‘The Bride Insists’ by Jane Ashford

ja tbiSTORY: When governess Clare Greenough learns she’s inherited a fortune, the good news comes with a catch: it will be held by her cousin until Clare can find a husband.

To stave off ruin, Jamie Boleigh, the seventh Baron of Trehearth, agrees to marry Clare under the condition that she keeps the money, a provision he hopes to overturn. Their passionate relationship becomes a battle of wills.

When the cousin tricks Jamie into betraying his wife, he’ll have to prove the truth or lose her forever.

REVIEW: Just when governess Clare Greenough thinks that her life will always find her teaching difficult and spoiled children, she gets word that she has inherited a sizable fortune from a distant relative. Thrilled, she heads to London along with an older woman, Selina Newton, whom she has hired to be her companion. When she discovers that her evil cousin, Simon Greenough, who denied monetary help years earlier to her and her ailing mother will have control of her fortune until she marries, she immediately seeks to find a man in need of an heiress for a wife.
James Boleigh, seventh Baron Trehearth, is just about to lose his family home and is literally penniless. He has spent too much time lolly-gagging with his friends in London, gambling and drinking way too much. When he learns about Clare, they are quickly introduced, find they suit, marry and leave for his ancestral home, Trehearth in Cornwall. Her companion, Selina, goes along with them.

As the home is in need of an infusion of money for repairs both inside and to the estate cottages, James jumps in to work on the estate repairs and Clare, with the help of Selina, begin to make changes and improvements to the inside. In addition, she meets James’ younger twin sisters who prove themselves to be a handful.

Both James and Clare are in for a great surprise. Clare plans to keep track of the finances and James thinks he should have complete control of all of it. They clash mightily over this. After a big fight, Clare flees in a huff to London leaving James on his own. Never having had a season, Clare meets a wealthy woman, friend of Selina, who welcomes them to stay with her and insists on presenting her to London. After some time apart and drowning his sorrows in alcohol, James goes to London to try and woo his wife back.

While this was a nice story, my big complaint was the immaturity of James and Clare. Clare’s running away from responsibilities grew really old and I wanted to smack her. James’ clamming up and serious alcoholism were tedious. Both of them needed to grow up and fast. However, I would like to think that the author created these “flawed” characters just for that type of reaction from the reader.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by my Library.

‘The Trouble with Honor’ by Julia London

jl ttwhSTORY: Desperate times call for daring measures as Honor Cabot, the eldest stepdaughter of the wealthy Earl of Beckington, awaits her family’s ruin. Upon the earl’s death she and her sisters stand to lose the luxury of their grand home – and their place on the pedestal of society – to their stepbrother and his social-climbing fiancée. Forced to act quickly, Honor makes a devil’s bargain with the only rogue in London who can seduce her stepbrother’s fiancée out of the Cabots’ lives for good.

An illegitimate son of a duke, George Easton was born of scandal and grows his fortune through dangerous risks. But now he and Honor are dabbling in a perilous dance of seduction that puts her reputation and his jaded heart on the line. And as unexpected desire threatens to change the rules of their secret game, the stakes may become too high even for a notorious gambler and a determined, free-spirited debutante to handle.

REVIEW: Honor Cabot is in a quandary.  Her stepfather is dying from consumption, her mother is showing signs of dementia, her stepbrother and heir, Augustine, is engaged to her old friend, Monica, now turned selfish, vindictive and trying to see to it that Honor, her three sisters and mother are quickly removed from the home as soon as the stepfather dies and Monica marries Augustine.  (Whew!  What a long sentence.)

During a clandestine game at a gambling hell, Honor schemes to entice George Easton to seduce Monica so the engagement will be broken and Honor will have more time to hopefully find successful marriages for her, her sisters and make sure that her mother will be cared for.  George Easton is the unrecognized bastard son of a duke and the nephew of a king.  He is also a fairly wealthy and self-made man.  However, his largest investment is threatening to fall through leaving him with little money.

As George attempts to seduce Monica, he and Honor find a strong attraction to one another putting her reputation at risk.  While Honor has fallen in love with George, he knows that without money, he cannot keep Honor in the way she has always known.

Will Monica be successful at ousting Honor and her family and will Honor and George be able to be together?  You’ve got to get the book and find out!

Connie for b2b

‘Just You’ by Jane Lark Cover Reveal!

Just You

STORY: The morning after the New Year’s Eve before…

Waking up to a new year with a killer hangover and hazy memories of a seriously hot hook-up the night before leaves Portia in an awkward situation… Did I, or didn’t I? The only way she’s going to find out is by standing up to the guy in question.

With no regrets, Justin is willing to play the gentleman and save Portia her embarrassment. Only then he gets a text saying, come over… and he’s not gonna lie – this is friends with a lot of benefits!

But no matter how good the sex is, there’s one thing Justin’s not down with: being this shallow rich girl’s dirty little secret…

‘Just You’ by Jane Lark (Starting Out #2) Goodreads

Published by: Harper Impulse
Publication date: May 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Pre-order HERE

jl ify‘I Found You’ (Starting Out #1)

STORY: Tomorrow is for regrets. Tonight is for being together.

On a cold winter night, Rachel and Jason’s lives collide on Manhattan Bridge. She’s running from life, he’s running toward it. But compassion urges him to help her.

His offer of a place to stay leads to friendship and trouble. There’s his fiancée back home in Oregon and a family who just don’t trust this girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

But when the connection between them is so electric, so right… everyone else must be wrong. And as the snow begins to settle on the Hudson, there’s nothing but the possibility of what could be – of this, right here, right now. Them.

$1.99 SPECIAL PRICE only ’till 3/31!

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N

JaneAUTHOR BIO: Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romance and author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel,’The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, as well as a Kindle overall Top 25, bestselling author.

She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.

Now Jane is writing a Regency series as well as contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.

You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality.

Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses these to create more realistic plots.

‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’

Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.

Social Media: Website /  Facebook  /  Tweeter

‘Always Come Home’ by Maureen Driscoll

md achSTORY: From the author of the Kellington series of Regency romances, comes the first novel about the Emerson family.

Colin Emerson, the Earl of Ridgeway, has two unmarried sisters and a mountain of debt incurred by his late father. He has no choice but to marry an heiress. It is most unfortunate, therefore, when he falls in love with a penniless governess.

Ava Conway has been making her way in the world since the death of her father. She takes a position as the governess to Lord Ridgeway’s sisters, but finds her growing attachment to the earl threatens his family’s future.

Bound by honor, torn by love, can Colin do right by his sisters while following his heart?

REVIEW: It’s no news to my followers that I’m a huge fan of this author and have been ever since I read her first book in the Kellington series. I think she is a wonderful storyteller and after Kellington’s I wondered in which direction she would take us next. I didn’t have to wait too long. She is back with a brand new family and I love them as much as I did the Kelington brood.

Watch out Kellington’s, here come the Emersons, starting with Colin, a man who would do anything for his two little sisters and their ancestral home.

This is one of those stories that are sweet and sensual at the same time. The hero and the heroine of this story are good and decent people who are faced with a dilemma of giving in to their feelings or do their duty toward people that they care about.

Ms. Driscoll pens a tale filled with wonderful prose and characters with depth and passion. I loved Colin and Ava’s road to discovery of each other the most, but coming close second was the secondary love of Maude and Stemple, Colin’s acquired ‘servants’.

Ms. Driscoll gave us so many great secondary characters  who I loved a lot, such as Colin’s older sister Rosemary (who it looks like has an eye for his friend Nathaniel, the Marquess of Grayson); his younger sister Leticia was a little hellion and way too perceptive; the American Babcock family that took over their home for a season was hilarious, and Nora and Myra along with the villain Clayton were characters well written as well. Even the cat Jasper had a good role in this story.

