Spotlight On: Jewel of the East by Victoria Vane

 

JEWEL OF THE EAST

(The Devil DeVere #5) 

Victoria Vane

Having once lived his life only for larks, laughter, and ladies of easy virtue, Captain Simon Singleton has returned from the war with the colonies a shambles of a man. Now free from six years of captivity, he’s still fettered by irrational fears that confine him to a life of seclusion.    

 

Once the crowning jewel of the most lavish brothel in London, the exotic Salime finds her reputation and livelihood destroyed by a bitter rival. With a closely guarded secret stripped away, Salime fears no man will ever desire her again. Seeking aid from one who once saved her life, Salime accepts a proposition to repay her debt by becoming a companion to his war-scarred friend.  

 

Circumstance brings these two damaged souls together; but fate ignites a love story worthy of the Arabian Nights.

 

 

EXCERPT (in which the stage is set) 

 

Medford Abbey, Kent- 1785 

 

A sharp rap soon sounded on the door. Ludovic, Viscount DeVere glanced up from his periodical to the entrance of a liveried footman. “A message for you, my lord.”  

 

The servant offered the wax-sealed missive on a silver salver. “It was delivered by a most…unusual…courier.” The footman gave a sniff of disdain. 

 

“Indeed? What do you mean?” Ludovic asked in a bored drawl. 

 

“‘Tis a behemoth blackamoor, my lord.” 

 

“Mustafa?” Ludovic threw down his periodical and snatched up the missive. “What the devil?” 

 

“He awaits in the kitchen. Insufferable rude creature he be. Just stands all akimbo. Refuses to speak or to depart without an answer from your lordship.” 

 

“The man cannot speak. He has no tongue. They took it when they castrated the poor devil.” 

 

The footman’s eyes bulged. He involuntarily crossed his legs. Ludovic broke the seal and scanned the contents with a deepening frown.  

 

Most honored Efendi, 


 

It is with the greatest humility that I appeal to he who once safeguarded my life. It is with exceeding distress that I must entreat you once more, being much in need of a friend and protector.  


 

Your most devoted and obedient servant, 

Salime 

 

Ludovic read the cryptic note once more. Salime in want of a protector? What a sticky situation that created. At first he wondered why she’d appealed to him, but then again, there were few people she trusted. Given their shared history, he would never deny her aid. Moreover, Salime had been instrumental in helping him to achieve his present state of connubial bliss. For that alone he owed her his undying gratitude. 

 

“Tell him I shall be in touch with his mistress shortly…and that she should notify me at once should her circumstances become any more…distressed.” 

 

“Aye, my lord.” The much-chagrinned footman departed. 

 

Ludovic glowered after the departing servant. Salime had never been in want since coming to London. He wondered what could be behind her request, but then abandoned both letter and the dilemma the moment another surprise came bursting into his library. “Ned?” Ludovic leaped up to greet his best friend. “What the devil has brought you all the way from Yorkshire to Kent?” 

 

“I have most portentous news, DeVere,” Ned sputtered with excitement. “News I could hardly relay by messenger. So I came down myself.” 

 

“What kind of news? Out with it, Chambers,” Ludovic commanded. 

 

“Mayhap you should pour us a drink first.” 

 

Ludovic lifted a sardonic brow. “A drink? Not so urgent after all?” 

 

“‘Tis fortification you’ll need for the shock you’re about to receive.” 

 

“Shock? Me? You know I am not easily shocked, Ned.” Ludovic paused with his hand on the brandy decanter and a slight frown marring his face. “Come to think of it, I’m damned if I can recall a single occasion that has wrought from me such a profound reaction as shock.” 

 

Ned flung himself into Ludovic’s favorite chair. “There’s a first for everything, DeVere. Now that drink?” 

Ludovic sloshed amber liquid into two glasses, handing one to the would-be herald, who downed it in one draught. Ludovic quirked a brow. 

 

“It was a devilish long ride,” Ned explained. 

 

“All to deliver this shocking report of yours?” Ludovic perched a hip on the corner of his mahogany desk. 

 

“Yes! It’s Lazarus all over again!” 

 

“Lazarus? Am I to surmise that someone has been miraculously raised from the dead?” 

 

“Actually, he might as well have been,” Ned declared. “I can hardly countenance it after all this time.” 

 

“You are trying my patience, Ned.” 

 

“It’s Simon. He’s returned.” 

 

“Good God!” The glass slipped from his hand to shatter at Ludovic’s feet. “You can’t mean Sin is alive after all this time? He was pronounced killed in action six years ago.” 

 

“I mean exactly that!” Ned exclaimed. “He is indeed alive and may even be in London as we speak. I have the news straight from Baron Singleton. His ship was expected to arrive several days ago.” 

 

“Why am I only hearing of this now? I see the bloody Singleton regularly at Parliament.” 

 

“Probably because the good baron doesn’t like you, DeVere. He believes you were an abominable influence on his son.” 

 

“Then he would be right.” Ludovic smirked and then stared at the shattered glass at his feet.  

 

“Looking a bit white there, my friend. This is known as shock.” 

 

“Admittedly, I am incredulous. How can this be? Where the devil has he been?” 

 

“Interned as a prisoner of war for the greater part of six years.” 

 

“Six years? In all that time there were no exchanges?” 

 

“Very few. The colonials refused to give up ours when they claimed their men were only released on the point of starvation and death. I daresay ’tis no exaggeration. I’ve seen a number of reports on the deplorably inhumane conditions of our prison hulks. Indeed it’s said that the colonial prisoners set fire to the Whitby, choosing to go down in flames, rather than die of starvation and disease.” Ned shook his head. “What a hellish business war is.” 

 

“But if Sin was a prisoner, he should have been released nigh on a year ago when the treaty was signed.” 

 

“Apparently he was too ill to travel. Only made it as far as Bermuda before he was struck with the bloody flux or some such and required months of convalescence…poor sod.” 

 

“We must go to him, Ned. At once.” 

 

“He’ll not be the same man,” Ned voiced what they were both thinking. 

 

“No,” Ludovic shook his head. “Likely never again.”  

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Victoria Vane is an award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose works range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling and intensely erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. Look for Victoria’s sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming in summer 2014.
DeVere Fan Site: http://thedevildevere.com
Facebook: Author Victoria Vane
Twitter: @authorvictoriav
THE
DEVIL DEVERE SERIES AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
A Wild Night’s Bride (book#1)
The Virgin Huntress, (book#2)
The Devil You Know (book#3)
The Devil’s Match, (book#4) August 2012

 

Giveaway and Review of Symphony of Light and Winter by Renea Mason

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SymphonyofLightandWinter_ByReneaMason-600x900

Etopia PressSymphony of Light and WinterSymphony of Light Book One

Renea MasonGenre: Paranormal Erotic RomanceLength: NovelWord Count: 88,375Page Count: 389Price: 5.99ISBN: 978-1-940223-10-0Heat Level: 4Release Date: 06/21/2013
One woman. Seven men. All bound by one man’s undying devotion.Fundraiser Linden Hill has a knack for reading people. She always knows which conversations will put a prospect at ease, which drink will loosen a patron’s lips—or his wallet, and how cleavage will make a donor sweeten the deal. She’s even foreseen her dateless weekends four hundred and sixty-four times in a row.
But ten years after watching life drain from her former mentor’s and first love’s eyes, her skills for divining the predictable are lost. When Cyril returns, he’s still gorgeous, but this time he’s beyond human, far less dead, and pissed. His lack of memory drives him to desperate acts, and his turbulent re-acquaintance with Linden pulls her into his war with a creature hell-bent on his destruction. His group of six supernatural men share a tantalizing secret, but despite the hunger, it’s love that leads her to sacrifice everything to save him…

Buy the bookAmazon.com (available at most international Amazon sites – Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, UK etc.)

AllRomanceeBooks.comhttps://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-symphonyoflightandwinter-1223873-340.html

Kobo.comhttp://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Symphony-of-Light-and-Winter/book-tsrzyKC1XkahOlFggCuesA/page1.html?s=5SwqI-eHDECBq4H4ufblnQ&r=1Bookstrand.comhttp://www.bookstrand.com/symphony-of-light-and-winter

Coming soon to Apple iBooks.

Print edition available January 2014.

About the Author
Renea Mason writes steamy romances to help even out the estrogen to testosterone imbalance caused by living in a house full of men.
When she isn’t putting pen to paper crafting sensual stories filled with supernatural lovers, she spends time with her beyond-supportive husband, two wonderful sons and three loving but needy cats.
Renea is a member of Romance Writers of America, The Paranormal Romance Guild and The Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal subchapter of the Romance Writers of America.
She is also a founding member of the Coffee Talk Writers.  http://coffeetalkwriters.com/
Follow Renea Mason
S.ReneaMason@gmail.com
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Symphony of Light and Winter – 18 + Mature content
My amusement was interrupted by the absolute last thing I needed. Cyril. As if being in a room with a bunch of men who wanted me but didn’t know why and hated me for it wasn’t bad enough. In his black custom suit, he radiated power. He pulled at his cuff links as he stopped to survey the room.
Instead of trying to make my escape, I seized an opportunity to antagonize him. I was really starting to enjoy tormenting him.
“Good morning, Grim, it is nice of you to join us.”
“Grim. Ha! She called him Grim.” Rhys clapped his hands as he laughed.
Cyril didn’t acknowledge me or Rhys’s comment. He stood there for a very long time and looked around the room at each man. Nobody met his gaze but me. Cyril’s fists clenched at his side, jaw tight, and face furious.
“I warned all of you,” he addressed the room. He didn’t growl but rather wrapped his words with a subtle menace.
“Leave them alone. You know this is entirely your fault. If you would just think things through, you’d stop fucking everything up. I do have to say, of all your fuckups, this one is certainly the most impressive and entertaining from my perspective.” I winked at Overton, who managed to glare at me even with his head practically bowed. Why were they so fucking subservient to him?
The next thing I knew, I was yanked from my seat and hoisted onto the counter. Cyril grabbed my ass and pulled me to the edge, forced my legs open, and stepped between them. He wrapped his arms around me and placed his head against mine. It wasn’t his voice I heard but rather his mind. It felt like when I talked to myself but somehow I knew it was him. Strange, he had tone and inflection while communicating.
“You need to stop showing off in front of my men. Yes, I fucked up, but do you really want them to give in to their urges? Do you think you can fend them off? I could toss you to them and see how far you get. Is that what you want? Maybe I should let them have their way with you and pull up a chair to watch. I want you to think about something before you start to defy me. I’m the only one who can keep you safe. So it’s best you stop being a smart-ass for five seconds and listen to me. I’m going to do something that will piss you off. I’m warning you now it’s for your own good. You need to go along with it, no matter how angry you are at me. Don’t fight me. I’ll try to fix this but until then, I need to take a few precautions.”
I wasn’t sure how to respond. If I thought something, could he hear me? Was this two-way communication? I tried to push him away.
He tightened his grip and his voice was in my head again.
“Stop it! Let me remind you that I have a special connection with these men. Not only can I read their thoughts but I can’t block them. I don’t have to try to receive them. I know exactly what each person in this room, besides you of course, is thinking right now.”
So that’s what Overton meant when he said Cyril had ways of finding out.
“The thoughts that assaulted me when I entered this room would make a porn star blush; every one of their little fantasies featured you.”
I giggled.
The voice growled. “Don’t laugh. I won’t pretend I’m not jealous and angry. I am. But if you knew the things they were thinking you’d better understand why I need to do what I’m about to do. Do you see Dominic over there? Let’s just say his tastes run a little dark. Ever spend considerable time naked with your hands bound behind your back and a ball gag in your mouth? He’s picturing you that way, this very instant.”
I stiffened. That didn’t at all appeal to me.
“Thor seems to think that you’d enjoy all of us taking you at the same time.”
And he seemed so quiet and sweet.
“Sinclair wants to shove his cock down your throat until you choke, all the while telling you how it’s your entire fault. Rhys is thinking of how you would look sprawled out on the hood of his new sports car, and Overton…”
“NO!” I yelled.
It seemed like a violation of privacy with Overton. Unlike the others, I considered him a friend. I respected him too much.
“See, like it or not, I’m going to tell you what he’s thinking since it pisses me off the most. He thinks I’m going to fuck you right here on this counter, to lay my claim. Once he gets past the fantasies of watching me fuck you, which he finds exceptionally arousing…”
There was a momentary pause to the voice and when he started again, he was angry.
“He then knocks on your bedroom door after you run crying from the room. You invite him in and he holds you in his arms while you cry about how I violated and humiliated you. He wants to comfort you. He wants to be your savior. He wants to save you from me. But he knows he can’t.”
I felt the moment he left my head, because a sudden wave of dizziness came over me.
With no more words, he tilted his head and placed his lips against mine. I fought the rigidity that tried to seize my body. I knew it was best to give in. I wouldn’t fight him, but I knew every time he got close, I ran the risk of losing myself. I was still way too angry to just give up.
His lips danced with mine as he nestled himself between my open thighs.
Was Overton right? How far would he take it? If it did go too far, would I be able to stop him? He was such a fucking weakness for me I honestly didn’t think I would.
He was gentle and softly stroked my back as his tongue made love to my mouth. With one hand he cupped my ass and pulled me flush against him, and with the other he reached up, cupped my breast, and squeezed hard. His kiss grew frantic and I became caught up in the sensation, forgot where I was, and that I had an audience. He pushed me hard against his erection as he rubbed himself rhythmically against my core. “You are mine. You belong to me. Now say it! Let them all know who you belong to.”
Was he kidding? I hesitated.
He ran his fangs up the side of my neck in warning. He whispered in my ear, “Say it. You need to say it. Let them hear it come from your lips.” His hand drifted from my breast to the hem of my nightgown and pulled up one side so it rested in the crease where my leg met my hip.
Somehow the part of me that knew he was right surfaced, and the stubborn part of me took a momentary vacation. If I was his, they wouldn’t dare defy him. It would keep me safe.
His fingers toyed with the edge of my panties before tugging the fabric to the side to allow him to stroke my moist skin. He positioned himself at the juncture between my legs, allowing my naked flesh to gather friction from his cloth-covered cock.
“Yes, Cyril, I’m yours.”
With that, he struck. His fangs pierced my neck. The second of pain from his bite passed and the pleasure grew, igniting my veins with liquid desire. One arm tightened around me, pulling me harder against his cock. The other held my head while he sucked harder. Each pull he took was linked to the sensitive place between my legs. He ground his hips into mine and I moaned. The first wave of climax hit, tensing muscles and pushing my breath out in a rush.
This was new. He could do this just by biting me?
I shook in his arms as he drank. Tremor after tremor seized me as he took his fill. I was so caught up in the sensation I only vaguely noticed the moans and growls that escaped from behind his teeth. With one final pull, and a thrust of his hips, he finished with a crushing embrace as he removed his teeth from my neck.
“Mine!” he roared. He enveloped me in his arms and held me close. He dipped his head to lick closed the small punctures on my throat.
I threw my head back. My breathing slowed as the cloud that had invaded my head receded.
Son of a bitch! I just came in front of everyone while sitting on the kitchen counter!
I was afraid to open my eyes but when I did, he stared back.
He nuzzled my cheek. “I’m sorry. I only want to protect you. If you’re mine, no one will dare touch you. I needed to lay my claim but I didn’t want to take anything you hadn’t already offered. Since you’ve replenished me before I thought this might be more acceptable.”
I was angrier with myself than him.
He caressed my arms and back. When I mustered enough courage to look around, we were the only
people in the kitchen, with the exception of Overton, who stood in the doorway holding the keys to my car.
Cyril softly lifted my chin so that my eyes would meet his. “Again, I’m sorry. I know I end up saying that far too often. But I need you to know, hearing those words from your lips…ah, hell. I can’t even explain it. Perhaps someday, you’ll utter them in truth.”
He placed his forehead against mine, took a deep breath. “Fuck. Maybe Overton is right. Maybe someone should save you from me.”
My Thoughts:

It was a very very unusual read and I must admit, I quite enjoyed it.  So most of the book your wondering what is Cyril?  And why is he so freaking mean?  Mean in a little bit of a sexy uber dominant way…if you you like the take control kind of guy.  But little by little his story comes to light, and your heart breaks a little bit at a time.  The story itself was powerful, addicting, engaging…..right up until the end….which I had to actually re-read a few times to make sure I didn’t miss something!!  I know it is supposed to grab your attention and make you pant for the new book…which definitely happened to me, but it was bittersweet.  The blurb should read thus:  Be prepared for a wild, sexy, and absolutely amazing adventure that ends with a horrid cliffhanger…lol.  I still would highly recommend this to paranormal romance fans.  The story is just too good to miss out on!!

4-happies1

GIVEAWAY!!!!!

Spotlight On: The Highwayman’s Bride by Jane Beckehnham

 

BLURB
THE HIGHWAYMAN’S BRIDE
England, 1813
Forced into a marriage . . .
 
Compelled by her uncle to marry a man who has a predilection for
violence, Tess Stanhope resorts to a ploy from her favorite novels to fund an
escape—highway robbery. But her attempt is botched by a maddening, handsome
rogue named Aiden.
Driven by revenge . . .
 
Aiden Masters, the Earl of Charnley, is hell-bent on avenging his
sister’s brutal treatment at the hands of the criminal Florian Nash. He
single-mindedly seeks vengeance at the expense of all else—even by furtively
roaming the highways at night.
Blackmailed for love . . .
 
At a London party Tess meets up with Aiden once again and
blackmails him…marry her or she’ll divulge to society his clandestine life as
a highwayman. She desires a marriage in name only—but the more time they spend
fighting their desire, the closer they come giving in.

 

Excerpt: 

“Stand and deliver.” Those three words made it
all real, and the fantasy dissolved. Loosening her hold on the reins, she
wrapped her free hand over the one holding the pistol and tried to steady it.
“Do as he
says,” called a decisive voice, the icy tone echoing from the veil of darkness.
 “What!” Her
gaze switched momentarily to the other side of the copse as a rider and horse
drew up alongside her. He brandished a pistol towards the carriage. Shock and
fear ran in rivulets down her spine. She wanted to flee. Hide. But it was too
late, and there was no going back.
 Tess
swallowed back her fear. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”
“Steady your pistol lad, or you’ll be dead in
seconds.
Lad?
Lad? He talked to
her.
“Don’t
you want to share your takings?”
“Exactly.” She flicked her pistol toward the
carriage driver, making sure he understood she meant business. “Hurry up.”
“Don’t shoot, don’t shoot. We’re simple folk
with no money,” came a cultured voice. The carriage door slammed back and
splintered.
“Don’t make them like they used to,” remarked
the man on the horse beside her.
Her mouth pursed. “Go away.”
“No.” The ragged cloth tied across his mouth
and nose muffled his voice. “Unless you want to get yourself killed, that is.
These roads can be dangerous.”
Tess eyed him, and even in the dim moonlight
witnessed a surprising twinkle in his eyes. “So why are you here? Should you
not be tucked up safe and sound in your bed?”
“You need me.”
 
Buy Links:
 
 
About the Author:

 

Multi-published author Jane
Beckenham
discovered dreams and hope, stories that inspired in her a
love of romance and happy ever after.
Years later, after a blind date, Jane found her own true love and
married him eleven months later.
 
