Launch Day Blitz with Kelly Bowen!

You're-the-Earl-That-I-Want-Launch-Day-Blitz

TEASER:

Joss watched him, wanting to smooth the troubled lines from his forehead. “I once knew a boy who told me, when he was grown up, he would become a pirate king and sail his own ship to the four corners of the world in search of treasure,” she said quietly.

His mouth twisted but his eyes remained hard. “That boy grew up. And discovered that there were no such things as pirate kings, and no time to search for treasure.”

“Yet that boy now owns his own ships.”

“He does.”

“And what stops him from sailing them where he pleases? What stops him from doing and taking what he truly wants?”

His eyes caught hers and held them trapped within their brilliant blue heat. The remoteness was gone, replaced by a sudden predatory hunger that made Joss swallow convulsively. Her breath stuttered, anticipation and desire roaring to life and sending frissons of longing pulsing through her. The question she’d flung at Heath was swirling around in her brain now, demanding an honest answer from her own conscience.

What was stopping her from taking what she truly wanted? Because what she wanted was standing before her in perfectly tailored evening clothes, his hands clenched around a pile of newspapers, looking at her with such raw covetousness that it was making her nearly drunk with a reckless want.

“Perhaps one day I’ll take you there,” she said into the sudden silence.

Heath stilled. “To Bombay?”

“To start.” She’d meant it to sound like a jest, but it came out as an invitation. “I could take you a lot of places.” Holy hell, but what was she doing?

Heath seemed to have stopped breathing, though he took a step closer, his scent enveloping her. Instantly her mouth went dry, and a steady throb built in her belly. She squirmed, but she was backed against the desk and had nowhere to go. Sanity was rapidly disintegrating around her, crumbling beneath an overwhelming ache to touch this man. To have him touch her.

“Of course I don’t have my own ships, so I’d have to hitch a ride on one of yours.” She barely recognized herself.

There were reasons why she shouldn’t do this, she knew. She just couldn’t think of one right now.

Heath’s expression shifted suddenly, as if something within him had given way. He took another half step closer, close enough that he was pressed against her skirts now, the hard steel of his legs nudging hers apart so that he dominated her space and trapped her against him. He dropped the newspaper carelessly and braced his hands on the edge of the desk on either side of her waist, bringing his lips a breath away from hers.

“Would you take me?” she whispered, and neither of them could pretend she was still talking about ships.

“Yes,” Heath rasped.

And then he kissed her.

###

ytetiw kbBOOK BLURB: The earl doth protest . . .

For businessman Heath Hextall, inheriting an earldom has been a damnable nuisance. The answer: find a well-bred, biddable woman to keep his life in order and observe the required social niceties. But it’s always been clear that Lady Josephine Somerhall is not that woman. Once a shy slip of a girl, Joss is now brilliant, beautiful chaos in a ball gown.

. . . but the lady knows best

In her heart, Joss has always loved Heath, the one person she’s always been able to count on. That doesn’t mean she wants to marry him though. Without a husband, Joss can do as she pleases—and now, it pleases her to solve the mystery of an encoded file given to Heath by a dying man. It’s put Heath in peril once, and Joss won’t let that happen again. She’ll do what she must to ensure the earl’s safety. And to remind him that what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in passion.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / Kobo

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Kelly bowenAUTHOR BIO: Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.  But it was Kelly’s infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance.

When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields. Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process.  Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Website / Facebook / Twitter

‘You’re the Earl that I Want’ by Kelly Bowen

ytetiw kbSTORY: The earl doth protest . . .

For businessman Heath Hextall, inheriting an earldom has been a damnable nuisance. The answer: find a well-bred, biddable woman to keep his life in order and observe the required social niceties. But it’s always been clear that Lady Josephine Somerhall is not that woman. Once a shy slip of a girl, Joss is now brilliant, beautiful chaos in a ball gown.

. . . but the lady knows best

In her heart, Joss has always loved Heath, the one person she’s always been able to count on. That doesn’t mean she wants to marry him though. Without a husband, Joss can do as she pleases—and now, it pleases her to solve the mystery of an encoded file given to Heath by a dying man. It’s put Heath in peril once, and Joss won’t let that happen again. She’ll do what she must to ensure the earl’s safety. And to remind him that what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in passion.

REVIEW: Kelly Bowen puts forth her 3rd tale in The Lords of Worth series, and it’s a wonderful mystery with a romance element.

Our hero Heath is someone that hails from a family of traders, and now that he’s an earl, it behooves him to get on with finding a proper wife and set up a nursery. To help him out with this monumental task, he engages his best friend and our heroine’s brother.

Our poor heroine Joss has been in love with our hero since in leading strings and she’s not so keen on the matrimonial institution. This young woman is a bluestocking and she’s proud of it!

As our hero Heath applies himself in finding a suitable match, he keeps running into

Joss and even though he finds her irritating, somehow both of them are realizing that there is an interesting and intriguing chemistry between them.

If you’re like me and like your romance to be entertaining as well as romantic, you’ll love this wonderful story, especially because within the plot resides a great mystery.

This was a fast and fun read and I highly recommend it to you.

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

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

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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

‘A Sapphire Season’ by Lynn Morris

ass lmSTORY: Lady Mirabella Tirel, the beautiful daughter of the Marquess of Camarden, takes a practical approach to love since a dashing captain broke her heart at age 17. Now at almost 22 years old, she has decided to endure one last London season to secure a suitable engagement and begin a simple life in the country.

Sir Giles Knyvet is Mirabella’s oldest friend and her most dependable ally, and he is also secretly in love with her. Yet he knows the prospect of a relationship is doubtful: Besides being a mere baronet, he aims to settle a large family debt before sharing his feelings with her. But as Mirabella draws close to a suitable match, Giles may need to interfere to buy himself more time.

REVIEW: Lady Mirabella Tirel is the daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Camarden. Her close neighbor is Sir Giles Knyvet, the Baronet of Knyveton Hall.  Miracle and Giles grew up together and are close friends.  The Camarden family is quite wealthy, however, Giles was left with debts when his parents died.

Josephine and Lewin Rosborough are the children of the Reverend and Mrs. Rosborough who also live nearly.  All four young people have been friends all of their lives.

When it comes time for Mirabella to go to London for the season, she insists that Josephine go with her and Giles does the same with Lewin.  Mirabella has decided that it is time she found a husband and decided to make her search in a methodical way.  She selects three prospective gentlemen and makes lists of their pros and cons.  One by one, she eliminates them.  Mirabella is lovely young woman and has many admirers.  In addition, the Ladies Patronesses of Almack like her and her schedule is very busy. She attends many events with Josephine, Giles and Lewin.  Together, they all make many new friends.  The story follows her through her interactions with her friends and the gentlemen who admire her.  When Mirabella realizes that she has finally found the man she really loves but feels that he is interested in another woman, her heart is broken and she decides to return home early.

This is an in-depth book about each of the Almack’s Patronesses, their families and individual quirks. The clothes worn by both the women and men are described in great detail as are the homes and furnishings.  We also learn about the foods served at dinner parties and sweet treats found at Gunter’s. The author describes the operas and the outings in the parks.  If you are interested in learning more about these things, I think you will truly enjoy this book.  The romance story is very sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed all of it.  I applaud the author for her hard work and the enormous amount of research she obviously put into writing this book.  Don’t miss it!

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher