A Fun Regency Romance: Lord Sebastian's Secret by Jane Ashford

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lord Sebastian's Secret 
(The Duke's Sons, Book 3)
Jane Ashford
Copyright 2017
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Paperback ISBN: 9781492621621

The Story:
A Passionate and Whimsical Regency Tale from Bestselling Author Jane Ashford 

Will the secrets that brought them together tear them apart?

Proud. Cunning. Battle-hardened. Lord Sebastian Gresham is the epitome of military might and excellence. He's wealthy. The son of a Duke. There's just one problem: he can't read. It's those damned words. He doesn't see them in the same way everyone else does. It's a secret he'll never tell, certainly not to his new bride-to-be.

Brilliant. Witty. Beautiful. Lady Georgina Stane has always known she'd make the perfect bride, that is, if her eccentric family didn't scare off every potential suitor from London to Bath. After carefully orchestrating a London season with her parents out of the picture, she secured an engagement to an impeccable gentleman. And when Lord Sebastian arrives at her family's estate to meet her parents, she's not about to let their antics ruin her perfect marriage.

But what happens when these two learn that some secrets aren't so easy to keep?

To learn more about the book and the author visit the publisher's website!

The Duke's Sons Series

Start the New Year with a New Series -- The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill
(Tales From Ivy Hill, Book 1)
Julie Klassen
Copyright 2016
Bethany House Publishers
Paperback ISBN: 9780764218132

The Story:
Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill, where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . . 

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

To learn more about Julie visit her website: http://www.julieklassen.com/
Subscribe to her newsletter to stay up to date on books and news from Julie!
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Visit the world of Ivy Hill!

Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano - A Thrilling, New Young Adult Novel!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lost Girls
Merrie Destefano
Copyright 2017
Entangled Publishing
ISBN: 9781633756052
The Story:
Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry. Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.

She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: she’s popular. She wears nothing but black. 

Black to cover the blood.

And she can fight.

Tell no one.

She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.

But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad, sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves—the rush of the fight, the thrill of the win—something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…

The only rule is: There are no rules.

Be sure to stop by Merrie's site to learn more about Lost Girls and her other books!

Don't forget to visit the Entangled Teen website to read about Lost Girls and other great YA fiction!

The Lost Girls e-book and paperback editions are available today on Amazon!

To celebrate today's release of Lost Girls, here are links to a few interviews with Merrie and reviews from other readers...
Lost Girls Blog TourDon't miss the blog tour organized by Chapter by Chapter to learn more about the author and Lost Girls!
The Swoony Boys of SuspenseMerrie Destefano shares some of her fave male characters from tv shows and movies that kept her on the edge of her seat...whether or not they are examples of the suspense genre.
Lost Girls Teaser TuesdayCheck out this teaser from Lost Girls and feel free to spread the word with your friends and followers. 
Swoon Sunday with Dylan McCarthy: Did you find Dylan as swoonworthy as we did? Read this exclusive interview with him here now!

Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea: Crazy Faith Coffee at Family Christian

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Last week I received a delicious treat in the mail, a sample bag of Crazy Faith Coffee Awakening Blend courtesy of Family Christian. Unfortunately, the seal on the bag came open in transit, so I did't get to brew a cup, but mannnn, did it smell divine! I am positive that coffee beans with such a fresh, rich scent would make nothing short of a heavenly cuppa joe! While it's too late to get this coffee shipped to you before Christmas, you can visit your local Family Christian store to check out the Crazy Faith Coffee and gifts.

The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland by Regan Walker

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland
Regan Walker
Copyright 2016
Regan Walker Publishing
E-book available on Amazon

The Story:
“Master storytelling transports you to medieval Scotland!” – Paula Quinn, New York Times Bestselling Author 

For anyone whose faith has ever faltered…

Scotland 1072

The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to seek refuge in Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.

The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who have come to serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon!

Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The king has promised her to one of his favored warriors, but she has given her heart to a lowly scribe.

When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?

Meet Regan

My Thoughts:
I love a historical novel. I can't get enough of them, as you can probably tell from a glance at my blog feed. Since I've been a reader for most of my life, I've seen it all. It's rare to find a book with a unique setting that is well done. Scotland has never been presented quite like in The Refuge. I just read a romance set during a similar time, and it was just so uninteresting by comparison!

Festive Fiction: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Miracle on 5th Avenue
Sarah Morgan
Copyright 2016
Harlequin Books
ISBN: 9780373789344
Genre: Contemporary Romance, General Market, Mass Market Paperback

The Story:
It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York!

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner. 

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

My Thoughts:
Cheesy, sappy, and corny are a few words that I use to describe most of the Christmas themed books and movies I've read or watched in my lifetime. It's not as bad as it sounds. Really, who wants to be sad or depressed during the holidays? It's hard to be sad when you're laughing at cornball antics or too peppy heroines.

Poldark Season Three Teaser Trailer!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sooooo, I'll be the first to admit it, Ross Poldark is NOT my favorite character right now. In fact, after ~that~ season two scene, I'm pretty sure I will never be a fan of his again. However, this series has such a wealth of complex, interesting characters, that I am still very much looking forward to season three!

Will Dwight and Caroline's love continue to survive in spite of the obstacles thrown their way? Will Demelza continue to hold her own against Ross? Will Elizabeth and George move away and spare us all? I can't say as I've ever found a couple who were more deserving of each other. Hmmmm...those Warleggans sure are a nasty bunch, aren't they?

If you're wondering about all these characters so many have come to know and love (or hate!), take a peek at the trailer for season three! I'm so glad that the BBC has decided to bless us with a third season so soon after the second. I hope that PBS follows suit for its US viewers. Don't make us wait too long.

McNaught-E November: Exclusive Excerpt from Double Standards by Judith McNaught

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

As McNaught-E November draws to a close, I'm pleased to share one more amazing excerpt, this time from a standalone contemporary novel by Judith McNaught entitled Double Standards. If you're interested in reading excerpts from a few of McNaught's historical romances, be sure to follow the links below. I hope you've enjoyed reading these teaser chapters as much as I have! Let me know if you've read any of the books and share what you think of them in the comments section!

Excerpt from Whitney, My Love (scroll to bottom of linked post)

Double Standards
In the exclusive, glittering world of business superstars, Nick Sinclair is a legend. The ruggedly handsome president of Global Industries handles his business the way he handles his women—with charm, daring, and ruthless self-control. A man used to the very best, Nick hires Lauren Danner and assumes the proud beauty will soon be another easy conquest. But Lauren’s flashing wit and rare spirit dazzles him and slowly, against his will, he’s intrigued, challenged, and in love. Yet he doesn’t know that Lauren is living a lie and, trapped in a web of deceit, she fights her growing love for Nick. Her secret could destroy his fragile trust and the promise of life with the most compelling man she has ever met.

Buy an e-book copy:

Chapter 1

PHILIP WHITWORTH GLANCED UP, HIS attention drawn by the sound of swift footsteps sinking into the luxurious Oriental carpet that stretched across his presidential office. Lounging back in his maroon leather swivel chair he studied the vice-president who was striding toward him. “Well?” he said impatiently. “Have they announced who the low bidder is?”
The vice-president leaned his clenched fists on the polished surface of Philip’s mahogany desk. “Sinclair was the low bidder,” he spat out. “National Motors is giving him the contract to provide all the radios for the cars they manufacture, because Nick Sinclair beat our price by a lousy thirty thousand dollars.” He drew in a furious breath and expelled it in a hiss. “That bastard won a fifty-million-dollar contract away from us by cutting our price a fraction of one percent!”
Only the slight hardening of Philip Whitworth’s aristocratic jawline betrayed the anger rolling inside him as he said, “That’s the fourth time in a year that he’s won a major contract away from us. Quite a coincidence, isn’t it?”
“Coincidence!” the vice-president repeated. “It’s no damn coincidence and you know it, Philip! Someone in my division is on Nick Sinclair’s payroll. Some bastard must be spying on us, discovering the amount that goes into our sealed bid, then feeding the information to Sinclair so that he can undercut us by a few dollars. Only six men who work for me knew the amount we were going to bid on this job; one of those six men is our spy.”
Philip leaned farther into his chair until his silvered hair touched the high leather back. “You’ve had security investigations made on all six of those men, and all we learned was that three of them are cheating on their wives.”
“Then the investigations weren’t thorough enough!” Straightening, the vice-president raked his hand through his hair, then let his arm drop. “Look Philip, I realize Sinclair is your stepson, but you’re going to have to do something to stop him. He’s out to destroy you.”
Philip Whitworth’s eyes turned icy. “I have never acknowledged him as my ‘stepson,’ nor does my wife acknowledge him as her son. Now, precisely what do you propose I do to stop him?”
“Put a spy of your own in his company, find out who his contact here is. I don’t care what you do, but for God’s sake, do something!”
Philip’s reply was cut off by the harsh buzzing of the intercom on his desk, and he jabbed his finger at the button. “Yes, what is it, Helen?”
“I’m sorry to interrupt you, sir,” his secretary said, “but there’s a Miss Lauren Danner here. She says she has an appointment with you to discuss employment.”
“She does,” he sighed irritably. “I agreed to interview her for a position with us. Tell her I’ll see her in a few minutes.” He flicked the button off and returned his attention to the vice-president, who, though preoccupied, was regarding him with curiosity.
“Since when are you conducting personnel interviews, Philip?”
“It’s a courtesy interview,” Philip explained with an impatient sigh. “Her father is a shirttail relative of mine, a fifth or sixth cousin, as I recall. Danner is one of those relatives my mother unearthed years ago when she was researching her book on our family tree. Every time she located a new batch of possible relatives, she invited them up here to our house for a ‘nice little weekend visit’ so that she could delve into their ancestry, discover if they were actually related and decide if they were worthy of mention in her book.
“Danner was a professor at a Chicago university. He couldn’t come, so he sent his wife—a concert pianist—and his daughter in his place. Mrs. Danner was killed in an automobile accident a few years later, and I never heard from him after that, until last week when he called and asked me to interview his daughter, Lauren, for a job. He said there’s nothing suitable for her in Fenster, Missouri, where he’s living now.”
“Rather presumptuous of him to call you, wasn’t it?”
Philip’s expression filled with bored resignation. “I’ll give the girl a few minutes of my time and then send her packing. We don’t have a position for anyone with a college degree in music. Even if we did, I wouldn’t hire Lauren Danner. I’ve never met a more irritating, outrageous, ill-mannered, homely child in my life. She was about nine years old, chubby, with freckles and a mop of reddish hair that looked as if it was never properly combed. She wore hideous horn-rimmed eyeglasses, and so help me God, that child looked down her nose at us. . . .”

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Healing of the Heart by Loree Lough

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

When Ruby McCoy and her mother arrive in Fairplay and promptly move into the biggest mansion around, they are the talk of the town. But while Mrs. McCoy worries about ribbons, trunks, and wallpaper, Ruby rolls up her sleeves. Since the hanging of her notorious gangster father five years ago, Ruby, hiding under an assumed name, is on a mission to right her father’s wrongs. She is determined to spend every penny of her inherited “blood money” helping those who paid the price for her father’s crimes. But she didn’t plan on falling in love.

Sheriff Rex Truett doesn’t trust Ruby and doesn’t care who knows it. The keeper of Fairplay’s law and order makes it his business to find out why a stranger—especially a beautiful, rich, female stranger—would set up businesses, donate to schools, hire workmen to rebuild houses, and provide access to the best medical care. But when a cholera epidemic sweeps through the city, he is forced to reconsider.

Will Ruby have the courage to tell Rex her family secret? And will love or justice win in Rex’s heart?

About the Author

A prolific writer, Loree Lough has 108 books, 68 short stories, and more than 2,500 articles in print. Her novels have earned dozens of industry and Reader’s Choice awards. A frequent guest speaker for writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, corporations, and college and high school writing programs, Loree and her husband, Larry, divide their time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains.

Her books have over 3700 ratings on Goodreads with the first two books in The Secrets of Sterling Street series, Currency of the Heartand Guardians of the Heart receiving multiple four and five star reviews on book review and retail sites.

McNaught-E November: Exclusive Excerpt from Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

To celebrate the re-release of 14 classic novels and novellas from author Judith McNaught, a few bloggers will be posting exclusive excerpts from several of her books all month long for your reading pleasure! Hopefully, you can fill your e-readers with enough romance to last the entire holiday season. I've linked below to the first two exclusive excerpts for your convenience. Read on for this week's exclusive excerpt from Once and Always.

Excerpt from Whitney, My Love (scroll to bottom of linked post)

Once and Always
Victoria Seaton, a blithe and fiercely independent orphan, leaves her home in America to travel across the vast Atlantic to claim her long-lost inheritance: a labyrinthine English estate named Wakefield. There she encounters her distant cousin, the notorious, proud, and mysterious Lord Jason Fielding. Drawn to his magnetic charisma, Victoria can’t help but suspect that like her, he harbors a dark and painful past. Neither Victoria or Jason are able to resist one another’s charm but, in a moment of blinding anguish, Victoria discovers the shocking truth that lays at the heart of their love—a love she had dreamed would triumph.

Buy an e-book copy:

…Chapters 2-3
“VICTORIA, ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN your mother never mentioned either the Duke of Atherton or the Duchess of Claremont to you?”
Victoria tore her thoughts from aching memories of her parents’ funeral and looked at the elderly, white-haired physician seated across from her at the kitchen table. As her father’s oldest friend, Dr. Morrison had taken on the responsibility of seeing the girls settled, as well as of trying to care for Dr. Seaton's patients until the new physician arrived. “All Dorothy or I ever knew was that Mama was estranged from her family in England. She never spoke of them.”
“Is it possible your father had relatives in Ireland?”

Available Today! The Dare and the Doctor by Kate Noble (My Review + a 3 Book Giveaway!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Story:
Kate Noble
Pocket Books
Pub date: November 22, 2016
ISBN: 9781476749402
Price: $7.99
Mass Market Paperbound
A Winner Takes All Novel (#3)

National bestselling author Kate Noble’s THE DARE AND THE DOCTOR lures readers back to the dazzling, irresistible Winner Takes All Regency Romance series. Margaret Babcock has always been content with her quiet life in the country. But every now and then, she feels the urge to spread her wings. Her late mother used to whisper, “What’s the worst that could happen?” at the start of an adventure, and now Margaret’s continuing the tradition. So when Dr. Rhys Gray, her longtime correspondent on matters botanical, invites her to speak to the London Horticultural Society about her new rose hybrid, she accepts. She’s excited about her first visit to London, but even more so about getting to see her friend Dr. Gray. When she arrives, Rhys is eager to show her the wonders of the city, and the two spend many happy hours together just as friends, of course! But would friends miss each other quite as fiercely when they’re apart; or feel such a spark when they’re together? Margaret finds that friendship with Rhys is much more complicated than she’d imagined…especially when it turns out her friend has forgotten that he may be promised to another woman.

“With her usual witty writing and exquisite flair for characterization, Noble offers [The Lie and the Lady]. The effortless manner in which she wrote. The Lie and the Lady as a separate love story while at the same time gracefully connecting it to The Game and the Governess and cleverly hinting at what is to come in the series is nothing less than brilliant.” —Booklist (STARRED REVIEW, The Lie and the Lady)

About the author
 Kate Noble is the national bestselling author of The Lie and the Lady, The Game and the Governess, third in the witty, sexy Winner Takes All Regency Series, and the critically acclaimed, RITA Award-nominated Blue Raven series. Under the name Kate Rorick, she writes for television, as well as novels based on the Emmy Award-winning web seriesThe Lizzie Bennet Diaries, for which she is also a writer and producer. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit Kate at katenoble.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

My Thoughts:
Sobs. I was hoping for a home run, since friends to lovers is one of my all-time favorite romance tropes, but was sadly disappointed. The characters had such great chemistry in the little time they had on the page in The Lie and the Lady, so to have an entire book for these two should have felt like a dream come true. It did not. I have rated this book a solid three stars because I do love Rhys and Margaret so much. These days, everyone is beautiful or some roguish earl, so it's nice to read a story of a tall and mostly plain girl and her nice, handsome doctor friend.

When Rhys and Margaret finally do admit to themselves and each other that there is more than friendship between them, things start to get awkward. It's like the chemistry just falls by the wayside and it's more about throwing them together, rushing to the end of the story than about watching things unfold naturally. Ughhhh. I know it's a romance novel and all, but I felt like their final meeting in the garden could have been nixed from the story all together and I would have been happier. I loved Margaret's "Go for the gusto" attitude, but that darn ending was just too abrupt! Their slow burn romance deserved a more fulfilling end.

Ahhh, well. Can't win them all can we? I can say, as a whole, this series is pretty good. It's not very historical as far as manners and dialogue, but is still a fun diversion--definitely a good distraction from all those annoying political posts on your Facebook timeline. ;)

Read my reviews of The Game and the Governess (Book 1) and The Lie and the Lady (Book 2)!

Let's be friends on Goodreads!

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ~

*I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Book Giveaway!

A Kingdom of Dreams -- a Prequel to Whitney, My Love: My Review

Friday, November 18, 2016

The giveaway is now closed, but visit my introduction to McNaught-E November post to learn more about all 14 updated e-books!

A Kingdom of Dreams
(e-book cover shown)
by Judith McNaught
Copyright 1989
Pocket Books
ISBN: 9781501145483
The Story:
Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beauty Jennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as “The Wolf,” his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, no matter what he threatens. Boldly she challenges his will—until the night he takes her in his powerful embrace, awakening in her an irresistible hunger. Suddenly Jennifer finds herself ensnared in a bewildering and seductive web of pride, passion, and overwhelming love. This beloved tale about two defiant hearts clashing in a furious battle of wills in the glorious age of chivalry “will stay in your heart forever and be a classic on your shelves” (RT Book Reviews, Top Pick).

Learn more about the book at the author's Facebook page!

Buy the e-book:

My Thoughts:
Apparently, I'm reading this series completely out of order, but no matter. Each book can be read as a standalone. After having read and unfortunately, disliking Whitney, My Love due to the fact that the hero was more of a villain than anything resembling a gentleman, I was hoping that this book would be different. A Kingdom of Dreams had a different setting, different time period, and, blessedly, a different hero! While Royce the Duke of Claymore aka Black Wolf was still a bit of a bully, he at least was not constantly verbally abusing or physically assaulting Jennifer Merrick like his ancestor did Whitney.