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I’m spotlighting Georgie Lee’s new book, THE COURTESAN’S BOOK OF SECRETS which is released today.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian)

Cover Blurb

Uncovered: a list of noblemen’s names—each one guilty of treason

To save his family legacy, Rafe Densmore must seize a courtesan’s infamous register. No one can ever know how his father betrayed his country! One person stands in Rafe’s way—the beautiful Cornelia, Comtesse de Vane.

In the card rooms of Paris, Rafe and Cornelia made an unbeatable… intimate team. Until, convinced of Rafe’s desertion, desperate Cornelia married an elderly comte. Now, returning to London an impoverished widow, she’ll do anything to possess the register.

Even if that means becoming Rafe’s partner once again….

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Barnes & Noble

Harlequin

KOBO

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EXCERPT

Rafe brought his lips next to her ear, aching to slide his teeth over the tender lobe. ‘He won’t pay you.’

She turned her head, her almond-shaped eyes hooded and seductive as she peered over one smooth shoulder at him. Her lips parted, moving in a tantalising rhythm to form each whispered word. ‘He’s already agreed to pay me.’

The shock struck Rafe like cold water.

‘You met with him?’ More than one head in the audience turned and looked in their direction. He dropped his voice. ‘When?’

‘This very morning.’ Her lips, so tempting before, now chafed with the way they curled up in a triumphant smile. ‘By the end of the week, I shall have a tidy sum in my possession.’

He took her arm, the warmth of her skin beneath his fingers rattling him before he regained his focus. ‘You shouldn’t have met with him alone. It’s dangerous.’

‘As you can see, I escaped the meeting unscathed.’ She whacked his knuckles with her fan. He pulled back his hand, more annoyed by her flippant attitude than his stinging knuckles. ‘If all goes well tonight, I shall continue to prosper.’

She nodded across the theatre.

He followed her gaze to Lord Edgemont. The square-jawed man sat in his box watching them, not bothering to conceal his interest. ‘No.It’s one thing to toy with your dolt of an Earl, but not Edgemont.’

‘You needn’t bother trying to protect me. My welfare is no longer your concern.’

‘You have the register. That makes you my concern.’ He leaned in close again, trying to ignore the way the heat of her skin heightened the notes of her verbena perfume. ‘I needn’t remind you what Edgemont is capable of.’

‘Which is exactly why he deserves to suffer,’ she hissed, her calm mask sliding. ‘I want to see him squirm.’

‘I agree, but when you threaten a man like him, you make him desperate. You can’t underestimate a desperate man.’

‘Like I underestimated you?’

Rafe jerked upright, surprised by the venom in her accusation. ‘What did I do in Paris to give you such a low opinion of me?’

‘I’m sure if you think very hard, you’ll discover the source of it. For the moment, I have no need of your assistance, so leave, or I’ll make such a fuss the whole theatre will rally to my defence.’ She shifted around to face the stage, raising her glasses to watch the performance.

Rafe moved to say something, but caught the glint of more than one lorgnette turning to study them from across the theatre, including Edgemont’s. Having no desire to set society’s tongue wagging with gossip, he rose and pulled aside the curtain, leaving the curtain rings to clank against the rail as he stormed into the hallway.

Impudent wench. He hurried along the upper level of the theatre and down the main staircase, banging the banister with his fist as he descended into the nearly deserted foyer. Whatever wrong she thought he’d committed in Paris, it’d taken a stubborn hold in her mind. For the life of him, he couldn’t say what he’d done except try to help her, and this was how she chose to repay him? Dismissing him like some servant and then blaming him for her actions in France.

He stepped outside, ignoring the hackneys waiting by the kerb and letting his anger carry him towards a less respectable part of London. Cornelia would be nowhere without him. He shuddered at the memory of her and Lord Waltenham in Lord Perry’s garden and what might have happened if he hadn’t followed them. After the old man insulted her, her father probably would have wagered her away again, or sold her to some moll for a few sovereigns. She certainly wouldn’t have become a Comtesse with a generous inheritance.

Rafe halted in the middle of the pavement, ignoring the inviting calls of a doxy lounging in a doorway across the street. Despite his former misgivings about her morals, it still seemed strange a rich widow would want to dabble in blackmail, not with all those diamonds dangling from her tender ears and caressing her pretty breasts. They’d twinkled with her current good fortune, or were they there to hide the lack of one?

No matter what Cornelia might have done to him in France, if the Comte’s riches were as rickety as his legs then it was a revenge not even Rafe could have designed.

He whirled around on one heel and headed back towards the theatre. If Cornelia wore her finest baubles to distract society from any scent of money problems, it might offer his last hope to reel her in and remove his father’s name from the register.

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ABOUT GEORGIE

A lifelong history buff, Georgie Lee hasn’t given up hope that she will one day inherit a title and a manor house. Until then, she fulfills her dreams of lords, ladies and a season in London through her stories. The Courtesan’s Book of Secrets is her third Harlequin Historical.

When not writing, she can be found reading non-fiction history or watching any movie with a costume and an accent.

Please visit http://www.georgie-lee.com to learn more about Georgie and her books.

Social Media Links:

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Georgie’s Blog

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THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Georgie is kindly giving away an eBook copy of RESCUED FROM RUIN and to be eligible simply leave a comment. The Giveaway will run for one week from 1st October to midnight (GMT) on 8th October. The winner will be announced on this blog on 10th October.

During the years since Randall Cheltenhsm, Marquess of Falconridge, last saw Cecilia Thompson, he has turned into a dissolute rake. Catching sight of her now, bittersweet memories threaten to shatter his carefully constructed façade.

Although in the eyes of the ton Cecilia is a wealthy widow, in reality she has barely a penny to her name. Randall seems to offer a safe haven, but how can she trust a man who has hurt her before and who seems to have only become darker with the passing of time?

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I am spotlighting BLIND REDEMPTION, the third book in Violetta’s Rand’s exciting Viking Blind series, which is released today.


ABOUT THE BOOK

 (Blind series, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Viking – 11th Century)

Cover Blurb…

The past is something he’d sooner forget…

Aaron McNally hates his past. Banished for betrayal, he trades his tartan for a Norwegian title and sword to win back his honor.

She has a warrior’s heart…

It’s difficult for Kara Dalgaard to act like a lady, even when her father demands it. After the handsome Jarl Aaron McNally arrives at her home recruiting for the king’s army, she’s forced to participate in a cruel deception to humiliate him. She quickly regrets what she’s done.

However, duty comes before happiness.

Aaron wants a second chance at life—and Kara is everything he’s dreamed of. But the past always has a way of catching up.

Will Kara trust or condemn him to a life of loneliness?

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 

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 EXCERPT

 No voice had ever sounded so enchanting, so potent. Could this be a walking dream? The spirit-woman turned. Christ’s blood … the last person he wished to see again … Erik’s daughter. Bright blue eyes pierced him the same way they had in the hall.

Here in the moonlight, dressed in little more than a shift, she resembled a goddess. Their gazes met. Fire fueled fire. Although he wanted to touch her, he feared what would happen. He’d never be able to stop.

“Why are you here?” she asked.

Her words pulled him out of his dark thoughts. “I have no answer,” he admitted. “Something tempted me to swim across that lake. Or someone…” For a moment the world spun slowly around Aaron. Everything he wanted stared him in the face. The peace of nightfall, trees, water, and a fiery temptress who didn’t know when to shut up.

“Tempted?” she scoffed. “Perhaps my father outwitted you again and you came here to lick your wounds in private.”

What he’d give to be able to crawl back into that lake and swim out of Kara’s life forever. There was a better chance of Odin splitting his skull in half. “Who have you been talking to, lass? The tides have turned—your father no longer opposes me. And this chance meeting has nothing to do with your sire.”

“Oh?” She looked sharply at him. “Do you think I’ve been waiting for you?”

He shook his head. “The thought never crossed my mind,” he said. “Were you?”

“No. I come here to pray.”

“It’s a beautiful spot.”

“Aye,” she agreed. “Frequented by my mother, and now me.”

“You weren’t praying when I arrived.”

“No,” she said. “I enjoy the stars almost as much as the gods.”

“Odin’s universe is vast.”

“Odin’s?” she asked. “Don’t you mean God’s?”

“Whoever created the heavens,” he quickly corrected himself. “I often find myself mystified by its beauty.”

“What else interests you, milord? War? Politics?”

“Peace.”

She cocked her head. “Are you a negotiator for the king or a soldier?”

“My responsibilities require many skills.”

“Including intimidating my father?”

He scooted closer. “Unfortunately, milady, your father threatened me first. I am a principled man, slow to temper, but protective of my honor.”

“Why does my sire mistrust you?”

“Who am I to know your father’s mind?” She asked too many questions. Questions he wasn’t ready to answer. Maybe someday.

 “Why does your father dress you in armor and train you to fight?”

She laughed. “For the same reason you held a dagger to my brother’s throat last night. For the sake of honor.”

He looked at her more closely. Endless beauty met his gaze, but there was something different about her. A quiet confidence. And her eyes…

Warm excitement flowed through him. He gazed heavenward again. “Look.”

“A shooting star,” she said excitedly.

“An omen.”

“From your prophets or Allfather?”

Aaron rested his right hand on her arm. “Why credit anyone?”

“You prefer mystery?”

“I prefer you,” he said.

She closed her eyes and placed her tiny hand over his. “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

 It took a moment for her words to sink in. By Odin, she’d declared her feelings. Only he wished she hadn’t. Every inch of his body screamed to get closer. “I’m trying very hard to control myself.”

A smile lifted the corners of her mouth, she opened her eyes. “What if I don’t want you to?”

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Violetta Rand holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and a master’s degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

Violetta has been “in love” with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.

You can connect with Violetta on:

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter

 

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THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

 

Violetta is kindly giving away TWO Kindle copies of BLIND REDEMPTION and you will need to have an Amazon account.  To be eligible for the Giveaway just leave a comment together with your email address.

The Giveaway will run from June 25 – July 2.

 

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MY REVIEW

This is the third book in Violetta Rand’s Blind series and Aaron McNally’s story. I admit that when I started reading this book, I had serious doubts that Ms Rand could adequately redeem Aaron in my eyes. I don’t want to spoil Blind Mercy for those who haven’t read it, but I’ll just say that Aaron’s acts of betrayal did seem unforgivable. Well, it’s confession time, because by the end of the book, Ms Rand not only redeemed Aaron but he became my favourite hero of the series.

Believe only in those things that draw you to his breast: strength, ferocity, magnitude, bravery, loyalty, victory, honesty, passion, and love.”

Aaron’s decision to renounce Christianity and follow Odin’s laws seems to symbolise a cleansing of his soul enabling him to turn his life around.  I began to see many redemptive qualities in him…his loyalty to King Olaf; his firm but fair treatment of his men; the way he rushes to aid Kara regardless of the danger; working on the improvements to his home; wanting to honour tradition and present himself to Kara’s father as a formal suitor. Aaron fears he will always be judged by his past sins when he faces the hostility and distrust of Kara’s father, Eric the Bold.

Erik’s eyes flashed. “I’ve worked side-by-side with just about every sort of man, Jarl McNally. Criminals and saints. Pagans and Christians. Do you know what kind of man I have no tolerance for? An outcast who betrays his kinsman out of jealously and hate. Do you understand?”

Kara has the strength, determination and heart of a true Viking warrior. I could just see her wielding that sword. It’s easy to see why she resents her lack of freedom and the need to conform to her father’s expectations. Her desire for independence and adventure sometimes causes her to act recklessly…

Tomorrow? What if Erling killed her today? Kara stared heavenward. Where was the man she truly wanted? Please Odin. Send Aaron McNally to rescue me…

I enjoyed how the romance develops allowing for some heated exchanges, a moonlight kiss, a touch of jealousy, a woodland tryst, bitter condemnations, a declaration of love, a romantic poem and a special wedding.

Tyr and Rachelle (Blind Mercy) play an important role in this story and I was pleased to see the rift between Aaron and his cousin, Tyr, finally healed.  The idea of a fierce warrior like Tyr playing matchmaker made me smile and the friendship between Kara and Rachelle was a nice touch too.

Once again, Ms Rand provides fascinating glimpses of the Viking world. I loved the reference to the Norse names for the constellations and the story of how earth was created. I was also fascinated by the details of the Norse wedding.

The plot had enough intrigue and action to keep my interest…kidnapping, betrayal, a dramatic rescue, a merciless villain and a revelation about one of the characters that I definitely didn’t see coming.

BLIND REDEMPTION is another worthy and enjoyable addition to this exciting series.


REVIEW RATING: 4.5 /5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT
The Blind series so far (click on book covers for more details):

Blind Allegiance by Violetta Rand Blind Mercy (Blind, #2) by Violetta Rand Blind Redemption (Blind Series Book 3) by Violetta Rand


I would like to thank Violetta Rand for kindly providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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I am spotlighting Frances Evesham’s debut novel AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN which is released today.


ABOUT THE BOOK


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Genre: Historical Mystery Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

With nothing left from her childhood except a tiny portrait of a beautiful woman, some skill with a needle, and the knowledge of a dreadful secret, Philomena escapes her tormentor, Joseph, and the dank fogs of Victorian London, only for a train crash to interrupt her quest for independence and freedom.

Trapped between the upstairs and downstairs occupants of a great country house, Philomena hears whispers of the mysteries and lies that lurk in empty corridors and behind closed doors. Her rescuer, the dangerous, enigmatic Hugh, Lord Thatcham, wrestles with his own demons and makes Philomena’s heart race, but she must fight her passion for she can never marry.

Haunted by her past, Philomena’s only hope of happiness is to confront the evil forces that threaten to destroy her.

Buy links:-

The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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EXCERPT

A new light shone in the grey eyes as Lord Thatcham bent his head ever closer. She must move away. She begged her body to obey her. Instead, it leaned closer as though a magnet  pulled the two together. She could not resist.

“Philomena,” Lord Thatcham murmured. “Is that name real? Who are you? What brought you here to make me—” He stopped abruptly and straightened a little, searching Philomena’s face. He lingered on the black curls, the blue eyes, and then his gaze slid down to rest on her mouth. His lips parted. “You are very beautiful.”

Philomena could not speak. Her body, responding to the hitherto unknown power of male magnetism, yearned for the first touch. Lord Thatcham’s breath escaped in a rough gasp. He surrounded her, his arms gentle, and eased her body forward until Philomena felt his heartbeat in time with her own. Her eyes were half closed. His lips brushed gently, soft and warm, over her mouth. For an endless moment, she stayed quite still, beguiled by the spicy sharp taste of his lips. A charge electrified her body.

Then her head cleared. She gasped. Was she mad? This was Lord Thatcham, and she was nothing but a penniless waif in his power. He meant to have his way with her, just as Joseph had tried to do.

She tore herself away from the embrace. “How dare you.” Her voice shook with fury. “How dare you treat me so?”

Lord Thatcham’s arms fell away. Blood drained from his countenance, leaving the dark eyes aglow in a white face. He said not a word.


 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I write, collect grandsons and Victorian trivia. I love to smell rosemary and garlic as I cook with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other.

I’ve visited the Arctic Circle and seen the Northern Lights. One day I’ll get to see the penguins at the South Pole.

A speech therapist, a professional communication fiend and a road sweeper in the past, I also work in the criminal courts to uphold fair questioning of people with special needs. I believe it’s possible to speak all known languages using nothing but gestures, pictures and signs.

Writing psychological thrillers, historical romances and books on communication leaves enough time to enjoy bad jokes and puns and wish I’d kept on with the piano lessons.

Social Media Links:

Website :http://francesevesham.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frances.evesham.writer

Twitter: @FrancesEvesham

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THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

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Frances is kindly giving away a digital copy of AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN for your Kindle (or other reader). Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle because Frances can provide a PDF copy instead. To be eligible for the Giveaway, just leave a comment and your email address.

 The Giveaway will run for one week from June 11-18.

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MY REVIEW

I was surprised how much I enjoyed Frances Evesham’s debut novel considering it is a clean romance and I’m sure you all know how I love plenty of heat in my romances. Perhaps I was just in the mood for this charming blend of mystery and romance.

How I imagine Philomena…
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Orphaned Philomena had been raised by her guardian and employer, the kindly Samuel Tailor but, when he dies, she finds herself the object of the unwanted attentions of his vile son, Joseph. Desperate to escape from London and Joseph’s clutches, she disguises herself as a boy and boards a train for Bristol, determined to gain her independence and fulfil her dream of having a business of her own. However, fate steps in when the train she is travelling on crashes and she is rescued by the stern but fascinating Hugh Dainty, Lord Thatcham.

How I imagine Hugh...
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Hugh is still living with the aftermath of his disastrous marriage to Beatrice and her death in a riding accident. He has sworn never to be fooled by a woman again. All his energy has been put into restoring the hall and his estates…a legacy to pass onto his son, John. When he rescues a young ‘boy’ from the wreckage of a nearby train crash, his life will change in ways he never anticipated.

I admire Hugh for his forward thinking. He understands that the world is changing and is keen to embrace new ideas and I could just picture him drawing his plans for new machinery. He also respects those who have worked hard and made something of themselves.

I enjoyed watching Philomena stand up to Hugh, something that he’s not used to. I also admired her for fulfilling her dream of setting up her own business and her resolve to stop running away and finally confront the demons of her past.

It was heart-warming to see how Philomema’s influence enables Hugh to build a warmer relationship with his son, John.

Love for his son welled up in Hugh’s heart. John beamed so proudly, his eyes so full of mischief: such a small, happy child. Raising the boy should be a pleasure. Why had Hugh never seen it like that before.

The romance between Philomena and Hugh is beset by various obstacles along the way…deceit, distrust, dark secrets and fiendish villains before true love finally conquers all. As previously mentioned, there are no explicit love scenes but Ms Evesham does create a lovely sense of intimacy, which fits perfectly with the mood of the story.

She was alone with this man. Lord Thatcham’s face, so close, made her pulses race. She had never known such desire. Her eyes travelled across every feature, as if she would learn it by heart. Strong, sharp planes angled below deep grey eyes. Lines ran from nose to mouth. Forbidding and frightening, Lord Thatcham fascinated her.

I took an instant dislike to Hugh’s snobbish, interfering mother, the Dowager Lady Thatcham and loved the scene where Hugh gives her an ultimatum.

You have overreached yourself for the last time. For the future, you will stay out of my affairs, or you will no longer be welcome at Thatcham Hall.” Hugh turned on his heel. The Dowager watched, speechless, as he left.

I soon warmed to Hugh’s high-spirited sister, Selena, because she becomes a true friend to Philomena. She cares nothing for rank unlike her mother. I adore Hugh’s son, John, and his mischievous antics raised quite a few chuckles…

“I should perhaps add, my lord, that Master John has broken three pudding basins and severely damaged a silver sugar bowl by swinging the sword in a dangerous manner.”

The mystery surrounding Philomena’s past adds another intriguing layer to the story and the villains are suitably venomous.

I appreciated the historical details that give the story an authentic Victorian feel and I was interested to read on Ms Evesham’s website that the train crash, which features in the book, is based on a real incident.

Overall, this is definitely a book which will appeal to those who enjoy a sweet, clean romance, likeable characters and a perplexing mystery to solve. 


REVIEW RATING:  4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING:  KISSES

Read June 2014

I would like to thank Frances Evesham for kindly providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

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(Blind series, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Viking – 11th Century)

Cover Blurb…

The Sigurdsson family legacy continues…

A woman who prayed for a hero…

Orphaned at a young age, Rachelle Fiennes prayed for a hero to rescue her from her tragic life in England. When her only kinsman goes missing after the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Rachelle braves the aftermath of the battlefield to find him.

A man who lost everything…                      

Damned by the gods for surviving the bloodiest defeat in Norse history, Jarl Tyr Sigurdsson is still determined to get home. Hiding until nightfall so he can escape to his ship, his dangerous endeavor is disrupted when he’s accidently discovered by a beautiful Saxon.

Brought together by war, Rachelle and Tyr face many obstacles. Can sworn enemies find peace through love, or will fate tear them apart?

Buy Links:

Amazon US – Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Mercy-Violetta-Rand-ebook/dp/B00IDNY9U8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392206698&sr=1-1&keywords=Blind+Mercy

Amazon UK – Kindle:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blind-Mercy-The-Series-ebook/dp/B00IDNY9U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392206964&sr=8-1&keywords=Blind+Mercy

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EXCERPT

Since the first day they’d met, Tyr had been embroiled in strife and violence. Standing in this holy place, he seemed vulnerable, almost normal. Only once before had she seen this level of tenderheartedness in him. The degree of compassion he showed his deceased brother when he prepared him for funeral rites still haunted her. Of course, what man wouldn’t be moved by such tragedy? This was decidedly different. Baffled by this transformation, she watched him closely.

“I thank you for this kindness.”

He embraced her. The motivation behind his touch had changed, she felt it.

“I swear on this holy ground, I’ll never hurt you again,” he said.

He’d pledged it before. Could she be foolish enough to believe again? Didn’t he understand she couldn’t get past the fact he was holding her for ransom? Could she ever really forgive him for deceiving and shaming her? Caution did little to help her cause. Jolts of lust shot through her. It felt wonderful to be touched by him; but as welcome as those feelings were, they must stay hidden forever.

“I want to believe you,” she said.

He tipped her head upward. “I make no promises I can’t keep,” he assured her. “If there’s anything I can do to ease your pain, ask me.”

She remained silent. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind, a place existed where happy thoughts thrived. She pictured how it would be if he dropped on his knees and declared his love. All of this was quickly swept aside.

“I’ll leave you now,” he announced. “My men are aware of your situation and will not disturb your observances. When you are ready, they will escort you back to the house.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Violetta Rand holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and a master’s degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

Violetta has been “in love” with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.

You can connect with Violetta on:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/violetta.rand

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6952559.Violetta_Rand

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViolettaRand

 

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

Violetta is kindly giving away two ebook copies of BLIND MERCY. Leave a comment saying you would like a copy of the book to be eligible for the Giveaway.

THE GIVEAWAY WILL CLOSE AT MIDNIGHT (GMT) ON SUNDAY 16th FEBRUARY.

 

MY REVIEW

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This is the second book in Violetta Rand’s Blind series and, once more, I found myself swept back to the Viking era…to a story of adventure and romance.

Tyr is everything I would expect of a Viking warrior…arrogant, proud, strong and courageous but vulnerable in ways that make him very human. It shows in the guilt he feels over his brother’s death and tenderness and compassion he shows when he prepares his brother’s funeral and in the scene in the woods when he talks about the significance of Odin’s Altar.

It was easy to visualise Tyr in my imagination particularly in the scene on the ship where he strips off his wet clothes in front of Rachelle and exposes his tattooed body and indulged in some male preening.

Tyr gave an exaggerated stretch, accentuating the rippling muscles that formed his perfect body.

I was relieved when Tyr didn’t succumb to the wiles of his former mistress, Frida, because I lose respect for a hero who sleeps with another woman after he has fallen for the heroine.

Strong-willed, determined, passionate and stubborn, Rachelle is the perfect heroine for this Viking warrior. I can sympathise with her feelings of loss after the death of her parents and the fear that she has lost her Uncle Henry who took her in and loved her like a daughter.

Vikings and Saxons were as incompatible as fire and water.

The enemies-to-lover’s trope is a favourite of mine and I loved Tyr and Rachelle’s heated sparring, the delicious sexual tension and the sensual love scenes.

I enjoyed the fast-paced plot with all its twists and turns…the greed, the jealousy, the betrayal and the political mascinations. Once again, Ms Rand provides a fascinating and well-researched insight into the Viking world.

I’m intrigued by Aaron who is willing to betray his cousin, Tyr. He deserves the punishment meted out to him but I can’t wait to see how Ms Rand will redeem him in the next book, Blind Redemption.

I must be bloodthirsty, but I was glad the ‘priest’ and all those who dealt so cruelly with Rachelle met a suitable sticky end.

I enjoyed the reunion between Rachelle and Uncle Henry who I grew very fond of. I also enjoyed the surprise wedding present …a lovely touch.

A passionate and sensual love story, memorable characters and an exciting plot made BLIND MERCY an enjoyable read.


REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read January 2014

The Blind series so far (click on the cover for more details):

Blind Allegiance Blind Mercy

I would like to thank Violetta Rand for kindly providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

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THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

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(Fiery Tales # 4.5)

Genre: Erotic Historical Romance (17th century France)

Official Blurb

From bestselling author Lila DiPasqua comes a scorching new historical romance novella in the acclaimed Fiery Tales series! An emotional, erotically charged retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl.

As childhood friends, Leopold d’Ermart and Suzanne Matchet were inseparable. One unforgettable Christmas Eve, their relationship changed from the best of friends…to lovers. But the heir of the Duke of Mont-Marly isn’t supposed to fall in love with the daughter of his family’s physician. Or vice versa.

Is this a second chance at first love? 

Years later, Suzanne is dreading her first Christmas without her father. The heartbreak Leo caused when he left seven years ago is a distant memory. And she prefers to keep it that way. The last thing Suzanne expects is for tall, dark, and sinfully seductive Leo d’Ermart to show up at her door and announce he wants her back in his life. And in his bed. Worse, the now celebrated libertine is even more devastating to a woman’s senses than ever before…

Or are they playing with fire? 

The only woman Leo, Duke of Mont-Marly, has ever yearned for is the adorably unconventional, intelligent beauty who got away. He discovers Suzanne creating and selling matchsticks, elixirs for the ill…and is still so damned alluring. Leo is determined to show her the depth of his desire, win back Suzanne’s heart. And give her a Christmas beyond her wildest imagination…

Available from:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

iBooks | Smashwords

All Romance Ebooks

EXCERPT

Apparently, the mighty Leo d’Ermart simply woke up one morning and decided to reappear in her life, bold as could be— and sent his personal secretary to deliver his offer, no less. How very thoughtful. The man’s gall was outrageous. How very thoughtful. The man’s gall was outrageous. Tamping down her ire, she gave Gaspard another pat. He purred contently. “I’m not worried about coin. There’s no need to be.” Suzanne cast Lucille a reassuring smile over her shoulder. Since her father’s death, she’d managed just fine.

“But… But… I just don’t understand it,” Lucille continued, unrelenting. “He has plenty of wealth. You make concoctions for so many others. Why not make the perfumes he’s requesting? He is willing to pay a vast sum. An offer from a duc does not come around every day!”

Because his offer is nothing but a ruse.

She was no fool. The generous funds Leo was offering her to create perfumes for his two sisters— meant to be gifts— had a condition: she was to come to Montbrison to create them.

The offer was bogus. A mere pretense to get her to his château.

She wanted nothing more to do with him.

Knowing the unscrupulous rake as well as she did, his true motives were without a doubt of a disreputable nature. She refused to be duped by his little ploy. She’d experienced his stinging trickery before.

It had taken a long time for her heart to mend and harden against Leo d’Ermart. It had been years before she’d finally managed to wrestle him out of her daily thoughts. And heart. She resented it that yesterday he’d intruded into her mental peace once more— thanks to Gilles’s visit.

The best thing a woman could do was to stay far away from the notorious roué.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Lila DiPasqua is a multi-published, national bestselling author of historical romance with heat. Her novels are published by Penguin/Berkley, as well as having self-published works. She is best known for her critically acclaimed Fiery Tales series. Her books have been featured on Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. She lives with her husband and three children in Canada and is a firm believer in the happily-ever-after.

If you’d like to learn more about Lila and her books, please visit her Website:
http://www.liladipasqua.com/index.htm

And follow her on:

Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/LilaDiPasquaAuthor

Twitter : @LilaDiPasqua

GIVEAWAY

Lila will be giving away 5 copies of either UNDONE or THE DUKE’S MATCH GIRL in ebook (readers’s choice) and one of these lucky readers will also receive this beautiful Christmas key ornament.

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The Giveaway is open worldwide and will run until midday (GMT) on Saturday 14th December.

To enter simply leave a comment.

MY REVIEW

(THE DUKE’S MATCH GIRL is part of Lila DiPasqua’s Fiery Tales series but can easily be read as a standalone.)

**5 Delightfully Wicked Stars**

I LOVED this novella! It was romantic, steamy and funny and kept me totally entertained from the first page to the last.

Here are the things I loved about this novella:

The story combines two of my favourite tropes…friends to lovers and second chances. I adored Leo… his willingness to admit how much he had hurt Suzanne and his sheer determination to prove how much he truly loves her. Suzanne is still feeling the pain caused by the death of her beloved father and wants nothing to do with the man who broke her heart. I love that she refuses to trust him even though she still feel the strong attraction. In fact, she leads him a merry dance. I love the letter she sends him when he asks her to spend Christmas with him at the Château Montbrison.

Your Grace,
Your man has informed me of your offer. He was quite uncomfortable about relaying my response. It is for his ease that I put it to you here in writing. As to your offer— and I say this with the utmost sincerity— you may take it, and insert it into your exalted posterior.
Sincerely,
Suzanne

Oh boy! Leo wasn’t going to give up at the first hurdle and I was in awe of his ingenuity, especially when he uses a little bribery to enlist the whole town in his schemes. Everyone in the town bombards Suzanne with reasons why she should go with Leo. I loved this exchange between the innkeeper and Suzanne…

“Well, perhaps you should consider that he is a wealthy man.”
“I’m aware of that.”
“With much power and influence.”
“I’m aware of that, too.”
“What about his enormous manhood?”
That stopped her dead in her tracks. She turned. “Pardon?”

Then there is the episode involving Gaspard…

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and the delightful picture of Suzanne’s two employees, Rosalie and Lucille, surreptitiously eavesdropping on her conversation with Leo.

Suzanne is my sort of unconventional heroine.  She has a brilliant mind and a great passion for science and I adore Leo for being proud of her abilities and loving her adorable little quirks and oddities.

Of course, this is Lila DiPasqua…so expect wickedly delicious, sizzlingly sexy, toe-curling love scenes with some dirty talk from Leo…definitely not for prudish ears!  There is a pretty hot scene in the carriage on the way to Château Montbrison and Leo does luscious things with ice cream!

I’m a sucker for a sigh-worthy ending and this has a real heart-melting one. I won’t spoil it for you other than to say that Suzanne’s matches play a significant part and Leo…his words are totally swoon-worthy!  There is even an added bonus of a charming Epilogue.

THE DUKE’S MATCH GIRL is a fun and steamy novella and so curl up with a glass of wine and your favourite chocolates and enjoy!

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: SIZZLING

Read December 2013

Fiery Tales series to date (click on the book cover for more details):

Awakened by a Kiss  (Fiery Tales, #1) The Princess in His Bed  (Fiery Tales, #2) A Midnight Dance (Fiery Tales, #3) Undone (Fiery Tales, #4) The Duke's Match Girl - A Fiery Tale Novella (Fiery Tales, #4.5)

My sincere thanks to Lila for sending me a copy of this novella in return for an honest review. It was a pleasure!

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