Books On Sale

Dragons, Mary Balogh, & More

  • My Heart Is a Chainsaw

    My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

    My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones is $2.99! Not sure if this is a leftover Kindle Daily Deal from yesterday. This was a big release last year and the library holds still might be rather long. Did you read this one?

    In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.

    Jade feels like she’s trapped in a slasher film as tourists go missing and the tension between her community and the celebrity newcomers to the Indian Lake shore heads towards a tipping point, when she feels the killer will rise. Jade watches as the small town she knows and loves begins to head towards catastrophe as yachts compete with canoes and the celebrity rich change the landscape of what was designated park lands to develop what they call Terra Nova.

    This new novel from the acclaimed author of The Only Good Indians and “literary master” (Tananarive Due, author of The Good House) Stephen Graham Jones, is a must-read, exploring the changing landscape of the West through his particular voice of sharp humor and prophetic violence that will have you cheering for the American heroine we need.

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  • It Had to Be You

    It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark

    It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark is $1.99! Now I haven’t read this one, but it seems either like chick lit or contemporary romance that has some other ancillary romances going on. Would love to hear some thoughts from anyone who has read it!

    The author of the “emotional, hilarious, and thought-provoking” (People) novel The Bucket List returns with a witty and heartfelt romantic comedy featuring a wedding planner, her unexpected business partner, and their coworkers in a series of linked love stories—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Casey McQuiston.

    For the past twenty years, Liv and Eliot Goldenhorn have run In Love in New York, Brooklyn’s beloved wedding-planning business. When Eliot dies unexpectedly, he even more unexpectedly leaves half of the business to his younger, blonder girlfriend, Savannah. Liv and Savannah are not a match made in heaven, to say the least. But what starts as a personal and professional nightmare transforms into something even savvy, cynical Liv Goldenhorn couldn’t begin to imagine.

    It Had to Be You cleverly unites Liv, Savannah, and couples as diverse and unique as New York City itself, in a joyous Love-Actually-style braided narrative. The result is a smart, modern love story that truly speaks to our times. Second chances, secret romance, and steamy soul mates are front and center in this sexy, tender, and utterly charming rom-com.

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  • The Proposal

    The Proposal by Mary Balogh

    The Proposal by Mary Balogh is $2.99! This is the first book in her Survivor’s Club series, which is a favorite amongst the Bitchery. Readers loved the hero, Hugo, but I will admit I’ve never read a Balogh that I wasn’t “meh” about. Balogh fans, what do you love about her books?

    In Mary Balogh’s engaging and seductive new novel of drama and romance, a woman comfortable in her solitude allows temptation to free her heart, when a daring war hero shows her how truly extraordinary she is.

    THE PROPOSAL

    Gwendoline, Lady Muir, has seen her share of tragedy, especially since a freak accident took her husband much too soon. Content in a quiet life with friends and family, the young widow has no desire to marry again. But when Hugo, Lord Trentham, scoops her up in his arms after a fall, she feels a sensation that both shocks and emboldens her.

    Hugo never intends to kiss Lady Muir, and frankly, he judges her to be a spoiled, frivolous–if beautiful–aristocrat. He is a gentleman in name only: a soldier whose bravery earned him a title; a merchant’s son who inherited his wealth. He is happiest when working the land, but duty and title now demand that he finds a wife. He doesn’t wish to court Lady Muir, nor have any role in the society games her kind thrives upon. Yet Hugo has never craved a woman more; Gwen’s guileless manner, infectious laugh, and lovely face have ruined him for any other woman. He wants her, but will she have him?

    The hard, dour ex-military officer who so gently carried Gwen to safety is a man who needs a lesson in winning a woman’s heart. Despite her cautious nature, Gwen cannot ignore the attraction. As their two vastly different worlds come together, both will be challenged in unforeseen ways. But through courtship and seduction, Gwen soon finds that with each kiss, and with every caress, she cannot resist Hugo’s devotion, his desire, his love, and the promise of forever.

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  • His Majesty’s Dragon

    His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

    RECOMMENDEDHis Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik is $1.99! Carrie mentioned she started reading this in a previous Whatcha Reading and there were many comments about how great this book is. We also have an early review of this book by Candy, who says it’s “utterly goddamn awesome.”

    Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature.

    Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.

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Add Your Comment →

  1. Laurel says:

    I really love later Mary Balogh, although sometimes her earlier books work for me (it’s kind of hit or miss). I really enjoyed The Survivors’ Club series, and The Proposal was a solid B read for me.

