Blog Tour

#BlogTour : #Review Mr One-Night Stand by Rachael Stewart @rach_b52 – Exclusive Extract & #Giveaway #MrOneNightStand #DoYouDare @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonsInsiders

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Hello my lovelies, I have the huge pleasure to be the next stop on this fantastic blog tour. I am so excited to be sharing my review of Mr One Night Stand by the very lovely Rachael Stewart, plus I have an exclusive extract to whet your appetite, and on top of all that, I have an exclusive to Mills and Boon copy of Mr One Night Stand to giveaway to one very lucky winner – you may have seen the gorgeous black books popping up all over social media, Yep, I have a spare, Phew! So, grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy.

About The Book

One night only.
Just think of the possibilities

The second she sees Mr Oh-So-Delicious, Jennifer Hayes knows she needs one night of crazy. No names, no strings, no rules. Except that Jennifer’s naughty one-nighter is actually Marcus Wright—her new business partner! Now they’re mixing business with all kinds of pleasure. But when it comes to falling in love her sexy Mr Wright is either Mr Wrong or the best mistake of her life…

Mr One Night Stand is to be released on the 21st February, and can be found at Amazon

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Exclusive Extract

Her breathe caught, a peculiar awareness taking hold.

He sat at a table beside the glass wall. A great seat from which to enjoy the far-reaching cityscape below, although his eyes showed no interest in the vista. No, they were well and truly pinned on her, projecting an intensity that had her skin prickling with such thrill.

Hell, she wanted to stride straight over – the urge was almost making her do just that – but sense prevailed. Tony wanted her. Hopefully he could explain away his crazy behaviour, and put her mind at rest over the future.

Giving a small sigh, she headed for the bar. A drink – that was what she needed. Anything to take the edge off.

Slipping on to the bar stool, she crossed her legs and replaced her clutch with the leather-clad drinks menu.

Good evening, Miss Hayes, what can I get you?” She looked up to find Darren, the head bar tender, approaching with a smile, his hands busy drying off a glass. She returned his smile easily and scanned the list, honing in on a Vodka Martini and figured that had to be strong enough.

He cocked an eyebrow when she made her request, “Shaken, not stirred madame?” his Scottish-accented Bond impression had her laughing, and the sound was alien to her eyes. It had to be weeks – months, even – since she had a proper giggle. Maybe she was the one in need of a good shake, never mind the drink.

He knew her too well. She didn’t do spirits. A spritzer was her usual drink of choice. But a spritzer just wasn’t going to cut it. Nit tonight. It wasn’t just Tony, it was her concern of her mother too. She was getting worse and there was nothing Jennifer could do to stop it.

Her heart fluttered painfully and she pushed the thought aside. Not now!

Sounds perfect,” she said, flipping open her and retrieving her mobile to check if Tony had at least messaged. But shed not eve lit the screen before her eyes sidled away drawn to the brooding silhouette not twelve feet away.

He was tall – she could tell that even though his body folded deep into the bucket seat. The ankle of one leg casually rested atop the knee of the other. The designer cut f his dark suit and tan leather shoes spoke money. Although whether he had any was an entirely different matter. She’d learned tat quickly enough in the city. People only had to dress to impress and it attracted wealth like bees to honey.

But there was something in the broad set of his shoulder’s, accentuated as they were by this tailored jacket, and the confident air in his relaxed poise that had her certain he was all about the front.

And what a front…

Her eyes drifted upwards. The crisp white shirt say smoothly over his torso, no hint of spread. Then they drifted higher, to the last fastened button of his open collar and the hint of dark hair curling there.

Her pulse skipped, her mouth watered, and her eyes snapped back to her phone. Not now!

Seriously, what was wrong with her? Was she that desperate to get laid? That fed up with her trusty vibrator that her body was putting up a fight? Truth was, there was no time in her life for that complication. Mr Dildo didn’t talk back, didn’t require care and affection. He didn’t require time that she didn’t have.

Between dashing back and forth between London and Yorkshire each weekend to be with her family she was all out of that.

But one night, though. Think of the possibilities…

Heat simmered low in her belly as she activated her phone scree. No notifications. She fired off a brief ‘Where are you?’ Message and placed the device back on the bar, her heighten awareness picking on movement from the man’s direction. She watched him crook his finger to the blonde waitress hovering nearby and an inexplicable pull ripped through her.

Christ, he was reeling her in too.

She nibbled the inside of her lip, drinking in his rakishly long dark hair, chiselled set of his jaw that softened delectably with his easy grin. And then there were his eyes – so compelling. She couldn’t make out the colour, but there was something about them, something deliciously sinful…

Her tummy contracted with a barrage of heat, and in that second she knew she wanted to leave with him. That she wanted one night of crazy. No names, no real talk, just wild, no-holds-barred sex.

Could she do it? Hell, would he?

***

My, oh, my!! What a book! Ms Stewart has been cutting her teeth with saucy, sexy romances for a while now, but what surprised me most is that this is her debut Mills and Boon Dare novel. And what a debut! The quality of this is astounding, I can see a shining long and successful writing career ahead of her. This is – and I am rather embarrassed to say – first full length novel I have read by her, why is this? I don’t have an answer to that, only I must have been living in a Historical focused bubble for the best part of a year. But, that will change. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author.

