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!


“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?

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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. 

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First Kiss Friday with Collette Cameron


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Welcome to my First Kiss Blog! I’m so happy you’ve joined me and my guest author. Today’s returning guest is the fabulous Collette Cameron who is sharing a lovely first kiss scene for your reading pleasure from Loved By A Dangerous Duke that releases on July 20th. Enjoy, my lovelies!


“My dear,” Pennington said. “I’ve promised Asherford he might a few moments alone with his betrothed before the other guests arrive.”

Ophelia’s gaze flew to meet Stan’s before she swiftly dropped her attention to her tightly clasped hands. 

A most reluctant bride.

His gut wrenched. Could he go through with the marriage when Ophelia so obviously didn’t want to? The Dangerous Duke wouldn’t have hesitated. But Stan didn’t want to be that man anymore. 

Ophelia had changed him.

No. She’d made him want to change. 

That question echoed in Stan’s mind as the duchess slid her sister an inquisitive glance. If Ophelia wanted her to stay, he had no doubt she would, despite her husband’s polite request.

When Ophelia summoned a smile and a nod, her grace extended her hand toward Pennington. “I need to look in on cook in any event. I’ve asked her to try a new recipe for lemon queen cakes. Theadosia vows they are the best she’s ever tasted, but Cook was worried about the amount of lemon required. She feared they’d be bitter.” 

Theadosia was the Duke of Sutcliffe’s wife. She was also a bosom friend of Ophelia and her twin. Stan made a point to know such details. 

At the door, her grace turned. “We’ll be back shortly, Ophelia. You aren’t wed yet, and we don’t want any more scandals. I shall leave the door open.”

“Of course,” Ophelia said though color stained the delicate slope of her cheekbones. 

The duke and duchess took their leave.

Stan waited until their footsteps faded in the corridor before he crossed the room and, after a slight hesitation, sat beside Ophelia on the navy-blue and gold silk striped settee. 

“How are you, Ophelia?” 

“I am well.” She brushed a curl away from her ear. “Thank you for the lovebirds. Oh, and the chocolate and flowers, of course.” 

The indecipherable mask slipped away, and hazel eyes twinkling, she grinned. No coy smiles or seductive upward sweeps of her lips. Ophelia expressed emotions without artifice. 

“The birds are in my chamber. They are the sweetest pair. I’ve named them Orsino and Viola from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

“But didn’t Orsino love Olivia while Viola secretly loved him?” Stan teased. “And he thought she was a man, to boot?”

Ophelia pulled a playful face at him. “I refused to name them something as cliché as Romeo and Juliet.” 

“Or Cleopatra and Antony?” he quipped.

“Indeed, not. Those tragic characters killed themselves.”

Tilting her head at an endearing angle, she narrowed her eyes in mock retribution. 

“If you’re not careful, Your Grace, I shall name them something genuinely horrendous like Englebert and Ernestine. Or Hildegarde and Hortensio.” 

“Enough of that ‘Your Grace’ nonsense,” Stan gently admonished. What would she do if he pulled her onto his lap? No. It was best to wait until she was less skittish. “We are to be wed. You know my name and have used it before. I would not have that formality between us.” 

Her expression grew mischievous, and she giggled. “Or I could name the birds Frederick and Florencia.” 

Stan chuckled and then formed an artificial scowl of disapproval. Pretending affront, he said in his most imperious tone, “I’ll have you know, one of my middle names is Frederick.”

“I know,” she said the lowered her voice to a solemn tone. “Stanford Julius Frederick Bancroft, Duke of Asherford. My name is much prettier. Ophelia Audrey Summer Breckensole.” 

At that moment, a piece of his hard heart melted. He’d wrongly believed Ophelia would be sullen or cross, or at the very least, despondent about their upcoming nuptials. But, instead, she jested with him.

“You are a remarkable woman, Ophelia Audrey Summer Breckensole.” 

He bent his head and whisked a kiss across her smiling pink lips.

Going perfectly still, she inhaled sharply but didn’t pull away. 

Her perfume, bergamot and orange blossoms, and perhaps a hint of vanilla, wrapped around his senses in a heady miasma. She smelled incredible, and it took all of his willpower not to nuzzle her neck and lick the tender flesh there to see if she tasted as good as she smelled. 

Stan cupped her cheek and kissed her again, lingering a trifle longer this time. Sweet didn’t begin to describe the taste of her mouth. Desire was too placid a word to define the raging inferno that had erupted in his blood at the touch of her mouth against his.

Stan had chosen Ophelia to be his bride for rational reasons. He hadn’t expected all-consuming passion to overtake him with one kiss. That reaction wasn’t logical or practical. 

Mindful that the Pennington’s were due to return shortly and that sporting a cockstand mightn’t be the best way to ingratiate himself into the good graces of this future in-laws, he drew back. 

Mouth slightly parted and delightfully red, Ophelia searched his eyes. “Why did you kiss me?”

“Because you tempt me beyond self-control, my little dove.” 

“I thought you were always in control.” 

What an odd thing to say, and a great misperception too. “I’m flattered you should think so,” Stan said. “I strive for that appearance.” He paused, then shook his head, his expression rueful and a trifle self-conscious. “No, I used to endeavor for that. No longer.”

Loved by a Dangerous Duke
Seductive Scoundrels, Book 1
By Collette Cameron
Release date 7/20/21

Is she desperate enough to marry a man she loathes? Sadly, yes… 

He always has his way… 

Stanford is aware of his nickname, The Dangerous Duke—and it suits him just fine. Inheriting a bankrupt dukedom and rebuilding it taught him just how useless niceties were. Except now, he’s ready to choose a duchess, and the only one he deems suitable (and enticing) enough despises him. Perhaps he should reconsider the value of niceties… 

She’s a most reluctant bride… 

Ophelia Breckensole knows what she wants, and it is not Stanford. But fate plays into his hand when she finds herself unwittingly compromised. Now, she must wed or face ruination—and Stanford is only too pleased to help. So, she’ll marry him, but she won’t love him. Or so she keeps telling herself… 

But Stanford and Ophelia have much more to overcome on their path to happily ever after than his austere nature and her vow to never love her husband. Stanford’s enemies are determined to make him pay for his past, and they’re willing to use Ophelia to do it. Can this fragile union survive such an onslaught? 

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About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author COLLETTE CAMERON® scribbles Scottish and Regency historical romance novels featuring dashing rogues, rakes, and scoundrels and the spirited heroines who reform them. Blessed with an overactive and witty muse that won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she’s lived in Oregon her entire life. Although she dreams of living in Scotland part-time. A confessed Cadbury chocoholic, you’ll always find a dash of inspiration and a pinch of humor in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances®.




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First Kiss Friday with Eliza Knight


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Thanks for joining me for another First Kiss Friday! Today’s guest is Eliza Knight who is sharing an excerpt from her novel The Scot is Hers. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? We hope you enjoy this first kiss scene. Happy reading, my lovelies!


“And if I’m to be blamed for your ruination,” his gaze shifted to her mouth, “then perhaps ye’d gift me with a kiss?”

Giselle was stunned by the differences between Alec and Sir Joshua. One had taken a kiss without asking, without caring. And this one, the earl she’d agreed to marry, asked for it. 

“And if I said nay?”

He held up his hands and backed away. “Then I shall wait until ye’ve given me permission.”

The other difference between Alec and Sir Joshua was she wanted to kiss this man, and he was giving her the opportunity to do that. 

Oh, she was hot and tingly at the prospect. Giselle nodded, licking her lower lip. “Aye. A kiss.”

This would be her second kiss of the day, and Giselle wanted this experience to erase the first.

“Are ye certain? After everything ye told me about Keith, I feel like a cad for asking.” His gaze flicked from her mouth back to her eyes. “I got carried away in the moment.” 

For the briefest instant, the hard mask he wore for everyone else disappeared, revealing the softer, more vulnerable man inside. Then it was gone, replaced by the wicked earl, the beast she wanted to tame.

“There are many differences between ye and Sir Joshua Keith, no’ least of which is that ye, as prone to growling as I’ve found ye, are no’ a true beast at heart.” And she meant that, even when she’d found him in the garden a few years ago, she hadn’t been scared, hadn’t thought him cruel. He was more like a wounded animal. Even now. In search of a balm to the heart.

“I am flattered ye would say so.”

“I am serious.” And she needed to remember that he’d called their marriage a business deal. A transaction. She couldn’t let herself forget that or allow any emotions to play a part. 

“Thank ye,” he said softly, swallowing hard enough she could see his throat bob.

Giselle smiled, shimmied her shoulders gently, and said, “Now ye may kiss me and be on your way before Jaime barges in here to witness. Or your mother, for that matter.”

“My mother might bring a small army. Though ’tis likely Jaime would bring Lorne.”

“She is a dear friend.”

“And a good one from the sounds of it.”

Giselle nodded, butterflies dancing in her belly. “I’m ready.”

“I’m no’,” Alec murmured, but his actions said otherwise as he leaned toward her. 

She watched his face descend and then closed her eyes when his breath fanned over her mouth the second before his lips touched hers. They were soft, tender, and not in the least intrusive. This kiss was the complete opposite of what she’d had with Sir Joshua, and as she’d wished, it erased the horror of before, replacing the memory with the scent of Alec, the melding of their mouths in such a delicious fashion. He tasted the way he smelled, of spice. A hint of cinnamon.

The hair of his beard was not as bristly as she’d expected, tickling her, but not in an irritating way, rather only heightening her senses.

Alec’s face tilted, the tip of his nose brushing her cheek as he deepened the kiss. Lips overlapping and then between. And his tongue… Oh, Giselle gasped, then sighed, as the velvet tip fluttered out to tease her sensitive lips. He tasted the inside, skimming over the plush flesh of her lower lip. On instinct, she touched her tongue to his, then darted it back as waves of pleasure and desire coursed through her. This was…this was… She didn’t know what she could even say about it other than it was pure bliss.

Giselle leaned into him, her fingers curling in the lapel of his frockcoat, wanting to explore more than that. And she noticed then that Alec kept his hands to himself, braced on either side of her. She had the sudden desire for him to misbehave, to discover all of her body the way she wanted to unearth his.

by Eliza Knight

Highland war heroes rebuilding their lives grapple with ladies forging their own paths—who will win?

Regency Scotland comes alive in the vibrant and sexy new SCOTS OF HONOR series by USA TODAY bestselling author Eliza Knight. Scottish military heroes, who want nothing more than to lay low after the ravages of war in 19th century France, find their Highland homecomings vastly contradict their simple desires. Especially when they meet the feisty lasses who are tenacious enough to take them on, and show them just what they’ve been missing out of life. In battle they can’t be beaten, but in love, they all find the ultimate surrender.

When Lord Alec Hay, Earl of Errol returns from war, his mother is determined to see him wed. But he wants only to escape into the darkest room in his ruined castle and relive the harrowing moments in battle where he was unable to save his best friend…

Lady Giselle Hepburn, an impulsive lass, rides out from a neighboring estate during a storm, attempting to escape her family and a forced marriage to a man with a vicious dark side. She falls off her horse and nearly tumbles over a cliff, but is saved by a handsome, mysterious Highlander. With a twisted ankle, and the weather too dangerous to attempt riding, Giselle agrees to ride out the storm all night with the stranger…

To Alec’s shock, Giselle is the first woman who doesn’t shy away from his scar and treats him like a man rather than a hideous barbarian. As the storm rages through the night, they each confess their meddling family’s determination to see them wed——and he learns her intended is his greatest enemy. Alec insists that she accompany him back to his house to convalesce, where he presents her with a solution to both of their problems: —what if they wed each other in secret? Could a marriage of convenience free them both from their unwanted troubles, or will love be an incredibly inconvenient development?

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About the author:

ELIZA KNIGHT is an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty sizzling historical romances. Under the name E. Knight, she’s known for riveting tales that cross landscapes around the world. Her love of history began as a young girl when she traipsed the halls of Versailles and ran through the fields in Southern France. While not reading, writing, or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping, and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain with her own knight in shining armor, three princesses, and two very naughty newfies. Visit Eliza at or her historical blog History Undressed: @ElizaKnight

First Kiss Friday with Jude Knight


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Welcome to my First Kiss Friday Blog. Today’s guest is one of my favorite authors and a dear friend. Please enjoy this excerpt from To Claim the Long-Lost Lover which releases today! Happy reading, my lovelies!

In this excerpt from the novel To Claim the Long-Lost Lover, the hero and heroine have met after seven years apart. He wants a second chance. She is reluctant to trust him again. You’ll have to read the book to find out more. 


“Until tomorrow.” Sarah gave in to the impulse to offer him her hands again, and this time he pulled her close and lowered his head, stopping when his lips were no more than an inch from hers. She waited a moment. He stayed where he was, the terrible man. Sarah raised herself that inch, her mouth tentative on his.

Odd. She thought she remembered his kisses. But she had forgotten the sweetness of it, the way his lips softened, the touch of his tongue asking her to open, the way he stroked into her mouth. With each moment, as the kiss deepened and his gentle persuasion became more insistent, more urgent, the memories flooded back. 

That summer, they had discovered a hundred ways to kiss, a thousand. Different touches, different pressures, different positions. This, hand in hand, nothing but their mouths connected, was tame compared to some of their explorations, but there was nothing tame about the impact.

Cold? She could do with some cold. A dip in ice would not put out the conflagration. 

When he pulled away, she whimpered.

His voice was strained as he stepped back, using his grasp on her hands to hold her at arm’s-length. “Dearest heart, have mercy. I am on fire, and if you are not going to invite me to stay…”

Oh. Her face heated. She dropped her gaze to his fall and blinked. 

“Indeed,” he confirmed, with a short laugh. “I thought I had acquired considerable control over these past seven years, but you are fast demolishing it, my lady. Let me wish you a good night while I am still sane enough to be a gentleman.”

He was correct again, though for a wild moment she had not been able to think of any reason not to invite him to continue what they’d started. “Tomorrow, then,” she managed.

Nate gave her hands a final squeeze and released them. “Tomorrow,” he confirmed, with a bow. 

Sarah followed him to the door and watched him cross the entrance hall where a footman waited to let him out. Four, she said to herself as the door closed behind him. One more point for that kiss, and another for stopping.

To Claim the Long-Lost Lover
by Jude Knight

The beauty known as the Winderfield Diamond hides a ruinous secret. Society’s newest viscount holds the key.

Sarah’s beloved abandoned her seven years ago, leaving her to face the anger of her family and worse. And now he is back, more compelling than ever. Sarah is even lovelier than when she was a girl, but what did she know about her father’s revenge on Nate: forcible enlistment into the navy and years of servitude?

Released 30 July

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Jude Knight’s book page

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Other links on Books2Read

About Jude Knight

Have you ever wanted something so much you were afraid to even try? That was Jude ten years ago.

For as long as she can remember, she’s wanted to be a novelist. She even started dozens of stories, over the years. 

But life kept getting in the way. A seriously ill child who required years of therapy; a rising mortgage that led to a full-time job; six children, her own chronic illness… the writing took a back seat.

As the years passed, the fear grew. If she didn’t put her stories out there in the market, she wouldn’t risk making a fool of herself. She could keep the dream alive if she never put it to the test.

Then her mother died. That great lady had waited her whole life to read a novel of Jude’s, and now it would never happen.

So Jude faced her fear and changed it–told everyone she knew she was writing a novel. Now she’d make a fool of herself for certain if she didn’t finish.

Her first book came out to excellent reviews in December 2014, and the rest is history. Many books, lots of positive reviews, and a few awards later, she plans to keep publishing until she runs out of years.

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First Kiss Friday with April Holthaus & a Giveaway!


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Welcome to this weeks First Kiss Friday blog! My guest today is April Holthaus who will be sharing an excerpt from her upcoming novel Heart of the Highlands: The Raven. April is also offering a giveaway so be sure to read all the way through the post in order to be in the running. Happy reading, my lovelies, and good luck with April’s giveaway!


“Why do ye look at me so?” she whispered.

“When ye gaze upon a work of art, do ye no’ stop to admire it?

“I am fair, nothing more.”

“Ye are much more. Ye may keep your head down when you walk, but there is a beauty about you that, no matter what you do, can ever be hidden. A rose can no’ hide its beauty for it will always be a rose.”

