Monday, February 23, 2015

Honor by Rachel Rossano


Honor
by Rachel Rossano
Series: Novels of Rhynan, #2
Genre: Medieval Clean Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2015



The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.

Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother's massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.

As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.



A smattering of raindrops cut my ruminations short. I studied the angry gray clouds just as thunder rumbled. I decided running for the keep would be better than waiting the storm out in the shelter of the maze tower. I gathered my skirts up and ran for the opening in the nearest hedge. Even running so hard my lungs burned and my legs ached, the downpour beat me to the shelter of the vargar keep.

Normally safe footing became treacherous in the sudden rush of water. Puddles and slick slate pavers slowed me more. Once gaining the half-open undercroft door, I plunged into the underbelly of the castle and pushed the heavy door closed behind me. Not bothering to check the corridor, I began wringing out my heavy rain-soaked skirt.

“Greetings, Lady Elsa?”

I jumped. It took all of my control not to cry out in surprise at the sound of the male voice. I lifted my head to find Lord Dentin standing not three feet away. He looked like he had just returned from a swim. Water coursed down his face and dripped from his clothes into a growing puddle on the stone floor. A partially dry wool blanket draped his shoulders. His hair, black with moisture, stuck out from his head at odd angles as though he had paused mid rub.

Yet, his eyes were bright and a twitch pulled at his mouth. “It is good to know I wasn't the only one caught in the sudden downpour.”

Suddenly realizing I was holding my dress up and exposing quite a bit of leg, I dropped my skirts. The slap of them hitting the wet floor echoed down the corridor. I flinched.

His eyebrows rose and an actual smile pulled at his mouth. It took years off his face, revealing the remnants of the mischievous rascal he must have been in boyhood.

“Don’t look so frightened. I won’t tell on you.”

Anger gripped my chest and my chin rose instinctively. “I doubt my mother would care, my lord. She has grown calloused in her despair of me. I beg pardon. I didn't see you there.”

His smile disappeared and his expression grew thoughtful. “I am a bit hard to miss.”

“True, my lord. I need to proceed to my rooms now and change.”

“By all means. I would not wish you to grow ill. I anticipate an animated conversation at the evening meal.” He stepped back a bit, offering half the narrow hall for me to pass.

I gathered my skirts, keeping the edge just above the floor this time, and stepped through the gap. Then straightening my back and shoulders, I strode down the corridor to the servant’s staircase.

“Wait.”

I paused instinctively, but I didn't turn around. He approached, his boots making squelching sounds on the stone.

“Have this.” He wrapped the wool blanket around my shoulders without actually touching me. It smelled of smoke, rain, and dog, but his residual warmth radiated from it. The heat felt heavenly on my chilled skin. “You need it more than I do.”

Then before I could voice my gratitude, he strode toward the kitchen calling for someone named Reginald.

“Thank you,” I whispered. Clutching the fabric to me, I dropped the pretense of dignity and ran for the stairs. If I was caught in this state of dress, my mother would never let me out of her sight again.





Book 1: Duty: First Novel of Rhynan


Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.







Accidentally Hooked by Carmen Falcone


Accidentally Hooked
by Carmen Falcone
Series: A Naked Truth Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2015



Exposing the truth has never been naughtier

Ryan Winters will do whatever it takes to protect his sister from marrying a sleaze ball rumored to be the head of a prostitution ring. If that includes bringing down the whole operation, so be it. When he spots a gorgeous hooker, he decides she could be the key for exposing everyone.

Stood up by her identical twin sister once again, Kika Martinez has no idea why the sexiest man she ever laid eyes on mistakes her for a prostitute. It’s wrong, but also part of her most secret—and unrealized—sexual fantasy. Wanting to forget her guilt about her brother’s death just for one night, she gives into temptation and indulges in a hot night of passion.

When Kika discovers her sister’s life is in jeopardy, everything changes. Ryan is set on uncovering the truth, but will he do that at the price of exposing Kika and her sister?





Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters beats doing math homework any day. Brazilian by birth and traveler by nature, she moved to Central Texas after college and met her broody Swiss husband—living proof that opposites attract. She found in writing her passion and the best excuse to avoid the healthy lifestyle everyone keeps bragging about. When she’s not lost in the word of romance, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, being walked by her three crazy pugs, reading, catching up with friends, and chatting with random people in the checkout line.

She loves to procrastinate, so please indulge her and drop her a line @ carmenauthor@yahoo.com. For more info, visit her website: www.carmenfalcone.com


Join Carmen's Street Team: Carmen's Crew





Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Blitz ~ Reckless Wager ~ Christy Carlyle


Reckless Wager
by Christy Carlyle
Series: Whitechapel Wagers, #3
Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)
Release Date: December 29, 2014



Unlucky in love and estranged from his family, Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn is obsessed with solving the Ripper crimes. When he’s suspended from the Metropolitan Police, it’s another failure in a long line of disappointments. But a new mystery arises when a beautiful widow shows up at the most infamous pub in Whitechapel seeking his help. He’s determined to assist Kate Guthrie, and equally determined to quell his growing attraction to her.

Kate Guthrie hides painful secrets from her first marriage and has avoided matrimony for nearly ten years. Now she’s finally decided it’s time to remarry and move on with her life, even if it means giving up the charity clinic work in Whitechapel that makes her days worthwhile. But when a battered young woman turns up at the clinic claiming to have been attacked by Jack the Ripper, Kate seeks out Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn, a man who sparks feelings in her too potent to deny.



Kate watched Detective Sergeant Quinn walk away. His tall, broad form and black coat were easy to spot, even in the early morning mist. His strides were long, his gait hurried, as if he wished to escape her as swiftly as he was able.

He would find Rose. Kate was certain of it. Even on short acquaintance, Kate sensed a deep vein of tenacity in Detective Quinn. It was something in his eyes. A hunger, a craving—a look she wouldn't soon forget.

She squinted. His dark form faded, becoming harder to see. The streets filled quickly with carts and carriages and pedestrians buying or selling goods. The fog still clung in corners and soon the detective, the first man who had kissed her on the mouth in nearly ten years, would merge with the London haze.

She started after him. In her practical boots, her stride was sure, and she caught up to Detective Quinn quickly.

She couldn't just let him disappear into the crush of Whitechapel. That figure, hunched against the wind, unmistakable with those wide warrior shoulders and hair that only revealed its true auburn color when a slice of sunlight broke through the haze. That less-than-a-gentleman detective sergeant who'd kissed her quite inappropriately and more deliciously than any man ever had.

If she let him go, how would she ever learn what happened to Rose? And then another thought—foolish, improper, bone deep. If she let him go, would any man ever kiss her that way again?

"Detective!"

The news that the fellow pushing his way through the throngs on Whitechapel Roadwas a police detective caused a bit of consternation among the crowd. Kate saw a group of men move away from Detective Quinn and a woman selling rags shouted something no lady would dare repeat. The man himself stopped his progress and watched her approach.

Kate slowed to a more ladylike pace and took a deep breath before she paused in front of Detective Quinn. He'd crossed his arms, and she could see the muscle in his jaw ticking where he clenched it. He was so tall; she took a step back to gaze up at him properly. Clear-eyed and clean-shaven, he exuded an air of confidence she hadn't seen in him the night before. The bluish shadow of a bruise marred the skin near his right eye and cheek, and Kate wondered again about how he'd been wounded. His eyes appeared darker in the daylight than they had in his dim lodging room, but perhaps it was just irritation that turned them a deeper blue. And he was irritated. She expected him to say so, but he simply gazed down at her so intently she was certain he would divine every secret she had ever stashed away.

"I would like to come with you to find Rose."

He moved, his chest heaving up and down, and Kate thought he might be on the verge of a coughing fit. Then she heard laughter bubbling up, a rich, deep chuckle that shook his whole body. His smile took her breath away. She felt dizzy, on the verge of giggling, but stopped herself. He was laughing at her, after all.

"I fail to see what is so amusing, Detective."

Kate took a step back when he reached for her, but he wouldn't be deterred. Detective Quinn moved closer, grasped her shoulders, and turned her around. He pulled her flush against his body, embracing her in his arms, surrounding her with his heat.

"Do you see that man across the way? Near the pub entrance?"

"Y-yes." Kate spoke through the shivers sparked by his nearness.

"He steals the lives of girls like Rose. Forces them onto the streets and then takes their earnings. Beats them, or worse, if they refuse to pay."

Kate tried to look back at the detective, but he'd bent his head close to hers. He whispered in her ear, warming her skin with his breath.

"And the woman over there, sitting on the pavement?"

Kate nodded, her hair brushing against his cheek.

"She's fresh out of Newgate. Though she looks old and broken, she's the nimblest thief I've ever known. Take care not to pass her on the street. She'll cut your purse from your skirt and you'll be none the wiser."

"I—" Kate opened her mouth to protest. She'd learned her lesson about Whitechapel early on and took care never to bring valuables with her when she volunteered at the clinic. She certainly wasn't fool enough to carry coin loose in her skirt pocket.

"See the boy. He's just under the stairwell, covered in grime. Rather blends in with the bricks and muck, doesn't he? Young Tommy Lark looks and listens. He listens to the streets for the King of Thieves and then he sings just like his namesake when he finds a likely mark. Be careful not to let him hear your address when you call it up to the cabbie. Especially if you've any valuables at home you'd care to keep."

Leaning to the right, he placed a finger under her chin, tilting her head toward him.

"You have no idea of the dangers all around you. If you did, you wouldn't walk these streets so blithely."



Buy the other books in the Whitechapel Wagers Series:

Scandalous Wager

Wanton Wager


Christy Carlyle writes sensual, and sometimes downright steamy, historical romance, usually set in the Victorian era or Regency period. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines that are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there is nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with her die-hard belief in happy endings.


 

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