If you are a fan of awesome, witty, clever, funny and entertaining dialogue between all the characters in your stories, than this book will make your day. It really will.

Melanie for b2b.

Complimentary copy provided by the author.

Spotlight on Diana Quincy and …

Accidental Peers Series

dq sc‘Seducing Charlotte’ – Book 1

BOOK BLURB: Opposites attract…Even if he is the catch of the season, Charlotte Livingston has a low opinion of the wildly handsome Marquess of Camryn. He’s an industrialist who thinks nothing of replacing workers with machines, depriving them of an honest living. Camryn is everything a social reformer like Charlotte detests. Besides, her loyalty belongs to another man.

Worlds Collide…Yet, as a violent machine-breakers rebellion rages across England, an undeniable attraction flares between the passionate adversaries. Camryn vows to destroy the rebel movement, unaware that the spinster who has captured his heart, harbors a secret – a shocking connection to one of its leaders that could shatter them both.

REVIEW: Here’s the deal. Even though this is the first book in the series and the début for Ms. Quincy, if you want to read this series in order, you should read Willa’s story first, then Charlotte’s second and Bella’s story is the last in the series. For some reason ‘the men in suits’ that bought these stories, decided they should be published out-of-order. Don’t ask!

Okay, now that I got that out-of-the-way, let me tell you why I loved this story.

Charlotte. Charlotte. Charlotte.

I thought the characterization of this young woman was wonderful. She was such a mixture of innocence and maturity that you couldn’t help but like her. She’s much more than just a bluestocking. She’s passionate about her causes but also about life and people she loves. She doesn’t cower and when confronted, is terrible at lying and is more than capable standing up for herself and those that need her protection. The dialogue between Cam and Charlotte is intense, intelligent and intriguing.

Arthur Stanhope, Marquess of Camryn, [Willa’s cousin who inherited her father’s title] is one of those heroes we can’t help but love. He’s the oldest of four brothers; Sebastian, Basil and Will do make an appearance and all are interesting and mischievous in their own right.

Cam always knew he would inherit the title from his uncle and he was ready to take on that challenge and take on more by involving himself within the industries that have shaped the future of his country despite many oppositions in its and his path.

It was interesting watching this privileged man slowly reviling himself to Charlotte in small increments, so we would get the full impact of his character as she did.

I was also impressed by this author’s research and it shows as she introduces her audience to the history of manufacturing, and the masses that were affected by it, aristocracy as well as the common man.

If you’re looking for a well-written, well researched and interesting, entertaining and fun read, this is a must read.

dq tb‘Tempting Bella’ – Book 2

BOOK BLURB: Mirabella can hardly remember the man she married as a girl. And it’s just as well. She feels nothing but contempt for the man who wed her for her fortune and promptly forgot she existed. The ton may call him “The Saint” but Bella knows better.

Forced to marry as a teen to rescue his family from certain ruin, Sebastian has been apart from his child bride since their wedding day. When he encounters an enchanting impish beauty at the opera, he’s is thrilled to find she is none other than his long-ago bride and he is more than ready to make her his wife in truth.

Too bad the beguiling beauty has no intention of coming meekly to the marriage bed.

REVIEW: Bella’s story is actually the last in the series, but all three stories in this series may be read out-of-order and stand on their own.

And now here’s what I loved most about this story.

Sebastian. Sebastian. Sebastian…and have I said, Sebastian?!

Holy cow, this was a man to die for. I adored this man. Talk about honorable, patient, loving and saintly. No wonder his brothers nicknamed him Saint!

I loved the complexity of this character. His childhood was not easy and he had to work extra hard to please his parents and prove himself to them and to himself that he’s worthy of their love, but he knew in his heart that no matter how hard he tried, it seemed to him that it was never enough and that was very hard for him to accept.

