Monday, 25 April 2016

Painting Sky by Rita Branches - Book Excerpt
Today is release day for Painting Sky by Rita Branches and we're sharing an excerpt!

Enjoy! xx

From the Blurb:

Nobody ever said life was easy...

People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.

But things don't always go as planned...

Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate - another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend's older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane's life becomes more complicated than ever before.

When Keith's past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants--even if it hurts everyone she loves.


“Ryan doesn’t like us being friends, either, does he?” I asked, maybe half an hour from home. It was a rhetorical question, but I wanted him to answer it.

Keith looked at me from the corner of his eye, making me aware that this was a subject he’d thought was closed. After a few minutes, he answered. “Ryan is your father’s son. Besides, he wants to protect you. Anyone who loves you wants to keep you away from me, as they should.” Once again, my mouth was hanging open. I turned all the way to him, pulling one leg up onto the seat.

“What the hell is wrong with you? Keith Hale, almighty Keith Hale, the most I-don’t-give-a shit-about-anyone, I-can-get-any-girl-I-want-by-snapping-my-fingers, Keith Hale is, in fact, a fake.” He looked at me, surprised. “Yeah, a fake. You don’t have a drop of self-esteem. You were supposed to be the most confident person in the world, yet you keep giving me that cryptic, rehearsed shit. And, yeah, I can cuss. I just didn’t feel like it, before.”

Keith swerved the car to park on the side of the road, which made the car behind us honk. He turned it off and got in my face, anger pouring from him.

“Is that before/after shit I don’t want, Skylar. There is no before. We’re still not friends, got it? I can get any girl I want. I could get you if I wanted, but I don’t.” The last word hung between us for a few seconds. I should have been mad for what he said, like some pathetic girl who’d fallen for him that easily, but, sadly, I was just hurt that he wanted anyone other than me.


Painting Sky by Rita Branches is a contemporary romance, released April 25, 2016.

Find this Book: Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Monday, 18 April 2016

Choose Your Rake Wisely by Christy Carlyle - Guest Post

Today Christy Carlyle is visiting the blog with a bet you can make when choosing a gentleman to wed!

Choose Your Rake Wisely:

No matter how handsome a rogue might be, or how numerous his charms, I always remind myself that Happily Ever After lasts for a very long time. Scoundrels may seem easily won and as if they’re prepared to woo the first women who cross their paths. However, you can bet that such gentlemen—if one can call scoundrels “gentlemen”—are actually quite discerning.

Thus, ladies, we must be discerning too.

If you must marry a rake, take the time to discover the man beyond the trappings of his scandalous reputation. Every rogue seems appealing at a party where he’s throwing out witticisms, flirting mercilessly, or, depending on his temperament, brooding in the corner. Gaslight gilds his hair and skin, his eyes glitter in the candlelight, and you might just consider swooning (not that you ever would!) when you see his fine physique moving gracefully across a ballroom.

Get your rake out from under the gaslight and into hot water, so to speak. Observe how he handles dilemmas and the unexpected challenges that arise in life. Better yet, study how he interacts with his family. These are the moments when a rake might let his practiced charm slip, when you can glimpse the leanings of his heart. A lady should value those moments when she experiences the man behind a rogue’s charismatic facade. That’s how a lady learns which rake to choose.


Meet the lady and rake of Christy Carlyle's latest novel in One Dangerous Desire! OUT TODAY!

From the Blurb:
In a bet between two old flames…

Rex Leighton dominates the boardroom in the day and prowls the ballroom at night. Searching for the perfect bride to usher him into the aristocracy, he abandoned the idea of love a long time ago--the last time he saw the delicious May Sedgwick. But when he’s roped into a bet, where the prize is the means to fund his greatest ambition and the stakes are a marriage he’s already planning for, Rex is willing to go all in. There’s just one problem-he’s competing against the only woman he’s ever loved and he’s sure she’ll ruin all his plans.

Only love can take it all

Miss May Sedgwick could be the belle of the season…if she cared. May is more interested in the art studio than the marriage market and her craving to pursue her passion far outweighs her desire for a titled English husband. Winning this bet will finally allow her to pursue her true artistic desires. Rex Leighton losing is just a side benefit, as are his breathtaking kisses that she just can’t seem to resist.

One Dangerous Desire by Christy Carlyle is a historical romance, released by Avon on April 19, 2016.

Find this Book: Amazon | Amazon UK | iTunes | Kobo | B&N | Goodreads

About the Author:

Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Truly, Madly, Sweetly by Kira Archer - Book Excerpt
Today we have an excerpt from Truly, Madly, Sweetly by Kira Archer!


From the Blurb:

An inherited parking spot. That’s all it took to make Natalie Moran’s food truck dreams come true. But her dream space is attached to a bakery inherited by someone else—drop dead gorgeous Eric Schneider, a financial consultant who wouldn’t know a cupcake from a cannoli. And he wants to buy Nat out, no matter what she has to say about it.

Eric’s determined to build his own business, but he needs the super cute klutz with the cupcake truck to help. If Nat will teach him the basics of running a bakery, he’ll give her free kitchen time. Except…neither expects the heat burning between them or the possibility that their arrangement might become permanent.

When it all blows up, Nat is convinced his actions mean betrayal. It’s up to Eric to regain her trust and show her he’s a man who is truly, madly in love with her, before she disappears from his life forever.


The walk home was a blur of hands and lips and a vague sense of embarrassment whenever someone had to clear their throats to get around them on the sidewalk. Nat nearly sobbed in relief once they reached Eric’s brownstone. They jogged up the stairs to the front door and Eric pulled her against him, claiming her lips again while he fumbled for the keys in his pocket. Nat vaguely realized there were still people wandering about the streets, but nothing much registered on her radar but Eric.

He dropped the keys on the stoop but neither took much notice. Eric pushed her up against his front door, his hands tangling in her hair as he angled her mouth to fit to his. She yanked his T-shirt out of his jeans, desperate to get her hands on his bare chest. He pulled the shoulder of her dress to the side, kissing across her collarbone.

Someone coughed. Eric and Nat glanced up, disoriented, and froze when they met the shocked gaze of someone’s little old night-owl grandma, apparently setting out to walk her dog. Eric nodded at her, his hand still entangled in Nat’s dress, his body pressed to hers. Moving, however, would definitely be worse, seeing as how it would give the poor old woman an eyeful of the rock solid length currently straining the seams in Eric’s pants.

“Good evening, Mrs. Jankowski. Going for a walk?” he asked.

Nat smiled and felt around on the ground for the keys with her foot.

Mrs. Jankowski nodded, her mouth hanging slightly open. “Just taking Peanut out.”

“Got them,” Nat whispered, kicking her foot out of her stiletto long enough to snake the keys with her toes. She brought her foot up behind her, grabbed the keys and shoved them into Eric’s hands.

“Ah. Lovely night for it,” he said, jamming his key into the lock. Nat sagged against him in relief when she heard the lock click.

“We’re just on our way in. Have a good night then.” Eric opened the door and they stumbled inside and slammed the door, shutting out the sight of his thoroughly shocked and mildly amused neighbor.

The moment the door closed, Eric and Natalie burst out laughing.

“Oh my God, your poor neighbor.”

“Yeah, I’m going to have to move for sure.”

They laughed again. The movement brought Eric and his poor pants back into contact with the sensitive skin of Nat’s bare thighs and her laughter choked off in a gasp. Eric’s eyes locked with hers and their smiles faded.

Then his lips were on hers again, his hands roaming over every inch he could touch. Eric spun Nat into the hallway and up a flight of stairs before she could catch her breath.


Truly, Madly, Sweetly by Kira Archer is a contemporary romance, released by Entangled Lovestruck on April 4 2016.

Find this Book: Amazon | Amazon UK | iTunes | Kobo | B&N | Goodreads

About the Author:

Kira Archer resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kiddos, and far too many animals in the house. She tends to laugh at inappropriate moments, break all the rules she gives her kids (but only when they aren't looking), and would rather be reading a book than doing almost anything else. She has odd, eclectic tastes in just about everything and often lets her imagination run away with her. She loves her romances a little playful, a lot sexy, and always with a happily ever after.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Suddenly in Love by Julia London - Book Excerpt
Today we have an excerpt from Suddenly in Love by Julia London!


From the Blurb:

Mia Lassiter is thrilled to finally put her artistic skills to use working for her aunt’s interior design shop in her hometown of East Beach. While renovating an old mansion overlooking stunning Lake Haven, she encounters a scruffy but attractive man named Brennan—the owner’s son. She doesn’t realize this sexy recluse is actually Everett Alden, the world-famous rock star in hiding who’s nursing his own artistic and personal crises.

As their personalities clash, tension simmers between the struggling artist and jaded musician, and their time spent alone together in the gorgeous old house only serves to turn up the heat. Soon, Mia and Brennan’s creative passions boil over to inspire passions of another kind…

But reality comes crashing in when Mia’s celeb-obsessed cousin discovers Brennan’s true identity—and reveals it to the world. As paparazzi swarm the mansion, Brennan is thrust back into his rock star lifestyle. Will Mia lose her soul mate just when she’s finally found him? Can their love survive the glaring spotlight?



This was one big ship of hope—otherwise known as the 6 train—bobbing along on a sea of lollipop dreams. Otherwise known as the bowels of Manhattan. But even the stale air and the snores of the man next to her couldn’t keep Mia Lassiter from believing that things were turning around for her, that the cosmos had at last opened and shined its glorious light on her.

It wasn’t every day a perfect opportunity fell in her lap. Lately, it had been just the opposite. She’d recently lost her job (not the greatest, but at least something in her field), and her boyfriend (not the greatest, but at least she’d gotten some average sex out of it), and was on the verge of losing her apartment (yes, it was a pit—but a pit in a great location). So to have something so unexpected and so clearly meant for her fall into her lap filled Mia with optimism, and she was practically sailing uptown with the wind at her back and her portfolio tucked up under her arm.

When at last she emerged from the Big Hope Ship onto Lexington Avenue, she began striding purposefully across the street. Move out of my way, people!

Sure, she noticed some looks in her direction from well-heeled women with small children and dogs in designer carriers. Because Mia Julia London was wearing a dress she’d made from white muslin and had stained with Earl Grey tea, a vest she had knitted from thrift store sweatshirts, a pair of ankle boots, graphic tights, and a cloche hat she’d made from a piece of felt she’d found at a sidewalk sale. Her father accused her of liv-ing in an episode of Project Runway, and he most certainly would have advised her against this outfit for a job interview. He generally advised her against this sort of outfit, period.

But this was different. Mia’s father didn’t know August Brockway. August Brockway was one of America’s most important artists and he was hiring an intern. When one of Mia’s former instructors from Pratt Institute had called her out of the blue to tell her about it, Mia had shrieked with excitement into the phone. She’d studied his leg-endary work. She loved the ethereal quality of his landscapes, the use of light and shadows in his still-life paintings. He was the artist she wanted to be.

It was a dream come true to have an opportunity to intern for him. It was the sort of opportunity Mia had assumed she’d get after she graduated from college. She had not dreamed of being a textile designer, but that’s what she’d been the last few years.

The perfect jobs she’d assumed would come her way after graduation hadn’t materialized. She’d been unable to find a job in a gallery with her fresh, never-used fine arts degree. So she’d taken the textile design job, creating fabrics for furniture. At the very least, it was creative. And it was definitely a way to pay rent until she could establish herself as an artist.

Which was now! At last, at long last, she was getting the break she needed, the chance to follow her dreams.

She arrived at the address where her interview would be conducted.

The building had a doorman. A doorman! It would be weird and excit-ing to come here to work every day. Mia would make friends with the doorman, she decided. She’d bring him a muffin from the corner bakery near her apartment. He would tell her what the weather was going to do that day and she would suggest a tie or shirt he could wear for a weekend party.