Life has been a series of  ‘dreams’
for Jane.  Dreaming of learning to walk
again after spending years in hospital. Dreaming of raising a family and
subsequently flying to Russia to bring home her two adopted daughters. And of
course, dreaming of writing.
 
Writing has become Jane’s addiction – and it sure beats housework.
 
Visit Jane’s web site www.janebeckenham.com
Email neiljane@ihug.co.nz   
Twitter @JaneBeckenham
Check out Jane’s other books
Other books by Jane
Beckenham are:
Desperately
Seeking Santa
                

 

 

Giveaway and Spotlight on: Taming a Gentleman

 
 

 

 

Blurb:

John Haldane, Earl of Strathairn, is on an urgent mission to find the killer of his fellow spy. After visiting the young widow of one of his agents, Strathairn strengthens his resolve. A spy should never marry, and most certainly not to Lady Sibella Winborne, with her romantic ideas of love and marriage. Unable to give Sibella up entirely, he has kept her close as a friend. Then, weak fool that he is, he kissed her. Lady Sibella Winborne has refused several offers of marriage since she first set eyes on the handsome Earl of Strathairn. Sibella’s many siblings always rush to her aid to discourage an ardent suitor, but not this time. Her elder brother, Chaloner, Marquess of Brandreth, has approved Lord Coombe’s suit.  Sibella yearns to set up her own household. She is known to be the sensible member of the family, but she doesn’t feel at all sensible about Lord Strathairn. If only she could forget that kiss.

 

 

 

Buy Links: 

http://www.amazon.com/Taming-Gentleman-Spy-Spies-Mayfair/dp/1908483644/ref=la_B003MJXQVG_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381878440&sr=1-1

Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing Ltd. http://www.knoxrobinsonpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=190?osCsid=7ca7b93ba2d4d9c4a32d9ec07cf6f205

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-a-gentleman-spy-maggi-andersen/1116300615?ean=9781908483645

Author Bio:

 

 

Maggi Andersen fell in love with the Georgian and Regency worlds after reading the books of Georgette Heyer. Victoria Holt’s Gothic Victorian novels were also great favorites. 

 

 

She has raised three children and gained a BA and an MA in Creative Writing. After husband David retired from the law, they moved to the beautiful Southern Highlands of Australia.

 

 

Maggi’s free time is spent enjoying her garden and the local wildlife, reading, movies and the theatre. She keeps fit swimming and visiting the gym. 

 

 

Maggi is a multi-published author, and writes mysteries and young adult novels as well as her Georgian, Regency and Victorian romances.

 

 

Author Website: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com

 

Author Blog: http://www.maggiandersen.blogspot.com

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/maggiandersen

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maggi-Andersen-Author/372854959805

 

 

Excerpt: 

 

 

 

Beneath glistening chandeliers,
the dancers spun to the strains of a Handel waltz. Strathairn smiled down at
his partner, her slim waist beneath his hand as they danced. Lady Sibella
Winborne looked like a delicate flower in a gauzy pale gown covered in amber
blossom. White ostrich feather plumes adorned her luxuriant dark locks. He
enjoyed looking at her. Her serene oval face lifted and she smiled at him, her
mouth wide and full. Too wide for beauty some might say, but made for kissing.
She had inherited her mother’s famous eyes, a delectable mix of blue and green,
but her nature was quieter, lacking the vivacity of her mother in her youth,
who was said to have had men falling at her feet. He admired Sibella’s calm
beauty, but she was oh, so much more: practical, poised and intelligent. Yet
still unmarried, which surprised him.
 
          “You arrived
late tonight. I wasn’t sure you’d come,” she said.
 
          “I was tied up
with business.”
 
          “Not
parliament?”
 
          “No.”
 
          She tilted her
head. “Your horses, then?”
 
          He grinned at
her blatant curiosity. “No.”
 
          “You won’t
tell me.”
 
          “No.”
 
          Sibella
laughed with good humor. “Very well. Might I find you riding in Hyde Park
tomorrow?”
 
          “I hope to.”
 
          Her delicate
brows rose. “If business doesn’t keep you.”
 
          He laughed.
“Precisely.”
 
          The music
faded away. Strathairn escorted her back to her chair where her mother, the
Dowager Marchioness of Brandreth, sat fanning herself among the other dowagers.
He bowed, planning to slip into the rooms set aside for gambling. As much as he
might wish to dance with Sibella again, it would place them under scrutiny, and
faro was an effective release from the tension he always carried with him.
 
          “Don’t rush
off, Strathairn,” her sharp-eyed mother said. “We have seen little of you of
late. You rarely frequent these affairs.” She waved her fan in an arc to
encompass the ballroom. “Where have you been hiding?”
 
          “Not hiding,
my lady, merely visiting my estates.”
 
Lady Brandreth adjusted the silk shawl over her shoulders. “Did
you include that pile of yours in Yorkshire? I enjoyed the hunt ball, but it’s
cold as charity in winter up in those parts.”
 
          “Not this
time, but I miss it. There’s a wild beauty to the dales in winter, quite unlike
southern England.”
 
          “I daresay.” Her
purple turban wobbled as she nodded. “You are a fine figure of a man,
Strathairn. What are you now? Six and thirty? You should marry. You should be
setting up your nursery.” She gestured toward her daughter sitting beside her.
“Sibella will bear you healthy children. The Brandreths come of good stock, and
the Wederells even better.”
 
          “Mama,
please!” He caught Sibella’s apologetic gaze and suppressed a wry smile. Her
plea would have little effect; the marchioness was known to be one of the most
colorful and outspoken members of the
ton.
 
          The dowager batted her daughter’s
protest away with her fan. “I am merely speaking the truth, Sibella.”
 
          “Your daughter
is a credit to you, my lady,” he said with a smile. “She has inherited both
your beauty and intelligence.”
 
          “Now you are
toad eating.” A roguish smile lit Lady Brandreth’s face. “You always were a
charmer. Sibella
is intelligent. Walk with her on the
terrace to discover it for yourself.”
 
          “I should be delighted.”
          

 

GIVEAWAY!!!  Enter to win a $30 Amazon card and an E-copy of  A Baron in Her Bed!!!

 

 

 

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Review and Guest Post on: The Lawman’s Agreement

 
 

Team Writing: How Two Authors with Totally Different Voices Write Together When They’re 1400 Miles Apart

Nancy Fraser and Patti Shenberger have known each other since 1995, but it wasn’t until 1997 that they even considered writing together and, like a lot of things in life, it all happened by accident. Patti wanted to practice her pitch before an editor appointment. Nancy made the suggestion that she could beef up one of her secondary characters and possibly pitch it as a two-book series. Then, we thought, well if one secondary character deserves a story, shouldn’t another? And, voila! … the idea for a series was born.

Now, you might wonder what happened between then and now that it’s taken this long for us to bring the McCade Legacy to the readers. Well, we shopped the first book around to all the big name houses (you know … the ones that take nine months to a year to response). We kept hearing: great writing, nice voice. Unfortunately, because it was a time travel historical, we weren’t finding any buyers. Then, Nancy moved away … far away … in a crazy grandma-like trance to follow her military son and grandchildren all over Canada.

Even long distance, we did end up publishing that book through an e-publisher back in 2007. With the first book in the hands of the publisher, we were putting together the proposal for subsequent books, when life reared its ugly head. Over the next four years, we both took turns with life-threatening medical issues. However, even illness can’t keep a good idea down!

We began working on the second book, Gambling on Love in the Spring of 2012. By the time we’d finished, Entangled Publishing had announced their new Scandalous line and we decided to send our brand new baby off to them. We heard back very quickly with a contract offer. Needless to say, we were elated! That first contract has turned into two contracts for a total of three books, with the outline for five more books, taking our wonderful relationship with Entangled into 2015. Some days it feels almost like having tenure!

Enough about “how” it all started. Let’s focus on “how” it works! First of all, we both had to acknowledge the fact that our voices are entirely different. Patti’s strength is dialogue while Nancy’s is all about the frivolous, touchy-feely, steamy stuff! Luckily, we do share an almost uncanny ability to spot what the other is doing wrong. However, with such divergent writing styles, we knew we’d never be able to alternate scenes or chapters. So, we devised our own way of team writing. One of us writes the entire book while the other is responsible for all line edits, final read-through and acts as the liaison between the team and the publisher. Then, next book, we switch roles.

That’s not to say, the words are set in stone, because everything is negotiable. If Nancy’s dialogue sucks (see Nancy shake head emphatically), then we discuss it rationally and come up with the best alternative. If Patti’s love scene isn’t “steamy” enough, Nancy always re-writes it! (See Patti shaking fist!)

For the second book in the series, The Lawman’s Agreement, we tried a new tactic. First, we wrote a synopsis, and then broke the synopsis down into a twenty-five chapter outline.  We set a writing quota of one chapter per day. Once five chapters had been completed, they were sent to the other team member for editing, then the next five and so on. We kept this schedule for the entire book, finishing it within five weeks, including the final read-through and getting it sent off to the editor.

Book three, The Barrister’s Temptation, will be released in the spring of next year as part of Entangled’s shorter Flaunt novella line. Again, we did the outline and blocked off chapters and, despite some outside personal issues, the process went smoothly

We’re not saying the system would work for everyone, especially if you can’t agree to disagree sometimes. However, it’s certainly worked for us. Either Nancy or Patti would love to discuss the details of our system with would-be writing teams and how best to maximize your individual strengths. We welcome your emails on the subject, or any writing subject in general.

 
 

 

 
Author: Nancy Fraser and Patti Shenberger
Publisher: Entangled
Length:  254 pgs
Sub-Genre: Western

BLURB:

Post-Civil War Mississippi

U.S. Marshal, Zack McCade takes pride in protecting the good folks of Greenville—especially the beautiful Dr. Suzanne Martindale. He doesn’t always understand her need for independence, but he sure does like getting under her skin. It’s not like he’s looking to settle down—his job is too dangerous to risk taking a wife and family.

In an era when women aren’t readily accepted in the male dominated world of medicine, Suzanne doesn’t have time for courting—especially a charming Cajun rogue like Zack. When he proposes a fake betrothal to keep the matchmaking town out of their hair, she’s sure it’s a bad idea, but can’t deny her longing for a respite from the over-zealous bachelors in town.

Their ruse starts a fire in their hearts that neither expected, but will the re-emergence of Suzanne’s real fiancé douse the flames?



Excerpt:

Suzanne entered the woman’s ward of the hospital and lifted Felicity’s chart in her hands. Four days had passed since the night of the harrowing delivery, and both mother and baby were progressing even better than she’d hoped.
 
“Enough lollygagging around in this hospital bed,” Suzanne said. “It’s time for you two to head on home.” She smiled down at Felicity and baby Chance, and then raised her gaze to meet the new father’s. “Jake, if you wouldn’t mind getting Chance settled in for his trip home, I’d like a few minutes for one last exam of Felicity’s stitches.”
 
Jake laid the baby in his basket and lifted him from the bed. “I’ll be right outside whenever you’re ready to go,” he said.
 
Once the door had closed behind him, Felicity breathed a long, deep sigh.“Finally. It’s been one visitor after another for four days. If I weren’t already exhausted from the delivery and nursing, the well-meaning company would have done me in for sure.”
 
“You should have said something. I could have placed orders to limit the visiting hours,” Suzanne suggested.
 
Felicity shook her head. “It wasn’t as much the string of people as it was the fact you and I have barely had a minute alone.”
 
Concern for her patient, her friend, was paramount. “I’m sorry if it seems like I’ve neglected you. Did you have questions?”
 
“No, silly, you haven’t neglected me at all. And, the only question I have is, what’s going on with you and Zack? I haven’t seen the two of you together since the night Chance was born.”
 
“We’ve been busy, that’s all. I’ve had my patients, yourself included, and he’s had his…his…”
 
“His what? I don’t recall any news about an outbreak of bank robbing.”
 
“He’s just busy, that’s all.”
 
“Have the two of you called off this unusual arrangement of yours?”
 
Rather than remain standing, Suzanne took a seat next to Felicity on the edge of the bed. “No, we’ve not called anything off as yet.”
 
“Then why aren’t you wearing the ring?”
 
Suzanne rubbed her fingertips over where the ring should be. “It’s complicated.”
 
“Oh, my,” Felicity said, the two simple words catching on a gasp of surprise. “You two have been together, haven’t you? You’ve made love.”
 
“Whatever gave you that idea?”
 
“If I’ve learned anything over the past year of my marriage, there are only two types of complications between a man and a woman. Either they’re making love, or they’re not.”
 
Suzanne shook her head in the negative, but then admitted. “Yes, we made love. Once. It was…” her words stalled on a long sigh. “It was wonderful. Yet, it broke our agreement and I’m not sure how to get past it.”
 
“And so, for that reason, you took off your ring?”
 
Suzanne met Felicity’s gaze and a single warm tear ran down her cheek. “I didn’t exactly take it off. I lost it.”
 
“You lost it? How? When?”
 
“Well, I suppose I did take it off, but not for the reason you were thinking. I removed it on my way to the operating room just before your surgery. I put it in a small cup on the shelf above the sink. In the excitement of the evening, I forgot to go back and get it. When I came in the next day, the cup was gone and so was the ring.” Suzanne stood and helped Felicity to her feet. “Enough about me and my forgetfulness. It’s time for you and your new baby to go home.”
 
“I thought you wanted to check my stitches.”
 
Suzanne shook her head. “No, I checked them earlier this morning and they were fine. I just wanted these few minutes alone with my favorite patient.”
 
“I’m glad we talked,” Felicity admitted. “Now you and Zack need to talk and resolve whatever issues you have about what happened.”
 
“It’s not just that,” Suzanne said. She plucked at the apron covering her shirtwaist, and ran the cotton edge through her fingers. “We also have our reputations to think about. This isn’t New York, or even New Orleans. This is a small town filled with people who thrive on gossip.”
 
“No doubt,” Felicity agreed. “However, you also have to be true to yourself. And, as for the ring, I know Zack won’t be the least bit concerned over the fact that you lost it.”
 
“I suppose you’re right. Perhaps, tonight, I won’t run out of here so early. Maybe, with any luck, I’ll have an escort home.”
BUY LINKS:

 

 

KOBO:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-lawman-s-agreement

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
 
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
 
Twitter: @nfraserauthor
 
Patti Shenberger recently signed a contract for her twenty-first romance novel/novella sale. She’s published in short contemporary, historical time travel, paranormal and erotic romance, as well as multi-published in fiction and non-fiction magazine length work.
 
Patti is a wife, mother of two, mother-in-law of two, brand new grandmother to a beautiful baby boy and pet mommy of two. Patti resides in Michigan, where she complains about the heat in the summer and the snow in the winter. When she’s not writing, Patti can be found with her nose buried in a book.
 
Twitter: @pattishenberger
 
MY REVIEW:

I found this book quite fascinating.  It really varied from the classic story line of the scared older virgin that was past marriageable age and I must admit I really enjoyed it.  The cast of the story was quite unique, and several potential strong women popped up as future main characters in their own right.  These two authors flowed beautifully together and you could not tell that this story was written by two different people.  It flowed as if it were one author.  

Suzanne was by far my favorite character in this story.  She was dedicated, logical, and hard-working.  I know she had to have it tough during this time-period being what she was, but she never let her sex deter her.  She was an admirable character and one that would be easy to look up to.

I look forward to more adventures with these authors in this particular series.  I was truly an intriguing and quite steamy read!! 

4-happies1

GIVEAWAY!!!!Nancy and Patti are giving away an amazing prize!!  You have the chance to name a business in their next book and have one of the characters named after you!!!  The grand-prize is inclusive also of a copy of said book and a copy of The Lawman’s Agreement!!  Second place is a copy of book 1 and 2!!!

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/21df081/

 

Review and Spotlight On: Mike’s Way Back by Amy Gregory

Title: Mike’s Way Back
Author: Amy Gregory
Publisher: Amazon Digital Length: 485 kb
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Blurb:
When Detective Mike Sterling left the Chicago PD and returned to his hometown of Renlend Kansas, he tried to convince himself it was so his mother could stop worrying. The truth was, even Renlend wasn’t going to vanquish the dreams that tortured him at night.
When Taryn Watts landed in Renland Kansas to de- sign a client’s new cooking school she intended to stay just long enough to do the job and then go right back to her life on the East Coast.
When Taryn and Mike found themselves sharing a booth, one thing was certain, neither one of them thought it was a good idea. Mike still wasn’t over his ex-wife’s betrayal, and when Taryn found out Mike was a cop she wanted to run all the way back to Connecticut and never look back, but she couldn’t… Sitting outside his home late at night she watches him fight against his demons. Demons she already had too much experience with firsthand.
When Mike finally admits there is no way to outrun his demons, Tayrn knows she’ll do anything, or be anything, to help Mike find his way back.
EXCERPT:
He reached for the bottle, the dark glass still cold to the touch. Tipping it back for a long swallow, the slight burn of the heavy ale helped force his past back where it belonged. “Hey, Mike?”
Noises became sharper around him as he realized it wasn’t Molly’s voice calling his name this time. Silverware sliding across a plate and ice cubes falling into a glass were a far cry from an emergency room, especially when a round of cheers rose up around him. One glance was enough to know the baseball game he had zoned out on was now tied. Blinking, he separated his hellish past from pres- ent day and turned toward the bar to answer Jeff.
His friend was holding up a fresh bottle, yet to be uncapped. Mike blinked twice, hardly letting Jeff’s chuckle register.
Mike’s jaw wasn’t the only part of him to twitch.
It had nothing to do with the second beer the bartender just set on the counter for the waitress to deliver to him. No, it was all to do with the knockout in a black pencil skirt, toned bare legs and killer heels standing at the bar—talking to Jeff.
Buy Links:
About The Author:
When asked ‘when do you have time to write’, Amy Gregory simply laughs. The real answer is, “in bits and pieces”. She and her husband live in Kansas City with their three fantastic kids that keep them running in three very different directions. Because she sits so much, she always carries a note- book with her at all times.
She has an off the wall, snarky, off the cuff sense of humor that often shocks even those who’ve known her for years. And she loves that her children have all been blessed that ability to make oth- ers laugh as well. At least she’s grateful most of the time! Her husband often teases her about how she “makes this stuff up” when he’s reading a piece of her work. … The answer—“it just comes to me when I’m typing”. Scary thought, huh!
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Review:
This was an enjoyable short.  This book is generally about Mike learning to confront his past and falling in love again.  It has the possibility of making you shed a few tears.  Even though the book is short, it is very well written, and heart-clenching.  The characters were well portrayed and lovable.  This was my first experience with this author, and I look forward to reading something else by her.
4-happies11/2
GIVEAWAY!!!
Amy is giving away 3 prize packs tour-wide!!!  Enter to win an autographed print copy of Mike’s Way Back, a $10 amazon card, or an E-copy of the book!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Katalina Leon’s Fairy in the Flesh

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Title: Fairy in the Flesh
Author: Katalina Leon
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Length: 121 pgs
Sub-Genre: Erotic, romance, paranormal

BLURB:
Maya Rousseau’s fantasy vacation in Avignon France heats up when an eccentric enchantress tricks her into drinking mojo-laced absinthe.

An unexpected encounter with the green fairy causes Maya’s reality to have a serious melt down. She travels back in time and wakes up naked in the bed of her favorite bad boy Bohemian artist, the tall, dark and mysterious André Bosco. There’s nothing wrong with that except it’s 1903.

For André it’s love at first sight. He begs Maya to become his cherished model, muse and lover. The chemistry and shared passion between them is overwhelming. André’s a generous-hearted dream man but there’s a catch. Every hour they spend together bonds them tighter and time is running out. The same powers that flung Maya back to 1903 are preparing to snatch her back.

With a hundred and ten years separating these soul-bound lovers it’s uncertain if they can find a happy ending without the help of a little magic and La Fée Verte.

Note: Story contains super hot sex with an unattainable man, enchanted hallucinatory beverages, mischievous time-twisters and green fairies.

BUY LINKS:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fairy-Flesh-Katalina-Leon-ebook/dp/B00EQ88XJC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382017032&sr=8-1&keywords=fairy+in+the+flesh

EC: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-fairyintheflesh-1271355-340.html

B and N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairy-in-the-flesh-katalina-leon/1116777778?ean=9781419945557

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I’m an artist, an author, mother and wife. I write for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id Publishing and a couple new publishers to be announced soon. I try to bring a touch of the mystical and a big sense of adventure to everything I write because I believe there’s a bold, kick-ass heroine inside all of us who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

Website: katalinaleon.com

Ellora’s Cave:
https://www.ellorascave.com/index.php/authors/index/author/slug/katalina-leon/

Loose Id:
http://www.loose-id.com/authors/a-f/amber-skyze-katalina-leon.html

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BIXI8BQ

All Romance eBooks:
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html

Night Owl Reviews Author Page:
http://erotica.nightowlreviews.com/V5/Authors/Katalina-Leon

Pinterest:
http://pinterest.com/katalinaleon/

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/katalina.leon.142?ref=tn_tnmn
Twitter: Katalina_Leon

EXCERPT: 

Maya rubbed her tired eyes with the heel of her hand and blinked. It didn’t help. The glare of a dry July day and endless hours looking at art had left her in a dazed state of overload. The rods and cones of her retinas were kaput. Her feet ached too. She’d packed more than she could comfortably handle into her single allotted vacation day in Avignon and was now suffering from a bad case of too much of a good thing.
Tired or not, she felt alive. This was what her soul had been starved for. Since morning she’d wandered Avignon’s street exhibits, tented galleries and somber museums filled with masterpieces, gazing in awe. She’d enjoyed an outdoor concert on the bank of the Rhône and photographed the sunbaked Romanesque ruins of a medieval bridge, where she had stopped just long enough to eat a light lunch. She loved photography and Avignon was the perfect place to indulge a hobby she wanted to take further. When she got home she intended to look back and feel as inspired to revive her art career as she felt at that moment.
The daytrip to Avignon would have been perfect excerpt for one important omission. She’d failed to locate the art studio of her favorite modernist painter, the mysterious André Bosco. It was a shame, because Bosco was the real reason she’d been attracted to Avignon in the first place. She’d been a fan of the obscure painter for years and had hoped to see the place where he had launched his brief but brilliant career, which had inexplicably ended in 1903.
What she’d expected would be a simple task had turned into a bust. To her disappointment she’d seen no plaques displayed anywhere mentioning Bosco, and no one seemed to know much about him. Even the guidebook had been vague, mentioning a single abandoned building as a possible site of Bosco’s studio. A daylong search had proven fruitless and ended in frustration. Within the next hour she’d have to leave Avignon without touching base with one of the great inspirations in her life. Considering Bosco was a local artist of merit, it surprised her that he was so little celebrated in Avignon.
Maya turned the corner and headed into one of the older parts of town. The buildings were quaint. A few were in need of repair. The shadows stretched longer and the narrow streets bustled with foot traffic. The evening festivities had already started and she realized it was time to leave.
A few yards in front of her, a team of young male dancers burst onto the crowded sidewalk and claimed a small circle of smooth pavement as their stage. A heartbeat later they were dancing a wild routine that had them spinning and kicking in unison like the blades of a blender.
Maya dodged past the acrobatic dancers but got trapped in the crowd that had gathered to watch. She recoiled at the last second from one dancer’s lethal backflips and high kicks, which were executed an arm’s length from her nose. She pushed past the dancers but the crowd closed in and she got sandwiched between the exuberant performance and a gritty sandstone wall.
This sort of thing had been happening all day. The official festival d’Avignon had something interesting planned for every hour of the day but all over the city spontaneous off-festival performances took place anywhere a crowd gathered.
The dancing was fun but she was thirsty, tired and just wanted to sit.
“Excusez-moi.” Maya crept along the wall, managing to push through the throng of observers. She reached the doorway of an interesting looking bistro, tugged the door open and darted inside.
Once inside she entered a soothing candle-lit Victorian-era building and found herself in a charming Bohemian-themed bistro with cranberry-red velvet cushions on the seats and colorful curtains of glass beads dangling from the windows. Glowing hand-blown glass lanterns sat upon polished tabletops. A framed Gauguin print of an ebony-eyed Tahitian beauty holding a bowl of pink flowers hung near the bar. The pungent scent of amber incense and cherry pipe tobacco perfumed the air.
It was like stepping back in time to another era. Maya’s senses were instantly transported back to the heady days of the modernist art movement at the beginning of the twentieth century. She savored the feeling because it was her favorite fantasy time period, and one she would have loved to experience firsthand.
It surprised her that for such a busy festival day the bistro was empty of patrons. The only other occupant of the bistro, and presumably the proprietress, was a woman who appeared to be in her fifties who was dressed in the theatrical garb of a flowing- sleeved poet’s shirt, a black satin corset and flouncy red skirt and tall boots. She stood beside the bar looking like some sort of piratical gypsy queen.
“Bonsoir.” The lady spoke French but addressed Maya with a familiar accent.
Maya smiled at the lady. “Puis-je commander un café glacé, s’il vous plaît?”
“Of course you can have an iced coffee.” The woman’s keen gaze locked on Maya. A thick layer of black kohl ringed the lady’s eyes and lent her an unsettling appearance. “I speak English and I’m going to guess that you grew up not far from my hometown of New Orleans.”
“I’m from Thibodaux!” Maya laughed. “There’s no hiding the accent, is there?”
The lady reached for a coffee press and packed it with fresh grounds. “Seeing as how you’re a Louisiana girl I’ll add a touch of chicory to your coffee.”
“Thank you.” Maya sat at the bar, fully realizing just how much her feet hurt from walking all day on cobblestones.
“My name’s Miss Ruby.” The lady brushed her long black hair away from her face and appeared to be studying Maya with intense interest. “What’s yours?”
“Maya Rousseau.”
Miss Ruby poured hot water over the coffee grounds and pushed down on the press. “Rousseau is a wonderful name for an art lover.”
“You sound certain I’m an art lover.”
“Why else would you be in Avignon in July? I know what drew you.” Miss Ruby toyed with one of her dangling chandelier earrings while she waited for the coffee to strengthen. “I realize my current costume makes me look ridiculous as I say this, but I really do possess the gift of second sight and prophecy. You see, I’m a world-class enchantress with the highest security clearance.”
A nervous laugh burst past Maya’s lips. “I didn’t realize enchantresses had to earn security clearances.”
“They certainly do!” Miss Ruby’s eyes flashed. “You wouldn’t believe the stringent tests we must pass. A world-class enchantress must prove beyond a shadow of doubt that she is trustworthy, ethical and has the highest good of others in mind before she’ll be granted the powers I have.”
Maya wondered if Miss Ruby was another bit of festival street theater or an ex-pat who’d forgotten to take her medication. “What special powers do you possess?”
“I’m like a fairy godmother, but my work tends to be grittier than what a fairy godmother might attempt. The moment I meet someone I know exactly what their soul needs. I understand the inner workings of time and space and use them to advantage. I don’t actually break the laws of nature but I know how to bend them. In fact my specialty is time-twisting. I’m like a witch but I call myself a ‘Beneficent’ because I always serve the highest good. The gift is hereditary. My mama was a New Orleans Voodoo queen. I could have stayed in New Orleans too, but I chose to travel the world as a high-level enchantress and an ambassador of magic.”
“I see.” Maya recoiled. It was just more of her bad luck in Avignon. First she’d failed to locate Bosco’s studio and now a crazy lady dressed like a carnival psychic had trapped her in a weird conversation.
Miss Ruby poured the steaming coffee over a tumbler filled with ice and slid the glass toward Maya. “Enjoy.”
Maya sipped the chilled, chicory-laced coffee with relish. “I feel revived.” She drank fast, not wanting to linger in the deserted bistro. She decided it best to gulp the iced coffee, pay and run for her life before the conversation got stranger.
Miss Ruby picked up a chamois and busied herself polishing the brass rail that ran the length of the elegant mahogany bar.
Maya’s gaze wandered toward the far wall and fixated on a framed pencil sketch of a handsome man with a proud, compelling face. The sketch was framed beneath glass and the paper had yellowed at the corners and crumbled with age. She studied the man’s face and guessed he was in his mid-thirties. He had a thick head of wavy dark hair and a rugged face with square, noble features, chevron brows and luminous eyes that glanced sideways from the portrait and seemed to follow the viewer around the room.
Maya found herself unable to look away. The man had a magnetic quality she seldom saw in contemporary faces. It was a look that could only belong to someone who possessed the self-confidence and perhaps a touch of arrogance not to care what the world thought. The generous arch of the man’s lips was so sensuous her thoughts wandered toward what it must have felt like to be kissed by him.
“You like Bosco, don’t you?” Miss Ruby leaned close. “He has a interesting face, doesn’t he? He can appear both compassionate and feral in turn. I’ve heard many differing opinions about the portrait over the years.”
Maya started. “Is that a portrait of André Bosco, the Fauvist painter?” she gasped. “I’m a great admirer of Bosco! I had no idea a portrait existed.” Her heart fluttered. “Did he really look like that?”
“You know of Bosco?” Miss Ruby looked elated. “So few do. History has all but overlooked him, which is a shame because those familiar with his small body of work have hailed him as one of the most innovative painters of his time. Some say Bosco inspired his more famous peers and set the example for the Fauvist moment by showing the world how to paint like a wild beast. Of course, a few of his nastiest critics called him a ‘paint waster’, but it’s clear Bosco had vision.”
Miss Ruby waved her hands through the air in an expansive gesture. “A few art historians have credited Bosco with being the original wild beast, in part because of his physical intensity and unruly head of hair, but also because he had a habit of tossing his paintbrushes aside and smearing the brightest colors across the canvas with his fingertips, with passion. It was said by those who watched him work that he ravished his canvases like a ferocious lover.” She giggled.
“He sounds exciting.” Maya drew a sharp breath. “Years ago, I saw an original Bosco in a traveling museum show of modernist work. Bosco’s painting was the most expressive piece of art in the entire show. I kept wandering back to look at it again and again. The painting was of a white stallion but the colors were vivid—every hue of the rainbow was hidden in the lines and shadows. Before I left the museum I bought a postcard of the painting and carried it around in a battered sketchbook for years. Bosco was my greatest inspiration. I heard a rumor he had a studio somewhere in Avignon?”
“He did.” Miss Ruby pointed upward. “His studio is a corner room on the third floor. The landlord of the building has preserved it.”
“Bosco’s studio is here?” Maya tensed. “Can I see it?”
“No.” Miss Ruby shook her head. “I don’t have permission to open the room, but the landlord will return on Sunday. You can ask him then.”
“I won’t be here on Sunday.” A note of desolation crept into her voice. “This is my last full day in France. I have to start making my way back to Paris tomorrow for my flight home. I’ll miss my only chance to see Bosco’s studio.” Maya leaned across the bar, feeling absolutely desperate to get a look at Bosco actual living space. “Please reconsider—I promise not to touch a thing.”
“I’m sorry.” Miss Ruby nodded toward the top of the bar, where an ornate brass skeleton key dangled from a green satin ribbon. “The landlord is the only one allowed to use that key to open the studio…”
(La Fée Verte, the green fairy is going to make an appearance soon and cause a little mischief. Who do you think ends up getting ahold of that key and going upstairs?

My Review:

I have read one other book by Katalina and I really enjoyed, so I decided to give her another try.  I was not disappointed.  For those of you that have never had the pleasure, I suggest you rectify this.  Her books are a worth-while read :)  I really thought it was an interesting twist with our little green fairy.  She is not what you would expect..even though she does carry her own bottle of absinthe with her!!  The plot and story-line was original, the characters were loveable, and the sexual scenes were quite hot.  I look forward to reading more from this author!!

4 happy faces!!