Spotlight on Samantha Grace and ‘Best of Both Rogues’!

Samantha Grace BestOfBothRogues-TourGraphic

Hi, everyone. I’m Samantha Grace, RITA-nominated author of the historical romance series, Rival Rogues. Today I’m very happy to be joined by Benjamin Hillary, the hero of my latest novel,The Best of Both Rogues, and his good friend Crispin Locke, Viscount Margrave. Ben’s younger sister, Lady Lana Forest, has graciously agreed to act as the interviewer.

Lana shakes her finger at the men: I don’t want any trouble today. Simply answer my questions and give me no grief. Are we clear on the expectations?

Viscount Margrave: Is she always this demanding?

Ben: If you think this is demanding, you have very little experience with younger sisters.

Viscount Margrave: I have none—no brothers or sisters.

Lana: You poor man. Would you like me to be your honorary sister?

Ben: Margrave doesn’t need a keeper. Could we please proceed with the interview now?

Lana flashes a gloating smile at her brother: Admit it, Ben. You just don’t want to share me.

Ben: I share you with three other brothers. What do you mean, I don’t want to share you?

Lana to Margrave: Ignore him. Ben has been in a temper ever since he heard about Miss Thorne’s engagement to Sir Jonathan Hackberry. He does not like to share, regardless of what he says.

Ben: I don’t like to share my betrothed.

Viscount Margrave whispers to Lana: But if Miss Thorne is engaged to Sir Jonathan, wouldn’t that make her his fiancée?

Ben: Their betrothal is a temporary dilemma.

Viscount Margrave: True, since most betrothals end when the couple marries.

Ben: I remember you being more supportive. What happened during the two years I was in India?

Viscount Margrave: Your lady grew tired of waiting for your return, so she accepted another man’s proposal.

Ben throws his hands in the air: I give up. You’ll never tell me what you were into while I was gone, will you?

Viscount Margrave: There is nothing to tell.

Lana shakes out a sheet of foolscap: We should get on with the interview. Who is your favorite mythological god or goddess?

Viscount Margrave: Dolos.

Ben’s gaze narrows on his friend: The god of trickery and deception. Imagine that.

Viscount Margrave smirks: Or I could be lying about my favorite god.

Ben: You’re enjoying yourself, aren’t you?

Goodreads Giveaway

3 Signed IN BED WITH A ROGUE copies – open 6/24/2015 – 7/31/2015

>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<

sg tbobrBOOK BLURB: The worst thing Mr. Benjamin Hillary ever did was abandon his bride-to-be on their wedding day.

The hardest thing he will ever have to do is watch her marry another man.

After two long years abroad, Ben finds Eve every bit as captivating as she was the first time he saw her, and he vows to set things right.

Lady Eve Thorne has a new man in her life, and Ben is nothing but trouble. She is no longer a starry-eyed young woman, and now that he’s back, he can go hang for all she cares. At least that’s what she keeps telling herself…

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EXCERPT:

Ben made a slow circle of the brightly lit ballroom, stopping occasionally to study the couples as they sashayed past, their cheeks pink from exertion. After several moments, he was satisfied Lord Wellham wasn’t among the dancers, not that Ben was surprised. If his memory served, the earl favored gambling over gamboling.

Reaching a secluded corner near a dark alcove, he paused to check once more for his quarry before he sought out the card room.

“What are you doing here?” a voice hissed. “You are not on the guest list.”

“Pardon?” Ben spun toward the speaker and came up short. His eyebrows veered toward each other. “How do you know?” he whispered back to the mass of green palm fronds.

“Because I helped make the list.” The plant’s fronds parted, and Eve Thorne’s stern glare greeted him. What the devil was she doing?

Her frown deepened when he simply stared, at a loss for words. “Do you have a death wish, Mr. Hillary?”

The corners of his mouth twitched. “Let me guess, you’ve been attacked by a man-eating plant. Are you in need of rescue, Kitten?”

She growled softly and the fronds snapped back into place. Ben checked the surrounding area to be certain they hadn’t earned any unwanted attention, then peered around the massive greenery. Eve was wedged against the wall, her yellow chiffon skirts crushed against the large pot. Her chest rose and fell in rapid movements, drawing his attention to the modest swell of her breasts peeking above her lacy neckline. A rosy glow infused her ivory skin, making the sprinkling of freckles across her cheeks almost unnoticeable.

God, he had missed her – her freckles, her pouty lips, her soulful brown eyes. He had been smitten from the moment he had spied her at the theater during the little Season, and two years on a faraway continent had done nothing to cool his ardor.

“What are you doing back there, Miss Thorne, and shouldn’t you have a chaperone?”

She crossed her arms as if erecting a wall between them. “God only knows why, but I am trying to save your skin, Benjamin James Arran Hillary.”

Damnation. He had almost forgotten he’d been burdened with so many names, and that she had a habit of invoking every one when she was perturbed. His smile expanded. Despite her pretense of indifference, she was worried for him. “Am I to conclude your skulking about means you still care?”

“I care about Lady Eldridge, and I do not want to see her ball ruined by you and Sebastian coming to fisticuffs. You really must leave before he sees you and demands another meeting on the field.”

Crossing paths with Sebastian Thorne didn’t concern Ben. Her brother’s need to defend her reputation after Ben jilted her had been satisfied three weeks earlier in a duel, and Thorne would not issue a second challenge for fear of losing. Ben suspected neither of them wanted to risk looking like fools again either. Instead of dueling with pistols or swords as any other normal men would do, they had allowed Eve to choose the weapons. She had chosen gloves.

He scowled. “Do you have any idea how ridiculous it looked for two men to engage in a slapping match?” The gents at Brooks’s hadn’t stopped talking about the duel for days, and Ben had endured the brunt of the teasing since he’d followed his youngest brother’s advice and allowed Thorne to win.

Eve’s smile radiated with self-satisfaction. “Since no one died, I would say I made an excellent choice.”

He grudgingly admitted her cleverness had managed to resolve the conflict without bloodshed – or much, anyway. Ben had walked away with a cut on his cheek and a nasty bruise, thanks to her brother filling his glove with pebbles. But bruised pride and a bruised mug were small prices to pay to see Eve’s position in Society restored.

Samantha GraceAUTHOR BIO: Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s Robin Hood. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals.

It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now Samantha enjoys creating her own happy endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publishers Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever. 

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‘Best of Both Rogues’ by Samantha Grace

sg tbobrSTORY: The worst thing Mr. Benjamin Hillary ever did was abandon his bride-to-be on their wedding day.

The hardest thing he will ever have to do is watch her marry another man.

After two long years abroad, Ben finds Eve every bit as captivating as she was the first time he saw her, and he vows to set things right.

Lady Eve Thorne has a new man in her life, and Ben is nothing but trouble. She is no longer a starry-eyed young woman, and now that he’s back, he can go hang for all she cares. At least that’s what she keeps telling herself…

REVIEW: This is the third story in Rival Rogues series from Samantha Grace and it’s Eve’s story, Sebastian’s jilted sister from ‘In Bed with a Rogue’, book two.

Lady Eve Thorn’s fiancé left her without a word of explanation and it took her two years to come to terms of that abandonment, finally finding a man that she might like, if not love, and make a future for herself.

Benjamin Hillary, Viscount Margrave had abandoned a woman that he loves with not so much as a word about why he had done so, and after two years out of the country, he’s ready to face the consequences and the woman he loves.

I had a very hard time with both of these characters and with the plot itself. I had no respect for the hero from the start. Abandoning her meant a huge scandal for her and no amount of groveling on his part ever redeemed him in my eyes.

Eve just baffled me to no end. If I was jilted, and I see the man who this to me, my first question would be, WHY?! No, that’s not Eve’s question, and that’s when I got pissed.

Samantha Grace can write fun, entertaining and complex characters, yet this is the second book that she wrote characters that are perplexing and unsympathetic.

