Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: Sultry in Stilettos

Title: Sultry in Stilettos
Series: In Stilettos, #2
Author: Nana Malone
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: November 11, 2012
Pages: 368
Buy LinkAmazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle)


Shy, Fantasy Event Planner, Ricca Munroe has never been lucky in love, so when the latest in a long line of Mr. Oh So Wrongs publicly dumps her, she focuses on her career. All she has to do to land the job of a lifetime is work side-by-side with the one man who can break her heart. Beckett Mills has never been in love. Personal entanglements are a recipe for disaster—that is until one kiss from Ricca Munroe changes everything. Beckett needs this job to fulfill a promise he made. All he has to do is resist the seductive charms of his best friend.

Can Ricca come out of her shell to land her dream job and the love of her life? Can Beckett trust himself enough to actually fall in love and still keep the promise he made? Warning: Sexy, sass talking women will make you laugh, cry and want a pair of killer footwear.


I love the tension between Ricca and Beckett! Beckett was like a typical, primal man who can't resist a beautiful woman in front of him. Of course, he can't be faulted for being in love with his best friend.

One thing about this book though, I figured out who the "villain" was right from the beginning. Not very subtle there, but it's okay. I also love Ricca's friends. Seriously, it makes me wonder if real people have that kind of friendships.

I also love that there were people meddling in this book. Sometimes it is necessary to meddle for other people to find their happily ever after. Overall, I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Promo: The Earl Is Mine

Hi everyone!

If you didn't know before, I LOVE Kieran Kramer! I read Loving Lady Marcia and fell in love with it, besides the fact that the book itself was pink :) She's a great writer of the regency period, and now she's coming out with the second book of the House of Brady series!

the earl is mine
Title: The Earl is Mine
Series: House of Brady, #2
Author: Kieran Kramer
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperback
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Pages: 352
Pre-Order Links:
PaperbackAmazon | B&N | IndieBound | WalMartBook Depository | Books-A-Million | Powell’s
DigitalKindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo |


Handsome, charismatic, and on the verge of becoming a successful architect, Gregory Sherwood, Lord Westdale, could have just about any woman he wants. So why rush to marry? So far there’s been only one woman he’s considered his ideal match. But that was before she had a secret affair with his best friend…with the help of an unwitting accomplice named Lady Pippa Harrington.

Pippa may not have acted in her old friend Gregory’s best interests, but she’s always believed that the heart sets its own rules. This is why Pippa must escape her arranged marriage–fast–by fleeing to Paris, where she hopes to pursue her artistic passions. To do so, Pippa will need all the help she can get–from Gregory, the one man she isn’t sure she can trust…or resist….

The figure who slid into the Earl of Westdale’s coat every morning wasn’t happy. His name was Gregory Sherwood, and he had everything a man could want. But like a prisoner who can’t bask in a beautiful day outside his barred window, Gregory couldn’t enjoy his family, his wealth, or his title.

He was the legitimate heir to the Marquess of Brady.

But he wasn’t his son.

And he was doomed to a lifetime of lies.

“You know Mother meant for us to save those pieces for the women we’re to marry,” his brother Peter said in the light Irish accent all three Sherwood boys shared. He peered over Gregory’s shoulder as he sorted through a small chest on his dresser and pulled out a silk box. In it was a ruby ring their late mother Nora had left him in her will. “Are you going to propose?”

Gregory stopped his search and glared at his younger brother. “What do you think?”

“Really?” Peter gave a short laugh. “You’re jesting, aren’t you? Marriage is a long time.”

A very long time.

But then Gregory remembered sweet, shy Eliza last night, how he’d known exactly what he was doing when he laid her down on a sofa in an out-of-the-way sitting room at a Mayfair mansion during the height of a masquerade ball and slipped up her gown. Her parents had been throwing her at him for years, so it wasn’t as if the seduction would take her by surprise. She’d given a virginal cry when he’d first entered her, and there was the moment right before she’d peaked, her slender legs wrapped around his back, her hips arching upward while she sighed softly against his neck.

He’d felt more than his usual pleasure when he released his seed into her. There would be no turning back. Eliza was a lady. The knowledge that he’d do right by her had focused him, had cast away the shadows for just a moment. She’d be the beginning of a life he created on his own, not one that had been thrust upon him–as blessed as it had been, as grateful as he was for what he clearly didn’t deserve.

“But why tie yourself down now?” Peter asked him. “You’re much too young.”

“Mind your own business.” Gregory strode past his brother and brushed shoulders with him, just hard enough to drive the message home. He tucked the small box in an inner pocket of his jacket, adjusted his cravat, and left the bedchamber, a cavernous oblong space almost like a hunting box bunk room. Father had designed it when the boys were small, and Gregory still shared it with his two brothers when he was home.

“I’m coming with you,” said Peter, and followed him out the front door.

“Go away,” Gregory told him.

“No. I’m not going to let you do this without a fight. This is serious, Gregory. You can’t give away Mother’s ring so easily.”

On the pavement, Gregory whirled around. “So easily? Do you think that little of me? Or the woman to whom I’ll present this symbol of my devotion?”

“Devotion? Is that the same thing as love?”

“Go away, Peter. You know nothing of love.” Not that Gregory truly knew anything of the romantic kind, either. He couldn’t begin to guess whether his mother and the marquess, the only father he’d ever known, had been in love. And if they had, did it count–when one of them was keeping a secret from the other?

But Father and Caroline, his second wife, whom Gregory called Mama the way his three stepsisters did, were most certainly in love, even after a decade of being together. And while he was glad of it, they were awfully in each other’s pockets.

The thought of such intimacy at the soul level made Gregory’s cravat feel tight. He’d be faithful to Eliza, and they’d no doubt meet regularly between the sheets—she had a sweet, welcoming nature and wouldn’t deny him his conjugal rights, he was sure—but as for staring into each other’s eyes and sharing dreams, hopes, and all that balderdash…

Well, no. A monolithic no, actually.

It was his duty to take a wife to secure the Brady line. But a part of him would never, ever belong to the House of Brady. That part that would remain undutiful. Would seek illicit pleasure. Would work desperately hard to forget his impossible position—that he belonged nowhere.

That part would take a mistress and leave his gentle, dutiful wife at home.

His brother huffed. “You’re not ready.”

“I am ready,” Gregory uttered low. “I don’t take this step lightly. I’ve put a great deal of thought into the matter.”

And he had, for a man whose attention was drawn more to other things: his interest in design; his sporting life; politics and gaming; and his more mundane duties as heir, which Father and Mama were anxious for him to take up. And then there was his constant need to play a role—to hide the ugliness that was his secret. Some nights, he went to bed exhausted from its weight.

Peter’s pupils were wide and black, his mouth thin. “You haven’t considered this enough. Not nearly.”

“Wait a minute.” Gregory moved closer, his chest up to his brother’s. “Are you implying that Eliza isn’t worthy of my regard?”

Peter didn’t back away. “I’m not implying anything. I’m coming right out and saying you’re too besotted to see straight.”

“I will never be besotted, Peter, by any woman.”

“Then explain why you look so feverish searching for that ring? I could have shot a pistol next to your ear, and you wouldn’t have turned to look. If that’s not besotted—“

“You don’t trust me,” Gregory said, feeling the irony of his words.

“Not about this, no.” Peter’s tone was firm. “You don’t value that ring the way you should, and I’m glad Mother’s not here to see what you’re doing with it.”

“I’ve had it with you and your insults.” Gregory pushed him hard on the shoulder. Peter flinched but didn’t lose his footing. “Come on, little brother.” Little half brother. “Show me what you’ve got besides words.”

“Forget it.” Peter stared at him, his eyes flat and hard. “Go ahead with your stupidity. See if I care. You’ll regret it later.”

He spun on his heels and stalked off.

Gregory stared after him, annoyed that he’d succumbed to childish temper. Here he was, feeling man enough to marry Eliza. And yet Peter had managed to put a damper on the day.

If someone could so easily do that, how strong was his commitment, really?

He pushed the thought aside as ridiculous. Even apart from the fact that marriage was now a real necessity, he could easily see himself marrying Eliza. Her pedigree was impeccable. She was a good conversationalist and a pleasure to look at. And she accepted him at face value, which was imperative in a bride.

If he was on the young side, then so be it. His friends would get over their pique—and they’d damn well better get over any amusement—if they wanted to continue calling themselves his friends. He walked the several blocks to his intended’s house with a purposeful stride. Every step he got closer, the muscles in his thighs, his calves, and his belly grew more tense. So proposing marriage was hell on even the most self-assured man, he was discovering. What would she say when he gave her the ring?

What would he say?

Dear God, he hadn’t even thought of practicing a speech. Being cast adrift without a map at a young age had given him practice navigating an uncertain world. He raced his best races when he handled the reins loosely, when he didn’t analyze every curve in the road. And his finest work as a new architect had all been done when he’d acted upon inspiration, the kind that grabbed him mid-sentence while sitting in a café on the street. Or came to him in a dream. Or seemed to unfold as he was sketching, not knowing exactly in which direction he was pointed.

One benefit of losing his mother, his father, and his entire identity in a day: Life couldn’t throw anything at Gregory he couldn’t handle.

He rang the bell, sure at least of his welcome. The family appeared to approve of him—even the butler–as well they should. He was heir to a marquess. Of what could they disapprove?

He intended to ask Eliza to marry him first—a secret, intimate proposal that would take her by surprise, as all properly romantic gestures should; he owed her that—and then he’d play the usual societal game and request an audience with her father, which would be a matter of course. After her father’s approval was won, Gregory would pretend to ask her to marry him for the first time in Lord Baird’s library—but he and Eliza would know otherwise.

“Lord and Lady Baird are out. Lady Eliza’s in the back garden,” the butler informed him before Gregory could even ask. “She’s showing Lord Morgan and Lady Pippa Harrington her mother’s roses.” An invisible mantle came down at the mention of Pippa. Not her. “May I take your cane and hat?”

“Thank you.” Gregory concealed his annoyance at being thrown off kilter and handed the cane and hat over.

The silk box burned a hole in his pocket, but he’d have to delay the big moment. Dougal could be got rid of easily, but Pippa was another story. Gregory saw her once a year at a birthday dinner for her great-uncle Bertie, his godfather, in Devon, and had done so since he was eight—old enough to travel alone without crying–and she was three. She was rarely in Town, so he couldn’t simply fob her off. And prying her loose from her old friend Eliza might be difficult, as well.

Nevertheless, he’d get rid of the two interlopers—and they wouldn’t even know they’d been dismissed. He’d use the effortless charm that came straight from his mother—and not Father, as everyone assumed–to convince them they were leaving of their own accord.

“The quickest way is through the billiard room,” the butler said, indicating the route with a sure hand.

Gregory strode through the house and out one of the French doors onto a small pebbled path.

There came Pippa, striding toward him, her face slightly flushed. She’d never be able to sneak into a room with that fiery Titian hair. And she always wore at least one thing that was unusual. Today, it was a dramatic yellow-gold velvet spencer with tight sleeves that ended in large cuffs with outrageously large emerald paste buttons. Beneath it was a simple ivory muslin frock. There was no bonnet in evidence, but that wasn’t a surprise.

She was like Mother, who’d never shown the smallest regard for whether anyone approved of her. Of course, Gregory knew now that his mother’s insouciant manner had been an act. She had cared what people thought. Very much so.

“Swear you won’t tell our secret, Gregory.” Mother cradled his head on her frail chest and stroked his curls. “It would only hurt your father’s feelings and embarrass the family. But I had to tell you, darling, else I can’t fly. I can’t fly straight to Heaven as I know you want me to do.” “I swear, Mother. I’ll never tell. Never.”

Lucky him, helping his mother to Heaven. Thirteen, he’d been, and he’d lived in his own sort of hell ever since.

“Gregory?” Pippa glowed as usual. She wore the same broad smile he’d seen the day she’d come into her great-uncle’s house from the moor with her two front teeth missing, a smudge of dirt decorating her nose, and a field mouse cupped in her hands, a birthday gift for Bertie. “You’re looking straight through me–as if I were a ghost.”

“You’re the furthest thing from one,” he said smoothly.

And he meant what he said. She was more alive than anyone he knew, which was why he couldn’t help being suspicious of her.

Did people like Pippa and his mother ever consider what their private joys did to other people? What price the rest of the world paid for their adventures?

Since Mother’s death, Gregory had ceased joining Pippa in their annual childish high jinx–he was always called Captain, and she was Lieutenant; their crabapple wars were legendary—and he’d refused to spend time with her exploring the dramatic fells of Dartmoor, claiming to prefer his godfather’s library.

But that was a lie.

He simply didn’t want to be around her—a girl with bright eyes and a ready laugh and an earnest readiness to conquer the world.

“What’s wrong, Gregory?” she’d asked him in Bertie’s library once. Out of the blue, when he’d been quietly perusing the shelves. She’d stood at the door, her head cocked to the side like a robin’s. “Nothing,” he’d told her. He’d been sixteen. She’d been eleven.

She did the same thing several other years as well, the last time occurring when he’d just graduated from Oxford.

“What is it?” she’d said over dinner, when Bertie’s attention has been diverted by Pippa’s mother and obnoxious second husband.

“None of your business,” he’d said quietly. It was the first time he’d ever admitted to anyone that anything was wrong. “Don’t ask again.”

Small tears had formed in her eyes, and she’d looked away, at a candle flame wavering on its wick on the mantel.

Since that night, nothing else had been said.

Thank God.

Everywhere else, he was Gregory, the successful, sociable eldest son of the Marquess and Marchioness of Brady. But there was no hiding from Pippa, who seemed to read him as well as she did the sky and the moor she so loved. She sensed his misery. His darkness. It pressed against his polite smiles, made it difficult for him to maintain his façade as the London wit, the ambitious young architect, and the substantial heir.

Now he lifted her gloved hand to his mouth and brushed a polite kiss across her knuckles. “It’s a rare thing to see you in Town, my lady. And a distinct pleasure to see you so soon after Bertie’s birthday. How is he? Aside from the fact that he’s—“

“Older?” There was a twinkle in her eyes.

“Yes, older.” She had a clever way of handling awkward moments.

Of handling him.

“My uncle’s very well, thank you.” Her grin was demure. Knowing. She was well aware that he avoided her. “Mother and I wanted him to come to the Danvers-Tremont wedding, too, but you know Uncle Bertie. He’s determined that the next wedding he attends must be my own.”

To Gregory, was the unspoken conclusion to that sentence, they both knew.

“So you are here for the wedding festivities, I see,” he said.


“With Lady Eliza?”

“Yes, actually.”

“Old schoolmates always have much to talk about.”

“And weddings only add to the conversation,” she said, the merest flash of discomfiture crossing her face.

Or was it heartbreak? Gregory somehow doubted it. The groom was a bland, boring aristocrat, not Pippa’s type at all, he should think.

And then he realized. Perhaps she wanted rid of him, too. “I’m sorry,” he said immediately, feeling foolish. “I’m preventing you from leaving. Perhaps you plan to stop by the new exhibit at the British Museum?”

She wasn’t a ribbons or baubles sort of girl, he knew. But surely the exotic animal exhibit would tempt her.

“I’ve already been,” she said, “and it was fascinating. No, my lord, I’m in no rush to leave Eliza’s. I’m enjoying my chat with you.” Although when she smiled this time, it seemed to take her some effort. “I was just going to retrieve my reticule in the drawing room. I brought a bit of charcoal and a small pad of paper—I wanted to sketch the back of the house.”

“That’s interesting.” He fought to suppress any impatience in his tone.

“I’m exploring a new hobby.” She looked to the right and left—as if they had company—and leaned toward him. “Making sugar sculptures.”


Dimples peeked out, and she nodded vigorously. “I’m mad for them. Garden scenes with tiny temples and shepherdesses, gilded horses, fanciful flowers, woven baskets. So when I visit a place I like”—she lifted a hand to encompass the garden and the house—“I sketch it. In case someday I’ll want to reproduce it as part of a pastoral scene for a dessert table.”

He looked all around him. Eliza’s house was the most boring edifice he’d ever seen. An imposing structure with stark and unimaginative lines, it sat like a fat salt box on the kitchen counter. The gardens weren’t much more interesting, either, with nary a fanciful thought put into their design.

“It is lovely back here,” he lied. “Shall I fetch your reticule for you?”

She stole another glance around the garden and blushed. “Oh, no, thank you, although—“ She hesitated, and that awkwardness came between them once more. “Would you like to accompany me? I could catch you up on all Uncle Bertie’s theaters. The newest one recently opened in Bristol.”

“Of course.” He opened the door to the billiards room again. And as he listened to her, something began to niggle at him. It wasn’t anything particularly important. But it was a matter of slight curiosity: What was Dougal doing here? He’d had the occasional dance with Eliza at various balls, spoken with her at soirees, and said hello to her if they met up in the park when she was in Gregory’s curricle. But other than that, they were mere acquaintances.

In the drawing room, Gregory was distracted when Pippa removed her gloves, placed them by a modest straw bonnet lying carelessly on top of the pianoforte, and retrieved the charcoal and pad of paper from her reticule. Her movements were sure and capable.

Eliza had delicate, tapered fingers. Last night, they’d felt like butterflies on his back.

Pippa’s hands were entirely different, and seeing how ordinary they looked gave him a slight sympathy toward her. She might know her way around a moor, but in more polished company, she didn’t have the élan of his Eliza.

Then again, who did? Eliza, demure as she was, ruled the ranks of young ladies out in society. But she did it with an understated elegance that charmed all those who came in contact with her.

“So are you staying with Lady Eliza?” he asked.

They began to make their way through the house back to the gardens.

“No.” Pippa paused by the billiard table. “Mother, Mr. Trickle, and I are at the Grillon Hotel. I escaped to see Eliza this morning. She told me it was her only opportunity. She’s very popular. I don’t know how she manages her schedule.”

Gregory could swear she saw her fingers clutch the charcoal stick and pad tighter.

Something wasn’t right. She swallowed oddly.

“All you all right?” Gregory leaned toward her, and smelled lavender in her hair. “Shall I get you some water?”

“Oh, no, indeed, but thank you,” she said in a tone that was overly polite, and somewhat distant at that. She sounded as though he were a stranger.

He knew they only saw each other once a year, but he was certainly was no stranger. And it was he who usually acted cool—not her. It was an odd feeling.

Pippa didn’t dislike any person.

He suddenly didn’t want to be the first.

He threw open the billiards room door again, and they walked back outside. “Forgive me for prying, but I wonder what brought Dougal here today?”

She glided smoothly ahead of him on the narrow path. “I’ve no idea,” she said over her shoulder. “He and Eliza must know each other.”

“They must,” he agreed.

Where were they?

Pippa paused to take in the view of a lush hydrangea. “Those colors are so beautiful, aren’t they?”

“They are.” Although to Gregory the hydrangea was no more worthy of a compliment than any other hydrangea he’d ever seen.

Impatience to see Eliza gripped him, and he had to strive to remember to loosen his fingers, let them hang at his sides, and relax his jaw.

Pippa looked up at him with bright eyes, hazel turned green against the backdrop of garden shrubbery. “It’s odd seeing you away from Uncle Bertie’s.”

She was nothing if not frank.

“It is,” he said, and it was. It felt wrong somehow. Perhaps that was what accounted for his unease. Seeing Pippa in the wrong place. And sensing her nervousness.

That was it.

She seemed hesitant to move.

He’d be glad to take the lead. With one deft move, he sidestepped her on the path. “If you’d like to sketch, there’s a bench right there you might have missed, three hydrangeas over.” He pointed to the east. “I’ll find Dougal and Lady Eliza.”

“Very well.” Her voice was a little thin.

He sensed that she didn’t dislike him, after all, which brought a feeling of relief followed swiftly by guilt: he was too hard on her. Much too hard. It wasn’t her fault that she was free, more free than anyone he’d ever known, even as society—and Uncle Bertie, in particular–shackled her to the usual expectations.

How had she done that, anyway? Learned to live within her bonds so well?

“I’ll see you in a moment, my lady.”

She looked up, a flash of trepidation in her eyes. “Yes,” she whispered.

Good God, she wasn’t even trying anymore to hide it—she was worried about something, something that must be going on in amidst the flora and fauna.

But what?

He took long strides over the grass, abandoning the pebble path, and headed to the back of the garden, where a line of rose bushes stood like sweet sentinels surrounding a statue of Mars.

Where the deuce were Dougal and Eliza, anyhow? They didn’t really know each other well. They couldn’t—

And there they were.

Past Mars, on the right, behind a tree. Dougal had her up against the trunk, and he was kissing her deeply, his hand roving her waist and caressing her breast.

Eliza was like a different woman. Her hands clung to Dougal’s shoulders in a fierce grip. Her back was arched into him, as if she couldn’t get enough of his mouth.

She hadn’t been nearly as fervent in her response to Gregory. She hadn’t been passionate with him at all, truth be told.

For the second time in his life, he felt as though he’d been shot three times through the heart in rapid succession: The woman he’d come to claim as his bride had betrayed him. His best friend had, too. And so had Lady Pippa Harrington, who despite their differences shared a rare bond with him: they were both mutual survivors of Uncle Bertie’s annual birthday dinner.

He left the entangled lovers to their own devices and strode to the bench where Pippa was making lame sketch marks and snatched the pad from her hands. All that was there was a doodle of a heart with an arrow through it, and then of a face, a man with curly hair and distinctive brows—


Gregory tossed it on the bench beside her. “So much for you and your sugar sculptures.”

She stood, her face white, stricken. “I’m so sorry. But don’t despair. You can do anything you want. Go anywhere you want. Whereas I—“

He pulled her close. Her face was an inch from his, her breasts pressed against his jacket.

“Stop talking,” he told her in a low, dark voice.

She gulped and refused to take her eyes off his. He could feel her heart beating hard in her chest. Her eyes were so very green, and her lashes—those thick lashes….

And then he kissed her as if she’d had practice, but he knew she hadn’t. Not Pippa. She was as fresh as that morning air on the moor, as untried as a closed rose bud.

He was unrelenting, demanding more of her with every passing second.


And when he found her responding, moaning low in her throat when he pinned her in his embrace between his muscular thighs, he didn’t care that the hardness of his arousal butted into her belly, that after this kiss was over, he was done with her.

He took what he wanted, caressing her derriere and her waist with a possessive hand, plundering her mouth with the desperation of a man who was angry and alone.

A host of images paraded through his head: the ruby ring in his pocket; his dying mother’s whisper that his natural father, whom she wouldn’t name, had died long ago; the smiling faces of his family on Christmas morning, a holiday which had felt vaguely sad to him ever since he’d learned the truth; his friends at Oxford, laughing and drinking without a care in the world—


“No,” Pippa managed to gasp against his mouth, and slid out from under his arm. She stood there trembling. “You won’t use me like this. I’m sorry what’s happened, but it’s not my fault.”

The careless sound of a jaunty bird whistling on a branch nearby sounded oddly chilling. But fitting. There was no sunshine. Nor songs. Not really. They were a cover—like Pippa—for deceit. For wrong.

Gregory turned on his heels and strode toward the house.

“Gregory!” she called after him.

But he ignored her.

“Gregory!” she called again, this time from right behind him on the pebble path.

He shut the door to the billiards room in her face.

Then he strode through the house and took his cane and hat from the hall tree before the astonished butler could hand them over himself. He walked directly home, seeing nothing along the way.

Peter came in as he was packing a bag in the quiet of their bedchamber. “Where are you going?”

“The United States,” Gregory said, then reached into his pocket, removed the silk box containing their mother’s ring, and tossed it to him. “Keep it. I don’t want to see it again.” Peter said nothing, just held the box in his hand.

Gregory went back to tossing cravats and shirts into his bag. “You knew, didn’t you?”

Peter still said nothing.

“You knew.” Gregory stood tall and stared down his brother. He was the fourth person to dupe him today.

“I suspected she was in love with Dougal. But I had no proof. I tried to warn you—“

“Out of my way.” Gregory grabbed his suitcase and stormed out of the room.

He didn’t belong here.

He didn’t belong anywhere.

Pippa was right. He could do anything he wanted, be anyplace he wanted. He was a novice architect, and while Father and Bertie had been the ones to turn him in that direction, it was up to him how far he wanted to go with it.

His first stop in America would be Federalist New England. He’d go next to the District of Columbia, followed by Jefferson’s Monticello in Virginia, and then perhaps further south to Charleston and Savannah and St. Augustine. After that, nothing was stopping him from going out West to see how Americans housed themselves and built their institutions—churches, schools, banks, mercantile shops—on the frontier.

Other than Peter, the only family member home at the moment was Mama. He’d already sent word to her that he was leaving imminently. At the front door with the carriage waiting, the marchioness embraced him as hard as she could. “I wish you could wait for your father—“

His father. Gregory never got used to the pain of hearing those words. It pressed on him now. He had to fight—fight—to hold it back.

“I can’t.” His voice was hoarse. It was so unlike him to reveal his true self to Mama or anyone in the family. He had to leave. For their sakes, too.

“Something terrible has happened.” Mother held tight to his arm. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” He ignored the hurt and confusion he saw in her eyes and put on his hat.

“Oh, Gregory. Don’t leave like this. Please. We love you, dearest.”

However high the wall of hurt between him and the world, the tenderness he saw on Mama’s face reminded him of his duty. He paused long enough to kiss her cheek. “I’ll write when I get there.” He schooled his tone to sound reassuring. “Don’t worry about me.”

Then, without waiting for a reply, he jogged down the front steps of the house, onto the pavement, and into the carriage—without a backwards glance at the House of Brady.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: A Little Bit Wicked

Title: A Little Bit Wicked
Series: Forbidden Love, #1
Author: Robyn DeHart
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Scandalous)
Release Date: December 2, 2012
Pages: 229
Buy LinkAmazon


Marcus Kincaid has returned to England after a ten-year absence as the Earl of Ashford after his brother's untimely death. Unfortunately, his younger sister is embroiled in a potential scandal that could ruin her chance at marriage, and his aunt has already called in reinforcements—The Paragon.

Vivian March is known simply as The Paragon. She moves through every circle within Society, smoothing out scandals and stopping gossip in its tracks. Everyone in London knows that if she aligns herself with you, Society will forgive your sins. What they don’t know is that she uses their secrets to cover her own jaded past.

But with every kiss and every touch that Marcus thrusts upon her, Vivian comes to believe life is infinitely more fun when you can be just a little bit wicked…


This book started out slow for me, but when it picked up, I really enjoyed it. I've been reading so many historical romance lately, I think this would be my last one for a while. The rules of society back then is starting to get on my nerves.

Vivian had a scandal that no one else knew ten years ago. Seriously, if this was a modern story, that wouldn't even be an issue. Anyway, I love how Vivian carried herself with pride and grace. She was dubbed the Paragon because of that. Even if she felt like an impostor, I admired her. She could handle any situation unless of course Marcus was the situation. She was able to put on a face for society and be the best actor possible so that they won't know about the secret she hid.

Marcus, on the other hand, was younger than Vivian. Seven years to be exact. Something about her caught his eye and he refused to leave her side ever again. He was a renowned world traveler, and at some points in the story, his experience made him seem sexier than most. I just love his passion and never-ending patience when it came to Vivian. He may be young, but he knew just how to please a woman.

I also enjoyed the scenes where the women were at the modiste looking at fabrics and getting new dresses made. In addition to that, I liked the way the author described Vivian's outfits.

Overall, this was an enjoyable, and even scandalous, read. I would recommend it.

Check out my favorite scenes from the book!

"In order to find a bride, you will need to know what subtle messages women are sending you. In the delicate language of the fan, for instance."

He grinned, unable to help it."There is a language of the fan? And a covert language at that." He released a low whistle. "The queen really ought to enlist some women to serve in the espionage department. You lot are a clever bunch."

He leaned down and pressed a lingering kiss on her cheek. "You have my work that I will not touch you. I shall be a perfect gentleman. Tonight." He would not make promises for any other evening. He still wanted her. This afternoon had already been an exercise in restraint. Her lessons in flirting had him longing for a time when she would ask him, just once, to kiss her. Even if she did have to do it with a bloody fan.

About the Author:

I’m one of those writers who always knew that she wanted to be a writer. It took me a while, however, to figure out precisely what I wanted to write. Reading Kathleen Woodiwiss’ ”A Rose in Winter” sealed the deal for me and I’ve been reading and writing romance ever since. I should have known I was destined for this when my Barbies insisted on hosting elaborate masquerade parties, complete with stolen kisses in the moonlight.
I’m the youngest of three children, so of course I’m the favorite. I was raised in central Texas, in the beautiful Hill Country, right smack-dab between Austin and San Antonio. My parents were high school sweethearts and married a week after my mother graduated – they both needed their parents’ permission to marry since they were so young. So I blame them and their amazing marriage for the fact that I’m a hopeless romantic.
Somewhere along the line, I graduated from college with a degree in Sociology, only after completing an internship with none other than award-winning best-selling author, Pamela Morsi. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life and I learned more about the writing business than I could have hoped.
After college I worked a myriad of jobs: Computer Software Trainer, Recruiter, Administrative Assistant. But no matter what my day job, I come home to my real job and click, click, click away on my computer and get lost in my imaginary world where justice always prevails and the girl always gets her guy! It’s the coolest job in the world.
I’m married to the most amazingly supportive man. He’s so proud of my career, and loves to tell people, “My wife is a romance novelist.” We live in the Austin area, where my husband is a university professor. He’s ridiculously smart, but remains goofy enough to make me laugh every day. We’re the parents of two beautiful and precocious little girls who keep me quite busy during the day. We also have two very spoiled cats who are of no help at all when it comes to my writing, although they sometimes nap in the same room where I sit diligently working.
I’ve published seven historicals, all of which have received great reviews and a handful of them have won awards. I love to hear from readers,
so feel free to send me an email or you can find me online at The Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills, or, Peanut Butter on the Keyboard, my newest blogging endeavor that’s all about writing moms or moms who write. You can also find me on my Facebook or my Facebook Author page and on Twitter. I’m everywhere!

Author Website:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review: Stranded Temptation

Title: Stranded Temptation
Author: April Angel
Publisher: Etopia Press
Release Date: December 6, 2012
Pages: 86
Buy LinkAmazon | BN | ARe


Stranded together, their passions will run wild.

Kara has a deep dislike for her boss, Max. She also wants him so badly it’s making her nuts. He’s a workaholic, a robot man. And he’s never shown the least bit of interest in her or anything else that wasn’t recorded in the corporate minutes. But when their plane crashes on the way to a meeting, leaving them stranded on a deserted island…just the two of them, all alone with all that ocean around them…Kara decides it’s time to start living. And by living, she means using Max for all the hot sex she’s been denied.

Max wants Kara—has wanted her for a long time. Unable to come out and cross the line between professional and personal, he makes her accompany him on business trips just to have her around. When they crash land and Kara shows him how much she wants him, he decides to quit being so professional and take the woman of his dreams. After all, what happens in the middle of nowhere, stays in the middle of nowhere. Until they’re rescued.

Back in the real world, things aren’t as easy. Kara is afraid to start a relationship with a man who completely ignored her until she took off her clothes, and Max is afraid she’ll never be able to trust him. But when someone makes it clear that Kara’s in danger, Max has more to protect than Kara’s feelings. And now that he has her, he’s not about to let her go.

Gentleness she’d never noticed before in Max was evident in his eyes. She watched him curl his large hand over her much smaller one. Her heart beat so loudly in her ears she feared he might hear it. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. Fire roared in her blood, and her breath hitched. He turned her hand over and brushed a warm, firm kiss over her palm while they stared at each other.

“I’d never put you in danger.” Deepened to rough gravel, the sound of his voice made her pussy throb and blood thicken in her veins.

Somehow she knew what he said was the truth. “Kiss me, Max.”

The words were barely out of her lips when he dragged her onto his lap and their lips met in desperation. Her arms twined around his neck. Pulling him closer, she brought her chest flush to his. Heat took over every cell of her body. His kiss devoured her. Lord, the man was a kissing god. With soft strokes of his tongue, he caressed the inside of her mouth. Whimpering in the back of her throat, she moved restlessly on his lap. The long, steel length of his cock was poking at her ass. He glided his hands under her top, making her belly flesh quiver. When his warm hands touched her skin, desire increased inside her tenfold. Breaths turned to pants. Her body thrummed with arousal. She tuned everything but the sight of him out of her mind.

She pulled back and smiled. “I want you, Max.”

He frowned and took a deep breath. “Kara, you’re in shock—”

Determined, she shook her head and cut him off. “No, Max. I’m alive.”

She smiled again and pulled off her top. Her bra was now the only barrier between her breasts and his hands. Swollen into tight points, the peaks of her nipples called for his touch under the satiny material. A combination of lust, hunger, and desperation flared in his eyes. His usually light gray eyes darkened to that of a murky, stormy day.

“Fuck, Kara. I want you too, but I don’t have condoms.”

Air fought its way into her lungs. “I’m clean and on birth control.”

He continued to frown. “I’m clean too, but are you sure?”

In a smooth move worthy of any professional stripper, her hand reached behind her back, unsnapped her bra, and pulled it off. “Fuck me, Max. I want you inside me, right now.”

His hands curled around her head and held her immobile. Raw hunger made her body shudder. Their kiss turned into a greedy need to consume each other. Moisture gathered in her pussy, and an incessant throbbing took hold between her thighs. In a frantic mating, their tongues danced, rubbed, and curled over each other until passion overrode all else. Blind lust shot through her when she rocked her hips over his hard cock.

He kissed wet trails from her jaw to her breasts until he was sucking on one of her erect nipples. Her pussy clenched when he enveloped her breast with his firm lips. Soaked in her cream, her thong became a new point of friction on her swollen pussy lips. She tore at his shirt. A wanton urgency took hold of her and guided her actions. To feel his skin on hers became her only mission.

When he helped her take the shirt off, she splayed her hands over his bulging shoulders and sighed. When his warm muscles contracted, she groaned. He was a work of art. His chest was corded with muscles and bronzed to perfection. Just looking at him made her pant. Whimpers rushed past her lips when his teeth grazed her turgid nipple.

“Oh, yes. Do that again.”

Again, he sucked and then nipped at the tight bud. She moaned and pushed her chest further into his face. He released her nipple from his lips and rolled the wet tip between his finger and thumb, tweaking the sensitive flesh while his mouth latched onto the other one for a taste. She dug her nails into his shoulders, holding him in her grip while rocking her hips over his cock. Movement made her open her eyes. Max had made the seat flatten back so that it was the size of a double bed.

A smile curled her lips when she gazed into his almost-black eyes. He motioned for her to stand. Once she did, he moved his hands to her white pants and slowly pulled the linen material, along with her thong, down her legs. With every inch of skin he exposed, he placed a kiss on a body part. First it was her stomach. Then it was her hip when he lowered the material down her legs. Her knee came next and finally her calf. Afterward he kissed his way back up to her stomach. She groaned and stood in place. He licked circles on her stomach and around her belly button. He caressed her breasts, down the sides of her breasts to her waist, and squeezed the flare of her hips. She took a choppy breath. He fluttered his fingertips down from her hips toward her core, and she bit her lip to keep from moaning. When he massaged her thighs, she was ready to beg him to touch her. Before she had a chance to, he moved a hand between her legs and dipped his fingers between her waxed pussy lips.

He groaned. “Fuck, Kara. You’re so hot and wet. Is that for me, baby?”

“God, yes. Just for you.” She moaned.

Each dip of his fingers into her wet sex made her whimper louder.

He stood, and she had to tilt her head back to look him in the eye. His eyes were sexy, stormy. He put his arms around her waist and held her tight to him. Their hearts beat in a furious, identical gallop. He switched their positions and pushed her to lie on the bed.


This was one of those books that you read little by little hoping it won't end.

In 86 pages, the author successfully developed the characters and wrote them in a way that I started caring for them. I really enjoyed this book. I thought they were going to be stranded for a much longer period of time, but the twist in the story was definitely interesting. I wish the story was much longer because I wanted more of Max and Kara.

Max had been in lust with Kara since he first met her, but he hadn't done anything about it. Kara, on the other hand, didn't want to admit that Max's charms had any effect on her. In fact, the book started with Kara mad at Max. Oh, how the tables have turned.

Steamy scenes and romantic love, this book is a must-read :)

About the Author:

Want to know about me? April Angel (aka Milly Taiden) was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. She grew up between New York, Florida and Massachusetts. Currently, she resides in New York City with her husband, bossy young son and their little dog Speedy.

She’s addicted to shopping for shoes, chocolate (but who isn’t?) and Dunkin Donuts coffee. 

A bookworm when she can get her hands on a good story, she loves reading all Mina Carter, Cynthia Eden and Dianne Duvall among others.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Guest Post: Forever Hers

Title: Forever Hers
Series: The Fitzgerald Family, #5
Author: E.B. Walters

Publisher: Firetrail Publishing
Release Date: October 8, 2012
Pages: 288
Book Trailer
Buy LinkAmazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle)


She wants her past hidden...

Amy Kincaid is running from her controlling ex-husband, who will stop at nothing to find her. With a new identity and a new job as a housekeeper, she just wants to be left alone to raise her daughter. Then Eddie Fitzgerald rolls into town and turns her world upside down.

He’s in the business of exposing the truth...

Eddie Fitzgerald, L.A.P.D.'s finest, lives for his job and nothing else, until he decides to take a break at the family summer home and is held at gunpoint by the most annoying, sassiest woman to ever cross his path. But something is off about Amy, and the more he learns about her, the more he’s convinced she’s a fugitive.

When her past catches up to her, Amy has no choice but to trust Eddie. Unfortunately, Eddie has demons of his own, and struggles with the decision to protect her or uphold the law.

The truth takes them down a deadly path, and only love can save them.

He had an unforgettable face. Sharp cheekbones, square jaws and piercing gray eyes that didn’t say much. His dark wavy hair was cut short, but not too short. Unruly strands rebelled and curled across his brow and at his nape. His skin was bronze, like he spent time outdoors. The turned down waistband indicated no tan lines either. A nudist? Interesting.

“About last night,” she said casually, noticing he hadn’t touched his coffee. “I don’t usually pull a gun on unsuspecting people, and I make a really mean cup of coffee.” She slid the steaming cup closer. “Go on, try it.” She’d hoped for a smile, but got a frown instead. Mr. Fitzgerald was obviously not a morning person. How long was he planning on staying? Baron and Kara Fitzgerald tended to visit for a few days to a week before heading back to L.A.

“Excuse me for asking a dumb question, but who is Raelynn?” Eddie asked.

“My daughter.”

He looked around, his gaze zeroing on the toys piled by the door leading to the patio before coming back to her. “How old is she?”

“Almost five going on thirty. Her birthday is in two weeks.”

“Where is she?”

“Still asleep, but she’ll be up any minute. Why do you ask?” “I’d like us to have an adult discussion without a child clouding anyone’s judgment.”

He was going to say he didn’t need a housekeeper again. She just knew it. “Okay, but FYI, I have an iron-clad contract, so if you are thinking of kicking us out, I will sue you from here to kingdom come and win,” she said with a confidence she didn’t feel.

Eddie scowled. “Why would I kick you out?”

“Because you said you didn’t need me last night and that I should take a hike.”

“I never said that.”

“That’s what I heard.” She picked up her coffee mug with an unsteady hand and sipped, her gaze not shifting from his. “Why don’t we talk outside? You go put on a shirt or something while I dish up your breakfast.”

Eddie stared down at his bare chest as though realizing for the first time he was shirtless. A sheepish expression softened his features and heat coiled in Amy’s stomach, surprising her. It shot up a notch when he turned, giving her a view of his back. Powerful broad shoulders. Narrow hips. Killer ass. The man had a beautiful body.

Just before he disappeared into the hallway leading to the master bedroom, Eddie turned and caught her in the act. Without slowing down, he raised the mug to his lips and sipped, heat flashing in his eyes.

Guest Post

Good morning and thank you for inviting me to make a stop by your site on the blog tour for FOREVER HERS, book 5 of the FITZGERALD FAMILY series.

Trend: I bet you’ve heard this word in publishing business. Watch the trend in publishing…what’s popular…what readers are reading.
If you listened to the buzz on what’s popular or what’s not, you’ll never publish a book.  One minute vampires are in, the next angels and demons. Chick lit and romantic suspense are out and erotic romance is in. Contemporary romance is out and paranormal in.
My response: Write from your heart and give readers one hell of a story with well-developed characters and a believable plot.
Brand: If you listen to your agent or publicist, you’ll hear a lot about brand. Your brand is you… your voice, your style, the texture and the phrasing of your words, your genre. When a reader picks up a book by Stephen King or J.R. Ward, she knows exactly what she’s getting. What happens if you switch genres? Does it mean readers used to reading your, say, paranormal romance, won’t be interested in reading your contemporary romance or your erotic romance?  
My response: I don’t think so. Once again, I say write from your heart and give readers a ride of their live as they live vicariously through your heroine.
Fan base:  Ha, another popular expression in the publishing business you hear a lot. Readers are loyal, that’s why we talk about building your fan base. If you write it and they love your stories, they will read it. Because of self-publishing and e-publishing, authors can cross genres now, write whatever they like and market it to their readers.
I write contemporary romance because I enjoy writing about realistic situations. I like getting in the head of women any one of us can identify with and the men who courts them. It doesn’t matter whether he is a millionaire she meets by chance at a club, the boy next door, her boss, the local detective, my books are about real couple overcoming real problems to find love.
That’s not to say I will never write paranormal romance. I’m presently plotting an adult series with witches, half-angels, vampires and shifters. Am I worried that readers won’t join me and read this series? No. As long as I write from my heart and give them the same well-developed characters with flaws, the intense, steamy love scenes, believable plots just as I did with my contemporary romances, they’ll be happy. In the meantime, I’m writing about the Fitzgeralds and loving it.
             What do you think?

About the Author:
EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She finished her PhD in chemistry, married the love of her life, and decided to be a stay-at-home mother. She now lives in a picturesque valley in Utah with her husband, five children and two American short-hair cats. When she is not writing, you can find her doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.
Ednah writes adult romance under the pseudonym E. B. Walters. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Book 2, MINE UNTIL DAWN, was released in July 2011. KISS ME CRAZY, book 3 in the series followed three months later. Book 4, DANGEROUS LOVE was released end of January 2012. FOREVER HERS was released October 15th. Ednah is presently working on the next book, Lex’s story.
When she is not writing adult romance, Ednah writes YA fantasy books. Her YA fantasy series, The Guardian Legacy, is book about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012. Book 3, HUNTED, which will be released April 2013. She’s working on book 4, FORGOTTEN.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Guest Post: Jillian Stone

Title: A Private Duel with Agent Gunn
Series: The Gentleman of Scotland Yard
Author: Jillian Stone
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: November 27, 2012
Pages: 384
Buy LinkAmazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | BN | BAM! | BookDepo | IndieBound


She was everything he remembered, only more so.

Cunning, reclusive Yard man Phineas Gunn is as skilled at capturing surly criminals as he is at charming beautiful women. But the dashing agent’s latest assignment is really testing his mettle. Officially, he’s investigating beguiling prima ballerina Catriona de Dovia Willoughby, a suspected anarchist. Unofficially, his attraction to his devilish former flame is hotter than ever.

Unsure whether to trust the enigmatic lover who betrayed her once, Cate nevertheless enlists Finn’s help to recover some priceless family jewels. Their pursuit erupts into a cross-continental adventure that begins with a double cross and crackles with secrets, lies, and sexual tension. The crime is clear—breaking and entering each other’s hearts—but as the clock ticks down, who will be the first to surrender?

Guest Post

Stuffed in an Armoire with Agent a Kilt.
This romantic suspense adventure begins with a double cross and crackles with secrets, lies and sexual tension. For Agent Gunn and the provocative ballerina from his past, the crime is clear–breaking and entering each other's hearts–but as the clock ticks down, who will be the first to surrender?

Very happy to be here today at Provocative Pages! I’m not sure how many readers of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series know this, but nearly all of the Special Branch detectives are Scots. However, not one of them has worn a kilt...until now. 

Those readers who enjoyed An Affair with Mr. Kennedy, might recall a story Mr. Kennedy told at dinner about kilts and bare naked arses, but Zak Kennedy never actually wore a kilt in the novel. And Rafe Lewis, daring-do detective of A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis was a peer of Scotland, and yet the right opportunity to put a kilt on him never presented itself. By the third novel of the series, I was getting inpatient with myself. I was the writer/creator of all these handsome, strapping, Scotsmen and I had yet to write a sexy kilt scene! 

So, I made up my mind that this would be the book. In A Private Duel with Agent Gunn, Phineas Gunn not only wears a kilt, but the heroine gets to do some exploring! Before I share an excerpt of the kilt scene, here’s a blurb about the story:

Prima ballerina Catriona de Dovia lives the glamorous life of a starlet, filled with glittering jewels, sumptuous dinners, and admiring suitors. She’s grown up considerably since losing her heart to Hugh Curzon once upon a time, no longer wasting her emotions on the empty promises of charming gentlemen. On her own since the untimely death of her parents, she will do anything for the only family she has left: her brother, a notorious anarchist.

Scotland Yard Agent, Phineas Gunn–sometimes known as Hugh Curzon–receives his new assignment reluctantly. He’s up for something a little more strenuous than playing nanny to a ballerina, until he sees who his charge is. Then, it’s a completely different story, because he’d been unable to forget the trusting, beautiful Cate since he had to leave her behind in Barcelona. And he suspects Cate is more than a ballet girl–in fact, she just might be a jewel thief, or even more arousing–a clever undercover operative.

Finn is determined to find out as the two race across the Continent–by land, by sea, even through the air by zephyr–it becomes uncertain who is keeping tabs on whom, and Finn and Cate must battle the sexual tension that snaps and sizzles between them every step of the way.

Okay, now you must allow me to set up the kilt scene without being a spoiler. As you know from the blurb, there is a bit of jewel thievery–or jewel “recovery” going on. Finn believes the jewels may be financing a group of Spanish anarchists–Cate assures him they part of her deceased uncle’s estate, and rightfully hers. Suffice it to say, the hero and heroine find themselves in Lady Lucinda Sutherland's boudoir, rummaging in her jewelry safe, until they are interrupted by Lucinda and her lover. A giggle and squeal accompany the groan of bedsprings. Finn opens up a wardrobe, pushes Cate in, and dives inside...

If you'd like to know whether Finn is bare arse naked under that kilt, click the link below and enjoy a caper with Agent Gunn. 

Click on this link:  Kilt Scene  


If you could play Cate for one chapter with Agent Gunn, what kind of scene would you enjoy most? (Besides the obvious one)
A. Get stuffed in an armoire with Finn
B. Break him out of prison 
C. Escape in an airship 
D. Teach Finn a ballet lift 
E. Dance a waltz. 

Jillian Stone is the author of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series. Which  includes An Affair with Mr. Kennedy and A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis and A Private Duel with Agent Gunn. She is also the author of the Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator series, which includes The Seduction of Phaeton Black, and the just released, The Moonstone and Miss Jones. The third sequel, The Miss Education of Doctor Exeter, is scheduled to release this June.

Jillian's Contact Info:

Website  Facebook  Twitter

Thanks to Provocative Pages for the inviting me to blog today!  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Promo: A Summer Siege

Title: A Summer Siege
Author: Samantha Holt
Release Date: July 1, 2012
Pages: 145
Buy LinkAmazon | Amazon UKBook Trailer


1216 England

The country is torn apart by a rebellion as the French invade. Reunited after five years, Madeline and Tristan find themselves caught up in the war and in a fight to save their love.

Tristan is thrilled when the girl that he has loved, and missed, for five years returns to him, but the time apart has changed Madeline and she feels herself incapable of depending upon another. Can Tristan convince her otherwise?
As the French close in upon them, Madeline has to summon the courage to fight for her home, her country and for a love lost. Will she succeed or will their love and lives become another casualty of the rebellion?

“Madeline…” he murmured.

He towered over her, a bronzed God, highlighted by the bright midday sun. His hair gleamed as if each strand had been fashioned of gold and the azure of his eyes burnt into her, brighter than the clear summer sky.

Her heart hammered in her chest, yet she was not afraid. Indeed, he looked more like a warrior now than he ever had, the fierce lines of his brow, the breadth of his torso, all adding to his look of male dominance. But Madeline knew Tristan, knew the kind heart that lay beneath.

How then could she explain the intensity in those eyes? The simple sweetness that used to lie within them was a thing of the past and the look he gave her now could surely account for the restriction in her chest.

Madeline found her back pressed against the bark of the tree, its rough texture grating at her skin through her thin gown. Yet she felt not a thing, a strange sense of numbness coming over her as her thoughts became consumed with only one thing.


Slowly, ever so slowly, his hand met hers, his fingertips dancing across hers, as he wound their fingers together. Powerless to resist, all coherent thoughts gone just as soon as he had locked eyes with her, her fingers played back, grasping the roughened skin. His other hand met hers, softness against hardness, and bound together as they both watched, captivated by the twisting union.

Tristan leant in to her and his hands, still entwined with hers, reached up until the back of her hands were pressed against the tree above her head. Tilting her head to meet his gaze, she found her breath robbed from her as his lips hovered achingly close to hers. Gone was Tristan the rescuer, the friend, the protector. His eyes reflected burning desire, a look she did not doubt she shared.

“Do you still think me honour bound to you?” he whispered as his lips skimmed across her ear. “I assure you, Madeline, what I feel now has little to do with honour.”

Unable to respond, she could only gasp as his hot lips pressed against her neck. Her hands still pinned above her head, she could do little to resist even if she had wanted to. His mouth traced its way across her jawline, finally slanting across her mouth, satisfying and yet stoking the unbearable ache deep within her.

About the Author:
Samantha Holt resides in Warwickshire, England, with her twin girls, having followed her soldier husband around the UK for nearly 10 years. Growing up in Hampshire, she was inspired by the authors Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell, both of which lived and wrote only miles from her home town.

Samantha loves the romance genre and has been devouring romantic literature for as long as she can remember. History is another passion of hers and she loves to combine her love for history and romance in exciting and passionate tales.

Her books include the bestselling novel, The Crimson Castle and The Angel’s Assassin.

Connect with Samantha Holt: