Books On Sale

Witches, Mary Balogh, & More

  • Well Met

    Well Met by Jen DeLuca

    RECOMMENDED: Well Met by Jen DeLuca is $1.99! This is a contemporary romance set at a Ren Faire! Carrie gave this one a B:

    It’s playful and fun with an undercurrent of powerful, mutual empathy and mutual emotional care.

    All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jen DeLuca.

    Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

    The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

    This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

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  • Someone to Love

    Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

    Someone to Love by Mary Balogh is $1.99! This is the first book in the Westcott series. Carrie gave this a D+, which seems like a rare miss. Do you agree with the grade?

    The New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss launches a new series with the death of an earl and the revelation of a scandalous secret…
    Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had…
    Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…

    Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.

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  • In Charm’s Way

    In Charm’s Way by Lana Harper

    In Charm’s Way by Lana Harper is $1.99! This is book four in the Witches of Thistle Grove series and the next book is due out this August. Several of us are big fans of this series and I love how all of the covers go together. (Watch me jinx it and have them get a redesign.)

    A witch struggling to regain what she has lost casts a forbidden spell—only to discover much more than she expected, in this enchanting new rom-com by New York Times bestselling author Lana Harper.

    Six months after having been hit by a power surge that nearly obliterated her memory, Delilah Harlow is still picking up the pieces. Her once diamond-sharp mind has become shaky and unreliable, and bristly, self-sufficient Delilah is forced to rely on friends, family, and her raven familiar for help. In an effort to reclaim her wits and former independence, she casts a dangerous blood spell meant to harness power with healing capacities.

    While the spell does restore clarity, it also unexpectedly turns Delilah into an irresistible beacon for the kind of malevolent supernatural creatures that have never before ventured into Thistle Grove. One night—just as things are about to go terribly sideways with a rogue succubus—a mysterious stranger appears in the nick of time to save Delilah’s soul.

    Gorgeous, sultry, and as dangerous as the knives she carries, Catriona Quinn is a hunter of monsters—and half-human, half-fae herself, she is the kind of sly and morally gray creature Delilah would normally find horrifying. Though Delilah balks at the idea of a partnership, she has no choice but to roll the dice on their collaboration. As the two delve deeper into the power that underlies Thistle Grove, they uncover not only the town’s hidden history but also a risky attraction that could upend Delilah’s entire life.

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  • To Scotland, With Love

    To Scotland, With Love by Karen Hawkins

    To Scotland, with Love by Karen Hawkins is $2.99! This is book two in the MacLean Curse series. This is a childhood friends to lovers story with some elements of forced proximity. Have you read it?

    In this saucy battle of the sexes, New York Times bestseller Karen Hawkins pits a hard-headed Scottish lord with an unusual family curse against a headstrong heiress who has a solution for every problem…except her own wayward heart.

    When Lord Gregor MacLean learns his childhood friend, Venetia Oglivie, has been abducted by a fortune hunter, he rides off to Scotland in hot — and very annoyed — pursuit. Venetia’s soft heart has gotten her in major trouble this time: if he doesn’t rescue her swiftly, the scandal will ostracize the provocative wench!

    The only sensible member of her family, Venetia is sure she can fix any problem, even this one. So when an irate Gregor catches up with her, arrogantly expecting a hero’s welcome, the sparks between them begin to fly. Then an unexpected snowstorm traps them at an inn, and Gregor discovers his feelings for the lovely Venetia are far warmer than he realized — fiery enough to burn down the inn! Now if he can only convince Venetia that his motive for marriage isn’t duty… but desire.

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Add Your Comment →

  1. Lara says:

    As I recall, the grade for the Balogh was due to an instance of casual racism–one character had an Old Asian Mentor who wasn’t given any further characterization, just there to teach the white character a cool skill and then fade away. I enjoyed the story and the introduction to all the Westcotts…but yeah, the racism is definitely present, and I don’t remember if Ms. Balogh ever responded to the comments about it.

  2. Kir says:

    HONEY AND PEPPER by A.J. Demas dropped to free on Kobo & Kindle UK earlier today. Demas is an author I learnt about through the bitchery’s recs.

  3. Sandra says:

    I didn’t remember the Balogh review, so I clicked through to it. That is a wonderful comment thread. Well worth the time to read through.

  4. LML says:

    @Lara, you can read Carrie’s review and p.1 of the comments. Ms Balogh responded twice, with surprise and with graciousness.

