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Artemis Gordon

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  1. The transcript for Podcast 555. Fashion and the State of Blogging with The Fug Girls has been posted! This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks. ❤ Click here to subscribe to The Podcast → View the full article
  2. It’s Fantasy Suites night on The Bachelor. Cheers to my friend Jen who is here and said, “Wait, there are 27 fucking seasons of this show?!” Indeed. Lady Pudding is currently not talking to me as she has to briefly wear the cone of shame (she’s fine, it’s so she doesn’t lick a topical med off her fur). Sleep with one eye open, mother. We’re in Thailand, BTW. Not Pudding and me, the people on this show. Jesse reminds us that on The Bachelorette it was the Fantasy Suite night that made Zach decide to quit the show. He had a really weird reaction and felt like Rachel was being fake and felt like something was off. My guess? There was potentially an ounce of conflict and he bailed, as is his MO. Then Zach drops the bombshell that there’s not going to be “any sex of any kind” during the Fantasy Suite dates. Jen just looked over at me and rolled her eyes. Jen: “He’s just very… he’s very white bread, milk is spicy… It just…” Yup. “I gotta ask you man, this is just us talking,” Jesse asks IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA AND CREW, “Are you gonna be able to pull this off? It’s gonna be hard.” Zach says he doesn’t imagine that’s how a healthy engagement should start. With sex? Okay. THEN HE TAKES ANOTHER FUCKING SHOWER. Click for Zach Then Ariel, who has the first date, says that being physical with someone is an important part of a relationship for her and she’s looking forward to the overnight date. Well, that should go great. Pudding: He’s going to totally have sex with one of them and cry about it later. Probably in the shower. Click for Zach...probably So he and Ariel go to a night market and do that enraging thing where they eat “gross” food from another culture, in this case cooked insects. They order “the grossest one.” This is so disrespectful. Zach keeps telling the camera how hot his chemistry is with Ariel. At one point they kiss and this woman who gloriously does not give a fuck, just walks into the shot to get a video of a fire eater. During dinner Ariel tells Zach she’s falling in love with him and his eyes get huge but in a not great way. Then he tells Ariel “sex is off the table” with regard to the Fantasy Suite. He says there’s only going to be one person at the end of this, and sex should be with them only. She tells the camera she’s disappointed. The next day he goes on his date with Gabi. She meets Zach on the beach and they have a discussion as to whether or not they’re sweaty. They go to a private island where they drink champagne on the beach. Gabi tells him she feels like she got into her head after spending ten days apart from Zach. Pudding: That sounds like a lovely reprieve. Zach tells her not to feel that way and it gets tense. Eventually she walks away and starts crying and says she feels “stupid and foolish and ugly. I don’t feel like I can even go back there.” I…okay. That ramped up quickly. She says her last boyfriend cheated on her, and she felt again like she’s coming second. “I’m so overtired,” she says tearfully. Okay, things are making more sense now. I get really emotional when I’m exhausted, too. During dinner, Gabi tells him she’s falling in love with him. Zach lets her know about the no sex thing. She looks skeptical or maybe rejected. Gabi says she doesn’t see herself being engaged to someone she’s never had sex with, but that they’ll “work on it.” “It’ll be great,” she sighs. “I can’t wait for him to see my skincare routine.” Cut to the next morning and the two of them are cuddling in bed. Back his hotel, Zach says the whole night was passionate and special, but that something unexpected happened and now he feels like he has a secret. Pudding: CALLED IT. So then Jesse comes over for bro time and Zach tells him that he had sex with Gabi. It is so awkward. It feels like he’s confessing to a parental figure, and they’re the same age. “Do you want to tell the other women what happened?” Jesse asks. Zach says they need to know. Then he says, “This was an act of love, not lust.” The next shot is Kaity getting ready for her date and Zach walking up a pathway. But surprise! When he knocks on the hotel door, it’s Gabi! He tells her that he wants to tell the other women they were intimate because he doesn’t want to have secrets. He literally cannot say the word “sex.” Gabi says she didn’t think it bothered him that much and is clearly caught off guard. She tells the camera that she feels like it was between them and now it’s between them and everyone else. Jen: Ma’am, you are on a televised show. Then Zach tells her he’s falling in love with her. So then it is time for Kaity’s date. They go kayaking in a clear boat. So after they randomly make out in a rain shower, Zach super awkwardly tells Kaity about how he made the no sex rule and broke it. Kaity says that she knew there would be the potential for him to be sleeping with the other women, but she could have gone without him telling her about it. “I’m not happy so I’m not going to pretend I’m happy,” she says. “It’s weird.” He says he’s sorry and she says, “Well you’re not sorry you did it.” She asks the camera how he expected her to feel. She says, “I wasn’t going to give him a high five like, way to go, pal.” He tries to hug her and she says, “It’s real weird, Zach.” He says he doesn’t want them to get engaged and her to be blindsided. Then she tells him that she already knew the gist of the week and she doesn’t care to hear about whether or not he slept with someone else. Kaity tells a PA she doesn’t think she can go into tonight when she’s so unhappy and that she just wants to go home. Kaity eventually does show up to dinner, although she doesn’t look thrilled. She says that the day was a step back, but she feels confident they can get through it. Click for me Eventually they go to the Fantasy Suite. The next day is the Dreaded Rose Ceremony. Gabi says she doesn’t know if she wants a rose because she feels like Zach broke her trust by sharing that he slept with her. In the end Gabi does accept a rose and so does Kaity. As Zach is walking Ariel out, Kaity says to Gabi, “I know you were the only one.” “I feel like I’m wearing a scarlet A on my chest,” says Gabi. “Oh my God, no. Don’t do that,” Kaity says. Zach comes back and they all do an uncomfortable champagne toast. Are you watching? View the full article
  3. My Fair Concubine My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin is $1.99! This is a historical “My Fair Lady” style romance – set in the Tang Dynasty in China. Readers loved the retelling and the depth of characterization. However, some readers mentioned that the story dragged at time due to the lack of external conflict. THE NOBLEMAN WHO TURNED A TEA GIRL INTO A PRINCESS… Yan Ling tries hard to be servile-it’s what’s expected of a girl of her class. Being intelligent and strong-minded, she finds it a constant battle. Proud Fei Long is unimpressed by her spirit-until he realizes she’s the answer to his problems. He has to deliver the emperor a “princess.” In two months can he train a tea girl to pass as a noblewoman? Yet it’s hard to teach good etiquette when all Fei Long wants to do is break it, by taking this tea girl for his own… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. My Sweet Folly My Sweet Folly by Laura Kinsale is $1.99! This book sounds absolutely bananas. Readers really loved the heroine and how witty she was. However, given the bananas quality of the book, some said the pacing is a bit all over the place. Have you read this one? An innocent