Tag Archives: #Romance

I Spy a Duke on Sale for the 1st Time!

Woot – Look what is on sale now!

ISPYADUKE
Regency? Check

Spies? Check

Duke? Check

Fantastic Author? Check

What are you waiting for?

 

Regular Price: $3.99

Sale Price: $0.99

On sale July 25-August 6.

Blurb:

In the first Covert Heiresses novel, a governess with a desire for revenge enters into a marriage of convenience with a duke with more secrets than she anticipated…

SHE WANTS REVENGE…

When bluestocking Vivian Loren becomes the governess for the wealthy Spencer family, she’s searching for clues about the murder of her brother, not a husband. But Vivian didn’t count on James Spencer, the infuriatingly handsome Duke of Abermont.

HE NEEDS A WIFE…

As head of Britain’s elite intelligence agency, James has no time to woo a wife. When he discovers Vivian’s quest for answers has made her a pawn in a treacherous plot, James realizes they can help each other. She’ll become his duchess, and he’ll keep her safe from one of Napoleon’s deadliest spies.

What begins as a marriage of convenience quickly becomes anything but, as they find out love is the most dangerous mission of all.

Genre: Historical Romance – Regency Romance, Historical Romantic Suspense

Series: Covert Heiresses, Book 1

Release Date: October 5, 2015

“Monroe creates an entertaining albeit slightly dark world filled with spies, humor, wit, intrigue, suspense, and an emotionally rich romance. Though heavily character driven, Monroe does a wonderful job of balancing the dynamic characterization of her characters with a story rich in details and plotlines.” –Smexy Books

“Filled with intrigue, danger, spies, loss,grief, secrets, passion, engaging characters, to say the least and of course romance, passion and finally finding love amongst grief and angst…feisty, dangerous and courageous females makes this a not to miss series.” –My Book Addiction

“A quick moving espionage subplot coupled with liberally peppered humor, introspection, kindness and simmering attraction adds to the momentum of this novel. Showcasing this author’s writing talent and marvelous imagination I Spy a Duke could easily be called I Spy a Great Read!” –Jenerated Reviews

“I get as giddy as a schoolgirl when an Erica Monroe Historical is going to be released! Ms. Monroe always makes the time period and the British settings come alive with the glorious details that she provides. And then her characters are so engaging: serious, vulnerable, and loyal.” –Lightning City Book Reviews

 

Buy Links:

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All Romance E-Books: http://bit.ly/1JvdnkM

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2akmbPO

 

Reach Out to Erica:

Daring Dames Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DaringDames

Web: http://ericamonroe.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ericajmonroe

Friend her on Facebook: http://facebook.com/ericamonroeauthor

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Excerpt:

********In this excerpt, after an encounter with James the night before, Vivian has second thoughts about having accepted the governess job under false pretenses.********

She was a terrible person.

She had to be. Because only a truly terrible person would sit there for an hour with the Duke of Abermont, listening to him pour his heart out, and still lie to him.

Vivian could almost still taste the brandy on her tongue from the finger they’d taken together last night. To survivors, he’d said, but she didn’t feel like a survivor. The life she’d known—the stability she’d once prided herself on—had disappeared the night she’d had to identify his mangled body in the coroner’s office.

Smoothing a hand down her walking dress, she took a seat on a bench in the rambling garden of the Abermont estate. A few paces in front of her, her young charge Thomas Spencer squatted down on the ground, picking up various small pebbles that made up the rocky path. Every now and then, he looked back at her, as if needing confirmation that she was still there. As if somehow, even at the tender age of five, he still could sense that her time here was limited. That she was poised to flee at any moment.

This was all a ruse, and she had no right to dream about it becoming permanent.

***Part of a cross promotional sale with Emma Locke (The Trouble With Being Wicked), Christina McKnight (Hidden No More) and Kirsten Blacketer (The Jewel of Winter) who also have titles for $0.99 during this time.***

 

Final Round! TRR Reader’s Choice – Vote Now!

56ff6ab5ae8dcI’m pleased to announce that What the Marquess Sees has made it to the final round of the Romance Review’s Summer 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.  To those that voted, I want to say thank you for your nomination!!

whatthemarquesseesWhat that means, is that I have to ask another favor – now that my book has been nominated, I need you to consider voting for What the Marquess Sees…  it is a Reader’s Choice competition, after all. It’s quite simple, I need the most votes in historical category to win – and
I’m up against a tough field of fantastic novels!  So if you are so inclined, please consider going to:

http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=20049

and vote for What the Marquess Sees by April 30!  That’s all you have to do. You do need to log in, and you can do so using your FB account if desired.

Thank you so much for your consideration!

Signature

 

Night Owl Reviews Spring Fling Scavenger Hunt

Ready to find new authors and win some fabulous prizes? Then, check out the Night Owl Reviews Spring Fling Scavenger Hunt!

NOR Spring 2016I’m one of the sponsors of this event, in which readers have some fun discovering new authors and new books to read. Make sure to check out my featured title, What the Duke Wants, along the way!

The grand prize is a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter Now!

This event runs March 10 – 31, 2016…

How to Survive the Court of Louis XIV 101: Etiquette with Achille Archambault, Marquis de Saint Croix

I have two guests on the blog today! Please welcome my favorite author, Jessica Cale! And with her, from her latest release, The Long Way Home, is Achille Achambault, the Marquis de Saint Croix – . (…who just so happens to like my books… 😉 )

Today, Jessica and Achille are here to talk about Etiquette in the Court of Louis XIV. So without further ado, Jessica…

Life as a courtier in Versailles was very difficult with hundreds of rules of etiquette and precedence to bear in mind at all times. I had hoped to write a post about it for you, but on this subject, I thought it would be better to leave it to the expert. It is Achille Archambault, the Marquis de Saint Croix, who helps ex-pickpocket Jack Sharpe navigate the intricacies of court life, so I’m going to leave it up to him to explain it to you. I present to you the charming (and very handsome) Marquis de Saint Croix:

Bonjour tous le monde! Je m’appelle Achille, et aujourd’hui, je vais vous apprendre un peu le français et l’étiquette. Pour commencer, nous allons–

[(cough) Achille! En Anglais, s’il vous plait?]

Quoi? Mais oui, d’accord. Hello everyone! I shall begin again. I am Achille Archambault, Marquis de Saint Croix. It is my great honor to visit you in your time to speak to you of mine. Much has changed, but I believe things are still the same, non? La Cale has brought me forth and has given many very interesting books to take back with me. I found Madame Quinton’s Quoi Le Duc Desires to be most moving and informative. Perhaps this one shall seek love with an English peasant as well! (laughs) La Cale is a generous benefactor, but I believe she would not be above arranging such a ridiculous match. In my language, a cale is a kind of wedge, a tool for immobilization, and La Cale is likewise stubborn in her desires. C’est tres amusant, non? En Francais, Quinton is only Quinton, and that is not so fun, although I very much admire her works. The one about the Marquess raised a blush to even this dark complexion!

If you are to journey back with me to my time, I would be most honored to accommodate you in my rooms in Versailles. Monsieur Sharpe and Monsieur Sedley have gone and there is room, and you will be happy to hear my manservant, Armand, has recently succeeded in removing the corpse smell from Monsieur Sharpe’s room.

Bon! I will show you the grandeur of Versailles. You will be presented to the king and you will meet many great people, and no few dogs as well. The Duc de Languedoc is likely to attempt to take liberties, if he can remove his eyes from my virtuous niece long enough to do so. It is a beautiful place, and very refined, but it is terrible as well. If you hope to survive the court for any length of time without disgracing yourself or inviting ridicule, there are a few small rules you must know.

