<i>Single-Minded</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Single-Minded: Exclusive Excerpt Lisa Daily "Alex navigates the booby-trapped world of modern dating" <i>Oversight</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Oversight: Exclusive Excerpt Santino Hassell "A broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze..." <i>Coach's Challenge</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Coach's Challenge: Exclusive Excerpt Avon Gale "Succumb to the passion that might cost them everything..." A Binge Guide to Tamsen Parker's Compass Series A Binge Guide to Tamsen Parker's Compass Series Tamsen Parker "I don’t like to think about where I would’ve ended up without him."
From The Blog
June 24, 2017
ICYMI: June’s Free E-Book, Psy-Changeling, Top Lorraine Heath, and more!
Team H & H
June 23, 2017
5 Reasons You Should Listen to Audiobooks
Nicole Leapheart
June 23, 2017
A Definitive Ranking of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson Books
Maggie Boyd
June 22, 2017
10 Dirty Football Terms You Didn't Know Are Legitimate
June 22, 2017
Love on a Deadline in Liora Blake’s Second Chance Season
Janet Webb
Showing posts by: Cheryl Sneed click to see Cheryl Sneed's profile
Jun 15 2017 9:30am

First Look: Sabrina Jeffries’ The Pleasures of Passion (June 20, 2017)

The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries
The Pleasure of Passions (Sinful Suitors #4)
Pocket Books / June 20, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Sabrina Jeffries’ new book, The Pleasures of Passion, is about two people who suffered great heartbreak in their youth and now have to decide whether or not to take a chance on loving and trusting again. Brilliana and Niall were separated when Naill killed a man in a duel avenging the rape of his sister and had to flee the country. He asked 17-year-old Bree to go with him, but she couldn’t leave her dying mother in the care of her feckless father. Seven years later Naill, newly pardoned, has returned but his reunion with the widowed Bree is fraught with misunderstandings and fears. Bree has soured on men in general and one cannot blame her.

(Niall) was simply one man in a long line of them who’d betrayed her trust, starting with her father and ending with her husband, who’d lied about why he’d gone to London to gamble away all their money.

All of them had abandoned her in one fashion or another, leaving her heartbroken and destitute. Never again would she rely on one of them. Niall had been a mistake, and these days she was trying to learn from those.

[Read more...]

May 30 2017 11:15am

First Look: Julia Quinn’s The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband (May 30, 2017)

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn
The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband (Bridgerton Prequel  #2)
Avon / May 30, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

The second book in Julia Quinn’s Rokesby series (a Georgian-era Bridgerton prequel series) takes place on Manhattan Island in 1779, during the War of American Independence. Our hero is a soldier in the British Army, Edward Rokesbury. We all know that letters are so very important to those in the military, keeping strong the connection to loved ones, and occasionally forging new bonds with strangers. Letters play a pivotal role in The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband.

Edward awakens in hospital, confused and in pain, to find his hand being held by a strange woman.

[Not the worst way to wake up...]

May 21 2017 11:00am

First Look: Madeline Hunter’s The Most Dangerous Duke in London (May 30, 2017)

The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter

Madeline Hunter
The Most Dangerous Duke in London (Decadent Dukes #1)
Zebra / May 30, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Madeline Hunter begins a new series with The Most Dangerous Duke in London, a story of revenge turned to love.

Adam became the Duke of Stratton when his father committed suicide over rumors that Adam’s father helped finance Napoleon’s escape from Elba many years ago. Adam and his French mother retreated to Paris, but now, ten years later, he returns with a dangerous reputation for dueling and a desire for revenge.

The rumors that lead to the duke’s death were started by the late Earl of Marwood and he is surprised when the old Dowager Marwood proposes a truce between the families by means of a marriage. Adam is intrigued by the possibilities for revenge by marrying the young and sweet Emilia, but he becomes downright enthusiastic after he meets the elder sister, Lady Clara.

[Read more...]

May 9 2017 9:30am

First Look: Amanda Quick’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much (May 9, 2017)

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Berkley / May 9, 2017 / $24.00 hardcover, $12.99 digital

I was in for quite a surprise when I began Amanda Quick’s new novel, The Girl Who Knew Too Much. I settle in for a nice, comforting read about an eccentric spinster who befuddles the enigmatic hero as they fall in love while solving a mystery in 19th century England. Instead, I found myself in Southern California in the 1930s reading an Amanda Quick version of L.A. Confidential. Imagine my surprise! But then imagine my delight as I found myself engrossed with the setting.

