First Kiss Friday with Elizabeth Ellen Carter

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Hello, my lovelies, and welcome to another First Kiss Friday! Today’s guest is my dear friend Elizabeth Ellen Carter who has an excerpt from her story The Ghost Bride in the anthology Upon A Midnight Dreary. Happy reading and enjoy!

Excerpt:

“This is where I made the rubbing.” Jemima pointed to the stone.

Monty unshouldered his pack and went forward to inspect it. He pulled out a magnifying glass to examine the markings before taking a pencil and paper to make a rubbing of his own. He’d kissed her… yet that morning when they met at breakfast, it was as though last night had not happened at all. There was no awkwardness between them as they pored over the map, planning the day. And it was a day made for hiking, pleasantly warm with a hint of cool breeze off the sea. In short, picture perfect in every way, so much so that it would be tempting to imagine last night had been a dream.

Jemima frowned. If the apparition was a figment of her imagination, then Monty’s embrace and kiss might not be real either. Well, if he wasn’t going to raise the subject, then she wouldn’t either. She was a professional, after all. A writer, one who’d made a commitment to her editor for a series of riveting features.

“It dates to the sixteenth century without question,” Monty muttered, more to himself than her as he jotted down the stone’s measurements and location. “And you’ll be happy to know you’ve uncovered the crest of the Duke of Ashprington. I think we should try to follow the original path to the castle. It will take us along the edge of the gorge. There could be some outbuildings worth exploring along the way… Jemima?”

Oh – he’d caught her woolgathering. He regarded her expectantly. Clearly, he was wondering what she was thinking. “Why did you kiss me last night?”

Monty looked somewhat sheepish. “Shouldn’t I have?”

“Now you’re begging the question.”

“Ah, well, that will never do.” The mock gravity in his voice caused a spark of delight to run through her.

“Then I shall speak plainly, so there is no misunderstanding. I wanted to kiss you last night.”

“And now, in the broad light of day?”

He took a few steps toward her, close enough for her to touch but, maddeningly, just out of reach. “In the broad light of day, I’d like to kiss you even more.”

Jemima took the final step forward, touching a hand to his arm. “I’d like that, too.” Anticipation thrummed through her veins. His lips found hers. She breathed in his scent, a pleasing mix of pine and cedar. Her lips opened to his for a soft kiss. It was not quite chaste, but neither was she in fear of him ravishing her in the middle of the woods. It promised greater pleasures in the future.


England 1867 – A chance meeting on a train by travel writer Jemima Douglas and historian Dr Monty Rhodes is more than fortuitous – it is fated. Bound for the same small village in Devon, Jemima and Monty discover that an old church and an even more ancient castle are entwined in a mystery that spans centuries: whatever happened to Isabeau du Bois, the Tudor bride who disappeared on the eve of her wedding? Villagers say the mysterious figure which appears in the castle and the village is the Ghost Bride who beseeches lovers to try to uncover her final resting place. As Monty and Jemima are drawn deeper into the tale, hearts and lives are in danger.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Upon-Midnight-Dreary-Halloween-Anthology-ebook/dp/B08XF2JKQ2

About the Author:

Elizabeth Ellen Carter writes richly detailed historical romantic adventures that have been praised for their strong characters and ‘edge-of-seat intrigue’. She has published ten full length novels and numerous novellas and short stories. Her eleventh full length title, Deceiving The Duke, will be released early in 2022 by Dragonblade Publishing. A former journalist, she ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years. She lives in Australia with her husband and two cats.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethEllenCarter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elizabeth_ellen_carter/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ElizabethEllenCarter

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Ellen-Carter/e/B00G05CW5K

ebsite: https://eecarter.com/

First Kiss Friday with Caroline Warfield

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Any day I can have Caroline Warfield on my First Kiss Friday blog is a good week! This busy author is about to release her second book in the Ashmead Heirs series, The Defiant Daughter. Isn’t the cover just gorgeous? Read on, my lovelies, and enjoy!

In The Defiant Daughter, Madelyn, Dowager Duchess of Glenmoor, travels to Wales in search of a step-son she believes may be alive, having been told he died years before. Colonel Brynn Morgan, who grew up there around coal mines, accompanies her. Conditions she finds in the mines horrify her. Late one night she seeks comfort in the colonel’s arms, and begs him to take her home.

Excerpt:

Madelyn’s warm body nestled in Brynn’s arms, balm to his soul after a day of hell. The sensation left him comforted and aroused, giving him peace, driving him mad. With her soft and supple curves against his chest, he couldn’t resist a taste. The kiss began as a gentle gesture, a reassurance, but when she opened to him of her own accord, he could only take what she offered. The caress of her mouth and tongue, awkward yet determined, hot and needy, sent his blood boiling, and his more primitive instincts galloping.

Lost in sensation he nibbled the corner of her lip, nuzzled her ear, traced her neck with his lips before moving back to explore the treasures of her mouth, hot, wet and open to him. He almost missed her trembling.

By the time she pulled back, gasping for a breath and shaking, her hands had come under his jacket, heating his back through his shirt, and his had wandered around the thin protection of her night clothes to places far too intimate for his brother’s garden.

He forced coherent thought to the surface. One word echoed in his head. Ashmead. Her place of safety. What Madelyn longed for after Glynrhos wasn’t his heated fantasies. She wished for shelter, and he offered something far different. No wonder she was shaken. Danger, MadelynI can offer naught but risk.

He forced his unruly hands to her waist, and then her arms, pulling them from his back, sliding down to grasp her hands, grateful he couldn’t see her face. If he saw in her eyes what she said with her kiss his good intentions would evaporate.

“Easy, duchess. Shall we sit, and you can tell me what I’ve done to deserve this delightful gift?”


Madelyn assumed marriage as an old man’s ornament would be better than life with her abusive parents. She was wrong.

Now the widowed Duchess of Glenmoor, she wrestles with ugly memories and cultivates a simple life. She is content. At least, she was until her half-brother returned to Ashmead bringing a friend with knowing eyes and coal black hair to capture her thoughts.

Colonel Brynn Morgan’s days as an engineer in his father’s coal mines in Wales are long behind him. With peace come at last and Napoleon gone, he makes a life for himself analyzing the reports about military and naval facilities worldwide for a shadowy government department. What income he has is committed elsewhere. He has nothing to offer a wife, much less a dowager duchess.

More lies between the duchess and the man she wants than money and class:   They have personal demons to slay.

Pre-order for October 21 Launch: https://bit.ly/TheDefiantDaughter

About the Author:

Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nunShe reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart. 

Find Caroline in These Places:

Visit Caroline’s Website and Blog: http://www.carolinewarfield.com/

Meet Caroline on Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/carolinewarfield7

Follow Caroline on Twitter: @CaroWarfield

Email Caroline directlywarfieldcaro@gmail.com

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletterhttp://www.carolinewarfield.com/newsletter/

Amazon Authorhttp://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Warfield/e/B00N9PZZZS/

Good Readshttp://bit.ly/1C5blTm

Bluestocking Belles:  http://bluestockingbelles.net/about/caroline-warfield/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/caroline-warfield

Caroline’s Other Books 

Bookshelfhttp://www.carolinewarfield.com/bookshelf/

A Dangerous Nativity, a novella prequel to both her Children of Empire and Dangerous Series is available for free at:

Barnes&Noble   Kobo   Amazon  Smashwords

Freebie Alert from Sherry Ewing!

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Hello, my lovelies! Just a quick shout out to let you know that my medieval/time travel romance novel To Follow My Heart: The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time (Book 3) is currently up for #FREE through October 15th. If you haven’t grabbed your copy, please download yours now. And it’s never too late to write a review if you already have it. Even a few short words helps me out. #justsaying

Hugs,
Sherry ❤ xoxo

Love is a leap. Sometimes you need to jump…

After a gut wrenching break up with her fiancé, Jenna Sinclair heads to the coast to do a little soul searching. To say everything is subject to change is putting it mildly. Her world is not only turned upside down, but pretty much torn asunder when she is pulled through a time gate on the beach beneath the Cliff House and transported more than eight hundred years into the past.

Fletcher Monroe, captain of the garrison knights at Berwyck Castle, has wasted too much time pining for a woman who will never be his. When he finally decides to move on with his life and focus on his duties, he is suddenly confronted with a woman who magically appears at his feet. This could either be the best thing that has ever happened to him or another cursed event in a string of many. He soon finds he is wildly attracted to her, but she’s scared to death of him ─ not a very encouraging beginning.

From the shores of California to twelfth century England and back again, Jenna and Fletcher must find a way to reconcile their two different worlds before Time forever tears them apart.

Learn more on my website on the tab above or here: https://sherryewing.com/books/to-follow-my-heart/

Buy Links:

Amazon US  | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books  |  Kobo
Amazon AU | Amazon  BR | Amazon CA Amazon DE | Amazon ES | Amazon FR | Amazon IN | Amazon IT | Amazon JP | Amazon MX | Amazon NL | Amazon UK

Book2Read: https://books2read.com/u/mdj0Xb

First Kiss Friday with Alina K. Field

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Today’s First Kiss Friday guest is Alina K. Field, with an excerpt from The Impetuous Heiress, her story in the upcoming Christmas Kisses Regency Holiday Romance Anthology. Happy reading and enjoy, my lovelies!

Caught in the rainstorm, our hero and heroine shelter in an inn dining room, and their first kiss is a not so innocent-innocent one: 

Excerpt:

She busied herself, silently serving tea until the door closed. “Your parents aren’t gossips, Mr. Lovelace, but I’ll ask you again, are you?” 

She leveled another long look, one that hinted of a vulnerability that touched his heart. 

“You saved me today, Miss Parker.” Let her believe that. In truth, he’d been plotting for days, seeking a way to spend more time with her. “I owe you my silence, and yes, I’ll tell you again, I’m capable of keeping private matters private. You have my word as a gentleman.”

She studied him a long moment, color rising in her cheeks, before reaching her hand across the table and grinning. “We must shake on it.” 

Her face lit with an intelligence, and playfulness, and open-hearted good nature that stirred him. A man might be comfortable with a woman like Miss Parker. 

He took the hand offered, flipped it over, and pressed his lips to her palm in a kiss that set her whole face aflame and his own heart beating wildly.


Christmas Kisses is available for preorder, only 99 cents. Release day is October 12, 2021.

About the anthology: 

Heat up the holiday with ten dreamy regency rogues! Winter is a time of magic, promise, and unexpected romance. Anything could happen…and it all begins with Christmas Kisses.

The Wallflower’s Christmas Wish (Brides of Bath) by Cheryl Bolen: While painting the portrait of Sir Elvin Steffington, Bath’s most eligible bachelor, the exceedingly plain spinster Diana Furness develops a strong friendship with her subject. Could this be more than friendship? Could he ever be attracted to one as inconsequential as she?

A Kiss From a Captain (An Everly Manor Happily Ever After) by Samantha Grace: Captain Gabriel Brazier defied doctors’ predictions and learned to walk again after losing his leg in war. But the damning voice whispering no woman will find him desirable again is hard to ignore, especially when he arrives at Everly Manor to compete for the charming Lady Laurel’s heart.

A Rogue’s Christmas Kiss (The Rogue Chronicles) by Lana Williams: Mary is shaken by a letter requesting she return home for Christmas. But her world is truly upended when she reunites with a former love for the long journey. Arthur has no desire to rekindle their relationship after Mary broke his heart, but a snowstorm and some passionate kisses just might reignite their love.

’Twas the Rogue Before Christmas (The Honorable Rogues®) by Collette Cameron: Eager to leave England, American, Jason Steele can’t forget the beautiful noblewoman he saved from a foiled robbery. Determined to behave properly, Lenora Audsley can’t stop thinking about the rogue who rescued her. Can the magic of the holiday season unite these lovers who are forbidden to see each other?

Bound to the Belgian Count (London Lords) by Sasha Cottman: Abandoned bride, Lily is determined to seek an annulment. But when her absent husband Count Maximilian de Viron suddenly appears in court, the judge decides on a unique compromise. Between now and Christmas Eve, the couple must live together, share meals, and talk.

Embracing the Scandal by Barbara Monajem: Harriet is banished for her naughty behavior, and when Jonathan asks for her hand, he is told she is dead. When they meet again, can they overcome the lies and sins of the past to fall in love once again?

A Viscount for Christmas by Suzanna Medeiros: Viscount Thornton returns home for his mother’s annual Christmas party to find a beautiful woman sleeping in his bed. Neither he nor Celia are happy when her mother demands they wed. Can they escape marriage or will they both get the Christmas gift they didn’t know they wanted?

The Impetuous Heiress (The Upstart Christmas Brides) by Alina K. Field: Before dashing Lord Loughton can make amends with his neglected fiancée, the lady’s meddling cousin delivers her to his doorstep. He soon realizes more is amiss than his carelessness. Can he uncover her secrets and win her back before he loses her altogether?

A Duchess for Christmas (Forgotten Heiress) by Alanna Lucas: Grace Banks is looking forward to her first Christmas at the Home for Desolate Ladies, but Edward, Duke of Tavistock, is set upon ruining it, and the secrets keeping them apart leave little hope for reconciliation. Can the spirit of Christmas heal two wounded hearts?

Let it Snow by Heather Boyd: When the worst scoundrel in her acquaintance rescues Yvette from a winter storm, she fears a holiday spent dodging his attempts at seduction. But more than one yuletide surprise awaits as she discovers Luc is a man of surprising patience, and passion for just one woman…Yvette herself.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTT1PG8

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08MTT1PG8

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08MTT1PG8

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08MTT1PG8

Apple Books 

https://books.apple.com/us/book/christmas-kisses/id1538877649

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/christmas-kisses/id1538877649

https://books.apple.com/ca/book/christmas-kisses/id1538877649

https://books.apple.com/au/book/christmas-kisses/id1538877649

Barnes & Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-kisses-cheryl-bolen/1138033752?ean=2940162733775

Kobo 

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/christmas-kisses-13

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/christmas-kisses-13

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/christmas-kisses-13

https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/christmas-kisses-13

Google

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=l083EAAAQBAJ

Author Bio and links:

Award winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature but prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California, where she shares a midcentury home with her husband and a spunky, blond rescued terrier. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. Though hard at work on her next series of romantic adventures, she loves to hear from readers!

Website: https://alinakfield.com/ 

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alinakfield 

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/alinakfield

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alina-k-field

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alinak.field/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173518.Alina_K_Field

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alinakf/

Bingebooks: https://bingebooks.com/author/alina-k-field

Newsletter signup: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z6q6e3

Other books in the
The Upstart Christmas Brides Series

The Duke She Despised
Convincing the Countess

Join me for the 2nd Annual Fall Into a Book Giveaway!

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For today only, join me and over 225 authors for the 2nd Annual Fall Into a Book Giveaway! You’ll need to join the Facebook group Isn’t it Romantic Book Club here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/isntitromanticbookclub. I’ll be posting later in the morning PDT where you’ll need to respond to several questions to be in the running for a signed paperback of my debut novel If My Heart Could See You. I’ll also give away an eCopy of my RONE Finalist Love Will Find You in my Knights of Berwyck, Quest Through Time series.

You don’t want to miss this opportunity for lots of fun, games, and more importantly lots of ways to win!

First Kiss Friday with Meara Platt

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Welcome to another First Kiss Friday. It’s a pleasure to welcome back my friend, Meara Platt who has an excerpt from The Wonder of Love. Isn’t this cover just beautiful? Happy reading, my lovelies, and enjoy!

Excerpt:

Shayne closed his sketchbook and rose to leave. “Lock up behind me. Same caution applies. Let no one in but your aunt and sister. I’ll be back as soon as I’ve given this sketch to Lorcan. I’ll do up a few more for my other trackers, too.”

He walked to the door.

Willow scrambled off the bed and followed him, placing a soft hand on his shoulder when he reached for the latch. “Mr. Brayden, I know we got off to a bad start. Well, a most unpromising start. I think you do not like me very much. I suppose I am too outspoken. But I want you to know I appreciate all you’ve done for me and my sisters.”

“It’s my job.”

She nodded, now staring up at him with those big, blue eyes capable of drowning a man if he weren’t careful. “I’m sorry if I behaved like a banshee earlier. That book…I wish I could make you understand how important it is to me. I promise you, I am not as demented as you believe me to be.”

He grinned.

“Cammy and I are on our way to London to be thrown into the marriage mart. We don’t know the first thing about men, about finding the right one and falling in love. This is why we desperately needed the lessons in this book.”

He cupped her cheek and gave it a light caress. She was standing in her bare feet, a thin robe wrapped around her slender body, and that wild tumble of molten hair spilling over her shoulders. “Willow, you are wrong and I will prove it to you.”

She nipped at her lower lip. “How will you do that?”

“If you can abide to be in my company, I will tell you all you need to know about men. Believe me, we are simple creatures. Our discussions shouldn’t take long.”

She eyed him dubiously. “You would help me?”

“Yes, despite your attempts to maim me,” he teased, slipping his hand off her cheek before she noticed how much she affected him.

She groaned lightly. “I’ve already apologized for that. But I don’t think you appreciate the importance of that book.”

“And I think you are placing far too much importance on it.” He knew he ought to get back to his office as soon as possible, but leaving Willow was surprisingly hard to do. “There are just a few things to remember when dealing with men.”

“Such as?”

“Do not ever be alone with a man.”

She nodded, obviously overlooking that they were alone and in her bedroom of all places. Alarms should be going off in her head, the blare of a warning trumpet. The bang of a drum. But she appeared not at all concerned.

He did not know whether to be grateful she trusted him or angry that she considered him safe, which he decidedly was not. “Do not ever be alone with a man while you are undressed.”

She nodded again.

Lord, have mercy!

Did she think he was a eunuch?

“Do not ever let a man kiss you.”

She frowned. “That cannot be right. How am I to know if our senses are compatible? Why can I not allow him one kiss?”

“Because…it isn’t safe. It isn’t wise. You cannot go around kissing men.”

She tossed her hair back and tipped her head up in a huff to mark her indignation. “I haven’t kissed any men yet. But I should be permitted to kiss any man I consider marrying, don’t you think? Not that I am rushing to do it. I don’t even know what a kiss feels like. And you needn’t worry because I am not going to kiss you.”

He placed his hand on the door, knowing he had to leave right now or this was not going to end well. “Nor would I ever consider kissing you.” Blatant lie, of course. Capturing her lips was all he’d been thinking about for days. “You needn’t worry that I ever will.”

He expected her to kick him out right then and there. Instead, she turned so quiet, he could feel the silence prickle between them. “Willow? I’m sorry. It came out wrong. Any man would be delighted to kiss you.”

“Just not you.” She emitted a ragged breath. “I knew you did not like me. What is it about me that puts you off? You needn’t be kind to spare my feelings. It is important for me to understand. The Book of Love says we must always be truthful. So you can be honest with me. Do you not like the way I look? My hair is a little too red, I think. I know I am far too opinionated for most men’s tastes. I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut even when I know I ought to clamp it tight. What of the five senses, sight, touch, taste, hearing, and scent? Is there anything you do find pleasing about me?”

He laughed and shook his head. “I had better go.”

“But you haven’t answered a single question.”

“Latch the door after me. Put some clothes on. And don’t go around kissing men. I’ll see you later.”

He should have walked straight out and not looked back. But he did look back and she hadn’t moved. She stood there with her head down and her hands were trembling. Did this girl not realize how beautiful she was?

He felt like a wretch.

Well, how was it his fault? Wasn’t she opinionated, outspoken, too independent for her own good? There were dangerous men lurking around and she was a little thing, too little to defend herself if those fiends ever got their hands on her.

How was he to protect her if she insisted on doing whatever she wished? Not that he wanted her to be biddable or timid.

He gave a silent oath and turned to her. “You irritate me to no end.”

“You are no garden of delight either. Does this mean you are going to answer my questions? Why are you looking at me like that?”

He cupped the back of her head and drew her close. “How am I looking at you?”

She swallowed hard. “Like you want to–”

He kissed her as he’d longed to do from the moment he had set eyes on her, and kept kissing her even though his brain was warning him to stop. But he was listening to his body that was screaming for fulfillment.

No.

No.

This was not what he’d planned.

This is not what he wanted.

Her soft, giving lips yielded to the press of his mouth. Her fingers clutched the front of his shirt, grabbing onto the taut fabric to draw him toward her. They were so close…too close. He inhaled the scent of orange blossoms on her warm skin.

Why was he kissing this little nuisance?

Worse, what was he going to say to her once he pulled away? After an achingly long moment, he eased his lips off hers and took a step back. “Willow…”

“You needn’t apologize. I understand the lesson you were trying to teach me.” She pursed her lips and continued. “The book warned about this very thing.”

“What very thing?”

“Men will kiss women they do not like. They separate the physical urge from the bond of love. To a man, one has nothing to do with the other. It is merely their low brain responding to a female they perceive as desirable, and they perceive thousands of women to be desirable. Nothing to do with the higher act of love. Is this what you were trying to point out to me?”

He could have nodded and blithely gone on his way.

But this was her first kiss ever. He was not going to ruin the memory for her. “No, Willow. That kiss was from my heart. It was me kissing you because I like you and think you are beautiful.”

She mistook his words as a jest at first.

Had he been that much of an ogre to her?

“You’re serious? You like me?”

He clutched the sketchbook in his hand, relieved he had kept hold of it. If he’d had both hands free, that robe would have been off her and he would have been busily kissing more than her lips.

She suddenly shoved him out the door, shut and latched it firmly, then began to chatter at him through the door. “Do you realize what this means? It is impossible, you know. It is not to be considered. Are you still there Mr. Brayden? No, do not answer that. I want you gone. Do not darken my door again. You have no idea what you’ve just done. But do not apologize to me for that kiss. It was wonderful. However, I am still overset and angry.”

He leaned against the door, trying to make sense of what she was going on about. She’d liked the kiss. No apology required, although he had been out of bounds and did owe her one even though she had forgiven him. “Willow, why are you angry?”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

He groaned, for this is what came of growing up with only brothers. Bedding a woman was a far different thing from building a life and being a good husband to the one you loved. Outside of bed, women were a mystery to him. “Not in the least. Would you care to enlighten me?”

“No, Mr. Brayden. Go away now. But rest assured nothing has changed between us. One splendid kiss does not change anything. I am still certain I do not like you and I hope you still do not like me. I expect that is all right with you. Is it, Mr. Brayden?”

He should have responded with a simple yes.

She would be on her way to London to snare a titled idiot for herself and his life would return to normal.

Only, he did not want normal.

He – Lord help him – wanted this fiery Farthingale.

“No, Willow. It is not all right.”


The Wonder of Love
By Meara Platt

She was in danger. He meant to protect her. But could he protect his heart?
More Regency fun as The Book of Love brings together two reluctant hearts.

Willow Farthingale never meant to punch Taunton’s magistrate, Shayne Brayden, in the nose. And she certainly did not set the fire that destroyed the coaching inn’s carriage house the very morning she was to leave for London and her society debut. But she might have seen who did, and now the handsome magistrate is not letting her out of his protection until the culprits are safely rounded up. Well, if he’s going to hold her in town under his watchful eye, then she may as well use the time productively and test out those love recipes in The Book of Love on him.

Shayne Brayden knew the fiery-haired Willow was trouble the moment he set eyes on her, but if she had seen the villains who set the carriage house fire, then it was possible they’d also seen her and meant to silence her. Shayne did not care how irritating she was, or how desperately he wanted to kiss her, he was going to do his duty and protect her. But how was he to protect his heart, especially when she was toting that book about love around, and its ‘recipes’ seemed to be working on him?

Buy Link: https://bit.ly/TheWonderOfLove 

About the Author:

 Meara Platt is an award winning, USA TODAY bestselling author and an Amazon UK All-Star. Her favorite place in all the world is England’s Lake District, which may not come as a surprise since many of her stories are set in that idyllic landscape, including her paranormal romance Dark Gardens series. Learn more about the Dark Gardens and Meara’s lighthearted and humorous Regency romances in her Farthingale series and Book of Love series, or her warmhearted Regency romances in her Braydens series by visiting her website at www.mearaplatt.com.

Meara Platt Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMearaPlatt/

Amazon Author Link: http://www.amazon.com/Meara-Platt/e/B00PO672QU

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meara-platt

Website: www.mearaplatt.com

Newsletterhttp://bit.ly/meara-platts-newsletter

Free download If You Kissed Me for free form signup link is this: http://bit.ly/free-novella-download

First Kiss Friday with Celeste Barclay

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Glad you can drop by my First Kiss Friday blog! Please welcome back author Celeste Barclay who as a lovely first kiss scene from An Outsider at the Highland Court . Isn’t the cover gorgeous? Happy reading and enjoy, my lovelies!

Excerpt:

“We don’t always get what we want, Catherine,” Andrew stated pointedly as his head canted toward Rab. Catherine realized he’d positioned them on purpose. He wanted Rab to understand he was moving forward with a marriage. Catherine’s hands fisted at her side, and Andrew nearly took a step back, recognizing the near menacing edge in Catherine’s gaze. He’d been on the receiving end more than once as a lad when he’d crossed the line, teasing Catherine or his sisters. There’d inevitably been hell to pay afterward.

“I’m walking away. If I stand here another moment, I will get some wicked thought in my head. And you know you barely survive when I do.” Catherine caught a slight movement beyond Andrew’s shoulder. Rather than looking at Rab directly, she allowed her peripheral vision to catch him nod toward the terrace. Catherine cocked a challenging eyebrow at Andrew but hoped Rab recognized it as the expression she’d always given when she waited for him to lead them on an adventure. Before Andrew could say anything, she stepped around him and entered the crowd of dancers. She moved through the people, avoiding bumping into dancing couples until she watched both Andrew and Rab without being obvious. She caught sight of the back of Rab as he eased through the terrace doors. She noticed Andrew already deep in conversation with a Keith delegate. Catherine slipped through a set of doors into a passageway, then sprinted along it until she could inch open a door that led to the bailey. She hurried through and made her way to the terrace.

“Kitty,” Rab whispered. His hulking form emerged from the shadows. It would have been intimidating if Catherine had ever feared Rab a day in her life.

“Shh. Follow me.” Catherine reached out her hand, slipping it into Rab’s. She led them across the bailey and into the dark gardens. When they were sufficiently far enough into the orchard on the far side of the garden, Catherine stopped. Neither knew who reached out first, but they fell into one another’s arms. The embrace was fierce, each of them clinging to the other. Both implicitly knew this might be the only chance they had to share a private moment together. 

As they eased their hold, their mouths sought one another. It wasn’t the first kiss they’d shared, but it was the most intense, far more than a mere peck. It was as though it brought them back to life after sleeping through years of their lives. It was languid, the opposite of the ferocity of their embrace. Rab ran his hand over Catherine’s back as the other wrapped around her waist. Her hands tunneled into his hair as she gave herself over to the kiss.

But a thought niggled at the back of Rab’s mind, which he couldn’t push aside. He drew away from Catherine but cupped her cheeks.

“I have dreamed of doing that every day since the last time I was with ye. It’s always been ye.” Rab straightened as he peered over Catherine’s shoulder. “I want naught more than to lose maself in yer kisses until ma last breath. But I canna.”

Rab stepped back and ran a hand through his hair as he debated how to proceed. He knew he was about to hurt Catherine, but he refused to keep anything from her, especially if she only learned of it later and from someone else.


An Outsider at the Highland Court
by Celeste Barclay

Lady Catherine MacFarlane thought she knew who she was going to marry. A man courted her, and her cousin arranged a betrothal. But when her should-be-betrothed decides to embroil himself in scandal, Catherine is left practically at the altar. With few options available at court, Catherine wonders if she can convince her uncle, Laird MacFarlane, to allow her to return home to the Highlands.

Rab MacLaren is the type of Highlander every lady at court talks about: savage and uncouth. Disinterested in women who spend their days switching gowns and gossiping, Rab is content to conduct his business with King Robert the Bruce and leave. He’s not inclined to reform his rugged Highland ways and is content to be an outsider until Rab encounters Catherine, a woman he hasn’t seen since childhood. 

Ongoing strife between the MacFarlanes and MacLarens forces Catherine and Rab to keep to the shadows. Will their romance ever see the light and have a chance to bloom?

If you love a steamy secret lovers romance, then you’re sure to enjoy Celeste Barclay’s sizzling new Highlander romance, An Outsider at the Highland Court.

Universal Buy Link: www.books2read.com/outsiderhighland

About the Author:

Celeste Barclay, a nom de plume, lives near the Southern California coast with her husband and sons. Growing up in the Midwest, Celeste enjoyed spending as much time in and on the water as she could. Now she lives near the beach. She’s an avid swimmer, a hopeful future surfer, and a former rower. When she’s not writing, she’s working or being a mom. 

Social Media:

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/celestembarclay

FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/celestebarclaysladiesofyore/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/celestembarclay

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/celestebarclayauthor

First Kiss Friday with Veronica Crowe

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Happy First Kiss Friday! Welcome back to my blog and say hello to my friend Veronica Crowe who has an excerpt to share from her novel My Only Earl. Happy reading, my lovelies, and enjoy!

Excerpt:

A shiver ran through her as she recalled how his lips felt like, tasted like, that Christmas night when they were young, and she had stolen a kiss from him under the mistletoe beneath this very same doorway. 

Now that he was a grown man, and she a grown woman, would it be different?

As if he heard her secret musings, suddenly his smile disappeared and the laughter in his eyes turned to molten heat.

Her eyes widened, heart racing, the air vacating her lungs as his smoldering gaze fell on her lips.

“My turn,” he said softly, tilting her face to his, capturing her mouth in a voluptuous kiss that was heart-stopping and soul-deep. 

Everything around her blurred and stilled, save for the ticking of the clock on the mantel.

His lips firmed, his kiss becoming more insistent, coaxing her to part her lips and allow him in. 

She did—and found herself drowning in ecstasy at the feel and taste of him. 

Her arms twined around his neck of their own volition. 

He gathered her closer in his embrace in return. 

Their bodies merged, her softness crushed to his hardness, molded as one. 

His tongue explored her mouth, twining with hers—stroking, caressing, cajoling. He angled his mouth to gain more access. 

She gave in—and he devoured her with such intensity and boldness, it took her breath away. 

She clung to him for dear life as he consumed her, taking his fill over and over until finally sated. Then he withdrew and his kiss gentled, fading into tiny, feathered kisses on the corners of her mouth, her chin, her cheek—ending with her forehead resting against his.

They stood still beneath the doorway, eyes closed, chests rising and falling, gasping for air, neither saying a word until she felt him loosen his embrace, prompting her to untwine her arms around his neck and take a step back. 

Their eyes locked, staring at each other for a long moment before a slow crooked smile rose on his lips.“Well, Poppet, if you must know—I think my kiss was better than yours.” He grinned and tapped a forefinger on her nose, and then walked away, leaving her gaping after him. 


My Only Earl
By Veronica Crowe

Touted by The Gazette as The Most Handsome Man in All of England.
Edward Devlin Huntington, Earl of Calverston, has been friends with Diana since childhood. As the years went by, their friendship blossomed into young love that each found hard to deny. But when Diana debuted in her first London Season, she instantly became the diamond of the ton. The most eligible, high-ranking gentlemen vied for her hand. Competition was fierce, and Edward, an undergraduate with nothing to his name except for a mere courtesy title, felt unworthy of his beloved childhood friend, who took the ton by storm with her incomparable beauty, sharp wit, and impressive accomplishments. Discouraged, Edward sailed to America to manage a trading company in New York and make a name for himself.

Seven years later, he returned home a different man: Distinguished, worldly, successful, and breathtakingly wealthy. His only conundrum was, did Diana still hold a place in her heart for him?

Or was he too late?

The Incomparable Diamond of the upper ten thousand.
Diana Juliette Radcliffe, only daughter of the Duke of Grandstone, had everything – beauty, wealth, success, society’s admiration—but not the man she’s loved since her youth. She had convinced herself there was no sense in pining for someone who did not reciprocate her affections—until she saw him again at his Welcome Ball. Stunned by her reaction to his presence, and the sudden reemergence of the love she thought long gone, she vowed to deny her feelings and keep their relationship friendly.

If only it were that easy.

Because Edward’s kisses kept her wanting, and no matter how hard she tried to prevent herself from falling, every touch and every kiss rekindled her love for him. Terrified of going down that road again, she knew she could not go through the agony of another heartbreak. His show of affection sent her reeling with both joy and trepidation. What did Edward want from her? Why did he come back?

Would he leave her if he learned she was betrothed to another?
Heirs of Cornwall
The Wrong Prince
The Viscount’s Heir
My Only Earl

This is from the third installment of the Heirs of Cornwall series, My Only Earl. It’s available for free on KU or buy it here:  https://bit.ly/MyOnlyEarl

About the Author:

Veronica Crowe is the author of the Heirs of Cornwall series under Dragonblade Publishing.She is an entrepreneur and runs several online ventures including PeriodImages.com.She lives in Southern California with her husband and son in a house that looks like a historical movie set.They have three cats: A fat one, a thin one, and an obnoxious one that constantly pesters her when she writes.  

Find Veronica on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Veronica-Crowe-107641207752085/?ref=pages_you_manage

First Kiss Friday with Jude Knight & a Giveaway!

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Glad you could make it over to my First Kiss Friday blog! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am that Jude Knight has finally written the story of Aldridge, the Merry Marquis. I’ve been waiting for years and after having the privilege to beta read To Tame the Wild Rake, I know you’re just going to love it. Be sure to check out Jude’s Rafflecopter giveaway below in celebration of her soon to be released novel. Happy reading this first kiss scene, my lovelies, and enjoy!

In this excerpt from the novel To Tame the Wild Rake, Charlotte has come to Aldridge and asked him to take her to bed. He hopes by doing so to convince her to marry him. 

Excerpt:

Anthony poured another two drinks and brought them to set them on the low table, then took his seat beside her. “There are some things I need you to agree to, Cherry. Guidelines, if you will.”

Charlotte nodded, cautiously.

“First, we do nothing that you don’t like. Stop me if I frighten you or go too fast for you.”

She nodded, but reminded him, “I am not a virgin, Anthony.”

He kissed her, another quick peck on the lips. “Your only experience was horrific. We need to make sure nothing we do is anything like what happened to you, so you will tell me if you are frightened or if you want to stop for any reason. Any reason at all. Will you promise?”

She nodded again.

“Second,” he said, “and it is connected, you will let me know what you like. What you enjoy; what gives you pleasure. Every woman is different, and you and I will discover together the surest and best ways to bring your body to the sweetest of all destinations, that state of bliss the French call le petit mort, and that doctors call a paroxysm.” 

He was stroking her hands as he spoke, long brushes of his fingers, and the tingling he produced was making it hard to think. “I like what you are doing now,” she said, and he smiled.

“I’m glad. I like it, too. Third, I want you to remember that the journey is not just about the destination. As we travel this path together, we will take as long as we need, and we will enjoy everything we do together. It does not matter if you do not, this time, reach your paroxysm; if I do not. We will have a memorable journey.” He lifted her tingling hands and placed a lingering kiss in first one palm, then the other.

“May I help you off with your pelisse?”

She nodded again, and then grasped her courage and told him, “If I can help you with your coat.” 

He pressed his next kiss to one corner of her lips. “We shall disrobe one another, then. You start, my angel.”

How to do this? His coat was moulded to his form, fitting his shoulders like a second skin. If he turned his back on her so she could ease the garment off from behind, he would have to stop kissing her, running his lips down one side of her face and then up the other.

She slipped her hands out of his, put her palms on his chest and slid them under the coat and up towards the shoulders. He took a shuddering breath at her touch, and nuzzled her ear, which distracted her from her task and set her trembling.

Focus, Charlotte. She ran her right hand over his shoulder, pushing the coat backwards and down his arm. He dipped and twisted that side, then used his other hand to pull the sleeve over his wrist and down. The other side slipped easily, and she caught the coat, folded it by its shoulders, and leaned away to lay it on the nearest chair.

“My turn, Cherry,” he said, catching her around the waist and pulling her to him for another kiss, this one full on the lips, his mouth open, his tongue shaping her lips until she gasped at the shock of pleasure that speared through her, and his tongue darted inside. She sank into the sensation, conscious of nothing but his mouth on hers until she felt him easing her pelisse off one shoulder. She turned her head to look, breaking the kiss, grateful for the firm hand around her waist and for the support of the sofa, for all her bones had turned to jelly. She had not even been aware of him unbuttoning her garment with his free hand. 

“Too fast?” he asked. She shook her head, her voice having got lost somewhere during that kiss.

The concern faded from his eyes, to be replaced by heat, as he changed the supporting hand and removed the pelisse from her other arm, tossing it onto the chair after his own coat.

She evaded his mouth so she could find his cravat pin, but she unknotted and unwound the cravat blind, as she allowed him to indulge her in another melting kiss.


To Tame the Wild Rake

The whole world knows Aldridge is a wicked sinner. They used to be right.

The ton has labelled Charlotte a saint for her virtue and good works. They don’t know the ruinous secret she hides.

Then an implacable enemy reveals all. The past that haunts them wounds their nearest relatives and turns any hope of a future to ashes.

Must they choose between family and one another?

Buy Links

Jude Knight’s book page https://judeknightauthor.com/books/to-tame-the-wild-rake/  

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09944JGMR/

Other links at Books2Read: https://books2read.com/CMK-ToTame

GIVEAWAY!

Jude is running six weeks of giveaways, contests, discounts, and extracts to celebrate the launch of To Tame the Wild Rake, with a grand prize at the end of it all.

Read all about it on her website https://judeknightauthor.com/2021/08/20/celebrating-to-tame-the-wild-rake/

And enter the contest on http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a3037e757/

More about Jude

Jude Knight always wanted to be a novelist, but life got in the way for decades and she nearly lost the dream. She wrote a thousand beginnings, but it took a huge life event to shove her into writing an ending. That was in 2014. Eight novels and counting later, plus short stories and novellas galore, she’s living her dream: writing historical fiction with a large helping of romance, more than a dash of suspense, and a sprinkling of humor.

Subscribe to newsletterhttp://judeknightauthor.com/newsletter/

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First Kiss Friday with Jessica A. Clements

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tHappy Friday and welcome to my First Kiss Friday blog. Today I have a new author for you, Jessica A. Clements who has an snippet from her story A Spy For Minerva. Happy reading, my lovelies, and enjoy!

Excerpt:

“She was a natural, with pent-up passion that was raging into an inferno–and he was caught in her spell. She was beautiful, maybe a bit young for his elevated tastes, but she was, at that moment, the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes on. He continued to ravage her mouth, flicking his tongue past her lips and into the wet heaven of her mouth. Her tongue warred innocently with his, her inexperience apparently even to his hazy mind. He would have to go slowly with her, teaching her about the pleasures that could be had between them.”


A Spy for Minerva
The Rakes and the Crown, Book 2

By Jessica A. Clements
Release date 8/24/21

After watching her parents die in a vicious carriage accident, Lady Minerva Hatfield knew that her life would change forever. She had trained since childhood to be a spy in the illustrious spy network, the Rakes of the Crown. But, with the Order on her heels, she has to hide – in plain sight- to save her life.

Lord Jacob Spencer, the Earl of Blackridge, has no clue that he has a spy living in his home. That is, until, his best friend married Lady Juliana Hatfield. Then out of the woodwork, literally, came Minerva – the identical twin sister of his friends new wife.

Will Jacob and Minerva’s past come between them? Will the Order agent succeed in killing her? And, will love conquer all?

Amazon – AVAILABLE 8/24

BN – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-spy-for-minerva-jessica-clements/1137210960?ean=2940164534103

Apple Books – https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-spy-for-minerva/id1563231539

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-spy-for-minerva-1

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57757221-a-spy-for-minerva

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-spy-for-minerva-by-jessica-clements

https://books2read.com/u/4DRJNr

About the Author:

Jessica Clements writes historical romances set during the US Civil War and the Regency Eras. When she’s not writing she is playing with her son, composing music, playing in a band, and working her day job. 

One of the many things she and her son love to do is travel to new historical places. They have been to: Custer’s Battlefield, Saint Augustine, Savannah, and a couple of smaller battlefields in Alabama. They hope to be able to add to their list soon. 

Website – https://www.jessicaanneclements.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAClementsNavarro/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jessicaanneclementsauthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/jclementsauthor

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Clements/e/B01LZNFGST

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18576993.Jessica_A_Clements

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-clements

Facebook Reader Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/2497384330578831