‘What a Lady Most Desires’ by Lecia Cornwall

lc walmdSTORY: True desire always finds a way…

On the night before the final battle against Napoleon, Lady Delphine St. James finds herself dancing with the one man she has always wanted, Major Lord Stephen Ives. He makes it clear he has no time for a lady he sees as flirtatious and silly, but as the call to arms sounds, she bids him farewell with a kiss that stirs them both. When he returns gravely injured, she is intent on caring for him, even if his surly behavior tests her patience.

After the battle, Stephen is not only wounded and blind, but falsely accused of cowardice and theft. The only light in his dark world is Delphine, the one woman he never imagined he could desire. But she deserves more than he can give her.

As their feelings deepen and hidden enemies conspire to force them to part forever, can their love survive the cruelest test of all?

REVIEW: Let me start off my review with HOLY-SHIT-LOOK-AT-THAT-COVER!

Jon Paul is one of the best illustrators out there and he ‘created’ this god of a hero for all of us to drool over!

I was looking forward to this story ever since I got to know the hero in ‘The Secret Life of Lady Julia’ and I hoped that his story would not have me conflicted as much as that one did, and I’m happy to say I loved it. BUT! Yeah, there’s a BUT here. I really think you should read ‘The Secret Life of Lady Julia’ [my review of it here] first because you will get to know Stephen so much better. I was glad to have read that story first. It really paid off as I followed his story in this book.

Lady Delphine St. James had liked Major Lord Stephen Ives for a very long time, but alas, the man wouldn’t give her a minute of his time because in his eyes she was a flighty child, reckless and a flirt. He only had eyes for one woman. Julia.

It all changes as he heads into battle and she recklessly gives him a kiss that neither can forget. Delphine was one of those characters that literally just keeps growing right in front of your eyes, and I loved her spunk to no end! Her strength actually radiated off the pages. What she chose to present to society was a total opposite of who she is and what she’s capable of.

I enjoyed the way the author had our hero come to terms with his infatuation with Julia, and how he learned to discern between the two emotions. He was always honorable and what he went through was heartbreaking to read, let alone live through.

If you like your romance to delve into deep emotional turmoil of the souls of your hero and heroine, you’ll love this story. If you love your romance to give you some fast pace adventure, you’ll love this story. If you like your romance to take you through history, you’ll love this story. For that matter, if you’re a lover of anything romance, you need to read this story!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Save the Date’ by Jen Doll

jd stdSTORY: Weddings. They’re fun, festive, and joyful, and at a time when people marry later in life—and sometimes not at all—they offer endless opportunities to reexamine love and what we want for ourselves, regardless of whether or not our aim is a walk down the aisle. In Save the Date, Jen Doll charts the course of her own perennial wedding guesthood, from the ceremony of distant family members when she was eight to the recent nuptials of a new boyfriend’s friends.

There’s the first trip home for a childhood pal’s big day, in which she learns that her first love has eloped to Hawaii. There’s the destination wedding attended with little baggage beyond a suitcase of strappy sandals and summery party dresses. Regrettably, there is a series of celebrations that mean the end to a valued friendship. There’s also the wedding that offers all the promise of new love.

Wedding experiences come in as varied an assortment as the gowns at any bridal shop, and Doll turns a keen eye to each, delivering a heartfelt exploration of contemporary relationships. Funny, honest, and affecting, Save the Date is a fresh and spirited look at the many ways in which we connect to one another.

REVIEW: Jen Doll is a single woman in her 30′s who has never been married.  As a child, she always dreamed of her own wedding and married life.  However, it has just never happened for her.  Oh but she has been to many weddings for her friends.  She talks about the endless bridal showers and wedding gifts she has bought over the years. In addition, the cost of attending “destination” weddings and the enormous number of party dresses and dressy shoes she has purchased for these events.

The book tells little snippets of weddings she has attended with some of the good and not so good events that happened at them.  Some of these little stories are a bit humorous but I failed to find anything “hilarious” about them.

I was drawn to this novel by the recommendations made by different authors printed on the book.  I thought it would be a fun read about some of the little disasters that can happen at weddings.  Instead, it became a first person commentary about the author’s life and some of the weddings she has attended throughout her life.

I admit to becoming quite disappointed in this book because it certainly did not live up to the hype about it.

Connie for b2b

Here come Amber Lin’s Men of Fortune!

Letters At Christmas Cover

Title: Letters At Christmas

Author: Amber Lin

Release Date: July 7th, 2014

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About Letters At Christmas

(Men Of Fortune #1):

Letters At Christmas CoverThree London Seasons. Three Christmases come and gone. Jilted Sidony Harbeck is done waiting for the inconstant Captain Hale Martin to return. Despite their whispered adolescent promises, he never wrote her a single letter. Now the scoundrel has returned, professing his love and a thoughtless bet to woo her, but she only wants him to suffer.

After three years at sea, Hale finally has the means to marry his best friend’s sister and the love of his life. But he only has three days to convince her of his devotion because he stupidly proposes a wager – he’ll convince Sidony to marry him by Christmas or he’ll leave her alone forever.

When Hale sets out to seduce her, the stakes are raised by a passion so intense that Sidony must risk her heart no matter the odds.

Letters At Christmas is the first book in the Men Of Fortune series.

Pick it up for FREE until July 21st!

Amazon / B&N

EXCERPT:

 

HARBECK HALL, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND

1815

Your absence arrives most strongly at night, conjured by dreams and a gentle sway, with only a cold sweat and a canvas blanket for company.

The more Miss Sidony Harbeck of Harbeck Hall tried to avoid trouble, the more tightly it always seemed to ensnare her.

Sidony had plenty of time to lament this paradox as she sat stranded in the boughs of a frost-brittle tree. Spindly branches snagged on the thin wool of her dress. Her throat felt raw from shouting against the wind. No one came to her rescue.

The servants would be bustling inside, unaware that she was outside at all. Her brother had gone out hunting last night—the excuse he always gave when he visited his lover, a widow the next estate over. Never mind that he always came back freshly starched without having shot anything. At least Poppet was here for company.

The gray cat mewed plaintively from her lap.

“And whose fault is this?” Sidony muttered. “Really, you just decided to go for a stroll. Twenty feet off the ground.”

The thick, rippled windows had distorted her view of the high road and the long drive leading to the hall. So she’d opened them, and while she’d been sitting on the bench, staring out, Poppet must have slipped past her. She might not have noticed, her attention firmly fixed on the horizon, but he’d started crying at the top of his little lungs.

Disconcerted and distracted, Sidony had reached for him. She’d used a branch for leverage and snap—they’d both fallen. Now she was sitting on a sturdier branch, but too far off the ground to jump and too far below the window to climb back inside. It appeared neither she nor Poppet was injured. Her bottom had ached at first, but the cold had quickly numbed her.

Across the sugar-white fields, a smudge of black suddenly appeared. It moved along the familiar road, becoming larger and smudgier.

She scowled in mortification. No. He would not find her like this. She wouldn’t let him. With a surge of determination, she clutched Poppet against her side and scooted closer to the tree trunk. She would jump, that was all. If she broke her leg, well, at least she’d be out of the tree.

She whispered a small prayer under her breath. Poppet chose that moment to dig her claws into her breast. She shrieked and lost her balance. The cat fell. Sidony did too. With a desperate lurch, she tumbled sideways and firmly enmeshed the folds of her skirt into the surrounding branches, clinging to the trunk.

Poppet landed on his feet in the snow below her. He paused and licked his foreleg—as if washing off the human scent. Then he walked demurely around the back of the house, where the cook would probably give him a bowl of warm milk.
Sidony really hated cats.

She tried to straighten, but this new position was even more precarious than the last. Burning cold beneath her legs gave the troubling implication that her skirt had ridden up in the back. Drat it all. She batted branches away from her hair until the neat upsweep drooped heavily to one side. If given the chance, she desperately promised the fickle gods of Fate, she would go inside and never, ever, think of him again.

Really.

Truly.

Except, that would be impossible, as he’d be here any minute.

A rumble from the lane drew her attention. She froze. Time for a new plan. She would remain very still until he’d gone inside. He wouldn’t notice her. Eventually, someone else would find her and help her down. Or she would freeze to death. At this point, she wasn’t picky about the outcome, as long as he didn’t see her like this.

She regretted her choice of festive green dress, which rather stood out from the winter-gray tree and grayer brick behind. Green complimented her fair complexion and hazel eyes, but this fact only made her feel worse, as if she’d been trying to impress him. She also regretted her entirely coincidental perch by her bedchamber window, as if she’d been waiting for him. Which she certainly hadn’t been doing. Never, never, never again.

Voices murmured from around the house, along with all the stomach-clenching sounds of a carriage stopping and a passenger disembarking. The soft crunch of snow grew louder. She studiously trained her gaze on the white horizon.

“Hello, Sidony.” Hale.

She chose not to look down. It seemed safer that way. “Good afternoon.”

A telling pause. “Why are you in a tree?”

“Fresh air is an important component of physical fitness and mental stability.” Or so the ladies’ magazine had reported. “You may go inside now.”
“I would very much like to go inside. It’s been a long journey. And yet, I find myself reluctant to leave you here. In this tree. Can you come down?”

“Of course I can come down. I would have to be very stupid to climb a tree that I couldn’t climb down from.”

“Yes, precisely.” Another pause. “Though it occurs to me that you might not have climbed up. Your window is open.”

“How do you know that’s my window?”

She flushed as her question brought to mind the nights he had been in her room.

“How about this?” he asked reasonably. “In the interest of my mental stability, I’ll help you down. Then if you want to climb the tree again, I won’t stop you.”

Fine, she reluctantly conceded. Better than freezing to death. Marginally. She held out her hand, wishing she’d thought to wear gloves. He was wearing them, of course, and the leather was cool and soft against her trembling fingers. She’d intended to go slowly and carefully, but as soon as he grasped her hand, he pulled. A slight tearing sound came from her dress, and then she was suspended in his arms, clinging to his neck.

She suddenly had more sympathy for Poppet’s predicament; claws would be useful about now.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

Her dress was ripped. Her hair undone. Her pride beaten and shriveled. “Perfectly well, thank you.”

“Of course you are. Sidony Harbeck always lands on her feet.”

She reminded herself it was a compliment. Hale had always liked cats.

As she looked up at him, the brilliance of his smile stopped her cold. It was a nice, handsome smile, but that wasn’t the danger. Those dimples that she had always thought of as adorable had deepened, and were now tanned…and dashing. Debonair, even. When had that happened?

He nestled her comfortably in his arms, with her head tucked beneath his chin, thankfully relieving her of the sight. Instead, she looked at Harbeck Hall, the family estate, through new eyes as they approached. What did Hale think of the new slate turrets? No doubt they looked pedestrian to a man as well travelled. The entire moors must appear plain compared to exotic lagoons or snow-capped mountains.

FREE – FREE - FREE – FREE - FREE – FREE - FREE – FREE - FREE – FREE       Only until July 21, 2014!

Amber author

AUTHOR BIO: Amber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.

 

Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.

 

Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.

 

Social Media:Twitter | Amazon Author Page Facebook | Goodreads | Website 

 

 

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Jenna Jaxon and …

Eight Fun Facts about Medieval Times

ma1During my extensive research for Beleaguered, and all the books of Time Enough to Love, I have come across a plethora of information regarding the times, people, and customs of the Middle Ages.  Some of these facts found their way into the books in one form or another.  But I couldn’t use everything without sounding like a history book rather than a romance novel.  So I thought I’d share some of these little know facts about Medieval Times.

  1.  During the Middle Ages people bathed a lot more than people today give them credit for. In noble households they might have private baths with servants to assist.  For the masses, there were public bath houses that often also served meals to the bathers.
  1.  Weddings were held outside the doors of the church.  No priest was needed to officiate and if there were no witness, the marriage was still deemed valid as long as the couple had spoken their vows and had given and received a token (such asma2 a ring).
  1. Marriages were usually arranged by the parents of the bride and groom, who were often very young indeed.  The age of consent during the Middle Ages was 12 years for a girl and 14 years old for a boy.
  1. The Bubonic Plague that hit Europe in 1348 was actually three strains of plague.  The bubonic plague is the classic disease of the lymphatic system, carried by fleas from rats, that manifested itself in large buboes or swollen lymph nodes in neck, armpit, and groin. The second strain was septicaemic plague was an infection of the blood and pneumonic plague was an infection of the respiratory ma3system.  The latter two strains had almost a 100% mortality rate.  The Bubonic plague was closer to 50%. During the mid-14th century pandemic nearly one third of all people in the affected areas died of it.
  1. During the Middle Ages women rode  horses astride for travel and hunting.  Sidesaddles did not become fashion until the 15th century and then only for ceremonial occasions.  Women rode astride into the 16th century.
  1. Royal banquets lasted for many hours and consisted up to six courses.  Courses consisted of such dishes as civet of hare, a quarter of stag, sturgeon cooked in parsley and vinegar covered in powdered ginger, chickens covered in yolk of eggs and sprinkled with spice.  The point was to serve many intricate dishes from whichma4 guests took only a bit and then passed it on.
  1. Archery was one of the most popular sports of the medieval period.  Also popular were bowls, colf (forerunner of golf), hurling (forerunner of hockey), horseshoes, and stoolball (a forerunner of cricket).
  1. During the Middle Ages, when a woman went into labor, she was shut into a room with the doors closed and the windows covered until a month after the baby’s birth. She was attended by a midwife, her assistants, and several of the mother-to-be’s friends and relatives.

Beleaguered3BELEAGUERED

BOOK BLURB: When death holds sway in the world, can even the greatest love survive?

Finally in France, Alyse and Thomas return to their roles as courtiers to Princess Joanna.  Their passion for one another continues to smolder hot and deep—until one fateful encounter changes everything.

During a formal banquet, Alyse must share an intimate dance with Geoffrey, her first love. His searing touch proves Alyse’s love and desire for him is as strong as when they first met. Tormented by this revelation, Alyse is bitterly torn between the love of her life and her love for her husband.

Into this agonizing situation, the disaster of the Black Death rears its head, decimating the princess’s retinue and threatening all their lives.  Alyse, Thomas and Geoffrey must try to save the princess from the ravening disease but at a dire cost to themselves.  With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both of the men she loves.  But which love will survive?

Buy Links: Amazon / Smashwords

TEASER: 

The men continued to talk, but she paid them no heed, caught in a private hell from which she had believed herself safe. She would have to be vigilant to ensure neither she nor Thomas were burned by the fire that had been kindled months ago between her and Geoffrey Longford. She could not trust any of them now—neither her husband to keep his jealously in check, nor Geoffrey to cease his pursuit of her, nor herself to keep him at bay.

She had believed she loved Thomas enough to lay the ghost of Geoffrey to rest in their bed. But from the moment she had seen him on deck this morning, her beloved still, she knew deep in her very core that Geoffrey had been right: it would never be over between them until they were dead and in the tomb.

This realization frightened her beyond all reason. It was as though she had been two people in one body all day, each belonging to a different man. As long as they lived that would never change. She played with fire each time she met with or spoke to Geoffrey, and one day the banked embers would flame up and consume them both.

There would be hell to pay one way or the other. The only question was how much damage would be wrought. Immortal souls hung in the balance, waiting for Judgment Day.

>>>>> $50 Amazon GC - RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY <<<<<

jjAUTHOR BIO: Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical  and contemporary romance.  She is currently finishing revisions to  her fifth full length novel, To Woo A Wicked Widow, set in Regency England and the first book in her five part series, The Widow’s Club.

Only Scandal Will Do is Book 1 in her Georgian  House of Pleasure series and Only Marriage Will Do, second book in the series is with the editor. Her medieval trilogy, Time Enough to Love, is being published by Rising Phoenix Publications. Book 1, Betrothal is currently available.  Book 2, Betrayal, will be available later this fall.

Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Social Media: WebsiteTweeter / Facebook

‘Minding The Manor’ by Mollie Moran

mm mtmSTORY: Born in 1916 in Norfolk, Mollie Moran is one of the few people still alive today who can recall working “downstairs” in the golden years of the early 1930′s before the outbreak of WWII. She provides a rare and fascinating insight into a world that has long since vanished. Mollie left school at age fourteen and became a scullery maid for a wealthy gentleman with a mansion house in London’s Knighsbridge and a Tudor manor in Norfolk.

Even though Mollie’s days were long and grueling and included endless tasks, such as polishing doorknobs, scrubbing steps, and helping with all of the food prep in the kitchen, she enjoyed her freedom and had a rich life. Like any bright-eyed teenager, Mollie also spent her days daydreaming about boys, dresses, and dances. She became fast friends with the kitchen maid Flo, dated a sweet farmhand, and became secretly involved with a brooding, temperamental footman. Molly eventually rose to kitchen maid for Lord Islington and then cook for the Earl of Leicester’s niece at the magnificent Wallington Hall.

REVIEW: This is the biography of a young English woman who became a scullery maid in the 1930′s.  Mollie began work at the tender age of 14 and learned very quickly that her day was to be very long with lots of hard work.  Up at 6:30AM, she had a list of chores to do before 8:00AM when she could get some breakfast.  She had to scrub the front steps, blacklead the grate, polish the hearth, light the range fire, put the kettles on, scrub the kitchen floors and passageways, scrub the long kitchen table including the legs, set the kitchen table for staff breakfast and help the kitchen maid start cooking their breakfast.  Mollie soon learned that she did not want to incur the wrath of Mrs. Jones, the cook.  During the day, she is busy preparing vegetables and washing up all the dishes, including scrubbing and polishing the cook’s favorite copper pots.  When her day ended at 9:30PM, she was truly exhausted.

She was soon joined by the new kitchen maid, Flo, who became her very best friend for life.  Their friendship helped both of them get through the rough times of their jobs. They also enjoyed their time off together just barely staying out of trouble with Mrs. Jones. Flo taught Mollie a lot about cooking and both girls gleaned great cooking knowledge from Mrs Jones.

Mollie is the narrator of the book sharing her experiences, foolish mistakes she made in life plus the fun times that she managed to wring out of every free hour she had.

Now at the age of 94, Mollie is still going strong.  Her stories of life below stairs is probably the best account I’ve ever read.  It’s in-depth without being boring and I absorbed the knowledge like a sponge.  She also tells us of the hardships that many people faced during those times and the historical events that she saw.

This is a book that every person who is fascinated with Downton Abbey will love.  If you love this time period and are curious about life below stairs, do read “Minding the Manor.”  You won’t want to put it down.

Connie for b2b

Spotlight on Tiffany Clare and …

‘Tempted by You’

tc tbyBOOK BLURB: Nothing to lose . . . 

As a renowned pianist, Rosalie Montgomery had the world at her feet until a tragic accident took it all away. She lost so much—her fiancé, her dreams, and her sight. But Rosalie refuses to let her blindness define her, and she becomes a sought after courtesan. When her brother goes missing, Rosalie will do anything to find him—even if it means risking her heart.

Everything to gain . . .

Thaddeus de Burgh is on the brink of becoming a great composer. Except that future depends on the success of his newest concerto, if he can ever finish it. When he hears Rosalie playing the piano, Thaddeus knows he’s found his muse. He offers to find her brother if she helps him with his music. It’s a perfect solution so long as he doesn’t fall for her.

Pre-order Links for the ebook (more to come): iTunes / Kobo / ARe / Smashwords

TEASER: 

THADDEUS DE BURGH FELT LIKE a voyeur. Technically, he wasn’t a voyeur but an eavesdropper; he had actively listened to his brother talking in hushed tones with a lady Teddy did not recognize. While he could have walked away and left his brother to his newest guest, he’d been intrigued by his brother’s change in character on seeing this woman; he was gentle and kind with her even though Nathan had been gruff and moody since Teddy’s arrival. Teddy didn’t know who she was, though he thought he’d seen her before, perhaps at a play or musicale.

While he might not know her, he had felt the weight of her grief and concern as she’d begged for Nathan’s assistance to help her find her brother.

The door between the library and music parlor was slightly ajar. Gaslights flickered orange tendrils up the walls and along the floor, giving him a clear glimpse of the lady within the music room.

The lady’s dress was of fine cornflower blue silk and scooped invitingly off her shoulders, tempting a man to trace the delicate lines of her collarbone and shoulder blades where they peeked out above the fabric at the back.

Rich, black curls piled atop her head, and a few enticing strands fell here and there down her neck, practically begging for his fingers to tuck them back beneath the bits of lace and matching blue silk ribbons woven through her locks. The line of her neck was graceful, her skin snow-white, not a freckle or beauty mark in sight. Even in profile, he could tell she was pretty, with her high cheekbones and her plump, kissable lower lip.

Who was this mysterious and fascinating creature? And what could he do to help her once his brother left for Maidstone?

The temptation to talk to her—not only to distract himself from a composition that was going nowhere, but also to find a way to help her—was a bloody siren singing in his ear at a deafening volume. Without making a sound, he slid the pocket door completely into the wall as he entered the music room.

The woman’s posture was perfect, her arms slender, elbows held aloft at the right angle as she started a series of simple scales and arpeggios with her right hand, followed in succession with the left hand as she warmed her fingers on the old family Broadwood.

He clasped the top edge of a chair and held firm as he listened to the music she all but sang with her hands as she moved away from scales and into a romantic sonata. He had never heard a more moving or passionate pianist. And she played for no one but herself. What would she sound like playing for an audience?

Her technique was flawless, her talent inarguable. Her mind seemed swept away by the music; that was clear in her body language, and in the way she moved gently in synchronization with the slow-paced larghetto. There were no sheets of music to aid her. She simply played where her heart led.

Again, he asked himself: Who was this woman? Why hadn’t he ever heard her play before now? Why hadn’t Nathan told Teddy of her natural brilliance?

He took another step closer when the chords changed to a familiar concerto. How tempted he was to sidle up next to her and place his hands on a higher octave and join in. Would she welcome him to play a piece for four hands?

She bent slightly forward, shoulders leaning close to the keys, and started a new piece. A smooth melodic cantabile, and a very picturesque tune. He could quite literally stand here all day and listen to her play. This was a piece she knew well. Sadness and joy danced around each note, as though she yearned for something long gone or out of reach. Was she thinking of her brother as she played the music? The melody diminished to a softer, quieter tone but remained as stunning as the rest of the piece had been.

He walked over to stand by her right side. The smell of lilacs teased him, the scent light and pleasant. She’d taken off her gloves to play, revealing long, delicate fingers, nails buffed short—ideal for playing the piano. Those slender fingers danced seamlessly across the keys as if she were born at the piano, as if she spent day and night pounding at the keys.

Every nerve ending in his body came alive with awareness, and his heart picked up in speed the more she played. The passion, the beauty of her music struck him speechless.

She didn’t acknowledge him, so he assumed her to be so involved with the piece that she didn’t realize he stood next to her. He couldn’t help but reach for the keys in front of him. Taking the higher register, he mimicked her melody half a beat behind. The piece was simple, yet made complex with complementary harmonies playing over and with one another. And it was incredibly beautiful, as beautiful as Beethoven’s Eroica the first time he’d heard it in concert.

She stopped suddenly with a sound of fright and fell off the side of the small round chair. She landed hard on the floor in a flounce of blue-and-white silk, the wash of color like a Mediterranean wave throwing itself onto a sand-covered shore.

“Let me help you up,” he offered, reaching for her before she uttered a word.

“You’ve caused me to have the worst palpitation!” She took an audibly deep breath as she pushed herself up from the floor.

“My apologies—”

He couldn’t finish his words when she looked up at him. She had the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. A clear, topaz blue that was easily four shades lighter than her dress. Yes, he’d seen her in passing from time to time in her brother’s company, but they’d never been properly introduced. It seemed odd to him that he hadn’t noticed her condition before.

The emptiness that met his gaze drained him of all the warmth that had infused him the moment he’d heard her playing.
In his mind he had pegged her as an undiscovered virtuoso, but that simply couldn’t be the case. In fact, such a thing was damn near impossible for someone who obviously couldn’t read sheet music, no matter how beautifully she played.

She could not see him, not even an outline of him. It was evident in her vacant, blind gaze. But the way she played . . .

She intrigued him like no other person ever had and he had a sudden desire to know everything about her. It struck him that her conundrum with her brother was the perfect reason to learn all there was to learn about this woman. This woman’s music had inspired him to a whole new level. He wanted to write his composition with the same passion she exuded in her own music. Emulate it in such a way that those listening to his music would feel as he felt listening to hers.

EXCERPT: here

AUTHOR BIO: Deciding that life had far more to offer than a nine to five job, bickering children and housework of any kind (unless she’s on a deadline when everything is magically spotless), Tiffany Clare opened up her laptop to write stories she could get lost in. Tiffany writes historical romances set in the Victorian era and is currently working on her Desire Me Now series for Avon Impulse, which releases in 2015. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two kids and two dogs.

Social Media: Facebook / Twitter / Website

GIVEAWAY: 1 eBook of Kiss Me, Kate!

More from Tiffany Clare:

Dangerous Rogues Series


Leo & Genny, Book 1
October 30, 2012

Tristan & Charlotte, Book 2
April 30, 2013
Scandalous Duke
Hayden & Jessica, Book 3
February 25, 2014
KissMeKate
Kate & George, The Carletons, Book 0.5
November 27, 2012
Tiffany Clare’s Debut & The Hallaway Sisters Series

September 28, 2010

The Hallaway Sisters, Book 1
February 1, 2011

The Hallaway Sisters, Book 2
May 24, 2011

Click on the images for more information on each book and to read excerpts.

‘The Dancing Master’ by Julie Klassen

jk tdmSTORY: Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch’s daughter. Though he’s initially wary of Julia Midwinter’s reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul–and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master–a man her mother would never approve of–but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec’s help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village. . .and to her mother’s tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a “good match” in Regency England.

REVIEW: Julia Midwinter has a nice life in a lovely home attended by servants and living a comfortable life.  However, she is bored.  Her mother, Amelia, is a widow with very strict views on life.  Julia is watched over very carefully and it is expected that she will make a good match as she is the heir to her family estate in Devonshire.

Alec Valcourt has just arrived in Devonshire bringing along his mother and sister to live with his uncle.  He has left a successful and family owned dancing studio.  They had to leave London due to a scandalous situation that affected the family.  Thinking that he can start over in Devonshire by opening a new studio where he will teach dancing and fencing, he is astonished to find that Amelia Midwinter decreed many years ago that dancing will not be allowed in their town.  As a result of this, Julia has never been taught to dance and Amelia has said that she does not need a season in London either. 

It is inevitable that Julia and Alec will meet and are attracted to one another.  However, when Amelia realizes that his is a dancing master, she forbids Julia to have anything to do with him.  

There are many family secrets that surround Julia’s life.  The man she thought of as her father has passed away and Julia finds she cannot grieve for him as he never showed her any affection.  Her mother visits her brother’s grave and places flowers while she never mentions her sister’s grave nor does she leave flowers.  For many years, Julia has tried to get Amelia to open up to her but she refuses.  So, when Julia finds a baby’s dress and a partially written letter in a trunk in the attic that she knows is forbidden to her, she decides she will not rest until she finds more answers.

Meanwhile, Alec is struggling to make money to help support his mother and sister. However, he encounters one roadblock after another.  It is his faith that keeps him determined and focused.

As the story builds, we meet the different characters of the town all of whom are well-formed by the author.  Little by little, the family secrets that have been hidden from Julia surface and both she and Amelia must face the past and reconcile themselves to it.

I enjoyed this novel and had been looking forward to reading it.  If I have any complaints, it would be that the book is much longer than it should be.  It should have ended 100 pages sooner than it did.

I’ve read two other novels by Julie Klassen, “The Girl in the Gatehouse” which I found to be a bit tedious and “The Tutor’s Daughter” which I absolutely loved.  I believe the author truly delves into the subject she is writing about and tries to look at all the emotions of her characters and she expresses them very well.

Connie for b2b