Booktopia Romance Buzz
October 2012 | Edition Forty-Two
Gentle Readers,
What a month for romance! This issue is absolutely jam-packed with great new titles across all genres with a bonus section for holiday titles. Whatever your flavour, you're going to find it in October!

If you haven't heard, the Australian Romance Readers Conference 2013 is now open for registrations. Booktopia is proud to be the major sponsor, and we look forward to seeing you all there.

With Kristin Higgans, Rachel Vincent, and Anne Gracie as keynotes, Cathy Maxwell, Hope Tarr, Nalini Singh coming from overseas, and more than 50 authors registered, it's a can't-miss event!


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What I Just Finished: Gentle readers, I'm afraid I've been unwell. And when I'm sick and miserable, there's always one book I reach for, guaranteed to make me feel at least a little bit better - Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm. *sigh*

What I'm Reading Now: It's a shocking admission I know, but I've never read Georgette Heyer. I've made a bet with a friend that I'll finish one by November, so I'm just starting Venetia. I'll let you know how I go!

What I Can't Wait For: I'm holding out for the historicals this month! What a fab duo from my favourite authors.

Until next month, happy reading!

Kate Cuthbert
Booktopia Romance Buzz
Sara Bennett is one of Australia's buried treasures - she's been writing for ages, under a number of different names across a number of different genres (seriously, just check out the About Me section on her website. It's crazy!). I first discovered her in her paranormal guise as Sara Mackenzie and got into her historicals soon after. If you haven't tried any of her novels, this is a great opportunity to do so - she's come on board this month to answer our Nine Naughty Questions! Welcome Sara!

1. I wonder, is a romance writer born or made? Please tell us little about your life before publication.

I think writers are born. Can't imagine a life without writing in some way or another, just as I can't imagine a life without reading. I was published at 18 and sold my first Mills and Boon historical at 24, and I've been writing ever since. Some days I think I'd like to stop, but when I have taken a break I've missed it terribly.

2. For all the glitz and the glam associated with the idea of romance novels, writing about and from the heart is personal and very revealing. Do you think this is why romance readers are such devoted fans? And do you ever feel exposed?

I do think romance novels appeal to their readers' deepest feelings, and that's because they're written from the heart. You do have to cut a vein and bleed to write them! Sometimes I find it exhausting to reach inside and drag out all that emotion, but I don't feel as if I'm writing anything that applies to my personal life. In fact I'm careful I don't.

3. Please tell us about your latest novel...

Sin with a Scoundrel is book # 4 in my current series, the Husband Hunters Club . Tina Smythe wants to marry her childhood friend, Horace. He's wealthy and her family are in desperate financial straits; she believes by marrying him she can save them from debtor's prison. But Horace is a man of the world and finds innocent debutantes a bore.

Enter Richard Eversham, rake and adviser to gentlemen who are having difficulty securing the wives of their choice. Tina thinks Richard is just the man to help her become a woman of the world and win Horace. Richard agrees to her plan but he has another agenda-his brother was shot by a man known only as the Captain and he thinks that might be Horace.

So the lessons begin, and Tina and Richard find a physical attraction that just keeps on growing. And then they fall in love. 

4. Is the life of a published romance writer... well... romantic?

Ha, ha, in a word No! Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Maybe Barbara Cartland had a romantic life-it always looks like it when you see pictures of her in her mansion dressed in furs and holding her pink poodle. It is hard work, and because you're working by yourself at home, you don't really have days off. I love it though. How else could I live all of these exciting and adventurous lives, visit all these exotic places, fall in love over and over again? Without ever leaving my keyboard.

5 . Of all of the romantic moments in your life is there one moment, more dear than all the rest, against which you judge all the romantic elements in your writing? If so can you tell us about that special moment?

I don't think there is any one special moment. Oh, maybe when my husband (although he wasn't then) put a romantic Valentine's Day card under my windscreen wiper. We were working together and office relationships were a bit tricky, so we kept it low key. When I went to my car to drive home there it was!  

