Thursday, 16 November 2017

New Release Spotlight: Revere by Bethany-Kris



Every king needs a queen...
Grab your copy of 
REVERE
A Legacy Novel (Cross + Catherine, #2) 
by Bethany-Kris!



A Legacy Novel

She was once his liar.

He was once her savior. 

Cross Donati fills his days with the mafia, family, and responsibility. The wild boy is a distant memory. A waiting prince now sits in his place. An old debt puts the gunrunner right back into the path of his past, but he only sees his future.

Every king needs a queen.
Catherine Marcello learned how to stand on her own, and she no longer needs saving. The sly girl is far more dangerous now. A broken promise taught her how to live again. One conversation puts the hustler face to face with her first love, but she only sees heartache.

Every God needs a prayer.

The scars of their history runs deep. Every lie told, and each secret spilled hurts a little bit more.

Love does not care.

Love will not wait.

So, why does life keep standing in the way?

***
Revere is A Legacy Novel. While it can be read as a follow up to Always, it can also be read as a standalone novel.



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ALWAYS, A Legacy Novel (Cross + Catherine, #1)



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Hello?”
Catherine.”
She turned to stone on the spot, unsure she had heard the caller’s voice correctly. Except she knew that she did because his voice was unmistakable. She could never quite forget the way he sounded murmuring into her ear.
Cross,” Catherine said. “How did you get my number?”
You’ve never changed it, babe.”
She wet her lips, and tried to ignore how damn good he sounded. Like crushed velvet and liquid gold. Silky, hot, and expensive. A cost she didn’t know if she could afford.
A cost like her heart.
You just remembered it?” Catherine forced herself to ask.
How she kept the lingering emotion out of her tone, she didn’t know.
I remember a lot of things,” Cross replied.
Why are you calling me?”
You didn’t answer my question at the restaurant yesterday.”
What question was that?”
I wanted you to go out with me this weekend,” he said like it was nothing at all.
You didn’t actually ask that, Cross. You simply said it.”
Don’t you remember what I told you years ago?”
You said a lot of things,” Catherine muttered.
Broke her damn heart with his words, too.
I told you that where you and I were concerned, I would tell you what I wanted, and you would either agree or not. That’s all there is to it. No games. That still stands, Catty. I’m telling you what I want.”
She let out a slow, long stream of air. She despised how a part of her was absolutely ready to agree, and meet up with Cross. If nothing else than to catch up, and see if things still felt the same when he was close. Problem was, she knew it would feel the same. How could it not, when this was the only man she had ever loved?
Catherine wasn’t ready to let something silly like old feelings and dusty memories rip her heart out again. She was not falling, crashing, and burning with Cross Donati one more time.
Catty?” he asked.
You know, you’re the only person I don’t mind calling me Catty.”
I started that nickname.”
No one knows why.”
She swore she could feel Cross’s smirk in his words when he murmured, “No one needs to.”



Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD



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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

New Release Spotlight: A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe



A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe
Series Four Hundred #1
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date October 31, 2017


Set in New York City’s Gilded Age, Joanna Shupe’s Avon debut introduces an English beauty with a wicked scheme to win the man she loves—and the American scoundrel who ruins her best laid plans…


Lady Honora Parker must get engaged as soon as possible, and only a particular type of man will do. Nora seeks a mate so abhorrent, so completely unacceptable, that her father will reject the match—leaving her free to marry the artist she loves. Who then is the most appalling man in Manhattan? The wealthy, devilishly handsome financier, Julius Hatcher, of course….


Julius is intrigued by Nora’s ruse and decides to play along. But to Nora’s horror, Julius transforms himself into the perfect fiancĂ©, charming the very people she hoped he would offend. It seems Julius has a secret plan all his own—one that will solve a dark mystery from his past, and perhaps turn him into the kind of man Nora could truly love.



Thirty-Seventh Street and Fifth Avenue
New York City


February 1890


The pressed tin ceiling was about to cave in on their heads.
Lady Honora Parker glanced upward once again, fascinated by what was taking place on the second floor of Sherry’s, one of New York’s most exclusive restaurants. Each raucous thump and horrific crash from above shook the huge gold and crystal chandelier in the main dining room and caused the black-coated waiters to wince. It sounded as if a herd of elephants were up there.
From what Nora had seen and heard of the reckless Americans in the last month, she would not be surprised if it were elephants. Nothing seemed off limits here, no idea too big or too wild. Giant houses, like English country estates, lined Fifth Avenue. Imported marble, bright limestone, and shiny gilding blinded from every street corner. Tall buildings stretched high up into the sky. There was a sense of urgency in New York to buy more, build more, do more. It made her long for the dirty, crowded, yet civilized streets of London.
Nora, dear,” her aunt’s gentle voice interrupted her thoughts. “Mr. Van Rensselaer asked you a question.”
She turned to the older, heavyset man on her right. Her uncle had arranged the dinner, one of many meetings designed for her to find a “suitable” man. But the idea of marriage to a man old enough to be her father made Nora’s skin crawl. Even her aunt disapproved of Van Rensselaer, saying he was, “a set of heavy eyebrows with a stick up his behind.”
It must be said that Nora adored her aunt.
More importantly, Nora did not desire a suitable American man, not when a perfectly suitable artist awaited her back in London. Her father hadn’t approved of said artist, unfortunately, which is how she now found herself in America, being trotted around New York like a prized thoroughbred up for auction. That’s the earl’s daughter, they whispered behind her back. Here to find a husband.
No, she absolutely would not. Nora had no intention of marrying anyone here. “I apologize,” she replied to the eyebrows. “You were saying?”
Perfectly understandable.” Mr. Van Rensselaer smiled tolerantly at her, as if Nora were some flighty nitwit incapable of following a conversation. Commence additional skin crawling. “I asked if your ladyship missed London.”
Yes, I miss Robert terribly. Her heart squeezed in a tight grip, an ache settling in her throat. A young painter, Robert Landon had no money or title to speak of, but she didn’t care. He’d been the first person to see Nora for who she truly was, not just her father’s daughter. He was sweet and romantic and all she desired in this world. After they married, they planned to travel across Europe so Robert could hone his craft. She would keep him company and continue to serve as his “muse,” as he often called her.
Her father, the Earl of Stratton, hadn’t approved. He’d been horrified when Robert and Nora were caught together—a scene orchestrated for the earl’s benefit at a dinner party—and from there, things had taken a disastrous turn. Instead of forcing the young lovers to marry, as she’d hoped, her furious father rushed Nora off to his sister in New York. “No one there will have heard of the scandal yet,” he had said. “Your aunt will help you find a proper husband in America. Do not return without one. Now, do not disappoint me, Nora.
Was that not what she’d been doing her entire life, disappointing him? He’d wanted a boy; she’d been born a girl. She had studied, practiced, and tried to be the perfect daughter, and he’d only ignored her. She’d smiled through her debut, eager to make him proud, and he hadn’t bothered to attend any of the balls or dances.
Attempts at playing the good daughter, the proper society young woman, had gotten her nothing. Worse, they’d resulted in a trip to a strange city to be dangled in front of every fortune hunter and insufferable snob twice her age.
So that proper society young woman was no more. A new Nora had emerged on the cross-Atlantic voyage four weeks ago, one who had decided to take matters into her own hands by concocting an infallible way back to London.
The plan was simple. If her father wanted her to find a husband, she’d find the most outrageous man in New York, a fiancĂ© noteworthy and unsuitable enough to land in the papers. An actor? A politician? She hadn’t quite settled on how to achieve it yet . . . but she would. She had to. The news must become public enough to reach the earl’s ear across the Atlantic, horrifying him enough to summon her home.
To Robert.
Three sets of eyes were staring, so she returned her attention to the conversation at hand. “I do miss it. Certainly not the weather, however.”
Aunt Beatrice, Uncle James, and Mr. Van Rensselaer laughed, and conversation droned on until another loud thump sounded from above. Her uncle’s mouth flattened. “I cannot comprehend why that hullabaloo is permitted to continue.”
Mr. Van Rensselaer wiped his mouth with the linen serviette. “From what I understand, Mr. Hatcher is up in the ballroom. Some sort of exclusive dinner. This is why your country is superior to ours, Lady Nora, because the undesirables here have no idea how to conduct themselves properly.”
By “undesirables,” it was clear he meant men who had earned their wealth, not inherited it as he had. Had he any idea how pompous that made him sound? Though Robert had no money, he was a kind, decent, and loving man with brilliant wit and unshakable morals. That was the perfect man, not one like Mr. Van Rensselaer, who’d visibly sneered at the modest blue silk gown she wore tonight. While it might be conservative compared to the fancier American gowns throughout the dining room, she believed the color showed off her dark chestnut hair and golden-brown eyes.
Mr. Julius Hatcher?” Aunt Bea asked. “The financier?”
Indeed. The man’s a scourge on everything decent and upstanding in this city.” Van Rensselaer cut into his asparagus spears. “Do not worry, though. He doesn’t exactly run in the best circles. In fact, he’s tried numerous times to buy his way into polite society over the years, but they won’t have him.”
Though she’d only been in New York a month, Nora had heard of Julius Hatcher. A handsome, brash swell with more money than sense, he threw elaborate parties and associated with a string of high-profile actresses, at least according to the gossip pages. He’d even built a replica of a sixteenth-century French castle on Upper Fifth Avenue—complete with a moat.
Though the newspapers touted his exploits with glee, society thought him outrageous and improper. A society he’d apparently tried to buy his way into—and failed. And here her father had disapproved of Robert when there were scoundrels like Julius Hatcher running amok. However was that possibly fair? It would serve the earl right if she brought Hatcher home for—Her brain froze for an instant, stuck on the delicious idea. Oh, indeed, it would serve the earl right. Her father would never approve of Hatcher as a husband, a scoundrel who would bring shame to the venerable Parker name. Surely that would force her father to see Robert in a more favorable light. It would certainly prove that a hardworking, decent man like Robert was good enough to marry the earl’s only daughter.
Moreover, the second her father caught wind of her connection to Hatcher and the depravity of his reputation, he would undoubtedly bring her home posthaste.
Mr. Hatcher sounded like the answer to her prayers.
Another thud sounded from above. This is my chance. She had to find Hatcher and try to convince him to help her. Right now. Immediately. Before she lost this opportunity. She started to push her chair back and a waiter rushed over to assist her. “If you will excuse me, I am feeling a bit overheated.”
Shall I come with you?” her aunt asked as the two gentlemen politely rose as well.
No, please,” she rushed out a little desperately, then tempered her tone. “Enjoy your meal. I’ll put a cool cloth to my neck and return in moments.”


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Joanna Shupe has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. In 2013, she won Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband. To connect with Joanna, visit JoannaShupe.com.









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GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Giveaway open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of A DARING ARRANGEMENT by Joanna Shupe. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 11/14/2017 @ 1159pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copy out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.


Friday, 10 November 2017

The Friday 56: Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne


Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
* Head over to Frida's Voice to find more #Friday56



56% on Kindle: by Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

“What's wrong with you? You look ready to puke.”
I lean forward, too, deciding to lay it out and play it totally straight with her, because she''s my best friend and she deserves it.
“When you pitched this whole friends with benefits thing, how long did you envision it lasting?” I ask

(from Goodreads): When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

New Release Spotlight & Review: An Ex For Christmas by Lauren Layne

Click on the image above to follow the book tour.


An Ex for Christmas
Love Unexpectedly
By: Lauren Layne
Releasing November 7, 2017
Loveswept


She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.






This friends to lovers story is a perfect distraction outside of the season of goodwill or within it, depending on when you settle down to read it! It's hilarious, funny and a perfect novel for a cosy night in with a glass of mulled wine.

In Kelly Byrne's world, if a psychic tells you you've already met your true love it must be true, right? With Christmas around the corner and the new year not far behind, she devises a plan to track down all her ex-boyfriends to see which one is 'Mr Right', only her happy ever after guy is closer than she thinks.

Mark Blakely thinks his life is turning the right corner when the woman he secretly loves is now available again. It's a tricky situation because she's also his best friend so after waiting all this time he's determined to get his girl until she tells him her crazy plan. A plan that doesn't involve him.

Although highly amusing, Kelly's behaviour is heartbreaking sometimes as she relies on superstitions to make her life choices. It's funny but sad, she relies so much on such silliness to tempt fate, based on a brief conversation with a psychic. However, Mark is a wonderful example of a truly one in a million guy, the perfect man to counterbalance Kelly's crazy ideas.

All the unbelievable and entertaining drama is gift wrapped around a Christmassy backdrop filled with seasonal cheer. The author's love of this season of goodwill shines through in her writing, littered with her signature wit and humour. I'm not a fan of this holiday but even my heart was warmed by this festive happy ever after.

***arc generously received courtesy of Loveswept via NetGalley***


As I walk, I check the weather app on my phone, delighted to see that while it’s nothing but rain today, there’s a chance of a snow shower tomorrow. Nothing says Christmas break like snow.
I just miss my train, but there’s a decent-ish voice singing “White Christmas” nearby, and the platform’s not too crowded, so waiting’s not as bad as it could be.
My eye catches on a middle-aged woman who’s set up camp under one of the stairwells. It’s not unusual to see all manner of people under the streets of New York, although this one’s better dressed than most. She’s wearing a blousy red shirt, jeans, and ankle boots, and is sitting cross-legged on a plaid blanket. She’s got twigs of what seem to be fake roses in her hair.
None of that’s the weird part.
What’s weird is that she’s watching me. Intently.
We make awkward eye contact, and I give a quick smile before turning my attention back to my phone.
But I still feel her eyes on me.
Not in an unfriendly way, not in the way that makes me mentally catalog whether or not I saw any cops on my way down here who would hear me if I scream. She doesn’t seem eager to push me onto the train tracks either, and since that’s every New Yorker’s secret fear, that’s a plus.
Still, the focus is unsettling. I glance up again, and her eyes lock on mine. Her dark gaze is clear and focused, and I can’t decide if that’s more or less disturbing than if she seemed sort of hazy.
Then she smiles right at me. “Kelly.”
I get immediate goosebumps for reasons that have nothing to do with the winter weather. She knows my name.
Come.” She beckons. “Come. I see.
Now you’re thinking, Hell, no. Run!
I should be thinking the same, and on some level, I am, but . . .
There are a couple dozen people around. None are paying attention to me, but it’s not like I’m all alone in a dark alley.
And look, we’ve already established that I believe in fate expressing itself through a Magic 8 ball and horoscopes, and though I haven’t mentioned it yet, I totally avoid black cats, the number thirteen, and walking under ladders.
I also believe that there’s such a thing as sight. I know, because my grandma had it.
Grandma Shirley was one of those delightfully batty old ladies that most people dismissed as quirky, but nobody can deny that she seemed to know stuff. She knew when I’d win my soccer game, and by how many points. She knew when her cat’s litter of kittens would be born, down to the minute. Once she’d even predicted an earthquake, even though they’re really rare in New York.
She’d passed away when I was in eleventh grade (she’d predicted the when and how of that too), and though I didn’t inherit her talents, I’ve never stopped believing that some people see and know things that they shouldn’t. I call it the Sight.
I step closer, and the woman grins and beckons me even nearer.
I stop a healthy few feet away. I’m superstitious, not crazy.
The woman leans forward. “You seek love.”
Huh. Color me unimpressed. I mean, don’t most humans seek love? Sure, I’m recently single, and I don’t particularly want to be. And maybe I sometimes try a little too hard to find my forever guy.
But I’m not hearing anything other than generic lucky guesses from this lady.
Sure,” I say, already starting to back away.
She holds up a hand. “The one you seek? Your forever guy, the love of your life . . .”
freeze, because her phrasing echoes my thoughts almost exactly. A coincidence? Maybe. I don’t move away just yet, willing to hear her out.
She smiles again. “You’ve already met him.”
I blink. “What? I think you may want to recheck that crystal ball. I’m single.”
Her smile merely grows. “I didn’t say you weren’t single. I said you’d already met him. You just let him go. He’ll come back to you before Christmas.”
Whoa whoa whoa. This is . . .
Huh.
You’re telling me that the love of my life is one of my exes?”
She extends both of her palms as though to say, There you have it!
I stifle a little surge of disappointment. Clearly she hasn’t met my exes. There are some decent ones in the mix, but mostly they’re duds, and none of them make my heart beat faster. Well, maybe—
Nope. No. Do not go there.
Thankfully, I feel the rumble of an oncoming train, and a glance over my shoulder tells me my ride outta here is approaching.
Thanks very much,” I say with a strained smile. “Merry Christmas.”
Happy holidays,” she says with a nod, standing and gathering up her blanket. Apparently she’s taken a cue from Madison Meyers and is sticking close to the PC route. Fair enough.
I lift a hand in a wave and move toward the train, but her next words give me a fresh wave of new goosebumps.
Tell your parents happy anniversary. Thirty’s going to be a magical year for them.”
I whip my head around. “How did you—”
The woman is gone.
Like vanished gone.
Leaving me to wonder . . .
If a woman I’d never met was right about my parents’ anniversary, was she also right about other stuff?
Have I already met my one true love?




Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband.
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she's written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.


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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

New Release Spotlight: No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes


"Compelling, sympathetic characters and a rare blend of passion and humor result in another exquisite gem from a master of the genre. Gorgeously done."―Library Journal, starred review


No Other Duke Will Do
by Grace Burrowes
Windham Brides series
November 7, 2017 from Forever.


Mass market: $7.99 | eBook: $6.99 | ISBN: 9781455570003

One of Amazon’s Top Romance Picks for November


Julian St. David, Duke of Haverford, is barely keeping his head above water in a sea of inherited debts. Though he has a long-term plan to restore the family finances, his sister has a much faster solution: host a house party for London's single young ladies and find Julian a wealthy bride.
Elizabeth Windham has no interest in marriage, but a recent scandal has forced her hand. As much as she'd rather be reading Shakespeare than husband-hunting, she has to admit she's impressed by Julian's protective instincts, broad shoulders, and, of course, his vast library.
As the two spend more time together, their attraction is overwhelming, unexpected... and absolutely impossible. With meddling siblings, the threat of financial ruin, and gossips lurking behind every potted palm, will they find true love or true disaster?


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I still want to kiss you, Elizabeth. Rather a lot.”
“That sentiment is mutual,” she said, setting off at a brisk pace. “But where is it written that friends can never kiss, or otherwise express their attraction to each other?”
“It ought to be written somewhere,” Haverford said, “in great bold copperplate. Kissing leads to—”
“I know where it leads, Your Grace, in the general case. The destination has been sadly unimpressive on past visits. I’d like to explore where kissing leads with you.”
“You are—”
“I am lonely too.” And doubtless bound for marriage to some charming, boring viscount with clammy hands.
“—quite fierce about this friendship business.” His gaze was on the castle, and Elizabeth suspected he was trying not to smile.
“I’m quite fierce about everything.” And only now coming to admit it.
“We shall be fierce friends then, for the duration of a house party. One shudders to think what mischief… What the devil is he doing here?”
A coach and four was rattling up the drive a quarter of a mile away. The horses were all white, exactly matched for gait and height, and pulling a black coach with red wheels. A single trunk was affixed to the back, though no crest adorned the door.
“It appears you’ve a late arriving guest.” Or a bad fairy calling on the party, based on Haverford’s expression.
“Not a guest, a problem. A most unwelcome problem.”

Grace Burrowes grew up in central Pennsylvania and is the sixth out of seven children. She discovered romance novels when in junior high (back when there was such a thing), and has been reading them voraciously ever since. Grace has a bachelor's degree in political science, a bachelor of music in music history, (both from Pennsylvania State University); a master's degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University; and a juris doctor from the National Law Center at the George Washington University.

Grace writes Georgian, Regency, Scottish Victorian, and contemporary romances in both novella and novel lengths. She's a member of Romance Writers of America, and enjoys giving workshops and speaking at writers' conferences. She also loves to hear from her readers, and can be reached through her website, www.graceburrowes.com.


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