Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Taking a Break

Hi, Everyone!

I'm ill and unfortunately too fuzzy-headed

 to either read or write so I'm going to take a 

break for the rest of the week.  

I need to concentrate on getting well 

enough to make the 12 hours drive home 

from my brother's where I'm visiting.

I hope to be back online next Monday.

Thanks for your understanding!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Once Upon a Wine Winner

The randomly chosen winner of a copy of 

Once Upon a Wine by Beth Kendrick is:



Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Friday, August 19, 2016

Review - - An Affair in Winter

An Affair in Winter
By Jess Michaels
Publisher: The Passionate Pen
Release Date: July 12, 2016


Widow Rosalinde Wilde is on her way to her beloved sister’s wedding when an unexpected storm waylays her at an overcrowded inn. There she meets a tempting stranger who sweeps her into a night of unforgettable passion. 

Grayson Danford never expected a night with the irresistible Mrs. Wilde, but she was a welcome distraction from the unpleasant duty of breaking up his brother’s impending nuptials. He’s shocked when he discovers his passionate lover is none other than the sister of his brother's intended. 

Now Rosalinde and Gray will butt heads, even as their simmering desire for each other threatens to boil over. Who will win? And who might lose it all? 

Jess Michaels kicks off her new historical romance series with a sensual, appealing tale of stranded strangers who indulge in a night of nameless passion only to find themselves on opposite sides of an upcoming wedding the next day. I have to say, I really enjoyed this story. Gray and Rosalinde have an immediate physical connection that refuses to stay in the shadows even though their minds tell them they shouldn't do anything about it once they discover the obstacle of Rosalinde's sister's betrothal to Gray's brother. They both have their sibling's best interests at heart and valid reasons for their feelings about the upcoming wedding. A widow, Rosalinde still believes in love and marriage, even though her own was not ideal and wants only happiness for her sister. She also has very good reasons for wanting to remove her sister from their grandfather's controlling thumb. Gray, on the other hand, has watched both of his siblings suffer through the heartbreak of bad relationships and wants to protect them from repeating their mistakes. He views Rosalinde's sister as a scheming, social climber and tries his best to remove his brother from her clutches.

Watching Gray and Rosalinde push their agendas while (unsuccessfully) battling their mutual attraction at the same time is a delight. Both characters are well developed and likable - their banter, a delight and their mutual attraction, emotional and steamy. I found myself cheering for them, both individually and as a couple and wondering how Michaels was going to bring everything (for them and their siblings) to a satisfactory conclusion. Never fear. She does just that and in a very satisfying manner, giving one couple a happy-ever-after and setting the stage for the next book in the series. I'm already fully invested in all of these characters and looking forward to each of their books. Next up is the September 6th release of book two, A Spring Deception. Count me in! 


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Today's Special - - Spotlight on A Taste of Seduction by Bronwen Evans

USA Today Bestselling author, Bronwen Evans (Bron), loves story-telling – gobbling up movies, reading books and attending the theater. Her head is always filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer.

Bronwen attended Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, earning a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Administration, majoring in Marketing and Accounting.  

After working for a few years in marketing roles within New Zealand financial institutions, she left for a 6 month overseas experience in London, England. She loved England and spent several years living in London, using it as a base while traveling to all four corners of the world. Her most interesting trips were a camel safari in the Sahara, a trip through Russia, a safari through Africa with her mother, and three months in the Mediterranean.

It was while living and working in London she discovered the offices of Mills & Boon and the germ of an idea to embark on a romance writing career was born.

Bronwen’s first manuscript, INVITATION TO RUIN, was completed late 2009, and was sold to Kensington Publishing early 2010, in a two book deal. Her debut novel, INVITATION TO RUIN, received a 4.5 star rating from RT Book Reviews and was nominated in the RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards – Best First Historical. Invitation to Ruin was also won the RomCon Readers Crown Best Historical 2012.

Bron’s since gone on to win the RomCon Readers Crown three times. Her first book in her Disgraced Lords series hit the USA Today bestsellers list and she has hit it several times since. 

She lives in New Zealand in sunny Hawkes Bay with her two Cavoodles named Brandy and Duke.

By Bronwen Evans
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: August 16, 2016

Lady Evangeline Stuart chose to wed a tyrant with a title, or so society believes. That was five years ago—five long years she could have spent with her first and only love: Lord Hadley Fullerton, the second son of the Duke of Claymore. Now Evangeline is a widow, and her soul cries out for Hadley. But when they see each other at last, everything has changed. The passion in his eyes has been corrupted by betrayal. Somehow Evangeline must regain Hadley’s trust—without revealing the secret that would spoil the seduction.

Hadley is determined not to be distracted by Evangeline. He and the other Libertine Scholars are in pursuit of an enemy who has been striking at them from the shadows, and Evangeline’s mere presence could be dangerous. But with one smile, one touch, one taste of Evangeline’s lips, Hadley’s resolve is overpowered by much more pleasant memories. As the two enter into a discreet affair, Hadley vows to give her his body, never his heart. That she will have to earn.


Surrey, England, 1811

The shade of the weeping willows protected her from the heat of the afternoon sun, but nothing could cool Evangeline’s blood. She fondled the note Stowe had given her half an hour ago. She’d never regretted saving the young stable boy from his brute of a father two years ago. Stowe worshiped her and was the key to keeping her relationship with Hadley a secret from her mother.

She reread the missive. Hadley wanted to see her—urgently—so she’d saddled Rosten, her dapple-gray gelding, and galloped straight to their usual meeting place.

“Urgently” could mean only one thing: he had news on their planned elopement.

Her nerves on edge, her body strung as taut as a bow, she had to use all her mental strength to sit patiently waiting for her love in their favorite spot under the willow tree in the paddock behind his stable.

Lord Hadley Fullerton, the second son of the Duke of Claymore, was prepared to defy Evangeline’s mother, and his own family if need be, to make her his wife. Her heart burst with joy.

How had she got so lucky?


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review - - Sweet Tomorrows

Sweet Tomorrows
By Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Ballantine
Release Date: August 2, 2016


Debbie Macomber takes her reader back to Cedar Cove and the Rose Harbor Inn for the fifth novel in her current series. Mark Taylor, who returned to Iraq to rescue an Iraqi informant who became a close friend during Mark’s tours of duty with U. S. military intelligence, has been gone for nine months. Jo Marie Rose, the owner of the inn, has heard from him only twice. However much she loves Mark, she refuses to allow herself to repeat the anguish of vainly hoping for the man she loves to come home to her that she experienced with her late husband. She tells herself that Mark is dead and, although grieving, gets on with her life, including dating a widower whose kindness and humor she finds quite appealing.

Meanwhile, Mark’s self-imposed task, which he described as a “suicide mission,” proves as difficult as he expected. He returns, barely alive, and Jo Marie and his love for her are key to his survival. But Mark cannot return to the life he left as a Cedar Cove handyman. He is heir to a family legacy of military service, and the Army still needs his skills. They have further plans for him, and Jo Marie refuses to live with the level of anxiety she would know as the wife of a man engaged in such work. The ordinary life the other man in her life offers seems more and more tempting.

A secondary plot involves Emily Gaffney, a young teacher who was introduced in Silver Linings, the fourth Rose Harbor book. Emily, who has two broken engagements behind her, has declared a moratorium on men and romance. She has accepted a teaching position in Cedar Cove and plans to build a new life that includes a home of her own and eventually foster children or adoption. Jo Marie has agreed to let Emily remain a guest at the inn until Emily finds the perfect house. The search for that house leads Emily into an uneasy friendship with the reclusive Nick Schwartz, a man haunted by the death of his younger brother in an automobile accident that Nick survived. Nick is drawn to Emily and to Rose Harbor Inn for the peace and healing they promise, but he is deeply troubled. His recovery is a torturous process. Emily has a problem as well that further complicates their relationship. Can the famous healing properties of the inn offer hope to these wounded spirits?

Macomber offers her usual blend of heartwarming sweetness and emotional punch in this conclusion to her Rose Harbor Inn series. The relationship between Jo Marie and Mark has slowly built through the series, and readers invested in these characters will find this novel particularly rewarding as the characters’ histories cast doubt on the HEA. At the same time, new readers will find that the author has provided sufficient details to allow this book to be read as a standalone, although they may find it a less nuanced read.

I confess that I am not a fan of love triangles, particularly those that leave a nice guy with a broken heart. Consequently, the Mark/Jo Marie/Greg story line accounts for the four-star rating. Other readers may not find this a detraction. I did like the multiple first-person points of view which I thought added immediacy and power. Emily and Nick are sympathetic, engaging characters with real problems that are not simplistically resolved. The book also provides updates on former guests who have benefited from the mystical healing powers of the inn.

Debbie Macomber can always be depended upon to give her readers stories filled with poignancy, hope, and sustaining love. She does so again in Sweet Tomorrows, an almost perfect end to a solid series. If you like your women’s fiction with a generous serving of “clean” romance or your romance sweetly real without descending to the saccharine, I think you will enjoy this book.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Today's Special - - Heather McGovern

It's my pleasure to welcome debut author Heather McGovern to the Dish today. I first met Heather at a regional romance conference a few years ago (you may not be familiar with her face but you've probably drooled over photos of her gorgeous shoes here more than once) and have been following her journey to publication with anticipation since then. Today, all her hard work comes to fruition with the publication of A Moment of Bliss, the first book in her debut Honeywilde series, about siblings struggling to keep a family inn afloat in the beautiful and soul-stirring mountains of western North Carolina.

Heather has a BS in Biology from the College of Charleston. She lives in the beautiful Upstate of South Carolina with her husband and son where she has a corporate job by day and writes sexy, heart-tugging romances by night. And she likes glitter. Lots of glitter! 

Welcome, Heather! Congratulations on today’s release of your debut novel, A Moment of Bliss. How will you be celebrating this milestone? 

Thank you! I have no idea! I think my husband is taking me to dinner tonight. Tomorrow, I'll have lunch with a couple of local writer friends. I celebrated a lot at RWA in San Diego, so today's events will be low key in comparison.

What’s been the most exciting part of your debut journey? The most challenging? The most surprising? 

Finally being able to share my stories with readers is easily the most exciting. I know how attached I am to certain books, what they mean to me. If I can reach just one reader and bring them the kind of joy romance has brought me, I’ll consider myself a success. The challenging part is balancing the promotional part of writing with the actual writing. I’m surprised, daily, by how many helpful people there are out there. I’ve had so many questions, and still do, but there are tons of other authors, bloggers, readers, librarians, editors, artists, etc. who are eager to share their experience and knowledge. I’m humbled by the romance community’s generosity.

I’m fascinated by the following statement from your bio: “Mild mannered corporate employee by day, glitter throwing author by night, Heather McGovern grew up thinking she'd either be a swamp wading herpetologist - frog scientist to be exact - or Wonder Woman.” What roles (if any) do frogs and superheroes play in your life today? 

I still love frogs and Wonder Woman! J I majored in Biology in college, and my love of nature persists. Nowadays, my relationship with amphibians and reptiles is relegated to catching them in our yard and doing impromptu show and tell for my son. I like to think he's amazed and impressed that his mother can not only catch a frog, but remember its scientific name. I also collect frogs - the cute kind you buy at gift shops. There are little frogs all over my house and yard. As for superheroes, I remain a huge fangirl. Captain America, X-Men, Deadpool, Wonder Woman – I go see these movies opening weekend and I’ve been known to wear the occasional superhero themed dress to writer conferences.

They say we always remember our first. What book (or
author) was your gateway into the world of romance fiction? Who do you enjoy reading today? 

The very first romance I picked up was Sabrina Jefferies' One Night With A Prince. That beautiful red cover jumped off the center circular at Barnes & Noble and landed in my hands. My life hasn't been the same since. I devoured romance after that, especially historical. Then I found contemporary romance, and knew I had stories to share. I still love to read Sabrina Jefferies and Lisa Kleypas. I love JR Ward and Tessa Bailey, and I love to read my friends' novels.

The chef at your Honeywilde Inn turns out some drool-worthy treats, such as the Pumpkin Pleasure cookies you alluded to in your post. Are you a baker? Do you have a signature dish? Will you be sharing any of the Honeywilde Inn recipes with readers? 

My mother is the exceptional chef in our family. My love of food mostly comes from eating her creations. I do love to bake though, particularly in the fall and winter. I make some Killer Chocolate Brownies (that’s what I call them), Makers Mark Bourbon Balls, Monkey Bread…okay, now I’m hungry. I'll definitely be sharing recipes with readers.

Where can readers find you online? 

I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The best place is my website: www.heathermcgovernnovels.com

What’s next? 

Next up is Devlin Bradley’s book. A DATE WITH DESIRE comes out December 20th! The story of Dev and Anna holds a special place in my heart. I can’t wait!

Thanks so much for visiting with us, Heather! Would you like to ask our readers a question today?

Thank you for having me!

You’ve read about how much I love fall. What’s your favorite season of the year? Or your favorite holiday, and why? From the commenters, I’ll randomly draw one name to receive an Enthrill code for a free copy of A MOMENT OF BLISS.

Nestled in the lush green mountains of North Carolina, the Honeywilde Inn will be a romantic’s dream getaway—if only the Bradley siblings can keep it running. It will take a combination of hard work, good luck, and the kind of love that dreams are made of…
Roark Bradley is no stranger to responsibility. Growing up, he practically raised his younger siblings while his parents threw themselves into working the inn—and arguing with each other. Determined to make the Honeywilde shine once more, Roark jumps at the chance to conduct business with a no-nonsense event planner who approaches him about celebrity nuptials that could put the inn back on the map. If only it wasn’t so tempting to discuss some no-strings attached pleasure with her instead…
Madison Kline is done with weddings—at least personally. Her own youthful mistake is a well-guarded secret, and one she refuses to repeat. But as she and bold, broad-shouldered Roark work together to make a rock star couple’s wedding a reality, she finds herself wishing romance didn’t feel like a four-letter word. Can either of them surrender their hard-won independence and workaholic ways for something sweeter—and even more rewarding?...

Monday, August 15, 2016

On Second Thought - - Reason to Believe

Reason to Believe
By Kathleen Eagle
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Release Date: July 16, 2013
(originally published by Avon in 1995)

Clara Whiting and Ben Pipestone meet when she comes to the reservation to interview his father, Dewey Pipestone, a holy man of the Lakota Sioux. Despite the vast differences between them—cultural, experiential, and temperamental—the two fall in love and are married. Their marriage endures for twelve years through the worst of Ben’s alcoholism. Ironically, it is when Ben is in a treatment program which encourages his honesty that he reveals the truth about a brief, drunken affair that the marriage receives a destructive blow. The couple separates when their only child, a daughter (Anna) is eleven. Two years later, Anna is in trouble, mouthing off at school, shoplifting, and drinking. Clara and Ben recognize that they must work together to help their daughter. With this common goal, they agree to Anna’s plea that the three of them join Ben’s family in the Big Foot Memorial Ride, a grueling two-week journey on horseback that traces the path taken by their ancestors, ending at the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre.

The demanding ride through the Dakotas in December challenges the bodies, minds, and spirits of those who participate. Clara and Ben are forced to examine themselves in ways that would have been unlikely in ordinary circumstances. Clara, who defied her family to marry Ben, must come to terms with her inability to fix everything and her determination to keep the imperfections from showing. She could not prevent Ben’s alcoholic binges, and she cannot protect Anna from Anna’s own bad choices or from the bigotry of racists. She knows that she still loves Ben, but can she rebuild the trust that his infidelity shattered? Ben is plagued by the conviction that he is unworthy of his father’s belief in him and of his wife and daughter’s love for him. He has fought for his sobriety tenaciously, but his spiritual struggles are ongoing. And his self-recrimination over his failures as a son, a husband, and a father haunt him. Can he reclaim what he has lost? Will Anna’s love for her parents and her dream of a reunited family and Dewey’s wisdom and hopes for a successor to continue the beliefs of his people help Clara and Ben to find their way back? The reader is pulled into this story that has dimensional reality and substance.

This novel is my favorite of Kathleen Eagle’s books. I reread it every couple of years, and I rejoiced when Bell Bridge Books made it available in digital format. It is both a deeply emotional reunion story and a powerful, detailed account of an actual event. Eagle never shies from tackling the tough stuff, and in this novel she uses alcoholism, adultery, teen rebellion, and spiritual struggles to create a world where flawed characters fight to find healing, hope, and love despite their failures. Her own experience as a former teacher in a reservation school and as a white woman married to a Lakota saturate the story with authenticity. This book is one of those romance novels that surpasses any limitations of genre fiction. It touches the reader’s heart and challenges the reader to ponder important questions. Kathleen Eagle has given us many gems. I think this one is her best. I highly recommend it.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review - - Kaylee's Justice

Kaylee's Justice
Case File #1
By Jennifer St. Giles
Release Date: April 4, 2016


Eva St. Claire, along with her siblings, carry a heavy burden. Each, in their own way, see the nightmare of evil hidden beneath the surface. 

Serial killer Mason Smith rots in prison for the murder of a young woman. However, the secret of another killing still resides within him. Through Eva's unique family ability, she knows Mason is guilty of yet another murder, and she is determined to see him put to justice. 

When FBI Agent Adam Frazier's father reveals a blindsiding secret, he's forced to delve deeper into his investigation of the Angel of Death, and Eva holds the key. Dogged by secrets and hounded by a mysterious killer bound and determined to end Eva, Adam and Eva will have to find the truth, before becoming victims themselves. 

Together or apart, they fight to expose the darkness no matter what the cost.

This first book in Jennifer St. Giles' new series about three siblings with unique psychic abilities is packed with edge-of-your-seat thrills, chills, twists, turns, and non-stop action. I was riveted from first to final page. The suspense is expertly crafted, characters are realistic and vividly portrayed. The villains in particular are chilling in their evil realism. St. Giles has written in a variety of sub-genres but it's her suspense thrillers where I think she does her best work and I am all in!

In Kaylee's Justice, she introduces us to the St. Claire siblings: Eva, Iris, and Devin. Each was born with a different psychic ability; abilities they keep hidden from the world. With each sibling, St. Giles has created a complex, realistic character, haunted by the effects of his or her "gift," as well as the tragic events of their family's past, yet continuing to use their special skills to fight for justice. I'm already invested in all of them and cannot wait to read each of their stories.

Though Iris and Devin have important roles in this first book, the primary focus of this story is on oldest sibling, Eva and FBI Special Agent Adam Frazier. Both are strong characters, natural protectors, and deeply impacted by tragedy in their lives. I love them individually and together. St. Giles puts them through the wringer - and then some - but it only makes them stronger in the end.

While this is not a romance in the traditional sense, there are romantic elements and, by the end of the book, the reader is left with the impression that there's a good chance a lasting relationship may be in their future. With the way Kaylee's Justice ends, I feel hopeful that we will be seeing more of them in Iris' and Devin's books. I can't wait!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Review - - Love Blooms on Main Street

Love Blooms on Main Street
By Olivia Miles
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: July 26, 2016

Ivy Birch has been hoping to hear from Brett Hastings for seven months, ever since they shared a kiss that fired Ivy’s dreams at the wedding of her best friend, Grace Madison, and Brett’s cousin Luke Hastings (main characters in Mistletoe on Main Street). Ivy has nourished a crush on Brett since they were in middle school, and she finds the grown-up Dr. Brett Hastings just as appealing. The memory of that kiss is enough to make it difficult to concentrate on her work as Briar Creek’s favorite florist, a job she loves. But when months pass without even a phone call or a text from Brett, Ivy begins to suspect that the distracting doctor is another in a long line of jerks. That impression is confirmed by an unexpected encounter at the local hospital.

Brett could not wait to leave Briar Creek, Vermont. A full scholarship to Yale gave him his first opportunity. A free ride to medical school at Johns Hopkins followed, and ranking first in his class helped him secure a demanding post as an ER physician in a Baltimore hospital. Now he is back in Briar Creek, filling in for a doctor on maternity leave after his boss in Baltimore suggests the young doctor needs a change from the high-pressure, big-city ER scene. Brett is determined that his stay in Briar Creek will be strictly temporary. However attractive he finds Ivy, he knows that he, with his fear of commitment and plans to leave his home town as soon as possible, is not the man sweet Ivy with her roots deep in Briar Creek needs in her life.

 The chemistry between Brett and Ivy proves stronger than his intention to stay away from her for her own good. For a time, the two seem headed for the HEA of Ivy’s dreams. But Ivy’s fear that Brett will follow her overprotective brother’s example in dealing with her diabetes and Brett’s fear that the cost of opening his heart will prove too high may be insurmountable obstacles. Can Ivy and Brett overcome their baggage from the past to claim a shared future?

Love Blooms on Main Street is the fourth book in Miles’s Briar Creek series. Readers familiar with the earlier books, particularly Hope Springs on Main Street (the story of Jane Madison and Henry Birch, Ivy’s brother), will recognize the plucky Ivy. She is a sympathetic heroine, and her struggle to overcome her childhood as the daughter of an alcoholic and the complications of life as a diabetic to have a “normal” life give her substance and interest.  I found Brett less sympathetic. Despite his abandonment issues and his guilt over leaving his mother when she was ill, he came across as too self-absorbed for my taste. I also felt the ending was rushed and less than fully convincing.

Part of the charm of small-town romance is the cast of secondary characters with hints of their stories, but I found all the space devoted to Kara’s career conflicts irrelevant and distracting despite the thematic connection of secrets kept and the need to set up a future book. I really enjoyed the first three Briar Creek books, and I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, I ended up viewing LBOMS as the weak link in an otherwise excellent series. If you are a fan of the series, you may want to read this one for the sake of continuity. It is not a bad book, just less engaging than the other books. If you are new to Olivia Miles, I recommend you begin with Mistletoe on Main Street, the first book in the series, to see this author at her best.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review - - Once Upon a Wine

Once Upon a Wine
By Beth Kendrick
Publisher: NAL
Release Date: July 26, 2016

Cammie Breyer needs a big glass of cabernet—her restaurant failed and her chef boyfriend left for a hotter kitchen. Just when she thinks she’s hit rock bottom, her Aunt Ginger calls with a surprise. She’s bought a vineyard—in Delaware. At Ginger’s command, Cammie returns to Black Dog Bay, the seaside town where she spent her childhood summers with her aunt and her cousin, Kat.
The three women reunite, determined to succeed. There’s only one little problem: None of them knows the first thing about wine making. And it turns out, owning a vineyard isn’t all wine and roses. It’s dirt, sweat, and desperation. Every day brings financial pitfalls, unruly tourists, romantic dilemmas, and second thoughts.  But even as they struggle, they cultivate hidden talents and new passions. While the grapes ripen under the summer sun, Cammie discovers that love, like wine, is layered, complex, delicious, and worth waiting for…

What is is about a cute dog on the cover of a book? That's how I discovered Kristan Higgins and if I'd seen Once Upon a Wine in the store, that would be how I discovered Beth Kendrick as well.

Once Upon a Wine is a perfect summer read - full of humor and emotion. It's a story of second chances, as couples and individuals, of finding ourselves and realizing our dreams, at any age, even if those dreams turn out to be different than we thought they would be.

I really enjoyed my visit to Kendrick's Black Dog Bay,  a small seaside town known as the "best place in America to bounce back from your breakup." The story flows well and the main characters are all believable and deftly drawn. While I enjoyed the romantic journey for Cammie and Ian, and Kat and her estranged husband, it was the relationship of the three women, Cammie, Kat, and Ginger, and watching each of them blossom and find their intended purpose that took center stage for me. Kendrick created complex characters, added in challenging situations, then blended them together with humor and heart to seamlessly to create a satisfying story that will have me coming back for more Beth Kendrick books. And, as a bonus, there's Jacques, a retired French Bulldog show dog that comes into their lives with unexpected results. I adored him!

Once Upon a Wine is the fourth book in Kendrick's Black Dog Bay series but stands fine on its own. Of course, if you're like me, after reading it you may fall in love with this cute town and her citizens and download the first three books as well! They are: Cure for the Common Breakup, New Uses for Old Boyfriends, and Put a Ring On It.


What new authors have you discovered this summer?

Have you read any of Beth Kendrick's books?

One randomly chosen person leaving a comment will receive a print copy of Once Upon a Wine
(U.S. only) 

Deadline for comments for giveaway is 11:00 pm (EST), August 12, 2016.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Excerpt Tour - - Vivienne Lorret's This Earl is on Fire

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

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27776547-this-earl-is-on-fire

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/157217-season-s-original

This Earl is on Fire
Season's Original #2
By: Vivienne Lorret
Releasing August 2nd, 2016
Avon Impulse

The sheltered daughter of a country baron, Miss Adeline Pimm comes to London looking for adventure… and finds it in the form of a bloody, unconscious man slumped in the doorway of her family's rented townhouse. Though his identity is a mystery, Adeline is inexplicably drawn to the handsome, injured man and vows to nurse him back to health.

Liam Cavanaugh, the scandalous Earl of Wolford, is startled when he awakens in an unfamiliar bed, wrapped in bandages that hinder his eyesight, with no memory of why he was beaten half to death. Although he can't see the witty young woman who tends to his wounds, her alluring voice--and a single stolen kiss from her soft lips--help soothe his pain. But when he is fully healed, Liam is not ready to let go of the one woman who stirs his deepest longings.

Liam will do whatever it takes to see Adeline again, even if it means giving up his rakish ways. But his disreputable past is not so easily forgotten and his secrets are far more dangerous than he-or Adeline-ever imagined. 

Buy Links:    Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | GooglePlay

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Three Print Copies of THE DEBUTANTE IS MINE)

Excerpt #1

Liam Cavanaugh grinned at the corrugated lines marking his cousin’s lifted brows. It wasn’t often that Northcliff Bromley, the Duke of Vale and renowned genius, showed astonishment.
Bending his dark head, Vale peered closer at the marble heads within the crates. “Remarkable. Even seeing them side by side, I hardly notice a difference. The fellows will be fascinated when you present this to the Royal Society at month’s end.”
“It was pure luck that I had the original as well.” Liam shrugged as if he’d merely stumbled upon the differences between a genuine article and an imposter.
Vale turned, and his obsidian eyes sharpened on Liam. “No need to play the simpleton with me. You forget that I know your secret.”
Liam cast a hasty glance around the sconce-lit, cluttered ballroom of Wolford House, ensuring they were alone. Fortunately, the vast space was empty aside from the two of them and a dozen or more large crates filled with artifacts. “By definition, a secret is that of which we do not speak. So lower your voice, if you please.”
No one needed to know that he actually studied each piece of his collection in detail—enough that he’d learned how to spot a forgery in an instant.
“Afraid the servants will tell the ton your collection isn’t merely a frivolous venture? Or that your housekeeper’s complaints of dusty urns and statues crowding each room would suddenly fall silent?” Vale flashed a smile that bracketed his mouth with deep creases.
Liam pretended to consider his answer, pursing his lips. “It would be cruel of me to render Mrs. Brasher mute when she finds such enjoyment in haranguing me.”
“She may have a point,” Vale said, skirting in between two crates when a wayward nail snagged his coat, issuing a sharp rip of rending fabric. He stopped to examine the hole and shook his head. “Your collection has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few months. So much so that you were forced to purchase another property to house it all.”
“The curse of immense wealth and boredom, I’m afraid.”
His cousin’s quick glower revealed that he was not amused by Liam’s insouciant guise. Then, as if to punish him for it, he issued the foulest epithet known to man. “You should marry.”
Not wanting to reveal the discomfort slowly clawing up his spine, Liam chuckled. “As a cure for boredom?”
Vale said nothing. He merely crossed his arms over his chest and waited.
It was a standoff now. They were nearly equal in regard to observation skills, but apparently Vale thought he had the upper hand.
Liam knew differently. He crossed his arms as well and smirked.
If anyone were to peer into the room at this moment, they might wonder if they were staring at matching wax figures. The two of them looked enough alike in build and coloring to be brothers, but with subtle differences. Vale’s features were blunter, while Liam’s were angular. And Vale’s dark eyes were full of intellect, while Liam’s green eyes tended to reveal the streak of mischief within.
“Marriage would do you good,” Vale said.
Liam disagreed. “You’re starting to sound like Thayne, always hinting of ways to improve my social standing.”
The Marquess of Thayne was determined to reform Liam into the ton’s favorite pet—the Season’s Original. In fact, Thayne had been so confident in success that he’d wagered on the outcome. What a fool.
“I never hint,” Vale said.
Liam offered his cousin a nod. “True. You are a forthright, scientific gentleman, and I appreciate that about you. Therefore, I will give you the courtesy of answering in kind: No. I should not marry. I like my life just as it is.” He lifted his hands in a gesture to encompass his collection within this room. “Besides, I could never respect a woman who would have me.”
Vale scoffed. “Respect?”
“Very well. I could never trust a woman who desired to marry me. Not with my reputation. Such a woman would either be mad or conniving, and I want neither for a wife.”
He’d nearly succumbed once, falling for the worst of all deceptions. After that narrow escape, he’d vowed never to be tricked again.
“Come now. There are many who care nothing for your reputation.”
That statement only served to cement his belief. If his despoiled reputation were the only thing keeping him far afield of the ton’s conniving matchmakers, then he would make the most of it. And the perfect place to add the crème de la crème to his list of scandalous exploits would be at Lady Forester’s masquerade tonight.
After all, he had a carefully crafted reputation of unrepentant debauchery to uphold.
Liam squared his shoulders and walked with his cousin to the door. “If the Fates have it in mind to see me married before I turn sixty, then they will have to knock me over the head and drag me to the altar.”

Excerpt #2
The moment Adeline Pimm saw the body slumped against the doorway, she knew that London was a city full of adventure. Oh . . . and, of course, danger.
A series of indrawn breaths followed.
Father’s gasp was more of a wordless exclamation as the man beneath the narrow portico of their rented townhouse tipped over the threshold and crumbled into his arms. Mother’s accompanied a jolt of her limbs, an ever-preparedness to manage any given situation. While Adeline’s stalled in her throat. Tiny grains of gooseflesh rose on her arms. Her skin tingled. And some strange force clutched her heart.
Her own response made little sense to her. After having been shielded from . . . well . . . everything for her entire life, a more understandable reaction might have been to faint, perhaps. Yet instead, she felt compelled to rush across the foyer to offer aid.
Her body answered this urge. Automatically she took a step forward. Unfortunately, so did her mother, effectively blocking her path.
Hildebrand Pimm—Bunny to all those who knew her—clapped a hand over her daughter’s eyes. “Adeline, hasten to your room. This sight is too troubling for your eyes.”
Not just any young woman’s eyes, Adeline noted, but hers and hers alone.
Excerpt 3:
“Your swelling has diminished completely,” she said, feeling a strange fluttering in the pit of her stomach. Then she gripped the key tightly as if it were her life’s purpose. “Your flesh is somewhat bruised, however, and purplish in places. When you arrived, we weren’t even able to see that you had eyes.”
“And now that you are able?” There was an edge of mockery to his tone and—yes—to his lips too. Now there were appealing fissures on both sides of his mouth.
“Are you seeking a compliment? I had not taken you for a vain peacock,” she chided, feeling comfortable enough to tease him in return. Yet, that quickly altered when he reached up and closed his hand over hers.
He tugged her closer. “Your expression reveals little. And there are no mirrors nearby to show me whether I am merely bruised or disfigured. That pretty blush upon your cheeks could be because you are here in your nightdress and shy about it, not necessarily because you think I am handsome.”
Were all the gentlemen in London this bold? She held her breath, trying not to move and wanting to absorb every sensation caused by her hand in his grasp. Her skin rejoiced, sending shivers of warmth through her like sparks from flint and steel. His thumb swept back and forth over the mound of her thumb. Then his fingers curled casually as if touches such as these were commonplace. At least, for him...
           “I like the look of you,” she confessed, holding his gaze. A man who’d suffered such a beating deserved that, at least.

Excerpt 4:
“However, perhaps if my pillow were fluffed.”
She looked at him as if he were teasing her, but played along nonetheless, chafing her hands together. “I must have an innate talent for pillow fluffing.”
If one could possess a talent for such a thing, she certainly did not. Not that he would tell her. Because if he did, he already knew the result. She would leave his side, and he would lose the relief—or whatever this was—he found in her presence. And he had never been one to deny himself necessary comforts.
Then, as she had done before, she leaned over him. Her hands went to either side of his face, pressing into the pillow, the inviting plumpness of her breasts resting on his chest. Enjoying the moment, he closed his eyes and drew in a deep breath that hinted at pear blossoms.
She went still. “Why are your hands at my waist?”
Were they? He squeezed his hands and found that, yes, they most definitely were. He also discovered that the satin gown was warm from the heat of her body and fine enough that there was little barrier between his hands and the slender curve of her waist and the slight flare of her hips.
“I’m merely aiding in your efforts by offering stability,” he said, by way of an excuse. Of course, he hadn’t intended to touch her—gentleman’s daughter and all that. Given his pleasure-seeking nature, however, he wasn’t entirely surprised by his wayward hands. Perhaps he should think about removing them before he found them cupped around her breasts. Inadvertently, of course.
“Afraid that I will crush you?” she said with a laugh against his lips. “Well, do not worry, because I have finished. Your pillow is sufficiently plump.”
More than. And lumpy as well, but he did not mind in the least. Especially when he felt her lips against his cheek.
“Thank you, Wolford. I had a delightful evening.”
In the next instant, he didn’t know what came over him. Suddenly, he found his hand at her nape, pulling her mouth to his.