<i>All I Ask</i>: Exclusive Excerpt All I Ask: Exclusive Excerpt Nicole McLaughlin " They were full of raunchy sex and far from classic literature." <i>Black Tie Optional</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Black Tie Optional: Exclusive Excerpt Ann Marie Walker "A marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension." <i>Small Change</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Small Change: Exclusive Excerpt Roan Parrish "This fight can only be won by being vulnerable..." <i>Lost and Found Sisters</i>: Exclusive Excerpt (+Sweepstakes) Lost and Found Sisters: Exclusive Excerpt (+Sweepstakes) Jill Shalvis "His hands went to her hips, gripping hard as they stared at each other..."
From The Blog
May 26, 2017
14 Authors Tease Their Next Book
Team H & H
May 25, 2017
Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Lynn, Linden, Anderson, Fox, Fox, and Cameron
Team H & H
May 24, 2017
The Dirty Dancing Remake: The Good, the Bad, and Baby
Elizabeth Poteet
May 24, 2017
Will Elizabeth Swann Get the Happy Ever After She Deserves in New Pirates of the Caribbean?
Darlene Marshall
May 23, 2017
Dirty Dancing’s Johnny and Baby Last Forever
Mala Bhattacharjee
Showing posts by: Carol Malcolm click to see Carol Malcolm's profile
Fri
May 12 2017 9:30am

Chelsea Mueller’s Borrowed Souls Isn’t About Saving The World—And That’s What Makes It Great

Borrowed Souls by Chelsea MuellerWelcome to Gem City, where you can avoid the taint of sin on your soul by renting another to take on the guilt you may amass while being yourself...

Callie Delgado always pulls out all the stops to help her older brother, regardless of what he has done or gotten himself into. His most recent scrape has him in debt to a local yet very powerful drug dealer, Ford, whose current approach is to kidnap brother Josh and hold him until Callie does a task for him: break into police department archives to gather their research on how to stem the tide of people using souls other than their own to avoid detection while committing crimes. Given the seriousness of the “job” and the severity of the consequences if caught, Callie determines she needs a rented soul to come through more or less unscathed. To that end, she goes to see the Soul Charmer with her two hundred dollars in hand.

Not really sure what to expect, Callie finds the Charmer even more revolting than she imagined. The shop itself makes her skin crawl, but she reminds herself she is doing it all for Josh, whom she feels she owes for a lot. When the Soul Charmer tells Callie her meager amount of money will not cover soul rental, he comes up with an alternative proposal: she works for him for two weeks, teaming up with Derek, retrieving souls from those who have neglected to return them. Horrified at the prospect yet not seeing she has another option, Callie reluctantly agrees. Unfortunately, a complication gets thrown into the mix when Derek and Callie discover someone else is getting to the unreturned souls before they do. 

[Find out how they get out of this...]

Wed
Mar 15 2017 2:00pm

Family Ties in Lynsay Sands’ Falling For the Highlander

Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands

Lady Murine Carmichael has been trying to contact her friends via mail. Fearing her letters may be getting confiscated by her brother, Montrose, she decides to try to sneak the correspondence out via some Scottish visitors to the castle. Dougall Buchanan knows Montrose Danvries may not have the money to buy the horses he asked to see, but Dougall goes, anyway, with three of his brothers in tow. Not only does Montrose not have the money for the horses he covets, but he shocks the Buchanans by offering Dougall “time” with his sister, Murine, in exchange for the animals. Appalled, Dougall refuses, and he and his brothers leave the castle immediately.

Having overheard Montrose’s offer to Dougall, and the his follow-up plan to offer her up to a neighbor in order to get the money needed, Murine decides to flee. On the road, the escaping Murine meets up with the Buchanans, at which time they all discover a shared history and devise a strategy to get Murine out of her brother’s clutches.

As one expects with Lynsay Sands, a significant thread of humor runs throughout Falling for the Highlander, proving especially appealing in regard to Dougall’s delightful brothers. When the men learn Murine’s full name, their enthusiasm and joy becomes evident.

[Read more...]

Fri
Feb 3 2017 10:30am

Spies in King James’ Court: Madeline Martin’s Highland Spy

Highland Spy by Madeline Martin

Connor Grant has a very unique position with a very specific task. As personal assassin for King James (I and VI, for England and Scotland, respectively), Connor makes use of women as spies to help track down his targets. In February of 1605, the reluctant yet diligent assassin seeks a new addition to his group of trusted assistants.

Arianna Fitzroy runs a dangerous game of her own: cheating at cards in order to earn the money to pay the few servants she has left after the death of her brother, who managed to run through the family money and Arianna’s dowry in short order. When Connor spots her and confronts her with knowledge of her activity at a royal party, he also offers her a way out: join his band of spies. Feeling as though she has no choice, Arianna agrees.

Arianna becomes engrossed in the rigorous training necessary for her new position, which includes physical prowess as well as flirtation techniques. While his ladies train, Connor learns his sister, Cora, hidden away at a convent to keep her safe, has been receiving visits from a man Connor fears may be up to no good, so he resolves to complete his current mission and move his sister as soon as possible. Matters become more complicated for both Arianna and Connor when they both realize the bond they have formed may go deeper than may be wise for their situation.

[Read more...]

Tue
Jan 3 2017 4:00pm

First Look: Alexandra Hawkins’ Waiting for an Earl Like You (January 3, 2017)

Waiting for an Earl Like You by Alexandra Hawkins

Alexandra Hawkins
Wating for an Earl Like You (Masters of Seduction #3)
St. Martin's Press / January 3, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

The Earl of Kempthorn—Thorn to family and friends—at their mother’s request tries to track down his identical twin brother, Gideon, missing from the gala put together in the latter’s honor, marking his return home after an absence of several years. Thorn finds Gideon in a sailboat on the lake with their longtime neighbor and family friend, Olivia Lydall. During an exchange highlighted by the brothers arguing and not noticing Olivia’s precarious position within the boat, all three end up in the lake. The parade of the three wet and bedraggled individuals making their way into the house causes quite a stir, including, for Olivia, a confrontation with the woman likely to become her stepmother.

Despite being saved from further humiliation by Thorn and Gideon’s mother, the unfortunate incident serves as a prelude for trying and tempestuous times ahead for Olivia. Thorn feels Gideon and Olivia may be getting too close, a concern which leads to Thorn deciding to engage in the childhood prank of pretending to be his brother. Thorn tells himself his actions are for Olivia’s own good, but he comes to realize he may well have another reason altogether.

[Read more...]

Mon
Jan 2 2017 2:00pm

Eileen Wilks’ Dragon Spawn Finds Magic in the Mundane

Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks

Mundane concerns abound for the Lupi: life with an eight-month-old baby girl, Ryder, for Cullen and Cynna, and fun with an energetic ten-year-old boy, Toby, for Rule and Lily. Unfortunately, the peace of their routine begins to break up rather quickly when three distinct events occur. First, a young high dominant shows up to challenge Rule’s leadership, meaning there must be an actual physical fight, which both Lily and Rule would like to avoid.

Next, Sam, a black dragon, requests Lily and Rule come to visit him in his lair. When they arrive, the two find Lily’s grandmother, a rare shape-changer, also in attendance. Sam explains to his visitors about mind-dark dragon spawn—those offspring born without the care needed to instill mindspeech, often resulting in the lack of a moral compass. The dragon fears one of them still in human form may be on the loose—an enemy of Lily and Rule’s who has been presumed dead.

Shortly after this meeting, Toby disappears from his bed in the middle of the night, as does baby Ryder shortly thereafter. Attempting to not become too frantic, the Lupi mobilize to try to track down the missing children who have been taken to Dis, the hell dimension, with the help of hellgate-building gnomes, dragons, and a very large tiger.  

[A very, very large tiger...]

Sun
Dec 25 2016 3:00pm

First Look: Julia London’s Wild Wicked Scot (December 27, 2016)

Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London

Julia London
Wild Wicked Scot (The Highland Grooms #1)
HQN Books / December 27, 2016 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Margot Armstrong’s daily life consists of spending time with her best friend, Lynetta, and enjoying the attentions of countless young gentlemen seeking to make an impression upon her, as befits a seventeen-year-old heiress in 1706. Margot convinces her father to host a ball in honor of the less-financially-endowed Lynetta, and that night her life changes forever. During the festivities, Margot’s father, an earl, introduces her to Arran Mackenzie, a Scottish laird, and informs her she will marry the man, though she manages to prolong the event until after she turns eighteen.

Margot’s shock at her situation intensifies once she arrives at Balhaire, her new home in the Scottish Highlands. Though her new husband, Arran, treats her with respect and care in their personal interactions, Margot feels like a fish out of water in her new environment, and after a few months decides to leave and go back to England. Three years later, Margot’s father insists she must return to her husband, with a specific purpose in mind. Though she does not relish either her task or returning, Margot does so, soon finding herself in the middle of political machinations.

[Read more...]

Tue
Nov 29 2016 4:15pm

First Look: Sandra Hill’s Good Vampires Go to Heaven (November 29, 2016)

Sandra Hill
Good Vampires Go to Heaven (Deadly Angels #8)
Avon Books / November 29, 2016 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

In the Deadly Angels series, vangels (Viking vampire angels) attempt to prevent Lucipires (demon vampires) from turning sinning humans into demons before they have a chance at redemption. 

Zebulon (Zeb), a Lucipire caught spying against his own for the vangels in the hopes of joining the ranks of the good guys, has spent a year imprisoned by Jasper, the Lucipire leader, enduring endless physical torture. A visit from Satan results in mental torment being added to the repertoire.   

Regina, a vangel witch, tired of playing second fiddle to all of the male vangels, decides rescuing Zeb may be her ticket out of the lower ranks, despite vangel leader Vikar’s admonition not to do so. Infiltrating Jasper’s castle, Horror, Regina finds not only Zeb, but also three Lucipire witches, who tell her they will help her free Zeb if she agrees to take them with her. Believing she will figure out a way to leave the trio behind when the time comes, Regina reluctantly agrees to the deal.

[But it'll be worth it in the end...]

Mon
Oct 24 2016 11:00am

All Hail Queen Betsy: A Look Back Over Her Reign

Undead and Done by MaryJanice Davidson

Ever since she first appeared on the page in 2004 in the delightful Undead and Unwed, readers have been captivated by (and sometimes exasperated with) Betsy Taylor, the reluctant Vampire Queen whom few take seriously—often to their peril.

Over the course of this unique and always-entertaining series, Betsy discovers (often without trying) new powers (such as killing the undead with the force of her mind and will alone, drawing on energy to heal or resurrect) she uses to aid her in completing her objectives. Sometimes these abilities prove problematic, at least until Betsy figures out how to use them most effectively, but they tend to emerge when most needed—typically to help her friends and family.

The first half of the series deals primarily with Betsy navigating her role as vampire queen, gathering her friends and relatives into her “made” family, and alternately building and restructuring relationships with other supernatural entities, such as the Wyndham werewolves. This framework proves very necessary for what Betsy faces in subsequent installments.

[Read more...]

Wed
Aug 24 2016 3:00pm

Blending Mythology and Magic in Amanda Bouchet’s Promise of Fire

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Welcome to the kingdom of Thalryia, whose residents fall into one of two categories: the Magoi, who wield various types of magic, and the Hoi Polloi, those people without that advantage. The magoi have been in control for as long as anyone can remember, until now...

For eight years Catalla “Cat” Fisa manages to avoid detection by living and working as a circus soothsayer, but that all changes the day a warlord shows up. With the crowd in a celebratory mood, due mostly to the Hoi Polloi in the province of Sinta being in charge of their own government for the first time ever, Cat finds herself enjoying the high spirits of the people. Cat begins to feel differently when the warlord she spotted earlier comes to her tent for a reading, especially when she discovers the identity of the man—Beta Sinta, brother to the new ruler.

Seeking to hide her true talent as a Kingmaker, a rare human lie-detector born only once every two hundred years, behind her soothsayer persona, trouble ensues when it becomes evident Beta Sinta knows Cat’s secret. Despite turning herself invisible in an effort to get away from him and leave the circus, fearing for her friends, Beta Sinta catches up to Cat, restrains her with a magic rope, and takes her with him.

Cat refuses to be used once again in the manner she was as a child, resulting in her fighting Beta Sinta (Griffin) every step of the way. However, when she comes to understand Beta Sinta and his three companions a bit better, she does not hate them quite as much as she feels she should. When the previous royal family begins to catch up to them, looking for Cat, she and the Sintans must work together to stay alive and keep Cat out of the clutches of the nightmares of her past.

[The magic awaits...]

Tue
Aug 16 2016 5:30pm

It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn: Kerrigan Byrne’s The Highlander

The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne

Belle Glen Asylum: the dreadful mental hospital Lady Philomena (Mena) Benchley gets sent to for daring to stand up to her husband and his mother, more than just a prison, becomes a place of constant torture (ice baths being one method), carrying the threat of an even more personal physical assault. When the husbands of two of Mena’s friends’ rescue her from this hell, her friends devise a plan to keep Mena hidden so her husband cannot find her: she will serve as a governess for the teenage son and daughter of a Scottish Highland laird.

Despite her gratitude to her friends, Mena finds the prospect of working for the man referred to as the Demon Highlander a bit disconcerting. A soldier for twenty years, the Marquess of Ravencroft earned a reputation of being impossible to kill. Now returned home and retired from his previous activities, Liam needs someone to get both of his children ready to present to society.

Both Mena and Liam have secrets, pasts they wish to outrun and put behind them, and find themselves instantly drawn to one another. Bit by bit Mena learns how Liam’s cruel father affected not only his childhood but also played a part in determining the course of his life. How can Mena get closer to Liam when she cannot share the truth about herself?

[Secrets and demons...]

Sun
Jul 17 2016 10:30am

Love You Forever and Forevermore, Kristen Callihan

Forevermore by Kristen Callihan

Welcome to Darkest London, a world in which supernatural beings exist side-by-side with humans, their actions monitored and kept in check by the SOS (Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals). Currently overseen by Poppy Lane (an Elemental witch) and Augustus (the angel Judgment), the SOS receives support and aid from a number of others, ranging from Poppy’s human husband, her sisters and their spouses to GIM (Ghost in the Machine) Mary Chase with her clockwork heart and her husband, the unique shapeshifter, Jack Talent.    

The excellent Forevermore begins with St. John (Sin) Evernight, now serving as a Judgment angel, one who tracks down evil, pursuing a supernatural killer through the London streets, only to have the creature dissipate into small birds, and then running into (literally) Ian Ranulf, King of the Lycans, in his were shape. Being friends, and relatives by marriage, the two men try to make sense of what they just witnessed.

Layla Starling comes back to herself on a ship, waking up naked. Unable to remember even her name right away, Layla soaks in a bath and realizes some blood has washed off. Then the really disturbing aspect of the situation sets in—her desire for blood.

[Read more...]

Tue
Jun 7 2016 10:45am

First Look: Katie MacAlister’s Daring in a Blue Dress (June 7, 2016)

Daring in a Blue Dress by Katie MacAlister

Katie MacAlister
Daring in a Blue Dress (Matchmakers in Wonderland #3)
Signet / June 7, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

Alden Ainslie’s problems seem insurmountable—at least to him. First, his pregnant sister-in-law, Alice, fervently wishes to set him up with a friend, viewing herself as a matchmaker. The prospect of a blind date inspires Alden to run off to his second problem: his recently-purchased decrepit Tudor mansion, which he has just determined he needs to refurbish and sell as his oldest brother refuses to any longer provide funds for Alden to continue his “collection” of academic degrees. Unfortunately, escaping to Bestwood Hall does not prove as relaxing as Alden would like, given the former owner, Lady Sybilla, refuses to vacate her rooms and move to the gatehouse, as specified in the terms of sale. However, both of these situations pale in comparison to the discovery Lady Sybilla rented out the grounds of the house to a medieval fair for three weeks.

[This should be interesting...]

Tue
May 31 2016 4:30pm

First Look: Sabrina York’s Lana and the Laird (May 31, 2016)

Sabrina York
Lana and the Laird (Untamed Highlanders #3)
St. Martin's Press / May 31, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

Lachlan Sinclair, Duke of Caithness, has had quite enough of being haunted by his father’s ghost, begging him to “save him,” by returning the falling-apart-brick-by-brick Caithness Castle to its former glory. Unfortunately, Lachlan finds himself in a race against time to accomplish this feat, as due to a family curse, he does not expect to live to his thirtieth birthday, at this point only six months away. The Caithness Curse began with the Baron of Rosslyn who traded a relic for treasure and the title of duke, and since then, none of the dukes have celebrated their thirtieth birthdays. Lachlan spent much of his youth in a debauched haze, figuring it did not much matter, but recently since the hauntings began, urging him to return home to the Highlands.

In order to secure the necessary funds for restoration, Lachlan intends to require all of his Barons to engage in Clearances—removing the majority of tenant farmers and replacing them with sheep farming in order to make a larger profit. Lachlan learns not all of his barons like the practice, and a few have refused to take part. When the story begins, the obsequious Baron Olrig pays Lachlan a visit, and warns him one of the barons who refuses to comply with the Clearances, Alexander Dunnet, has joined forces with the Marquess of Stafford to foster rebellion amongst Lachlan’s people. At that point, Lachlan determines a visit to Dunnet is in order.

[And it begins...]

Mon
May 30 2016 10:00am

First Look: Olivia Drake’s His Wicked Wish (May 31, 2016)

Olivia Drake
His Wicked Wish (Cinderella Sisterhood #5)
St. Martin's Press / May 31, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

Upon returning to England after a decade abroad building his business, Nathan Atwood feels both sadness and anger when he learns of the death of his older brother and the survival of the father who treated him with disdain his whole life. At his first stop upon his return to London, Nathan’s godmother, Lady Milford, who sent him a letter telling of his father’s deathly illness, breaks the news of his father’s recovery and his beloved brother’s subsequent death. Realizing he now holds the position of heir, Nathan devises a plan to embarrass his father: to marry a lowborn woman with terrible manners, bringing disgrace to his father. Lady Milford does not try to talk him out of his plan, but asks he allow her to pick the woman he marries, to which Nathan agrees.

[And a deal is struck...]

Tue
May 24 2016 9:30am

First Look: Linda Grimes’ All Fixed Up (May 24, 2016)

All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes

Linda Grimes
All Fixed Up (Ciel Halligan #4)
Tor Books / May 24, 2016 / $29.99 print, $14.99 digital

Ciel Halligan’s profession as a fixer, made possible by a genetic anomaly enabling her to take on the physical appearance of anyone she touches and borrows a bit of energy from, has gotten her into a few tight and dangerous spots in the past, but aside from the discomfort she feels with the unexpected test run in a plane at zero-G, her impersonation of a NASA astronaut for a day seems straightforward and uneventful enough—until the photographer assigned to her, Alec Loughlin, asks her who or what she really is. Alarm at the man’s apparent ability to see through her “disguise” turns to fear when he tries to kidnap her shortly thereafter. Thanks to her new sister-in-law’s self-defense training, Ciel manages to get away.

Despite satisfaction at her escape, Ciel and fellow aura-adaptor, Mark, her CIA former crush now sitting somewhat precariously at complicated-friend status, remain on alert given the failed kidnapper still being on the loose. Despite her concern, an evening with her boyfriend, Billy, makes her feel considerably better, until the next morning when she gets word of a family death—Aunt Helen, also an aura adaptor, murdered in Central Park. After spotting Loughlin at her aunt’s funeral, Ciel and others in the adaptor community begin to suspect a connection. While attempting to help track down Loughlin, Ciel also has major personal issues to deal with, including her not-quite-gone-forever feelings for Mark even while very happy with Billy.

[Are we sure she's very happy?...]

Mon
Apr 25 2016 2:30pm

Love, Lies, and Spies: Teen Regency Done Right

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey

Juliana Telford does not set out seeking such an extreme example of adventure when she leaves her aunt and uncle’s home in a huff after an argument with her cousin, Carrie, but somehow the intrepid eighteen-year-old attracts trouble without trying very hard. Fearing the lack of rescue while at the same time worried about what form the aid will take, Juliana feels both relief and mortification when two young men arrive on the scene at St. Ives Head. After a comical exchange which shall not get spoiled here, Juliana escapes peril and all parties agree if they come upon each other in society, they will act as though they have never met.

Back at Grays Hill Park, Juliana focuses her thoughts on the upcoming season in London, which she plans to use primarily as a cover for her efforts to find a publisher for an academic article she and her father have written on a particular species of lady beetle.   

Meanwhile, Spencer Northam, one half of Juliana’s rescue team from the aforementioned unfortunate accident, has his own reasons for wishing to keep his presence at St. Ives hidden—as a spy for the War Office, he suspects the men of the Pyebald family of selling secrets to the French, and the cliff overlooking the water proves a perfect vantage point from which to observe the comings and goings at Ryston Manor.

[A little spying and loving ...]

Thu
Apr 7 2016 4:00pm

A Dance Leads to a Wedding Night with the Earl

Wedding Night with the Earl by Amelia Grey

Adam, Earl of Greyhawke, prefers living in the wilds of Yorkshire to taking part in the whirl of London life. Since the death of his wife and baby in childbirth two years earlier, Adam’s withdrawal from society has become so complete he recently petitioned to give up his earldom. This unheard-of action results in a visit from Alfred Hopscotch, emissary from the Prince, informing Adam his request will not be granted, as someone needs to take care of the estates and businesses associated with the title—at least until Adam’s heir, a five-year-old cousin he has never heard of, comes of age.  Adam’s surprises continue  when Hopscotch brings the young cousin out of the carriage he arrived in, announcing Adam as young Dixon’s guardian.

Despite his initial dismay at learning of his new status, Adam softens considerably toward Dixon when learning of the boy’s mother’s death, and his subsequent stay at an orphanage. Taking his new responsibility seriously, Adam takes Dixon with him to his London house, and decides to begin socializing at parties and balls again. The first evening Adam ventures out, he sees his two best friends, Harrison and Bray, who reluctantly tell him of their wives’ pregnancies, not having done so earlier in order to spare his feelings given his own history. Happy for his friends, yet worried for their wives, Adam welcomes the distraction provided by spotting a young woman standing off to the side of the dance floor, the niece of the duke hosting the evening’s event. Stating his intent to ask the young woman to dance, Adam forges ahead despite his friends’ attempts to dissuade him.

[Let's dance the night away ...]

Tue
Mar 1 2016 2:30pm

First Look: Melissa Marr’s Seven Black Diamonds (March 1, 2016)

Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr

Melissa Marr
Seven Black Diamonds 
HarperCollins / March 1, 2016 / $17.99 print, $10.99 digital

Lily Abernathy has grown up differently than her peers. With her father being the equivalent of a mob boss, and knowing she carries some illegal fae DNA, Lily makes an effort to stay under the radar as much as possible and typically does not interact much with others her age. Everything changes on her seventeenth birthday, at the party her father insists on throwing for her, even engaging the services of singer Creed Morrison—someone Lily suspects of carrying the dangerous fae genes she does. When Creed and Lily speak, her suspicions get confirmed, and Creed knows her secret, as well. Shortly thereafter, Lily learns her father arranged for Creed’s appearance because he wished her to know others “like her.”

Meanwhile, in the Fae world, the Queen of Blood and Rage, Endellion, has formed a group of teenage assassins to carry out attacks on the human world as payback for contributing to the death of her daughter and heir several years earlier. The brutal queen also seeks retribution against humanity for having ruined the Earth. Unbeknownst to Lily, she has an honored place within the cell called the Black Diamonds, which she discovers when she enrolls (at her father’s insistence but against her better judgment) at St. Columba’s school where the rest of her group resides.

[World building in a new land ...]

Mon
Jan 25 2016 5:30pm

First Look: Laura Trentham’s Brazen Bargain (January 26, 2016)

Brazen Bargain by Laura Trentham

Laura Trentham 
Brazen Bargain (Spies and Love #2)
Samhain Publishing / January 26, 2016 / $14.99 print, $4.24

Love soothes the deepest of scars. Spies and Lovers, Book 2

Minerva Bellingham is at her wits' end. Her younger brother, Simon, will have them penniless and on the streets if his extravagant gambling habit isn't curtailed. An enormous debt to Lord Rafe Drummond is the final indignity. Signing over her dowry is their only choice. Until Lord Drummond suggests something much more scandalous. She can keep her dowry—in exchange for the Bellinghams working three months as a housemaid and stable boy.

Scarred from his service to the Crown, Rafe recognizes the young Simon Bellingham has the makings of a good duke. Minerva is a different story. Her pure, delicate beauty only underscores Rafe's tarnished, bleak soul. Yet he delights in cracking Minerva's icy reserve to reveal a fiery, stubborn woman. And Minerva discovers the gruff master of Wintermarsh has the heart of a poet. But before they can find a future safe in each other's arms, a menace from Simon's licentious past slithers back into their lives, forcing Rafe to plan the most important rescue mission of his life. Warning: Contains a paragon of the beau monde who gets the hang of polishing silver, and a master of the house who'd like her to make his bed-preferably with him in it. Also passion unleashed with the mere touch of a finger. Readers are encouraged to swoon.

In Laura Trentham's Brazen Bargain on a rare night-out-on-the-town, Lord Rafe Drummond spots a familiar face—young Simon Bellingham, brother to his own sister’s good friend, Minerva, in the company of Viscount Hampton, a man gaining an unpleasant notoriety throughout London’s gaming halls. Initially deciding watching the two men may prove an entertaining diversion, Rafe joins their game, but becomes concerned at how badly Simon plays. Thinking it better the young man loses to him rather than to Hampton, Rafe plays to win. After the game, with Simon’s cash and a voucher, Rafe drops the young duke off at home, with instructions to appear before him the next day.

[Unusual circumstances for royalty ...]

Thu
Nov 19 2015 10:30am

First Look: Lynn Kurland’s Stars in Your Eyes (November 24, 2015)

Lynn Kurland
Stars in Your Eyes
Jove / November 24, 2015 / $7.99 print & digital

New York Times bestselling author Lynn Kurland presents a sweeping romance in which true love can go beyond time...

Imogen Maxwell is on a hunt for rare, antique items to use on a period movie set. The last thing she expects to discover in the peaceful Scottish countryside is a pristine medieval sword...or to suddenly find herself facing its very vintage owner in a far too authentic castle.

Phillip de Piaget has run out of patience with his recalcitrant Scottish betrothed and is determined that she will join him, once and for all, in front of the altar. Only the lass he captures fleeing his would-be keep seems more interested in running away from him than talking to him. In fact, she seems to have no idea who he is.

But taming his reluctant bride is the least of his worries; it seems someone else wants him at the chapel...in a stone box. As for Imogen, how can he let her go, when she holds the key to not only the castle, but his heart?Imogen Maxwell dreams of life as a movie producer/director, knowing she has to pay her dues as an underling at the outset. Unfortunately for her, Imogen’s life path does not sit well with her over-achieving family’s view of the world, and she typically faces not only their criticism and ire, but also countless pranks by her older siblings.

Despite her family’s attitudes and behavior, Imogen makes her way to the UK for a film shoot. As an assistant to the set designer, her task is to scout for locations and items that look medieval. Unfortunately, Imogen’s sister, Prissy, sees fit to set her up with as many plane and flight changes/transfers as possible, ensuring Imogen’s exhaustion upon arrival. When her suitcase spills open at the train station, even the assistance of the very helpful handsome man who speaks of chivalry does not quite improve her mood.

[The chaos doesn't last forever ...]