Monday, March 30, 2015

Betrothed by Lola White


Betrothed, Magic Matched Book 1

By Lola White
Genre: paranormal romance/suspense
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Date of Early Release:  March 27, 2015
Date of General Release: April 24, 2015

In witching society, magic and politics are the only things that matter, and marriages are arranged for advantage rather than love.

But neither Ileana Lovasz nor Eliasz Levy are looking for love. Humiliated by a string of broken betrothals, Ileana only wants freedom from her manipulative grandfather. Eliasz simply wants an alliance with Ileana’s brother Silviu, a man rising through the witching ranks. That is, until the Lovasz woman arrives at his home and stirs up emotions he’d never thought to feel.

Silviu has bigger things on his mind than his sister’s marriage. Georgeanne Davenold, Silviu’s betrothed and the key to his rise in power, is back in his life after a ten year separation that left her distrustful of his intentions. Their union is a novelty, spanning the divide between Matriarchal and Patriarchal Families. Their union is also alarming, combining the influence and magic of two witches only heard of in myth and legend.

Ileana, Eliasz, Silviu and Georgie must build an alliance that will help them all get what they want but, with too many lies and too many enemies, the game they’re playing turns deadly. When the two women come under attack, neither Silviu nor Eliasz knows which is the target. They only know they will protect the women their hearts have claimed as their own, even though that means defying the traditions of witching society, risking every goal they hold dear and confronting the dangerous members of their own families.

Magic Matched
The Magic Matched series tells the story of Silviu Lovasz and Georgeanne Davenold, two witches with a power only told of in myth. In witching society, there is a strict hierarchy, Family covens are ruled by Mothers or Fathers who hold the bulk of their bloodline’s power and archaic rules are enforced, disregarding modern sentiments. Magic and politics are the only things that matter, and marriages are arranged for advantage rather than love.
Silviu and Georgeanne have been betrothed since the moment of Georgie’s birth. When Silviu’s father learned a baby was to be born under the Bane moon, he reached across the Schism dividing the covens into matriarchal and patriarchal houses to the Davenold Mother, with a bold scheme to place their children at the top of the witching hierarchy. With Silviu wielding the enhanced talents of a Reap witch, he is the perfect match to Georgie, an abomination without magic who should have been killed at birth because of her defects. The only way to protect themselves against those who fear them enough to kill them, is take a position of leadership.
But they can’t reach the top alone. Reuniting after a ten-year separation that left Silviu aching with loneliness and Georgie distrustful of everyone who claims to love her, they begin building strong alliances. Silviu’s siblings, Costel and Ileana, and Georgie’s cousins, Adam and Christiana, are instrumental to their plans. But not all family members are worthy of their trust and the closer they get to their goals, the more dangerous some witches prove to be.
Silviu and Georgeanne must learn to open their hearts to each other in order to unlock their full magical potential. But with all that stands in their way – archaic traditions, murder plots, and a betrayal that threatens all they can be – they will need the group of allies they have built to help them navigate the dangerous world of witches, and the dark magic stalking them every step of the way.

Available at:


Excerpt

“Georgeanne Davenold is now old enough for me to do exactly as I wish to her, without her Family’s interference.”
Vasile stared at his son for a long moment, leaving Silviu feeling weighed and measured, evaluated in a way he’d grown used to, years before. It still wasn’t easy to keep calm under the silver stare.
“Don’t lose your head, my boy. This isn’t some female to take without consideration.”
Silviu hefted a brow. “I’ve never had any complaints.”
Vasile scowled. “You put your damned heart on your sleeve and you’ll lose every advantage you’re likely to gain with that girl. She’s been molded in Madeleine’s image. Do not underestimate her.”
“That’s exactly what you want, Father. A woman as strong as Madeleine. Her entire life has been arranged by you for that very reason. She was always meant to be Madeleine’s second reign.”
“And your first, but she’s your weakness,” Vasile spat, abruptly leaning forward in his chair. One rigid finger drilled into his desktop, emphasizing his point. “I don’t know what the hell it is about her, but I could see it the moment you met. Do not jeopardize all we’ve worked toward for a female who will never allow you to be her weakness. She has her own agenda and, with the sole exception of that Beltane night, she’s never given us any reason to think she would be willing to put it aside to please you!”
Surprise held Silviu for a breathless moment, a hideous vulnerability sweeping over him at how easily his father had read him. He cleared his throat with effort. “We both want to lead the covens. What makes you think her agenda wouldn’t match mine, if properly explained to her?”
“You won’t win the heart of a matriarchal female,” Vasile countered. “You’re too…male, for any of them. So, don’t even bother to try.”
Silviu hid the fear spearing through him by slouching back in his chair, a deliberate insouciance that was all that ever truly fooled his father. “I know. It’s a political alliance, not a love match.”
Vasile lost some of the tension in his shoulders. “Only Georgeanne can unlock your full potential, only she can provide a conduit for all the magic that should rightfully be yours. Together, you could join the Families, power from both sides of the Schism. Just think! You will rule with your combined power over all the covens.”
“Just as you wanted, Father.”
With one last searching glance, Vasile shifted back in his chair, a crafty gleam sparkling in the depths of the eyes he finally turned on his daughter. “Eliasz wants you.”
“That’s ridiculous,” she scoffed. “He doesn’t even know me.”
Vasile shook his head. “There is no earthly reason why the powerful Levys would want to ally themselves with our Family except Eliasz’s lust. We aren’t politically relevant.”
“But that will change,” Silviu said.
“Yes, but no one in the Levy Family knows the extent of my plans.” Vasile raised a brow at Ileana. “You will do everything in your power to keep Eliasz’s attention and win his heart. Do you understand me?”
Ileana’s eyes went wide. “Throwing me into Eliasz’s bed, then?”
Vasile pointedly eyed the tiny skirt riding high on his daughter’s thighs. “Are you going to tell me you’re a virgin?”
“I won’t tell you anything on the matter at all, Father.” Ileana cocked her head. “What makes you think this time will be any different from before? Grandfather is going to find some reason to pull back from this alliance.”
Vasile’s hard face went rigid. A low growl ripped from his throat. “The old fool has no idea how much he’s cost this Family. He is the reason we have no power in the witching world, but so long as he wields the magic of our bloodline we have no weapon strong enough to bring him down.”
“We need this alliance,” Silviu said, turning to take Ileana’s cold fingers and squeezing gently. He tried to give her comfort, hope. For so long, they’d been each other’s support in the face of their Family’s machinations. “The Levys are no joke, Iley. This one will go through.”
“You can’t promise that,” she argued.
“We’ll do our best.” Vasile rapped his knuckles against his desktop. “But you’ll have to do your part, girl. Wrap that man around your finger. I know you can do it. You can be very charming when you put your mind to it. People naturally like you.”
“Convince him to elope with me, perhaps?”
“If need be, yes.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
Silviu glanced at his sister, the sudden calmness in her voice sounding alarms in his skull. She only used that tone when she was about to challenge the archaic, patriarchal rules they were forced to live by.
Vasile seemed unaware as he moved on to his favorite subject—intrigue. “Now, as for the meeting with the Levys, I will expect very specific things from both of you.”
It was nearly the witching hour before they were given permission to leave their father’s presence, lectures and orders still ringing in Silviu’s ears. When he slipped out into the cold hallway, he shut the study door behind him carefully, calmly and with complete control.
Only then did he lean back against the wall, close his eyes and let a shudder born of too many emotions to fully contain roll through him. Tension and intrigue fell from his shoulders, making him feel half his weight, now that his father’s focused gaze was no longer resting on him.
“Now’s your chance, Silver,” Ileana whispered.
He nodded. “And yours. We will both be bolder than we’ve ever dared before.”
“I’ll give it everything I have,” she promised.
Dragging in a deep breath, gathering his cracking armor of calm around him once more, Silviu set off toward his bedroom, making his own plans for Georgeanne Davenold that had nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with pleasure.

Author Bio
Lola White writes what she writes, which is erotic fiction. Sometimes horror, sometimes paranormal, sometimes romance. It’s all sexy, but never predictable because she likes to twist reality at its edges in her stories. She likes delving into the emotions of her characters, finding their strengths and weaknesses, and seeing (and showing) how they get themselves out of whatever trouble has found them—if they can. Don’t try to label her collection of tales beyond the most basic description, EROTICA, because she writes whatever story comes to mind, whatever speaks to her. She’s certain something in her library will speak to you, too.


Find Lola Online
Twitter: @steamyreadslist  https://twitter.com/steamyreadslist

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Books by Sydney Logan in the mail!

What Fun! I got two SIGNED books in the mail this week. Pros & Cons and Once Upon a December by Sydney Logan. Always so cool to have them in HAND!



Have to add a disclaimer...P&C now has a NEW COVER! I love it, too...







Pros & Cons By Sydney Logan

February 21st, 2015 Con artists Jenna York and Ethan Summers always seem to cross paths during their travels around the world. With their partners in tow, the cunning criminals wreak havoc across the globe, stealing from the rich and giving to the richer. While Jenna tries to convince herself that she sees him as nothing more than a professional rival, Ethan finds it a little harder to fight his attraction to the beautiful thief. When tragedy strikes, Jenna and Ethan join forces, but are the stakes too high? Can they escape this last job with their lives—and their hearts—intact? 



Kathie's Review:

This story has it all. Four con artists are at the top of their game, two want out to start their lives together, one last diamond heist on the books to fill the coffers...and some off the charts UST (Unresolved Sexual Tension) between the other two. This made for a fun, exciting read. And then I cried. Then I wanted someone to pay. Such a roller coaster of a book!

Ms. Logan's writing is smooth and pulls me right in. She gives us people to root for. I especially enjoyed the supporting character of Ethan's pilot and friend. Tickled me that he was a pilot named Gabriel. An angel in the pilot's seat! I'm thinking I'd read a book just about him.

There were some really intense scenes in this book that kept me on the edge of my seat. There was tenderness that was touching, and revenge. Yep, just the thing to read to keep one warm on these chilly winter evenings. Of course, if you are reading this review in the summer, it's also good for warm, sultry nights! Yes, a good book to read anytime!



Disclosure: I was blessed to be an editor on this one. I can honestly say, I LOVED IT!
Book Trailer:


Amazon bestselling author Sydney Logan holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of three novels - Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, and Soldier On. Sydney has also penned four short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat. 


Visit her website at www.sydneylogan.com. She can also be found on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram
Excerpt:

As I slip quietly out of the suite and rush toward the elevator, I can’t deny I’m feeling a little better about Vegas. That is, until the elevator doors open. Standing there, leaning against the stainless steel wall with a cocky smile on his face, is the one person I really didn’t want to see this weekend. With a miserable groan, I step inside the elevator and furiously stab the button.



“Are you following me, Summers?”



 “I’d follow your dimples anywhere, York.” Ethan Summers is infuriatingly charming and handsome. Both assets have proven to be beneficial to his career and detrimental to mine.

 “Well, these dimples just lifted Bradley Jones’ credit card numbers.” 

 “Impressive. Although, one might argue that a more superior con artist would be capable of accomplishing such a feat without showing a little skin. Really, Jenna, I’m disappointed.” He rarely calls me by my first name. Last names have always been our thing. 

 “Were you watching me?”

 “Every heterosexual man in the casino was watching your little performance. Nice legs, by the way.” Crap.

 “Not good,” I mutter. 

 “No, but I enjoyed it.” Ethan grins as the elevator doors open. I don’t protest when he grabs me by the elbow and leads me toward the nearest exit. It’s not brightly lit, but there’s a very nice bouncer that Ethan greets by name who allows us to walk right out the door and into the starry Nevada night. He doesn’t let go of my arm as we hurry toward a black SUV. 

 “Why are you helping me?” 

 “You drugged a millionaire and stole his credit card info. I think it’s best we get you out of town.” That doesn’t really answer my question, but I can’t argue with his logic. Ethan opens the passenger door and helps me inside. 

 “Nice stilettos.” I glare at him, and he shoots me a sexy smile before slamming my door. It’s really too bad that I hate his guts. Ethan Summers and I have crossed paths many times throughout the past couple years. It’s unavoidable, considering we’re two of the finest criminal minds in the world. That’s what the news says, anyway. 

 “Let me guess,” Ethan says as he pulls the SUV out onto the highway. “You used Rohypnol on Jones?” 

 I roll my eyes.

 “I’m a thief, not a sexual predator.”

 “Well, you obviously slipped something into his drink.”

 “Sleeping pill.” Ethan hums his disapproval. I can’t argue with him. Slipping Bradley a sedative is so amateur. “I was desperate. The entire weekend has been a complete waste of time. When did the Viper install dome cams?” 

 “A few weeks ago. The casino’s hosting the U.S. Poker Championship next month. Ceiling cams are a requirement.” 

 “Super.” 

 “I know.” 

 “So, if you knew about the cameras, what were you doing at the casino?” 

 “Let’s just say a little birdie told me you were hitting the Viper tonight. I had a feeling you might need my assistance.” 

 “So you’ve been talking to Abby.” He remains silent and keeps his eyes trained on the freeway, giving me the chance to study his profile. Ethan has a mop of unruly dark hair and deep blue eyes that make most girls go weak in the knees. Not this girl. Nope. 

“Like what you see?” My face heats. I hate when he catches me ogling him. 

“You’re an ass.” 

 He laughs. “Someday, Jenna, you’re going to stop fighting this attraction between us. I’m really looking forward to that.”








By Sydney Logan
Date of Publication: November 28th 2014

Goodreads

Christmas is in the air, and best selling author Sydney Logan is gifting readers with a short story collection, just in time for the holidays. Once Upon a December features Sydney’s latest story, “What Child Is This,” along with her previously published holiday stories in one complete collection. Available for the first time in both paperback and ebook, these heartwarming and romantic tales are sure to bring you joy this holiday season.





What Child Is This?

Estranged from his family and the love of his life, Thomas Fisher finds himself stranded in an airport on Christmas Eve. Imagine his surprise when a young boy takes him by the hand and shows him the way home.


Excerpt from “What Child Is This?

Please come home for Christmas this year?
I don’t bother replying to my sister’s text. She knows I’m not coming home. I just power off my phone and stuff it back into my jacket. With a tired sigh, I lean back, close my eyes, and find myself doing the one thing I try never to do.
I think about the mess I’ve made of my life.

Ten years ago, I’d been an eighteen-year-old living in Paisley Springs, Tennessee—a tiny, rural town about two hours north of Nashville. Ten years ago, I’d been a popular athlete with dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. Ten years ago, I’d been the golden child of Dr. Benjamin and Olivia Fisher.

Ten years ago, I’d been a boy in love.

I still am.

Life is full of highways, and some are just too long when you’re trying to find your way home. In my case, some forgotten roads completely disappear. Time erases them, to the point that you begin to wonder if they ever really existed in the first place.

But they did. I know they did.

I close my eyes and try to ignore the image that flickers behind my eyelids. In my mind, Emma Hayes is still eighteen years old. With her long red hair and deep green eyes, she’d always looked at me as if I was her dream come true.

And I was, until I ripped those dreams away.

We were together for more than a year, and it had been the happiest time of my life. But being crazy in love makes you do stupid things. Careless things.

And then things happen that you never imagined would happen to you.

***

Kathie's Review:

First, I love this cover. I just want to kiss his little cheeks! Second...I loved this story. Oh my, it tugged at my heart and pulled me right in. I kept wondering who this little child was. How was he alone? And then, there's that "aha" moment, for me, and for Thomas. 
I won't spoil it for you. Read and be touched, too!

***



Mistletoe Magic

Melanie Taylor is on a mission to find the perfect Christmas gift for her husband. Something special. Something expensive. Something that will save her marriage. Can a chance encounter on an elevator make her Christmas wish come true?

Excerpt from “Mistletoe Magic

“Doing some last-minute shopping?” Ethan asked.

Melanie blinked rapidly before nodding.

“I am,” she replied stiffly. “You?”

He lifted the gold bag, giving it a little shake.

She nodded. “For someone special?”

“For my wife. You?”

“My husb—”

Her reply was cut short when the lights dimmed, and the elevator lurched to a stop.

“Fantastic,” Melanie mumbled.

The emergency lights flickered on, and Ethan pushed the alarm button before grabbing the elevator’s phone. Melanie listened intently as he barked orders to someone before slamming down the receiver.
“The entire block is in the dark,” Ethan grumbled. He removed his jacket before settling himself on the floor.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting comfortable,” Ethan said. “The guy said it might be a while.”

Melanie glanced down at her silk dress.

“I’m not sitting on this dirty floor.”

Ethan shrugged. “Suit yourself.”

Melanie eyed his jacket.

“Speaking of suits, isn’t that Armani?”

“I have no idea which expensive name is stitched on the label.”

She smirked. “But you know it’s expensive.”

“There isn’t a suit in my closet that didn’t cost a fortune. My wife insists upon it.”

“Maybe that’s because your wife has good taste.”

“Maybe that’s because my wife is too hung-up on labels.” Ethan loosened his tie and sighed tiredly. “Just sit down. I hate enclosed spaces, and you’re making me nervous.”

A stubborn Melanie remained on her feet, but the four-inch heels of her favorite boots weren’t the most comfortable, and after a few minutes, she finally relented and removed her coat. It was far less expensive than the dress, after all. She placed it on the floor before slowly sitting down.

“See? Isn’t that better?”

Melanie sighed loudly.

“One of us should probably conserve our cell battery,” Ethan suggested, pulling his phone out of his pocket. “My Blackberry has a full charge, so I don’t mind keeping mine on if you’d like to save yours.”

With a nod, Melanie reached into her bag and turned off her iPhone.

“You don’t want to text someone first?” Ethan asked. “Your husband might worry if you come home late.”

Melanie somehow resisted the urge to laugh.

“No one worries about me,” she said.

A brief look passed between them before they both quickly looked away.

***
Kathie's Review:

A lovely short story that got me into the Christmas Spirit.

Ms. Logan tugged at my heart strings and then made me feel warm fuzzies. 

Now, I just need to get my Christmas tree up, and I'm ready!

***




The Little Drummer Boy

It’s Christmas Eve, and Justin Banks is on the hunt for a last-minute gift for his wife, Megan. With the help of a homeless man and the beat of a drum, Justin stumbles upon the one thing Megan has always wanted. The one thing money can’t buy. It's amazing what we can hear if we just take a moment and really listen.









Excerpt from “The Little Drummer Boy

Rum pum pum pum.

It’s faint, but it’s thereA quiet, rhythmic beat that blends into the night. How this old man heard the sound is beyond me.

“You hear it, don’t you?”

With a nod, I look around, hoping to find the source of the sound. The man points toward the coffee shop’s covered alleyway.

“Back there,” he says.

The carolers begin their rendition of “O Holy Night,” and once again, I hear the “rum pum pum pum” coming from the darkness.

Intrigued, I step away from the old man and walk slowly toward the alley. Each step brings me closer to the beat, until finally, I see a little boy, nestled in the corner. His only light comes from a lantern, and a snare drum rests in his lap. The drum is scarred and the strap is frayed, but it’s obviously his most prized possession.

Probably his only possession.

Does he live here? In this filthy alley? And where are his parents?

“Shall I play for you?”

His voice is just a whisper. His clothes are dirty and ragged, and the faded blue jacket he wears is about three sizes too big.

“I heard you playing,” I tell him, keeping my voice soft and light. The last thing I want to do is scare the kid. “You’re very good. Are you alone?”

He nods.

“Where are your parents?”

His face contorts in pain, and my stomach lurches. He can’t be more than five years old. Maybe six.

“Shall I play for you?” he asks again. A little stronger this time. A little more determined.

Because I don’t know what else to do, I nod. The covered alleyway has thankfully kept most of the snow away, so I find a flattened section of shredded cardboard and sit down. I don’t think about the fact that I’m probably ruining my thousand-dollar suit. I just sit and listen.

The boy’s sticks pound the head of the drum.

Rum pum pum pum.

Rum pum pum pum.

Each rhythmic thump pierces my soul, and when he comes to the end of his song, I reach inside my jacket for my wallet.

“No, sir,” he says softly. “I don't need your money.”

It’s hard not to laugh. The kid is surrounded by dumpsters and living in a cardboard box. If anyone needs my money, it’s this child.

“What do you need?”

“Just food.”

“I can pay you with food?”

The boy nods vigorously, and I notice his eyes are suddenly a little brighter. The poor guy is probably starving and could definitely use a bath. Dirt cakes his face, but he has the biggest, bluest eyes I’ve ever seen.

“Why don't you come home with me?” I hear myself say. “My wife loves to cook.”

He shakes his head. “I can't leave. My mom told me to stay here. I have to stay here.”

