Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE SCANDAL OF IT ALL: The Rogue Files by Sophie Jordan

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THE SCANDAL OF IT ALL: The Rogue Files, Book 2 by Sophie Jordan

Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

Scandal_coverIt takes two to make a scandal…

What kind of woman ventures into London’s most notorious pleasure club? An outsider like Graciela, the Duchess of Autenberry, snubbed time and time again by society because of her Spanish roots. Ela longs to take a lover for a single, wild night, and within the walls of Sodom there are gentlemen to suit every forbidden taste. If only she were not so drawn to the smoldering Lord Strickland…a dangerous man who sees beyond her mask, and could ruin her reputation with a mere whisper.

Lord Strickland never permitted himself to fantasize about the sultry, off-limits lady, but then he never expected to find Ela in a place so wicked, looking for what he’s more than too happy to give. She may not be to the ton’s taste, but she suits him perfectly. First, however, he must convince her to trust in this dangerous desire—and in the promise of forever unleashed by one wild, scandalous night.

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Excerpt

“This is no place for you.”
She bristled. She imagined he would not say the same thing to a man her age. Was she so very old and matronly that he did not think she had any right to be here?
Undoubtedly he consigned her to a certain category in his mind. A certain sexless category tantamount to nuns and grandmothers.
“I’ve every right to be here—”
“Oh, do you? Well, if you feel so very entitled to be here, then by all means, step out into that corridor and greet your stepson.”
His words struck her like a slap.
He moved away from the door, grasped the latch and started to pull it open.
She squeaked and threw herself against him, flattening him into the door and shutting it again with a swift thud.
“No! Don’t do that.” Her breath escaped in hard pants that got lost somewhere in the vicinity of his chest. That’s how tall he was. Her nose was directly level with his throat. Even in the shadows she could detect the thrumming pulse at his throat. Taller than average herself, she had always appreciated a tall man.
Her gaze flicked up to his eyes. He watched her, holding himself utterly still. Against her. Bodies flush. Hearts beating in cadence.
It was unnerving to say the least . . . and yet for the life of her she couldn’t step back and peel herself off him. She couldn’t stop staring into those pale gray-blue eyes that looked at her with angry emotion—another first. He’d always been so polite and proper with her. A perfectly circumspect gentleman.
His fierce expression and intense eyes mesmerized her. She moistened her lips and his gaze followed the movement. The blue of his eyes seemed to darken a shade—or maybe it was simply the dim lighting of the room? His stare dropped even lower.
A quick glance down reminded her of the indecent cut of her gown. Pressed against him like this, the tops of her breasts swelled above the neckline. She felt the heat of her blush start in her face and then watched as red crept downward over her dusky mounds.
Involuntarily, her nipples pebbled inside her corset.
She gasped. Even though he couldn’t know and he couldn’t possibly feel her body’s betrayal
(with him of all men!), she lurched back.
Now, with a few feet of space between them, their gazes locked for an interminable moment. Her heart beat harder and faster in her too-tight chest. A chest that only seconds ago pressed intimately against him. Her nipples still throbbed, as though she still felt the pressure of his body against her.
At the thought of his body, she raked him with a quick glance, imagining that hard body of his . . . the pressure of it covering her—She reined in her scandalous imagination with a firm yank.
The heat scoring her cheeks burned hotter. She inhaled. It was simply being here, in this house of iniquity, that made her think such wholly unacceptable thoughts. About Lord Strickland, of all people. He was her stepson’s best friend—a longtime family friend. Even if he weren’t too young for her (and he was!), he was absolutely inappropriate as a candidate for dalliances.
It was not only unseemly . . . It was perverse of her to even entertain such notions. He would likely be horrified if he knew.

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Buy Links

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Amazon Author Page

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Giveaway

Win an Avon Historical Romance Print Prize Pack: Including SCANDAL OF IT ALL, LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW, A MOST UNLIKELY DUKE and THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

SophieSophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s the New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of more than twenty novels. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with anything that has a happily ever after. You can visit her website for more information.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: DRAKON’S PLUNDER (Blood of the Drakon) by N.J. Walters

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DRAKON’S PLUNDER (Blood of the Drakon, Book 3) by N.J. Walters

Publication Date: July 3, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

Drakon's Plunder CoverLife is not going well for archaeologist Sam Bellamy. She’s stuck in the middle of the ocean on a salvage boat with people who want her dead. It wasn’t her gift for being able to sense objects of power that got her here, rather her need to make a secret society called the Knights of the Dragon pay for killing her mentor. Sam doesn’t believe in dragons, but the Knights do, and if she can get one of the sacred artifacts they’re searching for away from them, she’ll consider it payback.

Ezra Easton is content to run his marine salvage company and live alone on his private island. He may be a four-thousand-year-old water drakon, but he’s civilized enough to know just because he pulls an injured woman from the ocean, doesn’t mean he gets to keep her…

When she wakes up, she has a few tall tales to share, and it seems the Knights are after her. But this drakon won’t give up his treasure.

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Cori 4.5 Stars

Every time I pick up a book in this series I fall more in love with these drakons! I loved Ezra! DRAKON’S PLUNDER is the third book in N.J. Walters paranormal series, Blood of the Drakon. DRAKON’S PLUNDER is Ezra, a water dragon recluse, and Sam, an archaeologist’s story. Danger, romance and sexy dragons…I loved it! N. J. Walter’s paranormal world of drakons (half dragons/ half men) and knights, set in present day, is unique and exciting. I can’t wait for the next brother’s book and I’m hoping there are more drakons introduced in the series so it can continue. I’m obsessed with these dragons and I highly recommend this series for paranormal fans!

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Excerpt

“You have no idea who is looking for me.” She shoved the blanket aside and sat up. It was time to get dressed, if she still had any clothes, and get out of here. “These people are dangerous and will stop at nothing to find me. If they don’t find a body at the wreck—” She broke off before she said too much.

“So you were in a wreck. I wondered why you were alone in the dinghy. And who is after you?” He stood, looming like a large, avenging angel over her. “You can trust me to protect you.”

“You might be willing to risk yourself, but I’m not. I need to leave. Where are my clothes?”

As though she hadn’t spoken, Ezra continued. “You must be thirsty. Hungry, too. I’m starving. How about I make some bacon and eggs? Maybe some pancakes and toast.” He left her standing there and padded barefoot into the kitchen. Why did she find it so sexy that he was barefoot?

She was obviously not thinking straight, otherwise she wouldn’t notice the way his long hair brushed his shoulders or the way the soft denim cupped his behind as he walked away. Her toes curled against the rug.

She snatched up the throw blanket, wrapped it around her, and hurried after him. “Didn’t you hear anything I just told you? It’s not safe for you if I’m here. The people looking for me will kill you.”

Ezra pulled a carton of eggs, butter, and a package of bacon out of the refrigerator and set them on the counter. He added a box of pancake mix and a bowl to his collection before getting several large skillets out of the cupboard.

“Did you hear me?” she demanded. “They’ll kill you.”

