‘A Reluctant Betrothal’ by Amanda Weaver

arb-awSTORY: When Grace Godwyn is introduced to her soon-to-be fiancé’s closest friend, she can hardly keep from fainting. The man whose angry gaze confronts her is none other than the handsome stranger who came to her aid in a dark French alleyway. The stranger with whom she’d shared a moment of reckless passion. And now, with a single word, he could destroy her one chance for security.

Julian St. John, Lord Knighton, owes his friend too much to allow him to fall into the clutches of a craven fortune hunter. He knows all he needs to know of Grace Godwyn: that she’s the orphaned and penniless daughter of a disgraced viscount; that her lips taste incomparably sweet. There is no way he is going to allow this marriage to take place.

Yet the more time Julian and Grace are forced to spend in each other’s company, the more irresistible their desire grows—and the more devastating the potential consequences.

REVIEW: Menton, France – 1897

Grace Godwyn is currently a companion to Lady Bosworth. The Lady’s grandson, Frederick Musgrave, the third son of an Earl, has been visiting his grandmother for a week and is constantly flirting with Grace. As Grace is in need of marrying a man of wealth, she knows she should be open to his passes, but finds him repulsive.

Grace is the daughter of the late Viscount Hadden who gambled away his fortune after his wife died. Her friends, Genevieve, Victoria, and Amelia are all wealthy and Grace has been their guest at different times in her life.

This evening in Menton, Grace, Lady Bosworth, and her grandson are watching a street festival when Lady Bosworth sends Grace on a errand. She gets caught up in the festivities and meets a man whom she kisses freely knowing she will never see him again.

Julien St. John, the new Earl of Knighton, has been busy settling his father’s estate. He is in Menton watching the street festival when he sees a young woman being pursued by a man. He jumps in, rescues her, and kisses her. The young woman is Grace.

When Julien sees Grace at a musical evening, he is shocked to hear Frederick, whom he knew in school, speak crudely about Grace. Later, Frederick tries to get Grace to agree to be his mistress. She is furious and sets him straight.

Grace’s friend, Genevieve, Lady Grantham, with whom she has lived for some years learning to be a lady and preparing for her season, has insisted that Grace leave her companion position and come live with her. Hopefully, with the Lady’s help, a good husband can be found for Grace. With the help and generosity of her friends, Grace is launched with style into the season.

When Grace meets Rupert Humphrey, a man soon to inherit a fortune, she finds him to be nice but he is a man who loves living in the country while she prefers London. But the man is wealthy and she needs to marry a man like that. She soon meets Julien who is a friend of Rupert and Julien pegs her for a fortune hunter. When he confronts Grace with his accusation, she is furious. Lady Honor is a lovely young woman who is a friend of them all. It has always been assumed that she will marry Julien, but he only thinks of her as a friend. Honor has graciously agreed to help Rupert furnish and decorate his new home. This necessitates a lot of togetherness.

Will Julien and Grace ever get over his distaste for one another? Will Grace and Rupert find love and marry?

This is a great story with lots of twists. I’m thinking it will appeal to many readers.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

Spotlight on Paula Quinn and ‘A Highlander’s Christmas Kiss’!

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BOOK BLURB: A Stranger’s Smile

Christmas may be coming to Linavar, but Temperance Menzie is far from joyful. Grief-stricken over the death of her father at the hands of the Black Riders, she almost didn’t see the wounded stranger in the woods. And now she’s determined to give this braw, brooding Highlander the help she couldn’t give her father. But there’s a secret lurking in the depths of his blue-gray eyes. And Temperance won’t rest until she uncovers it . . .

A Lover’s Kiss

A killer for hire. It’s the last thing Cailean Grant ever thought he’d become, but being part of the Black Riders was his only way to survive. Now, his guilt grows day by day, along with his desire for the beautiful, brave lass nursing him back to health. As Christmas, the season of miracles, draws near and the truth of his identity threatens to come out, Cailean must risk the only thing he has left to lose-his heart.

BUY LINKS: AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo / Goodreads

>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<

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EXCERPT:

She stopped walking and pulled on his hand to stop him as well. “Who am I to you?”

What? What had he said? He realized quickly enough, scowled, and then smiled, giving in to what his heart was telling him. “Ye are—” He paused, not truly sure what to say. He hadn’t wanted to care for her, but he did. He’d let her in, but how could he have denied her entrance? She’d been through much, thanks to him, and yet she still smiled, she still sang, she still had compassion to help him heal.

He began again, reaching for her. He pulled her closer and wrapped his arms around her plaid- encased body, shielding her from the wind. “Ye are my candle in the dark.” He stopped again to take her in. He smiled. “I’m better at puttin’ a quill to m’ words than I am at speakin’ them.”

Her wide, beautiful eyes glittered like the snow dusting the braes. He wanted to lose himself there in the expectant hope that lit her gaze.

“You’re doing just fine,” she assured him softly. “Continue, please.”

He shoved aside everything on his mind but her. What was left scared the hell out him. “I canna—”

She waited in silence while he fought his demon for her. Her hope began to fade to disappointment.

It made him smile to think her hope was to be with him and she was waiting to hear him tell her.

“I canna take my gaze from ye, lass. No matter what I’m doin’, m’ eyes find their way back to yer rich dark hair fallin’ over yer flawless jaw, the relaxed curl of your bottom lip that tempts my legs to bring me to wherever ye are. I lay awake at night imaginin’ yer soft inhalations of breath. They fill my heart with something other than mortar and fury. I want to bring ye to me but I’m unworthy of yer dreams. Still, I want to be in them, as ye are in mine.”

“You see?” she said breathlessly. “Just fine.” She closed her eyes and parted her lips when he dipped his head to hers.

He moved his mouth over hers, basking in the intimacy of kissing her, capturing her short, eager breaths. His senses came alive and he used each one of them to fill himself with her. She tasted like passion and innocence. When he slipped his tongue over hers, she opened her arms and coiled them around his neck, covering them both in his plaid. He listened to her heart beating like ancient drums. Or was it his own heart he was hearing? He withdrew a hairbreadth so he could look at her again. The sight of her dreamy-eyed and wanting more nearly drove him mad. He brushed his nose across her temple to her hair, drinking in the scent of her, like the familiar fragrance of peat and pine. “Ye’re bringin’ me back to life, lass.”

He kissed her again, barely holding back the passion raging inside him to be released.

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REVIEW: By now I know what Paula Quinn can do. She continues to impress with her storytelling and I’m always ready for her to take me into the Scotland of long ago and introduce me to these intriguing and voluptuous characters that are fully fleshed out and real.

This is the first book in Highland Heirs series which continues the MacGregor and Grant family tales. If you’ve never read any of those books, have no fear because this story can definitely be read as stand alone.

Cailean Grant is a complex and complicated man who tends to get himself in some dire situations, and that’s how he meets Temperance Menzie, a woman that is his destiny. Both characters were well developed and the plot was as complex as our hero and heroine!

It is the emotional journey that these two went through made my eyes mist and that doesn’t happen often to this reader.

If you’ve never read this author and you love to read romances with Scottish politics, men in kilts, and a romance that brings tears to your eyes, this one is a must.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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paula-quinnAbout Paula Quinn: New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven.  She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.

Social Media: Website / Facebook / Twitter

‘Ella’s Will’ by Jessilyn Peaslee

ew-jspBOOK BLURB: Will Hawkins is just a simple stable boy. When he becomes reacquainted with his childhood friend, he can’t help falling in love with her. But everything changes when the prince announces a ball in which he will choose one of the commoners to be his wife, and Will is torn by his need to be with Ella and his desire for her wellbeing.

How can Will ever hope to woo Ella when his competition is the prince? Without any magic or fairy godmothers, Will must show Ella that he is her true prince charming in this perspective twist of the classic Cinderella tale.

REVIEW: This is one of the best takes on the Cinderella tale I’ve ever read. The story is told from the point of view of Will, Ellas’s only friend in the whole wide world.

I found this story very emotional and poignant from start to finish. The characters were sweet and tragic at times. Their backstories were filled with pain, yet both grew into strong and compassionate individuals.

If you’re ready for a unique perspective and some twists on this timeless tale, curl up and read Ella’s Will.

It appears that the same story was told in the previous book titled Ella and told from her point of view, and sadly, I’ve not read it. Well, need I tell you that now I must read it because I definitely want to know her POV.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

‘Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night’ by Kate Noble

mglfan-knSTORY: Next in the witty, sexy Winner Takes All Regency series from Emmy winner Kate Noble, author of The Game and the Governess and writer of the wildly popular web series, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries.

Cecilia Goodhue is a schoolteacher with a past, living with her sister and her husband in a tiny English village. Resigned to a quiet life, Cecilia is surprised when she finds out that her young cousin has run off with a man of no means.

Cecilia had once been a teenaged girl who also fell for a young man’s charms—only to be devastated by his betrayal. Determined to not let her cousin meet the same fate, she heads off to London to but is shocked when her investigation leads her right to the front door of the very man who broke her heart: Theo Hudson.

Together, they reluctantly embark on finding her cousin and returning her to her family. During their searching in London, it soon becomes clear that they both remember their short-lived romance differently and perhaps now, years later, they have a fresh chance at love.

