Baron by Joanna Shupe – Virtual Tour, Excerpt, and Giveaway

One pragmatic industrialist is about to learn 

that a man may make his own destiny, 

but love is a matter of fortune . . .


The Knickerbocker Club #2

Joanna Shupe

Releasing Oct 25th, 2016

Kensington Zebra


New York

City’s Gilded Age shines as bright as the power-wielding men of the

Knickerbocker Club. And one pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a

man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune . . .

 Born into one of New York’s most respected families,

William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right

friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he

always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city’s highest echelons of

society, he’s now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract

him from his next pursuit—except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never

saw coming . . .

Ava Jones has eked out a living the only way she knows how.

As “Madame Zolikoff,” she hoodwinks gullible audiences

into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully

crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life—and

lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce the

handsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his

campaign—unless he’s the one who’s already put a spell on her . . .


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Will dropped his arm, releasing her. “You don’t seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. My job is to make you understand. By whatever means necessary.”

“Whatever means necessary? Goodness, you are determined. What if I said I’d leave John alone if you agreed to play a part in my act next Monday?”

“A-a part . . in your act?” He threw his head back and laughed, the strong cords of his throat popping and shifting under rough skin. Ava suddenly experienced a sharp urge to drag her tongue over those ridges, to taste his laugh on her lips.

Sakes alive, she had to stop this. She jerked her gaze to the street, mortification burning through her veins. There could be no thoughts of that nature, especially around William Sloane. For pity’s sake, he probably demanded proof of a woman’s pedigree before he agreed to kiss her. Besides, she’d flirted with her baser nature years ago, as a young girl, and where had that gotten her? A lump formed in her throat, and the heavy weight of regret stole her breath.

You played with fire, girl. Now youve gone and gotten yourself burned.

Her mother’s shrill voice rang in Ava’s head. Yes, she had been stupid. Not a day went by when she didn’t remind herself never to be stupid again.

He finally stopped laughing, the cad. “I would not lower myself to a part in your act if it would secure me the presidency.”

“Are you certain? Because I can easily convince John he needs to see me twice a week.”

That drove the amusement from his expression. “You wouldn’t dare. I swear, if you do—”

“Calm down, railroad man. I do have other clients. Even for John, I’m not certain I have the time.” She shot him a glare. “But I could make the time if you don’t leave me alone.”

“I cannot leave you alone until you promise to leave John alone. I have too much to lose if this gets out. Or if you decide to sell his secrets.”

“You have my word I won’t,” she snapped. “Why can’t you accept it and go back to passing out campaign buttons?”

“Forgive me if I have a problem accepting the word of a woman donning a blond wig and adopting a Russian accent—which is abysmal, by the way. Have you ever met a real Russian?”

Mercy, she was tired of the insults from this man. As if he had to remind everyone he met how inferior they were to his sublime greatness. “Don’t you have an empire to run? How is it that a man in charge of so much has this much free time to gad about the city?”

“I do not possess any free time,” he said. “Absolutely none. In fact, I left a very important meeting when I learned you were at Bennett’s. Which means my nine o’clock dinner reservations will be forfeit for supper at my desk instead.”

She slid her bottom lip out in a pout. “Oh, you poor, poor millionaire. I’m sure whichever half-witted innocent you were escorting tonight will understand.”

Funny, his eyes stayed on her lips. Did railroad man have an affinity for plump lips? Hers were on the large side, along with her bosom. He’d stared at that a time or two as well, she’d noticed. No doubt he was used to the thin, graceful women of the upper Fifth Avenue set, pale women who remained indoors. Who never had a hair out of place. Who could afford a decent corset to flatten their breasts. Ava’s curves and olive skin probably fascinated him, like one of Barnum’s oddities.

Well, he could stare all he liked. Perhaps she could even use his fascination to her advantage. Men like Will Sloane would not care for an aggressive, modern woman. Undoubtedly, he’d prefer a docile creature who stayed at home, sipping tea, until he returned from his club. Was that not what every spoiled, rich man desired?

If such was the case, a little boldness on her part should scare him off for good.

“Do you ever back down?” he asked her.

She leaned in, pleased to see his gray eyes flash and darken. He smelled faintly of expensive soap, like sandalwood and lemons, and she looked at him through her lashes. “Never,” she whispered. “I never back down, and you would do well to remember it, Mr. Sloane.”

Raising a fist, she pounded on the side of the carriage. “Here, if you please!” The driver pulled to the side of the street and slowed the horse. When they came to a stop, she opened the door. “Thank you for the ride.” Jumping down to the sidewalk, she disappeared into the crowd

Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since

she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every

romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy

historical novels. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters

and dashing husband.


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Posted in Historical Romance, Joanna Shupe, Promotions | 1 Comment

Review – Weeping in the Wings by Terry Lynn Thomas

weeping-in-the-wingsSan Francisco, March 1943

Sarah Bennett harbors two secrets: She sees ghosts, and she’s in love with a spy.

When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr. Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her—a spirit whose incessant weeping only she can hear.

Meanwhile, as Sarah struggles to cope with the relentless weeping, she comes face to face with Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is ostensibly convalescing from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and Sarah’s love and trust are soon put to the test.

Things take an even darker turn when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, and Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead. Unsure who she can trust, she must unlock the mystery of the weeping ghost in order to save Dr. Geisler—and herself—from an unknown enemy.

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Weeping in the Wings: Sarah Bennett Mysteries ~ Book 2


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I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Jack Bennett got away with murder.  Sarah, his adopted daughter, has become a pariah, as she testified against him during his trial, and public opinion favors the well known author.  If that weren’t bad enough, after the verdict was read, a weeping ghost attached itself to Sarah, giving her little peace.  With her present life in disarray and her future uncertain, Sarah is eager to accept a job at Geisler Institute, where Dr. Geisler believes he may help her develop her psychic abilities.  It’s not a coincidence that Sarah received this job offer, as it turns out that the ghost is none other than Dr. Geisler’s deceased sister, Alysse.

There is a whole lot happening at the Institute as Sarah tries to pull her life together and make sense of what’s happening to her.  She’s a strong woman, but recent strange events have her doubting her own sanity at times.  Then Sarah discovers that there is another patient at the institute, a severely injured man named Zeke.  It turns out this is the same man who was working for her adoptive father months ago, the same man Sarah fell in love with, the same man who disappeared from her life.  While Sarah is overjoyed to see Zeke alive, they have much to resolve before resuming their short lived romance.  And then there is the attempted murder…

Terry Lynn Thomas paints a vivid picture of life in California during wartime in the 1940’s.  Her descriptions bring that time to life with so many details, you’d almost believe she experienced it firsthand.  WEEPING IN THE WINGS is so many things – suspenseful, paranormal, historical, emotional, and romantic.  If you read this book on its own, the author provides enough information for you to follow along, but I recommend reading book one, The Spirit of Grace, to fully appreciate Sarah’s backstory.  I very much enjoyed this engrossing story, and am happy to highly recommend it.

Rating 4Reviewed by Rose 3

Posted in Historical Romance, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, Rose, Terry Lynn Thomas | 1 Comment

When a Marquess Loves a Woman by Vivienne Lorret – Tasty Tour, Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway


 When a Marquess Loves a Woman       Season’s Original #3      By: Vivienne Lorret                                                   Released Oct 4th, 2016                      Avon Impulse


As a young, penniless gentleman, Maxwell Harwick knew he had little to offer Juliet White—the most beautiful debutante of the season—except his love, and one thoroughly scandalous kiss. But when they were discovered in a compromising position, a nearly ruined Juliet fled into the arms of a rich, older lord… taking Max’s heart with her.

Now a widow, Lady Juliet Granworth intends to use the fortune she inherited from her odious husband to build a new life in London. Five years have passed, but she’s never forgotten Max… or his soul-searing kiss. Yet it’s clear the newly-minted Marquess of Thayne has not forgiven her—after all, the infuriating man can barely stand the sight of her. But Juliet has endured far too much to give up without a fight and if it’s a battle of wills he wants, it’s a battle he’ll get.

He hates her for breaking his heart. She detests him for destroying her future. But beneath all the loathing, simmers an intoxicating passion that neither can ignore… and the harder they resist, the harder they will inevitably fall.

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Author Info
USA Today bestselling author, VIVIENNE LORRET loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke’s Christmas Wish, and the Season’s Original Series.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


“That has always been your problem, Max,” she hissed, rounding the banister and storming toward him, armed with a pointed finger. “You’ve always believed you could do whatever you wanted and damn the consequences. Well, I’m not allowing it this time.” She stopped within poking distance and did just that, her fingertip meeting the taut muscle beneath the fine lawn. “I expect you to have this completely repaired, or you can forget the fair price I was willing to pay.”

He straightened. Uncrossing his arms, he leaned toward her as if he didn’t even feel her assault. “Perhaps you don’t recall, but I have always been fully prepared to face the consequences of my actions. You were the one who ran.”

She scoffed and jabbed him again. “I was right! All along, this has been about what happened between us five years ago. Oh, I apologize for wounding your poor ego when I left, though it seems you’ve managed to recover, as you are busy narrowing down your list of bridal candidates.”

“Ego?” He took her by the shoulders, his grip firm but not cruel, as contempt burned in his dark gaze. “I wanted to marry you. There was more than ego involved.”

“That kiss happened because you were consoling me, and we both know it.”

“Do we, Lady Granworth? Or is that something you told yourself to validate running away to marry a rich old man?” Gritting his teeth, seething as much as she was, he spun her around and pressed her back against the wall just inside the bedchamber. “And if you think for one instant that I’m going to sit back and watch you bring your next husband here to live, not four doors down from my mother’s house, then you are sorely mistaken.”

Then, without warning, he crushed his mouth to hers.


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I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Rose 3

Max Harwick grew up in the shadow of his older, titled brother, Bram, who was born from his mother’s first marriage.  Even his own father seemed to prefer his stepson, while Max went largely unnoticed.  As the brothers grew into young men, Bram began looking for a bride.  Among the contenders was Juliet White, a dear friend to Max, though he was secretly deeply in love with her.  As with most other people, she preferred Bram.  When Bram decides to marry another, and plans to announce the engagement at a party at Juliet’s own home, Max only thinks of her feelings, and tries to give her some advance warning.  As Max tries to console Juliet, they share a kiss, and they are caught in the act.  Though not titled or wealthy, Max happily offers to marry Juliet.  Her father has other plans, and whisks her away from town and arranges a quick marriage to another man, leaving Max brokenhearted, and determined never to forgive Juliet.

Over the years, Max unexpectedly inherits a title and accompanying wealth.  The new Marquess Thayne finds that people no longer find him invisible.  When the now widowed Juliet returns to town, intent on buying her family’s previous home, Max is quick to buy the property ahead of her.  Every encounter with Juliet brings back the feelings of hurt and bitterness to the forefront for Max.  He hopes that she will leave again since she was unsuccessful in obtaining her family home.  Instead, they agree to a silly wager as to who will be the next “Original.”  If Max wins, Juliet leaves town.  If Juliet wins, she gets the house.

As Max and Juliet snipe and quibble, it’s obvious that Max still harbors deep feelings for her that he’s determined to conquer.  While Juliet was never in love with Max years ago, she was affected by his kindness and his kiss, but chose to give in to fear and run away and follow her father’s wishes.  Through the first two books of this series, we’ve had glimpses of this couple and their adversarial relationship, and I was anxiously waiting for their story.  I love Max and admire his character.  I felt so bad for him growing up, it was especially painful to see his own father fawning over his stepson and favoring him over Max.  Max’s actions when Juliet returned somewhat surprised me, as they seemed out of character, but his hurt ran soul deep, and he was only trying to protect himself.  I’m a little less sympathetic for Juliet.  I understand that she was reeling because the man she was infatuated with chose another bride, but I can’t admire her rushing off to marry a stranger, leaving a dear friend deeply hurt.

Max and Juliet have a bumpy road to finding happy ever after.  While they wait for the outcome of their wager, the attraction that’s lurking behind their public battles won’t be denied.  They begin an affair which, while steamy, is also fraught with doubts and insecurities.  Can this star-crossed couple make it work?  WHEN A MARQUESS LOVES A WOMAN is a sexy and delightful read that wraps up Max and Juliet’s story most satisfyingly, and I highly recommend it.

Rating 4

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Review – Dressed to Kiss by Madeline Hunter, Myretta Robens, Megan Frampton, and Caroline Linden

dressed-to-kissTrue love never goes out of style….