    I don’t know if I can describe why Balogh works for me – my book reviewing needs some work, I guess. I find the plots interesting and not on the silly side of the spectrum, characters behave in believable ways, the historical parts feel accurate (although I am not an expert, but nothing drags me out of the story by feeling wrong), and I am confident that Balogh is going to deliver to me a good read.

  2. spinsterrevival says:

    Mary Balogh books are ultimate comfort reads to me, and I adore her character development. It’s true that there may not be a lot of action, but I’ve always felt her characters really journey to their HEA in a lovely way.

    I just finished a reread of the Survivors’ Club series and loved it; I actually think The Proposal is the weakest of the seven but still enjoyed it (also heroine Gwen is well known from some previous Bedwyn/Bedwyn adjacent books).

  3. DonnaMarie says:

    Ah, Temeraire, the only dragon to come close to replacing mighty bronze Mnementh in my affections. Nothing Novak has written since has engaged me like this series.

  4. Jessi says:

    I read My Heart is a Chainsaw in January and while I don’t regret it, precisely, I don’t think I’ll ever read it again. (I’d also mention there should be a Content warning for violence and sexual harassment and sexual assault). If slasher films are your happy place, you might really vibe with this.

  5. WS says:

    I think I read Mary Balogh religiously without really liking a lot of her books; hmm. I believe I have read all of her books.

    I started reading them because I liked the (very melodramatic!) “The Anniversary” in the “From the Heart” anthology. (If you read this story, do not think too hard about the details.) To be noted, it’s very much a story where all problems could have been solved by one good conversation, and I want to smack sense into both parties, but all of its flaws will not alter my fondness for it. I ran across her in the ’90s when I was reading a lot of category regencies, and her category regencies stood out because they were some of the few in which you encountered premarital sex. There are a lot of questionable setups, some of the heroes are real asses, and often you just want to whack some sense into both the hero and heroine. In general, I feel that too many of the heroines are too tolerant of having being treated poorly by the heroes. (Please ignore that “The Anniversary” is a prime example of such. I am aware.)

    But I know what I’m going to get? I’m going to get some anachronisms in some historical detail, but I’m not going to feel like I’m reading a book populated by modern people transferred into the Regency period. I’m not going to get screwed up use of titles or geography, and I’m not going to get military ranks that don’t make sense. Don’t knock it; this is a big deal to me.

    I like Slightly Scandalous and Slightly Dangerous, and I think A Summer to Remember may be her best book. YMMV.

    I am least fond of A Christmas Bride– actually, I kind of loathe A Precious Jewel (which precedes A Christmas Bride) also because I think the hero is a jerk, but I really found Helena to be an unredeemable character and didn’t want to see her as a romance heroine.

  6. Melanie says:

    Echoing what Laurel and spinsterrevival said: Mary Balogh’s books tend to be quiet, emotional stories with believable characters that I find very satisfying. I read a couple of the Survivors’ Club books years ago, and liked them enough to buy most of the others, but just didn’t read them. Last month I decided to read Only Beloved, the last in the series, and immediately had to read all the books I hadn’t read.

  7. June says:

    Reading Temeraire for the first time would be so awesome right now. Maybe I’ll settle for a re-read.

    Like DonnaMarie, I don’t find Novik’s later books as compelling. If she ever decided to spin off the Temeraire series with either of the Rolands, however…

  8. hng23 says:

    I tried reading MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW because SGJ is, at this point, my favourite horror writer. (I can’t say enough good things about THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS.) Sadly, I couldn’t get into it because I don’t like slasher movies. It’s also the first of a trilogy featuring this character, so I guess I’ll be rereading his backlist.

    @Jessi: Tor.com publishes short stories & they recently posted a new story by SGJ: https://www.tor.com/2022/04/20/men-women-and-chainsaws-stephen-graham-jones/

  9. KitBee says:

    I’m a Balogh fan but thought The Proposal was just fine. My favorites in the Survivors’ Club series are Only Enchanting and Only a Kiss.

    Also, I ADORE His Majesty’s Dragon and am currently in the middle of rereading the series. I think Naomi Novik brilliantly re-creates the language and the world of the Napoleonic era. She is honestly one of the best historical authors in this period that I’ve ever read, despite the fact that she includes dragons!

  10. Msb says:

    I adore Temeraire and admired Laurence more and more for stepping up to match Temeraire’s innocent integrity every time, with a full knowledge of what that would cost. As a story of moral development, and the price exacted for it, the series can’t be beat. I feel Novik started to lose interest after Victory of Eagles, however, when Laurence truly recognized Temeraire as his equal, though I’m glad she hung on to bring the series to a satisfying conclusion.
    Her later books are even better. Uprooted was particularly good. Most of her books have the struggle to maintain one’s integrity as a central theme, and hardly anything can be more interesting.

  11. Amy says:

    Slightly Dangerous is my favorite Balogh although I’ve read lots of her books. I read all the Survivors Club books, and some were better than others.

  12. Ak26 says:

    IT HAD TO BE YOU sounded interesting to me when I thought the wife and gf developed a romance. I finally found a review to confirm that’s not what happens. So instead it sounds boring 🙁

  13. Lisa F says:

    Run, do not walk, to grab My Heart is a Chainsaw. An amazing book. (but note @Jessi’s content warnings first). The Balogh is also quite good.

  14. DiscoDollyDeb says:

    @Ak26: for a plot similar to what you were looking for, I recommend Rachael Stewart’s UNSHACKLED: a young woman falls for her step-father’s fiancée as the two of them plot together to try to escape his evil clutches.

  15. EJ says:

    Mary Balogh is really good at subtlety, even when writing dramatic plots. Everything always feels believable even if it isn’t.

    **SPOILERS AHEAD**

    One small beef I had with the last MB book I read, Only Beloved, was when the heroine (age 39 hooray!) figured she was too old to get pregnant even though she hadn’t hit menopause yet. Surprise, surprise, she gets pregnant, which everyone in the book is very happy about, I was just wondering why she was so sure it wouldn’t happen. I know women didn’t know as much about their own bodies back then but the heroine knows what menopause is so I was confused. Very, very, small complaint on my part. I was very happy to read about a heroine my age for once 🙂

  16. EJ says:

    @Amy

    Slightly Dangerous is my favorite too! It’s the ultimate opposites attract story. My catnip is a hero who comes off as the worst kind of asshole away from his family but when he’s with his family he’s lovely. *cough* Mr. Darcy *cough*

  17. Susan says:

    It took a couple of tries for the first Temeraire book to “take,” but then I was thoroughly hooked on the series. Sweet Temeraire–he made many others want to be their finest selves.

    The audiobooks were some of the best I’ve listened to.

  18. chacha1 says:

    I’m a longtime Balogh reader for the same reasons as others above. 🙂 Well-researched books that are about the quiet and sometimes difficult negotiations between real-seeming people, without unnecessary Big Mysteries or Adventures, and generally free of anachronistic behavior or language. I’m not a purist in histrom, but I do have some standards. 🙂 Happy to add this one to my digital library!

    Temeraire: a great character & concept. I loved the first book, didn’t love the second as much, read a short story in which the inevitable (given their respective life expectancies) end of that central, compelling ‘marriage’ was implied, and thought … for all the war & politics to get through, all the characters that I’m going to get attached to who are going to die because war, I’m calling it here.

  19. Karin says:

    Seconding what others say about Balogh. I just finished reading “Someone Perfect”, and although it was slow moving for some reason I can’t put her books down. They are so comforting. She really explores all the varieties of love, not just romantic love, but parent-child love, love between siblings, friends, extended family, found family, even love between people and their beloved pets. She was also including main characters that are traumatized or physically handicapped even decades ago.

  20. Adeliza says:

    @chacha1, you just described my Temeraire journey perfectly. Since then I’ve acknowledged to myself that series where lives are seriously in peril are not for me. Ha ha, I grow softer with each passing year.

  21. I adore Balogh’s books and study them for craft. She can get a great deal of emotion out of a scene and say everything with only a few lines.

    If you read Balogh’s Bedwyn books, watch the character of little Becky. A very minor player in the first novel, SLIGHTLY MARRIED, she subtly reveals facets of another major character in subsequent books through her brief interactions with him, leading up to a pivotal scene in his own story.

  22. MZB says:

    I adore Mary Balogh. Her prose style is a perfect balance of a believably historical British voice–extremely rare in the genre. Emotions and romance are always high. I have rarely read romantic endings that have truly felt as earned as some of her novels. She writes two souls who truly come to understand and respect each other by the end.

    I adore the Bedwyns, but I think I like her Simplies books the best–the immediate sequels to the Bedwyns about four schoolteachers. Balogh was a teacher herself and I think she has extra sympathy for those heroines. When her stuffy 36-year-old headmistress finds love and family in Simply Perfect, I cried.

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