Julianne MacLean tops today’s Buffet with Married by Midnight, the fourth installment in her “Pembroke Palace” historical romance series.
Julianne is a USA Today bestselling author of 15 historical romances, including “The Highlander Trilogy” with St. Martin’s Press and her popular “American Heiress” series with Avon/Harper Collins. She also writes contemporary mainstream fiction under the pseudonym E.V. Mitchell, and her most recent release, The Color of Heaven, was an Amazon bestseller. She is a three-time RITA finalist, and has won numerous awards, including the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Book Buyers Best Award, and a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Times for Best Regency Historical of 2005.
Julianne lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter, and is a dedicated member of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada.
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AN UNATTAINABLE ROGUE…
For seven years, Lord Garrett Sinclair– the ruggedly handsome illegitimate son of the Duke of Pembroke–has been traveling abroad with no intention of ever returning home to Pembroke Palace… until his father commands that he must marry by Christmas in order to thwart a family curse or lose his inheritance forever. Haunted by a tragic accident that has hardened his soul, Garrett entrusts his brothers to seek out a bride who will agree to a marriage in name only. Her reward? A sizable share of his inheritance–payable immediately after the wedding night….
A BEAUTIFUL TEMPTRESS…
Lady Anne Douglas has been ruined by scandal and disowned by her father. Facing a life of poverty and spinsterhood, she leaps at the generous terms of the marriage contract to ensure her independence. But the charade of a two-week engagement proves more of a challenge than either anticipated when they cannot resist the intoxicating lure of the marriage bed. Anne knows they will part ways after the wedding. Will she dare risk her heart for two weeks of pleasure in the arms of an irresistible rogue? Or will her surrender become her undoing after a most unexpected turn of events mere hours before the wedding?
When fate keeps throwing a handsome good Samaritan in her path, musician Faith Leary needs a little holiday magic to help her see he’s perfect for her.
A musician and a priest walk into a grocery store—singer Faith Leary thinks this is a better opening for an off-color joke than a recipe for romance, until she finds herself ogling Father Michael in the checkout line the day before Thanksgiving.
When Father Michael first steps in to bail Faith out of her financial jam, Faith thinks she’s being picked up at the grocery store. Right up until she catches sight of the black shirt and tab collar. Since not much in her life is going her way lately, it doesn’t come as much of a shock when Michael turns up at her mother’s Thanksgiving dinner. What does come as a surprise is the attraction that springs up between them. If only he weren’t a priest, he would be perfect for her.
Faith’s sister finds Father Michael attractive, too, and she’s making no bones about it. Scenes from the Thorn Birds flitting through her head, it comes as a relief to Faith to find out Michael is not exactly what he seems. It’s good news until she realizes her sister is a far better match for him than her screw-up self could ever be. But if that’s true, why does Michael insist on seeing only the good in Faith, no matter how often she falls short of her too perfect sister?
Little Miss Sure Shot is a fictionalized account of the life of Annie Oakley, drawing heavily on the real timelines and events of her life. However, the book is not a biography – it invents situations, people she meets, and a myriad of conversations. Moreover, while the book is presented chronologically, apart from the prologue, it skips certain periods and attempts to focus on those that are especially vital, such as the early years Annie spent with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, including the tours through Europe.
A special feature of the novel is the framing of Annie’s loving marriage to fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler, whom she married at sixteen and remained married to for 50 years until her death. Frank was far more than just her husband – he was her manager (he gave up his own shooting for that role) and her constant companion.
When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.
Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.
Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.
Prim and proper middle school teacher Isabel Montenegro always runs the opposite direction from men like Ramon Romero. A foul-mouthed, uneducated, loose cannon has no place in her careful plans. But instead of running away, Isabel is completely captivated. The intensity of his nature, while a bit daunting, mesmerizes her in ways she can’t begin to understand. She’s unwilling to walk away—even when her instincts are screaming at her to run.
Romero has no idea what he’s getting himself into when he first kisses Isabel. Shocked at the passion she invokes in him, he believes he can keep his usual short fuse under wraps. Falling fast and hard for someone so flawlessly sweet only makes him more aware that he’s far from perfect. If she is ever witness to his biggest imperfection, he’s sure she’ll bail. But when her meddling sister does the worst thing imaginable—bring other men between him and his Izzy—that fuse is lit and all bets are off.
It’s the 1920s and Daisy Gumm Majesty is doing her part to support her family as a medium by holding séances and interpreting tarot cards for the rich and famous.
When the wealthy Mrs. Kincaid comes to Daisy to help solve her husband’s disappearance, Detective Sam Rotondo isn’t far behind.
Sam isn’t fooled by Daisy’s choice of “vocation” and blackmails her into spying on the Kincaids.
Then Daisy reads Sam’s cards… and the tables turn.
Mercedes Maxwell is devastated when her twin sister is driven to take her own life by none other than her husband, William Braxton. Determined to make her brother-in-law pay for the injustice, Mercedes travels to Philadelphia to find him. She is shocked to find that William is unaware of his wife’s death, and when Mercedes is mistaken for her sister she decides to pose as her twin to glean some answers. Mercedes embarks on an adventure she never dreamed of in hopes of bringing justice to her sister. Instead of justice, Mercedes uncovers a plethora of secrets and mystery. As she works to unravel the mystery and discover who she can trust, Mercedes finds that all is not as it seems, and that William Braxton may be the one man she can trust.
Lily Canton lost everything she ever cared about. Now it’s time to find answers. Answers about her past and about the uncontrollable supernatural powers she possesses.
Trusting someone again is difficult because of her painful history, but when she meets sexy club owner Ashton Ryder, everything changes. She fights his advances, even as he attempts to steal her heart. Then there is handsome, powerful Blake Moore, who also fights for her affections, and wants to help her with more than controlling her newfound and frightening powers.
Immersed in a world where nothing is as it seems, Lily gets caught in the middle of a battle for her heart. Will Lily learn to love and trust again, even as her life spirals out of control? Just when Lily thinks she has everything figured out, someone evil emerges who is determined to destroy her.
Because Lily Canton isn’t supposed to be alive.
From the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Seating Arrangements, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction: a gorgeously written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations.
Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many.
After her relationship with Arslan sours, Joan plots to make a new life for herself. She quits ballet, marries a good man, and settles in California with him and their son, Harry. But as the years pass, Joan comes to understand that ballet isn’t finished with her yet, for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy. Through Harry, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she’d left behind—back into dangerous secrets, and back, inevitably, to Arslan.
Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Maggie Shipstead gives us a novel of stunning intensity and deft psychological nuance. Gripping, dramatic, and brilliantly conjured, Astonish Me confirms Shipstead’s range and ability and raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment, and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art.
The world’s vampire population is on the brink of starvation since the vaccine to treat a global pandemic rendered human blood deadly to them. Their only hope for survival is a handful of rural areas that the vaccine never breached. The tiny town of Penton, Alabama, is one such enclave, where the immortal Aidan Murphy has established a community of vampires and their willingly bonded humans. Together, they live in peace—until Aidan’s estranged brother descends upon the town and begins attacking its humans.
Whether the rampage is a result of his centuries-old feud with Aidan or the civil war threatening to erupt in the vampire world matters not. All that matters is the blood. Desperate to save his adopted family, Aidan breaks one of his cardinal rules, kidnapping an unvaccinated human doctor—and unexpectedly falling in love for the first time in nearly four hundred years. Sensual and thrilling, Redemption is the first installment of what is sure to be a darkly addictive new series from paranormal romance novelist Susannah Sandlin.
Loch is seeking revenge.
It would help if she wasn’t in jail.
The plan: to steal a priceless elven manuscript that once belonged to her family, but now is in the hands of the most powerful man in the Republic. To do so Loch—former soldier, former prisoner, current fugitive—must assemble a crack team of magical misfits that includes a cynical illusionist, a shapeshifting unicorn, a repentant death priestess, a talking magical warhammer, and a lad with seemingly no skills to help her break into the floating fortress of Heaven’s Spire and the vault that holds her family’s treasure—all while eluding the unrelenting pursuit of Justicar Pyvic, whose only mission is to see the law upheld.
What could possibly go wrong?
When Liz Hoole, a free-spirited liberal from the Midwest, marries into a conservative Quaker family, she knows that raising children in compliance with Quaker values will be challenging. Twenty-five years later, she still feels like she’s falling short of expectations. Fortunately, her faith and her friends in the small, rural North Carolina town of Cedar Branch keep her strong.
After her best friend’s politically powerful father dies, Liz stumbles upon secrets from the past that threaten to unravel the current harmony in Cedar Branch, a town with a history of racial tension. As she researches more and eavesdrops on gossip at the Quaker Café, where everyone meets each morning, Liz soon discovers the truth about an injustice that she cannot reveal to anyone—not even her husband.
Surrounded by a cast of richly drawn Southern characters, Liz learns that even good people can make bad choices. Now, she must decide whether she has the strength to bring a past wrong to light, despite the consequences.
It’s early spring in Erie, Indiana, and the weather has turned most foul. We find Katherine “Katz” Kendall, heiress to the Colfax fortune, living in a pink mansion, caring for her three Siamese and Abby the Abyssinian. Severe thunderstorms frighten the cats, but Scout is better than any weather app. A different storm is brewing, however, with a discovery that connects great-uncle William Colfax to the notorious gangster John Dillinger.
Why is the Erie Historical Society so eager to get William’s personal papers? Is the new man in Katherine’s life a fortune hunter? Will Abra mysteriously reappear, and is Abby a magnet for danger?
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2