Eamon leaned in close to her, expecting her to retreat, but she did not. Her eyes called to him like the sea called to a ship’s captain. Eamon knew it would be best to keep his feelings at bay, but the more he was around her, the more he ached to touch her. Would it be a sin to glide his hand across her cheek, or comb his fingers through the locks of her hair? If he did, would it be enough to satisfy his desire, or would he starve for more?

Eamon wasn’t just a man, and she wasn’t just a lass. Had it been that simple, he would not be questioning the validity of his actions. He had to remind himself that Adelyn was the king’s cousin and a daughter of royal blood. He was a warrior and a son of a traitor. He could never afford to have a wife. For what sort of a man could leave his wife or his children defenseless?

They each held onto the moment, stretching the seconds, like watching the very last grain of sand fall inside a time piece. Had he been a blind man, he may have missed the look of disappointment in her eyes as he began to retreat. Though his heart yearned for her, he had an unbreakable vow to his king. He took a reluctant step back out of her embrace.

“I bid ye good night, Lady Adelyn.”

With a slight bow of his head, Eamon turned toward his chamber. Behind him the door handle to her room jiggled as she turned the knob. He could hear the creak of the door swinging open on its rusty hinges, followed by the light patter of her footsteps as she entered the room. Eamon stopped and stared aimlessly through the blackness of the empty hall.

He couldn’t walk away.

“Damn the consequences!”

He did not know if it was the pull of his heart or the whiskey that gave him a fool’s courage, but he quickly turned on his heel. Rushing forward, he stopped the door from closing with his hand. Grabbing her arm, he swung Adelyn around, and pressed her up against the wall. He cupped his hands along the side of her face and pressed his lips to hers in a hard and passionate kiss.

Her lips were as warm as sweet wine. A soft sigh escaped her as he pressed his body against hers. Lifting her arms around his neck, she grabbed onto a fistful of hair, deepening the kiss. Trailing kisses down her neck, his hands explored the curves of her body. As he touched her, her breaths came in deep, heavy pants. 

Desire melted all sense of duty and obligation. Pressing his forehead against hers, they shared the same air as their racing hearts began to calm.

“Tell me ye feel this. Tell me that I am no’ the only one who feels whatever this is,” she breathlessly whispered.

“Ye cannae imagine how badly I want ye. Just being around ye is maddening. Every time I am near ye I feel unhinged. But ye are no’ mine to have,” he openly admitted.

“I dinna want ye to go. I only feel safe when I am around ye.”

“I must go.”

“Promise me I will see ye again.”

Holding her in his arms, he placed a gentle kiss to her forehead.

“I promise.”

Heart of the Highlands: The Raven
By April Holthaus
Release Date: August 1, 2021

She’s accused of murder. He’s accused of treason. When faced with those who convict them, will they be able to escape or will they be punished to death?

Forced to wed a ruthless English Lord, Adelyn Scott welcomed death over marriage, but had no idea her wish would come true until she discovered her husband’s body lying dead in his chamber on the night of their wedding.

As commander for the king’s personal guard, Eamon MacLeish’s loyalty has never been questioned. Until the day a mysterious woman arrived seeking an asylum and stole his heart.

As Adelyn and Eamon piece together clues surrounding her husband’s murder, Eamon must choose between his loyalty or his heart. For one path would ultimately lead to her death, and the other path leads to his.

Buy Link:

Author Bio:

April is an Award-Winning Author for her Scottish Historical Romances. For more than a decade, she has worked full time in the direct marketing and printing business, but developed a passion of historical romances through her love of reading, history and genealogy. When she is not working or writing, April loves to spend time with her son and traveling.

Follow her at:
Twitter: @aprilholthaus
Instagram: authoraprilholthaus


April is running a giveaway for a signed paperback as well as a digital copy of the 1st book of the series Heart of the Highlands: The Beast. To be in the running, just comment below and April will choose a random comment as the winner over the weekend. Good luck!

First Kiss Friday with Caroline Warfield


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I’m so glad you’re joining me for another First Kiss Friday. Today’s guest is Caroline Warfield who has an excerpt from her next release this month! Enjoy this scene from The Wayward Son that releases July 22nd. Happy reading, my lovelies!

Rob Benson didn’t mean to stay in Ashmead, but when Lucy Whitaker was threatened, he had no choice. When she wandered to the edge of Willowbrook in pursuit of lost sheep and  was accosted, he went after the villain. His mission was not successful; danger still lurked. But he did find one wooly refugee. In reaction to danger, passion flares.


“You came back,” she breathed.

A grin, lopsided and dear, lit his face. “You waited.”

She scrambled back so he could enter, embarrassed by her foolish words, and noticed for the first time that the bundle he carried had begun to squirm.

He saw the direction of her gaze and his grin widened. He offered her the bundle, its movement becoming frantic. A wooly head peeked out the opening, and her heart swelled.

“You found it!” She took the lamb from him, but the creature struggled until she put it down, and it wandered into the darkened dining room. “Agnes will have a fit if she finds that animal in the house. We best give it to Vincent. He can see that it gets to his mother in the morning.”

He caught her arm when she started after the animal and pulled her back. Whatever he meant to say stuck in his throat. His hand slid up her arm to her shoulder, and his heated gaze stole her breath.

“Oh, bloody hell,” he murmured as his mouth found hers and his arm snaked around her to pull her close. When he loosened his grip to allow her to move away, she clung to his shoulders to pull him back, and he kissed her again, caressing her mouth with his, seeking and finding entrance to deepen it. She lost herself in the embrace. Only when he pulled away to breathe, his breath hot against her mouth, and began to slide gentle kisses in the corner of it and down her chin did she realize how she clutched his neck with one arm while her other hand had tangled in his hair, feathering it between her fingers.

“Oh God, Rob, what—”

“What indeed,” he whispered against her mouth, kissing her again and driving out reason.

When he moved to explore her ear, his tongue sending shivers down her spine, she moaned and tried to pull him closer. “I was so afraid. You’re safe, you’re safe,” she said between kisses to the side of his face.

At her words he pulled back. “Safe? I think not. Not here; not now.” He dropped a swift kiss to her nose and loosened his hold.

She dropped from her toes, her body sliding down his, rested both hands on his chest, and leaned her forehead against him to hide her heated cheeks.

“A gentleman would apologize. I won’t. I wanted that too badly. A gentleman would—”

Her head still on his chest, she raised her hand to his lips to silence him. “Don’t. Don’t go all honorable now.” He stilled and she pulled away. “Tell me about Miller.” Her piercing gaze dared him to finish the speech he had begun.

“He got away. Clarion and Gibbons will question the Caulfield tenants tomorrow. The earl plans to send for Spangler too. Happy?”

She shook her head. “Not if he got away.”

Rob put one knuckle under her chin and drew her face up to look at him. “We need to talk about this.” He didn’t have to clarify “this.” He didn’t mean Miller. They stood like that for several breaths. He tried to hold her eyes, but his gaze dropped to her mouth, and she swallowed convulsively. When he bent to kiss her again, she rose to meet him. His restless hands began to explore her neck, her shoulders, her back—when they reached her derriere he stilled.

He gripped her shoulders with both hands and set her a few inches away. “We have to stop; we can talk in the morning. Things are clearer in the light.” He dropped one last kiss to the top of her head and stepped back. “I’ll check on the guards and sleep down here.”

About the Book, The Wayward Son

Sir Robert Benson’s life is in London. He fled Ashmead the day he discovered the man he thought was his father had lied to him, and the girl he loved was beyond his reach. Only a nameless plea from his sister—his half-sister—brings him back. He will not allow a ludicrous bequest from the earl who sired him turn him into a mockery of landed gentry. When a feisty little termagant with flashing eyes—and a musket—tries to turn Rob off the land—his land—he’s too amused and intrigued to turn away. But the longer he stays, the tighter the bonds that tie him to Ashmead become, strengthened by the powerful draw of the woman rooted on land he’s determined to sell.

Lucy Whitaker’s life is Willowbrook, its land, its tenants, its prosperity, but she always knew it wasn’t hers, knew the missing heir would come eventually. When a powerful man with military bearing rides up looking as if he wants to come in and count the silver, she turns him away, but her heart sinks. She can’t deny Rob Benson his property; she can only try to make him love the place as she does, for her peoples’ sake. A traitorous corner of her heart wishes Rob would love it for her sake.

His life is London; hers is Ashmead. How can they forge something lasting when they are torn in two directions?

Soon on Kindle Unlimited or pre-order for July 22 release.

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. 

Learn more about Caroline on her website at:

First Kiss Friday with Mary Morgan


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Thanks for joining me for another First Kiss Friday. Mary Morgan is no stranger to my blog as you’ve seen her here and also on Medieval Monday’s. Today Mary is sharing an excerpt from Rorik from The Wolves of Clan Sutherland. Enjoy and happy reading, my lovelies.


Rorik reached for her hand, placing the flower within her palm. “Did you not feel the air warm around us, or the shift in the colors of the land—from the flowers to the sky? If you are silent, they will speak to you.”

“But ’tis a rare gift to sense the ancients within the land,” she returned, glancing down at the offering he presented to her.

“You once said,” Rorik began tentatively, “that I was nae better than my father, but you forgot, my mother belonged to a lineage of seers and druids. Even now, many across these lands still believe in the Pict Gods and Goddesses. I carry part of my mother’s gift inside me.”

Embarrassed to have him mention her words from the past, Ragna turned away. There were so many bitter words between them. How could they manage to have any hope of a conversation with all they had done to each other? Her intention was not to demean his own power, nor to dishonor him. She was simply shocked at his declaration.

What shall I do, Goddess?

A soft breeze caressed her cheek, and her gaze followed the path of a small butterfly. It flitted along without a care in the world. A rare beauty as it disappeared from her vision. The tension in her eased, and she swallowed.

It is time to close the door on the past. Choose your words and make amends.

Turning around, she gave Rorik a weak smile. “Forgive me. I had forgotten about her. Your mother left this world too soon. My mother spoke her praises often when I worked with her on the land collecting herbs and flowers. Once, she mentioned you had been gifted with the sight, but it was not a path for you. You were destined for the brotherhood.”

Rorik cupped her chin—the contact sent a jolt of pleasure over her skin. Lifting her head, she stared into his emerald eyes, studying his intent. With his other arm, he grasped her around the waist. 

Her mind screamed to step out of his embrace. Nevertheless, her body betrayed her.

Lowering his head, he murmured. “There is nae need to make amends, Ragna.” His breath was warm against her skin. She shivered from the roughness of his light beard against her cheek. If she turned her head slightly, his lips would be against hers. The air warmed more, leaving her dizzy.

Gently, Rorik guided her lips to meet his. The first brush of his mouth sent a stirring of desire coursing throughout her body. Ragna wrapped her arms around his neck, twining her fingers into his thick hair. He drew forth her moan and answered with one of his own, kissing her more deeply. The savage intensity of her passion for him consumed her, and Ragna surrendered fully to him.