Irene Glasson is a new reporter at a third-rate gossip paper on the trail of a hot story involving Hollywood’s newest rising star, Nick Tremayne and his murdered ex-lover. Irene actually found the body in the swimming pool at the Burning Cove Hotel, a getaway for the stars just south of LA.

[Read more...]

May 2 2017 9:30am

First Look: Celeste Bradley’s Wedded Bliss (May 2, 2017)

Wedded Bliss by Celeste Bradley

Celeste Bradley
Wedded Bliss (Wicked Worthingtons #5)
Berkley / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print and digital

Wedded Bliss is a great addition to Celeste Bradley’s Worthington Family series. The Worthingtons are a large, eccentric family with more than their fair share of charm, but Bliss Worthington has added knock-out beauty to hers, a combination that is deadly to men.

Bliss has decided to marry her friend Neville. He is quiet, stable and dependable. The perfect antidote to her loving, but frankly bonkers, family. She arranges to marry him in secret, but after the ceremony is over, she discovers that she is instead married to the dashing sea captain—and Neville’s bastard half-brother—Morgan Pryce. Desperate for an annulment, she sets out to charm Morgan into it, just as she charms everyone who meets her, even hackney drivers.

“Pray, what is your name, good sir?”

He looked at her in surprise, as if no one ever recognized his existence, much less inquired about him. “Cant.”

Blissed tilted her head. “Why not?” He snorted. “Ephraim Cant. But folks mostly call me Eff.”

“Well, I shall not. Imagine shortening such a noble name as ‘Ephraim’! I shall call you Mr. Cant until we are better acquainted, at which time I should like to call you Ephraim. You may call me Miss – Mrs. Pryce. Is that agreeable to you, sir?”

His expression now drifted somewhere between bewitched and befuddled, which was precisely where Bliss preferred the gentlemen of her acquaintance to exist. She smiled at him gently. “Shall we drive on to Bond Street now, Mr. Cant?”

Ephraim Cant, former official grouch, now a prince of gallantry, pulled his cap from his head, pressed it to his breast, and bobbed a rusty bow. “Yes, m’um. I’ll ‘ave ye there in the twitch of a cat’s tail!”

[Read more...]

May 1 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Anne Gracie’s Marry in Haste (May 2, 2017)

Marry in Haste by Anne Gracie

Anne Gracie
Marry in Haste (Marriage of Convenience #1)
Penguin / May 2, 2017 / $7.99 print and digital

I love Marriage of Convenience stories and Anne Gracie begins a new series featuring these romances with Marry in Haste, about the marriage of a former soldier hunting an assassin and a girls’ seminary teacher with a shady past.

While the romance is quite nicely done, it is Cal’s relationship with his half-sisters and his niece that I found most illuminating in the progression of Cal’s character.

When Cal unexpectedly inherits the title from his ne’er-do-well brother, he only wants to settle his new responsibilities onto caretakers and get back to his “day job” of finding the assassin whose latest victim was his best friend. When he checks in on his half-sisters in Bath he finds them in the care of his too-nice Aunt Dottie who has absolutely no control over the hellions. Rose and Lily are not at all fond of Cal trying to exert his authority.

[Read more...]

Mar 28 2017 9:30am

First Look: Candace Camp’s A Perfect Gentleman (March 28, 2017)

A Perfect Gentleman by Candace Camp

Candace Camp
A Perfect Gentleman
Pocket Books / March 28, 2017 / $7.99 print and digital

A Perfect Gentleman is a nice second-chance-at-love story, though Abigail and Graeme’s first chance was doomed from the start. Blackmailed by Abigail’s powerful father into the marriage and in love with somebody else, Graeme’s resentment toward Abby burst forth on their wedding night. Humiliated, the shy young bride fled home to New York and gradually built her confidence and a life for herself. She returns to England 10 years later with the goal of having a child with her estranged husband.

As he watches her deal with his dragon of a grandmother, Graeme is intrigued with this stranger to whom he is married.

“Arthur Dexter is scarcely anyone with whom you’d want to advance an acquaintance,” his grandmother told Abigail firmly. “Jumped up little mushroom. His grandfather was in trade.”

“Shocking,” Abigail agreed with such a twinkle in her eye that Graeme had to hide a smile. “Perhaps he is proud of what he has accomplished rather than his family,” Abigail offered.

“What a very American thing to say.”

“Yes, I suppose it is,” she agreed. “It’s difficult for some people to transcend their upbringing.”

“Precisely.” His grandmother nodded. Graeme wasn’t sure whether she had caught the subtle message in Abigail’s words. He suspected not; Lady Eugenia did not deal in subtleties.

He glanced over at Abigail. She returned his gaze with a wide-eyed blandness that convinced him she had intended the little dig at his grandmother’s prejudices. Again he found himself wanting to smile.

Why did it have to be so bloody easy to like this woman?

Yes, how dare she be so witty and interesting! Not to mention beautiful. Graeme is very wary, however, of letting go of his preconceived notions about Abigail. He has always been sure that she was in cahoots with her father to trap him into the marriage, that she was complicit in the blackmail.

[Read more...]

Feb 22 2017 2:30pm

First Look: Meredith Duran’s A Lady’s Code of Misconduct (February 28, 2017)

A Lady's Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

Meredith Duran
A Lady’s Code of Misconduct (Rules for the Reckless #5)
Pocket Books / February 28, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Trapped in the countryside, facing an unwanted marriage and the theft of her fortune, Jane Mason is done behaving nicely. To win her freedom, she’ll strike a deal with the most dangerous man she knows—a rising star in politics, whose dark good looks mask an even darker heart.

The bitter past has taught Crispin Burke to trust no one. He’ll gladly help a lovely young heiress, provided she pays a price. Yet when a single mistake shatters his life, it is Jane who holds the key to his salvation. And in a world that no longer makes sense, Crispin slowly realizes that she may be the only thing worth fighting for...

Meredith Duran’s latest is an amnesia story, which is a harder trope to find these days. Amnesia plotlines used to be a dime a dozen, but they became such a romance cliché that they have become rare in the last decade or so. A Lady’s Code of Misconduct is a very good amnesia story and reminds me why these storylines were so popular and should be again when in the hands of a gifted storyteller like Duran.

Crispin Burke is not a nice man. In fact, he’s a horrible man. He has spent years bribing, blackmailing and backstabbing his fellow Members of Parliament in his quest to become Prime Minister, so pressuring a young woman in dire straits to spy for him is child’s play.

[Read more...]

Dec 20 2016 10:30am

First Look: Grace Burrowes’ The Trouble with Dukes (December 20, 2016)

The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes
The Trouble with Dukes (Windham Brides #1)
Forever / December 20, 2016 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

The gossips whisper that the new Duke of Murdoch is a brute, a murderer, and even worse—a Scot. They say he should never be trusted alone with a woman. But Megan Windham sees in Hamish something different, someone different.

No one was fiercer at war than Hamish MacHugh, though now the soldier faces a whole new battlefield: a London Season. To make his sisters happy, he'll take on any challenge—even letting their friend Miss Windham teach him to waltz. Megan isn't the least bit intimidated by his dark reputation, but Hamish senses that she's fighting battles of her own. For her, he'll become the warrior once more, and for her, he might just lose his heart.

Having married off all the Windham siblings in her Windham Series, Grace Burrowes has invented a family of Windham female neices for whom Her Grace, the Duchess of Windham, is eager to make matches. This new series, The Windham Brides, gets rolling with Megan Windham when she, and her family, take under their very influential wing the newly invested Duke of Murdoch.

Scot Hamish MacHugh is not at all happy to be a duke. He is a soldier and is not at all interested in the new notoriety or obligations his title bestows. Hamish was a fierce soldier and, having been in the army his entire adult life, knows no other life. Megan and the Windhams have their work cut out for them making Hamish into a civilized duke. They start with dance lessons.

[Oh the dancing!]

Sep 29 2016 4:00pm

First Look: Suzanne Enoch’s Hero in the Highlands (October 4, 2016)

Hero in the Highlands by Suzanne Enoch

Suzanne Enoch
Hero in the Highlands (No Ordinary Hero #1)
St. Martin's Press / October 4, 2016 / $7.99 print and digital

Scotland, 1812: He’s ferocious and rugged to the bone, an English soldier more at home on the battlefield than in any Society drawing room. And when Major Gabriel Forrester learns that he’s inherited the massive Scottish Highlands title and estate of a distant relation, the last thing he wants to do is give up the intensity of the battlefield for the too-soft indulgences of noble life. But Gabriel Forrester does not shirk his responsibilities, and when he meets striking, raven-eyed lass Fiona Blackstock, his new circumstances abruptly become more intriguing.

Like any good Highlander, Fiona despises the English?and the new Duke of Lattimer is no exception. Firstly, he is far too attractive for Fiona’s peace of mind. Secondly, his right to “her” castle is a travesty, since it’s been clan Maxwell property for ages. As the two enter a heated battle of wills, an unexpected passion blazes into a love as fierce as the Highlands themselves. Is Fiona strong enough to resist her enemy’s advances?or is Gabriel actually her hero in disguise?

The hero of Suzanne Enoch’s Hero in the Highlands, Major Gabriel Forrester, is a professional soldier. He is both equally feared and revered for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, earning the moniker of “The Beast of Bussaco.” He is not at all pleased to learn that he has unexpectedly inherited a Dukedom from an unknown relative, and even less pleased that he must travel to the Highlands to deal with some suspicious doings on his Scottish estate. But he tackles the problem the only way he knows how—as a soldier.

[Read more...]

Sep 9 2016 1:30pm

First Look: Dressed to Kiss Anthology (September 12, 2016)

Dressed to Kiss by Madeline Hunter, Caroline Linden, Megan Frampton, and Myretta Robens

Madeline Hunter, Caroline Linden, Megan Frampton, Myretta Robens
Dressed to Kiss
Self-published / September 12, 2016 / $4.99 digital

Once renowned for creating the most envied gowns in London, Madame Follette’s dressmaking shop has fallen far out of fashion. The approaching coronation of King George IV offers a chance to reclaim former glory by supplying stunning new wardrobes to the most glittering society in Regency England. In the face of long-held secrets, looming scandals, and the potential ruin of their shop, the dressmakers of Follette’s are undaunted, not even by the most unexpected complication of all: true love.

Dressed to Kiss is a delightful anthology written by four unique, confident voices centering around Madame Follette’s dressmaking shop. It features two dressmakers and the sister and brother who keep it afloat. As one might expect, fashion tidbits, as well as the shop’s denizens, help to bind the stories together and offer up some fun fashion analogies.

[Read more...]

Jul 20 2016 3:00pm

Tackling Disabilities in Historical Settings: Joanna Lowell’s Dark Season

Dark Season by Joanna Lowell

Tainted. Degraded. Doomed. Doctors told Ella Arlington that her epilepsy would prevent her from living a normal life. When her cousin tries to put her in an institution, she flees to London, determined to control her own destiny. But while at a seance, Ella's epileptic fit is mistaken for spiritual possession. Loath to reveal her scandalous condition, she goes along with the misperception, and soon finds herself attracting the attention of a devilishly handsome viscount determined to keep the past buried.

Viscount Isidore Blackwood's fiancee died with secrets he's vowed to keep, but nothing could have prepared him for the arrival of a mysterious woman who's rumored to have contacted her ghost. He doesn't believe for a moment that Ella possesses supernatural powers. Her presence, however, shakes him to his core and when he accuses Ella of being a con artist, sparks unexpectedly ignite between them.

When some surprising truths come to light about Phillipa's death, Isidore concocts a plan to stage a spectacle of a séance for the ton with Ella's help. Their devil's pact might just flush out a killer, but will Isidore let his fury and guilt consume his own soul in the process? And can Ella trust him enough to gamble on a future she never thought she could have?

I’ve read several romances that featured a disabled heroine–blindness, deafness, a clubbed foot–but I’ve never read one whose heroine suffered from epilepsy. It is a difficult disease with which to cope–especially in an historical setting where there was incomplete medical knowledge surrounding the condition. Dark Season by Joanna Lowell tackles this demanding subject with sensitivity, taking Ella Arlington from a place of fear, melancholy and resignation to hope, joy and love.

[Read more...]

Jul 3 2016 11:00am

And They All Lived Happily Ever After in Monica McCarty’s The Ghost

The Ghost by Monica McCarty

Spoilers for those who are not full caught up with Monica McCarty's Highland Guard series. Reader beware!

The Ghost is the final book in Monica McCarty’s Highland Guard series which revolves around a kind of Medieval Special-Ops force who carry out covert operations for Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, in his fight against the English King Edward II in the 1300s. The Ghost is a Scottish spy embedded within the English upper circle, and has provided vital information in previous books in the series, but whose identity is unknown to all but one member of The Guard. The Ghost is finally revealed to be Joan Comyn.

Over the years her role had grown increasingly more important–and more dangerous–shifting from messenger to spy after she’d falsely been declared illegitimate, dispossessed of her inheritance, and sent to live with her cousin Alice Comyn, who had married Sir Henry de Beaumont, one of King Edward’s most important barons in the north. Joan’s position in de Beaumont’s household had given her unexpected access to important information – and important men.

[Duty and honor...]

Jun 27 2016 4:30pm

First Look: Eloisa James’ A Gentleman Never Tells (June 28, 2016)

A Gentleman Never Tells by Eloisa James

Eloisa James
A Gentleman Never Tells: A Novella
Avon / (July 26, 2016) / $3.99 print, $.99 digital

Eighteen months ago, Lizzie Troutt’s husband died in his mistress’s bed, leaving her determined to never marry again….and unfortunately virginal.

Eighteen years ago (give or take a few) the Honorable Oliver Berwick blackened his own soul, leaving him hardened and resolutely single.

When the chance for redemption in the form of a country house party invitation comes his way, Oliver is determined to prove himself a gentleman.

Until he breaks all the codes of gentlemanly behavior…once again.

It is said that laughter is the best medicine, and laughter is central to Eloisa James’s A Gentleman Never Tells.

[Laughter and romance...]

Jun 2 2016 12:00pm

Remembering Jo Beverley: Thank You for Rothgar and So Much More

Lord Wraybourne's Betrothed by Jo Beverley

The romance writing world lost one of its founding mothers and innovators when Jo Beverley passed away last week. Thankfully, she left behind more than 30 novels and many, many novellas that I know I will be rereading for years to come. She was a 12 time RITA finalist, won five RITAs and is an RWA Honor Roll and Hall of Fame member.

Beverley was born in England and moved to Canada in the 1970s. She’d always been a writer and published her first Traditional Regency—Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed—in 1988. Several more perfect little trad gems followed. More information about the Traditioanl Regencies may be found here.

In 1990 An Arranged Marriage was published, marketed as a “Super Regency.” It is the first book in The Company of Rogues, one of the first “group of heroes” romance series that are now so ubiquitous. The Rogues are 12 school friends from Harrow brought together by Nicholas Delaney for mutual protection and to fight oppression. The friendships and quest for justice carried into adulthood and through the Napoleonic Wars. This series has expanded past the original 12 Rogues to include friends and relations. All are worth a read, but the original Rogue books are all engrossing reads. 

[We love those Rogues...]

May 23 2016 5:30pm

First Look: Marguerite Kaye & Bronwyn Scott’s Scandal at the Midsummer Ball (May 24, 2016)

Marguerite Kaye & Bronwyn Scott
Scandal at the Midsummer Ball
Harlequin Historical / May 24, 2016 / $6.50 print, $4.99 digital


Colonel Fergus Kennedy must make a suitable match at the Midsummer Ball. But when this officer encounters sultry acrobat Katerina Vengarov, he finds himself torn between duty…and heart-stopping, irresistible passion! 


Kael Gage is the last person at the Midsummer Ball Miss Zara Titus should speak to—and anything more is definitely off-limits! But the notorious rake seems determined to awaken this innocent debutante's every desire…

The Duke and Duchess of Brockmore host an annual house party where they facilitate powerful and prestigious marital matches for many of their guests. Invitations are highly coveted, but a couple of the attendees are more leery than anticipatory.

Part of the entertainment for the week is the appearance of the world renowned Flying Vengarovs, a brother and sisters acrobatic team, and this theme of “flying” is integral to both of the novellas which comprise Scandal at the Midsummer Ball.

[We're into it...]

May 9 2016 9:30am

The Black Sheep of the Family: Celeste Bradley’s Virgin Hero

I Thee Wed by Celeste Bradley

Celeste Bradley's I Thee Wed features a buttoned-up, virgin scientist. I love those guys.

Orion Worthington is a very serious scientist, but burdened with a very unserious family. The Worthingtons are notoriously eccentric and they can try an orderly person’s nerves.

As much as Orion loved his family, for some time now he had longed for the peace in which to truly work, to study, and to discover the secrets of the scientific world.

Peace in Worthington House was rather hard to come by.

He secures an apprenticeship with one of the foremost scientific minds in London with the understanding that if everything works out, Orion will also marry the lovely—and calm—daughter of the house.

Although he felt in no particular hurry to wed, he felt no aversion to it, either.

In this instance, it was a perfectly logical notion.

With a wife like Judith, Orion could imagine himself living just this sort of peaceful, organized life. A fine home, run to exacting standards, leaving him free to involve himself solely in his work while his bride managed the boring day-to-day details.

[But we're guessing doesn't want a detail-oriented bride...]

May 2 2016 12:00pm

First Look: Mary Balogh’s Only Beloved (May 3, 2016)

Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh
Only Beloved (Survivors Club #7)
Signet / May 3, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again. 

Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.

For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?

With Only Beloved, Mary Balogh finishes her delightful and moving Survivor’s Club Series, with the long-awaited story of George, the Duke of Stanbrook, who founded the group. After the death of his son in the Napoleonic Wars and subsequent suicide of his wife, George turned his Cornwall estate into a hospital for survivors of the war and a group of seven became especially close. These dear friends have recovered from their wounds—both physical and emotional—and the last one has just gotten married.

Was it downright contrary of him to be feeling ever so slightly depressed this morning? They had moved on with their lives, those six, and left him behind. And what a blasted pathetic, selfpitying thought that was. He was lonely, damn it. To the marrow of his bones and the depths of his soul.

[Don't be lonely, George!]

Dec 21 2015 10:30am

First Look: Megan Frampton’s One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild (December 29, 2015)

One-Eyed Dukes are Wild by Megan Frampton

Megan Frampton
One-Eyed Dukes are Wild (Dukes Behaving Badly #3)
Avon / December 29, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

The scandalously unmarried Lady Margaret Sawford is looking for adventure—and is always up for a challenge. Her curiosity is aroused by a dangerous-looking stranger with an eye patch, an ideal companion for the life she longs for, no matter what Society might say. So when the piratical gentleman turns out to be a duke—and just as boringly proper as any other nobleman—she can't help but incite him to walk on the wild side.

Well-heeled, well-mannered, and well beyond any interest in society's expectations, the Duke of Lasham is tired of being perfect. Margaret's lush beauty and gently laughing eyes are an irresistible temptation to embrace the imperfect—and her. But if a little misbehavior is appealing, unleashing his wild side is completely seductive—as long as the lovely Margaret is the object of his passion . . .

“What would you do if you could do anything you wanted?”

That is the question the slightly scandalous Lady Margaret poses to the eternally proper Duke of Lasham in Megan Frampton's One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild. The question takes him aback.

He only did the right things. Until this very day, he hadn’t even considered doing anything but the right things. But what would happen if he did do some of the wrong things? Would the world end? Would his dukedom be taken away from him?

[Being proper is no fun...]

Dec 16 2015 10:30am

First Look: Loretta Chase’s Dukes Prefer Blondes (December 29, 2015)

Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Loretta Chase
Dukes Prefer Blondes (Dressmakers #4)
Avon / December 29, 2015 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her . . .

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

The opening sentence in Loretta Chase’s Dukes Prefer Blondes is: To begin with, he was obnoxious. Barrister Oliver Radford certainly is that. Just ask anyone. Lady Clara Fairfax gains firsthand knowledge of this when she enlists his aid to rescue a boy who has fallen into the clutches of a gang.

“You didn’t need to run,” Mr. Radford said. “We’ve plenty of time.”

Clara, in the seat opposite, was still trying to catch her breath. It took her a moment to answer. “I thought you’d decided to leave me behind. Half-past five you’d drive by, you said. It was well past six.”

“In my experience, women are always late, even for court,” he said. “Consequently, I’ve learned to set an earlier time. You ought to take it as a compliment, my allowing you only an extra half hour for tardiness.”

For a moment she could only stare at him while she seesawed between incredulity and rage. “A compliment?” she said. “Have you any idea how condescendingly obnoxious you are?”

“A precise idea, thanks to people endlessly telling me.”

“I might have slept for another half hour,” she said.

“Does this mean you’re going to be tetchy and cross?”

“Only to you,” she said.

[Chase created an obnoxious hero to love ...]