Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blog Tour Review: All's Fair in Love and Scandal

All's Fair in Love and Scandal
Caroline Linden
Scandalous Series Bk# 2.5
Releases 4.21.2015
Avon Impulse


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 www.carolinelinden.com

Buy Links:

Caroline Linden brings readers back into Regency London and a scandalous author is writing riveting tales of romance that are spreading across the streets and into the homes, of well, just about any lady.

Who writes these tantalizing tales? What sort of person could fills these pages with stories of intrigue and vice? You are about to find out!

From Love and Other Scandals and It Take a Scandal readers have been dying to know who writes the novels 50 Ways to Sin throughout this series. Guiding all sorts of women and young ladies into visions of improprieties and sleepless nights, someone is weaving the tales that are so desired though the homes of London and this story will tell all. With wit and humor Caroline Linden brings us this story:

Nothing wagered…
Douglas Bennet can’t resist a good wager, especially not one that involves a beautiful woman. When a friend proposes an audacious plan to expose the most notorious woman in England, Douglas agrees at once. After all, it would be quite a coup to discover the true identity of Lady Constance, author of the infamous erotic serial scandalizing the ton50 Ways to Sin.
Nothing won…
Madeline Wilde is used to being pursued. For years she’s cultivated a reputation for being unattainable and mysterious, and for good reason: her livelihood depends on discretion. When Douglas turns his legendary charm on her, she dismisses him as just another rake. But he surprises her—instead of merely trying to seduce her, he becomes her friend…her confidant…and her lover. But can it really lead to happily-ever-after…or are they about to become the biggest scandal London has ever seen? 

            Lady Constance is a writer that everyone wants to discover, but as her secret is revealed will she be able to stand up to society and its restrictions? Who will unravel her mystery?

            This time we find two opposing and imposing characters Douglas Bennet and Madeline Wilde who will be tousling more than their clothing together, also their wits. When Douglas takes a wager to discover who the author behind a scandalous serial, he get more than he wagered in the strong willed heroine Madeline. As both forces struggle from their attraction and their secrets what comes of their adventure could ruin either.

            All's Fair in Love and Scandal is a fabulous addition to the Scandalous Series. Written along as with the first two books in the series, Madeline's character's viewpoint is a delightful read. Filling the pages with her fears and feats, Madeline is riddled with the past of her previously passes husband and the limited bounds of widowhood, and yet yearns to unleash herself. Will Douglas Bennet get past her fierce exterior to find the woman underneath who craves even more than 50 Ways to Sin?

           So keep open an afternoon, and here is a snippet to lure you into Scandal:


Quite a crush, isn’t it?” He gave Mrs. Wilde his winning smile, the easy, friendly one that soothed anxious nerves and made women of every age and rank like him.
She turned at his voice behind her. Something like mirth glimmered in her eyes. “Indeed.”
“I hardly know a soul here tonight.” He lowered his voice but without leaning toward her. Leaning put women on guard. A low voice made them lean toward him, which he much preferred. “It’s rather intimidating, to tell the truth.”
“You?” She arched one golden brow. “You don’t seem the sort to be easily intimidated.”
Douglas grinned. He knew he was a big fellow. Women tended to like it once they got to know him. “Rubbish. I’m petrified just looking at the elegance of this assembly.”
Her lovely lips curved. Her head tipped toward him, just a little. Her dark eyes gleamed. “I don’t believe you.”
“It’s true,” he protested. “My heart is racing, my knees are unsteady. Look—see how my hand trembles.” He caught her hand in his, tensing his muscle to produce the tiniest tremor in his hand, and then relaxing it. “Ah. Your touch has healing power, I see.”
She left her hand in his, but that slight smile tugging at her mouth grew a bit wider. “It’s not flattering to a woman, to say her touch calms a man’s heart and body. Usually she wishes it were the other way around.”
His heart did skip a beat at that. She was a flirt; excellent. He adored flirts. Douglas stroked his thumb over the back of her hand. “It only stilled the terror, my dear. I suspect you could elicit an entirely different sort of tremor.” He lifted her hand and brushed the faintest kiss over her knuckles. “We must be introduced.”
“I fear there’s no one here in this quiet corner who will do it.” Her eyes seemed to grow darker as he drew one finger across her palm.
“Then I will risk being appallingly rude and present myself.” He bowed over her hand, his eyes never leaving her face. “Douglas Bennet, at your service.”
“Yes, I know.”
“You do?” He smiled in delight. “Then we should become acquainted…”
“Mr. Douglas Bennet,” she repeated, her voice changing just enough to freeze him in place. “Son and heir of Sir George Bennet, baronet. A very handsome title, an even handsomer fortune. An unrepentant rake, gambler, brawler, and sometime rogue. Your mother wants you to marry; you couldn’t be less interested. Your taste runs to tavern maids and opera dancers, preferably French. Your sister wed your bosom friend Lord Burke, much to your disgust, although no one quite knows if you pity your sister or your one-time friend more.” She tilted her head and smiled as he stared at her, blank-faced with shock that was rapidly turning to indignation. “What have I forgotten? Oh, yes—you love a good wager. What was the one that sent you over here: a wager to get me into your bed?” She slipped her fingers from his slackened grip. “If it was…you’ve already lost. I hope you didn’t stake a large amount.”
“It was merely for the pleasure of a dance,” he said, hiding his temper behind a flat tone.
She laughed. By God, she had a beautiful laugh, throaty and soft, the sort that made a man want to amuse her so he could hear it again. “I doubt it. But then, you’re also accustomed to losing, aren’t you?” She sank into a graceful curtsey, giving him one last view of her matchless bosom. “Good evening, sir.” She turned and walked away, unhurried, unaffected.
He was still standing there, pulsing with unexpected desire and insulted pride, when Spence slung an arm around his neck. “Rough luck,” he said, his voice brimming with amusement. “She’s a cold one.” He grinned and slapped Douglas’s shoulder. “Five quid, gone in a blink.”
Douglas turned a black look on the man. “You didn’t say when.”
Spence raised his eyebrows, still grinning like a cardsharp. Come to think of it, he usually looked like that, right before he took someone’s money. Douglas had won and lost to Spence with equanimity—for the most part—but tonight he wanted to punch his friend. Spence had deliberately dared him to an impossible task, sending him over to be humiliated and rejected. And now he wanted five pounds. “What do you mean?”
“You didn’t say when.” Douglas bit off each word. “She rejected me tonight, but there’s always tomorrow night, and the next, and the next after that.”
A scowl darkened Spence’s face for a split second before he threw up his hand. “You’re right! I didn’t. Let’s say…within a fortnight. That ought to be enough time to work up some charm and get between the fair widow’s legs.”
“You wagered for a dance, not a tupping.”
“Well.” Spence’s eyes glittered. “I thought I wagered for tonight. Allowances must be made.” When Douglas said nothing, Spence leaned closer. “You’re not afraid, are you? Not going soft in the head like Burke? The woman gutted you and denied you in front of all society, man. Look around.” He swept one arm toward the rest of the room. “Don’t you think half the people here guessed why you sought her out? And now they see her leaving alone, and you looking like she took your ballocks with her.”
Against his will, Douglas’s eyes caught on Madeline Wilde as she made her way toward the doors. Damn, she was beautiful. He had wanted to dance with her, and probably get her into bed as well, even though she was not, as she had so baldly pointed out, his usual type of woman. She was…something more.
