So I am woefully behind. I have a stack of books many books high that I need to give away–and after I missed the first week of them (there were three that week!) the stack has only gotten larger, and my resolve to tackle the pile has shriveled to pea size. Nevertheless, over the course of the next week and a half I will be getting rid of Every. Single. One.
Seriously. You should believe me.
So, first things first. I am woefully late in announcing the winners from the Double Mistress giveaway, which was, like, two months ago:
Bonnie Ferguson: Susan Gee Heino’s Mistress by Mistake
Collie: Maggie Robinson’s Mistress by Mistake
And speaking of two months ago! June was a month that saw a lot of really amazing romances. I meant to post about all of these books individually, and give them away individually, but they were all released on the same day and in my fluzzombottomnation (that is totally a word) about not deciding which to post about first, and which to do when, I ended up not posting about any of them at all, which was a wretched state of affairs. In any event, here goes: June giveaway, in August!
- One Dance with a Duke (three copies). I loved Tessa Dare’s first trilogy a lot–but in all honesty, I think that in reading her second trilogy I can see all the ways that she has grown as a writer since then. One Dance with a Duke has all of the amazing writing, amazing chemistry, and amazing characterization that I saw in Goddess of the Hunt, Surrender of a Siren, and A Lady of Persuasion–but it also has something more. I’m not sure what to call it, but there’s a certain depth to this book–and to every book in this trilogy–that is new. This is not to imply that the other books were shallow–far from it! Just that I found myself identifying with Amelia far more strongly than I had identified with any of the characters in her prior trilogy. Amelia’s a woman who just wants to make things come out right. She wants her brother, who is hurting, to heal; when she meets Spencer, the hero of the book, she quickly intuits that his arrogance is a cover for a deeper social anxiety, one that she wants to make better. She’s an extraordinarily loving, and lovable, individual. What makes this book so wonderful for me is that Tessa shows how this quality is simultaneously both her greatest strength, and yet an incredible weakness. I really loved seeing Amelia’s journey, and I adored this book!
I adored it so much I have three copies to give away. I did not buy them all at the same time, and yet every time I encountered this book at the store I ended up picking up a copy. It was irresistible–much like Amelia and Spencer!
- The Irish Warrior, by Kris Kennedy. This book pretty much freaking rocked. If I were trying to describe it to someone, I think I would call it a medieval adventure. With explosions. Of both the literal and the hoo-boy-does-the-hero-rock-her-world variety. Finian is just an incredible hero–strong, stalwart, and once he realizes how much he wants and needs Senna, utterly willing to do anything and everything just to have her. He’s Irish, and Kris writes him with just that added bit of flair–no random bits of Irish dialect thrown in to fake the Irishness, but the rhythm and cadence of his speech just lulls you into the feel of the accent. You could sleep to the sound of his voice… If, that is, the rest of the story let you. But it doesn’t. Senna and Finian are in serious trouble: they are hunted by the English Lord Rardove. They’re going to win.
This book beat me out in the 2008 Golden Heart–and I completely, utterly understand why. It’s compelling, incredibly so, and unputdownable. I have two copies of it.
- Skin Tight, by Ava Gray. If you read Skin Game, you already know how awesome Ava Gray is. But, seriously, Skin Tight is a step above that. The hero, Foster, has an insidious, painful power: when he touches a woman, she stops seeing him. In his place, she sees the man she most wants. A less honorable man would doubtless take advantage of this power, sleeping his way through a swath of womankind. But to Foster, it’s a curse. Nobody ever sees him for himself. Nobody ever wants him for himself. The fact that every woman sees him as her fondest wish is a living nightmare. He doesn’t dare touch any woman, and the more he wants her, the more he knows he cannot lay hands on her–because once he does, he’ll destroy everything she sees in him.
He’s a lonely, desperate man, and Mia Sauter–a brilliant accountant–is just the woman to see past his dark facade. I don’t want to say too much about this book, but I read it in one, long gulp, unable to put it down. And then when I was done, I went back and read parts again–and again–and again. This is the mark of true genius, and Ava Gray truly delivers.
I have two copies of Skin Game to give away.
- Tempting the Marquess, by Sara Lindsey. Sara is fast becoming my go-to author for sexy, sweet historicals. Tempting the Marquess is no exception. This book is laugh-out-loud funny and warm and at the same time deeply emotional. It’s about Jason Traherne, who is mourning his wife’s death, and about Olivia Weston–who is both fanciful and practical, all at the same time, who wants him both as knight in shining armor, and as the wretched man that he is. Olivia well and truly tames Jason.
Also, this book contains one of my favorite tropes ever. I would say more, but it would be a spoiler. Let’s just say, all you need to do is tell me this thing occurs and I will walk to the cash register, book in hand.
I have one copy of TTM to give away. In fact, I’m sure I have more, but I have no clue where the other copy went. I suspect Mr. Milan is reading it on the sly.
- His at Night, by Sherry Thomas. Like all of Sherry’s books, His at Night is gorgeously written. But this book is more than that: it also has the most complex plot that I’ve seen from her yet. Lord Vere is a man who everyone in society thinks is an idiot. He’s not, though; he’s only pretending. He’s been pretending for years–so long that he almost doesn’t even remember who he is anymore, himself, and has had to invent imaginary friends to keep him company.
Elissande knows everything about pretending. Her uncle–who is psychologically cruel, and inventively vindictive–has convinced everyone he is a saint and a martyr. She knows better. It’s not casual abuse that he deals in; he strikes hard, to the center of who the characters are. He keeps her aunt addicted to opium, unable to flee; every time Elissande begins to enjoy something, he takes it from her. And so when she meets idiotic Lord Vere, instead of seeing a moron, she sees escape: A man she can trap into marriage, and a marriage that will free her and her aunt from the nightmare that they live in.
Lord Vere, of course, is not best pleased to be so used, and the path that the characters take to find the truth of themselves is truly awe-inspiring to watch.
I have one copy of His at Night to give away.
So there you have it. You have 48 hours. Leave your name in the comments, listing any and all books you might want, and I will announce the winners on Thursday, and announce the next set of giveaways as well!