Spotlight on Connie Brockway and ‘Highlander Undone’!

hu cbBOOK BLURB: While recovering at his uncle’s estate from wounds sustained in the Sudan, Jack Cameron—a loyal Scottish captain in the British army—is haunted by the words of a dying officer: one of Her Majesty’s Black Dragoons is aiding the slavers they were sent to suppress. But how will he find the traitor without sending the culprit to ground? He finds a way while listening to the voices beneath his open window—particularly those of Addie Hoodless, a beautiful widow, and her brother, Ted, a famed artist commissioned to paint portraits of the Black Dragoons’ senior officers.

Posing as an artist, Jack decides to infiltrate the close circle of friends at Ted’s studio to listen in on the unguarded conversations of the officers. But first, he must win Addie’s trust despite the emotional wounds of her past. Will Jack dupe the only woman he has ever loved or stand down from hunting the traitor? If his real identity is exposed, Addie’s life will be in terrible danger.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&NAudible

TEASER: Addie sank back on her heels. Her paint-stained smock pooled around her as she eyed the wall panel before her. With a sound of satisfaction, she once more rose to her knees and dipped an ostrich fern into a tray filled with gilt paint, then pressed it onto the aubergine silk panel.

Slowly, she peeled the long frond back. A perfect impression of the leaf interlocked with the golden silhouette of a fern above it, trailing a graceful latticework from ground to ceiling. There! She’d transformed the second-story boudoir into her own private withdrawing room.

It had been a long time since anything had been well and truly hers. She would never have guessed that this house could ever feel welcoming. And yet, it did. For the first time since her marriage, she was able to please herself.

The thought gave rise to an impulse, one she would have never heeded a year ago. But she could be impulsive now. She could afford to be.

With a feeling of delicious abandonment, she slid her shoes off and peeled back her stockings from her calves, hiking her skirts so that her bare legs and feet lay exposed in the bright square of warm sunlight on the floor. Closing her eyes, she lay on her back, wiggling her toes.

She was rather surprised she was still capable of impetuousness. Indeed, she’d viewed the slow reawakening of her boldness with no little mistrust. After all, had she not been impetuous, she might have heeded the Hoodlesses’ loving warnings and never eloped with Charles.

It is Jack Cameron’s fault, she decided, but could not find a frown for that conclusion.

Each day spent with the handsome, nonsensical, yet oddly vulnerable Scotsman had fanned to life a tiny ember of self-confidence. It was not altogether comfortable. Like finding out that a favorite gown you’d thought lost years before had merely been put in mothballs. You long to try it on, and yet you are afraid if you do it will look ridiculous. Or worse, it will no longer fit.

Oddly enough, Jack’s very vulnerability encouraged her own self-assurance. The manner in which he masked his self-doubt with such a provocative and blatant caricature stirred an inclination to nonconformity in her.

She suspected that she alone refused to accept Jack as the effete, overcontrived fribble he presented to the world. His conversation certainly never hinted at any weaknesses—oh, dear Lord, no! The thought made Addie smile. Jack was all arrogant disdain and witty repartee. Mr. Wilde himself would be hard-pressed to keep up with Jack’s drawled bon mots!

But then, just as she was upbraiding herself for romanticizing him, she would see it: a keen, thoughtful intelligence, a perceptive remark that belied his pose of absolute self-involvement, an unexpected gentleness in dealing with another’s frailties.

And then, too, even more rarely, but just as undeniably, she would surprise on his fallen-angel’s face a fleeting, hunted expression: a mixture of dismay, uncertainty, and awful longing.

She did not understand what authored that haunted look, but more and more often lately, she found herself wondering how she would feel if she was able to be the object of it.

REVIEW: This is one of those romances that will set your heart racing because the author took the time to show us who the hero and heroine are and what they’re all about.

As a matter a fact, that’s why I love reading romance. I’m in seventh-heaven when I meet not just a handsome hero or a beautiful heroine, but it’s what’s in their hearts that matters to me more than their appearance.

Jack and Addie were all that I expected and wanted them to be and their story will touch your heart because it’s a story of heartbreak, passion and hope. I honestly couldn’t put it down and dreaded the end because I just didn’t want to leave these two, that’s how much I loved them.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<

Connie BrockwayAUTHOR BIO: Connie Brockway is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty historical and contemporary romance novels. An eight-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, Brockway has twice been its recipient, for My Dearest Enemy and The Bridal Season.

She is the author of My Seduction, named one of Library Journal’s top romance novels of 2004. Her most recent novel is No Place for a Dame and her most recent collaborative novel is The Lady Most Willing, co-written with Julia Quinn and Eloisa James. She is a Minnesota native, and currently lives there with her husband and two spoiled mutts.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Spotlight on Kerrigan Byrne and ‘The Highwayman’!

My road to writing

I’ve always been someone whose interests are vast and varied.  Though I snuck into a Nine Inch Nails concert on my sixteenth birthday, I never missed a Monday youth symphony practice because of a voracious zeal for Bach.  I’d be the one in the “Goth” smoking circle behind the school at 14 trying to explain that the Brontës were technically, like, waaaaaay more “Goth” than Ann Rice.  I mean, it’s called the “gothic novel,” you guys. God.  *insert eye roll here*

I know. I want to punch my teenaged self too.

However this is where I began to prolifically fill stacks of notebooks (black, like my soul) full of hand-written stories inspired by an amalgamation of a few emerging passions. History, literature, horror, and…men.  Not boys. Not those smelly, mouth-breathing troglodytes I was forced to spend my day with.  Men.  Cynical men, like Shakespeare’s Benedict. Tortured men, like Mr. Rochester.  Dark horses, like Mr. Darcy.  And for sure dangerous men, like Edmond Dantes or Batman. Wait what? Batman? *nervous laugh* How did he get in there? You’re not supposed to know about my comic book hero fetish!  That has nothing to do writing historical romance novels. Like at all.  I need you guys all to ignore the fact that Nick Fury has black hair and an eye patch and is the mysterious leader of a bunch of morally ambiguous vigilantes while you read THE HIGHWAYMAN, mkay?

Anyway…One thing our you-can-be-anything-you-want-when-you-grow-up culture forgets to prepare us for is the rank skepticism you get from everyone when you announce you’re going to be a romance novelist when you grow up.  They almost talked me out of it.  I found myself ten years later working for the investigations division of a prosecutor’s office.  I wrote search warrants and Affidavits and court documents.  Sometimes I did something exciting, like evidence collection at a shooting, or taking notes for a high-profile polygraph. But I went home at night, between dinner, and bed times, and date night, and life… and I wrote.  I still wrote about men, and history, and maybe a bit of horror. Not only the paranormal kind that’s expected and forgiven because that’s what you get when you love a monster like Dracula or the Wolfman.

Man can be monstrous enough. I saw that every day at my job, and sometimes the monsters are the “good guys.” I wanted to write about that.  But I wanted my characters to always get their happy endings.

I had to commit.  I had to go to conferences that I couldn’t afford so I could learn the craft.  I took a pay cut to switch to a secretarial position so that I could free up mental bandwidth to be creative at night. I read blogs and books until my eyes bled.  I found the right critique partners after sifting through a few and listened to their honest criticism. I proved to myself that I could finish a project and self-published a few novellas. The revenue from those novellas more than replaced my income.  So I quit my job and tried to get an agent. I was rejected a few times until I found one through one of my crit partners who agreed to read an unfinished book.  She signed me on THE HIGHWAYMAN and sold me to St. Martin’s once I finished it.  It’s been a whirlwind. Equally terrifying and amazing.  All I can say is that I’m thrilled to share my debut novel, THE HIGHWAYMAN with you.  I hope you enjoy reading about Farah and Dorian’s happy ending as much as I loved writing it.

TH KBBOOK BLURB: They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster…

Stealing Beauty
Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of London’s wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who’ve wronged him…and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception—and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands…

Courting Desire
But Farah is no one’s puppet. She possesses a powerful secret—one that threatens her very life. When being held captive by Dorian proves to be the only way to keep Farah safe from those who would see her dead, Dorian makes Farah a scandalous proposition: marry him for protection in exchange for using her secret to help him exact revenge on his enemies. But what the Blackheart of Ben More never could have imagined is that Farah has terms of her own, igniting a tempestuous desire that consumes them both. Could it be that the woman he captured is the only one who can touch the black heart he’d long thought dead?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / Kobo

REVIEW: This is the first book in the new Kerrigan Byrne’s series Victorian Rebels, and my first read of this author.

I just loved the introduction to our heroine as she was a child in an orphanage as she’s pledging herself to another orphan and then they get separated.

Seventeen years later we meet our heroine again and she has become a strong and resilient woman.

As our hero kidnaps the heroine, we all find out, along with her, what happened to the little orphan she pledged herself to.

As much as this story was predictable, I still found it fascinating and heartbreaking. But then I’m such a sucker for a broken down hero!

If you’re looking for a new author, like I was, I think you should try this one because this story had a bit of everything a romance should, and it was very well written.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Kerrigan ByrneAUTHOR BIO: Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she’s finally able to have the career she’d decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to “grow up to be a romance novelist.” Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story.

She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

‘The Earl’s New Bride’ by Frances Fowlkes

tenb ffSTORY: England, 1819

The Earl of Amhurst has returned to his estate in search of a wife and, more importantly, an heir. Simon Devere isn’t interested in some comely, simpering creature. A beautiful woman only brings heartbreak and ruin, and Simon’s disfigured visage is proof enough of that. No, he wants a wife who is unattractive and undesirable—and the homelier, the better.

But nothing about Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is homely. She is lovely and sweet…and struggles to mix with polite society when she would so much rather have plants for company. And yet Simon is her only hope for keeping Plumburn Castle in her family’s possession. Even if it means marrying a man she doesn’t love.

It’s an impossible and unlikely match…unless this awkward beauty can bring hope back into a solitary beast’s life.

REVIEW: 1819 – Kent England

Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is the oldest of three daughters.  She and her twin sisters, Sarah and Albina, are all lovely young ladies seeking to marry.  When their father passed away, he left a substantial dowry for the sisters.  Henrietta is a very shy young woman who tends to stutter when she is nervous, but she is quite knowledgeable about herbs and has an extensive herb garden.  This has always been a passion for her and she makes teas and salves for medicinal purposes to help her friends and family as needed.

A distant cousin, has succeeded to the title and will now live in what was their home, Plumburn.  They have lived in another home called Roseherst.  Simon DeVere, the Earl of Amhurst, has arrived to take over his new home.  At the same time, he will be looking for a bride.  Thus, he has arranged in advance that the Beauchamp sisters and several other young ladies will be invited to stay for awhile for him to get to know and, hopefully, select a bride from them.  Simon is also known as the Black Earl for he is rumored to have killed his lover to avoid marrying her.  In addition, his face is scarred and he wears a patch over his scarred and blinded eye.

When Simon arrives at Plumburn, the young ladies are all awaiting for him.  Unfortunately, Henrietta is so nervous that she knocks a vase of flowers over herself and soaks her gown.  Well, that certainly got Simon’s attention.  As the house party continues, Simon becomes acquainted with the young ladies but is attracted to Henrietta.  She finds him wandering the house late one evening suffering from pain from his scarred face and she gives him an herb to chew and fixes him a cup of healing tea.  When it soothes his pain, he is very grateful to her.

Unfortunately when several of the young ladies become ill for some unknown reason, people begin to think they have been poisoned and the finger of suspicion points to Henrietta!

I enjoyed this novel and found the characters to be interesting but I felt they were not as well-developed as I would have liked.  However, it did not take away from the story.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Launch Day Blitz with Kelly Bowen!



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

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

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