The Rogue to Ruin by Vivienne Lorret
Series Misadventures in Matchmaking Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date July 30, 2019
The Bourne Matrimonial Agency has one rule: Never fall in love with a client, which shouldn't be a problem when one’s faking an engagement to the rogue across the street . . .
Ainsley Bourne needs the family business to succeed. But one obstacle stands in her way—Reed Sterling, the huge, handsome, former prize fighter and owner of the gaming hell across the street. His scandalous customers scare off all her marriage-minded patrons and since the devilish brute has no intention of relocating, she sets out to ruin his unsavory establishment. Yet when a vile suitor from her past reappears, Ainsley hastily claims an attachment to the first man who comes to mind . . . Mr. Sterling, to be exact.
Reed doesn’t know who is more surprised by Miss Bourne’s declaration. She clearly hates him, and he’d never admit their arguments simmer with unrequited attraction. Something about the pleading look in her eyes calls to Reed, and against his better judgment, he quickly plays the part of the besotted fiancé.
Pretending to be in love requires a convincing charade. But with each tantalizing touch and every scandalous kiss, Ainsley starts to wonder if Reed was ever really the enemy at all.
“I hardly need your advice,” Ainsley scolded him in return, every word pushing her flesh against his. Almost as if . . . as if she had just kissed him.
But this wasn’t kissing, she assured herself. This was merely a new form of arguing.
Anticipating his next contradiction, she angled her head for closer contact and Reed growled in response.
The low, primal sound sent an unexpected thrill rushing through her.
“It would be a waste of breath to attempt to tell you anything,” he said, fitting his other hand over the curve of her cheek to cradle her face. “Even if I wanted to say that your lips are soft and plump and more luscious than wine-poached pears, I wouldn’t.”
Then he tilted her head back to cement his argument, opening her mouth with his own. He nibbled gently into her flesh, tasting the seam of her lips without hurry. The slow, thorough exploration caused her eyes to drift closed.
Her senses centered on the firm, enticing pressure of his mouth, the delicious rasp of his tongue. A wanton mewl tore from her throat, hungry and needy and urgent.
The unguarded sound brought her to an uncomfortable admission . . .
She might be kissing the enemy.
Tour Wide Giveaway!
To celebrate the release of THE ROGUE TO RUIN by Vivienne Lorret, we’re giving away one paperback copy of Ten Kisses to Scandal!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Ten Kisses to Scandal by Vivienne Lorret. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 8/31/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copy out to the winner directly. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
USA Today bestselling author, VIVIENNE LORRET transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of works including: The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Season’s Original Series, and the Misadventures in Matchmaking series.
For more information on her books, sign up for her newsletter at www.vivlorret.net.
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Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean
Series Bareknuckle Bastards Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date July 30, 2019
New York Times Bestselling Author Sarah MacLean returns with the next book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series about three brothers bound by a secret that they cannot escape—and the women who bring them to their knees.
The Lady’s Plan
When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.
The Bastard’s Proposal
When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.
An Unexpected Passion
Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.
In twenty-eight years and three hundred sixty-four days, Lady Henrietta Sedley liked to think that she’d learned a few things.
She’d learned, for example, that if a lady could not get away with wearing trousers (an unfortunate reality for the daughter of an earl, even one who had begun life without title or fortune), then she should absolutely ensure that her skirts included pockets. A woman never knew when she might require a bit of rope, or a knife to cut it, after all.
She’d also learned that any decent escape from her Mayfair home required the cover of darkness and a carriage driven by an ally. Coachmen tended to talk a fine game when it came to keeping secrets, but were ultimately beholden to those who paid their salaries. An important addendum to that particular lesson was this: The best of allies was often the best of friends.
And perhaps first on the list of things she had learned in her lifetime was how to tie a Bosun knot. She’d been able to do that for as long as she could remember.
With such an obscure and uncommon collection of knowledge, one might imagine that Henrietta Sedley would have known precisely what to do in the likelihood she discovered a human male bound and unconscious in her carriage.
One would be incorrect.
In point of fact, Henrietta Sedley would never have described such a scenario as a likelihood. After all, she might have been more comfortable on London’s docks than in its ballrooms, but Hattie’s impressive collection of life experience lacked anything close to a criminal element.
And yet, here she was, pockets full, dearest friend at her side, standing in the pitch dark on the night before her twenty-ninth birthday, about to steal away from Mayfair for a night of best-laid plans, and…
Lady Eleanora Madewell whistled, low and unladylike at Hattie’s ear. Daughter of a duke and the Irish actress he loved so much he’d made her a duchess, Nora had the kind of brashness that was allowed in those with impervious titles and scads of money. “There’s a bloke in the gig, Hattie.”
Hattie did not look away from the bloke in question. “Yes, I see that.”
“There wasn’t a bloke in the gig when we hitched the horses.”
“No, there wasn’t.” They’d left the hitched—and most definitely empty—carriage in the dark rear drive of Sedley House not three-quarters of an hour earlier, before hiking upstairs to exchange carriage-hitching dresses for attire more appropriate for their evening plans.
At some point between corset and kohl, someone had left her an extraordinarily unwelcome package.
“Seems we would’ve noticed a bloke in the gig,”
“I should think we would have,” came Hattie’s distracted reply. “This is really just awful timing.”
Nora cut her a look. “Is there a good time for a man to be bound in one’s carriage?”
Hattie imagined there wasn’t, but, “He could have selected a different evening. What a terrible birthday gift.” She squinted into the dark interior of the carriage. “Do you think he’s dead?”
Please, don’t let him be dead.
Silence. Then, a thoughtful, “Does one store dead men in carriages?” Nora reached forward, her coachman’s coat pulling tight over her shoulders, and poked the dead man in question. He did not move. “He’s not moving,” she added. “Could be dead.”
Hattie sighed, removing a glove and leaning into the carriage to place two fingers to the man’s neck. “I’m sure he’s not dead.”
“What are you doing?” Nora whispered, urgently. “If he’s not dead, you’ll wake him!”
“That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” Hattie pointed out. “Then we could ask him to kindly exit our conveyance and we could be on our way.”
“Oh, yes. This brute seems like precisely the kind of man who would immediately do just that and not immediately take his revenge. He’d no doubt doff his cap and wish us a fine good evening.”
“He’s not wearing a cap,” Hattie pointed out, unable to refute any of the rest of the assessment of the mysterious, possibly dead man. He was very broad, and very solid, and even in the darkness she could tell that this wasn’t a man with whom one took a turn about a ballroom.
This was the kind of man who ransacked a ballroom.
“What do you feel?” Nora pressed.
“No pulse.” Though she wasn’t precisely certain of the location one would find a pulse. “But he’s—”
Dead men were not warm, and this man was very warm. Like a fire in winter. The kind of warm that made someone realize how cold she might be.
Ignoring the silly thought, Hattie moved her fingers down the column of his neck, to the place where it disappeared beneath the collar of his shirt, where the curve of his shoulder and the slope of…the rest of him… met in a fascinating indentation.
“Quiet.” Hattie held her breath. Nothing. She shook her head.
“Christ.” It wasn’t a prayer.
Hattie couldn’t have agreed more. But then…
There. A small flutter. She pressed a touch more firmly. The flutter became firm. Slow. Even. “I feel it. She said. “He’s alive.” She repeated herself. “He’s alive.” She exhaled, long and relieved. “He’s not dead.”
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends on 8/12/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copy out to the winner directly. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller SARAH MACLEAN is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.
Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her advocacy for romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com's “Sheroes” list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "gracefully furious."
A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
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The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Adult Romantic Suspense
Publisher Midnight Ink
Publication Date August 8, 2019
On the third day, Michael finally came home. When he did, he brought flowers. Warily I took the white roses, trying to contain my urge to flinch away from the hand that then dropped onto my head. I shivered, controlling my reaction with significant effort.
“You’re upset,” he said. “I may have overreacted, but the idea of losing you … it drives me crazy. I only reacted that way because I love you so much.”
When he put a pretty pink diamond ring on my finger to conclude the apology, I let him draw me close and rested my head on his chest, vowing not to make him feel insecure again. I’d never considered myself irresistible, but Michael clearly thought other men couldn’t see me without wanting me.
Stroking my back, he went on. “Men are animals, Marlena. You’re too innocent to understand that, and that’s why I have to fight twice as hard to keep you that way.”
I swallowed hard. What would Michael say if I told him I already knew? One of my mother’s boyfriends had shown me when I was eleven, and then later, Bobby Ray Hudgens reinforced the lesson. Before, I’d never thought those violations made me dirty, but I had no doubt my husband would feel that way. He’d probably think I was some little Lolita, seducing men with a sway of my hips.
“Oh.” It was the only sound I could make.
My lack of response didn’t matter because he was in the mood to talk. “I’ve never told you this … because I’m not proud of it, but I was married before. She … left me. And it took a long time for me to get over that.”
Left you? Is that what you’re calling it? My heart hardened into titanium, untouchable, impenetrable. But I couldn’t let on how much I already knew—about his past, and I couldn’t think on it too deeply or he might read that awareness in my expression. I understood far too well to be drawn in by diamond rings and repentant smiles.
But I kept up the pretense. “There’s never been anyone else,” I said softly.
“I do know. It’s part of what makes you perfect. But sometimes I lose the thread, and I’m sorry for that.”
It amused me to test him, though, and to see how he’d respond. “I went running in the park yesterday. Vin took me. But there was nothing personal about it.”
Michael nodded. “He gave me a full report before I came in. Now that I’ve had some time, I know you weren’t leading him on. And what happened with Will Stone, well, he’s a lecher, but that’s not your fault.”
It was tough to get the words out, but I could only cower for so long. “Next time you’re upset, if you could dial it down … I was really scared.” There, I said it.
“I’ll never hurt you,” Michael said. “You are my most precious possession, and it’s my greatest joy to protect you.”
That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I wanted an I’m sorry, I’ll do better, like he always forced out of me. And the fact was, he had hurt me. I had a circular bruise around my wrist from where he’d hauled me around and another on my hip due to my tumble over the ottoman, deep and blue, fading to green. I bit in the inside of my lip against an instinctive protest. I’m not your possession. I’m not.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of THE THIRD MRS. DURST by Ann Aguirre we're giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Ann Aguirre. Giveaway ends 8/18/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author ANN AGUIRRE has been a clown, a clerk, a savior of stray kittens, and a voice actress, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in Mexico with her husband and children. She writes all manner of genre fiction for adults and teens.
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Today's feature is A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR by Laura Trentham.
One lucky US reader will win a copy of the book to themselves by commenting
here on the blog post or Books & Spoons social media. (Must have a US mailing address to win. The book will be delivered by the publisher St Martin Press. The giveaway will end by Sunday 11th of August. The winner will be informed by email.)
The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same…
Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…
Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?
“I brought home a surprise!” Rose Buchanan threw her arms out wide as if embracing the world. From the sto- ries she told to the way she entered the room, Rose was exuberant and entertaining and enjoyed being the center of attention.
Isabel Buchanan, who was perfectly content on the fringes, pushed her wavy hair off her sticky forehead with hands that trembled from the nightmare drive through At- lanta to the airport to pick up her mom. Her mom’s trip to Scotland had doubled as both research and vacation. The jammed stop-and-go traffic had left Izzy flustered and al- ready dreading their exit from the airport.
Rolling her stiff shoulders, Izzy stepped around the bumper of the car, popping the trunk open on the way. Her mom had a beautiful plaid scarf of greens and browns and blues tossed over her shoulder and what appeared to be new earrings. Either purchase might inspire her mother to gush, and she would expect reciprocal gushing from Izzy. Making an educated guess, Izzy asked, “Are those ear-rings your surprise?”
Without waiting for an answer, she hauled one of her mom’s giant wheeled suitcases closer and prepared to heave it into the back. The sooner they got out of Atlanta, the sooner she could get back to work planning the High- land festival. Or she might pour an extra-large glass of wine and escape into a book. A guilty pleasure, consider- ing how much she still had to get in order in three scant weeks.
“Allow me, please.” A bearded man who had been roll- ing cases to the curb stepped forward with a grin and an accent Izzy couldn’t place.
She checked her pockets and winced. No cash to tip the man, and no hope her mom had thought of something so inconsequential.
“Do you like them? They’re hammered silver.” Her mom flipped her bobbed matching silver hair to the side and displayed one earring with her fingers. “And as a matter of fact, I did buy them from a lovely shop in Edin- burgh, but I brought something bigger home. Something more exciting.”
“Your scarf? It’s lovely.” Izzy gave her mom limited attention while she watched the man load suitcase after suitcase into her trunk, fitting them together like a puzzle. More luggage than her mom had left with. She waved to catch the man’s attention. “Hang on. That’s not all my mom’s stuff.”
For the first time, Izzy really looked at the man. He was close to her mom in age, and good-looking in a bear- like way with a gleaming white smile highlighted by a salt-and-pepper beard. His full head of hair was a shade darker, but graying heavily at the temples. The expres- sion on the man’s face when he looked in her mom’s direction—a mix of adoration and amusement—cleared the fog of confusion.
Lord have mercy, her mother had brought back a six- foot, two-hundred-pound-plus souvenir from Scotland.
From A Highlander Walks into a Bar. Copyright © 2019 by Laura Trentham and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Laura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, including Then He Kissed Me and The Military Wife. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.