Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: NO EARLS ALLOWED by Shana Galen

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NO EARLS ALLOWED (The Survivors) by Shana Galen

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

FE41CB54-D7BC-47BF-A97A-72FEF475C623It is a truth universally acknowledged
that a lady can do anything a man can do:
backwards and in high-heeled dancing slippers.

Lady Juliana, daughter of the Earl of St. Maur, needs all the help she can get. She’s running a ramshackle orphanage, London’s worst slumlord has illicit designs on her, and her father has suddenly become determined to marry her off.

Enter Major Neil Wraxall, bastard son of the Marquess of Kensington, sent to assist Lady Juliana in any way he can. Lucky for her, he’s handy with repairs, knows how to keep her and the orphans safe, and is a natural leader of men.

Unfortunately for both of them, the scandal that ensues from their mutual attraction is going to lead them a merry dance…

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Excerpt

In this scene, Lady Juliana must deal with a local crime lord who threatens her and the orphanage she loves. Fortunately, she’s saved, for the moment, by a handsome guest.

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His hand came down hard on her shoulder, and she flinched from the feel of his leather gloves on her bare skin. “Allow me to remind you, Lady Juliana. I offered you my protection.”
“Thank you very much.” She slid out of his grip. “Now, if you will excuse—”
“Stop playing games. I am a man of business, and you are not a stupid woman. There are dangerous men about, and you and the children who live here need a protector.”
Julia didn’t need to translate his words. He was the dangerous man.
“I am offering you my protection for a small fee.”
Small fee? “I do believe you mentioned one thousand pounds, Mr. Slag. That is no small fee.”
“Your father is an earl.”
“Yes, and most of his money is tied up in lands.”
“There is another option.” He moved closer, his round belly brushing against her dress. “You can pay the fee by offering me a place in your bed. You’re an attractive woman.” His gaze slid to her breasts, making her skin itch. “And even the gentry like a bit of slap and tickle. What do you say, Julia?”
Though abhorrent to her, he made the proposal in earnest. He probably thought it more than fair, and if she had been another woman she might have agreed without blinking an eye. Her father had tried to marry her off to men ranging from elderly to lecherous. What did Slag propose but a similar arrangement without the permanence of the vows?
But Julia had not come to Spitalfields to end up some man’s plaything. She could have stayed home in Mayfair and become a kept woman. Which meant her answer to Slag was an unqualified, Never. No! Not ever.
But one did not say such things to Mr. Slag and walk away with one’s brains intact. Julia liked her head round, not smashed flat on the carpet. And so she smiled and chose one of the many phrases she knew and had used in the past on the sons of dukes and viscounts and lowly barons. “Sir, you flatter me with your proposal, but this is all so sudden.”
“Then maybe you just need a bit of persuading.” He reached for her, and she took a step back. Dear God. She dearly hoped this would not turn into him chasing her about the parlor. And why hadn’t she seen this coming? The problem was that she spent only part of the week within the walls of the St. Dismas Home for Wayward Youth—er, rather Sunnybrooke Home for Boys, as she had renamed it. And during that time she was so absorbed with the problems of the boys and running the orphanage, she had no time to consider how to deal with Mr. Slag. And when she might have snatched a moment to deal with the problem, she had to return to Mayfair to be thrust into the world of the ton, and then Slag and Sunnybrooke seemed so far away.
But Slag was not far away now. He was far too near and her strategy of ignoring him and hoping he’d go away would not work this time.
She took another step back, and he followed, but she was saved from running behind her desk when someone tapped on the parlor door.
“Come in!” she yelled. “Please!”
The door opened to reveal Mr. Goring. “Sorry to interrupt, my lady.”
“Not at all, Mr. Goring. Come in.” She crossed to him and pulled him inside. “You should join us.”
He frowned at her as though the ways of the upper classes were foreign and mysterious to him. “You have another caller, my lady.”
Julia frowned. Another caller? Who on earth would be calling on her here? “Do you know the caller?”
“No, my lady. He says it’s a matter of—what was the word?—urgency.”
He? Then the thought struck her. It was a representative from the bank. Perhaps the board had made good on its threat not to pay the mortgage and the bank had come to close her down.
“Tell him to come back later,” Slag ordered.
“No!” Bank representative or no, whoever it was would be an improvement on Slag. “Show him in, Mr. Goring.”
Goring looked from her to Slag.
“Go on, Mr. Goring,” she said as forcefully as she could. “Show him in.”
“Maybe I should come back at a more opportune time,” Slag said.
“Please do, Mr. Slag. I am so sorry we were interrupted.”
“May I call on you tonight?”
“Tonight? No. I’m very, very busy tonight.”
He lifted his stick then crossed to her and took her hand. At some point during their little dance, he’d removed his gloves, and as she’d removed hers in the kitchen, the press of his bare fingers on hers made her throat tighten.
“You can’t put me off forever, Lady Juliana,” he said softly. “Lest you forget, I’m a man who gets what I want. And the longer you make me wait, the more I want.”
With that he strolled out of the room, jostling the man entering. The two stopped, looked each other up and down, and then with a warning glare, Slag went on his way.
The other man watched him, then strode into the room. “Friend of yours?” he asked.
Julia let out a breath then caught it again. She blinked at the man before her, but she had not dreamed him. He was better than any dream her mind might have conjured. It was as though he had just stepped out of a painting depicting a god or an angel. He was tall but not so tall she had to crane her neck to look up at him, and he had olive skin with a touch of gold. His thickly lashed eyes were the most beautiful shade of blue she had ever seen. She had never been to the Mediterranean Sea, but this was what she imagined the waters would look like. His hair brushed his collar, the thick waves falling about his face. With a cupped hand, he brushed them back in what must have been a habitual gesture, then seeming to remember his manners, bowed to her.
His bow and the attention it drew to his clothing told her everything she needed to know. This man was no crime lord. He was of her father’s ilk. Her ilk, when she was playing the part of Lady Juliana in Mayfair drawing rooms. His dark coat fit snugly over broad shoulders, his cravat was snowy white against bronze skin, and his breeches strained quite nicely over muscled thighs…
She tried to speak over the pounding of her heart. “You will forgive me, sir, if I do not recall having met you before.” She hadn’t met him. If she’d met him, she would not have forgotten.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

Shana Galen Prize Pack with Wine Charm

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

imageShana Galen is the national bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books have been sold in Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands and featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She is a happily married wife and mother of a daughter and a spoiled cat and lives in Houston, Texas.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: HIGHLAND CONQUEST by Alyson McLayne

D32F608B-5CFA-412E-9BD8-51DFC9A9A15A HIGHLAND CONQUEST (The Sons of Gregor MacLeod Series, Book 2) by Alyson McLayne

Publication Date: February 6, 2018 

Genre: Historical Romance  

Synopsis

DDE2B59F-1183-4685-B89B-4A5831186572HE WAS LOOKING FOR VENGEANCE
INSTEAD HE FOUND HER

Laird Lachlan MacKay never planned on leading his clan, but when his older brother was murdered, he was left with no choice. His vow to avenge his brother has led him to the MacPherson clan—and their bewitching healer, Amber.

Amber MacPherson is desperate. Dressed as a boy to escape her clan’s treacherous leader, she runs right into Lachlan—who orders her detained. At first she causes him nothing but frustration, especially when she blackmails him into helping her clan. But when she’s threatened by the same man who murdered his brother, Lachlan will do whatever it takes to keep her safe—and by his side.

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this highlander romance. HIGHLAND CONQUEST is the second book in Alyson McLayne’s The Sons of Gregor MacLeod Series, but it can be read as a standalone. I’m a huge fan of highlander heroes and this book definitely satisfied my obsession. HIGHLAND CONQUEST captured and held my attention. It was a good mix of danger, passion, humor and romance. This is the first book I have read by Alyson McLayne and I’ll definitely be reading more. I have the first book on my kindle and I added the next release to my TBR. I recommend this series for historical romance lovers looking for their next highlander fix.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Amazon Series Link

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Author Guest Post

February is fast approaching, and with it come several big events in my life. Not only do my kids turn 6 at the end of the month, but on the actual 6th, my historical romance, HIGHLAND CONQUEST—book 2 in my series THE SONS OF GREGOR MACLEOD—releases to the world! This is a book I can’t wait to hit the stands. The love story between Amber and Lachlan is one of my favorites. Amber is the MacPherson healer who’s had to pretend to be a witch in order to stay safe from her depraved laird while she heals her people. Lachlan’s the laird of his own clan who attacks the MacPhersons in order to bring their laird to justice for killing Lachlan’s brother. When the MacPherson laird escapes, Amber blackmails Lachlan into sticking around and helping her people. She’s outspoken and strong-willed and doesn’t hold anything back in her dealings with her new laird. Lachlan doesn’t hold back, either, and the two of them begin a tumultuous relationship that dances around their physical and mental attraction and drives both of them just a wee bit batty.

February also brings us Valentine’s Day, a favorite holiday of many romance readers! So I decided to celebrate the release of HIGHLAND CONQUEST on February 6th, and Valentine’s Day eight days later, by revealing my top 6 favorite romance couples of all time!

1. Anne & Gilbert

When I was ten-years-old, my mom gave me the first three Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maude Montgomery. I got hooked on Anne’s adventures and all the different characters in Avonlea, including her nemesis, Gilbert Blythe. When they first meet, Gilbert pulls Anne’s braid and teases her about her red hair, calling her “carrots”. She responds by smashing her slate over his head. Thus the relationship between Anne and Gilbert is born, and a rivalry and enmity develops between them that takes years for them to overcome. Along the way Anne refuses Gilbert’s declaration of love and almost becomes engaged to another man. But finally she realizes she loves Gilbert too, and wishes with all her heart that he’ll say the words again. Which he does, bringing me my first ever Happily Ever After—warm fuzzies and a heartfelt sigh included.

2. Arwen & Aragorn

Just saying those names leaves me sighing and feeling a little teary and mushy inside (in a good way!). Theirs is a romance for the ages, portrayed beautifully by Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen in Peter Jackson’s filmed adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings. Arwen, daughter of Lord Elrond of Rivendell, is an immortal elf who falls in love with the mortal Aragorn, heir of Isildur and rightful claimant to the thrones of Arnor and Gondor. In order to be together, Arwen has to give up her immortality and know that she will only die after Aragorn has died. Aragorn tries to dissuade her from being with him, but Arwen will not be swayed, saying: “I would rather share one lifetime with you, than face all the ages of this world alone.” Sigh…

3. Mac & Barrons

If I had to pick a book boyfriend it would be Barrons from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. He. Makes. Me. Shiver—in a good way. He is the epitome of Alpha—strong, dominant, smart, whose only saving grace is that Mac is his everything…even if she doesn’t yet know it. There is no greater bad boy in my opinion. You just know that his reserve and icy control shields a raging inferno beneath. When Mac & Barrons finally get together at the end of book four (and yes, I do know they were together when she was Priya, but that doesn’t count), it’s like he unleashes himself on her. He devours her and she devours him right back. And what makes their love story even twistier, adding more layers to their relationship through the first four books, is discovering in a later book (Burned, I think) that Jericho Barrons and MacKayla Lane have done the wild deed once before—all night long—and Barrons used magic to erase Mac’s memory of it. Bad. Boy. And here’s the other thing I love… they still call each other Barrons and Miss Lane, same as they always did, unless they’re having sex or in near-death situations. Then it’s Jericho and Mac.

4. Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy

How can I write a list about my favorite couples and not include Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of the first classic novels that I read and I kept the book in my backpack for many months reading it over and over, when I was at university. Mr. Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth about halfway through the story is a shock because he’s been nothing but aloof and haughty toward her and her family—in fact, the proposal is filled with condescension about Elizabeth’s lack of social position and wealth compared to his, and he claims it’s an obstacle his love has had to overcome. The scene where Elizabeth rejects him is a favorite of mine—especially the rain-soaked version between Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. What I love about this scene, is that Mr. Darcy is undone by her. He takes her opinion of him to heart, even though some of her accusations against him are unfounded. She opens his eyes to his lack of kindness and grace and it changes him for the better—makes him into a man that Elizabeth could love.

5. Han & Leia

I contemplated putting Han Solo and Princess Leia at the top of the list. My brother took me to see Star Wars when it first came out, so technically they were the first couple I met—but at seven, I was too young to truly appreciate the sigh-worthiness of Han and Leia. This is a romance that builds…and builds…and builds amidst verbal sparring and sarcastic jabs until finally near the end of The Empire Strikes Back they kiss—just before Han is yanked away from Leia and frozen alive in carbonite.  Irrepressible bad boy that he is, when Leia says a heartfelt, “I love you,” as they’re securing Han for freezing, Han looks back at her and simply says, “I know.” Gets me every time.

6. Claire and Jamie

Seeing as I write Highlander romance (and love Highlander romance—big shout out to some of my favorites: Julie Garwood, Monica McCarty, and Karen Marie Moning!) it would be impossible for me NOT to include Claire and Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She’s created this unforgettable, iconic romance between Jamie and Claire all wrapped up in some of the most interesting and tumultuous times in Scottish history. I’m going to choose to focus on book three, Voyager, for one big reason: the REUNION. Le sigh. You begin the book, knowing that Claire and Jamie will reunite after so many years apart, and then you have to wait…and wait. Or was I the only one who didn’t jump ahead? Finally, Claire walks into Jamie’s shop, and they kiss, but we still have to wait as Jamie grabs the drunken Mr. Willoughby from the pub, gets chased, and takes Claire back to a whore house, before…the moment. It starts with an awkward kiss and nose bump before Jamie takes control and says to Claire, “Give me your mouth, Sassenach.” Excuse me while I melt.

Do you like my list? Did I miss any of your favorites? Please let me know if you agree or disagree with my top 6 favorite romance couples!

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Giveaway

2 Copies of HIGHLAND CONQUEST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

CFC9B66B-E33F-4D45-B4B6-EE2D9786BD25A stay-at-home mom of twins and award-winning writer, Alyson McLayne is a dog lover and cat servant with a serious stash of dark chocolate. After getting her degree in theater at the University of Alberta, she promptly moved to the west coast where she worked in film for several years and met her Prop Master husband.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA by Chanel Cleeton

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NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA by Chanel Cleeton

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Women’s Fiction

Synopsis0F3ACD31-89E2-4426-BD78-912DDE6B8135After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…



Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

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Cori 5 Stars

NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA is the book I’m going to be telling all my friends, all my relatives, random people on the street and anyone else who will listen to me, to read this year! I absolutely loved it! The characters, the story, the setting, the imagery and all the other little aspects Chanel Cleeton put into this book, made it something beautiful and epic. The present day story is told by Marisol when she travels to Cuba to spread her grandmother, Elisa’s ashes. Then we also get Elisa’s story in Cuba in the 1950s. I don’t want to go into details about the plot because it has some surprises I don’t want to ruin. Their stories will live with me for a long while. I truly loved this book and will be recommending it to everyone. Pour a glass of wine, set some music and curl up with this book. You’ll enjoy it.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Penguin Random House

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Giveaway

Kindle Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 8 GB

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

D06E0055-9D78-4818-95BC-A53C0344260AOriginally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Learn more about Next Year in Havana including downloading the book club guide and more at: http://www.chanelcleeton.com/next-year-in-havana/

Add Beatriz Perez’s story WHEN WE LEFT CUBA on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38193131-when-we-left-cuba

Praise for Next Year in Havana:

Chanel Cleeton’s Next Year In Havana is a flat-out stunner of a book, at once a dual-timeline mystery, a passionate romance, and paean to the tragedy and beauty of war-torn Cuba. The story of sugar heiress Elisa, watching Cuba fall into revolution as Castro rises, is intertwined with the modern-day tale of Elisa’s granddaughter Marisol as she returns to Cuba after Castro’s death. Both women fall for fire-brand revolutionaries, but Cuba itself emerges as their true love-interest, threatening to break both women’s hearts as Elisa and Marisol each grapple in their own way with what it is to be Cuban, what it is to be an exile, and how to love and live in a homeland riven by revolution. Simply wonderful!
– Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

Cleeton has penned an atmospheric, politically insightful, and highly hopeful homage to a lost world. Devour NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA and you, too, will smell the perfumed groves, taste the ropa vieja, and feel the sun on your face. Just a wonderful and educational book!
– Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America’s First Daughter

A vivid, transporting novel. Next Year in Havana is about journeys– into exile, into history, and into questions of home and identity. It’s an engrossing read.
– David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife

An evocative, passionate story of family loyalty and forbidden love that moves seamlessly between the past and present of Cuba’s turbulent history— how one young woman’s sacrifice becomes the key to her granddaughter’s future—how culture and spirit survive against all odds. Next Year in Havana kept me enthralled and savoring every word.
– Shelley Noble, New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Beach

In Next Year in Havana, Chanel Cleeton’s prose is as beautiful as Cuba itself, and the story she weaves–of exile and loss, memory and myth, forbidden love and enduring friendship–is at once sweeping and beautifully intimate. This is a moving, heartfelt, and gorgeously realized story that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
– Jennifer Robson, USA Today bestselling author of Somewhere in France

Review & Giveaway: BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE by Lorraine Heath

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BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE: A Sins For All Seasons Novel by Lorraine Heath

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

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F8999629-6515-4FB3-A3C9-AA80AFAC6814In New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath’s first, unforgettable novel in a breathtaking new series, one man’s plan for vengeance turns awry when he falls hopelessly in love

At birth, Mick Trewlove, the illegitimate son of a duke, was handed over to a commoner. Despite his lowly upbringing, Mick has become a successful businessman, but all his wealth hasn’t satisfied his need for revenge against the man who still won’t acknowledge him. What else can Mick do but destroy the duke’s legitimate son—and woo the heir’s betrothed into his own unloving arms…

Orphaned and sheltered, Lady Aslyn Hastings longs for a bit of adventure. With her intended often preoccupied, Aslyn finds herself drawn to a darkly handsome entrepreneur who seems to understand her so well. Surely a lady of her station should avoid Mick Trewlove. If only he weren’t so irresistible…

As secrets are about to be exposed, Mick must decide if his plan for vengeance is worth risking what his heart truly desires.

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Cori 4 Stars

This is the first book by Lorraine Heath I’ve read and I’ll definitely be reading more after reading BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE. I was sent a copy in the mail and picked it up because I loved the cover. I know, I know, but come on…it’s a beautiful cover. It turned out to be a really great story as well! I loved the characters and the storyline. The plot was unique and the story was well written with great imagery. Lorraine Heath delivered a beautiful romance that left me smiling. I recommend BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE for historical romance lovers. I’ll be picking up the next release.

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

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Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Historical Romance Prize Pack

Enter on Facebook Post HERE 

Winner will be announced Saturday (2/17) by 6PM CST.
Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway. Some books were provided to Reading in Pajamas by Avon and some were purchased by Reading in Pajamas.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING by Linda Broday

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THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING (Texas Heroes Book 2) by Linda Broday

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Synopsis

A5DD3F48-06E8-4593-BA4D-8BA2D8D3C605He’ll do what it takes
To win
Her heart

Glory Day may be losing her vision, but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever stop fighting. Determined to provide for her struggling family, she confronts an outlaw with a price on his head. But when a mysterious cowboy gets between her and her target, Glory accidentally shoots him instead. Flustered, she has no option but to take the handsome stranger home to treat his wounds.

Former Texas Ranger Luke McClain didn’t plan to fall in love, but there’s no denying the strength of Glory’s will or the sweetness of her heart. But Glory’s been burned before, and Luke will have to reach into the depths of his own battered soul to convince her to take a chance…

And trust that love is worth fighting for.

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Excerpt

A light touch on Glory’s shoulder gave her a start. The hand surely belonged to Luke, for only he could loosen this flurry inside. She blinked several times, cursing the inability to see what he held. At last the item came into view.

A toothbrush. A real one.

Glory whirled. Every well-planned, scathing remark vanished, not even the mere footprint of one remained in her head. She cradled the treasure with wonder.

“You hankered for one of these the first time I saw you in the emporium. I also recall how you had to bite your tongue to keep from giving those girls their comeuppance.” Quiet challenge lay beneath Luke’s words. He dared her to refuse something she so desired. If she could.

Moral indignation that had burned so hotly before deserted her. “I thought you didn’t notice me that day. You appeared quite taken with the…other patrons.”

“Oh, I noticed.”

In a Monday that held more twists and turns than a dog’s hind leg, his barely audible reply and intent stare added yet more bewilderment. Why did he have to go and make her forget her outrage? Awfully difficult to harbor a grudge when he seemed intent on filling her head with hope.

She stared at the object in her palm, afraid it would fade into thin air as the genie in the Arabian Nights had. Fairy tales were for children, not grown women who knew better. McClain couldn’t be Aladdin—unless he whipped out a magic carpet. This night she wouldn’t rule out anything.

“Say something, Glory.” Hope gave her a sharp poke.

Patience grinned. “If you wanna kiss him, we’ll hide our eyes.”

Hell’s bells! If she didn’t die of mortification, it would be a sheer miracle.

“I know you want to,” Patience crowed. “Leastways that’s what you wrote in your private book.”

“What kind of woman would pass up a kiss?” Luke raised her chin with the lightest of nudges.

Her legs threatened to buckle. Powerless in the spell of his gaze, she marveled at the rakish curve of his mouth. The essence of him wrapped around, over, and inside her as she gladly stepped onto his magic carpet.

One more kiss wouldn’t hurt anything.

A sudden scurry of feet seemed in the distance. Glory’s ears pounded. His frenzied heartbeat jumped through the fabric of his shirt. She sank into the curve of his arm because he stole her will to step back.

The kiss that began with tender softness deepened. She shuddered under his caress, a piece of clay in the hands of a master.

Her feverish skin throbbed with some strange need she didn’t comprehend. She only knew if she died in his arms this second, she would depart the world in a state of bliss.

When he lifted his head at last, she would have fallen without his steadying support. She rested her face on his broad chest for a moment to still the dizzying whirl.

“Thank you.” His murmur came faint as a breeze through willows. His ragged breath ruffled her hair.

A few seconds later, she remembered where they stood and the liberties she’d allowed. Never before had she been so carefree. Or so warm. “Good heavens!” She patted her hair, giving the room a sweeping glance, relieved to find it empty. “I don’t know what came over me.”

“Whatever it was, I hope it remembers the way back.”

She groaned inwardly and lowered her eyes before he saw the answer. For the cost of a handful of wind she would stand before the preacher with him.

Darn him and his magic carpet!

Fact remained, no amount of wishing could erase the truth. Her father left…and so had her mother, though each in a different way. At the end of the day, she could put faith only in herself.
What hand of fate had flung him into her life? The man seemed to take extraordinary liberty in assaulting her with his presence at every turn—with no intention of staying.

“I need to ask where you got the money to pay off our note—and buy all this.” The pain inside made her voice sound cold.

“Will it matter?”

Glory wished for things that could never be. To stifle yearnings that swept her along like a dandelion in a sudden gust would take more will than she possibly had. And even more impossible…blocking the knowledge that she could forgive all else as long as he promised to never leave. She gripped the toothbrush. “I must know.”

“In my own time.” He brushed her cheek lightly with a fingertip.

Only after she could do a sight more than melt did she dare raise her eyes. “You’ve involved us in whatever it is you do.”

“Fair enough. First tell me what you were doing with your esteemed Dr. Dalton.”

Anger put her on familiar ground. She rested her hands on her hips and jutted her chin defiantly. Magic carpet rides were for damsels without obligations and those who could afford to daydream. “He’s not my anything. And I don’t have to justify it. Don’t let us keep you from wherever it is you need to mosey on to.”

“Fire and damnation! I’m trying to help.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of the first book in Linda Broday’s Texas Heroes series, Knight on the Texas Plains

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About the Author

Linda Broday_newAt 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.

