This week's top ten is brought to you by the number 19, the letter G, and by the murky depths of our affiliate sales data. I hope you picked up something fabulous to read this week!Now You See Her by Linda Howard | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | iBooks Tart by Lauren Dane | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | ARE | iBooks Like No Other Lover by Julie Anne Long | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | ARE | iBooks Since the Surrender by Julie Anne Long | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | ARE | iBooks A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | ARE | iBooks Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica by D. L. King | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | ARE | iBooks How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | ARE | iBooks Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo |… read more »
Bitchin' Blog Posts
This request comes from Kris, who is looking for a book she read a long time ago:
I read this book sometime between 1980 and 1984. Today, it would probably be coded as a Young Adult book. The main character was a teenager whose parents were moving. All I remember about the new place she moved to was the house was older (it may have been inherited by one of her parents), and there was a woods nearby. I also remember a description that involved the teenager noticing the cracks in the paint on the ceiling or the wall. The teenager resented the move away From Everything She Ever Knew and Ever Friend She Ever Had. She hated the new place and felt really isolated. Seems like she had a younger sibling, they were always fighting, and her parents always sided with the Younger Child, as the younger would Could Do No Wrong. When she went exploring in the woods, she carried her sketchpad and drew stuff despite her angst. At some point, she meets a mysterious boy that appears… read more »
Molly writes in with this request - and this one is a challenge. Her subject line: "In competition for the oddest query yet:"
As my subject line hints, I have a very strange question for you. When/before I was born, my mother had planned to name me Avrielle (or possible Avril, though she always pronounced it more like Avrielle). Ultimately, her mother changed her mind; when I asked about it, my mother said she'd seen it in a book and liked it.
It didn't occur to me until recently that she wasn't a big reader (after I was born, anyway) and that the few books I know of that she read were all romances. Thus, I've concluded that I was probably named after a romance novel heroine (or possibly, author). However, my google-fu has let me down, and my mother passed away a decade ago, so sadly, I can't ask her. I'm not expecting a miracle, here -- I know it's a long shot, but I figured if anyone else might have the answer to my question… read more »
Nalini Singh wrote to me asking for help finding a book she read a long time ago:
I'm pretty sure it's a Western novella that was published some time back. The heroine is the daughter of a rich landowner, and Evil Guy tries to forcibly compromise her at a party so that she'll be forced to marry him. Except she's saved by young Heroic Cowboy, but then there's a problem because Evil Guy *did* manage to ruin her in some fashion, so she has to marry him.
Clearly, she doesn't want to, but if she doesn't marry, then her life will be over.
In steps Heroic Cowboy - who has been in love with her forever - and says he'll marry her instead. He's not rich, but the heroine and her parents both like him better than smarmy Evil Guy, so everyone agrees. Hero and heroine move out to Heroic Cowboy's remote cabin, and the majority of the story takes place there, and from what I recall that story is ADORABLE!
There are thousands of reviews of Star Trek Into Darkness out there, but I know you Bitches only have one burning question: Is there smooching?
Well. Of course James T. Kirk has a certain amount of casual sex, because he's James T. Kirk. Fans of TOS (The Original Series) will be intrigued to note that a certain Dr. Carol Marcus shows up, and although there isn't time for more than light flirting in this movie, it looks like she'll be staying around. Hmmmmm.read more »
Melanie G. sent this over to me - the song might not be your thing, but the visual is fantastic. Melanie explains, "Romance covers come to life in this music video by Keys N Krates!"
Keys N Krates - Treat Me Right from Ohji on Vimeo.
Do you recognize any of those covers from the art? I was sure I almost knew two of them but I can't quite remember the title.
I hope your weekend is filled with familiar things you love - and people who treat you right.read more »
RECOMMENDED: One Reckless Summer is book 1 in Toni Blake's Destiny series, and is .99c right now. This is an adorable summer romance. I reviewed it and gave it a B-:
Even with occasional flat notes in the characterization, One Reckless Summer was not at all a reckless summer read. Reading it was easy but the subjects weren’t fluffy or meaningless. The plot didn’t demand emotional involvement capriciously, but it made my eyes sting more than once, and made me laugh several times out loud. It was, in a word, charming. Reading this book was like floating on the lake on an inner tube, not too hot, not too cold, just relaxing and right. Before summer comes to an end, treat yourself.
The series as a whole is uneven, but I really liked this book, especially the surprising level of spiciness. In the first chapter.
The perfect daughter. The perfect prom queen. The perfect wife. Jenny Tolliver's been the good girl all her life, and it's gotten her nowhere. Now that her marriage has been busted up by her… read more »
When I announced the 2013 RITA® Reader Challenge last week, MissB2U asked:
I would be interested in any pointers from you or other reviewers here on the basics of writing a review. New skillset! Yea!
I am a little embarrassed that I haven't discussed this before, especially since we've been doing the RITA® Reader Challenge for years now. So, without further ado: reviews! Guidelines and suggestions only, because I don't think there are any firm and absolute rules about writing reviews. Everyone's opinion is different, and therein lies the rules and reasons for reviews.
There are many kinds of reviews, and they vary according to the forum for the review, the product being reviewed, or even the type of review for a specific kind of product. Book reviews vary as well. Some are evaluations of the romance as an argument: does the reader believe that the main characters have earned and will sustain… read more »
Glamour in Glass is the second book in the Regency fantasy series by Mary Robinette Kowal. It is one of two novels with strong romantic elements nominated for a Nebula for Best Novel (the other is Ironskin, which I've also reviewed for Smart Bitches). It is refined and elegant as a Jane Austen tribute should be, with a dash of action and a surprisingly gritty splash of traumaread more »
This appears to be an Amazon-only deal, and I'm so curious about it. Emily Goes to Exeter is the first book in The Traveling Matchmaker series, and is $1.99 (and 193 pages). It was originally published in 1990. The reviews describe it as a light, easy, fun-to-read historical with spiffy characters. Have you read this series?
A dead employer’s legacy of five thousand pounds allows spinster Hannah Pym to resign from housekeeping and find adventure travelling the English countryside by stagecoach. But adventure soon finds Miss Pym in the form of Miss Emily Freemantle, a spoilt violet-eyed beauty fleeing an arranged marriage to a rake she has never met.
What the girl’s darkly handsome betrothed boards their stage, Miss Pym is certain Emily was rash to bolt from this aristocratic catch! And so as soon as the travellers repair to an inn, Miss Pym begins her matchmaking… and although Lord Ranger Harley complains he’ll not marry an ungrateful minx, Miss Pym suspects once she’s marshalled the couple into sharing intimate household chores, all romantic knots will be untangled!
Goodreads… read more »
It is imperative that when you go see The Great Gatsby, you know these two things:
1. It's a Baz Luhrmann movie. Baz is not known for subtlety.
If you want something restrained, something in which Leonardo DiCaprio isn't introduced by the sounds of Gershwin and the sight of fireworks, then look elsewhere. If you want lavish madness, then go see this - and see it in 3D. Both my friend and I saw it in 3D despite some skepticism, and we both felt it enhanced the story.
2. This is an anti-romance. Nothing ends well and as a matter of fact things tend not to start well, either. Expect a lot of angst and drunken wailing.
I do think this is a good movie, but if I had gone to it expecting a romance, I'd have hated it. It's a tragedy about people who dodge responsibility even when it literally flies at their heads, people who fall in love with figments, and people who love money and the facade of money and never know each other. It's… read more »
Before I discovered romance novels, I cut my teeth on Gothics. My mother had a shelf of books by Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney in our basement, and one summer I devoured them all. Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster is a modern Gothic with romantic elements, and it reminded me why I enjoyed the genre so much.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Gothic storyline, it features a young and often virginal heroine who finds herself in an unfamiliar and desolate setting (usually the North York moors or a crumbling Cornwall estate). She is often in jeopardy, beset by seemingly unseen forces, and surrounded by people she may not be able to trust.
There’s also the classic Gothic hero—dark, brooding and handsome; he is mysterious, and the heroine is simultaneously attracted to him and afraid of him. There is a strong element of the paranormal here, with a dash of romantic suspense.read more »
RECOMMENDED: Dark Prince is $1.99 at AMZ and .99 at BN, and is the first book in Feehan's very much amazing Carpathian series. $1.99 is a terrific price if you've never read it but Be Ye Warned: crack is within these pages. I reviewed this edition in 2011 and gave it a C+, but even though I could identify the problematic parts and disliked them, I couldn't stop reading.I've read it six-plus times and STILL the crack was working on me:
Dark Prince was the first of these types of books that I read, and I am still somewhat baffled as to why I find it so fascinating, even in a larger edition, in a hardcover, for the third or fourth time. I can only surmise that a book like this, something that was so new, so powerful and so different, even after it’s been imitated countless times, doesn’t diminish with time. The powerful innovation of the forerunner of a genre doesn’t lose it’s effect. At least, it doesn’t on me.
If you've never read the Carpathians, clear your… read more »
Cover design has changed a lot over the years - and I don't just mean the monochromatic single-item shallow-focus trend going on right now. Used to be covers were... on a book, on a shelf. Now, covers are on books, on physical bookshelves, on digital books in all sorts of sizes, large and small. Resizing the cover image can yield some hilarious results, too.
Here's an example from Chelsea Z:
She came across this cover while book browsing: "one of those covers that makes you go Whuuaaa?? Girlfriend has some seriously stretchy lips...or....reeeally long fingers maybe? Maybe it is clearer on a print book???"
Yup, and it's clearer in the larger-sized image, too:
The larger image makes the depth and contrast more clear - but the smaller cover… read more »
I have a few dedicated collections on my reader of books that live there permanently for re-reading and reading slump enjoyment. I have a Kate Noble folder, a Patricia Briggs folder, and a Julie Anne Long - Pennyroyal Green folder. I can't recommend this series more enthusiastically unless I came to your house and stood on your front stoop and squeed at you until the neighbors called the cops.
The series takes place in and around two prominent families in the small town of Pennyroyal Green, and it is charming and smart, wonderfully written and so enjoyable. I don't say this often, but Long has tremendous skill with the steamy scenes, too. Each book in the series save the upcoming July title is currently $1.99. Seriously, just buy them already. This is an outstanding opportunity if you like historical romance. The whole bleeping series for about $14, give or take tax and whatnot.
The Perils of Pleasure is book one, and is $1.99. It's Colin's story - and you see and hear from or about him throughout most of the… read more »