National Reader’s Choice Award winner Kristina Cook tops today’s Buffet with her 2004 debut novel, Unlaced, a historical romance set in Regency England. This book first appeared as a Zebra paperback and was published to the Kindle this summer.
Kristina has written more than a dozen books for adults and teens, ranging from historical and NASCAR romance to paranormal and contemporary young adult fiction (also writing as Kristi Astor and Kristi Cook).
Kristina lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters, but in the summer months escapes with them to sunny Miami, where she lounges on the beach and teaches creative writing classes at Miami-Dade College.
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All Lucy Abbington wants is to get through her first London season without losing sight of her true ambition—gaining some informal training in veterinary arts so that she can retire peacefully to the countryside with her beloved horses. Instead, she’s caught up in a whirlwind of balls, marriage proposals, and ton intrigues. Worse, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to her sponsors’ maddening neighbor, Henry Ashton, the Marquess of Mandeville. The handsome, arrogant, sometimes infuriating Mandeville stokes a passionate fire within her that won’t be denied, no matter the consequence.
Deep, emotional scars secretly plague Henry, Lord Mandeville. As a result, he’s avoided romantic entanglements at all costs. Only, now he needs a wife—someone from a wealthy, powerful family to further his political aspirations. Instead, he finds himself all but obsessed with the beautiful but unconventional Lucy Abbington—a woman whose passions and wit stir desires he’d rather ignore. And yet…she might just be the one woman who can heal his wounded heart.
Lucy and Henry’s heads say no, but their hearts say yes. Will they find themselves undone by love?
Eastward, as far as the eye could see, stretched the Great Plains. Westward rose the Rockies, snow-capped shadows against the sky. In the middle flowed a mighty river—silent, glistening, and turbulent—the bloodline of a wide and wild land. Three hard, tough men staked their claims on its potent shores; Jake Stonecipher, pioneer merchant, seeking his fortune—yet finding a war. Will Burke, a mountain man as savage as the wilderness itself. And Francisco Serrano, determined to carve a fertile ranch out of the stubborn soil. Three men blazing trails, forging a future… building lives as bold—and treacherous—as the Arkansas River.
Beautiful undercover Vice officer, Victoria Price, is on a mission to catch a serial killer that’s targeting prostitutes walking the mean streets of Chicago.
Billionaire Jack Storm sees the beautiful prostitute and considers breaking his own rule… No hookers. He is immediately captivated by the alluring woman strutting up and down Madison Avenue.
Follow Jack and Victoria through their very erotic courtship until a sadistic serial killer sets his eyes on Victoria and threatens to take the one woman that Jack cant live without.
December 2012, a massive solar storm knocks out the power grid. Three hundred million Americans are suddenly faced with a survival situation. They have no water, electricity or fuel. Food rapidly disappears from the store shelves, not to be replaced. Only three percent will survive. Those three percent will have much in common. What does it take to be one of them?
Sold for a title by her social climbing father, Lydia has one chance to run away with love.
Lydia Covington has adored Irishman Brian Donnelly for years, but he is a retired soldier with no connections—hardly a suitable choice for the daughter of Britain’s next Prime Minister. To make matters worse, she is engaged to the slovenly Viscount Northbridge, a man she can barely tolerate let alone love.
Brian vowed long ago to be satisfied in a life without love. Orphaned at the age of two, he knows well how fragile life can be. However, four years ago he took one glance at the beautiful Lydia, and the one thing he swore would never happen did—he fell hopelessly in love.
After witnessing a brutal murder, Lydia and Brian are kidnapped and whisked to the north of England by crime lord Felix Keith. Narrowly escaping certain death, the two race through the countryside, evading ruthless pursuers and untangling a web of lies and deception.
June MacDonald’s fate is sealed the day she is born when her mother, Cathy, defies her husband Jimmy by giving their new daughter a pagan name instead of a Catholic saint’s, as is their tradition. The decision forever sets the MacDonald family on a course for disaster, and no one can foresee that June will grow up to threaten their strong religious beliefs.
After a family tragedy the MacDonald family emigrates from Scotland to San Francisco, California, in the hopes of a new beginning. There, young June begins to have visions. They haunt Cathy, revealing her secret past in the Scottish Highlands. June’s religiously rigid and abusive father will not tolerate the visions. That doesn’t stop June’s feisty nature or curiosity about her psychic abilities and interest in witchcraft. The family is on the brink of imploding when June and her three sisters come of age in the 1960’s Haight Ashbury scene.
Brooke Valentine is working two crummy jobs to pay off her late grandfather’s medical bills and back taxes on his house. A freak accident leads to the loss of both jobs and leaves Brooke at the mercy of her new neighbor, Travis Cooper. Brooke can’t figure out why Travis is being so nice — anyone can see he’s way out of her league!
Travis Cooper sees Brooke as a little sister who needs someone to look out for her. When his friends ask what’s going on between them, he assures them — repeatedly — that Brooke Valentine is definitely not his type. But if she’s not his type, why can’t he seem to stop kissing her?
Enter Brooke’s new boss and friend, Jazz Valenzuela, with a scheme to make Travis jealous. But what will happen when Travis finds out it was all a fake?
Aubrey Gillian has come to a point in her relationship where everything she’s fought for and everything she believes in is turning to ash. The passion needs to be reignited, or it’s time to extinguish the embers. Not an easy task though. Not when you have two small children and a boyfriend whose life is on the line every day. Jace Ryan, her protective firefighter keeps her safe. It’s his job and something he put his heart into. A heart she’s trying to save.
“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.” So reads the tombstone of downtrodden writer Kilgore Trout, but we have no doubt who’s really talking: his alter ego Kurt Vonnegut. Health versus sickness, humanity versus inhumanity–both sets of ideas bounce through this challenging and funny book. As with the rest of Vonnegut’s pure fantasy, it lacks the shimmering, fact-fueled rage that illuminates Slaughterhouse-Five. At the same time, that makes this book perhaps more enjoyable to read.Breakfast of Champions is a slippery, lucid, bleakly humorous jaunt through (sick? inhumane?) America circa 1973, with Vonnegut acting as our Virgil-like companion.
The book follows its main character, auto-dealing solid-citizen Dwayne Hoover, down into madness, a condition brought on by the work of the aforementioned Kilgore Trout. As Dwayne cracks, then crumbles, Breakfast of Champions coolly shows the effects his dementia has on the web of characters surrounding him. It’s not much of a plot, but it’s enough for Vonnegut to air unique opinions on America, sex, war, love, and all of his other pet topics–you know, the only ones that really count.
The first book in Jennifer Bernard’s Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series, The Fireman Who Loved Me is sizzling hot and sure to fire up contemporary romance lovers everywhere! Set in a California firehouse where all the fire fighters are gorgeous and single, The Fireman Who Loved Me follows the romantic exploits of Captain Brody of Station 52 who inadvertently becomes the prize at a charity “bachelor auction” and is won by a sweet, meddling old lady who turns him over to her husbandless, local TV news producer granddaughter.
A great new voice with a very sexy edge, Jennifer Bernard is like the Kristin Higgins of firemen, and fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips—and the fireman romances of Jo Davis—will be burning for more.
Irrepressible memories. Vacant eyes. A child being dangled from a third story window. A boy tied to a chair. Children sleeping in layers of clothing to fight off the bitter cold. An infant dying from starvation. Some things your mind will never allow you to forget.
Silent Tears is the true story of the adversity and triumphs one woman faced as she fought against the Chinese bureaucracy to help that country’s orphaned children.
In 2003, Kay Bratt’s life changed dramatically. A wife and mother of two girls in South Carolina, Bratt relocated her family to rural China to support her husband as he took on a new management position for his American employer. Seeking a way to fill her days and overcome the isolation she experienced upon arriving in a foreign country, Bratt began volunteering at the local orphanage. Within months, her simple desire to make use of her time transformed into a heroic crusade to improve the living conditions and minimize the unnecessary deaths of Chinese orphans.
For more than a quarter century, Philip Norman’s internationally bestselling Shout! has been unchallenged as the definitive biography of the Beatles. Now, at last, Norman turns his formidable talent to the Beatle for whom belonging to the world’s most beloved pop group was never enough. Drawing on previously untapped sources, and with unprecedented access to all the major characters, here is the comprehensive and most revealing portrait of John Lennon that is ever likely to be published.
This masterly biography takes a fresh and penetrating look at every aspect of Lennon’s much-chronicled life, including the songs that have turned him, posthumously, into a near-secular saint. In three years of research, Norman has turned up an extraordinary amount of new information about even the best-known episodes of Lennon folklore—his upbringing by his strict Aunt Mimi; his allegedly wasted school and student days; the evolution of his peerless creative partnership with Paul McCartney; his Beatle-busting love affair with a Japanese performance artist; his forays into painting and literature; his experiments with Transcendental Meditation, primal scream therapy, and drugs. The book’s numerous key informants and interviewees include Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin, Sean Lennon—whose moving reminiscence reveals his father as never before—and Yoko Ono, who speaks with sometimes shocking candor about the inner workings of her marriage to John.
Mark Twain grew up with America. Born in 1835, he reached adulthood as the country was expanding and threatening to splinter all at once. Along with his towering talent and personality, his timing and instinct for finding the action allowed him to play a major role in pushing the boundaries of American culture and mythology by creating a new approach to literature. “Breaching the ranks of New England literary culture was Clemens’s most important achievement (short of his actual works), and a signal liberating event in the country’s imaginative history,” writes Ron Powers in this dazzling biography.
Not only did he observe and chronicle this cultural shift, he participated in it, allowing him to report “from the yeasty perspective of the common man.” While still Sam Clemens, he worked as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River and experienced the Wild West of the Nevada Territory as a miner, land prospector, and newspaperman. Later, while still the people’s champion, he married into wealth and ran with the moneyed class of the Gilded Age–until his money ran out–and toured the world meeting with the famous and powerful at every stop. He was, as Powers puts it, “the nation’s first rock star.” But Twain was more than just a writer and Powers strives to cover all sides of this complex man.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2