  1. If you come across a friend in your travels, as you are likely to do, it is fort mauvais to ask him where he is coming from or where he is going.
  2. A man must not enter a room with a button unbuttoned that his tailor intended to be buttoned.
  3. If you are in mixed company, women must not raise their skirts to warm their legs beside the fire.
  4. Do not fidget with your hat, gloves, stick, or with your hostess’ fire irons.
  5. Do not yawn, spit, take snuff, or offer your hostess the loan of your handkerchief.
  6. If someone should sneeze, it is ill-bred to say “God bless you,” but correct to say it silently to yourself while taking off your hat.
  7. It is otherwise most uncivil to remove your hat inside the house, unless you are speaking to a person of the highest quality, such as myself.
  8. Never in any circumstances sit down to a meal without your hat on, but until every guest is seated, you must keep your hat in your hand.
  9. You may go hatless in the anteroom if civility demands it.
  10. If the servant of a superior brings you a message, you must receive him standing, and remove your hat.
  11. If you have the honor of eating with the king in the field, you must wear your hat while the king alone will remain bare-headed.
  12. If one of the king’s meals should happen to pass you during your stay in the palace, you must bow or curtsey until it is gone, sweep the floor with your hat, and say reverently but distinctly, “La viande du Roi.”
  13. At supper, do not wash your hands or face in a bowl that has been used by your social superior.
  14. You must never knock on a door inside the palace. It is correct to scratch at them with the nail on your left pinkie finger, which you should grow long for that purpose.
  15. If you visit someone within the town outside of the palace, you must not scratch, but knock.
  16. If you are visiting a lady of quality, you must strike the knocker once and no more.
  17. You must never under any circumstances sit above your social superior. Unless invited or alone, it is safer to remain standing at all times.
  18. You must never discuss affairs of the state. Men may discuss hunting and horses, and ladies may discuss scandal and frocks. Discussing politics will ruin you as surely as drunkenness or debauchery.
  19. Never attempt to sit at a gaming table if you yourself are not playing.
  20. If the king offers you food, you must not refuse him, nor may you let on under any circumstances that you are having less than a splendid time. The king cannot abide misery and will stand for nothing less than gaiety at all times.

These are only some of the things you must remember if you are to be a successful courtier. Forgetting any of the rules will betray you as ill-bred and ruin your reputation as swiftly as sulking or discussing politics within sight of the king.

Never fear, I will tutor you on everything you must know before we reach Versailles. I suggest you read Courtin’s Nouveau Traite de la Civilite while we travel. There is much we have yet to discuss!

Sources:
W.H. Lewis, The Splendid Century
Antoine de Courtin: Nouveau Traite de la Civilite (1675)

Could you survive the court of Louis XIV? Meet Achille and travel back to Versailles in 1677 in The Long Way Home.

HRthelongwayhome (1)

The Long Way Home
(The Southwark Saga, Book 3)
By Jessica Cale
Release Date: February 29th, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance, Adult Fairytale, Romantic Comedy, Action/Adventure

A paranoid king, a poison plot, and hideous shoes…it’s not easy being Cinderella.

After saving the life of the glamorous Marquise de Harfleur, painfully shy barmaid Alice Henshawe is employed as the lady’s companion and whisked away to Versailles. There, she catches King Louis’ eye and quickly becomes a court favorite as the muse for Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. The palace appears to be heaven itself, but there is danger hidden beneath the façade and Alice soon finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, murder, and Satanism at the heart of the French court.

Having left his apprenticeship to serve King Charles as a spy, Jack Sharpe is given a mission that may just kill him. In the midst of the Franco-Dutch war, he is to investigate rumors of a poison plot by posing as a courtier, but he has a mission of his own. His childhood friend Alice Henshawe is missing and he will stop at nothing to see her safe. When he finds her in the company of the very people he is meant to be investigating, Jack begins to wonder if the sweet girl he grew up with has a dark side.

When a careless lie finds them accidentally married, Alice and Jack must rely on one another to survive the intrigues of the court. As old affection gives way to new passion, suspicion lingers. Can they trust each other, or is the real danger closer than they suspect?

“Really brilliant writing that’s so engaging with such endearing characters! I especially love the way Jack and Alice are both so devoted to each other! I was totally absorbed in this exciting and fascinating world Jessica Cale created from the very first paragraph to the last! I read this all in one sitting, staying awake late to finish, just had to!” – Romazing Reader

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Liquid Silver | Goodreads

Win a 7” Kindle Fire. Open from 2/22-3/14 via
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About the author:
author picJessica Cale is the award-winning author of the historical romance series, The Southwark Saga. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in North Carolina.

www.authorjessicacale.com

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Excerpt:

The palace was quiet, and he imagined most of the residents were away at meals of their own, or perhaps watching His Majesty do something else inane. The enormous rooms were dim, the lesser used ones only half-lit by candles. The marble walls appeared to glow warm with some internal fire, and the gods and monsters in the oil-painted ceilings seemed more alive in the semi-darkness.

Versailles was at its best when it couldn’t be clearly seen. By daylight, the rooms were too garish, too heavily embellished to be tasteful, but alone in the night, Jack could have believed he was sneaking through some secret corner of heaven.

As if to underline this point, Alice’s door opened and she slipped out of the darkness like a divine vision, the only sound she made the whisper of her skirts sweeping against the door. Her dress was the deepest midnight blue trimmed with gold lace, the muted shine of the silk like a moonlit night. Her hair had been arranged carefully and ornamented with three dazzling gold stars above her left ear. She was wearing less powder than she often did, and she looked more like the Alice he knew, only dressed splendidly as a goddess of the night.

She gasped when she saw him standing there, leaning in the arch of the doorway. He hadn’t realized he had done it, but some part of him must have known he needed the support to look at her. She looked him over slowly, bashfully, and her face did not reflect any of Achille’s earlier disappointment. Her eyes appeared to be a hazy gray in the dim corridor, and were so beautiful they were almost painful to look at. It was not disappointment he saw in those eyes, but something altogether more confusing. Was it guilt? Apprehension?

Dear God, it might be lust.

He wondered if her room was empty, and if she had tied her corset with the knot he’d shown her. He knew he could have her dress off in a matter of moments. Just one little tug and her corset would follow, and she’d be in his arms and very nearly his. Jack felt his temperature rise for the second time that night.

If she was a murderer, she must be very good at it. She could have his own knife out of his boot and between his ribs before he could pull his gaze away from her lips.

Remembering himself, he straightened and bowed deeply. He offered her his arm. “My lady.”

Alice took it without a word, flipping open a painted fan with her other hand, fanning her face as they began to walk. Jack was tempted to ask if he could borrow it for a moment. Lord knew he needed to cool down.

They walked slowly together through the dim rooms, the only sound the click of his boot heels and the swish of her skirts. The candlelight gave her face a lovely, rosy glow, but he had seen enough of her that afternoon to know that every inch of her skin really was flawless. His gaze flitted once more to her peony-colored lips. He had kissed her once before. Dare he do it again?

As if she could read his thoughts, Alice looked up at him and he almost tripped over his own feet.

Murderer, he tried to remind himself.

His heart insisted wife.

He cleared his throat noisily. “Y-Your shoes aren’t making any noise,” he observed, and cursed himself for the ridiculous observation. He wanted to compliment her correctly, but he was afraid he would accidentally tell her she looked like something straight out of his most illicit dreams, so instead he blurted a silly comment about her shoes.

Well done, Jack.

Alice didn’t seem to mind. Instead of looking at him with the pity she probably should have felt, she grinned up at him and stopped walking. She removed her hand from his arm and, to his considerable surprise, she raised her skirts to show him the lower half of her curvy calves in silver stockings. He realized after a moment it was not her legs she was showing him, but her shoes—she was wearing a pair of flat, fluffy slippers.

They didn’t look like any slippers Jack had ever seen. They were generously cut and enveloped her little feet completely, so it appeared that instead of wearing shoes, Alice had grown the feet of a bear. Jack grinned at the ridiculous thought. “Those are fur.”

Alice nodded enthusiastically. She raised her skirts a little further and, after she checked that no one else was around, took off running through the now empty Petite Gallerie du Roi. She stopped suddenly and the slippers kept her sliding an extra several feet through the arch into the next room. She looked back at him over her shoulder, her delight plain on her lovely face. Jack laughed, the sound echoing through the cavernous palace.

Something about her running playfully made him want to go after her. The last time he had done that, he had lost control of himself completely and kissed her in the rose garden. That’s how he had ended up going to this damned supper in the first place. Still, her skirts began to shake as she ran a few more steps, and he couldn’t help it.

He chased her.

When Alice noticed him jogging behind her, her face lit up and she took off running in earnest, tearing through the empty rooms and halls as fast as her dress would allow. He chased her through them, grinning so hard his face hurt, until they reached another hall of private apartments and he caught her.

