Tour and Review: The Lord Meets His Lady by Gina Conkle

TLMHL_TwoWeek_Tour_BadgeCan the scoundrel second son, Lord Marcus Bowles, and Genevieve Turner, a woman of ill-repute, find happiness? Or will his roguish ways and her dark past forever tear them apart? Fans of Tessa Dare’s Twice Tempted by a Rogue will love this sensual read releasing December 2017 from Sourcebooks Casablanca.

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About The Lord Meets His Lady:

The Lord Meets His Lady (1).jpgTitle: The Lord Meets His Lady

Author: Gina Conkle

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Series: Midnight Meetings

Format: Digital eBook / Print

Print ISBN: 9781492651901

Digital ISBN: 9781402294341

 

Synopsis:

Lord Marcus Bowles has stained his family’s reputation for the last time. Only after spending a scandal-free year restoring some far-flung property can this second son return in good graces. But Marcus isn’t one to abandon a lone damsel on a dark country lane.

One stolen kiss and Genevieve Turner’s handsome midnight savior disappears. Typical. No matter, Gen is finally on the way to her new post, and hopefully to finding her grandmother as well. Instead she finds her mischievous hero is her new employer. Surely a few more kisses won’t hurt…

Available at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

My Review

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋💋1/2

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

The suspense of will they fall in love will drive you mad! I was hooked from the start with her red cloak and the mystery surrounding her. The instant connection and fun flirting between them throughout the story was perfect and a favorite part of the whole story. I was on the edge of my seat about her past and wondering what was going to happen. There is so much going on in this story that I couldn’t put it down. I was holding my breath every time that man came around because I had no clue what he had planned. The ending was perfectly unexpected and left me wanting to know about his brother.

Genevieve wants one thing and that is to start her new life where she doesn’t have to do what someone else says. I have a love-hate relationship with her because I love her spirit, bluntness and that she is not an innocent miss. But at times I wanted to shake her because she kept running and wouldn’t listen even though I understand why.

Marcus was determined to leave his vices behind him and restore his reputation. I loved him because he was always honest and didn’t hide what he wanted. He just wasn’t always the best at voicing things right and would get himself into more of a mess. The sacrifices he was willing to make will melt your heart.

Excerpt:

Have you kissed her yet?” Samuel asked.

Marcus and Samuel rode along the pasture’s perimeter with an eye to the cottage. Miss Turner’s vibrant red cloak stood out against mellow sandstone. Shovel in hand, she jabbed the earth with determined thrusts. The weeds didn’t stand a chance.

I assume we’re speaking of my housekeeper.” Marcus halted Khan. “A hardworking, respectable woman of excellent character. She’s done a fine job with Pallinsburn. I wouldn’t besmirch her honor with talk like that nor should you.”

Samuel rode on, his shoulders bouncing with laughter. “And every night she ascends to heaven on angel’s wings.”

If his friend saw right through him, how soon before others did?

Came on strong, did I?”

Samuel pinched a small space between his thumb and forefinger. “A little.”

He urged his horse forward. “I don’t want her reputation damaged.”

Should’ve thought about that before making her your housekeeper. People will talk.”

Marcus searched Miss Turner out again, a gust boxing his ears like some admonishing aunt.

Was it so wrong to want to help a woman in need?

His housekeeper cleared the last weedy invaders off his front step. Her serious exterior belied deep-seated passion, evidenced in the way she dove into every task. The enthusiasm fascinated him.

And yes, he admired her other parts.

What will people talk about? Her youth?” he retorted. “Does a woman have to be long in the tooth to hold a decent position?”

No, but it’d help if you were toothless. Or married.” Samuel stared ahead, the wind assaulting his queue. “We don’t set the rules, but we both know them.”

You hired her, and you’re not a married man.”

Samuel’s gaze pinned him. “Nor do I have your unsavory reputation.”

I’d wager my housekeeper has more honor, more determination in her little finger than any woman of my acquaintance,” he said fiercely. “Who I am should have no bearing on her.”

Me thinks you doth protest too much…or whatever that drivel is. A clear sign you have it bad for her, but haven’t touched her. Yet.”

Why did Samuel hunt for sordid details? Likely he’d seen through Miss Turner with her low-cut bodices and saucy skirts. Didn’t matter. She worked hard. He didn’t care if she fit the proper housekeeper stamp or not.

He ought to buy a dull grey gown for her, if only to aid her reputation. Smiling against his collar, he guessed she wouldn’t wear it. Nor should she have to. One look at his red-cloaked gardener and he was certain of one thing: he’d do his anything to keep his friend, or any man, on the straight and narrow when it came to Miss Turner. She deserved a fresh start.

His housekeeper had nabbed a piece of his heart.

But the afternoon ride wasn’t meant to discuss his housekeeper’s allure. Samuel pulled his hat low, failing to look him in the eye.

Quoting Shakespeare,” Marcus said. “You must be reading with Adam again.”

Copyright © 2017 The Lord Meets His Lady by Gina Conkle

Other Books in the Midnight Meetings series:

MtEaMMeet the Earl at Midnight

It’s going to take a Beast to tame this Beauty

Enigma Earl. The Phantom of London. That’s what the gossip pages call Lord Edward Greenwich, a mysterious nobleman who doesn’t show his face in London Society. With a reputation like that, no wonder Lydia Montgomery is horrified to be dragged from bed and packed off to live with him to save her mother from penury.

While Lydia has received all of the training a lady should endure, she’s decidedly un-ladylike. She despises her corset and isn’t interested in marriage. She’d prefer to remain unmarried and spend her time improving her art. But if she wants a chance at happiness, she’ll have to set aside her fear of the earl and discover the man hiding behind the beast.

Will Edward and Lydia’s greatest discovery be each other before time runs out?

Available at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

LMHMThe Lady Meets Her Match

Locating Her Is Only Half The Battle…

Cyrus Ryland didn’t become England’s wealthiest bachelor by being a pushover, but the mysterious beauty he discovers sneaking around at his grand ball enflames his curiosity. When the clock chimes midnight, and she’s nowhere to be found, Cyrus vows to scour all of London to uncover who she is. Little does he know that not only does Claire Mayhew not want to be found, but she wants nothing to do with him at all…

Available at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

 

 

MaRaMMeet the Rogue at Midnight

A Saved Scoundrel…

Jonas Bacon Braithwaite wants to make peace with his grandfather before departing England. Once Nottinghamshire’s favorite trouble-maker, he’s since become an upstanding man of honor. But, the lushly curved thief hiding in his bedchamber makes him think twice about one last conquest.

A Stubborn Siren…

Livvy Halsey bristles at life’s rules. Always has. Sneaking into the Braithwaite house to reclaim a treasured family heirloom is one way she upends the conventional life that awaits her. Duty demands she marry. But what harm is there in having a little fun with her childhood friend before the Twelfth Night ends?

And Twilight Temptation…

Stolen kisses fan hot flames. Surprising passion intertwines with friendship…but will it be enough to last forever?

Available at: Amazon

Gina Conkle 1 (1)About Gina Conkle:

Gina Conkle writes lush Viking romance and sensual Georgian romance. Her books always offer a fresh, addictive spin on the genre with the witty banter and sexual tension that readers crave. She grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, Gina loves books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now she lives in Michigan with her favorite alpha male, Brian, and their two sons where she’s known to occasionally garden and cook.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

 

 

 

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Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6) by Elizabeth Hoyt

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋💋

Buy Links

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Blurb

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday—and Adam loves his grandmother, so he’ll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they’re forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he’s ever met.

Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she’ll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it’s the one gift this mismatched pair can’t wait to unwrap.

My Review

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

This one is perfect for a chilly night because you will need a fan otherwise. I loved the instant tension between the two of them plus the added fun from the families. I had no clue how things would happen and didn’t expect the twist from her past at all. The proposal was so different and perfect for them.

Sarah has a good reason for not trusting many men and she doesn’t hold back her dislike either. I loved that she learned to look past his walls and the show he put on or others. She learned to open up and let her heart take over.

Adam hides the real him and puts walls up to protect himself. I loved that his grandmother knew the real him and pushed him to show it and open his heart. He also had a past that explained him more.

ARC Review: The Heiress’s Deception (Sinful Brides #4) by Christi Caldwell

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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The Heiress’s Deception by Christi Caldwell

Releasing December 12, 2017

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Pre-Order Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Blurb

In the final installment of USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell’s Sinful Brides series, a runaway heiress entrusts her fate to the man she betrayed.

Lady Eve Pruitt has never forgotten her childhood friend, the young pickpocket Calum, who she feared had been condemned to the gallows. Now, years later, Eve is the one in danger. Her brother, made desperate by gambling debts, threatens to steal her inheritance, and Eve has no choice but to run.

Under an assumed name, she takes a job as a bookkeeper at the notorious Hell and Sin Club. Nothing in this bawdy den shocks her more than discovering that her employer is none other than Calum. Keeping her identity a secret is one thing—but hiding her feelings for him is another.

As Calum becomes increasingly taken with the strangely haunting beauty, he looks forward to exposing her mysteries. But when her masquerade is revealed, it’s left to Eve to prove that her desire for him is no deception.

My Review

*I was provided a copy from the author via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

My heart was in it from the start with what happened all those years ago. Then I was holding my breath when she was running and I was hooked even more. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how she would be discovered and what would happen then. That instant feeling of knowing each other, but not realizing it at first kept the suspense going wondering when he would realize it. I held my breath when her brother showed up and did not expect at all how everything would end. I loved the journey of forgiveness of themselves and each other.

Eva was extremely strong to have made it all these years with her brother and is so close to being safe. I loved her right away because she knew what she had to do and didn’t back down when talking to her brother. She always put others first and wanted to protect everyone. She also was very understanding of why most people did what they did.

Calum always took care of his family and others and put himself last. He comes off as a person not to be messed with, but he is more understanding and kind than you realize. I loved how he was with everyone and that he asked his sister what to do. He reacts to somethings differently than you expect.

Review: Charmed at Christmas (Christmas at Castle Keyvnor #1) by Claire Delacroix, Deb Marlowe, Erica Monroe

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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Charmed at Christmas by Claire Delacroix, Deb Marlowe, Erica Monroe

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & NobleKoboGoogle Play

Blurb

The Earl and Countess of Banfield cordially request your attendance at the wedding for their daughters: Lady Tamsyn Hambly to Mr. Gryffyn Cardew, & Lady Morgan Hambly to Harold Mort, Viscount Blackwater, on the 24th day of December, 1811, at Castle Keyvnor, Bocka Morrow, Cornwall.

“A Duke By Any Other Name” by Claire Delacroix
Daphne Goodenham has always been determined to wed a duke—not just because she loves fine dresses and parties, but because she wants to guarantee that she and her sister are never destitute again. When she meets the Duke of Inverfyre, a notorious fop, she immediately notices intriguing inconsistencies. Is there more to the duke than meets the eye? Why would he hide the truth if he were handsome, young, rich and a duke?

Alexander, the Duke of Inverfyre, is bent on catching a notorious thief who injured his sister, no matter what the cost. But when the lovely Miss Goodenham is bent on charming him, Alexander’s disguise proves to be no defense against her curiosity—and he has no resistance to her kiss. Will Daphne inadvertently foil Alexander’s plan? Will he have to sacrifice her interest to avenge his sister? Or can Daphne ensure Alexander’s triumph and make her own Christmas wish come true?

“Lord Locryn and the Pixie’s Kiss” by Deb Marlowe
When is a kiss actually a curse? When an irate Pixie forbids you to kiss the wrong girl—ever. Unfortunately, Lord Locryn Pendarvis has no idea why girls are falling all over themselves not to kiss him. He only knows that after a certain point, the risk of humiliation outweighs desire. Until he meets Lady Gwyn Hambly again. She’s witty, charming and beautiful—and just as interested in him as he is in her. They’ll do anything to ensure their future together—even fight the supernatural forces aligned against them.

“The Determined Duchess” by Erica Monroe
After the death of her beloved guardian, Miss Felicity Fields is left alone with an uncertain future. But this blunt bluestocking has a secret: she’s determined to resurrect her guardian through the ancient art of alchemy. The last thing she needs is the return of Nicholas Harding, the Duke of Wycliffe and rightful owner of her home on the wild coast of Cornwall. He stirs an unexpected passion within her, and Felicity has had enough change in her life.

When they were children, Nicholas never understood his aunt’s brilliant but unemotional ward, or her many scientific studies. Now, he’s determined to bring Felicity to London so that she may make a match within society–except he can’t stop thinking about her. But with the line between life and death blurred by Felicity’s experiments, can he convince her that she’s no longer alone, and her proper place is by his side?

My Reviews

Lord Locryn and the Pixie’s Kiss by Deb Marlowe

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋

*I received a copy from the authors in exchange for my honest review

The Pixies are back! You know when the Pixies are involved that it’s going to be interesting. I loved how the curse was both was bringing them together, but also keeping them apart. They were obviously meant to be together and everyone could see it. I loved the ritual because that was very different and something I hadn’t seen before.

Gywn loves to learn and plants and everything about an area, but she has never forgotten about that one-time meeting with him. I loved her right away because she didn’t hide her plans and was open to everything. She didn’t hide anything.

Locryn didn’t understand his curse until he arrived for the wedding. I loved that he didn’t bat an eye at what his aunt said or anything that happened. He also loved plants and learning.

The Determined Duchess by Erica Monroe

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋

This one will pull at your heart and give you goosebumps at times. I loved the spark that was between them and when it exploded it was like years built up. There’s a bit of Frankenstein vibes with her wanting to bring her back and the reason pulls at your heart. They were meant to be together and experiments brought them together.

Felicity is so different from any other heroine and I love her. She will break your heart with her reason for trying to bring her back and how long she has been trying to. It wasn’t that she needed to change who she was, but learn to understand and be around people.

Nicholas wanted to do what he thought was right for. I loved that he didn’t want to control her and wanted to help her. He was what she needed to help her deal with everything.

A Duke By Any Other Name by Claire Delacroix

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋1/2

I couldn’t put this one down! I loved the bit of mystery and the seeds and how it all flowed together. They say each other’s true self and understood everything about each other. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen with thief and how he would be caught. The letters were perfect and I want to know if his sister finds love.

Daphne looked past the outside appearances of people and saw the truth. I loved how bold she was and that wanted to take care of her sister. She didn’t let fear stop her in the end and knew what she wanted.

Alexander was not as he appeared at all and very good it until the right person came along. I loved that he accepted his sister’s wager and was so determined to catch the thief that hurt her. He was one of those people you love right away.

Release Blitz for A Scottish Lord for Christmas by Lauren Smith

ScottishLord cover 1_RGB_RGB301 (1)Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: December 5, 2017

 

 

Synopsis

 
The best gifts come wrapped in a kilt…

Beautiful Lady Rowena Pepperwirth can have any man her heart desires. Unfortunately no gentleman has elicited even the slightest flutter—until she meets the brooding Lord Forres at a holiday house party. With just one look at the dashing Scottish lord, Rowena suddenly knows what she wants for Christmas.

Quinn MacCauley, Lord Forres, is in need of a wife. When he meets the lovely Lady Rowena, he knows she’ll be a good mother to his daughter and a capable household manager. But Quinn doesn’t count on Rowena being the most tempting woman he’s ever met. He’s determined not to risk his heart, but Rowena’s just as determined to give him the greatest holiday gift of all—a chance at true love.

 

Goodreads

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Purchase Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2yJKFMC

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ivo6FV

 

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Giveaway

$20 Amazon Gift Card

 

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Available Now 

Earl_4_RGB_RBG301 (1)An Earl by Any Other Name (Sins and Scandals – Book 1)

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Smith_AGentlemanNeverSurrenders_ebook (1)A Gentleman Never Surrenders (Sins and Scandals – Book 2)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2x7DriE

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About the Author

USA TODAY Bestselling author LAUREN SMITH is an Oklahoma attorney by day, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

 

Connect with Lauren

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Release Tour and Review for Christmas At Thorncliff Manor (Secrets at Thorncliff Manor #4) by Sophie Barnes

Christmas at Thorncliff Manor

Secrets at Thorncliff Manor
by Sophie Barnes
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

More than love is in the air …

Join the Heartly family as they return to Thorncliff Manor for the holiday season where four sisters and four very handsome, very eligible bachelors, are about to enjoy a lively Christmastime filled with laughter and love. But aside from the covert matchmaking undertaken by the eccentric hostess, Lady Duncaster, the thrill of adventure is sweeping through the estate. Soon, all the guests will be entangled in a treasure hunt for a lost heirloom and secrets hidden for decades will rise to the surface as matters of the heart are finally revealed.

Will Fiona ever see the Earl of Chadwick as more than a friend? Will Emily find an unlikely love in the Marquess of Montsmouth? Can Laura recognize the man of her dreams in the Duke of Lamont? And is Viscount Belgrave able to open Rachel’s eyes to romance? The magic of Thorncliff is about to offer the last unmarried Heartly sisters a chance at their own happily-ever-afters. So sit back with a warm mug of cocoa and lose yourself in a Regency Christmas Romance…

My Review

My Rating:❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level:💋💋1/2

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

I couldn’t put it until I finished it! I love how different it was with four different romances going on at the same time, but not taking away from each other. Then the search for the treasure and twists about that kept me hooked. I loved that there was matchmaking going on and none of them being matched knew it. They are all very different couples.

Each couple had something unique about them in common that helped their romances along. I loved how they all interacted with each other and the girls parents were great too.

 About Sophie Barnes

Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.

When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.

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Review: A Scottish Lord for Christmas (Sins and Scandals #3) by Lauren Smith

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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A Scottish Lord for Christmas by Lauren Smith

Releasing December 5, 2017

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Pre-Order Links

AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboGoogle Play

Blurb

The best gifts come wrapped in a kilt…

Beautiful Lady Rowena Pepperwirth can have any man her heart desires. Unfortunately no gentleman has elicited even the slightest flutter—until she meets the brooding Lord Forres at a holiday house party. With just one look at the dashing Scottish lord, Rowena suddenly knows what she wants for Christmas.

Quinn MacCauley, Lord Forres, is in need of a wife. When he meets the lovely Lady Rowena, he knows she’ll be a good mother to his daughter and a capable household manager. But Quinn doesn’t count on Rowena being the most tempting woman he’s ever met. He’s determined not to risk his heart, but Rowena’s just as determined to give him the greatest holiday gift of all—a chance at true love.

My Review

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

This is my favorite in this series! I could not put it down and flew through it. It’s one of those magical Christmas love stories that has everything you want. I loved how it started with his daughter and that instant connection for her and the little girl. I was not expecting what happened in the mountains but loved it so much. The journey of him opening his heart fully will touch your heart.

Rowena is an amazing girl that loves everyone and people are drawn to her. I loved her because she didn’t hide her feelings and they were clear to everyone. She never wanted to replace his first wife, she continued on feeling a space in their hearts.

Quinn clearly loved his wife with all his heart and didn’t want to ever fall in love again. I loved that he didn’t try to hide his emotions or feelings like many would. He fought with his heart and needed a sign that he could love fully again.

Release Tour and Review: How to Woo a Wallflower (Romancing the Rules #3) by Christy Carlyle

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How to Woo a Wallflower

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How to Woo a Wallflower by Christy Carlyle

My Rating:❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level:💋💋💋

Buy Links

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Blurb

An Unconventional Wallflower…
Clarissa Ruthven was born to be a proper lady, but she’s never wanted to live up to the expectations her late father set. Determined to use her inheritance to help the less fortunate women of London, she’s devastated to learn that she won’t be inheriting anything until she marries, a fate she has no interest in. Unwilling to let go of her plans, Clary works at Ruthven Publishing for Gabriel Adamson, a man who’s always hated her. She’s always returned the feeling, but as she begins to turn her family’s publishing company upside down, she finds herself unable to forget her handsome boss.
Never Follows the Rules…
 
Gabriel Adamson believes in order. He certainly doesn’t believe Clary should be sticking her nose in the publishing company, and she definitely has no business invading his every thought. But Gabe soon finds he can’t resist Clary’s sense of freedom or her passionate kisses and he starts to crave everything she’s willing to give him.
Especially When It Comes to Love…
 
When Gabe’s dark past comes back to haunt him, he’ll do anything to make sure that Clary isn’t hurt…even if it means giving up the only woman he’s ever loved.

My Review

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

I was glued from the start and couldn’t put it down. There was something there between them from the start and they knew it. I loved how they were with each other because to everyone else it looked like they couldn’t stand each other. They were meant for each other and balanced each other out many times. I did not expect his past to come up the way it did or for everything to end the way it did and I loved it.

Clary finds the good in everything and doesn’t judge or blink an eye at anything. I loved that she had that childlike innocents about her, but was smarter and more mature than she looked. She never gave up on anything from her ideas to people and could make everyone smile.

Gabe has avoided her at every turn only to be stuck with her every day. I loved that he took such great care of his sister and didn’t judge either. He thought his past would be the end of everything in his life, but he was so wrong about many things.

Excerpt

Don’t assume every young lady is in need of rescue. Some of us wish to be a heroine who fights her own battles.”

Journal of Clary Ruthven

London, 1899

Whitechapel repulsed Gabriel Adamson.

Grime and smoke hung so thick in the air that he could taste grit on his tongue. Narrow lanes conspired to trap the neighborhood’s fetid stench, and its tenements loomed above his head as if they’d crush him under the weight of their cramped, miserable inhabitants.

Now that he could afford proper togs for the first time in his life, he took care selecting the finest fabrics for his tailored suits and shirts. Today, he feared every stitch he’d donned would reek from the East End’s noxious stew of ash and muck.

The rain had been on and off and on all morning, but the heavens showed no mercy in a place like this. The sky opened the moment he alighted from the hansom cab, fat drops pelting his hat like the clatter of horses’ hooves on cobblestones.

Tugging up his fur-lined collar, he lengthened his stride and ducked under the awning of a grimy-windowed shop. He stared across the lane at Number 12 Doncaster.

The building slouched toward the street, its wooden frame worn by time and eaten away by moisture. The brick buildings buttressing each side were smart and modern by comparison, though their red bricks had been smoked to an oily black too.

As he gazed up at the house, echoes rang in his head. Raging shouts and desperate cries. The thud of fists on flesh. Bone meeting bone.

Peg Delaney was a cruel woman, but she was nobody’s fool. Gabe doubted she’d still be eking out a living in the last place he’d seen her. This venture was a fool’s errand.

He drew in a ragged breath, biting back a curse.

At least he’d had the good sense not to tell Sara of his trip. He couldn’t bear to dash his sister’s hopes, nor could he stand watching her fret over their mother’s fate when she should be focusing on her future and finally securing a bit of long-delayed happiness.

When the rain slowed to a sparse patter, he dashed across the narrow lane and knocked at the door. No answer came, and he suspected the landlord was far in his cups by this hour. The man had always been a wastrel. Trying the latch, he found the door unlocked and stepped into the dark, musty vestibule, choking on memories and stale air.

A discordant strain of music—a bow scratching at violin strings—echoed from upstairs. Gabe started up the worn slats. The wood creaked under his weight.

His mother’s door stood ajar, and nausea clawed its way up his throat when he caught a hint of her cheap perfume on the air. Bracing a gloved fist against the wood, he pushed inside and held his breath. Amid dried leaves and a cascade of cobwebs, the stench of rot turned his gut inside out.

Except for a single overturned chair, the room contained no furniture. Nothing hung on the walls. No personal effects decorated the space. She’d abandoned this place long ago, and no one had given a damn about the miserable lodging room since. Water ran down the walls, leaking from loose roof tiles.

Gabe strode to the back of the room and gripped a moldy edge of loosened wallpaper. Peeling back the paper revealed a gaping hole in the plaster. Reaching inside, he scraped his fingers around in the dust and dark until he felt a rounded shape. He tugged the object forward, grasping the tiny horse head in his hand.

Years ago, he’d found the knight chess piece in the gutter and had squirreled it away like a treasure. Even now, the chiseled quartz glinted in the weak light from the room’s single, cracked window.

Wot you after?” A woman’s gruff bark sounded from the threshold, and Gabe turned, fists balled, muscles tensed.

Mrs. Niven.” She’d been wrinkled and gray when Gabe was young. Now his old neighbor had the aspect of a wizened crone. If wizened crones wielded a violin bow in one hand and a revolver in the other.

Squinting until her eyelids were little more than creased slits, she shuffled forward. “Is it you?”

Gabe’s pulse slowed as he watched the old woman’s drooping mouth curl up in a toothless smile.

Ragin’ Boy.” She drew close, reeking of smoke and soiled wool. “Never fought I’d see those eyes of yours lookin’ back at me again. ’Ow many years gone now, child? Five? Ten?”

Nine and a half years. He’d left Whitechapel at sixteen and never looked back. Never intended to step foot in the godforsaken place again either.

Tipping her chin, Mrs. Niven examined Gabe down the length of her bulbous nose. “Judgin’ by those fine togs you’re sportin’, I’d wager you’re not frowin’ punches for your supper these days, are ya boy?”

Where is she?” He wasn’t here for small talk.

Peg? ’Aven’t seen ’er in ages, boy.”

Gabe flexed his fingers. He fought the urge to throttle the old woman every time she called him boy. Mrs. Niven was thinking of another person. A child discarded long ago. An imp who woke angry every morning and spent his days fighting, striking out at anyone, anything that stood in his way. Bloodthirsty men had once had a use for him, betting on his skills in the ring. But he’d escaped. Taken a new name. Made a new life. Never looked back.

Until now.

You’ve no idea where she’s gone?” He couldn’t lose sight of why he’d come. If he thought of anything else, the memories would break in, and he’d lose control. Control was how he survived. Imposing order on chaos had been his salvation.

Not a clue.” Mrs. Niven choked before bursting into a racking, hollow cough. “Wot you need ’er for?”

I don’t need ’er at all.” Neither did Sara. This ridiculous venture was what happened when he gave in to sentiment. He needed to stop making that mistake. Reaching into his coat pocket, he extracted a silver sixpence. The woman’s rheumy eyes widened, nearly bursting from their sockets, when Gabe deposited the coin in her grimy palm. “Don’t drink it all at once, Mrs. Niven.”

He started across the leaf-strewn floor, stopped, and turned back. After extracting a calling card from his waistcoat pocket, he offered the cream rectangle to her. “Send word if you hear anything of my mother.”

Mrs. Niven was decidedly less eager to claim the slip of paper than she’d been to take his money, but she finally hobbled forward and retrieved the card from his fingers.

Gabe didn’t look back as he descended the stairs and made his way onto the rain-drenched street.

Let his mother find them if she wished. Nothing would ever compel him to return to this godforsaken place.

The downpour had diminished to a drizzle as he started down the lane, heading for the busier cross street, praying for a stray cab rattling by in search of a fare. Strangely, this area of Whitechapel had begun to transform. Run-down buildings had been replaced by newer brick structures, and a few thriving shops lined the streets. Outside of a tea room, the pavement had been painted in whitewash, and chairs were arranged outside, awaiting diners and a drier, sunnier day. If he’d possessed no memory of these streets from a decade before, he could almost be lulled into believing the neighborhood a respectable one.

At the precise moment such hopeful nonsense teased at his thoughts, a screech rent the air. A rowdy brothel had once thrived around the corner, but the sound echoing in the narrow lane wasn’t one of pleasure. More like agony. A man’s bleat emerged again, high-pitched and pained.

Gabe’s body responded like a soldier’s on the eve of battle—muscles taut, instincts sharp, pulse throbbing in his ears.

You bloody bitch!” the man squeaked.

Gabe rolled his shoulders and tugged off his gloves. Whoever the man was, he’d chosen to menace the fairer sex, and Gabe never had been able to stomach a bully. Too many times as a child, he’d watched helplessly as his mother cowered on the losing side of a man’s fists.

Until he was old and strong enough to beat them off himself.

Rounding the corner, he expected to find a man overpowering a woman with his height and strength. A sight he’d seen a thousand times in these streets. Instead, he spotted a man bent at the waist, clutching his groin, glaring toward the entrance of the Fisk Academy for Girls, according to the sign above the door.

I’ll smash that pretty face of yours,” the wounded blighter cried.

I don’t think you will,” a feminine voice countered. “And don’t let me see you darken this doorstep ever again.”

A croquet mallet emerged through the doorway first, the cylinder of wood painted with jaunty blue stripes around the edges. Purple ruffles came next, the edge of a skirt kicking up as a diminutive woman stomped out to face the wounded man.

Gabe rushed forward to assist her and jerked to a dead stop.

Clarissa Ruthven.

Pert nose. Guinea-gold hair. Wavy strands glinting in a beam of afternoon sun that managed to break through the clouds.

He recognized her, yet he squinted, unwilling to believe the evidence of his eyes. Queen Victoria parading down the sodden streets of Whitechapel wouldn’t have shocked him more. What business could the young woman have in this soot-smeared place?

Meet the Author

 

Christy CarlyleFueled 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.

 

 

Check out the other books in the Romancing the Rules series:
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Review: The Lady’s Legacy (Half Moon House #3) by Deb Marlowe

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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The Lady’s Legacy by Deb Marlowe

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋

Buy Links

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Blurb

Light fingers, fast feet, a quick wit and empathy for the downtrodden—none of these qualities will help Miss Francis ‘Flightly’ Headley fit in with Regency Society. They are perfect for a young woman helping the infamous Hestia Wright at Half Moon House, however. And they might be exactly what is needed to find Hestia’s long-lost son.

Lost is Mr. Rhys Caradec’s preferred state. An artist and a hedonist, he lives his life exactly as he wishes—unfettered and free. He has no interest in either of his warring parents, but finds himself unexpectedly fascinated with his mother’s assistant.

Each believes they can bring the other around to their way of thinking. Both recognize the rising passion between them—but they are far too different, their circumstances too convoluted, for them to ever fall in love . . .

My Review

* I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

This one will keep you on the edge of your seat! I couldn’t put it down waiting to see how they were going to get together and waiting to see what was going to happen to Hestia. They way they met was very different and I loved it especially when he dropped his case. I loved that they kept opening up to each other slowly and it was a journey for both. I held my breath when it came to the parts with Hestia afraid of what would happen. I didn’t want it to end.

Francis had her mind set on finding him and helping him to understand. I loved her right away because there was no stopping her on her mission and she wouldn’t give up. She was amazing in everything she did.

Rhys has lived his life thinking the worst of his mother and running from things. I loved how he threw himself into his work and how he slowly realized his problems. He needed to be told the truth bluntly.

ARC Review: A Peculiar Courtship (The Beckett Files, #2) by Laura Beers

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you buy a book through my link. There is no extra charge and I use these funds to feed my book addiction and keep my puppy in sweaters and toys. I only post links for books I love.*

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A Peculiar Courtship by Laura Beers

Releasing December 1, 2017

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋

Pre-Order Links

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Blurb

Lord Jonathon Beckett’s mission is simple: retrieve Lady Hannah and place her under the protection of the Crown. But he isn’t prepared for the havoc she inflicts on his world, making him question whether his duty as an agent of the Crown should always come before his heart.
Lady Hannah’s father has uncovered evidence exposing a French traitor to the Crown. Willing to do anything to silence him, the traitor’s primary target has become Lady Hannah. Keeping her safe means locking her away from Society, but she refuses to stand idly by, letting others put their lives on the line to protect her. Instead, she will stop at nothing to learn to defend herself, even at the risk of losing Lord Jonathon’s protection, or his affections.
With a sinister scheme in play to collapse the English government from within, Lord Jonathon must protect Lady Hannah from the French spies intending to use her as a pawn in their game of treachery. But can he protect her from herself?

My Review

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

This is a favorite series!!! The story counties with trying to bring down the spy in this one and it even more thrilling than the last one. I was on the edge of my seat not knowing what was going to happen or how it was going to happen. It was clear from the moment they met that they were perfect for each other. I loved seeing so many from the last one and how they all worked together. I held my breath when they were talking to his mother and when they were on the ship. There was a twist at every turn with many things. The ending was great and I can’t wait for the next one!

Hannah is not a weak girl that will just sit and wait to be saved or see what happens. I loved her right away because she did what she had to and took to it like it had been her whole life. She was determined to learn to take care of herself and not be told what to do at every turn. The cover is a perfect example of her.

Jonathon was going to finish his mission, but never thought he would lose his heart in the process. I loved that he kept messing up when talking to her and that everyone could see what he couldn’t. He handled everything that was thrown at him very well and stayed calm most of the time. I would not want to get on his bad side.