The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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amazon kindle books on sale
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Kindle E-Books From .99

And books!

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase - 99 cents

Captives of the Night by Loretta Chase - $2.99

Okay, for context on this, these are part of a loose shared Regency universe.

1.) The Lion's Daughter
2.) Lord of Scoundrels
3.) Captives of the Night
4.) The Mad Earl's Bride (short story in Three Weddings and a Kiss, totally worth buying the book just for it
5.) The Last Hellion

The The Lion's Daughter is not even in print anymore and that makes me want to cry because the bad guy from that one is fated to be completed in Captives of the Night with him being atoney and heroic and I kid you not, solving mysteries for repentance and er, the hero who falls in love with an artist. Angsty, tragic backstory, sketchy background, overthrows pashas in his spare time, kidnapping....but now he works for teh British government and it's kind of hilarious.

I love all these books (except the first one, dammit, not having read it), but Captives is by tone and subject matter and character and plot completely different from most of Loretta's work and if you read Scoundrels and Captives back to back, it will be a hard 180. It's extremely complex both emotionally and plotwise and don't get me wrong, it's romantic as hell, but it's not Romance really; what it is about is two very scarred people who worked very hard to make themselves decent lives in horrific circumstances; Loretta's heroines are always fairly independent, but Leila is my favorite for how hard she worked to create herself and make the best of her life despite a ruined childhood and a hideous marriage to a monster before his death made everything fall apart; Ismal's a hero who literally was a monster once upon a time and then decided to change. Neither of them need saving in any practical way; what they want is to be free.

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

And okay, my squee of the day...

Siren Song, Winter Song, Fire Song, and The Silver Mirror all by Roberta Gellis, all on Kindle, 1.49 each.

Also available is the entire Roselynde series, but it's not on sale yet and I'm still squeeing over these.

Okay, to explain; all of these are set during Henry III, and especially the second could be said to be, borrowing from hradzka with artistic license, it's woman inheriting keeps and organizing the shit out of them from the ground up. All three are very much focused on women being extremely competent, self-sufficient, and possessing a staggering number of skills in a time where in the lower nobility and knights your home is literally a castle also had to be the equivalent of an isolated town that had to provide pretty much everything you needed or you did without

One of my favorite things about Roberta's medieval books is how much time she spends showing women working; all her noble medieval heroines run one to several large castles, sit in justice, do budgeting and accounting, see to their textiles and sewing, riding out to visit serfs, oversee meals, food storage, are decent physicians, and basically outline (not all at once obviously) the daily life of a woman of the middle and lower noble classes where you had servants and serfs but not on the level of great wealth, vassals, and less direct responsibility for the household and more time to sit around reading poetry and being boring. Without really hard anachronistic behavior, she has some of the most interesting and hardworking women I've ever read who were raised and trained very thoroughly to be self-sufficient so as to get along fine while the men go off to war for years.

Honestly, these I'd recommend just for how well Roberta describes medieval women's lives and duties, especially when the story sets them in contrast with the lives of women in the upper nobility and royalty.

Not on sale, but also recommended is Great Maria by Cecilia Holland, which covers Maria's life from being the only daughter of a Norman knight in Italy who makes a living robbing people who are on pilgrimage to right before she and her husband's coronation. Also pretty much entirely a world of women with a fantastic view of Maria both running a variety of households as they slowly conqueror a large amount of Italy.

For me, I read them at a time I was very young and most of the books that focused on women also made them warriors or sorcerers or working against traditional gender roles as I saw them, or they were royalty/higher nobility; it was very cool to also have women who weren't secretly trained to be expert swordsmen or sent off to be mages or chosen to save a kingdom or being bartered in marriage in tight political situations on the cusp of battle being focused on and their work just as highly valued in the story and their roles to be shown as necessary. Not to mention realizing how much they actually did to assure everyone ate regularly, had decent clothes, were paid properly, oversee disputes, and have fascinating, full, interesting lives even if they didn't ride to war. Female competence in any role is awesome.

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My very first EVER romance novel was Roberta Gellis' Bond of Blood. I read it over 35 years ago, back when I was in high school. I still have it. From there I wandered through the standard 70s romance genre (Wolf and Dove, Sweet Savage Love, that entire genre) but the only books I still have all these years later are Roberta Gellis'.

As you said, the strongest appeal to me is her incredibly strong yet realistic women - they don't sneak off to war, they don't have brothers that secretly teach them swordplay. Her heroines are very different - from the strong-willed Alinor and Elizabeth of Chester to the traumatized Gillian and Felice.

I still think my favorite of hers is Knight's Honor - based on the historical character of Roger of Hereford and a fictitious daughter of the real life Rannulf of Chester.

I also credit Roberta's books with sparking my lifelong love of English history, especially the Plantagenet era.

I'm so excited that someone else remembers and likes her books!

Weirdly, Gilliane especially that just worked for me. That scene after her second husband ran off and Adam was about to show up and she's terrified and traumatized and basically suicidally resigned to dying--but she clears out the hall of all the servants and meets Adam and Geoffrey alone hoping that will keep the servants safe. And she grows so much and works so hard to do it and become this incredibly strong woman able to stand up for herself, as much for herself as for what Adam needed in a wife and a partner.

Seriously, that book (and Joanna) I read to scraps.

I can upload The Lion's Daughter in either .lit or .pdf for you if you'd like.

...seriously? OMG PLEASE? Thank you!

The Lion's Daughter

I zipped both versions for you. I prefer the .lit only because the .pdf has some funny typos from when I converted it in Calibre.

Enjoy!

SQUEEEE!!!!!

Captives of the Night is one of my favorite romance novels EVER!!! My love for Leila and Ismal cannot be textually rendered. And I discovered Roberta Gellis at a very impressionable age, and I'm pretty sure she's responsible for my history degree (with a concentration in medieval/renaissance era). *runs off to Amazon*

Thanks for the signal boost!

I loved it, and it was such a surprise how different it was and the kind of people the characters were. And very few authors redeem a character who, yeah, did some bad shit in a way that isn't handwavey or cheap or suddenly they're miraculously no longer angsty but just vaguely "I am bad woe".

Ismal's genuine effort not only atone for what he did personally but the kind of person he was that could do that, and his understanding of himself so he could be a good man, not just act like one, killed me. And ooh, Leila's "Don't you dare pity me" because yeah, her husband was an asshole, but she worked hard and sacrificed hard and made a life for herself and kept herself, just...love.

I love Gellis' books - all my paperbacks are falling apart. I fell in love with her heroines, so strong and capable. One of my favorites was Gillian, the way she just met with her castle's conquerors to spar bloodshed of her people and how Adam just assumed she was like his mother because of that, so she grew from being a pawn to a capable young woman. I can't wait to have them on kindle. (Those books are part of the reason I joined the SCA in college)

I haven't read the others you were talking about but they are now at the top of my "to read" list.

Gillian--YES! I just told someone that exact thing in comments. It's what makes her so amazing. Watching her fight and struggle so hard to pretend she was all of the things Adam thought she was and in the process actually becoming that person was unreal.

Also, it kills me that she pretty much marries Adam before Osbert's corpse is even cooling after she knocks him out the window. I love her.

My favorite line was when everyone is arguing and she gets annoyed and says basically, excuse me while i go sweep up my dead husband. Makes me laugh every time.

I have swallowed "Lord of Scoundrels" and "Captives of the Night" last week and loved it quite a lot. I wish she wrote a book about the lawyer guy though...