Tag Archives: historical romance

Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

a new review on Romance Novels for the Beach Blog via Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

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December 16, 2018 · 4:53 pm

Winter Love’s A Treat Mega Book Giveaway and 500th Anniversary Post

 

Winter Love’s A Treat Mega Book Giveaway

 

Hi, readers! If you’re visiting the blog today, you are either a loyal follower, or you came across the site because you love “Romance” as much as I do. Both, perhaps? To mark our official 500th post, we’re having a rare, yet awesome event here on ILRB. And it’s just in time for Christmas…yay! 🙂

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Often enough, romance readers want to know…well, which book spurred an author’s interest in the genre. We all have to start somewhere, and a good writer is first a reader. So, I thought it would be cool to get a unique take on the genre straight from the source. Plus, what is more suitable for the blog’s theme – combining tips on romantic relationships with our avid love of romance novels – than a massive giveaway comprised of romance books?

Forty-two authors have banded together this week to not only give a hint of their reading preferences, but also to offer a chance to win some great prizes! These aren’t just holiday romance tales, but rather books you can read year-round, covering various subgenres (for an overview on different romance categories, refer to this post I wrote for Writing in the Modern Age). So exciting, right?

 The Rules

With almost 200 opportunities to win, we have a lot going on here! If you’d like to enter the contest, please comment on the thread below. Be sure to include YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS, or we won’t be able to contact you. Though you can, of course, state the book titles or titles which interest you, to be fair to everyone please LIST YOUR PREFERRED ROMANCE SUBGENRES (for example: if erotica offends you, let us know, and also tell us if you already have one of the books in the list). All contest entries will be compiled, and then a randomizer will be used to select winners. The goal here is to make sure every participant wins at least once, if possible, so don’t be shy about telling us what you like or don’t like in your reading preferences; also if you’re open to trying something new. A lot of books are available in ebook format, but some are signed paperbacks. Leave us all your information in a comment below, or IF you prefer anonymity, you can email me at marieannlavender@gmail.com with the subject heading ‘WINTER LOVE GIVEAWAY ENTRY’.

I can’t emphasize enough how much I WILL NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO REACH YOU. I can’t traipse all over social media, trying to figure out how to contact you. Some people have similar names, and it’s like searching for an earring in a pile of thumbtacks. Painful, and just plain irritating. LOL. So, definitely tell us (or at least yours truly) how to reach your awesome self. 😉

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the prizes, and learn just what our favorite authors are reading these days…

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The Prizes and Author Q&As

 

Prize #1

Author: K.C. Sprayberry

Title: At Home Christmas

Genre: Military Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 5

Blurb: Love found and lost in a day.

A heart shattered.

Christmas with the family. An ideal, sweet homecoming… Or the torturous reminder that family can be your worst enemy.

Cat Helmstead suffers a grievous loss while on temporary duty in Spain with the Air Force. Her heart shatters and she sinks into a grief so profound that she’s ready to join the man she loved so much. Until she’s sent home, to spend the holidays with her family and makes several important discoveries that will change her future forever.

Can Cat move on from losing the only guy she’s ever been attracted to?

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3L07d0

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books: Highland Velvet, The Velvet Promise, Sweet Liar, A Knight in Shining Armor, Velvet Angel – all by Jude Deveraux.

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: Sweet Liar by Jude Deveraux.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m rereading one of my own, Froliche Weihnachten/Merry Christmas. There may or may not be a sequel in progress…

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Blackwater Burning, Where Have All the Cowboys Gone, Josey’s Mountain by Elle Marlow.

 

Prize #2

Author: Vina Arno

Title: Finder Keeper of My Heart

Genre: New Adult Romance

Format: Ebook (via Amazon or Barnes & Noble; provide the retailer you prefer and the appropriate email address for your device.)

# of copies: 2

Blurb: An aspiring Broadway actress believes her soul mate is named Avery, thanks to a message in a bottle. When she gets lost in a Hawaiian jungle, the mysterious Avery Bell saves her. Could he be The One? MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE meets SERENDIPITY.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vw6r

 

Prize #3

Title: In His Corner

Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance

Format: Ebook (via Amazon or Barnes & Noble; provide the retailer you prefer and the appropriate email address for your device.)

# of copies: 5

Blurb: ER and romance—they don’t go together. That’s what Dr. Siena Carr thinks until an Olympic boxer walks into her ER with a cut that needs stitching and a passion that consumes her.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38raYZ

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre AND Your Top 5 Romance Books:

For a long time, I didn’t realize I’m a romance genre lover at heart because the books I like are not categorized as romance novels but as classic literature. These are the classics that I cherish the most. I re-read these books time and again. They inspire me as a writer and reader both.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Emma by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Prize #4

Author: Leslie Hachtel

Title: The Dream Dancer

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Lady Bryce has a gift.
She can enter dreams and persuade her will onto others.
It has served her well, especially in eliminating unsatisfactory suitors of her father’s choosing.
But when she encounters Lord Rowland she wants him more than anything and decides to visit him in his sleep and make him desire her above all others.
But will their love be able to conquer all once Bryce’s secret is revealed? Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppv6z

 

Prize #5

Title: Emma’s Dance

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Headstrong Emma of Ashford is marrying Lord Alan, the man of her dreams, when her wedding is interrupted. A woman claims to be his long lost betrothed. But is she truly the woman thought dead since she was a child?
Emma is visited by a ghost. Is this spirit the long dead Carlyn who has come to help Emma declare the other woman an imposter? Or just another deception?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3G90or

 

Prize #6

Title: The Jester’s Dance

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: The Lady Margaret, widowed and lonely, seeks adventure and goes to court disguised as a jester. She falls in love with a handsome Scotsman, Seth, who enlists her help to rescue his family. Together they must face danger, intrigue, and enemies determined to pull them apart. Can their love survive? Can they?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKpE6

 

Prize #7

Title: A Dance in Time

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Lady Grace imagines escaping her cruel husband and miserable life. A portal into the past offers her so much more than she bargained for. Including meeting the man of her dreams whose life is at risk. Can she save him? Can he rescue her?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGz7o

 

Prize #8

Item: $20 Amazon Gift Card

Format: Swag

# of prizes: 1

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first romance I read was Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss and I was hooked.

Prize #9

Author: Maggie Blackbird

Title: Blessed (Book 1 of the Matawapit Family Series)

Genre: Multicultural/Inspirational, MM Romance, Contemporary, Erotic Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling:  the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.

It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man.  In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.

Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered:  the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon, and he intends on using his newfound power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the church.

Hoping to save the church, Emery races home.  But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life:  please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.

An erotic spiritual journey.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bOAgpA

Answered Question

Your Top 5 Romance Books

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: The Guarded Trilogy by Addison Carmichael

Prize #10

Author: Debbie De Louise

Title: Cloudy Rainbow

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: When you lose a loved one, whether it’s a relative, friend, or precious pet, you wonder where that special soul has gone and if you will ever see him or her again. For Dulcie Mills, Long Island computer programmer, the answer may lie between a virtual world and the real one, between the past and the present, between dreams and reality.

Unable to get over her fiancé’s death and facing the impending loss of her 15-year-old cat, Dulcie escapes to a virtual world. When Dulcie’s best friend accepts a job from a clairvoyant who offers predictions regarding Dulcie’s dead fiancé and Dulcie becomes attracted to an online stranger, history begins to repeat itself in ways that are both promising and terrifying. What Dulcie discovers through a virtual séance may mean the only chance she has left for love or death itself.

Addressing topics of reincarnation and soul transfer in similar ways as Greg Iles’ Sleep No More and Nora Roberts’ Midnight Bayou, Cloudy Rainbow features an interesting mix of technology and the paranormal and will also appeal to cat lovers.Universal Reader Link: mybook.to/CR2

 

 

Prize #11

Title: When Jack Trumps Ace

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Jackie Riordan’s in trouble . . .

When her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. a man called Ace, who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn’t count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in crime. She also doesn’t expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.

All bets are off . . .

After Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move. Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?

Things that sparkle aren’t always Diamonds . . .

Before Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself atop the Willis Tower carrying her father’s ashes in her pocket and aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go terribly wrong, and Jackie’s only choice seems to be to walk away from Ace or face imprisonment. Universal Reader Link: mybook.to/Jackebook

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  1. Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes
  2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audry Niffenegger
  3. Time and Again by Jack Finney
  4. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
  5. The Gift of a Charm by Melissa Hill

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreLove Story by Erich Segal

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: The Dinner List by Rebecca Searle

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

  1. As You Wish by Jude Deveraux
  2. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  3. Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

Prize #12

Author: David Russell

Title: Self’s Blossom

Genre: Literary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure. Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice, Selene gave in to the long-term desire to ‘get one back’ at Janice by having a passionate holiday encounter. Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to meet the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny. Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene’s shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman Selene was meant to be.

Included in Self’s Blossom are: Blossom Reburgeoning Selene, a little older but still well-preserved, decides to retrace the steps of her holiday. Up-to-date in spirit, she procures a companion through the Internet, and in the key scenes, she opts for alternatives to the choices she made on her first expedition. She feels enriched by her experience, and her sense of satisfaction removed her inhibitions from expressing her bisexuality. Spatial Dimensions Selene becomes so fascinated by the Moon Goddess that bears her name, that she imagines and wills herself into becoming a goddess, to go on an ethereal quest, embracing space and time travel, with concomitant ecstatic fulfillment. Sci-fi embraces ancient mythology!

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3J8d5J

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe first romance book to grab me was The Girl Beneath the Lion by Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues. What really catalyzed me to write in this genre was The Lamorna Reach by Joy V. Sheridan, written in the 80s and recently published on Amazon.

Prize #13

Author: Bry Ann

Title: Enzio

Genre: Mafia Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: First things first, let me introduce myself.

My name is supervisory special agent Derek Enzio Johnson.

But many know me as Enzio, Underboss of the Italian-American Mafia.

Yeah.

To say my life is complicated would be the understatement of the century. I live two lives. Criminal by day, agent by night. My job you ask.

Simple.

Get enough intel to arrest three men: Adam Ruston, Frances Capello and Sven Xander. AKA, the mafia boss, Capo and what they believed to be the underboss.

I definitely didn’t plan on meeting such incredible people. One in particular.

Lacey Ruston, the boss’s wife.

As if this all wasn’t hard enough. By far, my hardest undercover job.

So, for the first time in my life, I’m torn between right and wrong. And to add to it, every day I have a role to play where my life hangs in a delicate balance.

I’m barely keeping it together.

And that’s before Iris Jane Shelby.

Trigger Warning: Sexual content. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/boZRMv

 

Prize #14

Title: Saving Her

Genre: New Adult Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb:

SAM:

What is love?
Is it patient?
Is it kind?
Who the hell knows.
I don’t.
I just know I must save the one person I’ve ever opened my cold heart up to.
I don’t care what it takes to save her.
I sell drugs. I sell my soul. I don’t care. She just has to live.
Then enters Logan Prescott.
He makes sure to screw everything up. He makes me care.
He makes me feel…
And that is just not okay.

LOGAN:

Hollywood.
Lies. Sex. Fans. Attention.
Lonely.
I’ve been alone for far too long, caught up in a world I love but is slowly killing me.
The real me. The one behind the lights.
Then there’s her. The smart ass waitress who hates me with a fiery passion.

Trigger Warning: This is not a typical love story. Sam and Logan’s story contains disturbing scenes, drugs, sex and strong language.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nY0M8

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe first book that made me love romance books was The Dark Light of Day by TM Frazier, and to this day it is still my all-time favorite book.

Prize #15

Authors: Lance and James Morcan

Title: Into the Americas

Genre: Historical Romantic Adventure

Format: Kindle ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story) is a gritty, real-life adventure based on one of history’s greatest survival stories. It was inspired by the diary entries of young English blacksmith John Jewitt during his time aboard the brigantine The Boston and also during his sojourn at Nootka Sound, on North America’s western seaboard, from 1802 to 1805.

Written by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan (authors of The World Duology and The Orphan Trilogy), INTO THE AMERICAS is a tale of two vastly different cultures – Indigenous North American and European civilization – colliding head on. It is also a Romeo and Juliet story set in the wilderness.

Nineteen year-old blacksmith John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest. A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all-powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquina prevents their captors from killing them.

As the seasons pass, John ‘goes Indian’ after falling in love with Eu-stochee, a beautiful maiden. This further alienates him from his fellow captive whose defiance leads to violent consequences. In the bloodshed that follows, John discovers another side to himself – a side he never knew existed and a side he detests. His desire to be reunited with the family and friends he left behind returns even stronger than before.

The stakes rise when John learns Eu-stochee is pregnant. When a final opportunity to escape arises, he must choose between returning to civilization or staying with Eu-stochee and their newborn son.

INTO THE AMERICAS has been adapted to a feature film screenplay and is in early development with Morcan Motion Pictures.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5qZ

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m currently reading OUTLANDER by Diane Gabaldon (Fantastic TV series, by the way).

Prize #16

Author: Devika Fernando

Title: Hidden Hopes

Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: A movie star hiding from the world – A teacher on vacation in the Rockies – Forbidden attraction that blooms into more

The last thing famous Hollywood actor Colby Williams needs is another personal tragedy splattered all over the media. To lie low and find himself again, the star stays incognito at a cozy bed & breakfast in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. But the solitude is broken by another guest: an intriguing woman who sees beyond his brooding surface and makes him feel alive again. Should he really open his heart and his life to her?

Hope Parker has come to Pleasant View to meet one of her best friends, not to fall in love with a mysterious stranger whose mood changes are infuriating. But something about this man on a quest for a second chance touches her. Can she handle the baggage he comes with?

* * *
This small town romance series features novels that each revolve around a bed & breakfast in a different country. The books are sweet romance, set in countries like England, Canada, and Italy. They can be read separately as stand-alones with a happy ending and are great for fans of Nora Roberts. No cliffhangers, no cheating, but some mild swearing.

Book 1: Tantalizing Temptations (Inn Love 1 – England)
Book 2: Hidden Hopes (Inn Love 2 – Canada)
Book 3: Sweet Surprises (Inn Love 3 – Italy) [releases in 2019]Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzN8

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first book that made me fall in love with the romance genre was one by Nora Roberts, more than a decade ago. I can’t remember the exact title (and I read it in German those days, as opposed to her English books now). She’s still my favorite romance author.

 

Prize #17

Author: Remy Marie

Title: Jason’s Awakening

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Is true love fated or based on free will?

Before the attack, Jason Barton had a friends-don’t-date-friends philosophy when it came to being with the person he adored, Trini Davos. Trini, however, shared a different viewpoint and wanted nothing more than to be with the boy next door. For the last five years, the two shared a will-they-or-won’t-they relationship. Always friends, but nothing more.

However a brazen attack by a group of outlawed werewolves changed everything the long-time friends shared. They narrowly escaped death only to discover they became the wild beasts they feared. Transformed into something else, the two go on a journey not only to discover themselves, but to discover the true meaning of love.

Jason’s Awakening offers a fresh take on the paranormal romance genre. Filled with non-stop action, steamy romance, and twists no one will see coming, this book will keep the reader hooked from start to finish.

 “This book was not what I was expecting at all. First off, loved that it didn’t immediately go into the supernatural stuff; there was a lot of character building in the first few chapters and I loved Trini, Jason and Mohinder. (I have such a soft spot of Mo, he was my favorite) Each of the characters is very diverse and they really help to drive the plot. This book plays on the ‘soul mate’ trope in werewolf fiction, which is heavily used and turns this book right on its head. The mythology is brilliant, in-depth and well thought out. 5/5” – Amazon Reader

“I was very excited to read this book as I love all things related to werewolves. This book certainly did not disappoint and I was hooked from the beginning.” – Lost in a Book ReviewUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mqZdO6

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance BooksI have so many, here are a few at the top of my mind. Heroes: Saving Charlie by Aury Willington, Breaking Dragon by Jordan Marie, At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey, Heartbreaker by Logan Chance, Breakaway by Heather Orgeron

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreHeroes: Saving Charlie by Aury Willington  (My first romance book!)

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Immersion by L.L Ash

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks, Stuck by Logan Chance, The Wedding Date by Jamsmine Guillory.

