Guest Post with Giveaway ~ A Gift For Guile by Alissa Johnson


Every romance novel is unique in its own way. I feel a bit like Syndrome from The Incredibles saying that. “When everyone’s super, no one will be!” But it’s true that no two books are exactly alike, no matter how similar their back cover blurbs may read. And what seems like an atypical plot or unusual characters to one reader may be par for the course for another. But we all know and love at least a few books that fall outside, if nothing else, our own typical reading experiences. Here in no particular order, are a few of my favorite “unusual” romances.

  1. Breath of Magic by Teresa Medeiros. This classic has all kinds of fun going on. Arian Whitewood, an aspiring witch who also happens to be a puritan, time travels into her future (our present) to meet her hero, billionaire Tristan Lennox. Neither time travel, billionaires, nor having a witch as a heroine is rare in romance novels, but Breath of Magic was the very first romance I read that featured all of these things, and for that it makes the list. I haven’t reread this one in some time, but it’s definitely on my keeper shelf.
  2. The Time and Again series (Time Was and Times Change) by Nora Roberts. As I mentioned, time traveling protagonists are common enough. But I’ve noticed that time hopping in romance novels generally goes one of two ways: either someone from the present travels back, or someone from the past travels to the present. The Time and Again series changes things up a bit by having the heroes visit our present from the future. I run across the futuristic hero quite a bit in my sci-fi reads, but not so much in romance. I’d love to see this set-up more often.
  3. Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt. Romances based in the Georgian era can be hard to find. Plus, the hero is a river pirate called "Charming" Mickey O'Connor. He has a sexy accent, a bad-boy attitude, wears rings on his fingers and guards the piles of treasures in his palace home like a dragon with a cave of gold. I know there must be other romances out there with river pirate heroes. I haven’t come across them yet, but I want to.
  4. A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant. It’s not often you find a historical romance where the hero and heroine don’t set the world on fire the first time they fall into bed. Grant took a more realistic, and ultimately highly satisfying, route with her protagonists Martha Russell and Theophilus Mirkwood. She makes them work hard for their pleasure. They have to really get to know each other, and themselves, before they can claim their reward. It’s definitely an unusual obstacle for romance characters to face, and it works so well.
  5. Dark Prince by Christine Feehan. Vampires searching for their one true mate is not a rare hook for a book these days—not by the longest of very long shots—but it was outside the mainstream when this book came out in 1999. Lots of people went crazy for Raven Whitney and Mikhail Dubrinsky, Prince of the Carpathians. I was a little late to the party, discovering Feehan after she’d already released a few more books in the series. But when it comes to romance, being late to the party means backlist binge, and I indulged in a doozy.

Like many readers, I enjoy variety. There are times I’ll pick up a book and give it a shot simply because it looks like it might be a little different from my usual reading habits. But at the end of the day, whether a book qualifies as “typical” or “unusual” isn’t going to matter so much as whether or not it captures my heart and imagination. If it does, then it’s super.

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giftSeries: The Thief-takers (Book 2)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (July 5, 2016)
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN-10: 149262053X
ISBN-13: 978-1492620532
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


She's a liar.
She's a con.

She's a thief.
And God help him, but he'll do anything to keep her safe.

Beautiful and conniving, maddening and brilliant, Esther is everything private detective Samuel Brass shouldn't want. Esther knows she's put herself in terrible danger, but nothing will stop her from making amends-not her family's enemies, not old fears, and certainly not the domineering, interfering, and undeniably handsome former officer of the Scotland Yard. Yet whenever he's near, Samuel makes her long for a life that can never be hers…and wish she were worthy of being saved.

Second in an exciting late Victorian romance series from a RITA Award nominee!

post-divider rightThanks to the publisher I have one (1) copy of A Gift for Guile to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on July 21st

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will have 48 hours from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

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alissaAlissa Johnson, a RITA Award nominee, is the author of Tempting Fate and several witty historical romances. She grew up on Air Force bases in the United States and Europe and attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She currently lives in the Ozarks, Arkansas.



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  1. Carol L says:

    I thought I had read all Nora Roberts books but I missed the  Time and Again series. Thanks for the post. A Gift For Guile sounds like a gret read I'm putting on my TRL.

    Carol L

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