RECOMMENDED: Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas is $3.99. This is the first book in the Wallflower Quartet, one of Kleypas' most beloved series. If you've never read Kleypas, she is one of the most talented historical writers: her use of language and her characters, heroes in particular, are extraordinary. This book has a 4+ star average on GR, too. It would be a lovely present for yourself, or a historical fan you know.
Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband.So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle's most intriguing—and persistent—admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition . . . but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.
Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon—and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon's passionate embrace and tempting kisses . . . and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.
RECOMMENDED: Wallflower Gone Wild by Maya Rodale is $1.99. This is book two in Rodale's wallflower series, and is about a group of women who are stuck with labels identifying them – labels that aren't always accurate. Elyse really loved this book and gave it an A, saying:
It’s a charming, funny romp and it makes me say things like “charming, funny romp” like I’m an asshole reviewing a Julia Roberts movie. It’s so good I was willing to ignore that horrible wig the woman on the cover is wearing.
Basically this book is about looking past the labels society gives a person. In the heroine’s case, that label is London’s Least Likely to Cause a Scandal.
Being good has worked out very badly for Lady Olivia Archer. All she has to show for four seasons on the marriage mart is the nickname Prissy Missy. Her prospects are so bleak that her parents have betrothed her to a stranger with a dire reputation. If Phinneas Cole—aka The Mad Baron—wants a biddable bride, perhaps Olivia can frighten him off by breaking every ladylike rule.
Phinn has admired Olivia’s poise and refinement from afar…qualities that appear to have vanished now that they are officially engaged. This Olivia is flirtatious, provocative, and wickedly irresistible. She’s not at all the woman he bargained for, yet she’s the only one he wants.
He’s determined to woo her. She’s determined to resist. But Olivia is discovering there’s nothing so appealing as a fiancé who’s mad, bad, and dangerously seductive.
When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine Heath is $1.99. This is the first book in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series, and has a 3.9-star average on GR. Heath has been referred to by both Sarah MacLean and Jessie Von AwesomePublicist at Avon as one of the most underrated stars of historical romance.
This story features a young heiress who is having difficulties telling real emotions from false when approached by suitors, and a man she has known since she was a child, who is now a duke. He's got a matched set of wrenching emotional baggage including the train case and the matching rolling cart, and has no plans to ever get involved with anyone again. She has secret pains, too, so the plot on the surface reveals a lot more as the book continues.
They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways…
Lady Grace Mabry’s ample inheritance has made it impossible for her to tell whether a suitor is in love with her—or enamored of her riches. Who better to distinguish beau from blackguard than her notorious childhood friend, the Duke of Lovingdon?
With no interest in marriage, Lovingdon has long lived only for pleasure. He sees little harm in helping Grace find a proper match. After all, he’s familiar with all the ploys a scoundrel uses to gain a woman’s favor. He simply has to teach the lovely innocent how to distinguish honest emotions from false ones. How better than by demonstrating his wicked ways.
But as lessons lead to torrid passion and Grace becomes ensnared in another man’s marriage plot, Lovingdon must wage a desperate gamble: Open his heart fully—or risk losing the woman he adores…
The Luxe by Anna Godberson is $1.99. This is historical YA – and the first book in the series of the same name. It takes place in Manhattan in 1899 (I just typoed “1988” which would be a very different series!) amid high society. This book has a 3.5 star average on GR, and readers there say it's very gossipy and fun, though superficial, so if you like Gossip Girl-style stories, this may really appeal to you.
Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn. Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions. White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899. Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone–from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud–threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear…
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.