“How old are you?”

“I'm six, sir.”

“Do you have a name?”

“My name’s Luke.”

“Well, Luke, my name is Justin Banks, and it's cold out here. It's going to keep snowing.”

“Yes, sir,” he whispers, his voice trembling.

“I could take you home with me for a little while. You could take a bath and eat some dinner with us.”

At the mention of a bath, he smiles.

“And then we can try to find your mom and dad.”

The little boy bows his head, and when he looks up at me again, the light in his eyes is long gone.

“My mom told me to stay here.”

I close my eyes in frustration. I can talk a judge and jury into almost anything. Have I really met my match in a six-year-old living in a cardboard box?

Maybe so.

But I have a secret weapon.


Kathie's Review:


The Little Drummer Boy has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs. 
Then just look at this cover...wow, the colors look so rich.

Oh my gosh, Ms. Logan had me in tears, and then smiling, then more tears...then there was a touch of magic in her words and her story. I was blessed to be able to read it.

I loved it. 

Yes, it's short, but this has all the things that I want in a novella. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. I easily came to care about the characters, and while MORE of them would be great, this left me in a very nice place.

In my opinion, it's never too early to get into the Christmas spirit, and The Little Drummer Boy is a lovely way to get into that mood.


FIVE BOOKMARKS

*Thank you, Ms. Logan, for the opportunity to read These stories..

Full disclosure: I was one of the editors for this lovely anthology!



Buy your copy here:




About Sydney Logan

Amazon best selling author Sydney Logan holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of three novels - Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, and Soldier On. Sydney has also penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul.

A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.










Friday, March 27, 2015

Duty and Desire by Elise de Sallier COVER REVEAL



cool TWCS logo
PRESENTS. . .

A Cover Reveal for

Duty and Desire
Book 2 of The Hearts of Honour Series
by Elise de Sallier
Duty-&-Desire-Hi-Res-Cover
Release Date: June 18 , 2015
~~SUMMARY~~
Grace Daniels, the village of Hartley’s resident midwife and herbalist, would like nothing more than to ease the suffering of Jonathan Loring’s young son, Peter. But the widowed Blackthorn estate manager is as prejudiced againstDuty&Desire-3D-Paperback-eReader her illegitimacy as he is her “witchy” profession. When Peter’s physicians say they can do no more for the boy, Jonathan finds himself in the unenviable position of having to turn to the woman whose skills he has scorned.
Drawn together out of duty, Jonathan and Grace’s relationship soon becomes characterised by a not-so-hidden desire. Having found a degree of independence unheard of for a lady, Grace has no intention of submitting to the bonds of matrimony. Not that Jonathan, who has lost his inheritance and has to work for a living, is in any position to propose.
With marriage out of the question, their only option is both shocking and dangerous . . . to become lovers.
~~EXCERPT~~
Accord
Grace Daniels pulled her cloak tightly around her shoulders. The blustery wind tugged strands of her long, black hair free from her bun, intent on using them to whip her face. To add insult to injury, the misty rain—which she could have borne quite easily—was now falling in heavy splats. Several icy drips had worked their way through her worn, woollen wrap, sending shivers down her spine.
What joy.
As the midwife and herbalist for the village of Hartley, Grace traipsed around the countryside in all sorts of weather, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a trial. She really should have taken up William, the viscount Blackthorn, on his offer to supply her with a horse-drawn chaise. How she would find time to care for a horse was beyond her. There were so few hours left in her day already, certainly not enough for a decent night’s sleep on the rare occasion she wasn’t called out to assist with a birth or an emergency. If the viscount knew the reason for her reluctance, he would probably offer to pay for a stable boy to assist her. But Grace didn’t like to feel beholden—not even to her best friend’s husband—although it was somewhat unavoidable, considering he now funded her work.
Startled by a horse’s whinny, she looked over her shoulder to see—as if conjured from her imagination—just the sort of hooded chaise William had suggested would be suitable for her needs. Unfortunately, the driver was more likely to appear in her nightmares than her daydreams.
Duty-&-Desire-3D-Paperback-1Jonathan Loring, retired military officer and the Blackthorn Viscountcy’s new estate manager.
“Get in. You can ride with me the rest of the way up to the manor.”
Grace bristled at her unwelcome rescuer’s tone even as the wind tugged at the ribbons of her bonnet. Personable in appearance, with golden hair and a close-trimmed beard, Mr Loring was already well-respected by the local populace, though he had a knack for rubbing Grace the wrong way. If she were a cat, she would have hissed.
“Don’t dawdle, Miss Daniels,” he added in his typically autocratic manner. “There’s no point getting any wetter than you already are, unless you enjoy impersonating a drowned rat?”
Grace narrowed her eyes. She would have given a great deal to be able to turn her back on the obnoxious man and keep walking, but a not-so-distant clap of thunder heralded a strengthening in the storm. If only she hadn’t misread the weather.
“Oh, very well,” she muttered, clambering aboard with little of the attribute for which she was named evident in either movement or demeanour. To make matters worse, the bench seat was barely wide enough to accommodate them both. Leaving a respectable distance between them simply wasn’t possible, as she was forced to squeeze into the narrow space between the sidewall and Mr Loring’s immovable thigh. Thankfully, he made no comment about her damp skirt pressing against him, merely jerked his chin towards the prancing bay gelding.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t climb down to assist you, but Ned’s hard to handle in this weather.”
After placing her bag next to her feet, Grace gave him a withering glance. “That would have been unnecessary, as I am quite capable of getting into a vehicle unaided. It also would have been unwise, as it’s plain to see you need to keep both hands on the reins lest your horse bolt. I’ve no desire to be bowled over and left facedown in the mud.”
“Neither do I, which is why I wasn’t fool enough to attempt the manoeuvre.” Mr Loring huffed a breath while urging his horse to trot up the steep, muddy road that led to Blackthorn Manor. “I was merely trying to explain my less-than-gentlemanly behaviour.”
“Since we both know I’m not a lady, the gesture would have been wasted. Unless you’re trying to convince me you would show the same courtesy to your average, run-of-the-mill servant?”
“If a woman needed my help, then I would render assistance regardless of her station,” he replied, biting off each word as if displaying the early signs of lockjaw.
While the man was as irritating as a prickle in one’s shoe, Grace couldn’t deny she received an inordinate amount of pleasure from goading him.

~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~
A great believer in living happily ever after, Elise began her lifelong obsession with the romance and paranormal genres when she was far too young to be reading either. After more than thirty years of marriage to her very own romantic hero, she now knows great relationships don’t just happen, they take work . . . which doesn’t mean writing about them can’t be a whole lot of fun!Elise
While raising a family, Elise established a career as a counsellor and family therapist. Seeking an escape from the stresses of her work, she discovered the world of fan fiction, and her timid writer’s muse made its voice heard. After 2.3 million hits, 20,000 reviews, and an e-mail from an acquisitions editor at The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House, her life found a new and fascinating direction.
Elise likes to see her characters grow, experience passion and adventure, tackle some difficult issues, and find lasting love . . . eventually.
~~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~~

~~OTHER TITLES IN THE SERIES~~

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Praise for Passion and Propriety, Hearts of Honour, Book 1
“I cannot recommend this author, or her book, highly enough to anyone who is a fan of Regency romance or who would like to dabble in the genre to see if it’s for them, because believe me, after reading this you would definitely be a convert!” Lily Loves Indie
“This is probably one of my favorite historical romances I have read this year.” Jen, Red Hot Books
“I’ll definitely be picking up more books by this author and can’t wait for the next instalment of this series which stars Hannah’s friend, Grace.”Amy Alvis, Historical Romance Lover
“I loved it. That could be my entire review, right there. But I need to gush a bit more. A wounded hero. A woman with a backbone and caring heart. A bit of angst as I wonder if they will overcome the obstacles that stand in their way of true love…. The flow of the story was natural, not rushed, and I enjoyed every page. I’m very happy to hear that there will be more in Ms. de Sallier’s Hearts of Honour series. I want the next one now!” Kathie, First Page to the Last Book Reviews
“This is the third book I’ve read by this author and I couldn’t help falling in love with de Sallier’s characters once again. I was completely taken into the story not just by Hannah and William, but by the secondary characters at the same time… If you enjoy Regency Romance, you will love Passion & Propriety.” Lindsey Gray, Author on Author Book Reviews
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