This was going to happen. Mia had a sixth sense about these things, and could feel it tingling in her bones. She was confident that August Brockway would see her work, would see that it was obviously inspired by his, and he would be bowled over by it. He would give her the job, and she would clean his paintbrushes and change out his drop cloths and lis-ten to every word he said as he taught her everything he knew. It was fate.

She checked her vintage watch; she was ten minutes early. She took the opportunity to put down the heavy portfolio and straighten the dress she’d made. She loved this dress. Obviously, designing textiles wasn’t her first career choice, but Mia had turned out to be pretty darn good at it, if she did say so herself. She was so good, in fact, that when her boss had invited her out to lunch a few weeks ago, Mia had been sure she was finally getting the raise he’d been promising her for over a year.

Don was an overweight, lumbering man with oily black hair and wire-rimmed glasses that never sat straight on his face. He took her to lunch at a fast-food chain. That should have been her first clue, but ever hopeful, like a too-stupid-to-live princess in a fairy tale, Mia hadn’t caught on. And then, between big bites of burger, punctuated by the shoveling of fries, Don said, “We’re closing shop.”

“What?” Mia had cried, loud enough that the ladies next to them had turned to look at her. “I thought I was getting a raise!”

“A raise!” Don had chuckled as he stuffed another fry into his mouth. “We’re barely paying the rent.” He dragged a paper napkin across his thick lips. “So look, we lost that contract in North Carolina. Something about the percentage of natural fibers in our fabrics wasn’t meeting their standard—well, whatever, that’s way over your head,” he said with a wave of his meaty fist, ignoring her look of indignation.

“It was a big contract, obviously, so corporate is going to have to con-solidate some things and this shop is sitting in the most expensive real estate, so . . .” He’d shrugged and munched on another fry. “We’re shut-ting down.”

“But . . . but what happens to everyone?”

“Well, I’m moving to Scranton. And the rest of you will have to find new jobs.”

He’d said it so matter-of-factly, as if it were nothing for the little group of misfits who designed couch fabrics to find new jobs. Mia thought of Charles with his brown bag lunches and e-reader. And

Maureen, the obese diabetic who baked cookies every weekend and brought them to the shop on Mondays. Maureen designed the most intricate, beautiful patterns. And what about David and Jean and Asmara? Where would they go? The injustice had left Mia speechless.

“Look on the bright side,” Don had said, pausing to stifle a belch.

“You’re getting two weeks’ severance.”

“You’re kidding. Considering my paltry hourly wage, that’s not a bright side, Don.”

He’d shrugged. “Take it or leave it.”

Yeah, well, Mia had had no choice but to take it. And then she’d spent every day searching for a job that was even remotely artistic. She’d applied to teach a weaving class, to be a gallery receptionist, a graphic designer, and even a bookbinder . . . but no one wanted her. No one cared about her art portfolio. Employers cared only about her experience answering phones or designing websites.

Well, Mia didn’t have that sort of experience. She didn’t have any experience other than art school and textile design. No, wait, that wasn’t fair—she was pretty good at busing tables. Her brother Derek had pointed that out. “You can wait tables for Mom and Dad at the bistro. You know how to do that.”

As Mia had spent all her teenage years doing exactly that, it was absolutely the last thing she wanted to do.


Suddenly in Love by Julia London is a contemporary romance, released by Montlake Romance on April 5, 2016.

Find this Book: Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Goodreads

About the Author:

Born in Canyon, Texas, and raised on a ranch, Julia London didn’t have her eye on writing romance right away. After graduating with a degree in political science from the University of Texas in Austin, she moved out to Washington, DC, eventually working in the White House. She later decided to take a break from government work and start writing. Today, she is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels. She writes historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction, and her most popular series include the Secrets of Hadley Green series, the Cabot Sisters series, the Desperate Debutantes series, the Lear Sisters series, and the Pine River series. She is a recipient of the RT Book Reviews Best Regency Historical Romance award for The Dangerous Gentleman, and a six-time finalist for the renowned RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction. She resides in Austin, Texas.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Six Degrees of Scandal by Caroline Linden - Book Excerpt
Today we have an excerpt from Six Degrees of Scandal by Caroline Linden!


From the Blurb:

Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a desperate man in search of a lost treasure, which she doesn’t have, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary, which she was never meant to see… and the man who was her first-and only-love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for the last ten years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her this time, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different this time.

James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and he will not do it again. Fortunately, his unusual life has equipped him well to outsmart the villain chasing Olivia. Unfortunately, being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart…even those that should stay hidden forever.


Chapter One



Olivia Herbert knew James Weston was a rogue the first time he winked at her, one fine Sunday morning in August when butterflies were riding warm drafts of air through the open door of St. Godfrey’s and Mr. Bunce the curate was droning on and on as if he meant to put every person in the church to sleep.

She was staving off the urge to do just that by watching the butterflies. James Weston, it turned out, was watching her. As her gaze followed one butterfly—a delicate white one with spots of blue on its wings, who swooped and glided effortlessly on the hazy air—it connected with James’s. His family was sitting in the next pew over, and when their eyes met, the impudent boy winked at her.

She looked away at once. Not only had he caught her woolgathering, wishing she could flit about the church and out the door like that butterfly, but it was probably a sin to wink in church. With some effort she tried to focus her mind on the sermon, but within moments a bee flew overhead, and once again, quite independently of any wish to be well-behaved, her eyes tracked the insect as it buzzed away, right toward the Weston pew.

This time when he caught her eye, he grinned. Slowly he raised one hand, and with small, cautious movements, pretended to flick the bee as it flew by. Then he screwed up his face and mimed being stung, shaking his finger and sticking it into his mouth.

Olivia couldn’t help it. She smiled, and a tiny giggle shook her shoulders. His grin grew wider, and he wiggled his eyebrows at her.

A sharp jab in her side made Olivia hastily jerk her gaze back to Mr. Bunce, whose voice had settled into a low drone, as if he, too, were falling asleep. Beside her, Mother glared from the corner of her eye. Olivia repressed a sigh. Ladies didn’t giggle in church, and Mother was determined that Olivia would be a lady.

Mother didn’t even wait until they reached home. Her scolding began as they walked to their carriage after the service. “Olivia Herbert, what were you thinking? Laughing in church! What a common, hoydenish thing to do.”

“I’m sorry, Mother.”

“And making eyes at that boy.” Mother didn’t grimace, but her tone dripped with distaste. “Those upstart Westons.”

“Upstarts they may be, but well-heeled ones.” Father spoke for the first time, giving Olivia a measuring glance. “She could do worse.”

Mother gasped. “Thomas Weston is an attorney. I want better for our daughters, Sir Alfred.”

“You’ve got to be practical, madam.” Father waited as the footman helped them into the carriage. “Our girls won’t have much to attract a noble husband.”

“Only their beauty.” Mother’s gaze softened as she looked at Olivia and her younger sister, Daphne. “A lady’s face, along with her sweet temper and amiable disposition, are her greatest assets, girls.”

“Yes, Mother,” piped up Daphne. “I’ll make you proud and marry a royal duke!”

Mother laughed gently. “I’m sure you will, my beautiful darling.” It was already clear that Daphne took after her mother. Olivia wasn’t sure if she took after her father or not; Father was often preoccupied with rank and money, and he was very fond of wagering on the horse races, none of which appealed to her. But at the same time, Olivia didn’t share her mother’s keen interest in fashion or ladylike accomplishments. She supposed she might as she grew older, but at the advanced age of ten she wasn’t much interested in sizing up potential husbands.


Six Degrees of Scandal by Caroline Linden is a historical romance, released by Avon on March 29, 2016.

Find this Book: Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | GooglePlay | Kobo | Goodreads

About the Author:

Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Saturday, 2 April 2016

No Flowers Required by Cari Quinn - Book Review
From the Blurb:

Flower shop owner Alexa Conroy had it all before the recession hit and her customers fled to cheaper shopping grounds. Desperate to make ends meet, she sells her dream home and moves into the rundown apartments above her shop. When she spots six feet of sexy distraction—complete with muscles, piercings, and tattoos—ripping up flooring, Alexa knows the karmic windfall she's due just landed on her doorstep. And the attraction's definitely not one-sided. Dillon James, reluctant heir to the corporation about to foreclose on Alexa's shop, is not about to jeopardize their scorching chemistry by admitting he's not the building's handyman. But with only weeks until her business goes under and his identity is revealed, Dillon must find a way to convince Alexa cooperation isn't a dirty word, help her save the shop from his brother's greed, and persuade her that he's not the enemy…or risk losing the only woman who's seen the real him.

The Review:

Alexa is determined to make her new life work - despite the fact that her new apartment is falling to bits and her flower shop is going under, thanks in part to the big business that seems to have taken over town. A romp in the sack with her new building's handyman seems like the perfect way to pick up her mood, until a one night stand becomes something more and it turns out her handyman might be keeping quite a secret.

I really liked Alexa. She's a girly girl, but that doesn't stop her from being driven and independent. It also doesn't stop her from unashamedly objectifying her building's "handyman". I really felt for her through the story - not only her nervousness at the turns her love life takes but also her desire to make a beautiful florist into a feasible business.

Dillon is a super sexy hero (with "a taut back meant for fingernail marks" - I just think that is the best description!), but I didn't like him quite as much as Alexa. I struggled a lot with the fact that he lies to her about being her building's handyman - when he is part owner of the building, as well as part of the big family business that is threatening her florist. His adoration of her is gorgeous, but not excuse enough for me to forgive the lies, especially because they go on for SO LONG.

Together they are so freaking sexy. This is a very hot book and the romance elements would all be very sweet if it wasn't for the underlying crisis of deception - for me this is just a really hard one to forgive and I felt like Alexa forgives him maybe a little too easily. Admittedly, I should have worked out this storyline from the blurb! My fault really.

That said, I hadn't read any Cari Quinn before, and I love her style and the super hot chemistry that holds this story together. The secrets and lies storyline isn't for me, but I'm definitely going to be trying more of Quinn's novels!

No Flowers Required by Cari Quinn is a contemporary romance, released by Entangled Brazen on August 20, 2012.

Find this Book: Amazon | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Publisher | Goodreads

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Her One True Love by Rachel Brimble - Book Excerpt

Today we have an excerpt from Her One True Love by Rachel Brimble! Enjoy!
From the Blurb:

She Can't Forget Him…

Jane Charlotte Danes has loved the squire of her idyllic country town for as long as she can remember. He is good, kind, and alluring beyond words… and he chose to marry another. Tired of dwelling on her futile longings, Jane plans a move to Bath, where she dreams of a new beginning. But the man who has so imprisoned her heart is only a few steps behind…

He Can't Let Her Go…

Until now, Matthew Cleaves has endeavored to meet the responsibilities of his position with dignity and good spirits--including his dutiful marriage. But when his wife leaves him for another man, Matthew is at last free to pursue his one true love. Only one vital question remains: will the captivating, stubborn, beautiful Jane allow him the challenge, and the pleasure, of winning her back?..


Matthew turned and faced Jane. “When are you leaving for the city?”

She took another step back, her gaze darting over his face. “The day after tomorrow. Why?”

“Because I will escort you. We can travel together in my carriage.”

“No, I do not need your––”

“I will be going anyway. I planned to visit some contacts in the city in the hope of securing guaranteed trade for Biddestone in the coming year. It seems unnecessary for us to make the trip separately when I have a carriage plenty big enough for us both.”

“There is absolutely no need. Jeannie will be coming with me.”

“My offer still stands.”

She glared. “It’s my intention to start on the path of independence, of finding out what the world has to offer me on my own merit. I will hardly be carving out my own path when at the first step from my home, I lean on you.”

“You are being stubborn.”

She pulled back her shoulders. “And you are not?”

The longer he looked at her, the more Matthew saw the quiet beauty he’d desperately tried to ignore. He took a steadying breath. “Please, Jane. Let me escort you to Bath.”

The seconds passed, but Matthew held his tongue. It was imperative she spoke next, that she understood he didn’t mean to bully her but wanted to ensure her safety to a city ravaged by danger, as much as opportunity.

She sighed. “Fine. On one condition.”

He held her gaze. “Which is?”

Her eyes softened, slowly lighting with mischief. “You smile. Now. You smile at me like you did before she left.”

Heat rose to his face. “You want me to smile?”

“Yes. Smile for me, Matthew.”

Empathy and passion swirled in eyes, but they also bore a deep, painful awareness that scratched hard over his heart. The longer he stared, the more he wanted to make her happy.

He smiled, his gaze on hers…and was surprised to find the trade no effort at all.


Her One True Love by Rachel Brimble is a historical romance, released by Lyrical Press on March 15, 2016.

Find this Book: Amazon | Amazon UK | Book Depository | B&N | Kobo | Goodreads

About the Author:

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had five books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and three Victorian romances by eKensington/Lyrical.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Hard Candy by Amy Jo Cousins - Book Excerpt
This week Amy Jo Cousins has a new Bend or Break novella bundle out! Between a Rock and a Hard Place includes Bend or Break novellas Love Me Like a Rock and Hard Candy.

You can find the novellas as individual installments or as part of the bundle, but first of all, check out an excerpt from Hard Candy below. (Gah! I love this excerpt!)

From the Blurb:

When friends lose the benefits, can the friendship be saved?

Love Me Like A Rock

With the right art tools, there’s almost nothing Austin can’t make real. Except an official relationship with his best friend, rowing teammate and occasional hookup, Vinnie.

Emotional and sexual frustration fuel a spark between Austin and Sean, the nude model in drawing class. After a quick and very dirty encounter, all the reasons Austin has been waiting for Vinnie go fuzzy in his mind.

But if Austin can’t get his head and his heart on the same page, he could lose both his friend, and his lover.

Hard Candy

Vincent always assumed he and Austin would eventually end up together. But now that Austin’s in love with another man, Vinnie is at a loss.

After the world’s most awkward one-night stand with Bryan, a dance major, Vinnie is drawn to his vibrant spirit and calm center.

Physically, the rowing jock and the glittery dancer can match each other stroke for booty pop. But for the lovers to meet on common ground, they’ll have to find a way to get moving in the same direction.

Warning: Contains a pushy cox, an uptight rower, a rock-steady rock geek, and a dancer who looks fabulous in a skirt. The difference between friends with benefits and just friends is easier to figure out when tent sex and yoga lessons are on the line.


When Bryan opened the door to his room, for a split second, Vinnie thought it was all going to be okay.

Bryan was wearing a suit coat. Tightly tailored, admittedly, but three-buttoned and a pristine black wool over a skinny black turtleneck. Monochromatic and stark, the suit made Bryan look like he’d just walked off the pages of GQ.

“Well, aren’t you just Godfrey Gao on a Popsicle stick?” Bryan drawled as Vinnie executed a courtly half bow.

Then Vinnie took a step forward and jerked to a halt as he glanced down.

A skirt.

Bryan was wearing a long, narrow skirt over shiny black boots that laced up high. With one hip cocked, a casual hand resting on it, the long, dark length of fabric pulled tight against Bryan’s leg. Vinnie had never seen anything like it outside of a movie, but Bryan was coolly elegant and clearly high fashion—sharp, masculine, a perfect match for Vinnie’s own expensive and carefully put-together outfit.

They would look magnificent walking in the door of the hotel restaurant. Like models off the fucking runway visiting the peasants.

He wanted to run his hand down the length of that skirt, the muscles tight beneath his palm until he passed the hem and slipped his hand back up, up, up. It suddenly occurred to him that Bryan might be wearing stockings under that skirt and all the blood in his body zoomed to his dick.

He pictured his parents, looking up from the table as he and Bryan approached.

The burgeoning explosion in his balls evaporated.

Holy shit. Bryan was wearing a skirt.

“Am I too casual for dinner?”

And for a split second, he wanted to grasp at the affirmative answer like a rope thrown overboard to a man whose mouth had just filled with cold salt water.

Bryan’s hand rested lightly against the edge of his door as he held it open.

Vinnie knew without a doubt that if he grabbed hold of that rope, the door would shut, and shut for good, with him on the outside of it.

He swallowed past the lump in his throat. “You’re perfect.”

Bryan’s shoulders pulled up and he tucked his head down a little, letting go of the door to step back into his room just enough to let Vinnie in. He avoided Vinnie’s gaze with enough purpose that for a moment, Vinnie wondered what he’d said that had gone wrong. But Bryan’s cheeks were pink now, the blush a darkening under his brown skin, and it was suddenly clear that he was pleased.

Pleased, and shy about it.

Vinnie wondered how much nerve it had taken for Bryan to get dressed, knowing the likelihood of Vinnie’s response being a negative one. Wondered if his hands had shaken as he’d zipped up the elegant skirt, smoothing the fabric down over his narrow hips before buttoning the coat. Wondered if Bryan’s stomach had roiled with nerves, if he’d laid a hand flat against the wood of the door for a moment to collect himself before opening.

And Vinnie had come so close, so close, to fucking it up.

The yawning pit under his feet threatened to swallow him.

Jesus Christ. You have to stop acting and saying things without thinking first. Your automatic responses aren’t good enough here and you will fuck this up if you treat him the way you’ve treated everyone else in your life. Remember Austin.

But even Austin was never so complicated as Bryan.

Who was still not looking at him, twisting his fingers together in front of his stomach.

Vinnie reached out and laid a hand on that nervous, twitching grip. Lifted his other hand to rest his fingertips against the sharp line of Bryan’s jaw.

“You are perfect. Stunning. They aren’t going to know what hit them.”

“Who isn’t?” Bryan asked with a sniff, blinking shiny eyes.

“All of Northampton,” he said firmly and tugged Bryan closer. It wouldn’t be fair not to warn him. “And my parents, who are not going to be prepared for someone like you.”

Bryan bit his lip, still shy but meeting his eyes now. That pale jade green so startling in Bryan’s tan face. “Are they gonna be mad? Or embarrassed?”

This was no time for lying.

“Maybe. But they won’t say a word to you, I promise. That’s not their style.”

“You’ll hear about it afterward.”

Vinnie tried to school the grim look off his face. “That is likely, yes.”

Bryan’s chest lifted and fell with his next deep breath.

“I can change. If you want. Wear something…” he waved a hand at himself, “…less.”

Less was a word that should never exist in the same sentence with Bryan’s name. “No. Way.” He pulled Bryan close enough to press a kiss to his forehead, like a benediction.

“You are fucking gorgeous. Screw them. They’ll deal.”

The smile that split Bryan’s face threatened to outshine the brothel-red silk lampshade.

“You are one special man, Vincent Lim.”

“I try.”

“I can tell,” Bryan said, and laced their fingers together after slipping into a deep-plum coat that swung from his shoulders to swirl around the calves of his boots. His hand squeezed tightly around Vinnie’s as they stepped into the hall, and Vinnie wondered if this was what it felt like every day for Bryan. Like strapping on armor and a shield before stepping onto the field of battle and hoping the wounds you’d bring home wouldn’t be fatal.


Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Amy Jo Cousins is a contemporary romance, double novella, released by Samhain Publishing on March 22, 2016.

Find this Book: Amazon | Amazon UK | ARe | Publisher | Goodreads

You can also purchase Love Me Like a Rock and Hard Candy as separate novellas:

Love Me Like a Rock: Amazon | Amazon UK | ARe | Publisher | Goodreads

Hard Candy: Amazon | Amazon UK | ARe | Publisher | Goodreads

About the Author:

Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.

Fun facts: Amy Jo can get back into a kayak in the open water if she falls out of it, taught herself and her son how to say I love you in seventeen languages, and once ran the table in a game of eight ball.

Social Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

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Dance Hall Days by Amy Jo Cousins - Book Excerpt from All in a Day's Work
Callie, Unwrapped by Amy Jo Cousins - Book Review