**BLOG TOUR** ~ Scandalously Yours Boxed Set (includes author post, excerpt and giveaway)

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This boxed set looks such a fantastic read. I’m partial to historical romances, especially ones where scandal meets seduction and this collection fits the bill nicely! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway, read the author post by Maeve Alpin where she discusses her novella The Brass Octopus and check out the scandalous excerpt! 🙂

Scandalously yours…

Through the ages, where there has been society there have always been norms and, conversely, scandals when love gets in the way of propriety.

From the ancient Celts to medieval Cornwall, from Regency and Victorian England to the American west after the War Between the States, eight stories by multi-published, bestselling authors explore the triumphs of love between a man and a woman—even scandalous love—over what’s considered “proper” in their time.

ScandalouslyYours

Wilder’s Thief, by USA Today bestseller, Josie Jax

Robbing a bank wasn’t what reformed pickpocket Rachel Conroy had in mind. Yet when the lyin’ banker entangles her in one helluva financial fix, she finds herself in the bank of Diamond Bluff, Missouri, disguised as a lad and holding a gun on an unfamiliar teller. But the handsome man is so distracting she can’t keep her sex-addled brain on the task at hand—until he threatens to turn her over to the authorities to be hanged if she doesn’t return the money.

When village newcomer and winery owner Dierck Wilder mans his uncle’s small-town bank for a few fateful moments, he’s suddenly staring down the barrel of a revolver. His life veers off on a tumultuous path after he pursues the robber and uncovers a sexy diamond in the rough. Now to unearth the truth and tame Wilder’s bandit…

Aphrodite’s Necklace, by Anh Leod

Exiled by her husband to staid, Victorian England, the goddess Aphrodite is determined to spice up life for a mortal couple by giving them a magic necklace that opens their minds and hearts to passion. Can she teach innocents to delight in sensual love?

Emily Rogers is in the marriage mart, but once the necklace is in her hands, she enlists William Coxe, her family butler, to help find its owner. As Aphrodite intended when she dropped the priceless piece at a ball held in Emily’s home, desire overwhelms Emily—and also William, whom Emily’s parents would never countenance her marrying.

Good sense prevails when the two return the necklace to the goddess, but by this time love has caught the lovers in what seems an impossible situation. Can improper love survive the loss of Aphrodite’s necklace? Only with the goddess’s help can they find a way toward lasting happiness.

Madamoiselle Makes a Match, by Kate Rothwell

An original novella, never before published!

Victorian virgins meet at an inn.

In a village where work is hard to find, virtuous Sally must at last “entertain men” or lose her job at the local inn. The young man she agrees to entertain is Jasper, a visiting gentleman who’s appalled that he’d accidentally forced Sally into this predicament. Yet despite their peculiar meeting and the enormous differences in class and education, the maid and gentleman discover passion and something even more precious, intimacy. Their lovely interlude is interrupted, reality intrudes, and Sally faces another choice…

Seducing Laura, a Regency novel by bestselling British author, Lynne Connolly

When a fortune hunter attempts to steal her niece’s heart, Laura Wickenham makes every effort to prevent the ill-fated match. But the appearance of charismatic Ross Stansfield, the fortune hunter’s handsome uncle, throws her off balance. Instantaneous and combustible, their attraction makes her question her decision never to love again. When the young couple elopes, Laura sets out in pursuit, and fearing for her safety, Ross loses no time chasing her. Thrown closely together, their attraction becomes impossible to resist.

Ordered to find a master spy in the maelstrom of Regency London, Ross finds duty is a distraction any time he’s near Laura. He can’t make his need for her real until he discovers which of her suitors is a threat to Britain. As desire flares between the two, a world of spies and family scandal threatened to thwart a lifetime of happiness.

The Brass Octopus, by Maeve Alpin

Spinster Librarian Piety Plunkett is happy alone with her books, until her sister transforms her with a bras octopus beautifying machine. With her new look, the librarian catches the lusty attentions of a notorious rogue. Blake Blackmore enjoys the favors of beautiful women from the brothels of London to high society’s most fashionable debutantes, but only the spinster librarian consumes his mind night and day. Piety insists she will not wed but devote her life to her position as head librarian.

Blake takes matters into his own hands. In three passion filled lessons, he tutors Piety in carnal pleasure. Now that she is sharing her body, instead of just her books, Piety is shocked yet pleased at how naughty she can be. But if anyone finds out about what goes on in the library after closing time her reputation would be ruined. Is that Blake’ ultimate plan?

Beneath a Cornish Moon, by Ann Jacobs

A dying man’s last wish: Protect Lea. Make her your bride.

Marrying the lovely, sensual Lea will be no hardship for Alain, Earl of St. Vincent. Keeping her safe may be another matter, for a curse lies upon the St. Vincent lands.

Unless Alain can convince Lea to join with him in the fertility rites of the Winter Solstice, her life and his lands may be forfeit.

Alain’s dark passions seduce Lea’s heart and body, but it will take more than passion to bring St. Vincent back from the dark side of the moon.

Timeless Voyage, by Cornelia Amiri

As the pirate Anwen, presses her dagger against the throat of, Kaeso, her Roman captive, he s captivated by dreams of a woman he loved in a previous life, the mirror image of Anwen. Can Anwen and Kaeso steer their timeless voyage to a happy destiny or will they be robbed of love again?

As the Celtic pirate, Anwen, presses her hard iron dagger against a Roman’s throat, memories of fated lovers, druids and sacrifice, stay her hand.

Wooing the Librarian, by Jane Leopold Quinn

After a spectacularly failed romance left her devastated, all Isis Garrett wants is to start her library in this California town. The last thing she wants is another man, not even the handsome preacher who offers his church for her books.

Pres MacKay is starting a new life as a preacher. He can’t hide his attraction to the sweetly rounded new librarian even as she pushes him away. Can he discover the way into her closed heart and prove to her he’s one of the good guys?

Pres isn’t about to give up on Isis, though. The question is can she forget the pain of the past and see a future with him?

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Author Post by Maeve Alpin

Scandalously Yours is a fantastic box set of historical fantasy romances. I’m thrilled to have my tale, The Brass Octopus, in the box set. It’s a Victorian novella that uses the ugly duckling and sexy librarian tropes.

The ugly duckling is a favorite fairy tale of mine. The so called duckling was always beautiful, she was just with the wrong family. If she’d been with a family of swans no one would have ever used the word ugly. That’s what happened to my heroine, Piety. Her verbally and emotionally abusive mother called her ugly. As she grew up, Piety tried to not bring attention to herself – dressing drably and throwing herself in to her work. She’s the head librarian in London, so she’s quite prim and proper. Naturally, since I am writing Steampunk I needed a machine and since I was using the ugly duckling trope I thought of a beauty machine, one with eight arms like an octopus. It covers your head, does your hair, puts make up on you and more. So the brass octopus beauty machine was born.

Now, let me tell you about the hero. Blake Blackmore is a rich rogue who spends his nights gambling and womanizing. I’m sure you’ve already guessed, once he meets Piety he’s willing to give all that up for her.

So these are tropes you’ve seen before: the ugly ducking and the lovable rogue. What makes The Brass Octopus different is – Piety and Blake live in an alternate dimension in which inventions depicted in Jane Loudon’s book the Mummy, A Tale of the 23rd Century have been created. So even though it’s Victorian London, there is some advanced technology for the era. Women wear pants, and tinkering or inventing gadgets is a favorite pastime for proper Victorian ladies along with decoupage, scrapbooking, and hand painting china. And Piety’s sister, Polly, has created a beauty machine called The Brass Octopus.

Blurb:

Can a prim librarian make a rogue smile…Can a lovable rogue make a librarian wild?

Librarian, Piety Plunkett is happy alone with her books, until transformed by a beautifying machine. Blake enjoys the favors of women but only Piety consumes his mind night and day. If anyone discovers what’s happening at the library after closing time, Piety’s reputation will be ruined. Is that Blake’ plan?

Excerpt:

Blake nodded at the servant. “We are chums of Meriwether Aston. Do you know where he is?”

“Yes sir, Young Master Aston is dancing in the sky with a young lady.”

Sager’s face twisted into a puzzled expression as he gazed up at the tall footman. “I am afraid I don’t follow.”

“Mr. Meriwether Aston took one of the guests up in the family balloon,” the footman replied in a deadpan voice.

Blake placed one hand on his hip. “Are you saying some young lady is unchaperoned in a hot air balloon, with Meriwether?”

“Yes, sir,” the footman answered with a blank expression.

Blake felt his lips draw together in a perfectly puckered circle of surprise. “Sounds like something I would do.”

“It’s sure to be the scandal of the ball.” Sager rolled his eyes.

“He may be forced to marry that one,” Blake said under his breath.

“Meriwether has one lady, but there are many more beauties here for us, and I plan to dance with them all.” Sager wagged his eyebrows.

“They are all the same. I tired of high society and giggling debutantes long ago. I am here for you and will try to survive the night as best as I can.”

“Oh, I see Miss June Ashton-Boyd. I must sign her dance card.” Sager adjusted his cravat.

“By all means. I’ll stay near the door for now. In case I need to leave unexpectedly.” No matter what he’d told his friend, Blake didn’t plan to stay for more than an hour. The young misses attending the ball came for one reason only: to find rich husbands. He was not in the market for a wife. He never would be. Unless he could find a beauty with the striking confidence and intelligence of that librarian, but clearly she wasn’t impressed by him. He’d never find that type of woman at a dance, anyway. More like a church social or a tea party. He seldom attended either. Those events lacked a certain thrill and rush that he loved.

As Sager dashed off to secure a dance with one beauty, Blake’s breath caught in his throat as a vision of loveliness glided into the entrance hall. He peered at the woman’s neck, swan-like and creamy, above the low-cut, shimmering blue gown. A desire to press his lips against her neck jolted him.

He noticed the resemblance at the nose and mouth between the auburn-haired lady and the blonde at her side. Sisters, he guessed. Blake sensed he was missing something. Their features seemed familiar, but he couldn’t place how. A servant handed each woman one small, leather booklet to slip onto their delicate wrists.

Blake bowed to them. “Good evening, ladies.” Then he flashed his brightest smile at the lady in blue. “I would be greatly honored if you would allow me to sign your dance card.”

“Are you asking me to dance with you?” She wiggled her lips, not quite a frown or a smile. Her brow furrowed as if his request confused her.

Usually women flirted with him to persuade him to sign their dance cards. As charming as this lady appeared, she might prove to be a challenge. That piqued his interest even more.

“Well, I know we have not met before.”

“Do you joke, sir? I am not amused. I have accompanied my sister with the intent of enjoying the ball and I shall do so no matter what you may think of me.” Piety tilted her head away from him.

“I did not mean to cause you any distress. I shall help you enjoy the ball. I assure you, I am a fine dancer.” She seemed a little calmer. “Let me introduce myself, I am Blake Blackmore.” He placed his hand on his chest. “May I have the pleasure of your name and that of your companion?” He flipped his palm off his chest and held it out toward her.

As she turned her head toward him, her eyebrows arched. “My name is Piety Plunkett and this is my sister, Mrs. Polly Plunkett Young.” She tilted her chin in the air. “Do you truly not recognize me?”

“I am sure I would have remembered if we’d met before.”

With a frown on her face, she opened her empty dance card. “By all means, feel free to choose a dance.”

When he finished filling in his name, she glanced at her card. “You have reserved each song. It is quite improper of you to engage more than four dances.”

“So it is.” He nodded, hoping she wouldn’t mark his name out. “I am quite improper.” She had an air of confidence and independence about her that he found compelling. He needed to charm her into a dance before she realized she had the option of saying no. He stretched his arm out to her. “May I escort you and your sister into the ballroom?”

For more about The Brass Octopus and Maeve Alpin please visit her at http://MaeveAlpin.com, https://www.facebook.com/MaeveAlpin/ and twitter @MaeveAlpin

Buy links:

Amazon.com— http://amzn.to/1QG7y2d

Amazon UK– http://amzn.to/1POPAdZ

All Romance Ebooks– http://bit.ly/1Vk1rED

Kobo– https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/scandalously-yours-2-166.html

Smashwords– https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/612550?ref=cw1985

Books will also be available at barnesandnoble.com and iTunes (Apple), but buy links are not yet available for them.

GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/scandalously-yours/

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The Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne, by Natasha Blackthorne (Intimate Secrets, Book 1)

Erotic Historical Romance

Adult/18+ Read

Book Blurb

Lady Blayne

Catriona, Lady Blayne is recovering from a most delicate situation. Driven to the brink of madness by love for her late husband, a young man too ill to meet the demands of the marriage bed, she teeters on the brink of scandal. Now she must face the carnal temptation personified by her husband’s cousin and heir, James, the new Lord Blayne. His sensual appeal, contrasted with his iron will and stern self-mastery fascinates her. She can’t help but ask: what if sensual indulgence is the only way out of her darkness? However, she is not free to explore the idea. There are those who seek to control the young widow, keeping her imprisoned through emotional manipulation and physical coercion. With her growing restlessness, the very people she loves and trusts the most are becoming an increasing danger to her sanity and safety.

James is determined to protect Catriona—but he will not soften to her again. She rejected him once and James can’t risk losing his heart a second time. As heir to the Blayne baronetcy, he must marry a woman socially and politically appropriate. Such a scandalously self-indulgent lady as Catriona won’t do. Yet the pretty girl he once knew has grown into a beautiful, curvaceous woman that is every man’s dream.

Especially his.

Erotic Romance; Regency Historical; Elements of Sensual Domination, Spanking and Light Bondage; Rubenesque Heroine; Character-Driven Story with Angst and Strong Internal Conflicts; Standalone Long Novel.

Reader Advisory: The characters discuss issues of abuse which took place in the heroine’s backstory. Frank sexual language & period appropriate sexual slang and general bedchamber naughtiness. 

My Review ~ FIVE STARS! TOP READ.

Sexy and Angst-Ridden!

Once again it’s hats off to Natasha Blackthorne for another fabulous sexy and angst-ridden erotic historical romance, which delves deep into the psyche of its characters and the sexual mores of the time. Indeed, The Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne, cuts straight to the heart of Regency sexuality and what was considered right and proper behaviour between a man and wife and how women should conduct themselves in and out of the marriage bed…. Double standards abound and the novel operates on a level far removed from the polite Regency veneer of many works set in this period.

Being familiar with Natasha Blackthorne’s work (I’ve previously read Her Mystery Duke which is equally complex, and angst-ridden and which I highly recommend) I was expecting both a scorching and emotional read and I can unreservedly say that this book delivers! I love tortured characters,and in this the female lead Sunny, aka Catriona, is as tortured as they come, the details of her past slowly revealing themselves to the reader and the hero James, the new Lord Blayne, as the story unfolds. I was as devastated as James as I learned of the trauma of her marriage and her life since the death of her husband Freddy, James’ deceased cousin.

Catriona is no straight-laced Regency miss. She is a sensual and complex creature and has suffered greatly on account of her natural carnal desires. The novel explores a number of heavy themes: grief, guilt, death, abuse, (including drug abuse), dominance and submission and desires that at the time considered female debility and madness. A number of scenes brought tears to my eyes for what she had been through and her current situation.

The hero James is also a complex and tortured character in his own right and I loved his own emotional journey, as well as Catriona’s as they work through the many issues that at the same time pull them together and apart. James is a man torn between his duty to the family and his growing love for Catriona, a woman proving herself to be most unsuitable as a wife. There are also a number of characters in the novel whom I despised with a passion as they attempt to thwart James and Catriona’s HEA! indeed, this tale really pulls at the heart strings, it is so emotional! It also does not shy away from some very intimate scenes!

Readers of historical erotic romance not yet acquainted with Natasha Blackthorne will love this novel, which I also recommend to lovers of historical romance who are looking for a spicier read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

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Purchase Links

Amazon US   Amazon UK

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Bella’s Betrothal, by Anne Stenhouse

Bellas%20Betrothal%20200x300[1]Delightfully Engaging Sweet Regency Romance

Fans of Regency Romance are well advised to grab hold of Anne Stenhouse’s recent release, Bella’s Betrothal, an exciting and engrossing read, which gripped me from the first page. It contains murder, attempted kidnap and evil intent, family secrets, malicious gossip and mayhem, plus much wit and humour and engaging characters, not least the hero and heroine, whose sweet romance is at the heart of the plot.

In Regency Britain reputation is everything, no more so than amongst the Ton. So when Lady Isabella Wormsley, finds herself in a situation where she is the focus of gossip and innuendo most foul she is sent in disgrace to her aunt and uncle’s house in Edinburgh. En route her room at an inn is invaded by handsome Scottish Laird, Charles Lindsay, in a deliciously action packed and sexually charged scene. Charles has uncovered a plot to kidnap her by a rogue called Direlton, but Bella starts to wonders if Charles may be a more dangerous threat, at least to her heart.

Charles is a friend and neighbour of her Aunt Hatty Menzies and a regular visitor. Exiled by her unfeeling mama, Bella hopes the delivery of her young cousin’s baby will prove her own innocence. However, Bella’s presence disrupts the lives of everyone connected to her. Direlton makes another kidnap attempt and Charles comes to her rescue and is  compromised. Only a betrothal will save his business and Bella’s reputation. Will the growing but unacknowledged love between Bella and her Scottish architect survive the evil machinations of Direlton and the scandal mongers?

I found the characters of Bella and Charles to be believable. Not only are they were well matched as a couple, but they are also interesting characters in their own right. Although Charles is a Laird, he is no lazy aristocrat. His work as an architect, gives him an outlet for his creativity. Bella is outspoken and headstrong, yet responsible and keen to protect those around her from damaging their own reputation by associating with her. Charles, recognising how his own reputation could be harmed initially resolves to have little to do with her. However, his conviction does not last long as he is wildly attracted to her and he cannot stop thinking about her. Moreover his strong sense of fair play and honour, not to mention his friendship with the Menzies, leaves him honour bound to help ease Bella into Edinburgh society. This of course means more contact with Bella, which only feeds their mutual attraction.

I liked the fact that Charles was very willing to protect Bella’s honour at all costs, not just against the gossips but also against those who wish her physical harm. There are many touching scenes between the couple as they grapple with their own feelings, whilst at the same time hiding their growing love from each other. Although a sweet romance the reader can certainly sense the passion the couple have for each other simmering below the surface in a number of heated scenes! Bella fears that Charles has only agreed to marry her to protect his business and Charles has his own insecurities to contend with, not least a meddling mama and a past in which he was betrayed by a woman. The villain Direlton and his cronies are ever present throughout the tale, adding considerable tension and danger to the plot.

The supporting characters were delightfully well drawn. I particularly liked how the author portrayed many of the women in the novel, especially Bella’s aunt and Charles’ mama and how Bella’s appearance and subsequent betrothal affected their friendship. Lackie, Charles’ man, helps keep Charles’ temper in check on numerous occasions and provided additional humour. The villain Direlton was credible and well motivated in his evil intent.

The author’s knowledge of the history, geography and architecture of the city of Edinburgh shines through in this novel. I found myself easily transported Regency Edinburgh and into the scenes that she painted with her words. The dialogue too was well crafted and sparkled throughout and this undoubtedly reflects the author’s experience as a playwright.

I recommend this novel to lovers of historical romance, especially Regency Romance. I enjoyed this book, which was a fast paced, entertaining and often humorous read, with characters I very quickly came to care about. I would definitely read more by this author and have put her previous novel, Mariah’s Marriage, on my reading list.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of Bella’s Betrothal was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Released on September 20, 2013

Cover designer Charlotte Volnek

Publisher, MuseItUp Publishing website

Click here for Anne Stenhouse’s Author Blog

Click for Anne’s Facebook page

About the Author

AGsm[1]ANNE STENHOUSE has always loved words. Reading them and using them greedily, she can’t truly remember a time when she couldn’t escape into the pages of a book and certainly can’t remember when she couldn’t talk and ask questions. Anne is a published and performed playwright. She studied both English and History at University in Edinburgh, and finds it a great joy to combine these two disciplines in her first novel, Mariah’s Marriage. Being a playwright means Anne loves dialogue and knows a piece is going well when she ‘begins to hear the characters talking to each other’. She has been a civil servant, full-time Mum and, for a while, a worker in an Addictions’ rehabilitation unit. Anne lives in Scotland with her husband and dancing partner of over thirty years. Their children and a grandchild are close by.

Author’s Other Works:

Love to Death, a one act play, New Theatre Publications

Mariah’s Marriage