RECOMMENDED: This entry is all historicals, but first, thanks to @ClinicCynic, heads up! The Amazon price fairy is clearly experimenting with strange numbers again.
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry is .31c for the Kindle. This book has tremendous emotion, angst, and teenagers dealing with adults things that are difficult and challenging – and all of those things can make for a polarizing reading experience.
This book was a Book Club Pick in August 2012, and was nominated for a RITA® as well. From our RITA® Reader Challenge review by Staci: “this book pulled me in two very different directions. I really liked Noah and I felt that his character was very well put together. Conversely, I didn’t dislike Echo, but I wanted to whack her upside the head too much to say that I liked her.”
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth.
But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common.
Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can PUSH THE LIMITS and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her HOW TO LOVE AGAIN.
Three Weeks with Lady X, one of Eloisa James' most recent historical romance, is $2.99 at most vendors – and $5.99 at ARe, which is always baffling to me. The reviews on this book are fascinatingly divided. Some readers adored it – I know Elyse liked it a lot, for example. She says,
The hero is the son of my all time fave James hero, the Duke of Villiers. It's very much a melting of the ice queen story.
Meanwhile, in review land, others really disliked it. Whenever I discover divided reviews I'm always really curious. It's a hazard. Have you read this book?
Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized façade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.
Exquisite, head-strong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.
But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.
Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.
But there is only one thing that will make India his—the one thing Thorn can't afford to lose…
His fierce and lawless heart.
A Rake's Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell is $1.99 right now. Campbell is exceptionally talented, especially with plots that challenge the reader, and emotions and characters that are complex and memorable. Usually Campbell is who you reach for when you need some cathartic crying or need some intense emotion in your romance. This one, while emotional, is also more sweet, with a scholar heroine who is hiding her authorship under her father's name, and a hero who first encounters her when he tries to steal something from her home. It has a 3.9-star average on GR.
Pardon – I have to go reset my Catnip Alarm.
It Takes A Lady
Brilliant scholar Genevieve Barrett knows how to keep a secret. Her identity as the author of her father's academic articles has always been her greatest deception—until a charming housebreaker tries to steal the mysterious Harmsworth Jewel from her. She doesn't reveal that she recognizes her father's devastatingly handsome new student as the thief himself. For Genevieve, this will be the most seductive secret of all…
To Catch A Thief
Sir Richard Harmsworth has been living a lie, maintaining a rakish façade to show society that he doesn't care about his status as a bastard. Yet long haunted by his unknown father's identity, Richard believes the Harmsworth Jewel will confirm his claim as the rightful heir. But when Richard sets out to seduce the bookworm who possesses the stone, he instead falls for its beautiful owner. But even as she steals Richard's heart, Genevieve will be in greater danger than her coveted treasure.
All Men are Rogues by Sari Robbins is .99c right now. As I mentioned the last time this book was on sale, this is a Regency historical with espionage, some suspense, and a puffy white blouse half-down the hero's back on the cover. He'll never manage espionage without his shirt on. Some reviewers on GR really liked the suspense/spy plot, while others found it incredibly silly – I think this review from Wench explains her opinion of the book very well:
I finished this to see how much of a train wreck it could become. The answer? GINORMOUS. I can't even be mad, I'm so bewildered at this nonsense.
Meanwhile, Ariel wrote in her very brief five-star review:
Why have I not been reading romance novels all my life?
I don't know, ma'am, but welcome to the fun!!
Compelled by her dying father, a spy for His Majesty's service, to complete his last mission, Miss Evelyn Amherst finds herself embroiled in a dangerous world of treachery and betrayal. When the trail leads her to London, she encounters Lord Justin Barclay, an agent for British Intelligence.
He suspects that Eve's father was a Napoleon supporter and that Eve had knowledge of his traitorous actions. Justin courts Eve, hoping his intimate relationship with her will lead her to reveal the truth. Instead, he finds himself compromising his beliefs as he is drawn under Eve's spell.
As the danger escalates, they have to decide not only if they can trust each other with their lives, but with their hearts.
The Scandal in Kissing an Heir by Sophie Barnes is .99c right now. This is the second book in the Kingsborough Ball series, featuring a rake who is determined to keep carousing despite being told to knock it off (that always stops a carousing rake, right?). When he meets a young lady who is victimized by her aunt and uncle, who want to marry her off to a duke who is creepy-obsessed with her, a romance novel plot ensues. Maybe also some hijinks. Likely both.
He is the next Marquis of Wolvington…
She is a lady with nothing but beauty and wits…
Together they share a forbidden kiss.
Lady Rebecca is determined to find a husband on her own terms, rather than marry any of the aging suitors her greedy aunt and uncle foist upon her. Her chance comes at the Kingsborough Ball, where she meets several potential grooms…yet no one compares to the dangerously handsome Daniel Neville.
Daniel Neville, notorious rake and heir to the Marquis of Wolvington, is in need of a bride, but finding a lady who’s willing to accept his past, is an entirely different matter. When he spies a stunning woman across the ballroom, Daniel believes he’s found her…until scandal erupts around them. How can he convince Rebecca to take a chance on him…and on the love that could be theirs forever after?