long-distance correspondence leads to complications in this Regency romance by the New York Times–bestselling author of For My Lady’s Heart. Married to an elderly man, Folie Hamilton finds her lonely days brightened by light-hearted letters from her husband’s cousin, Lt. Robert Cambourne, stationed in Calcutta for the British East India Company. Robert calls her his princess, and she dubs him her knight errant. Unbidden love blossoms, yet upon the death of her husband, Robert’s last letter shatters her heart with three words: I am married. Four years later, Robert summons Folie and her stepdaughter to his estate in England. The girl is his ward, so they must go. The man who greets them, however, is nothing like the charming lieutenant of his letters. This Robert is demented. Screaming at ghosts in demonic rage, he is paranoid and frightening. Yet her body longs to caress his perfect features, to hold his tall, angular body, to find the man who once captured her heart . . . Someone is poisoning him, spinning his brain into madness, of that Robert is sure, but who—and why? Haunted by his dead wife, the one thing his tortured mind understands is that he must keep Folie safe. Folie, with her beautiful expressive eyes, the only warmth in his nightmare world . . . Nominated for a RITA award, My Sweet Folly is another unforgettable love story filled with passion and suspense from the author of Flowers From the Storm, whose work has been praised by Julia Quinn as “unfailingly brilliant and beautiful.” Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Fire in the Glass The Fire in the Glass by Jacquelyn Benson is 99c! Previously, we featured Benson’s more action/adventure title and people in the comments also mentioned how much they loved this one. It’s more of a paranormal historical or historical fantasy with a medium main character. London, 1914. Someone is draining the blood of the city’s mediums. Lily Albright knows who’s next. The unacknowledged bastard daughter of the Earl of Torrington, Lily is haunted by visions of the future that she can never change. When she foresees the death of her dearest friend, she realizes the circumstances of that yet-to-be murder match those of a series of brutal and mysterious crimes. If she can find the killer before he strikes, maybe this time she can finally thwart fate and save someone she loves. As Lily’s investigation takes her to a bedchamber where one of society’s most desirable widows lies dead, she realizes she can’t do this alone. She needs help from the reclusive Lord Strangford, a man haunted by his own unusual powers. To pursue the path of a killer, Lily must ask Strangford to face unimaginable horrors – and is compelled to reveal her darkest secrets to a man she has little reason to trust. Somewhere in the city lies a murderer hell-bent on an unspeakable harvest, one that could reshape the future of the human race. To stop him, Lily must face a past rife with betrayal—and embrace the power she has spent her entire life trying to escape. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Good Girl Good Girl by Jana Aston is FREE! Can I just say that I hate first POV book descriptions, because they rarely tell me enough about the book? What I can gather from this one is this is a workplace, forbidden romance. I’ve always been a good girl. I work hard, I follow the rules, I always achieve my goals. But sometimes good girls want things that aren’t good for them. Or someone who isn’t good for them. Like their new boss. And sometimes they do very bad things to get his attention. Like sell their virginity in an auction. Who knew he’d be so very, very mad? Maybe this was not my best laid plan… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  4. Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks, also known as The Fug Girls, have been blogging since 2004, and, like me, have seen a lot of changes in the business world online. We talk about how it seems like there’s yet another media contraction happening, and how that affects us, and about their new Substack, Drinks with Broads. But of course, we also talk about fashion, stylists, and current trends, too. If you’re still looking at pictures from the Oscars, this episode will be a treat. … Music: purple-planet.com Listen to the podcast → Read the transcript → Here are the books we discuss in this podcast: You can find Heather and Jessica every day at GoFugYourself.com, and on Twitter and Instagram @FugGirls. You can find out more about their newsletter and subscribe at Drinks WithBroads. We also mentioned: GFY: Kristen Stewart in Chanel at the Berlin Film Festival IG: ChanelFlopsAgain Grace Jones for Wolford The Normal Gossip Podcast Poker Face Russian Doll The Green Glove Gang (trailer on YT) Chicago Fire, Med, and PD The Americans and yes, there were Russian spies and they lived in Montclair NJ If you like the podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us on Stitcher, and Spotify, too. We also have a cool page for the podcast on iTunes. More ways to sponsor: Sponsor us through Patreon! (What is Patreon?) http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/themes/smartbitches/images/podcast/patreon.png What did you think of today's episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that's where you hang out online. You can email us at sbjpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-3272. Please don't forget to give us a name and where you're calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast. Thanks for listening! Remember to subscribe to our podcast feed, find us on iTunes or on Stitcher. View the full article
  5. The Vibrant Years The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev is $2.99! This is more women’s fiction than romance, I believe. It’s also published by Mindy Kaling’s imprint with Amazon, so I believe it’s Amazon only for the ebook. Living on their own terms means being there for one another. When sixty-five-year-old Bindu Desai inherits a million dollars, she’s astounded―and horrified. The windfall threatens to expose a shameful mistake from her youth. On an impulse, Bindu quickly spends it on something unexpected: a condo in a posh retirement community in Florida. The impulsive decision blindsides Bindu’s daughter-in-law, Aly. At forty-seven, Aly still shares a home with Bindu even after her divorce from Bindu’s son. But maybe this change is just the push Aly needs to fight for her own dreams. As Bindu and Aly navigate their new dynamic, Aly’s daughter, Cullie, is faced with losing the business that made her a tech-world star. The only way to save it is to deliver a new idea to her investors―and they want the dating app she pitched them in a panic. Problem is, Cullie has never been on a real date. Naturally, enlisting her single mother and grandmother to help her with the research is the answer. From USA Today bestselling author Sonali Dev comes a heartfelt novel about three generations of hilarious, unconventional, ambitious women who embark on a shared journey of self-discovery. Join the Desai women as they come together to embrace the hijinks and heartbreak of facing their greatest fears to finally live their most vibrant lives. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Hired Hired by Zoey Castile is $2.99! This is the second book in the Happy Endings series and book one is also on sale. I actually think it might be my favorite book in the trilogy, as both the hero and heroine just genuinely love being around one another. My biggest complaint was that I felt the heroine’s relationship with her mother could have used more of a resolution. For a man who makes his living pleasuring women, what happens when the only pay-out worth having is love? Faith Abigail Charles has always done the right thing. So when her mother runs for mayor of New Orleans, Faith puts her law career on hold to help her win. But when tensions run high, Faith trades one kind of heat for another—in the arms of a hard-bodied stranger. He’s everything a woman dreams of in a lover. So much so that her one-night stand turns into two, then three, then four . . . For Aiden Rios, meeting smart, sexy Faith feels like fate. After being ditched by his client in the Big Easy, the high-paid male escort needs a little company himself. Aiden knows he’ll have to come clean about his line of work, and he plans to—right after another taste of Faith’s sweetness—and another and another. . . . Until a chance meeting with his client leaves Aiden exposed—and Faith shocked and hurt. Now the hired hottie must show Faith that the love they share is bigger than the scandal threatening to destroy them . . . Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. A Dangerous Kind of Lady A Dangerous Kind of Lady by Mia Vincy is 99c! This is book one in the Longhope Abbey series. Vincy’s books have been positively mentioned in the comments before. Do you have a favorite? A desperate situation calls for dangerous deeds… Proud heiress Arabella Larke has little respect for rules and no time for scruples, not when she faces marriage to a man she loathes and fears. Determined to save herself, Arabella comes up with a plan: a fake engagement with her childhood nemesis, Guy Roth, Marquess of Hardbury, recently returned home after years away. To Arabella’s surprise, Guy has become strong, honorable, and unexpectedly attractive…but he refuses to even hear her plan. After leaving England to escape his corrupt, controlling father, Guy has vowed never to do anyone’s bidding again—certainly not Arabella’s. To Guy’s surprise, Arabella has become intriguing, quick-witted, and unexpectedly attractive, but he has enough drama trying to gain custody of his younger sisters, and he wants nothing to do with her dubious schemes. Until Arabella shows up at his house one night, and Guy finds himself entangled to a dangerous degree… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Vengeance Born Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin is $2.99! Ellen read this one and gave it a C+: I thought Annika was a compelling heroine and it was my investment in her journey that kept me reading, plus a desire to further explore the intriguing (if at times frustrating) world-building. However, the actual romance was meh and there were a few things I found weird, unsettling, or otherwise not to my tastes. There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born… Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na’Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father’s people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she’s gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy… With the Na’Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na’Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival. When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father’s dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  6. Thanks to Deborah for this Rec League request! I have a 4-year-old friend who loves to read, and as his pseudo-aunt I like to bring him books. And then I get to read them to him which is the best thing ever. But I’ve run out of books I know he’ll love – the Mog books, Wombat Stew, the Canadian monster books, and the Knight Owl which was a fantastic rec from here (and I’m pretty sure was the reason I was stabbed with a foam sword a number of times at a picnic last weekend and scolded for being a “bad dragon”). I’m sure the Bitchery knows a lot of cool books for a little kid who loves…well, everything. Any chance of a rec league? Sarah: Our recent guest post from Clay about body autonomy and consent may offer some ideas. EllenM: For picture books I really love Julian Is a Mermaid! ( A | BN | K ) It’s about a small boy who wants to participate in Brooklyn’s mermaid parade. Extremely wholesome and the art is beautiful. Sneezy: Robert Munsch ( A | BN | K ) is a pretty good bet. It’s been a long time, but I remember them being silly and lovely A | BN | KAmanda: I have some! Mainly with Monster/Animal themes. Attack of the Underwear Dragon ( A | BN | K ) -Look it’s a dragon who wears underwear! Secret Pizza Party ( A | BN | K ) – Brought to you by the same author as Dragons Love Tacos! Instead of a dragon, there’s a raccoon in a trench coat. The Barnabus Project ( A | BN | K ) – The Fan Brothers have some gorgeous picture books! Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast – Josh Funk is such a creative writer and I adore this silly series. Lost in the Library ( A | BN | K ) – Another Josh Funk book about the New York Public Library lions going on an adventure. Llama Destroys the World – A mischievous Llama! This team also has some other wonderful projects. Edison ( A | BN ) – One of the most beautiful picture books I’ve ever seen. Two mice solve an underwater mystery. They have other adventures in the sky, in space, etc. Also, if you have access to a local indie bookstore, booksellers are a huge resource, especially if the store has a much-loved children’s section. Librarians too! Sneezy: Catherine bought amazing books for the smol humans in her life, and she talked about these books awhile back: A | BN | K“Absolutely! I’ll share it on the Slack now – but I was also thinking in the post, because I do love that piece of advertising. The artists have actually done a couple of really smart science-themed picture books, too – Do Not Lick This Book, ( A | BN | K ) which is about germs, and There’s a Skeleton Inside You, ( A | BN | K ) which is bones and muscles and nerves. Popular with every toddler I’ve read them to… They are great books, too! My niece likes the the bit where you pick up Min the Microbe from the page and put her in your mouth where she meets other microbes, and then in your bellybutton where she meets still more, etc…” Shana: My faves for my niblings: Waa’aka’: The Bird Who Fell in Love with the Sun ( A | BN | K ), Joshua by the Sea by Angela Johnson ( A ), Amara’s Farm by JaNay Brown-Wood ( A | BN | K ), Thread of Love by Kabir Sehgal ( A | BN | K ), Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel, and Love Is by Diane Adams ( A | BN | K ). I have also read People Don’t Bite People ( A | BN | K ) approx. 1 million times. Oh, and Have You Seen my Dinosaur! ( A | BN | K ) Which picture books would you recommend? Tell us below! View the full article
  7. Hello, everyone! Welcome back! Spring has sprung in New England, at least for now. I’ve experience snow days in mid-April, so I know not to get too comfortable. Tonight, I’ll be playing pub trivia! I haven’t done that in so long and I’m excited to get together with some of my dear friends. We’re also reconvening our D&D sessions this Sunday! We put them on pause for the holidays and for moving apartments. Hopefully my dice rolls aren’t too rusty. If you’re into board games, my friend recommended Dungeons, Dice and Danger. You roll dice to progress through a dungeon, though people can make different pairs equaling different sums to guide their characters down different paths. It’s quick to learn and games usually take about an hour or so. There are also four different maps to choose from. Lots of things are movin’ and groovin’ on this end. How about you? … Love’s Sweet Arrow, a romance bookstore in the Chicago area is moving spaces and needs the community’s help! You can donate through their GoFundMe here. … I know this is an old story, but it popped up on my Instagram feed by one of those promoted media aggregate accounts. However, I think a dog named Friar Mustache, adopted by monks, is an evergreen topic. … Autostraddle, a digital publication serving queer communities, is at risk of closure. We’re big fans of Autostraddle and hope you are too! There are several ways to help the site, including memberships and donations. … Did you hear that Penny Reid launched a Kickstarter to celebrate ten years of Knitting in the City?! There are special editions, knitting patterns, and swag up for grabs as part of the campaign. … I don’t typically care about awards season, but I was so happy to see all the awards won by Everything Everywhere All At Once. If you’re also in love with that movie as much as I am, enjoy this video of outtakes! … Don’t forget to share what cool or interesting things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send it my way! View the full article