I am a late-comer to Dare books, after only reading my first this year – again living in a bubble, so when I got offered to participate in this blog tour, I did jump at the chance as fast as I could. And I am so pleased that I did, as this is fabulous!

When Jennifer has to attend a business meeting, she is rather more peeved at her boss Tony not only because he does tend to use and lay a n awful lot on her shoulders. But mainly by the fact that he doesn’t even appear to meet her as promised, he was supposed to do all the introductions with the man who has bought into their business; a Mr Marcus Wright. Jennifer is frustrated – in mores way then one, she has had enough of how lax Tony is being lately and she is in an emotional state worrying about her ill mother. So when she sees the sinfully attractive man sitting in the airport, she has only one thing on her mind – and it has nothing to do with business meeting and corporate partners, it has everything to do with a partner in a completely different sense.

She makes it very clear to the stud in the suit that she only wishes for one night, one night of no strings and good old-fashioned – and may be a bit of new-fashioned – sex. But what she doesn’t realise that she has just gone and had the night of her life with not any old random from the airport lounge, but her new business partner; the enigmatic Marcus Wright!

Now she knows the truth, can she really go on as thought nothing happened? Can she forget what they did with each other, how he made her feel sexy and special and how she melted him with a mere smile? Or should she do what is said never to be done, and mix business with a whole load of pleasure?

What really appealed to me about ‘Mr One-Night Stand’ was just how real and relatable the two lead character’s are, I sometimes find it difficult to relate or even like character’s who like nothing more than to sip champagne while wearing a cat-walk named suit, people who do nothing but complain about breaking nails and not being able to jet off on holiday. Those people – I hate to admit it, irritate me. I am more of a fan or very real character’s who have actually lived and understand the world; which is Marcus and Jennifer down to a tee. Yes, they are both powerful and wealthy individuals who have forged their way into their world with hard graft, but beneath their cool masks of powerful business magnets they are very complex and fascinating people, especially Jennifer.

I so related to certain aspects of Jennifer’s life, she spoke to me, I understood her far better than I do most character’s. Her need for her own life, her career, to protect and look after her family. The fact that she has an ailing parent at home and her guilt at not being able to be there all the time and help spoke volumes about her to me. She is an amazing women who has fought for what she has, she has toiled and worked her arse off to get to where she is, and I really admire her for that. She is a strong, independent, no-nonsense woman who knows what she wants….and she wants Marcus!

Overall, this is hot! Fiery, sexy, raunchy, spicy, steaming-up-the-windows hot. A great twisty plot that will keep the reader hooked and engaged, but the real pull of this has to be the character’s. They are wonderfully developed, each one real and with their own back story which makes you sit up even further to pay attention. Jennifer and Marcus don’t iust steam up the page, they burn the book right out of your hand. Their attraction for one and other is instant, it’s sizzlingly hot – and this is before they proceed to the bedroom, once there…well, phew pass me the ice ;-) The writing is solid, it’s stylish and flowing, it’s very easy to become fully absorbed into the story, I got a real sense that Ms Stewart has put her heart into this book and I for one cannot wait to read more from her.

If you like your romances very hot, then this is the book you need to read, even if erotic romances aren’t your bread and butter then I would say give it a go as there is far more to this then just a good old fashion romp between the sheets.

This was an Arc copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart o this blog tour, thanks you Sanjana and the Mills and Boon Insiders team.

About The Author

Rachael adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press.

She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Rachael loves hearing from her readers, why not check out the links below.

Twitter / Website / Facebook / Amazon / Goodreads

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I was so lucky to be sent two proof copies – you know the gorgeous black one’s which really do look amazing! – of Mr One Night Stand. One to review (Which I am ashamed to say, does look a little worse for wear now – or in other words, it looks loved.) and a spare. I so want to share this saucy and amazing book with you all, so I am giving away my spare copy plus I will throw in a selection of tea’s and chocolate for you to enjoy while reading.

How do I enter? I hear you ask.

Just comment below telling me who makes your pulse race that bit faster? Mine is below and for those who know me, it isn’t a surpise 😉

The giveaway is open across Twitter and Facebook too, same rules apply; just like the giveaway post/s and comment with your answer. (Each post you comment on is a separate entry, eg; If you comment here, Twitter and Facebook you have three chances to win.)

Good Luck, my lovelies!

*T&C’s – Closing date is 26th February at 9pm GMT, the winner will be chosen at random and will be announced shortly after, winner will be contacted directly by myself whether that be by email or DM via Twitter or Facebook. This Giveaway belongs to me and it is not sponsored or endorsed by anyone. Open to UK only, sorry!

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#Review The Escape by Clare Harvey @ClareHarveyauth and #Exclusive Guest Post. #TheEscape #BlogTour #GuestPost #HistoricFiction @simonshusterUK

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I have the very great pleasure to be todays stop on The Escape by Clare Harvey blog tour. I have a brilliant exclusive guest post by Clare – it is an amazing post. Plus I am sharing my review of The Escape, so grab a cup of tea and have a look. 

About Clare

I was born in North Devon, and lived there until just after my seventh birthday, when my family uprooted and moved to Mauritius for two years. After living overseas, we moved back to Surrey, and then later back to Devon, where I went to secondary school and took a foundation course in art and design.

I read Law at the University of Leicester, but chose not to follow a legal path, deciding instead to do voluntary work in Tanzania and hitch-hike from Zanzibar to Cape Town, where I stayed for a year. After my African adventure, I worked for an overseas charity, picked up a journalism qualification, and fell in love with a soldier. Much to my parents’ dismay, a safe career as a solicitor never looked likely!

I’ve had an itinerant adulthood, working variously as a freelance journalist, radio reporter and English tutor in Nepal, Germany and Northern Ireland as the trailing spouse of a serving soldier.

I’m now settled in Nottingham, with husband, three children, a black German Shepherd dog, and a father-in-law who lives in a detached annexe in the garden – it’s a busy household. However, I haven’t given up on the wanderlust just yet. Although Nottingham’s home for now, we’ve got a camper van and a canal boat, so who knows where next…

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Instagram

Guest Post

Procrastination by Clare Harvey

Let’s talk about procrastination. No, wait, let me make a cup of tea and Google the definition of procrastination, and then we can make a start (see what I did there?)…

Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. Most of us, but authors in particular, are very good at procrastination. When you work from home there are tempting lollygagging opportunities a-plenty. This morning, for example, I promised myself I’d be at my desk by 9am, but six acts of procrastination delayed the start of my working day by an hour and a half.

I was a little late back from my morning dog walk (and as there’s no boss to shout at me if I’m not at work on time, I don’t tend to rush). Then, whilst the coffee was brewing, I decided to post a photo on my Instagram feed, which meant I got sucked into social media for a while, and there was an interesting person on Desert Island Discs on Radio 4, too, so I didn’t rush drinking my coffee. Just as I was giving myself a metaphorical kick up the backside, my husband phoned, then the postman arrived with a parcel a new hairstyling gadget, which I felt I just had to test out…I finally opened my laptop at 10.30. In any normal job this amount of shilly-shallying would surely get me the sack?

I should be stricter with myself, shouldn’t I? Shorten that dog walk, limit my use of social media before I’ve completed my to-do list, turn off the radio, ignore personal phone calls, leave the parcels unopened. In short, I should flipping well get on with things, right?

Wrong.

I believe that procrastination or at least a kind of managed mindlessness is positively beneficial to writers. Let’s go through my dilatory start to the day again, and I’ll tell you why:

1. The extended morning dog walk/run:

Writing is a sedentary occupation we need to get out from behind our desks and move about. Exercise has been shown to boost creativity, and running to thumping bass beats increases self-confidence, both of which are essential to authors. Being outdoors is also an ideal opportunity for a spot of mindfulness. When I’m out I try to spend a few minutes internally describing my surroundings (today it was the pink vapour trails criss-crossing the powder blue skies, my breath puffing dragon-clouds in front of my face, and the slide of my boots on the muddy path, for example); this has the twin benefits both of calming me down before the day begins, and also exercising my writer’s mind by practising a bit of word painting.

2. Personal phone calls:

As I mentioned, authors lead a hermit-like existence. I’m not sure about other writers, but I spend a lot of time talking and listening to the voices of made-up people inside my head! Real life – family and friends – are critically important in keeping me grounded and sane, and I’m sure that’s true for most other authors too.

3. Dithering on social media:

For authors, social media performs two critical functions: writing is a lonely job, and social media connects you with the world. Almost all the contact I have with fellow writers is via Facebook groups and Twitter feeds, and without it I’d run the risk of feeling increasingly isolated. In addition, social media is a crucial marketing tool. I usually post something every weekday so that I’m maintaining contact with my readers. This morning I posted a photo of some old graffiti I’d spotted on my walk, which I just thought was unexpectedly beautiful. I also put a promo link on a FB group for saga readers, inviting them along to my book launch. Social media helps market my work, connects me to readers and writers, and is sometimes an outlet for creativity, too.

4. Listening to the radio:

I like having Radio 4 quietly chattering along in the background in the kitchen, and although it doesn’t usually stop me from getting to work, sometimes it’s worth allowing myself to be diverted. A couple of years ago Hillary Mantel’s Reith lectures on historical fiction were an essential listen for hist fic authors like me. And only a few weeks ago an item on the radio sparked an idea that I developed into a synopsis, and is now my current work-in-progress. You never know when an obscure radio feature might send you off down a new creative path, so it’s always worth a listen.

5. Taking the time to brew a cup of real coffee:

Most authors probably swear by a caffeine shot to get their creative juices going, but it’s more than that. My morning cuppa is a ritual – I have a little Italian-style coffee pot that you heat on the hob, and I have to go through the rigmarole of filling the pot with water, spooning the coffee into the chamber, tamping it down with the back of the special coffee spoon, heating the milk in a separate jug, etc. Rituals give focus and structure to our lives. I might not go out to work, but making that coffee helps make my brain transition from home to job, and after I have finished drinking it, I’m ready to leave behind thoughts of shopping, washing, homework projects, and doctor’s appointments, and open my laptop, or pick up my pen.

6. Opening parcels:

Okay, I admit it, this one really does count as procrastination. I just wanted the fleeting thrill of unwrapping something, and once it was open, I couldn’t help giving my new hair styling gadget a try. I probably could have been at my desk a few minutes earlier but at least I’m definitely not having a bad hair day today…

Five out of six ain’t bad, I’d say. Stalling, temporizing, dilly-dallying, vacillation call it what you like, some kind of delaying tactics are an essential part of an author’s day, and for me this morning has definitely been a procrastination win!

The Escape is out now in paperback, e-book and Audible.

About The Book

A compelling wartime drama for fans of Lucinda Riley, Rachel Hore and Katherine Webb

Detta works as a translator for a Nazi-run labour camp for French workers. One winter morning in early 1945, Detta passes a group of exhausted British prisoners of war who are being force-marched westwards. The following day she receives an urgent message to contact the local priest. He is harbouring a group of escaped British prisoners of war in the manse: can she help?

London, 1989. Miranda is a 19-year old photography student in London, in thrall to her older boyfriend, a journalist called Quill. In November the fall of the Berlin Wall is all over the news. Quill asks Miranda to come with him to Germany: before they leave, Miranda’s grandmother gives her an old postcard of the village she was born in. Miranda hopes that working together in Berlin will help cement the cracks in her relationship with Quill, but one night his behaviour spills over into violence, and Miranda ends up fleeing through the rubble of the Berlin wall and into the East. As she travels further, she begins to suspect she’s being followed by the Stasi. If she goes on, she worries that she’ll be taken into custody and be accused of spying; if she turns back, it means returning to Quill.

At last her grandmother’s photograph offers the solution. She tells people that she is going to find her family in the East. The Catholic church, and the manse, opposite where her grandmother once lived, are still standing. And the secrets of the past begin to be revealed.

Wow, what a gripping and thought- provoking book. From the very first page when Detta spot’s the Russian planes flying over her office, I was hooked. I wanted to know what would happen to her and what came of Tom. I was turning the pages lightening quick, becoming more and more engrossed in a story that spans from 1945 to 1989. This is a truly thrilling and moving book, set during two unsettled and dangerous times, and centres around two women in particular.

This is the first book I have read by Clare Harvey, I didn’t know what to expect from her writing. Yes, I have read a lot of great things about her work, but I like to make my own opinions, and my opinion is that Ms Harvey has a true skill. She has a rare gift, time slip stories at times don’t always work and some can fall a little flat or become confusing the further into the story the reader gets. But not this one. Ms Harvey easily takes the reader from Detta in 1945 and jumps cleanly to Miranda in 1989, the transitions from one woman and one era to the next and then back again is perfectly timed and written.

As I said above the story is split between two era’s; in 1945, Detta lives in a little village in Germany working as a translator – which gives a real insight into what was going on at this stage in the war. The Russian are moving in, there is a quiet hostility that just jumps out at you read. The part with the mother and baby trying to get on the train and facing an onslaught of hostility was particularly moving. When she receives word from the local priest for help, she at first is uncertain as whether to assist as he is harbouring escaped British prisoners of war. Dare she help him and these poor men, while putting her own life at risk if she was ever caught?

The second part of the story set during 1989 the Berlin wall has fallen and trainee photographer is right in the thick of it. She is only in Berlin as her older boyfriend; Quill asked her to go with him, but one thing leads to another and the night ends in violence. As she flees the feeling of threats and danger is ever present, it leaped of the pages and your heart is in your mouth as your follow Miranda as she makes her way through some pretty harrowing moments, believing she is being followed she ends up using the old postcard her grandmother gave her, and says she is going to find her family in East Germany.

The threads that start to appear which link the two women makes for compelling and intriguing reading. The way Ms Harvey has entwined raw history throughout the story is beautifully done. There is a real sense of not knowing what’s to come, at not letting anything slip through your fingers as you never know if you will ever get the chance or see the person again. There are moments which had shivers running down my back and tears in my eyes; such as the march of the concentration camp workers, wearing nothing but rags and skeletal thin as they lumbered past Tom’s prisoner of war camp is harrowing.

This is an absolute stunning piece of writing, it’s sensitive, poignant, engaging, compelling, beautifully written, rich in historic detail, a thrilling story which will grab you and not let you go. Really this is a perfect book for all those who love historic fiction, if you love the likes of Pam Jenoff, Alison Richman or Kate Mosse then read this book.

It is in one word; Perfection! – Honestly, I can’t say any more it is really is.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for a honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you so much Jess.

The Escape can be found at Amazon, do buy it, I cannot recommend it enough.

#DoubleReview From Duke Till Dawn & Counting On A Countess (The London Underground Series) by Eva Leigh @EvaLeighAuthor #CountingOnACountess #BlogTour via @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders #Regency #Romance #FromDukeTillDawn

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I have the very great pleasure to be the next stop on this wonderful blog tour with Mills and Boon Insiders, and to be sharing not one review – oh, no! I have a double whammy for you lovelies to read, as I have reviews for both From Duke Till Dawn and Counting On A Countess by Eva Leigh. So sit back for ten minutes and take a look at these two amazing books!

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About Eva

Eva Leigh is a romance author who has always loved the Regency era. She writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.

Eva also writes in multiple romance genres as RITA-award nominated Zoe Archer.

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From Duke Till Dawn (The London Underground #1)

Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld…

It’s not my habit to seduce impoverished widows…’

The Duke of Greyland lost his heart – and a princely sum – to a charming, beautiful and destitute widow who, after one passionate night, vanished without a trace. Cassandra Blair grew up on the city streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a rich mark – to be fleeced and forgotten – only she’d never forgotten him.

Years later, chance brings them together again, in a London gaming hell. Grayland is desperate to have her… never suspecting everything about his lover was a lie. But finding herself in dire financial straits, at risk of losing everything, Cassandra has no choice but to beg the man she betrayed for help.

The proud Duke will assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid! But can the real Cassandra – the smart, streetwise survivor – steal his heart all over again?

This is the first I have read Eva Leigh, really? I can’t believe that myself, I must constantly walk around with my eyes closed off to the world, to have missed out on such a fabulous author. But, I can guarantee that this will not be the last, I am determined to read more by Ms Leigh.

I was instantly taken with the premise of this book, was the way the hero is portrayed she is independent, strong, reliant and manages to manoeuvrer her way through a man’s world and manages to hold her head up high and say “Yes, I can do exactly what I want and will have the respect” At times in Historical romances it can be hard to have the heroine really stand out as herself, there is very few authors who can really make their heroines likeable as well as real and Ms Leigh has definitely made it on to that list of the very few who can create a real heroine who you not only can relate to but who is incredible in her own right. Anyone who knows me, will know how much I love a romance where the character is a self made man/woman and yet another reason why I love this book.

Years before Alex; the Duke of Greyland met the most glorious woman he has ever set eyes on, he gave her his heart and soul. For a Duke who lives by the code of responsibility and the rules that surrounds his station letting anyone peer past his aristocratic cool exterior to the sensual man within wasn’t easily done. So, when she disappears with a large amount of his money he is devastated. Now at the ripe old age; of thirty- eight Alex knows that he really needs to get on with finding himself a wife and procuring the mandatory heir, but when he does he is yet again left all on his tod. As the chit goes and elopes with a cavalry officer and runs of to Gretna Green. Yep, Alex isn’t having the best of times and things become even more complicated for Alex as he comes face to face with his ‘Queen’ in an unarmed gaming hell. What the hell was she doing, and more importantly who exactly is this mysterious woman who stole his heart.

I will admit that it took me a while to warm to Alex, but once you get past the moody egotistical and self-pitying Duke and get to the man warm, sexy, sensitive man behind the mask, he is quite the catch. He thinks that because everyone has so far let him for whatever reason he now believes him to be unlovable, unwanted – which is totally wrong, and something he does soon learn.

To say that Cassandra Blake is shocked to bump into the very man who she stole from but the man she has unfortunately fallen in love with after she dumped him so callously is an understatement. She is now working for her old mentor Martin Hughes in his gaming hell, Hughes on finding out about her and Alex’s brief encounter wants to cash in once again and she has no choice but to go along with his plan. After all this man could put her on that transportation ship or even worse put the noose around her neck as he knows all about her life of crime.

One thing leads to another and as with all historical romances our hero and heroine get their happy ever after, but there is some twists to the tale, there is hurts, lies and harsh truths which must be faced before that happens.

I adore Cassandra, again and again she has found herself in a precarious place, from picking pockets as a child to pulling cons and ending up working the floor and tables in a gaming hell – one that unusually has no name. She has been through some really tough times, she has seen her fare share of troubles but she has taken the bull by it’s horn and battled through to become the mysterious ‘Queen’ I found Cassandra to be highly intelligent, resilient, independent, great at thinking on her feet and even though she has spent a life conning and swindling – but all or a good reason- she isn’t heartless or cold. She feels genuinely bad about all the things she has done especially what he did to Alex. She is a kind woman, maybe not an honest one but we can see past that once you get to know her. And her love and friendship with Alex shows just what kind of warm and caring woman she is. All she wants now is to go on the straight and narrow, she’s had enough of the cons and the criminal aspect of her past hanging over her head.

This is a brilliant introduction to a new-to-me author, I love Ms Leigh’s writing style, it’s fast-paced and flows with absolute ease taking the reader on a whirlwind journey through he criminal underworld of London. The research is spot on the mark, the detailing of everything from the clothes, scenery and setting makes the whole story come to life with dazzling effect. The story is imaginative, sensual, atmospheric, rich with allure and shines with regency glitter. I absolutely loved it.

***

Counting On A Countess (The London Underground #2)

For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy…


Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers…until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one month to inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.

Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.

But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality, and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time..

After reading ‘From Duke Till Dawn’ I was looking forward to reading this book, anyone who knows me will know how much I love a scarred soldier. So the minute I was introduced to Kit in the previous book, I knew that I needed read this one and I am so pleased that I got the chance as this is fabulous! Even though this is only the second book I have read by Ms Leigh I can instantly see that this lady has a skill with creating sensual, engaging and ultimately absorbing stories which will stay with you long after bedtime, or even keep you up way after your bedtime. All readers know what I mean by that, you start reading in bed, promising you’ll just read one more chapter and before you know it you’ve nearly finished the book.

Oddly enough with the previous book, it took an age for me to arm to the hero and yet the heroine instantly struck me and stayed with me. This time it was the complete opposite, I was instantly drawn to Kit, I wanted to shake him for his stupidity, hug when he was feeling blue and just be with him all the time, he has a mesmerizing quality about him that any woman with a pulse will instantly flock to. Anyone who has seen the film; Michael will know what I mean when I say, he was definitely my pie. ;-) Google Michael and you will understand!

Kit; Earl of Blackamoor is sort of stuck in a bit of a rut, since leaving the military with scars – which are definitely more psychological then physical – which make him want to loose himself to drink. He has received the title which he never wanted, and still doesn’t want and all the time flitting from one scandal to the next as he searches for a way to drown his sorrows, his memories, either in the bottom of a bottle, in the darkness of a gaming hell or in the arms of a willing woman. He is definitely on a road to self destruction, but unfortunately for him he has now squandered his inheritance and his now skint. Which really is no good especially as he had his heart set on building a garden where veterans and their families can go and have a little happiness.

But all isn’t doomed as he finds out he has been left a substantial sum from a former commanding officer who not only looked after Kit, but who Kit regarded as more family then officer, but there is one thing that is in the way of him getting his hands on the money; in the will, it states Kit must marry. But, old Lord Somerby was a sly old fox. He knew exactly what would happen to his money if Kit got his hands on it so he put yet another clause in the inheritance contract, not only must Kit find himself a wife, but said wife will ave full control of the money.

So with that in mind, Kit goes on the search when he suddenly and literally bumps into the staggering beautiful, mysteriously clever Tamsyn. But there is more to this fiery red-head then meets the eye. She has her own secrets and her own reason for being in London and her own reasons for suddenly needing a husband, can you seen were this is going? each need to marry, and standing before them is the person who could save both their lives. Match made in heaven! Sort of, that is until a certain smuggling secret rears it’s ugly head sending our couple on a tense, sexually charged and engaging journey which will see them go through so much.

I loved the plot, there seems to be so much going on within one story, a scarred hero and feisty heroine with a marriage of convenience, mixed with a smuggling scheme then you have you hands on a compelling, engaging, fast paced, sensual and very hot historical romance. Yet again this is another wonderfully written, captivating story that will keep the reader glued to the last page.

Highly recommended!

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These two books were supplied by the publisher in exchange for honest reviews as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Sanjana and the Mills and Boon Insiders team.

From Duke Till Dawn and Counting On A Countess can be found at Amazon.

From Duke Till Dawn – Buy Here Counting On A Countess – Buy Here

Cover Reveal Tour of A Modest Independence (Orphans of Devon #2) by Mimi Matthews @MimiMatthewsEsq #AModestInpedendence via @hfvbt #CoverReveal HFVBTBlogtours #OrphansofDevon

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I have the very great pleasure to be apart of the exclusive cover reveal tour of A Modest Independence by the hugely talented Mimi Matthews. I cannot wait for you all to see this beautiful cover, it is simply stunning. As a massive Matthews fan, I am so excited about this book.

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A Modest Independence
by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Perfectly Proper Press
eBook; 400 Pages

Series: Parish Orphans of Devon (Book #2)
Genre: Historical Romance

He Needed Peace…

Attorney Tom Finchley has spent his life using his devious intellect to solve the problems of others. As for his own problems, they’re nothing that a bit of calculated vengeance can’t remedy. But that’s all over now. He’s finally ready to put the past behind him and settle down to a quiet, uncomplicated life. If only he could find an equally uncomplicated woman.

She Wanted Adventure…

Former lady’s companion Jenny Holloway has just been given a modest independence. Now, all she wants is a bit of adventure. A chance to see the world and experience life far outside the restrictive limits of Victorian England. If she can discover the fate of the missing Earl of Castleton while she’s at it, so much the better.

From the gaslit streets of London to the lush tea gardens of colonial India, Jenny and Tom embark on an epic quest—and an equally epic romance. But even at the farthest edges of the British Empire, the past has a way of catching up with you…

Available for Pre-Order

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

About the Author

Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Lost Letter) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews’ website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads.

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While your patiently await for the release of A Modest Independence, why not grab a copy of the first book in the Orphans of Devon series; The Matrimonial Advertisement at just 99 cents, in this Savvy Spring Sale. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed, because this is brilliant. 

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Don’t miss out on the rest of this fantastic book blast tour.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, January 28
Bookish Rantings
Queen of Random
Passages to the Past
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, January 29
Pursuing Stacie
Comet Readings

Wednesday, January 30
100 Pages a Day
A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, January 31
T’s Stuff
The Lit Bitch

Friday, February 1
Tar Heel Reader
CelticLady’s Reviews
View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, February 2
Hoover Book Reviews

Sunday, February 3
Clarissa Reads it All
The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, February 4
Old Timey Books
Diana_bibliophile

Tuesday, February 5
Historical Fiction with Spirit
History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, February 6
Maiden of the Pages
Christine’s Book Corner

Thursday, February 7
Proverbial Reads
Jorie Loves a Story
Oh, the Books She Will Read

#Review The Murder Pit (Arrowood Series #2) by Mick Finlay (@mickfinlay2) #BlogTour #MurderPit #ArrowoodSeries #HistoricalFiction #Victorian #Mystery @HQStories

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I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of The Murder Pit by Mick Finley as apart of this great blog tour.

Where Evil Lies Buried

1896: Sherlock Holmes has once again hit the headlines, solving mysteries for the cream of aristocracy. But among the workhouses and pudding shops of South London, private detective William Arrowood is presented with far grittier, more violent and considerably less well-paid cases. Arrowood has no doubt who is the better detective, and when Mr. and Mrs. Barclay engage him to find their estranged daughter, Birdie, he’s sure it won’t be long before he and his assistant, Barnett, have tracked her down.

But this seemingly simple missing-person case soon turns into a murder investigation. Far from the comfort of Baker Street, Arrowood’s London is a city of unrelenting cruelty, where evil is waiting to be uncovered…

Well, what can I say about this, but utterly brilliant! It has a real Sherlock Holmes come Ripper Street feel to it, I was instantly drawn into the case and was glued right to the last page. As soon as I saw the cover I knew that I needed to read it, it looked so interesting and that was before reading the back blurb and I was not disappointed. I didn’t realise that this was apart of a series, I read this very much as a stand-a-lone and going by the superb quality of this I know that I will be reading more.

What I love about this is that Arrowood and Barnett are well and truly on the side of the regular people, the working and lower classes the people who the mighty Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson would never sully their hands with. The whole country is applauding the ‘genius’ that is Sherlock Holmes, the cream of the aristocratic stock are hiring Mr Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson to solve their mysteries for them. Yet, what about the lower classes? Those that can’t afford Sherlock’s substantial fee’s and those that aren’t deemed worthy of helping. In steps Arrowood!

It’s Victorian London, William Arrowood is a Private Investigator and along with his assistant Norman Barrett they take on the cases that Sherlock Holes won’t. They are approached by the Barclay’s who want Arrowood to find their daughter; Birdie who after marrying Walter Ockwell a pig farmer, hasn’t been in contact with her parents. The Barclay’s are worried that Birdie is in some way being stopped by her husband’s family from contacting them and because she is ‘simple-minded’ and ‘malleable’ they worry she may be being mistreated.

What appears to be a simple case, turns into something very different indeed, as Arrowood and Barnett find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy involving a local asylum, the murder of an old woman; Mrs Gillie, plus threats and violence at every corner as they try to find the truth of what has happened to Mrs Gillie what is going on at the Ockwell farm. But with the Ockwell family, the local police constable and the village all silent and protective of each other it becomes clear to Arrowood and Barnett that this case is far from easy and it will take them on a dark, violent and at times very uncomfortable journey.

I really like how this is written, we see the whole story play out not through the lead character; Arrowood’s eyes, but through the point of view of his assistant Barrett. I think that is so funny how Arrowood genuinely appears to hate Sherlock Holmes, whenever the man is mentioned or another of his cases appears in the paper Arrowood just sees red, which also makes him either reach for the laudanum or whatever tasty morsel he can get his chubby hands on. He truly believes himself to on par as an investigator as Holmes, personally I prefer Arrowood to Sherlock. He isn’t one to search and follow the clues he is more a thinker, he uses his intellect in human nature to solve the crimes – today he would be referred more of a psychoanalyst.

Mick Finlay has written a brilliant story that is engaging, atmospheric and addictive reading and I can guarantee any who loves historical fiction and a good crime mystery will love meeting Arrowood. I do love a Victorian set story and this is one of the best I’ve read, Finley has clearly done unbelievable amounts of research into the Victorian era and more so into how the Victorians used to treat those who had a disability or mental health issue. Which is astounding the cruelty what they showed to them, thank heaven times have changed. His meticulous attention to detail brings the story to life, it is as though the reader has been transported from their armchair to Arrowood’s dark world which is full of conspiracy and lies. The writing is solid, it captures the reader’s imagination with absolute clarity.

Over this is a brilliant introduction to this authors work, imaginative, dark, thrilling, fast-paced, and original. Definitely one that will be pulled of the bookshelf again and again, I can’t wait for the next Arrowood mystery.

Very highly recommended!

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Joe and the HQ Stories review team.

The Murder Pit is available from Amazon and I highly recommend you buy it.

#BookBlast Fortress of The Sun by E.M. Thomas (@EMThomasAuthor) & #Giveaway #FortressoftheSun #AncientGreece #historicalfiction via @HFVBT #HFVBTBlogTours

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Fortress of the Sun
by E.M. Thomas

Publication Date: December 26, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 300 Pages
Rokhish Press

Genre: Historical/Greek & Roman

 

 

Read an Excerpt.

It’s 243 B.C. and Greece is ready for a revolution.

Eighty years have passed since the death of Alexander the Great, the man who first cowed free Hellas into submission. His successors to the Macedonian throne have only tightened their grip in the interim, the present king no exception. Spartan rebellions, opportunistic usurpers, foreign invaders – for nearly five decades, King Antigonus has seen them all and crushed them all. He now stands alone astride Greece; he fears no one.

Aratus of Sicyon plans to change that. With a passion for freedom and hatred for the King that stem from the same childhood tragedy, he takes aim at Macedon when no one else would dare; takes aim at its crown jewel in the south, the linchpin of its control, the very symbol of its domination – Corinth. Hopelessly outfunded, outmanned, and outarmed, he embarks on one of the most audacious and stunning attacks in ancient history, one that would change Greece forever.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

E.M. Thomas is an author of two novels – an epic fantasy (The Bulls of War) and a historical fiction set in Ancient Greece (Fortress of the Sun).

E.M. was born and raised on the East Coast of the United States but is a world traveler at heart. He caught the writing bug early on and has a passion for all good fiction, but especially that of the fantasy and historical variety. One of his favorite moments thus far in his young career was writing a chapter of his latest book about the great battle of Corinth – while sitting amidst the ruins of ancient Corinth.

For all news and updates related to E.M. Thomas, visit www.emthomas.com. You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Make sure you check out the rest of this book blast below.

Wednesday, December 26
Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 27
Book Reviews from Canada
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Friday, December 28
Pursuing Stacie
Locks, Hooks and Books

Saturday, December 29
Just One More Chapter

Monday, December 31
What Is That Book About

Wednesday, January 2
Let Them Read Books

Thursday, January 3
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, January 4
The Writing Desk

Monday, January 7
Dorie’s Reading Corner

Friday, January 11
Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the link below to take you to the Gleam form.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Fortress of the Sun
https://js.gleam.io/e.js

#Review Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak (@FrancescaHornak) #BlogTour #SevenDaysOfUs #Christmas #Romance @LittleBrownUK

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I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of Seven Days Of Us by Francesca Hornak as apart of this wonderful blog tour.

It’s Christmas, and the Birch family is gathering for the first time in years.

Olivia, the eldest daughter, has returned from treating an epidemic abroad and must go into quarantine for seven days. Her mother has decided it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some ‘special time’ together. Her youngest sister wholeheartedly disagrees. Her father isn’t allowed an opinion.

When no one can leave the house, seven days for the Birches feels like an eternity.

Especially when they’re all harbouring secrets. One of whom is about to come knocking at their door…

LOVED it! Warm and humane, funny and sad, with a great, twisty plot, Seven Days of Us is absolute pleasure reading from beginning to end. Francesca Hornak is a true talent. Just gorgeous!‘ Marian Keyes

I have read my fair share of emotional books, but this really is up there with the best. Seven Days Of Us is a roller coaster ride of emotions; funny, happy, sad, it fills your heart with so much warmth and makes you really evaluate your own relationship with your family. This is the first I have read by Francesca Hornak and it will definitely will not be the last, in fact I am looking forward to reading more from this talented author because this book is a pure joy to read.

For the first time in years, the Birch family are gathering to spend the Christmas holidays together, but not exactly in the way that they would have wanted. Eldest daughter; Olivia has just retuned from helping to treat a Haag epidemic and she must go into quarantine for a week, just in case she has caught the decease. So the whole family must be locked away in their family home for the week over Christmas, which would be fine if the whole family weren’t keeping secrets from one and other, secrets that could turn their worlds up-side down.

I love that this is written in the perspective of each family member, so you don’t just see the story unfold through one set of eyes but from all sides and that to me really makes this story as captivating and engaging as it is. Each character is beautifully created, and the relationship each have with the other members of the family is realistic and it’s wonderful seeing their individual stories progress throughout, which takes the reader on a wonderfully intense journey, which at it’s heart is family and the trials that the Birch’s go through as one and separately.

I absolutely loved it!! It is a heart-breaking, emotionally wrenching, warm, funny and beautifully written story of family and love. I shed far more tears then I expected, especially with Olivia’s story which for me was the one that really packed a punch and the ending is heart-breaking, and the epilogue is perfect with a hint of sadness. I cannot recommend this book enough, Seven Days Of Us is one of those that anyone can read and instantly fall in love with and I can guarantee that you will need a box of tissues at the ready.

Fabulous!

This was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Beth!

Seven Days Of Us can be purchased from Amazon.

 

Do check out the rest of the blog’s on this blog tour.