A sneak peek of ‘The Wayward One’ from Danelle Harmon!

Coming on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2016!

two dh

BOOK BLURB: A bold, hot-blooded Irishman on a dangerous mission … a cool and aristocratic Englishwoman who was never meant to be his captive…

Captain Ruaidri O’ Devir is a bold, hot-blooded Irishman on a dangerous mission … Lady Nerissa de Montforte is a cool and aristocratic Englishwoman who was never meant to be his captive.

The sexy, emotional, exciting and heart-stopping conclusion to the bestselling and wildly popular internationally, the de Montforte series by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Danelle Harmon.

PRE-ORDER LINKS: Amazon

SNEAK-PEAK:

She spoke so casually that Ruaidri had trouble believing that her feelings for this man had been as warm as she claimed them to have been. He was used to women who wore their hearts on their sleeves, their emotions, needs and desires on display for all to see. This cool, elegant woman beside him … did she lack that warmth, or had breeding and class choked off any expression of emotion she might otherwise have shown?
“Ye think he broke yer heart, don’t ye, lass?”
“Of course he did.”
“Yer heart isn’t broken, Lady Nerissa.”
She looked up then, frowning. “How dare you presume to know what is in my heart.”
“Yer heart wasn’t broken, because ye never really loved him the way ye thought ye did, did you?”
“What?”
“You stand here beside me and relate this tale of woe t’ me with a dry eye and all the feeling ye might use to describe a bucket of sand. I think there’s more to you than that, and I think that this man, this Perry, would have made ye miserable. He wasn’t good enough for ye.”
“How dare you, Captain O’ Devir!”
“Well, I’m standin’ here, lookin’ at you. Ye’re made pretty enough to make a man weep, you are, and if this piece of shite couldn’t make up his mind and sweep you off to the altar, he sure wouldn’t have made ye a strong husband. Is that what ye would have settled for? A wishy-washy nob who not only couldn’t make up his mind, but was also gullible enough to be taken in by yer brother’s schemin’?”
She just looked at him, mouth agape. To deny his conclusions would have screamed of falseness; to her credit, she did not.
“He was,” she finally admitted, looking back out over the sea, “…indecisive.”
“And you wanted that in a husband?” He snorted. “Doesn’t seem he was worth a broken heart. Don’t tell me ye’re pinin’ for this blatherin’ idiot. Why, did he ever even kiss ye?”
“Captain!” she gasped, outraged.
“Well, did he?”
“Of course.”
“With passion?”
“He was a gentleman. He … he abided by the rules of propriety.”
“Bollocks.”
She gasped, her eyes widening.
“He was an arse. When are ye goin’ to get good and angry about what he did to ye? If he loved you as ye deserve to be loved, he wouldn’t have dragged his feet, he’d have had a ring on yer finger and you in his bed before ye even had time to consider the difference between a kiss of passion and a kiss of ‘propriety.’” He shook his head. “Ye don’t throw gold overboard. Ye don’t hold a diamond up to the light and wonder whether it’s the real thing when it’s blindin’ ye with its brilliance. Indecisive piece of shite.”
“You did not know him!”
“Why are ye defendin’ him? He took, arguably, the best years of yer life with his wafflin’ like a one-footed duck.”
“Lots of people are indecisive … unsure.”
“Not in my line of work, they aren’t. Indecision will make a person dead, very dead. Oh no, I may be many things, Lady Nerissa, but I can assure you I’m not indecisive.”
“And your point?”
“My point is, the good Lord gave ye a face and form to bring a man to his knees. Yer earl was an idiot. I barely know you, but I can tell ye right now that if I were to kiss ye, it would sure as hell not be a kiss of propriety.”
“Of course it wouldn’t. You are anything but a gentleman.”
“Aye, ‘tis true. But I could show you what a kiss ought to feel like. Taste like. Make ye feel like.”
Her head jerked up, her fingers went to her throat, and in the darkness, he could see the twin stains that suddenly bloomed on her cheeks. “Captain, what makes you think I want you to kiss me?”
“Everythin’ about ye.” He unclasped his hands from behind his back and reaching out, finally tucked that errant strand of hair behind her ear, noting that she did not flinch or slap his hand away. “The way yer eyes look suddenly intrigued despite the protests of yer tongue. The fact that ye haven’t slapped me. The fact that when I suggested it, ye swayed toward me just the slightest bit.” He cocked his head, letting a little smile touch the corner of his mouth. “Ye’d enjoy it, you know.”
“You are arrogant and audacious.”
“And I could kiss ye senseless.”
She turned from the rail to face him, her eyes a defiant challenge that intrigued and amused him. She had been jilted by this complete arse of an earl, had been manipulated by the even bigger arse that was her brother but she was no simpering miss, and she was honest enough with herself that the idea of letting him kiss her was one that she viewed as a challenge. Perhaps even compensation for the way both fiancé and brother had made a total muck-up of her life.
“Ye’re not gettin’ any younger,” he prompted.
“And you’re not getting any less arrogant.”
“Aye, don’t hold yer breath on that one.”
She stood there looking at him, her eyes lovely in the darkness, her face so beautiful it took his breath away.
He did not move, allowing her this decision, the respect to have it put in her hands; a respect that others might not have given her.
Her chin came up and her eyes suddenly caught the glint of the rising moon. “Very well, then,” she said. “You think you can make me feel something I doubt I’ll ever feel again? Then kiss me.”
dh party

You all are invited to the release party on Facebook!

[click above to join!]

AUTHOR BIO: Bestselling, multi-award winning and critically acclaimed author Danelle Harmon has written ten books, previously published in print and distributed in many languages throughout the world. Though born and raised in Massachusetts, she and her husband, a native of southwest London, were married and lived in England for several years.

These days, Ms. Harmon and her husband make their home in New England with their daughter Emma and numerous animals including four dogs, an Egyptian Arabian horse, and numerous pet chickens. Danelle welcomes email from her readers and can be reached at her Email or Facebook.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook / Tweeter / Website / Blog

Spotlight on Kelly Bowen and ‘Duke of My Heart’!

Duke-of-My-Heart-Launch-Day-Blitz

Q&A with Kelly

  1. ­ What would readers be surprised to find out about you?

I can drive a front end loader. Useful, I know, for a writer :)

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you start with an idea or a character? Do you know what’s going to happen from the beginning or do you figure it out as you write?

I generally have an idea of what the beginning and the end will look like and a number of key scenes that will happen along the way before I start a new story.  But the parts and pieces that link those scenes together are often inspired as I go!

  1. Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

Honestly, the best bit of writing advice that I ever received was a quote from Stephen King that I read.  He said “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”  That really resonated with me – on the days that I’m struggling , there is no quitting and hoping that it will fix itself.  I use his example and try to push through – sometimes you have to write the wrong thing in order to figure out what the right thing is.

  1. Is there one thing you have to have when writing?

A window.  I can’t stand to work without a little natural light.

  1. How did you choose the names of your characters?

I try to choose names that suit the character.  For example, my heroine in Duke of My Heart was a performer in the past, so I tried to give her something with a little flair.  My hero is a rather solitary soldier at first, so I tried to give him something strong and straightforward.  But at the same time, I try to make sure the names are historically possible!

  1. How has music played a role in your life and in your writing?

I love music – any type of music, depending on the mood, but the titles of artists and songs that I could actually name could probably be counted on my fingers.  I don’t usually have music on while I’m writing, but I always have it on when I’m driving, doing housework, running, or painting.

  1. When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?

The desire to be a writer came later in life for me.  After the birth of my first child, I found myself with a little more time on my hands to read (granted, usually at 2 in the morning), and the more I read, the more ideas for a story of my own started to rattle around in my head. I jotted down a few notes just for fun.  And then the longer I stared at that paper, the more I wanted to write it.  So I did.  And it was horrible.  But by then, I was hooked.  So I wrote a few more books.  And then I wrote my first series. And I’ve loved every second of it!

  1. What can you tell us about your couple, that we won’t find in the book?

They do eventually get married, but keep that information on a need-to-know basis!

  1. Do you have any favorite book boyfriends of your own?

Jamie Lost in Kris Kennedy’s Defiant.  Jamie Fraser in the Outlander. Hmmm.  Maybe it’s a Jamie thing?

  1. What are five books on your nightstand/bookshelf?

Ha!  Five.  That’s funny.  I have multiples of five.  But here are the ones on top at the moment: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean, A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley, That Summer by Lauren Willing, Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt, and The Millionaire Rogue by Jessica Peterson.

  1. What’s your favorite quote or scene from your book?

One of my favorite scenes comes when my hero goes charging off on his own in an ill-considered attempt to track down information from a woman who is not at all what she seems.  It is the first time that my hero realizes that it is in his best interests to work with my heroine and not around her.

“I asked you to leave, Captain.”  The woman’s expression was cold and detached now, as if she was idly contemplating what color his blood might be when it splattered all over her neat, whitewashed walls.

“For the love of God, Gilda, don’t shoot him.”

Max closed his eyes.

Gilda’s gaze slid past Max, and her eyes crinkled at the corners, her mouth turning up in renewed amusement.  “Well, if it isn’t the duchess.”  She paused, her eyes coming back to rest on him.  “Why can’t I shoot him?”

“Because he’s my client.”

A red brow arched.  “My condolences.”

  1. If your couple’s relationship had a theme song, what would it be?

At the beginning, something from the Fight Club soundtrack.  In the middle, something from Pirates of the Caribbean, and by the end, something from The Italian Job. (A good example of my total lack of music knowledge here…)

  1. Tell us about the cover process. Is this what you had in mind?

The cover for this book blew me away.  I was asked to provide a description of the heroine, and the art department utterly and completely captured my heroine in the model they chose.  Add in an extravagant gown that hints at her past career and stage and a scene from the book itself, some glorious colors, and you end up with a truly incredible cover.

  1. If your book was being made into a movie, who would you include in your dream cast?

Stephen Amell as my hero (He pulled off remote and forbidding in the Vampire Diaries and in early episodes of Arrow.  And then there’s the abs, of course…)  Emma Stone as my heroine (she strikes me as clever and quick on her feet).  There is also space in this one for Kit Harrington, Ian Somerhalder, Johnny Depp, Lily James, and Jennifer Lawrence.  I hope there isn’t a salary cap on this question…

  1. Where do you find inspiration for you writing? Do you use real people/places as a foundation?

Inspiration comes from everywhere.  Books, TV, movies, news, real life, history.  I suspect it’s why most authors can often be seen scribbling madly on scraps of paper or notebooks at odd times.  You never know when inspiration will strike!

  1. Do you have any hobbies or activities that you enjoy outside of writing?

I play and coach volleyball, I own a horse (that despises my attempts at polo with her, but tolerates working cattle), I love to dive & snorkel (whenever I get a chance on a holiday), I paint for fun (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), and of course, I read as much as I can!

  1. Would the 10 year-old version of yourself kick your butt or praise you for what you’ve accomplished in life?

My 10 year old self wanted to be a vet, a zookeeper, or an archeologist.  In a roundabout way, I’ve managed to achieve all three (degrees and a career in vet physiology, a houseful of critters and kids both big and small, and the ability to bring history back to life).  I think the 10 year old version would be pretty happy with my life (the 40 year old version is!)  I love how my path to this moment has been unexpected, wonderful, and filled with amazing opportunities!

Bowen_DukeofMyHeart_MMBOOK BLURB: Scandal can be handled…

Captain Maximus Harcourt, the unconventional tenth Duke of Alderidge, can deal with tropical storms, raging seas, and the fiercest of pirates. But he’s returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl – quite inconveniently deceased – tied to his missing sister’s bed. And he has only one place to turn. Now he’s at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore of Chegarre & Associates, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals. 

Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. As though this sort of thing happened on the job every day. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she’s somehow…flawless. It’s just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected – yet absolutely true.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play / BAM!
EXCERPT:

He tipped his chair forward on two legs, bringing himself closer to her. She held her ground. He was close enough to kiss her. He braced his elbows on his knees, the bottle dangling from his fingers, his ice-grey eyes searching her face. There was a sheen of liquor on his lower lip, the moisture visible in the flickering lantern light. She could taste it on her own tongue, imagined tasting it on his.

Her heart seemed to be crashing in her chest louder than it should, and her stomach felt as it would have on heaving seas. Her control was slipping, and taking with it her judgment and her wits. “Do you think differently of me? Now that you know who I am? The things I’ve done?” The questions slipped out of their own volition.

“The things you’ve done?” His forehead creased.

“I sold myself, Max.” There. She’d said it. “Before I had enough power to control my own destiny.”

He stared at her. “I know who you are. You are Ivory Moore. You are the woman who redressed a corpse to save my sister. The woman who kissed me to saveme from myself. You are the only one who understands why I can never be put in a prison that was built for me by fate and circumstance.”

She swallowed, emotion clogging her throat.

“You are the woman I trust.” He pushed himself away from her abruptly, and the chair came back down on four legs with a thud. He stood and set the bottle back on the table with great care. Reaching down, he caught her hands in his and pulled her to her feet. He studied her hands before bringing them to his lips. “The woman I want more than anything.”

Desire streaked through her and settled somewhere deep in her belly. Time seemed to have slowed. His lips grazed the insides of her wrists.

“Max.” It came out like a plea, when she had meant it as a protest.

“I lied,” he said. He pressed his mouth to the flesh of her palm, and her knees nearly buckled.

“What?” It was hard to follow the thread of conversation, what with the feel of his lips on her skin.

“I said I wasn’t sure of anything anymore,” he said quietly.

“But that’s not true. I am sure of you.”

Ivory searched his eyes, seeing only a raw vulnerability in those clear grey depths.

“You’ve more courage than anyone I’ve ever met,” he whispered, pulling her closer to him, their hands still joined.

“You’re drunk.”

“Not nearly enough. But I wish I was.”

“What?”

“If I were drunk, it might excuse what I’m about to do.”

Ivory didn’t have time to even respond before he kissed her.

 

>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER  <<<<<<<<<<

kelly bowenAUTHR BIO: Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology. 
But it was Kelly’s infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance. When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields.
Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Spotlight on E. E. Burke and ‘Santa’s Mail-Order Bride’!

Desktop14Santa’s Mail-Order Bride incorporates a number of American Christmas traditions, including the beloved character of Santa Claus. Our version of Santa may appear contemporary, but the venerable gift-giver has a long history.

bishop st. nicholasSanta started with a real person. Saint Nicholas, born in the 3rd century in a village in present-day Turkey, is said to have spent his inheritance to help the needy, and he had a special love for children. It’s from his generous nature we get a gift-giving Santa.

Fast forward to 18th century America where immigrants from colonial dutch santaHolland brought with them the tradition of Sinterklaas, who became “Santa Claus.” Woodcuts distributed in 1804 show images of an old man in a robe and long white beard filling colonial stockings with fruit and toys.

1821 santaIn 1823, an anonymous poem (later acknowledged to have been penned by Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister), took the legend another step. Entitled An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas or The Night Before Christmas. Moore’s poem is largely responsible for the image of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a portly figure and the supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with a nod of his head. This is also where we first have references of flying reindeer and Santa’s sleigh.

backdrop_CH-015B-Santas-Workshop-B

Nast 1881 santa portraitBut we have American artist Thomas Nast to thank for the richest legends we have today surrounding Santa Claus. From 1863 through 1886, Nast contributed 33 Christmas drawings to Harper’s Weekly with references to Santa. Here is the most familiar Santa “portrait” he did in 1881. It is Nast who gave Santa coke santahis familiar suit, his North Pole workshop, the elves and his wife, Mrs. Claus.

America’s Victorians were very familiar with Santa and his legend. Department store Santa’s popped up at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. Santa’s on parade became a popular theme in towns and cities, and in the 1930s, Santa received “contemporary” red costume.

Yes, Santa’s reputation reaches far back in history, and at the heart of his character we find love and generosity, and a special kind of magic that makes the world a better place.

mob eebBOOK BLURB: Maggie has an unexpected suitor—in a red suit.

Schoolteacher Maggie O’Brien comes home for Christmas on a mission–to gather toys for orphans living on poor farms around Fort Scott. She’s made her list, but there’s no Santa in sight. Not until a local shopkeeper volunteers his services.

Gordon Sumner has set his mind on winning the black-haired Irish beauty, but Maggie’s brother is his fiercest competitor and O’Brien’s loyal sister gives him the cold shoulder. Undaunted, he comes up with a clever plan.

Maggie sees through the fake Santa’s ploy, but with Christmas just around the corner, she’s running out of time to make the holiday happy for needy children. She accepts his help—with a plan of her own. She’ll play matchmaker and find her persistent suitor the perfect bride.

BUY LINKS: Amazon

TEASER:

“We’ll get your orphans gifts, Miss O’Brien. I promise you.”

Her dazed expression remained, as her cheeks bloomed with color and her hands floated up to her mouth. At least she didn’t slap him.

His heart pumped liquid fire through his veins, the brief touch only whetting his appetite for more. He vowed to get a longer, deeper kiss before Miss O’Brien waltzed out of his life again, and he knew just how he would engineer it.

“You…you…” she sputtered.

“Kissed you? Yes. That’s what a man does with his wife.”

She scurried backwards, the high color draining from her face. “What are you talking about? I’m not your wife.”

“Not mine, Santa’s. You, my dear, will be Mrs. Claus.”

REVIEW: After I read Ms. Burke’s ‘Victoria: Bride of Kansas’ [which btw is 35th book out of 50 in American Mail Order Brides series], I was very happy to hear that she’d gone and written a sequel to it, taking secondary characters of Maggie and Sumner as her heroine and hero.

I wondered how in heck was she going to bridge over some serious obstacles, not to mention two head strong and very competitive men that our heroine cared about deeply.

Color me happy as I giggled my way through this heartwarming, sweet and very tender love story.

I was happy to learn more about our hero, Gordon Sumner, who in the beginning was very mercenary, but Ms. Burke showed him to be compassionate and compelling in this story, and worthy of our heroine.

I also loved catching up with David, Victoria, Fannie and her baby brother. It made me feel warm all over to see how happy they are.

If you’re into sweet and tender romances that are filled with humor, you’ll be entertained with this story, I promise!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

eebAUTHOR BIO: E.E. Burke writes romance from the heart, woven with history the way in really happened in the wild American West. Her writing has earned accolades in regional and national contests, including the RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart®.

She combines her passion for history and love of romance in stories that are as deeply rooted in American soil as her family, which she can trace back to the earliest colonists and through both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

“My earliest memories of books were the nursery rhyme volumes I took to bed with me when I was three. From that point on, I was hooked. Some people hugged their bears. I hugged my books.”

Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to pursuing her dream of writing novels. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and three daughters, the greatest inspiration of all

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Spotlight on E. E. Burke and ‘Victoria: Bride of Kansas’!

50BookAMOBGraphicA

50 MAIL-ORDER BRIDES TAKE AMERICA BY STORM

[click on the poster for synopses of all 50 books]

A Bride for Every State

Mail-order brides have long been a staple in Western historical romance, but there has never been a series featuring 50 brides across America–until now.

American Mail-Order Brides features 50 romances from 50 U.S. states or territories, circa 1890. The series, written by 45 different authors, will release, one book a day, between November 19 and January 7, in the order the states were admitted to the union. ‘Victoria: Bride of Kansas’, is the 34th book and releases Dec. 22.

There is no particular order for reading the books, but the event that launches these stories is told through a FREE prequel available on Amazon. This project includes many bestselling authors, including New York Times and USA Today top sellers such as Debra Holland, Kirsten Osbourne, and Callie Hutton.

The project website has a complete list of books in the series: http://www.newwesternromance.com/

vbok eebBOOK BLURB: A starry-eyed bride, a reluctant groom, a secret matchmaker and a troubled child.

Jilted socialite Victoria Lowell travels a thousand miles to wed a romantic suitor, unaware she’s corresponded with his matchmaking sister.

A very unsentimental shopkeeper meets her at the train station and gives her until Christmas Eve to prove she’ll make a good mother for his troubled young daughter.

It’ll take more than a miracle to deliver a happily ever after in time for Christmas.

BUY LINKS: Amazon

TEASER:

She searched his eyes with a kind of desperate hope that sent a shudder through him. ‘Can you love me, David?”

The simple question struck with the force of a hard punch. He leaned back, staggered. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. He’d known from the start what she expected, what she’d come out here to find. Only, he had fooled himself into thinking he could satisfy her with physical passion. But no, she would accept nothing less than love. Sadness pulled at her eyes. “I didn’t think so.”

REVIEW: This was such a sweet story of two people who have been hurt very deeply by their previous encounters with “love” and watching them learn to trust one another, as well as getting over their insecurities and anxieties, was a pleasure.

There’s so much to recommend this story, I’m not sure where to start. I adored Fannie, David’s little girl who also had to learn to trust the grownups; I was praying that one of those 50 brides would include David’s sister Maggie, who was such a loving and thoughtful sister and Aunt. Low and behold, at the end of this book, I was thrilled to learn that E. E. Burke had penned her story, ‘Santa’s Mail Order Bride’ and she paired her with her brother’s competitor, Gordon Sumner! Let me tell you, I’m in a squee-ing mode now!

I highly recommend you read this truly sweet, well written and charming story that will fill you with hope of faith and love.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

eebAUTHOR BIO: E.E. Burke writes romance from the heart, woven with history the way in really happened in the wild American West. Her writing has earned accolades in regional and national contests, including the RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart®.

She combines her passion for history and love of romance in stories that are as deeply rooted in American soil as her family, which she can trace back to the earliest colonists and through both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

“My earliest memories of books were the nursery rhyme volumes I took to bed with me when I was three. From that point on, I was hooked. Some people hugged their bears. I hugged my books.”

Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to pursuing her dream of writing novels. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and three daughters, the greatest inspiration of all

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Spotlight on Elizabeth Hoyt and ‘Sweetest Scoundrel’!

Sweetest-Scoundrel-Blog-Tour

Hoyt_Sweetest Scoundrel_MMBOOK BLURB: She’s Taking Charge

Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother’s investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London’s premier pleasure garden, Harte’s Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can’t be controlled.

He’s Running the Show

Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn’t have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden’s larger-than-life owner, he’s already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He’s not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around . . . no matter how enticing she is.

But Love Conquers All

In spite of her lack of theatrical experience-and her fiery clashes with Asa-Eve is determined to turn Harte’s Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There’s no denying the smoldering fire between them-and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all . . .

BUY LINKS: AmazonB&N / iBooks / GooglePlay / Kobo / BAM

REVIEW: To start reading Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series in the middle of it is no fun, because everyone you meet you’ll find intriguing and keep looking up if their story had already been told or is it coming up. I did however figure out that out of the nine books in this series, I own the last five and that’s a good thing because I’m now working my way to all of them.

If all the stories in this series are as intriguing and this well written, I’m in for a lot of pleasurable hours of reading.

The hero and heroine in this story are two very strong and opinionated characters who start their relationship on a wrong foot, and following them was a lot of fun and not just because of their chemistry, but mostly because of the dialogue between the two.

I must say that even though I’m new to this series and am starting it from the ‘back’, I found it written well enough that it didn’t bother me at all that I haven’t read them in order. That said, if you haven’t read any in this series, please try to get them all and read them in order. I believe it would enhance your experience tenfold.

Now, off I go to start the series from book one!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

PS: here’s the link to the series.

EXCERPT: 

“What do you see when you look at me?”

What did she see when she looked at him?

Eve inhaled, trying and failing to tear her gaze from his.