  8. The Soulmate Equation The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren is $1.99! I’m a huge fan of these authors! Apologies if this is a leftover Kindle Daily Deal that I missed, but grab it while you can. Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely. But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought. Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Shrill Shrill by Lindy West is $2.99! The book does deal with Lindy’s experience with eating, rape culture, and internet trolls, so there’s some pretty heavy stuff. It has a 4.1-star rating on Goodreads. Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible–like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you–writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but. From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea. With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss–and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Jinn and Juice Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler is $1.99! This is book in an urban fantasy series that Sarah mentioned in a previous Hide Your Wallet. I am obsessed with this cover and all of the purples. Any fans of this series in the Bitchery? Cursed to be a jinni for a thousand years, Leila nears the end of her servitude—only to be bound once again against her will. Will she risk all to be human? Born in ancient Persia, Leila turned to her house Jinni, Kouros, for help escaping an arranged marriage. Kouros did make it impossible for her to marry—by cursing Leila to live a thousand years as a Jinni herself. If she can remain unBound, Leila’s curse will soon be over. But Ozan Sawyer, a Magi with the ability to See, Call, and Bind jinn has other plans. Oz needs Leila to help him penetrate Pittsburgh’s steel-soaked magic, a juice potent but poisonous to supernatural creatures, in order to find a missing girl with her own mysterious connection to Kouros. Unfortunately for Leila, becoming Bound to Oz may risk more than just her chance to be human once more—it could risk her very soul… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. A Crown for Cold Silver A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall is $1.99! I mentioned this one on a previous Hide Your Wallet. The description reminded me a lot of one of my favorite fantasy writers, Joe Abercrombie. FIVE VILLAINS. ONE LEGENDARY GENERAL. A FINAL QUEST FOR VENGEANCE. Twenty years ago, feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history. Now the peace she carved for herself has been shattered by the unprovoked slaughter of her village. Seeking bloody vengeance, Zosia heads for battle once more, but to find justice she must confront grudge-bearing enemies, once-loyal allies, and an unknown army that marches under a familiar banner. A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER is an outstanding epic fantasy debut featuring an unforgettable warrior. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  9. C Velvet by Lisette Marshall May 25, 2021 Erotica/Erotic RomanceFantasy/Fairy Tale RomanceRomance Y’all, this book is kinda bananas, but I also think it will definitely be some people’s catnip, so I have to Alert the Bitchery. I mentioned Velvet in Watcha Reading a while ago (like, a really long while ago before I was sucked into the vortex that was nursing school). I described it as having fanfiction vibes then, and I stand by that assessment. Like, it’s not obviously veiled fanfiction of anything in particular; it just uses many of the same tropes and setups that I have seen in fanfiction, especially in the “porn WITH plot” genre. The overall scenario here is that princess Viviette was sent away from home to be “polished” in a foreign court and is now back in her home country, which seems to be a sort of medieval-ish mountain nation called the Peaks. She wants to be actively involved in the political running of the Peaks but her father insists on seeing her as only ornamental, and he wants his spymaster, Jaghar, to help protect her. This naturally creates some initial animosity between them as she tries to convince Jaghar that she is capable of actually Doing Things. But of course, they are secretly very horny for each other. I picked it up because I LOVE any kind of courtly/intrigue type romance with spies. Bonus points for the spy character being a cold or icy person with ~hidden passions.~ I wouldn’t say this is the most shining example of the sexy fantasy spy romance, but I did enjoy it. This was the kind of book that was hard to put down when I was actually reading it but was sort of forgettable when I was not. I ended up reading Velvet in two sittings but they were over a month apart. There is a plot involving intra- and inter-kingdom politics but it is fairly preposterous and mostly just designed to get people into Sex Scenarios. On these preposterous sex scenarios – SLIGHTLY spoiler-y, but This one reached maximum preposterousness The spymaster hero runs (and also works at) a secret brothel in the castle with the purpose of extracting secrets from guests during pillow talk. He lets the PRINCESS heroine work at his secret brothel at her insistence. All of the sex workers in this brothel are masked, but it is ludicrous that no one would notice that they were having sex with the spymaster and/or the princess, which seems like it would cause way more problems than it would solve!!! But whatever, masked sex shenanigans, lol. Once I got my giggles out about how silly this setup was, I found that some of the sex was really hot, and some of it was kinda weird. At one point lavender-scented bathing oil is used as an anal lubricant, and I was internally screaming DO NOT PUT A SCENTED OIL INSIDE YOUR BUTTHOLE PLEASE, OUCH. The characters are…fine? I would not say that Viviette and Jaghar were particularly dynamic or realistically-drawn, but they did not actively annoy me, and again, since this is really just one big porn-with-plot trope-fest, the characterization is not that important. The villain is one-note of mustache-twirling evil (but he also has incredible sexual magnetism, because of course). There is also a secondary villain character who is basically evil because she is so jealous and possessive of the hero, which, again, eye-roll. Importantly, I want to issue some MAJOR TWS for child sexual abuse in one of the characters’ backstories (which was alluded to with enough detail to be quite disturbing, actually) and multiple instances of attempted sexual assault (I wouldn’t say they were graphic, but I did kind of roll my eyes because FIND ANOTHER WAY TO BUILD STAKES, THANKS). Also, each member of the main couple has sex with other people on page which I know some people do not like so be aware of that! There is a happy-for-now ending that includes some consensual polyamory elements. It is the first book in a series; I may or may not pick up the sequel at some point if the mood strikes me. I think reading enjoyment of this book is all about having the right expectation level. If you go in expecting a somewhat absurd sexy spy medieval costume drama, it hits. If you go in expecting a lot of in-depth world-building, well-drawn courtly intrigue, and a plot that makes sense, you will be disappointed. View the full article
  10. Peg and Rose Solve a Murder Peg and Rose Solve a Murder by Laurien Berenson is $2.99! I mentioned this on a previous edition of Get Rec’d. If you’re on the “senior sleuths” train, maybe pick this one up! Murder, She Wrote meets The Golden Girls in the award-winning author’s brand-new series! Two cantankerous septuagenarians, opposites in every way, put aside their differences to stop a killer… if they don’t throttle each other first! Rose Donovan looks for the good in everyone. With her sister-in-law, Peg, that sometimes requires a lot of searching. Even a sixty-something former nun like Rose has her limits, and gruff Peg Turnbull sure knows how to push them. But after forty years of bickering, they’re attempting to start over, partnering up to join the local bridge club. Peg and Rose barely have a chance to celebrate their first win before one of the club’s most accomplished players is killed in his home. As the newest members, the sisters-in-law come under scrutiny and decide to start some digging of their own. Bridge is typically seen as a wholesome pastime, yet this group of senior citizens harbors a wealth of vices, including gambling, cheating, and adultery . . . By comparison, Peg and Rose’s fractious relationship is starting to feel almost functional. But as their suspect list narrows, they’re unaware that their logic has a dangerous flaw. And they’ll have to hope that their teamwork holds steady when they’re confronted by a killer who’s through with playing games . . . Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Murder in Westminster Murder in Westminster by Vanessa Riley is $2.99! This was another Get Rec’d book, if you’re in the mood for historical mysteries with a hint of romance. However, some comments mentioned there’s a lot of exposition and plot packed into this one. Perfect for readers looking for a darker twist on Bridgerton, this first story in a vibrant, inclusive new historical mystery series from an acclaimed author portrays the true diversity of the Regency-era, as a widow whose skin color and notorious family history have left her with few friends she can rely on – just as the local vicar names her the prime suspect in a murder case… A BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Mystery of Summer 2022 Discovering a body on her property presents Lady Abigail Worthing with more than one pressing problem. The victim is Juliet, the wife of her neighbor, Stapleton Henderson. Although Abigail has little connection with the lady in question, she expects to be under suspicion. Abigail’s skin color and her mother’s notorious past have earned her a certain reputation among the ton, and no amount of wealth or status will eclipse it. Abigail can’t divulge that she was attending a secret pro-abolition meeting at the time of the murder. To her surprise, Henderson offers her an alibi. Though he and Juliet were long estranged, and she had a string of lovers, he feels a certain loyalty to his late wife. Perhaps together, he and Abigail can learn the truth. Abigail, whose marriage to Lord Worthing was not a love match, knows well how appearances can deceive. For all its surface elegance, London’s high society can be treacherous. Yet who in their circle would have killed Juliet, and why? Taking the reins of her life in a way she never has before, Abby intends to find out—but in the process she will uncover more danger than she ever imagined… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Lady from the Black Lagoon The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara is $2.99 at Amazon! It’s not being price-matched elsewhere, so this could be an expiring deal. This is a biography about the woman who created the famous creature from the Black Lagoon, and her lost legacy. The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick—one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters. As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive. As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O’Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick’s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney’s first female animators. And at last, O’Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature’s success, and where she went. A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Fluffy Fluffy by Julia Kent is FREE! It’s also book one in a series and the other titles are also on sale. I’m on the fence about trying this one because it sounds hilarious with the “fluffer” misunderstanding, but humor is so subjective and I’ve been burned by romantic comedies before. An all-new STANDALONE from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent It all started with the wrong Help Wanted ad. Of course it did. I’m a professional fluffer. It’s NOT what you think. I stage homes for a living. Real estate agents love me, and my work stands on its own merits. Sigh. Get your mind out of the gutter. Go ahead. Laugh. I’ll wait. See? That’s the problem. My career has used the term “fluffer” for decades. I didn’t even know there was a more… lascivious definition of the term. Until it was too late. The ad for a “professional fluffer” on Craigslist seemed like divine intervention. My last unemployment check was in the bank. I was desperate. Rent was due. The ad said cash paid at the end of the day. The perfect job! Staging homes means showing your best angle. The same principle applies in making a certain kind of movie. Turns out a “fluffer” doesn’t arrange decorative pillows on a couch. They arrange other soft, round-ish objects. The job isn’t hard. Er, I mean, it is — it’s about being hard. Or, well… helping other people to be hard. Oh, man… And that’s the other problem. A man. No, not one of the stars on the movie set. Will Lotham – my high school crush. The owner of the house where we’re filming. Illegally. In a vacation rental. By the time the cops show up, what I thought was just a great house staging gig turned into a nightmare involving pictures of me with an undressed star, Will rescuing me from an arrest, and a humiliating lesson in my own naivete. My job turned out to be so much harder than I expected. But you know what’s easier than I ever imagined? Having all my dreams come true. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  11. This HaBO is from Linnea, who is looking for this historical romance. The request does deal with a pandemic as a warning: This is extremely vague. Not sure when I read this book, I don’t remember the author, and so on. I have been reading romance novels for at least 50 years… The main thing I remember is that it takes place in or near New Mexico at a mission and takes place in 1918 because there is an influenza epidemic that plays an important part in the book. I think the heroine is a teacher, maybe at the mission school? Another woman comes to the place to teach, but she brings illness with her and suddenly everyone gets sick. The heroine implements good sanitation and mask wearing. That’s all I remember, except of course there was a hero with an HEA. Does this ring any bells? View the full article
  12. The Blacksmith Queen RECOMMENDED: The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken is $2.99! (Or free with KU!) This was my one pick for hilarious reading in our Ready Set Go. I also gave this an A-. Seriously, it’s so much fun: The Blacksmith Queen is a bloody, feminist romp that exudes girl power in all forms, and I’m envious of its fantasy girl squad. When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken. The Old King Is Dead With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals. Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Second First Impressions Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne is $2.99! Elyse gave this one a B+: The theme of slowly exiting your safe space when the time was right was so timely and on point for me. It was because Teddy was so kind and gentle with Ruthie in her journey to come out of her shell, and appreciative of who she was without wanting her to change (but supporting her desire to) that this book worked. When Teddy and Ruthie begin to fall for each other, it made total sense. From the USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women—under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager. Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions. Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center. Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too. Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin. Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade. Hilarious, warm, and romantic, Sally Thorne’s novel delivers an irrepressibly joyous celebration of love and community for fans of 99% Mine and The Hating Game. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Song of the Forever Rains Song of the Forever Rains by E.J. Mellow is $2.49! This one was published by Amazon, so it’s only available there. On Goodreads, there does seem to be some confusion on whether this falls into adult romance or young adult. Others say it splits the different at new adult. From the award-winning author of the Dreamland series comes a new dark romantic fantasy about a young woman finding hope in her powers of destruction. The Thief Kingdom is a place hidden within the world of Aadlior. Many whisper of its existence, but few have found this place, where magic and pleasure abound. There, the mysterious Thief King reigns supreme with the help of the Mousai, a trio of revered and feared sorceresses. Larkyra Bassette may be the youngest of the Mousai, but when she sings her voice has the power to slay monsters. When it’s discovered the Duke of Lachlan is siphoning a poisonous drug from the Thief Kingdom and using it to abuse his tenants, Larkyra is offered her first solo mission to stop the duke. Eager to prove herself, Larkyra accepts by posing as the duke’s potential bride. But her plans grow complicated when she finds herself drawn to Lord Darius Mekenna, Lachlan’s rightful heir. Soon she suspects Darius has his own motivations for ridding Lachlan of the corrupt duke. Larkyra and Darius must learn to trust each other if there is to be any hope of saving the people of Lachlan—and themselves. Welcome to the world of Aadilor, where lords and ladies can be murderers and thieves, and the most alluring notes are often the deadliest. Dare to listen? Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Back in the Burbs Back in the Burbs by Tracy Wolff and Avery Flynn is $1.99! This is part of today’s Kindle Daily Deals. This seems to lean more toward chick lit rather than a full-on contemporary romance. Have you read this one? Ever have one of those days where life just plain sucks? Welcome to my last three months—ever since I caught my can’t-be-soon-enough ex-husband cheating with his paralegal. I’m thirty-five years old, and I’ve lost my NYC apartment, my job, my money, and frankly, my dignity. But the final heartache in the suck sandwich of my life? My great-aunt Maggie died. The only family member who’s ever gotten me. Even after death, though, she’s helping me get back up. She’s willed me the keys to a house in the burbs, of all places, and dared me to grab life by the family jewels. Well, I’ve got the vise grips already in hand (my ex should take note) and I’m ready to fight for my life again. Too bad that bravado only lasts as long as it takes to drive into Huckleberry Hills. And see the house. There are forty-seven separate HOA violations, and I feel them all in my bones. Honestly, I’m surprised no one’s “accidentally” torched the house yet. I want to, and I’ve only been standing in front of it for five minutes. But then my hot, grumpy neighbor tells me to mow the lawn first and I’m just…done. Done with men too sexy for their own good and done with anyone telling me what to do ever again. First rule of surviving the burbs? There is nothing that YouTube and a glass of wine can’t conquer. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  13. B- Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni January 31, 2023 · Berkley Contemporary RomanceLGBTQIARomance Sorry, Bro is a book about embracing the complicated aspects of different identities, and I had a lot of fun with the family dynamics, the sense of place (it’s set in San Francisco), and the Armenian culture. However, readers should be prepared for a heroine who is prone to rash, impulsive actions, and who is not great at communicating. My least favorite thing in romance is when people are terrible at communicating, so this was frustrating for me, but I liked the depictions of cultural and family dynamics. Our story opens with the protagonist Nar, who narrates the book, being proposed to by her long-time boyfriend. These people have been together for five years, despite the fact that this boyfriend, Trevor, who is not Armenian, seems to dislike Armenian culture and openly mocks it. Nar’s late father adored Trevor, and he seems to have seen his daughter’s dating Trevor as a positive in his pursuit of the idea of “Americanness.” He is also dead by the start of the book from a drunk driving accident in which he was the driver, which I will talk about more later on. Nar lives at home and works for a TV station. She is trying to break out as a journalist but is only given puff pieces to work on. Nar and Trevor “go on a break” when she turns down the proposal and he goes overseas for a month to work. Nar still has the engagement ring and plans to have a more final break up with him when he gets back. Immediately after the failed proposal, Nar meets and falls in love with Erebuni, an Armenian-American woman who works at the Genocide Education Foundation, where she raises awareness of the Armenian Genocide, a historical event that took place in the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923. So, Nar and Erebuni commence to spend a lot of time together but wait! Nar is not out to anybody, because she doesn’t want her family to feel shame about her. The Armenian community, in Nar’s perception, is not supportive of bisexuality and she doesn’t want her mother to be embarrassed by toxic community judgment. Also Nar still has Trevor’s ring and hadn’t actually said “We’re breaking up” in so many words, and she didn’t tell Erebuni that she was engaged as recently as a week before they met. Adding complications to her life: every time she pitches a story at work, her male boss takes her idea and assigns it to a male reporter, while dismissing her pitches about Armenian culture as a “snoozefest.” If Nar wants a chance at love and success, she will have to be honest with her family, her boss, her ex, Erebuni, and most of all herself. I enjoyed the relationship between Nar and her mother, and Nar’s adventures with all the Armenian events. I loved that she realizes how important it is to engage with Armenian history as well as the history of her own family. I also enjoyed her relationship with her cousin Diana and with her Nene, her mother’s mother. The food and dancing are as fun as the history is painful, and it all creates a very lived-in feeling. Nar and Erebuni had great chemistry. They seemed to truly enjoy being around one another. However, I found it difficult to feel sympathetic for Nar when Nar failed to communicate the most basic things to either Erebuni or Trevor. I have no sympathy to waste on Trevor, who is a piece of garbage, but it seems like somewhere around year one or two Nar might have made a clean break of things, given how deeply she dislikes him. And with Erebuni, I wasn’t sure I wanted… Show Spoiler Erebuni and Nar to get back together after their inevitable big fight, because Nar withholds the truth about a lot of things. She lies either explicitly or by omission to Trevor, Erebuni, her boss (not that he doesn’t deserve it), and her family. In my opinion, Nar has a lot of work to do on herself before she can handle a relationship. All of this is part of a pattern in which Nar feels shame about her Armenian roots, thanks to her father, and is unable to jettison a toxic but predictable situation for a risky but attractive one, whether in family, work, or life. I did feel sympathetic about this problem, but it was frustrating to read about. As the plot is plotting along, we get to The Big Conflict, which is caused by Nar making a Bad Choice and also Keeping Secrets. I was flabbergasted by her decision to make a reckless, impulsive choice during an event that is supposed to be her professional breakthrough. Nar’s boss is sexist, racist, and bigoted, so of course I want Nar to get out from under his thumb, but I have a hard time picturing Nar as the serious journalist she wants to be when she acts so unprofessionally. Another thing that hit a nerve with me is the frequent mentions of Nar’s father, an alcoholic who emotionally abused Nar’s mother. He adored Trevor because Trevor was not Armenian and he wanted the family to be fully assimilated into what he thought of as American culture. Nar, who adored her father and is only now realizing his flaws, brings up her father’s death in a drunk driving incident and his abuse of her mother several times, but I always felt like she winced away from fully dealing with it. Maybe it’s because I recognized much of my own family dynamic in Nar’s family, but I felt like this was a huge issue that would realistically require a lot of time and therapy to unpack for Nar, especially since her father laid the groundwork for so many of her struggles as an adult – her need to keep the peace at all times, her fear of change, her protectiveness of her mother, her desire to appear ‘assimilated’, and I’d argue probably her shaky relationship with the truth as well. The damage that her father, and for that matter, her mother, did to her is never fully accounted for. The book is narrated entirely by Nar, so we don’t get to know Erebuni very well, and she doesn’t go through a character arc. She seems wonderful – intelligent, passionate about her job, empathetic, kind, and grounded. She’s the same person at the beginning of the book as she is at the end. But Nar is a person who, at twenty-seven, is just starting to come into herself. She is struggling to come to terms with her father’s actual behavior, with possibly exploring a new spirituality (she’s very drawn to Erebuni’s Wiccan practices), with her career ambitions, and with coming out as bisexual. She is even considering moving out of her mother’s house. This is a powerful coming of age story, but it requires patience from the reader that I did not always have. Nar’s actions and her stated goals are too often in opposition, and she frequently undermines herself, then compounds her mistakes by making more of them. Her inability to get out of her own way was very frustrating. As a result, I didn’t fully believe in their happily ever after because I think Nar needs some more time to fully find herself before she’ll be ready for a relationship with someone as grounded and focused as Erebuni. View the full article
  14. Welcome back to Get Rec’d! This time, I’m featuring two recommendations from readers. I always love hearing about books that may be of interest to the Bitchery. I’ve also included two of my favorite books to suggest, as I feel like they’re vastly underrated and I selfishly want more people to read them. What recommendations have you received lately? Anything you want to recommend to us? Let us know! The Bright and Breaking Sea This is one of my favorite recommendations to give, especially to readers who aren’t plugged into Chloe’s Chicagoland Vampires series. This is a seafaring adventure romance with a badass captain. Chloe Neill brings her trademark wit and wild sense of adventure to a stunning seafaring fantasy starring a dauntless heroine in a world of magic and treachery. Kit Brightling, rescued as a foundling and raised in a home for talented girls, has worked hard to rise through the ranks of the Isles’ Crown Command and become one of the few female captains in Queen Charlotte’s fleet. Her ship is small, but she’s fast–in part because of Kit’s magical affinity to the sea. But the waters become perilous when the queen sends Kit on a special mission with a partner she never asked for. Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe, may be a veteran of the Continental war, but Kit doesn’t know him or his motives–and she’s dealt with one too many members of the Beau Monde. But Kit has her orders, and the queen has commanded they journey to a dangerous pirate quay and rescue a spy who’s been gathering intelligence on the exiled emperor of Gallia. Kit can lead her ship and clever crew on her own, but with the fate of queen and country at stake, Kit and Rian must learn to trust each other, or else the Isles will fall… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Family Plot One of my favorite Southern Gothic horror novels! If you love haunted house stories and climactic third acts, try this one! Music City Salvage is a family operation, owned and operated by Chuck Dutton: master stripper of doomed historic properties, and expert seller of all things old and crusty. But business is lean and times are tight, so he’s thrilled when the aged and esteemed Augusta Withrow appears in his office, bearing an offer he really ought to refuse. She has a massive family estate to unload – lock, stock, and barrel. For a check and a handshake, it’s all his. It’s a big check. It’s a firm handshake. And it’s enough of a gold mine that he assigns his daughter Dahlia to personally oversee the project. Dahlia preps a couple of trucks, takes a small crew, and they caravan down to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the ancient Withrow house is waiting – and so is a barn, a carriage house, and a small, overgrown cemetery that Augusta Withrow left out of the paperwork. Augusta Withrow left out a lot of things. The property is in unusually great shape for a condemned building. It’s empty, but it isn’t abandoned. Something in the Withrow mansion is angry and lost. This is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever, and there’s still plenty of room in the strange little family plot. New from Cherie Priest, a modern master of supernatural fiction, The Family Plot is a haunted house story for the ages – atmospheric, scary, and strange, with a modern gothic sensibility that every bit as fresh as it is frightening. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The House Witch This one is on my radar because of another reader. They were looking for more cozy fantasies with a hint of mystery and romance, and mentioned they were coming off reading this and wanted similar. A heartwarming and humorous blend of fantasy, romance, and mystery featuring a witch with domestic powers and the royal household he serves . . . dinner. When Finlay Ashowan joins the staff of the King and Queen of Daxaria, he’s an enigma. No one knows where he comes from or how he came to be where he is, which suits Fin just fine. He’s satisfied simply serving as the royal cook, keeping nosy passersby out of his kitchen, and concocting some truly uncanny meals. But Fin’s secret identity doesn’t stay hidden for long. After all, it’s not every day a house witch and his kitten familiar, Kraken, take to meddling in imperial affairs. As his powers are gradually discovered by the court, Fin finds himself involved in a slew of intrigues: going head-to-head with knights with less-than-chivalrous intentions, helping to protect the pregnant queen, fending off the ire of the royal mage, and uncovering a spy in the castle. And that’s only the beginning—because Fin’s past is catching up with him just as his love life is getting complicated . . . Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Unofficial Strawberry Shortcake Cookbook A recommendation to the community! We were emailed about this one and it seems like it’s perfect to tap into some nostalgia. Bake and devour the delicious desserts featured in and inspired by the world of Strawberry Shortcake with this unofficial cookbook that’s perfect for fans new and old. There’s nothing sweeter than childhood nostalgia, except maybe a freshly baked cake! In The Unofficial Strawberry Shortcake Cookbook, longtime food and entertainment journalist A.K. Whitney highlights the iconic characters in the Strawberry Shortcake franchise and their berry sweet world. This nostalgia-laden baking book features recipes inspired by and featured in Strawberry Shortcake’s own Strawberry universe. With recipes perfect for entertaining and other grown-up twists, this book is adult friendly as well as being perfect for younger fans. Reminisce about your time in Strawberryland with desserts, trivia, and nods to the sweetest fandom around! Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  15. http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/themes/smartbitches/images/posts/hide-your-wallet.jpg Welcome to Book Beat! Book Beat aims to highlight other books that we may hear about through friends, social media, or other sources. We could see a gorgeous ad! Or find a new-to-us author on a list of underrated romances! Think of Book Beat as Teen Beat or Tiger Beat, but for books. And no staples to open to get the fold-out poster. How to Marry a Marble Marquis Author: C.M. Nacosta Released: February 28, 2023 by Meduas Editoriale Genre: Historical: European, Paranormal, Regency, Romance Dear Miss Eastwick, On account of the unfortunate incident involving Lord Pemberly and his valet at Lady Harthington’s Ball, Her Majesty has no choice but to deem your Season a failure. With no other suitors of an appropriate station and no dowry, you are hereby ordered to attend the Monsters Ball, your last hope of securing a marriage. Eleanor Eastwick is out of tricks. This alleged wallflower is hiding a secret, beyond the fact that her family is skint broke. If she wants to ensure the survival of her aged grandmother and younger siblings, she’ll need to leverage the only thing they have left — their good name — and land herself a rich husband. There’s only one problem she can see with her plan: she has no bloody idea what she’s doing. Enlisting the help of the wickedy rakish Marquis of Basingstone, Eleanor embarks on a crash course in how to attract the monstrous Gentry, high society courtship, and lessons in lovemaking . . . academically, of course. It never occurs to her that her tutor may, in fact, be a perfect match. By the time her heart begins to make her aware of its preference for the sharp-tongued, winged Marquis, the Monsters Ball is upon her and she needs to put her plan into action. ~ Lord Silas Stride, the Marquis of Basingstone, has no intention of giving away his heart. It would be cruel to chain another to the fate of a half-life such as his — only coming awake at twilight, living as a silent spectator to the daytime world. He’d not punish a wife in such a fashion; could not bear to allow his progeny to exist in a world where he resided only part of the time . . . far easier to embrace the life of a confirmed bachelor, and keep his heart as stony as the rest of him. But Silas did not count on one Eleanor Eastwick. He recognized her the moment he saw her, seeking his disreputable counsel. She had shone like a star when he knew her years earlier, and she did once again in his study, leaving him unable to deny his assistance. He could not possibly risk his heart on a delicate flower of the daytime, but a lady who was used to a life after dark . . . Silas Stride had no intention of taking a wife, but once Eleanor has left for the Monsters Ball, he cannot help but claim his own invitation, and his bride. How To Marry A Marble Marquis is a standalone Regency Monster Romance featuring a Gargoyle/Human pairing that takes place in the shared universe of The Monsters Ball. We’ve had a few monster romances be a huge hit recently on the site, so how about a historical romance with a gargoyle! Add to Goodreads To-Read List → Want this book? We can help: buy links ahoy!. How to Wake a Sleeping Lady Author: Bree Wolf Released: November 3, 2021 by Bree Wolf Genre: Historical: European, Romance Series: Happy Ever Regency #1 A forgotten love, a twist of fate, and a second chance at a happily-ever-after. After being swept out to sea, Nessa Barrett, Countess of Wentford, is nursed back to health at an abbey. While her body heals quickly, her mind remains lost to her. Without even the knowledge of her own name, she has nothing and no one to return to. Three years pass and Martha—as the nuns name her—settles into her new life…until one day a man shows up on the abbey’s doorstep, claiming that she is his long-lost wife. Grant Barrett, Earl of Wentford, has followed countless leads searching for his wife and, yet, he’d never allowed himself to believe that he would ever find her alive. And then after three years, he sets foot into a remote abbey and his heart reawakens. Overwhelmed, Grant is shocked to learn that his wife remembers neither him nor herself. Still, after finding his other half a second time, Grant is unwilling to ever let Nessa go again. What will it take to conquer her heart once more, to make her fall in love with him all over again? Admittedly, the series previous covers looked much dreamier, but this is a series of Regency romances inspired by fairy tales. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → Want to order this one? We’ve got the links you need!. Picture Perfect Author: Jeevani Charika Released: October 21, 2022 Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance Niro is a photographer who’s lost the joy of taking photos. Burned by a bad break-up, she’s in desperate need of inspiration. Vimal is determined to win back his ex-girlfriend. When he hears she’s bringing her new boyfriend on a group holiday, he impulsively declares that he’s bringing a plus one too. Their mutual friends have the perfect solution: Niro can pretend to be Vimal’s new girlfriend and join the holiday. Imagine the incredible photographs she could take in the Swiss alps… She’s not thinking about love. He’s thinking about someone else. Can they fake a picture-perfect relationship – or will real feelings get in the way? Fake dating never goes out of style! Add to Goodreads To-Read List → Find buy links for this book here.. Transmogrify! Author: g. haron davis Released: May 16, 2023 by HarperTeen Genre: LGBTQIA, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult Perfect for fans of All Out and Cemetery Boys, this anthology claims a seat at the table of fantasy literature for trans and gender nonconforming stories. Transness is as varied and colorful as magic can be. In Transmogrify!, you’ll embark on fourteen different adventures alongside unforgettable characters who embody many different genders and expressions and experiences—because magic is for everyone, and that is cause for celebration. Featuring stories from: – AR Capetta and Cory McCarthy – g. haron davis – Mason Deaver – Jonathan Lenore Kastin – Emery Lee – Saundra Mitchell – Cam Montgomery – Ash Nouveau – Sonora Reyes – Renee Reynolds – Dove Salvatierra – Ayida Shonibar – Francesca Tacchi – Nik Traxler Out later this spring, this is an anthology of magical stories feature trans characters by trans writers. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → Find buy links for this book here.. View the full article
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