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Archive for the ‘Guest Author’ Category

Please welcome guest author Sheri Cobb-South back to the blog. Sheri will be giving away one copy of her latest book, Baroness in Buckskins! Which, I will tell you, has my attention! All you have to do is leave a comment telling her you want the book.

First we start with the cover!

Baroness in Buckskin postcard

 

Now the blurb.

Richard, Lord Ramsay, has been brought up from the cradle with a consciousness of his duty to his family and his name. His sense of responsibility has led him to install two elderly aunts in the Dower House; educate his cousin Peter Ramsay and employ him as a steward; and provide a home for poor relation Jane Hawthorne, who once served as his mother’s companion.

When a letter arrives from America informing him that the death of a relative has left eighteen-year-old Susannah Ramsay not only an orphan, but heiress to a Kentucky plantation as well, Lord Ramsay considers making an offer of marriage to his American cousin to be a practical solution: besides providing for the young woman, such a match would give the Ramsays extensive holdings on two continents.

Then Susannah arrives from America, and Richard suddenly finds his well-ordered life set end over end. With her wild red hair, unfashionable clothes, and frontier ways, Susannah appears to be an unlikely Lady Ramsay. Appalled at the prospect of marriage to the girl, yet determined to honor his commitment, Richard turns her over to Jane and Peter to educate her in the ways of British society. But her transformation into a lady is the least of the surprises Susannah has in store for her strait-laced British relations . . .

 

And an excerpt.

The lake was beautiful, but its banks were quite steep in places, and it was deeper than the unwary might suppose. Sure enough, as Peter drew nearer, he saw a dark head bobbing just above the surface of the water. Flinging himself from the saddle, he ran the last few steps, shedding his coat and waistcoat and tossing them aside as he slid down the bank.

“Susannah, I’m coming! I’m—”

She turned at the sound of his voice, and the words died on his lips. Far from drowning, she stood at a depth of about four feet, her head and shoulders breaking the surface of the lake. Streams of water ran from her hair, trembling in diamond-like drops from the ends of each curl, spilling over bare shoulders, and running in rivulets down the slight indentation that narrowed into the crevice between her—

Crimson faced, Peter fixed his gaze determinedly on her face. “What the devil are you doing?” His breath came in laboured gasps that had little to do with his recent exertions.

“I’m taking a bath,” she explained, as if bathing naked in an ornamental lake were the most natural thing in the world.

“Are you aware that the whole household is searching for you?” he demanded with less than perfect truth. “Come out of there at once! No, wait! Don’t!”

Buy link: Amazon

About Sheri.

At the age of sixteen, Sheri Cobb South discovered Georgette Heyer, and came to the startling realization that she had been born into the wrong century. Although she doubtless would have been a chambermaid had she actually lived in Regency England, that didn’t stop her from fantasizing about waltzing the night away in the arms of a handsome, wealthy, and titled gentleman.

scs1Since Georgette Heyer was dead and could not write any more Regencies, Ms. South came to the conclusion she would simply have to do it herself. In addition to her popular series of Regency mysteries featuring idealistic young Bow Street Runner John Pickett (described by All About Romance as “a little young, but wholly delectable”), she is the award-winning author of several Regency romances, including the critically acclaimed The Weaver Takes a Wife.

A native and long-time resident of Alabama, Ms. South recently moved to Loveland, Colorado, where she has a stunning view of Long’s Peak from her office window.

 

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Please welcome USA Today Bestselling author Christi Caldwell back to the blog! Christi is here with her latest release, The Love of a Rogue!  She will give away one copy to one of you. All you have to do is tell her you want it.

We begin with the cover.

ChristiCaldwell_TheLoveOfARogue28

Next the blurb.

Lady Imogen Moore hasn’t had an easy time of it since she made her come out three Seasons ago. With her betrothed, a powerful duke breaking it off to wed her sister, she’s become the tons favorite piece of gossip. Never again wanting to experience the pain of a broken heart, she’s resolved to make a match with a polite, respectable gentleman. The last thing she wants is another reckless rogue.

Lord Alex Edgerton has a problem. His brother, tired of Alex’s carousing has charged him with chaperoning their remaining, unwed sister about ton events. Shopping? No, thank you. Attending the theatre? He’d rather be at Forbidden Pleasures with a scantily clad beauty upon his lap. The task of chaperone becomes even more of a bother when his sister drags along her dearest friend, Lady Imogen to social functions. The last thing he wants in his life is a young, innocent English miss.
Except, as Alex and Imogen are thrown together, passions flare and Alex comes to find he not only wants Imogen in his bed, but also in his heart. Yet now he must convince Imogen to risk all, on the heart of a rogue

And an excerpt.

Alex leaned close. His breath tickled her ear. “See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O, that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might caress that cheek.”

Her heart fluttered and she dropped her hand to her lap, clutching the fabric. “T-touch,” she corrected. “That you m-might touch that cheek.”

“Yes, and yet a caress is so much more meaningful than a mere touch, wouldn’t you say, Imogen?” Alex slid his gloved hand over hers, staying her distracted movement.

Yes, oh goodness, she quite agreed. His touch coupled with his knowledge of Shakespeare was heady stuff, indeed. “You read Shakespeare,” she said, unable to keep the shock from her statement.

He turned the very question she’d put to him that last week, on her. “Are you surprised?” Suddenly, he stopped that gentle stroking and she mourned the loss of that seductive little movement. She bit the inside of her lip to keep from begging him to continue.

“N-not at all.” She was however, surprised he read the romantic words of William Shakespeare. Nor did she care for this side of Alex. This shared love and fascination of The Bard’s works that made him more human than rake.

“I find myself surprised by you.” He slipped his fingers into hers, intertwining the digits. His hand strong and powerful, hers fragile and delicate against it, and yet somehow perfectly paired. “You intrigue me.”

“Why would that be?” Her heart thumped erratically at his touch, his words. With the exception of her broken betrothal and flaming-red hair, nothing had earned the notice of anyone—until Alex. “There is nothing unordinary about me.” William’s fickle interest had proven testament to that.

“There is everything extraordinary about you,” His lips nearly brushed her ear and when he spoke in that husky, mellifluous whisper, she could almost believe it. “You quote Shakespeare, sweet Imogen?” His strong, powerful fingers tightened about hers in a seductively possessive grip.

Here in the midst of polite Society with a theatre full of lords and ladies looking for the next piece of gossip, he’d enthralled her. “I do.” Not always intentionally. Imogen swallowed and stole a glance about, but Chloe sat perched at the edge of the box, engrossed in the show below. She looked about the theatre. How could anyone not see that with each stroke of his hand over hers, Alex threw her world into greater tumult?

“You hate shopping, but you enjoy the theatre.” With infinite slowness, he rolled her satin theatre glove slowly down her arm and then freed each finger from the restrictive confines. Imogen darted her gaze about. Surely someone knew the seductive game Alex now played. Yet even two seats apart, her friend remained engrossed in the production below. Wholly uncaring of who might observe his bold touch, Alex whispered, “What manner of woman are you?” He rested her glove upon his lap

She sucked in a breath at his intimate caress. “Wh-what are—?”

“Shh,” he whispered. Alex stroked his thumb in small, soothing circles about her palm eliciting all manner of delicious shivers that radiated at the point of contact and spread through her.

Her chest heaved up and down with slow, shallow breaths. His was just a hand and his fingers moved in a really innocuous movement, except… Imogen bit her lower lip as he rubbed his thumb over the wildly fluttering pulse at her wrist. The small, seductive grin upon his lips indicated he knew he’d roused her senses.

“Romeo had the wrong of it, Imogen.” His husky murmur stirred her belly

She shouldn’t engage in this seductive game with him. It was outrageous and meant nothing to him. “I-in what way do you believe?” She could no sooner quell the question on her lips than she could stop the beating of her own heart.

He studied her through thick, black lashes. “I’d not feel your gloved hand upon me. I’d have your naked palm caressing me, touching me.”

God forgive her. Her lids fluttered madly. She still was the same weak, romantic fool she’d always been. Alex had only opened her eyes to the passion she carried inside, made all the more dangerous by the shred of hope she clung to—to love and be loved.

Buy Links.


 

About Christi.

HeadshotUSA Today Bestselling author, Christi Caldwell blames Judith McNaught’s “Whitney, My Love,” for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and try her hand at writing romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections and she rather enjoys tormenting them before crafting a well-deserved happily ever after!

 
Christi makes her home in Southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing, chasing around her feisty six-year old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!

 

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Please welcome Jacki back to the blog!! She has a boxes set for us today!

Let’s start with the cover!

JackiDelecki_TheCodebreakersSeries_3DBundle1400[1]

 

Now the blurbs.

The Code Breaker Series Box Set

Men and women from the class of privilege and rank risk their lives to defend England against the treacherous designs of Napoleon. They confront disaster, scandal, and passion as they pursue their code of honor and love.

Book One: A CODE OF LOVE

Threatened by French spies, assassins, and calculating suitors, can Lady Henrietta Harcourt trust the infamous rake, Lord Cordelier Rathbourne, with her carefully guarded family secrets?

Book Two: A CHRISTMAS CODE

Lady Gwyneth Beaumont has long awaited the opportunity to show Viscount James Ashworth that she is no longer the impetuous child who dogged his footsteps. Now a much sought-after debutante, she is determined to prove to the hard-headed rake that she is a grown woman and a worthy participant in both the spy game and the game of love.

Book THREE: A CODE OF THE HEART

When Miss Amelia Bonnington unwittingly stumbles upon a smuggling ring in the modiste shop of her good friend, it is up to Lord Derrick Brinsley to save her. Can the disreputable rake and undercover agent prevent the French from stealing the Royal Navy’s deadly weapon and find love with the only woman capable of redeeming him?

And the excerpts!

A Code of Love:

Prologue

1802, Paris

Lord Michael Ormond Harcourt crept along the darkened passageway. He had earned his reputation as a brilliant code breaker, but never before had he ventured into the realm of housebreaker. Henrietta was going to be furious not to be part of tonight’s exciting intrigue.

He strained to listen for the sounds of the house in the wee hours of the morning. He heard nothing but his heartbeat pounding in his ears. Reassured he was the only one about, he allowed himself to release the breath he had been holding since he sneaked into Gaston Le Chiffre’s house. He moved down the narrow corridor to his French colleague’s office.

He had only been in Paris a fortnight when he developed suspicions about Gaston–a series of sensations, hushed silences when he walked into a room, the papers on his desk seeming to have been moved, and the persistent feeling he was being followed.

The final impetus to search Gaston’s office came yesterday with the arrival of an anonymous note: “Something’s afoot.”

He gingerly opened the office door, inspecting the darkened corners before he entered. The dying fire cast shadows on the book-lined walls. A log shifted. The small crash startled him, causing his heart to thump against his chest.

He closed the door and moved to the center of the room, lit a taper, and placed it in the holder on the desk, then shuffled through the neat stacks of papers. He opened drawers, searching the contents.

He ran his hand across the smooth mahogany surface of the desk then passed his fingers along the rough underside. There he found a slightly recessed area in the far corner. His fingers

returned to the uneven surface. Applying pressure, there was a sudden give, followed by a compartment popping open on the top of the desk.

The secret compartment contained a leather book. He scanned the room before he removed the worn volume. He had never seen a code quite like this one: French scrawl preceded by endless rows of numbers. This French puzzle was better than a wrapped Christmas present. He stuffed the incredible find into his waistband. He would crack the code in the safety of his room, then return the book to its hiding place, all before Gaston awoke.

He blew out the taper and left the office. He backtracked through Gaston’s garden. Carefully closing the garden gate, he entered the alley. The mixture of fog and smoke from the city’s coal fires blanketed the city. He could see no more than a few feet ahead. The cloying darkness muffled the distant voices, the clatter of carriage wheels, and horses’ hooves.

Approaching the street, he slowed his pace. Hanging lanterns illuminated the walkway where he emerged from the unlit alley.

He turned and walked toward his house. In the thick fog, the sound of his footsteps resonated, booming with each step.

The hairs on his neck prickled when he heard another set of footsteps shuffling behind him. With only a few yards to reach home, he ran, never pausing to look back.

With his right hand, he reached into his greatcoat for his pistol; with his left, he lunged for the doorknob.

The report of a pistol echoed down the street. An intense heat penetrated his awareness. He stumbled forward.

The door opened from the inside. The lights around Denby, his manservant, gave him an angelic halo.

“Close the door, man.”

“My lord, what is it?”

“I’ve been shot.” The room grew dimmer. “Get this book to Hen.”

A Christmas Code:

Chapter One

Hot and breathless from performing the newly imported French dance steps of the quadrille, Gwyneth paused during the break in the music. She fanned her heated cheeks repeatedly, attempting to cool herself. Lord Henley glanced down at her. His lips were tight, his eyes dark with need. She had seen the same look on the faces of many men, but never on the face of the only man who mattered.

She wanted to see the same burning desire and possessiveness in the eyes of her childhood infatuation as she knew blazed in her eyes when she looked at the impossible but dazzling Viscount Ashworth.

The gentleman, newly arrived, had barely glanced at her despite the new gown made especially to entice the hard-headed rake. Her friend and dress designer, Amelia, obsessed with the simplicity of Greek togas, had crisscrossed sky blue silk across Gwyneth’s ample chest with a dramatic décolletage. The back of the gown was draped in the same manner with a revealing V. It was a simple design, but sensual in the way the fabric clung to her body.

She felt alluring and hopeful that tonight Ash would finally throw off all the restraints. She had felt his eyes on her back, knowing he watched her as she gaily danced the intricate pattern she had recently learned from her French dance master.

Lord Henley offered his arm as the quadrille ended. “May I take you to the refreshment table for a glass of punch? This new French dance is very demanding.”

“Thank you. I’m not thirsty. Can you please take me to my dear friend, Miss Bonnington?”

Lord Henley’s eyes clouded with emotion. Gwyneth couldn’t refuse the dance, but she needed to escape the gentleman before he embarrassed himself. She wanted to spare him the pain of rejection. After five marriage proposals this season, she had become somewhat of an expert in recognizing the signs of imminent declaration.

Lord Henley escorted Gwyneth to Amelia, who had also finished dancing and now stood alone.

“Thank you, sir, for the dance.” Gwyneth did a brief curtsy.

Lord Henley bowed. “It was my pleasure.” He hesitated, then sharply nodded his head. She didn’t want to be unkind, but there was no reason to pretend interest and encourage hope when there was none.

They watched Lord Henley circle to the other side of the room.

Amelia hid her face behind her fan, her bright eyes dancing in merriment. “Another stricken gentleman.”

“I believe he was about to ask if he could call on my brother tomorrow. I think I did an excellent job of extricating myself before Lord Henley declared his feelings.”

“Lord Henley is quite a catch. He’s heir to a vast fortune. His interest can’t be limited only to your dowry.”

“Thank you. I’m glad it isn’t only money that makes me attractive.” Gwyneth liked to believe it was her wit, her sparkling eyes, but she knew her position as sister to an earl and heiress to a hefty inheritance gave her a definite cache with the gentleman. And it was just like Amelia to tease her.

“Your following of swains has nothing to do with your luscious figure, your dramatic looks, or your amiable personality. My unique skill as a designer has brought all these gentleman to swoon at your feet.” Amelia snickered, which made Gwyneth laugh.

Tears were running down Gwyneth’s cheeks. “You do know how to level a woman’s confidence.”

The comment drove both to louder laughter.

Gwyneth noticed that Ash had turned in her direction. He smiled.

Lost in the merriment, she smiled back before she remembered her resolution not to appear as a puppy, waiting at his feet for a pat on the head. She could hide her feelings as well as he did. Forbidden by some unwritten gentleman’s code, Ash considered her off limits. She wasn’t sure if it was the age difference of eight years, his rakish past, or her position as his best friend’s younger sister.

He still kept her at a distance, maintaining that she was a mere youngster and they were simply childhood friends. She had spent the entire season trying to convince him otherwise, but she was tiring of the game.

A Code of the Heart:

Prologue

Edworth House Party

Christmas Eve, 1802

 

Amelia Bonnington braced herself as the crowd bumped and pushed, straining to get close to His Highness. The crème of society shoved and elbowed, politely-of-course, since one would never want to be accused of bad manners.

The Prince of Wales stood on a small platform elaborately decorated with heavy boughs of greenery and red velvet, matching the Christmas décor of the massive ballroom. Hundreds of beeswax candles burned. No expense had been spared for the house party celebrating his royal visit.

Amelia had no desire to be part of the prince’s circle; they were a ghastly group who were only interested in themselves and their own pleasure.

She sucked in the little air left in the room and pushed, courteously-of-course, toward the door. The crowd and the heat were unbearable. She wasn’t one to swoon, but with the thick mix of perfume and the hot bodies, she felt tonight might be her first. She, one of the steadiest women, felt unsteady and unsafe. The last days of upheaval must have had a greater effect on her than she had wanted to believe.

Her whole world had been turned upside down and twisted sideways at this house party. In the last two days, her friends had been poisoned and kidnapped, and she had been ensnared in the French villain’s trap. But the deadly crisis had to be kept secret. Nothing must look out of the ordinary. No one outside the intelligence world ever know about the enemy’s threat to the prince’s life. The ball must go on.

Amelia looked over her shoulder for the closest exit, but the throng pushed her forward. She needed to escape from the packed room.

A gentleman used the chaos in the crowded room, to crash into her, to take liberties with her person. After spending the last four years in congested ballrooms, she fully recognized the scoundrel’s ploy. His heavy eyelids didn’t conceal his hungry eyes, focused down her décolletage. As his eyes remained fixated on her breasts, he grabbed her elbow, pretending to help her when in fact he intended to pull her close against his hefty, malodorous body.

His reek of stale alcohol and sour sweat constricted her stomach and burned her throat. She pulled her arm away from his grasp, repulsed by the wetness seeping through his gloves. “Sir, release me this instant.”

She was about to dig her heel into the supposed gentleman’s fat toe when suddenly a space opened around her and a smell of fresh lime soap surrounded her.

The perspiring man stared behind her. His slack mouth and his blood-shot eyes widened in fear.

She recognized Lord Brinsley’s scent without needing to turn; he was an impossibly difficult, yet irresistibly appealing man. His deep, velvety voice flitted down her skin like a caress. “Miss Amelia, may I escort you away from this mob?”

Relief and something much more potent buzzed all her nerve endings. She turned quickly and found herself pressed against the broad chest of the man she had been forced to conspire with to save her friends.

She hastily straightened herself. “I never thought I’d be happy to see you.” She refused to be like all the other women who fawned for his slightest glance.

He lifted an eyebrow and the corner of his mouth in that sardonic way she always found irritating. He was too big, too handsome, and too confident for her to find him irresistible. She’d never let him have the satisfaction of knowing she found him…almost irresistible.

 

 

Buy links: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

 

About Jacki:

HeadShot_SmallJacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. Both acclaimed series are available for purchase at http://www.JackiDelecki.com.

To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB—Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.

 

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Please welcome historical author Jenna Jaxon back to the blog. Jenna writes medieval, Georgian, and Regency romances. She is here today to show you her cover for her latest book, Only Marriage Will Do! As the book will not be out until June 9th, Jenna will give away a copy of the first book in the series, Only Scandal Will Do. Simply leave a comment saying you’d like the book.

First will start with the cover.

Marriage

Next the blurb.

Not every happy-ever-after begins at “I do.”

When the hero of her dreams rescues Lady Juliet Ferrers from the man claiming to be her husband, she is sure she has found her one true love.  But is she free to marry him?  Not to be deterred, Juliet arranges for her hero, Captain Amiable Dawson, to escort her to her family estate, hoping that along the way she can win his love.

Amiable is charmed by the sweet, beautiful woman he rescued, and although he has grave reservations about her marital status, he allows himself to be swept up into Juliet’s romantic spell and the promise of a happy-ever-after.

The spell breaks when legal questions arise and Juliet faces the horror of not knowing if she is married to her knight in shining armor or the cruel viscount who is determined to have her at any price.

Now an excerpt.

London July 2, 1761

The brass lion-head knocker under Amiable Dawson’s hand sent a sharp rap through the dark walnut door of Dunham House for the second time. The hot July sun hadn’t done his temper any good as he waited on the marble stoop for entrance to the Marquess of Dalbury’s townhouse. He’d been in a foul mood ever since the news of his beloved Katarina’s marriage to the marquess had reached him. Blast it to hell, he was supposed to have married the girl. At least he could make sure she was well and well taken care of by this man she had married.

At last a short, dark-haired maid opened the door. She took one look at him, gasped, and stepped back into the house. Her eyes widened and she glanced to her right, wringing her hands. “Who may I say—”

A man shouted from within. “No, I do not believe you.”

“It is true, I tell you!” A woman’s voice, raised and sharp with terror, sent a chill through Amiable.

Katarina. What in God’s name?

He barged past the stunned girl and strode down the hall toward the commotion. He burst through the doorway, expecting to defend the woman he loved, only to stop dead at the sight of a man lunging across a sofa and grasping a woman by the wrist. Amiable had half drawn his sword before he realized the woman was not Katarina, but a complete stranger. He dropped it back into its scabbard. This was none of his affair.

The young man, foppishly dressed in a robin’s egg blue satin coat dripping too many layers of frothy lace at throat and wrists looked at Amiable, a snarl on his lips.

Taking advantage of the distraction, the woman wrenched her arm from the man’s grip. “Praise God. Here he is.” She staggered as she righted herself. “Now you will have to believe me, Philippe.”

The fop scrambled back off the sofa and groped for a black lacquer walking stick that lay on the floor. Lips pressed together, he glowered at the woman. “That remains to be seen, ma chere. In any case, I have shown you the papers. They speak for themselves.”

The woman ran from behind the sofa to Amiable’s side, grazed a kiss over his cheek and whispered, “For God’s sake, help me. I am alone here and he is trying to take me away. Please, agree with whatever I say.”

Smiling into her pleading face, he grasped her hands and gave them a gentle squeeze to signal his acquiescence. “Whatever is the matter, my dear?” Hell if he knew. But he could play his part, even with little information. Let the lady lead and he’d follow as well as he could.

The woman smiled then took a deep breath. “My dear, may I present Viscount St. Cyr?” She nodded toward the fop. “Philippe, this is my husband, the Earl of Manning.”

Buy Links.   Amazon ~  Barnes & Noble

About Jenna.

 

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance.  Her historical romance, Only Scandal Will Do, the first in a series of five interconnecting novels, was released in July 2012. Her contemporary works include Hog Wild, Almost Perfect, and 7 Days of Seduction. She is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as a member of Chesapeake Romance Writers. Her medieval romance, Time Enough to Love, is being published this summer as a series of three novellas. The first book, Betrothal, will release on April 19th.

 

Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

 

 

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Please welcome the lovely Collette Cameron back to the blog. She is here today to promote her latest release, Wagers Gone Awry, Book 1 in the Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper. Collette is also giving away a copy of her book to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment saying you want it.

With out further to do, here is the cover!

UPDATEDWagersGoneAwry_400x600

Here is the blurb.

Brooke Culpepper resigned herself to spinsterhood when she turned down the only marriage proposal she’d likely ever receive to care for her family. After her father dies, a distant cousin inherits the estate and becomes their guardian but permits Brooke to act in his stead.

Heath, Earl of Ravensdale is none-too-pleased to discover five young women call the dairy farm he won and intends to sell, their home. Desperate, pauper poor, and with nowhere to go, Brooke proposes a wager. His stakes? The farm. Hers? Her virtue. The land holds no interest for Heath, but Brooke does and he accepts her challenge.

And an excerpt.

Lord Ravensdale’s women probably washed with perfumed soap. Expensive, perfumed bars from France. Pink or yellow, or maybe blue and shaped like flowers.

Why the notion rankled, Brooke refused to examine. Except, here she stood attired like a country bumpkin covered in dog and cat hair, with her curls tied in a haphazard knot and ink stains on her fingers. She couldn’t even provide his lordship a decent repast or light a candle to guide him to the study, let alone produce a dram of whisky or brandy to warm his insides.

Nonetheless, his favor they … she must win.

She straightened her spine, determined to act the part of a gracious hostess if it killed her.

“Sir, you should take off your coat. It’s soaked through.”

While his lordship busied himself removing his gloves, she studied him. High cheekbones gave way to a molded jaw and a mouth much too perfect to belong to a man. A small scar marred the left side of his square chin. How had he come by it?

She could almost envision him, grinning and legs braced, on the rolling deck of a pirate ship, the furious waves pounding against the vessel as the wind whipped his hair.

Stop it!

Hand on his sword, he would throw his head back and laugh, the corded muscles in his neck bulging; a man in command against nature’s wrath.

“The ride here turned most unpleasant.”

Lord Ravensdale’s melodic baritone sent her cavorting pirate plunging off the side of the fantasy ship and into the churning waves. Brooke clamped her teeth together. What ailed her? She’d never been prone to fanciful imaginations.

After tucking his wet gloves into his pocket, his lordship unbuttoned his tobacco-brown overcoat.

Almost the same color as his eyes.

Buy Links: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ IBooks ~ Google Play

About Collette.

Collette CameronBestselling, award-winning author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series. Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, and Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish historicals and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic and cobalt blue. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.

 

Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many

flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

 

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Please welcome the fabulous Cara Elliott back to the blog!! I love Cara’s books! She is here today with her latest release, Scandalously Yours!! Cara will also be giving away a copy of her book. All you have to is leave a comment telling her you want it.

As always, we’ll start with the cover!

Scandalously Yours-CElliott

 

Now the blurb.

Proper young ladies of the ton-especially ones who have very small dowries-are not encouraged to have an interest in intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the only thing they are encouraged to pursue is an eligible bachelor. So, the headstrong Sloane sisters must keep their passions a secret. Ah, but secret passions are wont to lead a lady into trouble . . .

SCANDALOUSLY YOURS

The eldest of the three Sloane sisters, Olivia is unafraid to question the boundaries of Society-even if it does frequently land her in trouble. Disdaining the glittery world of balls and courtship, Olivia prefers to spend her time writing fiery political essays under a pseudonym for London’s leading newspaper. But when her columns attract the attention of the oh-so-proper Earl of Wrexham, Olivia suddenly finds herself dancing on the razor’s edge of scandal. With the help of her sisters, she tries to stay one step ahead of trouble . . . However, after a series of madcap misadventures, Wrexham, a former military hero who is fighting for social reform in Parliament, discovers Olivia’s secret. To her surprise, he proposes a temporary alliance to help win passage of his bill. Passion flares between them, but when a political enemy kidnaps the earl’s young son, they must make some dangerous decisions . . . and trust that love will conquer all.

And an excerpt. 

“Allow me to correct your earlier misassumptions,” John said softly. “For a skilled chess player, you seem a little quick to jump to conclusions.”

Olivia drew in a sharp breath. “So, you did recognize me after all.”

“Your face was mostly hidden in shadow during our previous encounter, but nighttime reconnaissance missions teach a soldier to have a sixth sense about that sort of thing.”

“Ah. I see.”

“Be that as it may,” he went on, “it is this evening’s exchange that I wish to speak about.”

Her silence seemed a signal to continue.

“First of all, I have absolutely no interest in discussing the weather. Second of all, I have no preconceived prejudices about the powers of the female mind.” He paused. “But then again, after your display of haughty high-mindedness, perhaps I ought to reconsider.”

A momentary flare of outrage lit in her eyes. She scowled—and then curled a wry smile. “Touché, sir. Most gentlemen aren’t willing to listen to a lady’s opinion.”

“Most ladies aren’t willing to offer one.”

“Can’t you blame us?” asked Olivia. “Society doesn’t exactly encourage creative thinking in the fairer sex. We are meant to be seen and not heard.”

“Um, yes, well, I . . .” John flushed, realizing that his gaze had slid down to her bodice. Beneath the overblown ruffles, it appeared that she had a shapely swell of bosom. “I—I also wanted to apologize for trampling on your toes.”

Her laugh, like her voice, was very intriguing. Low, lush, and a little rough around the edges, it reminded him of an evening breeze ruffling through shadowed leaves.

“Good heavens, don’t look so stricken, sir,” she said. “The fault was all mine, I’m afraid. I can never seem to keep the dance steps straight.” Another laugh. “What a pity we can’t just ignore the rigid patterns and simply follow the rhythm of the music.”

“Like wild savages, dancing around a bonfire to the sound of a beating drum?” he said slowly.

“Haven’t you ever lifted your face to moonlight and spun in circles to the dusky song of the nightingales and—” Olivia shook her head. “No, of course not. What a ridiculous question to ask.” The errant curl had come loose again and was inching close to her nose.

“Your hair, Miss Sloane,” he murmured.

“Has decided to dance to its own tune tonight,” she said tartly, brushing it back with impatient fingers. “As you see, I seem to have no control over my body’s primitive urges.”

John almost let loose a very unlordly chortle. But quickly recalling his glittering surroundings, he managed to smother it in a cough. A peer of the realm did not chortle in public.

“Perhaps . . .” A dangerous glint lit in her eyes. “Perhaps I should give in to impulse, strip off my clothing and waltz naked across the dancefloor.”

He tried not to picture her lithe body without a stitch on. Discipline, discipline. A gentleman must be ruled by reason, not primal urges.

Clearing his mind with another cough, he quickly changed the subject . . .

Buy Links: Amazon ~ B&N

About Cara:

Cara ElliottCara Elliott started writing Western novels at the age of five. However, she traded in her cowboy boots for Regency high-top Hessians after reading Pride and Prejudice in junior high school (she’s decided she must have a thing for Men In Boots) and hasn’t looked back. She graduated from Yale University, and she now lives and works in Connecticut.

 

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Please welcome Anne Cleeland back to the blog! She is promoting her latest book, Murder in Hindsight. Naturally, she will give a copy of the book to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment telling her you want it.

We’ll start with the intriguing cover!

 

Murder In Hindsight2

Now the blurb.

There’s an unusual killer combing London’s streets—a vigilante is at work, killing suspects from prior cases who were never convicted; those who’d gotten away with murder, in hindsight.

It’s a puzzler, though; this vigilante is staying to the shadows, and covering his tracks so that Detective Sergeant Kathleen Doyle is left to guess at his motivation.  Is the killer guilty about his own role in helping murderers get off, or is it someone who’s just had-it-up-to-here with the imperfect justice system?

Meanwhile, the crises keep piling up; Chief Inspector Acton, her husband, is up to something having to do with brassy female reporters and the heir to his estate, and when Acton is up to something, murder and mayhem are the certain result.  Not to mention she’s needed to quash a messy little blackmail plot, and do battle with the dowager Lady Acton.  All in all, it will make for a busy few weeks; now, if only the ghosts that haunt the manor house would leave her alone. . .

And an excerpt.

Detective Sergeant Kathleen Doyle was fretting; fretting and stalling until Detective Chief Inspector Acton could make an appearance whilst she tried to appear calm and composed in front of the Scene of the Crime Officers. As a newly-promoted DS, she should maintain a certain dignity and display her leadership abilities, even though she was longing to bite her nails and peer over the hedgerow toward the park entrance.   The various Scotland Yard forensics personnel were impatiently waiting because Acton was delayed, and Doyle had a good guess as to why he was delayed.  One of these fine days, someone else may make the same guess, and then the wretched cat would be among the wretched pigeons—although the mind boggled, trying to imagine Acton being called on the carpet by Professional Standards.  Pulling out her mobile, she pretended to make a call just to appear busy.

“I’ll lose the light soon, ma’am.”  The SOCO photographer approached, cold and unhappy, and small blame to her; Doyle was equally cold and unhappy, but with better reason.

“Ten more minutes,” Doyle assured her, holding a hand over her mobile so as to interrupt her pretend-conversation. “Then we’ll move forward—whether DCI Acton makes it or no.”  She wanted Acton to have a look before the corpse was processed and removed, but she could always show him the photos.

The woman immediately plucked up. “No hurry; we can wait, if the DCI is on his way.”

Has a crush on him, the brasser, thought Doyle.  Join the club, my friend; the woman probably had some private photographs she’d be all too happy to show Acton in her spare time.  The SOCO photographer used to treat Doyle with barely-concealed contempt, but her attitude had improved remarkably after the bridge-jumping incident. A few months ago, Doyle had jumped off Greyfriars Bridge into the Thames to save a colleague, and was now a celebrated hero.  All in all, it was a mixed blessing, because Doyle was not one who craved the spotlight and now she was perceived as sort of a female version of St. George—except that she’d rescued the dragon instead of the maiden, when you thought about it.

Irish by birth and fey by nature, Doyle had an uncanny ability to read people, and in particular she could recognize a lie when she heard it.  This perceptive ability had launched her career as a detective, but it also made her reclusive by nature—it was no easy thing, to be able to pick up on the currents and cross-currents of emotion swirling around her. The SOCO photographer, for example, was lusting after the vaunted Chief Inspector but bore Doyle no particular ill-will for being married to him, since she was the heroic bridge-jumper and thus above reproach.

With a nod of her head, the photographer gestured toward the victim, being as she didn’t want to take her hands out of her pockets until it was necessary.  “Is there something special about this one, then?”

There was, but Doyle did not want to say, especially before the loose-lipped SOCOs who were notoriously inclined to blather in their cups—it came from wading knee-deep in guts all the livelong day. So instead, she equivocated, “There are a few details that are worrisome, is all.  I wanted the DCI to have a quick look.”

Buy links: Amazon

About Anne.

Anne CleelandAnne Cleeland is a lifelong Southern California resident, and currently makes her home in Newport Beach. An attorney by trade, she’s been reading mystery stories since her Nancy Drew days, and especially loves Agatha Christie and the other Golden Age British mystery writers.  The Acton & Doyle series features two Scotland Yard detectives, and if you are a fan of Masterpiece Mystery, you may enjoy their adventures.

Anne also writes a historical series set in 1814 because she loves historicals, too. Being a romantic at heart, all her stories have a strong romantic element.

She has four grown children, three wonderful grandchildren, and one nutty dog.

www.annecleeland.com @annecleeland

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