Reading Claudia Dain

I love to read.  Oh, I love to read, and I’ve been so very happy reading for hours every night Claudia Dane’s incredible series, The Courtesan Chronicles.  Megan Crane introduced me to Claudia Dane.  Insisted I read her.  I said yeah, yeah, I’ll make a note of it but never picked up a book.  I visited Megan’s home six months ago,  inspected her library even as I complained that I needed something really good to read and Megan pointed to her shelf where Claudia’s books were, and said, “Read her.”

I will, I said half-heartedly, because really, the courtesan?  I’m not such a courtesan fan.  Courtesans are, well….courtesans.  Not nice girls.  Not necessarily the kind that one would call heroic.

A couple months ago, still complaining that I needed something to really grab my attention, Megan mailed me a brand new copy of The Courtesan’s Daughter, the first book of Dain’s series.

I looked at it.  Started it.  Put it down two pages later.  Then lamenting I had nothing else to read, picked it up again and then bam, about twenty pages into it, I fell in love.  Was hooked.  Completely.  Claudia Dain is brilliant!   She’s not like any other author writing today.  She doesn’t write familiar books, or books with perfect heroines.  No, her heroines are all flawed and at times a little self-absorbed, perhaps narrow minded, or a tad shallow, but the charm of these books is that each of these heroines grows and comes into her own and falls in love in the most marvelously unique, surprising, and well, delightful ways.  Dain’s prose is sharp and witty and, delightful. Yes, I know I used the word twice.  I can’t help it.  I’m seriously delighted by stories with unconventional characters, intriguing plots, fantastic dialogue and wit.  I love a smart book.  I love a smart author.  I love a smart woman.

I’m so enthralled with the series that I recently wrote Claudia a fan mail and posted a review over at Amazon of The Courtesan’s Daughter.  Claudia has the talent of Georgette Heyer and best of all, has a NEW book coming out early July.  Hurrah!  I can not wait and I’m looking forward to meeting her in Orlando at RWA’s national conference this July.

To celebrate Dain’s incredible talent and wit, I’m going to be giving away 5 copies of The Courtesan’s Daughter along with some other fun goodies like a Starbucks drink cards, chocolate and more.  If you want to win, tell me if you’ve ever read or heard of Claudia Dain, and if you like Regency romance, and what kind of heroines most appeal to you.  The contest will run through Saturday midnight and I’ll announce the five winners Sunday morning.

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