Spring Brake Sale!

This spring break, fill up your e-reader with these $0.99 deals! Relax and enjoy a nice beach read (whether or not you can make it to a beach!). With everything from paranormal to historical to romantic suspense, we have a little something for everyone.

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$0.99 Now Until April 6

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THE SOLDIER by GRACE BURROWES Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

THE VIRTUOSO by GRACE BURROWES Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

THE HEIR by GRACE BURROWES Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

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LADY LOUISA’S CHRISTMAS KNIGHT by GRACE BURROWES Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

LADY EVE’S INDISCRETION by GRACE BURROWES Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

LADY MAGGIE’S SECRET SCANDAL by GRACE BURROWES Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

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THE HIGHLANDER’S SWORD by AMANDA FORESTER Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

THE HIGHLANDER’S HEART by AMANDA FORESTER Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

TRUE HIGHLAND SPIRIT by AMANDA FORESTER Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

Here are the other titles on sale:

DARN GOOD COWBOY CHRISTMAS by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

MISTLETOE COWBOY by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

HONKY TONK CHRISTMAS by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

GETTING LUCKY by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

LOVE DRUNK COWBOY by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

ONE LUCKY COWBOY by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

RED’S HOT COWBOY by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

LUCKY IN LOVE by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

MY GIVE A DAMN’S BUSTED by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

I LOVE THIS BAR by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

ONE HOT COWBOY WEDDING by CAROLYN BROWN Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

IN RIDES TROUBLE by JULIE ANN WALKER Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

REV IT UP by JULIE ANN WALKER Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

HELL ON WHEELS by JULIE ANN WALKER Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

DESTINY OF THE WOLF by TERRY SPEAR Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WOLF by TERRY SPEAR Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

DREAMING OF THE WOLF by TERRY SPEAR Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

SAVAGE HUNGER by TERRY SPEAR Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

WOLF FEVER by TERRY SPEAR Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

A SEAL IN WOLF’S CLOTHING by TERRY SPEAR Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF by TERRY SPEAR Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

SEDUCED BY THE WOLF by TERRY SPEAR Get it at Amazon, Nook, Apple

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 SOURCEBOOKS.COM wishes you good reading!!

 

Spotlight on ‘Dukes in Disguise’ Anthology!

did gb si egDukes in Disguise are here! Susanna Ives, Emily Greenwood and Grace Burrowes teamed up to bring us three dukes in disguise.

These three Regency novellas, each featuring a young, wealthy duke who must spend two weeks masquerading as a commoner in the bucolic backwater of Lesser Puddlebury. Disaster will rain down if their graces’ titled status become public knowledge. Fortunately for our heroes, true love is no respecter of rank.

STORY: His Grace of Lesser Puddlebury by Grace Burrowes
Connor, Duke of Mowne, has been injured in a most delicate location, and needs a place to heal far from the eyes of Polite Society. When he takes refuge with the independent and impecunious Julianna St. Bellan, he suspects his wound was in truth caused by Cupid’s arrow!

BUY LINKS: Amazon Kindle / B&N  / iBooks / Kobo / Amazon Print

REVIEW: I am one of those Grace Burrowes fans that if she wrote on a paper bag, I’d gobble it up. As for the other two authors, I’ve read some of their book and liked them. I’m not sure who came up with this anthology premise, but whoever did, it was a good one.

Grace Burrowes sets the anthology up with three friends and all of them dukes, in dire need of disguise as one of them needs to convalesce. All three decide to travel to different locations and to stay incognito. What can go wrong while they ‘lay low’? Well, a lot can and it does.

I loved this first story and as usual, Grace Burrowes delivers on all fronts. This novella might as well been the full length book. It read as such. The characters were fully developed and for the chemistry between the two leads, I must credit the wonderful dialogue, making those two jump off the pages. The plot was entertaining and the pace was just right.

The second book was by Ms. Ives and it was my least favorite. I can’t quiet put my finger on it, but the story, despite being written well, just didn’t touch me as much as the first novella. I believe this one just demanded too much of my suspension of belief and had me questioning the behavior of the heroine on too many occasions.

Third story was also well written and characterized but I thought its complexity had me enjoying it less.

In the end, I do recommend it because all three stories were fast paced and each was fun in its own way.

