Booktopia Romance Buzz
January 2014 | Edition Nine
SIGN UP | CONTACT US
Welcome to the January Romance Buzz!
Kat MayoHello, my fellow lovers of lurve!

I can't believe we're talking about 2014 books already - it feels like I've barely made a dent in my to-be-read pile from 2013! I actually have a bookshelf in my Christmas wishlist. Let's hope Santa comes through for me!

To kick off a new year of fabulous books, Australian rural romance author Loretta Hill has agreed to answer our Nine Naughty Questions. I picked up her upcoming book, The Girl in the Yellow Vest, and as soon as I finished, I knew I had to talk about this book!

If you're looking for beach reads or something to read at the park while the kids get rid of all that excess holiday energy, look no further. Some of our favourite authors are starting the year off with a bang (heh), and this Buzz is bursting with hot heroes and fabulous heroines!

What I just finished:
The Girl in the Yellow Vest by Loretta Hill

What I'm reading now:
I'm rereading one of my all-time favourites - For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale - and it still moves me. Most romantic hero ever.

What I can't wait for: Runaway Groom by Fiona Lowe, which comes out late January

Until next month - happy reading, and may the new year bring you nothing but happy stories!

Kat Mayo

Cracktastic Book Pimp (bling pending)
Booktopia


The only truly Australian owned and operated online bookstore

Follow me on Twitter: @BookThingo

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

Can't see the bottom of this newsletter? Click 'view online' above. And don't forget to add us to your email contacts so you never miss a catalogue.

Click here for more details or to order

EX-LOVERS AND THEIR SCANDALOUS REPUTATIONS
Click here for more details or to orderTHE GREATEST LOVER EVER
(The Wrestruthers, Book 2)
by Christina Brooke

To save her sister from ruin, Georgiana Black attends a scandalous party and finds herself alone in a bedchamber with none other than her ex-fiance, Marcus, the Earl of Beckenham. But when Beckenham proposes, she informs him that he vastly overrates his charms!

Beckenham is in search of a calm and proper wife - everything Georgiana is not. But when she attends a house party, the purpose of which is for Marcus to choose a bride, Georgiana finds herself tempted to finally say yes to the one man she has always loved.

Second chance romances are one of my favourite tropes, and Christina Brooke sets the circumstances for some deeply emotional moments between Georgiana and Marcus. There's also a small suspense subplot for those who like a bit of high drama in their romance!

One of the privileges of having read a romance author's debut novel is the pleasure of following their writing career, and I think Christina Brooke has hit her stride with this book. I think it's her best work yet, and the great thing about this series is that it's not over yet!



If you have yet to try this series, make sure you grab the first book, London's Last True Scoundrel!

Click to read more
A BROODING ROMANCE HERO AT HIS BEST

Click here for more details or to order ROMANCING THE DUKE
(Castles Ever After, Book 1)
by
Tessa Dare

Fairytale retellings have been a thing in historical romance for a while now, and I have to say I can't get enough of them - especially when they're written as deliciously as Romancing the Duke.

Tessa Dare is at her dramatic, angsty, heartbreaking best in this first book of her Castles Ever After series. Izzy Goodnight is the poster child for her father's bestselling children's stories, but she's on the verge of destitution when he dies. When she inherits a castle, it seems a dream come true - except the castle is dilapidated and, well, it seems to have come with a man. A very foreboding, hostile, unwelcoming man.

Ransom, Duke of Rothbury, is widely believed to have died in an unfortunate incident involving his ex-fiancee, her lover and an inn on the way to Scotland. Injured, he has taken refuge in his childhood home. As he and Izzy get to the bottom of what has happened to his estate, it become increasingly clear that Ransom's freedom is at stake...and that he will lose everything if he cannot find it in him to open his heart.

Tessa Dare wields words beautifully, and I can't recommend this book enough. Ransom is brooding, cranky yet achingly vulnerable, and Izzy is the perfect heroine for him. The finale in which Ransom has to prove his sanity reminded me a little of Laura Kinsale's Flowers From the Storm, and it's interesting to see how two different (but both excellent) authors approach a similar scene.

In short, do not miss reading this book!
   
Click to read more
HOW TO MASTER YOUR MARQUIS
by Juliana Gray
  WHEN THE ROGUE RETURNS
by Sabrina Jeffries
  THE BRIDE SAYS NO by Cathy Maxwell
Click here for more details or to order
 
Click here for more detail or to order
Click for more information
 
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information

Click here for more details or to order

BALLS ARE MADE FOR BETROTHALS

Click here for more details or to order SCANDAL IN KISSING AN HEIR
(Kingsborough Ball, Book 2)
by
Sophie Barnes

Lady Rebecca is at the Kingsborough Ball in a last-ditch attempt to choose her own husband. Her guardians are determined to marry her off to one of two aging but wealthy suitors, and Rebecca becomes increasingly desperate to find a way out of the arrangement.

Daniel, Marquis of Wolvington, needs a bride, and when he discovers Rebecca's plight, it seems the perfect solution for him to offer for her. But his suit is rejected...and he realises that he doesn't just want to marry Rebecca to save her, because now he can't imagine marrying anyone else.

If you love masquerade balls, elopements, and villainous lechers thwarted by sexy heroes, this book delivers on all counts!

Click to read more

You can read this as a stand alone book, but if you're the kind of reader who needs to read a series in order, make sure you grab a copy of the first book, The Trouble with Being a Duke.
   
Click to read more
LOVE IS MAGIC...UNLESS IT ENDS UP KILLING YOU

Click here for more details or to order LORD OF THE HUNT
(Court of Annwyn, Book 2)
by
Shona Husk

Raised in the mortal world, Taryn presents herself to the court of Annwyn in order to bargain for her parents' lives. Power is shifting in Annwyn, and newcomers to court are treated with amusement and suspicion, and Verden, Lord of the Hunt, is tasked with finding out what Taryn is after. But neither could have predicted the devastating attraction between them, and when their relationship is exposed, it threatens to affect the balance of power in Annwyn.

Shona Husk weaves a complex world in Annwyn, filled with characters faced with difficult decisions. The King and Queen's personal battles play out in the Court's politics, and they make for nail-biting moments in the story.

Click to read more

If you're new to this series, you might like to start with the first book, Outcast Prince!
   
Click to read more
RIVER OF DREAMS
by Lynn Kurland
  FORSAKEN
by Jacquelyn Frank
  DARK WOLF
by Christine Feehan
Click here for more detail or to order
Click for more information
 
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information
 
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information

Click here to browse our Mills and Boon titles

LOVE MEANS LEAVING YOUR SAFETY VEST AT HOME

Click here for more details or to order THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW VEST
by
Loretta Hill

If you have yet to try Loretta Hill's rural romances, The Girl in the Yellow Vest is the book to try. If you're already a fan, all I can say is that this is my favourite of her books so far.

Emily Woods is in a rut. When best friend Will saves her from a future of counting cracks (in concrete!) and pining for her ex, she jumps at the chance to move to Queensland for a more challenging albeit very male-dominated job. Will has been in love with Emily forever - cue my love for friends to lovers stories! - and now that they're working together, he might finally have a chance to see if they can be anything more than best mates.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Templeton is at her wit's end trying to manage her seaside resort that has now become a home away from home for FIFO workers. Project manager Mark Crawford is no help at all - he has his own issues to deal with...a to-do list that's about to turn both their lives around.

If you found the romance in Loretta Hill's previous books too understated, you need not worry - this one serves up a double dose of romance, and both are really good. Charlotte and Mark's story, in particular, moved me to tears.

The notching up of the romantic plots don't come at the expense of Loretta Hill's strengths - writing realistic characters who swear and stress and say rude things. I continue to love the depiction of the work conditions faced by women, and the realistic way that these are dealt with (or not). 


Characters from previous books make an appearance in the story. Why not check out their books, too?