 

Prize #18

Author: Tanya W. Newman

Title: Winter Rain

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Gifted musician and singer Isabel Carson gets an unexpected phone call, asking her to come back for a reunion tour with a band she played for several years ago. Although she has serious reservations, Isabel reluctantly agrees…mainly because she can’t pass up the opportunity to see Spencer Logan, the man she loves, one last time. Six years ago, Isabel’s relationship with Spencer was sabotaged by Thomas, the jealous and possessive lead singer, and both men hurt her badly. However, once the band is reunited, it doesn’t take long for Isabel to realize she’s made a terrible mistake. Some things cannot be forgiven, and she would have been better off to have left the past in the past, where it belongs—especially since Isabel now hides a painful secret, one that, if exposed, could destroy what little peace and happiness she’s managed to achieve.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vw07

 

Prize #19

Title: The Good Thief

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Two days before Christmas, shy bookstore owner Scotlyn Carter survived a traumatic bank robbery and subsequent kidnapping. Now, three months later, she still wakes up hearing the robber’s promise to find her—and kill her.

Then James McIntyre, the high school flame whose easy smile and mysterious eyes she could never forget, walks back into her life. As she falls for him once again, Scotlyn slowly begins to feel safe for the first time in a long time and thinks that maybe her nightmare will not come true, after all.

But James is not all that he seems. He is back in Scotlyn’s life for a reason and has been in contact with the very thieves who kidnapped her. And he’s harboring a dark secret that, if brought to light, could not only destroy their relationship—it could end their very lives.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4DlM0k

Prize #20

Author: Tina Donahue

Title: Adored

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: A shameless fantasy come true…

When tall, dark, and delicious Adam Farrell crosses Danni’s radar at a Vegas trade show, it’s not lust at first sight. He’s starred in her wicked fantasies for a while, pleasuring her with domination and submission that leaves her breathless. Aching for his masterful touch, believing she’ll never have it, she indulges in an intimate public act Adam alone witnesses. What follows is a wild and impassioned night in his powerful arms. It’s only the beginning.

An undisclosed business deal has turned Adam from competitor to Danni’s new boss. His hunger for her is absolute and he’ll make her fantasies seem tame as he takes her in ways she never imagined – whenever he wants, wherever he desires.

Seduced by Adam’s plan to mix exquisite control with adoration, Danni’s swept into a sensual adventure she can’t resist. Until corporate politics intrude and she learns what he’s been hiding to protect her… a secret he’s long feared will tear them apart.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy romance contains elements of power exchange.Universal Reader Link:  https://books2read.com/u/bwYPXO

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

Top of Her Game – Emmy Holly

Seducing the Prince – Patricia Grasso

Wicked Loving Lies – Rosemary Rogers

Shanna – Kathleen Woodiwiss

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreRebecca (technically a gothic mystery, but I still consider it romance).

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: None. unfortunately – too busy writing my own and working a full-time job.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

Gone with the Wind – never read it, but have wanted to

Fifty Shades of Grey – haven’t had time to read it either

McKettrick’s Choice by Linda Lael Miller

Prize #21

Author: Fiona Tarr

Title: The Jericho Prophecy

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: The battle for divine power rages within the Eternal Realm.

As the conflict escalates a prophecy is born that will set god against god amidst the mortal world below.
When the young priestess Rahab saves two foreigners from execution, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could see the death of everyone she knows and loves.

The future of humanity hangs in the balance as two bloodlines converge to battle over the city of Jericho. Now the Goddess Asherah must protect the prophecy and ensure both ancestral lines survive.

If either bloodline dies, the Host of Heaven will continue to battle for eternity…

-Finalist – 2018 – Author Academy and Readers’ Favorite Awards

“Fiona Tarr is a highly entertaining writer with exceptional storytelling skills.” – Eeva Lancaster for Readers’ Favorite

“A truly wonderful read with the plot very skillfully woven throughout the book.” – Claire Simpson

“Great book by a great author!! Definitely a Must Read!!!” – Ellen EngelbrechtUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGz0J

Prize #22

Author: Palvi Sharma

Title: A Second Tomorrow

Genre: Young Adult Reincarnation Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: 1876 – Arianna is living a simple life. Devoted to her family, she is ready to sacrifice her dreams and marry the man her father has decided for her. Then she meets Renaud and she faces a difficult choice: should she choose love over family?

Present day
Mayara isn’t looking forward to graduation because that would mean she would never get to see Kanvar again, a guy she’s had a crush on for two years. She is about to reveal her feelings to him when her younger brother claims that Kanvar has been bullying him.

It is up to Mayara to figure out whether her instincts about Kanvar are true or not.

Two different eras, a love that challenges the beliefs of two young women. Can they balance both their family’s happiness and their own?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/49D10w

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

A Girl Named Rose by Betty Neels

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreIt would have to be A Girl Named Rose by Betty Neels. I must have read it fifty times!

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time to read because I’m currently working on my new novel. Just a few chapters left before I take a break and get some reading done.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Prize #23

Author: Viviana MacKade

Title: His Midnight Sun

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Tormented, fierce, and broken, sculptor Aidan Murphy has judged himself guilty. He yearns for love but pushes everyone away. He longs for acceptance but has lost the key to open his heart. Until he meets Summer Williams. Beautiful and smart, Dr. Williams promises haven for a man who believes he deserves none. All he has to do is let her in and risk his heart and soul.

Summer’s managed to keep her inner light alive, even through tragedy. She’s created a new life for herself and her daughter in Crescent Creek with loving, caring and fun friends–well, except brooding, breathtaking Aidan. She’s used to keeping away from his type, though. All she has to do is ignore the pull of a man who’s turning out to be much more than snarls and storms. Will her compassion and medical instincts let her?

Love can heal a broken soul and shake up a timid heart. Or it can unleash devastation and revenge.

Will Aidan and Summer survive the hurricane?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYowkw

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

1. Edward Rutherfurd – London and Dublin

Both London and Dublin are cities I loved. I lived very close to London for five years, so I was able to visit and know her quite a bit. And I went to Dublin for the tenth anniversary with my husband, and I fell in love, totally and completely, with the city and Ireland. So those two books are a dream for me. I was able to witness how the cities changed and grew, and it was fantastic.

2. Nora Roberts – anything by her, really.

She’s the reason why I started writing, the one who got me hooked with the genre. Whatever she writes, I’ll read.

3. Marie Force – Fatal Series

The Hero and Heroine of this series are the only ones I love as much as I love Nora. Which is funny, because I’d read a book from Marie Force and hated it. Luckily for me, I have trouble remembering names so when I picked up the first book in the Fatal Series, I didn’t connect the author with the previous book and by the time I did, I was already gone for the series.

4. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights

No need to explain this one.

5. Bernard Cornwell – anything and everything

Love the guy. In my mind, he and Nora are an item and reign together in Paradise Book.

Wouldn’t that be simply awesome?

Prize #24

Author: Diane Merrill Wigginton

Title: Angelina’s Secret

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Prize #25

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: If you were asked to keep a secret to save the life of someone you barely knew, would you?

Lady Angelina Stewart is a bold, beautiful, independent woman with a terrible secret to hide. After returning home from a sea voyage, she is touted as a hero for saving her family’s ship and crew from a band of ruthless pirates. But Angelina is a fraud. She allowed that dreadful pirate captain to touch a part of her that no other man has ever been able to touch before, until now; her heart.

Captain Jude Deveraux is leading a double life. He and his band of French privateers steal, rob and plunder unsuspecting ships that have the misfortune of wandering into their domain. Awarded a title by the King of France for bravery during battle, The Duke of Bayonne, A.K.A. Pirate Captain, takes what he wants from the world as he and best friend, Honore live each day as if it were their last. That is until the day Jude discovers that the only thing he truly wants is to capture the untamed heart of fiery tempered, Lady Stewart for his own.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/brGnEz

 

Prize #26

Title: Isabella’s Heart

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Prize #27

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: If you had a twin, how far would you go to save their life?

It is 1783 England and Isabella Deveraux is an independent, fearless young woman who has hardened her heart to everyone that mattered to her, until the night she experiences a disturbing dream about her twin brother, Charlie. It is the eve of their 19th birthday and Charlie and his two school mates have been abducted by the devil incarnate. Isabella resolves to do whatever it takes to save her beloved twin, even if that means reconciling with her estranged family and placing her life in the hands of an intimidating Irish mercenary Captain by the name of Townsend.

Captain Aiden Townsend is more than willing to save the lives of three privileged schoolboys, for the right price. Jaded by his own devastating loss years before, Aiden has worked hard to keep his distance from the female persuasion. That is until the day he is introduced to Lady Isabella Deveraux. He recognized her as a kindred spirit the moment he looked into her fiery eyes and as he sails his ship from England to Dublin, with the beautiful Lady Deveraux aboard, he formulates a plan to help her. But if his plan is to work, he must break through the walls that surround her heart while tearing down a few of his own.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bQ9Lk0

 

Prize #28

Title: Olivia’s Promise

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Prize #29

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: If you had a unique set of skills and could save your best friend from a fate worse than death, would you?

Lady Olivia Sophia Allen Townsend is not only young and beautiful but considered by most in her polite social circle to be far too eccentric for her own good. Olivia’s been able to see and speak to spirits since she was very young, but the years of shunning by her peers caused Olivia to turn her back on those who need her the most; the spirits caught between two worlds. That is until the night her best friend Lilly comes to her asking for help. You see, Lilly can’t remember what happened to her, and finds herself in need of Olivia’s unique gifts to help her figure it out.

Coco, Olivia’s younger sister, is also gifted. She can touch someone and know their deepest, darkest secrets, often the very secrets they would prefer to keep hidden.

Together, the sisters set off on a sea voyage, from Ireland to America, intent on solving the mystery of Lilly’s untimely death.

Brody and Quinton Beaumont are fine-looking, eligible southern gentlemen: heirs to a successful cotton empire. They are also twins hiding a terrible secret. Their mother, Annabelle Beaumont died on the same night as their annual winter ball, eight years earlier, yet she continues to rule over their plantation home with an iron fist.

When these two families come together, secrets will be revealed.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bWzDk7

Answered Questions

Books That I Have Loved Over the Years and the Books That Made Me Want to Write: anything by Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series – the first 4 books in the series, Katherine Woodiwiss – A Rose in Winter, Come Love a Stranger.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Virgin to Victor by Trisha Hughes, a fascinating history of Royals from Mary of Scots and Bloody Mary, Elizabeth the Virgin Queen and on down. It is riveting the amount of research she has put into this book. Other than that, I am not doing much reading since I have just finished writing a novel, Lara’s Story, and I am working on a 5th novel, Compromising Position. I try not to read too much so that I am not influenced by someone else’s style while I am crafting my books.

The Latest 4 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Forbidden Highlands – crafted by a group of writers, Highland Spy by Madeline Martin, Word of Honor by Alexa Aston, Everything Forbidden by Kess Michaels

 

Prize #30

Author: CJ Warrant

Title: Sweet Reunion

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: On the brink of losing her bakery, Beth Monroe must accept help from Bryce Landry, the college love who broke her heart, or watch her dream fail.

After a broken engagement, Bryce gave up on the idea of real love until he walks into Beth’s bake shop. He has no clue why she is curt with him. But to get into her good graces, Bryce gives her an offer she can’t refuse, which opens up both their hearts and exposes the love they had for each other.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMQj8G

 

Prize #31

Title: Sweet Redemption

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Heading to Chicago for his mother’s funeral, Markus Landry is waylaid by a piece of metal piercing his gas tank. Stuck in the small town of Valentine, Oklahoma, he meets a vivacious spitfire librarian, Charlie White, who quickly gets under his skin. Markus wants more than a taste of her sweet lips and asks her to take a trip back to his hometown.

With just over a month left before Charlie has to close down her beloved Library, meeting Markus is a welcome distraction from her anguish about what she has to do. Even though she barely knows the man, Charlie takes a chance and lets her attraction for Markus take the lead and hope he doesn’t break her heart.

But seeing the brother he betrayed, Markus doubts he’s worth Charlie’s affection and pushes her away. Their chemistry is undeniable, but love may not be enough when you’re looking for redemption.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m0gD8M

Answered Question

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  1. Lucy Lennox- any one of the Forever Wilde series
  2. Sarina Bowen –  Goodbye Paradise
  3. Tillie Cole – Hades Hangman Series
  4. Charlie Cochet – Love in Spades – Four Kings Security series
  5. Ella Frank – Temptation Series

Prize #32

Author: Amber Daulton

Title: Arresting Mason

Genre: Steamy Bad Boy Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bxZLxe

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe first romance book I read was True Blue by Ingrid Weaver when I was twelve years old. After that, I started reading as many romance books as I could find, and I started writing my own books.

Prize #33

Author: Penny Estelle/P.A. Estelle

Title: The Forgotten Ornaments

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Twelve years ago Jim Rustle packed up and left his home in Idaho and hasn’t looked back. He gets quite an awakening when Lisa Parker, whom he hadn’t seen in all those years, breaks into a business meeting and uses some colorful adjectives to tell him just what she thinks of him.
Sparks fly between the two when he decides to follow Lisa home and sees what has happened in his absence. Is the anger stemming from the present or the past?
It’s the Christmas season. Anger, hurt, and misunderstandings have boiled inside Jim and Lisa for so long. Can homemade ornaments, from years past, help heal the betrayals that have festered for years?
The Forgotten Ornaments is a short story with a heat level of two. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/47Z9yg

 

Prize #34

Title: The Unwanted Christmas Guest

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Elizabeth McMurphy is an up and coming, high powered attorney and is after vengeance, involving one of the richest and most powerful families in Colorado. Steve York is an obnoxious reporter that thinks the ice queen has gone too far and does all he can to get under her skin.

When one of the worst blizzards in history hits Colorado during the Christmas holidays and leaves a hurt Steve York, stranded with Elizabeth in a mountain cabin, her hatred for him starts to thaw. But this attorney has a secret that she will guard, even at the risk of losing her only chance at love.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5xn

 

Prize #35

Title: The Christmas Outlaw

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Christmas Eve is five days away.  This is the day Sheriff Jim Hawkins will marry Charlene Lehman, the woman who will make his life complete and be the mother of his six year old daughter, Sally.

Adam Jacobson, a wanted murderer, is apprehended and it is up to Jim Hawkins to deliver him to Pueblo, Colorado. “I’ll only be gone for two days, Charlene. Nothing in this world will keep me from making you my wife.”

True to his word, Jim makes it home only to find both Charlene and his daughter missing. Heavy snow has covered any tracks to their whereabouts and nobody has seen a thing. All searches have come up empty.

Will the magic of the Christmas season come through or has Jim lost everything he has come to cherish?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgLQxR

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe book that got me hooked was Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love.

Prize #36

Author: Carol Ann Kauffman

Title: Madison’s Christmas

Genre: Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: “This is a sweet, short story about a woman who is emotionally fragile during the holiday season. She finds love in the most unexpected way with a man who isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. I smiled often as the story developed. It was adorable!”Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5ryGR

 

Prize #37

Title: Christmas at Star Lake

Genre: Holiday Romance/Mystery

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: This is the perfect time for a Christmas Murder Mystery! Somebody is killing off Madison’s employees, so she closed down shop, sends everyone home, and heads to a cabin at the lake to think. What could possibly go wrong?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38raNL

 

Prize #38

Title: I Need Christmas

Genre: Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: The story of Betsy Curry, a woman returning home for the holidays with her big, happy family after a crushing divorce.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppvxk

 

Prize #39

Title: Bentley Square

Genre: Romantic Adventure

Format: Signed Paperback

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Strangers see each other every day on the train, fantasize about each other, but never speak. Then one day they meet. International intrigue follows.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKp11

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreI first fell in love with romantic adventure stories after discovering Jude Deveraux’s wonderful tales of love and longing. Counterfeit Lady, Velvet Lady, The Montgomery Saga. A frontier one with Zeke and Abby…I can’t remember the name, but we all loved it! I was lucky enough to work with a bunch of avid readers. Usually non-fiction. Usually geared toward the education of primary children. But one evening after a teachers meeting, we discovered a little used paperback bookstore and bought everything they had by Jude, then passed them around among us at work. Discussions, late night phone calls, and tears in the teacher’s room ensued. Wonderful experience!