I’m not giving up on this series or the author because I’m her fan so I’m hoping that the next one will have me laugh out loud as her first series did.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘In Bed with a Rogue’ by Samantha Grace

ibwar sgSTORY: He’s the Talk of the Town

The whole town is tittering about Baron Sebastian Thorne having been jilted at the altar. Every move he makes ends up in the gossip columns. Tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes, Sebastian vows to restore his family’s reputation no matter what it takes.

She’s the Toast of the Ton

Feted by the crème of society, the beautiful widow Lady Prestwick is a vision of all that is proper. But Helena is no angel, and when Sebastian uncovers her dark secret, he’s quick to press his advantage. In order to keep her hard-won good name, Helen will have to make a deal with the devil. But she’s got some tricks up her sleeves to keep this notorious rogue on his toes…

REVIEW: In this second installment of Samantha Grace’s Rival Rogues series, we find out what happened to the ‘jilted’ groom, Sebastian Thorne whose wife-to-be was claimed by Anthony, his rival from ‘One Rogue Too Many’.

I have to say I loved this book much MUCH better than the first one in this series and the reason for it were the main characters. Both were likable and complex and the chemistry between them was so well written that you could feel the sparks fly off the pages.

Baron Sebastian Thorne is forced to deal with a couple of scandals he hadn’t foreseen. He’s not the only one to have been jilted. His sister’s life has been upended as well as her fiancé just up and runs off on her. He feels that he just can’t catch a break and decides that maybe it’s time he did something about his family’s reputation, as soon as he gets sobered up, that is.

Lady Helena Prestwick hasn’t had it easy for a long time now, but with her husband’s death, she aims to grab her well-earned independence as a widow, with both hands. She has earned her “proper” reputation the hard way and she will use it any way she can to right the wrong done to her and help anyone she can.

And then, one faithful night she meets her destiny as she saves a drunk …yeah, the rest is as they say, history.

I loved that these two characters were three-dimensional and the complexity of their characters made them real to me. I loved the way that they dealt with each other and the people around them.

I found the story heartwarming, sensual and at times, funny while the plot was intriguing. I highly recommend it to all my bookwarms who love their romance novels to be not just romantic but witty and heartwarming.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘One Rogue Too Many’ by Samantha Grace

ortm sgSTORY: When two of the ton’s most eligible bachelors fall for the same young woman, only one will win her heart…

Anthony Keaton, Earl of Ellis, and Baron Sebastian Thorne have been competing since childhood. Now, they both have their eyes set on Lady Gabrielle.

Gabby feels like a fool for trusting in Anthony—but she doesn’t know the whole truth. Determined to guard her heart this time around, she’s looking for a man who is steadfast and eloquent.

Sebastian knows this is his one chance to steal her heart. He has everything she’s looking for. But when Anthony finally reveals his true feelings, how will she choose between the two?

REVIEW: With this story Samantha Grace starts her new series with a spin-off of her Beau Monde Bachelors and you really don’t have to worry about not being able to follow this story if you haven’t read the previous four. The story can be read as a stand-alone.

Lady Gabby has loved her brother’s best friend Anthony ever since she was a very young girl and she always hoped that his feelings for her were the same, yet as Anthony comes of age, he marries another.

Anthony Keaton, Earl of Ellis, was a lonely boy as he was growing up, yet he finds solace and happiness with his best friend’s family. He adored young Gabby and had a special name for her, but being young himself, he never really admitted to deeper feelings for her even to himself. He married young and the marriage wasn’t a happy one. Finally realizing that he’d made a mistake of monumental proportions in not admitting to his feelings for Gabby, he is hell-bent on righting the course of his life by declaring his love for Gabby and walking her down the aisle.

However, it looks like he may just be a tad too late as Gabby has had enough of waiting and pining for him as Sebastian Thorne, Anthony’s rival, is set to beat him to it.

I have to say that this story had me a bit conflicted because the main characters were not as likable as Ms. Grace’s Beau Monde Bachelors were.

No matter how much I wanted to like Gabby, I just couldn’t. She frustrated me to no end. Her inner thoughts were just too childish and that put me off her.

As for Anthony, I warmed up to him more as the story developed, yet even his charm wasn’t enough for me to like the way he acted at times.

The chemistry between the two was there, even when the two were at odds with one another, yet somehow I wanted the passion to be deeper.

In the end, I liked it, but not as much as the previous series. If you like the huge misunderstanding tropes, you probably will love this story.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Lady Vivian Defies a Duke’ by Samantha Grace

lvdad sgSTORY: The Naked Truth

Lady Vivian Worth knows perfectly well how to behave like a lady. But observing proper manners when there’s no one around to impress is just silly. Why shouldn’t she strip down to her chemise for a swim? When her betrothed arrives to finally meet her, Vivi will act every inch the lady—demure, polite, compliant. Everything her brother has promised the man. But until then, she’s going to enjoy her freedom…

A Revealing Discovery

Luke Forest, the newly named Duke of Foxhaven, wants nothing to do with his inheritance—or the bride that comes with it. He wants adventure and excitement, like the enchanting water nymph he’s just stumbled across. When he discovers the skinny-dipping minx is his intended, he reconsiders his plan to find Lady Vivian another husband. Because the idea of this vivacious woman in the arms of another man might be enough to drive him insane—or to the altar

REVIEW: Samantha Grace’s Beau Monde Bachelor’s series ends with Vivian and Luke’s story.

Lady Vivian Worth is an adventures young woman who is prone to trouble and her brother thinks the best way to curb her wild nature would be to wed her, so with that in mind he’s in the midst of negotiations with the Duke of Foxhaven to marry her off to his son.

Lucas Forest had just become Duke of Foxhaven, and it looks like his late father was in the midst of acquiring him a bride. This is not something he desires, so he sets off to see if he could break off the negotiations. And then, faith intervenes ….

I really liked both characters. They were complex and interesting as well as entertaining.

Vivian knows exactly who she is and how she “should” act, yet her soul is just so filled with curiosity and a need for letting go of the constraints that the society puts on women. Her innocence was refreshing, contagious and entertaining.

Luke would rather he be a world traveler than the Duke so he has high hopes that he might do both if he breaks of the upcoming betrothal. However, upon meeting Vivian, he starts rethinking that plan.

I must say, I loved this four book series very much and if you haven’t read it yet, please give it a go.

The stories are very fast-moving, entertaining and fun to read.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie’ by Samantha Grace

mllwl sgSTORY: A Scoundrel Drives a Hard Bargain…

Spirited and determined to protect her young brother at any cost, Lisette Lavigne is desperate to flee New Orleans. There’s only one ship sailing to England, though, and the rakish Captain Daniel Hillary will only allow Lisette’s family aboard for a very steep price…

But a Lady Always Gets the Upper Hand…

Daniel prides himself on running a tight ship, and he knows a lady will be nothing but trouble on a long voyage. Yet he can’t help but break his own ironclad rules when Lisette persuades him that being gentlemanly just this once is his wisest course of action.

REVIEW: First time I paid any attentions to our hero was in the scene in which Jake, his brother, walks in on him while he `had his butter churned’! Well, how can I not be interested in a man like that and in a woman that would bring him to heel?

As the story opens, we follow our heroine Lisette Lavigne as she escapes her fiancé in the
middle of the night, with her family in tow and in a search of Captain Daniel Hillary, who she hopes will take them to England and to safety.

Captain Daniel Hillary is drop dead gorges and a scoundrel who loves two simple pleasures in life, a woman’s supple curves and his Indiaman ship, not necessarily in that order. He’s just given his mistress her marching orders and is looking forward to leaving New Orleans when Lisette, all dressed in black and impersonating a widow, confronts him.

We’ve met Daniel in the previous books and I wondered about the woman Ms. Grace would give him. He certainly needed a strong counterpart but I also wanted someone that has charm and wit. Lis, as he keeps calling her, was a perfect match for him. This young woman proved to be made of stern stuff, yet when it came to her brother’s needs, displaying her vulnerable side made our hero want to protect her from anyone that meant them harm. It also revealed to us a secret or two he not only kept it from us, but from his family as well. We finally get to know what’s behind his `devil may care’ guilt ridden attitude and why he never allows any women passengers on his ship [unless they’re his family, that is].

Something about Lis touches his protective heart and he agrees to take her in but also making sure that this `widow’ is aware of his attraction to her. Slowly we get to be privy to their long held secrets and as they begin to trust each other and let their feelings show, we can’t help but root for them, wanting their happily ever after as much as they do. We don’t really want the bad guys to catch up to them, knowing that they will, and still hoping against hope, that something will befall the bad guys.

This was without a doubt fun filled romantic adventure. We also get to touch base with Jake and Amelia and are introduced to Serafina and Isaac; Lisette’s little brother Rafe was so sweet and unique; the bad dude’s were real sick sons-of-a-gun and I couldn’t wait for them to get their well deserved comeuppance; all secondary characters added a lot to this story and had just the right amount of angst to it.

In the end I had no doubt in my mind that Samantha Grace’s third book of her Beau Monde Bachelor series would be a hit with me. I recommend you read all three, and although they can be read separately, I wish you’d read them in the order they were written. It would truly enhance the reading experience and give you the total dynamic of this very entertaining family. Oh, and let’s not forget all those hot, sensual and steamy scenes that just might make you wish for a captain of your very own!

Five quills for sure! Glad to give them all for this awesome read!

Melanie for Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine

‘It Started With a Scandal’ by Julie Anne Long

iswas jalSTORY: Lord Philippe Lavay once took to the high seas armed with charm as lethal as his sword and a stone-cold conviction: he’ll restore his family’s fortune and honor, no matter the cost. Victory is at last within reach–when a brutal attack snatches it from his grasp and lands him in Pennyroyal Green.

An afternoon of bliss brings a cascade of consequences for Elise Fountain. Shunned by her family and ousted from a job she loves, survival means a plummet down the social ladder to a position no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to a frighteningly formidable prince.

The bold and gentle Elise sees past his battered body into Philippe’s barricaded heart…and her innate sensuality ignites his blood. Now a man who thought he could never love and a woman who thought she would never again trust must fight an incendiary passion that could be the ruin of them both.

REVIEW: Elise Fountain was turned out by her family when she found she was expecting after a liaison with a man who left her unmarried and with a son. Elise is a very strong young woman who worked as a teacher at a school for “difficult” young ladies. She has now lost that position due to some jealous remarks by a society woman. So, it is with great fortitude that she applies for the position of Housekeeper at the home of Lord Philippe Lavay in Pennyroyal Green. After a fairly grilling interview with Lord Lavay, he agrees to hire her giving her a fortnight to get his house and his servants straightened around.

Elise’s meeting with the servants is hilarious. They figure that they will only be working there for a short time and are sure they don’t really have to do anything but sit around and play cards all day. Elise sets them straight and thanks to her way with words, the home soon begins to sparkle with cleanliness and the surly servants working as they should.

Lord Lavay is living in England after losing most of his family and fortune to the war in France. In fact, Philippe is a Prince of the House of Bourbon. Having suffered numerous injuries in the war, he is trying to heal and get his strength back. Then, he wants to return to France and see if he can rescue his family’s home.

Elise and Philippe work closely together and he is quite impressed with her getting his home clean and running efficiently, as well as getting his servants back on track. She helps him with his correspondence as his hand has been injured and offers him special herbal tea to help with his pain.

When he meets Elise’s son, he in intrigued by the young boy and they become friends. In addition, the meetings between Elise and Philippe soon spark an attraction that they cannot resist.

Will the difference in their positions keep them apart? Will Philippe look at Elise as just a fling and return to France soon forgetting her?

This was a totally delightful novel with lots of humor and a terrific story all combined to make for a read that one does not want to put down. I look forward to reading even more from Julie Anne Long. She’s a great author.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher