New contest: Rose's formative romances

ETA: This contest is now closed.

So! In for a Penny, my debut book, is on sale for 99 cents this week along with over FORTY other historical romances.

Historical Romance Sale 2

Penny was heavily influenced by the Regency romances I was reading at the time (it’s kind of a retelling of Georgette Heyer’s A Civil Contract, and my very favorite Goodreads review EVER describes it as “a Georgette Heyer style historical romance but with sex & explicit fellatio”), so to celebrate, I’m giving away 7 formative romance from my personal library to 7 commenters!

These are all books I read over and over as a teenager (as you can probably see from their condition). This is your chance to read an awesome romance AND own a piece of my literary history!

1. The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer.


The first Heyer I ever read! It changed me in ways I would honestly probably rather not know about. I quoted it in my first ever terrible, terrible query letter. I STILL say “One does one’s poor best” when I get a compliment, just like Sir Richard. The back cover copy of this ancient edition reads:



Behind lovely Penelope Creed was the lavish life of a brilliant London heiress, and a proposed marriage to a man she loathed.

Ahead, tantalizing, was the shimmering dream of a love she had known once—and lost.

And with her in flight across a landscape of excitement was a man like no other she had known—the handsome, cynical, sophisticated Sir Richard Wyndham. They had met by accident, been drawn together by danger. And now only his masked emotions and the shifting impulses of her own wild young hear would tell what their destiny would be…

I don’t feel like this really captures the light, witty tone of the book, which is ridiculous and hilarious and brilliant and Sir Richard is way too old for Pen but WHATEVER I LOVED IT.

2. Miss Jacobson’s Journey by Carola Dunn.


This was one of the very first Regencies I ever read (I got my start in the genre by reading every Dunn at the library). I loved this one so much I actually special-ordered the hardback at a local bookstore and saved up my allowance to pay for it. The hero and heroine are Jewish and this book…I think it was important to making me feel like I had a place in this genre. Also this book is AMAZING. It’s like, every trope. The heroine ends up on a roadtrip across the Pyrenees transporting secret gold to Wellington for Jakob Rothschild who is HOT AF in this book btw, and on the trip with her is a guy who hates her and she’s not sure why but he DOES look weirdly familiar, AND a handsome aristocrat who bears the first guy a terrible grudge, and they both fall for her, and there are a million inns and cloak-and-dagger spy shenanigans and this book is SOOOO GOOOOD.

3. Sweet’s Folly by Fiona Hill.


Baby’s first beta hero! OMG I read this book OVER AND OVER. The heroine has to get married because the aunts she lives with are broke, so her best friend is like “You can marry my absent-minded mathematician brother, he won’t even notice you’re there!” So she does, and it’s horribly awkward and they both can barely make eye contact with each other. I have NO idea if this book was good because frankly, it didn’t matter. Alex was shy and sweet and geeky and literal-minded and beautifully blond (pretty sure my hero Solomon was partly inspired by him) and there is SO MUCH PINING which is my catnip and OH MY GOD.

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.


Yeah. I really, really love Jane Eyre. In high school if I had nothing to read, I’d pick up my copy, open to a random page, and start reading. (I always skipped directly past Lowood to the adult romance section, though, which I’m kind of appalled by in retrospect. It was so upsetting though!)

I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you—especially when you are near to me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.

5. The Butler Who Laughed by Michelle Martin.


I don’t even know how many times I reread Michelle Martin’s Regencies in high school. I bought every one I could find (this was before Amazon so there were some I couldn’t find), which was four. They had incredible banter and the heroines were great. This one had the best cover. It’s a house party story and has a little bit of a Jeeves and Wooster feel in some ways: the heroine’s parents are pressuring her to marry this guy who also doesn’t want to marry her, so he gets his hot friend to pose as his butler (sadly only pose) during a house party to help him scuttle the engagement (and also maybe he’s being blackmailed??? I don’t remember that but the back cover copy says so, so it must be true), and of course the heroine falls for the butler but she thinks he’s really a butler, and and and.

6. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier.


Okay, this isn’t a romance. There is no HEA, and I almost feel bad including it here after how often I talk shit when people put Rebecca on romance lists. That said, I really, really WANTED it to be a romance. Every time I reread it I somehow hoped it would be this time. The hero is actually a nice guy (rare for du Mauriers) and also a pirate (woooo!) and he’s mooring his ship on the heroine’s land in Cornwall when she takes her children there to get away from her dissipated lifestyle/husband and clear her head. And she gets to maraud with him and then saves him from jail and it’s so, so good and I just did not see why it couldn’t work out for them no matter how many times my mom tried to explain to me that her kids would be aristocrats if he stayed in England and a poor nobody if they ran away to live in a French pirate’s cabin in Normandy and people thought that was really important in seventeenth-century England.

7. Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer.


We end as we began, with Heyer! I love this book so much. Mary Challoner is amazing, basically, and you have to just go with it. And also kind of set aside the part where Vidal tries to rape her (she does shoot him in response, which is nice!). Or not set it aside, whatever. I vividly remember getting into a fight with a friend in middle school about whether or not his behavior was acceptable, so…baby’s first Romancelandia argument about consent! Truly a milestone.

Contest rules:

1. Comment on this post to enter.
2. Say in your comment which book(s) you are interested in, if you have a preference.
2. The winners will be chosen at random using
3. US and Canada only.
4. Open for entries through May 28, 2016.

If you’d like to be alerted when new contests go up, you can sign up for my newsletter. And don’t forget to check out that sale!

Good luck!

18 thoughts on “New contest: Rose's formative romances”

  1. I absolutely love your books, Rose Lerner! Listen to the Moon bumped out Judith McNaught in my top five slot. I loved stories with characters that remind me of…well, me. 🙂 Sukey was so fierce; the type of heroine that would never traverse the too stupid to live line. I’ve seen enough of that lately–thank you for maintaining strong characterizations of your female leads. Also, I enjoy seeing a historical romance novel where women don’t have magically and freshly shaved legs in every chapter. You have no idea how refreshing that was to the many of us that wonder if these women have a magic Venus razor factory hidden in their skirts. Just wanted to say, I’m a huge fan and you’ve inspired me to get on the ball with my own projects. I’ve worked in the book industry since I was sixteen, first as an administrative assistant and later as a book rep. I’m twenty-six now and it’s about time I get my own books published, as much as I enjoy supporting/reading other authors. There were two books that made me forego lunch to writing when I was ten: The Outsiders and Jane Eyre. I collect copies of Jane Eyre and I would never turn down the opportunity to have another edition grace my case, particularly one that belonged to you! I’m one of those weird people that loves musty, well-loved, crackly books. Jane Eyre be my first choice, followed closely by Sweet’s Folly. This girl is all about the Betas in romance.
    Thank you for making this contest possible and exciting in the submission. Adore how you displayed your books. That’s true romance! 🙂

    1. Oops… would be* That’s what you get for foregoing lunch at work to enter a contest on your i-pad. History repeats itself.

    2. 1. Jane Eyre is yours! Expect an email from me.
      2. Oh my gosh, thank you! I just adore Sukey myself so it’s lovely when other people feel the same. And yes, shaved legs in historicals are always a bit weird…I understand why people do it, but.
      And that’s amazing that you’re recommitting to your own stories! Congratulations!!! What do you write?

  2. I would love to read the Michelle Martin. I have a soft spot for a lot of those 90s (I think?) Regency books – I used to buy them by the ton from the used book store in high school and sell them back after I read them. Now I wish I kept more of them since the used book stores where I live now don’t typically have them. I have seen some re-released as ebooks and wish some of my old favorite authors (Cindy Holbrook, Theresa DesJardien, Casey Claybourne, and Emma Jensen, to name a few) would come out in ebook.

  3. I am still in love with Georgette Heyer books (I started reading her in 7th Grade) and I really enjoy Daphne DuMaurier as well. And your list of all the newer authors and their books is amazing.

  4. I just wanted to let you know that you have nice handwriting in your notecards. Mine would not be so elegant.

    1. Thanks, Kathy! I think we all look at our own handwriting and just see mess, though–I know I do. Did you want a book? If so, picked you out of the hat and Frenchman’s Creek is yours! I’ll email you to sort it out.

  5. I’d love to read the Carola Dunn. And I have my own well-loved copy of Jane Eyre. The remainder look dandy, but you did ask for preferences…..

  6. What a great post. I am going to track down the ones I have not read yet! If I win, I would love Sweet’s Folly. I’m all about the betas.

  7. Would enjoy winning any of these (most are old favs of mine), and super excited about your upcoming new work! Thank you for holding the contest!

  8. I remember Sweet’s Folly! I read all of the Fiona Hill books my library had, in hardcover, way back when. And I am intrigued by the Michelle Martin book. I’ve seen heroines masquerading as maids, cooks and other servants. but I don’t think I’ve ever read a books with the hero doing it.

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