Booktopia 
Romance Buzz
August 2009 | Edition Four
SEND TO A FRIEND | SIGN UP | CONTACT US
KATE'S MONTH AHEAD

Hello Gentle Readers,

It's been a big month for romance. July saw authors from all around the world converge on Washington DC for the Romance Writers of America conference. The RITAs - the highest award for romance writing - were handed out, and you can check the winners out here. Coming up in August, Australian authors are travelling to Brisbane for their own annual conference. I'll be there as well, and will let you in on all the gossip in September's Romance Buzz.

In the meantime, here's what's going on in this newsletter:


Are you aware you can pre-order books at Booktopia? That might be of very great interest to everyone holding out for the first in JR Ward's new series, Covet. Covet is currently 40% off... so make sure you pre-order your copy today. Other exciting novels are available for pre-order here.

My Book of the Month this month is Tracey O'Hara's Night's Cold Kiss. Tracey is a Canberra-based writer, and this is her first novel - and she's already making a name for herself. Check it out for yourself!

Suspense fans are in for a treat this month, with Suzanne Brockmann's new novel Hot Pursuit and erotic romance fans are spoiled for choice with Joey W. Hill, Lora Leigh, Shann
on McKenna and Lisa Marie Rice all releasing novels this month.

Finally, fans of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be thrilled to know that an
other Austen classic has met with a quirky revisionist pen. Check out Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters for a bit of fun and a twist on a beloved story.

Both of these titles are in stock right now, so will arrive quickly and efficiently on your doorstep, making sure you don't wait any longer than necessary for a Jane Austen mash-up.

What I've just finished: Lovers of the beautiful Pan's Labyrinth and the spooky, atmospheric The Orphanage or even the quirky Hellboy might be interested in knowing that the director, Guillermo Del Toro has written a novel. I just finished The Strain, and it scared the heck out of me. Luckily I had Nalini Singh's wonderful Branded By Fire nearby for thrills of a different kind.

What I'm Reading Now: I missed out on some of the RITA-nominated novels, so I've picked up a few. I'm about to start Susan Grant's Moonstruck. Susan was here earlier this year for the ARRC conference. I'm looking forward to discovering her stories.

What I Can't Wait For: Four words - brand new Suzanne Brockmann!

Best of reading!

Kate Cuthbert
Editor
Romance Buzz
BOOK OF THE MONTH
This month, I'm pleased to present a debut novel from an Australian author who looks to set the paranormal romance world on fire.

Tracey O'Hara's Night's Cold Kiss has been described as 'intense, sexy, and bold, well-developed, passionate, a must-read, and received 4 and a half stars from industry magazine Romantic Times. The story follows Antoinette, a Venator, charged with maintaining the delicate balance between humans and Aeternus vampires, a fragile peace after centuries of war. But the rogue, vicious, and half-mad Necrodreniacs will never be controlled — addicted as they are to the death-high… and bloody chaos.

Tracey says that she's as addicted to movies as she is to reading, and as a special treat for Booktopia readers, she has written a piece about how her love of the screen helps her as a writer - and a reader!

I have been a reader as long as I can remember. But I'm also a child of television and movies. When I write, I see scenes played out in my head like movies, I even dream that way a lot of the time. So it is with no surprise that I use movies to "feed my muse", so to speak.

One of my first memories is going to drive-in when I was about 2 or 3. The green metal speaker hung on my dad's almost rolled up window, me standing in the middle leaning against the back of an old bench style seat, the ones in cars before bucket seats became all the rage, playing with the ends of my Mum's hair. The delicious squidgy feeling of excitement bubbled in my stomach as I waited for the giant TV to come on - in colour. I don't remember the actual movie because when the MGM lion came on the screen and roared, I lifted my legs and plonked right on my butt and didn't look at the screen again.

I grew up in a small town in Queensland. It was a drive-in near my Grandma’s house. We had a state school, a catholic school, a co-op for groceries, several pubs and an old picture theatre. The picture theatre was definitely nothing flash - no such thing as air-conditioning in those days, but they did have big fans at the back. The seats were timber framed Hessian double beach-type chairs in rows. I can't smell Hessian these days without thinking of that movie theatre. The bigger kids got to sit in the balcony and chuck jaffas at us little kids. And sometimes they were all kissy - yucko.

The first movie I actually remember seeing was Star Wars. There are a few reasons why this picture sticks in my memory. I was about 10 (okay I know I’m showing my age) and sometimes my Mum would to drop me off to watch the movie matinee by myself. It was an occasional treat in a small town. I had a younger sister and 2 younger brothers she had to take care of and were too young to sit through a movie. But with Star Wars my Mum packed up all us kids including my 3 year old brother to sit through the night time double feature. I’d never been to a night picture before.

I was hooked from that very first note, the very first frame of black starry sky with yellow writing rolling up the screen. I remember the sense of wonder at the strange beasts, cars that hovered, light-sabre fights, and star ships. It was so fantastic. I never wanted to leave.

Movies played a big part of my growing up. We moved to a bigger town, well small city really, in Central Queensland. During high school - Friday nights was pictures night. Always the double feature. During the films when my friends were snogging boys, I watched the movie. Action adventure were my favourite - especially if they were set in out of space.

A fantastic invention came along in my teen years. The video. You could take movies home and watch them - over and over again. Heaven. But it wasn’t enough. I needed books to take me that one step further. For while I love movies, they only whet my appetite for books.

You can see Tracey mix screen and print in her book trailer for Night's Cold Kiss, available here.

Click here to buy Tracey's fantastic debut novel, Night's Cold Kiss
SPOTLIGHT ON
Sylvia Day

This month Sylvia Day's The Stranger I Married is released in paperback. This is fantastic news for readers everywhere who haven't yet discovered Sylvia Day.

Now, I discovered Sylvia through her Brava erotic historical novels. The very first one I read, Passion for the Game, remains one of my favourite novels of all time. The plotting is tight, original, and very clever. The main characters are both damaged, but likeable, ruthless, intelligent, and passionate.

Did I mention hot? Day has an extraordinary talent with sex scenes - one matched by only a few other authors. She builds sexual tension and heat without succumbing to tricks or toys, but by characterisation.

Luckily for those who aren't in a historical state of mind, Sylvia also writes under two pseudonyms. As Livia Dare, she writes about an alternative universe and a beautiful warrior, tempted by an attraction to a prince of a rival kingdom, in In The Flesh.
 
Last month, I mentioned my friend Cora had called SJ Day's Marked series as the best paranormal of the year. She did so in June. A book series so good it negates even those not yet published? I had to give them a try. While I prefer to hold judgement (a new Nalini Singh is coming out later this year, and I'm really excited about my book of the month in October), I have to admit to being blown away by the first book of this series. An original idea, new creatures, a deep back story, and a strong heroine, Eve of Darkness is a fantastic start. Oh, did I mention SJ Day is also Sylvia Day?

Check out The Stranger I Married, about the most notorious couple in London, in a most agreeable sham marriage. Agreeable, that is, until he wants to change the rules.
KEEPING IT CONTEMPORARY
Want some happy-ever-after mixed with heart and hi-jinks? Check out this month's selection of contemporary romances.
NECK AND NECK
 DREAMS
Elizabeth Bevarly

Elizabeth Bevarly writes really quirky, fresh, and fun romances. Given the dearth of contemporary romances out there, that makes her a win. Neck and Neck is loosely connected to Bevarly's previous Kentucky-Derby themed stories Fast and Loose and Ready and Willing: Natalie Beckett wants to make it as a party planner, and the only way to make any party a success is to get reclusive video game creator/billionaire Russell Mullholland to attend. But how can she even get out of the gate with Russell's gorgeous bodyguard, Finn Guthrie, blocking the way? Never let it be said that Natalie doesn't like a challenge - even if sparring with Finn is far more exciting than landing Russell on her VIP guest list.

You might also want to check out Bevarly's Male series, a lovely little series about international espionage.

Click here to buy this book.
 Barbara Delinsky

A bind-up of the three Crosslyn Rise novels in one easy volume - and a chance to re-discover Barbara Delinsky. Delinsky really excels in emotional stories about everyday people. Her stories deal with tough personal crises, but they're the crises that those around us face - that we face - making her characters very real, and three-dimensional. These Crosslyn Rise novels (The Dream, The Dream Unfolds, and The Dream Comes True) represent the strength of writing and deep emotion that characterises Delinsky's stories.

And they're so very romantic!

Click here to buy this book.
So Into You
Sandra Hill

I first discovered Sandra Hill through her time-travel viking stories (yes, time-travel vikings. Trust me. It works). Luckily Sandra is prolific, and also has her Jinx and Cajun series to keep readers in books. So Into You is in the Jinx and Cajun worlds, linked by a common character, but not in the series, so it can be read as a stand-alone, and enjoyed even if you're not already familiar with the other stories.

Angel Sabato was an ex-poker champ, bayou treasure hunter, and Playgirl centrefold. Grace O'Brien is an ex-poker playing nun, folk healer with a secret. When Grace rejects Angel, he high tails it out of Louisiana, but Cajun matchmaker Tante Lulu  has other plans.

And as a bonus to mailing list readers, Sandra has written a bridging story between her Cajun stories, her Jinx stories, and So Into You. You can find out more by going here.