Prize #40

Author: Kenneth Sumerford

Title: Liberty: Romance Out of a Clear Blue Sky, Book 1

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 30

Blurb: Liberty Adair is recovering from her broken marriage and even has questions about God, science and her future. She is a Christian who unexpectedly meets a college professor who is good-looking, available but an atheist. Sometimes opposites attract. They are worlds apart but both need love and have disturbing questions about science, God and their future romantic relationships.

Dr. Ernest Siegfried is successful until he has a heart attack at age 39. Liberty was divorced from her preacher husband and now wonders if her life has meaning, or is her life without purpose and direction? Liberty has some past hurts from her failed marriage and longs for a good marriage and children. Ernest believes that modern science has replaced beliefs in God. Liberty is researching evolution, intelligent design and questions about the Creator to answer some burning doubts.

At age 28, can she be sure of what is real and what are outdated religious beliefs? How does God interface with humans? Does DNA prove intelligent design by the Creator? Did God create mankind in His image, or did humans create gods and goddesses in their image?

Additional option from Kenneth: I hope you review the book. I have a few paperbacks for free (10) and if you want one, then send me your physical address. Be sure to mention ‘Books Reviews Marie’ in your email. My Email address is bk@Sumerford.comUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3yDAxp

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe Song of Solomon book in the Bible

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon

Prize #41

Author: McKenna Dean

Title: Ghost of a Chance

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.

A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.

With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they each harbor secrets that might tear them apart.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzEJ

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Pretty Face by Lucy Parker

To My Muse by Nicola Cameron

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Prize #42

Author: Seelie Kay

Title: Snatching Dianna

Genre: Romantic Suspense, some Erotic Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The hours are counting down as investigators try to prove that Dianna Murphy has been snatched. Unfortunately, without witnesses and solid evidence, all the police really know is that she is missing.

When suburban Milwaukee law student Dianna Murphy fails to connect with her roommate, there is no real evidence that she has been snatched. Until Law Professor Janet MacLachlan, a former covert agent, discovers a single clue, one that points to a taking by a slave trafficking cartel. In a race against time, Janet recruits her husband, secret agent Cade Matthews, small-town Police Chief David Manders and his wife, criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant, and other law students to uncover the truth. Can they prove she has been taken, before Dianna disappears without a trace?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mvKgde

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Betting the Scot by Jennifer Tretheway

Prize #43

Author: Beverly Ovalle

Title: Dragons’ Mate

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Ménage

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: They had been searching for their mate, but when they find her she is traumatized and scared to be around strange men. They must get her to accept them before they reveal their true natures. Will their love be strong enough to break down her barriers? Could she truly be destined to love two dragons?

Today Annie’s dragons will shift and fulfill her every desire, which means a fiery threesome—and true love.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38r1l7

 

Prize #44

Title: A Saint’s Salvation

Genre: Contemporary Military Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Corporal Nicholas ‘Saint’ Santiago needs to go home to reclaim the man he used to be. To be the man he was before Operation Enduring Freedom slowly hardened his heart. He needs to reconnect to the values and the reasons he is doing what he does. Saint also needs to try to forget the courageous woman he fell in love with.

Petty Officer Angelina Jones’ life changed the moment Saint saved her life. She survived the blast but now has to deal with the fact that she will never be whole. She can’t believe that anyone would want her the way she is now. Digging up her courage, Angelina moves forward hoping against hope that she can live a full life again.

Crossing paths again brings their emotions to a full boil. A coincidence that will have them both reaching for their dreams.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/A-Saints-Salvation

 

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

Dark Fire by Christine Feehan – My favorite out of all of the series.

Blackwing Defender (Kane’s Mountains Book 1) by T.S. Joyce – really ANY of her books. I’ve read this whole series and all the spinoffs starting with the bears on Damian’s Mountain!

Ice Planet Barbarians: A SciFi Alien Romance by Ruby Dixon. Again, I’ve read this whole series and the spin offs.

Ivan (Her Russian Protector #1) by Roxie Rivera – Loved this whole series.

King by T.M. Frazier – This series grabbed me by the gut. I couldn’t get enough.

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreI started reading gothic romances in 4th grade so I couldn’t tell you. But I remember the first romance I absolutely fell in love with, The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I just finished Hacked by Love by Elisa Leigh and am waiting for the next one to come out.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: I’m waiting on the next in the Daughters of Beasts series by T.S. Joyce, any of the Barbarians by Ruby Dixon, and the three books in Christine Feehan’s Dark Series I’m behind on. I like to save them up and stay immersed in a world.

Prize #45

Author: Skye McNeill

Title: Appointed by Fate

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Kindle Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: Can second chances really exist for a bad boy mobster and the only woman to ever steal his heart?

One of Iowa’s most prominent criminal attorneys, Joci Dorous is ruthless and devoid of emotion in the courtroom. It’s what makes her the best. Her most recent client allegedly committed murder and, despite a rocky start, Joci is determined to win Cameron Shearer’s case.

Since this is her first homicide, she has the support of a second-chair attorney—her ex who wants her back. To make things more complicated, her hunky cop of a booty call, Cameron’s arresting officer, isn’t quite ready to let her go either. Who knew being surrounded by three hot guys could be so deliciously exhausting?

As the mystery of the case unravels, she soon discovers the true reason behind Cameron’s impromptu visit to Iowa. It’s this knowledge that endangers all those she holds dear. Caught up in confusion, chaos, and criminal law, how will her heart survive the final verdict? Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/47Z9oE

 

Prize #46

Title: Hearts Abroad

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Kindle Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Taking a break from screenwriting in New York City, Londyn Bellerose takes a nannying job in Colorado to get away from the hubbub. A summer to live without regrets is all she wants. While her boss is British, gorgeous, and a millionaire, he has no clue how to have fun. Determined to mend the relationship between father and daughters, Londyn doesn’t expect to fall for the museum curator.

Londyn is American and everything Callum Archer swore to never fall for again. With her carefree spirit and energetic smile, she’s perfect to nanny Callum’s two daughters. The problem is she’s also perfect for him. She’s sassy, musical, and tends to speak her mind more than she means to.

When old history and new dreams threaten her happily ever after, will Londyn and Callum’s love survive?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4jDkn2

Answered Question

Your Top 5 Romance BooksDeep Blue by Kat Martin, The Highlander Series by Maya Banks, Spirited Away by Cindy Miles, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and A Little of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson

Prize #47

Author: Raegyn Perry

Title: Lavender Fields

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Prize #48

Format: Paperback

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Torrential rain spikes. A scream pierces the dark night.

Greye Fields has immersed herself in her literary work, with no desire to chase the inevitable sting of rejection she knows too well. She won’t allow herself the time or the desire to pursue love.

Until she meets him.

Connor Donovan is perfectly content with his bachelor status. Life is good, teaching middle school English, and being the favorite uncle. He wants for nothing.

Until he meets her.

Shattered glass. A wash of blood.

Is it a nightmare or a memory?

Can Connor and Greye overcome the obstacles to the love of all time, or is tragedy doomed to be repeated?

What if love found the right people in the wrong time?

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bP5PEx

 

Prize #49

Title: Cypress Groves

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Prize #50

Format: Paperback

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The journey continues…

Darkness looms.

A horrific event shakes the small, idyllic town of Roy, WA.

Tre Michaels, the new sheriff, has a job to do. He has sworn to serve and protect, with his life if necessary. Though he has no time to pursue the hometown beauty, Angela Donovan, he finds himself gravitating to her.

A supernatural presence is lurking in the shadows of the quiet town.

The once peaceful community is changed forever.

Can Angela and Tre find love, and a happily ever after despite the danger? Or will their fairy tale turn deadly?

The Eternal Journey Series

A journey toward redemption, and truth

A journey toward love.

Be sure to look for the third and final story of the series, Rose Gardens.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3L07Aw

 

Prize #51

Item: Holiday Romance Gift Basket (Includes wine, so 21 and over only)

Format: Swag

# of packages: 1

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  1. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies-Michael Aiello
  2. Fault in our Stars – John Greene
  3. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  4. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas – James Patterson
  5. The Timepiece – Richard Paul Evans

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreCan’t recall the title now, but I know it was a Nora Roberts!

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Set in Stone by Aurrora St. James

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

  1. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (love the TV series)
  2. Lucky Harbor Series by Jill Shalvis
  3. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Prize #52

Author: Alice J Miller

Title: The Price to Be Paid

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Kyle Lawson needs a wife, and he needs one now. With his ailing business on the line, the only woman who can rescue him is the stepdaughter of the man who put him in this precarious position in the first place. Can he trust her to come through for him, and save his business?

When given the chance to marry the man of her dreams, while atoning for the sins of her family, Molly Wilson doesn’t hesitate. Propelled into a bogus marriage, she vows to make up for the mistakes of the past, even if it means breaking her own heart.

Can Kyle and Molly put aside their differences and unite, fight for a better future? When their plan is threatened by a secret from Kyle’s past, will it ruin the deal and destroy any hope of a life together?

Amidst the searing heat of Florida, will Molly and Kyle resist their inner desires? Or, despite their troubled past, can love, forgiveness and redemption find a way to shape their future?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5ry1l

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books: Very hard, but I narrowed it down…

Liz Fielding – Anything but Vanilla

Newly Weds of Convenience – Jessica Hart

A Nanny for the New Year – Barbara McMahon

S E Gilchrist – Legend Beyond the Stars

Diane Burton – Switched

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreWild Justice – Liz Fielding

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: The Lost King – Michael Cuell

It’s set in the days of kings and sword fights, but has romance at the heart of it.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

Kari Lemor – Fatal Evidence (Love on the Line Book 3)

Carrie Nichols – The Sheriff’s Little Matchmaker

Brynn Kelly – Edge of Truth

Prize #53

Author: Jenny Lynn

Title: Captive

Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense, Dark Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 5

Blurb: In the city of sin, who will be saved?

Beckett Carter is the last of his family; the head of Carter Enterprises and a reclusive billionaire living in a luxurious Las Vegas penthouse. Since his parents’ murder, his obsession with justice has steadily grown stronger, leading him to become the masked vigilante known to criminals as the Phantom. When he’s not out playing the part of a filthy rich playboy he trains his body hard, and in his disguise, he brings the criminal underworld to its knees.

Crime reporter Ella James keeps everyone at arm’s length, throwing herself into her work and her quest to find out what happened to her missing sister. She doesn’t let anyone get close enough to her to see how damaged she really is and afraid to trust anyone fully; she has never let a man touch her. While going undercover she puts her life in danger and discovers the secret identity of the Phantom as he ruthlessly eliminates a room full of criminals. This one night sets off a chain of events neither of them expected.

Faced with the threat of being exposed, Beckett is left with only one choice. He takes Ella captive, keeping her in a secret room until he can complete his mission. In Ella, Beckett finds an opponent unlike any he’s met before – she’s smart, resourceful, and worst of all, innocent. The untouched woman locked away in his penthouse is the greatest temptation he has ever faced.

A tense rivalry between the two grows into something so much more than either could have imagined. When Beckett gives in and shows Ella how dark he can be, can she succeed and show him the light?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nY0oB

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m currently reading Sin with Me by J.A Huss. I enjoy her writing style; it’s deliciously dark and sensual with quite a few twists and turns. I like a bit of suspense in my romance as a reader and a writer.

Prize #54

Author: Sofie Darling

Title: Three Lessons in Seduction

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Paris, September 1824 – Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.

Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?

When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.

Even if the thought makes his blood boil.

Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping…

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband …

It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5Xq

 

Prize #55

Title: Tempted by the Viscount

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: London, April 1825

Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.

Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.

A bargain is struck.

What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.

But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgLQqD

Answered Question

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James

Prize #56

Author: Carole McKee

Title: Maddie’s Garden

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Growing up in an unstable home, and then being tossed into the home of her estranged father and his new family, Maddie knows how it feels to be unwanted. All she longs for is a normal family where there is love, peace, and harmony. When she finds the twins hiding in her yard, her heart opens up and love spills all over them. They are running away because their widowed father is going to marry a woman they hate, and they claim she hates them, too. Maddie is taken in by the twins, and soon becomes good friends with their father. She steps in and helps out when he asks her, and she is glad to do it. When Adam has set a date for his wedding, he backs away from Maddie, hoping to give his future wife a chance to bond with his children. It is then that Maddie realizes that she is in love with Adam, and her heart breaks. Maddie isn’t the only one who is sad. The twins are devastated and resort to drastic measures to get Maddie back. In spite of their sad little faces, the wedding day arrives, and it is up to Adam to make it right.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bazeQQ

 

Prize #57

Title: Testosterone Poisoning, Book 1

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: After breaking up with Derek, Kyla Stanford meets the man of her dreams. Storm Galloway is the most gorgeous man she has ever seen. They are so right for each other, and they could not be happier. When Derek sees them together he is enraged. Kyla must pay for her lies and infidelity — Derek will see to it. He hatches a plan. Will Storm find her and save her? Will he be on time? And finally, what does ‘testosterone poisoning’ mean? Who is poisoned by testosterone?

This is Book 1 of the series of three.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/meAYMY

 

 

Prize #58

Title: Missing Memories

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: A car accident in the middle of a snowstorm wipes out Miranda’s memory. While she is being treated at a clinic by a pair of doctors, father and son, she begins to fall for the son. The feelings are mutual. But it is soon discovered that she has a family and a fiancé desperately trying to find her. They are complete strangers to her, but it is odd that there is something about Rob, her fiancé, that she does not like. While she doesn’t recognize her family, she feels safe with them. The Christmas wedding had been postponed, but Rob encourages her to set another date. She allows him to talk her into setting a date, but these feelings she has toward Rob won’t go away. Why? If only she could get her memory back. That may be the answer.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKKnLZ

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Right now I am reading Cinderella Moment by Lulu Jones, and so far, it’s delightful.

Prize #59

Author: Bonnie McCune

Title: Never Retreat

Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: A feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military, macho corporate star at a business retreat in the wild Colorado mountains, where only one can win a huge prize. But when a massive flood imperils their love and survival, they learn the meaning of true partnership.

Years ago, Ramona (‘Raye”) Soto faced harsh reality when a roving con man knocked her up. Now at thirty-something, she’s concentrating on her career in a major telecommunications firm and funding college for her teenaged son. Enter Desmond Emmett—a fast talker and smooth operator. New to the office, the ex-serviceman possesses every negative quality for a guy Raye should avoid.

Thrown together at a corporate retreat in the wilderness, the reluctant duo struggles to complete management’s extreme mental and physical tests for a huge reward. But only one can win the prize, and Des needs the money to underwrite medical treatments for his adored younger sister.

Seesawing between attraction and antagonism, the mismatched couple, Raye and Des, face their biggest challenge: learning the meaning of true partnership. When a massive flash flood sweeps down the rocky canyon and threatens their love and survival, they must put aside their differences to rescue their colleagues — and their future as a couple.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bQ9L5Z

 

Prize #60

Title: Falling Like a Rock

Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: Watch out for falling rock! A mountain town and its rugged mayor captivate a woman in search of a new life and love.

Unloved and unemployed. That’s Elaine Svoboda, after she’s sacked, then flees across country to her boyfriend who drops her flat. Teetering on the abyss of disaster, she calls an old friend who invites her to a tiny mountain town with fresh prospects. There she meets rugged, hunky Joe Richter-Leon, mayor of Falling Rock, Colorado.

Sparks fly immediately, but major obstacles make a new life on the ashes of the old appear impossible. She must overcome a few obstacles like a broken ankle, an eating disturbance, his stubbornness, and her own fears. She’s smothering her hopes when a battle with a forest inferno illuminates their true feelings and desire.

Funny and frank, poignant and perceptive, when two people are “Falling Like a Rock,” they learn surrender sometimes means victory.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3krMqG

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreRoberta Gellis, Bond of Blood. I discovered she excelled at historic romances which fully utilized her depth of academic expertise and made readers hungry for her accurate, enchanting stories.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Just finished Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That. In-depth, multi-layered story of three friends, all with weight and psychological problems. But which caused which?

