Blog Tour : Counting on a Countess by Eva Leigh

For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy . . .

Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers . . . until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one monthto inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.

Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.

But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time.

About the Book

Counting on a Countess
by Eva Leigh

Series
The London Underground #2

Genre
Adult
Historical Romance

Publisher
Avon Books

Publication Date
March 27, 2018

Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks

My Review

 Rating : 3.5 out of 5 Stars

I’m a fan of Eva Leigh’s writing and have enjoyed every book of hers I have read. So I was really excited about this new book! The story began strong, Eva Leigh delivers some incredibly romantic scenes between Tamsyn and Kit. But just when I thought everything was perfect, I was disappointed when the heroine took a decision I could not understand, imparted harsh words then abruptly retreated. There should have been a major redemption through the story but it never really happened.

Kit Ellingsworth, Lord Blackmere is the third son of a Marquess and was granted an earldom in recognition of his service in the army. Kit is a rogue with a terrible reputation of gambler and libertine. He is named beneficiary of a will if he marries within a short period of time. He needs the money to make his plans for veteran soldiers come to fruition and he is willing to give up his dissolute ways to secure himself a wife and inherit the promised fortune. This character is an enigma of arrogance, gentleness and sweetness. He’s kind, thoughtful, protective and caring.

Tamsyn Pearce wants a terrible husband she can’t love. She is the descendant of old, penniless Cornish gentry, has few prospects and no dowry. Plus, she engages in illegal activities and wants her husband to keep his distance. She’s independent, strong-willed, and quirky, I loved her determination.

As it happens, Kit and Tamsyn suit each other’s needs perfectly, they see their marriage as a business arrangement, a means to an end. They get along well at first. Their arrangement is simple and yet so complicated, obviously. They definitely got more than they bargained for, there is some serious tension building between them. Kit didn’t account for the fact that Tamsyn would turn out to be the one woman who would stir up feelings within him that he hadn’t expected. Of course we all know where this story is going to go, the fun is in watching it happen, and these two definitely had an emotional rollercoaster!

There are parts of this romance that I really enjoyed, and the opportunity was there for something really amazing and incredibly romantic. And yet, Tamsyn definitely tested my patience towards the 70% mark and I really disliked her for what she put Kit through! Her attitude felt anticlimactic and she lacked empathy.

All in all, I enjoyed Eva Leigh’s writing, it’s clever, crisp and witty. But ultimately, this story didn’t completely work for me, and it definitely could have been better.

ARC generously provided by the publisher and Pure Textuality PR.

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Excerpt

I’m going to be married to this man? Mercy.

They pulled back in unison and her eyes flew open. His gaze was clouded with dazed pleasure and astonishment.

It seemed he’d also been shocked by the heat of their kiss and the speed of its intensity. He, a known rake and libertine, looked aroused by what surely had to be one of the chastest kisses he’d experienced in a long while.

Except it hadn’t been chaste. It had been brief, but their tongues lightly touching had been profoundly erotic, hinting at greater pleasure to come.

He cleared his throat. “That was . . . a welcome revelation.”

Her thoughts whirled while her body clamored for more. Hellfire—if this quick kiss had affected her so much, what would happen when they went to bed together? What if she liked it? What if she loved it, and her heart followed her body’s devotion?

Tamsyn was about to join with this man for the rest of her life. Aside from a few facts, she knew almost nothing about him. He was basically a stranger. Yet in three days, they would share a bed. They would share everything. According to the law, she would belong to him, and her own identity would dissolve.

Was this the right choice? She’d gotten what she wanted, but she couldn’t help the fear that poked its sharp fangs into her heart.

I have no idea what I’m getting myself into.

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of COUNTING ON A COUNTESS, we’re giving away three paperback copies of FROM DUKE TILL DAWN by Eva Leigh!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. Three winners will each receive a paperback copy of From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 4/6/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

About Eva Leigh

EVA LEIGH is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ‘80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.

Author Links

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This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.
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Blog Tour : Make Me Want by Katee Robert

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In MAKE ME WANT, Lucy a bold and confident lawyer seeks the help of her good friend Gideon to reawaken her passion in the bedroom. Fans of Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz or Expecting a Royal Scandal by Caitlin Crews will want to one-click this sizzling matchmaker romance.

Download and add MAKE ME WANT to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get a sneak peek excerpt and enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card!

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Title: Make Me Want
Author: Katee Robert
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 1, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Dare
Series: Make Me
Page Count: 159 pages
Format: Digital
ASIN: B071LSKSSG

“Dare is Harlequin’s hottest line yet. Every book should come with a free fan. I dare you to try them!”—Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author

Synopsis:

“I want everything.”

She’s taking control. And it’s driving him wild!

Lucy Baudin’s ex did a number on her self-esteem, but it’s time for her to regain control. In her job as a lawyer she’s bold, confident. But in the bedroom she needs inspiration to reawaken her inner seductress. Asking her friend Gideon Novak for help seems wrong…yet so deliciously right!

Available at:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/MakeMeWant

Amazon iBooks: http://bit.ly/MakeMeWantiBooks

Kobo: http://bit.ly/MakeMeWantKobo

B&N :http://bit.ly/MakeMeWantBN

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review

Rating : 3.5 out of 5 Stars

I enjoyed this book, it was a short and quick read. The writing was engaging and the chemistry between the main characters was undeniable. The characters are easy to relate to. Gideon is not an overbearing alpha. Beneath his controlled exterior, he is vulnerable, insecure even and his feelings for Lucy run deep. She needs his help and he never leaves a friend hanging. And yet, their arrangement is risky, he doesn’t want to jeopardize his friendship with her. Lucy is feisty and independent. She trusts Gideon but the ghost of her previous relationship is coloring her interactions with him.

Katee Robert sure does know how to turn up the heat, this story was very steamy in places. I loved how Lucy and Gideon respected each other and worked well together. Of course, this is the kind of short story where you know exactly what’s going to happen and admittedly, the plot was a bit thin. Still, all in all, this book was an enjoyable read in the new Harlequin collection.

 

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Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

“What the fuck, Lucy?”
“Hmm?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about.” He pulled her dress up, though he didn’t need the confirmation. “You come in here with that cock tease of a dress and you aren’t wearing panties.” Jealousy and desire twisted viciously through him. “Were you going to give Aaron a little show?”
“Oh, please. Give me a little credit.” She lifted her chin. “I’m proving a point. You, Gideon Novak, don’t get to make my decisions for me. I appreciate your help, but that’s where it ends.”
She didn’t want him.
He was good enough to fuck but not good enough to listen to.
He kept a white-knuckled grip on his temper because having a knock-down, drag-out fight here and now wasn’t an option for either of them. Not to mention the fact that he didn’t have a right to be pissed. She’d laid out the terms that first day and if he chose to ignore them, that was on him—not on Lucy.
It didn’t make how shitty this situation was any easier to swallow.
Gideon stepped back. “The table. Bend over it.”
Her eyebrows inched up. “You can’t be serious.”
“As a fucking heart attack. I told you what would happen if you showed up like that, and you were all too eager to pick up that gauntlet. Choices have consequences, Lucy. This is one of them.”
She backed toward the table. One step. Two. “The consequences being that you’ll spank my ass red and then fuck me right here.”
She wants it.
It didn’t soothe his temper. If anything, it ratcheted it up a notch. She might want it but she didn’t want him. “The table.”
Lucy turned and, prim as a princess, bent over the table. She seemed to consider and then lowered her chest further until the top half of her body was flush against the polished wood. The position left her ass in the air and had her skirt riding up so he could see how turned on she was by this.
“Which part is getting you?” He stood between her and the door and pushed her dress the last few inches to bare her completely. “The spanking, the defiance, or the fact that we’re in an unlocked room where anyone could walk in—including your fucking date?”
She tilted her ass up, just a little, an offer that made his mouth water. But it was her words that sealed her fate. “All of the above.”

About Katee Robert

KateeRobertNew York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.” When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram

Blog Tour : Darkest Night (Sons of Broad #1) by Tara Thomas

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In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVER
Tilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFE
Keaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women, the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…
When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?

Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2r1S2I7
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/darkest-night-tara-thomas/1126245242?ean=9781250138019
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/tara-thomas/id169649386

 My Review

Rating : 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Tara Thomas is a new-to-me author of romantic suspense. This author writes erotic romance under the pen name Tara Sue Mae, but I had never read her books. Her new series “Sons of Broad” is off to a great start with this first full-length installment. An emotional and heartwarming story of true love is deftly intertwined with a suspenseful storyline featuring murders of young women. The dark and chilling mystery hooked me and I enjoyed the charming romance between the main characters. That being said, the pacing of the story felt a bit off to me, jumping from high point to high point. The story is told in multiple point of views, and I was sometimes disoriented when the POV shift occurred.

Keaton Benedict and Tilly Brock shared a soul-deep connection, but their worlds were both shattered when Tilly, forced into a heartbreaking decision, unexpectedly leaved town. Tilly’s father lost everything and she was ashamed about the stigma on her family. Fast forward eight years, she is back. She has been working at a gentleman club to pay her way through college. The club has been the target of a serial killer and she lives in fear.

Keaton and Tilly’s reunion is heartwarming and bittersweet. It puts them both in danger but Keaton doesn’t care because he loves Tilly and will protect her at all costs. His warmth and strength comfort her. Keaton Benedict is endearing, gentle and determined, a perfectly likeable character. The romantic buildup was well done and sweet.

I really loved the mystery aspect of this book, it was intriguing and even scary at times because I wasn’t sure what to expect. The secondary characters add depth to the story. One of them, the Gentleman, stands out as a remarkably evil character, pivotal in the suspense. His aim is the end of the Benedict business empire but his motivations are still unclear.

While some things are answered, there are more questions left open for the next book, featuring the middle Benedict brother, Knox. Overall, despite a few quibbles, Darkest Night was a compelling read.

ARC generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.

Excerpt

Two scantily clad women strutted out onto the stage.

Keaton was too far away to see details. All he could make out were tiny bikini tops and even tinier thongs. Blondes. And pretty enough to make any red-blooded man fantasize about ripping the scraps of fabric off them. A movement to the side of the stage caught his eye. A server. He only saw her profile, but there was something about her.

He slid off the barstool to get a closer look.

“Hey, man,” Michael called after him. “Where are you going?”

Keaton didn’t reply.

“Where’s Benedict going?” he heard someone ask. “He’s interested in a dancer? Here?” someone else asked.

Keaton shook his head; it wasn’t a dancer that captured his attention. He wasn’t a stranger to the numerous clubs around the city that catered to wealthy men and their carnal needs. However, he’d never singled out any particular woman while at one. After all, he’d al- ways said, one half-naked woman was just as good as another. As made evident by the number of times his picture was in the society pages, but never with the same woman twice.

And yet, here he was, eyes fixed on the petite waitress at the side of the stage, currently trying to blend into the background and not take away from the duo on the stage. It was a horrible failure. He wasn’t sure why the management even felt the need to put anyone onstage with her working here. How could anyone look at those two with her in the room?

She moved with a grace that made the two blondes look like ducks swimming alongside a swan. She stretched out her hand to pass a glass to a man sitting on the far inside of a booth. Everyone in her vicinity turned to watch her lithe body.

“Drooling over a topless dancer?” Michael asked, coming up behind him. “I have to say, I’m a bit surprised. They look a bit rough.”

“Not a dancer,” Keaton let slip before he could stop himself.

Michael moved to stand beside him and followed his line of sight. His low whistle signaled he saw the woman in question. “Hot damn. Wait until a certain blonde hears about this. I’m sure Miss Elise Germain will love the fact that her intended is drooling over a half-naked barmaid.”

“Shut the fuck up.” Keaton didn’t shift his attention from the goddess taking drink orders. “I’m not engaged.” “Please,” Michael’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “You two have been promised to each since you were what? Fifteen?”

Keaton mumbled a curse under his breath, but right now, he couldn’t focus on anything other than the serving siren. It sounded so crazy, he couldn’t even verbalize it, but he thought he knew her from somewhere. Some- thing about the way she moved called to him. Pulled him forward for a better look.

He took another step toward her.

She was magnificent. And the way she moved continued to captivate the audience near her. Keaton’s eyes traveled over her body, taking in as many details as possible: her light brown skin, the curve of her hips, and the slope of her breasts covered by a tight cropped shirt. He knew they would be oh-so-soft to touch. His eyes drifted higher at the same time she turned her head his way and he froze.

Tilly.

He couldn’t breathe. It couldn’t be.

What was she doing in Charleston? The last he’d heard, her family had moved to Texas. Granted, they’d both been fourteen at the time, but he’d never forgot- ten the day he’d got home from school, walked into the eerily quiet kitchen, and discovered his life had changed forever.

Tilly always came over to his house after school to help him with his homework. Usually her mother would come over with her and gossip with his mom. But there was nothing that day. He’d looked out the back door to get a peek of their house and gasped. There were men all over the yard, carrying furniture.

He’d run back inside and up the stairs to his mother’s room and, with a stomach filled with dread, asked where Mama Ann and Tilly were. His mother arched a perfectly shaped eyebrow. She didn’t like that her children called their neighbor Mama Ann, but every- one called her that. It was just her personality. She was so kind and loving, the name came naturally.

“They’re moving to Texas,” she said, and his world shifted out of focus.

“Why?” he managed to croak out. Texas was so far away. It made no sense why they would move away from their family like that and so suddenly.

“It’s been discovered that Mr. Brock has been embezzling money from your father.”

“What?” He couldn’t believe it. Not Tilly’s dad. He was stealing from them? Something didn’t sound right. His mother gave him a sad smile. “I’m afraid he was caught red-handed. The Brock family’s basically ruined now. Best they move and try to start over.”

His parents had always joked that he and Tilly would get married one day. Everyone talked about it and he didn’t even care because Tilly was smart and pretty. The week before, he’d kissed her for the first time. Her lips had been soft and sweet, and he’d looked forward to kissing them over and over. How could he kiss her if she were in Texas?

“Your father’s going to promote Howard Germain.

Isn’t his daughter in your class, too?”

Elise. Tilly’s best friend. Or was. He felt sick. He mumbled a half-intelligible answer to his mom and ran down the stairs to the living room. He had to call Tilly. Had to talk to her, even if it was only to say good-bye. But their phone had already been disconnected and when he went to their house, the men moving all the furniture told him they’d already left.

Tilly Brock put on her best plastic smile and muttered a soft, “Excuse me, please,” to the man blocking her path to her customer. She recognized the move for what it was: an attempt to make her reach across him. Two more months. Two more months. She grit her teeth and made sure the men saw just enough of her cleavage as she handed the drink to the waiting customer.

“Thank you, darling,” he said, eyes firmly planted on her chest, never once looking her in the eyes. “Why ain’t someone as pretty as you up onstage?”

Like she didn’t hear that ten times a night. Her mother might not roll over in her grave at the thought of her daughter serving drinks at a gentlemen’s club, but Tilly knew she’d come back from the dead for the sole purpose of telling her how disappointed she was if she even thought about dancing topless.

“Two left feet,” she told the guy instead.

“Trust me.” His laugh gave her chills. “It ain’t your feet we’re interested in.”

Two more months. I can do two more months.

Onstage, the dance was almost over. One of the blond twins glared at her and in doing so, tripped and almost fell. Several men booed. The other twin shot her a look that told Tilly they were blaming everything on her. Oh well, what else was new. It wasn’t a day that ended in “y” if she didn’t piss off the Wonder Twins.

She gathered several empty glasses and nodded as a few drink orders were given. Her tray was heavy, but she thought she could make it back to the bar. She turned that way and suddenly felt someone’s eyes drilling holes into her from the back of the room. Out of habit, she lifted her head to try and find who was watching her so intensely.

She scanned the crowd, but no one looked out of place. Then she saw him, standing slightly off to the side, watching her with an easy confidence, but with a tilt of his head that somehow seemed familiar. He recognized her at the same instant she recognized him.

Keaton Benedict.

Her tray and glasses fell to the floor.

Copyright © 2018 by Tara Thomas and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

About the Author:

Tara ThomasTara Thomas’s love of books and writing started as a child and though she wanted to be an author, she decided a degree in science was more practical. After fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to her first love and hasn’t looked back since.

She writes erotic romance as Tara Sue Me. Her Submissive Series novels have been on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Her novel The Master earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was awarded Best Romance of 2016 from Best Book Awards.

 SOCIAL LINKS:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tarasueme
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaraSueMeBooks/
Website: https://thetarathomas.com/

Release Blitz : Cake : The Newlyweds by J. Bengtsson

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Jake and Casey are BACK!
CAKE: The Newlyweds by J. Bengtsson is NOW AVAILABLE in ebook, paperback & audio!

Cake Cover Front

Amazon ebook ➙ http://amzn.to/2GxNhym
Amazon paperback ➙ http://amzn.to/2C9tFm5
AUDIO BOOK ➙ http://amzn.to/2BGLcAR

ADD TO YOUR TBR ➙ http://bit.ly/2E2z1xf

You thought their story was over… but a love like theirs has no end.

Fate doesn’t own Jake McKallister. At least that’s what he tells himself. Life is better than ever. He’s at the top of his game, performing to sold-out crowds the world over.

He has his health and a solid, fun-loving family to keep him grounded.

And he got the girl – the beautiful, quirky girl he’s just made his wife.

Yes, life is good. If only fate would stop screaming in his ear.

Lucky is the word to best describe Casey McKallister. Life is not just great… it’s amazing.

She has an awesome, devoted support system, a nerd’s dream job at a prestigious accounting firm, and, best of all, she’s married to the hottest rock star to ever roam the earth.

Yes, life is perfect… until it comes crashing down around her.

They say love concurs all. That’s what Jake and Casey are counting on.

My Review

Rating : 3.5 out of 5 Stars

I was so happy we got more of Jake and Casey, I loved the first book about them. The author gives a well written glimpse into their future life and it was fantastic to see how their relationship deepens with time. Their life is about to change forever, married life is a new adventure for them. Their strength is together, but wedding jitters are messing with their heads.

I loved seeing them open up to one another about their fears and their doubts, their vulnerabilities made them stronger. These two are right for each other, Casey is the anchor Jake so needed, but I was disappointed by her lack of empathy at times. Jake is still struggling with the idea that he could be the husband Casey expects and deserves. He is tormented by ghosts of his past and questions his ability to become a good father.

This book focuses on them strengthening their relationship, but it is not all roses. There are many obstacles and bumps along the way that keep the plot moving and captured my interest throughout. There were a few things I just didn’t understand them being necessary to the story. Even though I had a few issues with the drama in this book, I did find it an enjoyable story overall. I absolutely loved catching up with these characters.

ARC generously provided by the author and L.Woods PR

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Start reading CAKE: A Love Story NOW!
Over 1700 Reviews on Amazon!

_CakeCoverBanded-latest

Amazon ➙ http://amzn.to/2DDid2h
FREE with #KindleUnlimited

-A reclusive rock star going through the motions-

Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn’t been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not.

-A vivacious college student embracing life-

When outspoken and fun-loving Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved musician for a friend’s wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a media-shy loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn’t carry a tune. She’d enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare.

-Their worlds are about to collide-

Despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past?

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About the Author:

J. Bengtsson lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. Her favorite things to do are laugh, go for walks, and hang out with family.

Connect with J.!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jbengtssonauthor/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CakeALoveStory
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/chhhbX
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2rxHjuK
Join her Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thebananabinder/

Harlequin January Reads Blog Tour : Claiming the Captain’s Baby by Rochelle Alers

Title: The Rancher’s Baby
Author: Maisey Yates
Genre: Western Romance
Harlequin Imprint: Desire
Blurb:
When a torrid, possibly dangerous scandal comes to Royal, Texas, Selena Jacobs is nearly caught in the middle. Until her best friend Knox McCoy ensures her safety—by moving in! Selena has loved Knox for years, but she’s never had the courage to tell him. Now the sparks she’s tried to smother burn out of control…and leave her pregnant. But with the pain in his past, will Knox finally take a chance on love…with her?
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.
In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.
Author Links:
Buy Links:


Title: Claiming the Captain’s Baby
Author: Rochelle Alers
Genre: Multicultural Romance
Harlequin Imprint: Special Edition 
Blurb:
Former marine captain Giles Wainwright had seen his share of battles. When the military man turned multimillionaire learned he had a baby girl, he vowed to go to war to keep her. But Mya Lawson had her late sister’s last will and testament on her side and was prepared to fight for custody. Mya was only following her sister’s last wishes to have Lily raised in their childhood hometown. She’d grant Giles the visitation he was due. Yet as he dropped his arrogant stance and made Lily his priority, Mya’s guarded emotions were swayed. Giles’s offer of marriage to make them a true family was tremendously tempting. But was his proposal genuine or a bid to claim Lily forever?

My Review

 

Rating : 3.5 out of 5 Stars

An emotional and sweetly romantic surprise baby story, that I really enjoyed reading!

Mya Lawson has given up her position of college professor to become her niece’s legal guardian and stay-at-home mother, after her sister passed away. She never planned on becoming a mother, yet she had to learn quickly.

Giles Wainwright served as a captain in the Marine Corps for ten years and has recently joined his family’s real estate conglomerate. When he finds out about Lily being his daughter, he steps up to the plate and proves that the New York businessman he is can become a hands-on-father in a small town that seems to be stuck in time.

The main focus of the story is Giles’ growing relationship with Mya as well as the relationship with his new found daughter. Mya and Giles both want what’s best for baby Lily.

I really enjoyed Giles’s character. He was sweet and gentle. I loved that he was determined to be a father to Lily. Even though he thought he wasn’t ready for fatherhood, he instantly became Lily’s father. I really liked Mya’s character. I loved how caring and strong she was. It took me a while to feel a connection between Mya and Giles and at times I didn’t always feel how strong it was, but I did like the dynamic of these two together.

Thank you for visiting and happy reading!

ARC generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.

Rochelle Alers has been hailed by readers and booksellers alike as one of today’s most prolific African American authors of romance and women’s fiction.
With more than sixty titles and nearly two million copies of her novels in print, Ms. Alers is a regular on the Waldenbooks, Borders and Essence bestseller lists, regularly chosen by Black Expression Book Club, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Emma Award, Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award.
She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Theta Zeta chapter and her interests include gourmet cooking and traveling.
A full-time writer, Ms. Alers lives in a charming hamlet on Long Island.
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Title: Playing with Seduction
Author: Reese Ryan
Genre: Romance
Harlequin Imprint: Kimani

Blurb:
As the reigning queen of competitive beach volleyball, Brianna Evans wants her career to go out with a bang. And what better send-off than a signature tournament sponsored by an exclusive high-end luxury resort? But Bree’s heart could end up on the line. Her partner on the project is the irresistible man with whom she shared one perfect night in London…and never heard from again.
After great UK success, premier event promoter Wesley Adams is glad to be back on his North Carolina home turf. Until he discovers the collaborator on his next joint venture is the flawless beauty he spent an unforgettable evening with more than a year ago. Wes wants to finish what they started, but he can’t risk derailing the project or hurting Bree. And when they finally give in to their growing passion, will a terrible secret from his past and an escalating threat from Bree’s cost them their second chance?
Reese Ryan is a multi-published author of romantic fiction featuring complex, deliciously-flawed characters. She challenges her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, and life-changing secrets while treating readers to an emotional love story and unexpected twists.
Past president of her local Romance Writers of America chapter and a panelist at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Reese is an advocate for the romance genre and diversity in fiction.
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Release Blitz : The Crown Prince’s Bride by Donna Alward

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Summary:

A Crown Prince gets a second chance at love with the woman who’s always been there – in the next book in the prince duology from Donna Alward!

The Crown Prince of Marazur is suffering from a broken heart. After losing his wife and future queen, he knows he’ll never find love again with a partner as wonderful as her. He’s thrown himself into his duties and is trying to be a better father to his two children, but he’s lonely. Even though falling in love seems impossible, so does spending the rest of his life alone.

Stephani has been Raoul’s assistant for years. Smart, loyal, and discreet, Stephani is fantastic at her job. Except for the fact that she’s been in love with her boss since her first week of employment, not that she would ever act on it. Besides, Raoul is first in line to the throne and she’s his assistant. If Raoul ever marries again, it’ll be with someone who can be a future queen. Not someone like Stephani.

When Raoul’s date for a state dinner is unable to attend, he invites Stephani. She’s well-versed on the issues and castle protocol, and Raoul’s always been comfortable with her. But when Stephani arrives, Raoul hardly recognizes her. Is this stunning woman the same one who’s run his office for years?

The Crown Prince’s Bride is the ultimate fairytale for readers looking for Cinderella to get her prince—and be able to keep him past midnight.

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My Review

Rating : 3.5 out of 5 Stars

This book is a charming, moving and bittersweet story of new beginnings. The way the story started drew me in immediately. I loved the hero, Raoul Navarro, he is a man who has been going through a lot. He is grieving the loss of his wife and the pressures of his responsibilities as Crown Prince are weighing him down.

Stephani Savalas is Raoul’s wife’s cousin and his efficient personal assistant. Stephani has had a thing for Raoul since she met him but she is conflicted about the idea of a relationship with her cousin’s widow. They both need time to explore their mutual feelings and deal with their attraction to one another. The story delves into their emotions and mixed feelings. The conflict within both of them was very strong, there was a lot of push and pull and insecurities to overcome. Both are honorable, considerate and loyal but they tend to bottle up their feelings. Their story is sweet and touching, the author did a great job of keeping me engaged, as they start acknowledging that they are drawn to each other. I loved seeing them slowly open up to each other. Although I enjoyed this beautifully written story, the author introduced a final twist I was not so keen on.  Overall, despite a somewhat rushed ending, this story was definitely worth reading.

ARC generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.

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Excerpt

Late August

Stephani surveyed the ballroom, ensuring everything was running smoothly and to her satisfaction. As the executive assistant to the Crown Prince of Marazur, it was her job to make sure that Raoul Navarro’s birthday party went off without a hitch.

So far the dinner had been delicious, the traditional almond cake devoured, and the music and dancing had begun. She started to breathe a bit easier now.

“Señorita Savalas? Champagne?”

She turned to the footman who carried several full glasses on his silver tray. “Sí, gracias.” She smiled and took a flute from the tray,then sipped gratefully. The dry, fizzy liquid delighted her tongue. By royal standards, the party was small, but no expense had been spared. Including this particularly fine vintage.

Raoul deserved a wonderful party after the year he’d had.Considering this was the first real event at the palace since his wife,Princess Cecilia, had tragically died, Stephani had pulled out all the stops.

It was her job. And it was more than just a job, too.Because for the last seven years, she’d been in love with her boss.

Her boss, who had been married to her cousin.

Her boss, who was now a widower with two small children.

Right now Raoul was mingling with a group that included the finance minister and the gentleman’s twenty-something daughter. The girl looked up at Raoul with something like hero worship, and Stephani smiled to herself.He was at least ten years too old for her, but he was extraordinarily handsome with his black hair and dark, soulful eyes. New lines had appeared at either side of his lips, but Stephani thought they only added to his allure.

She joined the group and smiled at everyone, then spoke briefly before turning her attention to the Italian attaché. There was also a representative from the French tourism ministry and she switched languages effortlessly.

“You’re exceptionally good at that.”

Raoul’s deep voice vibrated at her ear and she suppressed adelighted shiver. She pasted a platonic smile on her face and turned around.“Oh, hello. Having a good time?”

“More than I expected. And what about you? Are you enjoying yourself? Or just working the room?” He lifted an eyebrow.

“Just making everyone feel welcome.”

“And showing off the fact you can speak . . .” He counted silently on his fingers. “Five languages? Six?”

“Five,” she confirmed. “My Russian and German are more of a danger than an asset. I could ruin diplomatic relations in two sentences.”

He chuckled, and she let herself enjoy the sound. Raoul didn’t laugh much at all recently, but the wine pairings at dinner and the open bar had loosened him up considerably.

She hadn’t seen him this relaxed since . . .

A confusing wave of grief swept over her. Maybe she’d had a secret thing for Raoul for ages, but she’d also loved her cousin deeply.Everyone had loved Ceci. And Stephani missed her. Ceci would have loved a party like this. She would have sparkled like the diamond she was. Stephani was far better behind the scenes. It had always been that way, even when they were kids.

“It’s good to hear you laugh, Raoul.”

His eyes met hers. “It’s good to laugh again. It’s been awhile.”

“Of course.” She didn’t want to dampen the mood of the evening, so she smiled instead and nodded toward a woman skirting the dancefloor. “Look. Rose has come back. The children were lovely at dinner, don’t you think?”

His gaze followed the new nanny. “You helped with her dress for the evening?”

“I did.”

“My brother can’t take his eyes off of her.”

“I think Diego has finally met his match. Do you approve?”

“Yes and no?” He shrugged. “My first priority is the children, and they seem to adore her.”

“Of course.”

“But she is also a lovely person.” He sent her a sideways smile. “Better than Diego deserves.”

She laughed a little. “You don’t really believe that.”

“No, I don’t. He’s been . . . different. Especially the last few months. Since . . .”

His voice trailed off, but she knew what he’d meant. Since Ceci died.

Everything was different since Ceci had died.

He nudged her elbow. “I don’t want to drag down the party.Do you want to dance, Steph?”

Did she? She’d only imagined it a million times.Particularly at every palace function when she’d stood on the sidelines with her clipboard while Ceci held Raoul in her arms. The perfect couple, a prince and princess, utterly in love.

She hesitated long enough that he stepped back. “Lo siento.I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

“You didn’t,” she hurried to assure him. “I’d love to dance.” It might be her one and only chance. She put her champagne down on a nearby table and smiled up at him. “Shall we?”

The band had switched to a slower song, and he led her to the polished parquet and took her in his arms. She swallowed tightly . . . ohmy. He was smooth, effortless, and his hand was warm against the hollow of her back. His fingers tightened over hers and she bit down on her lip. Raoul, she thought, wondering why on earth she insisted on torturing herself day in and day out. Why couldn’t she manage to shake this silly attraction? Besides, he only ever saw her as his assistant. If he had any idea of her feelings . . .Ugh. Work would be unbearably awkward.

“You look lovely tonight,” he said, his lips only inches from her ear. “The little black dress was a good choice.”

“It’s Versace.” She strangled out the words.

Their feet kept moving, and their bodies seemed to drift closer, until the lapels of his jacket brushed against her breasts. She could feel his heat, smell his cologne.

She should resign. Find another position somewhere, away from the longing for what she could never have. Except this was the perfect job. Wonderful pay, wonderful perks, and . . . well, the family relied on her.She knew that. It was more than a job, and more than just Raoul. She cared about them all. King Alexander, Diego, the children . . . they were her family now that Ceci was gone. She had no immediate family of her own. What remained of the Savalas family was spread out over Greece and Spain. She didn’t even know half of them. Ceci had been her anchor, and in her absence, the Navarros had become her surrogate family.

The song ended and Raoul stood back, but his face had lost the relaxed easiness of before, and a small furrow had appeared between his brows. “Is everything okay?” she asked, suddenly panicked that maybe she’d been the one to drift closer and inadvertently created an awkward moment between them.

“Diego danced with Rose, and she’s just left him standing in the middle of the floor,” he said quietly.

“Maybe there’s trouble in paradise.”

“You should talk to him.”

“I know. It’s never been easy, though. We’re so different.We always seem to cross swords.”

“That’s because you’re more alike than you think. You have to start giving him a chance. He’s more reliable than you give him credit for.”

Back to business. She felt on solid ground when she could focus on business.

She patted his arm. “I’m going to check on the kitchen staff. Señora Ortiz is planning a smaller buffet close to midnight.”

She went to leave and he reached for her hand. “Stephani?”

She focused on his face, because the fact that he was holding her hand was doing funny things to her insides. “Yes?”

“Thank you, for all this. I know I’ve been difficult the last few months. Tonight, having people and music in the house again . . .”

The butterflies in her belly grew heavy. “It must be difficult.”

“Yes. No. I mean, it’s been good. I can’t live my life being gloomy and unhappy all the time. This wouldn’t have happened without you.”

She smiled. “The people need to see that you’re still okay.”

He squeezed her fingers. “I need to know I’m okay. Thishelped. Thank you.”

And he leaned forward and kissed her cheek.

His breath was warm against her skin, and she might be mistaken but she would swear his mouth lingered there just a moment longer than necessary. Heat rushed to her face and she muttered a hasty “you’re welcome”before darting away. She didn’t want him to see her blush. Or the fact that his casual touch had the power to make her normal unflappable reserve desert her completely.

* * *

Raoul downed his fourth—or was it fifth?—Scotch and put the cut crystal glass down on a table. The midnight buffet had been set out, a light meal for those partygoers working up an appetite on the dance floor.Diego had disappeared ages ago, chasing after Rose.

His brother was in love. The real thing. And Raoul had congratulated him and wished him well, when all he could think of was how horrible it felt to have his heart ripped out of his chest in the actions of a moment. That perhaps love wasn’t worth it. He might actually believe that if it weren’t for Emilia and Max. The children were all he had left of Ceci, and he wouldn’t trade his marriage with her for anything.

Not even the pain of losing her.

They hadn’t let him go to the scene of the accident, but he didn’t have to. The news had shown the mangled wreck in full detail. A leaked phone video had shown the paramedics taking Emilia and Max from the car, and their driver, Marco, sitting with a white bandage on his uncommonly pale face.And there’d been a glimpse of the body bags, too—Ceci’s, and Mariana’s, the royal family’s nanny.

He went to the bar and got another Scotch. He was a year older, and life did go on. He even had moments of happiness. Tonight had been fun, but now that the evening was winding down, he was missing Ceci more than ever.

Would it be very bad form for him to leave the party before his guests? He suspected it would.

As he took a drink of his Scotch, he spotted Stephani across the room. She didn’t look tired at all, even though he knew she’d been here since about seven this morning and hadn’t stopped all day. He wasn’t sure where she got her stamina, but she was the best assistant he’d ever had. She’d been working for him long enough that she anticipated his needs. Hiring Ceci’s cousin had started out as a favor to his wife. Stephani had graduated from university but was working as an event server at a resort in Barcelona to make ends meet. She hadn’t had the resources Ceci did—she’d been the poor cousin who’d had to work her way through. Ceci had known Stephani wouldn’t take a handout, and Raoul had reluctantly agreed to give her a chance. It turned out to be a brilliant business decision.

He sipped again. Didn’t hurt that she was gorgeous, either.Her silky hair was the same inky color as her black dress and she wore heels that showed off her very fine legs. Stephani worked the room like the greatest of ambassadors and hostesses rolled into one. She was so like Ceci in that regard,warm and generous. But different, too. Focused, sharp. Ceci’s biggest quality had been her capacity for love and kindness. Stephani’s was to take that warmth and use it to its best advantage—while staying out of the spotlight.

She laughed and he swore he heard it across the room, above the music and the chatter. His body tightened in response, an uncomfortable and yet somehow welcome experience. He was thirty-seven, for God’s sake, and heir to the throne. Unlike his brother, he didn’t have the luxury—or the inclination—to play the field. But he was still a man. A young man, really.What was he going to do, stay a widower for the rest of his life? Stay celibate? It was utterly unrealistic.

Maybe he shouldn’t have had so much Scotch. He should go. No one would miss him now, would they? Particularly not Steph. He’d thanked her and kissed her cheek, and she’d literally run off. What had he been thinking?

He left the ballroom and headed for the stairs, then reconsidered. He’d rather get some fresh air and clear his head after all the alcohol.

The hall to the back entrance of the castle was narrow and once he descended the steps, he reached a stone-encased alcove. Fresh air filtered in, moist and balmy in the summer heat, and he shrugged off his jacket and dropped it in a corner. It would be dusty but he didn’t care. Instead he leaned back against the cool stone and closed his eyes. His head swam instantly and he opened them again, seeking equilibrium.

And there she was.

“I brought you a bottle of water,” Stephani said softly. She uncapped it and held it out. “You need to rehydrate.”

He took it and drank deeply. “How did you know I was here?”

She met his gaze evenly. “Your Highness, it’s my job to know where you are at all times. Even more than your security.”

“Thass right. You’re my right hand.” He heard the slur andwas mortified. He never got drunk. Never. But he had tonight. It was definitely a good thing he’d left the party.

She smiled at him. “Oh my. You did hit the Scotch ratherhard, didn’t you?”

He didn’t answer. Didn’t know how to answer.

“Slurring in front of the finance minister wouldn’t be a smart move.”

He looked over at her. “Really? I doubt he’d notice.”

“Oh, he’d notice. Rumor has it he addressed his own alcohol issues a few months ago and has been dry ever since. I watched. He didn’t take any wine at dinner.”

And this was one of the reasons Steph was so valuable. She always had her ear to the ground. Always seemed to know what was going on and with whom.

Which made him look at her a little more closely. “So, Miss Observant, how long did you know about Diego and Rose?”

She laughed. “Almost from day one.”

“I like it when you laugh.”

Her smile faded. “Sir?”

“Don’t ‘sir’ me, Steph. We’ve been past that for years.You’re family.”

A strange look passed over her face and he wondered what it meant, but then she was smiling again and he thought he might have imagined it.“I’m Ceci’s cousin, that’s all. We’re not blood relatives.”

“No,” he said quietly. “We’re not.”

And the strange feeling he’d had while dancing with her returned. Like his skin was somehow shrinking, taut with . . . damn, he couldn’t be feeling attraction. That would just be wrong.

And yet . . . he dropped his gaze to her lips. They were plump and red, fuller than Ceci’s had been, and right now they opened just a little as Stephani inhaled sharply.

“Raoul,” she cautioned.

He dragged his gaze back up to her eyes, expecting to see disapproval, but instead they were wide with what he could only figure was equal awareness. He stepped closer, testing her, and watched as her pupils dilated.

“Raoul,” she repeated, an edge of desperation in her voice.But not fear. He was clear-headed enough to recognize that wistful sound of longing, and when he lifted his hand and placed it along her cheek, her breath came out in a rush against the pad of his thumb.

And then he kissed her.

She tasted like dry champagne and a trace of almonds and citrus from the cake earlier, plus a darker flavor that was sultry, sexy woman.The little dress she wore was utterly appropriate, even conservative, but the woman inside it was so very alive and responsive. Her tongue met his as he deepened the kiss, and with a sigh of surrender she curled her arms around his shoulders and melted into him.

His body responded, and he was just man enough—just drunk enough—to be grateful. For the first time since Ceci’s death, he was happy he hadn’t died with her.

Ceci.

He stepped back from Stephani, breaking the kiss and putting a few feet between them. Her chest rose and fell rapidly, her lips were slightly swollen and parted. It would be so easy to step forward and take her in his arms. Press her against the stone wall, feel her body beneath his.

But she was Ceci’s cousin.

And she was too valuable . . . no, too important for him to treat her in such a cavalier, self-indulgent way. She was Stephani. The person he counted on most.

“I’m so sorry,” he murmured, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Steph, I . . . I have no excuse. That was so wrong of me.”

Her lips closed and she lifted her chin, though he thought,for just a fleeting second, that her lower lip quivered a bit. “Think nothing of it, sir,” she said firmly. “It was the Scotch talking, that’s all.”

“Yes, the Scotch . . .” His voice trailed off for a moment.“Forgive me, Steph.”

“There’s nothing to forgive.” Her voice sounded oddly thick,but he thought maybe it was because they were still ensconced within the stonewalls of the alcove.

“You put together this wonderful party. You always have my back. You must know how I appreciate all you do.”

She met his gaze and smiled a little. Was she sad? Why wasn’t she angry? He took a breath, then remembered the little sound of acquiescence she’d made as she wrapped her arms around his neck and the word she had been going to say stuck in his throat.

She had welcomed the contact. Wholeheartedly. What the hell did this mean?

He wasn’t sure how to ask, and after too long of a hesitation, she put her hand on his arm and gave a little squeeze. “It’s my job,” she said softly. “Try to sober up. I’ll see you in the office tomorrow.”

Then she slipped away, her footsteps echoing on the stone steps.

Raoul had no desire to go back to the party. Instead he picked up his dusty jacket, made his way into the garden—Ceci’s garden—and found a vacant bench.

Then he took the little silver flask from his jacket pocket,unscrewed the cap, and took a big swig.

Stephani was off-limits. Tomorrow he’d reset the boundaries and they’d go back to normal. And if he ever did decide to . . . have a romance again, it wouldn’t be with his assistant.

No matter how alluring she’d turned out to be.
Copyright © 2018 by Donna Alward in The Crown Prince’s Bride and reprinted by permission of Swerve.

About the Author:

Donna Alward_Marti Corn Photography

A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.

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Twitter: @DonnaAlward

Author Website: http://www.donnaalward.com/

Facebook: @DonnaAlwardAuthor

Blog Tour : The Duke of Ice by Darcy Burke

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The Duke of Ice, an all-new historical standalone from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is available NOW!

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Title: The Duke of Ice

Author: Darcy Burke

Genre: Historical Romance

Publishing Date: December 26th, 2017

Synopsis

Everyone Nicholas Bateman ever loved has died. Except Violet Caulfield, which must mean he never loved her. Eight years after she threw him over to marry a viscount, Nick is a widowed duke who prefers isolation. When a friend convinces him to leave his lair of self-imposed solitude, he considers taking another wife, provided she agrees to his terms: no emotional attachment of any kind.

Now widowed, Lady Violet Pendleton hopes for a second chance with the man she’s always loved. But she isn’t prepared for the desolation in his soul or the animosity he still bears toward her. Despite those obstacles, it’s clear their passion hasn’t dimmed. However, the heat between them isn’t enough to melt the Duke of Ice, and this time Violet may find herself the jilted party. Can love, once so tragically lost, finally be found?

My Review

 Rating : 3.5 out of 5 Stars

This book was well-written and entertaining, although I never particularly rooted for the hero of the story, I just couldn’t relate to him. Nick Bateman, The Duke of Kilve, has been nicknamed the Duke of Ice, and is indeed aloof, cold and distant. Tragedy has deeply affected him and he has banished himself from society. He is a loner and a recluse mourning the death of his wife and son. His life is ordered and without upset, his emotions are managed. His best friend is determined to help him come out of the darkness with the help of his former love, Lady Violet Pendleton.

Both Nick and Violet have to overcome conflicting emotions, turmoil and fears of failure. There are painful, heartbreaking parts in their mutual past.

Nick is still incredibly angry with Violet. She disappointed him and he has not forgiven her. I was happy to see both of them eventually work things out slowly but surely. I loved how persistent and patient Violet was, because Nick was afraid to feel again.

While overall I wished for more, the story climax and ending won me over. This was my first book by Darcy Burke and I’ll definitely read Simon and Diana’s story “The Duke of Ruin”.

ARC generously provided by the author and Social Butterfly PR.

Excerpt:

“Looks like it’s you and Lady Pendleton,” Simon said. His voice carried a hint of something.

Nick snapped his head toward his friend and detected the glimmer of a smile in his gaze. He was enjoying this. He was playing matchmaker. And he had his sights set on Nick and Violet. Bloody hell.

Nick wanted to be angry, but his pull toward Violet was too strong. He’d felt it last night and again today when Simon had asked if it would be odd for him to pursue her. Nick had been jealous. Shockingly, blood-boilingly, desperately jealous.

The realization shook him to the core.

“Who’s to be the crier?” Simon asked.

“Why not Mr. Adair since he won Kiss the Nun?” Seaver suggested.

With everyone in agreement, Violet and Nick moved to the center of the room.

“Is this awkward?” she whispered.

“No.” His pulse quickened. Should he kiss her or should he fail?

His mind screamed the latter. And really, that was for the best. Jealousy aside, he and Violet had no future, not when their past was so painful.

And yet when they knelt with their backs to each other, he caught her scent of rose and an earthy spice. It was wholly feminine yet slightly wild. He hadn’t smelled a rose in the past eight years without thinking of her. His body reacted, heating at her proximity.

“Make ready,” Adair said.

Nick looked over his right shoulder and felt the air move as she looked over her left.

“Present.”

Nick leaned close to her cheek. He could feel her warmth, and his skin tingled.

Fire.”

He moved closer, but she sprang up. Instinctively, he reached for her, his arm curling about her waist. He pulled her back down. To stop her from hitting the floor, he spun to his back and sprawled, bringing her down on top of him. He cupped the side of her face and kissed her, his lips sliding over hers for a brief but delicious moment.

“The cheek,” she murmured, her gaze locked with his.

He leaned up and brushed his mouth against the soft flesh of her cheek. His lips lingered perhaps a second too long, but he didn’t care. Desire coursed through him, and for the first time in years, he felt alive.

AN

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Start the Series of Standalones Now!

The Forbidden Duke (The Untouchables Book 1)

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About Darcy:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Join her reader club at http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, two Bengal cats and a third cat named after a fruit.

Darcy Burke

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