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I love Anna’s books and snapped up this novella  to add to my seasonal December reading.  Only 99cents/77p!

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

No good deed goes unpunished…

To save her hen-witted sister from scandal, Philippa Sanders ventures into a rake’s bedroom—and into his power. Now her reputation hangs by a thread and only a hurried marriage can rescue her. Is the Earl of Erskine the heartless libertine the world believes? Or will Philippa discover unexpected honor in a man notorious for his wild ways?

Blair Hume, the dissolute Earl of Erskine, has had his eye on the intriguing Miss Sanders since he arrived at this deadly dull house party. Now a reckless act delivers this beguiling woman into his hands as a delightful Christmas gift. Is fate offering him a fleeting Yuletide diversion? Or will this Christmas Eve encounter spark a passion that lasts a lifetime?

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com.au

Amazon.ca  Smashwords

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EXCERPT


The Boar’s Head, Salisbury, Christmas 1823

   Philippa was his, however undeserving he was. Erskine had a piece of paper to prove it. And it was time he introduced her to some of the benefits of married life.
   He unlaced her fingers from her wineglass and placed it on the nightstand. She’d nearly emptied the glass, thank goodness. He leaned in and placed his lips softly on hers. She released a little huff of surprise, but didn’t draw away.
   Because her mother had told her to submit? Or because she wanted him to kiss her? He prayed it was the latter.
   Exquisitely aware of her innocence, he kissed her chastely, rediscovering the satiny texture of her lips and her tart, intriguing taste. To support his weight, he splayed his hands on the counterpane. With encouragement from the claret, she’d stopped acting as if he was about to devour her, but he knew he hadn’t banished her fears.
   After an interval both delightful and frustrating, she pressed forward with a breathy sigh. Reluctantly he withdrew. He lifted one hand to brush his thumb across her plump, glistening lips, pulling the lower one down to reveal a glimpse of straight white teeth. Her eyes were as dark as a starless night. He could dive into her gaze and never come up for air.
   Puzzlement creased her forehead. “You kissed me.”
   She didn’t sound entirely pleased. A tender smile curved his lips. “I promised I would, remember?”
   “After I married you.”
   He said what he must, although every word cut like a razor. “I’m prepared to wait.”
   The faint line remained between her dark brows. “You don’t have to.”
   He bit back a sigh and cupped her cheek. “We’re strangers, Philippa. I want you, but I’m not a barbarian. If you’re not ready, I can give you more time.”
   For a prickling interval, she studied his face in silence. He struggled to convey patience and understanding, although she must also see his barely contained hunger.
   He steeled himself to retreat to the room next door. Or perhaps she’d relent and let him sleep beside her. Holding her in his arms without possessing her would be torture, but still it seemed preferable to the lonely hell of a night without her.
   Reluctantly Erskine withdrew his hand and straightened. He told himself that this was for the best. No man of honor could expect his wife to welcome him tonight, whatever rights this morning’s ceremony had conferred.
   Which wasn’t much consolation when he faced a cold bed.
   “Sleep well, Philippa.”
   In the light of candles and fire, her eyes turned even darker. He shifted away slowly like a man going to his execution. He knew he did the right thing, but the knowledge offered no satisfaction.
   His wife remained very still, watching him, although her hands curled slowly into the sheets at her waist. He expected Philippa to look relieved or, best of all, grateful. He’d like her to be grateful. A grateful wife was likely to invite him to consummate their union sooner rather than later. Hopefully before he went completely mad wanting her.
   He’d risen to his feet before she spoke. “I trusted you yesterday.”
   Because of that, he’d lay down his life for her. “Yes, you did. Thank you.”
   Without lowering her gaze, she bit her lip. He wasn’t sure where she was going with this, but he’d much rather stay than leave, even if she only wanted to talk.
   “You’ve always been kind to me.”
   It was his turn to frown. “You make me sound like an aged uncle.”
   A rueful smile twisted her lips. “You’re nicer to me than Uncle Theodore ever was.”
   He didn’t smile back and his voice emerged with a bite that he regretted but couldn’t contain. “Philippa, let me be frank-I don’t feel remotely avuncular when I look at you.” He sucked in a breath and spoke the words likely to terrify her into running back to her unpleasant mother. “The first time I saw you hovering in the shadows like a little ghost, I wanted you. I wanted you when we were trapped in the dressing room. That’s why I kissed you. Every hour since then, I’ve wanted you more. Tonight I’m offering you a postponement, but I don’t… I can’t let you think that I’ll accept a chaste marriage.”
   He waited for an appalled reaction, but she didn’t flinch away. Neither, confound it, did she leap into his arms declaring overwhelming desire.
   “I…see,” she said slowly after a tense interval.
   He stepped closer to the bed, even if it was a step he’d need to retrace when he left her. “Have I shocked you?”
   “A little.” She paused. “You have a husband’s rights.”
   “I’m not a bully.”
   “No, you’re not.”
   He should go. This awkward conversation just extended the torture.
   Her eyes flickered away and her hands stopped twisting at the sheets. Instead, she began to pluck nervously at them. Not much of an improvement.
   Why the deuce was the chit nervous? Hadn’t he just given her a reprieve? Surely that saintly act alone must cancel out a few of his sins in the heavenly register.
   “It’s late,” he said regretfully, starting to feel like a fool standing in the middle of the room, gazing at Philippa like a dog slavering at a butcher shop window. He turned to leave.
   “Don’t go.”
   Erskine stopped, wondering if he’d heard her aright. Slowly he faced her. He couldn’t read her expression. “What did you say?”
   Her deep breath made her breasts swell voluptuously against her nightgown. He closed his eyes. God give him strength. She wasn’t doing this to get him excited. Although he was undoubtedly getting excited.
   She licked her lips. How he wished she wouldn’t.
   Philippa swallowed and spoke in a rusty whisper. “I said… don’t go.”
   He braced his shoulders and told himself he could be strong. They had years to get this right. A wedding night was just another date on the calendar. “You don’t want to sleep alone in a strange place? I can understand that.”
   Her eyes flashed with annoyance, surprising him. “No, I don’t want to sleep alone. But that’s not what I mean.”
   “What do you mean?”
   Her lips tightened with displeasure. “You’re the blasted rake. You work it out.”
   His heart kicking into an excited gallop, he stared at her without moving. It took him far too long to realize that while she looked uncertain, she also looked… interested.
   He could work with interested, by God.
   On an astonished laugh, he dived across the floor and onto the bed, dragging her into his arms. “Prepare to be ravished, lassie!”
   Before Philippa could reply or, heaven forfend, change her mind, he captured her lips with his in a kiss that wasn’t chaste at all.

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Meet ANNA CAMPBELL

ANNA CAMPBELL has written nine multi award-winning historical romances for Grand Central Publishing and Avon HarperCollins and her work is published in sixteen languages. Anna has won numerous awards for her Regency-set stories including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill (three times), the Heart of Excellence (twice), the Aspen Gold (twice) and the Australian Romance Readers Association’s favorite historical romance (five times). Anna is currently engaged in writing the “Sons of Sin” series, which started in 2012 with SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED and now continues with book 3, WHAT A DUKE DARES. Anna lives on the beautiful east coast of Australia where she writes full-time.

You can find Anna online at:

Website  Facebook Fan Page  Twitter: @AnnaCampbellOz  Goodreads

I love Victoria Vane’s Historical Romances and I’m excited about reading her new Contemporary ‘Hot Cowboy Nights’ series.

Slow Hand

By Victoria Vane

Sourcebooks Casablanca

November 4, 2014

$7.99/£5.99

Summary:

In rural Montana…

Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who’s torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He’s on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She’s a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots…

Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds—until her father’s death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can’t resist a cowboy with a slow hand…

Buy Links:

Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound

 

Excerpt:

He went to work on his shirt buttons. His collar was soon wide open revealing a generous show of muscular chest that make her hands itch to rip it off him. She diverted her gaze and curled her itchy hands by her sides.

“Have no fear, cowboy,” Nikki replied in a tone meant to disguise the warm flush that had come over her. “I corralled all my wild impulses long ago.”

“Did you, now?” He still stood in doorway, head cocked. “Somehow, I think you may have missed a few strays.”

“Maybe I need to make myself clearer. I have an aversion to cocky cowboys.”

Just keep telling yourself that, Nikki. Maybe if you repeat it often enough it’ll become true.

“Is that so?” His brows flew upward. “I can’t say I ever met a woman with an actual aversion to me.”

“Don’t take it personally. It’s nothing against you in particular, but to your type.”

“And what do you think you know about my type?”

“Since I don’t have a pole handy, enough to keep you at arms-length. Besides that, this whole line of conversation is entirely inappropriate in light of professional ethics, don’t you think? You are my attorney, after all.”

“Well, darlin’,” he scratched his unshaven jaw, “there’s a little hitch to that.”

“What do you mean? You said you’d help me.”

“And I will, but you can’t engage my professional services until I know who you are.”

“I’ve told you who I am!” she insisted.

“Sweetheart, I’m a lawyer, and according to the law, your claim don’t weigh without authentication.”

“Authentication?”

“Proof.”

“So what are you saying? That you don’t believe me?”

“I’m not saying that at all. Only that our professional relationship will commence once you get your I.D. In the interim,” His gaze slid over her in a way that threatened to melt her insides, “you’d best find yourself a nice, long, sturdy pole.”


About the Author:

Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

Social Media:

Website | Facebook | @AuthorVictoriaV | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

BOOK TRAILER

 

Giveaway 1 – Two copies of Slow Hand (two winners, ends 11/7)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Giveaway 2 – Victoria Vane’s Cowboy Seduction Kit

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(Jewels of the Ton, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

He had a perfectly orderly life…

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Until she came along…

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is my first book by Shana Galen and I can understand why she is one of the foremost authors of Historical Romance. I loved this opposites attract story with its entertaining blend of romance and mystery.

To paraphrase the opening lines of ‘Hart to Hart’, one of my favourite TV shows:

This is William, the sixth Duke of Pelham. He is rich, powerful and influential. His world is one of order, decorum and punctuality.

This is Juliette, the Duchess of Dalliance. She is a much sought after courtesan. Classically beautiful with pale blonde hair, she can break hearts with just a smile.

and when they meet….sparks are bound to fly!

“I would never be rude to a lady. You, madam, are not a lady. You are nothing more than a well-paid whore.”

Oh yes, William’s hero status is definitely a bit rocky at first, but as details of his early life are gradually revealed, I understood how his cold, heartless father had shaped him into the man he has become. Since birth, his father had drummed into William the principles he must adhere to…’a duke was never uncertain, never faltered, never showed emotion. And a duke was most certainly never late’…any failure resulted in a harsh retribution from his father. One of the delights of this book is watching William slowly emerge from his orderly existence to discover that he doesn’t have to be a prisoner of the past, that he can choose his own destiny.

Juliette is not everything she is perceived to be by the ton, who never know the real woman behind the façade. Divorced from an abusive husband, she still dreams of finding someone ‘who loves the farmer’s daughter and the Duchess of Dalliance and everyone I’ve been in between.’

It is fun seeing how she completely disrupts Will’s (as she insists on calling him) orderly life and makes him realise that he can be both a man and a duke…that it is okay to laugh and have fun. Her refusal to conform to his rigid rules had some hilarious consequences such as when Will physically drags her out of bed because she’s late for breakfast! But Juliette is more than a match for him…

Do you ever cease looking at that watch of yours? I think it must be permanently affixed to your hand.”

“Some of us must live our lives on a schedule,” he answered.

She lifted a plate. “Eat on a schedule, sleep on a schedule, walk on a schedule. Tell me, do you visit the privy on a schedule, as well?”

I felt that Will not knowing the truth about Juliette’s real situation made his willingness to declare his love for her in such a public way so romantic.

“But I’m a courtesan. I can’t be your duchess.”

“Juliette, you are my love. No other woman could ever be my duchess.”

I enjoyed the scene in Will’s club where he is joined by his friends, Lord Andrew Darlington and Warwick Fitzhugh. The banter between them is so amusing.

The plot had enough action and danger to hold my interest and the unresolved story thread involving the ruthless Lucifer neatly sets the scene for If You Give a Rake a Ruby, the next book in the series.

This was a wonderful introduction to Shana Galen’s books and I’m looking forward to reading the other two books in the series.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read October 2014

The Jewels of the Ton series (click cover for more details):
When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton, #1) by Shana Galen If You Give a Rake a Ruby (Jewels of the Ton, #2) by Shana Galen Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend (Jewels of the Ton, #3) by Shana Galen

Wicked Designs
by Lauren Smith

Series: The League of Rogues, #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Cover Designer: Kim Killion
Release Date: January 7, 2014

The League of Rogues takes what they want—but have they taken on too much?

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.

Warning: This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.

SEE MY REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO ADD TO GOODREADS

Godric’s chest shook with silent laughter as he drank in her sweet taste—innocence like fine brandy, addictive and intoxicating. Joy heated his blood and warmed his heart. She’d come back for him, rescued him.

Her hands clenched his biceps, fingers digging into him the more he kissed her. By the time he’d lifted his head to gaze down at her, she was panting, and her hips rubbed instinctively against his own.

He was transfixed by the delicate blush of her cheeks, and the slightly upturned nose that created an impish charm.

Yet he sensed she feared him a little.

Emily had never been with a man, never been kissed until he’d captured her. A more practiced woman would have known what to do. He enjoyed the little instruction he’d given her. The temptation she presented was too much to resist. He moved one hand up to cup her cheek, his thumb stroking the line of her jaw. Raw desire churned in the violet pools of her eyes, a hint of frustration added a shimmer that made him smile. She didn’t like that she enjoyed kissing him.

He found her reaction to him fascinating. Other women would gaze at him with slumberous eyes, and leisurely return his kisses, or in Evangeline’s case, bite him back. Emily’s eyes were bright and full of wonder tinged with anger. There was an eagerness in her lips, a searching in her hands as she stroked his shoulders. It was as though she was determined to enjoy herself, even if she didn’t like him. He liked the rebellious spirit in her. She was taking what she wanted from him. If she demanded he stop he would, even if it killed him. But until then he’d steal as many kisses as he could.

Godric wanted to spend days with her, explore her soft curves and find new ticklish spots. He wanted to bow down and worship at the altar of her sensual innocence. She was every bit the wanton, wild creature for which he’d spent years searching. He’d finally found her, and he would have her beneath him, atop him, against the wall, bent over the bed… Oh, the possibilities.

He hadn’t known a woman could taste like this, feel like this. He felt like a damned villain, having faked his drowning, but he’d wanted to see if she would return. His friends could have found her in Blackbriar easily enough, none of the shopkeepers would keep her presence a secret from him had he been searching for her.

But she had come back. The second she’d dragged him from the lake, he’d wanted to kiss her more than he’d ever wanted to kiss any woman. Right on the muddy bank, soaking and cold. He would warm her with his passion and his gratitude. The wet skin of her thigh was smooth. The muscles there stretched against him as she tightened her leg. She had the legs of a rider. Lord, how he wanted those legs wrapped around him the same way.

Soon. He promised himself he would take her a thousand times, in every way, ride her until she couldn’t walk, yet leave her begging for more.

Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. Lauren loves hearing from readers and can be contacted through her Website

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Email: ldsmith1818@gmail.com

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

(Wicked Widows, #3.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Society often makes strange bedfellows–and even more surprising betrothals…

IS IT A REASON FOR CHEER?

When Sir Lucien Blakemore arrives at his cousin’s estate for a week long Christmas party, he’s shocked to see Miss Winifred Nightingale among the other guests. Employed by his neighbor back in Yorkshire, the governess with the lovely eyes has always seemed off limits, but she’s visiting here as a guest—and there’s nothing like a little mistletoe to make the spirits bright…

OR THE SEASON FOR HEARTBREAK?

Miss Winifred Nightingale never dreamed a holiday visit with her sister would lead to both ladies spending Christmas as the local lord’s guests. But the big surprise comes when she finds the handsome Sir Lucien Blakemore staying there too. The attraction between them is undeniable, but will an old nemesis and a party guest bent on mischief make their first kiss under the mistletoe their last?

 

 

(Maiden Lane, # 7)

Genre: Historical (Georgian)

Cover Blurb

A MAN CONDEMNED . . .

Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown’s soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he’s quickly driven to distraction . . .

A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .

London’s premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she’s forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren’t the only inhabitants—a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there’s more to this man than meets the eye.

OUT OF ASH, DESIRE FLARES

Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he’s forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free.

Buy Links:

. Amazon
· Barnes & Noble
· Books·A·Million
· Blackwell’s (UK)
· Chapters (Canada)
· IndieBound
· The Book Depository

Ebook

· BAM!
· eBooks.com
· iBooks
· Kobo
· Nook

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