Friday, 2 May 2014

Blog Tour: Two Dukes and a Scandal; Review, Excerpts + Giveaway

What a stop I have for you today! There are three newly released books from Avon that are part of the Two Dukes and a Scandal tour. They are It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden, How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke and Redemption of the Duke by Gayle Callen. 
There's my review of It Takes a Scandal and excerpts from all three books! Don't forget to enter the fab giveaway at the end, as well!



It Takes a Scandal (Scandals #2)
Author: Caroline Linden
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: 29 April 2014

The second book in a deliciously sexy new series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book--Fifty Shades of Grey for the Regency era-- has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.

Sometimes It Takes a Scandal...

Abigail Weston has everything: beauty, wit, and one of the largest dowries in England. Her parents hope she'll wed an earl. Abigail hopes for a man who wants her desperately and passionately. But the money seems to blind every man she meets—except one.

Sebastian Vane has nothing. He came home from war with a shattered leg to find his father mad and his inheritance gone. He's not a fit suitor for anyone, let alone an heiress. But Abigail lights up his world like a comet, bright and beautiful and able to see him instead of his ruined reputation. And it might end happily ever after...

To Reveal Your Heart's Desire

...Until Benedict Lennox begins courting Abigail. Ben is everything Sebastian isn't—wealthy, charming, heir to an earl. Sebastian won't give up the only girl he's ever loved without a fight, but Abigail must choose between the penniless gentleman who moves her heart, and the suitor who is everything her parents want.
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How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days (An American Heiress in London #2)
Author: Laura Lee Guhrke
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: 29 April 2014

From USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke comes the story of a bargain, a marriage of convenience…and the chance for love to last a lifetime

They had a deal…

From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she’s delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.

But deals are made to be broken…

By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family’s enormous debts, and Edie’s terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it’s time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?
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Redemption of the Duke (Brides of Redemption #3)
Author: Gayle Callen
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: 29 April 2014

USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen concludes her new series with a tale of generosity, passion, and the true kindness of the heart.

A duke who needs to be tamed…a lady who refuses to be rescued.

Adam Chamberlin was the third son of a duke, known for gambling binges and drunken nights. No one expected anything of him …until tragedy strikes. Now Adam is the new Duke of Rothford, determined to right the wrongs he’s done. Except a secret in his past means helping the one woman who doesn’t want his help at all…

It’s not every day that a duke introduces himself to a woman sitting by herself in Hyde Park. Faith Cooper is even more surprised when Adam offers her a position as a lady’s companion to his elderly aunt. Faith refuses to be beholden to a man again-certainly not this man, who both infuriates and attracts her. But with the simmering passion between them, will Faith surrender to forbidden desire?
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 Review

I found myself very intrigued by the blurb for It Takes a Scandal, and who am I to resist a brooding, mysterious hero like Sebastian?

Abigail is a smart and fun heroine, who is very likable from the start. She's not afraid to stand up for herself when the situation calls for it, although she is a bit more restrained than her sister, Penelope! I loved that she didn't let herself be influenced by the rumours and gossip surrounding Sebastian, but instead decided that she would get to know him. I'll admit that when Benedict makes an appearance, I was a little worried that Abigail would suddenly become fickle and question her feelings for Sebastian, but instead she decided to fight for who and what she wants- which made me very happy.

Sebastian, oh poor Sebastian. He has had such a rough time. First he's injured in war, and then he returns home to find that his father has gone mad and sold large chunks of the estate off for a pittance. Then his father disappears and everyone thinks Sebastian murdered his own father. Understandably he's angry and when he tries to confront various people who took advantage of his father, rumours start to circulate that he's going mad as well. It's no wonder that Sebastian decides to cut himself off and ignore society, but then Abigail enters his life and changes that. It takes time for him to drop his defenses with her, but Sebastian is very sweet when he opens himself up to Abigail. I loved the way he decided to fight for her, even though he's worried that he's not worthy of her and that his prospects aren't as good as others. He may seem brooding and mysterious, but he pushes people away to protect himself and it's wonderful to see Abigail (and her family) welcome him where he is used to being shunned.

This is a very sweet and intriguing story. At first it focuses on Abigail and Sebastian as their relationship deepens and they explore their feelings for one another, then in the second half of the book it's more about their determination to be together. There's also an element of mystery as various characters work to uncover what happened to Sebastian's father and who stole money from the Earl of Stratford- something Sebastian is blamed for. There's also some great secondary characters who add so much humour and personality to the book, and I loved the banter between Abigail's family.
I very much enjoyed this book, and I can't wait to read more and hopefully we'll see Penelope (Abigail's sister) and Samantha (Benedict's sister) get their own stories soon enough!

*I received a review copy form the publisher for my honest opinion. Thank you!

Excerpt from It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden

A recluse. Why? He might have fallen on hard times, but his house was gracious and beautiful, a handsome brick mansion. One could easily see it, for it sat on the ridge of the hill that rose beyond Hart House. And he was handsome enough—even without counting his reserve—that most girls would overlook a limp, if they noticed it at all. When he used the cane it was almost imperceptible. Even more, Abigail didn’t sense he wanted to be a recluse. He could have held back when she was chasing Milo and avoided her entirely; she hadn’t noticed him at all until he spoke to her. He hadn’t needed to walk her back to the house. He hadn’t needed to give her that long, appraising look at the end, as though he was drinking in every facet of her appearance …

Well. If balls were good for anything, they were good for gossip. Surely a man as mysterious as Sebastian Vane would have inspired some whispers. She pinned one last sprig of loose jasmine into her hair and went down the stairs, determined to find out.

Excerpt from How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke

They went to the Wash the following day as Edie had arranged, and Stuart was glad Joanna and Mrs. Simmons were with them, for he badly needed their presence to regain his equilibrium. An irony, that. Both he and Edie had assumed Joanna would be her shield against him, not the other way around. But he knew a kiss wasn’t enough to make Edie fall into his arms, not by a long way, and even if that blessed event did happen in the next five days, his desire for her might remain unsated for much longer than that. Stuart knew he would need all the control he could muster. Nothing like the added presence of a fifteen year old girl and her elderly governess for making a man remember his propers. They set out blankets and a canopy on a nice stretch of grass along the cliffs above the shore, and Stuart was grateful for that, too. Being out in the open like this, there was little privacy for stealing kisses. Although they could not be observed by anyone on the beach below, the grassy knolls around them offered little protection from the eyes of anyone coming down to the shore from the fields or the village. These were Margrave lands, but the locals were free to come any time for fishing, bathing or boating, and though Stuart didn’t care much if people saw him kissing his wife on his own lands, he suspected Edie would never relax enough in such a situation to give him the chance to try.

Excerpt from Redemption of the Duke by Gayle Callen

Faith Cooper meets Adam Chamberlin (Duke of Rothford):
Faith had once known all about real dilemmas: dwindling money without dowry or the handsome features that might make up for it. All of this she’d overcome on her own, by means both scandalous and necessary. And though it was hard work helping a self-centered young woman during her first London Season, Faith relished the challenge of guiding the girl to maturity and happiness. Sometimes she felt like she was guiding the baron and his wife, too. They had been social leaders in their quiet village, and were now at sixes and sevens in Town.

All of these thoughts were on her mind when a boldly handsome man stepped into her path and forced her to come up short in surprise. Though he was tall, it was not his height that was overwhelming; it was his very presence, as if he knew he commanded attention and used that to his advantage. He wore snug trousers, polished boots, and an expensively tailored greatcoat that she suspected did not need padding in the shoulders. To her surprise, he doffed his top hat and gave her a brief bow, which so shocked her that she almost turned around to see if someone stood just behind. He had light brown hair that could almost be called sandy, tousled artfully by the wind. His chiseled face had harsh lines where a woman’s would have soft curves, a nose that commanded attention, and lines about his eyes as if he smiled much of the time. Those eyes were blue and alive with interest and amusement as they took all of her in.

About the Authors

Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, two Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at www.carolinelinden.com

Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Laura has penned over twenty historical romances. Her books have received many award nominations, and she is the recipient of romance fiction’s highest honor: the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. She lives in the Northwest with her husband (or, as she calls him, her very own romance hero), along with two diva cats and a Golden Retriever happy to be their slave. Laura loves hearing from readers, and you can contact her via her website: www.lauraleeguhrke.com.

After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than eighteen historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion and the Laurel Wreath Award.
Gayle lives in Central New York with her three children, her dog, Apollo, and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero.
Visit her website at www.gaylecallen.com.

Giveaway

And now for the fabulous giveaway I mentioned! Three prize packs are being given away, each with a piece of jewellery and copies of releases from all three authors. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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