The Girl in the Steel-Capped Boots

Click to read more
 
The Girl in the Hard Hat
   
Click to read more
RUNAWAY GROOM
(eBook edition)
by Fiona Lowe
 

DOUBLE PLAY
by Jill Shalvis

 
WILD ABOUT HARRY
by Linda Lael Miller

Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information


 
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information
 
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information
LOVING CARA
by Kristen Proby
  THE COWBOY OF VALENTINE VALLEY
by Emma Cane
  THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
by Tracy Anne Warren
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information
 
Click here for more details or to order
 Click for more information
 
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information
THE MISTRESS
by Maya Banks
  HOPELESS
by Colleen Hoover
  HOPE FLAMES
by Jaci Burton
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information
 
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information
 
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information
 
Click here to visit the new home of Romance
DOING THE HORIZONTAL TANGO WITH YOUR HOUSEMATE

Click here for more details or to order TANGO LOVE
(eBook edition)
by
Nicole Flockton

If you're after something short and sweet with a little bit of heat, Nicole Flockton's new novella brings two housemates together for one steamy romance. When Melinda finds herself dancing the tango in James's arms, their previously platonic relationship takes a turn for the erotic. But when he doesn't stick around for breakfast, Melinda fears that instead of finally having her feelings reciprocated, she's about to lose one of her best friends instead.

Often the weakness in erotic romance is that there's too much sex and not enough emotion, but this story includes a back story to support Melinda and James's changed relationship. Definitely an author to watch.

 
Click to read more
RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT
by Jess Dee
  INSIDE OUT
by Lauren Dane
  THE DELICIOUS TORMENT
by Alison Tyler
Click here for more details or to order
Click for more information
 
 Click here for more details or to order
 Click for more information
 
 Click here for more details or to order
 Click for more information

Click here to go to Romance at Booktopia

SEXY UNDERCOVER AGENTS AND THE WOMEN WHO MAKE THEM SWEAT

Click here for more details or to order MONKEY BUSINESS
(Erica Jewell, Book2)
by
Kathryn Ledson

Aussie author Kathryn Ledson was one of my great author finds of 2013, and her first Erica Jewell novel, Rough Diamond, just wowed me with its charming heroine and the very adorable Jack Jones, who works for a top-secret counter-terrorist organisation.

Monkey Business sees Erica braving an impromptu trip to Saint Sebastian, where Jack seems to have disappeared. It's much more over-the-top than the first book, but the emotional connection between Erica and Jack is still oh, so delicious. You'll have to suspend disbelief at some of Erica's adventures, but this book contains the same type of humour, banter and gentle romance that I loved in Rough Diamond.

This series is great for Stephanie Plum fans, as well as readers who love funny, sarcastic and somewhat ditzy heroines. The slow burn between Erica and Jack will keep you addicted to this series!

Click to read more

This book is better read in series order, so make sure you pick up Rough Diamond , where Erica meets Jack...as he's lying unconscious in her backyard with a gunshot wound!
   
Click to read more
DANGEROUS GAMES by Lora Leigh
  RIVER ROAD
by Jayne Ann Krentz
  DREAM EYES
by Jayne Ann Krentz
 Click here for more details or to order
 Click for more information
 
Click here for more details or to order
 
Click here for more details or to order

Click here to browse our New Adult titles

HIDING OUT WITH A HERO

Click here for more details or to order IN SAFE ARMS
(eBook edition)
by
Lee Christine

Lee Christine's follow-up to her amazing debut, In Safe Hands, revisits law firm Grace and Poole, but this time it's Josie whose life is on the line after she witnesses the brutal murder of a bikie gang leader via Skype.

Josie, who is secretary to one of the firm's top lawyers, finds herself under the protection of Nate Hunter - the guy who once turned down her somewhat drunken proposition. But Nate is deep undercover with the bikie gangs, and Josie is a vulnerability he just can't afford - not when he's so close to discovering the mastermind behind a major drug operation.

The suspense plot in In Safe Arms is broader than Lee Christine's first book, and the villain in this story is much more difficult to guess. Sydneysiders might feel a special thrill, as the story moves around familiar suburbs and landmarks. And even though there's a large age gap between Josie and Nate, I love that Josie comes across as more than ready to be with the love of her life.


Can't read a book out of series order? Make sure you've read Allegra and Luke's story!
   
Click to read more

Click here for more details or to order

NINE NAUGHTY QUESTIONS WITH LORETTA HILL
Click here to view Loretta Hill's author page This month's feature author is Perth-based rural fiction author Loretta Hill, whose books feature strong heroines working in male-dominated industries. The settings in her books are just as vivid as her characters, who break the mould of traditional romance heroes and heroines, with their straight talking and practicality. Her new book, The Girl in the Yellow Vest , is the romanciest of her single title books, and I enjoyed it so much that I knew I had to feature Loretta in our first Romance Buzz for 2014! Thankfully, Loretta has kindly agreed to answer our Nine Naughty Questions. And just so you know, her favourite scene in The Girl in the Yellow Vest is also one of my favourite moments in the book!

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 like covers with people on them, preferably the hero and heroine, though not necessarily both and definitely not headless. I like to see their faces but have no objection to washboard abs. 

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

Click here for more details or to order LOL! Actually, considering you brought it up, I should tell you about my Apple magic mouse. It's wireless and very attractive to my four children who are all under six. They tend to walk off with it a lot. I have found it in the strangest places and often find it frustrating when I'm about to start work and it's disappeared again. I think I'm going to have to buy a mouse with a cord that's a little less 'magic'.

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 do put a lot of my own personal experiences into my books, and even some experiences of people I know.  That's not to say my stories are about me or them. I take my fictional characters and put them in the same situation to see how they will react to it. They often surprise me as they have their own sets of goals and motivations that are completely different to my own.

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

I've read very little erotica and no porn. I don't find it as appealing as romantic fiction, which I feel has more soul - though I could be generalising given my limited reading pool of the other genres. I do think romance fiction is getting naughtier, particularly in the language that is used and the way things are expressed.

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

My latest novel is called The Girl in the Yellow Vest, which is out in January. But Click here for more details or to order when I was writing it, I felt like it should be called, 'The Boy with the "To Do" List'. The story centres around four main characters: two male, two female. They are very different people, but slowly their lives become intertwined. A lot of the plot is driven by one of the heroes in the story, Mark Crawford. He has a plan or 'To Do' list no-one else is aware of which affects the lives of many of the people around him.

I also have a romantic comedy novella coming out in February called Operation Valentine . This was originally titled, 'Operation: V day' but there was some concern that there might be some confusion over what the V stood for. LOL! So we decided to make the theme really obvious.

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

When my very first book came out my publisher sent me one advance author copy before the others so I could see the finished product as soon as possible. When it arrived, I took it straight to my mum's house to show her. She was so proud, she started crying.

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

Don't knock it till you've read it. And if you have, offer your opinion with respect for the feelings and preferences of others.

Click here for more details or to order8. Romance readers love discovering new authors. Please tell us about five books you recently read and loved to bits.

Currawong Creek by Jennifer Scoullar
Man Drought by Rachael Johns
House For All Seasons by Jenn J McLeod
Bridesmaids by Jane Costello
Burning Lies by Helene Young

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

My favourite scene is when one of my heroes, Mark Crawford, tells one of my heroines, Charlotte, that she's is a very attractive woman and then slams the door in her face. It's definitely a comedy scene and was so much fun to write, I was giggling away while tapping it out on my computer.

Click here to buy a Gift Certificate

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.
   
Booktopia.com.au
Archives
In This Issue

Ex-Lovers and Their Scandalous Reputations
 
A Brooding Romance Hero At His Best
 
Balls Are Made For Betrothals
 
Love Is Magic...
 
Love Means Leaving Your Safety Vest At Home
 
Doing the Horizontal Tango With Your Housemate
 
Sexy Undercover Agents
 
Hiding Out With Your Hero
 
Nine Naughty Questions
 

Click here for more detail or to order

LAST-MINUTE READS
Looking for some last-minute Christmas read? Check out these titles!
Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order
 
Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

COMING SOON
Don't miss these great titles coming out early in 2014 - pre-order them now!
Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order

Click here for more details or to order
 
Click here for more details or to order


BESTSELLERS
Check out what other romance readers are buying...
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order

DON'T MISS
Missed the December Romance Buzz? Don't forget to pick up these titles!
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order
Click here for more details or to order