Mr. Harte sprawled across her dainty settee like a Viking marauder in a pillaged Christian church. His broad shoulders took up more than half the width, his arms lazily draped over the back. His scarlet coat was spread open, contrasting with the sedate gray-

blue of the cushions almost shockingly. One long leg was thrust straight before him, the other cocked open and resting on a booted heel. The pose made the apex of his thighs very . . . obvious . . . and even as she kept her eyes locked on his she could feel heat rising in her cheeks.

What did she see?

She saw violence and anger, kept under a control that was tenuous at best. She saw power and a strength that could hurt her—kill her—if he so chose. She saw the innate brutality that was, in larger or smaller part, in all men.

She saw her most terrible fears.

But—and this was the truly unprecedented part—she saw more in him. She saw temptation—her temptation—alluring and frightening at the same time, his virility so strong it was nearly a visible miasma in the space between them.

She wanted him. Wanted that brash gaze, those long, muscled thighs, that mocking, insulting mouth, and the shoulders that went on forever, big and brawny and so

very, very male.

This was madness—she knew that intellectually. She’d never wanted a man before—was in fact afraid of almost all men, let alone one so obviously, blatantly sexual.

She took a breath, hoping that he couldn’t read all this from her gaze—and knowing it was a lost cause already.

His heavy-lidded green eyes were far, far too perceptive.

“I see . . .” She paused to lick suddenly dry lips. “I see that your hairline is nearly a perfect arc across the expanse of your forehead. That your eyebrows tilt ever so slightly up at the ends and that the right has a scar through it. I see that when you are solemn, the outer edges of your lips reach just to the midpoint of your eyes, but when you smile, they go beyond the corners. I see that your chin and jaw are almost in classical proportion and that a small white scar forms a comma on your chin just to the right of center.” She finally glanced away from him, breathing heavily, certain that she’d not thrown him off the track with her artist’s eye’s impressions. She inhaled again and ended, “I see every line of your face, every line’s intersection and how they relate. That is what I see when I look at you.”

“And is that all you see? Lines?” His voice was deep and amused.

She chanced a peek.

He still watched her, his gaze utterly unperturbed by her observations about his countenance.

No, she’d not fooled him at all.

She licked her lips again, buying time. “I see,” she said carefully, cautiously, “a very self-possessed man.”

Self-possessed,” he drawled. “I’m not sure what that means, frankly. It sounds, just a bit, like a coward’s answer.”

Her gaze flew to his, outraged.

But before she could take him down a peg, he chuckled softly. “Tell me, Miss Dinwoody, would you like to know what I see when I look at you?”

She shouldn’t. She really, really shouldn’t.

“Yes,” she blurted, and then winced because she knew well enough what men

thought when they looked at her: ordinary, if they were charitable. Plain if they were not.

She braced herself for mockery, but when she glanced again at him, his gaze was hot and hard. Certainly not gentle. Certainly not kind. But he wasn’t dismissing her, either.

He looked at her as if they were equals. As if he really saw her, a woman to his man.

“I see,” he said, his deep voice musing, “a woman afraid, but fighting her fears. A woman who carries herself like a queen. A woman who could rule us all, I suspect.”

She gazed at him, her breath caught in her throat, afraid to exhale and break the spell.

A corner of that wicked mouth tilted up. “And I see a woman who has a deep curiosity. Who wants to feel but is worried—of herself? Of others?” He shook his head. “I’m not sure.” He leaned forward slowly, destroying his pose, and she had to fight herself not to scoot her chair away from him. “But I think she has a fire banked within her. Maybe it’s only embers now, glowing in the dark, but if tinder were to be put to those embers . . .” He grinned slowly. Dangerously. “Oh, what a conflagration that would be.”

>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<

HoytElizabethAUTHOR BIO: Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

The winters in Minnesota have been known to be long and cold and Elizabeth is always thrilled to receive reader mail. You can write to her at: P.O. Box 19495, Minneapolis, MN 55419 or email her at: Elizabeth@ElizabethHoyt.com.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Have you been Naughty or Nice?

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Dear bookworms,

Happy Holidays from St. Martin’s Press! We are joining them in inviting you to join their Naughty or Nice campaign to help promote reading romance this holiday season. Have you been naughty or nice this year? They have put together a sexy collection of naughty and nice books for you to choose from.

There is a little something for everyone here, and we would love for you to consider any or all of these this season! St. Martin’s Press has an even number of books on each list…  but that doesn’t mean you can’t be more naughty than nice (wink)!

Mix and match, pick and choose books from other publishers—but we think everyone should have a Naughty and Nice book list this year!

Be sure to share your list with us @SMPRomance on Twitter, and feel free to include any St. Martin’s Press books below along with our “Naughty or Nice” banner.

Naughty…

Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover51715-small.pngOn the Naughty List by Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Beth Ciotta, and Sugar Jamison

Four hot holiday stories, now in one great package, featuring two New York Times bestselling authors!
Lori Foster has two co-workers plan a Christmas party and discover a love worth celebrating in Christmas Bonus.
Carly Phillips explores a “mistletoe moment” when a lawyer intent on seducing her boss kisses his twin instead, in Naughty Under the Mistletoe.

In Sugar Jamison‘s Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas, wild child Dina Gregory returns home to find her young son’s father. Instead, she finds his stuffy brother, Ben. Ben admires her tenacity and bold beauty. Could it be that Dina has reignited his Christmas spirit?
Beth Ciotta brings two friends together at home for the holidays. They don’t have much in common anymore, but when they get stranded together during a blizzard, they might realize that true love was there all along, in Some Kind of Wonderful.

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Duke and Miss Christmas by Amelia Grey

A delightfully charming, wickedly sexy Regency-set Christmas romance novella from New York Times bestselling author, Amelia Grey!
Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, has never met a woman he couldn’t handle–until he’s hit over the head with a basketful of mistletoe by a young lady who mistakes his intentions. When he gets into a tussle with her–and she can hold her own–Crispin knows he has finally met his match. Miss Gwen Prim is mortified that she attacked a duke, but even more concerning is the way her resolve melts when she’s near him. She’s never felt this way about a London gentleman in her life. And with the magic of Christmas in the air, she may end up with a proposal she didn’t expect.

Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover71890-small.pngChristmas with the Billionaire Rancher by Mandy Baxter

A fabulously intense contemporary series, featuring sexy heroes and the sassy women they love in the Lone Star State.
There’s nothing Nate Christensen hates more than a golddigger. Nate wants to stay away from all the women who want his money. That is, until he meets the sexy, beautiful Chloe Benson, who lights a fire in his blood that only the most wildly passionate nights can ease…The only problem is, she needs Nate’s money. True, it’s for a very worthy charity, but is their passion enough to still Nate’s fears that she’s only wants him for the size of his bank account?

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Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie

A fan favorite holiday novella, now available as a standalone e-book!
Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game and in the arms of a sexy secret agent…


Nice…

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Home for Christmas by Lily Everett
A heartwarming holiday romance about a wounded warrior who finds healing and love during Christmas on Sanctuary Island.
Magazine columnist Libby Leeds has made a name for herself sharing heartwarming stories from her perfect life on Sanctuary Island. There’s just one minor detail she’s left out: she hasn’t set foot on the island since her childhood. Now wounded war hero/single-father Owen Shepard is returning to Sanctuary Island, and Libby’s editor insists she cover the story. But the sweet, reclusive writer is more intriguing, and more tempting, than Owen could have imagined. Decorating trees, and warming up by the fire it’s the closest Libby has come to love and family since she was a child. Will the Christmas spirit enable them admit what they feel for one another?

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Christmas at Evergreen Inn by Donna Alward
Sparks fly in this fun, festive holiday novella when a small town cop gets snowed in with the proprietor of the local inn.
When a December Nor’easter roars up the eastern seaboard, Jewell Cove cop Todd Ricker spends his day off being a Good Samaritan to stranded holiday travelers. But when the roads close and Todd can’t make his way home, he discovers that the Evergreen Inn is full up. That is, until another Lainey Price opens her doors and offers him a place to stay in her tiny cottage. While the two are stormed in for a wintry evening by the fire can Todd convince Lainey to open her heart to Christmas?

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A magical and enchanting holiday romance from USA Today bestselling author Maggie McGinnis.
Noah Drake was that guy–the one always on the lookout for his next adrenaline high, so it was no surprise when he took off across the world, seeking adventure as a travel writer. But one thing he could never escape was Piper Bellini, the girl who got away–the girl he let get away, a fact he’s never let himself forget. When he returns to Echo Lake to see if there’s any chance the flame between them can be rekindled, he never expects to spend the night holed up with Piper in a roadside diner while a blizzard rages outside. Noah may have been handed a Christmas miracle, and he intends to make all Piper’s wishes come true…

Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover69789-small.pngHeartsong Cottage by Emily March

Fall in love with this heartwarming new romance in the New York Times bestselling Eternity Springs series.
Haunted by the loss of his wife and son, Daniel Garrett left the police force to devote his life to finding missing children. But he still hasn’t found a way to mend the wounds of his past-until he attends a wedding in the small mountain town of Eternity Springs…and meets a beautiful, intriguing woman who offers a glimpse of something Daniel thought he’d never have again. She restores Victorian cottages for a living, but will the life she restores in Daniel’s heart be enough when danger comes knocking at her door?

“Emily March’s stories are heart wrenching and soul-satisfying. For a wonderful read, don’t miss a visit to Eternity Springs.”
Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author

Spotlight on ‘A Gentleman For All Seasons’ with Theresa Romain!

Hello, and thanks for the chance to visit bookworm2bookworm today! I’m here to chat about A Gentleman for All Seasons, a historical romance anthology that Kate Noble, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, and I have just published together.

From the beginning, we had in mind a project with tightly interlaced story threads. But there were so many questions to answer. London or a small town? The social season or a different time of year? Characters that knew each other, or strangers in the same space?

