"Accidentally Compromising The Duke" Is A Romance That You Are Sure To Love On Purpose

28644556Title:  Accidentally Compromising The Duke
(Wedded By Scandal #1)
Author:  Stacy Reid
Review Format:  eARC
Length: 287 pages
Publisher:  Entangled / Scandalous
Rating:  5 Stars

England, 1817. Miss Adeline Hays is out of options. Determined to escape marriage to a repugnant earl, Adeline plans to deliberately allow herself to be caught in a compromising position at a house party with the much kinder man she’d hoped to marry. Instead, Adeline accidentally enters the wrong chamber and tumbles into the bed of the mad duke.

Edmond Rochester, the duke of Wolverton, is seeking a wife to care for his two daughters. A young lady of sensibilities, accomplishment, and most importantly, one who he is not attracted to—a complete opposite of the bewitching beauty who traps him into marriage. But despite the lust he feels for his new duchess, Edmond is resolved to never allow them intimacy, refusing to ever again suffer the tormenting loss of a loved one.  Goodreads




Accidentally Compromising the Duke
by Stacy Reid

Copyright © 2016 by Stacy Reid. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.

England, 1817
Pembington House, Wiltshire
The cold press of keys in Lady Adeline’s palm, and the knowledge of why they had been so surreptitiously given, made her feel decidedly wicked, a state she was experiencing for the first time in her twenty-one years. Anticipation and nerves cascaded through her in equal measure at the notion of acting in a manner that was improper, potentially ruinous, and without any doubt, utterly scandalous.
Tonight she would decide her own future—an acknowledged extraordinary feat—and take a very bold step to ensure the gentleman she would marry was the man she deeply cared for and respected—Mr. James Atwood, and not the man who had attacked her, taking liberties he had no right to—the Earl of Vale.
“Thank you,” Adel said softly to her dearest friend, Lady Evelyn—Evie to her close intimates. Adel was grateful she had someone assisting her in this escapade; surely her nerves would have deserted her if she acted alone.
Evie leaned in close. “Remember, I will arrange for mother to enter his chamber very soon.”
Adel nodded. “How will you convince her to intrude on Mr. Atwood’s privacy?”
“I urge you not to worry about the how. I know Mamma, and with a few whispers, I will make certain the chamber doors are opened at the opportune moment,” Evie said, her voice trembling with excitement. Or mayhap it was trepidation?
Adel buried a groan, flicking an invisible piece of lint from her light green gloves. “This plan of ours smacks of recklessness.”
An unladylike snort sounded. “Do you want to be the Countess of Vale?”
Not even if she was to be drawn and quartered. The earl was a repugnant reprobate, and a conceited ass. She would much prefer a quiet life in the country with a man she liked and respected, than the pomp and ceremony of being a countess to a man she loathed. Adel was in possession of two exquisite younger stepsisters whom she adored, who would benefit at their debuts, if Adel was a countess. Even with that added incentive, it was distressing to imagine a life as Lady Vale.
“No, I want to be Mrs. Atwood.” Though Adel felt no shivering excitement at the prospect, there was a distinct appeal of being the lady of her own home. She’d no longer live by the capricious whim of her stepmother, and best of all, never have to endure another year of a failed season.
“Then let’s dispense with the fear,” Evie said with an encouraging smile.
Adel cared little for society’s censure and opinions, being so far removed from the heart of the ton, spending most of the year in Somerset at her father’s modest but well-kept manor. However, Mr. Atwood had remarked on more than one occasion, the value he placed on high society’s opinion. “What if Mr. Atwood is outraged at my lack of propriety? When I suggested we elope, he adamantly and most earnestly refused.”
Evie gripped her hand. “He wants to marry you, very much, and if you do not act, you will endure a lifetime of pain as the earl’s wife. I would daresay you and Mr. Atwood will be the only love match of the season, and a few gossips should not prevent such a union. It is not as if you have any intention of making your permanent abode in London. From my experience gossip in the country is nonexistent. I implore you, though, to ensure you are not in a terrible state of dishabille. We want a bit of a stir, not a full blown scandal.”
Adel scowled. “Now is not the time to use ‘full blown’ and ‘scandal’ in the same breath. And I have no intention of moving from the door. We only need a hint of impropriety to convince Papa, and I daresay the very notion of me being on the threshold of Mr. Atwood’s chamber is enough. I am a bit anxious at how my actions will affect Helena’s debut.”
Evie plucked two glasses of champagne from a passing footman and handed Adel one. “Your sister is fourteen. She has two more years before facing the gauntlet of the marriage mart. Even if there is a slight stir, it would certainly be squashed by then. With her beauty, the beaux of the ton will be very agreeable and forgiving.”
Adel sighed. “Very well. Onward with our plan.”
Evie gave her an approving look, then with a wink, she darted away.
Adel turned toward the large potted palm to her left, and with the utmost secrecy, slipped the keys into the neckline at her bosom. There was no chance of them being jostled loose, for it was unlikely she would partake in any of the night’s frivolities.
She strolled along the edge of the ballroom, humming softly to the lively music of the quadrille. She hadn’t been asked to dance all evening, though she had worn the most lavish silken high-waisted gown she owned. Her underdress of palest blue silk had the bodice decorated with tiny forget-me-not flowers embroidered with seed pearls. The three rows of ruched ribbon showed beneath her simple white gauze overdress and she thought she looked particularly fine. She also wore her mother’s pearls in her ears and around her throat, and had caught her hair in a loose chignon with a few loose tendrils cascading in a becoming manner down her neck. A few admiring glances had drifted her way, but none of the young men had made any overtures for even conversation.
With a soft sigh she directed her gaze to the dance floor, an ache building in her chest. When was the last time she had been asked to dance at a ball? Adel was fully cognizant of only being passably pretty without much distinction to recommend her for marriage. But surely the gentlemen of the ton could be courteous enough to dance with the young ladies without obvious partners.
She straightened her spine, refusing to dampen her spirits. By this time tomorrow, her engagement would be announced, and she would be free as much as it was possible to be unencumbered as a man’s wife. She suppressed the uncharitable thought, for Mr. Atwood was a dear friend, and when they wed he would treat her with respect and gentle regard, not as property.
She lifted the champagne to her lips and sipped. She had been wondering if she should make Mr. Atwood privy to their plan. Evie had been adamant it be a secret in the event things went awry, but Adel wanted some reassurance from the man she intended to thoroughly compromise.
Compromised.
Nerves erupted in her stomach and her hands trembled. What if the resultant scandal was so vast, she was unable to return to society? And Mr. Atwood’s ambitions of being a successful barrister were destroyed in the aftermath? And Helena was tarnished by association?
You are being a ninny. Only Lady Gladstone will know, Adel sternly reminded herself. The countess was very discreet. After all, she had already spied Evie in a shocking embrace with the scarred and aloof Marquess of Westfall, and none in society had been any the wiser. The countess had swept it under the rug, no doubt because of the man’s dastardly reputation.
Adel mentally ticked off all the scandals of the past season.
Lady Sophie was seen kissing her father’s valet. That young lady was now being welcomed back into the drawing rooms after only a few short months. Of course, she was now the Viscountess of Rayburn.
Lady Thornton had cuckolded her duke, and she was somehow still a powerful force in society.
Lord Brunel, it was whispered, had been seen with Miss Elizabeth, in a far worse situation than that which Adel had planned, and they were still widely admired and respected.
They also have much to recommend them.
She ignored her flutter of doubt and scanned the ballroom for the young man she was intending to secure. A man who had professed his admiration several times and desperately desired to wed her, despite her shortcomings. Adel stiffened when she espied Mr. Atwood bowing over Lady Daphne’s hand, one of the season’s reigning darlings. She was pursued in earnest because she had everything to recommend her. Her father, the Earl of Leicester, was well known in parliament and lauded for his reform speeches. Her dowry was rumored to be thirty thousand pounds, and added to the pot was Lady Daphne’s fashionably blond beauty.
Mr. Atwood ran his fingers through his curly brown hair, a sheepish smile blooming at his lips. What was Lady Daphne saying to him? Adel frowned at his besotted mien. Had she been mistaken in his affections? Surely not. It was only last week he’d approached her by the lake bordering her father’s property and informed her he would again ask for her hand. Not surprisingly, Papa had refused. He had a higher prospect in mind for her, than Mr. Atwood. Papa did not care this was Adel’s fourth season and no titled gentleman thought to make her an offer.
Mr. Atwood was mild mannered and affable. He had never been the sort to ruffle feathers nor would he even dare stand toe to toe with her father and plead his case. The only time he seemed passionate was when he’d declared his love. A smile tugged at her mouth, and she willed him to glance in her direction.
His gaze was firmly stuck on Lady Daphne’s pouting lips.
“Lord Vale!”
Adel flinched as the man whose clutches she was desperate to escape appeared on the landing above the staircase. What was he doing here? The annual Gladstone house party was considered one of the most exciting events of the season, but Evie had promised that her mother had not issued an invitation to the earl.
Adel’s wrists tingled, and the fading bruises his punishing grip had left ached. Bile rose in her throat and she gulped the remainder of the champagne to wash away the unpleasant taste. Her father and stepmother had accepted an offer for her hand from the slimy toad. His presence was dangerous. What if he announced their engagement? Extricating herself from such a disaster would be impossible.
His gaze had unerringly found her. Not that it was much work, as she was one of three young ladies standing on the periphery of the room with their dance cards virtually empty. A pleased smile appeared on his face and her throat tightened. It would be a catastrophe if he singled her out. The bile she’d tried to banish resurfaced, and the crush of the ballroom she’d found exciting an hour ago was now suffocating. She remembered the nasty words Lord Vale had whispered against her lips as he forced her to kiss him. He had mockingly laughed when she had slapped him, saying he liked it rough sometimes. She’d been bewildered as to what it referred to, only knowing she had to be afraid. Adel had fled to her father despite Lord Vale’s threat that she keep quiet. The bodice of her dress had been torn, her lips swollen—evidence of the earl’s loss of control. She had expected her father to protect her, not give her to the man.
Panic attempted to freeze her limbs, but she scampered away as if she had not seen the earl. She scanned the ballroom for her father. He and her stepmother typically made a concentrated effort to ingratiate themselves with other lofty guests, and she could spy Lady Margaret’s high purple turban with its peacock feathers making the rounds. But where was Papa? Adel had seen him leaving the card room earlier. He had slipped through the terrace windows. Surely he should have returned by now?
Adel pretended she did not see Lord Vale fighting the crush to reach her. With quickened steps she followed the path her father had taken. There were several guests on the terrace, laughing and chatting. She ignored them and spun to the hot house in the distance. He was a secret botanist and instinctively she knew to where he had escaped.
Oh, Papa. How she wished he would not bend so easily to the demands of his wife. Never would Adel believe it was her father’s wish to rub shoulders with the finest of the bon ton. When her mother had been alive they had been so happy. Life had been wonderful, and they had lived in Somerset, rarely traveling to London or Bath. Her father had remarried only a year after Adel’s mother died, and everything had changed.
Do not dwell in the past, Adel, look to the future.
The gardens and the grounds were well lit by gas lamps and she hastened to the hot house, stepping carefully along the cobbled trail. She slipped in through the entrance, her heart squeezing when she spied him with a magnifying glass, peering at some plant. “Father,” she said softly.
He lowered the glass and faced her. For a wonderful second, pleasure suffused his face, before he became guarded. With a pointed glare behind her, he spoke, “Why have you traveled this far without a chaperone? Where is your mother?”
Stepmother. She bit back the instinctive rebuttal. “It is a short journey here, and I urgently needed to speak with you, Papa.” She moved farther inside. “Lord Vale arrived a few minutes ago and I—”
“Excellent,” her father said, with a wide smile. “I must go and greet him. Come along, I am certain he will want a few dances with you.”
“No!” She gritted her teeth. “Though I miss the pleasure of dancing, I cannot consent to—”
A heavy sigh filled the air. “You are to wed the earl, Adel. He has secured an invitation to Lady Gladstone’s house party solely to court you. It shows me how much he esteems you and wishes to secure your affections.”
“Have you gone mad?” she demanded faintly. Surely her father couldn’t be so cruel? He knew of Lord Vale’s licentious character, of the atrocious way he had behaved toward her. “He attacked me, Papa.” She winced at the pleading note in her voice. Squaring her shoulders, she lifted her chin and stepped forward. “I cannot marry a man who has so little regard for my welfare. He left bruises on my arms. He is a despicable cad.”
Her father, Sir Archibald Hays, glared at her. “You will accord the earl the respect that is indeed due to him, young lady.”
How could he have forgotten her tears and fright? It still lived with her, though days had passed. “Papa…Lord Vale attacked me.” It was not that she desired her father to do something frightful like challenge the earl to a duel, but she expected some outrage on her behalf. She expected him to protect her, and his stance now shattered the naive belief she’d held onto that she was the most important person in his world. Her stepmother now had that honor, and as a viscount’s daughter, Lady Margaret’s wish was to see their family’s meager social connections strengthened. It seems Adel’s father was willing to sacrifice his daughter’s happiness to please his wife.
His face flushed in what might have been discomfort, before scrunching into a frown. “Pish… Passion…you are very beautiful, Adel, you look very much like your mother.” For a second his features softened and regret gleamed in his gaze. Then he cleared his throat and continued, “It is expected that as your intended, Lord Vale may have gotten a bit carried away. I visited his estate yesterday before traveling down and he explained to me, apologized for his slight indiscretion. I accepted his generous offer for your hand.”
Slight indiscretion? “You are trivializing my pain.”
He gently placed the magnifying glass on the table. “You are twenty-one, Adel. This is your fourth outing, our coffers are nigh empty and we cannot afford another season for you. The earl is making amends for his actions by offering marriage. I only want what is best for you, my dear.”
She stepped forward, searching his face. “My happiness would be in marrying a man that esteems me…much like you did Mamma. Mr. Atwood has been my friend and our neighbor for years. He has offer—”
“No.”
“Papa, please. If you would meet with him again, you would see what a kind, sensitive, and amiable gentleman he is—”
“Mr. Atwood’s only prospect is a distant baronetcy with little income to support a family. When you marry Lord Vale, you will be a countess,” he said forcefully.
Adel was too stunned to point out that he was only a baronet. In desperation she gripped his fingers. “Papa, if you do not agree on Mr. Atwood. At least give me a few more months to secure another suitor. If I’ve no offer by the year end I will…I will marry your choice.” She almost choked on the words.
“You had a late coming out because of your mother’s passing. I regret that deeply for I feel with her guidance you would have garnered an attractive offer. You’ve attended three seasons and no man wants you with the small dowry I can provide. Five hundred pounds is not enough to tempt any man.”
She flinched and released his arm. She heard what he had not said. Her dark, unfashionable hair, too-rounded hips and bosom did not tempt a man, either, nor the fact that she could read and write in several languages, and cipher.
“You are not to partake in any dances with Mr. Atwood or partner him in any of the parlor and outdoor games. Lord Vale will announce at tomorrow’s ball the news of your engagement, and it would not do for his fiancée to make a hash of things by being silly with another man.”
“Papa—”
“Do you understand me, young lady?”
She pressed a finger to her forehead, and it did nothing to stop the sudden ache pounding through her temple. “Papa, society will speculate on the sudden engagement. He has not been seen escorting me in the country or in London. As far as society knows, we have not been introduced. It is best the earl courts me for several months before there can be talks of an engagement.” Her stomach tightened in knots at the very idea of being in the earl’s presence, but she must do something to discourage her father. Then she would have at least some weeks to figure out how to extricate herself from the earl’s grasping and lascivious clutches if her scheme tonight failed.
“I’ve already given Lord Vale my blessings. It would be dishonorable of me to importune him to change his mind because of your feminine nerves. I expect your obedience or you will gain my severe displeasure.”
Severe displeasure? “And I fear you have lost my good opinion,” she said hoarsely, fighting the urge to cry. “You are supposed to protect me, Papa.”
“I am protecting you,” he said stiffly. “I am doing all in my power to secure your future since you have little thought for it or for your sisters’ and brothers’ future. A connection with the earl will go a long way toward establishing their prospects.”
Of course, my life is not my own. “Mamma would never have pledged me to man who has no respect or affection for me.”
He blanched, but she turned away, and hastened into the night.
She could no longer afford to possess the doubts she had in her heart. She had to act, and it must be tonight.

My Thoughts
Miss Adeline Hayes is a woman trapped between a rock and a quite literal "hard place".  The rock being her social climbing parents schemes to see her married off to the wealthiest of takers.  The "hard place"?  Just who the wealthiest of takers happens to be in this case. One repugnant reprobate and conceited ass of the lowest order, the Earl of Vale.

Though her money hungry step-mother and dollar sign blinded father consider the match "heaven sent".  Adeline knows from first hand experience, that life with the earl would be nothing short of pure hell.  Adeline is, in fact, so opposed to marriage to the execrable earl, that she is willing to brave scurrilous scandal, her family's social demotion, and entrap a dear friend and suitor, in order to escape such ill fortune.

Oh, but beware dear reader!
For what a tangled mess we see when the deceiver is yet deceived.
With a little help from her best friend Evie, the wrong bedroom door key, and the liquid courage that a few too many pilfered glasses of Sherry can provide, of course.

A story of "best laid plans", a vilified man, and hard won happiness. Accidentally Compromising The Duke is equal parts passion and poignance.
An alchemical combination of smoldering wanton, grief stricken widower, and loving father.  Edmond Elias Rochester, the Duke of Wolverton, a.k.a. The Mad Duke, is a man hiding from the possibilities of his future within the dark confines of his tortured past.  Riddled with guilt for what he perceives to be his part in the deaths of his wife and newborn son. Edmond has chosen life away from the prying eyes and wagging tongues of polite society.  Opting instead to raise the couple's two young daughters in the idyllic seclusion of his country estate.

When the necessity of finding a mother for his growing girls drives the deeply wounded duke out into the glaring spotlight of the haute ton's Marriage Mart.  He is woefully unprepared for the happy accident that is Miss Adeline Hayes, and the spark that she ignites in his lonely heart.

Known for her gift for crafting the perfect Regency power couple. Authoress, Stacy Reid, pulls out all the stops with Edmond and his Adeline.
Starting things off with as much drama as a young and sheltered Miss of the peerage can muster.  Lady Hayes is both unafraid to follow her heart, and in possession of the fortitude to accept the outcome.
Though she is often a ship unmoored in the tempestuous seas that are the duke's life.  She does her best to provide a place of happiness and peace for both her husband and his girls.  All the while never sure that she will ever be anything more than a utilitarian convenience to the man she dares to love.

This case of "let me love you until you learn to love me", is one that will make readers believe in the healing powers of love, family, and "happily ever afters" worth fighting for.


About Stacy
Stacy Reid I am an avid reader of novels with a deep passion for writing. From an early age, I started writing short stories for pleasure. I knew the dozens of romance novels I devoured were onto something when I met my husband at fifteen and fell in love after a week!
Life got in the way and I stopped writing for years. Then at the age of twenty-six with a degree in Human Resource Management I decided to focus on my passion—writing. I especially love romance and adore writing sensually hot paranormal fantasy, historical and contemporary stories.
I live a lot in the worlds I create and I actively speak to my characters (out loud). I have a warrior way “never give up on my dream.” When I am not writing, I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese Anime and playing video games with my love—Dusean Nelson.


Find Stacy:


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InkSlinger PR Presents: The Fallen Prince

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We hope you're ready to be transported by Amalie Howard's THE FALLEN PRINCE, a Young Adult Science Fiction novel and the sequel to THE ALMOST GIRL! Publishers Weekly calls the first in the series “a high-octane thriller.” Grab your copy of this amazing novel today!

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As the last two people disappear behind Caden and his two Faction guards in a blue haze, I take a breath and hit the coordinates on the keypad. 
Era’s eyes meet mine. Even in a wheelchair she still looks fierce. “Remember your promise.” 
I’m not sure whether she means my promise to not get in the way or my promise to defend Neospes with my life. Maybe they’re one and the same. “I remember.” 
I hit ENTER. 
The wind sucks at my gut, pulling me in toward my belly-button as if every part of my body is dissolving and coalescing into that one point. I keep my eyes open for as long as possible, watching time elongate on all sides before the wormhole breaks me into a million pieces. The nanobes harden around my cells, making them impervious to the gravitational changes in pressure. For a second, I feel invincible. 
Unbreakable. 
At the midpoint of the transition, all is silent, like being in the center of a storm before things start picking up. I’m snapped back together again, disparate cells rushing together toward the whole. As I exit the jump, everything explodes into motion at once. 
Voices are coming at me from every direction—screaming and yelling. My ninjatas are out of their harness and in my hands before I can blink. The hot glint of metal reflects o the bodies surrounding us, the sour scent of rotting flesh filling the air. Reptiles—hundreds of them. 
About THE FALLEN PRINCE:

Riven has fought for a hard-won peace in her world, and has come to shaky terms with who and what she is—a human with cyborg DNA. Now that the rightful ruler of Neospes has been reinstated, Riven is on the hunt for her father in the Otherworld to bring him to justice for his crimes against her people.

But when she receives an unwelcome visit from two former allies, she knows that trouble is brewing once again in Neospes. The army has been decimated and there are precious few left to fight this mysterious new threat.

To muster a first line of defense, her people need help from the one person Riven loathes most—her father. But what he wants in return is her complete surrender.

And now Riven must choose: save Neospes or save herself.

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Praise for THE FALLEN PRINCE:

 

"[P]acked with action . . . Imagery is the highlight of this book."—VOYA

“A parallel-dimension–jumping cyborg soldier must make questionable alliances to save her country from an existential threat in this sequel to The Almost Girl. [O]ffers a solid conclusion.” —Kirkus Reviews “This sequel to The Almost Girl was everything I wanted: non-stop action, smart science, new and intriguing characters, and a satisfying romance. I couldn’t put it down!” —Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful and the Cursed

 “[T]he next step in a dark, clever and thrilling scorched-earth, world-hopping adventure.” —Jet Black Ink

 

And don’t miss the first book in The Riven Chronicles Series!

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THE ALMOST GIRL

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About Amalie Howard: AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn't entirely convinced which takes more guts. She is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid's INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national silver IPPY medalist. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children.    

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Amalie Howard’s THE FALLEN PRINCE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
May 30th
Movies, Shows & Books – Excerpt
My YA NA Book Obsession – Review & Excerpt
Adventures in Writing – Excerpt
The LitBuzz – Review
WTF Are You Reading? – Review & Excerpt
Rambling Reads – Excerpt
AC Book Blog – Excerpt
Cynthia Bloggs – Excerpt
May 31st
Dazzled by Books – Excerpt
Comic Book Love – Review
Pandora's Books – Excerpt
Have Words Will Scribble – Review & Excerpt
Vagabonda Reads – Excerpt
Hannah's Words – Review & Excerpt
The Romance Reviews – Excerpt
June 1st
Escape Inside the Pages – Review & Excerpt
Blissfully bookerized – Excerpt
Bookish Things & More – Excerpt
June 2nd
Book it – Review & Excerpt
Books Need TLC – Review & Excerpt
BookCrushin – Excerpt
Roxy's Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Romance Book Nerd – Excerpt
Mes Livres – Review & Excerpt
The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Review & Excerpt
June 3rd
The book slayer – Review & Excerpt
Fishing for Books – Excerpt
The Recipe Fairy – Review & Excerpt
YA Book Divas – Excerpt
Book Lovers Life – Excerpt
Only One More Page – Excerpt
Teen Readers' Diary – Excerpt
June 4th
Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps – Review & Excerpt
Hart's Romance Pulse – Excerpt
The Cover Contessa – Review & Excerpt
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InkSlinger PR Presents: Everywhere and Every Way Book Blitz and Giveaway

Everywhere and Every Way
(Billionaire Builders #1)
by Jennifer Probst
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Pocket Books

About Everywhere and Every Way
Hot on the heels of her beloved Marriage to a Billionaire novels, New York Timesbestselling author Jennifer Probst nails it with the first in an all-new sexy romance series featuring red-hot contractor siblings who give the Property Brothers a run for their money!

Ever the responsible eldest brother, Caleb Pierce started working for his father’s luxury contracting business at a young age, dreaming of one day sitting in the boss’s chair. But his father’s will throws a wrench in his plans by stipulating that Caleb share control of the family business with his two estranged brothers.

Things only get more complicated when demanding high-end home designer Morgan hires Caleb to build her a customized dream house that matches her specifications to a T—or she’ll use her powerful connections to poison the Pierce brothers’ reputation. Not one to ignore a challenge, Caleb vows to get the job done—if only he can stop getting distracted by his new client’s perfect…amenities.

But there’s more to icy Morgan than meets the eye. And Caleb’s not the only one who knows how to use a stud-finder. In fact, Morgan is pretty sure she’s found hers—and he looks quite enticing in a hard hat. As sparks fly between Morgan and Caleb despite his best intentions not to mix business and pleasure, will she finally warm up and help him lay the foundation for everlasting love?

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Are You Ready To Build The Romance of a Lifetime?


About Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

Connect with Jennifer

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Ink Slinger PR Presents: Sea Dragon And A Giveaway!


Title:  Sea Dragon
Series:  (Sea Captain's Daughter #1; Dragon Knights #9)
Author:  Bianca D'arc
Format:  Kindle EBook
Rating:  5 Stars

A blind dragon who just wants to be left alone… 

Sir Hrardorr was once the mightiest of fighters. Now he’s blind and useless. His knight is dead and he can’t even go into proper mourning because he needs help just to get around. Part sea dragon, he decides to go to the Southern Lair to rusticate by the coast. He can fly out over the open water and dive into the sea, where he still has at least some ability to hunt on his own. He doesn’t expect to meet a human woman out on the water, fishing in her small sailboat, but he does, and unexpectedly, they become friends.

A young man who gave up the sword to help the Lair’s healer… 

Seth grew up in the Lair and has long had a crush on the most beautiful girl in the town, Livia. But she is the famous sea captain’s daughter, and far, far above him. It’d be one thing if he was a knight or at least a candidate to be one, but Seth gave up all dreams of knighthood when he chose to apprentice himself to the Lair’s elderly healer—the closest thing to a grandmother he’d ever had. His gentle heart has changed the course of his entire life and he’s not sure it’s for the better, but he sees no other option.

A newly made knight who doesn’t know how to be one… 

Sir Gowan is a warrior. He was a teacher of fighting when he caught the dragoness’s eye and she chose him as her new knight. Genlitha is a stubborn female and though Gowan tried to refuse, he found he could not turn down the magnificent dragoness, even though he knows nothing about being a knight. They have come to the Southern Lair so Genlitha can teach young fliers how to best navigate the tricky winds off the ocean, and to gain time for Gowan to learn how to be her proper partner.

Three humans. Two dragons. Attraction that cannot be denied… 

Both Seth and Gowan are drawn to the lovely Livia, and Genlitha finds the attraction she had for Hrardorr when they were still both dragonets has only grown stronger over the years, but there are obstacles. Hrardorr has sworn to never choose another knight. Seth has sworn to be a healer, even though it’s not his true calling. Gowan is just trying to figure out how to survive in this new world of knights and dragons.
And then they are attacked from the sea by a mighty fleet with dragon-killing weapons, and the town and Lair find themselves totally unprepared to fight. It will be up to the five of them to save the town…if they can. It seems impossible, but they have to at least try.


Exclusive Excerpt: Livia didn’t know why it was so, only that all the married knights were parts of trios. Happy trios, to be sure. She’d seen a few of the Lair women shopping in the square from time to time, and they all seemed happy enough. Nobody ever claimed the knights were bad husbands. Quite the contrary. But for some reason, not many of the men who lived alongside the dragons up on the cliffs were married. There were few Lair wives and, because of that, few children. Occasionally, a knight would form a liaison with a town woman, but nobody had become a Lair wife from the town in recent memory. The affairs seemed merely to be of convenience, not love everlasting. “Mates, their dragon partners, and eventually children,” Hrardorr seemed to answer her question. “Little dragonettes and tiny human babies, with two dragon parents and three human parents.” “All of them?” Livia asked, intrigued by the concept. “Of course,” Hrardorr said. “That is the family unit of the Lair. They all share in the parenting of any offspring, dragon and human alike. It is the way we have always done it, since the first fighting dragon partnered with the first knight.” “I had no idea. I mean, I’d heard things, but nothing like this. It sounds kind of…nice.” She marveled at the idea of a baby dragon being raised equally by humans and dragons, or a baby human calling a dragon papa. “Do you have children, Sir Hrardorr?” The dragon’s mouth tightened.“No. And now, I never will.” “Never is a very long time,” she said softly, wanting to offer comfort.“Don’t I know it.” His tone was bitter. “Being blind isn’t the end of the world,” she said, confronting his depression head on. His great head reared back as if she’d struck him. “You know I’m blind?” “I figured it out. A few of my father’s people do business at the Lair, and they bring back news of new arrivals. I assumed you’re the new dragon that has come here to recuperate. Am I wrong?” A sigh gusted out of Hrardorr’s mouth, filling her sails for a brief moment. She had to change tack to get back to him, but he didn’t seem to notice. “No, milady. You’re not wrong. I’m the damaged dragon who can’t even fend for himself anymore.” “Seems to me you just bagged a menacing shark all by yourself and chomped him to little pieces without any help at all,” she mused. “You’re not helpless. Hopeless, maybe…and that can be changed.”“You’re a strange female,” Hrardorr said, making her bark a laugh she hadn’t expected. “You’re not the first person to tell me that,” she allowed, smiling. “I’m not a person. I’m a dragon.” He bared his pointy teeth, as if grinning at her. “Point taken, Sir Dragon.” She regarded him for a moment, searching for the right words, but she couldn’t find them. “I like fishing. I do it most days when my father is away. Maybe you’d like to meet me here again sometime? I mean, I need protection from the circling sharks, and I suppose you could make yourself useful in lowering their numbers before someone from the town ends up maimed or dead. The fishermen would be grateful, I’m sure, as would most of the townsfolk.” “You don’t say.”Hrardorr looked as if he was thinking over her words. “I like to swim. And I also like the taste of shark.” “Really? What does it taste like to you?” “Like victory.”  
Buy The Book:  Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords

My Thoughts
Bianca D'arc's Sea Dragon is the perfect blend of courtly sensibilities, fantastic dragons, edge-of-your-seat action, and scintillating sensuality.

The story opens on Sir Hrardorr.  A once heralded dragon warrior who, after being grievously injured in battle and suffering the death of his knight, has come to recuperate in the Lair at Dragoncove.

Because Ms. D'Arc opens her story with her dragon as the lead character, rather than a human counterpart.  Readers are put on notice from the beginning, that dragons will not be relegated to the secondary role of sidekick, transport, or prop in this adventure.
It is in fact, Sir Hrardorr and his forays into the sea, that act as the catalysts for all human interactions taking place within the read.

Dragons are so central to this plot, that they are the cornerstones on which the foundation of this book's world rests.  This changing of the guard in adult fantasy, allows a great deal more of said fantastical element to permeate the story in much the same way it does in stories intended for younger audiences.

To their credit.  The human element in this yarn do their dragon brothen proud.  They, both collectively, as with the townspeople, and singularly, as exemplified by leads Gowen, Livia, Seth provide a drama, carnality, and emotional touchstone for both dragons and readers as the story progresses.

If you are a fan of swordplay and water battles...this is the book for you.  The action found in this book's battle scenes, is enough to get one's heart rate up and keep it there.
Adding to the splendor of this battlefield bounty, are the surprising ways in which the gifts of Hrardorr, Livia, and Seth are called into play.
Allowing each character time to shine, without making his or her spotlight glaringly obvious.

Where this story differs most from others of its ilk however, has to be in the structure of its romance.  Because the humans who are destined to live with, partner with, and care for the dragons can only mate within a triad.  Livia, Seth, and Gowen's bond, and the love scenes that result, are nothing less than spectacular.  Not only do they showcase the ménage scenario beautifully; there is also the added treat of sub/dom play between Gowen and Livia.
Not to be left out.  Sir Hrardorr even manages to find love in the person of dragoness Genlitha.

The one downside to this amazing story, is that it ends.
This tale of knights, dragons, battles of both body and mind, and mastery of destiny is one that you never want to relinquish.
Not to worry though.
There is hope.
The story is set to resume right where Sea Dragon ends, in its follow-up novel, Dragon Fire.


Reviewer's Note:  I received a review copy of the above referenced literary work in exchange for the honest review provided.
Resulting opinions have in no way been influenced by the work's author, or Inkslinger PR.


About Bianca
Bianca D’Arc is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 romance novels. She has twice won EPPIE Awards for her work, along with the Australian Romance Readers Favorite Erotic Romance eBook of 2008 for her first werewolf romance, Lords of the Were. She is a native New Yorker who worked as an executive on Wall Street during the summer of 2001. She changed careers after the tragic attacks of 9/11 and started seriously pursuing publication in 2005. She has a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, a Masters in Library Science, and a Juris Doctor, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She loves her garden and plays the piano, ukulele and guitar.

Find Her:

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Skateboard Your Way To The Stuff Of Dreams In "Ramping Up"

18917943Title:  Ramping Up
Series: ( Mavrick All-Stars #1)
Author: Zoe Dawson
Format:  eARC
Length:  236 pages
Publisher:  Loveswept
Rating:  4.5 Stars

The world of extreme sports just got a little steamier! Zoe Dawson’s pulse-pounding, emotional series follows the wily young female agents of Mavrick Allstars as they chase their dreams—and meet the chiseled athletes who make them come true.

Helena “Lena” Mavrick is ready to prove that she can play with the big boys. Working at her father’s internationally renowned agency, Mavrick Allstars, Lena sets her sights on one of the most coveted phenoms out there: a twenty-four-year-old surfer caught ripping it in a viral skateboarding video. Signing him would be a huge win—and his marketing appeal isn’t the only thing that makes Lena’s heart skip a beat. Trouble is, fraternizing with the client is against company policy.

Professional surfer Gunner Smith lives under the absolute control of his coach—until he takes the ultimate risk and starts over as a skateboarder. Gunner swore he wouldn’t give up his freedom again, but Lena’s out-of-the-blue offer makes him think long and hard. She’s smart, she’s bold, she’s got sponsors lined up around the corner—plus she’s drop-dead gorgeous. He’s just not sure his coach will let him get away that easily, because he’s not just Gunner’s coach, he’s also his father.

Gunner is used to hiding his tortured past. But when his steamy affair with Lena threatens their future, he must decide whether he will sacrifice everything for the woman who’s stolen his heart.  -Goodreads


My Thoughts

Pro surfer, Gunner Smith, is tired.
Tired of the pressure to stay at the top of his game.
Tired of his father / coach's alcohol fueled rage.
Tired of the lies and manipulation of his scheming manager.
Tired of it all!

Little does he know that a night spent skateboarding with friends.  A night spent indulging in the one thing that sets him   free.  Will be the one night that will catapult him to the pinnacle of the extreme sporting world.  Putting him face to face with both his greatest dreams, and the one woman who could prove to be his deepest desire.

Ramping Up, the first title of the Maverick All-Stars series, introduces readers to the high stakes game of professional skateboarding. A sport where one wrong move can be your last.  While one right one can make you a star.

Because leading man, Gunner Smith, is written as such a down to earth guy, and because his rise to fame is as much of a surprise to him, as to the reader.  It is very easy to attach one's self to his emotional gravy train from the book's beginning.
When the back story involving his now strained relationship with his  afore mentioned domineering and abusive alcoholic father, and sleazy manger are taken into account.  Readers have no choice but to be sold.  Hook, line, and sinker.

The story really starts to get interesting however; when Helena “Lena” Mavrick enters the picture.  Daughter of the famed Noah Maverick, CEO and owner of Maverick All-Stars.  One of the most respected sports talent agencies in the world.
Helena is a woman with no illusions about her need to make her mark in what for so long has been solely both her father's business, and a man's world.

Eager to try her hand at shaping and molding what promises to be a stellar career for Gunner.  Helena is in no way prepared for the attraction that she feels for him.
An attraction that thankfully author, Zoe Dawson, allows her audience to explore very early in this book.
This is far from a case of sex ruling the day however.
Ms. Dawson is very careful to maintain a very healthy balance between sport, sex, and drama.

What readers are sure to become most enchanted with, in very short order.  Is the incredible amount of detail that Ms. Dawson puts into her representation of skateboarding.
Going so far as to include a glossary of terms at the back of the book.  She leaves no stone unturned in her effort to make  this story a truly visceral experience.

The romantic element here is first rate.  With each person giving the other just what they need.  The sex is both hot and tender.  But it's the chemistry that these two share outside of the bedroom that makes the pages sizzle.
The effort that these two put into trying to keep their relationship under wraps...clearly wasted.
Though an annoyance, to be sure.  Said "hide and hug" does very little to detract from the general appeal of their budding infatuation.

The thing about this awesome story that may give readers a bit of a pause?
 The fact that certain aspects of both Gunner's character and his story read considerably younger  than his 24 years.
As such, there are quite a few times when his character becomes very hard to define in the reader's mind.  A distraction which works to keep this read just a breath away from perfection.

Ramping Up is an adrenaline filled, all access pass to what happens when a dream that you didn't know you were chasing, catches you.
Allowing you to find that one person who makes your heart strong enough to follow it.


Reviewer's Note:  Ramping Up is the first book in a series.  Because subsequent books have yet to be published.  I can not say with certainty, in what order it is to be read.

*I was provided was a review copy of this work in exchange for the unbiased review given.*


About Zoe
zoe-dawson-photo Zoe Dawson, the author of 40+ books had always dreamed of becoming a full-time romance writer, and with determination, persistence, and a little luck that wish came true. Her other passions include traveling the world, owning a beach house (she believes she was a mermaid in another life), and seeing her books in movies. When she’s not writing, she’s painting or killing virtual MMORPG monsters in World of Warcraft. She lives in North Carolina with her two grown children and one small, furry gray cat.
Find Her:  Web / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Buy The Book Here 

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Find Out If The Price Of True Love Can Ever Be Repaid In "The Debt"

27416069 Title:  The Debt
Author:  Tyler King
Available Formats: Print, Ebook, Kindle
Publication Date: May 10th, 2016
Publisher: Forever Romance

Hadley saved my life . . . and I ruined hers

Hadley's my best friend. We share a house, our friends, a life. She knows all my secrets . . . except one. My desperate need for her is inked on my body, it's the best I can do. But Hadley needs to hear the words . . .

Growing up as foster kids, Hadley made me feel whole-sane. And what did I do? I destroyed our chance to be together. I ran out on Hadley when I should have stayed, and something broke between us. Now I'll do anything to fix it.

I'll never leave her again. I won't ever let her feel afraid again. But the more I try to protect her from my pain, the more I just make things worse. I'm terrified that if I tell her everything, she'll never forgive me. I'm even more terrified that it may be too late to make her mine. I have to try to give her what she needs . . . it's a debt I'm determined to repay.




THE DEBT by Tyler King
Release Day Blitz Excerpt

Hours later, just after 8:00 a.m., I was still awake when the woman next to me stretched and reached for her phone on my nightstand. Propped up against my headboard, I watched the silhouette of a leggy blonde dressing at the foot of my bed. She shoved her tits into a push-up bra and wiggled her way into a tight black dress.
“It was fun,” she said. “See you around, MacKay.”
“Later.”
She tiptoed away with her shoes in her hand and closed the door behind her. I knew I shouldn’t have brought Kate home, but at the time I didn’t have the clarity of mind to do otherwise. Women had always been transient in my life. This one was no different.
I pried myself from the covers, then crossed the room and stood at the floor-length mirror beside my dresser to inspect the new ink peeking around the right side of my rib cage. The skin there was still tender and swollen, a result of six hours under the needles to continue the design that decorated my back. Bear was an artist with an implement of pain.
My eyes fell to the framed photo lying facedown on my dresser: a younger me in a tux, standing onstage with my adoptive parents beside a piano before my first sold-out concert. It was one of the happiest days of my life, and I couldn’t bear to look at it.
I was skinnier then, and lanky. Hadn’t yet grown into my body. Next to my pale, freckled parents, I stood out like one of those exotic adopted children of yuppie celebrity parents. Dark skin. Black hair. Green eyes. People told me I was “interesting” to look at, to gawk at. So little by little I covered all the pretty bare flesh in tattoos.
The first piece I ever had done was of a raven with its wings spread wide across my chest. The tips of each broken wing nailed down. I was seventeen then. After my first sitting, I came to understand why people said tattoos were addictive. I suppose I became a glutton for pain, because when Bear’s wife offered to put a hole in my lip, I let her stick a needle through my face. For shits and giggles. At twenty-one, I had two full sleeves. My dad only asked that I keep the modifications within reason. I was a bit fuzzy on that definition.
From the top dresser drawer, I grabbed a tube of antibacterial ointment and applied two fingers’ worth to the new tattoo. My stomach growled. It was empty and angry from last night. So I sifted through the field of laundry-pile bunkers scattered around my bedroom until I found a black shirt and dark jeans on the passable side of clean.
When I hit the landing at the bottom of the stairs, I felt a pair of knowing brown eyes watching me from the living room. Nothing good ever came from the morning-after ritual. Even so, I couldn’t help but glance at my roommate curled up on the leather couch with her laptop open and earbuds hidden under her long dark hair. She held seven fingers over her head. Hadley averted her gaze back to the computer screen rather than look for my reaction. Like she didn’t give a fuck.
“Don’t you have anything better to do than wait for the walk of shame?”
“Don’t you have an appointment to get your dick swabbed for STDs?”
“Fuck off.”
“Get bent.”
And so everything was par for the course on a Sunday morning. I held out my middle finger as I turned toward the kitchen.  That was fun.  Let’s do it again next week, shall we? I had yet to decipher her scoring system. Asking for clarification would only validate her participation in my sex life.
Neither of us enjoyed living together. My parents’ house in the middle of nowhere was too big for two people and not big enough for the both of us. Since my dad left to take a job in New York during our freshman year of college, every day was a special kind of torture. But Hadley needed me. And as much as I couldn’t stand being near her, I wouldn’t abandon her again.

Buy The Book
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1q3yTEV

My Thoughts
The Debt is one of those books that would be great if it wasn't trying so hard just to be good.

The following list is made up of just a few of the major plotlines explored within this work.

The story of two foster children who found each other, helped each other survive the hell of abuse, helped each other to escape said abuse...each finding their forever home in the process, and forging a life long friendship that has withstood failed attempts to make it something more.

The story of how childhood traumas suffered by both Hadley and Josh lead to his inability to perform sexually, and her ritualized Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

The story of how the death of Josh's adopted mother derailed his career as a prodigied concert pianist.

The story of how love and perseverance guided Hadley and Josh away from the darkness of their tragic pasts, and toward the love and light is love, understanding, and each other. 

While any one or two of these plotlines is more than enough to provide an emotionally compelling novel, guaranteed to captivate readers from beginning to end. The combination of said plots, while admittedly readable, overloads the reader to the point of desensitization.
The above referenced 'dramatic overload' also creates a very unfortunate tug-o-war between itself and the romantic aspects of this read.

In spite of what proves to be a major flaw in the overall composition of this story. There is no denying the fact that it is otherwise very well crafted. The characters are very relatable and extremely easy to champion, the story flows well, and everything is very well paced.

I was provided with a copy of the afore referenced work in exchange for the honest review provided.

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