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Review & Giveaway: SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER by Lynsay Sands

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SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER
(Scottish Highlander, Book 5)
by Lynsay Sands

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

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6041A3A3-1BE1-400A-9831-8C2F2BAAE258In New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ captivating romance, a lass targeted by an unknown foe is saved—and seduced—by a bold Highlander

Edith Drummond owes her life to Niels Buchanan and his brothers. Waking after an illness to a castle overrun by rugged Highlanders is disconcerting, but so is learning that she’s slowly being poisoned. Niels insists on staying by her side, and Edith soon discovers that even more dangerous is her wild attraction to the fierce warrior.

Niels has never met a more courageous—or enticing—woman than Lady Edith. The idea of such a bonny lass being forced to enter a nunnery is more than any red-blooded Scotsman could bear. He’ll gladly marry her himself. But while sweeping her off her feet is easy, it’ll take all his skill to defeat her family’s relentless enemies, and convince her to surrender to his sweet embrace. . . .

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Cori 4.5 Stars

When Lynsay Sands releases a book I immediately grab a copy because I know I’m going to enjoy it. Her historical and paranormal romance series are a great mix of humor and hot romance. SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER is the fifth book in Lynsay Sands’ Scottish Highlander Series, but each book is a standalone and you do not need to read the previous before picking up this one. I highly recommend the entire series though and the characters are connected. SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER is Neil Buchanan and Edith’s story and they were introduced in previous books. Neil is one of Siadh’s many brothers and Edith is one of her close friends. Their story had a mystery, some humor and some steamy romance. I highly recommend this series for historical romance lovers looking for hot Scottish romances. They’re addicting!

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

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Kindle | Amazon PBK

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✦SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER SERIES BY LYNSAY SANDS✦
Book 1. An English Bride in Scotland ➢ http://amzn.to/2kPJIMn
Book 2. To Marry a Scottish Laird ➢ http://amzn.to/2kPS9XP
Book 3. The Highlander Takes a Bride ➢ http://amzn.to/2lhjMKo | Review http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-2QJ
Book 4. Falling for the Highlander ➢ http://amzn.to/2kKacz9 | Review 4.5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-7OV
Book 5. Surrender to the Highlander ➢ http://amzn.to/2gcc7sK
Book 6. The Highlander’s Promise (Releasing 6/26/18) ➢ http://amzn.to/2nqAaHV

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imageLYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at http://www.lynsaysands.net.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Historical Romance Prize Pack

Enter on Facebook Post HERE 

Winner will be announced Saturday (2/17) by 6PM CST.
Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway. Some books were provided to Reading in Pajamas by Avon and some were purchased by Reading in Pajamas.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: EARL INTERRUPTED by Amanda Forester

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EARL INTERRUPTED (The Daring Marriages, Book 2) by Amanda Forester

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

A6DEE897-9376-4838-BEB0-2D4387530819After restoring his fortune as a notorious privateer, Captain Robert Ashton, Earl of Darington, goes to London in search of a bride. Instead, he finds unexpected dangers and unknown assailants. He is shot and left for dead. Life on the high seas was far calmer.

Enter Miss Emma St. James. She may appear sweet and demure, but she quickly proves herself to be equal to any challenge, including saving Darington’s life. Just when Darington is sure he has found his perfect bride, she reveals she’s betrothed to another.

Now things REALLY start to get complicated…

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Excerpt

“First sailed at twelve, joined right after my father’s death. First tour saw action at the Nile with Nelson,” said Darington in his understated manner.
“You were with Nelson at such a young age? Why, you are quite the hero,” exclaimed Emma.
“I ran powder. Tried not to get shot.”
“An admirable goal. I fully support it!”
Dare turned back to her with warm eyes. “Considering my recent experience, I quite agree.” His dark features gleamed a roguish enchantment in the moonlight.
A shiver ran down her spine.
Dare shrugged out of his greatcoat and, ignoring her murmurs of protest, put it around her shoulders. The heavy wool coat was warm from his own heat and stoked a fire within her. His scent lingered and she breathed deeply, feeling a little giddy at being draped in his coat as if wrapped in his arms.
“You should keep your coat. It is cold and you are still recovering,” Emma protested.
Dare gave her another of his shrugs and stepped close to her, reaching into the pocket of his coat that was wrapped around her. “This is for you.” He held out his hand, revealing a small, white shell.
Surprised, Emma took the small shell from his hand. It had a light gray, curved outside shell and a glossy, smooth, pink surface within. She looked up at him, wondering its significance. He continued to stare at her with an expectant air. She wished she understood the meaning of the gesture.
“Thank you.”
“It is for you,” he explained. “A gift. There are no flowers in January and your guardian is not present so…”
“Oh! A gift for me?” Emma realized this was his attempt at wooing her and her heart cracked open. “But how did you…? Please do not tell me you walked all the way to the beach to find me a shell.” She looked down from the edge of the cliff to the beach below.
“I confess Jonathan assisted me.”
“But you should not attempt such a thing. You are still recovering.”
“You said the purpose of the gift was not the object but the effort involved in the giving.”
“Oh, Dare!”
“Did I do it right?” The earnestness in his eyes made her heart ache.
“Yes, yes, you did it very well. Thank you. I will cherish it always.”
“Good.” Dare opened his mouth to say something but turned away instead, staring out over the ocean. She could not begin to guess his thoughts. Without his greatcoat, he appeared thin and lonely in the pale light, leaning on his walking stick.
Clearly, he had not given up his attempt to convince her to marry him. She would never take advantage of the situation to accept an offer made only out of obligation, but what if his heart had been truly touched? He certainly had gone to great effort. Would he act the same way out of a sense of honor? Given what Emma knew of the enigmatic man before her, he probably would.
Though she was already standing next to him, she stepped closer. “I must insist you take back your coat. I do not wish you to catch cold in your condition. And truly, you should rest.”
“No, no, my condition is very well, thanks to you.”
“But that does not mean you should freeze. Here, take back your coat. I am very warm, I assure you.” She stepped forward and attempted to place the coat back around his shoulders.
“No, I insist you keep it,” he protested, trying to keep the coat around her. Somehow, they ended up with one shoulder of the coat on him and one on her, standing so close their bodies brushed against one another.
Emma froze at the contact, looking up at the dark eyes of the Earl of Darington. His eyes burned with a fierce intensity, his lips parted. His dark look was similar to when he had defended her from the highwaymen. This was the true Darington. He kept a calm, distant facade, but raging beneath the surface was something wild and dangerous. Her heart pounded, but instead of pulling away, she pressed closer.
He slowly wrapped his arms around her, inside of the greatcoat, pulling her closer to him. Her hands flew to his chest, but she did not push him away. Without a word, he slowly lowered his head. He stopped just inches away from her lips. She waited, the air between them crackling with anticipation. Was he going to kiss her? Was he going to come so close and not kiss her? Waiting was agony.
Swiftly, he put an end to the debate and claimed her mouth with his. His lips pressed against hers and he pulled her closer, parting her lips with his tongue and deepening the kiss. Emma reached up and wrapped her hands around his neck, holding on tightly as her heart soared. She had never experienced anything like the sensation of kissing Darington. It was like flying, though her feet never left the ground.
When they finally parted, they both took deep breaths. His great coat slid to the ground, forgotten. She was certainly more than warm now. When his hand slid away from her waist, she noticed that it trembled.
“Forgive me,” he murmured, turning to face the crashing waves once more, holding his hands rigidly behind his back.
Emma took several more breaths before attempting speech. “That was…” She had not the words to describe it.
“An imposition on your person,” finished Dare without turning to her.
“No, no, that was not what I was going to say.”
“It was not?” He turned to her, a note of hope in his voice.
“No,” she replied firmly. “That was…quite remarkable.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of If the Earl Only Knew, the first book in Amanda Forester’s Daring Marriages series!

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About the Author

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance was way more fun. A Publishers Weekly Top Ten author, her books have been given starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest outside Tacoma, Washington.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: THE LORD MEETS HIS LADY by Gina Conklin

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THE LORD MEETS HIS LADY (Midnight Meetings Book 3) by Gina Conklin

Publication Date: December 5, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

C7A91B6B-B5B6-44EF-BF17-8A13583F9BBBLord Marcus Bowles has stained his family’s reputation for the last time. Only after spending a scandal-free year restoring some far-flung property can this second son return in good graces. But Marcus isn’t one to abandon a lone damsel on a dark country lane.

One stolen kiss and Genevieve Turner’s handsome midnight savior disappears. Typical. No matter, Gen is finally on the way to her new post, and hopefully to finding her grandmother as well. Instead she finds her mischievous hero is her new employer. Surely a few more kisses won’t hurt…

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Excerpt

Lord Bowles set one hand on the dark-stained oak and pushed, all the while watching her with gentle determination as she rose awkwardly from the floor. Iron hinges whined a lethargic turn before the door clicked shut on honking fowl. The entry dimmed but was no less luminous for the unexpected sparks between them. Lord Bowles was a dose of good French brandy at the wrong time of day, enticing but entirely unsuitable.
“Do I make you nervous?” he asked.
His lordship missed nothing. He was like a thief-taker digging for the truth. In their two meetings, he’d shown more substance than the aimless wastrel people claimed him to be. For the first time since she left London, she missed the clamor and the crowds. This quiet between her and Lord Bowles, it denuded her.
“Nervous? A little.” Her attention flittered over him. “The part of me that finds you handsome. Too handsome for your own good.”
He blinked, his lips parting. Well-shod feet shifted and another beat of stillness passed. Did she surprise him? Good. Unease melted off her back from satisfaction of his lordship being the one off center. Served him right for coming here like this.
She wiped dough-flecked hands in her apron as though she had all the time in the world. “And since I’m being forthright, milord, I wanted some time to myself. You don’t get much of that living above The Golden Goose.”
“No, I suppose not.”
With his wind-mussed queue and rumpled brown velvet coat, Lord Bowles could be any man awaiting acceptance of a social call. He was a dangerous flirt with genuine, friendly appeal, endearing qualities that played havoc with her resolve, but she would be firm.
Her head tipped at an open doorway off the entry. “The parlor is that way, milord. I’ll fetch some coffee for you.”
She headed to the kitchen, her skin prickling across her bottom and thighs. Lord Bowles watched her. Ambling footsteps sounded in the small dining room behind her. He wasn’t going to be a docile guest.
Did his lordship think he’d found a convenient light skirt?
Crossing the kitchen, she tensed, expecting footfalls to follow her on the flagstone floor. A knee to a man’s baubles sent a clear message to overzealous men at The Golden Goose. With her employer’s friend, she’d have to use different tactics.
At the hearth, she checked the roast in the cooking hastener, but no footsteps came, nor did a hand palm her bottom. One glance at the kitchen showed Lord Bowles lounging in the doorway, one hand resting in his coat pocket. The corners of his mouth curled up as if he read women all the time and knew their secrets.
“Thought I’d wait here, save you the trip to the parlor with my coffee.”
“Because I’m of delicate constitution?” She reached for the spindle jack hanging from a rafter above the hearth.
“No, because I like watching you.”
Her cheeks warmed and her nipples poked her stays. “Lord Bowles…” she began sternly.
“I know,” he said smiling shamelessly. “I’m being inappropriate with my friend’s housekeeper. Can we agree to talk freely when we’re alone? I’ll curb myself when others are around.”
“I can’t lose this position, milord.” She started winding the spindle jack, a slow and noisy effort. Her breasts jostled and the flush spread down her neck and chest. There was no denying, it was nice being the object of his improper interest.
The Beckworth kitchen was bright with limestone walls and a cheery, yellow cabinet, not a typical haunt for the likes of Lord Bowles. He’d seek amusement elsewhere. With turnips on the table and bread rising in a bowl, his boredom with this rustic kitchen was her best weapon.
“There is a point to my visit,” he said loudly. “I come bearing an offer of help.”
“Help? With what?” she asked above the cranking cogs.
Lord Bowles stepped cautiously down into the kitchen. “I’d rather have a decent conversation with you than yell across the room.” He gestured to the long pine table near the hearth. “May I have a seat? I promise to behave. We’ll have a table between us.”
Her arm burned from working against the spindle’s tension and the heavy roast by her knees. She was about to give him a set down, but she spied that silly hole in his stocking and softened.
No flirting, milord.”
He smiled boldly. “On my honor, none. We’ll be solemn as clergymen.”
“Clergymen,” she huffed and blew a wayward wisp off her face. “A few minutes. No more.”
He crossed the kitchen and took a seat at the table. She cranked harder. The string was nearly wound around the pulley.
“What is this offer of yours?”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Author Guest Post

How to Enjoy London Like a Georgian

The Georgian era was a fascinating shift from pastoral to urban living. The economic boom brought scientific advances. Much of the populace elevated themselves to a better place in life—especially the merchant class. Entertainments abounded. Life’s little luxuries were affordable. People enjoyed a diversity of products pouring into London on a regular basis.

In researching the Midnight Meetings series, I came across many surprises. You could call this list 5 things for an interesting life in London:

  1. The British Museum. Seeds for the world-renowned institution were planted in 1753 with the death of physician Hans Sloane. A naturalist with a love for all things exotic, Sloane had purchased the house next door to warehouse his unique collections. People traveled far and wide to visit the house in Bloomsbury, finding a hodgepodge of international oddities.
  2. Trustees of Sloan’s estate didn’t know what to do with Sloane’s things. They tried to give the collection King George II, but he didn’t want it. Parliament acquired the collection and by 1759 the official British Museum opened its doors to the public.
  3. Hot air balloon-mania hit England in the 1780s. It’s been reported that 200,000 people (royalty included in that number) showed up at the Artillery Ground of Moorfields to see a demonstration by Vincenzo Lunardi. He ascended without incident (other than his cat, which he took along for the ride, getting sick). The charming Italian was quite popular. Hawkers sold Lunardi fans, garters, and bonnets.
  4. Pets ranged from the regular to the exotic. Unusual pet ownership spread amongst all classes with animals like a mongoose, ring-tailed lemurs, and marmosets. The Tower of London had a zoo open to the public, featuring jackals, lions, monkeys, baboons, and even an Indian elephant. Great beasts from around the world were housed in the Tower as far back as the 13th century.
  5. Fine furniture became egalitarian with Chippendale’s innovations to the industry. In the past, fashionable homeowners clamored for furniture fashionable made by high-end designers. Those men signed each furniture piece they made the way painters sign a painting. Then along came Chippendale. He published his Gentleman and Cabinetmaker’s Director (a design book) which changed how the English bought and made furniture.

Design books weren’t new, but Chippendale’s approach was revolutionary. He presented the furniture as part of interior design: think presenting whole sets for a drawing room rather than an individual piece on a page. Chippendale hired men to make furniture for him, but his book not only changed ensemble decorating, it fostered a Do-It-Yourself approach to fine furniture-making. Humble gentry purchased Chippendale’s books and crafted their own fine furniture (such as my character, Mr. Samuel Beckworth in The Lord Meets His Lady).

The resourceful woman created her own future. The nobility watched over their daughters lest those young women go astray, but other classes of London enjoyed a kind of bare-knuckle freedom. Life was harsh on the fair-sex. Yet, many women refused to be victims of the times. Some forged a good life in commerce. Publisher Elizabeth Nutt is one such example. She ran a cluster of shops near the Royal Exchange where she sold respectable publications.  She was also listed as “Mercury Woman”, a printer of seditious and sometimes salacious material on Grubb Street. She ran the business with her daughters.

London, no matter the era, was and is a place of opportunity for those who seek adventure on its streets. ~Gina

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Giveaway

5 Copies of THE LORD MEETS HIS LADY

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About the Author

Gina Conkle writes sensual Georgian romance and lush Viking romance. Her books offer a fresh, addictive spin on the genre, with the witty banter and sexual tension that readers crave. She grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, Gina loves books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now she lives in Michigan with her favorite alpha male, Brian, and their two sons where she’s known to occasionally garden and cook.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE DUKE KNOWS BEST by Jane Ashford

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THE DUKE KNOWS BEST (The Duke’s Sons, #5) by Jane Ashford

Publication Date: December 5, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

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59CFE8AF-0265-4AAD-842E-37D79AC5658BThey’re wrong for each other, for all the right reasons…

Lord Randolph Gresham has come to London for one reason only-to find a suitable wife. Verity Sinclair may be intelligent, beautiful, and full of spirit, but her father knows a secret about Randolph that makes her entirely unsuitable as his bride. Not right for him at all, never, not a chance.

Verity knows that Lord Randolph lives in a country parish, and she wants nothing more than to escape to town. He may be fascinating, attractive, rich, and the son of a duke, but she’ll never marry him, nor will she talk to him, flirt with him, walk with him, or dine with him. She’ll sing a duet with him, but only this one time, and only because everyone insists.

But one duet invariably leads to another.

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Looking around the front hall of Langford House, with its soaring stair and rich marble floor, Verity judged it the grandest house she’d ever entered. Light poured down from high windows, glittered in a huge crystal chandelier, and gleamed in the gold stripes of the wallpaper. A hint of potpourri scented the air, along with beeswax and lemon. The clatter of the London streets didn’t penetrate the gracious silence. “Goodness,” murmured her mother. Verity was determined not to be intimidated.
A liveried footman led them through two beautiful reception rooms to the back of the house. He opened a door and stood back. Verity and her mother stepped over the threshold into a perfectly splendid music room. For a moment Verity forgot everything else as she took in the fine instruments waiting to be played, the older ones adorning the walls, and the piles of expensive sheet music. She could spend hours in a place like this and be blissfully happy, she thought.
And then a tall, stately woman came forward to greet them, and Verity was making her curtsy to the duchess, as well as wondering where Lord Randolph could be.
He hurried in on the heels of that thought. “I beg your pardon,” he said. “I was just… Mama, this is Mrs. Sinclair and Miss Verity Sinclair. Ladies, my mother.”
“Your Grace,” they murmured.
The duchess said, “Welcome to Langford House.” And with the warmth in her blue eyes and the ease of her smile, Verity felt the atmosphere in the room change from grandiose to relaxed. Or perhaps it was simply her own mood that had shifted, she thought. As they sat down and exchanged remarks about the weather and the season, she found she could talk to Lord Randolph’s mother with surprising ease.
“I know you have musical matters to discuss,” said the duchess after a while. She rose. “I will leave you to it. But I wanted to make sure you have all you need, Mrs. Sinclair.”
“You’re very kind.”
“I’ve seen to the arrangements, Mama,” said Lord Randolph.
“Sponge cakes and macaroons?” she asked.
“What else?”
The humorous look they exchanged gave Verity a glimpse into the Gresham family, which seemed a pleasant place. The door opened, and a maid came in with several sturdy working candles. “You said you’d bring some embroidery,” said Lord Randolph to Verity’s mother. “I wanted to make certain you had good light.”
The duchess gave him an approving nod and went out. Lord Randolph made a great production of getting Verity’s mother settled with the candles set just so and a cushion for her back and offers of tea or other refreshment. “So kind,” she murmured as she was settled in the front corner of the room.
Verity noticed that it was the corner farthest from the pianoforte. And that the special candles and cushions—which a less observant person might dismiss as finicky items for a man to consider—effectively rooted Mama at a distance. It was unlikely that she would overhear much of what they said, unless they started shouting. Which she might, if Lord Randolph tried to maneuver her in a similar way. And where had he acquired such skill at diverting chaperones?
“I’ve pulled out piles of music,” he said when they were at last free to begin. He led the way over to the table where the sheets were displayed. “I was thinking we should choose popular pieces rather than anything too complicated. Perhaps even repeat the song we did at Lady Tolland’s.”
Their eyes met, mirroring memories of that astonishing experience. Verity’s cheeks grew hot. A self-conscious silence stretched out. She could actually hear her mother’s needle prick the embroidery canvas.
Lord Randolph cleared his throat. “Ah, our audience at Carleton House will be varied,” he went on. “Not all will be particularly musical. But I’m eager to hear your opinion about the program, of course.”
He stopped and waited for her to speak. He gazed at her as if he actually wanted to know her views, and wasn’t just pausing to give the appearance of listening before telling her what to do. It was a point in his favor. “What about some Italian songs, varied with Scots or Irish ballads?” she suggested. “How long need we sing, do you think?”
“Long enough to satisfy the prince’s wounded vanity,” he responded wryly.
Verity looked down to hide a smile. “That sounds rather difficult to measure. An hour?”
“No more, certainly. We are doing a favor, not putting on a full concert. Shall we say six pieces? With one in reserve in case they insist on more?”
Verity agreed, and they looked through Mozart’s and Haydn’s arrangements of popular tunes and sheets of songs by Robert Burns and Thomas Moore. Langford House appeared to possess any piece one could desire, and Verity envied the bounty. She had to ration her purchases of sheet music on her allowance. The money her grandfather had left her was in trust until she married. And why was she thinking of that now? “‘Robin Adair’ would make a lovely base for a set of variations,” she said.
They bent over the music together. “It would indeed,” said Lord Randolph. He sat at the pianoforte and began to play the simple melody, and then to embellish it. Verity hummed along, following his elaborations. “Just here,” he said, playing intricate series of notes. She caught the idea at once. Spontaneously they sang a verse with the new adornments, their voices blending in a twining harmony. By the end they were staring at each other, mutually astonished.
“Very pretty,” said Verity’s mother from the corner.
It was as if he could predict exactly what she meant to sing, Verity thought. Or, perhaps, his musical impulses ran in precisely the same direction. The phrase in tune took on a whole new meaning as they ran through the entire song, consulted briefly, and then tried it again. The result was equally lovely and interesting, but different with the varying choices of the moment. This must be what it was like to be intoxicated, she thought, as she fell into the music and a give and take with this man she barely knew— somehow they vibrated to the same pitch.

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Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Enter to win a copy of Nothing Like a Duke by Jane Ashford!

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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.

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Review: THE HIGHLANDER’S PRINCESS BRIDE by Vanessa Kelly

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THE HIGHLANDER’S PRINCESS BRIDE (The Improper Princesses Series, Book 3) by Vanessa Kelly

Publication Date: October 31, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

7176314A-6165-44EF-96B4-661F2DFBAC7DIn Vanessa Kelly’s enchanting series, three young women descended from royalty overcome their scandalous beginnings to win the hearts of the ton’s most eligible men…

The illegitimate daughter of the Prince Regent might be expected to pursue various dubious professions. Actress, perhaps, or artist’s model. Even courtesan. Victoria Knight, however, has become a governess—a respectable choice, until she travels to Scotland to meet her new charges. The younger brothers of Nicholas Kendrick, Earl of Arnprior, aren’t children at all. They’re brawny, wild Highland men. As for the Earl, he’s handsome, guarded, and far too compelling…especially for a woman hiding a dark secret.

Nick needs a proper teacher to transform his unmarriageable brothers—and a sensible, straight-laced wife for himself. Miss Knight seems to fit the bill on both counts. But he soon discovers there is more to Victoria than he thought. It’s not just her notorious origins, or the danger that’s followed her all the way to Scotland. It’s the fiery loyalty beneath that sedate façade. This, the real Victoria, is the woman Nick is starting to desire so desperately. And what an earl wants, he’ll use every seductive means to get…

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I loved this Highlander romance! THE HIGHLANDER’S PRINCESS BRIDE is the third book in Vanessa Kelly’s Improper Princesses Series and can be read as a standalone. I didn’t read the previous books before reading this one but I bought them all and plan to read them because I loved this one so much. THE HIGHLANDER’S PRINCESS BRIDE was so much fun! I loved the characters and the storyline. It had danger, humor, mischief and some hot romance. This book was a feel good romance that left me smiling. I highly recommend this book for historical romance lovers looking for a fun and sexy story. Vanessa Kelly is now on must buy list.

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

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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✿The Improper Princesses Series by Vanessa Kelly✿
✦Book 1: MY FAIR PRINCESS ➢ http://amzn.to/2hjaj1l
✦Book 2: THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS ➢ http://amzn.to/2hpsYfz
✦Book 3: THE HIGHLANDER’S PRINCESS BRIDE ➢ http://amzn.to/2fTZDpb

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About the Author

 Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.

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