Sunday, February 28, 2021

Winner - - Anna Sugden


The randomly chosen winner of 

Anna Sugden's prize package is:

Alina P


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Winner - - Lady Constantine and the Sins of Lord Kilgore


The randomly chosen winner of an e-copy of

Lady Constantine and the Sins of Lord Kilgore is:



Please send your email address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Winners - - Dream a Little Dream


The randomly chosen winners of a set of

the first three books in Melinda Curtis's 

Sunshine Valley series from Forever Romance are:

Eileen AW


Annette N


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

TLC Tour Winner - - The Rakehell of Roth


The randomly chosen winner of a copy of

The Rakehell of Roth by Amalie Howard is:



Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Review - - Lady Constantine and the Sins of Lord Kilgore

Lady Constantine and the Sins of Lord Kilgore
by Julie Johnstone
Scottish Scoundrels: Ensnared Hearts - Book 3
Publisher: Darbyshire Publishing LLC
Release Date: February 25, 2021
Reviewed by PJ

Callum, the Marquess of Kilgore, long ago accepted that he was no saint. So when he’s offered a shameful bet—to seduce the lady some have dubbed the “Ice Queen” and recover the land he foolishly gambled away—he agrees. Yet, as he comes to know Lady Constantine, he realizes this kind and pure woman deserves far better than a reprobate like himself. Now, he would do anything to protect her from the scandal he helped create, even ruthlessly pushing her away. It seems he hasn’t fallen quite as far into sin as he thought…

But a brush with death and an unexpected offer of a marriage of convenience from Constantine provides an opportunity he never anticipated: recoup his squandered fortune and win back the woman he loves. But before Callum can launch his new plan, a heinous plot rips him away, snatching his freedom and destroying any trace of the man who wanted to open his heart.

Constantine hasn’t a clue what to do when the man she loved, hated, and mourned returns from the dead. Though she is still legally his wife, she certainly doesn’t know him anymore—if she ever did. The seemingly unrepentant rogue appears focused solely on revenge, no matter the destruction it may cause—a far cry from the complex man of honor she once believed him to be. Yet, despite the pain of the past and the demons of the present, Callum still holds the power to inexorably fill her with a yearning and a hope she can hardly control. Suddenly, Constantine wants to risk her heart again for the one thing she has always longed for from the only man she ever cared for—exquisite, unconquerable love.

PJ's Thoughts:

Julie Johnstone is an auto-buy author for me. Her books are always filled with period authenticity, heart-stopping action, deep emotion, and beautifully crafted, multi-layered characters. This book is no exception. Constantine and Cal are fully-formed, complex characters with a twisted journey to love that would challenge the strongest of individuals. The depth of anguish, anger, guilt, and betrayal that these two endure plays out across scenes that are heartrending and sometimes difficult to read, especially in the first chapters. True to form, Johnstone challenges them, and their feelings for one another, as they slowly evolve and their relationship deepens, but not without a fair number of obstacles. Their triumphant conclusion is hard won indeed but all the more sweet for the path they are forced to travel to get there. 

I have been eagerly awaiting this couple's story and it's exceptionally good so you're probably wondering why I gave it four stars instead of five. It's because of a plot device used that hindered my overall enjoyment of the book. The story begins one year in the past then in Chapter Two jumps forward to the characters' present day. I was immediately plunged into the story and its sense of urgency from the first pages and by the end of Chapter Two was fully invested in Cal and Constantine, their predicament, and the secondary characters who accompanied Cal home. But then, in Chapter Three, the story flashed to six years in the past, where it stayed until Chapter Five which brought us back to the present. That back and forth continued for almost 60% of the book. It's an effective way to tell the couple's complete story from first introduction but it didn't work for me. Each time I became immersed in the present-day story again I'd be pulled back to the past and every time that happened my connection to the characters would lessen. By the time the story finally stayed in the present, I had disconnected from them to the point where I was reading about them rather than experiencing their journey with them. It still created a very good reading experience but not the all-immersive one that would have earned my 5-star rating. 


Have you read Julie Johnstone?

Do you enjoy flashbacks in your books?

One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, February 26 will receive an e-book copy of Lady Constantine and the Sins of Lord Kilgore.

*Must be 18


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Review & Giveaway - - Dream a Little Dream

Dream a Little Dream
by Melinda Curtis
Sunshine Valley - Book 3
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Reviewed by PJ

Darcy Jones Harper is thrilled to have finally shed her reputation as the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. The people of Sunshine Valley have to respect her now that she’s the new town judge. But when the bad boy who broke her heart back in high school shows up in her courtroom, she realizes maybe things haven’t changed so much after all . . . because her pulse still races at the sight of him.

Jason Petrie wants to make amends for the mistakes of his youth—starting with the woman he never stopped loving. Darcy may not believe that he really intends to quit the bull riding circuit and stick around this time but Jason vows—with the help of the matchmaking Widows Club—to pull out all the stops to convince her that they both deserve a second chance.

PJ's Thoughts:

Using a perfectly balanced blend of humor and emotion, Melinda Curtis has created another sweet, witty, and heart-tugging journey to love that had me eagerly turning pages from beginning to end. I love this quirky community of characters that Curtis has created with a wacky band of matchmaking widows at its core. You just never know which couple will land in their sights next.

Second-chance romances are one of my favorite tropes and Jason's and Darcy's romance came with some unexpected twists that I did not expect but that gave their story, and their characters, extra depth. I appreciated Darcy's complexity and her struggle with self-acceptance and forgiveness. I enjoyed her relationship with the gassy, digestive-challenged dog she inherited and the role he played in her journey. I flat-out loved that dog. Jason was no less complex as he struggled with his own life decisions while doing his level best to win Darcy back. I loved how supportive he was, how he accepted responsibility for his part in what led to their parting ways, and how determined he was to do right by the woman he loved the second time around. 

As is typically the case in Sunshine Valley, the main couple aren't the only characters in the spotlight in this book. There's an unlikely mature couple in the making, peeks into relationships that were center stage in the first two books, dysfunctional family dynamics to sort through, stages of grief to navigate for Darcy's late (much older) husband's girlfriend (trust me, it will all make sense), and (frequently unwanted) advice from Judge George Harper (the late husband) who seems to be living in both Darcy's and Jason's minds. Apparently, the Judge, who guided them both through their teens, doesn't see any need to stop imparting wisdom simply because he's beyond the veil.

Once again, a trip to Sunshine Valley had me laughing out loud, sniffling a bit, smiling a lot, and eager for future visits. There are many more intriguing characters ripe and ready for matchmaking and I am here for them all. 

What do you enjoy (or not enjoy) about a series set within a small community?

Have you read any of Melinda Curtis's books?

Are you reading the Sunshine Valley books? Any thoughts on who you'd like to see matched up next?

Forever Romance has graciously offered a terrific giveaway today. Two randomly chosen people who post a comment before 11:00 PM (EST), February 25 will each receive a set of the first three books in the Sunshine Valley series: Can't Hurry Love, A Very Merry Match, and Dream a Little Dream.

*Must be 18
*U.S. and Canada

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tour Review & Giveaway - - The Rakehell of Roth

The Rakehell of Roth
by Amalie Howard
The Regency Rogues - Book 2
Publisher: Entangled:Amara
Release Date: February 9, 2021
Reviewed by PJ 

As owner of the most scandalous club in London, the last thing the notorious Marquess of Roth wants is a wife. Keeping up his false reputation as a rake brings in the clients with the deepest pockets—money he needs to fund a noble cause. Even though everything inside tells him not to leave his beautiful, innocent wife behind at his country estate...he must.

But three years later, tired of her scoundrel of a husband headlining the gossip rags, Lady Isobel Vance decides enough is enough. She is no longer a fragile kitten, but as the anonymous author of a women’s sexual advice column, she’s now a roaring tigress...and she can use her claws.

Isobel decides to go to him in London, channeling her powers of seduction to make him beg to take her back. But she didn’t expect her marauding marquess to be equally hard to resist. Now the game is on to see who will give in to the other first, with both sides determined like hell to win.

PJ's Thoughts:

I love both marriage-of-convenience and second-chance romances, especially when the tables are turned on a hero who thinks he's in charge. That's exactly what happens in Amalie Howard's The Rakehell of Roth and it's delicious.

Howard takes Isobel and Roth on quite the journey of discovery, of each other and themselves. Having been wedded, bedded, and abandoned at her husband's family's country estate, Isobel could have resigned herself to her fate and remained stagnant. Instead, with the help of a new friend, she took control of her destiny in a major way. Though Isobel's evolution seemed more dramatic due to her outwardly actions, Roth's was no less significant. In fact, I would say that his growth was more necessary to their happiness than hers. My heart ached for his losses, his misconception of certain events, the distance between him and his family, and the heartbreaking course he set for himself and his bride, even when his stubbornness had me wanting to toss him from a cliff. 

The twists and turns of the sensual dance Roth and Isobel embarked upon were compelling and enticing, even more so with Isobel unexpectedly taking the lead. These two practically set the pages of their story on fire with their encounters, especially during a certain event at Roth's club. They may not have settled their differences yet, but the escalating desire between them was impossible to deny.

Another part of the book that I enjoyed was the physical danger and Isobel's part in it. Sensual seductress one scene and knife-throwing, take-no-prisoners savior in the next; she's one of my favorite heroines in quite some time. Roth may think he's the protector but she's learned to save herself, thank you very much, and her hero too. Howard brought her to brilliant life on the page. I had no trouble whatsoever believing in her strength, determination, and ability to bring her misguided husband to his knees. In the best possible way.

Surrounding Isobel and Roth are a secondary cast of characters no less vividly portrayed and compelling. I do hope we'll be seeing more of them in a future book. 

The Rakehell of Roth can absolutely be enjoyed on its own. However, for a more complete understanding of Isobel's background, what brought her to this point in her life, and how the villain of this book ties into her history, I recommend first reading The Beast of Beswick. Both are outstanding books that were 5-star reads for me. 


Have you read any of Amalie Howard's books?

Do you enjoy a heroine who takes her circumstances and turns them on their ear? 

The Rakehell of Roth kept me reading until almost 3:00 AM. What's the last book that kept you up reading half the night?

One randomly chosen person posting a comment before 11:00 PM, February 24 will receive a copy of The Rakehell of Roth

*Must be 18
*U.S. only

Connect with Amalie

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Monday, February 22, 2021

Excerpt, Q&A, and Giveaway - - Hot on the Ice

I've been following Anna Sugden's career since meeting her online in 2007 and in person in 2009. It's always a pleasure to host her here at the blog, especially when it's in celebration of a brand new book (out today!), series, and hockey team. If Hot on the Ice is any indication, this series promises strong heroines, sexy heroes, heart-tugging romance, and plenty of action on - and off - the ice! Read more about Anna at her website and engage with her online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hot on the Ice
by Anna Sugden
Publisher: Entangled:Amara
Release Date: February 22, 2021

Lily Eddison is on the way to making it—her personalized, gourmet chocolates are in high demand. She has it all going on...until her landlord pulls the rug out from under her. Now she needs investors but the last person she expects or wants to save the day is the oh-so-hot, but arrogant, pro-hockey player Dante “Fireman” Taylor.

Hockey is Dante’s life and as the Docker’s star defensemen, he has no time for love. An opportunity to invest in Lily’s dream is just business, even though he can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous chocolatier. Despite his reluctance to be in a relationship, Dante and Lily move from partners to friends to lovers and he’s all in… Until an obsessive fan’s revenge tanks their romance and it’s dead on the ice.

Great hockey players know they have to take more shots on goal to score a hat trick and Dante gives it his all to prove to Lily that off the ice, she’s the only one for him.

Hot on the Ice

A smudge of pink frosting at the corner of Lily’s mouth drew Dante’s gaze.

He wanted to lick it off. As good as the cupcakes and cookies were, he doubted they’d beat the taste of Lily herself.

His mind created an image of a tasting session where the delicacy on offer was the woman beside him. Only, she was laid out on the marble worktop, as he nibbled his way down her body.

His jeans tightened uncomfortably, as he hardened. Definitely not the kind of thoughts to have when he was trying to take things slowly.

Dante forced himself to focus on the remaining samples. The sooner he got this done, the better—before he embarrassed himself. He picked a cookie, which was shaped and decorated like a bowl of strawberries, from the second tray.

Instead of eating it, he held it out for Lily.

For a moment, she didn’t move.

Her gaze lifted to his. Her eyes darkened.

The air grew charged.

His hand trembled, just a little, as she leaned forward.

Her lips parted and she took a bite from the cookie.

Then, she licked some crumbs from her lower lip. The tip of her tongue swept tauntingly close to that pink smudge.

Dante swallowed hard, before shoving the rest into his mouth. Through the chocolate-flavored shortbread, he swore he could taste Lily.

He gulped down some water.

Lily reached across and chose a pink, fondant-covered cake, iced with blossoms, which she held out for him.

“Be careful. This has a liquid center,” she warned huskily, as he took a bite.

Too late. Raspberry syrup spilled out, over his chin. He wiped it with his forefinger and was about to lick it clean, when he noticed Lily’s gaze fixed on his finger.

He extended his hand toward her. He expected her to refuse his invitation.

She didn’t.

Lily leaned down and sucked his finger into her mouth, laving off the sticky syrup with her tongue.

Dante took the rest of the cake and offered it to her. His gaze dropped to her parted lips as she bit into it.

Syrup spilled over her lips. He wiped her chin clean with the same finger.

He deliberately left the pink smudge. 


Q&A with Anna Sugden

Welcome, Anna! Congratulations on the release of Hot on the Ice

Thanks, PJ! I’m so excited to be back here. Can’t think of a better group to celebrate my new release with.

This book introduces a new hockey team to readers (doing a happy dance over here). What should they expect from the series, and from Dante and Lily’s story in particular?

Aww, thank you so much. In some ways, this is similar to my NJ Ice Cats, in that the team spirit and the relationship between the guys doesn’t change, nor does my writing of the hockey - which I hope takes readers right onto the ice! And, of course, what won’t change are the emotional, heartwarming stories featuring strong, independent heroines.

But it’s a new team with new personalities and new issues. With the Dockers, I’m hoping to delve into some of the problems facing professional athletes, both on and off the ice, and explore how this affects them both in their career and personally. So, for example, Dante has to deal with an obsessive fan. And how he deals with her impacts directly on his relationship with Lily, bringing up old wounds.

How many books are planned for this new series? 

I have at least 2 planned, with Noah and Jessie up next (fingers crossed) and at least 2 more after that. I’m also hoping to do at least  1 novella and some short stories, like I did with the Ice Cats.

Is Hot on the Ice a digital-only release or will it also be available in print? 

It’s digital first, with Print on Demand. If sales are good enough, then it could go into print too.

You had me drooling all over my Kindle with your descriptions of the dinner Dante cooks for Lily. Is that a dish you prepare yourself? If so, do you have a recipe you’d be willing to share with us?

Lebanese lamb mince curry is something I make and one of my husband’s favourite dishes 😊. It’s based on a recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly Recipe Collection (which is a fabulous source of amazing dishes with easy-to-follow instructions that actually work). Unfortunately, my AWW books were damaged, so I no longer have them. But I’ve adapted what I remember and more than happy to share it (although I warn you, I’m not good at measures, so it is flavor to taste!).

Lebanese Lamb Mince Curry

1 lb. ground lamb

1 large onion, diced
6-8 mushrooms, diced
Vegetable stock (I use a cube, but liquid is fine)
Lamb stock cube (ditto)
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Garam Marsala
1 can tomato puree (around 5 ozs)
Pine nuts
1.     Fry the onions and mushrooms until soft, then add the lamb mince and brown.
2.     Crumble in the 2 stock cubes. If you use liquid stock, add the spices in step 3 first.
3.     Add in 2 tbsp of ground cumin and of ground coriander and 1 tbsp of garam marsala.
4.     Add the can of tomato puree and 1 pint of water. If you use liquid stock, this can replace the water.
5.     Let cook for at least an hour to let the flavours develop. Taste for seasoning and spiciness. If necessary, add more cumin and coriander.
6.     About 10 mins before serving add a handful of pine nuts and stir in.
7.     Serve with basmati rice or tortillas/flat bread.

Also, having a Persian mother, who was an excellent cook, Persian rice or polow is my specialty. And the yoghurt and cucumber dish is also a real recipe, which I’ve also included.

Yoghurt and Cucumber dish
½ cup of diced cucumber
1 cup of plain yoghurt
1 tsp chopped, dried mint

Mix together the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Both of those recipes look delicious. Thanks for sharing!

Lily is a chocolatier (I want to be her best friend). What chocolate treat do you turn to when you’re feeling the need to indulge?

I know it’s sacrilege to admit I’m more of a savoury girl (like Lily!) … I would indulge in a bowl of hot, buttered popcorn before chocolate. But if I feel the need for something sweet, you can’t beat a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (made in England, of course!)

I'm not ashamed to admit that I stock up on Cadbury's Dairy Milk every time I fly through Heathrow. It's been 15 months since my last flight and I'm feeling the Cadbury deprivation. 

What’s next? Will you have any more books releasing this year?  

I’m working on Noah and Jessie’s book, which I hope will also be picked up by Entangled and out either at the end of this year or beginning of next. There will also be at least 1 short story and hopefully the Dockers’ novella too. And I’m planning to rerelease at least 1 more of my Ice Cats series, if the rights are reverted.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for all of those stories!

Let’s play a quick round of complete this sentence.

My goal for this year is… to get to the other side of this lockdown with my loved ones safe and healthy, so I can cuddle our gorgeous grandchildren, visit family and get back to travelling.

The television show I’m currently bingeing – or want to binge - is… a British crime drama called Bulletproof. Not sure how I missed this first time around, but it’s high energy, great fun, with fabulous writing and a big heart.

The book I’m most eager to read is… ack you expect me to pick just one?! Is it cheating to say the next book by one of my favourite authors? If I have to pick something completely different, I’m looking forward to Dangerous Women by Hope Adams, Sisters of the Resistance by Christine Wells and The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair.

I'm so excited that Sisters of the Resistance is being published in the U.S. I have it on pre-order!

The first destination I want to visit post-pandemic is…Italy - we have a trip to Sicily planned this autumn, so fingers crossed. Next up after that is back to the other half of my heart - the US.

The real-life hockey player most likely to inspire my book hero is… also difficult to pick just one! There are so many who are inspiring. But, I can say that he would have to play/have played for my beloved New Jersey Devils 😊

Thanks for visiting with us today, Anna. Would you like to add anything else or ask the readers a question?

I mentioned that my mother was a fantastic cook - was your mother a good cook or not? What was her specialty dish?

Readers, if your mother didn't enjoy cooking but you do, feel free to share one of your specialty dishes (I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to make).

One randomly chosen reader who posts a comment before 11:00 PM (EST), February 23 will receive a signed book and bar of Cadbury chocolate from Anna (and, yes, I am jealous). 😉 

*Must be 18

*Open internationally


Monday, February 15, 2021

Review - - When a Rogue Meets His Match

When a Rogue Meets His Match
by Elizabeth Hoyt
The Greycourt Series - Book 2
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Reviewed by Hellie
Ambitious, sly, and lethally intelligent, Gideon Hawthorne has spent his life clawing his way up from the gutter. For the last ten years, he's acted as the Duke of Windemere's fixer, performing the duke's dirty work without question. Now Gideon's ready to quit the duke's service and work solely for himself. But Windermere tempts Gideon with an irresistible offer: one last task for Messalina Greycourt's hand in marriage.

Witty, vivacious Messalina Greycourt has her pick of suitors, so when her uncle demands Messalina marry Mr. Hawthorne, she is appalled. But Gideon offers her a devil's bargain of his own: protection and freedom in exchange for a true marriage. Messalina feigns agreement and plots to escape their deal. Only the more time she spends with Gideon, the more her fierce, loyal husband arouses her affections. But will Gideon's final deed for Windemere destroy the love growing between them?


Hellie’s Heeds 

Elizabeth Hoyt is always a must-read author for me, her stories filled with dark, redemption-seeking heroes and bold, clever heroines--and sex hot enough to make a girl blush and dog-ear the pages for referencing later. She kicked off a new series, the Greycourt series, with Not the Duke’s Darling (December 2018), which I thoroughly enjoyed and which introduced some subplots (notably the Wise Women group) that I was excited to see carried through the series. This book took a bit longer to come out (set for a December 2019 release, but arriving in December 2020). I was so excited to read this book! My expectations were unbearably high.  

For these reasons, or possibly others, I did not enjoy reading this story as much as I have other stories from Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, or even the Soldiers series. I couldn’t pinpoint why--because her writing is the same, very readable and fast paced, sensuous, but the characters themselves, something seemed to be lacking for me. I couldn’t quite buy into the characters or that they were in love with each other. When we meet Hawthorne, he is already in love with Messalina. He is the “fixer” for her uncle and as such, he’s low-born and unsavory in reputation, which are usually aspects Hoyt manages quite successfully in winning us over to, but he was already in love with her so he felt a little stagnant in his character arc. The heroine, for her part, hates his guts--so here we have enemies to lovers in a marriage of convenience. And her character arc--her hating to loving him--feels a bit rushed. 

There are some great scenes where more is revealed about Hawthorne, things that slowly win over Messalina’s prejudice to him. But overall, even with the plots and subplots and action, the story felt a little thin. And because the story and characters felt thin for me, the Happily Ever After--or are these two truly destined for each other?--also felt a little thin. Also, there wasn’t enough about the Wise Women group in this story...I really liked them from the previous book. What I did like were these scenes in the story: anytime we saw the little boy Sam and the puppy Daisy; how Hawthorne is able to outwit his employer and get the money owed him; and Messalina’s sister, Lucretia and her love of cakes. (I hope Lucretia’s husband knows to bring her cake to win her over.) Overall, it wasn’t a bad just wasn’t good either, if you know what I mean.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Winner - - Wild Rain Review


The winner of a signed, print copy of

Tempest by Beverly Jenkins is:



Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Winner - - The Rakehell of Roth Excerpt Post


The randomly chosen winner is:

Linda Herold


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Please include your book of choice: The Beast of Beswick or 

The Rakehell of Roth and 

your choice of a print or Kindle copy.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Review - - Wild Rain

Wild Rain
by Beverly Jenkins
Women Who Dare - Book 2
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: February 9, 2021
Reviewed by PJ


Banished by her grandfather at the age of eighteen, Spring Lee has survived scandal to claim her own little slice of Paradise, Wyoming. She’s proud of working her ranch alone and unwilling to share it with a stranger—especially one like Garrett McCray, who makes her second-guess her resolve to avoid men. 

Garrett escaped slavery years ago and is now a reporter in Washington. He’s traveled west to interview Dr. Colton Lee for an article, yet it’s Lee’s fearless sister, Spring, who captures his interest. Clad in denim and buckskins instead of dresses, she’s the most fascinating woman he’s ever met. And he’s certain she also feels the connection that sizzles between them. 
But when a shadow from Spring’s past returns, all is on the line: her ranch, her safety—and this wild, fierce love.

PJ's Thoughts:
Wild Rain is another historical western romance from Beverly Jenkins that immersed me in the story from the get-go and kept me eagerly turning pages until the end. 
Spring Rain Lee is such a complex, compelling woman and I absolutely adored her. Growing up in Wyoming Territory, she was taught all the feminine skills of women of the time but following her mother's death, and her grandfather's betrayal, she was forced to confront the difficult lessons no woman, let alone an eighteen-year-old girl, should ever have to experience. It changed her, hardened her, and cemented the vow that she would never need a man in her life. This tough rancher can do it all on her own, and as good as any man, thank you very much. Which is why she's not prepared for her reactions to the polite, soft-spoken, Eastern gentleman who keeps doing things for her like opening doors, refusing to sit at the dinner table until she does, cooking her breakfast while she's out doing morning ranch chores, and, shockingly, is more concerned for her pleasure than his own. She doesn't need any of that. But what if she discovers that she wants it? 
Garrett McCray is such a fascinating hero, a total fish out of water when he arrives in Wyoming on horseback during a blizzard for which he is not prepared. I admit, I'm usually partial to alphas but I fell for this "cinnamon roll" hard. He may be gentle, and kind, and harbor a love for the written word, but there's fire inside him too. He's a nurturer and a protector, but also a defender. He's a former slave, now an educated man, a lawyer, but with an artist's soul. He's a man who knows his way around a woman's body but travels the path only with her consent. He's not perfect, but he's perfect for Spring...if he can fully accept her for who she is, love her unconditionally...and keep her alive long enough to reveal his heart.
Jenkins brings these characters, and the majesty of Wyoming, to life in this heart-tugging, compelling story that was hard to put down. Her descriptions of the rugged landscape and starkly beautiful mountains are like vivid paintings where words are the brush strokes and it all comes to life in your mind's eye. 
Jenkins' characters offer insight into the lives of people of color in the years following the Civil War and the variances in treatment, acceptance, and tolerance experienced in different parts of the country. I love how she seamlessly slips historical tidbits into her stories. They never feel like lessons but I always come away from her books learning something new about Black history in America. They add a richness to her characters, her own heritage, and the historical fabric of our country that are incalculable. 
Many of the secondary characters in this book are multi-layered and fascinating in their own right while also offering insights into Spring and Garrett. Spring's godfather, Odell was my favorite grumpy teddy bear with a heart of gold while sister-in-law Regan was frequently the voice of reason who reminded Spring of her worth and the validity of her life choices without presuming to tell her what to do. The villains also were fully developed and chilling in their hatred, creating more than a few tension-filled, heart-in-my-throat moments.  
I don't know if Jenkins has any plans to return to Paradise, Wyoming but there are secondary characters I'd sure love to see more of, especially Ed Prescott: Native American, engineer, successful businessman, and Spring's horse-training, business partner. What a fascinating man. I want to know more!
Fans of Tempest (Spring's brother's book where Spring is introduced) will enjoy catching up with Colton and Regan but readers new to Paradise can absolutely read Wild Rain as a standalone. I enthusiastically recommend both. 
Have you read any Beverly Jenkins books? Do you have a favorite?
Do you enjoy Western romance? 
What are your thoughts on Cinnamon Roll heroes? 

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, February 13 will received a signed, print copy of Tempest by Beverly Jenkins. 
*Must be 18
*U.S. only

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Excerpt Tour & Giveaway - - The Rakehell of Roth

The Rakehell of Roth
by Amalie Howard
The Regency Rogues - Book 2
Publisher: Entangled:Amara
Release Date: February 9, 2021

As owner of the most scandalous club in London, the last thing the notorious Marquess of Roth wants is a wife. Keeping up his false reputation as a rake brings in the clients with the deepest pockets—money he needs to fund a noble cause. Even though everything inside tells him not to leave his beautiful, innocent wife behind at his country estate...he must.

But three years later, tired of her scoundrel of a husband headlining the gossip rags, Lady Isobel Vance decides enough is enough. She is no longer a fragile kitten, but as the anonymous author of a women’s sexual advice column, she’s now a roaring tigress...and she can use her claws.

Isobel decides to go to him in London, channeling her powers of seduction to make him beg to take her back. But she didn’t expect her marauding marquess to be equally hard to resist. Now the game is on to see who will give in to the other first, with both sides determined like hell to win.

The Rakehell of Roth

Winter sat back against the velvet squabs of his coach and settled in for the ride to his father’s ancestral seat in Chelmsford, his family home and the only place he could take a wife. 

Bloody hell. Not a wife. His wife. 

God, how his sister would have cackled to see the great Winter Vance leg-shackled. 

I shall never marry! His twelve-year-old self had puffed his chest. Girls are annoying, just like bratty little sisters. 

Prue had paid his male posturing no mind. Then I shall curse you, my favorite brother, to marry the most beautiful angel in the world! 

And here he was. 

Married to exactly that. 

Winter forced himself to focus on the task at hand. He couldn’t go to his private estate, Rothingham Gable, for obvious reasons. For one, that particular abode was not prepared for a Lady Roth, given the week-long house party that had just been hosted there. 

He had not even been in residence. Rutland and Petersham and the rest of their fast set had run the show, desperate for some wild country fun to offset the terminal boredom of the season. While he missed them from time to time, those days of endless dissipation were over. They had been for since Prue’s death. Not that anyone actually knew…or had noticed. People believed what they wanted to believe. 

Winter slanted his new wife a glance. Her attention was caught outside the small window, her face held in pensive thought. Her profile was exquisite, perfect in its symmetry from the classic line of her forehead to her delicate nose and pink rosebud pout. Isobel was young, fresh out of the schoolroom, but he couldn’t deny her exceptional beauty…or his irritating and inconvenient attraction to her. 

Christ, he wanted to debauch that mouth right there on the balcony—take it from virginal pink to passionate red. The urge had taken him by surprise. The honeysuckle scent of her satiny skin had been an aphrodisiac. When he’d grazed the corner of her mouth and seen her undisguised longing, the bolt of lust tunneling through him had nearly brought him to his knees. 

Just like it threatened to do now. 

Ripping his gaze from her tempting lips, he let it drift down the elegant line of her throat. He imagined tasting the skin there, nuzzling her fluttering pulse beneath his lips, and inhaling more of her sweet, flowery smell. Winter bit back a groan. He would no doubt sample both later…when he’d be expected to do his marital duty. Hell. He’d have to hold himself in check. Make it perfunctory. And most of all, quick. The act was a necessary obligation, nothing more, because he had an inkling that this woman could be the end of him. 

“Did you enjoy seeing your sister?” he asked, his voice rough edged. They’d called in at Beswick Park after leaving Lady Hammerton’s. Her rousing entertainments had gone well into the dawn hours. 

His wife startled, attention flying to him. “Yes, of course, my lord. Thank you for arranging the visit.” 

“Call me Winter,” he said. 

She flushed. “Winter.” 

His wife turned the full force of those ice-blue eyes on him, and for a moment, it felt like his skin had been seared by lightning. But that gaze also shone with no small degree of infatuation. It didn’t take much to interpret the shy glances and the soft blushes whenever she thought he wasn’t looking. 

This was why it could never work.


I love second-chance romances, especially when the tables are turned on a hero who thinks he's in charge. After reading that excerpt, I can't wait to dive into The Rakehell of Roth! Who am I kidding? After reading book one in this series, The Beast of Beswick (one of my best books of 2019), I couldn't wait for Isobel's story. I've had it on pre-order since April 2020.

Have you read Amalie Howard yet?

Do you enjoy an innocent kitten who evolves into a sultry tigress who brings her reluctant hero to his knees? (I don't yet know if that's what happens in this book but I'm indulging fantasies here) ;-)

One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, February 12 will receive their choice of a Kindle or print copy of either The Beast of Beswick or The Rakehell of Roth

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