Romance Awareness Month, Week 3 Book on Sale: THE BEAST OF AROS CASTLE by Heather McCollum

August is Romance Awareness Month and what better way to celebrate than to put some of our favorite romances from different genres on sale! Whether you are already a romance lover or new to romance reading you are sure to find something to fall in love with.

If you haven’t fallen for a Highlander yet, you don’t wan to miss this steal! The Beast of Aros Castle by Heather McCollum is on sale for just 99¢.  PLUS, as an added bonus you can also pick up the latest book in the series, The Wolf of Kismul Castle is also on sale for 99.

Readers are raving about The Beast of Aros Castle…

“There is SO much to love about this book!… It’s passionate and steamy and I loved every passage and word. Tor is a magnificent lover and with Ava, they literally set the pages on fire.” – Kilts and Swords

 

“I was glued to the pages of this fascinating dramatic romance. Ms. McCollum did not disappoint me with her vivid descriptions, her captivating characters and the storyline was intriguing and masterfully written.” – April, My Book Addiction and More

 

“One of those books that keep me reading till all hours of the night (morning!) because I couldn’t put it down… Tor and Ava’s romance is so beautifully written.” – Linda, Goodreads.com review

 

Synopsis:

Ava Sutton is on the run from a dangerous man and makes her way safely to Scotland. Masquerading as a titled, English lady, she must convince the darkly handsome chief of the Macleans of Aros to wed her before she is tracked down.

Tor Maclean, the new chief of Aros Castle, has sworn off marriage. Despite his efforts to scare away the Englishwoman his father arranged for him to wed, Tor is nonetheless drawn to her passion and beauty. But he doesn’t know if he can forgive the untruths that have come to light for a chance at a once in a lifetime love…

 

Buy it for just 99¢!

Find it online:

 

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads

 

Other books in the series:

The Rogue of IslayIsle, Book 2

The Wolf of KismulCastle, Book 3

 

About the author:

Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical paranormal and YA romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology, much to her English professor’s dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart finalists. The ancient magic and lush beauty of Great Britain entrances Ms. McCollum’s heart and imagination every time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her writing ever since her first journey across the pond. When she is not creating vibrant characters & magical adventures on the page, she is roaring her own battle cry in the war against ovarian cancer. Ms. McCollum recently slayed the cancer beast and resides with her very own Highland hero, rescued golden retriever & 3 kids in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

New Release Review and Giveaway! DISCIPLINED BY THE DUKE by Alyson Chase (Lords of Discipline #1)

Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? 
 
DISCIPLINED BY THE DUKE
Lords of Discipline #1
Alyson Chase
Releasing Aug 15, 2017
Swerve
The day her sister murdered their abusive father, Elizabeth Wilcox stopped being a gentleman’s daughter. Willing to do anything to save her sister from the hangman’s noose, now she is a spy… A servant. A liar. A thief. A submissive.
Masquerading as a parlor maid and entrenched in the Duke of Montague’s estate, Liz is willing to risk all to uncover the secrets that would save her sister. But submitting to the duke’s peculiar brand of discipline surprises her with a heady mixture of pleasure and pain. Eager to relinquish control of her messy life, Liz soon craves the rough hands of Montague and his powerful, passionate attentions. Can she succumb to the hot sting of his hand and the gentleness of his kisses without revealing her true identity and darkest secrets? And what punishment will she face when he realizes her betrayal?

“Look at me.” His voice was quiet. Kind. But no less commanding than when he gave orders to his steward. Or his dogs.

Her gaze rose over hard thighs, the fall of his trousers, the flat expanse of his stomach, and the wider expanse of his chest. She looked up until his eyes captured hers and held on. Her breath caught in her throat. His eyes weren’t the gray of unyielding stone anymore, but rather the shifting silvers and subdued greens of an ocean tossing in a storm.

“I don’t make a habit out of breaking anyone’s, anything’s, spirit.” Dropping to a squat, Montague ran his fingers under Reggie’s jaw.

The heat from his body, his sudden nearness, curled around Liz. She took a deep breath to calm her racing heart. But she was swamped with his scent, and her pulse ratcheted up even higher.

“Sometimes animals need to be molded so they can become their best selves. Guidance, a firm hand, training.” His breath bloomed across her cheek with every word. “My horse, Darkwing, has as much spirit as he did as a foal. I merely redirected it to productive channels. Now, he and I have a partnership. We each trust the other.” His lips quirked. “More so than I do most men.”

Digging his fingers into the soft fur at the back of Reggie’s neck, Montague gently lifted the pup. “Now if this fellow doesn’t wish to be molded that is his prerogative. He might not make the grade for a work dog at my estate, but he will make someone a lovely pet.”

Reggie yipped, and the duke lowered him to the ground. The puppy coiled around himself like a snake, obviously exhausted from his day. Montague kept his hand on the dog, his palm almost large enough to span Reggie’s entire back. He ran his long, tapered fingers slowly through the puppy’s coat, and Reggie gave one more sleepy yip before tucking his nose under his tail.

“You seem to have an affinity for the scamp.” Montague gently rubbed the tip of Reggie’s ear between his thumb and forefinger. Liz’s own earlobe tingled. “Perhaps you’d want him as a pet.”

Her heart twisted. She’d love to spoil a dog. But it wasn’t to be. And the duke should have known that.

“Where would I keep him?” She hated to do it. It would ruin the moment, these amazing few minutes when the duke spoke to her like she was a real person, an equal, not the hired help. She’d forgotten what it felt like to be able to sit without fear of violence or discovery. To not have every moment revolve around a job for Westmore, scraping together enough money for food for her and Amanda, finding enough coal to keep her warm at night.

This was like an afternoon of days past, when gentlemen treated her with respect and she wanted for nothing. She felt like her old self, if only for a moment. The decadence of it almost made her dizzy.

But being the old Miss Elizabeth Wilcox was a luxury she could no longer afford.

So she twisted the blade, just a little. Just enough to sting. “Mr. Todd doesn’t allow servants to have pets. And if Reggie followed me around on my duties I think he’d probably make more of a jumble than I could clean in a day.” Taking a deep breath, she clenched her stomach. “It doesn’t make sense for a chambermaid to have a puppy.”

And there it was. That small flicker. The stormy sea hardening back into granite. Montague had forgotten himself. Or, more accurately, forgotten her. Forgotten how low she was in relation to him.

Her lungs burned with the effort to keep her breathing steady. The reminder stung more than she’d expected. The duke would probably forget his momentary lapse in the time it took him to return to his house.

It would take her longer.

And she couldn’t keep forgetting who she was, why she was here. It hurt too much when reality crashed back in. So she dug the knife a little deeper into her side.

Picking up the sleeping puppy from her lap, she laid him next to Reggie. Standing, she brushed at her skirts, plucking an errant strand of fur from her apron. “Now if you will excuse me, Your Grace, I have some chamber pots I need to empty.”

Without looking to see whether she had shocked him, Liz turned on her heel and made her way back to the side door of Hartsworth. The servants’ entrance.

It wasn’t until she’d refilled Molly’s bucket and lugged it halfway up the stairs that she realized she’d forgotten to curtsy before leaving the duke. She could only hope her disgraceful chamber pot reference had distracted the man too much for him to notice.

Confession time–I didn’t examine the blurb for this one all too well before signing up to read it (the title and series name got me, I admit it), so the part of the plot that dealt with Liz determined to do pretty much anything to save her sister from prison and Marcus’s side business of espionage came as a bit of a surprise. A pleasant surprise, though, because let’s face it, when you’re reading BDSM with your teenage kids just feet away from you, it sometimes feels a bit awkward. The other plot elements, therefore, were a nice distraction, and made both Liz and Marcus more sympathetic and relatable than they might have seemed otherwise.

Disciplined by the Duke is a decent debut that combines historical romance, intrigue (spies have been my weakness since pretty much forever…), and light BDSM–though there were a few things here that gave me pause, Ms. Chase definitely has my attention for the next book in the series, which will feature Liz’s sister and another of Marcus’s friends and fellow spies.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Alyson 
Chase writes historical romances that are just a bit…naughty. She is a former attorney, and thought that her flair for dramatic and sexy writing was seriously undervalued in her legal career. She also writes under the name Allyson Charles. 
 
She lives in Northern California where the incredible weather and natural beauty so far outweigh the overcrowding and congested freeways. Also, the food in the Bay Area rocks. 
If you want to know when the next book is coming out, visit her at website and sign up for her newsletter.

 

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A Conversation with Kimberly Bell, Author of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS (A Tale of Two Sisters #1) with a New Release Review and Giveaway!

He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both.

Welcome, Kimberly! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. Hearing what readers think about my books, even the criticisms, is the coolest thing in the world.
  2. If you tweet at me, I will absolutely tweet you back.
  3. I think romance is found in the little ways another person shows they pay attention.
  4. If I ever meet the Jamie to my Claire, I’m going through the stones and not coming back. Sorry if I’m in the middle of writing a series when that happens.
  5. I was a romance reader long before I was a romance writer and I try to remember that with everything I write.

LOL—I sincerely hope that if #4 does happen, you’ve at least just turned in the final copy on your latest book 😉

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Amelia and Julia were already in my head, but it wasn’t a book until the idea of a hero that really had nothing much to offer except himself kept coming back up. Nicholas doesn’t have a title or a fortune, but what he does have is a lifetime of loving Amelia for who she is.

Sigh…and that makes him AWESOME.

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I started writing about three years ago. I’ve always loved historical romance, and if I can write a book that makes someone feel the way the Amanda Quick historicals made me feel when I read them, I’ll consider myself a success.

Excellent motivation 🙂

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year? 

I just finished the first five books I contracted two years ago, so this year is about taking a short breather and then starting the next three-book series I’ve got in mind. (Hint: The first one features Jasper’s twin-sister Ruby).

Wow! After five books, I guess you deserve a breather 😉 (And—yay, Ruby!)

 

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far? 

I have a very neglected TBR pile, so I just now got around to reading Jo Beverly’s Too Dangerous For A Lady. I love the spillover of the effects of the French Revolution on English society, and the nonchalant confidence of her hero and his friends.

Oooh, that does sound good! (Adds to TBR pile…)

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

I’d probably cheat and steal someone else’s words–in this case a Goodreads review by a woman named Amy: “Kimberly Bell’s start to her Tale of Two Sisters series is everything I could want in a romance novel. Romance, adventure, and shenanigans abound.”

LOL—works for me! Thanks, Kimberly!

 

Kimberly Bell writes historical romance from her cabin in South Lake Tahoe or the beaches of Southern California (it’s a super tough life).
She’s a pretty hardcore introvert that loves dogs, cheeseburgers, and occasional day drinking. She also spends way too much time on twitter because she thinks she’s super hilarious and she’s trying to get that rumor to catch on.
 
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS
Tale of Two Sisters #1
Kimberly Bell
Releasing July 25, 2017
Entangled Select
 
A horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…

None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé.
The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next
door.


Such a fun read!

The characters in this new series (Tale of Two Sisters) are a whole lot of fun. Of course I loved Nick and Mia–yeah, a conversation could have resolved much of their problems, but somehow Ms. Bell made it seem believable that they took so long to figure that out–but their supporting characters were just as much fun. Given the series name, you know that Mia’s sister Julia has to get her own story (next? Please next?) but I’ve also got high hopes for Nick’s BFF Jasper (*cough* Julia’s story *cough*) and Jasper’s twin sister Ruby…so much to look forward to!

This was my first book from this author, but definitely not my last. I really enjoyed Ms. Bell’s sense of humor and her unique take on family life and friendship in Victorian England (I agree, it is such a shame that Prince Albert met Victoria before Julia. Though I know Ms. Bell will more than make it up to her in her own book. Did I already suggest Jasper as the one to help her get over the loss? Yes?) and cannot wait to see what the rest of this series brings!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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New Release Review! SCANDALOUS EVER AFTER by Theresa Romain (Romance of the Turf #2)

Did you see my guest post from Theresa Romain here? She talks about her favorite summer activities–and Scandalous Ever After!

Scandalous Ever After
by Theresa Romain

Does love really heal all wounds?

After being widowed by a steeplechase accident in Ireland, Lady Kate Whelan abandons the turf. But once her mourning is complete, her late husband’s debts drive her to seek help in Newmarket amidst the whirl of a race meet. There she encounters antiquities expert Evan Rhys, her late husband’s roguish friend―whom she hasn’t seen since the day of his lordship’s mysterious death.

Now that fate has reunited them, Evan seizes the chance to win over the woman he’s always loved. But once back within the old stone walls of Whelan House, long-held secrets come to light that shake up everything Kate thought she knew about her marriage. Now she wonders who she can trust with her heart―and Evan must decide between love and a truth that will separate him from all his heart desires.

 

Romance of the Turf Series:
The Sport of Baronets (Book .5)
A Gentleman’s Game (Book 1)
Scandalous Ever After (Book 2)

 

Review:

This one took a while to get into–I couldn’t quite grasp what was up with Kate’s ‘tude, and since I was a member of Team Evan pretty much since page 1, her back-and-forth where he was considered was aggravating. I kept shaking my head–what was her deal? The story gradually drew me in, though, and somewhere around the 50% mark I found myself pretty much unable to put the book down until I got to the end. And Kate? Totally redeemed herself in the end 🙂

I really need to read more of Ms. Romain’s books, because each time I do they’re rife with highlighted bits by the time I’m done–romantic bits, funny bits, ways with words that I wish I had–so many highlights. This time they’re almost all Evan’s, and they run the gamut from LOL:

For God’s sake. Sometimes a man just wanted to dig up an ancient cock sculpture and show it about. Was that too much to ask from life?

(For the record, no, I don’t think it is.)

to OMG, yes:

What was there to want in life for than someone who said I miss you when you’re across a room?

to HOW? HOW CAN SHE RESIST HIM?

“I want more than a half measure of you. And I deserve someone who wants more than a half measure of me.”

Sigh. Seriously, how???

Fortunately, she manages to see the light before the final pages. And the path they take to get there? Makes this book one heck of a read.

(Second in the Romance of the Turf series, but worked just fine as a standalone. Though you’d better believe book 1 and book .5 were on my TBR pile by the time I was about 51% of the way into this one.)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

New Release and Giveaway! LADY BE BAD by Megan Frampton

Lady Be Bad
by Meg Frampton
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance

Once upon a time, a duke had five daughters who never made a stir. They practiced their French, their pianoforte, and their dancing…until one ran off with the dancing instructor, and the rest were left to face the scandal.

Lady Eleanor, the Duke of Marymount’s eldest daughter, knows the burden is hers: she must marry well to restore the family name. So a loveless match is made and her fate is set. But then Eleanor meets her intended’s rakish younger brother. With his tawny hair, green eyes, and scandalous behavior, Lord Alexander Raybourn makes her want to be very bad indeed.

With his very honorable sibling too busy saving the world to woo Eleanor, Alexander is tasked with finding out her likes and dislikes for his elder brother. But the more time he spends with the secretly naughty Eleanor, helping her tick off all the things on her good list for being bad, the more he knows what they want, and need, is each other.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

About the author:

Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction under the name Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in that order. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son. You can visit her website at www.meganframpton.com. She tweets as @meganf and is at Facebook.com/meganframptonbooks.

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New Release and Giveaway! LAST CHANCE COWBOYS: THE OUTLAW by Anna Schmidt (Where the Trail Ends #3)

Title: Last Chance Cowboys: The Outlaw
Author: Anna Schmidt
Series: Where the Trail Ends, #3
ISBN: 9781492613022
Pub Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Western Romance

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

“‘Someone like me?’ Is that how you see me, Amanda? As someone people should fear?”

“I don’t know what to think,” she said. “One minute you seem so dangerous, and the next you’re sweet and caring and…”
He took a step closer, his eyes sweeping her face. “And which do you want me to be?” His voice was low; it sent shivers down her spine.

“Both,” she whispered, and lifted her face for a kiss.

 

Amanda Porterfield longs to experience real adventure. So when she’s offered a position in bustling Tucson, she leaps at the chance despite unknown dangers—dangers like the mysterious Seth Grover.

As an undercover detective working to stop a gang of outlaws, Seth can’t afford the distractions a woman like Amanda inspires. Yet when the fiercely intelligent beauty is thrust into the middle of a heist gone wrong, Seth will fight for a future that may never be theirs…even if it means risking everything he holds dear.

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound

 

EXCERPT:

Amanda fought her attacker with all her might, ineffectually flailing away at him with both fists. Then, realizing her nails and teeth were better weapons, she raked his neck even as she bit down hard and got a mouth filled with the taste of her attacker’s leather glove for her trouble. She struggled to free herself from his solid, muscular body pinning hers to the ground by straddling her. She went completely still, hoping to surprise him, but he hauled her to her feet, leaving her hat in the dirt and her hair falling free of the pins she’d used to hide it under the crown of the Stetson.

She took some pride in the realization that she’d put up enough of a fight to leave the man breathless. On the other hand, he was practically “Amanda?” Seth Grover was breathing hard and staring down at her, one hand touching her breasts, which were heaving noticeably after the exertion of the fight.

“Explain yourself, Mr. Grover,” she demanded as she planted both hands flat on the solid wall of his chest and shoved him away. He let go, but the sound of fabric ripping told her he’d taken the top couple of buttons of the shirt with him. When she saw his eyes riveted on her exposed skin, she covered herself with crossed hands and felt heat race through her body. “Well?” she hissed, aware that they were standing outside and anyone might pass by or hear them.

“I thought…are you following me, Amanda?”

“Do not flatter yourself, Seth. Miss Jensen might keep tabs on you, but your comings and goings are of no interest to me whatsoever.” She dusted off the seat of her pants, then realized she’d once again exposed herself to him by letting go of her shirt front. “A gentleman would avert his eyes,” she said, “or at the very least offer a lady the cover of his coat.”

He chuckled. “Have to say I’m not much a gentleman, ma’am, but if you’re feeling a chill…” He shrugged out of his coat and draped it over her shoulders, allowing his hands to linger there until she stepped out of reach.

“Thank you.” She bent to retrieve her hat and slapped it against her thigh as she’d seen her father, brothers and the cowboys at the ranch do more times than she could count. The gesture made her feel tougher and taller at the same time. She shook her hair back from her face and planted on the hat, tugging at the brim until the fit was snug. “I’ll leave your coat outside your room. Good evening, Seth.”

“I’ll walk you back.” He fell into step beside her. “Shall we take the street or the alley?”

He was mocking her. She remained silent but picked up the pace.

“Oh, then we’re going to race back?” He matched her step for step, an easy feat given his long legs.

“Will you please…”

He took hold of her arm, forcing her to stop walking. “I am not leaving you alone, Amanda. You shouldn’t be out at this time of night.” His tone bordered on patronizing. He sounded like her brother Jess, and that irritated her.

“Why do you care?” she snapped and meant it to be a challenge, but found that she really wanted to him to tell her. “You hardly know me.”

He was still holding her upper arm. She could feel the heat of his fingers through the coat and realized that he’d removed the leather gloves. While she processed this thought, he led her to a small lane that passed between the pharmacy and the milliner’s shop. There he took hold of her other arm and pulled her closer.

She was sure he planned to kiss her. She was also sure that she had never wanted anything in her life quite as much as she wanted to find out what kissing Seth Grover might be like. Here at last was the true adventure she’d come to Tucson to find.

“Listen to me, Amanda. You’re looking for trouble, and I won’t always be around to make sure you don’t find it, so fair warning. You need to stop these midnight wanderings. You need to stop getting yourself dressed up to look like a boy. You need to…”

So, kissing her was clearly the last thing on his mind.

She wrenched herself free of his hold. Not that he fought to hold on. “I can take care of myself,” she muttered as she massaged her arms, wanting him to believe he had hurt her when in fact his touch had been firm but gentle.

“Really?”

“Really,” she snapped, and started to walk away.

He caught her hand, and then before she knew what was happening she was pressed up against the side of the building by the length of his body. He had his other hand over her mouth again—this time without his glove. His skin smelled like leather, though. She struggled and he tightened his hold on her. His face was so close she could feel his breath, hot against her cheeks.

“Wake up, Amanda. You are no longer residing on your family’s ranch where no doubt you had others looking out for you. You are alone here in Tucson, and you need to take care.”

Amanda had no idea what came over her. Maybe she just wanted him to stop telling her what she already knew. She cupped his face with her hands and kissed him.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning author ANNA SCHMIDT delights in creating stories where her characters must wrestle with the challenges of their times. Critics have consistently praised Schmidt for her ability to seamlessly integrate actual events with her fictional characters to produce strong tales of hope and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She resides in Wisconsin.

Find her online:

Website: http://www.booksbyanna.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/as_li_sh/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/690598.Anna_Schmidt

 

GIVEAWAY:

Enter for a chance to win a copy of the previous book in Anna Schmidt’s series, Last Chance Cowboys: The Lawman!

 

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Author Q&A and Giveaway! DENYING THE DUKE by Callie Hutton (Lords and Ladies in Love #3)

Forbidden fruit never tasted so sweet…
 

A Quick Q&A with Author Callie Hutton:

If you could sit and write in a different country, where would it be?

The South of France. As much as I would love to visit London (and plan to one day soon), the idea of sitting on the balcony of a house/apartment/flat with French coffee and a croissant at my side, while gazing out at the diamond-studded water, and the sun at my back, would be wonderful. I would be so inspired. Or—I would be so distracted, nothing would get written.  Maybe I need to re-consider this.

 

What has been your toughest scene or book to write?

The hero in my book The Baron’s Betrayal was blind. It was difficult to write scenes in his POV where he couldn’t see anything. I also spent time wandering around my house blindfolded, bumping into walls. It was a challenge. And painful.

 

Tell us a little about your book.

I’m excited about Denying the Duke, the third book in my Lords and Ladies in Love series. This is a lovers re-united story, one I haven’t written before. Here is the blurb:

Four years ago, Alex, a second son, had planned a life together with Lady Patience. However, when Patience was betrothed to his brother, the heir, Alex left his family’s estate and joined the military.

Alex returns to assume the title Duke of Bedford when his brother unexpectedly dies. He is unprepared for both his new responsibilities and the reunion with Patience. The horrors of war are a heavy burden, and when he learns that Patience never married his brother, he is stunned.

Patience withstood the bullying of her fiancé and her father for four long years. She refuses to marry Alex just because he’s the duke, especially if he no longer loves her. How would that be better than what she has already endured? Promises made in their youth are not enough to overcome the changes life has wrought for them but love can grow and transform, if only Patience could believe that.

I’m also excited about Denying the Duke because I introduce three new characters who will have their stories in 2018.

 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I loved writing characters who had been apart for four years, and the resulting changes that makes it necessary for them to work to find their love again. If that is possible.

 

Á la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.

Bedford is no longer the man who made promises to Lady Patience 4 yrs ago. She loved him once but won’t marry him because she’s convenient.

 

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

Humorous scenes. If I’m laughing out loud when it’s finished, I know my readers will be. I try to include at least one funny scene in each book.

 

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Yes. Thank you so very much for reading my books. Seeing readers enjoy the stories I’ve created from my own mind is very rewarding.

Callie Hutton, the USA Today bestselling author of The Elusive Wife, writes both Regency 
and western historical romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs and her top cheerleader husband of many years. Her family also includes her daughter, son, and daughter-in-law, and twin grandsons “The Twinadoes.”  
Callie loves to hear from readers. Contact her directly at calliehutton11@gmail.com or find her online at her WebsiteSign up for her newsletter to receive information on new releases, appearances, contests and exclusive subscriber content. 
 

DENYING THE DUKE
Lords and Ladies in Love #3
Callie Hutton
Releasing July 10, 2017
Entangled Scandalous

Four years ago, Alex, a second son, had planned a life together with Lady Patience. However, when Patience was betrothed to his brother, the heir, Alex left his family’s estate and joined the military.Alex returns to assume the title Duke of Bedford when his brother unexpectedly dies. He is unprepared for both his new responsibilities and the reunion with Patience. The horrors of war are a heavy burden, and when he learns that Patience never married his brother, he is stunned.

Patience withstood the bullying of her fiancé and her father for four long years. She refuses to marry Alex just because he’s the duke, especially if he no longer loves her. How would that be better than what she has already endured? Promises made in their youth are not enough to overcome the changes life has wrought for them but love can grow and transform, if only Patience could believe that.


Dragging his thoughts back to the present, he walked from the church graveyard where all the Dukes of Bedford were buried in the family mausoleum, to the Abbey, his boots making a sucking sound in the mud.

He stopped on the stone pathway and studied the building. It looked exactly as it had all his life, and for generations before that. He, however, had changed significantly from the angry, brokenhearted young man who had left. War had carved him into a bitter, bedeviled-by-ghosts man. No softness remained from that addlepated young man in love.

Precisely how he liked it.

Patience, otherwise known as the Duchess of Bedford, would be holding court for the mourners who had come to comfort her on the death of her husband. Since he’d had no contact with his family in the four years he’d been gone, he had no idea if she and Cyrus had children. Of course, there wasn’t a son, or Alex would not have been summoned home to take up his duties as the new Duke of Bedford.

He snorted. One could only hope the pater was spinning in his grave as the prodigal son returned to assume the title he’d held so dear. He no more desired to be the duke than his father would have wanted him to be.

His thoughts returned to the Duchess of Bedford. It seemed nothing had changed since he left. Under the law, as his brother’s widow, Patience was just as off-limits to him as she had been as Cyrus’s betrothed. Of course, he had no reason to believe he still felt the same about her as he had four years ago. That Alex was dead, and he had the vile memories and dark dreams to prove it.

Before he could reach for the front door latch, the door opened. A new butler, unknown to him, stood there, stiff as a board. “Welcome home, Your Grace.”

Your Grace.

 

Grand Finale Blitz and Giveaway! THE RENEGADE’S REDEMPTION by Stacy Henrie


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finalefor
The Renegade’s Redemption
By Stacy Henrie

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch – Note from the Author

Ever since sharing some of Tex’s story in my last Love Inspired Historical book about his twin brother Tate, I’ve eagerly anticipated the chance for readers to get to know Tex better—through his own story this time. A legendary, charismatic outlaw, Tex was a fun and complex character to write. So, too, was his reunion with the girl he left behind eight years ago Ravena Reid.

Hearts & Scribbles – Character Descriptions

An identical twin, Tex looks just like his brother Tate with their matching blue eyes and brown hair, but their similarities end there. Tex is charming, fun-loving, and never in one place for long. But when he realizes Ravena needs help with her farm, he offers to stay and help, if only to atone for leaving her behind years ago. In the process, he comes to face-to-face with his past, his mistakes, and his long buried faith. Before long he’ll have to make the toughest decision of his life—to stop running or not from everyone, including himself.

Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford – Review

“This story was such an amazing journey for me. Filled with rich characters, precious children, a wounded past, and best of all…forgiveness and a second chance at love.

THE RENEGADE’S REDEMPTION was impossible to put down. I read the entire book in one sitting, it’s that good. ”

Heidi Reads… – Review

“I loved the various personalities of the orphans that Ravena cares for and how it shows her compassionate nature. She struggles with her long-held feelings for Tex and forgiveness of others and self is a big theme in the story. There is some action as Tex’s outlaw background catches up with him but I appreciated that he came to terms with it of his own volition before he was forced to by circumstances. Lovely romance between a stalwart young woman and a charming rogue!”

I Am A Reader – Excerpt

“Ravena,” Tex called as she reached the door.

She blew out a sigh and turned to face him. “Yes?”

“Thank you for this. But you said one night and I won’t stay longer than that.”

Gripping the edges of the tray until they dug into her palms, she willed the words she wanted to say to reach her lips. Yes, Tex, you have to leave. I have enough concerns right now, without worrying about you and the fragileness of my heart.

Sylv.net – An Old Flame

Can past hurts be overcome and forgiven in order to have a second chance at love? In my newest Love Inspired Historical book, that’s what Tex Beckett and Ravena Reid must decide.

Tex and Ravena grew up together on neighboring farms in Idaho. They were inseparable friends, though Tex’s twin brother Tate often tagged along with them. As they grew older, Tex and Ravena realized their friendship had developed into something more. Though different in temperament—Ravena is far more serious, and Tex is fun-loving and eager for adventure—they complemented each other and shared a deep love.

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“This Historical fiction is full of action, suspense, drama and romance. The reader will be unsure of the ending until the last pages. The characters are defined well and the reader feels very endeared to them. The background scenes are portrayed well. The story steadily flows smoothly until the very end. The reader’s interest is held throughout the tale.”

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

“Vivid characters with lots of personality join forces with swoony romance, adorable children, and a heartfelt message of redemption and restoration. Stacy Henrie is skilled at knowing the right combination of each of those elements to achieve a ‘just right’ balance and a smooth story. If you’re a fan of stories set in the late 1800s West then you need to definitely make time to read Stacy Henrie’s books as well!'”

Singing Librarian Books – Review

“Stacy Henrie has done it again! Her novel Renegade’s Redemption is simply splendid!! This western romance is filled with plenty of adventure and romance that readers will not want to miss. In addition there are themes of inspiration, forgiveness, and redemption that will tug at the heartstrings of readers. . . . This sweet historical romance novel is a fantastic sequel to The Outlaw’s Secret that readers will adore.”

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

“I enjoyed the gentle chemistry between these two and the way they each worked through trust issues. I love the descriptions of their every day lives and the way the past and present fit together. There are many things to be resolved and through journeys of self-discovery and responsibility, a satisfying conclusion resulted.”

Mel’s Shelves – Review

” I devoured it quickly and love the way it all came together! I love Stacy Henrie’s writing style and she is quickly becoming a favorite author! If you enjoy clean historical romance, you will want to read both of these books!”

Getting Your Read On – Review

“Tex and Ravena were great characters. The book flowed gently and easily, weaving in daily life events with the rekindling of friendship and love. The children in this book were a fantastic addition and really gave the story a feeling of family and love.”

Wishful Endings – Excerpt

For one moment, Tex knew the familiar thrill of a clean escape. Then the sheriff shot at him again. This time the bullet found purchase. It struck Tex in his right side, and his body jerked hard to the left in reflexive response. He clung to the horse with trembling arms to keep from falling as searing fire registered through his shock.

Paulette’s Papers – Five Fun Facts about The Renegade’s Redemption

1. The final scenes of this book take place on Independence Day. And while I knew the release date for the book was in July 2017, I didn’t pay much attention to which day. So it was serendipitous and lots of fun when I realized it was releasing on Independence Day.

The Power of Words – Review

“The road for this unlikely pair seemed impossible, and I loved how everything was resolved. . . . I enjoyed The Renegade’s Redemption very much and look forward to much more from Stacy Henrie.”

Tell Tale Book Reviews – Review

“The Renegade’s Redemption is a sweet historical romance with strong themes of forgiveness and trusting in God. The story begins and pretty much ends with a bang, and the pages in between are sure to keep readers anxiously turning them to find out what happens with Tex, Ravena, and the orphans.”

Cafinated Reads – Review

“This is a truly wonderful story of seeking one’s faith, relying on God, forgiveness and redemption. Ms. Hernie will steal you away with this book and leave you wanting more instantly! This 5 star book is the second in a series, and while I wasn’t confused and it could be easily read as a stand alone, I do plan to go back and read book 1 and see where it all began with Tex. Hats off to this talented author who is now on my favorites list!!”

Brooke Blogs – Review

“I really enjoyed this sweet story. I quickly found myself attached to the characters and immersed in the setting. I loved this story so much. The setting and time period was just perfect. The Renegade’s Redemption is well-written and a quick read. If you are looking for a sweet, clean romance, give this one a try. You won’t regret it.”

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

The Renegade’s Redemption
by Stacy Henrie
Inspirational Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 288 pages
July 1st 2017 by Love Inspired Historical

Refuge for the Outlaw

When Tex Beckett arrives at Ravena Reid’s farm, he’s eight years too late for the elopement they’d once planned—and it’s far too early to win her forgiveness. He’s seriously wounded, though, and she can’t turn him away, though she knows better than to trust him. Yes, it’s wonderful having help with the farm, and with the orphans she fosters, but if she opens her heart, she’ll get hurt again when he leaves. And Tex always leaves.

As a notorious bank robber, Tex is used to danger. Yet reuniting with the only woman he’s ever loved is the riskiest thing he’s ever done. All he wants is to stay with Ravena and the children. But can he build a new start before his past catches up with him?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
HarlequinKoboiBooksGooglePlayBAMIndieBound

 

Other Books in the Series:

The Outlaw’s Secret
by Stacy Henrie
Christian Historical RomancePaperback & ebook, 288 pages
February 7th 2017 by Love Inspired Historical

Lawman in Disguise

Getting taken hostage by a gang of train robbers wasn’t in dime novelist Essie Vanderfair’s plans, but interviewing these men could make her career soar. Especially since the gang includes legendary outlaw Tex Beckett, better known as the Texas Titan. Tex is famed for his protection of women and children, so she’ll be fine…right?

Keeping the gang in line was hard enough before a stubborn, beautiful writer interfered. Now Tex is scrambling to keep Essie safe, to gather evidence against the gang and most of all to hide his dangerous secrets. First, that he’s a detective working undercover. And second, that he’s not the Texas Titan at all, but Tex’s twin brother, Tate Beckett.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
HarlequinKoboiBooksGooglePlayBAMIndieBound

About the Author:

Stacy Henrie has always had a love for history, fiction, and chocolate. She earned her B.A. in public relations before turning her attentions to raising a family and writing inspirational historical romances. Wife of an entrepreneur husband and a mother to three, Stacy loves to live out history through her fictional characters. In addition to author, she is also a reader, a road trip enthusiast, and a novice interior decorator.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest

Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive copies of The Express Rider’s Lady and The Outlaw’s Secret, and a $10 Amazon e-gift card (US only)
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon e-gift card (open internationally)
– Ends July 22nd

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Tour Schedule:

July 6th: Hearts & Scribbles & Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford
July 7th: Heidi Reads… & I Am A Reader
July 9th: Sylv.net & deal sharing aunt
July 10th: Rockin’ Book Reviews & Reading Is My SuperPower
July 11th: Singing Librarian Books & Katie’s Clean Book Collection
July 12th: Mel’s Shelves & Cafinated Reads
July 13th: Getting Your Read On & Wishful Endings
July 14th: Paulette’s Papers & The Power of Words
July 16th: Tell Tale Book Reviews
July 17th: Dixie and Dottie & Brooke Blogs
July 18th: Grand Finale

Grab Our Button!

Theresa Romain, Author of SCANDALOUS EVER AFTER (Romance of the Turf #2) Talks About Her Favorite Summer Activities (with a giveaway!)

Two of Theresa’s favorite summer activities:

If I were creating the sort of profile I admire, I’d tell you that my favorite summer activities include splashing in the ocean, or camping in the backyard after having a barbecue. But the truth is that I’m hundreds of miles from the nearest beach, and my favorite thing to do there was always to make a giant dolphin out of sand. And I can’t bear to be outside in 100+ heat, especially when the mosquitos are biting.

However, there are so many lovely little things about summer that I do enjoy. Specifically…

  1. Checking on the vegetables that my daughter and I planted as seeds in the spring. Just as the weather starts to get really hot, the tomatoes and green beans are ripe and ready for picking. There’s something so satisfying about growing the veggies we eat with dinner that night.
  2. Using the snow cone machine (really just a glorified ice grinder) to make frozen treats in our own home. Sure, we could make them any time of year, but summer just seems right for shaved ice with syrup on it. Once, Little Miss R and I brought a big bowl of tangerine snow cone to Mr. R while he was working out in the backyard on a hot afternoon. “That looks like heaven,” he said. Yup. Snow cones are pretty magical.

In SCANDALOUS EVER AFTER, there are no frozen treats or backyard campfires—but there *is* a sea, and Lady Kate Whelan and Evan Rhys find themselves on a road trip of a lifetime. Between ferries and floods, treats and horses and races, sickness and health and more than one scandalous interlude, these two old friends will find a love they never expected—and unearth secrets they never dreamed of. I hope you’ll enjoy this romantic summer read!

 

 

Historical romance author THERESA ROMAIN pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in Wichita, Kansas.

 

 

 

Title: Scandalous Ever After
Series: Romance of the Turf #2
Author: Theresa Romain
Pub Date: July 4, 2017
ISBN: 9781492649021

 

Does love really heal all wounds?

After being widowed by a steeplechase accident in Ireland, Lady Kate Whelan abandons the turf. But once her mourning is complete, her late husband’s debts drive her to seek help in Newmarket amidst the whirl of a race meet. There she encounters antiquities expert Evan Rhys, her late husband’s roguish friend—whom she hasn’t seen since the day of his lordship’s mysterious death.

Now that fate has reunited them, Evan seizes the chance to win over the woman he’s always loved. But once back within the old stone walls of Whelan House, long-held secrets come to light that shake up everything Kate thought she knew about her marriage. Now she wonders who she can trust with her heart—and Evan must decide between love and a truth that will separate him from all his heart desires.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Chapters | Indiebound

 

Excerpt:

“How have you been?” His eyes dark as chocolate, he watched her with the same careful scrutiny he’d given to his magic lantern slides as he packed them away.

She pulled another pin free, then another, feeling more bare with each one. “I’m fine too.” Pulling free her blossom-trimmed hat, she jabbed the hatpins through the plaited-straw brim.

She was fine—or as fine as she’d been for years and years of her marriage. Years of financial strain and dawning awareness of her husband’s infidelity. But over those same years, she had become skilled at appearing fine. And for Con, by God, there was nothing more important than making a good appearance.

“Your words aren’t rationed, you know.” Evan relaxed against the squabs of rust-colored velvet, sliding one boot forward. “You can use more than three when you reply to me. More than four, even, if you have something of particular significance to say.”

The familiarity of his banter made her chest tighten. She swallowed, hard, before replying crisply, “You are fortunate that I was judicious with my words rather than being perfectly frank with you.”

“I’m going to regret asking this, but I will all the same. What did you want to say, Madam Frank?”

She lifted her chin. “That you behaved like an utter ass.”

Though she had spoken the words lightly, they took on great weight in the close confines of the carriage. “I will grant that I deserve that.”

“At the very least. Two years of silence. Evan. Didn’t our friendship mean anything to you?”

He held out his wrists. “Slap the manacles on me. Whatever punishment you care to inflict, I will accept it.”

“I could poke you with a hatpin.”

He made a gesture that was not precisely polite. It had the effect of drawing a smile from her before she added, “It’s a fair question, Evan. And I’m sly enough to notice that you didn’t answer it. You could have come back any time after you chose to leave. After you and Con argued on the day he died.”

He snapped upright, drawing his feet in close beneath his seat. Withdrawing into a shell, it seemed. “I couldn’t come back after that.”

“And why not? Not only could you have, you should have. What was I to think when you left Ireland without a word of farewell?”

“What indeed? What did you think?”

“I didn’t know. I still don’t.”

The two chestnuts, Jerome and Hattie, pulled the carriage along with smooth strides. For the distance of one…two…a half dozen of their long steps…Kate was silent. Then she added, “Con wouldn’t tell me what had passed between you, only that you’d argued. He was upset. Terribly upset. So shaken that he should never have ridden out. And—”

“My God.” Evan rubbed a hand over his jaw, the chiseled line of his mouth. “You think it’s my fault that he died.”

Her head snapped back. “Not your fault. It was no one’s fault. His fall in the steeplechase was an accident. Everyone said so, from housemaid to magistrate. The cinch on his saddle split, and…and he fell. Badly.”

“Maybe fault is not the right word. What of blame? Do you blame me?” His dark eyes were steady and fathomless.

She held his gaze. “No. I don’t blame you for that. If I fault you for anything, it is that you called me friend, then and now, but you never showed it when that friendship was tested.”

He made a dry sound, like a laugh gone cold. “You cannot know how I was tested.”

“I cannot, because you never told me. Not a single word. All I know is that you and Con argued, and you left, and that was that. You threw our whole family away like rubbish.”

“There is no such thing as rubbish,” he said quietly. “Only pieces that antiquarians will one day discover and come to understand.”

God. He was so…so Evan. “That,” she replied, “is not adequate. I need more from my life than the hope that someone will try to piece it together hundreds of years from now.”

Through the carriage roof, Kate could hear the occasional cluck or halloo of the coachman. Sir William’s traveling carriage was built on spacious lines, like Chandler Hall and his stables. Every surface was brushed clean and gleaming.

The conveyances in the carriage room of Whelan House’s stables were neat but patched, oiled but aged. A few years ago, there had been many more. A few years ago, everything had been different.

Was it wrong that, despite her crushing debt, she was happier as a widow than as a wife?

Was it wrong that she didn’t mind if it was?

“What has it been like for you?” Evan’s question seamlessly followed the ones she posed herself. “These past two years?”

“Like running down a hill, hoping I can reach safety before a rolling boulder crushes me.”

“That is an alarming analogy.”

“I thought you’d like it,” she said. “Because of the stone. Pretend it’s an ancient rolling boulder.”

He shook his head. “Still alarming, though now the alarm bears historical significance. What has got you running, Kate?”

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE RUIN OF A RAKE by Cat Sebastian

Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love. 
 
 
THE RUIN OF A RAKE
Cat Sebastian
Releasing July 4, 2017
Avon Impulse

Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.


London, 1817

Julian pursed his lips as he gazed at the symmetrical brick façade of his sister’s house. It was every bit as bad as he had feared. He could hear the racket from the street, for God’s sake. He pulled the brim of his hat lower on his forehead, as if concealing his face would go any distance toward mitigating the damage done by his sister having turned her house into a veritable brothel. Right in the middle of Mayfair, and at eleven in the morning, when the entire ton was on hand to bear witness to her degradation, no less. Say what one wanted about Eleanor—and at this moment Julian could only imagine what was being said—but she did not do things by halves.

As he climbed the steps to her door, the low rumble of masculine voices drifted from an open second story window. Somebody was playing a pianoforte—badly—and a lady was singing out of key.

No, not a lady. Julian suppressed a sigh. Whoever these women were in his sister’s house, they were not ladies. No lady in her right mind would consort with the sort of men Eleanor had been entertaining lately. Every young buck with a taste for vice had made his way to her house over these last weeks, along with their mistresses or courtesans or whatever one was meant to call them. And the worst of them, the blackguard who had started Eleanor on her path to becoming a byword for scandal, was Lord Courtenay.

A shiver trickled down Julian’s spine at the thought of encountering the man, and he could not decide whether it was from simple, honest loathing or something much, much worse.

The door swung open before Julian had raised his hand to the knocker.

“Mr. Medlock, thank goodness.” The look of abject relief on the face of Eleanor’s butler might have struck Julian as vaguely inappropriate under any other circumstance. But considering the tableau that presented itself in Eleanor’s vestibule, the butler’s informality hardly registered.

Propped against the elegantly papered wall, a man in full evening dress snored peacefully, a bottle of brandy cradled in his arms and a swath of bright crimson silk draped across his leg. A lady’s gown, Julian gathered. The original wearer of the garment was, mercifully, not present.

“I came as soon as I received your message.” Julian had not been best pleased to receive a letter from his sister’s butler, of all people, begging that he return to London ahead of schedule. Having secured a coveted invitation to a very promising house party, he was loath to leave early in order to evict a set of bohemians and reprobates from his sister’s house.

“The cook is threatening to quit, sir,” said the butler. Tilbury, a man of over fifty who had been with Eleanor since she and Julian had arrived in England, had gray circles under his eyes. No doubt the revels had interrupted his sleep. “And I’ve already sent all but the—ah—hardiest of the housemaids to the country. It wouldn’t do for them to be imposed upon. I’d never forgive myself.”

Julian nodded. “You were quite right to send for me. Where is my sister?” Several unmatched slippers were scattered along the stairs that led toward the drawing room and bedchambers. He gritted his teeth.

“Lady Standish is in her study, sir.”

Julian’s eyebrows shot up. “Her study,” he repeated. Eleanor was hosting an orgy—really, there was no use in pretending it was anything else—but ducked out to conduct an experiment. Truly, the experiments were bad enough, but Julian had always managed to conceal their existence. But to combine scientific pursuits with actual orgies struck Julian as excessive in all directions.

“You,” he said, nudging the sleeping man with the toe of his boot. He was not climbing over drunken bodies, not today, not any day. “Wake up.” The man opened his eyes with what seemed a great deal of effort. “Who are you? No, never mind, I can’t be bothered to care.” The man wasn’t any older than Julian himself, certainly not yet five and twenty, but Julian felt as old as time and as irritable as a school mistress compared to this specimen of self-indulgence. “Get up, restore that gown to its owner, and be gone before I decide to let your father know what you’ve been up to.” As so often happened when Julian ordered people about, this fellow complied.

Julian made his way to Eleanor’s study, and found her furiously scribbling at her writing table, a mass of wires and tubes arranged before her. She didn’t look up at the sound of the door opening, nor when he pointedly closed it behind him. Eleanor, once she was busy working, was utterly unreachable. She had been like this since they were children. He felt a rush of affection for her despite how much trouble she was causing him.

“Eleanor?” Nothing. He stooped to gather an empty wine bottle and a few abandoned goblets, letting them clink noisily together as he deposited them onto a table. Still no response. “Nora?” It almost physically hurt to say his childhood name for her when things felt so awkward and strained between them.

“It won’t work,” came a low drawl. “I’ve been sitting here these past two hours and I haven’t gotten a response.”

Banishing any evidence of surprise from his countenance, Julian turned to see Lord Courtenay himself sprawled in a low chair in a shadowy corner. There oughtn’t to have been any shadows in the middle of the day in a bright room, but trust Lord Courtenay to find one to lurk in.

Julian quickly schooled his face into some semblance of indifference. No, that was a reach; his face was simply not going to let him pretend indifference to Courtenay. He doubted whether anyone had ever shared space with Lord Courtenay without being very much aware of that fact. And it wasn’t only his preposterous good looks that made him so . . . noticeable. The man served as a sort of magnet for other people’s attention, and Julian hated himself for being one of those people. As far as he could tell, the man’s entire problem was that people paid a good deal too much attention to him. But one could hardly help it, not when he looked like that.

 

OMG, this series. (As an aside, it really needs to be classified as a series, Ms. Sebastian–it’ll be much easier to say, “You really need to read that ___ series by Cat Sebastian” instead of “You really need to read those interconnected m/m Regency romance books by Cat Sebastian…they’re called The Soldier’s Scoundrel , The Lawrence Browne Affair , and The Ruin of a Rake.” Because OMG I want to tell everyone to read them ASAP.)

(Just sayin’.)

I have no idea how she does it, but Ms. Sebastian once again gave us a group of characters here that I absolutely dare you not to fall hard and fast for. Admittedly, at first I wasn’t too sure about these two–the labels “prickly and difficult” doesn’t even begin to describe, well, both of them, to an extent and at various times–and I honestly don’t even know when it is that I went from thinking, Ugh, these two… to thinking, Oh! These two… 🙂 but at some point I just knew they had to find a way to be together or….I don’t know what. It wasn’t going to be pretty, though. Fortunately, both Ms. Sebastian and her heroes came through for us on that one, and she did it with style.

Favorite line:

“Missing you is profoundly inconvenient, I’ll have you know. I have things to do and places to be, and all the while I feel like I’ve mislaid a piece of my soul and I won’t get it back until I see you again. That can’t be normal.”

See? Sigh…

So now I’m left anxiously awaiting whatever Ms. Sebastian writes next, and seriously contemplating a binge-reading of all three books, just so I can enjoy the interconnected awesomeness of these characters and their stories.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.