Prize #61

Author: Young (Bernard Foong)

Title: No Distance Between Us

Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: No Distance Between Us is a short, coming-of-age romantic story about a gay teenager in an exclusive English boarding school. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mVBEpr

 

Prize #62

Title: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up

Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up is a short yuletide story about a teenage prankster at a pantomime in an exclusive English boarding school.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mvKglq

 

Prize #63

Title: The Truth Will Set You Free

Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The Truth Will Set You Free is a mistaken identity short story about a gay teenager at a Valentine’s Day party with a girl who had eyes for him.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bxZLlJ

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe trilogy that made me fall in love with the Romance/Erotica Genre was Anne Rice writing as A. N. ROQUELAURE, Classic Erotic Trilogy of Sleeping Beauty. These books were so beautifully written, I could identify one of the characters as that of myself. I read the entire series within a week in the early 1980s. I have yet to read another Romance/Erotica author’s work that can rival the Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Although Ms. Rice penned a fourth book to the series three decades later, I was disappointed because her erotic romance mojo/emotions had dissipated. What was left was an empty repetitious shell of her glorious trilogy.

Prize #64

Author: Marie Lavender

Title: Blood at First Sight Series

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1 ebook set of 2 books

Blurb:

SECOND NATURE

She never expected it…

Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?

BLOOD INSTINCTS

Enter the Other World at your own risk…
What if you found out that you weren’t exactly…human?
Myah Sullivan is suddenly living that nightmare. There are Others in the world, dangerous, supernatural creatures that make her mind spin and cause her to question the reality she’s always known.
Oliver King is her savior, a vampire who tries to show her the way. Through her journey she learns far more than she ever thought she would about herself, and about the past. Soon, she discovers that there is so much more to meeting Oliver than mere happenstance.
Can Myah accept her new reality, or will she retreat into that normal, safe world she once thought was her own?Universal Reader Link: http://Author.to/MarieLavender

 

Prize #65

Title: Blue Vision (book one of the Code of Endhivar Series)

Genre: Sci-fi Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Brooke Sanders just wants to get away from her life for a while. A remote cabin in Montana fits the bill. She doesn’t expect to encounter a mysterious stranger with unusual blue eyes, or events that cannot be explained…

Colin Fielding is on a mission – scout a planet and return home to Endhivar. Simple really. What he doesn’t anticipate is that fate has a pretty twisted sense of humor. Suddenly, this human calls to him, every part of him, like the call of a true mate, and he can’t deny the connection as he gets closer to her.

Little do they know, someone is out to do them harm, as well as the world Brooke holds so dear. Can they stop what’s coming before it’s too late? Or will the universe lose a perfect gem?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/md0BoX

 

Prize #66

Title: Heiresses in Love Trilogy

Genre: Historical Romance/Family Saga

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1 boxed set

Blurb: An unforgettable, sweeping saga of romance, passion and history rooted in tales of maritime suspense…

Three heiresses…three novels like no other.

UPON YOUR RETURN

Fara risks her heart every time she’s with him, but she cannot deny him.

UPON YOUR HONOR

Chloe never imagined that the man she deceived would be the one man she can’t stop loving.

UPON YOUR LOVE

Adrienne must decide whether to succumb to desire or fight for love.

…Will these remarkable women at last find what they’ve always wanted, or lose more than they can bear?Universal Reader Link: http://myBook.to/HeiressesTrilogy

 

Prize #67

Title: Second Chance Heart (book one of the Eternal Hearts Series)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…

The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for another.

She can’t be more wrong…

The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal?

Universal Reader Link: http://books2read.com/u/brozre

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance BooksDark Lover by J.R. Ward, Under Her Skin by Susan Mallery, The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood, Emma’s Home by Maryann Jordan, Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreDevil’s Embrace by Catherine Coulter

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Wild Things by Chloe Neill

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

The Ancient Blood Awakens box set by Angel Black

Prize #68

Author: Cleo Scornavacca

Title: Within Six Months

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook (and bookmark set in the mail)

# of copies: 5

Blurb: Time…escaping his past, struggling with the present, looking towards his future.

Time… a gift, precious, fleeting, ever-changing, moving quickly…too quickly, especially for a man searching for the woman of his dreams.

That’s exactly how photographer Tommy Conte decided he would begin his new life. He left everything he knew behind in search of something special…someone special. His plan was clear. He would move to the beach, renovate an old shore house and find the woman that he would ultimately marry…all within six months.

Was he delusional? Perhaps…yet after everything that had gone on in his life the last few years, he had to take that chance.

Then… as luck would have it, he met Jade Stanton, his new neighbor. Tommy was immediately drawn to her. He wanted and needed to know more.

Perfect right? Wrong…

There was one small problem. Jade wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship like Tommy was. She was done…over it. She swore off anything serious with any man that came her way…until she was backed into a corner and Tommy came to her rescue.

He pretended to be her boyfriend…for just one evening.

It was simple, no strings attached. It was only one night, or so she thought.

Due to circumstances beyond her control, Jade needed Tommy to play his part for a little while longer. She didn’t think it would be a problem. Tommy was fine with it and they both knew it was all just an act. Yet, Jade came to realize the more she pretended, the more she couldn’t deny that she was falling for him. Although she didn’t want Tommy to find out, Tommy knew better; he felt it too.

Tommy realized that the girl he had dreamed of was right there in front of him, and the life he wanted to share with her was finally within his grasp. He decided he couldn’t let her slip away. He wouldn’t leave it up to fate. He had to try, but Tommy also knew it wouldn’t be easy. Actually, it would be the hardest thing he ever had to do…prove to Jade that she could trust him enough to love him, as much as he loved her.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38ra16

 

Prize #69

Title: Miss Taken Identity Series

Genre: Contemporary Romance, some Dark Romance

Format: Ebook Set (trilogy) with bookmark set in the mail

# of copies: 5

Blurb:

MISS TAKEN

Love… The Ultimate Loss of Control

Rain and Raven Medici are identical twins. Although they come from a loving close-knit family, their childhoods couldn’t have been more different. Raven went to school and was exposed freely to the outside world. Rain, on the other hand, was born with a blood disorder and denied many normal childhood experiences.

Once grown, Raven becomes a lawyer at their dad’s firm Kane & Medici in NYC. Rain along with her only childhood friend Tommy Conte, builds a very successful business as professional photographers. Traveling between Europe and Manhattan, and enjoying a world that was kept from her, Rain vows never to be controlled again.

Dominick Kane is a product of his upbringing. He’s powerful, self-assured and knows he can achieve anything he desires. Nothing gets in his way. There is only one thing he has ever failed at. A relationship with his father Vincent Kane. Upon his father’s death, Dominick vows revenge. The events he sets in motion put him on a collision course he himself will be unable to control.

In a bizarre twist of fate, Dominick kidnaps Raven as part of his plan for revenge. Only to discover afterward, he has taken Rain by mistake. Rain knows she can never survive being confined again. So she strikes a bargain with the devil and agrees to help Dominick get back what he feels rightly belongs to him. His father’s share of Kane & Medici.

Dominick decides to use the strong attraction growing between Rain and himself to control her in every way imaginable. Too bad no one ever taught Dominick you can’t control the heart. Nothing could have prepared him for the effect Rain would have on his.

Will this plan of revenge turn into unconditional love? Or will Dominick and Rain’s need for control ultimately destroy them and any possible chance for a real future together…

IDENTITY

…People aren’t always who you believe them to be.

Dominick Kane and Rain Medici started their relationship with one another in the most unconventional way.

He kidnapped her.

With the kidnapping now behind them, life returns to normal, right?

Not a chance.

The push, the pull and their fights for control that we’ve come to love about Dominick and Rain still exist. And so does their passion.

People aren’t who you think they are. Familiar faces are not so familiar. The past and the present collide, opening up all of those old wounds and struggles once again.

Now, everything you thought you knew, gets blown out of the water.

Can Dominick and Rain finally heal what’s broken? Or will new discoveries push them even further apart.

Will love win out and bring them back together? Or will ghosts of the past ultimately destroy their love once and for all…

THE TIES THAT BIND

When Rain Medici was taken, she never thought in a million years that her captor would be the man of her dreams, but he was.

Dominick Kane kidnapped his enemy’s daughter. He had no idea that his victim would be the one woman to capture his empty heart, but she did.

It’s been one full year since the kidnapping that brought Dominick and Rain together. In that time, they struggled with many emotions and fought constant obstacles. They discovered new identities, faced ghosts from their pasts and attacks against their family, that to this day remain unsolved.

Yet, regardless of the unexpected challenges, some self-inflicted, Dominick and Rain always knew that their undying love for each other had gotten them through everything.

But then… the unimaginable happened.

Dominick was arrested.

The charge?

The apparent kidnapping of his wife, Rain Medici.

Now, the couple faces a whole new set of challenges. Challenges that bring their pasts forward once again and others which force each of them to examine who they really are and what they have become.

Dominick and Rain’s future hangs in the balance. They are in the fight of their lives. Will it make them even stronger than before? Or will the delicate threads that held them together…in the end, ultimately pull them apart?Universal Reader Link: https://www.amazon.com/Cleo-Scornavacca/e/B00FW92ILS/

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe books that made me fall in love with romance…actually, I fell in love with it when I was younger; with books from Jackie Collins, VC Andrews, Debbie Macomber, but I had stopped reading for some time, as many readers do and one day I was at a Flea Market that had many books. I always look for old editions of Charlotte’s Web as it was the book that started my love of reading. Anyway, I found a book with a blue cover and just a flower on the center. It was called Night Gardening by EL Swann. It’s not printed anymore, but you can find it on Amazon in paperback. I loved the story of second chance love and the fact that the characters weren’t twentyish. I loved the caring and the heartache in this story. It was compelling and its one of my go-to re-reads of all time.

Prize #70

Author: Sable Hunter

Title: True Love’s Fire: Hell Yeah!

Genre: Steamy Romance/Women’s Fiction

Format: Ebook (MUST BE kindle copies or .mobi copies direct to kindle address)

# of copies: 2

Blurb: While vacationing at a cabin in the Ozarks, Scott Walker – Austin neurobiologist, gets snowed-in and has to be rescued by local, Lia Houston.
She brings him food, helps him fix his heat and tries to get his car on the road. A monster storm has paralyzed the mountain and as she’s trying to chain his car to her truck, a huge ice-covered limb falls, crushing the front of her pick-up and almost flattening Scott.
If she hadn’t moved fast, he’d be a memory – but the brave action on her part comes with a price, she’s injured and stuck with Mr. Know-It-All until the weather abates.
Scott doesn’t believe in love, much less love at First Sight. So when he meets Lia, he welcomes the attraction, but fights the tenderness with every breath in his body.
Join Sable Hunter as she chronicles their journey from lust to love with a lot of fireworks in between. They meet at the dawn of the New Year, and by Valentine’s Day the fires of True Love are burning bright.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppvlg

 

Prize #71

Title: A Breath of Heaven: El Camino Real

Genre: Steamy Western Romance, Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook (MUST BE kindle copies or .mobi copies direct to kindle address)

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Cade and Abby have a history. Years ago they were in love. Undeclared and unrequited, Cade waited until Abby was old enough for him to declare his love. Abby wanted nothing more than she wanted Cade.

But something happened.

Abby pushed Cade away and he never knew why. Since then, sparks fly when they’re together. Antagonizing one another has become their favorite sport. The only problem is… it’s all a front. They bicker because they both want the same thing – each other. A wedding brings them together and Cade is determined to learn Abby’s secret. He’ll do whatever it takes to win her love.

Meet the King Family of El Camino Real – five brothers, one sister and a legacy as big as Texas.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKpGv

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre

Slow Hand by Leslie Kelly inspired me to write.

Jude Deveraux made me fall in love with the romance genre. This is one book that I fell in love with. – A Knight in Shining Armor

New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux will capture your heart with signature classic novel, a time-travel romance featuring a present-day heroine and a dashing hero from the sixteenth century! Abandoned by a cruel fate, lovely Dougless Montgomery lies weeping upon a cold tombstone in an English church. Suddenly, the most extraordinary man appears. It is Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck…and according to his tombstone he died in 1564. Drawn to his side by a bond so sudden and compelling it overshadows reason, Dougless knows that Nicholas is nothing less than a miracle: a man who does not seek to change her, who finds her perfect, fascinating, just as she is. What Dougless never imagined was how strong the chains are that tie them to the past…or the grand adventure that lay before them. Hailed worldwide as one of the most romantic novels of all time, A Knight in Shining Armor is “a glorious love story that spans centuries, worlds, and souls. It is the epitome of every woman’s fantasy” (Chicago Daily Herald).

Prize #72

Author: Virginia Babcock

Title: Hear Me

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Action-Adventure

Format: Paperback (U.S., Canada or U.K.)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Maddy has always been different, but lately she’s been lonely. Even those who love her avoid her because of her “gift” and the strange things it makes her do. Then one night, a ghostly visitor warns her to go with the handsome stranger who shows up at her door before dawn. Jacob needed a change in his life, so he quit his job. Before he could head out on his next adventure, his brother reached out to him for help. Will he ever know why a haunting dream told him to leave to help his brother now? On his way, he meets the beautiful Maddy. Together Maddy and Jacob help those they are called to help. Through triumph and tragedy, they find their own way and try to blend two varying paths into one.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzP6

 

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreI’m a voracious reader. The books that got me started on romance were 1960-1970s Harlequin romances. There’s not a single one I can remember, but the summer I started reading them, I read stacks and piles from my grandmother’s basement and have read romance ever since. I went from The Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, and the Little House books to Harlequin.

From Harlequin I found Julie Garwood and Nora Roberts. I have a wide swath of Christine Feehan to Lynn Viehl, Lisa Kleypas, and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Lately I’ve found Penny Reid and Irish Winters.

Prize #73

Author: Madison Michael

Title: Moonlight & Moet

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Can the Hottest Man Around Melt this Ice Queen’s Heart?

When her husband publicly cheats on her, Leigh Dobbs trades her humiliating reputation as an ice queen and a hometown that shuns her for the unknown of rural North Carolina. Taking over a small bed and breakfast, Leigh sets out to restore it, her dignity and her life. Excited at the prospect of adding more rooms and a full-service restaurant, Leigh’s big plans encounter the brick wall that is Caleb Rausch. Sparks fly even as Caleb votes no on the planning commission, crushing Leigh’s dreams.

Handsome powerhouse Caleb Rausch is a man on a mission, expanding his huge corporation without encroaching on the small town where it resides. His commitment to his products, employees and historic preservation are unwavering. What’s lacking is his commitment to one woman. Caleb is the most eligible bachelor in three states, dating celebrities and models, but never settling down. Until now.

Even as Caleb forces Leigh’s expansion plans on hold, the couple moves full-steam-ahead on their relationship, unable to resist the mutual attraction. So why, after a steamy night together, does Caleb disappear for weeks? Has Leigh put her heart out there again, just to be played?

Will the magic of a moonlit night be enough to kindle their love or will Caleb’s constant disappearing act prevent him from melting this ice queen’s heart?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bazeKQ

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  • Kate Cantebary – Underneath it All – The first in the Walsh Series and the best of the bunch. I love the details, the humor and the chemistry.
  • Kathleen Woodiwiss – The Rose in Winter – A classic tale of true love that I can come back to again and again.
  • CD Reiss – Bombshell – Great writing, clever plots, great storytelling and scorching sex scenes.
  • Tessa Dare – Once Upon a Winter’s Eve – Ms. Dare writes fantastic historical romances that capture the era yet feel relevant, touching and are hard to put down.
  • Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice – It may be predictable that it is on my list, but I have a leather bound copy that has my mother’s maiden name in the front. That is how long my family has been reading and sharing this book. A classic romance with all the elements I require, a wonderful love story, wit and great writing, a handsome rich hero, and a protagonist I can relate to – not too perfect, not the prettiest, burdened with the family from hell. What more could you want?

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe Ring by Danielle Steele. I loved that story. Before that I read classic romance written by legendary writers or historical romance that felt repetitive. One made me think writing was out of reach and the other that it wasn’t worth the effort.

The Ring was different for me – approachable writing and a great story. Danielle Steele never let me down, then or now.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Driven (series) by K. Bromberg. I think the author may have created the perfect hero in Colton Donovan.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

The rest of the “Driven” series is on my list and already on my Kindle.

I just downloaded The Darcy Brothers by Alix Nichols and hope to read it over the holidays.

My Favorite Husband by Pam McCutcheon looks like a really fun read for a wintry Chicago weekend.

One guaranteed to be hot, one guaranteed to be funny and one full of aristocrats. They should make for great winter entertainment.

Prize #74

Author: Vicki-Ann Bush

Title: The Garden of Two

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Charlie Murphy and Lillie Whitman are surrounded by the innocence of young love, and the guileless early twentieth century. They fall deeper into each other, intertwining their very different worlds to create a bond that no one can break.

Or so they thought.

When the dawn of World War I comes to their Long Island town, and personal tragedies begin to spiral the lovers into an abyss of darkness, they must fight to hold on to their love. Knowing their bond will be the only ties that will get them through. From the horrors of Germany’s front lines to the emotional battle fields fought at home, Charlie and Lillie must find a way to stay strong, and navigate a path, back into each other’s arms. And how a garden, a very special garden, can withstand the coldest of winters and give the ultimate symbol of hope.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKKnjZ

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe one I first read was Emma. A cliché, I know, but that’s it.

Prize #75

Author: Lisa Doughty

Title: First Two Books of the Ladies of Kent Series

Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery

Format: Paperback Set

# of copies: 1 set of 2 print books

Blurb:

ELLA AND THE EXPERIMENT

Lady Ella McHenry is a genius like her father. Following her father’s death, she steps into his role at the University as a problem solver and tutor. Now alone, she must contemplate marriage in order to keep the fortune her father left her as well as her independence. Her Aunt urges her to add physical attraction to her list of logical and intellectual attributes she wants in a husband. Not seeing the point, she decides to test her aunt’s theory by conducting an experiment on the subject. When the handsome rake Lord Dexter St Johns comes to her for help on his artillery project, she makes a bargain with him. She will help him with his project if he will conduct an experiment with her. Little did the analytical Lady Ella know how much of her heart would become entangled in her conclusion and how important attraction can be.

Lord St Johns was in a race to be the first to complete a smaller, more efficient weapon against his nemesis Lord Vanderguard. Desperate to keep such a weapon out of the warmonger hands, he is forced to enlist help from the most unlikely source, Lady Ella McHenry. At first glance he didn’t believe the petite and rather severe looking young woman could help his cause. Taking a leap of faith, he hands the top secret plans over for her analysis. To his surprise, she turns out to be the one person to solve his issues. When she asks for a favor in return, he could not refuse her and blindly agrees to whatever she needs. To his shock, she wants to conduct an experiment that is beyond scandalous and even more exciting than he could imagine. As Lady Ella knocks him off balance and steals his heart, his project and her involvement in it puts her in mortal danger. Now he must not only save her, but his heart as well.

LETITIA AND THE LETTERS

Lady Letitia Wentworth is no match for her older sister, Lady Deidra Wentworth, either in beauty or popularity. Refusing to be the companion of her self–absorbed and conceited sister during an event at the family estate in Canterbury, she planned to lock herself in the library the whole week. It’s there that she stumbles across her great aunt Gladys’ letters, which hint at the mystery surrounding her death and the disappearance of the Canterbury jewels fifty years earlier. Engrossed in the mystery, she is irritated when the bold, yet handsome, Lord Devin Armstrong interrupts her, determined to introduce himself. She puts him off, but when he happens upon some of her aunt’s letters, she finally has to meet him. She can’t resist the handsome Earl’s advances as he helps her unravel the mystery. She is also amazed that such a man was interested in her, not her sister. As she loses her heart, she discovers more about the mystery that is herself than she bargained for.

The handsome Lord Dexter Armstrong, Earl of Berkeley, was being relentlessly pursued by every husband-hunting lady in the ton. Irritated by the trappings of nobility, he was beyond angry when his parents forced him to escort his sister to Canterbury for the annual summer event. Dismayed to have to keep company with the vile Lady Deidra Wentworth, who was far and above the most despicable social climber of the ladies, he vowed to keep his distance. When he saw a fiery, bespectacled redheaded beauty stand up to Deidra, his interest is piqued. Determined to meet her, he is surprised to learn that she is Deidra’s sister. The more he finds out about her, the more intriguing she becomes. Offering his help to solve her mystery is just a ruse to get to know her at first, but he quickly discovers that the mystery they work on is dangerous. As the mystery unravels and Devin is losing his heart, he fights to keep Letitia safe and to keep the love they discover along the way.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYowXP

https://books2read.com/u/brGnnZ

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre

I’m a cliché, probably the worst of the worst. I picked up my first romance novel because Fabio was on the cover. He was bare-chested and looking adoringly at the woman kneeling next to him grasping his thigh. I can remember how I felt at that moment. Oh, to be looked at in that way by such a man! I wanted to be her. What’s funny is that I cannot remember the name of that book, or the author, or even if I read it in its entirety. It wasn’t until I read A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiess, that for the first time her words made me feel that undeniable feeling that only a romance novel can give you. Like the best bite of dessert ever feeling, one you wish you could chew forever and never swallow because you’re afraid it may never come again feeling.  From then on I was addicted. But, like any addiction, it wasn’t enough. I wished for more adventure or more sex, or the need to find a stronger female character, one not so resigned and whimpering.

That’s when I realized that romance is a state of mind. A feeling evoked by the imagination, one different for every reader. Prompted by the right setting, fed with just enough information, simulation if you will, that your brain filled in the details making the story yours as well. If done correctly, it’s the most potent drug ever invented. I could not get enough after that. Approaching my reading from this new perspective, I binged on Johanna Lindsey as well as countless others until I found Julie Garwood. She had the perfect blend of unexpected characters and unusual situations but still gave her readers enough room to fill in the gaps to make it their own that she became a favorite. So, if you ask which book made me fall in love with the genre, I could not say it was just one in particular. It was a feeling I chased, one I still pursue today, that made me fall in love with this genre. I realized that it was the journey that made this genre so addicting. After all, it’s what we can’t have or control, that intangible thing that you cannot describe that keeps us wanting more, is it not? As well as curiosity about the hunky men or beautiful women on the covers that may first draw you in.

Prize #76

Author: Theresa Sederholt

Title: The Unraveled Trilogy boxed set

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 5

Blurb: This set contains all three full-length books of The Unraveled Trilogy plus a bonus short story “Follow Your Dreams,” not available elsewhere!
At twenty-seven, Raven Anderson experienced more heartache than anyone would in their lifetime. Finally, her life seems on track when she starts doing what she loves the most: teaching second grade.

However, the best-laid plans are not always the right path as Raven learns when fate puts her in the direct path of mega-billionaire, Jaxson James Phillips, owner of Raiders, Inc., a corporate raiding company. With the spotlight now focused on Raven, her past is threatening her future. So, she does what she does best—run!

This beautiful girl, with the violet eyes, has left Jax, who never gets rattled, totally speechless. Used to getting what he wants, he can’t understand why she’s running from him. As time goes on, he slowly unravels the many layers of Raven. What he finds . . . puts everyone around them in danger.

Can anyone survive?

Tragedy has struck and now it’s a waiting game. New beginnings, so full of promise, are overshadowed by a past that is continuously haunting them. Secrets are uncovered. Lies are revealed.
Raven and Jax will fight for their lives and the ones they hold dear. Will a normal life ever be in their reach? Will anyone truly be safe, again? Too much has happened. How can anyone survive this?

Lies are shattered, leaving death and destruction in its path. To save a child, they must make a deal with the devil himself.

They had a plan: two days—get in, ask the questions, and get out. Seemed simple enough. But you know what they say about best-laid plans. Life always seems to get in the way of living.

This book contains strong language, violence, and sexual situations. Mature audiences only.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bWzDDz

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreChances by Jackie Collins

Prize #77

Author: Lilly Christine

Title: Candi for Christmas

Genre: New Adult Holiday Sports Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: Fresh-faced intern Candi Bamberger flies to Beaver Creek, Colorado for Snow Slammer Games action, but not the kind smokin’ hot snowboard star Shane McGreer has in mind! Shane shows her amazing moves, and not just in the half-pipe. Candi’s conflicted. Did she just throw away a career in sports management for a guy who scores new girls at every game?
He’s right up there with Shaun White, yet Shane McGreer knows his track record with women is the pits, but Candi’s different. She’s Olympic material, and a real girl, genuine in both curves and charm. . . He falls hard, so when a rival puts Candi’s in deep freeze, Shane’s stuck, too. He’s won the SnowSlammer X Games, but he’s lost Candi’s heart! Can he warm her up for a sweet McGreer Ranch Christmas Eve? Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, Tess has a Christmas surprise for Jake and Cassie. . .
The McGreers Series… Read ’em all!Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMQjja

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Favorite Romance Books

  1. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  2. Any Man of Mine – Rachel Gibson
  3. The Cinderella Deal – Jennifer Crusie
  4. Casey, American Bullriding Tour – Kelly Hunter
  5. Indecent Proposal – Molly O’Keefe

Created by Freepik

Once again, if you’re entering the big giveaway, PLEASE give us your name, email address, and include your preferred romance subgenres. Leave a comment below, or for a private entry, you can email me at marieannlavender@gmail.com

This contest will run for a week, until December 20th at midnight EST. After that, winners will be selected and contacted. Given the upcoming holiday, some recipients may experience a slight delay with their prizes, but don’t worry. We’re on the case, and we want you to have your books! 😀

 

Good luck, everyone, and, as always, happy reading! ♥♥♥

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

And Merry Christmas this year!

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Pre-order Release Feature: Lara’s Story by author Diane Merrill Wigginton

I am pleased to announce a great new release by Diane Merrill Wigginton, an author I met during my journey! Her young adult sweet historical romance, Lara’s Story, officially went up for pre-order and will be released on January 4th!

That’s awesome! Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

Diane is giving us a look at her sweet YA historical romance, Lara’s Story, today.Great cover!

This is the blurb for Lara’s Story:

SHATTERED BY HEARTBREAK
“When a heart breaks, it does not break evenly, cleaving in half exactly down the middle.”

Surrounded by her large, boisterous family in 1840s Ireland, Lara Flannigan has never known anything but love and belonging—until the day tragedy strikes, leaving her abandoned and forced into indentured servitude.

REMADE IN A NEW WORLD.

Just when all hope seems lost, Lara is discovered by a childless American couple, visiting Ireland to aid in the famine-relief effort. With barely a chance to look back, she’s swept away to a bustling new continent—and a dizzying new reality. One of petticoats, opulent townhouses, and the cold reaches of Philadelphia high society. Desperate for a future, Lara works tirelessly to fit into her new life… while still haunted by a past that won’t let her go.

Set in a fascinating historical period, Lara’s Story is a gripping young adult novel that explores the strength of the human spirit and the power of forgiveness to heal a broken heart.

And here is an excerpt to entice you with.

April 27, 1854

Philadelphia Wharf

 

EVERY QUESTION BEGINS WITH a quest for answers, and every testimony of what is true begins with a test of our resolve. I am reminded of this simple formula as I stand here on this boardwalk, looking out to sea. Each life is a journey, defined by turns we take or the roads we choose or those which fate chooses for us. Some of us move from one place to another, along a well-worn path or the path less taken; it really doesn’t matter much as long as it leads you home again.

Memories of my home involuntarily flash through my mind as Mama’s words come back to me like a sounding board that has followed me my entire life. She would often tell my sisters and me, “Don’t ever make yerself smaller to satisfy the needs of another.” Mama was always insightful and perceptive when it came to her children.

Oh, how I still miss her so, even to this day. I smile to myself, wishing my ears could hear that beautiful, rhythmic sound of Mama’s voice again, just one more time as a terrible memory of the last day I saw her alive flashes through my mind and I vigorously shake my head to dispel the thought.

When a heart breaks it does not break evenly – cleaving in half exactly down the middle. It breaks, jagged and rough, cutting one to the very core of their soul. And while things may appear perfectly normal to the naked eye, beneath the surface lies the real tragedy, fragmented and splintered beyond reconciliation. Heartbreak is not an innocuous pain, easily excused like a stomach ache. It is more insidious, spreading throughout ones’ system, like an infection. Merely closing my eyes to the pain does not eliminate it in the least.

Just breathe in, then breathe out and move forward, I remind myself. This simple little mantra is something I taught myself so many years ago, and it has gotten me through more than a few dire situations.

I was born Lara Flannigan, on the twenty-first day of April, in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and thirty-three. Mama liked to tell me it was a beautiful spring morn, the day I was born, which would have been an unusual occurrence for that time of year.

Mama also said, “I knew ye were special and destined for greatness the moment ye took yer first breath, don’t ye know. Cause the sun poked out from behind the clouds with yer first breath of life. Why twere’ like the Heavens above truly recognized that an angel had been born to me,” she teased.

If truth be told, I believe mama told this exact story to each of her six children. But I loved hearing it nonetheless.

I was the sixth child of the seven children born to Rory and Laurel Flannigan, and I was named for my Da’s mother. Our days were long and our lives were hard, but our nights belonged to us. I never knew life could be anything other than what I had experienced. My world was very small in those days, so I never missed the things I didn’t have.

I am an Irish immigrant and I came to America at the tender age of thirteen, a disillusioned child, harshly mistreated by the very people entrusted with my care. I tell you this not to solicit your sympathies but to impart knowledge and gain your understanding, for I was a pitiful, angry child who was unaware of how many things in my life were about to change. People meeting me today might say that I was more fortunate than most. Yet they would never have heard my story nor known that I suffered in silence. I did not wear my pain, like a badge of honor, but kept it deep inside of me, hidden away from the prying eyes of others.

Fear has made me keep my story to myself. I was afraid of the repercussions from the actions I took in the name of survival, when my whole world fell apart. Furthermore, I feared the behavior of peers, those who would use the circumstance of my birthplace and subsequent difficulties to hold me back or bludgeon me with my story like a weapon.

For many years I have pushed from my thoughts memories of home and all that happened there. And yet, every now and again I indulge myself with less painful memories of the past, that push their way to the surface, and I give myself permission to embrace them, loving, bold, nostalgic memories that are impossible to forget. This is especially true today as I find myself waiting, yet another day, for a ship to come in, one that I thought would never arrive upon these great American shores.

Oh, I have everything a person could ever desire. Enough food to ward off hunger for a lifetime. Good health, a beautiful home, fashionable clothes, and the love of my family. I truly have every comfort one could want at my disposal, yet still, I long to recover the missing pieces of myself torn from me the day I left my native land of Ireland. A loss that can still be keenly felt whenever I lay my head down upon my pillow at night. And even though I am far from familiar old haunts, I swear I hear the land beckoning to me in my dreams, calling from across the ocean, summoning me home to the cliffs of Dunmore Head on the westernmost shores of Ireland. Closing my eyes now, I can still recall the smell and taste of the breeze on my tongue and the tangy feel of her salty sea air as it mixes with the sweet scents of wildflowers growing on her craggy cliffs.

The memories grab hold of my soul, leaving me longing for home, even more this day.

“Ireland,” I whisper, as it all comes flooding back to me — the green grassy moors waving in the gentle breeze like waves on the ocean. I can still feel the way the grass tickled my bare feet when I walked upon it.

In my mind’s eye I can see the ancient moss-covered rocks and hills that seem to roll on forever, and the overwhelmingly familiar smells of home assault my senses and kindle even more longing inside me. Peat moss burning in the hearth, the earthy smells of fresh mud coming from our simple thatched roofed dwelling, built from wattle and daub that plastered the rocks and boulders in place to form walls. The rain that often leaked upon my head in the middle of the night whenever a storm blew in just right. The way the sweet earthy tones mingled with the bitter as they played across my tongue whenever I chewed on a blade of grass.

