Archive | October 5, 2018

FIRST EARL I SEE TONIGHT by Anna Bennett

Review:

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK:
An heiress with a daring proposal. An earl who’s determined to resist her. And a love that just might be written in the stars, in First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett.

Recently jilted by his fiancée, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport is not in the market for a wife. Even if Gray didn’t have his hands full renovating his crumbling country house, it would take more than a bold marriage proposal from a headstrong young beauty to thaw his frozen heart. Gray is confident that spending a week at his ramshackle estate will change her mind about marriage, but every passionate moment he spends with her tempts him to change his…

A talented artist, Miss Fiona Hartley desperately needs her dowry money to pay off a blackmailer set on ruining her sister. The handsome earl seems a sensible choice for a husband…if only she can convince him that romance will play no part. But marrying in name only may prove difficult for Fiona. Gray can’t help but be dazzled by her genuine warmth. Yet as their feelings deepen, Fiona’s deadline looms. Will her secrets destroy them, or is true love their final destiny?

 
 

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       Excerpt
     “Lord Ravenport,” Lady Callahan intoned, closing her fan with an expert flick of the wrist. “Please, allow me to present my daughter Miss Sophie Kendall and her friends Miss Fiona Hartley and Miss Lily Hartley.”
Gray exchanged the expected pleasantries, then turned to Fiona. A halo of loose curls crowned her head, and she worried her plump bottom lip. Her pink gown exposed the long column of her neck and the curve of her shoulders; he could almost see her pulse beating wildly at the base of her throat.
His instincts screamed for him to run right out of the ballroom, and yet his boots remained rooted to the floor. Worse, before he knew what he was doing he’d asked her to dance.
“It would be my pleasure,” she stammered, taking his arm.
As he led her to the dance floor he questioned his own good judgment—and not for the first time that day. He’d witnessed Miss Hartley trip and tumble into the orchestra at the Millbrook ball. He’d been dancing with Helena at the time but had paused to help her up.
So much had changed since then.
He had no idea if Miss Hartley’s dance partner had been to blame for the incident or whether she was prone to


falling, but just to be safe he tightened his hand on her waist. And they began moving to the music.
The first measure had barely played before she asked, “You received my letter?”
“I did,” he said noncommittally, twirling her beneath his raised arm.
When she faced him again, she looked him directly in the eye. “What do you think of my . . . offer?” she asked, her voice cracking on the final word.
He tamped down an unexpected pang of sympathy. “I think that we hardly know each other.”
“True, but that is easily rectified, is it not?” There it was—an unmistakable hint of desperation. And a sense of urgency that even her letter hadn’t conveyed.
“It is,” he conceded. “However, I suspect that the more we know each other, the less we’ll like each other.” Cynical but true in his experience. His parents certainly hadn’t grown fonder of each other. Neither had he and Helena.
She winced and looked away before regaining her composure. “Perhaps. But we needn’t like each other.”
Gray chuckled at that. “I never thought I’d meet some­ one more jaded than I.”
“So, you’ll consider my offer?” she pressed.
“I will not,” he said firmly. Under different circum­ stances, her fortune may have tempted him. But she was clearly intent on using him for her own purpose—and he suspected that she’d set her sights on him for reasons be­ yond his title. After all, there were half a dozen peers in attendance right now who’d leap at the chance to marry a young and unconventionally beautiful heiress.
But he was not one of them.
“It seems rather closed­minded of you to dismiss me summarily,” she shot back, displaying a boldness that was borderline rude—and refreshing.


“If I said I’d consider your offer, I’d only be giving you false hope. Delaying the inevitable.”
“The inevitable rejection, you mean,” she clarified. “Yes.” He was still reeling from the sting of Helena’s
rebuff and wouldn’t wish anyone that sort of pain and humiliation.
“Please,” she begged. “I realize that it’s highly unusual for a woman to propose marriage—”
“It’s unheard of.”
“Surely you must be curious—as to why I did it.” She looked up at him, her shining blue eyes challenging him to deny the truth of her words.
Gray shrugged. “You have your reasons for making the offer; I have my reasons for declining it.”
“Give me the opportunity to explain,” she pleaded. “Just a quarter of an hour to make my case. If, after that, you remain unconvinced, I promise I shan’t mention it again.” He must be out of his damned mind to consider engag­ ing in further discussion with Miss Hartley. The very last thing he needed was another conniving, self­serving fe­ male attempting to interfere with his life. He had opened his mouth to tell her so when someone bumped into his
back—hard.
Gray’s torso collided with Miss Hartley’s chest, and she stumbled two steps before he wrapped an arm around her slender waist, catching her just before she landed on the parquet floor. She gasped and clung to his jacket, her ex­ pression an odd mix of relief and mortification.
“Oh dear,” she breathed.
Their faces were so close he could see unexpected dark blue flecks in her irises and the individual freckles dotting her nose. “Forgive me,” he said.
“For what?”
For what indeed? Steering her into the collision? Grip­


ping her waist too tightly? Or for staring at the swells of her breasts and having decidedly wicked thoughts while he should have been shielding her from further embar­ rassment? Ignoring her question, he asked, “Are you all right?”
“I am.” Her cheeks turned a charming shade of pink. She blew out a breath and shot him a shaky smile. “When it comes to dance floor mishaps, I confess I’ve survived much worse.”
Gray looked over his shoulder to see how the other couple fared, surprised to find Helena and her dance part­ ner smiling apologetically.
And the truth struck him. For the last ten minutes, while he’d been dancing with Miss Hartley, he’d been completely, blissfully unaware of Helena and what she was doing. Even more remarkable, he’d forgotten that she was in the room. “Meet me in Hyde Park tomorrow,” he said to Miss Hartley, mentally cursing his own weakness. “I will listen to what you have to say, but don’t expect anything to
change my mind.”
The corners of her mouth curled in a triumphant smile. “Thank you. All I ask is that you allow me the chance to explain the advantages of the arrangement—for us both.” “Forgive me if I remain skeptical,” he drawled. “I’ll
meet you near the footbridge. Three o’clock?”
“You won’t regret this,” she said earnestly, but the prick­ ling sensation between his shoulder blades suggested he would. In spite of her naïveté and candor—or maybe because of those things—Miss Hartley could prove far more dangerous to him than Helena had ever been.
 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided that books with balls, dukes, and gowns were the best. So, when she had the chance to spend a semester in London she packed her bags—and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.
Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anna found her way back to writing the stories she loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart®. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen.
Anna’s books include of the Wayward Wallflowers series and the Debutante Diaries series.
 

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SOCIAL LINKS:
Anna’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/_AnnaBennett
Anna’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaBennettAuthor/
Anna’s Website: http://annabennettauthor.com/
 
My Review
4.5 Stars
First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett is book One in the Debutante Diaries series.  This is the story of David Gray, Earl of Ravenport and Fiona Hartley.
David had a harsh childhood with the only highlight was his Grandmother.  David lost his parents and having to take over the family Title around 12 years old.  David try to take a chance at love but his fiancée broke up with him not to long after seeing the run down family home.  David has moved past finding that kind of happiness but has moved forward with fixing up the home for his Grandmother.  Fiona is a awkward, accident prone women but also is a artist who works to protect the family.  Fiona’s father is a wealthy mill owner but Fiona has no access to money other than if she was to marry.  When she starts to get a blackmail letter forcing her to pay them or have her family secrets revealed that would impact her sister…she goes forward to find a way to marry.  When she starts to make a list of men the David comes to the top of her list after he helps save her from a mishap at a ball.  Fiona goes forward to write him a letter with her offer of marriage and what the business side would be about.  Thinking to discourage her, David invites her and the family to his home but what first was meant to turn her away has now drawn him in.
Enjoyed watching their story play out in this book.  I can’t wait for the other books in this series.

 

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Love’s Hiding by Karen Deen

Review:

 

 
Title: Love’s Hiding
A Time for Love Series Standalone
Author: Karen Deen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 5, 2018
 
 

Blurb
 
Luke

Playing the field is my thing. Beautiful hot women even hotter sex
I was always upfront. They knew the deal. I never wanted anything more.
Until that night.
That woman.
The inexplicable connection.
 
I finally found that something more.
But then she was gone.
 
Life moved on. Women came and went. They just never compared.
 
Until Zoe. Why does she feel so familiar, yet so new?
Have you ever had that weird sensation when you meet for the first time?
 
Her eyes fascinate me, her body talks to me.
She is by far my biggest temptation.
A force that draws me to her, like I’ve been here before.
Which is impossible.

Or is it?

Zoe

Life wounded me. Yet made me stronger.
Taking control, it’s time to change my direction.

He inspired that. Making me feel things deep down in a place I never knew existed.
Today is my new beginning. The life I long for starts now.
This job will be the leap forward I need. No stopping or looking back.
 
Until that moment. The one that makes me freeze, my breath catches.
This day was never meant to happen.
I had tried so hard to leave that life in the past. My identity a secret.
 
No matter how hard I try to resist, he draws me in.
I try to hide them, but my lies will come out. They always do.
 
I know I’m finally home, but will I be able to stay?
Can we survive the truth?

 
 
 
Purchase Links

99c for a limited time
 
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited
 
 
 
 
 
 
Also Available
 
 
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited
 
 
 
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited
 
 
 
 
 
 
Author Bio
 
 
Karen Deen has been a lover of romance novels and happily-ever-after stories for as long as she can remember. Reaching a point in her life where she wanted to explore her own dreams, Karen decided now was the time to finally write some of her own stories. For years, all of her characters have been forming story lines in her head, just waiting for the right time to bust free.

In 2016, Karen put pen to paper for the first time, with Zach and Emily being the first characters fighting to have their story written.  From that first word, she hasnt been able to stop. Publishing Loves Wall (her first novel in the Time to Love Series) in 2017 has ignited her passion to continue writing and bring more of her characters to life.

Karen is married to her loving husband and high school sweetheart. Together, they live the crazy life of parents to three children. She is balancing her life between a career as an accountant by day and writer of romance novels by night. Living in the beautiful coastal town of Kiama, Australia, Karen loves to enjoy time with her family and friends in her beautiful surroundings.
 
 
Author Links
 
Giveaway

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My Review
4 Stars
Love’s Hiding by Karen Deen is the story of Luke and Zoe. This book I believe is the third book in a series. But this is the first book I have read by this author, so for me this was a standalone book.
Luke was everything you would want in a book boyfriend, loving and caring. Zoe had some reservation due to her past. But through time and love all things are possible. I certainly will be looking for more books by this author since I enjoyed this one so much.
 
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Fragments of Ash by Katy Regnery

 
 
 
 
Title: Fragments of Ash
(Inspired by “Cinderella”)
Collection: A Modern Fairytale
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2018
 
 
 

Blurb

From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a dark and twisted retelling of the beloved fairytale, Cinderella!
 
My name is Ashley Ellis…
 
I was thirteen years old when my mother – retired supermodel, Tig – married Mosier Răumann, who was twice her age and the head of the Răumann crime family.
 
When I turned eighteen, my mother mysteriously died. Only then did I discover the dark plans my stepfather had in store for me all along; the debauched “work” he expected me to do.
 
With the help of my godfather, Gus, I have escaped from Mosier’s clutches, but his twin sons and henchmen have been tasked with hunting me down. And they will stop at nothing to return my virgin body to their father
 
…dead or alive.
 
** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**

Fragments of Ash is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection: contemporary, standalone romances inspired by beloved fairy tales.

 
The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) – available now
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) – available now
Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) – available now
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) – available now
Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid) – available now
Sheer Heaven (Rapunzel) – available now
Fragments of Ash (Cinderella) – available now
Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – coming soon

 
 
 
Purchase Links
 
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
 
 
 
 
 
Excerpt
 
All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Instead of going inside, I walk around the house, to the backyard, to see if I can help bring in any dirty dishes, but the picnic table is empty. All traces of our dinner party have already been cleaned up by the Ducharmes siblings.
 
I look up at the midnight sky, at the dozens and dozens of stars, and I wonder if Gus is right. What he says feels right, but I feel very young and very small as I stare up at the universe. It’s not wrong to give yourself over to loving if the chance arises.
 
“We get amazing night skies up here.”
 
I look over my shoulder and find Julian, tall, barefoot, and beautiful, walking toward me.
 
“Yes, you do,” I answer, giving him a shy and tentative smile before I turn my attention back upward.
 
My skin prickles with awareness. My lips tingle, remembering the insistent pressure of his. And elsewhere in my body, I clench hard, willing those deep-set tremors not to start up again right now. I want to believe what Gus has told me—that liking and wanting a man isn’t wrong—but it’s new to me, and I need a little time to reconcile my desire and conscience together.
 
“When I lived in DC, it was what I missed the most, besides Noelle. More than the cheese. More than the beer. More than the skiing.” He stops, standing beside me, staring up at the firmament. “I missed Vermont’s night skies. And the millions of stars.”
 
“I can see why,” I say. “When I lived in LA, I never saw stars.” I giggle. “I mean, I saw the people kind, but not the sky kind.”
 
“Who’s the most famous person you ever met?”
 
“Hmm. Maybe . . . Gigi Hadid . . . or Bella? Hmm . . . Or Cara Delevingne? Kate Moss mentored my m—Tig for a while, um, and she knew Gisele, of course. Also—”
 
“Wait a second! Gisele? Did you ever meet Tom Brady?” he asks, his voice eager.
 
“Let me guess.” I glance at his face. “Patriots fan?”
 
“The biggest.”
 
“Tig went to their wedding, but I never met him. Sorry,” I say, giggling as he lays a hand over his heart and pretends to cry. “Speaking of the rich and famous, Noelle tells me you met the vice president while you worked in Washington.”
 
“She did?” His teasing expression disappears quickly as he straightens, dropping his hand. “Uh, yeah. Long time ago.”
 
“Not so long,” I say. 
 
“Yeah, well . . . I guess it just feels like a while ago.” I wait for him to say more, hoping to learn why he left Washington so abruptly, but he stretches his arms over his head and yawns. “I’m tired. You must be exhausted.”
 
“At school I was on the dining hall rotation, which meant cooking for one hundred souls regularly. Tonight was a breeze.”
 
“Your soup was amazing.”
“Thank you.”
“The steak too.”
“Thank you again.”
“And the tart.”
“That was your sister. Let her know you thought so.”
“And the kiss.”
 
“Thank—” I’m grinning at him, but my eyes widen at his unexpected compliment, and I immediately look back up at the sky. It’s dark out so he can’t see my blush.
 
His chuckle is soft and low beside me, and maybe I’m wicked for not feeling more guilty, but I feel my smile grow as I trace Orion’s belt. I don’t dare look at him, but I feel him step closer to me, the warmth of his chest radiating against my back. If I moved slightly, one step even, his body would be flush against mine, and the shiver down my arms has nothing to do with the night chill. I want him to touch me, but I know he won’t.
 
As though he can read my mind, he whispers, close to my ear, “Not unless you ask.”
 
I close my eyes and say a prayer for strength and virtue, which, sadly, works, because the next thing I hear is his footsteps receding.
 
“Good night, sweet Ashley,” he says to my back, his voice a low rumble.
 
My eyes open slowly to the glittering heavens.
 
“Good night, sweet prince,” I whisper to Julian’s stars.
 
 

 
 
 
 
Also Available
 
 
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
 
 
 
 
 
 
Author Bio

 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract, and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.
 
Forty books later, Katy claims authorship of the multititled New York Times and USA Today bestselling Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other stand-alone novels and novellas, including the critically-acclaimed, 2018 RITA© nominated, USA Today bestselling contemporary romance, Unloved, a love story.
 
Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, became a New York Times e-book bestseller.
 
Katy’s books are available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish.
 
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.
 
Author Links
 
 

 

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