Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Forsaking Hope by Beverley Oakley


Forsaking Hope
Fair Cyprians of London By Beverley Oakley
 
Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

 



About the Book:

Two years ago, she missed their secret assignation and disappeared without a trace. Now the divine "Miss Hope" is in Felix Durham’s bed - a 'surprise cheering-up gift' sourced by his friends from London's most exclusive brothel. Felix is in heaven - and he wants to stay there.
So does Hope, but she can’t.
Hope Merriweather lives by a code of honour – even if she’s a prostitute.
Having sold her soul, she’s prepared to sacrifice everything else to protect what she believes in.

Even if honour – in her eyes – comes at the cost of thieving and breaking hearts. Including her own.

Available for preorder here:
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Excerpt:


Chapter One

Wilfred Hunt.
If there was a name to tip Hope into the abyss of despair she was hearing it spill from Madame Chambon’s lips now as the older woman directed Hope to take a seat in the reception room, presumably so Madame could loom oppressively over her.
With her hands on her ample, expensively padded hips, Hope’s benefactress—procuress, employer and gaoler were other monikers—sent Hope a beetling look that needed no interpreting: Regardless of Hope’s true feelings, Hope must project the required show of warmth and delight at being the chosen one.
Madame patted the side of her faux curls. Years of hot irons had reduced her hair to the texture of wool but her crowning glory these days was supplemented by the lustrous locks of those girls who dared cross her – before they were thrown back into the street from where most had come.
Nevertheless, Hope had to make her resistance clear. Surely Madame who knew her history would understand her loathing for this man, above all others. “I shan’t do it,” she whispered. There was little evidence of the willful child and wild adolescent who’d been the despair of her family. “I won’t—”
Outside, the noise of the traffic rumbling over the cobbles and the shrill calls of competing vendors settled upon the tense silence. Madame Chambon’s other girls, ranged around the sumptuously appointed room on red velvet upholstered banquettes, watched the exchange with prurient fascination. Hope knew it had been a calculated ploy of Madame’s to conduct her interview in public so that Hope would serve as an example to them.
No one crossed Madame Chambon.
The shrill cry of a fishmonger caused Madame to look pointedly out of the window. With something between a smile and a sneer, she smoothed a Marcel wave. “Is that where you plan to return, Hope? The gutter?” Her nose twitched and in the sunlight that filtered into the room, the grooves chiselled between mouth and chin were thrown into harsh relief, highlighted rather than hidden by the thick powder she used to conceal her age.
Madame Chambon’s comfort, now and into retirement, depended on obedient girls. Hope knew that as well as anyone. She’d had to bury her rebellious streak just to ensure food in her belly.
The Frenchwoman raised a chiselled brow and began to pace slowly in front of her girls. A painter with an eye for beauty would have been ecstatic at capturing such a spectacle on canvas. The discerning young man about town who visited 56 Albemarle Street was frequently rendered ecstatic by the range of delights Madame Chambon's girls offered in addition to the visual.
“You forget yourself, Hope. I put a roof over your head and deck you out as handsomely as Mr Charles Worth ever did for his most discerning customer.” There was acid in Madame Chambon’s tone. “But for me, you'd be starving and glad of the pennies you could trade for a grubby stand-up encounter in a dark alley.” Madame Chambon thrust out her bosom and breathed through her nose, her response a calculated warning to the other girls arranged in various languid poses about the ornately decorated reception room that intransigence would not be tolerated.
“Mr Hunt has requested you.” She paused and when Hope remained silent, though her stance and expression left no one in any doubt as to her horror regarding this enforced assignation, went on. “Remember what I told you—what I tell all my girls when they first come here? The past must be forgotten the moment you step over my threshold. You are reborn, remodelled, refashioned into the most exquisite delectation of womanhood. A marquess, a prince, is well recompensed for the tidy sum he hands over in order to enjoy your sparkling wit, to converse with you in French, or if he chooses, on philosophy…to enjoy your charms…and,” she added significantly, “your gracious hospitality and tender ministrations to his needs. That is our agreement and you are no different. If Mr Hunt wishes you, Hope, to attend him at his residence then you will go.”
Faith, one of the kinder girls, patted Hope’s arm in silent solidarity. Hope didn’t expect any of them to speak up in her defence. Not when they all relied on Madame Chambon as much as she did to provide them with the necessities of life. Anything more than that was part of a strict contract that indentured a girl for life unless she was able to secure a generous benefactor to settle Madame's severance bill. The fine clothes were part of the charade, necessary to entice a more elite clientele. Hope’s exquisite wardrobe did not belong to her though she'd have forsaken all the dupion silk and Spitalfields lace for the freedom of the gutter and to be mistress of her own destiny – and her body - if she could only be sure of a plate of gravy and potatoes every second day.
Closing her eyes, she hung her head, the carefully coiffed curls that fell forwards brushing against her tear-streaked cheeks. It was as well that they not be in evidence. Tears, weakness, vulnerability were like a red rag to a bull where Madame Chambon was concerned.
“How long…do I have to prepare myself?” She was not so stupid she couldn’t admit defeat when there was no alternative. Obduracy was beaten out of one, but tears ensured a girl got the very worst next assignment. Their clients weren’t all marquesses and princes, though they did require a very fat pocket book.
“Tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow.” Hope repeated it in a leaden tone, and stared at her hands, clasped in her lap; white-knuckled. As white as the rabbit-fur that edged her fashionable black-and-white striped satin cuirass. Hope had the tall, slim figure suited to the scandalously tight tie-back skirts that were all the rage, the back flowing into a train adorned with elaborate swags and trimmed with bows. She'd turned heads the length of Oxford Street as she’d promenaded along the pavement following a walk through Hyde Park earlier that afternoon. In fact, for the first time in two years, she’d almost felt happy as she’d pretended a sense of freedom in the afternoon sun, blocking her mind to the prison to which she was returning.
She drew in her breath and forced herself to be brave, knowing the punishment she’d invite for daring to speak her mind. “Please tell Mr Hunt I will see him again under sufferance.”
Madame Chambon’s voice was surprisingly caramel. “Well then, now that you have made your objection clear, Hope, you will be pleased to hear that Mr Hunt’s desires are not only motivated by fond memories of your no-doubt mutually satisfying congress. I believe he wishes to acquaint you with news of your family.”
Hope hid her shock. “I have no family.” With care, she modified her tone so it was as leaden as before though emotion roiled close to the surface.
“Not even a sister?”
Hope raised her chin. Here was the chink and Madame knew it. The woman did her research.
Aware that the other girls who surrounded her were tense with anticipation, Hope struggled not to respond. Camaraderie existed at surface level but one never knew when it might profit one to have the dirt on a fellow prostitute. It was, clearly, another reason Madame Chambon had chosen to make this conversation public.
“Mr Hunt will see you at nine tomorrow evening,” said the so-called Frenchwoman who, it was whispered, was from the gutters of Lambeth, not Paris. “At his apartments in Duke Street. Now go and prepare yourself for Lord Farrow. Married to a monolith like the venerable Lady Farrow, he likes his girls vivacious and free-spirited. There’ll be less coin in your pocket if you sully the transaction with that long face, Hope.”

 ~*~*~*~*~*~ 

 
Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.
Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.
Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lady of Thorns by Nicola M. Cameron

Hello, and thanks so much for having me on today! Lady of Thorns is the third book in a series that was never supposed to be a series. I’ve been describing it as “Lady Mary from Downton Abbey goes head to head with Alan Shore from Boston Legal—and hijinks ensue!” While I’ve resigned DanaĆ« and Matthias to the background for now, fear not, MattaĆ« fans—book four will run in parallel to the events of Lady of Thorns and covers what happens when Matthias arrives in Hellas for his first official visit after the wedding.

In the meantime I do hope you enjoy the story of Amelie and Alain, and I can promise that they’ll make another appearance down the line as I now know where I’m going with this series. All I will say about that is: buckle up, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Mwahahahaha…

 

Blurb

Love was never supposed to be part of the deal…

Lady Amelie de Clerq’s prickly demeanor and earth mage abilities have earned her the nickname “Lady of Thorns,” keeping potential suitors at bay and making her the butt of the nobility’s jokes. Determined to attract a husband who will love her for herself rather than her fortune, she decides to embark on a journey of sensual self-discovery.

Alain LaPorte, wily lawyer and toast of the capital’s social set, has been summoned to Lierdhe to oversee business negotiations with a neighboring earl. When Amelie asks Alain to tutor her in the bedroom arts, he agrees to introduce the virgin mage to pleasure. But lessons in lovemaking soon turn into a matter of the heart, forcing both Amelie and Alain to confront their fears about intimacy, loyalty, and love.
  • Fantasy, Erotic Romance, MF
  • Word Count: 80,000
  • Heat Level 4
  • Published By: Belaurient Press


Books in the Two Thrones series:

Excerpt

LaPorte returned with two goblets of wine and handed her one, the deep garnet of the liquid lit with reflected fire from the candlelight. “I’m glad you came. I must admit, I was afraid you’d changed your mind.”
Amelie took a deep sip, hoping the cool, tart wine would help soothe her nerves. “I had to persuade my maid that I didn’t require help getting ready for bed.” As it was, she wasn’t sure that she’d convinced Jeanette with her excuse that she planning on going back down to her office. “I apologize if I kept you waiting.”
“No apologies necessary.” He showed her to a pair of chairs set on either side of the fireplace and sat down. “You look lovely.”
She plucked at the light blue wool of her gown, wishing she had worn something more alluring, or at least with a lower neckline. Her mother’s closet was full of silky, clingy dresses with daring necklines, and she would have given a great deal to rummage through them. Instead, I come to him dressed like some awkward girl.
Which I suppose I am. “Thank you. You look very handsome.”
He smiled at that. “Thank you, my lady.”
A silence fell after that. She fidgeted with the goblet, wishing she didn’t feel like such a fool. The weight of his attention was tangible, causing her stomach to flutter. “I don’t know what to say now,” she confessed.
“You don’t have to say anything. Drink your wine and let me look at you.”
Her mouth dried again at that and she took a quick sip from her goblet. “I’m sorry about the plainness of my gown. I’m afraid I don’t have anything appropriate to wear to—” A seduction. “—something like this.”
His lips quirked at that. “I asked you to leave what you had on because I liked it. Pretty gowns make for lovely gift wrapping, true, but it all comes off in the end anyway. Besides, there’s a certain appeal to a gown such as yours.”
“I don’t see what that could be,” she muttered into her goblet.
“It’s what it represents. Youth, innocence, an unknown territory ripe to be explored. I suspect it’s the reason why so many men have a fondness for deflowering virgins—they relish being the first man a woman has known intimately.”
She tried to lock the question behind her jaws, but it popped out. “Do you like that?”
“Deflowering virgins?”
“Yes.”
“No.”
She slouched lower in her chair. “Oh.”
He held up a hand. “Not to say that I have anything against it, mind you. Everyone has to start somewhere, after all. But I don’t fetishize it to the degree that other men do. I see it more as a starting point on a very pleasant journey.”
She hadn’t thought of it that way. “And you don’t think less of me for my request?”
“Not at all, my lady. You know what you want, and you wish an experienced tutor to help you achieve it. It’s all quite reasonable to me.” He settled in his chair, sipping his wine. “As I’m playing tutor to you in this area, are there any questions you wish to ask me?”
There were, actually. “Will it hurt much?”
“It shouldn’t. If I make sure you’re aroused and open first, you should be able to take me without discomfort.”
Take him. Those simple words set warmth surging through her lower belly. “So, no gushing blood or rending pain, then.”
He rolled his eyes. “That might be the case if a maid beds a huge brute of a man who’s only interested in his own pleasure. But that won’t be the case with you, I can assure you. I’m confident enough in my ability to couch a lance without causing you harm.”
Even if there would be pain, she was prepared to bear it for the promise of pleasure afterwards. She wondered how many women he’d taken to bed, but found she didn’t want to know the answer. “How do we do this? Go from sitting here to naked and in bed?”
Alain studied her, then drained his goblet. “Like this, my lady.”



Where to Buy


About the Author

Nicola Cameron is an expatriate Chicagoan who has lived in England, Canada, Holland, and Sweden, and keeps a confusing amalgamation of languages in her head as a result. Currently located in the clavicle of Texas, she has finally mastered the proper use of "y'all," much to her Chicago family's dismay.
Despite a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn't until 2012 that Nicola decided to try writing about it. As it turned out, the skills she picked up during her SF writing career transferred rather nicely to erotic romance. When not writing, she wrangles cats, smooches her husband, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).

Monday, November 20, 2017

Season of Seduction Box Set





Season of  Seduction
Limited Edition collection of Holiday romances

Ring in the holidays this year with this collection of steamy to sexy scintillating reads from today’s hottest bestselling authors. Whether you’re looking for a romance by the warm glow of the fireplace or a passionate romp on a bear skin rug, there is something for all readers, for every taste, desire, and whim. Come and join us, won’t you? This is sure to be a Season… of Seduction.



Featured Authors

Storm of Seduction (Gilpin County Search and Rescue) by Nicole Morgan
Will Lori’s plan be the thing that brings her and Kevin together again? Or will the rewards not be worth the risk as their very survival hangs in the balance?

Car Crash Love by Caitlyn Lynch
Could a car crash really be the beginning of Paige’s happily ever after?

Snowed In and Set Up by: Whitley Cox
Six lonely hearts, five days and a whole lotta mistletoe.

Winter’s Reign by Tracy Goodwin
One queen falls, as one queen rises.
Long may she reign …

Delivered through The Storm by Nicole Garcia
One special delivery can change your life forever.

Paper Love by Aubrey Wynne
Can Ben win her love with the help of a stray homing pigeon and an old origami legend?

 Out of her Element by Debbie White
Everything happens for a reason…

Finding Love by Krista Ames
Sometimes the best things are found in awkward places...

My Little Secret by Ember Leigh
Just once is never enough.

Slow Hand by Bonnie Edwards
A jilted bride...a sexy sea captain...love at first touch…

Wherever Love Finds You by Laura Haley-McNeil
It’s his game. He makes the rules. Rule number one - only he can break the rules.

Finding Their Future by Sarah Marsh
Sometimes to get to your future, you have to go through the past.

The Beast In A Suit by Elena Kincaid
She’s no damsel. He’s no prince.

A PROMISE OF WINTER by Maia Dylan
A broken promise.  A broken heart.  Can a helicopter crash mend both?

Accused by Carmen Fox
United by grief. Separated by secrets.

Venetian Holiday by Christine Donovan
Her best friend’s brother. Will they or won’t they?

Christmas at Starlight  by Kris Jett
The weather may be cold outside, but things are sizzling indoors.

 War Of Hearts by Shelique Lize
The heart wants, what it wants.

The Snow Drift Inn by Michelle Ziegler
Our pasts don’t define us, but they leave scars that can ruin our future.



Purchase Links:
Amazon    iTunes    B&N    Google    Kobo


Things Are Changing

Hi, everyone. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and reading the last post on this blog. Don’t worry, though, I’m not disappearing...