Saturday, September 23, 2017

Excerpt & Tour: His Hand-Me-Down Countess by Sorcha Mowbray


Title: His Hand-Me-Down Countess
Author: Sorcha Mowbray
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Erotica
Series: Lustful Lords (Book One)
Publisher: Jack's House Publishing
LinksGoodreads
SynopsisHis brother's untimely death leaves him with an Earldom and a fiancée. Too bad he wants neither of them...

Theodora Lawton has no need of a husband. As an independent woman, she wants to own property, make investments and be the master of her destiny. Unfortunately, her father signed her life away in a marriage contract to the future Earl of Stonemere. But then the cad upped and died, leaving her fate in the hands of his brother, one of the renowned Lustful Lords.

Achilles Denton, the Earl of Stonemere, is far more prepared to be a soldier than a peer. Deeply scarred by his last tour of duty, he knows he will never be a proper, upstanding pillar of the empire. Balanced on the edge of madness, he finds respite by keeping a tight rein on his life, both in and out of the bedroom. His brother’s death has left him with responsibilities he never wanted and isn’t prepared to handle in the respectable manner expected of a peer.

Further complicating his new life is an unwanted fiancée who comes with his equally unwanted title. Saddled with a hand-me-down countess, he soon discovers the woman is a force unto herself. As he grapples with the burden of his new responsibilities, he discovers someone wants him dead. The question is, can he stay alive long enough to figure out who’s trying to kill him while he tries to tame his headstrong wife?


London, May 1860

Stone heard the butler intone his name and title loudly enough for all of London to hear, let alone the population of the Devonses’ ballroom. Had anyone suggested three years ago he would bear the family title, Earl of Stonemere, never mind be contemplating his future nuptials, he would certainly have laughed. True, he never actually laughed anymore, but he certainly would have found such a claim incredulous.

It was no longer an amusing matter.

Having survived the receiving line, he eased through the crowded ballroom. Every few feet, he stopped to speak with one acquaintance or another. Not so long ago, these same people would have been running for the hills and hiding their daughters. But fate, a fickle mistress to say the least, had other plans.

Moving with a quickness born of desperation, he barely acknowledged the next three men as the heat from the crowd paired with the stench of perfumes and body odor to choke him. After his service in India, crowded entertainments such as a ball had grown difficult to endure. The press of bodies and the loud murmur of conversation punctuated by the occasional shrill laugh smothered him, too similar to the roar of battle and the cries of the dying.

Moving past a swarm of silk skirts, he spotted a dark, hidden alcove, an oasis from the overwhelming onslaught, both real and imagined. If he could shut it down quickly enough, he wouldn’t embarrass himself. If he failed, all of London would learn just how broken he was.

He was an earl. Not a soldier. Never again a soldier.

Once the cool darkness enveloped him, he opened his mouth and drew a breath. His pounding pulse eased as the vise around his chest released and his damp skin dried. After another quarter hour spent tucked away, he believed he could manage the crowd long enough to find his betrothed.

As any good officer would, he had a strategy. Find her, claim his dances, and then await each one either on the balcony or on the dance floor, if required. Even the cardrooms at these soirees bordered on disabling.

He reached for the drapes to his hideaway, but hesitated as two women tittered in the immediate vicinity.

“Why, Gladys, I heard his name announced earlier. I’m certain Matilda invited Stonemere despite all the gossip.”

“I simply cannot imagine what she was thinking,” the one called Gladys said.

“Can’t you? Having one of the Lustful Lords in attendance at your ball? I daresay everyone who is anyone will wish to be able to say they were here. It’s all so deliciously scandalous and yet possible now the unmitigated rake is off the market.” Gladys’s friend sighed with a bit more drama than anyone in their right mind or otherwise would deem necessary.

“Well, one should hope that man can contain himself what with all these poor young virgins parading around. It would serve Matilda right if he debauched each and every one of them while here under her auspices.”

“Oh, do be sensible, Gladys. He could perhaps ruin four or five in one night, but all of them?”

Past ready to find his fiancée and escape his hidey-hole, he stepped out next to the ladies in question, turned to them, and bowed over each of their hands. The shock on their faces far outweighed any notion of good manners on his part. “Why, ladies, you both give me far more credit than I deserve. Even in my heyday of debauchery, I could only service three ladies in a single evening.”

As the two ladies sputtered, he departed their corner. The temptation to turn and wink at the gossipers won out, which caused another round of tittering and sputtering from behind him. Of course, he was well aware of what proper Society called himself and his friends. But the Marquess of Flintshire, Earl of Brougham, Baron Lincolnshire, and Viscount Wolfington—as well as himself—held little regard for polite society. Each of them had learned the hard way that they had no place amongst their peers.


Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.

She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!

For more information about Sorcha, please visit her website, “Like” Sorcha on Facebook and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads. Join Sorcha’s newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming releases. She’s loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at sorcha@sorchamowbray.com

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Excerpt & Tour: Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa




After a very public breakup with a media-hungry politician, fitness trainer Tori Alvarez escapes to Aruba for rest, relaxation, and copious amounts of sex on the beach—the cocktail, that is. She vows to keep her vacation a man-free zone… but when a cute guy is seated next to her on the plane, Tori can’t resist a little harmless flirting.

Hollywood heartthrob Carter Stone underwent a dramatic physical transformation for his latest role and it’s clear his stunning seat mate doesn’t recognize the man beneath the shaggy beard and extra lean frame. Now Carter needs help rebuilding his buff physique and Tori is perfect for the job. It doesn’t hurt that she makes his pulse pound in more ways than one.

Sparks are flying, until a pesky paparazzo reveals Carter’s identity. Tori is hurt and pissed. She wants nothing to do with another man in the limelight, but she’s still got to whip him into shape. Can Carter convince Tori he’s worth the threat to her privacy that comes with dating a famous actor, or will Tori chisel him down to nothing before he even gets the chance?
Grab the popcorn . . .

About the Book

Acting On Impulse
by Mia Sosa
Series
Love On Cue
Genre
Adult
Contemporary Romance
Publisher
Avon Impulse
Publication Date
September 19, 2017




Excerpt

As I crawl into the tiny space—it’s been a while since I’ve traveled coach class—I catch a whiff of her scent and close my eyes. Not sure if it’s perfume, body wash, or what, but it smells like vanilla and reminds me of the candles my mother used to buy at the local craft store. That right there is a sign. My mother would most heartily approve of this woman.

Now to find out her name.

I turn in my seat, prepping myself for a short conversation—too much too soon isn’t part of the playbook—but then I realize she’s not next to me. I raise myself off the cushion and pretend to stretch as I turn my head to scan the back of the plane. She’s a few rows back, standing and chatting with a guy who doesn’t appear to have anyone sitting next to him.

Oh, hell no.

Do I have to go to the restroom? You bet.

Before I stand, a bell rings and a flight attendant announces that there will be a short delay while the ground crew clears debris from the runway. Perfect.

I rise and make my way through the aisle, pushing down the bill of my baseball cap so no one notices me. But, of course, someone does. For all the wrong reasons.

A little girl with huge brown eyes and a mop of bright red hair tugs on her mother’s shirt and says, “Mommy, that man looks like a bear.”

The cutie’s pronouncement is loud enough that several nearby passengers chuckle. Even the object of my fascination turns and laughs. I grin at the kid, and she growls in her best imitation of a bear. So freaking adorable, that girl. Enjoying her fascination with my beard, I channel my inner Leonardo DiCaprio and growl right back.

Now I’ve done it.

The little girl’s eyes go round, and her eyes water. Then she lets out a shriek like the hounds of hell are chasing her. Unfortunately, I’m the hounds, and everyone on the plane, including my future wife, knows it.

The girl’s mother tries to quiet her, rocking her and telling her everything will be okay. Their seatmate, meanwhile, throws daggers at me with his eyes.

“He’s so scary looking,” the little girl chants over and over into her mother’s chest.

“Sir,” the flight attendant says behind me, “we’re getting ready to take off soon. Could you please return to your seat?”

Bewildered by the past ten minutes of my life, I nod and amble back to my row. How the hell did things go south that quickly? Fantasy woman returns, and my stomach drops when I catch the look of sympathy on her face. I slide down into my seat, give her a pathetic smile, and cover my face with my baseball cap as though I’m settling in for a nap. I need to regroup before I can speak to her. And I refuse to listen to the preflight safety demonstration unless the attendant can teach me how to save me from myself.

So now I know another thing: Whatever I tell my kids about how I met their mother, it’s going to be a lie. A big, fat fucking lie.



Celebration Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of ACTING ON IMPULSE, the author is giving away a $25 gift card!
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About Mia Sosa
Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, The Book List Reader, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy who finally sleeps through the night. For more information about Mia and her books, visit www.miasosa.com

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Review: The Law of Tall Girls by Joanne Macgregor

Title: The Law of Tall Girls
Author: Joanne Macgregor
Genre/Age: Romance/YA
Series: None
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via Author
Rating: ✺✺✺
LinksGoodreads
SynopsisWhen you really stand out, can you ever fit in?

Seventeen-year-old Peyton Lane is a tall girl. So tall, it’s the only thing most people notice about her. 

On impulse, she accepts a bet to prove she can be as attractive and desirable as other girls. Now she just needs to go on four dates (including the prom) with one of the guys on her very short list of very tall boys.

Number one on the list is Jay Young – the new guy that Peyton already likes way more than she should. Because not only is Jay already taken, he’s also breaking her Law of Tall Girls, and he’s determined to discover the awful secret she’s been hiding for most of her life.

Funny and romantic, The Law of Tall Girls is a feel-good, heart-warming read for anyone who’s ever felt different, or like they just don’t belong. 

This young adult contemporary romance will appeal to fans of Kasie West, Stephanie Perkins, Jenny Han, Julie Buxbaum and Morgan Matson.


**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

Learning to love yourself isn't always easy...

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Peyton is tired of being the odd one out. Being taller than most girls (and most boys too), she gets frustrated when she sees the only taller boys in school dating shorter girls. It messes with the ratios and violates her own proclaimed law that tall boys should never date girls that much shorter than them.

When her coworkers state that Peyton isn't as desirable as other girls because of her height, she is determined to prove them wrong. A bet is made and a debt will be paid, if only she can find find a way to convince one of the taller boys in school to date her and take her to the prom. Should be easy right?

Wrong. The list of boys who meet the required height is short and filled with a variety of personalities. And the boy she really wants isn't even available. Toss in a few crazy dates, a school play, a toxic home life, and a sewing machine. In the end, Peyton may learn that her height isn't the only thing she has to offer the world.

I love a good story set in high school with a colorful cast of characters. Reminds me of my own teenage experience. Then you add in a bet, which is almost always a terrible idea to begin with, and you usually get a wild and crazy ride. This was no exception. From the first few chapters, I knew this book would keep me engaged until the end.

Peyton, to be honest, was a hard character for me to like in the beginning. She was extremely rude to her mother for reasons we were not yet aware of. Her attitude toward short girls and pretty much every girl other than her best friend was outrageous. She definitely rubbed me the wrong way at times with her indignation.

But as the story rolled on, she began to grow on me. I started to see that her attitude was just a mask to hide her major insecurities and the many daily stresses she suffered through. Her family life was in shambles, her dating life was practically nonexistent, and she was just skating by in her school life. The bet gave her something to aim for.

I thought the plot moved at a steady pace and the string of characters we are introduced to were interesting. Jay was a quick favorite of mine but I actually liked several of the other characters too. Chloe was a nice addition and Doug added some humor to the mix. I still didn't love Peyton's attitude in the end but I did understand why she had it.

In closing...
I won't say if the bet is won or not, but the ending was really sweet and left me smiling. Four suns!

Excerpt & Tour: Adoration by Ashlynne Laynne



Alterity Series, Book 2
Contemporary/ Rocker Romance
Date Published: 9/6/17

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Desire. Surrender. Discovery.

A man committed to shaping his future…

Austin MacKenzie shares a passionate relationship with Liz Carlisle, a union rooted in mutual respect and honesty. A feat complicated by the vow of purity handed down by his Scottish forefathers and the ire of his scorned ex-girlfriend. When a series of tragedies rock their worlds, the couple must fight for their relationship and lives.

A woman about to discover the mystery of her past…

Liz Carlisle has led a challenged life. The survivor of a childhood stained by drug addiction and poverty, Austin MacKenzie’s love is helping to mend her heart from the inside out. But echoes from the past threaten to destroy her newfound happiness.

With music as a common bond…

Fate brought them together, but music remains the centrifugal force tying Liz and Austin to one another. With the popularity of their Indie rock group growing, Cupid’s Crush prepares to join alternative rock sensations, Justice Denied, on the European leg of a worldwide tour that promises to catapult them to mega stardom.

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Excerpt
NOTE: Adult Content Ahead
Our threshold…
Austin no longer thought of the condo loft as his space alone. More than happy to share the dwelling with Liz, he considered it their space. Extending both arms toward her, he murmured, “Come out on the terrace and dance with me.”
“I’ve never slow danced before. We don’t even have music.”
“Neither have I,” Austin confessed. “It’ll be the first of many first times for us. I just want to be near you.” He placed his hand in the center of her chest. “The beating of your heart is all the music I’ll ever need.”
Liz took his hand and allowed him to lead her out of the glass double doors into the magnificent night. “This is some backyard you have here, Texas.”
We have. I want us to build a life here. And I’m fairly certain you feel the same.” Austin approached her from behind, reverse bear hugging her against his body. She was soft and warm, her flesh effortlessly matching each part of his. “I want to move all of your things from next door—to make us official.”
“I’d really love that.”
Their beings rocked, imitating the ever-imminent motions of love.
“I don’t think I’d be alive were it not for music,” Liz admitted, the weight of her words more profound with her head flush against his chest. “I was a mess right after the Perry situation. Then, I spent some time in therapy because I attempted suicide. Aunt V sending me to that summer program for young musicians literally saved my life. When I play, it’s like I’m outside of myself and I can see everything so clearly. Is it like that for you?”
“Yeah. Sometimes, I toss my pick and play bare-fingered. There’s something about the feel of the rough strings that’s cleansing—damned near cathartic—even when the tips of my fingers are bruised and covered in bandages. I guess I’ve always had the aptitude for music. It was something my father felt strongly about. He didn’t push Carol and me to do much of anything, but he was adamant that we learn an instrument. The Brat has a lovely singing voice and she plays piano just as well as I do—maybe better.” Austin felt himself swelling with pride. As far as little sisters went, Carol was a keeper.
“When did you know that music was something you seriously wanted to pursue?”
“Oh, that’s easy. The visual of Jimi Hendrix pouring lighter fluid on his guitar and then setting it on fire—man that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Looking back, I think eleven was probably too young for me to witness the Monterey Pop Festival. No pun intended, but seeing the energy on that stage lit a flame in me that has burned my entire life.”
“What was it about Jimi Hendrix?”
“He just had this way of making a guitar sing. Each note and gesture told its own story. Prince is the only other artist who could hold a flame to Jimi, in my opinion. I must’ve watched that footage at least a hundred times. I think my dad was afraid that he was raising a closeted pyromaniac. I tried hard to emulate him before I found my own voice and style. What about you?”
Liz laughed. “There wasn’t a particular artist that brought me into the realm. I’m a huge fan of girl groups. I love seeing women rock out.”
He knew Liz would be one hell of a rocker. She possessed a rare, raw talent that few artists could claim. Her talent, stage presence, natural beauty, and undeniable sex appeal were qualities that would make Liz Carlisle a star. Recalling how she’d belted out the songs for their demo session, Austin felt a sudden surge of satisfaction. He was so proud of her for realizing one of her dreams. Strength was something he admired about the woman he loved. Given her rough start in life, Liz could have easily folded and let her disadvantages take her down. Instead, she was on the cusp of super stardom and a nursing degree—things she’d sought and earned through sacrifice, hard work and grit.
Austin parted the halves of her silk robe, his hands caressing the tender mounds underneath. He lifted her hair, kissing the bend of her neck. “There was always this emptiness…this overwhelming need in me. I couldn’t pray it away or study it away. Nothing I did filled the hollow ache deep down in my heart. I felt trapped…like my life was on a path that led to nothing but pain and misery.” He twirled her, kissing her when they were face to face, his bottom lip slowly enveloping hers. “That all changed the moment I laid eyes on you. When I saw you my heart was so full.”
Liz swooned, her eyes heavy as she stared up at him with something close to admiration mixed with a heavy dose of love. “Full of what?”
“Love. Lust. Hunger.”
“I thought I was dead the first time I saw you. I looked into your eyes and wondered why such a beautiful man was even wasting his time with me.” Liz rested her head against his chest, her face nuzzling into his bare skin. “I used to dream about what it would be like to live on your side of the mountain. For the first time in my life, I feel like I belong. It’s weird being surrounded by powerful people and actually feeling like I’m a member of the club.”
“Growing up rich isn’t exactly charmed. Sometimes, I still don’t feel like I belong.” Austin nestled his nose into her flowing locks. “I mean, sure you don’t have to worry about the money part but there are other things. The pressure to measure up to your family name. The expectation that you’ll marry well and have kids you’ll raise to be carbon copy cutouts of yourself. That was my biggest fear, I think.”
“What?”                                                                                                               
“I feared fading into the crowd and becoming like everyone else.”
“Oh, Texas.” Liz’s lips puckered against his pectoral, the intimate caress bringing with it a peace that calmed Austin straight to the soul. “Trust me, there is no way you’d ever be lost in a crowd. You’re different than all of them because you have the purest heart.” Her arms tightened around his waist. “You saw me—really saw me for the first time in my life. No one like you ever took the time to look past my circumstance and just see the woman underneath. That makes you special. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with you.”
“And you’re beautiful—inside and out.”

About the Author

Ashlynne Laynne is the author of contemporary romance and the award-winning erotic paranormal romance succession, The Progeny Series, as well as an accomplished songwriter and poet. She’s an avid horror movie fan, admitted vamp groupie, and lover of all things Celtic. A hopeless romantic, she’s always had a thing for the fanged ones and hot guys in kilts.

Ashlynne writes on the edge and combines erotica and romance in sensual tales that always feature heroes with heart. A flexitarian, Ashlynne enjoys cooking vegetarian recipes that support a healthier lifestyle. In her spare time, she likes to read, watch crime shows, and spend time with her family. Ashlynne juggles the hats of wife, mother, full time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write exclusively in the future.

Ms. Laynne is an advocate of autism research and is always looking for projects to benefit the cause. She lives in the southern United States with her husband and son.

Ashlynne Stats
Zodiac: Leo
Favorite Music Genres: Alt Rock, 90’s Grunge, Pop
Favorite Musical Acts: Maroon 5, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Bruno Mars, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Imagine Dragons, Florida Georgia Line, Adele, Rob Zombie, Robin Thicke, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Drake, Justin Timberlake, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, Eminem, Evanescence
Favorite Movie Genre: Horror
Favorite Television Shows: Family Guy, Outlander, Deadly Women, Wives with Knives, American Horror Story, Bate’s Motel, Grey’s Anatomy, Orange is the New Black
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Authors: Stephen King, Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, Sylvia Day
Book Boyfriends: Gideon Cross from the Crossfire Novels, James Fraser from the Outlander Series, Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood
Favorite Literary Heroines: Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games Series, Claire Beauchamp from the Outlander Series
Foods: Yogurt, Chocolate Milk, Chicken Alfredo

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Pre-Order Blitz: Hide and Seek by Desiree Holt


Title: Hide and Seek
Author: Desiree Holt
Genre/Age: Romantic Suspense/Adult
Series: Vigilance (Book One)
Publisher: Kensington
LinksGoodreads
SynopsisAnything can happen when you let your guard down . . .

After receiving a violent threat on the heels of her father’s disappearance from the town of Arrowhead Bay, Devon Cole fears for her life—until Vigilance, a local private security agency, steps in to shield her from danger. Although she isn’t usually quick to surrender her freedom, she has no problem stripping her defenses for her new sexy bodyguard . . .

Tortured by the painful memory of lost love, Logan Malik is determined not to fall for a client again. So when he’s tasked with watching over Devon day and night, he’s focused on doing his job. Day is no problem, but as tensions rise at night, nothing can protect them from giving in to unbridled passion . . .
 


Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published author of erotic and spicy romance. A graduate of the University of Michigan with double majors in English and History, her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development. 

She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, a USA Today Bestselling author and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature. 

She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, 

USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.

“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)

Learn more about her and read her novels here:
www.desireeholt.com 
www.desiremeonly.com
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Twitter @desireeholt
Pinterest: desiree02holt
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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/desiree-holt-a7272526/

Note:  The book is on pre-order for only $2.99!  The pre-purchase link is here:  

All readers who pre-order will receive exclusive content and will be entered into a drawing for an action-packed prize-package, including:
A copy of HIDE AND SEEK by Desiree Holt
A $5 Amazon gift card
An Alex & Ani nautical charm bracelet in green velvet bag

Kensington “Romance Socks” which feature HIDE AND SEEK

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