Melanie for b2b

TEASER:

Over the clip-clop of the coach horses’ hooves and the incessant throbbing of his arse, Coinneach Callum Amadour Ives St. Bellan, ninth Duke of Mowne, endured that form of affection which—among grown men at least—traveled under the sobriquet of teasing.

More honest company would call it making sport of a fellow in a misguided attempt to cheer him up.

“Mowed down, they’ll say, like so much wheat,” Starlingham quipped. “One stray bullet and the great duke is hors de combat.”

Lucere was not to be outdone. “The moon sets, as it were.”

They went off into whoops, endlessly entertained, as always, by a play on the title Mowne, which was an old Scottish term for the lunar satellite… and thus a cognate for a reference to the human fundament.

“If the Sun and Stars had not tarried with a pair of tavern maids, we would have reached the dueling ground sooner,” Con groused. “This whole imbroglio is your fault, you two.”

There was simply no getting comfortable in a coach after being shot in the arse. No getting comfortable anywhere.

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

STORY: Duchess of Light by Susanna Ives
In a tangle of lies and disguises, a brokenhearted duke and a desperate miss find truth in love.

TEASER:

The old duke released his last breath in the early morning. The new duke had walked to the empty nursery at the top of the house where Catherine, his favorite childhood nurse, and he had shared so many hours. He had squatted onto the cold, bare floor planks and imagined she was with him, embracing him and whispering that all would be well when he knew it wouldn’t be.

Even as a grown man, Lucere desperately missed her abundant smiles and the way she embraced him without reserve—so different from his cold parents, or the grasping courtesans who would later decorate his adult nights. How readily Catherine praised his childish drawings and songs he made up—all created to worship her. No night of wild passion had ever surpassed the gentle, warm feeling of when she had tucked him into bed, singing a lovely song meant to lull him to sleep. He had heard enough false I love you’s dripping from ambitious women’s lips. But Catherine had truly meant it when she’d said, “I love my sweet, sweet boy.”

Catherine was the only person who had ever truly cared for him.

And he had killed her.

isinmarshAUTHOR BIO: I am a mother to fabulous, brilliant, gorgeous children. When I am not writing, I am a part-time web developer. I listen to Brazilian Jazz, Wynton Marsalis, Astrud Gilberto, Bruce Hornsby, Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Willie Nelson and Ella Fitzgerald.

I can cook some mean Southern butter beans. I love my children, that guy I married, running, my smart phone, the sound of rain, and poems by Billy Collins. In fact, I love poetry in general, but don’t write a word of it. I’ve followed my crazy Viking husband through Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, England, and Scotland.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

STORY: Kiss Me, Your Grace by Emily Greenwood
Rowan, Duke of Starlingham, thinks love is for fools, though when he arrives at his hunting box to find an alluring but puzzlingly uncooperative woman pretending to be his cousin, he realizes he may be a victim of the most absurd malady of all: love at first sight.

TEASER:

The knocking, which had paused briefly, started again as they reached the door, heavy and bold, like a highwayman shouting his demands at terrified travelers. Clearly, Clare read too many gothic novels, nonetheless steadying her grip on the poker.

Louisa opened the door. The light from the candelabrum illuminated only an expanse of dark coat until Louisa raised the candles much higher to reveal a man’s face.

Claire’s first impression was of a square jaw, then of a mouth set in a firm line. Her gaze crept upward, taking in features made with bold strokes. In the shadowy light, his eyes were black, but she had a feeling they’d look that way in the daytime, too. His hair was dark and longish, its spiky waves brushing the collar of his dark coat and slashing across his forehead.

He was moderately tall and rather hulking. His shoulders were unfashionably brawny, and his expensive-looking tailcoat must have needed an entire bolt of fabric. And what kind of gentleman had arm muscles that showed under his coat? This man might be a gentleman—and there was little doubt of that from the cut of his clothes—but the bold jut of his chin and the leashed strength of his body spoke not of drawing rooms and dance floors but sweat and force.

He would not have looked out of place swinging a hammer in a blacksmith’s forge, and Claire imagined fire reflected in those intense black orbs while sweat trickled down the rough angles of his cheeks…the Roman god Vulcan at his work.

She needed to stop reading those mythology books as well.

“Good evening,” the man said in deep, cultured tones. “I am Mr. Fitzwilliam, cousin to his grace, the Duke of Starlingham.”

Claire and Louisa gasped at the same time.

To order your copy of this Regency novella anthology, you can go here.

emily-greenwood-AUTHOR BIO: Emily Greenwood has a degree in French and worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures. But she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance is the chocolate of literature.

A Golden Heart finalist, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

‘The Soldier’ by Grace Burrowes

ts gbSTORY: This Regency era battle of wits, wills, and the sexes features a wily duke determined to see the succession of his line secured. The duke can’t force his sons to marry, but he can make their lives miserable until they do. Resisting his pressure, each gentleman holds out for true love.

The second book in the series features Devlin St. Just, the duke’s oldest, but illegitimate, son. He arrives at his new estate weary in body and spirit only to find the previous owner’s bastard daughter and her beautiful cousin are his responsibility and making his life almost unbearably complicated.

REVIEW: The Duke’s Obsession trilogy continues with the oldest of brothers, Devlin St. Just, who’s a half-brother to Val and Westhaven, and a bastard son of the wily, old Duke of Moreland.

In THE SOLDIER, we reacquaint ourselves with the man whom the Duchess took in at the age of five to be raised along her own brood.  He’s a long-time soldier, a kind and devoted brother. He’s a man whose body had suffered no mortal wounds, yet his soul has been scarred so deeply, that he can’t find peace, even in his sleep. His passion is horses, and Emmie is the first woman in two years to stir his other passions, the ones that he thought never to feel again.

As THE SOLDIER opens, he arrives at Rosecroft, an estate he was ‘gifted’ by the King, and is confronted with a lot of challenges; the biggest one of all is Helmsley’s six-year-old bastard daughter Winnie and her cousin Emmie, who he feels are now his responsibility.

Emmaline Farnum is the town’s most incomparable baker. She’s been taking care of herself since the age of eighteen, as well as trying to keep an eye on her little cousin Winnie, who’s been living at Rosecroft with her degenerate father from the age of six months.
I understood this woman from the moment she barged in on Dev and Winnie. She is someone that all women should relate to. She is strong, has been supporting herself for years, yet weak in her emotions towards all that she regards dear to her.

She strives to be better, to always do her best, be that baking or taking care of an orphan. When she confronts a man who was unlike any she’s ever met—honorable, kind and devoted, yet broken from the inside—her feelings toward him confound and confuse her. She can’t help but offer him the only thing she has: herself.

If I loved THE HEIR, I adore THE SOLDIER. Grace Burrowes has gone and done it again. This story is about pure, unadulterated love. Love of a man for a woman; love of a man for his brother; love of a man for his friend, and love of a child for something to call her own.

One of the most heartwarming scenes in this book is the one right after Dev remembers his birth mother, Kathleen, taking him to the mews, letting him pet the horses. That memory brings both men to tears, and they take themselves outside for an impromptu picnic to enjoy a beautiful day, relaxing with wine and finally reading Kathleen’s letters to the Duchess of Moreland. This scene will forever be etched in my memory. I have never read anything like it in a romance novel. It didn’t undermine his sexuality or his masculinity. If anything, it made him more human, more real.

All the main characters have their own cross to bear, yet all are willing to help and support one another in their moments of crises. And that is the heart of this story. It shows us the quality of being human. The raw emotions that I felt while reading this story, left me crying in the wee hours of the morning. This is a romance to be cherished, and reread over and over again.

I was so happy to catch up with Douglas, and I am counting the days to his story, which will be a prequel to THE HEIR. As for Valentine, I’m enchanted beyond belief! For that matter, all of the Morlands, even the crusty and wily Duke have impressed me with their loyalty and love of each other. This is one family where men are not afraid to show their love toward one another. I can’t wait to meet the sisters!

Oh, and let’s not forget the Vicar, Hadrien Bothwell. I’m sure we’ll be seeing him again…I think one of those sisters needs a man like him.

THE SOLDIER is character-driven and heartwarming, with dialogue full of wit and charm. This is not your usual ‘damsel in distress’ or a ‘reformed rake’ story. This is a romance that is bursting at the seams with emotion and humanity, pulling at all your heartstrings, and I highly recommend it.

Melanie for RRAH

‘Virtuoso’ by Grace Burrowes

v gbSTORY: A genius with a terrible loss…

Gifted pianist Valentine Windham, youngest son of the Duke of Moreland, has little interest in his father’s obsession to see his sons married, and instead pours passion into his music. But when Val loses his music, he flees to the country, alone and tormented by what has been robbed from him.

A widow with a heartbreaking secret…

Grieving Ellen Markham has hidden herself away, looking for safety in solitude. Her curious new neighbor offers a kindred lonely soul whose desperation is matched only by his desire, but Ellen’s devastating secret could be the one thing that destroys them both.

Together they’ll find there’s no rescue from the past, but sometimes losing everything can help you find what you need most.

REVIEW: Valentine Windham, ‘Val’ to his friends and family, is a man that eats, breathes, and dreams his music. For a doctor to tell him that if he does not rest and try to heal his left hand, which has been swollen and paining him ever since his elder brother’s death, is like condemning him to a lifelong purgatory. Shortly after, Val’s luck in cards gains him an estate that is a need of repair. He welcomes the distraction and heads out, accompanied with his best friend, to decide if he’ll keep the property.

Ellen FitzEngle has lived in a tiny cottage adjacent to the Markham Estate for a few years now, ever since she was a widow. Her life is peaceful, and her days are filled with tending her herb and flower gardens, which are her livelihood. Occasionally, a memory of a young Gentleman kissing her passionately the year before will sneak into her lonely days, and she’ll daydream about what if’s and maybe’s of one day…

As Ms. Burrowes brings these two souls together, we are treated to a love story that is so fragile and tender, it will have you aching for them. What I most admire about this author is the time and care she takes in developing her characters and their feelings for each other. She never rushes that aspect of the story and equally takes the time in presenting her plots in such a way that you can’t help but turn the pages devouring the story!

Ever since I read her first novel THE HEIR, I have been amazed by her prose. She never fails to astound me by giving her characters real life crises; real life emotions; real life passions; and with that, bring them so vividly to life!

This family has now become my family, and I will forever love them all; and if the old Duke wasn’t so much smitten with his Duchess, I would have given her a run for her money!

I look forward to their adventures and will never be bored with them. Their love of one another has touched my heart, and it will touch yours. The romance, passion, and sensuality that Ms. Burrowes so eloquently conveys to us through her characters, is something that has a life of its own. Highly recommended, and VIRTUOSO is a keeper.

Melanie for RRAH

Spotlight on Grace Burrowes and ‘Daniel’s True Desire’!

DanielsTrueDesireGraphic

The Joys of True Gentlemanliness… by Grace Burrowes

About twenty books ago, I lamented (whined) to one of my brothers that coming up with ways to challenge a romance hero into facing his worst fears and risking all to win the heroine’s heart was taxing my imagination. My brother, without a heartbeat’s pause said, “Make him choose between the competing demands of honor.”

THAT was great advice. Make the hero choose between the woman who needs him, and the military unit depending on him. Make him choose between avenging injustices from his past, or respecting the wishes of the pacifist woman he loves. Make him decide whether to be publicly vindicated or privately forgiving… Delightful stuff, for an author!

And yet, to travel along these brilliant character arcs, our hero must have one characteristic: He must have a well-developed sense of honor. To me, that means this fellow must be honest and kind. He can be poor, grouchy, lacking in charm, without prospects, unlucky in love—Daniel Banks is nodding his head—but ideally, he will still be a true gentleman at heart.

The true gentleman, alas for him, can be tormented from page one by the author and by the story, but from the start, the true gentleman will play by the rules of decency.

Rules are tough. The true gentleman will never misrepresent himself, which means Daniel Banks must inform Lady Kirsten that a) he’s married, and b) he won’t disrespect his vows. Too bad for Daniel, this honesty only raises him in the lady’s esteem, when he’s trying to emphasize his unsuitability.

The true gentleman will lend a hand—or an ear—to those in need. When Daniel Banks realizes that Lady Kirsten has been overlooked by her entire family, and is as lonely as an earl’s daughter can be, the least he can do is listen when she explains the misery in her past. Again, his respect for, and understanding of her increases, but what else could a gentleman have done?

The true gentleman is kind. He does not ignore the suffering of others, even if that means, he’s left with a bigger helping of suffering on his own plate. When Lady Kirsten needs a champion to fight her battles with an overbearing brother, Daniel steps up, though it might cost him his position. Once again, Daniel’s decency only gets him in hotter water, because now Kirsten’s brother is also viewing the impecunious, reserved, sometimes grouchy, vicar with renewed respect.

 This business of being a true gentleman is darned hard, and darned heroic. What Daniel has to learn, though, is that true gentlemanliness begins at home. When he’s honest with himself, and shows himself the compassion we all deserve, all the inconvenient rules, tough choices, and honorable standards turn out to have been his second-best friends.

Lady Kirsten is, of course, his very best friend, being a true lady. But that’s another story…  

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

TEASER:

A man of God was supposed to welcome hardships, and Daniel did, mostly because his store of silent, colorful language was becoming impressive.

He raised a gloved fist to knock on the door. “Halloo, the—!”

The door opened, Daniel’s sleeve was snatched into a tight grasp, and he was yanked into the warmth of the cottage so quickly he nearly bumped his head on the lintel.

“I said I’d be home by dark,” his captor muttered, “and full dark is yet another hour away. I was hoping this infernal snow would slow down.” The woman fell silent, for Daniel’s sleeve was in a young lady’s grip. “You’re not George.”

Alas for me. “The Reverend Daniel Banks, at your service, madam. I lost my way and need directions to Belle Maison, the Bellefonte estate. Apologies for intruding upon your afternoon.”

Though, might Daniel please intrude until at least his feet and ears thawed? Beelzebub was a substantial horse who grew a prodigious winter coat. He’d tolerate the elements well enough for a short time.

 

 ***

DanielsTrueDesireBOOK BLURB: An honorable life
Daniel Banks is a man of the cloth whose vocation is the last comfort he has left-and even his churchman’s collar is beginning to feel like a noose. At the urging of family, Daniel attempts to start his life over as vicar in the sleepy Kentish town of Haddondale, family seat to the earls of Bellefonte.

Challenged by passion
Lady Kirsten Haddonfield has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood. Then the handsome new village vicar, Reverend Daniel Banks, becomes a guest of the Haddonfield family while the vicarage is being renovated, and Kirsten finds herself rethinking her position. Lady Kirsten does not know that Daniel’s past is about to cast a shadow on love’s future.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iBooks

REVIEW: Grace Burrowes continues her True Gentleman series with yet another story of love, faith and internal conflict.

I devour every book this author puts forth and as I immersed myself in Daniel’s story, I honestly couldn’t see the “forest” from the trees. The plot was complex and I just couldn’t see it ever resolving in our couple’s favor. Leave it to Madam Author to lead me by the nose to a very satisfactory conclusion and one that I never saw coming my way!

As much as I loved this couple, I found the story just a tad slower than usual, yet it still had a certain flare and many fun moments, especially those with the “scholars”!

For all of you that love complex plots and characters, with plenty of humor, some heartache and sweet and tender romance, you’ll have to read this story. However, to understand this story better, I suggest you read ‘David: Lord of Honor’ [Lonely Lords book 9] first for the simple reason of getting to meet Daniel Banks and his back story. I loved both stories very much and because I read David’s story, I understood Daniel’s story better because of the glimpses into his background and what drives him.

If you’re a fan of this author, you’ll have to read this one, but if you’ve never read Grace’s awesome stories, I’d not start with this one but with ‘The Heir’.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Grace BurrowesAUTHOR 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

Spotlight on Grace Burrowes and The Duke and His Duchess / The Courtship!

TheDukeandHisDutchessGraphic

My parents recently celebrated their seventieth wedding anniversary—you read that correctly, 7-0. I’m the sixth of their seven children, so I missed a lot of the opening rounds of the Burrowes family story. To make up for that great unfairness, I ask my parents and my older siblings to fill in blanks for me. What was it like for my mom, starting out with twin boys, when the nice obstetrician—who didn’t want to upset her—failed to inform her she was carrying twins?

Mom learned she was to embark on double motherhood in the delivery room, when the nurse said, “Keep pushing, Mrs. Burrowes. You’re still in labor.”

She kept pushing. My brother Dick is particularly grateful she did, too.

What was it like for my father, to be the sole support of nine people, various shirt-tail cousins, and extended family members, on just a professor’s salary?

We never did without the essentials. How did he DOOOOO that?

These stories are the stuff of family legends, and every family has them. When I’d written stories for all of the Windham siblings, I still had a sense that the family tale wasn’t complete. How did Maggie and Devlin join the family? How did Percival, occasionally more stubborn than insightful, have the great sense to marry Esther? Why has Esther remained his champion, conscience, and confidante despite all the trying moments?

To find those answers, I had to write two novellas. First, came “The Courtship”, wherein Their Graces fall madly in love, despite—what a surprise!—meddling parents. Second, came “The Duke and His Duchess”. We know Percy and Esther’s household was in some regards unconventional, but they chose love over appearances from the start of their relationship. I wanted to know how they got through the challenges created by Percy’s behavior prior to the marriage, and emerged a stronger couple and a happier family for their choices.

The Duke’s Courtship duology is the result of my curiosity about the ongoing magic of a loving family, and also a tribute to my parents, whose happily ever after continues, even as a I write this.

EXCERPT:

Miss Esther Himmelfarb has been dragooned into attending a house party to make up the numbers, and to keep an eye on a cousin with a penchant for gambling. Little does Esther know Lord Percival Windham will risk all to win her heart.

“Miss Himmelfarb, I believe?” Lord Percival winged an arm and smiled at Esther graciously. “Shall I have us introduced, or in the informality of the occasion, will you allow me to join you at supper?”

A more calculating man would have offered to escort her to whoever had the honor of dining with her, but then, Lord Percival likely did not have to be calculating.

“I will happily accept your escort to the buffet, my lord.” Esther laced her gloved hand around Lord Percival’s arm, only to encounter a small surprise.

Or not so small.

Gossip had not lied. The man was muscular in the extreme, and this close, he was also of sufficient height to uphold the fiction that he’d protect Esther from any brigands or wolves wandering about Lady Morrisette’s parlor.

“Does your family hail from Kent, Miss Himmelfarb? I know most of the local families and cannot recall Himmelfarbs among them.”

The question was perfectly pleasant, and so too was his lordship’s scent. Not the scent of exertion or the standard rose-scented rice powder—he wasn’t wearing a wig—but something elusive…

“You’re twitching your nose like a thoughtful bunny, Miss Himmelfarb. Are you in anticipation of something particularly succulent among the supper offerings?”

He smiled down at her as he spoke, and for moment, Esther could not fashion a reply. Of all the times for Charlotte Pankhurst to be right about a man’s blue, blue eyes…

“I’m trying to fathom the fragrance you’re wearing, my lord. It’s pleasant.”

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think from your expression that you do not approve of men wearing pleasant scents.” His tone, amused, teasing, suggested that sometimes, all he wore was a pleasant scent—and that just-for-you smile.

Lord Percival leaned nearer, as if sharing a confidence amid the noise and bustle of the first night of a lively, extended social gathering.

“Bay rum lacks imagination, don’t you think? I shall wear it when I’m a settled fellow with children in my nursery. There’s cedar in the scent I wear, reminds me of Canada. You’re partial to spicy scents yourself.”

He was inviting a reciprocal confidence from her with that observation. The notion of trading secrets with Percival Windham made something beneath Esther’s heart twang—disagreeably, of course.

“Lavender with a few other things.”

“My dear”—his lordship had straightened only a bit—“why is My Lady Hair Bows staring daggers in this direction?”

My lady…? Then… my dear?!

“I’m not sure what you mean, my lord.”

“You know exactly what I mean, Miss Himmelfarb.” Lord Percival picked up a plate, though they were still some distance from any sustenance. “Now the Needy girl is at her elbow, pouring brandy on the flames of gossip. You and I will be engaged by this time tomorrow, I don’t doubt.”

Did one correct a duke’s spare when he made light of marriage to a woman within staring distance of professional spinsterhood?

Yes, one did.

“Her name is Needham, my lord. And I should think an engagement unlikely when you have yet to ask for my hand and I have given no indication I would accept your suit.”

The light in his eyes changed, going from friendly—yes, that was the word—to something more intent.

“You are an impertinent woman. We shall get on famously, Miss Himmelfarb. I adore impertinent women.”

***

>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<

TheDukeHisDuchessTheCourtshipBOOK BLURB:

THE COURTSHIP

The first novella to be published by New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes features the foundation story for her bestselling Windham series. This is the tender story of love tested and won, and how Percy Windham, the dashing and brilliant man who was never supposed to become the Duke of Moreland, wooed Esther Himmelfarb, the amazing lady who became his beloved Duchess.

THE DUKE AND HIS DUCHESS

In this second prequel novella to the popular Windham series, Grace Burrowes continues the story of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland through the tumultuous and bittersweet first years of marriage and parenthood. Percival Windham is a second son and cavalry officer when he weds the beautiful Esther Himmelfarb. Percy and Esther must grow into the nobility they’ve been resisting and stand together, or face the threat of destroying their young family and the beautiful love that started out with such promise…

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / Books A Million

REVIEW: I was one of those people who hadn’t jumped on the wagon of this new author that everyone was talking about. I resisted for almost a year to buy her début ‘The Heir’, but in the end I gave in. To this day I’m shaking my head when I think about it! I adored every word I read and from that point on, I was hooked on Grace Burrowes. I also wondered about the secondary/supportive character of the Duke of Morland, the man that started it all. Who is this man?! Why would his Duchess even consider, let alone agree to raise his bastard children?

I really wondered after a few books that followed in this series, if Madam Author would ever answer those burning questions for me.

I can’t tell you how happy I was when she released the two novellas that explained this to me.

The love story of Esther and Percival is truly one for the ages and I highly recommend it to all of my bookworms, especially to those that have never read this author. This is a great way for you to be introduced to this series and to a wonderful writing voice of an author that has become one of my all time favorites in a blink of an eye.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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.

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Spotlight on Grace Burrowes and ‘Tremaine’s True Love’!

TremainesTrueLoveGraphic

What makes a man a gentleman?

For a romance writer, this question has to be answered in every book, because implicit in the term “hero” is something of the gentleman. Heroes need not be charming, handsome or wealthy, and they might not even be obviously heroic, at least at the start of the book, but they have to be worthy of our loyalty for the duration of an entire book. 

In the True Gentlemen series, I took three men who’d wandered across my pages in previous stories—Tremaine St. Michael, Daniel Banks, and Willow Dorning—and found them each a happily ever after. Tremaine is a flinty business man, Daniel is poor and pious, Willow finds polite society an enormous trial and would far rather be with his dogs. These fellows were not obvious choices as romance heroes, but they each had something that tempted me to write stories for them.

When we met Tremaine in an earlier book (Gabriel: Lord of Regrets), Tremaine was convinced that he’d found a good candidate for the position of wife. He offered marriage, listing all the practical advantages to both parties, and he congratulated himself on how much sense his proposed union would make.

The lady turned him down flat, and as a gentleman is bound to do, he graciously ceded the field. He didn’t like it, he didn’t entirely understand how or what he’d lost, but he wished the happy couple well.

Daniel’s role in David: Lord of Honor was to charge to London with sermons at the ready in an attempt to restore his sister’s honor. The very man Daniel accused of wronging that sister had already set her back on the path to respectability.

Oops. But again, being a gentleman, Daniel wishes the couple every happiness, even if doing so costs him the future he’d envisioned for himself and his loved ones. Like Tremaine, he’s a gracious and even dignified loser.

Willow’s appearance in Worth: Lord of Reckoning is brief, but he too is determined to see a sister rescued from a possibly compromising position, and again, rescue is simply not on the heroine’s agenda.

In all three cases, the true gentleman acts in the best interests of those he loves and is responsible for, regardless of the inconvenience or cost to himself. Because Tremaine, Daniel, and Willow were honorable, I liked them. I trusted them, I wanted them to have the happiness they clearly already deserved.

In the Nicholas Haddonfield’s sisters—Nita, Kirsten, and Susannah—I found ladies willing to oblige my ambitions for these men. In each case, our hero has lessons yet to learn, and in each case, his inherent honor wins the day. He might not be handsome, wealthy, or charming in the eyes of the world, but because he’s a true gentleman in the eyes of his lady, he wins her true love.

I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I enjoyed writing them!

ttl gbSTORY: He’s had everything he could ever want…until now

Wealthy wool magnate Tremaine St. Michael is half French, half Scottish, and all business. He prowls the world in search of more profits, rarely settling in one place for long. When he meets practical, reserved Lady Nita Haddonfield, he sees an opportunity to mix business with pleasure by making the lady his own.

Nita Haddonfield has a meaningful life tending to others, though nobody is dedicated to caring for Nita. She insists the limitations of marriage aren’t for her, then Tremaine St. Michael arrives-protective, passionate, and very, very determined to win Nita’s heart.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / IndieBound

>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<

EXCERPT: Wealthy businessman Tremaine St. Michael has concluded that marriage to Lady Nita Haddonfield would be a prudent merger of complimentary interests for the mutual benefit and enjoyment of both parties… or some such blather.

Tremaine rapped on Lady Nita’s door, quietly, despite a light shining from beneath it. Somebody murmured something which he took for permission to enter.

“Mr. St. Michael?”

Tremaine stepped into her ladyship’s room, closed the door behind him and locked it, which brought the total of his impossibly forward behaviors to several thousand.

“Your ladyship expected a sister, or a maid with a pail of coal?”

“I wasn’t expecting you.” Lady Nita sat near the hearth in a blue velvet dressing gown. The wool stockings on her feet were thick enough to make a drover covetous. “Are you unwell, Mr. St. Michael?”

“You are not pleased to see me.” Did she think illness the only reason somebody would seek her out?

She set aside some pamphlet, a medical treatise, no doubt. No vapid novels for Lady Nita.

“I was not expecting you, sir.”

“You were not expecting me to discuss marriage with you earlier. I wasn’t expecting the topic to come up in a casual fashion either. May I sit?”

She waved an elegant hand at the other chair flanking the hearth. Tremaine settled in, trying to gather his thoughts while the firelight turned Lady Nita’s braid into a rope of burnished gold.

“You are pretty.” Brilliant place to start. The words had come out, heavily burred, something of an ongoing revelation.

“I am tall and blond,” she retorted, twitching the folds her of her robe. “I have the usual assortment of parts. What did you come here to discuss?”

Lady Nita was right, in a sense. Her beauty was not of the ballroom variety, but rather, an illumination of her features by characteristics unseen. She fretted over new babies, cut up potatoes like any crofter’s wife, and worried for her sisters. These attributes interested Tremaine. Her madonna-with-a-secret smile, keen intellect, and longing for laughter attracted him.

Even her medical pre-occupation, in its place, had some utility as well.

“Will you marry me, my lady?”

More brilliance. Where had his wits gone? George Haddonfield had graciously pointed out that Nita needed repose and laughter, and Tremaine was offering her the hand of the most restless and un-silly man in the realm.

The lady somehow contained her incredulity, staring at her hands. “You want to discuss marriage?”

“I believe I did just open that topic. Allow me to elaborate on my thesis: Lady Bernita Haddonfield, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife? I think we would suit, and I can promise you would know no want in my care.”

A proper swain would have been on his damn bended knee, the lady’s hand in his. Lady Nita would probably laugh herself to tears if Tremaine attempted that nonsense. Lady Nita picked up her pamphlet, which Tremaine could now see was written in German.

“Why, Mr. St. Michael?”

“I beg your pardon?” Tremaine was about to pitch the damned pamphlet in the fire, until he recalled that Nita Haddonfield excelled at obscuring her stronger emotions.

“Why should you marry me, Tremaine St. Michael? Why should I marry you? I’ve had other offers, you’ve made other offers. You haven’t known me long enough to form an opinion of my character beyond the superficial.”

This ability to take a situation apart, into causes, effects, symptoms, and prognosis was part of the reason she was successful as a healer. Tremaine applied the same tendencies to commercial situations, so he didn’t dismiss her questions as coyness or manipulation.

She wasn’t rejecting him either. She most assuredly was not rejecting him.

***

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