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

Delilah Marvelle stops by b2b…

Today we welcome an author I love a lot and her 2008 debut book….

‘Mistress of Pleasure’ by Delilah Marvelle

MOP DMBOOK BLURB: Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle de Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother’s school in London where gentlemen receive instruction–in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent, free from men and the shackles of marriage. But when Maybelle lays eyes on Edmund Worthington, the Duke of Rutherford, at a soirée, and hears of his scandalous reputation, she decides he’s the perfect person for her to have a tryst with no strings attached. . .

Unbridled passion has again muddied Edmund Worthington’s family name. After his very public dalliance with the strikingly beautiful and sensual Maybelle, his mother insists he marry her. But much to the Duke’s surprise, Maybelle scoffs at his proposal. Never has he encountered such a brazen–and maddeningly irresistible–woman. But when Maybelle’s grandmother falls ill, forcing Maybelle to take over the operation of her school, Edmund devises a plan to make her his. He enrolls in the school, where no one other than Maybelle must give him expert lessons in carnal pleasure. . .

Dear Reader,

Mistress of Pleasure is the very first book I ever published.  As a result, it will always be near and dear to my heart.  I was inspired to write the series when I stumbled across a lesser known courtesan by the name of Ninon de L’Enclos who was known to host philosophical ‘classes’ for men to discuss love, sex and life. Just know the school is not as far fetched as you think!

Much Love,

Delilah Marvelle

EXCERPT:

Lesson One

What defines a woman?

Why, she does, of course. —The School of Gallantry​

London, England—May 1830​​

When Maybelle first discovered at the tender age of twelve that her beautiful, silver-haired grandmother was in fact a French courtesan, it had been most…awkward. Yet equally fascinating, to say the least.

Being left in the care of such a sexually liberated woman certainly made for an unusual upbringing. For instance, French was taught, not out of cultural or educational necessity, but because her grandmother believed that the rolling off of French from one’s tongue was erotic. As such, French words always had to be sprinkled here and there like powdered sugar over the not-so-orgasmic English language. At fourteen, Maybelle refused to adhere to the woman’s ridiculous French/English rule. Mostly because she felt like a want-wit who couldn’t decide between two languages.

At fifteen, Maybelle was further astonished to discover that naughty little books were not only permitted. They were required. So unlike other girls who took to sneaking pornographic books and keeping them under their bedroom pillows, Maybelle was forced to sneak volumes of Voltaire. For there was only so much copulation a girl could ingest day in and day out.

Needless to say, after spending nine years under the perpetual rule of her grandmother, there really wasn’t much in this world that could actually astound her.

Or at least that is what she’d thought.

Maybelle eyed the full glass of cognac, which had been set onto the gleaming surface of the walnut table before her, and heaved out an exasperated sigh as she eased into one of the parlor chairs. She had expected the last morning spent with her grandmother to be difficult. But cognac? Honestly.

She met her grandmother’s attentive gaze from across the French crimson parlor and drawled, “I take it there is no tea in the cupboards?”

“Och. Tea. The English are overly obsessed with it.” Her grandmother rose from the settee, rustling not only her full verdant skirts but also all three sets of stringed pearls dangling over her more-than-generous bosom. “We have every right to toast to all of our upcoming adventures. After all, you will finally get to visit your beloved Egypt, while I, I will finally have my School of Gallantry.”

Maybelle paused. Then blinked. “Your School of Gallantry?”

“Ah.” Her grandmother bustled over toward the small writing bureau set in the corner of the parlor and snatched up a piece of parchment from atop a pile of correspondences. Turning, she bustled back again and halted before Maybelle. Smiling ever so charmingly, she held out the sizable cream-colored parchment by the tips of her manicured fingers.

Maybelle stared at the parchment dangling before her.

MADAME THÉRÈSE’S SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY

ALL GENTLEMEN WELCOME.

LEARN FROM THE MOST CELEBRATED

DEMIMONDAINE OF FRANCE

EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT LOVE AND     SEDUCTION.

ONLY A LIMITED AMOUNT OF

APPLICATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED

AT 11 BERWICK STREET.

DISCRETION IS GUARANTEED AND ADVISED.​

Well. That certainly explained why her grandmother had kept to herself these past few months. She’d been busy creating a school. For men.  Heaven help her. This was going to follow her straight to the pyramids. At least the woman had used a nom de plume. Although it was only a matter of time before the gossip papers found out who was really behind it.

“Well?” her grandmother prodded, still holding out the advertisement. “What do you think?”

Ever since her father’s death left her in the care of his mother, she often felt as if she were the guardian. And enough was damn well enough.  Maybelle rose from her parlor chair and snatched hold of the parchment. “Our reputation is already limp. Why on earth do you feel the need to flog it to death? You promised Papa that you’d never return to being a demimondaine. You promised.”

Her grandmother arched a silver brow. “This is not a return. I am merely selling techniques.”

“Techniques?” Maybelle smacked the parchment with the back of her hand. “It’s ludicrous. What man would ever admit to needing lessons in seduction? You of all people should know that it comes natural to men.”

“Does it? How odd. I suppose the thirty men who have already enlisted are merely looking for entertainment.” With that, her grandmother snatched the advertisement back and smoothed the edges of it carefully between her manicured fingers.

Maybelle’s heart jumped. Thirty men had already enlisted?! Who on earth were all these naughty blighters? And what did they think they were going to learn?

Calm. She needed to remain calm. There had to be a perfectly good reason for all this. There were always reasons. No matter how far-fetched. “Are we having trouble with our finances?” she prodded, stepping toward her. “Is that it?”

