Happy Book Birthday to When Ash Remains by Dena Garson w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @DenaGarson

 When Ash Remains

By Dena Garson

A paranormal, Native American, historical romance

Release Date:  March 2, 2017

 

Blurb:

A warrior with a mission

There isn’t a buffalo or deer that Kajika cannot take down. So when his cousin is slaughtered he relishes the chance to track down the killer. The trail leads him to a woman with gifts he has trouble believing in. Despite their differences he cannot fight his instinct to protect her from all threats – even those he cannot see. That drive even rivals his desire to explore every inch of her body.

A woman with a destiny

Knowing the spirits will protect her, Ahyoka allows the handsome warrior to take her to be questioned by his chief about the unexplained deaths in their village. He may not believe in her abilities but he is one of the few who doesn’t treat her like something to be feared or shunned. He awakens feelings that make her yearn for things she thought she’d never have. Her biggest fear is that once he learns the full extent of her gifts he will reject her like most of her tribe did.

A killer twisted by hurt and anger

Kajika and Ahyoka must work together to find the one responsible for the string of deaths in and around their villages. Faith, trust, and even a little bit of love will be needed to defeat the killer and right the wrongs committed in the pursuit of power and revenge.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon  /  B&N  /  Kobo  /  iBooks

Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA  /  Amazon AU

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2lwpSH8

Amazon UK- https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Ash-Remains-Dena-Garson-ebook/dp/B06X3S5XHP/

Amazon CA – https://www.amazon.ca/When-Ash-Remains-Dena-Garson-ebook/dp/B06X3S5XHP/

Amazon AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/When-Ash-Remains-Dena-Garson-ebook/dp/B06X3S5XHP/

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125772994

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/when-ash-remains

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1205227715

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34237379-when-ash-remains

 

Excerpt:

Copyright @DENA GARSON 2017

Awake Spirit Talker.

A man.

He watches.

A man.

He comes.

A man.

He hunts.

Ahyoka listened to the sounds of the spirits around her. Even without their warning, she would have sensed the presence in the shadows.

She rolled to her side and looked to where she knew he crouched. The darkness hid his features from her eyes, but his spirit radiated from the fire that burned within him. Never before had she met someone with such a potent life force.

Even her brother’s wasn’t as intense as this man’s, and her family descended from a line of powerful shamans.

Did he mean her harm? Or was he just passing through?

Without taking her eyes off the place where he hid, she groped behind her for the knife she had been using before she dozed off. The apples she ate sat heavy in her belly as she contemplated whether she should run or just face whoever it was.

The crunch of leaves from her left drew her attention. No sooner had her vision shifted than a blur from the place the man had hid raced toward her. She rolled as her father had taught her to do in order to minimize the impact of the assault. At the same time, she pulled her knife and tried to put it between her and her attacker. The man grabbed her wrist and pinned it to the ground, rendering her weapon useless.

Her heart pounded in her chest and a roar sounded in her ears. Who was this man?

She fought to free herself from his hold but found he outmatched her in size, speed, and strength. In an alarmingly short span of time, she found herself pinned beneath one of the most handsome men she had ever seen. She pushed aside her shock and renewed her efforts. “Get off of me!” Even the attractiveness of his face didn’t deter her from ramming her head into his nose.

He loosened his grip on her and covered his face as he mumbled some expletive.

She used this distraction to her advantage and bucked him to one side so she could wiggle free. Before she could get to her feet and scamper away, he grabbed her by the ankle.

“Let go!” She kicked at his hand with her other foot, trying to break his hold.

As she struggled with the warrior, two more men appeared from out of the surrounding trees. “Do you need help, Kajika?” the taller of the two men asked. The laughter in his tone suggested their struggle amused him.

Ahyoka renewed her efforts to break free of the first man’s grip. “Who are you and what do you want?”

The warrior kept his hold of her even as he climbed to his feet. “Who are you and what were you doing in our village?”

Ahyoka stopped struggling. “In your village? What village?”

“Don’t play dumb with me. We tracked you here.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She pointed to the bank just behind them. “I’ve been following the river all day. I stopped to rest when I realized how far I’d come. Where is your village?”

Now that he had released her, she could see the rest of the man who had interrupted her peace and quiet. Her eyes traveled up the length of his legs. She skimmed over the short deer skin he wore about his waist and tried not to speculate about what might be hidden beneath. His bow hung across his broad chest, making her wonder how he managed to squeeze into such a narrow span. Every line of his chest and belly could be seen clearly. If she wanted, she could count each one even from where she sat.

Something stirred within her and made her heart skip a beat. That same something counteracted her impulse to escape.

About the Author:

Dena Garson is an award winning author of contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance. She holds a BBA and a MBA in Business and works in the wacky world of quality and process improvement. Making up her own reality on paper is what keeps her sane.

She is the mother of two rowdy boys, two rambunctious cats (AKA the fuzzy jerks), and a loving Labrador. When she isn’t writing you can find her at her at the sewing machine or stringing beads. She is also a devoted Whovian and Dallas Cowboys fan.

Social Media Links:

Website – http://www.denagarson.com/

Blog – http://denagarson.net/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/dena.garson.7

FB Author page – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDenaGarson

Twitter – https://twitter.com/DenaGarson

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/dgarson

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/DenaGarson

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+DenaGarson/

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/denagarson7

 

Sign up for Dena’s Newsletter at – http://eepurl.com/b2TWxv
Rafflecopter Link
 

 

#Review of The Wolf of Winterthorne (Scandalous Secrets #4) by Tracy Goodwin! w/a rafflecopter giveaway @tracy_goodwin

Title: The Wolf of Winterthorne
Series: Scandalous Secrets #4
Author: Tracy Goodwin
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Published: August 23, 2016

Logan Ambrose has endured a tortured existence. After learning how to fend for himself at a young age, he eventually amassed power and wealth. His fortune came at an extreme cost, as rising from poverty often does. Branded, he wears his sins on his marred flesh. Each scar represents a past he doesn’t wish to remember, the ruthless man he holds at bay, the tortured soul who would do anything to survive.

Bruised, battered and bloodied, Arabella Sutton is a woman lost. With no recollection of who she is or what terrors she suffered, she stumbles onto the imposing Winterthorne estate running from those who hunt her, haunted by the memory of her bloodied hands holding a blade and wearing a bracelet monogrammed with the initial S.

When she stumbles into Logan’s arms, he recognizes her instantly. She is one of two women he once knew: Arabella or her twin sister, Sybil. One he dared to love years ago, though he now despises them equally. Logan recognizes her bracelet as belonging to Sybil … the last woman he wished to see.

While Arabella must overcome the loss of her memories, she is drawn to the brooding and menacing master of Winterthorne who knows much more about her past than he is willing to admit. Meanwhile, Logan is assailed with memories of his lost love while offering protection to the woman he believes to be her vicious twin, the woman who once reveled in making his life miserable, all the while fighting against the strong attraction that pulls him towards his charge and the reminders of Arabella that she rekindles in his hardened heart.

As Arabella pieces together her past, scandalous secrets come to light and Logan will stop at nothing to save his beloved from the dangerous machinations of her evil identical twin.
Together, Logan and Arabella rekindle a romance they long thought extinguished. Meanwhile, they concoct a grand scheme to unmask Sybil and rescue Arabella from her sister’s misdeeds.

Can they protect Arabella from peril and assure their future before it is too late?

 

 

“Every time I read one of Tracy Goodwin’s beautifully written novels, her words and unforgettable characters steal a little piece of my heart. Her books are exquisite and totally addictive.” –SUSAN DUERDEN, AWARD WINNING FEATURE FILM/TELEVISION ACTRESS AND NARRATOR

“Tracy Goodwin is a promising new voice in historical romance.” –BARBARA DAWSON SMITH, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

“Tracy Goodwin is definitely an author to look out for. She writes a sensual and clever novel that makes for an enjoyable read.” –WW BOOK CLUB BLURBS, PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY, BARBARA VEY BLOG

Another historical.  Another awesome read.  Seriously.  To all the historical authors out there…stop it.  Right now.  I can’t it.  Y’all are spoiling me.  Ms. Goodwin had me from the first paragraph and I’m still thinking about this book.  It’s not a mind twister but it was clever, sexy and poignant.  Why poignant?  Because Bella and Logan were meant to be together.  I true childhood sweethearts to lovers story.  And in historicals, the villain is typically NOT a sibling.  In this one, it is and it’s delicious…in a twisted way.

Bella has a twin, Sybil (giggle on the name) and Sybil’s cruelty has been ongoing ever since they were children.  You just have to read all the ways that Sybil has been so cruel and evil to Bella.  I have twin aunts and trust me, they have never been cruel to each other.  They are mirror twins and have been best friends since birth.  I liked how Ms. Goodwin put a twist on the twin thing and ran with it.  Evil, delicious and makes for great intrigue.  Oh yes…very intriguing.  Always trying to be one step ahead…

I loved Logan from the beginning.  I’ll be honest, though, I really thought he would be a bastard but he never truly was.  Sure did he think one thing in the beginning but when he and Bella finally figured out what the heck was going on, he went into a full throttle mode when it came to protecting and loving Bella again.  I definitely don’t want to meet him, Tristan or Colin in a back alley.  Talk about lethal.

I also liked how the men in the stories were just has tortured in their pasts but lived to tell about it and were unashamed in it.  It made them what they are and to the ladies that they loved  BTW, OMG…Victoria.  She’s another that you need in your corner, too.  A great secondary character and friend to Bella.

Overall, I don’t want to give too much away but if you are looking for an intriguing, childhood friends to lovers, second chance romance…read this book.  I fell in love with everyone in the book and can’t wait to go back and read Colin/Eve’s and Tristan/Victoria’s stories.  🙂

 


The Wolf of Winterthorne © Tracy Goodwin 2016

Chapter 1
1851 Northamptonshire, England
Her lungs burned as she raced farther into the darkness, the stench of decaying leaves and brush assailing her nostrils until she thought she might retch.
Help me …
The words wedged in her throat, which was raw from a mixture of sheer panic and dehydration.
Had she screamed?
Why couldn’t she remember?
Her mind was muddled in a murky abyss, helped none by the ominous clouds sheathing the moon, casting foreboding shadows across her path. Recollections she couldn’t decipher haunted her in the form of shapes she couldn’t comprehend and occurrences she couldn’t quite piece together.
Swallowing hard, she attempted to speak but, again, no words formed.
Panic rose as the ringing in her ears heightened to a shrill crescendo. She struggled to breathe, her corset constricting her airflow, reducing her panting to swift, shallow breaths.
Why couldn’t she breathe?
Why couldn’t she remember?
What did she recall?
Being hunted. Yes, men who wished her harm were chasing her. That was her reality. As was the fact that her predators must be close.
What if they overheard her trudging through the woods? What if they, too, could hear her ragged lungs as they strained to inhale, though with little success?
The possibilities sent her senses reeling.
Clutching a low-lying branch, she wrapped her fingers around its rough, spindly bark. Leaning against it, she allowed herself one moment to gather her wits.
Swooning in the forest wouldn’t save her life.
No, it would hasten her demise.
Breathe. She silently instructed herself. Breathe then run.
Run for your life.
She shoved herself away from the branch and sprinted as fast as she could before stumbling on a protruding root. Pain radiated from her hand as she clumsily righted herself against a large tree trunk. Her palm was wet and sticky, the thick, rugged bark having slashed her skin.
Grinding her teeth, she grabbed her skirts then propelled herself farther into obscurity.
Do not trip.
It was her silent command as she veered across the uneven terrain, hard from the early freeze. Ruts and indentations challenged her at every step as did the thick roots, sturdy and unrelenting, that stretched across the landscape.
Stalking her.
Like the men who sought to kill her.
She could not evade them. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how careful she was. The roots, like those men who chased her, continued to hound her, continued to creep towards her, surrounding her at every turn.
Again she tripped, this time landing on her knees with a loud grunt she could no longer suppress.
Dear God, it is cold.
3
She wore no cloak. Just a simple muslin gown and skirts. No boots, just slippers. Her toes, which once ached, were now numb.
The frigid temperature seeped into her body, into every limb and muscle. Nature appeared to want her dead as much as those in pursuit.
Choking back a sob, a puff of air swirled like vapor from her mouth into the icy shadows. The bitter cold and damp night enveloped her. The more she knelt on the ground, the more the frost assailed her body, causing her to sway as she tried desperately to stand.
Every joint stiffened, as if frozen in place.
Her teeth had begun to chatter as she crawled to the silhouette of what appeared to be a tree trunk. Or perchance a log? The closer she got, the smaller it appeared. White spots blurred her vision as realization set in.
She was close to losing consciousness.
God, please help me, she prayed in silence.
Don’t let them catch me.
They will kill me.
Managing to stand on shaky legs, she staggered forward. A sharp limb clawed at her face and a wet, sticky substance began a slow decent down her cheek.
Blood.
Her blood.
It trickled into her mouth, the thick, metallic taste causing her to gag.
Another root grabbed hold of her foot, causing her ankle to give way as she collapsed against the frozen dirt, entwined branches and bark. This time, no grunt escaped her lips. Instead she lay still, mouth agape.
Help me …
In addition to a searing pain in her ribcage, her ankle now throbbed as she leaned against her arms until they gave way under her weight. She flopped on her side, the waves of pain crushing against her ribcage, her ankle, her cheek, her every limb.
The thought of lying on the frigid ground beneath her, remaining in this very spot, became overwhelmingly tempting.
Stay still and die – before they find me.
Yes, perhaps she would freeze to death. Perhaps she would simply fall asleep and the pain would cease.
But what if she was discovered before the cold spindly fingers of death clung to her? Her heart pumped faster, harder, at the thought of the pain they would inflict. Those faceless men, whose blunt, menacing voices she would recognize until the moment she inhaled her last breath.
What had they said? That they wanted her dead … that they would kill her. Yes, they sounded excited at the prospect. That she remembered, along with their many questions.
She shivered. Those men demanded answers to so many questions. About a man she did not know, whose name she could not recall. She possessed no answers and that made them more eager to kill her.
Clutching her side, she managed to rise and stumble farther into the black abyss of night. Tripping again, her feet becoming more and more entangled as she bumped into tree trunks, unable to keep her bearings.
What direction did she come from?
Where was she heading?
She squinted in an attempt to clear her vision. Her eyes darted, unable to discern her path.
A dog barked in the distance, the sound causing her to jump and head in the opposite direction. Though she was now limping, she continued to wobble forward.
Don’t look back.
4
Never look back.
Wiping her cheek, her blood flowed freely onto her palm. It was a welcome distraction from the pain as she found a clearing up ahead. Though cast in an intimidating gloom, it appeared to be a straight path.
Her pace quickened as she hurried forward, one step at a time. Gritting her teeth, she gained momentum by reminding herself of the imminent danger.
They are coming for me.
They will kill me.
Run!
Dashing past one tree, then weaving past another, she was almost to the clearing when she ran straight into a solid mass.
Strong, firm, he clutched her shoulders as her pulse pommeled against her temples.
They caught me!
They will kill me.
She struggled to free herself. Though the man had a firm grip, it wasn’t the least bit excruciating. Her predators would wish her pain. They would be rough, violent – they would have already blindfolded her as they did once before.
Was this man one of them?
Searching the stranger’s face, she noted the hard, angular jaw and cheekbones, deep-set onyx eyes and a deadened slash of skin spanning his cheekbone. Even cast in a dark silhouette, the scar was discernable.
The stranger clutched her shoulders, studying her with a mixture of concern and …
Could it be recognition?
“Bella?” he whispered.
The voice was unfamiliar – it belonged to no one she had heard tonight, but that didn’t mean that he was not one of her abductors.
Perhaps he had remained silent …
Or perhaps he was her only hope of safety. Perhaps this man was the difference between life and death.
Again, she tried to form the words. Though her mouth remained dry as ash, she refused to relent. After another failed attempt, her voice ignited at last from the cinders. Hoarse and no louder than a whisper, her words were audible nonetheless.
“Help me,” she managed before her knees buckled.
Collapsing in the stranger’s arms, her eyes blurred as she heard him mutter, “Bloody hell.” His was a low baritone, smooth, even in his present predicament.
Drifting in and out of lucidity, she could feel the man lift her in one fluid motion, her head now resting against his chest. Though her eyes refused to open, no matter how hard she attempted the once simple task, she knew that he wore a greatcoat because its buttons pressed against her uninjured cheek. She was certain they left impressions in her flesh.
Struggling to open her eyes, her head bobbed to the rhythm of his quick strides. It wasn’t until her head swung backwards that she managed to peer through narrow slits.
It was dark, the sky thick with murky clouds. There were too many clouds tonight. Too much darkness.
She wished there were stars.
She liked the constellations.
She missed the comfort they provided.
The man whistled and the patter of paws approached from behind. The dog was panting, though the man who carried her proceeded to wherever he was headed with no labored breathing. In fact, it was as if she were nothing more than a flimsy piece of fabric in his hands.
5
This man was physically fit. At least she knew something about him. He was also calm under duress. Now she had unlocked a second clue to her savior’s personality.
Though he showed no signs of physical exertion, his timbre was strong, composed. “Adolphus, fetch someone from the house. Run, boy. Bark and get their attention. Go!” His instructions were issued in a quick staccato.
This man was familiar with issuing commands.
Something in the recesses of her mind suggested she must keep track of these clues and wished she had paper and ink. Though it was an urgent thought, it soon became overpowered by her racing heart and the searing pain slicing through her temple.
Dear God, her head hurt.
Ensconced in a bleak reality, her eyes drifted shut again. What if her attackers were following her? She opened her mouth to warn her companion but coughed, choking on her blood.
“Steady,” he assured her, holding her closer against his chest. “We’re almost home.”
Home?
Again, she managed to open her eyes, though only slightly. Squinting to right her blurry vision, she managed to discern the menacing outline of a massive estate.
The closer they approached, the more sinister it appeared. Eyes watched from the rafters. Whose? She struggled to adjust her vision.
Wolves.
Yes, wolves were perched on the pediments, carved in the stone of the parapets. Their eyes glowed white, even in the dead of night. Their gaze bore into her soul, following her.
Ever watchful.
Ever menacing.
Could this truly be her safe haven?
The profile of a raven perched atop a spindly tree limb grabbed her attention. It cawed, its warning quite clear.
Beware.
The sleek bird with its foreboding message added to the commanding illusion of the house. Large, made with dark stone, illuminated in a ghostly hue cast by ominous clouds.
Where am I?
What is this imposing place?
She was reminded of an Edgar Allan Poe poem – how could she remember the macabre works of a poet and nothing about herself? Still, remember she did.
This world she had entered was filled with the watchful stare of wolves, ravens, and a scarred man whose appearance was perhaps even more daunting than the structure in which he resided.
A fine mist began to fall from the overcast skies as her stomach churned, a knot of apprehension coiling in her abdomen. She feared that she had unwittingly stepped into more danger than before.
Drifting into unconsciousness, she managed a silent prayer.
Dear God, protect me…

Tracy Goodwin is an international bestselling and award winning author. Throughout a career spanning a decade, she has achieved both traditional and Indie publishing success. Her works include a series of sweeping historical romances fraught with passion, hope, danger, and redemption. In addition, she has penned page turning young adult urban fantasy and paranormal novels. Though the genres may be different, each story delivers her unique blend of poignant emotion, suspense, action, humor, and unforgettable characters that steal readers’ hearts.

To receive the latest news and information about upcoming releases, please sign up for Tracy’s newsletter at tracygoodwin.com or join Tracy’s Lantern Ladies Facebook group where you can chat with her and have the opportunity to win exclusive swag.

 

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#Review and Playlist of Distracting the Duke (Wayward in Wessex #1) by Elizabeth Keysian w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

Distracting the Duke

by Elizabeth Keysian
Publication Date: February 20, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Historical Romance

BUY:

SYNOPSIS:

Devonshire, England, 1820

Determined to avoid the strife-filled marriage of his parents, Marcus, the Duke of Ulvercombe, wants an amenable, biddable wife, and has set his cap for a certain pretty miss. Unfortunately, her vastly opinionated, frustrating, and lamentably beautiful guardian, Lady Clara Tinniswood, keeps distracting him, tempting him to consider a far more tempestuous—and passionate—union.

Recently widowed Lady Clara Tinniswood wants only to organize a quiet new life for herself, beyond the control of any man. But one shockingly unguarded moment while confronted by Marcus’s gloriously naked body catapults her headlong into a forbidden passion and threatens to undermine all her well-laid plans.

Even if Marcus abandons his sweet ideal and surrenders to his growing desire for Clara, there’s one unalterable issue which could destroy their hopes forever…

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MUSIC PLAYLIST for DISRACTING THE DUKE with commentary by author Elizabeth Keysian

  1. 1. The Kiss by Trevor Jones from Last of the Mohicans movie soundtrack–  it floats me away and I travel back in time to the Eighteenth Century
  1. What a Beautiful Day by The Levellers– catchy and uplifting
  1. The Firth of Fifth by Genesis– just an amazing piano instrumental
  1. The Bells of Rhymney by Oysterband– stirs the blood
  1. Mr. Blue Sky by ELO– a cheering reminder of the fun parts of my teenage years!
  1. No Man’s Land by June Tabor– I can’t sing this without a catch in my throat and a tear in my eye. 
  1. Amoureuse by Kiki Dee– evokes the magic of “The First Time”
  1. Ramble On by Led Zeppelin– departure and loss
  1. Blowin’ Free by Wishbone Ash– poetic and atmospheric
  1. Thank You by Led Zeppelin– eternal love
  1. Lady Fantasy by Camel– love, magic and atmosphere- something every good HEA romance should have!

EXCERPT #2

 

Clara crept softly across the carpet of pine needles until she came to where a rivulet split the dunes on its way down to the sea, and halted. She caught sight of Ulvercombe standing at the water’s edge with his back to her, hands on his hips.

She stepped aside swiftly, her heart beating hard. She would have to hide behind one of the dunes to avoid being seen, if he should turn round. Fortunately, the tide was still some way out and he was thus a considerable distance away, giving her time to make her escape if he spotted her.

Plucking off the old shawl she was wearing, she spread it over the grass-matted dune, then lay down on her stomach so only her head—with the telescope pressed to her eye—might be seen. Hopefully, with the waving sea grasses fanning across in front of her, she was well-hidden from any casual observer.

Eventually, she managed to locate Ulvercombe with the glass, and when she did her mouth dropped open in shock. In the time she’d taken to settle herself, he’d stripped off boots, stockings, jacket, and breeches, and now stood in nothing but his shirt, looking out to sea.

Clearly, the man had every expectation of being alone, and had no idea he was being covertly observed. It was early in the morning, it was his beach, his pine forest, his sand. She should back away and return to the house as quickly as possible.

A small attempt to move was made, but then he pulled his shirt over his head and she was transfixed.

The muscles rippled across his shoulders and she recalled, far too quickly, the feel of that hot body pressed against hers.

“Drat it!” The glass lens against her face had misted.

Crossly, she rubbed it with a corner of her shawl, and scanned the beach again until she found the duke.

The completely naked duke.

Her breath hitched in her throat. “Sweet Lord in heaven…”

It was not the splendid symmetry of his body, nor the very pleasing curve of his buttocks, nor even the straightness and supple power of his legs that had elicited her exclamation of shock.

It was the scars.

She hadn’t seen the backs of his thighs when he’d disrobed that day in his bedchamber. Now she could see them very clearly, and she could also see a complex pattern of pale, crisscross lines etched across the skin. They were scars, surely?

Had he received them in battle or in some horrible accident? Had he been taken prisoner and tortured by the French? Maybe he’d been involved in a fire and something hot had branded him thus.

The chance to observe the marks more closely was abruptly removed as the duke, who had been walking straight out into the waves, suddenly dove in with a splash and began swimming out to sea with deft, powerful strokes.

She shuddered. The water must be absolutely freezing. How could he stand it?

“Good morning, Lady Tinniswood. A very fine one, is it not?”

And so my love affair with historicals now is still intact.  Every historical that I have read lately has been awesome.  And they have all been so different from each other, too.  I won’t go into why historicals are so much a hit and miss with me so I’ll just share with you why Clara and Marcus just rocked in my book.

  1.  Clara – I can’t even imagine what she went through with her first husband.  The abuse, the horror, and then finally the ultimate betrayal.  Again, I can’t even…but what I truly liked about her was the fact that she would actually admit it to Marcus.  Of course, she felt shame but when she realized that Marcus was nothing like her dead husband learned to trust him, it was golden.  She also stood up to him.  He wanted someone biddable but what he got was her.  Brilliant dialogue when they were together.
  2. Marcus – What a revelation.  He was kind, a little bit backhanded (in a good way) and once his heart was set on Clara, he wouldn’t take no for an answer.  I loved how he wound up testing her when it came to her fears but Ms. Keysian wrote it brilliantly.  Again, it is her dialogue between the characters that had me from the very first page.  Marcus had NO shame when it came to showing Clara his body.  The above scene had me giggling.  He never forgot that she was a widow but what he didn’t realize at the time was how traumatized she was from her first marriage.
  3. The smexy times are NOT plentiful but the build up is SO worth it.  Ms. Keysian had me fanning myself at times and that was before the dead was actually done.  Well played, well played.
  4. The secondary characters are wonderfully written.  I can’t wait to read about Ellie and Snetty.  Oh, my…If I had one complaint, I didn’t like Clara’s brother Phillip in the beginning.  He kinda came off as a shrew.  I understand the why but I still didn’t like him that much.
  5. The setting – I’m a sucker for England and especially the English countryside.  Like another English author I know, she knows what she writes about when it comes to the setting of the book.

Did I mention that not once, NOT ONCE in the book was bored with the ton.  This is a character driven novel about two people that shouldn’t fall in love with each but do.  The getting there is half the fun of the book and I have to say that I don’t even know what Clara wore in the book.  She had a bonnet, a shawl, and a thin summer cotton nightgown.  Why do I mention this?  Because I didn’t have to skip a bunch of paragraphs/pages with all the details that bore me to death.  Again, characters are key for me in a historical romance and Ms. Keysian wrote it that way.  Of course, I don’t think I’ll look at skinny dipping the same way again.

Do yourself a favor and buy this book.  Just for me, please.  You will not be disappointed at all.  It has all the romance of a historical, some family issues but now the filler that irritates so much.

 

ABOUT ELIZABETH KEYSIAN

Elizabeth Keysian felt destined to write historical romance due to her Cornish descent, and an ancestral connection to the Norse god Odin. Being an only child gave her plenty of time to read, create imaginary worlds, produce her own comics, and write sketches and a deplorably bad musical for an amateur dramatics group.

Three decades spent working in museums and archaeology fired Elizabeth’s urge to write, as did living on a Knights Templar estate, with a garage full of skeletons, a resident ghost and a moat teeming with newts.

Elizabeth lives near Bath in England with her partner and cats.

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