Once renowned for creating the most envied gowns in London, Madame Follette’s dressmaking shop has fallen far out of fashion. The approaching coronation of King George IV offers a chance to reclaim former glory by supplying stunning new wardrobes to the most glittering society in Regency England. In the face of long-held secrets, looming scandals, and the potential ruin of their shop, the dressmakers of Follette’s are undaunted, not even by the most unexpected complication of all: true love.

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Dressed to Kiss


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I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Duke’s Dressmaker by Madeline Hunter 

Selina Duval lost her good name and her position in society four years ago, when the young man who was vigorously courting her abruptly dropped her and departed.  Though she wasn’t “truly” ruined, society deemed her so, forcing her to leave her home to spare additional shame to her family and to earn her own way in the world.  She’s now working as a seamstress at Madame Follette’s shop, using the surname of Fontaine.  One day, Randall Woodville, the Duke of Barrowmore, comes into the shop, escorting his spoiled sister-in-law, the very woman now married to the man who ruined Selina.  She always believed that the duke played a part in his brother’s jilting of her.  Expecting to be exposed, Selina is surprised when the duke encourages continued patronage, even going so far as having Selina  come to his home to complete the fittings.  Randall always felt attraction for Selina when his brother was courting her, and though he wasn’t entirely to blame for the break-up, he was involved.  Of course, the more Rand and Selina are in each other’s company the more they become attracted to each other.  Selina begins to see the real man behind the ducal image, and Rand realizes just how wrongly Selina was treated.  This is my favorite story in the anthology, and I loved both of these characters.  Rand is very aware of his station in life, yet he’s also fair and very aware of his feelings as a man.  Selina is courageous enough to reach out for her own chance at happiness despite the risks involved.  THE DUKE’S DRESSMAKER is very romantic and sexy, and gets this collection off to a fabulous start.

The Colors of Love by Myretta Robens

Delyth Owen has worked as a costume designer in the theatre, but is desirous of having a more respectable occupation, so she now works as a seamstress at Madame Follette’s shop.  When she designs an outrageously colored outfit for a color blind society lady, fashion columnist Simon Merrithew is appalled.  Simon is a gentleman, who writes this column anonymously.  He intends to discover who this horrible designer is and what her possible intentions were.  Under the pretext of ordering clothes for his sister, he comes to the shop.  Ultimately, Simon comes to realize that Delyth is honestly designing clothing she finds beautiful.  Her theatre background and her love of vibrant colors which could be seen, even from the last row, are reflected in her creations.  While Simon and Delyth find romance, he and his sister work to guide her to choices more suitable to making her a successful designer.  THE COLORS OF LOVE is a kind of quirky story that asks you to just enjoy the humor and sweet romance of a somewhat clueless designer and a society gentleman overly invested in fashion.

No Accounting for Love by Megan Frampton

Henry Dawkins is the son of Madame Follette and keeps the books for the shop.  Henry is a big, shy, endearing guy who just prefers his books to dealing with the society ladies who frequent the shop.  One of those ladies, Effie, took a liking to Henry.  Though he gave her no encouragement, she refuses to take no for an answer.  She concocts a scheme to win Henry’s affections, and embroils her companion, Katherine Grant, to be part of it.  Effie all but forces Henry to take dancing lessons with her, under the chaperonage of Katherine.  This situation has Henry and Katherine falling for each other, and trying to find a way to stop Effie’s machinations.  When Effie’s affections are finally directed elsewhere, leaving the way clear for Henry and Katherine, they still have obstacles to overcome to find their happy ever after.  I read that recent favorite, Megan Frampton, used Henry Cavill as the basis for her Henry in this story.  I now have a wonderful visual of Henry, wearing spectacles, feeling awkward, and too large, but being totally hot.  NO ACCOUNTING FOR LOVE is a delightful tale of two inexperienced and endearing people who are so deserving of their happy ending.

A Fashionable Affair by Caroline Linden

Felicity Dawkins (sister of Henry) is Madame Follette’s daughter, and has been running the shop and doing her best to bring it back up to the level it once was.  She and Henry finally convinced their mother that she needed to step aside, or the shop would surely go under.  Under Felicity’s hard work, the shop is starting to rebound, but a new threat arrives in the form of Evan Hewes, Earl of Carmarthen.  Evan is determined that the shabby, rundown street on which Madame Follett’s sits, needs to be revamped.  He plans to tear down all the existing shops and stores, and to rebuild the entire street.  In fact, he has already bought up all the property, with the exception of Madame Follette’s.  Frustrated by the shop owner’s continued refusals, Evan goes to the shop in person, hoping to make the owner see reason.  He’s shocked to find a lovely young woman managing the shop, and he begins his campaign to win her over.  Eventually they come to an agreement that if he can find her a shop at a decent rent on a desirable street, she will sell.  The time spent on a search leads them into a steamy affair, which seems doomed to failure because of the difference in their stations.  A FASHIONABLE AFFAIR is a sexy and satisfying romance which brings the saga of Madame Follette’s to a fitting close.

DRESSED TO KISS is a collection of four quality stories by three of my favorite authors and a talented newcomer.  I enjoyed the thread of connectivity, while appreciating each author’s different voice and style of writing.  Anthologies don’t always work, but this one is a winner.  Recommended!

Rating 4Reviewed by Rose 3

Posted in Caroline Linden, Historical Romance, Madeline Hunter, Megan Frompton, Myretta Robens, Review, Rose | 1 Comment

Christmas in Eternity Springs by Emily March – Blog Tour, Review, and Excerpt


Can Miss Christmas find her spirit again?

After a devastating betrayal, Claire Branham packs up the pieces of her life, along with a twenty-million-dollar secret, and moves to Eternity Springs. She opens a specialty shop—Forever Christmas—and, with the help of a surprise romance with the town’s sexy new handyman, Claire’s heart begins to heal. Until her past comes knocking…

Jax Lancaster never questioned the need to abandon his career as a Navy submariner in order to care for his young son in the wake of his ex-wife’s death. Desperate to help with this loss, Jax straps on a tool belt to give Nicholas the one thing he wants: A life in Eternity Springs. What Jax never expected to find a second chance at love with a fascinating woman for whom Christmas has become a business. But when the truth about Claire threatens their newfound happiness, can Jax prove to her that in Eternity Springs, the spirit of Christmas is real. . .and will last a lifetime?

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Social Links:                 Emily March Website                Twitter: @EmilyMarchBooks                                                         Facebook: Emily March            Pinterest: Emily March



In her apartment, he discovered she’d been busy since making the decision to move to Three Bears Valley.

“That’s a lot of boxes.”

