as somebody else has said, but way over the top twee.  don’t get me wrong, I adore the concept of the absent minded inventor heroine, but boy did this heroine annoy the hell out of me.

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