Romance Buzz
October 2009 | Edition Six
Gentle Readers,

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Well, at least in the publishing world: our contemporary section is overrun with Christmas titles, from the light and light-hearted Santa, Honey anthology to the deeper, more soul-stirring The Christmas Clock from Kat Martin. Historicals and paranormals have also jumped on board, so if it's Christmas you want, it's Christmas you're going to, in any of your chosen sub-genres!

Free story!
Don't worry if you're not in the spirit of the season just yet. There are loads of great titles out this month, including a page-scorcher, read-in-one-sitting Book of the Month from brand new Australian author Erica Hayes. Erica also wanted me to let you know that she's offering a free short story called Hellcursed, set before Shadowfae, click here to read it.

Just a piece of housekeeping: next month's Romance Buzz is going to be a bit shorter than normal, as I take some time off to go and get myself married! Don't worry, we'll be back and better than ever in December, and I promise to even include a wedding photo. In the meantime, I've offered up a list of my all-time favourite happy-ever-after stories, to celebrate my own happy-ever-after. You can find them in the side column. As a sneak peek, number one? My all-time, can't-put-it-down, go-back-to-time-and-time again novel? Julia Quinn's Romancing Mr Bridgerton.

I've also spotlighted some of the titles available in November, available for pre-order now!

What I've just finished: Took a quick break from my favourite genre to read through Freakonomics. Such an interesting read and way to view the world. What I wouldn't give for a Freakonimic analysis of books and publishing!

What I'm reading now: I'm delving into anthologies and short stories at the moment. On the go, I have Must Love Hellhounds, a forthcoming anthology from Australian authors entitled How Do I Love Thee? and The Heart of Christmas, which features one of my new finds: Courtney Milan.

What I can't wait for: I'm so holding out for the new Anna Campbell! Captive of Sin is out soon, and I'll be featuring Anna as my Book of the Month for November!

Until then, happy reading!

Kate Cuthbert
Romance Buzz
Shadowfae by Erica Hayes

It's always so much fun to discover a new author, especially a new Australian author. Especially a new Australian author who has an awesome sense of humour as is evidenced by her award-winning costume at this year's Romance Writers of Australia cocktail party. Let me set the scene: it was a hot August night in Brisbane. The ballroom of the CBD hotel was crowded. The theme was Arabian Nights. Harem girls and genies abounded. Suddenly there she was, in thigh highs and a veil, and a sign reading The Sheikh's Reluctant Dead Keen Virgin Bride.

What's even better than a local author with a sense of humour? A local author with a sense of humour who's written a pretty freakin' awesome debut novel. Shadowfae is addictive and compulsive, dark and deadly, and downright impressive.

Now, one of romance's biggest myths is that authors write to a formula. We readers know it's not true. But Erica has offered us a recipe.

I love urban fantasy. And chocolate. Preferably both. If I had to choose just one or the other for the rest of my life, I seriously don't know what I'd do.

I mean, I love paranormal romance, too. All those gorgeous tortured vampires and sexy werecats and hot-blooded angels and… well, you know where I'm coming from.

But best of all, I love to visit that magical urban fantasy place where the heroine can come into her own. She's a confident, kick-ass lady, often cynical and wisecracking, just doin' her job in a tough, dark paranormal world that's out to get her. She knows through hard experience that not every happy-for-now can have — or needs! — a happy-ever-after. And hey – why buy straight away, when you can try all the flavours first? She gets to experience the first flush of romance, not just once but over and over again. I love the suspense, not knowing who out of all those powerful, sexy, besotted guys will turn out to be the one.

And the urban fantasy hero (yeah, we can call him that, right? Love interest makes him sound… well, merely interesting, instead of dark, dangerous and scorchin' hot) can be a more multi-faceted guy than you might find in a pure romance. Darker. More enigmatic. More like a villain. And who doesn't love a bad boy? Especially one who might just turn out to be really bad…

So here's a recipe for urban fantasy chocolate pudding*. Do try this at home. Please. You'll be glad you did.

Take one dark, gritty urban setting, and heat gently until the chocolate melts. Add a generous handful of hot summer nights, a spooky glint of moonlight, a rumble of thunder and a sultry whiff of intrigue. Stir well. Once the mixture starts to froth, carefully pour in essence of fang, fur and fey as desired. Add witch covens, wolf packs, nightclubs, fairy courts and ancient vampire brotherhoods to taste. Heat until simmering.

While the setting is cooking, prepare your heroine. Mix equal quantities of courage and vulnerability in a small bowl. Peel your heroine with a sharp knife, taking care not to remove any quirky edges or witty dialogue. Inscribe tattoos if desired. Dip her in whipped paranormal abilities of your choice, and coat her liberally in the courage mixture.

By now, your dark magical fantasy should be heating up nicely. Add your heroine along with a weapon of your choice (optional) and simmer gently, until her sweetness permeates the chocolate and her paranormal powers begin to shine.

In the meantime, prepare your hero. Combine your choice of strength, angst, dark powers, a haunted past, immortality, sultry good looks, muscles to die for and lashings of hot animal attraction, and whip with caramel and sugar until your heart beats faster. Marinate him slowly until your mouth waters, and fold him into the simmering fantasy, taking care he doesn't stick to the heroine just yet.

Cook until tension shimmers. Depending on the heroine's flavour and consistency, add more men to taste. Meanwhile, steep the villain sweetly in a nefarious plan, and shake well with strawberry coulis, some forbidden lust and a generous dash of life and death, until frothing.

Pour the fantasy chocolate pudding into a scorching hot dish, spread the strawberry villain evenly over the top, garnish with anticipation (or whipped cream) and serve.

* It'll make a mean paranormal romance, too. You just have to fiddle the quantities a bit.

Click here to buy Shadowfae:
RRP $29.95, Booktopia Price $23.95
It's starting to get into Christmas season, so expect many holiday-related titles to start cropping up. Mary Balogh's headlining an anthology in historicals, and there are a couple of up-and-comers out this month as well!

Seven Deadly Sins 2

Kathryn Caskie
's series of novels about seven notorious, scandalous siblings continues with Ivy. Her father has declared that she and the others will marry - and quickly - or he will cut them off without a penny. Lady Ivy can't live without funds much longer, so she vows to land a sensible, serious husband her father will accept.

But just when the respectable gentlemen is about to pop the question, another woman snatches him away. The best way to get him back? Why, jealousy of course. Show him what he missed. Now just to find the perfect actor for the task. Preferably a handsome one. Who can impersonate a high-born noble... the higher the better.

The moment Ivy kisses Dominic Sheridan - merely to test his fitness for the task at hand, of course - she's sure he's perfect for her desperate scheme. What Ivy doesn't know is that he isn't acting at all, but intent on stealing her heart and perhaps sinning a little himself along the way!

RRP: $13.95, Booktopia Price: $10.95

Click here to buy this book.
  Fans of Julia London really love Julia London, though she's still a buried treasure for many histrorical readers. Get ahead of the trend with her latest.

Courtesans seem to be all the rage in historicals lately - proof that everyone, even the most fallen of regency women, deserves a happy-ever-after!

Kate Bergeron is the beautiful and mysterious former mistress of a cloth merchant - and she's just caught the interest of the Prince of Wales. He, however, is in the middle of an acromonious divorce, and can't be seen showing interest in anyone else. So to distract the world, he orders  Grayson Christopher, the eligible Duke of Darlington, to pretend that he is having an affair with Kate. When Grayson agrees (naturally), he finds Kate grudging to say the least.  But, as the two mimic a love affair for the world to see, the deception shifts into something real. But a duke can't marry a courtesan. Let alone the one who has the Prince's eye.

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price $12.95

Click here to buy this book.

'Tis the season for Christmas stories - and romance publishers seem to like them short. Christmas anthologies come out of the woodwork this time of year, and you can't turn around without running into another one. Might as well enjoy the gift of trying out a whole bunch of authors in one book!

From Mary Balogh - A Handful of Gold: Not only is Julian Dare dashing and wealthy, but he's also going to inherit his father's very lofty title. So what do you get a man who has everything? Verity thinks she might have an idea or two...

From Nicola Cornick - The Season for Suitors: Heiress Clara Davenport hasn't had much luck with rakes. Clearly she's in need of some expert advice. Who better for the job than Sebastian Fleet, the most notorious rake in town? But lessons don't go quite as planned...

From Courtney Milan - This Wicked Gift: Lavinia Spencer has been saving her hard-earned pennies to provide her family with Christmas dinner, but mere days before the holiday, her brother is swindled, leaving them owing more than they can ever repay. Then a mysterious benefactor offers to settle the debt, but what does William White want in return?

For a taste of Courtney Milan's work, you can check out the Romance Vagabonds blog here where Courtney posts the story that started it all!

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy this book.

Boscastle Family 9

From London’s ballrooms to its secret bedrooms, award-winning author Jillian Hunter spins tales of suspense and seduction. Sexy too (wonder how many other s-words I can use in that paragraph?).

Lord Griffin Boscastle has no intention of ending his glorious career as a rakehell just because he's inherited a dukedom. Still, there are things dukes must do before they can go ahead and resume their pleasantly debauched lifestyle. So it's off to drop his recent responsibility (read: niece) at her proper finishing school. He just didn't expect to find her teacher quite so... interesting.

Harriet has survived London’s streets far too long to let some arrogant duke  woo a bride he doesn’t want, and she's  seen too much of life not to recognise a man ripe for redemption. Harriet might be just the woman to save the new duke from himself.

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy this book.
  Border Chronicles 4

Bertrice Small is a legend in the romance industry, prolific and varied. Not only does she write historicals, like this, the latest in her Border Chronicles series, but she also writes fantasy and erotic contemporaries! I'm getting tired just thinking about it!

Lady Cicely Bowen has a wicked step-mother, but at least her father recognises it, and sends her out of harm's way. Now an exile, she befriends Lady Joan Beaufort, the king's cousin, and later King James the first's bride. When Joan goes to Scotland, Cicely accompanies her north.

At the Scot's court, Cicely finds herself pursued by two very different men - the elegant and smooth Andrew, laird of Fairlee, and rough-spoken Ian Douglas, the laird of Glengorm. Events reach a pitch when Cicely is kidnapped, though her heart is not as easy to capture.

RRP: $28.95, Booktopia Price: $23.95

Click here to buy this book.


How I love Suzanne Enoch, and her wonderful, witty, deliciously dangerous (well, sort of) rogues! You're in for a treat when you pick up an Enoch.

There are ways to tell if a man is a rogue:

1. He has no patience for debutantes
2. He kisses you after only asking you to dance once
3. He makes you forget yourself and kiss him back

Much to everyone's surprise, Captain Bennett Wolfe has shown up, very much alive... and very much sought after by every marriage-minded young woman. Sure he's a rogue and an adventurer, but he's such a handsome rogue and adventurer.

Phillipa would rather read than flirt, but she does know a thing or two about proper courtship rituals. A gentleman does not kiss a lady, and he certainly does not bring his pet monkey when he comes calling. Lady Phillipa's is very properly  scandalised... and not so very properly tempted. Naturally, it is her duty to teach him some manners, and help him adjust to London society. It would never do to let that wildness run free.  

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy The Care and Taming of a Rogue.
  •  He needs someone who can offer his young daughter more than he can. She just wants to help, but has other responsibilities as well. Can the spirit of the season find a way to bring them all together? Linda Lael Miller's A Creed Country Christmas.

  • She sneaks into the masked ball with only one thing on her mind - a kiss. He's enchanted by his mysterious lady, but there's something so familiar about her. Kathryn Smith's When Seducing a Duke.

  • She says she's a lady's maid, escaping a cruel employer. But a woman travelling alone through the wilds of Scotland must be hiding something. Margo Maguire's Taken by the Laird.

  • He ignored her for war and other women. But now he's titled and needs his wife. It's a role she just isn't interested in playing anymore. Cathy Maxwell's The Earl Claims His Wife.

  • Meet Benedict and Camilla, and Deverel and Julia, in this two-story bind up from Candace Camp. They are indiscreet, passionate, bold, and just a bit Reckless.

  • Can bidding on a clearly unwilling maid at a brothel be the noble thing to do? Find out in The Heiress in His Bed by Tamara Lejeune.

  • She has her reasons for wanting to run the village inn, and doesn't see any reason to share them. That doesn't mean he's going to hire her. Stephanie Lauren's Temptation and Surrender.

  • A young widow with no protector finds herself making a Christmas wish. Little did she expect it to be answered in the form of a mysterious knight, wracked with fever. Deborah MacGillivray's One Snowy Knight.

Just on the downlow, Iris Johansen is one of my best friend's favourite authors. And given that said best friend introduced me to romance novels, who am I to argue?

It's been a long time coming, but Johansen is finally back, and she's brought Eve Duncan with her.

Eve Duncan is getting ever closer to finding her daughter's murderer, but she's about to come up against the most evil mind she has ever encountered: a ruthless killer who taunts her with his every move and who might know something about her missing daughter Bonnie. When a goblet of blood is found in Eve’s refrigerator, she knows the taunting is over and the games have just begun.

RRP: $55.95, Booktopia Price: $44.95

Click here to buy Blood Game.
Bullet Catchers

If you're a fan of strong military (and military-esque) alpha heroes a la Suzanne Brockmann, then it is long past time for you to discover Roxanne St Claire's Bullet Catchers.

Someone is stealing priceless gems from a sunken Spanish galleon, and Constantine Xenakis has infiltrated a dive ship to discover who. But somehow, even though he caught her red-handed in the locked treasure room, Lizzie Dare has convinced him to work with her, instead of turning her in. She's willing to risk everything to save the Bombay Blue Diamonds from her sworn enemy, and he's going to help, even as danger surrounds them like a school of hungry sharks.

Like the deep-sea diving metaphor? I was worried it was too much - but I think it's okay ;)

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy this book.
  Haunted houses? Now there's an untapped romance storyline.  Trust Heather Graham to find a new angle for her suspenseful story.

When Sarah McKinley is finally able to buy and restore the historic Florida mansion that she has always loved, she dismisses the horror stories of past residents vanishing and black magic as superstition - and a good story to scare kids.  Then her renovations turn up a gruesome surprise: the remains of dozens of bodies - some dating back over a century.

Caleb Anderson, a private investigator, shows up not long after, believing several current missing-persons cases are linked to the house. Working together to find the connection and stop a contemporary killer, Sarah and Caleb must research the history of the house - could there really be a spirit bent on revenge?

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy this book.
  • She believes in evidence, not superstition. But when murders start racking up in a small rural town, she won't know what to believe. Kylie Brant's Waking Evil.

  • She just wants an easy life with her daughter and - potentially - an old flame. But her personal life is about to take a very dangerous turn. Carla Cassidy's Up Close and Personal.

  • She's taken on the case of a lifetime, protecting a madam from her political clients. Who's a girl to call but her sisters? Fern Michael's Razor Sharp.

  • The last thing he needs is more blood on his hands, but she needs him... and she's going to need him more. Shannon Butcher's Love You to Death.
Science fiction, paranormal, historical, and contemporary - this month's titles cover the gamut. The only thing they have in common is that they're all hot.

Demon princess 2

Sunny, she of the one name only, is back with another book in her erotic paranormal universe.

Soon after returning to the world of the living with her two bondmates, demon princess Lucinda is kidnapped and imprisoned by her enemy, Derek. He brings her back to a hidden outland in Hell, a bleak and desolate landscape riddled with disfigured rejects. At first enraged by Lucinda's new abilities, Derek soon realises that he may have just stumbled upon a way to regain his power - and Lucinda's new life is the sacrifice.

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy this book.
  Kate Pearce is a convincing, vivid writer with a gift for strong characters. And did I mention historical? There are just not enough erotic historical romances out there. Check out Simply Wicked.

Anthony Sokorvsky's only rule in life is not to have any, especially when pleasures of the flesh are involved. But his sexual escapades have led him to near ruin, and he has to marry - and quickly.

When Anthony Sokorvsky offers to escort Marguerite around London, she's not sure quite what to make of him - or the fact, he wastes no time in thorougly seducing her. 

RRP: $27.95, Booktopia Price: $22.95

Click here to buy this book.

Hell's Eight 3

Sarah McCarty has built a massive readership based on the strength of her Promises trilogy - writing erotic Western historical novels. From Ellora's Cave to print publishing, McCarty's journey is one to follow - especially if you like red hot writing in an untapped setting. No pun intended.

