Spotlight on Mia Marlowe and ‘The Curse of Lord Stanstead’!

tcols mmBOOK BLURB: London, 1819

When only seduction will do…

Wherever Cassandra Darkin goes, fire is sure to follow. It’s not until she’s swept into the arms of a handsome, infuriating stranger that she learnsshe’s responsible for the fires. As it turns out, Cassandra is a fire mage…and with her gift comes a blazing desire for sins of the flesh.

With his pretenatural ability to influence the thoughts of others, Garrett Sterling is sent to gather Cassandra for the Order of the M.U.SE. He’s entirely unprepared for his immediate attraction to the comely little firestarter. But it’s an attraction that he must quell, even as his body craves her touch and her fiery, sensual hunger.

For Garrett’s gift has a dark side…and the moment he begins to care too much for Cassandra, he knows he will doom her to an inescapable fate.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Chapter One

If once to Almack’s you belong,

Like monarchs you can do no wrong;

But banished thence on Wednesday night,

By Jove, you can do nothing right.

—Cornelius Luttrell, illegitimate son of an earl

who nevertheless possessed an Almack’s voucher

by virtue of his wit

“I am not responsible for that fire.” Cassandra Darkin was certain of it.

“Of course you’re not responsible, dearest.”

Cassandra startled guiltily when her older sister Daphne patted her forearm. She hadn’t meant to speak her fear aloud.

“What a silly notion,” Daphne continued. “You weren’t even particularly close when the candle flame leaped from the wall sconce to the ostrich plume on Lady Waldgren’s turban.”

“Make that the ridiculous ostrich plume on the odious Lady Waldgren’s turban,” Cassie amended. Her sister cast a warning glance, but didn’t disagree. No one who’d felt the sting of Lady Waldgren’s waspish tongue would argue the point.

However, they’d probably take care to express it less publicly.

Daphne was right about the rest, though. Cassandra hadn’t been near when the feather had burst into flames, but she had passed by the wretched gossip prior to the incident and had heard her name in whispered conversation. The hissed tone had been enough to tell Cassie that Lady Waldgren’s comments had not been meant kindly.

Still, no one wished to see the gossip’s head aflame.

Fortunately, Lord Waldgren’s quick action and obvious glee at being able to rip off his wife’s outlandish headgear and stomp it into oblivion had averted a tragedy. After that, the evening at Almack’s had progressed with hardly a hiccup.

If Lady Waldgren’s small conflagration had been the only one in recent memory, Cassandra wouldn’t have given the matter a second thought. But only that week, there had been three unexplained fires at the Darkin’s fashionably situated town house. One flame had ignited in the breakfast room when Cassandra’s father had announced he’d heard talk at Brooks that the son of Lord Bellefonte, their country neighbor, was courting the daughter of an earl.

The other fires had erupted in Cassandra’s bedchamber on two separate occasions after that—once when she was trying to decide which gown to wear to a soiree that Roderick Bellefonte was expected to attend, and then again when Cassandra had returned home that evening. An unexplained blaze had flared up when she’d told her abigail to burn the peach silk moiré because she’d never wear it again.

If Cassandra hadn’t been speaking of burning when the candle on her dressing table toppled over of its own accord, she might never have wondered if the frequent fires were somehow her fault. She’d been present each time, but that did not mean she was responsible.

Surely not.

REVIEW: I’m not a huge fan of the paranormal stories, but I am a historical romance fan, and since I am Mia Marlowe fan, I thought to give it a try, especially because this was a 230 page read, so not a novella but not 350 page full length book either.

This is a first story in a new series Order of the M.U.S.E. [Metaphysical Union of Sensory Extraordinaires] which is a group of people tasked to protecting a royal family by using their extraordinary paranormal skills.

In the opening story we meet Cassandra Darkin who just came into her full power as a fire mage. Not understanding much about it she is confronted by Gareth Sterling who’s been sent to bring her to the MUSE and help her deal with her newfound ability. Since Gareth’s ability is to influence the thoughts of others, he is hoping to use those in order to recruit her to the MUSE and add her to their numbers.

