Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Duke Meets His Match - Blog Tour Promo



Meet the Author:


Tina Gabrielle, an Amazon best-selling author, is an attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She often picked up a romance and let her fantasies of knights in shining armor and lords and ladies carry her away. She is the author of adventurous Regency historical romances: A Spy Unmasked, At The Spy’s Pleasure, In The Barrister’s Bed, In The Barrister’s Chambers, Lady Of Scandal, and A Perfect Scandal from Entangled Publishing and Kensington Books. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and her first book, Lady Of Scandal, was nominated as best first historical romance by Romantic Times Book Reviews. Tina loves to hear from readers. Please visit her website to join her newsletter and enter her free monthly contests and giveaways.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About the Book:


The daughter of an infamous art forger, Chloe Somerton grew up poor. Desperate to aid her sisters, she’d picked a pocket…or two. Now circumstances have changed, and Chloe has a chance to marry a young, wealthy lord. Only his mentor—a dark, dangerous duke—stands in her way. The duke knows about her past, and she’ll do anything to keep him from telling.

The moment Michael Keswick, the Duke of Cameron, sees Chloe Somerton, he recognizes her as a fraud. The stunning beauty with sapphire eyes and golden hair now appears to be a proper lady, but he knows better. What begins as a battle of wills soon escalates into a fierce attraction. In Chloe, Michael finds peace from the memories of war, but he refuses to marry…and she won’t settle for anything less.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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Check out the other books in The Infamous Somertons series:
 
 

Giveaway:

  • Classic Art coloring book, digital copy of An Artful Seduction by Tina Gabrielle, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card!

The Duke of Defiance - My Review



I'm just going to start out by saying this review is very late and I meant to write it the day of my blog promo post, however, life happens and I didn't get a chance to do this until now. With that being said, I will be diving straight in to this review without further ado.  This was my first introduction to the writing of Darcy Burke and I greatly enjoyed it!  I found it very easy to relate to the characters and the story had great passion, angst, and a sweet ending. 

Joanna Shaw is a widow currently residing with the family of her sister, after having endured an extremely unhappy marriage.  Bran is a widower recently returned from Barbados with his 5 year old daughter in tow, after learning that he has inherited his family title following the death of his two older brothers.  Jo's niece Becky, and Bran's daughter Evie strike up a close friendship since the two families live just down the road from each other.  This brings Bran and Jo in frequent contact with each other and the sparks begin to fly.  Bran knows very little about setting up a household and the proper care of his daughter.  This is where Jo steps in to lend a hand, ending with her becoming Evie's governess.  Both Bran and Evie are out of their element since leaving Barbados, and Jo helps both to acclimate to the strictures of England.

There is quite a bit of angst in this novel, between the two main characters. Bran proposes multiple times to Jo, but she refuses due to her belief that she is barren.  She comes to this conclusion due to the fact that she was married for seven years and could not produce a child for her husband.  Bran tries to convince her that this could be entirely her deceased husband, but she has been damaged by the verbal abuse she suffered in her unhappy marriage.  In her mind, Jo could not in good conscience accept Bran's proposal, knowing that one of his main duties would be to produce an heir, which she could not do if she was barren.  So, Bran suggests that they carry on an affair, which ends up bringing them even closer together.  In the end, they both realize they have fallen in love and Bran begs Jo to marry him, saying he doesn't care if she is barren, and she finally agrees.

The passion between Jo and Bran was hot, hot, hot!  Bran has a quirk where he didn't like to wear too much clothing, as it made his skin itch.  When he lived in Barbados, things weren't so rigid, and he had no need to wear restrictive or layered clothing.  That was not the case in England, and what cracked me up the most, was Bran disrobing at the most inappropriate times.  Take for example the clip below:

"Feeling as constricted as he had in the ballroom, he shrugged out of his coat and draped it over his arm.

“Are you disrobing again?” she asked.

“You can hear that?”

“I’m afraid so. But since I can’t see you, it really doesn’t signify.”

He chuckled, pleased with her logic. “As it happens, I’d already untied my cravat before I arrived here.”

“I can’t even manage to feign shock.” Now her voice held a lilt of humor, as if she were smiling.

He laughed again, and a cool, early spring breeze wafted over him. How he missed the warmth of Barbados.

“Will you tell me about it?” she asked.

Had he said that out loud—about Barbados? Apparently so. “I could stand here all night and not manage to tell you everything.”

“Then just tell me something.”

He closed his eyes and summoned his home. “The colors there are like nothing you’ve ever seen—the blue-green water, the white-gold sand, colors that not even the rainbow can do justice to.”

“It sounds beautiful.” Her voice was soft, almost reverent. “How did you decide to go there?”

He opened his eyes but still couldn’t see her. “That was where the ship was headed. I didn’t care where I was going, so long as it wasn’t here.”

“You must have been terribly miserable.” She sounded as if she’d moved a bit closer.

“I wasn’t needed here.” Or wanted, really. His entire family had encouraged him to buy a commission or perhaps take a vicarage. He’d considered both ideas, but after his brothers had spread that vicious rumor, he’d simply walked on the first ship leaving England. And he’d never looked back.

“And now?” Her question whispered over him, lulling him with its sweet curiosity.

“Now, I’m the earl. I’m needed.”

“And your brothers are gone.”

He exhaled, as if realizing for the first time that they really were gone. That he could perhaps be here and be happy. Or at least not miserable. Still, it wasn’t home. Not yet. “I miss the blazing sun.”

“Especially right now, I’d wager.”

He heard a tremor in her voice. “Wait, are you chilled? Where are you?” He reached out with his free hand and touched her.

Stepping forward—it didn’t take much to reach her—he settled his coat on her shoulders. “Better?” he asked.

“Yes, thank you.”

He didn’t take his hands away. “Why did you come out here?”

“I—”

He heard the hesitation in her voice and felt a shiver in her body. He didn’t think that was from the night air. “You can tell me. If you want.”

“I felt…overwhelmed. As if I couldn’t breathe. I just needed to get out.”

God, he’d felt like that his entire life. “I was never able to sit still when I was younger. Or wear clothing. I often felt like I wanted to crawl out of my very skin. I used to scratch myself raw.”

“That sounds horrid. How did you stop?”

“I don’t know. Leaving here helped.”

“And now that you’re back? Things aren’t as bad as they were?”


No, he supposed they weren’t. Just as he had a few moments ago, when she’d pointed out that his brothers were indeed gone, he felt a lightness. Because of her."


The one minor issue I had with this story was the age of the two girls. They seemed very advanced for being 5-6 and instead seemed closer to 8-10. Evie and Becky never spoke like small children and some of the subjects were pretty complex for a child of that age group to understand. They also wrote plays and sewed doll clothes which seems like something children a little older would do.  Despite this, they were wonderful to read about and more often than not, they stole the show and everyone's hearts!

To all my fellow historical romance novel lovers, you will love following the story of Bran and Jo, as they navigate through their trials and tribulations, to find true love with each other.  The epilogue is always my favorite part of the book, and this was one of the best!  Go grab your copy of The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke today.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Duke of Defiance - Blog Tour Promo

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.
Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About the Book:

Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies—and to falling in love.
Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life...until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences could destroy them both.
Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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 Check out the other books in  The Untouchables series:

Giveaway:

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed copy of The Duke of Daring and Swag
*If the chosen winner resides outside of the US, an eBook will be sent instead of the print book.* a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Sweetest Jerk - Blog Tour Promo


Meet the Author:

Ava Claire is a sucker for Alpha males and happily ever afters. When not putting pen to paper or glued to her Kindle, Ava likes road tripping, watching an unhealthy amount of Netflix, karaoke and vintage fashion.
Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About the Series:

New Year’s Resolution: No. More. Jerks.
Natalee Madison's life is finally on the upswing. Her business, Madison Creations, is finally gaining traction, and if she slays a high profile wedding, she could be catapulted to heights she's only dreamt of.
She doesn't do dating and it suits her just fine, because she ends it before things get complicated.
And then she sees his face.
Jason Cox.
The best man.
And based on their last run in, the biggest jerk alive.
He's dangerous. Lethal for her 'no complications' approach to men, since he's the one that inspired the approach in the first place.
But when she looks into his eyes, she knows that some rules are meant to be broken…
Billionaire Jackson Colt has success, wealth, power and a presence that makes his competitors tremble with fear. Beneath the armor is a man with a dark and painful past. A man with a heart that he guards by any means necessary.
As far as Sadie McLeod is concerned, 'escort' isn't a bad word. It's a job, one of two that she works to pay off a debt that is not her own. Tough as nails and far from a damsel in distress, love is a luxury she can't afford.
Can they put aside their dark pasts and find the love they both desperately want, underneath it all?
The Sweetest Jerk Part One
The Sweetest Jerk Part Two
The Sweetest Jerk Part Three

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Giveaway:

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Digital set of The Sweetest Jerk series
a Rafflecopter giveaway











Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Highlander's Viking Bride - My Review


One of my favorite genres in the realm of historical romance novels is that of the Highlander.  I just love me a braw Scotsman wearing a kilt and little else!  I had the privilege to visit Scotland about five years ago, and it solidified my already great love for that country.  There is something so beautiful and mystical meandering through the Highlands with its creeping mists, majestic castles, and fathomless lakes.  I could just feel the pulse of the land in my veins and could easily imagine the people who lived there many years ago.  One thing our tour guide said was that the Scots constantly warred among themselves, and a bitter feud is at the base of this wonderful tale of The Highlander's Viking Bride by Cathy & DD MacRae.

The MacGerrys and the Sinclairs have been at each other's throats in a feud that has lasted hundreds of years.  No one can really remember by they were fighting in the first place.  After unexpectedly finding himself laird of the clan, Calder MacGerry is determined to make peace with the Sinclairs.  The laird of the Sinclair clan jumps at Calder's offer of a truce.  He promises peace and aid through the winter to the MacGerry clan, but only if Calder will marry his daughter, Katja.  The agreement is struck and these two strangers find themselves wedded, bedded, and on the road back to the MacGerry clan in a matter of a couple days.

Calder is a good laird but he is a man, and therefore he is prone to making mistakes, especially concerning his new bride.  Katja is the daughter of the enemy and is not looked kindly upon by the MacGerry clan.  To make matters worse, Katja is neglected by her husband who is new not only to this marriage business, but also new to the duties of being laird, with the recent death of his father.  I felt rather sorry for both of these poor kids. They just couldn't seem to figure how to balance their duties, and still make time for each other.  Then due to the lack of communication on both their parts, Katja overhears something that is taken out of context, and she runs off to her relatives in the northern isles, instead of taking the time to talk to Calder.  But don't worry my fair readers, these two figure themselves out and of course the book has a happy ending!

I will have to say even though there are great side characters in this book, Freki stole the show.  I just wanted to reach through the page and snuggle that adorable wolfhound!  He is Katja's solid rock and protector. No one touches his mistress! But I still just want to curl up with him and smother him with kisses!  The moment Calder and Freki meet, was just priceless:

His wife’s old servant opened the door of the kirk and Calder rocked back on his heels, confronted by a mountain of fur growling menacingly at him with shining teeth that would make a Cù Sìth envious. Momentarily frozen, Calder heard his bride murmur something in a rough language, then offer the hands they held together for the beast’s perusal. After a few sniffs and one wet swipe of the tongue, the monster uttered a whine of reluctant acceptance before taking his place at Katja’s other side.
“Freki willnae harm ye now, unless ye make an aggressive move toward me,” Katja said matter-of-factly, a cold edge to her voice.
Still taken aback by the size of the creature, Calder asked, “Freki? What is he?”
Katja scratched the beast’s ears. “Freki is one of Odin’s wolves, according to Norse legend. He is, in fact, a wolfhound—a gift from my uncle.” She looked at the russet-colored behemoth with an expression of adoration on her face, as if he were her very own bairn.
One of Odin’s wolves? Freki was an appropriate enough name, then. The monster was certainly large enough to be the pet of a war god. “I’ve never seen a dog his size.” Calder still didn’t trust her beast had taken him off the list of potential meals.
“Ach, well, my uncle says his bloodline is found in Ireland. My uncle raises wolfhounds.”
Calder looked at the beast askance. More like devilhound.
Her tone warmed as she spoke of her dog and he struck for a way to keep her talking, if for no reason other than to hear the sweet sound of her voice. Though clear as chimes in the wind, it possessed a seductive quality that stirred his lust.
“What were the words ye spoke to him? I’ve not heard them before.”
Katja’s cheeks darkened. “Norn. My mother’s language. I am Scots on my sire’s side, Norse on my dam’s.”
Calder recalled Christer saying their mother no longer remained among the living. But proof of Katja’s bloodline resonated in her pale blonde hair, her slender, proud posture, and the fearless way she met his gaze. Viking blood ran strong through her veins.

This isn't an overly complicated story. Just a quick summer read that will leave you wanting more and more from these highland men of yesterday.  Go check out my previous post on where to pick this delightful story up.  Until next time...

Slainte,
M

The Highlander's Viking Bride - Blog Tour Promo

Meet the Author:

Cathy MacRae lives on the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains where she and her husband read, write, and tend the garden—with the help of the dogs, of course. You can visit with her on facebook, or read her blogs and learn about her books at www.cathymacraeauthor.com. Drop her a line—she loves to hear from readers!
* * *
DD MacRae enjoys bringing history to life and considers research one of the best things about writing a story! With more than 35 years of martial arts training, DD also brings breath-taking action to the tales. You can connect with DD through www.cathymacraeauthor.com. It’s always exciting to hear from readers!

About the Book:

Calder MacGerry, laird of an impoverished clan, has resolved to end the bitter feud between the MacGerry and Sinclairs. He jumps at Laird Sinclair’s offer of marriage to his only daughter, Katja, to seal the agreement between their clans—only to get more than he bargained for. Katja’s chance to escape her father’s harsh treatment appears to be too good to be true. But becoming Lady of a clan that despises her because she’s a Sinclair, doesn’t make life any easier. When the attacks turn deadly, she fights her way out, making a dangerous passage to the Shetland Isles for refuge with her Viking family. Calder and Katja’s marriage, built on mistrust, rushes quickly into disaster. As Calder seeks to repair the damage, Katja discovers not another enemy, but a husband who pledges a new beginning.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble  | Kobo

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Giveaway:

  • $20 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days - My Review


So this happens to be my first foray into doing a promo and a review for a blog tour and I have to say it is quite a great deal of fun!  I had always been hesitant to participate in these although I had been asked before, simply due to the fact I never knew if I could actually do my part.  What if something happened and I couldn't fulfill my obligation? Or worse, what if I didn't like the book and could not bring myself to finish it? Thankfully, neither of these things happened to me with How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days by Harmony Williams.



Since I already posted a promo for this book, I won't bother you with a repeat of the synopsis, but instead I'll just dive just into the story.  Francine Annesley is more interested in all things botany than men and would rather spend her time in her family's hothouse then in a crowded ballroom.  However, her father insists on her marrying, so in order to accommodate his wishes, she attends various events throughout London.  She has had no success in five seasons and is not hopeful for her future endeavors on the marriage market.  It is as one of these dances that she runs into her old childhood friend Julian Beckwith, whom she doesn't recognize at first.  Yet, when they gradually become reacquainted, all those feelings she thought had disappeared long ago, come rushing back to the surface.  When we first meet Francine, she is seen as timid and quiet as a mouse.  Her renewed feelings that were sparked with Julian's return gradually give her more confidence and in the end, she is able to follow her heart's desire.


In the words of the great Poet, the course of true love never did run smooth.  It is no different for Francine and Julian.  She must learn to admit her feelings for Julian, which at first she ignores, then refuses, but ultimately gives in to.  Julian has a secret that caused him to give up their correspondence, which had kept them in touch throughout the years, until he stopped writing to her altogether.  Harmony Williams does an excellent job of portraying the passion, angst, and ultimate joy of these two characters.

Another great point for this book was the cast of supporting characters in the story.  Francine's two best friends Rose and Mary are, in a word, hilarious!  Rose is recently married and has her mind made up that she will help Francine find a husband.  She tends to be a little on the dramatic side and no doubt in today's standards would be considered quite the diva.  Mary is by far my favorite character.  She feels very strongly that women are equal to men and should be treated thus.  Her blunt tongue and mischievous antics made me burst out loud more than once.  Francine's parents are on opposite sides of the spectrum, with her mother sharing her love of botany and being a wee bit absentminded while her father is overbearing, harsh, and, at times, even a bit cruel.  Another part of the story I enjoyed was Francine assigning plant names to describe the people around her.  These were oftentimes, not very flattering, especially to her would be suitors.  Julian is lovable and loyal to his heart, and completely madly in love with Francine.  Here's a glimpse of a conversation between Francine and Julian:

Excerpt:

“Tell me about this plant you saw.”

“You know I can’t do it justice.” Mirth infused his voice. “I once described a rose to you as ‘red.’”

I chuckled. “Well, you weren’t wrong.”

“I also wasn’t very observant, as you pointed out for the next hour.” He shuddered. “It was very like schoolwork. I think you made me memorize the parts.”

I lifted my head. “I did not.”

“You made me repeat them so often, it felt as though you did.”

I smiled. “You didn’t get it wrong after that, did you?”

“Of course I did.” He barked out a laugh. “You know I have no head for that kind of thing.”

“No?” I shifted to study his face while we spoke. “I’d wager you could describe your crops to the tiniest detail.”

He shook his head. “Not even if you threatened my life. But I can look at them and tell you if they look…wrong.”

I laughed. “Is that the technical term?”

“You know what I mean.” He threw his free hand into the air. “Weak. Sickly.”

I grinned. I was only teasing him. Judging by the half smile turning up one corner of his mouth, he knew it.

“You did an admirable job describing the problem with your crops. The one I helped with.”

His arm tightened around my shoulders. “Thank you again, by the way.”

My cheeks heated as my gaze dropped to his mouth. The heat of his body surrounded me. I’d never felt so relaxed, comfortable and yet aware of him at the same time. Would he kiss me again? When he made no move to, I leaned closer. He didn’t pull away.


While I did enjoy my reading of this story, there were some parts that did fall short for me.  The constant reminder throughout the book that Francine had injured her ankle, but she continued to use and abuse it was a bit annoying.  I didn't feel like the connection between Francine and Julian was as strong as it possibly could be.  Lord Valentia, Francine's father, seemed a bit harsh and  his constant disapproval of her, detracted from his character.  Finally, Mary stole the show for me and at certain points I felt myself wanting to hear more about her, rather than return to Francine's and Julian's' story. Despite these small criticisms, I thoroughly enjoyed my reading of How to Ruin You Reputation in 10 Days. Go check out my previous post for info on how to get a copy of this book and check out the author's page.  Until next time...

Slainte,