Friday, April 28, 2017

Cover Reveal ~ EASY NIGHTS ~ Kristen Proby

   


From New York Times Bestselling author Kristen Proby, comes a steamy and passionate friends-to-lovers romance—EASY NIGHTS! The sixth standalone title in the Boudreaux Series, Savannah and Ben’s highly anticipated story is now available for preorder on all retailers! Don’t miss the beautiful cover below!


   


Cover Design by Okay Creations with Photography by Sara Eirew Photography

About EASY NIGHTS (Boudreaux Series #6):


The Boudreaux Series—Sexy. Intriguing. Easy.


No one said change was easy…Savannah Boudreaux knows what it is to hurt. To bleed. To be afraid that the man she’s promised to be true to until “death do us part” might in fact separate them far sooner than anyone had ever anticipated. But Van also knows what it is to survive. To move on. To live life to the fullest. With five brothers and sisters and a loving mother as her constant source of strength during the pain and the healing, Van realizes there is little else she needs.But some things never change…
Benjamin Preston sat on the sidelines of the Boudreaux family for years, in love with a woman he couldn’t have. As the best friend of the Boudreaux brothers since childhood, Ben has seen both tragedies and joys in the family. And as a former MMA fighter and KravMaga expert, Ben’s used to fighting for what he wants—and winning. His hands were tied when Savannah married her high school sweetheart not long after graduation, but now two years have passed since Ben found Savannah broken in her own home.Sometimes what you need most has been right in front of you the whole time…Van’s convinced that happiness isn’t in the cards for her, no matter how right it feels to be in Ben’s strong arms—and his bed. Ben is determined to win her heart and fight for her trust. He’s promised to protect her, to be her friend. But more than anything, he wants to finally make her his, and this is one fight he’s not willing to lose.

Preorder your copy of EASY NIGHTS today!


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

 

Add to your Goodreads


A Note from Kristen: Hello, readers! I’m so excited to finally be able to share the new cover for Easy Nights with you! We’ve all been waiting a long time for Ben and Savannah’s story and it’ll be in your hot little hands on June 27th. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Ben and Van are two of my favorite characters of all time, and saying goodbye to the Boudreaux clan hasn’t been easy. Thanks for taking this journey of three years with me! Don’t forget, you can preorder NOW! And be sure to keep an eye on my newsletters and social media in the next two months for sneak peeks and news. With love, Kristen

     


And don’t miss the first standalone titles in the Boudreaux Series!EASY LOVE-FREE for a limited time only EASY CHARM-$.99 for a limited time only EASY MELODY-$1.99 for a limited time only EASY KISSES EASY FOR KEEPS: A Boudreaux Novella EASY MAGIC


   

About Kristen Proby: New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves. Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

    

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Blog Tour ~ NEVER TRUST A PIRATE ~ Valerie Bowman



The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. 




A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

Never Trust a Pirate is part of the Regency-set Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman.




~ EXCERPT ~



CHAPTER ONE

 London Harbor, July 1817

 Only three steps. Only three steps separated him from the map. It was there, laying on the rickety wooden table in the captain’s stateroom aboard a ship aptly named Le Secret Francais. The only sound in the cramped space was his own breathing. Sweat beaded on his brow. He’d come this far. Braved the murky, cold water, swam out to the ship moored at the London docks. Climbed aboard silent as a wraith, dressed all in black. Wrung out his clothing to keep it from dripping so there wouldn’t be a trail. Managed to steal into the captain’s quarters as the man slept, and now, now only three steps remained between him and the priceless map.

One water droplet fell to the wooden plank floor like a hammer against steel. The sound of his breath echoed to a crescendo. The blood pounding in his head became a distracting whirring noise.

 One step forward. The ball of his foot ground onto the plank. Stealth and silence. Always. The calling cards of the best thief in London.

 The captain stirred slightly in his bunk and began to snore.

 He froze. One leather-clad foot arrested on the wooden plank. A pistol rested on two nails directly above the captain’s bunk. If the man awoke, he might shoot first at any noise. The captain well knew the value of the treasure he carried.

 He counted to ten. Once. Twice. He had long since mastered the art of keeping footing on a ship. He waited until his heartbeats became steady again before taking the next step. A slight creak in the wood floor. A hint of movement from the captain. Another endless wait. Impatience was a roiling knot inside his belly.

Out of the shadows now, he stood only one step away from the table bolted to the floor. The moon shone through the window above the captain’s bed, shedding light on the man’s balding head. The map lay spread out, anchored by pins in the four corners. He would have to remove those pins. Ripping the paper would be too noisy.

 Another interminable wait as the captain turned away from him in his sleep. His snores subsided.

 He glanced over at the bunk. The pistol shone in the moonlight. One hard swallow. He never carried a pistol. Too loud. Pistols brought the crew, the wharf police, and anyone else interested in such activity. The only weapon he carried was a knife, tucked in the back of his breeches. A weapon of stealth.

 Another count to ten before taking the final step. There was no time for an in-depth study of the map now, but a quick glance revealed the destination. The island of St. Helena, off the western coast of Africa, circled in bold scrawl. The map of the route planned for Bonaparte’s next escape. That bastard in the bed had been planning it.

All ten fingers itched to snatch the paper and run, but he forced himself to take a deep, silent breath. Carefully, he dislodged the first pin at the top right corner. It popped out easily. The top of the map rolled toward the center, making a slight flapping sound. Breath held, he glanced toward the captain again. No movement. He stuck the pin back into the table to keep it from rolling, then his hand darted to the next pin at the bottom right corner. It also popped out easily. He quickly stuck it back into the wood. With two sides free, he carefully rolled the map toward the center. Reaching up to the top, he grasped the third pin. No movement.

It was lodged deeply into the wood. Must pull harder. With one black-gloved hand, he clasped the pin between a thumb and two fingers, pulling upward with as much strength as he dared. His own breath in his ear was the only sound … that and the water lapping at the sides of the ship.

 The pin finally gave way. He pressed a hand to the top of the map, to keep the freed top left corner from curling and making a noise. His chest and torso flattened against the map and the table, he pressed the third pin back into the wood.

Click. An unmistakable sound. One he had heard too often before. Another hard swallow. Damn it. He’d been so preoccupied with keeping quiet, he hadn’t realized the captain’s snores had subsided.

Half-splayed across the table, he contemplated his options. The door was ten paces to the left, the open window five paces to the right. Would he fit through the window? It’d be a hell of a time to learn the answer was no.

 “Step away from zee map, if you don’t want a bullet through your back.” The captain’s voice was harsh and angry.

 He slowly rose from his position hunched over the map, arms braced upright at right angles near his head to show the captain he had no weapon. “Ye wouldn’t shoot an unarmed man, now would ye, Cap’n?”

 “I’d shoot a thief without thinking twice,” the captain replied with a sneer, nearly spitting the word thief.

He glanced down at the map. Studying it in case he was forced to leave without it. He had been in worse situations, more times than he could count. He considered the knife in the back of his breeches hidden beneath his shirt. It would be simple, easy and quick to snake it out and whip it into the bastard’s throat. But a voice in his head reminded him … justice must be served in proper course.


“Turn around,” the captain ordered. “Slowly.”

 “Why?” he asked, trying to garner some precious time.

“Because I want to see zee face of zee man who would steal my secrets.

” He began his turn. Slowly. So slowly and so quietly that he could have sworn he heard a drop of sweat from his forehead hit the wooden plank of the floor. He finally stood facing the older man.

 “Êtes-vous le Renard Noir?” the captain asked.

 “Pourquoi veux tu savoir?”

 Visible in the light of the moon, the captain narrowed his eyes. “Ah, perfect French? Why do I find zat difficult to believe from an obvious Englishman?”

 “Obvious?”

 “Who else would want zis map?” His fingers ached to choke the bastard. He might not be able to kill him, but he could wound the scoundrel. Nothing wrong with a wound. He whipped his hand behind his back, grabbed the knife, and hurled it at the captain. It hit the arm that held the pistol. The captain howled. The pistol fired. Smoke filled the cabin with its acrid stench. He ripped the map and fourth pin from the table and ran to the door.

 Steps sounded on the planks above the captain’s cabin. In the pitch black belowdecks, he forced himself to wait in the shadows under the stairs until the first group of rescuers filed down the steps into the captain’s cabin. He flattened the map’s scroll and folded it into a six-inch square.

 “He’s escaped, you idiots! Find him before he jumps from the ship!” the captain yelled in French.

 The group dutifully filed back up to spread across the decks. The captain came running out, clutching his injured arm, blood seeping between his fingers, crimson dripping down his nightshirt. He made his way up the stairs and ran off across the deck.

 Springing from the shadows, he raced back into the empty cabin. He flew over to the window, said a brief prayer to fit through the tight space, hoisted up to the ledge, and pushed his upper body through. He ripped off his black tricorn, stuck the folded map to his head, and pulled down the hat as firmly as possible.

 A rope swung outside the captain’s window two feet to the right. Thank God for small favors. He lunged at it and grabbed it. Noiselessly, he lowered himself down the rope, bracing both feet against the hull to rappel toward the water. Lowering quietly, he winked back at the figurehead of a saucy French woman carved beneath the captain’s cabin. As soon as he made it into the water, he let go of the rope and swam like a mackerel fleeing a shark toward the shore, careful to keep his head out of the foul-smelling drink. He counted on the black of night and the murky Thames to hide him from the searchers on the ship.

 As he covered the distance between the French ship and the shore, he could hear the Frenchmen yelling and running about. He dared a glance back. Every lantern on the ship appeared to have been lit and the crew was scurrying about like a bevy of ants on an infiltrated hill.

 He swam to the darkest spot on the far end of the docks, around the bend from sight of the French ship, and pulled himself ashore beneath a creaky dock using only his forearms. Exhausted, he rolled onto his back and lay breathing heavily in the pitch-black night. One hand went up to clap the top of his tricorn and a wide smile spread across his face.

 He’d done it. He’d escaped from a French ship with the map detailing the planned route to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena. Of course he had. He was the Black Fox.

 Copyright © 2017 by Valerie Bowman and reprinted with the permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.


~ Review ~

5*

This my first Valerie Bowman novel and I loved it. Even though there are 6 books before it I had no trouble following the story. I will be putting the rest on TBR list especially Rafe and Daphne's story THE IRRESISTIBLE ROGUE. 
This story is full of all the thing that make a novel really, really good. Intrigue, humor, romance and surprises around every corner. It grabbed me in the first chapter and continued till the end. I didn't want it to end. 
It didn't take long to fall in love with Cade. He's definitely a swoonworthy hero and I greatly admire Danielle in her tenacity and drive to find what she's looking for. 

I received this book for review on Celtic Dragon Book Reviews.  All opinions are my own. 

Q&A with Valerie Bowman


 What is your favorite scene in Never Trust a Pirate?
 I truly do love the whole book but I think everything that happens after they get on the ship is especially fun. The book is sort of pre-ship and post-ship.

 What's your favorite underappreciated romance novel?
 One of my favorite romances ever is Dark Future by KC Klein. It’s a futuristic scifi romance, which is not normally something I gravitate toward (I like to read historical romance!) but I picked up KC’s book and couldn’t put it down. It’s fantastic. She also has me reading contemporary cowboy stories.

 Are you methodical in your writing, certain hours of the day, certain rituals you may perform before you sit down? Or are you one of those writers who binge write when the mood is upon you?
 I’m a binge writer, but it’s not about the mood striking so much as it’s about having more time to write on the weekend because I’m not at my day job.

 Are there particular tropes you are fond of using?
My favorite trope is probably reunited lovers or old friends who fall in love. I love the brother’s best friend trope, too. I’ve used all of those and am currently writing a story where a married couple (who haven’t seen each other in ten years) are forced to work together again. Of course hijinx (and romance) will ensue!

 What lead you to writing historical romances?
 My love of reading them. I read them a lot as a teenager. They made me so happy.

 How would you describe Never Trust a Pirate using only three words?
 Racy Regency Romp. That’s how I describe all of my books, actually.

 What is your advice for other writers?
Write! It’s simple. I see a lot of would-be writers taking classes and reading books about writing but the best thing to do is just write, write, write. Worry about the mechanics later. You do need to study craft and learn the business but you’ve got nothing to improve if you’re not actually writing.

 Do you, or your publisher decide on your beautiful covers? If your publisher, do you have any input? My publisher makes the covers for the books and I love them. They send them to me for input but it’s usually quite minimal. They are gorgeous! I’m very lucky.

 Why this setting and why pirates? Inquiring minds want to know, or me anyway.
 I unabashedly love pirates! I love to read stories about them and when I was a kid I wanted to be one. Of course I get horribly seasick and am about the least adventurous person you’d ever meet. Swashbuckling would stress me out. I guess that’s why I have to write about it instead.

 What do you do to relax, after a day of writing? And how, do you set your writing day in order to achieve your goal of a certain number of pages?
My favorite way to relax is to take a nap. I should have been born in a country that embraces the concept of siesta. That’s where I belong. Ha! I don’t count pages so much as I count words. So if I have to get twenty thousand words (about ¼ of a novel) written in a weekend, I would need to write about 6,600 Friday night, 13,000 on Saturday, and 6,600 on Sunday. I have a day job so weekends are very important to me as far as hitting my word count goals.

 Another inquiring minds want to know, approximately, how long does it take you to write a full length novel? How many books can you write in a year?
 It takes me about two months to actually write the novel (working mostly nights and weekends around my full-time job) but it takes months to plot and think about the novel which is why I only write two novels per year.

Which Hollywood stars would you like to see as the main characters in NEVER TRUST A PIRATE? I actually have a Pinterest board set up with my idea of who all the main characters in the Playful Brides series look like. For Cade Cavendish and Danielle LaCrosse it’s Chris Pine and Zooey Deschanel. You can find the board at: https://www.pinterest.com/valeriegbowman/playfulbrides/.

Do you write fulltime?
No and I actually have a theory that if I did write full-time I would get much less writing done. I think having to be so disciplined about my writing time forces me to focus. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Twitter or Facebook?
 Both!

 Favorite TV show? Of all time?
Gilmore Girls. As for what’s on today, I love Homicide Hunter: Lt Joe Kenda. I’m a sucker for true crime.

 Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend?
My book boyfriend is Jason Fielding from Judith McNaught’s Once and Always. Talk about the perfect tortured hero!

What are you reading right now or what’s on your TBR?
I’m currently reading Kerrigan Byrne’s, The Duke, and I can’t wait to dive into Anna Bennett’s, I Dared the Duke!

2017 Movie you’re most looking forward to?
 I just saw a trailer for Dunkirk and I got goosebumps! I can’t wait. I love WWII-era history almost as much as the Regency.

 Give us the “elevator pitch” for your new book.
I call Never Trust a Pirate: The Scarlet Pimpernel meets Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in Regency England.

 Series or stand alone? If series do you already have a set number of books that you plan to write?
Series. When I began to write the Playful Brides series, I planned three books. I’m happy to say it’s going to be eleven altogether, plus a novella. Plans change!

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
 I’ve been to Bath and seen the Jane Austen museum there. Does that count?

What are your future project(s)?
 Right now, I’m editing book 8 in the Playful Brides series. It’s called The Right Kind of Rogue and comes out on Halloween. I’m also writing book 9 of the Playful Brides series. And I’m always plotting future books in my head. In this case I’ve already got a lot of ideas for how I’m going to end the series with book #11 (Delilah and Thomas’s book) in Spring 2019.

For novices who haven't read a novel of yours what is it that they will find unique in your work?
I hope they will find a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is filled with humor and heart. Above all, I just want my stories to entertain. I’m not here to give anyone a history lesson. I just want readers to smile and sigh.

 Do you find that you base any of your characters on people in your life? Have you gotten any inspiration for scenes in your novel from things that have happened to you in real life?
The entire Playful Brides series was conceived based on my friend’s terrible boyfriend. She wouldn’t break up with him and I kept telling her to let me call him and break up with him for her (I was kidding, sorta). On a drive home from dinner with her one night, after she’d filled my ear yet again with a bunch of stories of the awful things he’d done (forgot her birthday, asked her to pay his cell phone bill), I started thinking how funny it would be if there was a service that you could call to break-up with your boyfriend for you. The opposite of Cyrano de Bergerac. I decided that would be great story and immediately began to think about how I could set it in the Regency. That was the idea for The Unexpected Duchess, the first story in the series.

 Are there any books or authors that have really influenced you and made you want to write? What about those authors inspired or influenced you?
 Lisa Kleypas was a huge influence on me. I was snowed in at an airport in 2007 and picked up Scandal in Spring. Many hours later (I couldn’t put the book down) I considered giving romance writing a try. She is a brilliant writer and a lovely person both inside and out.

Have you read anything lately that you loved?
Julie Anne Long’s The Legend of Lyon Redmond was sheer perfection if you ask me.

 Do you usually work off of an outline while writing or do you tend to just start writing and see where the story takes you?
I don’t have an outline per se, but I sketch out a few sentences for each chapter in my Word .doc so I know where the story is going. I’ve been working lately on making my stories more character driven so I may change this up a bit.

What other books or movies or music influenced this novel?
As with all of the stories in my Playful Brides series, Never Trust a Pirate was inspired by a play. In this case it’s The Scarlet Pimpernel. I loved the concept of a character with dual identities.

 What advice do you have for pair wanting to get into the writing field?
 If you want to write romance, join Romance Writers of America (RWA.org). Hands down it was the best thing I did to learn how to write a romance novel. Leslie Wainger’s book, Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies, is also fantastic.



~ BUY LINKS ~



~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~





Valerie Bowman grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides series, starting with Secrets of a Wedding Night, Secrets of a Runaway Bride, and Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage.



~ SOCIAL LINKS ~

~ Author Website ~ ~ Facebook ~ ~ Twitter ~: ~ Pinterest ~ ~ GoodReads ~


~ GIVEAWAY ~



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Monday, April 24, 2017

Blog Tour ~ MARRYING THE WRONG EARL ~ by Callie Hutton


She didn't want to marry anyone, let alone the wrong one.  


MARRYING THE WRONG EARL
Lords and Ladies in Love #2
Callie Hutton
Releasing April 17th, 2017
Entangled Scandalous


Lady Arabella Danvers is happy with her life just the way it is. She is free to be herself and take care of broken and abandoned animals. Her mother is desperate for her to marry, and has decided to take things into her own hands. There is just one little problem with her plan.

Nash, the Earl of Clarendon has determined it is time to take a wife. He has selected a woman to whom he intends to propose. However, the annoying Lady Arabella has stumbled into his life at the wrong time, and in the wrong place.

But he of all people should know if Lady Arabella is involved, plans will go awry.





4*

First off, I love this cover! MARRYING THE WRONG EARL is the story of Lady Arabella Danvers and Nash, Earl of Clarendon.  It's book #2 in the Lords and Ladies in Love series. I read it as a standalone even though I have the first book, I've not gotten to read it yet. That oversight will be rectified very soon. I had no problems following the story. 
MARRYING THE WRONG EARL is my first Callie Hutton novel I really enjoyed it. It kept me engaged because I didn't know what's going to go wrong next. Even though I'm a pet lover myself, I felt that Arabella put her pets before her marriage too many times. BUT I also thought Nash could've given in a little more. Ultimately, it's an enjoyable tale of compromise.  

I received a copy of this book to review for Celtic Dragon Book Reviews. Opinions are my own. 




Callie Hutton, the USA Today bestselling author of The Elusive Wife writes both Regency and western historical romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs and her top cheerleader husband of many years. Her family also includes her daughter, son, and daughter-in-law, and twin grandsons “The Twinadoes.”  

Callie loves to hear from readers. Contact her directly at calliehutton11@gmail.com or find her online at her WebsiteSign up for her newsletter to receive information on new releases, appearances, contests and exclusive subscriber content. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dark alphas lover Donna Grant

Donna grant dark alphas lover

The 4th installment in the reaper series
Fintan is one of  deaths reapers, with his long white hair and white red rimmed eyes, sets him apart from all fae no matter that he is a reaper to do the bidding of death. Cat is a  fiery green eyed ginger half fae with an act of saying what she feels, and let me tell you I love both of them. In this book Donna does a switch on us that had me screaming I love it....i love it. Oh the feels....  Boths back stories are full of loss, sadness, loneliness and regret but that doesn't stop our hero's from doing there part and finding each other. The added characters from the Dragon King books had me pause took me a second to come to terms with it and I was like oh the feels
This is a absolute must read for any of her fans and new comers I'll just say you will get addicted...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Release ~ THE FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDS ~


The Highlanders Iron Will:

 The Forbidden Highlands Box Set 

by Amy Jarecki


Date of Publication: April 18, 2017

Blurb


From authors Kathryn Le Veque, Eliza Knight, Terri Brisbin, Amy Jarecki, Collette Cameron, Victoria Vane, Emma Prince and Violetta Rand
Welcome to the realm of THE FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDS....

Eight USA TODAY and BESTSELLING historical romance authors bring you great tales of forbidden love from the highlands of Scotland based upon the greatest Celtic legend of forbidden love - a Celtic princess being escorted to her wedding to marry a king ultimately fell in love with her knightly escort. So began a powerful tale of great longing, of love spells, of persecution, and ultimately of a fiery passion borne from an otherworldly source. A love so strong is never meant to die... and reborn in these eight fabulous novellas.

Enjoy these brand-new novellas that will keep you reading long into the night, dreaming of lost loves, of great loves, and of forbidden loves.

Available From


About Amy Jarecki



A descendant of an ancient Lowland clan, Amazon Bestselling Author Amy Jarecki adores Scotland. Though she now resides in southwest Utah, she received her MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Winner of the prestigious RONE Award, she found her niche in the genre of Scottish historical romance. Amy loves hearing from her readers and can be contacted through her website at www.amyjarecki.com (where you can also sign up for her monthly newsletter).

Find Amy Jarecki Online

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New Release/Review/Q & A ~DARK ALPHA'S LOVER ~ Donna Grant


    

   ~ Blurb ~




There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I am coming for you...

I answer to no one but Death. I am impenetrable, impervious, immortal. I exist to do Death's bidding and no one--not Reaper nor human nor Fae--can stand in my way. Except for the bewitching half-Fae, Catriona. She swears the magic in her family passed her by, but I know better. This woman is strong. This woman is powerful. And when her abilities surge forth, no one will be able to stop the Dark Fae from coming for her. Except for me. I want to keep her close. I want to keep her safe. I want lose myself to her, again and again...



~Excerpt~

Chapter 1



Galway, Ireland

January

Nothing was ever as it seemed.
There were more than humans walking this earth. The things seen out of the corner of your eye were real, even if your mind refused to recognize—or accept—them.
But Catriona Hayes knew of their existence, even if she wished she didn’t. They were Fae. Magical creatures that were so beautiful they seemed otherworldly—because they were.
The Fae had come to this world, seamlessly integrating themselves into the lives of mortals. But then again, when it came to beings with magic, they could do such things.
Cat blew out a breath and put the day’s earnings in the pouch before placing it inside the safe and shutting the door. She straightened and looked through the windows of the café and across the street to the pub alight with merriment.
There was a bit of wistfulness within her when she spotted three women walking into the bar with bright smiles. She’d never been that carefree.
From the first moment she could remember, her family had kept her apart from others. It wasn’t until she was older that she realized what made her so different—she was a Halfling.
Part human, part Fae.
Some might rejoice at the news, but she wasn’t most people.
The first time her grandfather had told her of her heritage, she’d laughed, thinking it was a jest. But as they’d walked down the streets of Galway, he began pointing out the Fae.
That was the day her life changed. At eight years old, she’d felt the weight of the world drop upon her shoulders. The burden had nearly brought her to her knees. And it had lingered, growing heavier with each passing year.
Yet she remained standing beneath it all. Only because of her grandfather. The man who smiled in the midst of the many storms life threw his way. He was what kept her composed and mindful of the dangers of living near Fae.
While she had been fearful of her grandfather’s revelation, her older siblings had embraced it as a gift.
Cat looked down at the counter and the top that covered it. Beneath the thick glass, next to the register, was a picture of her with her brother and sister twenty years ago.
Whatever gift having Fae blood had given her siblings had been taken away in a cruel twist of Fate several months ago when they were savagely killed.
Her brother had been murdered in a crowded pub, while her sister had had her life snuffed out on a train to London. No one had seen either attack. One moment, her siblings had been alive. The next, they were dead. It was how Cat knew the Fae were responsible.
Only beings with magic and the ability to veil themselves could have committed such crimes without a single person catching something on their mobile phones.
Ever since her family’s deaths, she’d been waiting for the Fae to come for her.
What was taking them so long? She and her grandfather—who she kept locked safely away in his cottage where no Fae could enter—were the only ones left.
A flash of lightning pulled her from her thoughts and reminded her that she needed to get home. She started toward the front, turning off the lights as she went. Flipping the sign in the café window to CLOSED, she walked out the door and locked it. When she faced the street once more, she gripped the handle of her purse and looked around at the people. She knew the Fae could use glamour to disguise themselves, though most preferred to remain beautiful. That made it easier to pick them out, but it did nothing to lessen Cat’s dread.
She remained in the doorway as a couple walked past her. The man said something to make the woman laugh. Cat’s heart caught because she couldn’t remember the last time she’d giggled like that—never mind actually being on a date. Cat squared her shoulders and turned to the left. Her cottage was toward the outskirts of Galway. She couldn’t wait to get home where she could relax.
“Relax,” she snorted.
There was no such thing for her. While others brushed their cares away with a pint of ale and loud music, she would eat alone at her house and sleep with one eye open.
Being half-Fae had done nothing but make her life miserable. She’d gotten nothing else from it. Her sister, Nora, had been able to move objects with her mind. Her brother, Domhnall, could grow plants.
For some strange reason, magic had passed her over altogether. No matter how hard she tried, there didn’t seem to be a smidgen of magic within her.
Countless times, she’d asked her grandfather what she’d done to not have magic. He’d never quite answered her. In his usual way, he would tell a story about all the Halflings who lived without magic.
But she always suspected that he was keeping something from her.
No amount of conniving or posing the question different ways ever gave her another answer, though. With every year that passed, she was more and more sure that her grandfather was hiding something.
Cat tensed when she walked past a Fae talking to a mortal female. His silver eyes, black hair, and sex appeal were the biggest clues to what he was—Light Fae. At least, it wasn’t a Dark.
The Dark scared her the most with their red eyes. She shuddered just thinking about them.
She turned the corner and quickened her pace. Thunder rumbled the same time lightning zigzagged across the sky. More rain was on the way, but if she were lucky, she’d make it back to her cottage before it came.
Suddenly, she stopped. She didn’t know what had caught her attention, but something told her to go no farther. Her gaze roamed down the street as people milled about.
There was something in the air that draped over everything like a wet blanket. It took her a moment to realize what it was—fear. She looked at the humans and saw that none of them appeared to be affected.
Then she heard the footsteps coming, quickly. She saw the man running toward her and looking back over his shoulder. He passed beneath a streetlamp, and she saw his eyes—red.
But it was the terror on his face that surprised her. She hadn’t thought there was anything a Dark feared, but whatever was after this particular Fae must be frightening.
Her head told her to run, but her body refused to move. She remained where she was, even as a man appeared out of thin air in front of the Dark.
The Fae slid to a halt, his eyes wide. The man before him had long, white hair that was pulled away from his face by three small braids on each side of his head.
She had little time to process that before she saw the light glint off a blade. The sword sliced through the air and cut down the Dark, turning him to dust in an instant.
Shock reverberated through her as she involuntarily took a step back. What kind of weapon did he have that could kill a Fae? Because she wanted one.
He took two steps away before he suddenly halted, his body stiffening. Then he gradually turned his head to look right at her. She couldn’t make out his face because of the shadows, but she knew he’d seen her.
And then, he disappeared.
She took another step back and hastily looked around, but there was no other sign of the white-haired man. Yet she knew she wasn’t alone.
He was there. She was sure of it. Just as she was sure the Fae would come for her soon.
Somehow, she managed to stand her ground. If she were going to die, she would do it with courage. Even if she was shaking. She wasn’t going to run, no matter how much she wanted to.
She felt something behind her a moment before the sound of footsteps reached her. Cat whirled around, ready to face the unknown stranger. But it was a Dark Fae who walked toward her.
“Shite,” she murmured and turned back around.
“Hiya, darlin’,” the Dark called. “What’s your hurry?”
She walked faster and said over her shoulder, “Long day.”
“Let me buy you a drink.”
“No, thanks.”
She waited for him to say more, and when he didn’t, she gave a sigh of relief. It wasn’t until she was in her cottage that she slumped against the door.
Another day gone.
Copyright © 2017 by Donna Grant and reprinted by permission of Swerve.




~ Review ~

5*
The first words that came to my mind after reading this book was IT CAN’T BE OVER!! (The Book, not the series) 
Donna Grant has such a gift of storytelling that I can read her books over and over again. I’m adding this one to my list. 
Catriona Hayes is half Fae. She has lost every person in her family with the exception of her grandfather who she keeps hidden away in a seaside cottage. Away from Fae eyes. She has no idea why they have spared her and constantly looks over her shoulder, sure her time is near. Then Fintan comes into the picture. 
Fintan is a Reaper with a horrible history. Look up tortured hero and his picture should be there. Due to this past he has completely shut down his emotions, even to his fellow Reapers. 
I read this book in one sitting. The intensity level is off the charts. This series has now reached the level of the Dragon Kings (Dark Kings) which I wait for each new release with great anticipation. It comes complete with addicting characters you want to revisit book after book to suspense that will keep you glued to the page. And of course the HEA. And oh the revelations that pertain to the Dragon King world! I'm not one for spoilers so I'll leave it at that. 

I received a copy from the publisher for my honest review. 


~ BUY LINKS ~

~ Author Q & A ~ 

~ Donna Grant~


CDBR: Where do you get your inspiration?
 DG: Everywhere. TV shows, music, movies, books, and real life. 
CDBR: How long on average does it take you to write a book? 
 DG: A full length book takes me 5-6 weeks total before I turn it into my editor. A novella takes 3 weeks.
CDBR: What is your writing Kryptonite?
 DG:  I don't really have any. ::knocks on wood::  
CDBR: What books have most influenced your life?
 DG:  I believe that every book I have ever read has influenced me in one form or another. They've shaped my thoughts and my actions. I'm one that believes a book comes into a person's life when they need it the most.
CDBR: What is the first book that made you cry?
 DG:  I can't remember the title, but it was a western where the heroine was kidnapped by Indian's and she fell in love. It wasn't a romance because there was no HEA, but I bawled. 
CDBR: What was your hardest scene to write?
  DG: It's different with every book. Mostly its the sex scenes because there is so much more emotion that goes into those scenes than in others, and I like to get it right.
CDBR: What did you edit out of this book?
  DG: lol. I write "that" a lot. I edit most of those out. And the use of names. I don't realize when I'm writing that I do it, but when I read over it, I do. 

I would like to thank Ms. Grant for being so gracious and answering my questions!



  ~About the Author ~




Author Bio: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s the author of more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories. The acclaimed series features a thrilling combination of dragons, the Fae, and Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Cover Reveal ~ DESPERATE BRIDE ~ A.S. Fenichel


DESPERATE BRIDE
by A.S. Fenichel
Genre: Historical Romance

Pub Date: 9/26/2017


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An unexpected promise . . . an everlasting passion.
An accomplished musician, Dorothea Flammel has refused more proposals than any London debutante; her only true love is her music. Dory’s shimmering talent and beauty have long been adored from afar by Thomas Wheel, an untitled gentleman who can only dream of asking for the hand of a nobleman’s daughter. But when her father, the insolvent Lord Flammel, arranges for Dory to marry a lecherous Earl in order to pay off a debt, she runs to Thomas—and proposes marriage to him.
Eloping to Scotland saves Dory from a disastrous fate, but what is for her a mere marriage of convenience proves more passionate—and more complex—than either imagined as rumors, scandal, and buried emotions come to light. And when a vengeful challenge from a drunken and embittered Lord Flammel puts Thomas’s life on the line, will the fragile trust between husband and wife be enough to save them both?

Buy Links:







A.S. Fenichel adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story. Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey. She now lives in the southwest with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When she is not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history and puttering in her garden.