Booktopia Romance Buzz
May/June 2009 | Edition Two
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WELCOME BACK TO ROMANCE
Hello Romance Readers,
We had a terrific response to our first Romance Buzz but you have had to wait too long for edition number two. I hope you agree with me that the wait has been worthwhile. Many of you will already know Kate Cuthbert, who has been writing about romance for just about as long as she has been reading it. I am thrilled that she has joined the Booktopia Buzz stable to write a regular monthly newsletter and I am delighted with what she has put together for you today. Enough of me - roll on Kate!
Toni Whitmont
Managing Editor
Booktopia
LET'S GET STARTED
Hello and welcome to my first edition of Romance Buzz!

As you can probably tell from this newsletter, I love romance, and I know that I am one among many thousands. One glimpse in the Booktopia warehouse proves to me that we romance readers have an insatiable desire for the written word, with loyalties to authors, series, and genres that mean we demand the latest releases and the newest novels as soon as they hit the shelves.
What I really want to do in this newsletter is to be able to keep all of us romance junkies up to date with all the new and exciting titles that come out every month. I'll be following favourite authors as well as keeping an eye out for  promising new releases from up-and-comers. I'll  also have added bonuses for Romance Buzz readers - interviews, spotlights, book trailers, and more!

Enough with the introductions! Let's get started!

What I've just finished:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith: What fan of the timeless story can resist this revision where Elizabeth and Darcy engage in a battle of more than just wits? The zombie additions meld seamlessly into the original plot line for a fast, fun read. Reading the readers group questions at the end first will only add to the experience.

To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt: I'm a sucker for a good Beauty and the Beast story, and this one is just lovely. The third in her 'Four Soldiers' series about a war-time betrayal, Beast is a story of redemption and trust, with a hero and heroine who both have scars to heal.

What I'm reading now:
In anticipation of Dead and Gone, book 9 in Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries, due out at the end of the month, I've been re-reading the previous eight books. If you haven't picked up the books that inspired HBO's dark and delicious True Blood, you're in for a treat. They're all being re-released with TV tie-in covers. Start with Dead Until Dark and work your way through Sookie's adventures as she delves deeper and deeper into the otherworld.  My personal favourite is number four - Dead to the World - in which Eric loses his memory and turns to Sookie for help.  

What I'm waiting impatiently for:
What happens in London by Julia Quinn. Described as Rear Window meets The Taming of the Shrew, this follow-up to The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever is sure to be delightful, and sure to guarantee a one-sit read.

With a Twist by Deirdre Martin. Power Play, the last book in Martin's New York Blades series was one of my top ten books last year, and I can't wait to read this, the debut of a new series based around a New York pub.

Book of the Month
My Book-of-the-month is Lara Adrian's Ashes of Midnight. Be sure to check out our interview with Lara.

Breaking News!

The Romance Writers of Australia have announced the finalists for the 2009 Romantic Book of the Year (the R*BY). Presented at the RWA's conference every August, the R*BY (pronounced "ruby") honours the very best in Australian romance. The finalists are:

Short Sweet category
The Single Dad's Patchwork Family by Claire Baxter
A Mother in a Million by Melissa James
His Island Bride by Marion Lennox
The Midwife's Baby by Fiona McArthur

Short Sexy category
The Millionaire's Inexperienced Love Slave by Miranda Lee
Expecting his Love Child by Carol Marinelli
The Italian Boss' Mistress of Revenge by Trish Morey
Boardrooms and a Billionaire Heir by Paula Roe

Long Romance category
Second Chance Family by Karina Bliss
Untouched by Anna Campbell
The Stolen Princess by Anne Gracie
A Compromised Lady by Elizabeth Rolls

Romantic Elements category
How to Break Your Own Heart by Maggie Alderson
As Darkness Falls by Bronwyn Parry
Beneath the Surface by Suzanne Perazzini
Crash into Darkness by Suzanne Perazzini

Unfortunately, category romances go out of print very quickly, so some will be very difficult to get, but you can still check out the linked titles for a taste of the best in Australian romance. 

The RITAs, RWAmerica's award, have also been announced. Check them out here.  

Also, watch out for some new books by old favourites: Nora, Laurell K, Diana Palmer, and Janet Evanovich all make an appearance!

Until next time,

Kate Cuthbert
Editor
Romance Buzz

SPOTLIGHT ON CHARLAINE HARRIS

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

When we last left Sookie, she and the supernatural community were reeling from two disasters   Hurricane Katrina and a terrorist attack against the creatures she calls friends. With her boyfriend, Quinn, still missing, Sookie just wants to go home and disappear for awhile...

In Dead and Gone, the weres and shifters have decided to follow the example of their vampire brethren, and come out of their supernatural closet. At first, all goes well, but then a body of a were is found near Merlotte's, the bar where Sookie works.

Sookie is not a character to let things alone, especially if someone needs help. But is she willing to risk everything including her life to find the killer?

Harris is one of my very favourite writers her plots are tight, her writing smooth and precise, her characters intricate and nuanced, her world compelling. And the best part? She has two ongoing series and an exciting backlist. So if you're only just discovering this wonderful writer, you have all sorts of good reads ahead of you.

Click here to buy this book.
KATE'S BOOK OF THE MONTH
Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Some may have maligned Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series as 'wannabe' when it first hit shelves, but six books later, she has shown critics and detractors that she, her strong heroes, and her determined heroines are here to stay. And we fans couldn't be happier. Ashes of Midnight sees... well I could tell you, or I could let Lara tell you herself!

Click here to buy this book.

Hi Lara! Thanks for answering a few questions about your wonderful Midnight Breed series.
Hello! Thanks so much for inviting me to be part of Booktopia's Romance Buzz.

First, what's the Midnight Breed series all about?
The Midnight Breed is a dark contemporary paranormal romance series that centres on an underworld race of vampire-like beings called the Breed, and, more specifically, on a group of modern-day dark knights within that society who call themselves the Order. While the Breed shares a lot of the traditional traits of classic vampires, they are not the undead or the damned. Rather, they are a human/alien hybrid spawned by savage otherworlders who crash-landed on Earth thousands of years ago and spawned the first generation of the Breed on this planet.
Although the Breed is a dangerous race that must feed on humans to survive, they live in secret among us, forbidden to kill and coexisting relatively peacefully due in large part to the watchful eye (and swift, unforgiving justice) of the Order. The warriors' efforts to keep their kind in line has earned them more than one enemy who'd like to see the Order taken down. Some of those enemies will stop at nothing to make that goal a reality.
While there is an overarching plotline that spans the entire series, each novel is primarily a standalone romance story that focuses on the developing relationship between one member of the Breed and the woman who ultimately shows him what it means to love and be loved. Because I'm also a huge action/suspense fan, all of the books also contain heavy doses of both, with storylines set against an urban - often international - backdrop of various cities and places around the world. I strive to give each book its own distinct tone, or "personality" if you will, while still maintaining the cohesiveness and familiarity that readers look to a series to deliver.

How did you create your world? What were your boundaries? Did you pay attention to previous vampire mythologies?
I actually began my career writing medieval romances under the name Tina St. John. When the market dried up for medievals a few years ago, my publisher encouraged me to try my hand at a contemporary paranormal romance. What no one knew - not even my agent - was that I'd been dying to write a dark paranormal for a long time but I never had the time or the opportunity. No question, my first stab at something new was going to be vampires all the way. I grew up reading Anne Rice and Stephen King, so taking my writing in this darker direction feels like coming home.
From the beginning, I knew I didn't want to write a classic vampire romance with stakes and crosses and dead guys sleeping in coffins all day, but something more sleek and edgy, something with the basic look and feel of the movies Blade and Underworld. In talking it over with my husband (who's helped me plot my way out of more than one corner) he casually tossed out as a joke that maybe my vampires were aliens. I didn't laugh; I grabbed a pen and started writing pages of notes at warp speed. Everything clicked into place from that moment, from the genesis of the Breed here on Earth and their assimilation into the shadows of our world, to the traits that would separate the Breed from humankind and make them the kind of dark, antiheroes I love to read (and write) about. My vampires don't apologise for what they are, or look for ways to cure themselves of their true, lethal natures. They are the ultimate predator, with incredible strength and power. But because part of them is human, they are also feeling, compassionate (often tormented) individuals with the same kinds of basic emotional needs as any of their Homo sapiens cousins. Deep down, we are all driven to find our true place of belonging in the world, and find the one person who will accept us as we are and love us, warts (or fangs) and all.

Why do you think vampires are so sexy? What makes them perfect romantic heroes?
I personally feel that at their core, vampires are the quintessential romantic hero. Two of the most powerful human emotions are fear and desire. It's these emotions that rule many of our actions when we're awake, and they inspire the most vivid dreams when we're asleep. Throughout the ages, the vampire has represented the twining of these two emotions - we fear him, yet his darkness is the very thing that makes him so compelling, so incredibly desirable. And of course, when the baddest of the bad boys falls for a woman, you just know he's going to fall hard and fall (literally) forever. Is there anything more perfectly romantic than that?

Strong heroes need strong heroine and yours have been described as kick-ass. How do you create a heroine that can keep up with a paranormal hero?
On a creative level, one of the things that felt particularly restrictive to me about writing medieval romances was the fact that all of my protagonists - and heroines in particular - had to conform to certain historical paradigms and expectations. I ached to inject a little diversity into my casts of characters, so being able to write about strong, independent, modern women from all walks of life and various backgrounds is an absolute joy. And yeah, letting the girls kick a little ass along the way is also a lot of fun!
When you are writing about bigger than life heroes who are six-plus feet of brawn, bullets, blades and bite, I think it's important to pair them with female characters who have something to offer beyond simple outward beauty and who aren't going to blend into the scenery. Each of my heroines has a life-in-progress when the story opens, so they're not just waiting around for the dark and dangerous hero to show up and notice them. Things may not be a bed of roses for her, and she likely has some fairly weighty flaws or problems to overcome, but she's getting by as best she can with what she's got.
Given that I am writing stories about finding one's true love, quite often the heroine is missing that special something that would really make her life complete, whether she understands that fact at the beginning or not. She may go into the relationship kicking and screaming (or bristling with deadly weapons she's not afraid to use on the hero if push comes to shove) but in the end, she and the hero both come to realise that while they may be getting by well enough on their own, together there is nothing they cannot achieve.

You've been writing the Midnight Breed series for a little while now - Ashes of Midnight is your sixth book. Do you worry about keeping the world fresh? How do you keep your stories new and interesting?
It's very important to me that I keep the world and characters of the Midnight Breed fresh and exciting as the series continues. I know that's what my readers expect, and it's what I need creatively as well to keep my imagination challenged and engaged. This factors into my effort to infuse each book with its own feel and tone, and to make each of the romance storylines play out differently than the ones that come before or after it. The day I get bored or feel that I'm revisiting territory I've already covered in the series is the day I'll write the final chapter for the Midnight Breed and move on to something totally different.
Right now I have the series plotted out through ten books total, which is when the overarching storyline running in the background of the books will reach its resolution. That said, I can also tell you that some pretty big things will be unfolding toward the end of that storyline that could spin the series in a whole new direction--one I'm dying to explore. Hopefully, if my readers and my publisher are both willing to go there with me, I'll get the chance to keep playing in this story world for a while longer.

Finally, can you give us a sneak peek into Ashes of Midnight?
Ashes of Midnight features Andreas Reichen and Claire Roth's story. Although Reichen is not a full-fledged member of the Order, he is one of their closest allies and has been instrumental in their missions since he first appeared in Book 3 of the series, Midnight Awakening. Because of his alliance with the Order, Reichen's Darkhaven home was targeted by a powerful enemy who sent a death squad to kill everyone inside. Reichen alone survived, but the ordeal has awakened a terrible ability within him, and a need for vengeance that will pit him against a league of deadly adversaries . . . and force him to confront the only woman he's ever truly loved--the mate of the very enemy Reichen is sworn to destroy.
To read an excerpt from Reichen and Claire's story, visit the Ashes of Midnight page at my website.

Thanks so much for taking some time with us!
Thank you for allowing me to be part of the Romance Buzz. Also, a very big and heartfelt thank you to my readers in Australia and New Zealand. I'm honoured by all your support and enthusiasm for the series, and I hope you enjoy all the books still to come!
NOT TO BE MISSED

Lover Avenged by JR Ward

JR Ward exploded on to the scene in 2005 with Dark Lover, a novel that revitalised the vampire romance and made the author a sensation near-overnight. Her legion of fans has only grown as she continues to produce dark, edgy romances about the Black Dagger Brotherhood and their creative names.

Though her early novels were dark paranormal romance, her later novels have branched out a little, exploring the world and longer character arcs, giving fans a deeper glimpse into the universe of the Brotherhood, the Scribe Virgin, the Omega, and the very pale, very evil Others.

Lover Avenged tells the story of Rehvenge, a warrior that has tried hard to keep his distance from the Brotherhood. Though he's happy enough to serve them their drinks, Rehvenge carries a secret that could jeopardise the war against the lessers. But things are happening, things that threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge. In desperation, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

Start this series from the beginning but probably not on a school night. You won't be putting these down for something as insignificant as sleep!

Eight things you may not know about JR Ward
  1. She writes every day - sick days, holiday days, travel days,  every day.
  2. She's an exercise junkie and loves working out.
  3. She got the idea for the Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) books when the world and its characters appeared fully formed in her head - she often describes herself as the Scribe, just someone who writes down the stories
  4. She goes fan-girl over Suzanne Brockmann and Elizabeth Lowell.
  5. She originally planned ten books for the BDB series. But she says these other voices keep popping up...
  6. She listens to hardcore rap - 2Pac is her favourite, followed by Jay-Z.
  7. She's a wordsmith, and will agonise about word choices in her manuscript.
  8. She has a new series coming out - details are scarce but here's a little preview: Covet, a novel of the Fallen Angels, is the first book and it's all about angels and Harleys and evil and redemption.
Click here to buy this book.
HANGING OUT FOR HISTORICALS?
TO BEGUILE A BEAST   WHAT HAPPENS IN LONDON
Legend of the Four Soldiers 3

Elizabeth Hoyt

The third in Elizabeth Hoyt's Legend of the Four Soldiers, To Beguile a Beast is a classic Beauty and the Beast story in all the best ways.
Helen is a woman with a past, and if she wants a future for her and her children, she needs to change her present. So she flees to Scotland, and the crumbling castle of Sir Alistair Munroe.
Alistair has scars that go deeper than the ones on his face and no desire to play the hero to a bedraggled woman and her two kids. Even if she is beautiful. And cleans his castle. And makes him truly terrible meals.
But pasts have a way of catching up with people running from them and Helen and Alistair will have to fight their present demons if they want any chance at a future, together.

Click here to buy this book.
  Julia Quinn

One of my very favourite authors, Julia Quinn is a delight to read light, funny, charming, and sheer enjoyment from beginning to end. I'd tell you about the book...but why don't you watch this, her first book trailer, instead?
Book trailers have gained in popularity over the last few years as a way for authors to give a visual representation to their upcoming novels. Like a movie trailer, book trailers provide a tantalising glimpse into the plot, theme, and characters of an upcoming novel, and can be shown on television, in front of movies, or passed around the internet via sites like YouTube. Just the perfect length to offer a peek into the story, the trailers aren't so long as to inhibit each reader's unique vision of the characters and the setting!

Click here to buy this book (Australian June release).
THIS DUCHESS OF MINE   COMANCHE HEART

Desperate Duchesses 5

Eloisa James

O
ne of the queen's of the regency historical, and doesn't she show everyone why with This Duchess of Mine?
Wedding bells celebrating the arranged marriage between the lovely Duchess of Beaumont and her staid, imperturbable duke had scarcely fallen silent when a shocking discovery sent Jemma running from the ducal mansion. For the next nine years she cavorted abroad, creating one delicious scandal after another (if one is to believe the rumours).
Elijah, Duke of Beaumont, did believe those rumours.
But the handsome duke needs an heir, so he summons his seductive wife home. Jemma laughs at Elijah's cool eyes and icy heart-but to her secret shock, she doesn't share his feelings. In fact, she wants the impossible: her husband's heart at her feet.
But what manner of seduction will make a man fall desperately in love...with his own wife?

Click here to buy this book.
  Comanche 2

Catherine Anderson

If you haven't read Annie's Song by Catherine Anderson, you've missed out on a truly beloved classic. If you love stories with Native American characters, best not to miss out on this long-awaited re-issue of Comanche Heart, the second in Anderson's Comanche series. (The first is Comanche Moon in case you want to start from the beginning!)
Forced to flee her home on the windswept Texas plains, Amy Masters sought sanctuary in the golden hills of Oregon. There she began a new life, but could never forget her pledge to Swift Antelope, the magnificent Comanche warrior who had captured her heart.
Then Swift, now a notorious gunslinger whose murderous reputation was known throughout the West, found her. He vowed never again to lose the proud, sun-kissed beauty who haunted his dreams, and he swore to make her honour her sacred promise. But could he make her believe in his love and yearn for his caresses?

Click here to buy this book.
NOT QUITE A HUSBAND by Sherry Thomas

Twice nominated for a RITA for her debut novel Private Arrangements, Sherry Thomas is finally releasing her (much anticipated!) third novel, Not Quite a Husband. Readers who are familiar with Thomas's two previous novels will already appreciate Thomas's ability to write real, three-dimensional characters, with flaws and quirks and dreams and desires, strong, independent women and the heroes who understand them, and fresh settings and time periods. Readers who aren't yet familiar with Sherri one of the hottest new voices in Historical Fiction should get their hands on copies of Private Arrangements and Delicious as soon as possible.

Then rush back and grab Not Quite a Husband as well you won't be able to resist.

Their marriage lasted only slightly longer than the honeymoon - to no one's surprise, not even Bryony Asquith's. A man as talented, handsome, and sought after by society as Leo Marsden couldn't possibly want to spend his entire life with a woman who rebelled against propriety by becoming a doctor. Why, then, three years after their annulment and half a world away, does he track her down at her clinic in the remotest corner of India?

Leo has no reason to think Bryony could ever forgive him for the way he treated her, but he won't rest until he's delivered an urgent message from her sister - and fulfilled his duty by escorting her safely back to England. But as they risk their lives for each other on the journey home, will the biggest danger be the treacherous war around them-or their rekindling passion?

Click here to buy this  book.

LEAVING WHISKEY BEND   DON'T BARGAIN WITH THE DEVIL   TO RUIN THE DUKE
Dorothy Garlock

Nobody writes American Heartland romances like Dorothy Garlock - she's been enchanting readers for decades. This paperback release of Leaving Whiskey Bend is one more for the fans.
In 1890 two friends, middle-aged Pearl and pretty, young teacher Hallie, have just about decided to leave the rough Western town of Whiskey Bend.
Taking their friend Mary with them, they drive away in an open wagon seeking a new life and safety. One night along the way they are caught in a violent storm and are saved by a rancher with problems of his own.
After offering his help so freely, can Hallie really leave when she can help him in return?

Click here to buy this  book.
  School for Heiresses 5

Sabrina Jeffries

A historical by Sabrina Jeffries is not to be missed!
Valiantly ignoring his wicked flirtations, outspoken Lucinda Seton vows to derail Diego's plans and save the school, unaware that his true mission is to spirit the long-lost heiress away to Spain for a handsome reward!
Before long, Diego's heart is playing tricks on him, and Lucy is falling under the illusionist's spell. How can the Master of Mystery go through with his devilish scheme when all he wants is to make the lovely heiress his own?
Don't Bargain with the Devil has  a bad-boy hero, a mystery, an independent heroine, and loads of fun.

Click here to buy this book.
  Debra Mullins

It's a big month for dukes in romance. Luckily we readers love watching the mighty fall - especially when they're as arrogant and wild as Thornton Matherton, the titular duke of Debra Mullins' latest novel, To Ruin the Duke. He's wild and loose. She's uptight and righteous. This is a recipe for sparks.
But it seems that Thornton is suffering from a case of mistaken identity. London may be abuzz with tales of his exploits, but Thornton didn't do it. Any of it. And he's pretty unhappy that his good name has been tarnished. And even unhappier that Miranda Fontaine is pursuing him with the tenacity of a bulldog.
So he might not be all that wild, but she's still righteous, and there will still be sparks.

Click here to buy this book.
WHEN A STRANGER LOVES ME   A VIEW TO A KISS   A TALENT FOR SIN
Julianne McLean

She saves his life, but demands a huge reward in Julianne McLean's new novel When a Stranger Loves Me. When he washed up on shore, Lady Chelsea Campion knew her prayers had been answered, and that she need no longer fear poverty and heartbreak. To secure her family's estate, all she needed was a child. Handsome, clearly noble-born, and with no memory of his previous life, the mysterious man was perfect. All she had to do was seduce him. She expected him to be a skilful, scandalously wonderful lover, but once in his arms she was overcome by something more than mere passion. she had fallen hopelessly, desperately in love.

Click here to buy this book.
  Caroline Linden

Spies, social inequality, and, let's face it, a great cover - A View to a Kiss is the latest novel from up-and-comer Caroline Linden. This, her fifth novel, is being touted as her breakout novel, though her backlist boasts very solid titles as well. Historical lovers, this writer is one to watch.
Harry Sinclair is a man of secrets and disguise, a covert agent of the British Home Office. Lady Mariah Dunmore is the only child of the powerful earl of Doncaster, and far above Harry's touch. Until a chance encounter on a dark balcony leads to intrigue, to temptation, to desire.
All's fair in love and espionage.

Click here to buy this book.
  Lavinia Kent

Lavinia Kent's debut novel features a besotted hero, a headstrong heroine, and an affair that snubs society's expectations. It's hot, it's emotional, and it's surely the start of a promising career.
Violet, Lady Carrington, possesses everything a spirited woman could want out of life: money  (and lots of it), the freedom to make her own choices, with no husband to rule her, and a delightfully attentive young lover, Lord Peter St. Johns, to satisfy her every desire. But Peter wants more - marriage.

Click here to buy this book.
 
WICKEDLY EVER AFTER   THE SCOT AND I   A HINT OF WICKED
Michelle Marcos

It's a good month for up-and-comers - both the novels and their writers. Michelle Marcos' third novel Wickedly Ever After sees the creation of a school to teach wives to be more like mistresses.
After discovering her fiance in the arms of a parlour maid, Lady Athena McAlister comes to a frightful realisation: Most men prefer the company of their mistresses to their wives. How can she, and other brides-to-be, become both wife and mistress to a man? In her quest for knowledge, she begs her wealthy grandfather for money to start a finishing school for marriageable young ladies. There she and her friends discreetly invite London's most notorious rakes to educate them on the art of seducing a man.

Click here to buy this book (international late June release).
  Elizabeth Thornton

Mixing paranormal with a highland historical, Elizabeth Thornton's The Scot and I has spies, assassinations, a bit of suspense, great accents, and, of course, lots of romance.
It is 1885. After a mysterious woman foils an assassination attempt on the Queen's life, Alex Hepburn, a psychic agent for Her Majesty's Secret Service, recognises the bold beauty as a conspirator he has been hunting for years. Though he achieves his goal and saves the queen, he refuses to let the mysterious woman go.
From one of romance's best-loved and most prolific writers, The Scot and I is action-packed, with a strong sense of time and place and a beautiful ending.

Click here to buy this book.
  Jennifer Haymore

Yet another promising debut, this time from Jennifer Haymore, A Hint of Wicked features one heroine and two heroes - the first her childhood sweetheart, once thought lost to her forever, the second her best friend turned lover who supported and loved her through the darkest times of her life.
Torn between two good men who love her, Sophie has to make a choice, knowing that whatever she chooses one will be left heartbroken and alone.
How can she choose between the man that she gave her heart and life to...and the man who held her together during the worst moments of her life?
Emotional, suspenseful, and wrenching, A Hint of Wicked shows promise and poise. Check it out.

Click here to buy this book.
LED ASTRAY BY A RAKE   THE PERFECT POISON
Husband Hunters 1

Sara Bennett

Australian author Sara Bennett offers the latest in her Husband Hunters Club series, Led Astray by a Rake.
It is 1837 and the Celebration Ball at Miss Debenham's Finishing School is underway. Miss Lucille (Lucy) Monteith is about to escape to meet with her friends. Beautiful, blonde, with the calm frostiness so celebrated in the typical English beauty, Lucy is very different beneath her cool exterior. Passionate, desperate to live her life, she has no intention of marrying the man her parents have picked out for her. Instead she is determined to marry Lord Dominic Lacey, famously called Wicked Nic. Though Nic has always liked Lucy and now finds himself very tempted by her, he has no desire to be attached to such a seemingly proper and respectable young lady. He is convinced he can frighten Lucy away with some scandalously improper behaviour. Alas, a scandal erupts and it seems as if she will get to marry him after all, but this wasn't the way she wanted it to happen. And can they be happy if Nic feels forced into marriage?
Sara always creates vivid stories in beautiful worlds - this is no exception.

Did you know?
Sara Bennett also writes paranormal romance under the name Sara McKenzie.

Click here to buy this  book.
  Arcane Society 6

Amanda Quick

The Arcane Society novels from super writer Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick jump back and forth from present day to the past, and across both Krentz's writing names.
In The Perfect Poison Lucinda Bromley manages to live on the fringes of polite society, tending her beloved plants-and occasionally consulting on a murder investigation using her unique talent for detecting poison.
At the murder scene, Lucinda discovers something that shakes her to her core. She  picks up traces of a poison containing a very rare species stolen from her conservatory just the month before. To keep her name out of the investigation and to find the murderer, Lucinda hires a fellow Arcane Society member. Caleb Jones runs a psychical investigation agency. A descendant of the founder of the Society, he is very good at protecting its secrets-and frighteningly good getting at the truth.
As a nearly overwhelming desire blooms between Caleb and Lucinda, they are drawn into the dark heart of a deadly conspiracy that can be traced to the early days of the Arcane Society-and to a legacy of madness that could plunge Caleb into the depths of his own tortured soul.

Click here to buy this book.
KEEPING IT CONTEMPORARY
WITH A TWIST

Deirdre Martin

From the best-selling author of the New York Blades series, With a Twist is the debut novel in Deirdre Martin's new series.

Natalie Bocuse is a waitress at her sister's French bistro in Brooklyn, yet she dreams of managing a chic restaurant in Manhattan.

Among the regulars is Quinn O'Brian, a reporter known for breaking stories - and hearts. When he offers Natalie a job at his parents' Irish pub in Manhattan, she jumps at the chance to be one step closer to her dream. But Quinn will need the luck of the Irish to charm Natalie and write a happy ending to his own love story.

Click here to buy this book.
CHARMED AND DANGEROUS   GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE GUNS
Bobby Faye 1

Toni McGee Causey

The start of a trilogy to be released back-to-back, Charmed and Dangerous is a debut novel by Toni McGee Causey that's fun, fast-paced, and very funny.
When Bobbie Faye wakes up on the morning of the Lake Charles Contraband Days Festival, she is looking forward to balloons, booze, and babies in pirate costumes. Instead, she discovers that her trailer is flooded, her no-good brother has been kidnapped, and the criminals are demanding her mom's tiara as ransom.
Soon Bobbie Faye is committing (unintentional) bank robbery and (fully intentional) car jacking to retrieve her family heirloom. The one bright spot comes in the hard-muscled, impossibly sexy form of Trevor, the guy whose truck she just took hostage. Now, if only that pesky state police detective, who also happens to be a pissed-off (apologies but the language makes sense in context) ex-boyfriend, would stay out of her way.

Click here to buy this book (international June release).
  Bobby Faye 2

Toni McGee Causey

Loved the debut - and first book in this trilogy - Charmed and Dangerous by Toni McGee Causey? Lucky for you, the second, Girls Just Wanna Have Guns is being released this month as well.
Bobbie Faye Sumrall just landed in a mess of trouble. It started when she agreed to help her diva cousin, Francesca. Turns out Francesca's mum, Marie, swiped a fortune in gems from Bobbie Faye's uncle, who'd swiped them from someone else. Now there's a hit out on Marie, and Bobbie Faye is racing to find her-and the jewels.
Plenty of people would shoot Bobbie Faye for a stash of diamonds. Hell, some would pay for the privilege. But now Bobbie Faye has other distractions, including: Trevor - the drop-dead-sexy FBI agent who may or may not be the real deal -  and Cam, her steamy (and steamed) detective ex-boyfriend who would do anything to keep Bobbie Faye out of harm's way and get her back into his arms.

Click here to buy this book (international late June release).
FINGER LICKIN' FIFTEEN

Stephanie Plum 15

Janet Evanovich

Fifteen Stephanie Plum books later, and romantic suspense's favourite love triangle is still going strong. Janet Evanovich is back, along with Stephanie, Joe, Ranger, Lula, and, of course, Grandma Mazur.

EVENT: The next Stephanie Plum novel, in which complications arise, loyalties are tested, cliffhangers are resolved, and doughnuts are eaten.

WHERE: Right here

WHAT TO BRING: Sunglasses, insect repellent, a flotation device, suntan lotion, extra-large towel, fire extinguisher, baseball bat, lip balm, monkey leash, sixty three pieces of chewing gum, and one canister of oxygen (don't ask). Hey, it's a Stephanie Plum novel!

Click here to buy this book (Australian late June release).

This book is also available in audio format. Click here to buy.

SUMMER ON BLOSSOM STREET   JUST BREATHE   A LITTLE LIGHT MAGIC
Blossom Street 5

Debbie Macomber

Summer on Blossom Street is the latest in Debbie Macomber's beloved series.
Knitting and life. They're both about beginnings-and endings. That's why it makes sense for Lydia Goetz, owner of A Good Yarn on Seattle's Blossom Street, to offer a class called Knit to Quit. It is for people who want to quit something - or someone - and start a new phase of their lives.
First to join is Phoebe, then Alix Turner. Bryan Hutchinson is next. Life can be as complicated as a knitting pattern. Just ask Lydia herself. But as Lydia already knows, when life gets difficult and your stitches are snarled, your friends can always help!

Click here to buy this  book.
  Susan Wigg

Susan Wiggs
' Just Breathe is now available for the first time in paperback.
Chicago cartoonist Sarah Moon tackles life's real issues with a healthy dose of sharp wit in her syndicated comic strip Just Breathe. As Sarah's cartoon alter ego, Shirl,  begins to mirror Sarah's own difficult life, she flees to the small Northern California coastal town where she grew up, a place she could not wait to leave. Now she finds herself revisiting the past and encounters a man she never expected to meet again. The winds of change have led Sarah here. Now all she can do is just close her eyes and breathe.

Click here to buy this book.

Joy Nash

From Joy Nash, A Little Light Magic is all about what happens when a girl with no family meets a guy with too much.
What Tori Morgan wants more than anything is a place where she belongs, and a big, noisy clan to share her life.
For Nick Santangelo, family is more like a curse. The last thing Nick needs is another female making demands on his time.
But summer on the Jersey shore can be an enchanted season, when life's hurts are soothed by the ebb and flow of the tides and love can bring together the most unlikely prospects.

Click here to buy this book.
UNEASY ALLIANCE

Jayne Ann Krentz

Want a chance to visit your favourite author's first books? Keep an eye out for the Famous Firsts series. And check out Jayne Ann Krentz's first while you're at it.

Life has taught Abby Lyndon the value of independence - and the price she has paid to learn that lesson was high. A relationship gone terribly, unexpectedly wrong has left her wary and determined to control her own life. But Torr Latimer is equally determined to make Abby his own.

Torr's unwavering persistence leaves Abby nervous, confused . . . and undeniably drawn to the force of his passion. But when a nightmare from her past resurfaces, Abby has little choice but to accept Torr's help. Hidden at his remote cabin in the woods, Abby must decide if he's offering her shelter or trying to possess her. Or is Torr promising something else altogether: love?

Click here to buy this book.

Did you know?
Jayne Anne Krentz also writes as Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick.


TEMPTATION

Nora Roberts

Another in the Famous Firsts series, Temptation introduces the world to Nora Roberts, one of romance's best-loved authors. Don't you want to see how the journey begins?
Socialite Eden Carlbough did not expect running a girls' camp to be easy, but she never thought she would  literally be run up an apple tree by the little monsters -- nor did she think she would come crashing down into the capable arms of orchard owner Chase Elliot. Chase knew he had caught a windfall when he looked at the woman in his arms. He didn't like being cast as the serpent, but how could he resist when she had just offered him such forbidden fruit?

Click here to buy this book.
UNDER HER SKIN   ONE RECKLESS SUMMER   HOW TO SCORE
Susan Mallery

Lexi Titan is out of time.  Faced with exactly thirty days to come up with two million dollars, she is out of options. Marry Cruz Rodriguez or lose everything - the successful day spa she built herself and her tyrant of a father's respect.
Cruz has money, success, smouldering good looks - everything but the blue blood needed to become a true member of Texas society. If Lexi agrees to be his fiancee for six months, lending him her famous father's influence and connections, he will hand her a cheque on the spot. And in six months they will go their separate ways.
But neither one is prepared for their long-ago shared passion to throw a wrench into what would seem to be the perfect deal.

Click here to buy this book.
  Destiny Trilogy 1

Toni Blake

Toni Blak
e starts a new series with One Reckless Summer.
The perfect daughter. The perfect prom queen. The perfect wife. Jenny Tolliver has been the good girl all her life, and it has  gotten her nowhere. Now that her life has fallen apart and she is headed back to her hometown of Destiny, Ohio, to the very lakeshore cottage where she grew up, to figure everything out.
She never dreamed the answer would be Mick Brody, Destiny's number one hell-raiser. He comes from the wrong side of the tracks and he is  exactly the kind of guy Jenny has always kept her distance from ... but soon the good girl and the bad boy are caught in a raw heat that is out of control. Too bad Mick has got a secret that threatens to tear them apart and ruin Jenny's perfectly reckless summer.

Click here to buy this book.
 

Robin Wells
 
In the game of life, you have to know How To Score.
Sammi is a museum curator whose life is Exhibit A in the Train Wreck Department -
especially when it comes to men. In an effort to get on the right track, she hires a life coach who advises her over the phone.
Chase is a no-nonsense FBI agent who inadvertently causes his sports-talking, life-coaching brother to witness a mob hit. While his brother is temporarily in witness protection, Chase takes over his clients.
They have no intention of falling for each other, but fate has a different game plan.

Click here to buy this book.
6 KILLER BODIES   DIRTY SEXY KNITTING   LUCKY STREAK
Body Movers 6

Stephanie Bond

It all started with Body Movers in 2006, and Stephanie Bond has been thrilling us ever since. Hold on to your bracelets for book six.
Carlotta Wren's world is crumbling beneath her well-shod feet. One of her closest friends has been arrested as the Charmed Killer, but Carlotta refuses to believe it. And to prove her friend's innocence, Carlotta goes against her boyfriend Peter's wishes and resumes her after-hours body-moving duties.
And then Peter pressures her for an answer to his proposal, her troubled brother Wesley goes missing, and the madman stalking the city strikes again, this time a little too close to home.

Click here to buy this book (international June release).


  Malibu and Eve Trilogy 3

Christie Ridgway

The conclusion to Christie Ridgway's Malibu and Eve trilogy that started with How to Knit a Wild Bikini and continued in Unravel Me, Dirty Sexy Knitting, offers a surprise for Cassandra, Malibu and Eve's owner.
Malibu & Ewe's owner, Cassandra Riley, is about to turn thirty and wants to celebrate with her knitting club and her newfound half-sisters, Nikki and Juliet, in a big birthday extravaganza. But with Juliet on her honeymoon and Nikki with her fiance, it seems everyone's paired up - except for Cassandra. Until, that is,  a series of near-death accidents causes Cassandra to run straight into the arms of the one man she has avoided most.

Click here to buy this book.
 
Lucky Series 2

Carly Phillips

Long ago, a witch proclaimed an eternal curse that every Corwin male who married for love would be destined to lose his woman and his fortune.
The good news is that Mike, a police officer, awakens after some hard partying in Vegas $100,000 richer and married to Amber, the gorgeous woman he met the night before. The bad news: his last name is Corwin. The really bad news is that Amber is a consummate con who took his money and ran.
But to Amber, Mike isn't business as usual. Something about her new husband softens her steely heart, even as she betrays him. If only she didn't need the money to ensure her father's safety.

Click here to buy this book.
HOT IN HERE   STRANGE NERVOUS LAUGHTER   KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY
Sophie Renwick

A debut novel from Sophie Renwick, Hot in Here is sure to sizzle!
Celebrity chef and infamous ladies' man Bryce Ryder cannot believe the thoughts he is having about his old friend Jenna McCabe. She has always been the shy girl next-door, but when some bad publicity threatens everything he has built, Jenna gets down to business - and shows a side of herself that is take-charge and totally irresistible.
Soon things are heating up in and out of the kitchen - and all of Jenna's secret fantasies about Bryce start coming true. But will she be the one to tame his heart, or is the sexy chef just indulging another one of his cravings?

Click here to buy this book.
  Bridget McNulty

Up-and-coming novelist Bridget McNulty shows herself to be a writer to watch with Strange Nervous Laughter.
You will not find six more remarkable characters: a cashier-turned motivational speaker, an undertaker with a toenail fetish, a girl wrapped in dreams, a man who communicates with whales, a garbage man with a peculiar sense of smell, and a Guinness Book of World Records representative. When a random hold-up at a local grocery brings them together, their once separate lives intertwine in a humorous blend of lyricism, whimsy and wit. This is a rare book about what love does to us, how our lives are changed by being in love - and the odd ways in which we sometimes behave.

Click here to buy this book.
  Sinead Moriarty

Published first as Whose life is it anyway, Keeping it in the family is a fabulous re-issue from Irish journalist Sinead Moriarty.
It is tricky for Niamh O'Flaherty, realising that her family expect her to settle down with a nice Irish lad, now that she is living in Dublin. When Niamh finally meets the love of her life he is the last person she would expect to fall for her. Pierre is older and an intellectual, but she loves his calmness and strength of character. There is just one problem: if Pierre's parents are sniffy about their pride and joy hooking up with a girl who writes a fluffy newspaper column, her parents, Mick and Annie, are going to go ballistic when they hear that their daughter intends to marry someone who could not be less Irish if he tried.

Click here to buy this book.
SWEET LOVE   TARNISHED BEAUTY   HEARTLESS
Sarah Strohmeyer

Love and Dessert - the best things in life on offer in Sweet Love.

Julie Mueller, once a brilliant local television reporter, has been fired for the sin of being forty. Broke, divorced, unemployed, and struggling to raise a teenage daughter alone, she had given up on happiness until she receives for Mother's Day four dessert classes that spark not only a new burst of culinary creativity but a burning passion for one of her fellow students, Michael Slayton, a true love she let slip away.
Before Julie can win back her soul mate, however, she must make amends to those she has unwittingly hurt in her past and stare down a crisis every woman must face. Armed with the love of her mother, her daughter, her own determination, and lots and lots of chocolate, Julie takes to heart Shakespeare's plea: 'Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said thy edge should blunter be than appetite.'

Click here to buy this book.
  Cecilia Samartin

Lovely and haunting, Tarnished Beauty is a very  personal book from Cecelia Samartin.

Jamilet is a beautiful young woman marred by a shockingly gruesome birthmark that causes her to be shunned by the villagers of her rural Mexican town. In search of medical salvation, she is finally driven to escape north and cross the border illegally to Los Angeles.
After acquiring false documents, Jamilet finds work at a mental hospital, where she is assigned to look after Señor Peregrino, an elderly man from Spain as disagreeable as he is mysterious. Jamilet is given strict orders to keep her distance, but when he cleverly snags possession of her papers, he bargains to return them upon the condition that she listen to his story. Jamilet begrudgingly agrees, and Señor Peregrino takes her back to the days of his youth, and on a mystical and romantic journey along the legendary Road to Santiago in Spain.

Click here to buy this book.

  Long, Tall Texans 30

Diana Palmer

Does anyone do western romance better than Diana Palmer? Heartless is her latest in the Long, Tall Texan series.
As a teenager, Gracie worshipped her step brother, Jason, a strong, silent young cowboy who left home early to seek his fortune. Though Gracie had not seen him in years, when her mother passed away, Jason ensured that Gracie would be cared for. Now the wealthy owner of Comanche Wells ranch, Jason has finally come back home, and discovered that the little girl he knew is all grown up.
When a moment of unbridled passion results in a kiss, Jason realises that he's falling for Gracie. But Gracie harbours a shameful secret that makes her deeply afraid of love. Stung by her rejection, Jason leaves and Gracie thinks she has lost him forever. But when danger threatens her and the ranch, she can only hope that her long, tall Texan will come blazing home to save her.

Click here to buy this book.
SEARCHING FOR SUSPENSE?
SALVATION IN DEATH
In Death 27


JD Robb

New to paperback

Romance's most enduring couple - from romance's reigning queen. Book 27 in JD Robb's (Nora Roberts' alias for her futuristic suspense series) In Death series, Salvation in Death has a slightly different, deeper tone from the others, when Eve Dallas investigates the deaths of New York City religious figures. Roarke is still around, though, as dark and mysterious - and attractive - as ever, as is the ever delightful Peabody.

Click here to buy this book.
WHISPERED LIES   THE WARRIOR
Bad Agency 4

Sherrilyn Kenyon and Diana Love

A new joint venture between Sherrilyn Kenyon and Diana Love in their Bad Agency series, Whispered Lies is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Click here to buy this book.
  Sharon Sala

Sharon Sala
's new suspense novel, The Warrior,  features a world-weary Native American who has seen too much and a courageous young woman who knows too much. Though Alicia Ponte's the daughter of a traitor, John Nightwalker feels compelled to help her, and their journey to bring her father to justice unveils unexpected turns.

Click here to buy this book.

SILVER FALLS

Anne Stuart

There's a very good reason why Anne Stuart fans rave about her romantic suspense stories.

They're deep, they're raw, and they're fantastic.

Set in a small town, with a main character who thinks she's finally got her life on track, Silver Falls plays into our deepest fears about what is real, and what is imaginary, and how we can tell the difference. As Rachael's small, perfect existence descends into a murderous nightmare, she must decide whether to trust herself or what she sees, to protect both herself and her young daughter.


If you haven't discovered Anne Stuart suspense yet, try her Ice series. And if you're not aware of her historicals, ooooh are you in for a treat. One of my favourites is The Devil's Waltz.

Click here to buy this book (Australian June release).
EVERYWHERE SHE TURNS   RUN TO ME   THE HIDING PLACE
Debra Webb

From the best-selling author of Find Me, Debra Webb, comes  Everywhere She Turns, a new suspense-thriller about a killer on the loose, and the woman in his sights.
Drugs, prostitution, robbery, homicide - these are four terms that Dr. CJ Patterson learned all too well growing up on the seamy, forgotten streets of inner-city Huntsville, Alabama. Fiercely determined, CJ worked hard to forget where she came from and become an emergency medicine resident at a prestigious Baltimore hospital. But when her younger sister - the only family she ever had - is murdered, CJ is drawn back into the painful past she thought she'd left behind.

Click here to buy this book (international late June release).
 
Last Chance Rescue 3

Christy Reece

Finally the last book in Christy Reece's dark, sensual Last Chance Rescue Trilogy, Run to Me, is available.
If you haven't picked up Reece before, you can start with this latest - each book stands alone. But you might want to start with Rescue Me, just for chronology.
Run to Me sees Shea Monroe go deep undercover vowing vengeance against the man who destroyed her family.
However, circumstances change, and she ends up trapped and terrified. Her husband's best friend, Ethan, rescues her, but finds Shea altered, maybe irrevocably. And they are in some very serious danger.

Click here to buy this book (international late June release).
  Karen Harper

Karen Harper
brings us The Hiding Place, an edge-of-your-seat thriller.
After spending nine months in a coma, Tara Kinsale awakes to devastating news.
Forced to start over, Tara focuses on reopening her P.I. firm and caring for Claire. But soon her world is shattered again when Nick MacMahon, Claire's uncle, returns from military service in Afghanistan to take guardianship of his niece.
Working with Nick, a man haunted by his own past, Tara begins to investigate the missing months of her life. Together, they will find that secrets don't stay buried forever even when they are kept in the darkest of hiding places.

Click here to buy this book.
EXCITING EROTIC ROMANCE
SKIN TRADE
Anita Blake 17

Laurell K Hamilton

Is there any paranormal fan who is not aware of Laurell K Hamilton and her hot, dark urban fantasies? All the characters are back, in this, the 17th book in the Anita Blake series. Anita is back on the job, chasing a vampire serial killer, and juggling her complicated personal life.

When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're dealing with. Only it's worse than she thought. Ten officers and one executioner have been slain - paranormal style. Anita heads to Vegas, where she's joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward. It's a good thing he always has her back, because when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses 'tiger' too strongly to ignore it. The weretigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher.

Probably best to start the series from the beginning, if you haven't read Hamilton before. Guilty Pleasures is the first Anita Blake book, but be prepared to descend into deep obsession.

Click here to buy this book.
GOING TOO FAR
  SECRET TIES
  THE APPRENTICE
Laura Hamilton

A tropical, fast-paced adventure of a young woman caught up in sexual intrigue and global politics, Going Too Far is the latest novel from Laura Hamilton.
Spirited adventurer Bliss van Bon is set for three months travelling around South America. Along the way, there's no shortage of company. From flirting on a plane to being tied up in Peru, from sex on snowy mountain peaks to finding herself out of her depth with local crooks, Bliss doesn't have time for homesickness.  And when brawny Australians Red and Robbie are happy to share their tent and their gorgeous bodies with her, she's spoiled for choice.

Click here to buy this book (international July release).
  Opal Carew

Opal Carew defines erotic romance fiction. Check out Secret Ties, her latest novel.
When Summer meets Max Delaney, she instantly falls under his spell. Max is a master of bondage and submission, and Summer yearns to be dominated by him body and soul. Max tutors her in the pleasures of submissive sex, and together they explore Summer's most hidden fantasies. But can she surrender to her ultimate desire: to share herself with three men at once? And is this merely a red-hot fling, or does she have a future with Max outside the bedroom?

Click here to buy this book (Australian late June release).
  Carrie Williams

Love the teacher-student dichotomy in romance? Carrie Williams explores it with The Apprentice - with extra heat.
In desperate financial straits, aspiring writer Genevieve Carter takes a job as a personal assistant, only to discover that the middle-aged woman she will be working for is none other than her literary heroine, Anne Tournier. Genevieve is at first ecstatic at gaining an introduction to London literary life and Anne's many famous friends. However, her new employer expects rather more from her assistant than was implied in the advert and Genevieve gradually gets pushed to her artistic and erotic limits.

Click here to buy this book (Australian June release).
KISSING MIDNIGHT
Fitz Clare Chronicles 6

Emma Holly

Emma Holly is one of my very favourite authors - she writes strong stories, wonderful characters, and hot, hot love scenes. Don't mistake her for an author that just hops from one bedroom scene to the next - Holly's strength lies in the strength of her plots and the depth of her characters. These are books to fall in love with. Kissing Midnight is her latest.

Book six in the Fitz Clare chronicles, Kissing Midnight is the first of a tightly connected trilogy featuring a main character from Holly's previous books Catching and Courting Midnight.

Edmund Fitz Clare has kept his vampire nature a secret from his family - and Estelle Berenger, the woman he loves. But a vampire war threatens to expose him and destroy all he holds dear.

Click here to buy this book (Australian June release).

A PASSION FOR PARANORMALS?
CHASING MIDNIGHT

Susan Krinard

Vampires led the paranormal brigade onto our shelves and into our hearts more than a decade ago. You'd be right in thinking that any vampire story that could be told, has been told.

But you haven't read Susan Krinard - a vampire story. Set in the 1920s. Intrigued? You should be.

By day, Allie Chase lives among the artists and eccentrics of 1920's Greenwich Village, in search of adventure. By night, she haunts the city's back alleys and seedy speakeasies, driven by a more primal hunger.

Here, amid the glitz and unrestrained morals of jazz-age society, even a vampire can fall prey to the temptations of the flesh. One look into the golden eyes of the dashing Griffin Durant, and Allegra knows she's not dealing with just a man....

Though their kinds have been enemies for centuries, Griffin has never encountered a vampire as independent, uninhibited or eager for his touch as Allegra. Yet their love is threatened by a jealous vampire master, and a race war seems inevitable. Griffin and Allegra must struggle to stay out of harm's wayand hold onto their dream of an eternity of passion.

Click here to buy this book (Australian June release).
DEMON MISTRESS
  WITCH FURY
Sisters of the Moon 6

Yasemine Galenorn

Book six of Yasemine Galenorn's Sisters of the Moon series, that starts with Witchling, Demon Mistress continues the stories of the D'Artigo sisters. Half-human, half fae, the sisters are operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency.
Their latest assignment is to seek out the secret society responsible for unleashing chaos magic against the city - and to stop a demon from devouring Delilah's soul.
Fans of Kim Harrison might like to give Galenorn a try.

Click here to buy this book (Australian June release).
  Elemental Witches 4

Anya Bast

Paranormals love their series - and this is a good one. From Anya Bast comes the fourth in her Elemental Witches series that starts with Witch Fire. Hot and dark, Bast's novels have made a splash in the paranormal romance community.
In Witch Fury, witches are taking the nation by storm.
With the untapped gift to create fire, witch Sarafina Connell is caught up in a war between good and evil. And she has no choice but to join an infamous playboy in the battle for supremacy - one that's getting hotter by the minute.

Click here to buy this book (Australian late June release).
FAERIES GONE WILD

MaryJanice Davidson, Lois Greiman, Michele Hauf, Leandra Logan

An anthology of your favourite romance writers, all about the mischevious, magical Fae!

Featuring MaryJanice Davidson and some new up-and-coming paranormal voices, Faeries Gone Wild is funny, flirty, and down right fabulous.

Be warned, however. These are not your average Tinkerbells. These fae have attitude, sass, and style - and problems far beyond the comprehension of their Peter Pan-obsessed cousin!

Wit and humour infuses this anthology; fans of MaryJanice might discover a few new authors to love!

Click here to buy this book (Australian June release).
SUCKER FOR LOVE
  TOUCHED BY LIGHT
  BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Dead-End Dating 5

Kimberly Raye

Sucker for Love is the latest, very funny,  Dead-End Dating Novel from Kimberly Raye.
Divalicious darling of the undead Lil Marchette is this close to finding her own happily-ever-after with hunky live-in bounty hunter Ty Bonner. Unfortunately, reality is biting back in a big way. Lil's got mounting bills to pay and clients to keep happily hooked up courtesy of Dead End Dating, the ultimate meet-and-greet for New York's fanged, furry, and fabulous. But leave it to a drop-dead gorgeous eight-hundred-year-old warlock with a big-girl fetish to take the biggest chomp out of Lil's happiness by kidnapping Esther Crutch, one of Lil's plus-size clients, now stamped as Grade-A Ritual Meat.

Click here to buy this book (international late June release).


  Sentinel 3

Catherine Spangler

Catherine Spangler's  Touched by Light concludes the trilogy started in Touched by Darkness and continued Touched by Fire.
Dr. Julia Reynolds lives a solitary existence. But Adam Masters is determined to draw her into a dark and dangerous otherworld - and make her give in to the stunning sexual attraction between them.
Sensual, supernatural, with a touch of humour, Spangler is a perfect curl-up-with-a-cup-of-tea read.

Click here to buy this book.
  Gifted 2

Marilyn Kaye

From Marilyn Kaye's paranormal young adult series, comes Better Late Than Never.
Goth girl Jenna Kelley has the ultimate tool to stage a teenage rebellion: she can read people's minds without even trying. When her alcoholic mother is hospitalized, a stranger shows up who says he's her long-lost dad and promises a better future. Too good to be true? Her gifted classmates think so, but Jenna is so determined to have a real parent around and a somewhat normal life that she might have lost her ability to listen.

Click here to buy this book (international June release).
   
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In This Issue

Let's Get Started

Spotlight on Charlaine Harris

Book of the Month

Not to be missed - JR Ward's Lover Avenged

Historicals

Contemporary

Suspense

Erotic Romance

Paranormal

Want more Buzz?

SF and Fantasy Buzz

Booktopia Buzz

What Comes After Twilight?

Food and Drink Buzz



WANT MORE CHARLAINE?

Can't get enough of Sookie Stackhouse?

Click on the titles to check out the other books in the Southern Vampire series and in Charlaine's backlist!



The Southern Vampire series:

DEAD UNTIL DARK

LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS
CLUB DEAD
DEAD TO THE WORLD
DEAD AS A DOORNAIL
DEFINITELY DEAD
ALL TOGETHER DEAD
FROM DEAD TO WORSE

The Shakespeare series:

SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD

SHAKESPEARE'S CHAMPION
SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS
SHAKESPEARE'S TROLLOP
SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR

The Harper Connelly series:

GRAVE SIGHT

GRAVE SURPRISE
AN ICE COLD GRAVE

Read Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series from the beginning!
KISS OF MIDNIGHT
KISS OF CRIMSON
MIDNIGHT AWAKENING
MIDNIGHT RISING
VEIL OF MIDNIGHT

The RITAs have been announced!

The Oscars of the romance writing world, the RITAs are awarded every July at the Romance Writers of America's annual conference. Though many of the category titles will now be out of print (keep an eye out at your favourite second-hand book store!), you can still check out the best of single titles in 2008. We congratulate all the 2009 RITA finalists, including Australia's own Stephanie Laurens, Christine Wells, Lilian Darcy, and Nalini Singh (technically a Kiwi, but we claim her anyway!).

BEST FIRST BOOK

The Secret Soldier, Jennifer Morey

HER ONE DESIRE
Kimberly Killion
OH. MY. GODS.
Tera Lyn Childs
PASSIONATE
Anthea Lawson
PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS
Sherry Thomas
NO GOOD GIRLS
Jean Marie Pierson
YOUR ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Elise Childley
CONTEMPORARY SERIES ROMANCE

A Mother's Wish, Karen Templeton; Adopted: Outback baby, Barbara Hannay; Antonide's Forbidden Wife, Anne McAllister; Falling for the Lone Wolf, Crystal Green; Last Minute Proposal, Jessica Hart; Texas Heir, Linda Warren; The Children's Doctor and the Single Mum, Lilian Darcy; The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle, RaeAnne Thayne; The Right Mr Wrong, Cindy Myers
CONTEMPORARY SERIES ROMANCE: SUSPENSE / ADVENTURE

A Sexy Time of It, Cara Summers; Cold Case Connection, Kathleen Long; Danger Signals, Kathleen Creighton; Lethal Attraction, Diana Duncan; Strangers in the Night, Kerry Connor; Tall, Dark and Lethal, Dana Marton; The Man Behind the Cop, Janice Kay Johnson; The Secret Soldier, Jennifer Morey; Twin Targets, Jessica Andersen
HISTORICAL ROMANCE
DUCHESS BY NIGHT
Eloisa James
IN BED WITH THE DEVIL
Lorraine Heath
PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS
Sherry Thomas
SEDUCE ME AT SUNRISE
Lisa Kleypas
THE EDGE OF IMPROPRIETY
Pam Rosenthal
THE SPYMASTER'S LADY
Joanna Bourne
TO SEDUCE A SINNER
Elizabeth Hoyt
WHERE THE HEART LEADS
Stephanie Laurens
CONTEMPORARY SINGLE TITLE
NO GOOD GIRLS
Jean Marie Pierson
NOT ANOTHER BAD DATE
Rachel Gibson
OUT OF TIME
Samantha Graves
SNOWFALL AT WILLOW LAKE
Susan Wiggs
SWEET TALK
Susan Mallery
TALL TALES AND WEDDING VEILS
Jane Graves
TWENTY WISHES
Debbie Macomber
YOUR ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Elise Chidley
INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCE

Where Love Abides, Irene Hannon
THE PERFECT LIFE
Robin Lee Hatcher
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TROUBLE
Deeanne Gist
FAKING GRACE
Tamara Leigh
FINDING STEFANIE
Susan May Warren
LOVE STARTS WITH ELLE
Rachel Hauck
MULBERRY PARK
Judy Duarte
THE CONVENIENT GROOM
Denise Hunter
NOVEL WITH STRONG ROMANTIC ELEMENTS

The Winter Sea,
Susanna Kearsley

LAST DANCE AT JITTERBUG LOUNGE
Pamela Morsi
THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET
Karen White
THE PAPER MARRIAGE
Susan Kay Law
THE SHAPE OF MERCY
Susan Meissner
WHERE SERPENTS SLEEP
CS Harris
TRIBUTE
Nora Roberts
PARANORMAL ROMANCE
DRAGON WYTCH
Yasemine Galenorn
MINE TO POSSESS
Nalini Singh
MOONSTRUCK
Susan Grant
SEDUCING MR DARCY
Gwyn Cready
THE DARKEST NIGHT
Gena Showalter
THE HEALER
Sharon Sala
THE UNDEAD NEXT DOOR
Kerrelyn Sparks
THUNDER MOON
Lori Handeland
ROMANCE NOVELLA

'All He Wants for Christmas' in Heating Up the Holidays, Jill Shalvis; 'Blame It On The Mistletoe' in One Candlelit Christmas,
Terri Brisbin; 'Our Day' in The Valentine Gift, Jean Brashear; 'Penance' in Aftershock, Sharon Sala.
'Thicker Than Blood' in FIRST BLOOD
Meljean Brook
'Only You' in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
Jacquie D'Alessandro
'Snowy Night With A Highlander' in SNOWY NIGHT WITH A STRANGER
Julia London
'The Fall of Rogue Gerard' in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
Stephanie Laurens
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
KILLING FEAR
Allison Brennan

NIGHT SECRETS
Cherry Adair
NOW YOU DIE
Roxanne St Claire
SCREAM FOR ME
Karen Rose
STOP ME
Brenda Novak
TAKE NO PRISONERS
Cindy Gerard
THE ANGEL
Carla Neggers
TRIPLE EXPOSURE
Colleen Thompson


YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE
HELL WEEK
Rosemary Clement-Moore

HOW TO HOOK A HOTTIE
Tina Ferraro
OH. MY. GODS
Tera Lynn Childs
REGENCY HISTORICAL ROMANCE
DUKE MOST WANTED
Celeste Bradley

MR CAVENDISH I PRESUME
Julia Quinn
MY LORD AND SPYMASTER
Joanna Bourne
THE DANGEROUS DUKE
Christine Wells
THE EDGE OF DESIRE
Stephanie Laurens
THREE NIGHTS OF SIN
Anne Mallory

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