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Results 1 - 25 of 46
1. Novella Review: For Her Spy Only by Robyn DeHart

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I picked up For Her Spy Only because I was in the mood for a quick read.  I enjoyed this quite a bit, but thought the ending was very rushed.  Maybe I just liked the characters so much that I would have liked to get know them even better.  There’s some intrigue, adventure, and an unconventional hero, which was a refreshing change.  Alistair couldn’t be further from a smooth talking operator, and I enjoyed that Winifred accepted him for who he was, and the thought of changing him never crossed her mind. 

When Winifred is stranded in a disabled coach on Christmas Eve, her unlikely rescuer is none other than Alistair, Marquess of Coventry.  Rumors swirl about the reclusive man, claiming that Alistair murdered his young wife, but after meeting him, Winifred dismisses them as idle talk.  Alistair’s dark reputation, however, gets her pulse pounding, and she decides that an affair with him will spice up her life.  She is also the victim of unkind rumors, which began after she was jilted at the altar, so she feels, with her reputation already in tatters, that she has nothing to lose. 

Six years later, Winifred has an unwelcome visitor.  Alistair is standing on her door step, asking after her husband, who has recently passed away.  Alistair reveals that he’s a code-breaker, and in order to protect the Crown, he needs the help of her late husband’s maps to help decipher his latest assignment.  Unfortunately, the maps he needs have been stolen.  Winifred agrees to help him locate the maps, mainly to get him back out of her life.  She has a big secret she’s keeping from him, and she’s terrified that he’ll discover that she’s been hiding his son from him for all these years.

I didn’t blame Winifred one bit for hiding Oliver’s existence from Alistair.  He made it very clear that he never wanted children, and took precautions to prevent an unwanted pregnancy during their brief time together.  Obviously unsuccessful precautions.  Winifred decided to raise her son without telling Alistair, but now she’s terrified that he’ll discover that he has a son.  She’s not certain what his reaction will be, but she’s sure it will be dreadful.

The hero made this read for me.  Alistair is somewhere on the autism spectrum, and while he’s a whiz at cracking codes, social interactions are a trial for him.  He is painfully blunt and has no sense of humor.  Most people bore him with their mindless nattering.  Winifred intrigues him because she doesn’t pester him with small talk, and she accepts him for who he is.   Bullied as a child and shown only distain from his mother, he prefers to keep his own company.  That is, until he is unexpectedly reunited with Winifred and begins to develop feelings for her. Gasp!

As previously stated, I thought the ending was very rushed, but the unusual hero made up for that shortcoming.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

England, 1814

When Winifred is rescued from her snow-stranded carriage by the notorious and reclusive Alistair, Marquess of Coventry, she is instantly drawn to him. Jilted by her betrothed and socially ruined by untrue rumors, Winifred is tired of paying for crimes she didn’t commit and decides to play the seductress London society claims she is. Thinking a night of passion shouldn’t leave any lasting effects, she instead finds her heart marked forever.

Six years later, Alistair is working for the Regent as a spy. A search for Napoleon’s English supporters leads him to the beguiling Winifred, recently widowed with a young son. He hasn’t forgotten how the unconventional beauty warmed his bed, and the heat between them rekindles immediately. The spymaster is determined to uncover all of plucky Winifred’s secrets. Especially the one regarding her son…

The post Novella Review: For Her Spy Only by Robyn DeHart appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Spotlight and Giveaway–To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain

To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Publishing Date: May 6, 2014

Back Cover:

CAN A RECLUSIVE DUKE…

Brilliant but rumored mad, Michael Layward, the impoverished Duke of Wyverne, has no success courting heiresses until widowed Lady Stratton takes up his cause–after first refusing his suit.

WIN LONDON’S MOST POWERFUL COUNTESS?

Caroline Graves, the popular Countess of Stratton, sits alone at the pinnacle of London society and has vowed never to remarry. When Michael–her counterpart in an old scandal–returns to town after a long absence, she finds herself as enthralled with him as ever. As she guides the anxiety-ridden duke through the trials of society, Caroline realizes that she’s lost her heart . But if she gives herself to the only man she’s ever loved, she’ll lose the hard-won independence she prizes above all.

Genre: Regency-set historical romance

Tone: Romantic, passionate, lighthearted

Heat Level: Love scenes with euphemisms

Elements/Tags: Pygmalion story, virgin hero, widowed heroine

Series, #: Matchmaker trilogy, book 2

Format: Mass market paperback, digital

Words: 87,000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18480544-to-charm-a-naughty-countess?ac=1

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1tGcn39

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1f6SKgK

Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/1jX1O3K

Book Depository: http://bit.ly/1hrmI9u

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1f6SX3q

Sourcebooks: http://bit.ly/1ii5oUu

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/RXWQ0m

Meet Author Theresa Romain:

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://theresaromain.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTheresaRomain

Twitter: @TheresaRomain

 

Excerpt-

“I wanted you tonight,” she admitted. “I’ve wanted you for a long time. But I can’t be the wife you need.”

“Of course you can.” He looked puzzled, as though she’d misunderstood a simple command. Pass the salt. Be my wife. “I just told you that you could. Besides this, you ought to marry me now that we’ve—well.”

“What, you think you’ve ruined me?” She dug her fingernails into her sheet as passionately as she’d clutched for his body a few minutes before.

“‘Ruined’ isn’t the right word, exactly.” Those damnable eyes of his. They were so sharp but missed so much.

“Perhaps eventually I shall hit upon the right word for something. Until then, I thank you for your concern for my reputation. Or honor. Or whatever the right word might be. But as you’re not the first man who has come to my bed since my widowhood, the responsibility for my ruination is not yours.”

He looked as stunned as if she had clouted him. His lips parted, then closed again.

Damnable lips. Damnable eyes. Damnable chin and nose. He was too handsome to be so callous. It was impossible to keep up an icy guard when the sight of his face, so austere and yet so vulnerable, always melted her.

She hadn’t cried since the death of her elderly husband, a kind man who had doted on her and bequeathed her the cachet and money to remake her life. She could cry now, though, for the death of another fancy as improbable as the clergyman’s daughter marrying an earl. She might admire Michael for his honor, his dedication to duty, but he could offer her no more than this—not with his clockwork heart.

To help him save his dukedom, he needed a woman much like himself, a business partner who signed her name to a marriage license as she would any other contract, and who would be content never to be loved. Caroline could not be that person. Her heart was not clockwork, but human enough for two; twice tried and deeply bruised. She could only be ashamed that she had given herself away so cheaply, when she’d meant never again to give away anything at all.

Giveaway Details:

Theresa is generously gifting all five of her books to one lucky commenter!

*Season for Temptation

*Season for Surrender

*Season for Scandal

*It Takes Two to Tangle

*To Charm a Naughty Countess

Open internationally. Please follow the Rafflecopter directions.

Tour Stops:

http://events.litconnect.com/to-charm-a-naughty-countess-by-theresa-romain/

Important Additional Information:

Facebook Event:

May 6th ~ 8 – 10pm EST

More info at: http://events.litconnect.com/facebook-celebration-to-charm-a-naughty-countess-by-theresa-romain/

Twitter Party:

May 7th ~ 8 – 9pm EST

#NaughtyCountess

More info: http://events.litconnect.com/twitter-party-to-charm-a-naughty-countess-by-theresa-romain/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway–To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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3. Interview with Ashlyn Macnamara, Author of A Most Scandalous Proposal

Ashlyn Macnamara is visiting the virtual offices today to chat about A Most Scandalous Proposal.  Please give her a warm welcome!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Ashlyn Macnamara] Reader, writer, mother, bilingual, cat-lover, escapist, Internet junkie.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about A Most Scandalous Proposal?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] My debut Regency begins when my hero, Benedict Revelstoke, sees his old childhood friend, Julia St. Claire, named as party to a wager in White’s betting book. Neither one of them is sure what’s going on at first, but they piece it together soon enough. Julia’s sister’s long-term crush on has set his sights on winning Julia’s hand in marriage. She only has to find a way to dissuade a man who won’t take no for an answer—which is understandable since he’s already bet a considerable sum on her saying yes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] A couple of years ago, I read two separate historical romances. One was Beverley Kendall’s debut Sinful Surrender, in which the heroine has a long-time crush on the hero. Missy, the heroine, confides a lot in her sister, and that relationship got me thinking about how the angst of a long-standing, unrequited crush might color the younger sister’s views of love and romance.

At the same time, I read Emma Wildes’s Lessons From a Scarlet Lady, which featured two romances. So that got me thinking about telling the story of both sisters in the same book. My working title was A TALE OF TWO SISTERS to reflect the duality of the story.

And then somewhere along the way I realized I was unconsciously riffing on Sense and Sensibility, but that was perfectly in line with my Regency setting, so I went with it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Julia?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] Loyal, headstrong, devious.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Benedict had a theme song, what would it be?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] Benedict begs I not reveal this particular bit of information, lest the Upperton sisters get wind of it and insist on performing it at their next musicale. They’re certain to butcher anything they attempt. However, they’ll have a job trying to present “Wonderwall” by Oasis on Regency musical instruments. “There are many things that I would like to say to you, but I don’t know how…”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Julia is never without.

[Ashlyn Macnamara] Unlike her sister, who always has her head in the clouds, Julia is never without the head on her shoulders. Well, unless Benedict gives her a bit too much wine. At that point, all bets are off.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Benedict’s pockets?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] Oooh, let me think about that one.

He’d never carry lumps of sugar to feed his horses as treats. He prefers to give them carrots, as it’s better for them. Plus sugar was a bit of a luxury item in the Regency.

He would most definitely never have an invitation to one of the Earl of Clivesden’s parties. He hasn’t liked Clivesden since they were in school together, and the blow-up over Clivesden’s choice of bride only exacerbated matters.

For the third, I’m going to say a copy of Debrett’s Peerage, because while he is the (younger) son of a marquess, he doesn’t hold much with all the goings-on in London. He much prefers a quieter life in the country.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Julia’s greatest regret?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] This is going to be difficult to answer without introducing spoilers. I think Julia’s answer at the beginning of the book and at the end would be two different things. At the beginning, anyway, she’d have made reference to a traumatic event she experienced during her childhood, which colored her view of love and passionate feelings.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] Odd as it might sound, J. K. Rowling. If it wasn’t for Harry Potter fanfiction, I’d never have learned I can write. When I was in school, I never wanted to get anywhere near anything that smacked of creative writing, but maybe that’s because my teachers often forced us to write poetry. Adhering to things like rhythm and rhyme schemes require far too much discipline.