His kiss became urgent as his tongue sought entry into her soft mouth. His hands gripped her waist firmly, and he slowly walked her backward until her back hit the rough bark of a tree.

Breaking free from her mouth, he placed his forehead on hers. His breathing came out in small gasps.

Ragna’s body burned for this man—only him. No other. Did he have regrets for kissing her? She grew weary of the battle between them. She understood who and what he was—seducer and wolf.

Raising her hand, she brushed her fingers across his full lips and was rewarded with another moan from the man. She dared to meet his heated gaze. Lust shimmered back at her within his eyes, along with confusion.

“Kiss me again, Rorik,” she challenged.

He bent his head and trailed a path with his tongue from below her ear down along her neck. “You dare to tempt me further?”

Even though she ached for more from the man, she responded, “I only asked for another kiss.”

His smile came slowly as he cupped her face within his hands. “One more kiss. Anymore and I shall strive to give you more pleasure, and my restraint is failing.”

RORIK, The Wolves of Clan Sutherland, Book 2
by Mary Morgan

The Dark Seducer is known throughout Scotland as a man who charms many women into his bed. Pleasure is his motto as he obtains information for his king. Yet Rorik MacNeil harbors one secret buried beneath his heart of steel. An unfulfilled conquest plagues both man and his inner wolf, and Rorik would rather suffer death’s sharp blade than confront his greatest fear. 

As the Seer for the Orkneyjar Isles, Ragna Maddadsson confronts an unknown destiny when she travels across the North Sea to Scotland. In her quest to deliver a message from a powerful vision, she fears the warrior will not listen. If Rorik ignores her warning, Ragna must find a way to forestall his impending death. If unsuccessful, she risks having her heart cleaved in two.  

To unravel their true fates, Rorik and Ragna must trust in the power of the wolf. 

Buy Links:


Amazon CA:

Amazon UK:

Amazon: AU:

Barnes & Noble:

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About the Author: 

Award-winning Celtic paranormal and fantasy romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. Inspired by her love for history and ancient Celtic mythology, her tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling by writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

Connect with Mary at these places: 

Amazon Author:

Book Trailer:

New Release Spotlight from Celeste Barclay!


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I’m all about sharing the love and paying it forward so today let’s celebrate the new release of A Friend at the Highland Court by Celeste Barclay! Enjoy this excerpt, my lovelies, and happy reading!


Alex entered the Great Hall with his men. They followed the Elliots toward tables that kept them away from the Scotts or anyone else they wished to avoid. However, their path took them past the table he most wanted to avoid. He caught sight of the dark hair and olive skin he knew so well. He could glimpse Caitlyn’s profile, the smile that graced her face as she laughed at what the woman who sat beside her said. He watched as her eyes widened, and she twisted on her bench to find him. Her smile radiated warmth and excitement, and Alex’s heart stuttered before he forced the wall back around it.

Caitlyn stepped over the bench and straightened her skirts before making her way toward Alex. He fought, and barely succeeded, to keep his eyes from feasting on Caitlyn’s petite stature. His relationship with Caitlyn had been a constant for nearly his entire life, but once again the dynamic had shifted. He watched her weave through people until she came to stand before him. He watched her eyes widen for a moment and prepared for the pity or disgust that inevitably came when people caught sight of his scar for the first time. He was unprepared for her smile to brighten as she took another step closer.

“Alex.” Caitlyn’s melodic voice filled his ears. He’d listened to her sing alongside her mother and sister, Cairren, countless times over his years fostering with her clan. Even her speaking voice reminded him of a songbird’s trill. He was aware she expected as warm a greeting, but he kept his gaze fixed beyond her. She turned to glance behind her, but she appeared confused when she faced him again. Alex knew she couldn’t figure out at what he stared. He intended to stare at anything or anyone but her. Unable to ignore her, he continued to gaze past her.


“Caitlyn? When have I ever been aught but Caity?” Caitlyn asked, and Alex heard the surprise and hurt in her voice.

“It is a pleasure to see you,” Alex said instead of answering. He made to step around her, but Caitlyn shifted with him.

“You make it seem like seeing me is the most unpleasant chore you’ve ever had. In fact, I’m uncertain you have seen me since you refuse to look at me,” Caitlyn accused. Alex wanted to say that he’d seen everything about her that he loved. He’d seen her twinkling gray eyes with the green flecks, the sun-kissed light brown skin, the figure he’d spent years fantasizing about. But his adolescent dreams died on the battlefield six months ago.

“Then you will have to excuse me.” Alex tried once more to move away, but she grasped his left arm. He was unprepared and couldn’t keep from flinching. Caitlyn’s eyes opened to saucers, but there was still none of the pity he expected. She released his arm, clasping her hands before her instead.

“What happened?” Caitlyn whispered.

“Battle. Good eve.”

“Arse,” Caitlyn mumbled. Alex glanced down at Caitlyn and regretted it at once. He’d seen the pain in her eyes before, but this was the first time that he was the cause.

“Caity,” Alex murmured. He made to reach for her, but his left arm refused to cooperate. It was a blinding reminder of why he needed to keep his distance.

“Mayhap this isn’t the right place. Will you talk to me later?” Caitlyn asked, hoping discretion was all that he needed.

“No.”This time Caitlyn moved aside when Alex attempted to walk past her. She swallowed before turning away. She didn’t understand what had transpired, but she was certain it was Alex’s injuries and nothing else. The Armstrongs and Kennedys were still allies, and Alex and Caitlyn hadn’t said a cross word to one another in years. She returned to her seat, her eyes on her trencher rather than following Alex.