  5. spinsterrevival says:

    Wow I came to SBTB well after that review so hadn’t seen the thread either, but I adore the Westcott series by Mary Balogh (all of her books are quite the comfort rereads for me)

    I somehow started at I think the third book and took a few books to get back to the beginning to figure out how they were all connected, but I enjoyed Someone to Love as well and was glad to finally see the whole of the backstory. The hero seemed very much like a Heyer hero to me with slightly better communication skills.

  6. ProfessionalLurker says:

    I think the Someone to Love review is what initially introduced me to SBTB. I had just read the book and I felt like I was going crazy when I couldn’t find substantive reviews on how jarringly stereotypical the mystical Chinese mentor character/martial arts plot was (warning, tv tropes trap, though the magical Asian page is pretty sparse:

    I agree with the review 110%, the book was so close to being great, but the whiplash orientalism really took me out of it. I guess I expect it from other authors (Lisa Kleypas…), but I expected better from MB.

    The comment section is a treat too, Mary Balogh is a class act! Also i wish both Courtney Milan and Suleikha Snyder could narrate my feelings and opinions IRL.

    Thanks again to SBTB for so many years of great reviews (honorable mention to the review for A Rogue of Ones Own by Evie Dunmore, as an Indian person who reads a LOT of HR, it’s nice to have a website that takes racism by modern authors seriously, I feel really safe in this community even though I mostly lurk).

  7. kkw says:

    Wow, back in 2016 I had noped out of that Balogh comment thread early I think because since SBTB is one of the few places I feel safe to read the comments, the display of racism within the community felt a different category of horrifying. So worth reading, in particular for the magnificent Courtney Milan.

  8. Rachel says:

    I love, love, love the Thistle Grove series, and they are auto buys for me. The first three books were absolutely delightful, but this one gave me pause. The world building and characters are compelling as always, but there were elements in the conflict to relationship resolution arc that gave me pause. Some trust (borderline consent) things that didn’t leave me feeling that the reconciliation was entirely earned. That being said, I’m still auto buying #5, hoping it returns to the level of the first three for me!


  9. Kara says:

    The series that starts with Well Met is adorable. And the entire series has been written so it’s all currently available. It’s a great pool/beach read.

    I also enjoy Thistle Grove, and had the same issues with this book that Rachel did.

  10. Taylor says:

    I just read through the Balogh review, and was blown away reading Courtney Milan and Suleikha Snyder’s responses!

    There was some serious ick in a couple of those responses, good to see it shut down, and I can’t remember seeing anything similar in recent years.

    Also, how was 2016 both only and already 8 years ago?

  11. Taylor says:

    And to be clear, the ick was in other comments, not in Courtney Milan and Suleikha Snyder’s responses! They latter were awesome.

  12. flchen1 says:

    – Where the Road Ends by Tara Taylor Quinn

    – Perfect Distraction by Allison Ashley
    – The Viscount of Shadows (The Rakes of St. Regent’s Park Book 6) by Karyn Gerrard

    – Kissing Kosher: A Novel by Jean Meltzer
    – The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman

    – 15 Minutes (Time for Love Book 4) by Bethany Lopez
    – It Was All The Cat’s Fault: A romantic comedy (The Meet Cute Series Book 2) by Elizabeth SaFleur
    – The Monster MASH: A dead funny romantic comedy (The Monster MASH Trilogy Book 1) by Angie Fox

  13. Laura George says:

    Holy Cow! Everyone should read the linked review of Balogh’s Someone to Love. The review was posted on Thursday November 3, 2016 — Trump was elected the following Tuesday (the 8th). Balogh herself responds, at first very defensively. Courtney Milan has a long post. You can feel how hard at least some posters are working to be clear and careful in their wording. There are also staggering posts like one that ends this way:

    I read romance for fluff. This means I don’t want to read about the struggles of the working classes, or BAME characters. I want pretty frocks, and tea drinking and some witty conversations. If I wanted gritty social commentary I would be reading another genre.

  14. Laura George says:

    As some of you will remember, Lisa Kleypas’s Hello Stranger was called out (and got an F) for similar cheap racist orientalism in a review on March 1, 2018. She sent a not to SB Sarah which was posted & which things SBTB for pointing out her wise ancient teacher of whatever and promising the fix the books.

    I know her decision to rewrite some earlier scenes in which female characters are inebriated before sex so that the scenes now have much clearer consent narratives has been controversial in some quarters. But I have to say I enjoy reading about a popular author being willing to revise when they know better. I don’t think original versions of LK’s novels are in any danger of vanishing from this earth.

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