Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Release Tour – Snifter of Death – Chris Karlsen

SNIFTER OF DEATH

The Bloodstone Series, Book 2

by Chris Karlsen

Genre: Historical Suspense with Romantic elements

 

 

The summer of 1889 was proving to be a strange one for Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner.

They had a sexual pervert loose. The man didn’t actually harm women but threatened them at knife point, fondling them, and ultimately stealing their stockings.

Far more serious were the murders of influential men, which appeared random other than they were all killed by arsenic poison. Never had he and his partner had cases with so little workable evidence.

Also, the rivalry between him and his detective nemesis at London’s other police department was intensifying. That nemesis was the boxing champion of their department and looking to challenge Rudyard, who never trained as a boxer.

Besides Rudyard’s pride being at stake, and the pride of his station, his nemesis also had in his possession a photograph of the woman Rudyard cares very much for. The new lady in Rudyard’s life had captured his heart and he’d fight the devil himself to save her reputation.

“What address do you show for the Cross family?” the Vicar asked. Her mind went completely blank. Finally, she blurted the only one that came to her, which was no doubt wrong. “Park Lane.”

The Vicar smirked. Not smiled. Smirked. That meant it had to be wrong.

“I suggest you start there. In the meantime, I will have my housekeeper escort you out. I don’t know what you’re playing at but I don’t care for mischief. You’ll do your soul a good turn to drop a coin in the poor box on your way to the street.” He rang a small bell on his desk and the housekeeper came. “See this lady out.”

Graciela stood on the top stair of the chapel cursing her luck when a man’s disturbingly familiar laugh interrupted her thoughts. She took a quick step to the left and flattened herself against one of the portico pillars. The horrible laugh rippled over from close by. It sounded like Detective Bloodstone’s from the morning she’d bailed out Addy. He’d said something that sent the shine boy scampering away and had all the detectives snickering, including Bloodstone.

Taking a deep breath, she peered around the edge of the pillar expecting to see the detective. His presence would’ve been the perfect end to this entire St. Jude’s Chapel mission-turned-catastrophe. To her great relief, it came from a carriage driver. She hadn’t noticed a group of them gathered at the corner waiting to be hired. Graciela, you had no reason to be frightened. You’d done nothing wrong. Stop being such a ninny.

She left the church and headed home. Zachary would be getting up from her nap soon. The whole way home she questioned her luck. A dozen people are murdered every day in London.

How hard can it be to kill someone?

SILK

It is the time of Jack the Ripper, the widowed Queen Victoria sits on the throne of England. The whole of London is on edge wondering when or where Jack will kill next. The Palace, Parliament, and the press are demanding the police do more to find him.

In another part of London, rough-around-the-edges war hero, Metropolitan Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone has his own serial killer to find. Inter departmental rivalries, politics, and little evidence to go on hamper the investigation at every turn. In a battle of wills, Bloodstone presses forward following his instincts in spite of the obstacles.

Adding to those problems, away from the strains of the investigation, he is engaged in the ups and downs of a new relationship with a lovely hat maker.

Chris Karlsen is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love of hisotry and books.

An internationally published author, Chris has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa satisfying her need to visit the places she read about. Having spent a great deal of time in England and Turkey, she has used her love of both places as settings for her books. “Heroes Live Forever,” which is her debut book, is set in England as is the sequel, “Journey in Time,” the third is “Knight Blindness.” They are part of her Knights in Time series. All three are available as a boxed set on Kindle. She is currently working on the fourth in the “Knights in Time,” series. “Golden Chariot,” is set in Turkey and the sequel, “Byzantine Gold” is set Turkey, Paris and Cyprus. They are part of her Dangerous Waters series.

Her most recent release is called, “Silk” and is book one of a new series, The Bloodstone Series. It is a suspense set in Victorian London.

Published by Books to Go Now, her novels are available in digital, ebook, and Android App. and in paperback. “Heroes Live Forever” is also in audio format.

A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris and Los Angeles and now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four rescue dogs. A city girl all her life, living in a small village on a bay was a interesting adjustment. She’d never lived anywhere so quiet at night and traffic wasn’t bumper to bumper 24/7.

Some of Chris’s favorite authors are: Michael Connolly, John Sandford, Joseph Wambaugh, Stephen Coonts, Bernard Cornwell, Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, Deanna Raybourne and Steve Berry.

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Release Tour & Giveaway – The Other Side of Dusk – Cherime MacFarlane

THE OTHER SIDE OF DUSK
Eilan Water Trilogy, book 1
by Cherime MacFarlane

Genre: Historical Romance
Ualan’s mother is killed, and he is sold as a slave. The Roman woman who purchases him must get pregnant before the master gets rid of her as he did his first wife. And the male slave she uses cannot appear to be a full grown man, so as not to force the master to acknowledge his lack. Her plan backfires when an old soldier, head of the household guard, takes pity on the boy. He teaches Ualan to fight and when the child is born, helps the slave escape with his son. He is home but…his people aren’t sure he is the one who can take his father’s place when the time comes. Ualan may not be fit in body and mind. Rumors are flying of the possible retreat of the Romans back behind Hadrian’s Wall. The Picts are ready to revolt against Roman rule and the Scotti may be caught in the middle. To make matters worse, the master is seeking his stolen son.

Twisting to escape, he couldn’t break away from the thongs binding both wrists and feet. Someday he would get free, and when he did, he would kill her. No! Leave me be! Don’t…Unable to block the tide, he was helpless. His head thrashed from side to side as she did those things the woman knew would harden him for her use. Then she would mount him. And he hated her for what she did.

He was sobbing. A huge surge of desire overrode his anger and fear. What she did to his body was wrong.

“Da! ‘Tis me. Wake now.”

Taog climbed into the bed with him and snuggled into Ualan’s embrace. The lad didn’t care how sweat soaked from the nightmare he might be. With a sigh, Ualan hugged the child tight.

“Was it truly horrid?” The childish whisper feathered warm air over the hollow of his throat.

“Nae, Taog. Nae so bad. I couldnae wake. Thank ye for bringing me out of tha bog.”

“Did ye dream of being caught in tha moss, tha old bog?”

No one knew of the content of the dark dreams that sometimes had him screaming in the middle of the night. None would ever know. Ualan intended to shield those he cared about from the truth. That he had become a tool for a Roman bitch to get a child for a man unable to produce a son, was his secret alone.

In the end, he took his revenge. The child she set out to have snuggled in Ualan’s bed in his family’s broch. Had Ualan been unable to escape, he would have killed the child before letting the bitch have him. God had been good. Ualan lay beneath the sleeping furs in his home on the far side of the damnable Roman wall, his son in his arms.

He wondered if the bitch was still alive. It was doubtful. Duilius would have flayed the skin from her body for allowing Ualan to escape with his son. Caecilia feared the man. It was one of the reasons she had purchased him in the slave market, to get her with child. Duilius was impotent and refused to believe it. He blamed his young wife.

With help from the Christian slave, the captain of the house guard, Ualan won the war. He stroked the child’s hair and sniffed the aroma the boy wore. Horse and hound, a bit of smoke and the scent of earth told him the lad had spent the day outside. It was comforting. On his side with the child tight to his breast, Ualan would sleep. For now, the horror was gone.

Although born in New Orleans, I am proud to call myself an Alaskan. I have lived here since 1977. I have seen -40 degrees, hauled water, made bear bacon and I live in a cabin. I have used a fishwheel to catch salmon coming up the Copper River. I was my second husband’s chief mechanic’s helper and roadie. I have cut firewood on shares. I worked as a cocktail waitress during pipeline days in a small lodge on the Richardson Highway.

My second husband, a Scot from Glasgow, was the love of my life. When I write Scots dialect, I personally experienced hearing it from my in laws. When my husband got on the phone to Scotland, after 5 seconds I could barely understand a word.

We moved to Wasilla to get warm. It barely drops past -25 degrees here in the winter. I became a paralegal and worked for over 26 years for the same firm.

Alaska is my home. I never thought I would love it so much, I never want to leave. The beauty of Alaska is a draw I cannot resist. I love the people and the history. I have been captured by a place I came to under duress. Life does play some interesting tricks on one. My love and I were not apart more than 24 hours for 20 plus years. I never wanted to be anywhere but with him. He was a man to run the river with and was my biggest fan.

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Release Tour & Giveaway – The Seduction of Viscount Vice – Nicola Davidson

THE SEDUCTION OF VISCOUNT VICE

Fallen series, book 3
by Nicola Davidson

Genre: Erotic Historical Romance
Publisher:Entangled Publishing
Proud Scot and Fallen co-owner, Lord Iain ‘Vice’ Vissen is dedicated to performing in and producing the pleasure club’s hedonistic shows. Until the night he apprehends a rogue footman in their midst and discovers the spy is Lady Mairi MacNair—the woman who long ago broke his heart.
Born an earl’s daughter but now a seamstress, Mairi has returned to London to help open a superior pleasure club to Fallen, and finally realize her dream of being the seductive leading lady. But when she discovers her main rival is Iain, the man she loved beyond reason and was forced to abandon, she is soon caught in a web of lies, secrets, and raw, scorching passion that time hasn’t dimmed… 

In one swift movement, Vice had Mairi against the wall, his fingers tangling in her sweetly fragrant hair as he straightened the combs. “What are you doing here? Really?”
Her breathing quickened, her lips glistening as she ran her tongue over them. “I was invited.”
“No. Something compelled you.”
“Indeed. Decent food. Ramsey also mentioned you might still be at least part Scot and have proper whisky.”
As punishment for the impudence, he slid two fingers under her bodice and pinched one already hardening nipple. Mairi moaned, the soft sound primitive and needy, but rather than continuing, he withdrew his fingers and smiled. “Try again, my lady.”
“A poor attempt to seduce me. I know you actually prefer blondes now.”
“Beg pardon?”
“The beauty at the Castlereaghs.”
Vice choked. “That was Helena!”
“What? I mean, ah, of course. I was only teasing. My, aren’t we on edge.”
“You would be, too, if people were referring to your unmanageable baby sister as a beauty. Christ. For the safety of the world and my own sanity, she should probably go and live in a nunnery atop the Pyrenees until she is at least in her dotage.”
“Bah,” said Mairi, shaking her head. “What a hypocrite you are. Hellion was a high-spirited girl, but never silly. I doubt she has become a henwit who would surrender her virginity to a penniless rake just because he smiled at her.”
“And what a master you are at attempting to change the topic of conversation. Again, I ask, what are you really doing here?”
She glared at him, her eyes blue infernos. “What woman would turn down an invitation to see the most handsome man she’s ever known in his own luxurious home, to forget for a few hours that she is naught but a worthless servant with so many dreams unmet?”
Shocked, Vice searched her face for signs of guile. But for once, she held his gaze unflinchingly. “No,” he said softly. “No. Not a worthless servant. Never, ever that. In fact, a brave and beautiful Highland warrior.”
Mairi’s eyes glistened, and without thinking, he cupped her face. She tensed, then with a shaky exhale, she turned into his touch and rubbed her cheek against his palm. The moment stretched to infinity, all the betrayals and mistakes and lost time raging a silent battle against a hope and a love that had never quite died. Dare he believe? Fuck, he wanted to. So badly. To forget Scotland, to forget the last decade, and publicly claim this woman for his own.

 

 

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To save her, he must ruin her.
Lord Sebastian St. John, dedicated bachelor and a co-owner of Fallen, the most scandalous pleasure club in London, is known as Sin for good reason. Orphaned by a shocking accident, Sin long ago vowed a life of solitude and decadence. Yet when Lady Grace Carrington begs for his help destroying her reputation, Sin can’t turn the ton’s most proper lady away.
Obedient daughter, wife, and young widow, Grace has had enough of being controlled. After her father arranges a second loveless marriage to an eminently respectable ancient, Grace plans a fortnight of defiance and self-ruination to stop the wedding. But as Grace enters the heady, risky world of an affair with Sin, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him—and she soon realizes two weeks won’t be nearly enough.
Disinherited by his parents and estranged from his wife, Fallen pleasure club co-owner Lord Grayson ‘Devil’ Deveraux long ago learned to place his trust in ledgers rather than people. But his ice-cold reserve hides the scandalous truth: he’s a man who craves pain with his pleasure, and a loving lady to instruct him.
Banished to the country when her whirlwind marriage collapsed, Lady Eliza Deveraux never knew why Grayson fell out of love with her: she’d tried so damned hard to quell her fiery self and be a proper, obedient wife. But when Eliza is forced to return to London and back into Grayson’s intoxicating world, banked passions reignite. Can a marriage built on secrets and pretense truly get a second chance?

NICOLA DAVIDSON worked for many years in communications and marketing as well as television and print journalism, but hasn’t looked back since she decided writing wicked historical romance was infinitely more fun. When not chained to a computer she can be found ambling along one of New Zealand’s beautiful beaches, cheering on the champion All Blacks rugby team, history geeking on the internet, or daydreaming. If this includes chocolate—even better!

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Release Tour & Giveaway – Words and Dreams – Laura Strickland

 

 

WORDS AND DREAMS

Sequel to Forged by Love (Book 2 of the Lobster Cove series)
by Laura Strickland
Genre: Historical Romance
Dorothea Sinclair has left her small home town in Maine and come to Boston to begin a career as a newspaper reporter. But so far her job on the Guardian has proved disappointing. More skivvy than reporter, she’s even been subjected to a humiliating proposition from the chief editor’s son. She needs a break but never expects it might come from a chance meeting with an Irish ruffian.
There’s a great deal of injustice in Boston, and O’Hare, embroiled in his fight for equality on behalf of Boston’s Irish, is well aware of it. When he rescues Dorothea’s hat on the waterfront, he’s surprised to learn she’s a reporter. And when she offers him the opportunity to state his case in the Guardian, what can he do but accept? It’s the perfect chance to put his dreams into his own words—and the only sure way to see her again. 

He sported a long, leather coat, well-scuffed and worn open to show a pair of rough trousers and a workman’s shirt, unbuttoned at the throat.
Nothing wrong in that. Dorothea’s own father was a worker, if a skilled one—the blacksmith back home. This man had no blacksmith’s build. Instead he looked light on his feet, square-shouldered and graceful as quicksilver. Brash confidence rolled off him in waves.
As she stood staring across the road in consternation, he held up her hat and grinned before casting a look both ways and jogging over to her side.
He brought a presence with him that backed Dorothea up a step or two. She might credit it to the set of those fine shoulders or the grin that still occupied his face or the swagger he displayed that made the most of his height which, surely, didn’t top six feet.
He reached her, spent an instant examining her closely and presented her hat with a sweeping bow worthy of a practiced thespian.
“Lovely miss, I’m thinking this belongs to you.”
“Yes. Yes it does, thank you.”
Dorothea reached for the hat but, like the rascal he undoubtedly was, he kept it from her grasp, pretending to examine it closely. He brushed off a bit of grit from the brim and fingered the now-tattered veil.
“A mite worse for its adventure, but no doubt you can mend it, women having a certain magical talent for such things.”
Again, Dorothea reached for her hat; again he kept it from her only to take a step closer and set it on her head.
“There you go, beautiful lady. You will be sure and hold on to it more closely next time.”
Dorothea, assaulted by the full force of his masculinity, said nothing though she reached up one hand and clamped the hat to her head. She looked into his face and all the breath fled her lungs.
He wore no hat and had a head full of copper curls well-tossed by the wind. His face screamed Ireland with a broad forehead and slightly-squared jaw all sprinkled with freckles visible even beneath his worker’s tan. His eyes—but no. Dorothea met them once before her gaze skittered away much as the hat had, only to return again on a rush of fascination.
Tawny gold as those of a tom cat, his eyes held a world of emotions: amusement first of all, that flaming confidence, an uncanny wisdom and a hint of daring. Dorothea responded to the last first—seldom did she fail to accept a dare. 

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When the trawler White Gull was lost in a storm off the coast of Lobster Cove, Lisbeth O’Shea’s husband, Declan, was lost along with it. At least that’s what Lisbeth believes until, a year later, she hears Declan’s voice in the night and sees him haunting the shore near their tiny cottage. Then she wonders… Has grief affected her mind? Or is someone playing a cruel trick?
Town blacksmith Rab Sinclair has loved Lisbeth ever since he arrived in Lobster Cove. Lisbeth has never had eyes for anyone other than the charming, feckless Declan O’Shea, but Rab knows Declan was not faithful to Lisbeth. How can he convince the grieving widow she’s pinned her heart on the wrong man? And when dangerous secrets come to light, how can Rab protect the woman who means more to him than his own life?
Newly returned home to Lobster Cove from the War Between the States, blacksmith Douglas Grier can’t forget the horrors he’s witnessed or the beautiful young woman he helped break free from her shackles one dark night after her master’s plantation burned. He wishes he had at least asked her name, even though she and her family disappeared into the darkness and Douglas has no expectation of seeing her again.
Josie Freeman can’t remember the last time she felt safe. Even though she and her family are freed, they’re being pursued by slave hunters hired by their former owner. When their ship is damaged on the way to Nova Scotia, Josie is thrown into contact with the one man she never expected…the very man she had wanted to see. But will her past catch up with her before Douglas can free her heart?
Award-winning author Laura Strickland, born and raised in Western New York, has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. She has made pilgrimages to both Newfoundland and Scotland in the company of her daughter, but is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario, with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Author of Scottish romances Devil Black, His Wicked Highland Ways, Honor Bound: A Highland Adventure and The Hiring Fair as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy consisting of Daughter of Sherwood, Champion of Sherwood and Lord of Sherwood, she has also published three Steampunk romances, Dead Handsome: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure, Off Kilter: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure and Sheer Madness: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure as well as two Christmas novellas: The Tenth Suitor and Mrs. Claus and the Viking Ship, and a Valentine’s novella: Ask me. Her Lobster Cove Historical Romances include The White Gull and the novella, Forged By Love, which won first place in the International Digital Awards. Her latest release, Words and Dreams, is the sequel to Forged By Love.
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Promo Boost – Liberty – Kim Iverson Headlee

LIBERTY

by Kim Iverson Headlee


Genre: Historical Romance (ancient Rome)
How hard would you fight for a chance at impossible love?
“Epic.” ~ Drue’s Random Chatter Reviews.

From the critically acclaimed, award-winning pen of Kim Iverson Headlee comes the thrilling, poignant tale of love across a vast social divide.

WINNER, 2015 BooksGoSocial Best Book.

Betrayed by her father and sold as payment of a Roman tax debt to fight in Londinium’s arena, gladiatrix-slave Rhyddes feels like a wild beast in a gilded cage. Celtic warrior blood flows in her veins, but Roman masters own her body. She clings to her vow that no man shall claim her soul, though Marcus Calpurnius Aquila, son of the Roman governor, makes her yearn for a love she believes impossible.
Groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps and trapped in a politically advantageous betrothal, Aquila prefers the purity of combat on the amphitheater sands to the sinister intrigues of imperial politics, and the raw power and athletic grace of the flame-haired Libertas to the adoring deference of Rome’s noblewomen.
When a plot to overthrow Caesar ensnares them as pawns in the dark design, Aquila must choose between the Celtic slave who has won his heart and the empire to which they both owe allegiance. Trusting no man and knowing the opposite of obedience is death, the only liberty offered to any slave, Rhyddes must embrace her arena name, Libertas—and the love of a man willing to sacrifice everything to forge a future with her.
Too bad the man couldn’t work out the knots in Marcus’s relationship with his father, Sextus Calpurnius Agricola, governor of Britannia province.
Citing “official business” yet again, Agricola had declined to witness Marcus’s gladiatorial bout in Londinium’s amphitheater this afternoon. His opponent had fought well, causing Marcus in his scanty armor to work up a sweat that, judging by the reverberating high-pitched cheers, had all the women swooning with delight.
Never mind that Marcus, who fought under his cognomen, Aquila, the Eagle, remained a perennial favorite with the crowd. Agricola never missed an opportunity to point out that his arena exhibitions—and the resulting private liaisons with adoring female spectators—flirted with the precipice of social acceptability and could damage Marcus’s political aspirations.


🌟Special ebook discount March 3-7…pick up your copy for only 99cents on all sites🌟


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Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight first edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.

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Promo Tour & Giveaway – My Highland Husband – Nancy Pennick

MY HIGHLANDER HUSBAND

The Clan MacLaren series, book 1

by Nancy Pennick

Genre: Historical Romance

Lady Juliet Kingston did not expect to find love in the Scottish Highlands. Sent by the king to marry a laird’s son, she had no expectations until she met the strong and stubborn Ross MacLaren. He won her heart, erasing her feelings for the man she left behind. Her happiness is short-lived as the threat of war becomes real, and she is reclaimed by her former love.

EXCERPT #1

“In two days, we will be wed.” He took her hand. “Do ye think ye may come to love me?”

Love? No one had ever spoken so directly to her. “Um.” She sank her teeth into her bottom lip. “I just met you.”

“Aye, I ken.” He placed his hand around the back of her neck. “And so, I ask permission to kiss ye.”

“Kiss me?” Juliet’s mouth went dry. She wished she still had the glass of sweet wine in her hand. You are going to marry him. You have kissed John. You know what it is like. “Yes, you may.”

He leaned in closer. The other hand went around her waist, bringing her to him. She felt his breath on her cheek, and the scent of ale was pleasant. His lips touched her face so lightly she jumped.

“I willna hurt ye,” he whispered.

Juliet’s heart fluttered as she looked into his eyes. Green pools of summer, ones she could dive into and never come out. She nodded and placed her hand on his chest, feeling the hard muscle beneath the coat. She opened her mouth slightly to tell him she was all right, but instead found his lips on hers.

Ross tightened his grip on her, pulling her so close she fought for breath, yet she did not want him to stop. His lips felt soft against hers as he pushed her mouth open wider. She felt the tip of his tongue on hers. John had never kissed her like that. John!

Juliet pulled back, head spinning. Ross did not let go, still holding her close. He rested his chin on the top of her head, nuzzling her hair. “Ye taste of summer and honey.”

“I think you should give credit to the wine.” Juliet tried to laugh but could only think of the kiss. She wanted another.

“I will take ye to yer room.” Ross offered his arm. “Because if I dinna, we may have to marry tonight.

EXCERPT #2

“I feel so guilty, Eva.” Juliet looked up with tears in her eyes. “I am betraying him and our love.”

“No, you are not. John is in England. You are here, betrothed to another. I understand you love John, but you must forget him.” Eva put the finishing touches on Juliet’s hair for the wedding ceremony.

“No, you do not understand,” Juliet wailed. “I feel guilty that I could betray him so easily. I think I could fall in love with Ross. If that is true, was I ever really in love with John?” She covered her face. “I am a horrible, shallow person.”

Eva pulled Juliet’s hands away from her face. “You are kind and loving, Juliet. You would not hurt a flea.” She patted the hand she held. “Maybe Ross was meant to be. He is quite handsome if I may say so.”

“It is not just his looks. He is kind and gentle. He has made sure I have not been alone for the last two days. He spent most of that time with me, showing me the land, introducing me to the people and talking about his life.”

“That is an extraordinary man.” Eva pulled the wedding dress from the wardrobe. “You are lucky.”

“And John? What do I do about him?”

“Be grateful for the time you spent with him. He is part of your past. Ross is your future.”

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After a great career in teaching, Nancy found a second calling as a writer. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, she currently resides in Mentor, OH. Ohio is her home, but she loves to travel the U.S. Now Scotland is on her bucket list as a place she’d like to visit. Nancy is married and has one son.

 

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Pre-Order Tour & Giveaway – Naughty Novellas – Various Authors

NAUGHTY NOVELLAS

Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, Fairytale, Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Shape-shifter, Threesome

Seven Sensuous Romance including BDSM, Contemporary, Fairytale, Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Shape-shifter, and Threesome by bestselling authors

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By day, Belle Scarlett is a mild-mannered story consultant, film producer, and award-winning screenwriter in Lost Angeles. By night, she assumes her super-secret identity as Belle Scarlett, author of futuristic and paranormal romances with a high sizzle factor. Belle is also a proud member of The Naughty Literati – romance authors who publish boxed sets of their hot stories several time a year.

Aiding Belle in her quest for kick-ass, magical romance and out-of-this-world, passionate-ever-afters are her trusty sidekicks, Tall-Alpha-Blue-Eyed Boyfriend, upon whom her heroes are based, and Evil Feral Cat, upon whom her villains are based.

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Colorado: The new frontier. This is the voyage of Nicole Austin. It’s been a lifelong mission. To explore awe-inspiring vistas. To get out of the rut, seek new experiences. To boldly go where she’s dreamed of being.

And she’s not taking this crazy journey alone. With some arm-twisting, kicking and screaming, she stuffed her best friend and co-author in the trunk of her muscle car, traded tropical beaches for snowcapped mountains and headed off into the great unknown.

A passion for erotic romance, along with the voices in her head that refuse to be silenced, have led to the creation of provocative stories that push boundaries and release inhibitions, resulting in extreme reader satisfaction. Scandalous!

Now she lives in an incredible world where fantasy comes to life in bold, vivid detail. Well, until real life intrudes, but Nicole fights a valiant battle to keep reality moments at a minimum and hold on to the dream.

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Tina Donahue is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels (Freeing the Beast, Come and Get Your Love, and Wicked Takeover) were Readers’ Choice Award winners. Another three (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger, her erotic contemporary romance, was chosen Book of the Year at the French review site Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for her erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights. Two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

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Berengaria Brown is an award-winning, best-selling, multi-published author of erotic romance with over one hundred published digital, print and audio books. She writes contemporary, paranormal (magic, ghosts, vampires, fairies, dragons, and werewolves), futuristic, medieval, and Regency-set historical. She loves to read all different kinds of romance so that is what she writes: MMF, MFM, FMMM, FFM, MM, FF, and MF. Whatever the characters need for their very hot happily-ever-after, Berengaria makes sure they get it.

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Katherine Kingston is the author of a dozen or so novels and novellas, most of which are currently out of print but re-edited and re-released now. Currently the first three of her Suburban Dominants series are available at most ebook retailers. She’s also a member of The Naughty Literati and has had a story in all of their anthologies so far. Kate writes in a number of genres including contemporary BDSM, historical, paranormal, and fantasy.

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Kathy Kulig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist of erotic contemporary and paranormal romance. She’s a science geek by day and escapes into her writer’s world at night. Known for writing dark and edgy stories, Kathy’s books are passionate, emotionally-charged and always have a happy ending. She began her writing career in journalism, publishing articles in magazines and newspapers. Now she lives in a fantasy world making up sexy stories to entice her readers.

When she’s not writing, she loves to work out, travel, read stacks of books, watch movies and have dinners out with her darling husband. She lives in Pennsylvania in a 100 year-old Victorian house with a garage built out of reject tombstones.

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Promo Tour & Giveaway – Knights in Time – Chris Karlsen

KNIGHTS IN TIME

by Chris Karlsen

Genre: Historical Romance with time travel element
Best-selling series, together for the first time in a boxed set.
Three friends…warrior knights, One battle will change their lives, Love will change their worlds.
HEROES LIVE FOREVER
Elinor Hawthorne has inherited a house haunted by two medieval knights, Basil Manneville and Guy Guiscard. Basil is literally the knight of her dreams. She never expected to “meet” a ghost face to face let alone fall in love with one. Living the normal life together that they’d want is impossible unless fate intervenes.
A lifetime later fate does intervene. Basil, still in love with Elinor, is told her spirit lives on in a young woman. He is given another chance at life to find her. 

“Did you see a ghost or not?” Elinor asked.
“I don’t know,” Lucy said at last and glanced around the room again. “I’m not sure what I saw.”
A gust of wind ruffled the sheer curtain behind Lucy, the hem brushing her elbow. She screamed and bolted past Elinor, down the stairs.
“It’s only the breeze,” Elinor called after her, but Lucy continued her dash for the kitchen.
Unafraid, Elinor walked around the bedroom. She dragged her hands over the newly plastered walls as she circled the room. It had needed a brighter and fresher look. The paint and repair work on the house was one of the first things she did after inheriting the manor.
Elinor checked the bathroom and second bedroom. Like her bedroom, everything seemed normal. At the top of the stairs, goose bumps suddenly dotted her skin and the hair on her arms stood on end. Weird. She glanced back, but didn’t see anything strange, or more to the point, Lucy’s ghost. She shrugged and continued down.

JOURNEY IN TIME

The budding romance between London attorney, Shakira Constantine, and her client, Alex Lancaster is put to the test when the couple finds themselves torn through time back to the medieval world. It’s a world Alex has a strong connection to, a connection that will cost him his life unless they can find a way to return to this time. Without him, Shakira is condemned to live in a dangerous medieval world alone.
Together they’ll struggle to discover a way back to the modern world while dealing with the political and social intrigues of 14th Century England. The intrigues of that world all too often work against their efforts to get home. 

She had to be on the grounds. She wouldn’t venture far. He walked the corridors stopping anyone who might’ve seen her. He questioned the kitchen servants. None that day served her meals. No one had seen her since the previous night’s banquet.
Alex returned to their chamber afraid something terrible happened. Worse, he had no idea who else to ask. A chill breeze blew through the window and whipped at this cloak. Shakira wouldn’t leave the window open in this weather. Wherever she disappeared to, she left in a hurry. He noticed her clothing trunk missing. She didn’t disappear on her own. Someone knew what happened. He rushed from the room determined to get the answer.
KNIGHT BLINDNESS
Stephen Palmer, a wounded medieval knight finds himself torn through time from the battlefield to the modern and alien world. Seriously injured, he now must make his way in a world he has no context for and no knowledge about.
Esme Crippen is hired as his tutor. Love is something he does understand and as the two fall into love, they both must overcome the fact the world thinks him mad with his time-travel talk, including Esme.
“What day is this?”
“September 22,” the woman said, taking the empty cup.
Three days had passed since the battle. Why had they let him live? There could be no good reason for it.
“This is Dr. Berger. Do you remember me speaking to you two days ago about your eye surgery?”
“Yes.”
“Dr. Monette is here too. We want to talk to you about the day they found you. The more we know about you, the more we can help.”
“Who is the woman?” She didn’t sound like the first woman, the one who smelled like a garden. This one carried no scent of any flower. Nor did she sound young as the bawd. What was this one’s purpose? The first, he suspected, had created the potion that put him to sleep. He knew a bawd’s.
“She is Nurse Cloutier.”
Probably Witch Cloutier. “Ask what you will.”
“What is your name?”
“Stephen Palmer.”
“What’s the last thing you remember before receiving your injury?”
“I am a knight in service to the Baron Guiscard. He rode to the aid of his friend. I saw your men surround the baron. They were trying to pull him from his mount. I was about to ride to his aid when one of your knights, his heraldic symbol was of a panther on a field of orange, challenged me.” Stephen thought again how Guy’s warning had made him falter. “I…I hesitated and your man struck with his sword.”
“Monsieur Palmer, your eye injury is serious. If this answer is an attempt at humor, then it is a poor time to engage in such a jest.”
“You asked what I remembered. I told you. I’m not in the habit of making jests with my enemies.”
“Monsieur Palmer, we are not your enemy. We are not at war.” A long moment passed and then Berger asked, “What year do you believe it to be?”
“The year of our Lord, 1356.”
“Mon Dieu,” Cloutier said in the background.
“From what the paramedics told us you said when they arrived, and your answer today, I am convinced that you do believe this is 1356. Monsieur Palmer,” Berger covered Stephen’s hand with his own. “The year is 2013.”
Chris Karlsen is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love of hisotry and books.
An internationally published author, Chris has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa satisfying her need to visit the places she read about. Having spent a great deal of time in England and Turkey, she has used her love of both places as settings for her books. “Heroes Live Forever,” which is her debut book, is set in England as is the sequel, “Journey in Time,” the third is “Knight Blindness.” They are part of her Knights in Time series. All three are available as a boxed set on Kindle. She is currently working on the fourth in the “Knights in Time,” series. “Golden Chariot,” is set in Turkey and the sequel, “Byzantine Gold” is set Turkey, Paris and Cyprus. They are part of her Dangerous Waters series.
Her most recent release is called, “Silk” and is book one of a new series, The Bloodstone Series. It is a suspense set in Victorian London.
Published by Books to Go Now, her novels are available in digital, ebook, and Android App. and in paperback. “Heroes Live Forever” is also in audio format.
A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris and Los Angeles and now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four rescue dogs. A city girl all her life, living in a small village on a bay was a interesting adjustment. She’d never lived anywhere so quiet at night and traffic wasn’t bumper to bumper 24/7.
Some of Chris’s favorite authors are: Michael Connolly, John Sandford, Joseph Wambaugh, Stephen Coonts, Bernard Cornwell, Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, Deanna Raybourne and Steve Berry.
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Release Tour & Giveaway – Dealing With the Viscount – Clair Brett

DEALING WITH THE VISCOUNT
Improper Wives for Proper Lords (Book 1)
by Clair Brett
Genre: Regency Historical Romance 

Does she dare gamble on the one man who wants her to go all in, or risk losing her most important hand yet?

After making a wager of marriage to settle her father’s gambling debts, Ella Bowen-Thorn Renwick escaped the husband she foolishly began to fall for and disappeared into the Scottish countryside carrying a secret. Four years later, and the owner of her own bakery, she is still not free of the demands of men when a violent and anonymous blackmailer threatens her, her livelihood… and her daughter. And then, there is him…
Viscount Renwick still mourns the wife he began to love before her untimely death– that is, until he discovers her alive and well living in Scotland. Now, Devon’s face to face with the wife he thought he’d buried and the daughter he never knew existed. He’d like nothing more than to welcome Ella back into his arms, but mysterious and troubling incidents and a history with an unloving father have Ella trusting no one.
Now he’ll do anything, even make a wager he isn’t sure he can win, to reclaim what he lost.

But, if Renwick convinces his wife he’s the husband she always dreamed of and the father their daughter deserves, will the scandalous secret the blackmailer is holding threaten their future together once more?

 

“You like being a baker?” He asked with genuine curiosity and surprise.
“Well, the hours are atrocious, but do I like making my own way? The answer is yes. I make the decisions and there is no one to tell me what I am doing is wrong. It is a good feeling.”
“You know, it is possible to depend on someone and not be frightened they would ridicule you.”
She turned then and looked up at him. Was he saying he would never ridicule her? “I think it is human nature for a man to always question a woman’s decision.” They had made their way to the folly which she hadn’t realized was overgrown with vines affording its occupants with complete privacy. He was calculating, she would give him that.
“Two people can have differing views on a topic without ridicule. I have seen it.” He helped her sit on the bench, then propped his booted foot on the seat next to her and rested his arm on his raised knee leaning down to face her. “If the two people see each other as equals it can work. Just like two business partners.”
“Do you truly feel that marriage is a business venture?” She asked all innocent. She gave him her best card face hoping not to give away the importance of his answer. He studied her face. She knew he guessed his answer couldn’t be so simple as a yes, or no. After several moments he attempted to answer.
“Well, I think that anytime two individuals are joined in a common goal, that yes they must treat each other as a partner. I daresay the benefits far outweigh most business ventures. Unfortunately, I can’t answer past that, because I have never spent much time considering what a marriage would entail, until now. I am terribly out of my element here. You lived in a home with both parents for some time what say you?” He had answered her question in such a way that he didn’t answer it at all. Blast!
Birds chirped as they jumped among the vines of their haven. The air seemed heavy and warm. More like a summer day than spring. He waited. She knew she couldn’t answer him using her own parents, because she would never want what they had. She would not accept anything but a love match. Instead she spoke of the one example she had. The baker and his wife who took her in when she needed it most.
“I do know something of how a true marriage can work. It was not a Ton marriage. The two people were a team as you said. They worked together every day listening to each other, but it was more than that. You couldn’t see it or even explain it, but it was how they looked at each other. How they spoke to one another even when they were disagreeing. I think it was very rare, and possibly unattainable.”
He shifted and turned to walk to the other side of the gazebo leaving a cool breeze in his wake, making her shiver.
“You are talking of a love match?” he asked with his back turned to her. She couldn’t read anything in his words.

 

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Dragon keeper and historical romance author, Clair Brett lives in NH with her hard working husband, and two teenaged daughters. Her office staff during the day consists of Cinta, a black cat and the matriarch of the fur babies, Mojo, a yellow kitten who spends his day holding Clair down in her seat to get her word count in, a boxer/beagle mix puppy named Willow, who sleeps next to her chair to make it hard to do an Oreo run without doing a pee run as well, a hermit crab who keeps to himself, and a bearded dragon, who is kind of upper management.

A former middle and high school English teacher, Clair has had a lifetime love affair with reading. Once she read Pride and Prejudice as an extra read in high school, she was hooked. Clair began pursuit of publication when she was a new mother in need of a hobby. Her oldest daughter will be graduating in 2017, so you do the math. Clair is a firm believer that a reader finds a piece of who they are or learns something about the world with every book they read. She wants her readers to be empowered and to have a refreshed belief in the goodness of people and the power of love after reading her work.

 

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Promo Tour – The Order of the Crimson Lotus – Suzanne Quill

THE ORDER OF THE CRIMSON LOTUS

series
by Suzanne Quill

Genre: Historical Romance
If Love Were Enough
Priscilla Brunell, Marchioness of Rutherford, is in desperate need of a son and heir. Her seventy-year-old husband of ten years has died leaving her a virgin and the protectress of his estates. If she can’t produce a son in the next nine months, the current heir, Damon, will succeed in ruining the family fortunes in a matter of a few years due to his gaming and womanizing. Dare she ignore her morals and pass another man’s child off as her husband’s? Can she do so without losing her heart?
Soon to be the Viscount Brookfield, Brandon Bradley arrives at a house party at the insistence of his dying father. In all rights, he should be home marrying Estella and begetting his heir. Estella is certainly pleasant and attractive, but in all their years of friendship he has never felt anything but a cold distance from her. Then he meets Lady Rutherford. Not only can she help him through his grief, he is immediately attracted to her. Can he let down his father and Estella merely for his own benefit? Can he break the pattern of society and marry for love?

Priscilla thought of her last moments with Robert, how he held her hand so weakly, his hand frail and dry clasping hers. He had looked into her eyes, but the twinkle had dulled in his. Still, his earnestness, his caring, had been apparent.
He counseled her to find another and to marry once again. But he begged her not to be dictated to by Society. She would have money from his estate. She should look for a man to love her not her fortune. Look for someone who could gratify her in all the ways his old, arthritic and impotent body failed to do. She should find someone who would teach her the full meaning of marriage and the conjugal relations that could be shared within its bounds. She should seek gratification that could be given by another.
Tears ran down her cheeks again, and she dabbed at them as she tried to regain her composure. She turned her face away again using the brim of her bonnet to hide the image of her grief.
She was afraid and intimidated by such thoughts. Of course, she knew what should happen in bed between a man and a woman. But that never happened with Robert because of his maladies. After waiting so long, she feared she would not be able to release herself to someone else’s care and tenderness, no less return the same intimacy with him.
Robert asked too much of her, considering he could never demonstrate what she should expect to give or have returned.
But she had smiled and reassured him amidst her tears. She agreed she would try. If it never occurred, it would not be her fault, nor would it be a promise broken since it was predicated on deep feelings that would never exist.
But she would have a man bed her in hopes of an heir. And, if she could manage it and get over this incessant crying, she would like to make it this handsome stranger who had some of Robert’s younger features and seemed so much kinder than she could have ever hoped.
Her companion shifted next to her. A shiver ascended her spine once again. She was sitting too close if she could sense him so easily.
And she could breathe the scent of him.
This man did not smell of ointments and age. He smelled of sandalwood, leather, and something indefinably male. She knew too little of the world in general and men in particular to be comfortable in his company.
But he did quirk her interest. And he could solve her problem. He could unknowingly gift her with a son.
Knowing what an old man felt like beneath her hands, what would this Corinthian, with his muscles and strength, feel like when her fingertips slid over his skin?
She felt heat pool in her belly as her thoughts meandered to the intimacies she could share with him.
And he, being a rake of the first water, would know what to do with a lady, to her, to deliver on the promises whispered between them before the mating.
Only You
Denied the right to marry his beloved Jessica due to his depleted estate, Jonathan Stratton, the Earl of Sheffield, travels the world in search of his fortune. Not only does he gain wealth, he learns the ancient Tantric sexual teachings of the Order of the Crimson Lotus. Returning after a five-year voyage, which was only supposed to take three, he finds Jessica more beautiful and desirous than when he left and married another.
Heiress Jessica Esterly, Lady Wickham, is beside herself. Not only was she forced to marry a man she did not love, she discovers him to be a debauched, avaricious rake of the first water. To make matters worse, she’s having nefarious nightmares and hauntings that are threatening to drive her mad.
Then Jonathan returns, handsome, wealthy, and ready to love her and share the ancient Tantric mysteries of the Order of the Crimson Lotus.
How is she to tell Jonathan of her impending madness? How is she to tell him her husband will kill her rather than give up any of the funds her inheritance provides?

 

“No, no, that’s not all of it!” She jerked away from him. “There’s more, you see. You’ll not want me after you know but I must tell you. I am . . . I’m losing my mind. I’m going quite mad. I know I am. The sounds, the visions . . .” Jessica collapsed against his shoulder and sobbed once again.
“Mad, Jessica? What are you talking about? There’s no one in your family who has ever gone mad, no such tendency. Whatever would make you think you’re going mad?” Jonathan nudged her gently away so he could scan her tear-stained face. Tears were still coursing down her cheeks.
“Truly, Jonathan, I’m not making this up. I wake in the middle of the night for no reason at all. Then I hear sounds, awful sounds.” Jessica’s voice cracked with anguish.
“Tell me about the sounds, my heart, I’m listening.” He cleared his mind of all other thoughts as he held her gently to his chest, his only concern now her current state of safety and well-being.
“Moans and groans and chains. They start softly at first. I can barely hear them when they start. They sound so far away.” Jessica’s eyes glazed as she seemed to go into a trance. Then she came back to herself abruptly. “They get louder and closer. Soon they’re right inside my room. And then it comes. I know not what it is.”
“You see something, my heart? Something appears to you?” he inquired with care.
“Yes, yes. It’s white, I think, and not quite there. It seems to float. It groans and moans. Sometimes I think it calls my name. Sometimes it reaches out to me.” Her voice was still strained, her face downcast.
“Who have you told about this? Who else has seen or heard the vision?”
“No one else that I know of. I told Martin. He told me I was dreaming, having a nightmare. He says they can recur when a conscience is not clear. That there has never been a ghost in the house before. He suggested I might grasp a little tighter on to reality,” she said forlornly.
“I see,” Jonathan said, his mind reviewing all she had said. “It’s all right, my heart, maybe it was a bad dream. Maybe it’s not. Promise me you’ll let me know the next time it happens.”
“I never know when it will happen, Jonathan. It just does.”
“I know, Jessica, but I’m here now, you don’t have to go through this, or anything else, alone. Promise me. Promise that you’ll come to me or send a message the next time it occurs. Maybe I’ll see it, too, or maybe I’ll be able to figure out what it is.”
“Yes, Jonathan, I’ll let you know. It would be a relief to share my nightmare with someone. It would be even better if I could make it go away. I promise, I’ll let you know.” She dropped her head against his shoulder. She was so tired, tired of being scared, tired of crying, tired of being alone and lonely.
An Improper Seduction
Geoffrey Chisholm doesn’t want to be the head of a family, no less a marquess. But, his life radically alters when a cousin dies. At five and thirty, he must manage estates, marry, and provide an heir. A difficult chore considering how jaded he has become with affairs in the ton. He refuses to leg-shackle himself to just any woman; she must be one for whom he has some feelings.
Most women live to marry or must do so for family or finances. Angeline Hartley, her father’s estates unentailed, has no requirement to wed. Two years past her thirtieth year, she is on the shelf, her life contentedly complete. After the Marriage Mart and encounters with local gentlemen, she has vowed to remain unattached. After all, men do it when they have no need of a wife.
But Geoffrey meets Angeline and entices her to sample the intimacies of lovemaking. The coupling is explosive and now two strong-willed individuals must decide if they will give up personal stubbornness to make a bond for a lifetime.

 

“Lady Angeline,” Geoffrey began, “I will be off shortly.” He would for sure if he didn’t get his rampant sex away from her immediately. “I thought it best to come to say goodbye. And, before I take my leave, I thought I should tell you your father has given me leave to court you.”
Angeline turned upon her heel, her eyes blazing, the seafoam depths now a raging sea, wrath plain upon her angelic face. “I think not, my lord. I have no desire for your attentions,” she said with scorn. “You shall only be wasting my time and yours in such a fruitless endeavor. Leave me be. I do not wish to be the center of your marital goals. Surely there is some other woman who would be easier met to satisfy your needs.”
“There is no one else I wish to assuage my needs, my lady,” Geoffrey assured her as his rod twitched within his trousers. “And to attain your interests ours will not be a proper English courting.”
Throwing caution to the wind and taking the bold path, Geoffrey lowered his voiced and asked, “Tell me, my lady, have you ever felt the pleasures of a man? Have you ever swelled under the feelings of desire?”
The heat and color rose to Angeline’s face so quickly Geoffrey could not help but see it.
“That is none of your affair, sir. What I have or have not felt is no one’s business but my own. Your questions are most improper.”
Geoffrey moved a few steps closer, putting him less than a foot from her. He could easily reach out now to stroke her hair, her breasts, to raise her skirts from over her sensual derrière. “I thought not, based upon our little encounter this morning. My dear Angeline. . .”
“I gave you no leave to call me by my Christian name,” she spat out at him. “Please desist from these efforts and leave me be.”
Eyes still glaring, she refused to give him the satisfaction of backing off. She remained rooted in place before him, her cheeks an explosion of red color.
“Lady Angeline,” he went on, ignoring her reprimand, “let me be blunt. Do you truly wish to die a virgin? Do you have no thought to leave this plane having some knowledge of the secrets held between a man and a woman?” he quietly demanded. Only inches from her face, her lips, pink and full, enticed him to take them with his own.
***
Angeline was startled and appalled by his inquiry. “That is no business or concern to you, my lord.” But the heat was pooling in her abdomen.
What was it like to feel such things with a man?
“Ah, but it is, my lady, because I choose to be the one to teach you the pleasures between the sexes. You may never marry, me nor anyone else, but you shall not go to your grave pristine and untutored. You shall know the very meaning of passion and desire.”
His eyes were heavy-lidded and held a glint of knowledge she knew she wished to share. But she would not. Especially not with this. . .this. . .rake.
The Ravished Rose
Attractive, capable, intelligent, Elizabeth Mannings returns to London after two years on the Continent, looking forward to experiencing her first Season and finding a man to love and marry. Instead, she is brutally attacked, forcing her to flee London and abandon her hopes for the future.
Allan Ridgefield, Earl of Ridgecrest, no longer has a need for love, having had his heart crushed two days before his wedding when his childhood sweetheart fell from her horse and died. Ten years later, he desperately seeks a marriage of convenience in order to meet the terms of his father’s will and retain his estates and title.

“I know this is very awkward for you. It is for me, too. I, at least, had a momentary glimpse of you back in London. I knew you were attractive and from what I have heard, you have at least a degree of intelligence.”
A degree of intelligence, she thought to herself with disdain, his condescension raising her ire. Indeed! I’ve had the best education. I’ve read the classics, speak French and Italian fluently, and acceptable Spanish and Russian. I’ve even had some Latin. My logic is impeccable when I choose to use it. A degree of intelligence, indeed! She rallied to control her feelings before she erupted in his face.
Allan continued, “To you, however, I am an unknown quantity. You must be very intimidated by me, your new surroundings, and everything that has happened.”
Everything that had happened? Had her father told him the details? Did he know what she had actually been through?
“I hope this marriage of convenience will turn into a friendship, at least, over time. I will not force you to do anything you do not wish to do. Elizabeth, I will never force my attentions upon you. If at some point we both choose to, we may have greater intimacy, but for now I don’t think that is appropriate.”
Elizabeth stood as still as the post she clung to. Had she heard right? He would not bed her tonight? She did not have to tolerate his hands on her body, the intimacies she did not want?
“Elizabeth, did you hear me?”
She let out a quiet gasp of relief. “Yes, my lord.”
He started to go, then stopped and turned back to her. With great care, he laid his hands on the sides of her face, tilting it up.
Elizabeth stiffened once again.
“Look at me,” he said firmly but gently.
Her body trembled, her eyelashes fluttered as she reached for all of the strength she could to gaze up, to face the man she had married, her husband. When their eyes met, she was sure he could see the fear, distrust, the sense of danger that must reflect in her eyes.
She could see . . . What? His eyes were clear and blue. They held strength and coldness, but something more. She could see gentleness, like his voice. He could take her if he wished. He certainly had the size and strength to do it. But that did not show in his eyes, nor his touch. Both were gentle now. Tender to her.
His voice broke into her thoughts. “Elizabeth . . . may I kiss you good night?”
What should she say? What should she do? He was her husband. He had promised not to force his attentions. His hands strong and warm against her face, his eyes delved deeply into hers. “Yes, my lord,” she heard herself say, not knowing from where the answer came.
He bent over her to gently brush his lips on hers. Then he pressed his mouth to hers, firmly, tenderly.
Shivers coursed through her body, not missing a spot. His energy poured through her. The heat in her heart rose.
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Suzanne Quill, the nom-de-plume for Susan Dudics Dean, has been pursuing a fiction career for over fifteen years. With prior experience writing articles for interior design trade magazines and local newspapers she decided to find a more creative outlet for her vivid imagination. Inspired by romances from such icons as Amanda Quick, Diana Gabaldon and Mary Balogh, she chose historicals as her first genre. She is currently writing a sensuous series called The Order of the Crimson Lotus. The series includes: If Love Were Enough, Only You, An Improper Seduction, and The Ravished Rose. All are offered through Soul Mate Publishing and Amazon.com.
Currently a member of Romance Writers of America and the Washington Romance Writers Chapter, Suzanne lives in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. She is happily married, has a beautiful daughter, two inside cats and two outside cats. After years of running a successful interior design business that started in Southern California, relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and finally in the Greater Washington D.C. Area, she has finally retired to pursue her writing dreams full time.
Look for more in the Crimson Lotus series soon and contemporary romances under the name of Susan Dean in the near future.
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