Vivid, sweet memories wash over me, transporting me back in time as I see myself as a little girl, sitting in the middle of a field of tall grass, watching with fascination as the wind blew the grass to-and-fro. Then I see myself laughing and playing among the cliffs again with my best friend, Jamie. There are so many precious and sweet memories that I had denied myself for so long.

I swallow hard to push down the lump that forms in my throat. I can recall every ridge, crag, twig, and moss-covered rock that littered our unyielding plot of land.

There were so many afternoons spent upon those cliffs, basking in the glorious sun after bathing in the ocean with Mama and my two sisters. Alana loved tickling me just to hear me laugh while I lay upon the warm cliffs, soaking up the last glorious rays of sunlight. A cool breeze would kick up, washing over my skin, and chilling my flesh with her gentle touch. Those were the days I thought would never end, and it is those same sweet memories that now make me mourn the loss of them all the more.

I shake my head quickly, dispelling any more memories of the past as I hold back more tears, attempting to keep them from escaping. Swiping at the unfortunate few that trickle down my cheeks, I feel anxious and frustrated all at the same time.

Please do not mistake my tears for weakness, for they convey more than mere words are able and can express so many different emotions.

One should never assume that there is only one reason to shed them. There are tears caused by overwhelming grief and pain and tears of contrition. There are tears of joy and love, or tears of annoyance caused by situations that are beyond your control. Yet my tears today are a culmination of so many different emotions that are simply hard for me to put into words.

Book Info:

Genre:  Historical Romance, Young Adult, Sweet Historical

Release Date:  January 4, 2019

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bMQjzV

Wow! ♥♥♥ This looks like quite an emotional read!😉

The story should appeal to Christians, young adults, and any readers who enjoy sweet romance tales…

Thank you for telling us about your new book, Diane! I know we all can’t wait to read this YA romance! 🙂

 

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this sweet historical tale!

Author Bio

Diane Merrill Wigginton was born in Riverside, California in 1963. Her family moved to San Diego near the end of 1970, where she grew up in the newly developed community of Mira Mesa. Spending portions of her summers each year in Burly, Idaho with her mother’s parents, Florence and Orval Merrill, Diane developed a love of animals and a respect for the land. It was during this time on the farm riding horses, herding cattle and taming wild kittens that Diane also developed a love of storytelling. She dreamed that one day she would become a published author and tell her stories to the world. Having spent her entire life in California, Diane and her husband made the move from Sacramento, California to Kalispell, Montana to retire in February 2018. Now she is able to pursue her passion of writing books full-time.

“I am thrilled and elated to be doing what I love.”

 

Thanks again, Diane! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Book Release, Books, coming soon, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, sweet romance, Young Adult

Top Historical Romance Books We Can’t Stop Reading: a guest post by Dating Connections

Top Historical Romance Books We Can’t Stop Reading

 

Whether you’re in a biker dating rut and need some way to keep things interesting, or are a bookworm that’ll read anything and everything, today we present a short yet comprehensive list of historical romance books that are a true hit with their readership!

Javier García, Flickr

Mostly set in England, these novels will keep you on your toes much like Pride & Prejudice – you know Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth have to get together in the end, but it’s all so complicated that it seems impossible! ♥

#1: Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

The story of Claire Randall is set in the Scottish Highlands just after WWII. A combat nurse just back from the war, Claire is reunited with her husband, but soon finds herself as a Sassenach – an ‘outlander’ in a war-torn Scotland when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Claire discovers that her only chance to stay safe depends on Jamie Fraser, a handsome young soldier who steals her heart. She must find her way through the world of danger, passion, and violence as she is trying to reconcile two irreconcilable lives. One of the most popular historical romances (with a time travel slant) on Goodreads with a score of 4.22 out of 5 based on more than 665,000 ratings, Outlander is an explicit book that uses descriptive, energizing and highly engaging writing.

#2: Westcott Series by Mary Balogh (Someone to Love)

The death of Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, leaves behind a fortune and a secret he had kept for so long – a daughter no one ever knew he had. Anna Snow, who grew up as an orphan, learns her father was the late Earl of Riverdale, and she stands to inherit a fortune, but her siblings want nothing to do with her. When the new Earl’s guardian becomes interested in Anna, he assists her with the transformation from an orphan to a lady, stepping in to rescue her only to find himself vulnerable to the feelings he has kept hidden for so long. Someone to Love is the 5th book in a series, but good as a stand-alone as well as evidenced by its rating of 3.8 on Good Reads and plenty of praise.#3: The Hathaways Series by Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight)

When Amelia Hathaway discovers she’s about to inherit a fortune and find herself in London society, she realizes that tending to her two younger siblings is far easier than navigating the ways of the aristocracy. Matters are further complicated when she falls for a tall, dark, and handsome Cam Rohan, who’s unfathomably rich and tired of society’s petty restrictions. He offers only friendship when Amelia reaches out to him for help, but both are soon tempted by the desire that blindsides them both. Mine Till Midnight scored 4.08 out of more than 50,000 ratings on Goodreads, and it’s perfect for anyone who can’t resist love at first sight!#4: The Brothers Sinister Series by Courtney Milan (The Duchess War)

Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled girl who tries hard not to get anyone’s attention. The last time she was at the center of things she had to change her name to escape her scandalous past. Hence, when a handsome duke comes into town, the last thing she wants is to catch his eye, which is precisely what happens. But Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is no fool, and quickly realizes there is much more to Minnie than she lets on, and once things get heated he discovers that this little shy girl could prove to be more than he can handle. Beloved by its readership with a Goodreads rating of just under 4, The Duchess War is a must for anyone looking for steamy historical fiction.#5: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

No list on the most popular historical romance books would ever be complete without Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. One of the most popular novels in this genre, Pride and Prejudice tells a story of incredibly stubborn Elizabeth Bennett, one of five sisters who must marry rich to secure their status, who meets just as incredibly arrogant and rich beyond measure Mr. Darcy. Filled with humorous dialogue, this story of courtships draws readers in with inconceivable force, and delivers a very satisfying finale to the delight of all. With more than 2 million ratings on Goodreads, and a score of 4.25 out of 5, even its old English in which it is written can’t take away from the intrigue and the narrative that are absolutely breathtaking.

#6: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Although depicting some historical accuracy peppered with a little drama for good measure, Phillipa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl is a compelling historical novel about two sisters fighting for the affection of the same man, Henry the VIII. When Mary is set off to his court at a tender age of 14, she catches the eye of the powerful king and is soon swept off her feet thanks to his genuine infatuation with her. However, Mary soon realizes she’s a pawn in her family’s scheme to move up the social ladder, and as the king’s interest in her fades, she must step aside for her best friend and mighty rival – her sister Anne. With 4.05 out of 5 on Goodreads, The Other Boleyn Girl is highly praised by its readers for making history so much fun and addictive to read.

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

Wow! What a great sampling of historical romance books!

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great tips for our reading lists! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great weekend!

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Blog Tour Feature: Tempted by the Viscount by Sofie Darling

¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ NEW RELEASE¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

Sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Sofie Darling, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new historical romance release! :)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for authors!

Plus, here at the I Love Romance Blog, we love discovering new romance novels!

Let’s hear a little about this great book…

Yowza!

This is the blurb for Tempted by the Viscount:

London, April 1825

Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.

Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.

A bargain is struck.

What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.

But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

Sofie is giving us a peek at her Regency romance, Tempted by the Viscount, today.

Great cover!

Book Info:

Genre:  Historical Romance, Regency

Release Date: June 27, 2018

Here is an excerpt.

“Am I late?” he asked in a tone that didn’t sound as concerned as his words might have suggested.

“Yes,” she replied, sounding distressingly like Lucy on a petulant day.

“My apologies,” he said on a shallow bow, even as his mouth, that talented, efficient mouth of his, maintained its familiar firm line.

“No need for apologies, my lord. In fact, your tardiness is promising evidence that you are settling into the viscountcy quite well.” She liked the way his eyes narrowed at her stern tone, a tone she couldn’t help borrowing from Mrs. Bloomquist. “It is the first rule of the nobility. Everyone can wait.”

“Then my apologies for not having made you wait longer.”

A begrudging smile found its way to her lips. “Now for the second rule of the nobility.” She allowed a beat to pass. A flash of pleasure coursed through her at the very idea that she could hold this glorious man in suspense. It wasn’t every woman who could boast that particular thrill. “Never apologize.”

He stepped forward, halving the distance between them, and took another bow. “Again, my apologies.”

His gaze pinned her in place, and, like that, the power of the moment shifted to him. Oh, how an unmanageable part of her wanted him to use it. This felt dangerously like flirting. Was she flirting?

She was. In the presence of the tease playing about his eyes and mouth, she couldn’t seem to help herself.

She tried clearing her throat, hoping to clear her head in the process.

He should be more careful with that smile. It could give a woman ideas.

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

Purchase Links:

Universal reader link:  books2read.com/u/bWzRg0

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Tempted-Viscount/Sofie-Darling/9781682916346?id=7205747130327

Wow! Love the tension here. ♥♥♥

Follow the blog tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, and check out the Rafflecopter giveaway on the link below for a $20 Amazon gift card!

Link:  http://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/tempted-by-the-viscount-release-tour-and-giveaway

 

Thank you for telling us about your new historical romance, Sofie! I know I can’t wait to read this riveting novel! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this awesome book! Or add it to your Goodreads list!

Author Bio

Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.

When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

Author Links

Website:  www.sofiedarling.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sofie_darling

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Sofie-Darling/e/B0751Z1X5N/

https://amzn.to/2HjWnQ2

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16594212.Sofie_Darling

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/105008683072160955733

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

 

Thank you for telling us about your awesome book tour! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of this delicious romance!

Thanks again to Sofie and her blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance

Pre-Release Blog Tour Feature: Tempted by the Viscount by Sofie Darling

¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ PRE-RELEASE¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

 

Sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead…

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Sofie Darling, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new historical romance release! :)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

Plus, here at the I Love Romance Blog, we love discovering new romance novels!

Let’s hear a little about this great book…

Nice!

This is the blurb for Tempted by the Viscount:

London, April 1825

Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.

Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.

A bargain is struck.

What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.

But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

Sofie is giving us a peek at her Regency romance, Tempted by the Viscount, today.

Book Info:

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date:  June 27, 2018

Great cover!

His feet began a slow prowl forward, steadily erasing the distance between them, inch by deliberate inch.

She should feel panicked, or, at least, unsettled, by his purposeful approach. But those feelings refused to take hold. The anxiety and anticipation of seconds ago flared into a single overwhelming sensation:  desire, white hot, ravenous.

He drew within a foot of her and stopped. The only sound in the room the jagged in and out of her breath.

So this was what it was to be a wanton? Aching from the nearness of his withheld touch, excruciatingly delicious and exquisitely tortured all at once.

“Why are you here?” she muttered.

“How should I answer that question?” he returned, his voice a low, masculine register that quaked her to her core. His head lowered, lips hovering just above hers for one, two, three rapid heartbeats, his breath a whisper across her lips. “Like this?”

And another excerpt!

An image of tonight’s hostess came to mind. Of her surface . . . Her eyes fluttering shut, lashes dark against her pale skin, parted lips reaching up, up, up . . .

And her depths . . . The quality that made him want to forget his place, his purpose, himself, and dip his head and claim those lips until they were satisfied, sated. As if a mere kiss could accomplish satisfaction and satiety between them.

A soft swish of skirts whispered behind him, and a voice sounded in his ear. “Does it disappoint? Disappointment can leave one feeling decidedly unfulfilled.”

Jake looked right, and the room fell away. There she stood, throwing that word at him again. Disappointment. The idea that he’d disappointed her had gnawed at him since yesterday. And now she was throwing another word into the mix. Unfulfilled.

While he had no desire to leave this woman disappointed, he certainly didn’t want to leave her unfulfilled.

In fact, under a different set of circumstances for their acquaintance, he wouldn’t walk away from this woman until she was thoroughly . . . exhaustively . . . fulfilled, satisfied, sated . . .

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07CHP5ZSD

Wow! Love the tension here. ♥♥♥

 

Follow the blog tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, and check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

Rafflecopter:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/23d974a9717/

 

Thank you for telling us about your upcoming historical romance, Sofie! I know I can’t wait to read this wonderful novel! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this awesome book! Or add it to your Goodreads list!

 

Author Bio

Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.

When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

 

Thank you for telling us about your awesome book tour! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of this Regency romance!

Thanks again to Sofie and her blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, coming soon, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

Free Book!

Hi, readers! I just wanted to pop in here and let you know about a cool giveaway going on today! My latest release and boxed set, Heiresses in Love Trilogy, is available today for free. All you have to do is participate in a quick and easy Q&A to qualify. Woo hoo! 😀

Just head on over to TRR at the link below and scroll down to the correct question in order to enter the giveaway. You’ll need to be registered and logged into the site to play the game. A hint for the Q&A will be provided.

http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php

So, don’t miss out! Plus, you can enter lots of giveaways for other books and prizes every day this month just by answering simple questions.

Have an awesome weekend, and happy reading!!! ♥♥♥

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Filed under Authors, Books, Event, Fiction, giveaway, Historical, Historical Romance, Marie Lavender, Readers, Romance, Writing

New Release!!

My new book release! 🙂

Marie Lavender- Multigenre Author

Well, readers…it’s official! Now that the Heiresses in Love Series is complete, there is one more thing to look forward to. That’s right. The boxed set of the entire trilogy just released this week! Exciting, right? 😉

Let’s see what it’s all about!

Blurb:

An unforgettable, sweeping saga of romance, passion and history rooted in tales of maritime suspense…

Three heiresses…three novels like no other.

UPON YOUR RETURN

Fara risks her heart every time she’s with him, but she cannot deny him.

UPON YOUR HONOR

Chloe never imagined that the man she deceived would be the one man she can’t stop loving.

UPON YOUR LOVE

Adrienne must decide whether to succumb to desire or fight for love.

…Will these remarkable women at last find what they’ve always wanted, or lose more than they can bear?

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B079N7NKQK

myBook.to/HeiressesTrilogy

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/heiresses-in-love-trilogy/

Add it to your Goodreads…

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Marie Lavender, new release, Readers, Romance

Exclusive Interview with author Nermin Bezmen, plus a look at historical romance, KURT SEYT & SHURA!

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our first official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with the talented author of bestselling novel (also optioned into a television series), Kurt Seyt & Shura. Please join me in welcoming Nermin Bezmen to ILRB! 🙂

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Nermin. Please have a seat.

Author Nermin Bezmen:  Hi, Marie! Lovely to meet you.

Marie:  It’s such a pleasure to see you here! I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have any other occupations? Do you believe you’re any good at them? Do you like what you do?

Nermin:  I am an author. I believe I am good at what I am doing, and I do not only like but love writing.

Marie:  Happy to hear it! 😉

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Nermin:  My family is very loving, kind, considerate and close-knit but everybody with a space of his/her own. We are all very artistic and all have free minds and free souls.

Both my daughter and son left their highly paid businesses to pursue their artistic dreams, and I am so proud of them for they have chosen to do what they love most and not what they earn more from. Earning your money from what you love to do as a hobby is a great happiness, even if it does not pay like the corporate life. I have three sweet grandchildren who are all into art one way or another. My husband is an actor and his son is also another dreamy artist. I think I should convince my son-in-law to spare some time for his drawing abilities in which he is great, but has no time from his corporate life.

Marie:  I love that your family is so creative! As for your son-in-law, I’m guessing he does what he can.

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Nermin:  Due to my father’s business (he was a civil engineer), we had to move quite often, and I remember vividly every one of the places we lived in. I loved them all because they were all home for me… home where my mom and dad, then my sister were, and where there was unconditional love — always. Our home was always tidy, neat. Mom made sure everything was in order, no matter what. And she spared time to read to me every morning and night till I learned to read on my own. There were always books. Both my parents read. My grandparents read. I can still smell the delicious cakes mom freshly baked for me every afternoon when I came back from school. I can still picture her singing to my dad at our dinner table and I can hear the tango playing on the radio, and I see my dad and mom getting up from the table to dance. I can see that they are in love. They were always in love…

This is what my childhood home looked like… it looked like LOVE.

Marie:  What a perfect picture for our readers, as we’re all about romance here! ♥♥♥

Do you have any hobbies, Nermin? What do you enjoy doing?

Nermin:  I love reading, listening to music – mostly classical, painting, growing orchids, classic cars, boating, yoga.

Marie:  Wow! Such an eclectic blend of pastimes! 😀

So…what is your greatest dream?

Nermin:  My dreams never end and so there is no such thing like “the greatest dream” for me. One dream that seemed “the greatest” only a few years ago now is realized, so I have new ones on the horizon.

Now that my first novel is published here in America, I am dreaming of Kurt Seyt & Shura climbing to the top of the bestsellers list and then maybe made into a cinema movie and then maybe winning the Oscar. But as much as I work for this dream, I pray to God that I keep my mental and physical health to go on writing and seeing my family grow with love and happiness.

Marie:  Nice! There’s certainly nothing wrong with those dreams…

Kurt Seyt & Shura has such a great cover too!

 

Let’s try another question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Nermin:  I am not a rigid person who goes by others’ rules. Never have been. So unless it hurts somebody or my ethics, I always choose the life I want to live and I can be the person that I want to be. Nothing stopped me, nothing stops me.  I am happy with myself. I like the person in me. This person is in great harmony with this body, this heart, this mind and soul. Although there are people I admire very much, I never envied anybody or wanted to be in someone’s place, no matter how successful or beautiful they are.

Marie:  That’s rather admirable, and refreshing to hear!

Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Nermin:  LOVE itself. Since I was a little girl I remember myself wanting to be in love and be loved. I imagined myself deeply, blindly, unconditionally falling in love… so much in love that it even hurt and made me cry. There was no figure, no physical reflection of any body. It was just LOVE itself that I was after. God must have heard me well. When my first husband kissed me for the first time, all of a sudden love gained a physical appearance. After he was gone, I thought I had my share of love and never again could love or be loved. But my prayers must still be echoing that God introduced me with a new love, my second husband.

Marie: Aww…(sighs.) I love romance. ♥

Wow! I’m so glad you were blessed with not just one perfect match, but two.

Let’s try something else now.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Nermin:  Quite a few terrible things happened to me, but nothing to call “the most terrible” because I always managed to make something positive out of them.

Marie:  How inspiring!

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Nermin nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Nermin:  I have always been a dreamer. There is always a dream in the niches of my grey cells. Most of the time more than one.

My first great dream was to enter and win the examination of AFS (American Field Service) scholarship. I was only seven years old then and to be eligible for AFS, you needed to be seventeen. So for ten years I went to school and studied with that dream. For ten years every night when the lights were out, I dreamed of myself giving a “farewell” speech to my family and friends on my imaginary way to America. When I reached seventeen, my dream was realized and my “farewell” speech was written already. There are so many other dreams that I had and worked hard to make each one come true. For me, dreams are like a lovely sail boat on the horizon while I am sitting on the shore. I don’t just watch it go by, I swim towards it.

Marie:  Such a nice thought! You’re truly a go-getter!  🙂

So, who is your role model, Nermin?

Nermin:  My role models are the women of my family. They are kind, elegant, passionate, loving, hard working, strong, no-nonsense women with great dignity.

My ancestors, both from my father’s and mother’s side have been refugees from different lands. They all had to leave behind once a very good life, great lands, houses and loved ones too, and had to run away on horseback or in a fisherman’s boat. And those women, without nagging, once stood beside their husbands and shared the struggle to start a whole new life from scratch, and raised their family. When some of them lost their husbands, they never bowed down to anybody to make life easier, but proudly took responsibility for their families.

When I was doing research for my novels, I could clearly see how steady they all were and how much pride they had in themselves even during the most vulnerable times.

Marie:  I agree. They all sound quite heroic!

Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Nermin:  I believe life is too short to pretend. I never pretend for anything. I simply exclude the people I would not like from my life, and keep and pamper those I like.

Marie:  I respect that!

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Nermin:  To see the whole world in great harmony of peace and love.

Marie:  I’m with you. There’s far too much hate in the world right now… 😦

So, tell me something, Nermin. What is your greatest fear?

Nermin:  That evil people will not let this happen.

Marie: True enough. 

Readers, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective on some of her characters.

We’ve heard rumors about the hero and heroine of your story. Quite interesting characters. Can you tell us a little about them?

Nermin:  Kurt Seyt Eminof is the first son of a wealthy Crimean nobleman, a dashing first lieutenant in the Imperial Life Guard of the last Russian Czar Nicholas II. Injured on the Carpathian front and later sought by the Bolsheviks, he makes a daring escape across the Black Sea. Too proud to accept payment for the boatful of arms he hands over to the Nationalists, he faces years of struggle to make a new life in the Turkish Republic, rising from the embers of the dying Ottoman Empire. All he has is his dignity and love.

Shura  (Alexandra Julianovna Verjenskaya) is an innocent sixteen year old beauty enchanted by Tchaikovsky’s music and Moscow’s glittering lights, who falls in love with Seyt. A potential victim of the Bolsheviks due to her family’s wealth and social standing, she is determined to follow her heart and accompanies Seyt on his perilious flight over the Black Sea.

Their love is the only solace to their crushing homesickness for a land and family they will never see again, two lovers among hundreds of thousands of White Russian émigrés trying to eke out a living in occupied İstanbul.

Marie:  Fascinating!

So, what are your characters’ greatest strengths?

Nermin:

Before revolution: Seyit’s strength, besides his brave character, comes from his family, his title, wealth, education, and his military position. Shura, on the other hand, is protected by her wealthy, aristocrat family, being pampered as the youngest of her five siblings.

After revolution, they both lose all the physical and emotional touch they had with their families, motherland, wealth, titles and what strength remains is only their love and the desire to survive in a foreign country.

Marie:  All right.

And what are their greatest weaknesses?

Nermin:  His pride… Her naiveté.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of their favorite foods?

Nermin:  Karski, kievski, caviar, çibörek.

Marie:  (Laughs.) I’m not familiar with some of those! I guess I’ll have to try them sometime.

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your characters are unaware that he or she has?

Nermin:  Both Kurt Seyit and Shura went through so much tragedy and had to endure so many hard times, that there was not a quality left hidden in them. They had to bring out and use them all to survive.

Marie:  I see.

Will readers like or dislike these characters, and why?

Nermin:  It depends on how deeply they will read the psychology behind every action, every decision. While we are sitting in our cozy, warm rooms, cuddled up on a soft sofa it is very easy to judge the characters in the book. One should just dive into the pages and start following the characters on their pathways and feel not only love but also pain, heartache, bloodshed, atrocity, yearning, struggling that they went through and had to endure.

Marie: That’s a fine point!

Well, now that we have a real taste of Kurt Seyt and Shura, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Kurt Seyt & Shura?

Nermin:  Kurt Seyit is no stranger to me. He is my grandfather. I grew up listening to his adventures and for me, he was the Prince Charming that nobody wrote his story. My grandma kept telling me about him and his life each year with more details while I was growing up. And Shura was the most important character of that narration.

Years later, when I decided to write about my grandpa and grandma, starting with the second chapter, Shura was in my life and then I grew such a great admiration and love for this special woman that I decided this first novel would be of Kurt Seyt & Shura and then the second one of Kurt Seyt & Murka (my grandmother). I believed these two very different but great women each deserved a book with their own name on it.

Marie:  That’s awesome! I wish I had all the finer details about my grandparents lives; I might do the same.

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Nermin:  I don’t draw lines for my writing. If I am writing a true story, a true character, it has its own demands and if I am writing a fiction novel, then it’s different.

I generally start writing in my mind with a feeling of “love at first sight” for either a character, or a place, or even a dream. I immediately have the name and the first sentence of the novel that very moment. If it is going to be based on a true story, then comes the deep research, which is very challenging, not just because you keep deciphering a great puzzle but you also have to know when to stop the research and start writing. A thorough research can lead the writer to other stories, too.

Psychology of the characters is very important for me. I work on the psyche of each character like I am sewing a tailored dress made to order, one of a kind dress for them.  It is the psyche of the person, what makes him/her converse, decide, feel, love, hate the way he/she does. It is the core of the novel. After I am happy with the details, I have to start writing… If it is fiction, after the few chapters my characters, mostly my hero/heroine tells me what kind of life they want, who they want to choose as a friend or a lover, where they want to travel, et cetera. So even fiction becomes real for me.

Marie:  Nice! And I think that’s pretty normal for a writer. I know I haven’t touched the deep heart of one of my characters until I laugh or cry along with them while I’m writing a scene.

They definitely have minds of their own, for sure! 😉

So, how about another question?

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Kurt Seyt & Shura or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Nermin:  It was twenty-five years ago that Kurt Seyt & Shura was published in my motherland, Turkey. After taking the book to many publishers and being put in line to be reviewed for a year, if not rejected, I was so frustrated. I had already spent four years with very painstaking research, and one more to write it. It was not only years that I put into this novel, it was my heart, soul and many tears. Seeing my disappointment, my dear late husband decided to self-publish it. And on the first week in the book stores, it was a best-seller. After that, the rest of the Kurt Seyit saga followed and many more which made it to the top of the charts.

Now, after twenty-five years, here we are. This time in the United States, and again meeting with our readers with a self-published Kurt Seyt & Shura. Funny? Yes, now it sounds funny, but again I had such heartbreaking times. Kurt Seyt & Shura, having been translated to eleven other languages and adapted into a TV series and touched the hearts of millions all over the world, still got rejection from literary agents. And, you know, in America you cannot reach a publisher if you do not have an agent. So, I decided to go ahead with self-publishing. But my wish would not have come true in such a short time with this accuracy if my darling daughter Pamira did not take the burden of preparing, coordinating, launching the book. She has done wonders and I can’t thank her enough for what she has achieved. She practically left her own business, which is photography, aside and has been dealing with publishing matters for me. And my darling son Pamir Cazım, who has done the cover designs for most of my novels with great perfectionism, now contributed his masterful skill again. The cover has to give the feeling of the interior. He made it happen so beautifully. Dear Feyza Howell’s translation was another exciting process. She is a great translator working on every detail as if she is going to write the book herself.

Create Space editors also did a great job. They worked very meticulously.

Since this was the first self-publishing for us here in the United States, we learned a lot during the process. I am sure next time it will be much easier.

I hope that I will be able to touch the hearts of American readers with Kurt Seyt & Shura like I have done in so many other countries.

Marie:  Well, I’m sure you will!

I’m a bit of hybrid, having been published by a publisher, as well as self-published several titles. It’s a juggling act either way, so I certainly feel your pain.

It was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Kurt Seyt & Shura appears to be. Congratulations on your release to the U.S., Nermin!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this sweeping historical romance by Nermin Bezmen, a compelling author! :)

Here is the blurb for Kurt Seyt & Shura:

An instant bestseller since its début in 1992, Nermin Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura is a classic of contemporary Turkish literature, a sweeping romantic drama set as the splendour of imperial Russia is obliterated in the wake of the Great War.

Bezmen tells the story of two star-crossed lovers fleeing the wave of devastation wreaked by the Bolshevik Revolution, and does so with great sensitivity: one half of this couple who sought refuge in the capital of the dying Ottoman Empire was her grandfather.

​Translated into twelve languages, Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura inspired a sumptuous TV series that continues to enchant millions of viewers across the world. With the publication of this novel in English, fans can finally read the true story of this great love affair that triumphed over so much adversity, yet failed to overcome human fallibility.

​In 2012, the prestigious Turkish production company Ay Yapim offered to turn the novel into a television series. The producers pulled together an A Team of cast, crew, and director, who in turn created the acclaimed T.V. series “Kurt Seyit ve Sura”, with Nermin Bezmen’s guidance as a consultant and Ece Yorenc as script writer. The leading roles were played by the talented (and ahem, may we add also gorgeous) duo Kivanc Tatlitug and Farah Zeynep Abdullah. After its initial viewing in Turkey, the series was distributed in many countries, including the United States, where it is currently shown on Netflix. The production reached millions of viewers across the world and stole the hearts of many, creating new excitement and awe around the life story of the two lovers, about 100 years after their first kiss.

​The books in the saga include:

  • Kurt Seyt & Shura
  • Kurt Seyt & Murka
  • Mengene Gocmenleri
  • Shura Paris Years 1924-1927

Main heroes:

Kurt Seyt:

The son of a wealthy Crimean nobleman is a dashing First Lieutenant in the Imperial Life Guard. Injured on the Carpathian Front and later sought by the Bolsheviks, he makes a daring escape across the Black Sea.

​Too proud to accept payment for the boatful of arms he hands over to the Nationalists, he faces years of struggle to make a new life in the Turkish Republic rising from the embers of the dying Ottoman Empire. All he has is his dignity and love.

Shura:

The innocent beauty enchanted by Tchaikovsky’s music and Moscow’s glittering lights falls in love with Seyit at the age of sixteen. A potential victim in the sights of the Bolsheviks due to her family’s wealth and social standing, and determined to follow her heart, she accompanies her Seyt on the perilous flight over the Black Sea.

​Their love is the only solace to the crushing homesickness for a land and family they will never see again, two lovers amongst hundreds of thousands of White Russian émigrés trying to eke out a living in occupied Istanbul.

Nermin is also offering us a peek of the book!

A Night in Petrograd, 1916

Snow fell in fat, lazy flakes, an immaculate white blanket settling over the sleeping city. The carriage turning left at Alexander Nevsky Square laboriously carved a wide arc through the snow that had piled up all night, rounded a corner, and drew up to the pavement outside a three-story house.

A few snowflakes fluttered at the windowsills, stuck to the panes and frozen solid. The coachman gazed upward as instructed; a net curtain parted, and a shaft of light beamed out. A male figure wiped the glass, waved, and withdrew.

 

* * *

The young man consulted the pocket watch he’d left by the lamp on the bedside table: it was coming up to four; he still had plenty of time. Carefully, so as to avoid rousing the sleeping woman, he lifted the duvet and got back into bed. He reclined against the pillow, still holding his watch. Then, a little more determined, he flung aside the covers and got up. He drew the curtain back a little more and looked out. The moon illuminated the whiteness starting directly outside the windowpanes, sweeping unbroken over the garden, the railing, and the broad expanse of road. A world in white. Everything sparkled when the moon shone between the scudding clouds, and the world looked more splendid under this white coat.

Heavy curtains kept the world outside the windows, where it belonged. In the semidarkness, the room spoke in scents: perfume revealed a woman’s presence, and vodka testified to earlier indulgences, both mingling with the lavender emanating from the bed linens.

He turned toward the bed for a look. Amplified by the snow, the moonlight cast a bright-white light on the sleeping woman’s bare back. He recalled what the darkness sought to conceal: the deep auburn of her hair, now cascading over the pillow in waves; the groove of her spine dipping delightfully from the nape all the way to her waist and vanishing under the covers; and the right shoulder glowing in the playful light, a flawless expanse of alabaster.

Seemingly oblivious to the cold, he leaned his bare back against the window; then, grinning at the memory, he moved to the round table by the fireplace. The fruit platter, carafe, and glasses still stood where they had been left: half eaten and half drunk from. She was an impatient one, that Katya. Or was it Lydia? Whatever. The auburn beauty had excelled at entertaining him that night.

He picked up one of the half-full crystal glasses, downed it in one go, and shook his head as the alcohol stung his throat. He lit the pink opaline lamp in front of the mirror, and the soft light of gas spread into the room. Digging into the jumble of garments on the sofa, he gathered his own clothing and collected his underwear. He was moving toward the bathroom when the woman spoke sleepily.

“Why so early, darling?”

He strode toward her, still carrying his clothes. She stirred, rounded shoulders and full breasts braving the cold, her face now more distinct. Sweeping her hair up with one arm, she reached out with the other. He stared with barely disguised lust; the charming armpit thus exposed looked as arousing as the ample breasts bathed in the pink light. The sleepy gaze was not necessarily reserved for this time of night: she had proven her expertise in seduction with those large dark eyes framed by long eyelashes, eyes that spoke of the bedroom, of the pleasures of the flesh. Full lips pouting in anticipation, she waited, eyes shut, arm still outstretched. Smiling at her unrestrained behavior and ravenous appetite, he sat down on the edge of the bed. Her provocative scent mingled with the bedclothes, fragrant from passionate hours.

He yielded to the invitation of the arms wrapped around his neck. Languid eyes smoldered into his as she tugged away the bedclothes separating them to free her warm, buxom figure and snuggle up to him. She stroked his back and the muscles in his arms, pressed his head against her breasts, and presented her nipples to his lips. Effectively captured by her skillful limbs—surprising on such a petite woman—he enjoyed a lingering kiss before drawing back.

“It’s time I got ready. You might like to get up too; I’ll have you dropped off.”

She pouted with a half shrug. “Couldn’t we stay just a little longer?”

“I need to set off.”

“Where to?”

“Moscow.”

“When will you be back? Will you call upon me again?” She stirred as if to get up during this barrage, hoping to tempt him to change his mind.

All she got in response, however, was a jaunty smile and a pinch on the cheek before he walked toward the bathroom. He mused as he washed; he couldn’t remember her name—just another one-night stand. Someone he had met at a wild party where the drink had flowed like water…and they had left together. She was no petty commoner, if the splendor of her dress and jewelry was anything to go by. In all likelihood, she’d arrived on someone else’s arm—probably the man who’d paid for that splendor.

As he shaved, his thoughts strayed to the journey ahead. Best to get a move on, given he had arranged to meet the others at the station in an hour.

By the time he’d returned to the bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, she was already dressed. He patted his cheeks and neck with lotion from a bottle on the console. “Wouldn’t you like to take a bath?”

“I never take a bath on my own,” came the flirtatious reply.

An irrepressible grin lit up his face as he combed his hair, thinking, Her husband—or lover, whoever it was—certainly has his work cut out. He dressed, ignoring his audience, who sat on the edge of the bed to admire the view.

Muscular and fit, the young man in his early twenties carried himself with an aristocratic posture and demeanor. His moustache and floppy fringe were chestnut. A cleft chin seemed to complete his striking looks: flashing dark-blue eyes, a straight nose, and a perpetually sardonic mouth.

The redhead patted her curls back into place and sighed. Her questions were destined to remain unasked as the young man, now in full uniform and boots, strode between wardrobe and dresser, clearly lost in his own thoughts. He picked up several items from drawers, and some books went into a suitcase. She watched, astonished that he appeared to have forgotten the many wonderful hours they had shared in bed. Her wiles had failed to hook him. She leaned back with another sigh.

Taking a ring from a box by the mirror, he placed it on his finger and then put a watch in his pocket. She remembered openly admiring them last night—she adored jewelry after all, and he’d said the sapphire-and-diamond ring was a family heirloom. The enameled gold watch adorned with rubies was a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, he’d told her.

Soon they were ready to leave. A muffled clatter rose from the street. The second carriage had arrived. He picked up his coat and hat. “All right, let’s go,” he said. “I’ll have you taken home.”

He extinguished the lamp and walked to the door. She followed, surprised and not a little disconcerted at the absence of one last kiss or a plea for another meeting, as if there had been nothing between them.

The coachmen leaped down and ran over the snow. The young man turned to his guest, took her hand, and said, “Aktem will drop you off. Fare thee well, my lovely.” Her name wasn’t even on the tip of his tongue.

“Will we meet again?” she tried one last time.

“Why not?”

Happier now, she presented her cheek for a kiss, unbothered by the coachmen’s presence. Finally, gathering her courage, and with a bashful smile, she asked the one question that had plagued her all this time. “Tell me your name again?”

His merry laughter rang in the snowy street’s early morning silence. So the night had not been that memorable for either of them! Except for the ending, that is. He bowed, as if they had just met, and enunciated deliberately: “First Lieutenant Seyit Memedovich Eminof.”

 

* * *

As the two carriages drove away in opposite directions, the auburn beauty who had sweetened his night was already slipping from his mind.

Intriguing! I’m curious to find out what happens next… 🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B078T3WPNY

Kindle:  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/product-page/kurt-seyt-shura-kindle-e-book-english

Website (international shipping for non-U.S. readers) :  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/buy-kurt-seyt-shura-english-book

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this historical romance! ♥

About Molly V. Lovell

Nermin Bezmen is an accomplished artist, art teacher, yoga instructor and broadcaster whose meticulous research into family history led to the publication of Kurt Seyt & Shura in 1992.

This fictionalized account of her grandfather’s life became an instant bestseller, and is now considered to be a masterpiece of contemporary Turkish literature to the extent that it has reached textbook status in several secondary schools and universities.

Exquisite detail distinguishes her writing as she proves that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and that our ancestors call out to us all from the pages of history.

Her powerful character analysis and storytelling skills invite the readers to explore their own dreams, sorrows, anxieties and even fleeting fancies.

Bezmen has to date published fifteen novels, two of which are biographical, and one is a fantasy; a children’s novel, a collection of forty short stories and a book of poems. She has two children and three grandchildren and lives with her husband, actor Tolga Savacı in New Jersey and Istanbul.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the intriguing Nermin Bezmen, here are some author links:

Website:  www.kurtseytandshura.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nbezmen1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2Ao8jjr

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1259947.Nermin_Bezmen

Newsletter:  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/sign-up

Once again, I want to thank Nermin Bezmen, the brilliant author of this fascinating novel, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here!

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Filed under Authors, Books, characters, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Historical Romance, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

Pre-order Release Feature: Kurt Seyt & Shura by author Nermin Bezmen

I am pleased to announce a great new release by Nermin Bezmen, an author I met during my journey! Her historical romance, Kurt Seyt & Shura, officially went up for pre-order and will be released sometime in December on Amazon!

That’s awesome! Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

Nermin is giving us a look at her dramatic historical romance and international bestseller, Kurt Seyt & Shura, today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great cover!

Let’s learn about Kurt Seyt & Shura, a story of Love, Passion and Longing:

An instant bestseller since its début in 1992, Nermin Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura is a classic of contemporary Turkish literature, a sweeping romantic drama set as the splendour of imperial Russia is obliterated in the wake of the Great War.

Bezmen tells the story of two star-crossed lovers fleeing the wave of devastation wreaked by the Bolshevik Revolution, and does so with great sensitivity: one half of this couple who sought refuge in the capital of the dying Ottoman Empire was her grandfather.

​Translated into twelve languages, Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura inspired a sumptuous TV series that continues to enchant millions of viewers across the world. With the publication of this novel in English, fans can finally read the true story of this great love affair that triumphed over so much adversity, yet failed to overcome human fallibility.

​In 2012, the prestigious Turkish production company Ay Yapim offered to turn the novel into a television series. The producers pulled together an A Team of cast, crew, and director, who in turn created the acclaimed T.V. series “Kurt Seyit ve Sura”, with Nermin Bezmen’s guidance as a consultant and Ece Yorenc as script writer. The leading roles were played by the talented (and ahem, may we add also gorgeous) duo Kivanc Tatlitug and Farah Zeynep Abdullah. After its initial viewing in Turkey, the series was distributed in many countries, including the United States, where it is currently shown on Netflix. The production reached millions of viewers across the world and stole the hearts of many, creating new excitement and awe around the life story of the two lovers, about 100 years after their first kiss.

​The books in the saga include:

  • Kurt Seyt & Shura
  • Kurt Seyt & Murka
  • Mengene Gocmenleri
  • Shura Paris Years 1924-1927

Main heroes:

Kurt Seyt:

The son of a wealthy Crimean nobleman is a dashing First Lieutenant in the Imperial Life Guard. Injured on the Carpathian Front and later sought by the Bolsheviks, he makes a daring escape across the Black Sea.

​Too proud to accept payment for the boatful of arms he hands over to the Nationalists, he faces years of struggle to make a new life in the Turkish Republic rising from the embers of the dying Ottoman Empire. All he has is his dignity and love.

Shura:

The innocent beauty enchanted by Tchaikovsky’s music and Moscow’s glittering lights falls in love with Seyit at the age of sixteen. A potential victim in the sights of the Bolsheviks due to her family’s wealth and social standing, and determined to follow her heart, she accompanies her Seyt on the perilous flight over the Black Sea.

​Their love is the only solace to the crushing homesickness for a land and family they will never see again, two lovers amongst hundreds of thousands of White Russian émigrés trying to eke out a living in occupied Istanbul.

And here is an excerpt to entice you with.

A Night in Petrograd, 1916

Snow fell in fat, lazy flakes, an immaculate white blanket settling over the sleeping city. The carriage turning left at Alexander Nevsky Square laboriously carved a wide arc through the snow that had piled up all night, rounded a corner, and drew up to the pavement outside a three-story house.

A few snowflakes fluttered at the windowsills, stuck to the panes and frozen solid. The coachman gazed upward as instructed; a net curtain parted, and a shaft of light beamed out. A male figure wiped the glass, waved, and withdrew.

 

* * *

The young man consulted the pocket watch he’d left by the lamp on the bedside table: it was coming up to four; he still had plenty of time. Carefully, so as to avoid rousing the sleeping woman, he lifted the duvet and got back into bed. He reclined against the pillow, still holding his watch. Then, a little more determined, he flung aside the covers and got up. He drew the curtain back a little more and looked out. The moon illuminated the whiteness starting directly outside the windowpanes, sweeping unbroken over the garden, the railing, and the broad expanse of road. A world in white. Everything sparkled when the moon shone between the scudding clouds, and the world looked more splendid under this white coat.

Heavy curtains kept the world outside the windows, where it belonged. In the semidarkness, the room spoke in scents: perfume revealed a woman’s presence, and vodka testified to earlier indulgences, both mingling with the lavender emanating from the bed linens.

He turned toward the bed for a look. Amplified by the snow, the moonlight cast a bright-white light on the sleeping woman’s bare back. He recalled what the darkness sought to conceal: the deep auburn of her hair, now cascading over the pillow in waves; the groove of her spine dipping delightfully from the nape all the way to her waist and vanishing under the covers; and the right shoulder glowing in the playful light, a flawless expanse of alabaster.

Seemingly oblivious to the cold, he leaned his bare back against the window; then, grinning at the memory, he moved to the round table by the fireplace. The fruit platter, carafe, and glasses still stood where they had been left: half eaten and half drunk from. She was an impatient one, that Katya. Or was it Lydia? Whatever. The auburn beauty had excelled at entertaining him that night.

He picked up one of the half-full crystal glasses, downed it in one go, and shook his head as the alcohol stung his throat. He lit the pink opaline lamp in front of the mirror, and the soft light of gas spread into the room. Digging into the jumble of garments on the sofa, he gathered his own clothing and collected his underwear. He was moving toward the bathroom when the woman spoke sleepily.

“Why so early, darling?”

He strode toward her, still carrying his clothes. She stirred, rounded shoulders and full breasts braving the cold, her face now more distinct. Sweeping her hair up with one arm, she reached out with the other. He stared with barely disguised lust; the charming armpit thus exposed looked as arousing as the ample breasts bathed in the pink light. The sleepy gaze was not necessarily reserved for this time of night: she had proven her expertise in seduction with those large dark eyes framed by long eyelashes, eyes that spoke of the bedroom, of the pleasures of the flesh. Full lips pouting in anticipation, she waited, eyes shut, arm still outstretched. Smiling at her unrestrained behavior and ravenous appetite, he sat down on the edge of the bed. Her provocative scent mingled with the bedclothes, fragrant from passionate hours.

He yielded to the invitation of the arms wrapped around his neck. Languid eyes smoldered into his as she tugged away the bedclothes separating them to free her warm, buxom figure and snuggle up to him. She stroked his back and the muscles in his arms, pressed his head against her breasts, and presented her nipples to his lips. Effectively captured by her skillful limbs—surprising on such a petite woman—he enjoyed a lingering kiss before drawing back.

“It’s time I got ready. You might like to get up too; I’ll have you dropped off.”

She pouted with a half shrug. “Couldn’t we stay just a little longer?”

“I need to set off.”

“Where to?”

“Moscow.”

“When will you be back? Will you call upon me again?” She stirred as if to get up during this barrage, hoping to tempt him to change his mind.

All she got in response, however, was a jaunty smile and a pinch on the cheek before he walked toward the bathroom. He mused as he washed; he couldn’t remember her name—just another one-night stand. Someone he had met at a wild party where the drink had flowed like water…and they had left together. She was no petty commoner, if the splendor of her dress and jewelry was anything to go by. In all likelihood, she’d arrived on someone else’s arm—probably the man who’d paid for that splendor.

As he shaved, his thoughts strayed to the journey ahead. Best to get a move on, given he had arranged to meet the others at the station in an hour.

By the time he’d returned to the bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, she was already dressed. He patted his cheeks and neck with lotion from a bottle on the console. “Wouldn’t you like to take a bath?”

“I never take a bath on my own,” came the flirtatious reply.

An irrepressible grin lit up his face as he combed his hair, thinking, Her husband—or lover, whoever it was—certainly has his work cut out. He dressed, ignoring his audience, who sat on the edge of the bed to admire the view.

Muscular and fit, the young man in his early twenties carried himself with an aristocratic posture and demeanor. His moustache and floppy fringe were chestnut. A cleft chin seemed to complete his striking looks: flashing dark-blue eyes, a straight nose, and a perpetually sardonic mouth.

The redhead patted her curls back into place and sighed. Her questions were destined to remain unasked as the young man, now in full uniform and boots, strode between wardrobe and dresser, clearly lost in his own thoughts. He picked up several items from drawers, and some books went into a suitcase. She watched, astonished that he appeared to have forgotten the many wonderful hours they had shared in bed. Her wiles had failed to hook him. She leaned back with another sigh.

Taking a ring from a box by the mirror, he placed it on his finger and then put a watch in his pocket. She remembered openly admiring them last night—she adored jewelry after all, and he’d said the sapphire-and-diamond ring was a family heirloom. The enameled gold watch adorned with rubies was a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, he’d told her.

Soon they were ready to leave. A muffled clatter rose from the street. The second carriage had arrived. He picked up his coat and hat. “All right, let’s go,” he said. “I’ll have you taken home.”

He extinguished the lamp and walked to the door. She followed, surprised and not a little disconcerted at the absence of one last kiss or a plea for another meeting, as if there had been nothing between them.

The coachmen leaped down and ran over the snow. The young man turned to his guest, took her hand, and said, “Aktem will drop you off. Fare thee well, my lovely.” Her name wasn’t even on the tip of his tongue.

“Will we meet again?” she tried one last time.

“Why not?”

Happier now, she presented her cheek for a kiss, unbothered by the coachmen’s presence. Finally, gathering her courage, and with a bashful smile, she asked the one question that had plagued her all this time. “Tell me your name again?”

His merry laughter rang in the snowy street’s early morning silence. So the night had not been that memorable for either of them! Except for the ending, that is. He bowed, as if they had just met, and enunciated deliberately: “First Lieutenant Seyit Memedovich Eminof.”

 

* * *

 As the two carriages drove away in opposite directions, the auburn beauty who had sweetened his night was already slipping from his mind.

Book Info:

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date:  December, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Book link:  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/buy-kurt-seyt-shura-english-book

Wow! ♥♥♥ This looks like an intriguing tale!😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, Nermin! I know we all can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

 

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this popular book!

Author Bio

Nermin Bezmen is an accomplished artist, art teacher, yoga instructor and broadcaster whose meticulous research into family history led to the publication of Kurt Seyt & Shura in 1992.

This fictionalized account of her grandfather’s life became an instant bestseller, and is now considered to be a masterpiece of contemporary Turkish literature to the extent that it has reached textbook status in several secondary schools and universities.

Exquisite detail distinguishes her writing as she proves that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and that our ancestors call out to us all from the pages of history.

Her powerful character analysis and storytelling skills invite the readers to explore their own dreams, sorrows, anxieties and even fleeting fancies.

Bezmen has to date published fifteen novels, two of which are biographical, and one is a fantasy; a children’s novel, a collection of forty short stories and a book of poems. She has two children and three grandchildren and lives with her husband, actor Tolga Savacı in New Jersey and Istanbul.

 

Author Links

Website:  www.kurtseytandshura.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nbezmen1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2Ao8jjr

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1259947.Nermin_Bezmen

 

Thanks again, Nermin! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing