Welcome to the November Romance Buzz!

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kaymayo14sepWelcome to the November Romance Buzz!

This month's releases are so fantastic, I think I'm suffering from a book hangover. My pick for November is A Bollywood Affair by debut author Sonali Dev, and I know this one will be getting a lot of buzz from readers - it's that good!

I'm also thrilled that Sarah MacLean agreed to answer our Nine Naughty Questions. The final book of her Rules of Scoundrels series, Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover comes out at the end of this month, and if you haven't picked up her books, you must pick up this series!

What I just finished: Must Loathe Norcross by Summer Devon

What I'm reading now: Seven Letters From Paris by Samantha Verant

What I can't wait for:
The Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives series. The first book, Virginia by Rhian Cahill, comes out this month!

Finally, I have another update on the Australian Romance Readers Convention next year. ARRA launched the program, which you can find here. I'll be moderating some panels, and so will the incomparable Kate Cuthbert, former editor of the Romance Buzz. This will be my fourth ARRC, and I can't wait!

In the meantime, I'll be in the corner planning my book wishlist for Christmas!

Kat Mayo

Hoarder of Happy Books
Booktopia

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.


A Bollywood Affair
by Sonali Dev

Diversity in romance books is tricky - cultural differences can be jarring and difficult to explain. A Bollywood Affair is proof that when done well, it can also be amazing. Mili Rathod has been married since she was four, and she's fulfilling her dream of studying in the US. Bollywood director Samir Rathod needs to convince his sister-in-law to agree to a divorce...and finds himself completely involved in Mili's life. Sonali Dev's debut novel brings India to life in the background of their lives. I predict great things from this author.

Mili is fiercely independent but faithful to her family and their traditions. Samir embraces modernity but knows its darker edges. The deep sense of friendship that develops between Mili and Samir slowly builds to huge emotional confrontations that will grip the heart, bring on the ugly crying, and shatter every emotion. You'll need tissues (don't worry, it will be okay!) and easy access to dal and roti, because I guarantee you'll be craving them while you're reading this book!

 
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His Taste of Temptation (eBook)
by Cathryn Fox
His Taste of Temptation : In the Line of Duty Series : Book 3 - Cathryn Fox One affair, thirty days.

In the Line of Duty, Book 3

Since his last relationship blew up in his face, bomb expert Brad Crosby has lost his appetite for "permanent". But his kid brother's best friend? Now there's a curvy morsel he could wrap his lips around.

For years Brad has been the star of Madison Graham's fantasies. If only she were...
 
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Dirty Rowdy Thing : Wild Seasons Series : Book 2 - Christina Lauren
One in a Million - Jill Shalvis
Our Kind of Love - Victoria Purman
Spice : Sugar and Spice Novel : Book 1 - Seressia Glass
A Convenient Proposal : The Argentine's Price / The Highest Price to Pay / Girl on A Diamond Pedestal - Maisey Yates
The Valquez Bride - Melanie Milburne
Nights of Passion : One Unashamed Night / One Illicit Night - Sophia James
The Billionaire in Disguise - Soraya Lane

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Meant To Be
by Fiona McCallum
Meant To Be : Button Jar Series : Book 3 - Fiona McCallum Emily Oliphant's life finally seems to be settling down.

Her new boyfriend Jake has joined her on the farm, they are looking forward to starting their life together, and her financial security seems...
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Right as Rain
by Tricia Stringer
Right as Rain - Tricia Stringer Mack's determined to do what's right for her father...but will she choose what's right for herself?

Mackenna Birch thinks she's met the man of her dreams while on holiday in ...
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Flaming Hot
by Lynn LaFleur

If you love your erotic romance quick and hot, Flaming Hot by Lynn LaFleur hits all the right spots. The anthology revolves around fire fighters and, well, okay, I'm usually sold on fire fighters, never mind the plot!
 
In Fiery, Eve isn't in the market for a relationship, but Quade is like an irresistible dessert! (Plus, they talk about traveling to Australia and New Zealand, which always gets bonus points from me.)

In Flare, Paige's hormones do a tap dance every time Cort is near. Cort has things to hide, but even though getting hot and heavy with a local is the last thing he needs, his hormones have other plans! (Also, he has a dog named Cocoa.)

In Flash , not even Kirk's twin knows that Kirk is gay. Kirk is afraid to lose his friends and family if they find out. But when he hires newcomer Josh, what starts as a fling quickly develops into something that forces Kirk to face his greatest fear.

 
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Must Loathe Norcross (eBook)
by Summer Devon

Grady has just emerged from a sabbatical, and his travel writing gig was supposed to ease him back into the real world. But when he meets Norcross resident Josh, the sexy bellhop whose life is inextricably tied to the success of the small town, and is pressured by his editor to give Norcross a bad review, Grady finds himself in the middle of small town rivalries with big consequences.

Must Loathe Norcross is small town m/m romance with a lot of hot body lusting, neighbourly nosiness, some quirky humour, and a delightfully gentle sense of love and romance.
 
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Courtship
by Carsen Taite
Courtship - Carsen Taite In a stunning twist of events, Addison Riley is launched from the halls of academia to the spotlight of Supreme Court nomination.

She's not entirely sure she wants the job, but the opportunity to make history ultimately trumps the trouble of having every aspect of her life examined by friends and enemies alike. Committed to the process, she's determined not to let her...
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Broken Open
by Lauren Dane
Broken Open : Hurley Brothers Series - Lauren Dane Beyond passion. And beyond their control...

Five years ago, Tuesday Eastwood's life collapsed and left her devastated. After an empty, nomadic existence, she's finally pieced her ...
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Attraction
by K.M. Golland
Attraction - K.M. Golland A stunning new novel featuring the characters from the Temptation books...

Have you ever thought you knew exactly where your life was headed?

Carly enjoys her car...
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Archangel's Shadows
by Nalini Singh
 
Guys, it's here! The next instalment in the Guild Hunter series by New Zealand author Nalini Singh. Changelings, angels, vampires, rock stars - is there anything she can't write???

Okay, I'm calm. Let's talk about this book. The chemistry between Ash and Janvier is steamy and vintage Nalini. There are scenes featuring some of our favourite characters from the series, but let's face it - I'm reading for angst romance, and Nalini knows how to deliver that with a delicious bite!
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Heart Fire
by Robin D. Owens
Heart Fire : Celta Series : Book 12 - Robin D. Owens On the planet Celta, accepting a HeartMate can be the greatest challenge in the universe...

Antenn, an architect hired to build a cathedral in Druida City, dares not...
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Vampire in Paradise
by Sandra Hill
Vampire in Paradise : A Deadly Angels Book - Sandra Hill The vangels are back in Vampire in Paradise, the latest in Sandra Hill's bestselling Deadly Angels series.

It's been centuries since the Norseman Sigurd Sigurdsson was turned into a...
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Hard to Come By
by Laura Kaye
Hard to Come By : A Hard Ink Novel - Laura Kaye Caught between desire and loyalty...

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team--sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between...
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The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane
by Elizabeth Boyle

Louisa Tempest isn't looking for a husband, but when her cat decides to meet the neighbour - so to speak - Louisa manages to break a vase, fire the cook, and replant his tulips. The last thing Pierson, Viscount Wakefield, wants is an eligible miss determined to reform his 'grumbletonian' ways. But Louisa is a scandal away from ruin, and Pierson knows that he can't offer her love until he admits he is worthy of a happy ending.

I love cranky heroes, and Pierson is an absolute delight, with his bellowing, swearing and angstiness. Despite Louisa's lack of enthusiasm for socialising, she's no wallflower and is more than a match for a viscount. I can't wait for the next book in this series!
 
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Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover
by Sarah MacLean

This is the final book in the Rules of Scoundrels series. There was a major (shocking even!) spoiler in the previous book, so if you haven't read this series, don't even read this blurb - you must start with A Rogue By Any Other Name so you can enjoy all the twists! If you're already a fan of this series like me, you've been waiting for this book for aaages.

Great news: It's coming out this month, and Sarah MacLean is our featured author. Scroll to the end of the Romance Buzz to find out how she answers our Nine Naughty Questions!
 
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Rogue Spy
by Joanna Bourne
Rogue Spy - Joanna Bourne For years he'd lived a lie. It was time to tell the truth...even if it cost him the woman he loved.

Ten years ago he was a boy, given the name Thomas Paxton and sent by Revolutionary France to infiltrate the British Intelligence Service. Now his sense of honor brings him back to London, alone and unarmed, to confess. But instead of facing the gallows, he's...

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Only Enchanting
by Mary Balogh
Only Enchanting : Survivors' Club Series : Book 4 - Mary Balogh The Survivors' Club: Six men and one woman, all wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendship forged during their recovery at Penderris Hall in Cornwall. Now Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, has left...
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By Winter's Light
by Stephanie Laurens
By Winter's Light - Stephanie Laurens It's December 1837, and the young adults of the Cynster clan have succeeded in having the family Christmas celebration held at snow-bound Casphairn Manor, Richard and...
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These aren't romances per se, but they're books that I think romance readers might love, too!
Seven Letters from Paris
by Samantha Verant

What's better than a romance book? A memoir that reads like romance! Almost 40, Samantha Verant unearths seven love letters sent to her by a French admirer, Jean-Luc, to provide 'a distraction from my disaster of a life'. But rereading the letters does more than lift her spirits - they propel Verant into a life-changing course, including leaving her loveless marriage, moving back with her parents, and setting off to Paris to reboot her heart.

People tell romance readers that happy endings don't exist in real life, and Verant's engaging and heart-warming tale is proof that true love happens indeed.
 
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It's Not Me, It's You
by Mhairi McFarlane
It's Not Me, it's You - Mhairi McFarlane An achingly funny story about how to be your own hero when life pulls the rug out from under your feet.

From the author of the bestselling You had me at Hello Delia Moss isn't quite sure where she went wrong. When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else - she thought it was her fault. When she realised life would never be the same again -  she thought it was her fault. And when he wanted her back life nothing had changed...
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So many romance books are published each year, so we can be forgiven for missing one or two from our favourite authors. Check three of this month's reissued titles and complete (or start) your author collections!
Captivated: Letting Go / Seize the Night / Ripped
by Megan Hart, Tiffany Reisz, Sarah Morgan

This print anthology includes three of the hottest authors in romance and short stories previously published as ebooks.

Letting Go
by Megan Hart beings with a one-night stand. Seize the Night by Tiffany Reisz is a Romeo and Juliet style story between horse-racing families. Ripped by Sarah Morgan features an exploding bridesmaid's dress and the best man who comes to the rescue!!
 
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Caden's Vow
by Sarah McCarty
Caden's Vow - Sarah McCarty His past has haunted him for a lifetime...but one woman could be his salvation.

Caden Miller's compadres are becoming a bit too domesticated for his liking...

So ...
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Summer Days
by Nora Roberts
Summer Days : From This Day / The Name of the Game - Nora Roberts No. 1 New York Times bestseller Nora Roberts will delight with these two classic tales of love meant to be!

From This Day

Like the lovely...
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These are books in my 'to be read' list. They're available for pre-order, and I can't wait until these books come out!
Nine Month Countdown - Leah Ashton
Darkness Falls - Keri Arthur
Angel in Armani - Melanie Scott
Say Yes to the Marquess : Castles Ever After - Tessa Dare

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Author Sarah MacLean Because I love recommending romances to other readers, I keep a list of authors who I think are perfect for bridging the gap between romance books and the people who think they won't enjoy them. Sarah MacLean is one of those authors, and I'm so pleased to feature her this month. Check out what she has to say about the secret life of a romance author. (I will say that it's not much different from the life of a romance reader!)

You can find out more about Sarah and her books by visiting her website at sarahmaclean.net, liking her on Facebook, or following her on Twitter at @sarahmaclean. Her latest book, Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover, is out this month and it's a must-read!

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?


Dress porn. 100%. I love the big, jewel-toned dresses that look like they'd never in a million years be practical, with yards and yards of extra fabric just ripe for covering the hero and heroine mid-tryst. There's something so romantic and fantastical about those covers - they telegraph exactly what I want in a romance...an epic, passionate love story, filled with scandal and sexiness.

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

More cursing than you'd imagine. Probably the same amount of wine you imagine. And definitely less elegance than you'd imagine-lots of yoga pants.

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?

All of my characters are a little bit me. They're also all a little bit my friends and my husband and my neighbors and my dog. It's impossible for my books not to be affected by personal experience - from character quirks (Juliana, the heroine of Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, has my Italian father's strange command of idiomatic English), to dialogue (conversations between my husband and I are in all of my books), to setting (Duncan West, the hero of my latest, Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover , owns a swimming pool lifted directly from a trip to Hearst Castle in California).  

Perhaps the most significant example of how personal experience creeps into books is in the story of the writing of Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover - Georgiana, the heroine of the story, has lived the last six years of her life (and the last three of my books) as Chase, the elusive founder of London's most scandalous casino. But the reason why Georgiana has been living in such scandal is because she was exiled in society after having a daughter out of wedlock.

I couldn't have known this when I planned the series or the book, but I gave birth to my first child-a daughter-while in the middle of writing the book. And I had to toss out 200 manuscript pages and start over, because suddenly Georgiana's motivations were so much clearer to me-as a mother, she would protect her child above all else. Sure, I knew that before I was a mom myself, but it really changed the way I thought of the character once I had a daughter of my own.

For the record, I'd be happy never to have to throw out 200 manuscript pages ever again.

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


Romance (and Erotic Romance) - Happily Ever After. The love story is the heart of the story and the key to the characters' growth.
Erotica - The sexual experience is the heart of the story and the key to the characters' growth.
Porn - You know it when you see it. It is neither of the above.

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

I did not! Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover has been the title of this book from the start of the series, four years ago. It's the perfect title for this book, which (as I mentioned earlier) is about a woman who has lived a double life for her entire adult life. Actually, she's lived a triple life, as: Georgiana, a ruined aristocratic daughter; Chase, the elusive, unknown owner of a gaming hell; and Anna, Chase's scandalous mistress. All goes south when she realizes that she has to marry to gain respectability for her daughter, and her reappearance as Georgiana draws the attention of London's most skilled journalist-Duncan West.

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


I'm always a fan of turning up at one of my parents' friends' houses and discovering that not only do they own all my books, but the spines are cracked, too.

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

I write for readers. When I stop making them happy with romance novels, I'll think about writing something else.

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

I'm very lucky to write a monthly romance review column for The Washington Post - so I get to read tons of great romances each month! Here are five I've loved in the past few months:

Cara Connelly's The Wedding Vow - This one is Robin Hood meets the Thomas Crown Affair. Billionaire playboy Adam LeCroix is the Robin Hood of the art world-he has spent his life stealing great masters' artwork from the worst of humankind. Former prosecutor Maddie St. Clair nearly delivered Adam to justice several years ago, but his charm and wealth kept him from prison. As the book begins, Adam's priceless Monet is stolen, and he needs Maddie to represent him with the insurance company that holds the policy on the painting. This is a classic enemies-to-lovers romance, and the two are deeply reluctant, very entertaining partners.

Kristen Callihan's
Evernight - I'm not typically a steampunk fan, but man did I love this book. When part-human, part-demon Will Thorne's heart was ripped from his chest, genius Holly Evernight created a clockwork heart to keep him alive. The heart is slowly consuming Will, however, turning him to metal. Madness threatening, he vows to exact his revenge on Holly-a plan that seems utterly reasonable until they meet, and he discovers that as an "elemental," Holly can command metal and keep it from taking over his body. Callihan's worldbuilding is unparalleled, and Evernight is a perfectly-paced, tremendously sexy romance set against a beautifully-wrought backdrop.

Monica McCarty's The Arrow - I'm a sucker for a great Highlander romance...and with Outlander burning up televisions across the country, I'm betting you are, too.
The Arrow begins with a horrifying account of the burning and pillaging of a Scottish village by the English in 1307. Cate of Lochmaben is fifteen and the sole survivor of the attack, rescued after days without food or water by Gregor "Arrow" MacGregor, master marksman and member of an elite band of Highland warriors. Gregor takes Cate under his protection, delivers her to his home and leaves her for five years as he returns to battle. When he finds his way home, scrawny young Cate is gone, and in her place is beautiful, headstrong Catharine, who has vowed to make Gregor love her.

Jennifer Ashley's Rules for a Proper Governess - This one has a starchy hero who is a barrister, and a pickpocket with a heart of gold as a heroine. The heroine intends to steal the hero's pocketwatch and never see him again, but his sadness makes him wonderfully compelling and she can't resist his pull, or that of his unruly children. Sinclair (our hero) soon realizes that Bertie (our heroine) is the only person those children are willing to heed, and he hires her as a governess of sorts, sealing their unconventional partnership.

Maya Rodale's What a Wallflower Wants - Rodale is well known for her lighter fare...her Writing Girls series is tremendously charming. But this book, the third in her "Bad Boys & Wallflowers" series is her best book yet. It's dark - the heroine is brutally assaulted just prior to the story's start - but very lush and deeply emotional. The hero's desire to heal the heroine's heart is pitch perfect.

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

I have two, actually. The first one isn't really suitable for all audiences - but as I mentioned, the hero of the book has a swimming pool. Which is used for a clandestine purpose. And it was super fun to write!

The second is the epilogue of the book, where I was able to wrap up the series in the place where it started - the owner's suite of The Fallen Angel. I was sad to see the characters go, but tremendously happy to give them all their well-deserved happily ever afters.

Sarah, thank you for playing.
Outback Ghost : Bunyip Bay Series : Book 3 - Rachael Johns
The Sunnyvale Girls - Fiona Palmer
The Calhouns : Volume 1 : Courting Catherine / A Man for Amanda - Nora Roberts
Bad for You : A Seabreeze Novel - Abbi Glines
Darling Beast - Elizabeth Hoyt
Driving In Neutral - Sandra Antonelli
The Brewer's Tale - Karen Brooks
Rock Addiction - Nalini Singh
Fast Track - Julie Garwood
He Watches Me : The Seen Trilogy: Part One - Cynthia Sax
His Convict Wife - Lena Dowling
The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

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