Spotlight on Sabrina York and ‘Hannah and the Highlander’!

hath syBOOK BLURB: Highlanders are her weakness.

Hannah Dounreay has no time for suitors who only seem interested in her family’s land, which she manages as well as any man. If she marries, she wants to be loved for the educated, independent woman she is. But when a strong, silent—and spectacularly handsome—Highlander saves her from a violent attack, her heart is stirred. Who is this man? And if he asks for Hannah’s hand, will she be able to resist him?

Love is the most powerful weapon of all.

Alexander Lochlannach, Laird of Dunnet, has no time to lose. The Highlands are in an uproar as clans battle for land—without mercy—and Alexander can’t afford to fall for the wildly attractive, strong-willed Hannah. What’s more, he has a desperate secret, one that could destroy them both. But as their attraction turns into an all-consuming passion, Alexander has no choice but to prove to Hannah that he’s the only man for her—body and soul…

BUY LINKS: Amazon

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER ONE

May 1813

Barrogill, Caithness County, Scotland

She should look away. Really, she should. But Hannah Dounreay could not tear her gaze from the sight of the enormous man striding onto the field of combat like a war- rior of old. It could have been the glorious fall of inky black curls riffling in the breeze, or the breadth of his shoulders, or the sharp cut of his chin . . . or the rippling muscles of his bare chest, swathed only with the Sinclair plaid. But something had captivated her attention.

He stood, tall and proud, bare legged in the traditional kilt, head and shoulders above the other men. He was even taller than her father and Papa was not a small man.

Hoots and hollers rose from the throng as he surveyed the pile of logs—taunts from his competitors, who, one and all, wanted to break his concentration. They did not. His biceps bunched as he braced his thick legs and hefted a caber. Hannah sucked in a breath at the undeniable evi- dence of the sheer power of this man. An unfamiliar flut- ter danced deep in her core.

It was a shame he was too far away for her to make out the details of his face.

His body stilled, his energy hummed, as he studied the clutter of tossed cabers and took his aim. The catcalls rose. He ignored them and heaved back. With a great growl, he let fly. The log wheeled through the air like an arrow, arcing past all the others to fall with an enormous thud that shook the earth. A plume of dust rose, along with the cheers of the crowd.

Though she wasn’t a fan of male posturing and ridicu- lous, archaic games such as this, Hannah couldn’t deny she was impressed. This man had easily trounced all the others.

Her father approached him and clapped him on the back in congratulations. Papa said something and the tall, strik- ing man threw back his head and laughed.

Hannah’s heart hitched. The sound was like music, rising above the cacophony of the fair-like atmosphere, dancing on the wind to her ears. He turned then, and she caught a glimpse of his face. Hard. Harsh. As craggy as the moors. But, lit with his grin, striking.

Ach. She really should look away. But she couldn’t. “Husband shopping?”

Hannah whirled to frown at Susana. Heat prickled at her nape. First of all, because she’d been caught ogling. And second of all, she was tired of her sister’s teasing about her reluctance to settle on a suitor.

Susana excelled at teasing.

And on the topic of suitors, there was much fodder.

“I have no idea what you mean.” Hannah tried not to speak in a defensive tone but failed.

Susana smirked. “He’s a fine bonny lad. I couldna blame you for drooling.”

“I wasna drooling.” And he wasn’t a lad. He was a man. “Although he’s hardly your . . . type.”

Hannah snorted. She had no “type.”

“I mean, look at him.” Too late. She already was. Again. That Susana was now ogling him as well sent an odd ripple of annoyance through her. “Tall. Powerful. Domineering. It’s written on every line of his face. That is a man you could never control.”

“I doona need to control everything.” A mutter.

There was no call for Susana to laugh as she did. Up- roariously. The sound captured the attention of every male on the field. But then, it would. Of the three Dounreay sisters, Susana was by far the prettiest, statuesque and curvy. Her hair, a riotous fall of red, was her crowning glory. Lana, the youngest, was very pretty too, with honey- blond curls and sweet, delicate features. They each took after their father, but as they had had different mothers, they were very unalike in looks and temperament.

Beside them, Hannah felt like the cuckoo in the nest. She’d inherited her mother’s coloring of dark, black tresses and pale white skin. Her eyes were too large and her mouth had a crooked slant. She was hardly stunning. Plain was a better word for it. Aside from all that she was, well, plumpish. Perhaps it was a blessing that, as the eldest, she also came with the fertile strip of land and bustling fish- ing village.

Likely, without that she couldn’t catch a husband at all. Certainly not the kind of husband she would want.

It was quite lowering to be desired only for one’s or- chards. Well, there was the castle too. And the loch. And the lucrative salt mining.

Though it was naïve in this day and age, and probably ludicrous given what she saw in the mirror, Hannah reviled the prospect of marrying a man who only wanted her land. Deep in her heart she longed for a man who might want her for herself.

And, if she had to marry, she wanted what Susana had had with Gilley.

But she was not Susana. She was naught but a pale shadow in comparison. She was hardly a woman to engen- der blind devotion. When she married, her husband would, no doubt, see her as chattel, as a broodmare. He would ex- pect her to follow his orders rather than issuing her own.

She’d never been adept at following orders and she’d certainly never met a man to whom she would willingly surrender her freedoms. And a husband would expect that, she supposed. The thought made her shudder.

Hannah frowned and turned her attention back at the field, where other men were now stepping up to try their luck. She winced as her gaze tangled with his. Indeed, he’d been watching her with a scorching stare that was fierce and assessing, almost hungry. And Susana was right. As attractive as he was, he was not what Hannah was look- ing for in a husband. Not that she wanted a man she could control. Above all things, she craved a sweet and roman- tic man, one with whom she could share confidences, laughter, and late-night chats. A man with whom she could have a connection.

This man was a warrior. There was probably not a ro- mantic bone in his body.

Still . . . that body. Heat blossomed on her cheeks at his frank survey and she yanked her attention to something else. Anything else.

Unfortunately, it landed on Niall Leveson-Gower, who was also staring at her. His attention made her uneasy. Then again, Niall always made her uneasy. He offered a toothy smile and she nodded in response but quickly looked away. She didn’t want to encourage him. Niall was one of her suit- ors. His father, the Marquess of Stafford, had made no se- cret of the fact that he wanted to acquire Reay, a feat that could only be accomplished through marriage. To her.

Aside from the fact that she found Niall physically re- volting, there was a greater peril to consider. The marquess had followed the example of the southern lairds and cleared his land, evicting his tenants to import sheep; should Reay fall into his hands, he would, no doubt, do the same there, destroying everything her family had built for generations.

 

Sabrina_head_logoAUTHOR BIO: Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. With over 25 titles her books range from sweet & snarky to scorching romance. Visit her webpage to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Represented by Lane Heymont with the Seymour Agency.

Download a free teaser book filled with excerpts and reviews for her work.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

‘Hannah and the Highlander’ by Sabrina York

hath sySTORY: Highlanders are her weakness.

Hannah Dounreay has no time for suitors who only seem interested in her family’s land, which she manages as well as any man. If she marries, she wants to be loved for the educated, independent woman she is. But when a strong, silent–and spectacularly handsome–Highlander saves her from a violent attack, her heart is stirred. Who is this man? And if he asks for Hannah’s hand, will she be able to resist him?

Love is the most powerful weapon of all.

Alexander Lochlannach, Laird of Dunnet, has no time to lose. The Highlands are in an uproar as clans battle for land–without mercy–and Alexander can’t afford to fall for the wildly attractive, strong-willed Hannah. What’s more, he has a desperate secret, one that could destroy them both. But as their attraction turns into an all-consuming passion, Alexander has no choice but to prove to Hannah that he’s the only man for her–body and soul…

REVIEW: As I enter the third month of #Droughtlander (state of being as I await the second season of #Outlander TV series, which is on hiatus until Spring 2016) I’m realizing that my Kindle is getting filled with all these Highlander stories, and this one just happens to be right on top.

I’ve never read Sabrina York before, and this was such a great book that I’ll be happy to check her backlist and see if I can find a few more stories by her.

It appears that this is the first book in her brand new series Untamed Highlanders and this story is of an interesting romance between Hannah and Alexander.

Hannah is a very strong character and I liked the fact that she was a capable woman who did her best to take care of the household and her family. She doesn’t see herself as beautiful as her sisters are, but she longs to be loved for herself and not her dowry. Enter Alexander Lochlannach, Laird of Dunnet , a friend to her father and a very complex man who’s carrying a whole lot of baggage from his childhood.

The chemistry that the author creates between these two is palpable from their first encounter and you just can’t help but root for these two as you’re following their story.

You’ll also be introduced to many secondary characters and they’ll be as complex and entertaining as our leads. You’ll meet Fergus, Fiona, Susana, Lachlan, and last but certainly not least, Dermid.

Seriously, if you’re looking for some Highland love to fill your days between now and spring 2016 when #Outlander returns, you may as well pick this one up. It’s sweet, heart wrenchingly emotional and well written. You can’t go wrong with a man in a kilt!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Marriage Made in Shame’ by Sophie James

mmis sjSTORY: Secrets of the marriage bed

Heiress Adelaide Ashfield lost her trust in men years ago. She spurns the advances of society’s most eligible bachelors, but time is running out. Forced to make her choice, Adelaide accepts the hand of Gabriel Hughes, Earl of Wesley.

Despite his debauched reputation, Gabriel shies away from intimacy. But his marriage to Adelaide awakens a desire he never thought he’d feel again. Maybe his beguiling new bride is the key to shaking off the shame which has haunted him for so long…

REVIEW: London – 1812

Gabriel Hughes, the fourth Earl of Wesley and owner of Ravenshill, is a very handsome man with a reputation for being a ladies’ man.  When a fire nearly destroyed his family home some years earlier and left him with scars, he a troubled man.  It is difficult for him to sleep without nightmares of the fire which took the life of a young woman reported to have been his lover.  In addition, he is in need of funds to help rebuild his home.

Miss Adelaide Ashfield, age 23, lives in Northbridge with her uncle and is quite happy with her life. Through her two spinster aunts, she has gained a vast knowledge of plants and in healing people through their use.  At the insistence of her uncle, she finally agrees to travel to London for a season, promising only to stay for three months.  She hopes the time will fly and she can return to continue the work that she loves.

While in London, she meets some men who are interested more in her dowry than her. She quickly sees through them and puts them in their place.  One man was so pushy that she had to slap him which made him fall and knocked him out.  Thus, an enemy was made.

When Gabriel met Adelaide, he was charmed by her and by her obvious intelligence. As they grew to know one another better, they decide to marry.  This met with her uncle’s disapproval as he felt Gabriel was only after Adelaide’s inheritance.

What life had Gabriel led that left him so damaged both mentally and physically?  Will they be able to find true love and happiness in their lives?

There are, of course, spoilers that I have left out of my review.  Yet even with that, I still found this story to be a bit far-fetched and one that I didn’t really care for.  Although, I’m sure there are others who will for there is a lot of tenderness and caring expressed in this book.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Bourbon Kings’ by J. R. Ward

tbk jrwSTORY: For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

REVIEW: Charlemont, Kentucky – May

Easterly, the Bradford Family Estate is home to the owners of the Bradford Bourbon Company.  The Bradford family first settled in the area in 1778.  Their annual sales are around $3Billion with No. 15 being their best seller.

William Baldwine married Virginia Bradford, heiress to the Bradford estate and bourbon company.  They produced four children, Edward, Maxwell, Tulane (Lane) and Virginia (Gin).  William has ruled his children with an iron fist and they hate him.  Their mother retreated years ago to her bedroom where she spends her days medicated.  Edward was always a rule-minder and looked out for his siblings. Today, he is a broken man both in body and mind.  Maxwell lives away from the home.  Lane is married to Chantel, a greedy, ruthless woman whom he hates.  Lane has been away from Easterly for the better part of two years and has just returned.  Gin is unmarried and living at home.  She is also the mother of a teenage girl away at school.

The family and staff are preparing for the annual Charlemont Kentucky Derby party that will host hundreds of élite guests from the area.  It will be a garden party under a tent complete with the finest foods and top-shelf liquors.

Lizzie King, is the head gardener at Easterly.  She is much more than just a gardener. She has an advanced degree in horticulture and has worked there for a several years keeping the grounds and flowers in top notch shape.  At one time, she an Lane had a thing going.  Even though they have not seen one another since he left, Lizzie and Lane still have a instant spark that has never died.  Although Lizzie has told herself that she wants nothing more to do with Lane, can she resist the love they still have for one another?

As the party preparations get underway, we find that things at Easterly are not as perfect as they seem. Hidden secrets are being revealed and the monetary stability of the Company comes into question.

It has been quite some time since I’ve read a book to which I wanted to award six stars.  This is one of those books.  I have not read any of this author’s novels before, quite frankly because I don’t care for paranormal.  However, this new series is so different from her usual books and I cannot wait to read more.  I am now on a search to find when she will be publishing the next novel in this series.  My appetite has been whetted!

Connie for b2b

‘Vexed by a Viscount’ by Erin Knightley

vbtv ekSTORY: Prudence Landon has always done exactly as she should. She’s obeyed her parents’ every word, lived by society’s every dictate, and even agreed to marry a man more than twice her age simply because it was expected of her. In the fortnight before her wedding, she decides it’s high time to bend a few rules before life as she knows it is over.

Viscount Ashby leads a charmed life. Betrothed since the age of seven, he is perfectly content to allow his off-the-market status to keep the marriage-minded mamas at bay. When he returns home to his parent’s estate and finds their prim, straight-laced young neighbor swimming naked in broad daylight, he’s both amused and intrigued.

When Ash discovers Prudence’s upcoming nuptials to the aging squire, he decides to help her live a little before the parson’s mousetrap springs closed. But what started as good fun soon leads to something much more. With her wedding fast approaching, they must choose between breaking all the rules and losing their one chance for happiness.

REVIEW: Miss Prudence Landon is an only child and has always done everything her parents have asked her to do and has always minded their rules.  She was recently betrothed to a much older man, Squire Jeffries, and is to be married in two weeks.  But before she ties herself down, she has made a list of some relatively scandalous things that she wants to do before marrying.

The first on her list is to swim in a pond that borders on her neighbor’s land.  Thinking she is completely alone, she is horrified when her neighbor, William, Viscount Ashby, son of Lord and Lady Malcolm rides by on his horse. When he sees her in the water, he is amused when she realizes she has been “caught.”

Prudence is now afraid that her parents will find out.  But when William is asked to dinner at her home, they manage to talk and he agrees to keep her secret. She confides that she is checking off her list of things she wants to do before marriage and he decides to help her do these things.

When they meet secretly, they have time to get to know one another better and an attraction soon develops between them.  Although Prudence is disgusted at the thought of having to marry the Squire, she is determined not to let her parents down and will do her duty.

In addition, William was betrothed as a baby to a family friend who is now only 16. When he realizes he has fallen in love with Prudence, he feels helpless as well knowing he too must do his duty to his family.

What can they do?  Are they destined to say goodbye to love and live their lives with people they don’t care for?

Once again, Erin Knightley has written a wonderful, fun, and sweet novella.  Her books are always good and she has quickly become a very favorite author of mine.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Spotlight on Jane Ashford and ‘A Radical Arrangement’!

ara rb bt

ara jaBOOK BLURB: Brash and Handsome

Sir Justin Keighley is all wrong for a proper young lady like Margaret Mayfield. Everyone knows he is shocking in his opinions, arrogant in his manner, and completely without respect for the common decencies of civilized society. Margaret absolutely will not marry him—no matter what her parents say.

Beautiful and Shy

Margaret was everything Sir Justin detested in a woman—timid, sheltered, and obedient to a fault. It’s not until she runs away from him that he finds he must give chase. Margaret is discovering she can be bold and rebellious—intrepid enough to do what she must, and more exciting than Justin ever imagined possible. She’s the last woman he would have expected to lead them both into uncharted territory…

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

>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<

EXCERPT:

Sir Justin Keighley stood in the doorway, looking them over with a slight, satirical curve of his lips. He wore, like the other gentlemen, conventional evening dress, but this superficial similarity was their only common ground. Ralph Mayfìeld, Philip Manningham, the squire, and John Twitchel were none of them unattractive men or negligible personalities. Each, in his own sphere, had a certain dignity and authority, and all had the confidence that respect engendered. Yet somehow, the moment he entered the room and before he spoke a word, Justin Keighley eclipsed them. It was not charm. Indeed, the newcomer did not look at all pleasant or ingratiating. And it was not mere social position. Keighley held an ancient baronetcy and a substantial fortune, but any of twenty men his hosts were accustomed to meeting ranked above him. Ralph Mayfield could not have said why he felt subdued as he came forward to greet his final guest.

The squire’s wife might have enlightened him. As she had told a friend at a Bath assembly two years ago, “Justin Keighley is a vastly attractive man, my dear. And not just to women. All the young men ape him, my son among them. I don’t know just how it is, but he has a great influence without appearing to seek it in the least. Indeed, sometimes I think he dislikes the idea. But it goes on. It’s something in his manner. No doubt you’ve noticed it yourself. He makes you look at him.” Mrs. Camden had been embarrassed by this speech, but it was quite true. And Keighley’s attraction was the more mysterious because he was not conventionally handsome. Though tall and well made, with broad shoulders and a good leg, his features were rough—a jutting nose and heavy black brows that nearly obscured expressive hazel eyes. And he took no care with his dress, a rarity in an elegant age. His coats were made so that he could shrug himself into them without help; his collars did not even approach his jaw; and he had once been observed in White’s with a distinct thumb mark on his Hessian boots, giving one of the dandy set what he described as “a shuddering palpitation.”

But these sartorial eccentricities were outweighed by Sir Justin’s political influence and sagacity. He was an intimate of the Prince Regent and Lord Holland, and important in the Whig Party. These facts did not explain his fascination for a great number of people, chiefly women, who hadn’t the slightest interest in politics, but they amply justified the Mayfìelds’ attention and suppressed antipathy.

“Good evening,” Keighley said to Mr. Mayfield in a deep, resonant voice. “I hope I haven’t kept you waiting.”

“Not at all, not at all. Come in. You know everyone, I think.”

Sir Justin bowed his head with a sardonic smile. He always met precisely the same people at his yearly dinner with the Mayfields, presumably those they were certain he could not “corrupt” with his aberrant opinions, and he always felt the same infuriated boredom. For the fiftieth time he wondered why he came. There was no hope of amusement or chance of advantage here. The Mayfields and their friends were just the sort of smug, resolutely conventional people he despised. They held to the views their fathers had bequeathed them and attacked all others. If one tried to make them change even a fraction, they shook their heads and muttered of treason.

He looked around the room. The only addition this year was the Mayfìelds’ daughter. He had forgotten her name, but he remembered that she had come out last season. She looked as one would have expected: a pallid, simpering creature. Keighley shrugged. Politics forced him to endure fools occasionally. The Prince would want to know the climate of opinion here in Devon. He supposed he could get through this evening as he had previous ones, through a combination of stoicism and bitter inner laughter.

Margaret watched him with awed apprehension as he settled beside Mrs. Camden and began to chat with her about London. She had never actually spoken to Sir Justin; her mother had seen to that. But she had heard him talked of so many times that she felt she knew what he would say in response to a wide variety of remarks. It would always be shocking. She gazed at him in an effort to understand how any man could be so utterly depraved in thought and action, almost expecting his rugged face to contort in a grimace of malevolence and his chiseled lips to emit some horrifying revelation.

Suddenly Sir Justin looked up and met her eyes from across the room. He seemed at first startled to find her staring, then his mocking smile appeared again, and he raised one black brow, holding her gaze. Embarrassed, Margaret tried to look away, but something in his hazel eyes prevented it. A spark glinted there, and she felt a kind of tremor along her nerves. It was utterly unfamiliar and unsettling, like a violent thrill of feeling. How could a stranger affect her so? This must be fear, she thought; I am afraid of him. She began to tremble, but still she could not turn her head away. He seemed to understand her reaction and, amused, to prolong the contact on purpose.

Finally Keighley laughed and bent to answer some question of Mrs. Camden’s. Margaret jerked back in her chair and clasped her shaking hands so tightly that the knuckles whitened. He was a dreadful man. She would not speak to him, and if she ever saw him again, she would run away.

###

jane ashfordAUTHOR BIO: Jane Ashford, a retired teacher and editor, is now a beloved author of historical and contemporary romances. She has been published in various parts of the world, including Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Spain, and of course the U.S.

Jane is also a two-time RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award nominee. Born in Ohio, Jane now divides her time between Boston and Los Angeles.

If you would like to contact Jane, you can send a message to: readers@janeashford.com

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website

‘A Radical Arrangement’ by Jane Ashford

ara jaSTORY: Brash and Handsome

Sir Justin Keighley is all wrong for a proper young lady like Margaret Mayfield. Everyone knows he is shocking in his opinions, arrogant in his manner, and completely without respect for the common decencies of civilized society. Margaret absolutely will not marry him—no matter what her parents say.

Beautiful and Shy

Margaret was everything Sir Justin detested in a woman—timid, sheltered, and obedient to a fault. It’s not until she runs away from him that he finds he must give chase. Margaret is discovering she can be bold and rebellious—intrepid enough to do what she must, and more exciting than Justin ever imagined possible. She’s the last woman he would have expected to lead them both into uncharted territory…

REVIEW: Margaret Mayfield is a thin, timid young woman who lives with her parents and has had just one season in London. She was raised in a religious and conservative Tory family where her father is a member of Parliament.

Sir Justin Keighley is a neighbor of the Mayfield family and completely on the other side of the political fence from the Mayfields. He is an important man in the Whig Party and close to the Prince.

When a neighborhood dinner party is planned, it is with great trepidation that Justin attends the party because he knows he and the Mayfields will lock horns with their political discussions. After dinner, the party decides to head to the barn to view a prize heifer. Not wanting to soil her satin dress, Margaret holds back. Justin, having noticed what a timed young woman Margaret is, approaches her to try and talk to her but her skittishness sends her running away where she faints from fear.

When Justin and Margaret are found by the rest of the party, Margaret’s parents insist that Justin has ruined her and thus must marry her. Both Margaret and Justin refuse. Upset and needing to get away, Margaret decides to run away to Penzance. Playing to Justin’s guilt, Margaret’s mother plants the seed for him to follow her and bring her home. When they meet up on the road, Justin is injured and they must stay at an inn while he recovers under the guise of being brother and sister.

Their time together makes Margaret realize that Justin comes by his strong personality from his parents who loved nothing more than to debate different topics. Once Justin introduces Margaret to the injustice suffered by laborers that he is trying to change, she realizes that there really are two sides to a story.

Will they be able to put their differences aside and accept that people can be attracted to one another even if they have radical views about life?

Ms. Ashford has penned a thoughtful story that speaks to us of what is happening in our own country today. Simply because we all have different views politically, there is no reason we cannot still get along.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher