Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews

#Review of You Never Forget Your First Earl (a Worthington’s novel) by Ella Quinn w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @ellaquinnauthor #historicalromance

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ella will be awarding a signed copy of the book (International Giveaway) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

With her three good friends all recently married, Elizabeth Turley is ready for some husband-hunting of her own. One gentleman in particular sparks her interest. Geoffrey, Earl of Harrington is tall, handsome, and dashing. He’s also just a bit too sure of himself. But Elizabeth has observed enough about the rules of attraction to pique the earl’s attention. Yet once she has it, the discovery of a troubling secret taints her future happiness . . .

Lord Harrington must marry or lose a prestigious position in Brussels, and pretty, well-connected Elizabeth fits his needs admirably. But could it be that he has underestimated his bride? She doesn’t bat an eye in the face of the danger they encounter overseas. She’s strong-willed, intelligent, and more enticing each day—yet also more indifferent to him. Now Geoffrey faces his greatest challenge: to woo and win his own wife, or risk losing her for good . . .

Read an Excerpt:

Once Gavin had accompanied Lord Harrington into the house, her aunt looked at Elizabeth. “Well, what did you think?”

“After his initial stiffness, he was quite charming.” Even if he didn’t kiss her fingers.

“He’s a handsome man,” her aunt mused.

She had studied him as he’d strolled off with Gavin. She had been right. It was clear his tall frame and broad shoulders had no need of padding anywhere. “Yes. His eyes in particular are a beautiful color blue. They almost match the sapphire he wore.” His hair was blond but slightly darker than hers. “I like the way his hair curls.”

“But he is not pretty,” Aunt said. “Not like Byron.”

“No. He is very manly looking. His jaw is firm.” Not able to get the vision of his shoulders and shapely legs out of her mind, Elizabeth fought the urge to sigh. She might be a little too interested in his physical attributes.

“And he was attentive to you,” her aunt prodded.

“Yes, he was very attentive.” Especially when he talked about going abroad. In fact, that was almost the only thing he discussed. He had not asked anything about her likes and dislikes.

“Very well.” Her aunt’s tone was a bit impatient. “He is tall, blond, and handsome. He appears, from his conversation, to be intelligent and well read. He comes from a good family. He will be a marquis someday, and he wishes to be wed.” Aunt Bristow arched a brow. “Tell me. What is it about him that you do not like?”

Her aunt was right. Something about Lord Harrington had struck Elizabeth as . . . off. She pushed is physical looks aside and focused on what was bothering her. Lord knows it wasn’t his appearance. It was not his demeanor as such. It was . . . was he really interested in her? “He wants this position so badly that I believe he will marry any suitable lady just to have it.” She scrunched up her face. “Do you know what I mean?” Her aunt stared at her, clearly not understanding. She’d have to find a different way to put it. “It strikes me that in a way he is like a fortune hunter. He does not care who he weds, so long as he can have what he wants. In the case of a fortune hunter it is the money. In Lord Harrington’s case, it is the position with Sir Charles.” She rubbed the space between her eyes, trying to ease the tension she felt. “I do not wish to be the means to an end.”

Aunt rang the bell on the table next to her. “You do not think he cares if his affections are engaged.”

A footman appeared carrying two glasses and a decanter of claret. After setting it down, he returned to the house.

“I am not even sure if he cares about compatibility.”

Confession to make.  I didn’t read the book before this one.  That said, there are things that were done in the previous book that might confuse some but Ms. Quinn does a great job letting us know what is going on.  Like, that Geoffrey lost Charlotte Worthington in that one but trust me, Elizabeth is perfect for him.  And that’s without reading the other book.

This book is great.  Not awesome but great.  Geoffrey is an idiot when it comes to women and at times, it’s hilarious.  I adored how Elizabeth makes him work for it even though she loves him.  I mean really, he can’t catch a break.  These two are so evenly matched in every sense.  Elizabeth is smart, not some simpering damsel and Geoffrey is that kind of hero that you just love from the first page.  An idiot to the fairer sex but humbling in the end.  Even when these two have their smexy times, Ms. Quinn doesn’t do it over the top but Elizabeth isn’t a lump in the bed either.  She knows what she wants and Geoffrey isn’t afraid to give it to her.

One of the things that I really love about Ms. Quinn’s book is her authenticity.  She knows her history, customs but doesn’t dumb it down for her readers.  Her readers are smart so she doesn’t have to “explain” every little bit in the book.  I hate when historical authors do that.  I, for one, do not need to know everything about a dress and how many courses there are to eat at a wedding breakfast.  To me that’s just filler and Ms. Quinn doesn’t do that.

Their time in Brussels was very good.  I’m glad that they weren’t in England.  It was a different setting that I’m not used to reading about in historical romance.  Most everything happens in either England or France.  Great job.  I was definitely invested at that point in the book and it just kept getting better.  I will have to say that the conflict in the book happened so late in the book that I was a bit disappointed.  I expected something bigger but to me it was just meh.

Overall, I really liked getting to know Elizabeth and Geoffrey.  While they could have been any other regency couple, it was their shennigans that kept pulling me back.

 

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a Portuguese Water Dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She’s currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement.

Website: http://www.ellaquinnauthor.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EllaQuinnAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ellaquinnauthor
Blog: http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpresscom/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Never-Forget-Your-First-Worthingtons/dp/1420145185/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-never-forget-your-first-earl-ella-quinn/1127062571?ean=9781420145182#/

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Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release

Happy Release Day to Wendy Gold’s Second Star to the Right! w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @WendyGoldberry @wgoldberry #contemporaryromance

Wendy Gold is stopping by to celebrate the release of SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: SECOND START TO THE RIGHT

Author: Wendy Gold

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Second Star to the Right:

Peter Michaels, Hollywood stuntman and sword fight choreographer, harbors a secret—he’s the real Peter Pan, the boy who in fact grew up. Far from Neverland and forced to hide his secret, he distances himself from others for fear of being rejected for who he truly is. That is, until he meets Vivien Kelly.

 

Viv, A-list Hollywood royalty, is determined to branch out into directing, but her steampunk version of Peter Pan is doomed. If bratty kids and demanding studio executives weren’t bad enough, and Peter’s generous nature and easygoing attitude is distracting her from her work.

 

Soon Peter starts to melt her heart and Viv fantasizes about a fairy tale ending of her own. But will Peter’s secret tear them apart? Will he leave her for a world of fairies and pixie dust when Peter knows that saying goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting each other forever?

Get Your Copy Today:

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“Jack, I’ll clean up here. Why don’t you head out early for the night? Go take your girlfriend out somewhere nice. It’s a Friday night.” Peter’s voice boomed around the studio as he walked out of the supply closet, his scabbard buckled back into place. He walked past Viv, his stare focused on his office door where Jack emerged. He hadn’t seen her.

“You sure?” Jack’s voice echoed back.

“Yeah, I’ll meet you on set Monday. And bring your cup. Erin’s a sadistic little brat. She’d take a hard poke at your balls and call it an accident.”

Viv bit her cheek, trying not to laugh. The little girl would do something exactly like that. And with her big, blue eyes, everyone would believe it really was just an accident.

Jack laughed. “All right, man. See you Monday. Have a good weekend,” he said as he walked out of the studio, the door closing behind him.

Peter watched Jack shut the door before he slipped a longsword from a scabbard mounted along the wall, the silver metal gleaming opal in the light. This was no pirate swashbuckler sword. This was one of hard medieval lines, belonging to a knight or a king.

The tip of the sword rose above Peter’s head, the hilt trapped between his strong hands. He wielded it with such grace and ease. Silent. Powerful. Each swish and thrust into the open air part of a deadly dance.

His movements flowed, like water ran through his veins. These movements were different from his sword fight with Jack. These were slow, almost delicate. The blade sliced in perfect precision, as if Peter battled an invisible ghost.

Viv’s heart thudded in her chest, the only sound she heard besides the whooshing of Peter’s weapon. She stepped forward, mesmerized by the sword’s dance.

“I was wondering when you’d come out of hiding.” Peter’s voice broke the spell. His sword continued to split the air around him, his gaze focused on the blade rather than her.

Viv jerked back to reality. In her trance, she’d stepped onto the mat, a dozen feet away from Peter. Her blush pricked at the back of her neck, disappearing somewhere below her ponytail. “Sorry, I was just leaving.”

“No, you weren’t. Pick up the sword over there.” Peter pointed somewhere across the room, his eyes still focused on his invisible opponent.

Viv walked around the mat and saw another sword, similar in fashion but with different details. Long. Thin. Her hand wrapped around the hilt and lifted it.

Heavy.

She grasped the hilt with both hands and struggled to raise the metal sword upright. How did he wield this like it was as light a feather?

“Now come out onto the mat.” He lowered his blade and turned to watch her, their gazes locking as Viv moved.

Her arm muscles cried out in protest as the weight of the sword wobbled from one hand to the other. “You make it look easy.”

She let the weight of the sword tug her arm down, the tip thumping against the foam mat as it hung useless in her hand.

“Hold on.” Peter held out his hand to take her sword. “I have a better idea.”

Viv offered the sword to him, the tip still on the ground. He picked the sword up from her grip and held both longswords in one hand, raising them and resting the dulled edges on his shoulders before smirking and walking back to the storage room.

“Showoff,” she said, her voice bouncing around her.

Peter’s laugh echoed like deep chamber music. “I’ll be right back.” He disappeared into the tiny room. A minute later, he returned with two long fencing rapiers. “These should be easier.” He tossed one to her.

She caught the edge of the handle, but it bounced off her hand and clattered onto the mat beside her. She blushed again as she lifted the sword by the hilt. Thin. Flexible. And much more lightweight. She lifted it with ease, raising it in front of her.

Peter circled around her, his own sword in hand.

Her body honed in on his every movement. Every shift of his feet. Every tilt of the sword. Every flicker of his eyes. His gaze burned into her, stripping her bare as she stood rooted to the floor. She couldn’t move if she wanted to. His piercing stare locked her in place. Her heart thumped hard in her chest and she wondered if he could hear it too. Butterflies yawned and woke in her belly, tickling her from the inside.

“You’re ready for me,” he smirked, stopping in front of her before taking two steps back. He raised his sword, the thin blade blazing orange in the setting sunlight.

Viv raised the blade to match his. She lunged.

He struck her blade with his, moving it out of the way with no effort. His smile twitched into a wicked smirk. He lunged for her.

Viv flung her sword upward, the blades catching on one another. The light caught in the middle of the swords, a large metal X locking over them. Peter stepped closer, pressing more of his strength into the blade.

Viv’s grip slipped a bit, but she pushed her arms forward to keep the blades pressed together.

“Clever girl,” Peter growled before his sword sliced through the air and cut his words. He stepped back, eyeing her. Waiting for her next move.

Viv slid to the side, but Peter’s sword blocked her blow with ease, his smile teasing her. She knew this was child’s play for him. She wanted to make it a bit more difficult. “Don’t go so easy on me,” she panted. Her lungs burned from the exertion and her muscles hummed like a bow playing over violin strings.

“Darling, I’m only just getting started on you.”

 

 

About Wendy Gold:

Wendy writes the three “S”s: Smart, Sassy, and Sexy. Her sensual stories leave readers with fluttering hearts and wet panties.

When she’s not home enjoying a Ménage à Trois (the wine not the act), Wendy likes long walks through her gritty neighborhood in the heart of Philly or blasting heavy rock music in her house. Her readers love her, but her neighbors do not.

Connect with Wendy:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews

#Review of Moonlight City Drive by Brian Paone w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #crimethriller #noir

Moonlight City Drive

by Brian Paone

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GENRE: Crime/Thriller Romantic Paranormal

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BLURB:

11:18 p.m. Subject is checking into the Desert Palms Motel, accompanied by an unknown female.

Snapshot in the parking lot. Man and woman embrace. Betrayal, I see it every day, like my own reflection in the mirror staring back at me. Another case, another bottle of booze, life is no longer a mystery to me …

… Because I’m the private eye, hot on your trail; the top gun for hire. You’ll find me lurking in the shadows, always searching for a clue. I’m the bulletproof detective. I got my eye on you …

What’s a little sin under the covers, what’s a little blood between lovers? What’s a little death to be discovered, cold stiff body under the covers?

I’m digging you a desert grave, underneath the burning sun. You won’t be found by anyone. Vultures circle in the sky, and you, my dear, are the reason why.

… I was always easily influenced.

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Excerpt Two:

Smith spit out another peanut shell onto his Chevy’s floorboard as his gaze stayed trained on the Desert Palms Motel’s front entrance. His fingers instinctively found the opened bag in the complete darkness and pinched another nut. He squeezed his eyes closed to ward off the simmering residual headache from the most recent blackout. The sound of the rain pelting the windshield was soothing.

“Come on. Where are you? You took the last two nights off. I can’t imagine you being on vacation.”

Headlights turning into the parking lot diverted his attention from the motel’s front door. He squinted to decipher the make and model of the vehicle through the downpour. A Bentley. He sighed and returned his focus to the motel as he fingered the brim of his newly purchased replacement fedora and then tossed it next to him in frustration.

Smith removed his revolver from his shoulder holster and checked that all six chambers were loaded for the umpteenth time. He secured the weapon and grabbed the small notebook from underneath his discarded fedora, lying on the passenger seat, where Wynn should be sitting. But she had maintained radio silence throughout the past two days since storming from Hank’s office. He shook his head in disgust for letting Wynn’s drama distract him from the job at hand.

He swiped the Chevy’s dashboard with his palm to clean off the thick layer of dust that had collected from months of neglect. He wiped his hands on his pants, leaving a graying smear across the fabric covering his thighs. He reached into his trench coat’s inner pocket and removed a silver flask. He opened the top and looked at the engraved insignia on the front. His index finger traced the shining eyeball hanging freely in the cut-out middle of a pyramid. Taking a swig from the decorated flask, he grimaced as the brown liquid hit the back of his throat.

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Can I be honest with you?  Really honest?  I’m not sure how to word this review.  As you can tell but the genre listing its a mixture of things.  Plus, its based on an album.  Like if I were to write a novel about Queensryche’s Operation:  Mindcrime.  Or Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  Yep, its that type of book.  Trust me, I’ve never even heard of the album but with Mr. Paone’s prose, I did hear it.  And hear it, I did.  It’s kinda weird, suspenseful, sexy and mind blowing all at the same time.

Mr. Paone has written a book that completely surprised me.  Of course, since I didn’t have a clue going in, I just went along for the ride.  It’s dark, twisted with characters that you despise but can’t help like at the same time.  Again, it’s just weird but a good weird.  Since I read other books besides romance, I read a lot of “different” books but this one is in the top ten of the best books that are not in the true romance category.  I loved how Mr. Paone was able to pull this romance reader into his world and hold me until the very end.  I’m still thinking about this book even though I finished it a while ago.

Again, I’m sure that I’m rambling but I honestly don’t know how to put my feelings on the page about it.  Creepy, weird, different, and completely well written.  Mr. Paone knows how to use his words.  It’s atmospheric, with a paranormal twist that I never saw coming.  Does he finally get the bad guy preying on prostitutes?  You will have to read it to find out.  If you are looking for something different, read this book.  I’m glad that did.  Now I need to figure out how to write that novel featuring Operation:  Mindcrime.  Which I HIGHLY recommend.  Geoff Tate at his best.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Brian Paone was born and raised in the Salem, Massachusetts area. Brian has, thus far, published four novels: a memoir about being friends with a drug-addicted rock star, Dreams are Unfinished Thoughts; a macabre cerebral-horror novel, Welcome to Parkview; a time-travel romance novel, Yours Truly, 2095, (which was nominated for a Hugo Award, though it did not make the finalists); and a supernatural, crime-noir detective novel, Moonlight City Drive. Along with his four novels, Brian has published three short stories: “Outside of Heaven,” which is featured in the anthology, A Matter of Words; “The Whaler’s Dues,” which is featured in the anthology, A Journey of Words; and “Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys),” which is featured in the anthology, A Haunting of Words. Brian is also a vocalist and has released seven albums with his four bands: Yellow #1, Drop Kick Jesus, The Grave Machine, and Transpose. He is married to a US Naval Officer, and they have four children. Brian is also a police officer and has been working in law enforcement since 2002. He is a self-proclaimed roller coaster junkie, a New England Patriots fanatic, and his favorite color is burnt orange. For more information on all his books and music, visit www.BrianPaone.com

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Moonlight-City-Drive-Brian-Paone-ebook/dp/B076B7X9RQ

 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moonlight-city-drive-brian-paone/1127206870

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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