SUMMER PLEASURES, A Historical Romance Collection by The New Romance Café – Featured New Release

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SUMMER PLEASURES

A Historical Romance Collection

The New Romance Café


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Hold on to your fans and get ready for the duchesses to clutch their pearls – the social season may have ended but the summer season is just getting started and it will be a scorcher!

Summer Pleasures, the latest Historical Romance anthology for charity from the authors at The New Romance Café, is heating up your Kindle from August, with a limited time romance collection.

All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0977SM61X
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0977SM61X

Available in KU

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A Summer Quest (Regency) – Caro Kinkead

 Sophia Marcus knows who she wants to marry. Problem is, he’s not the man her father has in mind. Her father believes the sizeable estate his daughter will inherit warrants a title, and he’s invited a candidate to Wyldfell Priory for the Summer Market Fair.

Philip Harrington wants to marry Sophia. Problem is, six months ago his brother scandalized Little Chipping and the family has been under a cloud ever since. They’re on the verge of being accepted by society once more, but it is clear Sophia’s father has his sights set elsewhere.

Counting on Philip’s ability to produce the finest hog at the Summer Market, Philip and Sophia hatch a plan to rid her of an unwanted suitor and raise his standing in her father’s eyes. But the suitor is not without his own allies, and another scandal could be looming on the horizon.

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Four House Parties and a Mystery (Regency) – Alexa Santi

When her aunt drags her to four summer house parties in quick succession, Grace Rawson doesn’t expect to be drawn into a dangerous game with a perilously attractive thief. After her aunt’s safety is threatened, Grace must determine which of the players is hiding a darker purpose.

When Lillian and Graham cross paths, they discover the spark between them is as hot as ever. The fair is in full swing, a rival photographer is making mischief, and high-flying adventure awaits. But none of it can quash the passion between them, or prevent their yearning for a second chance at love.

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Forget Me Not (Regency) – Sadie Bosque

Christopher was determined to move up in rank and escape the suffocating shackles of a commoner’s life. Linda was just looking for an adventure. However, their brief meeting uproots their life in a way neither of them expected. As their dreams shatter, there is only one thing that can help them come back to the carefree people they were once – love.

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A Midsummer Night’s Kiss (Regency) – Lara Temple

Three midsummer kisses in exchange for her sister’s freedom…

War-widow Lily knew gaining her sister’s release from her betrothal to the Earl of Carrington would come at a price. She hadn’t expected it to be a price she’d be more than willing to pay…

 ‘So, Lily Walsh. What will you offer in exchange for your sister’s freedom?’

‘What do you want, Lord Carrington?’

‘A balm for my bruised pride. You could try kissing it better.’

Her jaw slackened.

‘Three kisses…’ He ignored her shocked expression, his voice sinking lower and lower. ‘Three hot, midsummer madness kisses culminating on midsummer’s day when spirits abound, wreaking havoc on mortals. Anything might happen…’

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Midnight Intrigues (Regency) – Courtney A.K. Shinn

Charlotte, Dowager Duchess of Suffolk has always been trapped by duty and expectations. Her son demanding they attend a house party thrown by her late husband’s former mistress to find answers for her husband’s mysterious death is no different. However, as things take an increasingly dark turn, with rumors of a secret society hell-bent on revenge, Charlotte begins to open her heart to Elizabeth, the companion who supported her in the months since her husband’s death. But the feelings she feels are not merely platonic. Will she break free of the shackles of society and embrace true love? And who will be the next victim?

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My Heiress, ’Tis of Thee (Gilded Age) – Catherine Stein

Three months have passed since magazine owner Graham Ward received a letter from the love of his life, telling him everything was over. Desperate to take his mind off his heartbreak, he travels to St. Louis for the 1904 World’s Fair, only to discover he’s not the only one intent on getting away.

Knickerbocker heiress Lillian Belmont can’t understand why Graham never responded to her coded message asking him to elope. To ease her aching heart, she’s thrown herself into her photography, hoping to sell her World’s Fair images and make a name for herself.

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The Honourable Mr Gresham Asks a Question (1940s) – Shanti James

Discharged from the Royal Navy, Max Gresham now works in India as a maharaja’s Private Secretary. For months, he’s denied his feelings for his colleague, Diana. She’s wary of men and he won’t jeopardise their friendship by overstepping her strict boundaries.

Diana Kingsley, Private Secretary to the maharani, paid a bitter price for trusting her heart. Max makes her believe kind, honourable men still exist, but she’s an Anglo-Indian engineer’s daughter and he’s an earl’s son. Though she’s deeply in love with him, friends are all they can ever be.

When Max risks asking for more, Diana retreats, convinced he only wants one thing. From now on, it’s strictly business. But then their royal employers play matchmaker, forcing Max and Diana to spend time together.

On a steaming Calcutta day, a ludicrous list and an old scandal may be just what this dithering couple needs to prove they’re made for each other.


THE AUTHORS

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Lara Temple

Lara Temple writes strong, sexy regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion.

When she was fifteen Lara found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later she emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Regency Romance. This love remained one-sided as she progressed through various fascinating but completely unrelated careers in finance and high tech until she finally went back to her first love.

Lara lives with her husband and two children who are very good about her taking over the kitchen table for her writing (so she can look out over the garden and dream). She loves to travel (especially to places steeped in history) and hike and read as many books as possible (which just about sums up her dream vacation).

She recently went back to look for that grubby crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…

https://www.laratemple.com

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Catherine Stein

Award-winning author Catherine Stein believes that everyone deserves love and that Happily Ever After has the power to help, to heal, and to comfort. She writes sassy, sexy romance set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her books are full of action, adventure, magic, and fantastic technologies.

Catherine lives in Michigan with her husband and three rambunctious kids. She loves steampunk and Oxford commas, and can often be found dressed in Renaissance Festival clothing, drinking copious amounts of tea.

You can find Catherine on social media @catsteinbooks or visit her website at www.catsteinbooks.com to learn about all her books and sign up for her VIP newsletter.

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Sadie Bosque

Sadie Bosque is a shy and sheltered young woman from the outskirts of the World. Being a loner, she was immersed in the fictional worlds of books since she knew how to read. In her thirties, with the Pandemic changing the rules of the World she picked up a pen, or rather a laptop, and started crafting stories in the Historical Romance World.

Check out more of her work, or sign-up to her newsletter here: www.sadiebosque.com.

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Caro Kinkead

As a child, Caro Kinkead was told Dr. Seuss’ job was “writing books,” and decided that was her goal, along with being a ballerina and archeologist. A fear of snakes signaled the end of her ambition to find the next Tutankhamun’s tomb, the dancing didn’t pan out, but the love of writing remained, allowing her to enjoy those careers and more in her imagination.

Caro grew up in a family of readers, developing a love of science fiction and fantasy, along with old movies and costuming. These days, she and her husband share a home in the Los Angeles area with their cats, a sizable book collection, and more yarn than she’s willing to admit. You can find her on Instagram as @CaroKinkead, and join her newsletter at http://CaroKinkead.com , where subscribers receive a free short story, which tells the tale of the scandal the Harringtons are trying to live down, as well as an exclusive on-going serial.

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Alexa Santi

Alexa Santi has been fascinated by the Regency Era since the pre-internet days when she had to check paper books out from the library. She lives in Los Angeles with her sexy librarian husband and their cats. She occasionally blogs at her website, https://www.alexasanti.com.

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Courtney AK Shinn

Courtney A.K. Shinn has loved reading since her grandmother read to her from a young age. She lives in Honolulu, HI with her family, including three rambunctious French Bulldogs.

Review Blog: Courtney Reads Romance

Twitter: @ZelenaSwift

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Shanti James

Shanti James grew up in Kolkata immersed in stories of gods, goddesses, elephant-riding princes, and bejewelled princesses. The child of an Indian father and an English mother, she embraced the best of both sides of her rich heritage.

She now lives in England, where she translates her passion for art, history, mythology, and travel, into writing romances with all the ‘feels’. She loves honourable heroes with undiscovered depths, and smart, dauntless heroines who can save themselves. This is her first foray into historical romance and she is currently penning the story of Viraj, Maharaja of Kuch, and his arranged marriage to Tara, the unconventional princess who upends his life.

 When not clicking away on her laptop, Shanti runs mum’s taxi service and the bank of mum. In other words, she has kids. Coffee, gin, and good friends keep her sane.

DIFFICULT by Brianne Gillen – Happy Book Birthday!

DIFFICULT - Available Now

DIFFICULT

Phoenix Pictures Book 1

Brianne Gillen


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“I suppose everyone expects a flop from us…But wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if we did something else?”

The Biggest Gossip, Straight Out of 1947 Hollywood!

A Diva Destined for Disaster…

With a face made for the cinema and the acting chops to back it up, Lois Ashford should be one of Hollywood’s most powerful players. But for the last decade, her notorious reputation for being “difficult” has kept her dreams of true stardom at bay—and now it might even cost her the contract she needs to continue her career.

A Heartthrob Heading toward Hazard…

Golden-boy Nick Bradley has always been considered one of the screen’s most captivating leading men—devastatingly handsome, tremendously talented, and a real-life hero to boot. That is, until a scandalous brush with the law makes him tabloid fodder and lands him in hot water with his bosses.

A Match Made for Motion Picture Magic…

When their studio pairs them in a stinker of a film, the last thing anyone expects is for their punishment to lead to a dynamic partnership—least of all Lois and Nick. And after the big bosses push them to capitalize on the momentum with a phony publicity marriage, it isn’t long before the sparks get real and their wedded bliss becomes a lot less fake. But all that glitters is not so golden, and their newly-minted status as Hollywood Royalty might just come at the expense of their hearts. Unless they can find the courage to tell a new story…

*Author’s Note—Content Warning: This book contains discussion of past (off-page) workplace sexual harassment.

Buy Links:
https://www.briannegillen.com/difficult-buy-links


EXCERPT

The Latest from Hollywood!

—November 1937

Quite the racket emerging from Neptune Pictures lately! Rumor has it the brunette stunner they were counting on to be their new Siren has turned out to be quite the Sea-Witch instead. Despite the whispers of her already being a diva on day one, we graciously gave her the benefit of the doubt. But it seems we were too merciful. Word comes from the set of her new picture—only her second, if you can believe it!—that she unleashed what could only be called a Temper Tsunami on everyone present. We have no idea what could have caused such an eruption, but really, is there ever an excuse for that kind of behavior? Looks like studio head Arthur Ronson might be regretting his decision to sign this troublesome beauty already…

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Hollywood Happenings

—June 1940

Big change-up in Contract-land today! The fine folks at Neptune Pictures are finally unburdening themselves of their resident Difficile Dish, passing her contract across town to Parkmoor Studios. Talk of her outrageous behavior on set has become the stuff of Tinseltown legend, so it’s likely for the best that she’s moving on. We will admit, her talent is undeniable. Perhaps her new studio will have better luck taming this Shirley Temper into more of a Norma Sheer-Dream. Let’s raise a glass to Parkmoor—they’ve certainly got their work cut out for them!

Read Chapter One preview here: https://www.briannegillen.com/difficult-chapter-one-preview/


ABOUT BRIANNE

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Brianne Gillen is a romance author, costume designer, theatre educator, and life-long storyteller, based in the Los Angeles area. She loves classic films, especially the screwball comedies of the ‘30s and ‘40s, and will never turn down the opportunity to browse the treasure troves otherwise known as vintage clothing stores. She is also a voracious reader and firm believer in happily-ever-afters. She has done a bit of playwriting, and in recent years, has contributed her opinions to a few online publications centering on the art and craft of costume design. Difficult is her debut romance novel, and the first in her Phoenix Pictures Series, about fierce dames and cinnamon-roll gents finding love in late-1940s Hollywood.

Social Media links:
Website: www.briannegillen.com
Instagram: @booksbybrianne
Twitter: @BooksbyBrianne

AAPI SPOTLIGHT – A LOWCOUNTRY BRIDE by Preslaysa Williams

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A LOWCOUNTRY BRIDE

by

Preslaysa Williams

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A heartwarming Avon debut of love, forgiveness, and new beginnings set in the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry.

Maya Jackson has worked for Laura Whitcomb, Inc, a renowned New York City bridal gown brand for years and dreams of becoming Head Designer. She has the talent, she just needs a chance to showcase her unique style. Due to an illness, she’s always prioritized her career over her personal life until Maya’s father fractures his hip and she returns to Charleston, SC. While home for only a few months, she’s thrilled to find an opportunity at the local bridal gown boutique, never expecting sparks to fly with its owner…

A military veteran and widowed father, Derek Sullivan hopes to save Always a Bride from bankruptcy in order to preserve the legacy of his mother. He also wants to reconnect with his estranged, twelve-year-old daughter, who is still recovering from the loss of her mother. The last thing he needs is a relationship with a beautiful, smart, complicated woman who will be leaving soon.

When Derek begins to fall for the lovely Maya, he knows there’s no future. But destiny has its own plans, and these two lonely people with big hearts discover that coming home to love is the best gift life can give.

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Buy links:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Apple     Google Play     IndieBound     Kobo


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ALB bookstagramA Lowcountry Bride is an affecting story of discovering identity, fulfilling dreams, dealing with loss, keeping the faith, and finding love. The authenticity with how the characters’ culture came across strongly emphasizes the importance of providing opportunities for own voices stories, of lifting marginalized creators, of representation and inclusion.

This book is bursting with Ms. Williams’s pride in her unique mix of West African/Filipino heritage. It’s manifested in the food, by distinctive sewing techniques, and in the sympathetic personalities of the main characters.

Maya Jackson, with her struggles to cope with a chronic illness while attempting to achieve her mother’s dreams for her amidst obstacles in the workplace, feels like a real person to me.  Adding to all those the care for her injured father, she is heavily burdened than most but utterly real. Maya’s internal conflict when making life-altering choices made me anxious. Despite the guarantee of a hopeful ending, I still fretted over her decisions.

While I liked Maya, I was soft for the men in her life–her father Carl and her love interest Derek Sullivan. These two dads had similar tales of guiding their daughters to find their paths. They had the best lines from the book.

Her dad’s advice resonated with me.

But don’t stop living, Maya. Don’t ever stop living. You owe it to yourself to live every single day to the fullest.”

Derek’s declaration made me melt.

It’s not the dying that matters. It’s the living. … I can bring the past with me and use it to craft a beautiful present and a hopeful future.”

I like that despite the heavy topics (illness, deaths from a mass shooting, inequity in the workplace, racism) this book is not depressing. There’s enough humor and joy in the successes both Maya and Derek achieved individually and together.

My minor concern is with the portrayal of Laura, Maya’s boss, as an irredeemable villainess. I wish there’s more dimension to her character. After all, she hired Maya in the first place. Her part in the story appeared soap-opera-ish.

Besides that, I enjoyed this book.  It’s engaging and made me root for the characters. I can’t wait for the author’s upcoming books.

4 out of 5 stars


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Preslaysa Williams (nee, Preslaysa Edwards) is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction with an Afro-Filipina twist. She loves sharing her culture with her readers.

She has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a MPA from the University of South Carolina. She is also a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar, a Jackie Robinson Foundation Extra Innings Fellow, and a Sol Spiegelman Scholar. Preslaysa is currently earning a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University.

In addition, she’s a professional actress. She started acting at age eight, joining the Screen Actors Guild as a teenager when she co-starred on the Nickelodeon TV show, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo.

She’s an avid bookworm and planner nerd who hoards pens, pencils, and notebooks in her spare time. In her daily life, you’ll find her wearing mismatched socks while being a homeschool mom. Preslaysa presently makes her home in Virginia with her husband and two children. You can visit her online at www.preslaysa.com where you can sign up for her newsletter community.

Social Media links:

Facebook     Twitter     Instagram     BookBub     Goodreads

ANY ROGUE WILL DO by Bethany Bennett – Featured New Release

ANY ROGUE WILL DO

Misfits of Mayfair #1

by

Bethany Bennett

He ruined her reputation—now he’s the only one who can save it

For exactly one season, Lady Charlotte Wentworth played the biddable female the ton expected—and all it got her was society’s mockery and derision. Now she’s determined to be in charge of her own future. So when an unwanted suitor tries to manipulate her into an engagement, she has a plan. He can’t claim to be her fiancé if she’s engaged to someone else. Even if it means asking for help from the last man she would ever marry.

Ethan, Viscount Amesbury, made a lot of mistakes, but the one he regrets the most is ruining Lady Charlotte’s reputation. Going along with her charade is the least he can do to clean the slate and perhaps earn her forgiveness. Pretending to be in love with the woman he’s never forgotten is easy. What isn’t easy is convincing her to give him a second chance.

Buy links:

Hachette     Amazon     B&N     Kobo     Google Play     Indiebound     Apple

Publisher’s Weekly starred review:

“In [a] splendid Regency-set debut . . . Bennett turns a spotlight on the class distinctions and gender restrictions of 1819 England, with a formidable leading lady and a swoon-worthy hero with lower-class roots. Filled with gripping drama, strong characters, and steamy seduction, this tantalizing story is sure to win the hearts of Regency fans.”―Publishers Weekly

Employing some of my favorite tropes of second-chance romance, enemies-to-lovers, and fake engagement in her debut Any Rogue Will Do, Bethany Bennett offers a well-crafted historical romantic fiction with an engaging storyline, fully fleshed-out characters, and steamy sexy times.

I like that Charlotte Wentworth is a capable, smart heroine who thinks on her feet and saves herself from dire situations without waiting for someone else to rescue her. I admire her independence and her desire to take control of her life while still working within the boundaries of the aristocratic society she belongs to. That means a marriage of convenience with a man who is willing to live off her dowry in London while she takes care of her estate in the country. She doesn’t require love as she has seen how it could devastate a person when somebody dies like with her parents.

I like that Ethan Ridley is a truly repentant hero who has matured into a responsible and hardworking man. I admire that although not born into the nobility, he genuinely cares for his tenants, wants his lands to prosper, and he doesn’t care to be looked down by society for engaging in trade to achieve his goals. His apologies to the people he wronged because of his past behavior are sincere with words backed by action. That’s how he finds himself offering a temporary fake engagement to Charlotte. Except, he quickly wants the relationship to be more permanent and more real.

I love that both of them maintain strong friendships with people from all classes. Charlotte with her godmother Agatha and her maid Darling. Ethan with his steward Connor and his best friend Cal. These secondary characters brought much of the humor in the story.  

While I enjoyed most of the story, I found Charlotte’s pushing Ethan away to stick to her plans frustrating and a bit unfair. I guess it’s Ms. Bennett’s fault for redeeming Ethan so thoroughly that he gained my sympathy and became less understanding of Charlotte’s reluctance to fight for their love.

The fact that I’m talking about these characters as if they’re real people should tell you how engaged I was with this story. A fantastic debut for Ms. Bennett. I’m looking forward to Book 2. 

Bethany Bennett grew up in a small fishing village in Alaska where required learning included life-skills like cold-water survival, along with several other subjects that are utterly useless as a romance writer. Eventually settling in the Northwest with her real-life hero and two children, she enjoys mountain views from the comfort of her sofa, wearing a tremendous amount of flannel, and drinking more coffee than her doctor deems wise.

Follow links:

Website     Facebook     Instagram     Twitter     Goodreads     BookBub

Chapter One

Somewhere in Warwickshire, Late August 1819

Ethan Ridley—Mac to his friends, Lord Amesbury to everyone else—lounged outside the Boar and Hound. With his face lifted toward the sky, he closed his eyes, taking in the familiar smells of horses and the hearty breakfast served at the inn. Scents of perfectly cooked sausages and fresh bread had him considering a second helping.

Thin wisps of fog would soon give way to the warm August sun, but for now, they clung, hovering in the trees like wraiths. The cool brush of a breeze lifted goose bumps on his throat, where yesterday’s cravat hung in a haphazard knot, the linen limp from a second day of being

tied. When packing, he’d forgotten a second cravat but remembered the book he was currently reading, so Ethan wasn’t terribly upset about the lack of fresh accessories. He shifted from one foot to the other. Not for the first time this morning, he considered leaving Calvin behind.

They’d traveled all the way from London to visit a highly regarded brewery to see how its processes could be applied to his own budding business venture. After waiting for over thirty minutes past the agreed time, he suspected at least another quarter hour would pass before Calvin

appeared looking fresh and annoyingly rested. Running a hand through his hair, Ethan winced as the strands snagged on calloused fingers. No doubt the unruly curls were assuming their usual vertical position, so he jammed his hat down over the mess. One of these days he’d get a haircut, but today was not that day. Tomorrow didn’t look promising either.

The clattering of hooves caught his attention as a wreck of a woman barreled into the stable yard. “There’s been an accident! I need a surgeon.”

It was the blood that stopped him from acting right away. God, so much blood. It covered her face and the top half of her traveling gown. She rode astride with her skirts hiked up and had the fiercest expression he’d ever seen on a woman. Like a warrior goddess hell-bent on dragging the next poor sod who got in her way into the afterlife, she didn’t rein in the mount until they were nearly upon him.

Forcing his legs to move, he shouldered through the taproom’s doorway. “We need help out here!” Without waiting for the occupants to jump to attention, he returned to the woman. Ethan swiped a palm over his brow, clearing away fear-ridden sweat, then placed a steadying hand on the heaving chest of the horse. For a moment, his mind had tried to retreat to another accident five years before.

Blood had soaked a different roadside while he held his friend, calling for aid until his voice failed. But the past, with its dark, clawed memories, would have to wait.

“My coachman has a broken leg.” The woman slid off the horse’s back. She touched her forehead, and her fingers came away wet and red. With a grimace, she wiped them on her skirts. One eye had swollen shut, and a cut near her hairline seemed the probable source of most of the blood. “He was unconscious when I left. My maid is with him.”

“Where’s the accident, miss?” a man from the inn asked, taking the long leather traces she’d used as reins.

Men spilled out of the taproom to lend their aid while grooms readied mounts and gathered carts to form a rescue party.

“By my best guess, they are perhaps three miles away. Directly down this road. You can’t miss them.” She pointed back in the direction from which she’d ridden.

Waving over a fellow whom he’d seen eating with the locals at the morning meal, Ethan said, “We’ll need the surgeon. Sir, do you know where tae find him?”

“Yes, milord. I’ll fetch ’im.” The man donned his hat and scurried down the road toward the village.

The woman swayed on her feet, appearing less warriorlike by the minute and more like a maiden about to faint from blood loss. Before Ethan could say something, Calvin arrived and offered his arm to escort her inside. Just as well. Ethan may want to help, but Cal’s particular skill set would be more useful to a damsel in distress. She went with his friend willingly enough, no doubt won over by his charm. Charm wasn’t Ethan’s strongest trait.

Better to stay in the stable yard until everyone had a job and was on their way.

A gentleman with hair that glowed like a halo grasped her elbow, speaking in the same tone Lottie would use with a frightened horse. “Perhaps you should sit. Your head wound is still bleeding. Frankly, you need help as much as your coachman.” Her escort offered Lottie a seat in

the public room, which she took, moving with precision to avoid further irritating the bruises making themselves known.

After crawling out of the wreckage, she’d not thought beyond flinging herself atop a carriage horse, then praying she’d stay seated long enough to find a doctor. The shaking in Lottie’s legs began, and she feared the rest of her body would follow suit until twitchy, useless

nerves overtook her. Lacing her fingers together steadied her somewhat while she waited for her vision to clear.

Dear Lord, one of her eyes wasn’t working correctly. No wonder her face hurt.

She tried to focus on the man who’d helped her. His striking features and perfect attire seemed more suited to a London drawing room than a Warwickshire country inn.

“What brings a pretty fellow like you to a town like this?” A disconnect between her ears and mouth made the words come out slow and slurred. Mercy, her head hurt.

Following his gaze to a sparkling window overlooking the yard, she spied the behemoth of a man they’d left behind deploying volunteers and taking control of the situation with an air of command no one questioned. Ah, he must be here with the man using his impressive presence to get things done. The man’s confidence amidst an emergency didn’t hurt his aura of competence.

Fresh blood seeped past her lashes. Wincing, she turned from the scene and wiped an already filthy hand over her eyes.

The innkeeper’s wife arrived with water and a stack of cloths. “I’m Mrs. Pringle, dearie. Let’s look at your head and see what we’re about, shall we?”

Lottie waved a hand. “It’s nothing. Nothing serious at any rate. I’m sure I’ll be fine after a bath and rest. My coachman needs a doctor far more than I do.”

Clean tables and the scent of fresh bread made the inn warm and cozy. Hopefully, the rooms upstairs would be as welcoming. She desperately wanted to get her bearings, then find a tub and a bed. A bath would be heaven.

The elegant stranger pushed, “Please, miss, let her clear away the blood—”

Chilly air danced over her cheek as the commanding man from the courtyard entered the room. With a blunt “Give me the rag,” he once again took charge, swiping the cloth from Mrs. Pringle’s hand.

Her charming escort rolled his eyes. “Fine, Mac. Take over. I’ll see if I’m needed outside.”

The giant grunted an acknowledgment. Really, were actual words too much to ask? A few moments before he’d been kind, but now surly impatience colored his demeanor. The sheer size of him overwhelmed her—an unusual circumstance for a woman her own father referred to as “sturdy.” Even sitting, he dwarfed everyone in the room. Only one other man of her acquaintance had made her feel delicate in comparison, but that had been a lifetime ago.

The man tossed his hat on the table, revealing a mass of dark curls. Another wave of dizziness swamped her as recognition hit. Please, God, let her be wrong. And if she didn’t humiliate herself by fainting, she’d tithe double the next time she found herself near a church.

Maybe the head wound caused the buzzing in her ears—it couldn’t possibly be because this man still affected her after so long. But no. Even seven years later, Lord Amesbury, the one who had saved her, then callously ruined her, evoked a visceral response. If he thought to save her again, she’d best remember what he’d done the last time they’d met.

Amesbury leaned forward, sparking an almost forgotten heat of awareness in her belly. His dark brows were broody slashes under a disobedient lock of hair that fell over his forehead, providing the only softness on his face. Shadows played in the hollows under his cheekbones,

where at least a day’s growth of beard made him look as roguish as she knew him to be.

“I know your concern is for your coachman. ’Tis commendable. But you’re useless if you don’ see tae yourself.” That lilting brogue did something funny to her chest, creating flutters she’d rather not ponder. “Now please hold still so you don’ make a bigger mess on this good woman’s floor.”

Mrs. Pringle didn’t seem sure if she should leave or stay. The older woman stared at the floorboards while holding the water basin, no doubt wishing to be anywhere else. Lottie could relate.

Although his exasperated tone rankled, Lottie allowed the examination. Knowing this man, of all people, saw her in such a state set her cheeks aflame with a mix of embarrassment and fury. Fate, that fickle fiend, always tossed her in his path at her worst, casting him as a hero.

With a finger under her chin, Amesbury raised her face toward the morning light streaming through the window. His gruff words were at odds with gentle fingers as he brushed the blood-soaked hair off her brow and prodded at a painful area near her hairline.

How had he grown more attractive while she’d merely gotten older? Every year her body grew softer, rounder, despite daily rides all over the estate. As the butterflies in her belly would attest, the small lines at the corners of his eyes and a new hardness to his jaw didn’t diminish his appeal. Grossly unfair, in her opinion.

Over the years, she’d imagined a different meeting. In her version, she always wore a stunning new gown—the picture of intimidatingly competent femininity. Lord Amesbury would stop in his tracks, recognizing her in an instant. Then his striking face would flood with regret, evoking her pity—but only for a moment. A strong cup of tea would help the sensation pass once she snubbed him and went on her way.

No matter the scenario, Lottie served witty set-downs while looking ethereally beautiful, then left the man with an unrelenting grief to haunt him for the rest of his natural life. Really, was that too much to ask? In her imagination she would marry a gorgeous duke—even though young available dukes weren’t exactly thick on the ground.

Especially for spinsters.

Logic had no jurisdiction in daydreams and fairy tales.

Reality was sorely lacking. Her traveling gown’s tattered bodice barely clung to modesty, she’d just dripped blood on his boot, and any fool could see Viscount Amesbury didn’t remember her.

Perhaps it was immature to wish the circumstances of their meeting were different, but the fact was that she found herself in another embarrassing situation requiring his help and he didn’t even have the decency to remember her. Inhaling deeply, she searched for calm and instead filled her head with the scent of him—not the wisest course of action. If only Amesbury favored the usual perfumes or bottled tonics, or smelled of rotten onions with a trace of dock water. Instead, he smelled like a man who bathed, then gave no further thought to his appearance. It reminded her of fresh air, leather, and an underlying warmth she couldn’t place. Now her heart pounded for a different reason.

The one thing her old suitor-turned-nemesis did well was confuse her. He always had.

Some things didn’t change, even after seven years.

Lottie exhaled his essence, pushing the tangle of emotions from her body. A man she hated so thoroughly shouldn’t smell so comforting.

TAKE TWO by Karysa Faire – Happy Release Day!

Take Two

TAKE TWO

by

Karysa Faire

 

SYNOPSIS

Take Two Final Cover

Is their love real or fiction?

Rachel is a teacher and a single mom who’s picked up the pieces of her life after a horrible marriage. She’d thought her ex-husband was the man of her dreams. He wasn’t. She’s moved on and written a historical romance novel, Swashbuckler, that’s been picked up by Hollywood.

Rodger is an actor who doesn’t trust women. He’s made bad choices in his past that have come to haunt him in the present, especially the choice that came packaged with blond hair, large tits, and a marriage that was doomed from the start. Rodger thought they were in love—turns out his wife was a social-climber more interested in his status than his heart. He doubts there is a woman alive who can love him for who he is, and not for his fame or for the fantasy he presents to the world.

Both Rachel and Rodger have been burned by love, trusting a reality that turned out only to be fantasy. Will their fear succeed at keeping them apart? Or will they break through the barriers and allow themselves to love once again? After all, sometimes reality is much sweeter than fantasy.

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Buy here: Amazon

 

ABOUT KARYSA

Karysa FaireKarysa Faire is a fiction writer and high school science teacher. Her best days are when something unexpected and new happens – whether that be in the classroom or during vacations when she goes on extended road trips to haunted ghost towns. Karysa writes a variety of romance genres including contemporary, historical, erotica, horror, and paranormal. She’s also been known to write a mean lab report. Karysa lives in the San Francisco Bay Area along with millions of other people, including her wonderful family.

Website: https://www.karysafaire.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarysaFaireAuthor/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KarysaFaire
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karysafaire/

FAKER by Sarah Smith – Happy Release Day!

Faker_FBCover_4

FAKER

by

Sarah Smith

 

SYNOPSIS

faker cover

Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she’s tough as nails–the complete opposite of her easy-going real self.

One thing she doesn’t have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie’s friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can’t stop staring at his Thor-like biceps …

When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get … heated. Emmie’s beginning to see that beneath Tate’s chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.

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Buy Links:

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Books A Million
Hudson Booksellers     Indie Bound     Powell’s

 

ABOUT SARAH

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie’s stash of romance novels. She’s been hooked ever since. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, eating chocolate, and perfecting her lumpia recipe. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and adorable cat Salem. Faker is her debut novel.

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Website
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Happy Release Day, SOMETHING DIFFERENT by Allegra Johnson

something different release cover

ABOUT THE BOOK

something different ebook cover

Life is not a fairy tale … After five years as a widow, MacKenzie is ready to move on, maybe. Still unsure of herself, she agrees to attend a bachelor auction in which a date is up for bid. Could this be the step she needs to make that move?

There’s just something about her… Sebastian spent the year following his divorce throwing himself into work and avoiding anything that had to do with love. When a favor for a friend leads to a chance meeting with the lady of his dreams, he begins to believe in the happily ever after.

With an ocean separating them, it won’t be easy, but together they’re sure to discover a love that is something different.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MNVQJQN

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AllegraAllegra is an indie author who enjoys writing steamy love stories with a twist. The twist would be her imagination. Originally from Massachusetts, she now resides in Southern California.
Some of Allegra’s favorite things include all things purple, glitter, fairies, and unicorns. Her hobbies are reading, procrastinating, listening to music, watching sports, and napping. If she likes you, she’ll bake you cookies or cupcakes. If she doesn’t like you, she’ll write you into a story and, well, bad things will happen. Never make an author angry. It won’t end well, trust me on this one.
You can find Allegra fluttering around Romancelandia, figuring this author thing out, one book at a time. You can follow her adventures in writing on most social media platforms.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: (author page) https://fb.me/stumblingauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allegra_johnson/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Allegra55302863

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Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/allegra-johnson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15276339.Allegra_Johnson

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AllegraJohnson

Email: authorallegrajohnson@gmail.com