For this particular book, see the reply to the concept and characters question.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] An empty house, a broken Internet connection, and at least an idea of where things are going (but I can’t decide this ahead of time—my characters have their own ideas and don’t like to listen to me).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] I’m going to go with Sherry Thomas’s Tempting the Bride, only because it’s her latest. Just about anything she writes, really. I love, love, love her lush prose style.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] I don’t know if I can pinpoint one book that turned me on to reading per se. I’ve always loved to read, and before that I loved to have stories read to me. What I recall most is a book of fairy tale we owned when I was a child. I remember asking for “Wassilissa the Beautiful” as often as possible, because, like any good Russian tale, it was the longest in the collection. It was a great way to delay bedtime.

I can tell you which books turned me on to re-reading: the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read those over and over when I was younger.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] Anything that allows me to avoid the housework. I’ve got a teetering TBR pile, so I’m pretty good. If I don’t feel like reading, I’ve got a stash of yarn begging for me to knit it into something. Or I might decide to catch up with the latest goings-on at Downton Abbey.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Ashlyn Macnamara] Through my website: http://ashlynmacnamara.net

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAshlynMacnamara

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/ashlyn_mac

Sign up for my newsletter.

And you can often find me blogging with the Dashing Duchesses.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase A Most Scandalous Proposal from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below.  Available in print and digital.

About the book:

In Ashlyn Macnamara’s stunning romance debut—perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries—two childhood friends in Regency England discover love with the most unlikely of partners: each other.

“A tale of high-stakes scandal and heartfelt passion . . . a most delicious treat!”—New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare

After watching her beloved sister, Sophia, pine over the ton’s golden boy for years, Miss Julia St. Claire has foresworn love and put herself firmly on the shelf. Unfortunately, her social-climbing mother and debt-ridden father have other ideas, and jump at the chance to marry Julia off to the newly named Earl of Clivesden . . . the man of Sophia’s dreams.

Since resigning his cavalry commission, Benedict Revelstoke has spent his time in London avoiding the marriage mart. But when he discovers that the Earl of Clivesden has his sights set on Julia, Benedict tries to protect his childhood best friend from the man’s advances—only to discover that more than friendship is driving his desire to defend her. He surprises them both with the force of his feelings, but when Julia refuses him, and her father announces her betrothal, Benedict fears he’s lost her forever—until Julia approaches him with a shocking scheme that will ruin her for all respectable society and lead them into an exquisite world of forbidden pleasures.

Includes a preview of Ashlyn Macnamara’s next novel, A Most Devilish Rogue

About the author:

Ashlyn Macnamara writes Regency romance with a dash of wit and a hint of wicked. She considers writing her mid-life crisis but reckons producing romance novels is a lot less dangerous than skydiving or rock climbing. She lives outside Montreal with her husband, two teenage daughters and a cat. When not thinking about ballrooms and gentleman’s clubs, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research.

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4. Spotlight and Giveaway-A Night with the Bride by Kate McKinley

Today I have a spotlight and giveaway for the By Invitation Only series by Kate McKinley!  You can enter to win a special bound galley of all three novellas in the series!

A DUCHESS IN THE DARK (Forever Yours E-Novella; $0.99)

Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his knees, and have him begging for her hand in marriage. But when she mistakenly slips into another man’s bed, the passions that quickly ignite threaten to send her well-laid plans up in smoke.


Ashton Fitzgerald, Duke of Claymore has never been for want of a willing woman in his bed and his rakish ways have become legend in boudoirs and dark corners all across London. But not even Ashton can account for the powerful desire that surges through him when a mysterious woman pays him a clandestine midnight visit. As dawn breaks, his goddess flees before he can learn her identity. Now Ashton will stop at nothing to unmask the identity of the woman who bewitched him body and soul and make her his . . . Forever.

Buy Links:

Amazon

B&N

iTunes

A COUNTESS BY CHANCE (Forever Yours E-Novella; $0.99)

A gambler’s daughter, Sophia Weatherby knows her way around a deck of cards. So when her family estate becomes threatened, she has no choice but to use her skills at the gaming tables to save herself from ruin. A lavish house party affords her the perfect opportunity-until the newly minted Earl of Huntington arrives. Adam Greyson has never forgotten the day Sophia rejected his proposal. Now to even the score, he challenges her to a shocking wager-his two thousand pounds against the one valuable commodity she has left: her virtue.

Buy Links:

Amazon

B&N

iTunes

 

A NIGHT WITH THE BRIDE (Forever Yours E-Novella; $0.99)

While at a lavish house party, Gabriella Weatherfield confidently bets her friends that she can convince the “unseducable” Duke of Somerset to kiss her. But Gabriella’s innocent wager turns wicked when faced with the duke’s intense blue eyes and talented hands. Nicholas Montgomery usually strives to stay away from society, yet there’s no denying Gabriella’s wild beauty or the way she makes him want to lose control for once. Will the fire between them burn out when Gabriella uncovers the inner demons haunting Nicholas? 

Buy Links:

Amazon

B&N

iTunes

About Kate McKinley: KATE MCKINLEY writes Regency and Fantasy Romance. When she’s not staring at her screen, dreaming up delicious heroes, she’s a wife, mother and part-time assistant.

Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Excerpt:

Excerpts from the BY INVITATION ONLY series by Kate McKinley

A DUCHESS IN THE DARK

The memory of their first meeting was still vivid in his mind, and it swirled to life more often than he cared to admit. He could still remember the emerald gown she’d worn to James’s wedding, the delicate, slightly breathless look about her when James had introduced them. She was beautiful, with wide blue eyes and fiery red curls, and a smile that had stricken him silent. If she were any other woman, he’d have pursued her relentlessly, but her innocence and her connection as James’s sister-in-law had placed her far beyond his reach.

Until now.

“You can’t possibly mean that.” She scrunched her face in disbelief. “Now let me go before someone catches us.”

“The door is locked. We are quite safe. Unless you wish for someone to happen upon us.” He flashed her a wicked smile.

“Of course not!” Shock looked rather fetching on her. Cheeks flushed, eyes brightened, she was a prime article indeed. Marrying her might not be quite the trial he’d feared. In fact, he rather liked the idea her filling the role as Duchess of Claymore. More than that, he liked the idea of claiming her in every way imaginable.

“Then I’d advise you to lower your voice. The whole house is liable to hear you.”

She pressed her lips together and glared.

“Now,” he said, “where were we?”

He’d had enough women to know what desire looked like and Daphne had it written all over her pretty face—she was just too afraid to admit it. The way she trembled, the way her gaze licked him from head to toe, the way her breath hitched when he drew in close. Oh yes, she was hungry for him indeed.

“I don’t believe you are unaffected by me.” He had her pressed against the bed, so she scrambled atop the mattress and faced him on her knees. “Perhaps I shall prove just how affected you are.”

“Completely unnecessary, Ashton, I assure you,” she said. “I’m perfectly willing to admit you have a certain…appeal, but it’s Edward I intend to…” Her words trailed off as he reached out and brushed a silky tendril of hair off her shoulder, exposing the mark on her neck again. His mark.

“Do you want me to leave? Say the word and I’ll go.”

Boldly, her gaze raked down his bare chest, down to his straining erection. He needed to be inside her, filling her, taking her to the very edge of ecstasy. She licked her lips and shook her head, just a slight movement, but it was all he needed. Triumph shot through him. She wanted him; she was just too frightened to admit it.

“What do you need, Daphne? Tell me.” He needed to ease her into this, seduce her with his words, his tongue, and then perhaps she’d be willing to admit the truth.

Their eyes met and held, before her gaze suddenly flicked away. “I don’t know.”

He advanced, pushing her back against the pillows. Her lips were red, plump, ripe for his kiss. He itched to tear at the fabric of her nightgown and push into her tight, welcoming heat. To bury himself inside her so deeply he’d be a part of her forever.

“Let me show you.”

A COUNTESS BY CHANCE

“Why on earth would you consent to such an outing when you clearly have no talent for riding? You would have done better to stay home.”

She stiffened, indignant. “I ride exceptionally well, thank you kindly.”

He smiled, flashing that damnable dimple in the side of his cheek. “I think we both know you can ride only marginally well. I wouldn’t even venture to call your

skills on a horse sufficient. Certainly not well enough to be traipsing through muddy fields alone.”

Her cheeks heated. How dare he! The truth of his statement was of little consequence. Her pride flared, and before she could think better of it, she said, “My skills can hardly be measured while riding such an impossible creature. This horse is unnaturally ornery. I venture to say that even you, my lord, couldn’t command her.”

“You are wrong about that, Miss Dewhurst. I can be quite persuasive when the mood strikes.” His hot gaze raked down her body, briefly stopping at her breasts, then meandering down to the V between her thighs. His lips twisted into a delicious, knowing smile. “Or don’t you remember?”

Heat surged through her like a cresting wave. Of course she remembered. One didn’t easily forget passion so potent, so unyieldingly intense.

Swallowing, she glanced away. “You seem quite sure of yourself.”

He shrugged. “I’m capable enough.”

She licked her lips. “In that case, how about a little friendly wager?”

Her father, a retired gambler, had taught his only child a great many things. First among them, strike quickly when you have the advantage. Huntington would be fortunate to get Chocolate to move, let alone run.

His lips twisted into that arrogant smirk that had never failed to annoy her. “That all depends on the prize, Miss Dewhurst.”

“Two hundred pounds says you cannot outrun me with this horse.”

With his sleek gelding, she was sure to win. And two hundred pounds would be enough to pay for her father’s medicine, and a little extra besides. She smiled sweetly.

He leaned in, his big, imposing body impossibly close. “Two thousand.”

Her breath caught. She had no hope of paying him two hundred pounds if she lost, let alone two thousand. “You know I don’t have two thousand pounds.”

It was no secret. While she and her father struggled to conceal the true desperation

of their situation, all of England knew the money—everything—was gone. Only the family estate remained, derelict and neglected, but untouched by creditors.

Boldly, he reached out and traced her lips with the tip of his finger, a barely there touch that sent shivers of awareness skipping down her spine. She should push him away. It was the proper thing to do. Instead, her eyelids fluttered closed as she absorbed his touch. It took every drop of self-control not to reach out and pull him into a deep, delicious kiss. She still remembered the feel of his lips against hers, the fierce, unrelenting need that followed in the wake of his touch.

“As it happens, you do have something I want.” His voice was low, seductive, and it reminded her of the warm afternoons they’d spent together, talking, laughing, kissing…

His hand fell away and she opened her eyes, blinking. That she had something he wanted seemed impossible. She was destitute, on the brink of ruin. She had nothing.

He leaned in closer, his warm breath brushing over her cheek, and whispered in her ear. “Two thousand pounds if you win.”

She swallowed. “And if I lose?”

“I get you.”

A NIGHT WITH THE BRIDE

“There is rumor that you are looking for a wife. Is that true?”

His gaze turned wicked. “Indeed, I am. Are you volunteering, Miss Weatherfield?”

Oh! Is that what he thought—that she had designs to become his wife? “No, no,” she said quickly. “No.” She shook her head. “I am most certainly not volunteering. No.”

He lifted a brow. “You follow me out onto the terrace, alone, your gown enticingly tight, and ask me if I am in the market for a wife.”

She glanced down at her gown and frowned. It was perhaps a little tight, but not improperly so. She looked up at him. “I am not in want of a husband, I can assure you—”

“Then what is it you want?”

She stepped forward, her gaze fixed on his mouth, mesmerized by the perfection of his lips. “A kiss.” The words slipped out, a whisper, and she blinked.

Oh, dear God, she’d said that out loud. She hadn’t meant to blurt it out so abruptly.

“Young women don’t make such admissions, and certainly not to men they’ve just met.” He laughed and the rich, heady sound made her heart flutter wildly. “Miss Weatherfield, you are playing a dangerous game.”

She swallowed. “You’re a duke of the realm and trustworthy, by all accounts.” Rumored to be mad as well, but it seemed unwise to mention that just now. “Surely I have nothing to fear from you.”

Again, not entirely true, but she was perfectly safe on a terrace, outside a house

that was filled to the brim with people. No harm would come to her, she was sure of it.

“You seem so certain, yet you know nothing of my character.” With every word, he inched closer. She took a step back, then another, until she was pressed up against the granite banister with nowhere to go. “Do you?”

She swallowed. He was so close she could smell the mint leaf on his breath, feel the intense heat of his body. “I have nothing to fear from you,” she repeated, infusing her tone with confidence she didn’t feel.

Something dark flickered in his eyes, and she felt a moment of apprehension. His gaze was intent, predatory, and her body hummed with anticipation.

He brushed a gloved finger down her bare arm, causing tingles to spread in its wake. “Don’t you?”

Yes, perhaps she did. This man was quite dangerous, in all the most tantalizing ways. Those intense blue eyes, that smooth, enigmatic charm, did things to her—wicked, delicious things.

With one step closer, he pressed against her intimately, his lower half pinning her to the banister. He stretched an arm out on either side of her, caging her in. He was all warmth and decadence, all powerful male virility.

In that moment, she realized what had been missing with all those other gentlemen—why she’d never felt compelled to accept their proposals. It was this. Unlike the other men, Somerset made her feel vibrant, unrestrained. He made her feel alive.

“If you want a kiss, Miss Weatherfield, you’ll have to earn it.”

Giveaway!

Win a special galley with all three novellas in the By Invitation Only series bound together! US/Canada addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5. Interview with Robyn DeHart, Author of No Ordinary Mistress

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Robyn!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Robyn DeHart] Loyal, sassy, emotional, bossy and funny.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Robyn DeHart] Of course. It’s the first in my Masquerading Mistresses series, a Regency-set series which will consist of three novellas about elite spies in the organization called the Seven. In this first one, No Ordinary Mistress, you’ll read Remy and Emma’s story – it’s a reunion story, of sorts, and once together the sparks fly.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?

[Robyn DeHart] Too hard to pick a favorite scene, but here’s a little snippet from one of them…

“You will still be on assignment searching for the link between Comfry and the other traitors, not to mention his killer. By working with Remy, he can get you into places that you cannot go yourself.”

“Of all the men in the Seven, why must I work with him?” She didn’t want to be paired up with any man, least of all Remy, who tempted her so and muddled her thoughts and made her wish for all the things she could never have.

“Did you not tell her any of this?” Remy asked.

“No, I thought I’d wait until we were all here together.”

“Coward,” Remy said with another grin.

“Tell me what, precisely?”

“You’ll be posing as my mistress, sweetheart,” Remy said with a lecherous wink.

Emma came to her feet. “I shall do no such thing.” She turned to Harrison. Working with Remy would be bad enough, but pretending to be his mistress? It was intolerable! “There must be another way.”

“We need to make certain you’re protected while we investigate the murder. We can’t afford to pull you from the assignment altogether. You know Comfry’s circumstances and habits better than anyone else. We cannot know if the killer saw you or knew you were there,” Harrison said. “Remy is a qualified spy, Emma. He will take good care of you.”

Her training had taught her how to slow her breathing, gentle her pounding heart, so she could appear in command of her faculties. Inside, though, she stewed in turmoil.

“Indeed.” Remy leaned forward, bracing his elbows on his knees. “And I’ve been needing a new mistress.”

Emma rolled her eyes. “You are a pig.” Her fate was sealed.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the story?

[Robyn DeHart] Initially the hero did. Originally his name was Grant and things just weren’t working. I decided to rename him and went with Remington AKA Remy and once I did that, he came to life for me. Strange how things like that happen sometimes. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Robyn DeHart] Probably my phone. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Robyn DeHart] My planner (I’m addicted!), post-it notes and pens.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Robyn DeHart] I’m not sure it’s a superpower, but it seems like one to me. I wish I were one of those people who could survive on like 5 hours of sleep at night. It seems like I could get so much more done if I could sleep less. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Robyn DeHart] Most recently I read The DUFF by Kody Klepinger, it’s a YA, which I don’t read a lot of b/c I find so much of it un-relatable. But this one really resonated with me and it was just so good. I loved it!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Robyn DeHart] So many ways! I’m online a lot so readers can find me on Facebook and Twitter. And I’m a total Pinterest junkie. I also love to send special stuff to my newsletter subscribers so that’s a good thing to sign up for. Here are all my links.

website – http://www.robyndehart.com

twitter – https://twitter.com/RobynDeHart

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robyndehart?ref=profile

author Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robyn-DeHart-Historical-Romance-Author/221241264564538?ref=hl

series Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/littlebitwicked?ref=hl

goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/288853.Robyn_DeHart

newsletter – http://www.robyndehart.com/newsletter/

Thanks so much for having me!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Title: No Ordinary Mistress
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Robyn DeHart
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Language: English
Format: Ebook

London, 1814

Remington Hawthorne, Earl of Latham, has spent his life protecting the Crown. When he’s assigned to play the part of lover to Emma Masterson, one of the few female spies in England and the one woman he can’t forget, he’ll have to risk his heart as well as his life.

It isn’t easy being an independent woman, much less a spy. Perpetually tasked with proving she is as valuable as any man in her profession, the last thing Emma needs is to be reunited with the one man who makes her want to forget her duties and get lost in passion.

Pretending to be his mistress isn’t difficult—remembering that it is all a charade is the challenge. With every glance, every touch, every kiss, she is drawn deeper under his spell and pulled further from her goals. She refused him once, but it will take every ounce of strength to not give in to the passion that still burns strong…

AMAZON* BARNES & NOBLE

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6. Review: Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I haven’t read many historical romances lately, so after a seeing a lot of positive buzz for Romancing the Duke, I decided it was time to read Tessa Dare’s latest release.  I have read a couple of her books, and have enjoyed each one.  I found this one utterly charming, just like the feisty protagonist, Izzy.  I raced through, and was sorry when I reached the last page.  I really need to hit up more of Tessa Dare’s backlist.

Izzy is desperate and impoverished, which prompted her to hire a coach and head off to the remote Gostley Castle after receiving a letter that one of her father’s benefactors has left her an inheritance.  Since her father’s death, she has been barely getting by.  He died suddenly, and Izzy learns, much to her dismay, that he never bothered to update his will, so all of his possessions have been willed to her cousin.  They have hated each other since childhood, and he’s absolutely crowing that she has been left with nothing.

Rather bitter that her life’s work has been for naught, she’s angry that her father neglected to see to her welfare.  She gave up everything to assist him with the serial he wrote for the newspaper, using her as the main character.  The Goodnight Tales garnered quite a following, even after his death, and Izzy is constantly asked about them by her father’s fans.  I loved this premise-she is even followed by cos-players who are so enchanted with the story that they dress up like their favorite characters and have formed clubs to celebrate The Goodnight Tales.  If it wasn’t for their popularity, she would probably have fared even worse after her father’s demise.

After arriving at the castle, she meets grouchy Ransom, the Duke of Rothbury.  He isn’t in the mood for visitors, and he promptly attempts to chase her away from his moldering castle.  Injured in a duel, he is suffering from a disfiguring scar, as well as blindness, from the misguided fight.  He isn’t happy to have a woman in his home, and he’s even less amused when he discovers that he no longer owns his family’s estate, and that Izzy has just inherited it.  Refusing to believe it, because he would never sell Gostley Castle, they come to an agreement.  While he was licking his wounds in private, he ignored his business correspondence.  Izzy agrees to help him go through the massive pile of letters, for a fee, to see how the castle was sold.  She needs the money to fix up the pile of crumbling stone, and he needs to discover who has been cheating him out of his money and property.

I found it difficult to sympathize with Ransom at first because he brought about his own misfortune; but Izzy – Izzy!  She is the victim of an unfortunate set of circumstances that left her with nothing but the few dresses in her travel bag.  Her father was a miserable caretaker for not ensuring that she was left with the means to provide for herself after his death.  Now that she has a roof over her head, she is going to fight tooth and nail to keep it.  I loved Izzy and her attitude, and how she refused to be cowed by the gruff, angry duke who refuses to give in gracefully and accept that Izzy is now the owner of the castle.

The secondary characters are also a treat, from the cos-playing fans of The Goodnight Tales, to Izzy’s new acquaintances at the castle.  Romancing the Duke made me laugh, held me spellbound, and even made me gasp with dismay when Izzy reads a fan letter to Ransom, and discovers that The Goodnight Tales is partly responsible for his turn of poor luck.  I hated to have the book come to an end, and I am now eagerly awaiting the next book in the series,  Say Yes to the Marquess.  In the meanwhile, I will have to revisit Spindle Cove; I have a few sitting unread on my Kindle!

Grade:  A-

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

n the first in Tessa Dare’s captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love . . .

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.

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7. Avon Romance eBook Sale! Prepare To Be Pleased! Part 2

Avon is having an eBook sale! These digital romances are all on sale for $1.99 for a limited time only.  Clicking the cover will take you to the Amazon product page.

Have you read any? Can you recommend any of these?

 

At the Duke’s Pleasure by Tracy Anne Warren

All the Byrons are just as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" as their famous non-relation . . . but now the time has come for the eldest son to marry . . .

Edward Byron, Duke of Clybourne, has everything a man in Society needs . . . except a wife. Duty requires he wed, so he decides that a long-standing arranged marriage will do nicely. He knows his bride is beautiful, biddable, and bright enough to run his household and nursery. He expects his betrothed, Lady Claire Marsden, will be thrilled with his decision—unfortunately, she’s not!

Claire has longed for Edward since she was sixteen, but how can he expect her to agree to his proposal when he barely knows her and doesn’t love her? Nothing will convince her to accept a loveless marriage. And so she begins a battle of outrageous resistance, forcing Edward to learn that he must lose his heart in order to win his bride.

 

 

The Perils of Pleasure by Julie Anne Long

A rescued rogue . . .

Scandal has rocked the city of London. Colin Eversea, a handsome, reckless unapologetic rogue is sentenced to hang for murder and, inconveniently for him, the only witness to the crime disappears. Then again, throughout history, the Everseas have always managed to cheat fate in style: Colin is snatched from the gallows by a beautiful, clever mercenary.

A captivating captor. . .

Cool-headed, daring Madeleine Greenway is immune to Colin’s vaunted charm. Her mission is not to rescue Colin but to kidnap him, and to be paid handsomely for it. But when it becomes clear that whoever wants Colin alive wants Madeline dead, the two become uneasy allies in a deadly race for truth. Together, they’ll face great danger—and a passion neither can resist.

 

A Well Pleasured Lady by Christina Dodd

Prim, plain, desperately virtuous Lady Mary Fairchild stared at the seductive gentleman and wondered — did he remember the elements of the night they met? Surely not. In the ten years since, she had abandoned her youthful impetuousness and transformed herself into a housekeeper — disguising her beauty beneath a servant’s dour clothing determined to conquer the passions of the past.

But Sebastian Durant, Viscount Whitfield, did recognize her as a Fairchild, one of his family’s bitter enemies. When he demanded her help recovering a stolen diary, she dared not refuse him. When he proposed they masquerade as a betrothed couple, loyalty forced her to agree. And when the restraint between them shattered and pleasure became an obsession, Mary had to trust a powerful man who could send her to the gallows … or love her through eternity.

 

 

Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke

One of Daphne Wade’s guilty pleasures is to watch the Duke of Tremore as he works, shirtless, on the excavation site of his ducal estate. Anthony Courtland is by far the most exciting and handsome man she has ever known, and she dreams of one day being able to speak with him without getting tongue tied.

Anthony, meanwhile, only sees Daphne as a hard worker on his excavation team. He considers her a plain young lady and says so in a careless remark to a friend, unaware that Daphne is outside the library door, her heart shattering to pieces. So Daphne decides she will not be so silly any longer. She begins to be tutored in the social graces, forcing Anthony to see the beauty who has been right in front of his eyes.


 

The Pleasure of Her Kiss by Linda Needham

The dashing rogue is finally coming home to claim the exquisite stranger who is living there, a willful beauty he barely knows . . . his bride.

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8. Interview with Theresa Romain, Author of Season for Surrender and Giveaway!


Theresa Romain is the author of Season For Surrender, which will be in stores next week.  She dropped by the virtual offices for a chat, and she even brought along a present for one of you! After the interview, enter for a chance to win a copy of Season For Temptation!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Theresa Romain] 140? I only need two. Bookish like Dahl’s Matilda. Devoted to family & friends like Austen’s Elinor Dashwood. (I am also fond of wordplay.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Season For Surrender?

[Theresa Romain] But of course. SEASON FOR SURRENDER is a Regency-set historical romance that takes place during the holidays. It’s a sequel to my romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, though each story can stand on its own.

To tell you a bit about the plot, please join me in welcoming SEASON FOR SURRENDER’s back cover blurb:

HONOR AMONG ROGUES

Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…

MISCHIEF AMONG MISSES

Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring…

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Theresa Romain] The hero and heroine were both characters in my first novel, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION. In that story, Lord Xavier appears to be villainous—but he’s also very popular. I thought it would be interesting to figure out what made him tick, and one way to do that is by throwing seemingly-opposite characters together. Shy, brilliant Louisa made a great match for him, because she doesn’t take anything at face value.

Neither Louisa nor Xavier is quite who people assume them to be. Since the story’s set at Christmas, the themes of redemption and forgiveness—and, of course, openness to love–seemed a natural fit.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Louisa?

[Theresa Romain] Thoughtful. Determined. Clever.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Xavier would never risk losing in a wager?

[Theresa Romain] At the beginning of the novel, there’s really nothing Xavier wouldn’t risk losing. He says he won’t wager on a respectable lady’s reputation, yet he does it anyway. (Oh, Xavier.) By the end of the story, he has changed, and he would never risk the well-being of his estate, his tenants, or the people he loves.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Louisa had a theme song, what would it be?

[Theresa Romain] It would have to be The Music Man’s “Madam Librarian,” that witty ode to book-loving women. In fact, while I was writing SEASON FOR SURRENDER, I used Madam Librarian as its working title!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Theresa Romain] Anything can be a creative influence, from a snippet of overheard conversation to a particular color of paint. But for me, the greatest of all is reading. I feel like I can’t get words out of my head if I don’t put words in–that is, I couldn’t be a writer if I didn’t read all the time. I read history, biography, nonfiction, and of course lots of fiction. I keep a giant pre-order list of titles I’m looking forward to, so I can be sure to get the latest romances by my favorite authors right away.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Theresa Romain] 1. Quiet. I get really distracted by sounds; I can’t listen to music while I’m writing. Even instrumental music pulls my attention away from my work.

2. A reasonably tidy environment. This goes along with being easily distracted! If my office is too cluttery, I can’t concentrate. Note: I did say “reasonably tidy.” As long as I can shove all the papers on my desk away from my keyboard, that’s good enough.

3. A computer. I have a plan for where the book is going (thanks to the synopsis I always write as part of a book proposal). But the specific details of each scene come about while I’m writing. For example, it’s not too much of a spoiler to say that Xavier is farsighted. That detail occurred to me while I was writing an early scene in SEASON FOR SURRENDER, and it shaped several later scenes too. It seems like my brain needs a keyboard to get fully engaged.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Theresa Romain] Ravishing the Heiress, by Sherry Thomas. The way she uses language is absolutely beautiful, and I loved the characters in this story too. The hero and heroine make a marriage of convenience, but the heroine is deeply in love with her new husband—and for the sake of that love, she hides her feelings. She’s strong, honorable, and heart-broken. I wanted to hug her and be friends with her and have the story continue for ages.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Theresa Romain] I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember, so the real answer is probably something my parents introduced me to in the forgotten years of my babyhood. One of my favorite books as a very young kid was the Sesame Street classic “Farley Goes to the Doctor.” Even after I could read by myself, I liked my father to read it to me because he would do ridiculous character voices.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Theresa Romain] I spend time with my family and read as much as I can. I also like to bake, especially after I’ve been writing a lot. Baking uses my mind in a whole different way. Instead of being creative and abstract, baking is exact: if I follow the recipe, deliciousness will result. Batter breads (like banana bread or cranberry-orange bread) are a favorite of mine.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Theresa Romain] Thanks for asking! I have several online homes and love to talk with readers at all of them.

Website: theresaromain.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTheresaRomain

Twitter: @TheresaRomain

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for your chance to win a copy of Season For Temptation?  Just fill out the widget below.  Earn extra entries for following!  Open Internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

You can order Season for Surrender from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below. Available in both print and digital

 

Bio:

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. Her historical romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, was published in October 2011. The sequel, SEASON FOR SURRENDER, will be published in October 2012.

SEASON FOR SURRENDER back cover blurb:

HONOR AMONG ROGUES

Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…

MISCHIEF AMONG MISSES

Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring…

Book order links (embedded):

Order print book: amazonbarnes & noblebook depositorybooks-a-millionchapters indigoindieboundpowell’s

Order e-book: kindlenook

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9. Interview with Shana Galen, Author of When You Give a Duke a Diamond and Giveaway!

Shana Galen is the author of many historical romances.  She has a new series hitting stores, and the first book is When You Give a Duke a Diamond.  Shana stopped by the virtual offices to tell us about her new series, and she brought a present! You can enter to win a copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond after the interview.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Shana Galen] mom, wife, author of fast-paced, adventurous Regency romances

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about When You Give a Duke a Diamond?

[Shana Galen] Absolutely! When You Give a Duke a Diamond is the first in my Jewels of the Ton series, which is about three glamorous Regency-era courtesans. Juliette, has been dubbed the Duchess of Dalliance, and she has a reputation as an ice queen. That’s not who she is at all, but she does have a reason to keep aloof and watch her back. Will is the sixth Duke of Pelham and boy does he ever know it! He has a lot of responsibility and likes his life orderly and routine. He doesn’t like scandal. He doesn’t like disruptions. And he doesn’t like Juliette. But when she witnesses the murder of his fiancée and becomes the killer’s next target, Will is honor-bound to protect her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Shana Galen] I had been reading a book by Jo Manning titled My Lady Scandalous because I was researching female spies for Lord and Lady Spy. The book is about Grace Dalrymple Eliott, who was a famous Georgian courtesan and also spied for England during the French Revolution. I started thinking about how glamorous a courtesan’s life could have seemed on the outside and how very precarious their position in Society was. I thought a heroine like that would make an interesting character, especially if I threw a bit of intrigue her way, as I am wont to do.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Juliette?

[Shana Galen] smart, spontaneous, and fun-loving

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things William would never have in his pocket?

[Shana Galen] He wouldn’t have money. He’s a wealthy duke and his name would get him whatever he wanted. Most aristocrats put everything on credit during the Regency anyway. It was vulgar to carry money. He wouldn’t have house keys. He has servants who had better be waiting at attention when he arrives. And he wouldn’t have any IOUs. Gambling was hugely popular during that era and so many people gambled away everything they had. Will is a practical guy. He doesn’t believe in luck or games of chance.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Juliette’s single most prized possession?

[Shana Galen] Definitely her freedom. She’s been under a man’s thumb before, and she would never consent to have her independence taken away again.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Shana Galen] I never realized until I had a child how much I need quiet and time for reflection in order to be creative. So much of the time I have to run to my computer and start working as soon as my daughter takes a nap, but this way of working doesn’t inspire great writing. I have to get up at early o’clock a few times a week so I have a couple of hours of quiet and solitude to just think about my book and my characters and my plot. Occasionally, my husband has an early meeting, and he’ll come downstairs to find me sitting at the table, laptop closed, just thinking. I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m very weird.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Shana Galen] I can write no matter what, but if I could create the perfect situation, I’d have lots of time, silence, and a constantly replenished snack bowl.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Shana Galen] The Selection by Kiera Cass.  (The Selection)  It was such a fun read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Shana Galen] Probably Gone with the Wind. The first time I read it I was in fourth grade. I already loved reading by then, but I’d never read something so complex or wonderfully romantic. I think I fell in love with historical romance reading that novel.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Shana Galen] Honestly? Sleep. I also love spending time with my daughter. She’s almost three, and we play in her toy kitchen, make play dough shapes, and read library books. She has a constant supply of energy and enthusiasm.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Shana Galen] My website is www.shanagalen.com; my Twitter handle is @ShanaGalen; and my Facebook page is www.facebook.com/ShanaGalen. I also blog with the Jaunty Quills (www.jauntyquills.com) and have a blog for moms called Peanut Butter on the Keyboard (www.peanutbutteronthekeyboard.wordpress.com). I love hearing from readers. My email is shana@shanagalen.com. Finally, if readers have a smartphone, they can download my free author app for Apple http://bit.ly/Lc4IRz or Android http://bit.ly/LwaG2h devices. I always have fun app exclusive content.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Want to win a  copy of When You Give A Duke A Diamond?  Entering is easy! Just fill in the widget below.  Extra entries for following!  Open to US shipping addresses.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Didn’t win? You can order When You Give A Duke A Diamond from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below. Available in print and digital

 

WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND BY SHANA GALEN – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2012

He had a perfectly orderly life…

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossips link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Until she came along…

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance, and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s seriously disruptive to have the duke who’s the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shana Galen is the award-winning author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals. She is a three-time RWA Rita Award finalist and a winner of the coveted RT Reviewer’s Choice KISS Award. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She is happily married, with one daughter and a spoiled cat. Look for the next book in the Jewels of the Ton series, If You Give a Rake a Ruby, in March 2013. For more information, please visit www.shanagalen.com, or follow her on Twitter, @ShanaGalen.

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10. Review: How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English

 

Title: How to Tame a Willful Wife

Author: Christy English

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

How To Tame A Willful Wife:
1. Forbid her from riding astride
2. Hide her dueling sword
3. Burn all her breeches and buy her silk drawers
4. Frisk her for hidden daggers
5. Don’t get distracted while frisking her for hidden daggers…
Anthony Carrington, Earl of Ravensbrook, expects a biddable bride. A man of fiery passion tempered by the rigors of war into steely self-control, he demands obedience from his troops and his future wife. Regardless of how fetching she looks in breeches.
Promised to the Earl of Plump Pockets by her impoverished father, Caroline Montague is no simpering miss. She rides a war stallion named Hercules, fights with a blade, and can best most men with both bow and rifle. She finds Anthony autocratic, domineering, and…ridiculously gorgeous.
It’s a duel of wit and wills in this charming retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. But the question is…who’s taming whom?


Review:

I had high hopes for How to Tame a Willful Wife, and I was left disappointed for one reason; I didn’t like the hero, and he never won me over.  Caroline, on the other hand, was a fun heroine, full of spunk and not willing to just sit around and wait on her overbearing husband.  She was overindulged as a child, and allowed to explore life in her own way.  Her father, a rough and crusty sort of guy, saw no problem with his daughter learning how to wield weapons and learn to defend herself.   The world wasn’t a safe place, after all, what with all of the conflicts going on around them.  Raised by fighters, Caroline is unrepentant that she isn’t a girly type of a girl.  Her mother is less than thrilled, and constantly harps on her to grow up and act like a lady, but Caroline is too stubborn and too independent to listen.

One of the things that I liked about her was that despite being a rough and tumble girl, she was always aware that she had a duty to uphold.  Her reputation was everything, and she tried not to bring any embarrassment or scandal to the family.  After her hasty, unwanted marriage to Anthony, whose wealth saved her family from poverty, she finds that nothing she does is good enough for her husband.  She’s not allowed to be herself, and he expects her to conform to his idea of the perfect wife.  No more riding aside, no more weapons lessons, no more, well, FUN, and Caroline doesn’t like that at all.  What I didn’t like was that Anthony expected her to change who she was, without making any changes to himself.  He still intended to carry on as before he was married, with his wife tucked away at his country estate.  He would continue his own pursuits in London, and that included visits to his mistress.  While that might have worked in Shakespeare’s day, it didn’t work for me.

My greatest disappointment with the book was my least favorite plot device, and it’s one that’s used too often in YA novels.  The hero has made a terrible enemy, an awful man who ruined his younger sister.  Instead of explaining the situation to Caroline, Anthony becomes evasive and refuses to tell her why she must stay away from one of the only friendly and welcoming people she’s met.  Why, why, why must she never speak to Lord Carlyle?  By not treating Caroline like an adult, by not being upfront with her, all he did was push her into danger.  Carlyle is a smooth operator, always kind and helpful, more so than her husband.  I found Anthony annoying and thought Caroline deserved better.  I did enjoy the author’s writing style, and hope that the hero of the next book in the series is a little more likable for me.

Grade:  C+

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11. More Romance Deals to Feed Your eReader!

Here are more tempting romances to feed your eReader! I love Loretta Chase and Tessa Dare, and several of their titles are discounted at Amazon.  December is turning out to be a dangerous month for my pocketbook!

Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase – 2.99

Lessons from a Scandalous Bride by Sophie Jordan – 2.99

How to Be a Proper Lady by Katharine Ashe – 2.99

Blame it on bath by Caroline Linden – 2.99

A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare –  2.99

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12. Excerpt: A Christmas Bride/Christmas Beau by Mary Balogh

I can’t resist holiday romances, and Random House is releasing a pair of Mary Balogh’s classic titles.  They are sharing an excerpt of A Christmas Bride/Christmas Beau for your reading pleasure.  If you enjoy, please consider ordering from the links below.

 

A CHRISTMAS BRIDE/CHRISTMAS BEAU by Mary Balogh, Excerpt

About the book:

In a pair of classic Regency-era Christmas romance novels from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh, the holidays herald the greatest gift of all: unexpected, all-consuming love.
A Christmas Bride

The very wealthy Edgar Downes has promised his aging father to finally take a bride—specifically, to wed a titled lady by Christmas. London is full of pretty, proper, and eligible misses, but it’s the widow Helena, Lady Stapleton, in a shocking red dress, who captures Edgar’s attention. Helena is intrigued by the seductive stranger—but he’s simply not in her class. Marriage, of course, would never do. But in a season of miracles, something wondrous is about to happen.

Christmas Beau

Not even the warm, forgiving Christmas spirit can stop the Marquess of Denbigh from settling his score with Judith Easton: The beautiful young widow injured Denbigh’s pride years ago by jilting him for another man. Now that Judith is free from a nightmare marriage, the handsome marquess has her in his sights—and wants her in his arms. But to trust the tender words on his lips, Judith must not only see past the hardness of his heart, but learn once again to trust her own heart’s desire.

You can order from the links below:

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13. Interview with Wendy Vella, Author of The Reluctant Countess and Giveaway!

Wendy Vella, author of The Reluctant Countess, is in the virtual offices today to introduce herself and chat about her new book.  Please give her a warm welcome!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about yourself?

[Wendy Vella] I was born in the beautiful North Island of New Zealand where I live with my husband of 28 years Blake. I have a daughter Sophie age 25 and son Nathan 22.

I’m a hoarder of books an avid cyclist and lover of food. I’m a romantic who can’t watch a movie unless it has a happy ending. I hate shopping and usually end up with another black item that matches the three others in my closet. Patience is not one of my crowning glories but I rarely lose my temper and when I do RUN! I like to talk and often, according to my husband, it takes me an average of 100 words to get to the point. My favourite time of the year is Christmas when according to my family I turn into a crazed Christmas Fairy with maniacal tendencies.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Reluctant Countess?

[Wendy Vella] It’s a story about two people who have never had a reason to trust before. Born into different worlds both have been betrayed by people close to them. Patrick the hero is arrogant, distinguished and hides his emotional scars behind a carefully erected façade. Circumstances place Sophie into a life she is not equipped to cope with yet must to protect the two people she loves most. It’s a journey with plenty of colourful characters, humor and passion that eventually finds Sophie and Patrick in each other’s arms where finally they can find the love they always believed would elude them.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Wendy Vella] I was looking for a competition to enter and found one that gave you the starting scene of a book. The scenario was a ballroom with a handsome Lord and a mysterious Countess and that was where The Reluctant Countess came from. I actually never entered the competition but it worked out well in the end.

The characters really just developed with the story. I had a Countess and an Earl so the main two were already given to me and the opening scene set up their personalities. Patrick was mistrusting of her from the start and Sophie hid her terror of the unfamiliar world she was thrust into by being cold and informal. I have some great secondary characters in this book too, which I hope everyone loves as much as I do.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Sophie?

[Wendy Vella] Protective, vulnerable, courageous.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Patrick had a theme song, what would it be?

[Wendy Vella] (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Sophie won’t leave the house without.

[Wendy Vella] Spare hair pins.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Patrick’s pockets?

[Wendy Vella] His hands, a crumpled handkerchief and any item of food.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Sophie’s greatest regret?

[Wendy Vella] That she has to live a lie to secure the happiness of the two people she loves most.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Wendy Vella] I love reading, and wonderful dialogue with creative characters and intriguing plots is very motivational. When I read something that really stirs me I want to write something that will have the same effect on readers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Wendy Vella] I’m not big on rituals or needing peace and quiet to write. I simply need music, a chair and a laptop. I can pretty much write anywhere.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Wendy Vella] Angel Falls – Nora Roberts

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Wendy Vella] Georgette Heyer – These Old Shades

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Wendy Vella] Spend time with my family. Read or go for a long bike ride. We have some pretty neat scenery over here in NZ so I love getting out on my bike for a few hours.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Wendy Vella] My website is http://www.wendyvella.com/ and I have a facebook page http://facebook.com/AuthorWendyVella and Twitter https://mobile.twitter.com/wendy_vella

“THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS” can be purchased from Random House INC http://www.randomhouse.com/book/221633/the-reluctant-countess-by-wendy-vella

Email: wendy@wendyvella.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can read an excerpt from The Reluctant Countess here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/112350111/Vella-ReluctantCountess-Final

Giveaway Time!!

Thanks to Random House, I have 1 print copy & 3 Net Galley Preview copies to give away!  The digital copies are open Internationally, the print copy is US only.  Fill out the widget for your chance to win.  Earn extra entries by following.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can order The Reluctant Countess from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below.

About the book:

From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.

Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.

Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.

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14. Interview with Jane Ashford, Author of Once Again a Bride and Giveaway!

Today, we have a very special guest!  Please welcome the multi-talented Jane Ashford to the virtual offices.  Jane is celebrating the release of her first book in 10 years and I am absolutely thrilled that she was able to drop by for a chat!  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Jane] I love learning. I practice kindness. I’m a story junkie and inveterate storyteller.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Once Again a Bride?

[Jane] It’s a double love story. Charlotte Wylde and her maid Lucy Bowman both find their perfect matches after enduring a miserable year in a cold, rigid household.

Charlotte’s father, knowing he was losing his mental faculties, married her off to an acquaintance he thought would keep her safe. Unfortunately, his judgment was flawed, and Henry Wylde cares only about Charlotte’s dowry. He treats her with contempt and allows his servants to do the same. Charlotte is determined to rebel when Henry is murdered in the dark streets of London. She’s freed from the shackles of a horrible marriage, but penniless.

Henry’s nephew Alec is amazed to discover that his unpleasant old uncle left a lovely young widow. He’s drawn to her against his better judgment, and soon embroiled in the tangle his uncle left behind. Alec’s sassy young footman finds Lucy equally entrancing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Charlotte?

[Jane] Determined, sadder and wiser.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Alec is never without.

[Jane] His sense of responsibility.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Alec’s bedroom?

[Jane] Laudanum, handcuffs and his little sister’s fearsome cat.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Charlotte’s greatest regret?

[Jane] That she didn’t understand her father’s failing mind more clearly and speak up when he was trying to settle her future.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Jane] My aunt gave me Pride and Prejudice for Christmas when I was twelve years old, and I’ve loved Jane Austen ever since. My small town public library gave me Georgette Heyer, an enduring delight. In college, I studied English literature – Beowulf to James Joyce and beyond. I was intimidated for a while by all that greatness. : ) But my longing to tell stories of my own eventually revived.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Jane] Well, my Mac laptop. A strong cup of English Breakfast tea. And the sign on the outside of my office door that says “working” and means “interrupt only for real emergencies.”

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  What has changed the most in publishing since you started your career as an author?

[Jane] The proliferation of resources on the Internet and in groups like RWA. There are so many new ways for writers to get stories out there and to interact with readers and each other. It’s become a wonderful community.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  How do you feel the romance genre has changed?

[Jane] I think it’s more inclusive, a larger world. There are many more kinds of love stories being told – in terms of protagonists, settings and sensibility.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Jane] Folly by Laurie King.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Jane] Read, of course! Get together with good friends. I love country walks. I’ve been spending some time in southern California and learning a whole new ecosystem. The blue jays look quite different from their Massachusetts kin! I enjoy going to the movies (the whole experience — popcorn, being part of an audience, previews, as well as the feature).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Jane] My website is janeashford.com and my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jane-Ashford/154028944714495. I’ll be at the RT Booklovers Convention in May and hope to see lots of people there!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Ready for your chance to win Once Again a Bride? Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following.  US and Canadian addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can order Once Again a Bride from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below. Available in print and digital.

About the book:

ONCE AGAIN A BRIDE BY JANE ASHFORD – IN STORES FEBRUARY 2013

She couldn’t be more alone…

Widowhood has freed Charlotte Wylde from a demoralizing and miserable marriage. But when her husband’s intriguing nephew and heir arrives to take over the estate, Charlotte discovers she’s unsafe in her own home… Alec Wylde was shocked by his uncle’s untimely death, and even more shocked to encounter his uncle’s beautiful young widow. Now clouds of suspicion are gathering, and charges of murder hover over Charlotte’s head.

He could be her only hope…or her next victim…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Jane’s historical and contemporary romances have been published all over the world, and she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. Eighteen of her Regency romances will be published by Sourcebooks in the near future! Born in Ohio, Jane currently lives in Boston. For more information, please visit www.janeashford.com.

To Purchase Once Again a Bride:

Barnes and Noble

Book-a-Million

IndieBound

Chapters/Indigo

Sourcebooks

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15. Interview with Manda Collins, Author of How to Dance with a Duke

Manda Collins is the author of The Ugly Duckling trilogy, which kicked off with How to Dance with a Duke.  The second book in the series, How to Romance a Rake, will be in stores in July.  Manda stopped by the virtual offices to discuss her new series., so read on to see what she has to say.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Manda Collins] A life long reader–okay maybe not lifelong, I mean who has time to read at one month old?–who loves all things English, romance & mystery.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about How to Dance With a Duke?

[Manda Collins] HTDWAD is the story of Miss Cecily Hurston–a wallflower bluestocking–and Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson–a former soldier with a sense of humor, who are united in their quest to find his missing brother. Cecily, because she wants to prove her father didn’t kill him, and Lucas, because it’s his brother. They get into all sorts of scrapes and eventually uncover just what happened to William Dalton on Lord Hurston’s Egyptian expedition 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for your Ugly Ducklings series?

[Manda Collins] I was thinking about the Gunning sisters, the famous Regency beauties who came to London with nothing but their looks and took the ton by storm. I wondered what it would have been like if they’d had daughters who were constantly being unfavorably compared to them. So, I hatched the idea of the Fabulous Featherstone Sisters, and their not so fabulous daughters, The Ugly Ducklings. Cecily, Juliet and Maddie just sort of evolved from there. And the idea for a trilogy was born.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing How to Dance With a Duke?

[Manda Collins] Now that I’ve written all three of the books, I have to say that How to Dance with a Duke was the easiest to write. It’s much less daunting to write something completely new than to work with characters that people already know and love. However, How to Dance with a Duke did have it’s moments. I think the trickiest bit was deciding how Cecily and Lucas would unravel the mystery. Planting clues and working out the step by step process of the mystery plot was hard.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Cecily?

[Manda Collins] Brilliant, audacious, stubborn.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Lucas would never have in his pocket?

[Manda Collins] A feather. A quizzing glass. An elephant.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Manda Collins] Gosh, that’s a tough one. I am constantly absorbing other stories–from television, from film, from other authors. But for this trilogy, I’d have to say that Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie were a huge influence. I devoured both of them during my childhood and early teens. And one of my favorite bits about Nancy Drew was how she and her friends were so different, but they got along anyway. I also loved it when they hung out together with their boyfriends. Really the Ducklings and their respective heroes owe a huge debt to Nancy, Bess and George. Then there are Agatha Christie’s Egyptian set books. I remember reading several of them in a row one summer when I was in my teens. Add some Jane Austen to the mix, and you’ve got How to Dance with a Duke.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?<

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16. Cover Shot! Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

OMG I love this cover! Shades of Milk and Honey floated right under my radar because I find that cover drab and dull, but this cover is gorgeous!  So pretty!  Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal will be in stores 2013

The magical book that might result if Jane Austen’s Emma were set against the Luddite uprising in the Year Without a Summer

Up-and-coming fantasist Mary Robinette Kowal enchanted fans with award-winning short stories and beloved novels featuring Regency pair Jane and Vincent Ellsworth. In Without a Summer the master glamourists return home, but in a world where magic is real, nothing—even the domestic sphere—is quite what it seems.

Jane and Vincent go to Long Parkmeade to spend time with Jane’s family, but quickly turn restless. The year is unseasonably cold. No one wants to be outside and Mr. Ellsworth is concerned by the harvest, since a bad one may imperil Melody’s dowry. And Melody has concerns of her own, given the inadequate selection of eligible bachelors. When Jane and Vincent receive a commission from a prominent family in London, they decide to take it, and take Melody with them. They hope the change of scenery will do her good and her marriage prospects—and mood—will be brighter in London.

Once there, talk is of nothing but the crop failures caused by the cold and increased unemployment of the coldmongers, which have provoked riots in several cities to the north. With each passing day, it’s more difficult to avoid getting embroiled in the intrigue, none of which really helps Melody’s chances for romance. It’s not long before Jane and Vincent realize that in addition to getting Melody to the church on time, they must take on one small task: solving a crisis of international proportions.

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17. Excerpt: When You Wish Upon a Duke by Isabella Bradford

Random House is sharing an excerpt of When You Wish Upon a Duke, the first book in Isabella Bradford’s Wylder Sister’s series.  Check it out, and if you want to read more, click the widget below to order. When You Wish Upon a Duke by Isabella Bradford (Preview) More about When You Wish Upon A [...]

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18. Celebrate Bad Behavior with Avon’s Summer eBook Sale!

For a limited time, these Avon eBook romances will be offered at a special price of $1.99!  Take advantage of these scandalous prices while you can!

Have you read any of these scandalous romances?  Which would you recommend?

 

Scandalous Love by Brenda Joyce

Sin and Scandal in England by Melody Thomas

Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase

 

Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress by Elizabeth Boyle

His Scandal by Gayle Callen

Scandal of the Black Rose by Debra Mullins

 

A Scandal to Remember by Linda Needham

A Game of Scandal by Kathryn Smith

Her Scandalous Affair by Candice Hern

 

Duke of Scandal by Adele Ashworth

Too Scandalous to Wed by Alexandra Benedict

A Matter of Scandal by Suzanne Enoch

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19. Feed Your Kindle! Pirates and More!

Here are some nicely priced romances to feed your Kindle or Kindle app!

Three books for the price of one! Elizabeth Boyle’s The Brazen Trilogy (The Brazen Series) only $6.99!

A boxed set of Elizabeth Boyle’s wildly popular, Brazen series, including BRAZEN ANGEL, BRAZEN HEIRESS, and BRAZEN TEMPTRESS.

BRAZEN ANGEL: Lady Sophia D’Artiers plays a dangerous game of deception that pits her against the most unlikely of adversaries, her betrothed, Giles Corliss. Winner of the prestigious RWA RITA Award for Best First Book.

BRAZEN HEIRESS — Lady Lily D’Artiers is lured into spying by her childhood love, the bold and dashing Webb Dryden.

BRAZEN TEMPTRESS— Julien D’Artiers’ double life as the toast of the ton and an American privateer are about to collide when he finds himself face to face with the one woman who could unmask him: his wife.


Gentleman Says "I Do" by Amelia Grey (only .99!)

Iverson Brentwood has finally met his match. Catalina Crisp heats his blood like no other lady. Her alluring countenance has stopped him dead in his tracks. But no matter how attracted he is to her, he can’t give into his desire to possess her in every way…she is the daughter of the man he’s sworn to destroy.

Catalina’s father is a well-known writer, but wastrel whose disappearances continuously put them close to destitution. Something drastic must change, so it is with quill in hand, that Catalina completes her father’s latest parody of Iverson and Matson Brentwood’s spectacular arrival in London. When the story hits the newsprint, a darkly handsome man is at her door, looking for her father.

Seeing the dashing rogue in the flesh, for a bewildering moment dallying with the rake seems like the perfect fictional escape—and it’s all she can do not to give into the madness of the intriguing man.


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20. Cheap eBooks for Friday!

Here are some cheap reads to feed your Kindle or Kindle app for the weekend!  We’ve got a little bit of lovin’, and some YA PNR featuring everyone’s favorite supernatural being, the Grim Reaper!

When a Scot Loves a Lady: A Falcon Club Novel by Katharine Ashe (.99)

London gossips are asking: What use has society of an exclusive gentleman’s club if no gentlemen are ever seen to pass through its door?

After years as an agent of the secret Falcon Club, Lord Leam Blackwood knows it’s time to return home to Scotland. One temptation threatens his plans—Kitty Savege. The scandal-plagued lady warms his blood like a dram of fine whiskey. But a dangerous enemy stands in the way of desire, and to beat this foe Leam needs Kitty’s help…

Kitty never wanted to spend her holidays in a wretched country village! With snow up to the windows, escape is nowhere in sight. A roguish Scottish lord, however, is. His rough brogue sends tingles of heat from Kitty’s frigid toes to her chilled nose, but she’s confident she can withstand that. What she cannot control is the reaction of her carefully guarded heart when she discovers this beast is, in fact, no beast at all…

.


Too Scandalous to Wed by Alexandra Bendict (only 1.99!)

HE MUST PROTECT HER FROM HIS PAST …

Unwilling to taint any woman with the terrible secret hidden in his heart, Sebastian, Viscount Ravenswood, has sworn never to marry. Luckily, whimsical Henrietta Ashby was never much of a temptation for the devilishly handsome rogue — until now. Suddenly, Henrietta has learned to seduce him with a bewitching charm … and cla

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21. Interview with Sabrina Darby, Author of The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe

Sabrina Darby is the author of The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe.  I enjoyed this quirky read, and was delighted when Sabrina agreed to answer some of my questions.  Check out what she has to say:

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Sabrina Darby] From my bio:  I’ve been reading romance since the age of seven and learned my best vocabulary (dulcet, diaphanous, and turgid) from them!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe?

[Sabrina Darby] This story was so much fun to write because the premise is basically a mom hiring a mistress for her son.

The official blurb is:

Wanted:

A beautiful young woman—preferably one with no connections, who won’t ask too many questions—to spend two weeks in the North of England with an obstinate, aloof, and utterly handsome man.

Must love dogs, fixing up crumbling castles, and gorgeous and complicated war heroes who may or may not be hiding hearts of gold under their gruff exteriors.

Must not, under any circumstances, fall in love . . .

Simpering misses need not apply.

You can find an excerpt at http://www.scribd.com/doc/100422106/The-Short-and-Fascinating-Tale-of-Angelina-Whitcombe-by-Sabrina-Darby

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Sabrina Darby] This story actually started as a blog post on TheBallroomBlog.com, where I was playing with some of the common story elements in historical romance: wounded, war-scarred hero, meddling mother, castle, etc.  It grew into a series of posts and then into a novella.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Angelina?

[Sabrina Darby] Ambitious, Determined, Unconventional

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things John would never have in his pocket?

[Sabrina Darby] This is a hard one.  John’s definitely the sort of guy who might collect random things if he thought they could be put to good use. Of course, he’s also very neat, so there would be nothing in his pocket by the end of the day. I do think, by the time the story happens, he would likely never have a gun in his pocket.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Angelina had a theme song, what would it be?

[Sabrina Darby] Just prior to meeting John, I’d say her theme song is the Dar Williams version of Comfortably Numb. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Sabrina Darby] Another good question, and hard to pick just a few since there is no doubt that I’m influenced by all of the amazing artists who have come before me. However, for now, I’d say Ani DiFranco, Carole Maso and Magritte.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Sabrina Darby] Something to write with, something to write on, and a latte. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Sabrina Darby] If we’re talking romance, then I’d have to say the last Sarah MacLean book that I read. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Sabrina Darby] I can’t remember because I’ve been reading voraciously for as long as I can remember. However, books like Harriet the Spy definitely contributed to my love for writing. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Sabrina Darby] In the past, I used to love ballroom dancing and karate. These days, I like going to museums (Los Angeles has some of the best!), traveling and spending time with my husband, family and friends.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Sabrina Darby] I love when I get to interact with readers! You can find me online at SabrinaDarby.com, twitter.com/SabrinaDarby, facebook.com/sabrinadarbyromance or at TheBallroomBlog.com.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below. Available in print and digital (digital is only .99!!)

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22. Cheap Reads! Regency Edition!

Here are some cheap reads to feed your Kindle or Kindle app for the weekend!  Today I am spotlighting one of my favorite Regency lines.  InterMix is reprinting a selection of Signet’s Regency Romances.  Much like Random House’s Loveswept imprint, the Signet Regency Romances will always be near and dear to my heart. Many of my favorite authors wrote for the line.  These are all preorders for September and October.

The Errant Earl: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by Amanda McCabe

The RITA Award-nominated Signet Regency Romance from Amanda McCabe. Available Digitally for the First Time After the untimely deaths of his estranged father and actress stepmother, Marcus Hadley returns home for the first time in years. Desperate to make amends for protesting the doomed couple’s marriage, he has decided to take charge of the young stepsister he never knew… But Julia is not a child any longer. She and a group of her actor friends have been living on the estate Marcus once called his home, and she knows Marcus will not approve. After all, he despised her mother and she was an actress. To save her friends from scorn, Julia conspires to have them play new roles in her household—as servants. But when she discovers that Marcus is a changed man, she stops worrying about losing her home—and starts to worry if she’s losing her heart… Be sure to look for Amanda McCabe’s other Regency Romances now available from InterMix: Scandal in Venice, The Spanish Bride, The Lady Rogue, and The Star of India. And don’t miss The Rules of Love, available December 2012.

 

Libby’s London Merchant: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by Carla Kelly

An engaging Signet Regency Romance of mysterious suitors and surprising secrets from the “the powerful and wonderfully perceptive.”* Carla Kelly…
Available Digitally for the First Time
Beautiful Miss Libby Ames knew little about the man who landed unexpectedly at her country manor. Only that he called himself Mr. Nesbitt Duke, a London merchant. And after one look at Libby, he claimed he’d fallen in love. But it was soon clear that this handsome stranger was not being entirely truthful.
Arriving at Libby’s doorstep was not fate, but rather an encounter of Nesbitt’s own design. Furthermore, his position in life was far from that of a merchant. His name too was a lie. But his true identity was still not the greatest mystery. For Libby had no idea of the secret longings of her own heart—or what to do next about the mystery man, and the passionate love that has taken her by shocking surprise.
*New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney 


The Jilting of Baron Pelham: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by June Calvin

 

A classic Signet Regency Romance from beloved author June Calvin.
Available Digitally for the First Time
A Trio of Temptations
Though new to the London marriage mart, Miss Davida Gresham had three marvelous men in her young life. One was the devastatingly attractive Baron Montgomery Pelham, newly jilted by the most beautiful belle of the ton, and seeking to use Davida as an instrument of vengeance. One was the dazzingly handsome, fabulously wealthy Harrison Curzon, bored with experienced mistresses and lusting for an innocent bride. And the third was the gentle and kindly Duke of Harwood, the father of Davida’s best friend, looking for a wife to replace the one he had tragically lost. One match assured lasting safety. One match offered unleashed sensuality. And one match promised only certain shame. But the question was, which match would light the fire of love in the heart that had to choose for better or worse…?

 

The Wagered Heart: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by Rhonda Woodward (Kindle Edition – Oct 9, 2012)

 

Available Digitally for the First Time

For "historically accurate writing that shines" (All About Romance) look no further than this classic Rhonda Woodward Signet Regency Romance.

Miss Julia Allard is enjoying an afternoon of shopping in town when a handsome stranger catches up to her. Before she knows what’s happening, she is in his arms being kissed! Miss Allard slaps her assailant, the Duke of Kelbourne, but not before her reputation is tarnished…and the memory of his passionate kiss is sealed on her lips. Cutting her Season short, she returns home to Bath to concoct an elaborate revenge. But little does she know that the duke has some rakish plans of his own…

Don’t miss Rhonda Woodward’s classics, A Spinster’s Luck and A Hint of Scandal–available in eBook from InterMix.

 

 

The Golden Feather: Signet Regency Romance (InterMix) by Amanda McCabe


A classic Signet Regency Romance from Amanda McCabe, an author who writes “flawlessly crafted historical romance” (Chicago Tribune).

Caroline Aldritch is shocked to learn her late husband’s only legacy to her is the Golden Feather, a notorious gaming establishment. Faced with a life of personal poverty, the genteel widow hatches a desperate scheme: She will don a silk mask, call herself Mrs. Archer, and risk scandal by running the Golden Feather. No one must ever discover her secret—not even dashing Lord Lyndon, who will stop at nothing to unmask her…

Don’t miss Amanda McCabe’s charming Signet Regency Romance, One Touch of Magic, available November 2012.

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23. New and Notable Releases: Week of September 3 Part One

Here are new adult releases for the week. It’s a monster list, with quite a few titles from my wish list.  I think I am most excited for Her Amish Man because it looks wonderfully cheesy, and  Not Proper Enough.  Are there any must haves from your list? Check back tomorrow for new and notable Young Adult releases.

Click the titles for the Amazon product page.

 

Alone Time: Visits to Petal, Part 1  by Lauren Dane (Sep 4, 2012)

Guardian (Berkley Sensation) by Catherine Mann (Sep 4, 2012)

Her Amish Man by Erin Bates (Sep 4, 2012)

 

In Rides Trouble: Black Knights Inc. . by Julie Ann Walker (Sep 4, 2012)

The Reluctant Amazon by Sandy James (Sep 3, 2012) 

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster (Sep 1, 2012)

 

A Lady and Her Magic by Tammy Falkner (Sep 1, 2012)

The Last Renegade (Berkley Sensation) by Jo Goodman (Sep 4, 2012)

Not Proper Enough (A Reforming the Scoundrels Romance) (Berkley Sensation) by Carolyn Jewel (Sep 4, 2012)

Playing to Win by Jaci Burton (Sep 4, 2012)

Ruined By Moonlight: A Whispers of Scandal Novel by Emma Wildes (Sep 4, 2012)

A Season for Sin by Vicky Dreiling (Sep 4, 2012)

When You Give a Duke a Diamond (The Fallen Ladies) by Shana Galen (Sep 1, 2012)  

Witch Born by Amber Argyle (Sep 5, 2012)

Dragon’s Moon (A Children of the Moon Novel) by Lucy Monroe (Sep 4, 2012)

 

How to Drive a Dragon Crazy (Dragon Kin) by G.A. Aiken (Sep 4, 2012)

In a Fix by Linda Grimes (Sep 4, 2012)

The Kingmakers (Vampire Empire, Book 3) by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith (Sep 4, 2012)

The Lost Night (A Rainshadow Novel) ) by Jayne Castle (Sep 4, 2012)

The Map of the Sky: A Novel by Felix J Palma (Sep 4, 2012)

Primal Possession: A Moon Shifter Novel by Katie Reus (Sep 4, 2012)

Ravenous (Clare Point Vampires) by V. K. Forrest (Sep 4, 2012)

Riveted (A Novel of the Iron Seas) by Meljean Brook (Sep 4, 2012)

The Skybound Sea (The Aeons’ Gate Book Three)) by Sam Sykes (Sep 4, 2012)

A Tale of Two Vampires: A Dark Ones Novel by Katie MacAlister (Sep 4, 2012)

This Case Is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova (Sep 4, 2012)

Two Ravens and One Crow: An Iron Druid Chronicles Novella  by Kevin Hearne (Sep 4, 2012) (Novella)

The Wild Road: Book Three of Karavans by Jennifer Roberson (Sep 4, 2012)

Are any of these on your must have list?

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24. Interview with Tammy Falkner, Author of A Lady and Her Magic and Giveaway!

Tammy Falkner is the author of A Lady and Her Magic, a new release from Sourcebooks.  Tammy stopped by the virtual offices to introduce herself, and she brought a copy of her book for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Tammy Falkner] Sports mom (the one with the cow bell), wife of almost 20 years, hopeless romantic

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about A Lady and Her Magic?

[Tammy Falkner] Sophia Thorne is a faerie on a mission. She’s been sent to help the daughter of the Duke of Robinsworth. But there’s magic at play that draws the two of them together again and again. He’s not of her world, and she can’t stay in his. So, what’s a faerie to do when the Unpardonable Errors keep her away from the one she loves? Luckily, the reclusive Ashley is stronger than she ever dreamed, and he takes matters into his own hands in trying to win her heart.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Tammy Falkner] I like magic and paranormal. I have always wanted to write about faeries, and decided to stick them in the middle of Regency England and find out what happened! I had a lot of fun with them in this time period.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Sophia?

[Tammy Falkner] Fearless, faithful, and determined.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Ashley would never have in his pocket?

[Tammy Falkner] One thing Ashley would never carry in his pocket is faerie dust. It has been known to combust in untrained hands. Regency men didn’t travel with pockets full of things like other eras, so I can’t think of much else. He WOULD have a handkerchief. And maybe a miniature of his daughter, Anne.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Sophia’s single most prized possession?

[Tammy Falkner] Her faerie dust.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Tammy Falkner] Most definitely my parents. My dad and I sit at the dinner table and talk about faeries and how much trouble I can get them into. And my mom chimes in occasionally to tell us when something is really not working. I also get a lot from my kids. They can get into some of the most astonishing scrapes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Tammy Falkner] Quiet, Diet Dr. Pepper, and a dog at my feet. I usually have a cat behind my head, too, but I can ignore that.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Tammy Falkner] Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Tammy Falkner] The “Only” series by Elizabeth Lowell.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Tammy Falkner] I am the quintessential sports mom. I am at all the games, all the matches and I sit on the bleachers and embarrass my children. That’s what they’re for, right? We also take the family out on the boat a lot and do some skiing and tubing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Tammy Falkner] On Facebook, Twitter @tfalkner, and on my website: www.tammyfalkner.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

For your chance to win a copy of A Lady and Her Magic, fill out the widget below.  You can earn extra entries by following!  US addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase A Lady and Her Magic from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below.

A LADY AND HER MAGIC BY TAMMY FALKNER – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2012

Rules Are Made to be Disobeyed…

Sophia Thorne is new to the Regency’s glittering high society, which resembles her magical homeland only insofar as both places are filled with ridiculous rules. Which means no matter where she goes, she’s bound for trouble…

And Scandals Are Meant to be Shocking…

The Duke of Robinsworth has flaunted and shocked society for years. In a moment of fateful mischief, Robinsworth encounters the enchanting and distinctly scandalous Sophia. Between her streak of magical mischief and his penchant for scandal, they’re about to take rule-breaking to a whole new level…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As half of the Lydia Dare writing team, Tammy Falkner has co-written ten books, including A Certain Wolfish Charm and In the Heat of the Bite. A huge fan of Regency England, her new series explores the theory that the fae can walk between the glittering world of the ton and their own land. Tammy lives on a farm in rural North Carolina with her husband and a house full of boys, a few dogs, and a cat or two. For more information, please visit http://www.tammyfalkner.com and follow her on Twitter, @TFalkner.

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25. Avon Romance eBook Sale! Prepare To Be Pleased! Part 1

Avon is having an eBook sale! These digital romances are all on sale for $1.99 for a limited time only.  Clicking the cover will take you to the Amazon product page.  Check back tomorrow for a few more bargains!

Have you read any of these? Which would you recommend?

To Pleasure a Duke by Sarah Bennett

It has taken Eugenie Belmont but a moment to decide whom to marry . . .

Unfortunately the gentleman in question, the Duke of Somerton, hasn’t yet offered—a mere formality for a confirmed member of the Husband Hunters Club of Miss Debenham’s Finishing School. Like her friends, Eugenie is unwilling to wait demurely until the perfect mate happens by. And, despite the handsome duke’s imposing reputation, she can feel his heated glances in her direction are charged with desire . . . and possibilities.

Saddled with a dukedom, a haughty dowager,and an irresponsible younger sister, Sinclair St. John is far too occupied with important matters to indulge in romantic whims. But for the first time in his life, a brazen temptress has him utterly distracted. He could—and he should—dismiss her and court someone more befitting his station. But he is irresistibly drawn to this bewitching woman . . . and must match her game of seduction, move for passionate move.

 

His Christmas Pleasure by Cathy Maxwell

Anything can happen at Christmas!

When her father threatens to marry Abigail Montross off to a man twice her age (and with thirteen children!), she decides to elope instead with the irresistibly handsome Baron de Vasconia. She knows all about his notorious reputation. He is the most seductive man in all of London, but he’s vowed to protect her, so she allows herself to be tempted into his bed, promising to guard her heart at all costs.

Andres believes he’s entered into nothing more than a marriage of convenience with a charming and very wealthy young woman. But the days—and nights—Abigail spends in his arms soon reform this rogue. He’ll do anything to gain her love—until they each discover the truth about the other and old wounds are revealed.

It’s the season of miracles and passion—when love not only awakens the senses but delivers the greatest gift of all . . .

 

 

Sinful Pleasures by Mary Reed McCall

A Noble Knight…

Once, Lady Alissende de Montague and Sir Damien de Ashby were passionate, secret lovers — until the day Alissende had to turn her back on him, shattering both their hearts and changing their lives forever. Knowing he would never love another, Damien cast off all earthly concerns to dedicate his life to the Templar Knights. But now, his life endangered, he is thrust back into a world he’d left behind…coming face-to-face with the proud beauty who’d once spurned him.

A Wicked Promise…

Alissende will use her influence to save the man she still loves in exchange for his protection from the detestable, powerful earl bent on claiming her. It is a perilous bargain, forcing Damien to reunite with the one woman who could make him reject his vows for the temptations of the flesh. For their love rekindled will only burn deeper, threatening to consume them in the flames of dangerous intrigue and forbidden desires…

 

 

Perilous Pleasure by Jenny Brown

A Mysterious Lord under A Vow of Chastity…A Virgin Who Must Seduce Him to Save Her Life

Lord Ramsay has waited years to exact his vengeance on the scheming courtesan who sent his sister to the guillotine. Now the courtesan’s grown daughter is completely under his control. Her virginity is essential for the ancient rite that will give him the mystical powers he’s worked to master since his sister’s death. But Ramsay isn’t prepared for the vulnerable, courageous woman he finds–a woman with powers of her own.

Zoe has only one weapon against the fate that awaits her…seduction. Only that will rid her of the virginity Ramsay so prizes. Yet even as Zoe uses her charms to bewitch her abductor, Ramsay’s haunted, Pisces soul weaves a sensual spell around her too. Soon, the two will be bound together by a passion as bright as the stars–and locked in a desperate struggle against an ancient sorcery that can only be vanquished by love.


 

Passion and Pleasure in London by Melody Thomas

Winter Ashburn was once the toast of the ton, but now she skirts the margins of high society by stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Her latest mark is none other than Rory Jameson, the rake who dared mistake her for a lady of the evening. Winter has stolen from her fair share of scandalously handsome men in the past . . . so why does her heart beat faster as she approaches his door?

Rory Jameson is a rake, it’s true. And he’s caught many a thief while on secret missions for the Crown, but none has been this intriguing, this enticing. He will make Winter repay what she took so shamelessly . . . and melt her icy facade with the heat of his wicked touch. But her kiss sets his soul on fire—and now he will never be satisfied until he has made this alluring temptress his own.

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