PureTexualityPR Presents: Summer Of Scandal + Giveaway

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About the Book

Summer of Scandal
by Syrie James
Series
Dare to Defy Series
*Each novel is a standalone story.
Genre
Adult
Historical Romance
Publisher
Avon Impulse
Publication Date
September 11, 2018
Purchase Your Copy Today!
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Madeleine Atherton is no typical American heiress, sent to England to marry an English lord. A brilliant college graduate who secretly dreams of becoming a published author, she wants to marry for love. After receiving a proposal from a
future duke, Madeleine flees the London Season for Cornwall to seek her sister’s advice, never expecting her decision to be complicated by a charming, handsome earl she’s certain she dislikes—even though his every touch sets her blood on fire.
Charles Grayson, the Earl of Saunders, has secrets and ambitions of his own. Although under pressure from his mother and gravely ill father to marry his cousin, Charles cannot find the words to propose. But this fascinating American visitor does not figure into his plans, either.
Thrown together unexpectedly at Trevelyan Manor, Madeleine and Charles struggle to rise above their intense attraction. But as things heat up between them over a summer that becomes increasingly scandalous, Madeleine and Charles will both be forced to make a difficult choice. Can two dreamers dare to defy convention and find their own happily ever after?




CHAPTER TEN

Charles’s heart began drumming to a different cadence as he made his way across the golden expanse of sand. The ocean setting in all its fresh, morning glory was a fitting backdrop for the woman who, in a peach-colored dress that clung to her perfect figure like a second skin, resembled a goddess newly risen from the sea.
“Miss Atherton!”
Charles wasn’t certain if his voice had carried over the crash of the waves and the raucous calls of the gulls. He tried again.
This time, she turned in surprise. Good lord, she was beautiful. The wind brought out the roses in her cheeks and whipped through her skirts and the loose tendrils of her upswept hair.
He ventured closer and tipped his hat. “Good morning.”
“Good morning.” Her eyes and voice held a note of reluctance, as if undecided as to whether or not she was pleased to see him.
“Collecting seashells?”
“I am.” She held up a small cloth bag. “And stones. For Julia and Lillie. They are fond of them.”
“What a nice gesture.” Standing this close, looking down at her lovely face, he realized he had been wrong about the color of her eyes. Under the bright morning sun, they were more cobalt than indigo.
Stop waxing poetic about her eyes.
He drew a line in the sand with the toe of his boot. “I understand you are leaving us today?” Despite himself, he couldn’t disguise the remorse he felt at the prospect.
She hesitated, as if surprised by his tone and what it implied; yet her guard was still visibly in place. “A carriage is coming for me in a little over an hour.”
“I am glad, then, that I caught you before you left. I wanted to make sure I had an opportunity to say farewell.”
“That was thoughtful of you.”
He gestured for them to walk on together. As they strode across the hard-packed sand, he groped for words. “I hope you did not suffer a chill from our little adventure in the rain the other day?”
“Thankfully, no.”
He darted a glance at her. Their eyes briefly met and held. He saw her cheeks grow rosy. Was she thinking about the horseback ride? The near-kiss? Or both? She looked away without further comment.
“I know you felt uneasy about riding astride,” he commented. “I hope you have not berated yourself for that.”
“I haven’t. It was the sensible thing to do at the time.”
“I hope, as well, that you will forgive me for joining you on Tesla’s back. It was not, perhaps, the most gentlemanly thing I have ever done . . .” He broke off.
“It’s all right. It was pouring cats and dogs. We had to get back to the house as quickly as possible.”
“And so we did.”
“And so we did,” she repeated.
Her eyes met his again, now visibly and unexpectedly on the edge of mirth. They both let out a laugh, relieving the tension between them. A seagull squawked overhead, then swooped down to collect some unseen tidbit from the wet sand nearby.
“If it helps, I promise to never breathe a word of it to anyone,” he told her.
“Well. Just so you know: I saw a curtain fluttering when you rode off. I’m pretty sure Woodson saw us.”
“How do you know? Did he say something?”
“Just that he understood why we had both missed tea. And he gave me . . . a look.”
“Ah. A look from Woodson can speak volumes.”
“He didn’t seem to be passing judgment, though.”
“As well he shouldn’t. We were the bedraggled survivors of a downpour, returning to home and hearth.”
“Indeed we were.” Miss Atherton laughed again. “He also mentioned that he is married. To Martin! I had no idea.”
“They are the heart and soul of our household, and have been these many years. I cannot imagine what we should do without them.” The morning sun was growing hotter. Charles lifted his hat, running his fingers through his hair to cool his head, wishing this moment could last forever.
“They are certainly devoted to your family,” Miss Atherton agreed. “I have been meaning to ask. Is there any news about your father? He has been indisposed almost the entire time I have been here. I worry about him.”
“I worry, too. Dr. Hancock has apparently been here every day. All we can do, I am told, is to pray for my father.”
“I have been, and will continue to do so. I wish with all my heart that he will soon be well.”
“You and me both, Miss Atherton. We should probably make a wish on that at the wishing pool.”
“The wishing pool? What is that?”
“It’s a pool of freshwater which, according to legend, is magical. If you drink the water and make a wish, it will come true.” He pointed to the nearby cliffs with a smile. “We have our own local wishing pool just around that bend.”
“Is that so? I would love to see it.”
“Would you?” He paused. “It is in a cave.”
“I love caves almost as much as I love legends.”
“Well, then. Come with me.” Charles led the way down the beach to the mouth of the cave, which was so hidden by the enclave of craggy black rocks surrounding it as to be imperceptible to anyone casually strolling by.
“What a charming spot,” Miss Atherton commented. “I would never have found it on my own.”
“All part of its magic.” Charles hesitated, uncertain of her intention. “If you prefer to go in on your own, I would understand. I can try to tell you how to reach the magic pool. But it is a bit tricky.”
“I see. I suppose it would be most improper for us to venture in at the same time, without a chaperone.” As she said it, her lips curved up mischievously.
He found himself staring at those lips. Imagining what it would be like to taste them.
It was no wonder she was talking about chaperones. Charles gave himself a mental shake.
“I was just teasing.” She laughed lightly, and in a more determined tone went on, “Please, lead the way.”
He wasn’t sure if it was the best idea in the world to go into such a secluded place with her alone. But any further protest would only make clear his own secret longings. So he did as bidden, determined to be a gentleman. Inside the cool interior, the cave opened up into a space the size of a small bedroom, its dark granite walls carved by water and time.
“Follow me,” Charles told her. The profusion of small stones which infused the sandy floor crunched beneath their feet as they advanced, the light growing dimmer with each step. “Can you see?”
“Not very well,” she admitted.
“If you will allow me to take your hand,” he offered, “I can better guide you from here.”
She paused only the briefest of seconds, then complied. Neither of them were wearing gloves. He felt a spark ignite as his hand clasped hers and sensed, from her small intake of breath, that she felt it as well. His heart began to patter in his chest.
“It gets darker as we go,” he said, “but our eyes will adjust. At the pool itself, there is a fissure that lets in a bit of natural light.”
She nodded and they moved forward, hand in hand. It was such a casual contact, this hand-holding, yet his pulse was pounding as strongly as if he were brushing his fingers over her naked form.
There you go again. Envisioning her naked.
Stop it stop it stop it.
The sound of dripping echoed in the distance, increasing in volume as they moved deeper into the cave. He guided her through a series of channels in the rock, past columns, stalagmites, and stalactites. After one final turn through a narrow passage, they entered an open chamber at the end of the cave and stopped.
“Oh!” Miss Atherton said in wonder.
They stood in a roundish chamber, enclosed by rock walls that stretched to a high ceiling. The air felt cool and damp. A narrow fracture above connected somehow to the outer cliff, because it let in a shaft of sunlight that illuminated the interior and sparkled on the surface of the small blue-green pool before them.
“Is it really freshwater?” Miss Atherton asked, her voice echoing slightly inside the chamber. As if suddenly aware that she no longer needed guidance, she let go of his hand.
He regretted the loss of her touch. “Yes, it filters down from the bluffs above.” In confirmation, a drop of water could be seen and heard as it plinked into the pool. “There are many caves with freshwater pools all along the Cornwall coast. I am told they all come with legends, some hundreds of years old.”
She gazed about in fascination. “It is a rather magical place.”
Charles turned to gaze at her. She made such a lovely picture standing there, just a foot or two away. The damp air had caused a few of her curls to frizz becomingly into ringlets around her face. Her peach gown fit so snugly that it showed off her every curve. Her rhythmic breathing was doing its own kind of magic, drawing his attention to her bosom, which was rising and falling and making it impossible to look away.
“How does the magic work, again?” she asked.
He blinked twice, yanking his gaze back up where it belonged, on her face. “You drink the water and at the same time, make a wish.”
“I see. Shall we?”
He nodded. “You first.”
“All right.” She set her bag of shells on the damp rocky outcropping fronting the pool and bent down. After pausing in thought, she scooped up a handful of water. “I wish that Lord Trevelyan will get well soon.” She sipped from her palm.
The simple act looked so wanton to his errant brain, he struggled to regain his wits.
“Can I make another wish?” she asked, looking up at him.
“There is no limit on the number of wishes, as far as I know.”
“All right.” She dipped her hand again, this time closing her eyes and, apparently, making a silent wish before drinking. With a smile, she stood. “The water tastes delicious.”
Staring at her, Charles could think of a few other things that would also taste delicious. He cleared his throat. “What was your second wish?”
“I cannot tell you,” she answered in a tone of mock-mystery, “or it might not come true.”
“Is that an American superstition?”
“I believe it’s a commonly held superstition, where wishes are concerned.”
“It is the first I have heard of it in Cornwall.”
“Well, even an earl can learn new things.” She gestured toward the pool with a smile. “Your turn.”
Charles removed his hat and rested it on a ledge. He bent down, dipped a cupped hand into the pool, and drank, dashing off the following: “May my father live to a ripe old age.”
He stood. Silence stretched between them, slow and catlike. There was no sound other than the intermittent drip of the water and the pounding of Charles’s heart, which was so loud in his ears now, he worried that she could hear it.
“I wonder,” she said softly, “how many people have come here over the centuries, and what they wished for.”
“I suppose some were fishermen and their wives from the village,” he suggested. “Wishing for a good catch.”
“Some might have been women wishing for their husbands’ safe return from sea.”
“Or farmers wishing for a good harvest.”
“Or men and women wishing for a loved one to return to health.”
“Or lovers making a wish for their future.” His breath caught. He had not planned to say that. The words seemed to hang in the air like a live thing between them. Lovers.
Their eyes met, and for a long moment neither of them moved. Tension coiled within his body and vibrated in the air between them. He was so aware of her nearness, he couldn’t speak. From the expression on her face, she was equally aware of him.
In the small, intimate chamber, Charles could hear her every intake of breath, which was coming as fast and unsteady as his own. He felt as if he were suspended in time. They were alone in this quiet spot. In an hour or so, she would be gone. This opportunity would never come again.
Desire came over him, hot and heavy. Charles knew it was wrong. Reckless. Irresponsible. But if he did not kiss her, he would spend the rest of his life replaying this moment in his mind, wishing that he had.
His arms were out before he could stop himself. Sweeping around her waist. Drawing her to him. One hand cradling the back of her neck, angling her head so that her lips were just inches from his.
Through the layers of their clothing, he could feel the thud of her heart against his chest, a rapid pounding that matched his own. He drank in the vivid blueness of her gaze that seemed to say, Yes. Yes. Yes.
And then he kissed her.

 

 My Thoughts

Summer Of Scandal is a book that  everything that the modern-day Historical Romance Reader could want.  Blending the forthright attitudes and educated world view of one Miss Madeleine Atherton
Withe old-world sensibilities of British nobility.  As exemplified by her leading man.  Charles Grayson, the Earl of Saunders.

This blend of the old marrying with the new extends well past backstories into plot-lines.  With Madeleine being both well into her twenties, and a recent graduate of Vassar.
While Charles presents a man doomed to tow the line of "wedding and bedding".  As per the rules of the titled ton.
With just the right amount of scandal thrown in for good measure, of course.

While it is true that this reviewer could wax poetic about character development, supporting characters, emotionality, and so forth.
The thing that sets this book apart has to be the fact that the two main characters are not together because of a conventional "need".
Instead their relationship is truly one based on mutual interest, respect, and eventually love.
These are two people who readers will champion, fall for, and whose 'happily' they always remember.



About the Author



SYRIE JAMES is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Nocturne; Dracula, My Love; The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte (Great Group Read, Women’s National Book Association; Audie Romance Award, 2011), and the international bestseller The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Best First Novel 2008, Library Journal.) An admitted Anglophile, Syrie loves paranormal romance and all things 19th century. She lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America.
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

 

 

 

 Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of SUMMER OF SCANDAL by Syrie James, we’re giving away one paperback copy of Runaway Heiress!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Runaway Heiress by Syrie James. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 9/24/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!





This "Master In Shining Armor" Could Use A Few Lessons In BDSM Chivalry

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Title:  Master In Shining Armor
Series:  Masters Unleashed #4
Authors:  Sparrow Beckett
Publisher:  Intermix
Rating:  3 Stars

The author of Finding Master Right returns to the Masters Unleashed series with a new erotic romance with an unexpected surprise.

When Juliet Callahan's company lands a contract to renovate Catacombs, a mysterious private BDSM club, she's intrigued. The club's owner, William Ellis, is a bossy, dominant man who drives her up the wall. To find out what Catacombs needs, Juliet agrees to visit the club, never guessing she'll end up having a torrid night of submitting to Will's dominance.

Will doesn't want a needy submissive he has to treat with kid gloves, but naïve and proper Juliet is too hard to resist. She responds to him beautifully, but after one scorching night, she runs scared. Before he can figure out what makes the interesting girl tick, an unexpected shock shows up on his doorstep.

His ex's baby.










What people are saying about Masters Unleashed:

TOP PICK RT Book Reviews "Beckett's third entry in her Masters Unleashed series is a sparkler... The delightful pairing of Varushka and Konstantin is perfect." 4.5 stars 

~ “The writing duo Sparrow Beckett has a winner in their opening entry in the Masters Unleashed series. It’s a pleasure to watch as Kate and Banner grow together and adapt to each other’s needs. A family tragedy tests their mettle and the strength of their connection.” - RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

~ "Sparrow Beckett gives BDSM a fun, fresh, and flirty edge with TO HAVE AND TO MASTER, a refreshingly delightful take on arranged marriages in a modern twist. The humor and the banter really makes the reader feel like these are real people, and I adored every page. I could not read fast enough!" -NYT Bestselling author Jessica Clare

~ "Delectibly sexy and sweet..." - NYT Bestselling author Annabel Joseph

~ “Finding Master Right is an engaging, page-turning read. I was rooting for Banner and Kate’s happily ever after.” - International Bestselling author Sierra Cartwright

~ “Snappy dialogue and great pacing make for a breathless, glorious ride in Sparrow Beckett’s Finding Master Right! Provocative, sassy and dangerous—a sensually lethal combination!” - NYT Bestselling author Eden Bradley

~ "This book is one of those that drew me in from page one, and held me long after I hit the end." - Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

~ "It was fun with just the right amount of drama (and a few tears) to keep me desperate to know what was going to happen next." - The Smutty Kitty 


My Thoughts
*Due to the rather sensitive nature of the topic discussed, this review is not intended for those readers under 18.*

The dynamic duo that is Sparrow Beckett seems to be making quite the splash with this latest offering in the Masters Unleashed series.
Making every effort to temper the masterful dominate that is one William Ellis, with not one, but two life altering events in rapid succession.
The first of which being his meeting the love of his life.  One very vanilla, Julliet Callahan.  When she and her brothers are hired to revamp Catacombs.  William's very exclusive BDSM playground.

The second, and most life changing event by far, however.
His becoming a full time father to the infant daughter of his now deceased ex.

What's a Dom to do?
I can't say for sure what one is to do.  But based on some very reckless behavior on the part of Will with one very initiated  Juliet.
I can certainly say what one doesn't.
And Will's ill prepared, unprofessional, and very unsafe handling of Juliet's first BDSM experience both with him, and in the whole of life...
A definite HELL NO!
He was far more interested in how turned on that he was by her submission than her safety, her care, or her well being.
Offering her only a cursory explanation of safe wording, no prior knowledge of what was to take place in the scene, and pushing her well past her adrenaline threshold with no aftercare.
Not only is this line of play dangerous.  It is highly unethical.

It is very difficult for me as a reviewer to chalk this major faux pas on the part of these authors up to a simple case of lack of knowledge.  Given the fact that this is the 4th book of a BDSM series.  And more importantly.
The mistakes that Will makes in this book would never be made by an experienced Master or Mistress.

Moreover.
The fact that such ill treatment of a novice is presented in a positive light in this read.
Insane.

And therein lies the heart of my problem as a reviewer.
The book was well written.
The story and characters very engaging.
The ending very "happily..."

But can I condone the portrayal of unsafe handling of a "novice".
No.
Particularly not in the case of said novice also being one's love interest.
It is the opinion of this reviewer that this  book be marketed as a DARK EROTIC ROMANCE.
Rather than the "feel good" romance that it seems to be aiming for.

Readers will note that there is a decided lack of a review for the rather "run of the mill" and baby makes three plot line.
This is because Will's interest was elsewhere for the majority of the read.
And frankly so was mine.

About Sparrow Beckett

Sparrow BeckettTwo writers in two countries transform into the super writing duo, Sparrow Beckett, each night after wrangling their housefuls of children and pets. They trade the cape and colorful tights for tattoos and cups of coffee then set out to create a world where readers fall in love with heroes and the women who willingly go to their knees for them. Their books are the products of two kinky minds who don’t take themselves too seriously.
Find Them:  Goodreads / Web


               Buy The Book Here!

Author's Pal PR Presents: The Marquess And The Maiden And Giveaway


Harriet Wheatley is the mastermind behind the Ladies of Virtue's quest to rehabilitate the gentlemen of the ton. So when it comes to selecting her own target, she knows who to choose: Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport—the most extravagant wastrel in all of London.
Known for his opulent lifestyle, Oliver isn't surprised by Harriet's confrontation. It's obvious Harriet longs for any way to take him down a notch. She says she'll help him find a bride, but he knows it's only because it gives her the excuse to chastise his indulgent ways.
Oliver has good reason for his flagrant overspending, but Harriet will hear nothing of it. So he has no choice but to teach the lady a lesson, even if it means risking his heart to the hard-headed and fiery woman.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Excerpt #2:

Anger rolled off her in hot waves. “You hid in there to spy on me?”
“I did.”
“You don’t even bother to deny it?”
“What purpose would that serve?”
“I don’t know. But this is just like you to hide in wait and spy on me. You’re so damned accustomed to getting whatever you want, whenever you want it.” She shook her head. “You allow that unquenchable greed to dictate every move you make, regardless of how it affects anyone else. Any promises or agreements shoved to the side.”
“This has nothing to do with greed.” Though wanting her certainly did. He wanted her at the moment with such intensity, he was surprised he hadn’t pounced on her yet.
“Of course it does. You have no ability to tell yourself no, no strength of will to walk away from something you want. You were curious about what I was doing, and despite our agreement that you would not ask questions, you came to get precisely what you wanted.”
She doubted his ability to control his urges and desires; he’d show her precisely how much control he had. When this was over, it would be her begging him. “Are you going to tell me what all of this is about?” She was sexy as hell when angry. He gripped the top of his cane tighter to rein in his desire.
She tilted up her head and walked off the mattresses, brushing past him. “I am not.”
“I’m not an idiot, Harriet.” He followed her.
She wiped the sweat off her forehead and neck with a rag. The hair along her nape and face was damp, and it drew him closer.
“I never suggested you were.” She turned to face him and started, not realizing he had closed the distance between them. He took a step forward. She took a step backward.
Granted he hadn’t figured everything out, but he recognized enough of what was before him and, combined with the latest scandal reverberating through Society… it was easy enough to put two and two together.
She exhaled loudly, quite obviously annoyed she’d revealed something to him. “You are a beast.”
He braced one hand on the wall behind her, put his body close enough to her that he could feel the warmth radiating off her skin, smell her subtle floral scent. She boldly looked up at him, no fear. Her eyes darkened, and her lips parted.
“Are you going to kiss me again?”
He chuckled. “Do you want me to?”
Her breath caught. “Of course not.”
“I disagree. I think you do.” He took his hand off the wall and traced a finger down her cheek.
Her breath stuttered.
“Sweet Harriet, I think you desperately want me to kiss you.” His thumb traced over her bottom lip.
She subconsciously dipped her tongue out to wet her lips and instead licked across his finger.
And it took every ounce of his control to not oblige her.
“What are you doing?” she whispered.
“Proving my point.”
She swallowed visibly. “Which is?”
He let his gaze bore into her. Moved his body close enough that she could not doubt his arousal. He ground it against her to make certain.
Her eyes fluttered closed.
“That I can want something desperately and still walk away.” He shoved away from her then and left the room. He had to get some distance between them else he would toss her down on those mattresses and have his way with her.



All About Robyn
National Bestselling author, Robyn DeHart’s novels have appeared in the top bestselling romance and historical romance lists. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her historical romantic adventure series, The Legend Hunters, were not only bestsellers, but also award-winners, snagging a Reader’s Crown and a Reviewer’s Choice award. She had three releases in 2013 and 2014 will see four more, all set in the popular historical romance Regency and Victorian eras.
 Known for her “strong dialogue and characters that leap off the page” (RT Bookclub) and her “sizzling romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. A popular writing instructor, she has given speeches at writing conferences in Los Angeles, DC, New York, Dallas, Nashville and Toronto, among many others.
 When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters, Busybee and Babybee as well as two spoiled-rotten cats. They live in the hill country of Texas where it’s hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it.
Connect: Site | Facebook | TwitterGoodreads


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