Spotlight on Victoria Vane and…

Hot Cowboy Nights Series!

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Hey Bookworms! I hope your summer’s going great! I have great news to share with you. My next series and its first book ‘SLOW HAND’ will be out sometime in November and it is hot contemporary cowboy series from Sourcebooks

This unique series is comprised of four connected stories (SLOW HAND, ROUGH RIDER, STRAIGHT SHOOTER and SILVER TONGUE) with an option for more. All of my heroes are true cowboys, but these are cowboys like you have never seen before. The cast of characters is unusually diverse, pairing a sassy southern girl with a Montana lawyer, a rancher/bull rider with a female stock contractor, a Marine scout sniper with a wildlife biologist and a horse whisperer with a documentary film maker. 

Although this new endeavor marks a distinct departure from historical romance, I hope you will find that my trademarks still remain—well-researched, scorching hot and emotionally compelling, character-driven stories. The first two covers are finished, and I hope you like them as much as I do. Both books are now available for pre-order as well.

Slow Hand-300SLOW HAND (Hot Cowboy Nights #1)

STORY: Wade Knowlton is a workaholic with an urge to get out. He’s close to leaving his struggling Montana law firm in the dust and going back full time to the ranch with his brothers . . . until the gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office in need of an attorney to settle her estranged father’s estate.

Nicole is a southern belle with a hankering for cowboys—but after a swell of bad seeds, she’s sworn off anything in boots. As their attraction flares into a passion they can’t avoid, will they discover that love can lead to greener pastures?

EXCERPT:

He went to work on his shirt buttons. His collar was soon wide open revealing a generous show of muscular chest that make her hands itch to rip it off him. She diverted her gaze and curled her itchy hands by her sides.

“Have no fear, cowboy,” Nikki replied in a tone meant to disguise the warm flush that had come over her. “I corralled all my wild impulses long ago.”

“Did you, now?” He still stood in doorway, head cocked. “Somehow, I think you may have missed a few strays.”

“Maybe I need to make myself clearer. I have an aversion to cocky cowboys.”

Just keep telling yourself that, Nikki. Maybe if you repeat it often enough it’ll become true.

“Is that so?” His brows flew upward. “I can’t say I ever met a woman with an actual aversion to me.”

“Don’t take it personally. It’s nothing against you in particular, but to your type.”

“And what do you think you know about my type?”

“Since I don’t have a pole handy, enough to keep you at arms-length. Besides that, this whole line of conversation is entirely inappropriate in light of professional ethics, don’t you think? You are my attorney, after all.”

“Well, darlin’,” he scratched his unshaven jaw, “there’s a little hitch to that.”

“What do you mean? You said you’d help me.”

“And I will, but you can’t engage my professional services until I know who you are.”

“I’ve told you who I am!” she insisted.

“Sweetheart, I’m a lawyer, and according to the law, your claim don’t weigh without authentication.”

“Authentication?”

“Proof.”

“So what are you saying? That you don’t believe me?”

“I’m not saying that at all. Only that our professional relationship will commence once you get your I.D. In the interim,” His gaze slid over her in a way that threatened to melt her insides, “you’d best find yourself a nice, long, sturdy pole.”

Pre-order: Amazon / November 2014

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Pre-order: ROUGH RIDER, Amazon / February 2015

GIVEAWAY 1: 1 Winner/Choice of any e-book title from my backlist!

GIVEAWAY 2: >>>  Rafflecopter <<<

Victoria VaneAUTHOR BIO: Victoria Vane is an multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling and intensely erotic romance. Look for Victoria’s sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming in summer 2014.

A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria Vane combines these elements to craft novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone , Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism.

Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

Social Media: Web Site / Blog / Facebook / Tweeter Goodreads / DeVere Fan Site

Spotlight on Karen Ranney and …

 Clan Sinclair Trilogy!

The Devil of Clan Sinclair

kr tdocsSTORY: For Virginia Traylor, Countess of Barrett, marriage was merely the vehicle to buy her father a title. Widowhood, however, brings a host of problems. For her husband deliberately spent the money intended for Virginia and her in-laws, leaving them penniless—unless she produces an heir. Desperate and confused, Virginia embarks on a fateful journey that brings her to the doorstep of the only man she’s ever loved…

He’s known as The Devil, but Macrath Sinclair doesn’t care. He moved to a tiny Scottish village in hopes of continuing his work as an inventor and starting a family of his own. He bought the house; he chose the woman. Unfortunately, Virginia didn’t choose him. Macrath knows he should turn her away now, but she needs him, and he wants her more than ever. Whatever game Virginia’s playing, Macrath intends to win—one wickedly seductive deed at a time..

REVIEW:This is the first story in the Clan Sinclair series, and it is very well written, as most stories from this author are. If you’d give me two words to describe this story, they would be dysfunctional and compelling.

Here is what I mean. The main characters are very complex, never dull, always moving forward with set purpose. Both characters have a ton of baggage from the outset of the novel. Both employ destructive behavior, hurting each other in the process, yet when you look a bit closer into their psyche, and realize the reasons for that, you can’t help but sympathize regardless of how much you disapprove of their behavior.

Ultimately, that’s what made this story come to life for me. Call me crazy, but I liked their ‘dysfunctional’ relationship, which by the way gave me angst throughout the book. Without it, this would have been just another romance with a ‘misunderstanding’ as its main plot.

In the end, Ms. Ranney did a good job of pulling me into and making me care for these two and their story, while at the same time I appreciated their imperfections.

Melanie for b2b

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N

~*~

The Witch of Clan Sinclair

kr twocsSTORY: Logan Harrison is looking for a wife. As the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, he needs a conventional and diplomatic woman who will stand by his side and help further his political ambitions. He most certainly does not need Mairi Sinclair, the fiery, passionate, fiercely beautiful woman who tries to thwart him at every turn. But if she’s so wrong for him, why can’t he stop kissing her? He is completely bewitched.