DAMN but I wanted to give this man a huge hug!

I know this book carries Bella’s name, but boy I thought Sebastian’s story totally took my breath away.

The character of the heroine, Bella, was also complex and couldn’t be compartmentalized. She grew up abandoned and it showed in all she did and wanted to do. It took her awhile to ‘come into her own’ and Sebastian was a perfect man for her.

Again, besides being well written, plotted and fast paced, as were all the stories in this series, I was most impressed with the dialogue between the main protagonists. It had wit, passion and substance that I just loved. Hope you give it a try.

dq cw‘Compromising Willa’ – Book 3

BOOK BLURB: Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope is ruined and everyone knows it. Back in Town for the first season since her downfall, Willa plans to remain firmly on the shelf, assuming only fortune hunters will want her now. Instead she focuses on her unique tea blends, secretly supporting a coffee house which employs poor women and children. If her clandestine involvement in trade is discovered, she’ll be ruined. Again.

No one is more shocked by Willa’s lack of quality suitors than the newly minted Duke of Hartwell. Having just returned from India, the dark duke is instantly attracted to the mysterious wallflower. His pursuit is hampered by the ruthless Earl of Bellingham, who once jilted Willa and is now determined to reclaim her.

Caught between the clash of two powerful men, a furious Willa refuses to concede her independence to save her reputation. But will she compromise her heart?

REVIEW: This is actually the first book in this series, although you need not read them in order whatsoever. All three books are stand alone as well as the part of the series, and with that said, here is the reason I liked this book.

Hart. Hart. Hart.

Here’s a man who is praise worthy and one who is worth rooting for!

He’s not only a duke, but a man with a vision and an eye on the future; handsome, rich and willing to stand up for a woman he believes compromised.

Willa is a strong heroine and someone who has embraced her lot in life as a compromised woman and still refused to be cowed by the society.

I must say that as villains go, we had one sick bastard in this one and I was so happy about the way the author engineered his ‘exit’.

This is another well-written, entertaining and very fun read. I’m coming to enjoy this author’s writing style, but it’s the witty, entertaining and intelligent dialogue I enjoyed the best.

>>> Rafflecopter <<<

Giveaway Details:

Grand Prize_edited-1
1 Paperback of Tempting Bella

1 tin of Compromising Willa Custom Tea, and

a $10 Starbucks Gift Card! US Only.

3 eBooks of Compromising Willa/International!

Diana Quincy

AUTHOR BIO: Diana Quincy is an award-winning former television journalist who decided she’d rather make up stories where a happy ending is always guaranteed.

Fans of Madeline Hunter, Lisa Kleypas and Sabrina Jeffries will love Diana’s Regency world of dashing dukes, irresistible rogues and the headstrong, determined women who capture their hearts. New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes says SEDUCING CHARLOTTE is “Sweet, steamy, and thoroughly enjoyable…Equal parts action, passion and fun.”

Growing up as a foreign service brat, Diana lived in many countries and is now settled in Virginia with her husband and two sons. When not bent over her laptop or trying to keep up with laundry, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and dreams of traveling much more than her current schedule (and budget) allows.

Diana loves to hear from readers. You can find her on the following social media:

     

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‘Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride’ by Christi Caldwell

FBNTB CCSTORY: Hopeless romantic, Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh, is tired of sitting with the wallflowers, waiting for her betrothed to come to his senses and marry her. When Emmaline reads one too many reports of his scandalous liaisons in the gossip rags, she takes matters into her own hands.

War-torn veteran, Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endless round of meaningless associations. He no longer wants to feel anything, but Lady Emmaline is making it hard to maintain a state of numbness. With her zest for life, she awakens his passion and desire for love.

The one woman Drake has spent the better part of his life avoiding is now the only woman he needs, but he is no longer a man worthy of his Emmaline. It is up to her to show him the healing power of love.

