Booktopia Romance Buzz
August 2013 | Edition Six
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Welcome to the AUGUST Romance Buzz!
Hello, readers of book crack and happy endings!

So much is happening this month in romanceland, so hold on to your bookmarks!

First of all, I'm super excited to tell you that bestselling historical romance author Julia Quinn will be in Australia in August. Yes - squee!!! And more squee!!! And exclamations!!!

The Australian Romance Readers Association has organised a Q&A and signing with Julia in Sydney and Melbourne. Booktopia will be selling books at the Sydney event (August 21), so make sure you come along and say hello! Seating is limited, especially for Sydney, so make sure you register asap. Check the details on the ARRA blog.

Four Australian authors are finalists for romance fiction's most prestigious awards, the RITA® awards. Congratulations to Anne Gracie, Barbara Hannay, Lilian Darcy and Bronwyn Parry for a fabulous effort! The winners will be announced on July 20, so keep an eye out on Twitter  and Facebook  for up to date news.

Closer to home, the Romance Book of the Year (R*BY) awards will be announced in August at the Romance Writers' Conference in Fremantle. The R*BYs are judged by other readers, and a fantastic way to discover new authors. You can find a list of RITA and R*BY finalists in this month's Buzz.

Speaking of authors, Tiffany Reisz, author of the super hot Original Sinners series answers our revamped Nine Naughty Questions. They're naughtier than ever (okay, ish-we have to leave something to the imagination!), so make sure you scroll to the end of the newsletter to see what Tiffany had to say about her new book, The Mistress, and why she loves historical romance covers. (Bet you didn't know that!)

Now, let's talk about this month's must-have books, for there are plenty, my fellow readers! Australia's favourite romance author, Anna Campbell, has a new book out and it's going to surprise you (in good ways, of course); Meljean Brook concludes one of my favourite paranormal series with Guardian Demon; and one of the most unique historical romances I've read this year is out in print-Untamed by debut author Anna Cowan.

And did I mention that The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz comes out in August? We have a limited number of signed copies, so make sure you get in quick to nab one!

What I just finished: I've been glomming teen romances from the early 90s written by now-famous Aussie authors who wrote under different pseudonyms. Bring back the teen romances, I say!

What I'm reading now: Man vs Child by Dominic Knight , featuring a stand-up comedian; Glitterland by Alexis Hall, the m/m romance everyone is gushing over; and Lick by Kylie Scott, featuring a rock star hero and a wedding in Vegas. Yes, I'm still reading these books, but that's not going to stop me from talking about them in the Buzz!

What I can't wait for:
The Sum Of All Kisses by Julia Quinn, and Bronwyn Parry's third Dungirri book, Darkening Skies.

Finally, if you need a romance fix but don't have the cash to spare, check out this week's bargain title: The Reckless Bride by Stephanie Laurens . (The discounted pricing starts today and for a limited time only - look out for it on the Booktopia website.)

Until next month - happy reading, and may the endings be ever in your favour! 

Kat Mayo

Champion of Readers Who Peek At The Ending
Booktopia

Follow me on Twitter: @BookThingo 

For exclusive offers, news on up-coming romance titles and general romance goss, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at
@LoveAtBooktopia.

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A BASTARD AND A BLUESTOCKING MEET IN A BEDROOM...
Click here for more details or to orderA RAKE'S MIDNIGHT KISS
(Sons of Sin, Book 2)
by Anna Campbell

 
Sir Richard Harmsworth is not your garden variety rake (ha!) - he intends to seduce a vicar's daughter into handing over a lost heirloom that he believes will provide him legitimacy in society's eyes. But Genevieve isn't so easily taken - she's charmed by this newcomer...until she realises that he's not whom he pretends to be. Determined to gain her independence, Genevieve intends to use the Harmsworth Jewel to make a name for herself and pursue her scholarly passions. But what happens when she finds herself falling for the one man who has everything to lose should she finally reveal what she knows?

This book is absolutely delightful. The chemistry between Richard and Genevieve leap off the page, but their plans are in such opposition that their relationship develops slowly and with a lot of angst, particularly for Genevieve, who knows that Richard isn't all that he seems to be. She's no TSTL (too stupid to live) heroine, that's for sure!

