As I mentioned in my last post, I am dreadfully behind on giving books away. So here are the winners from the last post:
- One Dance with a Duke: azteclady (yay! She brought me cookies at the RWA signing, when I was in desperate need of blood sugar–this is random.org karma in action!), Rose, and Tessa K.
- The Irish Warrior: Jacqueline C., Booklover1335
- Skin Tight: Stephanie, Noelle Pierce
- Tempting the Marquess: Vi
- His at Night: Llehn
These are all the winners from two days ago. If you won, congratulations, and send your snail mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. But don’t be dismayed if your name is not listed! I have more books to give away… so many more books. Here’s the second (of three) batches of books I’ve intended to give away.
- Twice Tempted by a Rogue, by Tessa Dare. This is the second book in Tessa’s brilliant Stud Club series. It’s brilliant for a number of reasons–one is that you don’t have to read the first book to fall in love with the second. I think that out of the entire series, I related to Meredith as a heroine more than anyone else. She’s a widower, and one who has worked hard to make sure that her town stays together. The heart and soul of the town is her inn–a waypost that she cares for quite well, but knows that people only stop there if they have no other choice. It’s warm, comfortable, homey–and it will never be as swank as the posh affairs in Bath or Bristol. But she doesn’t let that discourage her, and she’s determined to do as best as she can under the circumstances.
Understandably, she is wary when the local lord–who has been absent all these years–sweeps into town. He threatens the inn, and the livelihood of the villagers–and her own sense of comfort. I loved this book, and somehow, again, I ended up with three extra copies of it, not counting my own paper copy and the e-version I bought. How does this happen? I’m not sure, but my inability to say no to Tessa’s books is your gain!
- Crazy for Love, by Victoria Dahl. It’s no secret that I adore Victoria Dahl, and Crazy for Love is no exception. Chloe Turner, the heroine, is That Woman: the woman who everyone believes is so crazy that her own fiance faked his death to escape her antics. Of course, she completely doesn’t deserve the sobriquet of “bridezilla”–but still, it’s given to her.
But as wonderful and relatable as Chloe is, Max, the hero, is who really makes this book. I’ve known a lot of guys like Max–in fact, I think there’s a little Max in every good, dependable man. Max is a really good guy. Completely reliable. Utterly dependable. So dependable, in fact, that people just depend on him, without thinking of the stress that this puts him under. So when he meets Chloe–not knowing how she’s been labeled by the media–to him, she’s a restful dream come true. She doesn’t need a caretaker. She doesn’t have a raft of problems. She’s just a nice, wonderful girl who really likes him.
How they deal with the complications that arise is what makes this book so engrossing. And yes, Max is totally, utterly adorable. This is how I somehow ended up with an extra copy.
- The Forbidden Rose, by Joanna Bourne. Joanna Bourne is one of those writers where it’s almost kind of unfair that she’s writing. I mean, let’s face it. She’s like a genius. I say “like” a genius, because, in fact, the only reason she would not be counted as a genius is because she’s beyond that. The Forbidden Rose is set in revolutionary France. For anyone who complains that there is not enough history in historical romance, Jo Bourne will take your complaint and raise you one. And for anyone who believes that history in historical romance serves only to interrupt the romance and the plot, Joanna Bourne will dance in little circles around your belief, and then show you how it’s done.
Seriously. The ending of this book is freaking brilliant, and the beginning and the middle are utterly amazing. And notice that I’ve said almost nothing about the book itself–what is there to say? She’s brilliant. I have an extra copy of this, and you all should want it.
- Money, Honey, by Susan Sey. So, basically, I adored this book. It’s about an FBI agent and a (former) crook. Both of them have a substantial path, that brings them to the place where they are. Elizabeth Brynn, the FBI agent, is a consummate professional–one who believes very strongly in the role of law and justice in society. She’s absolutely committed to her job, and knows that she is making the world a safer place. Patrick O’Connor is a former crook, and Liz isn’t necessarily sold on the former. His sense of morality seems fluid at best, and (at least to her) completely self-centered.
Right there, you can see that you have some incredible conflict, and that sparks will fly between them. But what takes this book beyond the typical meet-cute plus sparkling conflict, and into the territory of Really Awesome is the depth of the characters. Liz isn’t just any old FBI agent, dedicated to her job Because. Her character is layered and rich and real, and the plot is designed to strip those layers away, one by one, until they shine. Patrick isn’t the selfish, money-grubbing crook that he appears to be–he has a very firm sense of family, and as the book passes by, you quickly begin to learn just how much he’s willing to sacrifice for the ones that he loves. As the book goes by, both of them have their conception of self challenged by the other. And like all my favorite books, this one ends with both of them realizing that love has made them bigger, not smaller, and enlarged their horizons, not shrunk them. Both Patrick and Liz end up in stronger positions than where they started. And that I truly, truly loved.
I also have a copy of this to give away.
- The Cinderella Society, by Kay Cassidy. This is the only YA in the batch I’m giving away right now. It’s a fabulous girl-power book, with a very pink-pink cover. I have to admit that the cover gave me some trepidation, because I am not a pink-pink girl. But inside, the book isn’t about wearing pink. It’s about finding ways to express yourself in a way that’s true to yourself, about empowering women, and about believing that you can be the best. It’s also a book about a secret society of girls–well-liked girls, no less!–who go around being nice to people. This is such an awesome inversion of the usual popular kids=jerks formula. So many times you see YA books where pretty and popular are used as caricatured short-hand for “evil,” and it’s refreshing to see a book recognize that you don’t have to be mean to be well-liked.
I have a copy of this to give away, too.
Now, I know you are wondering: Courtney, how is it that you get these copies to give away? Answer: Sheer book acquisitiveness. When I read a book I like, I end up buying it. Multiple times. Just… don’t ask. And don’t tell my husband.