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


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.


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
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 Once and Future Duchess’ by Sophia Nash

sn toafdSTORY: A duchess in time saves a noble line…

In theory, the Duke of Candover is the most eligible peer in the realm. But in truth, he has a deep aversion to the merest hint of marriage, not to mention two botched engagements which have marked his jaded soul. Now, after a debauched bachelor party that causes public outcry, the Prince Regent is demanding that it’s Candover’s turn to be brought to heel. And Prinny secretly believes that Isabelle Tremont, the Duchess of March, is precisely the lady up to the challenge.

Isabelle must marry, but a day of reckoning with the man she’s loved for years is her greatest fear. If Candover insists she’s too young and innocent for a seasoned world-weary man like him, there’s no shortage of other candidates. Gentlemen of prestige and position. Gentlemen whose attentions are driving Candover to jealous distraction. Yet one abandoned moment under the stars hints that if they can put aside pride and duty, then a love once denied might just be their destiny.

REVIEW: Isabelle Tremont, the Duchess of March, lost her parents some years before leaving no other heir but her.  While only 18-years-old, she is a very intelligent and self-assured young woman with every ability to run her estate.

James is the Duke of Candover is a handsome, wealthy and extremely confident man running his estate with utter perfection.  At age 31, he is not interested in getting married. He was engaged twice, both with disastrous results.  
The Prince Regent has decided that it is time that both James and Isabelle find spouses. While James tends to somewhat ignore this directive, Isabelle is certainly feeling the pressure.  She decides to propose to James only to be rebuffed due to her young age. Little did she know that James was also following her father’s request that he never marry her.  Hurt, but still determined to accept the Prince’s edict, she continues with her search for a husband.
The romance is sweet even though it’s hard to believe that an 18-year-old can be as mature as Isabelle is portrayed.  In addition, James needed a swift kick to crack his too-cool and too-perfect exterior.
This was the fourth book in the Irresistible Royal Entourage Series and, unfortunately, I often find myself grabbing a book in the middle of a series with which I am unfamiliar.  I understand that many authors like to write series, however, I wish each book was clearly designated as such so the reader doesn’t end up jumping into confusion.  I would suggest readers start this series with the books in succession, which an be found on the author’s website here.
Connie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘A Most Naked Solution’ by Anna Randol

ar amnsSTORY: Sometimes the best solution is found in bed…

Lady Sophia Harding: beautiful, blond, and…capable of murder? That’s what Lord Camden Grey intends to find out. It is Camden’s duty to uphold the laws of the land. His neighbor’s pale beauty and winsome grace don’t make her the most likely suspect, but is the innocent and altogether beguiling look in her eyes the truth, or is she secretly a scheming seductress?

Lord Camden Grey is entirely too distracting and too smart. Sophia knows that to keep her family’s secrets, she must avoid any entanglements with the powerful and brutally handsome man. But the pull of their mutual desire is all-consuming. Can Sophia trust Camden with the truth when she knows it might kill the love that has grown between them?

REVIEW: This short novella is a sequel to ‘A Secret in Her Kiss’ which I really liked. The hero of that novel has a sister, and this is her story.

I liked the leads, and the plot was good. The pace was perfect, considering that this is a short story, but then something just went wrong.

How does one explain and reconcile a great premise with a decent plot and good, solid characterization of the characters, with the story told?

What in tarnation happened?

To someone that reads a lot, this was fairly obvious. I blame not the author. She can tell a tale. I read all of her books, and after her début, which I loved [here], I keep bumping into this obstacle of enjoying her work to the fullest in all of her other books. What went wrong? I know that it takes a village to produce a product, but are the villagers still the same ones who helped her produce that first book I liked so much? Or does she need to repopulate her village with new editors and beta readers [I’m free!].

Am I recommending it?! Yes, to all of you that read the first book, only because you’ll get some answers about Sophia. To everyone else?! Yes again, because you might want to ‘sample’ this author and little novellas are best for that purpose.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Sins of a Virgin’ by Anna Randol

ar soavSTORY: There is improper, there is scandalous… and then there is Madeline Valdan.

To the world, Madeline Valdan is a scandalous courtesan, with society’s most eligible gentlemen at her feet. But no one knows her shocking secret: she has never experienced the most intimate touch of any man. So she astonishes the ton by telling them the truth . . . and by announcing the auction of her virginity to the highest bidder.

Handsome and disciplined, Gabriel Huntford knows his time is best spent hunting down criminals from the darkest corners of London. As a Bow Street Runner investigating his sister’s death, he has no desire to join London’s strutting peacocks in this competition when there are more important tasks at hand.

Now, his quest leads him to one of Madeline’s “suitors,” so he agrees to help this sinful woman. But what begins as a business arrangement quickly turns into something more . . . and love blooms with a passion neither one expected.

REVIEW: This book has been on my TBR for a long time and I finally got around to reading it. This is a beginning of the Sinners Trio, about three ex-spies: Cipher, Wrath and La Petit and first up we have La Petit’s story or Madeline, as she is called outside of her spy world.

I did like the hero Gabriel Huntford, a Bow Street Runner turned our heroine’s bodyguard. He was flawed and yet I found him likable. Both characters carry some interesting baggage from their background and that made the story a somewhat interesting for me.

Here’s a story for you, if you can believe it: an ex-spy turned most alluring courtesan decides to auction her most prized possession. Her virginity. Are you buying it? I tried, but in the end, it was really hard to suspend my imagination that far up.

Most of the story focused on the mystery of who wants our heroine dead and is that the same villain that killed our hero’s sister some years ago, pushing the romance to the background. Don’t despair though, you still have some nice tension between the leads, albeit they don’t end up ‘canoodling’ until later in the book.

So if you’re leaning more toward a good mystery and suspense with some romance thrown in, I think you’ll like it. Me? It was okay …

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Sins of a Ruthless Rogue’ by Anna Randol

ar soarrSTORY: Revenge never tasted so sweet…

When Clayton Campbell shows up on her doorstep, Olivia Swift is stunned. For long ago, Clayton was the boy who stole her heart. He’s also the man her betrayal had sent to the gallows. A man she believed dead, now standing before her, looking leaner, harder, more powerful than ever, his haunted eyes filled with a lust she had never seen—for vengeance…

Or burned so hot…

He’s a Crown spy who once faced death and escaped unscathed. Yet Clayton Campbell cannot deny that the sight of Olivia rouses in him something more than a thirst for revenge. Or that the bold beauty would lure him once more into a dangerous game. Only this time, Clayton plans to be the victor—with the tempting Olivia in his bed as his prize. But once passion ignites between them, the hard-hearted agent will face his greatest battle yet—for his heart…

REVIEW: In this second book of Anna Randol’s Sinners Trio series it is Clayton/Cipher’s turn at happily ever after.

Now I know this author can tell a good story, but it’s her plots so far that I’ve been having a hard time with.  If I had a hard time suspending belief in the first book of this series, this one made even harder.

I would love to tell you more, but I really don’t want to put forth any ‘spoilers’ so here’s what I did like.

The characters were strong and compelling with enough of emotional depth for me to like them, but it’s their past that I had a hard time finding credible, and in the end it all sounded unrealistic.

I do recommend it on the writing and characterization alone, but plot wise, be ready to take a leap. If you can do that, and you like betrayal stories with some adventure and intrigue, you’re good to go with this one.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Sins of a Wicked Princess’ by Anna Randol

ar soawpSTORY: In the scorching finale of Anna Randol’s wickedly tempting Trio series, the Wraith takes on a mission—and a princess—he’ll never forget…

Ian Maddox, aka the Wraith, is happy to leave his life as a spy— as soon as he discovers who’s been trying to kill his friends. All clues lead him to the bedroom of an exiled princess. Yet Princess Juliana isn’t the simpering royal he expects, and this irresistible beauty agrees to give him the information he seeks…for a price.

Princess Juliana has never cowered—not even as she fled her burning castle in the midst of a rebellion—so she won’t tremble before the darkly charismatic man who appears in her bedchamber and holds a knife to her throat. Instead, she bargains with the infamous spy to help her retrieve sensitive documents and restore her kingdom. But Juliana quickly finds that Ian is no humble servant, and she never imagines that lessons in thievery will lead to schooling in seduction.

REVIEW: This is the end of Anne Randol’s Sinner’s Trio trilogy and plot wise, was more confusing than the other two. This is Ian/Wraith’s story

I tried liking both the heroine and the hero but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t care much for either. Well, maybe I did a bit more for the hero. He was more developed than the heroine, and less confusing. But not by much.

Here is where I think this whole thing went wrong. When an author builds a ‘country’ that does not exist, it better be damn good and believable to the reader, otherwise it becomes a caricature and along with it, the characters turn into one as well.
Another issue I had with this story was its pace. Seriously, at one point I drew a blank and I just wanted the book to end.

This series in my opinion should have been under the adventure genre with romantic elements. All three books are chock full of adventure and intrigue, pushing romance to the background, and overall, it wasn’t bad, but something went wrong somewhere because it didn’t make me care as much as I wanted to.

In the end, if you’ve read the other two, then by all means do read this one too, but be warned. It will be a slow going.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Baron Next Door’ by Erin Knightley

ek tbndSTORY: Charity Effington learned two valuable lessons from her first betrothal:

1) When one loses the attention of an earl, one gains the attention of every gossip in London.

2) Despite the lingering scandal, she’s not prepared to marry for anything less than love.

After an exhausting Season, Bath’s first annual music festival offers Charity the perfect escape. Between her newly formed trio and her music-loving grandmother, Charity is free to play the pianoforte to her heart’s content. That is, until their insufferably rude, though undeniably handsome, neighbor tells her to keep the “infernal racket” to a minimum.

Hugh Danby, Baron Cadgwith, may think he’s put an end to the noise, but he has no idea what he’s begun. Though the waters of Bath provide relief from the suffering of his war injuries, he finds his new neighbor bothersome, vexing, and… inexplicably enchanting. Before long, Hugh suspects that even if his body heals, it’s his heart that might end up broken.

REVIEW: Charity Effington is living with her grandmother in Bath.  She loves to play the piano and practices it daily.

Next door to her is Baron Hugh Cagwith who is in Bath to “take the waters” by both soaking in them and drinking the foul stuff.  He was in the war and his injuries have left him with a concussion and debilitating spinal injury resulting in severe headaches, back and neck pain.  One day he is awakened by the high octaves of Charity’s music through the walls which exacerbates his pain, driving him crazy.  When he confronts her about it, she is quite insulted and refuses to stop playing.

Charity plans to play her music in the Assembly Rooms of Bath, but when she arrives to apply, she is met by (mean old) Mr. Green who tells her she is just a minute or two late and thus the applications are closed.  Two other young ladies, Sophie, who plays the oboe, and May, who plays the zither, are also disappointed to find that they have been turned away.  However, a kind woman speaks up for them and tells Mr. Green (boo-hiss!) that she will withdraw her application and the three ladies can be a trio.  Thus, they are accepted to play.

As the ladies get together for practice, they learn more about one another.  May is from China and the girls learn a lot from her.  One thing is her Chinese friend living with them, Suyin, who is trained in Eastern massage therapy called “tui na” which helps body aches and headaches.  As Charity is sore from the hours she sits practicing her piano, she is delighted when Suyin demonstrates these massages.

Charity and Hugh continue to see one another and as they share a balcony between their homes.  They often meet up on the balcony and talk.  When Hugh confesses his pain difficulties, Charity insists on showing him some of the massages she has learned where they prove to be a great relief to Hugh.

This is a really great novel from Erin Knightley that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.  I learned a lot from it as well.  It is to be published on June 3, 2014.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher