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Artemis Gordon

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  1. The Bodyguard The Bodyguard by Katherine Center is $3.99! I mentioned this one on a previous Hide Your Wallet and was tempted by the bodyguard heroine. However, it’s still in my to-read stack. Have you read this one? She’s got his back. Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindgerten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker. He’s got her heart. Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid. They’ve got a secret. When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it. What could possibly go wrong??? Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. A Court of Thorns and Roses A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is $2.99! This book and series is insanely popular and has Beauty and the Beast elements. I love the new covers for this series and I’m doing a re-read right now. They’re very much potato chip books. A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore. When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down! Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon RECOMMENDED: That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming is $1.99 at Amazon! Carrie recently reviewed this one and gave it a B: This book was perfect entertainment for my stressed out brain, and I was definitely rooting for those two wacky kids to have their HEA. All I wanted to do was live my life in peace. Maybe get a cat, expand my spice farm. Really anything that doesn’t involve going on a quest where an orc might rip my face off. But they say the Goddess has favorites. If so, I’m clearly not one of them. After saving the demon Fallon in a wine-drunk stupor, all he wanted to do was kill an evil witch enslaving his people. I mean, I get it. Don’t get me wrong. But he’s dragging me along for the ride, and I’m kind of peeved about it. On the bright side, he keeps burning off his shirt. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Night Circus The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is $1.99! This fantasy novel was everywhere when it came out and does seem to have romantic elements. While the setting captured readers’ attentions, some wished it had more emotional depth. Two starcrossed magicians engage in a deadly game of cunning in The Night Circus, the spellbinding bestseller that has captured the world’s imagination. The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  2. It’s a special edition of the Gift Guide: Cyber Monday deals I’ve spotted – have you seen some, too? This week: The Cyber Monday round up of some great options for gifting! Thank you, Amanda! Want to see? Just click that image above or click right here, and come craft with us! And if you’d like to browse some more, we have a complete Stuff We Like archive, including past Gift Guides and other posts of our favorite items. View the full article
  3. Happy Monday! Let’s have some Cover Snark! From Squee_Me: Cover snark! I’m not sure if this is the right place to share a proposed cover snark…I saw this in a Kobo 2 for 1 sale. The guy’s abs look like the Transformers Autobot logo (I know this thanks to my husband and 11 yr old kid) or maybe a face of an alien. And now I can’t unsee it. Also the tattoo and his right nipple appear to be battling for position on his chest. Sarah: Nope, can’t unsee it. Transformers! ROLL OUT. Amanda: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE Sarah: I have to say, the Transformers ride at Universal is one of my favorites. Sneezy: Probably not that nipple’s. It looks like it’s losing. Maybe this is an illustration of how to become cyborgs? AJ: I actually really like that tattoo placement, it looks intentionally designed which is not too common in Cover Dude Land. His nipple is definitely losing the battle, though. From Jen: For cover snark. when will authors learn that animal placement on the cover matters? do not put the bear directly in front of the man’s hips. Sarah: Wait have we done this one? Amanda: LEAVE THIS BEAR ALONE, COVER DESIGNERS! THEY’VE BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH Sarah: Poor bears. My gosh. To say nothing of the health and food service code violations of both A Bear and A Bare Chest in the bakery. Amanda: A deep internet meme cut for all us olds Sarah: OH that is a deep cut. Much retro! Hollie also submitted the poor Bakery Bear, saying, “I saw this cover, and immediately had snarky thoughts, and wanted to share it with you. You’re welcome! LOL.” And Elizabeth: “Looks like he is doing something naughty to the bear.” I think many people saw this cover and thought, OH, ok, Smart Bitches needs to know about this. Which is so flattering, tbh. This cover represents a number of choices that I do not understand at all. Sneezy: At this point, we might as well come up with a pretentious name that vaguely sounds like an art movement for all the covers that harasses this poor Pooh. AJ: Arctusian? … Grizzly Style? Elyse: I realize he’s an alien but he’s missing a nipple and I don’t think veins should do that. Sneezy: Or skin for that matter. I had to check if my night view was off, aaaaand yup, someone indeed stole what was supposed to be Pikachu spandex. Sarah: I want to bring this person a glass of water. Or 12. AJ: These tattoos are TERRIBLE. I’m getting early 2000s flashbacks. Someone bring me a dragonfruit Sobe and an Alanis Morissette CD, I’ll be over here on my inflatable chair weeping softly. This guy should have asked the other dude for a referral. Aliens: do your research! Don’t just come to Earth and walk into the first tattoo shop you see! From Sukari: It looks like his head and his pecs are going in different directions. Manifestation of an internal crisis? Sarah: The little curl of cloud behind his head looks like a line indicating motion, like he just whipped his head around and said, “WHAT did you just call me?!” NASH. I called you NASH. It’s written on your abdomen. Amanda: Speaking of the cloud, Nash seems like he’d believe in chemtrail conspiracy theories. Elyse: Was I the only one who thought he didn’t have pants on? No pants, unbuttoned shirt. That’s a look. Sneezy: You know Amanda, I don’t know what chemtrail conspiracies are, and his face is making sure that I’ll stay under my little rock. My nice, cozy rock with Michelle Yeoh posters everywhere. View the full article
  4. Slippery Creatures RECOMMENDED: Slippery Creatures by K.J. Charles is FREE! AJ reviewed this one and gave it a B+: Long story short, if you’re looking for a fun thriller and you don’t mind buckling up for the long-ish haul on the romance (or if you just miss used bookstores as much as I do), give it a try! Will Darling came back from the Great War with a few scars, a lot of medals, and no idea what to do next. Inheriting his uncle’s chaotic second-hand bookshop is a blessing…until strange visitors start making threats. First a criminal gang, then the War Office, both telling Will to give them the information they want, or else. Will has no idea what that information is, and nobody to turn to, until Kim Secretan—charming, cultured, oddly attractive—steps in to offer help. As Kim and Will try to find answers and outrun trouble, mutual desire grows along with the danger. And then Will discovers the truth about Kim. His identity, his past, his real intentions. Enraged and betrayed, Will never wants to see him again. But Will possesses knowledge that could cost thousands of lives. Enemies are closing in on him from all sides—and Kim is the only man who can help. A 1920s m/m romance trilogy in the spirit of Golden Age pulp fiction. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Sleepover RECOMMENDED: Sleepover by Serena Bell is $2.99! Elyse recently read this one and loved it. She gave it an A: I really, really love a contemporary romance that features an emotionally fluent hero and real conflict that’s handled with respect and intelligence. Sleepover by Serena Bell hit both these nails on the head, making it one of the best, most emotionally satisfying contemporary romances I’ve read this year. It’s also got some crazy-hot sex scenes which is a nice bonus. A brand-new contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Head Over Heels. The girl next door is the one that got away. He just doesn’t know it yet. . . . Sawyer: After my wife died, I promised myself I’d never go through the pain of losing someone again. Now I keep my flings neat, tidy, and one-time-only. Besides, my son needs me more than ever. He’s miserable in our new town, so I’m pumped when he makes friends with the kid next door—until I recognize his mom from a one-night stand. Perky and upbeat, Elle Dunning is not my type for anything other than tearing up the sheets. So why do I keep letting myself get roped into game nights and get-togethers? Elle: It so hasn’t been my year. That’s my first thought when I see my new next-door neighbor. I never would have hooked up with Sawyer Paulson if my husband hadn’t left me for his high-school sweetheart, but because our eight-year-old boys have become best friends, I’ve got to make nice with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent. Yet the more time we spend together, the more Sawyer opens up. We’ve both been hurt—badly. So it’s one thing to send the kids off to sleepaway camp together. It’s quite another to promise each other a lifetime of sleepovers. . . . Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Would Like to Meet RECOMMENDED: Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters is $2.99! Lara read this one and gave it a B: I was raised on classic rom-coms like One Fine Day and While You Were Sleeping (which I will never rewatch as I fear they’ve not aged well) and for each new outing of a tried and true trope, I continue to be there, first in line. So my appreciation for the trope is as much nature as it is nurture. As a result, I am delighted to report that this book has SO MANY OF THE TROPES, but its specialty is my personal favourite: the meet-cute. In this charming, feel-good debut novel, a cynical assistant at a screenwriting agency must reenact the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedy movies in order to help her #1 client get his scriptwriting mojo back–but can a real-life meet-cute be in store for someone who doesn’t believe in happily ever after? After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she’s been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency’s biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra Chester, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy. The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer’s block–and he’ll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts. But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she’ll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies–and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Mermaid from Jeju The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn is $1.99 and is a KDD! I mentioned this one on an edition of Get Rec’d. If you like historical fiction, especially time periods near WWI and WWII, but want something a bit different than a UK setting, this is worth a try. In the tradition of Yangsze Choo’s Night Tiger and Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko comes a magical saga that explores what it really means to love. In the aftermath of World War II, Goh Junja is a girl just coming into her own. She is the latest successful deep sea diver in a family of strong haenyeo. Confident she is a woman now, Junja urges her mother to allow her to make the Goh family’s annual trip to Mt. Halla, where they trade abalone and other sea delicacies for pork. Junja, a sea village girl, has never been to the mountains, where it smells like mushrooms and earth, and it is there she falls in love with a mountain boy Yang Suwol, who rescues her after a particularly harrowing journey. But when Junja returns one day later, it is just in time to see her mother take her last breath, beaten by the waves during a dive she was taking in Junja’s place. Spiraling in grief, Junja sees her younger siblings sent to live with their estranged father, Suwol is gone, the ghost of her mother haunts their home–from the meticulously tended herb garden that has now begun to sprout weeds, to the field where their bed sheets are beaten. She has only her grandmother and herself. But the world moves on without Junja. The political climate is perilous. Still reeling from Japan’s forced withdrawal from the peninsula, Korea is forced to accommodate the rapid establishment of US troops, and her grandmother, who lived through the Japanese invasion that led to Korea’s occupation understands the signs of danger all too well. When Suwol is arrested for working with and harboring communists, and the perils of post-WWII overtake her homelands, Junja must learn to navigate a tumultuous world unlike anything she’s ever known. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  5. Welcome back! Whoa, we’ve reached thirty of these things! However, I do have some news. Next week will be my last week as a bookseller at an independent bookstore. It was a very emotional decision, but my commute was starting to wear on me. That being said, Get Rec’d will still continue. Don’t you worry! How about you? Receive any great recommendations lately? Front Desk The bookstore had a customer come in wanting to find some middle grade books for her niece that primarily feature Chinese main characters. Kelly Yang is a fantastic writer and a big seller in our area. Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language? It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams? Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Hacienda This one is my go-to for anyone still riding the high of Mexican Gothic and wants some similarly Gothic stories. Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches… In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father is executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost. But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined. When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark its doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano? Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will help her. Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to battle the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda. Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Suburban Hell A great read-a-like that I often recommend for people who like Grady Hendrix or who want a mix of horror and humor. Bad Moms meets My Best Friend’s Exorcism in this lite-horror-comedy about a group of women in the Chicago ‘burbs, whose cul-de-sac gets a new neighbor: a demon. Amy Foster considers herself lucky. After she left the city and went full minivan, she found her place quickly with neighbors Liz, Jess, and Melissa, together snarking the “Mom Mafia” from the outskirts of the PTA mom crowd. So, one night during their monthly wine get-together, the newfound crew concoct a plan for a clubhouse She Shed in Liz’s backyard – the perfect space for just them, no spouses or kids allowed. But the night after they christen the space with a ceremonial drink, things start to feel…off. What they didn’t expect was for Liz’s little home improvement project to release a demonic force that turns their quiet suburban enclave into something out of a nightmare. And that’s before the Homeowners’ Association gets wind of it. Just as Liz is turned into a creepy doll face overnight, cases of haunting activity around the neighborhood intensify, and even the calmest moms can’t justify the strange burn marks, self-moving dolls, and horrible smells surrounding their possessed friend, Liz. Together, Amy, Jess, and Melissa must fight back the evil spirit to save Liz and the neighborhood…before the suburbs go completely to hell. But at least they don’t have to deal with the PTA, right? Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Whispering Dead This one was actually a recommendation I received! It was mentioned as being “horror-lite” with lots of atmosphere! USA Today bestseller and rising queen of atmospheric horror Darcy Coates returns with a ghost story that will haunt you long after the final page. She hears them whispering… Homeless, hunted, and desperate to escape a bitter storm, Keira takes refuge in an abandoned groundskeeper’s cottage. Her new home is tucked away at the edge of a cemetery, surrounded on all sides by gravestones: some recent, some hundreds of years old, all suffering from neglect. And in the darkness, she can hear the unquiet dead whispering. The cemetery is alive with faint, spectral shapes, led by a woman who died before her time…and Keira, the only person who can see her, has become her new target. Determined to help put the ghost to rest, Keira digs into the spirit’s past life with the help of unlikely new friends, and discovers a history of deception, ill-fated love, and murder. But the past is not as simple as it seems, and Keira’s time is running out. Tangled in a dangerous web, she has to find a way to free the spirit…even if it means offering her own life in return. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  6. We’re wrapping up November, which means part two of Whatcha Reading for the month! Have you been doing any reading to escape holiday socializing? Or still too full from Thanksgiving leftovers to even think about reading? Shana: I’ve been having a tough time reading lately. But I did start the audiobook of A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske. I love it so far. Sneezy: I’m flying through To Melt Your Frozen Heart I’d been meaning to read this for a long time!!! Lots of delicious gender reversal that I think makes for a stronger story. There’s a twee golden retriever of a man, and a buff, remote wolf of a woman. Seriously, she’s a good head taller than him and is known as The Wolf of the Battlefield. And the art is to DIE for!!!!! A | BN | KSarah: I am awaiting my library hold for the audio book of Evil in Emerald. I am NEXT IN LINE. Amanda: I’m doing something wild and rereading. I’m not caught up on A Court of Thorns and Roses, ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) so I’m starting from the beginning again. Sarah: First of all Whoa! That’s rare! Second…see you in a few years then. Elyse: Right now I’m reading The Stand-Up Groomsman by Jackie Lau. ( A | BN | K | AB ) Tara: When I’m not feeding or sacrificing my cult members playing Cult of the Lamb, I’m reading Season of Love by Helena Greer. ( A | BN | K | AB ) Sarah told me it’s excellent and she wasn’t kidding! What are you reading? Tell us below! View the full article
  7. The transcript for Podcast 538. Jane Austen, Anthropologist, with Nikki Payne 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
  8. As a reminder, we will not be featuring any HarperCollins titles until a fair contract is negotiated with the HarperCollins Union. Additionally, today is Black Friday, so if you see any great deals and discounts, let us know! Wolf Gone Wild Wolf Gone Wild by Juliette Cross is $1.49! This was mentioned on a previous Hide Your Wallet and I’ve personally enjoyed Cross’ fantasy and paranormal romances previously. This has a witch and a werewolf pairing and sounds a lot like me catnip. What’s the worst thing that can happen to a werewolf? Unable to shift for three months, Mateo Cruz knows all too well. His wolf has taken up residence in his head, taunting him night and day with vividly violent and carnal thoughts. Convinced he’s cursed, he needs the help of a powerful witch before he literally goes insane. ​Evie Savoie has always obeyed the house rules of her coven–no werewolves. They’re known for being moody and volatile. So, when a distempered, dangerous werewolf strolls into the bar and almost strangles one of her late-night customers, she’s ready to bounce him through the door. But the desperation in his eyes when he begs her to help him softens her heart and convinces her to bend the rules. ​What Evie doesn’t know is that Mateo’s wolf has a mind of his own. And now that she’s in his sights, he wants only one thing. Her. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Part of Your World RECOMMENDED: Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez is $2.99! This one came out in April and I really loved it. It was tender and sweet and funny. I also ranted about the “villain” on an episode of the podcast. I would have loved to have seen him get tossed into a wood chipper at the end. The New York Times bestselling author of Life’s Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry. After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable. While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people. Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his? Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Under the Whispering Door Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune is $3.99! At the store, this was my friend Tildy’s best of 2021 book. What’d you think of this one, especially compared to Cerulean Sea? When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead. Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over. But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life. When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days. Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Marriage Game The Marriage Game by Sara Desai is $1.99! This is book one in The Marriage Game series and I’m loving all of the cover designs. Catherine and Sneezy did a join review of this one and landed on a C grade. A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy. After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door… As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he’s forced to share his space with the owner’s beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life. As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  9. A | BN | K | AB My guest today is Nikki Payne, debut author of Pride and Protest, a contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set in DC between an activist DJ and a CEO developer. Nikki is also a tech anthropologist, so this conversation hits on some major current events like what’s happening at Twitter, and how Jane Austen was an anthropologist (and shade queen) as well. … Connect with your partner every day using Paired. Download the app at https://www.paired.com/SARAH Music: purple-planet.com Listen to the podcast → Read the transcript → Here are the books we discuss in this podcast: You can find Nikki Payne at her website, Nikki Payne Books.com. She’s on Twitter @NikkiPayneBooks, Instagram @NikkiPayneBooks, and TikTok @NikkiPayneWrites, too. We also mentioned: The Phenomenal Book Club Love is Blind Maintenance Phase FBoy Island 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
  10. As a reminder, we will not be featuring any HarperCollins titles until a fair contract is negotiated with the HarperCollins Union. The Hookup Plan The Hookup Plan by Farrah Rochon is $2.99! This is Rochon’s latest release in The Boyfriend Project series. It was also mentioned on a previous Hide Your Wallet. Strong female friendships and a snappy enemies-to-lovers theme take center stage in this highly anticipated romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Dating Playbook. Successful pediatric surgeon London Kelley just needs to find some balance and de-stress. According to her friends Samiah and Taylor, what London really needs is a casual hookup. A night of fun with no strings. But no one—least of all London—expected it to go down at her high school reunion with Drew Sullivan, millionaire, owner of delicious abs, and oh yes, her archnemesis. Now London is certain the road to hell is paved with good sex. Because she’s found out the real reason Drew’s back in Austin: to decide whether her beloved hospital remains open. Worse, Drew is doing everything he can to show her that he’s a decent guy who actually cares. But London’s not falling for it. Because while sleeping with the enemy is one thing, falling for him is definitely not part of the plan. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall is $2.99! This is book two in the Winner Bakes All series and came out earlier this month. I was a little disappointed by this one. Did you read it? What are your thoughts? From the bestselling author of Boyfriend Material comes a sweet and scrumptious romantic comedy about facing your insecurities, finding love, and baking it off, no matter what people say. Paris Daillencourt is a recipe for disaster. Despite his passion for baking, his cat, and his classics degree, constant self-doubt and second-guessing have left him a curdled, directionless mess. So when his roommate enters him in Bake Expectations, the nation’s favourite baking show, Paris is sure he’ll be the first one sent home. But not only does he win week one’s challenge—he meets fellow contestant Tariq Hassan. Sure, he’s the competition, but he’s also cute and kind, with more confidence than Paris could ever hope to have. Still, neither his growing romance with Tariq nor his own impressive bakes can keep Paris’s fear of failure from spoiling his happiness. And when the show’s vicious fanbase confirms his worst anxieties, Paris’s confidence is torn apart quicker than tear-and-share bread. But if Paris can find the strength to face his past, his future, and the chorus of hecklers that live in his brain, he’ll realize it’s the sweet things in life that he really deserves. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Witchful Thinking Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin is $2.99! I believe this is Martin’s debut romance with some light, witchy vibes. This was mentioned on a previous witch-themed Hide Your Wallet. Love is the trickiest spell of all. Lucinda Caraway loves living in Freya Grove, the mystic seaside town where charms, hexes, and magical beings of all kinds are the norm. She spends her days teaching high school history and her nights reading tea leaves and tending to her conjure garden. It’s a good life . . . but she can’t stop wishing for more. Until one night, that wish turns into a spell, and suddenly Lucy can’t say no. Not to a public karaoke performance. Not to running a 10K. And, most alarmingly, not to her high school crush, Alexander Dwyer, who needs her help unjinxing his new house—which just happens to be right across the street from hers. Alex has spent the last ten years traveling the world on adventures Lucy has only ever dreamed of, and he’s planning to leave again as soon as his house is safe to sell. But until Lucy can unhex herself, she and Alex are stuck together. And with so much magic in the air, maybe the next spell Lucy casts will be the one that convinces him to stay. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Desperate Measures Desperate Measures by Katee Robert is $1.49! This is book one in the Wicked Villains series, which are erotic retellings of popular Disney/fairy tale villains. Maya recently highly recommended this one in recent Rec League, but be warned that the content of the Rec League may spoil the ending to the book. My Savior… Or My Ruin? One night, and my entire life went up in flames. All because of him. Jafar. As my world burned down around me, he offered me a choice. Walk away with nothing but my freedom… Or rise to his challenge and win my fortune back. I bargained. I lost. Now Jafar owns me, and even as my mind rails against his rules, my body loves the punishments he deals out when I break them. But a gilded cage is still a prison, I’ll do anything to obtain my freedom. Even betray the man I’m falling for. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  11. A A Haunted History of Invisible Women by Leanna Renee Hieber September 27, 2022 · Citadel Press Nonfiction A Haunted History of Invisible Women: True Stories of America’s Ghosts is so much more than the book I thought I was getting. This book tells a lot of ghost stories, but it is also an examination of why so many ghost stories are by and/or about women and what they say about our culture and history. It’s also a critique of the business of Ghost Tours, demonstrating how they can exploit historical suffering at their worst and illuminate the past in a way that challenges and educates at their best. This is an accessible and enjoyable book regardless of the reader’s stance on the supernatural. For the most part, the authors aren’t using the book to prove or debunk the existence of ghosts (other than in the section “Fraud, Fakes, and Mythmaking”). Instead, they focus on the meaning and impact of the stories. What do these stories tell about historical and contemporary attitudes towards women? Why do some stories resonate so deeply? I was fascinated by the depth of analysis and warmed by the intense empathy expressed in the book for the women that history has forgotten as well as those who are remembered in mixed-up, sensationalized legend. Anyone thinking the book will be a lighthearted romp will be divested of this notion upon realizing that the very first haunted location discussed is the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which killed 146 factory workers in 1911. The authors are deeply concerned with how to present ghost stories in a way that honors the memories of the dead, and that places them in a historical context that we can learn from instead of simply providing titillation. For instance, the fire is one of the entries in the section titled “Death and the Maiden,” which posits that the deaths of young women leave us with a problematic sense of preserved and idealized innocence. More specifically, the fire was a turning point for the labor rights movement because it so graphically and horrifically made oppressive labor practices visible. The same chapter also talks about ghosts who haunt academia in the context of social anxieties about the roles of women in the academic sphere. I was especially happy to see that Sarah Winchester, of Winchester Mystery House, is vindicated in the section “Madwomen.” Her chapter not only claims that she was not mentally ill but also talks about why the legend of her “insanity” lingers so persistently (hint: money, also hint: the authors point out that they could also have placed her in the section “Spinsters and Widows” and it’s my opinion that should could also have fit in with the chapter on “Witches” ) For more about Sarah Winchester, check out her entry in Romance Wanderlust and my review of Captive of the Labyrinth. I’m quite fond of Sarah because, like me, she was a tiny woman with terrible arthritis and she scaled everything accordingly, so while other people think her stairs and sinks are creepy I feel deeply at home. In addition to the sections I’ve already mentioned, the book contains sections on “Mothers and Wives” and “Bad Girls, Jezebels, and Killer Women.” These chapters interrogate some of the most rigid stereotypes and frameworks we use to define the roles of women within domestic life. “Bad Girls, Jezebels, and Killer Women” examines conflicted feelings about various aspects of history by looking at ghost stories involving sex workers as well as more well-known historical figures. This book left me feeling inspired and excited with a new way to think about my interest in haunted places (I’m a skeptic, but also a history nerd, and I never met a graveyard I didn’t love). The book took such a novel approach to hauntings, keeping the focus on our own minds and our history as opposed to titillation. One of the authors is a believer and one is not, which creates a welcoming environment for both approaches. What they share is a sense of outrage at the many ways that women have been ignored, dismissed, insulted, and otherwise cruelly treated by society, and an interest in why we remember the ones that we do. I recommend this book to anyone who likes kickass women, women’s history (kickass or otherwise), and a good creepy tale. View the full article
  12. Hey, everyone! Did you know it was Wednesday? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the U.S. A week or so ago, I asked for some dessert suggestions. Thank you so much! I think I’m going with a chocolate mousse this year and pairing it with a cinnamon whipped cream. The mousse I’ll be making this afternoon, just so I have one less thing to do tomorrow. My partner and I also made fancy dinner reservations for the weekend. We thought about doing an intimate Thanksgiving together, but we didn’t love the thought of cooking a second (albeit smaller) Thanksgiving meal when we’ll already have leftovers. What are your feelings on leftovers? Love ’em? Hate ’em? I remember my dad was a big fan of making sandwiches with everything piled on. … This link was sent in by Escapeologist! Thanks so much! Library cat dressed up as book characters! The article is a year old but hey, new to me. Came across it on the excellent subreddit r/Eyebleach (it’s what your eyes need when you’ve Seen Some Shit). … This link was shared in the Smart Bitches discord! Yes, we have a discord! It’s very fun and available to SBTB Patreon members. The mascot for the 2024 Paris Olympics was met with some bemused responses. While it’s been confirmed the mascots are hats, they also resemble a clitoris. … Saw this floating around on twitter: Apple Rankings. Given that I went to several apple orchards this fall, I was very curious. It has a pretty extensive rubric and a huge list of apple varietals. Where does your favorite rank? I’d love to taste the #1 apple on the list, though I haven’t seen them in New England. … Enjoy this thread of famous artists’ homes and studios! Great for both art and architecture nerds. https://twitter.com/bellenoelphoto/status/1594105865484656640 … 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
  13. As a reminder, we will not be featuring any HarperCollins titles until a fair contract is negotiated with the HarperCollins Union. In a New York Minute In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer is $3.99! This is a contemporary romance with an opposites attract pairing and quite a memorable “meet cute.” Have you read this one? A clever, tender, and romantic novel for readers of Christina Lauren, Jasmine Guillory, and Sophie Cousens, this laugh-out-loud debut is a perceptive reminder that fate can have a sense of humor, and that love can happen…In a New York Minute. Franny Doyle is having the worst day. She’s been laid off from her (admittedly mediocre) job, the subway doors ripped her favorite silk dress to ruins, and now she’s flashed her unmentionables to half of lower Manhattan. On the plus side, a dashing stranger came to her rescue with his (Gucci!) suit jacket. On the not-so-plus side, he can’t get away from her fast enough. Worse yet? Someone posted their (entirely not) meet-cute online. Suddenly Franny and her knight-in-couture, Hayes Montgomery III, are the newest social media sensation, and all of New York is shipping #SubwayQTs. Only Franny and Hayes couldn’t be a more disastrous match. She’s fanciful, talkative, and creative. He’s serious, shy, and all about numbers. Luckily, in a city of eight million people, they never have to meet again. Yet somehow, Hayes and Franny keep running into each other—and much to their surprise, they enjoy each other’s company. A lot. But when Franny’s whole world is turned upside down (again!), can she find the courage to trust in herself and finally have the life—and love—she’s always wanted? Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn is $2.99! This is book two in the Chance of a Lifetime series and can probably be read in order. These are also on sale pretty frequently so there’s plenty of chances to snap up the whole series. This one has enemies entering into a fake relationship, which is all sorts of my catnip. Buying a lotto ticket with her two best friends didn’t change Zoe’s life. Only following her heart would do that… Sure, winning the lottery allows Zoe Ferris to quit her job as a cutthroat corporate attorney, but no amount of cash will clear her conscience about the way her firm treated the O’Leary family in a wrongful death case. So she sets out to make things right, only to find gruff, grieving Aiden O’Leary doesn’t need—or want—her apology. He does, however, need something else from her. Something Zoe is more than willing to give, if only to ease the pain in her heart, a sorrow she sees mirrored in his eyes… Aiden doesn’t know what possesses him to ask his family’s enemy to be his fake fiancée. But he needs a bride if he hopes to be the winning bid on the campground he wants to purchase as part of his beloved brother’s legacy. Skilled in the art of deception, the cool beauty certainly fits the bill. Only Aiden didn’t expect all the humor and heart Zoe brings to their partnership—or the desire that runs deep between them. Now he’s struggling with his own dark truth—that he’s falling for the very woman he vowed never to forgive. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Grey Hair Don’t Care Gray Hair Don’t Care by Karen Booth is 99c! This is the first book in the Never Too Late series. I feel like this one has been mentioned a few times on the site. The second book in the series is also on sale. Everything went wrong. And then she went gray. At 47, newly divorced makeup artist Lela Bennett is dreading her next steps. Dating. Meeting people. Not letting herself go. But then she runs into Donovan James and tries something different—sleeping with her sexy crush from college. Unfortunately, in a post-orgasm stupor, Lela confesses she was in love with Donovan all those years ago. He responds by leaving while she sleeps. The next morning, her gray hairs are practically taunting her. She knows she has to get it together. Forget men. Embrace her age. Own her gray. Donovan James is a marketing genius, but his ex-wives will tell you—nothing freaks him out like feelings. Three years after his one-night stand with Lela, he’s focused on his daughter’s lifestyle company, but unprepared to meet the face of the beauty division. It’s Lela. With stunning silver locks and new confidence, she’s no longer swayed by his charms. When business starts booming, the universe seems intent on throwing them together time and again. And suddenly, two people convinced that romance was behind them are wondering if love could be what’s next. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Irresistibly Yours Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne is $2.99! If you like great dialogue, I always recommend Layne and this was one of my book picks for a previous October’s Hide Your Wallet. However, a few readers found the setting a bit unrealistic. It has a 3.9-star rating on Goodreads and is the first book in the Oxford series. Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance. Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her. Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  14. Another gift guide? Roll to find out! This week: we love our pets a lot – and we love to get them gifts! Thank you, Amanda! Want to see? Just click that image above or click right here, and come craft with us! And if you’d like to browse some more, we have a complete Stuff We Like archive, including past Gift Guides and other posts of our favorite items. View the full article
  15. As a reminder, we will not be featuring any HarperCollins titles until a fair contract is negotiated with the HarperCollins Union. My Lady Notorious My Lady Notorious by Jo Beverley is $3.99! This is the first book in the Malloren series and features a heroine who disguises herself as a man. I feel like this is one of those books that readers have really fond memories of reading. Do you? I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read any Beverley titles, but I’ve always been curious about this one. Desperate to help her widowed sister and baby escape a deadly pursuer, Lady Chastity Ware dresses as a highwayman and captures the first coach to travel down the road. Coming face-to-face with its occupant, the arrogant aristocrat, Cyn Malloren, she orders him to drive her to a remote cottage. Little does Chastity realize that after long months of recovering from his war wounds, the handsome Cyn is looking for adventure, and being abducted by a cocky highwayman—obviously a lovely woman in disguise—is even more than he had hoped for. Willingly he is drawn into her devilishly reckless plan…and helplessly he is seduced by her wonderfully wicked ways. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Beast of Beswick The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard is $1.99! Catherine reviewed this one and gave it a B-: I enjoyed the complexity of the characters, and I was especially intrigued by Isobel, whose inner life is so opaque to her sister, and yet clearly quite well-developed. There’s a lot of heat and sensuality in the book, and some lovely moments of humour. These are all really big positives. The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare meets Taming of the Shrew in the start to a new Regency series from award-winning author Amalie Howard. Lord Nathaniel Harte, the disagreeable Duke of Beswick, spends his days smashing porcelain, antagonizing his servants, and snarling at anyone who gets too close. With a ruined face like his, it’s hard to like much about the world. Especially smart-mouthed harpies―with lips better suited to kissing than speaking―who brave his castle with indecent proposals. But Lady Astrid Everleigh will stop at nothing to see her younger sister safe from a notorious scoundrel, even if it means offering herself up on a silver platter to the forbidding Beast of Beswick himself. And by offer, she means what no highborn lady of sound and sensible mind would ever dream of―a tender of marriage with her as his bride. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Roughest Draft The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka is $1.99! This is a contemporary romance and includes a fallout between cowriters. They’re forced to reunite to finish one last book. They were cowriting literary darlings until they hit a plot hole that turned their lives upside down. Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen were the brightest literary stars on the horizon, their cowritten books topping bestseller lists. But on the heels of their greatest success, they ended their partnership on bad terms, for reasons neither would divulge to the public. They haven’t spoken since, and never planned to, except they have one final book due on contract. Facing crossroads in their personal and professional lives, they’re forced to reunite. The last thing they ever thought they’d do again is hole up in the tiny Florida town where they wrote their previous book, trying to finish a new manuscript quickly and painlessly. Working through the reasons they’ve hated each other for the past three years isn’t easy, especially not while writing a romantic novel. While passion and prose push them closer together in the Florida heat, Katrina and Nathan will learn that relationships, like writing, sometimes take a few rough drafts before they get it right. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Hotel Magnifique Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor is $2.99! We featured this one on Cover Awe because come on, how beautiful is that. This is a YA fantasy novel about two sisters who work at a magical hotel. The catch is that their position doesn’t seem to have an end date. All her life, Jani has dreamed of Elsewhere. Just barely scraping by with her job at a tannery, she’s resigned to a dreary life in the port town of Durc, caring for her younger sister Zosa. That is, until the Hotel Magnifique comes to town. The hotel is legendary not only for its whimsical enchantments, but also for its ability to travel—appearing in a different destination every morning. While Jani and Zosa can’t afford the exorbitant costs of a guest’s stay, they can interview to join the staff, and are soon whisked away on the greatest adventure of their lives. But once inside, Jani quickly discovers their contracts are unbreakable and that beneath the marvelous glamour, the hotel is hiding dangerous secrets. With the vexingly handsome doorman Bel as her only ally, Jani embarks on a mission to unravel the mystery of the magic at the heart of the hotel and free Zosa—and the other staff—from the cruelty of the ruthless maître d’hôtel. To succeed, she’ll have to risk everything she loves, but failure would mean a fate far worse than never returning home. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
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