I liked the setting of this story and the pace as much as I liked the characters in it, from the main leads to their supporting cast.

I also think that for a short book, this packed a lot of intrigue, action and romance. For all of us X-Men fans it’s a must read and for a price of $1.99, this is a no brainer! You’ll have to get it because this is just a fun read through and through!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

MIA MARLOWEAUTHOR BIO: Mia Marlowe is a rising star whose Touch of a Rogue was named one of Publishers Weekly‘s Top Ten Best Romances for Spring 2012. Mia learned about storytelling while singing professional opera.

She knows what it’s like to sing a high “C” in a corset, so she empathizes with the trials of her historical heroines. Mia resides in Boston, Massachusetts. For more on Mia, visit with her via her social media links.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Goodreads

Spotlight on Rosanne Bittner and ‘Do Not Forsake Me’!

This July marks the release of ‘Do Not Forsake Me’, Rosanne Bittner’s long-awaited sequel to her beloved title ‘Outlaw Hearts’. To celebrate, we’re pleased to welcome father and son Jake and Lloyd Harkner, who have agreed to sit down with us today to answer a view questions about their relationship and the impact it has on this latest release.

What three things would you want with you on a deserted island?

JAKE: My wife, my wife and … oh, my gun.

LLOYD: My wife, a gun and a good horse.

***

dnfm rbBOOK BLURB: Fate brought them together. His past may tear them apart.

Miranda Hayes’ life was changed the day she faced down infamous gunslinger Jake Harkner…and walked away with his heart. Their fates have been intertwined ever since. Hunted by the law, fleeing across a savage land, their desperate love flourished despite countless sorrows. Now, twenty-six years later, their family has finally found some measure of peace…balanced on the knife’s edge of danger.

Jake has spent his years as a U.S. Marshal atoning for sins, bringing law to the land he once terrorized. But no matter how hard he fights the demons of his brutal past, the old darkness still threatens to consume him. Only Miranda keeps the shadows at bay. But when outlaws looking for revenge strike a fatal blow, Jake risks losing the one woman who saw past his hard exterior and to the man inside.

He always knew there’d be the devil to pay. He just never realized he might not be the one to bear the ultimate price.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Apple / BAM / B&N / Chapters / Indiebound / Kobo

EXCERPT:

In this excerpt Jake has been gravely wounded and Randy has been through the hell of thinking she was losing him. She is talking with a reporter who wants to write about Jake.

“Ma’am, if I may ask … how do you do it?” Jeff asks.

“You’re a mother, a grandmother, and wife to a man who has to be difficult to live with.”

Randy glanced at Jake’s guns lying on the table.

“No one understands my husband the way I do, Jeff.  No one.  I know every detail about his life, including when he was a little boy. I know how he thinks and what his needs are. I know how he suffers silently on the inside. That’s how I do it.”  She wiped at her eyes.

“Jake has a good heart. He treats me with total devotion and respect, so no, he’s not difficult to live with.  We’ve had some really bad times, a couple of them a big test of our marriage, but deep down I’ve always known how much Jake Harkner loves and needs me.”

She seemed to be in another world for the moment.  “And years ago, not long after we’d met and then gone our separate ways, thinking it was best because he was a wanted man, Jake rode out of my life and I headed west to find my brother.  The people I traveled with left me at a trading post when they thought I was dying from a snakebite, and the men at the trading post were … awful.  I was in terrible pain, sure I was dying … and one day I heard Jake’s voice, felt him lift me into his arms and promise me he’d never let me out of his sight again. He’d tracked me down and come back for me. I remember how gentle he was when nursing me back from death, bathing me, feeding me, keeping me warm … and never once did he take advantage or touch me wrongly. I knew then all I needed to know about him.  I fell totally, deeply, madly in love with the real Jake Harkner.”

 >>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<< 

rosanne bittnerAUTHOR BIO: USA Today bestseller and award-winning novelist Rosanne Bittner is known as the “Queen of Western Historical Romance” for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity.

Her epic romances span the West—and are often based on Rosanne’s personal visits to each setting. She lives in Coloma, Michigan, with her husband and two sons.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Blog

 

Spotlight on Mary Wine and ‘A Sword For His Lady’!

Hey our Bookworms! Hope your summer is as busy as ours. Today we’re happy to have Mary Wine with us and she’s here to share an excerpt from her brand new book ‘A Sword For His Lady’ and we took this opportunity to ask her couple of questions.

Hope you give the excerpt a try and if you do, I promise you’ll be rushing to buy this wonderful story.

Enjoy!

Melanie

b2b: When not reading or writing, how do you spend your time?

Mary Wine: Sewing. I like to make historical clothing.

b2b: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

MW: Don’t waste time. Turn off the mindless entertainments….TV, video games, Facebook, texting, etc. You have more time than you think. Don’t believe me? Do a time log of everything you do. You’ll be amazed at the ten hours you are squandering. Ten hours a weeks can translate into 10 k written, book finished in ten weeks.

asftl mwBOOK BLURB: He’d defend her keep…

After proving himself on the field of battle, Ramon de Segrave is appointed to the Council of Barons by Richard the Lionheart. But instead of taking his most formidable warrior on his latest Crusade, the king assigns Ramon an even more dangerous task—woo and win the Lady of Thistle Keep.

If only she’d yield her heart

Isabel of Camoys is a capable widow with no intention of surrendering her valuable estate. She’s fought long and hard for her independence, and if the price is loneliness, then so be it. She will not yield…even if she does find the powerful knight’s heated embrace impossible to ignore. But when her land is threatened, Isabel reluctantly agrees to allow Ramon and his army to defend the keep—knowing that the price may very well be her heart.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Apple / BAM / B&N / Chapters / Indiebound

EXCERPT:

He lifted one foot and set it on the bottom step.

“What are you doing?”

“I am entering the keep.” His tone made it clear he knew he was invading her home.

“No.” She fought back her breathlessness. “You shall not.”

She backed up, but forced herself to stop in the doorway.

“Why not, my lady?”

He climbed another step and she felt her knees quiver. It was an insane reaction, one that shocked her with how intense it was its intensity.

“You do not belong in the keep. This is my home.”

He frowned but climbed another step to stand on even ground with her. Isabel lifted her chin so she might maintain eye contact.

“I will be making a full assessment of this structure, lady. You may stand aside or I shall remove you from my path.”

She should have lowered herself and gracefully glided out of the doorway. It was the only response the code of chivalry afforded her, but she couldn’t force herself to do it. She didn’t feel in control of her emotions; they were scattering like autumn leaves. Her heart accelerated. He was pressing closer, watching her, gauging her reactions to him. She’d never felt so exposed. Never felt like any man took so much notice of her. He reached for her, his expression full of promise.

“No one enters this keep without bathing.” She spat the words out in a rush and had to pull in a deep breath because her lungs burned when she was finished. At last, relief flowed through her, for she had found a valid argument to use.

The baron’s expression didn’t change. His hands were clenched around his wide leather belt, his knuckles turning white.

“Take yourself off to the bath house, my lord baron.” She was being brazen.

He suddenly grunted, amusement returning to his eyes. “Very well lady, since you wish to offer me your hospitality, I accept.”

She stared at him, uncertain of the flicker burning in his dark eyes. This wasn’t a man who knew defeat, and the muscles in her neck tightened when his lips twitched into a smug grin once again.

An expression that was full of victory.

“I shall enjoy having you bathe me, Isabel. It is certainly a good place for us to begin to learn more about one another.” A gleam appeared in his eyes that sent a shiver down her body.

“I did not offer to bathe you myself.” Her voice was a horrified whisper. He stepped closer, capturing her wrist in a grip that surprised her because it lacked pain with its gentleness. Instead, she felt their connection keenly, so much so, it felt as though that she couldn’t form a single, sensible thought. Logic had always offered her salvation in the past. Before Ramon, it crumbled away, leaving her at his mercy.

