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Highlanders, Thrillers, & More | Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

  • The Romance Recipe

    RECOMMENDED: The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett is $2.99! Tara reviewed this one can gave it a B+:

    This story will especially work for people who like romances with restaurant settings, complicated characters, messy family dynamics, and relationships that start from a place of antagonism (I wouldn’t call it enemies-to-lovers). If you’re looking for a reality show romance, especially a cooking show, though? This won’t be the book for you.

    A fiery restaurant owner falls for her enigmatic head chef in this charming, emotional romance

    Amy Chambers: restaurant owner, micromanager, control freak.

    Amy will do anything to revive her ailing restaurant, including hiring a former reality-show finalist with good connections and a lot to prove. But her hopes that Sophie’s skills and celebrity status would bring her restaurant back from the brink of failure are beginning to wane…

    Sophie Brunet: grump in the kitchen/sunshine in the streets, took thirty years to figure out she was queer.

    Sophie just wants to cook. She doesn’t want to constantly post on social media for her dead-in-the-water reality TV career, she doesn’t want to deal with Amy’s take-charge personality and she doesn’t want to think about what her attraction to her boss might mean…

    Then, an opportunity: a new foodie TV show might provide the exposure they need. An uneasy truce is fine for starters, but making their dreams come true means making some personal and painful sacrifices and soon, there’s more than just the restaurant at stake.

    Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

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  • Girls of Brackenhill

    Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti

    RECOMMENDED: Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti is $1.99 and a Kindle Daily Deal! Elyse reviewed this thriller last year and and gave it a B+ and mentioned there was a twist she didn’t see coming:

    Girls of Brackenhill is spooky and thrilling and contains all the Gothic elements I love. It’s a fun read for your dark winter nights.

    Haunted by her sister’s disappearance, a troubled woman becomes consumed by past secrets in this gripping thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year.

    When Hannah Maloney’s aunt dies in a car accident, she returns to her family’s castle in the Catskills and the epicenter of a childhood trauma: her sister’s unsolved disappearance. It’s been seventeen years, and though desperate to start a new life with her fiancé, Hannah is compelled to question the events of her last summer at Brackenhill.

    When a human bone is found near the estate, Hannah is convinced it belongs to her long-lost sister. She launches her own investigation into that magical summer that ended in a nightmare. As strange happenings plague the castle, Hannah uncovers disturbing details about the past and startling realizations about her own repressed childhood memories.

    Fueled by guilt over her sister’s vanishing, Hannah becomes obsessed with discovering what happened all those years ago, but by the time Hannah realizes some mysteries are best left buried, it’s too late to stop digging. Overwhelmed by what she has exposed, Hannah isn’t sure her new life can survive her old ghosts.

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  • The Highland Duke

    The Highland Duke by Amy Jarecki

    The Highland Duke by Amy Jarecki is 99c! This is the first book in the Lords of the Highlands series, and features some forced proximity and the heroine who heals the hero. Readers loved the blend of action and romance, though some found the plot a little unbelievable.

    She’ll put her life on the line for him . . .

    When Akira Ayres finds the brawny Scot with a musket ball in his thigh, the healer has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to save his life. Even if it means fleeing with him across the Highlands to tend to his wounds while English redcoats are closing in. Though Akira is as fierce and brave as any of her clansmen, even she’s intimidated by the fearsome, brutally handsome Highlander who refuses to reveal his name.

    Yet she can never learn his true identity.

    Geordie knows if Akira ever discovers he’s the Duke of Gordon, both her life and his will be forfeit in a heartbeat. The only way to keep the lass safe is to ensure she’s by his side day and night. But the longer he’s with her, the harder it becomes to think of letting her go. Despite all their differences, despite the danger-he will face death itself to make her his . . .

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  • This Rebel Heart

    This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke

    This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke is $1.99! This one released in April and was on an edition of Cover Awe. This is a YA historical novel with a hint of fantasy. I also believe this is incredibly violent, so please double check content warnings.

    A tale set amid the 1956 Hungarian revolution in post-WWII Communist Budapest.

    In the middle of Budapest, there is a river. Csilla knows the river is magic. During WWII, the river kept her family safe when they needed it most–safe from the Holocaust. But that was before the Communists seized power. Before her parents were murdered by the Soviet police. Before Csilla knew things about her father’s legacy that she wishes she could forget.

    Now Csilla keeps her head down, planning her escape from this country that has never loved her the way she loves it. But her carefully laid plans fall to pieces when her parents are unexpectedly, publicly exonerated. As the protests in other countries spur talk of a larger revolution in Hungary, Csilla must decide if she believes in the promise and magic of her deeply flawed country enough to risk her life to help save it, or if she should let it burn to the ground.

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