Click here to buy this book.
NEED MORE?
Check out these contemporary titles, also new for August. 
  • He wants revenge on her and her whole family. She is a quiet, animal-loving artist. Seduction was originally a weapon - but what happens when they both fall prey? Deborah McGilivray's A Wolf in Wolf's Clothing.
  • Her ageing grandmother mistakes her for a regency heroine and finds her a perfect 'duke'. But there's no such thing as dukes. Or perfect. Diana Holquist's How to Tame a Modern Rogue.
  • A bind-up of two of La Nora's best-loved novels: Rules of the Game and The Heart's Victory. Nora Roberts' Guarded Hearts.
  • Her husband dies unexpectedly in another woman's bed, bringing her life to a grinding halt. Now she's free to make the changes - and choices - she never could before. Can she risk it? Penelope J Smith's Heartbreak Cafe.
ELECTRIFYING EROTICA
Nothing chills up a cold winter night like a hot book. And this month sees new releases from favourites Lora Leigh, Joey Hill, Shannon McKenna, and Emma Holly, and a new-to-print author Jory Strong.
BENGAL'S HEART
 TASTING FEAR
 Breed series

Lora Leigh

The fact that Lora Leigh has reached 19 in this long-running series is a testament to the popularity and originality of this shape-shifter series. Leigh's writing is raw and charged, with razor sharp stories, and heroic characters. The Breeds want their humanity that has been horrifically stripped from them, and now they're fighting the twisted Genetic Council. Leigh's latest book covers long-time secondary character Cassa Hawkins.

Reporter Cassa has always supported Breed rights — especially in light of a specimen like Cabal St. Laurents, the epitome of the male animal. But when the Breeds are incriminated in a series of violent murders, it’s left to Cassa and Cabal to discover the truth before they become prey.

The world-building is great in this series, but the romances are strong enough to stand-alone. This is a tricky series because it started with Leigh's Ellora's Cave books. But readers looking to start from the beginning can go from the first print release, Megan's Mark.

Click here to buy this book.
 Shannon McKenna

Sexy, ballsy heroines, and arrogant, macho anti-heroes - think Wolverine or Jason Bourne - populate Shannon McKenna's stories. This author uses sex to bind the characters together, but creates intricate plot and emotional tangles that keeps both characters and readers breathless till the end.

Nancy, Nell, Vivi - three sisters who know there is no force on earth greater than love - unless it is the desire for revenge. When their adored foster mother is murdered, the D'Onofrio women come together to hunt for her murderer and track down a family legacy gone missing: rare, priceless art from the Renaissance, a treasure worth killing for. The law can only do so much and the three sisters are on their own - until three mysterious men get involved.

McKenna isn't afraid to use real darkness in her stories, which only creates a greater contrast for the light.

Newcomers to Shannon McKenna might also like to try Behind Closed Doors, considered one of her best, and hero Seth regularly topping favourite hero lists.

Click here to buy this book.
SAVING MIDNIGHT
 SPIDER TOUCHED
Fitz Clare Chronicles

Emma Holly

In the May Romance Buzz, I told you why I love Emma Holly. To recap: hot, hot, hot, without gratuity. And fabulous characters. And great stories. And ... oh, stop reading me! You could be reading her!

The latest in the Fitz Clare Chronicles, Saving Midnight finishes this tightly connected series of books about main character, Graham Fitz Clare. Fitz Clare became a vampire to save his adoptive father from a deadly enemy. Sadly, the price of that rescue may have been too high. Edmund's captors are at large again, and are gathering the sort of power that could make them unstoppable. In the end, the love the Fitz Clares share with each other could be all that stands between them and a desperate storm of destruction.

Start this series with Catching Midnight. And for one of my favourite Emma Holly stories, check out Fairyville.

Click here to buy this book.
 Jory Strong

Jory Strong is the latest of   e-published authors discovered by the big print publishers in New York. Of course, readers have known about her for ages - she's won more than 20 awards, and been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award.

Post-apocalyptic world, supernatural characters, hot and haunting story. Held prisoner by humans, his angelic memory and power lost because of the sigil-inscribed collar (don't worry -  I didn't know what a sigil was either...it's explained!) around his neck, Tir dreams of freedom and hungers for vengeance. He's sworn he'll never love a mortal, but when Arata removes his shackles and helps him escape his captivity, she melts his icy control and leaves him burning with desire. She's a temptation he can't resist, an unknowing enemy who might well enslave him more thoroughly than the chains he's worn for centuries.

Oh, and for those of us with a touch of arachnophobia, don't worry - the 'spider' is a birthmark.

Click here to buy this book.
DANGEROUS PASSION
Lisa Marie Rice

Lisa Marie Rice shares similarities with Shannon McKenna and Lora Leigh - they're all solid writers, with the ability to heat up a story without gratuity. But there's a solemnity to Rice's characters: they're almost always on the edge, a razors edge within themselves.

A legend, a renegade, a ruthless, powerful enigma understood by no one and feared by all, Viktor "Drake" Drakovich heads up a billion-dollar empire and shows no mercy.

Grace Larsen takes Drake's breath away the first time he sees her and quickly becomes his obsession. Never before has he burned for someone the way he desires this hauntingly beautiful artist who is plagued by troubling dreams. He aches to possess her, to protect her, to carry her to new heights of sensuous arousal and rapturous release.

But entering Drake's world means becoming a target for relentless, bloodthirsty foes have been eagerly waiting for him to expose his weak spot. And the price of their passion may be their lives.

Intense and sensual, Lisa Marie Rice's Dangerous Passion is thrilling in both plot and emotion.  

Click here to buy this book.


BELOVED VAMPIRE

Joey W. Hill

Vampire Queen 4

Dark, visceral, stunning, and edgy, Joey Hill stories gained a following through the e-book market, before signing a contract with Berkley. Beloved Vampire is the fourth book in her Vampire Queen series, a dangerous and erotic series that follows the story of Jacob and his Vampire Queen. Through the stories, Jacob becomes more and more involved in the vampire world as both her servant and her sexual slave.

Joey  has a way of describing the most mundane elements in a seduction to leave you gasping, with strong BDSM tones, but with a real understanding of the dynamic of the culture. Start this series from the beginning with The Vampire Queen's Servant.

Click here to buy this book.
NEED MORE?
 August is a fantastic month for erotic romance. Check out these titles, also available now:
  • She does what she must to survive, in Dark Ages England. She doesn't expect anyone else to understand. And she certainly doesn't expect to find herself torn between duty and desire when a traitor arrives. Amanda McIntyre's Tortured.
  • They have a history, now he has a secret. All she wants is to move on and forget him. But with danger at her doorstep, she has no one else to call. Sherrill Quinn's Seducing the Moon.
  • She's a witch in danger; he hates witches but is ordered to protect her. Their passion could light the night sky. What to do? Carolyn Jewel's My Forbidden Desire.
  • He introduced her to pleasure she'd never known. She used her new-found knowledge to her advantage, but has never found another. Is what they had more than just a wild weekend? Kate Pearce's Simply Shameless.
  • She's a grad student writing a thesis. He's just another brainless athlete that she can use for her research. Or is she about to discover there's more than meets the eye? Erin Mccarthy Hard and Fast.
HOT HOT HISTORICALS
Historicals remain my first love when it comes to romance novels, and there are some lovely ones available this month. Along with a double-header from Stephanie Laurens, I'm also spotlighting a few of my favourite 'buried treasure' authors - authors that I love that haven't quite hit the stratosphere that their talent and stories deserve!

FOUR IN HAND
 MASTERED BY LOVE
Stephanie Laurens

Stephanie Laurens has been writing sexy, sensual historical romances since the 90s. Lucky for us, they're sometimes re-released - like this lovely, funny story about four wards, a handsome  guardian, and a whole lot of trouble.
 
Max Rotherbridge couldn't believe it. Along with the dukedom of Twyford, he - London's most notorious rogue - had inherited wardship of four devilishly attractive sisters, including the eldest,  irresistible Caroline Twinning. She was everything he had ever wanted in a woman, but even Max, hardened rake that he was - couldn't seduce his own ward... could he? After all, he did have a substantial reputation to protect. And what better challenge than the one woman capable of stealing his heart?

Click here to buy this book.
  Bastion Club

Stephanie Laurens

Something old, something new - in this case a new Bastion club novel from Australia's most popular romance author. Not only is this a new Bastion club - it's the last Bastion club, when Royce Varisey, who's tantalised readers since the beginning finally meets his match, and the last traitor is finally exposed.

As the mysterious leader of the Bastion Club known as 'Dalziel', Royce Varisey, tenth Duke of Wolverstone, served his country for decades, facing dangers untold. But as the holder of one of England's most respected noble titles, he must now take on that gravest duty of all: marriage.

Yet the young ladies he should consider are predictably boring. Far more tempting is his castle's willful and determinedly aloof chatelaine, Minerva Chesterton.

Click here to buy this book.
SEDUCED BY A STRANGER
Eve Silver

Eve Silver writes historical suspense - no light-hearted ballroom  flirtations for this author. Not that there's anything wrong with light-hearted ballroom flirtations. But sometimes we historical readers want some of those dark, gothic stories that spear-headed our modern romance genre.

Catherine Weston arrives at Cairncroft Abbey to visit her childhood friend Madeline whose health seems to deteriorate with each passing day. Even stranger, Madeline appears to grow more nervous whenever she is in the presence of her cousin, Gabriel. But Gabriel has quite a different effect on Catherine.

Gabriel St. Aubyn is haunted by the curse that has plagued his family for decades. Living with the constant torment that he too will succumb to it one day, he has resigned himself to a solitary existence. Yet when he meets Catherine, he cannot resist her company - or his growing desire for her. But then a young woman is found dead, and Catherine can not ignore the link between the horror and Gabriel. Is he the tender man she loves - or a sinister stranger?

Eve also writes speculative fiction as Eve Kenin, and her debut Driven was in my top ten list last year!

Click here to buy this book.
WITH SEDUCTION IN MIND
 ALWAYS A SCOUNDREL
Girl Bachelors 4

Laura Lee Guhrke

Oh how I love Laura Lee Guhrke. I first discovered her with Guilty Pleasures and haven't looked back since. Her Girl Bachelor series does what so few historical romances dare - take the story out of the regency period. Set at the turn of the 19th century, Guhrke is able to spread her wings without hitting a ball gown. And boy do we readers enjoy the ride. Daisy has been a secondary character since book 1. It's about time she got a story!

Daisy Merrick has to work for a living, but she keeps getting the sack. When her rash tongue costs her yet another job, she comes up with a plan that could secure her a future beyond her wildest dreams. There’s only one problem. Her success depends on a man -  the most infuriating, impossible man she’s ever met.

Sebastian Grant, Earl of Avermore, has no intention of cooperating with a hare-brained scheme, let alone one masterminded by a provoking, red-head who stirs his senses beyond belief.

Click here to buy this book.
 The Notorious Gentlemen
 
Suzanne Enoch

Suzanne Enoch  started her career right around the time of Julia Quinn's gain in popularity, and she has been - unfairly - labelled as a Quinn wannabe ever since. Absolutely not true! It is true that if you like Quinn, you'll most likely like Enoch as well - both write light-hearted regency-set stories with surprising  emotional depth - but Enoch is a strong storyteller and lovely writer in her own right. This is more than evident in her latest series of related stories about notorious gentlemen...

Lord Bramwell Johns, the second son of a duke, is an unrepentant scoundrel. Now that his two closest friends are disgustingly ensconced in domestic bliss, Bram is feeling strangely restless. And not even relieving London's least deserving aristocrats of their ill-gotten jewels is enough until the night he overhears an argument. It seems that Lady Rosamund Davies is about to be forced into marriage with a rogue even worse than himself.

Rose is well aware of Bram's scandalous reputation, so his sudden interest in her is suspect. She has her own plan though, and Bram may be just what she requires.

Click here to buy this book.
DEVIL IN MY BED
 A DUKE OF HER OWN
 SLEEPLESS IN SCOTLAND
The Runaway Brides

Celeste Bradley

Celeste Bradley was nominated for a RITA this year... it's so easy to see why she's considered one of the best in this, the first book in her latest series of Runaway Brides.

The three-year-old girl sitting on the steps of Brown's Club for Distinguished Gentlemen insists that one of its members is her papa. Aidan de Quincy feels obligated to help, even though she certainly isn't his - or is she?

For years, Madeleine dreamed of seeing Aidan on her doorstep. The secret that once forced her to leave him now compels her to live a lie that Aiden will never forgive. But the truth will out, and when it does, there will be the devil to pay!

Click here to buy this book.
 Desperate Duchesses 6

Eloisa James

Last month Christine Wells listed Eloisa James as one of her most influential authors. Haven't read her yet? Check out this latest in her Desperate Duchesses series, and find out why.

Leopold Dautry, the notorious Duke of Villiers, has to get married quickly - and nobly. The Duke of Montague's daughter, Eleanor, is beautiful and smart. In short, she'll do.

Lisette, daughter of the Duke of Gilner, is outspoken, unfashionable, and shockingly lacking in decorum. Plus she's already engaged, and doesn't seem to care about or respect his title. In short, she won't do at all. 

Really. Not at all.

Click here to buy this book.
 MacLean Curse 4

Karen Hawkins

Karen Hawkins likes her men in kilts. And honestly, when you have heroes like the MacLeans, the men who populate her latest series, who can blame her? Or us?

When sensible Catriona Hurst sets off in pursuit of her wild twin sister, Caitlyn, she never expects to end up caught in MacLean's carriage,  roundly scolded, or  thoroughly kissed!

Hugh soon realises that Trina is not the wilful woman he thought, but innocent and respectable - and therefore thoroughly ruined. Nothing to do but marry her, even if she does have a dangerous habit of getting under his skin.

Click here to buy this book.
LADY ANNE AND THE GHOST'S REVENGE
Lady Anne 2

Donna Lea Simpson

There are two reasons I picked up this book. The first, I'm ashamed to admit - it was because of the cover. I can't help it! I love beautiful covers, and this one is more beautiful than most.

The second is this quote, that someone sent me a few weeks ago: "As a romance author I am fully invested in the idea that lovemaking between two people in love has a much deeper significance, but not a higher morality." A response to the question of pre-marital sex, but also a response to one of the most persistent, yet harmful, romance novel stereotypes - that they are immoral, and merely sexual titillation for women.

Lady Anne and the Ghost's Revenge is the second in a new series, but I had no trouble reading this one first. You can bet I'm looking up Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark, though!

Lady Anne Addison, terribly tempted by the sensuous assault of the Marquess of Darkefell, leaves Yorkshire and heads to Cornwall and the home of her friend, Miss Pamela St. James. But it seems that Anne just can't stay out of trouble! There is a ghost plaguing the people of St. Wyllow, along with smugglers and worse!

When the Marquess of Darkefell just happens to show up, Anne is forced to face her intense feelings for the handsome, rugged peer as she investigates a tragic death and the haunting of St. Wyllow.

Click here to buy this book.
NEED MORE?
Looking for more historicals? We can help! New for August:
  • A Russian spy, a deceitful duke, a battle of wits, an inconvenient passion, and test of loyalties in Rosemary Rogers' Bound by Love.
  • A threat of danger leads to a forgotten promise that must be kept - and a marriage of convenience in the Old West in Linda Lael Miller's The Bridegroom.
  • As reckless youths on the wrong side of the law, they engaged in a torrid love affair. What happens when they meet again as respectable adults? Alexandra Benedict's Infamous Rogue.
  • They were in love as children, but he was destined to another. Now she searches for a man to make her feel the way he did. and he suffers under from a bad reputation. He needs her. Will she help? Melody Thomas's Beauty and the Duke.
  • He lost part of himself in a desperate battle for his family, and only one woman can help bring it back. But to heal him requires great courage on her part - and danger looms on the horizon. Jean Johnson's The Song.
  • She found the perfect disguise to save her virtue while in the employ of a licentious duke. But how long can she maintain it when she wants to be discovered? Sophie Jordan's Sins of a Wicked Duke.
  • She flees an unwanted marriage, taking only her horse and her freedom.  The road ahead is lonely, but hers. Until she meets a mysterious hunter. Meg Rosoff's The Bride's Farewell.
PULSE-POUNDING PARANORMALS
It takes a lot of imagination to build a new world with new laws and new realities in a paranormal setting, which explains the love paranormal authors and readers have for long-running series. The chance to immerse yourself again and again in a new world, peopled with new cultures and new populations, is irresistible. This month sees a number of additions to some of the most popular series in paranormal romance.

BAD MOON RISING
Dark Hunter 26

Sherrilyn Kenyon

It's impossible to talk about paranormal romance without mentioning Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters. One of the seminal paranormal series, the Dark Hunters showed readers how things that go bump in the night could... well, go bump in the night! This latest edition strays a little from the hunters, as some of the other novels have done in the past, but inhabits the same world that has been building and evolving since Fantasy Lover. 

In the world of the Were-Hunters, like stays with like. Species don't mix and they definitely don't fall in love. But from the moment Aimee Peltier took in a wounded wolf, her heart wouldn't listen to what her head told her.

However, Fang Kattalakis isn't just a wolf; he is the brother of two of the most powerful members of the Omegrion: the ruling council that enforces the laws of the lyncanthropes. His brothers are the wolf representatives and Aimee's mother represents the Bear clan. Aimee is the heir apparent for her species. There is no way these two can ever be together and they know it.

But when war comes to Sanctuary, all the rules change. Aimee is branded a traitor, and Fang is desperate to save her. But to do that, Fang must break the law of his people, and that breech could very well spell the end of both their races.

Want more shifter? Check out Nalini Singh's latest Branded by Fire which also features inter-species shifters, and the passion that keeps them together.

Click here to buy this book.
FAEFEVER DREAMFEVER
Fever 3

Karen Marie Moning

Readers may be more familiar with Karen Marie Moning from her Scottish-set historicals, but this writer clearly has many talents, as is evidenced by her Fever series, featuring a wonderfully three-dimensional main character and a host of paranormal goodies and baddies - though sometimes it's hard to tell which is which. Faefever is book 3.

A torn page for a journal full of desperate words leads MacKayla Lane on the hunt for answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

As All Hallows Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, and not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds with devastating consequences.

Click here to buy this book
 Fever 4

Karen Marie Moning

First time in print, here's the fourth in Karen Marie Moning's wildly popular, and terribly addictive Fever series. This latest instalment takes a decidedly sexy turn...

He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought — and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires and yet neither she trusts.

Mac races home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth about herself and her sister, and about the world she thought she knew.

Click here to buy this book. 
DESTINED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE

Night Huntress 4

Jeaniene Frost

She's on the New York Times Bestsellers List; she's on the USA Today Bestsellers list; she's a Romantic Times Top Pick. But mostly? She just writes a kick-ass urban fantasy romance series. This is the fourth book, and... well, you could start here - but why deny yourself the pleasure? Halfway to the Grave is book one.

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they've fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it's time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She's having visions of a vampire named Gregor who's more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn't know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won't stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor's hold over her. She'll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she's ever faced - even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

Click here to buy this book.

PASSION UNTAMED
 PLEASURE
Feral Warriors 3

Pamela Palmer

Last month I profiled Pamela Palmer and her brand new paranormal series, the Feral Warriors. This is book three, and released back-to-back, so paranormal lovers are in for a treat. Check out Paenther's story...

Mage witch Skye is forced into kidnapping Paenther, a powerful and dangerous Feral Warrior. But even chained and naked, Paenther is a cunning prisoner , and Skye finds herself falling for him, turning captive into captor.

Paenther's pride demands revenge, but despite his fury over her treachery, Skye's gentle beauty calls to his soul, calming the wild chaos within him, and stealing his heart. But when evil threatens, Paenther and Skye's only chance at survival is to trust in one another... and the power of love.

Click here to buy this book.
 The Shadowdwellers

Jacquelyn Frank

Love a forbidden romance? Her world is literally toxic to him, but she tempts him into danger. Jacquelyn Frank's new series features a truly imaginative premise.

Discipline. Penance. Order. A Sanctuary priest's life revolves around such things. But when Sagan is taken captive and thrust into the Alaskan wilderness, he encounters a woman who challenges his faith and his self-control. Valera is a natural born witch who almost lost herself to the lure of dark magic. By rights, Sagan should shun her, but convention will count for nothing in the face of a passion that could change the world of the Shadowdwellers forever.

Click here to buy this book.
HUNTING GROUND
Alpha and Omega 2

Patricia Briggs

Anna Latham didn't know how complicated life could get - until she became a werewolf. And now she's not just part of any pack, but under the direct supervision of Bran, leader of the North American werewolves.

And her mate is his son Charles, the pack enforcer. With all the advances that have been made in forensics, the werewolves will not be able to hide their existence from humans much longer - and Bran wants their coming out party to be on his terms.

But his European counterparts don't see things the same way. Anna and Charles are chosen to represent Bran at a key meeting. But when a French werewolf, one of Bran's most vocal opponents, is found murdered, Charles's reputation shoots him to the top of the suspect list. And among the wolves, there is one penalty for breaking the law: death.

Patricia Briggs' started the Alpha and Omega series with Cry Wolf. The series is set just ahead of Briggs' awesome Mercy Thompson series, as wolves think about making themselves public.

Click here to buy this book.
NEED MORE?
 Can't get enough paranormal romance? Check out these August titles:
  • Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin and her new husband, the Djinn David, are running from a malevolent hurricane bent on destroying them. The latest Rachel Caine, Cape Storm.
  • Jill Kismet's city is in danger, time is running out, and it's impossible to determine the good guys from the bad. Lilith St Crow's  Redemption Alley.
  • He's at the end of his rope. She's determined to stop him... even if she has to travel through time to do so. Brenda Joyce's Dark Lover.
  • He wants justice. She wants the truth. He needs to keep a secret, and she needs to dig deeper.  Alexis Morgan's Dark Warrior Unbroken.
  • She loved him once, and it cost her everything. Now he wants her back in. Susan Squires' Time for Eternity.
  • She's paying for a big mistake, living on noodles and water. But bigger problems are about to come her way. Jenna Black's Speak of the Devil.
  • Her life is hardly the stuff of stories - a curse, deadly tendencies, and a potential boyfriend from Hell - literally. Michelle Rowen's Tall, Dark and Fangsome.
  • She refuses to admit to her special powers, but is coerced into joining the Chosen Ones regardless. Then a mentor is murdered. Christina Dodd's Storm of Visions.
SPINE-TINGLING SUSPENSE
Seeking some chills and thrills this month? Four words: Brand new Suzanne Brockmann!
STOP ME
 DEEP DOWN
Last Stand 2

Brenda Novak

The second novel in Brenda Novak's thrilling trilogy sees a father go through every parent's worst nightmare - and seek his own revenge. Don't read this one after dark!

Romain Fornier lost his reason for living when his daughter was kidnapped and murdered. He used a cop's gun to find his own justice and spent the next few years in prison. Now he's out - and may have killed the wrong man.

Jasmine Stratford is convinced she and Romain have something in common.

But searching for the man who irrevocably changed both their lives means they have to rise to a killer's challenge: stop me.

Click here to buy this book.
  Karen Harper

New York Times Bestseller Karen Harper is really gifted with strong characters and tight plotting. Deep Down is a tightly woven, well-paced story - and scary to boot!

As a child, Jessie Lockwood spent many hours helping her mother, Mariah, count the endangered ginseng plants hidden in the local woods of Deep Down, Kentucky. Now a PhD, she's made her home in Lexington, even though that meant leaving Deep Down, her beloved mother — and Sheriff Drew Webb, the man she secretly loved.

When Jessie is notified that her mother never returned from her last walk in the woods, she comes home. As Jessie and Drew race to find her, only two things make sense to Jessie. At any cost, she is desperate to find her mother. And she can't help falling desperately in love with Drew all over again.

Click here to buy this book.
HOT PURSUIT
Troubleshooters 15

Suzanne Brockmann

We all waited impatiently for Alyssa and Sam's story. Who knew that Suzanne Brockmann would go the extra mile and give us another one featuring my (oh, okay and everyone else's) favourite couple!

The assignment was supposed to be an easy one: teach self-defence techniques to a newly elected assembly woman and her chief of staff after a political controversy generates a blizzard of hate mail – including death threats – from hotheads and cranks. But as soon as she mobilises her squad of moonlighting Navy SEALs in New York City, Alyssa begins butting heads with the hard-case cop who thinks that the Troubleshooters are chasing shadows.

Until they discover a dead body. And then another. Now Alyssa really has her hands full – body guarding two independent, busy women, managing a murder investigation, and trying to find time for her husband, Troubleshooters operative Sam Starrett, and their infant son. Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a Troubleshooters operation without romantic sparks and heated rivalries – and any time the SEALs of Team Sixteen are involved, there are plenty of both.

Click here to buy this book.
CUTTING EDGE
 CHOSEN TO DIE
 BREAKING LOOSE
Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan is a master with strong heroines and layered plots. This latest novel visits FBI territory.

When a top engineering executive is murdered and his office torched, the firm's security expert Duke Rogan is determined to get to the bottom of the assault himself. He pulls every string he has to be assigned as a civilian consultant to the FBI's joint task force, headed up by Nora English, who at first believes the attack to be a simple case of domestic terrorism. But the autopsy is strange: the man died from multiple knife wounds - not stab wounds - and slowly bled to death with no bones or organs punctured. And when another body is found with the same MO, this one a high-ranking government official, Nora begins to think something else is at play...

Click here to buy this book.
  Lisa Jackson

Detective Regan Pescoli has worked the Star Crossed Killer case for months, never imagining she'd be captured by the madman she's been hunting.

Regan Pescoli is unlike any woman Nate Santana has met before. But now she's missing, and Nate knows something is dangerously wrong. The only person who can help him find her is Detective Selena Alvarez, Regan's partner. As Nate and Selena dig deeper into the Star-Crossed Killer case and the body count rises, the truth about Regan's disappearance becomes chillingly clear.

Looking for something really scary? This is what Lisa Jackson says about her latest book: “I was unusually on edge about Pescoli's boyfriend Nate and what he goes through. And for some reason I managed to scare myself more than usual.”

Click here to buy this book.
 Tara Janzen

Did you know Tara Janzen is as into cars and guns as her characters? Let's hope she doesn't get into adventures quite as freaky as the one in Breaking Loose.

No one’s ever seen it. Everybody wants it. That’s why the government has just unleashed its secret weapon. Drop-dead-gorgeous art dealer Suzi Toussi has been tapped for the toughest mission of her career: to locate the Memphis Sphinx, an ancient artefact rumoured to possess otherworldly powers. Tracking it to Paraguay means going up against Dax Killian, the sexy special ops agent who’s planning to snatch the coveted relic right out of her hot little hands. If he can't find it first…

Click here to buy this book.
NEED MORE
 Can't get enough? Try these new suspense titles:
  • She thought her money would protect her. He has no time for spoiled princesses.  But she has information on the man he wants to bring down. Katherine Garvera's The Mercenary.
  • She wants to believe in the innocence of the troubled mental patient, but the horrific murder victims deserve justice. Linda Ladd's Enter Evil.
  • They had a passionate affair under the hot Egyptian sun before his lies caught up with him. Six years later, they meet again, and his aren't the only lies. Elisabeth Naughton's Stolen Heat.
  • She will work with him, but only to save her best friend. He has no interest in a dead-end case, especially when it means working with the woman he swore never to see again. Andrea Kane's Twisted.
  
Booktopia.com.au
Archives
In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead
Book of the Month
Spotlight On
Contemporaries
Erotic Romance
Historicals
Paranormals
Suspense
WANT MORE BUZZ?

SF and Fantasy Buzz

Father's Day Buzz

Booktopia Buzz

Mind Spirit Body Buzz

Craft Buzz

LOOKING FORWARD TO SOMETHING SPECIAL?
Did you know that you can cut down on your waiting time by pre-ordering books from Booktopia? Lodge your order early, and your book will arrive as soon as we have it in stock - no more hanging out for ages waiting for it to arrive!

Here are some of the books I'm looking forward to in September - all available for pre-order now.
COMING SOON
COVET: A NOVEL OF THE FALLEN ANGELS
JR Ward
TO CATCH A BRIDE
Anne Gracie
MUST LOVE HELLHOUNDS
Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brooks
BORN OF NIGHT
Sherrilyn Kenyon
PRIDE AND PASSION
Sylvia Day
POSSESSION
Devyn Quinn
HOT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Allyson James
I ONLY HAVE FANGS FOR YOU
Kathy Love
WHAT A DRAGON SHOULD KNOW
G. A. Aiken
NEVER LOVE A LAWMAN
Jo Goodman
TEMPT ME AT TWILIGHT
Lisa Kleypas
A WICKED LORD AT THE WEDDING
Jillian Hunter
TIME FOR ETERNITY
Susan Squires
GRAB AN AWARD-WINNING NOVEL
The 29th Annual RITA Award ceremony was held this year in Washington DC. More than 1000 novels across 12 categories were considered for the top prize in romance fiction, and the winners were announced on July 18. Would you like to pick up an award-winning novel? Check out the ones listed below! You can't get a better guarantee than the best novels of the year!
2008 RITA AWARD WINNERS
OH. MY. GODS
Tera Lynn Childs
NOT ANOTHER BAD DATE
Rachel Gibson
THE EDGE OF IMPROPRIETY
Pam Rosenthal
FINDING STEFANIE
Susan May Warren
TRIBUTE
Nora Roberts
SEDUCING MR DARCY
Gwyn Cready
MY LORD AND SPYMASTER
Joanna Bourne
'The Fall of Rogue Gerard' in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
Stephanie Laurens
TAKE NO PRISONERS
Cindy Gerard
HELL WEEK
Rosemary Clement-Moore