Release Day and Giveaway! HISTORICAL HELLIONS: SEVEN HISTORICAL ROMANCES

Title: Historical Hellions: Seven Historical Romances
Author: Elizabeth Essex, Christina McKnight, Erica Monroe, Lila DiPasqua, Eileen Richards, Madeline Martin and Christy Carlyle
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency, Victorian, Scottish, Highland, French)
Release Date: April 11, 2017

 

The Pursuit of Pleasure by Elizabeth Essex

Independent, politically-minded heiress Elizabeth Paxton has never wanted to marry, but longs for the freedom afforded to widows. The last thing she wants is dangerously attractive Captain Jameson Marlowe as a husband.

 

The Thief Steals Her Earl by Christina McKnight

The Earl of Cartwright is determined to find out who stole from his family. When he finds out the thief is the woman he’s fallen in love with, he must choose between duty and love.

 

Secrets in Scarlet by Erica Monroe

When a bluestocking with a scandalous past meets an idealistic sergeant, sparks fly as they work to solve a murder…but her secrets may lead to their undoing.

 

Sleeping Beau by Lila DiPasqua

Inspired by the tale of Sleeping Beauty—a scorching hot historical romance novella from the Fiery Tales series. One sleeping rake, one scorching kiss, one night of unforgettable passion…

The Art of Seduction by Eileen Richards

A spinster finds freedom as a theatre set painter until a chance meeting with the marquis who broke her heart has her questioning what she wants for her future.

 

The Madam’s Highlander by Madeline Martin

What’s the madam of a successful bawdy house in Edinburgh to do when she finds one of the English supported Black Watch soldiers needing to desert his post? She helps him, of course – but there’s a high price to pay.

 

Reckless Wager by Christy Carlyle

Victorian propriety and passions collide when a beautiful widow makes a wager with a wounded police detective bent on solving the Ripper mystery.

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

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New Release Review and Giveaway! A STUDY IN SCOUNDRELS by Christy Carlyle (Romancing the Rules #2)

Can this scoundrel convince a proper lady that he’s actually perfect for her or will their adventure leave them both heartbroken? 


 

A STUDY IN SCOUNDRELS
Romancing the Rules #2
Christy Carlyle
Releasing April 11th, 2017
Avon Impulse

 

Sophia Ruthven is the epitome of proper behavior. On paper at least, as long as that paper isn’t from one of the lady detective stories she secretly pens. She certainly isn’t interested in associating with the dashing Jasper Grey, the wayward heir to the Earl of Stanhope, and one of the stage’s leading men. But when she learns Grey’s younger sister Liddy has gone missing, she can’t deny her desire to solve the mystery…or her attraction to the incorrigible scoundrel.

Responsibility isn’t something Grey is very familiar with. On the boards and in the bedroom, he lives exactly how he wants to, shunning all the trappings of respectability and society. Grey knows he should avoid the bewitching Sophia, but he’s never been able to say no to what he wants. And having Sophia in his arms and his bed is quickly becoming the thing he wants the most.

As Sophia and Grey’s search for Liddy continues across the English countryside, can this scoundrel convince a proper lady that he’s actually perfect for her or will their adventure leave them both heartbroken? 

Laughter tickled his ears. Weight bore down on his chest, draped over his hips. A soft weight, pliant under his hands. Heated too. Pleasure in his groin twined with pain in his head as the soft, warm weight moved against him.

He blinked, then again. Colors shimmered and blurred. The light was too dim. The room too smoky. Perfume burned his nose, too spicy and pungent.

What was that sound? A moan. A cry.

A rumbling groan reverberated in his own chest.

“Don’t leave me now,” a woman whispered near his ear. “I need release.”

He flexed his fingers, digging into the warm flesh of smooth feminine legs. Slid his hand up, finding the thicket of curls between the woman’s spread thighs.

“Yes, Grey.”

She moved against him, her breath quickening as little moans emerged. She clutched at his shoulder, her other hand on his, showing him how to touch her.

He didn’t require much direction. The role of lover was one he knew by heart. Some said he was skilled on stage, but he never doubted his expertise in the bedroom.

His own body had numbed. Whether from drink or the drugging effect of the smoke rising in whorls above his head, he wasn’t certain. But this, how to touch a woman, how to give pleasure. This he knew intuitively. This was where he excelled.

Heaven knew he’d failed at everything else.

Except acting.

But performing on stage was all a matter of illusion, of lying artfully. Sex and falsehood were his twin aptitudes.

If only he could see the woman clearly and scatter the fog in his mind. He twisted his head on the pillow and noticed a half-empty glass of blue-green liquid glowing in the low gaslight.

“What did I drink?”

A trill of laughter. Red lips. The curve of a grin in a pale face. A waterfall of red hair.

He swirled his fingers in the woman’s curls. She stilled and held her breath. He knew he’d found the key. Gently, masterfully, he touched her with all the art he’d learned from countless lovers.

“Oh, Grey.” She twitched against his fingers, dug her nails into his shoulder. “Don’t stop.”

He didn’t. Not until she gusted out a long moan, dipped her head, and sank against him as if her bones had melted.

“Absinthe,” she murmured against his chest. “A bit of laudanum.”

Grey pressed a fist to the throbbing crown of his head and tried to sit up. The lady on his chest stretched like a cat woken from a nap before rising off him and stepping away from the bed.

No, he realized when his vision cleared and he took in the books lining the walls, not a bed. Not his bedroom. He was on a settee in his London townhouse’s library, and he and his lady companion were not alone. Half-clothed bodies reclined around the musky, haze-clouded room. Some sleeping. Others smoking from an enormous bubbling hookah. At least one couple was busy, writhing and moaning in the far corner.

A man stumbled past the open library door, nude from the waist up, his shirt and coat rolled in a crumpled ball in his arms. Returning to the threshold, he let out a burp before offering, “Many happy returns, Grey. Smashing birthday party.”

Even better than book one–and that’s saying something 🙂

I just loved Sophia and Grey…and Cate (Sophia’s new BFF/Kit and Phee’s housekeeper) and Clary (the youngest Ruthven and heroine of book 3, How to Woo a Wallflower –yay! Though she doesn’t seem particularly wallflowerish here, I’m willing to go with it.) It was so much fun watching Grey completely rethink everything about his life (all while denying that anything was changing, of course) and Sophia come into her own after living under her publisher father’s “rules” for so long. Even though Grey’s little sister Liddy was a bit on the annoying side, at least her taking off the way she did was an excellent way to get her brother out of his self-destructive rut and into Sophia’s path.

This quote particularly sums up both of their characters nicely:

He’d always bucked at being managed by anyone, but Sophia had the voice of a siren. A very practical, sensible siren.

See what I mean? 😉

Plus, the epilogue was especially squee-worthy, and a great way to start my Monday morning.

A Study in Scoundrels worked just fine as a standalone, especially since Kit and Phee ( Rules for a Rogue ) are off on their wedding trip for most of the book. If you have read the first one, however, you’ll be more than glad to see just how Kit’s reprobate best friend and his “do the right thing” sister manage to find their own HEA together.

Bring on Clary’s story–I’m more than ready!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.

 

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! RULES FOR A ROGUE by Christy Carlyle (Romancing the Rules #1)

Kit Ruthven’s Rules (for Rogues)
#1 Love freely but guard your heart, no matter how tempting the invader.
#2 Embrace temptation, indulge your sensual impulses, and never apologize.
#3 Scorn rules and do as you please. You are a rogue, after all.

Rules never brought anything but misery to Christopher “Kit” Ruthven. After rebelling against his controlling father and leaving the family’s etiquette empire behind, Kit has been breaking every one imaginable for the past four years. He’s enjoyed London’s sensual pleasures, but he’s failed to achieve the success he craves as London’s premier playwright. When his father dies, Kit returns to the countryside and is forced back into the life he never wanted. Worse, he must face Ophelia Marsden, the woman he left behind years before.

After losing her father, Ophelia has learned to rely on herself. To maintain the family home and support her younger sister, she tutors young girls in deportment and decorum. But her pupils would be scandalized if they knew she was also the author of a guidebook encouraging ladies to embrace their independence.

As Kit rediscovers the life, and the woman, he left behind, Ophelia must choose between the practicalities she never truly believed in, or the love she’s never been able to extinguish.

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Excerpt:

Seeing him again was worse than Ophelia had imagined. And she had imagined this moment aplenty. Far too many times. Not just on her infrequent jaunts to London but most days since they’d parted. The man had lingered in her thoughts, despite every effort to expel him.

Taking a shaky breath, she braced herself and faced him.

He’d always been tall. When they were children, she’d looked up to him. Literally. But he’d never used his size to bully others. More often he’d born teasing about his physique. Ungainly, his father had called him, and Kit repeated the word when referring to himself.

Now he offered no apologetic hunch in his stance. He didn’t cross his arms to narrow his body. More than embracing his size, he wielded his generous dimensions with a virile grace that made Phee’s mouth water. He stood with his long legs planted wide, shoulders thrown back. His chest was so broad that she itched to touch it.

Stop being a ninny, she chided herself. The most essential observation was that he did not look like a man who’d pined for her. Not a hint of guilt shadowed his gaze.

He thrust his hands behind his back, and the buttons above his waistcoat strained against the fabric on either side, as if the muscles beneath were too sizable to contain. Phee’s gaze riveted to the spot, waiting to see which would win—the pearly buttons or the dove gray fabric. When sense finally wound its way into her boggled mind, she glanced up into gilded brown eyes. He was the winner, judging by the satisfied smirk cresting his mouth.

Kit stood too near, close enough for her to smell his scent. A familiar green, like fresh-cut grass, but mingled now with an aromatic spice. Each breath held his spice scent heightened by the warmth of his body. The heat of him radiated against her chest.

His eyes were too intense, too hungry. He perused her brazenly, studying the hem of her outdated gown before his gaze roved up her legs, paused at her waist, lingered on her bosom, and caught for a moment on her lips. Finally, he met her eyes, and his mouth flicked up in a shameless grin.

She looked anywhere but at his eyes. On his neck, she noted the scar from a childhood adventure in the blackberry briar. Then she got stuck admiring his hair. Apparently his scandalous London lifestyle—if the rumors she’d heard were true—called for allowing his jet black hair to grow long and ripple in careless waves. Strands licked at his neck, curled up near his shoulders.

Time had been truly unfair. The years hadn’t weathered Kit at all. If anything, his features were sharper and more appealing. His Roman nose contrasted with the sensual fullness of his lips and those high Ruthven cheekbones. And his eyes. Gold and amber and chocolate hues chased each other around a pinwheel, all shadowed by enviably thick ebony lashes. One theater reviewer had written of the “power of his penetrating gaze.”

Ophelia only knew he’d once been able to see straight to her heart.

 

Review:

A new series by Christy Carlyle–yay!

I really enjoyed Rules for a Rogue–second chance romance at its best! Kit and Ophelia fell in love years ago, but Kit’s constant clashes with his father–and the fact that he had plans for his son that didn’t involve the girl next door–lead to Kit leaving for London and not looking back toward his childhood home. Phee, heartbroken by Kit’s desertion, has moved on with her life as best she can–after her father’s death, she started tutoring neighborhood girls and more recently (secretly) wrote a (somewhat scandalous) book. She’s even thinking about a marriage proposal–true, she doesn’t love the baron, who used to bully both her and Kit when they were children, but she’s barely able to make ends meet on her own, and she doesn’t know what other choice she has.

Until Kit’s publisher father dies, and he returns…to his sisters, and to Phee. She’s certain that his return has an expiration date, though, and is determined to guard her heart. Kit too has no intention of staying–he’s only back to check on his sisters, settle his father’s affairs, and get rid of the family business. Or is he? The more time he spends back home, the less sure he is of anything but the fact that he doesn’t want to be without Phee for another moment. Convincing her of that, though, is going to be a struggle and a half.

I loved Phee and Kit! Ms. Carlyle did a great job of showing us how clearly these two were meant to be together, while at the same time throwing one obstacle after another in their path. Their resolution, when it finally came, was decidedly satisfying, and along the way there’s enough interesting secondary characters (Kit’s and Phee’s sisters, Kit’s reprobate friend Grey, and Phee’s best friend Milly) to make me really anxious for the next books in the Romancing the Rules series to be released!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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Meet Christy:

Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.
Connect with Christy: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

  • Rules for a Rogue prize pack filled with the following items:
    • Book of Victorian etiquette (because RULES is all about etiquette)
    • “Opelia’s blue” 1928 teardrop earrings (blue is Ophelia’s color)
    • Harney and Sons English breakfast tea (because my characters are always drinking tea)
    • a Rules for a Rogue spiral lined notebook
    • Jasmine-scented hand lotion (jasmine is Ophelia’s scent)
    • Downton Abbey scone mix (my characters eat scones with their tea)

**US shipping ONLY**

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New Release Review and Giveaway! ONE DANGEROUS DESIRE by Christy Carlyle (Accidental Heirs #3)

Enter to Win a Digital Download Set of Accidental Heirs Books 1 & 2 ONE SCANDALOUS KISS and ONE TEMPTING PROPOSAL

ONE DANGEROUS DESIRE
Accidental Heirs #3
Christy Carlyle
Releasing April 19th, 2016
Avon Impulse
In a bet between two old flames…
 
Rex Leighton dominates the boardroom in the day and prowls the ballroom at night. Searching for the perfect bride to usher him into the aristocracy, he abandoned the idea of love a long time ago–the last time he saw the delicious May Sedgwick. But when he’s roped into a bet, where the prize is the means to fund his greatest ambition and the stakes are a marriage he’s already planning for, Rex is willing to go all in. There’s just one problem-he’s competing against the only woman he’s ever loved and he’s sure she’ll ruin all his plans.
Only love can take it all
Miss May Sedgwick could be the belle of the season…if she cared. May is more interested in the art studio than the marriage market and her craving to pursue her passion far outweighs her desire for a titled English husband. Winning this bet will finally allow her to pursue her true artistic desires. Rex Leighton losing is just a side benefit, as are his breathtaking kisses that she just can’t seem to resist.
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My first book by this author, but definitely not my last!

I really liked Rex and May and their second chance romance 🙂 It takes place just before the turn of the (twentieth) century, which was a nice change of pace–Rex wanting to electrify the entire hotel he wanted to build was just such a neat detail (and totally reminded me of Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess, shielding herself from the “abominations” her son had recently installed in Downton Abbey, LOL). May’s a department store heiress–like Cora, she’s being pursued for her dowry by ever more impoverished nobleman, but she’s reached the point where she’d just as soon pursue her own interests (interior design–she’s even contemplating starting her own business) as wed, especially when love isn’t there.

Not that she trusts love, because it’s burned her before. She’s looking at you, Reg, Er, Rex. But then her father’s business associate/right hand man comes for a visit, dropping a proverbial bomb, and suddenly marriage becomes a necessity. Because fate (or Ms. Carlyle) has a devious sense of humor, soon afterwards May finds out that that man who broke her heart six year ago? Yeah, he’s here. In London. And also looking to marry–someone who has a position in London society that can benefit his new hotel. Not a fellow American who’s looked down on for her American-ness and whose father hates him.

But of course as soon as they’re in a room together, the sparks are still flying as crazily as ever, which is most inconvenient for them both. And then there’s the bet…

Actually this book almost felt like a two-parter–part one being the angsty bet one, where they sniped a bit at each other and each had to witness the other spending more time than was comfortable with prospective, titled spouses (who happened to be brother and sister, to add even more drama to it all). And then the second part was after they both chucked their prospectives to the curb and gave in to what had been simmering between them for more than six years…only to have both of their families throw up obstacles. You gotta know that when the hero and heroine declare love and intend to wed at just a little past 50% in that something major’s going to get in their way soon–their HEA still has a while to go.

Which, for all its frustration, is a good thing. Because the rest of the story was–well–quite a story 🙂 (There were gasps of surprise going on over here. While my daughter was driving. Sorry, honey!)

While this is third in the series, it worked just fine as a standalone. The couple from the first book were mentioned, mainly because he was the nobleman that May originally intended to marry (plus, Rex knew him from business dealings), but other than that, this one was fairly self contained. I’ve of course added 1 and 2 to my TBR ( One Scandalous Kiss and One Tempting Proposal ), and am daring to hope that May’s good friend Lady Emily will be getting her own story in the not too distant future…

Rating: 4 stars/A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.



Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.

New Release and Giveaway: RECKLESS WAGER by Christy Carlyle (Whitechapel Wagers #)

Third in the series out now!

Reckless Wager
by Christy Carlyle
Series: Whitechapel Wagers, #3
Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)
Release Date: December 29, 2014

 


Unlucky in love and estranged from his family, Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn is obsessed with solving the Ripper crimes. When he’s suspended from the Metropolitan Police, it’s another failure in a long line of disappointments. But a new mystery arises when a beautiful widow shows up at the most infamous pub in Whitechapel seeking his help. He’s determined to assist Kate Guthrie, and equally determined to quell his growing attraction to her.

Kate Guthrie hides painful secrets from her first marriage and has avoided matrimony for nearly ten years. Now she’s finally decided it’s time to remarry and move on with her life, even if it means giving up the charity clinic work in Whitechapel that makes her days worthwhile. But when a battered young woman turns up at the clinic claiming to have been attacked by Jack the Ripper, Kate seeks out Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn, a man who sparks feelings in her too potent to deny.

 

Kate watched Detective Sergeant Quinn walk away. His tall, broad form and black coat were easy to spot, even in the early morning mist. His strides were long, his gait hurried, as if he wished to escape her as swiftly as he was able.

He would find Rose. Kate was certain of it. Even on short acquaintance, Kate sensed a deep vein of tenacity in Detective Quinn. It was something in his eyes. A hunger, a craving—a look she wouldn’t soon forget.

She squinted. His dark form faded, becoming harder to see. The streets filled quickly with carts and carriages and pedestrians buying or selling goods. The fog still clung in corners and soon the detective, the first man who had kissed her on the mouth in nearly ten years, would merge with the London haze.

She started after him. In her practical boots, her stride was sure, and she caught up to Detective Quinn quickly.

She couldn’t just let him disappear into the crush of Whitechapel. That figure, hunched against the wind, unmistakable with those wide warrior shoulders and hair that only revealed its true auburn color when a slice of sunlight broke through the haze. That less-than-a-gentleman detective sergeant who’d kissed her quite inappropriately and more deliciously than any man ever had.

If she let him go, how would she ever learn what happened to Rose? And then another thought—foolish, improper, bone deep. If she let him go, would any man ever kiss her that way again?

“Detective!”

The news that the fellow pushing his way through the throngs on Whitechapel Roadwas a police detective caused a bit of consternation among the crowd. Kate saw a group of men move away from Detective Quinn and a woman selling rags shouted something no lady would dare repeat. The man himself stopped his progress and watched her approach.

Kate slowed to a more ladylike pace and took a deep breath before she paused in front of Detective Quinn. He’d crossed his arms, and she could see the muscle in his jaw ticking where he clenched it. He was so tall; she took a step back to gaze up at him properly. Clear-eyed and clean-shaven, he exuded an air of confidence she hadn’t seen in him the night before. The bluish shadow of a bruise marred the skin near his right eye and cheek, and Kate wondered again about how he’d been wounded. His eyes appeared darker in the daylight than they had in his dim lodging room, but perhaps it was just irritation that turned them a deeper blue. And he was irritated. She expected him to say so, but he simply gazed down at her so intently she was certain he would divine every secret she had ever stashed away.

“I would like to come with you to find Rose.”

He moved, his chest heaving up and down, and Kate thought he might be on the verge of a coughing fit. Then she heard laughter bubbling up, a rich, deep chuckle that shook his whole body. His smile took her breath away. She felt dizzy, on the verge of giggling, but stopped herself. He was laughing at her, after all.

“I fail to see what is so amusing, Detective.”

Kate took a step back when he reached for her, but he wouldn’t be deterred. Detective Quinn moved closer, grasped her shoulders, and turned her around. He pulled her flush against his body, embracing her in his arms, surrounding her with his heat.

“Do you see that man across the way? Near the pub entrance?”

“Y-yes.” Kate spoke through the shivers sparked by his nearness.

“He steals the lives of girls like Rose. Forces them onto the streets and then takes their earnings. Beats them, or worse, if they refuse to pay.”

Kate tried to look back at the detective, but he’d bent his head close to hers. He whispered in her ear, warming her skin with his breath.

“And the woman over there, sitting on the pavement?”

Kate nodded, her hair brushing against his cheek.

“She’s fresh out of Newgate. Though she looks old and broken, she’s the nimblest thief I’ve ever known. Take care not to pass her on the street. She’ll cut your purse from your skirt and you’ll be none the wiser.”

“I—” Kate opened her mouth to protest. She’d learned her lesson about Whitechapel early on and took care never to bring valuables with her when she volunteered at the clinic. She certainly wasn’t fool enough to carry coin loose in her skirt pocket.

“See the boy. He’s just under the stairwell, covered in grime. Rather blends in with the bricks and muck, doesn’t he? Young Tommy Lark looks and listens. He listens to the streets for the King of Thieves and then he sings just like his namesake when he finds a likely mark. Be careful not to let him hear your address when you call it up to the cabbie. Especially if you’ve any valuables at home you’d care to keep.”

Leaning to the right, he placed a finger under her chin, tilting her head toward him.

“You have no idea of the dangers all around you. If you did, you wouldn’t walk these streets so blithely.”

 

 

Buy the other books in the Whitechapel Wagers Series:

 

Scandalous Wager

 

Wanton Wager

 

 

Christy Carlyle writes sensual, and sometimes downright steamy, historical romance, usually set in the Victorian era or Regency period. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines that are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there is nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with her die-hard belief in happy endings.

 

 

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