Over time—and many, many emails!—we figured out a plan. Our anthology would be set in village, to which a new family comes to stay. (Think of the Bingleys in Pride and Prejudice—but with no snooty Caroline.) Part of that family? A young woman recovering from an illness…who decides to amuse herself by matchmaking. There’s something so appealing about matchmakers in historical romance, isn’t there? At a time when social rules were far more rigid than they are today, it’s fun to think of someone giving a little push to a hero and heroine who were too shy, too supervised, or too socially distant to connect on their own.

Kate’s novella, “A Madness in Spring,” is inspired by Much Ado About Nothing. Belinda and Adam spar every time they meet—but beneath their arguments, they’re fascinated by each other. They just need a few hints to begin thinking of each other in a new and romantic way.

Shana’s novella, “The Summer of Wine and Scandal,” features a blue-blooded rake and a farmer’s daughter who’s been through trauma. They seem different, but they’re both looking for a sense of purpose. Building friendships with matchmaker Georgette and her brother Bertram makes this happen.

In my novella, “Those Autumn Nights,” Georgette uses her talents closer to home. Unknown to her rough ex-soldier brother, she invites his first and only love—who jilted him on the eve of their elopement—to stay as a houseguest. Because of this matchmaking/meddling, soldier and society lass reconnect and discover they’ve both become more than they expected.

Finally, Vanessa Kelly wrote a romance for the matchmaker herself in “The Season for Loving.” During a long convalescence, Georgie fights against physical and social strictures on behalf of other couple—but the one thing she never expected was to find a match of her own. When a shy, troubled Scotsman comes to visit, the matchmaker has to convince him—and herself—that love makes the best Christmas gift.

‘A Gentleman For All Seasons’

by:

Kate Noble, Shana Galen, Theresa Romain, and Vanessa Kelly

A Gentleman for All Seasons

The tiny village of Hemshawe is the sort of place where nothing ever happens…until a handsome ex-soldier and his matchmaking sister let the imposing manor house at the edge of town. The friendly Londoners shake up the staid people of Hemshawe, and villagers see each other in a new and oh-so-appealing light.

Suddenly long-sparring enemies become lovers, a town festival heralds a new start for a fallen woman and a dandy, and a man who has given up on love gets a second chance with the woman he never forgot. And the matchmaker herself? She won’t rest until she finds her own happily-ever-after…

A Madness in Spring by Kate Noble
Adam Sturridge has made Belinda Leonard’s blood boil since childhood, and the feeling is mutual. But when a would-be matchmaker arrives in the village of Hemshawe, she’d determined to erase the thin line between love and hate. Now, Belinda and Adam are faced with falling for someone they’ve always considered an enemy — can they overcome old prejudices and discover how to rub each other the right way?

The Summer of Wine and Scandal by Shana Galen
When viscount’s son and dandy Peregrine Lochley is temporarily exiled from London to the country for his misdeeds, the last thing he expects is to encounter an intriguing woman. But Caroline Martin has a secret to hide, and it just might be too scandalous for even this debauched rogue.

Those Autumn Nights by Theresa Romain
Ten years ago, wealthy Eliza Greenleaf broke lowly soldier Bertram Gage’s heart—but the last decade brought changes in fortune to them both. Now that he’s made his mark on the world, a twist of fate brings the Greenleaf family under his power. Will this war-hardened officer triumph over his former lover…or will Bertie and Eliza give love a second chance?

The Season for Loving by Vanessa Kelly
Miss Georgie Gage, matchmaker extraordinaire, is resigned to life as a spinster—almost. When notoriously aloof bachelor Fergus Haddon arrives from Scotland to spend Christmas with the Gage family, Georgie thinks she’s finally found her own perfect match—if, that is, she can get the handsome Highlander to agree!

To stick with the theme of all this matchmaking, I’d love to know: have you ever been set up by a modern-day matchmaker, or have you helped another couple get together? To one commenter, my fellow authors and I will send [US addresses only, please]:

Revealed—Kate Noble

Kate NobleKate Noble is the national bestselling, RITA-nominated author of historical romances, including the acclaimed Blue Raven series and the Winner Takes All series. Her books have earned her numerous accolades, including comparisons to Jane Austen, which just makes her giddy.

In her other life as Kate Rorick, she is an Emmy-award winning writer of television and web series, having written for NBC, FOX, and TNT, as well as the international hit YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Kate lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son, and is hard at work on her next book.

The Pirate Takes a Bride—Shana Galen

Shana GalenShana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, “The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun,” and RT Bookreviews calls her books ” lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching.” She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers, so send her an email or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter. Visit her website at http://www.shanagalen.com

Season for Surrender—Theresa Romain

Theresa RomainHistorical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she is working on her next book.

My Favorite Countess—Vanessa Kelly

Vanessa KellyVanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.