REVIEW: Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh and Lord Drake were betrothed to one another by their parents when they were both very young. Now, Emmaline is in her twenties and has never been courted by Lord Drake. Having been betrothed at a very young age, she never had a season either. However, she does not complain, but bides her time sitting with the other wallflowers hoping that Drake will finally speed things up and marry her.

Drake was not ready to settle down and marry so decided to go and fight in the war. Now that he has returned, he is a scarred man tortured by nightmares of the horrors he has witnessed and the men he has seen die. To ease his pain, he drinks with his friends and cavorts with his mistresses, yet still attends social gatherings. Even when Emmaline is present at social events, he usually ignores her.

Tired of being ignored, Emmaline decides to take matters into her own hands and inserts herself more into his life. Drake fights his growing attraction to her because he is afraid to get too close due to his constant nightmares. But Emmaline is a tenacious, astute and understanding young woman who is not willing to let go of Drake. Unbeknownst to Drake, Emmaline visits the local hospital every week to take treats to the injured soldiers, read to them and just chat. Her visits have been a balm to their souls. When he discovers this, he visits the hospital to find how popular she is and slowly realizes that she does understand the horrors and pain of these soldiers and finally shares his own pain with her. The resulting love between them is just beautiful.

I loved this book. It is the first one I have read by Christi Caldwell and I was so very impressed at the depth of emotion she imparted and how wonderfully she writes. It was just published on December 29, 2013. I highly recommend it and hope readers will grab up a copy soon.

Christi is awaiting the birth of her twin daughters any day now. She has a wonderful little boy named Rory and her outlook on life is so positive. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her.

*Connie for b2b.

*Book provided by the author.

‘The Governess of Highland Hall’ by Carrie Turansky

TGOHH CTSTORY: Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help?
 
Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.

Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.

While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

REVIEW: Set in the early 1900s, this novel opens when Julia Foster and her parents have returned to England after spending some years in India as missionaries.  Her father, who is a physician, has had some health issues and it was thought best to bring him home to rest and recuperate with an eye to returning to India one day.

In need of money to help support herself and her family, Julia has applied for and been accepted for a place as governess to the two children of widowed Sir William Ramsey of Highland Hall.  In addition to Sir Ramsey’s two young children, Julia is asked to oversee the education of Katherine and Penelope, as they prepare for their presentation to society.  These young ladies are cousins of William’s and he is overseeing their care.  Also residing at the Hall is William’s sister, Susan.

From the beginning, Julia is aware of her standing in the hierarchy of the “downstairs” employees and is doing all she can to stay in her proper place.

William has recently inherited Highland Hall and is struggling to come up with ways to pay the death duties so he does not lose the property.  When his monetary concerns are shared with Julia, she and his sister come up with some ways to economize in the household to the chagrin of the housekeeper who thinks of Julia as a threat to her job.

Julia is becoming attracted to William but his cold ways make it hard for her to fully understand him.

I was so looking forward to reading this novel.  While the plot was good, it lacked the spark needed to make the story stand out.  If there is a word I can use to describe my feelings about the book, I would have to say, “vanilla.”  However, for a début novel, I would say that the author did an excellent job and has a great future ahead of her.

*Connie for b2b

*Book provided by my local Library.

HEA Journey Matters by Erica Monroe [Guest Post]

ADI EMThank you so much to bookworm2bookworm for letting me come by today as part of the release tour for my début novel, A Dangerous Invitation‘. The first book in my new series, The Rookery Rogues, A Dangerous Invitation is the story of Daniel O’Reilly and Kate Morgan.

Have you ever wanted to atone so badly for a mistake that you’ll risk everything—even your life—for forgiveness? That’s what motivates Daniel to return to London after three years as a fugitive. One wretched night in 1829 sent him reeling toward destruction, when he was accused of murdering a warehouse laborer for the shipping company he worked for (and Kate’s father owned). He faced almost certain death, for he’d been caught at the scene of the crime with the victim’s mangled body. Worse, an “affidavit woman,” a 19th century term for a woman who was paid to give a false statement of evidence, claimed to have seen him commit the murder. So to survive, Daniel flees the City, thinking that he’s going to give his affianced Kate a better life without him.

