Saturday, June 29, 2019

Review - - Project Duchess

Project Duchess
by Sabrina Jeffries
Duke Dynasty - Book 1
Publisher: Kensington - Zebra Books
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

A series of stepfathers and a difficult childhood have left Fletcher “Grey” Pryde, 5th Duke of Greycourt, with a guarded heart, enviable wealth, and the undeserved reputation of a rogue. Grey’s focus on expanding his dukedom allows him little time to find a wife. But when his mother is widowed yet again and he meets the charmingly unconventional woman managing his stepfather’s funeral, he’s shocked to discover how much they have in common. Still, Grey isn’t interested in love, no matter how pretty, or delightfully outspoken, the lady . . .
Beatrice Wolfe gave up on romance long ago, and the arrogant Duke of Greycourt with his rakish reputation isn’t exactly changing her mind. Then Grey agrees to assist his grief-stricken mother with her latest “project”: schooling spirited, unfashionable Beatrice for her debut. Now that Beatrice is seeing through Grey’s charms to his wounded heart, she’s having trouble keeping him at arm’s length. But once Grey starts digging into her family’s secrets, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her family . . . or with the man whose lessons capture her heart . . .  

My thoughts:

I've enjoyed pretty much everything Sabrina Jeffries has written, with a number of 5-star books scattered throughout her oeuvre. But, for my money, she's at her best in a series set within a family, with a mystery at its core. She excels at family dynamics; creating realistic, and entertaining, relationships among siblings such as those within The Hellions of Halstead Hall, my favorite of her many series. Her Duke Dynasty series introduces readers to a new (blended) family - a thrice widowed mother of three dukes, a second son, and a daughter - and a new mystery to be solved. Based on the recently released first book, Project Duchess, where we meet the entire family, it just may give those Halstead Hall hellions a run for their money.

Beatrice and Grey are wonderfully complex characters, both with hidden emotional baggage. At first glance, their "playing field" appears to be very unequal. Grey is a wealthy duke from London while Beatrice is a poor spinster from the country. Yes, she's a duke's granddaughter but she's never had a debut and is much more at home running her dogs or walking the woods than at a dinner party. But Beatrice isn't about to let Grey walk over her. She's opinionated, fond of cursing, and holds her own with our rigid duke. Rather than repel Grey, those qualities only make her more attractive to him, as evidenced by the sizzling chemistry that flares whenever they're in the same room. It was so much fun to watch our calm, collected, and controlled duke fall head over heels, even though he doesn't realize it until it's almost too late. And the banter between these two! So good!

Beatrice may appear confident but she also has a vulnerable heart that could easily be broken and secrets she guards zealously. Grey has a few of his own. There are good reasons why he isn't close with his siblings; why he keeps his emotions safely locked away. My heart broke for him when those reasons were finally brought to light. 

One of the things I most liked about this book is the fact that both Beatrice and Grey evolve over the course of the story without losing the essential elements of their character. Neither is "transformed" to better fit their new role, especially Beatrice. Rather, they gradually help one another overcome the pain of their individual pasts, they protect one another's secrets, they learn to trust in love and one another, and most importantly, they help each other heal and recognize their true worth. I adored them and can't wait to, hopefully, see more of them throughout the series. They are going to be one fun - and formidable - couple!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Winners - - Kingdom of Exiles

The two winners of a signed copy of 

Kingdom of Exiles are:




The winner of an unsigned copy is:

Alina P


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Please include "Kingdom of Exiles" in the subject line.

Abigail Sharpe Winner

The randomly chosen winner of a $5 Gift Card to

Amazon or Barnes and Noble is:



Please send an email with your choice of card to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Review - - Rogue Most Wanted

Rogue Most Wanted
by Janna MacGregor
The Cavensham Heiresses - Book 5
Publisher: St. Martin's
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

Wanted: an engagement of convenience. Found: A noble suitor.
Raised on a remote Scottish estate by her adoring grandfather, Lady Theodora Worth has inherited an earldom as well as the land itself. But when an upstart duke challenges her claim to the title and the Ladykyrk estate, Thea is suddenly in need of a husband—in name, at least. An elderly neighbor with a thoroughly modern sensibility and a dashing great-nephew just might be the answer to Thea’s prayers. Except she has no intention of marrying the first man she meets. That would be utterly ridiculous.
It just can’t be him. . .
Lord William Cavensham is entirely too devoted to his family’s estate—ever since he was jilted as a lad--to wed, but he agrees to meet the woman his aunt has taken under her wing—and introduce her to possible suitors. But after just one meeting with beautiful, spirited Thea, Will is determined to help her reclaim her title. And even more so, he can’t stop thinking that perhaps marriage to this bold, passionate woman may be the one thing he’s been missing all along?

My thoughts:

I've been enjoying this series since book one but I have to admit, Lord William Cavensham has not been one of my favorite characters. In the earlier books, he's been opinionated, out-spoken, a bit of an instigator, and not much help in his siblings' journeys to their happily-ever-afters. The opposite, actually. So, when I discovered he was to be the hero of Rogue Most Wanted, I was curious to see how his character would develop, learn what had made him so love averse, and discover if my tepid feelings toward him could be changed. Did MacGregor hit the mark? Let me put it this way. Rogue Most Wanted, my least-anticipated book in The Cavensham Heiresses series is now my favorite. I've read it twice. It's made me cry, twice. There's a good chance I'll revisit it again. Probably cry again too. And laugh. And smile. And sigh. 

But Will's evolution isn't the only reason this book was such a joy for me to read. In Thea, MacGregor has created one of my favorite heroines this year. She's intrepid, selfless, vulnerable, but strong when it counts, loyal, and worthy. Worthy of her title, worthy of a family, worthy of a true, lasting, love. I want to hug her, hang out with her, and cheer her on. I want to be her friend.

One of the things I have most enjoyed about MacGregor's writing is her ability to create fully-formed, complex, flawed characters who come to life on the pages of her books. That skill is on full display in Rogue Most Wanted, not only with Thea and Will but also a richly portrayed, fully developed secondary cast. Two of my favorites are Will's Aunt Stella, Lady Payne, a meddling, matchmaking grand dame who adds a wonderful dash of humor - I definitely want to hang with her - and his father, the Duke of Langham, who captured my heart with his kindness to Thea and love for his family. 

Rogue Most Wanted is the fifth book in The Cavensham Heiresses series. While many of the couples from prior books move in and out of the story, MacGregor has written this book in such a way that it can easily be read, and enjoyed, without having read the other books first. Though I do enthusiastically recommend all five. 

When you read a romance, do you typically connect more with the hero or the heroine? Or with both as a couple?

Have you read any of the Cavensham Heiresses books?

Do you have a favorite book or character in the series?

One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, June 30, will receive a print copy of Rogue Most Wanted

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Winner - - Say No to the Duke

The randomly chosen winner of a print copy of

Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James is:

Diane D - Florida


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Review - - Her Other Secret

Her Other Secret
by HelenKay Dimon
Whitaker Island Series - Book 1
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

Is it the perfect escape?
Whitaker Island is more than a getaway. For Tessa Jenkins, the remote strip of land in Washington state is a sanctuary. Fleeing from a shattering scandal, she has a new name, a chance at a new beginning, and a breathtaking new view: Hansen Rye. It’s hard not to crush on Whitaker’s hottest handyman. At six-foot-three and all kinds of fine, he’s also intensely private—and the attraction between them soon simmers dangerously out of control.
…or a private trap for two lovers?
After a devastating family tragedy, Hansen finds the pebbled shores of the faraway island to be an ideal refuge. Letting down his guard for the sexy, impulsive Tessa is an unexpected pleasure. But there’s another newcomer to Whitaker. He’s no stranger to Hansen. And when he’s murdered, the crime casts a threatening shadow. As suspicion falls on Hansen, all his secrets are about to collide with Tessa’s. Now the pasts they were determined to outrun are catching up to them. So is a killer who’s putting their love—and their lives—on the line.

My thoughts:

HelenKay Dimon launches her newest series with this twisty tale that's sure to appeal to lovers of mystery and romance alike. Set in the Pacific Northwest, Dimon's remote Whitaker Island is a perfect refuge for people seeking to leave their secrets behind. But when someone's past decides to pay a visit that results in murder, nobody's secrets are safe. In fact, nobody on Whitaker Island may be safe, period. 

I love a good whodunit with quirky characters, multiple mystery threads, amateur sleuths, and an assortment of potential villains, all of which Her Other Secret has in spades. I immediately felt an affinity with Tessa and her impulsive, inquisitive nature. As for Hansen...let's just say that a sexy, grumpy, man of few words, with a hot body and hidden emotional wounds is one who will always hold my attention. He's a bit of a jerk in the early stages of the book but, not to worry. He steps up, thaws very nicely under Tessa's care, and by the end of the book, I had fallen for him just as hard as she did.

There are multiple mystery threads running through this story. One I figured out early on while the other took me longer but while solving them lessened the suspense a bit for me, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the rest of the story, especially the evolution of Tessa's and Hansen's relationship. There are also intriguing secondary characters and multiple mystery threads - Who really owns the island? How is Sylvia connected to them? And, what's up with  Maddie and Ben? - that I'm looking forward to learning more about as the series progresses.

I will definitely be tuning in for book number two!

Where would you go if you were trying to outrun secrets or scandal? Personally, I think I'd opt for something a little more tropical than Washington State.

One person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, June 29, will receive a print copy of Her Other Secret. (U.S. only) 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Today's Special - - Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau: Review, Q&A, Giveaway

Kingdom of Exiles
by Maxym M. Martineau
The Beast Charmer - Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

My heart wasn't part of the deal when I bargained for my life,
But assassins so rarely keep their word.
Exiled Charmer Leena Edenfrell is running out of time. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts-an offense punishable by death-and now there's a price on her head. With the realm's most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes Noc an offer he can't refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
Plagued by a curse that kills everyone he loves, Noc agrees to Leena's terms in hopes of finding a cure. Never mind that the dark magic binding the assassin's oath will eventually force him to choose between Leena's continued survival...and his own.

My thoughts:

Fantasy romance, fantasy of any type, actually, is not my usual cup of tea. When I attended Book Lovers Con in May, a debut fantasy romance was included among the books in my registration bag. The back cover blurb was interesting and after chatting with the author at one of the conference events, I asked if she'd be interested in doing a Q&A for the blog. Which meant, of course, that I'd need to read the book. Though intrigued by the premise, knowing my history with fantasy, I opened the first page with the hope that I would enjoy it; that it would hold my attention. I did not expect to become so completely immersed in the story, so fully invested in the characters, and their journeys. I did not expect to care so. darn. much. But, Martineau brings her fantasy world to life with vivid descriptions that convince me such a place really does exist. She creates characters - human, beast, undead, and more - with care and complexity, giving them surprising layers, unexpected depths, and a range of emotions that stirred my own.   

The first few chapters are a bit slow as I find to be the case with many novels that are first in a new series. There's world building to be accomplished, stages to be set, characters to be introduced, but once Leena reaches the assassins, the story takes off and, for me, not reading was not an option. At about the 60% mark, barely able to keep my eyes open, I went to bed, plugging my Kindle into the charger, intending to finish the book the next day. It stayed on the charger for about five minutes while I tossed and turned in bed. I couldn't stand it. I had come to care deeply for these characters. They were in peril and I had to know what happened next. I pulled the Kindle off the charger and dived right back into the story, not looking up again until I reached the final word around 2:00 AM. Then, I stayed awake for at least another hour, thinking about the characters, the beasts, everything that had happened and what, possibly, might come next. I'm still thinking about them almost three weeks later. 

If this is an example of Martineau's storytelling skill as a debut author, I can't wait to find out what's in store for readers a few books down the road. I am all in, happily hooked, and eagerly anticipating every future book with Maxym M. Martineau's name on the cover. 


Q&A with Maxym M. Martineau
Welcome to The Romance Dish, Maxym! Thank you for taking the time to visit with us today.

Thank you so much for having me! I’m happy to be here.

Congratulations on the release of your debut novel, Kingdom of Exiles. I just finished reading it (way past my bedtime) and have spent the past few days telling everyone I know that they have to read this book. Please tell our readers what they can expect from Kingdom of Exiles.

You can’t see me, but I just did a happy dance in my room—I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Kingdom of Exiles is an adult fantasy romance full of assassins, magical creatures, beast charmers, black-market deals, secrets, and of course, lots of kissing. The story follows two main characters: Leena Edenfrell, an exiled beast charmer, and Noc, leader of the undead assassins guild, Cruor.
After being exiled from her home, Leena is forced to sell her beloved magical creatures on the black market to survive. Unfortunately, this results in a bounty placed on her head. Enter Noc, the realm’s deadliest murderer-for-hire. When he captures Leena and moves in for the kill, she strikes a bargain with him: four magical beasts in exchange for her life. He agrees, not only because these creatures could protect his guild, but because there are whispers of a magical beast that has the ability to grant any wish—something he desperately wants in order to remove a decades-old curse that threatens those he loves.
Leena, Noc and his three closest brethren set off on a beast hunt across the continent of Lendria. But traps capture more than beasts, and ensnared hearts are hard to untangle. With the people behind Leena’s bounty calling for her head, and Noc’s deadly curse making itself known, no manner of beasts or magic can protect their hides.

Which character (human or beast) in Kingdom of Exiles was the most difficult to write and why? Which was the most fun?

Ohhh, that’s a tough one. All of the characters were pretty well-developed in my mind before I sat down to write them, so their mannerisms and nuances flowed nicely during my drafts. I do a lot of pre-writing and character profiles, so I think that helped. Which means, I’d probably say writing the beasts was more difficult. Figuring out ways to describe their size, shape, characteristics, etc., in a fantasy world where our modern-day terms might not translate was difficult. The hardest? Probably the Scorpex, a scorpion/worm amalgamation.
The character who was by far the most fun to write was Kost. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely love my main characters, but Kost is such an emotional touchstone, and I love his mannerisms.

I was fascinated by the beasts in this novel and Leena’s perfect pairing of them with their eventual owners. What type of beast would you create for yourself? Why?

What a great question! Hmm… Prior to getting my degree in English literature, I was actually studying animal behavior. I had a dream of doing field research on large cats—tigers, specifically. You can probably guess where I’m going with this, hehe. Basically, my admiration for these predatory felines translated into the legendary feline beasts in Kingdom of Exiles. So if it’s not the Myad, then it’d be another feline of that caliber, possibly resembling a tiger with some magical characteristics. (Fun fact: I have a Japanese-style tiger tattooed on my leg.)
I’d also take a Groober in a heartbeat. A beast that can help me sleep and is super cuddly? Sign me up!

Your bio says you enjoy binge-watching television shows. I’m always on the lookout for new series to watch. What do you recommend?

I love any show that deals with magic, the supernatural, some sci-fi, or romance. Recently, I devoured The Umbrella Academy in about two days. I’m also an avid fan of Jensen Ackles, and therefore Supernatural. Others include Game of Thrones (minus this last season…sigh), Westworld and Trueblood. Being Human, Teen Wolf and Lost Girl were all up there for me for a while, but life happened, and I stopped watching. Maybe one day I’ll pick ‘em back up!
Where I reeeaallly binge is with anime. My Hero Academia, Hunter x Hunter, Tokyo Ghoul, Seven Deadly Sins, Fairy Tail, Death Note, Re: Zero, Sword Art Online… I know I’m forgetting some major ones, here, but those first three are my favorite.

Speaking of television, I think Kingdom of Exiles would make a fabulous series or series of movies. Who would be your dream cast if that were to happen?

That would be SO amazing. I’d love to see my story brought to life! I recently just had this discussion with my team, and we came up with a working list. Let me tell you, this was incredibly difficult for me to do, and I feel like there are caveats for all of them (no one is Noc!). Anyway, here’s the breakdown:
Leena—Gal Gadot
Noc—Jonathan Rhys Meyers (but a young JRM) or Francois Arnaud
Kost—Robert Sheehan (please, oh please!) or Ezra Miller
Ozias—Winston Duke
Calem—Jason Mamoa or Chris Hemsworth

Many questions are answered by the end of Kingdom of Exiles but some threads are also left dangling which, of course, has me already eagerly anticipating book two. How many books are planned for the series? When can readers expect the next book to be published?

Drum roll, please! There are… SIX books expected for the Beast Charmer world! The first three follow Noc and Leena’s story specifically, so those threads? They’ll definitely get their pretty bows by the end of it. As for books four, five, and six… You’ll have to wait and see what they entail! Book two, The Frozen Prince, comes out in February of 2020.

Will you be attending any book signings or events this summer where readers will have an opportunity to meet you?

Yes! I have two local signings set up in Arizona. One at the Barnes & Noble in the San Tan Mall location (June 29) and the other at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix (July 9). There is also the potential that I’ll be traveling out of state for something, but that’s still in the works. Keep an eye out on my social media or website for more updates.

What books are on your summer must-read list?

A lot! I feel like my TBR is never-ending. Right now, I’m reading A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (and I’m loving it). After that, I’d like to dig into Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston; The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai; and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I’m hoping I can get to all of them during my crazy schedule!

Where can readers find you online?

I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or through my website.

Thank you, Maxym! I appreciate you taking the time to visit with us today and, again, congratulations on the publication of your debut novel. Do you have anything else to add? Would you like to ask our readers a question?
It was a pleasure! Thanks again for having me. Hmm… I’d love to hear from everyone about their favorite fantasy romance, paranormal romance, YA fantasy, or something along the likes of those genres! I’m always trying to expand my reading list.

I came home from Book Lovers Con with two signed copies of Kingdom of Exiles to share with Romance Dish readers. Two people who post a comment before 11:00 PM, June 28 will each receive a signed copy of the book. (U.S. only)
And, because I was so blown away by this book and want you all to have an opportunity to share in that experience, a third randomly chosen person posting a comment before 11:00 PM, June 28 will receive their choice of a Kindle copy of Kingdom of Exiles or a print (unsigned) copy (open to all addresses serviced by

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Today's Special - - Moonshine and Magnolias by Abigail Sharpe

Moonshine and Magnolias
by Abigail Sharpe
Just Add Peaches - Book 1
Publisher: Abigail Sharpe
Release Date: June 20, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

Hotel executive Wendy Marsh puts her career on hold when she inherits half of her family’s inn. Her to-do list? It’s simple: teach her spoiled cousin how to manage Fountenoy Hall, then hightail it back to her structured, careful life in Atlanta. Romance has never been part of Wendy's plan – so what is it about the sexy history professor researching the inn that she finds so tempting?

Rob Upshaw would be enjoying his time at the Inn at Fountenoy Hall if he wasn’t secretly hunting for a family treasure lost during Prohibition. Only a few minor inconveniences stand in his way. His uncle’s old journals are cryptic, he has only a vague description of the loot, and the beautiful, uptight innkeeper with a subtle sense of humor might hold the key to his quest. Even though Rob’s career is built on facts, he accepts he might have to lie to Wendy. But falling for her? That’s out of the question.

Moonshine and Magnolias is a Just Add Peaches novel. Each book in the series is a stand-alone, passionate and playful contemporary romance, but you'll want more than one juicy bite.

My thoughts:

Looking for a fun, light contemporary romance, filled with southern hospitality, complicated family dynamics, a touch of mystery, and a sweet romance to add to your summer reading list? Abigail Sharpe's Moonshine and Magnolias could be just what you're looking for.

As this is the first book in Sharpe's Just Add Peaches series, there's an extended cast of characters to be introduced and I enjoyed getting to know all of them. Granted, I found a few of them annoying (not the hero and heroine) but isn't it the flaws that keep things interesting? The author is adept at bringing her characters to life and I'm looking forward to discovering more about several of them in future books. 

Sharpe also excels at bringing the peaches for which her series is named to life on the pages of her book. I found myself drooling over several passages that feature delicious-sounding dishes conjured up in the kitchen of the family inn. They've made me more eager than ever for peach season to hit its peak where I live. 

One of the facets I most enjoyed about Moonshine and Magnolias is the author's ability to "set the scene." Through her words, she pulled me into her world and the lives of her characters. I could smell the sweet aroma of fresh peaches in the orchard, share the hopes, dreams, fears, and frustrations of characters, lose myself in the rich history of the inn, and feel the strong, loving legacy of the generations of women in Wendy's family who had come before. 

I'm looking forward to returning to Fountenoy Hall for book two, Cupcake of the Month and excited that I only have to wait another month for it to be released! 


Q&A with Abigail Sharpe

Welcome to The Romance Dish, Abigail! Thank you for taking the time to visit with us today.

Thanks, PJ.  I’ve been following the Romance Dish for a few years and I’m all giddy that I get to be a part of it.

Congratulations on the release of Moonshine and Magnolias, the first book in your new Just Add Peaches series. It’s such a fun read! Please tell our readers what they can expect from this book and series.

I like to write passionate, playful contemporary romance. So you’ll read Just Add Peaches to laugh and have a good time. I’ve always preferred to read light and fun, so writing it made sense.

I’m already intrigued with various secondary characters in this first book and hoping they’ll get their own stories. How many books are planned for the series? Are you able to share anything about future books/characters?

You won’t have to wait long for the second book, Cupcake of the Month – it releases in July! Jordan meets an old flame and together they heat up the kitchen.  The third book is half done, and I do have more planned.  In my head, at least.  I love these characters and the setting and their world, so I plan on staying here for a while.

Your bio mentions a love of stage musicals (that I share!). What musical production do you most enjoy watching? For what musical would you most like to be a member of the cast? Is there a dream role you’re aching to fill?

Oh, you’re going to get me started now. I love musicals!  Some folks go bar hopping – we should go musical hopping.
I love performing, but now it has to be something I really want to do, because rehearsals take a dent out of writing time. Aside from my performances every year with my singing wench group at the medieval faire, the last time I was on stage was in 2010 for Singin’ in the Rain. I played the radio announcer, and got to sing and dance in the chorus.  My favorite role ever was Meg from Brigadoon.  She was a trip.
As for watching—that’s a really tough question.  Every musical has something to offer that makes me want to see it over and over. I’d love to be in Rent.  Even the chorus characters have full stories that can make me cry.  As for my dream role – the Witch in Into the Woods.  Hands down.  Oh – and there’s my answer for which one I can watch over and over.  Bernadette Peters was amazing.  Joanna Gleason (The Baker’s Wife) was amazing.  Stephen Sondheim was amazing.  I’d also like to be Florence in Chess (more realistic – I can sing her songs without my voice squeaking) and the Lady of the Lake from Spamalot.

I could go on and on about this, so I’ll stop before I run out of column space.

Peaches are one of my favorite fruits and the delicious peach dishes they whip up in the Fountenoy Hall kitchen in Moonshine and Magnolias had me drooling. What’s your favorite way to eat peaches? Do you do any cooking with them? Have a favorite recipe to share?

Cupcake of the Month is going to come with a peach cupcake recipe that my wonderfully creative cousin whipped up for me.  You’ll have to wait for that.  Of course it has whiskey in it, too, to get that moonshine in there. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Caramelized peaches are soooo good.  Serve them warm over some vanilla ice cream and OMG.  But, really, nothing’s better than the sweet juiciness of a fresh peach – the kind that makes you use twenty napkins while you eat it. 

Moonshine and Magnolias is a great summer read. What books are on your summer must-read list?

I’m sure it will shock you to know I read a lot of romance. Jill Shalvis is great for summer reads!  I’m also a fan of Kat Latham.  Anything fun and lighthearted that brings to mind the carefree summer mindset.

For this summer in particular, I’m about to start Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark.  Not sure how summery they are, but I’m excited to read them.  I’m also part of a book club that reads books that are going to be movies, so on my list are "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James W. Loewen, "Artemis Fowl" by Eoin Colfer, and "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss.  (Shhhh – don’t tell my people I already read this one. It was crazy good.  But fair warning – it’s the first of three.)  I like being part of a book club that makes me read outside the romance genre, since there are so many good romances to read! 

I’ll probably also read “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.  Both kids had to read it for school and hubby read it as well, so I’ve got book FOMO.

Will you be attending any book signings or events this year where readers will have an opportunity to meet you?

I’m so glad you asked.  On August 17, I’ll be participating in a multi-romance author book signing at the Jacksonville Public Library in Jacksonville, FL.  My original plan was to wait until at least three Just Add Peaches books were published, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of a signing so close to home.

Look for me in 2020, though I’ll probably stay in the southeast.  Travel costs, you know.  Unless I win the lottery, and then all bets are off.

Where can readers find you online?

I mostly hang out on Facebook at
And I’ve been dipping my cyber toes into Instagram:
I also have an extremely outdated webpage (I’m working on it!) at

Thanks so much, Abigail!  Do you have anything else to add? Would you like to ask our readers a question?

I keep dreaming about being the witch in Into the Woods, so let’s all play pretend.  What fictional character’s life would you like to take over for a day and why? And not just because they’re married to Jamie Fraser. 

One randomly chosen person posting a comment before 11:00 PM, June 27 will receive a $5 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Winner - - Emily March

The randomly chosen winner of a print copy of

JACKSON by Emily March is:

Patricia Bennett Barber


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Tour Review & Giveaway - - Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James

Say No to the Duke
by Eloisa James
The Wildes of Lindow Castle - Book 4
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

Could she possibly refuse a duke’s hand—in favor of a sardonic, sinful rake?
Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.
No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.
If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.
But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.

My thoughts:

I've so enjoyed the first four books in the Wildes of Lindow Castle series, becoming more invested in this family with each book published. Each featured couple brings something unique and special to the series but Betsy and Jeremy just may be my favorites. I adored these two!

In this book, James has created two characters with an enormous amount of emotional baggage. Both Betsy and Jeremy have been impacted by events from their past. In Betsy's case, it's the actions of her mother, a woman who abandoned her family for a lover, by whom Betsy is now (unfairly) judged, that have shaped Betsy's actions in society. For Jeremy, who lost all of his men on the battlefield, survivor's guilt is a daily struggle. Both carefully control what they allow others to see and, consequently, very few really know them. Only with one another do they eventually let those masks slip and once they do...let the fun begin!

I couldn't turn the pages of this book quickly enough but then, once I had finished, I returned to the beginning and read it again, this time slowly savoring each delicious word. The banter between Jeremy and Betsy is fast, fun, and plentiful, and the intimate scenes are filled with emotion and heat. The rawness of Jeremy's anguish is so vivid as is the PTSD he battles but the fears Betsy has dealt with most of her life are no less real. All of that is dealt with head-on but James infuses plenty of sass, humor, and passion to keep the story from becoming dark or angst-ridden. And romance. The declarations between these two are so deeply romantic, I defy anyone to not sigh with sheer, heart-tugging delight. I sure did.

I can't wait to find out what Eloisa James has in store for the Wilde family next!

Are you reading this series?

Do you have a favorite Wilde couple?

One randomly chosen person posting a comment before 11:00 PM, June 26 will receive a print copy of Say No to the Duke. (U.S. only) 

Say No to the Duke

They moved toward each other as if they were following the steps of a very slow, very grand country dance. One that was danced by kings and queens and countryfolk alike.

When they were beside each other, she squared her shoulders and met his eyes. “I decided to come to you. I hope that is all right.”

“I do believe that you are the bravest woman I’ve ever met,” he replied.

He couldn’t have said anything better; Betsy felt herself begin to glow. “I haven’t been brave to this point, but I have made up my mind to change. I outlawed being nervous, but now I need to outlaw being afraid.” She hesitated. “I have chosen courage, and now I choose happiness.”

“I love you as you are,” he whispered, and then his mouth came down on hers.

Her breath caught in her throat because their tongues met as if they kissed every day, every night. He tasted right, which sent a shiver through her whole body, and pushed her against him gently, the way a pebble might roll up a beach when the tide comes in.

One doesn’t fight the tide.


Eloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at