6. Sex in romance writing today ranges from 'I can't believe they're allowed to publish this stuff' explicit to 'turn the light back on I can't see a thing' mild. How important do you think sex is in a romance novel?

I think sex is important but I don't think it always needs to be in your face. The level of sex has to suit the type of book you're writing, and if you just plonk sex scenes in every few chapters because you think you should, well it shows. The reader will know you're not genuine. I've read many lovely books with a gentle romance and no sex in them, just a promise of a full relationship at the end, and that's fine.

7 . Romance writers are often romance readers - please tell us your five favourite (read and re-read) romance novels or five novels that influenced your work most?

When I feel down and need some comfort reading, I turn to Georgette Heyer. She's probably my number one go-to-writer. Jane Austen and the Brontes, too, although these days I prefer the DVDs. I try to read widely, and I think it helps my writing.

8. Erotic Romance writing is so hot right now. Do you have any thoughts on why?
Actually I'm a bit surprised by everyone's surprise! Erotic romance has been around in the romance community for quite a while but it seems as if mainstream readers have only just discovered it. I think it's all these new readers who are driving sales. I've been asked so many times if I've read Fifty Shades of Grey and what I thought of it! I don't mind erotica, but for myself I prefer the more romantic erotica. There has to be a connection and an ongoing relationship between the main characters. Not just a one-off encounter in a car park!. 

9. Lastly, what advice do you give aspiring writers?
Read, particularly the types of books you plan to write. I think you naturally gravitate to the type of books you love and will write. Practise your writing and don't despair if the first draft is a mess. I know mine are! Just get your story down and worry about spelling and grammar afterwards. Everyone has a different way of writing, so don't worry too much what others say or do. You'll find what suits you.
We've got an avalanche of Christmas titles this month, for every Christmas flavour - whether you want anthologies, historicals, cowboys, or country!

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If you like your carols with a little country twang, have we got a treat for you - a two-stepping two-fer of down home Christmas treats.

Lori Wilde is up first, with a story about a charming stranger, a woman burned by love, an unexpected windfall, a big ol' pick-up truck, and an unexpected Christmas gift - that might just last a lifetime.

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A Cowboy for Christmas

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I've got to be honest, the cover of Carolyn Brown's cowboy Christmas story just makes me cold. I get what they were trying to do (bring the sexy!), but honestly? It's snowing. Do your shirt up, man!

She's not in it for the long haul. Commitment makes him cringe. But her wily grandmother - with the help of a convenient blizzard - might just change their minds.

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Mistletoe Cowboy

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If Robyn Carr is your kind of author, and Virgin River is your kind of town, then I'm thinking this might be your kind of book!

Patrick may be the good-natured one in his family of rough-and-tumble brothers, but his career as a Navy pilot certainly suggests an overdose of testosterone. Which is why Jack Sheridan doesn't want his niece Angie going anywhere near him. Ever. Or wearing that. Or leaving the house. Or even looking out the window. But Angie knows what she wants for Christmas, and playing it safe isn't going to get it!

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Sabrina Jeffries
creates a Christmas reunion.

He was abandoned by his parents, left to be raised by distant relatives. When a letter arrives informing him of his mother's imminent death, he takes the opportunity to visit and perhaps learn the secrets of his birth. But it's not his mother, but her meddling companion that he finds - a cheery vicar's widow who's about to learn that playing with fire can get her burned.

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'Twas the Night After Christmas

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Jane Feather
channels Spy vs. Spy.

She may appear the charming society lady, but her still waters run deep - she aids her brother with his spy work. And when her brother dies, it's only natural that she steps into his place. She's given her first mission - infiltrate his house party and determine if he's a double agent. It's dangerous work - she just didn't realise the risk was to her heart.

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Twelfth Night Secrets

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Grace Burrowes
uses a little poetic license.

On a dare, she published a book of racy poetry under a pseudonym, but her secret identity doesn't stay under wraps for long. Now she's being blackmailed, and he's the only one who can save her - by offering to marry her and restore her respectability. It was an offer made in friendship, but a match made at Christmas holds special magic.

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Lady Louisa's
Christmas Knight


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Two anthologies on offer this month: one nice and one just a bit naughty.

This anthology, lead by Fern Michaels and featuring Holly Chamberlin, Leslie Meier, and Kristina McMorris features four sweet stories sure to leave your heart warmed and your holiday spirit lifted.

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A Winter Wonderland

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Do you like a bit more spice with your Santa? Did that sound dirty to you? Well, then this is probably your anthology!

Beverly Jenkins leads this anthology, which also includes Kayla Perrin and Maureen Smith - authors who aren't afraid to explore the steamier side of the silly season.

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Merry Sexy Christmas

Click here to buy Nobody does heart-warming, small town romance like Debbie Macomber, and she excels at Christmas stories that touch on the spirit of the season with a gentle dose of whimsy.

An angel's work is never done, and don't Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy know it. New Year's Eve is fast approaching and they need to teach their apprentice Will all there is to know about heavenly intervention. But it seems Will's got some natural talent - when he sees two lonely strangers in Times Square, he just knows that midnight should bring something special. But fate intervenes, and the two are parted. Now, a year later, they have a second chance. And this time their angels are going to get it right.

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Click here to buy Angels at the Table
Not a lot of quantity in this month's historical section, but it's made up with quality: new Julie Anne Long! New Sherry Thomas! Yay!

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How do I love Sherry Thomas ? Let me count the ways: independent heroines, wonderful heroes, adventurous plots, lots of risk-taking...this book finishes off her Fitzhugh trilogy.

Helena has been carrying on a damaging love affair for years, flirting with scandal, but never really over-stepping the line. But now she has, and to save her reputation and that of her family, she needs to accept help from the one man she truly despises.

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Click here to buy Tempting the Bride

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How do I love Julie Anne Long? Let me count the ways: wonderful humour, delightful dialogue, gorgeous heroes, fabulous families ... The Pennyroyal Greens continue this month.

She's played many roles in her life, rising from Covent Garden to Countess. But society has never forgiven her for soaring - and plummeting. So she retreats to the only home she has left, a manor within his parish. Can a vicar and a sinner ever find common ground?

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A Notorious Countess Confesses

Lots of variety on offer this month in our contemporary romances, including follow-up from Roxanne St Claire as she explores territory outside romantic suspense.
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Oh we all hide it, but who hasn't enjoyed one of Diana Palmer's signature cowboy story with alpha males too alpha to bear and strong women who know how to tame him? Yeah, that's right. You're not fooling anyone. Here's another one. Go ahead, indulge.

Cane came back from the war with more damage than just what's evident on the outside. But he'll take a swing at any man who says so - or even just looks at him sideways. The only one who can calm him is Bodie Mays, but she's got trouble of her own - and she doesn't know if she can trust a fierce cowboy with a bad temper to cool down long enough to help her out.

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Roxanne St Claire
proves you can go home again.

Jocelyn is the Life Coach to the Stars, but when her own life takes a earthly tumble, she heads back to Barefoot Bay to hide out - only to be faced with the one boy who knows all her secrets...the one man she can't forget.

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Barefoot in the Rain

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Jessica Clare
finds out if it really is bigger in Texas.

Beth Ann may have had an on-and-off again relationship for nine years, but this time it's really off. Problem is, no one seems to believe her. They say the best way to get over the man is to get under the new...and would you check out the ex-marine that just rolled into town.

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The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male

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Lori Foster
explores the satisfaction of delayed gratification.

Emma tried everything she could to get Casey into bed back when they were both in high school. Now, 8 years later, he's chasing her, but she has no intention of falling back into old (bad) habits. Casey's just feeling the after-effects of teen lust. Isn't he?

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The Buckhorn Legacy

Keep it hot this month, with two new titles - including one from a home-grown talent.

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Shannon McKenna
brings her mix of searing sexuality and taut thrillers back to our bookshelves this month with a new erotic romantic suspense.

He's on the run from the Ukrainian mafia - also, incidentally, his family. But to farewell the one member that actually loved him, he'll risk going home. She's apart from her family's history, until her aunt thrusts her into the fray. Now the mafia wants them both - and only together will they survive. 

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Click here to buy One Wrong Move

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I think I've mentioned before that this series of novels by Aussie Natasha Walker are erotica - not erotic romance. So they're hot (oh, yes!) but don't have the resolution you might otherwise expect!

Emma flees to her friend Sally's beach house to recover from her affair, determined to be the wife her husband wants her to be. But can she control her own nature and deny the temptations around her?

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The Secret Lives of Emma:

NEW JD ROBB! You don't need to hear anything else from me!


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Julie Ann Walker
brings back her Black Knights in her new suspense novel.

He had to love her and leave her to fulfill a promise, but now he's free to mend his mistakes. But she's not going to forgive a man who made her into a cliche. Until something threatens her family, and then he's the only man she knows to turn to.

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Rev it Up

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Susan Andersen
explores the brutal world of figure skating in her new novel.

She's worked hard to re-build her career, but she can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her. He thinks she has a hand in a rising body count, but soon realises that she has nothing to hide - and everything to fear.

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On Thin Ice

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Shiloh Walker
mixes thrills and chills in her erotic new suspense novel.

She's lived her life hidden away to escape the demons of her past. He tried to love her,  but couldn't breach the walls she built around herself. Now her past is about to catch up, and she's going to have to learn to trust him - and herself.

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Click here to buy Stolen
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This title is in stock now, and ships in one-to-two days, so if you're hanging out for Eve and Roarke's next adventure, the wait is over!

Eve is used to hunting down murderers, but what do you do with a whole group of people who seemingly turned on each other? That's what it looks like, when Eve and her team show up at a New York City bar, bodies strewn everywhere. It gets personal when Eve finds out the bar is one that her husband Roarke owns - and that another slaughter is imminent.

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So much for paranormal fans this month! New directions, new series, new instalments of old favourites - and a new start for one of my favourite authors: Erica Hayes. 
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Aussie author Erica Hayes is back with a new series and a new publisher - fans rejoice! And if you haven't had a chance to check out her amazingShadowfae urban fantasy series (seriously, it's so good it leaves you breathless), you've got a second chance. This is the first book in a new paranormal romance series, and it is wonderful.

Also, the book has zombies.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Oh, a plot summary. Here you go: Morgan is a medical examiner who's lost her faith - the plague is just an ugly disease, not a sign for the end of the world. And she believes that, right up until the angel shows up.

Luniel's a warrior, fighting evil for the chance at redemption. He knows who's behind the plague, and he's hunting them down. He can't do it alone though - and Morgan's lack of faith is a hindrance. He'll have to prove himself and she'll have to take a leap of faith if they both want to come out of this alive.

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She's taken a few months to wallow in self-pity, but is compelled to rejoin the world when a woman in need turns up at her door. Worse, her kind of boyfriend took her seriously when she told him to get out of her life and is nowhere to be found. And, of course, the work of the Grim Reaper is never done.

The new Charley Davidson novel from
Darynda Jones

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Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

A cheaper Australian edition will be available in December: Click here for more details...

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She thought her nightmares were the result of her own insanity. Who knew they'd turn out to be prophetic? He's from the wrong side of the tracks, which in this new world makes him the right guy to help her. When it comes to the ultimate battle, you want someone with a little bit of dangerous by your side.

The new YA novel from Kresley Cole.

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Poison Princess

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She's one of the D'Artigo sisters, which means she's pretty much destined for trouble. Which is what happens when she heads to the Otherworld, only to find on her home trip that not one but two terrible enemies have waged war on Earth. When total annihilation beckons, it's good to have your sisters by your side.

The new Otherworld Series novel from Yasmine Galenorn.

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Shadow Rising

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Missing MacKayla? Don't worry, all you Karen Marie Moning fans - she's back. the interesting twist of the year, she's hunting the main character of this new trilogy - Dani O'Malley. Didn't see that coming, did you?

The Wall has crashed, and the fae roam freely through human streets. Dani lives in Dublin by her own set of rules, number one being do whatever it takes to survive. She's got talents and she's got one hell of a weapon - but she's also got problems. One is the aforementioned MacKayla lane, who wants her dead. Two is Ryodan, a ruthless club owner who wants her talents - and isn't afraid to use any means necessary to get them. What's a girl to do?

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It's a Carpathian coupling with two Christine Feehan titles in one month!

Dax has been buried alive in a volcano for centuries. Now that he's back, the world has changed somewhat - and Dax is worried that he has too. Has he succumbed to madness? How can he know for sure? And is he willing to risk the life of Riley, his potential life mate, on his sanity?

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Long time readers of this series may find this story a little...familiar. That's because it was once released as Dark Descent, a novella in the Carpathian universe. But Christine Feehan has expanded it into novel length, allowing the greater story of the immortal Traian and the adventurer Joie - and their unexpected destiny.

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Keri Arthur
continues to re-release her Ripple Creek novels based on a werewolf reservation where life is not, shall we say, peaceful and quiet. This is book two.

So burying herself in work seems like the best way to get over the heartbreak of ten years ago, and things are going okay for Savannah Grant. She still carries some secrets and scars, but, really, who doesn't? Her job as Chief Ranger keeps her busy, and that's enough.

Except the past has a way of coming back, and dead bodies are showing up on her turf. Dead human bodies. Killed in the same way as a series of murdered she was witness to ten years ago. And, what do you know. The man who broke her heart? Ten years ago? Also back. Suddenly Savannah's world isn't quite so organised, with a killer on the loose, and the moon heat rising...

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Click here to buy Beneath a Darkening Moon

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She's walking to work on a normal weekday morning when he sweeps into her life, calling her his Queen, swearing to protect her at all costs. She's not so sure he's not crazy. But he sure is hot.

The start of a new series from Jacquelyn Frank.

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She's used to fighting dirty, so her first instinct when she wakes up in a strange room with a strange man is to kill him. Turns out, he's not so easy to kill - and she neds him to take back her life.

The third Midnight's Daughter book from Karen Chance.

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Fury's Kiss

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She's the enforcer for  the Norse Goddess Hel, hanging out in a small town with big secrets.  When a local boy dies, it's up to her to investigate - with the help of her childhood crush, a sexy police officer with secrets of his own.

The new Urban Fantasy series from Jacqueline Carey.

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Dark Currents

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Can't get enough of Rachel Morgan's world, The Hollows? Well, you're in luck. This month Kim Harrison releases an anthology of short stories all based in and around The Hollows and the characters we all love.

This anthology is jam-packed with the good stuff. There are previously unpublished words - one is novella length (all about Trent Kalamack!), two are short stories, and two are novelettes introducing new characters and a new world. But you also get all of the previously published Hollows short stories as well. That's right - its all Hollows, all the time. What are you waiting for?

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Click here to buy Into the Woods
Prices displayed in Booktopia Romance Buzz are correct at time of publication. Website prices are subject to change at short notice. In these circumstances, the price listed in the newsletter may not be correct. In the event that a price conflict between the newsletter and website does occur, website prices will override prices listed in the newsletter.
In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead

Nine Naughties with

Christmas Titles

Historical Romance


Erotic Romance




Cut down on Silly Season stress by guaranteeing you've always got a stash of good books near by. After all, you need to take care of yourself too...

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Janet Evanovich
Nora Roberts
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The Prince

Tiffany Reisz
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Lord's Fall
Thea Harrison
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Darkness Hunts
Keri Arthur
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Secret Sins
Lora Leigh
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Rescue My Heart
Jill Shalvis

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Rogue Rider

Larissa Ione

More pre-ordering goodness!

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Days of Blood and Starlight
Laini Taylor
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Passion for the Game
Sylvia Day
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Shadow's Claim
Kresley Cole
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Lauren Dane
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Kiss of Surrender
Sandra Hill
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The Importance of Being Wicked
Miranda Neville
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Dire Wants
Stephanie Tyler

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Steel's Edge

Ilona Andrews


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