Spotlight on Victoria Roberts and ‘Kill or be Kilt’!

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Which Highlander Hero is Your Soulmate?

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kobk vr 2BOOK BLURB: It’s been three years since Lady Elizabeth Walsingham ended her childish crush on Laird Ian Munro, the fierce Highlander who scared everyone but her. She’s a grown woman now, heading to London to find a proper English gentleman. But when the wild Highland laird walks through the door, she’s that breathless youth all over again.

Ian tries hard to avoid the young lass who’s confounded him for years. But now that they’re attending court, he must keep watch on her night and day. Danger is at every turn and advisors to the Crown are being murdered. Ian soon realizes the girl he’s been protecting is a beautiful lady who needs his help, almost as much as he needs her.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N  / iBooks / Books A Million / !ndigo / Indie Bound

REVIEW: I believe this is the last story in Victoria Roberts’ Highland Spies series and I liked it almost as much as the first book in the series.

Elizabeth and Ian were fun to be around and watch as they finally got around to be themselves and not who they wanted to be perceived to be.

I liked the setting of the story and the plot was intriguing, but what I liked the most is the dialogue between everyone in this story, especially Ian and Elizabeth.

If you’re a fan of medieval romance and would like some men in kilts with a mighty brogue, this series is for you.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

EXCERPT:

Although the summer solstice would soon be upon them, spring had bloomed in the Highlands like a sigh of relief after the long, dark months of winter. Leaves were green, blossoming flowers blanketed the fields, and the sun was shining. If she weren’t so distraught over Uncle Walter’s death or irritated by her sister, this would have been a perfect day.

Elizabeth jumped when something snapped behind her.

“’Tis only me,” said Laird Munro. “I did nae mean to startle ye. Are ye hurt? I heard ye cry out.” He gazed into the forest and, as if he was expecting some­thing to appear, uncertainty crept into his expression.

Rays of sunlight through the pine trees cast his face in contorted shadows. His long, red hair was ruffled by the wind. He looked powerful standing there in his kilt and tunic, not to mention the hand that rested on the hilt of a very large broadsword strapped to his waist. There were age lines around his mouth and eyes, but she’d barely noticed. After all these years, Ian still had a commanding way about him, but she certainly wasn’t going to answer him with the truth—well, at least not all of it.

“Nettles pricked me.”

He closed the distance between them. “Do ye want me to have a look? Ye donna want to leave any nettles beneath the skin.”

“Thank you, but there’s no need. I’m certain noth­ing remains.” An unwelcome blush crept into her cheeks as he held up a large flask.

“If ye pour water over it, the pain will lessen. Where did the wee bastards pierce your skin?”

She felt her face turn to crimson. “I don’t think I need the water, but thank you just the same.”

“If ye change your mind, lass, let me know.” Ian secured the flask on his belt. “We’re resting the horses, but ye should nae be wandering this far into the trees. Let me escort ye back.”

Elizabeth wasn’t about to defy his order. As she walked beside the laird, she silently cursed when the memory of being held in his arms in the bailey came to mind. But as quickly as the thought emerged out of nowhere, the feeling passed. She girded herself with resolve, refusing to relive the humiliation of the past.

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

VRAUTHOR BIO: Victoria Roberts writes sexy, award-winning Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young adult novella at 16 years old. Who knew her leather-studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt-wearing Highlander wielding a broadsword? Victoria lives with her husband and their two beautiful children in western Pennsylvania.

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

‘Kilts and Daggers’ by Victoria Roberts

kad vrSTORY: Ever since Lady Grace Walsingham discovered her uncle and sister are spies for the Crown, she has yearned for adventure. She’s counting the days until she can leave barbaric Scotland behind, even if she must endure Highland captain Fagan Murray’s company for weeks.

Fagan has a simple mission: escort the haughty Lady Grace back to England. But nothing is ever easy. The sharp-tongued woman needles him at every turn. But when a menacing threat follows them on their journey, Fagan’s grudging tolerance for Grace turns to respect…and into a perilous attraction that could seal their fate.

REVIEW: This is the second book in Highland Spies series, and I wish it was as good as the first. For me, it was just okay, and for that I blame the characterization of our hero and heroine. Both were a bit off and because of it, the romance felt rushed and forced.

I liked the intrigue and the action within the romance because it was the only thing that kept me reading this story to the end.

