My Samhain Sale Picks

samhain-saleIt was a bit of a sad weekend for this romance lover. One of Northern Virginia’s two main local used bookstores closed its doors today. I was able to snap up 20 romances by various authors (including four by the lovely and delightful Liz Talley and a bunch of old school historicals by Iris Johansen, Madeline Hunter and Jo Beverly) for a grand total of $8. But that doesn’t quite make up for the loss of the place where I bought my first Harlequin Blaze. Nice knowing you, C&W Books.

Then, if you’re following Romland news, you might have heard that Samhain is going out of business sometime in the not-so-distant future. They published some of my favorite series over the years including Charm of Magpies by KJ Charles, Bend or Break by Amy Jo Cousins and the Living In series by Jackie Ashenden. General consensus seems to be that they’re handling the challenges of this sad situation professionally (continuing to pay people and returning rights promptly as it becomes appropriate). I’m not certain whether it’s related, but they’re having a 40% off sale on ebooks right now at their site. I think the sale is only for today so if you’re looking for titles to round out an order, here’s what I bought. These aren’t recommendations exactly. They’re just books that have been sitting on various wishlists of mine for a while that I thought I’d snap up while I had the chance. We’ll miss you, Samhain.

true-pretensesTrue Pretenses by Rose Lerner

I thought I’d read all of Rose Lerner’s books, but somehow I missed True Pretenses. It looks like a marriage of convenience story where the heroine proposes so Im excited for this one. I’d say if you’ve never read Lerner, snap up all of her books. She’s terrific–one of my favorite currently publishing historical romance writers. We have also collaborated a few times and I really like her personally so there’s your I-am-so-biased disclaimer.

the-billionaire-submissiveThe Billionaire Submissive by Joely Sue Burkhart

This BDSM erotic romance has been on my wishlist for a while. I’m a sucker for femdom romance and this one got mixed reviews, but i was still intrigued. Most I think the folks I trust hoped it would be more subversive than it was, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

the-salisbury-keyDriftwood and The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox

I no longer recall who recommended either of these two books by Harper Fox, but I figured since there were two on my list, I should try one. Driftwood seems to feature two fairly broken heroes, which is kind if a favorite thing of mine. The Salisbury Key is about two heroes on their own missions–one to prove himself, the othrr for answers surrounding his late lover’s suicide. Both seem pretty intense.

the-slipstream-conThe Slipstream Con & The Balance of Silence by Reesa Herberth & Michelle Moore

Space opera romance. And Reesa lives in my area though we’ve never met. So embarrassed it took this long for me to try these, but as a devoted Browncoat, I have high hopes.

muscling-throughMuscling Through by JL Merrow

I didn’t actually have this one on my wishlist, but I caught a glimpse of the plot summary and only got as far as art professor + huge, tattooed man before I added it to my cart. One alone with have been enough to make me curious, but the combination was irresistable.

the-closer-you-getThe Closer You Get by LA Witt

Same deal as above. Manwhore and virgin. How could I not? Besides, LA Witt is hugely prolific and I see her name all the time so I thought this might be a good opportunity to see if she’s got what it takes to hold my attention.

the-bohemian-and-the-bankerThe Bohemian and the Banker by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon

I clearly have a thing for opposites attract stories. Even better if they include a drag performer and a straitlaced virgin like this 1901 historical romance. I’d been wanting to try a book by Dee & Devon for a while and my bookish soul mate Amy Jo Cousins recommended it in her post about her favorite Samhain titles so it seemed like a good place to start.

crossing-bordersCrossing Borders by ZA Maxfield

Another Amy Jo Cousins recommendation, this age-gap romance between a skateboarder and a cop is total catnip for me. Not only is the cop a lot older than the skateboarder, it’s a second chance at romance. This would have to be really bad for me not to enjoy it.

At least one good thing happened this weekend. I made brunch for Mary Chris Escobar, women’s fiction writer and First Draught podcast host, who was in town over the weekend and it left me with both leftover blueberry mousses cake and leftover champagne so at least I have treats for consoling myself.


  1. _Muscling Through_ is wonderful! That was a lucky impulse! _True Pretenses_ is also very enjoyable. I haven’t read those particular Fox books, but she’s generally got really beautiful prose.

  2. True Pretenses may be my favourite Lerner … warring with her début, In For A Penny, and one of my own favourite reviews. I predict you’re going to LOVE it!

  3. I love those Fox titles. I resisted Muscling Through for awhile because I don’t usually like unbalanced pairings, but it is delightful.

  4. Not Samhain related – but a shout-out to His Uptown Girl by Liz Talley. I really, really liked that one A LOT!

  5. Happy to help! 🙂 But seriously, the whole afternoon was an awesome treat! Thanks, again!

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