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Release Day – SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID Release Day

Today is release day for SOME LIKE IT PLAID, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by USA Today bestselling author Angela Quarles. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

About the Book
Title: SOME LIKE IT PLAID
Author: Angela Quarles
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Release Date: November 18, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
When Ashley Miller sees a Craigslist ad for an all-expense paid vacation to Scotland with a handsome Highland “escort”, she’s all over it. Worn out from working two jobs to pay off the debts her scam artist ex-husband left her with, she just needs a friggin’ break already. Rolling, misty mountains of the Scottish Highlands, here she comes!

But one minute she’s sipping a latte and the next she’s zapped to the 2nd century and promptly informed she’s managed to wed her handsome Highlander without even an “I do.” Oh, hell no.

After a devastating tragedy, Connall’s tribe is left with few marriageable women. When his Druid priest suggests a place filled with bonnie lasses, he of course agrees to go fetch one for himself. But nothing prepared Connall for his sassy new wife, nor his tribe for a woman determined to see equal rights for all women.

Now the men are threatening revolt if he can’t rein his young wife in, but it might be too late. The women are demanding the men get “woke”—which of course makes no sense because they already woke that morn—and give women “the vote,” whatever the bloody hell that is. Despite all that, Connall can’t stop wanting to convince his wife to get naked, and he’s starting to wonder if he’s been bewitched.

Only the more he gets to know her, the more he starts to think she’s just what they needed. If only he survives her next demand…

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SOME LIKE IT PLAID Teaser

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Excerpt
“Head out? Where are we?” That trickle of unease bloomed in her heart, her breath catching. Because his words were different. Somehow, he was speaking in a lilting but foreign language, and she’d not only understood every single word, but had answered in the same language. 

To distract herself and, well, because her stomach chose that moment to growl, as if it knew she’d just been handed food and was all, Gimme, woman, she took a bite of bread. 

The yeasty flavor burst on her tongue, along with the taste and crunch of oodles of grains. No dream she’d ever had was this vivid. The details were sharp, down to her being cold. And to the odd taste and texture of the bread. And her hunger. 

The taste, though—a fuzzy memory poked. She took another bite, trying to chase it. Whatever it was, it had been buried so far in her past she couldn’t form it. Except for a fleeting, wonderful feeling of being cherished. 

“Aye, we need to break camp and head to my tribe’s stronghold. And we’re in a land called Scotland.” 

That last word was not in the same language—instead it was in her own—and he said it as if it were a strange word to him. 

“What happened? How did we get here?” She’d asked this last night, but maybe he’d change his answer. 

He strode toward her and knelt. She appreciated he would no doubt repeat himself but took the time to listen to her and patiently explain. “Mungan, our spellcaster, weaved strong magic. Brought me to your land, and then brought us both back here.” He held up a round stone incised with two parallel deep grooves around its center. As if that explained everything. 

The hell it does. Some dude, even in a dream, was just whisking her about? 

He waved to the two horses. “They left us mounts to ease our journey.” 

She swallowed, trying to work moisture into her parched throat. “How long will it take to get to your…stronghold?” 

“Only part of the morning.” 

“How many hours?” 

“Hours?” 

“Yeah, how long? How many hours?” Was her Star Trek Universal Translator on the fritz already? The word “hours” had come out in English. 

He shook his head and frowned. Then he pointed to the sun just barely visible as a pale glow behind morning clouds. “As long as it takes the sun to travel from there”—he slid his finger just a few inches away—“to there.” 

She pulled in a deep breath. Oookay. 

He marched over to a shaggy brown horse, grabbed the saddle, and swung himself up into it with one swift motion, like she’d seen in old cowboy movies. 

Wow, that was hot. 

She’d ridden her share of horses growing up in Nebraska but had never perfected that technique. She stepped up to her horse and stroked its mane, pulling in the musky scent of the beast, letting him smell her, adjust to her. The animal’s fur was thick and curly, its coarse hairs springing through her stroking fingers. 

Is this real? 

She stared at the imposing but gentle Highlander, and then at the horse she was supposed to ride. If she did as he asked, she’d no longer be “playing along” with her dream. She’d have to face what she hadn’t wanted to admit yet— hopping onto this horse would be accepting this wasn’t a dream. This step, this moment, felt real. Tangible. 

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Author Angela Quarles

Author Angela Quarles

About The Author
An avid reader herself, Angela Quarles writes books she’d like to read–laugh-out-loud, smart, sexy romances that suck you into her worlds and won’t let you go until you reach The End. She is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, time travel, and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.

 

 

 

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Where to Find Angela Quarles
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | PinterestAmazon

 

Pre-Release Blitz – Excerpt – SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID Pre-Release Blitz

Welcome to the pre-release blitz for SOME LIKE IT PLAID, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by USA Today bestselling author Angela Quarles. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt.

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

SOME LIKE IT PLAID by Angela Quarles

About the Book
Title: SOME LIKE IT PLAID
Author: Angela Quarles
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Release Date: November 18, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
When Ashley Miller sees a Craigslist ad for an all-expense paid vacation to Scotland with a handsome Highland “escort”, she’s all over it. Worn out from working two jobs to pay off the debts her scam artist ex-husband left her with, she just needs a friggin’ break already. Rolling, misty mountains of the Scottish Highlands, here she comes!

But one minute she’s sipping a latte and the next she’s zapped to the 2nd century and promptly informed she’s managed to wed her handsome Highlander without even an “I do.” Oh, hell no.

After a devastating tragedy, Connall’s tribe is left with few marriageable women. When his Druid priest suggests a place filled with bonnie lasses, he of course agrees to go fetch one for himself. But nothing prepared Connall for his sassy new wife, nor his tribe for a woman determined to see equal rights for all women.

Now the men are threatening revolt if he can’t rein his young wife in, but it might be too late. The women are demanding the men get “woke”—which of course makes no sense because they already woke that morn—and give women “the vote,” whatever the bloody hell that is. Despite all that, Connall can’t stop wanting to convince his wife to get naked, and he’s starting to wonder if he’s been bewitched.

Only the more he gets to know her, the more he starts to think she’s just what they needed. If only he survives her next demand…

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Excerpt
She swallowed the hot ball of emotion gathering in her throat and sat up straighter, determined to shift the conversation to the reason they met in the coffee shop. “So, about this job…” 

“Not sure why ye insist on calling it a job.” 

“It entails washing and cooking, your ad said. In exchange for my trip there?” How hard could washing and cooking duties be? Especially if it was just half a day and she could explore the rest of the day. 

Explore Scotland

Working herself to the bone to pay off her bastard of an ex-husband’s debts, well, she needed a breather. A break. A ray of sunshine to peek through the gray clouds choking her present circumstances. So she’d know all this hard work was worth it

He was answering her question, but the enormous bicep parked right next to her pulled her focus from his words. How was a girl supposed to think? Well, about anything other than—would it be rude to put her thigh alongside and see which was bigger? Because, honestly, she wasn’t sure if hers was. She nodded along and managed to ask the one thing she wanted to be clear on. “This is just for part of the day, right? Four hours a day?” 

She picked up the muffin, but nervousness had taken up all the room in her stomach, so she set it back down. 

“Well, that’s much less than the other women in my village, but aye, I might have an idea of other ways you can spend your time.” He gave her a charming wink. 

He spun around on the stool and faced her, placing his hands on his knees, his fingers long and strong. It put him more in her personal space, and it was all she could do not to match his movements and face him. He leaned forward, his two braids swinging toward her. “So we’re in agreement?” 

She pulled all the giddy parts of her into a tight ball so this feeling wouldn’t control her, and took a deep breath. She could do this. She deserved this. “Yes.” 

“Then let us depart.”

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Author Angela Quarles

Author Angela Quarles

About The Author
An avid reader herself, Angela Quarles writes books she’d like to read–laugh-out-loud, smart, sexy romances that suck you into her worlds and won’t let you go until you reach The End. She is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, time travel, and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.

 

 

 

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Where to Find Angela Quarles
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | PinterestAmazon

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE (Scalisi Family) by Meredith Allison

PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE, the second book in the adult historical thriller series, Scalisi Family, by Meredith Allison. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE (Scalisi Family #2) by Meredith Allison

PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE (Scalisi Family #2) by Meredith Allison

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
PRINCES OF LOWER EAST SIDE
Series: Scalisi Family #2
Author: Meredith Allison
Release Date: October 28, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Thriller
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Mia Scalisi returns in this highly anticipated follow-up to Blood & Whiskey!

Sicily is a paradise on earth Mia Angela Scalisi doesn’t want to leave, but after over a year of peace, obligations—like being Hyman Goldberg’s It Girl at his new nightclub—call her back to New York City.

But everything she’s known in New York has changed…and that might even include the men she once thought were her friends.

When a new, ambitious gangster threatens to take over the old neighborhood, bringing devastation to the poor families who live there, Mia can’t ignore the bonds that tie her to the underworld way of life that killed her brother and set her upon a merciless, bloody path of revenge.

With her brother’s widow, her niece, and a mysterious, devoted bodyguard at her side, Mia must reclaim her position as head of her dead brother’s business, establish herself as the reigning queen among the princes of the Lower East Side, and make the ultimate decision: who lives, and who must die.

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Excerpt #1
Gloria said, hands on her hips. “You promised my husband to watch out for me and Em, but he would want me to watch over you, too. You need someone to look after you, Mia. To care for you. Even if you don’t think you need anyone.”

“I have Paolo.” Mia had asked him once if he’d known what she’d done in America. He understood English, so she spoke both Sicilian and English to him. Paolo had responded with a single, firm nod. And that had been the only time they had discussed it—as much of a discussion as could be had with a mute man.

When she’d announced to her family two weeks ago that she was returning to New York, there seemed an unspoken understanding Paolo would also make that trip. Nevertheless, Don Catalano, who had made the arrangements for her, had told her in no uncertain terms the fierce Sicilian man would be accompanying her as her bodyguard and remaining by her side in New York.

She had come to appreciate his silent presence, his protective hovering. It was hard to understand why he had chosen her to devote himself to, but it wasn’t a gift she was interested in questioning.

“I don’t trust Paolo,” Gloria said. “How do you trust a man who can’t talk?”

“I find him the most trustworthy of men for that reason alone.”

“You can’t travel and live on your own with a man you’re not married to,” she insisted. “You’re still just a young girl, after all.”

“I’ll be twenty-three in September.”

“You are a child,” Gloria repeated softly.

Mia smiled, a little bitterly, down at her small case of cosmetics, dropping the envelope on top. When she was a child, she’d lost both of her parents—her father to a heart attack when she was just a toddler. Her mother had died in a terrible fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, leaping from the top of the building in order to avoid being burned by the flames. Mia and Nick had been forced to hustle the streets, begging for handouts, learning poker to swindle the gangsters, stealing food, freezing nearly to death in their filthy tenement. She’d become a vaudeville performer, because young girls telling raunchy jokes to older men made money. When Nick had been drafted to the war, she’d worked a dozen hours a day for an abusive woman in a dress factory, just to keep a little food in her stomach. She’d known more about being an adult at twelve than most women her age knew now. Once she might have been proud of that, but now, it only made her sad. 

Finally, she looked at Gloria. “I haven’t been a child for a very long time.”

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: BLOOD & WHISKEY
GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Meredith Allison

Author Meredith Allison

About the Author
Meredith Allison has embraced her nerdiness from youth, with minor jaunts of attempting to be “cool” during high school and college. Spoiler alert: she was unsuccessful at fooling anyone. After this dark period, she returned to the light, embracing her bookish nature and penchant for action and horror films, bloody survivalist video games (she’s looking at you, Resident Evil and Call of Duty) interspersed with the occasional sweeping fantasy adventure RPG (Final Fantasy, anyone?). Along the way, she developed her knack for storytelling, which began when she was a mere child-person many moons ago.

Meredith is a writer (and reader) of many kinds of fiction, but in particular spy thrillers, military-esque suspense, and historical crime. A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, she is by proxy a Huskers fan (GO BIG RED!), as UNL is her undergraduate alma mater, and moonlights as an obligatory Blue Jays fan due to completing her graduate MFA studies at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

When she emerges from her writing cave, blinking in dismay at having to be exposed to the cruel light of day yet again, she can be found romping with her two Pomeranians, serving her overlord cat, hanging with her husband, battling it out with the undead or practicing a new kind of magery on her PlayStation, or simply huddled in a dark corner somewhere with just enough light to read a favorite book. Other interests include baking, cooking, and blogging about new restaurants.

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Release Day +Giveaway – RIBBONS OF SCARLETT – by Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight

RIBBONS OF SCARLETT Release Day

Today is release day for RIBBONS OF SCARLETT, a stand-alone adult historical novel by New York Times bestselling authors, Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.

RIBBONS OF SCARLETT – by Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight

RIBBONS OF SCARLETT – by Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight

About the Book
Title: RIBBONS OF SCARLETT
Author: Laura Kamoie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb, and E. Knight
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | indiBound | Audible

Synopsis
Ribbons of Scarlet is a timely story of the power of women to start a revolution—and change the world.

In late eighteenth-century France, women do not have a place in politics. But as the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded salons to the streets of Paris decide otherwise—upending a world order that has long oppressed them.

Blue-blooded Sophie de Grouchy believes in democracy, education, and equal rights for women, and marries the only man in Paris who agrees. Emboldened to fight the injustices of King Louis XVI, Sophie aims to prove that an educated populace can govern itself–but one of her students, fruit-seller Louise Audu, is hungrier for bread and vengeance than learning. When the Bastille falls and Louise leads a women’s march to Versailles, the monarchy is forced to bend, but not without a fight. The king’s pious sister Princess Elisabeth takes a stand to defend her brother, spirit her family to safety, and restore the old order, even at the risk of her head.

But when fanatics use the newspapers to twist the revolution’s ideals into a new tyranny, even the women who toppled the monarchy are threatened by the guillotine. Putting her faith in the pen, brilliant political wife Manon Roland tries to write a way out of France’s blood-soaked Reign of Terror while pike-bearing Pauline Leon and steely Charlotte Corday embrace violence as the only way to save the nation. With justice corrupted by revenge, all the women must make impossible choices to survive–unless unlikely heroine and courtesan’s daughter Emilie de Sainte-Amaranthe can sway the man who controls France’s fate: the fearsome Robespierre.

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RIBBONS OF SCARLETT Teaser

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Exclusive Excerpt

National Convention
Paris, France
December 1792

“There she is, the harlot . . .”

La femme Roland . . .”

“Traitorous slut . . .”

The whispers followed me as I made my way across the floor, looking neither right nor left. It was the first time a woman had been called to address the Convention, and I’d dressed for the occasion as though it were an honor: a blue gown that foamed about my feet as I stalked to the bar, a white fichu pinned with my tricolor cockade, red ribbons twined through my hair. A revolutionary patriot, top to toe. When I turned to face the questions, I let my eyes travel, bold and confident, to the high bleacher seats where the radical Jacobins held court.

Before the proceedings could even begin, some heckler from their ranks called, “How do you answer the charge of treason, citizeness?”

I replied with calm contempt. “The charge is ludicrous, and all here know it.”

It was a smear job of the crudest kind: an unsavory informer reporting he had discovered a London conspiracy to restore the king, and that my husband and I were complicit. My husband had already been summoned to account for himself and had perhaps not done as well as he might: he couldn’t hide his indignation, and he became flustered when the tone turned sneering. I would not give my questioners a chance to sneer.

“The informer states clearly, Citizeness Roland, that you—”

“I did not summon him.” I spoke briskly, taking the reins before my questioner could bring down the whip and speed this interrogation to the pace my enemies wanted. This was going to go at my pace, not theirs. “From my files of letters I can see the man wrote to me, asking for an interview with Minister Roland. I receive dozens of such requests every week.”

“You do not deny you received the man?”

“He paid a brief call, and from his probing I concluded he was sent to sound us out about some scheme or other.” I smiled. “Or perhaps I was wrong. I am a woman and not skilled in these matters.”

The questioner took turns with his colleagues, trying to turn my words on me, trying to talk me in circles. As long as I had listened to politicians drone over my dinner table, I could talk anyone in circles. I shredded their accusations and stamped the shreds underfoot, feeling the color rise in my cheeks—not embarrassment, but the fierce heat of pride. Was this what Roland felt when he addressed the Convention? This rush of power that tingled the fingertips, the confidence that my words were deploying like obedient soldiers and the crowd sat in the palm of my hand? Why would anyone who had command of this floor ever leave it?

Finally, I was excused to the sound of ringing applause among the deputies, the charge dismissed in full, the honors of the session formally accorded to me. I looked from Robespierre to Danton to Marat with a wide bland smile as I glided out, and the smile became a beam as my husband drew me into the nearest empty hall.

“Thank goodness it’s over.” His face was creased with relief. “Let me take you home, calm your nerves.”

“My nerves are calm, and I can take myself home. You stay, speak with those who need reassuring.”

He kissed my forehead. “I hated seeing you up there,” he muttered, before rushing back inside.

He’d hardly gone before a low voice spoke behind me, prickling my skin. “I loved seeing you up there. You were born to it.”

I turned, smile draining away. The man who loved me stood feet planted wide, arms folded, dark hair rumpled—he must have been waiting to catch me alone. “Citizen,” I managed to say, not daring to put his name through my lips.

“You were brilliant,” he said quietly. “Brave as a lioness.” A voice of calm power for a man not yet thirty-three. Six years younger than I, what did that say about me? “They should have known better than to try to trap you in so crude a snare.”

“That shabby excuse for a conspiracy might have been crude, but it was real, even if we had no involvement.” I kept my voice brisk, turning the conversation to safer waters. “As long as the king lives, there will be plots to restore him. The matter will have to be dealt with.”

“The king is just a man, and a small one.”

“With a long shadow.”

We both smiled involuntarily. It had always been like that with us, the eager cut-and-thrust of our minds. “If you wish to speak to my husband . . .”

But the man who loved me took my hand.

“Manon, I honor Roland and support him always. But I am here for you.”

RIBBONS OF SCARLETT Teaser

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Author Laura Kamoie

Author Laura Kamoie

About Laura Kamoie
New York Times and USA Today bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over forty books in romantic suspense and contemporary and erotic romance and has sold more than one million books in the U.S. alone. Among her many awards, she won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 for Hard As You Can. A former college history professor, Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura also writes historical fiction under the name Laura Kamoie, also a Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today bestseller.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers, the Washington Romance Writers, and she is past president of the RWA-Contemporary Romance Writers..

Where to find Laura Kamoie
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – A SCATTERING OF LEAVES (Keeper of the Souls) by Patricia Reynolds

A SCATTERING OF LEAVES Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for A SCATTERING OF LEAVES, the second book in the young adult historical fantasy series, Keeper of Souls, by Patricia Reynolds. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

A SCATTERING OF LEAVES (Keeper of the Souls #2) by Patricia Reynolds

A SCATTERING OF LEAVES (Keeper of the Souls #2) by Patricia Reynolds

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: A SCATTERING OF LEAVES
Series: Keeper of Souls #2
Author: Patricia Reynolds
Publisher: Old Crow Publishing
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Following his Vision Quest in A Scattering of Crows, Hidden Spirit continues the journey after an unsettling vision of his sister, Chasing Rabbit, in danger. He races against the clock to find the boarding school where Preacher Jim continues to indoctrinate the Sioux children. He fears he will be too late and wonders about the fate of his beloved, Morning Star.

Surviving insurmountable odds, Hidden Spirit rises to the harrowing challenge. Quelling his anger, his inner warrior and magical powers begin to surface and develop in ways he never thought possible. Along the way, he meets some unsuspecting friends and allies that help forge this epic journey.

 

 

 

 

 

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A SCATTERING OF LEAVES Teaser

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Excerpt #3
“I wish I had seen your Hidden Spirit,” Ellie says, enviously. “He sounds wonderful.”

“Well, he is and it was… like… magic. Hidden Spirit can do mysterious things you know. He’s our hero,” she says, proudly. Little Moon is so excited that she stands up, hops on one foot, grabs a wet dress, and twirls in circles. “He must be near, Ellie. He must be. I have prayed to the Great Spirit every night to guide him to us so that he will take us home.”

“Home?” Ellie repeated, grabbing the girl’s wrists. “That’s marvelous news, Little Moon… to leave this god-awful place.”

“You know,” she says, beaming, “The elders knew he was going to be special, the day he was born. They said he is destined for real big things and that Hidden Spirit’s, grandfather, was going to teach him big secrets from another place… so he could be a really good medicine man. His grandfather is dead, but still has the power. The crows became his friends when he was little, and, when he shot one of them, they taught him a big lesson. Now they protect and guide him. Hidden Spirit is brave,” Little Moon says with her newfound confidence. “He’s a warrior, too. Our people have lots of powers, you know. They wouldn’t scalp you or anything like that, like the white people say.”

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A SCATTERING OF LEAVES Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: A SCATTERING OF CROWS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Patricia Reynolds

Author Patricia Reynolds

About the Author
Patricia Reynolds lives in Washington State with her partner of many years, along with their adopted family of dogs and cats. She has a passion for nature and the environment, and a soft spot for animals of all kinds. Patricia’s primary goal in writing this book was to lend a voice to the forgotten. Her young adult fantasy series: Keeper of the Souls, is based on actual events.

 

 

 

 

 

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Where to Find Patricia Reynolds
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE (Lost Lords) by Cassandra Dean

RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE Cover Reveal

Award-winning author, Cassandra Dean, is revealing the cover to RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE, the second book her her adult historical romance series, Lost Lords, releasing November 26, 2019See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and preorder links.

RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE (Lost Lords #2) by Cassandra Dean

RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE (Lost Lords #2) by Cassandra Dean

About the Book
Title: RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE
Series: Lost Lords #2
Author: Cassandra Dean
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
From Award-Winning Australian author Cassandra Dean comes the second book in her delicious new Regency romance series, Lost Lords.

The girl he’s always loved
Oliver, Earl of Roxwaithe, has always regarded Lady Lydia Torrence as a sibling even as she’d declared one day they would wed. Fourteen years her elder, Oliver was convinced Lydia felt only a crush and when she inevitably declared her love, he had to refuse. After she left for the Continent, he told himself he didn’t miss her, that she had always been too young, and if perhaps he’d noticed she had become a woman, that was best left unsaid.

The man she’s always adored
Lydia had always known she loved Oliver and he loved her. Furious he would claim she was too young, she determined to take the Continent by storm, to hone her skills and become an expert in flirtation. Upon her return to London, she’d show him she was a fully-grown woman who knew what she wanted—and she wanted him.

Oliver is stubborn in his resolve until a new suitor for Lydia puts Oliver’s resolve to the test. Will he discover the girl he’s always loved has become the woman he will forever adore?

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RESCUING LORD ROXWAITHE Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: FINDING LORD FARLISLE
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Cassandra Dean

Author Cassandra Dean

About the Author
Cassandra Dean is an award-winning author of historical and fantasy romance. She is proud to call South Australia her home, where she regularly cheers on her AFL football team and creates her next tale.

 

 

 

Where to find Cassandra Dean
Goodreads | Website │ Facebook │ Twitter | Instagram

 

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – ACADEMY OF LITTLES by Allison West

ACADEMY OF LITTLES Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for ACADEMY OF LITTLES, a collection of three adult historical romances, by Allison West. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

ACADEMY OF LITTLES by Allison West

ACADEMY OF LITTLES by Allison West

About the Book – Read for free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
ACADEMY OF LITTLES
Author: Allison West
Publisher: Blushing Books Publications
Release Date: September 18, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
He demands you enroll in the Academy of Littles. You have no other choice. He takes what’s his.  You.

You hold on to your most prized possession. Your virtue. What happens when you give yourself over and learn to submit completely?

Three women. Three Papas. Three scandalous stories of love, passion, and learning to obey. Not for the faint of heart.

Publisher’s Note: This is a collection of three steamy, dark romance tales – Enrolling Little Etta, The Nanny, and Little Secrets – which contain power exchange and scenes which may trigger some readers.

 

 

 

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ACADEMY OF LITTLES Teaser

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Excerpt #1
“Tell me, when was the last time you felt the innocence of being a child: carefree and without worry?” he asked gently. 

Sighing and allowing her shoulders to collapse in a slump, she answered. “I do not remember ever being carefree and without worry, Mr. Hartley. I do not have the luxury in life to do so.” 

“Do you not wish sometimes that you could be like a child? Have no worries, no concerns of misfortune, and no hard decisions to make. Have you ever wished to have someone take care of you, fully take care of your every need? Have you ever wanted to be tucked in at night, kissed on the forehead and told to have sweet dreams, and you would, because someone who loves you very much has already chased the bad dreams away?”

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Author Allison West

Author Allison West

About the Author
Allison West is a #1 International Best-Selling Author in Erotica, BDSM, Romantic Erotica, Sci-Fi, Victorian, and Historical Erotica. She also writes young adult novels under the name Ruth Silver.

Allison West has been inventing worlds and writing stories for years. Her favorite novels are those that leave a lasting impression, long after the final page is read. You can find more about Allison on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog “Spanking Author.” http://spankingauthor.com

 

 

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Where to Find Allison West
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt – DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded) by Marie Force

DECEIVED BY DESIRE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for DECEIVED BY DESIRE, the second book in the adult historical romance series, Gilded, by New York Times bestselling author, Marie Force. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded #2) by Marie Force

DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded #2) by Marie Force

About the Book
Title: DECEIVED BY DESIRE
Series: Gilded #2
Author: Marie Force
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google

Synopsis
Wealthy American industrialist Aubrey Nelson has invited the Duke and Duchess of Westbrook to visit his family’s Newport seaside “cottage” for the summer. With his parents’ departure from New York delayed, Aubrey’s mother sends him ahead to oversee preparations for their guests. But when he arrives, he’s surprised to find the house and staff in disarray . . .

With much to do and little time, Aubrey comes to rely on the housekeeper, a lovely young Irish woman named Maeve Brown. And when he also finds himself confiding in Maeve about more personal matters, he tells himself it’s merely their close proximity that draws him to the compassionate, hard-working beauty. Yet when he suspects Maeve is in danger, Aubrey realizes his feelings for her have grown much deeper than they should have. For what will his mother, who dreams of a society match for her son, have to say when she arrives to discover he’s lost his heart to a girl of the working class?

Praise for Duchess by Deception (book 1)

Force has crafted a masterpiece with the perfect amount of romance.”
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

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Excerpt
June 1903
Newport, Rhode Island

Chapter 1

He first noticed the alluring curve of her neck. The delicate stretch of pale skin suggested elegance, a sweetness that begged to be explored and an aura of strength that intrigued him. Aubrey stood in the doorway to the drawing room for the longest time, riveted by a woman’s neck for the first time in his life, before clearing his throat to let her know he was there.

Startled, she whirled around, letting out a gasp of surprise as the oversized feather duster she’d been using fell to the dirty marble floor with a loud clatter. She would need a hundred feather dusters, perhaps a thousand of them, to wipe the layers of grime from every room in the house. How had it gotten so filthy over the winter?

That was one of many mysteries confronting him since his arrival thirty minutes prior at Paradis Trouvé, his family’s summer home on Newport’s Bellevue Avenue. The name meant “paradise found” in French. It had been bestowed upon the home by a previous owner, and unfortunately, his parents had embraced the pretentious name when they acquired the property.

Aubrey cursed himself for scaring the young woman as he entered yet another room in complete disarray. What the hell had happened to their “cottage” since the family left last September? “Pardon me.”

The woman took a step back, immediately on guard. Her reddish-brown hair had been gathered into a neat bun, and her drab olive-colored shirtwaist dress—muslin if he wasn’t mistaken—was serviceable at best but showcased interesting curves. However, her face was the showstopper. Her alabaster complexion reminded him of the cameo his grandmother had worn—ivory perfection with a dusting of freckles across her nose and brown eyes that were at once shrewd and suspicious.

“Wh-who are you?” The lilt of an Irish brogue danced through the dusty air like music.

Captivated, Aubrey had to remind himself that she expected a reply. “I apologize for frightening you.”

“Are you the new butler? It’s about time you showed up.” All business now that the fright had passed, she bustled across the room toward him, removing work gloves as she went.

He ought to set her straight but decided in a prescient flash to let her think he was the butler. At least until he had a chance to find out more about her. His dusty, wrinkled travel clothing and hair damp with sweat from the unusually warm weather wouldn’t give him away as a member of the family that owned the forty-room seaside monstrosity. His father had bought it six years ago from a member of the Astor family. Under normal circumstances, the Italian Renaissance–style palazzo was all gold and glitter and ostentatious excess, but Aubrey had been shocked by the filth and disrepair. He’d been sent by his mother to oversee the preparations for his illustrious guests, the Duke and Duchess of Westwood, who would arrive in three weeks, along with the other friends Aubrey had invited.

“I’m Maeve Brown, the housekeeper. I have no earthly idea what’s become of the rest of the staff, but Mrs. Nelson will be arriving in two short weeks, and as you can see, the house is in complete disarray. Did the agency inform you that the Duke and Duchess of Westwood will be visiting this summer? Apparently, they’re friends of the Nelsons’ son, Mr. Aubrey. Mrs. Nelson is the daughter of a British earl, so needless to say, she has exacting expectations, especially when entertaining a duke and duchess.” Maeve bit her deliciously full bottom lip as she seemed to debate whether she should say more.

Aubrey wanted to beg her to continue, just so he could listen to her melodic voice that spoke of culture and breeding far above a housekeeper’s station.

“From what I was told, the previous staff quit in protest of Mrs. Nelson’s treatment of them. In this day and age, there are plenty of other homes that treat their employees with respect and dignity. I was told a new staff had been hired, but no one has come.”

“If Mrs. Nelson is such an ogre, why are you here?”

Maeve’s cheeks flushed with a rosy glow that enchanted him. “By the time I arrived in New York, this was the only housekeeper position remaining for the Season. However, Mrs. Nelson’s reputation is well known, which is probably why the rest of the staff never arrived. Unless we both want to find ourselves out of work and without references, we’ll need every minute until she arrives to prepare for her guests.”

“I’m not afraid of hard work. Are you?”

“Certainly not.”

He’d known her for two minutes and already wished he could sit and talk to her for hours, until he knew everything there was to know about Miss Maeve Brown, formerly of Ireland. His mother would have an apoplexy over the thoughts he was having about the housekeeper, which was all the more reason to have them. After both of his older brothers had sworn off marriage, it had fallen to Aubrey to continue the Nelson name, a predicament his mother took far more seriously now that the family had become ridiculously wealthy. Prior to that, she hadn’t given a fig about the family name. Defying his mother had been one of his favorite activities as a child and younger man. With her pressuring him relentlessly to make an “appropriate marriage,” admiring the curve of the Irish housekeeper’s neck would be the last thing she’d want him doing.

But it was a splendid neck, perhaps the most delightful neck he’d ever beheld, and he’d seen some truly excellent female necks in his day, most recently last year in London where he’d endured a second Season to placate his mother. She’d positively salivated at the thought of him marrying into the British aristocracy. Alas, it was not to be, and he was through with that charade. The only thing that had kept it from being completely unbearable had been his friendship with Derek Eagan, the Duke of Westwood, as well as Derek’s cousin Simon and their mutual friend Justin Enderly, who was the second son of an earl. With Derek and Simon now married, and Justin avoiding the social scene, Aubrey had flat-out refused to return to London this spring. His mother had been furious, but he’d stood his ground.

Now with a summer in residence with his mother about to transpire, Aubrey fully expected another charade to unfold that would have to be endured rather than enjoyed. However, the Newport house was his favorite place in the world, and there was nowhere he’d rather be, even with his mother and her many charades to endure.

“Sir?”

Aubrey realized Miss Brown was talking to him.

“I asked if you’d like me to show you to your quarters before you get to work.”

“Yes, please.” Aubrey knew he ought to end this misunderstanding immediately, but something stopped him. He couldn’t say what, but rather than confess to not being the new butler, he followed her through familiar hallways thick with dust and spiderwebs to one of the back corridors and the stairs that led to the servants’ quarters on the third floor. As they went up the stairs, Aubrey tried not to notice the gentle sway of her backside. He failed utterly as her backside was almost as intriguing as the curve of her neck.

“I cleaned this room yesterday after we received word of your impending arrival. There’re fresh towels in the wardrobe and a bathroom down the hall. Mr. Nelson had plumbing put in the house two years ago, and it’s quite delightful.”

Aubrey agreed. Indoor plumbing was delightful, and so was she. “How did the house get so filthy?”

“I was told by one of the other housekeepers in town that after Mrs. Nelson left at the end of last summer, the remaining staff opened the windows and left them that way. When I arrived a week ago, the house was filled with rodents and seagulls. I almost didn’t stay.”

Horrified, Aubrey didn’t know what to say. She’d had to contend with that alone? He was also ashamed that he’d stopped paying attention to his mother’s high-handed behavior years ago. That she mistreated her staff to the point they’d leave the windows open for the harsh New England winter came as a shock to him and was something that would have to be addressed as soon as she arrived. At least he had a couple of weeks to dread that conversation.

“Didn’t the pipes freeze?”

“Apparently they were spared because the water had been shut off. For that we can be thankful.”

“Indeed. Why did you stay?”

She hooked her fingers together and looked down. “I need the position.”

Her quiet dignity touched him deeply. He wanted to know her story, where she came from, what had brought her to America. “We’ll see about getting you some more help.”

“It’s going to take a miracle to have this house ready for the arrival of the duke and duchess.”

“You needn’t worry about them. They don’t stand on formality.”

Her brows knitted adorably. “And you know this how?”

Damn. Aubrey realized he’d spoken as their friend and not as the new butler. “People speak of them in New York. The duke is well regarded in social circles in London, and his duchess is said to be very down to earth.”

“Who were your employers in New York?”

He had to think quickly to come up with a name she’d recognize. “The Smiths.” Thankfully, he’d gone to Choate with Adam Smith and knew the family.

Her eyes widened with amazement. “They’re one of the wealthiest families in America.”

“Yes, they are.”

“So why are you now employed by the Nelsons?”

“I wanted to come to Newport, and the Smiths don’t summer here. Mrs. Smith has an aversion to the sea. Her father drowned while rescuing her from a rogue wave when she was a child.”

“How awful!”

“She’s never forgotten it.”

“How could anyone forget such a thing?”

“It’s very tragic indeed.”

She gave him a look that had him wishing his hair was clean and his face shaved. “You’re very . . .”

Aubrey held his breath, waiting to hear what she would say.

“. . . young for a butler.”

He was young for a butler—by decades, in fact. “While I was with the Smiths, their butler and under-butler succumbed to typhoid, and I was the head footman. The family promoted me to butler.” Where was this nonsense coming from? He told himself to stop it, to tell her the truth, to end this ridiculous farce.

“I see. Would you like something to eat before you begin work?”

“Yes, please. I’d appreciate that after the long journey.” He left his bag in the room she’d assigned him and followed her down the backstairs, where his sisters’ children hid from their governesses.

They went down three flights to the kitchen and the servants’ dining room in the basement.

“This is the new cook, Mrs. Allston. Mrs. Allston, this is the new butler . . .” Maeve turned to him, her face flushing with a pleasing shade of pink. “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.”

“It’s Jack. Jack Bancroft.” The name of the duke’s estate manager popped into Aubrey’s head.

“A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Bancroft.” A stout, sturdy woman with ruddy cheeks and neat gray hair, Mrs. Allston stood watch over a pot of something that smelled delicious.

Aubrey’s stomach growled loudly.

Maeve laughed, and the delicate sound traveled through him the way a bolt of lightning might. He wanted to hear that laugh again and again. He wanted to hear it in his dreams and in his every waking hour. As a man who’d relished his freedom and independence, the feelings she evoked in him were frightening and unprecedented, to say the least.

Aubrey glanced at her. “I beg your pardon. I’m apparently hungrier than I thought.” He’d taken the overnight steamship from New York and had been served an elaborate breakfast several hours before the boat docked at Newport’s Long Wharf.

Mrs. Allston ladled soup into two bowls and set them on the rough-hewn wooden table along with a basket of freshly baked bread. “There you are then.”

He waited for Maeve to be seated before he slid onto the bench across from her. The huge table would easily accommodate thirty people. When the house was fully staffed, there would easily be that many in service, if not more.

They ate the delicious split-pea soup and bread in silence, but he was aware of her every move, her every breath. In all his thirty-two years, through hundreds of hours spent in London ballrooms and New York social clubs, in music halls, opera houses and at countless society dinners, picnics and house parties, he had never once responded to a woman the way he had to her.

His reaction to her defied explanation.

It defied belief.

It would infuriate his mother.

Aubrey smiled to himself, imagining her reaction to hearing that he’d finally found the woman he wanted, and she was the new Irish housekeeper at their Newport estate.

Once the epicenter of the cotton, rum and slave trades, Newport had become the place to see and be seen in the months of July and August when most of New York society relocated to their cottages by the coast. The social climbers came to make their annual impression on the hostesses who determined whether one was in or out—and if you were out, there was little chance of ever getting in.

His mother, the ultimate social climber, had made a blood sport out of climbing the rungs in Newport. Imagining her reaction to learning he’d developed a sweet spot for the Irish housekeeper had Aubrey picturing her exploding into a rage the likes of which would be talked about for years to come. He’d seen her rages before, most of them directed at others, including his siblings, but had never been the reason for one.

Compared to his far more rebellious siblings, Aubrey had been her good boy, her golden child as his siblings liked to say chidingly. Perhaps it was time for him to take his turn in stirring her ire. He had a feeling that Miss Maeve Brown, formerly of Ireland, would be worth the hell his mother would rain down upon him.

As he surreptitiously watched Maeve eat her soup, he noted the way her lips closed around the spoon and how her throat moved when she swallowed.

How was it possible that the pedestrian act of eating soup could be so impossibly erotic? A surge of heat to his groin had him holding back a groan.

“Are you quite all right, Mr. Bancroft?”

That voice. Dear God, the sound of her words was the sweetest music he’d ever heard. He could listen to her speak all day without ever tiring of the sound. It wouldn’t even matter so much what she said, as long as she never stopped talking to him. Aubrey summoned his composure, which had deserted him the second he first laid eyes on the appealing curve of her neck. He nodded in response to her question. “I’m quite well, thank you.”

“And the soup is to your liking?”

“It’s delicious.”

“I agree. Mrs. Allston is a wonderful cook. We’re lucky to have her, especially in light of the reputation this house has with those in service.”

Aubrey wiped his mouth on the cloth napkin, made of much coarser cotton than the linen he was accustomed to upstairs. “So there’re exactly three of us then?”

“I’m afraid so, at least until the others turn up. If they turn up.”

“And the task before us is . . .”

“Monumental. Wait until you see the wreckage that is Mrs. Nelson’s room.” She shuddered. “It’s a travesty.”

“If we were to take it a room at a time, focusing on the public spaces and the bedrooms required by the Nelson family and their guests, we might be able to get it done in time.”

“We have two weeks until Mrs. Nelson, her daughters and grandchildren are due to arrive and three until the duke and duchess are expected.”

“I’ll see what I can do about getting some more help. Surely there have to be more people seeking positions for the summer.”

“I certainly hope so, because without more help, I can’t envision how we’ll ever be ready for the duke and duchess. I quite fear Mrs. Nelson’s infamous rages.”

“Don’t you worry about her. We’ll have everything in place for her and her guests.”

“Thank goodness you’re here.” She took a sip of the hot tea she had steeped for them both. “I have felt quite like I was climbing a mountain all by myself with no possible way to reach the summit in time.”

“We will get there together.” As he said the words, he considered the double meaning of the two of them reaching the summit together. A shiver rippled through him, making him shudder from the desire that gripped him. He thanked goodness for the table that hid his obvious reaction from her.

“Are you sure you’re well? You seem rather . . . flummoxed.”

That was a good word for how he’d felt since first laying eyes on her. Flummoxed indeed.

He was about to respond to her when another man came into the kitchen, looking as road weary and dusty as Aubrey imagined he did, too. This man was older, with silver strands mixed in to his dark hair, his face craggy with age and wisdom, his eyes red with fatigue but friendly.

“May I help you?” Maeve asked.

“I’m Joseph Plumber, the new butler. The agency indicated I should report today.”

Maeve’s shocked gaze shifted to Aubrey. “If Mr. Plumber is the new butler, then who, pray tell, are you?”

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: DUCHESS BY DECEPTION
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google

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DECEIVED BY DESIRE Teaser

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Author Marie Force

Author Marie Force

About the Author
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception. 

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction. 

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news..

Where to find Marie Force
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Reader GroupTwitter | Pinterest | YouTube | BookBub

 

Release Day – DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded) by Marie Force

DECEIVED BY DESIRE Cover Reveal

Today is release day for DECEIVED BY DESIRE, the second book in the adult historical romance series, Gilded, by New York Times bestselling author, Marie Force. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded #2) by Marie Force

DECEIVED BY DESIRE (Gilded #2) by Marie Force

About the Book
Title: DECEIVED BY DESIRE
Series: Gilded #2
Author: Marie Force
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google

Synopsis
Wealthy American industrialist Aubrey Nelson has invited the Duke and Duchess of Westbrook to visit his family’s Newport seaside “cottage” for the summer. With his parents’ departure from New York delayed, Aubrey’s mother sends him ahead to oversee preparations for their guests. But when he arrives, he’s surprised to find the house and staff in disarray . . .

With much to do and little time, Aubrey comes to rely on the housekeeper, a lovely young Irish woman named Maeve Brown. And when he also finds himself confiding in Maeve about more personal matters, he tells himself it’s merely their close proximity that draws him to the compassionate, hard-working beauty. Yet when he suspects Maeve is in danger, Aubrey realizes his feelings for her have grown much deeper than they should have. For what will his mother, who dreams of a society match for her son, have to say when she arrives to discover he’s lost his heart to a girl of the working class?

Praise for Duchess by Deception (book 1)

Force has crafted a masterpiece with the perfect amount of romance.”
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: DUCHESS BY DECEPTION
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google

 —————————————————————————-

DECEIVED BY DESIRE Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

Author Marie Force

Author Marie Force

About the Author
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception. 

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction. 

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news..

Where to find Marie Force
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Reader GroupTwitter | Pinterest | YouTube | BookBub

 

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – THE LAST WORD by Samantha Hastings

THE LAST WORD Blog Tour

THE LAST WORD by Samantha Hastings

THE LAST WORD by Samantha Hastings

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Set against the smoky, gaslit allure of Victorian London, this sweetly romantic historical debut is full of humor and stars a whip-smart female heroine ahead of her time.

Where one story ends, another begins.

1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.

David is a successful young businessman, but is overwhelmed by his workload. He wants to prove himself to his late father, as well as to himself. He doesn’t have the time, nor the interest, for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.

Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the country, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Last Word by debut author Samantha Hastings is a fun yet intellectual romp through Victorian London—the perfect book for book-lovers.

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My Review
Reminiscent of Jane Austen, THE LAST WORD combines neoclassicism and romanticism along with a healthy dose of humor and wit to bring Lucinda’s and David’s story to life. The two are childhood friends who meet again after a four-year separation to find the other both the same and yet infinitely different than the person they remember. Throw in a big misunderstanding and a young woman ahead of her time, constricted by the customs of 19th century England, and sparks fly higher than between Emma and Knightley or Elizabeth and Darcy, but with the underlying warmth of Elinor and Edward. The two dance around a mutual attraction while Lucinda fights against society’s dictates for her. Fresh out of finishing school, she wants nothing to do with being a proper lady, but rather to use the brain that God gave her to work in her father’s counting house. A natural talent with numbers, she helped him when she was younger but now is expected to do needlepoint instead of auditing.

If there’s anything Lucinda hates more than sitting around and waiting for someone to call on her, I don’t know what it is. Not having been born to a high-class family, her social standing comes from the wealth her father has amassed. His goal is to marry her to a man of higher social standing. Lucinda has less than zero interest in that plan. She managed to get through the long boring hours by reading. But her favorite author died before finishing her last novel, leaving Lucinda desperate to find out how it ends, as if her own ending will somehow reveal itself in those final pages. With the help of her father’s business partner and her longtime friend, David, she sets out to find anyone who may know how the story ends. But the more they dig, the more she’s left wondering, before a tragedy forces both of them to reevaluate what really matters. And what doesn’t.

Plot
The main plot focuses on the budding romance between Lucinda and David, but Lucinda’s desires to work in business and find out the ending of her beloved novel are strong subplots that drive most of the action. The conflict derives for the social norms of the time, status and who is allowed to associate with whom. Women’s options and their carefully guarded reputations only further bind Lucinda in a world she finds too restrictive. Her father withdrew into himself after her mother’s death years before and their strained relationship underlies everything. The author does a phenomenal job of keeping the reader in Victorian England through scene setting, language, fashion, and customs. There is both a whimsical and sweeping cinematic feel to the places Hastings sets her characters in, drawing the reader right along with them.

Characters
If you love any of Jane Austen’s characters, you will love these! From the narcoleptic Mrs. Patton to the eccentric woman in the half-built estate they visit in their quest, the characters are a delight. Lucinda is utterly relatable as a young woman who wants so much more from life than the world wishes to allow her and David is a man after my own heart, both seeing Lucinda as an equal, and treating her with that respect. The American girl, Persephone, who befriends Lucinda, is a delightful, although often inappropriate, breath of fresh air.

What I Loved About THE LAST WORD
1. Everything.
 Seriously, the entire book was just amazing. It was a joy to read.

2. Lucinda. I love that she’s independent and strong and refuses to be confined by rules of society.

3. David. He is also a man ahead of his time with his ability to see Lucinda as more than just an accessory.

4. Language. I love the way they speak and the words the author chooses to tell the story as if it were written as a contemporary in 1861.

5. Romance. It isn’t angsty or intense, even though Lucinda and David are both teens, but it’s perfect for the time.

Bottom Line
A stunning coming of age story in a time long gone with amazing characters and beautiful storytelling.

Disclaimer
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: THE LAST WORD
Author: Samantha Hastings
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Pages: 261
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Samantha Hastings

Author Samantha Hastings

About the Author
Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. The Last Word is her debut novel.

 

 

 

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Where to find Samantha Hastings
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter 

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – HIGH KING OF BRITAIN (Once and Future Hearts) by Tracy Cooper-Posey

HIGH KING OF BRITAIN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for HIGH KING OF BRITAIN, the fifth book in the adult historical fantasy romance series, Once and Future Hearts, by Tracy Cooper-Posey. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

HIGH KING OF BRITAIN (Once and Future Hearts #5) by Tracy Cooper-Posey

HIGH KING OF BRITAIN (Once and Future Hearts #5) by Tracy Cooper-Posey

About the Book
Title: HIGH KING OF BRITAIN
Series: Once and Future Hearts #5
Author: Tracy Cooper-Posey
Publisher: Stories Rule Press

Release Date: May 30, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Historical Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
All she wants is to fight for Arthur and Britain.

Lady Mair is a daughter of Corneus—the house of perfect warriors—and wants only to serve Arthur, War Duke of Britain, as her brothers Lucan and Bedivere do.  Yet King Alun of Brocéliande wants to make her his queen, which would mean leaving Britain and Arthur’s court.

Alun’s younger brother and Mair’s best friend, Rawn, sees things as Mair does—nothing is more important than being the best warriors they can be.

Only Mair is entangled in the politics of the kings and leaders surrounding Arthur, just as his army prepares to fight two major battles in one summer, and people wonder when Arthur will become High King of Britain.

Plus, Rawn is hiding secrets of his own, that run counter to Mair’s desparate wish to be free to fight for Britain.

This novel is part of the ancient historical romance series, Once and Future Hearts, set in Britain during the time of King Arthur.

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HIGH KING OF BRITAIN Teaser

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Excerpt #1
After washing and exchanging her bloody war gear for clean leather, Mair ducked under the tent flap and went in search of wine, her mind calm, her thoughts peaceful.  The battle had been won. It was time to celebrate.

Somewhere nearby, there would be a campfire with like-minded warriors sitting around it, with wineskins and cups.  A place would be made for her.

“Lady Mair.”  The call came from her left.  

Mair halted to look.  The man who came toward her was black of hair, with a sharp jaw.  He looked familiar. Mair took in his wide shoulders, and the strong wrists.  He had washed and changed just as she had, so there were no house markings on his clothes or cloak to tell her who he was.  

She glanced at his face once more as he stopped before her.   He had thick dark brows over very blue eyes…and then she knew why he seemed familiar to him.  “Arawn Uther,” she said. “You have joined Arthur’s army now?”

“My brother sent me, as he could not be spared himself,” Arawn Uther said.  “Alun remains in Lesser Britain to hold the eastern borders with Hoel.” He reached inside his over tunic, underneath the cloak.  “I have a letter for you, from Alun.”

The mention of a letter should have filled her with delight.  Instead, Mair felt a twisting and tightening in her belly. “He did not send it by messenger?”

“Not this letter,” Arawn Uther held the sealed roll toward her.  

The very slight emphasis made her hesitate as she reached for the roll.  “Why this letter? You know what is in it, don’t you?”

Arawn Uther didn’t shift his stance.  His expression did not change. Yet Mair could feel the wave of sadness that swept him.  His blue eyes glittered. “My mother…Ilsa…”  His throat worked.

Mair sighed.  “Oh, Arawn… I’m so sorry.”  

He nodded.  Then he cleared his throat.  “As you can imagine, my mother’s passing changes things.”

He did not finish the thought, but he did not need to.  Mair could finish it all by herself. It changes things between you and Alun.  

Alun had been pressing for a solid arrangement between them for years, via messengers and couriers, and letters like this one.  Now, with his mother’s passing, he would reasonably expect to secure the next generation.

Mair looked at the roll hanging forgotten in Arawn’s hand.  She didn’t want to read it. Once she read Alun’s entreaty that she join him in Brocéliande, she would be forced to make a decision.

Mair gripped Arawn’s arm.  “It is not the time to tax our minds with such matters,” she said firmly.  “We have clawed victory from this day. I was about to find some wine and I insist you come and drink it with me.”

“But…”

She shook her head.  “No. You fought today as I did.  You now get to enjoy the warrior’s rights.  Drink and…perhaps we can find you a willing, warm woman, to take that care from your eyes.”

Arawn rolled his eyes.  “Really, Lady Mair–”

“Mair,” she said firmly.  

“Rawn,” he replied, just as firmly.  He narrowed his eyes and stuffed the letter back inside his tunic.  “Where is this wine you speak of?”

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HIGH KING OF BRITAIN Teaser

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Author Tracy Cooper-Posey

Author Tracy Cooper-Posey

About the Author
Tracy Cooper-Posey is a #1 Best Selling Author.  She writes romantic suspense, historical, paranormal and science fiction romance.  She has published over 100 novels since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.

She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year. Tracy won the award in 2012, and an SFR Galaxy Award in 2016 for “Most Intriguing Philosophical/Social Science Questions in Galaxybuilding”.  She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University.

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together. In her spare time she enjoys history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian Canadian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.

Where to Find Tracy Cooper-Posey
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter 

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Cover Reveal – THE HOLLOW QUEEN (Stolen Empire) by Sherry D. Ficklin

THE HOLLOW QUEEN Cover Reveal

Clean Teen Publishing and author Sherry D. Ficklin are unveiling the cover to THE HOLLOW QUEEN, the fifth book in the young adult historical romance series, Stolen Empire, releasing September 23, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and pre-order links.

THE HOLLOW QUEEN (Stolen Empire #5) by Sherry D. Ficklin

THE HOLLOW QUEEN (Stolen Empire #5) by Sherry D. Ficklin

About The Book
Title: THE HOLLOW QUEEN
Series: Stolen Empire #5
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: September 23, 2019
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
As a princess of the Romanov Empire, Elizabeth has enjoyed a life of luxury and privilege. But the sudden deaths of her parents leaves her unprotected – awash in the dangerous tide of her family’s political rivals. When the supreme council crowns her half-nephew Peter II in her place, Elizabeth is left with no title, no power—and no allies. Now little more than a bastard in the eyes of the world, she is sent to serve in the palatial home of Prince Menshikov—the real power behind the boy king.

But Elizabeth won’t fade quietly into the background.

Determined to uncover the truth behind her mother’s murder and expose the men who mean to rule Russia in secret, she grows closer to the handsome young king, and swears to protect him and his rule at any cost. But the forces that oppose them are as dark as they are far-reaching–and this time, Elizabeth could lose more than just her title…

 

 

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: QUEEN OF SOMEDAY – FREE on Kindle
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble

Book 2: QUEEN OF TOMORROW
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble 

Book 3: QUEEN OF ALWAYS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble 

Book 4: THE WINTER QUEEN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble

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Author Sherry D. Ficklin

Author Sherry D. Ficklin

About Sherry D. Ficklin
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people.

She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

She is the author of several YA novels and in her spare time she co-hosts Curvy Writer Radio.

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Where to Find Sherry D. Ficklin
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – REALM by Alexandrea Weis

REALM Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for REALM, a stand-alone young adult historical romance, by Alexandrea Weis. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

REALM by Alexandrea Weis

REALM by Alexandrea Weis

About the Book
Title: REALM
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Based on a true story.

When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana—the daughter of a mere chieftain—is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.

Terrified, the sixteen-year-old girl of renowned beauty is brought before the greatest ruler the world has ever known. Her life is in his hands; her future his to decide.

Without formal education or noble blood, Roxana is chosen by the Greek conqueror to be his bride. Soon she comes to know profound happiness and unyielding desire in her warrior’s arms.

However, being the king’s consort comes at a heavy price. To survive her husband’s treacherous kingdom, she must endure continuous warfare, deadly plots, jealous rivals, victory-hungry generals, and the stigma of being a barbarian. Persian blood will keep her from claiming the grandest title of all—queen—but her reign will seal the fate of an empire.

History tells his story. This is hers.

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Excerpt
Hephaestion brushed past the guard and followed the familiar route to the back of the spacious tent.

He arrived at an area decorated only with a small wooden desk and some stools. Hunched over and furiously pounding a stylus into a wax tablet was Alexander of Macedon.

“You must be here to report about the goings on atop the rock.”

Alexander looked up, and the intensity of his deep-set gray eyes struck him. Perhaps his square jaw and bulging forehead added to their piercing quality; Hephaestion wasn’t sure, but he’d seen Alexander use his gaze to intimidate many in the past. He wasn’t very tall and had a stocky build with broad shoulders and a thick chest. His ruddy skin, prone to burning in the sun, flushed whenever he was angry, a warning to those who knew him well to stay away. His disheveled, reddish-brown, wavy mane seemed perpetually in need of a good brushing, and his tunics never stayed clean for long. But it was his scars which intrigued the general most. He had one along his left cheek, another on the right side of his forehead, and another across his lower neck. Hephaestion couldn’t remember Alexander without scars. It was as if he had been born that way, a gift from the gods.

“How did it go?”

Hephaestion walked around the desk to Alexander’s side. “You’re chipper, considering you’ve been up for almost two days.”

“You know I hate to sleep. There’s always too much work to do.” Alexander returned his attention to one of the numerous scrolls scattered about his desk. “What news have you brought me?”

Hephaestion read one of the scrolls over Alexander’s shoulder. “Scouts are already on the second rock. Now that we know how to climb the damned things, we should have them under control by nightfall.”

Alexander dropped the stylus to the desk. “And what did you discover on top of the first rock?”

“The family of Baron Oxyartes. They’re now in your custody—his mother and three daughters.” Hephaestion raised his hand, anticipating Alexander’s next question. “Orders have been given that none of the women atop the rock are to be touched on pain of death. The men are well aware of your feelings about rape. At least now you’ll have something to bargain with to get Oxyartes to surrender. Holding the women hostage should speed things along.”

Alexander closed the wax tablet. “Any problems?”

Hephaestion shook his head. “No. They were too afraid to organize an attack. The men and women went screaming when they saw the soldiers arrive at the top. After that, it was pretty much routine.”

“The family of Oxyartes? You saw to their comfort?”

“Of course.” Hephaestion folded his long arms, itching to tell him about the girl. “You won’t believe this, but one of his daughters speaks Greek.”

Alexander’s eyes danced with interest. “Did this daughter, who speaks Greek, say anything to you?”

“It’s not so much what she said but how she said it. Not like a barbarian at all. She had a kind of bearing, a certain dignity I’ve not seen before in these people. She was very …” He hesitated, knowing it would spur his friend’s curiosity.

“What?” Alexander insisted.

Hephaestion grinned. “Spirited.”

He could almost see the wheels turning in Alexander’s mind. He never stopped thinking or planning. Alexander was always one step ahead of everyone else. He had to be. It was the only way to remain king and stay alive.

“Was she pretty or did she have the face of a pig?”

“The girl?” Hephaestion smiled, knowing his answer would please his king. “She was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

Alexander raised his eyebrows. “What was the name of this beautiful girl who spoke Greek?”

Feeling that nudge of satisfaction at seeing Alexander beguiled, Hephaestion angled closer and whispered, “Roxana.”

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Author Alexandrea Weis

Author Alexandrea Weis

About the Author
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

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Where to Find Alexandrea Weis
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THREE STAR ISLAND by Kat Caulberg

THREE STAR ISLAND Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THREE STAR ISLAND, a stand-alone adult historical time-traveling romance, by Kat Caulberg. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THREE STAR ISLAND by Kat Caulberg

THREE STAR ISLAND by Kat Caulberg

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THREE STAR ISLAND
Author: Kat Caulberg
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: April 10, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Historical Time-Traveling Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Stepping through a time portal into 1716, historian Penny Saunders didn’t expect to get stranded in the past. Five years later, now a pariah to the townsfolk of Three Star Island, she endures solitude and ridicule until a hurricane tosses a dangerous castaway onto her shores.

William Payne’s history precedes him. Pirate, outlaw, and ruthless captain, he’s a monster among men. . . or so it seems. Desperately seeking redemption for his blood-soaked past, he upends Penny’s world by showing her a passion she’s never experienced.

But time is closing in on them; the governor of the Carolinas has rescinded his pirates’ pardon, the locals are growing suspicious of Penny’s new houseguest, and she can’t keep her secrets from William forever. When everything falls apart, she must use both wits and weapons against lawmen and pirates alike to save the one man who would tear down the world for her.

 

 

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Excerpt
Penelope stood in the crater the time portal had sliced into the tree line. Sheared-off branches sprouted new growth overhead, and grass choked the scorched ground, concealing most of the sand that had been fused into glass globules by the rift. Frowning, she dislodged one of the spheres with the tip of her shoe and kicked it into the dunes. This gate hadn’t opened in months.

Two days prior, a hurricane had ravaged Three Star. Alone on the southern tip of the island, Penny had ridden out the storm in her farmhouse while gales ripped up centuries-old live oaks by their roots and tossed debris through the walls of her outbuildings. She’d seen a time gate’s flicker in the immediate aftermath half a mile from where she now stood on the beach, but there had been no reason to dash out into the dwindling rain in hopes of reaching it before it shut.

None of them would let her go home again.

Grasping her skirts in one hand, she made her way through the oat grass to ascertain what the storm had offered her in compensation. The summer of 1721 had been a blistering one, providing scarcely any rain to offset the heat. With few thunderstorms of much note, ships in the area had enjoyed a season of calm, returning to port with full holds and happy sailors, and Penny’s larder suffered for it. Without wreckage to pick through, she’d survived on meager rations from her garden and the bones of a sloop that ran aground on the shoals to the south.

Yesterday threw one more long, hard bout of rain at the island, keeping her inside until dusk. Now, with the sun a few hours into the sky, she hurried to collect her share of the shattered remains of dead men’s fortunes. This time, she was determined it wouldn’t bother her. She tucked a short strand of hair behind her ear, knuckled her glasses higher, and proceeded to the shore.

The sea mirrored the heavens, flat and tranquil. Whitecaps lapped the sand, pulling back to reveal a stripe of broken shells stretching as far as she could see. Currents funneled past the rock barrier jutting out into the water, and a smattering of planks and splintered crates gathered on the sand bars the rising tide would soon submerge.

Penny stooped to dip her fingers into a mountain of sea foam. Lacework-white and delicate, it dissolved at her touch. A flicker of movement caught her eye. Slanting toward the beach on a downdraft, a laughing gull shrieked its peculiar, broken cry and swooped over a figure lying in the surf.

Her stomach dropped. The waves had disgorged a body.

Straightening, she fidgeted with her apron strings. The tide was rising. Soon, the ocean would reclaim the life it had taken, leaving no trace of the drowned man behind. Here, he was alone and unknown. Somewhere else, however, he would be an empty seat at a hearth, a bed half-filled, a promise unkept. Like her, he could never go home again.

Penelope sighed. Unable to bury him, she could at least bear witness to his return to the sea. Keeping close to the water, she trudged toward him.

She stopped when his arm moved. It was a tiny motion she could’ve mistaken for a trick of the wind, his sleeve toyed with by the breeze, yet when his fist clenched the sand, she was certain.

He was alive.

“Son of a . . .”

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Author Kat Caulberg

Author Kat Caulberg

About the Author
For as long as she can remember, Kat Caulberg has been obsessed with history and the paranormal. Somewhat to the dismay of her parents, her interests led her into both museums and graveyards as a child, a trend which has continued into her adulthood. This has influenced her reading tastes and her writing, whether it be a good ghost story, thrilling tales of time-travel, or devouring endless volumes of ancient warfare.

She signed a contract with Soul Mate Publishing in 2018 for her first novel, Three Star Island, a time-travel story set in 1721. She enjoys writing strong, quirky heroines, and has a weakness for cheeky heroes who have as much compassion as they have flaws.

Kat currently lives in North Carolina with her Englishman and a few cats.

 

 

Where to Find Kat Caulberg
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE WINNOWING (Stanley and Hazel) by Jo Schaffer

THE WINNOWING Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE WINNOWING, the second book in the young adult historical mystery series, Stanley & Hazel, by Jo Schaffer. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE WINNOWING (Stanley and Hazel #2) by Jo Schaffer

THE WINNOWING (Stanley and Hazel #2) by Jo Schaffer

About the Book
Title: THE WINNOWING
Series: Stanley and Hazel #2
Author: Jo Schaffer
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Historical/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Darkness descends over St. Louis, a city already rocked by the Great Depression. More and more people are disappearing, and some have turned up dead. A sinister secret society is putting forward their plan known as “The Winnowing,” designed to wipe out those they consider “undesirable.”

After Stanley and Hazel foil the diabolical plans of Charles Chouteau, they become instant celebrities. Hazel is thrust into the role of debutante, and risks loses herself in it. Meanwhile, Stanley must deal with the horrific tragedy of his best friend’s death while being threatened by the unseen forces of the Veiled Prophet.

With things spiraling out of control, Stanley and Hazel’s relationship is tested, possibly beyond repair. As bodies pile up, people become more desperate. The divide between wealthy and poor grows ever wider, threatening to tear their worlds apart. Now, the two must find a way to work together if there is any hope at all of saving their relationship and their futures.

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Excerpt
The renegade newsie climbed on top of the metal box and forced the window open a crack with a crowbar he produced from his baggy trousers. Then he sat and lit a cigarette. He puffed on it a few times before reaching into the inside pocket of his oversized coat. He pulled out a bottle that sloshed with liquid and removed the cork.

He took a handkerchief and stuffed it into the bottle of liquid, leaving a tail of it hanging out of the top. Pinching his cigarette between two fingers, he contemplated the tip, while smoke trailed out of his nose.

Henri sniffed the air, and his ears perked. Before Hazel could stop the young dog, he jumped and let out a bark.

Arthur sprung to his feet, turning in Hazel’s direction.

Bananas. She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping he wouldn’t see her where she crouched.

“Peek-a-boo,” Arthur said, slow and deliberate. “I see you, Princess.”

Knees shaking, Hazel slowly stood to face him. She gripped Henri’s leash. He was her only defense.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: STANLEY & HAZEL
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | BAM! | !ndigo | IndieBound

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Author Jo Schaffer

Author Jo Schaffer

About the Author
Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker, writer at Patheos.com, works in film production and is a Taekwondo black belt.

She’s a founding member of Writers Cubed and co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the largest conferences in the nation for youth ages 13-19. She and a crew of local and international bestselling authors present writing workshops to hundreds of attendees at the Utah-based conference as well as hundreds of others worldwide who view the conference online.

Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. Her brain is always spinning new ideas for books and sometimes she even gets around to blogging.

Jo is a mom of 3 strapping sons living in the beautiful mountains of Utah with a neurotic cat named Hero..

Where to Find Jo Schaffer
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Tumblr

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour (The Homeric Chronicles) by Janell Rhiannon

SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour, the first book in the adult historical/fantasy romance series, The Homeric Chronicles, by Janell Rhiannon. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour (The Homeric Chronicles #1) by Janell Rhiannon

SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour (The Homeric Chronicles #1) by Janell Rhiannon

About the Book
Title: SONG OF SACRIFICE
Series: The Homeric Chronicles #1
Author: Janell Rhiannon
Release Date: December 16, 2018
Genre: Adult Historical/Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.

Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes, whisper to us across time…

…remember our songs alongside the mighty men of myth.

As the Age of Heroes wanes, the gods gamble more fiercely with mortals’ lives than they ever have before. Women must rely on their inner strength and cunning to survive the wars men wage for gold and glory.

Clytemnestra of Mycenae struggles for control of her life after Agamemnon ruthlessly rips it apart. Leda of Sparta survives a brutal assault by Zeus, shouldering a terrible secret in silence. Penelope raises Ithaka’s sole heir alone, praying for Odysseus’ swift return. Thetis, the sea nymph, despairs of her son’s destiny and resorts to forbidden magic to save him. Hecuba of Troy mourns the loss of her second son to a dark prophesy. And Shavash of Pedasus prepares her daughter to marry the greatest warrior who ever lived.

In a world where love leads to war and duty leads to destruction, the iron hearts of heroines will conquer all.

Sing, Muse, sing their song of sacrifice…

Replaces Song of Princes as the first book in the Homeric Chronicles.

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SONG OF SACRIFICE Teaser

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Excerpt #4
From Chapter 22
Queen Shavash and Princess Briseis

BRISEIS FUSSED WITH her gown. “I don’t like the color, Mother.” She scratched at the golden belt.

“It brings out the pale of your eyes. It’s a fine blue dye. Very costly. Your father searched high and low for such a treasure.” Shavash cupped her daughter’s cheek. ”I’ve dreamt of this day since I carried you beneath my heart.”

“I don’t care about Chryseis’ prophecy. I don’t want to marry a warrior.”

“A prince, Briseis. Hektor is the Prince of Troy. There is no more worthy man than he.”

“He’s old.”

“Wise.”

Briseis wrinkled her nose. “Old. Wise. What if he’s hairy? Stinks of horse?”

Shavash laughed. “Daughter, you needn’t worry about such matters. He’s said to be most handsome. He was a lovely boy, as I recall.”

“If you say so.” Briseis gave a final tug at her gown. “Can we get this over with?”

“Smile.”

“I don’t want to smile.”

Shavash sighed heavily. Moving to her daughter’s side, she grabbed Briseis firmly by the chin. “Marriage isn’t about what we want as women. It’s about what we provide to our husbands and our cities. The men plant their seeds in our bodies and we bear the fruit of their legacy.” She squeezed tighter. “It’s the way of our world. If you’re blessed with a kind and handsome husband, bear him many children, consider yourself blessed by the gods. Fight this, and you will surely be cursed and not just by the gods, but by your father … and your mother.”

The young Princess of Pedasus stared into her mother’s hard eyes. Her chin quivered in her mother’s tight grasp. Her lips moved awkwardly as she said, “I obey.”

Shavash released her grip, returning once again to the doting mother. “Good. See, you’re more ready to be a wife than you realized.”

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TENDER OLIVE BRANCHES and flowers decorated the courtyard, filling the air with the pungent aromas of a fresh spring. Colorful ribbons and banners fluttered gently in the warm breeze. Musicians plucked a melodic tune with lyres and flutes. All eyes turned toward Briseis clinging to her mother’s hand, as she followed behind her father, King Briseus, into the midst of the joyful gathering anticipating a betrothal of the Prince of Troy to the Princess of Pedasus. They stopped before the king and queen seated across the way.

King Briseus bowed his head, Queen Shavash elbowed Briseis to follow suit. The princess kept her eyes downcast, afraid to look up and find the man her parents intended her to marry staring at her.

Queen Hecuba spoke with a soft command. “Raise your face to me, child. Let me see for myself this great beauty, not yet in full bloom.”

Briseis lifted her head, leveling her eyes to the queen’s. She squirmed under Hecuba’s intense scrutiny.

“It’s true, you do have an enchanting face.” Signaling across the courtyard, Hecuba caught Hektor’s attention. “You should meet my son, Prince Hektor.”

As the queen finished speaking, a tall, dark-skinned man came to stand beside her. His shoulders were so wide that he blocked the afternoon light. Briseis blinked and her heart pounded.

Shavash smiled widely at the man. “Hektor? You’ve grown so much I can scarce see the boy you used to be.”

“Queen Shavash, I am honored you remember me at all.”

“How could I forget the boy who could think of nothing else but his warhorse? Do you still have him?”

Hektor smiled, showing all of his teeth. “He’s a fine animal. The prize of the royal stables.”

“As it should be,” Shavash replied.

Briseis picked at her palm with a fingernail. He’s so old and hairy. Sweat trickled down the center of her back. I don’t want to marry him. I don’t want to marry anybody.

Queen Shavash put her hand gently behind her daughter’s back, pushing her slightly forward. “Prince Hektor, this is my daughter, the Princess Briseis.”

Briseis glanced up to see Hektor’s expectant face. In the corner of her eye, she could see her father standing there beaming with pride and hope, and a young woman staring at her with eyes of ice. She bowed her head. “I-I am …”

Hektor laughed. “Am I so ugly, then?”

Giggling nervously, Briseis squeaked, “No.” Just hairy. Crimson heat crept to her cheeks.

“That’s good to hear. It would be awkward if my future wife found me undesirable.”

A voice said, “She will never marry you, brother.”

All heads turned toward the woman with the icy glare. Briseis shivered.

King Priam’s face flattened with impatience, as he snapped, “Keep your ill words to yourself, Cassandra. It’s her destiny to marry the greatest warrior. She will marry Hektor, if he will have her.”

The Trojan princess’ face turned as white as ash from a dead fire. “There will be smoke and fire when he arrives. And he will take her as his prize.”

Horrified faces turned toward Briseis. Tears spilled over her bottom lashes. What does she mean? What smoke and fire?

Prince Hektor ignored his sister’s words. “Would you care to see the stables, Princess Briseis?”

Still shaken, Briseis whispered, “Yes, if my mother will allow it.”

Queen Hecuba waved a hand and a royal guard gently escorted the strange woman away. “Of course, she will. She’ll recall the way to the Hektor’s heart is through the stable.”

As Hektor extended a warm hand, Briseis smiled for the first time in days. Maybe he isn’t too hairy after all.

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SONG OF SACRIFICE Teaser

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Author Janell Rhiannon

Author Janell Rhiannon

About the Author
In graduate school, Janell focused on the ancient history of Greece and Rome. Hooked by the “sword and sandal” world, she studied everything she could about mythology and Alexander the Great.

The Homeric Chronicles series is dedicated to merging dozens of Greek myths, including Homer’s epics, with plays, history, and archaeology. Her intent is to raise the heroines’ voices equally alongside the heroes, opening up a traditionally male focused genre to a female audience.

She lives in CA and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has a pack of two big dogs and two cats..

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Where to Find Janell Rhiannon
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE COUNCIL OF NERETH (The Nereth Trilogy) by T.J. Amberson

THE COUNCIL OF NERETH Book Blitz

Welcome to the blog tour for THE COUNCIL OF NERETH, the second book in the young adult historical fantasy romance series, The Nereth Trilogy, by T.J. Amberson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE COUNCIL OF NERETH (The Nereth Trilogy #2) by T.J. Amberson

THE COUNCIL OF NERETH (The Nereth Trilogy #2) by T.J. Amberson

About the Book
Title: THE COUNCIL OF NERETH
Series: The Nereth Trilogy #2
Author: T.J. Amberson
Release Date: December 2, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Six months have passed since the Council of Nereth was formed. The land is at peace. The people are thriving, secure in the knowledge that Raelin, the evil sorceress who once ruled over them, is no more.Like the other members of the Council of Nereth, Edlyn has returned home to live and work, waiting for the time when the council will meet again. Busy serving the people and restoring the manor of her childhood, Edlyn keeps her deepest wishes hidden away in her heart.On Edlyn’s eighteenth birthday, a messenger from the capitol arrives to her home and delivers devastating news: Maddock has gone missing, and the worst is feared. Edlyn rushes back to the capitol to join the other council members in a desperate search for Maddock. Soon, a ghostly attack confirms the terrifying truth that evil forces are upon Nereth once again. With time running short, Edlyn and her companions must find Maddock and save Nereth before it is too late.

 

 

 

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Excerpt #3
Suddenly, the Berax let out another screech, toppled off of Edlyn, and collapsed onto the leaves that covered the ground. Edlyn pulled herself to her feet. She froze when she saw the silhouette of a man crouched beside the Berax. The man swiftly raised an arm, and the flash of his dagger’s blade caught the moonlight before he thrust his weapon into the monster’s side again. The Berax was dead.

Edlyn staggered and dropped her sword, a torrent of emotions crashing down upon her. 

“Maddock,” she whispered.

“Are you hurt?” she heard him ask.

At the sound of his voice, Edlyn swayed again, the shock still so acute that she could barely reply. “I am not hurt.”

Maddock came toward her. Like Edlyn, he was breathing fast. Once he got close, Edlyn could see that Maddock’s clothes were dirtied and worn, and his hair had grown longer since she had seen him last. But Maddock’s eyes—dark and penetrating—had not changed.

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Author T.J. Amberson

Author T.J. Amberson

About The Author
TJ Amberson hails from the Pacific Northwest. With a love of writing in several genres, TJ strives to provide well-written, age-appropriate, & original novels for tweens, teens, and new adults.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where to Find T.J. Amberson
Goodreads | Website | Facebook

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt – DUCHESS BY DECEPTION (Gilded) by Marie Force

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for DUCHESS BY DECEPTION, the first book in the adult historical romance series, Gilded, byNew York Times bestselling author, Marie Force. See below for information on the book, buy inks, and an exclusive excerpt.

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION (Gilded #1) by Marie Force

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION (Gilded #1) by Marie Force

About the Book
Title: DUCHESS BY DECEPTION
Series: Gilded #1
Author: Marie Force
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google

Synopsis
In New York Times bestselling author Marie Force’s dazzling historical romance debut, the clock is ticking for a wealthy Duke who must marry by his thirtieth birthday—or lose his title…

Derek Eagan, the dashing Duke of Westwood, is well aware of his looming deadline. But weary of tiresome debutantes, he seeks a respite at his country home in Essex—and encounters a man digging on his property. Except he’s not a man. He’s a very lovely woman. Who suddenly faints at his feet.

Catherine McCabe’s disdain for the aristocracy has already led her to flee an arranged marriage with a boorish Viscount. The last thing she wants is to be waylaid in a Duke’s home. Yet, she is compelled to stay by the handsome, thoughtful man who introduces himself as the Duke’s estate manager.

Derek realizes two things immediately: he is captivated by her delicate beauty, and to figure out what she was up to, Catherine must not know he is the Duke. But as they fall passionately in love, Derek’s lie spins out of control. Will their bond survive his deception, not to mention the scorned Viscount’s pursuit? Most important, can Catherine fall in love all over again—this time with the Duke?

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Chapter 2
The next morning, Derek rode his black stallion Hercules out of London, heading for his country estate in Essex. He’d left without a word to the London household staff. They’d discover soon enough that he’d taken his leave and would send word to Anthony before the day was out. After taking their orders from Anthony during Derek’s adolescence, some of them were more loyal to his uncle than they were to him.

Following weeks of being cooped up in the city, Hercules seemed as anxious as Derek to return home, so Derek gave the big horse his head, and they made good time. They stopped only once for food and water, and Derek was grateful not to be recognized at the roadside inn. Otherwise, he might’ve been detained while the innkeeper tried to impress him. That was why he’d worn simple leather breaches, a white linen shirt and riding boots. After weeks on parade before the beau monde, it was a welcome relief to blend in with the unwashed masses.

Within a few hours, Derek and Hercules reached the southeastern corner of Derek’s vast estate and headed north. During the long journey, Derek had tried to put aside his disappointment over another failed Season and focus on the many tasks that awaited him at home. Here he knew who he was and what was expected of him. In polite society, all the lines became fuzzy, and he was forced to become someone he barely recognized.

If the pattern of years past was repeated, he could expect a dark mood to set in soon after he arrived home and settled back into the monotony of daily life, alone as always. That he had to go back, choose one of the simpering debs, apply for a special license and speak his vows sometime in the next ten days made him shudder. The thoughts were enough to get the dark mood started early.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like women. Oh no, he loved women. He loved their soft skin, their endlessly alluring scents, their long hair and lush curves. Other than his horses, he loved nothing more than losing himself in a willing woman. Sadly, in his corner of the country, suitable women were few and far between.

During the second of his many Seasons, Derek had befriended a courtesan named Kitty who saw to his more basic needs during his semi-regular visits to the city. While he liked and admired her, it wasn’t lost on him that were it not for the easy familiarity he shared with Kitty, he might’ve settled into a marriage long before now.

He’d never expected to reach the age of nine and twenty still unattached with no prospects on the horizon, not to mention any hope of producing an heir he could shape and mold into the future Duke of Westwood. The idea of constraining his own son to the life of a duke pained him, but Derek planned to live to a ripe old age, giving his son the chance Derek never had to experience life before being shackled with endless responsibilities and obligations. Perhaps he’d even take drastic steps to change the barbaric marriage rule in the family tenet, so his son would never feel the pressure that now threatened to suffocate Derek.

He chuckled softly. Getting a bit ahead of yourself, old sod. You can’t even find a wife, and you’re already making plans for the son you’ll never have at this rate.

He thought about how thrilled his Uncle Anthony would be to push Derek aside and take on the title he’d coveted all his life, even while pretending to have Derek’s best interests at heart. With these thoughts weighing heavily on his mind he almost missed it. A man was digging feverishly in a glade set back from the road. Derek reined in Hercules. “Whoa, boy.”

The horse snorted in protest.

“Easy.” Derek patted the horse’s neck while he watched for a minute before urging Hercules toward the digger. As he approached, he noticed the man wasn’t very tall. His ill-fitting clothes were caked with dirt, his boots scuffed and his breathing labored as he went about his work with single-minded determination, oblivious to the fact that he was being watched.

“You there!” Derek called out.

Startled by Derek’s sudden appearance, the man dropped the shovel and fell back on his rear.

Suppressing the urge to laugh at the shocked expression on the man’s dirty face, Derek dismounted and approached, offering a hand to help him up. From what Derek could see under the brim of the cap the man wore, his features were delicate, almost effeminate, and his filthy hands seemed too small to wield such a heavy shovel.

Ignoring Derek’s offered hand, the young man scrambled to his feet, rubbing his hands on his pants in a nervous gesture.

“Don’t even think about running,” Derek said. Dark eyes filled with fear stared back at him. “What do you think you’re doing digging here? This is private property. Anything you uncover belongs to the Duke of Westwood.”

The young man’s face twisted with scorn, but still he didn’t speak.

Derek noticed the other man’s hands were trembling. “I won’t harm you. I just want to know what you’re doing.” When that got him nowhere, he bent to retrieve the shovel. “If you won’t answer my questions, I’ll have to confiscate this.”

Uttering an animalistic growl, the man lunged for the shovel. As he and Derek crashed together, his threadbare cap flew off his head, and long, curly blond hair spilled down his—or rather her—back.

Deep navy-blue eyes stared up at him as she quaked in terror.

Shocked to realize his trespasser was a woman who was deathly afraid of him, Derek reached out to steady her. “Easy now. I won’t hurt you.”

She released a gasp as her legs seemed to collapse beneath her.

Derek caught her just before she hit the ground in a dead faint. By holding her over his shoulder, Derek managed to struggle the featherweight woman and her small valise onto Hercules. Once astride, he arranged her so she rested against him. Right away Derek could feel the heat of her fever through his shirt. Her hair was matted with grime, and she smelled, well, less than fresh. Derek wondered how long she’d been battling the elements on her own and when she’d last eaten.

Tightening his hold on his passenger, Derek urged Hercules into a canter. They arrived at Westwood Hall less than an hour later. Derek’s cousin Simon, butler Rutledge and several footmen met them.

“Your Grace!” Rutledge cried. “We had no idea you’d be home so soon!” He curled up his regal nose at the sight of the ruffian with Derek. “And who have you brought?”

“I encountered her out on the south quarter. She’s burning up with fever.” Derek signaled one of the footmen, who approached to relieve him of his passenger. “Take her to the blue guest room.” Derek dismounted and handed the reins to a second footman. “And send for the doctor right away.”

“Yes, Your Grace,” Rutledge said, gesturing to the second footman as he, Derek and Simon followed the man carrying the sick woman into the house.

“Who is she?” Simon asked.

“I have no idea. She was digging in the glade when I came across her.”

“Digging for what?”

“She passed out before I could ask her,” Derek said as he rushed inside with Simon on his heels.

Mrs. Langingham, the housekeeper, met them in the foyer, taking over for the flustered butler. “Oh, Your Grace, you’re home so early!”

“As usual, London failed to keep me entertained. Would you please have one of the maids draw a bath for the young miss? She’s dirty and ill.”

“Of course.” Mrs. Langingham signaled to a maid, who scurried off.

“I’ll see you later,” Derek said to his cousin as he followed the footman carrying the woman up the stairs. At the doorway to the room he’d assigned her, he hesitated. It wouldn’t be proper for him to be in her bedchamber. Even though he had no idea who she was or where she’d come from, he worried about her reputation, nonetheless.

The footman set her on the bed and came to the door.

“Thank you,” Derek said, his eyes on the woman. He stood watch over her until the maids had her bath ready in the bathing room he’d recently installed.

Mrs. Langingham bustled into the room after them, barking out orders and taking command. “Now off with you, Your Grace. We’ll take good care of her.”

“If she comes to,” Derek said, acting on instinct, “don’t tell her where she is or who found her.”

“As you wish.”

“I’ll check on her later.”

“We’ll take good care of her,” Mrs. Langingham said again as she ushered him out the door. “Don’t worry yourself.”

Derek left the room, but he didn’t want to. For some odd reason, he wanted to stay and care for her himself. To peel the filthy clothing from her petite body and bathe what looked to be weeks of grime off her, to wash her long hair and towel it dry by the fire. He wanted to crawl into bed next to her and hold her until the fever broke and she could tell him why she’d been digging on his land. So far all she’d done was growl at him, but the desperation he’d heard in that growl had touched him deeply.

He could go back, clear the room and take over. But Mrs. Langingham had helped to raise him, and he’d never shock her that way. Walking toward his own bedchamber at the other end of the long hallway, Derek decided he’d go back as soon as they had her settled in bed. Hopefully by then the doctor would have arrived.

***

An hour later, Derek returned to check on his new ward and stopped dead in his tracks at the bedchamber doorway. The woman was propped against a small mountain of pillows, her damp golden curls forming a halo around her freshly scrubbed face. A porcelain complexion, pretty pink lips and a button nose completed a rather captivating picture. He’d been oddly drawn to her when she was dirty and smelly. But now he needed her to awaken so he could find out everything there was to know about her.

While he stared at her, she began to thrash in the bed as if in the midst of a frightening dream.

“What’s wrong with her?” he asked, riveted by the fear he saw on her face.

“She’s been terribly agitated, Your Grace,” Mrs. Langingham said, wringing her hands.

“Can’t you do something?” he asked the doctor. Reeking of whiskey, the old man had clearly been dragged from the village pub. Derek moved to the foot of the bed for a closer look.

“She’s quite ill, Your—”

“Don’t call me that,” Derek snapped. “Until I find out more about what she’s after, I don’t want her to know who I am or where she is.”

“I doubt she’s paying much attention to what we are saying, sir.”

“Regardless, can’t you do something to make her more comfortable?”

The doctor shook his head. “If she doesn’t wake in the next day or two, we can bleed her.”

“Absolutely not.”

“But Your, I mean, sir, there may be no other choice.”

Derek had yet to hear of anyone who’d been better off after bleeding than they had been before. “No talk of bleeding. For God’s sake, no one does that anymore.”

“It can still be highly effective,” the old man huffed.

Derek decided then and there it was time for a new doctor in the village. He’d begin the search as soon as possible.

“I can’t help but notice,” Mrs. Langingham said to Derek, “that she seems to calm somewhat when she hears your voice.”

He moved to the side of the bed, took the young woman’s work-roughened hand and held it between both of his. “There now, you’re safe here. Try to rest.” Before his astounded eyes, she relaxed into the pillows, but her fever-reddened cheeks worried him. Turning to the doctor, Derek said, “Will she recover?”

The doctor picked up his bag of useless tools. “She’s young, and though she’s somewhat malnourished, she’s strong. There’s no reason to believe she won’t recover. Try to get some tea or broth into her.”

Mrs. Langingham, who’d been hovering at Derek’s shoulder, nodded vociferously. “I’ll see to it personally.”

“I’ll do it,” Derek said.

“But, sir,” Mrs. Langingham protested, “it’s not proper!”

“You said yourself that my presence calms her. And besides, who will know?”

She wilted under the intensity of his gaze. “As you wish. I’ll have the tea sent up.” She bustled from the room.

As the doctor prepared to leave, Derek stopped him. “Not a word of this in the village. Do you understand me?”

“Yes, sir. I’ll check on her tomorrow.”

After closing the door behind the doctor, Derek went to stand by the bed. Hands in pockets, he studied his guest so intently that he never heard Mrs. Langingham’s return. She set the tray of tea and broth on the bedside table.

“I’ll take it from here,” Derek said.

“Your Grace,” she whispered, her expression scandalized.

“That’ll be all, Mrs. Langingham.” He sent her a warm smile. “Thank you for your assistance.”

“You’ll need to put a towel under her chin.”

“I can handle it. I’ll see you in the morning.” Derek waited until the housekeeper left the room before pouring the tea and waiting for it to cool. Once it had become somewhat tepid, he sat on the bed and arranged his patient so she reclined against his chest. Remembering the towel Mrs. Langingham had recommended, Derek tucked it under the woman’s chin and over her shoulders and then reached for the tea.

The heat from her feverish body seeped through their clothing to warm him. “Come now,” he said softly. “Let’s have a little sip.”

She strained against his tight hold and turned her head away from the cup he held to her lips. Her mouth opened, and he was able to get her to drink a small bit without her choking. It took more than half an hour, but he managed to get most of the cup into her. He wiped her face with the towel and started to settle her back in bed.

But she turned into him, her head on his chest, and began to murmur in her sleep.

Now this, Derek thought, was definitely improper. Regardless, he couldn’t seem to bring himself to leave her, even though her fever was making him overly warm.

“No,” she muttered. “Don’t. Please don’t.” She stiffened, as if in pain, and let out a low moan.

“It’s all right,” Derek said, combing his fingers through her glorious mane. “I’ve got you. You’re safe here.”

“Don’t hurt me. Please don’t.”

Derek tightened his hold on her. “You’re safe. No one will hurt you.” He realized his shirt was damp and looked down to see tears on her fever-brightened cheeks. Brushing them away, he ached to know who she was, who had hurt her, and what had brought her to his corner of Essex.

He spoke softly to her until she once again relaxed into a deep sleep. The long, eventful day finally caught up to him, and his eyes drifted closed. His next conscious thought was one of struggle. Someone was fighting him with everything they had. He startled awake to find his patient battling her way out of his embrace.

“Wait,” he said. “I won’t hurt you.”

“Release me this instant!” Her voice was low and cultured, and the sound stirred him profoundly.

Derek did as she asked, and she sprang from the bed.

Arms folded across the front of the thin night rail Mrs. Langingham had found for her, she glared at him as she wobbled on unsteady legs. “Where am I? Where is my clothing? Who undressed me?”

“You’re at Westwood Hall. The housekeeper bathed and dressed you.”

Her face flaming with embarrassment, she grabbed a blanket from the foot of the bed and wrapped it around herself. “And who resides here?”

“The Duke of Westwood.”

She made a face of supreme distaste.

Derek bit back the urge to laugh.

“I have no desire to be the guest of a duke. If you’ll find my clothes, I’ll be on my way.”

“I believe they were burned.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“They weren’t fit to be rags.”

“They’re all I have!” Her pale face lost what color it had left as she swooned.

Derek bolted from the bed to catch her and settled her back in bed. “You’re ill. You can’t go anywhere until your fever breaks and you regain your strength.”

Dark blue eyes filled with tears. “I can’t stay here.”

“What has the duke ever done to you?”

“Not a thing.”

“Then why are you so opposed to being his guest?”

“I’d feel the same about any peer of the realm,” she said with a haughty lift of her delicate chin.

“And why is that?”

“I have my reasons. Who are you anyway?”

Derek’s brain froze.

“Have I asked a difficult question?”

“Of course not,” Derek said, recovering. “I’m Jack Bancroft, the duke’s estate manager.”

“You’re not a peer?”

“No, ma’am.” Derek wasn’t sure why he lied, except that he wanted to know more about her and already understood that he’d get nowhere with her as the Duke of Westwood. That, alone, made her different from every other woman he’d ever met.

“Good,” she said, visibly relieved.

“Now that I’ve given you my name, will you return the favor?”

She rolled her plump bottom lip between her teeth. “Catherine.”

Derek lowered himself into the chair next to the bed. “Pleasure to meet you, Catherine.”

“How did I get here?”

“I brought you. Do you remember our encounter in the woods? You were digging.”

“And you took my shovel.”

“The duke tends to frown upon strangers digging on his land without his knowledge or permission.”

Her eyes flashed with anger. “Oh, what does he care? He has thousands of acres. What’s one small hole to him?”

“It’s still his land, and thus his hole. Why don’t you tell me why you were digging?”

Her eyes widened. “My bag! Where’s my bag?” Clawing at the blankets, she tried to get up.

“Stay there. It’s right here.” He crossed the room to get the threadbare valise and brought it to her.

She did a quick inspection and then clutched it to her chest, eying him warily. “Did you look inside?”

“I did not.” Dropping back into the chair, he propped his feet on the foot of the bed. “You haven’t answered my question. Why were you digging?”

“I was looking for something that belongs to me,” she said, her gaze darting to his feet on the bed and then back to his face. Her expression told him that if it were up to her, he and his feet would be expelled from the room immediately.

Confused, Derek said, “So, you’ve been here before?” He was quite certain he’d remember her.

“No. My grandmother has.”

“And she left something behind?”

“I don’t wish to discuss it any further.”

“I can’t help you if I don’t know what brought you here or why you were willing to risk your health and well-being in pursuit of it.”

“Why would you want to help me?”

With every passing minute Derek grew more fascinated by her. He forced himself to project a sense of calm when he was anything but. “The duke has gone abroad to America for the summer.” Even though he surprised himself with the easy lie, his face remained neutral. “I’ve nothing much to do in his absence. If you’re looking for something, I might be able to help.”

“I don’t require your assistance. If I could just borrow some clothing, I’ll be on my way.”

“I’m afraid I can’t allow that.”

“You can’t, or you won’t?”

“As the duke’s estate manager, I oversee everything involving the land. I can’t permit a stranger to dig unsupervised.” He sent her his most charming smile. “You wouldn’t want to cause me trouble with my employer, now would you?”

“I don’t see why you can’t just let me go and forget you ever met me.”

Derek gave her his most charming smile. “My lady, you are quite unforgettable.”

“And it is quite unseemly for us to be alone together in a bedchamber.”

“No member of this household will speak of it.” He would see to that. “You were sick. I thought you’d be more comfortable waking up to someone you recognized, even though our association was brief.”

“And how precisely did you end up in bed with me?”

“I fed you some tea and then you fell asleep. I didn’t want to disturb you. And you seemed . . . ”

“What?”

“Frightened. Has someone hurt you?”

Catherine gasped. “Of course not. Why would you say such a thing?”

“You were speaking in your sleep.”

She put a hand over her mouth. “I wasn’t.”

Derek leaned forward and rested his elbows on the bed. “Who hurt you, Catherine?”

Shrinking back from him, she sank deeper into the pillows. “No one,” she said in barely more than a whisper.

“Let me help you.”

“I can’t stay here. I won’t accept charity from the aristocracy.”

“The way I see it, you don’t have much choice. You’re sick, weak, most likely far from home, alone, unprotected. Need I go on?” When she only glowered at him, he continued. “I can help you, but only if you’re honest with me.”

“And what will you tell the duke?”

“He is to be away for some months and trusts me to manage his affairs in his absence.”

“I can’t stay in his home. I just can’t.”

“We may be able to make other arrangements, so you wouldn’t have to stay under his roof, per se.”

She stared at him, mouth agape. “Why would you do such a thing for someone you barely know?”

“I told you. It’s all too quiet around here when the duke is away. Helping you will give me something interesting to do.”

She gave him an arch look, which, along with her fever-reddened cheeks, only added to her overwhelming appeal. “And what, pray, will you expect in return?”

He feigned shock. “My dear lady, I may not be a peer, but I am a gentleman.”

“A gentleman who somehow found his way into my bed the day we met.”

Derek couldn’t help but smile at her witty retort. “For that I would offer my most heartfelt apologies if I hadn’t so enjoyed holding you while you slept.”

“You’re outrageous,” she huffed.

He shrugged. “I speak only the truth. I have a proposition for you.” Was it his imagination or did she shrink further into the mountain of pillows?

“What kind of proposition?”

“You’re looking for something that’s clearly important to you. I can provide access to the area in which you wish to look as well as food and shelter for as long as you’re a guest on the estate.”

“In exchange for?”

“The truth. Tell me who you are, what you’re looking for, how you managed to get so sick and dirty, who you’re running from and anything else I should know in order to justify my actions to the duke.”

She rolled that plump lip between her teeth once more, sending a sharp bolt of lust straight to Derek’s cock. Had he ever envied another’s teeth before? Not that he could recall. He watched an array of emotions cross her expressive face—fear, trepidation, longing, desperation, distrust and despair. That last one made him feel small for forcing himself on her when she clearly wanted nothing more to do with him.

Even though he’d been less than truthful with her, he hadn’t lied about wishing for something interesting to occupy his time. Since he was supposed to be in London for another few weeks, his schedule was open, and his regular duties delegated to others.

He extended his hand. “Do we have a deal?”

She glanced at his hand and then at his face. “Do I have any other choice?”

“Not if you wish to continue digging on the duke’s property.”

Scowling, she held out her hand. “Fine.”

As Derek enclosed her soft hand between both of his, a charge traveled through his limbs to settle in his groin, and he wondered just who was fooling who.

 —————————————————————————-

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

Author Marie Force

Author Marie Force

About the Author
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception. 

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction. 

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news..

Where to find Marie Force
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Reader GroupTwitter | Pinterest | YouTube | BookBub

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt – DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE Cover Reveal

Welcome to the blog tour for DARING THE DETECTIVE, the third book in the adult historical romance series, Restitution League, by Riley Cole. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

About the Book
Title:
DARING THE DETECTIVE
Series: Restitution League #3
Author: Riley Cole
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
He’s everything she disdains. She’s nothing he admires.

But love has its own delightful logic. 

Whether bartering with Barbary pirates or angry Gypsy kings, Zadie Whitlock lives by her wits… and the business end of her parasol. 

Detective Caleb Burke lives to right wrongs. He can’t abide Zadie’s daring, impulsive ways, especially after she leaves him bound to a library shelf with his own handcuffs. 

Still, he can’t ignore the passion the damned woman ignites.

Nor can Zadie dismiss his smoldering allure. Which is troublesome in the extreme, because Caleb Burke isn’t the man for her. He’s too honorable, too loyal, and far too likely to follow the rules. 

Dazzled by her indomitable spirit, Caleb makes a fateful choice that sets the two of them on a hunt for lost Viking treasure. Failure will see his career in ashes, and Zadie on trial for her life.

Pursued by deadly forces, they’ve got the power of the Restitution League on their side… and their own stubborn hearts in the way.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt #1
Irritated beyond all reason, Caleb stalked into the study Zadie’s aunt used as an office, eager to find whatever clues he could. He needed to solve Dr. Whitlock’s disappearance and get far away from their newest client. Quickly. His sanity demanded it.

The hansom ride to her house had been excruciating. She took up too much space, too much air, too much of his psychical energy. He couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think.

She was a charlatan, an opportunist, and a stunningly attractive woman who wouldn’t hesitate to wield all the skills at her disposal to flummox any man foolish enough to enter her orbit. He knew the sort. She’d take on any job, with no regard for legalities, or her own safety, as long as the fee was high enough.

But then she’d kissed him. Caleb scratched his cheek. It hadn’t even been a real kiss. But it did make him want another, a deep, breathtaking kiss that would leave both of them gasping for air.

He jerked his head back, startled by the direction his thoughts were taking. He didn’t even like her. And yet that one feather-light kiss had sent him ass over teakettle.

Impatient with his own imaginings, he focused his attention on the room, straining to make sense of the scene. She’d described it accurately. Papers were flung about as if someone had made a hasty search. Before touching a thing, he stood in the center of the space and breathed. He couldn’t have articulated what he was after. It was too ephemeral to name. He only knew he did it at the scene of every crime. He wanted to see it as the criminal, and the victim, might have seen it.

And here, he sensed urgency. There was no blood, no torn draperies or overturned furniture. No indication of a struggle. Either Zadie’s aunt had been threatened with a weapon, or she’d fled of her own accord.

After waiting in the doorway, allowing him space, Zadie joined him in the study, moving close enough that her fragrance radiated over the few inches separating them. Sweet, with a bite of spice, it called to mind exotic locales shimmering with heat.

He clenched his jaw, willing away the distraction, and forced himself to focus on the room itself, soaking in the details, letting his mind imagine the scene. Like the other rooms in the house, it was tastefully furnished. There was the desk, of course, and the chair opposite, where he imagined her aunt’s occasional patients sat. A skeleton stood in the corner, suspended from a black wire stand. The skull regarded him with detached interest.

Zadie pointed at it. “That’s where I found the necklace.”

He stepped around the desk, careful not to tread on the papers littering the floor. She was right to dismiss robbery as a motive. Too many items of value remained in plain sight. Shelves of finely bound volumes lined the wall behind the desk, and a silver ink set and letter opener sat, untouched on an expensive-looking leather blotter.

Zadie scooped a blank paper from the floor and held it out to him. “Here’s something.”

He held it up to the light from the window next to the desk. A dark footprint covered most of the surface.

She picked up another sheet. “Here’s another.”

Caleb compared the two prints. “Same boot.” So they were after a single intruder. The lugs were thick, the heel worn almost away. “Work boots. Large ones.” He examined the rest of the papers but saw no other prints. “Do you have any male servants?”

“No.” She thought for a moment. “I can’t think of the last time a man was in the house, actually.”

He rolled the pages into a tube and stuck them in the inside pocket of his jacket. “Probably our intruder, then.”

“Oh no.” Zadie brushed past him to pick up an ancient book, its pages yellowed with age. “Her treasure map. She kept it in this volume.” She thumbed through the pages, then held the book by its spine and shook it. Eyes wide, she looked up at him. “She must have taken it with her.”

Caleb squinted at the bookcase behind the desk. Old books, new books, thick tomes, and sheaves of journals crowded the shelves. Clearly, only the one volume had been removed. Whoever had grabbed the book knew what they were after.

Zadie was right. Her aunt had probably removed it herself.

But had she been coerced? He refrained from voicing that dark thought, though the prickle between his shoulder blades didn’t bode well. If someone believed the treasure existed, a map could be worth killing over. “You’re certain no one else knew about it? Not the housekeeper or one of the maids?”

Before he’d completed the question, Zadie was shaking her head. “I’m the only person she confided in. She worried that it would put people in danger.” A pained look crossed her face. “I used to laugh at that.”

A pencil poised to roll off the edge of the desk caught his attention. He snatched it up and tapped out a rhythm on the blotter while he let his imagination sift through the evidence at hand. Best to start with what they did know…or could reasonably surmise. Whatever his motives, the intruder had rushed up the steps, kicked in the door, and barreled in. A glance would have told him the front parlor was empty. Less than a second, and he’d have been in her study.

Not enough time for her aunt to remove her necklace, grab a map, and get out.

She’d had some warning. But how?

The window.

The answer smacked him between the eyes. Zadie’s aunt had seen the intruder walking by on the street below.

He inched forward, gaze on the quiet view outside. “It was someone she recognized, or someone—”

“Who didn’t fit,” Zadie chimed in.

“Exactly.” He paced the office, clasping his hands behind his back. “It’s the only way she would have had time to get her map and leave you the necklace.”

Zadie seemed to be thinking through the scenario as well. “That makes sense.”

“But it’s not the only explanation that fits the facts,” he cautioned.

“I know.” She twisted her fingers together. “And it doesn’t explain the intruder’s motives.”

“No, it doesn’t.” He gave her a small smile, trying to ease her guilt. And then he thought of a marvelous distraction. “Are you up for an experiment?”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Let’s assume your aunt was at her desk.” He pointed at the desk chair and pulled the drapes wide. “When you see me walk toward the house, pretend to grab the map, then put the necklace where you found it. I want to see if you can evade me.”

“What makes you think I want to try?”

The heat in those few words was enough to make him hard. Painfully, achingly hard. Despite their dissimilarities, their opposing temperaments and the way she was able to anger him with the smallest shrug, he smiled. Grinned, actually. “You should try, Miss Whitlock. Because when I do catch you, you’ll find yourself in more trouble than you can handle.”

“Doubtful, Detective.”

He laughed. There was no getting the better of her. Not with words, anyway.

He was still laughing as he hurried down the hall and out the door, shutting it behind him. Then he strolled off down the street. Not the way they’d come. He thought he’d try the opposite direction first. Her aunt would have seen them coming sooner from their original direction. He wanted to try this under the worst possible conditions.

The corner would do. He turned on his heel and walked back toward the house, careful to temper his stride. A seasoned criminal wouldn’t move too quickly…or too slowly. He strove to mimic the pace of a man with an agenda, but a man loath to attract attention.

He walked up the front steps at a sedate pace, then kicked softly at the broken door. Even though he barely brushed it, the door swung open hard enough to bang against the wall. He rushed in, taking only the briefest instant to scan the front parlor and the hallway toward the kitchen. It only took three steps to reach the study.

Zadie already had one leg hooked over the windowsill. She smiled at him, relief obvious in the set of her shoulders. “She could have made it.”

“Easily.” He crossed to her and held out a hand to help her back in. “It’s clear she could have—”

A harsh male voice called out from the pavement. “Hold it! Hold it right there.”

Two uniformed officers were rushing toward the house, followed by a dark-suited detective. Avery Pitcairn. The nastiest detective on the South London force.

“Miss Zadie Whitlock?” Pitcairn called out, loud enough to be heard over the cascade of footfalls behind him. “You’re wanted for questioning in the disappearance of Dr. Margaret Whitlock. It’s best for all concerned if you come along quietly.”

Holy blazing hell. He had to stop them. It made no sense, but the feeling was so strong, he couldn’t help himself. He had to prevent them from arresting her.

He yanked her back inside. “Do as I say. Exactly as I say. Trust me,” he whispered.

Her face pale, Zadie nodded.

He couldn’t turn her over. She hadn’t harmed her aunt. He didn’t know how he knew it, but he did. It was simply the way his detective brain worked. Bits and pieces of evidence coalesced into a larger picture. And the picture he had so far convinced him Zadie was innocent. Besides, if he was wrong, he could cart her off to Newgate himself. And he hated Pitcairn. A cruel little weasel of a man, Pitcairn took an outsized pleasure in the misfortune of others. Particularly women.

He couldn’t allow it. Which wouldn’t protect him from the consequences of what he was about to do.

He shoved his misgivings aside and greeted the ginger-haired officer. “You’re too late. I already have Miss Whitlock in custody.”

The shorter detective jerked to a stop halfway into the room, the whiskers of his large mustache quivering. “What?” He squinted at him. “Burke? Thought you worked out of the Yard. What the hell are you doing out here?”

“I am at the Yard. Miss Whitlock is a person of interest in a very sensitive case. I’m to take her there immediately.”

The man huffed. “More important than a possible murder? Her aunt is missing.”

“I’m aware of that.” Caleb pulled his handcuffs from his trouser pocket. “My case takes precedence. Trust me. There are people above me you don’t want to upset, if you know what I mean.”

Pitcairn’s cheeks reddened. “No, I don’t know.”

“Orders from the highest level.” Caleb tried to sound apologetic as he slid his hand down to Zadie’s wrist and snapped on the cuff.

Her gasp filled the room.

The other detective gave her a searing glare. “Did you know Dr. Whitlock’s solicitor dug up her will? Left everything to this baggage here. She’s the woman’s only living relative.”

“What?” Zadie gasped, earning her another angry look from Pitcairn.

His expression was still flat and cold when he turned his attention back to Caleb. “Didn’t mention that, did she?”

He laughed, but the sound held no mirth. “We had a bit of luck with that piece. The housekeeper knows the solicitor. Her sister’s his cook.”

He crossed to the window and squinted out at the street. “Where’s your carriage?”

“The driver’ll be right back,” Caleb lied. “Had to drop Morgan and Fitz at the Limehouse docks. We weren’t expecting Miss Whitlock to be here.”

Nor had he expected her to have such a strong motive to make her aunt disappear. Though the house was modest, it spoke of comfort…and more wealth than many enjoyed. His impassive, police officer’s expression firmly in place, he studied her, checking for any of the telltale signs of a liar. But all he saw was shock.

Pitcairn chewed the ends of his mustache while he ruminated. “Can I have her when you’re done?” he asked finally.

“I don’t see why not. As soon as the toffs running my investigation allow it.” Caleb snapped the handcuffs around her other wrist.

Pitcairn jerked his chin at Zadie. “Good. There’ll be plenty of time for us to chat once you’re locked up. Come on now, lads. Nothing else we can do here.”

Caleb waited until the lot of them had funneled out the door and back into their wagon before he allowed himself to consider what he’d just done.

Ruined his career, most likely.

Zadie turned her back toward him and wiggled her fingers, jangling the chains. “About these? You promised.”

Preoccupied with the weight of his actions, it took a moment for Caleb to process her statement. He eyed the cuffs. “I promised not to arrest you for theft. I never promised not to arrest you for murder.”

“That’s not funny. Take these off.”

It wasn’t. Not in the least. But the sight of her, helpless before him, chest heaving, lips parted, was the most erotic thing he’d ever seen.

He ran a hand over his mouth. Holy hell. He’d just tossed his career in the sewer, and all he could think about was throwing her on the nearest couch and undoing the tiny pearl buttons running down the front of her bodice.

Afraid he’d make good on his imaginings, he turned toward the window and watched the officers depart. “It’s not meant to be funny.” The consequences of what he’d just done certainly wouldn’t be humorous.

“Caleb, please?”

The catch in her voice pricked at his conscience. Whatever disaster he’d just made of his career, torturing her wouldn’t help. Old habit had his fingers around the key in his vest pocket before he’d even realized he’d decided to free her.

She evaded his gaze, but the strong pulse beating at the side of her neck and the way her breasts moved with the rhythm of her breathing suggested she didn’t fully trust him to unlock the things.

Nor did he. He walked behind her and rubbed his thumb over the inside of her wrists, tracing the delicate pulse. The skin of her thighs would be this soft. This warm. “I could renege on my promise.”

She shivered. “You wouldn’t.”

“How do you know? We’ve only just met.”

“I know you’re an honest man.”

Caleb snorted, trying to shake off her sensual spell. “Not all policemen are honest. Far from it.”

“You are.”

“You can’t know that.”

“Oh, but I can.” She tossed her head back, flinging a dark curl out of her eyes. “It’s your friends. The League. They trust you, and I trust them.”

But could he trust himself? Maybe he should steal a kiss before he released her. He considered it, thinking long and hard about how she’d feel in his arms, but propriety and a healthy dose of self-preservation won out. Toying with a woman as bright and sensual as Zadie might leave a scar.

And he had plenty of other things to worry about now. He jabbed the key in the lock. The cuffs fell away, severing the electric connection between them.

She rubbed her wrists. “They’ll be expecting you to bring me in.”

“I know.” He dropped the cuffs back into his pocket.

Something in his tone must have concerned her. She scooted back, just out of reach. “You wouldn’t.”

“Of course not.” He ran a hand through his hair. “But I’ll need to explain why you’re not in custody.”

She strode back and forth across the worn carpet, obviously considering alternatives as well. Outside, the light was fading as afternoon slid into a golden autumn dusk. He’d be expected at the station before long. There wasn’t much time to lose.

And then he had it.

It was an idiotic idea, but it was the best he could come up with. He motioned her to him and spread his legs, bracing himself for what was to come. “Hit me,” he commanded.

She backed up until the bookcases stopped her. “This is no time for jokes.”

“Hit me,” he insisted. “Make it good.”

“I can’t do that.”

He caught her gaze and smiled. “There were a couple of times at the League you would’ve loved to plant me a facer.”

Her delicate earrings swayed as she shook her head. “I was angry then. This…this is cold-blooded.”

Still giddy with panic over what he’d just done, he grinned. “I can make you angry, if you like.”

She rolled her eyes.

He turned the side of his face toward her. “Hurry.” Before he came to his senses. Before he did the reasonable thing and took her to the station himself.

Her lips parted as she drew in a fortifying breath and then, before he had time to steel himself, she balled her hand into a fist and swung.

 —————————————————————————-

DARING THE DETECTIVE Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

Get Caught up on the Series

Book 1: REJECTING THE ROGUE
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: SAVING THE SCIENTIST
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

 —————————————————————————-

Author Riley Cole

Author Riley Cole

About the Author
Riley has a long fascination with all things Victorian. She loves the peculiar mix of science, mysticism and innovation that collided in the Victorian Era.

To say nothing of bustles. Bustles and elaborate hats and parasols. Parasols for rain. Parasols for sun. And parasols that morph into swords…of course. 

Sadly, Riley has little use for umbrellas in the dry foothills of the Eastern Sierra, but she consoles herself with forest hikes and dips in cool mountain lakes. Besides—no matter where one resides—a proper cuppa never comes amiss.

If you enjoy a little high adventure—and a lot of desire—with your historical romance, delve into Riley’s version of late Victorian London.

Thieves, rogues, and love await…

For more information about Riley, please visit her website, “like” Riley on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Sign up for Riley’s newsletter to be notified about upcoming releases. She’s loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at riley@rileycole.com.

Where to find Riley Cole
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook Twitter

 

Release Day – DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE Cover Reveal

Today is release day for DARING THE DETECTIVE, the third book in the adult historical romance series, Restitution League, by Riley Cole. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive teaser.

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

About the Book
Title:
DARING THE DETECTIVE
Series: Restitution League #3
Author: Riley Cole
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
He’s everything she disdains. She’s nothing he admires.

But love has its own delightful logic. 

Whether bartering with Barbary pirates or angry Gypsy kings, Zadie Whitlock lives by her wits… and the business end of her parasol. 

Detective Caleb Burke lives to right wrongs. He can’t abide Zadie’s daring, impulsive ways, especially after she leaves him bound to a library shelf with his own handcuffs. 

Still, he can’t ignore the passion the damned woman ignites.

Nor can Zadie dismiss his smoldering allure. Which is troublesome in the extreme, because Caleb Burke isn’t the man for her. He’s too honorable, too loyal, and far too likely to follow the rules. 

Dazzled by her indomitable spirit, Caleb makes a fateful choice that sets the two of them on a hunt for lost Viking treasure. Failure will see his career in ashes, and Zadie on trial for her life.

Pursued by deadly forces, they’ve got the power of the Restitution League on their side… and their own stubborn hearts in the way.

 —————————————————————————-

DARING THE DETECTIVE Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

Get Caught up on the Series

Book 1: REJECTING THE ROGUE
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: SAVING THE SCIENTIST
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

 —————————————————————————-

Author Riley Cole

Author Riley Cole

About the Author
Riley has a long fascination with all things Victorian. She loves the peculiar mix of science, mysticism and innovation that collided in the Victorian Era.

To say nothing of bustles. Bustles and elaborate hats and parasols. Parasols for rain. Parasols for sun. And parasols that morph into swords…of course. 

Sadly, Riley has little use for umbrellas in the dry foothills of the Eastern Sierra, but she consoles herself with forest hikes and dips in cool mountain lakes. Besides—no matter where one resides—a proper cuppa never comes amiss.

If you enjoy a little high adventure—and a lot of desire—with your historical romance, delve into Riley’s version of late Victorian London.

Thieves, rogues, and love await…

For more information about Riley, please visit her website, “like” Riley on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Sign up for Riley’s newsletter to be notified about upcoming releases. She’s loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at riley@rileycole.com.

Where to find Riley Cole
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook Twitter