In the end, if you’ve read the first book, then you’ll probably want to read this story as well.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Beautiful Pretender’ by Melanie Dickerson

tbp mdSTORY: What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

REVIEW: Thornbeck Forest – 1363 – Roman Empire

Reinhart Stolten, Margrave of Thornbeck, is out riding on his vast property chasing away a pack of wolves in an effort to keep everyone in the area safe. Once a powerful knight, he is now reduced to using a cane to walk. When he returns to his castle, he finds he has received a missive from the King requesting that Reinhart get married and suggests the daughters of the Duke of Geithart and the Earl of Plimmwald as possible brides. It happens that the fathers of these men had fueded with the previous Margraves of Thornbeck and the King wants to unite these families and thus ensure peace. While Reinhart would rather ignore the request, his aide, Jorgen, encourages him to comply with the King’s wishes. So, Jorgen and his wife, Odette, begin planning the ball. It is decided that there will be a two-week party and ball at Thornbeck Castle. These two ladies and others will be invited so Reinhart can meet them and decide which one best suits him.

Avelina is a lady’s maid to Lady Dorothea, daughter of the Earl of Plimmwald. Dorothea is hoping that her father doesn’t find out about her trysts with his Knight, Sir Dietric, and now she is carrying his child. When her father orders her to go to the Margrave’s ball, she runs away with her Knight. Upon learning what she has done, her father decides to send Avelina to attend the party and pretend that she is Dorothea.

Upon arrival at the castle, Avelina feels out of place but is befriended by a lovely woman also attending the party and works hard to keep her true identity secret. It becomes more difficult for her when she realizes that Reinhart seems to be quite taken with her.

But mischief is afoot and someone is trying to get her out of the way. As there has been bad blood between the families before, it looks like more problems may be coming.

This was a good story that stayed well with the time period. I enjoyed it and I know other readers will as well.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘My Highland Spy’ by Victoria Roberts

mhs vrSTORY: This Highland Laird won’t bow to the Crown

Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do—he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.

But this lady spy might make him…

Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.

If she doesn’t betray him first

Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves is an English spy?

REVIEW: Victoria Roberts had me at a “Highlander”!

I found this story to be very easy to read and I think that was because the plot was interesting and intriguing, but I also credit the characterization of the hero and the heroine for the story being such a pleasure to read. Their banter alone is worth a read!

Putting together two strong characters can sometimes backfire, but not in this case. I loved the reversal of roles, of sorts. This time around we had the heroine in a role of a spy and she was so good! I don’t think our hero, as Alpha as he was, had a chance!

If you love medieval Scotland and men in kilts, if you love spy stories that are chock full of intrigue, with some betrayal and sensual romance in it, this one is not to be missed.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘A Perfumer’s Secret’ by Adria J. Cimino

aps ajcSTORY: The quest for a stolen perfume formula awakens passion, rivalry and family secrets in the fragrant flower fields of the South of France…

Perfumer Zoe Flore travels to Grasse, perfume capital of the world, to collect a formula: her inheritance from the family she never knew existed. The scent matches the one worn by her mother, who passed away when Zoe was a teenager. Zoe, competing to create a new fragrance for a prestigious designer, believes this scent could win the contract—and lead her to the reason her mother fled Grasse for New York City.

Before Zoe can discover the truth, the formula is stolen. And she’s not the only one looking for it. So is Loulou, her rebellious teenage cousin; Philippe, her alluring competitor for the fragrance contract; and a third person who never wanted the formula to slip into the public in the first place.

The pursuit transforms into a journey of self-discovery as each struggles to understand the complexities of love, the force of pride and the meaning of family.

REVIEW: Zoe Flore is a perfumer vying for a contract with her employer’s client, Cherone, to produce a new and perfect scent. She had once been in love with senior perfumer, Drew Hudson, who broke her heart. She should have realized that a love affair with a colleague could only lead to competition between them. Now, they are both working on the same project.

Zoe receives a letter inviting her to the reading if her aunt’s will in Grasse France, the heart of perfume making country. Zoe has always wanted to know about her mother, Barbara Rose Flore-Fontaine, who grew up in a perfume family in Grasse. When Barbara found she was pregnant with Zoe, she left France and decided to raise her alone. Using her perfumer’s talents, she liked to create unique scents for Zoe, and thus, Zoe learned this skill from her mother. But Zoe was never told anything about her mother’s family in Grasse, nor even her father’s name.

Loulou Stanford is a young lady of 15 living with her family in Grasse. In order to earn money, she works in a the fields plucking flowers to be used in the making of perfumes. She is shocked to learn that her beloved Aunt Marie-Odile has just died and angry at her mother for not telling her sooner.

When Zoe arrives for the reading of her aunt’s will, she is surprised to have been left a special formula by her aunt. But when she finds her hotel room ransacked and the formula stolen, she begins a hunt to find the thief. She is told by the owner of the hotel that a man named Antoine Fontaine has stopped by asking for her. So, she is going to search out this person because he may have been the person who stole her formula.

Philippe Chevrefeuille is a perfumer for Grasse Fragrance International owned by Antoine Fontaine. Philippe is working hard to create a special perfume to win the Cherone competition and hoping to defeat Henri Daumas, a competitor. The winner will reportedly become Cherone’s in-house perfumer.

Philippe and Zoe meet up and are attracted to one another even though they are competitors. Throw into the mix that Philippe is engaged, and there are problems.

Loulou’s parents are separating which adds to her stress of losing her aunt.

Thus begins a race to see who can produce a formula capable of winning this coveted prize.

This was a fast-paced story that had many interesting plots that intertwined. The thing I didn’t care for was the constant anger expressed by the characters. This seemed to take away from the story. Perfume making should be a happier business.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

Spotlight on Jane Ashford and ‘Rivals of Fortune/Impetuous Heiress’ Duo!

rof tih jaRIVALS OF FORTUNE — Joanna Rowntree thought she would die of a broken heart when her one true love married another—until not one but two fascinating newcomers appear on neighboring estates. As the roughhewn Jonathan Erland and the polished Sir Rollin Denby engage in a heated competition for her hand, Joanna realizes her heart is alive and well—but to whom will she give it?

THE IMPETUOUS HEIRESS — When spoiled Lady Alicia Alston, privileged daughter of a duke, is accidentally tossed into a ravine after a wild gallop with Ian MacClain, Earl of Cairnyllan, she expects a proposal as soon as is convenient. The stubborn Scot has other ideas. It takes a headlong journey to prevent an elopement to give Alicia and Ian a chance to clear up misunderstandings and figure out what they find so damnably passion-inducing about one another…

TEASER for RIVALS OF FORTUNE

Seeing that she was really angry, the man said, “Miss Joanna, this could be a dangerous hunt, you know, now that we seem close to whatever my uncle left. I don’t think you should be involved.”

Joanna tossed her head. “But my young brother should? A mere boy?”

Erland smiled again, then suppressed it. “I will watch over Frederick. Believe me, I shall take care.”

She glared at him. “If it is safe for Frederick, it is for me as well.”

Erland looked uncomfortable. “Well, we also thought it best to keep our progress as close as possible. All through this affair, too many people have known…”

“You think I will tell tales then?” exploded Joanna, now thoroughly enraged. “You think I can’t keep a secret?” She nearly walked away from him then, but somehow she could not. She wanted to show him just how mistaken he was.

The man reddened. “I did not mean…”

“Have I done so before?” she continued quickly. “Am I branded as a tattlebox then?”

Erland’s brows came together. “I never said that. But…”

“But what?”

“Well, I believe you have mentioned several things to Sir Rollin Denby that we would have preferred…” He trailed off in embarrassment.

Joanna opened her mouth to confound him, and realized that he was right.

TEASER for THE IMPETUOUS HEIRESS

Cairnyllan pulled ahead, and Whitefoot launched out over the ravine. Alicia caught one glimpse as he seemed to falter, then she herself was flying up and landing on the opposite side. Her mare stumbled slightly, then they were galloping along the path again.

After a moment, when the earl did not come up with her, Alicia turned. She saw Whitefoot some yards behind, his bridle dragging, slightly favoring his left forefoot. At once, she wheeled and raced back to the ravine.

Cairnyllan was in it. He had just picked himself up, in fact, and was brushing at the sleeve of his riding coat. Luckily, he had landed in a spot free of thorns, but he would have to push through a great clump of blackberry to get out.

“Are you all right?” called Alicia.

“Yes.” His tone was curt, and he sounded angry.

“Good,” Alicia snapped, and turned back to reassure the shaken animal. After a few moments an angry exclamation came from the ravine, and Alicia looked again at the earl.

Despite stern self-admonition, she began to laugh. He looked so funny standing there scowling, his head not even reaching the level of the path.

“Very amusing, I’ve no doubt,” said MacClain, the Scottish burr of his R’s intensified. “Suppose you give me a hand up.”

Alicia stifled her laughter and surveyed the situation. It would not be easy getting him out. The ravine was small but very steep. She would have to dismount. Sliding to the ground, she searched for a branch but found nothing. There were no large trees nearby. Finally, she crouched above him and extended her riding crop for him to grasp. It was not the most stable position, but the earl seemed likely to explode if she did not do something quickly, and she felt sympathy as well as amusement at his plight. How she would hate to be in it!

Cairnyllan grabbed the end of the riding crop and started to climb, but, in his impatience he pulled far too hard, and in the next instant, Alicia had tumbled forward into his arms and both of them were on the floor of the ravine in a heap.

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

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

jane ashfordAUTHOR BIO: Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England.

That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the U.S.

Twenty-six of her new and backlist Regency romances are being published by Sourcebooks. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She is currently rather nomadic.

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

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website

‘Rivals of Fortune / The Impetuous Heiress’ by Jane Ashford

rof tih jaSTORY: RIVALS OF FORTUNE – Joanna Rowntree thought she would die of a broken heart when her one true love married another-until not one but two fascinating newcomers appear on neighboring estates. As the roughhewn Jonathan Erland and the polished Sir Rollin Denby engage in a heated competition for her hand, Joanna realizes her heart is alive and well-but to whom will she give it?

THE IMPETUOUS HEIRESS – When spoiled Lady Alicia Alston, privileged daughter of a duke, is accidentally tossed into a ravine after a wild gallop with Ian MacClain, Earl of Cairnyllan, she expects a proposal as soon as is convenient. The stubborn Scot has other ideas. It takes a headlong journey to prevent an elopement to give Alicia and Ian a chance to clear up misunderstandings and figure out what they find so damnably passion-inducing about one another…

REVIEW: “Rivals of Fortune”

Miss Joanna Rowntree, age 18, lives with her father at their small home in Oxford. Joanna’s heart is breaking because Peter Finley has just married Adrienne. Joanna is deeply hurt because she understood that she and Peter would marry. When Joanna learns that Peter and his new wife will be coming to town soon, she doesn’t know how she will react. Hearing that Peter’s wife is older than he is and a bit of a shrew to boot, is shocking When she actually meets Adrienne, she finds the woman to be haughty. When Joanna sees how arrogant the woman is, she feels sorry for Peter. while realizing that she never truly cared for him that much. Adrienne’s brother, Sir Rollin Denby, is staying with is sister and Peter. He catches Joanna’s attention with his good looks, but he acts superior to everyone else as well..

When Joanna’s younger brother, Frederick, is brought home by a neighbor after injuring his ankle, Joanna meets Jonathan Erland. He has moved into the nearby Abbey that his uncle left him. It is rumored that the uncle had been quite wealthy and some think he has hidden treasure on the grounds. Jonathan has moved from Canada where he had spent 10 years.

Joanna’s father is a scholar and enlists the help of a few other men to assist Jonathan in searching for the treasure that is supposed to be hidden on the man’s property. In addition, they are hoping to find an ancient crypt buried underground.

As the digging ensues, it appears that there is an unknown person who is also trying to find the treasure by searching at night. Joanna becomes involved with the group by drawing sketches of different stages of the digging. Soon, the search becomes dangerous because someone is desperate to find the treasure and will stop at nothing to get it.

This book had a good plot, but there is way too much dialogue in the story. It really could have used a good editor to crop it down. However, I do like the author and her newer books are a great improvement over this one.

“The Impetuous Heiress”

Lady Alicia Alston, age 25, is the daughter of the Duke of Morland. She is beautiful, smart, easily bored, and somewhat spoiled. She remains unmarried simply because no one she has met has yet to win her heart. Her mother has passed away and her father is a busy diplomat.

The Honorable Roderick (Roddy) Massingham, age 26, is the second son of the Earl of Murne. He and Alicia are guests at a house party hosted by their friend, Viscount Perdon (Perdy) of Perdon Abbey.

Alicia has become bored at the house party but is intrigued when she finds that Perdy’s Aunt Sophia has insisted that Perdy invite his cousins, Ian, the Earl of Cairnyllan, and his sister Lady Marianne MacClain, along with their widowed mother. Ian’s father was a very famous rake which makes Ian very protective of his mother and sister almost to the point of smothering them. Ian comes across in an arrogant manner, whereas Marianne is quite sweet and amenable. She is also preparing for her come out. Ian’s supercilious manner irritates Alicia who is determined to not let him best her. He has become quite a challenge. She soon finds that they are both horse experts. After spending some time together riding and just chatting, she realizes that she has met her match. But, as much as Alicia tries to get along with Ian, his constant snubbing her results in her being even more moody and she begins to wonder if she has fallen in love with him.

Once again, we have a good plot. However, the constant angst between Ian and Alicia became grating. Ian is a total jerk and I never could find myself liking him. But again, I know that the author has since written some very good books.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b