As if she could hear his thoughts, she paused at the top of the short flight of stairs leading out of the ballroom. She glanced back over her shoulder, and her eyes met his. For a moment he felt again a bolt of lust—unwanted this time—and her lips curved, as if she knew. She lowered her chin and smiled in a coy, entrancing way, as if they shared secrets—or as if she dared him to uncover hers. With breathtaking nerve, she pursed up her lips as if in a kiss, and touched one finger to them.
He took a harsh breath as she turned and continued on her way, her emerald skirts swaying bewitchingly. “Why her?”
“Why not her?”
Douglas set his jaw. “You had her marked from the moment we stepped into this room. I saw you watching her, Spence. A former lover? Was I supposed to exact some revenge or retribution by asking the lady to dance?”
“The courtesan’s daughter?” The other man’s lip curled. “Hardly a former lover of mine. I have higher standards than that.”
Not really, in Douglas’s opinion. Spence liked married women who couldn’t impose on his freedom, and who often wished to keep their liaisons secret. That was hardly what one could call a refined requirement. Still, Douglas hadn’t known she was a courtesan’s daughter. He made a mental note to find out more about that.
“She appeared respectable enough to me,” he said.
“To you,” repeated Spence with an edge of condescension. “Compared to a tavern wench with rounded heels, she might be. To the rest of us…” He snapped his fingers at a passing footman and took a glass of wine from the man’s tray. “You really ought to improve your taste, Bennet.”
Douglas let that go. He did like tavern wenches. They were friendly and earthy, nothing delicate or prim about them. They were more willing to be adventurous in bed, and they demanded so much less of him—financially and emotionally—than any other woman would.
“But why her?” he asked again, circling back to his main question. “Just for the sport of it? Or did you simply want the pleasure of seeing me turned down flat?”
Spence didn’t reply for a moment. His eyes were sharp and calculating. “How plump are your pockets at the moment?” he finally asked.
“Reasonably,” said Douglas. He’d been gone from town for a month overseeing repairs at one of his father’s estates, to the great benefit of his purse. Still, it was a few weeks to quarter day, when his father paid out his allowance. He could always find a use for more money.
Spence lowered his voice. “I suspect our lovely Mrs. Wilde of being more than she appears. And if I’m right, there’s two thousand quid to be had.”
Douglas’s eyebrows shot up. “What is she, a spy?”
“Of some sort,” muttered Spence. “You aren’t acquainted with a little piece of rubbish called 50 Ways to Sin, are you?”
“Get a copy. It’s a pamphlet of a most…intriguing nature.” A cunning smile split his face. “I suspect you’ll enjoy it.”
That smile put him on guard. Douglas might not be the most discerning fellow, but he wasn’t stupid, and he knew Spence too well. “If you insist—not that it answers my question about why you wanted me to charm my way into Mrs. Wilde’s good graces.”
“The authoress is unknown. I daresay even you’ll guess why when you read it. But she’s piqued more than one man’s pride with her scandalous pen, and there’s a bounty out for her name. Mrs. Wilde seems a very likely candidate.” He shrugged. “If you can unmask her, I’ll split the bounty with you.”
Douglas folded his arms and looked at Spence through narrowed eyes. “I should seduce the woman, gain her confidence, presumably enough to be admitted to her boudoir, where I would have to search for some proof that she writes this pamphlet. And for that, you’ll take half the money? Not so, Spence, not so.”
His friend’s hooded eyes flashed. “Very well. Forget I said anything.”
Douglas shrugged. “Hard to do that. Who staked the bounty?”
Spence hesitated.
“If the bloke’s serious about finding the author, he can’t be too secretive about it.”
“Lord Chesterton,” said Spence with obvious reluctance. “He felt she identified him too clearly in one story and he’s livid.”
“Identified? She didn’t use his name?”
Spence looked impatient. “No, she uses obviously false names.”
“Then how did he recognize himself?”
His friend smirked again. “Find a copy and see if you can deduce that yourself.”
Douglas wondered what on earth this story was, that would drive Lord Chesterton to such an action. The man was as correct and polite as anyone could be, distantly connected to the King and as stiff as a piece of kindling. Now he’d placed a public bounty on a woman’s head? What could Mrs. Wilde—if she was in fact the author—have written about him? Two thousand pounds was a small fortune, and certain to attract a fair amount of attention.
Of course, that also made it a much more interesting contest.
“Three to one,” he said after a moment’s thought.
“Three to one split, if we take the bounty.” He glanced at Spence. “You’re the one, obviously.”
“Two to three,” countered the other man.
“Do it yourself, then.”
Spence muttered a few curses under his breath, but stuck out his hand. “Done.”
Douglas shook on it, already anticipating his next meeting with the wily widow. “Done.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spotlight on Susanna Kearsley

Conde Nast Traveler had this great photo and article up when I was trolling Scottish Highland Photos
It was too beautiful not to head up this post with it.

If by chance, you are unfamiliar with Susanna Kearsley's work, do go find one at your local bookstore or library.

A Desperate Fortune releases earlier this month and I stalked the mail for several days pining the arrival because this author can blend history and light romance together. I love these books in print. I have a lot of ebooks (darn one click purchases, I do so love you) but not only are they great to hold in your hand, but they are also gorgeous. And the row on my shelf catches my eye often. That is why I reread Kearsley with a vengeance. 

A blend of modern and Jacobite rebellion period (Holy Outlander TV time also!) and I have a fabulous brogue Scotsman and lass speaking in my mind while I absorb this book. 

With vivid description author Susanna Kearsley captures present and past through the eyes of two very different period and personality characters. There is some hot kissing, because when there is like one kiss in these books, we swoon. And some hand holding - be still my beating heart! But do not get discouraged romance lovers because even through the author doesn't get hot and heavy with her characters, oh my, the light romance will captivate you and give warm feels.  The history is well entwined throughout the story line so a reader doesn't get the bogged down in history and with the present day aspect of the book, readers will also get the feel of what present day places hold within them historical elements. 

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley9781492602026 * $16.99/TP * ON-SALE: April 7, 2015
For nearly three hundred years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has lain unread. Now, amateur code breaker Sara Thomas has been sent to Paris to crack the cipher.
Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing—for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.
As Mary’s gripping tale is revealed, Sara is faced with challenges that will require letting go of everything she thought she knew—about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women will be united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the coincidences of fate.

Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is known for her meticulous research and exotic settings from Russia to Italy to Cornwall, which not only entertain her readers but give her a great reason to travel. Her lush writing has been compared to Mary Stewart, Daphne du Maurier, and Diana Gabaldon. She hit the bestseller lists in the U.S. with The Firebird (a RITA winner) as well as, The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden (both RITA finalists and winners of RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards). Other honors include National Readers' Choice Awards, the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, and finaling for the UK's Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Her popular and critically acclaimed books are available in translation in more than 20 countries and as audiobooks. She lives in Canada, near the shores of Lake Ontario.

But wait! There is more:
Sourcebooks has a fabulous giveaway going throughout these Blog Tour Spots
5) lucky winners will receive from Sourcebooks Susanna Kearsley's entire BACKLIST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 2, 2015

When An Accidental Wallflower Arrives

Diary of an Accidental Wallflower
Jennifer McQuiston
Releasing 2.24.2015
384 pgs
Avon Books

Buy : Powells    BN.Com    Amazon


Pretty and popular, Miss Clare Westmore knows exactly what (or rather, who) she wants: the next Duke of Harrington. But when she twists her ankle on the eve of the Season’s most touted event, Clare is left standing in the wallflower line watching her best friend dance away with her duke.
Dr. Daniel Merial is tempted to deliver more than a diagnosis to London's most unlikely wallflower, but he doesn’t have time for distractions, even one so delectable. Besides, she's clearly got her sights on more promising prey. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?
All Clare wants to do is return to the dance floor. But as her former friends try to knock her permanently out of place, she realizes with horror she is falling for her doctor instead of her duke. When her ankle finally heals and she faces her old life again, will she throw herself back into the game?
Or will her time in the wallflower line have given her a glimpse of who she was really meant to be?

This Author:


Find Out More:

For a Great Listen and fun time listen to an author interview online.
PodCast from Smart Bitches Trashy Books HERE

Monday, March 30, 2015

Romance Revelry: It Started With A Scandal

We are on Tour with Avon Books Blog to bring to you readers and excerpt into Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green Series It Started with a Scandal!

As the tenth book in the series, It Started with a Scandal will readers into the plight of our misfortuned heroine trying to keep herself employed with her son, and the Lord who find her in his house trying to change him. If you are new to this series, enjoy! there is a lot of great dialog and crafty characters to delight you. Long standing readers of the Pennyroyal Green Series, delight in continuing characters and frumpy Lords!


Lord Philippe Lavay once took to the high seas armed with charm as lethal as his sword and a stone-cold conviction: he’ll restore his family’s fortune and honor, no matter the cost. Victory is at last within
reach—when a brutal attack snatches it from his grasp and lands him in Pennyroyal Green.

An afternoon of bliss brings a cascade of consequences for Elise Fountain. Shunned by her family and ousted from a job she loves, survival means a plummet down the social ladder to a position no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to a frighteningly formidable prince.

The bold and gentle Elise sees past his battered body into Philippe’s barricaded heart . . . and her innate sensuality ignites his blood. Now a man who thought he could never love and a woman who thought she would never again trust must fight an incendiary passion that could be the ruin of them both.

Our Thoughts On:

There are many great historical romance series out there, and some have as long of a set as The  Pennyroyal Green Series, but few can keep up with characters as charming, dangerous and doomed, as Julie Anne Long’s. It Started With a Scandal is a fresh book in her line of the series with two characters that have been damaged in their lives and are both looking for a fresh start in their ways.
Elise Fountain made a mistake many years ago, one of the heart, that brought her scandal and misfortune in life, and she is trying to live up to her own expectations and that of keeping her son. There are not many who see a woman of worth this loose morals in this series, but Elise doesn’t let society keep her down, no she takes the reins with her latest job, housekeeping for a new Lord in town.
Lord Philippe Lavay does what he wants. He is like the epitome of the  Mysterious Loner Dude, grumbling away in his dark rooms, with his dark mood and dangerous past. His days of fighting for his kin and country are over, and the damage done to his person haunts him while he has driven himself out of society. Cantankerous and prone to destructive moods within his household, Lord Lavay has driven his previous housekeeper away and finds himself face to face with Elise Fountain.

Pride goeth before a fall, always. She possessed many fine qualities, but she could also be perverse and obstinate, which even those who had claimed to love her were forced to admit. She would not be defeated by this man.

Elise and Lord Lavay both come heads to heads in this books, at first glance Lavay seems to dislike everybody. Elise doesn't let his attitude get to her, this may be her last job that she can take and keep her son Jack with her. Elise isn’t going to let some pouting Lord push her around, but while trying to get Lord Lavay out of his slump Elise find herself caught in a position more dangerous than just being fired again, she finds herself caring for Lavay more and more each day. Lavay himself has cast away the idea of finding love, and while he tries his best to keep away from his new housekeeper, he finds her creeping into his gruff exterior one cup of willow bark tea and massage at a time.

Now previous readers of the Pennyroyal Green Series will see the return of several characters throughout this book. Lord Lavay was the person who was rescued by Lyon in London, and Olivia returns also. Also Seamus Duggan returns from A Notorious Countess Confesses charming readers with his roguish appeal. And fans of I Kissed an Earl will find the return of Violet Redmond and her husband the Earl of Ardmay Asher Flint. So fans of previous books will get a little glimpse at some of their favorite characters.

Where We Share an Excerpt! 

Now as part of this tour we are participating in sharing Chapter 1 of It Started with a Scandal, and this will be part 3 of the excerpt, so if you want 1-2 then below the excerpt will be listed previous blogs holding the first two parts of Chapter 1.


Philippe glanced up in time to see Mrs. Fountain take a quick little extra step at the doorway of his chamber as she departed. It looked suspiciously like the beginning of a...frolic. He frowned. God, how the little details of the running of a household bored him. Odd, when the details involved in running a ship were so very similar and he relished those.  It was just that one was a job for a man, and one was a job for a woman. Her doubted Mrs. Fountain was that woman. Why should she succeed when three others had already failed? He'd sacked two of them and the third had fled. He of course already knew certain things about her—the things the worthy Mrs. Winthrop had chosen to divulge, anyhow—that she was capable of the job, at the very least—and the fact that the quality of her character had allegedly been endorsed by the Redmonds. His closest friend, the Earl of Ardmay, happened to be married to a member of that esteemed family If there was any advantage to all of the people and events that had led to his convalescent exile in Pennyroyal Green, Sussex, England—cutthroats and kings, seductions and beheadings, exquisite pleasure and excruciating pain, sword fights, gun fights, pirate fights, the utter destruction of his way of life until all that was left of him was the stony-cold, ruthless determination to restore it—it was that he could read people as fluently and swiftly as he read five languages. Questions were merely a way to distract his subject while he quietly summed them up.. Mrs. Fountain's posture, her diction, her ability to look him in the eye and string together formal, persuasive English sentences, to use a word like “politics”...all of it betrayed more breeding than the usual housekeeper possessed. She was proud. Proud  people often did excellent work; proud people often thought they were above their work. Proud people would find it difficult ot use the servant's stairs. His intuition told him she had a temper. And she blushed and pet the furniture, as if she'd never seen velvet before. Mrs. Fountain, was also, he suspected, a trifle desperate. He knew a bit about desperation. But whilst she spoke, a spiral of glossy black hair had escaped from its bondage of hairpins and settled against her temple like a treble clef. She didn't seem to be aware of it. It was so at odds with her precise speech and rigid spine that his mind had blanked and he'd almost forgotten what he was about to say. He'd almost forgotten to even think. He sighed. He'd unnerved her. It didn't matter. She would doubtless be gone within a fortnight, and hopefully the desperate Mrs. Fountain wouldn't take the rest f his silver with her. Charm had begun to seem superfluous in light of other urgencies. Certainly it had been no defense against the band of cutthroats who'd attacked him in London and left him with a lot less blood, a little less money, few more scars, and in debt to the last person on earth to whom he wished to owe his life. And he always, without fail, honored his debts. He stood again, slowly, stiffly and turned toward the window. The rain had ceased, and the sun was beginning to drop, and the sky was blushing. Pink had rushed into Mrs. Fountain's cheeks when he'd told her she could have the job. It had been rather like the sun rising to illuminate a delicate landscape. He'd ducked his head, feigning distraction, to spare her dignity. But not before he'd noticed a tiny impression, a dimple, in her chin. He'd imagined pressing the tip of his finger into it, just so. Perhaps further indication that he was right to ease up on his laudanum.
END IT STARTED WITH A SCANDAL CHAPTER ONE PART THREE! To read the rest of Chapter One, check out these blogs:
Pretty Sassy Cool EXCERPT PART 1
Wild Wordy Women EXCERPT PART 1

Booklovers for Life EXCERPT PART 1

Supernatural Snark EXCERPT PART1
Paulette’s Papers EXCERPT PART 1

Urban Girl Reader EXCERPT PART 2
Eater of Books EXCERPT PART 2

Buried Under Romance EXCERPT PART 2

Toot’s Book Reviews EXCERPT PART 2
Doing Some Reading EXCERPT PART 2

On The Author:

USA Today bestselling author JULIE ANNE LONG originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up (and she has the guitars and fringed clothing stuffed in the back of her closet to prove it), but writing was always her first love. Since hanging up her guitar for the computer keyboard, her books frequently top reader and critic polls and have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Rita, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and The Quills, and reviewers have been known to use words like “dazzling,” “brilliant,” and “impossible to put down” when describing them. Julie lives in Northern California.

Visit Julie at http://www.julieannelong.com, http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJulieAnneLong, or twitter.com/JulieAnneLong