Friday, April 20, 2018

Love in Bloom - Donna Hatch with Giveaway


Excerpt: The Stranger She Married by Donna Hatch

As Cole looked down into Alicia Palmer’s face, he knew of a surety she was worth any risk. She touched him in a place he’d thought long dead.

A younger man wearing a saucy grin approached Miss Palmer. “Did you save me a dance, Lissie?”

Cole’s initial irritation for the man’s cheekiness faded to puzzlement. He knew him from somewhere. A vague unease arose.

When the young man’s gaze moved to Cole, he paled visibly. “You!”

Miss Palmer gasped. “Robert Palmer, where are your manners?”

Of course. Robert Palmer. From London. Cold dread trickled across his heart as he considered the ramifications.

Palmer pinned him with a dangerous glare. “Stay away from my cousin.”

“Your cousin?” Cole looked from him to the lovely Miss Palmer and understanding dawned. He cursed under his breath. He hadn’t been aware Armand Palmer had a sister. Not that he’d bothered to find out. The possible ramifications took a more serious turn.

Miss Palmer sent Cole a look of apology and turned to her cousin. “Robert, explain yourself.”

In a cold sweat, Cole waited for her condemning stare.

Palmer trembled in rage. He spoke quietly, but each word shot through Cole like bullets fired at close range. “He’s the scoundrel who shot your twin.”

The Stranger She Married
by Donna Hatch
-Romance, Historical, Christian
Amazon | Goodreads

When her parents and only brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor’s prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret. Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he’d thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer’s attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart.


The Guise of a Gentleman
by Donna Hatch
-Romance, Historical, Christian
Amazon | Goodreads

Though her heart longs for adventure, Elise strives to be a perfect English lady within the stifling confines of society for the sake of her impressionable young son. Her quiet world is shattered when she meets the impulsive and scandalous Jared Amesbury. His roguish charm awakens her yearning for adventure. But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret. A gentleman by day, a pirate by night, Jared must complete one last assignment for the Secret Service before he can be truly free. Elise gives him hope that he, too, can find love and belonging. His hopes are crushed when his best laid plans go awry and Elise is dragged into his world of violence and deceit. She may not survive the revelation of Jared’s past…or still love him when the truth is revealed. The Rogue Hearts Series: The Stranger She Married The Guise of a Gentleman A Perfect Secret The Suspect’s Daughter Praise for Donna Hatch: “Donna Hatch is one of the masters of clean romance with electric tension and smokin’ hot kisses.” Reading is My Super Power Reviews “Written with heart and depth, Donna Hatch’s books are absolute must-reads for any fan of swoon-worthy historical romance.” Sarah M. Eden, USA Today best-selling historical romance author Dance with a duke, outwit pirates, save a kingdom, and fall in love. Believe in happily ever after. Note from the Author: This romantic story of loss and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption, and strangers marrying, will leave you laughing, crying, and swooning. Sprinkled liberally with suspense, mystery, and heart-melting kisses, this is not your ordinary historical tale of an arranged marriage nor of redeeming the rakes. Fans of Victorian and Regency Eras as well as those seeking clean and wholesome romance with plenty of chemistry will love this story!

Excerpt:

“You are a woman of great courage to face those cutthroats alone.”

His fingers closed around hers as if she were a lifeline. Her late husband’s hands had always been smooth and soft, the hands of a gentleman, so unlike this man’s calluses which bespoke hard work. She marveled at the strength in those hands, not to mention the tingles that traveled up her arm.

A flush crept over her face and she struggled to retain her composure. “I saw a cruel act and felt compelled to intervene. I could do nothing less.”

His eyes darted over her face and he said in a stronger voice, “Those men might have turned on you.”

“I’m an excellent shot.”

“And did you not consider that you may have been in danger from me?”

She suspected many women found him a very great danger, but not for the reason he spoke.

Swallowing against a dry mouth, she lifted her chin. “You hardly looked dangerous at the time. And I daresay you lack the strength to offer any threat now.”

The barest hint of a smile twitched his lips and a wicked light glinted in his sea-green eyes.


A Perfect Secret
by Donna Hatch
-Romance, Historical, Christian
Amazon | Goodreads

Desperate to protect her father from trial and death, Genevieve breaks off her engagement with Christian Amesbury and marries a blackmailer. After a year of marriage, she flees her husband’s violent domination only to have fate bring her back to Christian. Just when she thinks she’s started a new life of safety and solitude, her husband tracks her down, stalks her, and threatens everyone she loves.

Still brokenhearted over Genevieve’s betrayal a year ago, Christian can’t believe she’s come back into his life–and worse, that she’s done it on the anniversary of his brother’s death, a death that haunts him. Though tempted to throw her back into the river where he found her, he can’t leave her at the mercy of the terrifying man she married.

When her husband torments Genevieve and puts the Amesbury family in danger, Christian will do anything to protect those he loves…anything except give Genevieve another chance to break his heart.


Excerpt:

“I’ll be right there with you,” he said huskily into her hair.

She buried her face into his shirtfront. “I know you will. I’m not afraid.”

Heaven help him, he loved this woman so much that it physically hurt. He drew back and held her at arm’s length. “Do you have your gun?”

She nodded. “It’s in my pocket.” She patted the front of her pelisse.

“And the dagger?”

She lifted her skirts to show her riding boots with the hilt peeping out from inside.

“If anything goes wrong, run.”

She nodded.

He gripped her shoulders. “I mean, it, Genevieve; don’t stay and play heroine.”


The Suspect's Daughter
by Donna Hatch
-Romance, Historical, Christian
Amazon | Goodreads

Determined to help her father with his political career, Jocelyn sets aside dreams of love. When she meets the handsome and mysterious Grant Amesbury, her dreams of true love reawaken. But his secrets put her family in peril.

Grant goes undercover to capture conspirators avowed to murder the prime minister, but his only suspect is the father of a courageous lady who is growing increasingly hard to ignore. He can’t allow Jocelyn to distract him from the case, nor will he taint her with his war-darkened soul. She seems to see past the barriers surrounding his heart, which makes her all the more dangerous to his vow of remaining forever alone.

Jocelyn will do anything to clear her father’s name, even if that means working with Grant. Time is running out. The future of England hangs in the balance…and so does their love.


Excerpt:

She smiled, that persistent sunshine returning like a ray spearing the clouds. He’d seen her frightened and sad, but always quickly recovering to a state of joy.

Grant bowed. “Good night, Miss Fairley.”

He turned to go, but she touched his arm, a light touch, no more than the feathering brush of a butterfly. Still, he stiffened at the contact and withdrew. She blinked down at the thwarted contact as if searching for the source of his abruptness.

“Yes?” he prompted.

She faltered but seemed to draw from that endless well of happiness, and managed a sincere smile. “I look forward to seeing you at our house party.”

If Miss Fairley knew her father was his prime suspect, she wouldn’t be treating him with such kindness and familiarity. Her devotion to her father was clear. She’d be devastated when he brought her father to justice for conspiring to murder and treason. That Grant might play a part in dimming that ray of sun felt a tragedy. But better that than allowing a group of radicals commit murder.


About the author:
Best-selling author, Donna Hatch, is a hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, the force that drove her to write and publish more than twenty historical romance titles, including the award-winning “Rogue Hearts Series.” She is a multi-award winner, a sought-after workshop presenter, and juggles multiple volunteer positions as well as her six (yes, that is 6) children. Also a music lover, she sings and plays the harp, and loves to ballroom dance. Donna and her family recently transplanted from her native Arizona to the Pacific Northwest where she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon | Goodreads
Website | BookBub | Facebook
Newsletter | Twitter

--~ Giveaway ~--

WIN $25 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/12/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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* part of blog tour - see schedule (here)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Perfumed Sleeve by Laura Joh Rowland

The Perfumed Sleeve
by Laura Joh Rowland

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
BookExcerpt
Website
Facebook

Published: 2005
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Japan
Hardback: 384
Rating: 5

Sano Ichiro series:
Shinju
Bundori
The Way of the Traitor
The Concubine's Tattoo
The Samurai's Wife
Black Lotus
The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria
The Dragon King's Palace
The Perfumed Sleeve
The Assassin's Touch
Red Chrysanthemum
The Snow Empress
The Fire Kimono
The Cloud Pavilion
The Ronin's Mistress
The Incense Game
The Shogun's Daughter
The Iris Fan
book 19 - tba

First sentence(s):
News of trouble sent Sano Ichiro abroad in the city of Edo at midnight.

November 1694. The streets of Edo are erupting in violence as two factions struggle for control over the ruling Tokugawa regime. One is led by the shogun's cousin, Lord Matsudaira, and the other by the shogun's second-in-command, Chamberlain Yanagisawa. Each side pressures Sano Ichiro, the shogun's most honorable investigator, to join its ranks.

When one of the shogun's most trusted advisers is found dead, Sano is forced to honor a posthumous request for a murder investigation. Senior Elder Makino believed that his death would be the result of assassination rather than natural causes. Although he and Sano were bitter enemies, Makino knew that the incorruptible Sano would be duty-bound to oblige his final wish.

Under the watchful eyes and thinly veiled threats of both Lord Matsudaira and Chamberlain Yanagisawa, Sano moves with caution. Each is eager to implicate the other in Makino's death. Sano must discover whether the death was indeed murder, and if so, whether it was motivated by politics, love, or sex. The discovery of secret alliances, both romantic and military, further complicates matters. Sano's investigation has barely begun when violent death claims another of the shogun's favorites.

With his wife, Reiko, working undercover, Sano and his chief retainer, Hirata, must not only investigate multiple deaths, but stem the tide of an impending civil war, in Laura Joh Rowland's The Perfumed Sleeve.


My two-bits:

Although this is book 9 in the series it worked alright for me as a standalone mystery. Of course, I liked it well enough to want to explore the rest of the books in this series.

This story is set during the late 17th century in feudal Japan with plenty of wonderful descriptions of the time period, culture and local mores.

The mystery and investigation were handled in a methodical way despite obstacles. Sano's wife, Reiko, and her undercover work provided some nail biting moments.

Sexual practices and manly love are topics touched on.

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* part of World Reads challenge (here)

World Reads: Japan

World Reads
hosted by Stephanie Jane

World Reads blog series challenge is to encourage and promote the reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month Stephanie Jane highlights five books. Everyone is welcome to join in by reading one or more books from a different country each month, write a post about them and include the World Reads banner (more details).

My reading list:

A Tale for the Time Being
by Ruth Ozeki
-Historical, Contemporary, Magical Realism, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads | my review -tba

The Perfumed Sleeve
by Laura Joh Rowland
-Historical, Mystery, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads | my review -tba

Tokyo Hearts
by Renae Lucas-Hall
-Romance, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads | my review -tba

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* part of World Reads challenge (here)

* More Japanese doings: Blog All About It: Favorite Scent (here)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Love in Bloom - Delaney Cameron with Giveaway


Excerpt: Love at Last by Delaney Cameron

Rosemary sat down on the steps and waited for Jase to do the same. She loved this time of day when the last rays of the setting sun bathed the backyard in a mellow glow and the crickets in the bushes began their nightly roll call. “Last time we did this, my legs were longer than yours.” His chuckle brought her glance to his face.

“I bet mine are longer now.” To prove his point, he proceeded to stretch out his leg next to hers. “By at least three inches.”

Her legs might be almost as long, but they looked like a child’s in comparison. His thighs were thick with muscles and easily double the width of hers. When she realized she was staring, she rushed into speech. “This is something of a novelty for me. I’m taller than most of the people I work with.”

His grin told her that he’d noticed her perusal of his legs. She waited to see if, like most men, he would make a comment about it, but he didn’t.

“I spent the majority of my teenage years worried that I’d never grow. Every few months, my dad would give me a pep talk about growth plates and being a late bloomer. He’d remind me that Quinn had been the same way. I wanted to tell him that all of that was fine and good, but I needed those extra inches right then, not five years down the road.”

Rosemary leaned against the balustrade and tilted her face toward the darkening sky. “My biggest hang-up was wearing glasses. By the time I was fourteen, my lenses were as thick as the bottom of a glass soda bottle. My mother finally let me get contacts, but by then my eyes were so bad I still had to wear glasses to read or drive. After I left home, I saved enough money to have laser surgery. That took care of the problem.”

“I’ve compared high school to a refined sort of torture. At a time when you’re the most insecure about your appearance is when you look your worst. I remember the horror of waking up in the morning to see a huge pimple on the end of my nose, but that wasn’t nearly as bad as the time I was standing at my locker right after P.E. and realized I’d forgotten to put on deodorant. Before I could make my escape, the girl who had the locker next to me showed up. I had a major crush on her at the time, so it was even more mortifying when she kept asking me what the smell was. I wanted to crawl into a hole.”

At least his embarrassing moments were confined to high school. Rosemary had tripped over her own feet while walking around on stage during a concert. “Did you ever get together with her?”

“Sadly, I did not. I really thought that being given lockers next to each other was the universe’s way of telling me to go for it. My ability to quote the periodic table backwards and forwards wasn’t nearly as impressive to her as the muscles on the man-among-boys who had the locker on the other side of her.”

Rosemary sent him a quick sideways glance. “You don’t appear to be doing too badly in that area now.”

He shrugged. “I sold out to the myth that a guy with a six-pack can get any woman he wants.”

A smile tugged at her lips. “So women are the reason you spend your days in the gym staring at yourself in those floor-to-ceiling mirrors.”

“That was my motivation at first. Now I do it because writing is sedentary. I need the exercise. But I don’t stare at myself in the mirror. I use it to see if there are any pretty girls working out that I might like to talk to.”

“So you use the mirror to check out girls? That’s even worse.” She reached over and pinched one of the legs she’d been admiring. The shocked look on his face was priceless.

“What was that for?”

“I don’t know. I just felt like doing it.”

One eyebrow went up. “Does that rule apply to me, too? There might be something I want to do some time.”

It wasn’t so much his words as the gleam in his eyes that made her heart skip a beat. “I took a self-defense class. Proceed at your own risk.”

He laughed. “Thanks for the warning.”

Rosemary heard Ambrose pawing at the door. Before she could move, Jase reached behind them and let the cat outside. Ambrose surveyed the situation and made his move, placing himself in the six inches of space between her and Jase.

“Ambrose is giving me the same look I used to get from the fathers of the high school girls I dated.”

She stroked the cat’s head. “He’s a little protective of me. Are you going to tell me why you’re willing to take care of him?”

“Is the other subject getting too hot for you?”

“Do you want another pinch on the leg?”

“Sure, but could you switch to the other leg? I bruise easily. As for Ambrose, why wouldn’t I want to help you? That’s what friends do for each other.”

“I haven’t been too lucky with my friends lately.”

“You have to get back on the friendship horse and try again. I’m a good place to start. You have some history with me.”

“Why do you care?”

He smiled, and Rosemary’s breath lodged in her throat and refused to budge.

“Isn’t it obvious? I like you.”

She liked him, too. Much more than seemed possible after only a few hours together and definitely more than was wise considering she couldn’t see him again.

“Is something wrong, Rosemary?”

“Wrong? Not at all.” She rose to her feet with a quickness that belied her words. It was the rabbit bolting into the nearest hole all over again. “I’m in the mood for some pudding. How about you?”

“I’m game.”

By the time they were eating their dessert in the living room, the momentary panic that had seized her on the porch had faded. She was making too much of too little.

Jase pointed to the dark wood paneling on the walls. “Have you thought about just painting over it?”

“Can I do that?”

“I don’t see why not. If you get the primer tinted to match the paint, you’d probably only have to use one coat.”

“So you know about painting, too?”

“I know a little about a lot of things; you know, a jack of all trades, master of none.” He sat up and reached for his wallet. “Do you have a pen I could borrow?”

“Sure. Let me get one out of my purse.”

After she handed it to him, he wrote something on a business card. “If you decide you want to go with Winnie and me on Wednesday evening, you can reach me at this number.” He laid the card on the coffee table and rose to his feet. “I should get going. I have an errand to run for Quinn before I go home.”

“Thanks again for fixing the sink. I really appreciate it.”

“It was my pleasure. Goodnight, Rosemary.”

“Goodnight, Jase.”

Only after he pulled out of the driveway did she return to the living room and pick up the card he left her. The front of it had a picture of a bouquet of flowers along with the contact information for a florist shop called Violets are Blue. On the back, along with his name and number, he’d written, “We don’t lose friends; we just learn who our real ones are.”

His words touched her and at the same time made her feel guilty. Why did he have to be so thoughtful and funny and nice and sweet and charming? It made closing the book on her reunion with him that much more difficult.

Love At Last
by Delaney Cameron
-Romance, Clean, Inspirational
Amazon | Goodreads

Working on her grandmother’s house gives Rosemary a reason to escape the media attention of a very public broken engagement. In St. Marys, she hopes to rekindle the music that used to flow easily from her mind to paper and rediscover the girl who’s somehow lost her way. Instead she finds someone who challenges her beliefs about love and tests her resolve to guard her heart.

Fresh from a writer’s convention in New York, Jase is excited to return home and start putting into practice all the things he’s learned. He has no idea that his gesture of kindness to a mysterious woman on a plane will turn his life upside down and give him his first tantalizing glimpse of true love. But unlike the fiction he spends his days writing, he can’t simply remove all the obstacles in his path to happiness. Love comes in its own time and on its own terms.


About the author:
I’m a Georgia girl at heart if not by birth. I love to read, watch college football, and spend time with my husband. I’m a hopeless romantic so there will always be a happily ever after in my stories. I also like to write about second chances because love doesn’t always work out the first time.

My books are sweet romances set in both contemporary and regency settings featuring stories about the journey to love, from that first meeting to the point where two people know their hearts are no longer their own. My characters aren’t perfect. They make mistakes and have faults like the rest of us. They learn the sometimes painful truth that the path to love isn’t always smooth, but it’s a road worth traveling.

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon | Goodreads
Website | BookBub | Facebook | Newsletter

Other books by the author:


--~ Giveaway ~--

WIN $25 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/11/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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* part of blog tour - see schedule (here)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Perfectly Misunderstood by Robin Daniels with Giveaway

Perfectly Misunderstood
by Robin Daniels

Find out more about this book and author:
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Goodreads
BookExcerpt
Website
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Just released: April 4, 2018
Publisher: self
Genre: Romance, YA
Paperback: 302
Rating: 5

series:
Perfectly Oblivious
Perfectly You
Perfectly Summer
Perfectly Misunderstood

First sentence(s):
I'm failing Spanish. Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration.

Jayden Valdez is an overachieving intellectual. Mike McGinnes is Franklin High School’s dumbest jock. Even though they barely know each other, she finds his personality repulsive and he thinks she’s got a giant stick up her you know what.

Mike and Jayden are surprised and annoyed when their teacher pairs them together for Spanish tutoring. Both feel it’s a complete waste of time, since nobody could learn from a person who bugs the crap out of them. Not to mention that their reputations might be ruined if people realize what they’re doing.

But it doesn’t take long for Jayden to discover that Mike has a secret—he isn’t the person he appears to be. Much to her dismay, Jayden finds 'Secret Mike' strangely attractive. And for some crazy reason, Mike is amused by Jayden’s clever insults and witty banter. Suddenly, they have a much bigger problem than their mutual disdain. What started as irritating tension is beginning to feel more like romantic tension and acting on it would be a very bad idea.


My two-bits:

Perfectly Misunderstood is the fourth book in a series but works fine as a standalone. It is a perfect addition to the series and had me smiling and chuckling throughout the whole reading session.

The play with dialogue in slang, emoji and Spanish was fun, fast and at times hilariously cute.

The main characters and others that surround them are likable which creates a comfy kind of read.

--~ Giveaway ~--

signup to win this book (here)

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* review copy courtesy of author
 
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