REVIEW: Miss Cecelia Goodhue, age 26, lives in Helmsley, Lincolnshire and is the town’s school teacher. Classes have just let out for the spring planting season. Cecelia’s sister, Imogene, with whom she resides, informs her that their cousin, Eleanor, has run off with a man who is part of a military regiment passing through town. The man is to settle in London and wants Eleanor to join him. But no one knows where in London she has gone.

Imogene is married to Vicar Spelsky. Imogene reminds Cecelia of the time she ran off at age 16, and nearly ruined herself. Cecelia had fancied herself in love with Mr. Theodore Hudson, age 20, and had run off to Gretna Green with him. Her father caught her before they were married and claimed that the young man was only after her modest dowry. Hurt and humiliated at Theodore’s defection, she withdraws to live the life of a spinster.

Cecelia decides that she will be the one to go to London to search for Eleanor. Upon the advice of her friend, Mrs. Turner, it is decided that she will call upon Lord Edward Granville, the Earl of Ashby, for help. In addition, Cecelia will say that she is in London doing an errand for Mrs. Turner. But when other ladies chime in requesting that since she is off to London, could she run some errands for them, the list really grows.

Upon arrival at the home of Lord Ashby, she is shocked when Theodore Hudson opens the door. It appears that Theodore is a partner in a law firm representing the Earl and Theodore is waiting to see the Earl. Seeing Theodore again brings back memories of their time together some years ago. When Lord Ashby appears, he asks Theodore to take over looking for Cecelia’s cousin, Eleanor. Cecelia insists that she accompany Theodore in the search. In addition, Lord Ashby insists that Cecelia stay at his home with his wife and family. When Cecelia, using her womanly wiles, shows up Theodore during their search, Theodore sits up and truly takes notice of her.

It would appear that I have given away a lot of the plot, but it is just a teaser. The humor in this book is great and typical of Kate Noble. Readers will certainly have some good laughs.

I enjoyed the novel but found that some parts tended to drag. However, the story is good and enjoyable.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘One Step Behind’ by Brianna Labuskes

osb-blSTORY: Vengeance never dies …

London, 1812. When the unconventional Imogen Lancaster embarked on a mission to infiltrate high society and avenge her beloved cousin’s murder she never would have guessed she’d end up in the arms of a thief. At least, that’s what she assumes when she discovers Lucas Stone breaking into a private safe.

Lucas Stone, the Earl of Winchester, has a reputation for arrogance and a soft-spot for his sister, which is how he ends up in the predicament of hiding behind a curtain at midnight with the dreadfully dull Miss Imogen Lancaster. But he soon discovers appearances can be deceiving when the country mouse turns into a spitfire in front of his eyes and she makes it clear she wants nothing to do with him.

Though one is chasing a blackmailer and the other a murderer, they quickly realize they are on the hunt for the same villain. Now they must work together, which would be fine, if they could decide if they’d rather fall in love or kill one another.

REVIEW: This was a very entertaining, intriguing and fun read. I loved the misconception these two had about each other! It made the read move fast and gave me hours of fun trying to figure out how would they solve the mystery and if their attraction would be strong enough to hold them together.

I welcomed this romance because it contained a very intriguing mystery that our couple had to solve and watching those two in action was fun, and the dialogue was amazing.

No need to look any further if you’d like to immerse yourself in a well written and plotted romance with a mystery within.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Heir of Brownlie Manor’ by Anita Stansfield

thobm-asSTORY: After a medical discharge from his duties in the Napoleonic War, Thomas Quincy Fitzbatten has returned home. Disoriented, burdened by guilt for his wealth, and disillusioned with life’s injustices, Thomas longs for a chance to make a difference in the world. But he keeps himself a mystery to those around him, and another motive for his charity gnaws at the back of his mind: to seek redemption from the traumatic demons of war.

Then everything changes at the arrival of Ruth Dawson, the niece of Thomas’s butler, a stunning woman with a secret of her own. Thomas graciously offers to assist Ruth in her predicament, but a surprise instinct prompts Thomas to handle the case a little more personally—through marriage. As their love blossoms, it appears that all will be well—until Thomas receives a mysterious letter from an old friend in trouble, compelling him to the rescue.

But what will Thomas do when nothing is as it seems? And why can’t Ruth shake the feeling that her destiny is intertwined with Thomas’s in a way they could never have imagined?

REVIEW: Hampshire, England – 1808

Thomas Quincy Fitzbatten has been raised at Brownlie Manor but has not seen it in three years. He has loved living there surrounded by loving parents and other members of the household. His homecoming from having served in the military was a surprise, but upon arrival, he finds that his parents are out of the country for a few weeks on vacation. However, he enjoys being home. The events of war have left their scars on him and he hopes to once again find peace and purpose in his life.

When the butler, Dawson, tells him he has a problem, Thomas is happy to help. Dawson’s niece has shown up pregnant and unwed. Ruth Dawson is 19 and needs a place to stay until the baby is born. Thomas volunteers to take Ruth into town to stay at an inn. Being able to help someone in need is what he, himself, needs and he happily gets to know Ruth. She does not want to give her baby away is is so thankful for Thomas’s help. Thomas is so taken with her and her plight that he decides to marry her.

They then head to a small cottage owned by his family and run by a couple who are good friends. The woman, Bertie is pregnant and when she gives birth, Ruth assists with the delivery. She is also quite helpful around the house and handles the cooking.

Ruth and Thoms grow closer but Ruth is worried that Thomas may not love the baby when it is born. As their marriage has been platonic so far, Ruth wonders if Thomas will truly want to be faithful to her.

Thomas’s parents arrive at the cottage and they immediately bond with Ruth. Soon after, they head back to Brownlie Manor. Everything is going well until someone tries to kill Thomas. Who would want to harm him and why?

This was an OK story but it tended to drag a bit. A lot of the dialogue was repetitive but the attempt on Thomas’s life kept the story going. I did like that it is a clean book and I’m sure many readers will enjoy it.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘Love’s Faithful Promise’ by Susan Anne Mason

lfp-samSTORY: A Stirring Story of Love and Faith and America’s Great Promise
When her mother suffers a stroke, medical student Deirdre O’Leary makes the difficult choice to put her career on hold to care for her. Dr. Matthew Clayborne is renowned for his amazing results with patients, but when Deirdre approaches him about helping her mother, she finds him challenging and surly. Deirdre has had enough of complicated men in her life. After her fiancE left her, she vowed never to give a man that kind of power again.

Widower Dr. Matthew Clayborne is devoted to two things: his work with wounded soldiers and his four-year-old daughter, Phoebe. He won’t abandon either of these priorities to care for one older woman. However, when Phoebe suffers a health scare, they’re offered respite at the Irish Meadows farm, where his daughter’s weakened lungs can recover–but only if he cares for Mrs. O’Leary.

Matthew intends to hate Irish Meadows, yet he immediately feels at home, and soon both Mrs. O’Leary and Phoebe are showing improvement. But since he has no intention of leaving his life up north forever, and Deirdre has sworn off marriage in favor of her career, how will they deal with the undeniable attraction between them?

REVIEW: New York – 1922

Deidre O’Leary has trained and worked as a nurse at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital. Since leaving her position there, she has been studying at Boston University to be a pediatrician, which is her dream. She is shocked when she learns her mother has had a stroke and may be paralyzed. She returns to the family home, Irish Meadows, to care for her mother knowing she may not be able to return to her studies.

Dr. Matthew Clayborne, himself an injured war veteran, does his best to help other injured soldiers to be able to walk and function again. Matthew works at the Toronto Military Hospital. His boss, who is Deidre’s uncle, approaches him and asks him to take over the care of Mrs. O’Leary at the family estate on Long Island. He immediately refuses as he feels his work with soldiers is more important even though the number of his patients is dwindling. In addition, the thought of leaving his daughter, Phoebe, in her fragile state is out of the question. Matthew’s wife, Priscilla, died two years ago of tuberculosis and Phoebe contracted he disease herself. However, she spent time in a sanitarium which seems to have saved her. Unfortunately, Priscilla entered a sanitarium too late to save her.

Deidre’s father convinces her to go to Toronto and persuade Matthew to go to Long Island. If he still refuses, perhaps she can learn his therapy techniques and help her mother herself. Upon meeting Deidre, Matthew again refuses to go to New York and is taken aback at her audacity to think she can learn the therapy techniques herself. But as her uncle is his boss, he feels he has no say so. So, Matthew, his daughter, Phoebe, and her nanny along with Deidre journey to Irish Meadows. Matthew will help Mrs. O’Leary and Phoebe will benefit from the fresh air.

Josephine (Jo) Miller has disguised herself as a boy and has a job working as a hand in the stables at Irish Meadows. She calls herself Joe. As she shows her skills with horses, Connor O’Leary, her boss, is amazed at her ability to calm a horse that they are training. Jo and her brother, Seth, are struggling to work jobs to cover for their alcoholic father. When Connor learns that “Joe” is a girl and discovers her father’s problem, Connor does what he can to help.

We follow the numerous family members and their deep love for one another and the things that happen each day with a large and caring family.

As Matthew and Deidre spend time together working with Mrs. O’Leary, they admire one another but know they will go their separate ways. Or will they?

This is a wonderful story about the extended O’Leary family and their love for one another. I enjoyed it immensely and know other readers will as well.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b