Wednesday, May 23, 2018

No Cowboy Required by JoAnn Sky - Spotlight Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway


Welcome to Reno, Nevada, the Biggest Little City in the World!
 Sweet Home Alabama meets Raising Helen in this sweet small town contemporary romance debut from Golden Heart® Award finalist JoAnn Sky!



Goodreads ~ Amazon ~  

Book Description:

Enemies make the best partners…

As a photographer in NYC, Grace Harper is a pro at handling the unexpected--which comes in handy when she inherits the ranch home she ran away from seven years ago…along with a young, autistic stepbrother she’s never met. And because nothing ever goes easy for her, Grace finds her frustrating, sexy ex-flame, Noah, taking care of JJ. But she’s getting out of this nowhere town fast, so she’ll have to find a way to keep from throttling Noah—without kissing him first.

Noah Taylor may be enemy number one to Grace, but she needs his help. He knows the girl he used to love is still there, beneath the heels and fancy clothes, so he’ll help her—and keep his distance like she says she wants. Only the more time they spend together, the closer he wants to get. Grace has no intention of staying, but she belongs in his arms—he just has to prove it to her.




Excerpt:

Copyright© 2018 No Cowboy Required

JoAnn Sky

She stopped shuffling the papers and stood but didn’t face him. “I want you to keep the farm, and I want to help you do it. But I need a new start, too.” She took a deep breath, turned her head just slightly over her shoulder toward him. “On my own.” 

He watched those three little words barrel toward him. In another second, they’d knock him on his ass. He grabbed her arm and turned her around. “And that’s just the way you like it.” He leaned into her, watched her pupils dilate. “Doesn’t that get lonely?”

Her lips parted, as if to respond. But no words came out. She stared at him, waiting. For what, he wasn’t sure. She licked her lips.

To hell with whether it was love or lust or chemistry or kryptonite. He swooped in, covered her mouth with his, and drank her in. He thought she would push him away. Instead she pulled him closer, offered him more. 

He took it at first, deepening the kiss, his tongue probing, tasting. It was good. She was good. But it could be better. He did care whether it was love or lust. He needed to take it slow, make it mean something. 

Maybe then she’d stay.


GiveAway:
 (one (1) lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card)









About JoAnn Sky:
JoAnn Sky has written for years as part of her job (business and marketing plans and the like). One day she tried her hand at writing for fun—and like it. Now she authors adult contemporary romance and young adult romance with a magical twist as well as children's books.
JoAnn is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist (YA category and Contemporary Short category). Originally from the Midwest, JoAnn currently lives in northern Nevada with her husband a.k.a. love of her life, three teenage children, and three crazy rescue dogs.

Visit her at https://joannsky.com/ where you can sign up for her newsletter (and check out www.dogsandbooks.com for additional information about her children’s books). You can also connect on Twitter at @jaskybooks (http://twitter.com/JASkyBooks) or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/joannskyauthor/).

JoAnn is represented by the fabulous Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.





Connect with JoAnn: 

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ 


Taming His Hellion Countess by Sorcha Mowbray - Review!

Today we are celebrating the release of TAMING HIS HELLION COUNTESS, the second book in the Lustful Lords series by Sorcha Mowbray.

 This book is a historical romance title from Jack's House Publishing.

 Check out the buy links, teasers, and my review for the book below.

 

KindleUS ~ iBooks ~ Barnes&Noble ~ Kobo ~ Google ~KindleCA ~ KindleUK ~ KindleAU ~Amazon

Author: Sorcha Mowbray
Publication Date:  22 May, 2018
Publisher: Jack's House Publishing
Series:  The Lustful Lords, book 2
Genre:  Historical Romance, Erotica
Age Recommendation: 18 and Up
Rating: 5 Stars

~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 



Book Description:

A duty bound earl and a jewel thief might find forever if he can steal her heart…

Robert Cooper, the Earl of Brougham must marry in order to fulfill his duty to the title. He’s decided on a rather mild mannered, biddable woman who most considered firmly on the shelf. But, her family is on solid financial ground and has no scandals attached to their name.
Lady Emily Winterburn, sister of the Earl of Dunmere, is not what she seems. With a heart as big as her wild streak she finds herself prepared to protect her brother from his bad choices, even if it means stealing from the Ton. But marrying their way out of trouble is simply out of the question. What woman in her right mind would shackle herself to a man, let alone one of the notorious Lustful Lords?
Cooper’s carefully laid plans are ruined once he must decide between courting his unwilling bride-to-be and taming the wild woman he caught stealing–until he discovers they are one and the same. And when love sinks it’s relentless talons into his heart? He’ll do anything to possess the wanton who fires his blood and touches his soul.



My Review:

I just love this series.  I feel like that's all I need to tell you and you should just go forth and read, haha.  I won't stop there but honestly you should just stop reading and go one-click because, well you already know; I just love this series! 

I mentioned this in my review for book one, His Hand-Me-Down Countess, these are not 'your mother's historical romances'. These aren't braw lads with dark pasts (well not yet anyway, ha) and bad attitudes.  These aren't alpha jerks with expectations that their ladies be subservient and docile but they love them with all their heart and soul, well you know as long as they listen.  These are Gentlemen with singular tastes, who are bit more than a bit on the roguish side (no doubt) but who acknowledge (much sooner than the ladies in fact) that not only are they falling for women they never expected but that they also know their desires.  They are well acquainted with these ladies strong backbones and feminist leanings and they learn that nay accepting those traits they are loving the women as they should and allowing them to be who they were always meant to be.  

I love how strong all the characters are in this book, even the ones that don't start out that way eventually find their backbone...I'm looking at you Arthur.  I love that the women while trying to work within the confines of societies expectations are also not willing to be what society fully expects.  I love that the heroes are all stand up men (Arthur *side eye*, I kinda love him really) and 'open' about their life choices.  I love that they stand beside their ladies and not in front of them, they may try from time to time, they know their place. *wink* I love that in the end each book is simply about finding love and joy, about not being the status quo but being who you are meant to be individually and as a couple.  

These books bring me a great deal of happiness when I read them, either from straight up laughter or just from the swoon worthiness of the romance.  I particularly enjoyed that Cooper was so unsure of himself and his desires in this book.  'Watching' him fret over how he would bring Emily around to his way of thinking was both entertaining and fun.  I loved even more that Emily just decided to take things into hand and show him that her desires matched his own.   

These aren't books about the hero taking the heroine in hand it is a joint adventure where they both learn to accept their shortcomings as well as their strengths and they lift each other up.  I know it sounds so flamboyant almost of me to say that but in essence that is what these books are about and I love it.  I love that there is an edge to each one when it comes to the romance.  I love that there is an aspect of female empowerment in an age that it would have been almost completely unacceptable. I love the friendships, the building ones between the ladies and the strong firm bond (I just giggled at myself) between the Lustful Lords.  I will admit to always wanting to see more interaction between the Lords themselves. 

 I am terribly curious about the next Lords book, looks like he's going to be our brooder and that has me all sorts of titillated!  I don't feel the you HAVE to read these books in order for the series to make sense, though you will be missing out on a small part of the story that Cooper was involved in during book one.  I never saw that particular story line go through it's full arc in Taming His Hellion Countess and I expected something to come of it as it was discussed quite a bit for a while.  It doesn't take away from the whole story but I kept expecting something to occur based off it and that never happened.  Anyway, long story short (ha) there is a small story arc that comes from book one into book two while you don't have to understand it to be able to enjoy book two you will be missing out on what happened, that is the only negative I see in reading this book prior to the first!  

i am really excited to see this series continue and flourish.  If you are looking for a Historical Romance that is just a fun steamy read grab these up.  They're perfect pool side reads, you just may want to bring a fan cause if it wasn't hot enough outside for you already it will be once you get started in with these Lustful Lords and their Ladies!  


~ HAPPY READING ~

PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS BOOK IN THE SERIES

His Hand-Me-Down Countess (Lustful Lords, #1)

KindleUS ~ iBooks ~ Nook ~ Kobo ~ Google ~KindleCA ~ KindleUK ~ Kindle AU ~ Amazon

------------------------------

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.
She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!
For more information about Sorcha, please visit her website, “Like” Sorcha on Facebook and follow her on TwitterInstagram and Goodreads. Join Sorcha’s newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming releases. She loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at sorcha@sorchamowbray.com

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Newsletter ~ Goodreads

InkSlinger Blogger Final

Tempting the Laird by Julia London - Waiting on Wednesday

   

From New York Times bestselling author Julia London, comes TEMPTING THE LAIRD—the fifth standalone novel in her 

Highland Grooms Series!

TEMPTING THE LAIRD releases on 

June 26, 2018. 

Pre-order your copy today!

   

 

Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~ iBooks ~ 

Kobo ~ GooglePlay ~ B-A-M ~ IndieBound ~ Powell’s

Book Description:

Mystery and desire cloak the Scottish Highlands

Unruly. Unmarried. Unapologetic. Catriona Mackenzie’s reputation precedes her everywhere she goes. Her beloved late aunt Zelda taught Cat to live out loud and speak her mind, and that’s exactly what she does when Zelda’s legacy—a refuge for women in need—comes under fire. When her quest puts her in the path of the disturbingly mysterious Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose, Cat is soon caught up in the provocative rumors surrounding the dark duke. Never one to retreat, Cat boldly goes where no one else has dared for answers.

Shrouded in secrets, a hostage of lies, Hamlin must endure the fear and suspicion of those who believe he is a murderer. The sudden disappearance of his wife and the truth he keeps silent are a risk to his chances at earning a coveted parliamentary seat. But he’s kept his affairs tightly held until a woman with sparkling eyes and brazen determination appears unexpectedly in his life. Deadly allegations might be his downfall, but his unleashed passion could be the duke’s ultimate undoing.

     


   

About Julia London: Julia London is the New York Times and USA TODAY best-selling author of more than thirty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Cabot Sisters historical romance series, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch and The Perfect Homecoming. She has over 100,000+ Facebook followers, is the recipient of the RT Book Reviews for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. You can visit her website JuliaLondon.com. She lives in Austin, Texas.    

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram


 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

FuryBorn by Clair LeGrand - Release Day Excerpt, GiveAway, and More!









Book Description:

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable—until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world—and of each other.






Excerpt from Furyborn:

1

RIELLE

“Lord Commander Dardenne came to me in the middle of the night, his daughter in his arms. They smelled of fire; their clothes were singed. He could hardly speak. I had never seen the man afraid before. He thrust Rielle into my arms and said, ‘Help us. Help her. Don’t let them take her from me.’”

—Testimony of Grand Magister Taliesin Belounnon, on Lady Rielle Dardenne’s involvement in the Boon Chase massacreApril 29, Year 998 of the Second Age

TWO YEARS EARLIER

Rielle Dardenne hurried into Tal’s office and dropped the sparrow’s message onto his desk.

“Princess Runa is dead,” she announced.

She wouldn’t describe her mood as excited exactly, but her own kingdom, Celdaria, and their northeastern neighbor, Borsvall, had lived in a state of tension for so many decades that it was hardly noteworthy when, say, a Celdarian merchant ship sank off Borsvall’s coast or patrols came to blows near the border.

But a murdered Borsvall princess? That was news. And Rielle wanted to dissect every piece of it.

Tal let out a sigh, set down his pen, and dragged his ink-smudged hands through his messy blond hair. The polished golden flame pinned to his lapel winked in the sunlight.

“Perhaps,” Tal suggested, turning a look on Rielle that was not quite disapproval and not quite amusement, “you should consider looking less thrilled about a princess’s murder?”

She slid into the chair across from him. “I’m not happy about it or anything. I’m simply intrigued.” Rielle pulled the slip of paper back across the desk and read over the inked words once more. “So you do think it was assassination? Audric thinks so.”

“Promise me you won’t do anything stupid today, Rielle.”

She smiled sweetly at him. “When have I ever done anything stupid?”

He quirked an eyebrow. “The city guard is on high alert. I want you here, safe in the temple, in case anything happens.” He took the message from her, scanning its contents. “How did you get this, anyway? No, wait. I know. Audric gave it to you.”

Rielle stiffened. “Audric keeps me informed. He’s a good friend. Where’s the harm in that?”

Tal didn’t answer, but he didn’t have to.

“If you have something to say to me,” she snapped, color climbing up her cheeks, “then just say it. Or else let’s begin our lesson.”

Tal watched her a moment longer, then turned to pick up four enormous books sitting on the shelf behind him.

“Here,” he said, ignoring the mutinous expression on her face. “I’ve marked some passages for you to read. Today will be devoted to quiet study. And I’ll test you later, so don’t even think about skimming.”

Rielle narrowed her eyes at the book on the top of the stack. “A Concise History of the Second Age, Volume I: The Aftermath of the Angelic Wars.” She made a face. “This hardly looks concise.”

“It’s all a matter of perspective,” he said, returning to the papers on his desk.

Rielle’s favorite place in Tal’s office was the window seat overlooking the main temple courtyard. It was piled high with scarlet cushions lined in gold piping, and when she sat there, dangling her legs out into the sun, she could almost forget that there was an enormous world beyond the temple and her city—a world she would never see.

She settled by the window, kicked off her boots, hiked up her heavy lace-trimmed skirts, and rested her bare feet on the sill. The spring sunlight washed her legs in warmth, and soon she was thinking of how Audric blossomed on bright, sun-filled days like this one. How his skin seemed to glow and crackle, begging to be touched.

Tal cleared his throat, breaking her focus.

Tal knew her far too well.

She cracked open A Concise History, took one look at the tiny, faded text, and imagined tossing the book out the window and into the temple courtyard, where citizens were filing in for morning prayers—to pray that the riders they had wagered upon in today’s race would win, no doubt. Every temple in the capital would be full of such eager souls, not just there in the Pyre—Tal’s temple, where citizens worshipped Saint Marzana the firebrand—but in the House of Light and the House of Night as well and the Baths and the Firmament, the Forge and the Holdfast. Whispered prayers in all seven temples, to all seven saints and their elements.

Wasted prayers, thought Rielle with a slight, sharp thrill. The other racers will look like children on ponies compared to me.

She flipped through a few pages, biting the inside of her lip until she felt calm enough to speak. “I’ve heard many in the Borsvall court are blaming Celdaria for Runa’s death. We wouldn’t do such a thing, would we?”

Tal’s pen scratched across his paper. “Certainly not.”

“But it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, does it? If King Hallvard’s councils convince him that we killed his daughter, he will declare war at last.”

Tal dropped his pen with a huff of annoyance. “I’m not going to get any work done today, am I?”

Rielle swallowed her grin. If only you knew how true that is, dearest Tal.

“I’m sorry if I have questions about the political climate of our country,” she said. “Does that fall under the category of things we’re not allowed to discuss, lest my poor vulnerable brain shatter from the stress?”

A smile twitched at the corner of Tal’s mouth. “Borsvall might declare war, yes.”

“You don’t seem concerned about this possibility.”

“I find it unlikely. We’ve been on the edge of war with Borsvall for decades, and yet it has never happened. And it will never happen, because the Borsvall people may be warmongers, but King Hallvard is neither healthy nor stupid. We would flatten his army. He can’t afford a war with anyone, much less with Celdaria.”

“Audric said…” Rielle hesitated. A twist of unease slipped down her throat. “Audric said he thinks Princess Runa’s death, and the slave rebellion in Kirvaya, means it’s time. That the Queens are coming.”

Silence fell over the room like a shroud.

“Audric has always been fascinated with the prophecy,” Tal said, his voice deceptively calm. “He’s been looking for signs of the Queens’ coming for years.”

“He sounds rather convinced this time.”

“A slave rebellion and a dead princess are hardly enough to—”

“But I heard Grand Magister Duval talking about how there have been storms across the ocean in Meridian,” she pressed on, searching his face. “Even as far as Ventera and Astavar. Strange storms, out of season.”

Tal blinked. Ah, thought Rielle. You didn’t know that, did you?

“Storms do occur out of season from time to time,” Tal said. “The empirium works in mysterious ways.”

Rielle curled her fingers in her skirts, taking comfort in the fact that soon she would be in her riding trousers and boots, her collar open to the breeze.

She would be on the starting line.

“The report I read,” she continued, “said that a dust storm in southern Meridian had shut down the entire port of Morsia for days.”

“Audric needs to stop showing you every report that comes across his desk.”

“Audric didn’t show me anything. I found this one myself.”

Tal raised an eyebrow. “You mean you snuck into his office when he wasn’t there and went through his papers.”

Rielle’s cheeks grew hot. “I was looking for a book I’d left behind.”

“Indeed. And what would Audric say if he knew you’d been in his office without his permission?”

“He wouldn’t care. I’m free to come and go as I please.”

Tal closed his eyes. “Lady Rielle, you can’t just visit the crown prince’s private rooms day and night as though it’s nothing. You’re not children anymore. And you are not his fiancée.”

Rielle lost her breath for an instant. “I’m well aware of that.”

Tal waved a hand and rose from his chair, effectively ending all talk of the prophecy and its Queens.

“The city is crowded today—and unpredictable,” he said, walking across the room to pour himself another cup of tea. “Word is spreading about Princess Runa’s death. In such a climate, the empirium can behave in similarly unpredictable ways. Perhaps we should begin a round of prayers to steady our minds. Amid the chaos of the world, the burning flame serves as an anchor, binding us in peace to the empirium and to God.”

Rielle glared at him. “Don’t use your magister voice, Tal. It makes you sound old.”

He sighed, took a sip of his tea. “I am old. And grumpy, thanks to you.”

“Thirty-two is hardly old, especially to already be Grand Magister of the Pyre.” She paused. She would need to proceed carefully. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you were appointed as the next Archon. Surely, with someone as talented as you beside me, I could safely watch the Chase from your box—”

“Don’t try to flatter me, Lady Rielle.” His eyes sparked at her. There was the Tal she liked—the ferocious firebrand, not the pious teacher. “It isn’t safe for you out there right now, not to mention dangerous for everyone else if something set you off and you lost control.”

Rielle slammed shut A Concise History and rose from the window seat. “Damn you, Tal.”

“Not in the temple, please,” Tal admonished over the rim of his cup.

“I’m not a child. Do you really think I don’t know better by now?” Her voice turned mocking. “‘Rielle, let’s say a prayer together to calm you.’ ‘Rielle, let’s sing a song about Saint Katell the Magnificent to take your mind off things.’ ‘No, Rielle, you can’t go to the masque. You might forget yourself. You might have fun, God forbid.’ If Father had his way, I’d stay locked up for the rest of my life with my nose buried in a book or on my knees in prayer, whipping myself every time I had a stray angry thought. Is that the kind of life you would like for me too?”

Tal watched her, unmoved. “If it meant you were safe and that others were safe as well? Yes, I would.”

“Kept under lock and key like some criminal.” A familiar, frustrated feeling rose within her; she pushed it back down with a vengeance. She would not lose control, not today of all days.

“Do you know,” she said, her voice falsely bright, “that when it storms, Father takes me down to the servants’ quarters and gives me dumbwort? It puts me to sleep, and he locks me up and leaves me there.”

After a pause, Tal answered, “Yes.”

“I used to fight him. He would hold me down and slap me, pinch my nose shut until I couldn’t breathe and had to open my mouth. Then he would shove the vial between my lips and make me drink, and I would spit it up, but he would keep forcing me to drink, whispering to me everything I’d ever done wrong, and right in the middle of yelling how much I hated him, I would fall asleep. And when I would wake up, the storm would be over.”

A longer pause. “Yes,” Tal answered softly. “I know.”

