New Release and Giveaway! THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LADY EDITH by Christina McKnight (The Undaunted Debutantes #1)

Title: The Disappearance of Lady Edith
Series: The Undaunted Debutantes Series (Book One)
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Word Count: 45,000

 

Synopsis:

One tragic night changed sensible, proper Lady Edith Pelton’s life: when her best friend fell to her death, pushed down a flight of stairs by a nefarious lord.  Now, Edith dedicates her time to watching the man she thinks is responsible, while gathering information to expose other scoundrels posing as gentlemen of honor about London. When her spying is noticed by a perfect stranger, Edith finds herself with two mysteries—what happened to her friend, and how to win the heart of this brilliantly handsome lord.

Triston Neville, Viscount Torrington, has been tasked with two duties for the upcoming Season: see that his sisters make the most of their debut, and avoid embroiling himself in another scandal. What he does not expect is the captivating, fair-haired beauty that literally falls into his path. When the mysterious Lady Edith suddenly disappears without a trace, Triston fears his past misdeeds may have returned to destroy his life once more.

Can Triston piece together the puzzle in time to save Edith and prove that his love is nothing less than honorable?

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Excerpt:

“I have seen many oxen with broader shoulders,”—she smirked, pulling back and leaning to the side as if to get a glimpse of his backside—“and far more accentuated hindquarters.”

She gulped.

No laughter remained as he narrowed his eyes on her. “Did you just compare my physique to that of a farm animal?”

Edith took a step back—damnation, she would not cower to him. “If you prefer, I can select another animal. A donkey, perhaps? They are well-known for their obstinacy. Or better yet, an African lion, I have read they are intimidating creatures.”

“You think me intimidating?” It was Torrington who took a step back this time, as if her words had wounded him. “Wait, do not answer that question—I have a far more important one: why do you keep appearing everywhere I am?”

“It is not I who keeps appearing,” Edith corrected. “I was minding my own business outside of Abercorn’s townhouse. You are the one who scared me from the tree. And you were the one who caught my eye in the ballroom. And I was enjoying an afternoon in the park when—“ She clamped her mouth shut.

“Enjoying an afternoon in the park until…you saw me and decided to follow?” he demanded. “I may very well be as large as an ox, or as stubborn as a donkey, or even as domineering as a lion, but at least I am not a snake—slithering and sneaking about, ready to bite and poison when the mood strikes.”

Edith gasped, covering her mouth with her hand.

“Oh, you find it belittling to be compared to a bloody animal?” he sneered. “Well, I find it insulting to be lied to, followed, and scrutinized by a woman I do not know.”

Edith sighed. “I have not been following you, I swear to it.”

Not a complete lie, or at least she hadn’t been at Lord Abercorn’s townhouse to spy on Triston—she allowed herself to think of him by his given name—nor had she attended the ball with Ophelia and Luci expecting to see him. And the park, well, that was rather serendipitous. She had decided to keep an eye on him, but she’d never thought to follow him out of London proper.

Edith glanced to the window, but the drapes were pulled securely shut. “The day must be growing late. My parents will surely be wondering where I am when I don’t arrive home on schedule.”

“I know what you are up to, Lady Edith Pelton.” His stance widened as he surveyed her from head to toe.

 

Pre-order the next books in The Undaunted Debutantes!

The Misfortune of Lady Lucianna

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The Misadventures of Lady Ophelia

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Author Bio:
Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

 

You can visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

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The Sassy Book Lover – Review

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New Release and Giveaway! NOTHING LIKE A DUKE by Jane Ashford (The Duke’s Sons #4)

Title: Nothing Like a Duke
Author: Jane Ashford
Series: The Duke’s Sons, #4
ISBN: 9781492621652
Pub date: May 2, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance

 

He wants her.

She has no intention of wanting him.

But even Flora has to admit…

There’s nothing like a Duke.

Lord Robert Gresham has given up all hope that the beautiful and independent Flora Jennings will ever take him seriously. He heads to an exclusive country house party to forget about the beauty haunting his thoughts.

Too bad the lady in question has no intention of being forgotten.

 

Excerpt:

A protruding bit of bramble caught the side of Flora’s pelisse. She twisted to reach for it, and a whole raft of briars shifted with her, entangling the other side of her skirts, her right arm, and the brim of her bonnet. If she pulled away, it would rip the cloth. She struggled a little; more thorns dug in. “Blast it, I suppose you were right, you wretched dog,” she exclaimed, and discovered that Plato was gone.

Flora lifted a hand to free her hat. The movement tipped another part of the bush, which swayed and seemed to grab at her. A second branch lodged in her bonnet. She felt several claw at her back. A stem lashed across her neck. That one drew blood. She tried to step back, and was pricked by more thorns, through her clothes, from all directions.

Flora went very still. She saw that the path petered out just ahead. Or perhaps this hadn’t been a path at all, but merely a deceptive opening in the vegetation. She hadn’t been paying attention. She tried again to move. She was trapped in a sea of briars. The thorns were long and wickedly barbed. They pricked the skin of her neck, her arm, her back, her side.

She became aware of a rustling in the leaves near her feet. What next? The badgers? Snakes? No, of course not snakes. It was far too cold.

A small black-furred head poked through an opening at the base of the briars. Evading the thorns with no visible effort, Plato emerged and stared up at her. “Oh, you’re back, are you?” said Flora. He sat down at her feet. “Come to gloat? Point out that if I’d followed you, I wouldn’t be in this predicament?”

Plato looked at her. Not judgmentally, because that was impossible.

“Go fetch help,” commanded Flora. The dog didn’t move. “Some clever gardeners. A footman from the house. Anyone. Go!”

“Plato? Where are you, you dratted animal?” called a voice nearby.

“Lord Robert?” she called.

There was a short silence. “Flora?”

“Yes. I’ve, ah, become entangled in some brambles. Plato doesn’t appear to care in the least. Or, actually, he’s staring at me as if it was all my fault.” She frowned down at the dog. “Does he ever blink? He’s really a bit uncanny, don’t you—”

Robert appeared on the path. “Good God!” He started forward.

“Be careful! It’s very easy to get caught. If you touch one branch, the whole mass moves.”

“I see.” He examined the arching stems. “You really are caught, aren’t you?” His lips twitched.

“If you laugh, I’ll…make you sorry,” Flora promised. Plato made one of his odd grumpy gargling sounds. “And you! I’ll find a badger and hand you over to him.”

Robert choked. “So, would you say you’re in need of rescue?”

“Just get me out!”

Robert moved a few steps closer. He could see that the thorns had barbs like fishhooks, ready to rip and tear if not removed very carefully. There was a trickle of blood on Flora’s neck. After a moment of calculation, he eeled between two branches. He had to stop once and detach thorns from his sleeve before he reached her side.

“These things are diabolical,” she said. “When I turned to pull loose, they seemed to…sort of lunge at me.”

“Stay very still.”

“I know!” She let out a huff of breath. “I beg your pardon. This is…rather irritating.” She smiled an apology.

Robert felt a catch in his chest, as if his heart had stumbled briefly. “Right then. Move back, Plato,” he said. For once, the little dog obeyed him, slipping easily out to a more open spot.

He began on the closest branch, embedded in the skirts of Flora’s pelisse. He had to kneel to reach it properly. His knife was small for the tough fibers. The bush swayed as he sawed at the branch. A spray of thorns rasped across his hair, but didn’t catch hold.

Robert soon pricked his skin. There was no way to hold the branch still without being stuck, and he’d left his gloves indoors when he’d seen Plato shoot wildly out of the bushes and then go haring off again.

Blood made the blasted thing slippery. Robert got out his handkerchief, used it to wrap the branch, and went back to work. At last, he was through. The severed stem sprang back a little, he was glad to see, giving him a few inches of working room. He looked up. “One down,” he said with a smile.

The heated gaze he encountered went through him like a thunderbolt. He was suddenly acutely aware of his position, right in among her skirts. His shoulder rested against her thigh. The scent of her—flowery perfume and sheer female—enveloped him.

“You’ve hurt yourself,” she said.

“It’s nothing.” Intensely aroused, Robert eased to his feet. Flora smiled at him again. Her fierce blue eyes raked him. He knew, absolutely, that she was remembering their kisses.

The next branch was wrapped around her far sleeve. He had to press close to her to avoid the briars at his back as he reached for it. And stay there while he cut through the stringy fiber of the bramble. The feel of her—curve of breast and hip, her cheek resting on his chest—made him clumsier. At one point a thorn drove deep into the pad of his index finger, and he stifled an oath.

Flora was having trouble breathing. She could feel his heartbeat, so near her ear, accelerating in tandem with her own. She could feel his muscles shift against her as he cut at the brambles. If she looked up, carefully, she could see his face—handsome, intent. The lips that had thrilled her were only inches away. But she couldn’t move enough to offer her own again. She had to remain very still, plastered against him.

Buy the Book:
https://www.janeashford.com/booklist/nld/

 

JANE ASHFORD, a beloved author of historical romances, has been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, and Spain, as well as the United States. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

 

Social Networking Links:
Website: http://www.janeashford.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaneAshfordWriter/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/842700.Jane_Ashford

 

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New Release and Giveaway! THE HEART OF A TEXAS COWBOY by Linda Broday (Men of Legend #2)

Title: The Heart of a Texas Cowboy
Author: Linda Broday
Series: Men of Legend, #2
ISBN: 9781492630203
Pub date: May 2, 2017
Genre: Historical Western Romance

 

Three Brothers. One Oath.

No Compromises.

The MEN of LEGEND

The Cowboy

One bullet is all it takes to shatter Houston Legend’s world. He swore he’d never love again, but with the future of the Lone Star Ranch on the line, he finds himself at the altar promising to love and cherish a woman he’s never met—a woman whose vulnerable beauty touches his heart.

All Lara Boone wants is a name for her baby. She never expected to fall in love with her own husband—or any man—after the heartache she’s endured. Yet when her troubled past catches up with them, Houston will move heaven and earth to protect his bride…and discover depths to a marriage of convenience neither realized could be theirs.

 

Excerpt:

With night wrapped around her like a cloak, Lara hummed while she washed the dishes and put everything away.

Houston sat on the ground with Gracie, his back against his saddle. The babe lay on his chest with his hand patting the small back. He caught Lara looking and winked as boldly as some scoundrel. Heat rose to her cheeks. She lowered her gaze and made quick work of the dishes.

“Do you want me to take Gracie to her bed?” Lara asked, joining him.

“If you can pry open her fist to get my vest out of it. For such a little thing, she’s sure got a grip.”

Houston was so near his soft breath fanned her cheek. Her pulse raced. This man she’d married invaded every thought. He’d shown kindness and caring and brought hope back from the grave where she’d buried it.

He laid a hand on her arm. “You’ll be back?”

“Yes. I won’t be long.”

“I’ll only be in camp a little while,” Houston said, yawning. “Have to spell the other drovers.” At her questioning glance, he explained, “Everyone shares guard duty, me included.”

She nodded and hurried to lay Gracie in her crib next to her crib beside the chuck wagon. With her precious daughter sleeping soundly, she returned to the fire to find no sign of Houston. Her heart sank with disappointment. She’d missed him, missed her goodnight kiss that he’d begged for.

Houston called quietly from the deep shadows. “Over here, Lara.”

Following his voice, Lara discovered him leaning against the trunk of a mesquite tree. Rays from the full moon lightened the dark brown strands nestling against his collar, adding glints of silver.

“I didn’t want to take a chance on us being interrupted so I walked out here,” he explained.

Lara wet her lips. “I thought you’d changed your mind.” That he didn’t want to kiss a woman so scarred.

“Not a chance, lady,” he growled low and pushed away from the tree. “It’s all that’s been on my mind since you agreed.”

When she moved to him, he opened his arms. She walked into his embrace as though it was door and pleasure awaited there. Inhaling the scented air, she laid her head against the hard wall of his chest. She wanted to stay there forever.

Houston lightly rested his chin on the top of her head. “I’m real glad you came on this drive. Nights can get lonely out here.”

His deep voice vibrated inside her. It was like he became part of her. “I’m glad I did too. Even though I had to work to convince you.”

“Yeah, well, I’m a stubborn fool.”

He put a finger under her chin and lifted her face. Without a word, he lowered his mouth. The minute his warm lips touched hers, Lara had to clutch his arm to keep from falling. Her heartbeat pounded as though trying to keep up with the blood racing through her veins.

A hot, demanding, achiness swept over her. She needed this man and at the moment didn’t think she could live without him. Nor did she want to try.

With a low cry, he placed his large hands under her jaw and deepened the kiss, sending a series of quickenings into her stomach similar to the ones she felt when Gracie curled in her womb. Maybe these stirrings signaled life much in the same way her baby’s movements did to let her know she was alive and couldn’t wait to be born.

Maybe she was being reborn.

Maybe she could forget the past and start fresh.

Maybe this was what she’d waited so long for.

As she leaned into him and gripped Houston’s vest, pleasure like she’d never felt swirled inside her. She clung to him afraid if she let go, he’d vanish and she’d discover it was a dream.

Could this be tiny stirrings of love?

Lara suddenly pushed away. No it wasn’t love because that didn’t exist. Not for her. It was too dangerous to believe in love. To believe she had anything to give any man.

What’s wrong, Lara?” Houston gently pushed back her hair. “Did I do something to upset or frighten you? I shouldn’t have grabbed you like that.”

“You did nothing wrong.” It was her. She almost let herself believe that someone could love her. One look at her reflection showed the impossibility of such a thing. “I’m sorry,” she murmured brokenly.

Through tears, she stumbled back to the light of the campfire, escaping all that brought pain.

The past.

Herself.

An impossible future.

Escaping everything. If only it was that easy.

Houston stole up behind her and touched her shoulder. “Talk to me. I want to understand.”

She owed him some explanation. Impatiently dashing away the tears, she turned and let anger spill. “It’s not you, Houston. It’s me. I’m broken. Too broken to fix. You can’t repair something that’s missing the pieces. Blackstone took a lot more than….” she paused, “He stole….”

“Your soul,” he supplied quietly.

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About the author:

At a young age, LINDA BRODAY discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She resides in the Texas Panhandle and is inspired every day.

Social Networking Links
Website: http://lindabroday.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindabrodayauthor
Twitter: @LBroday
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1204489.Linda_Broday

 

 

 

 

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New Release and Giveaway! DEBUTANTE by Marie Silk (Davenport House Prequel)

Davenport House Prequel: Debutante
by Marie Silk
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

The family saga begins in Debutante, a prequel to the best-selling Davenport House series. A life of luxury for the Davenports means drudgery for the servants on the grand country estate. This is their story in 1909 America, six years prior to the events of book one.

While her father is away on business, sixteen-year-old Mary Davenport feels confined and alone, despite her privileged life at the family’s mansion. As the day of Mary’s debutante ball draws near, the servants are conflicted by instructions from Mary’s mother to starve her until she fits into a gown that was made too small. Mary is also under pressure to act the part of society while being forbidden from seeing her only friend, the servant boy who works in the stable.

In a shantytown hours away, a young girl called Abigail is hired to sew a gown for a dressmaker’s wealthy patron. Abigail gives up her education in order to provide for her impoverished family. Neither she nor Mary is aware of how connected their futures are destined to become.

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Special release price of 99¢!

AND: Each book in the series will be on sale for 99¢ between April 22-27!

Author Bio:

Marie Silk has enjoyed writing stories and plays since childhood. She lives with her family in the United States and travels the globe as often as life permits. She is an admirer of history, antiques, and architecture. Marie is the author of the best selling Davenport House family saga.

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New Release Review and Giveaway! MARRYING THE WRONG EARL by Callie Hutton (Lords and Ladies in Love #2)

She didn’t want to marry anyone, let alone the wrong one.  

 

MARRYING THE WRONG EARL
Lords and Ladies in Love #2
Callie Hutton
Releasing April 17th, 2017
Entangled Scandalous

Lady Arabella Danvers is happy with her life just the way it is. She is free to be herself and take care of broken and abandoned animals. Her mother is desperate for her to marry, and has decided to take things into her own hands. There is just one little problem with her plan.

Nash, the Earl of Clarendon has determined it is time to take a wife. He has selected a woman to whom he intends to propose. However, the annoying Lady Arabella has stumbled into his life at the wrong time, and in the wrong place.

But he of all people should know if Lady Arabella is involved, plans will go awry.

 

Clarendon’s dark blond curly hair hung a bit more over the back of his cravat than was fashionable, but it suited him well. It appeared his valet had attempted to tame the curls but a few stubborn locks had sprung free and brushed his broad forehead. An aristocratic nose and full lips left no doubt he was descended from generations of nobility. His crystal blue eyes bore into her as he released her hand when they joined the line. They stood across from each other as the music began. He bowed, she curtsied, and they came together. She would be the bigger of them, and clear the air. “I do wish to apologize for the trouble I caused you today, my lord.”

They switched places. “’Tis nothing, I assure you.” He extended his hand, and they moved together with the other dancers for a few steps.

“I disagree, my lord. You ended up muddy, with your clothes torn.”

His jaw flexed as they moved around each other and joined the line of dancers again. “Of course, you disagree, but I assure you, my lady, ’twas nothing.”

As they weaved in and out of the other dancers, she mumbled, “What do you mean ‘of course I disagree,’ and why cannot you accept an apology freely given? Are you always so disagreeable, then?”

They joined hands once more. “Perhaps because I do not wish to be reminded of the incident.”

Separating, they moved around each other, dipping with the music. “I believe you are merely being stubborn.”

Nash closed his eyes. “And I believe you are being stubborn.”

“I am not being stubborn. I simply want to extend my apologies for the mishap this afternoon.”

They joined hands again and moved in a circle. “Fine. Your apology is accepted.”

Another couple switched places with them, eyeing them with curiosity. “There, now. Was that so very hard?”

“My dear lady, do you wish to dance, or converse?”

They stepped forward, hand-in-hand to the head of the line. “Can we not do both?”

“Perhaps I lose count if I talk and dance.”

Her eyebrows rose and she offered a tight grin. “Cannot do two things at once, my lord? Is that why you had such a difficult time rescuing a poor cat?”

Nash came to an abrupt halt, causing the couple behind them to stumble. “I did not have a difficult time of it.” He bent close to her ear and murmured. “Furthermore, I am finished with this conversation.”

Marrying the Wrong Earl was a sweet story. Similar to Nash’s sister’s story ( Seducing the Marquess , Nash and Arabella do things a bit backward–they’re married first (about 1/3 of the way in) and gradually work their way into love from there.

I have to admit I was a tad bit concerned that they’d be able to pull off their HEA in the end–it went pretty down to the wire–because Nash’s “my wife needs to act like all the other ton wives out there” ‘tude seemed even more extreme than Drake’s in The Duke’s Quandary . (Is it a coincidence that Drake had to show up and give him an assist? I think not. ;)) So…they get to their HEA (of course!) but it is a bit of a last minute thing…still, they do get there, and it is a very sweet ending.

Despite the fact that characters from other books by Ms. Hutton do make appearances here, this book should work well as a standalone if needed. Fingers crossed that there’ll be a third book in the series, though.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

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. 
 

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New Release Review! ENCHANTING THE EARL by Lily Maxton (The Townsends #1)

Enchanting the Earl
by Lily Maxton

Synopsis:

Llynmore Castle is the only place Annabel Lockhart has ever considered home. For years, she’s been able to live as she wished, freely roaming the wild moors. Now there’s a new earl, as arrogant as he is handsome, and he wants her out. But if he thinks she’ll go quietly, he’s in for a surprise.

Theo Townsend returned from war a changed man. After unexpectedly inheriting an earldom and a secluded castle in the Scottish Highlands to go with it, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world-until he arrives to find a spirited, beautiful woman already in residence. He can’t just throw her out, but surely there’s a way to get her to leave on her own. The sooner she’s gone, the better, especially when he realizes there’s more than just mutual dislike between them.

 

Review:

Such a good story!

I really liked both Theo and Annabel–he was more than a little prickly, but it was easy to see why once you knew more about him. Annabel was just delightful from start to finish; I loved how she was always so aware of Theo and his reactions to things even before they became involved. It also broke my heart just a little that she’d been such a throwaway child for much of her life–shuffled off from family member to family member until she came to live with her aunt. That Theo became determined that she’d never feel that way again (eventually–he was a bit on the slow side)? Definitely added to the sigh-worthiness of the story 🙂

I was a bit bummed that we didn’t witness Theo as he finally wrestled his demons into something like submission–we find out about it after with Annabel–but knowing that he did and that she inspired him to makes up for the lack. Mostly.

Theo’s brother and sisters were just delightful–I can’t wait to get to their stories!

Rating: 4 stars /A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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New Release and Giveaway! THE GENTLEMAN’S PROMISE by Frances Fowlkes (Daughters of Amhurst #3)

The Gentleman’s Promise
Frances Fowlkes
(Daughters of Amhurst, #3)
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

A social pariah due to her scandalous activities, Lady Sarah Beauchamp yearns for redemption to obtain a husband. The assistance of Society darling Mr. Jonathon Annesley gives her hope of success. However, the more effort he puts into helping her, the more she realizes the only esteem she wishes to earn is that of the handsome Jonathon. However, her reputation would potentially ruin his political aspirations.

Offering a gentleman’s promise to help his sister’s friend regain the favor of the ton should be easy for son of a viscount, Jonathon Annesley. After all, he’s well liked and considered a rising star in Parliament. Until he learns Sarah’s ultimate goal is a husband. No man is good enough and could ever appreciate her for all she is. But she is not for him—his focus rests solely on gaining reforms for society’s weakest members. Yet, a promise made cannot be broken…

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Excerpt:

“Would you consider kissing me? Here and now?”

The questions were bold, crass, and ungentlemanly at best. Decorum stated Sarah was in no way expected to answer. Quite honestly, he’d be surprised if she did. His devilry had likely caused her embarrassment, if not an awkward discomfort. But damn it all if his curiosity didn’t get the better of him.

The left corner of her mouth twitched as she held his gaze. “That was two questions. I believe the rules state I need answer only one.”

Dear God. Was she flirting with him?

Blood pounded loud and fast in his ears. He took another step toward her, his back to her maid. “I leave you to decide which question you would like to answer.”

Sarah’s gaze flitted to the side, the wind catching at the ribbon knotted attractively at her throat. “Well…I…” She glanced upward as a fat droplet of rain landed on her nose.

Of all the moments for the sky to open, it had to be the one where he stood breathless, awaiting her response.

His day was governed by the devil.

“Yes and no,” Sarah stated.

“I beg your pardon?”

Another drop splattered onto the scarlet wool of her pelisse. “I’ve given you two responses because I’m feeling generous. It is up to you to decide which response correlates with which question.”

With a quick curtsy and a wave of her hand, she motioned toward her maid and started toward the inn, leaving him standing alone with a smile as wide as his face.

He had not imagined her interest. She wanted to kiss him.

If Jonathon was anything, he was a man who kept his promises—and made certain others did as well.

A kiss from Lady Sarah was in his future. And he was determined to receive it.

 

 

 

Author Bio:

After viewing her all-time favorite love story, “Anne of Green Gables”, at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of “highfaluting mumbo jumbo” written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose.

When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation.

Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle.

A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway! THE DUKE OF DEFIANCE by Darcy Burke (The Untouchables #5)

We are so excited to bring you the cover reveal for Darcy Burke’s The Duke of Defiance, book 5 in The Untouchables series. We hope you love the cover as much as we do!

Release date: June 27, 2017

Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies—and to falling in love.

Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life…until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences could destroy them both.

Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Connect with Darcy: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

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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! DUKE OF DESIRE by Darcy Burke (The Untouchables #4)

About the Book:

Ten years ago Ivy Breckenridge’s life was ruined. She had to reinvent herself, and now, after painstakingly making her own way in the world, she’s nearly forgotten the dreams of home and family she’d once nurtured. Until one man peers into her soul and awakens every one of her hidden desires. But no matter how good he makes her feel, she can’t trust him—alone by choice is better than alone by necessity.

With a notorious reputation for training married women in the art of passion, Sebastian Westgate, Duke of Clare, is reviled by some and celebrated by others. He doesn’t allow anyone close enough to see past his charming exterior. When Ivy uncovers the man beneath, the seducer is suddenly the seduced. Enraptured by her mind and spirit, he wants more but revealing his darkest secrets is a price he won’t pay.

Excerpt:

Ivy hurried downstairs and made her way across the hall to the drawing room, which was the center room at the back of the house. The group had started to thin—either to take part in some activity or rest before dinner.

But because Ivy had the luck of the devil, she found Lady Dunn’s cane in a most inopportune place: the clutches of the Duke of Clare.

He stood near the chair Lady Dunn had vacated, her cane in his hand. His dark gaze swept toward Ivy. “It’s you.”

She resisted the urge to snatch the cane from his grasp and flee. “Yes.” She flicked a glance at his fingers. They were long and rather slender. Almost elegant. “I came for Lady Dunn’s cane.”

“You are her companion, then.” It wasn’t a question. He’d deduced the answer, and they both knew it. There was a cool confidence about him that was just shy of arrogance. His gaze raked over her, and she decided he wasn’t shy of anything.

“Yes. May I have it, please?” She held out her gloved hand.

“How about I offer it in trade for your name?”

She scowled at him. “How about you just give it to me and cease this preposterousness?” She kept her voice low, and the end of that word rushed from her mouth in an angry hiss.

He exhaled but didn’t look perturbed in the slightest. “I don’t know why you find my amiability preposterous.”

Because you’re a degenerate scoundrel. Instead of voicing what was in her mind, she forced a smile. “I am merely in a hurry. I am Miss Breckenridge. The cane, please?”

He set it in her hand but made sure to brush his fingertips along the edge of her palm.

Ivy closed her fist around the cane and yanked her hand back.

He arched a dark brow at her. “You’re a bit touchy, aren’t you?”

“And you’re more than a bit unseemly. Good afternoon.” She turned and marched from the drawing room, paying no attention to anyone who might’ve witnessed their conversation. She hadn’t noticed if anyone was close enough to hear them. No, she’d been too intent on him.

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Review:
OMG, I knew I was going to love Ivy’s story–I’ve been dying to find out what her backstory was for three books now–but how much I loved it still managed to take me by surprise.

Because, Ivy. And West. Seriously, they’re right up there in my top ten favorite couples. Heck, they’re probably in the top five.

Ivy’s been a mystery for the whole series–she was befriended by the other wallflowers at the start of book one (The Forbidden Duke ) but most of her life before and after that point remained a mystery, even to Nora, Lucy, and Aquilla. We knew there was something big and tragic there–everything about her screamed huge secrets–but it wasn’t until she got her own book that we found out what they were. And how appropriate is it that the Duke of Desire (though she lobbied hard for Debauchery or Depravity) become her hero?

So. Appropriate.

And whoa, Ms. Burke did a great job of making a guy who at first seemed like a total sleezeball (I would have been right there with Ivy once upon a time, casting my vote for Debauchery as well) into such an amazingly great guy. I mean, I am still shuddering when I think too hard about it, because no condoms (didn’t they have French letters yet? Because, scary…) but overall his reasons behind and for doing what he’d been doing up until Ivy were so much better than I ever could have come up with. But then he met Ivy, so…sigh.

I was a bit distressed when I realized that this book meant that all four of the original heroines had their HEAs, but was thrilled to hear that a book five (the hero is connected to a secondary character here) is in the works (and that West’s best friend also has a “Duke” moniker courtesy of the girls, so surely he’ll get a book too, soon?) because I am absolutely not ready to leave the world of the Untouchables behind!

The Duke of Desire would work fine as a standalone, though if you (like me!) have read the other series books and been dying for Ivy to get her HEA, this one will be all the more satisfying for you.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Check out the other books in The Untouchables series:

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Connect with Darcy: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

  • $35 Amazon Gift Card

 

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