Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Spotlight post: Heir to the Duke by Jane Asford





Title: Heir to the Duke
Author: Jane Ashford
Series: the Duke’s Sons, #1
Pubdate: January 5th, 2016
ISBN: 9781492621560


Book 1 of The Duke’s Sons series


From bestselling author Jane Ashford comes a brand new series of sparkling Regency Romance


Life is predictable for a Duke’s first son
As eldest son of the Duke of Langford, Nathaniel Gresham sees his arranged marriage to Lady Violet Devere as just another obligation to fulfill—highly suitable, if unexciting. But as Violet sets out to transform herself from dowdy wallflower to dazzling young duchess-to-be, proper Nathaniel sets out to prove he’s a match for his new bride’s vivacity and daring.


Or so he once thought…
Oppressed by her family all her life, Lady Violet can’t wait to enjoy the freedom of being a married woman. But then Violet learns her family’s sordid secret, and she’s faced with an impossible choice—does she tell Nathaniel and risk losing him, or does she hide it and live a lie?


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.


Buy Links:
Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1I5j2i1


Jane Ashford’s latest release, Heir to the Duke, comes out this January! To celebrate, we invite you to get to know Nathaniel Gresham, the hero of Heir to the Duke and the eldest of the Duke of Langford’s six sons.


Full Name: Nathaniel, Viscount Hightower
Occupation: Helping oversee the extensive Langford ducal estates
Height: 6’ 1”
Hair Color: Dark auburn
Eye Color: Blue
Age:  34


How would you describe yourself?
An odd question. It seems to require either a flippant, superficial response or deep thought and revealing confidences. I don’t believe I care to reply.


If your brothers had to describe you, what would they say?
Responsible, reliable Nathaniel, I imagine. The person they can turn to when they’re in trouble, which they certainly can. And the elder brother who will run any little errand they may conjure up or supply any small item they require. I am in the process of weaning them of the latter opinion.


What is your favorite way to spend your time?
I’m fond of country pursuits. Sailing on the lake at Langford, walking the land, fishing the trout stream.


What’s one piece of advice you would give to newlyweds?
Don’t be limited by expectations. Marriage can be full of marvelous surprises.


If money was no object and you had no commitments for the next two months, what would you do?
Take my wife to Italy. She has expressed interest in seeing that country, and one of my newfound delights is watching her savor novel experiences.


An Excerpt:
Nathaniel Gresham, Viscount Hightower, stirred in his sleep. His hands groped for bedclothes, found nothing. Sensing wrongness, his consciousness rose through layers of befuddlement and wisps of dreams. He opened his eyes to find a gaping maw of three-inch fangs inches from his throat.
“Aah!”
Nathaniel threw up his arms to shield his face and twisted to the side. The convulsive movement brought him right to the edge of a large four-poster bed, and he scrambled to avoid falling three feet to the floor. He twisted in the opposite direction and struck out at the sharp, yellowed teeth. They did not snap shut on his forearm or lunge into his face once more. Indeed, they did not move at all, except sideways under his blow. There was no snarl or slaver, no spark of rage in the shiny eye behind the fangs. Nathaniel shoved them farther away and sat up.
He was stark naked, on a large bed stripped bare of linens, covered only by a moth-eaten gray wolf skin. The wretched thing’s head had been carefully placed on his chest, to ensure the rude awakening. His hips still rested under its hindquarters. Molting fur peppered the bed. The mere sight of the ancient pelt made his skin itch. Revolted, he pushed it all the way off and moved to the foot of the bed, struggling to get his bearings. This wasn’t his bedchamber. The blue-striped wallpaper was alien, the furnishings unfamiliar; the windows with their slant of early morning light were in the wrong place. Then he remembered. He was staying at the Earl of Moreley’s country house, because tomorrow—no, today—he was to marry the earl’s daughter at their local parish church.
Nathaniel glared at the wolf skin, then rubbed his hands over his face. This was what it meant to have five brothers—five younger brothers—on one’s wedding day. Or rather, on one’s wedding eve, a night they’d insisted upon marking with bowls of rack punch. Had it been three? Or had he lost count? No wonder they’d kept filling his glass, if they had this prank planned. Where the devil had they found a wolf skin in a strange house? And hadn’t he told his father, when Robert was born in his sixth year, that four sons were quite enough? Even for a duke, six sons were excessive. At this particular moment, Nathaniel thought that his parents might have been content with just one.
He rose, stretching stiff limbs and marveling that he had only a mild headache. Revenge on his brothers would have to wait for another day. Today, he was getting married. He was doing his duty to his name and his line, pledging himself to a woman who would be an admirable duchess when their turn came—may it be far in the future. The match was eminently suitable. All society acknowledged its rightness. And despite Violet’s irascible grandmother, the occasional bane of his existence, he could have no complaints.
Indeed, why had the word even occurred to him? No one had rushed him into marriage. He had enjoyed a plenitude of seasons in London and a number of agreeable flirtations and liaisons with delightful females. Though they had never spoken of it, he was aware that his parents had given him every opportunity to fall in love. But the passion that had overtaken them in their young days had not befallen him. He wasn’t sure why, but once he’d passed thirty he concluded it never would. He’d had more than enough time to observe that such a bond was rare in the circles of the haut ton.
Nathaniel stretched again, his bare limbs a bit chilly. This marriage was certainly not a penance. He liked Violet very much. They’d been acquainted for years. He did not know whether she’d had other offers, but he supposed that she too had waited for love to find her. They had that in common. They were also well suited by background, had similar tastes, and enjoyed the same even temperament. When he’d decided that the time for marriage had come, he’d simply known that she was the proper candidate. He expected their union to be gracious, harmonious, and ideal for the significant position they would someday be called upon to fulfill. And now it was time to stop wool- gathering, put on his dressing gown, and begin this momentous day.
Nathaniel walked over to the oaken wardrobe on the far wall and opened it.
It was empty. All his clothes had disappeared.
He stared at the bare hooks. This part of the prank would be Sebastian’s doing, he imagined. It had his next younger brother’s touch. Nathaniel met his own gaze in the mirror set into the wardrobe door, and acknowledged the spark of amused annoyance in his eyes. His brothers had a fiendish facility for complicated jests.
The figure in the glass shook its head. All the sons of the Duke of Langford were tall, handsome, broad-shouldered men with auburn hair and blue eyes. Sebastian was the tallest. Robert the wittiest. Randolph was acknowledged as the handsomest, James the most adventurous, and Alan the smartest. But he was the eldest, and the heir.
For as long as he could remember, Nathaniel had felt the weight of his destiny. The others said it was a burden to have everything done ahead of them, but he’d felt the onus of being the pattern, setting up the expectations, being the son visitors scrutinized the most. He would be the next duke; he must show he was worthy. Thus, he kept a tight rein on his wilder impulses. Instead, he was the one who came to the rescue when one of his brothers went too far, kicking up a lark.
And so now, he did not slam the empty wardrobe shut, but simply closed it. He would leave it to his valet to straighten this out. He wanted hot water for washing, and then clothes, and then breakfast. He went to ring for Cates, and discovered that the bell rope had been removed. He could see the wire to which it had been connected, near the ceiling, twelve feet up. It must have taken two or three of his brothers to reach so high.
For a moment he just stood there, staring at it. This final touch would be Robert’s idea, no doubt. He’d always been the most ingenious, the brother who added the crowning climax to a prank. Robert would be the one to set the others guffawing—describing their elder brother slinking through the corridors of the Earl of Moreley’s house wrapped in a wolf skin, like some sort of demented ancient Celt. Even Nathaniel had to smile at the picture. How would Violet’s fierce stickler of a grandmother like that? And all the other near and distant relations visiting for the wedding? He’d barely met most of them. Perhaps he’d twine some ivy from outside the window in his hair and attempt a Gaelic war cry.
Nathaniel laughed. Truth to tell, it was a splendid prank, unfolding like a puzzle box upon its hapless victim. All that remained was for him to wiggle out of the trap so cunningly set.
He eyed the windows and considered pulling down some of his almost-mother-in-law’s elaborate draperies to wrap about himself. But one panel would trail behind him like a coronation robe. The picture was little better than the wolf skin. Perhaps he would just wait until Cates arrived on his own. It couldn’t be too much longer. In fact, judging by the sunlight, his valet ought to have appeared well before now. Where the devil was he?
As if in answer to this thought, there was a knock at the door.
“Nathaniel?”  
The voice was the last he expected. “Violet?”
“Are you all right? James said you needed to speak to me most urgent—” The door opened, and Nathaniel’s promised bride looked around the panels. “Oh!” Her mouth dropped open.
Nathaniel—stark naked, next to a bed sporting only a rumpled wolf skin—braced for a shriek, a shocked retreat, babbled apologies. But Violet just looked at him. Indeed, it seemed as if she couldn’t tear her eyes away. He could almost feel her gaze traveling along his skin, as if it left trails of warmth. He saw something stir in those gray eyes, something he’d never observed before, and his body began to respond to the possibility of much more than he’d expected from his suitable marriage. Respond all too eagerly.
Nathaniel moved over behind the bed. “My brothers’ idea of a joke,” he said with a gesture toward the wolf skin.
Violet blinked. Color flooded her cheeks, and she looked away. “How did they...?” Her voice was rather choked.
“They are endlessly inventive. They stole my clothes as well. Would you have someone send Cates to me? I would ring but”—he pointed to the bell wire—“they were quite thorough.”
Violet glanced at the denuded wire, swallowed, and gave a quick nod. “Of course.” In the next instant, she was gone.
“Well, well,” murmured Nathaniel to the wolf. “That was interesting.”
His days of being capable of interest long past, the wolf made no reply.




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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Blitz:House of Pawns by Keary Taylor


House of Pawns
Keary Taylor
(House of Royals, #2)
Publication date: December 15th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

The town of Silent Bend is about to explode into a war. Alivia swore to take the House from Jasmine after what she did, but it won’t happen without retaliation. The whole town is caught in the crosshairs of their manipulation and the body count is climbing.
The explanation for Ian’s change is one he just can’t accept. To Alivia, it should fix all their problems, but Ian has become everything he hates most. And Liv accepting her fate and position will test their relationship to the breaking point.
The threat of the King’s arrival looms just weeks away, and Alivia knows he will kill her as soon as he comes. She’ll need supporters at her side—immortal ones. And that means turning old enemies into loyal subjects…

Sequel to:
House of Royals


EXCERPT:

Dirt stains my hands, freezes my fingers.  There are streaks of it all over my jeans, caking the sleeves of my coat.
“What the hell are you doing?”
My heart leaps into my throat and I whip around.
Sheriff Luke McCoy stands five yards behind me, hands on his hips, a look of confusion and horror on his face.
I don’t have an answer for him, so I go back to my task.
“Alivia.”  I hear him walking toward me.  “What are you doing, and why does it look like someone crawled out of that grave?”
“Because someone did,” I huff.  My hands are numb now, making it difficult to maneuver the dirt.  Thankfully, it’s still freshly turned enough that it’s not packed yet.
“And who might that have been?” he asks and his voice hardens with each syllable.
“Circumstances change people, you understand that, right?”  I’ve got the hole half filled back in.
“What are you talking about?”  Sheriff McCoy, now that he’s caught on to what this hole means and its implications, joins me in filling it.
“I told you a few months back that I was a good person.  That I wanted nothing to do with the House.”  My lungs burn from the effort of breathing hard in this cold air.  “But circumstances change people.”
“What happened, Alivia?” he demands.


Author Bio:
Keary Taylor grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now resides on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two young children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night. She is the author of THE EDEN TRILOGY, the FALL OF ANGELS trilogy, and WHAT I DIDN'T SAY. To learn more about Keary and her writing process, please visit www.KearyTaylor.com.



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Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Blitz: House of Royals by Keary Taylor


House of Royals
Keary Taylor
(House of Royals, #1)
Publication date: June 21st 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

If you loved BRANDED, you won’t want to miss HOUSE OF ROYALS, Keary Taylor’s newest dark, romantic read.
Every town has its history and skeletons, but Silent Bend, Mississippi’s are darker than most. Ruled from the shadows by the House—the immortal Born and their aging, enslaved Bitten—everyone knows not to go out after dark and that the police will never look into crimes involving blood.
Alivia Ryan didn’t know the man who claims to be her father through a will even existed until she inherits the Conrath plantation. Instead of the sleepy house she expects, she finds a mansion and a staff who look at her with fear in their eyes.
Ian Ward tried to kill Alivia the first time they met, and then insisted he train her to defend herself against the House, who he claims will try to manipulate and take her in for their own political reasons. And the growing attraction between them will threaten their lives—Ian is a sworn enemy of the House.
In Silent Bend, people disappear, the threat of a demented King and the legend of his resurrecting Queen hang over everyone’s heads, and proving loyalty means far more than blood. You’d better watch who you trust in this town…


EXCERPT:

“What are you doing here?” he hisses, pulling me close.  His lips tickle my ear.  His hand on my waist slips low and his fingers dig into my skin just a little.
The breath catches in my chest and every nerve ending in my body goes crazy.  The music surges, and this night suddenly feels too big for me to breathe.
“I’m not lying down and taking a fate I didn’t ask for,” I manage.  My fingers cling hard to Ian’s shoulder.  I can feel the muscles beneath his clothes tense and tighten.  And suddenly, I’m back to the days at his cabin, when he’d come walking out of the shower with only a towel and I pretended not to look.  I know what his bare skin looks like, and I’m craving another glimpse.
“They won’t care about a show of good faith,” he says.  “Do you have any idea what this party is even for?”
My silence is his answer.
“They throw this party once a year and offer massive amounts of alcohol so that people won’t remember the blackouts that come from being fed on.”
My eyes dart to that door at the back of the room.  The blood on the woman’s shoulder.  The blood in the corner of the man’s mouth.
“They’re feeding on the party attendees,” I say.
Ian nods.  His scratchy cheek brushes mine.  “The bite numbs and makes you forget, but people tend to realize they blacked out.  A party like this with this much booze, you brush it off.  It’s the one time a year they feed freely upon the townspeople.  It’s the only way to keep people from asking too many questions.”
It’s terrifying and horrifying, and I’m suddenly wondering if the man was asking me to dance as my turn to be fed upon.
“It’s bad, but I have to do something, Ian,” I breathe.
“Walking into the fire isn’t the way to do it,” he whispers into my ear.


Author Bio:
Keary Taylor grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now resides on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two young children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night. She is the author of THE EDEN TRILOGY, the FALL OF ANGELS trilogy, and WHAT I DIDN'T SAY. To learn more about Keary and her writing process, please visit www.KearyTaylor.com.



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Monday, November 30, 2015

#Review: How to Seduce a Scot by Christy English

How to Seduce a Scot (Broadswords and Ballrooms)How to Seduce a Scot by Christy English
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of "How to Seduce a Scot" via Netgalley.


I haven't been reading historical romance lately, it has be quite some time actually. So when I started reading "How to Seduce a Scot" by Christy English I was rather happy that I decided to dip back into this genre.

Catherine needs to find a husband before the season is out. She has one chance at finding a suitable one to help her and her mother and her younger sister. After the death of her father, 5 years previous, money is growing slim, so one season to make a match is all she has.

Not having much luck at the start, Catherine finds herself torn between two men. A gentle Englishman who is caring and kind and a handsome Scotsman who makes her feel safe and comfortable yet brings a blush to her face whenever he looks at her.

Who does she chose? Does she follow her heart or her honor?

I found it to be a delightful and humorous read, refreshing to say the least. The main character at time where frustrating, but that is the norm in most historical romance novels. The secondary characters I enjoyed immensely, I can not wait to meet them in the future novels, especially Mary Elizabeth what a breath of fresh air that one was.

"How to Seduce a Scot" is set to be released December 1st, 2015.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Pick up your copy from these online stores:

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1MKz10e
Books a Million: http://bit.ly/1PCobPd
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1O3HVcG




Author Bio

Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in North Carolina.

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What Kind of Historical Romance Heroine Are You? 
I'm a Quietly Brave Romantic Heroine

What will you get?



Exclusive Snippet

“I like you, too, Alex Waters. A very great deal. More than any man I have ever met, save my father. And he was a great man.”
“I am sure he was. Miss Middlebrook…”
“Catherine,” she corrected him.
“Catherine,” he amended. “We are standing a bit too close. Someone might see.”
She smiled at him then, and felt as if a little sun had risen in her heart. Even in that dark corridor, when any other man would have taken advantage, he was still trying to care for her. She leaned close, as if to whisper once more in his ear, but at the last moment, she turned her head, and brushed her lips against his.


Giveaway

Do you want to  with a 3 book Christy English bundle? if so click the link below to take you to the rafflecopter.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7240/

Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.