Her grandmother frowned. “Non. Our finances are exceptionally good. Although I did have some assistance from the lovely widow Lady Chartwell. The woman fondly shares my vision of educating men.”

Maybelle’s eyes widened. England’s widows were actually donating to this plight? Although Maybelle wanted to outright demand why her grandmother would stoop to such a crude level of disrespect toward herself, her lips were simply too numb to form a single intelligible word.

“You are not pleased, I see.” Her grandmother sighed heavily and wandered back toward the bureau, carefully setting the advertisement onto it. She tilted her head to one side, causing her thick, silver chignon to shift, and centered the parchment before her as if she were straightening a painting. “London has always been so boring compared to Paris. I am used to more excitement. More passion. As you know, I have long sworn off my occupation and sadly, have no great grandchildren to occupy my time. What is worse, you and I have completely different interests. A pile of old rocks set upon endless hot sand is nothing short of torture. I am too delicate for such things.”

Oh dear God. There it was again. The pity-me routine. “No one forced you to stay in London. You chose to stay here. Furthermore, I won’t have you calling the pyramids a pile of old rocks. They are amazing historic monuments worthy of genuine fascination. I’ve already postponed my trip four times because of you and every time I was forced to pay my designated traveling companion ten pounds despite the fact that I never traveled anywhere.”

Maybelle crossed her arms over her chest. “So what is it that you want this time? Aside from great grandchildren.”

Her grandmother turned and feigned shock as her slender hand flew to her bosom. “Want? What would make you think that I want anything?”

Maybelle narrowed her gaze knowing a seasoned actress had stepped onstage. “You know exactly how I feel about these things, which is why you are trying to leverage this against me. Otherwise, you would have never told me. You would have waited until I left England and then opened the school.”

Those soft blue eyes, which were a mere shade darker than her own, remained fixed on Maybelle. “I am not trying to leverage anything. The advertisements have long been sent and the townhouse rented. It is done, chère. Classes begin next week. And in the end, I confess that the most difficult aspect was having to choose only four out of the thirty who had originally enlisted.”

Maybelle hesitated then drawled, “You are renting out an entire townhouse to host only four men?”

“Oui, but it is only temporary. Until I regulate the schedule and coordinate the lesson plans. As time goes on, I will add more men. Which of course will mean more work. It will require more teachers. More hosts. More toys.” Her grandmother paused and eyed her. “You would not consider staying and becoming a hostess for a few months, would you? Though we should qualify you more by dispensing of your virginity.”

Maybelle choked on a horrified gasp, then quickly cleared her throat. Twice. “I believe you are the only grandmother in the history of England to ever say such a thing to her granddaughter. That aside, do you even realize what you’ll be promoting by opening such a school? Do you?”

A mischievous smile appeared on those full pink lips. “I will proudly be promoting the pleasure of all my fellow women who are fortunate enough to come across my étudiants.”

EXCERPT continued here.

Available as eBook only: Amazon / Kobo / B & N

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Delilah MarvelleAUTHOR INFO: 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 Romance of 2012.

When she isn’t writing, she’s digging through historically inappropriate research books that make her poor husband blush. She hangs out on Facebook  and Tweeter.

You can visit her at her website or her blog that explores the naughtier side of history.

COVER REVEAL for ‘Romancing Lady Stone’ by Delilah Marvelle

RLS DMBOOK BLURB: He believes in destiny. She just wants to survive it…

At forty, Lady Cecilia Evangeline Stone thinks she has everything a woman could ever want. A title, a fortune, and four children who make her proud. After a marriage of convenience that was anything but convenient, she has no desire to complicate her life by including a man in it again. When her eldest son announces his engagement to a Russian actress in Saint Petersburg, Cecilia sets out to do what any good mother would do: stop the wedding. Unfortunately, destiny has other plans.

Konstantin Alexie Levin never considered himself to be a villain. In fact, he considers himself to be a Russian gentleman. Having grown up in a refined and well-educated family that embraced criminal life to avoid debtor’s prison, the only thing preventing him from knowing happiness is the rest of the world. Everything changes, however, when Konstantin is given a chance to start life anew and travel to London to collect an unexpected reward for saving a man’s life. To his surprise, he is about to become a hero at midnight to a beautiful aristocrat who desperately needs his help. The problem is…he wants to do more than save Lady Stone. He wants to make the woman his, all his.

OUT TODAY for ONLY 99 cents! 

You can buy this book from: Smashwords / Kobo / Barnes and Noble / Amazon

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

Delilah Marvelle

AUTHOR 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 Romance of 2012. When she isn’t writing, she’s digging through research books. You can visit her at her website.

Here are some of the Links you can contact Delilah at:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

TWO Giveaway = 10 eBooks

Delilah is giving away FIVE ebook copies of LADY OF PLEASURE (Kindle, Nook or Kobo, winner’s choice). Giveaway ends August 25.

b2b IS giving away FIVE ebook copies of ROMANCING LADY STONE [Kindle only]

 Giveaway ends August 25.

*To enter Delilah’s GIVEAWAY, click on Rafflecopter 

*To enter b2b GIVEAWAY, just comment on this post!

Spotlight on: Delilah Marvelle & …

Rumor Series

Forever Mine [Prequel]

FM DMLady Augustine Jane Ascott longs for a man who will do more than offer on her hand in marriage.  She wants a husband she can trust, someone who will shield her from the darkness of the world.  Her heart was broken when her younger brother was kidnapped years earlier, and she still carries the pain of his loss.

​When the handsome Duke of Wentworth makes his feelings for her known, Augustine’s past demons warn her away.  Besides, every woman in London knows he’s devoted to the memory of his late wife.  But is it possible he cares for her after all — and that their love can bring them the peace they both crave?

READER PLEASE NOTE: Bonus Chapters from FOREVER MINE that were not included in this Prequel Novella are available for free download.  Click HERE to download them.  These two bonus chapters are the untold story of what happened to Nathaniel from Augustine’s point of view.  While the publisher opted not to include the two chapters in FOREVER MINE, due to its dark nature, I feel this story and the entire series is incomplete without them.  These two chapters, in my opinion, are critical in understanding Nathaniel’s story whom the entire series is based on.

Available now at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Forever and A Day [Book I]

FaaD DMRoderick Gideon Tremayne, the recently appointed Duke of Wentworth, never expected to find himself in New York City, tracking down a mysterious map important to his late mother. And he certainly never expected to be injured, only to wake up with no memory of who he is. But when he sees the fiery-haired beauty who’s taken it upon herself to rescue him, suddenly his memory is the last thing on his mind.

​Georgia Milton, the young head of New York’s notorious Forty Thieves, feels responsible for the man who was trying to save her reticule from a thief.  But she’s not prepared for the fierce passion he ignites within her.  When his memory begins to return, her whole world is threatened, and Roderick must choose between the life he forgot and the life he never knew existed…​

Available at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Forever a Lady [Book II]

FaL DMBernadette Marie Burton may be the richest widow in England, but like her dreams of finding true passion, her reputation is deteriorating.  Cruel gossip, loneliness and hoards of opportunistic suitors have her believing Society couldn’t be more vile….or dangerous.  So when an attacker threatens her life, she finds safety in the most unseemly of places: the arms of a mysterious, Irish-American gang leader.

His fortune stolen, young Matthew Joseph Milton is done playing the respectable gentleman.  In the slums of New York, only ruffians thrive.  But from the moment he arrives in London and encounters the volumptious Lady Bernadette, he  can’t help but wonder about the finer pleasures he’s missing.  Or just how much he’s willing to risk — not only to bed her, but  to prove his worth…

Available at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Forever a Lord [Book III]

F A L DMLady Imogene Norwood lived a sheltered life of quiet respectability and routine…until she debuts at her first Season. There she meets the wild and broken Lord Atwood among London’s elite. And the very shy English rose suddenly realizes that a little chaos might just be what her heart desires.

​Lord Nathaniel James Atwood doesn’t believe true love exists. Since scandal tore him away from his family at an early age, he has spent his life fighting for what he wants. That attitude made him a rising star in bare-knuckle boxing, and now leads him back to London to reclaim the life that was stolen from him. But upon meeting the innocent Imogene, his beliefs are trounced…as guarding his heart against her proves to be the fight of his life.

Available at: Amazon / B&N

Giveaway: paperback of FOREVER A LORD to one winner.  US ONLY.

Delilah Marvelle and I at RT's in Chicago 2012Delilah Marvelle BIO:

Delilah Marvelle spent her youth studying various languages, reading voraciously and playing the pianoforte. She confesses that here ends the extent of her gentle breeding. She was a naughty child who was forever torturing her parents with countless adventures that they did not deem respectable. Confined to her room on many occasions due to these misadventures, she discovered the quill and it’s amazing power.

Soon, to the dismay of her parents, she rather enjoyed being confined to her room and finished writing her first historical romance (which was a heart-stopping 800 pages long…) at the age of fourteen.

She is a two time Golden Heart finalist and the winner of The Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year.

You can visit her at her website at http://www.DelilahMarvelle.com or her blog, which explores the naughtier side of history, at http://www.DelilahMarvelle.blogspot.com.

Connect with Delilah:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

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‘Under the Mistletoe’ by Jill Shalvis

UTM JSSTORY: There’s no place like home for the holidays. And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer. But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright. Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet. But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts-and asking for forgiveness.

Nick grew up without a family of his own so he’s overwhelmed by the love that Mia receives from all her relatives, gathered together to celebrate the season. Under their watchful eyes, Nick finds earning back her trust the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. If he succeeds, he will receive the greatest gift of all, Mia’s love for a lifetime.

REVIEW: I am sure that my lack of familiarity with Jill Shalvis and her Lucky Harbor series contributed to my full enjoyment of this story.

It was a bit harder for someone like myself to fully connect with already established community and family dynamic and although the story was well told and can stand on its own, I believe if read in order, I would have enjoyed it better.

The characters of Mia and Nick as well as the situation they find themselves in, were all a bit rushed for my liking. But then, this was a short novella, and there’s so much an author can do.

Mia and Nick had different backgrounds as adopted  children, and while she thrived in her family, Nick had a harder time of it. I wanted to feel Nick’s pain of being a neglected child, but didn’t manage because there was very little description of it. Yes I was told that he’d moved back and forth between foster homes, but there was just not enough of ‘feel’ into it.

Having past characters pop in and out of scenes was also distracting and confusing at times. Carlos was someone who I didn’t like much, but I bet you that the followers of this series were happy to see him appear. The same goes with the rest of Mia’s extended family, Ford and Tara, Mia’s biological parents; Chloe and Sawyer, the bride and groom of the wedding Mia’s attending.

In the end the story, for me at least, was just okay. For all you Jill Shalvis fans this will be a short, sweet, hot and sensual little novella that reunites a few characters you might have missed.

Book provided by NetGalley

‘All I Want for Christmas is a Duke’ by Delilah Marvelle & Máire Claremont

AIWFCIAD DM MCSTORY: Merry Christmas, Mrs. Robinson by Delilah Marvelle

Lady Jane left her father, the Earl of Chadwick, and the ton behind to experience life on the stage. After a disastrous marriage, the widow is living on the edge of poverty, determined to guard her heart, when a secret admirer from her past demands a second chance.

Shy and retiring Martin Nicholas Pierce, the Sixth Duke of Somerset, has carried a torch for Lady Jane since her youth, but he is five years her junior. When she married another man, he left for Europe, determined to put her out of his mind. After returning to find Lady Jane free, he vows to replace the memories of her cursed Twelfth Night with a new beginning.

STORY: The Twelve Days of Seduction By Máire Claremont

Alexander Hunt, Eighth Duke of Berresford, is aware his ward’s governess isn’t quite what she seems. Although Miss Flint is beautiful and intelligent, she misrepresented herself to gain employment, and he threatens to give her the sack mere days before Christmas.

Desperate to convince the sexy duke not to tear her from the little girl she’s grown to adore, Adriana challenges him to seduce her before the Twelve Days of Christmas have come to an end, although she fears it may cost her heart. Alexander accepts the challenge, unconcerned that he has as much to lose, if not more, than the delectable Miss Flint.

REVIEW: ‘Merry Christmas Mrs. Robinson’ by Delilah Marvelle

This story was extra special to me because of its pairing of the older woman/younger man. In my personal life, I am the older woman…

Lady Jane was only in her early twenties when she decided, and was encouraged by her younger friend Martin, to defy the society and reach for her dream of becoming an opera singer. A decision like that came with a heavy price of being estranged from her family and being shunned by most of the society. I say most, because men of that society adored and pursued her relentlessly. One of them in particular caught not just her attention, but the attention of the papers as well. To all of them he was only known as Mister X and his letters were something she looked forward to, knowing that his words brought her closer to that elusive thing called love. And then one day, a man shows up and claims her heart in the name of Mister X…

Martin Pierce, the sixth Duke of Somerset, is worried about his elderly Aunt who was neglected by his family because many years ago she defied Society and ran off with a man not worthy of her station. He is trying very hard to have her see and understand that the living quarters she resides in are roach infested and not suitable to her station. Through his discussion with her, he finds out that the woman he adored and never could forget is now impoverished and residing in the same building as his Aunt.  This news crushes him and he realizes that the time has come for him to act on his deep feelings for her.

It’s no secret to any of my followers how much I love anything this author writes and this short novella is no different. I loved the way she portrayed both hero and heroine as two lonely souls that connected as friends first, and lovers later.

As they grew older, they seemed to have reversed their personalities. Long ago, Martin was all of seventeen; shy and reserved young fellow with a deep feeling for an ‘older’ woman of twenty-two.  The only relationship he could offer Jane was that of a friend. That, however never stopped him from secretly declaring his love for her through his letters.

Jane had been strong and forward thinking female filled with excitement and not shy at all. She believed in herself and her dreams, wanting to absorb all that life had to offer, most of all the love of a man whom she loved through his letters.

Years later, Jane’s doubts and apprehension of the intimacy she knows she wants, but isn’t sure of are now keeping her away from Martin.

Martin on the other hand is now a man to be reckoned with.  Gone is the shy and timid youngster to be replaced by this gloriously handsome and love starved man who knows what he not just wants but needs with all his heart.

This is one of those stories that I’ll be rereading from year to year, that’s how good it was! My heart just went out to both of them. In this story you’ll find a bit of everything, from wit to sensuality, but romance is the driving force and I highly recommend it for many Christmases to come.

REVIEW: ‘The Twelve Days of Seduction’ By Máire Claremont

This story comes to us from an author that will blow us all away when her début book comes out next year. Keep an eye on ‘The Dark Lady: A Novel of Mad Passions’ coming out February 5, 2013.

If y’all are ‘Jane Eyre’ fans, this one will be a hit for you, no question about it. For all of those that never read ‘Jane Eyre’ [or for that matter saw any version’s offered to us from many filmmakers, notably the BBC series with Toby Stephens playing Mr. Rochester, who I thought did even better job than Orson Welles], I am sure you’ll love it as well.

Adriana Flint’s understated beauty and strong character were driving force behind this story of a woman who pulled herself out of the gutter, quite literally.

She is a survivor and through sheer determination alone, she reinvents herself as this proper English miss that takes the position of a governess, to a little girl who is challenged by a limp, the Duke of Berresford’s ward. She adores the little mite and dedicates herself to teaching her ways to overcome her disability. Adriana also realizes that sooner or later, her secret identity and her ‘moonlighting’ job will be discovered and crush not only her, but two people she had come to care for so much.

Alexander Hunt, Eighth Duke of Berresford is a man who adores his little ward and would do anything to keep her from harm. Over a year ago he had hired her Governess and watched the little girl thrive under her care. He respected and observed the boundaries he set by ignoring his secret desire for the prim and proper young woman under his employ and protection. That, however is about to change, as he confronts her and decides to either throw her on her ear, or keep her as his mistress and far away from his home.

As they both come to an understanding that would be amicable to both, Adriana accepts his offer to become his mistress, but only if he manages to seduce her for the next twelve days. Ms. Claremont writes the rest of the story with an easy prose, fast pace and gives us a look into the romance of these two lonely but headstrong people who will make your eyes mist.

Both of these stories were written with romance in mind first and will touch your heart with its unique characters, setting and sensuality.

I am always happy when I read Ms. Marvelle’s work, but now my curiosity is peaked by the new author I discovered and am eagerly awaiting and looking forward to making room for on my Keeper shelf.

Book provided by NetGalley.

‘Forever a Lord’ by Delilah Marvelle

BOOK BLURB: Lady Imogene Norwood lives a sheltered life of quiet respectability and routine…until she debuts at her first Season. There among London’s elite she meets the wild and broken Lord Atwood. And the very shy English rose suddenly realizes that a little chaos might just be what her heart desires. 

Lord Nathaniel James Atwood doesn’t believe true love exists. Since scandal tore him away from his family at an early age, he has spent his life fighting for what he wants. That attitude has made him a rising star in bare-knuckle boxing, and now leads him back to London to reclaim the life that was stolen from him.

But upon meeting the innocent Imogene, his beliefs are trounced…as guarding his heart against her proves to be the fight of his life.

*SPOILER ALERT*

The following excerpt is in the middle of the book and our hero has just thoroughly compromised our heroine in the midst of their discussion of his contract negotiations…

EXCERPT:

“Atwood tucked her head against his chest but said nothing. She still clung to him, unable to move. Pulling away from her, his large hands curved down the length of her arms with digging fingers until they dropped away completely.

He eyed her. ‘I didn’t force myself on you, did I?’

Her cheeks bloomed with heat. She brought a trembling hand to her hair, sweeping long sections of it away from the sides of her face. ‘No.’ Sweeping a hand over his mouth, he fisted that same hand and dug it against his teeth.

After a long moment of silence, he grated out past that fist, ‘You are inevitable, you know that?’

Why was he biting his hand?

‘You don’t appear to be in the least bit pleased by my inevitability.’

He dropped his hand back to his side and gave her a sidelong glance of disbelief. ‘No. I’m not. And I’ll tell you why. Because I feel like I was put into a situation I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get out of. For Christ’s sake, the last thing I wanted was to be married again. And to you, no less. To you.’

She stiffened, her womanly pride prickling. To her, no less? What did that mean? What was so wrong with her that he felt a need to emphasize it aloud with so much vile annoyance? And after he had indulged himself to the brim? She knew she was odd and couldn’t speak well when it was needed most but did he really have to-

It stung. More than she wanted it to.

‘Leave,’ she choked out. ‘My brother will- ‘ She wanted to add much, much more to the sentiment, but was too upset and her throat too tight with emotion. Her tongue was already feeling heavy and set to stutter.

He quirked a dark brow. ‘Your brother will what?’

 

 

She whipped a forefinger to the parlor entrance, knowing that if she spoke, it would only be in broken fragments that would make her look half-witted. And she was not going to be upstaged after that hip-grinding, breast-tweaking display her brother had to witness.

Nathaniel stared. ‘Why the devil are you so miffed?’

Oh, she would show him miffed, making her feel like a piece of fat he’d cut off the mutton when she was giving them all an opportunity of a lifetime. Just because she was naïve to the ways of men didn’t make her naive to the ways of being demeaned. Shaking her finger rigidly at the direction of the parlor entrance, she hoped to God he would just go and spare her the humiliation of having to use words.

Lines of concentration etched his brow. He angled toward her. ‘Is this about your stutter?’

Her eyes widened. Oh, God. He knew. Her own brother had tattled about her stuttering as if she were some medical aberration in need of pity.

His countenance notably softened. ‘Imogene. I’ve been through far too much to judge. Believe me. I don’t care what it sounds like. Say whatever you need to.’

He felt sorry for her. Henry had no doubt even asked the man to play governess to her until the championship. It was…humiliating. Like she was being passed from one set of panicked hands to another.

Nathaniel eyed her. ‘One of the boys in New York had a stutter.’

This just kept getting worse. She was now being compared to some American boy. Hardly a compliment.

Taking on a pensive look, he added, ‘I have an idea. Seeing we have four months of this ahead of us, why not deal with it now?’ He lifted his shaven chin and undid his cravat, tossing it aside.

She scrambled back, her throat tightening all the more. What was he doing?

He casually undid the buttons on his waistcoat. ‘You and I are going to play Devil’s Dare. It’s a game men and women play in the Five Points. The idea is that I have to get you to take the Devil’s Dare through verbal bribes before all of my clothes are removed and I’m forced to walk into the street naked. The Devil’s Dare is this- you have to say something. So for each bribe I issue and each bribe you reject, a piece of my clothing is removed until I’m forced to walk into the streets in nothing but my goodwill. Now I know you like me well enough not to let me walk into the street naked. Or at least, I hope you do. Are you ready?’

She gaped. Was he being serious?

‘Imogene, I will buy you a necklace made of rubies after I get my seven thousand.’

She swallowed, trying to steady her breathing. What was he doing?

‘Clearly, you reject.’ He shrugged off his coat from each muscled arm and let it fall to the floor.

‘Imogene, I’m not one for fawning, but I’ll take you into a garden and pick flowers for you. Would you like that?’

Mother of heaven. Why was he-

‘Clearly, you reject.’ Holding her gaze, he shrugged off his waistcoat. It rustled to his booted feet.

‘Imogene, I’ll dance with you on the rooftop of whatever house we move into during our four-month marriage.’

He didn’t expect her to play along, did he?

‘Clearly, you reject.’ He yanked out his linen shirt from his trousers, letting it fall past his hips.

‘Imogene, I will do something I have never done for a woman. I will take you shopping and hold all of your parcels.’

She clamped a trembling hand over her mouth.

‘Clearly, you reject. I’m also running out of clothing, so you better take up the next offer.’ He yanked off the linen shirt with a ripple of solid movements that exposed the menacingly well-sculpted muscles of a broad chest and arms that visibly shifted and tightened against scars that bespoke years of fighting. He tossed the shirt.

She gasped, her heart pounding in disbelief, and glanced toward the opened doorway and back again at that bare chest, dreading Henry might come in and shoot them both.

‘Imogene, I will always listen to whatever you have to say. No matter how you say it or why you say it.’ Holding her gaze, he dragged his hands down toward the front flap of his trousers, planning on doing away with them next.

Oh, dear God. She had to save him and herself.

‘I accept!’ she choked out.”

 

FEATURED AUTHOR: Delilah Marvelle

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Behind the scenes at ‘Forever a Lord’ book trailer filming….

It’s Tuesday… the weather here in Chicago is spelling F.A.L.L. all over town… it’s windy, cool and the color’s are amazing… and this Sunday I’ll be meeting Ms. Delilah Marvelle to spend ONE WHOLE DAY with her! I’m beyond excited! I have NOTHING to wear! I have no good shoes! Not one purse is good enough…AND I’m fighting off a cold of all colds! Last week was a week from hell, that’s how sick I was! Doing much, much better today and hoping to be excellent by Sunday, on which I just found out is, surprise-surprise, going to be raining!!! Total bummer! But I have no doubt,Delilah and I will find something to do!

In the meantime, while I run around like a chicken with no head, looking around for what to wear and trying to think of things to ask her, I thought to share with you this sneak-peek at behind the scenes taping of her book trailer for the upcoming, long-awaited conclusion of the Rumor series, ‘Forever a Lord’.

Stop by and tell me what you think of it and help me come up with some cool questions to ask her and we’ll gift you with the book as soon as it comes out!*

*One giveaway, US residents only.

Fan2Author Interview with…Delilah Marvelle!

I am a ‘newbie’ to this author and while I am ‘on the hunt’ for her back list, she’s impressing the shit out of me with her new Rumor Series. It’s easily one of the best series in romance I’ve read and every book I own is a keeper. But what impressed me about Delilah Marvelle beside her writing, is how utterly charming and sweet [not to mention sexy] she is in person. She even makes me look good! People, if you’ve never read her, please try to remedy that ASAP! Check out my reviews of the Rumor Series here. Oh, and if you want to contact her, you can find her on FB, Tweeter and at A BIT O’MUSLIN blog! Okay, okay!!! Here she is!!!!

b2bMelanie: Hello Delilah! Can you tell I am ‘over the moon’ by having you stop by?!!! Tell us, are you enjoying your summer so far?

Delilah Marvelle:  LOL!!! I most certainly am.  I usually take the summers off, so I *really* enjoy my summers :D

b2b: How exited are you with the latest Rumor book ‘Forever a Lady’ that just came out?

DM:  VERY.  Especially in light of the premier showing of the BBC show COPPER.  I’m hoping people will see the magic of New York City of the Five Points.  I love the history behind it.

b2b: OMG! My DH is NUTS about the show! He was the one that told me about it, so now we have  a TV show we can watch together. I wonder if I could talk him into reading your Rumor series ;D

It’s no news to my readers how much I enjoy reading the ‘behind the story’ notes of any book, so tell me more about your research and ‘behind the story’ of ‘FaL’…

DM:  Few people know that I grew up in Chicago within a lower class, gang infested neighborhood where walking down the street in the wrong colors or a certain headband could get a girl raped or killed.  I got beat up a couple of times for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I got sick of being bullied and eventually banded together a group of friends (both guys and girls) who were my age. One of them, Greg, turned out to be my best friend. He looked out for me and I looked out for him and it not only made us closer but made us realize something: we could rise above anything if we were surrounded by the right people. I eventually left that neighborhood at 13, leaving my best friend behind, and moved into a better community. Greg and I lost touch and to this day, I often wonder what happened to him. But those years spent on the street bonding with him and others who struggled to rise above the intimidation and gang violence affected my life. Forever.

Although the story of FOREVER A LADY is a nod to my favorite New York movies like Annie and Newsies and Cinderella Man, at the heart of the story, it darts into the corners of my own life and my youth. It was all too easy for me to imagine and research what life would have been like back in 1820s and 30s New York in the slums, when a man loses everything and is forced to survive against thugs. I remembered the anger, the disbelief, and the desperation of others to want to become more but unable to. I was lucky to have gotten out when I did.  The hero of my story, Matthew, is an homage to my childhood. I wanted to give my best friend of old, Greg, a story. I imagined what his life turned into and wanted him to be happy. Giving him a lady who could make all of his dreams come true was part of the equation. He deserved a happily ever after and it is my hope, that with FOREVER A LADY, I did him justice. Because it doesn’t matter how you grow up, all that matters is how you come out of it and the person you become as a result of it.

Now as far as research goes, I went to New York several times to not only see the areas I was writing about (which only one building exists from my era and it wasn’t worth seeing, lol), but to access the New York City library in person that has newspapers and maps from the 1830’s that helped me flesh out the stories I was looking to write.  I wanted everything in the story to be not only historically accurate but authentic.  Research for FOREVER A LADY took me about 2 months.

b2b: WOW! I think you should write your memoirs! Tou know, the first ‘picture’ I had in my head when I started reading your book, was Leonardo DiCaprio and the movie ‘Gangs of New York’ which I caught again last week.

Just in case someone out there hasn’t read any of your books, [like I said, I am one of the brand, spanking new fans], would you tell us a bit about them and what’s coming up for you in the future? Will you be releasing more of your backlist or will you concentrate on the future books?

DM: I basically write really steamy and sometimes brow raising historical romances that infuses history with the idea that people in the past were no different from us.  They were just surviving with a different set of societal rules.  I love infusing real history, humor, adventure and anything I can cram into a book that no reader will be able to predict.

My next book coming out is FOREVER A LORD (Dec. 20th).  It’s the last of the Rumor Series and features a hero who is a bare knuckle boxer who was kidnapped as a child and learns to cope with who he really is while trying to mold himself back into the world he was taken from.  I have an e-release only coming out with Entangled this Nov. 1st, as well.  It’s an anthology that Maire Claremont and I are doing together called ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A DUKE.

After that, I am returning to a former series of mine, The School of Gallantry, in March 2013.  It’s a school led by an elderly courtesan who educates men on the topic of love and seduction.  It’s cheeky, less serious and I’m just having a lot of fun knowing I’m returning to my original series.  There are three more books left to write in that series.

b2b: Oh I can’t wait! For all of them! I just got done with the first of ‘The School of Gallantry’ book ‘Prelude to a Scandal’ and I loved it!

Which one of your books was the hardest and which the easiest to write and which touched you the most?

DM: The easiest book to write was my first book, MISTRESS OF PLEASURE.  It was all tongue and cheek and just flew right out of me.  I had so much fun giving into bawdy humor and just letting whatever needed be said be said, lol.  The hardest?  I would say my upcoming release FOREVER A LORD.  Whenever it comes to finishing any series, you have to ensure that you’re not only tying up all loose ends, but making the end of the series end with a bang.  I’m always trying to outdo myself and needless to say, it was hard to do, but I somehow pulled it off, lol.

b2b: Which is harder to write, sensual or humor filled scenes?

DM: Surprisingly, both come easy to me.  What is harder for me to write about is ensuring that the history I weave in isn’t overwhelming the reader.  I love history a bit too much, and so I try to ensure whatever history I’m weaving in doesn’t burden the reader or the story too much.  And that, I will admit is HARD, lol.

b2b: Do you let someone read your work during your writing process and who is that lucky person and why he/she? Or do you wait ‘till it’s finished, then you let someone read it…and who?

DM: I have two lucky people, lol.  Jessa Slade (author of Seduced by Shadows) and Maire Claremont (author of The Dark Lady).  Both are incredible authors who understand story but also my voice.  They always ground me and what I am doing while guiding me.  I can’t imagine *not* sending anything their way, because they always give me ideas and how to better mold my manuscript.  It’s a mutual thing we do for each other.  I give them feedback for their stories and they give me feedback for mine.  It’s a beautiful thing, lol.  My agent, Donald Maass, also reads my stuff and gives me incredible feedback.  With the team I have behind me, I feel confident when that manuscript lands on the editor’s desk.

b2b: I think Cover Art is very important to a book, almost as much as what’s inside. Tell me about the cover art of your books. They really are gorgeous. Who came up with hem? What about the older ones?

DM: The covers are gorgeous.  I was fortunate enough to have landed incredible covers every time.  Harlequin has an amazing art department.  That said, I don’t get any say on the covers.  Whatever I see is what I get.  Which is why I’m thankful they’ve been amazing.  The same with my older ones.  I had no say.

b2b: Let’s talk titles…How hard is it to ‘name’ your ‘baby’?

DM: As with my covers, I really don’t have too much say on the titles.  If they like a title, they go with it.  If they don’t, they find another title, lol.  In some way, I’m thankful, because I don’t think I’m really all that good at coming up with titles.  So naming my baby isn’t all that hard.  I have someone else do it for me :)

b2b: We all have favorite books, authors… How about you? Are you willing to fess-up?

DM: My favorite authors are the ones I work closely with.  There’s a reason why I work closely with them.  Because I’m crazy about their writing.  Jessa Slade is my favorite paranormal author and Maire Claremont is my favorite historical romance author.  Now mind you, Maire’s first book won’t come out until Feb. 2013 with NAL, but I’ve been reading her for years, well before anyone knew who she was, lol.  So I feel blessed.  I will also say that my favorite books are by all the dead people.  Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, to name a few.  My love for history comes from writers who were actually breathing the history I now write about.

b2b: Some authors write at certain times of day or week and even a place. What’s your typical writing schedule and what gets your creative juices flowing? If you have any tips to help other aspiring new authors out there, feel free to share!

DM: I don’t write during the summers.  Or at least, I try not to, as I enjoy spending the summers just hanging out with my kids.  During the school year, my typical writing schedule is to get the kids out the door and start writing at 7:15 a.m.  I can’t write when there are people in the house.  It may sound strange, but I feel like their energy is bleeding into my ability to focus.  When writing about history, one has to immerse themselves in a different world and I find it’s hard to do that when you’re surrounded by people who remind you your world is fake, fake, fake, lol.  So I basically write from 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.  I break for lunch, but it’s usually less than 10 minutes and I go back to work.  When I’m on deadline, I’ll write as much as 12 hours in a day.  But I usually try to keep it to the 7:15 a.m.-4 p.m. schedule.  It allows me to unwind and do stuff with my family in between the madness of writing.

b2b: The Rumor series is so well written, that it made me go out and track some of your back list to keep me going ‘till ‘FOREVER A LORD’ hits the shelves (or my Kindle)! What inspired it?

DM:  A number of things.  My own childhood, an old article about a missing boy who re-surfaced 30 years later, and my own love for historical New York City.

b2b: What do you like to read and what’s on your TBR right now?

DM: I love reading everything and anything, though mostly non-fiction.  What am I reading right now?  50 Shames of Early Grey by Andrew Shaffer.  It’s a heeelarious take on the ’50 Shades of Grey’.  I just love tongue and cheek writing.

b2b: Now, that ends up our ‘professional’ portion of this interview. Are you ready to get personal? Or are you going to chicken out on me?

DM:  Bring it, lol.

b2b: So, tell us a bit about yourself, something personal that you haven’t shared with anyone before…you know…anything that makes you comfortable…or not…like how many times did you fall in love? Flannel or Silk? Cats or Dogs? Champagne or Beer?  Rock or Classical? Movies or TV?

DM:  Bring it, lol.   Okay, here’s a list of dirty laundry.  I don’t drink very much, if at all.  If I do, it has to be a sweet drink, because the idea of drinking anything bitter or sour grosses me out.  I was a Romeo in my younger years.  Meaning I was in love with the idea of being in love.  I fell in love a total of two times, though, out of all my dates.  The first time was my high school sweetheart and the second time was true love, with my college sweetheart and 20 years later husband ;)

I have no cats or dogs.  I have two children and a husband, lol.  I see them all as being my cats and dogs, I clean up after and cuddle with.

Flannel all the way.  Silk makes me feel like I’m personally starving children in Africa.  I don’t like spending a lot of money on bed sheets or clothing for that matter.  I’m more of a bargain hunter.

Music wise, alternative all the way.  I love listening to music that isn’t mainstream and comes from Europe.  It makes me feel like I’m branching out creatively, too, as I use music for my writing.

Movies all the way.  I’m a huge Netflix nut and movie theatre goer.  Whatever I can see and get my hands on, I do.

b2b: Delilah, this was such fun! Thanks for stopping by to play :D

DM: Thanks for having me, darling!!! I have a copy of FOREVER AND A DAY and FOREVER A LADY so let’s give two people a chance to win them by answering this question: What’s your favorite New York based movie? Oh, and don’t forget to stop by my blog and enter my awesome giveaway: ONE DAY with me IN YOUR TOWN!!!

A Day with Delilah Marvelle Giveaway!

Delilah Marvelle is an author that I got to read only very recently, and by pure chance I met at RT’s this year in Chicago. I’ve had a pleasure to read and review her Rumor Series for Christine Morehouse and her Romantic Crush Junkies eZine (Forever Mine, Forever and a Day and Forever a Lady). All of those I just loved!

By now you all know that if I like a book or an author, there’s nothing gonna stop me from shouting it out loud and trying to spread the word around about them. This is the case with Ms. Marvelle and just recently I’ve found out that she’s giving away a A DAY WITH DELILAH MARVELLE! How cool is that?! I warn you all, I’ve entered and have a standing prayer to win, BUT I also feel that this should be shared with as many of you as I can reach, so here’s your chance to meet Delilah and spend an entire day with her! She will fly out to your hometown and spend an entire day treating you like the Lady that you are.  From facials to pedicures and wine and dinner, Delilah will also hand deliver an exclusive copy of her December release FOREVER A LORD, which wraps up the Rumor Series.

​Contest will run from August 1st to August 31st 2012 and is open to Continental US citizens only. 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!

Rumor Series

FOREVER MINE - Lady Augustine Jane Ascott longs for a man who will do more than offer his hand in marriage. She wants a husband she can trust, someone who will shield her from the darkness of the world. Her heart was broken when her little brother was kidnapped years earlier, and she still carries the pain of his loss.

When the handsome Duke of Wentworth makes his feelings for her known, Augustine’s past demons warn her away. Besides, every woman in London knows he’s devoted to the memory of his late wife. But is it possible he cares for her after all—and that their love can bring them the peace they both crave?

FOREVER and a DAY - Roderick Gideon Tremayne, the recently appointed Duke of Wentworth, never expected to find himself in New York City, tracking down a mysterious map important to his late mother. And he certainly never expected to be injured, only to wake up with no memory of who he is. But when he sees the fiery-haired beauty who’s taken it upon herself to rescue him, suddenly his memory is the last thing on his mind.

Georgia Milton, the young head of New York’s notorious Forty Thieves, feels responsible for the man who was trying to save her bag from a thief. But she’s not prepared for the fierce passion he ignites within her. When his memory begins to return, her whole world is threatened, and Roderick must choose between the life he forgot and the life he never knew existed.

FOREVER a LADY - Two different classes, One common desire…

​Bernadette Marie Burton may be the richest widow in England, but like her dreams of finding true passion, her reputation is deteriorating.  Cruel gossip, loneliness and hoards of opportunistic suitors have her believing Society couldn’t be more vile….or dangerous.  So when an attacker threatens her life, she finds safety in the most unseemly of places: the arms of a mysterious, Irish-American gang leader.

His fortune stolen, young Matthew Joseph Milton is done playing the respectable gentleman.  In the slums of New York, only ruffians thrive.  But from the moment he arrives in London and encounters the volumptious Lady Bernadette, he  can’t help but wonder about the finer pleasures he’s missing.  Or just how much he’s willing to risk — not only to bed her, but  to prove his worth…

FOREVER a LORD - Lady Imogene Norwood lived a sheltered life of quiet respectability and routine…until she debuts at her first Season. There she meets the wild and broken Lord Atwood among London’s elite. And the very shy English rose suddenly realizes that a little chaos might just be what her heart desires.

​ Lord Nathaniel James Atwood doesn’t believe true love exists. Since scandal tore him away from his family at an early age, he has spent his life fighting for what he wants. That attitude made him a rising star in bare-knuckle boxing, and now leads him back to London to reclaim the life that was stolen from him. But upon meeting the innocent Imogene, his beliefs are trounced…as guarding his heart against her proves to be the fight of his life.