“I know. I’m not quite sure how I’ve accumulated so much stuff. My closets aren’t that big. Of course, most of the boxes are filled with books.”

“That sound is my back groaning.”

She glanced at him in alarm. “You don’t have to help, Jax. I planned to hire some—”

He cut off her protest by placing his index finger against her lips. Her full, soft, cherry- red lips. His voice rough, he said, “I was teasing.”

She’d gone still. The pulse at her neck visibly fluttered.

Jax recognized that he’d made a mistake by touching her.

However, now that he’d done it, he couldn’t seem to stop.

He allowed his fi n ger to slide, stroking her bottom lip back and forth. Her mouth fell open. Back and forth. “Do you like to be teased, Miss Christmas?”

“No. Yes. It depends,” she replied, her voice low and breathy.

Jax chuckled softly. “ You’re quite a tease yourself.”

“Why do you say that?”

Had she swayed toward him as she spoke? Maybe so.

“You have mistletoe hung from every doorway in the building.”

“That’s not t- t- teasing. It’s marketing.” Her gaze was locked on his mouth. “Customers who shop with their significant others tend to love it. They linger.”

He lifted his free hand to her waist. “I like to linger.”

“You do?”

“Oh, yeah.” He pulled her closer. “I’ve been thinking about lingering since last July.”

“You have?”

“You ask a lot of questions, Miss Christmas.”

“I’m curious.”

“ You’re delicious.”

“How do you know?” she challenged. “You haven’t kissed me.”

“Now, you have a point right there. But like I said, I like to linger.”

He tilted her face up to him and finally . . . finally . . . lowered his mouth to hers.

Jax hadn’t kissed a woman in a very long time, and he wanted to savor the experience, so he lingered as promised. He nipped and nibbled and leisurely explored, banking the rising heat her response triggered and keeping the moment within the bounds of a totally appropriate first kiss.

So when it suddenly caught fi re, it caught him by surprise. He wasn’t aware of backing her against the wall. He didn’t consciously tug the tie of her apron and free the knot, then slip his hand beneath her blouse to skim across the downy softness of her skin. She tasted of peppermint—

of course she does, she’s Miss Christmas— and smelled of cinnamon and made him ache. For sex, oh, yeah, definitely for sex, but also for something more.

For home.

For hearth.

For love.

Whoa. That last was just what he needed to shock himself out of the sensual haze into which he’d fallen. He shifted his hands back to safer territory and broke the kiss, lifting his head and gazing down into her upturned face.

The vision of her lips pink and wet and swollen from his kiss proved irresistible. He needed one more taste, so he dove in again.

The one more taste became a second taste and then a third. Only when it threatened to flare out of control completely was he able to release her and take a step back. For a long minute, they gazed at one another in a bit of a daze. When Jax finally found his voice, he said, “Wow. You pack

a punch, Miss Christmas.”

The slow smile that spread across her face was as sweet as a candy cane. “That’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a very long time.”

“That kiss is the nicest thing I’ve shared with anyone in a very long time,” he responded honestly.

She opened her mouth to speak, but hesitated. A shadow crossed her face and her teeth nibbled at that sweet lower lip. “What’s wrong?” Jax asked.

“I just . . . well . . . this is probably the absolutely wrong thing to say. Way too presumptive. But . . . after my last romantic disaster, I promised myself . . . you see . . . expectations are a dangerous thing. I don’t ever want anyone to think . . . I don’t want you to think . . .”

“Spit it out, Claire.”

“I like you, Jax. I really, really like you. And Nicholas, too. Like I said, I know this is presumptive, but I’d like to spend time with you. I’d like to share more . . .” She waved her hand about, obviously searching for a word. “More. But I’m not in the market for a relationship, and I want to be up- front about that.”

Copyright © 2016 by Emily March and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.separator

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I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Christmastime has not been kind to Claire Branham.  As a child, she suffered a devastating family loss, then, as an adult,  she found out she was betrayed in the worst possible way by her fiancé.  Rather than give up on Christmas, Claire decides to boldly celebrate it by opening up a year round shop called Forever Christmas in the town of Eternity Springs.  The town begins to work its magic, and Claire begins to heal, though she steers clear of any involvement, or even dating.  One evening, while partaking in the springs, she strikes up a conversation with an attractive man who is also enjoying the fragrant waters.

Jax Lancaster is just about to leave town after his son, Nicholas, completed his stay at a camp designed to help troubled children.  Nicholas was in a traumatic accident in which his mother was killed – this accident also occurred around Christmas, leaving him terrified of anything to do with the holiday, as well as a fear of dogs.  The wonderful people at the camp were able to  help Nicholas overcome his fear of the animals, but Christmas still can send him into hysterics.  Jax and Claire share a long and satisfying conversation in the springs, and on impulse, Claire buys him a gift before he leaves town – a journal with the encouraging word “Believe” on it.  She urges him to write down something positive every day, and wishes him and Nicholas well.

Nicholas doesn’t do so well once he leaves Eternity Springs, and he longs to go back.  Jax also has to deal with his former wife’s parents, who have overstepped their boundaries many times regarding Nicholas.  Jax decides to take Nicholas back to Eternity Springs temporarily, hoping that the town and its people will help Nicholas to further improve.  Truth be told, Nicholas looks forward to furthering his acquaintance with Claire, as well.  While still a little gun shy, Claire decides to enjoy Jax’s company without becoming emotionally involved.  As the two of them get to know each other better, they decide to have a “no strings” fling.

CHRISTMAS IN ETERNITY SPRINGS is a beautifully written, heartwarming romance.  Jax and Claire have both suffered loss and hurt and are very wary of love.  Toss in an endearing little boy trying hard to be brave and normal, and all the ingredients are there for a perfect holiday read.  I loved the slow build up to intimacy – though they decided to have an affair, they didn’t jump right into it.  They got to know each other first.  It’s obvious that they make up the perfect family, but they had to get past the roadblocks first.  This book flowed along at a great pace, tugging at my heart with each page.  I loved this visit to Eternity Springs, and look forward to catching up on the other books in this wonderful series by Emily March.

Rating 4Reviewed by Bonnie

Posted in Bonnie, Christmas, Contemporary Romance, Emily March, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Review – A Kiss at Christmastide by Christina McKnight

a-kiss-at-christmastideLady Pippa Godfrey has suffered the most ruinous London Season. She escapes to her Somerset estate for a quiet Christmastide holiday with her family, away from society’s prying eyes. But before her parents can join her, a storm crashes down on Somerset to destroy any hope of Pippa’s white Christmas dream. The roads have flooded and travel is impossible, leaving her stranded and alone. But a muddied, angry and devilishly handsome lord appears at her door demanding shelter.

Lucas Hartfeld, the Earl of Maddox, has been summoned by his parents, the Marquis and Marchioness of Bowmont, to attend a holiday party in the wilds of the country, far from his London townhouse. He suspects they command his attendance for far different reasons than a simple country party. When a storm strands his carriage, he’s forced to seek shelter at the only home for miles around, a local manor called Helton House.

When Lady Pippa is reluctant to admit him, he does what he’s been raised to do—demand she provide him and his servants with shelter until the storm passes. But the beautiful woman draws his interest far more than he’s willing to admit. Can Lucas find a way out of the predicament his parents are planning?

As Lady Pippa scrutinizes another arrogant, demanding lord, she is bombarded with memories of betrayals in her past. Can she forget those difficult life lessons to claim a Christmastide kiss from a perfect stranger?

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A Kiss At Christmastide: Regency Novella


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I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Pippa Godfrey is nervously waiting to perform at a musical event hosted by her best friend’s family.  As her lifelong friend,  Natalie, introduces her, Pippa is shocked to hear Natalie include a sly and suggestive innuendo, hinting at impropriety with their mutual teacher.  Though the ambiguous statement was false, Pippa’s family whisks her off to the country, hoping to avoid a scandal.  As the Christmas holiday approaches, Pippa ponders her ruined first season, and wonders why her best friend turned on her.  One day, while her parents are away, bad weather forces a stranded stranger to her door, seeking shelter.  Since her parents aren’t there, Pippa tries to send him away, but the forceful Earl of Maddox barrels in, demanding sanctuary.

Initially, Pippa and the earl, Lucas Hartfeld, are only mildly antagonistic toward each other, but soon Pippa’s genuine caring nature and kindness come the forefront.  She realizes how uncharitable she was to a stranger in need, and he realizes that he actually bullied his way into her home.  Lucas has lived a life full of rakish behavior and pleasure , but no real love from his family.  There’s a very tragic incident that happened when he was a young boy, which totally alienated him from his parents.  As soon as they could, they shipped him off to school, and had little to do with him over the years.  Now they summoned him to a holiday houseparty, with the intent of announcing his betrothal to none other than Natalie, Pippa’s estranged best friend.  Lucas has no expectations of any type of love or happiness in marriage, so he’ s willing to accept their choice for him.  That is, until he gets to know Pippa, and begins to see how things might really be with someone he cares for.  They share a stolen Christmas kiss, and then Pippa’s parents, along with their neighbors, Natalie and her parents, show up, and realize they have been sharing the house unchaperoned.

A KISS AT CHRISTMASTIDE is a sweet (and non explicit) story with a heroine who is almost too good to be true.  She has a very generous nature, and though badly betrayed by her best friend, she doesn’t have thoughts of hate or revenge, she’s just confused and wants reconciliation.  Lucas is definitely a tortured hero, and his parents are truly awful.  I enjoyed their quick romance, and how they felt so right for each other.  Their happy ever after was hard won and satisfying.   There were some loose ends left, which I felt would have increased my enjoyment of this story – first, Lucas and his family and their strained, dysfunctional relationship, and, second, the mystery of Natalie’s behavior.  It does appear that there will be an upcoming novella devoted to Natalie’s story, and I look forward to seeing if Christina McKnight can change my opinion of this shady lady.

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Spotlight on The Rebel Heir by Elizabeth Michels – Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway

rebel-heirTitle: The Rebel Heir

Series: The Spare Heirs, #2

Author: Elizabeth Michels

Pubdate: September 6th 2016

ISBN: 9781492621362

 The Spare Heirs Society Cordially Invites You to Meet Ash Claughbane: The Imposter

Lady Evangeline Green is living a lie. To please her family, she masquerades as the perfect debutante…until she meets the wickedly charming Lord Crosby. With him, there are no rules. She’s finally free to do as she desires—but freedom comes with a price, and Lord Crosby is not what he seems…

Ash is not Lord Crosby. He’s a con artist, a noble Spare Heir living off his silver tongue. When the Greens ruined his family, he swore he’d make them pay, and he never doubted his devotion to revenge…until he met Evangeline. Now, caught in a web of lies, torn between duty and desire, what’s a con to do but deceive all of London and steal the one lady who dared match wits with the devil himself?

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Elizabeth Michels is the award-winning author of the Tricks of the Ton series.  This romance author lives in a lake-side town in North Carolina with her husband and son.  She’s a fan of shoes, coffee, mimosas, laughter, hugs, things that are sparkly, and tater tots. Oh, and she likes her readers a lot too. Dive into her latest series about the members of a secret club in London, The Spare Heirs Society, today! Connect with Elizabeth on her website:


Hi, everyone! Let’s play a game! Since deception is a key ingredient in THE REBEL HEIR, the second book in the Spare Heirs series, I thought it would be fun to play two truths and a lie.  Do you know how this game works?  Lady Evangeline Green is here to tell you three things about herself, but one of them is a lie. Can you guess which fact isn’t true about Evie?  Good Luck!


  1. Last year I slipped off into the night with my sister, Sue, and my two cousins, Isabelle and Victoria.  We climbed through a window into the neighbor’s home the night of their annual masquerade ball.  We were caught up in the moment.  The candlelight, the flowers, the champagne…

My sister met her husband that night when she broke his nose while dancing down a flight of stairs.  I twirled around the floor without considering the steps I took.  I laughed without thought of the sound it made.  Then I saw my mother across the room and I ran.  That is the only time in my life I can recall moving at an unladylike pace.  I escaped her wrath, but my sister didn’t.

  1. Last night I saw a man I knew across the ballroom.  It was only for a second, but I saw him.  I made my excuses and slipped out the door at once.  I needed to see him once more, even if I he was headed into the dark library away from the crowded ballroom.  I had no choice, really.  I’ve been searching for this man since he disappeared last season.  There was something, some undefinable something, between us a year ago.  I’d been certain of it.  The memory of our time together, and his lips on mine still haunts my dreams.

But last night… I discovered my memories of this charming man were entirely false.