Ezra propped his hands on his hips and faced her. “Not if I kill them first.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | iBooks | Kobo | B&N

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✦Blood of the Drakon Series by N.J. Walters✦
1. Drakon’s PromiseKindle | Review
2. Drakon’s PreyKindle | Review
3. Drakon’s PlunderKindle

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Giveaway

Drakon's Plunder Giveaway Graphic

$15 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: SAVAGED DREAMS by Jennifer Lyon

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SAVAGED DREAMS (Savaged Illusions Trilogy) by Jennifer Lyon

Publication Date: June 19, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

savaged dreamsGoing away to college gives LIZA GLASNER a chance to escape her painful and dangerous past…or so she thinks. At fourteen years old, she survived an attack by a famous musician. After that, the media, groupies and crazies hounded her with a merciless cruelty that ruined her life. But now she’s thriving—until an internship brings her face to face with the sizzling hot lead singer of a rock band, and she finds herself drawn to the very thing that once destroyed her. Justice is a temptation she can’t resist…and one that could get her killed.

Sexy rock star JUSTICE CADE is determined to take his band, Savaged Illusions, to the top by winning the Court of Rock T.V. show. Tortured by guilt for failing his family, he believes fame is his only path to redemption. But when the fiery college-intern hiding her beauty beneath baggy sweaters and a snarky attitude bursts into his life, Justice is forced to choose between the woman he loves and the stardom he craves. The wrong choice will cost him more than he can bear.

**This is book one in a trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger. However the next two books are being released in July and September so readers won’t be stranded on the cliff for long!

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Excerpt

For a few seconds they stood there watching before she became aware of Justice’s gaze on her. “What?”

“You look beautiful tonight. All damned night, I’ve watched you. Every time you laughed, it jolted straight to my cock. I wanted to yank you against me and kiss the hell out of you, show the entire ship that you’re mine.” He clenched his jaw, his eyes glinting. “I’ve never had this possessiveness over a woman.”

Energy crackled between them, a connection so magnetic she leaned into him. For years, Liza had felt like a burden forced on her aunt and uncle. The outside world judged her without even knowing her. But Justice did know her, and he wanted her. That sensation poured into the loneliest part of Liza, making her feel sexy, worthy and a little bit wary. She wanted to feel this, but not lose her head.

“Lust. This is just lust, right?” She needed something to tell herself, to hold on to. She wasn’t going to throw her life away or become her mom. “It’ll burn itself out.” Not destroy her.

His gaze scorched into hers. “That what it feels like to you? Like a couple orgasms will cure this attraction?” He fingered a lock of her hair. “Or will it whet your appetite for more?”

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Cori 5 Stars

Loved! SAVAGED DREAMS is the first book in Jennifer Lyon’s Savaged Illusions Trilogy, a rock star romance series. There is a prequel novella, SAVAGED SURRENDER, you can grab before this one, but you don’t need to read it before picking up SAVAGED DREAMS. I always enjoy any book I pick up written by Jennifer Lyon, whether she’s writing contemporary romance or paranormal romance she always delivers a great love story. SAVAGED DREAMS is a great love story! I completely fell in love with Justice, the sexy, dirty talking rock star and I was rooting for Liza. Jennifer Lyon brought the heat! The romance was smoking hot and the love story gave me all the feels. There is a bit of a cliffhanger, but not the kind of cliffhanger that makes me want to throw my kindle. The first part of the Trilogy still felt complete. I can’t wait for the next release though. I want more of Justice! I highly recommend this new trilogy for romance lovers looking for a new rock series. I couldn’t put this one down.

*Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle http://amzn.to/2pZJhy3
B&N http://tinyurl.com/y888mqk3
iBooks http://apple.co/2sOpYxk
Kobo http://bit.ly/2ryPa6P
Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/jtxb2bf

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PREQUEL: SAVAGED SURRENDER: A Novella by Jennifer Lyon
Review 4.5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-6V9
Kindle (FREE) http://amzn.to/2dvSCHx

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CHECK OUT THE PLUS ONE CHRONICLES

✦The Plus One Chronicles Boxed Set by Jennifer Lyon http://amzn.to/2dZbzot
✦REVIEWS: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-II
Try book 1 FREE then grab box set if you like it. Box set is cheaper than buying the second two books for $2.99 each.
✦FREE ➢ THE PROPOSITION (THE PLUS ONE CHRONICLES) by Jennifer Lyon http://amzn.to/1wuVxcc

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Giveaway

IMG_8942Kindle Claim Code for The Plus One Chronicles Boxed Set by Jennifer Lyon

Enter on Facebook HERE

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About the Author

img_4714Jennifer Lyon is the pseudonym for USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Apodaca. Jen lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than fifteen books and novellas, including a fun and sexy mystery series and a variety of contemporary romances under the name Jennifer Apodaca. As Jennifer Lyon she created a dark, sizzling paranormal series, and The Plus Once Chronicles, an emotionally sensual adult contemporary series. Jen’s won numerous awards and had her books translated into multiple languages, but she still hasn’t come up with a way to persuade her husband that they need a dog.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: REVENGE (A Lawless Novel) by Lexi Blake

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REVENGE (A Lawless Novel) by Lexi Blake

Publication Date: June 20, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense/ Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

9780425283592Passion and danger collide in the latest contemporary romance featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

When Drew Lawless discovers a fatal flaw in his plan to avenge his parents’ deaths, he turns to the one woman he’d promised he wouldn’t touch. He offers her a deal, one that will bring her into his investigation, his life, and his bed.

Investigative reporter Shelby Gates never dreamed how twisted the case would become—or how fascinated she would be with Drew. Every day they spend together binds them. And every night brings her closer to realizing he might be the man for her.

As Drew’s feelings for Shelby grow, so does the danger. From the streets of Dallas to Austin’s high-tech business world, Drew and Shelby play a game begun twenty years before—a game they will win, or die trying.

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Excerpt

“I suppose we’re going to be seeing Carly and Bran while we’re in Dallas next week.”

She had one week to get comfortable around Drew. One week to figure out if she could actually sell this cover to his family.

“It would seem odd if I didn’t pay them a visit. Bran knows I have a meeting with Taggart scheduled. We’ll be in Dallas for two days. Dinner with Bran and Carly and Mia and Case has already been planned.”

“Exactly. And you don’t want to raise a bunch of questions. So I was thinking it might be smarter for me to get my own hotel room. I can lay low and they don’t have to know I’m in town.” She’d sat up for a good portion of the night doing two things: thinking about how much she’d wanted to kiss Drew Lawless and then freaking out about it because that was a bad idea. Beware of billionaires with six-pack abs. It was her new mantra. Yes, she’d signed the contract last night, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t reason with her new . . . boss . . . partner . . . whatever he was.

“I told Bran you’re coming with me.”

This was exactly what she’d worried about. “You told him? I thought I would have more time. How am I going to explain this to Carly? I think she’ll wonder why one of her closest friends didn’t mention she was dating her future brother-in-law.”

“I’ve already explained it. We wanted to make sure it was real before we went public. It’s that simple. We met in Los Angeles. I contacted you. We went on a few dates and we’ve been talking a lot. You’ve come out to Austin because we’re contemplating moving in together. This is a trial run,” he said calmly, as though he hadn’t upended her entire life. “Also, I asked Bran not to mention it to Carly because you would rather tell her yourself. It was a safe bet Bran wouldn’t ask too many questions, but Carly will want to know everything. It’s why we need to get our stories straight.”

She focused on the words that messed with her life. “Moving in together? You told them we’re thinking of moving in together?”

“How else was I supposed to explain it when all your belongings arrive here?”

“What?” She winced because the words had come out in a screech. “I’m having your things packed up as we speak. They’ll be here in a few days.”

“Why the hell would you do that?” How was she going to get everything back to LA?

Drew relaxed again as though he’d already gone over this argument in his mind and knew he would win. “I wanted you to be comfortable. This is going to be a full-time job, and not a quick one. I suspect we’ll have to keep up our ruse for at least six months. Potentially a year. Also, that apartment you were living in was incredibly dangerous. Did you know it was recently condemned? The movers told me about it when they explained they were charging me extra for how fast they had to move. It’s scheduled to be demolished in two weeks.”

“What?” She stared at him. He expected her to live with him for six months to a year? Somewhere in the back of her head she’d been thinking a week or two tops, and then she’d go back to LA and work from there. Her apartment building was shitty and she was fairly certain someone cooked meth in part of it, but it was all she could afford. And it was solidly built. There had been no hint that anyone was planning on building in her part of LA. Gentrification had not reared its upscale, hipster head yet, so that left her with one very manipulative bastard. “Tell me you did not buy my apartment building and schedule it for demolition in an attempt to leave me with nowhere to go.”

He managed to look almost angelic in the soft light of morning. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

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Cori 5 Stars

I thought Bran was my favorite Lawless brother, but Drew won me over and nudged his brother out of the way. I completely fell in love with him. I can’t resist a nerdy alpha hero. In the previous books I thought Drew was cold and unfeeling, but this book revealed things in his past that contributed to it. He’s the oldest Lawless sibling and when their parents were murdered he took care of and protected his family and still feels the need to protect and take care of everyone he loves. Shelby was perfect for Drew and I just loved them together. Their chemistry was fan your face hot! REVENGE had plenty of hot romance, suspense with some twists and some humor. I couldn’t put it down and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Lawless series is a spinoff of Lexi Blake’s Masters and Mercenaries series. The series has a book for each of the brothers in the Lawless family, but their sister Mia has a book in the Masters and Mercenaries series, Dominance Never Dies. You don’t have to read it before picking up the Lawless Seriesbut if you want to follow the complete storyline I’d read it first. REVENGE is the third book in the series and I’d recommend reading the series in order and starting with the first book, RUTHLESS.

I loved the Lawless series and highly recommend it for romance lovers looking for a great mystery/ romantic suspense series to binge read. It’s going on my list of favorites.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon PBK

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✦THE LAWLESS SERIES BY LEXI BLAKE✦
✦Book 1: RUTHLESS ➢ Amazon | Review 4.5 Stars
✦Book 2: SATISFACTION ➢ Amazon | Review 4.5 Stars
✦Book 3: REVENGE ➢ Amazon

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Lexi Blake’s Lawless Series is a spinoff from her Masters and Mercenaries Series. The Lawless series is about a family and if you would like to read Mia’s book before this one you can check it out here:

Dominance Never Dies (Masters and Mercenaries Book 11) by Lexi Blake for $4.99 http://amzn.to/2aRGUKI

Masters and Mercenaries Series Link: http://amzn.to/2aRKu7B

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Giveaway

IMG_1262Enter to win Paperback Copies of The Lawless Series (Books 1-3) by Lexi Blake

ENTER ON FACEBOOK POST HERE

Winner will be announced on 6/23 by 6PM CST on Facebook.

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About the Author

imageNY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

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Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND by Julia Quinn

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THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND (Rokesbys #2) by Julia Quinn

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

GIRL WITH THE MAKE BELIEVE HUSBANDWhile you were sleeping…

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He’s unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier’s life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie…

I told everyone I was your wife

When Edward comes to, he’s more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he’d always assumed he’d marry his neighbor back in England.

If only it were true…

Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

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Excerpt

Manhattan Island
July 1779

His head hurt.
​Correction, his head really hurt.
​It was hard to tell, though, just what sort of pain it was. He might have been shot through the head with a musket ball. That seemed plausible, given his current location in New York (or was it Connecticut?) and his current occupation as a captain in His Majesty’s army.
​There was a war going on, in case one hadn’t noticed.
​But this particular pounding—the one that felt more like someone was bashing his skull with a cannon (not a cannonball, mind you, but an actual cannon) seemed to indicate that he had been attacked with a blunter instrument than a bullet.
​An anvil, perhaps. Dropped from a second-story window.
​But if one cared to look on the bright side, a pain such as this did seem to indicate that he wasn’t dead, which was also a plausible fate, given all the same facts that had led him to believe he might have been shot.
​That war he’d mentioned… people did die.
​With alarming regularity.
​So he wasn’t dead. That was good. But he also wasn’t sure where he was, precisely. The obvious next step would be to open his eyes, but his eyelids were translucent enough for him to realize that it was the middle of the day, and while he did like to look on the metaphorical bright side, he was fairly certain that the literal one would prove blinding.
​So he kept his eyes closed.
​But he listened.
​He wasn’t alone. He couldn’t make out any actual conversation, but a low buzz of words and activity filtered through the air. People were moving about, setting objects on tables, maybe pulling a chair across the floor.
​Someone was moaning in pain.
​Most of the voices were male, but there was at least one lady nearby. She was close enough that he could hear her breathing. She made little noises as she went about her business, which he soon realized included tucking blankets around him and touching his forehead with the back of her hand.
​He liked these little noises, the tiny little mmms and sighs she probably had no idea she was making. And she smelled nice, a bit like lemons, a bit like soap.
​And a bit like hard work.
​He knew that smell. He’d worn it himself, albeit usually only briefly until it turned into a full-fledged stink.
​On her, though, it was more than pleasant. Perhaps a little earthy. And he wondered who she was, to be tending to him so diligently.
​“How is he today?”
​Edward held himself still. This male voice was new, and he wasn’t sure he wanted anyone to know he was awake yet.
​Although he wasn’t sure why he felt this hesitancy.
​“The same,” came the woman’s reply.
​“I am concerned. If he doesn’t wake up soon…”
​“I know,” the woman said. There was a touch of irritation in her voice, which Edward found curious.
​“Have you been able to get him to take broth?”
​“Just a few spoonfuls. I was afraid he would choke if I attempted any more than that.”
​The man made a vague noise of approval. “Remind me how long he has been like this?”
​“A week, sir. Four days before I arrived, and three since.”
​A week. Edward thought about this. A week meant it must be… March? April?
​No, maybe it was only February. And this was probably New York, not Connecticut.
​But that still didn’t explain why his head hurt so bloody much. Clearly he’d been in some sort of an accident. Or had he been attacked?
​“There has been no change at all?” the man asked, even though the lady had just said as much.
​But she must have had far more patience than Edward, because she replied in a quiet, clear voice, “No, sir. None.”
​The man made a noise that wasn’t quite a grunt. Edward found it impossible to interpret.
​“Er…” The woman cleared her throat. “Have you any news of my brother?”
​Her brother? Who was her brother?
​“I am afraid not, Mrs. Rokesby.”
Mrs. Rokesby?
​“It has been nearly two months,” she said quietly.
​Mrs. Rokesby? Edward really wanted them to get back to that point. There was only one Rokesby in North America as far as he knew, and that was him. So if she was Mrs. Rokesby…
​“I think,” the male voice said, “that your energies would be better spent tending to your husband.”
Husband?
​“I assure you,” she said, and there was that touch of irritation again, “that I have been caring for him most faithfully.”
​Husband? They were calling him her husband? Was he married? He couldn’t be married. How could he be married and not remember it?
Who was this woman?
​Edward’s heart began to pound. What the devil was happening to him?
​“Did he just make a noise?” the man asked.
​“I… I don’t think so.”
​She moved then, quickly. Hands touched him, his cheek, then his chest, and even through her obvious concern, there was something soothing in her motions, something undeniably right.
​“Edward?” she asked, taking his hand. She stroked it several times, her fingers brushing lightly over his skin. “Can you hear me?”
​He ought to respond. She was worried. What kind of gentleman did not act to relieve a lady’s distress?
​“I fear he may be lost to us,” the man said, with far less gentleness than Edward thought appropriate.
​“He still breathes,” the woman said in a steely voice.
​The man said nothing, but his expression must have been one of pity, because she said it again, more loudly this time.
​“He still breathes.”
​“Mrs. Rokesby…”
​Edward felt her hand tighten around his. Then she placed her other on top, her fingers resting lightly on his knuckles. It was the smallest sort of embrace, but Edward felt it down to his soul.
​“He still breathes, Colonel,” she said with quiet resolve. “And while he does, I will be here. I may not be able to help Thomas, but—”
Thomas. Thomas Harcourt. That was the connection. This must be his sister. Cecilia. He knew her well.
​Or not. He’d never actually met the lady, he felt like he knew her. She wrote to her brother with a diligence that was unmatched in the regiment. Thomas received twice as much mail as Edward, and Edward had four siblings to Thomas’s one.
​Cecilia Harcourt. What on earth was she doing in North America? She was supposed to be in Derbyshire, in that little town Thomas had been so eager to leave. The one with the hot springs. Matlock. No, Matlock Bath.
​Edward had never been, but he thought it sounded charming. Not the way Thomas described it, of course; he liked the bustle of city life and couldn’t wait to take a commission and depart his village. But Cecilia was different. In her letters, the small Derbyshire town came alive, and Edward almost felt that he would recognize her neighbors if he ever went to visit.
​She was witty. Lord, she was witty. Thomas used to laugh so much at her missives that Edward finally made him read them out loud.
​Then one day, when Thomas was penning his response, Edward interrupted so many times that Thomas finally shoved out his chair and held forth his quill.
​“You write to her,” he’d said.
​So he did.
​Not on his own, of course. Edward could never have written to her directly. It would have been the worst sort of impropriety, and he would not have insulted her in such a manner. But he took to scribbling a few lines at the end of Thomas’s letters, and whenever she replied, she had a few lines for him.
​Thomas carried a miniature of her, and even though he said it was several years old, Edward had found himself staring at it, studying the small portrait of the young woman, wondering if her hair really was that remarkable golden color, or if she really did smile that way, lips closed and mysterious.
​Somehow he thought not. She did not strike him as a woman with secrets. Her smile would be sunny and free. Edward had even thought he’d like to meet her once this godforsaken war was over. He’d never said anything to Thomas, though.
​That would have been strange.
​Now Cecilia was here. In the colonies. Which made absolutely no sense, but then again, what did? Edward’s head was injured, and Thomas seemed to be missing, and…
​Edward thought hard.
​…and he seemed to have married Cecilia Harcourt.
​He opened his eyes and tried to focus on the green-eyed woman peering down at him.
​“Cecilia?”

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Cori 3.5 Stars review

THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND is the second book in Julia Quinn’s Rokesbys series, but can be read as a standalone. It’s a light and fun historical romance to curl up with this summer. I’ve been on a historical romance reading binge and this was a good one. The romance between Edward and Cecilia was steamy. I thought the plot was good, but I wanted Cecilia to confess her deception sooner and thought it dragged on a little longer than necessary. The ending was satisfying though. I recommend this book for historical romance lovers looking for a steamy love story with a little mystery.

*Review copy provided by Avon Books in exchange for an honest review. 

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Buy Links

AMAZON | B&N | ITUNES | KOBO

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Giveaway

(Win a print copy of BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON (US Only))

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

julia-homeJulia Quinn is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels for Avon Books, and one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

Author Links: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE FARTHEST EDGE (The Honey Series) by Kristen Ashley

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THE FARTHEST EDGE (The Honey Series) by Kristen Ashley

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Genre: Erotica/ Contemporary Romance

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TheFarthestEdge_highresStep into the Honey Club, where every sensual boundary will be tested in search of the ultimate pleasure…

Branch doesn’t exist. Living off the grid, he’s looking for a way to forget his past and the guilt that plagues him. But no woman has ever been able to bring him to the edge he craves.

After a traumatic experience of her own, Evangeline stepped away from the decadent world of the Honey Club. But when she gets Branch’s offer—to play without boundaries or commitments—it’s too tempting for her to refuse.

As their passion ignites, Evangeline and Branch push each other to their farthest limit, fulfilling their darkest desires while falling harder and deeper than they ever imagined.

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Farthest-Edge-Whim-1-ONSALE (1)

Excerpt

Aryas knew her.

He knew what she liked.

He knew how she played.

He knew exactly what would make her squirm in her seat.

And he knew precisely how long it had been since she’d had her kink.

“You’re throwing down the gauntlet,” she accused quietly.

“You feel like picking up the glove?” he shot back, shaking the piece of paper at her.

She stared into Aryas’s eyes.

No strings.

Anything she wanted to do to get him off.

When he was done with her, he’d vanish from her life.

Her gaze dropped to the paper.

“Be you, and we’ll make it interesting, lay five grand on that fucker, he’ll give you one go and then he’ll move on,” Aryas pushed, but it was a dare.

She looked back at him.

A dare.

Yes, he knew her.

“No reflection on you and your skills, which are sublime, my beautiful baby.” He grinned wicked grin. “Just that this guy is unbreakable. There’s no edge for him any Domme can get anywhere near to push him off and that’s what he’s looking for. Being taken to the farthest edge and shoved right the fuck over.”

Taken to the farthest edge.

Evangeline was not into that. She wasn’t into extreme. Not like many who were into that in the life.

No, the edges she coasted were exactly what Aryas wasn’t quite saying, but she read this guy couldn’t handle.

Unless he had the right Mistress to lead the way.

Damn it all, she was getting wet.

“Five grand?” she snapped.

Aryas pressed his lips together and she was too peeved to get more peeved that he did it to suppress his amusement.

He unpressed them to confirm, “Five grand. But Leenie, babe, just to get it straight, he walks away from you at first meet, we’re even. It’s only if you get a crack at him the bet is on.”

She lifted her nose at the same time she snatched the paper from his hand, declaring, “He won’t walk away.”

“He might,” Aryas said gently, and his sudden loss of humor and careful tone made her focus on him again. “Beware of that. He’s done it before. In some ways, he doesn’t give a shit about anything. In some ways, he can be frustratingly choosy.”

“If I want him, he walks away, I’ll still get him,” she announced.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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TFE Banner

Giveaway

$100 Mastercard or Visa Gift Card for 1 winner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Kristen Ashley PicKristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Blog Tour, Q&A, Excerpt & Giveaway: FROM DUKE TILL DAWN by Eva Leigh

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FROM DUKE TILL DAWN (The London Underground #1) by Eva Leigh

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

from duke dawn mm cEva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld…

Years ago, the Duke of Greyland gave his heart—and a princely sum of money—to a charming, destitute widow with unparalleled beauty. But after one passionate night, she slipped from his bed and vanished without a trace. And just when he’s given up hope of ever seeing her again, Greyland finds her managing a gaming hell. He’s desperate to have her… until he discovers everything about his long-lost lover was a lie.

In truth, Cassandra Blake grew up on the streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a mark—to be fleeced and forgotten—but her feelings for the duke became all too real. Once he learns of her deception, however, the heat in his eyes turns to ice. When her business partner absconds with the gaming hell proceeds—leaving unsavory investors out for blood—Cassandra must beg the man she betrayed for help.

Greyland wants compensation, too, and he’ll assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid. But it’s not long before the real Cassandra—the smart, streetwise criminal—is stealing his heart all over again.

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Excerpt

London, England
1817

A woman laughed, and Alexander Lewis, Duke of Greyland felt the sound like a gunshot to his chest.
It was a very pleasant laugh, low and musical rather than shrill and forced, yet it sounded like The Lost Queen’s laugh. Alex could not resist the urge to glance over his shoulder as he left the Eagle chophouse. He’d fancifully taken to calling her The Lost Queen, though she was most assuredly a mortal woman. Had she somehow appeared on a busy London street at dusk? The last time he’d seen her had been two years ago, in the spa town of Cheltenham, in his bed, asleep and naked.
The owner of the laugh turned out to be a completely different woman—brunette rather than blonde, petite and round rather than lithe and willowy. She caught Alex staring and raised her eyebrows. He bowed gravely in response, then continued toward the curb.
Night came on in indigo waves, but the shops spilled golden light in radiant patches onto the street.
The hardworking citizens of London continued to toil as the upper echelons began their evening revelries. Crowds thronged the sidewalk, while wagons, carriages, and people on horseback crammed the streets. A handful of pedestrians recognized Alex and politely curtsied or tipped their hats, murmuring, “Good evening, Your Grace.” Though he was in no mood for politeness, responsibility and virtue were his constant companions—had been his whole life—and so rather than snapping, “Go to the devil, damn you!” he merely nodded in greeting.
He’d done his duty. He’d been seen in public, rather than disappearing into the cavernous chambers of his Mayfair mansion, where he could lick his wounds in peace.
The trouble with being a duke was that he always had to do his duty. “You are the pinnacle of British Society,” his father had often said to him. “The world looks to you for guidance. So you must lead by example. Be their True North.”
This evening, before dining, Alex had taken a very conspicuous turn up and down Bond Street, making certain that he was seen by many consequential—and loose-lipped— figures in the ton. Word would soon spread that the Duke of Greyland was not holed up, sulking in seclusion. His honor as one of Society’s bulwarks would not be felled by something as insignificant as his failed marriage suit to Lady Emmeline Birks. The Dukes of Greyland had stood strong against Roundheads, Jacobites, and countless other threats against Britain. One girl barely out of the schoolroom could hardly damage Alex’s ducal armor.
But that armor had been dented by The Lost Queen. Far deeper than he would have expected.
Standing on the curb, he signaled for his carriage, which pulled out of the mews. He tugged on his spotless gloves as he waited and adjusted the brim of his black beaver hat to make certain it sat properly on his head. “Always maintain a faultless appearance,” his father had reminded him again and again. “The slightest bit of disorder in your dress can lead to rampant speculation about the stability of your affairs. This, we cannot tolerate. The nation demands nothing less than perfection.”
Alex’s father had been dead for ten years, but that didn’t keep the serious, sober man’s voice from his mind. It was part of him now—his role as one of the most powerful men in England and the responsibilities that role carried with it. Not once did he ever let frivolities distract him from his duties.
Except for one time . . .
Forcing the thought from his mind, Alex looked impatiently for his carriage. Just as the vehicle pulled up, however, two men appeared and grabbed his arms on each side.
Alex stiffened—he did not care for being touched without giving someone express permission to do so. People on the street also did not normally seize each other. Was it a robbery? A kidnapping attempt? His hands curled instinctively into fists, ready to give his accosters a beating.
“What’s this?” one of the younger men exclaimed with mock horror. “Have I grabbed hold of a thundercloud?”
“Don’t know about you,” the other man said drily, “but I seem to have attached myself to an enormous bar of iron. How else to explain its inflexibility?” He tried to shake Alex, to little avail. When he wanted to be, Alex was absolutely immovable.
Alex’s fingers loosened. He tugged his arms free and growled, “That’s enough, you donkeys.”
Thomas Powell, the Earl of Langdon and heir to the Duke of Northfield, grinned, a flash of white in his slightly unshaven face. “Come now, Greyland,” he chided. A hint of an Irish accent made his voice musical, evidence of Langdon’s early years spent in his mother’s native County Kerry. “Is that any way to speak to your oldest and dearest friends?”
“I’ll let you know when they get here.” Alex scowled at Langdon, then at Christopher Ellingsworth, who only smirked in response.
Alex took a step toward his carriage, but Ellingsworth deftly moved to block his path, displaying the speed and skill that had served him well when he’d fought on the Peninsula.
“Where are you running off to with such indecorous haste?” Ellingsworth pressed. He held up a finger. “Ah, never tell me. You’re running back to the shelter of your Mayfair cave, to growl and brood like some big black bear in a cravat.”
​“You know nothing,” Alex returned, despite the fact that Ellingsworth had outlined his exact plans for the rest of the night.
​Ellingsworth looked at Langdon with exaggerated pity. “Poor chap. The young Lady Emmeline has utterly shattered his heart.”
​Alex shouldered past Ellingsworth, only to have Langdon move to stand in his way.
​“My heart is not shattered because of Lady Emmeline,” Alex snapped. At least that much was the truth.
​“But why shouldn’t your heart be strewn in pieces throughout Regent’s Park?” Langdon mused. “You courted the young lady for several months, and you told Ellingsworth and I that you’d already received her father’s grateful acceptance of a marriage offer.”
​“She never agreed to anything,” Alex said flatly.
​“A modest girl, that Lady Emmeline.” Ellingsworth nodded with approval. “She wouldn’t have said yes right away. They never do. Nothing to be alarmed by.”
​“How would you know?” Alex’s voice was edged. Ellingsworth had little experience with offering for ladies’ hands, committed as he was to a life of reckless pleasure.
​Langdon added, “It’d be unseemly for an earl’s daughter to eagerly snap up a marriage proposal the moment it was offered.”
​Alex scowled. Despite the fact that, at thirty-eight, he was sixteen years her senior, they would suit well as a wedded couple. Lady Emmeline had been perfectly trained in the responsibilities of an aristocratic wife. Though he wished she stated her own opinion rather than constantly agreeing with him, there were worse faults one could find in a prospective bride.
​They could marry at Christmas, eight months from now. It would be a small but elegant wedding, followed by a lavish breakfast and a wedding journey in the Lake District. And then, if everything went well, in less than a year, Alex and Lady Emmeline might welcome their first child—hopefully a boy so the line would be secure. It would’ve been precisely the sort of match Alex’s
father would have approved, considering Lady Emmeline’s faultless background and her spotless reputation.
​“Look at him now, mooning away,” Langdon sighed, smugly thwarting Alex’s attempts to step around him. “He looks poorly.”
​It would be bad form to knock his friend to the ground. Damn the social niceties that dictated a man couldn’t punch another without repercussions.
​“Perhaps he should be bled,” Ellingsworth suggested with his habitual smirk. It was his constant companion since returning from the War, as if he refused to take anything seriously.
​“I am perfectly well.” Alex looked back and forth between these two rogues whom he called friends. “No need to call for a quack.”
​“He’s already had an amputation,” Langdon noted, raising a brow as he always did. “One prospective bride—gone.” He made a sawing motion at his ankle, as if cutting the shackles of matrimony.
Alex glanced down at his own lower leg, as if he could see the invisible links that might have bound him to Lady Emmeline. He’d come so close to becoming a married man and sharing the rest of his life with one woman—the faultless duke his father had bred him to be. It hardly mattered that Alex felt nothing for the gel other than a sense of distant respect. She would have made a fine duchess.
“We were at White’s yesterday when we heard about what happened,” Langdon said with disapproval. “Didn’t even tell your two closest friends that Lady Emmeline had run off with a cavalry officer. No, we had to hear it from Lord Ruthven, of all people.”

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Describe yourself in five words or less. Feminist who believes in HEA.

Can you tell us a little about your book? Alexander Lewis, the Duke of Greyland, met a beautiful, destitute widow and lost his heart to her—but she disappeared. Two years later, the duke finds Cassandra again as she manages a gaming hell. Alex is prepared to offer Cassandra everything, even his name, until he discovers a gut-wrenching truth. Cassandra is not a genteel widow. She’s a confidence artist, targeting aristocratic men with her swindles. Heartbroken and furious, Alex wants nothing to do with her. Fate steps in when Cassandra’s business partner vanishes with the profits from the gaming hell, leaving Cassandra at the mercy of dangerous people. In desperation, Cassandra turns to Alex for help. Delving into London’s underworld, they form an uneasy partnership as they track down her partner. Yet the passion they’d shared two years ago is nothing compared to their desire now. Can Alex protect himself, or will Cassandra once again steal his heart?

How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story? As with my Wicked Quills of London series, I enjoy having characters that aren’t necessarily part of Regency High Society. I’m fascinated by confidence artists—their methods, their motivations—and thought it would be exciting to see what would happen when England’s most morally upright duke falls for a morally ambiguous woman.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Exploring the other, shadier side of Regency London was a lot of fun. That time period is so rich with possibility, with so many people of many different walks of life all living in one place. I also really enjoyed having Alex learn to lighten up a little and free his wild side. Nothing like a buttoned-up guy who loosens the reins of his control. (It turns out Alex likes talking dirty!)

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? Baking is one of my favorite things to do, because, unlike writing, you finish with a tangible result. Plus, you make something delicious. I read, of course, and spend too much time on the internet. When I’m feeling industrious, I crochet little soft toys called amigurumi and give them to friends.

A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less. Uptight duke. Beautiful con artist. Trouble and sexytimes ahead.

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

Alex has been born and bred to be a duke. Everything he does falls within a strict code of responsibility and honor. He doesn’t fully understand degrees of morality. Having a brief, passionate affair with Cassandra two years ago was entirely out of character. Once she comes back into his life, he’s shocked and infuriated to learn that he was just another mark. He’s ready to write Cassandra off as a cold, calculating criminal—despite the fact that he still desires her. If Alex was stranded on a desert island, he’d need his walking stick. He doesn’t have an injury that requires it, but a walking stick can be a useful took for building shelters, using to hunt for food, or making it into a sundial. He’s a no-nonsense, practical guy!

Cassandra grew up alone on the rough streets of London. She had to learn how to survive in a brutal world. With no one to take care of her, she turned to crime as a way to keep from starving. Her life changed when she met a man who taught her the art of pretending to be a gentlewoman while swindling members of the gentry. Instead of sleeping on filthy hay, now she could rest her head on feather mattresses, and she had as much as she wanted to eat. She always thought of aristocrats as targets to be swindled, until she met Alex, who treated her with dignity and kindness. With Alex, she broke her rule of never sleeping with a mark, and later fled out of self-preservation. Cassandra is street wise, self-sufficient, and has learned to view everything with suspicion. Only Alex sneaks past her defenses. If she was stuck on a desert island, she’d be practical and take a small knife (which could also be used as a lock pick if she found buried treasure).

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Find a way to sit down in front of your computer and just start writing. Even when you doubt yourself, you have to keep going. It’s trite, but books really don’t write themselves. And also, enjoy the process of writing simply to write. Success isn’t a guarantee so we have to love what we do.

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Buy Links

AMAZON | B & N | IBOOKS | KOBO

Amazon Author Page

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Giveaway

(5 print copies of FROM DUKE TILL DAWN)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

EVA LEIGH bw author photoEva Leigh is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Southern California.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | AMAZON

Blog Tour, Q&A, Excerpt & Giveaway: JUST ONE TOUCH by Maya Banks

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JUST ONE TOUCH: A Slow Burn Novel by Maya Banks

Publication Date: May 23, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

JustOneTouch Cover#1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks continues her Slow Burn series with a suspenseful and sizzling story of a young woman who escapes a terrifying past… into a more uncertain future.

Raised in a strict religious cult since she was a young girl, Jenna has no connection to the outside world beyond vague flashes of memory that seem to be from another life. Memories she clings to when the cult leaders discover her extraordinary ability to heal-and punish her. Years held captive and forced to do the cult’s bidding have turned Jenna into a meek, timid woman…or so they think. In truth, she is merely biding her time, waiting for the perfect moment to escape.

When a terrified young woman tries to steal the SUV of Devereaux Security’s toughest recruit, Isaac’s anger quickly turns into a strange sort of protectiveness for the beautiful, bruised stranger. But when they are caught in a firestorm of bullets and Isaac is hit, he’s sure the end is near, until Jenna touches him and closes his wounds. As he tries to bring Jenna to safety, she refuses to tell him what danger haunts her or how she healed him, but Isaac vows to do whatever it takes to gain her trust…and her heart. Because with just one touch, Isaac knows he wants Jenna to be his–forever.

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Excerpt

“She’s mine, Dane. No one else’s. I told you I’d ask if and when I need backup or help. Until then, it’s better that none of you are associated with her or are seen anywhere near her. She risked everything to save me when I could have been no better than the assholes trying to get to her. She sealed her fate in that moment because I’m not going anywhere. I need time to hear her side and I have a feeling she’s not just going to volunteer any information about herself, so I’m also going to need time to gain her trust and I’m going to prove to her that she can trust me. I appreciate the offer. More than you know. But she isn’t a DSS client or assignment. She’s mine, and I’ll protect her with my life.”

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Describe yourself in five words or less.

Unorganized, melt-down prone, laid back, despise drama & conflict!

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

My Give A Damn is Broken

Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

A cup of crushed ice

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I’m a complete homebody & enjoy hanging out at home with my family every chance I get. It’s rare for me to leave my house!

What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?

I love revealing information about various characters personalities and the closeness between them through dialogue. I also always look forward to writing the dark moment as I love me some angst!

What are your favorite types of stories to read?

I love stories that don’t feature a couple who spend the entire book apart or that focus on internal conflict. I much prefer to see the hero and heroine together on the page and to see them working together to overcome external conflict.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I absolutely love following up with characters from a previous story whether it’s including them as secondary characters in a newer book or writing a short novella that revisits them so readers can see them after the HEA.

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

I absolutely credit my readers with my success and my career. They, not me, are why I’ve been able to write close to 80 stories in the 11 years I’ve been writing.

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Buy Links

Kindle | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

($50 Amazon Gift card and copies of the Slow Burn Series Books 1 – 4.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the Author

imageMaya Banks is a #1 USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, Scottish historical romances. She is the author of the Breathless Trilogy, the KGI novels, the Sweet series, and the Colters Legacy novels.

She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a Calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour, Review, Q&A & Giveaway: NEVER TRUST A PIRATE (Playful Brides) by Valerie Bowman

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NEVER TRUST A PIRATE (Playful Brides) by Valerie Bowman

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

IMG_8136The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. . .

A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to-do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

Never Trust a Pirate is part of the Regency-set Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman.

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Author Guest Post

  1. What is your favorite scene in Never Trust a Pirate? I truly do love the whole book but I think everything that happens after they get on the ship is especially fun. The book is sort of pre-ship and post-ship.
  2. What’s your favorite underappreciated romance novel?
 One of my favorite romances ever is Dark Future by KC Klein. It’s a futuristic scifi romance, which is not normally something I gravitate toward (I like to read historical romance!) but I picked up KC’s book and couldn’t put it down. It’s fantastic. She also has me reading contemporary cowboy stories.
  3. Are you methodical in your writing, certain hours of the day, certain rituals you may perform before you sit down? Or are you one of those writers who binge write when the mood is upon you? I’m a binge writer, but it’s not about the mood striking so much as it’s about having more time to write on the weekend because I’m not at my day job.
  4. Are there particular tropes you are fond of using? My favorite trope is probably reunited lovers or old friends who fall in love. I love the brother’s best friend trope, too. I’ve used all of those and am currently writing a story where a married couple (who haven’t seen each other in ten years) are forced to work together again. Of course hijinx (and romance) will ensue!
  5. What lead you to writing historical romances? My love of reading them. I read them a lot as a teenager. They made me so happy.
  6. How would you describe Never Trust a Pirate using only three words? Racy Regency Romp. That’s how I describe all of my books, actually.
  7. What is your advice for other writers? Write! It’s simple. I see a lot of would-be writers taking classes and reading books about writing but the best thing to do is just write, write, write. Worry about the mechanics later. You do need to study craft and learn the business but you’ve got nothing to improve if you’re not actually writing.
  8. Do you, or your publisher decide on your beautiful covers? If your publisher, do you have any input? My publisher makes the covers for the books and I love them. They send them to me for input but it’s usually quite minimal. They are gorgeous! I’m very lucky.
  9. Why this setting and why pirates? Inquiring minds want to you, or me anyway. I unabashedly love pirates! I love to read stories about them and when I was a kid I wanted to be one. Of course I get horribly seasick and am about the least adventurous person you’d ever meet. Swashbuckling would stress me out. I guess that’s why I have to write about it instead.
  10. What do you do to relax, after a day of writing? And how, do you set your writing day in order to achieve your goal of a certain number of pages? My favorite way to relax is to take a nap. I should have been born in a country that embraces the concept of siesta. That’s where I belong. Ha! I don’t count pages so much as I count words. So if I have to get twenty thousand words (about ¼ of a novel) written in a weekend, I would need to write about 6,600 Friday night, 13,000 on Saturday, and 6,600 on Sunday. I have a day job so weekends are very important to me as far as hitting my word count goals.
  11. Another inquiring minds want to you, approximately, how long does it take you to write a full length novel?  How many books can you write in a year? It takes me about two months to actually write the novel (working mostly nights and weekends around my full-time job) but it takes months to plot and think about the novel which is why I only write two novels per year.
  12. Which Hollywood stars would you like to see as the main characters in NEVER TRUST A PIRATE? I actually have a Pinterest board set up with my idea of who all the main characters in the Playful Brides series look like. For Cade Cavendish and Danielle LaCrosse it’s Chris Pine and Zooey Deschanel. You can find the board at: https://www.pinterest.com/valeriegbowman/playfulbrides/.
  13. Do you write fulltime? No and I actually have a theory that if I did write full-time I would get much less writing done. I think having to be so disciplined about my writing time forces me to focus. At least that’s what I tell myself.
  14. Twitter or Facebook? Both!
  15. Favorite TV show? Of all time? Gilmore Girls. As for what’s on today, I love Homicide Hunter: Lt Joe Kenda. I’m a sucker for true crime.
  16. Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend? My book boyfriend is Jason Fielding from Judith McNaught’s Once and Always. Talk about the perfect tortured hero!
  17. What are you reading right now or what’s on your TBR? I’m currently reading Kerrigan Byrne’s, The Duke, and I can’t wait to dive into Anna Bennett’s, I Dared the Duke!
  18. 2017 Movie you’re most looking forward to? I just saw a trailer for Dunkirk and I got goosebumps! I can’t wait. I love WWII-era history almost as much as the Regency. 
  19. Give us the “elevator pitch” for your new book. I call Never Trust a Pirate: The Scarlet Pimpernel meets Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in Regency England.
  20. Series or stand alone?  If series do you already have a set number of books that you plan to write? Series. When I began to write the Playful Brides series, I planned three books. I’m happy to say it’s going to be eleven altogether, plus a novella. Plans change!
  21. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? I’ve been to Bath and seen the Jane Austen museum there. Does that count?
  22. What are your future project(s)? Right now, I’m editing book 8 in the Playful Brides series. It’s called The Right Kind of Rogue and comes out on Halloween. I’m also writing book 9 of the Playful Brides series. And I’m always plotting future books in my head. In this case I’ve already got a lot of ideas for how I’m going to end the series with book #11 (Delilah and Thomas’s book) in Spring 2019. 
  23. For novices who haven’t read a novel of yours what is it that they will find unique in your work? I hope they will find a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is filled with humor and heart. Above all, I just want my stories to entertain. I’m not here to give anyone a history lesson. I just want readers to smile and sigh. 
  24. Do you find that you base any of your characters on people in your life? Have you gotten any inspiration for scenes in your novel from things that have happened to you in real life? The entire Playful Brides series was conceived based on my friend’s terrible boyfriend. She wouldn’t break up with him and I kept telling her to let me call him and break up with him for her (I was kidding, sorta). On a drive home from dinner with her one night, after she’d filled my ear yet again with a bunch of stories of the awful things he’d done (forgot her birthday, asked her to pay his cell phone bill), I started thinking how funny it would be if there was a service that you could call to break-up with your boyfriend for you. The opposite of Cyrano de Bergerac. I decided that would be great story and immediately began to think about how I could set it in the Regency. That was the idea for The Unexpected Duchess, the first story in the series.
  25. Are there any books or authors that have really influenced you and made you want to write? What about those authors inspired or influenced you? Lisa Kleypas was a huge influence on me. I was snowed in at an airport in 2007 and picked up Scandal in Spring. Many hours later (I couldn’t put the book down) I considered giving romance writing a try. She is a brilliant writer and a lovely person both inside and out.
  26. Have you read anything lately that you loved? Julie Anne Long’s The Legend of Lyon Redmond was sheer perfection if you ask me.
  27. Do you usually work off of an outline while writing or do you tend to just start writing and see where the story takes you? I don’t have an outline per se, but I sketch out a few sentences for each chapter in my Word .doc so I know where the story is going. I’ve been working lately on making my stories more character driven so I may change this up a bit.
  28. Where did you get the inspiration for your main characters? What other books or movies or music influenced this novel? As with all of the stories in my Playful Brides series, Never Trust a Pirate was inspired by a play. In this case it’s The Scarlet Pimpernel. I loved the concept of a character with dual identities.
  29. What advice do you have for pair wanting to get into the writing field? If you want to write romance, join Romance Writers of America (RWA.org). Hands down it was the best thing I did to learn how to write a romance novel. Leslie Wainger’s book, Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies, is also fantastic.

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Cori 4 Stars

I really enjoyed this one! I was in the mood for a good historical romance and Valerie Bowman’s NEVER TRUST A PIRATE fit the bill. It was fun and sexy, with a bit of mystery that added to the story. It satisfied my historical romance craving and had me craving more. I’ll be checking out Valerie Bowman’s previous books and I look froward to the next book in her Playful Brides series. NEVER TRUST A PIRATE is part of a series, but can be read as a standalone. I recommend this book for historical romance lovers looking for a good book to curl up with.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Excerpt

Read an Excerpt Here

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Buy Links

Kindle | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Paperback Copy of NEVER TRUST A PIRATE by Valerie Bowman

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Paperback provided by St. Martin’s Press. 

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About the Author

IMG_8135Valerie Bowman grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides series, starting with Secrets of a Wedding Night, Secrets of a Runaway Bride, and Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Pinterest

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: DRAKON’S PREY (Blood of the Drakon) by N.J. Walters

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DRAKON’S PREY (Blood of the Drakon) by N.J. Walters

Publication Date: April 24, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

Drakon's Prey CoverValeriya Azarov turned her back on the family business to write and illustrate children’s books. But with a sister who leads the Knights of the Dragon, it’s impossible to get away from the secret society whose mission is to destroy and enslave dragons. When information falls into her hands along with the opportunity to save at least one of the ancient creatures, she can’t turn away any longer.

When a woman moves into the cabin above Tarrant Cooper’s secret underground lair, he’s both suspicious and intrigued. He hasn’t lasted four thousand years being careless, so when he suspects her of being a part of the Knights, the plan is to kidnap her and find out how much the organization knows about him and his brothers.

He’s drawn to Valeriya, but trusting her could get him killed. Even if she’s a pawn in the war between drakons and Knights, giving her his heart would mean forever.

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I loved Tarrant! DRAKON’S PREY is the second book in N.J. Walters new paranormal series, Blood of the Drakon. I love dragons and if you’re a dragon fan I highly recommend this series! DRAKON’S PREY had plenty of danger and smoking hot romance plus it features a sexy dragon who’s a computer genius and a heroine readers can cheer for. N. J. Walter’s new world of dragons and knights, set in present day, gives readers a new and unique paranormal world to get swept up in. I’m loving this series and I can’t wait for the next book!

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Excerpt

“What’s your name?” she suddenly demanded. She’d kissed him and didn’t even know his name.

He opened the refrigerator door and pulled out several packages.

“Hey.” She knew it was crazy to demand anything from this man, but she was past all caution. “I asked you a question.”

“And if I answer it, you’ll never be able to leave here.” The way he said it, with little inflection, stopped her in her tracks.

It was a variation of “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.” It was used in the movies all the time, but Valeriya didn’t think this man was joking. “We both know I’m never getting out of here anyway, so why don’t you tell me who you are?” Maybe if she befriended him, she could get him to release her.

And then where would she go? The Knights were everywhere.

She swayed as her knees went weak. All she’d wanted to do was warn Darius Varkas about the Knights and go back home to her life. Now she feared she was truly going to die.

“What the hell?” Her captor was around the counter and caught her before she hit the floor. He scooped her up as though she weighed nothing and set her on one of the stools on the far side of the island. “Are you all right?” He hovered beside her but was no longer touching her.

It was as though he was afraid to touch her. She wasn’t sure if that was for her benefit or for his. She should be trying to figure out a way to escape, fighting the growing attraction she had for her captor. She wasn’t a guest here, but an unwilling visitor.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite feel that way. It suddenly occurred to her that her intuition was silent. Yes, he was a very dangerous man, no doubt about it, but she didn’t feel as though he was a danger to her.

Her gift had chosen a really bad time to go haywire.

“What does it matter, if you’re going to kill me?” She’d rather get it over with than to drag it out indefinitely. And she really didn’t want to be tortured.

He swore, long and fluently, and in a language she didn’t understand. Did that mean he wasn’t American, or did he simply know other languages?

“Tarrant. My name is Tarrant. And I told you I wasn’t going to kill you.”

She rested her elbows on the counter to steady herself. “For now. You said you weren’t going to kill me right now.”

He swore again. “No one is killing anyone.

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Buy Links

Kindle | iBooks | Kobo | B&N

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CHECK OUT BOOK 1: Drakon’s Promise – Kindle | Review

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Giveaway

$15 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads