Romance Buzz
MARCH 2010 | Edition Eleven
Gentle Readers,

Forget about fearing the ides of March - we're talking about the fear of SF romance this month, with our Book of the Month author Linnea Sinclair. Linnea's latest SF romance is Rebels and Lovers, set in her Dock Five Universe. This is a rip-roar of a read, but if you want the full effect, start with the first Dock Five book, Gabriel's Ghost. Linnea is also offering our first ever Booktopia Romance Buzz giveaway - make sure you beam yourself over to the Book of the Month section for more information.

By the way, check out the cover. How much do I love a hero with glasses?

What I've just finished: Kelly Gay is a brand new author, with a brand new paranormal series. Her first is Better Part of Darkness which, I admit, I picked up because I loved the title. I also loved the story - it was in turns surprising, tender, terrifying, and funny. For someone who reads as much as I do, it's very unusual for me to find something fresh. This...this was fresh. Give it a try.

What I'm reading now: I've been delving into fantasy romance lately, and just finished Aussie Juliet Marrillier's Heart's Blood, a lovely take on a gothic fairytale, set in historical Ireland. A great chance to support a local author.

What I can't wait for: Did someone say new Jennifer Crusie? Teaming up with Bob Mayer for the third time - it even inspired me to write poetry.

Until next month,
Happy reading!

Kate Cuthbert
Booktopia Romance Buzz
Remember how thrilled I was last month to be able to spotlight some new SF and Fantasy titles? Imagine how thrilled I am this month to be able to spotlight one of my very favourite SF romance authors as my Book of the Month! Linnea Sinclair writes fast-paced, furious, fabulous, fun (science) fiction. In fact, I use her The Down  Home Zombie Blues in my conversion pack - you know, those books you give to naysayers to prove how great romance is?

Linnea is a fabulous, fun person as well. You don't have to take my word for it: she's offered to give away to a very lucky reader one of her fantastic Intergalactic Bar & Grille Travel  Mugs - perfect for all your travel needs.

Just email me ( with the name of the Linnea Sinclair novel I use in my conversion pack by Monday March 16th, and I'll choose a random reader to receive the prize!

Linnea's latest book is Rebels and Lovers. Need a reason to give it a try? Let Linnea herself convince you:


(Cue triple tone) “Beam me up, Scotty.”

Sound familiar? It should, and not because it was ever actually spoken on the set of the Star Trek television series (it wasn’t — the closest Captain Kirk ever said was, “Beam me up, Mr. Scott"). It’s familiar because the phrase has become a part of our culture, a slogan tacked onto T-shirts.  And it came from one of the most successful media franchises—and a science fiction one at that.

Sass could handle “come hither.” Hell, she was actually looking forward to “come hither” if they could ever get around to it. Hot sex was such a great stress-reliever. But love… she couldn’t risk that. Especially not with Branden Kel-Paten. She liked him too much.
 - from Games of Command

Yet as I sit at my book signing table at the local bookstore, I often hear: “Science fiction romance? I can’t read that!,” followed by reasons that range from “I’m not smart enough” to “Sci Fi is too complicated.” The latter of course comes from a gal with an iPhone in her pocketbook (with a dozen apps that would boggle even the intrepid Mr. Scott), a car with a talking GPS system, a personal computer, and she teleconferences at work. 

She has Fear of Sci Fi, yet she’ll read historical romances blithely ignoring the fact that she has a lot more in common with the female protagonists in a science fiction romance than she does with a 16th century virginal heroine — who has never seen a tampon, dental whitening strips, a netbook, contact lenses, or a digital camera, and has never, ever shaved her legs.

Science Fiction Romance novels come in three flavours: futuristics (where the book focuses on the romance relationship), romantic science fiction or RSF (the focus is on the science fiction world or issue), and science fiction romance or SFR (the book is split between the romance and the SF issue).

All three present strong, attractive, and unforgettable heroines and heroes.  Heroes to make you swoon. Heroines you’d want for a best friend. Plot lines that involve  life-or-death situations and, yes, the promise of undying love.  Just like any other romance novel except that, oh, there might be computers that talk (are we that far away from it? You mean, you’ve never argued with your car’s GPS? Am I the only nutcase out there?). There might be characters who speak or dress differently or hold different cultural values. (Our planet is the poster child for a wide range of different cultural experiences).

Forget Erica Jong’s classic “Fear of Flying.” There’s a Fear of Sci-Fi-ing out there in romance-reader land, and no solid reason for it.

So I invite you: try my books and the books of authors like Susan Grant, Robin D. Owens, Jess Granger, and Ann Aguirre. Try Deidre Knight, Rowena Cherry, Colby Hodge, and Susan Kearney. If you’re willing to delve into SF a little more, try Catherine Asaro, Kristin Landon, Sara Creasy, Sandra McDonald, S.L. Viehl, and seek out some older books by Jacqueline Lichtenberg. Read Nalini Singh, Marianne de Pierres and Karen Miller.  Go looking for Isabo Kelly, Pauline Baird Jones, and, if you like it hot, Nathalie Gray.

Step into a future filled with love. I dare you.

…and suddenly I love you beyond all measure is not just words but a heart, a soul bursting open, a stripping raw of all pretense. It is Sully, it is Gabriel, it is his tears on my face, his body in mine, our minds seamless. It is hopes and dreams and failures. It is apologies and a prayer for redemption. It is heaven and damnation.
All that I am is yours pales beside it.
It is everything.
It is love.”

I am beyond thrilled to be able to spotlight two new fantasy romance novels out this month, including a new book in the world of my personal favourite fantasy series - Anne Bishop's Shalador's Lady

Intense, erotic, imaginative, there aren't enough superlatives for me to describe the many ways that I love Anne Bishop's Blood series. Even if you're not a fantasy reader, this series will blow you away and win your heart. Even my mother loves it.

Start from the beginning with this series: Daughter of the Blood. Set aside a couple of days. This series is worth every minute.

Her people have finally found a place they can stay - but it's not really a home. Lady Cassidy, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, plans to change that, throwing her whole being into the process and even risking her life. And always the Black Widows are weaving and weaving, and the vision they create will change the world - and Cassidy - forever.

Click here to buy Shalador's Lady
Retail Price: $22.99
Booktopia Price: $19.95 (Releases in Australia 1st April)


I  think I mentioned last month how much I love duck out of water stories, and that time travel romances combine that particular storyline with an historical setting - for me, a double win!

Susan Squires is one of the most prolific time travel romance writers, and one of the best, so by my calculations, that's a double win for all of us!

Lucy is an expert in Leonardo da Vinci's works, and thus recognises the time travel machine the instant she sees it. Unable to resist the temptation, she gives it a whirl - and lands herself in the middle of a battle in tenth-century Britain. Her panicked return journey, however, brings unexpected luggage - in the form of a very big, very attractive, somewhat confused Viking named Galen. And he's only the first of the new complications in Lucy's life...

Click here to buy A Twist in Time
Retail Price: $15.99
Booktopia Price: $10.95

Some quick little vignettes about some hot hot writers, and a new novel from one of the authors featured in last month's Book of the Month!
Frankly, Angela Knight might be referring to herself in this title - her books are that hot.

From the Mageverse: a brilliant witch, a mortal son of a vampire, a burning passion, and a threat against both their lives.

Sometimes maintaining a professional relationship is just hell on a cop.

Click here to buy
Master of Fire
Retail Price: $15.99
Our Price: $10.95
  Now you would think that a man would  want to hold on to a woman with whom he has mind- blowing, wild-abandon sex. Not so with Shala Black's Luc, who fears his loss of self control.

That doesn't mean that Alyssa is going to stand by and watch him run away, however - not when she's found a man so delicious.

Click here to buy Delicious
Retail Price: $29.95
Our Price: $20.90

  Does this title from HelenKay Dimon put that Corr's song into anyone's head? No? Just me?

Bennett is more than capable of taking care of himself - he certainly doesn't need 130-pound Callie as a bodyguard.

She, however, knows better than to judge a book by its cover.

Click here to buy
Leave Me Breathless
Retail Price: $27.99
Our Price: $19.50

Jaci Burton is one of the four authors that made corsetry so much more interesting in last month's Book of the Month. This  month, she's here by herself, with a contemporary western about three sisters - see if you can figure out which one ends up bound, which one ends up branded (metaphorically), and which one is already brazen.

Sister 1, Valerie, refused to be tied to a ranch life and took off for the big city, leaving behind her husband and their sex-of-a-lifetime. Now she's back, and struggling to remember why she ever left.

Sister 2, Brea, can't figure out why watching Gage tame horses is as erotic as it is, nor how to convince him that no-strings-attached sex is the best for both of them.

Sister 3, Jolene, wants more than the ranching skills of her new employee, but he's not quite willing to let his boss dictate his life both on - and off - the job.

Click here to buy Bound, Branded, &  Brazen
Retail Price: $29.95
Booktopia Price: $20.90
That sound you just heard from over 500 kilometres away? That was the sound of joy my heart makes when there's a new Jennifer Crusie novel!

Look, I do my very best not to get all slobbering fan-girl on anyone, but Jennifer Crusie? For Jenny Crusie, I break all my rules.

Jennifer and Bob's collaborations pretty  much define 'fun' (their second, Agnes and the Hitman remains my ultimate I-need-a-pick-me-up novel). This, their third, is sure to be a thrill ride, set in a dilapidated amusement park that somehow is also the prison for the five most powerful demons in creation. Mary Alice's job is about to get a whole lot harder. 

She even inspires me to poetry. A haiku:

Teamed up with Bob Mayer
Action in amusement parks
Looks like one Wild Ride

(alternate last line: Gee I love these guys)

The woman made me write poetry. How can you resist??

Click here to buy Wild Ride
Retail Price: $49.95
Booktopia Price: $35.75  SAVE 28% - HARDCOVER EDITION

It's vastly unfair that Jennifer Crusie gets poetry and no one else, so I will sum up all the plots of the contemporary novels in haiku.

Marvel at my skills. (Also marvel at how many unlikely romances seem to happen near Robyn Carr's Virgin River. Single? Think about planning a vacation there!)

A cabin alone
For some self discovery
She discovers him.

Click here to buy Moonlight Road
Retail Price: $15.99
Booktopia Price: $10.95
  You might know Karen Hawkins more for her Scottish-themed historical romances (who can ignore that cover on her The Laird Who Loves Me?), but she's stepped into her contemporary shoes for this new novel, full of wit and charm, a wannabe hard-hitting newswoman, and a man who just wants to sell ad space.

Hard-nosed reporter?
Not required in this town.
She begs to differ.

Click here to buy Lois Lane Tells All
Retail Price: $15.99
Booktopia Price: $10.95
Gwyn Cready's Seducing Mr Darcy split my Melbourne reader's group in half - some of us loved the wit and the earthy side of Mr Darcy, while others prefer their Pride & Prejudice left alone. If you're someone who enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I think it's a safe bet that Flirting With Forever is for you.

Gwyn takes her brand of time-travel romance to the 17th Century in what she calls a blend of "The Girl with a Pearl Earring, Casablanca, and a hefty dose of cross-century yearning".

Expect to annoy
when writing naughty bios.
Even subjects thought dead.

Click here to buy Flirting With Forever
Retail Price: $15.99
Booktopia Price: $10.95
Lots on offer for romantic suspense readers this month - which is fabulous news for the thrill-seeking among us!
Christy Reece is a relative new-comer to the suspense stage, but she's already achieved best-seller status in the US.

Her first two trilogies are set in the context of the Last Chance Rescue Enterprises - highly trained men and women whose sole purpose is to rescue the innocent.

Who could possibly resist a hero (or heroine!) like that??

Cole throws himself into his job to keep his demons at bay and one day earn back the redemption he lost. Perhaps, if can find Keeley's young children, he will finally be at peace. Falling in love with Keeley, however, is definitely not a part of the mission.

Second Chance is 2 in this trilogy - you can read them in order or out, but definitely read them.

Click here to buy Second Chance
Retail Price: $15.99
Booktopia Price: $10.95
  I love that Karen Robard seems to have three of everything: three sons, three dogs, three cats - she does have 40 novels, however, so she kind of broke that  mould there. Of course, this isn't something we should be complaining about (even if it does ruin the symmetry!).

Her latest suspense novel reminds us that we can run, we can try to hide, but the past will always catch up with us.

Lisa should have been a rising star, but her firm went bankrupt, she lost her job, and the only thing she can find is research assistant to the DA, who is as disagreeable as he is sexy. The work, however, is interesting - and quickly becomes fascinating when she finds a case about a missing family, and discovers  mysterious ties to her past. Lisa is about to learn a whole lot more about herself.

Click here to buy Shattered
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $27.95
Rhyannon Byrd is one versatile author, writing contemp-oraries, paranormal, and erotic books - in this case, an erotic paranormal suspense!

Aiden has scars that run deep, but he's fiercely protective of the helpless. So he'll protect the little girl - and her beautiful aunt - to the death.

Meanwhile Olivia is about to discover some strengths of her own.

Click here to buy
Touch of Seduction

Retail Price: $15.99
Our Price: $10.95
  Sexy, sensual, and scary - Shiloh Walker combines the three S's necessary for a top-notch romantic suspense novel.

Quinn is a bounty hunter with a painful past, and he's about to discover the woman he can't stop thinking about is his new missing persons target.

He'll have to get Sarah to spill her secrets, and getting closer might be the most dangerous thing of all.

Click here to buy

Retail Price: $29.95
Our Price: $20.90
   Is Lisa Jackson the most prolific author in romantic suspense? I can't think of anyone who continues to deliver so consistently - and constantly!

Plenty of teenagers will tell you that school is murder, but few can back it up with bodies. So when Jules goes undercover as a teacher to her sister's elite academy, she has some suspicions. She's just not aware of how dangerous those suspicions can be.

Click here to buy
Without Mercy
Retail Price: $49.95
Our Price: $34.50
SAVE 31%
Paperback due in May.
 A buried treasure and two versatile authors returning to their historical roots make up this month's spotlighted historicals. Enjoy!
Renee Barnard is one of my secret buried treasures. She's been on my radar since her debut novel A Lady's Pleasure came out in 2007, but she hasn't quite broken into the mainstream radar - yet. If you want to be ahead of the curve, able to say 'oh I've known about her for ages,' here's your chance. This is the first book in a new trilogy, so you can hop on the bandwagon right here. Then, when you realise that I would never lead you astray, and want to get your hands on more, you can pick up her Mistress Trilogy.

Don't say I never do nothing for you...

Galen lost his friend long before his time, and the pain has forced him to search for the one thing that can ease it - revenge. Revenge against the woman who, instead of mourning her fiance, is instead blithely celebrating her upcoming nuptuals to a new husband-to-be. He will seduce her - and leave her - and make her understand the true meaning of heartbreak.

Click here to buy Revenge Wears Rubies
Retail Price: $15.99
Booktopia Price: $10.95
Christina Dodd is another versatile author who has also published paranormals and romantic suspense. However, this?

This is a return to her beginnings, and her first historical novel in four years. Three cheers for an author returning to her roots!

Emma has never set a foot outside of the boundaries of proprietry in her life...until the night she gives up all her rules for a man knows as the Reaper - an outlaw, a mystery, a man with secrets.

Michael has never set a foot on a path that didn't lead to settling a score...until he meets Emma, and finds himself suddenly wanting more than revenge.

Click here to buy
In Bed With the Duke

Retail Price: $15.99
Booktopia Price: $10.95
  If you like your historicals with a touch of humour, Lynsay Sands is a great choice. She writes the very best kind of feisty heroines, strong, intell- igent women who don't stray into that grey area of harpy or shrew. A light hand, and a highlander hero. Sounds good to me.

Lady Averill spent a long time and a lot of effort learning to control her temper, but she's more than happy to lose it on the next English lord who sniffs at her red hair. The only man she feels comfortable with is the wounded Scot home from the Crusades.

Kade appreciates Averill's skill as a healer, and company as a friend, but he could never submit a lady to the life of a laird's bride - unless her heart is as fiery as her hair.

Click here to buy
The Hellion and the Highlander

Retail Price: $14.99
Booktopia Price: $10.95
It's no secret to urban fantasy and paranormal romance lovers that series are the thing in this subgenre. This month we see continuations of some of the sexiest, most imaginative series out there - including the new Erica Hayes Shadowfae novel.
Shadowfae Chronicles 2

I embarrass myself every time I talk about how much I am loving this series. The first book in Erica Hayes' world,  Shadowfae, made my top 10 of 2009 list, and this next book shows the same beautiful lyricism, intricate world building, and sleek, steamy sensuality of the first. Run, don't walk, to the link above and get your hands on these books. I offer my personal guarantee that you too will start embarrassing yourself with your slavish devotion.

The mirror whispers, dark and seductive, to its bearer, and its hold goes far beyond the physical. Both Ice and Indigo have borne it, and both are facing the consequences. Their only hope to escape its influences is to steal it back and return it to its rightful owner, who offers a promise of freedom. Failure to return it means cruel punishment, and a long, slow descent into madness.

Click here to buy Shadowglass
Retail Price: $29.95
Booktopia Price: $20.90

Love at Stake 8

Kerrilyn Spark's wildly popular series has just been translated into seven more languages, making it available to more readers worldwide.

Why should you miss out?

Olivia's looking for sand, surf, and the sea, not a meddling grandmother, or a sexy Scotsman.

Well maybe a sexy Scotsman.

If said meddling grand-mother would leave her and the sexy Scotsman alone for a minute.

Yeah, the title is terrible, but trust me - the story is great!

Click here to buy
The Vampaire and the Virgin

Retail Price: $15.99
Our Price: $10.95
  A Novel of The Others

It's not really a surprise that Christine Warren found herself writing a series about shapeshifters - the woman has a deep and abiding love for friends of the four-legged variety. Check out her website for photos of her pets. Check out The Others for lovely, sexy shapeshifter romances.

Stone Creek's werewolves have gone feral - stuck in their wolf form and slave to their instincts. Standing between them and total anarchy is Josie, veterinarian, and Eli, sheriff and part-time lion, who are facing some animal instincts of their own.

Click here to buy
Born to be Wild

Retail Price: $15.99
Our Price: $10.95

  Tales of the Sazi

Dynamic duo CT Adams and Cathy Clamp come back with another Tale of the Sazi (a tip: the books in this series are easy to recognise: they all have the word 'moon' in the title). Shapeshifters roam in the world of humans, willing to die - and kill - to keep their secret.

In this latest installment, we find out what happened with Eric, the lone wolf who left for the peace of his pack. Holly is alone as well, turned into the very creature she's learned to despise. But the world is changing, and their solitude is a risk - and neither is the type to sit on the sidelines.

Click here to buy
Serpent Moon

Retail Price: $13.99
Our Price: $9.80
Joss Ware

I just can't get enough of this post-apocalyptic romance series. It's got suspense, it's got great characters, it's got a world-gone-mad-but-there's-still-hope, but most of all it's got heart. You can start with this one, but why deny yourself the pleasure? The first is Beyond the Night.

Before the annihilation, Quentin had everything a man could want. Now he's got nothing but the desire for revenge against the man who wrought the destruction - his father. Zoe's got her own reasons for a vengeance quest. Together, they start off against an enemy neither expects, with emotions neither can control.

Click here to buy Abandon the Night
Retail Price: $15.99
Booktopia Price: $10.95
In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead

Book of the Month


Erotic Romance




Want more Buzz?

Booktopia Buzz
Crime Buzz
Six to Twelve Buzz

More in March!
Didn't quite find what you were looking for in our spotlighted sections?

Don't worry, there's lots to love in March.

Vicki Lewis Thomson
Monica McCarty

Pamela Clare

Jenna Black

Alyssa Day

Julie James

Cathie Linz

Rachael Herron

Jill Shalvis

Lora Leigh

Kate Douglas

Kaitlyn O'Riley

Cara Elliott

Virginia Henley

Bianca D'arc

Stella Cameron
Erica Spindler

Colleen Thomson

Can't wait till April?
Me neither - and below you'll find just a couple of reasons why!

Don't wait a minute more than you have to. Click on these titles to PRE-ORDER for April!

Nora Roberts

Lora Leigh

Maya Banks

Amanda Quick

Lynn Kurland

Jo Beverley

JR Ward

Christine Feehan

Christy Reece

Nina Bruhns

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Linda Howard