A Friend at the Highland Court
By Celeste Barclay

Alexander Armstrong, heir to the Clan Armstrong lairdship, took for granted his strength and size until that strength was taken from him. Injured during a skirmish with another Lowland clan, Alex finds himself struggling to wield his sword. His once handsome face is now marred by a vicious scar. Forced to attend court as his father’s representative, Alex’s anger and bitterness threaten to chase away the one woman who’s loved him most of her life.

Lady Caitlyn Kennedy usually finds the bright side of everything. Friends with Alex since childhood, when he fostered with her clan, Caitlyn attempts to lure Alex back from the brink of self-destruction. But their once budding romance seems destined to fail. Alex recognizes he’s losing the woman he’s loved since he was a boy by pushing away the one person who can heal his unseen wounds.

Can these friends-turned-enemies turn into lovers?

If you love a steamy wounded hero romance, then you’re sure to enjoy Celeste Barclay’s sizzling new Highlander romance, A Friend at the Highland Court.

Welcome to Robert the Bruce’s Highland Court, where the ladies-in-waiting are a mixture of fire and ice. The Highland Ladies, the STEAMY spinoff series from Celeste Barclay’s The Clan Sinclair series, returns to the Medieval royal court for love and intrigue.

Buy Link:

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. Before becoming a full-time author, Celeste was a Social Studies and English

teacher. She holds degrees in International Affairs (BA), Secondary Social Science (MAT), and

Political Management (MPS). She channels that knowledge into creating rich historical romances

that bring the steam.

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First Kiss Friday with Caroline Warfield


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Welcome to my First Kiss Friday blog. Today’s guest truly doesn’t need an introduction but this is one busy author! Please welcome my dear friend Caroline Warfield who has an excerpt from The Price of Glory. You’ll see Caroline again in a couple weeks since she has not one but TWO books releasing this month. Honestly, I don’t know how she does it but anything she writes in a winner in my book. Happy reading, my lovelies, and enjoy!

Richard Mallet came to Egypt with dreams of academic glory. He will be the one to unravel the secrets of the ancient Kushite language. But his journey up the Nile to Khartoum takes him past fabulous ruins. He has enticed his traveling companion, Ana Cloutier to explore Karnak by moonlight. Ana travels for very different reasons. She is a healer with a mission to fulfill, but she  can’t resist the lure of the ruins and the moon. The outcome was inevitable.



When he paused next to a massive depiction of Amun-Ra carved into a wall, she leaned her head against his arm. “This place astounds me. Thank you,” she said.

He recalled his earlier thoughts. What did you hope would happen?

Who did he mean to deceive? Of course, he knew the answer. You invited her for this, he thought, turning her to face him, tipping her chin up with two fingers, and caressing her cheek with his thumb. He leaned closer and inhaled her breath as it came rapidly.

“I didn’t come for this,” she whispered, her unconvincing words floating away in the night air.

“No?” He paused, but she didn’t pull away, and he closed the distance touching his lips to hers tenderly. Again, he paused, and wasn’t disappointed when her lips moved to caress his.

He slid the hand at her chin around her neck, ran it up her nape to tangle in her hair, and put his other arm around her waist to bring her closer.

“Aeneas,” she sighed against his mouth and he smiled against hers. Somehow the hated nickname delighted him when it came in her voice. He dove for another quick kiss.

She moved her mouth to his then, lips moving along the seam. His entire body vibrated with the desire he held in check. Not here, not now, he told himself. And yet, with this woman, this moment might be all he had. He ran his tongue across per lips, probing gently, and finding entrance on her sigh. His hand moved to her bottom, pulling her up tight against him and lost himself in the feel of her.

He had no idea how long the kiss lasted, but when her hand came up between them, he eased his mouth back inches from hers.

After a moment, he loosened his hold, caressed her cheek, and tucked an errant curl behind her ear. “If I’m to be Aeneas, you are Sekhmet,” he whispered.

Her eyes peered up into his, and her voice shook with laughter. “Sekhmet? The lion-headed goddess of war?”

“And healing!”

“War and healing?” Her face leaned closer.

“Fierce and powerful,” he murmured, breathing her in.

About the Book, The Price of Glory

Richard Mallet comes to Egypt with dreams of academic glory. He will be the one to unravel the secrets of the ancient Kushite language. Armed with license to dig, he sets out for Meroë, where the Blue Nile meets the White. He has no room in his life for dalliance or entanglements, and he certainly doesn’t expect to face insurrection and unrest.

Analiese Cloutier seeks no glory—only the eradication of disease among the Egyptian women and children of Khartoum. She has no interest whatsoever in romantic nonsense and will not allow notions about a lady’s proper role to interfere with her work. She doesn’t expect to have that work manipulated for political purposes.

Neither expects to be enchanted by the amorous power of moonlight in the ruins of Karnak, or to be forced to marry before they can escape revolution. Will their flight north take them safely to Cairo? If it does, can they build something real out of their shattered dreams.

Soon on Kindle Unlimited or pre-order for July 7 release.

Buy Link:

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. 

You can learn more about Caroline and her books at her website at

First Kiss Friday with Cerise DeLand


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I’m so happy you’ve stopped by my website and my First Kiss Friday blog. Today’s guest is my friend and fellow Bluestocking Belle Cerise DeLand. Cerise has an excerpt from Ravishing Camille for your reading pleasure. Enjoy, my lovelies!


“How would you kiss a woman you loved?” Oh, yes. She was a fool to ask.

But in her curiosity, she knew power. Because he blinked and yet he did not pull away, she had the control. Instead, he stood immobile as she stepped against him. She lifted on her toes, for he was so tall. And she slanted her head to one side, her gaze fastened on his, her mouth a heartbeat away from his. “How would you?”

