Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Blog Tour: Josette by Kathleen Bittner Roth; Excerpt + Giveaway

Josette (When Hearts Dare #3)
Author: Kathleen Bittner Roth
Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: 29 September 2015

"An exciting new voice in historical romance." --Anna Campbell, award‑winning author of What a Duke Dares
"Monsieur Andrews, welcome to my home."

At the smoky, velvet sound, Cameron swung around. Every function in his body--heart, breath, blood ceased to function.

She was lovely. More than lovely.

Tendrils of raven hair framed a face so exquisite, it disarmed him. Her mouth, a soft, dewy pink, parted. And those eyes, as dark as Creole coffee, intelligent and assessing, roamed over him and then back to take hold of his. He needed to step closer, to stroke her skin. To possess her. But would his wealth and worldly experience be a match for the free-spirited Cajun-born widow?

Across the oceans, between worlds old and new--two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads.

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Chapter One
San Francisco, 1857
Once he reached China, Cameron Andrews didn’t give a bloody damn where he ended up.

He stood on the dock in front of the Andrews Shipping Company offices, one booted foot perched atop a stubby mooring, eyes fixed on the Serenity. The sleek clipper tacked back and forth, gracefully working her way into the harbor on the first leg of her journey since departing New Orleans. She’d tie down long enough to drop off mail and cargo, then refill her stores and head to the Orient for another load of goods. He’d be aboard her when she set sail.

Born in New Orleans’s Vieux Carré to a French mother, and educated at Cambridge like his English father, he was used to the very best. He and his cousin had inherited the family business, had worked their arses off to turn the shipping line into an empire that maintained the largest fleet in the world. He was a wealthy man who could afford just about anything.

A soft snort escaped him. Anything, that is, except a modicum of peace. No amount of money could buy his way out of the misery that threatened to suffocate him.

Somewhere behind him a church bell pealed the noon hour, and like clockwork, his stomach growled. A glance down the street at the Morgan Hotel, and any desire for food left him. He’d taken his noon meal there every day without fail since his arrival four years ago—that is, until recently. Even though it had been two years since his wife’s passing, facing her parents, the owners of the hotel, was growing more tedious by the day. Lately, he’d been skipping luncheon altogether.

The sun escaped the cover of a billowy cloud and turned the gray waters of San Francisco Bay into a hard sparkle of blue. The air lost a bit of its briskness. He shielded his eyes from the glare and watched the Serenity glide silently through the water. Good Lord, she was magnificent. The fastest ship on the seas. Merde, but it would feel good to gain his sea legs again.

The Felicité and the Celine, two more of the company’s elegant clippers, rode low in the water harbor-side, both laden with goods from China and India. In a few days, one would head to New Orleans, the other to Boston.

As the Serenity tacked eastward one last time before coming into port, Yerba Buena Island appeared behind her like a backdrop, an emerald oasis in the middle of the bay. A familiar hollowness ate at him. His wife and stillborn son lay buried on the western slope of that island. His chest grew taut. Would Dianah forgive him if he left? Lord knew how many times he’d stood beside her grave begging permission to leave without guilt.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Stacking The Shelves #122

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
It's a fab way for bloggers to share what they've added to their bookshelves (virtual or real) this week!

For Review

So I got home from work a couple of days ago and saw a book shaped parcel in my mailbox. Okay, a new book, I thought, yay. And then it was only Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas!!! I proceeded to freak out because Lisa Kleypas is my fave and I've missed her historical romances! I'm going to take a super long, hot bath this weekend and devour it. I'm excited.

What have you added to your shelves this week?

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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Release Blast: The Legend of Lyon Redmond; Excerpt + Giveaway

The Legend of Lyon Redmond (Pennyroyal Green #11)
Author: Julie Anne Long
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: 29 September 2015

Bound by centuries of bad blood, England’s two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility...until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.

An enduring legend
Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond’s heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount’s proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade…and wagers on the return of an heir.

An eternal love
It was instant and irresistible, forbidden...and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it’s time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families part...or the stuff of which legends are made.

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He’d last seen Pennyroyal Green in the dead of night almost five years ago. His trajectory since then had been as swift and mindless as if he’d been shot from a cannon. And it wasn’t just because of what Olivia had said to him in the garden after midnight, in the pouring rain. Though after she’d said what she’d said, for a time he’d stopped caring what became of him.

No, that fuse had been lit for longer than anyone knew.

No one from Sussex had seen him since.

Though one had certainly tried. He half smiled at the thought of Violet.

And it was this that had broken the speed of his trajectory.

And he’d had his own methods for remaining, however tangentially, informed about the lives of those he’d left behind. He’d proved something over the past five years. He’d at first thought it was all for Olivia. But he was no longer certain. He’d tried to purge his life of her, relinquishing even her miniature.

Clearly it hadn’t worked.

But what no one knew, not even his crew, was that this was his final voyage. He’d risked this trip into London to track down the source of a little mystery that could devastate Olivia and her family.

He now had his answer.

He was, strangely, not surprised by it.

But he hadn’t been prepared to make a decision about what to do next so soon.

Oh, Liv, he thought.

Suddenly it hurt to breathe. Fragments of memories rushed at him, each distinct as stained glass.

Olivia walking along the road to the Duffys’ house, then breaking into a run when she saw him waiting beneath the elm tree, her face lighting like a star. As if even a second away from him was wasted.

That was the memory that always came to him in his darkest moments.

And now she was giving herself to another man.

His fingers curled on a surge of emotion. But he stopped just short of giving the message the crushing it deserved.

She. If Lavay had indeed written that word, he might have seen her, or even talked to her, or …

He couldn’t do it.

He couldn’t bloody do it.

And this is what decided him.

He tucked the message into his coat. “You can go, Ramsey,” he said. “Thank you.”

The footman spun and nearly bolted, silver braid glinting in the sun.

Lyon turned to face all the expectant faces of his crew.

“And we,” he told them, “are staying in England.”

It was time for a reckoning.