Mairi Sinclair has never met anyone like Logan Harrison, the perfect example of everything she finds wrong with the world. He’s also incredibly handsome, immensely popular, and impossible to resist. His kisses inflame her and awaken a passion she can barely control.

Can two people who are at such odds admit to a love that would bind them together for life?

REVIEW:‘The Witch of Clan Sinclair’ is the second book in Karen Ranney’s Clan Sinclair trilogy and my favorite of the three. While I found ‘The Devil of Clan Sinclair’ to be dysfunctional and compelling, ‘The Virgin of Clan Sinclair’ laugh out loud funny, this story was brilliant and the reason for it was its spunky heroine. I loved her forthrightness and her no-nonsense attitude as much as I loved the dialogue between everyone in the book, which for me, kept this story moving fast. Mairi was a force of nature and I found her irresistible as much as our hero did. Her determination to succeed in ‘men’s world’ was truly admirable and watching her go about it was fascinating to me.

And then we have our hero Logan who you just couldn’t help but like. He was as straight-laced as they come, and loyal to a tee, to his principles especially, yet I loved watching his mind at work as our heroine starts to ‘grow’ on him.

The pace of their romance was perfect for me, and the sensuality of their scenes is such that gave me the goose bumps. Every scene with those two was electric.

In the end, if you enjoy a fast paced plot, sweet and sensual romance with strong leads, and Scotland as a setting, this is a no brainer, you’ll love this story. I’d like to point out that you really don’t have to read these stories in order of their publication. All are stand alone, yet I found that reading them in order helped me understand this family better.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N

~*~

The Virgin of Clan Sinclair

kr tvocsSTORY: Ellice Traylor has a secret. Beneath her innocent exterior beats an incredibly passionate and imaginative heart. She has been pouring all of her frustrated virginal fantasies into a scandalous manuscript. But when her plans for her future are about to be derailed by her mother’s matrimonial designs, she takes matters into her own hands.

Ross Forster, the Earl of Gladsden, has spent his life creating order out of chaos. He expects discipline and calm from those around him. What he does not expect is a beautiful, thoroughly maddening stowaway in his carriage.

But when Ross discovers Ellice’s secret book, he finds he can’t stop thinking about what other fantasies the disarming virgin can dream up. He has the chance to learn when a compromising position forces them to wed. But can the uptight Earl survive a life with his surprising new wife? And how will the hero of Ellice’s fantasies compare to the husband of her reality?

REVIEW: ‘The Virgin of Clan Sinclair’ is the third book in the Clan Sinclair series, and we finally get a better look at Ellice Traylor, sister-in-law of Virginia [Traylor] Sinclair who was the heroine of the first book, ‘The Devil of Clan Sinclair’.

I must say I was a bit put off by this heroine. At times I liked her naiveté, and at times I found it irritating. For some reason I just couldn’t get the ‘feel’ of her. She was cool, yet warm; serious, yet funny; virgin, yet knowledgeable enough of sensuality to write some ‘steamy’ stuff. In the end I had to admit to myself that while I admired her tenaciousness and determination to write and publish a book, a very naughty book, I had a very hard time understanding her fully.

Ross Forster, the Earl of Gladsden is one of those heroes that are Alpha with some of the Beta tendencies that are hidden way beneath their exterior, making him much more complex and interesting. For someone like him, who values order and peace in his life, something he actually worked hard to do despite his personal family problems, meeting Ellice and discovering the woman beneath the virgin was something he didn’t expect nor want, yet couldn’t help but give into the overwhelming attraction to her.

Bottom line, I liked the story, but not as much as the first two books, even though this one did make me laugh out loud more than the other two. If you’re a fan of this author, this is a must read, but if you’ve never read her before, I’d suggest you start this series with the first book, that way by the time you get to this novel, you’ll be familiar with her writing style and voice, so you’ll enjoy this story more.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N

~*~

karen ranneyAbout the Author: I’m a writer who’s been privileged to have attained the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists. I write romance under Karen Ranney and romantic suspense and mysteries under my pseudonym, Katherine Storm.

I believe in the power of the individual, the magnificence of the human spirit, and always looking for the positive in any situation. I write about people who have been challenged but who win in the end.

Katherine Storm

Did you know about Katherine Storm? She’s one of my alter egos, and the name under which I write contemporary romantic suspense and murder mysteries: Murder by MortgageThe Eyes of Love, and What About Alice?

Social media: Website / Facebook / Tweeter / Pinterest

Spotlight on Rebecca Kanner and …

02_Sinners and the SeaSinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah’s Wife 

BOOK BLURB: The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before.

Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a haven for outcasts. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons. But living in this wicked and perverse town with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than to her takes its toll. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite its pious upbringing, develops some sinful tendencies of its own. While Noah carries out the Lord’s commands, she tries to hide her mark and her shame as she weathers the scorn and taunts of the townspeople.

But these trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming—and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world. As the floodwaters draw near, she grows in courage and honor, and when the water finally recedes, she emerges whole, displaying once and for all the indomitable strength of women. Drawing on the biblical narrative and Jewish mythology, Sinners and the Sea is a beauti­fully written account of the antediluvian world told in cinematic detail.

BUY LINKS: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Audible.com / B & N / Book Depository / iTunes

Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Howard Books
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio CD

 GIVEAWAY: 1 Print copy/ 1 Winner open to US only.

03_Rachel KannerAbout the Author: Sinners and the Sea is Rebecca Kanner’s debut novel. Rebecca is a Twin Cities native and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft mentorship Award and a 2012/2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Her personal essay, “Safety,” is listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review.

Along with other authors including Anita Diamant, Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Russell Banks and Ron Hansen, Rebecca will be featured in the upcoming title Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists.

You can learn more about Rebecca, and find links to selected stories and essays, at www.rebeccakanner.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tour Hashtag: #SinnersandtheSeaTour

Spotlight on Nina Rowan and …

… A Daring Hearts Series!

nr asisA Study in Seduction (#1) 

BOOK BLURB: A Heart Divided

Blessed with an uncanny gift for mathematics, the lovely Lydia Kellaway can solve the most complex puzzles. The one thing she can’t figure out? How to manage the most infuriating man she’s ever encountered.

A Passion Multiplied

Alexander Hall, Viscount Northwood, has purchased a one-of-a-kind locket from a pawnshop, unaware of the priceless sentiment it holds for Lydia. The gentlemanly thing to do would be to simply return it. But Lydia sparks a desire that has Alexander curious to see just how bold this brilliant beauty will be…

A Love Unequaled

What begins as a playful wager quickly escalates into a contest of the minds, a clash of the wills—and a battle of the sexes—as their fiery attraction grows. Even a genius like Lydia can’t account for the feelings Alexander arouses with his smile, or the fire he ignites with his touch. But when a dark family secret is suddenly thrown into the equation, it just might divide them forever.

REVIEW: What a wonderful début novel this is!

Nina Rowan must have had a blast writing this one. I certainly did reading it. Only a handful of authors out there are willing to gift their readers with strong, smart, complex and intellectual heroines such as Lydia. This woman with her brilliant mind adds a very unusual ‘equation’ to this well told story and I reveled in her wit and charm from page one.

As for Alexander Hall, Viscount Northwood, I honestly couldn’t have found anyone better suited to her even if I wrote the story myself [said she wistfully!].

Ms. Rowan paced the story perfectly so we would enjoy the relationship she built between Lydia and Alexander, and watching them get closer to each other was a lot fun.
I truly enjoyed everything in this story, from prose to plot; characters and historical aspect of the story; all of it was well researched and thought out. Whole heartedly recommend it!

nr apfpA Passion for Pleasure (#2) 

BOOK BLURB: Prelude to a Kiss

A brilliant pianist and notorious rake, Sebastian Hall indulges his passion for music and women with equal aplomb. But now that his elder brother has married, his father insists he pursue a more respectable path and find a suitable wife.

Music to Her Ears

As a girl, Clara Whitmore quietly loved her piano teacher from afar. Yet her youthful crush cannot compare to the powerful desire she feels when she unexpectedly meets Sebastian again. Perhaps the man who once dominated her dreams could be the husband she has hoped for—and save her from the fate she most fears.

Love Strikes a Chord

Risking scandal, ruin, and their own reputations, Sebastian and Clara enter into a marriage of convenience. But the pair soon discovers that their undeniable attraction is anything but convenient. Swept up in a crescendo of desire, Sebastian and Clara take each other to new heights of ecstasy—until secrets from the past threaten to doom the duet forever. Now Sebastian will have to change his tune—and prove his love is true.

REVIEW: This second book in Nina Rowan’s Daring Hearts series, we are treated to Alexander’s brother Sebastian’s happily ever after and once more Ms. Rowan gifts us with a very ‘lyrical’ character such as Sebastian.

Sebastian Hall was a gifted pianist as well as well known womanizer, once upon a time, but those days are now gone and he must figure out how to appease his father and find himself a bride and at the same time help Alexander locate the plans for a machine that he’d like to build. Enter Clara Whitmore, a widow with a possible plan that just might solve both their dilemmas.

She is a mother that is willing to sacrifice everything for getting her son back from her own father who took the position of her son, thinking her unfit to raise him. She misses him dreadfully and needs a plan to get him back. Enter Sebastian, her former piano teacher who she had a crush on since she was sixteen.

Together, these two will forge a bond in matrimony, friendship and passion in order to face their past and create a future together.

This story has it all, from intrigue, romance, mystery and characters as real as you and I. I’m beginning to like this authors way of telling interesting and complex stories very, very much.

nr ttnbm‘Twas the Night Before Mischief (#2.5) 

BOOK BLURB: When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.

Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope, he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.

Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days—and nights—in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide…

REVIEW: This was my first time reading and reviewing this author and I read this little novella over the holidays, but I’m sharing it here again with those of you that missed it last December.

At a first glance, this might sound like a predictable story, but the further you go into it, the more you realize that not to be the case. It is one of those love stories that involves two people who have a total misconception of one another, yet both are attracted to the other.

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey they took to finally come together. I can’t recommend this one enough for the simple reason that this hero may as well have been my husband. It made me chuckle all the way through. It really is true that opposites attract, and I can vouch for that!

nr adodA Dream of Desire (#3) 

BOOK BLURB: No Distance Can Keep Them Apart.

For most her life, Lady Talia Hall has been dreaming of the day James Forester will take her in his arms and kiss her with unrestrained passion. Tired of waiting, Talia decides to take drastic measures to make James see her as more than his best friend’s little sister. But her bold plan goes awry when the scoundrel informs her that he is leaving London—and her—for a life of adventure traveling the world. Crushed, Talia throws herself into her reform work and vows never again to let her foolish heart get the better of her.

But even halfway across the world, James can’t stop thinking of the beautiful Talia, her bold declaration . . . or her brazen kiss. And when James learns that Talia’s reform work has thrown her into the path of danger and scandal, nothing can keep him from returning to London. But a broken heart is not easily put back together, and old habits die hard. Talia and James must learn that trusting in true love is the greatest adventure of all…

REVIEW: In the third book of this series we watch Talia, Alexander’s sister, get her heart broken by the only man she ever loved, James Forester, Baron Castleford, and put back together by the same man, many years later.

Damn but there’s so much I liked in this book, I’m not sure where to start! In spite of this being a romance novel, this little gem of a story encompasses a lot of historical detail about reformation of a juvenile prison system in England, to which our heroine dedicates her time and resources as well as her love for those less fortunate.

I also loved the characterization of the hero. He was a typical Beta hero that by the end of the book was all Alpha and I loved his whole nature, his explorer side as well as his outlook on the society in general.

Talia was another strong and capable heroine that I’m used to by now from Ms. Rowan. Her heroines are not just beautiful but smart, tenacious and very witty.

The romance was slow, sweet and subtle; characters were rich in-depth and the plot fast paced and engaging.  This whole series was a pleasant surprise from the first book to the last. I highly recommend you read it.

As someone who cherishes her time, I’ve become a bit of a cynic when it comes to ‘new to me authors’ [especially début authors], and that’s why I try to buy books that are novellas.  I started this series with ‘Twas the Night Before Mischief, a #2.5 in the series, and just knew I’d like all the others that were coming up. You can do the same. It’s still only $1.99 so go forth and check it out!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copies provided by the publisher

Spotlight on Joanna Bourne and …

The Spymaster Series

“The Forbidden Rose” by Joanna BourneThe Forbidden Rose (Spymasters #1)

A glittering French aristocrat is on the run, disguised as a British governess.

Marguerite de Fleurignac, once privileged aristocrat, is on the run, disguised as penniless British governess Maggie Duncan.

England’s top spy has a score to settle with her family.

William Doyle, England’s top spy, has a score to settle with her, recognized when he pulls her from her burned-out chateau.

But as they’re drawn inexorably into the intrigue and madness of Revolutionary Paris, they gamble on a love to which neither of them will admit.

They gamble on a inadmissible love destined for betrayal.

BUY IT: Amazon / Audible

 

jb tslThe Spymaster’s Lady (Spymasters #2)

She’s Never Met A Man She Couldn’t Deceive …

She’s braved battlefields. She’s stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state. She’s played the worldly courtesan, the naive virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy. But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can’t outwit …

Until Now.

British spymaster Robert Grey must enter France and bring back the brilliant, beautiful — and dangerous — Fox Cub. His duty is to capture her and her secrets for England. When the two natural enemies are thrown into prison, they forge an uneasy alliance to break free. But their pact is temporary and betrayal seems inevitable. They flee, pursued every step of the way by ruthless authorities, caught in a net of secrets and lies. As the fates of nations hang in the balance, Grey and Annique fight the passion that flares between them — forbidden, impossible, and completely irresistible …

BUY IT: Amazon / Audible

 

JB3My Lord and Spymaster (Spymasters #3)

A daring beauty, she was infamous for taking chances . . .

Raised as a poor but cunning pickpocket, Jess Whitby may have grown into a wealthy young woman, but now she must once again rely on her guile. Her father’s been wrongly accused of selling secrets to Napoleon, and he’s going to be hanged—unless Jess finds the real traitor in the London underworld. She never dreamed her search would begin by waking up naked in a rude captain’s bed. Or how little she’d mind.

Now she’ll risk everything for love…

When Captain Sebastian Kennett prevents a kidnapping on the London docks, he takes the headstrong would-be victim home. He’s infatuated with her courageous spirit. She’s enthralled by his commanding strength and the sexy spark in his eyes. Then she discovers something else about the spellbinding seaman: He could be the traitor she’s hunting, the man whose next move could determine her father’s fate—and her future as well.

BUY IT: Amazon / B&N

 

TBH JBThe Black Hawk (Spymasters #4)

He is her enemy.

He is her lover.

He is her only hope.

Someone is stalking French agent Justine

DeCabrillac through London’s gray streets. Under cover of the rain, the assassin strikes–and Justine staggers to the door of the one man who can save her.  The man she once loved.  The man she hated.  Adrian Hawkhurst.

Adrian wanted the treacherous beauty known as “Owl” back in his bed, but not wounded and clinging to life. Now, as he helps her heal, the two must learn to trust each other to confront the hidden menace that’s trying to kill them–and survive long enough to explore the passion simmering between them once again.

BUY IT: Amazon / B&N

 

jb rsRogue Spy (Spymasters #5)

For years he’d lived a lie. It was time to tell the truth…even if it cost him the woman he loved.

Ten years ago he was a boy, given the name Thomas Paxton and sent by Revolutionary France to infiltrate the British Intelligence Service. Now his sense of honor brings him back to London, alone and unarmed, to confess. But instead of facing the gallows, he’s given one last impossible assignment to prove his loyalty.

Lovely, lying, former French spy Camille Leyland is dragged from her safe rural obscurity by threats and blackmail. Dusting off her spy skills, she sets out to track down a ruthless French fanatic and rescue the innocent victim he’s holding—only to find an old colleague already on the case. Pax.

Old friendship turns to new love, and as Pax and Camille’s dark secrets loom up from the past, Pax is left with a choice—go rogue from the Service or lose Camille forever…

PRE-ORDER IT: Amazon / B&N

SPECIAL CONTEST!

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There’s a chance to win a FREE COPY

of  ‘The Forbidden Rose’ at GoodReads

between now and May 4.

ENTER here!

b2b GIVEAWAY Today: 

jb tsl

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1 Print copy of  ‘The Spymaster’s Lady’

Joanna BourneAUTHOR BIO: I write historical fiction set in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France and Regency England. It was a time of love and sacrifice, clashing ideals, and really cool clothing.

I live in the Appalachian Mountains with my family and my dog and cat.

To read more about Jo, please go here.

Social Media: Blog / Word Wenches / Website / Facebook / Tweeter

Spotlight on Tanya Anne Crosby and …

The Winter Stone: One Legend,

Three Enchanting Novellas!

tac lw gc tws

with Glynnis Campbell & Laurin Wittig

BOOK BLURB: Once upon a time, in a place time forgot, the last Pict King in Scotland was slain, betrayed by one he loved. Even the Mother of Winter mourned his ignoble death, weeping icy tears that shattered as they fell to Earth. But one did not. This tear of stone she offered to the Guardians of the Old Ways, so that by its light all truths might be known. These are the romantic tales of the Winter Stone…

In My Laird, My Love by Tanya Anne Crosby, a long-lost guardian reaches across time to restore the faith and win the heart of a powerful chieftain.

In Circle of Hearts by Laurin Wittig, a lovely fey maiden doubts the power of her gifts until the love of a fierce Highlander renews her sense of self-worth.

In The Reclaiming by Glynnis Campbell, a broken Scots warrior is healed by a lass who wields the most magical power of all—love.

LOOK INSIDE: here.

ADD IT TO YOUR Goodreads!

ONLY 0.99!

BUY IT HERE: Amazon / B&N Nook / Kobo /

GIVEAWAY by b2b: 3 Winners

Q: How do you find [to you] new authors?

tacAUTHOR BIO: Put a menu in front of me and I immediately don’t know what I want. Fried green tomatoes with grits? Yep, OK. Fish? Sounds good, too. OK, so what are you having? I’ll do that too. When it comes to shoes–forget it. I end up buying nothing because I can’t make up my mind. Thank God I have a husband who has great tastes, or my closet might be empty. I’m one of those people who suffers from acute ambivalence given too many choices, but when it comes to what I wanted to do with my life, I’ve known that decidedly since the age of 12–and probably long before that.

It all began once upon a time after a tonsillectomy, when the doc advised mom and dad they should reward me with anything I wanted (the key word here being anything). All I wanted was dad’s typewriter. I got it, of course–a black, sporty Olympia I immediately set out to wearing the letters off the keys. So here I am all these years later, with sixteen books under my belt and a new one on the way … still wearing the letters off keyboards … and loving every minute.

Social Media: Website / Facebook / Tweeter /

gcAUTHOR BIO: When she’s not writing swashbuckling historical romances and playing medieval matchmaker, bestselling author Glynnis Campbell (also writing as Sarah McKerrigan and Kira Morgan) is a cartoon voice, the wife of a rock star, and the mother of two young adults.

She’s been a ballerina, a typographer, a film composer, a piano player, a singer in an all-girl rock band, and a voice in those violent video games you won’t let your kids play. She does her best writing on cruise ships, in Scottish castles, on her husband’s tour bus, and at home in her sunny southern California garden. Glynnis loves transporting readers to a place where the bold heroes have endearing flaws, the women are stronger than they look, the land is lush and untamed, and chivalry is far from dead!

Social Media: WebsiteFacebook / Tweeter / Pinterest

lwAUTHOR BIO: I was indoctrinated into my Scottish heritage at birth when my parents chose my oddly spelled first name from a plethora of Scottish family names. At ten, my grandparents took me to my first American Clan Gregor Society gathering, where I attended my first ceilidh (kay-lee), a Scottish party, and danced to the bagpipes with the hereditary chieftain of the clan. At eleven, my mother took me to Scotland for the first time and it has lived vividly in my imagination ever since.

I hope you’ll join me in my forays into Scotland’s wonderful medieval Highlands. In addition to The Devil of Kilmartin, my National Readers’ Choice Award winning debut novel, please look for my Legacy of MacLeod series – Charming the Shrew and Daring the Highlander – out now. My newest trilogy starts in 2013 with the release of Highlander Betrayed on August 6th, followed by Highlander Avenged and Highlander Redeemed.

I’m a recent empty-nester and now share my home in southeastern Virginia with my husband (who refuses, under any circumstances, to ever wear a kilt), and our Eskie, Anna.

Laurin Wittig

Social Media: Website / Facebook / Tweeter /

Spotlight on Delilah Marvelle and …

Night of Pleasure (final) @ 2700 high res‘Night of Pleasure’

BOOK BLURB: An arranged marriage is daunting, but not as daunting as seducing a spouse whose passions you do not understand…

Derek Charles Holbrook, Viscount Banfield, knew his fate since he was seventeen when his father announced his union to the beautiful but mysterious American girl by the name of Miss Grey. To protect the troubled estate, Derek submits to his father’s wishes, not realizing he’s about to entangle himself in a hell of a lot more than marriage.

Miss Clementine Henrietta Grey may be worth millions, but not a single coin has ever bought her a smidge of happiness. When she marries the charasmatic and dashing Viscount Banfield, whose only strife in life appears to be the uneven seams in his coat, she finds that siring the heir he wants requires far more than her heart is prepared to give.

Unable to seduce his overly-serious and reluctant wife, Derek realizes his dreams of creating a loving family has turned into a nightmare. But with the unexpected assistance of a retired courtesan and her outrageous school, Derek and Clementine discover that passion is a language spoken not just from the body, but from the mind, heart and soul.

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

WARNING: This book is Rated Double S (Sweaty & Sinful) and contains strong language and sexual content which may cause respectable people to swoon.

THE SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY SERIES:

Book 1, Mistress of Pleasure
Book 2, Lord of Pleasure
Book 3, Lady of Pleasure
Book 3.5, Romancing Lady Stone
Book 4, Night of Pleasure
Book 5, Master of Pleasure

Excerpt:  Here 

REVIEW: Delilah Marvelle is one of my favorite authors and her books are greatly anticipated by me. When I heard that she was continuing her School of Gallantry series, I literally went and bought all the earlier books so I could be brought up to date with all the characters in it. By the way, you don’t have to run out and do the same. Each of these stories is well written as a standalone, but if you want to know the origins behind the school of gallantry, you should get them all.

As usual Ms. Marvelle does an excellent job in creating characters that are fun, witty and passionate about life. I adored Derek, the hero of this tale. How could I not to?! When first we meet him, he’s just a young ‘randy’ man and so charming and personable. I loved the way he falls for Clementine, heart and soul, as soon as he lays eyes on her.

Clementine’s character was much complex and her relationship with her father, as well as her feelings about the relationship he had with her mother, was something she carried deep within her and the fear of passion in any capacity was something she avoided like a plague.

They both needed the School of Gallantry to point them in the right direction and eradicate their mutual fears, his of overwhelming her with his all-consuming passion for her, and hers of being consumed by his passion to a point where she may turn into what her mother was.  Both needed to allow the other full access of each others feelings, good and bad, in order to successfully become one.

I also loved the secondary character of Clementine’s friend, Nasser. What a great character he was. I greatly admired Clementine’s loyalty to him and the scenes between all three, especially the ones between Derek and Nasser, are sweet, caring, sad and funny all at the same time.

This is another well-written, emotional, fast-paced and very sensual story of two young, strong and complex beings that need each other badly to be complete.

I love all Ms. Marvell’s books, but honestly, out of all her heroes, Derek just took my breath away! I hope you give him a try. Loved it!!!

*Melanie for b2b.

*Book provided by the publisher.

Maire Claremont THE DARK AFFAIR tour banner

Giveaway:

1 Winner/ $5 Amazon GC. 

DelilahMarvelleAUTHOR BIO: Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer’s Choice for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and had Booklist name her historical romance ‘Forever and a Day’ one of the TOP 10 Romances of the year.

When she isn’t writing, she’s digging through inappropriate research books that include anything in history having to do with courtesans, brothels, sexual contraptions that were never properly used and other fascinating forms of dirty history that never made it into college textbooks. You can visit her at her website at:

Social Media: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Delilah’s Newsletter / Goodreads Page

Spotlight on Sandy Raven and …

The Caversham Chronicles Series

sr cb‘Caversham’s Bride’

BOOK BLURB: What would you do to save the ones you love most?

Sold into slavery by the men who were supposed to kill her, Angelia Gualtiero must now convince the man who purchased her to help her. Lia would do anything to save her little brother from her murderous aunt, even marry a man she knows wants nothing more than use of her body.

Marcus Renfield Halden, Ninth Duke of Caversham, needs an heir to secure his legacy and the futures of his young sisters from a desperate cousin whom he suspects of targeting him in pursuit of the title and fortune. When he sees a woman running from her guard in a market in Tangier, he is at first captivated by her beauty. After Ren learns her story, he’s in awe of her bravery. He then makes Lia an offer she cannot refuse.

Her brother for an heir.

What neither expected was to fall in love.

‘Caversham’s Bride’ is set in 1819. Locations include Genoa, Tangier, London and the hero’s merchant ship.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / iTunes / B&N

REVIEW: Here’s the thing. Sometimes I just ‘stumble’ on an author or a story and I can’t even know how I did it, and if I love what I ‘discovered’ then there’s nothing that can hold me back from spreading the word and telling you guys all about it.

That’s exactly what happened to me with this author and her Caversham Chronicle series.

In the first book we are following Ren, a Duke that is like no other dukes I’ve read about. He owns a shipping company, and is a Captain of his own ship too!

He finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery and an international intrigue that is one of the best plots I’ve read in a while.

Lia is one of those heroines you will literally jump out of your seat as you read of her predicament and root for her as she risks her life for her baby brother who is in jeopardy.

This story starts off with drama, and is filled with intrigue that will have you at the edge of your seat, but more than anything it is the characters that held me spellbound. Without a doubt this is a character driven plot, with a fast and furious pace that will have you turning pages and dreading the end at the same time, because you just don’t want it to end.

I’m over the moon for discovering this author! This is a well-written and plotted and story with brilliant characters and killer dialogue. Highly recommending the entire series. 

sr ah

‘Already His’

BOOK BLURB: She’s loved him all her life.

Lady Elise Halden knows how to get a horse to bend to her will with a gentle touch and subtle coaxing. But she’s learning that bringing the new Earl of Camden to heel is nothing like training a horse. If she has any hope of reining in the Earl’s affections, she will need a plan. With help from her friend Lady Beverly, and her sister-in-law the Duchess, Elise sets out to win her indifferent Earl’s heart.

He’s admired her from a respectable distance.

As young men, Michael Brightman and his best friend swore sisters were off limits. This promise was made solely to protect his own sisters from his friend’s charming, rakehell ways. The Duke of Caversham’s little sister was always a precocious minx to avoid, till one day Michael realizes Lady Elise is all grown up and the things he wants to do with the lady are surely going to upset the friendship with her brother.

Together they discover that physical evidence doesn’t equate truth, and trusting the heart is sometimes the hardest lesson to learn.

‘Already His’ is set in 1822. Locations include London and the English countryside.

BUY LINKS:  AmazoniTunesB&N

REVIEW: I find myself adoring the characters in this book as much as I adored Ren and Lia in the previous one. I also think that this one is a bit more on the humorous side as it made me laugh out loud on many places.

In the second book in the Caversham Chronicles we get reacquainted with Elise, Ren’s little sister, the one that’s a tomboy and horse mad. I wasn’t that impressed with her in Lia and Ren’s story, but Ms. Raven made sure I had enough of her background in this book and that was fortunate as I came to admire her greatly.

And then there’s our hero, Michael, a very best friend of our heroine’s brother, Ren. Oh, Michael, Michael, Michael! I loved you from the start, even though you made me want to slap you around a few times, you were someone who was determined to learn his lessons the hard way, but once you realized your ‘folly’ I admired your tenacity in correcting it.

Here’s another thing I loved in this story: the age difference between the couple was significant, yet the author handled it so beautifully.

Once again I find myself loving the fast pace this author sets for her stories, as well as the prose and dialogue which kept me intrigued and ‘glued’ to my Kindle.

By the way, all the stories in this series were written in such a way that you really don’t have to read them in order as they can be read as stand alone.

Highly recommended!

sr ls

‘Loving Sarah’

BOOK BLURB: She was running to adventure, he was running from destiny.

Lady Sarah Halden stows away on the wrong boat when she thinks to enter a sailing race with her brother. She lands in the company of Lucky’s business partner, Ian Ross-Mackeever, heir to the Earl Mackeever. Sarah finds the gruff captain handsome and desires him in ways she’d never wanted a man before. With the help of a salacious little book filled with erotic images, Sarah decides to seduce her captain. At the halfway point of the race, instead of simply letting her return home with him, Lucky forces Sarah and Ian to marry.

Ian Ross-Mackeever doesn’t believe in family. His own father sends him away when he is a boy to live in a different country with his grandfather who despises him and aunts who don’t know what to do with him. He is immediately sent away to school where he becomes friends with Lucky Gualtiero, a young man whose family is everything Ian’s is not.

After a rocky start upon discovering his stowaway, Ian warms to Sarah’s presence in his life during the voyage home from New York. Her sense of adventure and unwavering love for family forces Ian to embrace her affections and the possibilities of a future with her at his side. Sarah shows Ian that running from destiny is more difficult than accepting fate, and every day spent not cherishing and loving those who love you is a day wasted.

‘Loving Sarah’ is set in 1835. Locations include Liverpool, the hero’s clipper ship Revenge, New York, London, and Surrey.

BUY LINKS:  Amazon / B&N

REVIEW: In the third installment of her Caversham Chronicles series, Ms. Raven takes us on an adventure with another of Ren’s sisters, Sarah.

Sarah is feeling that life is passing her by and she craves some excitement before she permanently and purposely forces herself ‘on the shelf’.

Her plan to stowaway on Lucky’s ship goes terribly awry and she is looking at ruination to her name.

Ian Ross-Mackeever has big plans for himself and he’s mapped out his future that in no way includes marriage, nor children; well, not for a few years at least. He has dreams that one day he’ll pay off his debts, build some fast ships and together with Lucky, his best friend, he’ll be ready to become an Earl.

I loved the complexity of both of these characters. They both craved freedom of choice, yet in the end Sarah’s actions took that choice out of their hands, and while neither expected love to find them, it had other plans. They both had a lot of issues that needed resolving before they could enjoy each other and their new found love for one another.

I also liked the curve ball the author threw me. I was shocked by it and it really blindsided me.

Oh, and then Ms. Raven brings in Ren and Lia, along with Lia’s brother Lucky and Elise and Michael too. It was such a treat to catch up with them all and see where they are with their lives.

Sandy Raven has a knack of telling her stories with huge emphases on her characters, making them feel, act and come across those pages as real as they can possibly be.

I enjoyed them immensely as she brought me to tears, both laughing and crying.

COMING IN FALL of 2014!

sr ll‘Lucky’s Lady’

BOOK BLURB: Lucky Gualtiero arrives in Baltimore to visit a highly recommended shipyard that builds the speedy clippers named for that town. He is surprised to find the architect designing these ships for this builder is a young woman whose intelligence and independence spark more than just his intellectual interest.

Mary-Michael Watkins married the elderly owner of the shipyard to take advantage of the education and position in society which he provided. But the one thing her husband cannot give her is the child of her heart. As he realizes his illness is going to take him, he tells his wife that if she wants a babe, she will have to go outside the marriage.

Mary-Michael chooses the English Captain to father her child, with the intent to raise the babe as her husband’s. Except Lucky is completely unaware of this. As a man to whom family, loyalty and love are more than mere words, he’s beyond angry to discover he was duped into fatherhood. Now, as the village in which she was raised accuses Mary-Michael of murdering her husband in order to be with the English Captain, it’s Lucky that must come to her rescue and save both Mary and their child.

PRE-REVIEW: LOL! I have yet to read this book, but man if Ms. Raven has written only half of what I liked in the previous three, I know I’ll be in for a ride and I’m chomping at a bit to read Lucky’s story!

GIVEAWAY I = 2 Audio Books/2 Winners [by the author/*US ONLY]

GIVEAWAY II = 3 eBooks/3 Winners [by b2b/*INTERNATIONAL where possible]

Sandy RavenAUTHOR BIO: Sandy Raven has a husband who spoils her rotten, and kids that are just a hair’s breadth away from perfect. She’s addicted to House Hunter’s International and has never missed an episode, though she acknowledges that she could never live in most of those countries because the bathrooms are just too small. She is also addicted to Starbucks’ Chai Latte, and never passes up an opportunity to have one.

Sandy grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast with sand between her toes and perpetually frizzy hair. Which is why she now lives in the middle-of-nowhere Virginia, in a place with minimal to moderate humidity (for perfect, non-frizzy curls,) rolling hills and farmed forests. The only downside to that is the temperamental satellite internet and the closest Starbucks being a thirty minute drive away.

Home is a small, renovated farm house she shares with her hero husband, and more cats, dogs and horses than she cares to admit to. She’s a long-time member of RWA, and is a member of VRW and the BeauMonde. Second to writing is her love for her horses. She practices natural horsemanship, and loves to ride her barefoot Tennessee Walkers on the trails and in the woods around her home.

Social Media: Website / Facebook

Spotlight on Mary Balogh and …

The Web Series

mb tgw‘The Gilded Web’

STORY: All she wanted was to escape the hot, crowded London ballroom. But moments after stepping into the bitterly cold night, she is seized by a pair of strong hands and spirited away. Fully expecting to be ravished, sheltered Alexandra Purnell instead finds herself at the mercy of the man who saved her from certain scandal.

Edmund, Earl of Amberley, is bold and sensual, tempting Alexandra to be reckless for the first time in her life. But as passion ignites, Edmund’s offer of marriage takes Alexandra completely by surprise. Now a woman who craves her freedom above all else is about to discover how far one man will go to protect and possess the woman he loves.

REVIEW: I am a huge fan of Mary Balogh and I can safely say that she’s one of my all time favorite authors. She just has this incredible talent of sucking me into the story so deeply that I have a hard time coming up for air.

The Web series had been published awhile back, and it has been on my TBR forever, so it was time I dived in.

After many stories that featured funny, likeable and charming characters that I enjoy reading about, I was ready for some unique, intriguing and complex heroes and heroines to sink my teeth into, and let me tell you, Mary Balogh delivers on all the above in spades.

The first story is Edmunds who is the Earl of Amberley; second one is  one of the twins’ Lord Eden’s, and the third is Lady Madeline’s.

As the eldest and the head of the family, Edmund shoulders a lot, and has been since he inherited the title at nineteen after his father’s unexpected death. He is wise, loving and patient, as well as respectful and caring son and brother. He is brought up in a loving home, by caring parents who were not afraid to foster love in their children, as well as free thinking.

Quite by accident and brought on by his brother, who had best intentions and yet the worst timing, Edmund finds himself in the inconvenient circumstances that require him to offer marriage to our heroine. 

This story is without a doubt character driven and I loved it!

To watch the heroine as she slowly, and I mean very slowly, comes to think for herself and not blindly trust and follow her pious and domineering father was something to behold. I know that many might not have enjoyed her character much just because of that, but I thought it fascinating. The confusion, the  battle within this woman of what her deep, inner self desires and the love for her parents despite their lack of the same for her, was heartbreaking and painful to go through with her.

If you like conflict and struggle of any kind in your love stories, this is a book that will give it to you. It is not a book for the faint of heart, impatient and those that need a quick fix of ‘sugar & spice, and everything nice’.

I have deep respect and appreciation for all authors who take the risk and put their characters through an extreme, just to see how they’ll come out of it. Well played Ms. Balogh, well-played.

mb wol‘Web of Love’

STORY: He’d served with her husband on the battlefield—and secretly desired her for years. Yet for Dominic, Lieutenant Lord Eden, Ellen Simpson has remained tantalizingly out of reach—until she is widowed by the war. Suddenly pursued by the dangerously handsome nobleman, Ellen is stunned by the depth of attraction he arouses in her.

Soon their friendship flames into something deeper…and as scandal ignites, marriage seems the only solution. But Ellen has a secret—one she can share with no one—that prevents her from fully opening her heart to Dominic. Until he devises his own plan for the ultimate consummation of their passion—and the woman he is determined to possess at any cost…

REVIEW: In this second book of her Web series, Ms. Balogh tackles the story of Dominic, Lord Eden, Edmund’s mischievous, charming, and care-free brother.

Let me say this before I go into the reasons behind loving this book most out of the Web Trilogy.

As some series go, you are able to read them out of order and most of the time they can well stand on their own, but I found that this particular series is not one of them and I know for certain that my enjoyment would have been thwarted if I hadn’t read these stories in order.

In the first book we met Dominic as a young man full of mischief, willing to fall in love at a drop of a hat, filled with dreams of joining the fray of an imminent war with Napoleon. In this book we watch him as he finally finds his true heart’s desire and is faced with brutality and reality of the war.

For the first time we meet Ellen, a married, very strong, smart and courageous young woman that Dom met a few years ago in Spain. She loves her older husband who is Dom’s superior and his mentor. The three of them are close friends and it never even occurred to either Ellen or Dom that they would ever end up being lovers. She deeply respects and loves her husband and is wholly devoted to him and their marriage.

As this story opens, we welcome back Alex and Edmund as they arrive with his sister Madeline, Dom’s twin, into Brussels in support of their sibling who they haven’t seen in three years.

And here is where the story gets interesting for me. I loved the setting [think War and Piece movie with Audrey Hepburn!] and Ms. Balogh did an outstanding job in bringing to me this world of uncertainty, bravery and agony that surrounded our maine and secondary characters.

And speaking of those, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved those, from Jennifer, Ellen’s teenage step-daughter to Lieutenant Allan Penworth, a man who becomes very dear to Madeline; I loved Charlie Simpson, Ellen’s husband so much that I mourned him almost as much as Ellen and Dom did.

But what came through the most in this story was the way Ms. Balogh clearly showed her readers that great love can strike twice in a lifetime, and how hard it is to understand and accept that fact. That part touched me deeply personally.

I’m so glad I finally got to this series off my TBR!

mb tdw‘The Devil’s Web’

STORY: The last time Madeline Raine had seen James Purnell, she had been but a chit of a girl, and at his mercy. Purnell had held her helpless in his arms – but protectively above the abyss of her own dangerous hunger for him.

He had left her then, not taking her innocence but taking her heart, as he vanished from England. Since then Madeline had reigned as society’s most dazzling and heartless beauty, making all men pay for one man’s rebuff of her.

Now James was back, more handsome and arrogant than ever. And Madeline steeled herself not to fall under his spell again. But she soon discovered that the melting power of passion ignited by love would not easily die…

REVIEW: If you’ve not read the first two books, especially the first one, ‘The Gilded Web’, I guarantee you that you will not understand our couple’s past, present and future behavior. It really is imperative you at least read book one.

In this book we watch Madeline, sister of Edmund and Dominic, mature, yet when it comes to planning and mapping out her future, she hasn’t changed a bit. She is still kept back with her conflicting feelings toward James and is hurling herself from one plan to another, only to find out that she must face the reality of loving a man who will certainly drag her into darkness with him.

Talk about a man, James Purnell, brother of Alexandra and Edmund’s wife from ‘Gilded Web’, who is torn by the past and his feelings of unworthiness when it comes to his future.

This is the third and last story of the Web Series and if it was the hardest to read for me, I wonder if it was as hard to write for Ms. Balogh.

If you’re not into dark and complex characters, then this story will be wasted on you. But if you can appreciate the intricacies of a very complex relationship between James and Madeline, you will be rewarded tenfold with a story of deep, true, abiding and long lasting love that had to go through many trials in order to blossom.

I loved all three stories and Ms. Balogh’s writing is as strong as ever. The depth of the characters that she writes about is one that I will always appreciate. If you’ve never read this author, these may not be the books to start you on her wonderful writing, but once you do, please don’t miss out on these unique, complex and very interesting characters.

It comes as no surprise to me that she succeeded yet again in creating three romance stories that touched my heart. She weaved these with a historical event that helped the plot and shaped the characters that I was deeply touched by, and will stay with me forever. I highly recommend all three of these engrossing and wonderful stories.

*Melanie for b2b.

*Books provided by my local used book store.