A quick word about our giveaways…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image22197444Thanks to all those who’ve entered our giveaways over the past months. I hope all the winners have discovered some new authors to look out for and read some enjoyable books. The good news is that there are even MORE spotlights and giveaways to come over the next few weeks… the bad news is that there will be a slight delay in notifiying winners simply because I’m going to be away until the middle of August. So please, bear with me – if you don’t hear immediately a giveaway finishes, don’t worry, you will receive your prizes.

Just a little bit later than usual.

Here’s wishing everyone a great summer!


Wedding The Widow by Jane B. Night


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Augustus knows that a wife and family can never be more than a dream for him. His former fiancée made that perfectly clear when she left him before he had even recovered from the surgery to amputate his leg.
Yet, ten years later he agrees to marry Charlotte when she is left widowed and pregnant on the trail west.

Augustus is immediately taken by the beauty and charm of his new wife. He is even more enchanted by the idea of a child in his home. He assures himself that his missing leg won’t matter in their marriage as long as he can keep her away from his heart. And his bed.

Augustus’ plan seems to be working until Charlotte gives birth to a stillborn child. In her grief, she begs Augustus to give her the child her heart desires.

Can he let go of his past long enough to put a baby in the womb of the woman he is quickly coming to love?

Publisher and Release Date: Jane B. Night, June 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Westward Expansion; West Trail
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Sabrina

Wedding the Widow opens with our heroine, Charlotte, handling her current state of affairs in the most practical manner possible. On the trail heading west, her husband has unexpectedly passed away leaving her pregnant, broke and tired. Charlotte isn’t the sort to not cry and pity herself for her situation, No, No, No! She asks the trail leader and town pastor to help her find a respectable man to wed her. She doesn’t want to move any further west – that was her husband’s wish – she just wants to settle down and get ready to have her baby. I loved her instantly!

Luckily for Charlotte she is in the hands of a sympathetic, but clever pastor who knows just the right person to ask. He is hoping Charlotte is the woman who can bring comfort and love into the home of a lonely but deserving man, Augustus. This is a lovely romance that takes its time in developing the intersecting lives of our protagonists. We have sweet-tempered, honest characters who do not fall prey to silly schemes or rushed emotions.

Interwoven throughout the book is the continuing story of Sophie, a mail-order bride who befriends Charlotte on the trail. Once Charlotte decides to stay and marry, they promise to keep in touch. I am not usually a fan of books that introduce secondary relationships, preferring to concentrate on the main characters, but in this case I was pleased Sophie and Ezra became a focal point.

The writing was at times filled with short, clipped sentences that broke the flow just a tad. It did not lessen my overall enjoyment of the book, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I noticed it. I did, however, enjoy the message and tone of the book and I hope the author continues to provide readers with stories that inspire faith and the courage to allow for second chances.

I found Wedding the Widow to be a beautifully engaging story. It is a sweet tempered romance that shows the struggles to finding and encouraging love.


The Duke’s Holiday by Maggie Fenton


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The Duke of Montford, cold, precise, and more powerful than the Prince Regent himself, wants things the way he wants them: cross-referenced, indexed, and at his beck and call. And he always gets what he wants.

Until he meets Astrid Honeywell. And a giant pig. And a crooked castle in the middle of Yorkshire.

Astrid Honeywell, staunch bluestocking, has struggled for years to keep her family together by running the estate and family brewery after her father’s death. She is not about to let the tyrannical Duke of Montford steal away all she has worked for because of some antiquated contract between their families. So when the priggish Duke comes to call, she does everything in her power — including setting the family pig on him — to drive him away.

She didn’t expect him to be so … well, infuriatingly attractive. Every time he scowls at her, she has the most improper desire to kiss him — and a whole lot more.

Montford can’t decide whether to strangle Astrid or seduce her. The one thing he knows for a fact is that he must resist his powerful attraction for her at all costs. He has a very proper, very demure fiancée waiting for him back in London, after all. But when Astrid is kidnapped by a disgruntled suitor and whisked off to Gretna Green, Montford will do anything to get her back.

Will these two drive each other to Bedlam … or can they make it to the altar without killing each other?

Includes an OCD Duke, a fiery heroine, mistaken identities, errant livestock, pompadours, drunken declarations, a touch of smex, and enough witty banter to sink a ship.

Publisher and Release Date: Maggie Fenton, May 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Rating: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Jill

The Duke’s Holiday is, quite simply, as good as any of Tessa Dare’s historical romances.

The Duke of Montford has despatched his man of affairs fo find out more about A. Honeywell and the Honewell Ale Brewery. When the man fails to answer any of the duke’s enquiries Montford decides to take matters into his own hands, and is surprised, to say the least, when A. Honeywell turns out to be Miss Astrid Honeywell, manager of the estate and family brewery.

I picked up this book on the strength of the sample I downloaded from Amazon because I just had to read more, and I ended up reading it in one sitting through the night. There are a host of secondary characters that round out this delightful story, in particular two friends of the duke whose stories I can’t wait to read.

This is a self-published title, and although I did notice a few typos and other errors, there really weren’t many (as far as I remember). I should also point out that those readers looking for complete historical accuracy may be disappointed: a duke running in a village foot-race seems highly unlikely to me! But if you realise going in this is a historical with humour, you’ll enjoy it.

The Duke’s Holiday is a brilliant combination of historical romance and sparkling comedy in which a stuffy, uptight duke, with more than a touch of OCD, meets his match in a liberated, hard-working bluestocking who speaks her mind.

Highly recommended.


AUDIO REVIEW: The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer, narrated by Ruth Sillers


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After participating in the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Robin and Prudence, brother and sister, become engaged in a swashbuckling, romantic adventure. Our hero and heroine must cross-dress and switch genders if they are to escape prosecution a humorous move that allows Heyer to explore the manners and language affectations of the period as the two romp through the elite saloons and clubs of London. But what the two don’t foresee is that they might fall in love along the way: Prudence with the elegant and dashing Sir Anthony Fanshawe, and Robin with the charming Letitia Grayson. Can the two unmask themselves without losing their lives?

Publisher and Release Date: Naxos AudioBooks, May 2014; original book publication, 1928

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Georgian England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Maria Almaguer

This is my second Georgette Heyer book–the first one I read was the fabulous and hilarious The Grand Sophy – and The Masqueraders, narrated by the animated voice of Ruth Sillers, is a delightful, funny, and energetic historical intrigue.

I agreed to review this romance not knowing anything about its plot at all. And, as a result, I have to admit that I was confused as to who was who at first in this story of disguise and mystery. Following the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745, Prudence and Robin Tremaine, devoted and quick-witted sister and brother, have fled France for England disguised respectively as a young man and young woman: Peter and Kate Merriot. They await further instructions from their father, the brazen and supremely confident “Old Gentleman,” (Prue and Robin’s tongue-in-cheek endearment for him) and live their lives on the edge, fearing discovery at every turn. But both are so elegant, refined, and smart that their adventures and mishaps are engrossing to read and make for a pleasing and captivating story.

We’re thrown right into the brash adventures of these witty siblings when they save the very young and highly-strung Lady Letitia Grayson from an unwanted elopement with her erstwhile fiancé, the insidious Mr. Markham. The voice that Ruth Stillers gives Markham is fantastically over-the-top and most appropriate to the villain he is while Letitia’s hapless and helpless maiden is also spot-on and teeters on the farcical, but in a good way. This rescue scene sets the tone for wild madcap fun that infuses the entire story from beginning to end; it’s a joy to listen to.

The frequent descriptions of Sir Anthony Fanshawe, a friend of Letitia’s who comes to her rescue, as a “large gentleman,” almost becomes a running joke between Prue and Robin. Fanshawe is a consummate and observant gentleman who quickly figures out that Peter Merriot is actually a woman. The romance between him and Prudence is sweet, considerate, and mature but I had a hard time believing that the intelligent Robin could fall for the empty-headed Letitia. But perhaps he is simply a man of his time falling for a pretty face, and Letitia is a perfectly innocent and kindhearted young lady.

Ruth Sillers is a new-to-me narrator and I truly enjoyed her lovely interpretation. Her light and sweet voice lends the perfect sparkle and verve to this lively historical romp with all its theatricality, at times serious, at other times witty, which often made me smile in amusement. This is why I read historical romance. It’s a great tribute to Ms Sillers as an actress to be able to read so many different characters with distinction and great personality, of both sexes, especially the challenging dual character personas of Robin and Prudence as Kate and Peter Merriot.

This audiobook is a real treat for all lovers of Regency historical romance.

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Treacherous Temptations by Victoria Vane

Blurb and Excerpt: http://tinyurl.com/pro5sxn

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A reluctant heiress resigned to her fate…Mary Elizabeth Edwardes has one of the largest fortunes in England, but has no desire to leave her quiet country existence…and even less to acquire a husband she cannot choose for herself.

A dissolute nobleman bent on retribution…Trapped in a duplicitous existence since scandal destroyed his fortune and family name, Lord Hadley Blanchard has spent the better part of a decade posing as a disaffected exile while spying and seducing in the service of the English Crown.

A dangerous game of seduction, and intrigue…When summoned from abroad by a former lover, Lord Hadley perceives an opportunity for vengeance at last. By employing the full measure of his seductive charm, he woos the ward of the man who destroyed his life, little knowing that winning Mary’s fortune will mean risking his own treacherous heart.



While Jenny packed up the remains of the picnic basket, she and Hadley strolled along the water’s edge, tossing leftover crumbs to the swans. Gazing at the graceful birds who barely stirred the shimmering waters, Mary felt as if she had stepped into a dream. Yet the afternoon had passed all too quickly and the thought of what awaited her upon her return—Sir Richard and further discussion of her marriage filled her with dismay. She tossed out the last of her breadcrumbs with a sigh, and found her wistful gaze lingering on Lord Hadley.

In the past couple of hours, she had begun to relax, to be herself. She no longer felt so tongue tied and shy, but she still couldn’t quite puzzle him out. It was almost as if he was two different men inhabiting one body. At times he was the most noble Conte di Caserta, a model of urbanity, but then in unguarded moments, he revealed with a suggestive word, a wicked look, or an intimate touch, a playful, teasing side, as if he forgot his noble mask.
He caught her staring and Mary swiftly averted her gaze.

“You are distressed?” he asked softly. “Why?”

“It’s nothing,” she answered.

“Your sigh betrays you, Miss Edwardes.”

“Was it really aloud?” She hadn’t realized she’d given away her thoughts.

“Sweet and sad, it was. I have failed to divert you. Perhaps I should have thought of something else.”

“It’s not that—” she turned to protest but stopped when he brushed the corner of her mouth with his thumb. Her gaze widened as he inspected it with a half-smile.

“A vestige of jam tart, I believe. But alas,” he gave a helpless shrug. “I have no napkin.” Before she realized what he was about, he brushed her lips in a feathery kiss, lingering at the corner of her mouth, where his tongue flicked out to taste her. The unexpectedness of it stunned her. “Lord Hadley! Wh-what are you doing?”

“If you have to ask, I must be losing my touch. Perhaps I should try again?”

Still too dazed to formulate a response, he took advantage to steal another kiss, this one as soft as the sigh that escaped her lungs. He increased the pressure then, slanting his heavenly mouth and lightly nibbling her lower lip. His kiss was warm and soft and wonderful, making her forget she was supposed to protest.

“You are deliciously sweet, Mary, like ripe strawberries, but now I have taken a taste of you, I only want more.”

“Please,” escaped her lips.

Was it a protest or a plea? She wasn’t sure. If the former, it was feeble even to her own ears. How easily… how eagerly… she had capitulated to him…and far worse…how desperately she wanted more.

“Please?” he repeated. “Please stop, or please kiss you again?”

“No.” She averted her head with what he surely knew was a toothless protest. His manner was far too familiar, far too intimate. She knew she shouldn’t permit him any more liberties, but good heavens!

“Come now, Mary.” He turned her bodily back to him, his warm gaze seeking hers, his honeyed voice cajoling. “It’s only a kiss, after all.”

Only a kiss?

Perhaps he had no idea how devastating a kiss could be…or mayhap he knew exactly what it did to her. “Perhaps this is normal for you, my lord, but I am an unsophisticated girl and unaccustomed to casual kisses.”

“No? Then perhaps it’s past time you became accustomed. Shall I really kiss you, sweet Molly? Truly and thoroughly?”

Was this the course of a seduction? Is this what he had planned all along? She searched his face for the answer only to lose herself in his blue eyes. Fear gripped her. Not of him, but of her weakening will. “Don’t,” she whispered.

He muted her protest with his mouth, catching her breath and replacing it with his own. This kiss was different, paradoxically soft and firm, it demanded a response that she was helpless to deny. Mary closed her eyes, responding and melting into him as he nipped, and licked, and suckled her lips. Like a vortex, he pulled her into the kiss, stealing the air from her lungs, along with any remaining will. His warm slick tongue teased, gently urging her to open. When she parted, just a fraction, he took command. He entered her mouth deeply, seeking, exploring with his smooth, wet tongue, the contact of which instantly sent a flood of warm moisture between her thighs.

Only a kiss?

It was staggering.

Her mind was lost to time and place, as if nothing existed beyond his divine mouth. He discarded her bonnet and tangled his fingers in her hair. She whimpered, clutching at his lapels, yet he refused to relent. Mercilessly, he intensified the kiss, pulling her so far in; submerging her in so much sensation that Mary thought she would drown in the pleasure of it.

RONE Award



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About the Author

Victoria1Victoria Vane is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance. Her collective works of fiction have received more than twenty reviewer awards and nominations to include the 2014 RONE Award for Treacherous Temptations and Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 for The Devil DeVere series. Her works range from historical to contemporary settings and include everything from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Look for her hot new contemporary cowboy series coming from Sourcebooks in Fall of 2014.

Praise for Victoria Vane’s erotic romance:

“Erotic and sexy…absolutely marvelous.” -Library Journal on the Devil DeVere series, a Top Ebook Romance of 2012
“The Mistress of Sensuality does it again!” -Swept Away By Romance
“With Ms Vane’s trademark prose and touches of humor-this is once again a brilliant story by a gifted writer.” -Romantic Historical Lovers Reviews

SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT: The Pirate Captain; Nor Gold by Kerry Lynne

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It’s 1753. Having lost hearth and heart to the Stuart Uprising, Cate Mackenzie is alone in London. A fugitive war criminal, arrest an increasing threat, she purchases passage. En route to the West Indies, the ship is boarded by pirates and she is kidnapped—a case of mistaken identity—by Captain Nathanael Blackthorne, the pirate captain.

Cate is instantly drawn into Nathan’s bloody rivalry with Lord Breaston Creswicke, the man who forced him into piracy. Cate, however, finds what she has longed for: purpose, a place to belong and people who notice if she lives or dies.

This is a story of two scarred people, blinded by their defenses.

It’s the story of trust, or rather, the lack of.

It’s the story of a loss of faith and disbelief that Providence might ever smile again.


Nathan found Thomas below, in the captain’s cabin, or rather what was left of it. The crunch of shattered glass under his feet as he stepped over the coaming was a caution to have a care. The deck was a treachery of splintered wood, torn metal, furniture stuffing, scattered paper, and broken pottery. By some miracle, the chart table and the swinging lamp over it remained intact, although one would be pressed to find a chair in which to sit. Thomas was laid out on the table, his legs dangling over the edge, his feet nearly touching the floor. The width of his shoulders barely allowed for room for a lamp at each side. Cate and an odious, Arabic Lascar-looking cove Nathan guessed to be what served as the Griselle’s sawbones stood over him. He was yet to meet a chirrugeon who looked to be worthy of working in anything other than the knacker’s yard.

A palpable chill in the room and Cate’s pointed disinterest told Nathan he could die of old age, before she was to acknowledge him. He did, however, catch her snatching glances toward him from the corner of her eye. A circle of wetness darkened the deck at her feet; she was soaked to the skin, but she was safe.

“My compliments to your gun master. He did a fine job of raking the place,” said Thomas, seeing Nathan eye the wreckage.

For Thomas’ benefit, he curbed his pride at MacQuarries’ handiwork, for his guns had done an admirable job of reducing the space to something which resembled a cooper’s shop, as opposed to a Great Cabin. There were perhaps a half dozen intact panes of glass remaining out of its original triple score of the stern gallery, pieces of sash swinging with the motion of the swell. He had cheered when the cannonball had gone through the starboard quarter; a perfect hole marked the spot. Judging by the damage, it had ricocheted about, before coming to rest in the door of the convenience. A glance overhead showed the charts still cozily stowed between the beams. Providence had smiled there, to be sure. Chairs and windows could be rebuilt, but a good chart was irreplaceable.

Dashing the sweat from his eyes with a soggy sleeve, Nathan smiled grimly. “The captain here was so taken up with ending you, the cod-headed blighter forgot to give us a care. I could have saved your sorry arse sooner had you not taken him on such a merry chase half way to Campeche Bay.”

Thomas closed his eyes, his face contorting with pain. “T’was allowing you time. I know how sluggardly that hulk of yours can be.” One eye opened. “The bastard seemed fixed on seeing us dead.”

“Old enemy,” Nathan said, looking to the floor.

A non-committal grunt was Thomas’ only response.

Nathan was wet as a whale, himself, water pattering from every aspect. He needed a drink badly. Sadly, at first look, there was none to be had. Then he spotted a miraculous survivor sitting in what was left of a cabinet. He snatched up the bottle and took a long pull. It was Madeira or had been in an earlier life. It was swill—the two or three trips around the Horn it must have taken had done it no favors—and he drank it as if it was God’s milk. He handed it off to Thomas, who took an equal pull and grimaced.

Thomas lay rolling his eyes at the ceiling, considering his new vessel. “She’ll be a wreck, but at least she swims, allowing the pumps don’t give out. Always meant to have a go at these fore-and-afters.”

“Do you know how to sail one of these things?”

The corner of Thomas’ mouth quirked. He grunted at the needle plucking his skin. “Something about canvas and wind, isn’t it?”

Thomas sighed, resigned. “Something smaller and quicker, and can point like a demon will be a welcomed change.”
Cate glared as Nathan allowed Thomas another, but said nothing.

Highly uncharacteristic.

All the while, Nathan played eye tag with Cate, now the width of the table away. Nearer, and seen in the light, he could see she had shifted the new clothes she had worn on Nevis, to her old ones, in anticipation of the blood and filth of battle, no doubt. From the corner of his eye, Nathan thought he saw something. His eye narrowed as he glanced… and again.

She was shaking. Nothing violent, mind, a slight tremor more like.

Cate clutched her fist in the folds of her skirt, hoping no one would see. She stiffened at feeling his gaze and glared defiantly back.

“Might you two turn each other to stone on another day?”

The sound of Thomas’ voice yanked Nathan’s attention away. He looked down to find Thomas lying on his back, eyeing them. Cate bent to tenderly cup Thomas’ cheek in her hand and cooed some bit of nonsense in his ear. With a final cutting look at Nathan, she fixed with renewed determination on her task.

Thomas ground out another curse, far more vehement than a few stitches should prompt. He snorted at Nathan’s scowl. “It’s not the damn stitches.” He lifted his head to peer down his chest at the several inch gash there. “Hell, I could damn near do that myself. It’s my back. Something hit me; knocked me clean off my feet. Just breathing sets it off. It hurts like a sonoffa….!” His words squeezed as another spasm took him.

Nathan was in complete sympathy. He’d thrown his back out himself a time or two. A blade to the gut was more pleasant. It rendered one afraid they mightn’t die. Much to Cate’s displeasure, he handed the bottle to Thomas.
The headiness of battle was wearing off. Exhaustion settled in, dragging at Nathan like an anchor. His neck stung like a demon; the brute who tried to slit it must have come closer to success than credited.


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About the Author

Kerry was a history major in college and went into teaching. That didn’t work, so she had two office careers. That didn’t work either. Through a circuitous sequence of events, she wound up in the decorative painting world, where she travel-taught and published for some 30 years. And then, her hand wouldn’t work. So she went back to what she knew: writing, history and sailing. It remains to be seen if that is working.

VIRTUAL TOUR: Song of the Highlands by K.E Saxon


Morgana Cambel harbors only one wish: To have one night of ecstasy with Robert MacVie. So, when she is offered such a chance—a secret switch—she determines to take it. Robert MacVie, desperately plots to ensnare his heiress lover into marriage in order to gain her dowry and pay his King the debt his late father owed. But a last minute switch changes the course of his life—and his heart—forever.


Cover_Song of the HighlandsAll at once, Robert’s eyes locked on hers. He gave her the most heated, conspiratorial smile she’d e’er seen—or that he’d e’er bestowed upon her. Her nipples tightened under the light wool of her gown. When his eyes dipped to them and an avaricious spark lit their pale gray depths, her canal grew heavy and damp, pulsing in readiness for his next invasion.

“Breathe, or you shall be in a swoon in another moment,” Modron said in a low voice.

Morgana gave her an absent nod, but forced air into her lungs as her maid—who had also become a dear friend these past sennights—had advised her to do.

“My, but your husband is a virile one. ‘Twill not be much longer, I trow, before he’s bred a strong son ‘neath your heart.”

Morgana lifted her hand to that rapidly beating organ and lightly rubbed it with the tip of her fingers.

Her husband clearly misunderstood her action for, in the next second, he was striding toward her. And in not more than five after that, he had her lifted into his arms and was marching them in the direction of the keep’s front entrance.

Aye, Morgana thought happily, ‘twould not be many more days, she was sure, until she’d have his babe growing inside her.


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Publisher and Release Date: Passionflower Publishing, May 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Medieval Scotland
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Susan

A gripping raconteur, K.E. Saxon has crafted a story about true love amidst tragedy, betrayal, treachery, and personal struggles set in Medieval Scotland. Song of the Highlands has action, drama and suspense along with a steamy affair. The lulls in the pacing help build up the plot while also holding the reader’s attention and sinking the audience deeper into the conflict. There is always something happening which knits secondary romances into the fabric of the tale with subplots that enrich the depth of the characters. Ms Saxon’s writing style flows naturally and gives the story a conversational flare; her characters speak like everyday people making them easily identifiable to the reader.

The heroine, Morgana Cambel has a heart-wrenching backstory. Made an orphan after her parents are slain, she is placed in a nunnery until her deceitful uncle takes her away, set on using her as a pawn in a game designed to serve his purposes and deny her happiness. Her determination to not let the tragedies in her life ruin her is inspiring as she persists in showing a love for others. Justice is served when the scarred Morgana falls in love with the Scottish Laird Robert MacVie and he with her. There is a genuine quality in their affection for one another that makes them each likeable and trustworthy.

There are several villains in the story coming between Morgana and Robert. They add well-placed twists into the tale which keep the plot moving. It takes a while for the evil-doers to pay the price for their horrific deeds and for Morgana to have her retribution. The moments of treachery are evened-out by scenes of affection, the level of sensuality between Morgana and Robert both hot and tastefully written.

Every moment of introspection and interaction between the characters has significance, and every character helps to understand Morgana’s and Robert’s struggles, and the scenic descriptions give readers a sense of Medieval Scotland. Song of the Highlands is a story that sweeps the reader away, escaping into another world, sinking them into a passionate love affair that holds true to the expectations of a Medieval Scottish romance.


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About the Author

AuthorpicK.E. Saxon is a third-generation Texan and has been a lover of romance fiction since her first (sneaked) read of her older sister’s copy of The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. She has two cats, a 26-year-old cockatiel, and a funny, supportive husband. When she isn’t in her writer’s cave writing, you can find her puttering in her organic vegetable garden or in her kitchen trying out a new recipe. An animal (and bug) lover since before she could speak, she made pets of all kinds of critters when she was a kid growing up. Her mother even swears that she made a pet of a cockroach one time (but K.E. doesn’t believe her). She likes to write humorous, sexy romances.

You can connect with K.E at: her website * ~ * ~ * Blog * ~ * ~ * Twitter * ~ * ~ * Facebook * ~ * ~ * Pinterest * ~ * ~ * Google+

Book links: AmazonB&NAppleKoboSmashwordsAllRomanceEbooks

Never Had a Dream Come True by Jennifer Wenn


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Lady Penelope de Vere has been in love with Rake for as long as she can remember, daydreaming over him constantly. But as her debut in the ton comes closer, she decides to finally let go of her silly childhood dream and accept someone else’s wish to court her, someone who appreciates a quiet, book-filled life as she does. She wants marriage and, despite all the hints she throws his way, Rake only wants a mistress…she thinks.

Lord Richard Darling has known Penny since she was a child and not once thought of her as anything but his niece’s best friend and a very convenient scone-fetcher. That is, not until he happens upon her swimming in the lake at Chester Park dressed only in her thin chemise. A most eligible bachelor with a libertine reputation, he suddenly finds the girl he’s always appreciated has turned into a woman he could love forever. So why won’t she accept his proposal?

Publisher and Release Date: The Wild Rose Press, January 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer rating: 3.5 stars

Review by Vikki

I have mixed feelings regarding this book. It captured my attention in the first chapter,and I immediately fell in love with Lord Richard Darling. He’s the typical bad-boy-out-to-live-life-to-its-fullest, fun-loving and a great character. I always enjoy stories about seemingly irredeemable rakes. Lady Penelope DeVere on the other hand, is difficult to warm to and has extremely low self-esteem. Perhaps it may have helped me to understand her more if I had read the first book in the series.

Penny has loved Richard her entire life, but now that she is getting ready to have her first Season, she decides that her dream of a ‘Happily Ever After’ with him will never come true. A suitor approaches, asking to court her, and she agrees. Mr. Thomas Bedford is perfect for her. He shares her great love of books and makes her feel content. Of course, everyone around her calls him boring “Saint Thomas”. The Duchess of Berkeley gets Thomas to agree to let Penny experience her first Season before offering marriage, so off to London she goes.

There’s a darker side to this story. Penny’s father treats her badly, and it’s no wonder her self-esteem is so damaged, as he is constantly comparing her to her beautiful sister, Charmaine. When Lord Nester gets in trouble with gambling debts, he gives Penny to Lord Bolton, instead of Charmaine. Penny wakes up in a strange, yet opulent bedchamber and is desperate to escape from the evil Lord. This is a very well-written scene and kept me on the edge of my seat. Fortunately, Penny does escape and runs to the Darling family, since she knows her father would only return her to Lord Bolton.

The story jumps ahead five months with Penny suffering from a bout of deep melancholy, refusing to see Thomas, and living with the Darling family. The duchess discovers some disturbing information involving Richard’s behavior toward Penny, so convinces Penny to see Thomas and move on with her life. At this point, it appears that Penny will never have her dream come true. Will she marry Thomas, or will Richard step in and convince Penny he loves her and meant to marry her all along?

As I mentioned earlier, I never warmed up to Penny. Nevertheless, this book took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. At times, I wanted to throw it against the wall because of Penny’s dim-wittedness when it came to her misunderstanding of Richard’s intentions toward her. She constantly let her low feelings of self-worth interfere, keeping her from opening herself up to him.

As a result, I had a difficult time rating this book, but ultimately, I ended up giving it 3.5 stars, because it did take me on an emotional journey.

SUPER BOOK BLAST: More Than Passion by JoMarie DeGioia


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Geoffrey Kane, Earl of Kanewood refuses to feel anything more than passion. Four years ago, his fiancée betrayed him and he has no desire to experience that again so when he meets the beautiful Rebecca Kingsley, it’s passion at first sight. And only passion.

Rebecca has led a very quiet life working for her father at a small country inn. When she meets Geoffrey she falls in love with him right away. But she’s only the daughter of a baronet and men like Geoffrey never marry country girls like her. Do they?

When Rebecca’s father tries to marry her off to a wealthy old man, Geoffrey intervenes and marries her himself. He wants her very much but he couldn’t possibly love her. Love is for fools. At least that’s what he tells himself. But a sinister enemy soon threatens to destroy all that Geoffrey holds dear, forcing him to face the truth. His marriage depends on it . . . And maybe even Rebecca’s very life.


After leaving the stables, Geoffrey located the innkeeper in an office off the foyer. Thomas Kingsley was a big man, well-dressed but thick through the middle. Gray hair curled over his wide forehead, nearly obscuring his brown eyes.

He smiled at Geoffrey as he greeted him, motioning him to sit. “Thomas Kingsley, proprietor of the Raven’s Inn.”

“Geoffrey Kane,” Geoffrey returned, omitting his title. He didn’t much feel like a peer at the moment.

“What can I do for you, Kane?”

“Well, sir, I need a room for a few days, and stables for my two horses. I’ve left them with your groom down at the stables. I hope I’m not being presumptuous.”

Thomas shook his head. “Not at all. I trust you found them satisfactory?”

“Yes, quite. As fine as any stables I’ve seen.”

Thomas’s chest swelled at the praise. “I hope you won’t find me immodest, but my two-legged patrons are treated to at least the same quality of lodgings.”

Geoffrey nodded. “I’ll take a room then, and my driver should have accomodations, as well.”

When that business was concluded, Geoffrey took his satchel up the narrow staircase and located his room. Cover_More Than PassionThe upstairs hallway was narrow, with rooms located on either side. At the top of the stairs, Geoffrey turned left and strode down the hall. He found his room elegantly furnished, with a large bed taking up one side. The other was fashioned into a sitting area of sorts, with a plumply upholstered armchair and padded footrest. A mirrored washstand stood across from the bed and a privacy screen stood folded nearby. A small wardrobe completed the furnishings, standing open to receive his clothes.

He hung up his few jackets and shirts, and placed his spare boots on the bottom. “Meager wardrobe, Kane. Good thing your valet is at Kanewood.”

His stomach growled, reminding him he’d missed the nooning meal. He glanced at the clock on the bedstand, surprised to see it was nearly six o’clock. Thomas had told him that dinner service began at six, so he washed his face and carelessly ran a comb through his hair. He glanced in the mirror and saw that a light stubble darkened his cheeks and his blue eyes looked tired. “You just shaved this morning, fop,” he told his reflection. “I’m hungry.”

He changed his shirt for a clean one and shrugged back into his jacket. It was still a bit crumpled but would have to suffice. Who knew how long he’d be stranded here? Somewhat satisfied with his appearance, he took himself downstairs to the dining room.

Geoffrey entered, finding it furnished in the same simple elegance as was his room. The polished floor shone. The round tables were covered with fine white cloth. The place was nearly filled and two or three patrons sat at each occupied table. According to Thomas Kingsley, only half of the diners would be staying in the rooms abovestairs. It seemed the cook was famous in the nearby town and many an unattached man took his evening meal at the inn. Geoffrey located an empty table and sat.

The meal was simple, but it smelled glorious. Apparently, tonight he could look forward to a hearty meal of roast beef with potatoes. He could almost taste the thick gravy covering each helping.

A buxom serving girl bearing a loaded platter sashayed over to his table, her red ringlets bouncing with each step. She stopped in front of him, favoring him with a smile that showed a dimple in her cheek. “I’m Emmy.”

Geoffrey let his gaze fall to her bosom, which was very nearly in his face. “Emmy.”

She set the platter down and placed a hand on her hip, regarding him closely. “Will ya be wantin’ anythin’ else?”

SBB_MoreThanPassion_CoverBannerHe brought his gaze back up to her face, blinking at the invitation in her brown eyes. He smiled at her and shook his head. She turned away and he watched her bottom as she bent over a nearby table. Perhaps he’d try out the fine bed upstairs with the wench. He soon saw that she favored all of the male customers with the same familiarity. Laughing to himself, he picked up his fork to start on the appetizing meal before him. He nearly dropped it when he spotted the dark-haired girl coming from the kitchen.

She moved with an easy grace through the dining room, her glossy black hair catching the light given off by the candles. Curls framed the perfect oval of her face and teased the back of her neck. Her simple gown hugged her lush figure, the skirt swaying over her hips as she walked. She carried a pitcher of ale, and Geoffrey couldn’t take his eyes off her as she moved from table to table.

A man’s voice broke through his reverie. “Fetchin’, ain’t she?”

“What …?” He hadn’t even noticed the gray-haired man who joined him at his table. “Yes.”

“Peter Jenkins is the name,” the slight man offered. “How do you do?”

Geoffrey shook the man’s hand. “Kane. Geoffrey Kane,” he answered. “Very well, thank you.”

The older man gave a flick of his head in the girl’s direction. “She’s Kingsley’s daughter.”

Geoffrey raised an eyebrow at that. This beautiful creature was related to the florid-faced innkeeper? Impossible.

Just then, the girl approached the two men. Her mouth curved into a smile for the older man before she turned her attention to Geoffrey. Her rose-colored lips parted as she stared into his eyes for a long moment. “Blue.”

Geoffrey blinked. “What?”

She shook her head. “N-nothing.”

Geoffrey could only stare at the girl, dumbstruck. Her eyes were the color of emeralds, and sparkled as prettily. His gaze fell on her lips as she flicked her tongue over them. Desire shot through him, want like he’d never felt before. Once again, Peter’s voice broke in.

“Rebecca, this is Geoffrey Kane. Kane, meet Rebecca Kingsley.”

The girl, Rebecca, curtsied in greeting after a brief hesitation. She seemed as off-kilter as he felt, to his amazement. After a moment, Geoffrey stood and bowed slightly. “Miss Kingsley.”

“I’m pleased to meet you,” Rebecca said.

Her voice suited her. It was soft and a bit husky. And damn sensual.


“Will you be staying with us long?”

If I can help it. “A few days, actually,” he said, smiling.

She gasped softly, the sound no more than a whisper. “Well, do enjoy your stay,” she said, shyly returning his smile.

She stared up at him for a moment longer. Finally, she filled his tankard. With a nod of her dark head, she continued on through the dining room. Geoffrey sank back down into his seat, his gaze glued to her form.

“Rebecca,” he breathed. “Becca.”

Peter chuckled at Geoffrey’s obvious befuddlement. Geoffrey ignored him and turned his attention back to his meal. But because he stopped every so often to stare after the enchanting girl, Becca, his meal was cold by the time he finished.

JoMarie will be awarding winner’s choice of an eBook from Lachesis Publishing to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. ENTER AT RAFFLECOPTER.

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About the Author

JoMarie DeGioiaI write Historical Romances with a touch of mystery and Contemporary Romances with a touch of home. I’m also working on a Young Adult Dystopian Fantasy/Adventure series and a hot Contemporary New Adult Romance.

I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, Space Coast Authors of Romance and From the Heart Romance Writers.

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Riveting his Attention (novella) by May Williams

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Jim Ferguson hides from his past and focuses on his future until Lady Ella Harwich rivets his attention.

Lady Ella Harwich is capricious. At least that’s what her older brother thinks. However, when it comes to Jim Ferguson, Lady Ella is quite serious. One long, lingering kiss put Jim at the center of her romantic desires and at the top of her list of suitors. And she plans to keep him there. Unfortunately, Jim wants off her list because of a secret past, a career as a shipbuilder instead of a gentleman, and his own inability to resist her. Proving her love—and his worthiness for her love—is Ella’s only way to rivet his attention.

Publisher and Release Date: Turquoise Morning Press: Vintage Category Romance, March 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: 1858, Victorian England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1.5
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Maria Almaguer

The first heroine to surprise and charm me with her extremely determined pursuit of the gentleman of her dreams (and, thus, her own fate and happiness) was Teresa Finch Freeworth in Katharine Ashe’s novella, How to Marry a Highlander. Initially, the heroine’s brazen forthrightness made me cringe, but her innocence and guileless confidence that the hero was the only man for her had me cheering long and loud for her by the end of the story. May Williams has created another confident and headstrong heroine in Lady Ella Harwich in Riveting His Attention, the second book in her Impressions series.

A charming and quirky little romance, this story features an heiress’ pursuit and courtship of an ordinary working class man in the Victorian era. Though the second book in a series (the first book features Ella’s sister, Annabelle and her husband, Edmund, who are prominent secondary characters here) it can be read on its own. Lady Ella is only nineteen but knows exactly who she wants for her future husband: Jim Ferguson, Edmund’s brilliant and up-and-coming designer in his shipbuilding firm. Ella has absolutely no interest in other men (well, except to help make Jim jealous) and she walks a fine line between propriety as demanded by her station and her unabashed quest for Jim.

Ella doesn’t care in the least that she and Jim are from different classes or that Polite Society will not approve a match between them. Or that he is ten years her senior. She boldly plans situations to get Jim alone and declares her love for him and she writes him letters, too. At first, this sounds almost like stalking behavior, but the humorous situations and the charming writing make it often adorable and hilarious. For his part, Jim is very attracted to Ella but feels she is too far above him socially. He also holds a painful secret that he feels makes him unworthy of her love.

But it is a new era in England, when working for a living still holds the stigma of trade and the upper classes did not mingle with merchants. But Edmund, Ella’s progressive brotherinlaw, is a peer who also owns a shipbuilding company. Edmund enjoys the work and isn’t afraid to “dirty his hands” making a living. Ella is a peer’s daughter and used to the finer things in life but she wants to be happy in her marriage above all else.

Edmund and Annabelle approve Ella’s choice but Jim, a self-made man with a mysterious past, isn’t so sure. At times, his reluctance is vexing to read in my free-spirited, twenty-first century context, but he possesses great strength of character that is honorable in relation to its time period. In these delightful moments of the story, when Jim shows Ella the strong and brave man he is by capturing her in his arms for a passionate kiss or defending her against danger, for example, his charisma and appeal shine through and take Ella (and the reader) by surprise.
When a series of dangerous incidents threatens to sabotage the shipbuilding enterprise’s newest and revolutionary venture, and Jim’s unknown past becomes linked to it, Ella assuredly plunges ahead. She fearlessly and, perhaps, carelessly, pursues the mystery and figures it out, along with Jim’s past, adding some nice tension and drama to the romance.

There are some hilarious diary entries written in the first person by Ella sprinkled throughout the story that made me laugh out loud and I had to admire her singleminded and often outrageous determination.

If you love an unconventional heroine who takes her destiny into her own hands, you will enjoy this light and breezy romance.