His hands closed around her waist and he spun her around in his arms, trapping her against the gold-trimmed wall. She looked slowly up at him with those devastating eyes, and he knew one thing for certain.

She had let herself be caught.

The Long Way Home by Jessica Cale

The Long Way Home (The Southwark Saga, #3)The Long Way Home by Jessica Cale

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great books allow one to dream…to escape from reality…for a few hours. This book transported me… mind, body, and soul… and left me savoring my time away even hours after I put down the book.

I felt like I was there, in the Palace of Versailles in 1677 France, seeing the sights with my own eyes, hearing the sounds with my own hears, even smelling the smells… (which wasn’t necessarily a good thing considering the time…lol).

I felt with Alice Henshawe, the heroine, and for her… I was frightened for her, happy for her, and in love with her and Jack, the love of her life.

Equal parts historical fiction and historical romance, The Long Way Home offered me a fascinating glimpse into the life, intrigue, and scandal that could be found in the court of King Louis XIV in 1677 France. Jessica Cale expertly wove historical facts and customs into the narrative without detracting from the plot… and all of it was fascinating. No skimming paragraphs in this novel!

As for the romance… this was one of those slow burning, gentle rain romances that make one sigh in the end. The two main characters, Alice and Jack, have known each other since they were 12 and 14. In this story, they are now adults who hadn’t seen each other for five years. Jessica Cale breaks one of the common rules of modern romance by delaying the characters ‘meeting’ until Chapter 11…

…But rather than feel deprived of the characters’ time together on the page, Ms. Cale expertly uses her superior skills as an author to build the tension to the point that you are squirming and dying with anticipation for that moment to happen. As a reader, I devoured every page, my anxiety almost palpable as I waited for that perfect moment… the moment they lay eyes on each other for the first time in five years. And it was, indeed, quite perfect.

Then there was the anxiety brought on by Alice’s kindness and innocence as she attempts to navigate the evil, power hungry courtiers of King Louis’s court. Will she stumble? Will she even survive? I sincerely contemplated chewing my nails as I feared what would happen.

I adored how Jessica Cale managed to make both main characters innocent, but not in the slightest bit weak and every bit intelligent and capable of saving themselves…

If you love historical romance, I highly recommend this book. It is the third book in the Southwark saga and all of them are excellent. You do not need to read the first two books to enjoy this one, but I recommend you do as they are every bit as wonderful as this one.

Unfortunately, I now have to wait again as I anticipate book 4… 🙂

View all my reviews

New Release from Marianne Rice

It is with great pleasure that I share with you all the latest release from author Marianne RiceSweet on You.

3D small copy

Sweet on You by Marianne Rice
Series: The Wilde Sisters #1
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
SYNOPSIS:

An extravagant cake design brings small town baker Trent Kipson to fame…

After gaining social media exposure of his culinary art, Trent’s cake design goes viral. Soon he’s contacted by the Cooking Network to host a new show in California. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for the owner of a modest shop in Portland, Maine, and the financial freedom the network offers could be the answer to all of his monetary problems.

Fitness instructor Rayne Wilde wants the life every small-town girl dreams of…

Rayne wishes for a future full of romance and the pitter-patter of little feet. She wants it all, including a white picket fence and a dog named Spot—which is exactly why she refuses to sleep with Trent, the sexy man who attends her Zumba classes. After a series of dead-end relationships, this time she really is in love. Trent is special, and the fear of letting him slip through her fingers keeps her advances at bay.

Life is waiting—all it takes is a leap of faith…

As their friendship grows and skeletons creep out of their closets, their relationship is put to the test. Stakes get higher, and the spark between them burns hotter than ever before.

Can they handle the heat when life-changing secrets are exposed, or will the fear of being burned send them on two different paths?

—Sounds wonderful and  romantic – perfect timing with Valentine’s Day just around the corner!  Signature

PURCHASE: Available on Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1WnPCxT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1WnR6bA

About the author: Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small NeMarianneRicew England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.

Limitless Publishing: http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/authors/marianne-rice/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarianneRiceaut
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mariannericeaut
Website: http://www.mariannerice.com/