“You claim you are no maiden, so it is only customary for you to attend me since you are the lady of this keep.” His voice lowered. “Or perhaps, you would prefer not to act as a lady. In such a case…I will be most pleased to dispense with ceremony.”

mary wineAUTHOR BIO: Mary Wine has written over twenty novels that take her readers from the pages of history to the far reaches of space. Recent winner of a 2008 EPPIE Award for erotic western romance, her book LET ME LOVE YOU was quoted “Not to be missed…” by Lora Leigh, New York Times best-selling author.

When she’s not abusing a laptop, she spends time with her sewing machines…all of them! Making historical garments is her second passion. From corsets and knickers to court dresses of Elizabeth I, the most expensive clothes she owns are hundreds of years out of date. She’s also an active student of martial arts, having earned the rank of second degree black belt.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / BlogFacebook

Spotlight on Wendy LaCapra and ‘Lady Scandal’!

ls wlcBOOK BLURB: He had everything under control, until she proved him wrong…

London, 1784

Sophia Baneham has lived in the poison of her dead father’s shadow for longer than she cares to admit. Now she exists outside of polite society’s influence, holding gambling parties for London’s most dangerous men. When a man walks into one of her soirees, a compelling mix of charisma and icy control, he offers the lady of sin a wager she can’t refuse…

Lord Randolph is a spy in the service of His Majesty, but he’s given an oath to protect the daughter of his mentor. Even as his gamble of marriage starts to spiral out of control and his passions ignite, Randolph is determined that he’ll handle things his way…

But when danger closes in, Randolph won’t just have to protect Sophia from an intended killer. He’ll have to protect her from himself…

BUY LINKS: Entangled’s Site / Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo

VBT_TourBanner_LadyScandal
EXCERPT:

She only considered grabbing her weapon. Her wrist was in his grip before she saw him move. He wedged himself between her and her only physical defense, pinning her arm against the mantel as he kicked aside the poker.

“I will not let you go.” He kept hold of her wrist and rested his other hand on the mirror, just beside her shoulder. “Bet against me and you will lose.”

“Will I?” She would win because she had to win. “Men have placed bets in the thousands when we faced each other over cards. I have beaten you before. With odds against me.”

“I am not your enemy,” he said. “Trust, at least, in that.”

She laughed, dry and brittle. “You cannot honestly expect me to trust you.”

“Perhaps not,” he said, nostrils flaring, “not yet. But mark me well, Sophia. I expect you to honor your wedding vows—or, if you wish to think of our arrangement in less personal terms, pay the debt you accrued when you lost our wager.”

Flesh to flesh, his hand burned where he held her wrist. He radiated feudal-like dominance. Of course, obedience was what he expected. Compliance. Deference. So far, she had been an easy mark.

“I should have seen it in your eyes,” she said. “That little spark of fury. The thrill that leads you from chase to chase, never caring who is crushed.”

“All is fair in love,” he started.

“And war,” she finished, squaring her shoulders and ignoring the pain that shot up her arm. “Mark me, Randolph. I would never have agreed to your pitiful wager if I had known the truth. You presented yourself as a man of leisure. A rake without a care in the world but for seduction and gambling.”

“Deep inside, you knew who and what I was.”

No. She had been utterly blinded by a silken-voiced seducer who had stirred needs she had not indulged since her husband’s death.

“When I agreed to our wager,” she said, “I expected to win.”

“Only a fool gambles what they cannot afford to lose.” His hard-edged gaze softened, as if she had come into focus in a different way. “You are no fool.”

A fool she must have been.

During the Furies’ scandalous and illegal gambling soirees, Randolph had begun a campaign of small, seemingly innocuous contact. He had, however, laced each touch with suggestive intent—his palm lingering at the small of her back, his fingers flitting briefly against her shoulder and then “accidentally” brushing her neck, his hand covering hers, hot and firm, whenever she had been obliged to take his arm.

…The same hand he would later use to hold her still while, against her ear, he described shocking carnal intentions in thrillingly wicked detail.

The night he had issued the wager, she had thought him exactly like her first husband: a rake with weaknesses she understood. A rake who would leave her secrets—and her heart—untouched, while bringing a permanent and passionate end to her celibacy.

The ghost of his kiss pulsed against her turncoat mouth.

“Tell me truthfully,” he said, as if sensing her thoughts, “you never once imagined how intimacy would be between us.”

The skin at the base of her throat quivered as the air between them heated. Such fine lips. Firm and dry and, she wagered, expert in coaxing a woman to heights of abandon. When he had won, she had not felt as if she had lost. She had been eager to join him in bed and learn which of his imaginative intentions he would first indulge.

“I am not your enemy,” he repeated softly. He placed his cheek against hers and whispered, “What I am, my dear wife, is potent and primed to satisfy all your erotic desires.”

With languid skill, he drew is knuckles up and down her arm. He had stripped her bare using her bone-deep fear, and now he flayed her using her lust. The back of her throat dried as, conversely, her mouth watered. She should push him away and slap the arrogant assurance she imagined in his cursed grey eyes, but her free hand remained limp and heavy at her side, warmed by his finely-muscled thigh.

“So-phi-a,” he whispered her name in a blasphemous incantation. “You hunger for me the same way I hunger for you.”

His breath tickled her cheek, heightening his magnetism—the irresistible draw she had felt from the moment they’d met. He placed a kiss on the outer corner of her ear, another on her jaw, and a third on her mouth’s trembling edge.

She strove to remain still. “Are you so expert a lover you can tell the depth of my attachment from a few careless kisses?”

Slow, as if he were painting a delicate line, he ran his thumb across her bottom lip.

“Careless kisses?” he questioned, voice smooth and gentle. “Is that all they were?”

wlcAUTHOR BIO: Wendy LaCapra has been reading romance since she sneaked into the adult section at the library and discovered Victoria Holt & Jane Aiken Hodge.  From that point on, she dreamed of creating fictional worlds with as much richness, intrigue and passion as she found within those books. Her stories have placed in several contests, including the 2012 Golden Heart®. She lives in NYC with her husband and loves to hear from readers.

Awards: Lady Vice (also titled A Dangerous Desire) took first place in the 2013 Laurie and finaled in the 2013 Marlene and 2013 Royal Ascot. An earlier version took first place in the OK RWA Finally a Bride Contest and finaled in the Great Beginnings Contest.

Scandal in Spades finaled in RWA’s 2012 Golden Heart® & finaled in the 2012 Emily Contest.

Devil’s Heartache finaled in the Toronto Chapter’s 2010 Toronto Golden Opportunity Contest and took first place in the Northwest Houston Chapter’s 2010 Lone Star Writing Contest.

SOCIAL LINKS: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

Spotlight on Mia Marlowe and ‘Never Resist a Rake’!

9781492602712BOOK BLURB: Can he fool his new family?

John Fitzhugh Barrett, surprised to learn he is heir to a marquessate, is determined his new status won’t mean giving up his freedom. But as families from all over England descend upon Somerfield Park for the shooting season, their unmarried daughters are lining up to bag the newest trophy buck—him.

Or is he only fooling himself?

John’s instinct for self-preservation inspires him to divide his attentions between a scandalous young widow, and the safely ineligible Rebecca Kearsey, daughter of a destitute baron.

The charade gives John the illusion of controlling the game but when he loses his heart to the beautiful Rebecca, all bets are off.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / BAM / B&N / Chapters / Indiebound / Kobo

The road to love is never easy and often times it takes some well-placed advice from an older and wiser friend or relation to make Happily Ever After happen. For the denizens of Mia Marlowe’s Somerfield Park, the Dowager Marchioness of Somerset, Lady Phillipa, is the lady to call upon for any kind of advice. And so, to celebrate the June release of Never Resist a Rake, we are pleased to share a piece of advice from Lady Phillipa.

“When one is burdened by as many years as I am, people assume I must sigh and shake my head over the past when I was young and foolish. Balderdash! There’s no time like the present. Never say I’ve lived long enough to be done with foolish things.”

EXCERPT:

John Fitzhugh Barrett was not going to make a fool of Baron Kearsey’s daughter. No, sir. From all accounts, the new Lord Hartley had been running with a fast crowd and had no doubt kissed dozens of women.

Fancy women. Loose women. Women whose kisses would turn a man’s knees to water.

Rebecca would show him. A virtuous girl was just as good as a bad girl. Better. She’d kiss him all right. She’d kiss the man into next week.

She prided herself on reasoned thought and knew she was being illogical, but before she could untangle all the invalid syllogisms running through her head, she pressed her mouth against his with such force, their eye teeth knocked together. No matter. He wasn’t going to think her a missish little thing who kissed like an awkward first cousin. She was going to put some passion into it.

As much as she knew about passion, at any rate.

He covered her hands with his and she realized he was trying to encourage her to soften her grip on his ears. So she uncurled her fingers and slid her hands down to palm his cheeks.

He groaned into her mouth.

I’m getting good at this.

Then when he groaned again, she decided it was probably not a good thing. There was a definite edge of pain in the sound. Her fingertips were pressing too hard on the skin around his swollen eye.

Botheration! There were so many things to think about all at once. She eased up. Her lips softened and she slanted her mouth over his.

This time the groan was different—pleased and needy all at once. A little feral.

The thrill of danger danced on her spine. Imagining kissing a man was safe. Holy, almost. She could envision a perfectly acceptable setting for the kiss—a garden in full bloom, an elegant parlor after a well-spoken proposal, before an altar and a church full of witnesses. Heaven knew, she’d dreamed of a kiss often enough.

Kissing a man for real as he reclined in his bed was wicked beyond imagining.

Her imagined kisses were always chaste too. This one was decidedly not. Something inside her went all warm and liquid.

John cupped the back of her head with gentleness as he teased her lips to part by tracing the seam of them with the tip of his tongue. She gave up, and he invaded her. His breath swirled into her, filling her, drawing her back into him.

His tongue, oh Lud, his tongue…

Rebecca had never suspected a kiss could be so…so…involving. It wasn’t just their mouths meeting. Every fiber in her body strained toward him.

She had to stop right now or she’d never be able to. She pulled back and, to her surprise, he let her go. She almost expected him to drag her down onto the feather tick with him.

A wicked part of her was disappointed when he didn’t.

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

MIA MARLOWEAUTHOR BIO: Mia Marlowe is a rising star whose Touch of a Rogue was named one of Publishers Weekly‘s Top Ten Best Romances for Spring 2012. Mia learned about storytelling while singing professional opera.

She knows what it’s like to sing a high “C” in a corset, so she empathizes with the trials of her historical heroines. Mia resides in Boston, Massachusetts. For more on Mia, visit with her via her social media links.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Goodreads

Spotlight on Victoria Vane and ‘Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy’!

(C) 2009) JEFF BANKE)

SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY is not a typical romance. Reid Everett and Haley Cooper are two very different personalities. They are like opposite poles of a magnet and just as powerfully attracted to one another even though they are constantly at odds. This was a risky book for me because I knew many readers would tend to side with one character over the other based on who is more closely aligned with the reader’s own socio-political views, but I had to write it anyway.

To quote my hero Reid Everett, “Being on different sides doesn’t necessarily make us enemies. Good people are allowed to disagree. Some of the best solutions to the hardest problems result from differing minds coming together, meeting in the middle.”

That’s what SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY is really all about- meeting half way and finding compromise, even when the odds are against it. I hope readers will enjoy getting to know and like both Reid and Haley.   

Warmest regards,

Victoria Vane

What was your favorite story as a child?

Haley – “Call of the Wild by Jack London.”

Reid – “The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.”

What activity makes you lose track of time?

Haley – “Watching the sunset over the beach.”

Reid – “Watching the sunrise over the mountains.”

What makes you smile?

Haley – “Lots of things. Happy things. Funny things… and Reid.”

Reid. “Her smile.”

Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy

By Victoria Vane

Hot Cowboy Nights, Book 3

9781492601180Take Your Best Shot, Cowboy…

Weary warrior… After eight years as a Marine sniper, war-scarred Reid Everett is back in his native Wyoming. He knows and loves this rugged land, so working for wildlife services to reduce the booming wolf population suits him to a T.

Caring crusader… Wildlife biologist Haley Cooper is desperate to make a difference. Leaving the world of academia behind, she accepts a position as a wolf advocate to protect the animals she loves.

Raw attraction… Their jobs set them on a collision course, but chemistry sparks like wildfire between Reid and Haley. They’ll have to brave some rough territory if they hope to reconcile their polarizing views with a passion that won’t be denied.

BUY LINKS: Amazon | B&N | BAM | iBooks | !ndigo | IndieBound

EXCERPT:

He could see her getting more worked up by the minute, and damned if he wasn’t also—just not in the same way. She’d been baiting him from the start, spewing arguments that usually just pissed him off, but in this case, it was turning him on.

His gaze locked on her mouth. Her tongue darted out as if she read his thoughts. She drew a breath as if to formulate another rebuttal, but he’d had enough. Before her lips could spout off anymore of the Pacifist Tree Hugger’s Manifesto, he pulled her into his arms and silenced her with his.

***

The kiss came without warning, and Haley was too stunned at first to react. He began gently enough, his lips sliding over hers, hands cupping her face, thumbs stroking her jaw, and then he grew more insistent, his tongue probing the seal of her lips. His callused hands were simultaneously firm and gentle, and his lips paradoxically soft and commanding.

Mere seconds had her head spinning and stomach fluttering. She was slipping fast and not about to let him pull her in any deeper. Part of her wanted to give into it, to see where it might lead, but the other half resented his audacity. Her pride won out. She resisted the urge to soften, to open to him, then stiffened, pressing her hands against his chest.

He released her instantly.

She stepped back, knees weak and pulse racing. “I didn’t come here looking to hook up.”

“Neither did I. But sometimes unexpected things happen.” His gaze locked with hers, a look of speculation gleaming in his eyes. “When they do, it’s best to just go with your gut instinct.”

“That so? Well all my instincts scream ‘no marines,’ so don’t let it happen again.”

Suddenly remembering the cue in her hand, Haley turned back to the table. It took all of her will to focus back on the game. She could hardly believe how he’d nearly unraveled her with a single kiss. Then again, no one had ever kissed her like that. She made her break, pocketing the one, and then moved methodically around the table, calling each shot as she sank every solid. Only the eight ball remained, but it was trapped behind two stripes.

Reid’s lips curved with smug certainty. “Looks like I’ll get my turn after all.”

“Don’t count your chickens, cowboy.” She laid down her cue and searched the wall behind her for a shorter one. “Jump cue,” she answered his silent question.

“You’re kidding right?”

“Nope.” Approaching the table, she angled for her shot. She could almost feel his eyes on her ass. She glanced over her shoulder. Sure enough. He was leaning against the wall with both arms crossed over his broad chest, his gaze zeroed in on her behind.

“Enjoying the view?”

“Sure am,” he confessed, unabashed.

He was sadly mistaken if he thought he’d unnerve her. Keeping him in her peripheral vision, she widened her stance and stretched out over the table. All sign of smugness evaporated from his face. He tugged on his jeans.

Haley grinned, reveling in her small victory, and then prepared for a bigger one. “Eight ball, side pocket,” she declared with confidence. On a three count she took the shot, jumping the stripes to pocket the eight. “Yeah baby!” She threw down the cue and fisted the air, gloating in her triumph.

Reid gaped at the table. “I’ll be goddamned. How did you learn to do that?”

“My grandpa was a regional pool champion.”

“That bit of information was mighty sneaky to withhold.”

She shrugged. “You didn’t ask. Loser buys. I’ll take a mojito.”

>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY (open 4/22 – 7/1) <<<<<<<<<<

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VV Head shot7AUTHOR BIO: Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance.

Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website | Facebook | @AuthorVictoriaV | Pinterest | Goodreads

Spotlight on Grace Burrowes and ‘Thomas’!

t gbSTORY: Thomas Jennings arrives to his newly acquired estate to find that his steward has fled under a cloud of scandal, and the property has been held together by Miss Loris Tanner, the steward’s daughter. Thomas knows what it’s like to not fit in, and he’s pragmatic enough to respect results, so he gives Loris a chance to maintain her position in a profession uniformly undertaken by men.

Thomas learns about the complexities of estate management from his unlikely tutor, despite somebody’s attempts to drive him off his own land. Mishaps turn into near tragedies, while between Thomas and Loris, respect and liking grow into attraction. Who is sabotaging Thomas’s estate, and what choices will Loris face when the malefactor has been revealed?

BUY LINKS: Amazon Kindle / B&N / iBooks / Kobo / Grace’s Own eBook Store

TEASER:  I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first impressions these two have of each other, and hope you will too. Here are just some glimpses of what’s in their heads … Thomas first …

She stood at the front of the group, slightly above average height, a neat dark braid hanging down a ramrod-straight back. Her dress was muddy about the hem and so far from fashionable Thomas could not have accurately named the color.

***

This woman would not take kindly to being called missy. A blind man could have discerned that from the command in her tone.

Thomas was far from blind.

The lady stood in profile to him, her nose a trifle bold, her mouth wide and full. Not precisely a pretty woman, though her looks were memorable.

Miss Tanner was a conundrum, part lady, part employee, part something else Thomas couldn’t easily label. He was helpless to resist conundrums, because a man who’d made his fortune in commerce craved sense and order in all things.

***

Loris Tanner had a kind of beauty women seldom valued and men never overlooked: earthy, dark, curvaceous, and strong.

And here are our Loris’s thoughts …

Baron Sutcliffe, was entirely too big to stalk about a busy stable as quietly as a hungry tom cat. He spoke softly too, in the cultured tones of a gentleman, but Chesterton had paled at the sight of his new employer—and put away his whip.

For that alone, the baron had Loris’s loyalty.

She’d been so focused on her horse she’d not noticed the addition to the crowd until Sutcliffe had strolled through the grooms like Moses parting a Red Sea of malevolence and mischief. The baron had been a human storm front rolling toward her, heedless of anything in his path.

No, not heedless—indifferent. Sutcliffe had known Chesterton and his lackeys were milling about, and he’d seen Chesterton fondling that infernal whip.

Sutcliffe simply hadn’t cared.

***

The baron’s exquisitely tailored riding attire and public school diction sat in contrast to Loris’s conviction that his lordship would have relished a display of violence. One man against a half dozen and he’d been amused by the odds.

READ FIRST 3 CHAPTER’s: here.

REVIEW: Now that all the Lonely Lords have been taken off the marriage mart, I’m more than ready for the Jaded Gentlemen series! Bring them on Madam Author!

Our first jaded gentleman is Thomas and he is such a good, honest and decent man. What I loved about him was his decisiveness. He knew what he wanted and had no problem expressing it or going after it.

As for the heroine, I loved that she was smart and capable of doing anything that came her way. Oh, and I loved the outward fearlessness she displayed.

As usual, Grace Burrowes takes her time in unfolding her tale to me and that’s what keeps me coming back to every story she writes. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate an author that takes her time in developing not just her characters, but their romance as well.

If you’ve never read this author, and you appreciate a story with solid plot and realistic characters, you have to try her books, and since this is the first in this series, you may as well pick this one up. I promise you that you’ll love it!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

graceburrowesAUTHOR BIO: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion.

The Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012.

Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews fromPublishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter