Monday, July 6, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt from Summer at the Shore (Seashell Bay # 2) by V.K. Sykes

Summer at the Shore
Seashell Bay # 2
By: V.K. Sykes
Releasing June 30, 2015
Grand Central: Forever

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Morgan Merrifield sacrificed her teaching career to try to save her family's bed-and-breakfast and care for her younger sister. She can't let herself get distracted by Ryan Butler. After all, the rugged ex-Special Forces soldier is only in Seashell Bay for the summer. But her longtime crush soon flares into real desire-and with one irresistible kiss, she's swept away.

Ryan values his freedom. As much as he wants Morgan, he's not ready to settle down with anyone, much less in sleepy Seashell Bay. But his code of honor doesn't allow him to leave a woman in distress-and she's in desperate need of help to fix the inn. It only takes one day working under the same roof and Ryan is already hoping for a lifetime of hot summer nights . . .

“You look lovely today, Morgan,” Julia Butler said with a warm smile. “Your skin is always so beautiful.”

With her hair still wet from the dunk tank and with zero makeup, Morgan knew that wasn’t true. But Julia was the nicest person on the planet.

“Thanks, Mrs. Butler. We’re sure happy to have Ryan on the team this year.”

“If only he could be here all the time instead of gallivanting all over the world,” Julia said with a wistful sigh.

“Julia Butler, that is so much malarkey,” her husband said. “Our boy is fighting the good fight like he always does. And that’s a damn sight more important than catching people’s dinner.”

Ryan gave his dad a fist bump.

Julia wrinkled her nose at her husband, then smiled. “Don’t get me wrong, Morgan. I’m so proud of Ryan I could burst. But I just miss him so. Watching him get on that ferry and leave again is always the worst day of the year for me.”

Ryan wrapped his mother in a tight hug. “But I always come back, Mom. And I always will.”

Morgan was thrilled he had such a close, loving family, but the sweet exchange hit her like a punch in the stomach. God, she missed her parents. She would miss Ryan too, more than she cared to think about.

Fortunately, Micah blew his whistle before she could get too maudlin.

“Come on, guys, let’s go,” Aiden ordered, holding the rope in his big hands.

“Yes, time to get the lead out, people,” Miss Annie said as she bustled down the line, giving her team friendly pats on the butt. “Let’s wipe the grins off those smoke eaters’ faces.”

“Duty calls,” Ryan said. After he kissed his mom and got in position as anchor, his dad moved forward to take up his place near the head of the line.

When Ryan wrapped the end of the thick rope around his waist and let the remaining few feet trail behind him, Morgan shook her head. “You can’t wrap the rope around your waist. That’s not quite in keeping with the rules for the anchorman, dude.”

Ryan lifted an eyebrow. “Really? Well, you’re the pro.” He unwrapped the rope and handed it to her. “Show me,” he said in a deep, low voice that made it sound like he might want to do something far sexier with the rope than just play tug-of-war.

Oh, boy. Rope and Ryan Butler was not a combo she should be thinking about.

“Okay, it goes underneath your arm, like this.” Morgan threaded the rope under his arm and circled behind him. “And up over your other shoulder, like so.” She couldn’t help running her palm down his bicep before she looped the rope back under his arm again so the loose end trailed behind him. “That’s what the rules require,” she finished, a tad breathless.

When she touched him, Morgan swore she could feel sparks—and a whole lot of glorious hard muscle.

“If you say so, boss lady,” he murmured. “But I figure there are plenty of other rules we can break.”

Morgan moved into position, hyperaware of his presence behind her. “Get your mind out of the gutter, anchorman,” she flung over her shoulder.

“Get your mind into the game, Ryan Butler,” Miss Annie scolded as she came down the line to them. “You too, Morgan Merrifield. Don’t think I don’t know what’s going on between you two.”

Morgan had to bite back a groan, but Ryan just chuckled at the reprimand.

Roy took a couple of steps forward as if to talk to Miss Annie but instead leaned in toward Aiden. “I got twenty-five bucks riding on you guys, so don’t let me down. That’s a lot of money to a senior citizen, sonny.”

Morgan knew Rocket Roy wouldn’t be the only islander who’d placed a bet on the outcome.

As Aiden reassured the old man, Morgan clutched the rope tightly and dug her feet as hard as she could into the short grass. She kept her eyes glued on Micah, standing off to the side and clearly about to whistle the start of the match.

“Your ass is seriously distracting me, Merrifield,” Ryan murmured in her ear. “If you had a dime in the back pocket of those jeans, I bet I could tell if it was heads or tails.”

Lord, help me. Morgan tried to ignore the little flutters in her stomach. “That excuse isn’t going to cut it if we lose, Soldier Boy,” she hissed, glancing back.

She didn’t know whether his amused grin infuriated or excited her. Both, she guessed.

When Micah blew the whistle, whoops and cheers erupted all around the field. “Pull!” yelled Miss Annie at the exact moment that Boone Cleary boomed out the same command to his team.

Morgan pulled on the rope with all her strength, but it felt like cement under her hands. Nothing moved either way as both teams strained for advantage. “Pull!” Miss Annie yelped again, trying to get their rhythm going.

Morgan kept her eyes fastened on Aiden’s back and strained at the rope.

“Come on you no-good Flynn boys, pull!” Miss Annie bellowed. For a little old lady, she had quite the set of pipes.

The crowd’s cheering seemed pretty evenly split, though Morgan was so focused on trying to maintain a solid grip on the rope that she was barely aware of more than a jumbled roar. When she looked down the line at the firefighters on the other side of the moat, she saw something that made her blink. She swore she could see genuine surprise on their faces, especially Brett’s. Those guys always figured they had the tug-of-war contest in the bag, but maybe not this time.

After a few tense moments, her team fell into a good rhythm, with Ryan and Aiden leading the way with huge pulls. At Miss Annie’s barked commands, each pull was followed by a barely perceptible moment of relaxation before another hard yank on the rope. While it felt to Morgan like she wasn’t doing much of the work, she knew it wasn’t true. A team couldn’t win the match without all eight pullers doing their jobs. She’d be damned if she would be the weakest link—not when they had a real shot at winning.

And especially not in front of Ryan.

“Harder!” Miss Annie shouted. “We’re gaining ground!”

V.K. Sykes is really two people – Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance and also romantic suspense. Randy excels at plot and characterization, but tends to fall down on the job when it comes to that pesky old thing called emotion. That’s where Vanessa steps in. She usually writes the sex scenes too, since Randy is a bit uncomfortable when it comes to that sort of stuff. Vanessa also writes award-winning Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. You can check out Vanessa’s bestselling historical romances at

Author's Links

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Review of Safe At Last (Slow Burn #3) by Maya Banks

"She is - was - my goddamn life." - Zack Covington

Safe At Last
Series: Slow Burn #3
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Source: copy for review

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They say young love doesn’t last, but a girl from the wrong side of the tracks with unique abilities and the hometown golden boy were determined to defy the odds. For Zack Covington, Anna-Grace—his “Gracie”—was the one. Until one night forever alters the course of their future, when a devastated Gracie disappears without a trace, leaving Zack to agonize over what happened to the girl he loved. As the years pass, his desperate efforts to find her uncovered nothing.

Now working for Devereaux Security, he stumbles across a painting featuring a special place only he and Gracie would know. The image is too perfectly rendered for it to be coincidence. His Gracie must be alive. When he finally tracks her down, he is shocked—and heart-broken—to discover the wounded shell of the girl he once knew and still loves. Her psychic gifts are gone, and worse, she believes he betrayed her all those years ago.

Zack has enemies, and once his weakness is discovered, Gracie becomes a target for revenge. He’ll have to save her before he can earn her trust and her love. And he vows they’ll never be torn apart again.

I was a little nervous going into Safe At Last for two reasons. First of all, I had not read the previous books in the Slow Burn series and I wasn't sure if it would have any impact on my feelings towards Safe At Last. I had a feeling that the characters from the previous books would appear in this one, but beyond that, I wasn't sure. There is an underlying connection between the three books with a protagonist, but it isn't something that should confuse the reader. The second reason why I was nervous about starting Safe At Last was that I started it in the middle of a reading slump that I'm still fighting. It took a couple chapters for the book to lure me into the story. It had nothing to do with the book itself because I absolutely loved those beginning chapters. It was the freaking slump. Now that I've shared my experience reading Safe At Last, here are my thoughts...

Safe At Last was a slow building romantic suspense novel that chilled me to the bone. It was dark and disturbing at some points, two aspects of a romantic suspense book that I happen to enjoy. Zack is a troubled soul. After losing his Gracie in a mysterious disappearance, he spent the last twelve years searching for her. Now that she suddenly reappears in his life, he is desperate to know what happened. Why did she leave him? Why is she so damn scared of him? His heart breaks with every tear she sheds and he will get to the bottom of it if it is the last thing he does. After a horrific event that she believes Zack ordered, Gracie has been living in fear. Wounded, she hates that she's forced to relive the events that happened 16 years ago. In Zack's protection from an unknown threat, she learns the truth about what happened as Zack seeks for revenge against those that hurt her.

I will say this first - I really enjoyed Safe At Last and I'm hoping to go back and read the previous books in the Slow Burn series. However, Safe At Last felt as if it was a tale of two stories. The first "story" being the main romance between Zack and Gracie and his desperation to protect her. I loved that aspect of the book. Zack's desperation fueled my desire to not get up until I finished the book. I wanted him to set Gracie's fears at ease and get revenge on everyone that hurt her. It takes a long time for him to get past her defenses and rightfully so. What happened to her was unimaginable and I kind of wished she was able to get her own form of revenge. The second "story" is where I stumbled a little. By "story" I mean the main protagonist that I'm pretty sure appeared in at least one of the previous books. This group of people abducted and attacked Gracie to send Zack, Caleb, and Beau a message. I felt things could have been explained better. I had no clue who these people were and why they were doing what they were doing. While this does have quite a bit of page time, it felt as if there wasn't a whole lot of details given. Now I'm not sure that all of this wasn't explained in a previous book, but had it been fleshed out more, Safe At Last would have been a solid five star read for me. 

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Safe At Last and would give it four stars. I loved the slow building elements with the second chance romance between Zack and Gracie. I enjoyed the suspense elements with both attacks on Gracie, I just wished it was fleshed out more. My absolute favorite part was the chemistry between two background characters. I'm hoping that there will either be a 4th book in the Slow Burn series or a spin-off so these two can have their own book. Please? 

Visit these links to find Maya Banks on the web.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt from Exit Strategy (EXIT Inc. #1) by Lena Diaz

Exit Strategy
EXIT Inc. # 1
By: Lena Diaz
Releasing June 30, 2015

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Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble...

When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he's there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn't expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks... or that he came to rescue her.

Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?

Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina Mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT's lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on... but it's nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.

He stared at the ground for a long time while Sabrina watched him. He still hadn’t told her exactly how he’d gotten the scars. She hoped he would tell her someday…if indeed there would be a someday for them. If she even had a future. A shiver went up her spine and she couldn’t help but feel that something very bad was about to happen.

“Come on.”

Mason held his hand out toward her, with no signs of the darkness that had come over him just moments ago.

“I’ll cook us a mean breakfast,” he said, his southern accent deliciously swirling the words together.

“I thought you already had breakfast? I had a bowl of cereal.”

“I worked off all of those calories. I’m hungry again.”

His sexy wink had her face flushing hot. She cleared her throat. “I also thought you couldn’t cook.”

He let out an exaggerated sigh. “Technicalities. I’m sure between the two of us we can figure something out.”

They started to pass the truck on the way to the house, when Mason pulled his hand out of hers. “Wait, I left my watch in the tack room.”

Because he’d taken it off for shower sex. She sighed dreamily. He winked, apparently knowing exactly why she’d sighed, and bent down to kiss her. 


The deep-throated bark of a gun shattered the morning. A shower of wooden splinters rained down from the side of the barn, right where Mason’s head had been a half-second before he’d leaned down to kiss her.

He swore and grabbed her, throwing her to the ground as more shots rang out.

“Where are they coming from?” she yelled, as he scrambled backward and yanked her behind the barn with him.

“The house.” A beeping noise sounded from inside the tack room. “And that would be my perimeter alarm going off. Damn it. I screwed up. I shouldn’t have taken off the watch.”

“I’ll try not to take offense at that ‘screw up’ statement since I’m the screw-up.”

He winced and pulled her farther away from the corner as more shots cracked against the barn. “Sorry,” he said, as he grabbed his gun. “Didn’t mean that the way it sounded.”

She raised her leg and grabbed the Sig out of her ankle holster. “You’re forgiven, if you get us out of this alive.” Another shot burst through the wood right beside her shoulder.

Mason grabbed her and pulled her down closer to the ground. “We’ve got to get out of here.”

Originally from Kentucky, romantic suspense author Lena Diaz also lived in California and Louisiana before settling in Northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she's won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and has been a finalist for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She loves to watch action movies, garden, and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains.

Lena's Links

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cover Reveal for Lucky's Choice (The Last Riders #7) by Jamie Begley

Ask and You Shall Receive...

The Last Riders #7
Jamie Begley
Releasing July 29th, 2015
Young Ink Press

Life dealt him a dead man’s hand.

Lucky had always led a life of service, always putting his life on the line for someone else, managing to survive by pure luck and skill. After bringing an end to a multi-state drug ring, he was finally able to live the life he had wanted as a Last Rider.

A good man would walk away and not touch the curvy woman who had been tugging on his heartstrings. Lucky wasn’t a good man. Therefore, the bad-ass biker in him had a choice: once again become the man he had pretended to be and stake his claim or take the devil’s highway.

Some girls had all the luck.

Willa wasn’t one of them. All she wanted to do was give a home to the children she had made orphans. Instead, she found herself needing help from the man who had left the pulpit behind to embrace a life of sin.

Painfully shy and withdrawn, she wanted a quiet life, a simple man, and well-behaved children. The last thing she had ever expected was for Lucky to want her size twenty body and show her a passion that would lead her straight to hell. 

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"I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.
Taking after my mother, I've always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.
For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.
Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.
All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review of Falling Fast (Falling Fast #1) by Tina Wainscott

"You were beautiful then, and you're beautiful now. It has nothing to do with your scars." - Raleigh West

Falling Fast
Series: Falling Fast # 1
Author: Tina Wainscott
Series: Loveswept
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Source: Netgalley

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Fans of Jasinda Wilder and Colleen Hoover will adore this emotional new small-town romance—a smoldering tale of first love and long-awaited redemption from USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott.

Raleigh West works in an auto shop day and night, trying to put his broken past out of mind. It’s been seven years since the fiery crash that landed his teenage sweetheart in the hospital . . . and him in jail. In an instant, he lost everything: his passion for racing, his hope of escaping his father’s shameful legacy, and the only girl he ever loved. Raleigh hasn’t seen her since that awful night. Never got a chance to apologize. And never forgave himself, either.

When brave, beautiful Mia Wentworth returns to the Florida coast for the first time in what seems like forever, it’s not to see Raleigh. Even so, the moment she arrives she can feel his presence like a gust of wind that gives her goose bumps. Opening her heart to him again seems impossible. But staying away? That might be harder still. Lucky for them both, Mia’s never been the kind of woman to take the easy way out.

Tina Wainscott's Falling Fast is a beautifully written story with an emotional romance between two loveable, yet deeply wound characters. As the first book in the new series, Falling Fast introduces readers to a world where nobody is perfect. A world where characters carry the burden of secrets and scars... A world that I can't wait to revisit...

I fell in love with Raleigh and Mia almost from the moment I first met them. Both are incredibly strong and resilient individuals. Raleigh learned to live on his own at a very young age. He takes care of people he loves, from a young Mia to his half brother. Raleigh would risk his life and limb for them. After being diagnosed with cancer as a child, Mia went through a long battle for her life. Now that she has a second chance with Raleigh, she's not about to let it slip through her fingers. Although Raleigh and Mia have a previous history with each other, their romance still builds pretty slowly. It takes some time for Mia to convince Raleigh to let go of the guilt and take a chance on their love. Although they still face obstacles in the book, there is no real "monkey wrench" in their relationship. It is obvious that once they proclaim their love, there is no stopping them. With that said, there is one aspect of the book that left me wanting more - the accident. When Raleigh and Mia are first dating, they are involved in a devastating accident that leaves Mia severely wounded. We relive parts of that night through a conversation between the two of them. For an event that has a huge impact on the story, I thought it would have more powerful as a flashback. The way that it is explored in the book, I felt as if it wasn't given enough page time. I wanted to feel that raw emotion from that night through Raleigh's memories as he risks everything to pull Mia from the car. With Tina's writing and the severity of the accident, it would have given me chills.

I adore Tina's writing style. The love and romance she created between Raleigh and Mia was so beautiful. I loved Falling Fast and I can't wait to see how she builds upon this world. 

Raleigh looked up, and his eyes softened in a way she knew, and felt, right down to her bones. He didn’t smile, but he stood, his body tensing as he took in her approach. Friendly or hostile? He was no doubt trying to figure it out. She tried to smile, to let him know that she wasn’t here to yell at him, but her face felt frozen. Paralyzed. Hell, was she going to freeze up again?

She tried to utter a greeting, but her dry throat prevented the words from emerging. She waved instead.

Raleigh stepped out from behind the stone, coming toward her. His eyes hungrily roamed over her, skipping from her face down her body, then quickly back again. Not lustily but as if sating a deep thirst. And there, beneath the question in his eyes, lay a hint of a smile. Suddenly she was transported back to that first time she’d gone into the garage just to see him. To ask him more about the races. 

He’d looked both pleased and surprised.

“Mia,” he said, her name loaded with more than she could interpret.

For a moment, she forgot about the scars that would be visible in the bright sunlight. She forgot to breathe. “Raleigh,” she said. She thought she was smiling, but it might look more like a grimace. Gawd, get hold of yourself. You’re just here to let him know you don’t hate him. “I—”

“Mia! We have to go!” Her mother’s voice pounded harshly from behind her.

Mia turned, spotting her mother duck-walking over in spiked heels that kept sinking into the earth, hands fisted at her sides. She turned back to Raleigh. “I just wanted to say . . . I don’t —”

“Mia,” her mother ground out.

“Blame you,” Mia managed, and quickly walked toward her mother, not wanting her anywhere near Raleigh. He would probably think she was still that timid seventeen-year-old who was afraid her parents would find out that she was sneaking out at night. But she wanted to protect him from all the angry, imprudent things that would gush from her mother’s mouth.

“What are you doing?” she hissed as Mia hooked her arm through hers and spun her back toward the casket.

“It’s called closure, Mother. The last time we spoke, he’d called to see how I was doing, and I hung up on him.”

“Well, he deserved it,” she shot back, flicking a glance backward.

Mia fought not to do the same. She didn’t want to see what expression he might have. Disgust. Sympathy. Regret. Or, even worse, just dismissal. “No, he didn’t.”

“She was talking to him,” her mother said when they reached her father. “She went to him.”

Mia met her father’s curious and disconcerted expression. “I just wanted him to know I wasn’t angry at him.” Though, dammit, she hadn’t gotten that part out.

“Why do you care what he thinks?” her father asked in his low, emotionless voice.

“Or do you care?” her mother asked. “You’re not still—”

“Of course not.” Even uttering the words in love was preposterous. Mia couldn’t help herself, glancing toward Raleigh. He was kneeling in front of the stone again, but his eyes were on her. “It was just a summer romance. Teenage hormones.”

They seemed gratified by that last declaration, even though it sounded hollow to her ears. “We should go,” her father said, nodding toward the people now milling by the limousine.

Once they reached it, she shot one more look toward Raleigh. She wanted to believe her recent declaration, but she felt exactly like that girl who had fallen fast and hard for the boy who’d made her a woman.

USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott has always loved the combination of romance and suspense, because nothing complements falling in love better than being hunted down. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas, Wainscott creates characters with baggage, past hurts, and vulnerabilities. They go through hell, find love, and, at the end, find peace in who they are and everything they’ve gone through. And isn’t that what everyone wants?

Tina's Links

Release Blast for The Perfect Bargain (How to Marry a Highlander # 1) by Julia London (writing as Jessa McAdams)

Enter to Win a $100.00 Amazon GC

How to Marry a Highlander # 1
By: Julia London writing as Jessa McAdams
Releasing June 30, 2015
Entangled: Lovestruck

American lass seeks brawny Scot...

As if being newly single isn’t brutal enough, Sloane Chatfield's friends are getting obnoxious about setting her up. When Sloane insists she's waiting for a certain sexy fictional Highlander to come along, her friends surprise her with a trip to Scotland to find her a new boyfriend. She’d rather have a root canal. But if she can find a Highland hunk to “break her heart” before her friends arrive…

In a remote Highland village, Galen Buchanan is struggling to keep the family pub afloat. Everything is falling apart, he’s running out of money, and now there's an opinionated American lass parked at his best table, driving him mad. But then Sloane asks Galen to be her pretend Highland boyfriend...and offers him enough money to save the pub. It’s only for a few days, he figures. What's the worst that could happen?


Julia London is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of more than thirty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Cabot Sisters historical series, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and the The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several acclaimed contemporary romances, including The Cedar Springs series, and the recent Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch, and The Perfect Homecoming. Julia has added a short contemporary series to her titles as well, including The Perfect Bargain, writing under the name Jessa McAdams.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a four time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. To keep up with all the Julia London news, please visit Follow her on Facebook at

Friday, June 26, 2015

A visit with Megan Frampton, author of Put Up Your Duke

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome quirky Megan Frampton today. Celebrating the release of her new book, Put Up Your Duke, Megan is going to give us a bit more background into her quirkiness. 

Take it away, Megan!

I Am Quirky, Hear Me Roar

When I first started writing, some of the people to whom I showed my work commented that my writing didn’t sound much like me—that I needed to allow more of my personality out to really make the writing stand apart.

I took that advice to heart, and then some. Now my books are infused with my personality, from the meanderings of the heroine on why she absolutely shouldn’t be thinking about the hero’s arms (but she totally is) to the hero feeling like a lummox when he can’t communicate what he’s feeling to the heroine.

Until I started getting more reviews of my books, I didn’t realize not everyone thought like I did. My brain is constantly filtering things out and around in a Venn Diagram of connections, weighing certain options against others, keeping up a steady debate as to a certain course of action versus another.

In other words, my brain is weird. I guess. And I’m okay with that. I am very pleased when a reviewer says that the characters think too much (and don’t do enough), because that means that my writing personality really came out to play, and I imagine that for someone who hates how circuitous the characters think, someone else is delighting in their frequent internal monologues.

Quirky is a pejorative to some, but to me, it’s an honorific.

Put up Your Duke
Dukes Behaving Badly #2
Megan Frampton
June 30, 2015

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo - Publisher
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He was once happily bedding and boxing, but in the newest DUKES BEHAVING BADLY novel, Nicholas Smithfield has inherited a title and a bride…

To keep his estate afloat, the new Duke of Gage must honor an agreement to marry Lady Isabella. Stunningly beautiful, utterly tempting, she’s also a bag of wedding night nerves, so Nicholas decides to wait to do his duty-even if it means heading to the boxing saloon every day to punch away his frustration.

Groomed her whole life to become the perfect duchess Isabella longs for independence, a dream that is gone forever. As her husband, Nicholas can do whatever he likes-but, to Isabella’s surprise the notorious rake instead begins a gentle seduction that is melting every inch of her reserve, night by night…

To his utter shock, Nicholas’s discovers that none of his previous exploits were half as pleasurable as wooing his own wife. But has the realm’s most disreputable Duke found the one woman who can bring him to his knees-and leave him there?

“And then what will you do to me?” Nicholas didn’t care so much for the particulars of the response—he knew the woman currently sitting on his lap would do what he wanted her to, and he would be gentlemanly enough to ensure she found enjoyment as well.

He was a very egalitarian lover.

“What do you want me to do to you?” she countered.

Clearly, she did not know that when he asked a question, he wanted an answer, not another question. He suppressed the feeling of irritation and, yes, boredom, and concentrated instead on placing a strawberry between her breasts, then lowering his mouth to capture the succulent fruit. Of the strawberry, not her breast. That appetizing treat would be for later.

He put his mouth to her ear and spoke, so that neither of the two ladies, one on either side of him, could hear. “I want to keep your mouth busy so you can’t speak. And when you are able to speak, you’ll be screaming my name.”

She wriggled on his lap, her plush arse riding his cock, which had already jerked to attention. She leaned her head back on his shoulder. “I’ve heard about you, m’lord, and I am very eager to find out if what they say is true.”

Nicholas wrapped his hands around her waist and slid his thumbs up so they were in the soft crease under her breasts.

This was his favorite part of being with a woman—the anticipation, wondering what her face would look like as she came apart, wondering how her body would feel under his hands, how she’d want him to take her. The actual doing of it, well, that was pleasurable as well, but none of the women he’d been with had lived up to his expectations.

But each time, with each new woman, he hoped this would be the one. This female would be able to send him to a new height of ecstasy, of wanting, of being able to lose himself, forget thinking just for a few moments of bliss; would be equal to him in bed, in conversation, in life.

Not that he thought he’d find that kind of woman here, in a house of ill repute, no matter how well it catered to men of his class. But he wasn’t particularly interested in courting a young lady of his own class only to find, once he was married, that she was no true companion to him in bed or in conversation, but that he was now married to her—for life.

He’d considered it very seriously when he’d met a lady a year or so ago—but she’d entered into another engagement before he could figure out if he actually wanted to or not. So he remained single, and singly determined not to be wed, at least not unless he was absolutely certain about the wife in question.

Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in that order. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son.

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