He didn’t even remember my name.  Evangeline! Is that so terribly difficult? Apparently it is for him.  Then he attempted to steal a document from our host’s library.  Of course I took it away from him, but he caught up with me in no time.  That’s when he kissed me again.  And I let him, encouraged it even.  Heaven help me, it was everything I remembered from last season.  Then, just like last year, he was gone and I was left staring after him.

  1. I adore a rousing discussion of the weather.  Every morning I wake early so that I might practice my banter about rain and sun with my dear mother.  I cherish this time I spend daily, honing my conversational skills and improving myself with my mother’s guidance.  My favorite phrase is, “I do so enjoy the outdoors.  The trees provide nice shade in the park.” Isn’t it lovely?

Soon I will wear the right fashionable gown with the perfect jewelry and remark in the proper fashion about the cloudy weather in London to some high born gentleman.  And in that moment he will know my heart.  He’ll offer for me.  We will marry and discuss only the weather and my fine sense of fashion for the rest of our days. What more could I wish for than that?


An Excerpt:

 His heart beat beneath Evangeline’s hand.

“Ash, this is dangerous— whatever is happening here…”

“I know.” He grinned the wicked grin of a swindler about to steal the prize. “Say that you enjoy it as much as I do, Evie. Admit that you like breaking your rules with me.”

“They aren’t my rules,” she said.

“Then why follow them?”

She swallowed and looked up at him. “I make poor decisions on my own.”

“I disagree,” he said, still holding her close. He toyed with the hair that fell over her shoulder.

“I haven’t thrown you from my bedchamber. I’m certain that’s a poor decision.”

“That’s a matter of opinion,” he said with a grin. “What’s your opinion? What do you want, Evie?”

You, her heart screamed, but her mouth refused to form the word. Her gaze dropped back from the depths of his eyes to his lips. He was so close, and yet he only touched her hair and held her hand to his chest. It would be so easy to rise to her toes and show him what she wanted. And yet it wasn’t easy at all.

“You think I haven’t noticed that you’ve been staring at my mouth since I arrived?”

“I have not…” She began to disagree, but it would have been a lie and he knew it.

“Say that you want me to kiss you, Evie.”

“I would never…” she began, but fell silent.

“Tell me you want me. Say the words and I’ll kiss you.”

Evangeline’s lips parted, but she said nothing.

“Say, ‘I want your lips on mine, Ash.’ That’s all you have to do. I could show you so many things, Evie. Do you want me to? Say the words.”

Her breathing came out harsh as her heart pounded in her chest. How was he making her so unsettled simply with words?

“I could bring you so much pleasure, Evie. Do you want me to touch you? To truly touch you? If you asked me, I would fit your breasts into the palms of my hands just like this.” His hand hung in the air over her breast, close enough that she could feel the heat of his skin through her night rail. “Then I would lower my mouth to take your nipple between my teeth, tugging at your polished exterior until the real Evie pulled me closer. I would take your breast into my mouth and with my tongue…” He sighed, dropping his hand away from her. “But you have to tell me you want it.”

“Ash,” she whispered, already missing the heat of him close to her skin.

“There’s a world out there that you could experience. All you have to do is stop hiding and tell me what you want.”

It wasn’t that simple, was it? She opened her mouth, unsure how to speak of her own desires. She never talked that way, not like Ash was able to do. But the truth was, she did want him to kiss her. She wanted everything about this man. That was also the trouble. She couldn’t be trusted to speak— not just now. “I…”

He grinned and brushed a strand of hair from her face, placing a kiss on the top of her head as he did. “You’re almost there. Just a few more words. Perhaps you need more encouragement.”

“No.” She took two steps backward until her heels bumped the wall. “I- I’m quite…”

“Evie, has anyone ever spoken to you this way?” He took slow steps to close the gap between them.

“No,” she breathed.

“Do you like it when I do?” He grinned down at her as if he could hear all the thoughts she was too afraid to voice aloud. “I think you do. Do you want me to continue?”

“Do I have to say that as well?” she asked.

“No. I’ve learned in my line of work that it’s sometimes necessary to give someone a taste of what they want before they’ll pay the price.”

“Is that what you’re doing to me? Is this a taste of what’s to come?” Heaven help her, she hoped it was.

“Only if you want it. That’s my price.” He shifted her hair from her shoulder as he spoke, letting it fall down her back.

“That seems…” Whispers of his touch brushed down the side of her neck as he moved her hair. She worked not to lean into his palm and feel the full force of his hand on her skin. “…reasonable.”

“I thought so as well.” He shifted even closer to her, leaning his arm on the wall above her head and surrounding her without the benefit of his embrace to steady her. “If you tell me you want me to kiss you, I’ll kiss you here.” He spoke the words against the sensitive skin beneath her ear before moving down her neck, not touching her, but close enough that she could feel the warmth of his lips.

She splayed her hands on the wall behind her to keep from tipping sideways. He wasn’t even touching her, and still she struggled to breathe.

“I would kiss my way down your neck to just here where I can see your pulse beating rather fast. Is it beating fast because you want me to kiss you, Evie?” he asked against her skin. “You know my terms. Say the words. This is only the beginning…”

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What the Duke Doesn’t Know by Jane Ashford – Spotlight Tour, Excerpt, and Giveaway


Title: What the Duke Doesn’t Know

Series: Duke’s Sons, #2

Author: Jane Ashford

Pubdate: September 6th 2016

ISBN: 9781492621591

 A proper English wife, or the freedom of the sea?

Lord James Gresham is the fifth son of the Duke of Langford, a captain in the Royal Navy, and at a loss for what to do next. He’s made his fortune; perhaps now he should find a proper wife and set up his nursery. But the sea calls to him, while his search for a wife leaves him uninspired. And then, a dark beauty with a heart for revenge is swept into his life.

He can’t have both, but he won’t give up either

Half-English, half-Polynesian Kawena Benson is out to avenge her father and reclaim a cache of stolen jewels. There’s nothing for James to do but protest his innocence and help Kawena search for the jewels, even though it turns his world upside down.

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Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the U.S. Twenty-six of her new and backlist Regency romances are being published by Sourcebooks. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She is currently rather nomadic.

With five adventure seeking sons, there’s a lot that the Duke of Langford doesn’t know. Luckily for us, Jane Ashford has agreed to pull back the curtain and reveal one of the Langford family’s secrets – just remember, don’t tell the Duke!

One thing the Duke doesn’t know: That his very fashionable son Robert missed many of the events of the previous season to learn Akkadian from a lovely bluestocking. Or what Akkadian is – most probably.


An Excerpt:

 James had just started his letter to Nathaniel when there was a knock at the door. “Come in,” he called without looking up.

He heard the door open, and a lilting voice say, “Hello.”

James turned in his chair. Kawena stepped through his bedchamber door, shut it, walked over, and sat down in the armchair by the empty fireplace. “I wanted to thank you,” she began.

“You can’t sit here,” James said.

She looked down at the comfortable chair, back up at him. “Why not?”

“This is my bedroom.” The moment he said it, he became acutely conscious of the bed just a few feet away.

“I know. I came up to thank—”

“It isn’t proper,” he blurted out.

“But you are taking some trouble to help me. When you don’t really wish to. I can see that, you know. It is only right that I thank—”

“Not that. You shouldn’t be in a man’s bedchamber. Alone. With him. Me.” He heard himself stammering like a callow youth, and was revolted. She was just so very beautiful. Utterly alluring, really. The effect seemed multiplied here in his private quarters. And she appeared so at ease—as if they knew each other far better than they actually did. James could almost imagine her coming over to him, offering a hand to pull him to his feet, and closer… No, this line of thought was unacceptable. He stood and moved toward the door instead. “It isn’t done,” he added. “Young ladies do not visit gentlemen in their bedchambers.” Well, some did, if what he’d heard about country house parties was true, but that was…irrelevant to this discussion.

“We must speak only downstairs?” wondered Kawena. “Is that an English rule?”

Her honest bewilderment was rather charming. “If a man and a woman are alone in a bedchamber, people assume they’re…up to something improper,” James explained.

“Getting into bed together, you mean?” Kawena replied without a trace of embarrassment. She gazed at the wide four-poster as if it was on exhibit.

James felt his cheeks redden. Years at sea might have left him unused to polite female company, but even his brother, Robert, the town beau, would have been confounded by this quite unusual young woman. “Er, yes.”

“But we are not.”

“No… Not in this case. However—”

“And no people know that I’m here,” she pointed out. “I told no one I was coming up.”

“You can never tell when there’s a servant about,” James replied. The staff at Langford always seemed well aware of everyone’s movements.

“Do they hide and watch?” said Kawena, looking surprised.

James choked back a laugh, and then wondered if maybe they did. How else would that housemaid have seen Sebastian with the frogs…? But that was beside the point. He needed to remove a lovely young woman from his bedchamber—didn’t he? Yes, yes. And wasn’t that a problem he’d never imagined having? When had it become his job to preach the proprieties? He felt like a fool even trying. But if she didn’t go soon, he might not be able to resist… James decided to shift the onus off onto someone else. “This is my brother’s house. I wouldn’t wish to upset him, or his wife.”

Kawena cocked her head. “Your brother and Ariel would not approve of my being here?”

James assumed so. No, of course they wouldn’t. And that was beside the point. He nodded.

To his relief, Kawena rose at once. “I would not wish to offend them. They have been very kind to me.” She shrugged as she moved toward the door. “My father always says…” She paused, swallowed. “Said that it is rude to disregard others’ customs when it does you no harm to observe them.”

“Pr…precisely.” She passed quite close to him on her way out. Her long fall of black hair swayed seductively with each step. Was he really throwing her out of his room? Her initial words came floating back. She’d come up to thank him. Perhaps with something warmer than words? Some marvelous island custom? No. She hadn’t meant that. Clearly, obviously. No sign whatsoever of any such thing, despite her unembarrassed mention of bedding. Besides, it would be an awkward complication, as they were living together in his brother’s house. Not together. As fellow guests. Strangers, in fact.

“Good night,” said Kawena.

“Good night,” James replied, shutting the door firmly behind her.

He leaned against it, listening to her soft footsteps retreat along the corridor. Perhaps helping her wasn’t quite such a burden. It would give him a chance to become better acquainted with one of the loveliest, and most unusual, girls he’d ever encountered. Her courage and fire drew him—now that she’d stopped calling him names. How many women, how many people, would have done as she had, sailing halfway around the world to find justice? Very few, hardly any, really, he thought. She’d looked positively intrepid, stepping out of the shrubbery with her gun. And under his hands, on the turf, she’d felt… James fell into a pleasant reverie. It was some time before he returned to his letter.

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Discovery of Desire by Susanne Lord – Spotlight Tour, Excerpt, and Giveaway

9781492623533Title: Discovery of Desire

Series: London Explorers, #2

Author: Susanne Lord

Pubdate: September 6th 2016

ISBN: 9781492623533

 “If you like your romance with the sweetness of Mary Balogh’s novels or the anguish of Sherry Thomas’, this is one to cherish.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED Review

 The one man who’s not looking for a wife

Seth Mayhew is the ideal explorer: fearless, profitable, and unmarried. There is nothing and no one he can’t find—until his sister disappears en route to India. His search for her takes him to Bombay, where Seth meets the most unlikely of allies—a vulnerable woman who’s about to marry the wrong man.

Discovers a woman who changes his dreams forever

Teeming with the bounty of marriageable men employed by the East India Company, Bombay holds hope for security for Wilhelmina Adams. But when the man she’s traveled halfway around the world to marry doesn’t suit, Mina finds instead that she’s falling in love with a man who offers passion, adventure, intimacy—anything but security…

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Susanne Lord is a writer of Victorian-era romance and author of the London Explorer series published by Sourcebooks.  Originally from Okinawa, off-base and on, she now makes her home in Chicago where she is an active member of Chicago North RWA.  When not writing, attending theater or reading, she enjoys hiking the English countryside and visiting historic homes and gardens.

Discovery of Desire Quote 8

The second in Susanne Lord’s critically acclaimed London Explorers series, Discovery of Desire, is out this September.  To give you a taste of her latest release, Susanne Lord has selected one of her favorite quotes from the book to share with us:

Author’s Note: Seth has disembarked from the steamship, onto the crowded, bustling port of Bombay. The other passengers, including the four dozen lady passengers who had sailed to wed East India Company men, are rushed by the bachelors and huddled together in the chaos…

An Excerpt:


A woman’s voice. Sweet and low and nearly swallowed in the fray.

Maybe it was because his explorer’s senses were honed to seek the rare, the anomalies in nature, but Seth trailed that voice to a venture girl twenty feet away. She wore a trim white jacket and green skirt with starry, white flowers all over it. Her sun helmet concealed all but a bit of brown hair.

“Ladies, as no one has told us yet what to do, if you are to be met by someone, would you move to this end?” She gestured and the ladies shuffled to do her bidding, obedient as soldiers.

Seth jerked to follow, then paused. He was to meet someone. Should he wait with them?

A small wave of her hand and the ladies leaned forward in attention. He did, too.

“And the others can wait here for Captain Travers,” she said. “He will accompany you to the customs house.” The women sorted themselves, fear in every pair of eyes clinging to their officer.

Seth dragged in a lungful of air that didn’t ease the tightness in his chest. Wasn’t any of his business. And wasn’t a thing he could do to help.

He turned to plunge into the crowd, but then the little officer spoke again.

“We are here, ladies,” she said gently. “And we are fine.”

The words were plain, but it was like she’d hushed the whole world. He didn’t want to, but he looked again. The venture girls stood in two close circles, their small valises and parasols clutched to their chests, and watched the chaos around them with wide eyes.

But they kept their chins up now.

The man holding the card eyed him suspiciously. So this was his translator. Brown hair, spectacles, younger than he’d expected. But he looked clever. He’d do.

“Tom Grant?” Seth asked.

“I am. You’re Will Repton?”

Seth grinned. “For your purposes, I am.” He shook his hand. “I’m Seth Mayhew. You’ll be working for me instead.”


“This explains it.” Seth handed him Will’s letter. “Will couldn’t leave England on account of his being leg-shackled and expecting a little baby. But Georgie’s my sister after all, and the orphan in Tibet is who she was after, so I’m here and Will’s not. It’s all a bit Hamlet-without-the-prince, but there it is.”

Tom Grant blinked behind his spectacles. “Who are you?”

Maybe he just looked clever.

“Seth May—” He never was skilled at explaining. “Read the letter, mate.”

Tom Grant passed the sign to him, cracked open the letter, and began to frown. That frown wasn’t how Seth wanted to start their partnership, but the man had agreed to the job, and would be earning a hell of a salary for the effort.

But Tom’s expression wasn’t growing any happier as he started page two.

Tom flipped the letter over and started reading from the beginning. Again.

With a sigh, Seth dropped his bag at his feet to wait—and remembered the sign: CLAIMING MISS W. ADAMS. Tom Grant was collecting one of the venture girls then.

W? The man couldn’t write her name in full?

Wasn’t any of his business.

Meaning to be helpful, Seth held the sign high and waited.

“Mina!” Emma clutched her arm. “I see him. I see your Thomas Grant.”

Mina’s stomach rolled. Thomas was here. Of course he was—of course he would be. If only the ground would steady. Her sister’s sudden grab had nearly toppled her. Ninety-nine days on a boat and she couldn’t seem to lock her knees.

Mina reached into her skirt pocket and squeezed the stone in her hand. Through her lace glove, the quartz was as cool as if it still held the weather of England within it…

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Stolen Encounters With the Duchess by Julia Justiss – Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway

Stolen EncountersShe would rather burn in his presence than pine in his absence 

Faith Wellingford Evers, Duchess of Ashedon, is tired of society’s endless gossiping about her failings and her late husband’s infidelities. Seeking escape one night, she’s attacked by ruffians, but is saved by an unlikely figure from her past!

Having risen from penniless orphan to Member of Parliament, David Tanner Smith is no longer the quiet boy Faith once knew. With the first spine-tingling kiss, their old friendship is transformed. And in its place is an explosive mix of illicit encounters and forbidden desire…

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I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

David Tanner Smith is a respected member of Parliament,  and is financially comfortable.  He’s come a long way from being a farmer’s son, but he’s still not of noble birth, and would not be considered a good match for an aristocratic lady.  Ten years ago, as a young man, David became acquainted with Faith, who was about to make her debut in society, and was expected to make a good marriage.  For one magic summer, the two became great friends, and David fell deeply in love.  He knew there was no place for him in Faith’s future, so they parted – he to pursue his future in politics, and Faith to marry a duke.

Faith Evers, the now widowed Duchess of Ashedon, got married, believing that her husband loved her in return.  In time, she learned that she was married only for her dowry, her meekness, and her child bearing.  Her husband was constantly unfaithful, and died in a manner leaving Faith even more humiliated and the subject of malicious cruelty from society.

A chance encounter brings David and Faith together, and while Faith initially only feels happiness at seeing her old friend, David is clearly reminded that his love has never died over the years.  As the story develops, David does his best to help Faith regain her joy with life, which had been beaten down by her sad marriage.  Soon Faith is regaining courage, and realizing that she has the authority to manage her household and to raise her sons as she sees fit.  This is one of my favorite parts of this story, watching Faith embrace her freedom and blossom.  Before long, Faith is daring enough to consider an affair, and who better than her dear friend and champion, David?

Oh, how I love David!  Such an honorable man.  While he loves and desires Faith, he won’t risk causing her to be part of a scandal.  If they were to have an affair, and it became known, there’s a chance that could jeopardize her custody of her sons.  Is there any possibility the lady would consider marriage?  STOLEN ENCOUNTERS WITH THE DUCHESS is a lovely story with great protagonists who have to work through class differences, some heartbreak, and some villainy to achieve their well deserved happy ever after.

Rating 4Reviewed by Rose 3





Most of us have a hobby or interest in which we can use a special skill.  Maybe it’s the ability to arrange flowers, or to create a wonderfully-decorated room.  Maybe we can sew clothes or curtains or banners, knit or embroider, paint or design.  Whatever the talent may be, using it brings us joy and a sense of accomplishment.

But what if your talent doesn’t create something tangible?

Beaten down by an oppressive marriage in which she is constantly belittled, the widowed heroine of my new release, STOLEN ENCOUNTERS WITH THE DUCHESS, is such a person.  Although she has the unique gift of making those around her feel special and important, a loveliness of spirit that brightens the day of everyone with whom she comes into contact, she doesn’t recognize that as a gift.  Particularly after struggling to maintain a sense of her own worth through the humiliation and criticism of a philandering husband, she sees herself as a person of little importance and no skill.

When the man who has always loved her from afar—being too far beneath her socially to hope for anything more—meets her again after many years apart and discovers how isolated and unhappy she’s become, he feels compelled to try to revive the spirit and self-confidence of the enthusiastic, happy girl he fell in love with.  Even though he knows he can never be more to her than a friend.

Or can he?

What special gift or talent brings you pleasure?  Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of STOLEN ENCOUNTERS!

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