GEORGANA’S SECRET BLOG TOUR

Today is my stop on the GEORGANA’S SECRET BLOG TOUR

#GeorganasSecret, #HistoricalRomance, #RegencyRomance, #InspirationalFiction #ChristianFiction, #ArlemHawks, #BlogTour

Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11  February 14, 2021. 

Over forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-eranovel set aboard a Royal Naval ship. 

#GeorganasSecret, #HistoricalRomance, #RegencyRomance, #InspirationalFiction #ChristianFiction, #ArlemHawks, #BlogTour

 

Title: Georgana’s Secret (Proper Romance Regency)

• Author: Arlem Hawks

• Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction

• Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (January 12, 2021)

• Length: (320) pages

• Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1629727929

• eBook ASIN: B08Q5MW1SG

• Audiobook ASIN: B08RLRZ65Q

• Tour Dates: January 11 – February 14, 2021

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.

ADVANCE PRAISE:

“Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton’s charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances.”— Publishers Weekly

“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson, RegencyProofreading.com

Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily

“Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love.”— Booklist, starred review


This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers


Thank to Shadow Mountain Publishing, for my gifted book

Georgana’s Secret is a standalone high seas romance that is set to the Regency Period. A delightful stunning debut by the author Arlem Hawks.

Set in 1811 as the Napoleonic Wars were raging, Great Britain and France fought for European supremacy.

Navy captain’s daughter Georgana Woodall suffered under the hands her paternal grandmother, when her father is away at sea. On a return trip home Captain Woodall becomes aware of the abuse being inflicted on his young daughter. He takes thing into own hands and disguises his daughter Georgiana, as a cabin boy named George.

Aboard the HMS Deborah, a ship in the English Royal Navy, Georgana has an adventurous time keeping her identity secret. Being aboard the three hundred man ship for three years she is crosses paths with Lieutenant Dominic Peyton. Dominic Peyton reaches out to help young George in helping him self defense from the bullying of the other cabin boys.

When a friendship develops and Georgana soon looses her heart to Dominic. This comes with all kinds of complications that causes for some heightened tension. A moving and delightful book, one the captured my whole heart. Right from the start, with young Georgiana suffering the horrific abuse dealt out by her grandmother. To the her trials and struggles she has to overcome aboard an English Navy’s ship. All the while keeping her identity well guarded.

The sigh factor along with the pitch perfect dialogue had me transported into this beautiful book. The author has created an engaging and courageous heroine, and her highly accomplished writing ensures you will be captivated right from the beginning.I found this story to be entertaining, well thought out, perfectly paced, exciting.An unforgettable story told through a brilliant narrative. The atmospheric imagery, along with intricate details, makes this a treasure amongst the many books in the Regency genre. A riveting adventure, along with the perfect amount of romance makes this a book a treasure on my bookshelf.

Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks is the perfectly sweet high seas regency that features the Twelfth Night trope

I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy

AUTHOR BIO:

Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.

 

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

 

Jan 11My Jane Austen Book ClubExcerpt

Jan 11Austenprose — A Jane Austen BlogReview 

Jan 12Wishful EndingsReview

Jan 12Lu Reviews BooksReview 

Jan 13Lady with a QuillReview

Jan 13Timeless NovelsReview

Jan 14Reading is My SuperpowerReview

Jan 14The Bibliophile FilesReview 

Jan 15Randi Loves 2 ReadReview

Jan 16The Christian Fiction GirlExcerpt

Jan 17Nurse BookieReview

Jan 18The Silver Petticoat ReviewReview

Jan 18Heidi ReadsReview 

Jan 19BookfooleryReview

Jan 20Captivated ReadingReview 

Jan 21Greenish BookshelfReview

Jan 21Bookworm LisaReview

Jan 22Among the Reads Review

Jan 23Gwedalyn’s BooksReview

Jan 24My Bookish BlissReview

Jan 25Wishful EndingsExcerpt

Jan 25Christian Chick’s ThoughtsReview 

Jan 26Relz ReviewzReview

Jan 27The Lit BitchReview

Jan 28Reading with EmilyReview 

Jan 29Books, Teacups & ReviewsReview 

Jan 30A Darn Good ReadReview

Jan 31From Pemberley to MiltonSpotlight

Jan 31Impressions in InkReview

Feb 01Austenesque ReviewsReview

Feb 02Laura’s ReviewsReview

Feb 03Literary Time OutReview

Feb 04Chicks, Rogues & ScandalsExcerpt

Feb 05The Bluestocking Review

Feb 05Library of Clean ReadsReview

Feb 06The Caffeinated BibliophileSpotlight

Feb 07So Little Time…Spotlight

Feb 08The ReadathonReview

Feb 09The Book Diva ReadsExcerpt

Feb 09Books and Socks RockReview 

Feb 10Our Book ConfessionsReview 

Feb 10Encouraging Words from the Tea QueenSpotlight

Feb 11Rosanne E. LortzReview

Feb 11Jorie Loves a StoryReview

Feb 12Fire & IceExcerpt

Feb 13Cup of Tea with that Book, PleaseReview

Feb 14Book Confessions of an Ex-ballerinaReview

 

 

 

GENTLEMAN JIM Blog Tour + Review +Excerpt

Hello lovelies,

Thank you so much for joining me today. I am featuring a wonderful swoon worthy Historical Romance. Today is my stop on the virtual blog tour of GENTLEMAN JIM; A TALE OF ROMANCE AND REVENGE, Mimi Matthews’s newest historical romance novel.

I want to thank the author Mimi Matthews @MimiMatthewsEsq. for sending me a gorgeous print copy

This extensive tour runs between November 9 through December 6, 2020. 

Forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical fiction, historical romance, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with exclusive excerpts, interviews, spotlights, orreviews of this new Regency-era novel set in Somerset, England.

Author: Mimi Matthews

Genre: General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press (November 10, 2020)

Format: Trade paperback and eBook (376) pages

Make sure add this to your Goodreads list

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | APPLE BOOKS | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS


Wealthy squire’s daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it’s bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father’s estate, Nick is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nick escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nick never returns. A decade later, he’s long been presumed dead.

He Wouldn’t Forgive…

After years spent on the continent, John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare has finally come home to England. Tall, blond, and dangerous, he’s on a mission to restore his family’s honor. If he can mete out a bit of revenge along the way, so much the better. But he hasn’t reckoned for Maggie Honeywell. She’s bold and beautiful–and entirely convinced he’s someone else.

As danger closes in, St. Clare is torn between love and vengeance. Will he sacrifice one to gain other? Or, with a little daring, will he find a way to have them both?

 

ADVANCE PRAISE:

“Full to the brim of a passionate spirit that almost bursts from the pages…This is Mimi Matthews on Caffeine…This will charge your brain and light your heart…I freaking LOVE this book.” —Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration

“Equally passionate and powerful…Mimi Matthews proves once again that she is a master of historical fiction in Gentleman Jim. Readers’ Favorite

“I have loved each and every one of Mimi’s novels. This one, especially, deserves ALL THE STARS and a place on my favorites list!… A thrilling Regency adventure that’s one-part hope, one-part daring, and one-part hopelessly romantic.” The Green Mockingbird

“Just when you think Mimi Mathew’s books are already perfection, she writes another one that is more amazing than all the rest. Gentleman Jim is action-packed, romantic, and nail-bitingly suspenseful.” —Probably at the Library

 

This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers

This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.

This was a captivating clean, passionate romance. By far my favorite of all of Matthews book. I know that I say that every time I read and review one of her latest novels. When It seems that her writing is top notch, she goes and ups the bar.

This by far the most passionate of her books. The plot line keeps you interested and the wonderful characters so delightful, that you read straight through. The sigh factor and the pitch perfect dialogue will ultimately transport you the beguiling Regency Era. The writing as always with Matthews is seamless and non stop pacing keeps turning those pages.

Head strong Margaret Honeywell has grown up with Nicholas Seaton. Nicholas is said to be the illegitimate son of the Notorious Gentleman Jim. Nicholas works in the stable as groom in Beasley Park, owned by Margaret’s father Squire Honeywell.

As the two advance in age the sparks fly, even though there is definitely a class difference. Margaret does really care about social doctrine, with heart in her hands she drawn to Nicholas. In a series of events the two become separated, and then the story really takes off. With woven suggestions of The Count of Monte Cristo.

Mimi Matthew has created another delightful tale. this books has it all, with forbidden romance, mystery and suspense.

If you enjoy reading regency depicted time frames, and swoon worthy romance, this a must buy for you.

Quotes

“Miss Honeywell, if you don’t stop fidgeting with your gloves and look at me, I shall be compelled to take your hand and hold it in mine.”

“Do you think I deserve you? That I deserve any of this? You’re mine! And tomorrow, my love, we’re going to take that special license Lord Allendale procured and you and I are going to get married!”

GENTLEMAN JIM: EXCERPT #3 for Gwendalyn’s Books for Nov 21, 2020

St. Clare watched her awhile longer, and then, in a gentler tone than he’d used thus far, said, “Rest easy, Miss Honeywell. Much as he may deserve it, I don’t intend to kill Mr. Burton-Smythe at dawn. It’s a capital offense, you know, and having spent the better part of my life on the continent, I have no immediate desire to return there.”

Hope surged in Maggie’s breast. “You’ll call off the duel?”

“Ah. No. That, I’m afraid, I cannot do. But I give you my word of honor that Mr. Burton-Smythe will not die at my hand.”

Maggie had a poor opinion of a gentleman’s word of honor. Even so, she knew better than to call it into question. A gentleman could be quite touchy on the subject. She supposed that St. Clare’s assurances would have to satisfy her. “Thank you, my lord. I’m very much obliged to you.”

“Indeed you are,” he murmured. “One might even say that you’re in my debt.”

Bessie gave a sharp intake of breath.

Maggie cast a fleeting glance in her maid’s direction before turning her attention back to the viscount. “In your debt? For sparing Mr. Burton-Smythe, do you mean? But you said you had no intention of killing him in the first place.”

“So I did. And at the moment, that’s very true. At dawn, however…” He shrugged. “Who’s to say? Your Mr. Burton-Smythe can be devilish provoking.”

“Of that I’m well aware, but I don’t see how—”

“There’s a good chance he’ll say something to annoy me.”

Her brows drew together. “He very well might.”

“And when he does, the impulse to put a bullet in his brain may be too great to resist.”

Maggie heard another gasp from Bessie. And no wonder. A gentleman shouldn’t speak of duels at all in the presence of a lady, let alone be so lost to decency as to mention firing a bullet into someone’s brain.

Perhaps St. Clare was trying to put her out of countenance?

If so, he was in for a disappointment. As a girl, Maggie had frequently heard her father threatening to blow this or that person’s brains out, or to tear them limb from limb. Indeed, she recalled making similar threats a time or two herself. The Honeywells were known for their bluster.

“If he offends you in some way, can you not simply ignore him?” she asked. “It’s what I try to do.”

St. Clare leaned back in his leather chair and crossed his legs. The firelight reflected in the mirror-polished finish of his Hessians and glittered in the golden threads of his hair. He was the picture of an aristocratic gentleman at his ease.

Maggie wasn’t fooled one bit.

His light-colored pantaloons clung to long, powerfully made legs, and his dark blue coat appeared to have been molded to his broad shoulders. The elegant sprawl he affected was an illusion. St. Clare was no more relaxed than a lion waiting to spring upon its prey.

“In other circumstances,” he replied, “perhaps I could. But during an affair of honor a man’s blood is running high. Even the most placid sort of gentleman often finds himself unable to refrain from violence when a pistol is in his hand. And I am not a placid sort of gentleman. In truth, I have a bit of a temper.”

“As do I, my lord. What does that signify? Unless… Are you saying that your conduct at dawn hinges on whether or not Mr. Burton-Smythe can refrain from irritating you?” She was incredulous. “If that is so, then he’s as good as dead. I have come here for nothing.”

“Not necessarily. I believe, with the right inducement, I may be able to restrain myself.”

“Inducement?”

“It strikes me, Miss Honeywell, that if I’m to do this great favor for you, the least you might do in return is to grant me a forfeit of some kind.”

Bessie gave a puff of indignation. “Miss Margaret,” she warned under her breath.

“It’s all right, Bessie,” Maggie said, still looking at St. Clare. If he hadn’t reminded her so much of Nicholas Seaton, she might have been insulted. As it was, she could only be intrigued. “What sort of forfeit?”

“You’ve asked me to spare a man’s life. A man whom I dislike excessively. The comparable forfeit for such a service would be great indeed. Far greater than anything a gentleman would ever ask of a lady. I propose instead, three more moderately sized forfeits to be collected at the time of my choosing.”

“Miss Margaret!” Bessie hissed.

“Hush, Bessie. I ask again, my lord, what sort of forfeits?”

St. Clare gave her a crooked smile. “I don’t know yet, but it will be nothing untoward, I assure you.”

The sight of St. Clare’s smile was like a lightning bolt straight through Maggie’s heart. For a moment she couldn’t breathe. She’d seen that same crooked smile thousands of times before. It worked on her in a powerful way. St. Clare wasn’t Nicholas Seaton, she knew it, but to once again be the recipient of that smile and that stormy gray gaze, Maggie thought she would agree to practically anything in the world. “All right, then. I accept your terms.”

Chapter Three, pp. 47-50

 

AUTHOR BIO:

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats. Her next romance, The Siren of Sussex, will be out in 2022 from Berkley/Penguin Random House.


WEBSITE
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GOODREADS

 

Nov 09 Relz Reviewz (Character Spotlight)

Nov 09 Life of Literature (Review)

Nov 09 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

Nov 10 Savvy Verse and Wit (Interview)

Nov 10 Greenish Bookshelf (Review)

Nov 11 Library of Clean Reads (Review)

Nov 11 Silver Petticoat Reviews (Excerpt)

Nov 12 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Nov 12 Heidi Reads (Review)

Nov 13 Lu’s Reviews (Review)

Nov 14 The Green Mockingbird (Review)

Nov 15 Bookish Rantings (Review)

Nov 15 The Lit Bitch (Review)

Nov 16 The Historical Fiction Reader (Review)

Nov 16 Austenesque Reviews (Review)

Nov 17 Inkwell Inspirations (Review)

Nov 17 Robin Loves Reading (Review)

Nov 18 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)

Nov 18 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)

Nov 19 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Nov 20 Jorie Loves a Story (Spotlight)

Nov 20 Foxes and Fairy Tales (Review)

Nov 21 Gwendalyn’s Books (Excerpt)

Nov 22 Romantically Inclined Reviews (Review)

Nov 22 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Nov 22 Vesper’s Place (Spotlight)

Nov 23 Fiction Aficionado (Review)

Nov 23 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)

Nov 24 Let Them Read Books (Interview)

Nov 25 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)

Nov 25 So Little Time… (Spotlight)

Nov 27 Among the Reads (Review)

Nov 28 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Review)

Nov 29 Book Bustle (Review)

Nov 30 Cup of Tea with that Book Please (Review)

Dec 01 Nurse Bookie (Review)

Dec 02 Confessions of a Book Addict (Review)

Dec 02 Impressions in Ink (Review)

Dec 03 From Pemberley to Milton (Review)

Dec 04 Relz Reviewz (Review)

Dec 04 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review)

Dec 05 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review)

Dec 05 Probably at the Library (Review)

Dec 06 The Calico Critic (Excerpt)

 

The Potential for Love: A Regency Novel

Hello and welcome to my stop on The Potential for Love: A Regency Novel

By Catherine Kullmann

Hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club

@CKullmannAuthor @maryanneyarde

 #ThePotentialforLove #RegencyRomance #CoffeePotBookClub

The Potential for Love: A Regency Novel

By Catherine Kullmann

1816

For over six years, Thomas Ferraunt’s thoughts have been of war. Newly returned to England from occupied Paris, he must ask himself what his place is in this new world and what he wants from it. More and more, his thoughts turn to Arabella Malvin, but would Lord Malvin agree to such a mismatch for his daughter, especially when she is being courted by Lord Henry Danlow?

About to embark on her fourth Season, Arabella is tired of the life of a debutante, waiting in the wings for her real life to begin. She is ready to marry. But which of her suitors has the potential for love and who will agree to the type of marriage she wants?

As she struggles to make her choice, she is faced with danger from an unexpected quarter while Thomas is stunned by a new challenge. Will these events bring them together or drive them apart?

Where to buy

 

We are celebrating the release of the special hardback edition of The Potential for Love during this tour. With a beautiful dust jacket over an elegant laminated cover, it will enhance any library and is the perfect gift for lovers of historical women’s fiction and historical romance.

The Potential for Love is also available in Paperback and as eBook and is free to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.

 

Amazon

Waterstones

Barnes and Noble

 

Amazon Kindle

Waterstones (Paperback)

Barnes and Noble (Paperback)

 

 


This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Potential for Love is written in classical traditional Regency style romance.

Arabella Malvin’s family has suffered the loss of her brother at war. When Major Thomas Ferraunt, just recently returned from war, comes to call on the Malvins to relay some memorable moments about the their son. Arabella {Bella} Malvin, finds herself drawn to the local Rector’s Son.

Arabella is on her forth season in London, tried of the round of endless balls, she is eager for her life to began. She catches the eye of several would be suitors. One in particular, is the wealthy titled Lord Henry Danlow. Who is seeking a wife that would be the the perfect lady to mold to his specifications.

In a world where social standing is everything and your choice for a spouse is determined by title and linage. This historical fiction has a love triangle, with villainous dangers that will have flipping through the pages.

I really appreciate the little remembrance of Georgette Heyer’s style writing or Austen’s. With its satire and plight of young woman and the social restrictions of the Ton. The authors is wonderful at giving rich meticulous detail, that places the reader in the front row, of this stunning book. I have to say that I inhaled this one. It was beautifully executed novel. I was completely engaged with the characters as they felt real and three dimensional. The plot line flows and the narration is impeccable.

This is my first book by this talented author. I am definitely going to seek out and read more from her.

I highly recommend this book for those who love gorgeous details, and regency dramas.

 

Excerpt

From Chapter ThreePlaying Pope Joan

 

“Now what have you chosen for us, Arabella?” Lord Malvin enquired after Miss Halworth had smilingly acknowledged her applause and compliments and resumed her seat.

 

“I must beg to be excused, sir. I am not in good voice today, I fear.”

 

“Then you’ll play something for us. It’s been too long since we had music in the evenings.”

 

Thomas thought he heard her sigh but she removed her gloves obediently and went to leaf through the sheets of music in the slatted Canterbury beside the pianoforte. Once seated at the instrument, she squared her shoulders as if steeling herself for an ordeal and began to play. He didn’t recognise the piece, Mozart, he thought, but it did not seem too difficult, yet she bit her lip as if she had to concentrate. Once she blinked rapidly and brushed at her eye as if something irritated it. She paused for a moment and then broke into a strident, aggressive melody alla Turca, the sharp rhythm and slashing staccato a reminder that this style of music was inspired by the Sultan’s Janissary bands that had once played before the gates of Vienna. When she got to the end, she closed the lid of the instrument firmly, bowed briefly and returned to her seat beside him. She was trembling and her eyes brimmed with unshed tears. He watched, horrified, as she struggled to contain them.

 

No-one else seemed to have noticed. She took a deep breath, pressed her lips firmly together and swallowed, her hands clenched on her gloves. A teardrop stole down her cheek and she hastily knuckled it away. There was a second door at the end of the room. If he could get her down there, she could leave the room discreetly.

 

He indicated the portrait that hung on the far wall. “I should like a closer look at the background of that painting, Miss Malvin. Will you show it to me?”

 

She nodded and accepted his hand to help her rise. Her hand shook and he tucked it into the crook of his arm with a comforting clasp.

 

Another tear threatened to overflow. He ignored it and, as they slowly paced down the long room, began to describe how the French had protested against the removal of looted paintings from the Louvre. “But Wellington held firm. He even had the four bronze horses of St Mark taken down from the Arc de Triomphe and returned to Venice. Although the Venetians did not acquire them honestly either—they were part of their plunder from Constantinople during the crusades. Ah, here we are. It’s very fine, indeed. I shall take a step behind you, so as to better judge the perspective.” He stood back and to the right, screening her from the others.

 

She cast him a grateful look through wet eyelashes before dabbing at her eyes with a little lace-trimmed handkerchief, then discreetly blew her nose. “That’s better.” She smiled weakly. “Thank you for rescuing me. It is very foolish, but since Arthur was killed, music tends to make me weep. The tears just come—I cannot stop them.”

 

“It is because music can unlock what is hidden away in our heart,” he said sympathetically. “As time passes, you will find it easier. Would you prefer to slip away until you have recovered your composure?”

 

“No. I’ll do now.” She squared her shoulders and pointed to the painting. “Here you see my grandfather posed rather pompously against the ruins of Rome, his elbow propped casually on a convenient antique altar. I have seen similar works in other families; I suspect the artists kept a supply of half-finished canvases, ready for the next young Englishman who wanted to bring back proof of his grand tour. He has a look of Arthur, don’t you think?”

 

“Provided one removes the wig,” he agreed tactfully He couldn’t see the resemblance himself, but if it pleased her to think so—

 

“My mother insisted on having his likeness taken when he was at home after Vittoria. He grumbled, of course, but now we are so glad to have it. It hangs in her sitting-room.” She looked up at him. “It helps to talk normally about him. We couldn’t before—Mamma became so distressed.”

 

 

Arabella, Ferraunt, should we play Pope Joan or speculation?” Matthew called down the room.

 

“Pope Joan,” Miss Malvin said. “I hate speculation. Who else is playing?”

 

“Everyone except Admiral and Lady Halworth who have challenged the rector and Papa to a game of whist.”

 

“That makes us ten. Shall we draw for partners?” Mrs Malvin asked as she placed an ornate, round, staking board in the middle of the table. “A hand of four cards is really too small to play properly. Matrimony and intrigue will get out of hand.”

 

Without waiting for a reply, she rapidly created five pairs of cards, shuffled them and spread them into a fan for each player to take one.

 

 

I’ve never before played a game that involved ‘matrimony’ and ‘intrigue’,” Thomas remarked.

 

“They are both winning combinations,” Miss Malvin replied, her eyes dancing. “The first is when you play the queen and king of trumps in succession; the second is if you play the knave and queen.”

 

“And supposing your neighbour has the king to your queen?”

 

“Then we share the matrimony pool.”

 

“All four? I thought we were playing Pope Joan, not the Grand Turk!” He flipped over his card. “Five of hearts. And you?”

 

She displayed the five of diamonds.

 

“Excellent. I shall rely on you to advise me,” He pulled out a chair for her and took the one beside it. “How is this played?” he asked as he accepted a pile of ivory fish from Mrs Malvin. “What are the stakes?”

 

 

“And Pope clears all.” Mrs Ferraunt triumphantly put down the nine of diamonds and helped herself to the counters for ‘pope’ and ‘game’.

 

“I think the rectory has an unfair advantage,” Julian Malvin protested as he shuffled the cards before the new deal. “That is your second pope, ma’am and I don’t know how many matrimonies you and my brother have celebrated this evening.”

 

“Pure luck,” she said complacently.

 

Thomas rarely played cards. Even now, his income was not so great that he could comfortably afford to lose a large sum and in his early days in the regiment, where an ensign’s pay had barely covered his living expenses, he had not been prepared to risk the allowance his father made him on top of it. It had been simpler to say he did not gamble. Some of his more well-to-do fellows had sneered at him as the ‘parson’s son,’ but he had simply replied, ‘And proud to be so, sir’.

 

This was different. While the game was important, it was the company that mattered; the jokes and quips tossed across the table, the teasing when a pair took matrimony or Lady Malvin’s smug look when she emptied her hand by laying down one after another five clubs so that she and Miss Lambton took the game. And he could lean over the shoulder of a pretty girl and whisper confidentially in her ear as he advised her which suit to lead next. She obligingly followed his instructions although she knew the game far better than he did. She smelt of roses and sunshine, somehow, of lazy summer days—English summer, of course, with its dappled shade and countless blossoms, not the baking, parched heat of Spain.

 

“Hearts, then spades,” he murmured and she obediently placed the four of hearts in front of her, followed by the five and six. Spades were trumps and they held knave and queen. She could have played them first—there was nothing more provoking than to be prevented from playing such a combination—but the seven of hearts had already been played. This way she could dispose of five cards even if someone held the King.

 

“That’s a stop,” he announced when she put down the six. Now she could play her spades.

 

“Intrigue,” she said, laying down the Knave and Queen and Matthew pushed the staking board towards her. It was the first intrigue of the night and she smiled over her shoulder at Thomas as she scooped the counters from the compartment.

 

“What a pity we’re not playing for guineas.”

 

“I think you’ll find you’ve at most recouped your losses, Sis,” Matthew said dryly.

 

She sighed. “I suppose you’re right.”

 

“What sort of intrigue are you and Ferraunt plotting, Bella?” Mr Halworth asked with a grin.

 

Thomas stiffened but Miss Malvin only laughed.

 

“You surely don’t expect us to reveal all,” she retorted gaily. “We are better conspirators than that, are we not, Major.”

 

“As Lord Lansdowne has it, ’Tis the talk, and not the intrigue, that’s the crime’,” Miss Lambton put in.

 

“Aye, it’s better to hold your peace,” Julian Malvin agreed.

 

“But I shall speak now,” his wife declared, laying down the king of spades. “Matrimony and that’s the game.”

 

©Catherine Kullmann 2020

 

 

 

 Catherine Kullmann

 

I was born and brought up in Dublin and moved to Germany on my marriage in 1973. Before my marriage, I was an administrative officer at the Department of Finance in Dublin. I worked as attaché at the Irish Embassy in Bonn until my eldest son was born. Following a twelve-year stint as a full-time mother, I joined the New Zealand Embassy in Bonn, where I was administration officer. My husband and I returned to Ireland in 1999 and in 2009, following a year’s treatment for breast cancer, I took early retirement from my position as Director of Administration and Human Resources at a large Dublin law firm.

 

I have always enjoyed writing, I love the fall of words, the shaping of an expressive phrase, the satisfaction when a sentence conveys my meaning exactly. I enjoy plotting and revel in the challenge of evoking a historic era for characters who behave authentically in their period while making their actions and decisions plausible and sympathetic to a modern reader. In addition, I am fanatical about language, especially using the right language as it would have been used during the period about which I am writing. But rewarding as all this craft is, there is nothing to match the moment when a book takes flight, when your characters suddenly determine the route of their journey.

 

The first quarter of the nineteenth century was one of the most significant periods of European and American history, a period whose events still resonate two hundred years later The Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland of 1800, the Anglo-American war of 1812 and the final defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 all still shape our modern world. The aristocracy-led society that drove these events was already under attack from those who saw the need for social and political reform, while the industrial revolution saw the beginning of the transfer of wealth and ultimately power to those who knew how to exploit the new technologies.

 

I write historical fiction set against this background of off-stage wars, of women frequently left to fend for themselves in a patriarchal world where they have few or no rights but must make the best lives they can for themselves and their families. While real people sometimes have walk-on parts, the protagonists and their stories are pure fiction. As well as meeting their personal challenges, they must also cope with external events and the constraints imposed by society. The main story arc is romantic. I am particularly interested in what happens after the first happy end—how life goes on around the protagonists and sometimes catches up with them. 

 

Social Media Links:

 

Website  Twitter  Goodreads.

 

 

RAKES AND ROSES BLOG TOUR


 Title: Rakes and Roses: A Mayfield Family Romance (Book 3) 
 Proper Romance series
 Author: Josi S. Kilpack
 Tour Dates: May 4  May 22, 2020
 Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
 Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (May 5, 2020)
 Length (320) pages
 Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1629727356
 eBook ASIN: B085FSQNGV
 Audiobook ASIN: B0844W7ZQM

 

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

 

A standalone novel in the Mayfield Family series with an unusual premise and an uplifting ending.

Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man’s world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.

Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he’s a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.

When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she’s so carefully built.

 

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | DESERET BOOK | BOOK DEPOSITORYINDIEBOUND | AUDIBLE | GOODREADS

 

 

ADVANCE PRAISE:

“Uplifting…Kilpack flips the typical Regency romance script, with the heroine rescuing the hero. Kilpack’s strong, upright heroine who finds a way to claim her power in Regency society sets this love story apart. This magnetic tale will appeal to fans of emotional romance.”—Publisher’s Weekly 

“Kilpack takes traditional regency roles and challenges them. She shows how one person can make an impact in the world. I found the story and premise unique.”—Heather Gardner, Fire and Ice

“This is a story of redemption above all else…the ending was perfect.”— Lucinda Whitney, author of Rescuing the Prince

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical series and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton’s Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children. 

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

 

BLOG TOUR BLURB:

 

Bestselling author Josi S. Kilpack tours the blogosphere May 4 through May 22, 2020 to share her third novel in the Mayfield Family series, Rakes and Roses. Forty popular book bloggers specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, exclusive excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed Regency romance. 

 

 

RAKES AND ROSES BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

 

May 04My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)

May 04Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)

May 04Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

May 04All About Romance (Guest Blog)

May 05Timeless Novels (Review)

May 05Literary Time Out (Review)

May 06For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)

May 06Courtney Reads Romance (Review)

May 07Fire and Ice (Excerpt)

May 07Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

May 08History Lizzie (Review)

May 08Wishful Endings (Review)

May 09Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)

May 09Relz Reviewz (Character spotlight)

May 10Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

May 10Delighted Reader (Excerpt)

May 11Frolic Media (Guest Blog)

May 11A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

May 11Bringing Up Books (Review)

May 12Lu Reviews Books (Review)

May 13English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)

May 13Adventure. Romance. Suspense (Review)

May 14Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals (Interview)

May 14So Little Time…So Much to Read (Spotlight)

May 15Storybook Reviews (Excerpt)

May 16The Book Diva’s Reads (Review)

May 16The Fiction Aficionado (Review)

May 17Inkwell Inspirations (Spotlight)

May 17Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)

May 18Romance Junkies (Guest Blog)

May 18Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)

May 18The Lit Bitch (Review)

May 19The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Interview)

May 19Heidi Reads (Review)

May 19Bookworm Lisa (Excerpt)

May 19Laura’s Reviews (Review)

May 19Katie’s Clean Book Collection (Review)

May 20The Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)

May 20Joy of Reading (Review)

May 20Austenesque Reviews (Review)

May 21The Calico Critic (Spotlight)

May 21Getting Your Read On (Review) 

May 21From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt) 

May 22Wishful Endings (Interview)