Genevieve's attempts to ignore Richard's charm are hilarious, including her attempts at embroidery. When he finally declares his love and makes his grand gesture (surely not a spoiler to romance readers!), it's both exhilarating and sweet and funny and all the good things that romance books should be.

I'm an unashamed Anna Campbell fan, but it's always been a little challenging to recommend her Regency noir titles to other readers, simply because they tackle some pretty dark themes. A Rake's Midnight Kiss changes all that-it's lighter, but not without moments of high drama, and it showcases Anna's delicious way with words:

She prepared for aggression. But he was too subtle for that. A man lacking subtlety couldn't have seduced her. A man lacking subtlety would have stolen the jewel that first night and saved her a mountain of headache.

Oh, how she abhorred a subtle man.

If this book isn't a finalist at the next ARRA awards, I'll eat my feather boa.

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SIGNED COPIES - LIMITED STOCK
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(Original Sinner, Book 4)
by Tiffany Reisz

 
Booktopia has a limited number of signed copies of The Mistress, so make sure you order yours early to grab your copy!

If you're following the Original Sinners series, I know you're just dying to know what happens to Nora after the cliffhanger ending of The Prince . Nora is being held captive - and not for sexy times. Her captor demands that Nora reveal her most personal stories, not just about sex, but also the many complicated ways she has loved the men in her life.

If you're new to this series, The Mistress isn't the place to start. The story starts mid-plot, and there are a lot of loose ends to be tied up. But if you're a fan of the series, this book should be a page-turner; Tiffany Reisz certainly knows how to keep readers on their toes!

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention The Most Deliciously Sexy Scene In The Entire Book. You'll know it when you get to it, and if you scroll down to the Nine Naughty Questions below, Tiffany gives us a little hint about it. I'm very picky with threesome scenes, but this one is so hot you probably shouldn't read it while on public transport!

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Are you new to the Original Sinners series? If so, why not start from the beginning?!

We have a limited number of exclusive Original Sinners Packs,
containing The Siren, The Angel and The Prince (books 1- 3) for just $15.00!!!
What are you waiting for?

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IF YOU'RE CRAVING MORE...
Erotic romance just keeps getting hotter and hotter. These titles are sure to keep your (reading) engines going this month!
BURN
by Maya Banks

DON'T TEMPT ME
by Sylvia Day

GLITTERLAND
(eBook edition)
by Alexis Hall
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Check out the brand new home of romance
THE PIRATE AND THE WOULD-BE PRINCESS
Click here for more details or to order I MARRIED THE DUKE
(The Prince Catchers, Book 1)
by Katharine Ashe

 
Who can resist a piratical duke? The correct answer is no one, and especially not if it's a duke written by Katharine Ashe! Orphaned at a young age, Arabella is on a quest to fulfil a childhood prophecy - marry a prince and she and her sisters will finally discover their true identity. It seems to be her destiny when she finds a governess post in a prince's household, but to get there she must enlist the help of The Pirate.
   
Needless to say, Captain Andrew isn't all he seems. He's also Lucien, the Duke of Lycombe's heir, and although he doesn't want Arabella on his ship, when he learns of her destination, he is intrigued enough to agree to take her. Of course, we all know what happens when an arrogant and, yes, one-eyed pirate is forced to live in close proximity to a 'sharp-tongued virginal school mistress' - and it's just thrilling!

If you're wary of the typical rake meets schoolmistress trope, I'm happy to say that this book hits all the sweet spots. Everything we love about this trope is present, but Arabella is more than a match for Lucien. She understands her vulnerability and knows how to protect herself as best she can, but she also recognises the danger Lucien has become to her heart and her dreams - for herself and for her sisters.

This book has so many plot twists that to reveal any more would be too spoilerish, and I'd hate to ruin the surprises. If you've never read a Katharine Ashe historical before, I Married The Duke would be the perfect book to try! It's one of my keepers for 2013.

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THE RUIN OF A ROGUE
by Miranda Neville

THE ARRANGEMENT
by Mary Balogh

THE LOTUS PALACE by Jeannie Lin
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THE CROSS-DRESSING DUKE - NOW IN PRINT!
Click here for more details or to order UNTAMED
by Anna Cowan

 
Australian author Anna Cowan's debut novel, released as an ebook earlier this year, will be out in print in August. If I were to pick my favourite new author for 2013, it would be Anna. Her controversial book, Untamed, is one of those love it or hate it propositions - no in-between emotions possible! And I loved it. I loved it a lot!

When Kit Sutherland attempts to persuade Jude, the infamous Duke of Darlington, to end his affair with her sister, he manages to invite himself to her country home ... and arrives dressed as Lady Marmotte. Yes, a cross-dressing duke! You'll be forgiven for thinking this is going to be a comedy, but aside from some very dry humour and biting observations, Untamed is all manly brooding and high angst and dark secrets. Jude is selfish, arrogant and destructive - not a hero you can easily love. He follows Kit to the country because she's the only person who seems to see through his façade, and because he seems to be on the verge of an emotional breakdown and he needs to be somewhere private when it happens.

Kit and Jude defy stereotypes - her life is steeped in manual labour; he is, in his own words, not a very manly man. And yet it all works, and the scene in which Kit helps Jude remove his womanly garments is incredibly sensual and moving.

Anna's lyrical style is the reason this book works. There are times when she describes the characters' emotions and reactions so beautifully that I found myself going back to the same page over and over again, just to absorb the words. I can't wait to see more from this author!

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DUKE OF MIDNIGHT
by Elizabeth Hoyt

NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED
by Sarah MacLean

THE TROUBLE WITH BEING A DUKE
by Sophie Barnes
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NEED TO ESCAPE? WE HAVE THE BOOKS!
In last month's Buzz, I mentioned that Booktopia now sells titles by Escape Publishing. (Kate, who used to edit the Romance Buzz, is the managing editor, so you know she takes her romance books seriously!) This month, I want to talk about some of the new titles coming out from Escape, as well as my favourite titles from their backlist, for readers who haven't tried these books yet.

And can I mention the Escape covers? I love them so much!

Click here for more details or to order NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE
(eBook edition)
by Nell Carson


Think Undercover Boss but, you know, with a hotter boss - better yet, the boss's son!

When Jennifer Wright sees Jared Brickman on the factory floor of Brickman Foods, she recognises him immediately - from the tabloids, and from an incredibly humiliating experience at university that she has never forgotten. Unfortunately, she's still attracted to him, and the more she gets to know this grown up version of Jared, the more impossible it becomes to keep her biggest secret from him. (No prizes for guessing the secret!)

This book is definitely all about the heroine and I enjoyed its honest portrayal of the precarious situation faced by many factory workers in the USA. I'm not sure Jared deserved Jennifer - the uni prank was pretty devastating - but she definitely deserved her happy ending!


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LOST IN KAKADU
(eBook edition)
by Kendall Talbot

RAVENOUS
(eBook edition)
by Eden Summers
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One of the advantages of having local romance publishers is that we get so many more books set in Australia - and I love that!

Abigail and Mackenzie survive a plane crash, only to realise that they also need to survive the Australian wilderness when rescue isn't forthcoming.

Abigail and Mackenzie aren't your typical romance protagonists - she's an older heroine, and he's bisexual. So if you're looking for something quite different from your average romance, this might do the trick!

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I love second chance romances, and Ravenous features childhood sweethearts Jesse and Erin. Jesse left 8 years ago to pursue a career in the city, while Erin opened up a catering business in her small town. When Jesse returns home for a visit, sparks fly, but will their love be enough this time for Jesse to choose Erin over his career?

I mean, okay, it's a romance so no points for guessing the answer, but can I just say that the hero is a chef. A chef! There's my wish fulfilment fantasy right there.



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GREASE MONKEY JIVE
(eBook edition)
by Ainslie Paton

A BASIC RENOVATION
(eBook edition)
by Sandra Antonelli

IN SAFE HANDS
(eBook edition)
by Lee Christine
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978085799020417072013

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AND NOW FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT...
And what could be more different than fantastical creatures and characters! Who said vampires are dead? (Okay, technically they're undead.) I don't care what the trend watchers say - I'm still a sucker for those brooding alpha heroes and the heroines who keep them in line!
GUARDIAN DEMON
by Meljean Brook

HEARTS IN DARKNESS
by Keri Arthur
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Meljean Brook's Guardian series is one of my favourite paranormal series, and although I'm glad we're finally getting Michael's story, I can help but mourn the end of a great run. Fans of this series won't need an introduction to Guardian Demon - it feels like we've been waiting forever for it! - but if you're new to the Guardians, it's best to start from the beginning (the very awesome Demon Angel).

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Keri Arthur's Nikki & Michael books have been re-edited, and book 2 is coming out at the end of August. There's nothing more delicious that a hero and heroine who think they must stay away from each other ... but just can't help themselves!

Note: This is a new edition of a previously released title.

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Hearts in Darkness

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ENTHRALLED
by Lora Leigh

THE VAMPIRE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Kerrelyn Sparks
CAST IN SORROW
by Michelle Sagara
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WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS... UNLESS YOU WAKE UP WITH A RING ON YOUR FINGER!
Click here for more details or to order LICK
(Stage Dive, Book 1)
by Kylie Scott

 
You might know Kylie Scott as the author of zombie romances. Yes, zombies! And romance! (But not zombies having romance, because gross!) Kylie tries her hand at contemporary romance with Lick, a new adult romance (kind of - the heroine is 21, but the hero is older) featuring a rock star hero and a heroine who finds herself the morning after a big night with: a ring on her finger, a tattoo on her bum, and a hangover from hell.

You can probably guess where this is going, but if you haven't tried Kylie's books before, what you won't know is how intense the angst can get. And if you're all about the hero, you should definitely pick this up. I mean, the heroine isn't exactly a wallflower, but the hero is all growly and hands through his hair-y and, well, really hot!

I also love Kylie's sense of humour. It's not always about cracking jokes, but the teasing and the sexual tensions are all just a lot of fun, no matter how intense they get. And let's face it - nothing is sexier than a man who knows how to tease in all the right ways!

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HOME BEFORE SUNDOWN
by Barbara Hannay

 
THE NEXT BEST THING
by Kristan Higgins

PLAYING THE FIELD
by Jennifer Seasons
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MAN VS CHILD
by Dominic Knight

HOME TO WHISKEY CREEK
by Brenda Novak
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Technically, Dominic Knight doesn't write in the romance genre, but I'll ignore technicalities because I love a good lad lit story with a decent love story. Dan McIntyre's friends are gradually succumbing to the lure of family life and he can't understand why - until Penny walks back into his life. Oh, and she has a toddler!

I'm still getting stuck into this book, but I'm loving the insights into life as a comedian and radio presenter. I can't even wait for the nappy jokes!
 

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Brenda Novak's latest Whiskey Creek novel has an interesting premise: how do people move on from the bad things that happened - or that they did - when they were young? It deals with some dark themes - Adelaide, the heroine, was a victim of gang rape as a teenager, and the leader of the pack was the hero's twin brother.

I wasn't completely sold on the romance, but it was interesting to see the impact of the rape on the perpetrators as well as on Adelaide.


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LOVE OVERDUE
by Pamela Morsi

FIANCE BY FRIDAY
by Catherine Bybee

THE HERO
by Robyn Carr
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Visit our Mills & Boon range
CATEGORICALLY IRRESISTIBLE
I'm a big fan of category romance - it's where I discovered adult romance fiction, and where I continue to dip into when I'm in need of a quick read or when I want to try new authors but don't quite know what I want. If you have a hankering for category romance, check out these Mills & Boon titles coming out in August.
GIRL LEAST LIKELY TO MARRY/FAKING IT TO MAKING IT
by Amy Andrews, Ally Blake

THE BILLIONAIRE'S TROPHY
by Lynne Graham

DESIRE DUO: HIS INSTANT HEIR/THE BABY DEAL
by Katherine Garbera, Kat Cantell
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BLAZE DUO: TO THE LIMIT/TAKING HIM DOWN
by Jo Leigh, Meg Maguire

SHARPSHOOTER
by Cynthia Eden

RICH AND GORGEOUS by Carole Mortimer
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THE BEST OF THE BEST
Looking for new authors and books to try, but don't know where to start? Check out the best of 2012 from this year's finalists for two of romance fiction's top awards.
R*BY - Short sexy

R*BY - Short sweet



R*BY - Long romance

R*BY - Romantic elements



RITA® - Contemporary single title
RITA® - Historical romance



RITA® - Short contemporary series romance
RITA® - Long contemporary series romance



RITA® - Paranormal romance
RITA® - Romantic suspense



RITA® - Inspirational romance
RITA® - Young adult romance



Nine Naughty Questions with TIFFANY REISZ
Tiffany ReiszThis  month's featured author is Tiffany Reisz, whose latest book, The Mistress, will no doubt be dominating (ha!) erotic romance readers' to-be-read lists. The first book of the series, The Siren, captured (heh!) our imagination and has attracted readers from across different genres. You can find out more about Tiffany via her website , or by following her on Twitter at @tiffanyreisz.

Tiffany has kindly agreed to answer our Nine Naughty Questions, and I have to say, her favourite scene from The Mistress was also mine-it's definitely a good one!

1. Headless washboard abs, a torrid embrace, the sprawling homestead, an elegantly dressed décolletage, or the vaguely kinky object against a dark background - what's your favourite type of romance cover and why?

I love the covers of historical romances the most. Those dresses kill me! I don't write historicals, which is why I have such cover envy. Oh, and men in breeches. Why don't men still wear breeches? By the way (fun fact), those tight historical trousers are called 'breeches' because when women saw men wearing them, they would let the men breech them. Okay, that's not true but let's pretend it is.

2. What is the secret life of a romance writer? What goes on between you and your keyboard (or quill) behind closed doors?

I am easily the most boring person alive. I'm interesting only about twice a year when I'm at a kink party or a swingers' club. Otherwise you're most likely to find me at the library with a stack of books at my side and writing. Or you'll find me napping in bed with at least one but possibly two cats on top of me.

3. At the heart of a romantic story is the way in which the main characters reveal their true natures to each other. How much of yourself do you put into your characters, and have their stories been affected by your personal experiences?

I think a shard of the writer goes into every character. My Mistress Nora gets my sense of humor. Søren gets my sadism and religious leanings. Kingsley gets my cynicism. None of them are me but all of them are me.

4. I'm interested in how you differentiate between romance fiction, erotica and porn. Are romance readers getting naughtier?

Romance is a work of fiction where the love story between two people is the main thrust of the plot. Remove the love story and you have no book.

Erotica is a work of fiction wherein the sexual content is the main thrust of the plot. Remove the sex and you have no book.

Porn is a work solely comprised of sexual content. It has no plot nor makes any attempt to be a work of art. It has no higher purpose than to titillate.

5. Please tell us about your latest novel! Did you have a secret alternative title while you were writing it?

No secret title. It was always The Mistress. The Mistress is book four in The Original Sinners series and the final book in the first quartet of books about Mistress Nora, my quirky, sexy Dominatrix and her various lovers and clients. I sort of put Mistress Nora into a terrible spot at the end of The Prince (book three) when I let her get kidnapped. Now someone has to rescue her. Knowing Nora, she'll just take care of it herself.

6. What's the most memorable reaction you've received after a friend or family member read one of your books?

My mother said, 'It's actually so much better than I thought it would be!' Thanks, Mom.

7. Romance writers are sometimes denigrated and asked when they'll write 'real' books - what do you tell the haters?


No one has ever said that to me. I think they know better.

8. Romance readers love discovering new authors. Please tell us about five books you recently read and loved to bits.

I don't read romance or erotica. I'm a non-fiction girl these days. But here are five recent non-fiction reads I adored.

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly & Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman

Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal by Michael D'Antonio

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright

The Real Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
by Andrew Marr

All the books were five-star reads.

9. Please tell us your favourite scene from your latest book, and why it's particularly delicious!


In The Mistress, my leading lady Nora is forced to act as Scheherazade, telling stories to her captor to save her own life. These must be true tales, however, not legends, and they must be about the men in her life. She tells a story about the first time her lover shared her with his best friend. It's a super sexy very kinky threesome scene that leaves no part of young Nora unused. One reader emailed me and told me I'd put her ultimate fantasy onto paper. 'You're welcome,' I told her.
PLEASE NOTE
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.
   
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In This Issue

Book of the month

Signed copies of The Mistress

If you're craving more...

Historical romance

Escape publishing romance

Paranormal romance

Contemporary romance

Mills & Boon

Best of 2012

Nine naughty questions
COMING SOON - AUGUST TITLES
Don't miss these great titles coming out next month - pre-order them now!
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