“He thinks storms are too provocative for me. They give me ideas, he says.”

Tal cleared his throat. “That was my fault.”

“I know.”

“But the medicine, that was his suggestion.”

She gave him a withering look. “And did you try to talk him out of it?”

He did not answer, and the patience on his face left her seething.

“I don’t fight him anymore,” she said. “I hear a crack of thunder and go below without him even asking me to. How pathetic I’ve become.”

“Rielle…” Tal sighed, shook his head. “Everything I could say to you, I’ve said before.”

She approached him, letting the loneliness she typically hid from him—from everyone—soften her face. Come, good Magister Belounnon. Pity your sweet Rielle. He broke first, looking away from her. Something like sorrow shifted across his face, and his jaw tightened.

Good.

“He’d let me sleep through life if he could,” she said.

“He loves you, Rielle. He worries for you.”

Heat snapped at Rielle’s fingertips, growing along with her anger. With a stubborn stab of fury, she let it come. She knew she shouldn’t, that an outburst would only make it more difficult to sneak away, but suddenly she could not bring herself to care.

He loves you, Rielle.

A father who loved his daughter would not make her his prisoner.

She seized one of the candles from Tal’s desk and watched with grim satisfaction as the wick burst into a spitting, unruly flame. As she stared at it, she imagined her fury as a flooding river, steadily spilling over its banks and feeding the flame in her hands.

The flame grew—the size of a pen, a dagger, a sword. Then every candle followed suit, a forest of fiery blades.

Tal rose from his desk and picked up the handsome polished shield from its stand in the corner of the room. Every elemental who had ever lived—every waterworker and windsinger, every shadowcaster and every firebrand like Tal—had to use a casting, a physical object uniquely forged by their own hands, to access their power. Their singular power, the one element they could control.

But not Rielle.

She needed no casting, and fire was not the only element that obeyed her.

All of them did.

Tal stood behind her, one hand holding his shield, the other hand resting gently on her own. As a child, back when she had still thought she loved Tal, such touches had thrilled her.

Now she seriously considered punching him.

“In the name of Saint Marzana the Brilliant,” Tal murmured, “we offer this prayer to the flames, that the empirium might hear our plea and grant us strength: Fleet-footed fire, blaze not with fury or abandon. Burn steady and true, burn clean and burn bright.”

Rielle bit down on harsh words. How she hated praying. Every familiar word felt like a new bar being added to the cage her father and Tal had crafted for her.

The room began to shake—the inkwell on Tal’s desk, the panes of glass in the open window, Tal’s half-finished cup of tea.

“Rielle?” Tal prompted, shifting his shield. In his body behind her, she felt a rising hot tension as he prepared to douse her fire with his own power. Despite her best efforts, the concern in his voice caused her a twinge of remorse. He meant well, she knew. He wanted, desperately, for her to be happy.

Unlike her father.

So Rielle bowed her head and swallowed her anger. After all, what she was about to do might turn Tal against her forever. She could allow him this small victory.

“Blaze not with fury or abandon,” she repeated, closing her eyes. She imagined setting aside every scrap of emotion, every sound, every thought, until her mind was a vast field of darkness—except for the tiny spot of light that was the flame in her hands.

Then she allowed the darkness to seep across the flame as well and was left alone in the cool, still void of her mind.

The room calmed.

Tal’s hand fell away.

Rielle listened as he returned his shield to its stand. The prayer had scraped her clean, and in the wake of her anger she felt…nothing. A hollow heart and an empty head.

When she opened her eyes, they were dry and tired. She wondered bitterly what it would be like to live without a constant refrain of prayers in her thoughts, warning her against her own feelings.

The temple bells chimed eleven times; Rielle’s pulse jumped. Any moment now, she would hear Ludivine’s signal.

She turned toward the window. No more prayers, no more reading. Every muscle in her body surged with energy. She wanted to ride.

“I’d rather be dead than live as my father’s prisoner,” she said at last, unable to resist that last petulant stab.

“Dead like your mother?”

Rielle froze. When she faced Tal, he did not look away. She had not expected that cruelty. From her father, yes, but never from Tal.

The memory of long-ago flames blazed across her vision.

“Did Father instruct you to bring that up if I got out of hand?” she asked, keeping her voice flat and cool. “What with the Chase and all.”

“Yes,” Tal answered, unflinching.

“Well, I’m happy to tell you I’ve only killed the one time. You needn’t worry yourself.”

After a moment, Tal turned to straighten the books on his desk. “This is as much for your safety as it is for everyone else’s. If the king discovered we’d been hiding the truth of your power all these years…You know what could happen. Especially to your father. And yet he does it because he loves you more than you’ll ever understand.”

Rielle laughed sharply. “That isn’t reason enough to treat me like this. I’ll never forgive him for it. Someday, I’ll stop forgiving you too.”

“I know,” Tal said, and at the sadness in his voice, Rielle nearly took pity on him.

Nearly.

But then a great crash sounded from downstairs, and an unmistakable cry of alarm.

Ludivine.

Tal gave Rielle that familiar look he so often had—when she had, at seven, overflowed their pool at the Baths; when he had found her, at fifteen, the first time she snuck out to Odo’s tavern. That look of What did I do to deserve such trials?

Rielle gazed innocently back at him.

“Stay here,” he ordered. “I mean it, Rielle. I appreciate your frustration—truly, I do—but this is about more than the injustice of you feeling bored.”

Rielle returned to the window seat, hoping her expression appeared suitably abashed.

“I love you, Tal,” she said, and the truth of that was enough to make her hate herself a little.

“I know,” he replied. Then he threw on his magisterial robe and swept out the door.

“Magister, it’s Lady Ludivine,” came a panicked voice from the hallway—one of Tal’s young acolytes. “She’d only just arrived in the chapel, my lord, when she turned pale and collapsed. I don’t know what happened!”

“Summon my healer,” Tal instructed, “and send a message to the queen. She’ll be in her box at the starting line. Tell her that her niece has taken ill and will not be joining her there.”

Once they had gone, Rielle smiled and yanked on her boots.

Stay here?

Not a chance.

She hurried through the sitting room outside Tal’s office and into the temple’s red-veined marble hallways, where embroidered flourishes of shimmering flames lined the plush carpets. The temple entryway, its parquet floor polished to a sheen of gold, was a flurry of activity as worshippers, acolytes, and servants hurried across to the peaked chapel doors.

“It’s Lady Ludivine,” a young acolyte whispered to her companion as Rielle passed. “Apparently she’s taken ill.”

Rielle grinned, imagining everyone fussing over poor Ludivine, tragically lovely and faint on the temple floor. Ludivine would enjoy the attention—and the reminder that she had the entire capital held like a puppet on its master’s strings.

Even so, Rielle would owe her a tremendous favor after this.

Whatever it was, it would be more than worth it.

Ludivine’s horse stood next to her own just outside the temple, held by a young stable hand who seemed on the verge of panic. He recognized Rielle and sagged with relief.

“Pardon me, Lady Rielle, but is Lady Ludivine all right?” he asked.

“Haven’t the faintest,” Rielle replied, swinging up into the saddle. Then she snapped the reins, and her mare bolted down the main road that led from the Pyre into the heart of the city, hooves clattering against the cobblestones. A tumbled array of apartments and temple buildings rose around them—gray stone walls engraved with scenes of the capital city’s creation, rounded roofs of burnished copper, slender columns wrapped in flowering ivy, white fountains crowned with likenesses of the seven saints in prayer. So many visitors had come from all over the world to Âme de la Terre for the Chase that the cool spring air now pressed thick and close. The city smelled of sweat and spices, hot horse and hot coin.

As Rielle tore down the road, the crowd parted in alarm on either side of her, shouting angry curses until they realized who she was and fell silent. She guided her mare through the twisting streets and made for the main city gates, her body pulled tight with nerves.

But she would not give in to her power today.

She would compete in the Boon Chase, as any citizen was free to do, and prove to her father that she could control herself, even when her life was in danger and the eyes of the entire city were upon her.

She would prove to him, and to Tal, that she deserved to live a normal life.




Furyborn Video Trailers Link:





 GiveAway: 
(2 Copies of Furyborn)
Runs May 22 - May 31 (US & Canada only)





About the Author:

Claire Legrand is the author of several novels for children and young adults, most notably The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, Some Kind of Happiness, and Winterspell. Claire lives in Princeton, New Jersey. Visit claire-legrand.com.



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Taming His Hellion Countess by Sorcha Mowbray - Release Day

Today we are celebrating the release of TAMING HIS HELLION COUNTESS, the second book in the Lustful Lords series by Sorcha Mowbray. This book is a historical romance title from Jack's House Publishing. Check out the buy links and teasers for the book below.

 


Book Description:

A duty bound earl and a jewel thief might find forever if he can steal her heart…

Robert Cooper, the Earl of Brougham must marry in order to fulfill his duty to the title. He’s decided on a rather mild mannered, biddable woman who most considered firmly on the shelf. But, her family is on solid financial ground and has no scandals attached to their name.
Lady Emily Winterburn, sister of the Earl of Dunmere, is not what she seems. With a heart as big as her wild streak she finds herself prepared to protect her brother from his bad choices, even if it means stealing from the Ton. But marrying their way out of trouble is simply out of the question. What woman in her right mind would shackle herself to a man, let alone one of the notorious Lustful Lords?
Cooper’s carefully laid plans are ruined once he must decide between courting his unwilling bride-to-be and taming the wild woman he caught stealing–until he discovers they are one and the same. And when love sinks it’s relentless talons into his heart? He’ll do anything to possess the wanton who fires his blood and touches his soul.

PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS BOOK IN THE SERIES

His Hand-Me-Down Countess (Lustful Lords, #1)

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.
She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!
For more information about Sorcha, please visit her website, “Like” Sorcha on Facebook and follow her on TwitterInstagram and Goodreads. Join Sorcha’s newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming releases. She loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at sorcha@sorchamowbray.com

AUTHOR LINKS:

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InkSlinger Blogger Final

Rebel Heart by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland - Release Day

 
   

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Rush and Gia’s story continues in the gripping conclusion to Rebel Heart… 

How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons: Sleep with your boss. Check. Blow all your money on a rental you can’t afford. Check. How to walk away from a man you fall in love with at the end of a summer: …I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Rebel Heart is the second book in the Rush Series Duet. Book One, Rebel Heart, is available for sale now.               


     


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How to kick off a great summer in the Hamptons: 
Snag a gorgeous rental on the beach. Check. Get a job at a trendy summer haunt. Check. How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons: Fall for the one guy with a dark leather jacket, scruff on his face, and intense eyes that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the tony looking crowd.  A guy you can’t have when you’ll be leaving at the end of the season. Check. Check. Check. I should add—especially when the guy is your sexy, tattooed God of a boss. Especially when he not only owns your place of employment but inherited half of the town. Especially when he’s mean to you. Or so I thought. Until one night when he demanded I get in his car so he could drive me home because he didn’t want me walking in the dark. That was sort of how it all started with Rush. And then little by little, some of the walls of this hardass man started to come down. I never expected that the two of us, seemingly opposites from the outside, would grow so close. I wasn't supposed to fall for the rebel heir, especially when he made it clear he didn’t want to cross the line with me. As the temperature turned cooler, the nights became hotter.  My summer became a lot more interesting—and complicated. All good things must come to an end, right? 

  Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming. 





Meet the Authors:
     

 Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son and beautiful daughter with autism. With over a million books sold, she is a seventeen-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over fifteen novels, including RoomHate which hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and #1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Other New York Times bestsellers include Stepbrother Dearest, Neighbor Dearest, Drunk Dial, Cocky Bastard, Stuck-Up Suit, Playboy Pilot and Mister Moneybags (the latter four co-written with Vi Keeland).

  Connect with Penelope Ward 




  Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author.   With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over ninety Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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