But Kate doesn’t get a better life, and Daniel certainly doesn’t thrive without her. The addiction to gin that he struggled with in London runs rampant, taking hold of his body until he’s nothing more than a withered husk of the man he once was. When his drunkenness starts to affect his family, he struggles to return to sobriety. With the help of his sister Poppy, he looks at making good on his past life. He comes back to London so that he can prove to Kate that he wasn’t culpable in that murder. He doesn’t know how he ended up in the alley, but by God, he’s going to find out who did kill that warehouse laborer. He’ll get justice not only for himself, but for the man who was murdered.

Kate now lives in the rookeries, the nineteenth century version of slums. She’s a fence for stolen goods, and the company she keeps is certainly not on the up and up. While Daniel works to make her see that he’s not the same man he was before, she struggles to let go of her memories. She’s got to stop resenting him for what he did in the past and also understand that people make mistakes.

I love the idea of two people being changed by their relationship, but still, they are at their core imperfect. In my story, Kate and Daniel have a second chance at love. The relationship they had before was inherently flawed. They had to become something different entirely to be able to accept each other completely.

IYGARAR SGAGU CGIn writing A Dangerous Invitation, I thought about what love really meant to me. I’m drawn to romance genres not just because of the implicit happy ever after, but because of the journey. I want to see two people transition into a relationship that makes them much healthier and happier. By the end of the novel, they’re not who they were when they started. I love romances especially that deal with a traumatic incident in a character’s past—by the end of the novel, the character has learned to accept that event as a shaping part of who they are now. Examples of this that I can think of are Shana Galen’s If You Give a Rake a Ruby with Fallon’s thieving upbringing, and Cecilia Grant’s ‘A Gentleman Undone’ with Lydia’s big reveal to Will.

ADI EMBook Blurb: One fatal mistake cost Daniel O’Reilly the woman he loved, spiraling him toward drunken self-destruction. Now sober, he’ll have to prove he’s innocent of the murder he was accused of two years ago. But pistol-wielding Kate Morgan hasn’t forgiven his sins.

Torn from her privileged existence by her father’s death, Kate Morgan has carved out a new independent life in the Ratcliffe rookery as a fence for stolen goods. Daniel’s invitation to assist him jeopardizes her structured existence. Yet Kate can’t resist his touch, or the wicked desires he stirs within her.

As their renewed passions grow reckless, their investigation takes them through the darkest and most depraved areas of the City. To catch a killer, they’ll have to put secrets behind them and trust only their hearts.

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

[iBooks and Paperback edition coming later in the month].

The excerpt below happens when Daniel and Kate have just finished interrogating a pugilist who knew the warehouse laborer.

THEY WALKED DOWN Shadwell High Street, the street alive with a vibrancy that failed to lift Daniel’s mood. Snow crunched under his feet. The smell of gin had left his nostrils, allowing him to breathe easier again, but the heaviness in his stomach came from the knowledge of Kate’s sacrifice. She’d given up part of her livelihood, all to answer questions from a man she shouldn’t have had to speak to, let alone develop an acquaintanceship with.

“You didn’t have to do that,” he said.

“Cyrus would never have told us anything otherwise.” Kate cocked her head toward him, her voice flat.

She walked with her hands shoved into her pockets, her shorter strides two to his longer ones. He slowed to match her pace. This city, with all its grit and crime, didn’t deserve the brilliance of Kate Morgan.

Devil take it, he didn’t either.

“That doesn’t make it right.” He halted her progress down the street, gripping her thin arm. “I’ll pay you back for what that watch costs, on top of what I’ve given you for your help already.”

“That’s not necessary.” She stiffened against his touch.

He didn’t release her arm. They stood in the middle of the street, the traffic diverting around them. If he got through to her—well, he didn’t know what he’d do then.

“I don’t want you to have to pay for my mistakes.” Reaching out with his other hand, Daniel brushed his thumb against her cheek.

Her eyes closed for a half-second, transfixed by the moment. His breath caught in his throat.

Her eyes fluttered back open, chocolate abysses deadened to his attempts. Steeled against what she must believe were lies. Maybe he’d never change. Maybe he was a drunk for life, doomed to repeat the same patterns.

He let out the breath he’d been holding, let it out like he wished he could free himself of doubt. Time flowed once more, rapid and bitter.

“I’ve paid for your mistakes and I’ll pay for mine.” Her voice was full of resignation.

“It shouldn’t have to be that way. Last night, in the wool warehouse—I couldn’t think of anything else other than the fact that you were in danger because of me.” His hand tightened on her arm, holding her close to him.

She shook her head. The feather stuck into the trim of her gray straw bonnet bobbed too. “Nothing is perfect. For all we know, that man was after me for my own activities. You talk as though things will change because you wish them to. I don’t remember you being that naïve.”

“It’s not naïve to dream. You used to know that.”

In your favorite romance novels, what great conflicts do the hero/heroine have to overcome?

*One commenter/this eBook

*GIVEAWAY INTERNATIONAL

Erica Monroe

AUTHOR BIO: Erica Monroe writes dark, suspenseful historical romance. Her début novel, A Dangerous Invitation, Book 1 of the Rookery Rogues series, released in December 2013. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina, and the Beau Monde Regency Romance chapter.

Erica can also be found blogging every other Saturday at Teatime Romance. When not writing, she is a chronic TV watcher, sci-fi junkie, lover of pit bulls, and shoe fashionista. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, and a cat.

‘A Dangerous Invitation’ by Erica Monroe

ADI EMSTORY: One fatal mistake cost Daniel O’Reilly the woman he loved, spiraling him toward drunken self-destruction. Now sober, he’ll have to prove he’s innocent of the murder he was accused of two years ago. But pistol-wielding Kate Morgan hasn’t forgiven his sins.

Torn from her privileged existence by her father’s death, Kate Morgan has carved out a new independent life in the Ratcliffe rookery as a fence for stolen goods. Daniel’s invitation to assist him jeopardizes her structured existence. Yet Kate can’t resist his touch, or the wicked desires he stirs within her.

As their renewed passions grow reckless, their investigation takes them through the darkest and most depraved areas of the City. To catch a killer, they’ll have to put secrets behind them and trust only their hearts.

REVIEW: I honestly don’t know where to begin with this review. Do I start with my praise of it, tell you the synopses or just shout GET IT! READ IT! NOW!

After I was done reading it, I just sat there, absorbing it all and the only coherent thought in my head at that time was, this is a début?!

If you like your romances with a lot of fairy tale dust, light prose and plenty of fluff, saccharin sweetness, don’t bother with this amazingly realistic, character driven story of true love.

The name of this series, ‘The Rookery Rogues’ tells you exactly what to expect, only if you know what the word ‘rookery’ means, and Wikipedia says this:

“A rookery was a colloquial term given in the 18th and 19th centuries to a city slum occupied by poor people and frequently also by criminals and prostitutes. Such areas were overcrowded, with low-quality housing and little or no sanitation. Poorly constructed dwellings, built with multiple stories and often crammed into any area of open ground, created densely populated areas of gloomy, narrow streets and alleyways.”

With a series like this, you’ll get a lot of what really happened to people who were forced to live and breathe the slums of London.

To capture my heart and for me to forgive him his trespasses against Kate, Daniel O’Reilly had to work very hard. And he did trespass against our Kate.

Kate Morgan, the woman who is left behind to deal with the aftermath of a betrayal of significant proportion, was one of the strongest characters I’ve had a pleasure to read about.

By the time our hero and heroine reconnect, rediscover, restore and rebuild the relationship both thought over and done with, we are as touched and emotionally vested as they are.

To say I enjoyed the read is a gross understatement. I ‘lived’ this read. It touched me on a very personal level, and if you’ve had to deal with someone’s addiction in your life, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Our Kate had so much to overcome to accept Daniel, warts and all.

Bottom line on this début: You’ll want to read it if you like your stories with meat on it!

This is a story of hope to overcome even the direst of circumstances; a story that when life throws you lemons, you make that lemonade and fight for a right to make it the best and sweetest lemonade in the world; story of redemption and second chances. Be ready to enter the world Ms. Monroe painstakingly paints with an impressive prose, dialogue and reality soaked brush you’ve read lately.

*Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the Author.

‘Long Live the King’ by Fay Weldon

LLTK FWSTORY: From the award-winning writer of the original Upstairs Downstairs—the second novel in an irresistible trilogy about an Earl’s family and his servants at the turn of the twentieth century.

As 1901 comes to an end, there is much to be grateful for: The Dilberne fortune has been restored, and the grand Dilberne Court, with its one hundred rooms, has been saved. Lord Robert’s son, Arthur, is happily married to Chicago heiress, Minnie, who is pregnant and trying to come to terms with her new role as lady of the manor, and her charming but controlling mother-in-law, Lady Isobel. As Lord Robert and Lady Isobel get caught up in the preparations of the coronation of Edward VII, they debate the future of their recently orphaned niece, Adela. Isobel and Minnie want to take her in; Robert and Arthur do not. While they argue, Adela runs away and joins a travelling group of spiritualists and has a life-saving run-in with the king.

With Long Live the King, Fay Weldon continues the magnificent trilogy that began with Habits of the House. As the award-winning writer for the pilot episode of the original Upstairs Downstairs, Weldon brings her deservedly famous wit and insight to this novel of love and desire, morals and manners

REVIEW: This is a second novel of Fey Weldon trilogy that began with ‘Habits of the House’ and concludes with ‘The New Countess’.

This novel takes place at the end of 1901 where people in London are in anticipation of the coronation of King Edward VII after the long reign and recent death of Queen Victoria.  Everyone in society is coveting an invitation to the coronation as is the Dilberne family; the eighth Earl of Dilberne, Lord Robert and Countess Isobel Dilberne, their son Authur and his American heiress wife Minnie, and lastly their head-strong and independent daughter, Rosina.  

The story centers mainly around their family, yet also includes the “side story” of Lord Robert’s younger brother, the Honorable Reverend Edwin Dilberne and his wife Elise and their young daughter, Adela.  Edwin was the Rector of the small parish of Yatbury, near the city of Bath in Somerset.

Very strict in his ways and miserly, the family lives quite parsimoniously. Edwin hates his older brother and has very little to do with him as he deems him to be part of that group of society that lives in a “vulgar display of purloined wealth.”   Edwin and Elise were raising their daughter to enter the convent of the Little Sisters of Bethany on her seventeenth birthday.  Adela is a good, obedient, innocent and beautiful young girl.  When tragedy strikes and Adela is orphaned, her uncle’s family debates whether to take her in to live with them, however other hands are at work and she joins a spiritualistic group participating in séances and the like.  Just before the coronation is to occur, the king is taken ill and Adela makes an amazing appearance.  Is she just an innocent or does she truly have special powers?

The characters are all fascinating as we meet many people of both the upper and lower classes.  I really enjoyed how the author took us “behind the scenes” as they watched even The Royals “agonize” over their own preparations for the coronation.  

As I did when I read ‘Habits of the House’, I was thoroughly entranced with the mesmerizing way that Ms. Weldon grabs the reader’s interest.  I am highly anticipating reading the third novel of this trilogy ‘The New Countess’.

Connie for b2b

*Book provided by my local Library.