Tucker McCade has known violence his whole life,  and he's learned the hard way that might makes right. So even he is shocked when he falls for Sallie Mae Reynolds, a Quaker nurse. Sallie May, in turn, shocks herself with the abandon with which she throws herself into their torrid affair. Tucker's occupation, however, becomes a bone of contention between them, as Sallie questions how someone so gentle can hold a gun. 

Every night they spend together binds them closer, slowly erasing their differences, until the day Tucker's past comes calling, breaking their bubble, and forcing all of their issues to a head.

RRP: $27.95, Booktopia Price: $22.95

Click here to buy Tucker's Claim
Set in a quaint New England town with a dark underside, Cathryn Fox's Instinctive is so hot that Romantic Times magazine  warned readers to watch out for their manicures. Or maybe invest in a book cover or two!

Free-spirited Jaclyn is set to inherit a cosmetics empire, but her scandalous personal history might ruin her chances. To distance herself from her naughty past she moves to a gated community in New England. It all looks very Stepford by daylight, but those gates get locked at night - and that's when the fun really starts.

Turns out Serene is home to demons, witches, vampires, lycans, and panthers, for whom primal exploration comes naturally. Jaclyn's jumped out of the frying pan straight into a very, very hot fire, in the shape of  a panther Slyck.

RRP: $27.95, Booktopia Price: $22.95

Click here to buy this book.
  Is there anything sexier than a Southern drawl? Well... except for a British accent. Of course, there's always the 'I don't quite speak English' European accent... and.. no, wait. I've distracted myself - and you - from Maya Banks' latest. Trust me, you don't want that.

Salon owner Julie Stanford wanted Nathan Tucker ever since she gave him his first massage. Getting paid to feel every inch of his body, stripped, oiled, and spread out in front of her? Course he was completely oblivious to her signals, so who can blame her for backing off?

The woman was driving him crazy.  First  she fuels his every fantasy, then she takes off to find someone else. Over his dead body. Just wait until he gets his hands on her - or vice versa - again.

RRP: $27.95, Booktopia Price: $22.95

Click here to buy this book.

  •  She can't imagine why her cousin needed to leave the planet Nerak to find a man. Until, that is, she stumbles across him... and all his Texas charm. Karen Kelley's Earth Guys are Easy.

  • He's a pawn in a deadly game to control the world, and only her mortal love can save him. Emma Holly's Breaking Midnight.

  • Only total desperation could force her into contacting him, but he could never refuse a damsel in distress. Bella Andre's Hot as Sin (available after Oct 27th).

  • Don't get involved with clients is the biggest rule in their business. So why are all three considering breaking it? Deanna Lee's Games Girls Play.

  • He requested her services, and she was happy to submit. But what happens when the servant falls in love with the master? Megan Hart's No Greater Pleasure
Wow are there a lot of contemporaries on offer this month. Can you smell Christmas in the air?

Debbie Macomber was the speaker at the first RWA conference I ever attended. It took her four years of straight writing to publish her first novel, and she's never looked back.

What would make your Christmas perfect? How about a new Debbie Macomber?

Cassie is 33. She wants a husband and kids, but so far, nothing's worked. Not blind dates, not the internet and certainly not leaving love to chance. The only thing left is a professional matchmaker: Simon Dodson, and he's very choosy about the clients he takes on. He's also difficult, acerbic, and a know-it-all, and Cassie is astonished when he accepts her as a client.

Claiming he has her perfect mate in mind, Simon assigns her three tasks to complete before she meets him, all related to Christmas. Will the work be worth it on Christmas Eve?

RRP: $32.95, Booktopia Price: $26.95

Click here to buy this book.
  Janet Dailey  is the best-selling author of the Calder series. This Christmas story isn't related, but if you like it, I'm  just letting you know that there's a lovely blacklist for you to explore!

Though Diana Palmer left the bright lights of the big city behind, she misses the excitement of a big city Christmas.  Luckily there are compensations out under the Big Sky of New Mexico. They just do things differently out here. And she can't say that she minds when the rancher shows up at her door with a fresh pine tree slung over his shoulder. It's only polite to invite him in for a cup of cocoa. 

Tall, sexy, and single, Lije Masters may just be all she ever wanted for a Christmas.
RRP: $13.95, Booktopia Price: $10.95

Click here to buy this book.
  The first of the Christmas contemp anthologies sees a re- release of a Sandra Hill, and new stories from two of her friends.

Anyone can hold up a convenience store on Christmas Eve. But to do it impersonating Santa Claus, on behalf of a nun, handcuffed to a gorgeous hostage - that takes a certain panache. Sandra Hill's Naughty or Nice.
Two sisters, plus two brothers, plus one romantic Christmas weekend at Dutch Lodge with zero electricity. It all adds up to a holiday happily-ever-after.  Joy Nash Christmas Unplugged.

A scratchy white beard and a red velvet suit two sizes too small can't distract hotshot ballplayer Alex Boxer from the fact his supervisor is as cute as a Christmas elf but channelling the nutcracker.  Kate Angell's Ho-Humbug-Ho

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy this book.
LuAnn McLane has a unique, bright, sexy voice, and her stories are always full of fun, sassy heroines and equally fun heroes, who struggle to keep up. Her latest novel follows a dried-up pop star returning home.

 At sixteen, Dakota Dunn was America's Pop Princess. Now twenty-five, she's all washed up. She needs someplace to clear her head and figure out what she wants to do. Her parents have a lakefront retreat in Tennessee, and it's probably the perfect place to write songs and transform her image from squeaky clean to kickin' country.

Turns out she should have asked first - her folks have handed things over to sexy, if cranky, cowboy Trace Coleman - a former bull riding champion intent on recovering from his injuries. He's not too happy about Dakota's arrival - and he's not keeping that a secret. Neither one is going to budge... and sparks are going to fly.

RRP: $13.95, Booktopia Price: $10.95

Click here to buy this book.
What?! You need more Christmas?

Oh we can so help you with that! Let's start with Janet Chapman's A Highlander Christmas.

So Camry MacKeage may have left her (somewhat prestigious) job as a NASA physicist for the (somewhat less prestigious) job as a small town dog-sitter, but there's really no reason her parents have to know that, right? She'll just spend Christmas alone with two of her furry friends and everyone will be happy.

Well everyone would have been  happy, except that Luke Pascal, rival scientist, totally hot, and clearly evil, spills the beans. Now her mother has enlisted him to make sure Camry doesn't spend the holidays flying solo.

Now he has to get her home for the celebrations, and maybe tempt her into helping him out with a little secret of his own.

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy this book.
  Kat Martin isn't hiding from the big stories in The Christmas Clock. Expect this one to tug at every single heart string you have. Not even the Grinch could resist.

Sylvia Winters is reluctant to return home. After jilting her fiance Joe for big city life (and secret treatment), she learned he turned to drink - and ended up in jail after an alcohol-fuelled incident. Now he's out, and in town as well.

Not far away, Lottie Sparks has been taking care of her grandson, Teddy, ever since her daughter was killed by a drunk driver.  Teddy wants to give her a Christmas to remember, as he watches her other memories slip away under the influence of a terrible disease.

Surely a Christmas miracle is needed to make this whole thing right.

RRP: $28.95, Booktopia Price: $23.55

Click here to buy this book.

Victoria Dahl has been making a name for herself around the internet as a writer that can do heat - and do it well, with emotions, strong characters, and just darned good writing. We need more authors like that.

Molly Jenkins has one teensy-tiny, itty-bitty, not-really-that-big-of-a-deal, kind-of naughty little secret: she just might be a bestselling erotic fiction author.  Bestselling, that is, until her inspiration runs dry, thanks to one heck of a creepy ex.

A change of scene is in order, and Molly heads back to small town Colorado for some R&R - little did she know that those Rs stood for revved and ready, but that's how police chief Ben Lawson makes her feel. Everything should be back in order, but there's the matter of a stalker, and that teeny-weeny secret of which Ben is just not going to approve.

RRP: $19.95, Booktopia Price: $15.95

Click here to buy this book.
  •  She's worked hard to stand on her own two feet. He's out for revenge on her father, no matter who else gets caught in the cross-hairs. Susan Mallery's Hot on her Heels (available after Oct 27th).

  • She makes the same New Year's resolution every year, and every year she's disappointed. But this year - this year she's going to get him, no matter what it takes. Susanna Carr's The Year of Living Shamelessly.

  • Two suspenseful stories of dangerous women and their dangerously attractive men. Christina Dodd's Dangerous Ladies.

  • You'd think being haunted by her mother-in-law's ghost would be the worst of her problems. But then there's her new officemate who's ego is only eclipsed by his sex appeal. Jana Deleon's Mischief in Mudbug.

  • Two Nora Roberts contemporary treasures in one convenient volume. 'Unfinished Business' and 'Search for Love' in Treasures Found.

  • She found the dead body. Now she's a suspect and her dog is the will's main beneficiary. Now they have to sniff out the real killer. Judy McCoy's  Heir of the Dog.
Well, paranormals and a fantasy... and a couple of Australian re-releases in anticipation of a long-awaited addition to a series. Intrigued? Read on.

Tairen soul 4

CL Wilson took the world by a storm last year with the first two books of her Tairen Soul series, Lord of the Fading Lands, and Lady of Light and Shadows. Her original trilogy has stretched to (at time of print) five books, and we fantasy romance lovers can't stop rejoicing. Thick, meaty, original, and oh-so-romantic. Don't start one at night - you won't get any sleep till it's done. These are best if you start from the beginning.

Oh, and just because it's me, and you  know I had to - what an amazing cover!

The first deadly battles of the new Mage Wars have been fought, but victory has come at a terrible price. As the toll of an unfulfilled matebond and the torment of war begins to tip Rain towards madness, Ellysetta knows if she cannot find a way to defeat the darkness growing inside her and complete the truemate bond, Rain will die - and she will be the instrument that destroys the Fey and enslave the World.

RRP: $19.95, Booktopia Price: $15.95

Click here to buy this book.
Celta's Heartmates 3

Penguin Australia has recently released these early books in Robin D Owen's absolutely wonderful Heart series, in anticipation of a new book coming out later this year. This is the perfect opportunity to check them out!

Healer Lark Collinson hates the street duelling that is part of life for the nobility on Celta. It killed her last husband, and she refuses to fall for another man who must fight  physically - for power.

All it takes is one brief touch for Holm to know that Lark is his HeartMate, though convicing her is going to take some doing. She pretty  much hates everything about him, and then there's the whole Romeo & Juliet aspect of their feuding families. But he wants her. And he's determined to have her.

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy this book.
  Celta's Heartmates 2

Back when I reviewed for All About Romance, I learned to get out of the way of a new Robin D Owens. I've never seen fights like the fights for the chance to read one first. SF/Fantasy romance at its very best.

The planet Celta, was founded on a Wiccan-like religion whose followers have psychic talents. In Heart Thief  Ruis Elder is on trial for his life. Not only is he not psychic, but his  mere presence nullifies the powers of others.

But Ailim Silver Fir, a judge and a strong empath, finds peace for the first time in her life when Ruis is around, and she can't believe that his powers are evil. When he sneaks back from exile to an abandoned spaceship, she can't resist spending more time in his company.  Then she discovers a past of secrecy and conspiracy that explains Ruis and his position in their society. But not everyone wants that knowledge uncovered.

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

Click here to buy this book
The Others

Adventure, danger, spice, and sizzle. What's not to love about Christine Warren?

For Missy Roper, Graham Winters has been the be-all and end-all  since the moment they met. But the imposing leader of the Silverback werewolf clan is pretty much oblivious to her existence. Or at least he was, until she runs head long into him - and then promptly away, because, really... how do you recover from that?

Lupine law decrees that every Alpha must have a mate, and Graham can't get Missy out of his head. Only problem? She's human. And the clan isn't going to like that one bit.

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

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  A two-fer with two of my favourite paranormal authors!

From Kresley Cole, a story of a vampire soldier, with no room for anything but violence and pain, and a valkyrie who just needs someone to hold her.

Of course, there is the small problem of her being an ice fey, and therefore untouchable. But the course of true love never did run smooth.

From Gena Showalter, the story of Aleaha, a shapeshifter who  can change her appearance, assume any identity, with only skin-to-skin contact. But she's about to meet the man who wants her to play the most seductive role of all - herself.

RRP: $42.95, Booktopia Price: $34.95

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This is the first book in Ilona Andrews' new series. That  really should be reason enough to snap it up. The fact that the guy on the front looks like Viggo Mortensen? Well there's one massive added bonus!

The Broken is a place where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is nothing more than a fairy tale. The Weird is a realm where the strength of your magic can change your destiny.  Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, the space inbetween. It's not a particularly comfortable existence, and it's about to become downright dangerous, thanks to a gang of magic-seeking creatures with chaos on their mind.

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

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Three series, three new-releases, three must-have books!

Well it's about freakin' time! A Touch of Dead finally collects all of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse short stories (they've appeared in various other anthologies) into one handy volume. Stories include Fairy Dust, One Word Answer, Dracula Night, Lucky, and Giftwrap.  A must-have for any Sookie (or True Blood!) lover!

RRP: $45.95, Booktopia Price: $36.95

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Meljean Brook. Just... wow. This writer is a world-building genius, and her first novel Demon Angel was my favourite book of 2007. Demon Forged is book 6.  Four centuries ago, a demon and a monstrous bargain tore Irena and Alejandro apart. She's avoided him for centuries, but a call for help brings them back together. 

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price $12.95

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I'm just enamoured with Susan Krinard's unique setting for her Roaring 20s paranormal series. The latest, Dark of the Moon, offers Dorian Black an escape from his outcast existence, and the chance to replace loneliness with hope. Unfortunately, that chance takes the form of a human reporter, Gwen, who will have to give up everything to bring Dorian back from the brink.

RRP: $24.95,  Booktopia Price: $19.95

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Some bonds are made to be broken...

This anthology was pitched as 'feminist fairy tales' and features stories from some of the hottest names in paranormal writing, including a brand new story (neither Merry nor Anita) titled Can He Bake a Cherry Pie from Laurell K Hamilton.

She's a young princess who escapes betrothal to a warlord by entering a magical forest. But when an evil queen sends her on a quest, she faces dangers more perilous than marriage. The Tangleroot Palace from Marjorie M Liu.

Sharon Shinn played with the fairytale theme by naming each of her chapters after a common fairytale trope, like The Wicked Stepmother” and “The Wise Old Grandmother” and “The Dreadful Secret.”. But don't expect a traditional tale in The Wrong Bridegroom.

Siobhan Morgan has a hidden past - a dark presence that has stalked her for a hundred years, a man who will stop at nothing to possess her. Now, she has to stop him before he destroys everything she loves, and everything she's built in her new life.  Yasmine Galenorn's The Shadow of Mist.

RRP: $18.95, Booktopia Price: $15.25

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This anthology has been newly released in Australia by Penguin, and features the short story that kicks off Patricia Brigg's new series!

Anna's life changes completely when the son of the werewolf king comes to visit. He's there to quell unrest in the pack, but definitely makes Anna feel anything but calm. Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega.

Kai can sense thoughts and desires, and what she can sense in her neighbour could be dangerous. But he has a secret gift too. Eileen Wilks's Inhuman.

In a New York auction house, a Lord of the Fey crosses paths with a fiery mage.  But what's really up for grabs here? Karen Chance's Buying Trouble.

Among the children of the moon, Mona Lisa is destined to be alone.  Then she meets a man who could be her salvation - or her downfall. Sunny's Mona Lisa Betwinning.

RRP: $15.95, Booktopia Price: $12.95

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In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead
Book of the Month
Erotic Romance
SF and Fantasy Buzz
Booktopia Buzz
Craft Buzz
Food Buzz
Mind Body Spirit Buzz

Me neither. Here are a couple of reasons why, available for pre-order now!
Anna Campbell
JD Robb
Linda Howard
Laurell K Hamilton
Elizabeth Hoyt
Nalini Singh
Susan Donovan

I'm afraid that November's newsletter is going to be a bit truncated as I will be busy chasing my own happy ending - with a hallowe'en wedding. In honour of my wedding month, I'm going to be self-indulgent, but romantic, and offer up my favourite, more literary-based happy endings.

They cross a number of genres, a number of authors, but each one touched me, made me laugh or made me cry, but most of all made me believe. Hope you enjoy!

Julia Quinn
Rachel Gibson
Kelley Armstrong
Loretta Chase
Anne Gracie
Elizabeth Hoyt
Elizabeth Hoyt
Jennifer Crusie
PC Cast
Anna Campbell
Sylvia Day
Shana Abe
Amanda Quick
Nalini Singh
Christine Wells
Linda Howard
Jennifer Crusie
Laura Lee Guhrke