Posts in category Historical Romance

Excerpt & Promo: My Fair Princess (The Improper Princesses, Book 1) by Vanessa Kelly

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My Fair Princess
The Improper Princesses Book 1
by Vanessa Kelly
Releasing August 30, 2016
Zebra
352 Pages
 

First, Vanessa Kelly brought readers The Renegade Royals. Now, in a delightfully witty new series, she introduces The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .

Despite being the illegitimate daughter of a prince, Gillian Dryden is happily ignorant of all social graces. After growing up wild in Italy, Gillian has been ordered home to England to find a suitable husband. And Charles Valentine Penley, the excessively proper, distractingly handsome Duke of Leverton, has agreed to help transform her from a willful tomboy to a blushing debutante.

Powerful and sophisticated, Charles can make or break reputations with a well-placed word. But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal. The ton is aghast . . . but Charles is thoroughly intrigued. Tasked with taking the hoyden in hand, he longs to take her in his arms instead. Can such an outrageous attraction possibly lead to a fairy-tale ending?

 

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Excerpts

The bandit scum had killed Step-papa, his two bodyguards, and the young groom accompanying him on that fateful trip through the Gorges of Tiberio. It was fitting that Gillian would deliver justice in almost the same spot where those innocents had breathed out their last moments of existence.

Her brother cursed under his breath. “Gillian, this should not be your life.”

“Do I look like a proper young lady to you?”

He cast a sardonic glance at her attire—sheepskin coat, buckskin breeches, and riding boots. “You could be. You’re an attractive, respectable-looking girl when you’re not disguised as a bloodthirsty ruffian.”

“I thought you, of all people, would understand,” she said, exasperated.

“I do, but if you continue along this course, it will take its toll. Killing always does.”

She managed not to flinch. “I don’t have a choice.”

“There is always a choice, Gillian.”

She flicked her gaze back to Falcone, who was sitting on a rock as he smoked a pipe. He was also splendidly out in the open, but she had to get closer.

“There’s no point in discussing this. I’m doing it,” she said.

“No, I will—”

“It was my fault,” she hissed. “That’s why I have to do it. No one else.”

He frowned. “I don’t understand.”

She had to swallow before she could answer. “It’s my fault that my stepfather was murdered. I sent him straight into Falcone’s line of fire.”
“So . . . it’s guilt that motivates you. Killing Falcone will likely be nothing more than an empty victory, if such is the case.” Griffin squeezed her arm. “As long as you continue to blame yourself, you will never find peace.”

She hoped to God he was wrong. He had to be wrong. “You are the most irritating man I have ever met.”

“So my wife informs me on a regular basis.”

Below them, Falcone knocked the tobacco out of his pipe and then hauled his formidable bulk to his feet. Gillian mentally cursed as he began to stroll over to join his men under the trees.

She turned and signaled to Stefano and his grandson. The old man pulled his pistol from the brace on his saddle, ready to cover her back.

“Griffin, help me or not, but I’m doing this now.” Before he could answer, she slung her rifle across her back and slithered away from the edge. As quickly as she dared, she crawled down the narrow, rutted path that ran along the rim of the gorge. If she stood, it was unlikely the men below would notice her, but she was taking no chances. Falcone had evaded her too many times over the years.

Her brother followed her. She could practically feel him seething with frustration, but he made not a sound. She had to give him credit—he was awfully good.

A few feet short of her goal, Gillian held up a hand to halt her brother’s advance. She stole a quick glance over her shoulder. Just behind them Stefano crouched, his tanned, leathery features cast into shade by his broad-brimmed hat. Griffin’s expression registered shock at the sight of the old man so close, pistols at the ready. Stefano might be getting on in years, but he was still vital and strong. He could move like a ghost, silent and lethal, at her command.

After crooking a finger to signal Griffin to follow, Gillian wriggled up to the edge of the cliff. She cautiously peered over the rocks and saw the bandits under a stand of beech trees, their attention on their flasks of wine as they waited for the rabbits to cook over the open flame. Unfortunately, Falcone was half obscured by one of his men and was partly in shade. She would have to stand up if she wanted a clear shot.

She came up in a crouch and pulled the rifle from her back. She’d already checked it three times, but did so once more. The Baker was a fine weapon. It had belonged to a Hussar, and had a light, short carbine, which made it easier to handle. But it was less accurate than rifles used by sharpshooters. Although she could reload quickly if she missed her shot, she’d make an inviting target while she did.

So get it right the first time.

Griffin came up beside her. He gave her a terse nod as he brought his rifle to bear on the men below. But he then sucked in a harsh breath when Gillian rose swiftly to her feet, taking aim at Falcone.

As bad luck would have it, an eagle soared right overhead, screeching out a cry. The men below automatically glanced up, directly at her and Griffin.
Gillian fired. The shot echoed through the gorge in a deafening report. Another boom followed as Griffin fired a second later. Falcone stumbled against a low rock, roaring as he clutched his shoulder. Another bandit went down like a sack of grain tossed from a cart.

The other bandits scrambled for their weapons.

“Get down, you daft woman,” Griffin barked, reaching to pull her away from the edge.

Gillian evaded his grasp, sliding on the rocky scree and almost losing her footing. Still, she managed to recover and reload. Griffin did the same as he let loose a string of hair-raising curses. She yanked up her rifle, took aim, and fired again.

A moment later, a bullet slammed into her shoulder, throwing her to the ground. The back of her head connected with rock, and pain exploded through her skull. Gillian lay there stunned, staring up at a sky that shimmered with a milky haze. Her ears rang with the sound of a thousand church bells.

Move, you idiot.

She couldn’t—not even one blessed finger.

 

 
 
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About Vanessa Kelly

 

Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.

 

 
 
 

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Book Tour & Giveaway: Highland Hope (The Wild Thistle Trilogy, Book 1) by Madelyn Hill

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HIGHLAND HOPE
(The Wild Thistle Trilogy, Book1)
by Madelyn Hill
Releasing August 31, 2016
by Soulmate Publishing
288 Pages
 
“Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Laird Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan is second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.

She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the Lairdship flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Laird MacAlister, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right as laird and prove despite their differences, he loves Hope.

The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

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She sighed and set her free hand at her waist. “We need to find my sister, not stand her hovering.”

Sadness and worry flitted in her gaze. Heartache over her mother he assumed and mayhap a wayward sister. The grief seemed to consume her as they walked and Aidan loathed to see a sad woman—even if it was Laird Hope MacAlister. If she started crying he’d certain flee, for nothing was worse than consoling a woman in tears. But he doubted she’d show such vulnerability to him.She glanced toward the other caves and then back toward the keep. She gave a frustrated sigh. Her face soft with desperation to find her sister. She was worried and inside she was fretting and he knew only one way to take a woman’s mind off her troubles.

He stepped toward her and swept her in his arms. Her eyes widened as he descended, slowly so not to make her skittish, but with enough purpose she knew his desire. Her lips parted and her tongue darted out quickly to wet the plump surface. His lips brushed against hers with a soft caress. She gripped his arms and pushed. He kissed her again, slanting his mouth over hers. She stiffened, then her fingers dug into his biceps as her lips relented,
accepted his kiss.

As a moan escaped her lips, masculine triumph flared and he delved deeper. A sizzling leap of lust cursed through him. God, she felt good in his arms. Aidan ripped his mouth from hers and narrowed his gaze. His chest heaved. His blood sang. Through hooded eyes, he watched her and inhaled the womanly scent about her.

Hope’s face was flushed, her eyes glazed. Aidan reached for her again.With a flick of her wrist, a dirk appeared from its sheath and pressed against his ribs.

“You touch me again, and you’re a dead man.”here

 
 

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Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier!

A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They have 3 children and keep busy cooking, avid movie goers, and of course reading!
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Scandalous Redemption (Ladies and Scoundrels, Book 2) by Amanda Mariel – Tour & Excerpt

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SCANDALOUS REDEMPTION
Ladies & Scoundrels, Book 2
by Amanda Mariel
May 31, 2016
147 Pages
 

She never wanted him…

Ruined by scandal, Claudia Akford survived years of marriage to a cruel brute. Widowed, she is determined to regain her standing in society, but Lord Shillington personifies temptation. Kind and gentle, yet masculine and sinfully handsome, he would make the perfect lover, but he wants more than she is willing to give.

He needed her…

While Henry Shillington knows a little of the beautiful but notorious Lady Claudia Akford, he is struck by her kindhearted, accomplished, and witty demeanor. The more time he spends in her company, the more he dreams of a future with her. But the lady resists his honorable overtures, and a mistress will never do for him.

Can two wary people overcome past hurts, an old scandal, and social strictures to embrace true love?

 
 

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Lord Henry Shillington strode across the music room of Lord and Lady Morse’s country estate intent on locating his sister. The force of someone bumping into him sent him stumbling backward. He whirled around, auburn curls catching his gaze as he reached out to steady her. “Excuse me.” He offered a slight bow but did not release his hold on her.

The lady peered at him through narrowed, fierce green eyes the color of emeralds. “You should watch your step. Kindly unhand me.”

Henry met her icy glare. She radiated the sweet scent of champagne. It clung to the air around her filling his senses as if she had used it for perfume. “Good God, you’re foxed.”

Her earbobs danced and sparkled as she leaned in close, the fire in her eyes growing more intense. “My state is not your concern.” She jerked free of his hold and took a step back. Her blue jewel-toned gown swooshed with the sudden movement.

He grabbed her arm, halting her. His pulse pounded through his veins. “You cannot stay here in your condition. You will cause a scandal for yourself and our hosts.”

“What concern is it of yours?” She rounded on him.

He had to prevent her from causing a scene. “Allow me to escort you outside. We can stroll through the garden.” Part of him worried for their hosts, Lord and Lady Wexil were dear friends, but, if he were being honest, he would have to admit he wished to know more about this beauty. Something about her captivated him. Perhaps her unusual eyes or the misery he saw in them.

A slow smile spread across her full lips. “Very well.”

She swayed and clung to his arm as he led her out through the veranda doors and into the country air. What would compel a lady to become foxed so early in the evening? The sun had yet to give way to the moon’s glow. And who was she? Surely, they had never met before.

He turned her down a path lined with flowers and green foliage. The details of who she was and why she’d overindulged did not signify. She was clearly in distress, and he intended to help if he could. He studied the profile of her delicate face.

“Might we sit…what is your name?” Her exhilarating laughter floated through the empty space.
He had never heard a sweeter sound. “Lord Shillington. And yours?” He stopped in front of a cast iron bench. He couldn’t look away as she lowered herself onto the seat in a flutter of skirts. She was a mystery he wished to solve.

“Do sit with me, Lord Shillington.” She patted the bench next to her.

Henry positioned himself near her, but not too close. Being out here with an unchaperoned lady was scandalous enough. It was not his desire to compromise her–or himself. Given her state, he had no choice but to remove her from the gathering. However, he also had a responsibility to control the propriety of his own behavior.

A cool breeze ruffled her elegant skirts, drawing his attention to her body. Heat fanned through him as he studied her. She was tall and lithe, yet she possessed curves in all the right places. He offered a polite smile. “Your name, my lady?”

She looked at him through hooded lashes. “Lady Claudia Akford.”

His heart skipped a beat as his throat tightened. The notorious Lady Claudia Akford.

 

 
 
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About Amanda Mariel
 

Bestselling, Amazon All Star author Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. When she is not writing she can be found reading, crocheting, traveling, practicing her photography skills, or spending time with her family.

Amanda lives along the Lake Huron shoreline in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long-standing love affair with sugary junk food.

 
 


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The Master of Stathburn by Amy Rose Bennett

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The Master of Stathburn
by Amy Rose Bennett
May 15, 2016
Escape Publishing
260 Pages
Scottish Historical Romance
Format: eBook
 

A sweeping, sexy Highland romance about a wanted Jacobite with a wounded soul, and a spirited Scottish lass on the run.
 
Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. And it’s not only Simon and the redcoats that threaten to destroy Robert’s plans after a flame-haired complication of the feminine kind enters the scene…

Jessie Munroe is forced to flee Lochrose Castle after the dissolute Simon Grant tries to coerce her into becoming his mistress. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious and handsome hunter, Robert, in a remote Highland glen, she throws her lot in with the stranger—even though she suspects he is a fugitive. She soon realises that this man is dangerous in an entirely different way to Simon…

Despite their searing attraction, Robert and Jessie struggle to trust each other as they both seek a place to call home. The stakes are high and only one thing is certain: Simon Grant is in pursuit of them both…

 

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The Master of Strathburn is the first book I have read by Amy Rose Bennett.  I chose to read this book because of the subject matter, former Viscount, Jacobite fugitive meets lovely lass that gives him assistance.  The cover of the book is lovely too.  

 

Jessie Munroe and Robert Grants (Lord Lochrose) first meeting left much to be desired, but he showed her compassion and was nothing at all like the man from whom she was running from.  Although Jessie is unaware of Roberts true identity when they first meet, she is a smart lass and figures it out soon enough.

 

‘I shot her. In the arm.’
‘Ye truly have been away from the Highlands too long when ye mistake a lass for a hind. I’m astounded Miss Munroe would even speak to ye, let alone wed ye!’

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this story, but it wasn’t what I got.  I enjoyed this book!  It had everything you could possibly be looking for in a Scottish, Historical Romance.  A strong, loyal, roguish/gentleman Scotsman.  (I loved the character of, Robert Grant!)A sweet, loyal Highland lass, with a gentle nature, but not afraid to stand up for the man she loves, or what she believes in.  There was a time or two that I would have liked Jessie to have not been afraid, but I got over it.  I liked her character.

 

‘When Jessie chanced a fleeting glance back at Lady Strathburn, the undisguised look of hatred that the woman shot her filled her heart with foreboding. She feared that when the viper struck again, it would be much worse than a barbed comment.’

 

I feel the author did an excellent job of giving us background information on Jessie and Grants characters, and fleshing them out.  This was a story about relationships, trust, and redemption.  It was not just about sex, as some historical romances may be these day.  Yes, there were some pretty steamy sex scenes, but those happened later in the story, and didn’t take up residence in our H&H’s minds every scene in the book.  I adore that the author gave me a story with some meat on it’s bones.

 

‘No mater that they had only spent a few days together. She knew she was in love with him as surely as night follows day. She decided then and there to do whatever was within her power to save Robert from a traitor’s death, even if that meant pleading with the Lord Advocate himself.’

 

I liked Robert’s father, he was a gentleman, and loved his son very much.  There were a few ‘nasty’ characters in this book, and I am glad that the author did not leave any loose ends where they were concerned.  While the plot moved along at an exciting and steady pace, it was predictable.  But in this case I didn’t mind a bit.  This was a truly heartwarming story.  The author even adds a few ‘real’ characters from history in this story.  It is all believable.  I just can’t believe that I haven’t read anything else from the author, and will have to fix that very soon.

 

I recommend this book to anyone that loves Scottish, Historical Romance, Scotland in general.  Wonderful Read! *I received an eCopy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

 

Happy Reading!

 

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Amy Rose Bennett JPG

Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.

Amy is happily married to her own Alpha male hero, has two beautiful daughters, and a rather loopy Rhodesian Ridgeback. She has been a speech pathologist for many years but is currently devoting her time to her one other true calling—writing romance.

 

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Lords of the Borders (Love Knows No Borders) by 7 Best Selling Authors

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LORDS OF THE BORDERS
(Love Knows No Borders)
by Kathryn Le Veque, Erica Ridley, Christi Caldwell, Donna Fletcher, Eliza Knight, & Kimberly Cates
 
Seven of the top names in Historical Romance have come together to bring you these great and passionate tales from both England and Scotland, the countries of both strife and brotherhood, where epic heroes and fiery women live… and where love knows no borders. Within these pages, you will find tales to sate your passion and warm your heart. This collection includes:

Guardian of Darkness by Kathryn Le Veque – a knight hides from the king and finds love with a Scottish lass.

A Season of Love by Christi Caldwell – Scandals and broken hearts in this sweeping Regency romance.

Dark Surrender by Erica Ridley – A young woman, escaping the hangman, seeks refuge from a man who ends up in danger because of her.

A Highlanders Temptation by Eliza Knight – A forbidden love sizzles in this Highlander tale.

Findley’s Lass by Suzan Tisdale – a widow hides dark secrets from the man determined to marry her.

Crown of Dreams by Kimberly Cates – childhood enemies become allies… and more.

Isle of Lies by Donna Fletcher – A lass marries a man who is her father’s mortal enemy.

 
 
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