“Camille.” Her name was not a sound.

She heard it as a warning, but took it as an appeal. One she’d waited for nearly half her life. One she would take advantage of now. For if anything, she was a woman of action. And in regard to him, she’d always been a woman of desire.

She sought purchase with her fingers going round his upper arms. “Shall I kiss you on the cheek?”

He gave a small shake of his head.

Accepting his feeble answer, she put her lips to his nose. A peck. An acknowledgment of affection. “Like one gives a child.” Or a brother.

He seemed to vibrate beneath her hands. 

Beneath her fingertips, he went still as death. Her time grew short and so she pulled away ever so slightly and said, “But I would want more from a man I cared for. Much more.”

Her education in the art of kissing was poor. She’d had weak precedents. A wet thing from a twelve-year-old boy who’d come to visit with his parents. A grasping thing from an Eton lad who petted her with clammy hands before he tried to stick his tongue down her throat. A ravenous thing from a sullen lord who should have known better than to seize her as if he were a pirate and she his booty. Only once had she been swept away by the artfulness of a man who knew his way around a bedroom and a woman. She’d enjoyed the kiss…or rather kisses, but later, refused the man his suit.

So it was her imagination and her eternal curiosity about Pierce as a lover that led her on. A frantic seizure of the minute, the night, the topic, led her to brush her lips on his and stifle the moan that rose in her throat.

She took his broad firm mouth with her own in a grand claim that had him drawing her near and allowing her the range of his lips. He was hers, faintly groaning in objection or passion, she did not know. But he pulled her flush to his torso and she surged with triumph at the rigid expression of his lack of control.

Surrendering to what she wanted, she slid her hands up his shoulders and cupped his nape. Her fingers wound through his satin hair. He hauled her closer, his cock harder, slipping against the hollow between her thighs as he kissed her.

His lips were warm, reverent. At once, he pulled back and stared at her, shock his first emotion. But need was his next as he cupped her cheek, sighed her name and took her mouth once more. This time, he savored her mouth in lazy caresses. She clutched him closer and he darted the tip of his tongue between her lips. But with one touch, he gasped and was gone. 

She hung in his arms, triumph rushing through her veins. 

He stared down into her eyes. 

She swallowed.

He searched her expression. Of course, he did. 

He searched for himself. For his motivation. For definition of his own desire.

She let him do as he wished, but regarded him with languor, for she had no such query.

She knew what she wanted.

Him. Always him. Ever him.

And she had him in this moment. As she had always wanted the fullness of his passion. The madness of his attentions. 

“Forgive me.” He stepped back even as he braced her arms to ensure she stood upright.

Well. Just barely. But gentleman that he was, and lady that she had been born to be, she would stand and she would forgive.

He cleared his throat. “That was…”


“I apologize, Camille. That should not have happened.”

I wanted it to. “I’m the one who started it.” And I won’t apologize.

He gave her a watery smile. “We will forget this.”

Not if I can make you remember.

“Good night.”

With a few quick steps, he strode away.

Book 5, THOSE NOTORIOUS AMERICANS, Book 5, Steamy Family Saga of the Gilded Age

She’d wanted him for years…and denied she cared.

As a step-brother, he’d loved her.

But she’s older now and even more delectable. Should he walk away? Can he?

Pierce Hanniford returns to England after tripling his fortune in China. He’s come for business. Not pleasure. And definitely not for love.

Camille Bereston decided years ago that Pierce was not for her. He’s her step-brother, famous, restless, a savvy Shanghai taipan and a menace…to her heart. 

She has ambitions to marry. Funny that none of her candidates seems good enough.

Yet Camille excites him as no woman ever has and he must have her, no matter the cost.

But should she take an older, experienced rogue as her lover…and should she claim him forever as her only love? 

If you love swoon-worthy historical romance, starring endearing heroes, sassy heroines and a family of irresistible charmers, this book is for you!  Buy RAVISHING CAMILLE to begin your journey! 

RAVISHING CAMILLE is the fifth book in THOSE NOTORIOUS AMERICANS series but can also be read as a standalone novel.

Book 1: Wild Lily (Lily and Julian)

Book 2: Daring Widow (Marianne and Remy)

Book 3: Sweet Siren (Liv and Killian)

Book 4: Scandalous Heiress (Ada and Victor)

Book 5: Ravishing Camille (Camille and Pierce)

Book 6: If You Were the Only Girl in the World (Katrina and Nate)

Book 7: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (Giselle and Dylan)

Buy Links:




Apple Books:

About the author:

Cerise DeLand loves to write about dashing heroes and the sassy women they adore. But I bet you knew that! 
Did you know that she’s known for her poetic elegance and accuracy of detail? That she’s an award-winning author of more than 40 novels and was first published in 1991 by Kensington, then Pocket Books, later by St. Martin’s Press and independent presses? That her books have been monthly selections of the Doubleday Book Club and the Mystery Guild? Right. And she’s won awards. Lots of them. Need details? Write to her. She’ll send you the list!
To research, she’s dived into the oldest texts and dustiest library shelves. She also travels abroad taking good walking shoes, trusty notebooks and pens, plus camera! She visits chateaux and country homes she loves to people with her own imaginary characters. And at home every day? She cooks. Never dusts. (That can be a problem.) She goes swimming or pumps iron once a week and tries (desperately) to grow vegetables in her arid backyard in south Texas! 

Do visit her website, and blog
Also visit her YOUTube Channel for her videos of her research travels here